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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Say Goodbye to Confusion - Let Your Heart & Mind Decide Together

Un-crease those lines wrinkling your forehead! There's no need for confusion. You already know the Right Path to follow. You just need to let your Heart and Mind work together doing the jobs-the very different jobs-they were designed to do.

Your Mind is a magnificent tool that constantly registers, records and analyzes all the data in your environment-the people, pitfalls, events, resources, risks and dangers, anything that could possibly affect you.

It records it all in its memory banks where it compares every bit of new data to - What's Happened Before. It draws conclusions about what it all means and makes predictions based on past events. Best of all, it's constantly coming up with the best strategy it can find to keep you alive and get you what you want as you go through your day.

Your Heart, on the other hand, knows what you long for, what you truly need. It knows what's Right for you and what's not. It knows what's important to you and what's not. It knows why you came to this life and what you came for. No one else can tell you that-not your mother or husband or friends, for they haven't a clue. Think about it, how could anyone else possibly know why you came to this life better than you?

Your Heart knows What you want. Your Mind's job is to figure out How to get it.

Reverse their functions and you'll suffer the angst of being torn between Heart and Head. But deciding what to do is easy when you ask the right questions in the right order. Just follow these three simple steps.

First, ask your Heart what you truly desire. What do you long for? What are the activities, people and places that put a soft smile on your face? Imagine yourself 30 years from now looking back on your life. What things, if you did them, would make you feel that your life had been purposeful and meaningful?

When you're clear on this, tell your incredibly capable Mind to figure out how to get what your Heart wants. What choices do you have? What all could you do? Assess your options-all of them. Reject nothing, no matter how "crazy" or "unacceptable" it might seem. Just write it down. Before bedtime, tell your Mind to figure it out while you sleep peacefully. Write a brief summary of each option on a separate sheet of paper. Then make a quick list of its pros and cons, its benefits and drawbacks. Don't decide on, or eliminate, anything as you go through each item. Just jot down what it is. Do this with every option.

Third, go back to your Heart. Take each option one at a time. Read its pros and cons. Then close your eyes and imagine what your daily life would be like if you chose that path. See your self doing it, being it, feeling it. Then be still and ask your Heart what it knows. Pay attention to the sensations in your body-especially your chest and torso-as you imagine living this option. Does it feel constricted or peaceful? Is there lightness or a sudden chill? Freedom or heaviness? Relief or fear?

You'll know the right choice by the sensations in your body. Right Path will always feel light, peaceful, warm or comforting. Wrong Path will feel tight, heavy, constricted, uneasy or cold.

You can trust your Heart and Mind working together. Following your Heart will always guide you away from pain and toward your greatest joy. Drawing upon your Mind's ingenuity will get you there faster, and by way of the smoothest road.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prosperity Focus & Meditation

The topic before us is prosperity. What that means to you may be quite different to what it means to another. There is the prosperity that we all crave in the way of material possessions in the physical realm - houses, cars, clothes, furniture, jewelry and on and on. And then there is prosperity within the spiritual realm.

This is what we shall speak on for the next few moments.

For within the spiritual realm there is infinite abundance for all in every moment. BUT you must remember to ask for what it is you desire and then allow it to come to you. No need to push, no need to pull, just let it come to you. This is not a hard task. Just be willing to receive all that you deserve. As a child of the universe you are entitled to a universal inheritance of infinite wealth, infinite abundance, infinite LOVE. Prosperity on ALL levels is simply waiting for you to step outside of your old beliefs systems, your old thought patterns - and start to use your higher mind to assist you in the accumulation of all the infinite wealth you could ever need in the 3rd dimensional realm. However, a willingness to receive and the divine knowledge that YOU ARE WORTHY OF RECEIVING is quite the stumbling block for many of you on your chosen paths at this time.

For whatever reason, there are those among you who choose to believe that you are simply not worthy of receiving all that you desire. This stems from a faulty belief system that, for one reason or another, you feel there is something inherently flawed within your physical reality.

Because of this mistruth, you choose to disallow the universal abundance that is yours for the asking.

Just for this moment, choose to let go of all that has come before, ALL OF IT. Breathe into this way of being. Clear your energy systems of this old programming and breathe the One Breath in and the One Breath out. With each breath, affirm that you are ready to let go of all the old belief patterns, the old thought patterns. All the times where you chose to believe that you were not worth of receiving. Simply breathe these old ways of being out and breathe in the fullness of a new way of Being, a higher way of being. What you need just comes to you if you allow it to unfold.

Affirm that NOW you ARE fully ready to commit to all the abundance that the Universe will allow. Breathe in infinite wealth, breathe out infinite abundance, Breathe in infinite abundance and breathe out INFINITE PROSPERITY. Feel this infinite abundance surround your physical body, your emotional bodies, your mental bodies, your spiritual bodies.

In this higher way of Being, you have an infinite wealth of knowledge WITHIN YOU prompting you to claim all the prosperity that you are in pursuit of. Let us breathe more fully of this infinite abundance as we settle into the fullness of our Souls.

Take 4 deep slow breaths allowing your lungs to fill completely and then on the out breath allow all the air to leave your body, emptying it of any residual feelings from the past. Breathe in the infinite possibilities of the NOW moment. And then breathe out these same infinite possibilities to anchor into the reality that awaits you, around the corner.

And now in this place of infinite calm and awareness, imagine a bright golden white light pulsing down towards you physical body, immediately above your head. See the light coming closer and feel it as it connects with the top of your head. Breathe deeper still calling this light to you, enabling you to cleanse any and all of the old ways of being. Feel the light as it moves further still into your physical body and allow it to permeate your entire body. Feel the lightness of it all.

Feel the warmth of your connection to this purifying light. Breathe deeper still as you allow this cleansing to occur on all levels of your being in this very moment. Breathe deeper still and feel the purity within this physical form as the light fills your every fiber. Breathe it into the bones, the skin, the cells, your blood, your heart, your lungs, your back, your legs, your arms, your chest, your pelvic area, your buttocks. Breathe deeper still and know that you are light.

And from this place of purity and light, anchor in the Divine Knowledge that you are prosperous beyond imagination. You are prosperous to the infinite. As you breathe in this knowledge, know that all that you desire is already yours. This purification that you are experiencing, in the here and now, is allowing you to release any and all challenges you have experienced UP TO THIS TIME. You are now ready to fully accept all that you have ever been and all that you now are, in preparation for all that you are soon to be. The possibilities are endless and it is all your infinite choice.

AND NOW, imagine that high above you stand your own Holy Hosts, those members of your Spiritual hierarchy here to assist in your every endeavor. They are all here NOW to beam to you any and all of the assistance you may need as you commit to the full responsibility for your own wealth - the wealth that is inherent in a healthy physical body. The wealth that is inherent in a sound mind, clear of any self-doubts or limiting beliefs. The wealth of a Soul full of infinite amounts of Love, Light, Compassion, and strength of purpose.

A large urn is suspended in the center of your Holy Hosts, your Divine Assistants from Source.

As you sit in this deep place of calm, peace, tranquility and Divine acceptance, see these Holy Hosts start to tip the urn over. As they do so, see waves of rippling liquid light in gold and yellow and white radiating out and splashing down towards you. Feel these waves of liquid light wash over your energy bodies. Allow this liquid light energy to wash over and through you as you breathe more fully into the fullness of your Being.

And now here you sit bathed in light, full of light, simply LIGHT. Sit in this place of deep reverence for all levels of infinite abundance and fill to overflowing with the infinite possibilities for your own personal prosperity.

Stay in this place of infinite awareness for as long as you desire and when it feels right for you, slowly come back into conscious awareness of YOU and what is next, fully confident in your abilities to manifest all the Universe has in store for you.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Overcoming Fear - Five Techniques for Unlearning a Learned Fear

According to many psychologists, humans are only born with two innate fears-the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Both of these fears are healthy and designed to keep us away from danger while young. But if they are right, it also means that we have learned any other fears we have. The good news is that what we have learned, we can also unlearn. Here are five techniques for unlearning your fears:

Accessing a worst-case scenario: In other words, ask yourself what's the worst that could happen. Often we can remind ourselves that the worst that could happen is that everything remains the same, so trying something new wouldn't hurt. Be sure to use vivid descriptions when you access your worst-case scenario. The more vividly we describe situations to ourselves, the more likely our emotions will help us into action.

Study whatever you fear: We are often most afraid of what we don't know. The more we study a subject the more we can learn to become less afraid.

Systematic desensitization: This technique requires that you expose yourself to what you fear in small manageable increments until you can manage the fear effectively. Usually when we are afraid, we receive an adrenalin rush that makes us feel disoriented. Our hearts pound, our fingers shake, and we lose all sense of proportion. However, if you can learn to become comfortable with the adrenaline rush, you can also learn to manage the fear. In this example, someone who is arachnophobia might force himself or herself to simply look at pictures of spiders until the pictures no longer cause panic. Next, they might visit the zoo and force to themselves to stand outside the spider exhibit, then in the entrance to the spider exhibit, then inside the spider exhibit until their fears become manageable. Believe it or not, courage is not the absence of fear, but learning to get comfortable with fear.

Creative visualization: This technique allows people to become comfortable with their fears within the safety of mental images. To be effective, visualizations need to incorporate all five of your senses. You don't just visualize the scene; you smell it, feel it, taste it, hear it and touch it, all within the safety of your mind. Psychologists are finding an amazing correlation between creative visualization and personal effectiveness. It seems that whatever we tell ourselves often enough, we eventually prove to ourselves. In creative visualization you imagine yourself in the situation you fear until you begin to feel comfortable feeling the fear. Once again, you should encounter what you fear in small manageable increments until each encounter no longer produces panic.

Conscious Mind Focus: In this technique, you use the power of your conscious focus to tell yourself that everything will be alright. As I said before, whatever we tell ourselves often enough, we eventually prove to ourselves. Usually whenever we see something that we fear, our brains immediately begin to remind us of all the reasons for our fears. In conscious mind focus, you take control of your thoughts using what I call the SPAR techniques. Spar stands for:

Stop: Tell yourself to stop everything; stop moving and stop thinking.

Physicalize: Give yourself a mental and physical shake; snap your fingers, shake your head, stand up. Do anything physical that will wake up your conscious mind.

Affirm: Give yourself a positive but realistic statement to say out loud; something like, "This spider is not going to leap across the room and attack my jugular; it is more afraid of me than I am of it."

Reward: Give yourself a reward for the more positive response, even if all you do is a little happy dance.

If you repeat this technique each time you face your fears, you will eventually be able to face your fears more easily. In fact, you will even begin to associate that old bothersome adrenaline rush with the reward that you give yourself.

So here's the bottom line on fear...

The emotion of fear has been traced to a chemical release of adrenaline. Anything new, unfamiliar, or unexpected-whether dangerous or not-causes an adrenaline rush. Thrill seekers and performers have actually become addicted to that chemical rush, but those same chemicals cause panic attacks in others.

The same cause, but a different effect. Why? Some psychologists believe that it's our expectation of, and attachment to, a perceived outcome that causes our different reactions to adrenaline. When people believe that others won't like them the way they are, they become afraid to be themselves. When people think that a situation will overpower them and leave them defenseless, then that situation often makes them incapable of action and causes panic.

Once people prove to themselves that a situation won't leave them helpless, their panic attacks tend to subside.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Make Affirmations Work for You

I am a big fan of affirmations because:

You get an immediate smiley feeling.

They work. They reprogram your brain, slowly but surely. They work at the underlying level of reconnection to Self which everything else springs from.

They are pure statements of will, and thus underscore our ability to create our own reality.

The first affirmations I started with were just “I love myself” and “I am lovable”. At the time, those were hard to say, hard to believe. But I tied it into something I did believe, which was that I was a divine creation of the universe, so ipso facto, I just had to be lovable.

I also would imagine myself as a child and think “All children are lovable…therefore I am still lovable. I am still innocent”. So with the affirmations, I would reach down into myself to that part that was still whole and connect with that. By doing this, I strengthened that part.

The purpose of affirmations is to strengthen the part of ourselves that already knows we are beautiful and strong and good.

That part gets covered up and suppressed by abuse, neglect, and our culture of achievement and comparison. We have to take an active part in uncovering it if we want it back.

When we create and say affirmations, we are connecting with our inner truth. Therefore it is important to declare things we know to be true on some level. If you say “I am enough”, that is true, even if you don’t feel it completely yet, you know that it is true on a spiritual level. If you can’t get to a place of believing that at all, I would suggest starting with an affirmation that you can feel a sense of truth about. The reason for this is that if you say things that aren’t true, you will be contradicting yourself and the affirmation won’t do any good.

I don’t think it works to say things like “I have a million dollars” if you don’t. This does not connect you to your inner truth. It just sounds like you are lying to yourself.

All spiritual transformation is based on integrating a deeper or more expanded truth. The secret of affirmations is that they need to be based on truth for their power to work. If you read an affirmation that someone else uses successfully, but it doesn’t ring true for you, don’t use it!

Write your own that does ring true. It’s that ring of truth that lets you know that it’s a powerful affirmation for you and will work. Affirmations are based on the word “affirm”, which means “to declare something as true”. It is meant to be a powerful declaration of what is already true, to remind yourself of it and cut through the bullshit in our ego/mind/head that keeps us from the wonderful time we could be having.

So instead of “I have a million dollars” try “I have everything I need”, and connect to that sense of “enough” in your body. After all, what you truly want isn’t “a million dollars” - what you want is that delicious sense of security, freedom, and well-being that you imagine you would have if you had a million dollars. So why not start feeling that now? “I am safe and free”. “I am creating the life I choose.”

Find strategies that work for you so you actually do them.

Some people suggest writing affirmations over and over and over and over or taping yourself listening to them. Frankly that’s all too much work for me. I do various easier things:
I write them on post-its and put them on the fridge, bathroom mirror, or next to my bed - somewhere I see periodically but not for extended periods, that serve as a reminder. When I see it, I take a deep breath and say the affirmation inside or out loud. I bring up the feelings I want to feel connected to that affirmation: joy, safety, well-being. I also tap my heart when I say this, as that helps it get into your body.

I have a notebook next to my bed of affirmations and at night before I go to bed I take some time to write down new ones. I’m not a fan of writing the same one over and over - that was a punishment in elementary school for heavensakes. Instead I make up new ones. My ones from last night are:

My true self is stronger than my ego.
I love without reservation the beauty and goodness in others. (this one I modified from “I love without reservation” - I’m not quite there yet!)
There is a Divine plan of goodness for my work.
I hand my life over to the good, to God, and let go of the future.
I trust the Unknown.
I care and am cared about.
I love and follow the true and the good.
I am innocent and free.

There is one affirmation, from Louise Hay, that is the most powerful affirmation that I’ve ever worked with and I have made it sort of a personal mantra. It is “The point of power is always in the present moment.” It reminds me I can always change my life, starting now. (I highly recommend checking out Louise Hay’s books and cards.) So when you find a great affirmation that really works for you, memorize it!

I am big fan of those decks of affirmation cards. They are great places to get new ideas for affirmations — sometimes a person’s wording is just really powerful, and if you are visual the artwork can add to your whole affirmation experience. Louise Hay has some, and Shakti Gawain as well. I also like the cards from the Four Agreements series.

Above all I encourage you to find the strategies that work for you. If writing them over and over works, by all means do it! It certainly worked for Sondra Ray and other people who write about that technique. And it can be a powerful way to bring up your counter-intention (all the negative beliefs you have, which you can then make new affirmations to counter-act).

You are beautiful! You are powerful! Go forth and affirm yourself!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How To Make Affirmations Work For You

Affirmations are like software programs that can literally "re-wire" your brain's programming. Actually this analogy is a lot more accurate than many people think. Calling affirmations software sounds like a metaphor, but there is more truth than just on the metaphor level.

When repeated over and over again, under the right circumstances, affirmations actually create new pathways in the brain. These new pathways change the way we think, act and react to stimuli around us.

When I first started using affirmations, I repeated each one to myself over 50 times a day. And, I might be working on up to ten affirmations at a time (hey, I wanted to change my entire life around and I didn't want to wait).

But is shear brute force repetition the only way to get affirmations to work and do this job of creating new pathways?

Record your voice. Record your own voice speaking with enthusiasm your affirmations, then you can listen to them again and again.

Record your voice to music. Music allows the brain to create different states. Choose peaceful music like Bach to reach an alpha state if you want to create a new belief system, or choose something powerful with a strong beat if you want to create power within yourself.

An example might be to play Bach if you are trying to improve your golf swing and Queen if you are trying to improve your play on the football field.

Write out your affirmations at least 20 times a day. The kinesthetic movements of your hands engage a different part of your brain.

Do you remember that harsh elementary school teacher who made you write out, "I will not throw spit wads in class," thousands of times? Actually, maybe you shouldn't remember her since I am trying to create a positive connection to writing and self change, but you get the point that writing out affirmations really engages the brain (by the way, did you throw spit wads in class after that?)

Use subliminal technology. This requires a purchase, but there are software programs that can record your affirmations at sub audible levels. Go online and you can find many great tools for subliminal audio recordings, subliminal software that plays on your computer or subliminal video messaging systems.

Get another person to record your affirmations. Ask someone you respect as an authority figure or someone who you know has your best interests at heart. I knew a therapist who regularly did this for her patients and the results seemed to occur much faster than if they recorded their own voices. Make sure to change the affirmations from first person to second person.

Use your affirmations as hypnotic suggestions. Learn self-hypnosis and then read the affirmations to yourself in a state of hypnosis or play your recorded voice. Self hypnosis is not difficult to learn. You can pick up a book, CD or DVD at the bookstore and be practicing it tonight. The reason hypnosis works so well is that it puts your brain into a receptive state that makes you much more suggestible. This cuts out on all the filters and skepticism your conscious imposes to challenge new ideas.

Affirmations are powerful tools to change your life. Experiment with different ways to use them and will soon find yourself putting less food on your plate, throwing away your cigarettes, making more sales or whatever change you are seeking to make in your life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


In this world of desires, people are driven by emotions. But, emotions ought not to control one's mind. In fact emotions are created by the mind itself. Since everything that exists changes, emotions also change, they are impermanent; they shouldn't disturb one's spiritual development.

Emotions create suffering and happiness. According to my understanding, emotions can be divided into three categories: destructive, constructive and neutral emotions, I will mostly talk about destructive emotions. Emotions can be inform of fear, anger, doubt, feelings, love, dissatisfaction, hope, disappointment, happiness, sadness, contentment etcetera.

Emotions that cause suffering are the ones that destroy one's cultivation or make it unstable.

Therefore we have to cultivate enough wisdom to overcome emotions. Emotions are like clients at a bank or thoughts in the mind. Thoughts come automatically and vanish without notifying you. Clients come to the bank to deposit, withdraw or do some other business without making an appointment. Once through, they leave and another client comes. They don't stay at the counter for the whole hour or day, but just for a short time. This analogy refers to our minds.

Clients are like emotions or thoughts that come automatically into the mind. Some thoughts are wholesome and others are unwholesome. We shouldn't grasp onto unwholesome thoughts because they can easily create danger for ourselves and other sentient beings. Never think that what you plant in your mind cannot be removed. If an unskillful thought comes into your mind, eliminate it quickly; instead, develop skillful thoughts that can benefit yourself and all sentient beings.

One way of controlling emotions or thoughts is to take them as if they aren't in existence. Be always alert and fight them. For example, anger. Every human kind is capable of getting angry.

Anger is the murderer of anything that is good inside us. One has to work through it because it doesn't go away just like that. It comes about due to unwholesome thoughts in the mind and oneself creates these thoughts due to ignorance. Anger is one of the conditions that create hatred and instability among sentient beings. With anger there can't be loving-kindness and compassion. Some of the good ways of overcoming anger are: Focus on the mind, eliminate unwholesome thoughts and emotions, in the process, develop skillful thoughts. Secondly, take things that you are angry at or that make you angry as nothing. By nothing I mean as if they don't exist; therefore they shouldn't disturb your mind.

Many people become totally confused when they are confronted with difficult situations or trouble. In the end they sit with suppressed anger, all bottled up, which is dangerous. Some situations or trouble are just the creation of our minds; only few are created by circumstances out of our centre. Situations can easily be overcome. There is nothing that the mind can fail to do. Therefore, we shouldn't be moved by situations. Since everything is impermanent, hence we can easily change a situation.

As Dr K. Sri Dhammananda in How to live without Fear and Worry writes, 'A difficult situation can be handled in two ways: we can either do something to change it, or face it. If we can do something, then why worry and get upset over it - just change it. If there is nothing we can do, again, why worry and get upset over it? Things will not get better with anger and worry. 'Never let your mind habour unwholesome thoughts. Unskillful thoughts cause negative state of mind, which leads to suffering.

Take every emotion or thought as a client that comes and goes, or as if it is something that does not exist. By so doing loving kindness, compassion and peace will be created in your mind.

Never let your mind be controlled by external influence, be alert.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Drowning in Overwhelm? Get the 2 Step Approach to Keeping Your Head Above Water

Does this sound like your mantra? "I'm drowning in the sea of Overwhelm and I can't seem to get everything done, and I don't understand it. I don't think I'm a People Pleaser though."
Okay, this is one of those 'Wake up, Alice this ain't Wonderland' moments. I keep telling you that People Pleasing runs deep. It runs so far into your inner core that you don't even realize when it is happening much less see a solution to the problem.

As women, we were taught at an early age to be nurturers and servers. As a matter of fact, our worth was measured by it. We did what was asked and we never asked questions. For a lot of us, myself included, we didn't even realize that there were any options or another choice. The sad thing about this phenomenon is that women keep beating themselves up thinking that there is something wrong with them. STOP RIGHT NOW! There is nothing wrong with you. Being in the state of overwhelm is not terminal. You do have choices and you can change.

It took me a lot of years, to realize that the majority of my overwhelm and frustration was created by me. Imagine that. I was so busy nurturing and serving others that I didn't take me or my needs seriously. Consequently, I kept shooting myself in the foot and my 'To Do' list kept growing.

If you are in OVERWHELM, it means two things:

1. You are not setting boundaries. How many of your activities are choices and how many are should's? Should's are those things you are doing because you are too afraid to say NO. Heaven forbid that you would hurt someone else's feelings by uttering that 2 letter word. Helloooo, that would be People Pleasing. For example, just because you have an open door policy in your office doesn't mean that you have to be the doormat. You are allowed to close the door and set some guidelines around interruptions. You will get a whole lot more accomplished in your day. And you will be roll modeling professionalism and leadership. Start eliminating some of the should's in your day and see how much space you open up.

2. You are not making requests and asking for the support you need. How many times have you said to yourself, "I really don't want to ask someone, I'll just do it myself. It will be faster anyway." Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a martyr. You can ask for support. And usually people are quite willing to help. Remember, if you are going to be up to big things in your life, you will have to learn the art of making requests and delegating some of those responsibilities.

Learning how to set boundaries and make requests is the key to getting rid of being overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overpowered and onto more productivity, more profit, and more power in your life NOW. You do have a choice and you can change.

Does a Law on Human Attraction Exist???

“Opposites attract” is a law of attraction, at least where electromagnetism is concerned. But are there laws about attraction between two people?

“In a world that is full of strangers” as a line in a famous song of the 1980’s goes, is there a clear set of rules that allows two people to fall for each other?

Is attraction a matter of chemistry? Maybe. According to scientists, the attraction between animals of the opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date. It has been observed, at least in some experiments, that pheromones are responsible for communication among same species and colony of ants. The horrible odor released by skunks to ward off enemies is said to be a kind of pheromone.
Some species of apes rub pheromone-containing urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists believe that animals (usually the females) such as insects and mammals send out these chemical signals to tell the male of their species that their genes are different from theirs. This gene diversity is important in producing offspring with better chances of survival. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one’s sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. Animals such as the whale and the musk deer were hunted down for these chemicals.

Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones and its role in mate selection. There are many conflicting views in the realm of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists would assert that these do not exist, or if they do, do not play a role in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. But new researches such as that conducted by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern led by Klaus Wedekind are slowly making these scientists rethink their stand. Their experiment involved women sniffing the cotton shirts of different men during their ovulation period. It was found out that women prefer the smell of men’s shirts that were genetically different, but also shared similarities with the women’s genes.

This, like in the case of insects and other mammals, was to ensure better and healthier characteristics for their future children. But researchers also cautioned that preference for a male odor is affected by the women’s ovulation period, the food that men eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction?

Yes, but so does your perception of a potential mate’s personality. According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003 on interpersonal attraction and personality, a person’s sense of self-security and at least the person’s perception of his/her partner were found to be strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations. What does this tell us? We prefer a certain personality type, which attracts you to a person.

But aside from the actual personality of the person, which can only be verified through close interaction through time, it is your perception of your potential partner that attracts you to him/her, whether the person of your affection truly has that kind of personality or not. This could probably account for a statement commonly heard from men and women on their failed relationships: “I thought he/she was this kind of person.”

So how does attraction figure in relationships?

You have probably heard that attraction is a prelude, or a factor towards a relationship. Most probably, at least in the beginning; but attraction alone cannot make a relationship work. It is that attraction that makes you notice a person from the opposite sex, but once you get to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration. Shared values, dreams, and passions become more significant in long-term relationships.

So should I stop trying to become attractive? More than trying to become physically attractive, work on all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physical attraction is still a precursor. Remember, biology predisposes us to choose the partner with the healthiest genes. Where your emotions are concerned, just ask this to yourself: would you want to spend time with a person who feels insecure about him/herself? Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself: who you are, your beliefs, values, and dreams. And do not pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause you both disappointments. When you are healthy in all aspects, attractiveness becomes a consequence and not an end. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo’s research, a person’s sense of self-security matters, perhaps even beyond attraction.

But remember: do these things for yourself and not for other people. Only then can you truly harness your attractiveness as a person.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do You Want To Build Positive Relationships With Other People?

This is something I came across which I thought was quite good reading, it is copyrighted but I have included all that in at the bottom so lets hope this person doesn't mind my reprinting this article in my blog LOL.

What does it mean to have a positive relationship with another person? When I think of this statement, I come up with thoughts of:

Y Respect for their point of view
Y Appreciating the time spent with them
Y Recognising their individuality
Y Accepting differences of opinion
Y Knowing you can ask them for advice as you work through an issue
Y Being more than willing to offer your time and advice to them

What do you think of? Reading the last two points there, one thing to emphasise is that a positive relationship is a reciprocal thing - the relationship is based on mutual respect for each other's rights and uniqueness as individuals.

With that in mind, what can you do to help create and maintain positive relationships in your life?

A lot of this will be based on what you bring to the relationship - what you are willing to offer, how much of you that invest in it, how much time and energy you are willing and able to give (remember, if the other person in this relationship was reading this right now, they would be getting the same message!).

Here is a short exercise to get you started in your thinking about what you can do to create the positive relationships you want in your life.

1. Think about a past or current relationship you believe was/is positive. This may be with a friend, a work colleague, your partner, mother...

2. If you want to, write down everything you can think of to describe the things that make that relationship so good. You might write sentences, lots of descriptive words or draw symbols or pictures

3. Next, underneath this list, write down what you believe you contribute to the relationship that must create that positiveness. Ask yourself the question:

What qualities do you have that influence the relationship with that other person?

It will be interesting to see how many of your ideas are reflected from your first list.

Okay, now lastly, think about this - how do you know that what you bring to the relationship adds to it being so positive? We can take so many things in life for granted and only really appreciate them when we lose or about to lose them. Taking some time and space to think about the good, positive things in our lives leads to a real sense of enrichment, which then becomes a daily reality for us.

Building positive relationships in your life is just one of many ideas for using your time and finding some space to appreciate your life and realising what aspects of it you want to nurture and sustain.

©2008 Lesley Petersen

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bad Habits? Sell Yourself Some Good Ones

Picture your conscious mind as somewhat like a man riding an elephant. The man is in charge only as long as the elephant doesn't mind.

In the same way, you can only make conscious decisions as long as your unconscious doesn't mind. And unfortunately, your unconscious mind tends to feel uncomfortable with anything new or with any significant change of behavior. So, your unconscious mind will resist almost any change you try to make and quickly return you to your old ways or habits - effectively defeating your conscious decision to improve your behavior.

If you try to use self discipline and willpower to enforce your conscious decisions, you will mostly only trigger greater unconscious resistance. (Have you ever decided that you were absolutely not going to eat dessert with dinner, only to find yourself eating two desserts, instead?)
So, how do you get this very independent and stubbornly contrary unconscious mind to do what you want? To allow you to act how you want to act? Fortunately, there is a simple proven model for you to follow.

But before we discuss this model, let me ask you another question.

Who makes a living by getting you to take the specific actions they want you to take?

Yes. Sales, Advertising, and Marketing professionals. And what is their secret method for getting you to take action?

They sell to your unconscious mind, not to your conscious mind.

They all use variations of a very simple script. It's simple, but it works. And the good news is, you can use the same simple template to 'sell' behavioral changes to your own unconscious. And once your unconscious mind is sold on the changes, it will decide, on its own, to take actions to implement the new behavior that it has bought into and is all excited about.

So, what makes an effective sales pitch? A sales pitch is only effective if it gets you to take action. Advertising, Marketing, and Sales professionals make a living at getting you to act - and they have it down to a science.

The secret process can be distilled down to a few simple steps. In fact, the entire strategy of an effective sales pitch is to accomplish these six goals...

Evoke strong negative emotions (like fear, insecurity, envy, greed, etc.) to get you (your unconscious) feeling really distressed about your current situation.

Tie those bad feelings to your current behavior.

Evoke strong positive emotions (like freedom, success, pride, etc.) and connect those emotions to your distressful situation being resolved.

Tie losing your bad feelings and gaining the good feelings to switching to the desired behavior.

Supply your conscious mind with the logical reasons (rationalizations) it needs to explain and feel good about the decision (made unconsciously) to change behavior.

Call for specific immediate action.

The result is that you want to act (unconsciously), and you can easily justify the action (consciously), so you act (and the salesman gets his commission).

The sales model starts with the desired action and then tries to tie it to emotions and rationalizations that will work on the salesman's target (you). Generally the salesman doesn't really know much about you, so he has to construct this approach based on a lot of assumptions.

If you use this model on yourself, you have several advantages that will actually make you more effective than the sales pros in changing your own behavior.

You know what new behavior you want, plus you already know what logical reasons you have for making the change. And, you know (or can discover) more about what evokes the strong negative and positive emotions in your own unconscious that will create the emotional desire to take action.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Affirmations: What They Are And How We Can Make Them Work For Us

Affirmations and visualization are important tools with which we can change ourselves and the world around us.

Our thoughts shape us who we are. Behind every action there is a thought. We are what we think. We become what we think all day long.

The mind utilizes images and words to think, remember and reason. The words we speak influence our brain. Positive words and thoughts can influence us in a positive way and negative words and thoughts can influence us negatively. We can refer to them as "positive self talk" and "negative self talk." Self-affirmations are nothing but self-talk.

What we say to ourselves can be just silent speech or out loud words we say to ourselves. Both have similar effects on our brain. What many people don't realize is that we talk to ourselves silently all the time. For the most part we talk negatively to ourselves. It is not some transient negative self-talk. We hold negative talk SESSIONS with ourselves. According to one report, in our silent self-talk we make about 9 negative statements to ourselves but only one positive statement on average. Children hear "No" from their parents thirteen times and "Yes" only one time. So as we grow, we learn to think in such terms as, "I can't do this," "I won't get it" or "It won't work out." Since, we hear negative stuff all the time and have heard it all our lives, negative talk becomes our "automatic behavior." An automatic behavior is that that we do without thinking or below the level of self-awareness. We tend to think most of the time without thinking. How about doing some thinking about thinking itself?

What we say to ourselves matters! Many cultures of the past or even present have a taboo about saying anything bad because they fear it will come to pass. They are not supposed to say anything bad will happen to them or their loved ones. One may laugh at such beliefs and call them "superstitions" but there just might be some truth in such beliefs. Perhaps, these cultures had some idea that people's minds are influenced by what they say and then the mind works to transform those words into becoming realities. If negative words can produce negative outcomes, it can be argued that positive outcomes can result from saying positive things to ourselves over and over again.

Affirmations are saying the same thing over and over again. Even if you don't believe right now that you can ever achieve those things that your affirmations say you will achieve. Repeat those affirmations enough number of times so you can start believing them. Who was that who once said something to the effect that if you repeat a lie enough number of times, people will accept it to be truthful.

Many people think that self-affirmations are "corny", "cheesy" and childish. Why is it that some don't use such pejorative terms for their negative self-talk? Why the positive self-talk should be regarded childish or corny? Is negative talk a sign of maturity? No, it is not! But, we tend to think grown ups are supposed to be realistic and keep everything toned down and saying anything self-supportive or self-affirming would amount to babying ourselves.

Be aware that your negative mind will try to talk yourself out of the positive self talk or affirmations if you will. It will mock you or say disparaging things. It might tell you that if you say positive and self-affirming things to yourself, you will become self-conceited and people won't be able to stand you for your habit of beating your own drums. Your mind might tell you that any effort to change yourself or better your life would be futile. It might say to you that no change in your circumstances is possible because the odds are stacked up against you. Well, you need to ask yourself "Who is stacking up those odds against me?" The answer you might hear, "Of course me!"

What makes a good affirmation? A good self-affirmation is that which is believable by you. If you can believe it, then your brain and body can believe it and may decide to act on it. When you believe yourself, the world around you can believe in you. By that I mean people around you will begin to see positive developments and changes in you. Affirmation should be about achieving a goal YOU believe is attainable. Design your affirmations about a concrete and specific result or outcome you want to see happen. Or, it may be about performing a behavior you are not able to perform right now or improving on a quality or a skill which is not at a satisfactory level right now.

Write down your affirmations. That's the first step. But, writing down your affirmation is the easier part. More difficult part is repeating them over and over again, days after days and weeks after weeks. Even more difficult is putting your heart and soul in those affirmations. For example, when you say, "I like myself" but you don't really create the feelings you should experience when you really like someone, you are not being very self-affirming. So put strong emotion into your affirmations.

When you repeat an affirmation, feel it in your body, your heart and your soul. Half-hearted affirmations would give you half-hearted results. Tell yourself you are not kidding around. You mean business and you will make it happen! Back up your affirmation with your action. Put your money where your mouth is!

What makes an affirmation work or fail? Make sure you write your affirmations in a positive language and present tense. For example, if you were to say, "I don't want to be a couch potato anymore" or "I don't want to be a procrastinator anymore," you are not telling your brain as to what do you really want to be right now. It is better to say, "I am becoming active and energetic!" "I am an action taker!" I act promptly and proactively.

Here are some of the reasons why your affirmations might yield poor results:

1) You didn't put the right body language, emotions and beliefs that should go with that affirmation.

2) You gave up too soon and practiced little.

3) There was more negative self-talk before and after the affirmations, hence, positive affirmations were outweighed by negative affirmations

4) You had plenty of talk with yourself, but you were short on action or there was little correspondence between your affirmations, emotions and actual actions. For example, affirmation says, "I make healthy food choices" but made faces at the sight of healthy food and hardly ever went to the grocery store to buy healthy food, never found time to cook healthy food at home and ate all the time at fast food places.

Don't sell yourself short! Don't be sucked into the tendency for self-discouragement such as, "Oh I have always been shy. How can I ever be different? I would give anything to be different, but it is not possible." To take another example, you might be closing the doors on yourself for prosperity by telling yourself, "I have always been poor. My parents were poor. All I have known is poverty. So, there is no point for wasting my words on ever becoming rich."

Einstein once said that your imagination is a preview of the life's coming attractions. If you are shy, first you have to be able to imagine that you are holding conversations and enjoying it to overcome shyness. If you are poor, you have to first imagine what you would be like as a happy person or a rich person. Imagination leads to thinking of the ways that can make that imagination a reality. Imagination is nothing but visualization of something you have not yet experienced. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale used to say "Visualize in order to materialize." When you can imagine having achieved what you truly desire, your mind begins to think of ways to get you there in reality.

When you verbalize and visualize something over and over again, it begins to sink in the mind.

The term, "sinking in the mind" means that what we are saying is becoming a part of our subconscious. Repetitions make inroads into our deeper mind. When you hold something in your mind for a long time and you repeat affirmations over and over again for a long time, perhaps you might begin to dream about new life and a new you. You begin to think about them in your sleep and semi-sleep and wake up with thoughts related to them. They begin to sit there in your subconscious mind and may prompt appropriate actions.

How often should I repeat the affirmations? Until it comes true! If a goal or an outcome is that important to you, keep on doing it until it comes true! Bear in mind what you are up against. If your affirmation consists of developing a new behavior or habit that is opposite to a life long habit, then it would take a decent length of time. Bear in mind that affirmations often might have to be repeated for weeks rather than days. How long do you repeat them and how long do they occupy your conscious mind? What occupies the conscious mind for a good bit of time filters down to the subconscious!

How do you know if your affirmations are doing any good to you? Be careful how you measure progress. Register even a small increment of progress. Against a life- long firmly entrenched trait or habit such as shyness or procrastination, even infinitesimal progress is progress indeed and needs to be celebrated.

How do I fight off negative thoughts against positive affirmations? Become an expert in identifying your negative thoughts quickly and instantly rather than spending the whole afternoon or morning and then realizing, "Oh my! I have been thinking nothing but negative thoughts and casting doubts and self- aspersions on myself all this time" Stop them quickly before they leave too many "foot prints" on your mental ground.

Instead of "fighting" with your negative thoughts, just be aware and watch them. Don't get sucked into them. Stay away and watch. Then, simply go back to your affirmations as a counter measure.

Tips for increasing the chances that your affirmation will come to pass:

a) Generate strong feelings and emotions that go with your affirmations.

b) Let your body feel how you would feel if your affirmations have come true right now. For example, stand steady, tall and strong if your affirmation concerns winning an award for a performance.

c) Relax and breathe fully and deeply with your abdomen when repeating your affirmations.

d) Back your affirmations up with actione) Always, counter negative affirmations that negate your positive affirmation

Here is an example of a person who utilized affirmations to change her eating behaviors and develop new health habits:

"K" has struggled with her weight for last two decades. She knows she should eat healthy and exercise. But she doesn't get down to eat healthy or do exercise with any consistency. If she gets started at all, she would quit in a matter of just a few days. She is aware that she keeps procrastinating actions related to eating healthy and exercise regularly. She acknowledges she really likes the taste of junk food and at the end of the day, enjoys putting her feet up on the table and watch TV rather than exercise. She describes herself in negative labels, "I am just a procrastinator" or "I am too lazy to exercise in the night" and uses them to explain to herself why she doesn't stick to a plan. But hates her weight, hates herself being that way and doesn't want to go out or socialize because of her embarrassment with her weight. This has caused problems in the marriage because her husband wants to go out and entertain friends at home.

She is afraid of exercising

She developed goals for liking herself in spite of her weight. She decided she would eat healthy and in small portions and not focus on any diet plan or banishing any specific foods. That she wanted to be active and energetic and healthy rather than slim or loose specific number of weight. However, it was important to her to have a number like loose one pound a week. So, she wrote her affirmations consistent with these goals. She rehearsed these affirmations with the right body language and emotions. She also taped them so she could listen to them when she was getting ready for work or doing household chores.

She then began to stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations about how likeable, funny and attractive person she was. Because why would you do anything for someone you were really embarrassed or disgusted with? She would in front of the mirror act, stand, walk around and feel that she really was attractive, funny and likeable. She practiced to smile on the negative thoughts and focus on her affirmations.

She put in her daily/weekly plan to buy healthy food and cook at home. She set a specific time for exercise first thing in the morning before going to work so the other demands would not encroach on her exercise time. She hated to exercise because she was totally out of practice. She developed a strategy to start with a mild exercise and started with five minutes exercise. Once she broke the 5-minute barrier, she kept on increasing the time and intensity of her exercise.

First she had to do her affirmations many times a day or all the time in her silent thoughts. She had to move herself to action by repeating to herself, "Move. Get on with it. Now is the time," etc. She would hear music in her head to make her feel like dancing or doing something. She would hum or whistle to get into the spirit of starting her exercises.

Six months have passed. She is working with her plans. She doesn't have to do her affirmations now except occasionally silently tell herself to persist with her program. Now it has become very much a part of her daily routine.

In summation, put your money where your mouth is. Affirmations without action are mere words. Develop a strategy for action and a strategy how you would act towards your goal every day in some way. Affirmations without strong corresponding emotions are also mere words! Put your heart and soul into it.

Start today! Take some action today. That's the secret of getting started.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Have you heard or been told to ACT AS IF? Do you know what this means? Has someone ever asked you to give a recent instance where you "Acted as If?" But what did they mean - ACT AS IF?

"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right." --Henry Ford

In some areas, people will say, "He/She acted as if..." to imply they were conceited or pretentious. Though the ideas are related, that is not what we mean here.

On the bigger scale, ACT AS IF is the power of positive thinking - if you act successful and you believe you are successful, then success comes true. If you think and act unsuccessful, failure will be your result.

On a smaller scale ACT AS IF means Visualization! If you listen to successful people, they all say, "I believed in what I wanted."

In sports athletes always say that they visualize the goal. Whether it is golf, tennis, baseball or your favorite sport, there is a clear definition of a successful goal - one that the athletes can visualize performing perfectly. So are you visualizing the right thing to get what you want and deserve out of your life? Are you being specific enough? Are you visualizing successful changes in your career, family, relationships, finances, health, fun and spirituality?

Be careful what you wish for and what you visualize.
Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Think for a moment about just what the tremendous power is behind positive thinking. It is actually your mind. Your mind does not intentionally work negatively, but it does follow through on negative actions - if that is what you are thinking.

Your mind works on action thoughts. So if you are constantly thinking "I don't want to lose money," you will eventually lose money.

Why? Because your mind does not recognize "I don't want" as an action - it is too vague. But, your mind does pick up on the action, "to lose money," over and over again. You start thinking "I keep losing money." Eventually your mind initiates activities / habits / patterns to insure "keep losing money" comes true.

It's easy to whine and complain, but what if you program your mind to only think in possibilities? Tremendous possibilities?

Instead, if you think, "I'm going to make $100,000 this year," "$500,000," or "$1,000,000," your mind will start to work on ways to make it happen. Of course, the change will not occur overnight, but your brain will look for and offer you many possibilities to increase your income.

Again, it is easy to get into the "woe is me" habit. Imagine the tremendous possibilities, if you let that wonderful organ, your mind, dream big dreams.

How do you get your mind to work on the possibilities you want in your life? You make your dreams your goals and identify the specific results you want. Then, your mind can begin working on achieving those goals. But, most of us set our goals too low. We achieve them and then what? You can set more goals, but...

What if you set your goals very high? You may exceed them or you may never get there. Guess what, there is not an artificial stopping point. Your goals are defined by you and your success is defined by you. With goals, your brain can visualize success and you can ACT AS IF you have achieved your success.

Have you written your goals down? Do you reinforce your goals to yourself everyday? Do you have someone encouraging you to achieve your goals and chiding you when you don't make yourself and your dreams a priority?

You can benefit from coaching. You can choose to self-coach using various books and techniques. You can obtain help from family and friends. Or, you can take advantage of a Life Success Coach. Whichever you choose, you should expect coaching to help you clarify what you really want, set your goals in a positive direction, define a plan to act on those goals and reinforce those intentions with regular follow-up sessions.

Begin now to dream big and ACT AS IF you have successfully achieved those dreams!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10 Things You Can Do to Cheer Yourself Up

Whether you have the winter blues, you're suffering from a disappointment, or you're just feeling a little down, we all have times when we could use a little lift.

Here are 10 ideas to get you back on the upswing.

1. Plan Some Fun.
Get out your calendar. Next do a search for things to do in your area. Local newspapers usually have a "What's Going On" section. Pick out your favorite 5 or 10 things. And remember the things you choose don't have to be big events. It can be as simple as taking a long drive in the country or going for a walk on the beach. Write them into your calendar. Invite someone to join you on some. For others go and meet some new people.

2. Express Your Creativity.
Do some painting. Decorate your house with flowers. Do a paper mache project. Pick up that guitar, practice and write a song. Practice juggling. Make a funny photo album with all those old photos you've got in boxes by adding quirky caption above each picture. Learn how to play the harmonica. Write and illustrate a mini book or comic book. Maybe pick your favorite movie get a friend to act out one of the scenes with you while you videotape it. It doesn't have to be good. Just doing these things will make you feel good. And if you keep doing them you'll naturally get better.

3. Get Outside.
Fresh air does wonders for your body and spirit. If you can go to a park or a place in nature, even better. Here are some things you could do: go for a walk, fly a kite, plant some vegetables or flowers, roller skate, ride a bike, or go on a 'treasure hunt" to find things for an art project.

4. Let Music Take You Higher.
Turn on your favorite music and sing! Pull down the shades and dance. Rent a video on belly dancing. If you're in your car, you can still move a little to the music. Go for it! What do you care what other people think? Have fun with it! Sing, dance, play an instrument. Practice your favorite song and then go to karaoke and let the world hear your talent!

5. Walk a Dog.
If you don't have your own dog, offer to walk a neighbor's dog. Or even better yet, sign up at the local SPCA to walk the pooches who have no one to love them. What a nice way to make a difference!

6. Volunteer.
There are so many ways to help others. Here are a few ideas.
· Feed people. Volunteer at a food kitchen or make your own homemade batch of food and share it with people who could use it: shut-ins, elderly, new mothers, someone who is works too much, etc.
· Help People: volunteer with the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or Meels on Wheels.
· Mentor. Check out Big Brother/Big Sister,, or SCORE(mentoring small business start-ups).

7. A Change Will Do You Good.
Get some order in your house. Change your furniture around. Change your decorations, or maybe go minimalist for a change. Clear out the clutter. It doesn't matter where you start. Just pick a place in your home that's been bugging you and attack it! Then sell, throw, or give away stuff you don't need. You'll feel great afterward and you'll have made a dent in making your living space more peaceful. And maybe it will give you inspiration to tackle another area tomorrow.

8. Plan a Party.
There doesn't need to be a good reason other than it's time for some fun. Start with a small idea and build around it. Maybe you can get inspired by a theme, certain foods, or your favorite music to get the ball rolling. Then think about who you would like to invite. When and where will you have it? Will you cook, hire caterers, or make it pot luck? A meal or finger foods? Will there be dancing, contests, games, or other fun stuff like costumes? Maybe it will be low key with some jazz music, wine and cheese. Or maybe it will be a Hawaiian luau. Or maybe if you have a lot of singe friends you can have a white elephant party. Call a friend for help with the logistics.

9. Personal Spa and Relaxation Day.
Include as many of these ideas as you like or have time for. Get a massage, pedicure, and haircut. Take a bubble bath with candles, music and champagne. Give yourself an egg-white or mud mask facial. Line up 2-3 movies to watch in bed while eating your favorite delights: ice cream, chocolate, whip cream, jello, popcorn, finger food hors d'oeuvre, and more. What else would you include to pamper yourself?

10. Reach Out.
Connect with friends and family. When was the last time you wrote and mailed an actual letter? Why not do it today? Or how about making some home made post cards with materials you have lying around the house. Cutout some pictures from magazines or from your photo collection and make a mini collage. Maybe just call one old friend from college or high school that you haven't talked to in forever. Or maybe you could visit a neighbor who might need some cheering up too! Bring some cookies!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

10 Steps Toward Taking Control of Your Subconscious Mind

There are two parts to our brains- the conscious mind, which handles all things we are aware of and the subconscious mind, which controls everything else. The conscious mind works only some of the time (when we are awake). But the subconscious mind is always at work.

Whether we are aware of it or not, the subconscious mind, not including involuntary physical behaviors such as breathing and our heart beat, works off of signals sent to it from the conscious mind.

In other words, whatever we spend our conscious time thinking about most becomes a point of interest for our subconscious mind. And since our subconscious mind is always at work, it puts forth a great deal of effort addressing those topics.

Have you ever gone to bed shortly after watching a scary movie? More often than not you have some sort of nightmares, right? Even if you can't recall being woken from the nightmares, there is a good chance that you had them. The occurrence of the nightmares is a prime example of the awesome power of our subconscious minds. While you watched the movie your conscious mind was creating thoughts and images of the parts that you found scary. If you don't change those thoughts before going to sleep, then your subconscious mind has nothing to work with other than the movie you just watched. During sleep is the most effective time for the subconscious mind, because there is no chance of conflicting signals coming from the conscious mind. This is why when making an important decision people will sometimes want to "sleep on it".

Ultimately your subconscious mind knows what's in your best interest, and will nudge you in that direction. Without the negative influence of the conscious mind, which tends to make decisions based on emotion rather than logical thought, your subconscious is free to do what it does best. That is, to help you achieve whatever it is you desire.

Now that we've determined that sleep is the best time for your subconscious mind to handle its work, we need to be sure that the scary movie thoughts are replaced with positive, problem solving and productive thoughts. This way, when your subconscious mind gets working it is addressing the issues of most importance to you, and not caught up with trivial matters that are out of your control anyway.

Following is a list of ten methods you can apply to your life that will help you access your subconscious mind.

Although the ideal situation would be to apply these tactics right before bed, it's not practical to expect to do so. I also think there are advantages to applying them throughout the day so that you're sure the things you want are reaching your subconscious mind.

Like anything else, these concepts will become easier with practice, but even when implemented poorly or improperly, you should still begin to see substantial results.

1. Leave Reminders - The easiest way to be sure you're thinking about things that are important is to leave physical reminders. There are a number of ways you can do this. The simplest is to write yourself notes. A to-do list can be helpful, though it's easy to have your primary goals blend in with other, less important daily activities.

What I suggest instead, and have found personal success with, is to firmly and clearly write your goal or desire on an note card or piece of paper and put it in a strategic location. I did this with my recent weight loss goal. The idea being that you will see it often, and the goal or thought will begin to fester in your mind, even if you are unaware of what's taking place.

Physical reminders use your conscious mind as a bridge to get to your subconscious mind. First, by creating the reminders (i.e. drawing the notes) you are instilling the thought into first your conscious mind, and then your subconscious.

Second, when you place the reminder in a strategic location, one where you will see it frequently, you give the thought an opportunity to take a direct route to your subconscious. (Think subliminal messaging.) If advertisers take advantage of this method so freely, and with such success, why can't we "trick" ourselves, too?

2. Meditate - I'm not a person who puts myself into deep trances on a regular basis, but as someone who daydreams occasionally, I can attest to the benefits of allowing your mind to drift into a relaxed, thoughtless state.

Thoughtless may be the wrong word. Focused is probably more accurate.

The next time you catch yourself daydreaming, take a moment and think about how focused and in tune with your thoughts you were. That is the state of mind you should shoot for when you meditate. Relax until you are literally lost in thought.

Be sure to have a focused topic as you are drifting into meditation or your thoughts may be misdirected. Take a minute to specifically identify the goals you want to achieve or the problem you'd like to solve. Once you've got them clearly in your mind, close your eyes, control your breathing and relax your body. Don't let those thoughts leave your head. Now visualize (see step 3.) yourself achieving the goals, or functioning in a world where your problem has been solved. Continue in this state for as long as you feel necessary, and repeat as needed.

3. Visualize - Visualization works best when it's paired with meditation, but it doesn't have to be. Meditation puts you in a relaxed state, which makes it easier to create visual sequences. By creating visual sequences you put yourself in a situation that you anticipate yourself being in, before it actually happens. This allows your brain acclimate itself to the situation that is about to occur.

Essentially, visualization is practice for your brain. It's no different than practicing an athletic event, except rather than training muscles, you're training your brain, so it knows how you want it to respond in a specific scenario.

To visualize, all you do is create mental pictures (some people prefer videos), of yourself successfully accomplishing something. You would actually see yourself performing the task, either in third or first person, whichever you prefer.

It's important to remember to create the picture in as much detail as possible, making note of such things as sounds and smells. The more detailed the visualization, the more successful it will be.

Visualize through the entire event or performance, imagining the desired outcome and all the excitement that comes with it. Allow yourself to feel the joy that you will feel when you actually do successfully complete the task. Make it as real and as accurate as possible. Repeat as necessary, and don't stop until you're convinced you've already achieved the goal.

4. Tell Others About Your Goal - If you were to state your goal or desire aloud on a daily basis, your subconscious mind would have no choice but to listen. In order to speak, your brain must formulate thoughts, and in order to formulate thoughts, your brain must first compile and organize those thoughts. Such a simple thing as telling others about your plans requires that you make important decisions before you can do so.

The entire process is orchestrated by your conscious mind, which relays the plan to the subconscious. Suddenly, you've opened up the channel of communication between the two minds, simply by stating your thoughts. While you're explaining away, your subconscious has already begun working on how you're going to accomplish your goal.

A beneficial byproduct of this step is the accountability factor. This is another strategy that I used when starting my weight loss plan. The more people you tell of your plan, the more people you will let down if you fail to achieve it. For me, the accountability aspect adds an extra element of motivation to my already desired goal. It is also a huge help when dealing with procrastination.

5. Talk to Those Who've Been There - Trails are blazed for a reason. Could you imagine if every time you wanted to do something you had to completely start from scratch? What if recipes had to be invented new each time? Or if computers weren't built based on successes and failures of previous builds? Imagine how impossible progression would be on this planet.

Thankfully, that isn't the case in manufacturing and cooking, and there's no reason why it should be in life either. If there's a particular thing you'd like to do with your life, then make it a point to speak to someone who has already done it. If you can't get in touch with them, then read everything you can about them, or study their career. Do everything in your power to follow the path that they created for themselves. If there's something you'd rather do differently, you can always veer off, but there is no need to insist on being a pioneer to get to the same place someone else already has.

You don't have to stop being your own person to follow a blueprint for success. Having a plan that is already proven successful will allow your subconscious mind to work on the nuts and bolts of following the plan rather than designing its own plan. The closer you can get your subconscious mind to the heart of the matter, the better.

It begins with starting down the right road.

6. Set a Deadline - Tell your subconscious mind that you mean business. If you were to combine a deadline with the accountability factor, you'd give yourself no choice but to accomplish your goal.

A deadline tells your subconscious mind that there is an urgent matter at hand, and it must be taken care of immediately. Your mind will feel the importance of the matter, and will make all the necessary adjustments to be sure that the proper attention is given to solving this problem, which it understands to be the most pressing.

Even if it isn't the most important thing going on in your life, a deadline will keep your mind working on it, until it's met.

The amazing thing about the subconscious mind is it does whatever it takes to accomplish the things that you ask it to. Attaching a deadline to a particular goal simply increases the rate at which the subconscious mind works, without you even realizing it.

7. Maintain Focus - It's extremely easy to become distracted from the goals that are most important.

Typically, when you lose focus on what's important it's because your conscious mind becomes occupied with something. Although your subconscious mind wants to continue working on the original plan, your attention is diverted from the ultimate goal to something more timely, but usually not nearly as important.

When your focus shifts, the ability of your subconscious mind to take on and solve the problems you've layed out for it becomes significantly lower. To counteract this, you've got to make a conscious effort to maintain your focus on the issues that you want your subconscious to concentrate on. By this I mean you've got to be aware of the distractions that are presented to your conscious mind, and do your best to flush them out.

Once you understand how to filter your thoughts so that only the absolutely important ones make it to your subconscious, you're on your way to realizing its potential.

8. Chart Progress - The only way to truly understand progress is to see where you were then, and compare it to where you are now. To see a visual map of the road you traveled is an important step towards reaching your ultimate goal.

To begin, take the goal you'd like to achieve, the one that you've been calling on your subconscious mind to accomplish, and write it down in as much detail as you can.

Next, identify a few of the stages or milestones that you plan to reach on the way towards achieving that goal. Keep them in your mind as necessary benchmarks.

Now when you approach those benchmarks you'll be able to see how far you've come, as well as how much further you have to go.

The road map lets your subconscious know that it's on the right track, that it's making progress, and what the next benchmark is, so it can apply its efforts accordingly.

9. Be Realistic - It's easy to tell your subconscious that your goal is to end world hunger. However, when you do that, and then realize that such a goal is beyond your scope of ability, you've set yourself up for failure. As a result you become discouraged and risk losing faith in yourself.

A better way to accomplish your goal is to set a goal that challenges you, yet is realistic. If ending world hunger is your ultimate goal, how about setting your first goal at ending hunger in your community. Once you've accomplished that goal, then you can broaden your scope and work on something bigger.

Give your subconscious mind a challenging goal, but pace yourself. Going for it all right off the bat is a recipe for disaster.

10. Persevere & Persist - Understand now that there will be setbacks. There will be struggles and difficulties. But keep in mind that those things are only temporary.

No setback has to be permanent. It only becomes so if you allow it. It's your responsibility to train your subconscious and conscious minds to see the difference between setbacks and failures.

When you hit a roadblock, go around it. When you have a bridge to cross, cross it with confidence.

Tell yourself that no matter what, you will accomplish that goal. Your subconscious mind, once it has the assurance that you want it to work on a goal, will do whatever it takes to succeed. But if it has the slightest bit of doubt (i.e. you're not totally convinced of what your want, or if you can accomplish it) then it struggles to find solutions.

Be persistent, persevere through tough times, decide confidently in what you want and allow no temporary setback to put you off course.

If you relay this message to your subconscious mind by making a conscious decision that this is what you want, your subconscious mind will respond.

You Control Your Destiny - Remember, your subconscious mind exists to serve you. Put it to work in a productive way and it will provide overwhelming results.

Make conscious decisions that are in the best interest of your overall goals, and your subconscious mind will receive the message, and go to work.

The more you utilize the great power that your subconscious mind provides, the better you will be at calling on it. And the better you get at calling on it, the more success you will realize.

Only you control your destiny. You have the ability to make decisions that impact your life. Take advantage of the power you have to make the best decisions.

Friday, April 3, 2009

5 Steps To Change Any Habit

If you want to change any habit, change the actions that produce the habit. Within this article you will learn the most powerful 5 step system I have ever seen to change any habit plus 2 key bonuses that add rocket power to your efforts.


Consider the following definition: Success is a progressive realization of worthwhile personal goals.

This definition is critical to your end goal because it says some rather spectacular things. It says:

1. Success is a journey and not a destination. This means in its simplest terms you cannot fail as long as you do not quit.

2. It also says that goals must be worthwhile and personal. They cannot be someone else's goals like those of your boss, parents, or even your spouse. They must be yours and they must be of value to you.

Close scrutiny of this definition also leads to the conclusion that success is a developing attitude of achieving goals.

But what is an attitude? An attitude is the way we think or feel about a subject, which then causes us to act in a certain way about it. Therefore, we act and react in relation to our thought patterns that we have developed about the subject. So an attitude is caused when we think about something the same way over and over until it becomes automatic. The resulting action in response to the thought also becomes automatic. Change the habit of thought and you change the attitude. Change the attitude and you change the resulting action.

Specific Steps Of The Process

But how do you change the attitude, habit of thought and resulting action? That's where goal setting comes into play. Here is the greatest 5 step system I have ever seen geared towards changing habits.

1. Write down specifically what you are trying to do and by when. The subconscious cannot act on some nebulous "someday" anymore than it can work on an unrealistic objective it knows it can't achieve. Therefore, it must have a concrete time frame, it must be written down, and it must be specific and realistic. For example, wanting "more money " is not the same as "10% increase over last year by October first."

2. What are the obstacles? List everything that is stopping you. What are your inadequacies? What do you need to get there that you don't already have? What is it that's blocking you? Why aren't you already there?

3. Write a plan to overcome each obstacle. List your action steps 1... 2... 3... etc. for each obstacle from above. Be as specific as possible. What will it take to get you past the obstacle that is blocking you from what you want?

4. List the benefits to you. There is no such thing as something for nothing. You must replace a thought process and resulting action with a new thought process that will produce a desired result. There must be a benefit derived of sufficient value and meaning to you alone to be worth the effort necessary to do this and to overcome the resistance to change. Please Note: There is a truth about human nature that we often do not like to face up to. Because something is meaningful to our spouse, child, boss, or anyone else regardless of his or her importance, it is normally insufficient to move us to action. It must, in fact, be important within the self. When this importance is discovered or developed, change occurs and it can be dramatic.

5. Is it worth it? This question must be answered very carefully and honestly. If the answer is yes, do it and DO IT NOW! However, if the answer is no, if the benefit derived cannot muster the desire to overcome the obstacle, you have three choices:

a. Change the goal thereby reducing the obstacle;

b. and/or increase the benefit to make it more meaningful.

c. Drop the entire issue and get on with your life without feeling guilty.

The amount of time we waste feeling guilty is a tragedy of human existence. Get on with your life with other goals and don't look back.

If you stumble or fall off your goal, that's okay. Remember: Success is an ongoing journey, not a destination. The only time you fail is when you quit or never get up after falling down.


Nothing can propel your efforts as much or guarantee the outcome of your efforts as well as the two concepts Affirmations and Visualization.

Affirmations are positive statements of fact as you intend them to be. Because affirmations are "statements of fact", affirmations must be written in the present tense. The subconscious can only operate in the present, never the future. Affirmations must be repeated over and over until they are internalized and become fact. Write affirmations down! Post them everywhere!

Most importantly read your affirmations many many times per day until they are internalized.
Some affirmation examples are:

1. I am debt free.

2. I operate on a cash only basis.

3. If I can't afford to pay for it in cash, I can't afford it.

[Note - The last statement above borders on a negative statement. Be very cautious before using negative reinforcement.]

If you doubt the power of this process, ask yourself how many times you have successfully employed negative affirmations. When was the last time you heard or maybe even said, "This will never work". Then when it didn't work, you heard or said "See, I told you." The point had become fact. Hate and prejudice are great examples of negative affirmation.

1. Why are elephants tied with a lightweight chain that they could easily break? Its simple. As a baby, they had a very heavy chain on their foot from which they could not break loose. As they grew older, they did not forget. What were we taught as children with repeated exposure? What do we teach our children?

2. A barracuda in a water tank was separated from minnows by clear plastic. The barracuda initially kept crashing into the clear plastic. Scientists learned, however, that after repeated failures the clear plastic could be removed and the barracuda kept swimming in its own area. It had limitations implanted to the point of ignoring its basic nature. What limits do we put on ourselves or allow others to do for us?

How many times do you have to repeat an affirmation? Whatever it takes to get the job done. If it takes 10 billion times, what difference does it make if it's important. And if it is not important enough, why are you considering it?


Visualization is seeing the object of your desire with your mind's eye. But visualizations is more than that if you want it to be. The more detailed and focused your visualization, the faster the transformation will occur.

1. What color is it? How does it feel to the touch or within yourself when you are in possession? Can you smell it, can you taste it, and can you hear it?

2. Proper visualization involves as many senses as possible... do it with fervor. Imagine every detail and possibility. The more the detail, the greater the focus, the more fervent you are, the more often you apply visualization. These will determine how fast it will occur.

3. There is a second benefit to visualization. By detailed visualization you can often foresee a flaw to be corrected or a way to plan for a shortcoming that you may well have never seen until it was too late. This simple benefit can pay perhaps the biggest dividend of all.

Now act on it!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

4 Techniques for Examining Who You Are And How You Define Yourself

How do you define yourself? Do you define yourself as incapable? Do you spend all of your time arguing for your limitations? Do you find yourself explaining all the reasons why you will never make more money, never find a mate, never make a difference, never convince your boss, never be healthy, never be smart, never be happy, never get your dream, never learn a skill, never be understood and never have time?

Or do you define yourself as capable? Do you believe that you have what it takes to make more money, have wonderful relationships, learn to persuade, take care of yourself, understand the river, develop new choices, design a worthwhile life and reach your goals?

Which is it? Do you define yourself as capable, or incapable?
A primary cause of success is defining yourself as capable. After all, if you believe that you're incapable, you will find evidence to support your belief everywhere. You will be able to argue for your limitations endlessly, and you will be right. You will be limited, and you will be incapable because whatever you believe with emotion creates your perspective, and your perspective creates your reality.

However, once you learn to redefine yourself as capable and start to look for proof of your capabilities, you will begin to find evidence of your capabilities everywhere. And once you begin to see yourself as capable, you will begin to feel and act capably.

Henry Ford said, "If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you can't." Whatever you believe, you're right. So don't keep arguing for your limitations unless you like being limited.

Learn to redefine yourself as capable.
I suppose that statement is easy enough to say, but how do you actually redefine yourself? You could start by understanding the power of belief. Lets' face it; if you simply tell yourself to redefine a belief, you're in for a fight. After all, when you believe something completely, finding evidence to contradict that belief is nearly impossible. Besides, whenever you tell yourself to stop believing something, you leave a void in your psyche that your psyche will anxiously want to fill.

Simply removing a belief is extraordinarily difficult, but expanding a belief is surprisingly easy.
So let's examine four methods for expanding a belief.
Method One:
If you don't like it, redefine it. Words have meaning. People tend to take the meaning of words for granted. But when you redefine and expand your meanings, you also expand your perspective. Start by examining how you define the ideas, values, relationships and possessions that are important to you. When you look at how you define things, you often find clues to the nature of your beliefs. Begin to pay attention to the meanings that you assign words. Ask yourself, "Do your definitions limit you, or expand you?" Don't take your definitions for granted. Your definitions define your life.

Method Two:
Argue your opponent's perspective. Too often, we dismiss opposing perspectives without bothering to explore their value. But when we fail to explore opposing perspectives, we limit our ability to learn from those perspectives. After all, if you don't understand an opinion enough to explain it and debate its merits, then you probably don't understand it enough to automatically dismiss it. Moreover, when you practice exploring alternative perspectives, you often discover the merits, similarities and weaknesses of your own.

Method Three:
Actively seek out mind food. You must devour great works of literature, poetry, art, philosophy, movies, documentaries and minds. Whenever you study the works of brilliant minds, you open your thoughts to those minds and glimpse an alternative way of interpreting the world.

Method Four:
Study other cultures. Learn words from other languages, words that have no English translation. The Hopi language doesn't define time the way English does. Many aboriginal people don't define ownership the way modern Americans do. The ancient Celts had no word for adultery. The Lakota language has no word for I. We can learn a lot about our own definitions by studying the cultures, perspectives and languages of other people.

So what's the bottom line?
The most fundamental changes in life happen when we redefine who we are. When we see ourselves differently, we think differently. When we think differently, we feel differently. When we feel differently, we behave differently, and we don't need some quick-fix technique to control ourselves, or others.

So open your mind and explore your definitions. Your life will expand proportionately...