Tag Archives: Positive

The Power of Looking Fear in the Eye


A common fear amongst writers and other creative sorts is pouring your heart and soul into your latest masterpiece only to have it ripped apart by way of criticism and negative feedback. This is especially true in the digital arena where people often sling mud at strangers from behind their keyboards without batting an eye. I’ve seen this fear actually paralyze many talented artists from really going for their dreams and putting their work out there. In my own writing, I used to find myself playing it ridiculously safe, careful not to stir the pot too much or offend anybody. Continue reading

The Most Basic Guide to Affirmations


There are infinite schools of thought as to how good things happen in a person’s life.
Maybe that person is just extra good.
Maybe they believe it, so it happened.
They made a deal with the Devil.
They made a deal with God.
They were lucky.
The sun lined up with Jupiter just right and the full moon was in retrograde.

I’m not a scientist, so I can neither confirm nor deny the power of the moon in retrograde, but I do know that the practice of positive affirmation isn’t a wasted one. There is something to having hope, faith and love. Believing for the best has the power to rewire your brain and help you finally put a stop to the things we are usually eager to leave behind.

Dr. Arlene Taylor specializes in speaking on brain function and she had some very interesting things to say about the best way to get your brain to respond:

According to the dictionary, the word affirm means to validate and to state positively. Practically, this defines a nurturing communications style; one in which you talk to yourself and to others in a positive manner. In general, “positives” are more powerful than “negatives.” Positives are a one-step process that creates a picture that you want the brain to follow. Negatives, on the other hand, require a two-step process. Words such as don’t are meant to convey do the opposite of the picture that was just created in the brain. This is often difficult for a mature brain to figure out and may be virtually impossible for the immature brain to compute.It might feel silly at first, but let me encourage you to speak affirmations out loud.

-Dr. Arlene Taylor, “What Does Affirmation Mean?”

Much like we do, our brains respond best to a positive environment with clear, direct communication.

What do you want?
Say them. Audibly.
It doesn’t have to be for an audience but it’s important that you AND your brain gets the message about what you’re going for.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to the words you choose, no magic spell.
So again, what do you want?
Put those desires together in a clear and direct sentence.

I am awake and alive. I have all the energy I need for today.

I am capable and strong enough to face the challenges that come my way.

I can form habits that are beneficial and long-lasting.

Choosing happiness is something I can and will do everyday.

Where are you in your life right now?
What would you like to see come into your life or change?
That’s a great place to start.
Speak what you would like to see.
Speak what you would like your brain to agree with instead of agreeing with things that aren’t necessarily any more true-

That you aren’t smart enough, likeable, pretty, strong, able.
That good things will never happen for you.
That you aren’t good enough.
That you just aren’t the kind of person who gets what they dream of.

Stop agreeing with those things consciously or subconsciously.
You are able and you are enough.
So say it.

How to Appreciate the Gift of Kindness

By Yael Kaufman

If I told you that each individual in this world was part of the same world, you wouldn’t disagree with me. It’s a fact. We all live here. Perhaps in different places, definitely in different time zones, and without a doubt bearing different perspectives and opinions.

But we’re all part of the same world. You agreed to this. Let’s run with it.

Like any part of a whole, what one part does affects the rest. Right?

If each of us is part of this whole world, then the things we do affect each other, too. That means…the strangers on the street, every passerby on your way to work, the barista at your favorite coffee shop, and the list goes on.


To create a more tangible and digestible image…let’s imagine that each individual is connected to every other by a thin piece of fiber and together we make up a web (a huge one, at that). Every action you do creates a slight pull in some sort of direction, gently shifting every other member of the web. You didn’t realize you had that much power, did you? It might not be noticeable. Sometimes these things can create massive shifts and sometimes a shift so gentle it’s barely felt and definitely not plainly visible. But the shift happens.

We all lead busy, bustling lives. There are always so many things that occupy our minds and our bodies. We spend most of our lives distracted by one thing or another, so much so that we’re rarely in the present. But we also spend a ton of time focusing on ourselves as individuals, which is nothing to be ashamed of. This just means we’re concerned with how we’re living our own lives, how things are affecting us, and sometimes we lose sight of that massive external world we’re so connected to.

If you were to look at yourself in the mirror and see little pluses and minuses floating around inside the shell of your figure, you would probably think something along the lines of, “I should definitely work to turn those minuses into pluses.” Because we want to be happy. If it was as simple as drawing a little vertical line onto those minuses, how many of us wouldn’t do it? Practically none. That’d be silly.

If every person was a little plus or minus floating around our world, or communal body if you will, and it was just as easy to change the minuses into pluses…would you do the same for them as you would for yourself? I don’t know if you would, but it’s something to think about. We are all connected. We are each part of one, large external body. The more negatives in our communal body, the more we will be weighed down as a whole. We have a duty to the world just like we do to ourselves, to try and make it as positive as it can be.

The first step is realizing you have the power to do it.

“Change” might seem daunting. When people hear about “changing the world” they think of massive organizations and movements, things like ending world hunger and genocides and wars. Things that seem so much bigger than us that we easily cower before them and go on our merry ways. But it doesn’t have to be like that, you know. Change doesn’t have to mean something huge or even medium-sized. It can occur through small shifts. These add up. These make a difference, too. And these are easy and attainable, for everyone.

I told you before how much power you had–the push and pull you effectively can cause. And I also told you just now that it’s very easy to pull parts of the web out of the negative and into the positive (minuses into pluses)…and that this kind of shift will benefit everyone. So, how?

We can do this through the gift of kindness.

I call it a gift because it’s essentially something we are all handed, free of charge, and there are no negatives that come along with it. There’s no fine print. Giving kindness provides happiness, for the giver and the receiver. That’s it. How many people realize they’ve been given something so purely positive, a tool they can use every single day to make a positive change in someone else’s life? in the world?


It’s time to wake up and realize and appreciate how lucky we are to have this ability. There’s nothing else in the world like it. Except maybe love, but we can talk about that later. Kindness is easy. It’s as simple as telling someone you like what they’re wearing, hugging someone who looks upset, high fiving a random passerby on the street, asking someone if they need help, lending someone a pen.

A testament to how little we utilize this gift is how shockingly surprised a person is when someone does something nice for him/her. Have you experienced the shock-then-smile on people’s faces after doing something nice for them? It means we don’t expect this out of people. This makes me only a little sad. A little sad because it means we so rarely experience this kind of kindness. But less so because I know many of these receivers will then go on to do good things, themselves, and there goes the chain of cause and effect.

We have the opportunity to be a catalyst for positive change, and it’s not. hard. We go our whole lives looking for reasons to feel proud, experiences to prove to ourselves and others that we’ve “achieved something,” that we’re not worthless. Guess what? We can do it in five minutes. We could probably even do it in 30 seconds. That’s all it takes to make a lasting change in a person’s day and a person’s life.

It’s really all at our fingertips. Let’s make moves to make kindness a top priority. Let’s use the gift we’ve been given. We need it now more than ever.

Lastly, if you’re in the mood to feel really inspired and empowered (so much so that you’re going to want to run around doing nice things for strangers all day long), I highly recommend reading this transcript of a graduation speech made by George Saunders. It discusses kindness, albeit in a different way, and it’s very much worth the read. It will brighten your day, guaranteed!

Are Your Hidden Habits Hurting You?

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 3.13.24 PMYou can’t turn on the television or read a newspaper anymore without learning about some celebrity who has died from a “hard” addiction. The trial of Conrad Murray and the death of Michael Jackson are example of such a headline. Hard addictions usually include illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse, designer drugs and/or alcohol. Hard addictions can also include sex, gambling and food. What about those habits that aren’t considered “hard-core addictions”? These other hidden habits can have a negative impact on your life. While the consequences may not seem as severe, they do impact our every day lives. What do these hidden habits look like?

There is an ever-growing list of hidden habits that are viewed as “soft”. The key factor is that these habits, while harmful, do not usually result with the extremely harsh consequences of typical “hard addictions”. The follow are a few examples of activities or substances that can harm your day-to-day quality of life.

  • Talking on the phone excessively
  • Texting/ IM’ing
  • Procrastinating
  • Daydreaming rather than accomplishing your tasks
  • Complaining consistently
  • Gossiping with friends or co-workers
  • Acting negative during a large portion of your day
  • Belittling loved ones or co-workers
  • Caffeine in any form

All of these activities can appear harmless, if they are done in small doses. When we overindulge, we run the risk of having a hidden habit turn into a dangerous addiction. When we use any of these activities to overcome your emotional feeling, or to make you feel full, complete, whole or satisfied, there may be underlying issues. The underlying issue of fear is similar to those that experience “hard” addictions.

Regardless of whether a habit appears “soft” or is an addiction, it can be equally devastating to the person displaying the behavior. All negative activities steal your time and energy. You find yourself devoting more time to things that are not benefiting your life. The benefit of having a hidden habit, over having a hard addiction is that hidden habits are usually easier to break. But it will take vigilance, mindfulness, and time to overcome.

If you have taken a moment to reflect on your day-to-day activities, and find that you have negative habits that are taking away from your quality of life, it is time to take action. Being aware of your negative habit is the first step. Once you are aware of the hidden habit, think about the reason you have the habit. Are you truly engaging with your negative habit because you have become comfortable and complacent?

If your negative habit is not serving you, think of ways to replace your negative habit with a positive one. You can also ask those surrounding you, who you trust, to hold you accountable. If you set a goal of cutting caffeine out of your daily routine, let others know so they can hold you accountable when you walk towards the coffee pot. If you feel the urge to spread the latest gossip, take a second to think. Is the news that you just “have to share” going to benefit anyone, or are you simply spreading news that could potentially hurt someone? As you become more aware of your hidden habits, it will take some work on your part to break them.

We all have habits, good and bad. It is important to conduct a self-check on a regular basis to determine if your habits are hurting you or helping you. By being mindful, aware and pro-active, you will find your old negative habits replaced by healthy positive habits. These healthy habits will improve your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well being. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.


Originally published October 2011.

5 Steps to Rise From Disappointment

“I can’t believe she did that to me. What did I do to deserve this? I can’t depend on anybody anymore.”

Sound familiar? Chances are we’ve all uttered these, and there’s no question that we’ve all been let down. Disappointment and hurt can harden our hearts against trust, result in a negative outlook, heck, even make us question the goodness of humanity as a whole. But there is a bright side. Here, some tips for how to make it through disappointment and come out the other side stronger, positive and inspired.

1. Avoid the drama. Whether the disappointment is due to an act of carelessness or a major heartwrencher, the first thing to do is to step away from any related drama. Situations of conflict have the potential to expand or shrink depending on the amount of attention we give them. In order to move forward, you’ve got to let the situation diffuse. This means that as tempting as it may be to press for a resolution, explanation, apology, whatever it is that you think you need for closure, the best course in the interim is to honor the yogic practice of detachment. Of course, this is easier in theory than in practice, but stepping away is critical for you to process the turn of events in your heart and mind without the emotional upheaval and energy vacuum that drama yields.

2. Recognize that it’s not about you. Human nature has us react first from a place of ego that would have us believe that everything is personal and encourages taking on the role of a victim. Be on the lookout for this defeating self-talk and resist the trap of self-blame, self-doubt, any of those unpleasant responses founded in the ego. Consider that there are a host of factors beyond you and beyond your control that were likely at work here. What, you’re not in complete and utter control?! Hard to believe, I know, especially when we pretend otherwise!

3. Give yourself time and permission to heal. When you’ve been hurt, there are no expectations for a high-speed recovery – except for those that you put on yourself. Remind yourself that your feelings are valid and that it’s okay to have some days that aren’t all rainbows and unicorns. While you’re healing your heart, surround yourself with activities and people you love, nurture your body and soul, and do something, anything, to help others – the fastest route out of self-absorption and into perspective and gratitude.

4. Reflect on your expectations of others. This one can be tricky, as you shouldn’t expect the worst of everyone because someone close to you has, in your mind, failed you. But you can consider whether you project unrealistic expectations onto those you admire and hold dear. Maybe you hold people to an exceptionally high standard that is difficult for them to meet. While we should expect to be treated fairly, truthfully and respectfully, we can also use these life lessons of being let down to examine how we react when others confirm that they too are human and capable of making mistakes. At the same time, we can consider our own vulnerability to disappointing others, and harness this experience to improve our relationships as needed.

5. Put the experience to good use. Once some time has passed and you’ve managed to process the letdown, put the experience to good use.. Use it to motivate you instead of allowing it to harden your heart or lead you to expect the worst; in other words, seek the positive of your situation. Let it teach you what you don’t want to do to someone else. Perhaps the disappointment inspires you to try something new or take a different approach, revise your goals, assess your relationships, clear who and what no longer serve you from your life– all opportunities for positive growth. While you may not feel like the proverbial phoenix at first, you can indeed rise above disappointment and use it as inspiration for becoming your best self.

Please comment below with a positive outcome of what looked at first to be only disappointment!

photo by: ralpe

How To See Fall In A Better Light

Part of the problem with the end-of-summer blues lies in the following season’s name, fall. The word associations we have are: Fall down, fall apart, the biblical fall of man, and falling leaves – what a mess! Fall suggests failure and points you in the direction of winter. While spring, no matter how brutal the weather like a snowfall in April, serves as an optimistic portal to summer.

A sunrise and sunset are basically the same beautiful rosy sky – it all depends which way you are facing for what it signifies. To reduce end-of-summer stress we need to market fall differently culturally, spiritually and medically. This will help us enjoy the harvest and the fresh, free air-conditioning after a lazy, sweltering summer.

9 positive attributes of fall:

  • Fall down – imagine the joy of picking yourself up.
  • Fall apart – when things unravel, you can either cathartically clean out the clutter or knit them together in new, more interesting patterns.
  • Falling leaves – raking is good exercise and now you can admire the tree architecture; also, you will be able to witness a rebirth in a few months to appreciate the new green growth.
  • The fall of man brought about the rise of woman as a team mate and play mate. In life you go from innocence to experience and still embrace the good – without the ignorance.
  • Summer pastels fall by the wayside.  However, keep in mind that the fall color, orange, is the color of cheerfulness. Bring in this fall color to your home décor and personal style.
  • Scared of the dreaded fall weight gain? Think volume food which will fill you up, but not out: hearty soups with chunky vegetables, stews and crunchy apples.
  • It’s time to shed your dry, tan summer skin from that damaging, searing summer sun and allow it to heal during fall’s cooler weather. Better, less- humid hair days are ahead, too.
  • Fall allergies bombarding you? Don’t wait for spring cleaning.  Clean out the dust, mold and mites as you shed the small stressors which accumulate and create an allergy tipping point.
  • Summer can make you lazy slowing you down with heat and humidity. Tap into the great vibrational energy of fall to spark your exercise regimen. The outdoors can serve as a giant gym for biking, hiking, jogging and sports.


photo by: Jeff Kubina

Call For Creative Solutions


Tuesday, 10/4


Call for Creative Solutions in your life and in areas of the world where you are focusing attention. Know that your prayers are a vehicle of Higher Consciousness, and they are always answered. It may be in ways you would never have imagined; yet prayers are always answered. The energy frequencies now heightened on the planet become chaotic when they are not focused in positive directions. It is becoming clear that it is important for more people to be focused on Creative Solutions in order for universal harmony and more imaginative resolutions for the highest good to prevail.”

–Archangel Gabriel as channeled by Shanta Gabriel


Steve Farrell

Humanity's Team World Wide Coordinating Director

Power Of Your Thoughts

 Monday, 9/5

Power of your thoughts






“The focus of your attention enlarges and expands whatever you focus upon. That can either hurt you greatly or help you immensely.


Your complaints, for example, give more power and presence to whatever you complain about. Your love, on the other hand, gives more substance to whatever you love.


Put the focus of your attention not on what you wish to avoid. Instead, constantly direct your attention toward where you would like your life to go.


 Your unceasing thoughts have great power. So frame those thoughts in a positive way that will put their power to work for you.”


–The Daily Motivator by Ralph Marston

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


Staying Positive – No Matter What

 Saturday, 7/29

Staying Positive – No Matter What

“Is there anything more important than staying positive in these times, or in any times? It seems to be the lesson for so many of us nowadays. Having learned that our thoughts and words are the precursors to our daily, worldly experiences, we now know that keeping our attention on any negative, limiting, angry, doubtful or harmful thoughts takes us in the exact opposite direction from where we intend to go. 


With each day that passes, more of us are staying awake to that which we are creating with our everyday thoughts and words. We are remembering, when unserving thoughts come to mind, to go back to our original intention or vision: "I AM healthy, happy, abundant, perfect in every way, and so forth." Indeed, not only are we remembering to continue to call up our positive thoughts, we are also learning to trust in the Intention Process / Law of Attraction at a much deeper level than ever before. This is what is needed if we are going to remain uplifted in the days ahead.


You see, our souls, in their infinite wisdom, are arranging it so that we are having the exact experiences we need in order for us to reach our ultimate joy. At the same time, the chaos in the world is leading us to a strengthening of our resolve to hold steadfast to that which we truly desire to create for ourselves. As we are strengthened, we are rising up and out of the worldly turmoil and into the light of our own power: a power that sets us free from our past; a power that allows us to retain our emotional balance in any and all situations; a power that, when we stay positive long enough, cleanses our world and connects us to the knowledge of who we really are.”

–The Intenders of the Hihest Good

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


Five Areas of Healthy Change

There is something wonderfully reflective about a new year: it’s another chance to get it right.

At the beginning of each calendar year I separate my life into five important areas: physical, emotional, professional, familial and spiritual.  I analyze honestly how I’m doing in each category – well, of course I do; it’s my business! Today let me help you to analyze your life.

Physical – Make your personal health your first priority by making an appointment for an annual physical and dental checkup.  The examinations you receive will give you a baseline of how your body is faring and a roadmap for improving anything that needs attention.  Prepare for your visit by bringing all of your concerns to your doctor, "I can’t sleep, my fingers tingle, my libido is shot and my energy is waning!"  Reducing alcohol, fat, salt and sugars, while increasing exercise, yoga and adding a better diet, will surely be a partial directive from your health care providers.

Emotional – Make your general sense of happiness and well-being an important daily goal.  If you have slipped into a depression, an anxiety, or a feeling of negativity you really owe it to yourself and those you love to uncover the genesis of your emotions. Get some support from an introspective counselor, rabbi, priest, coach or sensitive friend because these dedicated people can help you clarify what’s really going on inside.  Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them when they say that they miss another in their life who has left them or even died.  Sometimes people just need someone to validate their thoughts that they feel bad or angry, lost or sad.  Sometimes, dear people, we are the people who have those feelings.

Professional – When possible, make what you do for a living as fulfilling as you can.  After all, it’s how you spend many hours each day. If you are working at a job you dislike, decide what you can do to change it.  Sometimes two smaller positions you enjoy add up to a happier life. So sit down today and put your thoughts on paper. Then, meet a colleague or trusted friend for coffee and put it right out there on the table.  Be open, be creative, ask for feedback and explore the possibilities.  I know some moms finishing a degree or professional certificate who learned about part-time work from other moms gathered for a play date. If you are retired, keep daily meaning in your life by volunteering and being active in both new and old recreational interests.  

Familial – Observe your family dynamics.  Do you add or detract from your family’s happiness?  Do you repeat old family-of-origin (the family you grew up with) behaviors that wound your present family as you were wounded by your original family?  Do you look at your children with your heart and see their soul or do you see only their faults and their messy rooms?  Do you see what your mate has done for the family or what they have failed to do? Consider how you could be the one who changes the sarcastic and snarky remarks into positive and witty ones instead.  Remember, just because it feels familiar doesn’t mean it’s a healthy behavior so take kind input from your mate here.

Spiritual – Carl Jung once said a philosophic or religious point of view helps us cope more successfully with the vicissitudes of life. So consider being a believer or a seeker who transcends the ordinary by looking for God or a higher power in large and small daily experiences.  What do you have to lose?  Lastly, practice being honest and sincere every day with yourself and others and laser quick to change those things about yourself that you know need to be changed.  I know you can do it.

Remember, my friends, when you change nothing, nothing changes. But when you put an actual plan into action for physical, emotional, professional, familial and spiritual growth you will make not only 2011 the year to get it right but you will make your Every Day Matter, as well.

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP

Author of When Every Day Matters, Simple Abundance Press, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Publisher




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