When I got the idea on 11/9/16 for my new book “America’s New Breed of Freedom Fighters,” [available now on Amazon for pre-order at http://bit.ly/NewBreedFreedomFighters] I quailed. As much as I knew I was qualified to write it, and that I could and should write it, I also wanted to push the idea away and hope that someone else was next on the getting-ideas-from-the-cloud database in the universe that all authors and creative people tap into.
But I rallied at once, because I knew that I had a powerful message to share and I wanted to get it out there in a book for all to read. I knew that I needed to have enough courage to step up and help people not only relieve their stress and grief over the election results, but to come together in peace and pick up where we left off with our progressive agenda of creating liberty and justice for all people, not just a self-anointed minority.
Then, on 12/20/16 when I reflected on the fact that the Inauguration ceremony was exactly one month away, I got the idea for this 31-Day Blog Countdown to Trump’s Inauguration. My vision for it was that it would be 31 positive and inspiring posts, all about using the law of attraction and tapping into our incredible power to create a better reality for America and the rest of the world, no matter what destruction Trump and his cronies have planned.
Okay, to be honest, when I got the blog countdown idea, my stomach fell. Seriously, I felt gut-punched by the idea. Not only is a blog-a-day a big commitment in itself, I’m still writing the book! Inside, I knew that was just an excuse, because I’m a writer. It’s what I do. A deadline or big task doesn’t really scare me. The truth beneath my moment of fear was a scared little voice saying, “No way am I going to make myself a total target for radical right agitators and all their hatred!”
You see, I have a lifelong habit of being a people-pleaser in every situation, and at worst a decades-long history of being a total doormat in toxic relationships with men.
Deliberately stepping up and saying, “Here I am, this is what I stand for, this is what I believe—and now, go ahead and leave a comment below” filled me with momentary dread.
Again, I kind of hoped someone else would grab the blog countdown idea and run with it.
But, yet again, I realized that if the idea came to me it meant that Source (Divine Mind, Spirit, God) was confident I could handle any push-back. My father was a Colonel in the U.S. Army, and I wasn’t raised to back down to the enemy.
Besides that, with my knowledge of the laws of the mind, I understand we never get ideas without the tools to make them come into fruition.
So here’s my advice to you, the same thing I said to myself in the mirror a few minutes ago: “Don’t be a wuss. Speak up for what you believe in. Get involved in the issues that are important to you. Let your voice be heard. Make your life count.”
If we all cower in the face of Trump’s brand of terrorism, then his hate-based agenda will truly win. Let’s not let that happen. Together we can prove that love always trumps hate.
CLICK THE AMERICAN EAGLE TO SEE OTHER POSTS IN THE BLOG COUNTDOWN:
Teenagers aren’t the only ones who go through periods of angst where it seems the whole world is against them and nothing will ever go right. We can pick up on that common attitude very easily without consciously realizing it, because a state of victimhood is rampant in our culture and has been for thousands of years.
We learn as children to look around and decide what we do and don’t like, and when there’s a condition or event that happens that thwarts our wishes, we feel it is being done to us by others, and we’re helpless. Now, of course, as kids, we don’t have the same power to change all of our circumstances that an adult with more freedom of choice would have. But if we learned as children to access the true power of our thinking, we wouldn’t have attracted those unwanted conditions in the first place. In future generations, all this will be common knowledge, and people will use the law of attraction with much more ease than we usually do, because they won’t have to be constantly reminding themselves to “think positive” or “say your affirmations.” It will be just as much habitual thinking as ours is, but superior in its ability to direct the results that come home to roost.
When you get that sinking feeling that everyone is against you, stop and consider this:
“A million people could be pushing against you and it would not negatively affect you unless you push back. That million people pushing against you are affecting their millions of vibrations. They are affecting what happens in their experience. They are affecting their point of attraction, but it does not affect you unless you push against them.”—Abraham-Hicks
There are times in life when we really are afraid of doing something, and yet we bow to the logic of those around us and those who trained us in our thinking habits, and we go ahead with it anyway. Then we feel proud of ourselves for defeating the fear. But if it’s really been defeated, why is it there, in that swirling anxious feeling inside? Why does it return in the face of a similar project or condition? And then you’re supposed to defeat that too, and be proud again?
Let’s stop and look at how irrational much of our actions are in the face of working with the law of attraction to deliberately create an expansive, joyous, happy life. When you feel bad inside and take action anyway, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that something will go wrong. It might not be with that particular project—because we can often force results with sheer will power—but there will be repercussions in your life to match the energy of all that fear. Perhaps you’ll have a car accident on the way home from the meeting that engendered all that nervousness. Or catch the flu that’s going around and be violently ill for several weeks.
There’s a difference between wanting something very much with the understanding you’ll need to step out of what feels comfortable in order to attract it to you, and being terrified or uneasy because you really don’t want this at all. It’s a false goal. One that others imposed on you and you accepted the burden.
Take a look at your life and see where you are using force to get things, force to make yourself go to a job that does not utilize your gifts, force to keep going through the motions in a dull relationship.
And then, make a new choice. Love and fear are opposites. Go for the love. It’s a great choice, every time.
In keeping with this lesson, Abraham-Hicks reminds us, “There are those that say, if you do the uncomfortable thing long enough, it will become comfortable. But we are really not encouragers of that. We are encouragers of coming into alignment, and then taking the action. We are encouragers always of getting rid of the fear; we would never want you to keep doing things that you feel fearful about. And maybe the path of least resistance is just not get on the horse. Maybe the path of least resistance is to get on a different horse—but we would never move forward in fear.”
One of the core principles of using the law of attraction to our advantage instead of unconsciously magnetizing results that we don’t really like or want, is to understand the power of focusing our thoughts so that we appreciate what we want to experience even before we get it.
When we enter into a practice of being appreciative of all that we already have, we set up an internal vibration that brings us into harmony with a higher quality of circumstances. We thus draw those conditions and circumstances and relationships into our life, simply by being grateful. And then, to take the practice even further, if we start being grateful in advance for all that we desire, being thankful we have already received it, the law of attraction will match our energy with what we want to get.
Here’s an excerpt from my book GET HAPPY TODAY: No More Excuses! that explains more about building up an attitude of gratitude.
Chapter 5 – Action Steps: Cultivate gratitude
- Don’t expect yourself to be a magical mystical being who doesn’t have fear and who dances through life with a song on your lips every moment of every day. That’s not what being “happy no matter what” means. Happiness is an intention to accept the ups and downs with good humor.
- Be grateful for every chance to love someone who is, at this point in time, acting in an unlovable way. Isn’t that what love is all about?
- There’s no mystery to how I went quickly from panic to acceptance in the dentist chair. But there is indeed a secret that I will share with you, and here it is: I used gratitude as my path.
- Make gratitude a habit in your daily life. It works.
- From now on, in everything you do, even the mundane tasks, find ways to say to yourself, “I am grateful for this situation because…” Try it. With practice, it leads you to feel more empowered about your life. As well as happier.
Wayne Dyer and others remind us that when we change the way we look at things, those things actually change. The reason is that our point of view or perception of circumstances, events, people and conditions colors absolutely everything. Within our perception are our judgments, labels and evaluations about the world and all that is in it.
It’s a good thing to have a point of view or we would walk around totally overwhelmed. Imagine the chaos if every time we were faced with a green light in an intersection we had to dredge up information about whether it meant “stop” or “go”! We judge constantly because the stream of impressions our mind receives each day is staggering. And in today’s world of instant communication and massive amounts of internet mail and websites to visit, we can get sensory overload quickly. Our mind helps us assess all these things so that we can make quick decisions about whether something interests us enough to look further, and we all know how that channel surfing works with television, too. A quick glance and instantly our mind calculates whether we would like “this” or not like it, based on…what? Based on thoughtful contemplation? Rarely. Based on thousands of impressions we’ve already had and stored for just this purpose: to help us sort.
But there’s more to perception, because it affects the choices we make, and if we make a snap judgment against something new that could help us lead better lives, then we end up sabotaging ourselves by being too rigid.
Carol Adrienne, the co-author of The Tenth Insight, said, “Once we shift our perspective, we can never turn back. We stand poised like a deer sniffing the wind—alive. With this new way of looking inward for direction, watching for tiny clues, we realize that not only can we make a difference, but this is the real reason we are here.”
What do you feel your real reason is for being here? If you shifted your perception away from what everyday life has been up until now, do you think that would make a difference in your life?
I’ve written three books so far on the topic of happiness—actually, all my books, whether fiction or nonfiction, hold the intrinsic idea that we are meant to be happy beings, but we are the ones getting in the way.
But how do we manage to do that? With all the self-help books, blogs like the one I’ve been writing since 2009, countless articles about “the pursuit of happiness,” how come we aren’t walking around practically delirious with happiness? If advice from someone else can’t make the change for us, then how on earth can we change ourselves from the inside out?
The reason for all this uncertainty is that many of us learned that happiness is something that must be earned, by doing something specific, such as being a really good person, or doing something unselfish for another person. But we are always cautioned that happiness is fleeting, that money can’t buy happiness, and don’t expect to have a happy marriage because that’s as rare as a purple penguin.
I think when we redefine happiness to be a very personal concept, then we open up the door to feeling happy. If we pin our happiness on outside conditions, or on what we hope someone else will do or say, then life becomes a roller coaster ride, where we are at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control. Instead, when we look within, and make a decision to choose happiness as our attitude and outlook, then we find that the whole path gets a lot smoother.
No longer are we in thrall to what others do around us. We can become calm and enjoy contentment even during challenges that used to make us plummet into despair. When we understand that our emotions are indications of what we are thinking, then we can lead a more evenly paced life of feeling satisfied and happy, no matter what’s going on around us, or what news headlines are blaring at us with a negative message designed to keep us glued to the media for another terrifying update.
In addition, I think it’s important to allow happiness itself to ebb and flow, to experience moments of quiet contentment and also the higher moments of joy and exhilaration during certain events.
Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, reminds us, “Don’t try to re-create peak experiences. Instead, just accept them as the gift that they are, and don’t beat up on yourself for not being able to stay there. Because if you stayed there, they wouldn’t be peak experiences. They would be normal, everyday in time hum drum boring, experiences. So, savor the peak experiences and compliment yourself upon your achieving of them, and expect more of them, and leave everything else out of the equation.”
Have you ever wanted something so much you could practically “taste it” as the saying goes? Perhaps it was a tangible item— such as a new watch, new or classic car, an item of clothing—or a desired experience –such as a new job or a wonderful vacation. You felt great just thinking about it. Without realizing it (unless you are a deliberate manifestor) you were using the laws of the mind to attract that item or experience into your life.
Unfortunately, most of the time our old training kicks in and we convince ourselves we’ll never get what we want or we’d better plan on settling for something less instead.
If you want to change the kind of results your get in your life, it’s time to understand the process starts with imagining what you want and going into such rapture over it that you feel you already have it—and then, in that feeling mode, you will begin attracting the “how to” steps to take. People will show up in your life, special deals on that car you wanted will suddenly appear, all kinds of “coincidences” will help you get what you want. But it’s not magic and it’s not good luck: it’s using our thoughts in a more powerful way than most of us have ever learned.
In his book The Power of Awareness, Neville Goddard points out: “If you do not believe that you are He (the person you want to be), then you remain as you are. Through the faithful systematic cultivation of the feeling of the wish fulfilled, desire becomes the promise of its own fulfillment. The assumption of the feeling of the wish fulfilled makes the future dream a present fact.”
So, what are you going to feel your way towards next?
I use both a PC and a Mac, one is a desktop and the other is my laptop. I’ve used PCs for a long time, and you’d think that by now I’d be familiar with all the features of the Windows Media Player that I use daily to play music from my library of everything from classic rock to Broadway shows to Debussy and Beethoven, as well as a wide assortment of guided meditations and mantra chants set to beautiful music.
Well, the other day, I discovered a little trick with the “play” button that I hadn’t known was available. I had just pressed the button to start playing a meditation on accessing a higher level of consciousness, and my finger must have slipped on the mouse/cursor because suddenly I saw a little menu pop up: “Slow playback,” “Normal playback,” “Fast playback.”
What? I didn’t know I could choose the speed. Maybe this isn’t news to you, but to me it was very exciting. It instantly called to my paradigm that’s all about productivity and getting more things done faster. So, of course, I selected “Fast playback.”
That’s right: fast playback for a mindfulness meditation! But just think, my practical inner voice was saying excitedly, this means you can listen to two meditations of the same length in the time it takes to do only one!!!!
I’d like to be able to report that I instantly scolded that inner voice and carefully selected the normal speed. Nope, I couldn’t resist speeding things up, and I spent 10 minutes on a 20 minute meditation.
I had to laugh at myself, though, and I knew that it would be something to share with you. Because the thing is, it doesn’t matter how much time we spend on a particular mantra or guided meditation, it’s our engagement with it, and our attitude.
There are so many thousands of beliefs that reside in our individual paradigm (or mindset) which controls our behavior and thus our results. If I felt it was beneficial for myself to listen to two fast versions to expand my mind with the lessons, that’s fine and dandy. But if the whole point is to pat myself on the back that I managed a multi-tasking feat, then that defeats the purpose of the meditation itself, which is to go deeper into the right side of my brain and its connection to higher self and Source. The urge to do more in less time is totally a left-brain-logical-mind impetus.
And yet the whole topic leads me now to the reason I chose the title “How to Enjoy Rapid Mindfulness.”
We are living in a time of great transformation and change where more and more people are interested in how to access a higher level of awareness and a more expansive view of living at our potential instead of just scraping by in life and focusing solely on material advantages.
For many thousands of years, it was believed that you must study long and hard to be a spiritual advisor or scholar. We are still taught that, but it’s no longer true.
You can, if you wish, make a rapid transition from a frantic state of inner chatter to the peace and calm of mindfulness.
What it takes is a commitment to retrain your mind so that you are aware of your thoughts as much as you possibly can be during waking hours, and that you deliberately allow the negative or unwanted ideas to float past while you observe the loving and positive thoughts. By observing, we increase the power and the quality of the thoughts that come to us, so our mindfulness exercise can quickly lead to an improved state of being.
Being mindful means that we pay attention to what we are doing, and we enjoy living in the moment for the moment’s sake, understanding that these moments are what make up our life, just as a bead strung one by one on a string will make a necklace. It is up to us whether we create a beautiful necklace or an ugly one with knots in the string because we neglected the “now-ness” of life.
A sweet side effect of becoming more mindful is that we seem to have more time in the day to do those things that are most important to us. And, of course, we feel less stressed, frantic and hurried.
It’s easy to tell ourselves that we enjoy meditating, or that we understand the benefits of it, and it’s also easy to get off to a flying start with an intention to meditate every day and then sputter into a landing field of hit or miss efforts. When we first begin meditating, it can seem like an idea that came from “out there”—a seminar, a book, a friend who suggests it and makes it sound like something not to be missed.
Then we give it a try. We close our eyes, listen to a guided image meditation audio, or try to still our thoughts. And we can’t seem to get those squirrels in our head to settle down: they keep bouncing around, reminding us of chores to be done, urgent tasks, errands to do, things to tell someone who said something irritating last night. All those distractions! Who could possibly meditate! So we grimace to ourselves and guiltily get up, deciding to make a fresh start in the morning and do it right.
But…the days keep going and sometimes we meditate for a few minutes, but always the interruptions take precedence over our goal to discover inner peace.
Maybe you’ve had this experience, or you know friends who have—and you could share this blog with them.
David Michie is one of my favorite authors. In his book, “Mindfulness Is Better Than Chocolate: A Practical Guide to Enhanced Focus and Lasting Happiness in a World of Distractions,” he says:
““Ah, but I don’t have time,” people sometimes say. If that thought just crossed your mind, here’s a question: if, by meditating regularly, you knew that at the end of a three-month period you’d receive a massive multimillion-dollar prize, would you somehow be able to find ten minutes each day? So how much is it really about time versus willingness?”
I think that’s the key to unlocking our regular meditation practice: finding a way to want it. Want it for you, not for the people who’ve told you to do it. Want it for your own personal reasons. Want it enough to keep on practicing, and forgive yourself for the mind chatter. Understand it’s called “practice” –and give yourself a break! All too often, we watch someone who is an expert at a task, skill or ability that we want to enjoy for ourselves. Perhaps you enjoy cooking and you watch food shows featuring professional chefs who are at the top of their game. You have a choice in the watching: learn and enjoy practicing what they do until you get better at it yourself, or watch in envy and tell yourself you’ll never be that good.
It’s often said of people who want to play the piano that what they really want is to bypass the lessons and practice stage and immediately sit at the keyboard to play like a virtuoso.
Are you doing that with meditation? Imagining you’ll never be very good at it, so why bother? Everyone starts in the same way, with a decision to feel more calm, more peace, more thought control.
And when we take up the practice with the idea of simply enjoying the journey inward, then it’s a whole lot more fun, and we can treat ourselves with gentle amusement when we realize we meant to count our breaths to the count of three exhalations, and we suddenly said silently, on an outbreath, “And 21!”
My feeling is that when I can see meditation as an integral part of my life instead of something I’m trying to glue on to my outsides so I can say that I meditate daily and not feel like a hypocrite or outsider in the personal development field, then I can create a happy practice. With that attitude, it becomes easier to release resistance to the chattering thoughts – what the Buddhists call the “monkey mind” – and let those thoughts drift past while my breathing becomes slow, deep and evenly spaced.
Ten minutes a day—can you spare that for inner peace?
This article is for all the people who grew up learning to be self-effacing, and have continued the practice long into adulthood. That practice of deflecting compliments, of saying “Oh, I just got lucky” or “Don’t be silly, it was nothing,” or “Anyone could do it better than I managed to pull off.” We’re taught that it’s good to be humble–and yet that is not being humble. It’s hiding in the shadows, nervous about being praised for something you’ve done, or for a trait you express in the world, or work you are doing, or even just for being you and having a great smile.
In the bestselling book Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (creator/writer: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice), she recounts the true story of her own adventure in accepting compliments, in saying yes to invitations, in declining to living a small life. She realized she was constantly pushing away praise, and looking around, noticed countless other women doing the same thing. Powerful women, accomplished women, all saying in essence, “Oh it was no big deal what I did.” So she began catching herself when she started to shake her head or justify praise, and simply respond: “Thank you,” then smile and shut up. Meaning, no explanations or justifications or “But all I did was…” which would get her right back in the deflecting mode.
Here’s an excerpt from her book: “If someone wants to compliment you, let them. But that’s not enough. That’s not, I am starting to realize, even the point. It’s like the Wonder Woman pose. Thank you, smile, shut up is good. It’s good for you. But it’s a pose. It’s a fake-it-until-you-make-it. It’s not real. I can stand and pose like Wonder Woman all day long but that doesn’t make me Wonder Woman. Because when her hands came off her hips and she walked away, Wonder Woman never said to her friend, ‘No, gosh, I’m not a hero. The way the world got saved was totally just luck. I hardly did anything. I mean, if I didn’t have the lasso and these bracelets, I’d be totally lost . . . I’m mean, I’m just a six-foot-tall Amazon girl with a dream.’
“Wonder Woman would kill that version of herself. She’d run over that meek, chaste Wonder Woman embarrassment with her invisible plane. Wonder Woman does not fake it. Wonder Woman is a study in badassery.”
And later, Shonda points out: “Men do it all the time. Take the compliment and run. They don’t make themselves smaller. They don’t apologize for being powerful. They don’t downplay their accomplishments. Badassery, I’m discovering, is a new level of confidence—in both yourself and those around you.”
Why would I say that learning to accept compliments can be like a stepping stone toward acting bravely in your life? Because saying “thank you” to a compliment is a step out of the shadows of living a small life and into the spotlight of being your own person — of fulfilling your own life purpose, a role that only you can fill in the world. We get the idea in our culture that being brave is all about what a superhero does when faced with a deadly foe–but in our everyday lives that deadly foe is our own comfort zone, with its siren call to stay low-key, to not risk a big dream, to keep on keepin’ on and don’t rock the boat.
What can you do today to demonstrate bravery? It might be picking up the phone and making a call you’ve put off, perhaps for years. It might be allowing yourself to relax with a book or a movie and not feel guilty for taking time off for yourself. It might be… what?