It’s Pride Month…

I’m not sure how wide-spread Pride Month is, but I know in a lot of cities in the US, at least, there are events during the month of June to celebrate people who are LGBTQ+. As the parent of someone who fits into those letters somewhere, I’m glad to see these events exist. It isn’t about shoving one’s sexual orientation or gender in other people’s faces, and despite how offended some folks get, it isn’t about pissing people off either.

It’s about acknowledging the prejudice and discrimination those who are LGBTQ+ have faced throughout history–and continue to face today. It’s about acknowledging people as human beings, regardless of who they love or who they are. It’s about celebrating diversity, love, and respect.

In past years, I’ve gone to the Boston Pride Festival as someone who considered herself an ally. I’ve been an attendee and a volunteer. But I’ve felt like I was watching from the outside, and felt privileged to be allowed to be there.

This year, Pride means something different to me. After years of wondering why I grew up not feeling like a girl (and not particularly wanting to, if “girl” meant acting like the bullies and backstabbers I knew), and why that feeling persisted into adulthood, and after doing a lot of soul-searching and inner work, it finally made sense. I didn’t feel like a girl because my gender isn’t female. It isn’t male either. I’m agender.

Agender means not having a gender. It’s important to note that gender has nothing to do with anatomy/biology (that’s sex), or with whom someone is attracted to (that’s sexual orientation). Gender is who your brain tells you that you are, and how you identify. Although I was assigned female at birth, my brain was never comfortable with being considered female, and male didn’t fit right either.

Gender is a spectrum, not a binary. And this year during Pride Month, I’m going to celebrate having finally recognized where I fit on that spectrum.

Energetic Vibration

The past couple of weeks as I’ve been talking about conscious creation, I’ve mentioned energetic vibration a few times. I wanted to give a clearer understanding of what that means.

Everyone has energy. Everything, for that matter. In humans, the energy system includes the seven major chakras (and numerous minor ones), and a seven-layer energy field, sometimes called the aura. Each layer of the energy field corresponds to the same-numbered chakra, so the first, or root, chakra is tied to the first, or closest to the body, layer of the energy field, and so on.

Energy vibrates at different frequencies depending on several different factors, including emotional state, how you respond to your environment or to events in your life, how much work you’ve done to raise your vibration, and how many lifetimes you’ve lived previously. We talk about someone vibrating at a “high frequency” or “low frequency,” and it’s important to remember that high isn’t automatically better than low.

It’s kind of like with an FM radio dial. Here in the Boston area, we have a station at 88.9 and one at 107.9 (with a bunch in between.) 107.9 isn’t necessarily a better radio station than 88.9. It’s different, and it’s at a higher frequency, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Some people prefer 88.9; some people prefer 107.9. Some people prefer the ones in between.

If you have a high energetic vibration, it doesn’t mean you’re better than someone with a lower vibration. You’re just different from them. And just as some people prefer a radio station that’s at a certain frequency, some people prefer being around other people who vibrate at a certain frequency. Usually, that’s a frequency that’s close to their own. In fact, being around someone whose frequency is vastly different from yours, regardless of whether it’s higher or lower, can sometimes even be physically painful.

Unlike radio stations, our energetic frequencies aren’t permanently set. Circumstances can raise or lower them. As we become conscious of our own power in our lives, we can also intentionally choose actions and thoughts that raise our frequency.

One of the quickest and easiest ways I know to raise my vibration, which I learned from the same friend who taught me energy healing and channeling, is to simply say, “I intend to raise my vibration to higher and higher levels.” Obviously, you have to actually put intent into raising your vibration; mouthing the words without meaning them won’t do much of anything. But if you say it and fully mean and intend it, it will make a difference.

Meditation or meditative actions like yoga are other good ways to raise your vibration, because you’re focusing your energy and doing so in a positive way.

Positive experiences and emotions boost your frequency as well. The saying, “Do what makes you happy,” has some energetic basis behind it. If we engage in activities that cause us to feel happy, if we spend time experiencing joy and laughter, and if we surround ourselves with other beings (humans, pets, etc.) that bring us happiness, our vibration will be higher.

The higher your vibration, the more positive outcomes and experiences you’ll bring into your life. Like attracts like; positivity attracts positivity. High vibration attracts things that help us continue to keep our vibration high. Learning to raise your vibration and maintain it at a high frequency is another vital step in the process of creating your own reality.

Don’t-Wanting

When you talk to a very young child, saying “No” something or “Don’t do” whatever sometimes has the opposite effect. For example, if you tell a child, “Don’t touch the stove,” they’re probably going to touch the stove. If you say, “No hitting,” they might hit you. It might be partly to find out what you’ll do if they disobey you, but in large part it’s also because they don’t register “don’t” or “no.” They only hear the verb, not the negative.

The Universe can be kind of like that. If you say, “I don’t want to be late for work,” what’s going to happen? Quite probably, you won’t be able to find something you need to bring with you, so you have to spend time looking for it. Or your car won’t start, or you hit every traffic light red on your commute. The end result is that you’re late for work, exactly as you said you didn’t want, because the Universe doesn’t register the “don’t.” It only registers the verb; it hears that you want to be late.

When you’re learning to consciously create your life, it’s important to learn to change your phrasing. After all, you’re trying to create the things you do want, right? Not the things you don’t want?

It’s part of typical human phrasing to speak about the “don’ts” and “nots.” We do it all the time. “Don’t forget this.” “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” “I don’t want to argue with you.” And so on. It’s just the way our language has developed, and some of us talk that way out of habit.

The problem is, that habit contributes to negatives and don’t-wants cropping up in our lives. I know every time I tell myself, “Don’t forget to do this,” I promptly forget to do it. Unless I write it down, of course, but even then, if I’m focused on “don’t forget,” I’m likely to misplace the note or be someplace where I can’t look at it.

One of the early steps in working with creating your own reality is creating more positive phrasing. Rather than saying, “Don’t forget,” why not just say, “Remember”? Instead of “Don’t talk with your mouth full,” we could say, “Keep your mouth closed while you’re chewing.” And instead of, for example, “I don’t want this job anymore,” as we’re telling the Universe what we’re trying to create, we could say, “I want a job where I feel happy and fulfilled.”

It can be a little tricky, because we need to be mindful of our thoughts as well as our spoken words. If you’re saying, “I want a job where I feel happy,” but you’re *thinking*, “I don’t want to work at this crappy job anymore,” you’re still sending out “don’t-want” messages to the Universe. Those messages affect the energy you put out, so your energetic vibration lowers and becomes negative. And you end up stuck in the same crappy job.

So as you’re altering the words you speak, you also need to alter the things you think. You need to alter, to the extent possible, how you feel about what you’re trying to change. If you find yourself speaking and thinking in positive terms but you still seem to be stuck with the don’t-want, take a look at your emotions. Are you angry about your current situation? Are you discouraged that things aren’t going your way? Those emotions also lower your vibration.

Shifting your emotions takes a lot of work as well. One thing that works really well for me, and for others I’ve talked to about this, is to imagine that you already have the thing you want. Not just think about it, but completely immerse yourself in a mental image of the situation where your “want” has come to pass. Feel the emotions you would feel in that abundantly positive situation, and let those emotions fuel the creation of that thing.

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking about what you don’t want, or feeling negatively about what you have, rather than thinking of what you do want and how you’ll feel when you have it. I have to constantly check in with myself to be sure I’m wanting and feeling positive when I’m working on creating new pieces of my life. It’s a process, but one that is definitely worth the effort.

Making Changes That Stick

It can be pretty easy to say, “I want to change my life. I want to create positive new things for myself.” Actually doing it, however, isn’t so easy.

Conscious creation is one name given to the process of making changes and attracting positive things into your life. The basic gist is that we are always creating our lives through our thoughts, emotions, actions, and energy, but many of us aren’t aware that we’re creating. Because we aren’t aware of it, crappy things happen, which makes us feel like crappy things will *always* happen, which makes more crappy things happen.

A note: My personal belief is that when some people talk about conscious creation, they phrase it in a way that comes across as seriously victim-blamey. “It’s all your fault that a traumatic thing happened to you, because you created it because you weren’t creating right.” I emphatically do NOT believe that.

While our energetic vibration does impact what comes into our lives, and our thoughts, emotions, and actions impact our energetic vibration, that does NOT mean it’s your fault when traumatic or other negative experiences come into your life. The whole point of conscious creation is *learning* how to be responsible for what you create. Things you create when you don’t know you have the power to create them aren’t your fault or necessarily your responsibility.

When we aren’t conscious of our creative power, and if we have a low energetic vibration, negatives come into our lives. And those negatives reinforce to us that negative things will happen, which makes us believe things will always be negative, which further lowers our vibration and brings more negative things.

(I’ll be talking more about energetic vibration and how to change it in a couple of weeks. For now, let’s just leave it that everyone has energy, and everyone’s energy vibrates at a different frequency. The higher the frequency, the more positive that person’s life is likely to be, and the more aware they’re likely to be of their creative power.)

Even if we’re aware that we can create things in our lives, sometimes we don’t use that creative power effectively. I can create enough money flowing into my bank account to pay my bills for the month, but if I stay stuck in, “Well, I paid them this month, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be able to pay them next month, money never shows up, I’m always broke,” that’s going to lower my vibration. And it’s going to create a continued lack of money, in which either I’m only able to pay my bills at the absolute last second possible, or, eventually, I’m unable to pay them at all.

Part of learning to consciously create our lives is learning to recognize the thoughts and emotions that hold us back from creating the most positive experiences and outcomes, and changing those to positive thoughts and emotions. That isn’t easy, and I don’t mean to imply otherwise. But it is possible to start taking steps.

First, when something negative happens, pay attention to what you’re thinking. Is it something like “Oh, crap, this isn’t good, but let’s see if I can fix it,” or more like “Crappy things always happen, my life is never going to go right”?

Second, make the conscious, intentional effort to change those thoughts. For example, if you’re thinking “crappy things always happen,” you might change that to “This is just one thing. Plenty of good things happen to me too.”

Third, identify the emotion you’re feeling–and remember, you *feel* emotions. You are not the emotion, you are the person *feeling* it. So instead of “I’m angry,” try looking at it as “I *feel* angry.”

Fourth, if you’re feeling a negative emotion, think about something that causes you to laugh, like a funny TV show you watched, or a memory of a time you felt especially happy. Let that thought or memory bring that positive feeling back to you.

Learning to create your own positive reality takes a lot of work and conscious effort. And it isn’t necessarily something you master. I’ve been working with this concept for well over a decade, and I still have times of “Everything crappy happens to me” or feeling angry, stressed, or scared about circumstances in my life. But I keep working, because even when I feel out of control or fear that I can’t bring the good things, I know the truth.

And the truth is that each of us is an abundantly powerful creator. We just need to learn how to use that power.

Following Through on Change

Deciding to make a change isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of insight and inner reflection to identify the change you want to make, and even more insight and inner reflection to figure out how to make it. The “how” might require research, seeking support from others, or even seeking professional help or support. Going through all of that can be hard work. Just recognizing the need for change and choosing to make the changes is courageous.

But in some ways, deciding to change, although it’s not easy in general, is the easiest part of the process. The toughest part for many people is actually following through.

New Year’s resolutions are a perfect case in point. Someone sees a need for change, for example the common “I need to lose ten pounds and eat healthier foods.” They say they’re going to do the thing. They tell other people they’re going to do the thing. They list the healthier foods they plan to eat, and maybe set an exercise goal. They might plan a reward for themself when they meet the goal, like buying that shirt they’ve been coveting. They set their intention: “I intend to be at a healthy weight and to do things to maintain it.”

But then the time comes to implement the plan. To start working on that intention. For some people, that’s when it falls apart. They have the list of healthier foods, but they still have holiday leftovers they want to finish off before they start the healthy eating thing. They have an exercise plan but it involves going to a gym, and they can’t seem to find time to do that. Even for people who do manage to start on the goal, plans might start to fall by the wayside after a week or two. They get frustrated and discouraged, and give up.

Deciding you’re going to change takes guts. But making lists and plans, and telling people what you’re going to do, isn’t enough. Setting intentions and putting the right energy out into the Universe isn’t enough. You have to take the actions too. If you want to lose weight, you have to actually eat the healthy foods and do the exercises. If you want to get a better handle on your temper, you have to actually realize you’re getting angry and walk away from the situation. And so on.

Too many people seem to think that all they have to do is set an intention and maybe say an affirmation or two, and what they want will come to pass. They might genuinely be unaware of the actions they need to take–and there are some coaches and other practitioners who will actually say that all you have to do is intend it and it will come to pass, so some people operate under the belief that that’s true. (Personally, I consider it extremely unethical and possibly harmful to tell anyone that intending it and thinking it is sufficient to actually change and grow, but that’s another post for another time.) Other people know they have to act in order to change, but they find reasons not to take those actions.

Every step of the process of change takes insight, determination, and courage. The step of following through on making the change also takes commitment. When you see a change you need to make, don’t only talk about it. Commit. Find the support you need in order to take those actions, and take them. And believe in your power to create the life you want.

Why Change?

Why change? Good question.

Life is a constant, ongoing process of change and growth. Unless you’re really, really determined, it’s pretty much impossible not to grow and change as you move through life. But some of that growth and change isn’t a conscious choice. It’s in response to things that occur in our lives, or simply the result of getting chronologically older and gaining more knowledge and experience. Change happens.

Conscious change, though, takes work, and to do that work, most people want a reason. That’s where getting tripped up and tangled in others’ opinions can happen. Changing solely for others doesn’t benefit anyone. For change to be effective and long-lasting, we need a self-focused reason to make it.

Sometimes we recognize something about ourselves that we think we might benefit from changing. We might not know how to start making those changes, but at least we know we want to make them. We’re consciously choosing to do something about a problematic trait or habit. We might need help figuring out how to change it, but it’s our decision, and if we do the work, it’s likely to become a permanent, positive change.

There are times when something about us is a problem and we don’t recognize it. Or we think it’s a problem that doesn’t require change when it actually does. In those cases, someone else might have to point out the issue to us so we become more aware. But even then, it’s still more effective to make the change because we see a reason to. Because we see a benefit to ourselves as well as others.

Early on after my kids and I moved in with my husband, when I was still working through some serious issues and still getting a handle on emotional regulation, sometimes I raised my voice when I was angry with my kids. I didn’t realize how much it upset my husband, or my kids, until my husband took me aside and told me it was really hard for him hearing me like that. My kids also told me they wished I would yell less.

I knew I was still working on effective emotional management. After nearly four decades of not being able to display any negative emotions for fear of what other people would do to me, I was finally in a place where I felt safe enough to stop suppressing the emotions. Unfortunately, that meant sometimes the emotion came out with an intensity that was out of proportion to whatever was going on. I knew this, but I didn’t always realize when the emotional display was out of proportion.

When my husband and kids had that conversation with me, I didn’t say or think, “I need to change for them.” They were the cause of me recognizing the need for change, but they couldn’t be the only reason for the change. I needed to change my behavior, and double down on learning better emotional regulation, for myself above all.

I chose to do the work and improve my emotional regulation because my behavior was hurting people I loved deeply and wanted to avoid hurting. Because the person I wanted to be was someone who took care of and protected those I loved. Because when I raised my voice and felt my temper rising to the boiling point, I saw in myself the people who had abused me, and I hated seeing that in myself. I wanted to build a life in which I could love myself. I wanted to create a space where my children might feel the love and safety I hadn’t had as a child or during my marriage to their father. I wanted to become the person I wanted to be.

When you identify a change you think you should make, take a moment to figure out why you want to make it. Are you doing what someone else has told you to do? Are you trying to change something about yourself that you’re okay with, but someone else isn’t okay with it and you’re trying to make them happy? If it’s a change someone else brought to your attention, do you have a self-focused reason to make it, or are you only doing it for them?

Ultimately, the one person on earth whose opinion of you matters, is you. You’re the one who has to live with who you are. You can’t “make” someone else happy, because you don’t control what anyone else feels or thinks. You can only create whether you are happy with yourself. So don’t just be the change you wish to see; be the primary reason you wish to see it.

Fighting the Violent Rabbit of Change

A lot of us talk about doing our inner work. Working on ourselves. Our mindset. Our health. We all have work we need to do, absolutely. Life is an ongoing process of change and growth, and to change and grow, we need to do the work.

But how many times do we say, “I’m going to work on this,” and it becomes busywork? The work becomes what we do to avoid the work. We say we’re going to do the work. We make lists of the things we’re going to do. We put it in our calendar. And then we look at the lists and calendar notices and say, “See? I’m working on it!”

Working on ourselves, doing our inner work, is scary. We’re conditioned to fear change. In some ways, we’re created to fear change. Our ego sees change and yells, “Change! Auughh! Run away! Run away!” It’s like change is that violent rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and we’re the knights running away.

So our egos come up with every possible way to make us feel like we’re doing what we need to do, and feel like we’re making the changes, and think that things are happening, when they’re not. All we’re really doing is covering up the work we need to do with the busywork we’re doing so we can say “See, I’m working on it.” I know I’m guilty of this over and over again, and it’s something I’m trying to be better about.

Think about it. If you say you’re doing work on yourself, are you really? If you are, that’s great! But there’s no shame in saying, “I’m going to do the work,” and then having your ego convince you that you’re doing the work when you’re really not. That’s human. We’re human; we have egos. That’s what happens.

But sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the inner work we say we’re doing, at the inner changes we say we’re making, and decide, “Are we really doing this?” Or is our ego saying, “Look, I put it in the calendar! Look, I made a list! I’m working!” so it can keep running away from that violent rabbit of change?

Facing that violent rabbit is easier with support. Talk to friends or loved ones. Get professional help if you feel it’s warranted. Energy healing can also help bring up possible changes to make, and give you the clarity to make them. I have openings for new Chios clients now; please comment here or visit my Chios Energy Healing page for more information.

Refocusing

I’ve found that where I was focusing my energy previously wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be.

This surprised me. I thought I wanted to be a coach or mentor to those who are on journeys of healing and trying to gain self-love. It’s something I studied, and something that I do informally in a few venues, and I love the feeling of knowing I’ve helped someone. More, I love seeing them gain insight and make positive changes in their lives.

Deciding I wanted to coach was a change in itself. When I originally conceived this website and business, the plan was to do energy healing and guided readings. Then I realized that when I did healings and readings, I ended up informally counseling my clients anyway, so I looked into becoming a counselor. That would have required a degree I was unwilling to invest in, so I looked at life coaching/mentoring instead. And that became something I found myself more drawn to than energy healing or readings.

So the next chapter of this business was meant to be coaching, or holistic mentoring. I created an eight-week coaching program, and realized that interested me more than ongoing, less structured mentoring. Then I created a talk to go with that program, and realized that what I really wanted to do was become a transformational speaker.

So now I’m focusing more on speaking, and that’s what I feel the most drawn to at this point. That and teaching theater to children, which doesn’t seem to connect with the other things, but that’s how passions are sometimes. Transformational speaking to large groups is on hold for now while I work with smaller venues, including schools where I discuss my message of self-acceptance and living one’s truth using one of my young adult novels as a springboard.

Many of these changes have occurred in just the past month, as I’ve looked at and refined my goals for 2018. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to do the full year in advance.

Life isn’t a static thing, and sometimes that means plans change even when you don’t expect them to. My eight-week program, which is now a six-week program, is still part of my work, and I’m building the speaking side of things. And I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

My Bucket List

There are a lot of things I hope to do in my life. Some of them are not necessarily probable, but I’m hoping for them to happen anyway. Other things are ones that I can make happen, if I believe in myself and keep trying.

I want to resurrect my writing career. For several years, I was a published author, writing two very different types of things under two separate pen names. A few years ago, a combination of poor sales and some personal life things derailed the writing, and now I’m facing the first year since 2009 in which I don’t have anything under contract with, or even being considered by, a publisher. For the time being, I’m taking it easy and writing just because I enjoy it, but I hope to resume writing for publication.

I want to do public speaking presentations on my message of self-acceptance and the power to change. I was trying to build that from nothing other than some Facebook Live videos, but I found myself having difficulty finding venues to contact and, more importantly, believing in myself enough to contact them. (Yes, sometimes I have trouble believing in myself. I am, as I said a few posts ago, still on my journey.) So now I’m focusing on contacting libraries and schools to do presentations there, while I continue working on the other aspect of what I hope will become a career in transformational speaking.

I want to travel. I’ve done a little bit of traveling in my life, but there are so many places I’d like to go!

I want to sing onstage, with live musicians. So far the closest I’ve gotten to that is karaoke, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Those are the big things on my want-to-do list. What do you have on your bucket list?

Being Happy With Yourself

There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to change things about yourself. All of us go through times when we recognize the need to change, and life is an ongoing process of growth and change anyway.

But when you decide you want to make a change, first take a look at what you’re changing and try to accept it, or even be happy with it.

Being happy with who you are doesn’t automatically mean there’s nothing to change. It just means that you’ve chosen to recognize that you are a good person with good qualities, and that you’ve chosen to love and accept all parts of yourself, whether or not you want to hold onto those parts.

The first step to making a positive change is to have a positive reason for wanting to do so. If you’re trying to change something about yourself because you don’t like it and don’t want it, you might not be as successful as if you want to change it because you see something better waiting for you on the other side of the change. “Don’t-wanting” the way you are now puts your energy into staying that way, even if that isn’t what you intend, whereas wanting something different will put your energy into the new thing.

Even the aspects of yourself that you want to change are part of what makes up you as a person. You as a person deserve love and respect, and so do the things you want to change, even if they aren’t going to remain part of who you are.