Intuition


October 7, 2018

“Attitudes truly are contagious.  So decide today to make yours worthy catching.” – Mac Anderson

Last week, we examined ways to protect yourself from others’ “toxic energy” that can do real harm to you mentally and emotionally and may even keep you from realizing your full potential in life.  If you missed it, I hope you will go to the blog archives on my website and read it first (Inoculate Yourself – Blog 316).

In the last blog, I related my own experience of having to abruptly disengage from someone whose toxic energy was masquerading as something positive (at least at first).  I believe now that he was emotionally manipulating me (and probably many others) to sympathize with him — undoubtedly for the positive attention it garnered and perhaps the money people like me gave him to support his “good works” and dire personal financial problems.

Based on my own experience, I came up with the first two “Rules” for protecting yourself from people who come to you with their toxic energy – which, in addition to emotional manipulation, can include behaviors such as spreading damaging gossip, chronic complaining, and trying to sabotage your dreams, undermine your self-confidence or erode your self-worth.

Self-protection Rule Number One I gave you last time was Maya Angelou’s wonderfully wise quote: “People will show you who they are and you’d best believe them.”  Once I fully recognized what the manipulator was doing, I disengaged immediately, which so caught him off guard that he instantly revealed himself as a predator in sheep’s clothing. We all have a God-given intuition that tells us when something or someone just doesn’t add up or feel right.  We must listen to that insistent inner whisper and act on it ASAP.

Rule Number Two came from minister Joel Osteen, who reminded us that we all have “seeds” of greatness that need to be nurtured in “good soil.”  If the friends you associate with do not provide you with a nurturing environment for your personal growth through their lack of values, poor lifestyle choices or negative mindset, Joel recommends gradually disengaging by spending less and less time with them.  If they notice, you can say you are too busy pursuing your positive goals to spend as much time hanging out with them as before.

So far, so good, right?  But what if the person who exudes toxic energy in your life is someone you cannot disengage from – like your boss, a key Team member, a close relative or even a spouse or ex-spouse who shares custody of your kids?  What can you do then?

If you cannot avoid someone else’s toxic energy, I believe you must do two things to protect yourself and turn things to your advantage:

  • Be 100% relentlessly POSITIVE yourself. I have all my clients consciously prepare their own energy (defined as your thoughts PLUS your emotions) at the beginning of each day with a centering practice that includes positive affirmations, listing things you are grateful for that day in a Gratitude Journal, doing some positive visualization and a few minutes of reading in a good personal development book. My mother used to call the morning prayers and affirmations she taught me “putting on your armor” for the day.  Protecting ourselves against being affected by someone else’s negative energy starts with cultivating our own strong positive energy.
  • Adopt your own “Best” mindset and actions and expect good results. We are not here to change anyone else. But you can have a positive influence on others by consciously directing your own positive energy and entering all your interactions with a focused expectation of creating the BEST possible outcome for yourself and everyone involved.   As a wise Mentor Coach once explained to me, when two people have opposing energy, whoever has the STRONGER energy will pull the other into their energy.  You can expect the BEST outcome in a given situation because your own focused, intentional, relentlessly positive energy is always stronger than another’s negative energy.

One of my coaching clients recently faced that very conundrum. She dreaded having to deal with someone on her network marketing Team whose toxic energy she knew would likely oppose her own, because it had many times in the past.  This person had been gossiping with members of the Team about each other and stirring up emotional drama where there should be mutual support.

As my client gave me the details, I felt that what must really be driving this person is a deep insecurity about herself as a Leader. If her Team doesn’t invite her to every event or training, she imagines they don’t want or need her help.  I asked my client to imagine for a moment what it would be like to be that Leader — Wouldn’t it be scary and depressing to be so needy and have such low self-esteem? Wouldn’t it be exhausting to try to monitor all of your Team members’ every action, searching for any sign that they consider you irrelevant? She agreed it would suck to live like that.

Letting herself imagine what it would be like to hold such toxic energy allowed my client to turn her resentment for the drama this Leader stirred up on the Team into compassion for how needlessly self-punishing she was.  Then she felt that she could authentically assure her that they both have the SAME goal – for their Team to thrive.

The next step was for her to create a positive intention for the outcome of the phone call that she had first wanted to avoid but now was eager to make on HER terms: “I am creating that she will feel my good intentions and trust them. We will listen to each other with an open mind and have a healthy dialogue. We will treat each other with respect.”

The focused, positive mindset and energy she decided to embody during their upcoming call was being “fair, understanding, committed and a good listener.”

I got this excited follow-up text from my client after their conversation: “I want to thank you for giving me the words and mindset to speak with [Toxic Energy Leader]. We spoke last week and honestly that conversation has freed me from feeling responsible for so many things that aren’t mine to carry.  Things I’ve carried for way too long. I was able to not let my emotions take over and to say [my truth] and listen to what was being shared.  And the best part is I left that conversation not feeling bad about myself!”

If you cannot avoid interacting with someone in your life who often embodies toxic energy, here are some helpful guidelines to remember:

  • YOU have the power to protect yourself by putting on your mindset “armor” each day. Adopt a focused, relentlessly positive mindset and confidently expect the BEST in your interactions with them.
  • Try to imagine where their negative mindset and behaviors could stem from. Working up some compassion and understanding for what it must be like for them to live with their self-inflicted pain can allow you to control your own emotions and find ways to help them feel heard, understood and acknowledged, which is what most insecure, controlling people are really after.
  • Rather than trying to avoid whatever issues you know you eventually must confront with them, take the reins! If you embody focused, relentlessly positive energy around them, you have every reason to believe it will have a positive influence on them, rather than allowing them to have a negative influence on you.

Most importantly, you must always remember that nobody and nothing can make you FEEL any particular way. Others can say and do things you might not like, and you should absolutely stand up for yourself if someone crosses your personal boundaries. But nobody controls YOUR energy but YOU.  So recognize and make the most of your personal power!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will be taking the next Sunday off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, October 21. 

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

************* Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

 

September 30, 2018

“What you hear repeatedly, you will eventually believe.” – Mike Murdock

This week’s topic is not one I relish dealing with at all.  But it is necessary sometimes to address the dark side of life and how to deal with it,  to enable yourself to reap the rewards of living with integrity, optimism and expectation of good things coming to you.

I often take my cues for blog topics from a pattern I notice throughout the week in my own experiences and the experiences of my clients. This week, the theme was pretty hard to miss.  Not only did several of my clients have to deal with it, I had a jarring personal experience of it, and the whole nation got a ringside seat to it via the televised Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Thursday.  The yelling and finger pointing, vitriol and personal attacks on display among the elected “leaders” who are supposed to represent us were jaw-dropping to behold. But I am not here to talk about politicians.  I want to talk about toxic energy and what we can do to protect ourselves from it in our OWN everyday lives.

What is “toxic energy”?  Your “energy” (or some people call it your “vibration”) is made up of your thoughts PLUS your emotions“Toxic,” according to the dictionary, means something that is “poisonous” and perhaps “infectious” — to the point of “causing serious harm or death.”

At some point, we all cross paths with someone who exudes “toxic energy.”  A specific promise I ask all my clients to state aloud every day is: “I avoid toxic people and surround myself with Winners who inspire me and help me to reach my Dreams.” That is a worthy goal, but as I learned for myself this week, it’s easier said than done.  So I want to share with you some insights and tips I used to help my clients and me to shield ourselves from the toxic energy we encountered from others.

First, my own story: For the past couple of years, I have been a long-distance “friend” to someone I have never met face to face.  We corresponded via email, text and Facebook and at  first, I enjoyed our interactions. He seemed like a truly good person, who talked a lot about the people around him who were lonely and needed something to cheer them up.  He found ways to do that, some of which required money (like throwing modest parties for them). In his own life, he faced serious financial challenges, being older and living on a fixed income, which he supplemented a little bit with a sporadic sideline gig.

I was inspired by the way he seemed to maintain a positive attitude in the face of all the challenges in his own life.  He was (all too) eager to share personal information with me, including that his wife had divorced him several years ago and moved to the other side of the country, and neither of his grown children had seen or spoken to him in years.  In short, he garnered my sympathy with his vulnerable candor and seemingly selfless caring for others.

I began to send him small sums of money from time to time, to help with his parties and his own dire needs (such as car problems and having his internet and cell phone shut off, and at one time, the imminent shut off of his utilities).  Each time, he protested that he had not told me about his problems to solicit money from me, but then he always accepted it with lavish thanks.

Mind you, I am not an easy mark.  I really do have a pretty good sense of when someone is lying to me, and I don’t think he was lying about the facts.  I believe he IS broke. But looking back, I can see that he never seemed to try to change his financial circumstances, other than lament them.  Being a coach, I’m hard-wired to give suggestions to help my clients solve daily problems, but every time I offered him a suggestion, he would deflect it, explaining why that wasn’t feasible. I thought maybe there just weren’t any part-time jobs available for someone his age in his area. I felt growing frustration, but ignored what my gut was telling me for a long time.

Over time, his messages focused more and more on complaints about how others treated him unfairly and “woe is me” tales of all the things that were going wrong for him, one after another.  I was the only person he had to confide in, who could understand, he said. His energy became more toxic so gradually, I didn’t consciously recognize it for a long time.  I just knew that it was beginning to wear on me emotionally, like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.

I think what finally opened my eyes is that last Sunday I watched on YouTube a sermon by my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen, in which he talked about planting our “seeds” in good soil.  He cited a familiar parable from the Bible about how three different farmers sowed their seeds in rocky soil, weedy soil and good soil.  Those seeds planted in the rocky and weedy soil died out, while those planted in the good soil flourished and became a rich harvest.

Joel said the parable means we have to carefully CHOOSE the people we hang out with because they are the “soil” in our lives.  If we plant our own “seeds” – our special gifts and dreams that can blossom with the right nurturing – in a toxic environment filled with poor role models and those who do not support us, we are bound to have a meager harvest.

Later that day, I saw a Facebook post by Mr. Woe is Me with a big photo of his sad-eyed four-footed friend who, he said, clearly needed to go to the vet.  He said he was calculating how to get the money and whether cutting himself back to one meal a day would help. Soon, he began to get comments from several of his many Facebook friends offering to send a donation.  He replied, “Thank you, but I’ll be all right.”

I commented, “What if these kind offers are God’s HOW to help you get your dog taken care of?”  He replied “What if they aren’t?”  Then he immediately switched to private messaging, saying “I love you” and anxiously asking if I was mad at him or something was wrong.

I wrote back that he seemed to be acting like a “professional victim” by telling everyone about his dog’s plight and then refusing offers of help. I suspected some of his friends were planning to send him money anyway, despite his protestations, as I would have done in the past. He said that he hadn’t intended for his post to come across as a plea for money and immediately took it down. Then he messaged me again, saying, “Why are you doing this to me – making me feel like crap?”

In that instant, I knew it was time to permanently disengage from his toxic energy that was now on full display, so I wrote back, “I am done. Please don’t write me anymore.  I truly wish you and your dog the best.  I won’t read your posts or comment ever again. Goodbye.”

Afterward, I felt somewhat shaken at the unexpected abruptness of my recognition of and disengagement from his specific form of toxic energy (emotional manipulation masquerading as selflessness suffering). At the same time, I recognized that I instantly felt happier and lighter to be free of it.

Just before I blocked him, he sent me a long, vitriolic diatribe about everything he felt was wrong with me, including that I was trying to “control” him with my money.  The nicest thing he said was “You are NOT a godly woman.”  (I don’t remember every claiming to be one.)  His final salvo was this: “You will now answer to god for this.  I’m sure. I’m wealthy hear me roar.  I’m praying to god I never become you.  I’d really kill myself…If you don’t cause it tonight.”

Well, I am glad I climbed off that crazy train.  I am grateful that my God-given inner wisdom was right and that I instinctively followed it. Because I had blinded myself to the truth over a long period, I now realize how easy it is to do with the people in our own lives. And I see that someone’s toxic energy involves more than just chronic complaining, negativity, damaging gossip or constantly undermining your self-worth. Toxic energy comes in many forms and some of them are well-disguised as something positive.

OK, so Rule Number One in protecting yourself from toxic energy is to always remember Maya Angelou’s wonderful quote, “People will show you who they are and you’d best believe them.” Give everyone a chance to prove themselves to you, but as soon as your intuition starts to notice red flags about someone, don’t ignore those warning signs!

Rule Number Two: Don’t hang out with people whose energy provides “poor soil” for your gifts, character, habits and dreams.  If you hang out with them long enough, your own Seeds of Greatness will die and you will become like them.  Instead, seek out friends and mentors who will support you, nurture you and inspire you – people you want to emulate. Joel Osteen recommends disengaging from the poor soil gradually by just spending less and less time with them over a period of time.  If they notice, you can just say that you are busy with lots of good stuff and you don’t have as much time to hang out as you used to.

NEXT WEEK: Unfortunately, with some people who exude toxic energy, you do not have the option to just walk away. They are your boss, Team member, close relative — maybe even your spouse (or the co-parent of your children). Next time, we will discuss how to deal with others’ toxic energy when you can’t leave. Stay tuned!

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

************* Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

“Visualize this thing that you want.  See it, feel it, believe in it.  Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.”  — Robert Collier in How Successful People Think

Last week, I shared with you some Aloha Lessons I got from Rick’s and my 10th anniversary celebration trip to Hawaii.  Now, I want to share one other lesson I got from the trip – a real mind-bender.

It wasn’t what I had thought would happen. It was something I had known could happen, but like so many of the delightful surprises God/the Universe sends us in answer to our desires, it arrived in a far different “package” than I had imagined. It caught me totally off guard. And it delighted me nonetheless.

First, a little background: One of the most effective tools for manifesting your desires into the material world is visualization.  You simply close your eyes and make a “movie” in your head, with you as the writer, director and actor —  acting out you enjoying something you strongly desire to have — a new car, a new house, a new love, a growing business team, a large amount of cash – anything your heart desires.

If you will spend just 3-5 minutes each morning and each night before you go to sleep doing this, it will show God/the Universe exactly what you want AND program your subconscious mind to figure out a way to get it for you.  The process for this is sort of an assembly line for manifesting: First, God/the Universe sends the ideal “How” to your subconscious mind, which will pick up that idea and relay it to your conscious mind in the form of brainstorms, creative new ideas, intuitive hits, new inventions, etc. Finally, YOU get to take those ideas and ACT on them to turn them into your REALITY.

One tool for visualizing is a Dream Board or Vision Board.  Many of my clients make these at the beginning of each year and put them on the wall of their office or bedroom where they can stare at them daily.  The board is covered with internet or magazine pictures, photos or drawings and also words that represent all the things they are looking forward to having when their Big Goals manifest.

I have told my clients to be mindful of what they put on their Vision Board, because it is a certainty that their subconscious mind is going to imprint on it and then do everything in its power to make it a reality.  So if you want a RED Porsche, I tell them, don’t put up a picture of a BLACK Porsche just because you didn’t take the trouble to look for a red one.  Because one of these days, you are going to find yourself standing at the dealership, being handed the keys to your new Porsche — and I promise you it will be a BLACK one.

And I have also shared with them that I have two large, glossy photos of Hawaii on my wall, just to the left of my desk where I coach.  For several years, I have been staring daily at a picture of a beautiful beach in Maui and another on Kauai’s famed Na Pali Coast, which has been used to represent a tropical paradise in a number of Hollywood movies, including South Pacific.

Because I know the immense power of visualization to motivate the subconscious mind, I joked that, since we were going to spend time in Kauai on this trip, I bet that at some point, I would find myself actually standing with my toes in the sand, looking down the curved coast at the exact view of the Na Pali Coast that is hanging on my wall.

As predicted, I did end up having a “déjà vu” experience in Kauai, but not the one I imagined.

On our last full day on the island, we still had not visited any beaches, nor did either of us feel a real desire to do so. We decided to take the long, slow Kuhio Highway that loops up the east side and across the north coast of Kauai.  We stopped and enjoyed several interesting attractions along the way, but the REAL draw for me, and our ultimate destination was Hanalei Town, situated near the very end of the road.

Since we were staying on the south shore, a town on the opposite end of the island would not normally be a destination we would consider worth the long, slow drive. But, as I perused a sightseeing guide that morning and came across photos of the peaceful, beautiful, missionary-era town, filled with historic buildings, I just felt a strong inner urge to see it.  One of the pictures in the guide was of the little green 1912 Wai’oli Church and Mission House, set on a huge green lawn and surrounded by palm trees and beautiful flowering bushes.  I made a note that we must see it while we were in Hanalei.

After lunch, we parked at the church and Rick walked across the street to take pictures of the beautiful outside, while I looked inside and imagined what it would have been like to live in that quaint town and visit that church each Sunday in a bygone era.   When I joined Rick outside, and stood back, looking at the front of the church, it finally hit me.

For all those years, sitting at my desk and daydreaming about visiting Hawaii with Rick, I had been focusing my attention on the two big, glossy beach pictures, while on the windowsill right under my nose was a little unobtrusive card we had received for Christmas many years before. On the front of the card was an original photo shot by our friend. The back of the card, which I don’t remember ever reading, said, “Historic church, Kauai, Hawaii. July 2000.”

I couldn’t be absolutely sure it was the very same church until we returned home and I walked into my office.  Yes!  There it was. Still on my windowsill — the little green church that I had felt so drawn to take a long journey to see.  I laughed out loud at God’s and my subconscious mind’s little “wink” to me – “See?” they seemed to say, “You thought about it for years, and WE delivered…. You can check that one off your bucket list!”

When we got back to our hotel in Koloa, to further preserve our memory of the lovely green church, we purchased a beautiful small print of it in a nearby art gallery. We even met the friendly local artist who just happened to be at the gallery that day, and she happily signed it for us. I am so grateful that God and my own powerful subconscious mind effortlessly delivered to me what turned out to be one of the most delightful memories of our trip.

So if you want to manifest any heartfelt Big Dream, no matter how far-fetched it may seem to you right now — just as a fabulous trip to Hawaii certainly seemed out of reach to us for many years — all you have to do to begin making it your REALITY is to believe in it, visualize it until you can really feel it, and leave the How of manifesting it up to the experts!

PLEASE NOTE:  The blog will be taking Memorial Day Weekend off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, June 4.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” – Marian Wright Edelman

I sincerely hope you got a chance to read last week’s blog, which touched a chord in many of my readers. My guest columnist and fellow coach, Bob Perks, movingly shared his personal experiences with depression – his own and others’ — and offered us sound advice on how to listen to someone suffering with depression, sadness or disappointment in a way that will make a real difference for them.

I am very grateful to those who took the time to send Bob a message of thanks, forward the blog to others, purchase his wonderful book “I Wish You Enough” on Amazon.com or visit his website (www.BobPerks.com) and follow him on Facebook. To those “Earth Angels” who sent him a monetary gift of appreciation at www.PayPal.me/GiftBobPerks, know that Bob is incredibly grateful for your support and validation, as am I. (And if you didn’t take any of these steps to show your gratitude, it’s never too late!)

One of the most memorable lines in Bob’s powerful column was “Don’t be a good listener.  Be a great one.” During our coaching sessions this week, several of my clients who read Bob’s column related their own stories that validate just how powerfully GREAT listening can change a life. Here are two of my favorites:

One client told me about her elderly mother, who several months ago began sharing her home with her adult grandchildren and their two kids, plus their dogs. At first, “Nana” was very happy to have all that youthful energy swirling around her and loved helping with the after-school babysitting, which gave her a renewed sense of purpose.

But recently, my client noticed that her mother seemed uncharacteristically sad and upset. One day, Nana blurted out, “I am so unhappy.  I want to sell the house and move back to Chicago.”  My client was taken aback, but with Bob Perk’s “great listening” advice fresh in her mind, she was able to respond differently than she ordinarily might have.

Resisting the urge to point out that Nana’s idea was unworkable for many reasons, my client chose instead to be a curious, non-judgmental Active Listener. She calmly and gently questioned her mother in order to find out what was really bothering her. Nana admitted that the unaccustomed noise and activity were wearing on her.  My client acknowledged that she would feel the same way, and volunteered to talk to her adult children and remind them of the “house rules” their family had been breaking lately.  Nana seemed to brighten at that, but my client could sense there was something still deeper beneath the surface.

When my client asked what else might be on her mind, Nana confessed that she was afraid she wouldn’t have enough money to continue to live on. My client had recently helped her mother apply for a refinance of her mortgage, which should give her a nice nest egg on which she could live comfortably for many years.  But being 83, Nana didn’t quite understand the ins and outs of today’s long and complicated mortgage process, and thought something must be wrong. My client was able to reassure her that the process was going smoothly and would soon be completed and said she was confident that Nana’s finances would be in good shape for the rest of her life.

Then Nana’s energy completely shifted and my client realized that the stress and worry that she had kept under wraps must have been taking a real toll on her mother. If she had not given Nana the chance to express her fears with active, non-judgmental listening, Nana’s long-term mental and physical health might well have been affected. Today, their multi-generational household is back to normal and Nana eagerly looks forward to her great-grandkids’ return from school each day.

My second client’s story proves that simply giving a little attention and kindness to others can have a lasting impact, even if we don’t realize their true circumstances.

A high school drama teacher, she recently attended an after-party for a successful school production. Unexpectedly, two seniors got up to speak. Both these young men are among the most popular students in the school and both appear quite well-adjusted, successful and confident.

To her shock, in front of their peers, parents and faculty members, each student thanked her for turning their lives around. Both revealed that, as freshmen, they had been badly bullied and felt like outcasts. One confessed to being so despondent, he had even contemplated suicide.

These two well-liked and respected young men told my client that her class had changed their lives by making them feel understood, worthwhile and appreciated.  My client had simply done with them what she strives to do with all her students — she listened, validated and encouraged them to believe in themselves.

She told me in amazement, “Never in a million years would I have guessed what they were going through back then.  It taught me that being kind and positive really makes a difference for others.” Indeed it does!

I’d like to close by adding to Bob Perk’s words of wisdom a few of my own “best practices” for listening in a way that can make a profound difference for others:

  • Stay open: Listen without prejudgment or attachment to how YOU want the conversation to go or the outcome YOU want to see. You might be surprised to discover an EVEN better possible outcome than you imagined — if you can truly listen for it with an open mind.
  • Be an Active Listener – Pay attention. Don’t just wait for the other person to stop talking so YOU can speak. Your Inner Wisdom will give you the perfect words to say in response if you listen carefully to what they are saying all the way through to the end.
  • Ask permission before offering advice – Even a professional coach needs to distinguish whether advice is really what they want from you – or do they just need you to listen with a compassionate heart and help them to feel worthwhile, understood and validated? If you believe you have some helpful advice to impart, first ask, “Are you open to hearing my thoughts?” And then abide by their wishes.
  • Be a Connector – When I actively listen to my clients and friends, I find that I instantly recall the needs and desires they shared with me whenever a resource pops up that I recognize might help them. If you listen actively, you could become the answer to someone’s heartfelt dream by connecting them to the people and resources that can help them achieve it.

And as the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) and The Bible both remind us, the Good you do for others inevitably will be done unto YOU, too!

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“One of the best ways to demonstrate God’s love is to listen to people.” – Bruce Larsen

My first step in choosing a topic for the Sunday blog is usually to review the past week to discover if there is a “theme” that has come up with multiple clients and/or myself. This week’s theme was definitely the importance of listening.

As a professional Coach, I have been trained to listen. To coach effectively, I should spend at least 75% of the time listening to my client and 25% (maximum) asking thought-provoking questions and suggesting tools and resources they can apply to a specific situation they are facing.   I strive to remember the credo, “You were given TWO ears and ONE mouth for a reason!”

Practicing non-judgmental, intuitive listening is vitally important in just about every role people play on a daily basis: parent, spouse, partner, sibling, friend, boss, colleague, salesperson, teacher – you name it. If we are going to be effective and successful in any area of life, we must master the art of listening deeply to others. This past week, a number of my clients shared stories of tears and triumph that demonstrated the power of listening in their lives.

One client told me she was proud of keeping her cool when an angry parent unleashed her frustration during a kids’ sports event that she was coaching. The angry mother approached her on the field and yelled at her in front of the team and other parents for not giving her child enough playing time.

My client brilliantly controlled her first impulse to defensively set her straight, choosing instead to use the tools she’d learned to maintain her own positive energy and be able to listen calmly as the mother ranted at her. “I knew she would not be able to hear what I had to say, so I just let her vent and get it out of her system, while I listened. In a few minutes, she calmed down and moved on.” After the game, several parents complimented the coach on keeping her cool.   Because of her calm listening, she became more respected and professional in the eyes of the parents, while providing the kids with a very positive role model.

Another client had been dealing with a negative experience involving lack of listening skills. There was a feeling of tension and frustration permeating her home, due to her mother clashing with her grandmother, who lives far away. The elderly grandmother has been forgetful in taking her medications, which could seriously endanger her health. But Grandma “won’t listen” to her children, who are trying to persuade her to allow them to hire household help to prepare meals and do housework. Grandma stubbornly insists she doesn’t need any help and doesn’t want a “stranger” in her house. My client said her mother “has to yell at Grandma when they talk on the phone in order to get her to listen.”

I had a very similar experience over a decade ago with my late mother after she fell and hit her head, causing profound short-term memory loss. Before that, she had been very physically fit and independent, and when she came out of the hospital after lifesaving surgery, she insisted she could still live on her own, which would have been dangerous to herself and others. We argued for weeks before she reluctantly allowed herself to enter a wonderful assisted living facility with a caring staff she came to love over the four years she lived there.

I learned from my mother’s experience that aging creates unsettling changes that are as challenging as puberty, divorce, job loss, the death of a family member or any other profound life change. Elders who were once the strong, wise matriarch or patriarch suddenly realize they have become dependent on the loved ones who used to come to THEM for help and advice. This is both scary and humiliating for many people.

My suggestion to my client was that she and her mother could try listening to grandma with compassion, instead of arguing with her. Of course, they must ultimately do what they believe is in her best interest. Yelling over her attempts to express her fears and frustration will not empower her to embrace change. But if grandma is allowed to fully express her point of view and feels that she has been heard, she will likely have an easier time making this difficult transition.

One of our deepest desires as human beings is to be heard, understood and accepted for who we are. We need to feel free to express our true feelings without being judged by those we care about. The best way to persuade someone else of your point of view is to first listen carefully them and then to confirm that you accurately understand theirs. Children need to feel listened to by their parents, spouses need to feel understood by their partners, employees need to know their suggestions have been heard by the boss, and customers need to believe the company representative understands their needs.

Listening is THE most powerful tool we have for bridging the divides between cultures, generations and individuals. It is a priceless skill that can only be mastered by practicing it every day with everyone you encounter. You will not believe how popular and successful you will become if you do!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“You’ll see it when you believe it.” – Wayne Dyer

As you will recall, last week’s blog was about using the powerful, enjoyable tool of visualization to create a vivid picture of something you want in your mind, as the first step toward making it a reality in your world. Children and adolescents use their imaginations like this naturally and frequently.

Have you ever found yourself staring out the window on a beautiful day, lost in happy thoughts about something you are looking forward to doing over the weekend? That “daydreaming” is a type of visualization. You can SEE vividly in your “mind’s eye” some fun activity you anticipate doing, while your body is actually sitting at your desk (possibly with a report due by 5:00 PM).

Of course, many of our daydreams never manifest because they are simple fantasies. Still, it’s fun to imagine yourself walking the red carpet, winning the lottery, or driving a red Ferrari! Nevertheless, some goals we visualize CAN become real, depending on the level of our commitment to having them. If you are willing to put your consistent FOCUS, BELIEF and ACTION into it, you can eventually reach it.

Visualizing is a very natural human activity and it is also the first step in turning a thought into an actual thing that is real in the material world. Thomas Edison reportedly failed to invent the light bulb 300 times before he succeeded. But as he kept imagining different possibilities, eventually his subconscious led him to create a version that would WORK in the real world.

Unfortunately, most of us have been taught not be gullible and easily fooled. We grew up with the Skeptic’s battle cry: “I’ll believe it when I see it!” But as Wayne Dyer asserts, the opposite is actually true: By BELIEVING you see it in your “mind’s eye” first through visualization, your subconscious mind is given the blueprint to help you eventually SEE it manifested in the “real” world.

Every Big Goal that is eventually reached must begin in the same place: Getting clear on what you WANT. You can’t take ACTION toward a goal unless God/The Universe and your own subconscious mind both know exactly what you want. One way to get clear is to describe the outcome you want as a positive affirmation. Think of an affirmation as an intention statement describing what you want to have.

Your affirmation/intention MUST be stated in the present tense, as though it is already real. In fact, it IS “real” now, in the sense that it exists in your imagination, just as the light bulb existed in Edison’s imagination first and then became a material prototype.

It’s not self-deluded to state what you want to have as though it’s already REAL – That’s what will cause your subconscious mind (which believes everything you tell it) to start cranking up your imagination and creativity so you can take the actions to invent that light bulb or get that red sports car!

One of my clients has been in a tough financial situation for many years. She is the sole custodian and sole support of two special-needs children who require most of her time and energy beyond what she gives to her demanding job. Her salary barely covers their necessities, with little left over for “luxuries” like new clothes for herself.

Given her present reality, I have tremendous respect for her willingness to try to imagine something different for her life. Right now, she doesn’t appear to have any options open to her for creating significantly more financial prosperity, yet she is willing to state each day what she WANTS, as though it is her reality NOW. We created an affirmation for her to support this NEW reality: “I receive regular, reliable financial support based on my instrinsic value, in addition to what I do, and I am SO grateful!”

When she says that affirmation aloud daily, she gives her subconscious mind and God/The Universe a clear blueprint for what she wants. The more vividly she SEES and FEELS that to be true in her subconscious mind, the faster it will bring her the means to make it real.

A meaningful example of unexpected abundance came to her quickly after she began saying this affirmation. Every year, her company puts on a black-tie Holiday party for the staff and every year, she feels chagrined to be wearing an inexpensive or re-purposed dress, rather than a fancy cocktail dress like the other women. This year, she focused solely on what she WANTED, which was to feel beautifully dressed and confident at the party.

Her birthday was a couple of weeks before the big soiree, and out of the blue, a friend sent her a gift check that was exactly enough to buy herself a beautiful cocktail dress (on sale for the Holidays, of course!), matching shoes and earrings. She sent me a picture of herself taken at the party in her lovely outfit, glowing and radiating a beautiful smile.

That manifestation was just the start of many financial windfalls and unexpected help that have come to her since. Last week, she courageously asked her boss for a raise, laying out a strong case for her value to the company and the considerable responsibilities that have been added to her position over the past year. Even after saying, “We hadn’t planned on giving anyone a raise this year,” the boss promised to consider her request carefully.

Affirming (stating) and visualizing her value, my client believes she has a good chance of getting a much-needed raise. However, as she now has real-world evidence to believe, even if she doesn’t, God/The Universe and her subconscious mind will conspire together to come up with another route to her prosperity.

She knows that the HOW doesn’t matter. She already BELIEVES her prosperity is growing – and soon she will SEE it in her checkbook!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145.

 

“Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it.   Make your mental blueprint and begin.” – Robert Collier

One of the most powerful tools for turning any Big Dream into a reality is absolutely free and simple for anyone to use. In fact, I bet you did it naturally throughout your childhood; back then, you called it “daydreaming.” I have learned how to refine this amazingly effective technique and now teach all my clients how to use it to help them reach their goals with greater speed and ease.

If you use this tool regularly, it will unleash the power of your #1 manifestation ally, your own subconscious mind, to guide you to make even your biggest Dreams come true.

Here’s how you can visualize for maximum success:

1) Close your eyes. You can do this during the day, as though you are about to meditate, and at night when your head’s on the pillow and you are relaxing into sleep.

2) Use your imagination to see in your “mind’s eye” the thing want to have — your dream car, dream home, perfect career, deluxe tropical vacation, new romantic partner, a specific sum of money – anything you are committed to having. It’s fine that you don’t know HOW to get it right now, because that’s not YOUR job. Your job is just to be as specific and detailed as possible about exactly what you want.

Some things can be easily imagined, such as your dream car. You should know the make and model you want, the color of the exterior and interior and all the bells and whistles on the dashboard and other interior features. If you don’t, you really should go to a dealer and test drive your dream car!   But if that’s not practical, at least go online and find a detailed picture.   Be sure it shows exactly the color that you want because if you want a red one and you test drive or study a picture of a black one, you are going to get a BLACK one!

For something like your Dream Job, you may not know exactly what industry you want to be in. That’s perfectly OK. Simply set up your visualization so that you are visualizing the kind of environment you want to work in – whether it’s a big, bright corner office with a city view or somewhere in the great outdoors. You can imagine friendly co-workers laughing with you as you walk together down the hall without being able to see the details of their faces. For your Mr. or Ms. Right visualization, you might set up a scene you would like to live out with them, such as the two of you holding hands and walking side by side down the beach surrounded by a glorious sunset.

3) Simply using your sense of sight isn’t enough, though. You must get ALL of your other physical senses involved in your visualization: Imagine TOUCHING the buttery leather seats, SMELLING that unique new-car smell, HEARING the quiet rumble of the engine while your favorite tunes play on the state-of-the-art sound system. Make it an IMAX, Sensurround kind of an imagination scenario!

CRITICAL NOTE: John Assaraf, one of the Master Manifesters featured in The Secret DVD about using the Law of Attraction to manifest big dreams, teaches this important tip for success: He says an “amateur” would visualize himself driving his dream car as though he were someone else, standing across the street looking at “himself” driving. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really make your subconscious mind BELIEVE your dream is REAL. And it must BELIEVE it is real in order to help you get it.

The way your brain is accustomed to seeing the real world around you is looking through YOUR eyeballs. So you should practice visualizing yourself driving your dream car as though you are inside your own body, sitting in the driver’s seat. You can see your hands on the steering wheel, your knees below you, and your foot on the gas, but can’t see your own face (unless you are smiling at yourself in the rear view mirror, of course). That’s how the “masters” like Assaraf visualize their way to success.

4) Here’s the true “trigger” that gets your new car Dream moving toward manifestation: Besides engaging all your physical senses in your visualization, you also have to FEEL it emotionally. How would you FEEL if you really did have that car? You undoubtedly would feel JOY, FREEDOM, FULFILLMENT, and most of all, you would feel GRATEFUL, wouldn’t you? You truly can conjure up those feelings (with a little practice) just by using your imagination.

If you do this visualization technique for just five minutes or so twice a day — once in the morning before you leave the house and again as you drift off to sleep, you are telling your subconscious mind with your FOCUS and your FEELINGS that this Big Dream is “real” to you. And it will do everything it can to make it a reality in your life so the men in the white coats won’t come and put you in the straightjacket!

You see, your subconscious mind believes everything you tell it. It can’t take a joke, it doesn’t understand sarcasm or irony. You tell it something is real, and it BELIEVES you. And your subconscious mind is also like a giant computer that has stored away absolutely everything you have ever experienced, heard, seen, read – ALL of that is in the “vault” in your brain, just waiting to be called up when needed.

You can’t always call up this deeply stored information with your conscious mind. But if you set it to the task and then relax, your subconscious mind can retrieve the facts you need. And it can also “connect the dots” of all that varied information to figure out some NEW and innovative ways to go after something that your conscious mind never would have thought of. That’s how thoughts become things — through the inspiration that comes from the subconscious mind.

Dr. of Psychology and author Wayne Dyer, who is the #1 Master Manifester in my opinion, says that whatever we fall asleep thinking about stays in our subconscious for the next four hours. Your subconscious works and works on it, until it finds a solution for whatever conundrum you are thinking about. That’s why you can wake up with an inspired new approach to a problem you have been wrestling with or in the shower, suddenly remember exactly where you left a lost object. Your subconscious can also guide you with new, inspired ideas to help you make that little red sports car a reality.

One of my clients recently was looking for a nanny/housekeeper to help with her young daughter. One day, she saw an unexpected “vision” in her mind of a smiling middle-aged Hispanic woman, standing behind her kitchen island, happily preparing a meal while listening to Spanish songs on the radio. She couldn’t explain why, but she just FELT in her heart this woman was going to be her nanny/housekeeper.

She interviewed several applicants by phone, but none of them was a good fit.   Finally, she spoke to one who sounded perfect and my client invited her to come to the house for an interview.   My client was surprised to find that she looked very much like the middle-aged Latina in her vision. After a great interview, she hired her.

On the woman’s first day, my client walked into the kitchen and found her happily working behind the kitchen island with her lively Spanish songs playing on the radio. “It was exactly how I had pictured it,” she told me.   “It’s positively freaky!”

No, it’s visualization!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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