Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.
I overheard a conversation in the grocery store about the terrible things happening all around the country. I thought to myself how amazing it is that they missed some of the good news that is out there! Just this week there were several uplifting articles in the newspaper. Ironically the positive news is not headlined. However, it is there, usually not quite as obvious as I think it could be! I typically find “good news” because I urgently search to balance the constant deluge of bad news that dominates broadcasts and social media.
· Unemployment rate fell again reaching a record low of 3.4%. At the same time the construction industry employed 303,000 more workers nationally compared to 2017.
· America has a massive truck driver shortage. About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand of Amazon and Walmart. Efforts are being made to allow 18-year-olds to drive trucks across the country. Great salaries will be offered for entry level young people.
· Wall Street closed higher again this past week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at an all-time high.
· The US economy logged its best performance in nearly 4 years. Output expanded 3.2 % in the first half of 2018.
· A friend called to let me know about the positive message etched on the glass bathroom door at the hotel in which he is staying. The following message covered the full length of the door: Have a Great Day! Be Grateful
· Food and Wine magazine surveyed supermarkets that it considers “regional gems.” Dorignac’s, a local supermarket in our area, is listed as a “supermarket hero” and is listed in the top 10 in the country.
The last two items may seem somewhat trivial but in my way of thinking they reinforce the point that great things are happening all around us, but one dose of the evening news can destroy anything positive and refocus our thoughts and outlook in a very negative way.
There are many other life-changing positive things happening around the country. I would like to offer encouragement to my readers to share in my comment section one positive thing that is happening in your area of the county. You will be helping good news travel like the flow of fine wine instead of traveling like molasses.
Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.
We are living in a time of abundance much greater than our parents or grandparents could have ever imagined. I can understand their fear of letting go of any material possession because they did not have the resources to replace anything. Today we have so much “stuff” many people are renting storage units to hold on to possessions that they are not using. The current self-storage industry statistics that the annual industry revenue is $38 billion and there are 50,000 units in the country.
In addition to storage units many families never park their car in their garage because it is filled with “stuff” they may need. I was amazed by a family who had most of their 4-car garage filled with possessions their married children were not using. On an emotional level this is holding on to the past. On a physical level this keeps our daily environment cluttered. It is blocking energy of both emotional and financial abundance.
In the book Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett she states the following:
“Cleaning clutter and cleansing space are the first steps in creating awesome energy within yourself and your surroundings. Just as an artist paints a masterpiece on a fresh canvas, a clean environment is essential for you to implement Feng Shui effectively. If you start with a clean slate, your dreams and goals will manifest much faster and easier.”
My wife should have a master’s degree on clearing out clutter to allow the flow of new energy to come into our home. There is a bag in our office in which we discard the things that are not being used. When it gets filled we bring it to one of the Habitat for Humanity donation bins set up in various locations near our home. Recently she reminded me that some of the shirts I was wearing were getting frayed around the collar. There were other shirts I just never wore. I threw away the old ones and put the good ones in the “recycle” bag.
A few days later we went to the department store and sport shirts were marked down 50% . I decided to purchase two of them to replace the ones I gave away. When I paid the cashier, she said that for today only they were giving an additional 50% off the 50% marked down price. I love a bargain! As insignificant as this experience may seem it reinforced the principle that holding on to things only blocks attracting new things into our lives.
You may want to start at a slow pace by looking at the clothes you have in your closet that you have not worn this year. Gradually remove them, put them in a storage bag, then at the end of the week drop them off to a charitable donation center. The next step would be to look into those hidden spaces where unused things are stored such as the attic, garage or storage units. Decide on one thing at a time that you want to give away. The positive energy flow that can occur when we make even the smallest effort is worth it. It opens the doors to new abundance.
“You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”
Our granddaughter was at our house a few days ago and let me know she was working on her list of affirmations. I then let her review my list. She made the comment that she didn’t know Granny and I were going to New York during the Christmas holidays. This was her response to my affirmation “I am enthusiastic about planning our trip to New York during the Christmas holiday season.”
We then discussed the whole process. I told her it is important that affirmations be written in a way that confirms the intentions will happen. Having a clear intention and elevated emotion will help you succeed in using the powerful tool of affirmations. I explained to her that we may not be going to New York this year and that doesn’t matter. It will happen in the future because I am selecting the hotel, making a list of the plays we will see, and making plans to see the Rockets Christmas show.
I continue to research credible resources to support the tools I suggest that my grandchildren use to help them release negative blocks at an early age. The following quote comes from the book "Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon" by Dr Joe Dispenza, that I am currently reading. It supports the benefits of having intentions and using affirmations to affirm them. It is amazing to realize that there is now scientific evidence that proves it works!
"Changing Your Energy: Combining a Clear Intention with Elevated Emotions. Once you’re in the sweet spot of the generous present moment, where all possibilities exist in the quantum field, how do you turn one or more of those potentials, those immaterial possibilities, into reality in the three-dimensional world of matter?
This requires two things: a clear intention and elevated emotion. Your clear intention is exactly what it sounds like—you must get clear on what it is you want to create, getting as specific as possible, and describe it in detail. Let’s say you want to go on a great vacation. Where is it you want to go? How do you want to get there? Who do you want to go with, or who do you want to meet when you’re there? What sort of accommodations do you want to stay in? What do you want to do or see when you’re there? What food do you want to eat? What do you want to drink? What kind of wardrobe will you pack? What will you buy to bring home? You get the point. Make it detailed—make it as real as you can because you are going to assign a letter as a symbol of possibility to all those conditions.
As you read in the previous chapter, those thoughts, which make up your intention, are the electrical charge you are sending out into the unified field. Now you must combine that intention with an elevated emotion, such as love, gratitude, inspiration, joy, excitement, awe, or wonder, to name just a few examples.
You must tap into the feeling you anticipate you will have when you manifest your intent, and then feel the emotion ahead of the experience. The elevated emotion (which carries a higher energy) is the magnetic charge you are sending out into the field."
Think of a special event that you love celebrating. It may be Christmas, Birthdays or any other special occasion. With that thought in mind use that excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm to write down your list of intentions that you plan on bringing into your life. Then take that list and transform it into affirmations beginning each with “I Am.”
“I can't change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
While driving to the beach this weekend my wife and I were listening to a talk given several years ago by Dr. Wayne Dyer on the power of affirmations. This is a topic I wrote about in my last posting but since it keeps drawing my attention through several books, articles and CDs I feel compelled to expand on this helpful tool. One of things Dr. Dyer emphasized is that affirmations should begin with “I Am.” These words make the affirmation a present experience and even programs your mind to expect them to happen.
As soon as we came back home I spent some time rewriting several of my affirmations to start with “I Am.” The Jimmy Dean quote I used today is something I have always done when I am determined to reach my destination. The tapes reminded me of what I somehow had forgotten. Now I’m back on track! The “I Am” put the focus and the power in the present moment.
If you are a follower of my blog, you certainly know I am motivated by success. When anyone has success using some of the principles I have written about I consider that a success for me also. That is why it is important for me to share what is working in my life. When I was reviewing my affirmations, I noticed one that I had coincidentally worded as such and realized that it was already working.
“ I am confident in my ability to attract financial abundance.”
Unexpected maintenance expenses to our car surprised me but were handled with ease. Surprises of that sort can really throw me but not this time. This may seem trivial, but it was a major confirmation letting me know that affirmations work.
Another support of the value of writing affirmations of things you plan on experiencing in your life comes from a book I am reading by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
"So, when you’re fully engaged and focused, the inner world of imagination will appear as an outer-world experience—and your biology will change accordingly. That means you can make your brain and body look as if a physical experience has already happened without having the actual experience. What you put your attention on and mentally rehearse repeatedly not only becomes who you are from a biological perspective, it also determines your future." from Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon by Dr. Joe Dispenza
If you have not yet written your affirmations I encourage you to spend some time this week writing them down. I printed several copies so that I can have a copy available to read when I go to bed at night and one next to my computer in my office.
It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And
once that belief becomes a deep conviction,
things begin to happen.
---Claude M. Bristol
A milestone event happened on December 10, 1991. This was when we met Mary Jo McCabe https://www.maryjomccabe.com/
a spiritual intuitive for our very first reading for guidance.
We were blessed after that day to become friends with Mary Jo and participated in seminars, workshops and in-house meetings. My wife gave me a fantastic gift by transcribing the information I received from the guides over a 24-year period. These readings are in a binder that I often refer to when things occur in my life for which I need clarity or guidance.
The question I asked at one of the events may benefit many of my readers of my blog. It relates to the use of affirmations to create positive changes to create a life of abundance. “Do affirmations manifest prosperity, peace and change in our lives?”
Here is the answer I received. “You must realize that the purpose of affirmations is changing your thought plan and if it does that, then it is used in greater ways. But man must speak them from the heart. It is not of goodness to speak from his mind. If he chooses to walk a journey he has to feel the journey. No matter how much he may think it, it does not bring belief to him. He must feel it and must believe in the power of his words. Look at this as a 1 to 10 scale. When he thinks it, when he says it, it’s a 1. If he feels it and says it too, it is a 10.
It is important to understand that to create affirmations of truth and value; you must BELIEVE and have faith in what you seek. It will automatically happen if that is so. If you speak of them, that is only filling the air space between you and life itself. But if you believe what you are speaking and if you live true to them, they are powerful...almost to where they create MIRACLES!”
After reviewing this information given to me many years ago it motivated me to spend time today writing current affirmations using the principles she taught me.
Regardless of how much success I personally have experienced in the past using the guidance of Mary Jo I recently have become very lax and do not have an updated list.
I’m not sure how I allowed this to happen because two major European trips were manifested by using affirmations. At that time, I truly had a strong belief and had faith that what I was saying would manifest in my life.
Last week my bloodwork showed a slight increase in my Glucose level.
One of the affirmation I will now be saying is “I trust myself to always stay healthy by eating the best foods and exercising three times a week.”
You may want to consider writing a short list of affirmations to create some change in your life and keep you focused on what you want to manifest in your life.
“A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one.” This was the message our nephew recently got from a fortune cookie. It was timely that he shared this message because I had just experienced a powerful confirmation of this truth.
Our good friend’s 94-year-old mother passed on July 3. The funeral was last Saturday, and interment was out of town. This made it necessary to schedule the celebration of life gathering on Sunday at her house. It was the family home in which she and her husband raised their four children. They were married 60 years when he passed 12 years prior to her passing. Their tradition was to have the entire family there on Sundays for lunch. That tradition continued until 3 months before her passing. The house is 850 sq. ft. with one bath. It was all they needed!
The size of the family has grown from 4 to 40+: four children and their spouses, eight grandchildren and the spouses of those married, and 24 great grandchildren. A larger facility was considered for the gathering considering the numbers, but they all unanimously decided it had to be in the house in which so many great memories were created.
My wife and I were blessed because of our lifelong friendship with her son to participate in this event. There was certainly a sadness in their loss but also so much joy in sharing the “MGILY” stories that have impacted their lives. We just learned how she decided on that acronym as the name she chose as her grandparent name. Fr. Seelos always put those initials on the top of all his correspondence. When she saw that on his letters in visiting his shrine, she learned it meant “My God I Love You.” And she knew that said it all for the precious relationships with her grandchildren. She truly was such a positive inspirational person and she did indeed have a tremendous impact on the lives of her family. Her “way of living” will influence many generations. The following are just a few thoughts written by her grandchildren about her impact on them:
· “She always had a smile, never a negative word said about anything or anyone.”
· “She enjoyed sitting on her swing under the big oak trees and always thanked Jesus for sending a breeze.” (Ironically on the hot July day of the gathering at her house a cool breeze came through now and again as we sat outside to eat.)
· “I don’t think a day ever passed without her helping someone or praying for those in need.”
· “Nursing was her calling in life and it was a beautiful way for her to be of service to others.”
· “She was a woman who lived her life serving God by serving anyone who needed help.”
· “I would say she is the only person who resembles a Living Saint.”
· “What wisdom in her statement! It takes two to fight and she refused to be the second party.”
· “Those whom she nursed back to health said, ‘They were touched by an angel,’ an angel whom I had the pleasure to call my grandmother.”
Many years ago, we took a road trip with Vivian and her son. Every time we got into the car she would say a prayer “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John bless the wheels we’re rolling on.” We are still influenced to say that prayer every time we get into the car. Our grandchildren have said this prayer with us since they were toddlers. Our grandson came home from school this past year and said he got extra points on his third-grade religion test because he knew the author of the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He told his teacher he knew that because that was the prayer we say every time we get into the car.
Yes, all this wisdom came to so many from a person living a very modest lifestyle. An ordinary person who truly lived and loved in a very extraordinary way. Adjectives such as positive, lifegiving, uplifting, grace-filled only touch the tip of all that was Vivian. MGILY’S energy and spirit was contagious and has influenced many beyond her immediate family. She has left the world a better place for all of us to enjoy.
“You become what you digest into your spirit.
Whatever you think about, focus on, read about, talk about,
you’re going to attract more of into your life.
Make sure they're all positive.”
― Germany Kent
Last week I wrote about the importance of having an itemized budget. I strongly believe this is beneficial to living a life of abundance.
Shortly after that posting I experienced a major mental pitfall that can happen when I must reduce the amount of money in a few of the non-essential categories to cover unexpected expenses. In these circumstances I can easily fall into speaking like I am coming from lack or the “poverty consciousness” clicks in. This is especially true when the reductions affect the monthly allocation to two of my favorite budget items, entertainment and travel.
When I start feeling sorry for myself the negative self-talk begins. “I do not have enough money to travel as much as I’d like. I can’t eat out quite as often, especially at fine dining restaurants. I have to think twice about those theatre tickets!” This type of self-talk will only attract more of “less” in my life.
I can turn this around by turning the poverty consciousness statements around to affirmations. For example, “I am grateful for road trips I have planned this year. I am blessed living in a city that offers very reasonable fine dining lunch experiences. I love supporting local theatre groups that offer great plays for half the cost of Broadway road shows.”
To help me to shift my thinking I took a second look at a book I read many years ago “Real Magic, Creating Miracles in Everyday Life” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. The following comes from Chapter 5, Real Magic and Your Prosperity:
“Take an inner inventory and see if the following statements are a part of your consciousness.
· There is not enough to go around.
· You must get yours or someone else will grab it before you.
· There are only so many fish in the sea.
· You will never know if opportunity will knock.
If these and similar thoughts are part of your personal inventory, then probably you were taught that you are living in a world of shortage. You have been raised to believe in scarcity. The following five essentials of a prosperity consciousness can help you make the shift.
1. You don’t need anything else to experience prosperity.
2. You cannot create prosperity if you believe in lack.
3. You are not separated into categories. You are at once the seer, seeing and seen.
4. You cannot experience prosperity if you believe you don’t deserve it.
5. Rejoice in the prosperity of others.”
Today I spent some quiet time reflecting on my many blessings. They are so easy to take for granted when everything is going great.
Life occasionally throws us a curve ball and poverty consciousness can slip in. That is the time you will appreciate the resources you have accumulated in your toolbox to assist you in making the shift so that you once again create a life of abundance.
“We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
I grew up in a family that by today’s standard of living would be considered lower middle class or one step up from being poor. I experienced life with a stay-at-home mom and a blue color hard working father who did not make much money.
My mother was a great manager of their limited income. She did not have the Excel budget spread sheet that I have but I picked up a few tips on some of the categories that were important.
One of the categories was Tithing. Their tithing was basically in the form of service to family. They frequently invited them over to eat, especially a cousin with special needs whose mother and father were deceased. They also extended financial help to those less fortunate regardless of their own needs.
The second category was Saving. A small portion of their limited income was put aside for a rainy day. This seemed to be the thing that came naturally for people of that day because they had survived the depression.
Surprisingly Travel was a budget item even though it did not support luxury travel. We took a family vacation, but the cost was shared with extended family members. These vacations typically involved the rental of a camp on the water, so everyone could swim, fish and catch crabs.
Establishing an itemized budget was the first thing I did when we got married. It has remained a work in progress for fifty years. With that longevity I have evidence that it works. I have given my budget a title of “Prosperity Budget” which eliminates any connotation of limitations. It does allow me to be in control of my finances without debt.
I have offered many people guidance in living a life of abundance by having a budget. One young man that consulted with me before going to college followed my advice and established an itemized budget. He has always used this practice to create a life of abundance and establish a secure financial lifestyle and future. He told me a few months ago that he will retire in 10 years and will have accomplished his projected retirement savings.
I have been told by our grandchildren that the coffee drink they buy cost $5. When I drive by these coffee shops the lines are around the block. That tells me many people are spending at least $5 a day or averaging $100 a month on coffee. If that budgeted money were put into a mutual fund account averaging 8% interest, at the end of 30 years it would amount to a startling $143,000 in savings.
Since retirement we have personally taken two trips to Europe and several trips within the US. People have often commented on our ability to do that amount of traveling on a fixed income. I also tell them it is no great mystery. Travel is my passion and it is a budget item. We plan, save, and then enjoy our vacations!
As I stated before my parents had limited income. My father predeceased my mother. Ironically when my mother passed in 2005 we discovered envelopes taped on the back of the dresser in her bedroom with $7,000 in $100 bills. Some bills were dated 1934 which is when they sold their corner grocery store on Cadiz Street in New Orleans many years ago. When they moved from the city they purchased a small house in Jefferson Parish. Later in life they purchased a double so that my grandmother could live with them. That house I inherited is in an area that is experiencing rapid medical expansion and has grown substantially in value. They accomplished all of this with a limited income and wise management.
Most people resist the idea of budgets. I have heard feedback that it is too complicated…to many categories to post on a spread sheet and keep track of every month. For me it is a habit I incorporated many years ago and it allows me to live a life of abundance debt free. I have the things most important to my wife and me incorporated in our budget: tithing, household necessities, travel, rainy day fund, Christmas savings, entertainment and a few more incidentals.
The easiest way to establish a prosperity budget is to make a list of all fixed expenses like House Note, Insurance Premiums, Car Expenses, Medical, Tithing and Savings. On another page make a list of flexible expenses like travel, entertainment and gifts. These two lists should equal the income sourcing for the budget.
If I can offer any additional help in getting you started on using this practice just send me an email at email@example.com.
In future postings I will discuss how establishing buckets of income streams have worked for me living on a fixed retirement income. Having a budget made this happen for us along with the guidance of great professionals.
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown
We are inundated with fear-based information because it gets our attention.
A few days ago, I read an article that popped up on the screen of my computer about signs of an economic crash coming that will be worse than the one we experienced in 2007 through 2009. That got my attention because I retired in 2007 and shortly after retiring I experienced a 45% decline in my investment account.
Following the economic crash, I was in the hospital recovering from surgery. I received a telephone call from both tenants of my rental property informing me they were immediately moving out.
I always tell my wife when I receive three positive signs from my toolbox. I have even named it “the Divine Trilogy.” Well what happened next was the Divine Crisis because a third challenge happened. I called the CPA we had been going to for years and he informed me he was closing his business. Starting with someone new raised a lot of concern. Our financial planner coached us through the economic crash and we successfully worked out a plan to keep us on track for our long-term Retirement goals.
At my age I didn’t want to be bothered with the day-to-day issues with rental property but wanted to keep it as a source of one of the buckets of retirement income. I now have a fantastic property manager who takes care of everything.
Our new CPA is great with the tax advantages of operating a small in-home business. This has encouraged me to continue our small business because it pays for the products we consume with another tax savings bucket of income.
After reading the article on the next projected crash I received a newsletter from our financial planner with information on the economy with the following positive information: If you have an interest in reading the entire article I will be glad to
forward it to you. “The state of American Consumers is strong. Consumer debt remains at manageable levels. Consumers are being smarter about credit debt.”
Another article for investors looking toward the future with the potential for greater yield was on the year 2035 world economic projections: “Emerging markets are projected to account for 60% of the world’s economic activity.”
Every fear base crisis offers us the opportunity to come up with a positive solution. I will share with you in upcoming posts some of my personal guidelines for living a life of abundance with Passion, Purpose and attracting Prosperity. I will also invite professionals who have assisted me to submit an article.
Living a life of abundance is not limited to financial abundance. The following will be some of the topics I will write about:
Income Sourcing to create Buckets of Income
Wellness in Body, Mind and Spirit
Happy day after Father’s Day.
Everyone comes into this world with a different agenda to fulfill. Mine was quite different than my father’s. In fact, it was so different it took me a long time to appreciate my father’s mission and passions in life… taking care of his family.
He was very creative. He was a hard worker. His primary passion was to take care of his brothers and sisters and my mother’s family. I am an only child, but I was always surrounded by cousins, aunts and uncles.
Because of the frequent family gatherings, I never felt lonely or alone. I felt very blessed.
When my parents bought their house, they purchased a home adjoining the property of two of my Dad’s sisters. They had built a small house on their property to accommodate my grandfather. My dad in turn built a house on his property for another one of his sisters and her family. It was truly a community experience.
I came into this world with tremendous ambition to be successful. My idea of success hampered my ability to recognize and appreciate my Dad’s focus in life. Family has always been very important to me. However, as a young adult my idea of success was achieving career recognitions, promotions, and meeting monetary goals.
It took years for me to realize the influence my father had on me. It was when I was offered a promotion and I declined it. This promotion would have required me to move around the country. My parents and Jeanne’s parents were getting to an age that we realized it would not be a good idea for us to move out of the city. This was not an easy decision at the time. I was told I would not be offered such an opportunity again and this decision could affect future raises. I never regretted my decision and am so grateful I had the courage and fortitude to listen to my heart as well as my head. Ironically, management changed in the company and my career was not hampered by that decision.
My Father’s gift to me lives on particularly in my retirement years as the blessings of our children and grandchildren surround us every day. The celebrations with family are the most meaningful events throughout the year.
The lesson for me as a grandparent, as a husband, and a friend is to fully embrace the value of family in good times and challenging times. Strong family ties strengthen us to go forth into the world and be the best person we can be. I am grateful to my Dad for his devotion to family. He was a simple, humble man and certainly not a “high achiever.” Yet I am convinced he had a very definite influence on making the world a better place.