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Finding Inspiration

I’ve always loved the creative arts. Music and dance and painting have seemed like magic to me. The sensual appeal is a big part of my enjoyment of art. Beauty and movement, sound and color are some of the best parts of life. The art I love the most is art that also inspires me.

When I try to create art myself, it’s the feeling of inspiration that I’m reaching for. That’s why I write. I want that feeling of my mind swirling with wonderful ideas that I can’t wait to act on. Writing gets me in touch with inspiration and inspiration makes me happy.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to live in a way that makes me happy. For many years, I thought that meant doing the right actions to create the right circumstances to be happy.

I got it backward. When I make myself happy, I’m inspired to take actions and find circumstances that just emphasize and expand that feeling of happiness and inspiration. I believe now that generating and expanding this feeling of happy inspiration is the main purpose of my life. The wonderful things I see and experience along the way are a result and benefit of maintaining that feeling.

One of the ways I access that feeling of happy inspiration is to get quiet and listen to my intuition.

I’ve learned over the years that I can rely on the intuitive guidance I get when I listen to my intuition and act on it rather than trying to reason out how to accomplish goals. Intuition is quicker and more reliable than reason.

Sometimes following intuition is a bit unsettling. I can’t see far down the path I’m following. I know from experience that following my intuition will take me efficiently to that happy, inspired place where everything comes together easily. It’s still hard to trust it when I can’t see very far ahead.

The key is to stay in this moment and appreciate what’s here. I access both intuition and inspiration when I’m paying attention to the present moment.

Learning about law of attraction and deliberate creation has made it easier to follow my intuition to inspiration. It turns out that when I deliberately make myself happy, I hear my intuition more clearly and I’m more easily led to inspiration.

I make myself happy by reaching for thoughts that feel good. I make myself happy by staying in the present moment and appreciating what’s there and by relaxing. When I do these things to feel happy, my intuition becomes a reliable guide and happiness is quickly followed by inspiration. That’s when life really gets fun.

Quick Focus

One of Abraham-Hicks’ teachings is that if we focus for 17 seconds on a thought, another thought that feels similar will join it. If we continue to focus on similar feeling thoughts for 68 seconds then we have started momentum and it will continue and grow as long as we don’t interrupt it with different feeling thoughts.

So, for example, if I want to start a feeling of abundance, I can think about ways I already feel abundant. I have a good car. I can buy cheesecake whenever I want. There are many wonderful flavors of cheesecake available. I can also focus on the ways I would like to enjoy more abundance. I can imagine the vacations I would take with enough money. I can think about the causes I would like to financially support. I can think of all the cheesecake I could buy for others. As I focus in that direction for a minute or more, I can easily generate more thoughts that feel abundant.

The thing I love about the idea of focusing for 17 or 68 seconds is that it’s so doable! I could do almost anything for 17 seconds. I could drink vinegar or stand on one foot for 17 seconds. Certainly, I can think in a way that feels good to me for 17 seconds. I just have to remember to do it.

I don’t know where that 17 second or 68 second figures comes from. Abraham-Hicks talks about this like it’s a law of physics. Maybe. I don’t know how you would prove it’s accuracy. I just know it’s a useful idea.

The beauty of this idea is that I can use it anytime and anywhere. I can deliberately focus for 17 seconds when I’m feeling bored. I can take a slow moment at work and use 17 seconds to get myself into a happier state of mind. I can do it while I’m driving or walking from one place to another. I can do it in the grocery store.

Of course, this 17 second rule also applies to negative feelings. It doesn’t take any longer to get negative momentum going than positive momentum.

There’s a youtube clip of an Abraham seminar where a man talks about using this 17 second rule with his intention to be happy. He made a practice of reducing the time that he held any negative thought. Eventually he claims he got to not holding a negative thought for more than 17 seconds. He talks about how wonderful this made his life. And, oh, he won the lottery. You can listen to the clip here if you like.

How are you going to use your next 17 seconds?

3 LOA Success Stories

I love hearing stories about how others have applied law of attraction techniques to their lives and had wonderful results. It’s inspiring and fun. I started a Pinterest board so I could keep links to these stories when I found them.

The three stories I’m sharing with you here, are recordings from Abraham-Hicks seminars. The clips range in length from 7-12 minutes. They’re great mood elevators.

Here are my three favorite LOA success stories:

1. The ease of deliberate creation

In this clip, the woman telling the story sells real estate. She shares two stories about how her efforts to relax and deliberately feel good, led to two unexpected and easy real estate sales.

2. Vortex essay and college entry

A father shares how his daughter’s expectations and actions, based on her knowledge of law of attraction, helped her get into the college of her choice.

3. A new 30 day process brings success

A man devised a 30 day process to feel good and thereby created several big changes that transformed his life in wonderful ways.

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do!

Reclaiming Winter

When I was a kid, winter was my favorite season.  I loved how the landscape was covered with snow.  It felt magical. I loved building forts and castles in the snow.  I loved drinking hot chocolate. I loved that insects went away. The first snow of the season was a big occasion for me.

I kept that love of winter for a long time, but in recent years, I’ve felt differently.  I have a job that requires me to show up in any weather.  Each year, I have a few truly terrifying commutes through snow or ice storms.

I started to dread winter. By each September, I was already feeling fear about driving through winter storms. I resented the difficulty.  I wasn’t happy about the first snow anymore.

This winter, I decided to feel differently.  That’s the beauty of this law of attraction work.  I have tools now to change how I feel about any topic. I decided to reclaim my love of winter.

My main tactic was to make a deliberate attempt to appreciate winter.  In particular, I made a point of appreciating the snow.  It wasn’t hard.  It’s so dramatic and beautiful when the stark landscape of brown trees gets replaced by a blanket of white with snow swirling through the air. When new snow glitters in the sun, it looks like a field of diamonds.

I had to stop anticipating bad commutes.  It occurred to me that those days are few.  Driving is easy for most of the winter.  I deliberately chose not to think about stormy driving conditions.  Not thinking about it so much, took my level of fear way down.

When my fears about driving did come up, I reminded myself that I’d gotten through the previous couple of years without any trouble. I listen to my intuition about which driving route to take. I play inspiring CDs that make the ride more pleasant. I soothe my fears and I enjoy the transformed scenery as I drive slowly through the snow.  

I love the quiet of the winter. I look for owls and other wildlife.  I try to identify animal tracks in the snow. There is a farmstand near me that makes delicious apple cider, only in fall and winter. I’ve been drinking a lot of apple cider.

The other day, I thought about spring coming.  My genuine feeling was that I wasn’t ready for it yet.  I was glad that we had more of winter to go through.  

The lesson in this is that It was easy to reclaim my love of winter.  All it took was a few tweaks to my thinking.  With some deliberate focus, my overall attitude about winter went from dreading and resenting it to enjoying it. This is a small example but It makes me wonder what else I could improve with deliberately changed thinking.

How to use the law of attraction at work

Since I’ve been trying to deliberately use the law of attraction in my life, I’ve had a lot of success in using it to improve my work day. I work as a nurse’s aide in an assisted living facility. One day, I noticed that although I generally liked my job, I spent a lot of time resenting parts of it.

I resented spending so much time at work. I resented my co-workers when they didn’t do tasks the way I thought they should. There weren’t any big problems, but the minor habitual resentments I had, didn’t feel good. I deliberately set out to use what I’d learned about the law of attraction to feel better in my job.

It worked!  After a couple of weeks of deliberately doing this, I found I was enjoying my work day more than my free time!  The key was to purposely start good feelings about my job.  The momentum of law of attraction would continue and expand those good feelings.

Here’s how you can use the law of attraction to improve your work-life.

1. Pre-pave the day

Improving my work day started with a decision to feel good.  As I got ready for work, I would tell myself that I was going to have an easy, pleasant day at work.  I kept it general.  I didn’t try to rehearse any specific situation.  I just tried to imagine feeling good at work and having an easy, pleasant day.

In law of attraction circles, this is called pre-paving.  You deliberately decide how you want a certain situation to be and you imagine that situation unfolding as you have chosen.  

Visualization is a popular way of pre-paving. People pre-pave with visualization by imagining the details and the feel of an event unfolding as they wish. Sports figures often use visualization to improve their performance.  I once read about a study where athletes who only visualized improving their game, made as much progress in their skills, as comparable athletes who only practiced their skills physically.

I didn’t find it necessary to get into detailed visualization to improve my work day.  I just practiced how I wanted to feel emotionally.

2. Appreciate

The heart of my practice to improve my work day, was to deliberately appreciate my job. I have an old habit of forgetting about what is going well in my life, and focusing on what isn’t going well.  This practice of appreciation, deliberately countered that old habit.

I started by listing, in my mind, the things I do like about my job.  I found that my commute to work was the perfect time to do this.  I have a beautiful commute to work, through forest and farmland, so it is easy to appreciate the drive.

I appreciated that my job allowed me to earn enough money to pay my bills.  I appreciated that I was doing work that I had chosen because I liked it and it was easy for me.  The building I work in is pretty and well kept.  I get free meals at work which is a wonderful benefit.  I like the people I work with.  I like spending my time taking care of people.  That allows me to sing and act silly in the course of my day.  It entertains the residents and me.

I’ve found that focusing on what I like about my job makes the annoyances fade in comparison.  After some time of doing this practice, I did find that my work day was improved, but still sometimes unpleasant due to conflicts with co-workers.  I discovered that appreciation was a good remedy for those conflicts too.

There was one particular co-worker with whom I was getting into frequent, ridiculous arguments.  I thought that her behavior was mostly to blame, but that didn’t help me.  After one particularly upsetting argument, I was desperate for a solution.

I spent some time writing about the situation to try to understand it.  I eventually decided to try to appreciate what I liked about her.  I started with some general statements.  I was glad that she worked there, otherwise we would be short staffed and my job would be harder. I appreciated that she was reliable. I appreciated the ways that she was good at her job.  I appreciated the pleasant interactions we had in the past.

Eventually, this appreciation of my co-worker dwarfed my irritation at our latest argument and I could feel good about working with her again.  I was a little nervous the next time I saw her, but tried to stay open.  The first thing she did when I saw her, was give me a big hug and say she was sorry. Our relationship was much easier for me from then on.

I’ve found this appreciation of my co-workers to be a useful tool for getting through my days at work.  Whenever someone’s behavior bothers me, I immediately think about what I appreciate about them.  When my irritation is gone, I can solve problems with them in a spirit of cooperation rather than animosity.   

3. Stay in the moment

In The Power of Now, Eckart Tolle talks about how fear and anger are not possible if we are living in the present moment.  We fear what might happen in the future and we get angry about what has happened in the past.  Neither apply when we’re fully inhabiting the present moment.

I love this idea of finding peace in the present moment.  I found it helped me a lot at work.

Staying in the moment helps with my interactions with other human beings. My work is about helping people with varied health conditions, so it’s good to stay flexible.  Staying in the moment allows me to approach each interaction with fresh eyes.  I can see new solutions to problems when I’m not blinded by habitual, old approaches that have failed.

Being in the moment halts any negative momentum that I have going from past situations.  The moment is new, so I can start momentum in ways that feel good to me.

 

Using these simple techniques has made a huge difference in my work day.  I generally enjoy myself at work now.  When I start to have difficulty again, I always find that it’s because I’ve fallen into old habits.  It gets easier and easier to apply these new techniques, develop new habits and feel good.  I hope these techniques help you improve your work life too!

Learning to trust what I want

I’ve always enjoyed writing. As a child I wrote poetry to express my feelings. Later, I experimented with essays, humor, and fiction. I enjoyed writing, but I didn’t think it was very exciting. It was a skill I used to help me think and to express myself, but I was nervous about sharing my writing. Publishing was hard and I wasn’t comfortable with promoting myself, so I always let go of thinking about writing as a potential career.

I have wanted to work as an independent creative person for most of my life. The trouble was, I hadn’t perfected any creative skills that I could readily use to make money. When I moved here, to Vermont, a new friend taught me to quilt. I eventually opened an Etsy shop and tried to create a quilting business.

For five years, I worked at developing my part-time quilting business. I learned a lot in those five years and I don’t regret a moment of it, but ultimately, the quilting business was not for me. I just didn’t like sewing enough.

By the time I shut down the quilting business, I was looking around for another creative endeavor. Writing was there as it had always been there. I didn’t know how or if I could make a living with it, but I decided that I wanted to try.

At this point, I had spent a couple of years learning about law of attraction and related ideas. Reasoning out the path to accomplishing a goal had not worked for me in the past. Instead, I visualized the general end point I wanted to reach and I wrote about it.

I started writing a journal about my happy future life as a full-time writer. That’s where the idea for this blog came from. Every time I would write about my happy future life as a writer, I got a strong urge to create a blog about my experience with the law of attraction.

In September of 2015, I started the blog. I developed lots of grand plans for the blog. I planned to post regularly and guest post on other blogs and create ebooks, all while building a thriving, supportive community.

By the first anniversary of the creation of the blog, I was losing enthusiasm. I had published almost every month, but certainly not as often as I had intended. I had a few regular readers, but I wasn’t getting more. I was making steady progress in setting up my life to better accommodate writing, but it was slow going. I was finding the whole process to be harder than I thought.

By spring, my motivation was almost gone and I stopped writing blog posts for a month or so. I was in a new writing group then and I considered focusing on other forms of writing. I wrote some humor and some essays.

After a month of not writing for the blog, I found I missed it. I missed thinking about the principles that were helping me in my life. I found I was forgetting the things that improved my life: focusing on feeling good, gratitude, being open to positive outcomes. When I wasn’t writing about these things, I forgot them.

I have three friends who read my blog posts regularly. I missed my conversations with them about the my blog posts. I missed the sense of purpose I felt when I was publishing my blog posts and sending them out to subscribers and social media followers.

By May, I was back to writing for the blog and feeling renewed enthusiasm for it. I’ve learned that the thing I love most about writing is the creativity of it. When I write, my brain swirls with new ideas. I want to live in that world of creativity and new ideas.

I’d still like to make a career of writing, but I find that I don’t accomplish things by reasoning out how to accomplish them. I don’t have enough information to intellectually plot the best paths to my goals. I get to where I want to go by enjoying my life now. I get there by having fun and listening to my intuition for the next right step.

For now, I’ll continue to enjoy the creativity of writing. I’ll continue to remind myself of what works in my life and I’ll share that with others who are interested. It’s fun. For now, that’s enough.

My 3 Favorite Web Sites for Law of Attraction Inspiration

Here are the web sites of my favorite teachers, writers and cheerleaders about the law of attraction and other related information. When I want inspiration or guidance about how to make use of the law of attraction in a specific area of my life, I always go to one of these three web sites. The information they provide is grounded, thoughtful and often presented with humor.

Abraham-Hicks

My first real introduction to law of attraction was reading a book by Abraham-Hicks. The book was Ask and it is Given. I still go back to it regularly. It’s a textbook for how to live.

Abraham’s teaching and presentation are always sensible and down to earth. Abraham’s identity is a little different. Abraham says they are a group consciousness interpreted by a woman named Esther Hicks. It’s channeling and it’s woo woo, but I don’t care. Everything she says as Abraham makes sense to me. By following Abraham, I’ve found a philosophy that seems to fit the world I see. The information is practical and Abraham is very funny.

Esther Hicks has been channeling Abraham for 30 years or so. They travel around the country and sometimes internationally, giving seminars where people ask questions and converse with Abraham through Esther. Abraham is beloved around the world. The Abraham-Hicks organization sells books, and DVDs and recordings from Abraham seminars, in various formats. There are even vacation cruises that include Abraham seminars.

Meanwhile, there are lots of free Abraham resources available. On the web site, you can sign up for daily email quotes and there are free videos to watch. The Abraham-Hicks organization also allows people to post recordings of parts of seminars on Youtube. You can search for Abraham-Hicks on Youtube and find enough videos to watch for the rest of your days. Whenever I want help with something, I search for “Abraham-Hicks” and the topic, for example “releasing fear.” It’s a great resource.

Pam Grout

Pam Grout is a freelance travel writer who also writes about spiritual principles, in fun, easy to understand ways. Her books, E-Squared and E-Cubed, are inspiring and humorous. Both books are filled with experiments that she encourages readers to carry out to prove to themselves the validity of a universe that conspires to help us.

Her most recent book, Thank and Grow Rich, is a handy guide to the many ways to use gratitude to make our lives better.

Pam also publishes a blog where she shares inspiring success stories, often sent in by her readers. Her style is light and engaging. When I see her posts in my Facebook feed, I perk up immediately. Reading one of her blog posts is always a bright spot in my day.

Good Vibe University

Good Vibe University is the brain child of Law of Attraction coach, Jeannette Maw. It’s a membership site with recorded webinars available on applying law of attraction to all sorts of life situations. It’s also a community with discussion forums, classes and even coaching available.

In connection with Good Vibe University, Jeannette publishes a blog about making use of the law of attraction in our lives. Her advice is always useful, based on years of coaching clients. It’s a resource I count on to remind me of the principles I want to apply in my life.

My favorite blog post by Jeannette is about allowing. It’s funny as well as helpful. Check it out here.

There are lots of people writing and speaking online about law of attraction. I count on these three web sites for consistently good and entertaining advice.

What Could Go Right?

I had the idea to ask myself “What could go right?”, when I noticed how often I thought about things going badly. As Abraham says, “When you know what you don’t want, you more clearly know what you do want.” The habit of expecting the worst is meant to protect me, but it doesn’t really. It keeps me depressed and fearful.

What if I could turn that around? What if I could change my focus from expecting the worst to expecting the best? It feels radical. It’s a measure of how far I’ve come that I can even contemplate such a thing.

Many years ago, a therapist shocked me by suggesting that the unknown future may include good things as well as bad things. My focus was so relentlessly on my fears, that I was dumbfounded by the idea that the unknown could be good. Decades later, I remember that moment clearly. It was pivotal for me. It was a moment when hope shined through the crack in my armor against misery.

My habits of thought didn’t change much then, but over the years when I’ve been immersed in fear and trying to feel better, I have sometimes remembered what that therapist pointed out to me: the unknown may actually be something good.

Expecting pleasant surprises is the opposite of worry. I’ve been thinking lately about a story I read on Jeannette Mau’s Good Vibe blog. A woman suddenly lost a job and she took that development as evidence that the universe had lined up something wonderful for her life. She was right. It’s a funny blog post. Check it out here.

She expected her life to get better and it did. I am convinced that feeling good is the best way to get everything I want. I’m getting better at coaxing myself into good feelings and this is another way to do that. What if I could simply see the unexpected as new pleasures coming into my life?

What could go right in my day today? What unexpected good fortune might appear? What might be easier than expected? What resources may come my way without any effort on my part? I’m having fun as I to start to ask these questions.

 

The Emotional Scale

(Photo courtesy of Debi Barton Haverly, @debihaverly)

 

One of the more useful techniques I’ve learned from Abraham-Hicks is called “moving up the emotional scale.” The emotional scale is a scale of emotions from those that feel the worst to those that feel the best. As I’ve worked with this emotional scale, I see that it’s also a scale of feelings of personal empowerment.

Abraham puts fear, grief, depression, despair and powerlessness at the bottom of this scale. All of those emotions are based on thoughts of being powerless and at the mercy of negative situations in our lives.

Abraham talks about moving to rage or anger, from those more powerless emotions, as being a breath of fresh air. I think that’s because rage and anger mean our negative thoughts are directed toward other people or situations rather than toward ourselves.

As we go up the emotional scale, we feel lighter and better as we think of ourselves as less at the mercy of others’ negative actions and more empowered to create what we want in our own lives. I won’t go through the whole scale but it moves up from anger to doubt, “overwhelment”, frustration, boredom, then into mildly pleasant emotions like contentment and hopefulness.

At the top of the emotional scale are strong, good feeling emotions that reflect a sense of alignment with source and our true powerful, creative nature. Those feelings include joy, empowerment, freedom, love and appreciation.

The point of the “moving up the emotional scale” process, is to deliberately choose thoughts to think that move us to better feeling emotions.

For example, if I’m feeling a lot of fear about money, I will write the thoughts that are generating this feeling of fear. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay my bills. I’m afraid I’ll run out of money.” Those thoughts feel bad to me because they come with a feeling that my money situation is somehow beyond my control. That’s my starting point.

If I’m deliberately moving up this emotional scale, I may reach for a thought that makes me feel angry. “I’m sick of feeling this fear. I work hard and I deserve a good life. I’m sick of struggling.”

As I continue on, searching my mind for better feeling thoughts, I may think, “I haven’t always felt afraid about money. I have managed to get myself in good financial situations in the past.”

“My financial situation, right now, is much better than it was a few years ago. It’s been steadily improving.”

“Right now, I have everything I need. I can’t always foresee the good opportunities that will come my way. When I take care of myself and stay in the moment, solutions often just appear.”

As I make my way up the emotional scale, more “better feeling thoughts” occur to me. When I’m successful in moving myself into better emotions, I have a visceral sense of relief.

It’s startling to see how different the world looks to me, once I have shifted my emotions. I see happy solutions that I couldn’t perceive when I was depressed. Often I see that there was no real problem to begin with – just a fear.

When I feel better, I notice the things I love that surround me. That’s the real gift of moving my emotions to a better feeling place. The world becomes magical and alive to me again. I enjoy my life. Once again, it’s lovely to be here.

Anger?

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Someone I follow on twitter, posted a quote from the Dalai Lama. The quote was “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” The person on twitter said, “This quote makes me furious.” Interesting.

I should say that the person I follow on twitter, is involved in politics and I think that informs his attitude. I’ve seen another quote around political circles, that says, “If you’re not angry, you aren’t paying attention.” The assumption is that the only sane response to some conditions is anger. I get why people feel that way, but I must respectfully disagree.

For me, this is about emotional perspective. Abraham Hicks talks about viewing our emotions on an emotional scale. It’s a scale measuring emotions from those that feel terrible to those that feel wonderful. At the lower end of this scale are emotions like despair, depression, feelings of worthlessness. At the top of the scale are emotions like joy, love, ecstasy. Abraham encourages us to work our way up the emotional scale to the happier emotions, to achieve what we want with our lives.

Abraham also talks about anger as being a huge emotional improvement over powerlessness. I think that’s why so many people rely on anger to fuel their political activism. It’s an affirmation that we are not in fact, powerless, even though we may feel that way in the face of larger political realities that distress us.

The problem I have with anger is that I don’t want to get stuck there. I want to feel better than that. I find it’s not a very effective state of mind when compared to joy. Joy is where I find clarity and creative solutions.

Anger has allowed me to take action to change circumstances in my life that I don’t like, but acting from anger is messy and ultimately unsatisfying. Anger is a good indicator for me of the need for change, but not a good place for me to launch action. If I lead myself up that emotional scale further, I will more easily generate results that I like.

I don’t hear much about working for societal change from a place of joy or love, but I do have role models for that. One role model for this joy-based activism is Thich Naht Hahn. He is a Vietnamese Monk who came of age during the Vietnam War. His advocacy of reconciliation got him ostracized by both sides in the war, but he has inspired millions with his loving view of the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. also inspired us with love. More recently, Barack Obama’s vision of hope, catapulted him to national prominence and drove his historic presidency.

Law of Attraction teachers point to a danger of staying too long in unpleasant states of mind like anger. Anger keeps our focus more on what we don’t want than on what we do want. The theory of law of attraction is that our focus brings us more of what we’re focusing on. If we focus on what we’re angry about, we bring more of it into our lives. That’s not usually the effect we’re hoping for.

Of course, I have to start wherever I am. If I’m angry, it’s not going to change the anger to pretend it’s not there. I can only change the effects of anger if I genuinely change the how I’m feeling. That’s what this law of attraction work is for me. It’s learning to change how I feel so I feel better and better.

Anger is empowering, but joy, love and hope can be empowering too. I can create what I want from a hopeful place. In fact, I believe it’s the easiest way to do it.

I was upset by the results of the recent presidential election. It took some time for me to gain emotional equilibrium afterwards. I felt some anger and despair, but eventually, I reaffirmed that I want to be led by joy. There was some joy for me in this election. I was joyful at the prospect of a good woman president. I was giddy when I thought Hillary would win.

This election has reawakened my feminist feelings in the best possible way. I’m now determined to let my joy lead me to find and promote good women politicians. I’ve already started. This is going to be fun.