Where is your attention?

“Keep your attention on your intention.”

Last Wednesday, a neighbor jumped onto the elevator looking like a kid who just spent the day with Santa Claus.

“Did you see them?!” she asked excitedly. Not recognizing her qualifier provided my first clue that my answer was going to be no.

“The dolphins!” she clarified. “They’ve been out there the past two hours!” I looked at the time on my phone to see I’d left the beach exactly two hours prior, just as it started to get crowded. I ran upstairs for my bike and took a ride along the boardwalk, but I could sense I’d missed them. As someone who passionately adores these creatures, I dove straight into the seas of disappointment.

On Thursday, I went out to the beach a bit later, hoping my soulfriends of the sea were still in town. They were! But this time, I went out too late. Another neighbor came running over to tell me all about a visit so exciting, she Skyped her mother in Poland so she could watch the show.

Now I was downright miserable. Someone in Poland had seen dolphins swimming in my backyard, but I had somehow once again missed them? I asked my neighbor if they’d be back, as if she is an authority on dolphins. “Maybe!” she encouraged. But I knew better.

That night, uncharacteristically cranky, I began to tell friends I was dining with my lack based story. As the thoughts came spilling out of my mouth, I finally heard them. What was I thinking? This was what I used to do with my story of money, or lack thereof: tell anyone who would listen about the bills I couldn’t pay, the debt I was suffocating in. It wasn’t until I learned to stop focusing on “what was” that I was able to turn my monetary life around and begin creating “what could be.”

Fascinatingly, now that I’m in a place where the financial area of my life is starting to feel good to dwell upon, it’s rare anyone will hear a peep about it. It wasn’t until I dined with my friends that night that I even realized this. I was so conditioned to focus on “what’s wrong,” on lack, on so-called problems…it took much effort for me to change that programming, to give up complaining and take up visualizing, to make gratitude a daily practice.

Now it’s time to express that gratitude out loud! This is such a foreign concept though. When was the last time a friend called you and said, “You know what, I’m feeling really good about money today. Actually, I’m feeling downright abundant!”

We have been trained to focus on scarcity, and when we experience prosperity, we may not even notice or take it for granted. Most of us aren’t shouting it from the rooftops; that is seen as bragging. The last thing we want to do is tell a friend who is experiencing lack that we are not only getting by today but also starting to thrive. Yet in truth, talking about prosperity, our good health, harmonizing relationships etc. can be helpful to others! It shows what is possible. The real message when someone you know experiences something you want is that it’s available for you also; it’s up to you whether to repel it with jealousy or embrace it by celebrating with them.

Years ago, before I knew better, I got consumed with the green eyed monster whenever someone took a trip somewhere warm and sunny during the winter, and I was “stuck” in New York. I had no understanding that I was only stuck because of my own limiting thoughts and beliefs! Even once I learned about the law of attraction, it took some work to transcend the old habitual reaction. Then one day, I saw a friend’s photos from Puerto Rico on Facebook and I celebrated like crazy for him. “Wow, look at those beautiful palm trees!” I thought. “I’m so glad he’s getting to experience that right now! I can almost feel the sun on my own face!”

A week later, I was asked to take my very first trip with a client. A five-star, all expenses paid trip to…you guessed it: Puerto Rico!  As I posted photos of the beautiful beaches and rain forests, friends reacted in different ways. I knew exactly which friends would soon be taking tropical trips; one even went to Puerto Rico.

As many of you have already read, this past New Year’s Eve, I wrote a list of goals for the year. Topping my requests to the universe was swimming with dolphins in the wild, something I’d always wanted to do but never took seriously as a goal. It had always been a “yeah someday I’d love to…” sort of thing. When we put the message of “yeah someday” out there, our desires will always remain out of reach. After watching Dolphin Tale with a client, I decided to turn “yeah someday” into something more specific, letting the universe know I meant business. “Swim with dolphins in the wild by February.” 

A week or so later, a close friend told me he was taking an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii. By this point, I had learned to be happy for people just to be happy for them, not as a means to attract my own experiences. Perhaps this is why it only took a day or two to receive my very own trip to Hawaii, as I was asked to take a client to a treatment center in Kona.

The first thing I learned about Kona is that its seas host an abundance of dolphins; there is an entire industry based on swimming with them. I was amazed and overjoyed by how quickly my request came to fruition, in Hawaii of all places!

Reflecting upon this memory, I realized the dolphins had come to Long Beach with some powerful messages for me, starting with a reminder to set intentions for what I want. Sure, I’ve been quite appreciative of all that has transpired in my career the past few months, but I have spent little time thinking about what I want next. I haven’t created a list of goals since New Year’s Eve. It’s time!

The dolphins also reminded me to not only set my sights on what I want but also to keep my focus there…never give in to the temptation to talk about “what is” unless I want more of it. I hadn’t “missed” them; I’d simply been put on notice that there were in town! The only thing preventing me from seeing them was my scarcity thinking!

The next morning, I called a friend and left a message about how excited I was to see dolphins in Long Beach. Then I sat on my terrace and wrote about how wonderful an experience it was, putting it in the past tense, as if it had already occurred. As I detailed the delight on the faces of children on the beach, I looked at the ocean and saw two fins. No way! That was fast!

I grabbed my keys and a beach pass and flew downstairs. When I got down to the sand, I looked to the next break where I estimated they would be. All I saw was two surfers. “Nice hallucination,” I laughed.

Just as I was about to head back in, they surfaced again, in the exact spot I’d seen them in. I was tempted to run back up and get my surfboard so I could paddle out to them, but realized this what I’d asked for…I needed to just be present and enjoy the sight of them.  I’d swim with them another day, preferably somewhere with crystal blue pristine waters.

As I watched kids and adults alike point to the dolphins with excitement, just as they had in my visualization, I celebrated for each and every one of them.

Contagious Optimism!

“Faith and optimism are contagious.” ~Thom S. Rainer

On Tuesday night, the US gymnastics team cocreated the gold medal, as I suspected they would when I observed these “women” during the qualifying round. It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on; the collective just had that nameless quality that makes teams champions, each member exuding positive energy and exhibiting that sense of pending magic. The cusp of dream actualization was written across each of their faces, before the twist that brought a parade of tears to one of them. Team USA’s chances seemed to plummet when favorite Jordyn Weiber failed to qualify for the all-around. Would this consuming disappointment affect how she, and consequently her team, would perform on Tuesday?

The biggest individual story of Tuesday night was Jordyn’s rise from the ashes of her crushed all-around dream. Even before she set the stage with her vault, the first performance for Team USA, it was clear she had released the energy of regret, her smile and attitude setting the tone for her teammates. After Jordan, each gymnast built upon the inspiration and success of her predecessor; each delivered an even stronger vault. The confidence parlayed into subsequent events.

“It was contagious,” Gabby Douglas told the media.

Positive vibrations generally are. This is why I am so honored to be part of an uplifting book series called Contagious Optimism!, based on  what founder David Mezzapelle describes as “positive forward thinking.” Each volume is a collection of stories on specific topics, written for people who are going through various challenges, by those who have been there and can help them see the gift within, the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel.  Most importantly, the series offers what those US girls were oozing with on Tuesday night: hope and faith.

I knew this was right up my alley when a friend introduced me to David and Contagious Optimism! this past autumn but the project, and my involvement, has taken on a life of its own lately. Besides my original contributions to Volume Two, I am now going to put together a chapter on addiction recovery and  help create the Contagious Column, which I will detail when it’s up and running on the site. I couldn’t be more excited, because this series is in complete alignment with my beliefs, values and dreams! And having now met David in person, I have no doubt Contagious Optimism will be epic!

To add to my ever-growing sense of excitement, I was selected as August’s “Featured Co-Author.” Please check out the page at http://www.lifecarrots.com/Co-Author-Spotlight.html and peruse the site to learn more about Contagious Optimism!, sign up for the inspirational “life carrot of the day” and find out how you can contribute to future volumes!

The other reason I have not been present here on Time For Prosperity as much as I’d like to be, (well, besides the fact that it’s summer and I have been on a mission to spend every moment I can with family, friends, the ocean or my pool) is that I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my manuscript, the first book I have written on my own. I currently have friends reading some of the completed portions and their encouragement and feedback has made me all the more enthused. Talk about contagious optimism!  

Factor in my coaching clients, and you have a complete picture of why I’ve been MIA on here lately!  I have several stories in my mind, just waiting to be told, and I will return soon to deliver them…a rainy day might speed up that process. : )

For now, I leave you with this thought: What can you do today to spread faith and optimism? Be a carrier!