How Do You Want To Die? Not A Rhetorical Question

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Earlier today I was driving my daughter to her play-date. Today was not my scheduled day to pick her up from pre-school but my wife has not felt good for the past two days and I’ve had to pick up a few extra Ella “shifts.” This, on top of an already overly full schedule had put me into a bit of a fluster.

I was driving a bit fast given the conditions. It was raining quite hard and there was a lot of standing water on the road.

As we drove, the thought flashed into my head, “What if one of the oncoming cars skids and slams into us?” Admittedly, not a great thought, but it was a powerful motivator to turn inward for some self-exploration.

What if I died right then? What would my last thought have been? Something along the lines of, “I don’t have time for this. I’ve got way too much to do. Why couldn’t Melissa just get out and drive Ella like she was supposed to?”

Not the most positive thoughts in the world.

And what about feelings? What was I feeling in that moment? And if I had died, what would my last feeling have been?

Overwhelm, frustration, judgment. These are not feelings way up high on the emotional scale.

When examined in the light of the question,” How do I want to die?” it was crystal clear that I did not want to die with those final thoughts and feelings. I did not want to carry those thoughts and feelings back with me into Source. For I believe that is what we do when we die. We carry the thoughts and feelings that we are having at the instant of our death back into Source.

And with this clear awareness, it was quite easy to shift into better thoughts and feelings. What do I want to carry with me back to Source? Gratitude, love, peace, joy, contentment. These are the thoughts and feelings I want to contribute to Source when I return.

So this question, “How do I want to die?” can provide an extremely powerful inspiration on a daily basis. By holding that question in your awareness, it reminds you to monitor your thoughts and feelings and continuously reach for better ones.

How do you want to die? What thoughts and feelings do you want to contribute when you return to your Source?

No Time To Grieve


Yesterday morning, as I was getting Ella ready for pre-school, my wife came downstairs and, after our good morning hugs, began telling me about some stuff that had come up around her father’s recent passing. She had just realized that the next meeting of her women’s group would be on November 1st, the Day of the Dead.

There was obviously some intense emotional content present, and yet, my first thoughts were along the lines of, “I don’t have time for this now. I’ve got to finish getting Ella ready so that we can get to pre-school and meet the physical therapist for her appointment.”

What was I thinking? Melissa lost her father less than 3-weeks ago, and there I was expecting her to be able to channel her grief into “appropriate” times. After a brief and not very positive interchange I went upstairs to get dressed, and quickly recognized my insensitivity.

I got dressed, went downstairs and sat with Melissa and Ella, giving her the time and space she needed to explore what was happening for her. If we were late for Ella’s PT session, it would not be the end of the world. It turns out that Melissa just needed a couple of minutes of connection. Nothing more.

With a bit of perspective, it becomes obvious how completely unreasonable is is to expect someone who has lost a loved one to experience their grief on a ‘regular” schedule. And yet, this seems to be a fairly common belief.

I have had several clients recently who have lost parents. Their struggle has been around giving themselves permission to fully experience the depth of their sorrow. They have internalize this cultural belief system that says you get a set amount of time to grieve and then you should be “over it.”

Sorry. Grief doesn’t work that way. Grief is a very unpredictable experience. Some people experience most their grief soon after the passing of a loved one. Others go into a period of numbness immediately following the death. This can help them get through the funeral and family stuff that surrounds a death. But as that numbness begins to thaw, the grief begins to come up in unexpected ways, places and times. It can take weeks, months even years to fully experience and express the sorrow present when a loved one passes.

But in our culture of go, go, go, do, do, do, there is very little space for that type of experience. We have truly created a culture in which there is no time for grief. What are we saying about grief when your work gives you 2-weeks off for bereavement (if you’re lucky)?

I find it interesting that the question I’ve been getting a lot lately is, “Are things back to normal yet?” Back to normal? What is normal? And how could things ever be back to normal? Certainly for Melissa, her life will never be “normal” again. This experience has completely transformed her life and will continue to transform it in ways that she is only vaguely aware of right now.

There can be no return to normal after a loved one dies. And yet that seems to be the expectation of our culture.

Don’t fall for it. Don’t get caught in the trap of seeking “normal.” And don’t fall into the trap of encouraging someone you know to return to “normal” after they lose a loved one.

There’s a lot more to come on this topic so keep your eyes peeled.

Law of Attraction Carnival 5 – Emotions


Welcome to the October 24th edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival. The topic of this edition is The Role of Emotions in the Law of Attraction. We’ve got a great group of submissions, some directly related to the topic others a bit more tangentially related. But they’re all great and worth a read!

One of the most powerful aspects of the Law of Attraction is its focus on feelings as a primary mode of experiencing the world. The Law of Attraction teachings often speak of our “emotional guidance system.” The primary point of this is that our emotions provide us with a valuable source of information.

Even the so-called “negative” emotions provide us with powerful guidance: When we are feeling angry or depressed, or frustrated, or overwhelmed, these emotions are clear indicators that we are disconnected from our Source energy. When we are feeling emotions on the lower end of the emotional spectrum, we are, most likely, attracting more unwanted things into our life.

By paying attention to our emotions, we become clear about our point of attraction. In other words, are we attracting from a positive, connected, intentional state, or are we attracting by default, from a negative, resistant state? When we know where our point of attraction is, we can begin to take steps to consciously raise our point of attraction up the emotional scale.

So let’s take a look and see what some other folks have to say about emotions and the Law of Attraction.

Beverly Keaton, over at Embrace Your Gifts and Soar starts us off with an entry on Finding Peace Through Forgiveness. Often, forgiveness can provide a truly effective doorway into more positive emotional content and, therefore, a more positive point of attraction.

Patricia, at A Better You, once again has a great entry on How to Know Who You Are In About 20-Minutes. Her technique is very connected to emotional content. She gives us this insightful example: The other day my 15-month-old baby was walking and fell by our brick fireplace. She split her lip and it was bleeding. I think her tears hurt me more than her, because I rushed to comfort her and tell her it would be okay. As I held her, I reassured her that it would be “all better” soon. Suddenly she jumped up as if everything was fine, and took off running past the fireplace to play. I remember thinking, why can’t we do that in life? Get comfort, take courage, then try again. Over at The Fast Lane, Steve includes a great personal story in his entry The Incredible Power of Failure. What does failure have to do with emotions? What is it that makes us believe that failure is bad? Emotions, feelings, thoughts. Steve’s entry reminds us that failure is a very powerful teaching tool and motivator.

Fear and failure seem to go hand in hand. They are certainly connected. Over at Verve Coaching, Erek Ostrowski has this entry on Facing the Unknown. Erek reminds us of this wonderful quote from Richard Bach, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly”.

That’s it for this edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival. To few past editions, please visit the Law of Attraction Carnival homepage.

The next carnival will be out on November 14th and the topic will be The Power of Intention. I bet we’ll have some amazing entries on that topic!

If you would like to submit an article please make sure you read the submission guidelines first. You’ll find them on the Law of Attraction Carnival homepage as well.

Using The Book of Positive Aspects


My wife left last night to spend what is most likely going to be her last week with her father. It’s been interesting for me to watch the massive difference in my overall energy level between last week and this week.Last week my energy was way up. I was feeling great about the writing I was doing for this blog, the curriculum I was developing for my courses, and the extra time I was getting to do all of that by getting up at 5:00 am.

Today I am feeling heavy, scattered, unfocused, tired, and physically fatigued – as if I recently had a strenuous workout.

What happened? Why the big shift?

Here’s my take on it. I’m going to first give you the non-deliberate creator perspective. Then I’ll go back and explore how I am reframing it to, hopefully, shift my energy level.

First, with Melissa gone, this next week has the potential to be very full. In addition to my projects, there is the added responsibility of being taking care of Ella alone. This includes getting up with her each morning, getting her fed, dressed, lunch packed, and off to pre-school. It includes arranging childcare for two early morning meetings – 6:00 am – and at least one evening. It involves bringing Ella to a music class, a meeting with a possible new school, and a physical therapist appointment. It also includes spending the entire weekend with Ella, or calling around to find people to watch her. It also means that the early morning time I have been so enjoying since I started waking up at 5:00 may get put on hold if I have to stay in bed to ensure that Ella doesn’t wake up too early.

The second piece in this involves an old belief system I inherited from a long line of patriarchal families that tells me that the “father does not take care of the children.” Well being a single dad for a week flies directly in the face of that belief system and definitely triggers old emotional issues around parental roles and responsibilities.

So that’s a quick exploration of the thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to this lowered energy. Now lets explore them a bit and look for the possible alternative beliefs.

Did you hear the victim tone in the description of what I believe could happen this week? Certainly it all is potentially true. But it’s true because I make it true. And how do I make it true? By focusing on it, by believing it. When I allow myself to get caught up in the feelings of “what if this happens,” I almost guarantee that it will happen.

This is another example, with a slightly different twist on the Being Right or Feeling Good theme I explored a few days ago.

From a Law of Attraction perspective, I know that I have the power to determine how this week unfolds. I certainly have the power to determine how I respond to whatever unfolding occurs. By focusing on all of the things that could be “negative” all I do is give them more fuel to manifest in reality.

The trick – though it’s no trick, but actually a very powerful tool – is to get clear about all the positive things that I would like to see happen this week. In the Book, Ask and It Is Given, this technique is called The Book of Positive Aspects. It’s a tool to shift your perspective from what you see in front of you that you don’t want, to all the positive things you can imagine, things that you do want.

Here’s an example of a page from a Book of Positive Aspects about my upcoming week.

At the top of the page I write: The upcoming week – 9/20 – 9/26.

Then I begin to list all of the potential, positive, good feeling things about this week. Everything I can think of. These include:

  • I get to spend time alone with Ella.
  • Richard Thompson is playing at the Celtic Festival on Friday night and I can go see him.
  • Ella and I can go out to the beach or take a long hike this weekend.
  • I get to go with Ella to Music Together on Friday.
  • I’m really excited about the response to my special birthday offer for the Internet Marketing for Deliberate Creators course, and now I get to put the finishing touches on the curriculum for the first class next Wednesday.
  • It’s been so easy finding people who are thrilled to spend some extra time with Ella so that I can have some free time.
  • I love the perfect balance in my business this week between time spent with private clients and time spent writing and working on other projects.
  • The weather is spectacular!
  • I’ve gotten some great birthday gifts this week, and I’ve heard that there are more to come!
  • I love that I’ve created a work life where I have the flexibility and freedom to give Melissa the opportunity to go see her father.

That’s a sample of some of the things that in my Book of Positive Aspects about this week. As I write them, I feel my energy shifting. I sense the lightness, the excitement, the joy from last week returning.

Reality is always subjective. And we create our reality based on the subjects upon which we are focused. Focus on what feels good and you get more of that. Focus on what feels not quite so good and you get more of that. Focus on what feels pretty crappy and guess what…you get a whole bunch more crap in your life!

So my intention for this week, is to spend time every day focusing on my Book of Positive Aspects. By remembering all the wonderful things that are possible this week, I open the doorway to the creation of those positive things in “reality.”

The Language of the Pain Body


I’m just now digging in to Ekhart Tolle’s newest book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. In it, he offers a more detailed exploration of the Pain Body than he did in The Power of Now. And this exploration has definitely heightened my awareness of the manner in which my Pain Body speaks to me.

Just yesterday, after writing about my 30-day trial of arising at 5:00 am, I got a taste of the language of the Pain Body.

As I was getting into the shower it occurred to me that I had not told my wife about my plan to wake up at 5:00 am for the next 30-days. “Why haven’t I told her,” I thought. And then a voice that was very different responded, “Because she’ll take it away from you.”

That was strange, I thought, but my curiosity was aroused so I asked, “What do you mean she’ll take it away from me?”

“Oh, she won’t do it ‘on purpose.'” The voice replied. “No, it will all be very subtle. But you watch. If she finds out about this, you’ll notice that Ella starts waking up at 6:00 or even 5:30 in the morning.”

The voice had more to say, but by that point I was aware that it was my pain body speaking to me. And I could very clearly trace that voice and the belief system that the Pain Body was expressing all the way back to my adoption. The experience of having the one thing I wanted most in all of the world – my mother – “taken away from me” has become the fuel that my Pain Body lives on; fuel that is still burning even now, almost 42 years later.

And the reason that fuel has not burned out is because the Pain Body is a master at conserving its own fuel. The Pain Body burns anything else that it can find in order to save the precious resource of its initial painful experience.

As I stepped into the shower yesterday morning, the Pain Body was attempting to throw more fuel onto the fire, fuel that would have burned up my relationship with Melissa. That is how the Pain Body works.

But this is where the Law of Attraction comes in. Once I recognized the presence of my Pain Body and its desire to draw me out of the present and into the quagmire of an old traumatic emotional/energetic experience, I was able to ask the question, “How do I want to feel in this moment?” That one question brought me fully back to the present moment and allowed me to step out of the grip of my Pain Body.

“How do I want to feel in this moment?” So much power in such a simple question. When you have the presence to ask that question, you have no choice but to answer. For me, in that moment, I was quite clear that I did NOT want to feel the sense of dread and resentment and anger that the Pain Body was attempting to arouse by pointing out the possibility that Melissa would “take away” my newly found morning time. I did NOT want to slip back into that familiar but painful place of rehashing and re-experiencing the pain of my adoption.

What I Did Want was to feel good. I wanted to feel the peace in which I had been fully immersed during my alone time earlier in the morning. I wanted to feel the enthusiasm that I was feeling about the extra time I had to write and share my writing with the world. I wanted to feel calm and trusting, confident in the knowledge that Melissa will support and encourage me in my effort to take actions that lead me to deeper happiness and peace.

With those answers I felt the heaviness of the Pain Body slip away, unable to hold onto me, no longer able to pull me down into the depths of its darkness.

And as the cleansing water continued to wash down over me, I offered my thanks to the Pain Body for helping me become even more clear about what I want, and for giving me the opportunity to envision a more supportive, open and joyous relationship with my wife.

From Contrast to Clarity – Applying the Law of Attraction to Global Trauma

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This article was originally written and posted in the weeks following the attacks of 9/11/01. I have updated it and included new information about how the Law of Attraction addresses global tragedy.

“The world is changed.  I feel it in the water.  I feel it in the Earth.  I smell it in the air.”

Thus spoke Galadriel at the opening of the film version of Lord of the Rings.  J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic fantasy trilogy during World War Two when the world was indeed changing.  The world is changing now.  Many of us feel the change in the Water, the Earth and the Air.  But many of us also feel the change in our hearts and minds and in our very bones.

Events on a global scale often seem out of our control.  It appears that decisions made by a few can affect vast numbers of people and have long-lasting consequences for us all.  When the decisions seem benevolent and harmonious, it is easy to go about the daily tasks of our lives.  However, when the tone of world events turns dark, and the reasons for certain choices made in our name seem murky and unclear, feelings of helplessness softly sneak up from the shadows and begin to infuse our daily life with doubt.

Contrary to everything we have been taught about the world and most of what we feel in moments of personal and planetary chaos, we are never helpless. No one controls our experience without our implicit allowing. We are the Deliberate Creators of our lives. When it feels as if the world around us is falling apart or dangerously encroaching upon our own private world, it can be very difficult to remember that we are in control of our life experience.

The Global Connection

One of the most dramatic changes in this modern world is our instant access to information.  Sitting at our computer or watching TV, we look into the terrified eyes of a little girl in Baghdad.  Indigenous tribes of South American communicate with the international community, raising awareness of humanitarian and environmental concerns in their world.  It becomes increasingly clear that we are all connected.

The electronic threads of radio, television and the Internet also tweak our sensitivity to another, subtle connection that binds us together: We are all connected through an invisible, energetic force which Fritjof Capra and others have called the Web of Life.

In the original Star Wars, when Darth Vader’s Death Star obliterated a planet, Obi Wan Kenobi, in a starship far away, stumbled and sat down. “I feel a great disturbance in the force,” he said, feeling the connection viscerally. Most of us feel the force in more subtle ways, if at all. But the connection is there and feel it we do. The emotional reaction when global trauma occurs, spreads through the Web of Life like fire through a forest full of dead Oaks. Grief, anger and despair jumps from one “tree” to another feeding on itself until all the fuel is spent.  In this case, of course, we are the fuel.

Contrast is Good

If you have been studying the Law of Attraction for any length of time, you understand, conceptually, that contrast is good even though you may still have some trouble acting on that knowledge. Events that trigger negative feelings – anger, grief, helplessness, resentment, etc. – are positive because they accentuate the contrast in our life and provide us with an opportunity to clarify what we want.

On an individual level these events can include things like bouncing a check or getting a parking ticket or arguing with a loved one. All of these events point to some unwanted aspect of our lives, thereby giving us the opportunity to create something different. These events show us what we don’t want so that we can become clear about what we do want.

On a global level, events that awaken us to the contrast include wars, terrorism, drugs, gangs, famine, etc. We watch events such as these unfold – most of us from the outside – and think, “I don’t like that. I don’t want that to be in this world.” And that awareness is a wonderful first step. Observing the contrast has helped us become clear about what we do not want.

The problem is that very few of us move to the next step: Clarifying, and focusing upon, what we do want. If you don’t want war, what do you want? Peace? Well then focus on peace. The Law of Attraction is extremely clear: You cannot change events by focusing on what is.

By focusing on war, even in the pursuit of ending it, you are contributing to its continuing presence in our world. Your focus on ending war adds energetic fuel to the concept of war thus perpetuating it.

Mother Theresa was once asked why she never participated in anti-war demonstrations. She replied, “I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” She clearly understood the power of intention and attention. She recognized that an anti-war demonstration with hundreds or thousands of people focusing their energy on ending the war would still be focused on the war. And that focused energy would contribute to the continuation of the war.

Focus instead on peace. Focus on what you do want. Be Grateful for the Contrast

One of the most difficult tasks for those of us actively studying and implementing the Law of Attraction in our lives is being grateful for the contrast: Thanking a police officer for giving you a traffic ticket, thanking the bank for charging you an overdraft fee, thanking your spouse for triggering your anger. It can be a struggle to find gratitude for and acceptance of such events. You may ask why we should we be grateful for such things? The answer is clear: These events open a doorway to our ever-expanding desires. And that is the ultimate purpose of contrast.

It is the bounced check that awakens in us a desire to more skillfully manage our money. It is the traffic ticket that awakens us to the desire to be more present and aware while we are driving. It is our partner or parent or child triggering us that awakens a desire for more loving, open, intimate relationships.

Global events that point out the contrast in our physical environment deserve the same gratitude. However, when we are witnessing hundreds or thousands of people in the midst of trauma, it can be even more difficult to feel grateful for this contrast. And yet, there is no difference between the events in our personal life and those that affect the global community. The only difference is in scale.

Our job then, as deliberate creators, is to focus on the desire that has been awakened because of the contrast. Whether it is a personal desire for better bookkeeping, or a global desire for more peace, focusing on the feelings inherent within that new desire will bring about its creation.

What does it feel like to be a skillful money manager? How does it feel to know that your accounts are balanced each month? Hold onto that feeling, even, and especially, when you bounce a check. If you tenaciously and excitedly offer that new, positive vibration to the Universe, the Universe will have no choice but to line up events and circumstances in the physical world that match your offering.

The same is true with global events. What does peace feel like? How would it feel to know that everyone in the world has access to adequate food and shelter? How does it feel to imagine a world in which the earth and air and water around us are recognized as and treated like the valuable resources they are?

When you focus on the positive feelings associated with the new desire that has been awakened through contrast, you empower the manifestation of events that will reflect your positive feelings.

What Should I Do With This Grief and Anger?

But what about the negative emotions? What should we do when they arise? When traumatic events occur powerful emotions can and do arise. If you are personally affected by the event, either through an injury or the loss of a loved one or the loss or damage of your possessions, anger, despair, grief and sorrow naturally occur.

A common response is to direct your negative emotions at those who “caused” the trauma. If the trauma was caused by other humans: war, terrorist attacks, etc., it can be easy to find a target for your negative emotions. You see this all the time in photographs and videos from war-torn areas where residents gather to express their hatred for those they feel are the cause of their pain. If the trauma is a “natural” disaster, such as an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane, it can be more difficult to find someone to blame. Although, as we saw with the rampant finger pointing after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, it is always possible to find someone to blame.

While blame and finger pointing may bring a temporary sense of relief from the anger and frustration, they never lead to a positive solution. The negative energy remains and serves to attract a continuation of the degraded conditions. There is a Native American saying, “Whenever you point a finger at someone else, there are always three fingers pointing back at you.”

Instead of pointing the finger, see if you can allow and accept the presence of powerful emotions. Feel them. Experience them. If you have lost a loved one, allow yourself to fully experience the grief and sorrow at their loss. Do not attempt to deny it or suppress it. Be present with it.

Emotions are never negative on their own. They become negative when we label them as negative and attempt to deny them. When we do not allow ourselves to express heavy emotions those emotions go into hiding within us and become a constant, shadowy companion, influencing our life in subtle but powerful ways. It is much better to take the time and space to be present with the grief, anger, sorrow, etc., and allow these emotions to be released through our presence.

The Butterfly Effect

Often our feelings of helplessness come from a sense that there is nothing we can do. The actions that we can take as individuals seem insignificant when we are confronted with global disasters. But while our phyiscal actions are important, far more important are the actions we take to ensure that our vibrational offering is aligned with an image of relief for the affected areas. If we hold an image of relief and get ourselves into vibrational alignment with that image, will someone on the opposite side of the Earth “feel” it?  I believe they will, though it’s probably impossible to measure scientifically. At least at this point in our scientific resources. What is certain is that our life has an effect that reaches far beyond what we can see with our eyes.

The most powerful supercomputers available to the highest level scientists and researchers cannot predict the weather accurately because the flapping of one butterfly’s wings in Japan sends an ever-expanding ripple out into the world. This has come to be known as the butterfly effect.

What unknown shores will the ripples of our flapping wings reach? We cannot know, and so we must be content to focus on the world around us, the world we can see, feel, hear and touch. We must open our eyes to the effects our words and actions have upon the people and places with whom we interact on a daily basis.

And we must be content to focus upon our own well-being and take the steps needed to hold onto hope.  The first step is often the most difficult. But the light from each of us is desperately needed in this world.  And I believe that with each baby step we take out of the darkness of helplessness and despair, hope takes 100 bounding strides towards us!

The Daily Program

While there are no quick fixes for feelings of helplessness, especially in times of global trauma and uncertainty, there are specific steps you can take to help yourself stay connected, or reconnect with a sense of hope. Each of these suggestions can be an effective way to pull yourself out of the darkness of despair or to ensure that you remain connected to hope and joy.  Use one of them.  Use all of them.  Combine them.  Create your own.  The important thing is to make a conscious effort to reconnect and stay connected with your sense of hope even when others around you are not.

While these suggestions were originally written in response to a global crisis, they are equally effective at alleviating negative feelings that arise from personal trauma.


We rarely have to think about the air we breathe.  Because of that it’s easy to take our breath for granted.  Taking short periods throughout the day — even just 30 seconds — to focus attention on your breath is an effective way to reconnect with yourself and with the present moment.

Turn off the TV

In this age of instant access to international events, information overload is a very real concern.  The Internet, TV, radio and newspapers all offer more information than we need.  For many of us this information orgy has a magnetic pull especially during times of crisis.  When you begin to feel this pull you can take actions to counteract its effects. Give yourself a time limit for TV viewing or web surfing.  If you are stuck in traffic, listening to news or a talk show, turn off the radio or switch to a music station.  If you are a diehard information junkie, determine a daily maximum “information retrieval period,” such as 15-minutes or 1-hour and set an alarm to go off when your time is up.

Each week, give yourself a day off from the World, as difficult as it may be in our “need to know” culture.  At least one day each week, tune out the events of far away places and tune in to your own inner world and your connections with the people and places around you.  Sometimes we can be so concerned with events on the other side of the globe that we neglect people and situations in our own world.

Connect with Nature

There is no despair or depression in nature.  A forest does not stop growing when a tree topples in a storm.  Even when entire swaths of forest are cut down, the other trees continue to grow.  Seeds continue to sprout.  There may well be sadness or grief in the forest, there is certainly an awareness of the loss, but growth continues.  Likewise, rivers continue to flow even when they are dammed or polluted. Most of Earth’s myriad elements (except perhaps humans!) know their purpose and how to remain focused upon it.  Through a connection with Nature we can learn this vital skill.  So spend time each day in Nature.  Watch a river flow by, take a walk on a nearby trail, or just find a friendly tree to sit beneath for a while.

Express Your Emotions

This can be a tough one – especially for men.  Our culture tends to demean emotional expression in general, and especially so-called “negative” emotions such as grief, and anger.

During times of global strife we tap into “collective” emotions that can amplify the intensity of our personal emotions.  Events and actions we would normally observe and absorb without strong reactions may begin to trigger anger, grief or other emotions.  We may feel betrayed when a friend calls to cancel a lunch date.  Rage may flare when a parent or a spouse offers advice we don’t like. One of the best ways to deal with emotions is to express them.  Being “strong” or holding emotions inside you suppresses them and ultimately gives them more power over you.  They will resurface sometime in the future through events, emotions and even physical ailments.

So go to the beach and wail, punch a pillow, watch a sad movie and let your tears flow.  Give voice to the inner turmoil you are experiencing so it does not start to rule your life.

Reach Out for Support

When the worries of the world are weighing you down and your personal concerns seem too much to hold, it is tempting to retreat into a place of isolation.  Our culture tends to glorify self-reliance.  We are taught as small children that sharing our problems with others is not OK. By reaching out you do not have to place a burden upon anyone else.  You are not “dumping” your stuff onto another.  Rather, you are looking for nurturing support: someone to listen to you.  There is too much for you to hold onto alone.  Just by speaking your concerns and problems you begin to diminish their power over you.

Accept and Appreciate the Contrast

As mentioned above, contrast provides us with the ability to know what we want. The more dramatically the contrast expresses itself, the more passion and power there is behind the new desire. When you experience contrast in your personal life, or witness it in the world around you, see if you can consciously offer gratitude to the contrast.

WriteWriting offers another outlet for your concerns.  When you see your problems on paper, you may discover they are not quite as large as you thought.  And if, in fact, they are large, seeing them in front of you can help you determine the best way to proceed.

You don’t need to worry about how or what you write.  Just write.  Get your troubles out of your system and onto paper.  If you still feel stuck after writing out your problems, you might try creating a ritual for yourself where you burn (safely!) the paper holding your problems.  Controlled fire is a great catalyst and this symbolic act of release can bring a wonderful sense of relief.

Nurture yourself

In our frenetic world it is far too easy to forget our own need for personal pleasure.  We forget about the simple things that nurture our body, mind and spirit.  Taking time each day to do something special for yourself is a wonderful way to counteract the influence of a world falling into darkness. Get a massage.  Take a bath.  Make love.  Read a good book.  Listen to soothing music.  Give yourself a gift of pleasure each day.  You are worth it!


Exercise is an important component of any hope revival program. Exercise helps your body release toxins that accumulate from unexpressed emotions, pollution, processed foods and other unavoidable elements of our modern world. Vigorous, anaerobic exercise is especially effective at helping to move anger, resentment and frustration out of your space. If exercise is not yet a part of your daily self-care routine, make it a priority to spend time, even just fifteen minutes, walking, dancing, doing sit-ups, riding a bike, or anything that gets your body moving and your heart pumping.

Eat WellDuring times of stress, eating well takes on added importance.  When you feel yourself beginning to spiral into a dark space try cutting down on alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods.  Try to avoid eating on the run whenever possible.  Even if your “lunch” is an energy bar, make an effort to sit down and enjoy it.  You can still finish your meal in five minutes, but take an extra thirty seconds to breathe and relax.  You might actually be able to taste that energy bar (for better or worse) if you are not wolfing as you rush to the next meeting.

Cooking yourself at least one delicious, healthy meal each day is a way of enhancing your nutrition while providing self-nurturing.  Even if you are alone, try creating a beautiful experience with flowers, candles, and nice music in the background.

Bring Hope to Others

It is said that by helping others achieve that which you desire, you attract that very thing to yourself.  So when you feel hope slipping away from you, find ways to bring hope to others.  Reach out to a friend in need.  Volunteer your time at a homeless shelter.  Write a letter to a prison inmate.  There are thousands of ways to bring hope to others.  This act will help you to naturally settle more easily and assuredly into a of hope.


Many of the issues that confront us, whether personal, familial, or societal, are too big to handle alone.  Prayer can be an effective way of mitigating the effects they have on our life. For some people the word “prayer” brings up images (perhaps negative) of churches and temples, rosaries and bad wine.  But prayer is really any act in which you consciously reach out to a being or force beyond your ability to fully comprehend.  In prayer there is no right or wrong.

One way to use prayer is to ask for assistance.  “God, I’m feeling a bit lost right now, I could really use some guidance,” is perfectly acceptable.  Source Energy and the Divine Beings that we call upon for support, love to help us.  In fact they are waiting to be called upon.  There is nothing wrong with taking them up on their offer. Prayer can also be used to send focused intention to people and places in need.  “Angels, please watch over the children of Iraq.  They did not ask for this war, but they are in it.  Please help to keep them safe.  And please take good care of those who do not live to see the end of this upheaval.  Thank you.”

Express Your Gratitude: Gratitude is another good element to add to your prayers.  Meister Eckhart, the 13th century Dominican scholar said, “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘thank you’ that will be enough.”  In times of deep turmoil, gratitude can feel like the farthest thing from your mind, but it can also bring deep healing and comfort.  “Divine Forces, I’m not feeling so great right now, but I do want to thank you for a few things.  I’m healthy, and I have a place to live, and the rain dripping off the leaves outside my window is beautiful.  Thank you for all of this!”

Or you could use this prayer of gratitude from Buddha: “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

Fatigue and Your Point of Attraction

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I apologize in advance for the somewhat scattered flow of this post. This post is about how fatigue influences our work with the Law of Attraction. And, at this moment, I’m in a position to very effectively explore that phenomenon. Here’s why.

Saturday evening, at around 7:30, I received a message that one of my favorite Uncles had passed away. I booked a last minute flight, caught an 11:30 red-eye out of San Francisco, had breakfast in the Philadelphia airport and arrived in Boston at 11:00 am Sunday morning.

That night, we had dinner at my Aunt’s house. While talking with the Rabbi who was leading the memorial service, it was decided that I would give the Eulogy. I stayed up until 2:00 am researching and writing it and woke up at 6:30 to finish it. After the funeral, I spent the entire afternoon and evening at my Aunt’s house, talking, cleaning, listening. I got a ride back to my parent’s house at 10:30 and was asleep by 11:00. Tuesday morning, I was up at 7:00 for a breakfast visit with my sister and her kids, then over to my Aunt’s house for a last visit before heading to the airport for a 4:30 flight that was scheduled to land in SF at 9:30.

Then the real fun started. “Any San Francisco passengers in the boarding area please come to the gate.” You know that’s never a good sign. Turns out the flights into Philly were going to be at least 2-hours late because of weather delays. I would miss my connection. So they booked me on a flight leaving at 8:30 and scheduled to land at 1:30am. Not great, but not horrible. Unfortunately, when the baggage carousel stopped spinning, I was short one bag. So, along with about 20 other re-routed passengers, I waited in line and filed my delayed bag claim.

To make a long story, into one of medium length, I arrived at my house at 4:30 am this morning. I got to sleep by about 5:00. Then at 6:30, my daughter woke up and, since she was all excited to see me, refused to go back to sleep.

So why am I telling you this? Mostly just to get you to commiserate with me. No, no, just kidding.

I’m telling you this story because I’ve come to realize just how critical sleep is in our Law of Attraction work. As you can imagine, I am quite exhausted today. If I was my coach, I would tell myself to go home and go to bed. But I’m not my coach, and I haven’t spoken with my coach today, so here I am in the office, getting a few things done and working with a couple of clients who were booked before I knew I would be flying to Boston.

I rarely experience this level of exhaustion. I enjoy sleeping far too much to attain this level of depletion on a regular basis! Now that I am here, in this place of fatigue, I have the opportunity to explore the effects of fatigue on my Law of Attraction work. I’m finding that the impact is huge.

It is incredibly difficult to stay positively focused. My tolerance for external irritants is almost non-existent, and, as yesterday’s travel fiasco attests, I am obviously attracting from a fairly negative resonance.

It makes complete sense. Most of us have lived most of our lives, and attracted our experiences from a fairly negative, default vibrational setting. While we are getting ourselves out of that default space, or set point, maintaining a positive point of attraction takes quite a bit of energy.

In my current state of exhaustion, my energy supplies are extremely limited and the energy that I do have is mostly being used to fuel my basic needs.

Now here’s one last point before I go home to sleep: A small minority of us gets into this level of exhaustion on a regular basis. However, many, if not most of us run a low-level energy deficit on a daily basis. We don’t get enough sleep. We run around all day, doing, doing, doing. We constantly push and stress our physical bodies, not providing them with enough down time to restore and replenish their energy stores.

This low-level fatigue that affects most of us, impacts our ability to move up the emotional scale. Because we don’t take the time, intentionally, to restore our bodies, we limit our ability to move up and sustain ourselves at higher levels of the emotional scale.

The bottom line: Give yourself a break. Get an extra hour of sleep tonight. Take a meditation break at lunch. Do whatever you can to provide your body, mind and spirit, your true Self – with the energy it requires to move you steadily up the emotional scale and into a positive point of attraction.

Caution: Singing Driver, or, Tears of Joy Ahead


Accepting all I’ve done and said
I want to stand and stare again
Til there’s nothing left out,
It remains there in your eyes
Whatever comes and goes
I will hear your silent call
I will touch this tender wall
Til I know I’m home again.

Peter Gabriel

This past weekend, when my wife and I were up in Gualala for a quick overnight getaway, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Caution: Singing Driver. I loved it! It reminded me of how much I love to sing in the car when I’m alone and how long it’s been since I’ve really blasted out some tunes.

This morning, on the way home from dropping off my wife and daughter at the airport for their visit to Mimi and Pop-pop, I had a chance to let loose with some good tunes.
Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” the special mix live version, happened to be in the tape player. And if you haven’t heard that version, I highly recommend it. I was singing along with Peter, Paula and everyone else. I could feel the power of the positive, creative energy they generated when they recorded that song. It was palpable, both in their performances and in the response of the crowd.

As I sang along, with a beaming smile and tears running down my cheeks, so moved by the energy I felt flowing into and through me, I was reminded of a question that a student in my 12-week Law of Attraction course posed on the first night of class. After the guided visualization that connected her so deeply to her joy, she wondered how she could hold that level of intense joy, joy that threatens to bubble up and out of her through tears or other expressions.

At the time I wondered, a bit playfully, back to her and the entire class, why that would be such a bad thing. To feel joy so intensely that tears come would mean that, as Abraham says, you are pretty “tapped in, tuned in and turned on.”

Too bad it is that we don’t feel comfortable at the prospect of walking around all the time with tears of joy and a big smile on our faces. What would our neighbors and co-workers and family think of us? They’d probably consider us loony and have us hauled away to the funny farm. (Hmm interesting name!) 

When I picture the mystical poet Rumi, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine him walking around with tears of joy constantly flowing down his face. Jesus, too, I can imagine having extended moments of overflowing expressions of joy.

And while I’m not quite ready to call in 24/7 tears of joy, I am open to allowing many more experiences and expressions of joy into my life!

What brings you to tears? What awakens such a profound sense of joy that you can’t help but allow the tears to flow?

For me it is music that harmonizes with my essence, my daughter’s exuberant “dada!” as I walk in the door, a visit from a hummingbird just when I feel lost and disconnected from my joy, the story of a student sharing a newly remembered connection to their joy. These moments connect me to my joy. Yes, the joy threatens to and often does overflow into tears. And that’s just fine with me!

TIISG…Thanks Dr. Joe


We all have those moments. You know, the ones where it seems like you’re banging your head up against a wall and you don’t know what to do or where to turn or how to change it. Sometimes those moments seem to go on for days or longer. They’re not fun, those moments.

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago and it was one of those moments that seemed to be lasting a lot longer than just a moment!

I’ll be honest with you here. I’m really working through some of my money “stuff.” I’ve got this feast or famine thing happening. January was my best money month ever in this business. Most of the enrollments for a couple of classes that I was teaching all landed in January, which helped a lot. It felt great to hit that new benchmark.

And then my “stuff” must have kicked in, because March and April were two of my worst money months ever! And at the end of April I found myself wondering where the money had gone, where more of it was going to come from, and how I was going to “make it happen?”

With all of that chatter bouncing around in my head, it was difficult getting anything done. So one day, deep in the middle of that “moment” that didn’t seem to be going away, I decided to find some help.

One of the ways that I find help is by reading articles and books by people who inspire me, people I want to emulate. A virtual mentor, if you will. That day I was drawn to Joe Vitale. He’s the author of the Attractor Factor, featured in the Law of Attraction movie, The Secret, creator of Spiritual Marketing and Hypnotic Marketing… Yes, he’s prolific!

I surfed over to his website, found my way to his article archives and started browsing through them looking for the one that I intuitively knew was waiting to offer me just what I needed. My eye landed upon a cryptic title: “TIISG: The Secret of Napoleon Hill, P.T. Barnum, and Me.”

In this article Joe described one of the characteristics that set these folks (and most successful people) apart from most. It seems that when these types of folks find themselves in one of “those moments,” instead of getting stuck in it and moaning, they look for a way to “Turn It Into Something Good,” TIISG!

It was exactly what I needed to hear. How could I turn this “moment” into something good? Where was the opportunity in this experience?

The first “hit” I got was to call my biological mother. It was time to uncover the roots of my dysfunctional relationship with money. Since years of positive thinking and ritual and attracting and healing and you name it had not completely shifted the pattern of dysfunction, it made sense to go back to the core, to the source, so to speak, and discover what money patterns and beliefs I might have absorbed during my time with her. (I believe that we absorb emotional/energetic patterns and beliefs while we are in the womb. But that’s a discussion for another time).

I discovered some very interesting information. Turns out that my mother had given me up for adoption because she did not have enough money to raise me. In order to keep me she would have had to return to her parents’ house or go onto welfare. Neither of which were options that she could live with.

We had a wonderful conversation that helped me understand many things about myself and the roots of my relationship with money. We explored some of the – obviously irrational – ways that my unconscious mind had attempted to integrate that experience: That it had somehow been my fault that she didn’t have enough money. That I was not able to provide her with the money she needed to keep me (even though I was a fetus at the time!) These and other completely illogical stories had been created in my mind in response to the emotional and energetic experience of adoption. Causing me to create a continuing relationship of helplessness around money.

When we got right down to the core of it, all the stories were just convoluted ways of saying that I was not good enough. And if I wasn’t good enough for her to keep I certainly was not worthy of having lots of money.

Now here’s the thing. I’m not a whiner. At least I do my very best to avoid whining unless absolutely necessary. I don’t go around moaning about the fact that I’m adopted and that it means I wasn’t good enough. None of these stories were “true” and none of them served my highest good, but they were still clearly holding some power over me and my present day relationship with money.

The conversation with my mother ended with an agreement that I would call her every day, or as needed, to be reminded that I am good enough, that I am worthy of all that I desire. In this way, the power of those stories will decrease as I consciously choose to step into a new, empowering story about my sense of worth and my relationship with money.

By choosing to turn one of those moments into something good, I uncovered a key to help me create a more fulfilling and joyous life. I would say that qualifies as something good! By asking the simple question, “How do I turn this into something good?” I set in motion a series of events that is still unfolding and has the potential to dramatically transform my life.

The next time that you find yourself in one of those moments, will you remember these five letters: TIISG? Will you remember that they stand for Turn It Into Something Good? And will you ask yourself the question, “How can I turn this into something good?”

If you do, you will quickly discover that it is these moments that provide you with the most profound opportunities for growth, awareness, healing and transformation.

I’d love to hear about the times in your life that you have turned one of those moments into good. Click on the comment button below and share your success with this technique.

Start Your Day with a Smile

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Try this: Every morning, when you first become aware of your wakeful presence, smile! Start your day with a smile. Make it your intention to have the very first intentional thing you do each day be a smile. You’ll be amazed at how powerfully that one act can be at setting the tone for your day. Do it no matter how tired you are, no matter how little sleep you got, no matter how much you’re dreading some aspect of your day. Smile.

I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Remember that a smile can brighten a person’s day. And if you wake up with a smile, it just might be your day that gets brighter.

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