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.

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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

Easing into the spacious present

The spacious present is always only a thought away.

The spacious present is always only a thought away.

Daily living has a way of closing in on the human spirit. Work, chores, headlines, traffic—they all conspire to steal a precious commodity that belongs to each and every one of us. And while it’s easy to let the toils of day-to-day existence chip away at it, the spacious present can be brought back into existence with a mere change of thought.

The idea and the value of the “present” has been talked about in spiritual, religious and self-help books for many years. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is dedicated to the study of using the present moment as a springboard for understanding our very existence. But even after I read Tolle’s book (which is excellent, by the way), I was still left wondering, “what’s the big deal?”

It would take several years and many authors later for the idea to take root. I was reading a passage from Seth/Jane Robert’s The Early Sessions when Seth added the word “spacious” to “present” when I felt an immediate sense of understanding. Suddenly, I saw what all the fuss was about.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that easy for me to get the concept but it did start to gel in my mind. Perhaps it was this one tiny bit of information that really started to get the ball rolling: all of creation happens in the present moment. All of it. I had to let that sink in before I could really do anything with the concept. I tried to deny it and I tried to reason it away, but it just sat there, taunting me to think about it, study it, perceive it and then live it. Everything is happening now.

The only source of perception happens in the present moment. Think about it: you can’t think ahead to the future or think back to the past (really, you don’t). You use your consciousness in the present moment to do either of those tasks. Let that sink in for a moment. You use the present moment to experience your now, to imagine your future or think about your past. While you can mentally examine any “time” you’d like, you must do so with your feet planted firmly in the present moment. There is no other way.

What makes the ‘present’ so important?

The present moment is the stage where you produce your life. The actors you choose, the scenery you imagine, the actions you create, all happens right there, or rather, right “here.” The present moment is where you consciously, or often unconsciously, set the stage for what you will experience in your next moment, your next “now.” An understanding of that concept is important if you want to use conscious creation to your advantage.

Understanding that all of creation happens in this very moment underscores the need to be conscious of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs and imaginations…now. If you worry about the future, you do so from the present moment. If you opine about your past, you do so from the now. So either of those actions take on new significance when you realize you have a choice about how you think about them this very second.

What does “spacious” have to do with it?

When I first read Seth use the term “spacious present,” it brought the present moment alive for me. “Now” truly is wide open, vast and almost incomprehensible. Think for a moment about an astronaut looking down on Earth and freezing one moment of time. She would see over six billion people all “being” and “doing” and “living.” She would see rivers racing, oceans churning and mountains reaching for the sky. Billions upon billions of insects would be flying and crawling on Earth while uncountable animal life would be completing the circle.

Sounds pretty big, doesn’t it?

For me, getting a grasp on “spacious” in relation to the present moment is important because it helps to see and feel the enormity of what I experience. It also allows me to feel how much room I have to consciously direct my thoughts into what will be my next experienced moment.

Any attempt to sense the present moment brings me right back into it. That is, when I try to consciously perceive the present moment, it actually brings me right into real time—a moment where clock time doesn’t exist. When I add the layer of spaciousness to the present moment, it relaxes me and makes me feel energized at the same time.

Reality Challenge™

Attempting to sense the spacious present is an excellent way to ease into an awareness of yourself, your thoughts and your subjective mood. It stops the world for a moment, giving your mind a chance to catch its breath and luxuriate in the state of being.

Throughout the day, see if you can take a moment here and there to sense the spacious present. There are many ways to become aware of the present moment. Here are two of my favorites:

  • Close your eyes and place your awareness on your breath. Breathe consciously and slowly in and out a few times then let your awareness flow to your body. Feel your legs on the chair or your feet on the ground. Loosen any tight muscles. Then allow your awareness to flow past yourself, into the world. Open your eyes: what do you see? Allow your eyes to move easily and slowly in your range of sight. Notice shapes, objects and colors. Listen carefully to what’s around you: birds chirping, cars passing, people talking. Listen for silence between sounds.
  • You can also simply pause and allow your mind and body to sense the openness that surrounds you. This is a hard one to explain, but you’re trying to “feel” your way into the spacious present. Ease into it and let it envelope you. It almost feels like you’re allowing your body to vaporize and become part of the landscape. How far can your perception of the world take you?

While you’re sensing the spacious present

Once you’ve allowed your consciousness to slow down a bit and rest comfortably in the present moment, you can use that time to consciously create. Being truly present stops your thoughts long enough for you to become aware of them. Think to yourself: what do I want to happen next? How do I want to feel? What do I want to experience?

You don’t necessarily need to have a plan mapped out for yourself, but you can place positive and constructive thoughts and emotions in your spacious present that will meld with the universe to become manifest later on. For example, you can set your intention to feel calm and centered in the spacious present. Sitting (figuratively) with this feeling for even a moment will frame your spacious present and help you achieve that goal in the future.

You needn’t worry about trying to catch the spacious present constantly throughout the day. What you’re aiming for here is a periodic reminder of your present and using it as a springboard for intentional creation.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you create with your conscious (or unconscious) “mixture”?

Your conscious creation "mix" determines the world you experience.

Your conscious creation “mix” determines the world you experience.

Appreciation is a hard feeling to find when you’re freezing. And as my friend and I started out on a walk with the dogs in 12 degree weather, I wasn’t expecting to feel appreciation for anything until I returned to the comfort of my warm home.

It had been a few days since the snow fell and although it was sunny out, the freezing temperatures ensured that the snow and ice stayed on the ground. Carefully navigating icy streets with two big dogs was a challenge and left us little time to look around at the natural beauty of a cold Colorado winter morning. But as my dog, Bloo, stopped to do his business, my eye was drawn to the sewer grate several feet away. There, amid the dirty, icy asphalt was a beautiful arrangement of ice and snow. The combination of wind, sun, temperature and the construction of the grate had turned our winter snow into a beautiful display of crystal wonderment.

Suddenly I had more of an appreciation for our walk. I snapped a picture of the scene and we continued our trek.

It seemed like such a little thing at the time but the beauty of the ice and snow on that metal grate got me thinking about how we create our own personal universes. I write a lot about how we combine thoughts, emotions, beliefs and imaginations into our personal worlds and here was a perfect example of that process, albeit couched in nature.

The elements of creation–our intimate thoughts, beliefs and emotions–are akin to water. On its own, water is a fantastic substance. It’s life giving and life supporting and can easily transform from liquid to snow to ice to vapor and back again in endless cycles. Water, combined with wind, temperature, shape and surface can easily transform into many things, good and “bad,” from the water we drink to the power behind a destructive tsunami. The combination of elements transforms water into different uses as does our own thoughts and emotions.

All too often, we get stuck on particular thoughts. Ditto for emotions. Whether we’re trying to manifest something concrete, like a new job, or simply enhance our own personal experience, we often get caught up in one particular thought or emotion we’re trying to change. What we must realize (myself included) is how important the overall mix and consistency of our thoughts is to the creation process.

The process of conscious creation means using all of the elements at our disposal in a manner that fits our overall goals and expectations. To do that, we must become conscious of our thoughts, aware of our emotions and purposeful with our imaginations and combine them in a directive manner. When we do this (and we must do it consistently), we set the stage for beautiful things to appear in our lives.

My walk with the dog is a condensed, but good example. After just a few yards from the house, I began to bitch about the cold weather. Then came the complaints about the ice. From there, with my thoughts and words unchecked, I convinced myself it was never going to get warm again and I’d forever be frozen in this moment (frozen in time, if you’ll excuse the pun). That thinking quickly created a mood which was anything but productive or fun. Soon I was complaining about many other aspects of my life–my job, friends, the list went on and on.

Once I finally caught myself in the act, meaning once I finally became conscious of my thoughts and imaginations (and recognizing the role they played in my mood), I was able to do something about it. It took seeing that beautiful sewer grate (have you ever heard those words together before?) to wake me up and realize I needed to work on my conscious creation “mix.” I could instantly recognize I was creating negativity in my “now” moment and projecting it into the future. So, I set out to purposely look at my reality in a different way: The sun was out, that’s a good thing. The forecast called for higher temperatures in a day or two, I could hold out till then. If I continued my line of thinking/imagining, I would be miserable for the foreseeable future.

Applying these concepts on a larger scale, from specific goals to overall emotional wellbeing, can be a little more difficult. Still, starting the process is important. Will you succeed each and every time? Probably not. What we’re aiming here for is an overall re-orientation to our thought/emotional/imagination mix, adjusting it where necessary and sometimes scrubbing the whole thing and starting over.

However you begin to adjust your mix is up to you. For me, it began by noticing the beauty of a sewer grate and becoming appreciative of a cold Colorado day.

What’s your dummy light telling you?

It’s amazing how a little red light can throw you into a panic. Have you ever driven down the highway and had one of the “dummy” lights come on in your car? You know the kind: the little warning lights that tell you that you’re running out of gas…or oil…or air pressure in a tire. When you see one of those lights, you know you need to check something at the next stop.

Indicator lights—or “dummy” lights—are designed to give warning that something isn’t working correctly with your car. They are there to keep you from having to preform a check of your car every time you get in. In short, they alert you to problems, hopefully, before they become too serious.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we had those same kinds of dummy lights for our own lives? We do, we simply don’t recognize them as such.

In conscious creation terms, you create your own reality. Everything you see around you in your life, everything you experience in your life, is a reflection of the thoughts, beliefs and expectations you hold. So when something isn’t going exactly the way you would like, think of it is a dummy light illuminating itself in the dashboard of your mind.

For me this week, my dummy light came in the form of a head cold. I felt the sniffles coming on a few days ago and tried my best to “think my way” to a more healthy body. I tried to put the thought of sickness out of my mind and trudge on with everyday life. But ignoring dummy lights only makes them illuminate brighter and brighter until finally, you are forced to pull over and take stock of what’s happening.

Sickness of any kind—colds, flu, cancer, disease—are often dummy lights in disguise. They turn on when we have contradictory thoughts; they turn on when we haven’t addressed certain beliefs or when we’ve tried to ignore other warning signs. But those dummy lights go way beyond health issues.

Almost anything that isn’t working life can be a dummy light. Are you constantly worried about money and lack of abundance?  That’s a dummy light. Is the relationship with your spouse or friends causing you frustration, anger or sadness? Again, that little red light is getting brighter and brighter right before your eyes.

The problem we have with dummy lights is that we often take them as reflections of “reality” rather than beliefs about reality. This is a subtle difference but it’s an important one when trying to create your best life possible. When you realize your thoughts about realty are just that, you have the power to change them and move in a more positive direction.

Learning to understand your own dummy lights can be a hard process to tackle. It’s easy to see that our inner selves are trying to get our attention on particular issues but we may be too blind to understand what the indicator lights actually mean.

Let me give you another example. When I left my last corporate job, I was becoming more and more miserable. It was a slow process to see the cumulative effects of my thoughts around work and so I started to develop a regularly occurring series of dummy lights. The first started with a sore throat. For months, I would start to get a sore throat and immediately spot the problem. I would go to the doctor, discover it was strep throat and have to miss several days if not a full week of work. In this case, my doctor acted as a mechanic, diagnosing the symptom and offering a quick way to alleviate the problem. Back to work I’d go.

Although the doctor was resetting my dummy light, the underlying cause of the problem was still not being addressed or healed. The doctor was simply hitting the reset button that controlled the light and sent me forward thinking the problem was solved.

A few months later, I was in an annual performance review with my boss when right in the meeting, my dummy light illuminated, again in the form of a sore throat and trouble swallowing. I had seen this light before and knew exactly what it meant: it was the one telling me I had a bout of strep throat coming my way. Like most indicators, the dummy light got my attention loud and clear (with a little panic thrown in). That meeting was a turning point for me. Within an hour, I stopped listening to the ranting and raving of my boss and realized that I alone was causing my reality—sickness and all.

It was time to stop into the nearest service station, otherwise known as my home, and begin to take stock of what the dummy light was telling me. Over the course of the next week as I nursed myself back to health, stopping to investigate what the sickness (dummy light) was trying to tell me. Two truths emerged from that week. First, I was creating this health challenge myself, it was not being forced upon me by some outside agency. Second, since I developed the symptoms on my own, I had the ability to change them on my own. I wanted to feel better and so I reluctantly realized it was time to take matters into my own hands.

It was no secret to anyone involved. I had become increasingly unhappy with my job. I was constantly fighting with my boss and coworkers and was trying to blame external circumstances for my unhappiness. Because I had been blaming others and life for my unhappiness, I felt powerless to change. But this final warning light got my attention loud and clear and I realized it was up to me to make changes that would feel good to my spirit and myself.

It’s not only health issues that serve as giant warning lights; there are many, many other ways your inner self attempts to communicate with your conscious mind (and ego). Dummy lights can indicate to us our thoughts about money, careers relationships, women and men, ease-of-life, pets and other things. The more the light affects us with panic and wonder, the more serious the problem the inner self wants you to address. Again, warning lights are simply an indicator that something isn’t working or is about to go haywire, so it’s best to take time to investigate the light.

Some warning lights are easy to understand. When you find yourself cranky and irritable around 11:30 in the morning, your dummy light may be simply telling you to stop and have lunch. A bad cold every time you try to arrange a vacation with your friends may indicate you don’t really want to go on the trip or have relationships issues with your friends. The list goes on and on.

But as a warning light gets more serious and shines brighter into your consciousness, it’s going to take some investigative work to understand it better. Here are some quick ways to start the investigative process:

  1. Acknowledge that the warning light (or unpleasant situation) is trying to get your attention. Realize that, accept it, and make the commitment to find out what it is.
  2. Realize that the dummy light is trying to help move you in the proper direction. This is the universe’s way of saying, “ I see you’re off course, here’s a way to help.”
  3. If nothing sticks out at you about why the warning light is on, tell yourself this, “I realize that my inner self is trying to get my attention. Whatever I need to know will float to the top of my conscious thoughts so that I can deal with them on a different level.
  4. Continue to tell yourself, whatever the problem (health or otherwise), “I can release the need for the manifestation of this challenge while I work on it at a another level. So for a health challenge, remind yourself that the body can release the physical symptoms while you intellectually deal with your thoughts, emotions and beliefs about the challenge.

Will you always realize what your dummy light is telling you? Maybe not, but bringing conscious awareness to the process is the first step in taking responsibility for your life and helping it move forward in a positive way.

For me this week, I’ve had no clear idea of why I’ve developed a head cold, so I’m relying on a regular affirmation of “my body can release the physical symptoms while I understand what thoughts and beliefs are causing this physical distress.” So far that suggestion seems to be keeping the cold from getting worse. I’m learning to relax and become aware of my discordant thoughts when they do finally work their way to the top of my consciousness.

Stick with it and realize that it will take time to learn a new way of looking at challenges in your life. Similarly, think about the good things that happen in your life as a green dummy light telling you that you’re on the right track. Smile to yourself when you realize this and keep heading in the current direction. Those thoughts/beliefs/emotions that are working for you need no other acknowledgement except a “thank you” to the universe for helping you become aware of them.

 

 

 

 

 

The thermostat of your soul

Your vibrational set point

It’s one of those days. You know the kind: when you wake up and from the get-go things just aren’t quite right. You try to brush off the feeling at first, assigning it to the “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed” category. You trudge on through your morning only to be bombarded by unexpected interruptions, negative emails and rude people wherever you turn.

We typically turn our heads to the universe in times like this and wonder aloud, “What the hell did I do to deserve this?” We look to reasons outside ourselves to understand why we are having these experiences. In essence, we’ve resigned ourselves to being victims of an uncaring universe.

The universe isn’t playing tricks on us. It’s giving us exactly what we’ve asked for, even if we’re not aware of it in the moment. The universe is reacting to our own energy field, utilizing the law of attraction to bring us more of what we’re putting out. And on a bad day, we’re giving out a lot of bad energy.

The universe responds to our Vibrational Set Point—the overall frequency of the energy present in our bodies and souls at any given time. That energy fluctuates throughout the day and throughout the week, but in totality, we tend to set a range of vibration that affects most of the things we experience.

Where does our energy come from?

Our outgoing energy comes in the form of thoughts and emotions. Each thought we have has an electromagnetic quality to it; the same holds true for emotions. And in the most basic of terms, the energy of our thoughts and emotions has a particular “weight” or “density” to it. Certain strong emotions and particular thoughts can have either a light or heavy density. Extreme anger, for example, has heavy density to it. Love, on the other hand, very light.

If science isn’t your thing, simply remember this: energy works on the premise of the law of attraction. So energy that you radiate goes out into the universe and seeks out similar types of energy. That energy comes back to you in the form of experience—situations and people that are carrying the same kind of energy.

Now, under normal circumstances, our thoughts and emotions tend to self-correct. That is, they ebb and flow through our awareness without much effort—the way it should be. People often get worried about their own negative thoughts or “bad” emotions, such as anger, sadness or jealousy. There is no general need for concern. Allowing emotions some freedom helps them move through the body and the mind quickly and (relatively) easily. So what trips us up?

The ego and energy

As is the usual case in self-development, the ego can really cause problems. When the ego tries to control thought and emotion, it acts like a damn, catching energy and holding it back until pressure begins to build. As this energy is pooled around us, it gets bigger and denser until we have a hard time clearing it. And when dense energy (read: negative thoughts or unwanted emotions) says with us, we continue to attract bad things into our lives.

Don’t blame the ego, per se. It feels as if it’s doing its duty by reminding us of how reality really is. It tries hard, really it does. Unfortunately, the ego’s reality is based solely on what it observes from the immediate environment. Sometimes it asks for help from the intellect, which tries to apply reasoning to explain why the world operates the way it does. This is a false premise and it’s where we get in trouble.

Let me give an example to illustrate this better. This morning, I received an email from a co-worker that set me off. Before I could even finish reading it, my blood started to boil and I was thinking of ways to respond, none of which were appropriate. I caught myself at first, trying to put the email out of my mind while I ate breakfast and got ready for the day. It didn’t work.

My ego became involved early in this case. I took the information in the email personally; I felt I was being wrongly blamed for a failed work project. Since the ego wants to protect the self (me), it took the information on face value. Certainly, the ego reasoned, the email was aimed specifically at me and I had better start preparing an appropriate response to it. In English terms, the ego said, “How dare she?!? How are we going to fight this?” The ego wouldn’t let my conscious mind look for contrary evidence; it had already made up its mind who was at fault.

Despite my best efforts to forget the whole thing, even for a few moments, my mind wandered back to the email repeatedly and I would get angry all over again. Once the ego got involved, it was almost impossible to let go of the thoughts and related emotions. It’s pretty easy to see what’s happening at this point: the ego was damming up negative energy and it was growing bigger and bigger by the minute.

As the day progressed, things just got worse. I found myself attracting negativity wherever I went. The line at the coffee shop was out the door; drivers were rude on the street; some jerk almost hit my car when he was parking next to me. The list went on and on. My overall energy had fallen into a dangerous zone and I was attracting more of the same (remember the law of attraction?) wherever I went.

Back to your Vibrational Set Point

We tend to only think about our own Vibrational Set Point when we’re dealing with so-called negative emotions and for good reason. It’s uncomfortable. It brings bad things into our lives. But the same holds true for the opposite. A higher Vibrational Set Point can also bring things into our lives, such as love, abundance, happiness, joy and serenity.

On an average day, your Vibrational Set Point will usually be set to a range that works best for you. Are you generally a happy person? Are you frequently sad? Are you prone to anger or jealousy? Or my personal favorite: are you always sarcastic? We each have tendencies that feed overall into our energy field. As we have experiences such as my bad day above, we move the needle of our Vibrational Set Point, inching it closer to negativity or positivity.

Your Vibrational Set Point sets the stage for future experiences. It’s important to remember that so that you can learn to attract what you want instead of what you don’t.

It’s a moment-by-moment job

So if the goal is to have a Vibrational Set Point that’s at the higher end of the scale, i.e. in the range of positivity and love, how do we get there? It starts with becoming aware of your thoughts, emotions and energy at multiple points throughout the day. And when you find yourself moving down the scale, it’s time for action.

As I said earlier, thoughts and emotions naturally move through the mind and body. Left alone, a good percentage of your thoughts and intense emotions will probably pass in a moment’s time. It’s when those thoughts and emotions get stuck that you’ll want to take notice.

If you find yourself ego-obsessed with a negative thought or emotion, rouse your consciousness to do something about it. This takes work and practice. It takes a commitment to self-development. I won’t lie to you: it can be hard. I spent the better part of the day purposely trying to change my Vibrational Set Point. After many attempts, I was finally able to pull my ego out and allow my vibration to rise.

On the other hand, if you find yourself dwelling on happy feelings and reliving say a wonderful call from a friend, stay with it. Look for other things that match the vibration, like petting your dog or taking a moment to appreciate the sunset. Enjoy the feeling; revel in it. Ride it like a wave.

Becoming aware of ego-bound thoughts and emotions is the first step in changing them. Sometimes, it may seem impossible to move higher up the scale when you’re faced with a difficult thought or emotion. Realize this is where you’re stuck and remind yourself that staying stuck will only bring you more of the same. This is the all-important “choice point.” You can stay stuck or you can move out of it. Be brave and set your intention to re-set your system.

Reality Challenge

To help become aware of your Vibrational Set Point and understand how it forms your future experiences, take the next two days to examine what you’re thinking and feeling. Combine this with short journal entries so you remember what you were doing at the time. Simply note how you’re feeling and where your mind is. For example:

Time               Activity           Thoughts                                            Emotions

12:15 p.m.      Gardening      Dreaming of new garden ideas       Good; happy; excited

3:00 p.m.        Lunch             Enjoying Mary’s company                Content

5:00 p.m.        Phone call      Repetitive thoughts about project  Angry, consumed

Try this exercise for two days. This way you can begin to see what kind of energy you are attracting to yourself. Of course, if you’re having a day like I did today, it will be pretty easy to see how a change in vibration can add up to a whole different day. If you find yourself becoming ego-bound in negative thought or emotion, stop and see if you can change course. Distract yourself, pamper yourself, do whatever it takes. If nothing else, realize you have a choice in how you feel and respond and then let it go.

With awareness and practice, you can learn to change your Vibrational Set Point. Learning to adjust your vibrational thermostat to a higher frequency will not only change your attitude but your future as well.