Have you ever wanted something very badly and failed to get it? Of course you have. We all have had that experience as it is a common one. In generations to come, it will become less common as more and more people learn to access the true power of their minds. But in the meantime, during this transition from Old Worldview (life is a struggle and stuff just happens to us randomly that we have to deal with) to New Worldview (life is an adventure and we create it).
An important distinction to make, that you can begin practicing right now, is to understand the structure beneath our creations. Most of us learned to wish for something and then give up when it either didn’t turn up right away or began to look too difficult or outside our area of expertise. We didn’t have the correct tools to do what we wanted, as if we were trying to build a wooden table and only had a giant log and a nail file to work with.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states in his chapter on “Desire”:
There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish.
Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief.
Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty. A great poet [Jessie Belle Rittenhouse] has correctly stated this universal truth through these lines:
“I bargained for Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.
For Life is just an employer,
He gives you just what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, must you bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”
Usually when we view someone as being a menace to society, we picture a reckless driver, a con artist, a criminal.
But without realizing it, we can actually be a true menace to the people we care about the most, and we do this with our attitude and opinions of them. If your friend shares with you that she plans to study and then take a test to get a license or certification that will help her advance at work, you have the choice to be supportive and encourage her to keep going with the plan, or to do little things that undermine her confidence and resolve. Some people are so adept at killing other people’s dreams that all they need is a quick shift in body language, a raised eyebrow, a little quirk of the mouth that says “Yeah, right, like you’ll manage to pull that off– and even if you do, it’s not going to get you anywhere.”
Take a look at how you treat your friends and whether you are truly supportive in all the ways that you would like others to be supportive of you and your goals and projects. And then look at what you are allowing from the people around you. Are you letting them stomp on your life and sneer at your efforts? It might not be done overtly, but we are energetic beings, we sense the vibration of contempt, doubt and worry very easily and absorb it, unawares.
When we learn how to pay better attention to how we feel, we’ll be able to detect those times when our sudden drop in mood or enthusiasm can actually be traced to what someone else just said or did to discourage us. Once you get in the habit of that noticing, then you can take the next step which is to not allow others to influence you so much. Learn to stand up for your own convictions.
We also do a lot of damage to each other when we worry incessantly. If your kids are late getting home, do you instantly picture an accident? If your dog sneezes, do you groan, assuming he’s sick and you’ll have to deal with vet visits and expensive medications? If your friend shares a confidence about a fight with her mate, do you picture her on the road to the divorce court? When we hold negative energy around our family members and friends, we affect them. We influence their health and happiness in ways that we cannot fathom with the Old Worldview that says life is just happenstance and all you can do is play the hand you were dealt.
Florence Scovel Shinn relates this story in her book The Secret Door to Success, “I knew a woman who told me she always kept a long crepe veil handy in case of funerals. I said to her, ‘You are a menace to your relatives, and are preparing to hurry them all off, so that you can wear the veil.’ She destroyed it.”
Look for the ways that you are keeping negativity “handy” when it comes to the lives of people you care about, and the world in general. And notice how much you do that regarding your own life, too. Where are you tucking away your “back up plan” in case what you want doesn’t pan out? When we constantly hedge our bets, we’re actually playing against ourselves and our happiness. Learn to access the power of the New Worldview by learning more about the laws of the mind.
We live in a digital age, where sharing is the norm. Or is it? We share photos and comments and videos on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. We share with friends and their friends and even with “the public” a.k.a. strangers. We post our opinions on world issues and we share what’s on our mind. But this kind of sharing doesn’t take much commitment, does it? It doesn’t require more than a few moments, and in general it is a fun thing.
I was returning from an errand this afternoon and encountered a young mom coming out of a cookie store with her daughter, who appeared to be about four years old. They were clearly in the middle of an important conversation about the nature of sharing, and it was also clear the topic revolved around cookies. The mom said, no doubt wanting to give a parental lesson that would stand her child in good stead as a polite child and generous person, “Well, I don’t mind sharing. I don’t mind it at all.”
They were walking in the direction I’d just come from, so I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation, but I could read that child’s mind and here’s what she was thinking (because I know we all secretly think this many times but particularly when we’re young and it comes to sharing a cookie): It’s easy for you to say you don’t mind sharing, Mommy! You can buy more cookies. You can get more any time you want. But I can’t. I don’t have the money. I can’t go to the store by myself. The only time I get to go to the cookie store is if you take me, and I can only get what you allow me to pick out. And then you expect me to share it?!
Okay, so maybe she wasn’t thinking all of that. But seriously, how often are we really “sharing” from a willing heart, and giving something away that we want for ourselves? Or something that would be hard to replace and we might even miss? What are we attached to that we try to hold onto for ourselves, and stress out over the idea of losing it?
When we share in social media, we don’t give up our photos or our quotes or our videos. We get to keep them, and share them at the same time.
When we share our clothes by donating them to charity, we give away the stuff that got scuffed, torn, dingy, or that we outgrew, or never liked to begin with.
Are you familiar with the cartoon strip called “The Family Circus” created by cartoonist Bil Keane (in 1960) that is still syndicated and now created by his son Jeff? I’ll never forget a particular “episode” in the cartoon family’s life. I guess it stuck with me because at the time my daughter was in middle school and it seemed we were always being called on to donate for a food drive or newspaper drive or cans drive to help the school raise money for supplies or special activities. In this cartoon, the mom was gathering cans from the cupboard to donate for the food drive and commented to little Billy that it was food they didn’t like anyway–to which he replied that the poor people were helping them by taking the food away! Hmmm, that was an interesting concept and as I say, it was a cartoon that packed a memorable punch I still recall years after first seeing it.
Sometimes we are admonished by charitable groups to “give until it hurts” and that’s not what I’m talking about. I don’t think we need to be in pain in order to be more generous in our sharing. But where can we share by giving more of ourselves? Let go of the attachment to possessions. Freely give away smiles. Kindness. Loving thoughts toward that driver who just cut you off. There are dozens if not hundreds of ways we can easily share more from our hearts and help this world of ours be more peaceful and compassionate.
Most of us learned an upside down and backwards approach to life–we learned to look around us and pay attention to what everyone else is doing and saying, and then react to that. We are now learning a much better way of living, from an inside-outward perspective, but it takes a commitment to your own happiness. Why? Because the training is so deeply ingrained in all of us to think the old way that it is habitual. We learn to set goals and work hard and keep our noses to the grindstone, and try our very best to force the results we want.
Here’s an easier and more delightful way: get very clear on what you want, align yourself with the feeling that it is already true in your life, and allow what you desire to flow into your life.
Yes of course it takes practice and persistence. But it is worth it–YOU are worth it. If you’re ready to start living a life that feels joyful and satisfying, learn the 5 steps for your quantum leap in my book YOU WERE BORN TO TRIUMPH: Create a Five-Start Life in Your Quantum Kitchen.
Have you ever wondered about the relationship between stress and popcorn? … No? I didn’t think so. I know I’m kind of a nerd, but I think all the time about why we get stressed out and what we can do about it. And there’s something cheap and easy that I’ve discovered: if you make popcorn in your own kitchen, the sound of the popping is a happy sound… the smell of it is happy, and so is the actual eating of it.
Therefore… ta da! My prescription for your happiness this weekend is to MAKE POPCORN! Have fun with your family. Kids love popcorn–it sounds and tastes festive…like a party!
No, it doesn’t count if you buy a plastic bag of the ready-made popped corn. We need to involve as many of your senses as possible, and making it by popping the kernels really does become a whole-body sensory activity.
You can either buy the bags of ready-to-pop corn at your grocery or convenience store, or… even cheaper and healthier… you can do what I do and air-pop it in your microwave. This is lower calorie than popping on the stove top in oil, plus you don’t have a pan to wash which makes it ecologically friendly as well.
My recipe for fabulous stress-reducing popcorn:
1 paper lunch bag
1/3 cup un-popped popcorn kernels
Pour the kernels into the bag. Fold the top of the bag over about an inch, crease the fold and then fold it one more time, again about an inch, so you are closing the bag without tape, glue or staples (don’t use any of those!)
Lay the bag flat on the turntable of your microwave.
Cook approximately 3 minutes on high. Listen for the popping noise to slow down, and stop the cooking process when there are more than 3-4 seconds between pops, to avoid scorching the cooked popcorn.
Carefully remove the bag from the microwave — it won’t be as hot as those commercial bags that have a heat element embedded in the paper bag, but still– be careful! The fold may have opened at the top of the bag, so take out the bag without spilling the popped corn.
Empty the bag into a big bowl.
Season as desired.
I like to drizzle olive oil all over it, then sprinkle on sea salt — yummy and healthy! Popcorn is a whole grain and low in calories unless you really pour on the butter or oil. Keep a light hand with your seasonings. At first, if you’re used to drenching your popcorn with butter or buttery-flavored oil, your taste buds might protest, but with persistence and an open mind, you can retrain your tongue to enjoy the real flavor of the popcorn itself without a whole lot of additions to it.
I hope you enjoy a fun way to manage your stress… while smelling, seeing, tasting, touching and hearing the adventure of corn popping in your own kitchen.
Comments? What are your fave popcorn toppings?
I heard an ad on TV the other day while my back was turned doing kitchen chores, and a man’s voice said “There’s nothing worse than a dead battery.” I glanced at the screen and was not surprised to see they were selling a product to jump start your car easily. But what lingered in my mind was the thought that most if not all people could say, “That’s the worse thing? Oh, no, buddy, let me tell you about MY life!” … and then rattle off a string of things far worse than a car battery that needs to be jumped.
If you are having that kind of day, what do you do? Do you simply feel stuck, waiting for something good to come along (represented in our example by the auto club or mechanic who would jump start your vehicle)? If you’re tired of handling life that way, here’s some good news — you can start your day over, no matter what time it is. Here’s how:
- Recognize that your feelings are spiraling downwards. This takes conscious awareness of your thoughts and state of mind.
- Take a moment to calm yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply, counting your breaths a few times to help you focus on peace
- Decide what you would like to feel, and move yourself toward that feeling by thinking of something pleasant or enjoyable, or by doing something you like such as taking a quick walk, playing with your kids or pets, or enjoying a nature vista
Next time your day starts going “wrong” you’ll catch yourself faster, and know what to do. Some people will say things like “Oh, my day started off bad and just got worse and worse as it went on!” but that is really an attitude problem! And since YOU are 100% in control of your own attitude, take a few moments and give yourself an Attitude Adjustment — that’s a good kind of tool to have in your tool box.
to your happiness,
PS To learn more Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today
Have you ever had a big goal, something really juicy that you wanted so much you could almost taste it? And yet, no matter how much you wished for different results, you kept ending up falling short of what you really desired?