As a result, the mind will always be
preoccupied with trying to find something or some experience to complete
itself, which we interpret as happiness.
after we've spent years setting goals for happiness, looked for it in a multitude of things and
experiences and still don't feel completely at peace, we naturally turn
our attention to the "one" who is seeking it.
Who / what is this "me"
I believe and feel myself to be who is unhappy? As we turn toward this "me" we discover it is just a
thought! It actually has no substance at all.
When we ask the question, "So what AM I, then?" and we explore what
arises as a result of that question, we begin to know ourselves as the
Awareness that is aware of all our experience.
Guess What? This Awareness You Already ARE Is ALREADY Happiness Itself!
All the time we were setting goals, looking for
happiness and never finding a permanent experience of it, we overlooked
the one place where it has always been, is now and will always be: as the Awareness that we already are.
we bring attention to ourselves as Awareness, we realize we (Awareness) have always been here, in the background of all our experience.
what you are aware of. Perhaps you're aware of happiness, or
unhappiness, depression, or a feeling of tightness in your body.
Within your mind, tell yourself "I am aware of ______ (depression or whatever it is you are aware of)."
that the you who is aware of an emotion, thought or sensation isn't
limited or changed by what you are aware OF. In other words, if you
notice unhappiness, you, Awareness aren't unhappy, even though you are
aware of a sensation the mind might label "unhappiness."
If you notice
a thought that says "I'm wonderful" or "I'm a failure," neither of
those thoughts, or the emotions they evoke, changes the calm,
peaceful stillness that is you, Awareness.
Now tell yourself "I am aware." Be this that is simply aware of whatever you're experiencing.
Next, tell yourself "I am." Be this that simply IS.
Now just think the word "I." Be this that is simply here and aware.
The following links can also help you get to know yourself as Awareness:
But What About The Unhappiness? How Can You Heal It?
When you bring your attention within, at first it may be hard to shift your attention to yourself, Awareness, if you are experiencing strong, uncomfortable feelings of unhappiness in the form of depression, fear, anger, sadness, etc., while thinking about setting goals, or even while thinking of nothing in particular.
Are you struggling? I’m here to support you.
Are you struggling? I’m here to support you.
Your attention will most likely be drawn to any sensation / emotion, because our conditioning says "Alert! You need to do something about this!"
The best way to facilitate the
dissolution of unhappiness or any uncomfortable experience is to first
let go of trying to make it go away.
Unhappiness is actually a neutral
energy until we push against it and label it as "bad." It is the story
about the sensation that creates suffering, not the sensation itself.
long as these bodies are appearing in this dream, our minds will be setting goals, wanting to orient us toward finding some kind of happiness. No
need to try to stop it. You won't be able to anyway. :-)
It is only when we EXCLUSIVELY focus on setting goals and working toward them (without balancing it with the enjoyment of what we're doing, and staying open to where our intuition wants to guide us) that we make life more stressful for ourselves, and actually decrease the likelihood that we will get what we really want, which I'll go into in a moment.
As I mentioned before, you can "stand" in Awareness, the you who is
already and always at peace, even while you're setting goals and working with them, and enjoy yourself along the way!
In a moment I'll give you some tips to help you move toward your goals in a much more productive and enjoyable way.
First, you might find this interesting...
Exclusively Focusing On Goals Sacrifices Enjoyment And Hinders Goal Attainment
researchers – Ayelet Fishbach from the University of Chicago and
Jinhee Choi from Korea Business School – found that while setting goals if we focus
exclusively on a goal itself, we edge out our enjoyment of what we are doing.
When we compromise our enjoyment we actually decrease our ability to achieve
In the study, two groups of subjects worked out in a gym. After setting goals, the first group focused exclusively on the goal, like running on a
treadmill. The second group focused on enjoying the present
time, in-the-moment experience of the
workout rather than a future ideal they were working toward.
researchers discovered that the first group, who focused on a specific
attainment goal, initially had more enthusiasm but measurably
less success than the second group, who were instead focused on enjoying
their present time experience.
goal-focused group felt that the exercise was more of a chore and took more effort than
the second group, who experienced more fluidity and energy with their workout.
conclusion of the study was that keeping your eye on a goal can
your ability to enjoy what you are doing right now, and decrease your effectiveness in attaining your goal.
Basically, this comes down to the
difference between being fully here in the present moment vs living in
While setting goals, if we too narrowly focus on the attainment of a future goal, it perpetuates
the illusion that we are a collection of thoughts, images, self concepts
and emotions all housed in a body rather than this alive, peaceful,
unconfined presence that is simply here NOW.
The Only True Place Of Power, Effectiveness And Joy Is This Present Moment
Recently on the "60 Minutes" TV show a man who was part of a US
Navy Sea, Air, Land Team described a pivotal moment in his life that demonstrates the power of being attentive to the present moment.
While on a training
exercise, rock climbing at a very high elevation, he was delicately perched on the face of a rock, frozen in fear, unable to move.
trainer climbed up beside him and
encouraged him to stay within his "three-foot world."
brought his attention to the fact that in that moment, the only area
where he could effect change in his world was in the three feet around
That was the only thing he had control over – what he chose to do
in that three-foot world.
The trainer encouraged him to stay HERE in this moment
and do what was doable in that three-foot world. He guided the climber to look around him at the area within his reach, find one move that was possible, focus on that one move and do it.
Then after the man completed that one move, the trainer urged him to repeat the process, step by step by step, one step at a time.
The climber followed his trainer's advice and one by one, found foot and hand holds, eventually climbing his way to the top of the rocky surface.
You Are Only Truly ALIVE Now In THIS Present Moment – What Can You Do Right Now?
In setting goals, we focus on the future, but it is actually this present moment that is the true "place" of power, energy effectiveness, wisdom, insight, and creativity, as well as joy!
the degree that our attention leaves this present moment, to that same
degree we diminish our experience of true power, energy, effectiveness,
wisdom, insight, creativity and joy.
This is where you are alive, NOW. Before setting goals, first
determine what you WANT to do and what you feel drawn to do, that is doable
right now in this moment. What lights you up? What makes you feel energized when you think of doing it?
Do that one thing. Focus on the aspect of it that you like and which energizes you as you're doing it, and enjoy it.
Then repeat the process. Your "hand and foot holds" will keep appearing, one at a time.
You'll notice that engaging with each "hand or foot hold" that you enjoy and are naturally drawn to GIVES you energy, while forcing yourself DEPLETES and scatters your energy and produces anxiety.
So, what can you do right NOW?
Can't Think Of Anything You Want To Do That Brings You Joy?
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.”
(Because it IS!)
As you're setting goals and going about your life, be on the lookout
for what brings a spark of joy to you. Even if it is just a small spark,
it can lead to a big flame. Pay attention to those sparks and follow
where they lead you.
Maybe you enjoy looking at fashion magazines, or blueprints, or cookbooks or tech manuals or books about healing. If you're drawn to it, it is a golden "hand or foot hold" that is beckoning you in its direction. Follow that nudge. Take the most doable step that takes you more deeply into it. What have you got to lose?
If fashion draws you, before setting goals about it, just start playing with designs. Get out paper and pencils and play. Discover YOUR unique path by seeing what aspect of it you enjoy the most.
Just start where you are. See what wants to appear on the paper.
Know What You Want To Do But Can't Seem To Get Going On It?
If you're past the setting goals phase and are already aware of what excites you but feel stuck moving toward it, you are probably thinking in too big of chunks.
For instance, maybe you want to write a book but feel overwhelmed by the project.
What is a doable step you can do right now?
Here are some examples: Just start "Awareness-storming" topics. (I prefer this term over "brainstorming" because this activity is more connected to Awareness than the brain.)
If you already know a
topic you want to focus on, "Awareness-storm" about what you want to include in it. Open up a
blank file in your text program and start typing. See what naturally flows out.
Later you can look through what you've written and decide how to break your subjects down into chapter titles and subheads.
Don't worry about that right now. For this moment, it's just you and a blank file, waiting for you to fill it with what is already bursting inside of you to share (or you wouldn't be drawn to write the book in the first place).
Start with what feels DOABLE right now. Do that, and then the next doable step will come into Awareness.
Don't Forget To Enjoy Yourself While You're Setting Goals And Moving Toward Them
Being in a state of enjoyment is more therapeutic for you than you might realize.
When you focus on the in-the-moment play aspects of ANY activity, you'll notice that your mind is open, alert and energized, yet relaxed.
In this creative openness new ideas and possibilities will readily come into Awareness that you didn't previously have access to.
I also experience expansion
and greater freedom when I'm doing what I love.
And the body loves to play as well! Whenever our attention shifts to joy, the nervous system and the entire body reap huge healing benefits.
The more you can listen to and follow those nudges that bring you joy as you're going through your goal setting steps, the more successful and happier you'll be, doing what you really want to do.
What About Envisioning The Attainment Of Your Goal And Enjoying That?
After setting goals it is natural and fun to get into the feeling of how it will feel to achieve them. Yes! If it brings you joy, do it.
But then come back to the present moment and notice what brings you joy right now.
In order to imagine a future experience, your attention leaves
the present moment, which, remember, is the only place you can
consciously access yourself as Awareness, and which is the only "place"
of true, permanent happiness, as well as power and effectiveness.
order to imagine anything, you have to shift attention to the same mind
that inherently believes it is a fragment dealing with other fragments,
rather than the integrated Whole we all are together.
Even though the
mind might be focused on an image of something pleasurable, the pleasure itself isn't
The mind can only operate as a field of polarities –
yes / no, good / bad, I want this / I don't want that, etc. When it focuses on
one end of a polarity ("This is what I want."), the other end of the
polarity ("But I'm afraid this will happen instead.") will always kick in at
some point. It's just how the mind is set up.
Remember that the underlying premise the mind operates from is
"I am separate."
"Everything has an opposite, so good can change to bad at any moment."
So setting goals and imagining them fulfilled, as well as anything that we do that is initiated exclusively by mind will be flavored with this perspective.
That way you have a better chance of achieving your true goals as well.
But How Can You Get Anything Done If You're Focused On Fun?
I know, it seems like a paradox doesn't it.
But truly, it amazes me how much more efficient and productive I am when I focus on what I enjoy more than what's on my "Get It Done" list.
After setting goals, if
I try to force myself to do something I'm simply not ready to do
because I don't WANT to do it right now, it either doesn't get done at all or it
gets done poorly and is ineffective because I don't feel connected to it and I'm not
totally "here" when I'm doing it.
How To Know What Is Most Optimal To Do Each Day
In the morning when we first awaken from sleep, in the first few
seconds or minutes there is the absence of an identification with our
name, self concepts, story, and etc.
Then gradually, as the mind becomes active, we begin to think of our current "problems." Sometimes, at
this point, our attention gets drawn into a mental loop of worse case
scenario and / or becomes occupied with setting goals to try and solve problems so that we can feel better.
invite you to linger your attention in this open space, before your
usual identification with your name, life and
self concepts come back in. Explore it. Get to know it. This "space" is
actually who / what you truly are – Pure Awareness – before being
overlaid with the usual identifications.
“Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.”
~ Crystal Middlemas
at some point the mind will kick in and start setting goals again as the usual story of "me" returns. You'll notice an array of
"shoulds" that come to mind. They will be in regards to things that you
want in your life – from the mundane ("I want a cup of
coffee") to the bigger picture ("I want a better relationship / career /
Notice how you feel as these thoughts about things to do
come into Awareness. Pay attention to the ones that bring a sense of
openness, joy, and even excitement, ranging from slight to full on joy.
notice that you WANT to do some of the things you thought of (even if
it is just a mild "want"), while you WON'T want to do some other things.
When your Inner Guidance / Intuition shows you what is most
optimal for you to do right now, it is always accompanied by a positive
feeling, ranging from mildly positive to obviously exuberant.
the other hand, when the "Get It Done" mind starts setting goals and offers its "shoulds" for
the day, you will always notice a feeling of contraction, from mild to extreme discomfort.
Take note of the ideas / things to do
that FEEL good. Those are the ones that are best for you to focus on
first. They will also be the tasks that are the most DOABLE for you
right now. Situations will be more lined up to facilitate doing that
project (or even one small part of that project) more so than a mind-generated "should."
For instance, out of all the items on my "Get It Done" list, today, what lit up the most for me is
writing this article!
Steps For Setting Goals That Are In Line With Your Highest Happiness
First... Open To The Bigger Picture
1. Bring your attention to yourself as Awareness / Love.
As you explore yourself as Awareness,
affirm that this is who / what you truly are. Even if you don't fully
feel yourself as this, just by saying "I am aware" you will have guided
your attention in that direction.
Ask this "you" to guide your life, not just for setting goals but for everything. This is where you and Source / God / Spirit (whatever name you know it by) are all One Being.
This aligns your compass /
intention with the highest good for you and All Life. This orientation
will attract things, people, ideas and experiences you enjoy into your
life, where your unique talents will be used for the greatest good of
the Whole (which includes you!).
This is also where you will be
most in sync with the path that serves the awakening into the truth of
who you are, both for you and for All.
2. For this moment let go of your ideas about what you think you SHOULD be doing with your life.
Even if you have already been through the setting goals process and are crystal
clear about what you're drawn to and what your life path is, for the
moment, pretend you aren't. Let go of all your previous ideas about it. You can take them all back later if you want to.
This helps to release the hold of the linear mind and opens your mind to fresh new possibilities.
3. Ask yourself: "If money wasn't an issue and I could do anything at
all that I wanted to do, and nothing was holding me back in any way,
what would I do?"
I recommend writing down everything that comes into Awareness, no matter how outlandish it might seem to your linear mind.
Now Begin Moving Toward What Feels Good... From Where You Are Right Now
4. Play with ideas that came up in Step 3.
Look at the ideas that came up in
Step 3. Notice which ones you feel warmest and most excited about. Think
about each one, one at a time. As you put your attention on an idea,
notice the related ideas that naturally come forward. Write each of them
down, even if they seem silly.
instance, in Step 3, let's say that one of the ideas that came into
Awareness was to be around giraffes and take care of them in some way.
Step 4 now, rather than setting goals, just think of that subject – being around giraffes and
caring for them. What comes to mind when you do that? Living in Africa?
Studying the habits of giraffes? Wondering what their specific needs
are? Ideas about how to help them with those needs?
You get the idea. Write down whatever pops into Awareness.
try to make sense of any of this right now. Just play. Ignore any
thoughts that say "You can't do that." Stay with the supposition that
nothing is holding you back and money isn't an issue.
may seem disjointed and you might be wondering how you
could ever tie it all together or use it for setting goals that make sense.
Don't worry about that right now. Instead, play.
when you were a child and you wanted to be a fireman or a doctor or an
artist? Be that open child now and let him/her have some fun.
5. Keep playing! Play with ideas that came up in Step 4.
Using our giraffe example, which of the items in Step 4 are you most
drawn to? For instance, let's say, one of them was wondering what
giraffes' specific needs are.
Let your curiosity / play take over.
What is doable right now to take you a step down that road? For
starters, you could Google the subject. Then see what sparks you in the
results that come up. Keep following the sparks.
6. Repeat the process, one step at a time.
writing down what comes into Awareness as you allow yourself to play
with the ideas. With the ideas that feel the warmest to you – the ones
you resonate with the most in THIS moment – continue to ask, "What can I
do right now to take it a step further?"
Keep asking that question until you run out of ideas for the moment. Write them all down.
Later, while setting goals, you
may or may not end up doing all of the ideas that come to you. Again,
for now, don't try to figure out the whole path. Just focus on what you
feel the most resonance / love / joy with right now. That will show you a
next step. Then do it again, and the next step will reveal itself.
What might seem like isolated, disconnected parts now will all fit together later.
Tips For Setting Goals
Focus On Giving
the ideas in your "Awareness-storming" that involve giving, sharing,
and being helpful to people, animals, the environment, or anything you
naturally care about.
When you focus on what you have to give:
others are enriched and helped
will also receive in some way (In truth, there is only One of us here,
and we are always giving to and receiving from ourSelf.)
are tuned into and accessing the truth, love, connection and power of
the Whole, rather than the temporary, finite, illusionary power of a
you'll enjoy it much more
you'll feel more flow and energetic support – wind in your sails, so to speak
your natural, unique talents are increased, highlighted, and enhanced, as they are utilized for the greater good
Ask yourself: "What do I WANT to give? What is already flowing in me right now that wants to be shared?"
Everyone has many things to give.
are unique on this plane. There has never been and will never be,
anyone else with your particular perspective, experience and gifts to
share. When you are setting goals, remember there is something you can offer the rest of us that no one else
can. Don't let it go unshared. The world needs you!
You'll find your unique gifts in your:
warmth, love, humor and joy
life experience and expertise
unique perspective and insights
You may never know the power of the impact your sharing might have on
someone else. Helping others doesn't have to be a grand event.
I'll always remember a story about a man who was
suffering and planned on going on a shooting spree. He walked into a restaurant with his plan. Then a waitress
at him and he changed his mind.
While Setting Goals Be Willing To Be Flexible With How It All Unfolds
Every experience in your life has helped equip you to engage with what is in your life right now. With every step we take we gain the skills and realizations necessary to deal with the following step.
I've also noticed that as we allow ourselves to be guided more by Intuition (following what we feel the most drawn to and enjoy doing), rather than the linear aspect of setting goals, our lives rarely follow a
We all have a spiritual workshop in this lifetime that is in service to awakening into the Truth of who / what we really are – Pure Awareness. This workshop trumps everything else that the linear mind thinks we should be doing.
By following the nudges that feel good to you as outlined on this page, you will go through your workshop and learn what is needed, let go of what you must, and experience greater happiness much more quickly than trying to figure out your path with the linear mind.
This life reminds me of a ride I took at
Disneyland where my friend and I handed our tickets to a guide, sat our bottoms down in a little car and neither of us had any idea what would happen next. Slowly, our little car entered a dark
Then it took off at lightning speed, through an amazing kaleidoscope of colors, music and landscapes. At times the car slowed to a standstill, only to suddenly zoom up a steep incline, then just as suddenly to plummet down, down and down.
Because the cavern was dark, it was impossible to predict anything that was coming.
It was a wild ride! And a
whole lot of fun! Not knowing what was coming next was part of the fun.
And you are on your own wild ride. By following
what calls to you and evokes a warm "yes" within you, you will experience a depth of love and joy within you that will surpass anything you've known before.
Your path will be unveiled to you one step at a time – one "hand or foot hold" at a time.
What About Making A Business Plan And Planning Out All The Steps To Your Goal?
If you feel drawn to setting goals by planning out all the steps, by all means do it, especially if it feels good to you to do
that, for either the big picture or immediate goals.
Just keep in mind that it might
not unfold in precisely the way you plan it. Your intuition (following
what brings you joy) might just take you in an entirely different
direction than you could have ever imagined.
While setting goals, if you do decide to make a long term plan, then still focus on THIS
moment and notice what feels the most enjoyable and doable right now. You might notice that something that was in your plan for three years from now wants to happen right now, or something else you hadn't even thought of when you formulated your plan takes precedence over everything else.
I'll share with you an example from my own life of how following my intuition (by
noticing what brings me joy), one "hand or foot hold" at a time
continues to bring me more joy than I could have ever imagined.
didn't plan out any of it to look the way it has shown up!
My Wild Ride
this lifetime I've had many careers, including dental assisting, sales,
secretarial work, care-giving, and free lance graphic design, besides
many other smaller jobs.
I also ran a large
housecleaning company while simultaneously completing several courses in
energy healing and practicing what I learned, first with myself and
then with many others.
While setting goals to try to get what I wanted, although there were some things about many of those jobs and careers that I enjoyed, none of them felt fulfilling.
the way, I was far more interested in what I was exploring spiritually than
anything I was doing in the realm of the body. That was / is what has
always excited me the most.
So, while I was still running the
housecleaning business, setting goals and doing energy healing, I began writing
this site, simply because I wanted to. I loved sharing my realizations and experiences. It was very exciting to share the things
that have helped me and changed my life from suffering to joy.
kept thinking about how I felt when I was suffering and came across an
experience, realization, person, or book that brought me to the next
step. It was exhilarating to be the bringer of that next step to
others, because I knew from my own experience how much it meant. So many
had helped me along the way, and it was always such a blessing to see a
candle in the darkness.
I enjoyed sharing "candles of light" so much (and still do!), I'd stay
up late into the night, happily typing away.
Then one day
while lying on a massage table having body work done, within myself I
practiced the techniques that later evolved into the WellBeing Alignment
Sessions I offer today.
I realized what I was doing was more
effective than the body work my friend was doing on me. From within I heard an inner voice that said, "This isn't just for you." My whole being vibrated
with joy, light and love as the idea came to coach others in the methods I'd been shown for healing.
the way, I'm not saying that body work isn't helpful. It certainly is,
and has it's place. I'm just reporting the circumstances in which a
pivotal "aha!" idea came to me.)
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
~ John Lennon
So... Without setting goals yet, I started giving free
healing sessions that were very different from the energy healing I'd been doing.
I let people know these new sessions were offered in the spirit of
experimentation and play, as I looked for ways to translate the methods I'd
been shown to help myself into methods that others could use to help
themselves as well.
That led to writing more pages on my site,
experimenting with doing sessions on the phone, then later on Skype and
FaceTime. The healing / coaching methods became more distilled, direct and
powerful, a process that continues to this day.
Now, years later, I'm grateful every single day that I
get to meet with all of you lovely beings all over the world, sharing a
powerful method of healing you can learn for yourself!
I enjoy it more than anything else I've ever experienced, and it is immensely fulfilling to receive all your reports about how you are awakening into the truth of who you are and enjoying your lives more.
All of this emerged from following each inner nudge that I felt drawn to when it evoked a feeling of joy within me. If I don't feel joy when an idea comes to me, I don't do it.
The nudges continue to come together as a loosely held, ever changing path that is far more enjoyable, productive and effective than any of the conventional methods I previously tried for setting goals.
I continue to follow the joyful nudges, one step at a time, as I've shared with you on this page. My life continues to shift and change in unpredicted directions, yet at the core of all of it is an unshakeable peace, love and joy.
If you'd like support in the processes introduced here for setting goals or for learning how to let any kind of suffering unwind, I'm very happy to coach you...
In WellBeing Alignment Sessions
you can learn an amazingly simple yet powerful, direct method of
letting all forms of suffering and "stuckness" unwind by itself, and
discover you are the Peace that was underneath it all along!
“The incredible energetic benefits of our first healing session are still manifesting more than a month later.
It is amazing how much your healing has opened in me – Thank You!!! :-)
I've been experiencing waves of healing and releasing past images, voices, thoughts. You have brought me forward on my path in the best possible way.”
~ Paula Rich
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