Tag Archives: Personal Growth

The Hermit-1In a past article I covered many of the dynamics behind how an affirmation works mingled with some of the operating rationale behind the process. But sometimes more is needed to give you clear signposts in a checklist making sure that what you’re putting into operation is actually working with the laws of attraction and that you’re utilizing all the potential that a properly framed affirmation can give you.

For most people, an affirmation simply becomes a verbalization of a wish or desire with an assumption and hope that enough repetition will produce it. Granted, repetition will intensify any focus we might put out into the universe through increasing its attraction to us but, more importantly, how we end up putting it together often contains factors that actually work against what it is that we’re seeking. And then, when we include the vague and irrational components of hope or assumption, we let go of our clarity totally diffusing its energy and power and our affirmation simply falls flat. For an affirmation to be effective it must have clarity, force and enough energy behind it to replace the inertia of the circumstances that are already being held, by us, in place. The key is in our replacing the circumstances not opposing them.

Concentration-11. Focus ONLY on what you want. This is probably the hardest thing for us to do. Why? Stop and consider. When you say what you want, how do you usually phrase it? You almost inevitably say, “I want…but…” That but is the killer. It pulls conflicting conditions into what you’re saying about what you want. Let me explain.

Our mind is a very powerful tool and the subtleties of its operation are just as effective and operate by the same laws as its obvious mechanisms. Just because we don’t recognize them as such has no effect on diminishing their influence. So when we say “I want…” we’re giving the universe a very clear message. However, when we do what most people do, we say or think “I want…but…” which becomes death null for any projection of energy. Why? Because by adding but we split the energy of our projection into opposing forces causing a stalemate and maintaining the absence of what is desired. There is what we want and the but. Want + but = stalemate. They essentially cancel each other out. Affirmation; dead in the water.

When we acknowledge what might be working against us, we augment its influence. The Chinese have been known to say, “To acknowledge our enemy gives them power over us.” There is also an old Shamanic story that is told to a youth by an elder which illustrates how dynamic where we apply our energy is. When the elder tells the youth, “A good wolf and bad wolf both live within a brave’s heart,” and then asks, “Which one will win?” When the youth is unable to answer, the elder tells him, “The one that we feed will be the one that wins.” If we acknowledge and follow no other laws in the universe, we should know that energy follows thought and our attention directs that energy. Even Jesus knew and said, “As a man thinketh, so he is.”

So, the next time you tell someone what you want, listen to yourself. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts your first pass at stating what you want will include the infamous but. You’re really going to have to work on this one. It’s a very hard habit to break and it’s going to take a lot more energy and concentration than you think to push it out of your vernacular. If you can’t do this one, no amount of focus, phraseology or repetition will overcome your own projected resistance. Speak only what you want.

failure-success-road-12. Any affirmation used must allow for the possibility of success AND failure for the mind to believe in the potential for change. If in an affirmation we tell ourselves, “I am a confident and competent person,” and we really don’t believe it, how effective do you think this affirmation will be? What we feel and believe about ourselves has everything to do with what it is that we attract into our lives. If at our core we truly believe that we’re not competent or confident, how much truth do you think our mind will see in an affirmation that states that we are? There’s a gap as large as the Grand Canyon between what we’re telling ourselves and what we actually believe.

If our spoken affirmation is too far off what we truly feel or believe about ourselves, our reality based mind can’t accept the tremendous gap between the two. This, again, will create an internal conflict and lock up the energy applied to the affirmation. It, again, becomes a stalemate. In other words, the mind cannot accept the validity of any sweeping and, obviously contradictory, affirmation. Again, affirmation dead in the water.

So, rather than affirming that “I am a competent and confident person,” better to say, “Each day that I work on being more competent and confident I am growing stronger and stronger.” The key is that this phraseology allows for the possibility of defeat but focuses on our wanted progress which allows for the uncertainty of doubt. The mind can accept a balance over a one sided argument.

Glasses & Clarity-13. Be clear on what you want and phrase it in a proactive frame. One of the biggest difficulties that we have, especially in our Western culture, is that most of us phrase what we want in terms of what we don’t want. Perhaps we do this because we’ve been subliminally trained that we are to be considered selfish if we state what we want outright. Hence, we couch what we want in terms of what we don’t want so others around us may not feel threatened. This may sound illogical, but we feel that our indirectness makes us less accountable if someone is either offended or incapacitated should we get what it is that we want. It’s almost like those of us who are self-conscious have an aversion toward expressing ourselves openly for fear of criticisms or accusations of selfishness or having a lack of compassion for the “shortages” of what others might feel.

Regardless of the rationale behind why we phrase what we want in the negative, it’s very important to understand that the universe does not recognize, use or accept the concept of don’t, not, can’t, won’t or any variation of a negative connected to a desire or an action. All it hears is the action or want and fulfills it without the negative. So, if we were to say, “I don’t want to be lonely,” the universe only hears “I want to be lonely” and we get more of the same circumstances that contribute to our feeling lonely. Realize that any negative projection creates resistance in the energy flow. Verbally, we essentially use don’t as a wall or a blockage toward what we feel is undesirable. This may seem totally bonkers but it’s only what the mind understands and has no bearing on what the universe actually does.

Power of Now-14. Phrase your affirmations in the present tense. Phrasing your affirmation in terms of the past or the future has a finality or a feeling of, “This is as far as I can go or as far as I’ve been able.” They stop the energy dead in its tracks. When we say, “I have become more…” or “I will be more…” the statements are static, unmoving, and dead. There’s a prevailing assumption that there is or was no more potential for further change or movement. When we focus our affirmation on the present, it becomes dynamic, alive and moving. Better to say, “I am becoming more…” or “My life is changing…” Focusing in the present channels the energy into dynamic and presently occurring action not just a memory (past) or potential (future).

Thesaurus-15. Change up the phraseology often. When we repeat an affirmation over and over with the same words and cadence, the rhythm and the cadence start becoming wrote or automatic. When something becomes automatic we tend to lose the contextual feeling and the meaning that originally powered the affirmation. It becomes mindless. When we no longer feel the context, the energy diminishes and the affirmation loses the potency of its edge and its power. We’ve all noticed the “fall off,” if I can call it that, from when we’ve begun an activity we’ve really had an urge or a taste for all the way to the time when we conclude the activity. The feeling of novelty eventually wears off and it then feels like we’re just going through the motions. When we no longer feel the novelty or context, our loss of feeling and enthusiasm no longer empowers the affirmation. When this occurs we lose momentum and, more importantly, we tend to forget what our original intention felt like. Changing up the words we use makes it new, fresh and exciting. This renews its energy, power and effectiveness.

Faith-16. Have faith in the process. Expect your progress in small bite sized pieces not in larger than life sweeping assertions. When we learn to use any new tool we don’t immediately become masters at handling it. It takes, time, persistence and practice in using it and developing the refinement of its use. In the same way, when we change any of our internal habits or abilities, they happen intermittently until the new pattern takes a consistent form holding a place in our daily routine. Ask yourself, do you lose all your weight dieting overnight? Do you stop smoking and immediately reduce the urge and all the life cues that contribute to its occurring? No. They all occurred gradually. Affirmations function the same way. They are simply a tool or vehicle for bringing about change.

Any major change in our life that has any permanence occurs slowly over time. Remember, some patterns may have taken a lifetime to develop. If you’re attempting to change a pattern that you’ve either been taught or have allowed to develop over the years, expect a reasonable amount of time for its replacement pattern to take hold. Celebrate your small successes as they come. Express appreciation for them. Appreciation “greases” the wheels of the universe. And more importantly, don’t cave in at the first setback. There will probably be plenty. Just have faith that your consistency and carefully applied focus will win out.

Zen-117. Lastly, one of the most important factors in implementing any affirmation is clarity of focus. The trouble with most of us humans is that we tend to attach all types of conditions to what we want and how we want it to manifest. We cannot control how the universe will bring us what we want. When we do, we end up blocking what we want and getting in our own way with our conditions while what we want might be just around the corner but coming to us by means that we simply don’t expect.

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self-help booksAn unbelievable amount of time, effort and energy has gone under the bridge in the name of self-improvement. It has become almost synonymous with other headings such as self-help, personal growth, personal empowerment and a host of other labels alluding toward the accomplishment of increasing our influence and effectiveness upon our world. But the questions arises, “What are we improving” and “Whom are we improving for?” Ourselves? Others? An ideal? What is the objective? What is this thing we call self-improvement and why do we pursue it?

We all strive, at the least most of us, to be “better” people. But what does that mean? And in whose eyes will we be “better?” For each of us who invest in the process our reasons will vary tremendously but our bottom line goal will be the same; to feel wanted, needed and loved by Love & Approvalthe world. The feeling that we are not is a primary urge resting in the core of our self-perception. Whether we admit this to ourselves or not is the most important factor in determining how we will approach the process. Since personal growth and personal empowerment are most often seen as self-improvement, our process will fall under one of two labels; either self-improvement or self-help.

In self-help there is a belief within us that we are somehow lacking whatever it takes to put us into a position in life that we feel will make us happy. Whether it is developing skills for work and career or characteristics that we believe are responsible for attracting the most desirable relationships, it is still viewed as a void that needs to be filled. What is ironic is that according to the law of attraction it is our belief in what it is that we are lacking that focuses our energy and attention toward manifesting more of the same perceived lack. In other words, what we believe about ourselves will continue to manifest until we change our belief or like begets like. This even resonates with the bible that says what a man thinketh, so he is. So then, does self-help make things worse? It does only if we start by believing that something is lacking. If that’s what we’re then faced with in self-help, what can we do?

A less “self-fulfilling prophecy” would be self-improvement. It starts from a position of believing that who and what we are is enough. Nothing is lacking. It’s just that now we want more of what we can be, do or have. The focus switches from a feeling of lack to a feeling of wanting more to feel happier. You may now say, “Doesn’t wanting to be happier come from a lack in itself?” I’d say yes, but the want is much more general in its focus. Focusing directly on the lack of a skill or characteristic is specific and augments our energy in a way that focuses and accelerates the perceived lack specifically emphasizing its manifestation. Focusing on being happy is more general and diffuses the energy leaving our field of concentration and endeavor more open to its satisfaction from more than one specific focus, namely, the skill or characteristic. It leaves pot-gold-2our fulfillment open to the “universal manager” which certainly brings us what we want, but most often, from avenues that we least expect. The dynamic then bypasses our mind lock and specificity which are then minimized or moved “out of the way” of more preferable yet unexpected benefits manifesting from avenues which we hadn’t considered. So, based on the Law of Attraction, focusing more on what we want rather than what we lack is the better way to go.

So, self-improvement is more preferable over self-help. Yet, with our perceived lack in a much more defused and expanded focus, it is still aimed at increasing something which we feel is an elusive and indescribable lack. But, what is it that will make us happier? Even with self-improvement, we’re right back to wanting to feel wanted, needed and loved. Granted a lack but a lot less focused and a lot less likely to create our own resistance through specific “pointing” of our energy and attention.

garden-of-eden-22In becoming self-improved we believe that if we do more, have more and are more what we want will materialize. But, where did we get this belief from? In whose eyes do we believe that this is true? Others. The people we know, love and admire. The people who we believe are happy. The people we believe that are outside our reach, outside of our world and, essentially, disconnected from us. We want to belong. We want to be accepted. We want to be reunited with what we believe is our source, that place where there was no separation before we were born into this polarized separated world. This is the place in the bible referred to as the Garden of Eden. This is the ancient memory of our all being one: a union of feeling in the empathic ocean. But I digress.

So, what are the hazards? There is only one. It is believing that being wanted, needed and loved by someone or something outside of ourselves will make us happy. We’re still playing the “tapes” that originally taught us to believe that all that is important and that all that will answer our need to be wanted, accepted and loved comes from our parents. While this may have been so when we were helpless infants we’ve since then buried the recognition of this attention and urge from this non-verbal time deep into the unconscious as our thinking mind became the overlay determining how we discriminate what we seek. Then we continued the outward attention by simply transferring the expectation to others who remind us of family members. The fact that we were trained to look outside of ourselves during a non-verbal time accounts for most of the difficulty we have in believing that we create our own circumstances through how and where we focus our energy.

donkey-&-carrot-2When we focus on others to fulfill what we believe will make us happy we also subject ourselves to their unpredictable changing of like, loves and dislikes who, even in the best of times, have difficulty keeping their preferences focused and consistent. As they change their preferences we end up feeling like we’re chasing our tail. Many time we don’t even realize that they’ve done so. Happiness provided by them then becomes totally elusive and frustrating.

So, what is the answer? For most people it is an extremely difficult one to put into action. We must first learn to become accountable for and accept the decisions that put us in positions that we feel are undesirable and, second, we have to come to realize and accept that our happiness rests in using our energy in a way that makes us feel good NOT panders to the whims Alone time-1and approvals of those whom we believe hold the key to our contentment and security. Since we live in such a materially oriented world, this is an extremely difficult pill for many to swallow.

So, what’s the primary hazard of self-improvement? Believing that what we need comes from outside our own heart. What can we do? We can all start by creating and relishing more quiet and alone time and learning to enjoy our own company without outside stimulation. Can you do it?