031-istock-origAstrology is a tool that offers leaps in understanding when embraced as a symbolic language. I look at it as one tool in the toolbox. Like, “I’m gonna pick up my screwdriver now and work on this project.” Or for astrology, “I’m going to pick up my natal chart now and see what insights I discover.”

I’m not a fan of using astrology for every single question. It is wonderful for seeing potential life lesson insights, though. It can help bring clarity quickly. As Steven Forrest wrote, “Astrology’s principle advantage is speed.” Astrology offers a way to focus on insights for certain areas of life and help you problem solve at any given time too.

You are probably familiar with your Sun sign even if you haven’t ever done much work learning the symbolic language of astrology at all. For example, you most likely know you are a Pisces or Taurus.

Sun sign descriptions are a nice way to open the door to a little bit of the language and symbolism of astrology. There are a lot more pieces that can be added to tap into the useful information to consider for practical relevance to your life. Whole paragraphs can be added such as, in general: how others tend to see you, what you are best known for, how you learn best, how to best nurture yourself, what makes your heart soar, what you are spontaneously willing to take action on, information about your life purpose, and many other useful pieces of information to consider.

Astrology can reveal new ideas for solutions that you have not thought of before. Then you try the new approach in your life and find out for yourself if the idea worked. I love to use astrology in this very practical way.

Because of the law of attraction, always take descriptions offered to the high side for ideas to consider going forward. For example, low side keywords to consider for Aquarius include detached, unpredictable, and arrogant. Whereas high side keywords include visionary, altruistic, perceptive, funny, and unique. You can find many more examples of keywords for all of the 12 signs to consider online. There are multiple potential interpretations for every piece in astrology. Remember to focus on the positive as you go.

The place to start is to get a copy of your natal chart. It is all done by computer software. You can get a free natal chart online at astro.cafeastrology.com. Just click on “Birth Chart” once you get there. You will need your birth date, birth time, and birth place to generate a chart.

Then you can look at a cheat sheet such as this one or, my long-time favorite, this one.

One of the first things I look at when I look at a chart is the placement of the north node by house and sign. Which gives the big picture idea of hints into life purpose. North node placement can help you sync up with a way of being that can help move you forward towards everything that you want in life. It’s a very big picture view, and it’s a lifelong journey. But you can know that as you lean in the direction of that north node, you’re heading in a good direction for personal growth. The insights and clarity from taking a look at that north node can be priceless.

Next, I often look for the Sun and Moon sign and placements. Just these bits of info provide inspirational ideas to consider and synthesize for self-growth.

Did you know that there are things to look at in your natal chart that can give ideas to consider for career too? At the top of your chart will be a sign that indicates what others quickly recognize about you. When you combine that info with your moon sign and your Mars sign you can gather some helpful ideas that can point to practical steps to try in your career.

And you can gain insights about yourself in all kinds of relationships too. For important partnerships, such life partners, look at the 7th house cusp. So, if you have Aquarius on the 7th house cusp of partnership and identifying with others, lean into being altruistic, perceptive, and funny in relationships…or any of the other high side keywords for Aquarius that resonate with you. Consider that might be the type of person you attract as well.

Now if you want to take a look at how you can take it to the high side as a parent, look at the 5th house cusp and see what sign is there then take the keywords to the high side again, see which ones resonate with you. With siblings look at the 3rd house cusp. With co-workers, look at the 6th house cusp.

I truly believe positive astrology work can result in clarity and life-enhancing ideas to try as well as a deepening of self-understanding.

There are powerful people around us all the time. People who either help us create the next part of our life story in a powerfully positive way or people who help us rehash our old story. Relationships are about the potential of the next part of your story. Through your relationships you become more of who you are. Much of the juice of life comes from interactions with others too. Different teachers and mentors come into our lives through our relationships. Even as we live our lives and have our experiences, we can maintain a fundamental view of others as people with the potential to connect meaningfully with us. Through times of connection, we all learn something new about ourselves.

It’s human nature to look to others to make us feel good. One of the best feelings ever happens when we look into someone’s eyes as we laugh with them. It’s so easy to appreciate the moment when that happens. But remember, no one else is responsible for how you feel. Would you even want them to be? I don’t care to be that dependent on anyone. I don’t control how others feel and no one but me is responsible for how I feel. Remember that. Maybe it will help you as it has me. We all can steer our emotions in a direction that feels good. To do so, we must monitor what we are thinking about and focusing on and exercise intention and discipline in that regard.

You are worthy, and your perspective is valid. You have a unique point of view and it matters. You matter, whether anyone else recognizes that in any moment or not. Do not be dependent on other people’s opinion of you for your own happiness. That being said, strive to make appreciation the whole point of your interaction with others. That appreciation will strengthen you, even though at first glance it might feel like something you are doing for someone else.

Your Surprising Responsibility

Of course, you can see the benefit of everyone being happy. You can certainly focus on how you would feel if everyone were happy. You can even intentionally notice happy people. You cannot, however, assist a single person to feel different unless he or she allows it.

You have the best chance of enjoying your relationships if you focus on one main priority: Your number one responsibility is to feel good. Feeling good is powerful. That is the place you must start for improved relationships. You are a positive influence and a force for good when you feel good. You will bring people up all around you when you are feeling good, and people will benefit from being around your positive energy. But remember, they are not your priority. They can, and likely will, come up to meet you at your higher vibe. That’s superb, but it must not be the main priority. Put on your own oxygen mask first!

You can be an example of a person who focuses on the positive as you go through your life feeling good and in your personal power more often than not. You can act on your inspiration. You can send positive vibes to people who are unhappy. You can intend a better life for them. You can trust in their ability to find happiness the same as can for yourself. You can know that it’s possible for all people to find their way to some happiness at some point. You can help others notice something positive to focus on if they choose to cooperate but remember you are not responsible for how others feel.

Feeling good is a natural way of being. You feel bad by focusing on something that makes you feel bad. Now that you know this secret to a good life, take notice when you are feeling bad and intentionally change your focus.

Let Them Create

When we blame others as the reason for our unhappiness, we can quickly lose empathy for them. Once that happens, we subconsciously give ourselves permission to treat them badly, or just generally have a negative vibe concerning them, and a cycle of negativity begins. This is not a good foundation for enjoyable relationships or connection with others.

Instead, realize that other people are simply having a different emotional experience, and that is to be expected. Everyone is coming from unique perspectives. We all have challenges that take time to recognize and to learn from. Instead of pointing out the idiocy you see in others, change your focus. Don’t comment on it under your breath or encourage others to focus on something negative. Free yourself up to focus on something you do like. That is the beginning of something powerful.

We can learn to be more patient with ourselves and with others.

You can’t change others, but you can change your thoughts and feelings about them. You must clearly understand that you cannot control how others feel. Why would you want to? Don’t push against them when you can be doing something so much more beneficial to yourself. When you release them to their own creations, you free yourself up to focus on yours. There is no more joy in this world than focusing on what you want and creating it.

Control Your Focus

It is imperative to be disciplined about where we focus in order to have satisfying relationships.

Don’t let your mind wander to those things that you find annoying about them at the moment. Instead, cut them a break. Have a general statement at the ready when you begin to go off in a negative direction about someone. Say to yourself, “I’m sure they’re doing their best,” or “Easy does it, focus elsewhere.” The important thing is to release yourself from going on a long dialog about how they suck.

Control your focus to feel good. It’s the only thing you do have control of. You can’t control others or at-the-moment situations you find yourself in, but you can control what you think about and give your attention to.

You can create a new and improved experience with people you consider yourself “stuck” with too. Just start a new habit of appreciating their strengths. Notice and remember what you liked about them when you first met them. Get clear on what you want to see in them. What you like about them. Look for the smallest indication of it and truly appreciate it.

Believe in those around you. Believe in the best of them to see more of it. Do the same for yourself, and do that first! Every accomplishment and thing of beauty comes about because somebody believed in somebody.

Life Improved: Health

Can you appreciate the idea of wellness as a natural state of being? Remind yourself throughout the day to relax, allow, and enjoy.

What can you appreciate about your body? Even as you are out and about working or having fun, there is so much your body is taking care of without you needing to direct it. Your heart beats, you breathe, your muscles work, your feet take you where you want to go. Your eyes see, your ears hear, and on and on. Your body is amazing!

Your needs are unique. Maybe what is promoted to the general public will feel great for your body, maybe it won’t. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong or amiss with your body. It just means that now is the time to learn what works best for you. Some factors to consider – sleep, diet, exercise, stress, fun. Most importantly, when you identify something you can do that helps you feel good, stick with it! Integrate it into your daily self-care ritual. Make it a habit that runs on autopilot for you.

Often unhappiness about body appearance comes about after comparing ourselves to others. So don’t play that game. To do so is to take the first step toward the portal for an ego trip that turns anxious mind loose. Instead of starting off down that dark rabbit hole, remember, you are unique, incomparable even.

Whatever you like about yourself, appreciate that specifically and often. The most important thing is that you feel good. Take it easy on yourself. Pay attention to your emotions and do something about it when you notice you aren’t feeling good — change your focus! Be open and expansive about allowing yourself to feel good.

You Are Where You Are

Your old story may not be helping you. What do you repeat in your head about yourself and to others? Are you thinking and talking about what you like about yourself? Are you retelling stories about your struggles? If so, now is the time for a new, more positive story.

It’s not easy to let go of how you’ve been thinking but if you want different results, it’s worth the effort. You are where you are, but at anytime you can start again. It doesn’t matter what happened before. What matters is what happens next, and your results going forward are directly related to feeling good now.

The easiest way to improve your body is to accept where you are with an understanding that all can be better. Stop beating up on yourself. Be hopeful instead. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can move forward with inspired steps pulling you through instead of by pushing yourself forward with the force of will alone. You can feel good about what you are doing, and the improvements you are making. Try it. The difference will astound you!

Create habits of thinking where you catch yourself feeling unhappy then say to yourself, “Things are as they are and feeling down doesn’t help me.” Then proceed to talk yourself up, or visualize yourself up to a happier feeling, or imagine how you want to feel. Most importantly, know that things are improving. Feel enthusiasm regarding the good feelings coming to you.

Know that more health and wellness is coming to you when you can feel good even if only for a little bit at first. Each time you practice you will become better and better at feeling good and recognizing inspiration to take the next step towards what you want.

Die Only Once

Let go of anxiety and worry. It’s not motivational. Instead, it tends to stop any momentum you do have. Worry, anxiety, and fear don’t help. There are far better ways to spend your time and energy.

Often changing your outlook makes all the difference. Much more is good than is not good. Keep your mind on the good and what you are creating going forward. Do your best to change your thinking so that you can feel good to great most of the time.

Most of us have been taught to ignore our emotions, or to control our emotions, or that emotions are uncontrollable. Unlearn those ideas! Tuning into how you feel is crucial. Use your emotions to adjust your focus to feel better. Emotions point us to what we are thinking and where we are focusing. That’s it! Don’t give emotions much more meaning that that. They simply let us know to change focus when feeling bad, or to focus on more of the same even figuring out how to bump it up a notch when feeling good. There is always another level.

Feeling better is always the goal. What you are thinking influences how you feel. What you focus on and how you think about it directly affects how you feel. So periodically throughout the day, take note of how you feel. Doing so is like taking a measurement that helps you adjust your focus and your thinking so that you feel good…and feeling good is of utmost importance.

Simple Tools and Tactics

  • A happiness collection can be helpful. Make your own scrapbook of happy things which can be an actual book or a web-based collection, such using Pinterest or Evernote. Gather your favorite music, poems, song lyrics, pictures, and videos. Write out or speak reminders of your happiest memories and visualizations of good things to come. If you notice you are feeling down, go to your happiness collection and pump yourself up a notch or two. It can be a great distraction that can help stop negative momentum and maybe even turn it around.
  • Realize that feeling overwhelmed is often due to thinking too far ahead or thinking about things you can’t do too much about right now for whatever reason. The cure for overwhelm is to reign in your focus. Switch to a general knowing that it will all work out. Allow yourself to feel comfortable and confident about where you are now in the process. Recognize your achieved progress as persistent small steps in the right direction at the right time.
  • Feel the future, it’s so easy! Imagine the flow. Feel the momentum and the perfect timing. How do you want to feel in 10 years? How about next year? How about tomorrow? How about now?
  • Make a want list. There are many beautiful things all around you. Lovely things to want, lovely people to meet. Did you know that it is good to want? Life would quickly become boring if you had everything you wanted all at once. Keep making your want list, it pulls life through. You still have stuff you want, and that’s good, great even! What we want comes to us in stages throughout life. So make your list. Keep track of all the things you want to experience. While you are at it, list how you want to feel too. All that you want is on the way to you as long as you can feel good about what you want. Careful that you aren’t aching for what you want. The challenge is to enjoy wanting. Make the want list game a daily practice and you will find yourself feeling good more often and life improving. Be patient and let all that you want come to you and have fun choosing along the way. Care enough about yourself to control your focus. Imagine how you will feel when you have what you want and choose to feel that now. Get jazzed about all the experiences you want to have and what you want to create and go with that feeling as long as you can for a few minutes each day.

Improved health begins with knowing it is possible and believing you can tap into that kind of abundance. Then move to some visualization. See yourself in those shoes and feel it in your body as if you were already there. Daydream just for fun. It’s so fun to play with ideas of what you can choose, what you will create going forward. Enjoy dreams of all that you want. Savor how it feels to play with those ideas. It’s good work for improving health! Play with these ideas daily to establish good momentum for improving health and wellness.

We all need beautiful dreams, have outstanding potential, and want lovely experiences to enjoy while on Earth.

Everyone is a sparkly butterfly with potential. Some allow themselves to sparkle more than others do. Each of us can bravely shine brilliantly in our unique way. Are you shining brightly? Just being someone who confidently creates their life story is the most powerful thing we all can do to help others do the same.

How can you be more courageous and shine brighter? By staying connected to your intuition. Take a new perspective that enhances life on a daily basis starting now. This perspective will assist you with clarity and great timing and will enhance your life. Life is simply a more fulfilling adventure when connected to intuition.

  • You are a massive, ageless being…a tiny piece of you is focused into your body.
  • The rest of you is waiting to assist you through your intuition. It’s like intuition is the gateway between body and soul.
  • Get calm and focus inward. Know what the rest of you wants to communicate with you on an ongoing basis. That’s intuition at work and play!

Keep a piece of yourself focused inward as you go through your days. Listen closely and fearlessly. You’ll notice so many more precious moments in life and funny moments too! See yourself in those around you and be open to the messages. You can be a powerfully positive force for good in helping many, including yourself, enjoy life more.

With practice, you will learn to tell the difference between mental chatter and intuition. You will understand the power of calm mind and you will know perfect timing. This new way of staying connected to your intuition will work to your advantage time and time again.

Bliss or Bust Formula

The Bliss or Bust Formula is a process that will help you experience what you want in life. Learn to apply it and you will perceive the world differently. The next step becomes so easy and the feeling of overwhelm vanishes. Try it and watch the magic happen.

Step #1: How do you want to feel?

There are so many emotions to experience. It’s wonderful to feel happy, joyful, youthful, energetic, sexy, athletic, beautiful, funny, calm, confident, connected, creative. We could go on and on. This is the juice of life! The reason any of us want anything is because of how having it will make us feel. The trick is to identify what you want to feel more of and then intentionally practice it. Use your imagination. Plan in advance to notice and enjoy the feelings you want.

For example, if you know that you love to feel serene, you can easily have more of that feeling. Begin by planning to feel serene. Tell yourself, “I look forward to feeling serene more and more. It’s going to be so nice. I love to feel serene.”

Take notice of all the serene things around you as you go through the next several hours. Now that you have clarity that what you want is to feel serene, be still and listen for it…feel for it. You will find yourself spontaneously feeling good several times a day. Take a second or two to spotlight that feeling when it comes around.

Step #2: Feel it.

Say to yourself, “Ah! I’m feeling so good right now. I love to feel good. I love to feel serene. I love this feeling right now, and I look forward to feeling this way more and more.”

Anytime you think of it, intentionally feel serene. You can look forward to feeling serene more and more. Imagine and observe serene insects and animals as often as possible if only for a few seconds at a time. Smile at them. They are here to remind you that what you really want is to feel serene.

Step #3: Take action when inspired.

Learn to notice the feeling of inspiration. Recognizing inspiration to act will help you complete the next step easily and with perfect timing. Contrast that with pushing yourself forward with the brute force of discipline only and you can easily recognize the difference.

There is a distinction to be made here between the feeling of inspiration which feels like a complete idea and subtle momentum to move versus inner dialog which feels worrisome and urgent. Inspiration is a subtle, calm, and fearless vibe. While inner dialog is a loud, urgent, and worrisome vibe.

Be brave and begin listening more and more for the subtle voice. Move with inspiration. When you are tuned in to inspiration, there is no second guessing or devil’s advocate argument going on in your mind. You just know it and you feel the impulse to take action.

When you move forward with inspiration on your side, things that once seemed overwhelming now become very flowing and easy. You can plan ahead to feel inspired too. Be it about what you need to get done in a day or a certain problem you want to solve (see step #1).

#4 Only positive thoughts in your mind.

Spend less and less time shaming yourself, feeling guilty, feeling sorry for yourself, worrying what others think, and/or generally looking at the negative side of things. Recognize those thoughts for the worthless mind clutter that they are and let them go. Get quicker and quicker at shutting those thoughts down by dropping them. Don’t fight them. Just give them a nod, smile, and let them go.

There are many different things you can try to stop the energy-draining, resistance-building, mind clutter of negative thought. Following are some ideas to experiment with:

  • Ask your Higher Self to remove anxiety and worry from you, or simply to fill you with bliss (which trumps negativity every time if you can allow it).
  • Have a phrase at the ready to release yourself from the struggle. Say to yourself, “Baby, you don’t need it” or “Easy does it.”
  • Listen to your favorite songs and turn them up. Let the music heal you.
  • Find a good place to sing, cry, or yell it out.
  • Exert your body with exercise or divert your mind with games.
  • Do a micro-meditation. Close your eyes and call for what you want to feel. For example, “I want to feel my patience right now,” or “I want to feel my love right now.” Then breathe and feel for it.

#5 Only positive words from your mouth.

Choose which words you say and what stories you tell and repeat wisely. Speak more and more about what you look forward to and what you enjoy. You spread bliss like this! Others may hear your words and feel the freedom and flow of inspiration too. But, no big deal if they don’t. Your main concern needs to be thinking and speaking about what you want and what you enjoy. It’s a habit that will enhance your life. It just happens to make you a force for good too.

On Negativity

People can be real jerks sometimes. I know you know that. Just because someone else is choosing to feel miserable or to be negative doesn’t mean you have to let that invade your energy level. You don’t have to focus on that. You can maintain your vibrational position so that they don’t bring you down to their’s. Here’s the trick: Use their negativity as a reminder.

  • Use it as reminder of how you don’t want to be and why. Hint: One has to be feeling pretty bad to be so negative.
  • Remember that they are free to create just like you are.
  • Use it to remind you of the opposite emotion or vibration and how you do want to feel. This is a technique called “Pivoting” that Esther Hicks coined years ago.
  • Use it to be thankful of the wisdom you have about how the universe works. Hint: Think Law of Attraction.
  • Use it to set intentions for how you want to feel going forward.
  • Use it to remember the importance of controlling your focus.

For example, if someone treats you badly or is negative or gruff, instead letting them dominate the airwaves, use them as a cue in your own mind to think, “Boy, do I appreciate that I’m not miserable or upset or angry like that person.” And then maybe think something like, “That reminds me that I always want to be kind, that I want to be happy, gentle, and kind,” and “It makes me appreciate the goodness I notice in most people.” This reaction is better then getting hung up focusing on their negativity which would certainly bring your vibe down and cause you to notice more negativity in the future.

To the extent that you can clear that type of negativity out of your zone, all the better but it’s not necessary. Even in ongoing relationships, it just takes one person shining brightly to dominate with positive vibes and uplift others by doing so. A big part of it is to realize that you don’t have control of them and what they are choosing to focus on. And, it takes unconditional love. They don’t have to be different in order for you to love them. Understand, they are doing the best they can in the moment, just like you are. Don’t even waste your energy trying to change them. Love them where they are. Keep a light focus if you don’t like what you see, or look the other way. Know they can rise to meet you on a higher level of vibration whenever they want to. They may want to sooner rather then later when they see how much fun you are having up there!

Pay attention to what you’re focusing on. This one thing can do wonders to increase your satisfaction in life almost immediately.

First understand that what you focus on affects how you feel.

If what you’re thinking about makes you feel bad, it affects your energy level in a bad way. It lowers your vibe. If you’re thinking about something that makes you feel bad, you will quickly start to feel stressed or tired or just generally have a bad attitude.

On the other hand, if what you’re thinking about makes you feel good, it affects your energy level in a good way. It raises your vibe! It doesn’t matter if what you’re thinking about it is true or not. What matters is if it helps you feel good.

So, for example, use this to enhance your career. If thinking about the weekend makes you feel good, then spend a few seconds periodically daydreaming about your free time. But if thinking about the weekend makes you feel bad because you want it to be the weekend now, or it makes you yearn for the weekend, then avoid thoughts about the weekend. Choose to focus on something that makes you feel good instead.

Here is another example. On an old episode of Dancing with the Stars, Olympian Evan Lysacek was being coached by his dancing pro Anna Trebunskaya. Evan was a top notch technician but was not good at showing emotion in his dancing. Anna asked him, “What makes you happy?” Evan mumbled something about cars then said as his face lit up, “my baby nephew!”

He then proceeded to show his coach cute little videos of his nephew on his phone. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. Anna capitalized on that reaction and brought it to his attention. Long story short, he danced like a whole new man in that week’s competition. Even more importantly, he now knows a trick (shall we say, a Jedi mind trick?) for something to focus on when he notices he is not feeling as good as he could.

You can do the same to enhance your life. Gather some “go to” thoughts you can use to switch your thinking when you notice you’re dragging. Keep a list of thoughts you can try to change your focus when necessary. Maybe it’s a favorite memory, a song you love, or silently reciting a list of who loves you. There is always something you can focus on for a few seconds to raise yourself to a more positive vibe. Find it and focus there to notice a new perspective on life nearly immediately.