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Three (easier) alternatives to New Year’s resolutions

2015 New Years resolutions

We’re just a couple of weeks into the New Year, and by now the majority of folks who’ve made new years resolutions are either struggling to hang onto them or have just plain given up.

Why? Because if you’re like most people, the act of declaring bold “resolutions” at the outset of a new year is an unpleasant, inefficient way of trying to change your life. And deep down inside you know it.

The only reason we ever do anything—I mean absolutely anything in life—is that we believe on some level that doing it will make us feel good, or at least make us feel better in our current circumstance. It’s the reason behind our resolution to eliminate sugar and dairy from our diet this year. It’s also the reason we’ll blow off that resolution and eat an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond tonight.

We want to feel good. We want to feel safe, empowered, capable, comfortable. We want to connect and belong and feel valuable.

Do resolutions do that for us? Well, for the vast majority of us, no.

Most resolutions feel like “should’s,” like a stern parent telling us what to do. I will exercise 30 minutes every day (because I know I should). I will quit smoking (because everyone says I should). I will eat healthier (because I know I should). Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Who wants to be told what to do, especially when the bottom-line truth is that we’re uncomfortable with change?

If you really want to begin making meaningful changes in your life, here are a few easier and more effective alternatives you can use right away.

Choose a compelling keyword (or two) for the year.

This is a simple way of bringing more of a certain quality into your life. Choose a keyword that inspires you, that feels aspirational, such as compassion, confidence, patience, forgiveness, generosity, boldness, self-care, or commitment. You could also choose a word or phrase that reminds you of what’s important to you this year, such as “me first,” “family time,” “I am a writer” or “no fear.” Post your keyword or phrase in places where you’ll see it daily.

Stop thinking about changes and start focusing on choices.

Change, or at least the thought of change, is uncomfortable for most of us. So instead of “resolving” to make a major change in your life, such as eating healthier, try breaking up the process into bite-size bits.

  • First, simply set your intent to make healthier eating choices more frequently. This lets you off the hook of expecting to transform your life once and forever beginning with today’s lunch.
  • As you move through your daily routine, do your best to make choices that align with your intent. So, for lunch today you could choose to have a side salad instead of French fries. Whenever you make a choice or decision in alignment with your intent, give yourself a high-five. Give yourself credit for consciously making the choice. Allow yourself to feel good about it. Eventually, all the small choices you make will start adding up to a larger shift. Let the process gain its own momentum.
  • However, do not berate yourself for making choices that don’t align with your stated intent. This is probably the most important consideration of all. If you feel like eating French fries and forgo the side salad, don’t judge yourself or make yourself feel wrong. That’s the worst thing you can do. Instead, make the choice, be comfortable with it, and enjoy your fries! You’ll have another opportunity to make a choice very soon.

As you focus on individual daily choices rather than sweeping life changes, you’ll probably discover your life evolving without much effort or drama.

Try healing your underlying resistance to change.

Oftentimes we feel the urge to make a change in our lifestyle, career or daily routine but we feel stuck. It feels like we’re getting in our own way, as if we’re blocking or sabotaging the very thing we desire to be, do or have. In many cases these blocks are emotional and mental energies that built up when we were younger or they’re residual energy patterns we carried over from previous lifetimes.

You have the ability to heal the resistances you feel. Energy healing sessions can be a gentle, effective way of clearing these blockages. I have found in my own healing journey and in working with clients over the years that these blockages are not necessarily deep or traumatic and can clear quite rapidly.

And yet we are complex beings. As we heal one component of our lives, other issues and blockages often come to the surface. The good news is that as we bring more awareness to our ongoing process of healing, the journey becomes easier and easier.

Energy healing modalities, such as Lemurian Healing, can help us dissolve fears, heal past traumas, and release blockages that are keeping us from moving forward. Once the resistance clears, we can feel more focused and empowered to create the life changes we truly wish to experience.

 

Posted in: Healing Basics, Self-care

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Are your beliefs not working? Change them.

if your beliefs aren't working, change them.

You can stop taking your beliefs so seriously. Seriously. A belief is simply a thought you think over and over again. It’s just a thought, and thoughts can be changed. It’s your choice.

If you ever start feeling that a belief no longer serves you, replace it. Choose a new thought that FEELS better and start thinking that one over and over again (finding one that feels better is the key).

Which of the following beliefs feels better to you? “Life is a struggle and success only comes from hard work and sacrifice” or “Life unfolds easily for me. My needs are met and my dreams come true effortlessly.”

See what I mean?

We often believe that our beliefs are like concrete, fixed and permanent. But here’s a new thought to ponder: even concrete can be broken apart, ground to dust and replaced with something else.

Posted in: Healing Basics, Self-care, Spirituality

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Satisfied with your abundance consciousness? 10 tips for attracting more of what you want

abundance comes in many forms
The momentum of the new moon and the winter solstice on December 21 will propel us into the New Year. And as I’ve posted on Facebook and in this blog, 2015 promises to be a year of abundance in many forms—money, joy, opportunities, synchronicities, love, insights, etc.

Yet one of the most common ailments of our society is a consciousness of lack. We tend to focus on what we don’t have or what’s not happening in our lives rather than expressing appreciation for what we do have.

The good news is that our abundance consciousness can be healed.

To help you attract and receive more abundance in the coming year, here are 10 simple acts you can add to your daily routine. Try them all and decide which ones work best for you.

    1. Be grateful – The energy of gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in the Universe. When you sincerely appreciate what you have and who you are, you naturally attract more into your life for which you can be grateful. Develop an “attitude of gratitude” and make it part of who you are each day. You may find yourself smiling more.
    2. Remind yourself there’s always more – Every time you buy something, make a donation, or pay a bill, say to yourself, “There’s always more where that came from.” As you make this simple act a habit, you’ll consistently remind your subconscious (and the Universe) that you are an abundant being.
    3. Focus on what you desire (and not the lack thereof) – The Law of Attraction is not judgmental. You get what you think about whether you want it or not. If this is true, and it is, doesn’t it make sense then to think about what you do want and spend as little energy as possible thinking about what you do not want?
    4. Create an abundance jar – This is something my wife and I have been doing for several years and it’s good fun. Set aside a special jar or box to store notes about any abundances you receive throughout the year. It doesn’t matter how big or small the abundance is. Just make a note, fold it up and put in in your special container. At the end of the year, it’s very gratifying to read through all the good things that have happened to you during the year.
    5. Reflect upon your abundances at the end of the day – This is great habit to weave into your end-of-day routine. Before you go to sleep, spend a few minutes thinking about all the elements of your day for which you are grateful. Do your best to conjure feelings of gratitude. (I’ve found it’s helpful to practice deep breathing while doing this exercise.)
    6. Think about abundance as a flow of energy – Everything in life in energy. When energy flows unimpeded, life unfolds naturally and comfortably. When the flow is stifled or blocked, life can become . . . not-so-enjoyable. Whenever you think about a form of abundance that’s meaningful to you, imagine it being a flow of energy through your body and through your life. Abundance is not fixed or static. It’s a flow. And remember, “there’s always more where that came from.”
    7. Stop complaining – One of the surest ways to prevent all that you desire in life from flowing to you is to complain. It’s perfectly OK to dislike something. That’s how you discern what you want from what you don’t. But adding energy to your dislikes by complaining about them is like putting up an electric fence around your life to keep abundance at bay. There is no value whatsoever in complaining about your boss, the weather, your neighbors, the government, or the price of anything. Do yourself a huge favor. Stop complaining. Period.
    8. Keep a $100 (or £100 or  €100 or ¥10,000) bill in your wallet at all times – This might feel a little hokey, but it works. Keep a large bill—in whatever denomination works best for you—in your wallet at all times but do not spend it. Every time you open your wallet and see that bill, you’ll remind yourself (and the Universe) that you are abundant, that money is a never-ending flow of energy, and that there is always more abundance making its way to you. I used this method for a couple of years and definitely noticed a positive shift in my abundance consciousness.
    9. Celebrate other people’s abundances – When good things happen to other people, the best thing you can do is to honor and celebrate their abundance. The worst thing you can do is to feel jealous, compare yourself to them, and think thoughts of lack in your own life. When you feel good about other people’s good fortune, you invite more wonderful things into your own life.
    10. Spend more time in nature – This may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but think about it. When you imagine life on earth without humans, it’s easy to see the inherent, infinite abundance in the natural world. Plants and trees and animals around the globe survive and thrive without our destructive intervention. There is an indescribable power emanating from the sun, the moon, the mountains, rivers, oceans and all living things. So, the more time you spend immersed in nature, the more you’ll begin to resonate with the fundamental vibration of abundance in all life.

Nature is infinitely abundant2015 can be an amazing year for you. By shifting your thinking and taking some simple daily steps, you can create a life of greater joy, fulfillment, love and abundance. I know you can.

Posted in: Ancient Wisdom, Healing Basics, Self-care

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Afraid to change? Here’s a way to change the way you think about, well, change.

Whenever you choose to change, you have the chance to heal.You can change your life any time you choose. Right now, in this very moment, you have the power to change your life.

That sounds great, but for many of us, the word “change” is so . . . unappealing. It feels like a four-letter word.

Change can be challenging. We all know that. But the important thing to remember is that you are never trapped and helpless. You are never limited to where you are or where you have been. What’s happened in the past doesn’t matter. All that matters is the current moment, the now, because that’s all you really have.

And in this moment, indeed in every moment, you have the ability to change.

For me the experience of change is always a process of healing. Each time I choose to make a change in my life, I am releasing old ways of thinking and acting and opening myself to new ways of thinking and acting. I am making a conscious choice. I am choosing to heal.

Every big change in my life has been a journey of healing. When I decided to stop smoking (finally) after 25 years, it was a healing. When I shifted my consciousness from living a life of lack to enjoying a life of abundance, it was a healing. When I announced to the Universe I was tired of being alone and ready to share my life with a partner, I embarked upon a journey of healing.

If you’ve been wanting to make some kind of change in your life and are hesitating, try reframing how you think about it.

  1. Let go of the past. Forget about it. Let it go.
  2. Focus on your desired result. Picture the new reality you want. Think about how that new reality will look and feel to you.
  3. Consider the experience of change as a process of healing. You are freeing yourself from the way things have been and consciously inviting new circumstances into your life. You are choosing to heal.
  4. Resist the temptation to think about how the healing will come about. The “how” is up to the Universe, not you.
  5. Trust the unfolding. Once you’ve made the decision to heal, the path of healing will begin to appear for you. Trust the path. You need only take each step as it appears.

It’s possible to view everything you experience in life as a healing journey. Your life is a continuous unfolding of change on many levels.

And with each new experience, you have the opportunity to heal. You can either resist the experience or embrace it, integrate it, and use it to evolve. When you consciously choose to heal, you accelerate the process of becoming whole, of becoming who you truly are.

Posted in: Healing Basics, Self-care

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A simple trick to reduce pain, prevent bruising, and heal faster than ever

Most of us have learned some form of first aid. I developed my first aid and CPR skills decades ago as a boy scout and water safety instructor.

But when I started doing healing work, I learned a completely different kind of treatment for bumps, cuts, bruises and other minor injuries. I call it “etheric first aid.”

In this three-minute video, I explain and demonstrate everything you need to know to start using this incredible healing technique in your daily life.


 

Posted in: Healing Basics, Self-care, Video

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Why did I hurt myself… again?

27283131_backpainMamiko and I recently returned home from a working trip to Japan. Our suitcases are always heavy because we need to pack clothing for multiple events and various climates plus workshop materials, props, books, paperwork, etc.

When our regular taxi driver dropped off us at home, the last thing he said to me was, “Don’t hurt your back with those suitcases.”

Well, that’s exactly what I did. I strained all sorts of muscles in my back and hips as I carried our luggage into the house. Forty-eight hours later, I’m still healing the pain.

The question is: why did I do it?

Here’s the answer that came to me. Unconsciously, I hurt myself because I need to learn to set aside downtime after every long, demanding trip overseas.

Usually, I jump right back to my email inbox and project list the day after I get home. I fight my way through jet lag and never give myself ample time to rest and recover. In the process I create stress for myself.

My wife, by comparison, is a pro at travel recovery. She always gives herself plenty of days to rest before getting back to work. She listens to her body and acts accordingly. She doesn’t get stressed at all.

When we returned home this week, my higher self really wanted me to learn a lesson about self-care. Believe me, I’m paying attention.

Whenever we catch a cold or hurt ourselves, it’s never a random event. Rather, the Universe is trying to get our attention. Our bodies are attempting to communicate with us. Our higher selves want us to notice something and think about it. They are urging us to alter our old patterns of thought and behavior and evolve.

Most of the time, the key message is to rest and release stress. We need to take a pause in our busy lives and allow ourselves to heal.

When we get sick or injure ourselves, the challenge is to listen closely to the subtle messages being sent to us and not fight against our bodies or the higher forces at play. While it’s often hard to accept, the truth is that everything that happens in our lives, happens for our benefit. Everything.

So, this time I’m listening. Yesterday, I spent the majority of my day in bed, resting and meditating. Today, I’m doing a handful of work-related tasks and then continuing to rest. I am determined to learn this lesson about self-care and pay close attention to what I need physically, mentally and emotionally.

I need to rest, and that’s what I intend to do.

Posted in: Healing Basics, Higher Self, Self-care

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Here’s one more habit you can do without…

david_bower_0251r-2A truly magical thing happens when you give up the habit of criticism: you stop attracting people and situations that bother you. Criticizing is a learned behavior, a habit, just like smoking cigarettes. And you can break the habit anytime you choose. And once you do, you start to create a more joyful, abundant life experience for yourself.

There is no great mystery here. What you put out into the Universe is what the Universe delivers back to you. You can break the habit of criticism. I know you can. You can start simply by setting your intent to catch yourself whenever to slip into “critical mode” and then choose a different behavior.

As you catch yourself more frequently, it will become easier to consciously give up being critical… of your co-workers, your neighbors, people you see on TV, your family members and, most importantly, yourself.

Posted in: Self-care

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