Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Choose Happiness!



How happy do you want to be?  Very happy?  Moderately happy?  Or maybe miserable?

Yes, that's it, isn't it?  Miserable.  You want to be miserable don't you!

No?  Are you sure?  You don't want to be miserable?

In that case, why do you sometimes choose to be miserable?

Yes, that is what I said - you choose to be miserable.

We each choose how we want to feel all the time.  If you are happy, it is because you have chosen to be happy.  If you are miserable, it is because you have chosen to be miserable.

At this point I expect many of my readers are ready to disagree, to argue with me.  "I do not choose to be miserable!"  they say.  "I am only miserable because of ..." and you can fill that gap with many different things.  "... what has happened to me", "... the situation I am in", "... what so-and-so said to me", "... what so-and-so did to me", "... the terrible time I am having", etc, etc.

I don't want to brush aside whatever may sometimes cause your unhappiness, or what may even be causing you unhappiness right now.  Well, actually, I DO want to brush it aside, or rather want YOU to brush it aside, but I don't want you to believe that I am underestimating its importance and its power.  Yes, I know it has power.  A lot of power.  And maybe you have thought that there is no way past it and that you are destined to be unhappy more often than you are happy.  But I want you to recognize first that, no matter how powerful it is, no matter how dark it seems, it can only exert that power against you if you allow it to do so.  Your emotions are yours, and you have both the power and the right to change them.  If you don't want to be miserable, choose not to be miserable.  If you want to be happy, choose to be happy.

Have you heard of Nick Vujicic, the founder of "Attitude is Altitude"?  "Attitude is Altitude" believes that whatever our circumstances we each have the power to be successful.  If you have not come across Nick Vujicic before, then perhaps you are thinking "it is all very well for him!  He doesn't have to face what I face!"  True - Nick doesn't have to face what you face; only you have to face that.  What Nick has to face is having been born without arms or legs.  Not even being able to pick up a toothbrush to brush his teeth.  Is Nick miserable?  No!  He is happy!  If you have ever watched him speak you will have seen him filled with joy, totally inspired, and radiating that inspiration to all around him.  Despite his disabilities, Nick decided he wanted to swim, surf, and skydive, so that is what he did.  He decided he wanted to speak in front of thousands, inspiring them to achieve whatever they want to achieve, and that is what he does.  If you believe that circumstances, the situation you are in, is what causes you to be unhappy, then Nick should be very unhappy.  But he isn't.  Nick is happier than most people who are in good health and have all four of their limbs.

I am not saying it is easy to suddenly decide to be happy rather than be miserable.  Like all good things in life it requires practice.  But believe me when I say that practice is absolutely worth it.  Giving you the ability to be happy no matter what!

The first step to achieving this is to recognize where happiness and unhappiness come from.  They don't come from circumstances.  They don't come from your surroundings.  They don't even come from the people around you - although if you are surrounded by happy people it is much easier to allow that happiness to well up from within you too, and if you surround yourself with unhappy people it is very easy to forget to choose to be happy yourself.  So by all means do whatever you can to be surrounded by happy, positive people.  Do whatever you can to change your circumstances if they are not conducive to happiness.  But even as you do so, remember that ultimately the happiness you want has to come from within you.

Here is some advice from a person who has been dubbed "the world's happiest man" - Matthieu Ricard.

1  Stop thinking "me, me, me" all the time.  Not for ethical reasons, although I do believe it is far more ethical to think of others rather than yourself.  But the reason it is difficult to be happy if you just focus on yourself is because you will quickly see all the things that are wrong, that need to be changed.  You will tend to see what you don't have rather than what you do have.  And you will exhaust yourself trying all the time to find ways to change things.  I am not saying don't try to change things - it is always good to have targets you want to reach, things you want to achieve.  But don't spend all your time thinking "me".  Instead, think about others and how you can help them.  This has a double benefit.  Firstly, it stops you thinking "me, me, me", which is, as I have said, one of the easiest ways to make yourself unhappy.  Secondly, you will find as you help those around you so they will want to help you.  This should not be the motivation for helping them, but it will certainly over time change the circumstances you are in for the better.

2  Start training your mind to be happy.  Begin by setting aside just 15 minutes a day thinking happy thoughts.  Normally when you have happy thoughts they are ephemeral.  One minute they are here, and then suddenly they are replaced by unhappy thoughts.  In that 15 minute training period, focus on those happy thoughts and don't let them just melt away.  Other, less positive and less happy, thoughts will try to intrude, but brush them aside when they appear and switch your attention back to those happy thoughts.  If you meditate you will recognize that what I am suggesting here is a form of meditation.  But not "normal" meditation, which perhaps will just focus on your breathing or the light of a candle.  There is nothing wrong with "normal" meditation, and in fact I strongly encourage you to practise it (and using breath or the light of a candle is a very good way to do so).  But for this specific "happiness" exercise, focus on a happy thought.  Do this every single day, and in only two or three weeks you will feel so completely different.

Finally, remember to be grateful for all that you have.  No matter what your circumstances I can guarantee there is something to be grateful for.  Find that "something" and express your gratitude.  It may be something very small.  That doesn't matter.  In fact, it is good if it is small.  Learn to feel grateful for the small things, and the bigger, more obvious things will make you even more grateful.  And gratitude and happiness go hand in hand.

Recognize from now on that you have the right to be happy, that you can choose to exercise that right.

Decide to be happy from today!


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Dealing with Fear


Are you ever afraid?

I would be very surprised if anyone answered "no" to this question!  Apart from anything else, there is a purpose for fear.  It would not be very sensible to try to eliminate it.

The purpose of fear is survival, of course!  It is sometimes known as the "fight or flight response".  Fear is the natural reaction to dangerous situations.  It prepares you to remove the danger - either by confronting it to get rid of it (fight), or to remove yourself from the dangerous situation (flight).  In modern civilized society fear is much less needed than it was when man was a hunter-gatherer.  There are far fewer life-threatening situations which require you to fight or run away.  There are still many situations where you need to take action to prevent unpleasant consequences, but in most cases the fight or flight response is inappropriate.

What is the correct response to fear?  First, you should check what is causing the fear.  Second, you should decide how you should react to that fear.  Third, you should decide whether you literally need to fight or run, or whether a different response is required.  If you do need literally to fight or run, then leave the fear unchecked to allow you to have the necessary increase in strength and speed.  Don't let it get so strong that it paralyzes you, like a rabbit in the car headlights, but allow it to do its physiological job.  If you don't need to fight or run, then you may either "sublimate" the fear, or create a state change to remove it.

Here is an example where you may actually need the fear for its original purpose:

You are in the jungle and a lion suddenly appears.  Unless you are a very unusual person, at this point you will become very afraid.  My understanding is that you should not run in this situation, as that will encourage the lion to run after and attack you - and believe me when I tell you a lion can run rather faster than you!  My research tells me that a hunting lion can reach speeds of 50 mph or more, and I am quite sure this would be too fast for you!  So you shouldn't use the "flight" reaction.  Instead, use the "fight" response.  Make yourself appear threatening to the lion.  You could act this without the fear there to stimulate you, but it would not be anywhere near as effective as it will be if you use the physiological change to indicate you are ready to fight.  Raise your hands and yell at the lion!  Then walk away slowly, not running, whilst maintaining that threatening attitude.  In most cases, this strategy is likely to work and you may well get away completely unscathed.  But if the lion continues to attack, use that fear to push you right into fight mode.  Now you are not pretending you are going to fight - you actually are fighting.  Punch the lion in the face, aiming at its eyes if possible.  Without a massive flow of adrenalin into your system, your attack on the lion would no doubt be a very miserable attempt.  But allow the adrenalin to fulfil its purpose and you will be able to punch hard, causing quite a lot of damage.  In many cases that has been enough for the lion to decide this prey is too much trouble and to slink away.

A good example of sublimating fear is the way many actors use stage fright to give better performances.  They express that fear through the energy, emotions and passion they need to put into their performance.  But some great performers have been unable to sublimate their fear in this way, and the result has been catastrophic.  Barbra Streisand had a 27 year hiatus in her singing career, caused by severe stage fright.

If you find you have just the "right" amount of fear for the situation you are in, then don't try to do anything to remove it.  The negative emotion is fulfilling its purpose.  Don't let it paralyse you.  Instead, begin immediately to use it to improve your ability to run or to fight.  As in the above "lion" example.

But if fear is inappropriate for the situation you are in, which most of the time will be the case, you need a state change to remove that fear.  This is not the same as the way I have outlined in other articles for removing worry.  A good way to remove worry is to think logically about the situation you are in, recognize that worry is not going to change it, and then move on.  But fear tends to be an instantaneous response, and usually requires something much faster acting than logical thinking.  Hence my suggestion of a state change.

A good way to create a state change is to adopt a different body posture.  Posture and emotions are inextricably linked.  When you are feeling a powerful emotion you will find your body adopts a particular posture that fits the emotion.  But also, if you adopt a posture normally associated with a particular emotion you will find it creates that emotion.  It works both ways.  So think of a very different, positive emotion and try to adopt the posture that fits with that emotion.  Ideally you should prepare a set of postures in advance.  Work on creating a posture for joy, one for high energy, one for a relaxed state, one for inspiration, one for awe, etc.  Then work on creating just a small body movement that links to the full posture for the positive emotion.

This is, as you will realize, a long term project, and one that goes far beyond simply countering fear.  You can use it to counter any negative emotion.  If you have done a lot of work on this, then by all means create an appropriate state change by using one of the "positive postures" you have worked on.

But if you have not yet reached the stage where you have a portfolio of postures you can readily adopt, go for "high energy".  This is something you will already have experienced if you have been to any of the programs run by someone like Tony Robbins or T Harv Eker.  If you have not been to one of those programs you can still easily do this.  Stand up straight, as quickly as you can.  Jump up and down, if possible thinking about something that makes you feel really good.  Wave your arms in the air.  Imagine you can hear some really loud, pumping music, and pump your arms up and down in time to that music.  It will simply not be possible for you to maintain a state of paralyzing fear while you are doing this!  The adrenalin may continue pumping, but it will definitely be linked more to "fight" than "flight".  Of course, you may be in a situation where you cannot jump up and down, but try to do as much of this routine as you can without totally embarrassing yourself in that situation - maybe jumping to your feet and punching one arm into the air will be enough.  When you feel really energized, then try another state change for relaxation, peace, and happiness. Sit down, without slumping (that is very important), close your eyes, and recall an event where you were really happy.  At the same time smile broadly.  Really imagine yourself there, eliciting your happiness both from that event and from your broad smile.  Breath deeply and slowly.  Focus on that deep breathing, and relax.  Now gradually open your eyes and come back to your "reality".  You should find you now have a very different emotion.  The fear should be gone, and replaced with peace and happiness.

I hope you will never need to use the technique I have given you for dealing with a stalking lion, but if you do you will find this technique really is the best you can do and it could literally save your life.  I am, though, quite sure you will face other things in life which cause fear or even panic - use the state change techniques I have outlined and make that fear and other negative emotions a thing of the past.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Everyone Makes Mistakes


Greeting and Salutations from Ari Mc Intyre!

I have been getting positive feedback from the last article so I wanted to continue with my next statement "everyone makes mistakes."  This is so near and dear to me as a Spiritual Life Coach.  We learn with challenges. Notice what I am saying: "With" challenges.  The only way we grow is with a situation that requires us to be the best we can be.

Most days I am researching, developing and listening to feedback from my Spiritual Coaching clients about what is working for them and what is not.  So when I say to you everyone makes mistakes I am speaking from experience.

You are your own worst enemy.  You will find faults where others would not even dare to look.

Why?

Because we need to learn how to trust, believe and support ourselves and others in our lives.  We are all connected whether you want to entertain that idea or not.  It's important to accept and understand that from the beginning so you can learn how you deal with life challenges.  Knowing yourself helps you to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously.

You see, life is what we make it.  A part of life is making choices which can lead to mistakes.  This doesn't mean we will always make bad choices or keep making the same mistakes.  Knowing yourself is the key to not allowing every setback, every challenge and every bad turn of event make you shut down and stop trying to achieve your goals.

In my coaching I have seen many of my clients move from being average, everyday people to folks who are now running very successful businesses.  How did that happen?  By making a lot of mistakes and a lot of decisions.  That is how!

No-one can hurt you or help you more than yourself.

Here is an affirmation that has help me over the years to stay on the right path for me:

I, (state your full name) forgive myself for making bad choices.  I let go and let my higher power now guide me to my true path.  Under Grace in the Perfect Way!  And so it is!

I would suggest you light a Lemon Verbena Communications candle when you make this affirmation so you can set the stage for a relaxing mind set.

This is a really good affirmation.  Try saying it over and over again and you will see significant changes in your life.

Learning how to forgive yourself is the key.  Recognizing you have made poor decisions is hard, but the right affirmation, aromatherapy and lots of love can help you grow into the person you would like to be.  I have seen remarkable changes in people who do this.

Here are some suggestions on ways you can reduce the mistakes you make:

  1. Slow down.  Take a few moments to think carefully about what you are doing so you can be more certain you are not making a mistake.
  2. Talk to a trusted person.  It is always good to speak with someone who knows you and believes in what you are doing.
  3. Do a Pro and Con list before you make your final choice.


Making mistakes is a part of life.  Don't let your choices rule you.  Make informed decisions so you can continue till your reach your goals.

Please check out my website and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please email me at candlesbyari@gmail.com.

Love and Light

Ari

Who is Ari Mc Intyre?


Ari Mc Intyre is a Spiritual Life Coach with a successful live weekly radio show (Spiritual Coaching with Ari Mac) that is carried by I Heart radio, a maker of affirmation aromatherapy candles, and a writer.

She has been working as Spiritual Life Coach for over 15 years.

Ari uses her gifts of intuition and clarity to tune into an individual's situation and assist them to make better choices.  Ari facilitates these changes utilizing affirmation aromatherapy candles, spiritual coaching and keen observation with her expertise in the study of human nature, reading astrology charts and tarot cards and using energy healing to help each individual achieve their goal.  She has successfully guided her clients from being single to marriage, through life changing career moves, processing grief and manifesting dreams with counsel and divine guidance.  Ari says that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real and that is why we all need a little positive energy in our lives.

Ari uses affirmation aromatherapy candles to help a person tune into their higher power.  Once you have achieved what you want, you have to maintain it with daily meditation & prayers.  Acquiring something is one thing but maintaining it is entirely different.

Her goal is to help you learn how to control your balance, think clearly and make smart choices to help maintain that balance.  Her acute sense of human nature makes working with Ari a truly enjoyable experience.

Ari believes God has a sense of humor, which is why sometimes things are so ironic.  It's not funny when it's happening but when it's done, if you look back on it, you may find an ironic divine path that you never knew existed.

No one is perfect but we can all do a little better each day.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Hidden Benefits of Meditation

by

Ari Mc Intyre



Greeting and Salutations

I wanted to give you a reminder of why meditation on a regular basis has hidden benefits on your life.

My name is Ari Mc Intrye.  I have been a Spiritual Life Coach for over 10 years and one of first things I teach my students is to meditate.

What I have found in my journey of life is that most people only meditate in a few restricted places. Usually at home or at places of worship.  Recently major companies like Google have set up quiet meditation stations at work to allow their team members to relax.  The results have been incredible!  Production has increased, because being regenerated gives the mind and body a chance to reconnect.

You see, when we are refreshed and centered we can get more done in a shorter amount of time.  Our minds are clear to think about how to use our energy.  Making meditation a part of your daily life keeps the mind and body deeply connected so you can stay calm.  Which helps you make better choices.  Which keeps you mentally balanced.

What many people don't understand is that meditation doesn't have to be complicated.  It can simply be just focused breathing for at least 5 minutes a day.

Sounds simple, right?  So why don't more people do it?  Because you will have to clear your mind for that 5 minutes and think of nothing but breathing and listening to your own heartbeat.  That's right, you will have to listen to yourself.  Hear what's your body is trying to tell you and, more importantly, slow down and tune out the rest of the world!

The benefit in making this commitment is way beyond what you could imagine.  Your body gets a break from within.  The chemicals in your body get replenished with fresh air and your mind gets a moment to rest.  Think about it - outside of sleep, when do you take mental breaks?  Best of all this is FREE!   You can do meditation at your leisure.  Nothing is needed but you, a safe place, and no distractions. 

The trick is setting up that safe space.  I have been teaching about using affirmations, aromatherapy and colors for years, and these will all help you in your meditation journey.  You would be surprised how a simple adjustment to where, when and how you meditate can lead to manifesting whatever you like on the physical plane, which is the major hidden benefit of meditation.  But you must first start the journey on the mental plane.  You get to create the life you have always dreamed about.  I know this happens because I have witnessed it happening in my students all the time. 

So make the effort to start your meditation journey today and begin reaping the benefits.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

How to Expand your Sphere of Availability



In my last article I outlined the concept of the Law of the Sphere of Availability, which came as quite a shock to a number of readers.  Some Law of Attraction gurus view it as a kind of heresy.  If we have the power of the Universe behind us, then how can there be any limits on what we can achieve?  And if there are no limits, then surely the Sphere of Availability is infinite!  If you really want something, then it is available to you right now as long as you use the Law of Attraction properly.

Those who read my article carefully will know that I did state quite clearly that there are no limits on what the Universe can bring us, and that the reason we do not achieve all that we wish to achieve is because of limits we create ourselves.  But just because we have created those limits ourselves, it does not make them any the less real or penetrable.  I am a firm believer in the infinite power of the Universe, and am a great optimist, but I also know that I, for one, cannot simply suddenly decide I want my bank account to expand by a factor of a million, affirm and visualize properly for it, and then expect that to happen overnight.  As has been said many times (and accredited to many different people) "the difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer!"  So be ready to accomplish difficult challenges but don't immediately expect the impossible!

So, is there anything we can do to expand our Sphere of Availability, and expand it rapidly and substantially?

As I have already said in the earlier article, begin expanding your Sphere of Availability by taking full advantage of it, and manifesting the things you desire from within it rather than initially trying for things well outside it.  You could imagine the Sphere as something a bit like the horizon.  If you simply stay where you are, it does not move, but it expands as you move towards it.  Don't sit there saying there is no point in trying to move forward because you can see the limit ahead of you and what you want is beyond that limit.  Start moving towards your goal and watch the Sphere of Availability move and embrace that goal.

Do not underestimate the power of doing this.  Maybe start in a small way until you get used to it.  Even a few steps forward moves the horizon a few steps further forward.  After just those few steps you are unlikely to notice the effect, but believe me it is there!  Get into the habit of congratulating yourself for your small successes, and thanking the Universe for granting them to you.  This will encourage you and you will find you can make larger steps.  And as you make those larger steps the expansion of your Sphere of Availability becomes more and more obvious.

What else can you do?



Going back to the horizon metaphor, if you really want to see it expand more quickly, then ride a bicycle rather than walk, ride a car rather than cycle, fly an airplane rather than drive.  In other words, use the right tools.  If you don't yet have an airplane, use a car, and if you cannot afford a car get a bicycle.  This, too, is using the Law of the Sphere of Availability - use what is available to you now rather than sitting down in the middle of the road crying because you don't have something better and faster.  If you keep your eyes open you will see many tools available to you.  Some are very effective but maybe cost more than you can afford right now.  Some are completely free, but are more like bicycles than airplanes!  Use what you can now, but remain alert and "upgrade" your tools once you are in a position to do so.  Such tools include the use of a personal coach, webinars, courses, blog articles etc.

As well as moving towards your goal and seeing the Sphere expand, start trying to find about about your self-created limits.  What are they?  Why are they there?  How can you remove them?

Some of those limiting beliefs were created in you when you were a small child.  Some you picked up later in life when you fell at a hurdle and came to belief that it is impossible ever to jump over a hurdle.  They are reinforced by you and also often by the people surrounding you.  Initially just try to become aware of what they are and then try to find what is continuing to feed them and keep them strong.

Most of these "Abundance Blocks" are hidden deep inside you, so it can often be very difficult even to find them, let alone to get rid of them.  There is a free masterclass on finding and ridding yourself of abundance blocks which you can study online at a date and time convenient to you.  This is called "Unblock Your Abundance", and it is run by the world-renowned expert on removing Abundance Blocks, Christie Marie Sheldon.   Regard taking that masterclass as riding a bicycle rather than walking.  You can find that masterclass here:


When you have completed the class you will find there are options for you to upgrade your bicycle to a car or a plane if you are ready and willing to do so.  Or just keep cycling for free - it is certainly a lot better than walking or, even worse, standing still and just moaning that the horizon hasn't moved!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Sphere of Availability



Have you ever tried to use the Law of Attraction and found it simply didn't work for you?  Have you ever tried visualizing really hard for what you want, used good, positive affirmations for it, and still found it never materialized?

There can be many different reasons for not being able to materialize a desire.  The problem is not with the Law of Attraction, which works, but with the way in which you are applying it.

I have covered some of those reasons in other blog articles, but here I am going to cover a Universal Law many Law of Attraction coaches do not mention at all, gloss over, or even downright deny it exists - the Law of the Sphere of Availability.

We are taught not to set limits to our desires, that the Universe has no limits and neither should we.  We are told that the only limits on what we can achieve are the limits we set ourselves.

This is all very true.  There ARE no limits to what the Universe can bring to us.  Universal power is unlimited power.  The limits appear only when that unlimited power tries to express itself through a limited being.

I do not disagree with any of this.  In fact, I teach this myself.  But it is still important to understand and apply the Law of the Sphere of Availability, which seems to contradict everything I have just said above.

First, what is the Law of the Sphere of Availability?  It is a Universal Law that defines what is readily available to you and what is not.

If the Universe is unlimited, how come there is a Universal Law that creates limits on what you can achieve?

One way of looking at this is as the exception that proves the rule.  The Universe has no limits, but we do.  Self-created limits.  Limits we could do something to remove or at least stretch further, but nevertheless real limits that we have to recognize exist.  As long as a limit is there, it is pointless trying to ignore it.

Let me give you an example.  Suppose you want a 5 bedroom house, but at the moment are living with your parents and have no capital or income.  Is the 5 bedroom house within your Sphere of Availability?  If you are like most people, I would say no, it is not within your Sphere of Availability.  It may be that you are so gifted in your use of the Law of Attraction that it IS within your Sphere of Availability, but this would be extremely unusual.  It would make sense in this case to go for something more realistic.

At this point there will probably be Law of Attraction coaches and practitioners screaming at me, telling me not to add to the problem by making people believe there are limits.  Well, there ARE limits!  As I have said, there are ways of removing some limits completely and expanding the Sphere of Availability for others.  But until that is done, those limits are there and we have to respect this.

Work within your own Sphere of Availability.  Have big dreams, and visualize and affirm for those big dreams.  But also work on dreams that are within your current Sphere of Availability.  These will be much easier to achieve, and those early successes will encourage you.  They will also expand your Sphere of Availability, so you can now begin manifesting bigger dreams.  This expansion of your Sphere of Availability happens in two ways. 

Firstly, having acquired or achieved something, this has hopefully brought you closer to your big dream.  For example, the person who was living with his parents and with no income uses the Law of Attraction to get a job.  He now has income, and so he starts to visualize for his own apartment.  When he gets that, then his dream of a 5 bedroom house is very much closer and may now even be within his Sphere of Availability.

Secondly, the small successes make you realize that the Law of Attraction really does work.  This now makes it easier for you to use it for bigger dreams than you could have used it for earlier.  Perhaps not your really big dream yet, but certainly bigger dreams.

Put both of these together and you will find you can expand your Sphere of Availability quicker than you might have thought possible.

Ultimately there ARE no limits.  You ARE worth far more than you give yourself credit for.  You CAN achieve your biggest dreams.  But use your knowledge of the Sphere of Availability properly so that you really CAN get there rather than trying to manifest only "unrealistic" goals and then complaining that the Law of Attraction doesn't work!  As the old adage goes "learn to walk before you run" - but notice it DOESN'T say "you can only walk, so don't ever bother trying to run"!


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why Have an Accountability Partner?



I have previously written about accountability partners, but as that was over three years ago, and as this is such a key concept in any personal development strategy I make no apology for doing so again.

If you have a full-time job let me ask you something.  Why do you bother going to work each and every work day?  Why don't you just stay at home on days you don't feel like going to work?  I hope your answer was that you are morally bound to do so, that if someone is paying you to do something then it is a moral imperative to do it!  But there is also probably another answer - you have to keep going because you are accountable to your boss.  If you just decide you won't turn up because the weather is nice and you want to sunbathe in your garden, then probably your boss will question you about this (at the very least!).

If you run your own business then maybe you feel there is nobody to whom you are accountable?  This is not really the case, though, is it!  Your accountant works for you rather than vice versa, but I imagine when you meet with your accountant and discuss what has happened over the year you feel accountable.  You are also accountable to your suppliers.  If you just decide not to turn up and your business goes downhill, you still have to pay your bills, so you are certainly accountable to them.  It is true, though, that this kind of accountability is not quite the same.  You probably don't get words of encouragement for doing the right thing or suggestions that you may be going in the wrong directions - although if you have a good accountant then perhaps you do get this.

If you are studying, then you are accountable to your teachers or lecturers.  They expect you to arrive in time for your lessons and to be fully prepared to learn.  They expect you to do work in between the lessons, and make you accountable for this, perhaps by handing in an essay.  If you have "off" days when you really don't feel like going in, you probably still go anyway - because you are accountable.  Sometimes you may feel you simply aren't making progress and that you might as well give up - but even then you still put in the effort because you are accountable, and the feeling that what you are trying to do is impossible passes.

The truth is, if we have someone to whom we are accountable this almost certainly makes us do what needs to be done.  It makes the employed person get up early every day no matter whether he or she feels like doing so.  Perhaps most days this is simply a habit you don't think twice about, but on those days when you don't want to get on with it then this accountability makes sure you do!

Hopefully you now recognise just how important accountability is.  That it keeps you going, keeps you on target, makes you achieve what you need to achieve even at those times when you really don't feel you can.

Now let me ask you.  Who is your accountability partner for the goals you wish to achieve?  Do you have one?  If not, why not?

Some people at this point tell me they don't have a partner because they don't need one.  Usually they are deceiving themselves.  We all have days when it just seems too much of a challenge.  We have days when we find we are going backwards rather than forwards.  Those are the days we really need an accountability partner to keep us going.

Others tell me that although they would like to have an accountability partner they cannot find the right one.  Certainly it is true that it shouldn't just be anyone.  It has to be someone who will be positive, and certainly not the kind of person who says "I told you so!" when you pull up at the first hurdle.  You should be surrounding yourself with people who are positive and will support you in going for your dreams.  You need those people around you anyway, not just to have accountability partners, but this is certainly the first place you should look.  But if you haven't yet made much headway in creating that "mastermind group" of like-minded people, there are certainly other ways of finding an accountability partner.  For example, go to a forum that is related in some way to whatever goals you have set yourself and ask someone to do an "accountability exchange".  They will be your accountability partner for your dreams in exchange for you doing the same for theirs.  You should find this a very positive experience.  Many people who do this find they become inspired by the goals of their accountability partner and the way their partner works through the barriers stopping him or her from reaching them.

Give it a go!  Get yourself an accountability partner and see what a difference that makes to your ability to make your dreams become your reality!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Take Action



How easy is it to achieve your goals?

If you believe what some people say, it is very easy.  All you have to do is to decide what you want to achieve, use daily "affirmations", perhaps put it on a "vision board", and it is a done deal.  Right?

Wrong!

If you have read many of my blogs you may be excused for thinking I am one of those people trying to tell you that is all you need do.  But I am not.  Deciding on your goals first and making sure they are your "real" goals is, of course, absolutely essential.  Once you have set your goals, you should certainly use affirmations, and a vision board (or ideally a "Mind Movie").  But that is NOT all there is to it.  And that is where so many people who try to use the Law of Attraction fail.  They miss out the final step.

And what IS that final step?  It is to take action!

This is, of course, absolutely key!

You may at this point think I am crazy!  Of course you know you need to take action!  Yes, you know it, but do you DO it!

Take a look at what has happened to you in the last few years.  Are there any goals you set yourself which you did not achieve.  Be really honest here.  If so, and again be really honest, why did you not achieve them?  Was it because they were simply not achievable, or was there any element of you not taking the right action?  If you ARE honest, I am sure you will admit that there have been times when you have decided what you wanted to achieve, got yourself "pumped up" to achieve it, but then not taken the first necessary steps to achieve it.  Or you took those first steps, but then didn't continue in the same direction.

Taking action is essential.  But the first actions need not be big steps.  In fact, it is much better if they are not.  Certainly have big dreams.  Have big ultimate goals.  But don't expect suddenly to achieve those goals without having put in any work to reach them.  Instead, make it a lot easier on yourself.  Set yourself initially very small steps towards small goals.  Goals that take you in the right direction towards your ultimate goals.

When you do this you will find things are much easier.  You are not creating so much work for yourself that you freeze like a rabbit in car headlights.  That little goal you have set yourself can be reached easily without too much effort.

When you reach it, two things will happen.  Firstly, you will genuinely have achieved something.  It may not be a lot, but you have still achieved it.  You are closer to your ultimate goal.  Secondly, you will have started creating a habit - the habit of setting goals and achieving them.  And this is perhaps the most important thing you can do.

Up to now your subconscious may have been used to you saying you are going to achieve something but never achieving it.  Each time you set yourself a goal your subconscious shrugs its shoulders and says "not again!"  But with this first small success you are starting to change things.

Keep it up.  Make another small step.  Then another.  And then another.  Keep doing this.  Just small steps.  Nothing too big.  Keep doing this and you will now have the habit of achieving.  Now when you say you are going to achieve something, your subconscious will no longer shrug its shoulders and make disparaging comments.  It will take notice.  And when your subconscious starts to take notice, believe me things will begin to change, eventually quite dramatically.

Promise yourself that from now on when you want to achieve something you will take the necessary action so you really can achieve it - and see what a huge difference this makes!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Soul Garden Meditation



What exactly do you want to achieve in your life?

When I ask this question I typically get one of two reactions.  Either a person immediately tells me a dream they have, or they stumble around mentally and find it difficult to come up with an answer at all.

If you fall into the former category, and immediately know what it is you wish to achieve that is probably a very good start.  I say "probably" as quite often people are absolutely convinced that they know what they want to achieve, but what they REALLY, deep inside, want is something very different.  Maybe it really was the right dream earlier in your life, but we all evolve and our dreams change as we change.  Or sometimes, for many different reasons, our true dream morphs into something else as it passes from our unconscious to our conscious mind.  We think it is one thing, but deep inside it is something else.  So even if you believe you know exactly what you want you should still attempt the following exercise.

If you find it difficult to come up with an answer, it is very important to find out what it is.  Unless you really know what you want to achieve, how do you expect to get there?  How do you know you are moving in the right direction?

Make sure you are alone and that nobody will interrupt you, then try this exercise.  Don't worry if the first few times you try it you don't feel, see, or take in the things I am telling you to be aware of, as each time you practise this you will find it becomes easier to go deeper and get greater benefit.

Lie down and close your eyes.  Breath deeply and slowly.  Focus on your breathing.  Listen to the sound it makes.  Notice that thoughts try to come into your head to take you away from this meditation.  Notice, but don't focus on them.  Don't give them power by trying to stop them or getting irritated about them.  Just notice they are there but ignore them.  Keep focussed on your breathing.  In ... Out ... In ... Out.

Keep doing this until you feel yourself completely relaxed and at peace.

Now allow your focus to go deep inside and then straight down.  Feel yourself at one with Mother Earth.  Notice the warm, comfortable, loving feeling that comes up from the depths of the earth and fills you as you do this.  Allow this feeling to expand through your whole body.  As you do this, feel yourself expanding with it.  Your true inner spirit is now filling your body and going beyond.  It is filling the room you are in.  Allow it to keep expanding.  Now it is filling your entire home (or the building you are in).  Good!  Allow it to keep expanding beyond.  Now it is filling the town you are in.  It is growing even further.  The country.  The world.  Expanding beyond the world, to fill the solar system.  Beyond the solar system to encompass the whole of the Milky Way.  Recognize that now you are one with the Infinite Spirit.

Lie still, just basking in and accepting this new Universal Spirit "you".

Come back to yourself, your inner spirit.  Know that you are "you", but that the Universal Spirit is within you.

This is an exercise I recommend whenever you begin a meditation of any kind.  You can even do this by itself and will reap tremendous benefits if you do it regularly.

You are now ready to begin today's meditation.  Know that you are looking for the goals you have in your life.  Take that knowledge with you and then see yourself opening a gate and entering a garden, the garden of your soul.  See what this garden looks like.  Is it overgrown?  Is it the opposite - almost a desert?  Is it filled with beautiful flowers?  Is it filled with fruit and vegetables?  Remember what you first saw when you entered the garden and be ready to write this down in a notebook after your meditation.

No matter what your soul garden first looked like when you entered it, now see flowers, trees, bushes, fruit and vegetables growing there.  Even if before they were withered and sorry looking, now they are fresh, lively, and beautiful.  As you look at each plant in your garden allow it to speak to you and tell you what it is.  Again, be ready to write this down when you finish your meditation.  Be open to whatever message each plan in your soul garden gives you.  You may feel that you need to water some of the plants.  Do so if this is what you feel.  You may find some that are threatening and are clearly weeds.  If this is what you feel, pull them out.  Do whatever you feel your inner spirit is telling you to do, remaining open to the messages it is receiving.

When you have finished wandering through your soul garden, go back to the gate, open it, and walk back up the path that is taking you back into your daily life.  Focus again on your breathing.  In ... Out ... In ... Out.  Lie there relaxed and observing your breathing.  Slowly, when you feel ready to do so, open your eyes.  Smile.  Then sit up.  Your meditation is over.

Write in your meditation journal all that came to your during this meditation.  If you don't have a meditation journal, see if you have an empty notebook of any kind and make it your meditation notebook.  If not, then just write today's meditation on any blank paper you have to hand.  Later, buy a notebook, ideally one with a pretty cover, one that makes you feel good when you look at it, and that is now your meditation journal for recording what happens, what you feel, what images and ideas come to you each time you meditate.  Why didn't I tell you to do this before I took you through your meditation?  Because your mind will use any excuse it can to stop you meditating to improve yourself, and one way it may do this is by telling you that you cannot meditate yet as you don't have a meditation journal!

Look at what you have written.  Do clear goals appear?  Often, they do.  But also it often takes more than one meditation of this kind to make those goals clear.  Don't give up.  Keep doing this meditation regularly until you have identified your true inner goals.

Once you have those goals, great!  You can now take the right steps to begin achieving them.  But also keep returning and examining those goals, as they will change as you change.  Use this meditation regularly and ensure you stay on track.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Someone Is Holding You Back


If I were to tell you the biggest reason of all that you are not achieving what you want to achieve is because there is someone out there stopping you, who might that person be?

Think about it for a moment.  Is it perhaps your partner?  Maybe it is your boss - especially if what you want to achieve is an increase in your regular income!  Or could it be someone else?  Think about it for a moment.  Then list the people who come to your mind, and who you think may be holding you back.

Unless you are a very unusual person, or have not thought deeply about this, there should be several people on your list.  If there are not, take another moment out and think hard.  Add some names to that list.

The reality is most of us can identify some people out there who are holding us back.  The first step in dealing with this issue is to find out who they are.  Then you should look at the ways in which they are holding you back and what you might do to reduce or even prevent this.

If you have put your partner or spouse on the list, which will be the case for many people, you certainly have a challenge ahead of you, although it may not be as big a challenge as you think.  It is quite normal for your partner or spouse to expect you to be doing something different if you have changed what you want to achieve since you first met them - and as all of us are evolving all the time, you should expect what you want to achieve to have changed.  When you have an intimate relationship it is important to share your deep desires with your partner.  Not just your intimate desires, but also everything that makes you who you are now, which is at least a little different from who you were last month, last year, or ten years ago.  Share it and talk it through.  Be sensitive to the fact that just as it is natural for you to have changed, so it is also for your partner.  In any relationship there must be some give and take.  If there is something you are really passionate about achieving it is vital you share this with your partner and get them on board.  But don't be selfish about it.  Recognize the need for give and take.  And also use the opportunity to find out, if you don't already know, how your partner has evolved and what he or she is now passionate about that perhaps was not the case when you first got together.  It could be the case that you have both evolved so far in completely different directions that you really no longer belong together.  I really hope not.  But it is possible.  Certainly, though, do not assume that to be the case just because you have indeed both evolved in different directions.  What is important is to re-establish proper communication - because if this has happened and neither of you has spotted it then certainly there is a problem with communication and you should both look to creating more opportunities to share your innermost thoughts and feelings with each other.

If you have put friends on the list, and again this will be the case for many people if they are honest about it, the solution for each of those friends is really very similar to the one I have just shared regarding your partner.  The difference is that where you have gone in different directions, then now may be the time for you both to recognize this and go your different ways.  What is very important is that you not keep close to you anyone who keeps being negative about your goals.  They are YOUR goals, not anybody else's, so don't let anybody else draw you away from them.  You may not have to dump such a person completely as a friend, but try not to spend too much time with them if they persist in being negative.  You can choose your friends, so choose them wisely.

If you have put your boss on the list, then you may need to think again.  It is, of course, possible that your boss is negative in the same way as some of those friends you have either dropped as friends or at least are now keeping at a greater distance.  If so, then the solution is similar to the above solution, with the difference that you need to be sensitive to the power relationship.  For as long as you are relying on the income your job gives you it is not too sensible to tell your boss to leave you alone!  But if the reason you have put your boss on your list is because you believe he or she is holding you back from earning more money, then I want you to think about this more carefully.  You are responsible for the income you receive, not your boss.  Ultimately you get paid for the value you create.  If you are not being paid enough, then maybe you are not creating enough value.  If you are creating far more value than you believe you are being paid for, then you are probably working for the wrong people.  Don't just throw it all away, though.  Explore ways to get them to recognize your worth.  But ultimately, look for a good back door so you can leave when you are ready and receive a better income.  Also, recognize that you can (and indeed should) have multiple streams of income.  Your full-time job probably creates by far the biggest stream of income, but it should not be the only stream.  Work on creating those multiple streams of income so that you become less and less reliant on your job.

Now let me tell you who is the person who is most stopping you achieving what you want to achieve.  You!

Yes, that's right!  It is you!

So many people who claim to have a big "dream" simply haven't thought it through properly.  The first thing you must always do is to make sure your dream is what, deep down inside, you really want to achieve.  If it is not, or even worse if it is actually more or less the opposite of your true inner desires, it will be very difficult for you to achieve it.  In the latter case it will, in fact, be almost impossible.  You may think it ridiculous that you could have a dream that is the opposite of what you really want, but actually this is very common.  Our minds are very good at hiding desires they think are not the right thing.

Once you know for certain that you are pursuing the right dreams, the next thing you must do is stop your mind from giving you all the reasons why you cannot achieve it.  Your mind will almost certainly find lots of reasons for this, and they may sound very logical.  But the truth is that you can always be as big as your dreams, no matter how big those dreams may be.  Don't let your mind tell you otherwise.

The whole concept of the way our minds stop us from achieving our dreams is a massive topic.  There are many books and courses devoted to just this one topic.  The first step is to recognize that this is happening.  You won't correct it overnight, but recognizing the problem is the first step on the long journey to solving it.  Once you have done that, use the techniques I have given you here but also be open to reading some of those books and following some of those courses.  There is no quick fix here, but just an ongoing journey which, if you travel in the right direction, will step by step bring you closer and closer to achieving whatever it is you really want to achieve.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Mindfulness



I want you to imagine you are sat on a beautiful white sand beach that is almost deserted, there is a lovely salt water smell in the air, there is the sound of waves gently washing into the shore and behind you there are birds happily singing in the trees.  The sun is shining, so it is quite hot, but there is also a lovely, balmy breeze.  All is well with the world around you.

This is a scene I frequently use in positive meditations.  But I am not setting this scene up for a positive meditation right now.  Rather the opposite.  Because whilst you are sat on this lovely beach you are not sitting on the sand but on a chair in front of a desk.  You cannot really hear the waves and that beautiful birdsong as you are talking on your cellphone (or what we Brits call your mobile).  You are not relaxed at all, because the phonecall is a business call, and on the desk in front of you is paperwork you are dealing with while sat on that beach.

How do you feel about this scene?  Are you happy with it?  Or does it feel horribly wrong?  I hope the latter!  It certainly feels very wrong to me.

I am using this discordant image as a metaphor for what psychologists call "default-mode network".  Put simply, mind-wandering.  Which is something most of us do, without even knowing we are doing it, a large percentage of the time.  There is loveliness and beauty around us but we miss it completely because we are not paying any attention to it, just like that businessman on the beach.  We are in default mode.

Not only do we miss the beauty of what is around us when we are in default mode, but also most of the time our mind has a tendency to wander into dark, dismal, miserable areas that cause us stress and worry when we allow it to go into default mode.  It tells us all the things that are wrong or that could go wrong.  It criticizes decisions we have made.  It tells us we are silly wanting something better.  Default mode causes us a lot of unhappiness even when what is around us should make us very happy.  It focuses on "what if", with an inevitable bias to all the negative "what ifs".

The opposite of default mode is mindfulness.  Being fully engaged with the present moment.  Enjoying what is here now.  Focusing on and dealing properly with what is here now.  The "what is" rather than the "what if".

There is so much around you that you can enjoy if you cultivate mindfulness.  Don't miss what is around you, but rather make sure you take full advantage of it.  Perhaps the song of a blackbird nearby.  A beautiful sunrise or sunset.  A tasty meal.

Mindfulness is not simply about enjoyment, but also about getting things done properly, and even about staying safe.

Take driving a car as an example.  When you drive you should most certainly be mindful.  Your focus should be on the driving, on what is happening on the road, not (for example) on what is going to happen when you get wherever you are going, and certainly not on a conversation someone in the car is trying to have with you or, even worse, someone at the other end of a phone conversation!

You have probably heard it said that women multitask better than men.  Do you agree?  Well, really that is a trick question, because neither men nor women can multitask at all.  Our brains cannot deal with two things at once.  If you give your brain two tasks to perform it will perform them sequentially, not in parallel.  It may appear to multitask and deal with both at the same time, but what it is actually doing is switching between the two tasks sequentially.  Research has shown that when we are switching attention from one task to another there is up to half a second of complete oblivion when we are totally unaware of anything in either task.

Now that you are aware of the problem, let's go back to the driving example.  If you are chatting and driving at the same time your mind is switching between those two tasks, and each time it switches there is that fraction of a second when you are completely unaware of either.  Do you see the danger here?  I hope so!  What can happen in, say, half a second while you are travelling at, perhaps, 60 mph (or 96 kph for my metric friends)?  The answer is, a lot!  You will have travelled 15 yards, or 14 metres in complete oblivion.  Happy about that?  I hope not!  The reality is neither your driving nor your conversation will be anywhere near as good as it should be.  Be mindful!

In this modern technological age there are so many gadgets and "apps" around us that can interfere with mindfulness if we let them.  Alerts, instant messages, beeps on our phones to tell us someone has texted us.  Each of these will rob you of your mindfulness if you let them.  Don't let them!

How can you acquire mindfulness?

There are many techniques you can use, but the very first and easiest is simply to decide you want to be mindful!  Once you have made that decision you will become much more aware of being dragged into default mode.

As with most things, the more you practice this the easier it becomes.  It may not seem that way, as you will also become a lot more aware of the distractions trying to move you from mindfulness back to default mode, but that awareness is a good thing as it will help you develop the skill better.

Meditation is a very good way to improve mindfulness.  Especially, but certainly not exclusively, meditation techniques that focus on mindfulness.

Look for ways to increase your mindfulness.  Learn to stop and smell the roses.  Become more aware of when you are falling into default mode so you can control this.  By doing so you can increase your enjoyment of even the small pleasures of life, and you may even save your own life and/or the lives of others by being more mindful the next time you drive.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A couple of my daily affirmations



What affirmations do you use each day to ensure you reach your goals?

Do you use a list someone else has prepared for you, or have you created your own?

How do you use them?  Do you simply read them out, do you visualize them as you read them, really feeling them internally?  Do you include them as sub text in your own personal Mind Movie?

In asking those questions I am not suggesting that the way you currently do it is wrong, or implying from the way I have worded the question there is a best way to do it.  Some people would say there is, including many coaches.  But that is not where I am coming from.  I simply want you to ask yourself the questions and justify to yourself the way you use (or even don't use) affirmations in your efforts to evolve and improve.

Let me share with you a couple of the affirmations I use daily.  Again, I am not suggesting that you should use the same affirmations, or that you should use them in the way I do.  But perhaps by looking at what I do, and what I know works for me, you will pick up some ideas on ways you might wish to change what you say and what you do.

The exact affirmations I use depend on which aspect of my personal development I am focussing on.  I have some that I use regardless (I call these my "Mind and Motivation" affirmations) but in addition to those I add some that are much more specific to the range of goals I have made my priority.  Many people think that there is only one goal to reach, and often it is linked in some way to their wealth.  I believe this is an important goal, and I do give it more emphasis than the others simply because it can be easier to reach some of those goals if I am wealthier, but it is most certainly not my only goal.  The affirmations I am giving you today are two of my "Mind and Motivation" affirmations which I use every day regardless.

Ok, here is my number one affirmation, one I use every day regardless:

"I create my own life.  I choose the direction in which my life is going and determine how successful I am."

I strongly recommend you have something like this in your list of daily affirmations.  As I have said, I am not suggesting you add this to your list exactly as I have written it, although you are welcome to do so if you find it helpful.  But I do feel you should look through your list and see if you have something like it there.

To me, this is number one not only in terms of its position on the list, but also in terms of its importance.  We must all recognize that we are each individually responsible for what happens in our lives and our own success.  It is easy to blame your employer, the government, your circumstances, your family.  In fact, anyone and anything except yourself.  As long as you place the blame outside you are dooming yourself to failure.  You cannot control what happens outside.  You may be able to influence it to a degree, but you cannot control it.  When you realize that you are responsible for your own success this can turn things around.  Trust me, it really can.  I constantly use this affirmation and know it work.

Here is the second one I use every day:

"I know my goals and know how I am going to reach them."

This is very important too.  When I first started using this affirmation I realized I didn't really know my goals as well as I should.  I was still using goals I set myself decades ago.  In the intervening years I have moved towards those goals, so the personal development techniques I was using have certainly worked for me.  But now I no longer feel strongly about some of those goals and need to set myself new ones.  The first step in doing so was recognizing the gap, and this affirmation gave me that realization.

With both these affirmations there is both something that gives us a realization that something inside needs to change, and also by affirming we are starting that process of change.

In another blog article I will give you some further insight into my own affirmations and how I use them.  Hopefully you have found this helpful and will start putting into practice anything you may have learned from it.