Posts Tagged ‘joy’

The Secret Power of Positivity

March 21, 2018

+++++++ I recently attended another seminar with Kirk Duncan – a very motivational trainer. He spoke about a principle that I’ve known about for a long time but had discounted. Perhaps I didn’t really understand it until now. (I’m still learning about it.) You’ve heard of the saying “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO). I know that computer programmers used to say that a lot. This applies to everything in life. To put it more broadly, as Kirk was teaching, the type of energy we put into anything will determine the type of results (energy) we get back out.

We’ve known about this principle for a long time in relation to plants. It was discovered a number of years ago that if you play soft, elevating music to plants, they grow better. Many people claim that they’re even affected by the things you say to them. Masaru Emoto used this same principle in his research with water. He wrote a book entitled The Hidden Messages in Water­. In it, he talked about how he would play certain types of music around water. He would then quickly freeze it and look at how the water crystallized. With classical music, it created beautiful even patterns. With hard raucous music (like heavy metal), the ice crystals were very misshapen and disorderly. He got the same kind of results with speech. Gentle affirming words created beautiful crystals, while angry, hateful words created ugly crystals. Writing words on the containers, such as love and hate, did the same thing.

All that is interesting, but it may not make a whole lot of difference in your life. Where it truly makes a difference is with people and situations. In the Bible, it says “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24). Words contain powerful energy. They can be healing or hurtful. What you say cannot be unsaid, even with an apology. Even when you’re joking and the person on the other end knows that you’re joking, negative remarks can be damaging to one’s self-esteem and confidence. It even goes further than that. If you believe in the power of the subconscious mind (as I do), you would realize that even your thoughts about another person have an effect on them. We’re all in contact with each other on an energetic level. But even if you don’t believe that, you must realize that your attitude about another person will come out in your speech toward them, how you look at them, things you do or don’t do for them, etc. You cannot entirely hide your feelings about another person when you’re interacting with them on a regular basis!

But what about the thoughts you think about yourself and your life? Wouldn’t the same rules apply? The type of energy you put in will determine the type of results that you get. You can’t grump your way to success. You can’t complain enough to make your life happy and enjoyable. It doesn’t work that way. If you put in negativity, including fear, doubt, anger, etc., your results will not be what you would like them to be. I’ve written a couple of times about the power of gratitude. Gratitude, faith, love, confidence, etc. will elevate your thinking, open your mind to new possibilities, calm your fears, and drastically improve your chances for success.

Easy, right? Of course not. If your life is humming along and you’re setting and meeting goals and so forth, this kind of thinking may come easier for you. But if you’re depressed and discouraged, if life is not looking at all rosy, if you’re faced with crushing burdens and hardships, how do you turn your thinking around? I’ve listened to lots of motivational speakers who tell me to think a certain way. I keep looking for that little switch in my brain that will change my thinking from negative to positive. I haven’t found it. Have you? I haven’t mastered this, but I’m working on it. I have found that if you start with little things, then you can start to get a handle on it. Kirk Duncan teaches us to say “I manage my emotions; my emotions don’t manage me.” Of course, even he knows that it’s a long process to get to that point. One thing you have to realize is that often times; negative thinking is simply a bad habit. Like any habit, you have to consciously work on changing it, and it takes a lot of practice. Pay attention to your thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, another person, or a situation in your life, quickly replace it with something positive. I’m not saying to be complacent. For example, if you don’t like your job, you don’t have to stick with it for the rest of your life. However, thinking positive thoughts about your job will not lock you into it and it may just make it more enjoyable, which will improve your performance and may lead to a better job.

Remember, positive in = positive out. Negative in = negative out. Whatever you want to grow and improve in your life – your income, your marriage, your performance, whatever – invest positive energy into it and stop putting in negative energy. I believe you’ll be a whole lot happier and successful if you do.

Advertisements

The School of Gratitude

February 15, 2018

gratitudeI’m thankful

for the toes on my left foot. Why would I say such a thing? Because I lost the toes on my right foot! (Be careful with lawn mowers!)

I’ve written before about how one of the greatest secrets to having joy in this life is to feel and express gratitude. It can be hard to feel gratitude (or joy) when you’re depressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed with physical and/or emotional pain. The problem is… when you’re in a deep dark pit or your mind is completely enveloped in some kind of crushing stress, how do you “look on the bright side” and start working your way to a better place? It can be difficult to take even a tiny step in the right direction.

One thing that I’ve learned in life is that you never EVER say that things can’t get any worse. The universe will be glad to prove you wrong. I don’t care how bad things are. They can ALWAYS get worse in some way. Also, when you say that, you’re implying that there’s absolutely nothing to be grateful for. That’s a slap in the face to God and everybody on the planet.

Every successful person will tell you that your attitude and outlook on life has everything to do with your ability to set and achieve meaningful goals. However, that can be a real challenge when life has beaten you down and all you can see any more are the negative aspects of your life. So let’s start with some basics.

There are lots of things in life that we don’t appreciate until they’re gone. Prior to my little altercation with the lawn mower, I can’t remember ever feeling gratitude for my toes. As with many things in life, I just took them for granted. I’m sure there are things in your life that you never really appreciated until it was taken away, even temporarily. Perhaps there was even a really close call that made you appreciate your health and safety.

So in the school of gratitude, basic level, your assignment is to make a list of things that you’re grateful for. The easiest way to approach this is to look around you (including in the mirror) and identify each item that benefits you in some way. Then think about how your life would be made more difficult or less enjoyable if you didn’t have that thing. Remember – it can always get worse. Do you have a broken leg? If not, be thankful for that. If so, be thankful that both legs aren’t broken. If they are, be thankful both arms and legs aren’t broken, and so on. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you very attractive? If so, be thankful for that. If you don’t think so, I’ll bet you’ve seen someone else who is disfigured or for whatever reason is much less attractive than you. If there is anyone else less attractive than you, that means you have a measure of beauty, for which you can be grateful.

So make that list. You can go through your body parts. You can list all sorts of things in your environment that are luxuries or necessities that benefit you in some way. As you look at things around you, if you would be better off without something, skip over it for now. Otherwise, list it. I think you’ll find that the list will grow very rapidly. As the list grows, you will feel more joy in your life.

Once you’ve mastered that and can feel gratitude for all the things in you and around you, you have earned your bachelor’s degree in the school of gratitude. You’re now ready for the more advanced courses.

Have you ever had trials and difficulties? Of course you have. Have they benefited you in any way? Perhaps more than you think. I believe that we only grow through challenges and difficulties. Some of them are thrust upon us as trials and hardships. Some of them are self-inflicted, such as going back to school and taking hard courses or pushing ourselves to perform a more grueling workout routine. You can seldom cruise your way to meaningful success. You don’t generally accomplish great things sitting on your couch watching mindless TV shows. Work is required. Also, there are trials that you’ve gone through that have made you stronger or more empathetic or have helped you appreciate the good things in life more. I don’t recommend sticking your foot in your lawnmower. I can’t say that I’m glad I did that (I tripped actually), but I have learned from it. Be thankful for the lessons and growth that have come from hardships.

Another thing you can do is to look around again. Pay specific attention to the things you skipped over. Maybe they weren’t just things. Perhaps some of them were people and relationships. Especially in light of what I was just saying about trials, there may be some benefits that you missed as you were making your initial list. Often times, we can look closer and consider ways in which we’ve benefited. It doesn’t work in all cases, but sometimes we can find some blessings in the midst of horrible circumstances.

If you can do all of this, you’ve earned your master’s degree in the school of gratitude. Shall we talk about how to take it even further? There are a few ways in which we can feel gratitude at the highest level.

One way is to feel gratitude for benefits and blessings not yet received. This is called faith. A simple way is to think about your next paycheck. There’s no guarantee until you have it in your bank account. However, you’re reasonably confident that you will get it around the designated time. Therefore, why wait to feel gratitude for it? Feeling thankful for things and exercising faith helps to draw more good to us. So you might as well start feeling grateful now. There are blessings on their way to you right now, some of which you’re not even aware of. So be grateful for them now.

Another way to feel the most advanced form of gratitude, which is something that most people struggle with and why it’s part of the school of gratitude’s doctoral program, is to feel grateful for other people’s good fortune, even when it’s something that you desire and have not yet been able to attain. “Sour grapes” is more the common attitude in that situation. It’s easier to feel jealousy, resentment and disappointment, maybe even a loss of self-esteem. But you’re becoming an expert in gratitude. Therefore you can take on that challenge.

Lastly, especially if you recognize God’s hand in your life and you feel confidence that he has a plan for you, it becomes possible to feel grateful for everything in your life. This even applies to trials and hardships while you’re in the middle of them. It doesn’t mean that you have to be a martyr or to enjoy the pain that they cause. But it does mean that you understand that everything has a purpose and that all things will work together for your good.

I hope you don’t feel like I’m being overly optimistic. I still get down sometimes. I’m not trying to minimize difficulties that you’re going through. However, I maintain that whatever degree of gratitude you can feel and express is the degree to which you can feel joy in this life, even if it’s small. If you’re feeling very down, start with that basic list that I described earlier. Do it today.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 286 other followers

Dare to Dream

January 31, 2018

abundanceAlfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” This statement is often quoted and yet not everyone agrees with it. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, especially recently, you may think this statement is not at all true. But I believe I know what he was talking about. Even if you have lost at love, your life is richer for having experienced it.

I’d like to ask you another question, perhaps much more controversial. Is it better to have dreamed and lost than to have never dreamed at all? For those who have dared to dream of what they’d like to see in their life, some have become embittered. I know of many people, especially older people, who would say that they wished they had never had a dream or set a big goal. They may have been repeatedly hurt, disappointed, abused, or ripped off. They took their minds to great heights only to come crashing down. Sometimes the pain is too much to want to get up and try again.

Let’s look at the story of Joe. (This is hypothetical but all too common.) Joe was a country boy who always wanted to have a farm of his own. However, he was urged to pursue another career path. So he went to school and got a job in the city. It was a good job, but his heart wasn’t truly in it. Finally one day, he decided to pursue his dream. He didn’t just up and quit his job. He worked hard, sacrificed and saved until he could earn enough money for a good down payment on a farm. The day finally arrived when he was able to purchase a farm and move back to the country. It took all of his savings to pay for the down payment on the farm, a minimal amount of equipment and seed to plant. He planted his crop and worked very hard to get it to grow well. His efforts were soon rewarded with a large field of beautiful corn stalks. The stalks were full of ears of corn. It looked like it would be a bumper crop.

Then tragedy struck. A huge storm laid the crop low. None of the corn was salvageable. It was a total loss. Joe’s savings were wiped out. His plans for a great crop that year were completely ruined.

What would you do if you were Joe? Would you sell the farm and go back to your old life? Or would you try again? Should Joe have just settled for his job in the city and never attempted to live his dream? It certainly would have been easier.

The purpose of life is to have joy. Joy comes from relationships and experiences. Unfortunately, relationships and experiences often result in pain. To have neither joy nor pain is to simply exist. That is not living. So I ask again – is it better to have dreamed and lost than to have never dreamed at all? It’s important here to step back and look at the bigger picture. We can ask the question in another way. Is it better to have dreamed a dream, including working hard to accomplish that dream, and lost than to look back on your life and see that it was wasted as you wallowed in mediocrity, too afraid of pain to try for the joy? This could be one of the most important questions that you can ever ask yourself.

I’ve known a lot of joy in my life. However, I have had dreams smashed or just never come to fruition. I’ve worked hard for things only to have them taken away. I’ve been burned a number of times and experienced a lot of pain. How many times should you have to get burned before you learn to stay away from the fire? That seems like a logical question. And yet, is it better to spend your life in the cold and darkness simply because you’re afraid of the fire?

Some dreams take a long time to come true and come with a host of setbacks along the way. Some dreams end in painful disappointment. However, EVERY GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT STARTS WITH A DREAM. Don’t let the fear of pain keep you from reaching for the joy. My wife always says, “the answer is always no if you don’t ask”. You may be afraid of failure. However, failure (the lack of accomplishment) is guaranteed for those who will not try. You’re far more likely to have wonderful things happen in your life if you’re not afraid to dream. Dreams become goals, goals lead to action, action brings results. So dare to dream!

I Am Black (sort of)

October 16, 2017

You wouldn’t know it to look at me. My race is Caucasian and my skin doesn’t have much color to it. I don’t have any African-American heritage. And I’m not just black. There are a few other races mixed in there as well.

Let me explain. Thirty years ago, my wife and I adopted a newborn little girl who happened to be African-American. Her skin is the color of fine milk chocolate and her hair is as kinky as kinky can get. We fell in love with her right away. Adopting her ended nine years of failed attempts to have a child naturally. Just five months later, we adopted another baby. This one is half Hispanic. Several years later, we adopted a little boy who is part black, part Pacific Islander. So we have a variety of races in our family.

Shortly after we adopted our first little girl (who is now very tall and beautiful), we experienced a very eye-opening incident. We were walking in a mall on our way to see a movie and a young man started talking to us. I don’t know what his problem was but he started spouting all of these racial slurs against black people. I felt an interesting reaction. I was very offended. Not just for my daughter or for all people of color, but for myself. My daughter had become a part of me. So in a way, I had become part black. So when he was insulting black people, he was insulting me as well! I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn’t appreciate his remarks.

I’ve thought about it many times since. My children are a part of me, even though they aren’t related to me biologically. That makes me part white, part black, part Latino, and part Pacific Islander. But it goes further than that. I believe that everyone on this planet is my brother or sister. That’s not just mushy poetic talk. I believe we’re all children of one Heavenly Father. I believe that spiritually, as well as going way back in genealogy, we’re all related. Everyone of every race is a part of me.

I wasn’t raised to be racist. So I don’t understand racism. I realize that even those who are racist are my brothers and sisters as well. But I just don’t get it. I really thought that the people of the United States had risen above racism. I know there are still individuals who are struggling with it, but I didn’t think that organizations would still rise up against people of other races, like we’re seeing now. I don’t understand how someone would think that they’re better than someone else simply because of the color of their skin or their heritage.

Racism is based on hatred. Whether a person feels that their hatred is justified or not, it’s a very destructive emotion. It not only hurts others, including society itself, it can lead to violence and other destructive actions. And it goes deeper than that. Strong negative emotions, especially hatred, tear us up inside. They rob us of both health and happiness. As a doctor and someone who works with emotions quite a bit, I’ve seen what these emotions can do to people. So it isn’t just about “being nice”. It’s about your own health and well-being. Even if you feel a certain satisfaction in “justifiably” feeling hatred toward someone, it can still be very destructive.

As my wife always says, “everyone just needs to play nice”. Forgiveness and gratitude can bring you much greater happiness than feelings of hatred. We’re all related in some way. So try to feel more love and empathy toward others, including people of other races or ethnic origins.

The Parable of the Minefield – Part 2

February 10, 2017

When I wrote the Parable of the Minefield, I was thinking that I was defying the definition of courage, when I thought that the prevailing definition was a lack of fear. But when I looked it up in the dictionary afterward, I saw that the definition actually does match my understanding of it. It defines courage as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous” (Merriam-Webster). I would change one word of that. I would change “know” to “feel or believe”. Life is all about perception, especially emotions. For instance, if you have a phobia, you may know intellectually that your fear is not reasonable. Your mind may tell you that something is not dangerous, even though in your heart you believe it is. No matter how much logic you try to apply, you may not be able to summon the courage to do the thing you’re afraid of.

In my story of the minefield, what if there were no mines, but rather, people just thought that it was a minefield? Would it have changed the 5 examples? No! The first person, who didn’t know that it was believed to be a minefield, would have been vindicated to find out later that there really never were any mines. However, he still may have initially had a panic attack when he was led to believe that he had just crossed a minefield. He was still ignorant of the common belief, even if it was incorrect to begin with.

The second man, who didn’t care because he had given up, would not have changed his attitude if he found out later that it was not really a minefield.

The third man, who wouldn’t go because he was overcome with fear, was unable to cross the field because he believed that it did contain mines. Even though the mines were not real, his fear was very real because it was based on the belief that he would likely be killed or maimed by what he thought were mines in the field. Even if someone came along and told him that there no mines in the field, if he continued to believe deep down that there were mines in the field, he still may not have been able to summon the courage to cross it. Many of us have unreasonable fears that may have no basis in fact, but their effect on us can be just as real as if it were a dangerous situation.

Did the fourth man, who was trembling with fear as he crossed the field, exhibit true courage even though there weren’t really any mines? Absolutely! Courage is doing the thing that you’re afraid to do, regardless of whether or not the fear is justified.

What about the fifth man, who was inspired to exercise faith and put his trust in God as he confidently crossed the field? Did he exercise real faith even though the danger wasn’t real after all? Of course! What about when he prayed about it? Shouldn’t God have simply told him not to worry about it since there weren’t any mines in the field? Even if he were so spiritually in tune that he could have gotten such a detailed answer to his prayer, it may not have been in the man’s best interest for God to share that tidbit of information. One of our purposes here on earth is to learn to exercise faith. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. The more that we can use faith, the less fear will control our life. Did the Spirit lie to the man? No. God simply gave him an assurance that, one way or another, everything would be alright… and it was. Of course God knew that there no mines in that field. But all the man needed to know was that things would be okay. Through that experience, the man was able to build his faith.

There have been many times in my life that I’ve lacked courage; times that fear has held me back. When I have exercised courage by going forward in spite of fear, I have not only accomplished more than I would have otherwise, I have grown personally and built my character. Exercising courage does not mean doing stupid dangerous things. But when your heart, mind and spirit tell you to do something or take your life in a particular direction, move forward in faith, in spite of fears that may be getting in the way.

“I Tried!”

October 27, 2016

falling-dominoes-1422284For a long time now, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of “trying”. The word “try”, along with all of its variations, is often misunderstood and misused. I believe that looking at this concept in the proper manner can have a major impact on your success in life. Imagine the following two scenarios –

Scenario one – I have a pencil on my desk and I ask you to try to pick it up. An easy task, right? If you pick it up, that’s doing, not trying. If you don’t even attempt it, you can’t say that you tried.

Scenario two – I ask you to pick up a large truck and lift it above your head without the use of any tools or equipment. I would consider that an impossible task, as I’m sure you would also. You can pull up on it with all your might, but you won’t be able to lift it, even if you have some delusion that you have super powers.

For some of you word buffs, you will argue that the word “try” also means to accomplish something. However, the way that I think of it and the way that it’s often used, especially in the past tense, means that you attempted something but did not succeed. So please bear with me as I use it in that manner. The way I see it, there are three prerequisites for honestly saying that you tried to accomplish something.

  1. You must approach it with the belief that the task is something that is possible for you to achieve.
  2. You must put forth a full, honest effort with a clear intention to succeed in the task.
  3. In the end, you must fail in the attempt (going back to the way that I’m using the word). Based on 1 and 2, if you do not succeed, this will qualify you as having tried. If you do number 1 and 2, in most cases, you will succeed, in which case I would say that you didn’t just try, you did.

In the first scenario, there is a case in which you could say that you really “tried” to pick up the pencil. Let’s say that, unbeknownst to you, the pencil had been glued to the desk and it was your understanding that you could only use your bare hands to pick it up. In that case, you would have gone to pick it up and fulfilled all three of the prerequisites of having tried. What if you believed that the pencil were glued to the desk even though it wasn’t? Would you even make the attempt? If you really put forth an honest effort, you would pick it up easily and be surprised that it was no effort at all. What if you had been hypnotized to believe that the pencil actually weighed 2000 pounds? If you even tried at all, would your belief prevent you from lifting the pencil, even though in reality it only weighs a few ounces? That’s an interesting question.

There are actually many times in life that we encounter this type of situation. How many things would you attempt if you really believed you could and would succeed? How many things do you avoid because you don’t believe it’s possible (or at least likely) for you to be able to succeed?

Let’s say that the pencil really was glued to the desk but I never said anything about using a tool to lift it up. Would you just assume that you must use your bare hands, or would you get something to pry it up with, or if necessary, get it off the desk in pieces? In other words, do you think outside the box to get something accomplished, rather than giving up because you believe it’s impossible?

In the second scenario, what if you just thought it was a real truck, but it was actually a cleverly disguised balloon that was barely resting on the ground? Your internal beliefs may prevent you from even making an attempt to lift it. After all, you don’t want to look foolish! But in this case, if you really did make an honest attempt to lift it and were able to get past any personal belief that could prevent your muscles from even putting forth the effort, you would be very surprised to learn that it was not only possible to lift the truck above your head, but actually quite easy.

Everyone knows that even the strongest man in the world can’t lift a large truck above his head with just his bare hands. But how many situations are there where everyone believes that a task is not possible, but then someone goes out and does it anyway? There have been many examples of this. Either the task was easier than everyone believed, or as is often the case, someone found the strength, inspiration, ideas and determination to actually accomplish it, in spite of the difficulty.

Why is there so much confusion? The simple answer is that we need to have a clear understanding of what we can and can’t do. But obviously it isn’t always that easy. I’ve written in previous entries about how challenging it can be to perceive reality as it truly is. We have so many filters, biases and preconceptions, plus the fact that we don’t usually have all of the facts. Just like having a pencil secretly glued to the desk or a balloon that looks like a heavy truck. There can be many factors skewing our understanding of what is really possible for each of us as individuals. There can be a lack of understanding of what’s truly possible in any given situation. We may be lacking in belief and determination, including self-confidence. We may have false perceptions of the rules and limitations. Or in other words, we may be “stuck in the box”, like assuming we can’t use a tool to pry up the glued-down pencil.

I believe that some of the greatest sources of stress in our lives can be attributed to these kinds of confusion. One situation is where you truly believe you can do something, but you consistently miss the mark. Like if you really believed that you could lift a real truck with your bare hands, so you kept pulling and pulling on it with all of your might. You just wind up getting sore, worn out and wasting time. There may really be goals in your life that are beyond your reach, although I don’t believe that’s very common. The fact is that the truck CAN be lifted, but you need a lot of help and the right tools. So usually, it’s not so much that the task cannot be accomplished, but that you’re going about it the wrong way. So rather than stressing about not being able to ever accomplish a particular goal, if it’s something that you really desire, step back and take an objective look at how else the task could be accomplished.

Another source of stress is when you’re putting great forth great amounts of effort trying to accomplish something that you don’t even believe you can accomplish. If you really believe deep down that the pencil weighs 2000 pounds or is glued to the table and you think you’re not allowed to use any tools to pry it up, especially if you have a lot of time and emotion invested in that belief, would you be able to just reach down and pick up that pencil that isn’t stuck and only weighs a few ounces? This is where you get into some of these deep psychological mysteries. And yet, I think that it happens quite frequently. What if a football team was getting a pep talk right before a game where the coach said, “There’s no way we can beat this team, but go out and give it your all.”? (In other words, don’t plan to win, just “try” to win. Have you ever talked to yourself that way?) Maybe the other team will not be very good and they could beat them after all. Perhaps, but I doubt it. Most often, that team who doesn’t believe they can win has very little chance of winning. Any decent coach, even if he knows deep down that they’re playing a much better team, will do his best to instill into the players the belief that they can win.

In life, we’re sometimes faced with situations that we don’t believe we can win with, but we put forth our best efforts anyway due to social pressure or physical necessity. It could be a salesman with a very poor sales record who’s been told that he’s got to get the top sales for that week or he will be fired. Then at the end of the week, his sales aren’t much better than normal and he gets fired. He then cries out, “I tried!” Or it could be someone who’s been trying desperately to find a job for a long time and who needs to find a job this month or his family will be out in the street. The next month rolls around and still no employment. He exclaims bitterly, “I tried my very best!” In neither of these cases is the person lying. However, as I stated earlier, I believe that part of trying is not just putting forth an effort, but actually believing deep down that you can accomplish the task. Trapped emotions, acquired beliefs, and so forth can prevent us from having the faith to really put forth a full and honest effort, even when we are doing our best to believe “on the outside”.

Energy work that we do, including the Emotion Code, Body Code and EVOX, can help people to release trapped emotions and false perceptions that prevent us from reaching our full potential. In the meantime, it’s important that we don’t judge others based on what WE believe they should be able to do. Notice that I did not state in either of the scenarios in the preceding paragraph whether or not they were capable of accomplishing the task that they absolutely had to succeed at. From the outside looking in, we have no way of knowing, in spite of how well we feel that we would do in that situation. One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “if I can do it, anyone can do it”. That is a slap in the face to our Creator who made each of us with unique talents and abilities. Also, we don’t know what someone is or is not capable of, given their current circumstances. For ourselves, we need to do some careful self-examination and make sure that if we feel that we’re really trying to accomplish something, we are fulfilling the first two prerequisites of what it means to really try. Then if you really do fall short of your goal and you don’t accomplish the thing you’re trying to accomplish, you can truly and justifiably say, “I TRIED!”

Remember though, it makes no sense to intend to try. Just like the example of picking up a pencil. You can intend to pick it up or you can refuse to pick it up. If it had been glued down, you could say you tried after the fact. But it doesn’t make sense to say that you intend to put forth an effort with an intention to fail. Like Yoda said in Star Wars, “There is no try, only do.” In future tense, never say you’re going to try, only intend to do.

Causes

January 25, 2016

Chicken vs eggChicken vs. egg – which comes first? Compared to many of life’s pressing questions, that one seems easy. As I’ve studied cause and effect over the years, and as I’ve learned about principles of happiness, success, the law of attraction, etc., I’ve had to change many of my former paradigms. For instance, I’ve always thought that if I could be “successful”, I would then be happier. Now, I’m finding that success is often the result of happiness, not the cause of it. Another one – if I could solve my most pressing problems, I would be at peace. That’s logical, isn’t it? And yet, it appears that the best condition for finding answers to your problems is to be at peace. When you can take a deep breath, have faith, believing an answer will come, and accept the situation for what it is, you allow that peace to come into your mind, which allows inspiration to flow and answers to come. It doesn’t always come right away or like a brick upside the head. It often comes, softly and subtly. That’s how inspiration works.

I’ve written before about the complexity of the mind, body and spirit. We often want so very much to find a simple solution to a complex problem. The fact is that there are often multiple causes all interwoven together. As I work with people, sometimes I get nearly miraculous results. After just a light to moderate amount of treatment, a problem that they’ve been working on correcting for many years (physical, emotional, life problem, etc.) will suddenly disappear! I believe that in many of those cases, what I’ve done is to provide the last essential piece of the puzzle (which might be a big one) that got them over that final hurdle. Most of the results I get with people range somewhere between minimal and miraculous. Where my results seem to be on the minimal side, in spite of a lot of clearing, releasing and correcting, I believe that I just haven’t done enough yet to clear that hurdle where a major difference would be felt by the patient.

In cases where I don’t seem to be making much progress, especially when I confirmed every correction through my muscle testing, did I fail? Were my efforts wasted? Think about things in your own life, where you’ve worked hard to accomplish something but did not get the desired results. Were all of your efforts wasted? Did you learn from them? Did they make you smarter, stronger, wiser? Chances are that they did. When my results have been less than spectacular, I’ve had to remind myself (and sometimes the patient) that everything we accomplished was good. We made positive changes, even when it wasn’t enough to accomplish the goal they had in mind. I was reminded of this principle in a video I saw lately about how bamboo grows. For the first 5 years, you water it, fertilize it and care for it, but you don’t see anything happening. Then suddenly, it starts growing like crazy. It can get to be 60 feet tall in a matter of weeks. In reality, it was growing all that time – under the ground. It creates a thick, complex root system so it can support the tall trunk once it starts growing above ground. If you didn’t understand this, you would most likely give up watering it and caring for it after the first year or two.

What do you do if you’re not sure your bamboo tree is doing anything, so your efforts aren’t entirely being wasted? It’s probably not going to help it grow to dig it up and check on it every few months. You’d probably kill it! So what about other things in our life? How often have we given up just short of accomplishing our goals? Or how many times have we actually been accomplishing a great deal, even when we weren’t seeing the fruits of our labors, at least not the ones pertaining to our desired goals? May I suggest the following?

  • Be at peace with the journey. Positive efforts are never wasted. Either they’re bringing you closer to your goal or you’re at least gaining wisdom and experience that will help you in other endeavors.
  • Be loving, not judgmental, toward yourself. Do your best, but then forgive yourself when you don’t accomplish things just as you would like. Then extend that same loving, forgiving attitude toward those around you, which will bring you greater peace and happiness.
  • Don’t be overly attached to every little outcome. Keep in mind that the purpose of life is to experience joy. Sometimes we don’t see the bigger picture. I’m not suggesting a lazy, “whatever” life devoid of goals or effort. I believe in working hard. However, I’ve learned that it’s important to first accept what is (as opposed to throwing inner tantrums hoping that it will magically change our current circumstances), and then with calm inspiration, work toward achieving and accepting that which we would prefer.
  • Be open to causes and effects that you may not have considered previously. Sometimes we fail to find the answers for which we seek because we have blinded ourselves to them, simply because they don’t fit into the reality that we understand or have been taught.
  • Understand that feelings of love, forgiveness, peace of heart and mind, and faith will attract more good things into your life than huge amounts of stressful work with the wrong attitude. The Emotion Code, tapping, ho’oponono, and other techniques can help to clear out the barriers to clear and peaceful thought.

I wish you joy and happiness in your life – not that everything will go smoothly without any challenges or difficulties (you’d stagnate and never reach your potential in life!), but that you will make the decision to accept joy into your life and align yourself with its principles.

Need and Abundance

August 23, 2015

(Please note: this posting has somewhat of a religious flavor to it, for which I do not apologize. I am a religious person, but this message is not about religion. If you don’t believe in God as I do, feel free to insert the word “universe” or “the universe” wherever you see the word “God”.)

lackOne of the things that has held me back for much of my life was a common, yet devastating, misconception. That is, that the things you need the most will be the things most likely to be provided to you. I believe in a kind and loving God. I believe in fairness. So I frequently operated under the delusion that if I needed something very badly and prayed for it really hard, it would be provided in ample quantity. That is how a lot of good people see it. If you really, really need something, and you’ve done what you can to deserve it, and you ask God to bless you with it, chances are you’ll get it. Right? If you don’t truly need it, he’s less likely to bless you with it. That’s fair, isn’t it?

So it would stand to reason that God would bless the poor with greater abundance and withhold some of his blessings from the rich. And yet, look around, is that what you see happening? Often times, don’t we see the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer? That hardly seems fair, but when you consider the laws of attraction, it actually makes sense. What people don’t understand is the importance of faith, or even what faith is. The scriptures repeatedly talk about the fact that prayer without faith is not effective. God is not a conservative God with only a limited number of blessings and abundance to impart. Is God limited? Does he not have access to everything in the universe?

I believe in a God of abundance. He has limitless blessings to impart to those who are prepared to receive them. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in this life (one that I’m still trying to master) is that being in a place of NEED actually pushes away the abundance that I would have received if I had more faith. If you ask for something with full faith that you’ll receive it, it feels like you’ve already received it. To be in a place of need and desperation while you’re asking for something, you’re sending out the message saying that you really don’t think you’ll get it. Isn’t that the opposite of faith? If you have a need or a desire that you pray about and you have a firm mindset that it will be granted to you, then that feeling of almost having it sets aside any feelings of need or desperation, thus putting you in the right vibration and state of mind to receive it. I believe that’s the unwavering faith that the scriptures tell us is a prerequisite to obtaining blessings that we’re seeking for.

If you haven’t grown up with that kind of thinking, it can be a difficult transition to make. Even if you see the logic in it, it can be a challenge to apply it when the waters of your life become horribly turbulent and it feels like everything is falling apart. Yet with practice and focusing on correct principles, it can become a part of your life. It can feel like you’re just now planting a garden when you’re already starving to death. Too little, too late to save you from your current catastrophes. And yet, it’s necessary to start the process so that your life doesn’t continue to be a never-ending string of disasters. You may have to start small, but every step that you take in the right direction will help get you out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself.

So how do you get started? Here are some key things that you can start doing now to turn around your thinking and put you in the proper state to receive abundance and joy:

  • Exercise gratitude. Look for things to be grateful for, no matter how small. Think twice as many thoughts of gratitude as you do about things that you lack or are difficult. (Eventually you’ll want to get to the point of never thinking in terms of lack.) Gratitude is the key to joy and attracts abundance.
  • See abundance. Focus on the abundance of the universe and the multitude of blessings that are awaiting you. Avoid the temptation to focus on the lack.
  • Think in terms of what you hope to get, not how terrible things are without them. Feel the feelings of already having the things you want. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

If you work on making these things a regular part of your life and the way that you think, you will see positive changes in your life. They take practice, and sometimes they take time. Remember that you can’t harvest a garden this afternoon that you just planted this morning. Even still, it’s very important that you think in terms of having the blessings now, not in the future. Otherwise, it will stay in the future and always out of reach. Think in terms of the blessing being on its way to you right now. You may not know exactly when it will arrive, but it’s coming. So you can feel the joy and anticiabundancepation almost as if it were on your doorstep right now. There is only such a thing as now as far as the universe is concerned. We operate in a world of time though. So some patience is often required.

The purpose of life is to experience joy. Joy is not just feeling good or having fun. It comes from wisdom gained through experience, even harsh ones. It comes from gratitude – for all you’ve been given, even unpleasant experiences. It comes from a decision to be happy – as opposed to being a victim of whatever circumstances life hands you. It comes from loving and receiving love. It comes from seeing the universe as abundant and giving. Lastly, it comes from aligning your life with principles of joy and happiness.

Living Joyfully without Complacency

April 7, 2015

complacencyThere’s a very fine, almost imperceptible line between being happy with what you have and being too complacent to strive for more, between being grateful for the blessings you’ve been given (without griping about what you don’t have) and being satisfied with where you are now with no goals for improving your situation. Yet the difference that it brings to your life from being in one state vs. the other is huge. It’s a matter of happiness and joy vs. misery and bitterness. It’s a matter of progression vs. stagnation, and attracting good into your life vs. not attracting good things into your life.

As I’ve studied principles of success and happiness, I’ve come to realize that gratitude is one of the biggest keys to happiness in life. It’s also an important factor in the law of attraction, in terms of attracting good things. It can be confusing at first. It seems almost contradictory to be told that if you want more of something, you should first be grateful for what you have. In order to progress, I’ve always thought that you first needed to be dissatisfied with your current circumstances. Dissatisfaction and gratitude don’t seem to go together. If you’re happy where you’re at, you might as well stay where you’re at. Right? If you’re miserable in your current situation, if you feel like you’ve gotten a raw deal, if life stinks, then you’re primed and ready for a change in a better direction. Right? The misery will motivate you to get off your tuckus and make a better life for yourself. Right? That’s pretty much what I’ve always been taught. However, that’s where I was getting messed up. I think it’s affecting a lot of other people also.

As I look back on my own life and witnessing the situations of others, I can’t recall ever seeing a situation where griping and complaining and feelings of bitterness actually led to an improvement in someone’s life. Generally, it assured that they would NOT progress. Why is that? Because they were not putting themselves into a state (frequency, vibration, attitude) in which they could attract and receive improved circumstances. Although they were wanting life to improve, sometimes desperately, their thoughts, words and emotions were in opposition to the improvement that they were wanting. (I know – I’ve been there.)

So, if you’re not griping and complaining about how life is, and you should be grateful for what you already have, isn’t that the same thing as complacency? Not necessarily. Perhaps you do have all that you desire, but the important thing here is the attitude. If you’re feeling complacent, is it due to the fact that you’ve achieved all you have ever wanted and now you just want to coast a bit, or is it because you’ve given up, because you don’t believe that your goals are reachable or you’re incapable of reaching them? Frankly, I believe that there are very few people who are both successful and complacent and are not on a downward slide. Complacency leads to laziness, which leads to failure.

How does one strike a proper balance between being happy and grateful for one’s current circumstances and healthy ambition? I try to look at the bigger picture. What I have encompasses what I’ve received in the past, what I am now receiving and what I will receive in the future (blessings with my name on them that are on their way, some of them years out). Every day, I express gratitude for all of these blessings. I am grateful for what I have achieved and what I will yet achieve. I strive to avoid dissatisfaction with my current situation. Rather, I appreciate the path that I’m on. There is great striving to accomplish more and greater things and to attract greater abundance in all aspects of my life. I know that I have to do my part to prepare for and receive the higher level of blessings that are intended for me.

Happiness cannot depend on some future outcome. Happiness is a choice. Choose it today and enjoy the journey!

The POWER of Emotion

May 12, 2014

Joy

When I was a young teenager, I really enjoyed watching the original Star Trek TV show. (I guess I was a bit of a nerd, since I enjoyed science fiction more than sports.) My “hero” on that show was Mr. Spock. I loved how he was all about logic. I saw emotions as a weakness. Now that I’m much older and slightly wiser, I realize that not only can we not escape our emotions, but that they can be used to improve our life in very specific, purposeful ways.

Of course, emotion is what gives life color and meaning. How bland life would be without it! Love, loyalty, compassion, devotion and many other positive emotions drive us to help one another, connect with one another and do many great and wonderful things. Passion drives us to action. In fact, I often say that logic is the excuse we use to justify our decisions, which are based on emotion. Everything in our life is driven by emotions. Even when we do something that seems to be purely logical, there’s always some underlying emotional objective that we’re seeking to attain.

You already know that emotion is the spice and color of life. My purpose here is to discuss the actual power or force that accompanies emotions. If you’re into energy work, especially if you’re familiar with the Emotion Code or other forms of emotion clearing, or if you are into the power of positive thinking, you may already be familiar with these principles. Emotions are energy. They are a powerful force. Thoughts have power, but without emotion, they often lack the punch to make much difference in our life. Sustained or repeated thoughts, accompanied by strong emotions, will results in significant changes in our life, or they will keep us where we’re at, in spite of our efforts to make desired changes.

The purpose of this message is not to pass judgment on our educational system. It is riddled with flaws, but it also has many wonderful benefits. Our teachers and our schools work hard to instill knowledge into our brains that will hopefully help us in our life and careers. Occasionally, there will be an exceptional teacher that will help students learn how to really think – to use their brains more effectively – how to retain information, how to think more critically and logically, etc. But I’ve yet to find a school teacher who really teaches students how and why to discipline both their thoughts and emotions in order to attract wonderful things into their lives. Most people don’t even understand that their thoughts and emotions have a significant effect on what happens in their life. So there is very little effort to discipline our thoughts.

Whatever you experience strong emotions about, you empower. Your thoughts are like the steering wheel that guides you through your life. Your emotions, on the other hand, are like the  accelerator that moves you. You give power to whatever you think about with strong emotion. Are you worried and depressed about your bills and debts? What are these emotions empowering? Bills and debts, attracting more of the same into your life. Some people even go so far as to make sure they don’t get excited about their hopes and dreams because if they don’t come to pass as they’d like, they don’t want to be disappointed. Their logic is that the higher they build up their hopes, the harder they come crashing down when things don’t turn out like they’d like. While this logic is somewhat sound, by thinking this way, they practically assure failure and disappointment. You have to ask yourself which is preferable – to increase your chances of success but risk a greater fall if you fail, or have a much lower chance of success, but have less of a fall when you fail? Only you can answer that for yourself. Some people like to take chances and some people are very risk-averse. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m not a gambler. But I want success in life. I don’t want to live a nowhere life – never failing, never succeeding, never accomplishing much of anything because I was afraid to fail. As the poet put it, “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all” (Alfred Lord Tennyson). Or put another way, “it’s better to have tried and failed, than to never have had the courage to even try”.

What are you empowering in your life through thoughts turbocharged with emotion? What are you holding back on because you’re afraid to infuse the thoughts with emotion? Dream big and get excited about it. Where there are challenges in your life, do your best to stay calm about them. Shrug your shoulders and say, “it is what it is, and I’ll just deal with it the best I can”. I know that isn’t always easy. Even I still succumb to getting down about my problems from time to time, but I’m getting better at it. I’ve come to better understand these principles through the writings of a number of authors, especially Leslie Householder. One thing that can help strengthen your ability to control your thoughts and feelings is to rid yourself of excess emotional baggage through the use of the Emotion Code and other clearing techniques. Hypnotherapy and visualization techniques can also be very helpful.

Remember that the purpose of life is to have joy. I wish you success and happiness in your journey.