My Precious

What do you think your biggest mental shortcoming is?  What patterns of thoughts and beliefs do you hold that sometimes help you, but most of the time harm you?  If someone challenged you on it, what would be a touchy subject? Is there something you feel like Gollem in his cave, stroking the golden ring,  snapping at anyone who comes close?  What is your “My Precious?”  I know what you’re thinking:  Gawd… stop with the twenty questions.  This is something I don’t want to shine a light on OK?  This is my emotional skeleton in the closet, and that door should stay tightly shut, thank you very much.  Besides, its part of who I am.  So, there. 

So, let me break the ice and tell you what mine is.  For me, it is being right.  I pride myself on being smart, clever and creative and… right.  But when someone points out that I’m wrong, the fangs come out.  I cast around, looking for ways that I’m at least partially right, trying to save face, because I was all in on my belief.  So, when I listened to a talk by one of my absolute heroes, Wayne Dyer, where the message was that if “faced with the choice to be right, or be kind.  You pick kind.”    I was like…. But why can’t I have both? 

So, here’s the thing.  I have spent a lifetime justifying my belief that I am right.  I think we all do this to some degree, and I don’t think that I’m the only one who feels like it is a personal affront when they are wrong.  I have invested in the belief that if I’m wrong, something is wrong with me.  That if someone else is right, I have to prove that I’m more right than they are in order to be a smart, clever, creative person.  In short, my self-worth is tied to being right. 

I think at some point, buried deep in my subconscious, I had an experience where it was important for me to develop this as part of a survival mechanism.  Maybe it was a time when I lost face because I was wrong, maybe it was about not being in a position with enough power to influence someone to do something my way, maybe it was something else from my formative years.  Whatever it was, it became part of my personality, part of my identity. 

But can you see what a dangerous position it puts me in?  If I feel less than if I’m wrong, can you imagine what this does to my relationships?  If I can’t let it go without a buzz of energy that searches for a place, if only in my mind where I’m right, imagine what I’m creating in my life.  Let me tell you, I’m not someone you want to get lost with, especially if I’m the one who got us lost in the first place. 

Think of all the time and energy I could save if only I could just admit that I’m wrong, and get on with fixing things.  I think one of the biggest problems is that I feel out of control when I’m wrong.  Or even when I know that I’m right, but in a situation where I have to let someone else be right, because it is the kind thing to do.  Being out of control like this is energetically like being a rock in a stream.  The water flowing all around, pushing against the rock, causing friction, stirring up mud, but no movement.  The energy bounces off and keeps on flowing, faster than you can grasp at.  Now, imagine trying to create great things from this place.  If you rise above and float on top of the water (in my analogy, this means choosing to let it go and be kind) look at all the resources that you have available.  You can catch things as they float by, you are above the muck of the bottom of the stream, and you are moving with the current, making progress.  But you know the stupid thing about this?  When I’m feeling like the rock, I want to stay stuck.  Because it means I’m right. 

Thankfully, I have been aware of my tendency for the need to be right for quite some time.  I work on my thoughts around being wrong, and identify when I’m reacting out of habit, If I feel that certain sensation, notice the self talk that justifies my position, when I start to gather steam on a topic like this, it is a big red flag that I need to Check. Myself.  And this is hard for me, because I have to admit that my reaction is wrong.  That it is taking me to places I don’t want to go.  That I have control over this part of my existence, and I not only can, but NEED to take control over it.  It helps me create from a better place, not one of being stuck and desperate, but one of fluidity, creativity and resourcefulness. 

This is one of my many flaws, but probably the king pin for me.  If I get this one thing under control, my life flows.  I am able to create awesome things, not just grasp at them desperately, longingly, unsuccessfully.  So here’s the big question:  What are the rocks in the stream for you?  Are you doubling down on your investment in them, or can you let it go, and get on with the good stuff life has in store for you?

Love Always,

Carmen

Failure is only failure if you don’t learn anything.

I don’t know anyone, no matter how self-actualized who hasn’t run across challenges, difficulties or troubles in their life.  In other words, failure.  If you’ve spent any time at all looking into LOA, you know that thoughts create our experiences.  So, in turn, your thoughts are responsible for every experience in your life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Uncomfortable silence. 

There is a tendency to feel like we aren’t doing it right, or good enough.  Sometimes we start to feel like we are not good enough.  Let me stop you right there.  Consider a life where everything was easy.  You never had any mountains to climb, you received everything that you wanted the moment you thought about it, and spent your days blissfully drinking Mai Tai’s on the beach.  Boring.  And, not very productive from a mental or spiritual perspective.  Think of the last time you accomplished something difficult.  The buzz.  The rush.  The power.  I don’t know about you, but an easy life, is not something I strive for.  Moments of ease?  Yes.  Basking in the glory of manifesting something awesome?  Yes.  But a whole lifetime of ease?  No thank you.  Where is the growth? Where is the motivation to create, and build and strive for something great? 

But all that probably doesn’t help when you’re right in the middle of some shitty circumstances.  Have you thought about the times when we have manifested things we don’t want, as ways of growing? That the bad things we bring into our existence stimulate change, and learning and opportunities for our soul to expand?  I know these words don’t help you put food on the table, or pay the rent, but maybe it helps you find meaning in the situation you find yourself in.  How many times have you had a life changing epiphany when things are going well?  Its not out of the realm of possibility, but for me, the great and wonderful things grow out of the shit of the bad.  Often times the bad things help me clarify what I do want, and by learning to release some of these things, thoughts and beliefs, I make room for new and better things. 

My worldview believes that if you are not learning, you are dying.  I believe my life will end when I no longer have anything to learn in this lifetime.  I also believe that I have and will have many lifetimes, and that I don’t have to learn everything my soul will ever learn in this one. Its all good if we don’t agree on the technicalities like reincarnation.  Maybe I’m wrong, and we only get one kick at the can.  We won’t know until we’re dead one way or the other. But either way, shouldn’t we do our best to make this an awesome life?

Just think about this: Things don’t happen TO you, they happen FOR you.  Even getting fired from that job, missing that flight and having that illness.  We always have control over our attitude.  In any situation.  We can take a bad thing and choose to suffer through it.  Or we can feel the feels, do the work and get on with making fertilizer to grow the new and better things. 

Crappy things help us look for the signs of life.  The things that fire up our soul.  The things that feel a little better lead to the things that create a better life.  If you’re struggling right now with something, ask yourself if you are the one making it harder.  Ask yourself what would you prefer instead? And ask yourself what are the signs of life that I need to move towards?  And if we are looking at the path to greatness, the things we really want, the big and important things.  They are not simple manifestations.  And they shouldn’t be!  Learning = life purpose.  So pick a big dream, learn along the way, fail along the way, and live your big, messy #bestlife. 

Let Me Tell You About That Time I Almost Died.

Let me tell you a little story about that time I almost died.  But first, a little back story.  I’ve always been a really healthy person.  Like, its rare for me to get a cold.  I affirm to myself all the time that my immune system is awesome, that I am healthy as a horse and that my body is strong.  So, having only had to deal with minor and infrequent illness in my life it was quite a disruption to my worldview to find myself in a highly medicalized environment in pursuit of a baby. 

Health things have always come easily to me.  If I need to lose weight, I do it.  If I need to improve my cardio, I do it.  Eat better?  I’m on it.  Set a goal, make a plan, execute plan.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always intentional with my health.  I have had situations where it gets a little unmanageable.  But I know I can always get back on track.  Or at least back within reasonable parameters. 

So you can imagine how unprepared I was for the fertility process.  Daily appointments, blood draws and medications.  Always at the doctors, always knowing too many negative details about the process.  (Too much information is not always good!)  The tide of positive thoughts about my health and body started to turn. 

There was a bit of an uptick when we got the positive pregnancy test, but the thing about fertility is that you go from knowing everything about what is going on with your reproductive system to this limbo where you have no appointments.  You reach the pinnacle in the medical process, it is successful and then you wait.  With no information.  Like, your next appointment is in 2 months.  And they have trained you to need those test results, and that constant monitoring.  I needed that drug of information like I needed air. 

Left to my own devices I started to think about everything that could go wrong.  I pondered the odds of a successful pregnancy.  And felt worse, and worse and worse.  Until one day, I had a miscarriage.  I hemorrhaged so badly that I ended up needing 8 blood transfusions. (The human body has approx 10 units of blood and 8 brought me up to about 75% hemoglobin levels, so I pretty much bled out.)  I had my first helicopter ride while being airlifted to a major center for emergency surgery, spent 4 days in the ICU, and 2 months recovering physically. 

This wake up call for my health and life was not messing around.  It took another year and one more unsuccessful try for a baby, and I realized that pursuing this was just training me to feel the lack of a baby.  It was a daily reminder of our childlessness.  I had to make some major changes in my life so that I could start feeding my health, rather than my illness.  As soon as I let it go, I birthed 2 creative babies into my world, and started nurturing my health.   

I know that we will have our own human children sometime.  But I’m going to have to have my head game strong to find the healing that needs to happen in order to see that materialize in my life.  This whole process really brought home to me the concept that what we feed gets stronger, whether that is the fear, the illness, the lack, or the good, the abundance and the joy. 

So imma keep creating and feeling good.  I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. 

Love always,

Carmen

All About the Money

We all want money.  That’s a given.  Money buys experiences, freedom and stability.  So it is OK to want more money.  I think many people have some success in attracting more money into their lives at times.  But… is that stream consistent?  And is it enough to do what you need to in order to live your best possible life? 

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Now I’m going to let you in on a secret to manifesting money.  I want you to look at your big picture goals and apply the filter: How can I save the world?  Think about each of those goals, and see how you can be of service and value to the people around you, and the people connected to you in this awesome universe we live in. 

Making this shift does a few things to fire up our goals.  It shifts the focus from how can I make money, to how can I be of value to someone else in order to receive money.  If someone else is counting on you to save the world, how much more motivation is there to keep doing it?  Uhhh tons!  It takes us out of our own head, makes us a bit more objective in problem solving, and gives us something to focus our attention on and be passionate about.  It also gives us a positive emotion to focus on.  Money is an abstract concept.  When we take a concrete outcome that will make people’s lives better, it is much easier to attach it to a positive emotion. 

The other concept I want to share is that scarcity equals value.  Everyone thinks about their own world and their own experiences.  The What’s in it for Me? mentality is probably the most commonplace concept when you start thinking about money.  It is a rare thing to have goals that serve the world with your greatness.  If you shift from What’s in it for me? To How can I be of Service? Then start solving problems, you will have all the money you can dream of. 

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I know what you’re going to say.  I’m hustling as hard as I can now, barely making ends meet.  I don’t know where rent is coming from this month.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  I got fired from a job.  It was a blessing in disguise as it was a horrible fit and I was miserable doing it, but at the time we went from me being the primary breadwinner to having to subsist on my husband’s income from a seasonal business, and it was October.  I have never hustled as hard and as unproductively as I did at that time.  It was really difficult to think about other people when I didn’t know where our rent money was coming from. 

But if you want out of that place, you focus on what works.  And what works is to change your thoughts about money.  If all you can see and feel is scarcity, that is what you will get more of.  So get a hold of your run away emotions.  Crawl out of the hole.  The direction is up.  Meditate to gain control of your thoughts and emotions.  Plan for a better future and execute the things on your list. 

The Illusive Quality of Focus

I have been accused of lacking focus at times.  I was reading a bedtime story to my nephews.  I like to embellish the story as much as I can.  Side stories, comments about the characters, questions about what they would have done in that situation.  You know.  The good stuff.  Stuff that makes it relational.  They are getting older, and might I say almost (gasp) too old for bedtime stories.  So they called me out on my lack of focus.  And it kind of hurt my feelings when the next night, they wanted their mom to read the story. 

But, I digress.  See how easy it is?  I think one of the main problems is that we assume we either have focus or we don’t, and that if we aren’t able to focus or maintain focus that its not going to happen.  What I want you to realize is that focus is something you can develop.  It isn’t rocket science, but it takes practice. 

What is the most common thing that derails your efforts?  I’m not talking about the little distractions, or day to day tasks that get in the way.  I’m talking about the thing that brings your enthusiasm, and motivation to a screeching halt. 

Your emotions.

Its not the situation.  It’s the way we feel about the situation.  Its how getting cut off in traffic can ruin our day.  And can I be as bold as to say that if this happens often enough, it can ruin your life.  You practice the feeling of anger, or hurt, or victimization, or lack of confidence.  Or whatever your default emotional setting is.  It is an emotional habitual pattern that we reinforce by practicing it.  That is not a place where we manifest good things my friend. 

What if I told you there is a tool to shift your default settings to positive emotions?  It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get cut off in traffic, but at least it won’t ruin your day.  And… it will help you attract more of the good stuff, and less of the bad. 

You know I’m a yogi right?  So it shouldn’t be hard to connect the dots here.  If you’re already backing away, like this is not for you let me challenge you to explore why you think you can’t. 

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5 minutes of meditation a day WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!  So take out your phone right now.  Open up your alarm.  Set it for 5 minutes earlier. Set it for the whole week.  Stop complaining and just do it.  Tomorrow you will get up, do your morning meditation and then get on with your day.

We are going to do the meditation right now though so we don’t loose any traction.  This meditation is very simple.  You will focus on your breath for 5 minutes.  That’s it. Set a timer. If you need to, put on some music.  If it helps, you can say in your mind inhale, and exhale on each breath.  Or count to 10 breaths then start over again.  When you notice thoughts come into your mind, you will practice redirecting your attention back to the breath. 

Do not be concerned with how many times over the 5 minutes you have to draw your thoughts back to the breath.  That’s the whole point.  To strengthen the ability to notice runaway thoughts and direct them where we want them to go.  Don’t do this in bed, get up, get dressed and find a comfortable place to sit. (This is so you don’t go back to sleep and bail on yourself.) 

When the timer goes off grab a pen and paper and do a few minutes of free writing.  Write down whatever comes into your mind.  This is when the inspiration happens.  You take 5 minutes to clear the clutter.  When you blow away all that ash you will find the diamonds. 

Happy Meditating! 

Love always,

Carmen

Can You Hit a Moving Target?

Am I right in saying you have some area of your life that you are dissatisfied with?  Typically people who are into LOA have a dilemma in one of 3 categories:  Health, Wealth and Relationships.  And, most times, people who are here are not new to the concepts of manifesting using Law of Attraction.  So, clearly, if you know the mechanics of LOA, and your results are inconsistent…. What’s missing? 

There are actually a few pieces that people often miss when they work with LOA:

  1.  Focus.  I get it.  Life has many competing priorities.  It is difficult to remain focused on your goal if your house is burning down around you.  Or less dramatically, you are unexpectedly invited out, or you get a flat tire, or your kids get sick, or, or, or… In yoga we call this the monkey mind.  It drags our attention away from the breath, and takes us out of a meditative state… or does it?  Have you considered that these distractions are training to develop focus?  That the more you flex the muscle of choosing your thoughts deliberately rather than being reactionary, you improve your focus?
  2. Failure to plan (properly.)  If you ask someone in the general population they might be able to give you a vague answer about their goals and how they are executing them.  In the people who are initiated to manifesting?  Probably less vauge, but often times, not much better than the muggles.  But the high achievers?  The ones who are killing it in their home life, their bank accounts and their health?  There is nothing vague about their plan.  They schedule success, break it down to manageable pieces and start.  They get shit done.  And even more importantly, they get the right shit done.   
  3. Accountability.  This can be really challenging.  You start telling someone important to you about your dream.  You aren’t even to the best part yet and they are already telling you all the reasons why it won’t work and you can’t do it.  Out of love of course.  It shakes your confidence, disrupts your focus and often takes you to a negative head space where nothing productive is manifesting. 

The big belief fail with these factors is that we tend to think of them as static. We think that if we don’t get exactly what we envisioned, exactly the way you wanted it, and immediately that it didn’t work.  That you failed at one or all of the things above.   It doesn’t work that way. LOA is not a fixed point, so much as a feedback loop.  The trick is figuring out how to make it a daily practice that includes assessing your progress and tweaking the plan as opportunities present themselves.  As you get stronger, more focused, and better at capturing opportunities that lead to accomplishing goals, you accelerate your manifesting. 

Until next time,

Carmen

Plan for Success. It Won’t Just Happen.

So.  Goals.  At this time of year it can be a hot button topic for many, both in a positive way, but also in a negative way.  My feed seems to be full of people making commitments to not make commitments.  Or people proclaiming great things are anon in 2019.  Which I sincerely hope is the case.  Like, for real.  I want you to achieve everything you can dream of in your life. 

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Long ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would strive for greatness.  At the time, I may not have known what that meant, but as you start moving in a direction, the greatness reveals itself.  As you make plans and goals and break those massive dreams down into manageable pieces, you find that the sum of your life, and your experience is greatness. 


“know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track.” 

― Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

So this is why it breaks my heart to see people who have given up on making goals for themselves.  Or they consistently set goals then do not show up for themselves.  They don’t take action to make those dreams a reality in their lives. 

I need a new paragraph for this next piece, because it is that important.  You are worth taking chances on.  You are worth the effort to chase down those dreams of greatness.  You are worth showing up for and holding yourself accountable for your health, happiness and experiences.  A quotation has come to my attention multiple times in the last weeks that I want to share:  “The only difference between stupidity and courage is the outcome.”  No idea who said it, but how on point.  I think what is missing from this is that, even if the outcome is failure, chalk it up to the success tax, and try again, but smarter this time because you already know one way it won’t work. 

There are millions of people who give up on themselves because they met with one way it won’t work, or even several ways.  But there are also millions of people who evaluated what went well, reframed their thoughts about the outcome, and tackled the problem again and changed their outcome.  The difference is that they showed up, they were resilient, they had a growth mindset, they kept focusing their thoughts on one more thing they can do now to make this a reality. 

2018 was a pivotal year for me.  I left the safety of a job that paid the bills and invested all of our life’s savings in a dream.  The funny part is it wasn’t part of my life’s goals to own a Yoga Studio.  But it is part of my life’s goals to make a difference in the world.  To have rewarding, satisfying work where I can make an impact.  When we moved back to the area in 2016 I kept saying where is the yoga studio?  Being the manifestor that I am, the universe told me to get to work and The Wellness Collective was born.  The jury is still out on whether it was courageous or stupid, but I know that if I keep asking myself how to be of service, and how can I have an impact, it will keep moving towards the greatness that I dream of.  But I did something.  I saw an opportunity, and I said now is the time.  The greatness will reveal itself if I start walking this path. 

I want to challenge you to explore what your prevailing thoughts are.  Pay particular attention to when you tell yourself or others “I can’t.”  I don’t believe in I can’t.  I believe in I won’t.  I believe in not right now.  I believe in not all at once.  But, can’t isn’t part of my vocabulary.  It is a wonderful word to leave behind in 2018 if you haven’t already done so.  If you need a transition phrase, consider saying not a priority instead of can’t.  Or better yet, focus on what you can do to bring you closer to your big, wild, wonderful dreams for your life. 

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Just because you haven’t stuck to goals in the past, doesn’t mean that this time you won’t.  You just have to show up smarter.  You have to decide that the commitments you make for yourself are more important than the commitments you make with Netflix or whatever your drug of choice is.  It may be your habit to let yourself off the hook in the past.  But you can make a better choice.  You CAN be healthier, happier, more abundant, more engaged in your relationships and have a richer, fuller experience.  But it starts with you.  Full stop.  Think about what you need to see and experience to lead the best possible life for you.  Reverse engineer it and start chasing those things down. 

Planning and breaking down massive goals into manageable steps will make you feel better and give you the space to dream big.  To nab your free planning pages head over here: https://bit.ly/2FhPiBr

Now set some goals, and get to work.

Love Always,

Carmen