As the proverb states, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. There’s an even clearer alternate version: “Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works.” Despite its lofty place in personal development, setting intentions can be dangerous because the ego often uses it to give us the illusion of progress while keeping us the same. We set the intention, generate positive energy—making us think we’ve done something—then forget it. Setting an intention is a great start, but if you don’t follow it with action, it’s like turning your steering wheel in the direction you want to go, then leaving your car parked. You might walk by and admire the direction the tires are pointed, but without a plan, and getting in and driving, that intention won’t get you anywhere.
Think about the last few intentions you set. Maybe they were New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps it was the intention to lose weight, write a book, or be more loving. Reflect over the last year of intentions. How’s it going so far? It felt good in the moment you set it. Your resolve might’ve been high. Maybe you even sensed a shift in energy, like something real was happening. And that’s often where we stumble. Remember, the ego’s job is to keep us where we are while giving us the illusion of moving forward. Only after the momentum has died do we realize we hadn’t moved at all and we must start over again—or give up on the idea altogether.
I’m not saying to stop setting intentions. Your intention is like the rudder on a boat, giving direction to your life force. But you, like that boat, must be moving to benefit from it. You must align your actions with your intentions. It doesn’t have to be a big action. A page a day becomes a book or more in a year. A walk a day becomes a healthier body in months. A few minutes of meditation a day can create a new consciousness. A life of small steps can take you around the world. As Oscar Wilde said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
For the next 14 days, match your strongest intentions with specific actions. And if you really want to succeed, make a plan. In the end, as Picasso said, “What one does is what counts, not what one had the intention of doing.”
To Your Emergence!
Living In the Feeling Tone of your vision—what I call the LIFT Practice—is the core of your daily emergence work. It brings together all the elements you’ve been developing, if you’ve been doing the work in the emergence programs. As this becomes a consistent part of your life, it will cut a new subjective groove in your consciousness, integrating this higher frequency until it becomes a new set point, creating the congruent conditions for the emergence of your next stage of evolution.
I’ve been sharing several parts of the Daily Life practice lately. There is the VVR process, a foundational meditation that activates, expands, and integrates your Visionary Vibration – the signature feeling-tone of your vision. I won’t go into the technique now, but you can get a free copy of the meditation here: https://derekrydall.com/vibrationradiation/. This is best done first thing in the morning, to establish yourself in the Visionary Vibration.
There’s also the One-Minute Mystic, which I’ve recently shared. This is a process that allows you to tap into that soul-connection and visionary vibration several times throughout the day – in moments when you may not have realized you could. If you haven’t seen this process, please look back over your past issues of The Emerging Edge newsletter or check out the Facebook fan page history.
Today I want to share a component of the Daily Life practice I call: 3-D Affirmations.
Affirmations recondition our beliefs about ourselves. The problem is that we’ve been taught affirmations in a very linear way, while our beliefs have been laid down in Surround Sound. Because impressions come to us in first, second, and third person, they are imprinted that way.
The voice in our head—or the deep belief in our subconscious—speaks not only in “I am” terms. It’s also imprinted with “You are” and “He/She is.” So it can be helpful to layer our affirmations the same way. If your affirmation is “I am a powerful, wealthy, confident person!” You could also state it as “You (name) are a powerful, wealthy, confident person!” Then say it as “(Your name) is a powerful, wealthy, confident person!
To implement this, take the feeling tones/qualities of character you’re trying to embody – those feelings you would have if you were living your ideal vision — and turn them into a 3-D affirmation by stating them in all three ways. Don’t try to cram all the qualities into one affirmation; start with the most pressing area. Pick one to three qualities. Turn that into a 3-D affirmation. Then work on it until there’s some integration – until it starts to feel like an active part of your emotional-vibrational field.
As you speak the affirmations, notice the negative self talk and write it down. It will give you insight into the limited beliefs running you. Then turn those into affirmations and use them to uncover deeper shadow beliefs, which will allow you to access and activate latent potential.
To practice 3-D affirmations, it helps to pick a predetermined time, stand in front of a mirror, and exercise your affirmative muscles by saying the affirmations to yourself while looking in your eyes. As the negative chatter comes up, write it down, and go back to the affirmations. Once you notice the same chatter cycling back, ignore it and stay in the affirmation practice.
Start by methodically repeating your affirmations in first, second, then third person, again and again. Then as the energy builds, be willing to mix it up. You might go from first person to third person to second person, then back to third person. Trust the process. As you get comfortable, see if other affirmations or variations want to emerge.
For instance, “I’m a powerful, abundant person…” could organically shift into, “I’m a powerful, abundant, gorgeous person…” and even “I’m a powerful, abundant, gorgeous, sexy genius!” Hold nothing back. Then, at the height of the experience, when you’re really buzzing, sit down and meditate on that feeling for at least a few minutes, longer if you want. Let it soak in.
Then ask, “From this energy, what am I called to release or embrace to step more fully into my vision?” Listen. See if there is any guidance playing on this station. If it’s vague, keep asking until you get something specific. Write it down. And follow it.
If standing in front of the mirror isn’t your thing—do it anyway. I know it can feel awkward and foolish, but that’s just ego chatter, self-judgment, and protective walls you’ve built around your heart. Work through that and watch the walls crumble and your heart open. If you want to change it up from time to time, try it walking, jogging or running. The rhythm of your body can help you fall into a nice cadence that supports the affirmations. And the extra energy from moving can help you activate the feelings more.
The key is to do this every day; that’s why it’s called the ‘Daily’ LIFT practice. It’s all about consistency. The world constantly bombards you with messages and energy that are NOT congruent with your highest vision – it doesn’t take a day off — so, just as you have good ‘dental hygiene,’ you must also have good ‘mental hygiene.’ But this practice is so much more than merely maintenance; if you’re willing to put in the practice daily, your life will be taken to a whole new level – in many cases beyond what you could have imagined!
To Your Emergence!
Your vision is made up of three primary pillars: how you would FEEL, who you would BE, and what you would DO if you were living it fully. This is an important distinction because people focus most on the doing, less on the feeling, and rarely on the being. If their vision is to have a thriving business and the love of their life, they write down what that would look like, create a plan for how to make it happen, and then go about trying to achieve it.
The problem is that, even if they manage to muscle their way into manifesting something, they tend to bring the same self-concept with them. Or worse, that self is even more beaten down by the journey. But something more significant occurs, or rather doesn’t occur—there’s no change in their character, let alone their soul. And from the soul level, if you achieve something in the world but don’t evolve spiritually, you’ve achieved nothing. It’s a non-event. In broader terms, if you go through life accomplishing only outer results without transforming your inner being, you’ve lived a non-life. From the soul’s perspective you might as well have stayed home and sat this one out. The familiar refrain “What does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul” could be updated: “What does it profit a man if he gains the world but doesn’t grow?”
At the end of a year—let alone the end of our life—it’s not what we’ve achieved that gives us the most satisfaction; it’s who we’ve become. Are you more peaceful, more loving, more patient, more connected to yourself and others? Do you feel more empowered and authentic in your self-expression? If you feel more in possession of yourself—even if you don’t have more possessions in the world—you’ve had a good year. Then, through the law of emergence, that new state ofbeing must manifest as more having. But then it’s just icing on the cake.
Being. Take a moment to contemplate your ideal vision, to whatever extent you’ve uncovered it, and ask: “If I was living this vision fully, who would I be? How would I walk, talk, and engage others?” Close your eyes and visualize living that life. Notice how you move through this world. Who are you being? What are your qualities of character? Are you more empowered, confident, generous? Imagine a situation you’ve been struggling with and notice how you respond differently now. Are you more centered, patient, forgiving? Be aware of the difference in how you’re being in the vision versus your current life. Write down these qualities of being.
Feeling. Return to the vision state and get in touch with how it feels to be in this ideal life. How does it feel to give, receive, have, be, and do at this level? Enhance the vision to increase that feeling. If you’re in an ideal relationship, see yourself being lavished with loving affection. If you’re working at your ideal job, see yourself greeted with thanks and congratulations, hugs, handshakes and all. If you’re in the public spotlight, see yourself getting a standing ovation, recognition and reward everywhere you go. Don’t worry about how or why, just expand the possibilities and magnify the feelings. Take a breath, take it in…and write down the qualities you felt.
Activating the Feelings. Create a page with two columns. On the left, write “Feelings” (or Qualities), and on the right put “Activation.” Write the qualities on the left side, giving at least a few lines in between each one. Then on the right, list activities, people, places, and sensory objects that make you feel that quality (things that used to make you feel it or things you think would make you feel it now).
Let’s say you have the quality of confidence. Maybe you remember a sport or creative activity that made you feel good about yourself, but over time you stopped doing it. You might recall a supportive friend who makes you feel like you can do anything, but you don’t talk often. Perhaps you’re working on peace, and you feel it when you take walks, but you don’t take them anymore. Or there’s some music that stirs a sense of joy within you, although you rarely listen to it. Write it all down: the walks, the music
What you’re uncovering are all the ways you can design your life to activate the visionary vibration—to tune into a state that is congruent with your vision. Your homeplay is to pick one or two from each quality—or just focus on one—and engineer them into your life. That might be making a date with the friend who makes you feel good. It could be hanging new pictures, placing new objects on your desk, joining the gym, or scheduling a daily walk in the woods—whatever helps you feel these feelings.
Activating the Being. Make another page with two columns. On the left, write down the qualities of being you would express if you were living your ideal vision, giving some space between each. On the other side, write down the activities you can do to start being that person now. To uncover this, close your eyes and tap back into that vision, sensing into this quality of being. Then ask: “What would it look like to step into being this in my life now?” As the answer arises, in whatever form—a vision, a feeling, an idea—continue to ask until you get a specific,actionable piece of guidance. “Love myself more” is not guidance yet; it’s an abstraction of the ego to make you believe you’ve received guidance so you don’t act on it! Engage the guidance, ask specifics: “What would that look like? Who, what, where, when, how often?” Don’t be afraid to ask specifics until you get something you can actually do.
You might be thinking this is too much, and you don’t have time to design this daily congruence strategy, but the truth is you’ve already designed it, just unconsciously. Most people want to be happy, healthy, and live their dreams, but they’re living a strategy based on a reaction to circumstances that is incongruentwith what they really want. They have become a ‘house divided,’ and there is no structural integrity to hold that bigger life up. If you want to grow beyond your current place, you must design a life – and live a life – that reflects where you want to be, not where you currently are.
To Your Emergence!
We’ve been taught that life happens to us and that we must find better ways to deflect, dodge, or dance with it. While learning to master this life aikido may have helped us survive as a species, we’ve evolved to a place where it not only limits our growth but may hasten our demise. Nothing can enter our experience except as an activity of our consciousness. Just as the seed already contains the pattern for the plant and the soil contains the raw material for its formation, the seed planted in the soil of our soul has everything we need to grow. But it must be cultivated with our loving attention and activated by the light of our focused awareness.
As individualized expressions of Divine Love and Intelligence, we didn’t come here to get anything but to release this imprisoned splendor. We really are God’s Gift to the world. Living otherwise—striving to get from the world—sets up a belief of lack that you will continuously experience and blocks the emergence of the gifts you came here to give. Played out to its extreme, this false premise leads to all of the horrible acts of greed and violence. We’re willing to lie, cheat, and steal for something that is already within us. We diminish or destroy countless relationships because they don’t give us the love, respect, and validation that only we can activate within ourselves. And we are willing to hurt, betray, or kill our neighbor—including our neighbor across the oceans—to get that which they can never give us.
In the West we have more abundance than at any time in history, yet we are some of the unhappiest people on the planet. Based on a study at the Legatum Institute that ranked the happiness of 142 countries, the U.S. didn’t make the top 10. And in the 2012 Happy Planet index from the New Economics Foundation, the U.S. didn’t even break the top 50. You can never get enough of what you don’t really need. In fact, you can never feed that insatiable hunger by ‘getting’ anything. Because you already have everything, it’s only through giving that you can experience having. Only through letting out the light within can your own life be illuminated.
In the Emergence model, giving is getting.
The great reversal is not only realizing that everything we need is within us, but that it’s spiritual. We have materialized the spirit instead of spiritualizing the material and that’s why we’re so attached to material things and think that someone or something out there has our happiness. No amount of material things can bring real peace or fulfillment, but when we connect with our inner spirit, it appears as the outward forms of fulfillment. The fruit tree illustrates this. A farmer doesn’t hoard the fruit crop, fearing that if he gives it away he’ll never have any more. He understands that the fruit is the effect of an invisible source of supply that is the real life of that visible tree. And when the tree is barren, the farmer doesn’t think it’s empty and cut it down.
In fact, the tree is as abundant as it ever was.
As long as the roots are kept healthy, the invisible principle that turns the raw material of the soil into the sap, blossom, and fruit will produce a new crop season after season.
Let your roots run deep into the soil of your soul and draw forth everything you need to produce a harvest of good in your life!
To Your Emergence!
While it’s not good for your health to pack on extra pounds, the heaviest burden to your well-being is the extra “wait” you’re carrying – all the excuses you’ve swallowed for why you can’t live your dreams; all the doubt you’ve digested that’s keeping you on the couch until the ‘the timing is right.’ As Napoleon Hill instructed, “Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
The false idea that we must wait for something or someone to change before we can step into our vision is a core reason we get stuck and feel like a victim. There’s only one Power, one Cause, and one Law over your life — God or Infinite Love (whatever concept you prefer). And it is within you. You’re a Divine Power plant. And a power plant doesn’t receive energy, it generates it.
One Meta principle of Emergence is you are the only law over your life. But to activate it, you must act like it’s true — then live and give from that place. That’s why Gandhi said we must be the change we want to see in the world. You can’t have what you’re not willing to become – in consciousness and character. If you’re willing, there’s always a way. But sometimes you have to pioneer it – because the way is not ‘out there,’ YOU are the way.
There’s always an abundance of everything needed in this moment, but it’s largely invisible like radio waves until you tune in and become a channel for it. “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest,” John 4:35. This passage, directed to people waiting for some future date to reap their good, declares that, spiritually speaking, the good is already here. But we must focus on the higher vision and raise our vibration — then get to work in the field!
The fruit’s not just going to jump off the vine and into our basket. It requires labor — but not struggle. The farmer must plant and cultivate, but he would never be so foolish to think he can force the seed to grow. The law of emergence does the heavy lifting it takes to bring in the harvest.
In the pursuit of self-help and spirituality, there’s a danger of becoming too theoretical, a perpetual student of personal growth. This can be a trick of the ego to keep you the same while giving you the illusion of change. It can also create a spiritual narcissism where we’re more committed to feeling warm and fuzzy and waxing philosophic than taking the kind of action that brings that philosophy to life. If you look at the great spiritual leaders (or any leaders) who have delivered real value to the world, they were deep thinkers, yes – but that was the foundation for bold, often earth-shaking action.
It’s easy to travel through our mind and think we’ve gotten somewhere. Setting bold intentions that lead to little or no action but give us the feeling of doing something. Climbing the mountaintop of inspired ideas before falling back into the valley of mediocrity. We can seem so decisive in our thoughts, but unless it’s followed up by action, it’s just self-indulgence and wishful thinking. “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action,” Tony Robbins said. “If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
So be a deep thinker, take the necessary time to set your intentions, define your vision, design your plan, and consider your options. But when that emerging impulse is calling you to action…
Boldly and decisively.
Then evaluate, reassess, dig deeper and get clearer if needed – and act again. You don’t need to have all the answers or complete visibility on what lies ahead. As Steve Maraboli says, “The road to success is always under construction.” If you face a mountain, no amount of thinking about it or imagining what’s on the other side is going to give you complete assurance.
There’s only one way to have absolute clarity on what is beyond that mountain – climb it.