5 Speedy Ways to Access the Present Moment Where True Change Begins

True power resides in the present moment. We can tap into the present moment in many ways and it first involves turning off the phones, computers, TV’s and anything that might distract you once you begin. We are so often caught up in the past and reacting from past patterns and behaviors. Tapping into the present moment grants us the ability to assess how we are feeling; what is feeling wonderful? and what is feeling “off”? Presence also grants us the peace of mind we need to be in to receive guidance. As this world keeps moving faster and faster it becomes more and more challenging to get that quiet time. I am happy to offer you five (5) ways to tap into the present moment so you can move forward with clarity and purpose.

  1. Gratitude – When we pay gratitude for something in our life (person, thing, animal) we are calling to mind something we love. We are present in that observation and are giving appreciation and love. Thinking of that person, pet or object and imagining how you feel when you are with them; feeling all the emotions they bring to mind and letting yourself just sit in the goodness of that moment is an excellent way to get present. If you wanted to write a thank you, call someone or give extra pets to your pet, that is fine too! Paying gratitude for yourself is also wonderful. Think of five things you love to do or like about yourself and bask in the joy for a few minutes. Gratitude is a sure way to switch your mood quickly AND to put out much more positive energy to the Universe for it to respond to!
  2. Feeling Energy – Rub your hands together for 60 seconds rapidly. Now, put them a few inches apart and feel that connection and energy between them. You can play with the energy by moving your hands back and forth or close your eyes and imagine that energy traveling throughout your body. If you like, you can imagine it in a place of your body where you experience discomfort and visualize it bathing that challenging spot with light and healing energy. Know you can always rub your hands together again if that feeling starts to wane. Playing with this energy is a way to bring peace, connectivity and presence into your life in as little as a couple of minutes.
  3. Affirmations – Saying and claiming ways that you want to be and feel in your life can bring you to the present moment quickly and allow you to get excited about what you are creating. Our thoughts, words and emotions do contribute to the energy we put out and receive back from the Universe. In taking even a few minutes a day to affirm to ourselves, “I am working on being my best self”, “I am a powerful creator”, “I accept myself as I am”, “I am limitless”, “I am open to receiving guidance” or the countless other affirmations you can come up with. you are bringing yourself to the current moment by claiming what you are. You are also taking that moment to come up with what you want to affirm. A suggestion is to come up with something that won’t meet extreme resistance. Saying “I am a millionaire” if you are in debt might meet a ton more resistance and cause discomfort instead of “I am open to and pursuing more opportunities to bring more money into my life”.
  4. Self Love/Gratitude – Coming up with reasons you love yourself and/or paying gratitude for yourself for things you have done that are wonderful – instead of berating yourself for what you feel you might have done wrong – is a strong way to be present and shift your energy. It can be something nice you did or said. It can be the fact that you love to cook, write, are a good listener, or love to dance. Everyone has many gifts and reasons to be grateful for themselves. It is simply that we are not taught to focus there and instead tend to magnify the things we feel we have said or done wrong. This simple exercise brings you to the present moment and a deep sense of self-love and gratitude.
  5. Sensory Meditation – There are so many ways to meditate and I don’t feel one works for all people. In my own life, I use many forms of meditation and the sensory meditation is one of the most effortless. For this you first need to turn off all distractions. Bring yourself to the current moment and you can do this with any sense, but the ones I find easiest to tap into are sight or hearing. If you are doing the one for hearing, close your eyes and focus on what you hear. Usually we are only hearing a fraction of what is going on around us. To begin with you might hear traffic, or the wind or if you are inside the whirring of something electronic. As you begin to tune in, you will hear many other sounds as well. If you are outside you might also hear birds, someone talking in the distance, rustling of animals moving around, etc. This has such a calming effect as we are truly tuning into the current moment and opening up that sense more than we usually allow for. This can be done in only a few minutes and can invite such a sense of calm and peace.

In my book, A Short Path to Change, I offer many more tools and exercises to become present. In becoming present, we are connecting to our true selves – usually well hidden by the constant barrage of thoughts that control our day. There is such power in the present moment. In my book I not only teach you how to access the present moment, but how to harness that power to begin to create real change and manifestations. True change does not need to take much time and effort and is always available to us as long as we know we are worthy to take those few minutes a day to create what we want.

Avoid Mistakes When Using Audiovisuals in Training: It’s All in the Presentation

The misuse of audiovisuals can seriously detract from an effective training. Avoid these four mistakes:

Mistake #1: Not removing or turning off AV

We consciously use audiovisuals to focus the participants on a key point or picture. However, we forget that, unless we remove the flip chart or turn off the PowerPoint, that is where their focus will remain. When the audiovisual has served its purpose, remove it or turn it off. Flip the page on the flip chart easel or use a computer key or remote to blacken the screen until you need the next slide.

Mistake #2: Staying anchored to the projected AV

In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why a trainer needs to continually stand close to the projector or computer. There are lots of inexpensive remote controls on the market. A trainer who is tied to the audiovisual equipment is just as static and uninteresting to watch as a trainer who is tied to a lectern. Besides, it is pretty difficult to physically engage with participants when you can’t move.

Mistake #3: Placing all content on the AV

If all of the training content is really on the PowerPoint, then there are two basic conclusions to make. First, either there are a lot of slides or the font size is too small to read and the slide is too filled with text. Second, there is no real need for a trip to a training room. Save travel costs, cancel the training and simply mail the PowerPoint out to the participants.

Mistake #4: Keeping the room lights dim

Yes, we want the participants to be able to see any projected audiovisuals. Yes, dimming the lights can make those projections easier to see on the screen. But there are three problems if you keep the room dim. First, if the participants are only expected to sit and watch the screen without taking notes, they will easily fall into a relaxed mode and possibly nod off. Second, the energy in the room will dissipate quickly. Third, if the participants are expected to take notes, they won’t be able to see. So find a happy medium. If possible, just dim the row of lights directly in front of the screen. If that is not possible, make sure that the projected audiovisual can be clearly seen in full light.

Avoiding these four mistakes and improving how the audiovisuals are presented should make the participant’s learning experience much more effective and enjoyable.

How to Negotiate Down Credit Card Debt Yourself

It’s very easy to start drowning in credit card debt very quickly. All it takes is the loss of a job, large medical bills, or other unforeseen expenses or setbacks to put you on a trail that leads to high interest payments and ultimately financial ruin. However, if you are in over your head currently, there is a way out. You may be able to negotiate down your credit card debt.

The most effective way to negotiate your debt is to call the company yourself. There are many debt consolidation companies out there today, but if you don’t know which one you’re using, they could easily unnecessarily ruin your credit score or charge you unnecessary fees.

When you call your credit company, you have three different avenues you can go down to negotiate your credit card debt. You can ask to have your APR reduced, monthly payments cut back, or even have the total amount of debt you owe slashed. Depending on how far in debt and how far behind on payments you are, there’s several different tactics you can employ.

Try to Lower Your APR First

A high APR can ensure that you will be in credit card debt for a long time. You will never get out of debt spending all your money on interest and not on your principle. This is also one of the easiest things to negotiate with your credit card company because of the cut-throat competition in the credit card market. Calling your company to reduce your payments may even work if you’re not yet behind on payments. Being a paying, loyal customer may even help you with lowering your APR.

To accomplish this, call your bank and tell them that you’ve gotten either a better offer from another credit card or a balance transfer offer. Most times your bank will be willing to negotiate down to a lower rate for you to keep you as a customer. However, if your interest rates are high because you’ve missed several payments, this tactic may not work. Your company may be reluctant to lower your rate until you’ve proven that you can pay on time.

Next Try to Lower Your Monthly Payment

If you are late on your bills, but haven’t yet been referred to a collection agency, the surest way to get rid of some of your debt burden is to attempt to negotiate your monthly payments. The goal is to get your payment low enough that you can live and don’t have to run up any more credit card debt. Be warned, however, that paying off less of your principle each month means you’ll be in credit card debt much longer than if you could make the full payment.

When you call your company, make sure that you are prepared, especially if you’re not yet late on your payments. List out all the reasons you cannot make your payments, and don’t be afraid to try to pull on a few heartstrings. Your account manager will be much more willing to lower your payments if you make a convincing argument.

Negotiating Down the Debt You Owe

If your account is in collections, that is you are so behind on your payments your account has been turned over from the credit card company to a collections company, negotiating away some of your debt may be an option for you. If you are able to make a lump sum payment for a certain percentage of your debt, the company in most circumstances will accept it.

This is because when your account has passed into collections, the goal of the collections company is to receive some kind of money from you. As your account becomes more and more past due and the collection agency’s chances of receiving any payment become less and less, they are more likely to make a settlement. The fact that your account is so far past due is proof that you are a risk for non-payment. This makes it in the collection agency’s best interests to accept a lump sum payment from you because it is a sure thing. Otherwise they may not get any money in the future at all.

While this may seem like an easy way out, you should not let your accounts go into collection just because you are having trouble paying your bills. Debt negotiations DO go on your credit report and include how much was negotiated away. This can worsen your credit score and make getting a loan in the future harder and more expensive. However, this credit report hit you take from debt negotiation is far less than that you would take if you declared bankruptcy.