Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Purity Meditation



In my blog last week I gave you an introduction to meditation.  But an "introduction" that even seasoned meditators have told me really helped them in their own meditations.  The concept was to focus on your breathing and then just ignore any thoughts that try to distract you - and don't get focused on "ignoring", as that is itself a distraction.

I mentioned that once you have got used to using this technique you can move on to meditating on a phrase you find helpful, for example from a sacred text.  I suggest you do this a lot, as you will find it will deepen your understanding of the relevance of that phrase to you, particularly in the stage of life in which you now find yourself.

But you should also try more active meditations.  These can focus both your conscious and unconscious minds on ways to improve your life and to increase your understanding of where you are now in your life.

One meditation I use every day is something I call the "purity meditation".  This gives me enormous benefit, massively increasing my understanding of what I need to do next.

Here is how to use the "purity meditation":

Begin, as always, with a "focused breath" meditation.  As you find yourself slipping comfortably into a fully meditating zone, with your eyes closed, imagine you are looking above your head.  Way above your head you can see a ball of light.  This light is the essence of everything that is good and wholesome in the universe.  Reach up (mentally - there is no need actually to life your arms up, although you can if this helps) and touch this pure light.  You will find that even though the light is hundreds or even thousands of metres above you, when you reach up for it the distance seems to be irrelevant.

When you touch the light, it immediately runs down your arms and fills you with light.  You are now reflecting in your entire body all the purity, goodness, and wholesomeness that the light represents.  Continue breathing deeply and just allow that thought to fill your meditation.

When you feel ready to move on - which may be seconds, minutes, or even tens of minutes later - feel the light moving down through your feet, going right down into the earth, right to the centre of the earth.  Your spirit is within the light, so your spirit is travelling down with it.  Feel yourself at one with Mother Earth.  A warm, comfortable, loving feeling then comes up from the centre of the earth and fills you.  This feeling fills you completely.

The light has filled you completely, but it then expands beyond your body and your spirit expands with it.  You feel yourself filling the room you are in.  Then it fills your house or the building you are in.  Everyone in that building is drawn into the pure light that is both your own spirit and the universe, which means they are now working with you to help you get where you need to be.

Allow it to expand beyond.  It fills the town you are in, bringing everyone in that town into your light and therefore helping you.  It fills your country, the world, bringing the whole world into cooperation with you.

Now it fills the solar system, the Milky Way, the known Universe, the entire Universe, the Multiverses of which our own Universe is just one.  Everything and everyone is with you, supporting you.

At this point, stop your active meditation, and just bask in the Light.  Again, this may be seconds, minutes, or even tens of minutes.  The purity and wholesomeness of the Universe has filled you.  Your aims in life are now focussed on that purity, and you and the Universe are working together in perfect harmony.

As you feel it is right to do so, gradually come back to your own body.  Focus on your breathing.  Open your eyes.

This is the Purity Meditation.  Use it regularly.  Use it well.  And see the big changes it can make in your life and the lives of those around you.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Starting to Meditate



How often do you meditate?  Every day?  Most days?  Every so often?  Never?

If you answered "every so often", let me ask you another couple of questions.  How often do you clean your teeth?  How often do you bath or shower?  Every so often?  When you have the time?  If so, remind me to keep my distance!  You need to clean your teeth at least once a day (most dentists will tell you at least twice a day) to maintain healthy teeth.  If you don't have time to clean your teeth you will not only find they gradually decay and fall out, but you end up having to spend more time sitting in the dentist chair perhaps getting fillings (or extractions).  Work out how long you have to sit in that chair and you will realize not cleaning your teeth because you don't have time is a false economy.  As for not having time to wash every day, hopefully you don't fall into that category!

If you answered "every day", then congratulations!  Although each time you meditate you gain some benefits, you will find the major benefits of meditation are cumulative.  The more you meditate the greater the benefits - although if you only meditate every so often you won't find much of a cumulative effect.  You should aim to meditate daily (or even more than once a day) to start really building up the benefits.

When I ask people the question about meditating, most tell me they don't really have time to do it.  Many recognize the benefits (or at least say they do) but say they don't have time to meditate regularly.  There is an old Zen saying "You should meditate for 20 minutes a day - unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour a day."  This is so true!  Never say you don't have time to meditate.  If your excuse is that you do not have time I can guarantee that if you only took the time to meditate you would find it would actually create more time for you.  You might find something that took you an hour to do only took you half an hour.  The time you sat thinking, trying to find an answer to a problem, might no longer be required, as you could find the answer simply comes to you during or after your meditation.

Others answer that they don't know what to meditate on.  That should never be a problem.  In fact, simply answering the question this way indicates they don't really understand what meditation is!  It doesn't matter what you meditate on!  Just meditate!

Ok, it can be good to have something concrete to meditate on, I agree.  But don't think that is essential.  First learn the skill and habit of meditation itself.  Then you can use it as a tool to meditate on something specific.

Try this simple meditation exercise.  Sit quietly and focus on your breathing.  Don't think about your breathing, just focus on it.  Just be aware of it.  If you can sit there even for just 5 or 10 minutes focussed on your breathing you will have had a powerful meditation session.  Do this daily.  I suggest you do it at roughly the same time every day.  If you do this regularly enough it will become a habit.  My suggestion is you do it when you first get up in the morning.  Make it part of your morning routine, just like cleaning your teeth (or if you have dentures, just like the routine you used to have when you had teeth).

When you do the "breathing meditation" you will probably find lots of stray thoughts appear.  You may find yourself thinking "I mustn't think about anything other than my breathing", and then thinking "Oh, I shouldn't have thought that, as that is really something different from just focussing on my breathing" and it becomes a vicious circle.  The answer is just relax and listen to your breathing and don't worry at all about any thoughts that arise.  There is certainly something within you that doesn't want you to succeed, and it will generate lots of different thoughts to distract you from your meditation.  But those thoughts can only distract you if you choose to allow them.  Those thoughts will arise, but don't add to them by analysing them or trying to stop them.  You will find just that switch in emphasis is so powerful.  Once you realize that it simply doesn't matter, those thoughts lose their power to distract you.  The part of you that doesn't want you to succeed will, of course, keep trying.  Sometimes you will realize that you have been following a trail of thoughts without initially recognizing it was happening.  But when you realize that, simply focus on the breathing again.  Don't berate yourself.  Don't even say to yourself "I mustn't think about anything else".  Just focus on the breathing.

You will probably be surprised by all the tricks the "negative you" uses to try to stop you meditating.  I once found myself trying to calculate how many minutes I had stopped focusing on my breathing so I could add them to the time I would sit there meditating.  And then I realized that just thinking that through was also a distraction from my meditation!  The answer is that it doesn't matter how much you have been distracted.  Don't try to increase your meditation time to allow for the distraction.  If you do, you will make it virtually impossible to meditate properly, which is exactly what the "negative you" wanted!

Practise this breathing meditation every day.  When you feel it is working well, try using your newly acquired skill to meditate on something else.  Something very simple.  Maybe just one word.  Or a phrase.  If you are a Christian, take one of your favourite Bible verses and meditate on it.  If you are a Muslim, meditate on a phrase from the Qu'ran.  If you are a Sikh, choose a phrase from the Guru Granth Sahib.  Or take a quotation from someone you really respect.  Whatever you choose, be very careful.  Don't start trying to analyse it.  Simply hold it in your mind.  Treat it in the same way as you treated the focus on your breathing.  If a train of thought arises, simply be aware of that train of thought, but don't follow it, and don't tell yourself NOT to follow it.  Just hold the phrase in your mind.

What you will find is that the benefits of this focussed meditation will arise later.  After you have finished your meditation.

If you are new to meditation, try the approach I have just given.  If you have tried to meditate in the past but have found it too difficult, try the approach I have just given.  If you regularly meditate anyway, but worry that you are not doing it right, try the approach I have just given.  Do this, and I guarantee there will be positive benefits which will grow as you turn this daily meditation into an ingrained habit.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Identifying Your Goals



In a recent blog post I wrote about stalled goals and how to regenerate them.

Many people have stalled goals, so I am sure this was very helpful to many of my readers.  But also many people don't really have "proper" goals at all.

How about you?  What are your main goals?  Not goals for your business (whether it belongs to you or you are simply an employee).  Not goals you have for others (your partner or your children for example).  Yes, you need business and family goals, but you also need real personal goals.  So what are your personal goals?

At this point I know I will have lost some of my readers, as when they look at their stated goals they realize they don't have any personal goals, just goals for others.  If you are in that group, bear with me.

Now let's have a look at those personal goals and see how real they are.

Firstly, hands up those who gave a monetary goal.  Perhaps an amount of money in the bank (maybe $1 Million?).  Or a regular amount you want to receive every month or every year?  If your hand is up, let me be a bit controversial.  What you have isn't a real goal at all!  It may be a way you can achieve the goal, but it isn't a goal in itself.  Unfortunately, though, many people try to turn this means to an end into the end itself.  Wanting to gain a certain amount of money in order to achieve an end goal is not a bad thing.  But wanting to gain that money with no other aim other than simply to have the money is not a good thing.  Not a good thing at all!

If you felt your goal was a certain amount of money, I would like you to start digging deeper.  Why do you want that money?  What will you use it for?  What will it change in your life?  Whatever answers you get to those questions, as long as those answers inspire you, then those are your real goals, not the money.  Some people will probably feel I am splitting hairs here, and that it doesn't matter what you want the money for, that first you want to get the money and then you can decide how to use it.  You could not get further from the truth!  Your goal has to inspire you.  It has to be a real goal.  Money is NOT a real goal.  It doesn't hurt to include it as one of your goals, but only as a minor goal and not your main target.

The reality is that although money can be used to get whatever it is you want to have, it is not usually the only possible way to get it.  Maybe it is the most likely way - it probably is.  But it is not the ONLY way.  And on the basis of that well-known quote "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10) I urge you not to put your main emphasis on simply acquiring wealth without knowing why you want to acquire it and exactly how you plan to use it.

Many people, when they first realize the mistake they have made in confusing wealth and their real goals, suddenly find they have true goals that they didn't really recognize before.  Goals that really excite them.  And even in some cases goals that don't need any greater wealth for them to be achievable.

Secondly, hands up those who gave what, frankly, they would consider an unrealistic goal.  Often this mistake is compounded by being a monetary goal too.  Back to our $1 Million in the bank account when, perhaps, you have a minimum wage job and no more money in your account than is needed for this month's expenses.  Whether the unrealistic goal is a monetary goal or not, if you see it as unrealistic you should modify it.

Notice I have said "if you see it as unrealistic".  Not "if it is unrealistic".  The key factor here is what you truly believe is possible, not what IS possible.  I happen to believe that everything is possible.  But that doesn't mean I will try working towards goals that I know make me flinch when I state them, with an inner belief that this is not achievable for me yet.  Everything is possible, but many of those possibilities are an end goal that seems too far away to excite us into trying to achieve it now.

Identify your personal goals, examine them, ensure they excite you, and ensure they don't elicit from you an immediate reaction that they are not possible.  As a result of this examination, don't be afraid to change those goals.  Your goals should always be evolving anyway.  The goals you have today are most unlikely to be the same goals you had five years ago, and are just as unlikely to be the same goals you will have in five years' time.  If you didn't immediately come up with any goals, then now is the time to try finding some.  Identify real personal goals and, trust me, you will find your life is more meaningful - and the meaning will make you happier.

Work towards real, personal goals, and as you move closer to them and achieve some of them, replace them with other, perhaps more ambitious goals.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Book of the Law


What is the "Book of the Law" that you carry with you?  How do you use it?

Each of us has a "Book of the Law", even those who appear to be pretty lawless.  And most of us, unfortunately, use it in completely the wrong way.  Do you have a vision of Sylvester Stallone wielding his Book of the Law in the film "Judge Dredd"?  If so, that is probably a good image to retain while thinking about this topic.

Let's first look at what I mean by the "Book of the Law".  It is a complete moral and ethical code that determines exactly what you should be doing, what you should be thinking, and what you should be feeling every minute of every day.  Does that sound rather extreme and repressive?  Good!  It should!  None of us should be so totally controlled as this - but most of us are!

If you are religious you may well say that your Book of the Law is the book that is the basis of your religion.  The Bible.  The Holy Quran.  The Torah and the Talmud.  The Book of Mormon.  The Bhagavad Gita.  The Tripitakas.  Guru Granth Sahib.  Kitáb-i-Aqdas.  The Book of Rites.  The Agamas.  Or whatever holy book contains the rules you try to follow.  Even if you are not religious you may still take something from a sacred text and try to live by it as your Book of Law - for example "the 10 commandments".

Maybe you don't identify with any of the above.  You may think you don't have a Book of Law.  But I can guarantee you do.

For those who believe their Book of Law is a particular sacred text, I am now going to say something that may shock you.  Although that text may be a part of your Book of Law it is not the whole of that book, nor even is it the main content of that book.

As I have said, your Book of Law is a complete statement of everything you should be doing, everything you should not be doing, everything you should be thinking, everything you should not be thinking, everything you should be feeling, and everything you should not be feeling.  It may be largely based on a sacred text, but it is certainly not just that text.  For a start, no sacred text, no matter how detailed, can be so complete that it covers everything.  And also, nobody is so insulated from every outside influence that they are only influenced by one sacred text and nothing else.

We each begin "writing" our Book of Law from soon after we are born.  Mummy says "Don't do that!  It's not nice!" and that goes right in the Book.  Daddy says "That's naughty!" and that goes in the Book too.  Big brother says "Stop it!" and that goes in.  Teacher says "No, you are wrong!" and you write that in your book.  You are told to read a sacred text, and everything you read there is copied into your Book.

So far I have mainly covered the negatives.  But all the positive strokes go in there too.  For example your partner says "Yes, that is so good!" and that gets written in your Book.

I have also mainly covered things said to and aimed at you.  But everything you see, hear and feel gets interpreted and is added to your Book.  You see good things happening to friends, and your unconscious tries to work out what actions led to this and then adds a new rule to your Book.  You see bad things happening to friends, and your unconscious tries to work out what actions led to this and then adds another new rule to your Book.  Sometimes this can be a good thing.  Especially if you have ensured you associate with good, successful people.  But it will not always be good, as your unconscious mind does not always interpret cause and effect correctly, and some quite irrational rules can be added as a result.

As you watch your favourite drama on television, and something good or bad happens to one of the characters, you will unconsciously be assessing what actions led up to that good or bad result and then that gets added to your Book too.  The same with films you watch and novels you read.  Perhaps you need to take a little more care over what you expose yourself to - or at least be aware of what is happening here and try to counteract it.

Nothing written in your Book of Law is ever erased unless you take great trouble to erase it.  So when your partner says "Yes, that is so good!" that stays even if you change partners and whatever it was is not enjoyed by your new partner!

How do you use your Book of Law?

Well, obviously one way you use it is to decide what is good and what is bad.  If you are strongly religious you are more likely to modify this if it conflicts in any way with what you have learned from your sacred text.  But the fact that you are first led one way and then have to consciously counteract this can create issues for you.  It would probably make life more comfortable for you if you had some way of finding out what some of those "false" rules in your Book are and then neutralizing them.

But that is not the only way you use it.  You also use it rather like Judge Dredd in the famous comic series and movie.  You judge yourself for having broken one of the laws - perhaps only by fleetingly having thought how nice it might be to do something which is shown in your Book as inappropriate.  Having judged yourself, you then punish yourself.  Unfortunately that is not an end to it.  Every time you remember that you broke this law, your Judge rises again and punishes you again.  This can happen many, many times for just one lapse (or even something that isn't a lapse but that conflicts with your Book).

What is even worse is that you will find there are many conflicting laws in your Book.  There are bound to be lots of cases where something you were told or you worked out was good, there is later something that seems to illustrate it was bad.  Rather than one rule replacing the other, you end up with both rules in your Book.  So you are "damned if you do and damned if you don't".

What should by now be clear to you is that it would be good to have some way of removing all these superfluous, and often completely wrong, rules in your Book of Law.  Fortunately there are a number of tools you can use and a number of coaches who specialize in this area.  Look for terms such as "Limiting Beliefs", "Abundance Blocks", or simply "Blocks".

One coach I have found who is very good at removing unwanted rules from your Book of Law is Christie Marie Sheldon.  She runs a free Masterclass on this called "Unblock Your Abundance".  Check it out at http://mval.li/?a=84&c=1762&p=r&s1=

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Stalled Goals


Do you have any goals you have not yet reached?  I am sure you do, even if you haven't paid much thought to them recently.  Humour me a moment and write down some of those goals, perhaps the most important ones.

Against each of the goals, write down why you have not yet reached it.

If you have written that you simply haven't got there yet, but are on the way, and if this is completely honest, then congratulations!  That is exactly the way things should be!  You should always have goals you have achieved, hopefully many such goals, and also goals you are on the way to reaching.  It would certainly not be a good thing simply to have a whole series of goals you have already reached, and no further goals you want to reach.

I suspect, though, that if you are honest you will not have written "on the way" against every single unachieved goal.  Let us have a look at those goals and see what the problem is.

Sometimes we think we want to achieve something, but as we start working towards it our desires change.  This is no longer something we really want to achieve.  If that is the case, cross that goal out.  It doesn't belong on the list.  Every one of us will have changed some of our goals during our life, not because we think they are unattainable but because we realize we have evolved and those goals no longer inspire us.  There is no problem here - you just need to tidy up your list a little - there is no point pretending to yourself that you want something when really you don't.

But sometimes we also have goals we still want to achieve but we are not making any progress towards them.  These are the goals we need to look at very carefully.

As a first step, make sure none of those goals belong in the "cross out" list.  For each goal, think deeply about this question - do you really want to achieve this?  I know you initially left it on the "want to achieve" list, but does it truly still inspire you?  When thinking about this, don't confuse the issue by trying to decide whether or not it is achievable - just think about whether or not it is something that really inspires you when you think about it.

You may find a few goals do need to be transferred to the "cross out" list.  If so, cross them out.  Don't leave them on the list.  They don't belong there.

So now look through the remaining goals.  The ones you know you would still like to achieve but against which you are not making any progress.  These are what I refer to as "Stalled Goals".

For each of your "stalled goals" you now need to try to work out why they are stalled.

There can be many reasons for this, but I tend to divide those reasons into just three:

  1.  I don't believe it is achievable.
  2.  There is something inside me that seems to stop me from making any progress even though I believe it should be achievable.
  3.  There is nothing blocking me, and I am certain it is achievable, but I simply cannot be bothered.


The division between each of these reasons may be a bit murky.  Perhaps there is a combination of reasons.  But usually you can place the main reason squarely within one of the three.  So I am now going to show you how to start chipping away at the reasons for the stall.

I don't believe it is achievable


There is nothing that is completely unachievable, no matter how ambitious it may seem.  You have to be prepared to move outside your comfort zone.  Maybe by so doing you will find what you thought couldn't happen actually can.

In many cases, though, this is not enough by itself.  Even moving outside your comfort zone you cannot see any way you could achieve this.  Don't worry, this is not the end of the process!

Where you very much want to achieve something but feel it is completely unachievable, begin by breaking it down, where possible, into smaller "jumps".  By looking at the end result, and seeing all the obstacles in the way of achieving it, you are convincing yourself it is impossible - but nothing is impossible.  Nothing!  Imagine you cannot swim, and between you and your goal there is a very big and deep river.  If you just see the goal in the distance and the very wide river you will not even begin to do anything to reach your goal, as it doesn't seem possible to get there.  But now I want you to look much more carefully at what is in the river.  Can you see there are stepping stones there?  When you were focussed on the goal you couldn't see those stones, but now you can see they are there.  Jump from the bank to the first stone.  You are not at your goal, but you are one step closer.  Now jump to the next one.  You are two steps closer.  Keep doing this and you will keep narrowing the distance.  Eventually you will find there is just one more jump and you have reached your goal.

Each time you make a small jump, you are not only one step closer to your ultimate goal, but also you have reached a smaller goal which can also bring you happiness.  So keep making those small steps and keep changing your life for the better.

Something inside me is stopping me from making any progress


This is a very common reason.  Such limiting beliefs are more common that perhaps you realize.  Somewhere deep inside you is an illogical, but powerful argument that says you shouldn't get there.  Maybe it says it is wrong to try, that in some way your goal is sinful.  Maybe it says you don't deserve it.  Sit still for a moment and see what thoughts rise to the surface as you meditate on this goal.  Almost certainly you will find a reason that has no logic.  Once you have identified this reason, give it a form.  For example, make it a small but nasty green monster.  Pick up that monster, tell it that it no longer belongs here, and throw it in a dustbin.  Do this with full focus and you will find the power of this block is greatly diminished.  It has been inside you for many years, so you may need to repeat the exercise several times.  Each time you do, you will take away more and more of its power, until eventually it has gone completely.  You should feel as though a burden has been lifted, and now you can make progress towards your desired goal.

I cannot be bothered


If truth be told, this reason afflicts us all.  We have to take action to get anything that is worthwhile.  Yes, we want it, but we are lazy and cannot be bothered.

The answer to this one is to do something that DOES make us bothered.  Focus on what your life is like now, without reaching this goal, and what it will be like once you have reached it.  Do this enough times and the energy you will stir up inside yourself will be enough to propel you into action so you CAN reach your goal.

Summary


Most, if not all, of us have stalled goals.  But just like a stalled car engine, there is usually something we can do to start it - even if that means calling on a professional who knows how to do it.  So get out there and start your engine!


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Habit of Gratitude


"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love."

No, this is not something written by a "new thought" guru.  It was written by the Stoic Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, some time between 161 and 180 AD.  Marcus Aurelius was very much a student and practitioner of self-improvement.  He even wrote his "Meditations" (from which this quote comes) in Biblical Greek rather than his native Latin, purely to improve his fluency in that language.

How do you awaken every morning?  How do you feel?  What are your first thoughts and feelings?  Do you open your eyes, smile, and say "Good morning, God!", or do you keep your eyes closed, sigh, and say "Good God, Morning!"?  I hope usually the former, but perhaps at least some days it is more the latter!

The truth is, it really is a precious privilege to be alive, just as Marcus Aurelius said nearly 2,000 years ago.  So perhaps you should try to make your first thought when you awake a feeling of gratitude that you are still alive.  You have many things for which you should be grateful, but certainly being alive must be one of them.

It may not be easy at first to adopt this new habit.  But try to make it that - a habit of gratitude.  First recognize that you are still alive, that you are breathing.  That shouldn't be too difficult, even when you are half asleep and bleary eyed!  Then recognize that you have the ability to think.  Know that you have the right to enjoy this extra day you have been given life.  And feel the wonderful power of love around and within you.

When you first try to do this you will probably find it is quite erratic.  One day you will remember the moment you awaken.  The next day you will forget, and maybe only around midday will you suddenly remember that you forgot your morning "gratitude exercise".  When that happens, don't worry.  Simply feel and express your gratitude for life, thought, happiness and love the moment you remember to do so.  Just try whenever you can to remember to do it first thing so it colours your attitude to the rest of the day.

After a while you will find it starts to become a habit.  Some gurus will tell you that it takes 21 days to establish a habit.  But don't take that as gospel.  Otherwise you will be trapped into worrying when you miss a day and perhaps thinking you have to start counting towards 21 all over again, or at least deduct a few days from your progress towards 21.  The reality is there is no magic number to create a habit, not 21, or 30 or any other number.  So just keep doing it, and don't berate yourself when you miss a day, or even several days in a row.  Just keep going.  Express your gratitude every day, preferably at least when you wake up, but also later in the day - ideally in the latter case thinking of some specifics other than just life, happiness and love for which you have every reason to be grateful.

When gratitude becomes a habit you will find your life changes significantly, and for the better.  As I said before, we all have good reason to be grateful.  If you want to look for reasons to be unhappy I am quite sure you can easily find them.  But I also know you have many reasons to be happy.  So make it a habit to be grateful for those reasons you have to be happy.  By reminding yourself you have good reason to be happy, you will find you ARE happy.  And wouldn't you far rather be happy than be sad?

What you will also find is that things around you begin to change, and you will have even more reasons to be grateful.  Simply by feeling and expressing gratitude you will attract to yourself people and situations that will make you even more grateful, that will give you more reasons to be happy, that will increase the love you have for others and the love others return to you.

What a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.  It really is a privilege.  Recognize this, be grateful for it, and reap the enormous benefits you will gain as you do so.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Abundance Blocks


If you have been studying personal development for a while you have probably come across the term "abundance block".  But what exactly is it, and why is it important?

Your unconscious mind is very much like a computer.  Program it in the right way and it will give you the right answer.  But the term "gigo" (garbage in - garbage out) very much applies here.  It has no good way of testing the truth or otherwise of what it is told.  Again, just like a computer.  If you write a program instructing your computer to do certain things, and if you use the right syntax to write the program instructions, it will do exactly what you say.  It doesn't care whether or not there is any logic in what it is being told to do, even though it is an entirely logical machine.  It just does it because it has been told to do it.

On being told this, some people think all they need to do is give the right instructions to their unconscious mind and all will be well.  They prepare the right "affirmations", recite them every day, and then expect their unconscious mind to start creating opportunities which will lead them to their goal.  In theory this should work.  In practice it often doesn't, and it is then tempting to say "affirmations don't achieve anything - they are a complete waste of time and effort!"  But the reason it doesn't work is because there is some deep seated underlying "programming" which is taking us in a very different direction.  This underlying programming creates "abundance blocks".

Abundance blocks can be created at any time, but many of the more powerful blocks were created many years ago, often during very early childhood.

There are many different kinds of abundance blocks.  The way in which they block us differs, but the end result is the same.

A very common abundance block is the belief that we do not deserve abundance.  That abundance may be wealth, and it often is.  But it may be, for example, good relationships, a satisfying career, etc, etc.  Anything, in fact, that we would like to achieve.

So your unconscious mind may have been programmed to believe you do not deserve to be wealthy, or do not deserve to have love, or do not deserve to have a good job.  Often, it is so deeply buried that you don't even realize it is there.  You try to become wealthier, but your unconscious mind "knows" that you do not deserve to be wealthy, as that it what it was programmed to believe many years ago.  And so it refuses to let you become wealthy.  Or allows you to become wealthy for a brief period and then lose it all.

Or it may have been programmed to believe that whatever it is you want is evil.  Typically this will be wealth, although again it may be anything that you would regard as signalling success.  Perhaps it believes you cannot be spiritual if you are aiming for success in one way or another.  There is no conflict between a good, happy relationship and spirituality.  There is no conflict between a satisfying career and spirituality.  There is no conflict between being wealthy and being spiritual.  Did you react at all when you read any of those statements?  Did you feel some resistance inside you?  Perhaps when I said there is no conflict between being wealthy and being spiritual?  Did your unconscious mind feed you some phrases along the lines of "money is the root of all evil"?  This is a very common unconscious belief (sometimes a conscious belief too), which is completely untrue but which has created an abundance block that will prevent you becoming or remaining wealthy.

Sometimes these abundance blocks have arisen from a direct comment.  Perhaps your parents told you when you were a child that money is the root of all evil.  Or they may have told you that if you want to be successful you have to work hard.  On the surface that sounds a reasonable thing to say.  It is certainly good to work for success, to do things likely to lead you to success.  But if your unconscious believes you can only be successful if you work hard, then all the time you are not working hard (because, for example, you are getting the sleep you need, or eating the food you need to eat to stay alive!) it will decide you cannot become successful because you are not working hard.  It has a very simple program equating success with working hard and cannot recognize that sometimes you have to do something else.

Sometimes the abundance blocks have arisen indirectly.  For example, as a young child you may have heard your parents arguing about money.  Maybe not a very bitter, long argument, just the kind of "spat" most of us have from time to time.  But to your young child's mind there is now an association between money and unhappiness.  That will create a powerful abundance block.

Abundance blocks like these are usually buried very deep.  It may take some time to identify them.  One way to recognize you have them is to see how you react to words like "wealth", "money", "love", "success" etc.  Any feeling other than great joy and happiness suggests you have an abundance block you have to remove before you can receive the abundance the Universe wants you to receive.

Although it is possible to identify and remove these abundance blocks yourself, it is a lot easier to enlist help to do so.  Use a coach who specializes in this area.  Personally I have taken programs run by the excellent coach Christie Marie Sheldon.  You can attend one of her webinars free to identify and remove one of your abundance blocks, and then consider following one of her programs to deal with the many other blocks you almost certainly have.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Manifestation and the Supernal Triad



If you really want to manifest your desires you need to use the principles expressed in the Qabalah as the Supernal Triad.

I hope you haven't switched off at this point.  Yes, I know that unless you have studied the Tree of Life what I have just written is probably Double Dutch to you!  But bear with me - the concept is both important and easy to understand.

Before I go any further let me reassure you.  I am not saying you have to learn the basics of the Qabalah in order to manifest properly.  Rather, I am just saying that the Qabalah neatly outlines what you must do in order to manifest your desires, even if when you do so you do not realize what you are doing has a Qabalistic interpretation.

In Qabalah, the Supernal Triad is the top three "Sephiroth" of the Tree of Life.  It is the way the Supreme Being begins creation.  And used properly it is the way we, too, create reality from our inner dreams.

There are three points in the Supernal Triad, as you probably realize from the name.  They are "Kether", "Binah" and "Chokmah".  Some describe Kether as the Soul, Binah as the Womb into which the Soul enters, and Chokmah as the force of Creation that results when the Soul enters the Womb.  But there are also other names for these three Sephiroth, and those names show you what you need to do in order to manifest properly.

Kether, the Soul is also known as "Desire".  Binah, the Womb, is "Imagination".  Chokmah, Creation, is "Visualization".

In order to manifest you must have all three in balance.  Miss out any one of the three and you will have, at best, a very lukewarm power to turn your dreams into reality.  More likely nothing will happen at all and you will walk away from the whole concept of the Law of Attraction complaining it doesn't work.

The work of Manifestation begins with Desire.  If you do not really desire whatever it is you are dreaming of it will remain as just a dream.  Your desire has to be strong.  Like a flame in a furnace you can stoke up your desire as long as there is a spark of desire there in the first place.  But make sure you are focussed on a real dream.  Too many people think they really want to achieve something, but the desire is not strong enough simply because they have not truly identified their real dream.

Once you have fanned your Desire into a passion, it is ready to act - which it does by entering the womb of Imagination to create through Visualization.

Imagination is important.  Too many people go straight from Desire to Visualization and miss out the step of Imagination.  You need to use your Imagination to begin creating the right Visualization.  Stoke up your Desire, and then begin using your Imagination to create the right scene.  If you use your Imagination properly you will find it automatically leads to a powerful Visualization.

If you find you don't have enough Imagination to create a vivid Visualization, such that it seems, when you close your eyes, to be as solid as the "reality" you see around you when you open your eyes, you should work on improving your Imagination.  To some people this comes naturally.  Those are the people who find the Law of Attraction works for them the moment they hear about the need to Visualize, as long as they are Visualizing something they truly Desire.  But it can also be a learned skill.  Like any other skill, you need to study it and then practise it.  One way to build your imagination is to read voraciously.  Pick authors who write powerfully, whose books are filled with descriptive paragraphs.  Read those paragraphs and then picture the scenes in your mind.  After you put the book down, re-visit the scene.  Try to see it in detail.  And don't just see it - use all your other senses too.  Hear it.  What do you smell?  What do you feel?  If, for example, you are reading a Joseph Conrad book with the setting in a jungle in Southeast Asia, imagine yourself in that jungle.  You are so hot!  The sweat is pouring off you.  There are the smells of strange plants around you.  This really works!

I have mentioned Joseph Conrad.  Yes, his novels are now very dated.  But they are also very powerful and a great source of scenes to improve your skills of imagination.  Or try Ernest Hemingway - another now perhaps dated, but very powerful author.  John Steinbeck, perhaps.  If you are into science fiction (or maybe even if you are not!) try Ray Bradbury or Brian Aldiss.  There are very many authors who are really great at building a scene, where you can visualize what they are describing as you read.  Just remember to keep practising re-creating those scenes even when you are not reading.

Once you have gained the skill of re-creating in your mind the scenes from the books, use that same skill to Visualize whatever it is you desire.  Again, use all your senses.  As you do so, fill the scene you are Visualizing with your deep Desire to make this dream a reality.  By doing this properly you will be using the full Supernal Triad which is the Universal force of Creation, and you simply cannot fail.  You are using a Universal Law, and Universal Laws never fail.

If you wish to source any of the writers I have mentioned, try your local library.  Certainly Conrad, Hemingway and Steinbeck should be there as their works are absolute classics.  One disadvantage, though, is that you will have a limited time to practise your imagination skills.  Also, some people find it helps to highlight or underline the passages they want to visualize.  Don't do that to a library book!

An alternative is to buy the book from a reputable source.  I have listed the particular books I think you will find the best for this exercise, and given you quick links to the cheapest copies I have found on Amazon.  Just click the link and it will take you to the right page to order it.  The first list is if you wish to pay in US$ and the second if you wish to pay in UK£.

US Versions:

UK Versions:

Finally, if you would like some help in using words, sounds and images to improve your Creative Visualization techniques, try using Mind Movies.  This is a brilliant way of focusing your Desire through Imagination into Visualization, and therefore using the Universal Law of the Supernal Triangle to create reality out of your dreams.  Click here to find out more.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Visualization



If you have been studying personal development for long I am sure you have come across the concept of visualization.  My purpose now is to explore exactly what visualization is and why it is important.  How do you do it, and what difference does it make?

Visualization is imagining something so strongly, so clearly, that you almost feel as though it is really here.  Or, if you are very good at it, so that you really DO feel it is here!

Everything is energy.  Have you ever heard that before?  Well, it is true.  Absolutely EVERYTHING is energy.  The chair you are sitting on.  The floor you are standing on.  Yes, they are physical, they are material.  But what do we mean by physical and material?  Everything physical consists of atoms.  And atoms consist of sub-atomic particles - which are all simply energy.

When you dream of something, if you invest that dream with enough energy you will create the substance of your dream.  In order to do that properly you have to visualize it.  Really see it.  Close your eyes and imagine you are really there. 

Are you dreaming of a lovely holiday on a sunny beach in a hot climate?  Is that something you would like to turn into reality?  If so, do everything you can to feel as though you are really there now.  Prepare for this in advance of your visualization.  Begin by getting some photos of the kind of place you would like to visit.  Stick those pictures in an album.  Take some time to look carefully at each picture.  Burn it into your visual memory.  Are there any sounds that should be associated with this dream?  Maybe the sound of waves gently lapping at the shore?  See if you can find some recordings of this sound.  Search hard enough and you will find a recording like this somewhere online.  How about the sense of touch?  In the example I have given, there is the feel of sand slipping through your fingers.  You should be able to find some nice soft sand somewhere too.  Pick up a handful and let it slip through your fingers just as if you were sat on the lovely beach you have imagined.  Now close your eyes.  Bring back into your mind the pictures you put in the album.  Play the associated sounds - you can either literally play the recording now, or simply re-play it in your mind.  Feel that soft sand running through your fingers.  Smell the salt air.

How does all this make you feel?  It should, of course, make you feel happy!  Very happy!  Bask in that happy feeling.

If you do this properly, you are truly visualizing.  By visualizing you are creating an alternative reality.  Your visualization and emotion combined will have produced the right energy to turn your dream into a reality.  That reality has not yet turned into a physical reality, but it will at some point in the future if you allow it!

Do not underestimate the power of visualization!  It is a very powerful technique indeed.  Treat it, therefore, with some respect.

Never try to visualize something negative.  For example something bad happening to someone who has hurt you.  It is actually possible to create something very negative, something very bad in this way.  That bad thing may indeed happen to that unfortunate person, but whether or not it does, be certain of one thing - it will come back to haunt you and something at least as bad will happen to you.

Also, be careful in general about including real people in your visualizations.  It is one thing to dream of something you want to happen happening to you.  You may find when it materializes that it is not really what you wanted - but then you can simply change your visualization, fine tuning it so that it produces what you really want.  But it is quite different using the same technique to make something happen to someone else, no matter how good you think it might be for them.  Certainly hold them in love, with wishes for happiness, peace, and other positive states.  But don't be too specific.  Just as you can find you need to fine tune the dream you had for yourself, so it can be that the dream you had for someone else is not really right for them in their situation right now.  The difference is that they are unaware of what you have done and cannot therefore fine tune or ask you to fine tune it.  God gave us all free will, so don't try to turn yourself into a god and impose your own will on someone else, no matter how good you think it might be for them.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Choose Happiness!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decide to be happy from today!


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Dealing with Fear


Are you ever afraid?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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