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.


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.

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.

Keeping your accomplishments to yourself

With the stroke of a paintbrush, I transformed 60 years of scuffs, dirt and memories into a fresh, beautiful new wall. It was the last project on my weekend home improvement list but instead of being proud of my painting effort, I quickly realized it was my thoughts that needed improvement.

As I examined the freshly painted wall, the first thought that popped into my head wasn’t congratulatory nor affirming. Instead, I stood there and said out loud, “who’s going to care?”  The hallway I painted leads back to my utility room, not exactly the most used room in the house. Sure I walk through the hallway each time I do laundry, but I barely notice the walls themselves. I realized that I may be the only person to ever notice the improvement.

That comment got me thinking: why was I upset that no one would see my handiwork? Couldn’t I just be pleased with myself for painting a wall that desperately needed some attention? The concept grew further in my mind: why do we do most of the things we do? Do we do them for ourselves? For others? For acknowledgement and praise from our friends and family?

Why is it difficult to do something just for your own pleasure?

In the age of social media, it’s very easy to tout your efforts to the universe. Every day, Facebook is full of people talking about their accomplishments: “I went to the gym for 45 minutes!” “I stopped and helped a stranger change a tire.” “I cooked a fantastic dinner!” The posts are endless as is the need for affirmation. We have become addicted to the praise we receive from others when we do something—out of the ordinary or not.

Acknowledgement from others is a powerful lure. It feels good to be recognized for your good efforts and hard work. It is a great feeling to know that others appreciate you—you feel valued, loved and special. Yet there is something missing from this equation.

We have forgotten the importance of affirming the self. We’ve traded in our own sense of self-value for that of the external world and it’s time we take it back.

Self-affirmation means more than trusting yourself and your journey in life. It also means taking pleasure and joy out of everything you do. When you find fulfillment in your own actions, you automatically broadcast those good vibes out into the universe. This need not mean letting others know about your accomplishments; instead, it’s creating a feeling of pride in yourself, knowing that your own acknowledgement is enough.

As you begin to trust yourself and take stock in your actions, you begin building a solid psychic foundation. That foundation is energetically positive and works with the law of attraction to bring you more of the same. You find additional things to be proud of; you see yourself as the director of your life. And as you beam positive energy, you’ll automatically get praise from others.

Take the challenge

Building self-affirmation is best done on a consistent and small basis. Each day, look for things that you can be proud of, whether it’s a big project at work or pulling weeds for an elderly neighbor. Then, watch your thoughts like a hawk. Are you wanting to tell the world about your actions? Do you automatically reach for your smart phone to post your accomplishment on Twitter? If you catch yourself in these situations, stop and reflect for a moment. Give yourself inward praise first. Smile and bask in your own acknowledgement. Feel the sensation of pride in your body and let it radiate outward.

Let that praise be enough. Give yourself permission to keep your acknowledgement secret from the rest of the world. You can post something else to Facebook later in the day. In that moment, you’re building trust with your inner self. And as you do this more and more, that connection grows stronger each step of the way. Pretty soon you’ll be beaming with self-affirmation and positivity and others will be sure to notice…and comment.

As for me, I’m going to sit quietly in the hallway and admire my painting. Even if no one else ever sees it, I’ll know I’m proud of myself. And, that can be enough for now.

Pessimistic me

When the intellect gets in the way

The detail would have escaped anyone else’s notice. From the vantage point of my deck, it was a beautiful summer evening, complete with a little cloud cover to keep the temperature at a comfortable 80 degrees. The humidity was low, the air was still and a lukewarm breeze caressed my face. Yet, my eyes continued to return to the same spot, over and over: three yellow leaves on one of the trees.

Within a few moments of noticing those little leaves, my heart sank. Instantly, my mood was transformed into molasses, sinking heaver and heavier into the patio chair beneath me. There was nothing you could do to convince me to the contrary—summer was over.

To others, summer isn’t over on Aug. 6, not by a long shot. In this case, I was being subjected to the harsh and sometimes unrelenting view of the intellect. The intellect is that piece of the personality that helps make sense of the world. It sorts, classifies and categorizes information from the senses to help build a personalized view of the world. It uses memories to form opinions. It works with the imagination to then project those opinions into the future.

Like the ego, however, the intellect doesn’t have access to all of the information available. The intellect generally works as more of a “surface dweller,” taking things it sees on face value. Its relationship to memories and the physical world help it form what it thinks should be happening and what it thinks will happen in the future. The intellect is always operating but in a lot of cases, it’s operating under false pretenses.

When the intellect develops a line of thinking around a pretense (false or true), it works in a rather straightforward manner, like a horse with blinders on. When the intellect makes up its mind, it literally becomes obsessed with finding information to support its claim and it will ignore information to the contrary.

For example, my yellow leaves. When I looked out at the lush greenery of my back yard, all I could spot were those three yellow leaves. I didn’t notice the pot of pink, red and purple flowers right in front of me. I skipped right over the purple butterfly bush and yellow flowers in the garden below. Instead, I noticed that it was starting to get dark earlier than just a few weeks prior. I noticed that it was a little colder that evening than in evenings past. In that moment, I was hooked into the intellect’s power play and I was losing.

I love summer. I adore summer. Or, I should say, I adore and love early summer. There is a romantic quality when the earth starts to thaw and new life begins to sprout. Late summer, by contrast, has always been a bit depressing to me because it means fall is right around the corner. School will start again and the leaves will drop.

Soon after that, the snow will come and I’ll be holed up in the house until May. When I examine my beliefs about it, I realize that I believe summer is in short supply. There simply is not enough of it to satisfy my soul. Forget about the present moment, forget about the four months of summer, in my belief structure, true summer lasts between May and July.

So that’s what my intellect honed in on. And when it did, it directed my thoughts in such a way that I started to become depressed. I started to think about all the things I hadn’t accomplished and became worried about the things that would soon pile up in September. The intellect was pushing me out of the present moment and keeping me from enjoying a beautiful summer evening.

The intellect is extremely susceptible to your beliefs and will filter reality around those beliefs. If supporting evidence fits with those beliefs (in my case—summer ends in July), the intellect will work with your faculties to help quantify those beliefs (like noticing the leaves or the earlier nightfall). It will also ignore or downplay other information that may be valuable, like the thousands of green leaves, the warm temperature or the singing crickets and cicadas that I had missed earlier in the evening. When the intellect internalizes beliefs, when it accepts those beliefs as its own, it focuses thinking along a thin line with little room for erroneous information.

You’re too smart for your own good

Working with the intellect can be as tricky as working with the ego. Both of these parts of the personality believe they are helping and protecting us by showing us a world that fits our beliefs. Sometimes, however, we want to see the world in new and different ways and when we do, it’s important to change our perceptions accordingly.

A great deal of data that we receive on a day-to-day basis comes to us from sources other than the intellect. The ego works with the physical senses to bring us information on temperature, taste, smell, sights and sounds. Our intuitions tap into unspoken language as well as the vast universal mind, allowing us to perceive things that can’t be explained otherwise.

The intellect needs this intuitional data—any other source of data—to help operate efficiently. When it shuts out those other data, the intellect feels responsible for running the show and can stress the body and mind. This is the normal operating procedure for most us: trying to think our way out of any problem or challenge we’re faced with.

The way to get these other kinds of data through to the conscious mind is by changing focus. Like an awakening, you must catch yourself in the act of thinking and evaluate what you see, think and feel. As you do this, the intellect still tries to operate, continually trying to classify the information you just identified and make sense of it all.

On the deck, I had to consciously choose to examine other pieces of data in my field of perception. I focused on wearing shorts at 11:00 p.m. I tuned my hearing to the crickets and cicadas that were chirping loudly and I consciously reminded myself that there were still several weeks of warm weather ahead.

Intuitionally, I know that yellow leaves may be a sign of things to come, but I had to reassure my intellect that fall is not descending on the earth now. I had to use my willpower to focus on the present moment and return my feelings to comfort and joy.

Should I stay or should I go?

This “catching the intellect in the act” is especially important when you’re trying to solve problems. A friend of mine recently had to decide whether to take a new job out of state. And as part of that process, he tried to collect supporting evidence both for and against the move. But when both lists started to compare evenly, he was stymied.

Again, the intellect doesn’t have all information available. It only has a small taste. In problems and challenges such as this, it takes a look inside the mind and body to help the intellect make good decisions. For my friend, that meant examining how he felt about the move, how he would feel if he stayed, how he would feel if he moved and then determine if one decision “felt” better than the others.

The intuitive capabilities of the personality are in direct communication with the universal mind. They are able to travel the earth and look through many probabilities that exist and send back pulses of information to the conscious mind. Those pulses—we like to think of them as ‘impulses’ or ‘urgings’—can then be used by the intellect to help shape decisions.

Taking a conscious look at your thoughts, looking inside for intuitive information and using your intellect together can help bring about the best decisions: big or small. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prune back a few leaves in my tree and enjoy the rest of my summer.

Stop feeding the bears (metaphysically speaking)

Stop putting energy into things that can harm your spirit

Some things seem like a good idea until we have more time, distance and understanding behind us. As in nature, we must stop feeding the things that unknowingly harm us so that we can grow and develop.

The photo above is one of my favorites from my dad. In the late 50s and early 60s, this was a common occurrence in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors would often stop along the road to gawk at the local brown bears and be amused at the way they begged for food. Not wanting to disappoint them, visitors would feed the bears anything handy: sandwiches, potato chips, cookies—you name it.

While this practice seems innocuous, it’s actually rather harmful to both the bears and to humans. The bears became dependent on the handouts from park visitors. They developed a hankering for human food and would flock to the roadways to wait for their next meal. They would go into campgrounds, searching for food left in coolers and on tables. In time, bears were getting killed on the roadways. Cars were broken into and destroyed. Some campers were even injured because of overzealous bears looking for food.

So what does all this have to do with spirituality and self-development?

We all have symbolic bears that we feed. Sometimes the bears are entertaining; sometimes they’re a little more ferocious. In either case, it’s important to recognize when we’re feeding something that doesn’t serve our higher purpose. It’s critical to withdraw the food source to help set us (and the bears) free.

I became sensitive to this topic recently by watching activity on Facebook. Since this is an election year, Facebook is often full of comments, links and commentary from both sides of the political fence. I’m happy to have friends who are passionate about politics; I feel we need activists to help advance certain causes and people. Make no mistake, it’s not my thing, but I’m glad they’re around nonetheless.

A number of friends and acquaintances, however, are feeding the political bears. Rather than promoting a favorite candidate or cause, they spend all of their time bashing the other side. They’re feeding the negativity around the other person or the other side of the issue and they’re causing it to come back again and again.

It’s not just my friends who do this; our media are to blame as well. All too often the media spend a disproportionate amount of time covering the negative characteristics of a candidate or issue rather than all of the glorious supporting evidence. The media—and my friends—are handing over their sandwiches to the bears and the bears are getting bigger and hungrier.

Some of these energy bears hide under the guise of entertainment. For example, a friend of mine likes to point out every news article highlighting the foibles of a particular political candidate. His comments to each story seem innocent enough: “Can you believe this guy?” “Wow, and I thought he couldn’t get any more stupid!” or “This has now become entertaining!” My friend thinks he’s sharing information that makes his chosen candidate look better by disparaging the opposition. But in reality, he’s giving energy to exactly what he does not want. His attention is locked on the opposing candidate and he’ll quickly find that there will be more irritating stories to post and laugh at.

When we feed anything with our thoughts, attention and energy, we’re giving life to it. The more we think about an issue, the bigger it becomes. The more we obsess about a person, the closer we draw them to us. The more we focus on the negative aspects of something, the more we create of those same annoying aspects.

Too many times, we’re purposely stopping the car on the roadway to gawk at the bears and give them something to eat. It’s time for a different approach.

Don’t stop the car

As amusing as those little energy bears can be, it’s best to keep on driving. The bears (opposing issues, candidates, causes) will continue to exist whether you stop the car or not. When you detach your attention to these things, they lessen their impact on you. By purposely deciding to keep moving forward, you acknowledge that the issues or people exist but you don’t need to give them your undivided attention. You are consciously withdrawing energy from them.

No sending postcards, either

Just because you don’t see the bear in person doesn’t mean you can’t feed it. Every time you see a story that you find amusing and want to send to your friends, think about what kind of energy you’re sending out into the world (and back to yourself). If your motivation is to pick out the stupidity of the story or attack the subject, you’re feeding the bears. Every time you find yourself relaying a story at the water cooler about these issues or people, you’re feeding the bears.

Becoming vigilant about your attention will help you realize when you’re venturing into bear feeding country. If you can catch yourself in time, don’t forward the story or continue to tell it. Or, look for something that glorifies the person or issue you support. Tell that story instead. Keep your focus on what you want rather than on what you don’t want.

Find something else to amuse you

If you’ve ever driven through Yellowstone, you know there is an abundance of beauty to hold your attention. The bears aren’t the only interesting things on the side of the road. Buffalo, Elk, wildflowers, majestic mountains, open meadows all vie for your attention. The same is true in life. When you open your eyes to the magic of the world, you’ll find plenty to smile about. You’ll find new things to ponder.

As you turn your attention toward these beautiful new things, those pesky energy bears will fade away into the background. You might catch a glimpse of them in the rearview mirror. Smile at them, release them from your attention and turn your head back to the road ahead. It’s glorious from the driver’s seat.




Stop trying to prove yourself

I felt like a child standing on the diving board above the swimming pool. In reality I was at work, sitting in a marketing meeting discussing the rollout of a new project. I had stopped listening to the presenter because of a distracting inner voice that was practically screaming for attention.

“Mom! Dad! Look at me! Look! Are you watching? Do you want to see me dive in?” it shouted. “Are you sure you’re watching?” it reiterated as if waiting for confirmation from my invisible parents.

The situations, while seemingly different, both stem from the same basic need. A part of me was crying out for attention, wanting to prove myself to my peers. I felt unable to concentrate in the meeting, wanting others to know of my great experience on the subject we were discussing. Certainly I had more knowledge of the project than anyone else. Why couldn’t they see it?

I couldn’t see it myself.

In this particular instance, my experience wasn’t needed. In fact, decisions had already been made and we were simply being informed of the outcomes. Yes, I could spot the flaws in the plan. Yes, I could see where improvements could be made. Yet it was only when I stopped and reflected on the meeting that I saw what was really bothering me: I wanted to be acknowledged.

The need for acknowledgement is a powerful force in our lives, driving us to achieve and “do” more and more. In fact, as I looked around the room, I could see the effects of this powerful force in vivid detail. There was an abundance of people with advanced education at the table. Some had come from other successful businesses; some had been with the company for years. Many looked tired and run down, the byproduct of working long hours and overtime on the new project. Everywhere I looked was a hardworking employee, trying desperately to be acknowledged and rewarded. Each of them was trying to prove themselves.

This approach to business and to life has been with us for some time but seems to be increasing in our world. The economy has tightened the job market, causing many people to be watchful of their employment. Others who are out of work are desperately trying to find jobs while many retirees are returning to work to make ends meet.

The economy isn’t the only culprit in this game. Our culture, especially in the United States, is causing people to seek more and more. Athletes are supposed to be faster, leaner and make more money than their earlier counterparts. Musicians are supposed to sell multi-platinum albums. And even the average citizen is swept up in the daily pursuit to have the fastest computer, best smartphone and newest car.

We seek these things—status, possessions, fame, and money—in order to prove our own worth. We feel that that we don’t measure up to anyone else unless we are maintaining or surpassing the lifestyle of our peers. We can no longer see through the possessions, through the fame and through the struggle to keep up. If we did, we might just get a glimpse of how wonderful we really are.

What does it mean to “be”?

One of my favorite summertime activities is to go stargazing at my mountain cabin.  Far away from the light pollution of the city, the night sky comes alive. Billions of stars and planets shine and twinkle for my wondrous eyes as I try to come to terms with the vastness of the universe I’m witnessing. As I look up, I’m always struck at the perfect “rightness” of the world and my place in it.

The ego is like light pollution, keeping us from seeing the wonder of our own spirit. As our primary protector, the ego wants us to grow and succeed but it wants to do so on its terms. When threatened, the ego hardens and becomes wary of others. It pushes us to go further and relax less in order to reach our goals. The ego aligns closely with the intellect, convinced that the path to happiness lies in hard work, suffering and empty achievements.

Learning how to “be” is like turning down a dial on the ego. As the ego becomes softer and we become more attuned to the present moment, we can start to experience the magnificence of the inner self.  “Being” is synonymous with “accepting,” that sublime state of existence where we realize how perfect we really are. “Being” is understanding that we already “are” everything we want to be. All we need to do is learn how to see it clearly.

Softening the ego

Uncovering your own miraculous self is a little like exercise. You have to work at it at first, flexing muscles that have atrophied and building your endurance. It can be done and the rewards are stunning.

First, you must understand your own rightness and your own perfection. Your existence in this universe gives you that by birthright. As we age, we take on the pollution of others. We’re told we’re not good enough; we compare ourselves to those who have more; and we cover up the inner self with doubt, fear and jealousy.

In this instance, you may have to rely on faith to kick-start your understanding. Also, spending time in nature may help remind you of your own glory. As you see and experience the beauty of the natural world, you begin to get a sense of your own connectedness and therefore your own uniqueness.

Next, you must stop trying to prove yourself in every situation. Yes, there are times when it’s important to let the ego take control, like during a job interview when you’re putting your best foot forward. Overall, however, you’re fighting a losing battle by trying to constantly prove yourself.

When you’re comfortable with your own being, you radiate a vibration that tells the world, “I am enough!” It’s a powerful, magnetic vibration. It needs no proof of its existence. Your own true self will pull to it the people and experiences you need to grow and it will happen with less effort than you ever thought possible.

You need to understand yourself in order to uncover your own uniqueness. What makes you excited? What angers you? What makes you feel alive? When you stop trying to please others or be something you’re not, you start living authentically. When you stop trying to keep up with others, you’re living authentically. That authenticity carves out a specific groove made just for you. Happiness and fulfillment are yours when you dance through life in your own groove. Following your impulses helps you discover what makes you, you.

Lastly, it’s important to remind yourself of your uniqueness and value every single day. The pollution of the ego can creep up on you and cover up your shining light. Taking a few quiet moments of solitude each day and purposely remembering your glory keeps the ego more flexible. And, the reflection will help the subconscious remind you throughout the day how truly wonderful you are.

Just underneath the surface of your ego is an authentic self that has as much beauty, as much power and as much awe as the night sky. You are a natural extension of the universe. Prove yourself to no one…you don’t need to. Stop pushing, start accepting and see how the real you comes out to play. The universe is watching.

Faith and vulnerability

I write a lot in this blog about the “safe universe concept”—the idea being that we live in a safe universe. This is one of the core concepts of conscious creation and it’s a belief that’s hard for people to accept: very hard. It’s even harder when we’re faced with tragic events we see in the news such as the movie theatre shooting that happened in Aurora, Colorado last week.

Accepting that you live in a safe universe means changing your beliefs about safety. It means knocking down old beliefs that are contrary to that concept and changing them, one by one, to feelings of security. To truly embrace the feeling of safety and security, you must purposely direct your thoughts and beliefs to a new paradigm and learn to adopt new thought patterns and beliefs on a variety of subjects. Doing this requires faith and practice. No one said this would be easy.

Having faith that you are protected is new for most of us. We’re conditioned to be on the lookout for threats to our own precious existence. Whether the threats are financial (the economy), emotional (relationships), health (disease) or physical safety (violence), we have grown up in a society that teaches us to be vigilant toward these subjects and take the needed precautions against them. We’ve been taught that we must prepare for danger and actively work against it in our future.

But that old methodology doesn’t fit with the theory of living in a safe world. When you believe, truly believe, that you live in a safe world, those external threats don’t make sense. When you believe that no harm will come to you and when you believe that every action you experience is leading you toward your own value fulfillment, threats take on a new meaning. They are no longer threats. Instead, they’re indicators that let you see if you believe what you now say you do.

I’ve worked with the safe universe concept for a few years now and continue to struggle with it. Our own personal safety is ingrained in our psyche and we’re committed to protecting it. The ego is the main culprit here, as the ego wants us to be safe. The ego reacts primarily to physical data as its basis for protecting us. What it can’t see or doesn’t understand, it ignores. The data that it does see, it usually overreacts to, turning even minor threats into major ordeals designed to get us to react for our own safety.

There’s more to the psyche than the ego. That’s why it’s important to begin the process of changing your thoughts and beliefs about safety. It’s often easiest to start with your conscious thoughts: checking them periodically throughout the day and weighting them against the theory of living in a safe world. Asking “does this make sense in a world where I’m completely safe and protected?” is a good place to start. If it doesn’t make sense, you’ve identified an area you can start to shift to a new, safer perspective.

As I’ve worked on changing my beliefs about my own safety in the world, I’ve become acutely aware of the hardest part in the whole process: being vulnerable. Making conscious choices to accept safety as a way of life means taking a leap of faith that the new thought model will pay off. It’s scary to do this. The concept sounds good but implementing it is a whole new game.

Embracing life from a safe perspective means we must be vulnerable to the world. It means being vulnerable to the things we’ve created with our emotions and thoughts and beliefs and it means being vulnerable to the variations that occur from the creative universe. Being vulnerable is the only way we can move forward in the world. Without that vulnerability, we remain stuck in fear and then in turn, attract more fear.

Vulnerability requires faith and faith requires vulnerability. It’s a declaration of independence from the official life we know. Vulnerability is like standing naked on the mountaintop and telling the world, “I accept what I’m creating, bring it on, world.” Making that declaration then means being open to what we’ve created and what we attract, no matter what it is.

Sometimes these issues loom larger than life. This morning, I read a blog post about a friend of a friend who went to the movies after the mass shooting in Colorado. My friend wondered how safe people will now feel to do something as simple as going to a movie. Is there a lingering threat? Should I be watchful of other people in the theatre? Should I always know where to find the emergency exits? Certainly these are big issues right now. I’m not denying that they are important to think about at the moment. The emotional wounds of last week’s shooting are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Yet once again we’re faced with making ourselves vulnerable if we want to move forward. We must have the faith that we are protected and that taking steps toward that vulnerability will eventually lead us to new feelings of calm and centeredness. It can be scary to move toward that vulnerability but practice will make it easier and faith will help it come closer.




The Man Who Wanted to be Happy (Book Review)

Editor’s note: From time to time I will review books related to conscious creation, self-development, law of attraction and other subjects of interest to my readers. I’ll note when the book was purchased by myself or obtained as a free review copy from the publisher.

Who wouldn’t want to be happy?

Book cover for The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy

If finding happiness were only as easy as reading a book.

All too often we look to our external world to provide us sources of happiness. We look to relationships, careers, money, and security in vain attempts to feel good about our lives and ourselves. This search for “something” is really the thinly veiled pursuit of happiness and it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Just ask Julian, a vacationing schoolteacher in Laurent Gounelle’s The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy. During his final week of vacation in Bali, Julian seeks out a local healer in hopes of finding the source of his general malaise. Certainly there must be something medically wrong with him, he supposes. A quick examination by Master Samtyang reveals the problem: Julian is an unhappy person.

Julian spends the next several days engaged in dialogue with Samtyang about the nature of reality, quickly learning the basics of conscious creation. His lessons include the biggest lesson of all, that your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.

Master Samtyang uses Western examples to show Julian how he creates his own reality. He uses clear, simple analogies to illustrate points such as:

  • How Julian’s self-perceptions are the source of how people treat him
  • Where his beliefs come from
  • How beliefs filter experiences of reality
  • Using daydreams to form desired experience
  • How following dreams and impulses leads to the most fulfilling life possible
  • How expectations of others shape experience
  • How everyone in the universe is connected
  • How beliefs about money can lead to or deny happiness

During his weeklong journey into conscious creation, Julian finds himself where many others do when they’re first introduced to self-development concepts. He understands them on the surface—intellectually—but struggles with feeling them emotionally and fully integrating them into his experience. He is in the first stages of re-creating his life from a new perspective, using his newly acquired concepts to guide him along the way.

Julian is quick to understand the lessons he is presented with. In a few instances, the homework Samtyang assigns leads to a deeper understanding of key concepts and helps Julian begin to shift his perceptions to a new way of approaching life.

Who should read this book

Some readers learn best through storytelling and for them, this is an excellent introduction to the key points of conscious creation. The clear language and straightforward dialogue between Samytang and Julian provide a framework for the lessons and offer a quick-look at the concepts without much depth. The tropical setting of Bali gives a luscious quality to the storyline, helping the reader understand why our main character is suffering from unhappiness in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Readers familiar with self-development and new-age theories, however, may find the lessons too basic. Julian seems to anticipate the proper responses for each of the questions Samtyang asks, which sometimes seem out of place for a Westerner not familiar with such topics. In addition, the lessons themselves serve only as a basic outline; there is no depth to each point.

Julian’s story is not unlike many people who have started on the new age path. He begins to understand the finer points but we don’t see the struggle that will ensue as he attempts to integrate conscious creation into his life. That part of the learning curve—integrating the material into daily life—is the bulk of this work and is some of the hardest and yet most rewarding.

Those readers interested in new age concepts and self-development will benefit from an exposure to the concepts presented. Like seeds, the concepts presented are best planted and then nurtured through individual reflection and experience.

My experience

While I enjoyed The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy, I felt the book was lacking depth into the both the subjects lead character’s story arc. Although we can see how Julian struggles with the concepts when he’s alone, we can’t see what kind of impact the lessons will have on his life.

I do appreciate the examples Master Samytang brings up with Julian’s search for happiness. There are few gems in the material regarding Julian’s thoughts of changing careers that many may find useful. Even though the concepts are simplistic, the material is there and available as a good reference or refresher for the reader.

We come to understand that Julian has started a journey, a journey towards finding happiness. And as many have surmised already, this is a life-long journey that takes a considerable amount of time and effort. There is no Hollywood ending for the story, which feels a bit more natural and lifelike than other possible endings.

In all, this is a good introduction to conscious creation, presented in a fictional format, which makes it more relatable than some non-fiction works. But like any good workbook, the information must be applied through study, reflection and integration in order to make a useful impact.

FTC Disclosure notice

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Where to buy






Are you fighting what “is”?

“I am where I am and where I am is okay sucks.”

That was my response in an email to a friend who asked how my week was going. I hated writing such a negative reply, but at the time it seemed an accurate assessment of my life. I didn’t think I was negatively projecting into the future or focusing on bad things in the past. I believed I was focused squarely on the present and in that particular moment, I wasn’t happy. I was fighting what “is.”

When we argue with, disapprove or ruminate about what we are experiencing at any moment, we’re fighting what “is.” Sometimes it’s only natural, as there are genuinely difficult things we experience in our lives. A perfectly natural thought process, however, causes the tension we feel in these moments: comparing.

Feeling badly in most situations arises when we compare our “is” with what we either want to happen or wish didn’t happen. How many times do you catch yourself with these kinds of thoughts?

•          I’m not as far along in my career as I hoped I would be at this age.

•          I can’t believe he didn’t return my call.

•          I wish I didn’t have all of this debt.

•          I really want that job; I hope I get it.

•          I can’t believe this is happening to me.

When you fight what “is,” you are resisting the present moment and robbing yourself of the ability to use conscious creation to move in a different direction. As I looked back on the email I sent to my friend, I realized I was using my present experience as an excuse for feeling bad. I was stuck.

What makes “is”?

It’s important to remember where the present moment comes from. As I talk about constantly in this blog, the present moment is created by you as a result of your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Therefore, right now, you have created your present moment—good or bad. Even those events that seem to be caused by other people or circumstances are still attracted by you.

To people new to conscious creation, that’s a tough concept. And if you’ve created something you don’t like, it’s tempting to get angry with yourself for having done so. The good news is that accepting yourself as the creator of your experience gives you the chance to do something about it.

Too often we want to blame other people, God, or circumstances beyond our control for our misfortunes. If we go that route, we’re also relying on those same external sources to change in order to feel better. Why not take control and do something about it yourself?

What “is” is transitory

The present moment is just that, a moment. It’s a slice of time in the way we perceive time. Nothing stays static. Right now your body is regulating your breathing, your blood pressure, and moving your eyes across the screen. Our perception of time gets in the way when we project our current “now” into the future, even if that future is two minutes away. Believing that your current situation is permanent is a sure-fire way to keep yourself stuck and keep fighting what “is.”

Changing what “is”


First and foremost, when you find yourself fighting your reality, is a step that’s hard to take: acceptance. Accepting reality at face value, good or bad, is taking responsibility for yourself and your life. It’s your proclamation to the world: “this is how it is at this moment and I accept that. I accept that I played a part in creating this and now I’m going to play a part in changing it.”

When you deny your experience, you are creating negative energy around it. The energy gets stuck and begins to mount. Accepting what “is” releases the tension you feel.

I saw a perfect example of acceptance this past week. On June 26, 2012, the town of Colorado Springs, CO, saw one of the most devastating fires in the state’s history. In a matter of four hours, almost 300 people lost their homes. After the fire was under control, the media followed residents back into their neighborhoods to survey the damage. One man arrived at his house to find only a patio umbrella and chair standing; the rest of his home was completely destroyed. His response to a reporter: “It happened, I can’t change that. A fire destroyed my home and I’ll rebuild.”

His response was completely different than many of the other residents that couldn’t go home that day. The phrase, “I can’t believe this happened,” was spoken more times than I could count as I watched the coverage. Of course, no one would blame these people for their disbelief. Tragedy short-circuits the conscious mind.

When you don’t accept the present moment or don’t accept “reality” as it’s perceived in the moment, you can’t take responsibility for changing it. When you continue to judge it and compare it to how you want it to be, you’re closing off yourself to the very energy that’s available to help you start moving.

Accepting your feelings

Accepting the present moment doesn’t mean denying your feelings about it. It’s healthy to feel exactly what your body and your psyche tell you. Allowing your emotions lets you clear them from your system. Like the present moment, emotions are transitory and when you give them their space, they’ll move through you and change.

Stop believing things won’t change (it’s not true)

This is a hard one for me. At times my mind is three steps ahead of myself. With any thought of how things can change for the better, my intellect can just as quickly come up with reasons why they won’t. It is a choice to believe things will get better; it is not a choice for things to change. We are always in a process of becoming, so gently focusing on the fact that things will change is a step in the right direction.

Make comparisons work for you

Judging the present moment against the future, the past or an ideal model is where we begin to feel resistance. So does that mean we should give up on ideals? Not at all. When you start to feel resistance in the present moment, it’s time to become more specific with your comparisons.

If you decide to think about the past, do so with a new set of glasses. Purposely try to look for positive things that have happened. Instead of thinking about a crowded job market after losing a job, think: I found a new job just when I needed it a few years ago. Focus on your successes in the past—whatever they are. The realization that you’ve had success primes you for success in the future.

If you’re looking toward the future and find yourself comparing your “now” (or “is”) with an ideal model, realize that the model is just that—a model. It’s an outline of where you want to be. In this particular moment, you’re not there yet. Just because you’re not there yet doesn’t mean that where you are is wrong. There are many paths to the future.

These suggestions at times seem futile. When you’re really stuck in a negative situation, it feels almost impossible to do anything but wallow in your own self-pity. And at times, that’s perfectly acceptable. If, however, after a period of time your thoughts and emotions don’t start to change on their own, it’s time for you to step in and consciously choose a new path. It can be done.

With conscious creation and a little practice, your “what is” can indeed become wonderful.

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