Using the Lockdown for your advantage- How to Set and Keep A Goal –

I recently read a post on FB about how now is not the time to keep exercising or learning how to play an instrument, because of anxiety and stress about the coronavirus.

This is, of course, a perfectly valid way to live your life. Give your brain free rein and let it freak you out and hijack how you spend your days. Living in fear, passing on fear to others, and making decisions out of fear (or stress or anxiety).

Or you can clean up your mental hygiene and give yourself permission to not freak out or indulge in your anxiety, even if the REST OF THE WORLD IS.

You simply (simple but perhaps hard to do) change your thinking about the situation. Rather than stress about what you can’t control, allow your mind to tell you what it fears, acknowledge that, and then consciously search out the opposite of the fears of what your brain is telling you. For example, you can say that the economy is tanking and global recession and job loss – feeling the total fear and anxiety from this. You can then look at where there are bright spots; government stimulus, grocery stores and online businesses doing really well. People able to continue working at home, helping neighbors, and more.

You Have 30 (or 60?) Days. What Will You Do With It

You have 30+ more days of this lock down. Do you really want to stress out and over eat and over drink to manage your anxiety? Or do you want to maybe come out of the lockdown with the ability to play the piano? Or having lost 8 lbs? Or having read your full reading list? Or having all of your closets organized and your house finally deep cleaned?

After spending a week coming to terms with our new reality and allowing myself to freak out a bit and come up with a new normal, I’m excited about all that I can accomplish over the next month. I personally have set my goals and I’m looking forward to working on a bit of them each day, until the 30 days is up.

Anxiety Gets You Nowhere

Anxiety will keep your brain laser focused on all the threats outside. Update your thinking by updating your thoughts, whatever that looks like for you. All you have in your control are your thoughts about your circumstances. Get excited about how you can use this opportunity for changing habits and updating behavior.

Set Your Goal

To make it easier, come up with one goal for the next 30 days. Because it’s easy and measurable, I will use the example of weight loss. Many of us are over eating right now, unable to get to the gym or our yoga class, and the fridge is RIGHT THERE every day all day. So you’ve got 30 days, or 4.25 weeks. That’s say, an 8 lbs weight loss for the month. Or you can organize all your closets this month. You’ve got 8 (or 5 or 12) closets, that means two per week of it’s 8 closets.

How to Set and Keep Your Goal

Set out your measurable goal. Break it down into bite sized tasks (no pun intended).

If it’s weight loss, what is your plan of attack? Will you be reducing your carbs? Will you be using intermittent fasting to kick start your weight loss? Get specifics what what will change. Then plan for tomorrow. If you’re doing IF (which I do), plan for your window opening and closing tomorrow and stick with it. Plan your meals (and for your family’s if applicable).

If it’s your closets, look at your closets and really catalogue mentally what’s in there . Allow your brain to start working out what should go and what should stay. Allow your brain to work on how to solve what you’ll do with the stuff that needs to go. Will you trash it? Will you put it in the garage to give away? When do you have time to start organizing? Two per weekend? 1 hour per day? Let you brain loose.

Use visualization each morning and night to keep you motivated and focused. Really imagine the scale at the end of the month showing you the new weight. Feel your body and how much better you sleep and how much looser your clothes will be. Really get into it and allow yourself to feel the buzz. Your brain will get to work while you sleep, helping you come up with ways to solve this puzzle.

Think of the closets and how much lighter you’ll feel being able to use the closets quickly and easily and that you’re no longer burdened with items you don’t want. Picture them as complete neat and tidy. Again, your brain will get to work while you sleep, helping you come up with ways to solve this puzzle.

Keep Changing Your Thoughts to Those That Serve You

If your brain comes up with something about how you can’t get it done, notice your thoughts and upgrade the thought. Allow it to be and allow it yourself to acknowledge it as it really it. And then change the thought to one that will serve and empower you, allowing you to feel better.

Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. You have 30 days to use. Use them to serve you.

And then do the work. Open and close your IF window. Use the weekend to clean your closets. No excuse. Just do it. It’s 30 days.

You got this!

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How to Manifest – a Short and Quick Guide

What will you manifest?

I know there is a lot written about manifesting so I’m going to be short and sweet to help refine your technique, in case you’re frustrated with your results.

Step #1: Activate your connection to the Sacred. This is the most important step because trying to intend something without the Divine can be counterproductive, hard, or frustrating. And the results are likely as not to be somewhat off the mark of your true intention. There are several ways to active your conscious connection with the Sacred. Use any technique to get into a higher vibration or a vibratingly intense state or stir your kundalini energy.

Here are a few techniques to active this connection. Try them all to see which is the easiest and most effective. All of them should be practiced in silence and without fear of interruption.

Technique #1: Breath work. Breathe out to a count of ten (or as high as you can) to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathe in normally and then focus on the out breath, making it as long as you can. Do this one more time and then begin, if you feel the tingling and the weightlessness that can indicate your connection is active and strong.

Technique #2: Breathe in slowly through your nose and then let it out of your mouth. Do this between 3 and 13 times. For some reason, this works as well as the previous one. For me, when I use this one, I feel a vibration in my dantian and my scalp starts to tingle and feel warm and I know I’m connected.

Technique #3: Visualize your spine and the current of kundalini energy that is vibrating up and down your spine. Attach your mind’s eye to the energy and follow it, starting from the kundalini pot at the base of your spine and see it spiral up and around your spine, like a snake spiraling outside the spine, and back down again. Follow this coursing energy for several moments, perhaps up to a few minutes. Begin to feel the tingling somewhere in your body to know that you’re connected to the Divine.

Technique #4: I got this technique from combining Martha Beck‘s and Eckhart Tolle‘s advice. Both are fabulous teachers, btw and definitely check them out if you haven’t. With this technique, you sit in a chair or on the floor in a meditation position, back upright, eyes closed, palms upright on your knees. Begin to sense the energy in your palms. Feel this energy and keep attached to it with your mind’s eye. Then, while holding with your senses the energy in your palm, begin to feel the energy in your dantian or third chakra. Feel the energy flowing between them and through them. And then while holding your sense of the energy in your palms and in your dantian, bring your focus to your 3rd eye (sixth chakra). Now hold them all together and feel the energy flowing through them and between them. You can then feel your connection to the Sacred and the tingling in your body.

Once you feel the connection, continue to the next step.

Step #2: Create a clear intention. Spend some time getting clear on what you want and then perhaps write it out and say it out loud.

You may lose your connection if you write it out and say it out loud so don’t worry if this happens. Either drop back in using any of the techniques above or end your session and sit with what’s happened.

When you’re connected, continue to the next step.

Step #3: Feel and sense the visualized intention in your mind and body. This perhaps may be the next most important step. Your mind and body don’t really respond to words and logic. Instead the language of the spirit and body is visualization and feeling. So hold the intention in your mind’s eye and really feel it being real.

Again this is important so I’ll walk you through it. Let’s use a common intention which is to manifest a million dollars.

If you want to manifest a million dollars, feel the feeling of having the money in your bank, writing the final check to pay off your debt, or on the plane with flight you’re able to purchase because you have this money. Or whatever it is that gives you joy and excitement about this intention. Feel it. See it in your mind’s eye. Sense the joy that comes with it. Continue doing this until you feel a zing. It doesn’t have to take long. Maybe a 30 seconds or a minute. Don’t linger but also know that your intention needs the power of your feeling and sensation to really bring it manifestation.

So if you don’t feel the “zing” or a sense of pure peace and joy from the visualization, then the intention is either created out of fear and anxiety or youre conflicted about the intention.

It’s ok if you’re conflicted. You’ll need to understand the pushing and pulling you’re feeling about the intention and resolve the conflict, otherwise the intention won’t be manifested.

Step #4 – Once you can feel that the intention has been activated, release it back to the Universe to be brought from the Unmanifested through the Mystery, through the Universe’ own way.

How, when and if the intention is manifested isn’t your concern. You keep on with the intention, which is your part.

Still have questions? Lemme have’em

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Cocreating with the Universe – a Better Way to Manifest Your Dream Life- Part 2

This is the 2nd of two posts on how to Manifest your Dream Life. Here is Part 1.

My amazing daily walk to yoga in Penestanan. Walking along the subak system.
Walking to Yoga in Bali

In my previous post, I wrote about how to better manifest your dream life by adding on the following caveat- I intend ________ or something like it, for my highest good and the highest good of all.

I continue with examples of how I able to manifest specific circumstances in my life- and those that I intend with the caveat “or something like it, for my highest good and the highest good of all” land much better in my life, more aligned with my deepest intention and path.

Example #4: Twenty + years ago, I was working for a firm that did international development in developing countries for the US government. I was keen to keep following up on my passion for traveling, after having spent a year of undergrad in Paris and a 2.5 years in Benin in West Africa with the Peace Corps. And I got what I intended through this job and I started traveling extensively for my job on trips ranging from a few weeks to several months, mostly in West and Southern Africa- like Mali, Botswana, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe, and in Haiti and also -oddly- in Nepal. Plus many others trips and multiple trips back to these countries.

I then started to notice a pattern. Whenever I made plans for a vacation, mainly to visit my brother in Indiana or my parents in California, or to run a marathon or a long bike ride for which I trained, I all of a sudden had an urgent business trip and I couldn’t run the marathon or go on vacation.

I then decided to test my hypothesis. When I needed some additional money to buy something, I decided to try to “get” additional money through traveling for work and saving my per diem. Lodging was spend to get (you only get what the cost of the hotel was) but you get a set amount per day and most places I was traveling, I also got a post diff/hazard pay type lift in per diem because living conditions were considered so difficult/hazardous. But as a recently returned Peace Corps volunteer, living in a hotel anywhere in the world was not a hardship for me.

In testing this hypothesis, I wrote or called my parents or brother and made plans to visit, like researching flights and prices. I truly intended to take the trip. I told no one and I didn’t ask for the time off. And within a few days, I’d get the call from work that some trip was in the offing for the exact dates of my proposed vacation. So I traveled, saved my per diem to the extent possible, and paid off my credit card or bought the whatever. I did this many many times and it literally never failed. I truly had to intend the vacation or the effort , like the Marine Corps Marathon or a long century bike ride, and boom, another trip was in the offing and the vacation or the effort had to be cancelled.

I don’t actually know why this happened. I wonder now if it was to create some space in my life from the attachments here in the US or if it was simply to awaken me to the Mystery. I don’t have to know why. I just love that it happens this way.

This experience of calling in the Mystery helped cement my understanding that there was more in play in the world than science and the logical mind could explain. And I loved it.

Example #5- For a few years, I had it as one of my intention to live by the beach in a foreign country. Each year for several months, I would visualize living on the beach in a foreign country, living my best life. I would see myself walking along the beach, enjoying the sunshine and feeling content and grateful. And then I would release into back into the Unmanifest and go about my life. I intended it but I had no idea how to swing such a big change for my family. I just affirmed my intention each year. And in 2018, our child care, while awesome, was part time and my partner traveled for work often and I had several nights a week by myself, trying to put the twins down. I started to feel overwhelmed, overworked, and sad.

I thought that may an au pair could be the answer- full time and live in so I’d get a lot of help. But then I found out that we’d have to buy a car for her use, which made hiring an au pair expensive and not feasible. I was getting cranky and sad about how isolating my stay at home mom of twins life was becoming. The twins didn’t want any friends and they didn’t want me to chat with other Moms at the playground. I was starting to despair a bit.

My partner asked me why we didn’t just head to Bali and see if we could make a go of it there, using all the money we were spending on our part-time nanny on a new life there. I brought up the details and the cost of an au pair and gave him several ideas of how we could swing the au pair and he’d respond to my strategies, always ending the conversation with “I still think we should go to Bali”. We kept up this dialogue for several weeks but it seemed crazy and I kept trying to go the safe and normal route. And then a light bulb came on. What was the problem with trying it? Why was I resisting this? It’s everything I wanted! In short order, we bought one way tickets for our family and rented houses via Airbnb for two months and headed out in January of the following year. We ended up staying in Bali for 9 months and then headed to France for over 2 months. We were gone from the US for just shy of a year. It was everything I had hoped for and it taught me a lot about how to best travel with my kids, how strong and capable I really am, and what I didn’t want, like how much we moved from place to place. What a magical year. Again, what a gift!

Manifesting is actually pretty easy. Intend it to happen. Write it out to help you shape what you really intend. Visualize it with 3-D clarity and feelings. Feel the feeling of having it or embodying the intention (it’s a subtle hit of emotion that you’re really intending it- kinda a like chills on your scalp or a frisson of tension in your belly) Then release it back to the Universe to allow the Divine to move it from the Unmanifested to the Manifested. And remember to intend with ease and that your intention is brought to you for your highest good and the highest good of all.

What is your experience with Manifestation? I’d love to hear all the amazing, jaw dropping examples of the Mystery moving through your lives.

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Cocreating with the Universe – a Better Way to Manifest Your Dream Life- Part 1

In writing this blog, it went much longer than I originally envisioned so this is part 1 of 2. Part 2 can be found here.

Photo by Rocky T
Manifesting

As I’ve written before, I love the Mystery and while I’ve spent the first half of my life trying to control all inputs and outputs to my life, and some additional wide swathes of years since then doing the same, I now set my day and outlook trying to be accepting of what is. I look forward to seeing what life will bring to me and I especially like to look at all of the supposed setbacks and obstacles that occurred in my life that I now see as blessings.

For reasons I don’t even remember now, I applied to work at DIA and the CIA. I got job interviews with both agencies and I even got an offer to work at the DIA, but the pay was ludicrously low- something like an 80% pay cut from what I was earning at the time and there was no way I could support myself on it. And the CIA never called back after I interviewed with them. And I’m so grateful now that I didn’t get those jobs. I know I wouldn’t be in the place I am now with the business I have now.

Based on my experiences I highlight below, I no longer “worry” about manifesting the “wrong” thing. There simply is trust that there is no “right” or “final” decision. My life continues to evolve and no matter what situation I find myself in, I know that it will change soon or later. Circumstances and seasons in our lives rise and fall away only to have new circumstances rise and fall away. If you’re unhappy with your life now and desparately want to change it and think manifesting may help, you’re right (and you’re wrong). As they say, no matter where you go, there you are. So you can’t manifest away your core beliefs through changing your circumstance. You can allow what is happening in your life to be without avoiding it. Instead you can see what’s happening in your life as a reflection of your ability to be present with what is and use it as an indication of how tuned in you are to the greater Mystery.

Now when I think on what I’d like to have more of in my life, I make sure to ask for it with intention through Divine manifestation- and mostly importantly with the caveat that I only receive what is for my highest good and the highest good of all.

I look back at some of the things I’ve manifested through intention and those that were manifested mainly through will and effort. When I manifested any which way and I didn’t added in the caveat that it was for my highest good, everything I manifested ended up being ashes in my hands. Great learning lessons!

The following are some examples of really big, life altering changes in my life made through manifestation and intention:

Example #1. I was working in my own business with my partner and I really couldn’t stand the work. So I didn’t work that hard and the business wasn’t the greatest success but because I couldn’t face the truth that I wanted a giant, seismic shift in my life away from corporate life to one steeped in the Divine and Mystery, I “blamed” the economy for our financial woes. I decided to do the “smart” and safe thing and get a job with an established firm and a steady paycheck. The way I manifested this, for this new job and for all previous job changes, is that I wrote up my resignation letter and I put a true feelings and thought in it. I believed this was my resignation letter and then I signed it and dated it and then saved it to my computer, releasing it back into the Mystery and allowing for the Universe to work its magic. For 4 different job changes, it worked within a few weeks of the resignation date. It simply never failed.

In this example, I hustled. I searched all the job openings. I applied to several and I went for an interview and I got a job at the rate I asked for in short order. I then started work at the new job and it was a disaster from day 1. After realizing the depth of my “mistake”, I actually stuck it out for two years in an incredibly dysfunctional and toxic work environment because I was actually afraid of asking for anything else since I had made such a hash up of this intention. The job environment really was so awful and so toxic that I doubted myself and instead stayed and worked in that awful place.

But after some time, I look back now at that toxic work environment and I see that job as the beginning of the end for me of looking for safety and security through a job working for someone else on something that didn’t inspire me in the least. It helped me see that I wanted to start a business, working for myself.

I also see that work environment also woke up something in me that made me realize that I didn’t have to take people yelling at me, people gossiping and running my peers and colleagues down. Instead I stood up (literally came out of my chair to stand) to the yellers and told them to stop yelling at me. I was so clear, so level headed about it that they just stopped. And I’d asked the gossiper to stop or I changed the subject immediately. No apologies. No justifications. Just back to the business at hand and then a speedy departure from the meeting. This job, in retrospect, really was such a gift.

Example #2: While I was in that toxic work environment, I had the clear idea to start business. But instead of setting the intention to start a business, I instead asked for what I call an intermediary step/intention and I began to intend a job where I could work from home and spend the time I would have spent commuting to my job on my new business- 2 hours a day. So I started visualizing working from home, working in the sun out on the deck, doing my laundry while I sat at my computer. I then wrote up my resignation letter, made it real through feeling and intention, dated it, saved it to my computer, and kept visualizing working from home. Maybe two weeks later, without me having done any sort of searching for a job or telling anyone about my new intention, I got a phone call from an ex-colleague asking me if I was looking for a new job as there was a position with another firm in another state that was looking for someone with my experience but it was a work from home position. Was I interested? I laughed with joy and said yes. I soon interviewed and was offered the job at the rate I asked for. It was again two weeks off from the date on my resignation letter.

Although it was exactly what I had intended when I set about changing my life, I soon realized that this job wasn’t what I wanted either because I didn’t want a “job” and it made me aware that by asking for an intermediary step is not asking for what I really want.

Would all of this have transpired if I had remembered to ask to only receive my intentions if it’s in my highest good and the highest good of all? I don’t know but I don’t think so. My path may have been very different.

Example #3: The next big, huge, monumental change to my life was the realization that I really wanted to have kids but in my mid-40s I didn’t know how that was to happen. And given my “mistakes” with my previous big intentions, I was very afraid that I would get exactly what I wanted and then be responsible for another life but regret it and be a terrible parent.

So I started intending the pregnancy and this next phase of my life and we went through the IVF process. But throughout these several months of planning and preparation, I constantly prayed that if I were to get pregnant, “please only let me have children if it was for my highest good, their highest good, and the highest good of all.” I walked daily and spent some time every day visualizing being pregnant, getting the news, seeing my first ultrasound, and giving birth. I felt such joy with each visualization. And then I released the intention back into the Unmanifested and let the Universe decided when and how this would happen for me, if it was to happen.

About 14 months later, I was pregnant with twins. I had an easy pregnancy despite my extreme “advanced maternal age” and all doors easily opened on this path. My doctors were amazing. I got pregnant on the first try. No problems throughout my pregnancy and an easy, safe delivery. I delivered boy/girl twins at 36 weeks and 5 days, just 2 days early from the 37 week mark that is the healthiest for twins (twins are ideally delivered between 37 and 38 weeks)

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Intuition is Real- the Moment When I Realized I Could Trust It

River off of Git Git waterfall in northern Bali

Although I’ve had lots of intuitive/psychic moments in my life that have made me go “wow” and sent chills along my spine and my skin, I was also raised in a household that made absolute fun of anything that wasn’t scientific and tangible. Anything that wasn’t provable through science was “hocus pocus” and nonsense. Cognitive dissonance springs to mind when I think on the days where I had intuitive moments all the time but didn’t trust myself enough to follow through on much of the guidance I received in my early days.

After many years of vacillating between thought paradigms of intuition is nonsense to intuition is real and can be trusted, I realized that no matter what- I WANT the Mystery. I want a life full of things I can’t explain, where life is far more mysterious and grand than a plodding world of science and observable facts. So I hired a coach to help me trust and expand on my intuition. At first she despaired of me about how much I was in my head. I could barely visualize something or use my imagination at the time. But I learned to drop into my body and out of my head and I got better and more adept at visualizing and following intuition.

I then enrolled in my mentor’s Intuition University, where ultimately I completely five 8-week modules on intuition, mediumship, and techniques with which to better access the Mystery. In the second to last module, we were doing some cold readings for people who called in. My mentor, Sara, would guide us through the initial input we’d get before the person called in. For example, Sara would say, “ok, next up is Beth who is asking about what career she should be pursuing”. And we would then plug into the Mystery and take notes on what images we received and how best to communicate what we saw when we spoke with Beth. Beth would then call in and we (the other students and I) would go round robin and tell Beth what we saw.

We never really got feedback from the callers and I didn’t have much positive (or negative) feedback for the recipient. Just practice practice practice with cold readings. And then it was the finale week of the module with our last client. Sara told us that she didn’t want to give us much information about the client, simply that we should focus on what this client should be prioritizing over the coming summer.

So I did. And surprisingly, it was about me and my life. I was startled and a bit nervous because almost immediately I panicked that I wasn’t doing it right and how was I going to translate these personal images to the client. But what I saw was one blue knitted baby booty, my fertility drugs (I was several weeks into the process of IVF at the time), and a picture of my Mom (my Dad’s favorite picture) but with a weird shadowed, grey overlay over the picture.

So when Sara asked us to share our reading, I explained what I saw and that maybe the focus for the client should also be on getting pregnant, that maybe s/he was having a boy, and then something about their childhood or family of origin was calling them this summer.

After we had all given our input, Sara then revealed that the “client” she had been holding in her mind was each of us and that we were to use the information for ourselves for what should be our own priorities over the upcoming summer. I laughed and thought it was great fun and wondered at what all the images meant for me.

And then two days later my Mom died- the grey darkness over her picture was explained.

Two months later, I got pregnant with twins – the fertility drugs image was explained.

And despite my initial desire for twin girls (who would hopefully be BFFs), I ended up with boy/girl twins – the image of one blue booty – signifying to me that I was having a boy. For me, the blue booty was a helpful heads up that I was going to be having a boy and to get used to it. (He is such a joy and I laugh now that I was so concerned with getting two girls. They are so perfect together).

Further, because there was just one booty, I see that this image also signified that I was also having a girl.

And now, when I sometimes drift back into my old limiting mindset about what is really out there, I think back to this real “verifiable” reading I had and it continues to give me strength.

What a gift this memory is.

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