Hate change? Look for the beauty anyway

changeneverstops

The change happened so fast I barely had time to notice. One week I was taking refuge in the air conditioning to escape the 99-degree weather. The next, I was walking through snow in the high country.

Weather changes quickly (and frequently) in Colorado, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. But as I hiked in the mountains this past weekend, it hit me: fall had officially arrived. I’m a summer kind of guy, so this realization didn’t exactly thrill me.

Many people love fall, but not me. It signifies the onslaught of shorter days, cooler temperatures and less vacation. Fall and winter usually depress me, so the change in seasons felt heavy and restrictive. On top of it all, I knew there was nothing I could do about it.

Change is constant; we know that. Nothing ever stays the same. Ever. So if change is constant in the universe, why do we resist it?

I pondered this question on my hike, feeling my mood darken like the clouds above me. My thoughts became obsessed with all the things I wanted to get done before the end of summer and the list grew longer with each step.

In a trance, I walked up the hillside above the house, not noticing the constantly changing weather. There were periods of sunshine, rain, and some light snow. I didn’t notice the green grass or yellow wildflowers still in bloom. Change was happening all around me yet I was focused solely on one thing: nature was forcing me into something I didn’t want.

Realizing what I was doing, or more appropriately realizing what I was thinking, I searched for something—anything—that would make me feel better. I surveyed the landscape for something soothing and I found it just a few feet away.

Despite being a summer kinda guy, there is one thing I love about fall: the changing leaves. There are some pretty spectacular places on this earth to watch fall foliage changes but fall in the Colorado high country is an experience that stays with you your entire life.

During a “good” season, the Colorado Rockies gradually transform from a sea of green to a kaleidoscope of rich oranges, browns and yellows. Unlike the flora of the east coast, our colorful change comes from the Aspen tree, one of the most prevalent trees in the high country. While the colors vary in intensity year to year, it’s always fun to see what kind of “natural painting” you can catch with your eyes and camera.

Aspens usually transform from green, to orange to yellow before starting their winter hibernation. On occasion, you’ll find pockets of red and brown leaves and those are my favorite. Amid hunters searching for Elk and Deer, I set out on foot in search of ruby red leaves to photograph.

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of photographs of red Aspen leaves and I never tire of seeing them. So on this particularly gloomy day when I found myself getting depressed over the changing seasons, I was delighted when one small four-foot Aspen caught my eye.

Standing apart from its white bark were branches filled with small leaves of browns, deep reds and a few hints of green thrown in for good measure. The Aspens are referred to locally as Quaking Aspen because in a gentle breeze, their leaves shimmer and shake in the wind, almost like the tree is quaking in its roots. The red leaves seemed to be waiving at me.

As I stopped to take as many close-up photos as I could, one particular leaf stood out. It was caught somewhere between death and life and was divided equally between green and red. It was in the midst of full-blown change brought about by the changing seasons.

The discovery lifted my spirits. Although the leaves in my neck of the woods (excuse the expression) are just now starting to turn, the discovery piqued my interest and caused me to become hypersensitive to any other exotic leaf I could find. And low-and-behold, I found many more interesting photographic subjects on my way back to the house.

The entire experience felt metaphoric. Amidst all of this change: the changing seasons, changing temperatures, and even the change in clothing required to go for a walk, I found something that lifted my spirits ever so slightly. It lessened my depression over winter’s approach and helped me realize that the best thing to do with change is to look for any beautiful aspect you can find.

The Law of Constant Change is designed to help us evolve and grow. Change drives the universe, providing fresh experiences and insights that point us toward our greatest development. Knowing that doesn’t always help us feel better about change so at times it takes a purposeful shift in perspective to understand and accept what change brings.

It helps to look for the beautiful things in change.

Personally, looking for beautiful leaves helped ease the transition into fall and winter. A friend recently diagnosed with cancer told me she’s focused on recognizing every positive thing said to her—about anything. Another friend found beauty in change after discovering a new love for painting. A coworker recognized the beauty of the sunrise when faced with a shift change. 

When you’re faced with change, make a conscious effort to look for something beautiful in it. The conscious search alone will help shift your attention away from the change itself and reframe the experience into something more soothing. It’s another way to Honor Your Spirit by allowing change and appreciating it at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Are you still) arguing for limitations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was arguing for my own limitations—again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

OS:You

Now is the right time to upgrade your personal operating system

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

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

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

Computer programming 101

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why some software doesn’t work with your OS

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

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

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

How to program your operating system

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

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

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

New assumptions to consider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personalize it

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections of the inner world

The reality you experience starts with the thoughts in your mind.

The reality you experience starts with the thoughts in your mind.

If you’re new to conscious creation, this can be a difficult concept to accept. Heck, even if you’ve studied conscious creation or law of attraction at length, this can be a hard concept to accept. But in basic terms, the physical world—your “outer” world—is a reflection of your internal thoughts, beliefs and emotions.

The physical world is reflecting your inner state of being. It’s a pretty cool process really, since it allows you to see your creations with fresh eyes. It allows you to react to your own inner reality and make changes as necessary. You create with your mind first; the universe then makes those creations physical so you can check your work.

I remind myself of this frequently since I, like other people, get wrapped up in believing that I have no control over my existence. I forget that I am responsible for the life I lead and I frequently forget that I have a voice in the reality that I experience. It sounds simple in theory, yes, but not as easy to implement in daily life.

So what kind of reality are you experiencing in this moment? Are you happy and joyful? Sad and fearful? Successful and exuberant? If you like the current state of your life, or at least if you’re enjoying the present moment, keep at it. You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing.

When you don’t like your present circumstances, however, or when you find yourself experiencing pain, sadness, depression or other negative emotions, it’s time to go inside and do some investigating. What are you thinking about? How are you feeling? What daydreams have been running through your mind?

So much of our conscious awareness is unconscious. We don’t take the time to investigate our own active thoughts or take the time to become aware of what we’re feeling. If we don’t stop and take the time to do this, a lot can slip by under the radar. It’s not that we purposely want to lead unfulfilling lives, it’s that we don’t take the time to apply awareness to our inner world and change course if necessary.

Sometimes this process of going inside can result in quick changes; other times it may take a while for physical reality to catch up. Either way, the only way to make true, hardcore changes to your life is to adjust your own internal thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

Last weekend I was driving in the mountains in Colorado. Summer weekend travel on the interstate can be anything but pleasant and I certainly got caught up in my own “reflected reality.” I was focusing on the heavy traffic, rude drivers, oppressive heat and road construction. For almost two hours, I found myself thinking about “negative” things: problems at work, financial stress, and lack of time to name a few. I was caught up in a living reflection of my own negative creations.

When I turned off the interstate and eased onto a county road, I caught myself. I realized I had spent the previous few hours ruminating about problems and I made the conscious decision to change my thoughts. I decided to look for 10 things that made me feel good in any way possible: big or small. I started with noticing the deep blue sky and puffy white clouds floating by. I reminded myself that it felt good to be up early in the morning and getting out of town to spend some time in retreat. I stopped and got a milkshake, which then added to my good mood. The tide was now turning in my favor.

As I rounded the hillside close to my summer retreat, I noticed the small pond below me. The water was perfectly still and reflected the brilliant sky and mountains behind it. I stopped the car, took out my phone and snapped a picture to remind myself of the beauty before me. As I looked at that picture through rest of the weekend, I was reminded how easy it was to change my thoughts and allow the world to reflect a better, more pleasing reality.

The outer world is a reflection of your inner world, so take some time today to craft the best inner world possible. Think about the good things happening in your life. Take time to appreciate small things that catch your eye. Realize that the universe is conspiring to help you develop in the best way possible. Hold those positive thoughts and images in your mind and return to them time and again until your outer world reflects that inner landscape.

You never know what beauty you may find.

 

 

Shift your expectations

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

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

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

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

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

Expecting the worst

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

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

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

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

Setting high expectations

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

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

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

So what good is expectation?

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

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

I expect to learn something from every situation.

I expect to find the best in this.

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

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

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

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

Things will continue to get worse before they get better.

The economy is going to affect my bottom line.

No one cares what I think.

People are bad drivers.

It will take me forever to get through security.

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

Are you ready to shine?

Are you ready to shine?

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The whine-about syndrome

If there’s one skill we seem to develop further each day, it’s this: complaining. And complaining is a skill as it takes patience, craft and a lot of practice. But there’s an emerging nuance to the art of complaining and it comes in an even more annoying form. No longer content to simply share dissatisfaction, the complainer now adds hopelessness to his statements. This deadly combination is known casually as whining and it stands as a blockade to honoring the spirit.

Whining is complaining combined with hopelessness and it’s one of the most stubborn psychological states to change once you’re caught in it. I call it the whine-about syndrome and it’s taking over our homes, businesses and the Internet.

I recently had a first-hand look at a professional whine-about when a coworker threw a honest-to-goodness temper tantrum. The original complaint, a valid one, involved a missing computer cable. But after I brought him a replacement, it was too late. Suddenly everything was wrong: none of his coworkers were helpful (despite me standing there with the very cable he needed), people had become overly selfish and nothing was going to change man’s heartless condition. As he complained, his face reddened, his feet stomped the ground and his hands flew up and down in the air. His voice inflection confirmed my suspicion as the tell tale six-year-old whining voice took over. He was in the middle of a full-scale whine-about attack.

I thought about trying to talk him out of his conundrum and then thought better of it. He needed to learn on his own.

The universe beautifully delivered another example to my office several minutes later. This gentleman looked a little disheveled and I inquired how he was doing. That one question opened the floodgates to a barrage of whine-abouts. I stopped listening after the first few statements.

Often when we are on a self-development path, it’s easy to spot the problems, limitations and opportunities of others yet we’re quite blind to our own. The same day I encountered the whine-abouts at work, I had an opportunity for self-diagnosis. Again, the trigger was a basically benign event—a staff meeting—but the resulting feelings it stirred in me caused me to feel trapped, defeated and hopeless. I felt I needed to share what happened to me and spent the next few hours telling coworkers about the meeting.

It took me three hours to become aware of my own whining. Although I wasn’t speaking in the familiar whiner-voice, I was indeed whining. My dissatisfaction had collided directly with hopelessness and I reasoned that “talking it through” with others would help me feel better. It did not.

A consciously-approached and cautiously-used complaint is sometimes good medicine for a bad situation. Complaining, used sparingly, can help alleviate negative emotions and allow you to return to a more calm and centered state of being. But we’ve forgotten the usefulness of dropping the complaint after it’s made. Instead of moving on and focusing on new opportunities, our egos become involved and want to make sure we don’t repeat the same negative situation again. At the same time, the ego wants sympathy for its perceived pain and suffering and justifies continued complaining as a way of reaching out to others for help.

Spending too much time complaining prevents us from seeing the forest for the trees. The conscious mind, then completely acclimated to complaint without positive result, equates life as a series of problems and challenges that can’t be solved. Unconsciously, we focus our attention on both our problems and the hopeless feelings and, in turn, create more of the same. The continued focus activates law of attraction and manifests more and more things to complain and whine about.

The good news is that whine-about syndrome can be cured or at least brought to manageable levels. First and foremost, it takes awareness to see whining and complaining in action. In my own example above, it took me several hours to understand that the conversations I had with coworkers were actually forms of whining.

After you’re aware of your verbal statements and thoughts, it’s important to evaluate the perceived payoff for your complaints. That is, what do you think you’re getting out of whining? Again in my own example, I justified that I was just “getting things off my chest” or processing how I felt. In short, I was simply whining. I was attempting to get others to see things the way my ego saw them—in a very limited fashion. This attempt at sympathy was only a ploy my ego used to justify what I had created.

It’s imperative to turn your consciousness in a different direction after you’ve identified whining. You must purposely pivot and find something else to concentrate on: make a gratitude list; go for a walk and look for things that are pleasing; listen to music; or, meditate. This can be hard work but the payoff is relief from whine-about syndrome and a return to a balanced state of being.

Concentrate also on ways to combat the hopelessness you feel when you whine. Realize that you form your own reality through the active process of directing your beliefs, thoughts and emotions and then make a conscious decision to change them. A situation is only hopeless when you believe it is, so start with basic core beliefs about your own inherent power and worth.

Finally, make a pledge to yourself not to whine. It takes willpower not to talk to others about your problems. You must break the cycle of whining in order to cut its power and redirect it in a positive direction. Every time you catch yourself trying to get buy-in from others about a negative situation, remind yourself of your pledge and vow to change to a more positive outlook. Your spirit will thank you in the morning.

 

 

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