Yesterday, I was feeling goofy. Like hard-on-myself goofy. My results weren’t matching up to my self-expectations, and that’s always difficult. “Maybe I should do some PSYCH-K,” I thought to myself.
We gotta know what we want, and that’s not always easy
To do PSYCH-K we have to know what we want. That’s the entrance on the ground floor of the practice. What did I want? Well, at the start, I only knew what I didn’t want: I didn’t want to feel yucky anymore. Simple enough, but hard to balance for. To balance, I needed to figure out was what I really wanted and this is almost always the most challenging part. It’s easy to know the hurts and difficulties we want to shed, but figuring out what we do want is almost never a default setting. For one thing, it requires us to choose, to choose the lives we want, to choose the experiences we want to have, to commit to a path, and then to trust our instincts enough to live it.
“I’ll not have the sirloin, please.”
Choosing may not be easy, but for the subconscious mind, it’s vital. If a waiter arrived at your table and you ordered, “Not the sirloin. For the love of god, anything but the sirloin!” that waiter would walk away confused. If you were lucky, you would get nothing. But maybe you’d get the sirloin after all because somewhere in the dinner rush, the waiter forgot the ‘not’ part. Neither is an ideal situation.
The power of choosing
PSYCH-K literature holds that affirmations alone don’t work nearly as well as using them as belief statements in the PSYCH-K process. While clearly, as a facilitator, I subscribe to that notion wholeheartedly, on days like yesterday, I have to wonder if affirming what you want isn’t more than half the battle. Too, I’m convinced that at times it can even turn things around on its own. Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, and an inveterate questioner of everything, states that affirmations appear to work for him. One notable affirmation he created was, “I, Scott Adams, will be a famous cartoonist.” Fast forward a couple of decades and it’s hard to argue with those results.
Here are 3 easy ways for defining wants
I offer for your consideration the following tips for sitting down and figuring out what you want. If all you have at the moment is a list of don’t wants, use these tips to figure out what you would rather have instead.
Create an affirmation and then use it. In PSYCH-K, we call them belief statements. The trick to making a good one is to state it positively (it’s a want, remember?), concretely, and simply. Also, make sure it’s written in the present tense and first person. If you’re stumped, consider using all or any part of the following phrase, culled from Marc Allen’s Type Z Guide to Success: In a relaxed and easy manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I pray _____________ (goal). This or something better is manifesting now in totally harmonious ways for the highest good of all.” Once you’ve written your affirmation, memorize it and use it as a mantra when you’re feeling discouraged or put it on post-it notes around the house. Another way to work with it is to structure it as a Thank You to the All-That-Is. For example, one that I write in my gratitude journal nearly every day is “Thank you for making me a grateful mother in a very cool way.”
Thanks to Aimée Cartier for some of these affirmation ideas.
Write down your goals at least once. Somewhere in that jumble of wants and not wants we all have, there some goals waiting to be teased out, those tangible things that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound (SMART). Figure them out and write them down. If you’re really stumped, go here for some more help. Studies show that just writing down your goals can have a tremendous impact on your ability to achieve them. Imagine my surprise when I found an old goal list that outlined my desire to report from a foreign country for a major magazine in 2006, something that I had, in fact, ended up achieving on that timeline. These days, I drag around a well-used notebook with me everywhere I go. I write in it every day. Inside, I have two facing pages that detail on one side my yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals, and on the other I sit with my tea and write the three Most Important Tasks I’ll do that day to work toward those goals. When the pages fill up, I start over with clean paper, rewriting all my goals. At some point in the future, I’ll probably write more about this system, but if you want more information now, feel free to email me.
Write the story of how you got there. I call this exercise a StoryGoal. For a given, specific goal, take a piece of paper, and write the date at the top that you want to achieve the goal by. Then, letting yourself dream, reach, rest and play on the page, write a journal entry that tells the story of how you achieved your goal. Use details. Be a little wild if you want. I once wrote that my father offered to carry a loan on a house for me – something that seemed incredibly impossible at the time – and wouldn’t you know he offered to do it, right out of the blue? Amazing. Didn’t take him up on it, but still, outside of PSYCH-K, this may be the most powerful attainment technique I personally know about. I might be biased because I’m a writer, but it might also be because every time I try this technique it works like a freaking charm. Another case in point. Recently, I found myself in desperate need of a new office, so I met up with my friend Beth and we both did a StoryGoal for getting an office, complete with dates and all our ideal features. Guess who got their perfect office, right on schedule? The way it happened, too, was the stuff of synchronicity and utter serendipity. Magic, really.*
By the way, what I realized I wanted yesterday was, “I go about being productive and tidy in a relaxed and easy manner.” I did PSYCH-K around it and voila! Into my subconscious mind it went where it started running like the little engine that could. For the win!
*The earth religion maven Starhawk defines magic as the art of changing consciousness at will. Pretty much sums it up.
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