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We spend our lives chasing goals like they are butterflies. To catch one is definitely satisfying, but the gratification is as fleeting as a flutter of wings.  Almost the second that a goal is within our grasp, our eyes are distracted by another flitting by. Why don’t we relish our accomplishments more?  Perhaps it is because we are mistakenly focused on discernible goals when our real desire is actually the intangible, emotional benefits that we hope will accompany them.

New Year’s resolutions are a prime example.  A person may resolve to lose 10 pounds in the coming year. However, do they really want to shed the weight, or do they crave the emotional response that it will hopefully trigger—the boost in self-esteem, the enhanced body image, the pleasure of doing something for one’s self, and the feeling of taking control of something that is diminishing the quality of one’s life? If one could feel all of that without going through the turmoil of losing 10 pounds, would they do it?

Of course. The goal, when examined, becomes immaterial compared to the emotional payoff we hope to earn by achieving it.

You may say: no, I really want to lose the weight for the practical health benefits, not for any sense of vanity or emotional high. Yet that, again, expresses the longing for an emotional benefit. Taking control of one’s health is a huge emotional high—we know that we cannot truly control everything that happens in our bodies but taking care of what we can provides a sense of security and well-being. Those are emotions that literally govern how our bodies thrive. So, even if you think that you are being practically and not emotionally driven, what you feel always takes the wheel.

So, this year, I invite you to look at your resolutions in a new way. Skip the goal and look instead at what you really want to accomplish. What do you want to feel? That is your true aim and it is almost immediately attainable. We can conjure up any feeling we want, at least temporarily. The trick—the resolution if you will—is to make that feeling last.

It is possible. It is now an accepted fact that our brains are not set in stone destined only to erode after a certain point. Instead, they are dynamic and ever-adapting.  We can use that to change our own consciousness and our physiological state. It has been scientifically proven that our brains respond to where we place our mental energy. We use a certain part of our brain and it responds with nutrients to grow more cells and develop that area, just as our muscles develop when we focus on toning them.

The key, then, is to bring as much attention to that emotion as possible. Think about how it would change your life. How would it change the way you physically feel? The way you respond to others?  The way you react to challenges? The way you embrace success?  Once you do that, focus on manifesting those behaviors. The only way to breathe life into an emotion is to live it.

Embrace that emotion in your present experience as often as you can even if it as fleeting as a butterfly crossing your path. Resolve first thing in the morning to look for ways to nurture that emotion throughout the day. When the day is over, think back on each moment that you did or could have felt the emotion, and feel it once again with as much vibrancy as you can. Check in with yourself from time to time on how you are feeling so that you can become acquainted with your current emotional state and bring that emotion to the surface. Sprinkle reminders throughout the house. Hardwire that emotion into your brain.

You will find that most goals are paths, not destinations. There are many paths to that emotion, not just the one goal you had in mind.  You may realize that you already accomplished what that goal had set out to achieve, even though the goal itself may still be unfulfilled. Perhaps, you will find that the emotion you have nurtured is the key to unfolding your own wings.

Along with the emotion, one must be mindful of the mindset they have. Is it one of possibility and self-confidence or of lack and self-doubt? In order to change our world and feel the emotions that we want with authenticity, we have to first believe that we have a power to do so and that we are worthy of that change. This retreat is about setting that foundation of self-empowerment and abundance that will nurture the emotions that we want to feel and the situations that we want to attract into our life. It is about recognizing the richness that we are blessed with and opening our hearts to receive even more of it.

To set the stage for this retreat, set the expectancy of increasing all of the areas of abundance you desire. Plan to dress in something special; prepare your space for a special occasion with fresh flowers, delicious food and drinks, and your favorite music. The time to live your future is now!

Mindful Walk – Coloring Your World

Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds and work that nourish you. ~SARK

If you believe in yourself and your own personal power, you can accomplish anything. Throughout this retreat we will be practicing a simple game that will illustrate our power over your world. First, pick a color to bring into your life; it could be green for money, blue for peace, red for power, brown for the earth—any color will do.  As we go through the activities in the retreat, pay close attention to the many ways the universe provides this beautiful color for you.

Start with a short nature walk, looking at the different shades and hues of this color around you. Notice this color in your house, as you go out on errands or looking out at your yard.  This color is a reminder of the power that you have to bring it into your consciousness. It reaffirms your power to manifest what you want in life.   As you walk, think about things that you could manifest in your life for greater happiness. What kind of people would you surround yourself with? What kinds of things would you do for fulfillment?

At the end of the retreat, write about what you experienced with this color experiment. What, if anything, surprised you? What was the most powerful message you took away from it?

The Abundance Loop

Prosperity in the form of wealth works the same as everything else. You will see it coming into your life when you are unattached to needing it.  – Wayne Dyer

The scarcity mindset is self-absorbed and isolating. Focusing on the discomfort of our lack makes us blind to everything except finding relief from our distress. However, when we are in the abundance mindset, we are open and giving because we are comfortable and want others to feel the same. We give because there is more than enough for everyone.

This embracing generosity is what attracts more bounty to us because, in reality, we get value from giving value. This is true in almost every aspect of life. Our friends are our friends because they value what we give them. We have our job because we give them our valuable time and effort.

The abundance is magnified, however, when we give without the thought of what we will get in return. The act of giving is also the act of receiving —receiving the intangible gifts of gratitude, peace and self-worth.

To test this out for yourself, get ten small pieces of paper, ten small stones and $20 divided into one ten-dollar bill and ten one-dollar bills.  Write something inspirational and positive on each piece of paper that would make someone smile. If you would like to do the same on the rocks or decorate them in some fashion to make them stand out, feel free to do so.

Once you are done with that, think about a treat that you could buy yourself with $10. It could be a chilled glass of wine at an outdoor café, a decadent coffee and cake at a restaurant, or a lovely scarf. You are not thinking practicality here but indulgence. Remember you are living this day in an abundance mindset.

When you have decided what you want, don’t hesitate—go out and get it but remember to take your notes and rocks with you. Savor the experience with gratitude that you can afford this delightful treat.

When you are done with the treat, take a little time for a leisurely walk with, of course, your notes and rocks. While you are walking, continue to do the mindful walking exercise where you are looking for the color you have chosen for yourself. However, also, take a note, put it on one of the $1 bills and leave it randomly anchored down by the rock. Do this until all the dollar bills have been distributed to delight and inspire who the universe chooses.

Which activity gave you a greater sense of satisfaction?

Journaling: Shifting from Scarcity to Satisfaction

Start with big dreams and make life worth living. ~Stephen Richards

When it comes to redefining our goals, we not only have to look at our current mindset but at our expectations of the future.  The direction of our life is guided by our expectations but there is a catch. If one expects that it will take achieving a particular goal for them to be happy, they are focusing on what their lives are lacking. What one focuses on, one attracts.

In addition, by looking at something in the future to create our happiness, we deny finding that fulfillment in our current situation. This could be defined as the “When…then…” mentality; “When I get that job, then I’ll be happy”, or “When I am earning X amount of money, then I’ll feel secure”, or “When I’ve finished this next big project, then I’ll be able to take a break and spend time doing things I really want to do.”

In your journal, write down all the “When I have X then I will be happy” thoughts you have had recently. Think about all the areas in your life—career, relationships, self-image, family and friends.

Spend some time exploring the exact feelings that you hope to have; the term “happiness” could encompass many emotions, for example; it could mean a sense of security, increased freedom, a sense of achievement, etc. Finally, spend some time writing how you might be able to find those same emotions in your life right now. Looking at the areas in your life that your “when I have X” statements are concentrated helps with this part of the exercise.

Think for a moment about your past where many of these statements originated. Quickly jot down impressions you got about happiness and fulfillment from your parents and your upbringing. Now, look at those messages. Do they align with the emotions that you desire to have from the first part of the exercise? Is there a way to change them to serve you more effectively or do they just need to be discarded?

Prosperity Meditation

The strongest single factor in prosperity consciousness is self-esteem; believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, and believing you will get it.  ~Jerry Gillies

Once you align your mind with your heart, you start to naturally attract what you want to you. This meditation will help you sink into that space where you can connect to the soft voice of your inner being.

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Take three big deep breaths and sigh heavily on the exhale.

Breathing gently and easily now, imagine in your mind you see tall majestic trees reaching to the warmth and light of the sun, their leaves sparkling with golden light. Approaching the trees, you come to a crystal clear, babbling brook.

Walking alongside the brook, you hear birds singing from within the glittering branches. Stepping lightly, follow the shimmery stream through the trees to an intimate clearing. Before you is a waterfall. Water is cascading and caressing the smooth rocks surrounding the falls. A fine, delicate mist rises as the water falls to the brook below. Moving closer, you see a pathway under the waterfall. The water is purifying, cleansing, and refreshing. Move along the path under the water.

Feel it pour gently over your body from the top of your head, through your body and out through your feet. This crystal clear, warm water cleanses away all old beliefs, all fears, all resentments, all apprehensions, and especially washes away all feelings of lack. Feel these being washed away completely. Stay in this space awhile. Feeling or perhaps seeing what is being washed away. See it all dissolved.

And now, affirm to yourself with conviction and compassion…

  • I release all ideas and beliefs of lack in my life.
  • I am open to receive my divine abundance.
  • I choose and accept an abundance of prosperity into my life now.
  • I am prosperous in good health. I am prosperous in love.
  • I am prosperous in wealth. I am worthy to receive these every day.

Throughout this retreat, it has been emphasized that prosperity and wealth is a matter of belief, not of circumstance. Wealth is all around you; all you have to do is appreciate it.

If you don’t think that you are wealthy, just imagine that tomorrow you were in an accident. You cannot work so you lose your job. Since you lost your job, your possessions quickly follow. Perhaps the accident made you lose your health, your mobility, your friends, and your family. Look around you now at all the abundance in your house and your life.

Take a few deep breaths and inhale the beauty of your life right now. Know that all you need to do to increase this is to focus on the feeling that you have right now. Right now, there is peace, there is abundance, comfort, and ease. Your future is ready to enjoy right now because it, like your past, is this present moment.


Torri’s book is available for purchase here.