Failure Is Good

Failure Is Good

2011
by China Brooks

 

Failure Is Good

NASA once said, "Failure is not an option," to which James Cameron responded in a TED talk, "Failure has to be an option in art and exploration because it's a leap of faith.  No important endeavor that required innovation is done without risk.  You have to be willing to take those risks."

For some, it's hard to begin a project.  For others, finishing the work is difficult.  Then there are those who, due to perfectionism and fear of criticism, find publicly releasing a project to be the most excruciating part of the process.  Once your work goes live, you are open and vulnerable to the scrutiny of your peers.  

I know first hand about this when I created a website that took much longer than I had anticipated.  Some people criticized me for the site taking so long.  Some said it was never going to happen.  I became afraid that I would go live with my project and it would not be good enough.  That fear alone set me back additional months.
 

Push Past Fear

Then I ceased caring what other people thought.  I saw the value of my own opinion.  I began to realize that I am good enough just the way I am.  That was not the first website design I had ever had, and it certainly won't be the last.  I knew I could do a million edits and that none of them would ever be good enough if I was stuck in perfectionism due to fear of criticism.  I decided to let it all go and be happy with everything just as it was.

Tackling that fear helped me to dissolve fear in other areas of my life as well.  How many times have you allowed fear to get the better of you and you ended up procrastinating?  How many times have you not put out any work at all due to fear?  When will you allow yourself to know you are enough and that what you have to offer right now is enough? 
 

You Are Enough

Release - and talk about - your projects now whether or not you think they are the best of the best.  Even if they are not, they will get better with time and practice.  The only way you will improve is to keep doing it.  Part of that process is to keep putting it out there.  Sometimes constructive criticism is useful so you know what you need to work on and what you can do better.

You are enough.  Your work as it stands is enough.  The most important opinion in the world is your own.  Do things because they bring you joy, not because you think it would please your peers.  Don't worry about the herd.

 

Take Criticism With A Grain of Salt

"Don't put limitations on yourself.  Other people will do that for you.  Don't do it to yourself.  Don't bet against yourself."  -James Cameron (TED talk)

"I trust myself enough to let the voice within me to be stronger than any voice outside."  -The Daily Love

In the 1980's Cabbage Patch Dolls came out.  Before they became a huge hit, my Mother and I went to check them out.  We thought they were the ugliest dolls we had ever seen.  And then they turned into a huge craze.  Before I knew it, if a person didn't have a Cabbage Patch Doll, they were not considered hip and with it.  Eventually, my Mom and I both gave into the fad.  But we never forgot our first reaction.  This is how the hive mind is, and it can take over individual thought.  Refrain from looking for praise or evidence of your self worth from outside of you.  Your self-esteem and self-love must be generated from within.

When Bob Dylan switched to the electric guitar, fans went crazy, booing and calling him the devil.  Later, of course, they all came around.  But you see my point.  How do you feel about you?
 

Criticism Quotes

"Don't pay attention to the critics - don't even ignore them."  - Samuel Goldwyn 

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway.  You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."  -Eleanor Roosevelt 

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her."  -David Brinkley 

"Part of not taking things personally is being able to filter other people's opinions.  It's true that it's easier to criticize something than to create it.  So don't worry too much about what other people say about you, it has nothing to do with what you're capable of doing. But your critics can be your best friends if you see their point of view as helpful advice rather than attack or blame.  Choose to hear what helps you and discount the rest as noise!"  -Mastin Kipp 

5 Rules to Live By

5 Rules to Live By

2011
by China Brooks
 

 

1.    Give Advice/Opinion Only When Asked

When we give others our advice and opinion without being asked, it can cause resentment. Unfortunately, that’s usually the opposite effect of what we intended. We can come across looking judgmental, authoritative, and controlling.

Sometimes we offer advice because we believe we have the other person’s best interest at heart. But how do we know what is best for them? We are not walking in their shoes. We don’t see the world from their perspective. Who made us God and the world police? When did we get the authority to tell others how to live and to change? Would we like it if others told us how to live?

We can however; be open for healthy, constructive criticism. I don’t get defensive when someone tells me I need to change. Depending on who it is, of course, I welcome honest feedback. I pay attention, listen, and I see if they are in fact correct. If there is any truth to what they are saying to me, I go to work to change.

There are a couple of reasons why we offer unsolicited advice and opinion:

  • We want the other person to change. It's easier to ask someone else to change than it is to take responsibility and change from within. Perhaps we feel that our lives would be better if they would change. This is untrue. Change is an inside job. If we are unwilling to change ourselves, we have no right to ask another to change. Change has to start with us. This is exactly what Gandhi meant when we said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
     
  • We think we are right. We believe that we are correct and that we have the right answers for what everyone should do. Instead of being wise, we simply have a limited view.
     
  • We think we will feel better if they change. "Home-girl would be so much better to be around if she would only stop..." I used to think that if those around me would stop gossiping and doing a ton of drugs that it would make my life better. But what really needed to happen was for me to stop gossiping and for me to stop doing drugs. When I changed on the inside, my environment changed. But even so, I had no right to tell others to change when they never asked me for advice. I can only change myself and I can only live by example. It's like Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." That sure isn't me. 

 

2.    Pay Attention to the Feelings of Others

“When you hear someone criticizing you, pay attention because it says something about them.” –Julie Brooks

A lot of times we make fun of others because it takes the attention off of our own deficiencies and low self esteem. I had a friend, when someone would confide in him about a problem or lack in his or her life, he would immediately make fun of it. He would also make fun of himself, calling himself “fatty.”

When someone pours out his or her innermost secrets to us in a private, personal way, it’s offensive to turn around and make fun of it. It ruins trust, hurts feelings, and makes people defensive. Have you ever known someone who would use your secrets against you when they were mad at you? It’s the same sort of thing - abusive.

I know that some people live by sarcasm. Some even claim to be a part of the International Society of Sarcasm. I’m not telling anyone not to be sarcastic. Sometimes it’s funny. What I’m talking about is when it crosses a line and hurts the feelings of another person.

Now granted, we are not responsible for the emotions of other people. When someone else gets butt hurt, sometimes they just need to grow up and stop blaming everyone else for their lack of self-esteem. However, we can learn to be more aware of when we are making fun of others in a way that hurts their feelings. Instead of tearing people down by making fun of them, let’s build people up.

 

3.    Give/Offer Help Only When Asked

There are times when offering help without being asked is a good thing. Helping children and the elderly are examples of this. But when someone who is fully able to fend for himself needs help, we have to look at the reasons why.

  • Sometimes helping can do more harm than good. People need to learn from their mistakes. If we are always rescuing them from the consequences of their actions, they never learn. They never grow up to be a person who can deal with their own problems. They look to others to fix everything in their lives. People have to learn to find solutions within themselves. They must learn how and why it’s best to rely on themselves. This is part of them knowing that they are powerful. When we fix everything for another person we actually leave them powerless. It’s just as the parable says, we can teach others how to fish instead of fishing for them.
  • Sometimes helping is co-dependent savior mentality.

    We all want to feel wanted and appreciated; it makes us feel good. But approval is best when it’s generated from within. We need to approve of ourselves first. The more we approve of ourselves from within, the less we need external validation. Relying on external approval is dangerous. When others are happy and pleased with us, we feel good. When others are displeased with us, we feel bad. This way, we are susceptible to the emotional whims of everyone around us. Usually, the approval of others is contingent upon whether or not we give them what they want and act in the way they want us to act. The moment we stop doing what they want, they might withdraw their approval. If we depend on external approval for our self-esteem and self worth, we’re in trouble. Often times when we find ourselves in savior mentality, it’s because we want everyone to like us. The reality is, we need to ‘save’ ourselves. Meaning, we can only give to others that which we have given to ourselves first. Savior mentality is scary because it sets us up as this holier than thou wise authority who knows what is right for everyone. Savior complex usually means that the person has deep issues themselves that they don’t want to deal with. It’s draining and co-dependent, keeping the ‘savior’ distracted so they don’t have to face their own inner turmoil. Instead of saving others, which we don’t need to do, we can set an example in our own lives by the way we live. This way we empower others to know they have the power within themselves to handle anything in their lives. We can show them, via our own lives, that they are more powerful than any circumstance and situation. If we keep rescuing them, no one wins. It’s dis-empowering all the way around.When people keep creating problems in their lives, they are in a toxic living pattern. Diving in and helping pulls this toxic energy into our own lives. Some people love drama; they are entertained by it and they feed off of it. Just say no.

 

4.    Work Only to Change Ourselves

Do we want others to try and change us? Most of us do not want other people telling us how to live. When others try to change us, it’s annoying. Sometimes the other person comes across as if they are claiming to be smarter and more successful at life. When we try to change others, we come across the same way.

Granted, sometimes we want the advice of another person who is more successful than we are. We want to hear what they have to say and we are ready, willing and able to change. In this case, the person giving the advice truly leads by example.

But most of the time the advice we are given was not asked for. It’s unwanted and given by people who are less successful than we are. Most of the time people want us to change because it’s easier than them having to change themselves. They believe that their lives would be better if we changed. When in reality they are the ones who need to change.

 

5.    Correct Others Only When Asked

I have an agreement with my friend who is an English teacher. I want her to correct me if have improper spelling and grammar. But that is an agreement we have previously made between the two of us. In life, this is not always the case. When we correct others without having been asked, we can come across as presumptuous. It can seem as if we are saying, “I’m smarter than you and I know more.” It can make the other person feel stupid, especially when they are corrected in front of a group of people.

Usually we correct others because we genuinely believe we are right. But sometimes we open our mouths without having done enough research. We aren’t entirely clear on what the other person is saying, why they are saying it and what they really mean.

These rules are a fast track to inner peace, serenity, and compassion. They help us to live in the world and not be so disappointed by others that it paralyzes us. We are freed from the suffering that unrealistic expectation causes. When we cease trying to change others, we focus on being the change we wish to see, and we become active examples (like MLK and Gandhi) of those who take responsibility for the Divine Birthright and Inheritance of man as God in expression.

40 Ways to Energize Yourself

40 Ways to Energize Yourself

2011
by China Brooks
 

1.  Music

Create a “uplift your vibration” playlist that you can listen to anytime. Are you able to listen to ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown without feeling at least a little better? Listen to music with positive lyrics. Personally, I prefer music that talks about enjoying life, being powerful, and feeling good. ‘Golden’ by Jill Scott, is one example.

Use music to balance your brainwaves by listening at 432hz and/or 528hz instead of 440hz. From what I understand, BT used some kind of vibration-raising machine for his song ‘Simply Being Loved’. I don’t know if he used it for the entire song, but I heard he used it for the opening riff.

2.  Meditation

Use meditation to balance your brainwaves. Meditation(silent stillness) creates more theta state by connecting you with your soul. Theta is that state between being awake and being asleep where your subconscious mind is. It enhances creativity and imagination.

Meditation bypasses the lower selves, including your animal nature; which is preoccupied with the survival instinct. Meditation gets right to the core of you; that which is eternal and connected to all of life. This is the real reason why it reduces stress, calms the mind, and kills the mental chatter.

3.  Eat Healthy

The saying is true; you are what you eat. Foods are in three categories; they act like a medicine, they are neutral, or they act like a poison. You want to eat foods that act like a medicine to your body. Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat something. Food should not give you gas. If a certain food gives you gas, your body doesn’t want it. After you eat, you should feel good and energetic, not tired and lethargic. When you eat a giant healthy salad and drink tons of water, your body feels better. Healthy, living foods will give you energy. Processed crap will deplete you and lower your vibration. You might eat some junk and feel better momentarily but eventually you will feel worse, heavy, and gassy. Processed food messes with the chemicals in your brain as well. It disrupts metabolism, concentration, focus, and healthy body function. Ask my friends, if you put some fresh beet and apple juice in my face, I’m a happy girl!

4.  Limit Recreational Drug / Alcohol Use

Drugs are fun but they mess with the brain’s natural chemical factory. The brain has its own pleasure and reward system, which releases chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Recreational drugs cause excessive release of these chemicals. The brain starts to rely on the drug(s) to experience pleasure. Drugs start doing the brain’s job and then the brain stops functioning normally. That’s why withdrawal sucks. Even quitting something minor like weed can be tough because the brain becomes chemically reliant on it.

Prolonged use makes it harder for a person to experience heightened pleasure without drugs and alcohol. Neural pathways in the brain that send out dopamine and serotonin have to be healed and rejuvenated. Sometimes drug use permanently kills some of these neural pathways (brain cells). Have you ever known someone who was happy and full of personality while on drugs and without drugs they were depressed and sad? This is why.

5.  Take a Bath

Add herbs, Epsom, or sea salt to your bath. You can also add grapefruit peels (or grapefruit itself) for a grounding and detoxifying bath. Visit a steam room / sauna. A really hot bath and/or a sauna will remove toxins from your body. Removing toxins always makes a person feel lighter and clearer headed. Make sure you drink plenty of water to rehydrate yourself.

6.  Burn Incense and Sage

Light some sage and pass it over your entire body. Sage is cleansing and it removes negative energies. You can also sage your room and home.

7.  Spiritual Tools / Spiritual Practice

Everyone should have a spiritual practice. Meditation, yoga, chanting (mantras, words, and sounds), and mudras (yoga for your hands), etc., are all useful, mood lifting exercises. The 10 Golden Minutes, 3 Things Exercise, and Gratitude Journal are some of my favorite spiritual tools that I use in my spiritual practice.

8.  Scream Into a Pillow

It’s good to have an outlet for pent-up emotions. Sometimes while I am doing yoga and emotions come to the surface to be released, I scream into a pillow.

9.  Write

Write in a gratitude journal. Write morning pages. Write a book. Write a blog article. Writing is cathartic, healing and releasing. It’s a great tool for getting things out, getting answers and for setting goals.

10. Talk To Someone

We all need to talk with someone. Human relationships are crucial in this world. There are many people you can talk to:  a friend you love and trust, a family member, a therapist, or a spiritual counselor. 

11. Reading

Certain books can raise your vibration; spiritual books always do it for me. If a certain kind of book makes you feel better, then by all means, get to reading!

12. Play More

Take your self on a date. Play more often in your life. Take yourself to the park, museum, Arboretum, or Huntington Gardens. Go to the beach. Spend a day with yourself, by yourself, in ways that you highly enjoy.

13. Nature

Get out into nature and just sit there for as long as you need. Take your shoes off and stand on the ground for 90 seconds. Doing that resets your energetic field.

14. Dance / Go Dancing

Dance in your living room. Go to a party and dance your ass off to your favorite DJ. Sweat and have a great time; dance, dance, DANCE!!!

15. Aromatherapy

Scrunch rosemary between you fingers; it smells amazing and it’s therapeutic. You can put rosemary into a hot bath, make eye pillows with it, or use it for cooking. Lavender works the same way, as do many healing herbs.

16. Smell the Roses

When you go on a walk, stop and smell the roses. I always smell the roses and it makes me feel better immediately. Some of them smell like fragrant perfume.

17. Hang Out By the Ocean

This falls under nature, but the ocean deserves individual attention. Apparently, the ocean activates Alpha brainwaves, which are highly calming and therapeutic.

18. Spend Time With Animals

We all know how awesome animals are. They are always in the now and they are simply themselves. They are fun, calming, silly, and playful. If you have a pet, spend time with your pet. Walk your dog, pet your cat, and sing with your bird.

19. Exercise

Go and take a 10 minute walk around the block. Any kind of exercise is always good. There are many, many ways for you to get exercise. But just walking for a few minutes is enough to increase your energy.

20. Drive

When you do a rote task like driving, it requires only a small amount of focus, providing a much-needed break for your overworked brain. This creates release, relief, and healing.

21. Sing

Sing in the house. Sing in the car. Sing at the top of your lungs. Sing with friends. Sing in the shower. If you make music, work on your tracks. Singing takes a lot of strength and breath control, which is very grounding, balancingand powerful.

22. Hang Out With Friends

Make your friends some cards. Call or text them to tell them you love them. If you want love, give it away first. Companionship makes you feel connected and understood which uplift your vibration.

23. Shop

Hit up a thrift store or two. Go shopping in your own closet. I bet you have stuff in your closet that you forgot is even there. Go through your closet and create some new outfits to wear and then wear them.

24. Clear Our Clutter

Clean out a drawer, your closet, or your paperwork. If an item is not useful, beautiful, and hasn’t been used in 6 months, get rid of it. Clearing clutter is liberating. Also, in order for new (and better) stuff to come into your life, you have to make room for it. This is true in every area of your life, if you don’t love it, get rid of it.

25. Sex

Have great sex with yourself or with a partner. Sex releases happy, relaxing hormones and is a great form of exercise when done with a partner. This can also mean to abstain from having sex with partners we don't love. This will preserve our sacred, creative sexual energy. When we value ourselves enough to respect our body as a living temple of God, it uplifts our self-esteem.

26. Watch T.V.

Watch movies that inspire you to a better feeling place. There’s tons of positive stuff to watch on Netflix. Young At Heart is one of my favorites.

27. Work On A Creative Project

Write poetry, paint, make candy, and shoot a video. Working on a creative project calms the mind and fills you full of purpose; which makes you happy.

28. Garden

Water your plants. Start a garden or admire the garden you already have. Send your plants positive, loving energy. Anytime you can get your hands and/or feet in the soil, do so!

29. Clean

Cleaning causes you to be in the moment. When you do a rote task like cleaning, it requires only a small amount of focus, providing a much-needed break for your overworked brain. This creates release, relief, and healing.

30. Watch the Sunset and Sunrise

Watching an amazing sunset or sunrise immediately connects you to the good in life. It grounds your soul and makes you stop, breathe, and listen. I read that pink stands for the love of God.

31. Change Your Habits

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Start eating healthier, take a 10 minute walk three times a week, or do a  30 day no-complaining challenge. Change.

32. Do What Makes YOU Feel Better

Dress yourself up, paint your nails, or fix up your man cave. Do what makes you feel good.

33. Hang Out With Kids

Being around children puts you in the moment. It makes you feel good by taking your attention off of yourself and onto pure joy. Go be silly and playful and fun!

34. Travel

Travel locally, go and see museums you haven’t seen before. Travel out the state; take a cross-country road trip. Leave the country and see the world. Traveling uplifts your vibration because it helps you gain a new perspective on life. You get to know different cultures and you develop a greater tolerance and appreciation for people. Plus, travel is relaxing and stimulating.

35. Gratitude Journal

You can write in your gratitude journal for 7 minutes in the morning and/or evening. It uplifts your vibration and starts your day on an empowered note.

36. Learn Something New

Teach yourself how to do something you have always wanted to learn. Take a class, read a book, watch tutorials on YouTube. Learning increases your intelligence.

37. Be In The Moment

Right now, everything is okay. Things only seem less than okay when you are focused on the past or worried about the future. Stay in the now. One way to do that is to ask yourself, “What are my hands doing right now? Feet? Fingers?” You can also look around you and notice what is good NOW.

38. Positive Aspects

Positive aspects are a process where you look for and focus on the good in any person, place, thing, or situation. There is always something good in everything; you just have to look for it.

39. Breathe

Deep breathing calms your entire body and mind. Check out these videos: How to Breathe Correctly and 7 Grounding Breaths Exercise.

40. Laugh

Check out your favorite comedians online. Look at websites that make you laugh. Some of my favorites are comedians Ellen, Louis CK, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Margaret Cho, and Katt Williams. 

10 Ways to Live in the New Paradigm

10 Ways to Live in the New Paradigm 

2011
by China Brooks

 

1. Practice Radical Honesty - Be honest even when it's uncomfortable and others don't like you.

2. Stop Explaining - You don't need to defend or explain yourself to anyone, ever.

3. Have Integrity - Live with your thoughts, words, and deeds in alignment. Be your authentic self and live an authentic life.

4. Practice Positive Living - Positive thinking only goes so far and is useless without positive action. If you want change, be that change. Stop talking and start living.

5. Stop Managing Pain - Stop managing other people's pain. Stop trying to fix everything for everyone. You aren't responsible for the emotions and pain of another person. Stop numbing yourself out and drugging yourself up.

6. Surrender - Surrender everything you thought you knew. You are not your house or your car. You are not your social titles or your popularity. You are not even your body.

7. Follow Your Own Advice - Stop seeking and needing everyone else's advice and approval. It's tainted with their perception, desires, and opinions. The best advice you can follow is the advice you obtain within the quiet stillness of your own being.

8. Follow Your Intuition - Your intuition is the best GPS system you will ever have. In order to hear your intuition loud and clear you need to...

9. Slow Down - Breathe. Stop keeping up with the fast pace of the world around you. Meditate, breathe deeply, take walks, and enjoy nature. Slow down.

10. Focus On Being - Stop doing and start being. It's no longer do to get; it's be to receive (Eloheim Channel). From that place of being you will feel inspired to take Divine Right Action.

 

Five Things That Will Change Your Financial Life Forever

Five Things That Will Change Your Financial Life Forever


2011
by China Brooks

 

1. Emergency Fund

An Emergency Fund is the brain child of Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace Boot Camp). It's a savings account containing a minimum of $1,000, acting as a cushion in case an unexpected cost arises. Have you ever needed emergency car repairs that you couldn't afford? Has your pet ever needed a visit to the vet that you didn't have money for? Have you ever been in a car accident and had trouble paying the car insurance deductible? Having an emergency fund saves you all this trouble and keeps you from going into debt (using a credit card).

In 2009, I was in 3 car accidents; two were not my fault, the third one was. The first time, my car was parked and someone hit it at night, leaving no note. $500 deductible. The second time, a young kid busted a u-turn right into me. $500 deductible. The third time I scraped this old man's car. $500 deductible. That's $1,500 in one year. Back in the day I would have freaked out. I might have taken out a loan and gone into debt, but instead I had my emergency fund. I was okay. (p.s. It's now 2017 and I haven't been in an accident or had a ticket since - knock on giant redwood forests). 
 

2. Living Expense Fund

This fund is six months to one year of your living expenses saved up. I always save enough money to have a comfortable six months. I especially need this because I do not have a typical nine-to-five job. Basically, I play Russian Roulette with my income sources, which I like because it keeps me from getting bored. It also puts more pressure on me to be financially organized and plan ahead. A living expense fund will save your ass if you get fired, need to quit, get sick, have a family emergency, want to travel, etc.
 

3. Periodic Expense Fund

The Periodic Expense Fund is for things such as car registration, a once a year AAA bill, dentist visits, passport renewal (every ten years), etc. I pay my car insurance bill from this fund (six months to a year in advance), which saves money. Sit down and ask yourself, “How much money do I really need to live for a year?” A fully-funded periodic expense fund is ideal, but the emergency fund and the living expense funds are the most important corner stones.
 

4. Setting Up Savings Accounts

Set up a minimum of three savings accounts for your emergency fund, your living expense fund, and your periodic expense account. Set up additional savings accounts for large periodic expenses such as travel, property taxes, rental income money, union dues, etc. One year I could not pay my property taxes ($4,800), or my SAG dues (1.25% of my yearly earnings). That was the same year I made $100,000 in two months, which doesn't make any sense, right? I haven't had that issue since I organized my finances. It's not the amount of money you make, it's what you do with it. 
 

5. Pay Off Your Debt

Pay off your debt and live debt free - paying off debts with highest interest first. Attack credit cards, car loans, student loans, and then the mortgage ('mort' means death in French, by the way). The great thing about debt is that once it's paid off, you never have to get into it again! Trust me that you will feel so much better without that monkey on your back!

These five steps guarantee that you don't ever have to go into debt to pay any of your bills, and it gives you peace of mind. In 2008, I saved enough money for seven months of living expenses (I lived by myself), which included moving twice and those three unexpected car accidents. I also paid off my car, and I paid for my new business (no business loan). I paid my SAG dues, property taxes, and car insurance bills in full. 

How To Interpret Your Dreams

April 24, 2011
by China Brooks

 

How To Interpret Your Dreams

 

Pay attention to your dreams, they are free therapy, here to help you.  Dreams are your subconscious mind's way of sending you a message and telling you something.  Through your dreams you can see where you are in your life, your strengths, and what you need to work on.

You may wake up only remembering certain parts of your dream.  Some details will stand out vividly while others you won't remember at all.  By you remembering only certain things, your subconscious mind is trying to bring your attention to those things.  The details you remember are the most important ones.  If you didn't remember it, it's not important.

Sometimes a dream can be psychic.  I have had dreams that actually came true in waking life.  One time I had a dream that an acquaintance was on a farm having a spiritual experience.  Months later I saw him and he told me that he had been on a farm and it was one of the most enlightening experiences he ever had.

Some dreams are just for release.  I have had dreams that were simply for the purpose of letting go or getting something off of my chest so I could feel better.  Your subconscious helps let go of toxic people, places, things, habits, and lifestyles.  It lets you know that it's not only okay to let go, but that you need to let go.  Through release you are more able to embrace new chapters of your life.  Release dreams can signify huge life changes you are going through at the moment.

 

1.  What Time Did You Have Your Dream?

Dreams that occur in the beginning of your sleep cycle reveal the present.  Middle of the night dreams are predictive.  Early morning dreams (right before you wake) are for release.

2.  Everything In Your Dream Means Something

Look at everything in your dream (write it down if it helps).  Anything in your dream can have meaning; the colors of the walls, the way you felt, where you were, what the place looked like, what time it was, what the weather was like, who you were with, and what color and fabric you and your companions were wearing.  Everything means something.

3.  Always Pay Attention To Colors, Textures and The Elements

Always pay attention to the colorsof things.  White stands for purity and gray stands for uncertainty.  If you dream of gray concrete it means you need to gain clarity over an uncertain (gray area) issue in your life.  Once you begin to get better at interpreting your dreams, many things (such as colors) become common sense.  For example, water...

4.  Water Stands For Consciousness

Water stands for consciousness.  The condition of the water always says something.  Is the water clear?  Muddy?  Dirty?  Clean?  Is it calm, choppy, or downright stormy?  What color is the water?  Is it deep or shallow?  Were you scared of the water or was it inviting?

5.  What People Mean In Your Dream

When you dream of a certain person or a group of people, you always have to take into account how you feel about them in your waking life, which will tell you a lot.  What do these people represent to you, what kind of behaviors were they expressing in the dream and how were they making you feel?

Here is a question from a friend whose dream I interpreted:  Do you feel that when another person is in our dream that they are actually “in it” or “connected”?  v. the “everyone in our dream is us” philosophy?  I personally think it can be both.  Depends on the dream or/ situation.

Answer:  I agree, it depends on the dream/ situation.  However, my dreams are usually intuitive, psychic, and prolific.  In dreams, people come to me for a number of reasons.  Either they need spiritual support or they are supporting me, or both.  People also come to me in dreams to give me an update on how they are doing, especially if I have not seen them in a while.  They also show up just to hang out, but this is rare.  People can also represent something for the dreamer, such as an old lifestyle coming to an end. When I dream of someone, I can tell by the dream exactly how they are doing in life and what deep issues and desires they are working on.

6.  Flying

Flying is always good and points to a high degree of awareness.  If you have been flying a lot in your dreams lately, that should tell you something.  How high did you fly?  Did you feel free or scared when you flew?  If you were scared, did you fly any way?  What is your flying style?  My friend flies like Superman.  When I was younger, I used to fly like a frog.  Now I just shoot up in to the air, but I can still gain an extra boost of power by doing a quick frog hop (like when you are swimming).

According to Medicine Cards by Sams and Carson, Frog symbolizes healing.  “An ability of frog medicine people is to give support where it is needed.  A Frog medicine person can clean negativity from any environment.  Call to Frog to find peace in the joy of taking time to give to yourself.  A part of this giving is cleansing yourself from any person, place, or thing that does not contribute to your new state of serenity and replenishment.”  Needless to say, the way you fly in your dreams says a lot about you.

7.  Death

People seem to think that death is a bad thing.  I could not disagree more.  20,000 Dreams says, “Death stands for termination; finality.  May not specifically point to a physical death.  Dead means an absolute conclusion; a final closing.”  I know that death signifies the end of an era or time your life.  It can be the end of a relationship, a way of life, or a way of thinking; the possibilities are endless.

8.  Do You Have Trouble Remembering Your Dreams?

If you normally can't remember your dreams, I suggest you take a look at your daily lifestyle. Do you drink a lot of coffee or smoke a lot of weed?  Those things will make you fuzzy and you will not remember you dream life.  I had a friend who could never remember his dreams.  Then he quit smoking pot and cigarettes for a while and his dreams became very vivid.  The healthier I am, the clearer I become and the more intense my dream life becomes.  I think this is general rule for life.  The healthier you are, the better quality of your life.  It's the same with dreams.

9.  Dream Books I Use and Recommend

Zolar's Encyclopedia; Dictionary of Dreams

The Dreamer's Dictionary Stearn Robinson; Tom Corbett (This one is sometimes very similar to Zolar's)

20,000 Dreams Mary Summer Rain (My current favorite)

 

 

18 Free Ways to Change Your Money Habits

18 FREE Ways To Change Your Money Habits
 

2011
by China Brooks

 

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin now.”

-Goethe

The first step (and FREE to you) is to make a commitment to get your finances organized.

You will be surprised how the universe lines up to help you in ways you never thought of. I recall seeing a great financial book at my friend's mom's house. It was much too basic her for so she let me have it, and score! That book changed my life.

 

1. Read Books

You can check out books for free at your public library. You can also ask friends if they have any books you can borrow. Not only can you read financial books and publications but you can read autobiographical books about others who have the financial knowledge you desire, and gain tips on how you can follow in their footsteps. With so much information around, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Usually newsletters give great, free information. You can also start a book club on a social networking site where you and your friends can loan each other books on the subject of finances. I want you to think outside the box regarding how you can get financial information for free. 
 

2. Meet With Financial Advisers

Financial advisers want your business. Some charge to meet with them for an initial consultation, but many do not, especially if you were referred to them via one of their existing clients (perhaps a friend or family member of yours). I met with Smith and Barney and Sherri Shepherd's old business manager for free. You don't have to tell anyone your financial situation or how much money you have. You're just there to get information and “act like” you're interviewing them to see if you are good fit or not (you will need to hire someone at some point - which is a great thing!). That means you can ask all the financial questions you want.
 

3. Read Blogs, Websites, and Newsletters 

I subscribe to Saving Advice. Do some research - I am sure there are other blogs you can subscribe to for free, or websites you can visit such as (Forbes.com and theeconomist.com). Mint.com has lots of cool interviews and articles as well. Usually newsletters give great, free information. I am signed up for Abundance Bound; financial organization for actors. I have never actually taken her $600 course, but the author recommends great books all the time in her newsletters. 

I recommend starting with Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover. You can also scan his site for free information. Do you know someone who is already a member of his site or has his book? Ask them if you can borrow the book or use their password for free. It's worth a try and if not, perhaps you can barter with your friend so they get something of use out of the deal as well. Audible also gives a free 30 day trial where you get a complementary book. 

Also, Google "financial journals," and "financial publications". 
 

4. Ask People You Know

Ask people you know if they have any information (what books, magazines, and websites to read). Do you know anyone with an Economics degree? You could even email a college Economics professor - I bet they will get back to you and be more help than you imagined. If you know anyone with money, even more than you have, ask them how they do it. Sit down and talk with them, and pay attention to what they do, how they live, and what money habits (and life habits) they keep. Don't be afraid to ask questions, ever. 
 

5. Use Those Airline Points

Do you have points from an airline that you never use? Sometimes airlines will let you chose free magazines if you aren't going to use your points to travel with. Either way, be smart and use those points! 
 

6. 30 Day Consumer Fast

Consumer fasting is great because just like regular fasting, it clears your head by taking your mind off of money and spending. It gives you time to think clearly and re-assess your spending habits.
 

7. YouTube, Movies, and Television 

I haven't even begun to explore what’s available on YouTube but I bet there is tons of financial information there (use your discernment). In fact, someone has probably already done videos regarding this subject.

Born Rich and the One Percent by Jamie Johnson (Johnson and Johnson heir) are available to view for free on YouTube and Google.

Do a YouTube and Google search for financial information and if you find anything good, let me know! 

CNBC is an actual money station on television that you can watch for those of you with cable.
 

8. Create A Budget

Uh oh, it's the dreaded 'B' word! I'm not going to go into this in detail but you figuring out how much you actually make v. how much you actually spend and then tailoring your budget to keep you within your means is super smart. A budget can keep you from spending more than you make (I know, what a concept!). 
 

9. Cut Out Impulse Buying

Do you buy things you don't need only to get them home and regret the purchase? Impulse buying is a huge money drain. Want a way to stop that? Read on...
 

10. Mandatory Waiting Period

In 2006 I made a rule that if I see something I like, I have to wait 30 days to buy it. Your waiting period can be however long you want but I recommend at least two weeks. I find that 95% of the time I no longer want the item in question. A waiting period gives me time to research a product and keeps me from buying technology that is outdated or still needs to have the bugs worked out. I am also able to find the product that is truly right for me, get the best deal, and spend only what I really can afford in the moment. It also gives me time to save money to buy the highest quality version. 
 

11. Hang Out With Abundant People

Hang out with people who have things and speak well of money. You are influenced by those around you, they actually help shape and mold who you are. Spending time with those who have healthy relationships with money will only work to your advantage. 
 

12. Visualize

You create your life via the thoughts you think. Do you want your life to change for the better? Do you want more money? If you keep seeing things as is, then all you will get is more of what you see. “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” -Albert Einstein. In order to change things, you must begin to tell a different story. Your brain does not know the difference between what is real (what you are seeing in the physical world) and what you visualize/fantasize about.

Relax for 15 minutes and see your life as you would like it to be, focusing on the end result. It's not so important to visualize lots of money, as it is to visualize yourself enjoying the things that you want the money for. Do you want a new home? Visualize yourself in that home, always focusing on the end result. How it's going to happen is not your concern. What you must do is to see this new life so intensely that it's your predominant thought. In other words, you must believe that it already exists. Then let it go and get on with your life, and have the courage to take inspired action?

You should visualize daily, or as often as you can, and keep going even when you really believe it to be true. You also must be a vibrational match for your desire, as in cultivate and remain in a high state of gratitude and appreciation for what you already have. What I mean by that is you can't walk around with a negative attitude and expect these wonderful, high-vibrational things to come into your experience. You have to keep it positive. 
 

13. Set Goals

Having goals and being committed is empowering. When you know you are doing your best in a certain area, how you does that make you feel? It makes you feel great, right? When you are committed, and you have self discipline, you begin to see results and you feel amazing about yourself and your life. Set goals! You can also set goals with friends to help keep you accountable. Start a financial group with your friends, find support if you need it, and make it fun.
 

14. Be Frugal

There are so many things you know you don't need, but you spend money on them anyway. Are you kind of addicted to buying whatever you want, whenever you want? That's cool, as long as you have plenty of money, no debt, you own property if you want to, and your car is paid for. If it's really hard for you to break the habit of buying stuff you don’t need (or really love and will get great use out of), consider doing a Consumer Fast and/or making a new rule of a 30-day mandatory waiting period.
 

15. Don't Take Loans

Loans are the devil. Well, there's good debt and there's bad debt. Good debt is hiring a serious high ROI business coach where you will double (and even triple your money) provided you consistently do the work. Bad debt is buying furniture, clothes, etc.

Why take a loan and pay a bank three times the amount you borrowed just to have easy and fast access to cash? If you pay for something with a credit card, and you don't pay the card off immediately, you could end up paying three to four times the amount of the original purchase price. Do you really want to pay three times the amount of the retail price for a pair of jeans? Do you really want to keep making the bankers (who have broken the middle class in half) rich? Look what they are doing now - they aren't even loaning money in a time when people need it the most. Most banks are not your friends, and loans come from banks. They are self-serving. Credit is like crack: it's whack! Just say no as much as you can. It's better to calculate how much money you need to accomplish your goals and then figure out how to make that money. 
 

16. Read Your Bill Statements

The other day I noticed my car insurance bill had gone up, so of course, I called my insurance carrier. California rates had increased in general, however; the total number of miles I was now driving per year was lower than the year before. That little change saved me $240 a year in car insurance. Make sure you read your bills carefully and be clear on any cost increases. Also, companies have been known to make mistakes and charge more than they are supposed to. I'm kind of anal about that stuff so I keep most of my receipts. Thank God, because once a gas station tried to run a fraud on my account and charge me twice in one day for a full tank of gas. Having the receipt saved my ass.
 

17. Be Organized

I have given you 17 ways to be more financially organized. If you do even a few things I have told you, it will change your life forever. You will sleep better at night, you will have peace of mind, you will have more control and power in your life. 
 

18. Research/Do You Homework Before You Make Purchases

Especially on large purchases such as cars, homes, and electronics. Usually too, I notice most things can be found for less money. If you have the money and you really want an item then by all means buy it. But most technology is old within six months and will drastically drop in price. There have been times when I wanted a pair of shoes, only to buy them and find them on sale somewhere else. I bought some editing software which went on sale for half price a month later. I'm just sayin', shopping around can be a wise thing to do. Know what you are getting yourself into.

What are some ways you’ve learned to change your money habits for free?