Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Changing Negative Beliefs From Childhood For Good, Part 2

Yesterday I admitted to still having some deep seeded, lingering beliefs and doubts about relationships and men that I traced back to my childhood. Twenty four hours later I'm happy to report that I think I'm well on my way to kicking these beliefs in the butt. I think the fact that I was willing to admit to them in the first place and identify their source was a really important step in the right direction. 

I also admit that I was a bit of a crybaby yesterday, literally. I think that was a good thing to do -- as I see no reason why we should deny our emotions, or when something is bothering us. I've heard it said in the Abraham Hicks teachings that crying is your body's way of releasing resistance, so I let the tears flow. It's cathartic, and sometimes you need to do it so you can begin the clearing process. 

I also started reading the book Unsinkable: How to Bounce Back Quickly When Life Knocks You Down by Sonia Ricotti (maybe I'll post a review of it here when I'm done.) It's a great read and it's making me feel better, as many of the "lessons" she takes us through in it are serving as strong reminders about why I'm my own worst enemy. 

Here is what I've come to realize/remember that is helping to dissolve my old beliefs:

The Past Is Over, and Cannot Be Changed
Childhood and the teen years are over (thank God) as is yesterday and every other day before that one. The past cannot be relived or changed, but that also means (as I wrote about a month or so ago) it really cannot affect our present unless we allow it to. We have to accept it and move on because there really is no other choice. And just because something happened years ago does not mean we are doomed to repeat and relive it. Yes, the boys in junior high may not have found me attractive and cool back then, but those are exactly the compliments I've received from guys in recent years. 

I am also not the same person that I was years ago. Despite sounding on the sad side yesterday, I do have way more confidence today than I did years ago, as well as fashion and make-up sense. 

Compared to Other Kids That Were Bullied, I Didn't Have It That Bad
I'm putting things in perspective here -- compared to bullying horror stories I've read about through the years, it could have been much worse. Also, I wasn't molested or raped. From what I remember, no one put their hands on me other than pulling the glasses off my face. I also wasn't the only kid that was ever bullied or treated unfairly. That doesn't make it right, but there is comfort in knowing that you are not alone and the only person it ever happened to. 

I Forgive Everyone That Hurt My Self Esteem In Some Way
The funny thing is, I did forgive everyone involved a couple of years ago. I remember a couple of days later, in work, walking around feeling really physically lighter as if a weight had been lifted off of me. No resistance to anything whatsoever. And then the following day I was informed that I was being laid off! (Which I still think was meant to happen.) Forgiveness is still the only way to get past the pain once and for all -- it's knowing that the past couldn't have been any different, as Oprah Winfrey has said. Also, I am sure most of the kids involved have no recollection of doing anything "wrong" to me or anybody else. Clearly, there was some reason why they felt the need to hurt another person. That doesn't make what they did OK, but it does help me find closure.  

Beliefs Are Not Scientifically Proved Facts
As I mentioned in my last post, beliefs are not facts. Facts have been proven by scientific research; beliefs just feel that way to the person carrying them around. They also seem to get reinforced when your mood is low, as mine was a bit yesterday. They can changed -- and even discarded. 

Tomorrow I think that I am going to conduct a negative/limiting belief destroying ritual. Some people write down their limiting beliefs and then burn them. (I don't think I want to risk playing with fire, but I do have a paper shredder at my disposal...this is going to be fun.) 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Changing Negative Beliefs From Childhood For Good, Part 1

I have read that many of the issues and negative beliefs that adults carry around with them have their origins in their childhood, and I believe it. If there's one thing I wish I had known growing up, it's the law of attraction. It might have saved me a lot of grief. Unfortunately, the notion that your thoughts and feelings could affect your life is not something that was well known at all during the 1970s and '80s, when I came of age. I was raised Catholic, and I'm sure if The Secret had been published 30 or 40 years ago, it would have been frowned upon and dismissed as cult-like beliefs. The New Age movement was something that seemed a little scary to me at the time. Despite these stigmas, Dr. Wayne Dyer published his first book on how thoughts can affect your life, Your Erroneous Zones, in 1976 but it wasn't until a few years ago after the release of The Secret that I even knew who he was. 

Nonetheless, better late than never as the old saying goes. I know that all of my beliefs around men, love, and relationships have their roots in my childhood and I'm sad to say, they're not very positive or helpful ones. It's a weird thing, because I have zero negative beliefs when it comes to money, my weight/body image, and the new career direction I'm moving into. Even though my father could be a little stingy when delegating part of the paycheck to my mother for groceries and other necessities, I never felt that we were wanting more money and if I did hear that saying, "Money doesn't grow on trees" it never affected me in a negative way. As a result, I feel good today when I think about money and attracting it, and I always feel like there's enough of it for everybody. 

Same with my body. I grew up tall and thin and have stayed that way, and maybe that's why I have zero body issues and rarely, if ever, criticize any part of it. I do like my body and my looks and I take care of both. 

But...the opposite sex? Dating? Love? Marriage? I still have all kinds of issues in these areas (I'm actually tearing up a bit as I type this paragraph, which goes to show you how affected I am by it all.) The fact that I fell for a man online last year that had EVERYTHING I wanted and actually was deeply attracted to me back...EXCEPT for the fact that he isn't single and eligible/available hasn't helped me improve my beliefs up to this point all that much, despite what I've written on here during the past year. Although I did forgive him, I still have moments where that whole head-shaking scenario still gets to me a little bit.

I haven't had a date in years (yes, I'm being raw and honest.) The last few times I did online dating, I wanted to vomit. It was so bad. We're talking being hit on by a blind guy looking for a chauffeur that asked me numerous questions about my hair, and a couple that was looking to add a third wheel to their relationship (it was the woman that reached out to me, making it even weirder.) I went out with a guy that was much shorter in person than what was stated in his profile, plus he used photos that were definitely at least ten years old. And he had diarrhea of the mouth so bad, he ended up only asking me one question about myself during the whole time. 

I gave up on online dating and did the LOA thing full force, and focused on myself and my life. Then I attracted Mr. S and for months afterwards my beliefs and positivity that I worked so hard to build up took a gut punch. 

I know that I have a problem, and I know where it comes from. And I want to change it. I know I can change it. I know this is possible and it has worked for other people. 

It comes from my childhood. 

For starters, two of my siblings are divorced. My oldest sister remarried; my brother never did. I was a kid when both of these divorces took place and they were nasty. I think my brother went through a worse situation than my sister did; I seem to remember hers becoming final much sooner and with a little less drama. 

As a kid witnessing all this and overhearing one side of the phone conversations between a sibling and their soon-to-be ex-spouse, filled with insults and expletives, there's no doubt some of this affected my perceptions of love, marriage, and relationships. 

My father was funny, literally. He brushed off the ending of both marriages by joking that "the good ship lollipop capsized." (My dad was very funny at times.) Maybe that was his way of protecting me and not making a huge deal out of the life changes. But nonetheless, I kind of grew up thinking that life-long love was no guarantee and that you couldn't always trust the other person in the relationship. 

(Today, however, I realize that both my sister and brother made very poor choices. My sister's first husband gambled and used cocaine. My brother married a very flirtatious woman that loved male attention, and when she got breast cancer my brother wasn't always there for her. She ended up turning to other men.) 

But my negative beliefs were also being formed in school. I was bullied -- by both girls and boys. I wore glasses, I looked like Amy Carter, I was a quiet kid that did her homework, and I had a funny voice so I guess I was an easy target. I have since read a lot of articles as to why children bully other kids. Mostly it's because they are the ones with the issue -- their parents are divorced or going through one, they have low self-esteem or learning issues and they're jealous of the kids in the class that seem to have what they do not. In fact, looking back I realized that many of the boys in my classes that gave me a hard time were the ones with the worst grades that were constantly being sent to the principle's office and going to detention. 

I remember one time in elementary school, my best friend at the time wanted to tell me something in secret, so she took me behind the classroom door. When the other girls in the class saw us behind the door, they started to call us lesbians. My friend got so upset she started to cry. Another time some of the popular girls pretended to like her and invited her to play games during recess. I was very suspicious of their behavior, which was out of character for them and did not participate. Then they stabbed my friend in the back by pretending to be her friend and then kicking her out of their little clique.

(This same friend, by the way, dumped me for no reason when we entered junior high, other than saying she wanted to "branch out." I think she was influenced by the time by the popular kids telling her I wasn't cool enough to be friends with. Nonetheless, I ended up falling in with a lovely bunch of girls that I still see in person on occasion today, and we're connected on Facebook as well, of course.)

I don't really get kids and why some of them have to act this way. I can only imagine it must be far worse today in the Internet age, where everyone is on Facebook. 

And junior high? Forget it. I still remember the day I was walking up the stairs, wearing an ESPRIT miniskirt that I was proud of. I had an awful perm at the time and huge glasses, but I was trying. Two older boys with long hair (we called them "band guys" as they were wanna be Jon Bon Jovis at that time) were going in the other direction. One of them said to the other loud enough on purpose so that I would hear it, "I hate it when ugly girls try to be sexy." 

I ignored them, but I never forget those words. 

I never dated in junior high or high school. At the junior high dance, the guy I had a crush on got visibly very uncomfortable when I asked him if I'd like to dance withe me. He reluctantly obliged but his date -- one of the "popular" girls (who was homely and had an acne problem) pointed and laughed at us during the entire song. (For the record, the song was "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship. To this day I flip the station when it comes on the radio.)

This is an incident that happened 30 freaking years ago. Thirty! And yet, as you can see, in some way it still bothers me, or I wouldn't be writing about it.  

As a result, to this day sometimes, a small part of me still thinks the same thoughts that I had 30 years ago. Namely, that, there's something wrong with me. I'm not attractive. I can't have a guy that I think is attractive, as he won't want me back. That I'm not worthy in some way. There's no good men out there anyway that are available. They're all taken and married. I'm in my 40s and it's too late for me to find a soulmate. Guys can't be trusted -- they're mean and all they do is break your heart. I can't attract a "cool" guy -- he wouldn't want me. And...if I were really all that, someone would have found me and married me a long time ago. There must be something wrong with me if I'm single. I've also heard other people say to me, "It's because you are pretty that you're single. Guys are intimidated by you and afraid of rejection -- so they tend to ask out women that they know won't turn them down."

I could go on and so on. I also remember some of my high school girlfriends having bad experiences with guys which only reinforced my growing beliefs at that time that males couldn't be trusted. 

It's awful and it's ugly. I thought I had put most if not all of these feelings to bed years ago. But today, honestly, this is how I am feeling. I'm letting it all bubble to the surface right here on this blog. I'm not writing all of this to feel like a victim, by the way, or because I'm seeking sympathy. I'm writing it because I want to change it. 

I'm going to end this post for now, and write part two during the week when I'm feeling a little better about it. For now, I think acknowledging these beliefs and recognizing where they came from is an important first step in the right direction. And one thing I do know for sure: a belief is NOT a fact. Facts have been proven by scientific proof. A belief cannot be proven. Beliefs are malleable and only feel true for the person carrying them around. 

I'm tired of feeling this way, and I'm tired of feeling held back in this area of my life, and I know deep down in my heart that these beliefs are not true and I know I can change them. I'm a child of God -- there's no way I can somehow be unworthy of my desires. 

Today, I'm setting a powerful intention: This week, I intend to defeat my negative beliefs around men, love, and relationships and kick them to the curb once and for all. I intend to heal this area of my life and let the sadness and darkness of it be replaced with light and love.

More to come. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How to Raise Your Vibration

Before I get into today's post, I do have a "good news update" for anyone that's interested -- I got my old writing gig with Citystream back, and am now writing 500-word articles on local businesses and non-profits again (woo hoo!) I was sent five this week and turned them around in a couple of days. One of them was about a cat rescue non-profit in New Hampshire and I have to admit, writing that piece was personally way more fulfilling to me than anything I had to write in my past few full-time jobs. I'm convinced more and more and have so much faith that writing is the career direction I want to go into. I've been focusing a lot on abundance this week after watching a video series that's been getting emailed to me every day, and something...or actually, two cool things showed up in regards to writing and abundance, which I'll write about in another post soon. Today, however, I really want to talk about raising your vibration.

It's a phrase that comes up numerous times in virtually any LOA book you pick up or video that you watch. In order to activate the law of attraction and allow it to work for you, you have to focus on raising your vibration. But what exactly does that even mean?

I look at it in very simple terms: I like to think of our vibration as emanating from our emotions, and what we're feeling and believing. All humans are made out of and emit energy. That energy -- or vibration -- goes out into the universe and we attract back what we're thinking and more importantly, feeling. A chronically miserable person is usually going to keep attracting more situations that make them miserable, because that is the vibration they're feeling and emitting around them.

A lot of LOA gurus liken vibration to being tuned into a particular radio station. If you're on a country radio station, then you cannot be receiving and hearing jazz music. Likewise, if you're on the misery channel, you're not going to be receiving joy and positive things as long as that's the signal you keep transmitting.

(By the way, there is actual scientific proof that everything in our universe and on our planet is made out of energy. This was discovered by Antoine Bovis in the 1930s, who even devised a scale for measuring the energy organisms give off. You can Google that for yourself to learn more!)

So how does one raise their vibration? The shortest and direct answer is get happy, no matter what the circumstances. This is easier than done, of course (I'm still continuing my 30-day happiness experiment with some glitches along the way) but as Abraham Hicks reminds us (I'm paraphrasing here), "You want something because you feel that in the process of having it that it will make you feel better, and happy. So why not feel better and be happy now?" Here's my recommendations of things that work for me that typically raise my vibration...needless to say everyone is going to have their own personal list, but this may be helpful as a start:

1. Affirmations
There are some LOA instructors that advise against saying affirmations, especially if a person is not in a position yet to actually believe them. I disagree. When I first learned about the LOA, writing down, thinking, and saying affirmations was the first step that I did to start changing my negative thoughts and energy. And once they had been repeated a few times on any particular subject, I did start to believe them and feel my vibration shift. I also think making positive "I am" affirmation statements about yourself and your life is the most powerful type of affirmation. In fact, one of the videos in the series I've been receiving via email was an interview with Sonia Ricotti (author of a book called Unsinkable.) She said when she was working on turning her life around, she would repeat and immerse herself in "I am" affirmations to herself while walking her dog. I've been saying a lot of affirmations to myself this week -- such as, "I am a prosperous and successful writer", "I am rich", "I am abundant", and "I am in a loving, healthy, fulfilling soulmate relationship with the right guy." Even if you don't believe your own affirmations at first, give them time -- and be willing to at least suspend your disbelief of those negative thoughts that didn't serve you.

2. Do What Brings You Joy and Fulfillment
I'm not necessarily talking about a career (although I do believe a major source of people's unhappiness is when they're doing jobs that they're not truly into and they're too scared to pursue what their heart really wants.) I'm speaking more about hobbies and recreational activities that bring satisfaction and fulfillment -- for some that may be painting; for others cooking, volunteering, or being a mentor. For me, it's writing, knitting, and organizing events for my Meetup groups. I just know I feel really good when I do these things, so I think it's important to make time for some of the activities that you really want to do.

3. Exercise
I admit watching the Olympics the past few weeks inspired me to get back into shape by keeping my workouts regular. I always feel stronger, lighter, and more energetic when I work out a few times a week. I also like walking, riding my bike, light hiking, and cross country skiing.

4. Spend Time With Pets
I have found that it's virtually impossible to stay in a bad mood when you have a furry friend rubbing against you and looking for attention. Nothing gets my day off to a better start than being greeted by my cats after I wake up. Animals to me belong in the same category as babies -- they're innocent, curious about the world around them, and just want to be loved. I'm sure for many people, spending time with a beloved pet or child -- whether they belong to them or someone else -- is definitely a great way to raise your vibration.

5. Be Grateful 
Even after my most recent job "loss" (which honestly, I see as a gain) I've been very grateful for everything that I do have -- friends, family, health, plenty of money saved, a home to live in, my writing talent, the clothes in my closet and dresser, etc. As I see the dire weather conditions on the news that most of the country as in right now, I'm feeling awfully thankful for everything that I have while many people have lost their homes and many of their possessions. Recognizing the good things that you do have immediately takes the focus off any lack. I keep reading more and more about how important it is to be grateful, because it does help attract more of the positive into your life.

6. Spend Time Outside/In Nature
Something that I've always done during virtually every office job I've held is taking a lunchtime walk outside when the weather was appropriate for it. There's always been something about getting away from a piece of technology and reconnecting with the physical world around you. This morning I took a walk around the neighborhood (and following Sonia Riccoti's advice, recited in my head several "I am" affirmations over and over.) A bonus to spending some time outside is that it's a great reminder of exactly how abundant the universe is -- considering there are multitudes of birds, animals, insects, trees, plants, and rocks.

7. Spend Time Only With People That Make You Feel Good
When I come home after spending time with friends I want to feel as good as or better than I felt when I first greeted them. I learned a while ago to limit time with the Debbie Downers, or remove myself from their life completely if they were constantly arguing with me about anything and/or constantly complaining about how rotten their life was. I'm not saying you should cut a friend out of your life that complains or gets sad once in a while; everyone has down moments. I'm talking about those that are chronically not much fun to hang out with. Joining a Meetup group with people that share your interests is another great way to elevate your vibration.

8. Meditate
I resisted learning how to meditate for years because like most people, I thought you had to sit cross legged in front of a mountain to execute it properly. But thankfully meditation is much more broader than that, and doesn't require any deep techniques. It can be as simple as lying in bed or sitting quietly in a chair and concentrating on nothing more than your breathing. I have a couple of short meditations saved on my computer that I sometimes listen to before falling asleep. I have found that they melt any tension out of the body and help me focus on positivity for a brief, concentrating period of time.

9. Listen to Music Or Play An Instrument
I've written on here before about the power of music to lift -- or squash -- your mood. Listening or dancing to the right upbeat music by an artist or group that you love can definitely get the blood moving and affect your vibration. And if you play an instrument (provided you actually do love practicing/playing it) all the better for getting you in a good mood.

I probably could have added one more recommendation and made this an even ten -- but the truth is everyone probably has their own tenth tip that they can fill in for themselves. Whatever makes you feel good is what you should be aiming for.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Why You Can't Force Things to Happen

So I'm about a week into the 30-day happiness experiment and honestly, it's going to take a little effort for me today to feel happy. I've been waiting on two people that may have freelance writing work for me to follow through...after both said they would. One was supposed to call me this afternoon but never actually scheduled a time to do so; the other is the new editor of the company I was writing fun, paid articles covering local businesses for last year. She said she would be happy to send assignments my way again and asked me how many I wanted. I responded to her right away last week, then followed up with an email before the weekend. There's been no response. 

I know that I can't let these outside circumstances and other people's lack of response affect my inner well being but dang, it's hard. Especially as both are an opportunity to write for money -- which is what I really want to do right now, and if I had both of them there's a chance I may not have to apply for unemployment. I'm frustrated. 

I also know the instinct for most people is to keep following up...after all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Yet I know from past experiences doing so that if something isn't meant to be, no amount of following up and pestering someone is going to make it happen. It's action for the sake of making something happen, not inspired action. There was one time where I pulled some strings to do some freelance writing work and shortly after meeting the person that needed the work, immediately regretted it.

The best thing I can do is stick with the vibration and intention of doing some sort of fulfilling, paid writing work and trust that the universe will deliver. In the meantime, I need to forget about these two contacts; I've reached out and followed up with them enough. There may be a reason why neither of them seem to be panning out. My instinct is telling me to sign up again for a website I used last year that lists all kinds of work-from-home jobs including many in writing and social media, so I think after I pay my credit card for this month I'll sign up for a three month subscription to use it.

Also, I know the universe is abundant...and that there are plenty of freelance jobs that fit what I'm offering up. So if neither of these pan out it doesn't matter. 

Besides, we all know as I've mentioned on here before how things happen when you're not expecting them. The best you can do is distract yourself and get happy. So, that's exactly what I intend to do now -- by hopping off the computer for a few hours and getting some knitting and reading done. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The 30 Day Happiness Experiment

I am soooo loving this new blog template that I found! I still have to figure out how to populate the top navigation menu and will probably end up tweaking some things here and there, but it's a huge improvement over the last one I had purchased (and it was cheaper, too.)

In my last post I mentioned that I had come across a happiness experiment. Last year I came across the following video online, in which a young man attending an Abraham Hicks convention conducted a 30 day experiment. He decided that he was simply going to choose to be happy -- no matter what was going on in his life. Some time during the 30 days, he also wrote a thank you letter thanking the universe for circumstances and people he had in his life, even though they hadn't actually manifested yet.

There's a few lessons to be learned from listening to this video. The first is that sometimes we do need to remind ourselves to stay happy. I started this on Sunday -- just two days after losing my job -- so I'm now a few days into it. I was flying high the first few days, and then had to remind myself yesterday and this morning to keep it going, to keep being grateful for what I do have and to do anything I can that keeps me happy and blissful while ignoring any outside circumstances. It's not always easy to stay happy. We do need the reminders that happiness is in ourselves, not outside of our ourselves. Without that inner peace we can't attract what we want into our lives. 

Second, I love the stories that he tells at the beginning about how trying to make things happen always fell apart for him. He'd psyche himself up to woo a woman, only to discover she wasn't the right match for him. Same goes with jobs. But once he wrote out his gratitude letter and got himself into the feeling place and let go of doing any of the heavy lifting, everything just fell right into his lap. 

By the way the guy speaking on the video left a follow-up comment on the YouTube link. He and his now-wife (the same girl he talks about) were both laid off and ended up with happier, more fulfilling jobs. 

The only thing I'm not going to do is limit feeling happy to 30 days. I think the more you can remind yourself and stay consistent on a fairly regular basis, the more you open yourself up to manifestations coming in. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

When One Door Closes, Something Better Is About to Open

Friday was my last day at my job. I didn't leave on my own accord; my position was eliminated. My job duties were given to a new employee that started just a few weeks ago. 

Yes, you read that right. Yes, this is the same job that I raved about on here, and that I believe I had manifested using the law of attraction. 

At first I was angry and disappointed. But as the weekend went on, my feelings dissipated quite a bit and I realized that what happened was a blessing. 

Yes, the job initially was everything I had wanted and was vibrating. I did love it -- for about the first month. But every week after that (and eventually, every day) it became more and more apparent that the position and the company itself were not a vibrational match to me. This past Sunday I actually felt huge relief knowing I'd never return to that place. 

I then watched part of an online film that my fellow LOA friend sent to me on the topic of abundance and this morning, I had an epiphany...one that took only five layoffs over the course of 20 years in the corporate world to realize. 

I want to pursue a writing career. I am not a marketing strategist, nor do I ever want the responsibilities that come with an executive management role. I am not a SEO expert (although I definitely know and can apply a lot more about SEO than I did a few years ago), or a paid search specialist (yuck.) I'm a writer. I'm always at my happiest and most fulfilled when I'm writing. 

(I also do think I'm still great at social media, and I still have my on-going freelance gig with my other company...and I actually killed it today on Twitter with a giveaway that attracted hundreds of new followers to our handle. I intend to keep that job for as long as possible.)

I don't know what kind of writing career I eventually want. Maybe journalism and working for a magazine. Years ago I took a writing for women's magazine class (before classes all went online) and I loved it. I'm thinking of taking a few more classes in freelance and magazine writing through MediaBistro. 

Right now, my goal is to get a fun, paid, freelance writing gig to make a few extra dollars and enjoy it until I figure out my next move. Now is the time to stop denying this dream to myself...to squelch the previous voices that said there's no way to make a living from it and that jobs are scarce. 

Also, this was my horoscope for this week from the New York Times. If this isn't spot on and a sign that I'm headed in the right direction, I don't know what is:

Capricorn: It’s possible, even now, to tell yourself a different story than the one that’s been told to you. You can map your own path and speak your own name. This week, remind yourself how much courage you’ve shown in the face of weirdness and change and loss. When the world can’t see your true bright core, you can still see it for yourself. Let it warm you. Let it shine gold in the night. You’re still in motion, and you belong to yourself.

I'm also on day 2 of a 30-day happiness experiment I learned about last year that I've been meaning to try. I'll write more about that in my next post. 

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