You may have noticed things are changing. You are aware of your thoughts. You are aware of your hand in this. You are aware that your thoughts create.
It was scary at first, getting over the guilt and fear of looking conceited or powerful or delusional. But thanks to the experiences shared on the Internet, it has become common knowledge that feeling good feels good and leads to good things. As a society, we’ve collectively begun to understand that the meaning of life has a lot more to do with having fun than making money or repenting for sins.
Congratulations my friend! We have made it to the next level of life experience. We are aware. We have woken up from the trance of being mind-identified. We have stepped into our role as conscious creators, with a permanent hotline to infinite intelligence.
Some call this transition period entering the “fifth density“, which is a vibrational frequency of consciousness. In this density, we operate from the standpoint of unconditional love and unity with all-that-is. We can zoom out and see a bigger picture of life. The fifth density is where we become aware of our own vibration and our creative power. In fifth density, you exist in flow, or in sync with the universal rhythm or pulse of life. Learning to live in flow marks the transition from fourth to fifth density.
Divine inspiration. Knowing. Confidence. Tripping. Thought-free focus. Letting life live you. Walking the tightrope, trusting the big picture of life to care for you. By choosing to tune ourselves and our moods into the vibration of unconditional love, we access an awareness of flow. Access to the fifth density depends on your mood. Are you in the mood for love?
There is nothing weird or scary about this transition. It’s what we have been collectively striving for. We are entering a period of joy, of fun, of play, and of unconditional love. You don’t have to do anything to be part of the process. You only have to choose it. However, below are a few general principles that may ease that head-exploding feeling of “holy shit, life is deep.”
5 Useful Rules to Live by in the Fifth Density
1. Listen for the flow.
To live in flow, your mind must be quiet enough to hear it. As you make your decisions throughout the day, ask yourself if the choice is a “fuck yeah”. If you have to think about it, it’s not. You can always feel the right decision, which the flow provides, because it will feel good and you will have zero doubt.
2. Up your tolerance for feeling good.
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about feeling good. Everyone gets it. Stay conscious and aware of your mood and thoughts, listen to your body and the indicators in your reality. Find your balance. Keep your cool. Life is like a 360º tightrope. If you were on a tightrope, would you give your attention to what you’re giving it to currently? Choose what you focus on. Choose to ignore everything you don’t want. Let the negative go. Your awareness creates it. What you resist, persists.
Notice particularly when you start reaching your upper limits of feeling good. In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks explains there are four ways in which we prevent ourselves from reaching our ideal conscious state: feeling fundamentally flawed (how could someone as imperfect as me achieve unconditional love?), feeling disloyal to our roots (how could I choose success without abandoning those who made me who I am?), feeling like a burden (if I reach my highest potential, I’ll be an even bigger burden than I am now), or fear of outshining (how can I allow my perfection when it might make those around me feel bad?). If you start feeling bad, ask yourself if something really good just happened. If so, you’re upper-limiting yourself.
You don’t have to perfect your mood in one day. You don’t have to clean up all your thoughts at once. It’s an iterative process that happens with each new thought. Just practice observing your thoughts and watch as the light of your consciousness evaporates the illusion of darkness. In fifth density, your mood is your only work. Do the work. Feel the feeling you want to feel right now, and you have instant access to the vibration where your manifestation resides. It feels almost like shapeshifting, or teleporting.
3. Up your tolerance to other people feeling good.
If you want to live at a higher vibration, you have to be ok with the people around you being on your level. Choose to appreciate the success of the people around you, instead of fearing their success will give you less access to them. You can only perceive their success because you are projecting success.
4. Focus on the feeling of what you really want.
Being able to desire and then manifest anything you want is part of the fun of this density. If you know exactly what you want, you don’t have to think about your desire anymore, because the moment you had the desire, it was created. You don’t water your seed by thinking about it every day, you do it by paying attention to your mood. It will come when you feel as good as you would if you had received the manifestation. Basically, it will come when you don’t care about it anymore, because you found another way to feel good.
The only thing you can actively do to manifest your desire is to focus your energy on feeling good, regardless of whether you receive what you want or not. Tell yourself you have it, and live as if you do. You must become it before you see it. You must believe that it already is, and when you look for it, you’ll see everything already is reflecting that truth.
5. Practice feeling good even though you don’t have everything you want.
Feel good anyway. Act as if. Distract yourself from thoughts that keep you away from what you want. By saying “I want” you are vibrating “I don’t have.” Instead, say “I am.” There are infinite ways to feel good right now, without ever receiving that which you perceive to be lacking. You can exercise, meditate, do mood-boosting worksheets, read Tuesday Tips, or play with flow toys. But the easiest, fastest, and most reliable method for feeling good right now is your breath.
Our breath connects us to each other, to the world, and to the flow of life. Focusing on one’s breath is an instant connection to source energy and can be used at any time to stop thought and feel good. To practice conscious breathing, you can join others in the DoAsOne.org universal breathing room online (thanks Katharine!), or download the Prana Yama breathing app. For fantastic instructions on breath and meditation, read The Practice (thanks Sunny!).
Breath is the holy grail of feeling good. It’s the tool that will always work. It’s the secret ingredient we all have instant, easy access to.
Join in World Liberation Day!
At 10:30pm central time tonight, at the time of the biggest full moon of 2012, we’re all going to meditate for an hour, visualizing the world we want to live in. (See here for your timezone and more detailed instructions).
If you’re in the flow, you have the power that creates worlds in your hands. Life design is consciously directing that flow to create whatever you want. What happens is your decision. Do you want world peace? Do you want alien contact? Do you want all debts canceled? Do you want eternal life? Do you want to fly? What happens next for the world is up to you, and everyone gets to choose the version they want to live.
And y’all? Just remember this is all just for fun. None of this serious, and none of it matters. Enjoy the ride! I love you, and you’re doing great.
thank you craft_uas!
If you’ve come across this site because you’re interested in The School of Life Design, hooray! It’s time to talk.
The first eight lessons in the school are integral to learning how to create your own belief system and start living the life of your dreams. But what comes next? What happens after you learn about life design, start lifestreaming, practicing feeling good, loving yourself, and letting go of negative thought? Is that all there is to learn?
Hell no! How boring would that be? That’s why I am introducing the first lesson of Advanced Life Design (ALD) right here, right now! Lessons in ALD are for everyone, but they assume you’ve got your basics covered:
- you love yourself
- you practice directing your thoughts by focusing on what you want (often using a website)
- you spend most of your time feeling good.
If you’re just tuning in…
Welcome to the leading edge of consciousness expansion on the Internet! Here’s what’s been up with jessicamullen.com the past year: I discovered the law of attraction and power of feeling good last spring, right after running a marathon and receiving my MFA in Design at the University of Texas. I immediately began practicing positive thinking and carried the practice onto my lifestream. The two combined into a beautiful love child, The School of Life Design.
The School of Life Design teaches that life is supposed to be fun, and that keeping a lifestream website is a way to focus your brilliant creative energy on enjoying life. Having a website about your life is essentially an exercise in having fun.
Now what? There must be more to life than just enjoying it. Life is a lot deeper, right?
Well before we can go any deeper, we better practice feeling good. A lot. Every single day. Every moment we can. I have some worksheets (and work books!) to help us practice feeling good and loving ourselves, because for the advanced course we’re going to want the beefiest feeling-good muscles on the block!
While we practice, let’s manifest ourselves some money to fund our adventures into uncharted waters. Get a Website, Get Happy, Get Paid teaches you how to set up the infrastructure of your business of being.
Next you can join the rainbow brite club! Haha jk, but it is where all the coolest life designers hang out. The School of Life Design Forum is to help with specific questions about your unique situation – whether it has to do with your website or the meaning of life in general.
A membership to the forum buys you the best lifestreaming advice on the web along with a place to ask questions, receive site critiques, and teach and learn from other life designers. It’s like going to school for a web design and positive psychology degree at your own pace.
If life genuinely is just a (really long) trip, consider the forum to be your trip guide minus the drugs. What did you come here to accomplish? Come play in the forum with other people asking the same questions!
So what comes next? How do we find more meaning in life after learning the essentials? Here’s my view.
Advanced Life Design: a bigger picture
This is what you’ve been training for. This is the next level. Welcome.
This lesson is a primer of concepts in Advanced Life Design. ALD is about accessing your power as a physical and vibrational creator, evolving your consciousness, accepting your inherent worthiness, and releasing all fear. If you’re able to read this, HIGH FIVE for being a vibrational match to this information!
Now you understand that when something bad happens, it’s actually good – it indicates change, the universe aligning to bring you what you actually want. You see setbacks as fun challenges, gorgeous puzzles gifted from the universe for you to watch unfold.
No matter what happens it’s the perfect solution. Well being flows and is everything. Only your own choices of thoughts and perception would ever lead you astray. And then you realize there really isn’t ever any “astray”. Everything is good and it’s only a matter of time before the good is revealed. The more you believe that, the more good you can perceive in each moment.
Here’s what’s actually up with reality: it moves in a flow. And when you’re synced up with it, you have the most creative power you could ever imagine. Anything you want will materialize in front of your eyes, once you learn how to use your power.
You have to practice to get any good at using your power. There are different ways to “tune in tap in turn on”, which is what you need to practice doing to access this colorful world of magick and fun.
Two paths to embracing your power as a physical and vibrational creator
#1: Practice controlling your thoughts and emotions:
- Practice feeling good any way you can, all day every day. Feeling good is how you experience differentiation from the whole. Be you. The preferences you have developed through life experience are what tell you what feels good. Follow your unique preferences and you will always feel good. For example, if you prefer to create by writing, do that. Whatever feels like what you want is the direction you should go in. That’s how we all feel we have value – in our uniqueness. That is the beauty of physical reality – our individual perspectives are all so unique.
- Practice letting go. All you really need to move onto Advanced Life Design is to trust that the universe will take care of you. Believe in the big picture. Anything you want, all you have to do is have a strong desire and then stop thinking about the desire so you can stop projecting a vibration of lack. When you let go of your strong desires (by creating new ones!), the universe will bring them to your doorstep.
#2: Practice losing your ego and increasing your awareness of your oneness with the universe:
- with exercise. Lots of it, every day, for multiple hours a day. Training your physical body to do what it knows how to do without negative thought interference from you teaches you that you are not your body. Vigorous, regular exercise eliminates ego-the sense that you are separate from that which you came.
- by playing or flowing any way you can, as much as you can. Practicing being in a flow state creates more awareness of the whole. You are not separate from anything in your reality. And when you know you’re not separate from anything, you can follow the divine pulse of life – which is how you flow in sports or dance or other movement activities. Group fitness classes, team sports, and choreographed movements performed with other people are a great way to get in the spirit.
- by tripping and meditating. Entheogens remove your mental obstructions (ingrained thought patterns) to your power and visually show you the flow of reality. They teach that you are not your body by producing a feeling of disassociation from ego. Meditation induces a similar state. In an interview with the author of Psychedelic Information Theory, James Kent describes the increasing perceived value of psychedelics:
Look at the modern popularization of yoga and meditation as an example. A hundred years ago these practices were considered esoteric and the realm of monks and orientalists, but now they are commonplace fitness routines for suburban housewives. I would wager that fringe practices of psychedelic drug use and neurofeedback stimulators will be as commonplace a hundred years from now as yoga and meditation are today.
Playing Astrojax is my favorite way to practice awareness of the whole on a daily basis. You might like poi, hooping, or other flow toys. What exactly is flow you ask? Flow is a state of moving effortlessly, of trusting your body to know what to do, of letting creativity pour out of you naturally without any negative thoughts or barriers to joy. It’s the feeling of your skills perfectly matching the challenge. Flow is what any athlete, musician, artist, performer or other type of creative genius feels. It’s the feeling of trusting your inspiration to guide you towards the next logical step.
Playing Astrojax at the YMCA to “Bass Head” by Bassnectar 3.7.11
Astrojax show you what the flow of life looks like, almost like tripping does. They illustrate your thoughts creating reality. They show your body the movement of the flow of the universe. They talk to you. They are a physical bridge between physical reality and dimensions beyond. If you’re impatient to see the connection being illustrated, skip to about 00:53 in the video above.
That’s what flow looks like. That’s what entheogens give you visual access to. That’s what stopping negative thought is all about. It’s letting life live you. Allowing the universe to bring you everything you want, because you trust it will.
When you practice feeling good every day, it’s like training your muscles to improve your ability at a sport. From my experience, the more time you spend embracing your power, the closer you get to playing in a real game. You can train without ever getting in the game, but imagine how fun it must be to play!
In life design, you practice feeling good to improve your abilities at the game. A positive vibration of feeling good is a muscle, just like your bicep. When you practice using your feeling good muscles, you get better at it. You get stronger, more powerful results.
So what are you training for, anyway? What’s the game we’re playing?
As life designers, we are helping our mass consciousness upgrade to higher levels of functioning. We are unique cogs in the wheel of this big picture, but we are also in complete creative control. We’re going through the exact motions we need to be for everything to unfold perfectly. We are bridges, just like Astrojax is a bridge. We take what we learn from various states of consciousness and tell people what we learn there. We are consciousness pioneers. Everything that has ever happened, ever, has lead up to this moment. We are literally the very edge of universal expansion.
As consciousness pioneers, we understand that there is more to life than physical reality, because we’ve been there individually. We can go there together too, as a society. Then physical reality would be much different. But we can’t level up as a whole until everyone learns the power of their thoughts. We can’t reach a new plane in consciousness unless we all evolve. We evolve by learning our power, practicing it, and becoming one with love. We evolve by finding the natural flow of life and moving with it. We evolve by having open minds and hearts.
What is so cool is that the more and more people upgrade their consciousness, the easier it is for everyone else to catch on. And this whole Internet thing is what’s making it spread like wildfire. The Internet gave us planetary consciousness. It gave us literal awareness of our whole, just like the Mass Games or a group fitness class does. The Internet passes the meme much more quickly than the printing press or oral tradition ever could.
I went to grad school and studied things like the technological singularity and the benefits of lifestreaming. That singularity thing? It’s coming up, like, today. Take a look at this calendar of events approaching, and tell me it doesn’t make your heart jump with the smallest bit of excitement.
You have always been worthy
thank you Beverly & Pack
Do you deserve vast abundance in your life? Are you worthy of receiving the wealth and security you crave? Are you ready for everything you want to shower down upon you?
Whether you think you’re worthy or not, the answers are still the same. Every single one of us is worthy of the universe’s blessings. If we are all one consciousness, of course every part of the one would have value – the same value as the whole. All of the universe. Every single one of us is worth as much as everything in the entire universe.
Abraham-Hicks explains in their new Getting into the Vortex Meditation book that once you release more and more of your resistance to feeling good,
You will stand in complete acceptance of your value, offering no resistance whatsoever to the evidence of your value. You will feel no discomfort as the blessings of abundance and Well-Being shower down around you, indicating your alignment with the worthy Being that you are. – p53
Accept that you are worthy. You are perfect and unique and you deserve the abundance the universe has to offer. You are simply an individual sensing node on a bigger whole. We are all one. And if we are all one, our value is all exactly the same – the value of the whole. You are worthy of the universe. You are worthy of anything you can dream up. You are worthy of all the time, health, love and money in the universe. Because you are the universe.
You never have to feel guilty about wanting things ever again. Know that your desires are what keep you alive. This is the last thing you will ever need to read telling you to love yourself. There, you’re enlightened.
You are now fearless
There is nothing to fear. In the next few months, things are going to get really crazy in this reality. Did you look at that forum thread yet? I just want to let y’all know that there is nothing to be afraid of, and that whatever beautiful things start unfolding in your life, just remember that you created them and you are in control. You have the power.
There is nothing to be afraid of. When you find yourself leading an incredible life because you are working with the law of attraction, not against it, remember that you wanted to go down this rabbit hole. You truly are a powerful creator and learning to master your emotions is only a step in consciousness evolution.
Once you can comprehend the idea that your thoughts create, and start living by that law, then what? That’s the evolution, what happens next. I can’t predict the future but I can promise you it is unfolding perfectly. Love is all there is.
Even if it doesn’t all make sense yet, but you know that feeling good feels good, trust that you’ll figure it out eventually. Just keep asking questions. Keep looking for the answers. They’re all right in front of you. Keep feeling better and better and you’ll gradually find more and more of them.
Your body is a product of your thoughts. Every physical feature or hinderance exists because you believe it does. You can’t change your body if you focus on its current physical state–that will just perpetuate what has already manifested. To get what you want, you have to focus on what you want. Lifestreaming helps you do that by providing an outlet for your focus.
When you change your thoughts, you change your vibrations. Those vibrations are what make up your reality around you. A thought creates waves in the air just like a pebble dropped in water. A pebble can’t make a wave any different than the one it makes. A thought can’t generate manifestations vibrationally different from the original thought. If you change your thoughts about your body (like choosing new pebbles), your body will change.
Past lessons discussed loving yourself and your work because focusing on love changes your thoughts. Focusing on love is like choosing different pebbles to throw in the water. When your thoughts are about loving yourself, what is reflected back at you are more ways to love yourself. When you focus on loving your work, your work becomes something you love.
We are transmitters AND receivers of vibration. When we think, we create a vibration. That vibration goes out into the universe and is reflected back to us, bringing us manifestations that make us feel exactly the same way we felt when we thought the thought.
It’s easy to change our thoughts with focus. If you want to think different thoughts, just start thinking them. Start writing them down on your website and share your positive vibes. If you get caught up in thoughts that make you feel bad, make a decision to think something else. Pick one thought that feels better and repeat it over and over to yourself, until you start attracting better-feeling thoughts.
When you change your thoughts about your physical body, your physical body changes. This is the last lesson, because we live in our bodies and can’t help notice what is currently there. Our observation gets in the way. With our work, we can always start a project from scratch with the best of thoughts. But we can’t start from scratch with our bodies. We just have to believe that our thoughts have power, and expect our bodies to respond accordingly.
Step 1: Make peace with where you are.
Whatever your current physical body looks like, learn to love it. Immediately. If you can’t accept that you’re already perfect, you’ll never believe in the power you already have. Accept that you have been force fed ideas of the perfect body by the media. Those thoughts aren’t yours. You weren’t born thinking that a size 2 was the perfect jeans size. Someone else told you that. Why not create your own standard of perfect: you. EVERYTHING about you is already perfect!
So you’re already perfect, does that mean that you’ve given up and resigned yourself to your current body? NO! Of COURSE you have preferences about what might be better. Of course you have an image of what you would LOVE to look like. As soon as we get anything we want, we’re always thinking of ways that it could be better. Get a brand new car? Boy, I wish it had more cupholders in the back. Got a brand new house? Well, wouldn’t it be nice if it had central vacuuming? We are NEVER satisfied and will ALWAYS be coming up with ways to make our experiences better, and our physical bodies are no different. That’s why weightloss can be a neverending quest – once you get to your goal, now what? You can always think of something that would be better. That’s the point of life – to always want more, so we keep expanding the universe.
First ask yourself: do you want to look a certain way because it will make you feel good, or do you want to look like that because you think someone else will respect you or like you more? As long as your image of your perfect physical body is what YOU want, then obtaining that image can be easy. But really think about it. If you want to change your physical body for someone else, you will never be happy with the results. There will always be someone else to change for. But if you want to change your physical body to make YOU feel good, then dive right in!
Step 2: Visualize.
Sometimes it’s difficult to manifest our desired physical bodies because we don’t spend enough time visualizing them. What exactly does your perfect physical body look like? Write it down or draw it out. When you visualize your completed goal in detail, your brain starts making connections to help you get there. It’s like seeing the answer to a math problem and working backwards to see how to get it.
Visualization is a powerful tool when you are experiencing physical pain. While running recently, I had a pain in my foot. It got pretty bad, and I started worrying about how the pain might affect my running schedule. Would I be able to do all the training miles? Would I have to sit out a week? Ugh!
Then I realized: I had been thinking about the pain CONSTANTLY. Poking at it. Is it getting worse? Is it serious? Will I need a doctor? Then I snapped out of it – I realized my thoughts were perpetuating the pain.
Simply ignoring the pain to try to stop thinking about it doesn’t always work. I needed positive thoughts to replace the negative ones I’d been thinking about my foot.
Kelly mentioned on a walk through south Austin, “whenever I feel pain in my legs, I remember that it’s just my cells asking for well being. And I think, ‘I’m allowing well being.’” Those words changed my life.
On our next run, I started thinking to myself, “I’m allowing well being into my foot. I’m allowing well being into my foot.” That started feeling a little better. But then I started visualizing a powerful stream of well being flowing into my body with every breath. I pictured the stream going straight to my foot, getting rid of any resistance that was causing pain. I visualized this for the duration of our run, and by the end of it, my foot started feeling better. Then I stretched it in a way I hadn’t stretched it before, and it was like it was magickally healed!
Since I started thinking about my foot being well, my brain started making the connections needed to manifest that in physical reality. I was inspired to do the appropriate stretch that ended all of my pain.
You can apply this concept to anything in your physical experience. Do you feel fat? Start feeling thin, and your brain will do everything it can to give you the inspired actions to make your feelings a reality. It’s that simple. Your mind (and thus body) is your bitch!
Step 3: Practice.
“But how do I feel thin?” you might ask. That is where practicing comes in. Like improving at anything, you need to practice to get good.
One way to get started practicing is to set aside time each day to think about your body in a new way. Write a blog post, a diary entry, or draw a picture. Sit still and meditate on it for a few minutes. And ask yourself the following questions:
- What is it going to feel like when you are over your issue? Imagine the relief you will feel when you no longer have to worry about whatever it is that bothers you about your physical body.
- What emotions will you feel? You might not have felt them before.
- What will your thought patterns be like? They certainly won’t be similar to the negative ones you currently think.
When you have figured out what it will feel like to reach the physical body of your dreams, return to those feelings as often as possible. That’s all the practicing you need to do. As you begin feeling those feelings, for real, your physical body will begin to match those feelings.
Step 4: Feel good.
When you feel good, you make good decisions about food and exercise. They come naturally. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize your mood with poor choices. You care about your mood more than anything else.
Making a choice to feel good all day every day is really the best thing you can do, whatever your goals are. It doesn’t matter what you feel good about.
For example, training for a marathon is a great way to spend A LOT of time feeling good. When you focus your physical body into doing something that prevents resistant thought, you allow well being to flow through you. And doing an activity that feels physically rewarding gives you hours of feeling good about yourself. It’s a sustainable high–with exercise, you don’t crash or come down, like with drugs and alcohol.
Step 5: Focus on your best features.
Think about what you like about your body. Make a list. What are your best features?
Recently, I sat down to write a momentum gathering post. I had just eaten something that I allowed to make me feel kind of sick. As I wrote my post, I realized I could choose to feel differently about what I had eaten. I didn’t have to feel guilt, or regret. I chose to remember that I am in control of my thoughts. My thoughts may have been something like, “I feel sick, why did I eat that, why did I eat too much, why do I do this to myself.” But I chose to take the time to focus my thoughts towards what I wanted.
I spent some time the previous day drawing in my sketchbook. I was illustrating “I adore my perfect physical body.” The things I drew first were eyes, then lips. I reminded myself as I was writing the post that I already had the perfect body, because I have the most important parts down: eyes and lips. It’s not even that mine are that physically perfect – it’s what I do with them. Eye contact and smiling. To me, those things matter more than any other bodily feature.
When you find yourself appreciating your physical body, really milk it. When you exercise, congratulate yourself. Bask in your strength. Remember that your thoughts are in charge of your physical manifestation, and you’ve been really seeing results. Believe that your body is changing. Get excited about it.
Step 6: Make it fun.
Achieving your physical body goal should be enjoyable like a video game. The journey is the destination – don’t do it for the result. Enjoy the process.
Relish learning new recipes. Bask in your afternoon walk. Reward yourself. Life is supposed to be fun, and getting what you want really can be easy if you can make peace with where you are. You’re already perfect, so start acting like it!
Step 7: LET GO.
Don’t care so much. Relax. Breathe. Put things in perspective. Who really notices 10 pounds or a couple zits anyway? Anyone who ever says anything is only an indicator of your vibration on the topic.
Don’t measure your results. Don’t get on the scale. Give the universe time to bring your manifestation. You should be feeling so good you don’t need the manifestation.
If you must do something, do something to change your expectation. The reason why pills, diets or exercise can change someone’s body shape is because they expect them to. When you think something is going to work, it will. If you doubt it, it won’t. My dad always used to tell me “confidence conquers, doubt defeats!”
If you know that changing your expectation involves something you don’t want to do (like exercise), then just want to want it. It’s a really neat trick you can play on your mind. If you believe that you won’t feel better until you start exercising, but you really don’t want to start, then just place the intention, “I want to want to exercise.” Allow yourself to ponder wanting it. “Wouldn’t it be nice if I wanted to work out?” Before you know it, the desire will be there.
Activity: Name your higher self
I’ve been trying to figure out how to end this course in life design. What comes next? What’s the next logical step? The answer that came to me is for you to start listening to your higher self, not me Everyone has a higher self. You can think of your higher self as an entity separate from you, or like God, or like your conscience. When you allow yourself to believe in your higher self, it gets really easy to communicate with her/him/it.
Your higher self guides you with emotion. Think a thought, then really feel what it feels like to think it. If it feels good, your thoughts are in alignment with your higher self. If it feels bad, you’re pinching yourself off from your natural flow of well being.
I like to think of my higher self as my mentor. Her name is Clair. She’s the perfect version of myself – she is everything I’ve ever wanted to be. And when I listen to her, by using my emotions as guidance, I become more and more like her every day.
I feel like I’m able to genuinely talk with her when I’m feeling really good, or meditating. The day I discovered that, I felt an enormous sense of relief. Finally! A mentor! Someone who knows what’s going on and who will help me!
And the best part is that she is within me. I don’t need to rely on the temporary attention of another person. I can always feel whole and connected.
So to conclude this course in life design, I want you to name your higher self. Claim that part of yourself. Become your own mentor. Follow the advice of the only being who knows what is best for you: you. Start a dialogue. Do it on your website, if you’re comfortable. You won’t believe the wisdom of the words that will flow from you. Just let go of any resistance to the idea, and allow well being, knowledge, and love to flow through you.
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the 36 minute discussion MP3. This time, Kelly and I talk about using the tools mentioned above. Kelly provides some excellent perspectives on her own methods, and it’s our best audio discussion yet. The main thing to remember is that all of the above suggestions are just ways for you to start feeling GOOD. You don’t have to do the steps in order, you don’t HAVE to visualize your perfect body in order to attain it. You just have to consistently feel good! If you haven’t listened to any of the other audio discussions yet, this is a great one to start with because we go SO much deeper into the ideas presented in this post.
Creating these lessons has been a delicious treat for Kelly and me. We lived each lesson as it was created, and loved every new morsel of inspiration. We’re continuing the School of Life Design with our upcoming book, Make Your Life Your Living. I’ll be posting the book as we work on it, as articles on this site, so we can get feedback and share as we go along. Also be on the lookout for schooloflifedesign.com, where we’ll be launching the new book.
When we learned about the law of attraction, our current belief systems were turned upside down. Creating the School of Life Design was a way for us to redesign our lives from scratch, in alignment with our new way of thinking. As life designers, we can’t get it wrong and we’ll never get it done, so expect plenty more on the subject in days, weeks and months to come.
Be sure to sign up for the School of Life Design Mailing List to get emails when new articles go up, and to get exclusive content not available to the public.
We can’t express enough gratitude for your participation in this project. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us and spreading the word.
The School of Life Design is entirely reader-funded. If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving!
Thank you for co-creating with me!
Designing your work means to reach within and find what specifically makes you feel good to create. Often, people struggle because they haven’t found their “passion” in life yet. But you will never have a solitary passion. What makes more sense is to strive for the feeling of passion. What are you passionate about creating today?
Your job in life is simply to feel good. Your job is not to make money, save the world, or flip burgers.
The first step to designing your work is to stop valuing yourself based on your work. You are NOT your work. You are a complete, beautiful, magickal, perfect human being. Your work does not define you nor make you any more valuable than anyone else. Your work is only a way to feel good, so you can keep attracting more positive experiences.
We’ve been raised to seek praise from our teachers, bosses, and parents, which is a surefire way to shut off communication between you and your higher self. If you are using someone else’s value system to judge your output, you have no way of knowing if what you are doing is in alignment with what YOU want to be doing.
Lifestreaming is sharing your life online. Intentional, directed, conscious lifestreaming can help you design the life of your dreams.
The point of lifestreaming is to feel good creating while teaching, uplifting and inspiring others. Lifestreaming helps you feel good because it helps you develop positive thought patterns. Once positive thinking becomes a way of daily life, you can begin changing the physical and digital world around you. As your life becomes permeated with the love you emote, you may find yourself uncomfortable with the same old work you used to do. It’s time to find what really turns you on. What would you do with your time if you didn’t have to worry about money?
As you are designing your ideal “work” situation, you must begin loving yourself unconditionally to really profit. To love yourself unconditionally, you have to make peace with who you are, right now. You are already perfect without changing a thing.
With unconditional love comes the ultimate self-confidence, which is exactly what you need if you want to make a living off your website. Lifestreaming can help you love yourself more by getting you comfortable with self-reflection (what do you truly want? What are your deepest desires? Do you know?) and sharing what you think without worrying about anyone else’s opinion.
If you have confidence in yourself that you can make a living off your website, the universe has no choice but to deliver! It’s all about what you believe, baby!
Lifestreaming to find passion
The reason why lifestreaming is so perfect for “designing your work” is because it helps you first find what you’re passionate about (by documenting the things that make you feel good, you can look back and see “hey, I guess I really like cooking!” or “I really am good at drawing!”).Then, since you are creating a public record of what you’re passionate about, you can uplift other people. When you uplift other people (either by making something for them in a client situation, or by simply sharing your ideas and creations to make them feel good), then you have a basis to start earning money doing what you love.
So there are two parts to lifestreaming: doing it just because it feels good, and doing it because other people will benefit and possibly compensate you for their benefit.
What ties this all together for me goes back to something I learned from Abraham-Hicks. Lifestreaming feels good, yes, but there is an actual, legit reason why feeling good is good for your work.
Abraham explains that when people have an experience where they find something they DON’T want, like a pair of jeans, then they put an idea for a more perfect pair of jeans into their “vortex” (their ideal life, or higher self). The thing is that their vortex is a collective mass consciousness. When I am “in the vortex” (or feeling super good – in alignment with my higher self, living my ideal life), then I have access to all the ideas that other people have put there. It’s how people get inspired. Great ideas don’t come out of nowhere, they come from THE VORTEX!
Lifestream as magickal record
As I mentioned briefly in Lesson 6, I use my lifestream as a magickal record–like a book of spells. First, I use it to document things that make me feel good throughout my day. Meals, sketches, runs, anything that makes me feel good. I also use it to very actively cast spells on my daily life with my emotional hygiene posts. I complete one of these posts every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. I write it first thing in the morning to align my energy and direct my thoughts towards what I want to happen today.
These posts begin with what I’m grateful for. This gets me out of my sleep fog and helps me remember that yes, I do have a pretty good life. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a healthy body, a badass cell phone in my hand, and a perfect lover. My life is already great!
Next I move on to what I intend for the day. This is like an emotional to-do list. I tell myself what I want to feel today and what I want to experience. I intend to feel good. I intend to focus. I intend to make choices that work towards my goals. I intend to go with the flow. By intending these things early in the morning, I am very much increasing the likelihood that I’ll follow through.
Next I write a paragraph of sentences that begin with “wouldn’t it be nice…?” I like this part so much I had to get it tattooed on me as a reminder to think like this more often! This part helps me think of things that I WANT TO HAPPEN TODAY. Wouldn’t it be nice if I was on time to my appointment? Wouldn’t it be nice if I made $1000 today? Wouldn’t it be nice to eat some great food today? Wouldn’t it be nice to meet some new friends? By thinking of things I would like to happen, I’m making myself feel good and opening up to the possibilities of these things truly coming into my experience.
Finally, I talk about what I love. When I really focus on the things that I love, I can begin to feel the emotion of love inside. When I focus on the feeling of love, I am inviting more of it into my life. I love my apartment, because it’s Polly Pocket sized and organized and clean and cozy. I love my girlfriend, because she understands me perfectly and is my matching puzzle piece. When you think about what you love and really feel the emotion, you are inviting more love into your life!
By writing these emotional hygiene posts, I cast a spell on my day that makes me feel good. Often, what I wish for in my posts come into my experience that very day.
This process of aligning my energy for the day is an absolutely integral part of my work, because they get me feeling so good that I can access all the inspired ideas in my vortex! By the time I’ve finished a post, I’m smiling and excited for the day, and the ideas just start flowing. Meditation and running help keep them flowing throughout the day too!
You are your product!
So what is my work? My work is me! And you can be your work too! My work is doing whatever I’m passionate about today and then documenting it in my lifestream and podcast. Putting what makes me feel good online uplifts other people, brings traffic to my sites, rakes in advertising revenue, inspires generous donations, and sells information products like books and videos.
It’s sort of like living in a self-help or personal growth book. I’m a character trying out all these different techniques to feel good and find happiness, and you get to watch the real results. Then you get to learn some shortcuts to finding your own well-being, or at the very least, you learn how you DON’T want to live your life.
Think about popular blogs you read. Often, they are individuals publishing what makes them feel good in their lives, whether it be fashion, cooking, writing, painting, running, or any other activity. They like what they do so much that it shows through in their blog, and inspires other people. The blogs inspire other people because they make you think “hey, I could do that too! I could have a successful blog about pets or computers or camping! They make it look so easy to have a good blog!” And they make it look so easy because it feels so good to them to create that it IS easy!
And that is the key to work. It should feel easy. It should feel natural. It should feel like the only thing in the world you want to be doing at that moment. Right now, writing this post is the only thing in the entire world I want to be doing. That’s how I know I’m on the right track.
Your lifestream, your magickal record of your life, is like a life design blueprint for others to look at. They might not want to use your exact blueprint in their own lives, but it helps them decide what they DO want. By seeing someone else’s decisions and experiences, we get exposed to more ideas which help us put more ideal experiences into our vortices. That’s what’s so cool about a lifestream – you get to peek inside the inner workings of another person. And that helps us develop preferences, so that we can consciously create lives that excite and satisfy us.
So you are your product. Your lifestream is how you promote your product (yourself!). How exactly do you make money from this, you ask? There are many ways! Kelly and I have tried so many of them, see what feels right for you!
Advertising. We’ve tried Google Adsense, which Steve Pavlina says generates the most income on his site. I recently put Adsense back on my site to see how it goes. We’ve also been contacted by advertising firms looking to place links on our site, which results in some decent cash.
Affiliate programs. An affiliate program is when you put a link on your site to a product or service, and when someone clicks that link and actually purchases the product or service, you get a cut. That’s how our Bluehost web hosting affiliate program works.
Client work. If you make any sort of craft or design any sort of object (website, book, toy, house, etc), you can use your site to sell your wares. You can use Paypal buttons to allow customers to pay you directly. All you have to do is get paid and ship!
Consulting. If you have expertise in a certain area (e.g., marketing, virtual worlds, or search engine optimization), then you can sell your time. You can use Paypal or arrange meetings through email, but your site is what will make someone want consulting from you!
Donations. I am blown away by the generosity of readers who donate. There is no better feeling than receiving compensation from what I share for free! You can use a Paypal donation button to start receiving donations on your own site.
Content subscriptions. For a long time, Kelly and I had “premium content” available on our podcast and lifestreams. For a monthly subscription fee, you could log in and view content available only to the members. This was successful, but took too much time away from creating the main attraction – the free, public site content – the content that makes people want to sign up for more!
Digital information products. These are the most fun! An information product is simply some sort of digital file that someone pays to download. The best part is that your inventory never runs out! Kelly and I are working on an e-book right now, and we sell videos over at underwaterfetishvideos.com (one of our most successful endeavors!).
Merchandise. The Internet makes it super easy to design any sort of merchandise, from calendars to tshirts. We’ve tried Cafe Press, Lulu, and Spreadshirt, but there are so many more! We’ve also sold tshirts from our podcast website. Merchandise is fun to make, but fulfillment of orders can be a bitch! That’s why sites like Spreadshirt are so cool – you don’t have to physically make the shirt, you just upload your design.
Sponsorships. Last year, for the Illinois Marathon, we created a “sponsor a mile” campaign. We really wanted to travel to Illinois for the Marathon but couldn’t quite afford it. Our devoted audience of beautiful souls helped us out and we got to take a trip of a lifetime! Kickstarter is a similar idea you can check out.
Activity: design your portfolio
Now that you’ve been lifestreaming for a while, take a look back on your stream. What kinds of patterns do you recognize? What do you find yourself documenting the most? What brings you the most pleasure to talk about on your site? What kinds of things would you like to be paid for?
This week’s assignment is to create the portfolio section of your website. What projects would you want more of? What has been the most fun to create? You could have a cooking portfolio, a dance portfolio, an exercise portfolio, or a design portfolio. Really, any life experience can be turned into a portfolio!
The point of designing your portfolio is not to get clients to commission work, although that would be a nice side-benefit. The real reason to design your portfolio is to find more reasons to feel good about yourself. While I was creating my own design portfolio, picking out the best projects that I would love to do again, I gained so much more confidence in my work. Look at all of the cool things I’ve done!
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the 37 minute discussion MP3. This week, Kelly and I talk about making money with lifestreaming and how unconditional love helps you get there. We also talk about some of our own lifestreaming successes and how we found our ‘passions’. At the end we discuss what to do if you have a day job and want to start moving towards the job of your dreams.
See you next time!
Remember, your thoughts become your reality. Kelly came up with an excellent metaphor: your thoughts are the source files you send to the universal 3d reality printer. Think about graphic design. After you create a file in Photoshop, you send it to the printer. Your thoughts are like the file in Photoshop, and reality is the paper that comes out of the printer. You can go about changing your reality the hard way, by marking up the paper. OR you can go about it the easy way – go back to Photoshop and make some changes, then print again.
Our next lesson is designing your physical body. The ultimate holy grail! As you complete this lesson and prepare for the next, work on your source files. Your thoughts create your physical body just like they create the reality around you. You are a vibration, and your body is just a representation of the vibration you carry about your physical self.
This is a lesson I’m still learning, so I eagerly await the results to share with you next time. Try to remember that if you love yourself unconditionally, you get complete self-confidence in return. That self-confidence will help you create a website that can support you financially and emotionally throughout your life. And this will all overlap into your physical body, ultimately bringing you the body of your dreams.
Be sure to sign up for the School of Life Design Mailing List to get emails when new lessons go up, and to get exclusive content not available to the public.
The School of Life Design is entirely reader-funded. If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving!
Thank you for co-creating with me!
The only relationship that matters is between you and your higher self. This lesson is about loving yourself unconditionally and becoming your own soulmate.
- You are the magician. Life design is about consciously creating your reality.
- Lifestreaming can help you design a better life. You can’t get it wrong and you’ll never get it done.
- Your mood is your work. Directing your thoughts should be your number one priority in life, because your thoughts manifest your physical experience.
- Practice feeling good NOW and it will get easier.
- Thoughts become things. Your environment is an indicator of your thoughts.
You are solely responsible for your experience in life. The more you care about your mood, the more enjoyable life is. When you feel only love, joy and appreciation, you are in control of your reality. Because we live in an attraction-based universe, if you choose to feel nothing but love for yourself, you will receive nothing but love in return.
You and you
You are the physical manifestation of your higher self (which you may think of as god, or the fourth dimension, or a flow of well-being, or source energy, or infinite intelligence, or true self). When you think positive thoughts about yourself, you feel at one with your higher self. You’re inspired, passionate, and happy. Your thoughts can then direct the evolution of your higher self, by attracting more and more ways to feel good, love, grow and experience life to the fullest.
When you think negative thoughts about yourself, you block your connection with your higher self. Without that connection, you feel lost, depressed, or angry. You feel like life is hard, and the world is against you. This is only because you are turning away from your source of well-being! Picture being in a river. When you think positive thoughts about your life, you are going with the flow, heading downstream. But if you start thinking negatively, it’s like turning around and trying to paddle upstream. You get water in your nose, you wear yourself out, and you start hating the river! It really is that simple–choose to feel good about yourself, and life will feel as easy and natural as floating downstream.
Love yourself first
You can’t rely on others to make you feel good, because when they shift their attention away from you, you feel bad. When you learn how to make yourself feel good, you alone get to control how you feel.
Your thought patterns about yourself determine your SELF. If you decide to only engage in loving thoughts about yourself, you will become that all that you love. If you only think about how much you love yourself, you’ll BE only love – attracting more love to you.
All longstanding issues stem from not loving yourself. For example, an eating disorder may result from not loving yourself enough to do what’s best for your body.
When you decide to love yourself, unconditionally, you will no longer have any “issues.”
To begin, try making a list of reasons why you love yourself. Not, “I’ll love myself WHEN…” but “I love myself BECAUSE…” Or browse Gala Darling’s inspiring articles on radical self-love, which are guaranteed to raise your vibration about yourself.
Relationships with others
Loving yourself helps your relationships. When you are really into yourself, other people want to get in on the action. When you respect yourself, other people have no choice but to do the same. When you are confident and happy and feeling good about yourself, you attract positive interactions with others. Picture trying to find a mate. Do you think you’d have better luck if you were out and about, laughing and smiling, doing what makes you feel good? Or would you have better luck feeling sorry for yourself with a crappy face on? People gravitate towards positive people, because they want to be inspired, they want to feel good, and they want to learn how to feel good themselves.
While you’re putting the romantic moves on yourself, you can also take more specific actions to direct your current and future relationships:
- If you feel like you’re lacking a specific relationship, focus on how much you LOVE, not how much you are loved. Your thoughts become things, so it makes sense that when you think about how much you love, you will only find more to love. You have an infinite capacity to love, so if you measure your worth in how much you love, you become invaluable! If you measure your worth in how much other people love you, you’ll always be looking for more. The love you receive from others will never feel like enough–because you have no control over it.
- Think only of the positive aspects of people you dislike. While we were camping the other day, I was about to tear into this girl I had a grudge against. Kelly suggested I talk about the positive aspects of her, and all the sudden I started liking her. Powerful stuff!
- Focus on what you like about the relationships you have. What do you like about your current friends? Make lists of what it is you value in your friendship. When you think about these positive qualities, you attract more relationships with similar qualities.
- Practice unconditional love with your pets. Animals never judge, never hate. They only keep loving you no matter what! They don’t care what you look like, they only want to feel love! And it goes both ways – you don’t get in a fight with your pet when they barf on your carpet, you just chalk it up to the wonders of pet-ownership ;]
- Check out Gay & Katie Hendricks. They say to just tell the truth and take responsibility in a relationship and you will thrive. Of course–you are creating your reality, so take responsibility!
Lifestreaming can help you love yourself more
Lifestreaming is a way to tell the universe how you want your life to be. When your lifestream focuses on positivity – documenting things that make you feel good, sharing your projects, etc – you are declaring what your life is about. The more you describe your reality and your self in a positive manner, the more those things become part of your reality. The more you focus on the good parts of your life, the more good parts there are. The better it gets, the better it gets.
Lifestreaming also gets you comfortable with self-reflection – figuring out what you want from your life. How can you know what you want without asking yourself?
Best of all, a lifestream is a magickal record of your experience. Like tree rings, you can see how far you’ve come. When you look back, you can see evidence of your powerful mind. Adding to your lifestream is like casting a spell – what do you want to happen? The more you document your journey into joy, the more active you become in creating your journey, and the better results you will have. As a magickal record, a lifestream can prove this stuff actually works. For example, I often describe how I want my day to go in my emotional hygiene posts. More often than not, my day goes exactly as I want. That’s enough proof for me right there. When I see evidence of my control over my experience, I experience joy and love for myself and my power.
When you are really into yourself, your projects and hobbies, other people take interest. Any really good blog can show you that. Lifestreaming attracts like-minded folks, because you are making your positive energy physically accessible by others. (My theory is this: we are all individual nodes of one consciousness. However, we have become so deeply rooted in our individual, physical realities that we don’t pay attention to our inherent oneness. The Internet has manifested as a way for us to see in physical reality how connected we really are. When we reach the technological singularity, we will all become aware of our oneness again.) So practice positivity with others. Spread the love.
Finally, by maintaining a lifestream of the positive aspects of your life, you are showing confidence in your ideas, and a commitment to finding solutions. What potential friend, romantic partner, employer or client could resist that? As you explore what you love through your website, you begin developing a record of positive experiences and a portfolio of inspired work.
Get comfortable in front of a camera. Loving yourself is all about appreciating your mind and spirit, but also your physical body. If you can’t learn to love your physical body, unconditional love will be hard to reach! So this week, obtain a camera of any kind (video or still) and go to town!
Do a photoshoot with your best friend in the woods. Take daily outfit photos. Start a video podcast! Do a series on your hands, or smile, or eyes. Start any way you can! Then, publish the best of the lot to your website and bask in how beautiful you are. Documenting your physical body is a great way to start accepting yourself–if you do it enough, you become used to seeing yourself from the outside. You stop hating your voice, or your hair, or your ass, or whatever other silly notion about yourself you may have. You are a BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, AND LOVING person who isn’t afraid to show off her incredible life!
Post a link to your images or videos in the comments, so we can all relish each other’s beauty!
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3. This week, Kelly and I do a more complete review of past lessons and talk about examples from our own past and current relationships. We also go more into depth about letting go, thinking about yourself as your own pet, and how lifestreaming can really make this stuff real.
See you next time!
Lesson 7 is Designing Work. Designing Work is all about what comes after you’ve started feeling love for yourself–you go out & tell the world about what you love! And then massively cash in
Be sure to sign up for the School of Life Design Mailing List to get emails when new lessons go up, and to get exclusive content not available to the public.
Designing life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you! If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving.
Thank you for co-creating with me!
We exist in a layered reality, where physical meets mental meets digital. Designing an environment means considering the interaction between all three. Disciplines like interior design, psychology, and computer programming no longer fit neatly in their own categories–in life design we draw from all disciplines as needed.
The digital now permeates our physical and mental worlds. It’s hard to imagine an environment without considering it’s cell reception or wifi hotspots. This lesson focuses on designing the environment you live in from a lifestreamer’s perspective.
A lifestreamer (one who shares her life online because it feels good) has a distinct advantage in life design for two reasons. First, she cares about how she feels, so she makes a habit of directing her thoughts, thus creating a more enjoyable life experience for herself. Second, she experiences all the benefits of a deliberate online presence–she follows her passions, voices her intentions, teaches while learning, and rapidly processes and synthesizes information.
Life design is simply consciously creating the reality you want to live in. Lifestreaming is one way to start consciously creating.
How does lifestreaming help me design my physical, mental, and digital environments? Designing your environment as a lifestreaming life designer means you are able to see everything through a digital lens. What does my physical environment look like online? How does my mental environment influence my creative output? What tools can I use to spread my ideas, make money, and experience the most joy while doing so?
Your physical environment is the space your body moves around in. It’s the traditional way to think about environment design. What do you want the landscape to look like? What do you want your home to look like?
Now think of your website. And think of the pictures and videos and text you’ll post to it. The environment you live in will undoubtedly come through in your digital life. Now remember that your website is a version of your higher self – you post things to it that make you feel closer to being the person you know you really are.
That means your physical environment should start resembling the environment of your higher self – otherwise, it will be pretty hard to pretend your website is your higher self, if you post a bunch of photos from your physical environment that don’t make you happy, or that aren’t just the way you know they should be.
Essentially, you should capture the best parts of your physical environment, and share them via your site. This forces you to figure out what you DO like in your physical environment, and ignore the rest. Have a sink full of dirty dishes? Don’t do a photoshoot in the kitchen! Have a corner in your bedroom that is set up exactly as you want it? Make that your new photo studio!
The point is to portray the physical environment you live in exactly as you want it to be. Ignore the stuff that makes you feel less than stellar, and accentuate the beauty that surrounds you!
The same thing goes for outside your home – ignore anything you don’t want to be part of your environment. Don’t document it. Leave it alone to vibrate out of your perception. But that gorgeous sunset? Those sparkly dresses at the thrift store? Lush parks and streams and trees? More of those please!
Make it a point to bring what you love about your physical environment online to your website. Show us what the physical environment of your higher self looks like. Documenting what you love about your physical environment is one simple way to shift your attention from what you don’t want, to what you do want.
I first heard of vision boards when Kelly and I watched The Secret. A vision board is a designated area you use to collect images or words describing the things you want in your life. By placing your vision board in a prominent place in your home (or on your phone or wherever you look frequently), you force yourself to constantly look at the things you desire. When you look at them all the time, you think about them more.
Thinking about the things we want can bring us the feelings we would feel if we already had them. That’s the point of the vision board – to get you feeling like you already have all the things you want. For example: on our vision board we have an image of a Trek bicycle. We put it there after Kelly got her bike stolen. After a few weeks of looking at the image and feeling how good it would feel to have a nice new bicycle, my parents ended up lending her a sweet Trek bike! She didn’t struggle every day, trying to think of how she was going to get this bicycle. She just placed the intention of wanting the bike, felt how good it feels to have the bike, and then allowed the bike to vibrate into her existence.
A vision board is a great way to begin incorporating the things you want into your physical reality. You take advantage of the physicality of an image – you look at it, you think about it, you begin to feel what it would feel like to have it. Then, you get used to looking at the things. Yes, you want them still, but they become background in your environment. You begin to think it would be normal to have these things. And that is the key – once having what you want becomes the next logical step in your life, there it will appear! Meaning, you can’t attract things into your life if you don’t believe you have the means to get them. Having a vision board gets you used to the idea of living your dreams, helping you achieve the emotional conditions you need to attract what you want into your life.
What you see is old news
No matter what is in your physical environment, it’s yesterday’s news. Your physical reality has been determined by the thoughts you thought long ago. To change what you see in your physical environment, you have to start thinking different thoughts. Your physical reality has been put into place by thoughts you already created. Those thoughts you thought last week, last month, last year – now they are manifested into your physical reality. Think about your current situation. Is there anything in your physical environment that you don’t understand how it got there? For example: my computer monitor is sitting sad and broken on my desk. I remember thinking about a year ago “this monitor sure is getting old. I bet I’ll have to replace it soon.” The universe then says, “your wish is my command.” On the other hand, I remember thinking “wouldn’t it be nice to live in a relaxing apartment complex with a sweet pool that doesn’t require the A/C to be run at all hours of the day?” And the universe responded with “your wish is my command.” I love my apartment, and I know that my thoughts are what created it in my physical reality.
Don’t give too much weight to what is physically around you. It can be hard at first, to ignore what you can see and hear and taste and touch and smell, but it’s what you have to do to begin manifesting what you DO want to see and hear and taste and touch and smell. We are vibrational beings, and our thoughts are the source of our physical reality. Everything is perfect and in its place, and you’re already doing everything right. Just keep thinking those thoughts, and your physical reality will change before your eyes.
Your mental environment is the way you think–your default thought patterns. Picture having a guest in your mind–how would you describe the space? Cluttered? Spacious? Clean? Comforting? Confusing? Dazzling? Using lifestreaming to design this part of your environment is covered extensively in Lesson 3: Designing Thoughts and Emotions and in Lesson 4: Designing Daily Life. Your mental environment creates everything in your physical and digital environment.
In The View from the Top: Thoughts on Cleaning Up Your Thoughts, Kelly discusses how similar maintaining your mental environment is to your physical environment. If you desire your physical space to be clean, think of how it feels to have a clean mental space.
What are the mental conditions of your higher self like? What does the ideal you think about all day? Documenting your positive thinking through gratitude posts, daily intentions, or rampages of appreciation immediately gives you access to the thoughts of your higher self.
By default, many of us spend a lot of time online. Therefore, designing our online experiences is a huge part of life design. What’s more–having a website is integral to life design, making digital environment design even more important. There are three parts to digital environment design: consumption, creation and maintenance.
Remember, how you feel should be driving your design. So let’s talk about designing your experiences of consuming other people’s ideas via the Internet. It is exactly the same as designing your physical experiences of consuming other people’s ideas. If talking to someone face to face feels bad, you avoid further interactions with that person. If you’re reading a physical book that sucks, you put it down and pick up a different one.
How you consume digital interactions with other people should be the same. Think about where you spend your time online. Do you spend a lot of time reading Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feeds? How do they make you feel? Would spending less time reading your Twitter stream make you feel better? Would blocking annoying updates on Facebook make you feel better? Would unsubscribing from blogs you feel “obligated” to read (like news sites) make you feel better?
How you feel is the most important part of life design. The point of designing your life is to maximize the joy you feel while experiencing life. Recently, I unsubscribed from most of the blogs I used to read that made me annoyed or depressed. Seems logical right? But until you ask yourself how you feel when you are consuming online content, it can be easy to overlook.
I also stopped reading Twitter and Facebook all day. When you start thinking about how everyone is going to react to your updates (how many comments did I get on that status? Why didn’t anyone @ reply me about that tweet?), you start muddling your own vibration. You start thinking about what other people want to hear instead of what you want to say.
Now I keep my Twitter follow list at a manageable number and try to only follow people that really inspire me. Maybe this seems obvious, but it can be all too easy to let your guard down and invite negativity from others into your own reality. I keep my Facebook interactions to a minimum and try to only go on when replying to comments.
Why create digitally at all? Why put stuff online? Why bother? Why not just make a painting or write a book or mold a sculpture? Because the Internet allows our ideas to proliferate. And when our ideas proliferate, they begin to influence our environment. Take for example, the positivity movement. If you spend all your time making positive-thinking content, talking about the benefits of thinking positively, and generally being a happy person online, your online environment will begin to reflect that. You’ll subscribe to blogs that make you feel good. People will send you emails that make you feel good. You’ll come across information that makes you feel good, that you feel like you’ve been looking for forever.
We create online to give our ideas the chance to spread. We first create a mental environment that births our ideas, which have the potential to change our physical reality. We put these ideas online to then influence or manipulate our digital environment. Manipulating our mental and digital environments leads to changes in our physical environment.
You can skip the whole digital creation part if you want – you don’t need your thoughts to proliferate online to influence your own physical reality. But then you better avoid being online altogether, because if you aren’t intentional about guiding your digital reality, someone else will guide it for you. What do you want the experience of being online to be like? If you don’t think about it, you can’t control it. So when you think about your digital environment, and develop preferences about it, and begin putting your own ideas online, you begin to sway your environment. When your digital environment begins to change, it affects your physical environment because you are spending more time feeling good.
There are three parts of digital creation. First comes your concept: what are you trying to say? Why are you saying it? How are you going to communicate it? Next comes your visual (or graphic) design. How can you make your message readable? What style will your audience respond to best? What design elements evoke the feelings you want your audience to feel? Last comes the code. How are you going to digitize your message to spread it all over the world? Will you use a website? A filesharing program? An iPhone app? A Facebook ad?
The concept creation stage occurs when you have a new idea that makes you feel good. Your concept should feel like a solution. For example, I had an idea that I wanted to teach life design online. That concept felt great to me. As a recent graduate with an MFA degree in my hands, I knew I wanted to teach but couldn’t figure out just how. Then I had the idea that I could do it easily online and I could start right now.
So I had my solution – I was going to start teaching life design online. I had a message, I had a reason I wanted to teach it, and I knew how I wanted to say it. Then came the visual design part. How was this going to fit in my website? What would the lessons look like? What kinds of images would I use? What would the typography of the posts look like?
For me, the most important part of visual design creation is to just START. In this post, I introduced the School with a hand drawn image. It wasn’t like it was the best visual decision I ever made, but it was a starting point. It was a way to unblock the creative flow. From that point on, my image-making improved with each lesson.
Graphic design is a tool that we can use to communicate visually with each other. And on the Internet, a lot of what we experience is visual. So graphic design is a very important part of communicating online. But don’t let the field of graphic design intimidate you. If you relax and allow inspiration to flow through you, graphic design is easy.
First, if you don’t know how to use specific software (like Photoshop or Dreamweaver), don’t be discouraged. Do you know how to take a photo? Do you know how to pick up a pencil? Use the tools that come naturally to you to begin, then slowly allow yourself to learn more. Graphic design can be very intuitive. How do you feel when you look at an image you made? How do you feel when you look at the typography on your website? If your typography makes you nervous, or is unreadable, or seems confusing, then change something so that you feel better about it. Use your emotions to determine how good something is. There are lots of ways to talk about graphic design formally – in terms of balance, composition, line quality, et cetera, but you don’t need to know any of that to get started. Your emotions will tell you when you’re doing a good job. If what you’re designing makes you feel good, then keep going! If it doesn’t, start over or do something else.
A good designer knows how to find the right tools and materials for any job. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know how to use the tools or materials, because she can learn anything she needs to from a Youtube tutorial or Google search.
In a traditional graphic design program, one is expected to learn the industry standard tools on her own and decide when it is appropriate to use them. Class time is for exploring concepts and ideas and for receiving feedback, not learning how to use the pen tool in Photoshop. In this life design program, I don’t teach you how to code your website. There are hundreds of sites you can go to for that. A good life designer knows when she needs to learn a new skill or hire someone else to do it.
Digital Environment Maintenance
Once you start creating online, you might want to consider how you will maintain your creations. Specifically, if you expect to make a living off of your website, then you need to learn how to back it up. If you have a Bluehost account, site backups are SUPER easy. You just log in to your Control Panel, scroll down until you find “Backups” and follow the instructions from there. As long as you download a full backup file of your site frequently, you should have no problems keeping your site running if you ever experience problems.
Start making your digital environment more the way you want it. “Be the change you want to see in the world!” One way to spread your ideas is by advertising. This week’s assignment is to create an advertising campaign for yourself. It could be an ad for your site, for an affiliate program you’re a part of, or an ad for a service you offer. It doesn’t matter what you’re advertising, only that you work on promoting it.
I recently began an advertising campaign on this site by putting a banner ad in the sidebar for Bluehost. When people sign up for webhosting using my Bluehost link, I get a cut – it’s called an affiliate program. Bluehost gets a new customer, and they pay me for giving them the new customer. I wanted to explain that to people so that if they wanted to get a website and wanted a good company to use, they could see why I use Bluehost and then they could chose to support the School of Life Design if they wanted to. The sidebar ad:
This simple advertising campaign is a way to make money promoting a company I already use. What do you think of it? I would love to hear your feedback. These Life Design lessons are all about discussion – I’m learning as I go along just like you are.
So this week: make an ad for yourself! Then put it somewhere! Maybe get someone else to put it on their website! Just start promoting your ideas so you can begin manipulating the environment around you. The more you project what you want into the world, the more it will come back to you in your physical reality. Have fun! You’re already doing everything right!
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3. This week, Kelly and I find some particularly relevant comparisons between life design and graphic design. If the stages of a graphic design project are concept, visual design, and code, then the stages of a life design project are concept (your thoughts), visualization (of what you want), and code (or inspired action, working with the universe).
See you next time!
Lesson 6 is Designing Relationships. We’ll discuss love, sex and family, and how to feel good about the relationships you already have. Joyfully co-creating with other people is one of the greatest pleasures of this life! Lesson 6 will be all about creating those joyful relationships.
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Designing life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you! If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving.
Thank you for co-creating with me!
Like graphic design, you only get better at life design if you practice. Often in graphic design courses, an instructor will assign a “daily practice,” where you pick one creative activity to do every single day for a semester. (One semester I added a self portrait every day to the DND365 group. Another semester I created one 12seconds video a day.) The point is to make creativity a habit, but also to facilitate breakthroughs that can only come from doing the same damn thing over and over until you find a way to make it exciting again. In life design, our daily practice is picking a few activities to do every single day to keep the good-feeling thoughts flowing.
It’s fun to learn to direct your thoughts. It’s a shortcut to getting what you want out of life! This lesson will help you practice thinking good-feeling thoughts until it is a natural habit. Habits take about 30 days to form, so give yourself time. Accept that you won’t be able to change your thought patterns immediately. And remember that each passing moment can be a fresh start. Why not choose now to start feeling better?
FEEL GOOD NOW.
If you aren’t feeling good at this moment, do something to feel good. NOW. This lesson will suck to read if you aren’t already feeling good.
99 WAYS TO FEEL GOOD
- Smoke something.
- Drink a polar pop.
- Sign up for a half-marathon.
- Pet your kitty. Literally or euphemistically.
- Watch an episode of The Popular Podcast.
- Get a backrub.
- Give a backrub.
- Think about how you felt during your favorite class in high school. Mine was driver’s ed!
- Put on your lucky bathing suit. Don’t have one? The one you have already is.
- Listen to or read your favorite motivational speaker. I like Jerry & Esther, Steve, and Gala the best.
- Burn a CD for a friend.
- Burn a DVD for a friend.
- Doodle in your sketchbook.
- Write a rampage of appreciation.
- Write a post about the things you’re grateful for.
- Make yourself a raw vegan meal.
- Do 10 pushups.
- Jog a mile.
- Look at I Can Has Cheezburger
- Write a list of all the things you want & concentrate on the feeling each one would give you if you already had it.
- Call a friend.
- Facebook message everyone you would like to keep in touch with. If that’s too many people, make a list of all them and write to as many of them as you can. Save the list as an email draft and return to it the next time you’re inspired to.
- Play online poker.
- Look at Lookbook.
- Look at ONTD.
- Look at Boing Boing.
- Read a book.
- Paint your nails.
- Go for a swim.
- Sit out in the sun.
- Listen to Calle 13.
- Listen to some dubstep & dance.
- Look up the translation of your favorite non-English song.
- Think about thunderstorms & rollercoasters.
- Look around you & note everything you like about it.
- Put on some gold jewelry.
- Dye your hair.
- Cut your hair.
- Change your bedsheets.
- Make yourself a magick wand.
- Bead yourself some jewelry.
- Drink coffee.
- Drink an energy drink.
- Deliberately take 20 deep-as-possible breaths.
- Set up auto-pay on one of your bills.
- Read Think & Grow Rich.
- Watch The Secret.
- Watch What the Bleep Do We Know!?
- Record a video of yourself smiling.
- Run as fast as you can.
- Give yourself permission to stay up all night.
- Do yoga.
- Rub your temples.
- Rub your eyes.
- Give yourself a tarot reading. Reading the cards can give you a new perspective on your experiences. It’s like asking your higher self for advice. And don’t be afraid of doing it wrong! Any card you draw can be enlightening if approached with a positive attitude.
- Start a website.
- Work on your website for 5 minutes.
- Take a shower.
- Mod a tshirt.
- Play a Pandora station someone else suggested.
- Play your favorite Pandora station.
- Put your headphones on and picture your life as a movie with a great soundtrack.
- Pierce something.
- Smell you favorite perfume.
- Light some incense.
- Take a nap. I had to do this one in the middle of writing this post!
- Call your sibling.
- Think of your favorite birthday present ever.
- Read about DMT.
- Do the dishes.
- Have a drink.
- Finish this thought a few times: “Wouldn’t it be nice if…”
- Read the bio of a musician you love.
- Think about fresh starts: beginning undergrad, starting a new project, a new school year, a new sketchbook, a new friend, a new home, a new morning.
- Start a vision board.
- Jump on a trampoline.
- Play a videogame.
- Go on a roadtrip.
- Take photos of all the beauty around you.
- Take sexy photos of yourself.
- Remember the first time you got in trouble with a friend. I was caught behaving indecently with a boy in second grade!
- Do handstands.
- Remember how you felt when you wrote your first love letters.
- Write a love letter. I know this one works, because I just wrote one to Kelly to test it. Here’s what I wrote, on the back of a piece of car insurance paper on my desk:
When I gave it to her, “our song” came on Pandora. I started crying! I could not have planned the moment better. I didn’t have to. I’m a good life designer!
As I went to link “our song”, I had to watch the video. And guess what? I have the exact same haircut as Cyndi Lauper! Feeling good gives you mind-blowing synchronicities.
- Enter a contest.
- Buy a lottery ticket.
- Eat a lot of something low calorie, like apples or kale chips or sugar-free jello.
- Carve a pumpkin.
- Play an instrument.
- Think of yourself as easily tuning your body to a better-feeling vibration, like you would a radio dial.
- Make a fort.
- Shave your cho-cha.
- Look at kids and wonder what they know that you forgot.
- Make a list of all things you like about someone you hate.
- Mail someone a gift.
- Tell someone you love them. And mean it.
Are you feeling good now? Yes? Now you’re ready to learn. Let’s do this. YOUR MIND IS YOUR BITCH.
Lesson 1: Introduction to Life Design introduces the practice of shaping your reality into specific, desired experiences. Lesson 2: Designing the Digital You discusses using a personal website to help design your life. Lesson 3: Designing Thoughts and Emotions explains the conceptual basis of thought design. This lesson is about practicing feeling good every single day.
The goal of this lesson is to make the conscious designing of your life experience a lasting lifestyle change. You really can practice feeling good. Having a website can help you improve even faster!
Get what you want by feeling good
You like the feeling you get when you think about why you like something, because you are deliberately making yourself vibrate at a higher emotional level. The more you think positively, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more inspired your actions are. The more inspired your actions are, the more you allow the universe to orchestrate things on your behalf. When you allow the universe to work for you, the closer you get towards the things you desire.
The Law of Attraction says what you think about, you bring about. This is because when you think a thought, you feel an emotion. That emotion is a vibrational signal to the universe to bring more of that vibration. Your next thought is then born out of that emotion/vibration, and that thought will likely cause you to feel the same emotion and emit more of the same vibration.
Your emotions are like magnets, attracting thoughts that bring you similar feelings. When you think a thought that feels good, you are creating an environment in your mind for more good-feeling thoughts. When you feel good, the universe brings you more thoughts that feel good. It does that by placing in your path things that you desire, as well as things you haven’t thought to desire yet, but which bring you similar good feelings. This is how you get what you want by feeling good.
Get in the vortex
Abraham calls the following feelings being in the vortex: Joy, Appreciation, Empowered, Freedom, & Love. These emotions are at the top of the emotional guidance scale. When you feel these emotions, you are generating thoughts that are pure positivity. These thoughts bring you more positive emotions, which bring you more positive thoughts. When you feel these emotions, you attract more of the same. The point of life is to feel these emotions. When you feel such positive emotions, you allow good things to come into your reality. All of the money, the power, the love, all comes flowing to you when your emotional vibration is consistently high. But the point isn’t to feel these emotions to manifest material possessions into your life, the point is that it feels good to feel joy, and love, and freedom!
A simpler way to put it is that when you feel joyful, you make the right decisions. You trust your inspiration, you’re eager to try new things, and you are excited to have positive interactions with people. When you feel joyful, and intentionally remain feeling joyful, the Law of Attraction brings you more joy.
Start your daily practice now
It’s easy to say you’ll start directing your thoughts and thinking positively, but sometimes it can be harder to put into practice. I’ve found that consistently doing a few simple activities each day is a great way to build momentum.
Use one of the following lists depending on your waking mood. If you feel crappy, it’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts your entire day. But if you do one simple action to alter the direction of your thoughts, your day can be magickally transformed.
Novice (i.e., crankypants):
- First, whatever you’re feeling cranky about, say in response, “FUCK IT.” You’ll instantly feel better.
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for, first thing when you wake up. That’s all. See how it affects your mood.
Beginner (feeling ho-hum):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Meditate for 10 minutes. Notice how you feel after.
Intermediate (I’m feeling pretty good):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Write down your intentions for the day (I will manifest $20. I will enjoy my friends’ company. I will eat well.)
- Meditate for 15 minutes.
- Go for a 3 mile walk. Notice how you feel after this!
Advanced (I feel great!):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Think about how each one makes you feel and why.
- Write down your intentions for the day.
- Meditate for 15 minutes.
- Go for a 3-6 mile walk.
- Practice segment intending. When you enter a new segment of your life (a phone call, a meal, a drive, a walk, a shower, etc), pause for a moment and focus your thoughts on how you would like the segment to play out. By intentionally choosing what you want to happen, you can begin to influence how events unfold. By getting in the emotion of how you would feel if things did play out the way you want them, you are attracting more of that exact feeling.
- Milk your good feelings. Bask in how good you feel. Write about it. Go on a rampage of appreciation.
Lifestreamer (I feel great & I’m not afraid to tell the world!):
- Write a post of things you’re grateful for.
- Write a post of your intentions for the day.
- Take a photo of yourself meditating.
- Map your exercise with Runkeeper. Bonus points for making a video of your adventure!
- Before each segment in your day, publish a photo with a title of how you want the segment to go.
- Write a rampage of appreciation post. (If you want to write all these posts but not feature them on the front page of your blog, try filtering them like I do with a WordPress plugin like RYO Category Visibility.)
Some days you’ll wake up feeling like a novice. Some days you’ll wake up feeling so good you won’t need any list! The point of doing a regimen each day, no matter how you feel, is to practice strengthening your brain muscle. You have to work it out each day, just like you would any other muscle you’re trying to build up.
All that matters is that you find something that makes you feel good, and you make a habit of it. Don’t feel bad if you skip a day, but remember that only you can decide to feel better. Relying on external things to make yourself feel good (like alcohol, a relationship, or food) doesn’t work very well. Being drunk all the time is just messy, eating to excess feels terrible, and what happens when your relationship isn’t going the way you want it? You allow someone else to control your mood, when it’s much easier and satisfying to learn to control your own mood.
Throughout the rest of your day
Breathe deeply. I have to remind myself of this all day. It helps.
Think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Drink water. Smile. Be nice to yourself. Say “fuck it” a lot. Notice the things around you that you like. Ignore the things you don’t. Don’t watch the news. Don’t let other people determine your mood. Don’t let them scare you or intimidate you or piss you off. Only you can control your reality, so start doing it!
What you do in the morning can affect your whole day. But how you feel before you go to sleep at night is just as important. The emotion you feel before you go to sleep is often exactly where you’ll wake up, so make sure you feel good before you fall asleep.
Kelly and I played the Alphabet game before we went to sleep the other night. The Alphabet game (another Abraham process) is where you start with the letter A and think of a few words that make you feel good. Alignment, allowing, alive… then move on to B. Basking, beautiful, breathtaking… Then C: caring, camping, colorful. And so on.
I was SO CRABBY and did not know what to do with myself. So Kel came in and gave me a backrub, then talked me into playing the alphabet game. By the time we made it to N, it totally calmed my mind and made me super sleepy. Then I woke up feeling awesome the next morning!
Keep track of your manifestations
On a recent episode of TPP, Allison suggested using a spreadsheet to keep track of your manifestations. Feeling good is the main point to all this, but once you feel good, it’s time to start thinking about what you want!
Thinking about specific things you desire, then paying attention to how you feel when you imagine them, is one way to bring those things closer to you. When you set intentions in daily blog posts, spend some time with each intention. Say you want to manifest $20. Write it down, then spend a minute thinking about how you’ll come across that money. Picture finding a $20 bill in the street. Imagine receiving a $20 Paypal donation. Savor how good it feels when something like that happens! If it’s important to you to keep track, log the intention in your spreadsheet and return to it to record the manifestation.
In case of emergency
When I was feeling down the other night, Kelly came in and read me something she had just written. She calls it an affirmation meditation. As she read it, her soothing, authoritative voice started making me feel so much better. I asked her to read it again! She recorded it to share with everyone. Take a listen when you need a boost!
Another track Kel and I have been listening to a lot lately is Abraham’s Rampage of Wellbeing. This 11 minute treat explains a lot about how feeling good works.
If you’re feeling bad
First, say FUCK IT! Who cares? What does it matter, really? There are so many other things to be thinking about!
Does talking to that one friend always bring you down? Then stop talking to her! Does watching TV leave you feeling sick and junk foody? Destroy your television! Try to completely remove anything in your life that feels bad.
If nothing else is working, cheat! Do anything you can to start feeling better. If I’m bored, the best thing I can do is exercise. If I’m irritable, the best thing I can do is meditate. If I’m tired, I take a nap. Try to avoid things that make you feel guilty while you’re doing them, like overeating.
Alcohol and drugs can help you up the emotional scale, but are only temporary fixes. You don’t need me to tell you that you don’t want to depend on them to get you happy.
I know this shit can be extremely annoying if you’re not already feeling pretty good. If you’re feeling a negative emotion and this post is making you gag, then just acknowledge that only you have the power to control how you feel. And since you have that power, you can choose to feel something different. You might not feel like doing that right now, but just knowing that it is within your power can be enough to feel a little better.
Magickal is the new normal
Now that you’re working on feeling good, take care to stay that way! Think of building up your positive thinking faculties as working on your magick powers. By directing your thoughts (or your focus, or energy) towards the things you want, and towards feeling good, you are actively manipulating your reality to become more of what you want.
Practicing feeling good every single day will turn your life inside out, in the best way possible. All you have to do is make a new habit of thinking good-feeling thoughts. It’s that simple.
Abraham calls the act of getting joyful before acting lining up energy. You can think of it like casting a spell. Before you can expect to sway a situation, you need to have power. And your power comes from your emotions. When you take the time to feel joyful, you are lining up your energy–or building your magick powers. The more joyful you are, the more powerful you are. Neat, right?
If you’re ever in doubt about the true nature of reality and if this is all worth your time, do some research into entheogens. When you realize that your mind has the power to make you see completely alternate realities with the ingestion of a simple chemical, playing with your mind becomes a lot more intriguing. Life is the trip. Sometimes it just takes a different perspective to make you realize how crazy (and fun!) reality truly is. Also, entheogens can have mad healing powers, especially for those with cancer.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor
When you are in a joyful state (or in the vortex), observe the synchronicities happening all around you. Observe all the intentions you put into place that are unfolding before your eyes. Everything in your reality was at one point just a thought in your mind. Remember wanting to get the job you now have? Remember wanting the home you live in? Remember wanting the relationship you have? You manifested all the good things in your life, they were not accidents.
I want to know what makes you feel good, so I can try it! Often, something will work a few times but then lose it’s flavor, so I’m always looking for new ideas. Please add something that makes you feel good to the list at the top of this post. Add it in the comments here or make a list on your own site and link to it (then we can all peep your new site!).
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3. Kelly and I give a lot of personal examples of how we’ve been applying these ideas to our own lives. It’s a really good one, almost an hour long!
See you next time!
Lesson 5 is Designing Your Environment. This lesson will be all about figuring out your preferences in life and transforming your environment to match them. We’ll talk about vision boards, living spaces, digital spaces and learning to say no to things you don’t want.
Designing life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you! If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving.
Thank you for co-creating with me!
Now that you have your website up and running, it’s time to start getting serious about ENJOYING LIFE. This week we are focusing entirely on your new job: controlling your mood. Your thoughts are the only thing in life that you can genuinely control; start using that to your advantage!
This lesson will describe the conceptual foundations of thought design, then cover ways to implement these ideas with your website. The goal of life design is to get closer to your Higher Self (the person you want to be). Having a website reflection of that Self-in-progress makes your efforts more tangible and bolsters your reputation at the same time.
The last lesson in designing your digital Higher Self was intended to get you more comfortable with 1) picturing who you want to be, 2) visualizing that person with your site, and 3) sharing it all publicly.
This course in Life Design uses lifestreaming as a “life design methodology.” Lifestreaming is simply sharing your experiences online. Sharing your progress in the ongoing process of designing your life helps you achieve five things:
- learn to focus on what makes you feel good by documenting those things in your life
- discover your passions (which can change over time) through self-reflection
- voice your intentions, thus placing an order with the universe
- teach and learn by finding new information, explaining concepts to yourself and helping others along the way
- process & synthesize information, reducing overwhelment and increasing comprehension
Lifestreaming is a relatively simple, conscious action you can take to start directing your life. But the real effort comes before you take any action at all. Learning to control your mood is your true work here in physical reality. The reason for this? The Law of Attraction. When you are in a good mood, you attract good things into your life. When you are in a negative mood, you attract more negativity.
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is the universal, unyielding principle that like attracts like. That which is like unto itself is drawn. Whatever you think about, you bring about–thoughts become things. When you conceive a thought, you are creating a very real energetic vibration, like a ripple in a pond. The universe interprets that vibration and brings you similar things.
On May 21, 2010, I was introduced to The Secret by my friend Jessie. She had mentioned the Law of Attraction in a Facebook comment and I was eager to hear more. I watched the film the next day and began my ascent into conscious creation. The Secret imparts some intriguing ideas, such as:
- The instructions for taking advantage of the Law of Attraction are 1. Ask. 2. Believe. 3. Receive.
- Thoughts become things. What you think about, you bring about.
- Trust inspired thought.
- Life is meant to be abundant in every way.
The teachings of Abraham inspired the film The Secret, and there is a long story behind the connection. Abraham is a “group consciousness from the non-physical dimension,” channeled by Esther Hicks and recorded by her husband, Jerry Hicks. Abraham have said, through Esther, “We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.”
Sounds pretty bizarre, right? A woman who goes into a meditative state and lets some other entity speak through her, sure, ok, whatever you say! But let me explain my take on Esther’s work.
I do not doubt the truth to the message behind the teachings of Abraham. I do not doubt that Esther is translating the message for us. But that is all she is doing–translating. Whether or not there is some sort of spirit inside of her, taking control of her mouth, is irrelevant. Esther is taking the infinite energy that creates all of us, that creates all physical worlds, and translating the best she knows how. Her message is simple: enjoy life. Be happy. Go with the flow. Only take action that feels right. Your emotions will guide you.
A lot of what Abraham says (through Esther) seems heavily influenced by the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Jerry Hicks even states in his biography that it was the book that catapulted him into success. So it makes sense that a lot of the vocabulary and concepts Abraham discusses sound like Think and Grow Rich, because that is what Esther has to work with from her experience.
Esther does not have some super power that allows her to receive this information from Abraham (though being able to empty her mind so quickly could be considered one!). She simply states what we all already know in our hearts: that feeling good FEELS GOOD, and that we all want to be the person we know we have the potential to become. This is why the work of Abraham-Hicks resonates so deeply with so many–it feels true.
Of course, there is criticism of the Law of Attraction and Abraham-Hicks. They call it a McDonald’s theology: “all the fears people have of meaninglessness, insignificance, lost goals and dreams, and ultimately death are all taken care of, without the person needing to do anything.”
And yes, that is exactly the point. You don’t need to DO anything to change the direction of your life! All you need to do is change your THOUGHTS. Think about it–even me typing the phrase “think about it” implies the importance of the effort that is thinking. Every single action you take, every decision you make, every opinion you hold, and every emotion you feel is a direct result of what you think about. How, then, could anyone discount the importance of thoughts? Remember Occam’s Razor–the simplest explanation is often the correct one.
Changing your thoughts
So perhaps this is all beginning to sound very stressful. “How am I supposed to control my thoughts?? They come out of nowhere!” That, my friends, is a belief. And a belief is just a thought that you think over and over. The wonderful thing about life is that you DO have complete control over your thoughts, and when you decide to take control of them, your entire reality will change.
Not that it’s easy, especially at first. Personally, I have gone through some serious emotional work the past few months trying to get a handle on it all. The hardest part was reducing my intake of intoxicating substances. I realized how hard it was to control my thoughts and my mood when drinking alcohol. And then I realized how much I use food to manage my mood instead of doing the work myself.
So when you cut out intoxicating substances (not entirely, or forever! habitual use just does not work out for me), life becomes a lot more clear. And this part can be very, very hard. What do you do when you have a habit of putting yourself to sleep with drugs, or drinking with friends every weekend, or binging on pizza and ice cream to soothe your sadness?
You change your thoughts, that’s what. A habit is driven by thoughts. So you just have to cut the thoughts out. Stop thinking about the things that you know don’t make you feel good. You have to put up a roadblock, so you don’t go down that path anymore. Just like your route home from work or school every day, a thought pattern becomes so ingrained that you don’t notice it anymore.
But if you’re not taking the same route home from work everyday, you still need another route to get home. You have to find thoughts to replace the thoughts that make you feel bad (or that lead you to bad feeling action). So when you think about things that make you feel bad (like, “I feel fat” or “I miss drinking” or “I want to get fucked up and forget about consciously creating my stupid reality”), you have to IMMEDIATELY replace them with different thoughts. Try “I feel beautiful” or “I love feeling healthy” or “I love being in control of my life.”
It’s not easy, not at first. Because thinking like this isn’t a habit. It isn’t ingrained, like negative thoughts already are. But eventually it can become your normal, every day way of life! Just remember–beliefs are only thoughts you think over and over. If you believe something negative about yourself, just start thinking new thoughts.
At first it will feel fake, and forced. But that doesn’t matter. When you start consciously directing your thoughts, you’ll begin finding positive thoughts that don’t feel so fake. If you go from “I feel fat” to “I like the way this shirt fits” or “I love my smile,” you’re moving away from the negativity that will bring more negativity into your life.
The best trick that Abraham teaches is that there is a back door to all this. If you are feeling bad, or negative, you can think ANY thought that makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be related to the negative thought. When you think ANY thought that makes you feel good, you’re raising your emotional vibration. And then your next thought will come from that higher emotional vibration, instead of the negative one. So if you can just start with ONE better-feeling thought, your next thought will come out of that better-feeling place.
It took me a while to grasp this concept. Thoughts and emotions are intricately connected, so it can be hard to figure out how or where to start. But let’s try this: thoughts are energetic vibrations that create reality. The emotions you feel in response to your thoughts (or your manifested reality) tell you how close you are to your Higher Self. If you feel good, you are on the path to becoming who you truly are. If you feel bad, you are moving in the wrong direction. When you feel bad, you start thinking negative thoughts. These negative vibrations start creating a more negative reality. The whole point of life is to FEEL GOOD, so if you think positive thoughts, you create the reality you desire.
You can direct your reality by focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want. Anything you don’t like about your current reality, TUNE IT OUT, NOW! There is no point to wasting time on bad feeling thoughts! It will only bring more bad-ness!
Life is a video game
Kelly came up with an incredible analogy to help explain this. Picture your life as a video game, like Second Life (a virtual world where you have an avatar and can create anything you desire). Now picture Source Energy (or your Higher Self, or God, or Infinite Intelligence, or whatever you want to call it) as the player of the game, and you are the avatar (or video game character).
The only control Source Energy has over you, the video game character or avatar, is through giving you INSPIRATION, or by giving you EMOTIONS. You are free to take any action you wish, but you won’t level up (coming closer your HIGHER SELF) if you don’t work with Source Energy.
The weird twist to this game is the very fact that you are free to take any action. And that you, as a character, develop unique preferences about what you want and don’t want in your reality. So Source Energy tries to help you out. When you find something you don’t want, Source Energy feeds you a negative emotion pellet, so you know to not go back to that thing. When you find something you DO want, Source Energy gives you a positive emotion pellet, so you can return to that thing again and again to get more positive emotions.
Now we can introduce the concept of “clicking” on something. Let’s equate “clicking” on something in a game with “focusing” your thoughts. When you observe or think about something negative, you are essentially “clicking” on it in the game. You are saying “yes, more of this please,” even though you’re eating all these negative emotion pellets and feeling like shit! But when you “click” on something that you DO prefer, it makes sense that you’re saying “yes, more of this!”
If you keep clicking on the negative things you don’t want, the video game keeps bringing those negative things back into your life. Source Energy keeps trying to help your ass by giving you the nasty negative emotion pellets that SHOULD tell you to move on and click (focus) on something else. But no! You are so obsessed with telling everyone that “I DON’T WANT THIS” that your clicking just keeps bringing more and more of it!
Think about your current reality–what are you clicking on? What thoughts or observations do you keep asking for more of? How do they make you feel? Is Source Energy feeding you positive emotion or negative emotion pellets when you click?
When you’re stuck in the game, inspiration is like the magick potion, or mana, or health pellets that Source can give you. When you just can’t figure out what to do next, Source Energy steps in by giving you inspired thought. You can think of this as your intuition, or as hunches. When you get a gut feeling to do something, but you can’t explain why, that is Source trying to give you a little help in the game. When you are working on finding some solution, or invention, but can’t make progress, that is where Source Energy comes in to save the day.
In a later lesson I’ll talk about ways to allow inspiration into your experience, but for now just digest this video game metaphor and really try to apply it to your life. Think of your life as a game, and you have absolute control over what happens in the game. When you are thinking or observing, realize that you are actively focusing and creating your experience. Focusing is the same as clicking in a video game. Focusing is directing your energy to manifest reality. So apply this concept to your life literally. As you go through your day, think of every thought or observation as a click in a video game. Are you really asking for more of what you’re clicking on? Or is Source giving you negative emotion pellets, telling you to move onto a different thought or observation?
Your mood is your work
Source Energy feeds you positive emotions to let you know you’re on the right track towards your Higher Self–so your purpose in life is to find things that make you feel good, and keep doing them. Observe or think of things that make you feel good. Your purpose in life is only to pursue joy.
At first, it might sound selfish, to worry about no one’s happiness but your own. But how can you be of any help to anyone if you’re unhappy? You cannot change someone else’s reality, only your own.
The Emotional Guidance Scale
On page 114 of Jerry & Esther Hick’s book, Ask and It Is Given, they explain a scale of emotions that can help you move from negative feeling thoughts to more positive thoughts. When you feel bad, look at the list and figure out something, anything, that can bring you one step up on the scale. By doing that, you are raising your emotional vibration and enabling yourself to think better-feeling thoughts. Even if you just move from depression to anger, you are in a better place than where you were, and more positive manifestations will begin coming into your reality.
Don’t expect to make a huge jump (the Hicks’ call them quantum leaps) from a very negative emotion to a very positive emotion. Work incrementally up the scale so you don’t get too frustrated or pissed! Often Kelly and I will be feeling frustration or pessimism and want to jump right back to joy, but it isn’t really possible. We have to think thoughts that bring us up bit by bit.
- Positive Expectation/Belief
Jerry and Esther offer a ton of exercises and processes that can help you move up the emotional scale. Check out this site for a great list. The exercises that have worked best for me are segment intending, the why game, and appreciation games.
Using your website to feel good and get what you want
The last lesson, I suggested many post ideas to bring more good feelings into your life. This time I’ll go deeper into a few specific types of posts to explain exactly how they will make you feel good and bring you what you want. Try using any one of these post design ideas to raise your emotional vibration and attract more of what you want into your reality:
- Throughout your day, photograph and post things that make you feel good. What gets you in the vortex of feeling joy? Is it the food you’re eating, the places you’re going, the people you see? Start noticing details around you that make you feel good–stickers, neon signs, animals, graffiti–anything that brings a little smile to your heart. When you appreciate your surroundings, you purposefully avoid unwanted observations. Every thought you think, every part of your reality you observe, is an active click for more of the same! This is one of the ways lifestreaming benefits me most when I’m off my computer–by acknowledging thoughts, observations and experiences I am enjoying, I am deliberately asking for more. At the same time, I experience a boost in my emotions because I am thinking about things I like, instead of things I dislike.
- Discover what you’re passionate about with research posts. What you think about you bring about, and if you’re not sure exactly what you want, start anywhere! Do you think you might enjoy more travel? Cooking? Making art? Making money? As you start focusing your energy on figuring out what you want, these things will start coming to you. Some things you might like, some you might not, but you won’t know until you start thinking about it. Think more money might make you happy? Create a post about what you would do with a million dollars. Post about places you might like to visit, a la Gala. Or just start collecting images that resonate with you and make a vision board post.
- When you know exactly what you want, voice your intentions by placing an order with the universe. Telling the universe what you want via public declaration on the Internet is a powerful way to start manifesting the things you desire. Essentially, you are increasing your belief that things may start happening in your favor, because now a lot more people know exactly how to help you. To get started, talk about things you already have and would like more of in a gratitude or rampage of appreciation post. Next, make a list of things to manifest, detailing all the specific things you would like to see happen in your life in the near future. If you want to get really specific, try making a “telling your future” post, where you describe exactly how you want things to play out for the next day or week. Before you try this one, make sure you’re feeling joyful already, it will make writing a lot easier!
If you’re out and about without your computer, but still have your phone, try segment intending. Take a picture of something and title it with how you want your very next experience to play out. For example: today I have to go to the dentist. When I get to the office, I’ll take a photo of the building I’m about to enter, and title it “I’m about to go to the dentist, which is going to be fun and easy and I will leave cavity-free!” I’m setting my intention about the next segment in my life and determining how I want it to go, not waiting for something to happen to me by default. (p.s., this worked, I am cavity-free!)
- Start teaching by actively learning from your experiences. Creating a “how-to” post is a RAWESOME way to turn any negative experience into a positive one, because it forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Picture this: you’re home for the holidays, and it is not bringing you much joy! Your family is bickering, you’re stressed about all the chocolate you’ve eaten, or you’d just rather be anywhere else. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, start composing a “how to survive being home for the holidays” post in your mind. This will immediately cause you to start looking for ways to improve your situation, turning your experience into a positive one. Pissed that you have to go to that meeting at work? Write a “how to survive lame business meetings” post. It will force you to come up with creative ideas to make the meeting fun (or at least bearable)! Seriously, this works!
You can also try podcasting. Kelly and I have been producing our podcast for over two years now, and it is BREATHTAKING to watch our journey from there to here. Not every episode is a comedic gem, but the archive of personal development progress we’ve made is one of my most prized possessions. We’ve gone from being chubby drunks, to mean girls on a diet, to becoming vegans, to becoming marathon runners, to going raw vegan, to fasting, to learning about the Law of Attraction, to where we are today. Creating a video podcast forced us to really observe ourselves from the outside, and that observation caused us to constantly reevaluate our lives and what direction we’re heading. Basically, we’ve learned SO MUCH from doing the podcast, I’d recommend it to anyone!
- Chill out and let your brain do some processing with creative exercises. You might not be inspired to do any of these posts, and that’s ok! Sometimes it’s better to let your brain do some creative processing and synthesizing before taking action. Whenever I lack inspiration to work on my site, I do something creative yet mindless. I doodle in my sketchbook, open photoshop and mess around with fractal art, or make friendship bracelets and beaded jewelry. Often, doing work like this quiets my mind enough to let inspiration flow through me again.
What to avoid posting on your website
Whatever you do, don’t complain on your site! It brings everyone down, and attracts more things to complain about into your life! Look for the silver lining of every situation, or just plain ignore the unpleasant ones!
When “bad things” happen to you (which they will less and less as you take control over your thoughts), try to learn from the experience. Look for the positive outcomes. Look for the “how-to” post.
How to decide what to post about your “current self”
Lauren Lionheart left a great comment on the last lesson. She was asking how I determine what “current self” stuff makes it on the website vs. all the “Higher Self” work:
My experience has been that there are aspects of the current self that will ask insistently to be shown on the website. Following your intuition will let you know which ones can help you along your journey, while others are more like echoes from an old life. Some parts of our journey are very appropriate to write about online, and serve as a personal healing tool as well as bonding our readers to us.
Here’s how I distinguish whether a part of “current me” is ready to shine on my website: Can I describe the lesson I learned from it? If so, onto the blog it goes! If I’m still mucking about in the issue and feeling confusion, fear, anger, etc. about it… then I keep marinating until the lesson makes itself clear.
I completely agree with Lauren here. If something about your current situation is making you feel bad, don’t post about it. If you are feeling higher on the emotional scale about it, then share away! The point is to not to make too many decisions while feeling crappy, because those decisions aren’t going to help you feel better. Wait until you’ve raised your emotional vibration about an issue, then post away!
Try out any one (or more) of the posting ideas above and let us know what works for you. What feels best to create? Please share a link to your posts in the comments!
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3.
See you next time!
Lesson 4 is Designing Daily Life. We’ll put the concepts covered here into practice to transform your daily life. We’ll talk about taking adventures and entheogens, using divination tools like tarot cards, and embracing the synchronicities that are occurring all around you. Essentially, this lesson will be about finding every-day evidence that the universe is working to bring you what you desire.
Thank you for co-creating with me!
This lesson is about creating the public, web-based version of yourself, which will aid you in the never-ending process of designing your life. Having a personal website is like a personal development catalyst, so get ready to bust out the reality of your dreams!
We are all one. We come from the same place, we are made of the same energy, and when we die we go right back to the whole.
The Internet is a physical manifestation of our inherent oneness. We are all connected. We all have unique perspectives, but collectively, we are something much bigger than ourselves. And if we are all one, we are all each other. I am you, you are me. We are like spines on the same koosh ball.
Under this assumption I came to my views on privacy. If we are all one, what is the point of privacy? The need for privacy comes mainly from fear of what other people will think. Why would we be afraid of what others think, if we are all the same underneath? Why would I chose to hide from myself?
It’s time to stop caring about what anyone else thinks, discover what brings you passion and joy, and become the person you’ve always known you are! Amplify your ideas, share your happiness with others, and expand your possibilities!
Why exist digitally?
Having a personal website is a great boon in the process of designing your life. It is a way to view yourself from outside of yourself, a digital ledge from which to gain perspective. Since we spend so much time online anyway, it makes sense to be focused and deliberate about what kinds of digital creation we engage in.
Many of you are entrepreneurs at heart and hope to make money from your website, maybe through advertising revenue or product sales. By approaching your website with passion and the mindset that it is enjoyable to work on it, you are setting the stage for a successful endeavor. Below are several reasons to keep an active website, which can ultimately lead you down the path to financial success.
Keeping a personal website has been the single most valuable thing I’ve done for myself. I knew that it was a great place to collect creative works, memories and inspiration, but until recently I didn’t really understand why. The simple answer? Because keeping a website feels GOOD. It feels good to create and share our work, it feels good to collect inspiration, it feels good to write about topics that interest us, and it feels good to receive feedback in comments and conversation. It feels good to take photos of ourselves for the sole purpose of posting them to our blogs, it feels good to organize our thoughts in the form of a website, and it feels good to create digital representations of ourselves that spread our ideas to people across the world.
Maintaining a personal website feels good, so what? SO, feeling good brings more good things into your life! Whatever you think about, you bring more about into your life. So if you are feeling good, you are thinking good thoughts. These good feelings and thoughts do nothing but generate more. The more joy we look for, the more we find!
A website is like a mirror of your mind. When you design a new portfolio section, or write a fresh blog post, or take a great outfit photo, you are reflecting your life at the moment. How do you want it to look? You are in control! Every moment is an opportunity to find something that makes you feel good, and when you collect some of these moments on your site, you begin creating an archive of good-feeling memories to scroll through whenever you need a boost.
Discover your unique passion.
Kelly once said about personal websites, “if you know what your site is about, you know what your life is about.” How true this is! What parts of yourself do you want to showcase on a website? What ideas do you have that everyone should hear about? What are you truly passionate about?
Don’t worry if you don’t know yet! Maintaining a website can help you figure out what makes you feel good, what interests you, and what you are passionate about doing. This doesn’t require chaining yourself to your computer or constant twittering through meals with friends. Having a website may actually inspire you to spend less time online, so you can be out having exciting adventures to share!
Voice your intentions.
I like when I create posts that resonate with other people. I like creating with a joyful vibration, and I like it when others vibrating at the same level respond. Wouldn’t it be nice if this post resonated with many of you?
By stating what I would like to happen with my creation, I am voicing my intention. This can be applied to anything you want. Are you looking for a new bicycle? Tell the Internet! Are you in need of inspiration? Make a post about it. The universe can’t answer you if you don’t ask for what you want. And by asking publicly on the Internet, you are making it easier for yourself to believe that things can be orchestrated for you. If you just asked aloud for a new bike, you might have a hard time believing the universe was going to bring you one, just like that. But if you ask online (like Kelly did after her bike was stolen), it’s a lot easier to believe that you might have a friend with an unused bike laying around for you.
Voicing your intentions and desires online can help you begin noticing the little coincidences and synchronicities that are occurring all over the place as the universe works to bring you what you ask for. The resulting conversations tend to be deeper than the usual Facebook conversation fare. It’s fun to talk with people who have thought about life a lot!
Teach and learn.
Every single one of us has knowledge that others could benefit from. Providing digital access to what we know is a surefire way to speed up discoveries and fun-having worldwide! Not only do we all have something to teach, but by teaching it we learn it again. Teach once, learn twice. Also, it can be fun to challenge yourself to do new things and post about them along the way–learning and teaching at the same time.
Process and synthesize.
All of this business about the universe and positivity and synchronicities and the power of thoughts and putting it all online can be overwhelming at first. Having a creative outlet to discuss your understanding and progress as you go through life is invaluable. Putting your experiences online publicly is different from keeping a personal journal, because you create with the knowledge that someone else might be looking. This is a good thing–it encourages you to clarify what you’re thinking and experiencing. This clarification helps you process and synthesize new information as it comes, deepening your knowledge. Coming closer to understanding the meaning of life is definitely something that brings me joy :]
Phew! Now that we have all the conceptual reasoning for having a website out of the way, we can start talking about your new (or improved!) online presence!
photo by margolove
Visualization of Your Higher Self
In the previous lesson, we talked about writing our dream “About” pages. What would your future biography say if you could determine it now? We are going to take the same approach for our websites.
Your Higher Self is the you that you want to be. It is you in perfect form, the dream you, the you living out your fullest potential. Your website is about that you. Not you in your current reality, not the flawed you, not the sad you, not the negative you, not the unhappy you. Your Higher Self is who you are striving to become.
When you look at your website, you want to feel like you’re looking at the website of your idol. Do you want to be a rock star? Do you want to be a fashion designer with more sales than you can fulfill? Do you want to be an artist with openings at every major gallery in the country? Then design your site to reflect that!
Create a page with tour dates, use Paypal to easily let others purchase your work, describe your most recent smashing success. It doesn’t matter if you’re fibbing a little (or a lot!) because the point is to get in the feeling of success. You have complete control over your perception of yourself! And when you create an outstanding website for your dream self, you are aligning the stars to make that dream a reality.
You might be wondering how you are going to get this site of your dreams! You are going to make it of course, or perhaps you know someone who owes you a favor. But to do it yourself is most rewarding, so you can change anything and everything at any time. Creating a site that best reflects the you who you want to be is a never-ending process, because your desires are always changing.
Where to start
Your job is now to create a website that best represents your Higher Self. The first decision you need to make is where this website will live. Do you already have a site? Is the URL what you most ideally want to be known as? Whatever you chose, make sure it’s something you really love. Don’t love your real name? Change it! But be consistent across the Internet–try to make your website URL and your various account names (Twitter, Tumblr, etc) the same.
The easy way out
If mucking about with code and webhosting makes your eyes glaze over, never fear! You can get a free WordPress.com account and let WordPress worry about all the technical bits. Once you log in to your dashboard, you can choose from 99 different layouts (called themes) to make your site look the way you want it.
If WordPress.com isn’t the right fit for you, feel free to create your digital Higher Self anywhere else that makes you feel comfortable. Livejournal, Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, Myspace, Flickr, or Blogger all have free options for your enjoyment.
How to get started with webhosting
If you’re willing to go the extra mile to have things just the way you want them, the best possible thing you can do for yourself when creating your web presence is getting your own domain name and hosting. This means that you pay someone for computer space where your website lives, but you get complete control over everything. If you ever hope to make money off your website, make sure you do this! It is more work for you than signing up for a WordPress.com account, but it pays off to have complete control over the way your site looks, what kinds of advertising you can put on it, and what kinds of content you can publish.
If you are looking for a place to host your website, I recommend Bluehost, with one caveat–they have a pretty strict Acceptable Use Policy. If you want lots of nudity on your site, Bluehost is not for you! I have held an account with them for a couple years now and they have been quite lovely to work with. If you do choose to sign up with them, use the link above and I get a little cut from the deal ;] Here are roughly the steps you will have to follow when signing up:
- Go to Bluehost.com or your hosting provider of choice.
- Choose your domain name and monthly hosting plan. Bluehost gives you unlimited storage space and bandwidth, great for when your website explodes with traffic!
- Log in to your new account and explore your Control Panel (aka cPanel). This is where you get to do lots of fun things like set up email accounts, back up your site, and manage your databases.
- Configure your FTP settings, so you can easily transfer files from your computer to your website.
Once you’ve figured out your FTP settings, install WordPress on your server. If you want to design your own theme and code it yourself, check out some tutorials. Otherwise, start browsing all the free themes available.
Things to consider about your Higher Self-cum-website
- Header: your site header is generally an image or block of text at the very top of your site. This is the first thing your readers will see when they get to your site. Does it accurately represent your higher self? Does the imagery you use have meaning?
- Sidebar: the sidebar is often your site’s primary navigation. Ponder every single link or bit of text you put in there. Carefully consider the sidebar hierarchy–what is the most important navigation item? Put that one first.
- About page: your about page is very important to give visitors some context about your site. And it is an extremely important part of visualizing your Higher Self. What you write in your About page is what will come to be, so make sure you know what you want and aren’t afraid to say it!
- Categories: the different types of posts you make can all have separate categories, so you can sort your site. What are the different aspects of your life you want to showcase? When picturing your Higher Self, what are the different areas you see? Don’t use categories for areas of your life you dislike, because you’ll just perpetuate those aspects.
- Portfolio: no matter what your industry, a portfolio can be a great section to include on your website. Choose to showcase only projects that you truly enjoyed doing and would love to do again. This will bring about more projects like those.
- Copyright: Copyright is obsolete. Read this post by Steve Pavlina on why he is no longer protecting his work with copyright. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits also has an awesome copyright policy on his blog. Consider releasing your copyright in your sidebar or footer by including a Creative Commons Public Domain license.
- Posts: every post you make should make you feel good. If you’re documenting or talking about something that doesn’t make you feel good, STOP RIGHT NOW, unless you want to bring more bad feelings into your life!
So what should I post about?
Here are some different types of posts you can create to make yourself feel good and bring more joy into your life.
- Things I love: a list of things you are grateful for, or that make you laugh, smile, or feel joy.
- Rampage of appreciation: a stream of consciousness flowing of things you appreciate about your current situation.
- List of positive aspects: if there is something bringing you down, list out all the positive things you like about the person or circumstance.
- Visualization: draw a picture of something you want, and include yourself in it.
- Vision board: put up a bulletin board in your home where you hang up all the things you want to bring into your life. Post about it!
- Exercise: embed your Runkeeper routes or talk about your favorite way to get your body moving.
- Fashion: make the Polyvore collection of your dreams, or get a lookbook.nu account.
- Link love: link to all the different bloggers you love and explain why! You’ll get good link karma.
- Research: pick a topic that interests you and dig up all the information you can find about it. Organize your discoveries into a gorgeous post that will save someone else time.
- People you’d like to meet, places you’d like to travel: start writing about the things you want to attract into your life!
- Inspiration: what is inspiring you today? Beautiful new colored pencils? A triple espresso? Your grandparents? Tell us about it, and receive more inspiration for your trouble.
- Music you’re listening to: I am always dying to hear recommendations from others!
- Book reviews: what book has really changed your life, and why?
- Portfolio of your work: no matter what it is you do, you have enough experience to create an amazing portfolio. Choose your favorite projects from your entire lifetime and showcase them. Then sit back as you attract similar projects into your life.
- Food photos and recipes: if you like to cook, document it and make it look exquisite.
- How-to: we all know things that seem simple to us but not to everyone! Think of one thing you know how to do really well and post a detailed tutorial.
- Funny family stories: we all love hearing how screwed up everyone else’s family is…
- Oh, pets: you like it when your cat does that cute thing? Make a post about it and watch more cuteness unfold ;D
Your assignment this week is simple. Get yourself a website, then start making it look like the website of your Higher Self! If you already have a site, take a look at it and make a list of the things you could change to make it better reflect who you want to be. Then start crossing things off that list! To turn in your assignment, just post a link to your site in the comments for critique and feedback.
On my list of improvements to make this week: put up my portfolio and re-categorize my posts to be more like Kelly’s!
Remember, the point of having a website is to feel good. If at any time the process is making you frustrated or upset, just walk away! There is no deadline, and no pressure. Work on your site for the pure pleasure of creating. You can’t get it wrong, because you’ll never get it 100% done. You are always changing and your Higher Self is always expanding. Do what you’re inspired to do in this moment and you’ll never be disappointed with the results.
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3.
See you next time!
Lesson 3 is Designing your thoughts & emotions. In this lesson we’ll cover the law of attraction, positivity, manifestation & subjective reality. Learning how to control your thoughts and emotions is the basis for designing the rest of your life, so I’m super excited to see what inspiration brings us!
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Working on the School of Life Design has been hugely rewarding thus far! If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving!
Thank you for co-creating with me!
Welcome to the School of Life Design! We are here to learn and create together. This school has manifested in my life and yours to bring us closer to what we desire. As we teach each other and share our creations, the most important thing to remember is that you are doing everything right. We are inspired to make our lives more joyful and fun, not to doubt our choices or worry about what anyone else thinks. All that matters in life is feeling good, so we are coming together to design experiences that feel good.
After you read through this lesson, you can take a listen to the accompanying discussion between me and my partner-in-design Kelly Cree. Kelly is an absolute expert at explaining these concepts verbally, so if you find yourself getting lost, just listen to the MP3 to gain a better understanding of the topics we’re talking about here.
What is Life Design?
Life Design is the practice of shaping your reality into the specific experiences you desire. Let’s compare it to graphic design: a graphic designer shapes art, technology and information to form a specific message. A life designer has not only visual communication elements at her disposal, but her entire world to draw from.
Why practice Life Design?
Because you can. Because once you get a taste of how much control you have over your life experience, it’s impossible to turn around. If you are complacent, content, & hate rocking the boat, then this course is not for you. If you are always reaching for more, never satisfied with where you are, and full of desire to live your life to the fullest, then keep reading.
Contemporary Life Designers
Life Design is nothing new. Any person pursuing personal development, self-improvement, and spiritual growth is a life designer. But most life designers are not very successful at creating their dream realities, because they are missing one simple thing–confidence. You can have anything you want, if you believe that you can.
Try spending one day listening for what people tell themselves they can’t do. “I could never quit my job, because I can’t find a better one.” “I can’t eat that pizza, it’ll just make me fat.” “I can’t take up running, I’m too out of shape.” And on and on and on. Count the times people are making their own realities with negative statements. Do you ever find yourself doing the same?
Why do we think we can’t do the things we desire? One reason is because we believe someone else is controlling our life experience. We believe our boss, our parents, our children, our friends, the government, the weather, or God is what’s holding us back. But you know what? No one controls your life BUT YOU. Your thoughts are the only things that can hold you back from achieving everything you want.
There are many successful life designers creating their realities and sharing them on the Internet. If you ever need inspiration from people who are living the lives they want NOW, look no further! These are a few of the unique souls who have turned my perspective on life inside out:
- Gala Darling: “I believe in making mischief & the triumph of magic over the brute. I believe in short skirts & lip gloss & bringing the radical self-love revolution. I believe life doesn’t have to be serious, that you create your own reality & that beauty is all around us.”
- Esther & Jerry Hicks: “Jerry and Esther Hicks live a fairy-tale life. These two fun-loving adventure-seekers are currently breathing in huge lungfuls of joy as they figure-eight across the United States in their rock star monster bus, following the good weather, meeting friends along the way and enabling as many people as possible to visit with Abraham.”
- Steve Pavlina: “widely recognized as one of the most successful personal development bloggers on the Internet, attracting more than two million monthly readers to his website.”
- Dawn & Drew: “two ex gutter punks who fall in love, buy a retired farm in wisconsin (then move to costa rica) and tell the world their dirty secrets…” When I met Dawn the other day at Rasputina, Kelly asked her what the point of life was and she replied “to have fun!” Dawn & Drew have been my life design heroes since 2005, leading with their example of supporting themselves doing exactly what they love: podcasting.
- Tim Ferriss: a self-proclaimed lifestyle designer who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek. “Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan—there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, high-end world travel, monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.”
Basic principles of Life Design
These are the six basic tenets that assist life designers in the creation of great life experiences.
|Oneness||We are all one. We all come from the same source energy. We are just different windows into the same soul. This concept is the reason for living transparently, for sharing what we learn along the way, and for letting go of a little privacy.|
|Alignment||When we are aligned with who we want to be, we feel joy. That alignment comes from feeling good, and from following our inspiration before acting.|
|Contrast||Every time we experience something we don’t want, we know more of what we DO want. This delicious contrast is what creates the desires we strive to quench. Without contrast, we would have no desire.|
|Patterns||Your daily habits, behaviors and experiences come from thought patterns. Your beliefs come from repeatedly going down the same sled-tracks of thought buried deep in your brain. We can learn to recognize when we’re taking the easy way out, and following our thoughts down old, undesirable pathways. Once we recognize our thought patterns, we can allow the creation of new patterns.|
|Balance||Energetic balance means that what you put out into the world comes back to you. By listening to your intuition and bodily cues, balance can be easy to achieve.|
|Whitespace||In graphic design, whitespace is the absence of design elements. It is the place where your eye goes to breathe. In life design, white space occurs where we experience relief, where we let go of resistance. White space is inspiration from our higher selves, after our resisting old thought patterns get out of the way. Meditation and exercise are two ways of creating whitespace in your life.|
Life Design Toolbox
Below are some concepts you can use to start improving your life right now. This is not an exhaustive list, but a starting point for shifting your reality. These concepts will help you recognize the power you have over your own life experience, and every one of them is easy to practice. All you need is an open mind.
|Gratitude||As Steve Pavlina says, “Persistent gratitude will manifest financial abundance much, much, much faster than worry, frustration, or apathy.” Wake up each day and count the things you are grateful for. Keep a list in your sketchbook and add to it every chance you can get. Have an hour long conversation with your best friend about all the things you are grateful for in each other. The point is that once you feel grateful for what you have, more good things will start pouring into your life.|
|Visualization||Penelope Trunk interviewed Jim Fannin about visualizing success. Fannin suggests doing one thing: “play a movie in your head of you achieving your big goal.” By knowing exactly what you want and what it will feel like, you are creating the conditions for your dream to become a reality. Think about it in terms of sex. Before you had sex with someone, did you fantasize about it? Did you try to picture exactly what it would be like? Then, almost like magick, the opportunity arises. Visualization helps focus your intentions, helping your mind bring you what you desire.|
|Creativity||Whenever I feel uninspired, I do some sort of thoughtless creative activity to get my inspiration flowing again. Sometimes I doodle in my sketchbook with pretty colored pencils, sometimes I sit down in photoshop and make fractals over and over. Invariably, the exercise stops my negativity and allows me to move forward with fresh energy.|
|Positive thinking||Taking control of your thoughts is key. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, about ANY subject, pivot into a different thought or different perspective. If you’re thinking “I look so fat” just start thinking “I feel beautiful today!” Turn “I don’t have enough money this month” to “I have more money than I need right now!” It can be hard at first, but only because you’re creating a new thought pattern. It’s easy to keep thinking in your old pathways, but making new thought habits pays off big time.|
|Affirmations||It can be hard to remember to keep thoughts positive, so it helps to write down what you want yourself to believe. Kelly and I made a list we wanted to remember, printed it out and hung it up in our bathroom. Some of the phrases were “I am healthy and prosperous,” “I create my own future by envisioning it clearly,” “I deserve the best, and I accept it now,” and “I choose courage over fear in every decision that I make.”|
|Mindfulness||Mindfulness is about living in the moment. It’s about feeling the breeze on your skin, the air in your lungs, the grass between your fingertips. It’s about looking for things that feel good in every single moment. I’m appreciating the warmth of my keyboard as I type this. I’m enjoying my hair staining my periphery bright pink. I’m loving the sound of raindrops outside my window. By looking for good feelings in every moment, you raise your emotional vibration and attract more good feelings into your experience.|
|Intuition||According to Abraham, you are born with an emotional guidance system that leads you towards what you want. It’s like the “warmer and colder” game you played as a child. When you are getting closer to what you want, you feel better. Warmer… Warmer… Hot! When you are moving away from what you want, you feel bad. Colder… colder… colder… Learning to trust your intuition is not really complicated, just think about how you are feeling. Do you feel good? Then keep doing whatever you’re doing! Personally, when my intuition is really strong, I get a funny taste in my mouth, like a dentist’s drill. It’s not unpleasant–and it lets me know that I’m on the right track!|
Life Design methodologies
A methodology is a system of methods you use to find a solution. A life design methodology is a process of allowing a desired experience to unfold.
The methodology for using the Law of Attraction is: Ask, Believe, Receive. First, ask for the experience you desire by creating it in your mind. Figure out exactly how it will feel. Next, release it into the universe and trust you will get what you want. Then allow yourself to receive what you have asked for. It’s that simple.
Lifestreaming is the life design methodology we’ll be using in this course, and it is very similar to the Law of Attraction methodology. But first–what the hell is lifestreaming?? Lifestreaming is simply sharing your life experiences, usually online. You can lifestream by blogging, podcasting, or publishing an e-book. I lifestream by podcasting, posting lots of photos and creating articles for this site.
As a life design methodology, lifestreaming is the practice of documenting things that feel good. First, by posting about what makes you feel good, you are automatically asking for more things that feel good. You can share about a visualization exercise, what you are grateful for, or any other topic that makes you feel good.
By posting about something that makes you feel good, you’re asking for more good feelings.
Next, you release your desire to the universe. In lifestreaming, you are releasing your desire into the Internet. Publicly sharing your posts is a way for you to believe in them, and also a way to let them go and let the universe take over.
Picture asking for a recipe on Facebook. If your network of friends is large enough, you can trust that someone will answer you with what you want. You wouldn’t freak out, wondering if your question will ever be answered. You just believe someone will step in to help.
So then you receive what you want, and you can document your gratitude, sharing with others how easy it is to get what you want. Posting about the good things in your life just keeps them coming to you faster and faster!
I used to believe that lifestreaming was about portraying reality as it really was. A classmate critiqued my work, saying “what about documenting all the bad things that happen in your life?” I took her advice and started looking to document the shitty parts of my life. Guess what happened–I invited more shit into my life! Before that point, I didn’t have much shit to document! Lifestreaming is about creating experiences that make you feel good, releasing them into the Internet with trust that more good things will come from it, and then receiving more good things!
Posting about gratitude and visualization, or about anything you’re interested in, are just ways of feeling good. By sharing them online, you’re publicly asking for more good things! And when you share your experiences, more people get to see the positive outcomes you are creating, and might be inspired to do the same!
In this course we will be using this lifestreaming methodology, since it would be pretty hard to work together online if we weren’t sharing! If you’d like to try a different methodology, please do! We’d all love to hear about your process.
Activity: Who do you want to be?
When you decide to begin consciously creating the reality around you, it’s a good idea to know what you want. Today’s exercise is to write the “About” page of your dreams. When you have completed this course, what do you want your life to look like? Picture someone asking for your bio. What would you send them? Now is the time to craft your biography to say exactly what you want it to, then get to work designing that very life! I’ve written mine, and it now lives on my own About page. You are in control of where your life is going, so start making some decisions! And don’t worry, you don’t have to keep it forever–you can modify it any time you like!
I am a teacher & student of life design living joyfully with my partner Kelly & my two feline familiars in Austin, Texas. Independently wealthy, super-fit, and covered in mystical tattoos, I have woven my life into a magickal, dream-like trip full of loving friends, delicious vegan food & mind-blowing adventures around the world! My purpose in physical reality is to pursue JOY & share it with others.
This website, jessicamullen.com, inspires thousands of individuals daily to consciously create the lives of their dreams.
Kelly and I also produce The Popular Podcast, a hugely successful video podcast which documents our lives and entertains our international community of friends.
I received my BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005, and my MFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. My thesis report is titled “Lifestreaming as a Life Design Methodology” and you can read it here.
To turn in your assignment, leave a comment on this page with your new bio. Or if you already have a website, post it on your “About” page and leave us a link to click! (If you want me to take a look before you post it, just send it to me in an email.) Also, feel free to do something other than writing! Maybe your bio is in the form of an image, or a video–it’s up to you!
Once you’ve turned in your assignment, I will offer any suggestions I might have!
Don’t forget, you can download the accompanying discussion MP3 to help clarify the concepts covered in this lesson.
See you next time!
Lesson 2 is Designing the Digital You. In this lesson we’ll get you all set up with a website that makes you feel good. We’ll cover privacy concerns, graphic design and whole lot more about lifestreaming to get what you want. And the best part–your “About” page is already written!
Don’t forget to sign up for the School of Life Design Mailing List to get emails when new lessons go up, and to get exclusive content not available to the public.
I am so happy and grateful that we are on this journey together! It is so exciting to find joy and share it with others. If you enjoyed this lesson, please consider a donation to keep the School of Life Design thriving!
Thank you for co-creating with me!