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.

Much-Needed Respite

Every year for the past few years, in May, I’ve gone to a spiritual event/retreat. Sometimes it’s relaxing. Sometimes, depending on what’s going on in my life, it isn’t.

This year, I wasn’t really looking forward to going because of some issues in my personal life that were taking most of my emotional bandwidth. I almost backed out of going at all, but I’d made some commitments I needed to fulfill during the event, and I don’t break commitments if I can help it. So I went.

One of my commitments was teaching a Chios Energy Healing Level 1 workshop. I’d done the workshop at this event before, a couple of years ago, and was looking forward to sharing Chios with more people. Although fewer people came than I’d hoped, the important thing was people came! And learned, and seemed interested. A few people later mentioned having wanted to go, but they weren’t able to because of scheduling conflicts. So hopefully I’ll be able to offer the workshop again next year.

Aside from that, I wasn’t able to put as much energy into the event as I usually do. My body decided to rebel against me, leading to my needing shuttle rides around the campground where the retreat is held and to my going to bed before 10 every night. (Usually more like 8. Which is earlier than I ever go to bed at home.) During whole-group activities, I had to sit down and observe for the most part, though I was able to take an active role in one.

I wasn’t happy about it. I seriously dislike not being in control of my body, and the pain and exhaustion were beyond my control. But at the same time, at least I was at the retreat. I was able to participate to some extent, and I had plenty of time to reset and relax. Maybe that’s *why* I was exhausted and in pain. Maybe it was the Universe’s way of telling me to use the retreat to slow down and rest for a while.

Sometimes that’s the way things go. If you don’t take the gentle nudges toward the best course for you, the Universe steps in and gives you a not-so-gentle shove.

I came home from the retreat feeling more positive than I had beforehand, and feeling more rested as well. And I’m looking forward to being there again next year.

How I Channel

I learned channeling from the same person from whom I learned Chios Energy Healing. The circumstances were a little different, though. I didn’t know anything about channeling, and definitely didn’t know it was something I was meant to do. Even though I’d known my guides since I was a very young child, I hadn’t spoken to one of them in a very long time, and had pretty much forgotten about him.

My introduction to channeling was through my mentor doing a channeling session for me with his guide, a being of light. What I didn’t realize was that this being was in communication with Shiva, my primary guide (the one I hadn’t spoken to in a very long time). It wasn’t exactly conspiring, though I teased them by calling it that for a while. Basically, Shiva felt I was ready for us to work together again, and wanted us to do so. So through additional channeling sessions and some training from my mentor in going into trance and allowing another consciousness to work through me, my mentor’s guide helped recreate the bond between Shiva and me.

Shiva is a being of light, and that took some getting used to for me. For one thing, I associated the name with the Hindu deity, and I damn sure wasn’t “good enough” to work with a deity. Once I got past the name thing, I didn’t believe I was “good enough” to work with a being of light either, though my mentor’s guide pointed out to me during another channeling session that I’d been working with him for six months at that point. (I said it was different; I wasn’t the one doing the channeling, and he wasn’t my guide.)

After a while, I got used to the idea, and began channeling for others. Over the years that I’ve done trance and relayed channeling, I’ve gotten some varying reactions.

For me, whichever type of channeling I’m doing, there is a noticeable energy shift in the room, just as there is when I do a Chios session. I get very warm, sometimes to the point of sweating. If I’m doing a trance channeling, I feel like I’m just kind of relaxing off to the side while Shiva speaks. In a relayed channeling, I’m the one speaking, but I feel like I’m not completely in the same world as my client; I’m kind of halfway between the “real” world and the off-to-the-side one.

For my client, it depends. When I did a channeling for the manager of one store where I’d hoped to offer the service to customers, Shiva gave her information about a situation she hadn’t talked about to anyone, and it freaked her out. She stood up so fast the chair almost fell over and said, “You aren’t allowed to channel here. You aren’t even allowed to mention it. Don’t ever do this again.” And then hurried away.

At another store where I was allowed to offer channeling, during one group session, one of the clients asked about her financial situation. Shiva responded by saying, “You’ll have the money for the center you’re planning.” She hadn’t told anyone–including her friend who was at the channeling with her–that she was hoping to open a holistic or retreat center within a few years. My mentor was also there, and told me afterward that the woman looked completely astonished, and then completely happy and at ease.

Some clients feel absolutely no change in the energy of the room. Some complain that the temperature is too high once Shiva is present. One employee at yet another store found the energy shift so intense that he had to leave the room. He was clear with me afterward that the energy was entirely positive, just very, very intense.

When I do a trance channeling, the voice coming out of me is different from my normal speaking voice. Shiva speaks more slowly, at a deeper pitch, and with an accent I haven’t been able to identify. This was one of the things that upset the manager at the first store I mentioned; she was expecting the voice to sound exactly the same as my usual one. (She was also conflating channeling and mediumship, and expected me to talk to her about her departed family members.) It can be a little weird if you aren’t anticipating it.

My eyes stay closed; because I am extremely visually oriented, Shiva believes that if he were to open my eyes, the visual input would distract me and I would end up breaking trance. And Shiva, since he isn’t and never has been human, doesn’t always hold back what he has to say. He can be very blunt, and while he has no wish to upset or hurt anyone–quite the opposite, actually–it doesn’t always occur to him that his bluntness might be upsetting to some. He also refers to me as “Ganatram,” a name he gave me a few of my lifetimes ago, which has confused some clients.

Image (C) 2006 Christopher S Harris. Since it’s my name–Ganatram–in Sanskrit, I was given permission at that time to use it.

During a relayed channeling, the only thing that changes is the energy in the room. I’m listening to Shiva speaking to me and then passing along what he says. I’m the one speaking, so it’s my normal speaking voice, though I do need to pause, sometimes longer than a client is comfortable with, to be sure I’m hearing Shiva correctly and conveying what he wants the client to know. My eyes stay open, because since I’m actively engaged in this form of channeling, I’m less likely to get distracted.

Relayed channeling can be more comfortable for the client, but it can sometimes be more difficult for me to be sure I’m speaking the correct information in a way that won’t upset the client but is still accurate to what Shiva is telling me. I prefer trance channeling, but I offer both services because my clients’ comfort level is more important than mine.

On June 3, I’ll officially be introducing channeling as a service of River Flow Healing. 30-minute sessions of either trance or relayed channeling will be available in person at Vita Therapia in Westford, MA, or online via Skype or Facebook video messenger. Email channelings, in which the client sends me 1-3 questions and I channel Shiva’s reply and send it back, will also be available. If you contact me at schedule@riverflowhealing.com by June 2, with “Channeling session request” in the subject line, you’ll receive 20% off your first channeling.

Who Are My Guides?

I’ve been connected with my guides (beings who work with me to help me find my way through my life and experiences) since I was a very young child. I’ve been told that it’s rare for someone to connect with their guides as early as I did. In my case, it was because the humans around me were either overtly dangerous to me, or those who were intended to protect me chose not to. I needed help and protection, and so subconsciously or unconsciously reached out for those things.

I was very fortunate. Many people who open to channeling and to their guides are permeable, which means that any being who chooses can connect to and communicate with them. Sometimes that results in them connecting with beings who are not what they claim to be, and do not have the person’s best interests at heart.

In my case, the beings who responded to my call were my genuine guides, and they put protective measures into place to prevent other beings from connecting with me. This makes me an impermeable channel, since only my own guides can connect with me unless I request otherwise, or another being receives consent from me and from my primary guide.

My earliest memory of my guides comes from when I was about three. Two of them manifested to me as “people” whom I called Big John and Little John. (Hey, I was three. Names weren’t my strong suit.) My parents called Big John and Little John my “imaginary friends.” I was very adamant in correcting them; my friends weren’t imaginary, they were just invisible.

Big John and Little John, whom I now know as Dominic and Blake (though they’ve given me other names to use for them over the years), are spirit guides. Once, they were human, but they completed the incarnations they needed in order to learn what their souls had come to learn. They stopped incarnating and instead took on the role of guides. Dominic and I knew each other in one of my past lives, which was his final lifetime as human, several hundred years ago. Blake hasn’t been quite as forthcoming with why he’s chosen to work with me.

When I was about four, “Jesus” came to play with me quite a bit. This wasn’t the Christian Jesus, nor was it the being some know as an ascended master. Nor, for that matter, is Jesus one of the names this being generally uses. I was brought up in a nominally Christian household. A being with extremely high energetic vibration, who manifested as protective, safe, and loving, wasn’t something I could conceive of outside the “Jesus” I’d learned about in church.

That being, who I now know as Shiva, though again he’s had other names, is my primary guide. He’s a being of light, which is one of the highest-vibration beings among those who choose to work with humans, and he’s the guide I channel.

Some pretty horrible things happened to me as a child. Although my guides protected me to the extent they were able, free will plays a role in beings’ dealings with humans. My soul chose certain lessons to learn and patterns to address in this lifetime, and certain events occurred because of those soul-level choices. Since I was unaware of these choices on a conscious level, I wasn’t able to ask my guides to help or protect me from the events, and without that request, they could only be with me, support me, and try to ensure that I survived. At times, they advised me on courses of action that might prevent trauma, but if I chose not to listen, they couldn’t do much else.

With each subsequent traumatic event, my energetic vibration decreased. In order to work with a being of light, a human has to have a proportionately high vibration. By the time I was seven or eight, my vibration was too low for Shiva to work with me safely. He never left, but he “stepped back” and observed and protected me from a distance, figuratively speaking, so his vibration wouldn’t become painful for me or cause me harm.

For nearly thirty years after that, I remained connected to and communicated with my other guides, often wondering why what I’d come to believe were imaginary friends (because that’s what I was told by everyone around me) didn’t disappear as I “outgrew” them. Then, around 2005, I became friends with a man who channeled; he was also the one who taught me Chios Energy Healing. Through channeling sessions with him and his guide, I learned techniques for raising my vibration, and his guide, working in concert with Shiva, restored the connection Shiva and I had had when I was a child.

It took work for me to believe I was “worthy” of channeling a being of light, and to be honest, sometimes I still struggle with that lack of belief in my worth. But he is my guide, though I’m not the only human with whom he works directly, and I did learn to channel him.

Beginning on June 3, Shiva and I will be offering relayed channeling and trance channeling services. We did this together over a decade ago, but then life, including raising my children, got in the way of my practices. I’m thrilled to be able to offer it again.

Channeling

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary reveals several different definitions of “channel,” both as a noun and as a verb. The one that’s most relevant to this post is, as a verb, “to serve as an intermediary for.”

Channeling is a skill with a long history. In ancient temples, those who were designated as priests or priestesses sometimes channeled the deity they served. It’s a skill that has met with suspicion and fear; often it’s confused with possession, and those who are able to act as channels are believed to consort with demons if not to be demons themselves.

In channeling, a human is serving as an intermediary, or a conduit, for a higher-vibration being. This being might be a deity, or at least at the same frequency as one. They might be a being of light, or a spirit guide, or an angel. When the human is channeling the being, they might be listening to the being speak to them and then relaying that information to others, or they might go into trance and allow the being’s consciousness to enter their body, enabling the being to communicate directly with other humans.

The trance channeling thing is one of the reasons channeling is sometimes conflated with possession. There are differences. Possession is often done against the human’s will, with an entity just deciding to take over, though even in those cases the human might subconsciously want it to happen. An entity that might possess a human doesn’t have anyone’s best interests in mind, except maybe their own, and isn’t likely to do or say anything that will give help or wisdom. And the possession ends when the entity decides it’s ready to leave–if it leaves at all. The human gets no say. No free will is involved on the humans’ part.

Trance channeling, on the other hand, is a cooperative effort between the human and the being. The human chooses to go into trance, and asks that the being’s consciousness enter them. The being generally won’t do this until the human specifically asks, and sometimes will even ask for additional confirmation from the human before actually entering them. The human can choose at any time to end the trance, which essentially ejects the being’s consciousness.

Beings who choose to be channeled do so because they want to work with humans to bring us to our highest benefit, both on an individual level and as a whole. Information they give is intended to bring wisdom and insight to guide the humans listening to that highest ideal. For most such beings, free will overrules everything. Some will refuse to answer certain questions because the answer might violate the questioners free will, and they may offer advice with the addition of something along the lines of “Of course, you don’t have to do what I say” (which is what one of my guides constantly says to me).

Some beings or collectives of beings work with and through any human with the ability and willingness. Other beings choose to work closely with only one or a few humans. Beings who are closely connected with a human are called that human’s guides, and they help to protect the human and guide them through their life. While not all beings choose to act as guides, all humans have guides. Many people are unaware of their guides, but have had the experience of hearing “a little voice in their mind” telling them to take or not take a certain action. That “little voice” is one of their guides.

For people who choose to channel, it’s important to take steps to make sure they’re doing so safely. I’m not an expert in that part of things, so my best advice is that if you’re interested in learning to channel, you do so under the instruction of someone who is experienced and legitimate. When you first try to connect with your guides, you leave yourself vulnerable to some of those not-so-benevolent entities, and so it’s unwise to try to make that connection on your own.

I’ve been connected with my guides since I was a very young child, and I’ve been channeling one of them since 2006. Next week, I’ll share specifics about my own guides and channeling practice. Beginning on June 3, I’ll be offering channeling sessions in person and online, as well as channeled messages via email.

Energetic Matches and Mismatches

Everyone has an energetic vibration specific to them. However, the frequency of that vibration can be the same as or very similar to other people’s. It can also be very different.

When you’re around someone whose vibration is much higher or lower than yours, it can be painful, emotionally and even physically. Have you ever been around someone whose very presences causes you to feel like you’ve been punched in the gut? That’s an energetic mismatch. Does someone cause you to feel uncomfortable or have another strong negative emotional reaction? Probably an energetic mismatch.

If you feel uncomfortable around someone, sometimes it’s referred to as having a good “people sense,” or good instincts. But the way you feel in someone else’s presence is determined in large part by their energetic vibration. Your “instinct” is your recognition of how they’re vibrating. The more sensitive you are to energy and emotions, the more strongly you’ll be able to feel this.

I’ve known people who took an instant dislike to me. In some cases, they disliked me on sight, before I even spoke a single word to them. Once we started speaking, they didn’t make much effort to hide how they felt.

On my part, around these people, I felt scared and as if something was shrinking me. My stomach ached. Breathing was difficult, and I was tense and on edge until I walked out of the setting.

There isn’t anything wrong with me. There probably wasn’t anything wrong with any of the other people. There was just a discrepancy between my vibration and theirs, and we reacted to it.

On the flip side, many of us have had the experience of meeting someone for the first time and feeling as if we’ve known them our entire life. There’s an instant comfort, and you feel safe and restored.

The sense that we’ve known someone our entire life might be due to having actually known their soul in a past life, but it’s also about the energetic vibration. The more connected to and comfortable with someone you feel right off the bat, the closer your energetic vibration is to theirs.

Obviously we can’t avoid people with whom we have a vibrational discrepancy. To do that, we would have to avoid the majority of other people, because there is a fairly small number of people whose vibrations are a match for one another. But when we’re choosing friends and partners, when we’re deciding whom to spend time with, we can choose to be with those whose vibration feels good to us.

Being around people who are a vibrational match for us benefits us in terms of emotional well-being, which can contribute to physical health. We feel more relaxed. We’ve probably found someone to whom we can talk when life isn’t going well, which helps lower our stress level because we can verbalize the stress and experience support and care. And the more time we spend with these people, the higher our own vibration goes, along with theirs, because you are fueling and supporting each other’s frequency.

Pay attention to how you feel around other people. Trust what you feel, and as much as possible, surround yourself with people who feel positive and beneficial to you. And work to raise your own vibration through means such as self-care, meditation, and energy healing so you can be a positive, beneficial person to others.

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.