Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for October, 2014

Compare No More!

Dr. Marci Shimoff a prolific author and lecturer talks about the need to ‘upgrade our personal operating system.’ She explains that we have two possible operating systems available to us. The first is from a negativity bias which seems to have become terribly overused. In fact, of the approximate 60,000 thoughts we have per day, 80% are negative thoughts of fear, worry and judgment. With this operating system it is a challenge just to get through the day! Life is seen through the eyes of exhaustion. Negative energy robs us of the light source of love and happiness. People in this mindset live in the past (regret) or the future (worry) and miss today – The Now – and the chance to be all they can be.

Dr. Shimoff suggests that we need to upgrade our own personal operating system to one that comes from our soul source of love. This is where miracles are generated. From this mindset, anything is possible and we wake each morning with a sense of purpose and gratitude because we have another day to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.

How do we consciously shift our operating system from negative to positive? Living in the present is the first step. The second step is to honestly evaluate the amount of time that we spend in judging and comparing ourselves to others. Check yourself on this by monitoring your thoughts for a day. You will be amazed at your own ‘comparison habit’ that may have become so ingrained in your thinking that it seems natural.

When we decide to appreciate our own strengths we begin to learn to love ourselves for who we are – independent of others. Think about it. Do you often look at yourself and think, ‘I’m too this or not enough that.’ If so you are operating out of a mindset of lack. Are we the brightest, best looking, most successful person in the whole world? Maybe not – but are we learning about ourselves and working to become more of what we can be everyday? Absolutely! The thought of not being perfect is just that – a negative thought that comes from judgment and comparison – two self defeating habits. As Franklin Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How superficial it is to fall into the habit of comparison thinking. We have no idea what other people’s journey is all about. How can we logically compare ourselves to them? The poem “Desiderata,” speaks beautifully to the thought of comparison:

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career… Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the Universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.”

When we start living in the Now and stop our on going comparison of self to others we begin to make the intuitive leaps in knowing and understanding that are our birthright. We give ourselves the license to believe, achieve and manifest our highest intentions. Life becomes an exciting adventure full of twists and turns that make us stronger everyday. We can pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘I’ve upgraded my operating system and it feels good! Now I have time to appreciate me!’

Have a great few days!

Do You Have 2 Minutes?

In my last blog I talked about the importance of gratitude in our lives. Practicing thoughts of gratitude helps us generate a more positive outlook which can fuel our engines as we face another day or another challenge. I mentioned the importance of developing a habit of taking just two minutes each morning to think about two things for which you are grateful for before getting out of bed. Training ourselves to focus on the things in life for which we are grateful goes a long way in keeping us tuned in to the positive energy in the Universe. It helps us keep perspective and gives us greater self confidence in handling the challenging events that will just naturally surface in our lives. Why? When we come from a mindset of gratitude we have an entire storehouse of mental and emotional strength for which to draw upon when needed. We basically come from a position of greater confidence in ourselves to be able to handle whatever surfaces in our lives. We look ahead rather than behind. Practicing thoughts of gratitude is so important because the way we think results in the way we feel and the way we feel is the way we vibrate which naturally then attracts more of the same type of energy to us. What are you attracting?

This quick two minute exercise each morning stops us from perseverating on the past or worrying about the future. It keeps us focused on the only thing we can truly effect in the moment …the present. Much of our energy is often times spent worrying about the ‘what ifs’ in life. Remember the adage that we spend 99% of our time worrying about things that never come to pass? We can get control of this self defeating behavior when we choose to live in gratitude. Is our life perfect – probably not – but are there some pretty good things happening to us from time to time? Absolutely! Those are the things we need to give more thought to in order to live a life of greater happiness.

When we begin to pay more attention to what is occupying the majority of our thinking it can be life changing. For instance, many of us have become so conditioned to receiving negative information from the 24/7 news cycle or other social media sites that we are in a constant state of worry without even realizing it. I am not suggesting to remain uninformed about the world around us but simply to evaluate how much negative information we are allowing ourselves to be bombarded with on a daily basis. Some of us even listen two or three times to the news of the day and each time a little more negative mindset or worry starts to cling on to us without our even realizing it. We can be informed without being immersed. Just like the rest of life – it is a matter of balance.

It’s all about energy. We can be either its master or its victim. When we realize that we can choose the type of energy that we allow ourselves to be surrounded by we are taking control of our own destiny. We choose to be the captain of our own ship – steering it in the direction we choose. When the storms come we know exactly what created them and how to remain in control – by staying true to the course we have chosen for our lives.

Taking two minutes each morning to start out our day out with feelings of gratitude for both the big and little things in our lives empowers us to attract more positive energy and our days go smoother. Try it and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

Have a great few days!

Live in Gratitude!

We are made up of constant pulsating energy that is radiating out in waves with every thought and emotion that we experience. It’s, as if, we are holding an antennae that sends out our energy and receives energy back from others. Like the signals received from a satellite we are in a constant state of energy exchange. Often, we realize just how powerful our own energy is when we are thinking about someone and all of a sudden, out of the blue, they contact us. At first we are surprised, maybe even a bit amazed with the synchronicity of the contact until we realize we initiated the it when we we sent out thought waves of energy to them.

Realizing that each of us responds to our own energy as well as the energy of others it is important to realize what messages we are giving out and are willing to receive back. We do have a choice. We hear people make the comment from time to time about someone who just ‘drains their energy.’ Think about that statement for a minute. Visualize what that really means. If you become more aware of how you are feeling when you communicate with someone who seems to sap your energy you can do something about it.

People who drain our energy seem to live in a constant state of, ‘Ain’t it awful…’ They may not use these exact words but their talk is filled with a victim mentality. They really do see their cup as half-empty and just to be sure you realize how tough they have it in life they mention in conversation everything that has gone awry lately. Talking with folks like this is exhausting. We think to ourselves that maybe we can help them – lift their spirits and we may, momentarily, but depending upon what level of energy drainer they are they may often hasten back to their own comfort zone of, ‘poor me’ as quickly as possible.

Our own energy is too important to allow it to be hijacked by others. There are a few approaches to try to help these ‘energy drainers’ but it is ultimately up to them to choose their own view of the world. After all, you simply can’t make others happy it is up to them to choose. For some energy drainers at Level 1 who have simply fallen into a habit of seeing lack we can help them by consistently pointing out the many positives we see in life. They just need a guiding hand to pull them back to a more positive mindset. For the Level 2 energy drainers we may need to train ourselves to ignore their subtle and not so subtle messages of ‘poor me.’ When they don’t get the attention or sympathy they want they often up the ante and add more and more negative statements about their life. Pretty soon it just wears us out but we continue to try to redirect their thinking until we see the task as fruitless. For Level 3 energy drainers we may just have to limit our contact with them. Their egos are so entrenched with getting attention and sympathy for all they see going wrong in life that to change is something they flatly refuse to do. They truly believe that others are out to take advantage or get them. They have the right to choose their life path and ultimately, limiting our own contact with them may simply be an act of self preservation. We were not put on this earth to fix others – we are simply not that powerful.

Our only responsibility is to keep ourselves in a positive state of mind. We can do this by practicing gratitude. Each morning before getting out of bed or even opening your eyes take just two minutes to think about a couple of things that you are grateful for in your life. Notice the warm feelings of gratitude you are experiencing. By regularly practicing this simple exercise it becomes a habit before you know it. Life takes on a deeper, richer meaning. This is one habit that will positively influence the rest of your life and just think … it all starts out by just taking a mere two minutes each morning. It takes concerted effort to see life as an opportunity and not a burden but is so worth it. Those that do can be easily recognized because they are the ones who are surrounded by others because of the positive energy they are giving off. We feel energized just being around them. They light up a room by their presence. Let’s make a pact to become one of them!

Have a great few days!

Hearing is Believing!

When we experience the death of a loved one our world changes dramatically. Although the light hasn’t gone out in our eyes it is dimmed. Colors seem less vibrant, conversations less stimulating and our energy depleted. We may silently wonder to ourselves, ” Where are they? Are they okay?” Often talking about these thoughts with our friends or even family members just doesn’t work. So we keep reiterating these question to ourselves digging a deeper hole of grief that seems to engulf us. Although we may have heard ideas about the spirit continuing to exist, we struggle to wrap our minds around the concept of our loved ones being in a different dimension – heaven – or whatever label you are most comfortable using. I understand … I have walked in those shoes. I have read that the depth of our loss is directly proportional to the depth of our love. The deepest chasm we can imagine pales by comparison to our own feelings of loss. We keep thinking, “It’s not the natural order of things, someone got this mixed up, rewind!” The pain seems unbearable as we struggle to put one foot slowly in front of the other. We seek something that will help us know we can get through it – visibly bruised and battered – but still in one piece.

When I lost my son, the salve that comforted my broken heart came in two forms. First, I started reading books from other parents who had lost their child. Interestingly, many had penned these books 10 years after the loss. I get it now. It takes that long to be willingly to resurrect those gut wrenching feelings that rendered us both hopeless and helpless when it happened. Those books helped immensely. Most talked about signs, indicators of their child’s presence and all served to confirm to this bleeding heart that if these parents made it though this so can I. Signs, indicators? How do I get these I wondered a million and one times over the first few months.

The Universe responded to my heartfelt plea. The second form of help came in a delicate package from another state. Someone, an angel on earth, who changed my life. The Universe knew what I was seeking ( confirmation that my son didn’t simply disappear into the cosmos) and orchestrated a meeting with this person to help me make the connection with my son that I so desperately needed. Before talking with her my grief was so deep that even when presented with obvious signs that his spirit was alive and well, I dismissed them thinking that my mind was playing tricks on me. Through her assistance I have been able to hear from my son, in his own words for well over a decade. I decided to write about it in the book I published entitled, “Just Behind the Door.” My objective was to help others achieve the sense of greater peace and understanding that I have received.

When we write about loss, disclosing our innermost feelings and fears it can be a healing mechanism not only for ourselves but for other fellow travelers along the way. Yes, our loved ones still exists, albeit in a different form. In this case hearing is believing. I have referred hundreds of people to this person and every single time have heard how astonished they were that they were told such specific information. If you want to learn more about my decade of communication you can order a copy of the book through AuthorHouse.com. You will know, intuitively, if the book is right for you or as a gift for someone else. Let your feelings lead the way.

There is a great deal of solace achieved when we hear specific phrases or information that only our loved one who has passed on could know. It confirms to us that this type of connection is real. It lifts the heavy burden of grief off our shoulders by proving that their life was no brief candle but rather a perpetual flame that continues to burn brightly – somewhere – somehow – and is always available to give us comfort.

Have a great few days!

Bring It On Home!

The last three blogs were on the importance of sending out our affirmations to the Universe to achieve the goals we most desire in our lives. I mentioned that we need to act, as if, we have already achieved our desired goals and some have wondered why that is necessary – is it just pretending? Well – sort of – but it is so much more. Basically, our brains cannot hold two competing or opposing thoughts simultaneously. Take a moment and just try it. Try to hold opposing thoughts about the same thing or same person in your mind. It can’t be done. Our brains demand a choice – an answer as to which feeling or thought is real. That’s why acting as if we have already achieved our desired goal requires that we change our reality and energy to make it happen. Your written goals, serve as a beacon that is flashing a light into the Universe to direct the energy back to you that is necessary to achieve the goal exactly as you have visualized it.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to if you believe that you have the right and power to manifest it. Think of one or two things that you absolutely want, more than anything, and write them down. Trust me on this – actually writing your goals down is an important step. Regardless of how intelligent you are please don’t try to shorten the process by believing you can simply think about them and not write them down. It doesn’t work nearly as well because this process is about emotional energy and the feelings involved. It’s about more than intellect. Now, think about how great you feel once your goals come to pass. Really get into it. See yourself having attained these two goals and take a moment to absorb how you are feeling. This is powerful stuff. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Place you written goals where you will see them once or twice a day. Each time you read them take just a minute to inhale and feel how great it is having achieved them. Each time you do this the flashing light on the beacon becomes stronger and gives out an even more powerful signal to the Universe. Think of it as a process that guides your goals right home to you.

Now it is time to confidently relax and allow the Universe to make your goals a reality. Relaxing and believing in the process is crucial. Do not think about all the steps necessary to cause your goals to become a reality. That is over thinking the process and actually creates stress or worry. As you would gather, of course, stress and worry actually push the goals away from you not toward you. Why? Negative energy in any form simply returns more of the same to you.

Please give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! When you have achieved your first goal please let me know on the website. You will be amazed at the power you have to change your life. Goal attainment is easier than you think. It just takes a belief in your own power and a couple of easy steps to make things happen.

Have a great few days!

Attaining Greater Happiness

Following up on two previous blogs on how to achieve greater happiness in your life, I have a question for you, “Are you living an intention driven life?” Whether we call it goal setting or positive intentions the purpose is the same; placing ourselves in the driver’s seat rather than the passenger’s seat in life. It’s about deciding to make things happen rather than let them happen. Each of us has the innate power to choose to live a life filled with purpose, optimism and attainment. Free will is the ticket that allows you to choose your perspective.

I read a quote recently from a 71 year old who said, “The last 15 years have been the best time of my life so far.” The last two words, ‘so far’ stops you in your tracks don’t they? In our youth filled culture it may, at first, strike you as incongruous to think that an elder would have the audacity to view the ensuing years with such optimism. Yet, others respond by mentally cheering on this mindset as we knowingly smile at the implications. It’s all about perspective isn’t it?

When we live with purpose by deciding what we truly want out of life (as well as what we will no longer accept) and begin to mentally project those positive feelings of attainment forward, the world becomes our oyster. Age no longer becomes an issue merely a fact. The adage, ‘the older the wiser,’ takes on a deeper meaning.

By choosing a life of on-going personal growth – intellectually, emotionally and spiritually- we begin to take charge of our life. We may even find the time and opportunity to help another traveler on their journey as we begin to live in a mindset of abundance.

Your personal challenge is to DECIDE to live a life from the perspective of goals and intentions rather than one of mere habits. It requires us to summon all of our personal strength to truly believe that we deserve to sculpt our own destiny and learn our life lessons with a minimum of challenge and a maximum of deeper personal understanding.

Whether you are 18 or 80 the choice is always yours – to decide to live more fully from a place of optimistic enthusiasm or remain boxed into a world of fear that often manifests itself through self-defeating habits and a mindset of ‘lack.’ Choosing a mindset of abundance rather than lack is your right. Go for it!

Today, I challenge you to analyze your life perspective. Look at your patterns bringing both your mind and heart to the task. Decide what truly gives you energy and what drains you. Take the time to write out the goals and intentions that will increase those positive experiences that energize you and then patiently sit back and wait. Congratulations! You’ve placed yourself in the driver’s seat now and the journey of your new life has just begun!

Have a great few days!

Design Your Life!

This blog is the third in a series on how to achieve greater happiness and well being in your life by taking control of what you want. The previous two blogs on the topic are in the archive section on this website. As I have said previously, the first step is making a list of what you NO LONGER WANT in your life and the second list is made up of things you DO WANT in your life. This approach works when you take the time to FEEL the positive results and see yourself actually achieving your goals when you are writing them down or reviewing them daily. We have the right to determine what will make us happier through the gift of free will. All we have to do is use it! We can choose to make things happen or let them happen to us – it all depends on our mindset – our positive or negative beliefs that surround us about self.

Each of us has decided on specific lessons to learn in this lifetime. But did you know that we also have the right to choose how we prefer to learn them – the tough way or the easier way. Well, we do! The first way is through continual trials and tribulations until we just want to give up or the second way is by developing a deeper understanding of and appreciation of the energy we possess simply by being a student of the Universe. The first way is powered through negative energy and produces greater stress in our lives but the second way is through a more positive view by seeing ourselves as a co-designer of our life experiences. Either way the lessons will be presented to us. Remember, the Universe first whispers, then speaks and will eventually shout to get our attention. Why not choose to learn the lesson earlier rather than later – the easier way rather than the harder one? It makes sense to me!

Through the use of goal setting or affirmation attainment, as it is sometimes called, we can actually become co-designers in our life. We can create the most positive and effective ways to learn our individual lessons when we start by making lists of our Don’t Wants and Do Wants in our lives. We are giving the Universe a very important signal that says, ‘This is what I want in my life and I deserve it,’ because you do! We become empowered when we see our list of Wants manifesting in our lives.

There are a few steps that you must really get into to change your life. They don’t take long if you focus on the process. First off, it is important for you to BELIEVE that it really is possible to attain whatever you want in your life. Next, after making your list of Wants it is important to live as if you have already attained those goals. In both your mind and your heart, starting right now, right here, to feel how great it is that you have realized the goals you have written down. See yourself getting that promotion – view your new title on the door or letterhead. Really get into it and feel how your life has changed. See people congratulating you on your promotion. If one of your goals is to receive more money in your pay check, close your eyes and view your pay stub, see the larger number, feel how great it is to be able to pay off more of your bills and put a little aside as savings. You have the power to manifest any goal if you believe in yourself and the process. The Universe is just waiting for you to tell it what you desire – with positive emotion – to present it in your life.

Goal setting is basically proactive energy at work. You can achieve your greatest desire when you believe in the power of positive energy to truly can make things happen. Each time you take a few minutes to FEEL how great it is achieving your goal it is another positive message to the Universe. The Universe will respond in kind. Less than 10% of people even think about goal setting and less than 5% take the time to write down and visualize their goals happening in their lives. It is all about believing in your own power to shape your life. I know it works!

When you think about those people who seem to be able to handle the challenges that appear in their life and just keep moving forward you realize they have developed the ability to see themselves winning, achieving their goals and moving forward. You hear positive statements coming from them. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to them but a splendid torch which they CHOOSE to burn brightly. They are perfect examples of what positive energy can manifest in our lives. They accept responsibility – never blaming others – but see any challenge presented to them as an opportunity to learn from it – and they simply do so without drama or worry. They realize that both drama and worry are negative emotions and there is no room for negatives in their lives.

Each of us can CHOOSE to create the life we want by starting to see our glasses as half-full rather than half-empty, making our lists of Don’t Wants and Wants and bringing forth the positive emotional feelings that we know we will feel achieving our goals. The steps are simple once you believe in yourself enough to make it happen!

Have a great few days!