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Overcoming Obstacles Is Overrated

One thing you won’t find at this blog: a tips piece or how-to tutorial on “overcoming obstacles.”

Because obstacles are our friend.

They let us know when we’re misaligned to what we want; they tell us when we’re headed the wrong way.

Obstacles steer us away from unhappy outcomes and toward what we prefer.

Which is why overcoming obstacles is overrated.

Abandoning the upstream journey is where the magic is.

That’s what savvy creators practice: they notice where things aren’t easy and they choose in favor of relief.

That’s why I’m officially reminding you that it’s not only okay to give up, but it’s often smart to.

When the going gets rough, the savvy take a breather.

“Give up early and often,” says the Communion of Light.

Sounds like work for wimps, right? But it actually takes insight and courage to pull this one off.

Here’s why …

These are four common obstacles that keep us from following what feels better (and what to do about them):

1. Not realizing we do it.

For many it’s so habitual to try hard and experience struggle along the way that it’s the norm. We don’t even question it. It’s just a way of life.
It’s what we’re used to.

The first step is noticing when we’re doing it, so we can make a conscious choice about how to proceed.

That’s what our emotional guidance system is for, as Abe would say. When you’re not feeling fabulous, when you notice exhaustion or overwhelm settling in, that’s your cue to take note.

Awareness is the first step.

But once we’re clued in to the routine, we frequently run into another challenge in dropping the struggle:

2. Concern what others think.

Sometimes even when we know we’re taking the upstream journey (working hard, efforting, struggling our way there), we continue because of the anticipated backlash or judgment from others.

Bosses just want the job done; they don’t care whether you like it or not. Spouses want the bills paid whether you feel like it or not. Parents want you to finish that degree whether you are in the mood or not.

This one can take some practice to get good at caring less what others think and giving more weight to your own inner guidance.

But the payoffs are well worth it – happiness, satisfaction, joy and ease. Again, when you care less about the opinions of others.

As long as it matters to you what they think, you’ve got a significant vibrational handicap in place.

Here are two posts that can help you stop caring so much about others’ opinions.

3. Judging ourselves as wimpy.

In a culture that celebrates hard work and considers self-sacrifice a virtue, it can be easy to feel like a jerk for not working your butt off.

In fact, you might have noticed that sometimes we internalize other opinions so strongly that we hear it in the voice of our own inner gremlins.

In which case it’s self-judgment we’re dealing with.

We think negative things about our inability to just buckle up and get it done, and we might even berate ourselves for wimping out when we consider letting go of the struggle.

The remedy here is to simply remember that like attracts like and that unhappy journeys don’t have happy endings.

Once we embrace how the system works, we’re much better positioned to work it effectively.

4. Worry about negative consequences.

Often, even though we know that we get what we vibrate, we have trouble trusting that it’ll be okay to let go of the struggle.

I would say these are unfounded fears, but since we create whatever we focus on, you can manifest trouble if you hang on to these types of thoughts long enough.

But why would you do that, you savvy creator, you?

Here’s what saves me whenever I start worrying what will happen if I don’t tough it out through the thing that seems like it has to be done:

“Nothing is more important than that I feel good.”

That sentence from Wayne Dyer (quoting Abraham) serves as my magic mantra to break the evil spell of believing I have to do something unpleasant in order to get where I want.

I kept it as a sticky note in the most prominent position in my office for many years, until it became automatic to turn downstream.

And sometimes the thing that spoils my good time is just my contrary belief about it.

Like when I thought podcasting was hard, so I wasn’t willing to do it. Until a reader said it could be as easy as just reading blog posts. (Seriously? I can do that!)

Or when I got so nervous to start dating again that I thought it’d just be easier to skip it, because I was telling myself stories about what might go wrong. Remove the unhelpful stories and voila – a good time is restored!

It can also be helpful to remember that there’s no way to enjoy the “fruits” of struggle if you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, unhappy or soul-broken when you get there.

It really is okay to release what’s not working in favor of whatever feels better.

The more you practice it, the easier it is to trust.

In fact, right now, just for fun, maybe you can find something in your day that wasn’t feeling easy or enjoyable, and you can opt out in favor of something that is easier to enjoy.

I shared personal examples on the podcast, but I’d love to hear your tips for getting better at embracing ease and enjoyment in your daily life choices …

  • August 22, 2017

My Rookie Manifesting Move

Have you seen my foster puppies?  They are absolutely darling.

I welcomed them into my home when I was feeling a bit out of sorts.  Life was zigging while I was zagging, and I felt a bit drained of joy.
I knew the puppies would put me squarely in the vortex again.
Except they didn’t.
(Yes, delicious moments here and there – but not solidly dwelling in it like I anticipated.)
Me.  Puppies.  No vortex?!
That’s unheard of!
But it makes sense.  Because puppies can’t make me feel fabulous.  That’s on me.
Not puppies.
Same thing with this upstairs bathroom remodel.  I thought for sure I’d feel better once that was done.
Except, I don’t.
Instead it’s offering great reasons to feel more of what I already did: not quite right, damage is done, woe is me.

Like, it’s not quite right how the mirror didn’t fit squarely on the wall.  Just like it wasn’t right how someone abandoned a pregnant dog at the shelter.
“Damage is done” showed up with a shower rod drilled too high into the new tile wall.  Just like the damage was done after momma dog spent a few nights in the guest bath with her new pups.
And “woe is me” that I’m stuck with all this demolition and reconstruction in the house, while I try to get work done, not to mention help mom clean up after nine puppies.  Same “woe is me” feeling that my boyfriend wouldn’t help me with these foster pups.

Those vibes didn’t change because the bathroom was redone.
Law of attraction prevents it.
Law of attraction can only bring more of what I’ve been flowing. So until I change my vibrational instruction, it’s going to be more of the same.

That’s why sometimes people remain unhappy despite achieving incredible “success.”  The fame and fortune can’t change how we feel.  In fact, sometimes that just makes it worse because now we have this fabulous achievement and we still feel like crap.  It could lead to hopelessness, if we didn’t understand how the system works.

I can change the a lot of the details of life – but until I change my vibe, I’m gonna feel the same way no matter what else I manage to create.
It doesn’t take incredible success to feel incredible.  It just takes you.  And your thoughts in this moment.
common manifesting mistakeExpecting puppies to make me feel better, or a remodeled bathroom to lift my mood – that was a rookie move on my part.
Just like folks who think being debt free or quitting their job or divorcing their spouse will make them happy.
None of that stuff can change how we feel.  It might seem like it does sometimes … for a while.
But sooner or later your dominant vibration will prevail. And it can spoil even the most perfectly planned parties when that dominant vibe isn’t a good feeling one.
Which is why I’m writing this reminder to myself and others who sometimes fall for this routine.
We aren’t using our manifesting powers to create things to make us feel better. We’re using our ability to manage how we feel to get what we really want – feeling better. (Which also happens to lead to great stuff that makes it even easier to feel better.)
It all begins with how we feel (i.e. what we vibrate).
Let’s make quick work of it and start where it really matters, by cultivating habits of peace, appreciation, enjoyment.  By setting intentions to feel now how we want to feel, regardless of what is or isn’t happening in our lives.
Yes, there’s a time for feeling out of sorts – that’s part of the gig and it is not a problem.  But when I’ve had enough of that, the answer isn’t puppies or new bathrooms or new boyfriends or bigger bank accounts or new jobs.
The answer is to practice some vibration management. To purposely find ways to feel better right here right now.  A new happiness journal, a decision to practice better feeling thoughts (Pollyanna is a great re-inspiration for that), a recommitment to self-care, as well as a reminder to be compassionate with myself in the process – those are my standbys for vibration management.
How about you?  Do you have a particular mantra or question that helps reconnect you to joy?  A process to make peace with what is?
I’d love to hear your practices for managing how you feel without looking to the manifestation of something to do it for you.

  • September 18, 2011
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