Category: Positively Positive

What You Want vs. What You Get


Your mind listens to everything that you say. It will manifest whatever it is – good, bad or anything in-between – in vast amounts. In other words, if you have a mentality of abundance, you will have an abundance of it! The same is true for living in fear and a state of lack. That fear will feed on itself, as your mind is incredibly powerful. What you say to your mind, including positive affirmations, is important to shift your perspective away from a mentality of scarcity.


Our lives are manifest by words, and the words in your mind are what your consciousness is powered by. Everything starts with a single thought. The sequence of those thoughts is what makes the difference on how you manifest what you want.

Here’s a technique to begin creating a connection between words and affecting change in your life: Start with a thought, and then speak it out loud. For example, “I would like to meet people who can help me on my path to find a new job.” Don’t keep the thought in your head. The vibrations of words are very powerful. When you speak them out loud the energy of the Universe conspires to bring about manifestation.

Will these words magically bring what you want to your door? No – you have to go into action and have a plan, which is your way of meeting the Universe. If you take one step towards the Universe, it will take ninety-nine steps towards you.


If you find yourself always struggling with finances, relationships or another aspect of your life, somewhere in your subconscious there’s probably an internal script running that you’re not aware of, saying you’re not worthy to have money or love.

People repeat destructive patterns in their lives, which are almost always subconscious. It has nothing to do with being unlucky or doomed, and everything to do with something that you are doing or not doing.

The subconscious mind is like a library. It creates the language of your mind. Every event that has ever happened to you in your life is registered in your subconscious. The majority of people on the planet are being governed not by their conscious mind, but by what lies beneath. Your subconscious mind has all these ideas, thoughts and experiences that can be triggered.

We radiate out the energy that creates our reality. It may be hard to accept responsibility for your own actions, but YOU are the only one who can truly make your life better.

As hard as it can be, you must stop blaming other people, things and situations. It is draining you of the energy you need to funnel into your own life and zapping your ability to stay positive. There is a place for anger, if it makes an impression about what is acceptable to you, but once you acknowledge it, let it go.


It is time for you to take back your power, sit with your own set of circumstances and begin to look at how to create change. What can you do to manifest something for yourself? What can you do to manifest something that will become big enough to share with somebody else?

When it comes to creating the life you really want, your inner dialogue could be saying, “Hey, you’re not a worthwhile person unless you’ve got a big house, a nice car and 2.3 kids.” You may very well have heard some variation of that as you grew up, but if you blame your parents, or your teachers, or advertisers, or our society, you’re not going to be able to move toward your own abundance. Change has to start with you.


The practice of writing gratitude lists is a wonderful way to remind ourselves of what we have at this very moment, and how we can build on the happiness that appreciation, mindfulness and a positive outlook can bring us. There are many approaches to creating a gratitude list (daily, weekly, for yourself, as something to share, etc.) but finding what works for you can help define what abundance means in your life, and prompt you to take nothing for granted.

Writing down what you are grateful for allows you to hold a list in your hands, reflect on it, reread it, and save your thoughts. It can focus you “in the moment” and compel you to think about what you DO have, rather than what you don’t have. A list also clarifies what you can give away, because you have so much!

These are some of the topics and areas of life that your Abundance-Gratitude List can touch on:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Work/Relationships
  • Home, Food, Nourishment
  • The Environment – From the big (say, a waterfall) to the small (the song of a bird, a warm summer breeze)

Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives explore over 20 personal development books including Stop The Struggle, Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.

Image courtesy of Marcelo Chagas.

Your Child, Better Behaved in 3 Days

“Children equate being loved with the reality of when we are there for them – when we really show up. But traditional methods have us showing up so much more when there are problems. Conventional wisdom tells parents that the time to emit more energy – that is, more emotion, more facial expression, more volume, and more intense relationship – is when things are going wrong. That’s a mistake, and a big one, because it puts our powerful parental energy to work growing more of the behaviors we actually want to see less of. Why water weeds?” —  Howard Glasser

Kids are a bit like little geiger counters. They live for our emotional energy — positive or negative. So why, as parents, do we give most of our energy to what’s going wrong? Even when we do catch our child doing something right, look at the amount of energy that’s behind our responses to bad behavior (“How many times do I have to tell you?!“) versus our positive acknowledgments (“Good job, dear.”)

And we rarely give ourselves strokes for the hundreds of things we do right as parents. Instead, we berate ourselves for those times when we lose patience. But feeling bad inside doesn’t help us feel emotionally generous toward our children; it just makes us more likely to come unglued next time.

I know, it’s hard not to react negatively when you’re upset. But if you can stop watering weeds, and start watering flowers, you can transform your home into a garden. After all, what we focus on grows.

Try this experiment for three days:

Day 1.

Your goal today is to replenish your ability to be emotionally generous. Enthusiastically acknowledge everything you do right. Be your own cheerleader. When you miss your goal, offer yourself encouragement to get back on track.

Why are we starting with you? Because you can only give your child what you have inside. Fill your own cup first! And, of course, continue this practice on Day 2, as you focus more on your child.

Day 2.

Your goal today is to build connection with your child. Make sure he doesn’t have to “act out” to get your full attention. Show up with presence and respond with excited energy to every positive thing your child does. Set the bar low — make it easy for him to succeed by encouraging any progress in the right direction with positive feedback.

Give her a big hug when she wakes up in the morning… If he dawdles, move him along with connection and enthusiasm…. See if you can make breakfast calm and connected so you’re sending out positive energy… Thank her for handling the morning routine so beautifully, even though she does it every day… Tell him before school how much you’re looking forward to seeing him at the end of the day… When you’re reunited at the end of the day, spend some time laughing and roughhousing together…. Listen at dinner as she regales you with tales about her day…. Tell him you noticed how much effort he put into his homework… Tell her you noticed her being nice to her brother (even if the rest of the evening she wasn’t so nice) … Thank him for taking his bath with only one reminder… Tell them how lucky you are that you’re blessed to be their parent.

Can’t find anything good in what he’s doing? Even the most badly behaved child has moments of good behavior. Your job is to find them and give them positive energy.

You can also share positive memories:

  • “I was just remembering that time when you were so brave and…”
  • “Remember that time when your teacher was so impressed that you…?”
  • “You’ve always been the best at making your little sister smile. Why, I remember when…..”

By the end of the day, you should see your child blossoming — warming up to you and trying to cooperate. Not working? Maybe your child needs another day to believe you mean it.  Keep this up tomorrow, as you also begin changing your approach to transgressions.

Day 3.

Your goal today is to stop giving your emotional energy to your child’s challenging behavior. Of course she doesn’t always behave; she’s a child and still learning self-regulation. When she “misbehaves,” acknowledge her perspective as you set appropriate limits. Use a calm, warm, energetic tone in which your child can hear your engagement, even as you set limits. Connect before you correct. Remember to tell your child what they CAN do, not just what they can’t.

  • “It looks like you wanted your sister to move, so you pushed her. No pushing; pushing hurts. Say ‘Move please!’”
  • “Are you trying to tell your brother that you want to play, so you’re driving your car into his game? Your brother is saying he doesn’t want to play right now. Why don’t you drive your car over here to help me with this instead?”

Notice that you’re setting the limits that need to be set. But you aren’t giving negative energy to them. Instead, you’re using the opportunity to give your child the positive energy of loving guidance and redirection.

By the end of the week, if you keep up these three habits, you’ll see lots more of the behavior you’re giving energy to, and lots less of the behavior you aren’t giving energy to. You’ll notice more cooperation and affection from your child. You’ll feel more confident and energized as a parent.

And before you know it, your home will be blooming.

Dr. Laura Markham, founder of and author of The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life.

Image courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto.

It’s Time to Begin Your Life. By Design, Not by Default.

Life comes with so many difficulties. And even though life began for me 46+ years ago, I was living it like others wanted me to. I was living my life by default. So I’ve decided it’s time to begin my life again.

There are times in life when emptiness is all you know and you get to a point where you wonder if you are still alive. It’s a numbness which is paralyzing and caring about anything is difficult. You go through the motions, but it’s a prison sentence within your mind — and you believe it’s for life when you are in that moment.

But there are also times in life where everything is so good you wonder whether it’s real. Life seems to go exactly the way you want it to — and nothing could keep you from coming down from that feeling. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. You are happy.

Yet, many of us are just waiting for something bad to happen because we’ve learned that it never lasts. And when we do that, we fail to just be in the moment and enjoy that happiness.

I think maybe I’ve always been afraid of being happy — because I knew it wouldn’t last. So why even attempt it? Why allow myself happiness when disappointment was always right around the corner? I knew, just knew, the future held something bad.

But all it did was keep me from living the life I wanted. It kept me from designing my own life. So it’s time for me to begin making good things happen instead of waiting for bad things to happen.

What I’m learning is you have to design and define your life for yourself, not let life be designed and defined for you. Because if you don’t, your life will end up the default — which is living how everyone else does, not how you want.

Many of us have issues which keep us from living that designed life, too. We tell ourselves we aren’t _________ enough. Fill in the blank for whatever criticisms you have about yourself. I could fill several pages if I sat down and wrote out what I’m not enough of. But it would just be what I tell myself — because it’s not true. It’s my self-limiting beliefs, and it’s self-imposed. However, none of it is true. Neither are those blanks you fill in about yourself.

I have something in my life right now that, if I’m being honest, I’m scared about. I’m scared because I believe I will fuck it up — and I don’t want to. That’s what that default life has taught me. It’s taught me nothing good ever lasts and I can expect to be disappointed. But I’m done with that lesson. I will not let that fear keep me from being happy and in the moment. I will not let fear take away my vulnerability, and I will allow my armor I’ve built up to be taken off.

It’s okay to be scared — because that means you care about it, and those feelings are there for a reason. You can be scared all you want, but you have to do it anyway. That’s where growth comes from, and it’s how you become someone who doesn’t allow life to be defined for you.

You can wait your whole life wondering when your life will really begin. Or you can begin to make it happen on your own.

So it’s time to begin your life. By design, not by default.

Jeff Barton is a writer, ultra-runner, lover of books and zombies, a practitioner of positive thinking, and most importantly, a dad. Living and loving life one day at a time. You can find him at and

Image courtesy of Stefan Kunze.

Post Pandemic Rebirth

As we begin our passage to a post-pandemic world, could we all be in a process of rebirthing ourselves, like caterpillars going through a metamorphosis that transforms us into our butterfly selves? I actually think we might. That’s my sense of things lately. I find myself and other people I know and work with starting to come out of a difficult and even dark place. There’s a budding in process, not unlike the spring we’re all experiencing right now.

The weather, time and tone feels like we’re unfolding ourselves into the next version of who we are, and all within the context of this new post-pandemic world. And a lot has changed, something we’re all also grappling with in terms of meaning and what to do with this new information. I’ve found myself feeling fatigued and even sleeping more than usual. But I realize I have to roll with this experience because, as the world begins returning to a faster pace, I personally have to adjust to this new energy. It’s the reverse of what happened when the pandemic first hit. Remember that time? We had to slow down, stop seeing family and friends, stop going to work, out to restaurants, theater, sporting events, and we stopped traveling.

That process of adjustment took time, and this one of re-entry into our new realities is no different. It’s going to take time, and I already see I have to be gentle with myself as I adjust. And that’s not easy for a pusher like me. Yeah, I can admit that as not pretty as it is.

So what’s changed? Is life and the world we’re living in really all that different than it was one year ago?

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. The world is different. We’re different. And I believe we’re just now starting to get a sense of our new world, and who that new person is we’re seeing in the mirror when we wake up each morning.

I’m still brushing my teeth and flossing every morning. Okay, sometimes I miss the flossing part, but I’m working on it. And please don’t tell my dentist, he’ll have my head. There’s also the vanilla yogurt with fresh raspberries , blueberries, and a dash of my new life. Wait, how did new life get into my yogurt?!  I thought I ordered granola.

Ready or not, we’re all stepping into a new world, and it’s a place we’ve never been before. We’re actually people we’ve never been before. So, take a moment and really think about this. Who are you now? How have you changed? How has the world changed? And how do you want to show up in this new configuration of planet earth? And maybe even more or most important, how can you show up each day in a way that honors and cares for you and who you are now?

I don’t think there’s anything original about what I’m writing here, but rather I’m hoping in my asking questions, not only do I, but those of you reading this get to begin exploring and maybe even defining this newest version of you.

And isn’t it time for a new adventure? Haven’t you been trapped in your house for long enough? I’m getting on a flight this week to go see a dear friend of mine who I haven’t seen in over a year. It’s probably the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other for the past thirty years. Of course, that’s been the norm this past year. What’s not normal is the two of us. She’s different and so am I. My friend said she’s been thinking over some big changes and wants to share them with me. I have a few things to share as well about where I’m heading. Clearly change is afoot, and we’re going to have a lot to talk about.

How many of us will say the same thing to loved ones who we haven’t seen in a very long time? I’ve changed, you’ve changed, we’ve all changed, like a lot. And now we’re going to go about the process of rolling out what this change actually means and to the process of bringing it into our physical world realities.

As I said earlier, go easy. Be kind to yourself. Pace yourself. Give yourself time and space to unfold your new self, your new life, and your new way of being and interacting in the world. And remember, we’re all going to do this differently. Respect each other. Give yourself and those around you the dignity of their own process. It’s going to take some time to adjust, to break in these new shoes so to speak, and the process might hurt for a bit, but ultimately, it’s going to look and feel authentic for who we are now, in this new time and in this new place. Welcome here. We made it. Take a deep breath, acknowledge yourself, and know the universe has something beautiful in store for you. Just look to nature and what’s blooming around you. There’s a divine beauty and grace at play. Enjoy it all!

Barry Alden Clark is a writer and professional life coach. His work is focused on helping people live their best lives by acting as a guide for them to connect more deeply with their internal life force where creativity, purpose, and true freedom reside, while using humor, compassion, and kindness as hallmarks for the process of personal evolution. Recently Barry published his first book, “Living Life Now: Ingredients for Thriving In The Modern World,” now available on Amazon, and launched his new podcast “Living Life Now,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Music. You can reach Barry at

Image courtesy of Monstera.

Why Gratitude Affirmations Are More Important Than Ever

What are you thankful for? Have you used gratitude affirmations lately?

In a year like the one we’ve just had, these might be hard questions to answer.

But here’s the thing: When you’re going through challenging or uncertain times, that’s when practicing gratitude matters more than ever!

Gratitude allows you to completely transform your mindset and experience in an instant — no matter what is happening in your life or in the world around you.

So today I’d like to share some gratitude affirmations that will help you change your perspective and stay focused on the positive, so you can attract more of what you want into your life and less of what you don’t. 

What Is Gratitude, Really?

All right, now let’s take a moment to talk about what practicing gratitude actually looks like — and why it has such a powerful impact on your life.

Gratitude isn’t simply thanking whatever deity or divine force you believe in for everything that’s good in your life.

It’s about feeling a profound sense of thankfulness deep in your heart and realizing how incredibly fortunate you are to be alive, living the life that you have.

When you are able to feel this level of awe-filled appreciation in your heart and soul, something incredible happens.

A powerful sense of positivity bubbles up inside you, lifting your mood and spirits.

It awakens a sense of joy or even bliss that raises your energetic frequency and allows you to put more positive vibes out into the world.

These powerful vibes resonate with other people and things that are vibrating at the same high frequency as you are, allowing you to attract more high-vibe people and opportunities into your life.

Suddenly all of the difficult things in your life lose their power over you. They’re still there, but they’re no longer overwhelming or anxiety-inducing.

They’re just something to be dealt with. Something you know you CAN deal with and successfully overcome.

And all of this can happen in an instant!

How to Practice Gratitude

That’s the power of gratitude for you.

But wait a minute Jack, you might be thinking. How can I feel that kind of gratitude when there are so many terrible things happening in my life? 

I just lost my job. My partner and I just broke up. I have bills coming due that I can’t pay and my kids aren’t talking to me! What do I have to be grateful for?

No matter how terrible your life may seem, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

This isn’t just a self-help cliché … it is a very real and powerful truth.

Consider your life as it is right now.

You’re watching this video on some sort of electronic device. Your computer or a smartphone.

That’s something to be grateful for!

It’s incredible that we such powerful technology at our disposal.

Imagine traveling back in time 50 years and telling people in the 1960s that we would one day have hand-held computing devices that were more powerful than the building-sized ones they used in NASA back then!

We humans are incredibly skilled at making our most ambitious dreams a reality.

That’s something else to be grateful for!

Now consider where you are. Are you sitting in your own house or apartment? Do you have a roof over your head?

Do you share your home with people or pets that you love?

These are all incredible things to be grateful for!

Or maybe you’re sitting on a bus or a train. If so, aren’t you lucky that your town or city has a public transit system?

Again, that’s something to be grateful for!

Or how about the clothes you’re wearing. Are they keeping you warm and comfortable?

That’s something to be grateful for!

Someone worked hard to make those clothes you’re wearing right now. Which is something else you can be grateful for!

Now think about your body. Is it relatively healthy and pain-free? Does it have the strength and energy to take you where you need to go and complete the tasks you need to complete?

That is something to be HUGELY thankful for!

How about the community in which you live, or the natural environment around you?

Or the shoes that you own, the car that you drive, the food in your fridge, or the people in your life who love you and bring joy into your world?

Or the people who write the books and create the TV shows and movies and video games that keep you entertained?

Or the musicians who write songs that bring tears to your eyes because they’re so beautiful?

Or the hot water that allows you to take cleansing showers and relaxing baths, or the healthy drinking water and fresh and delicious food you have access to?

These are all incredible things to feel grateful for!

The fact is, no matter how many so-called “bad things” are happening in your life, there are countless things you have to be grateful for.

And when you focus on them and cultivate a deep appreciation for everything that’s good in your life, you will liberate yourself from negativity and feel much greater joy and contentment on a day-to-day basis.

And that joy and contentment will give you the faith and motivation you need to solve whatever problems are currently troubling you so you can get back to living your best life!

Your Morning Gratitude Affirmations

So now I’d like to teach you some gratitude affirmations that you can make part of your daily routine to help you cultivate a deep and lasting appreciation for everything that is good in your life.

Every morning, as soon as you wake up, and every evening, before you go to bed, I encourage you to repeat the following to yourself:

  • I am grateful for this moment. 
  • I am grateful for my dreams, and for knowing that I can achieve anything I set my heart to. 
  • I am grateful for my challenges because I know they are helping me become the person I’m meant to be. 
  • I’m grateful for all of the people in my life who help me understand who I want to be in the world, as well as who I aspire not to be. 
  • I am grateful to be alive and experiencing my life exactly as it is, with all of its ups and downs.
  • I am grateful for person I am becoming, and the incredible future I am creating. 

Gratitude Affirmations for Success

If you repeat these gratitude affirmations to yourself at least once or twice a day, I guarantee you will find it much easier to maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated toward your goals.

You might also want to take the time every morning or evening to write down ten things you are grateful for that day, so you are better able to remember everything good that happen in your life.

For additional gratitude affirmations practices and resources, download my free Affirmations for Success Guide. You’ll discover guidelines for creating effective gratitude affirmations and easy-to-use templates for creating your own.

Remember, what you focus on grows.

So the more you focus on everything good that happens in your life, the better your life will be!

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.

And Then This Is How I Changed My Life This Weekend

I wanted to do something I had never done before.

I wanted to do something creative.

I wanted to plant a seed that could turn into something both artistic and lucrative.

With a friend, we outlined a story based on mutual interests of ours and some of my life experiences.

And then I wrote a screenplay from beginning to end in one weekend.

I love exploring new subcultures.

I’ve been involved in many slices of life over the past thirty years. For me, a new subculture is both an escape and a passion.

When you combine escapes with passions, money is a side effect. And love is a side effect.

I took two high-stakes subcultures: the hedge fund business, which I was involved in for about 15 years.

And the standup comedy world, which I first tasted twenty years ago but have been more active in in the past 1-2 years and probably obsessively in the past year. (I performed Saturday and Tuesday).

[Much more on this in a future article].

Also in the past few years several “high stakes” things have happened to me. Shaken me to the core. SHAKEN!

Forcing me always to apply my own advice to myself rather than to just stupidly just give it. To experience my own believes again and again.

Divorce. Money. And throwing out everything I own plus spending years moving from AirBnB to Airbnb.

Why did I move from Airbnb to Airbnb? I don’t really know. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of owning anything. I wanted to have everything taken care of.

I wanted to be a voyeur on everyone’s life. I wanted to explore new places and neighborhoods as much as possible.

But because I did this for years, 100s of stories (both bad and good) have happened to me. From the horrific to the amazing coincidence, to just simply the amazing.

[More, more, and more on this in future articles].

It reminds me of Rutger Hauer’s monologue in his death scene in the first Bladerunner:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. … I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

And yes, I’m comparing myself to Rutger Hauer and Bladerunner. I give myself permission.

A friend of mine gave me advice recently. “It’s time to stop with the Airbnbs,” she said, “It’s creepy”.

We’re having lunch today. She’s saved my life before. So lunch is on me! Big spender!

So I wrote all of the above down in two equations:

Two high stakes subcultures:

hedge fund word + comedy world == X

Two high stakes life situations:

divorce + extreme minimalism == X

Math problem: solve for X!

It turns out X is a story.

So with a friend we outlined every scene in a story from beginning to end. That was Saturday.

In every scene we jotted down the situation, the characters, the location, and ideas on dialog.

We kept writing dialog down until we laughed.

Then Sunday we each wrote a script from beginning to end and then merged them scene by scene.

In two days we went from laughing and brainstorming random ideas to coming up with all the scenes to finished (first draft) screenplay.

I had never read a book about screenwriting before. I had never written one before. I’ve read 100s of screenplays when I worked at HBO.

And I advise on a TV show [more on that in an article in April].

But I never wait for permission to do anything. Ready. Fire. Aim.

We had a few rules when mapping out the scenes.

– The first few scenes had to introduce every character, location, and problem / tension.

– Each scene had to be funny. Could be dark. But also funny.

– Each scene had to move main character (and potentially minor characters) forward.


And we wanted most of the scenes to take places in locations where I would want to spend my time.

Seinfeld gave this weird piece of advice on Norm McDonald’s podcast: “Make a TV show where people want to hang out in the locations”.

I have never heard that before.

If I could make myself laugh in each scene, then chances are someone else would as well.

We used a site called celtx to merge the scripts as we both worked on them on our own on Sunday.

We mapped out how the entire season 1 of the story could work, with one line each to describe each basic story. We mapped out a season 2 as well.

We figured out all the ways we could market the show, mostly using my own social media.

We also figured out how we could shoot it ourselves if nobody else liked it, which is always possible. This “evil plan” is what I always call my Choose Yourself strategy.

Without a Choose Yourself strategy in every life situation, you give too much power to others in a worst-case scenario.

Whenever I don’t give myself a “Choose Yourself” strategy I end up being unhappy. End up being sad.

Then I gave the script to several people to see all the parts where they laughed out loud. Then Monday I sharpened up dialogue. I’ll do that every day until it’s ready. No rush.

Someone told me the Farrely Brothers were once given this advice: don’t say you are “trying” to do a movie. Say you are “doing” a movie.

I’m doing a scripted TV sitcom.

Will it get done? I don’t care.

I was able to exercise my idea muscle by coming up with ideas for each scene. Ideas for each character. Ideas for each piece of dialog.

This is the Mental part of the Daily Practice I often write aboutThe “10 ideas a day” every day .

For me: when I exercise the idea muscle, it only gets stronger.

Will it get done? For 20 years I’ve built up a 1000 connections in this business.

Connections aren’t email addresses. Facebook friends aren’t Siamese twins.

Connections are people I would do any favor for who, I assume, would do any favor for me.

And I was able to do this with a friend. We had so much fun it was a pleasure.

This is the Emotional part of the Daily Practice I often write about.

Will it get done? I have personal experience in everything I wrote about plus the marketing skills to make something happen.

Will it get done? Knowing I wanted to do a good job on this I made sure I slept well, ate well, exercised, got into shape so I would be as creative as possible.

This is the Physical leg of the daily practice I often write about.

The mind, the body, my relationships, are always linked together. When one is bleeding or leaking energy, the entire “body” collapses.

Will it get done? I don’t even care. It doesn’t matter to me. I could die tomorrow.

I will never mortgage my present in exchange for future fantasies.

This is the Spiritual side of the daily practice I often write about.

Why even write about this process before I do anything with it? What if it never happens (which is likely)?

Because Process is Art.

Because I already did something with it. I wrote it. And I wrote it using all of the ideas I’ve written about for years.

If it fails or succeeds from here, I’ll write about that also.

It already got done. Because this weekend I loved every minute of it. Because, I don’t know … “tears of rain”.

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Min An.

Lessons from an Errant Rocket Ship

From time to time, it’s good to be reminded of your insignificance. Last week provided an opportunity in the form of a Chinese rocket that was falling to the earth.

Perhaps you heard about it. Thankfully, all was well in the end, but until it landed, no one knew where the rocket would touch down. It could have been anywhere on earth! Just think about it: for all the advances of science and technology, we had no idea where on the entire planet a rocket would decide to return.

Of course, this could also serve as a reminder of mortality: a something could crash on our heads at any given time with no warning. Surprise! But to me, that point—which some media reports focused more on last week—is less interesting. Sure, rockets could fall on our heads, but such incidents are pretty far down on the list of freak accidents.

The greater point is that even considering all of the smart people in the world who know about such things, no one has answers to some pretty important questions, such as where an errant, fast-moving rocket might choose to show up.

What does this suggest? To me it suggests three things.

1. It’s a small world (after all).

Planet Earth seems quite large to most of us as we go about our days, coordinating meetings on different time zones or looking forward to the days of long-distance travel resuming. But when a rocket ship reenters the earth’s atmosphere, it has first dibs on where it wants to land: no ocean, continent, or land mass is off limits. Not only that, it doesn’t even have to tell us in advance what it decides!

Just as time is short, the world is small. Combine the two and you end up with the most basic facts of life: we have a brief time to spend in a small space.

2. Big problems for humanity are still out there, waiting for someone to solve them.

How did the smartest people in the world not have any idea where a rocket would land? I wonder if a physics student (or a philosophy student, who knows) will be inspired by the errant rocket landing and decide to start working on this problem. Imagine the thought process: Weird, I guess no one’s figured that out before. Maybe that can be my thesis project.

And then they go on to not only write a thesis but also solve the problem of random rockets landing randomly. Wouldn’t that be a pretty great achievement?

Presumably, there are many other important, unresolved problems like this one, just waiting for the right person to get to work.

3. Random events—like rockets falling from the sky—can inform our lives in a non-random way.

Maybe we should take life more seriously, because it’s so precious—or maybe it should be less seriously, because we have so little control over it.

I find myself going back and forth between these two perspectives. On the “more seriously” side, I tend to ask myself questions like these on a regular basis:

  • What is the single most important thing you should do today?
  • How much of your time are you filling with unimportant things?
  • What is your moonshot goal?
  • What really matters, right now?

And on the “less seriously” side, I tend to remind myself of a basic principle:

Let go of what you can’t control—and once you think you’ve done that, let go of more, because you are still overestimating what you have control of.

That’s pretty much the whole process for the “less seriously” side: let go, and then let go of more.

Putting It Together

How to reconcile these seemingly divergent perspectives? I don’t think the answer is “somewhere in the middle,” because that’s a) too obvious, and b) boring. The better answer is: both are true, simultaneously.

Speaking of scientists and philosophers, there’s a good chance that free will is an illusion—but who cares? If true, there’s nothing we can do about it, just like we can’t (currently) predict or influence what happens when a rocket falls from the sky.

To me, the greater lesson is that we should live bolder and take more risks, whether or not we’re “deciding” or merely following a neurologically predetermined path.

We should identify and spend time on important problems, because those errant rocket trajectories aren’t going to solve themselves. When you aren’t sure what to do, however, it’s usually better to do something than to remain stuck. Sometimes the process leads to an unforeseen outcome.

This is true because even though the planet is tiny and a rocket could land anywhere, it is still a pretty beautiful planet, and the rocket isn’t landing on your head today. Hopefully, at least.

Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.

Image courtesy of Kindel Media.

Eating Healthy Is an Act of Self Love

It’s impossible to talk about the importance of self-love and not talk about nutrition. Cue the groaning, but healthy eating doesn’t have to mean eating grass! Feeding your body with healthy, nutritious food is a form of self-love.

This is one of the more important things to focus on if you want to commit to a life of loving your body, and your whole self by extension. Food is energy, and if you feed your body with unhealthy foods, you’ll feel weighed down and stagnant. All those positive goals you might have cannot be reached if you’re not also fueling your body with whole foods (and lots more water).

I’ll preface all the upcoming advice with a reminder that it’s important to do all things in moderation. It’s more than okay to still indulge in that favorite pasta dish, or a baked good, or even a cocktail. It’s all about finding the healthier balance for you- and trying new ways to switch out those sweet and salty favorites with cleaner choices for your body.

You may be wondering how practicing self-love equates to changing your eating habits.

Our bodies are wonderful things, that can run on pretty much anything for a good amount of time, but over time, if you’re making too many unhealthy choices it starts to affect more than just your physical form. Eating too much sugar, or processed foods, or drinking too much soda or juice affects blood sugar levels, vitamin and mineral levels, and energy levels. The right, or wrong diet, can greatly affect how you sleep and how your body feels and how you can recover  on a daily basis as your body regenerates cells night after night.

If you find yourself craving certain foods, it’s usually your body calling out for a vitamin or mineral, or protein or fat. If you struggle with anxiety- add foods rich in magnesium like avocado, nuts, and fish like salmon. High stress depletes the body of all kinds of vitamins- so adding foods rich in vitamins B, C, and E can help your body combat stress. Loving your whole self means feeding your physical body what it needs so that you can spend everyday being your healthiest self. It means fueling your body with more whole foods and less processed foods.

Yes, this means increasing your fruit and veggie intake, and drinking more water and less soda. It means looking at your schedule and your life- and identifying where you can make smarter choices. Do you have time where you can try out meal prepping even a few meals a week- so you have a chance to cook healthier options? If you do take-out for lunch, is there somewhere new you can visit near your home or work that has a menu chock full of whole foods?

I’m a giant believer in the power of incorporating fresh pressed juices, smoothies, and herbs into your routine. If you love to drink teas and tonics, there’s so many great recipes that you can make at home to drink all week long. I frequently post recipes for teas, tonics, and fresh juices on my social media pages. It’s so incredibly fun to try out new recipes!

It helps me to stay on track with making healthier food and beverage choices when I think about what an incredible gift this body of mine is. The things the human body does on a moment-by-moment basis is truly remarkable when you stop to think of it- so celebrate being alive by feeding your body with food it needs- and the nutrients it needs!

Lastly, make sure you also increase your movement! Take a walk, try out some yoga, find a fun exercise routine on YouTube, anything to get your limbs moving helps lead to a healthier body. Find something that works for you, and you’ll be more inclined to stick with it!

Show your body some love, you deserve it!

In Gratitude,


Robin Lee is a medical intuitive, author, mentor, gratitude advocate, and speaker who has helped thousands of people around the world understand the language of their bodies. Robin believes that our bodies innately know how to balance and heal themselves if given proper care and support. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares tips, tools, and techniques to honor our bodies and heal our lives!

Image courtesy of Nathan Cowley.

The Way Out of Codependency Is Choosing Yourself First

Many people struggle with people-pleasing patterns in relationships. Seeking validation and approval from others is a common way this works to deteriorate both relationships and self-worth. This kind of codependency causes difficulties and problems in all areas of life.

What can you do to get out of codependency to have healthy and whole relationships? You must learn how to be first with yourself.

Ending codependency is about breaking behavioral energy patterns.

The ways you exude codependent tendencies are going to change. Especially as you work through a healing process of self-love. Because that unworthy root is deep down inside you. And it has been there for a long time.

The more I study self-help, personal development, and self-Love the more I learn that this is a process. It takes your life to conquer.

This is comforting to know and embrace

After realizing that some of the worst relationship pain I’ve had was/is caused by my own codependent patterns, I can let go of bitterness and resentment against others. It’s in taking responsibility for yourself, your patterns, and your lack of self-love where real healing takes place.

This was one of the key principles taught in my book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole. In the pit of despair and the hell of heartbreak, when you feel completely unworthy and are full of rejection, self-pity kicks into high gear. It’s one of the causes of blame, resentment, bitterness, and deep complaining.

Which still requires a focus and intention practiced daily. It’s a matter of growing in self-awareness and being mindful of your own individual tendencies.

Many of these tendencies are patterns you’ve been doing since early childhood. They were modeled to you by your parents, teachers, peers, and cultural programming. You watched other people behave in ways that were unhealthy, dysfunctional, and even toxic.

How codependency began during your early years

In your early childhood development, typically age 0-8, you have no filter on what’s healthy or not. You’re a human sponge. So whatever you learn you absorb into your mind and subconsciously believe that to be true.

This is why so much of our adult lives (in the realm of personal growth and healing) are to undo the patterns of our childhood. As we grow, we reshape our energy to flow in the frequency of health, wholeness, and Love.

One element of codependency is a people-pleasing attitude. You aren’t settled unless you feel like everyone else’s needs and wants are taken care of. You’ll go way out of your way to try to make them feel good, or not experience discomfort.

As I’ve grown in overcoming life-long codependent tendencies, I’m still seeing places in my life where these patterns pop up.

One is a needy attitude that can come through when I feel specific people’s level of discomfort. These specific people are those who are in my closest physical proximity, and also those I have the closest relationships with.

I can find myself wanting to make sure that they’re ok, even getting to where I ask that question “Are you ok?” repeatedly.

It’s annoying. I know it’s annoying because I feel it in my bones when I reflect on my day. It annoys me to be in this place where I’m overly concerned that someone else is feeling well, which they usually are.

But overthinking and codependent tendencies can limit my ability to see correctly and get out of my own head.

Why we get in our own way in relationships

These dysfunctional patterns are huge contributors to that.

While I was modeled these patterns and adopted them into the way that I operate unconsciously, it’s my responsibility to change them. And no one else’s.

Which means there’s no one to blame for my codependent nature. There’s no one to judge. There’s no one to be upset with.

Not even with myself. It’s responsibility and grace, not blame or judgment.

When you practice this way of treating yourself with grace, your energy shifts.

It’s one of the key methods of practicing self-Love that truly transforms you. It all begins with keen awareness.

I have found myself being needy in my texting conversations at times. The little emojis that we can put on texts received as a way to say “I Love this” or “That’s right!” or “That’s funny” can make codependent folks like me long for that kind of response to every message.

Do you find yourself wondering why someone will heart a series of your text messages and then not do anything, not even reply?

There’s some codependency in that behavior pattern. Whether you want to recognize it or not.

Because ultimately our relationships thrive when there is complete freedom in them. But if you have this need to receive a certain kind of reply without feeling like the connection is still strong, you’re operating from codependency.

It’s at least worth digging into through reflection and soul-meditation. Checking with yourself, your higher power, and GOD (aka Almighty Love) to ask if your patterns are codependent or healthy is a great way to do this. Listen to what response you get.

What do you do if you have codependent tendencies?

One thing about these types of patterns is that they are teachers and indicators. Like the warning or notification lights in your car that tells you that you need to check your tire pressure, change your oil, or you’re running low on fluids. These patterns can reveal places inside your life where you aren’t showing yourself the Love you deserve and need.

When a part of you doesn’t feel Loved, it whines out in different ways. Awareness and reflection will help you see areas of your life where this is prevalent. Or where you have a tendency of behaving this way.

Neediness can be off-putting, especially if it continues over a long time. We want to be around people who are strong in themselves, who operate out of confidence and self-assuredness.

They don’t need anything from anyone else and it’s just easy to be around them. They’re also people who are generally relied on more because their inner strength sends out a frequency of stability that everyone is drawn to.

When you are someone who is constantly putting everyone else’s needs and concerns over your own well-being, you’re emitting a frequency pattern that is draining and suffocating. It can be difficult to be around, even when you’re with people who love you with their whole hearts.

That’s why it’s important to check in with yourself

And when you find yourself operating with a needy vibe, step back and affirm yourself with love.

It’s your responsibility to fill your spirit, heart, mind, and body with the LOVE energy you were born from.

The source of Love that is GOD is where this Love comes from. Tap into it. Be filled to overflow. Then give to others from the overflow.

Image courtesy of ThisisEngineering RAEng

Codependent tendencies and patterns are teachers

These patterns show you where your measure of inner Love is at. Fill up your tank. Go to GOD and ask for Love. Go to yourself and reaffirm who you are. “I am Love” is a powerful affirmation to bring Love energy into your being.

Don’t just say the words. Get in the energetic field of Love. Think of someone you love more than anything. Feel the love you have for them in your heart, in your body. Let that feeling take over. Give that feeling of Love to yourself.

Practice feeling the immenseness of deep love and practice giving to yourself. Feel this deep love as you proclaim “I am Love. I am one with Love. Only Love is inside of me. My cup overflows with Love from GOD and makes me awesome!!!”

Say these affirmations out loud, with absolute certainty in their truth. Feel them!

This is how you heal your heart and refill your tank of Love. Do the proactive work of healing your energy to get into the vibration of Love and out of the negative space of desperation, where toxicity can derail your relationships and your well-being.

As you enjoy the overflow, the feelings of unworthiness and codependency are stripped away of their power.

And only Love remains.

*Originally published on

D Grant Smith is known as the Growth Farmer, which means he has an old-fashioned approach to living a whole & healthy life. Get his free ebook called Love Is The Seed To Success, that gives help in healing relationships and growing healthy ones. His new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole is about the journey into self-love and self-care after heartbreak and personal loss. He’s an empowerment superhero who would love to give you encouragement so feel free to reach out!

Feature image is custom-made from using free images.

Why Feeling Your Feelings Is Not Enough

So often when we experience a difficult emotion we hear: just feel it.

I mean, I work as an Embodiment Coach, I myself, say it to my clients all the time! And I give myself the very same advice also, because yes, it is true:

Feeling it is healing it.

But, there is a trap that many people miss.

When people speak of feeling it, they mean a very skillful way of feeling. That skill is something that can’t be really learned, at least not through the mind. It is something that emerges in us as a result of our experience and growing maturity.

That skill has much to do with kindness and compassion.

Often when people start getting into the business of healing and opening up and realizing there are emotions and physical sensations inside of them that they were previously not aware of, they get excited about feeling it all!

Ah, now I know what I have to do (says the mind), I just feel it and it goes away! Let’s get to business!

If only it was that easy.

The problem here is that it too often becomes just another strategy for the mind to control the experience and to protect itself from the very feeling it thinks it is feeling.

Being simply aware of the physical sensations and the experience we are having is only the first step of the equation.

The second one is to allow ourselves to be touched by them. And that…. is something we cannot make happen. We can’t force it.

It happens by grace.

It happens by us having run around in circles often enough to start catching on that despite all our effort, the feelings we are struggling with, are still there. And that we are still struggling with them.

Resistance can be very subtle indeed. We may think we are doing it right, but if there is no shift in our experience, then we are still in resistance. (Which by the way there is nothing wrong with either. It’s ok to be in resistance, it just might not be so pleasant, that’s all.)

So what do we do then?

The entry point to go deeper is to be really honest with yourself.

Are you suffering or not? Are you at ease with yourself or not?

(And here, we need to make it even more clear that suffering also means ‘being numb’. If you are not feeling connected to your heart, you are suffering even if you wouldn’t call it that.)

And the second step is to acknowledge all that you have tried already to bring yourself out of suffering.

That includes all your strategies: your meditations, visualizations, your mindfulness, your trying to feel it, your trying to scream it out, your writing and talking about it, or whatever it is that you do to help you shift a difficult state.

When you can just sit with the fact that you have tried hard, you gave your all, brought all your tools online, and it still hurts, then right there, there is an opportunity, a little crack in your minds’ ideas about what should happen and how it should feel like.

That little crack is the dawning of humbleness, which comes from acknowledging our limitations. When we get to the point of understanding that we are indeed oftentimes helpless to our experience, our heart starts softening towards this continuous struggle that we have been in.

Compassion begins to arise as we start feeling the pain that comes from our endless resistance to our direct experience.

(And we all are to some degree in resistance to what is. This is just how the mind works. So no point making yourself wrong for it.)

One cannot trick the process.

If it has happened to you, then you know that it was so different than what you imagined it to be. It cracked you wide open. And you were able to truly feel. Not just think that you are feeling. Actual energy started moving and you felt different.

And as it opened you, something in you shifted, because you surrendered your ideas and with that your struggle.

Something in you softened.

And that’s the third part of feeling yourself on a deeper level: softening.

We cannot push the heart to open.

We can only soften our grip and then soften some more. And when you thought you did so enough, soften even deeper. That’s when you start seeing how much you have actually been holding on. And hopefully understanding, that this process is not done overnight.

It’s a gradual practice. It’s the cultivation of a skill, one that you have most likely not been taught by your family, nor by school or society. Nor are you being encouraged by the majority of people to do so now.

So let yourself off the hook. Celebrate yourself for even trying. And remember one thing:

If your inner work doesn’t bring a gentle smile towards yourself, you are pushing too hard.

So smile a little more at the part that wants to get it all right. It’s an innocent part, it simply doesn’t know any better. All you can do is be kind to it.

Kasia Patzelt works as an Embodiment Coach and is passionate about integrating our spiritual experiences into the here and now of daily life aka how to be truly heart intelligent. She is a writer on Medium and works one-on-one with people online or on the magic island of Ibiza, where she lives.

Image courtesy of Cory Dupree.