Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘positive energy’

Picture it Happening!

Creative visualization – the ability to picture in your mind’s eye things as you truly want them to be. Maybe it’s a new job, house, relationship, or any of a million other things. The point is that the subject doesn’t matter. What really matters is your ability to close your eyes and SEE and FEEL what you most desire with pure, positive EMOTION. This is way more challenging a task that simply saying to yourself, ‘I want to win the lottery.’ Let’s face it most people would like to win the lottery but in their mind that is more like a dream than a reality. In fact, if you could get inside their head after they talk about winning the lottery you would also hear the follow up phrases that start with the word ‘but’ … ‘It will never happen to me, there are a million others trying to win’…but, but, but. That type of thinking is nothing but pure self sabotage. Truth be told, as human beings we are usually much better at thinking about dire outcomes or results from a fear based mentality than we are at believing we can achieve whatever we set our minds to achieving. Is it time to change all of that and drop the ‘buts’ from your thinking and your life?

What I am talking about is visualizing your hearts desire down to the most minute part and then feeling the positive emotion that wells up in you. Let me give you an example. Decades ago – in the 80’s – I taught a class on goal setting using Lou Tice’s material. With 20 or so in the class I asked each person to visualize something they really wanted. One person said they wanted a new patio set. I asked her to see the size, shape, color and price she was willing to pay for it. Specifics – that’s the first key to achieving your goal. Secondly, and even more important, is to continually go to that place of actually feeling how happy, excited and positive you are having achieved it. I asked the person in class to tell me, with emotion, how it would feel when she had acquired the set. Could she feel herself sitting in the chairs, using the table etc., etc. – you get the idea. Over the course of the week class, I asked the participants to really get into it and talk about how they felt ‘having achieved their most heartfelt desire.’ Each time with greater and greater emotion. You may have guessed the result … On the last day of class the person who had set her goal on the patio set came bounding into class to announce she had found exactly what she was looking for and at the exact price she wanted to pay for it!

Yes, the example above sounds simplistic but the method or approach works for many reasons. The basic idea is energy. We are made up of billions and billions of energy waves that work like magnets to give back to us simply more of what we are presently thinking. Lou Tice called this the reticular activating system and explained that in our minds it works like a beacon that pulsates out to the Universe and attaches itself to like minded energy which is then returned to us.

Experiencing is believing – and I speak from experience. What do you really want – at this moment in your life? I mean really, really want. No holds barred – just go for it and suspend your disbelief for a moment and own it. Now, back to reality, do you believe it’s possible to achieve? Do you believe you deserve it? Whatever your answer I would ask you why you believe this to be so? Can you sustain the belief that it is yours and experience the empowered feeling long enough to manifest it? It’s really not as hard as it may sound. It just takes a suspension of our all too willing thoughts of why not in order to achieve your greatest desire. Give it a try – you’ll be so glad you did!

Have a great few days!

What Makes You Happy?

Pharrell Williams’ song, ‘Happy’ puts a smile on my face every time I hear it. Such a simple melody with uncomplicated lyrics yet it speaks to me. I am immediately transported to a place that tells my feet to dance and warms my heart. What puts a smile on your face? What makes you happy? It’s important to go to ‘our happy place’ as one my friends calls it, whenever we get a chance. It recalibrates our thinking and can give us a shot of much needed energy.

Positive energy is more than a concept. It’s a feeling of vibrancy, strength and even love which says, ‘I can do this, I am confident, I am worthy, I am grateful.’ You can actually feel and recognize this type of energy in others. Check it out as you are walking into work, or at the store. How many people do you come in contact with during a given day that radiate this type of energy? Are you radiating the same back to them? Remember energy is a like a magnet what you give off comes right back to you!

As we all know, not everyone radiates positive energy and that’s unfortunate. When we run into someone that seems to radiate a ‘ poor me’ mentality it’s important to give ourselves permission not to engage in their latest drama and simply recognize it for what it is …. an attention getting device that for some has been honed into an art form over the years. We can’t seem to make them better no matter how hard we try and that’s okay. They have a right to their mindset but it doesn’t mean you have to buy in or accept it. Think of putting up an invisible shield around yourself when you are dealing with someone who is negative. Don’t let them effect you.

As individuals, the way we generate positive energy for ourselves differs in innumerable ways. Regardless of our chosen form of ‘happy’ the importance of it remains. We have a limited number of days on this planet. We can learn the lessons we have chosen to learn through a mindset of positive or negative energy. When difficulties happen if we look for the lesson in them rather than allow ourselves to blame or become angry we win. Remember the saying – every cloud has a silver lining. The choice of how we face life’s challenges is always up to us.

When I am around a person who seems to generate positive energy it lifts me up and I am grateful for their presence. Being happy isn’t always easy but it’s important to constantly work at – little by little – until it becomes just a natural part of our being. The Universe doesn’t make mistakes. Recognize and celebrate all the good in yourself and others. It’s worth the effort!

As Pharrell ‘s song says, “No offense to you…can’t nothing bring me down, Happiness is the truth.” Yes it is …

Have a great few days!

Be Above It!

How do you react when someone makes a subtle or not so subtle comment to you or someone else about something you believe in or have done? Often our first reaction is to strike back – either outright or in our head – and say or think something equally negative in return. Is it really worth it?

What if we practiced a different approach? What if we chose to be above it all. To decide that regardless of who, what or when something negative is said to remain in control of our feelings and refuse to let the negativity affect us. Difficult? Yes, but not impossible, if we practice this behavior over time. If we disagree with what is said, asking for clarification is helpful if – and only if – we can do so without anger, resentment or adding negative emotion to the environment.

When we really stop to think about it there are at least a million and one ways every day to be offended or upset due to the economy, world or national news, a hurtful comment, an envious coworker, or simply the energy given off by someone who is basically unhappy with themselves. These are just a few examples in which we may think, ‘There it goes again,’ as we feel ourselves being affected by the negativity.

When you run across someone who acts as if they know the way, the truth and the light, take a deep breath and realize that they are simply operating from their ego. They choose self-importance over understanding. To prove this point, just listen to their conversations and count the number of times they use the word ‘I’ versus ‘we’ – it’s a dead giveaway. You can almost here them thinking, ‘If you did things my way all would be right with the world.’ Not so much!

When we think it necessary to change or direct others it says more about us than them. Let’s remember that we are all on our own pathway and have unique lessons to learn. Judging others, regardless of how much they get under our skin, will only delay our own soul’s evolution. We can’t expect those who are different than us to think, feel or behave as we do. We all walk in shoes, specifically designed by us, for our journey.

Not allowing ourselves to be offended gives us strength and adds to our self-confidence. Choose to be simply an observer without judgment. You will gain much inner peace in the process. After all, no one is put into this world to live up to our expectations just as we are not put into this world to live up to theirs. Inner peace develops when we live at what we are For rather than AGAINST.

Have a great few days!

You Can Do It!

We all experience some days that are just easier than others. Those days when everything goes as planned energizes us. When we take a couple of minutes as we are falling asleep to reflect on the things that we were able to accomplish we say, ‘Yes!’ ‘Today was a good day!’ But when things seem to go awry and our Plan A has had to be changed to Plan B, C or even D how do we respond? Do we allow ourselves to be overcome with fear or thoughts that life just isn’t fair? Do we allow ourselves to get into a negative mindset of expecting more and more problems to surface? We all know how effective that mindset is – right? It can stop us in our tracks! What can we do to shake us out of a negative mindset? After all, we know deep down that what we think about most often will be delivered right back to us from the Universe with bells on. When the going gets tough it’s time to evaluate our thinking and remember the power we have had in the past to overcome.

We would all like to live a life of peace, comfort and joy but the reality is that we are, in fact, a work in progress. The challenges we have in life allow us to grow in confidence and appreciation of our own strength. We learn that we can face whatever comes along and learn from it once we decide to keep our grip on the present issues and not generalize them to encompass our entire being. In other words keeping perspective and not allowing ourselves to perseverate on the issues is so important. Just make a plan – an approach – on how to get through the latest issue and do it! Mulling over and over in our minds what seems to be going wrong is not healthy or productive. Let’s look at a more productive approach.

The first step is to take a moment to reflect on what we have to be grateful for – there are many things we have been able to do with our lives to date. We have had many more moments of success and happiness than challenges. If it doesn’t seem so at the moment, just check your own track record. It stands for itself. Remember the times when you didn’t think you could take any more and almost magically things seemed to turn around? You demonstrated the strength to persevere against all odds and won! Remember those times. They will give you the strength to carry on. The latest challenges at hand are something you will get through – one step at a time – when you keep your eyes straight ahead on your goals.

Clarity about what you do want (NOT about what you DON’T WANT) is the critical next step. What do you really want to accomplish? What do you want to become? Where do you want to be in the next year or in the next five years? Write 3 to 5 goals down and read them daily. By doing so you are actually attracting the positive energy to make your dreams happen. When you discipline yourself to take the time to write these goals down it gives you the energy, the fuel, to overcome even the most difficult situations that occur along the way because you will remember your vision or purpose for your life. Many people have heard about writing their goals down but sadly very few actually do so. Less than 10% of people take the time to write their goals out -they are the winners in life because they have discovered the secret of manifesting what they want. They use the fuel of the Universe to help them get there. You can join this group – all it takes is a piece of paper and 15 minutes of your time.

You are capable of overcoming any obstacle in life. Just remember any obstacle is a temporary condition. Don’t let it define you or stop you from achieving your goals. You are living proof that you have the strength and tenacity to get through even the most difficult situation. The adage, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me,’ is true. Remember your heritage. You have examples of loved ones or friends in your life who persevered against all odds and won. They would expect nothing less of you.

The beauty of our lives is that no one – absolutely no one – can rob us of a belief in ourselves and our ability to create the life we truly want to have – we are too powerful! Regardless of how many challenges we face we will make it through – of that I am certain.

Have a great few days!

Appreciate the Challenges!

The feeling of appreciation and gratitude is the highest vibration we can give out to the Universe. Knowing that what we give out we get back double fold can you just imagine how our own happiness level would skyrocket if we made it a point to practice those feelings daily? Sometimes it takes work to put ourselves in a higher vibrational state. Challenges occur for all of us on a daily basis. Yet, some people can look at an issue confronting them and keep it in perspective by remembering all the other things they have for which to be grateful. What causes a person to be able to view life from such a positive position of gratitude? Did they just have an easier life?

Believe it or not, the research is clear, the folks that constantly offer a more positive take on things have not had an easy life. They did not have all the money, comfort or opportunities that we might first assume. They are the people who have endured loss, disappointment and other major life challenges yet realize, deep down that they will overcome. They intuitively know that everything happens for a purpose and it’s usually for the lesson. This belief empowers them to have faith in tomorrow and their own ability to handle whatever comes along. Overcoming the many challenges they’ve had in life has caused them to develop more confidence – a stronger sense of self. They have learned the power to endure – against all odds- which an easier life simply would not have provided.

Conversely when we read about the children of wealthy or famous people who have all the money and opportunities possible we often see individuals who are unhappy, depressed and unproductive. Why? They have never had to face the trials and tribulations in life that would have caused them to develop greater personal strength. Often these individuals look for ways to escape reality through artificial means and the longer they live the more they up the ante for more elaborate escape mechanisms. If we were to able to have an honest discussion with them and ask them how happy they are in their own skin their response would be so sad it would stop us in our tracks. We would wonder to ourselves how they could possibly feel badly given everything that has been given to them. Ah… and there’s the crux of the matter… the more we are given the less we appreciate it and the less we believe in our own personal strength and abilities.

We have the ability – right here right now – to change our lives by changing our perspective. Life is fair regardless of how difficult it is at times. We can become more confident, positive individuals when we grab whatever is thrown at us and believe that we will make it through – maybe a bit bruised but none-the-less whole and ultimately better than ever!

Have a great few days!

Have a great few days!

It’s All About the Energy!

Constantly expanding our comfort zone is important since it keeps our blood pumping and gives us a richer, more interesting perspective on life. Following this thought I watched my first Super Bowl game ever – and was astounded to watch how the energy of both the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots changed throughout the game. You could practically feel the energy radiating from the T.V. screen as first one team led and then the other. Since I am not an avid sports enthusiast and would have preferred to have both teams win I was really more interested in the energy thing than the actually score. I found myself talking to each team throughout the game and telling them to ‘buck up’ and ‘make it happen!’ It caused me to think about how obvious our energy is to others. People can actually feel it, regardless of what our face is saying and they act accordingly by either moving toward or away from us. Just think, it all starts by the energy we are choosing to give off.

When things are going well the positive energy just seems to flow. It seems that good things just keep happening as the Universe sends back to us more of what we are giving out. Likewise when we are down things seem to happen, one after another, that overwhelm us. If we find ourselves falling into catastrophic thinking or creating mini dramas tomorrow will surely be the same as today.

Obviously none of us are Super Bowl players but we constantly have our own challenges and opportunities to handle in our own game of life. How do we learn to look for the bright side, the probability of future success when our own energy seems to be at a low ebb.

When we inhale deeply and remember that everything happens for a purpose, that we will get through this and that there really are no mistakes in life it’s a good start. Regardless of our challenges when if we calm down and realize that we can either admit defeat or look for the silver lining behind every cloud that surrounds us it goes a long way in giving us the energy to face our tomorrows. Whatever we do to help keep perspective and realize any setback we experience is really temporary it helps us dig deeper and regain a more positive attitude.

Life is not a walk in the park. Each of us has chosen unique life lessons to overcome. Some of us might even wonder, from time to time, why we wrote so many challenges in our script and may look at others and think to ourselves that their life seems to be so much easier. Caution is advised here because when we look more closely it becomes obvious that all of us experience our fair amount of challenges and disappointments- albeit in different forms.

Life is a huge balancing act. But the good news is that each of us can create our own safety net which will give us greater security and confidence along the way. Those safety nets are created from individual threads which are formed each time we overcome a life challenge. Before we know we have learned to smile with confidence as we overcome another challenge because we realize that ‘All is as it Should Be.’

Have a great few days!

Keeping Things in Perspective

How many times have you found yourself going from zero to 180 over a comment, perceived slight or challenging event only to discover later that the situation was not even close to what you had initially perceived? The truth is that most of us have done so. In retrospect our reaction is embarrassing – if only to ourselves. The real question is how often we allow ourselves to go to this no good, very bad place and do we want to do something about it?

In my last blog I talked about the research done by Dr. Martin Seligman regarding learned optimism. His findings are powerful and deserve greater elaboration. When we are faced with a perceived slight at work or home we may jump to the conclusion that the other person doesn’t like us or questions our viewpoint or skill. If we would just take a deep breath and consider the possibility that the other person 1) did not understand 2) is preoccupied with something in their own life 3) is tired or even ill 4) may simply be on a different wave length, it would go a long way in helping us be happier more optimistic people. When we jump to personalizing a perceived slight without giving the other person the benefit of the doubt everyone loses. Actually, when we really get down to it, rarely is it about us. Even if the slight was intended it says much more about the other person’s sense of inadequacy or frustration than about us. Taking the slight on as truth automatically starts a chain reaction of negative thinking and we are better than that!

If a slight actually does occur it’s important to keep it in perspective. Some people automatically go to the next level and begin to generalize the slight as yet another example of others (the world) continuing to dump on them. They crave sympathy and can go through all kinds of gyrations to get it. If this happens it’s important to remember that empathy is a good thing but sympathy is not – in fact it is downright debilitating. If we are the ones to jump to generalizing after a slight we can become so good at it that within seconds we create a signed, sealed and delivered opinion about ourselves that further erodes our own self worth.

How do we know if there really is an issue about our behavior or attitude that would benefit from a change? The answer is quite simple really. Do we experience repeated examples of comments and behaviors from others that appear the same? If so, is it something that is standing in the way of our own well being? If we discern such a pattern we could ask someone we trust for their honest opinion and then truly listen, without interruption or justification, to what they have to say. Self improvement is a wonderful thing. It says to the world that we are still growing and becoming all we can be.

We can choose one of two paths. The pessimist who reacts defensively to an isolated incident, depletes our energy and expects the world to make him happy or the optimistic who is full of energy and ideas, chooses to look for the pony in the pile, and sees any challenge before him as an opportunity for growth. The choice is ours. The good news is that optimism really can be learned.

Have a great few days!

Choose Greater Happiness!

Is happiness a learned behavior? What makes some people more resilient, more energetic and just happier be to around? The good news is that we are all capable of becoming happier individuals by following what Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychologist, educator and author, calls learned optimism. He has found that the talent for joy in our lives can actually be something we can teach and cultivate ourselves. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Although Seligman started out studying learned helplessness he discovered that examining why some people were happier in life would be an even greater contribution to the field. Through rigorous research he came up with a simple yet powerful approach that we can utilize to improve our lives. Seligman instructs us to be brutally honest and examine how we view the events or challenges in our life from the perspective of the 3 P’s (permanent – pervasive – personal).

For example, we have all been cut off while driving in traffic. The optimist views the situation as an isolated event and may even think that the driver of the other car may have had an emergency or simply made a mistake. They view the minor hassle as something that will pass and don’t allow it to ill effect their overall attitude or day. Their attitude could best be summarized by, ‘this too shall pass.’

The pessimist, on the other hand starts a diatribe of self talk and views the traffic incident as yet another example that ALWAYS happens to him (personal). He goes on to further generalize that most other people are just basically bad or inconsiderate drivers (pervasive). Soon, the mere act of driving for the pessimist can become a permanent, negative experience which elicits more aggressive tendencies. The pessimist thinks to himself, ‘this always happens to me’ (permanent).

When you think about viewing events in our lives as temporary, isolated and due to causes frequently beyond our control it becomes easier to view the bumps in the road of life as minor ones which will pass. However, when we look at the same event as permanent, pervasive and personal we can easily fall into the trap of overall pessimist thinking. When this happens our negative energy begins to envelop our entire attitude in life and we begin to actually expect more negative experiences. As we know from the law of attraction what we think about most often comes back to us double fold. We become an energy drain on others and soon become too exhausting to be around.

The good news is that research from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton and elsewhere is clear – we can become more positive, productive and energetic people by practicing learned optimism. We all have our share of life challenges. We may think others have an easier life but we have never walked a mile in their shoes. When we begin to view our own life challenges as temporary and not a pervasive indicator of life yet to come we gain more confidence and energy to face our tomorrows.

When we practice learned optimism it helps us keep life in perspective as we refuse to allow ourselves to make mountains out of mole hills. The research is clear, we can significantly reduce depression and anxiety by practicing optimism. It staves off feelings of helplessness and actually gives us a reason to look forward to tomorrow.

Once we choose to examine our own thinking patterns and begin over time to practice learned optimism it becomes an ingrained way of thinking. The temporary challenges we all face in life are kept in perspective and we find ourselves more confident in our own ability to weather the storms in life. As a result, other people want to be around us because they feel energized in our presence. That’s a good feeling!

With everything in life we have a choice. Is it time to reevaluate our thinking and decide to become more optimistic individuals? Life really can be greater than the sum of its parts.

Have a great few days!

The Importance of Gratitude

2015 – The Year of Optimism continues…

I ran across some thoughts about gratitude by Jackie Olson recently and wanted to share them with you.

Gratitude Opens Doors

Always see the goodness in this world,
do your part in helping those less fortunate,
walk hand in hand with those of less talent,
Follow those of more knowledge,
And be equal with those who are different.
Find your special purpose in this world so full of choices,
And help lead those who stray.
Become your own individual-
set yourself apart from those who are the same.
Have the self-confidence to say no when it is necessary
and the strength to stand alone.
Give yourself the approval to love and
respect everything that you are and will become.
Reap the fruits of your talents,
Walk with pride down the road of life,
Be humble in your successes,
And share in the praises and joy of others.
Most of all be grateful.
For when you are grateful,
You have the key that will open all of the world’s doors to you.

Let’s start a new habit that can positively change our perspective by taking the first 1 or 2 minutes when waking each morning to think about three things that happened yesterday for which we are grateful. After a few weeks this habit will become ingrained and we will experience a more positive year and manifest our own Year of Optimism for 2015!

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!