Hell, Hope & Feathers

Shift Your Spirits - Wish

May people with power get good sense, may people with good sense get power, and may God give patience to the rest of us in the meantime.
—Julia Sugarbaker

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
—Ernest Hemingway

Most of life is Hell. It’s filled with failure and loss — people disappoint you, dreams don’t work out, hearts get broken … and the best moments of life, when everything comes together, are few and fleeting. But you’ll never get to the next great moment if you don’t keep going. So that’s what I do. I keep going.
—Elaine Barrish

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
—Emily Dickinson

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Image credit Darwin Bell via Creative Commons on Flickr

Stupid Easy New Year’s Resolutions

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Big goals with unrealistic daily requirements put you one bad day away from failure, deflation, and a death spiral to defeat.

Simplify your goals.
Break big goals down into the simplest possible action steps, especially ones that can be repeated.

Make them stupid-easy to pull off.

Low-ball your efforts.
Take what you think you can do on a good day and replace it with what you can manage even on a so-so day.

For example, if you intend to work out 5 days a week, change your goal to 3 days. If you intend to write 1,000 words a day, make your minimum 500 words.

A series of small successes builds confidence and generates momentum.

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr

No Matter What Happens

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Sometimes real triumph is quiet survival.

Whether or not the lover leaves you, the bank forecloses, the blood test comes back positive…or you are forced to endure an even more unspeakable loss.

You can be okay, no matter what happens. Being okay is a baseline of power.

Choosing to be okay affirms that you are always You — transcendent, resilient, still here.


The shortest way out of just about any situation is simply to go through it.

External circumstances do not determine your strength, set your value, or control your inner peace.

You are not defined by the shit you find yourself in the middle of — even your greatest challenges assist you in expressing who you truly are.

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr

Little Secrets about Making Big Changes

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One “big secret” about creating an effective energetic shift in your life is that completion is not required.

The other “big secret” about successful change — maybe instead of a secret, call it an overlooked aspect — is that the requirements are actually small.

Completion naturally occurs after a series of small, similar actions.

As you power your initial commitment, keep in mind that:

  • Just starting the path is being on the path.
  • Just taking the first action creates the energy that propels all the other “steps”

Small, sustainable, serial actions
Almost all long-term goals and intentional changes can be broken down into a series of smaller, repetitive actions.

  • small choices in thought and behavior
  • simple behaviors, repeated concurrently
  • a bread-crumb trail of multiple smaller milestones

A lot of smaller successes reinforces self-esteem, which energizes all positive changes and life-style choices.

The momentum of that Big Beginning levels off quickly onto a plateau of daily practice.

Let’s say you want to lose thirty pounds — you shift into the energetic frequency of that long-term success the very first time you take actions on your new intention.

If you’ve determined the required repetitive action is something like exercising thirty minutes a day — the vibration you need to tune into is reached the first day you show up for that exercise.

You experience the same energy losing thirty pounds as you do when you lose one pound.

Let’s say you want to write a 250 page book — you accumulate those pages by showing up and filling them one at a time. You also begin collecting and using your power from the very first paragraph you put into form.

If you’ve determined the required repetitive action is writing a page a day — you know what it feels like to write pages from the first day to the last.

It’s the same tool — you just apply it X-number of times.

Completion is not required to shift the vibration — a single, willful, intentional act will invoke the necessary mindset.

One small success in a day carries the same energy as thirty in a month, or three hundred sixty-five in a year.

Why wait until you’re “perfect” and “totally done” before you acknowledge your power and the energy you’ve shifted?

You called it in — it’s as here — as in effect — as it will ever be.

Use that initial achievement to propel you forward.

You do it once?

You’ve done it.

Do it again.

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When You Lose Everything

Image - Slade Roberson 2014

Last year started off for me like The Best Year of My Life… I could never have guessed how it would end.

I had been on an upward trajectory since 2005, when I crawled out of a ditch and started building Shift Your Spirits and doing readings. When I launched Automatic Intuition Professional in 2009, I truly felt I’d discovered my dream job. The resulting financial stability, the sense of purpose, and the huge growing global community that felt connected to me…

I became (almost) everything I’d ever wanted to be.

(When 2014 began, I had been officially single for thirteen years and I still hadn’t realized my childhood dream of becoming a novelist. So, I still had some areas in which I hoped to grow.)

Then I found myself on a date with the love of my life, celebrating the publication of Cloudbusting.

As a friend said to me at the time “It’s good to be Slade right now, isn’t it?”

It was. By autumn I was working on a second and then a third novel, living in a beautiful 1930s Craftsman bungalow that I had just bought with my partner.

I loved being a homeowner, being someone’s partner. I thought I was pretty damn good at it, too.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I was told, without argument, without warning, without inkling, without any intuition of any kind “You’re not making me happy anymore. This relationship, buying this house together… it was all a mistake.”

It was a devastating un-doing of “everything,” in a matter of minutes. I had no control over it.

(The details here are a long, ugly divorce story… You can imagine.)

So, New Years Day 2015, I woke up in my old bedroom at my mother’s home, feeling like Dorothy at the end of the movie — rag on my head, all the technicolor gone, wondering if it was all a dream.

Part of me wanted to say “I just lost everything.”

And maybe right now, you’re thinking, by comparison, you definitely have.

I went back to that time ten years ago, which really was rock bottom, and I thought — No, wait a minute. I’ve lost some things that were very dear to me, but I still have so much more going for me than I had back then. If I could crawl out of that hole, I can walk out of this one with my head held high and my eyes open to my blessings. I can recover even more quickly this time.

Hell, I can drive — I have a much nicer car now than I did back then! wink

But I have been thinking a lot these past six weeks: “What did I do back then, when I felt I’d lost everything?”

What Can You Do When You Feel You’ve Lost Everything?

You start taking stock of what you still actually do have.

The ego is a great exaggerator, as well as a pathological liar.

Despair tends to communicate with tons of emotion, but with few facts and little accuracy.

Everything, nothing, always, never — these words are hysterically overused and rarely appropriate. When you hear them being whispered within you, alarms should go off — you are not listening to your spirit guides, your better angels, or your higher self.

These are angry, wounded words. Remove them from your vocabulary.

I did not lose “everything” — let’s be clear, Wounded Ego Demon — I lost a few things of great significance. Yes. Some things.

Here’s Where You Start:
Gratitude journaling. (Oprah)
Morning pages. (The Artist’s Way)

Sounds awfully simple — real cures usually are.

I have a personalized version you could check out called The Book of Faded Green.

List what you love.
What do you see in this moment that is good, no matter how small or how seemingly insignificant. What doesn’t suck?

Write 3 pages every morning.
It can be in a list form. You can do it in your head while driving or riding the train. The format doesn’t matter — but the thinking works miracles.

A little bit at a time — one word, one image, one right after the other, every day.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Leave yourself a trail of breadcrumbs, lead your spirit back out of the darkness, Lantern Bearer. Weave a rope, build a ladder. Rescue yourself with simple observations of gratitude.

Do this until you feel differently. You will. I can’t promise you an exact time frame. But I can promise you will.

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author photo by ModernSauce

5 Ways to Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick


Every day you have a choice to make, over and over again — to take another step toward your dream or to let it slide until tomorrow.

There will be some days when life simply gets in the way and demands that you work on other things; there are other days when you’re on fire, and there’s no stopping you.

  • Control it when you can.
  • Make the right choice when you have one.
  • Be honest about how often you do have a choice.
  • Cut yourself some slack when you genuinely don’t.
  • If you mess up today, pick up where you left off tomorrow.

Goal Setting Principals That Work

There are ways to approach your goals that will give you a better chance at success.

1. Find a buddy or a group.
Accountability and social support are enormously powerful. Your friends and family may get tired of playing your coach, but someone who’s working toward the same goal will be eager to share common experiences. With the Internet and social media, there’s no excuse for not connecting other people who share your goals.

2. Talk about your experiences.
If you’re going to write down your “resolutions,” then keep on writing. Talk about your goals daily, or at least weekly, with the other people who are on the same path. Start a journal. Keep a log. Blog about it. Post about it on Facebook. When you find a few people who are eager to comment and discuss, start a special invitation only Group or Page. Or join one that already exists.

3. Low-ball your efforts.
A series of small successes builds confidence and generates momentum. The opposite is also true: a goal that’s too big puts you one bad day away from failure, deflation, and a domino effect down to defeat.

For example, if you intend to work out 5 days a week, change your goal to 3 days. If you intend to write 1,000 words a day, make your minimum 500 words.

4. Make every day a Start date.
We often put too much pressure on that auspicious First Day, when really it’s just one of many. Don’t psyche yourself out. Each morning, it’s the same choice in front of you — to do it again.

5. Simplify your goals.
Psyche yourself up for success. Break your big goals down into the simplest possible action steps, especially ones that can be repeated. Make them stupid-easy to pull off. And give yourself credit for every little inch of progress.

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr

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