Category Archives: success

Journal Your Way To Self & Success

Recently, I encouraged a young woman to start keeping a journal. I’ve listened to her complain and make excuses, even though she’s adamant about making changes to her life. She has no clue who she is or what she wants. 
She said she wants to be happy, but she doesn’t know how to go about making herself happy. She lives in fear of making decisions, in case those decisions are not “right.” 
I describe her as a boxer constantly blocking hits but never throwing any punches of her own.  She’s placed herself in the ring but then refuses to fight for herself.

Today, she told me, “I am worried that my successes that I write down aren’t good enough.”

After a lengthy discussion and much deflection on her part, she finally agreed to start a journal, in which she is to list her successes and accomplishments of each day, no matter how big or how small, and her feelings as she reaches her goals. Since she recently started an exercise program, she will use that as a starting point.

I’ve long been a proponent of keeping a journal. It is an excellent goal-setting tool. A journal helps you to figure out a direction for your life, and it will guide you where you want to go. It becomes a log of your successes, achievements, observations, musings, questions, problem-solving skills, and ideas that you can revisit again and again. It gives you a clearer picture of who you are as you begin embracing your authentic self.

Below are eight major benefits of journaling:

1.  Stress reduction! A journal is a place to release any pent-up thoughts and emotions. Rather than react to stressful situations and making them worse, you can channel that energy into writing. This allows you to disentangle your thoughts and ideas. It allows you to put things into perspective. And it empowers you because you are taking control rather than reacting irrationally.

2.  Healing. A journal is where you can be totally honest without being judged, rejected, or ridiculed. It will reveal and track patterns and cycles that you may not have been aware of previously. Harmony and balance are restored when you begin to see yourself as a larger, whole, connected being.

3.  Know yourself. A journal is an aid to self-discovery.  It helps you to create an awareness of beliefs and options so you can change them. It reveals your processes, how you think, learn, create, and intuit.

4.  Personal growth. A journal allows for self-expression. It helps you to focus and clarify your desires and needs. It helps you to measure and track what is important, and it enhances breakthroughs.

5.  Problem-solving. Journaling helps you to discover options and other perspectives and eases the decision-making process. It shows relationships and wholeness instead of separation, and helps you to bring things together.

6.  Flexible and easy. Journaling can be done at anytime or anywhere. There are no rules; you don’t have to worry about misspellings, typos, or grammar. Once you start, you will find that it will supply its own energy.

7.  Enhances creativity and intuition. As you journal, your insights will sharpen. It will help you to direct your intentions and develop your power of discernment. You’ll discover creative ideas and solutions as your inner voice is awakened.

8.  Captures your life story. Your journal is a reflection of who you are. It captures your personal stories to pass on to others.

Keeping a journal is a simple, flexible tool to use. As a spiritual practice, when done on a regular basis, your identity will emerge through your very own words. You write yourself into existence. Success comes from knowing who you are, knowing what you want, and having a plan to reach that success. Journaling can help you get there.

How has journaling helped you to grow and develop as a person?

Failure As A Spiritual Tool

When you see or hear the word “failure,” what comes to mind?
If you are like most, you think of times when you have failed in life, and then you cringe. The idea of failure conjures all kinds of negative images and feelings.
 
That is a human reaction. The ego strikes again!
But failure from a spiritual perspective is not failure. 
It’s a starting point.
Too many times, we allow our failures to define us. I can remember in my own life having the need to earn love and acceptance. If I didn’t get high grades in school, I wasn’t smart enough. If I didn’t work long hours, I wasn’t going to get that promotion. I was a slave to the ego and to a twisted worldview of success.  Within this worldview, my value as a person was extrinsic; I tied my self-worth to my achievements, and I feared failure. As a result, I operated under the false notion that success made me a good, valuable person, while failure made me a bad, unworthy one. I lived my life from the outside in, and I suffered.
But then I learned that I am not my outcomes.  I am more than any outcome.  Much, much more.
I took the advice of Uncle Socrates when he said,  “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I started examining my life, and I challenged the premise of the world’s view of success and failure.  In what way did failure make me a bad person? Why would success make me a good or better person? And what’s the link between my ability to perform a specific task or to achieve a certain goal and my worth as a person? 
None! 
I realized the absurdity of such a premise. I had been engaging in self-sabotage! My value and worth as a person had absolutely nothing to do with my succeeding or failing at a particular task. I suddenly (and finally) felt free.  My worthiness is an intrinsic part of my existence. My value lies in the fact that I am a unique expression of the Divine; my value is not dependent on whether I succeed or fail at something.
Failure, according to a spiritual perspective, really doesn’t exist. Neither does success. These do, however, exist in a very real way for those who choose to define themselves through their successes and failures, but where is the freedom in that?
When we approach failure spiritually, we see it as a launching pad into the Inner Self. We view and use it as a tool to re-examine who we are, what our core assumptions and beliefs are about ourselves and the world, and the strategies and tactics we employ based on those core beliefs.  And in so doing, we expand our awareness and perspective. We learn. We grow. We break through. The stuff of miracles. 
The examined life is worth living when we see it as a journey to the Authentic Self. Will there be setbacks? Of course. We will stumble. We will fall. We will get up, and we will carry on, knowing that we have a Higher Calling than what the world would have us answer.
 
As always, your comments are welcome. . .

Shift Happens

Let’s face it.  We have our good days and our bad days.  Things happen that affect our moods.  It used to drive me nuts when someone would say, “Think positive,” or “Keep your chin up,” as I faced challenging times.  Nothing like the obvious to irritate you.  I knew that thinking positively would help me, but I wanted to know how to get there when I felt anything but positive.  When my friend and spiritual mentor Merv told me to practice gratitude, no matter the situation, my eyes and heart opened, and things began to change for the better.  Something shifted inside.  I began to feel lighter in my being.

Giving gratitude for what you have is a great success technique when you need to raise your level of vibration from the depths.  Well, why should I give thanks? one may ask.  Well, why not?  You’ll actually do more harm than good by staying at a lower vibration.  Giving gratitude is a spiritual practice that will elevate your mood.  As you voice (or think) your thanks, you emit positive energy out into the Universe.  The Universe responds in kind by giving you more of those things for which you are grateful because it is a law by which the Universe abides.  It wants to give.

Another way to help you raise your vibration is to use the Emotional Guidance Scale* which charts 22 of our emotions.  The lower one goes on the scale, the unhappier that person is.  The higher, the happier.  One doesn’t have to work through each one to get higher on the scale.  Ask yourself where you are emotionally on this scale.  Then through positive self-talk, move yourself up.  Give gratitude for moving up.  Do things that make you feel happy.  Before you know, things have shifted and you find yourself moving right along.  You feel better.

EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE SCALE:


1 . Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
2 . Passion
3 . Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4 . Positive Expectation/Belief
5 . Optimism
6 . Hopefulness
7 . Contentment
8 . Boredom
9 . Pessimism
10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelmingness
12. Disappointment
13. Doubt
14. Worry
15. Blame
16. Discouragement
17. Anger
18. Revenge
19. Hatred/Rage
20. Jealousy
21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

Let’s say you are feeling angry because someone you love said something derogatory to you.  Not only did it anger you, but it made you feel insecure and unworthy.  What you are feeling has tripled and now you are carrying a very heavy load of emotional baggage.  And you are telling yourself, “That jerk.  How could he say that to me?  Am I really that way?  Maybe I am!  I feel so terrible about myself.  I’m worthless.  He’s right.”  Now you’ve really piled it on! How do you even begin to change this?

Acknowledge how you feel.  Admit your pain.  Then give thanks for moving up the scale.  Begin thinking about things that make you feel happy.  Think about all the kind words that others have said about you.  And hold on to those thoughts.  Your self-talk may be something like, “He has know idea who I am.  What he said is merely his perception, not mine.  People have always commented on what a good person I am.  They have told me how kind I am.  I AM a kind person!  I AM a good person! No one can stop me from being me!”  Suddenly all that emotional baggage is gone.  You’ve shifted and moved up the emotional scale.  As you hold on to those positive thoughts, you automatically let go of the old, negative ones because you can’t hold both a positive and a negative thought at the same time.  You may vacillate between the two, but the more energy you give to the positive, the better you feel, and the higher you go on the emotional scale.

When shift happens, give gratitude!

*Emotional Guidance Scale as used in Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks, pg. 114.

Dreams

Being put on hold can be frustrating, especially when you need to resolve something. How do you think the Universe feels when you put your dreams on hold?

Everyone has dreams for their lives. Some people dream of fame and fortune, traveling to exotic lands, or becoming an entrepreneur. For others, their dreams consist of being reunited with loved ones, growing a cause, or serving others.  
But when we put our dreams on hold, we are essentially pushing them away with the message, “No, you’re not important enough to manifest into my life at this time.” Dreams fade, or worse yet, they die, never to be resuscitated. And a piece of us dies in the process.  
Our dreams are not meant to die. They are meant to manifest. When we enter into partnership with Source, we are agreeing to move forward together toward accomplishing those dreams. If we want our lives to have meaning, we need to take the steps necessary to bring forth that meaning. This means making the conscious decision to begin realizing your dreams. The doors will open, and the Universe will begin revealing what you need to do to continue.  
The Universe wants to manifest your dreams; it is open for business! Always has been. Always will be.