Saturday, November 14, 2009

Notes from the Law of Attraction in Action Workshop Series - Episode VI - Part 1

Are you enjoying the expansion of your desire? Until you can say yes to that question and really mean it you can't have a joyful experience because you will always be expanding. There will always be a vibrational gap.

Associate yourself more with vibration than your flesh, bone and blood experience.

Feeling good, feeling relief closes the vibrational gap. Listen and feel for the vibrational message that is always within you.

"Before you came forth into this physical body you were Source Energy non-physically focused. You made a decision to project a part of that consciousness into a leading edge human form. So part of the consciousness was projected into you and the larger part of it remains non-physically focused. So here you are, the aspect of you that you know as your personality and you are banging around in the contrast just like you knew you would.

When life helps you to know that you don't like people to be rude to you, you ask for nicer people. When you are rude, you ask for yourself to be nicer. When you are sick, you ask for wellness. When you don't have enough money you ask for more money. When you don't have shelter or food, you want shelter and food. In other words, all day every day you, at every level of your being, are exploring the variety of this leading edge environment and giving birth to the expanded, improved version. This Source Energy part of you who remained non-physically focused followed your experience and literally rode your rocket of desire. So you could say accurately, the Source Energy part of you came with you into the physical, was with you as you experienced contrast and extrapolated from the contrast what you preferred and followed that train of thought.

When you ask, Source Energy answers immediately and the non-physical part of you becomes the vibrational essence of whatever you've asked for. Life shows you a problem and you ask for a solution and the Source Energy part of you rides that rocket of desire and becomes the solution. When you have a question you ask for the answer. When you have sickness you ask for wellness. When you have a lack of abundance you ask for abundance. Source Energy becomes the vibrational essence of that which you've asked for.

If you are not living your desires it's because you are not staying up to speed with what you are asking for. The larger part of you is already living it. If you are not up to speed with what you are asking for you have emotion within you telling you that you are not up to speed.

Negative emotion means there is something that life has caused you to become that the larger part of you has become the vibrational equivalent of. You are beating the drum of the absence of what you want and are literally introducing enough resistance into your vibration that you are keeping a vibrational gap between who you are being right now and who life has caused you to become.
Negative emotion always means a vibrational resistance caused by something you are thinking. And then you deliberately reach for better feeling thoughts which lessen the resistance and closes the gap between who you are allowing yourself to be and who you really are. When you do this then you are the deliberate creator of your own experience and are fulfilling your life in the way you intended.

You said, I will take this clear minded worthy being that is me and will project myself into an environment where I will be inspired to my personal expansion and I will discover my personal expansion as I live my life. You intended to be joyful and you intended it so powerfully that you were born with a guidance system that lets you know in the moment if you are aligned with who you really are or not aligned with who you really are."

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Creative Habit - Week 2 - Your Creative DNA

The chapter this week is on your creative DNA. Twyla says:

"I believe that we all have strands of creative code hard-wired into our imaginations. These strands are as solidly imprinted in us as the genetic code that determines our height and eye color, except they govern our creative impulses. They determine the forms we work in, the stories we tell, and how we tell them. I can't prove this. But perhaps you also suspect it when you try to understand why you're a photographer, not a writer, or why you always insert a happy ending into your story, or why all your canvases gather the most interesting material at the edges, not the center."

“If you understand the strands of your creative DNA you begin to see how they mutate into common threads in your work. You begin to see the “story” that you’re trying to tell; why you do the things you do (both positive and self-destructive); where you are strong and where you are weak (which prevents a lot of false starts) and how you see the world and function in it.”

She talks about different aspects that determine an artist’s creative identity. One of the aspects mentioned was focal length and how each of us finds comfort in the way we see the world either from a great distance, at arm’s length or close up. But once you see it you will start to notice how it defines the artists that you admire.

I grabbed a pen and my notebook and began writing down the artists I admire and why. I wanted to see what common threads would emerge. I didn’t spend a lot of time on this. I only wrote down the people that immediately came to my mind. Here’s my list:

Claude Monet
Vincent Van Gogh
Claude DeBussy
Maurice Ravel

Now of course there are many, many more artists that I admire than just the four I have listed. But these four are the biggest creative influences. Just about every room in my house has a Monet or Van Gogh print hanging on the wall. And the music that is playing throughout my house is mostly Claude DeBussy, Maurice Ravel, Charles Griffes and Frederick Delius. It’s also the music I listen to at work.

I love Impressionist paintings and have ever since I can remember. And I was very pleased and surprised to find out that the composers I love so much are considered Impressionist composers, how about that! I didn’t know there was such a thing as Impressionist music but there is and all my favorite composers are included in it. Ok, so there is one common thread for sure – Impressionism.

What I understand about Impressionist painters is that they didn’t seek to show a picture perfect image of their subject but instead to give an overall “impression, so I get their focal length. Impressionism in music seeks to create a mood or atmosphere.

I started thinking about why I love their work so much and another common thread arose – feeling. When I think about what I love about the work of these artists it all comes down to how their paintings and music make me feel. I can see a picture in my mind when I listen to their music. I love the happy, contented feelings the paintings and the music bring me. I have loved these artists and composers for as long as I can remember, even before I knew what Impressionism was. I just remember looking at the paintings and being affected by how the picture made me feel.

When I think about what motivates me to create it has to do with feeling. I love creating atmosphere. For example, I looked back through some of my household decorating notebooks and what I noticed was that the first thing I did was determine how I wanted my home to feel. What atmosphere did I want each room to have? How did I want people to feel while they were in my home? How did I want to feel in my home? I even thought about how I wanted my home to smell and the kind of food that would be cooking? What kind of activities would be going on in my house? I envisioned poetry gatherings, movie nights, book club meetings, intimate dinner parties, cook outs, etc. Before I took action on anything I got clear about the feeling I wanted to evoke. Then once I knew the feeling I could go about finding items to decorate with that would support the atmosphere I wanted to create.

I’m starting to create mental atmospheres as well. Thinking about the kind of mental atmosphere I want to have in my mind and also how I want people to feel when they are with me. I want them to feel loved, appreciated, empowered, motivated, happy, etc. Once I know the feeling I want to extend then it’s easier to act from that place.

There are more common threads emerging but I’m not going to list them all because this blog post will be too long! But I will say this book is giving me so much clarity and inspiration about my creative habit. It’s really helping me focus on what my creative process is. I feel like I just got a creative battery charge.

At the end of the chapter on Your Creative DNA Twyla lists a questionnaire that will help you determine your creative autobiography. Please click this link to take you to the questionnaire which is posted on my other blog.

Twyla said that “even if one answer tells you something new about yourself, you’re one step closer to understanding your creative DNA.” I encourage you all to take the questionnaire. Be sure to answer it quickly, instinctively and honestly.

“We want our artist’s to take the mundane materials of our lives, run it through their imaginations, and surprise us.” – Twyla Tharp

P.S. Interesting thing happened at work today. I was writing about how much I love the paintings of Claude Monet and all of a sudden there was a knock on my office door. Two of my co-workers came in looking to possibly change office pictures, each office has one picture. I was indifferent to the picture that was hanging in my office and told the guy he could have it if he wanted it. Then he mentioned that the picture that was in his office was too girly for him but he thought I might be interested. You guessed it; it is a Claude Monet print. I love the Law of Attraction!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Creative Habit - Week 1

It's exciting starting a book like this because I know I will be challenged and changed from the experience. I know I will gain a new insight and/or process that will help me live my life at a deeper level. I realize that good intentions are not enough for me to make real change in my life and that's what I'm intending here - real change that will allow me to live my life at a deeper level, to be more than I am currently expressing in my life.

I never know what issues are going to come up for me or how it's all going to play out, I just know something wonderful will occur if I open myself to the experience and remain authentic while going through the process. Having stated my intention for this creative journey I decided the best way for me to get into it was to start reading and stop when I felt an emotional reaction to something I had just read.

The first thing that came up for me was the importance of routine in learning and using the creative habit. I felt some resistance when I read the following statements:

"Being creative is a full-time job with it's own daily patterns."

"The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more."

I thought about my daily routine and what it was helping me create and as soon as I did I realized why I was feeling resistant. My daily routine on workdays goes something like this: I snooze the alarm clock for an hour which makes it around 8:00 - 8:15 a.m. before I actually get out of bed. Now I have to be at work by 9 a.m. so that leaves me about 45 minutes before I have to be at work. During that 45 minutes I've got to find something to wear, get dressed, do my hair and makeup, grab something for lunch and drive to work. Not exactly the routine of a deliberate creator now is it? I didn't realize until I purposefully looked at my routine against the backdrop of what I was wanting to create that I saw the difference between what I was intending and what I was actually thinking and doing.

When I write about my ideal life, what it looks like and how I start my day it looks nothing like what I described to you with my current morning routine and truth be told, my weekend routine isn't much better. In my ideal life I wake up without an alarm clock, full of energy and excitement for the day. I get up, make my morning coffee and then go outside and watch the sun come up. I spend some time writing and doing yoga and then I go to work. There is such a gap between what I'm currently living and what I wish to be living.

I'm currently working to incorporate some of the elements from my ideal life into my current routine. I tried to change everything all at once and it was just too much of a difference for me to maintain. I took a step back and realize everything didn't have to change all at once. I could start slowly by incorporating some of my ideal intentions into what I'm currently living and so far, that seems to be working out much better. I'm enjoying my time in the morning, sitting outside with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up. I find myself looking forward to doing this as soon as I wake up and at least for the past few days have not felt the need to snooze the alarm clock even once.

Here are the first three creative exercises listed in the book.

1. Where is your "pencil"?
"What is the one tool that feeds your creativity and is so essential that without it you feel naked and unprepared."

For me, it's a pen and notepad. I'm always jotting down some idea that comes to me, an action step, a quote, etc. I never know when I'll receive an idea for something and I always want to be prepared. It's rare when I don't have a pen and notepad with me but in the few times when it's happened I really did feel unprepared. I don't know about feeling naked but definitely unprepared.

2. Build up your tolerance to solitude
"It's not the solitude that slays a creative person. It's all that solitude without a purpose. Solitude is an unavoidable part of creativity, self-reliance is a happy by-product."

I didn't have any real trouble with this exercise because I love solitude; it's my connection time. It's my time to focus on the higher vision I have for myself and I make time for it every day.

3. Face your fears
"There is nothing wrong with fear; the only mistake is to let it stop you in your tracks."

This assignment really got to me. As I was reading the exercise this part stood out to me.

"When you sat in the brainstorming session at work, why didn't you speak up? When that idea for a story flitted through your mind, why didn't you seize it and pursue it? After you started drawing in that sketch book, why did you stop?"

I asked myself why I always seem to stop myself before I really let myself take off with an idea. Twyla says to put our fears down on paper because it helps cut them down to size, so here goes...

My five big fears right now are:
1. Fear of getting criticized
2. Fear that if I step out on faith the money/resources won't come through
3. Fear of attention/being laughed at
4. Fear of not measuring up
5. Fear my dream is too big for me to realize right now

I knew this book would challenge me I just didn't realize how much.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

I stumbled across this book about a year ago at the library. I liked the title, The Creative Habit – Learn It and Use It for Life. I decided to check it out because I’m so interested in the creative process and am always looking for creative ways I can enhance my life experience. When I got the book home I looked through it, jotted down some notes and did one of the book’s exercises and that was about it. Then back to the library it went.

A few months ago I was at a bookstore and saw the book again and decided to buy it. I knew there was something for me in the book, something I needed to look at that would help me not only live more deeply and creatively but would also help me creatively move through some of the blocks I’ve put up in my life. But for some reason I wasn’t quite ready to begin it so I bought the book and put it on my bookshelf knowing there would be a time for me to pick it back up again and that time is now.

From Chapter 1:

“It takes skill to bring something you’ve imagined into the world; to use words to create believable lives, to select the colors and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavorful dish. No one is born with that skill. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection that’s both painstaking and rewarding. And it takes time. Even Mozart, with all his innate gifts, his passion for music, and his father’s devoted tutelage, needed to get twenty-four youthful symphonies under his belt before he composed something enduring with number twenty-five. If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge.”

I’m ready to build that bridge.

My intention in reading and applying the concepts in this book is to learn the creative habit and to use it to improve my life. And I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and insights with all of you; I will be blogging about it every Friday until I finish the book.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Regarding Work

I've been reading "Poise and Power" by Christian D. Larson and I thought I would share some excellent suggestions he has for approaching our work. I hope you find them as inspirational as I do.

  1. Go to work with the idea that you are to spend a whole day directing energy into constructive channels and that you are to pass through a series of exercises that will develop your entire personality.
  2. Work because you desire to exercise muscles and brains in such a way that you may daily grow and develop into a stronger person, a more competent person, a greater person.
  3. Look upon all work as a constructive process in yourself and use all work for building up mind and body. You will make a good living now, and you will make yourself a better and better living every year. At the same time you will be making for yourself a better life.
  4. Think of growth while you work; feel the expansive process of development all through your system whenever you move a muscle or think a thought.
  5. Work in the spirit of joy, and know that every action is a stepping-stone to greater advancement.
  6. Work in the realization of the great fact that the more you produce in the world, the more power, life, ability and capacity you produce in yourself and that the greater things that you construct, the greater you, yourself become.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 4

Well, I must confess I haven't done a lot of wrecking this week but what wrecking I did do involved a lot of spitting and smearing. I'm finding that my resistance, at least for now, has subsided and I'm enjoying the process. Who would have thought that I would be posting a picture of smeared pizza in one of my books but there it is. I don't particularly like the picture because it looks gross but that's exactly why I posted it.

I thought about posting a picture that would be more visually appealing and acceptable to my readers but then I thought, this was my "wreckiest" entry for the week so why not put it out there for all to see? I had a momentary fear of what people might think but then realized that this isn't about them it's about me and my own journey with the wrecking process.

As I mentioned in my post last week I intend to act on the creative nudges I get which I'm now doing. I got the creative nudge to post the pizza picture and I did. My nephews and I had fun documenting our dinner on the page (there are still crushed red peppers falling out of the journal).

I've gotten past my fear of wrecking the journal and what is coming up for me now is fear about what others will think about my creations. This whole process is so interesting and enlightening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Few Short Movies to Help Explain the Law of Attraction

I was going back through some of my old blog posts and found three short movies that I posted back in 2007. Now anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows that Abraham-Hicks is my favorite teacher of all things Law of Attraction but these movies also do a great job explaining the Law of Attraction - what it is and how it works. I am linking them here.

The first movie is called The Focus Movie. It's just a few minutes long. It is one of the best videos I've seen that perfectly illustrates the importance of focusing on what you want in your life The Focus Movie .

The next movie is called The Unity of Spirit and Matter and is 29 minutes long. It deals with questions such as:

• How did the physical world come into existence

• How did the first something get created

• What is consciousness

• How did the creative process begin

• Incarnation and the Law of Attraction

• Spiritual awakening

The last movie is called The Law of Attraction Explained and is 17 minutes long. I think the title is pretty self explanatory.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 3

To create is to destroy - Part 2

In my update last week I mentioned that I wanted to know what the statement "to create is to destroy" meant. As I entered Week 3 of this process, that statement was still very much on my mind. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't seem to get it. Many of the other participants in this process seemed to be having a great time wrecking their journals and I wanted to be one of them but the truth was I wasn't having a great time. This process of wrecking the journal was bugging me and I didn't know why.

Over the weekend one of my favorite quotes from "Letters to a Young Poet" by Ranier Maria Rilke came to mind. It's from Letter Four and it says:

"Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

This was exactly what I needed to hear. I put the journal aside and didn't open it for several days. I had put my questions out there 1). What does "to create is to destroy" mean? and 2). Why is this process of wrecking the journal bugging me so much? Then I just let go of the entire process and decided that I was going to live my way into the answers as Rilke suggested. I would give up the frustration I was feeling and would just focus on living my life. The very next day something very innocent but very enlightening happened for me.

I got a call from the library that two books I had requested had arrived and were being held for me. I was anxiously awaiting these books and now they were here. I wanted to pick them up after work, go to my Mastermind group and then spend the rest of the evening reading. But as the day progressed I remembered that part of the road in front of the library was under construction and decided I would wait and pick the books up during my lunch hour the next day when there would be less traffic. I remembered that my gas tank was almost on empty and reminded myself that I should stop at the gas station right down the street from work to fill up before driving home. But I decided to wait until the next day to fill up because I had enough gas to make it home and I could fill up in the morning. As I was leaving my office I thought it would probably be a good idea to make a bathroom stop before driving home but I decided to wait because I didn't have to go that bad. After all, it was only a 15 minute drive and I could wait.

Well, guess what happened. As soon as I entered the highway all traffic came to a stop. There was a very bad accident; someone had driven off the overpass and the highway was shut down. I had a lot of time to think about my recent decisions while I was waiting for the highway to reopen.

I knew I had a choice. I could complain about the fact that I was stuck in traffic and get myself all worked up or I could make the best of the situation. I reminded myself that it was my choice to "wait" and I got exactly what I asked for.

I took the time in the car to appreciate the fact that I was safe and healthy. I sent thoughts of comfort and well-being to the person involved in the accident and to his family. I appreciated the air conditioning and having good music to listen to. I had my vision book with me so I got that out and spent time looking at a visual representation of what my life was in the process of becoming. Soon the highway opened back up and I was on my way home. I made a decision right then that if I felt a nudge to do something I would do it instead of waiting.

The next evening I was sitting at my computer reading some of the WTJ blog posts when I got the nudge to do the shower thing again. This time I decided to follow that nudge and see where it would lead me. I wasn't ready for my shower yet but I didn't let that stop me. I grabbed the journal, walked into the shower fully clothed, put the book in the shower caddy, turned the water on and totally soaked it. It was great. I loved it. Now I was having some fun! Of course once I got started I couldn't stop myself. I grabbed the soap and got the book all soapy. Then I opened some of the pages to make sure they were getting wet too. I wondered why I had made such a big deal about getting it wet. I put it on the bathroom counter to dry out and forgot about it.

I sat down this afternoon to write this blog post and as I was looking over my notes for the week, a couple of things stuck out at me. Something sounded very familiar.

I wanted to pick up the books from the library but I didn't do it; I decided to wait

I was going to fill up my gas tank but I didn't do it: I decided to wait

I was going to make a bathroom stop before driving home but I didn't do it; I decided to wait.

Notice a pattern here? There's my "I'll wait" excuse from Week 1 and my "I wanted to yet I didn't" excuse from Week 2.

These are excuses I use frequently but didn't realize I was doing it until this wrecking the journal process started pointing them out to me. Maybe that's why the wrecking process was bugging me so much. I'm seeing a direct correlation between the limitations I feel about wrecking the journal and the blocks I've put up in my own life that keep me from creating the life I desire.

Now I know my little traffic story may not seem like much but it illustrates a pattern that I've had throughout my life. For instance a few years ago I wanted the experience of living in Manhattan for a year. I didn't know anyone who lived there and I didn't make a lot of money at the time. I couldn't afford it on my own but I was completely in love with the city and wanted the experience of living there. Long story short, as usually happens in my life, I ended up meeting someone that loved my enthusiasm for the city and offered me a place to stay on the Upper West Side, rent free. I had just been given what I asked for but then I started thinking about all the potential problems - what was I going to do with my house and my car, etc. and I started putting up blocks to the experience. I wasn't doing this intentionally but I was doing it. I decided it wasn't the right time for me to move and I would wait a few months to take care of some things related to my house and car and then I would go. But I never did. I decided to wait.

So, what am I waiting for? I guess that's another question I get to live on my way to the answer. In the meantime maybe I can start changing my pattern from "I'll wait" and "I wanted to yet I didn't" to:

"I wanted to and I did"!
Yes, I like the sound of that much better!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 2

To create is to destroy

This is what it says on the very first page of the journal. I’ve been thinking a lot about this statement over the past week. I’m not sure I understand what it means…yet.

During the first couple of days I really enjoyed my wrecking adventure. I got great pleasure in hurling the book across the room at random moments throughout my day. I spit coffee on it , cut through several pages of it, glued pages together but, as the week went on I noticed that my feelings about wrecking this funny journal had started to change.

Yes, I had roughed it up a bit and that part was fun but I had also done a few pages that I really enjoyed – coloring an entire page (I love coloring!), filling a page with circles, pretending to doodle on the back on an envelope. I had fun doing these pages and I liked what I created; I didn’t want to wreck these pages.

I first noticed this resistance to wrecking when I took the book in the shower with me. I admit this was definitely a new experience. I had every intention for the book to get wet and hopefully a little soapy. I thought just bringing it in the shower would at least get it wet but there it was, perfectly dry, sitting in my shower caddy.

I was purposely going to spray water on it when I realized if I did, the pretty pages I just created would be ruined and with that thought I stopped myself from getting the entire book wet and just sprayed the very edge of the book. I know the instructions didn’t say to get it wet but I WANTED TO…YET I DIDN’T.

I’m surprised by the resistance I’m feeling to wrecking the journal. So what am I going to do? I’ve got a journal that says loud and clear – WRECK ME but now I don’t want to. Well, I’m going to keep at it. I’m going to wreck it one way or another; it may just take a little longer than I originally thought.

(I tried three times to upload photo's for this post and had trouble each time, guess it's not meant to be right now)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 1

I just got the book today. I’m ready to go! I’ve already decided that this is going to be a lot of fun.

Funny, before yesterday I had not even heard of this book but I had been intending to widen my circle of friends and interact with more creative people. Well, ask and it is given. I was visiting An Eager Soul's Journal and saw that she and her daughter were participating in this thing called The Next Chapter: Wreck This Journal. The name “Wreck This Journal” was enough to peak my curiosity so of course I had to go check it out and I’m glad I did.

First of all, the book looks really fun. The exercises are crazy, creative and carefree. Here is just a sampling of some of the things I have to look forward to as I wreck the journal.

* Find a way to wear the journal.

* Glue a photo of yourself that you don’t like to the journal page and then deface it - I’m looking forward to this one because pretty much any photo of me taken in the 80s could be used. (Not one of my better looking decades for sure)

* Bring this book into the shower with you.

* Chew on the page.

* There is also a page to collect the stickers you get off of bought fruit – this one is so silly I think I’ll do it first.

This book is also providing me a wonderful opportunity to interact with other deliberate creators. I’m widening my circle of friends, being creative and having fun all at the same time.

Now, off to collect my fruit stickers.

Ok, the first part of this post was written right after I got back to my office after buying the book. Here’s what happened as the afternoon progressed.

I decided to wait until I got home to start “wrecking” the book but then it occurred to me that this is my usual pattern. I’ll wait until… boy there’s one of my creativity killers. I’ll do it later - when I get home, when I have more money, etc.

I put the book beside me at my desk and every time I looked at it the book seemed to be taunting me to engage with it. I imagined it saying, come on, wreck me, I dare ya. So I did.

The first thing I did was draw a smiley face on the front of the journal to remind me that this is going to be a fun process then I opened the book to a random page that instructed me to poke holes in it with a pencil. I had a funny reaction to this page.

The page had some small circles drawn on it and I didn’t like it. At first look I took that to mean that the book was telling me where to poke the holes and what instrument to use. I don’t like being told what to do or how to do it because that feels limiting to me but I poked the holes anyway with a pencil. Then I purposely started poking holes all across the page with all kinds of different items – a toothpick, a letter opener, different colored pens, etc. After I had my fill of poking holes I took a fresh look at the page. I laughed out loud when I realized that there was nothing in the instructions that said I had to poke the circles that were drawn or that I could only use a pencil. The only way I was limited in my creative expression was in my thinking.

Now, onward to my fruit stickers!

Day 1: Poked holes, realized that “I’ll wait until…” is a creativity killer for me and that I can only be limited in my thinking. Guess I poked some holes not only on the page but also in my limited thinking.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Deliberate Living

May was a very good month for me and I intended it to be that way. I made a decision to be very clear and deliberate about what I was choosing to create in my life. Since we create our reality according to our thoughts I wanted to be deliberate about what I was thinking and therefore creating. This meant thinking thoughts on purpose, finding ways to move up the emotional scale by feeling relief and allowing my Well-Being to flow.

There was a lot of contrast that came up that helped to get me clear about my creations. Contrast (variety) is such a good thing. The contrast helped me clean up my vibration where I still had some fuzzy thinking going on. It caused me to be more focused and deliberate about the person I want to be, how I want to live my life, how I want my daily life to flow, what I want to demonstrate, etc. I became more deliberate about my creations because it felt good to do it. I could feel the relief in getting clear instead of feeling the frustration about why the unwanted situation manifested. I kept reaching for the feeling of relief.

Most of you know that I've been practicing a new vibration around money and abundance. I am now seeing evidence of that change in vibration. Things in my physical reality are starting to take shape from the images I've been holding in my mind. Of course that has always been happening but this time I'm seeing the things I've been intending and looking forward to now start to come in.

I thought about what I would be doing if were living my ideal life. Some of the things I thought about were having drum circles and musical gatherings, poetry readings, movie nights and pot luck suppers at my home. Friends and family would be dropping by to visit because being in my home and being with me is such a comforting, good feeling and uplifting place to be. And of course my life would be lived from a place of abundance not lack. I began living my ideal life in my mind and then I started to find ways to live it in my daily life.

I began reading books on poetry and started a notebook of favorite poems to share when I start my poetry gatherings. I read books about how to live more creatively and started implementing suggestions that resonated with me. I started playing the musical instruments I already had at my house and started learning to play the guitar. I'm creating my home to reflect my new beliefs and desires and I'm making sure my house is ready for impromptu visits from friends and family. I'm keeping myself tuned in, taped in and turned on as Abraham says so that I can be a source of comfort and connection for my friends, family and readers as they seek my counsel on various situations in their lives. I want to teach self-empowerment and connection to Source and I intend my life to be a living demonstration of that intention.

It feels so good to create on purpose. I love the changes that are happening in my life and what I love the most is how fun, self-empowering and easy this process can be.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My DVD Workshop Notes from the 2005 Abraham Alaskan Well-Being Cruise - Part 3

My apologies for the lapse in the workshop notes over the past few days. I had a family situation this week that needed my full attention. Here is Part 3 of my notes.

Make a decision to use the emotional guidance system that you are born with. Be the vibrational being that you are and be aware of your vibrational frequency. It's not necessary to align your frequencies with anyone else on the planet, it's about aligning the frequencies within you. That is all it's about. And the only way to do that is to be aware of your emotional guidance system. You emotions are the indication of the mix of vibration.

Abraham talks again about Jerry & Esther's navigational system called Magellan. Magellan wants to know where you want to go because it knows where you are and can guide you. With your emotional guidance system you have to know where you are as you are making your way to someplace else and the feeling of relief that you feel as you begin to move up the emotional scale is your indication of your improved vibration.

On one end of the emotional scale are those good feeling emotions like joy, love, passion, appreciation. The other end of the scale feels like fear, disempowerment, depression. As you pay attention to how you feel you can tell which end of the scale you are leaning towards.

On the good feeling end of the scale is your perception of freedom and on the not so good feeling end of the scale is your perception of disempowerment. It is your perception that is important because you are the one who is projecting thought. As you begin to understand this then you will understand that as you improve your place on the emotional scale you will feel the feeling of relief. Each time you move up the emotional scale even the slightest bit the subsequent feeling to you is one of releasing resistance and releasing resistance always feels like relief. Allowing is on the good feeling end of the scale and resistance is on the not so good feeling end of the scale.

Magellan makes a big squawk when Jerry & Esther veer off from the highlighted route. Your emotions are giving you similar information.

No one has the ability to choose for you more effectively for you than you do. When a preference is born within you Source comes into immediate agreement with it, this is what the evolution of the Universe and of every species is about. You didn't come into these physical bodies intending to take a few good ideas and then whittle them down to even fewer ideas. You didn't say lets take all that everyone is living and just get a philosophy we can all agree on. You said let's take all the ideas that exist and expand them to even more. Let whatever is there be there while we control what comes into our own physical experience.

Abraham gives an example of being a chef in a well stocked kitchen with every ingredient imaginable. You decide you want to make a pie and gather all the ingredients together to make the kind of pie you want. But then you notice some ingredients in the kitchen that you don't want in your pie and you announce that you want those ingredients removed from the kitchen. Abraham says, if you don't want those ingredients in your pie then don't put them there. You think that just because those unwanted ingredients are in the kitchen means that they can somehow get in the pie you are creating. Abraham says that someone else might want those ingredients in their pie and not to worry because no one can ever put anything in your pie, you put every ingredient in so it's best to allow all of it and focus only on the ingredients that you want to include in your pie/creation.

When you say that you want everything you don't like removed from the kitchen, you are attempting the impossible, you are attempting the limiting of the Universe. Make the unique pie that is pleasing to you and keep your nose out of everyone else's pie. It's only by putting your nose in their pie that gets what they are doing in your pie to begin with.

Make peace with where you are because as you are standing in a place where you are unhappy with your incompletion you hold yourself in a place where you don't allow what's ready to come in to come in.

There will never be a time that you will say - there is nothing more that I am wanting - because the contrast always causes a new desire to be born. As the new desire is born, at first it is odd, because you are not a vibrational match to it. Now your work is to become a vibrational match to your own desire and this is done by moving up the emotional scale.

You look at it, imagine it, pretend it. You remember things like it and in time you become a vibrational match to it and then everything is in alignment. When everything is in alignment the manifestation occurs. There will always be another unfulfilled desire, something that you are working towards coming into vibrational alignment with. When you relax in that now you have it.

Now you can stand in a relaxed attitude, in a place of constant joy, allowing the contrast (variety) as it comes to you to produce the new, clear idea, knowing that you can come easily into alignment. When you really get it that there is nothing that you can't be, do or have - now you'll be like the sculptor who stands in a place with the materials and you won't be unhappy when you've got your hands on this first big glob of clay. You never see them throw it down and then complain - oh, it didn't turn out right. Each time they know that they have to do some work so that the clay on the table begins to match the image in their mind. Some have a pretty clear idea of the image they are going for in the beginning and some of them the idea continues to evolve as they work with the clay. There is always another clump of clay they can work with but they discovered long ago as genius creators the joy of making the clay match the image.

And that is really what your work is. You've got all this contrast that is giving birth to these ideas that are formulating and now it's your work to make the vibrational content of you match the images that are being held for you in vibrational escrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My DVD Workshop Notes from the 2005 Abraham Alaskan Well-Being Cruise - Part 2

You are Source Energy in a physical body. You are out here on the leading edge of thought assisting in the expansion of the Universe.

Your emotions are your indication of what you are doing with your vibration. This is why it is so important to pay attention to how you feel. Your emotions tell you where you are vibrating and your vibration equals your point of attraction. Once you really understand this you will never be surprised about what manifests in your life. You can't set your radio dial on 630 AM and receive what's being broadcast on 98.7 FM, the frequencies have to match up.

If you want more money but you've got your frequency set on I don't have enough money, more money cannot come to you.

As you are observing what is you are offering a vibration that matches what you are observing and the Universe matches that vibration and gives you more. Then you observe more of what is and get more of what is.

If you want what is to change you have to start offering a different vibration. Don't continue to fight what is but instead make peace with it. Try to find a way of looking at what is and make yourself feel better about it. As you find a way to make peace with where you are, you begin to open your vibrational portals and will begin to allow in those things that have been waiting for you in vibrational escrow.

It's wonderful that you live in an environment with this glorious buffer of time. Be glad that your thoughts don't manifest instantly. Often you are nearly on the brink of manifestation but because you stop and take score and see that it hasn't physically manifested yet your vibration turns to one that is reflected by disappointment and then you start moving away from what you said you wanted. Your thinking either brings you closer to your desired manifestations or takes you away from them.

Abraham offers a few examples:

Jerry and Esther being in Phoenix and wanting to go to San Diego. J&E know that if they head west and keep a reasonable speed they will arrive in San Diego. They never get to the halfway point which is Yuma, AZ and get so unhappy about not being in San Diego that they get discouraged and turn around and go back to Phoenix.

Having a body that is sick. You are starting to find some hope and optimism and are moving well along the way to a full recovery but because the manifestation is not yet evident and is not yet showing up on the doctors scans and tests you assume that you are not on your way to recovery, you freak out about the test results and you head back to Phoenix.

Struggling with not having enough money. You find a vibration out of sheer willpower or desire and are doing a good job of lining up with it and your financial situation starts turning around. But then something happens to cause you to look abruptly at what is and you find yourself focusing on the lack or the opposite of what you want. The disappointment, anger and worry you feel is your indication that you have lost your vibrational bead on your vibrational frequency and now you've turned around and are headed back to Phoenix.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My DVD Workshop Notes from the 2005 Abraham Alaskan Well-Being Cruise - Part 1

The 2005 Abraham Alaskan Well-Being Cruise DVD is one of my favorites. I have practically worn the DVD out. I was watching it last night and had the idea to share my notes as part of my blog posts. I was also thinking it would be a good focus project for me to keep me on track with my intentions. My notes are pretty extensive so I will be posting the notes in sections instead of doing them at one time. Here is Part 1.

Contrast or variety exists to help you conclude personal preferences or as Abraham calls them rockets of desire. As a rocket of desire vibrationally radiates from you it is answered immediately but you don't always know that because you've forgotten that you are a vibrational being.

You are here in this time-space reality with all of this great manifestational stuff around and you have gotten so good at interpreting what is around you through your physical sensors - you translate vibration and that's how you see, hear, smell, taste, etc. - that you've forgotten it's a vibrational world.

When you see something that you want and you say yes to it, it is included in your vibration. When you see something you don't want and you say no to it, it is included in your vibration. So, without knowing it you are including many things, wanted and unwanted, in your vibration. Because you don't remember that you are a vibrational being, you end up not tending to your vibration and then must deal with things once they have manifested. When you wait until something has manifested it's easy to get in the habit of observing what is and when you get in the habit of observing what is, it becomes easy to perpetuate what is. If you want what is to change you have to start offering a different vibration and you do this by deliberately projecting your thought.

It doesn't matter if you are thinking about something in the past, present or future or what you are observing, pondering, musing, imagining, or wondering. Whatever you are focused on is activating a thought vibration within you that Law of Attraction is matching. It's the way the entire Universe is established. You don't have to work at it or learn how to do it. It just happens.

Your personal preferences or rockets of desire shoot into what Abraham calls your vibrational escrow. Your vibrational escrow is where your desires are being held for you while waiting for you to become in vibrational alignment with them.

The moment your personal preference is born Source Energy (God) agrees with that preference. Even if you don't speak words about it a vibration emanates from you and Source immediately becomes one with that vibration. Now there is a strong current or signal pulsating within you.

Abraham starts talking about Jerry & Esther's navigational system called Magellan. Magellan has only one function and that is to determine the route between where J & E are and where they want to be. It gives turn by turn descriptions both verbally and visually. It is not relevant where they have been. Your Emotional Guidance System works exactly the same way.

There is a constant steady projection of your intention that is born from your everyday experience and Source is saying, yes we agree, yes we agree...and that agreement means all the resources of the Universe are put toward your achievement of whatever you have set into motion. If this time-space reality has the ability to inspire that preference within you then this time-space reality has the ability to deliver it. You have so many magnificent creations awaiting your alignment.

This alignment is called the Art of Allowing and it is about bringing yourself into vibrational alignment with what you've projected and Source Energy is agreeing with that is in your vibrational escrow. The better you feel the more in vibrational alignment with it you are and the worse you feel the more out of alignment with it you are.

Many of you aren't that interested or don't really care about the way you feel but the way you feel is your indication of your alignment with what you have been saying you want.

Abraham now gives an example of being out of alignment with your desire. You open your American Express bill and are overwhelmed at the amount of money that is due. You know you don't have enough money to pay the bill. At that moment you launch a rocket of desire that says I'd really like to have a significant amount of extra money coming in and Source agrees and says we agree it's on the way. But then you say I don't have enough money. What was I thinking when I spent this money. Look at them they've got more money than they need. I don't know why I don't do better financially. As you worry and complain about not having enough money, you hold yourself out of alignment with what you just asked for which was a significant amount of extra money coming in. When you beat the drum of where you are in relationship to money you hold yourself apart from the money that's accumulating for you but is being massaged and aligned with circumstances and events that accommodate you with a wonderful unfolding.

More notes tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dealing With Resistance

I realized yesterday that I am still dealing with some resistant thoughts concerning my finances. I was still feeling a bit tired this morning so I asked myself what I was worried about or afraid of and then I wrote down everything that came to mind (it's important not to hold anything back when you do this). Allow whatever you are feeling to come through.

I find it helpful when I'm dealing with resistance to write down everything that worries, angers, or frustrates me about the situation. Just writing it out releases something within me and I always feel better as soon as I do it. I find that what comes out is always right on target for what's causing the resistance.

There were three things that immediately came to mind. I won't go into everything but for sharing purposes I will reveal the first thing I wrote down.

I won't have enough money to cover everything that is due.

I asked myself is this was true. Initially, I tried to justify why it was true but it really wasn't because not all the payments are due yet. How do I know I won't have enough money when the time comes. I was pre-paving a negative outcome and I didn't even realize it. You see, I won't have enough money to cover everything that is due is a thought I'm very familiar with. I've been thinking it for a long time and it has been my experience for a long time. Without realizing it I was allowing this familiar thought to influence my vibration like it always has but things are different now.

I'm creating a new experience with money and that thought is one I don't want to take into my new experience. I never noticed it much before because thoughts of lack were so familiar and never having enough money was part of my everyday life. But things are shifting in my finances (for the positive) and that thought is no longer a familiar vibration that goes unnoticed. The negative emotion and doubt I was experiencing was telling me that I was thinking a thought that wasn't in alignment with my intention and it manifested in my physical experience as being physically tired.

Once I was aware of the resistant thought it was easy to change it. I knew that it didn't feel good to think it and it was causing me a lot of stress. So even if the thought was true that I wouldn't have the money needed to pay what was due, just the fact that it was causing me stress is reason enough to stop thinking it and instead reach for a thought that feels better. After all, we get what we think about and continuing to think lackful thoughts brings more lackful situations.

I started to think thoughts on purpose that brought me a feeling of relief; feeling relief is the key. You can't just say some positive words and expect things to get better. You can't fake it with the Universe and you can't fake the vibration you are sending out. Reach for any thought that brings you a feeling of relief and you'll be feeling better before you know it. That's what I did and before I knew it I was feeling 100% better and the tired feeling was gone.

What I find interesting about this experience is that previously I would have dismissed the tired feeling as the result of allergies, staying up too late, fighting off a cold, etc. I would have made a justification of it instead of seeing it as an indication of resistance. Once I was aware that it was resistance and investigated the thought behind it both the lackful thought and the tiredness went away.

I feel great!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Abraham Hicks Quote for 5/19/09

Rest seems like a nice contrast to overwhelment, but enthusiasm is always chosen over rest. The only thing that ever makes you tired or bogs you down is resistance.
--- Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Lincroft, NJ on Tuesday, October 15th, 1996

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I love to take these daily Abraham quotes and use them as personal guidance for the day. I find it's a very good way for me to stay focused on my intentions and it also keeps me in a good feeling place even when I'm poking around in areas where I'm resistant or focused on lack. Today's quote made me think about where I'm resistant in changing my thoughts.

Lately, I have been very focused on changing my thought patterns around money and I'm seeing some pretty significant changes in my finances (all positive). I've been very enthusiastic about making these changes but noticed that over the last few days I've been feeling tired. I didn't think too much about it because the tiredness was not that bad but when I got this quote it made me take another look at the situation.

Because I have been practically laser focused on improving my experience with money, I've also been very conscious of how I'm feeling because your feelings represent what vibration your putting out to the Universe and I want to be deliberate about the vibration I'm sending out. I've been feeling really good about the changes that are happening in my life but after reading this quote I also realized that because I've been consistently at a higher place on the emotional scale (optimism and positive expectation) I am more sensitive to some lower vibrational thoughts I've had over the last few days (doubt and negative expectation). Although they are not dominant thoughts by any means these lower vibrational thoughts are revealing some areas of resistance I still need to work through.

I love that through this quote I was able to see what was happening. Even though the tiredness I was experiencing was mild I was able to see that I still had some resistant thoughts hanging around and was able to redirect before an unwanted manifestation occurred.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Does Change Happen?

Today I was searching the Internet for information on ways to empower people. Of course I have my own ideas about empowerment but today I was interested in hearing other peoples ideas and suggestions.

I read a lot of good common sense suggestions but nothing really stood out to me. I happened to be on the Abraham Hicks website, saw the free video link and decided to check it out. As I watched all the videos there was one questioner that caught my attention. A woman was asking about how we bring about a movement for change. I liked this question because I believe that empowered people bring positive change. As most of you know I love political involvement and I enjoy empowering people to their greatness. But I often find that people get so focused on how disempowered they are that it's hard to bring about the very thing they are working so hard for.

I've heard many great people talk about the power of working for something rather than fighting against it. I have definitely found this to be true in my own life. I would much rather work for a cause that is focused on the desired outcome and the benefit it will bring to others rather than only reacting to what is.

Anyway, this woman was asking about how to bring about a movement for change and I loved what Abraham had to say to her. I didn't transcribe the whole thing but here is a portion of what Abraham was recommending the woman say to others. The video is titled Gay Rights and the Law of Attraction but Abraham's words could be applied to any cause that you want to champion.

"I lived in the world that has so many wonderful things about it and I began to see among the wonderful things, things that weren't quite so wonderful. And those things pained me because I want a wonderful world, not just for myself but for others. Somehow I've never been able to separate myself from others. I care about life. I care about Well-Being. I care about upliftment. I want people to be joyful. I want to be joyful. So in the living of life I gave birth, I could feel it happen, to all kinds of new ideas. I have a dream about the way life can be on this planet. I see a time where people can live among one another in a variety of personalities, a variety of genders, a variety of financial and sexual and every other kind of orientation. I see a world of such diversity that provides us strength and basis for mighty expansion. I see a world where in our differences we find our true strengths. I see a world where, as we come together in our differences, not agreeing with one another but understanding that our differences provided the basis from which we all create and that in this creation there is enough for all of us. I understand that this is a world of unlimitedness. I no longer believe in shortage. I no longer see limitations and lack. I now understand that people don't have to think what I think in order for me to think it or be what I be in order for me to be it. I now understand that I am unlimited and that all along this dream that I have dreamed has been dreamed by others and has been lived by many. I am now making claim to all of you that I intend to now live my dream. I am free to be as I be. I think the thoughts that give me the resonance of that. I am no longer going to ask the impossible of the world to come into alignment with what I want because I don't want world alignment. I want diversity. The diversity is the basis of that which we are becoming. I need and want only alignment between me and my dream".

Now that's what I call empowerment!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tips For Staying In A Good Feeling Place

We are manifesting the essence of what we are thinking about. If we want to be joyful, deliberate creators then we must pay attention to how our thoughts feel when we think them. The more aware we are of how the thought feels the more deliberate we can be in choosing a better feeling thought.

We know in the moment whether a thought feels good or bad. Simply put when we feel good we are headed towards our desired manifestations and when we feel bad we are headed away from them. That’s why Abraham is always talking about the importance of feeling good.

I would like to share some of the processes I use for staying in a good feeling place and aligned with my desires.

Morning Alignment suggestions from Abraham
Lie there and bask for a few moments in the comfort of your bed. See if you have any dream recall. Dream recall is our physical translation of blocks of the Non-Physical thought we interacted with in the dream state. Abraham says that when we sleep we reemerge back into the Energy of Non-Physical and we have conversations (not in words but in vibration) as we wake up we translate that block of thought into its physical equivalent. Make note of any dream recall you have since our dreams give insight into our current vibrational state.

What am I going to create today?
When I ask myself this question it reminds me that we are always creating. We can create deliberately or by default – the choice is up to us. I like the idea of consciously creating my day – a beautiful and comforting home environment, loving and empowering relationships, a job that I adore, more prosperity, etc. Be a deliberate creator.

Read an inspiring quote and take the message personally
I signed up to receive the daily quote from Abraham. I read it first thing when I get to work. I think of it as specific guidance for me; thinking of it this way helps me to take the message to heart and find ways to put it into practice in my life. It also helps give me something positive to focus on through out the day.

Spend a few minutes every day in meditation. I started with just five minutes a day and found that it felt so good that I wanted to keep going. I don’t put a lot of rules or restrictions on myself. I just sit quiet and gently release any thoughts that come up. I like to breathe as deeply as I can during this process. It feels really good to do it. I noticed that things were able to manifest more easily when I added meditation into my daily practice.

Don’t argue with what is currently in your life experience
See your life experience as a perfect vibrational match to your thoughts. Make adjustments to your thoughts as needed.

Focus on what you want to experience
Throughout the day, offer the thought that you are going to look for reasons to feel good and then spend a few minutes looking for the positive aspects of your surroundings and/or your situation. Look for reasons to laugh and have fun. If you start to feel negative emotion, stop and acknowledge that you want to feel good. Remember that feeling negative emotion isn’t bad; it’s only an indication that you are focused on something that you don’t want. When you know what you don’t want you can pivot to what you do want. Turn your attention to what you want and keep focused on those good feeling thoughts.

Evening Alignment suggestions from Abraham
Think about the best parts of your day. As you lie in your bed say to yourself – “I’m going to sleep now and while I’m sleeping, because my thoughts will be inactive, attraction will stop and my physical body will be completely refreshed at every level.” Turn your attention to the immediate things around you. Focus on the good feeling things – the comfort of your bed, the warmth of the covers, etc. Gently set forth the intention to sleep well and awaken refreshed with a good feeling, positive point of attraction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Political Involvement and the Law of Attraction

I love politics. I spent the majority of 2008 immersing myself in political involvement. I worked on campaigns, was a daily contributor on many of the political blogs, made phone calls, wrote letters, called into radio shows, etc. I really got into it; it was fun or at least it start out that way.

After campaigning for several months I had to take a break because I got burned out. I had lost that feeling of excitement and purpose that got me involved in the first place and I just felt angry and frustrated all the time. It didn't feel good to feel this way and I wanted to get to a better feeling place fast so I decided to watch one of my Abraham workshop DVDs. I find the teachings of Abraham-Hicks to be so inspiring and empowering and I always feel better after watching a tape or listening to one of their Cd's. Go figure that the tape I put on would have a discussion about political action and the Law of Attraction. Talk about being a vibrational match!

Abraham gave the following suggestions for approaching any kind of political action. Even though the question being addressed was about political involvement Abraham's words could be applied to any endeavor.

  1. Focus on what you want and why you want it.
  2. Be clear and stay on message about what you want. Let what you want be the dominant focus.
  3. Pre-pave your desired outcome instead of always reacting to what is.
  4. Get people dreaming and talking about what they want.
  5. Act from a place of empowerment.
  6. Use the contrast to collect data and then use the data to pivot to what you desire.
  7. The most empowered and effective group is the one that is the most aligned with their desires.
  8. Ask yourself what is the greatest benefit a person can get from what you are proposing.
  9. Teach self empowerment.
  10. Self empowerment means you can achieve anything that you want.
  11. Teach self-empowerment and stop seeing people as broken.
  12. Envision the way you want it, make it dominant so that you speak from a framework of how you see it not on what is.
  13. Focus on what’s working instead of what’s not working.
  14. See what you don’t want; define what you do want; turn your undivided attention to what you do want – talk about it, imagine it, pretend it, look every day for evidence of its manifestation.

I was so inspired by what Abraham had to say that I immediately put the suggestions to work and it made all the difference in the world. My political involvement became inspired, purposeful and fun again and I realized a lot of new things about myself and the Law of Attraction in the process.

I realized the value of contrast. I learned how to use contrast to help me gain clarity on what I really wanted for myself and the situation. Although there were many times that I allowed the contrast to rule my thoughts and actions once I understood it's value to provide clarity and began to deliberately work with the contrast, things around me started to change because my focus changed. I became empowered about the kind of world I wanted to live in and the kind of person I wanted to be. I found that when I approached my work from this place of empowerment and connection to Source people were more receptive to what I had to say, resources were provided, inspired ideas were abundant. I had more energy and more engaging and open minded conversations.

I was able to listen to people and really hear what they had to say instead of secretly wishing they would stop talking so that I could give my own view of the situation. I enjoyed the diversity of opinions and hearing about other peoples experiences. I realized that I could enjoy the exchange of ideas and could learn new things from those that have different views from me. Hearing different viewpoints made me challenge many of my long held political views and that's a good thing! I love challenging my own limited thinking and narrow minded views but I was surprised how deeply held some of my political views had become. I allowed them to go unquestioned for too long and they no longer represented the person I am today. Experiencing diversity allowed me to expand my thinking.

I started to see how my own thinking was contributing to the world around me. I understood that real change happens from the inside out and on a larger scale happens first in the individual and then is reflected in our society. I think sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the problem that we lose sight of what we are working for. The problem becomes the dominant focus and we always get more of what we focus on.

We have to be it before we can see it.