Monday, September 21, 2015

needs, wants, and good intentions

"Nothing bad has ever happened on a road paved with good intentions!" - a quote from a show I watched recently

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." - aphorism

Recently I blogged about the importance of obtaining permission to serve. Today I wanted to talk about something related--needs, and wants, and good intentions that backfire.

Image here.
My family has always been very service-oriented... at least in our own minds. We do a lot to help people--or at least, we think we do.

When a well-meant service project backfired, my mom came to me and asked: what do we do to help now?

And I suddenly had this moment of clarity: we should do nothing. Sometimes charity is tough love.


For years I'd sent some friends all my birthday and Christmas money, and virtually all my disposable income, because I understood that they were in financial need. Did it help them? Maybe in the short term, but it ended up making them feel entitled to my personal wealth ("wealth") and belongings. I learned the hard way that sometimes giving money to people in financial straits is really not a service at all.

Same goes with food and shelter. Sometimes feeding, clothing, and sheltering people blesses their lives and makes them grateful. Sometimes it ends up making people, again, entitled.

In my post on permission, I talked about the idea of unwanted service. Having been the recipient of unwanted "service" for years, it never occurred to me that I could be participating in the same thing. Isn't there a difference between someone "serving" by "reorganizing" your kid's toys, versus giving someone a nice meal when you know they have trouble affording food?

In my head, I was being uselessly "served" because no one needs organized toys and the "organization" was not just unneeded, it was unwanted. In my head, I was serving usefully because people do need to eat.

But it turns out the picture is more complex than that. Part of it goes back to marketing psychology.

How many life-sustaining needs are on this list?
Image here.
Needs, Wants, and the Human Mind

You can't market to people's needs.

Yes, people need this and that--they need to take better care of their bodies, they need to get out of debt, and so on. But people don't care about what they need as much as they care about what they want. Are you more likely to buy an information product with a slogan of "Get a Six-Pack Fast!" or "Eat Food With More Nutrition!" People might need to eat more nutritionally-dense food, but they are unlikely to pay for a service that markets itself that way. What they actually want is a hot body with six-pack abs.

In business, you need to focus on giving people what they want. Their actual needs are just not as important to them. Or rather, perhaps it's really that people are just plain not the best at deciphering the difference between what is a need and what is a want. But regardless, people respond most to their own desires,--even more so than to their own needs.

That's why if you are selling weight loss materials, it's smarter to focus on making people look better than on making them healthier. Most people know they need to be healthier, but in real life many people are more motivated by increasing their sex appeal than by saving their health.

This is why service based on needs can backfire so easily: People might need this or that, but if it's not in alignment with what they want, the "service" provided will backfire. The people being "served" will not be grateful (and might even be offended) and the people providing the "service" will be hurt and confused. Service cannot be determined only by our perception of people's "needs;" people don't care about their needs nearly as much as they care about their wants. If a service meets a need but conflicts in any way with what a person wants, it will not be perceived as service.

We all know what we NEED, but that doesn't always match
up with what we WANT. Wants win. Image here
In my article on obtaining permission, I used the analogy of my "broken" fence: I'd taken apart the fence around my garden to amend the soil. A friend saw that my fence "needed" fixing and took it upon herself to kindly fix it for me. It was a sweet gesture but emphatically not what I wanted or needed for my garden. That "service" was not a service at all--except to the extent that "it's the thought that counts."

But I think most of us would rather have our service count, rather than merely our good intentions.

God gets it

I have always found it fascinating that when lecturing us on service, God makes it clear that service is to be determined by both needs and wants.

Here is a link to a topical guide search of "needs" and "wants." Examine the following (emphasis mine):

Doctrine and Covenants 82:1717 And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just— 
Mosiah 18:2929 And this he said unto them, having been commanded of God; and they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants
Doctrine and Covenants 51:33 Wherefore, let my servant Edward Partridge, and those whom he has chosen, in whom I am well pleased, appoint unto this people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs
Doctrine and Covenants 42:3333 And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.
For a long time that really bothered me--as I think it can bother anyone who has a clear understanding of the difference between needs and wants. In my head I guess I was thinking of, you know, the situation where you get people who take advantage of the system based on their wants, rather than limiting their requests to their actual needs.

Image here.
But now I see these concepts in a different light. God knows everything and so of course He knows that people value what they want more than what they need. Part of the gospel, according to these scriptures, anyway, is developing the wisdom to serve people in that light: taking into consideration not just obvious needs but the desires of people's hearts. If a "service" doesn't match a person's wants, it's just. Not. Service.


The practical application of all of this goes back to my post on obtaining permission to serve. It's the idea that "observe, then serve" is fundamentally incorrect unless it takes into account the served person's desires for service. The Golden Rule is good--but the Platinum Rule might be even better.

Image here.


Good intentions are not enough. It is unwise to think of yourself as giving service if the people you are serving do not agree. Service needs to be based not just on people's needs, but on their wants, too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

own it. own all of it.

The other day, someone in a Facebook group I belong to posted a link to a video you can watch here. The video is about attracting money when your husband won't--basically, the situation where a wife has "good" money beliefs and the husband has "bad" beliefs, and the wife just wants to change her husband's beliefs so they can attract more money.

In the video, she points out that as long as there is an emotional reaction to another person's belief system, as long as there is that emotional connection to, "How can I get that person to change? How can that person change??" you are giving your power away. You are the one, as Tuttle says, "copping out" on the notion of yourself as the one that generates your own reality.
Own it. Image here.

So what is the answer?

The answer is to own it all. Every time you have an emotional reaction to another person's limiting belief, that is a sign that the belief is still a part of you. As long as it still triggers you in some way, it is a part of you.

So the answer is not to blame the other people in your life for their limiting beliefs; the answer is to look within yourself for the aspect of the limiting belief that is still there.

Own it all.

Own it all.

Own it all.

You are the creator of your reality. You decide how you respond to situations.
My aunt always says, pain is necessary, but suffering is optional. When we change who we are on the inside, the outsides of our lives change too.

You create your reality.
Image here.

An experience that comes to mind involves a very close relationship. I could tell that something was deeply wrong about it, but I couldn't tell what. I would blame the other person sometimes, blame myself other times, but since I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, it was hard to know what was accurate.

Then I got led to a bunch of information that radically altered my worldview. When I went to the temple about it, I had a series of incredible experiences that showed me that I really needed to change myself to bring my own self and actions into alignment with actual reality. This was a huge, horrible undertaking. But even though it was the hardest thing I'd ever done, I started working to change myself from the inside out in order to conform with some doctrine that I had previously assumed didn't apply to me.

Image here.
And lo and behold, once I had mastered the bulk of the necessary changes, the other person involved in this situation spontaneously changed. My personal changes had, to the other person, thrown into relief the changes this other person needed to make, and all of a sudden, literally overnight, everything was different. There was honesty. There were major lifestyle changes taking place. Me owning my own failings and addressing them somehow led to this other person recognizing their own failings and addressing those. I didn't even have to think about the other person's issues; just focusing on my own issues was enough to bring both of us into a whole new stage of the relationship.

Own it all.

If you are feeling emotionally triggered by something, that is the time to ask yourself: what limiting beliefs am I embracing right now? What core assumptions do I need to change about my life in order to be happy again? What lessons should I be learning from this?

Image here.
Once we learn the right lessons, once we make the right changes to our own hearts, the situations around us spontaneously change to accommodate the changes we have made. This is because life is a series of lessons. We all have so much to learn in order to become more like God, God's not going to waste our time continuing a lesson that we've already learned. If a situation perpetuates, it's because we haven't learned from it sufficiently.

So take a look at the people around you, and take a look at yourself. Instead of allowing yourself to feel boxed in by the beliefs and actions of others, examine yourself closely with the question: what about the actions of others is triggering me? What is it in my heart that allows that to be a trigger? Inevitably, there will be something in you that is allowing you to respond to triggers that way. Once you discover it, with God's help you can eradicate it--but first you have to own it.

Own it all. You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for your actions. No one else's beliefs or choices can influence how you feel unless you let them.

So own it all and change your life. The light at the other end of the tunnel is calling you!

Monday, September 7, 2015

energetic markings

When you google "energetic markings," you don't get anything relevant to what I'm going to write about today. I could have sworn I'd blogged about it before, but I guess I haven't--though I have taught about it in at least one of my classes (the one on Opening the Mind's Eye, I believe).

What are they?
Image here.

Energetic markings, as I call them, are basically symbols that float above the head. They come in shapes and words. While most people can't see them consciously with the physical eyes, we all are aware of each others' markings on a subconscious level and we react accordingly.

Energetic Shapes

So far I have observed five different energetic shapes associated with people. Pyramids, spheres, cubes, rectangle prisms, and cylinders. I'm not sure what they all mean. I know that the pyramid indicates essentially psychic/spiritual ability--if you are the sort of person who spends a lot of time with ancestors visiting them for whatever reason (requesting temple work, passing on messages, etc), you likely have a pyramid in your aura above the head.

Muscle testing and looking into my own energetic shapes, it looks like the cube is associated with precognition, the sphere is related to awareness of others' thoughts, and the rectangular prism seems to be associated with the ability to manipulate the spiritual energy field through the power of intention.

 Most people don't have any shapes over their heads. It seems that these markings turn on when a person reaches some sort of level of ability in whatever area. Some people are born very gifted and have shapes from the beginning; some people are not and their shapes only appear after a kind of awakening moment.

Energetic words

The words thing fascinates me. Basically, everyone seems to have between one and four phrases written above their heads that seem to act as instructions for how other people should treat them. As an example, one person I know has a very strong "INTERRUPT ME" marking over his head. I'm assuming most people can't see it like I can, but everyone acts on it. This poor person can barely get through a sentence in a conversation without being interrupted!

Don't own this name tag? You might still be projecting
the message. Image here.
Other examples:

A sign saying "VICTIMIZE ME" or "I AM A VICTIM; TREAT ME ACCORDINGLY." One person I know in particular has this thing going on and everywhere this person goes, they feel completely victimized.

One friend had a sign basically inviting creepy men to come up to her and try to take advantage of her. We recently experimented with removing that marking and replacing it with one that attracted marriageable type men instead.

In my own self, a month or so ago I discovered that one of my markings is "MISINTERPRET MY MOTIVES." This explains so much! Ever since I was a kid I've felt like my motives were completely misunderstood. In high school people thought I was aloof and self-absorbed when I was really terribly shy. One person thought I was faking a severe illness to get attention (in real life, I had chronic bronchitis that was completely out of control--no faking!). Once a friend accused me of going out of my way to make her feel bad about herself when my intention was the actual exact opposite (of course, she had a major victim program and marking going on as well--so our markings kind of intensified the negativity of the situation).

Energetic words: language?

The thing about these energetic words is that I don't know what language they are in. It is not English. So I can't just read them. That's one reason it took me so long to realize what my own marker said. I've had to pray about it and really ponder it out and so on--the answer came in a flash but it wasn't because I read the words.

With clients, I can sometimes understand the meanings of the phrases just intuitively. But I've never had a client where I was privileged to understand all their energetic markings. It seems that the information is made available as needed. When the energy pattern is ready to be identified or changed, it can become available to the practitioner as appropriate.

We all have them

Everyone has at least one energetic marking over their head. Most people don't have shapes but everyone seems to have words. You can find out how many phrases you have in your energetic signature by praying about it or muscle testing.

Changing energetic markings

It is possible to change energetic markings. Recently I pulled my MISINTERPRET MY MOTIVES sign and replaced it with something better that felt appropriate. I haven't noticed major changes in my life yet, but it looks like and muscle tests that the change went through. It took me decades to realize I had that sign up in the first place, so it might take some time before I realize how much of a difference the alteration makes.


We all have energetic markings that signal to the world how we should be treated. Energetic shapes and words help other people's subconscious minds know how to treat us. If your energetic markings are not satisfactory to you, they can be changed.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

we are already gathering.

We are already gathering.

Gathering? Image here.
It hit me recently that people are gathering all the time. Some make a big deal of "The Gathering," of this idea of the Saints all being called to one place or one series of places or something, but the reality is that we are all gathering and re-gathering all the time. It's the "birds of a feather" principle. Like attracts like. When people are gathered with people they are dissimilar from, they get uncomfortable and self-select out.

The Gospel, in the end, is all about self-selection. We all choose where we end up, when it comes right down to it. But this principle doesn't just apply in the eternities. It applies right now.

We see it in action every single day.

This is why people become friends, or drift apart. This is why people join certain groups and not others. We all yearn to be with other people like us. We seek it out. And when we find ourselves surrounded by people that are not like us, we get uncomfortable and seek a way out.

This is why it is so telling that "charity seeketh not her own." The pure love of Christ transcends the gathering instinct--it is what inspires selfless acts of love towards people that don't belong in a person's in-group. When charity is lacking, it is evident in society because society itself fractures.
Image here.

And yet, though charity reaches out to others who do not necessarily have charity, there is a time when even charity draws the line and exits the scene. At some point, Lot leaves Sodom and Gomorrah and Brigham Young leads the Saints West and Moses takes the Israelites from Egypt and Nephi and the Brother of Jared escape to a promised land. There's a time for selfless mingling, and there's a time for gathering.

Gathering, Respect, and Standards

One thing that I've been considering is the idea of respect. When I was growing up in the good old 90's, it seemed like the worst thing that could happen was if you got "dissed," the slang term for "disrespected." Everyone wants to be respected.

The problem is that everyone has different standards. Some people have high standards and some people have low standards. In the end, most of these standards come down to behavior. Some people think it's okay to act this way or that way, and some people think it is not okay to act this way or that way.

When people with different standards interact closely, tension is bound to arise. People with high standards may feel disrespected when people with low standards act in a way they deem inappropriate (even if the people with low standards are not intentionally being disrespectful); people with low standards may feel judged based on their behavior when acting around people with higher standards, and take their feelings as a sign of being disrespected (even if those with higher personal standards are not actually judging). No one likes the feeling of being disrespected, and so eventually parties with different standards separate. This kind of gathering happens with or without a "Call Out" or anything like that. This kind of gathering is happening today.

Gathering in groups, gathering in the church
Image here.

Birds of a feather flock together, as they say. This will become even more true as world events become more polarizing. You may see cliques of people in your ward or community. You may see people dividing along racial, political, religious, or philosophical lines (or all of the above!). You may experience such a polarization within your own family: close friends and family members voluntarily disassociating with the rest of you because of these polarizing differences.

We are all gathering to places that feel "right." When some place no longer feels right, we move on, or suffer the consequences of deeply-seated spiritual discomfort. This has always been true, but is getting more true, again, as things get more and more polarized in the world in every way.

Gathering by light

Another energy healer I work with sometimes once mentioned the concept of light and darkness: they are allergic to each other. When people with a lot of light interact with people with a lot of darkness, there is an obvious polarity and rapid gathering to opposite places. This can be true even of people with a lot of inner light, who merely have allowed a bushel to come over them. The overall projection of light and darkness appears to be the important thing. A person with a lot of inner light who has embraced a bushel of fear will not always feel very comfortable in the presence of someone with a lot of inner light and no bushel. Often those types will prefer to congregate with others of the same type.

Who are you gathering with?

Who are you gathering with? Who are the people you are being drawn to? Why are you being drawn to them? Who are you being repelled from? Why?

Where, geographically speaking, are you feeling called? Are you feeling called to a place or called from a place? Why?

Sometimes the whys evade us. Sometimes they are part of the mysteries of life we have to wait to understand until we get there. Sometimes the whys are very clear. Sometimes understanding the whys helps us understand ourselves and speed along the lessons we need to learn.

Maybe you don't feel like you are being gathered at all. Maybe you have no local friends who feel the way you do about things. Or maybe you just don't know how those friends feel because they don't want to talk about it. Or because you haven't asked. Maybe being gathered still feels theoretical, rather than very, very literal.

What does it mean to be gathered?
Image here.

Does gathering mean you have to be with other people? Is gathering literal or figurative? Can you be "gathered" and still be the only person you know locally who shares your interests or opinions or faith? Questions to consider.

My personal opinion is that God gathers us all to the places we need to be, when we need to be there--and sometimes, people are "gathered" to places where the only people they are gathered with are their own families.

Internet dictionaries offer varying definitions for the term "gathered;" one definition of "gather" is to "collect from different places," and another definition is to "harvest." I think overall we're not being harvested yet, but we are definitely being collected from different places--however that means to us in our individual situations.

When we gather together in the Lord's name, it doesn't matter if there are only two of us. People gathered together in God's name have Him in their midst.


We don't need to feel like we should be waiting for a "call out" to gather; we need to realize that we are already gathering. The gathering has already begun, and every time we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we are allowing ourselves to be gathered further.

Taking off our metaphysical bushels of fear and allowing our inner lights to shine will allow for a much more positive gathering experience as we gather with others who are unafraid to share their love of the Gospel.

Friday, September 4, 2015

why I don't fear September 2015--and why you shouldn't either

There's been a lot of fear and anxiety surrounding the dreaded month of September 2015--the dreaded month that is already here!

Image here.
Prepper sites are buzzing. Economists are watching the stock markets with wary eyes. Here is a list of 33 things that are supposed to happen this month, including things like the end of this Shemitah cycle, the final supermoon in a quad of Biblical blood moons, and the Pope addressing Congress for the first time ever, in conjunction with the introduction of the United Nations' new 2030 Agenda. This list doesn't even include the Mercury retrograde set to begin on September 17. October 1, 2015 marks the beginning of the final 4.3-year period in the 86-year cycle from the onset of socialism in 1934. This has been the month to watch for several years.

On the groups I belong to on Facebook, I see and read a lot of fear. People are feeling anxious and afraid of what may or may not be coming, particularly with regards to the completion of this Shemitah cycle and a possible economic crash around the date of September 13--which, yes, is a Sunday. However this Shemitah cycle resolves itself, the actual associated potential stock market crash will not happen on that exact day. But how things play out has yet to be seen.

Image here.
And truly: the future is the future and no one really knows it. Maybe nothing interesting will happen at all this month, and wouldn't that be great.

But on the other hand, something might. And it's that possibility that weighs on people's hearts.

So I'm here to say: I'm not afraid of September 2015, and I'm not afraid of an economic shift, and I'm not afraid of anything that this month, or future months, might bring. And you don't have to be afraid, either.

Let's talk vibration.

The Vibrational Shift

Has everything been feeling out of control lately? Murders are rising in cities nationwide, Christians are being slaughtered en masse in the middle east, Planned Parenthood is butchering our children and selling them for spare parts, and in the meantime, our president is busy doing really high priority stuff like renaming mountains. Glenn Beck posted an important note on Facebook this morning of a list of ten significant things that just happened yesterday--a sobering look at the reality we are currently facing.

Read the rest here.
The fact is that our planet is undergoing a gigantic vibrational shift--we are shifting to a higher vibration on a global level. Energetically speaking, this is a good thing. The higher the vibrations, the better! But then, if the whole world is raising in vibration, why do things appear to be getting worse?

It's like shaking stuff through a sieve. The harder the sieve is shaken, the quicker things separate. You get the fine stuff on the one end, and the big stuff is caught in the sieve. What's happening with a global increase in vibrational energy is essentially a separation, or, some might say, a gathering.

You may be interested to do a scripture keyword search for "shake." God uses shaking to divide the righteous from the wicked--and in particular to punish the wicked. When God shakes things at higher and higher vibrations, people who are already vibrating at such a level are fine. It's the people stuck at lower operational frequencies that suffer.

Examine the following scriptures (emphasis mine):
24 Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish; - D&C 35:24
Sieve. Image here.
 56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil—yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center. - D&C 10:56
God makes the heavens shake for our good--and causes the wicked to shake to the center. During the vibrational shift this month, it is crucial to align our hearts with God's heart by keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures, praying, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. Frankly, this is crucial all the time. But if you are worried about the things that could happen this month, those are the imperatives that will keep your head above water.

If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear

As I was searching the scriptures, I came across D&C 38:30, the famous "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear" verse. I quote it here and ask you to notice the interesting phrasing.
30 I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. - D&C 38:30
Right before this verse, the Lord explains that we do not know the hearts of men in our own land. This verse makes it clear that we have a choice: we can discover the secret doings of the modern-day Gadiantons in our midst by the scriptures and inspiration or by the revelation of their wickedness--and we learn that if we learn about their evil because they reveal it to us, it will "speak in [our] ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth."

To me, what this means is:
1. There is a voice that will shake the earth. 
2. If we are not wise and aware of the modern-day Gadiantons, with God's perspective on them, we will learn about them the hard way--in a way that speaks to our ears louder than God's voice speaks to us.  
3. When we allow ourselves to listen to that loud voice of revealed wickedness, rather than the voice of wisdom of the scriptures, it is only then that we are afraid. 
Ten virgins. Image  here.
We talk a lot about food storage and water storage and other emergency preparedness, but in the end, the most important preparedness is spiritual preparedness: storing up wisdom in our hearts, and being like the wise virgins in the parable of the ten virgins.


The earth is undergoing a serious vibrational shift--but as we raise our own frequencies through prayer, scripture study, Sabbath day observance, and general growth of faith, we ensure that as the sieve shakes, we will enjoy the Lord's divine guidance and protection in whatever form that may take. We can trust that no matter how the shaking turns out, we will be living in accordance with God's highest ideal for our lives--so we can face our difficulties with grace. As we immerse ourselves in the scriptures and build our faith with an understanding of how God delivers His people from the hands of the wicked, we can live with faith and hope instead of fear.