The Difference Between Creative Visualization and Positive Affirmations

Well, in a nutshell the former tend to support you in manifesting what you love and the latter tend to separate you from what you love and wither your creative power.

Typically, the way Positive Affirmations are used is to pretend that you have something that you in fact don’t have, the superstition being that positive expectancy is a manifesting force. The futility of this practice, and detriment too, can be explained with a quick refresher in Metaphysics 101.

The part of you that manifests your reality is the Subconscious Mind, the Feminine aspect of Consciousness, and it manifests according to the messages it receives. The half wise conclusion is that if you give the Subconscious the message that you are one with something then it will manifest it. If only it were that simplistic and shallow. Unfortunately the Subconscious actually looks at the underlying assumption behind statements and behavior and then draws those conclusions into reality.

In our Natural Success trainings we ask our participants who would obviously bother spending energy affirming that the abundance of the universe is steadily flowing their way…a rich person or a poor person? Their answer is predictable because they know as well as anyone’s Subconscious that only someone who feels separate from abundance would be trying to resolve the tension of their lack. I have friends who live on social security and I have friends who are rolling in money, and only my poorest friends have fridge magnets and stickers proclaiming the inevitability of riches flowing their way. My rich friends prefer to have clean, reassurance free surfaces.

If it’s obvious to our relatively puny Self Conscious, it’s going to be obvious to our all powerful Creative Spirit, namely our Subconscious. Only someone who feels separate from their beauty, say, would make affirmations about being beautiful. Or only someone who feels intellectually inferior would make affirmations about being smart. The more you affirm any quality, the more you are going to drive it away, by virtue of the underlying Subconscious message.

This is born out by participants in our Natural Success training’s who testify how Positive Affirmations have not only not helped manifest their end results, but have also left them with an ever increasing sense of dis-empowerment. The creative failure inevitably leads to more superstition. They entertain rationalizations like they’re not feeling the end result enough, or that they don’t believe in the end result enough. They might start seeking to uncover and clear their negative beliefs. And that’s just the edge of swamp.

Creative Visualization on the other hand is simply the practice of actively imagining an end result one aspires to. Visualizing an end result, assuming it is not accompanied by the presumptuous denial of an affirmation, is a vivid message to the Subconscious of something that one wants to manifest.

There is a lot of scientific evidence that visuals impress on the creative levels of mind more strongly than intellectually expressed ideas, so it’s not surprising that Creative Visualization is effective to some extent as a manifesting tool. Where it is most powerfully applied, though, is when one understands that it is a vital element in a creative structure that compels end results. Without the other elements of the structure it will remain either feeble or inconsistent as a manifesting tool.

Really what drives the Subconscious to make the creative leaps that lead to the manifestation of brilliant end results is Creative Tension. Creative Tension is established by the self conscious discrepancy between where someone is and where they want to be. And it is this art that one must really master if one means to become a powerful manifestor in life. To know how to establish pure Vision, acknowledge physical and psychological Current Reality, and then focus the ensuing tension and wield it until where one is and where one wants to be are the same place. And you can most probably see how Positive Affirmations have no place in this creative structure.

  • Written by William Whitecloud, Founder of Natural Success

The Quickest Way to take off in Life

What I’m realizing more and more, lately, is just how much time and energy people spend coping with their circumstances. And how little satisfaction it gives them when they  appear to have everything under control. Though I never came close to feeling in control of anything these last few months, I can certainly relate to the pressures of keeping it together. With the challenges of relocating my business to America and creating others to continue my work in Australia, managing moving my family to the USA in due course while living apart from them months at a time, polishing my latest book, The Last Shaman, and launching it as a self published work, and coordinating some upcoming safaris in Africa, I increasingly felt like I was going nuts. Until I began reading the first chapter of my first book, The Magician’s Way. When I read the following two paragraphs I almost cried with relief:

“Steve stopped talking and took a good look around us as if he wanted to make sure no one else was listening. I had the feeling he was about to let me in on a big secret. ‘You see,’ he began again in a hushed tone, ‘everything you’ve been taught about golf is a big myth. It’s driven by fear – the fear that we can’t hit a golf ball. Consequently, we don’t rely on our natural ability. We try to control the shot with our rational minds.

‘When you’re playing a shot, you’re standing in an invisible circle. Golfers believe that you hit a good shot by getting everything in the circle right, that if you can simultaneously control every aspect of the swing, then it will translate to getting the ball to do what you want it to. But golf is really about what’s outside the circle. It’s about the target. If you can go back to trusting your natural ability and just focus on the target, you’ll play excellent golf. You’ll be able to do anything you want.’ ”

We have a natural ability – in fact, who or what we are is pure creative spirit – but we become lost to our nature and go about life according to whatever beliefs we have about how to cope in view of the fact that we wont naturally create what we love. The swing circle is a metaphor for how we try to get everything under control in order to create the conditions we believe are necessary to achieve desired outcomes. I can’t help but think back to Michael Ellsberg’s book, The Education of Millionaires, where he points out how most people think that perfecting a craft will lead to success in a craft, where as the most successful people in any craft are mostly not the best in their field. Think of the actors and musicians we could mention here. As Michael points out, many people think that a PhD, the ultimate in academic validation, will translate into being more valuable in the work force, but nowadays PhDs are waiting on tables that billionaire college dropouts are eating at.

Most of the activity that we undertake is inessential. It’s what we BELIEVE needs to happen to get the results we’re after. But mostly what will ACTUALLY get the best results takes far less effort, and is different from what we think. Creativity, leadership, salesmanship are the skills that the guys and gals eating at the tables have that the PhDs serving them don’t have. Life for those being served is likely to be far more exciting, effortless and fulfilling. They will say, “I’m passionate about what I do, it’s not work.” The ones serving them will find paying the bills, studying endlessly and doing something that doesn’t express their true talent a drag.

For me, when I read those paragraphs in The Magician’s Way, I remembered that somewhere along the line the need to understand how everything would come together subconsciously tripped me into trying to take rational control of my personal and professional affairs. The more I tried to be in control, the less I trusted my natural ability. And the less I trusted my natural ability, the more the inessential but seemingly critical things needed to be taken care of.

Being reminded that I have a natural ability that can more effortlessly pull things together than my rational faculties can has allowed me to relax. When control is not the objective, the inessential activities that exist to achieve control stand down. And once that busy minded doing ceases, we can begin to see the obvious connection between relevant aspects of our creations, we notice what is obviously the most direct and effective action that we can take. It’s a function of inspiration, really, although inspiration, when you understand it, is simply an awareness of the obvious.

At the same time I don’t want to diminish the magic that our natural ability brings to bear. When I hit tennis balls for my dog I use my natural ability to hit the ball farther than I can when I try using effort. I choose a spot where I want the ball to land that is a real stretch for the strength of the racket I use – then I keep the spot in mind as I calmly hit the ball. I’m always amazed at how the ball always lands where I envisioned it landing. There is somehow an extra sweet spot on the racket that the ball connects with. Even if the ball goes off target, it will inevitably bounce back to the mark I chose. This combination of practical creativity and extraordinary luck always accompanies any process that has been handed over to natural ability. It truly is a wonder to behold.

Many people say that it takes a lot of will to let go and trust in the magic. Indeed it does. It’s really comparable to beginning to fly rather than walk everywhere. All our conditioning insists that we are not designed to fly. So when we begin to take off, we doubt how long we can stay aloft, and naturally fear that the higher we fly the further we’ll fall. But hey, even birds have to learn and practice how to fly. And as they will attest, it’s a skill worth learning. Sure beats the shit out of walking and hopping around.

On Trusting Yourself, Moving to America and Changing Definitions

Wow! Time doesn’t fly – it surreptitiously erases itself. It’s hard to believe that it’s thirty two years ago now that I was living in Israel. One of the things I loved about Israel was the music on the radio. Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming hit the airwaves in 1980 and I fell in love with the album. It seemed as if every time I turned on the radio Bob was singing,  “Trust yourself; if you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.” Well, I was always happy to hear those words but, obviously, I’ve been pretty slow in heeding them.

Now I’m in the United States of America and Bob’s words have come back to haunt me. Even though people assure me that everything happens at the right time, I know I should have landed here two or three years ago. That’s how far back I got the inner call to move over here. Instead, I made up a string of convincing projects to sidetrack myself. With hindsight, it’s unsurprising that things became a grind. The flow seemed so lacking in the end there that I even questioned whether the magic game was for me.

My reservations about moving to America were many and compelling. Letting the legacy of the Magician’s Way die in Australia was not a happy prospect. It was hard to see how the work would sustain without me to prop it up. Then there was the doom and gloom of the US economy, and the question asked by myself and many others as to how a complete unknown like me could hope to make it in the tightly sewn up Mind/Body/Spirit scene here. The picture portrayed of Americans outside of America is often not appealing; my family aren’t relishing uprooting themselves from their contented life to go live among people that come across as wrong in almost every way, starting with the accent. Coming here has been a leap of faith.

Well, I’ve finally stepped into the void and, man, have the hands of the Universe been there, not only to catch me but to hold me up to heights I never would have believed I’d reach so instantaneously. Turns out that magic will live on in Australia. My friends Peter Maloney and Ellen Lake have taken over the Magician’s Way community and business interests in Australia and already they have demonstrated that they are extremely competent custodians of magic. I can’t even begin to tell you of all the synchronicity that has arisen since I got here in America: the wonderful people I’ve met (dinner with Neale Donald Walsh was most probably the highlight), the phenomenal support that has emerged so spontaneously from every direction like iron filings to a magnet, and the great work my team and I have been able to achieve in just two weeks.

The grace at work in this monumental move is summed up by my appearance on Coast to Coast AM just days after I arrived, which sent my book, The Magician’s Way, into the top 100 on Amazon! Oh, and my wife and kids can relax. This is an awesome land populated by amazingly open hearted, generous and fun people. We’re going to fit right in here.

As for the state of the economy, what I’m working with is bigger than market forces. The truth is always the highest vibration, and as the alchemists say, you use the higher against the lower. This is about following my truth, and I’ve found out, once again, Bob Dylan is right: “If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.”

Metaphysical Myth: Will is Bad

If you have ever had the privilege to see into your own or another’s soul, you will know that we are all brilliant beyond measure and that we came here to shine like diamonds. When we do so, we not only uplift whatever world we are a part of, we also feel the thrill of being totally alive, what Joseph Campbell referred to as living our bliss. Yet, anyone with the true power to appreciate human greatness will also know that we fear our light. Former US President Bill Clinton, who gets paid up to 20 million dollars for a speech, says that to this day he is still filled with terror before he goes on stage.

The fact of the matter is that we all came here with a special gift to contribute to the amazing weave of life, and as such we have a unique nature possessed of special talents and abilities that serve us in fulfilling our purpose. This is what we at Natural Success call our Greatness or Genius and some like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela call our Light. And it is also true that we are all wounded in relation to our Greatness. Our egoic belief system is formed around beliefs that we are not viable being and expressing exactly who we are. Our egoic orientation in life, then, becomes about manufacturing what we unconsciously perceive to be a more socially acceptable identity. Of all the misconceptions we are subject to in life, this is the most disempowering of them all.

From personal experience and working closely with thousands of people over twenty years, I have been able to confirm time and time again that it is only when a person claims their true nature and purpose that they begin to manifest their dreams and experience their bliss. In my own case I always had a block around expressing my knowledge. Yet when I finally overcame this block enough to write my first book, The Magician’s Way, it connected me with my deep joy of writing. In practical terms I have made millions of dollars from a combination of book sales and the successful seminar business that the book promoted. As for making a contribution, imagine how satisfying it is when teenagers write to me and tell me that they wanted to kill themselves and that since reading my book they are once again back on track with their lives, or couples confide what a nightmare their relationships were and how they are now smooth sailing again.

The thing is, it takes Will to live your bliss. Like Bill Clinton, each of us have deep seated fears about being and doing what we were born to be and do. We may long for life to be a certain way, to take a certain path, but beginning to head in that direction brings up tensions, even pain. We feel bad for doing something for ourselves, maybe we feel incapable, or believe that we will starve in a profession where only a few succeed and many fail. The dragons vigilantly guarding the treasure of our true nature and purpose are as varied and unique as our own spirit. Most people, often even those that we admire as go-getters, are operating in a way that steers them clear of tension and pain. Yet the truly spiritual person, the creator, the warrior, the magician, they use their Will to hang out with the pain that says they can’t be true to themselves, and thereby are able to stand being in their Greatness, that inner territory out of which their genius and bliss arises.

There is a big alliance of pseudo-spiritual and personal development models in the world that hold that Will is bad, and that peace and abundance will flow from not imposing your Will in life. This fallacy is born of a number of short sighted conclusions, chief among them the observation that when we go for things in life it creates conflict, often with others and invariably within ourselves. And yes, when we give up on going for those things the tension eases. I wish I had a hundred dollars for every time I heard someone say, “I knew it was the right decision to give up on such and such, because now that I’m not going for it I feel a whole lot better.”

If feelings, especially good feelings, were the standard of measurement for how good life is or how true we are being to ourselves then these anti-will models would be valid and I myself would instantly abandon my will. But the thing is that our feelings, especially the heavily charged ones like shame, anger, fear, depression, frustration, emptiness, etc, are not reflections of reality as most people believe. Rather, they are personal reflections of limitation. Our negative emotions are merely telling us what beliefs we are holding about how we can’t have what we want in life.

By not using your Will in life to choose and go for things, you damn yourself in two ways. Firstly, you will not live your Greatness, only the pale shadow that is the identity you believed you had to assume for your survival.  Secondly, you have no potential for real and meaningful growth in life. The weak and the misguided believe that emotional stability is the aim of life. As such they will never see the self imposed limitations they are bound by, or more important even, go beyond them.

Will is not good or bad – it just is. Will is the mechanism by which we assign the power in our consciousness. There’s always a voice controlling us through our thoughts and feelings, telling us that who we really are can’t occupy the world we live in. And, at the same time, there’s a another voice crying out for us to unleash our true contribution. It’s all too easy to rationalize, especially with “spiritual” justifications, heeding the nay sayer within us. As we teach in our trainings at Natural Success, it is a much more vulnerable option to drop our protective concepts and follow our hearts. To say that it is also the more rewarding choice is a massive understatement. When you know the difference, you realize the one is drowning and the other is swimming. Thanks for that one, too, Joseph Campbell.

  • Written by William Whitecloud, Founder of Natural Success

Attracting More Money

Everywhere I go in the US, it seems, everyone is talking about money, and rhetorically asking what the hell they have to do to get some. Well, that kind of desperate focus is a sure way to repel the stuff, I assure you! When it comes to being set financially it helps to get a little more creative than worrying and trying hard. Here are some tips from our Secrets of Natural Success philosophy on getting set to open a flow of abundance in your life.

In a hundred radio shows I’ve done lately, caller after caller says to me: “I’m the same as everybody else, I’m trying to get a job. I’m doing what I’ve been taught. I’m imagining the end result, and I’m feeling the feeling of having that job. But nothing is happening.”

There are a few assumptions in these statements that reveal a lot about the true focus of those sharing them. One is that they’re “the same as EVERYONE”…NO ONE can get a job! Wrong, 10% of people don’t have a job (which isn’t even the same as saying they can’t get a job.) But here’s the doozy, the assumption that the power is outside of me, specifically in my circumstances. I rely on something that someone else has to provide. When they’re providing, I have; when they’re not providing, I have not.

Everyone seems to have learned that your focus creates your reality, so everyone thinks that by wishing for a job they should automatically have financial security. What they haven’t been taught is that our underlying assumptions reveal what our true focus is. The statements I offer in the paragraph above reveal that the underlying assumptions are that I am powerless, i.e. “I rely on what is outside of me for my viability, when it’s bad out there it’s bad for me.” And more insidious, “There are no jobs out there. I’m the same as EVERYONE, NO ONE can get a job!” Those are the unconscious messages, the true focus, what the caller is really telling me and, worse, them self. No doubt if they uttered a few more sentences they would reveal more negative assumptions.

If we mean to be powerful creators in our lives we have to begin assuming that the power is in us, that we have the power to attract our own viability, our own abundance. As such, we have to stop thinking about HOW we will get what we want and start Thinking about WHAT we want. People don’t want a job! Most people hate their jobs, anyway. We want to be able to thrive in life. That is WHAT we want! And that is what we have to start focusing on.

When we start focusing on the real end result we give our subconscious a whole new message: we are powerful; the possibility of us thriving is unlimited, not dependent on some negative condition. Now our imagination is freed up to find pathways to us having what we love, and finding that in accordance with what suits our own unique talents and natures. This sets up inspiration, not desperation.

As we teach in our Natural Success trainings, inspiration is the prime mover of manifestation. And it’s something that can be self consciously set up when you stop assuming that you don’t have your end result in you. And open up to receiving what you love in different ways than you think is THE way.

Open up to this insight and 2013 will turn out to be your Year of Abundance!! Guaranteed.

Think For Yourself and Grow Rich

It might be quite dated now, but a movie that had a profound effect on me was American Gigilo, especially the following scene…Cop: how can you do what you do? Gigilo: some people are above the law. Cop: these people that are above the law, how do they know? Gigilo: they ask themselves.

Another movie that affected me similarly was Cider House Rules, where one of the characters reads a list of restrictions posted in an itinerant workers’ dormitory and comments: “who ever made these rules doesn’t live here.”

Both of these scenes relate to a very fundamental principle of creativity which is what we teach at Natural Success. From an early age we are conditioned to believe that there are rules for everything and that the person who can best learn the rules and follow them the best has the best chance of coping in life. Yet if we mean to experience magic in our lives, by which I mean elevated end results in all areas of our life, then we need to start breaking the rules.

I don’t mean that we should become anti establishment rebels; that’s just a reaction to the rules which keeps the focus on the rules, anyway. But if you look at the levels of creativity, the lower levels include imitation and derivative while the higher levels include invention and innovation. Invention and innovation happen when people begin to go outside the boundaries and rules of convention.

Creativity, by definition, is a state in which we make connections that haven’t been made before and see fresh possibilities. I like to use Andy Warhol as an example, how he looked at a can of baked beans and (while everyone else saw nothing other than a gaseous staple food) he saw a work of art, now worth millions! The higher the level of creativity, the more exalted and rewarding are the connections and possibilities.

And here’s the thing. Creativity occurs when we start defying the rules we believe govern everything. When we know by referring to ourselves, that is when we are in touch with the most appropriate values, appreciate what suits us best and what leads to the highest good. There is no formula or recipe that covers directly who you are, your situation and your best alternative in each moment. Hence the relevance of that line, “whoever made these rules doesn’t live here.”

This is why Farid udin Attar, most exalted of Sufi poets said, “if someone asks you how to do something, tell them to forget everything they ever did before.” He might have added, “and everything they ever learned, too.”

It was Einstein who famously remarked that imagination is far more important than knowledge. One of the key premises we teach at our Natural Success trainings is that what you know once you have let go of all your concepts, that is the key to living life for fun and profit…to borrow from a famous magician.

  • Written by William Whitecloud, Founder of Natural Success