Assertiveness for Earth Angels: How to Be Loving Instead of Too NiceDoreen Virtue
Do people take advantage of your niceness? In this groundbreaking book, Doreen Virtue teaches Earth Angels —extremely sweet people who care more about others’ happiness than their own—how to maintain their inner peace and loving nature while at the same time holding boundaries. You’ll discover how to overcome fears about saying no, and how to ask for what you want from those around you and from the universe.
Assertiveness for Earth Angels is for anyone who wants to learn the art of speaking up in relationships and in their activism about issues related to the world. Whether you need more assertiveness with your family, on the job, or in your healing work, you’ll appreciate Doreen’s gentle-but-firm approach to negotiating your earthly needs in heavenly ways!
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ALSO BY DOREEN VIRTUE Books/Calendar/Kits/Oracle Board Living Pain Free (with Robert Reeves, N.D.; available March 2015) The Lightworker's Survival Guide (with Charles Virtue; available January 2015) Angels of Abundance (with Grant Virtue; available August 2014) The Big Book of Angel Tarot (with Radleigh Valentine; available July 2014) Angel Dreams (with Melissa Virtue; available April 2014) Angel Astrology 101 (with Yasmin Boland; available March 2014) Angels of Love (with Grant Virtue available January 2014) Angel Detox (with Robert Reeves, N.D.; available January 2014) How to Heal a Grieving Heart (with James Van Praagh) The Essential Doreen Virtue Collection Whispers from Above 2014 Calendar The Miracles of Archangel Gabriel Mermaids 101 Flower Therapy (with Robert Reeves, N.D.) Mary, Queen of Angels Saved by an Angel The Angel Therapy® Handbook Angel Words (with Grant Virtue) Archangels 101 The Healing Miracles of Archangel Raphael The Art of Raw Living Food (with Jenny Ross) Signs from Above (with Charles Virtue) The Miracles of Archangel Michael Angel Numbers 101 Solomon’s Angels (a novel) My Guardian Angel (with Amy Oscar) Angel Blessings Candle Kit (with Grant Virtue; includes booklet, CD, journal, etc.) Thank You, Angels! (children’s book with Kristina Tracy) Healing Words from the Angels How to Hear Your Angels Realms of the Earth Angels Fairies 101 Daily Guidance from Your Angels Divine Magic How to Give an Angel Card Reading Kit Angels 101 Angel Guidance Board Goddesses & Angels Crystal Therapy (with Judith Lukomski) Connecting with Your Angels Kit (includes booklet, CD, journal, etc.) Angel Medicine The Crystal Children Archangels & Ascended Masters Earth Angels Messages from Your Angels Angel Visions II Eating in the Light (with Becky Black, M.F.T., R.D.) The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children Healing with the Fairies Angel Visions Divine Prescriptions Healing with the Angels “I’d Change My Life If I Had More Time” Divine Guidance Chakra Clearing Angel Therapy® The Lightworker’s Way Constant Craving A-Z Constant Craving The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome Losing Your Pounds of Pain Audio/CD Programs The Healing Miracles of Archangel Raphael Angel Therapy® Meditations Archangels 101 (abridged audio book) Fairies 101 (abridged audio book) Goddesses & Angels (abridged audio book) Angel Medicine (available as both 1- and 2-CD sets) Angels among Us (with Michael Toms) Messages from Your Angels (abridged audio book) Past-Life Regression with the Angels Divine Prescriptions The Romance Angels Connecting with Your Angels Manifesting with the Angels Karma Releasing Healing Your Appetite, Healing Your Life Healing with the Angels Divine Guidance Chakra Clearing DVD Program How to Give an Angel Card Reading Oracle Cards (divination cards and guidebook) Guardian Angel Tarot Cards (with Radleigh Valentine; available December 2014) Past Life Oracle Cards (with Brian Weiss, M.D.; available October 2014) Cherub Angel Cards for Children (available June 2014) Angels of Abundance Tarot Cards (with Radleigh Valentine; available May 2014) Talking to Heaven Mediumship Cards (with James Van Praagh) Archangel Power Tarot Cards (with Radleigh Valentine) Flower Therapy Oracle Cards (with Robert Reeves, N.D.) Indigo Angel Oracle Cards (with Charles Virtue) Angel Dreams Oracle Cards (with Melissa Virtue) Mary, Queen of Angels Oracle Cards Angel Tarot Cards (with Radleigh Valentine and Steve A. Roberts) The Romance Angels Oracle Cards Life Purpose Oracle Cards Archangel Raphael Healing Oracle Cards Archangel Michael Oracle Cards Angel Therapy® Oracle Cards Magical Messages from the Fairies Oracle Cards Ascended Masters Oracle Cards Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards Saints & Angels Oracle Cards Magical Unicorns Oracle Cards Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards Archangel Oracle Cards Magical Mermaids and Dolphins Oracle Cards Messages from Your Angels Oracle Cards Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards Healing with the Angels Oracle Cards All of the above are available at your local bookstore, or may be ordered by visiting: Hay House USA: www.hayhouse.com® Hay House Australia: www.hayhouse.com.au Hay House UK: www.hayhouse.co.uk Hay House South Africa: www.hayhouse.co.za Hay House India: www.hayhouse.co.in Doreen’s website: www.AngelTherapy.com Copyright © 2013 by Doreen Virtue Published and distributed in the United States by: Hay House, Inc.: www.hayhouse.com® •Published and distributed in Australia by: Hay House Australia Pty. Ltd.: www.hayhouse.com.au •Published and distributed in the United Kingdom by: Hay House UK, Ltd.: www.hayhouse.co.uk •Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by: Hay House SA (Pty), Ltd.: www.hayhouse.co.za •Distributed in Canada by: Raincoast: www.raincoast.com •Published in India by: Hay House Publishers India: www.hayhouse.co.in Cover design: Tricia Breidenthal • Interior design: Riann Bender Cover artwork: Howard David Johnson All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use—other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews—without prior written permission of the publisher. The author of this book doesn’t dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Virtue, Doreen. Assertiveness for earth angels : how to be loving instead of “too nice” / Doreen Virtue. — 1st edition. pages cm ISBN 978-1-4019-2880-3 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Success. 2. Assertiveness (Psychology) I. Title. BJ1611.2.V57 2013 158.2—dc23 2013022689 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4019-2880-3 16 15 14 13 4 3 2 1 1st edition, November 201 Printed in the United States of America To the power of God, which resides within you and everyone. CONTENTS Preface: Earth Angels and Conflict Phobia Introduction: What Does It Mean to Be “Assertive”? PART I: Assertiveness Basics Chapter 1: It All Began with the Original Trauma Chapter 2: How to Be Assertive Chapter 3: No More Rescuing: Boundaries Without Guilt or Fear Chapter 4: How to Be Nice and Loving, Without Being a Pushover Chapter 5: Communication Skills for Earth Angels Chapter 6: Getting Rid of Guilt and Worry Chapter 7: Be Your Own Authority Figure PART II: Developing Assertiveness in Relationships Chapter 8: Earth Angels and Relationships Chapter 9: Toxic Relationships: How to Recognize and Handle Them Chapter 10: People Aren’t Fixer-Uppers Chapter 11: Enjoy Life, Instead of People-Pleasing Chapter 12: Karmic Relationships Chapter 13: Parental Assertiveness with a Strong-Willed Child Chapter 14: Assertiveness with Authority Figures PART III: Being Assertive Out in the World Chapter 15: Fitting in and Worthiness Chapter 16: Peaceful Excitement Instead of Drama Chapter 17: It’s Safe for You to Be Powerful! PART IV: Life Tools and Guidance for Earth Angels Chapter 18: Energy Work for Empaths Chapter 19: How to Have More Time and Energy Chapter 20: Angel Activists Afterword About the Author PREFACE Earth Angels and Conflict Phobia I was at a dinner party with several famous spiritual authors. Across from me was a well-known television psychic, and sitting next to her was Esther Hicks (of Abraham-Hicks fame). I was uncomfortable because the psychic had publicly disparaged my work in the past, but I sat there anyway, pretending that everything was okay and trying to make pleasant conversation with her. But she didn’t play nice with me, and everything she said to me felt like a put-down. Finally, the psychic looked right at me and announced loudly to the table, “I just hate people who love unicorns and rainbows!” Awkward silence. My energy fell. My face grew hot. Then Esther Hicks saved the day. She looked directly at the psychic and said with perfect strength: “Well, maybe that’s because you haven’t yet had the experience of unicorns and rainbows!” There wasn’t an ounce of sarcasm or placating in Esther’s voice or energy. She was speaking purely from a place of fearless and centered power. Everyone at the table was quiet. I wanted to run away or duck under the table. Then the psychic shifted her body weight, sighed, and replied, “Hmm, perhaps you’re right.” I looked at Esther with gratitude for teaching me one of my most important life lessons that evening. She showed me how to maintain dignity and inner peace in the face of harsh energy. Since then, I’ve devoted myself to studying and practicing this spiritual art. In this book, I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned. I discovered that there’s a vast difference between being “nice” and being “loving.” I had lived my life as a “nice girl,” covering up my feelings to protect others, and sugarcoating what I said to avoid conflict. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” was my philosophy. I respected authority without question, and stuffed down my feelings. Then those pent-up feelings would become unbearable and I’d either confront the person who triggered them or leave the relationship. I thought I was being nice. I wasn’t. I was being fearful, which is the opposite of love. As I prayed for help with my relationships, I began to receive important life lessons. I’d hear them as intuitive “downloads,” meaning that a knowingness or Aha! insight would suddenly appear. Sometimes the lessons would be accompanied by visual or auditory teachings. I’d see visions or hear a voice in my right ear, which is the way the angels have communicated with me since I was a child. The first lesson I learned was that sensitive people like you and me were “sent” here as Earth Angels with an important mission: to defuse and reduce conflict on this planet. Our mission doesn’t involve ignoring conflict. It involves resolving it. We Earth Angels are like loving-but-firm parents sent here to express God’s benevolent power to help others. Here’s an example by way of analogy: If a child wants to only eat candy and says that doing so makes him happy, would a good parent allow this? Of course not. Even if the child cries or gets angry, a good parent must say no to the request to continually eat candy. The parent may moderate this response by occasionally allowing candy, or may substitute healthier treats. However the situation is handled, though, it comes down to the parent being strong enough to say no. That metaphor is applicable to our life mission. When there’s conflict on the planet—whether it’s an argument between partners or feuds between countries— it’s akin to little children throwing tantrums because they’re not getting their way. We as Earth Angels need to assume the parental role, bringing about a peaceful resolution. Managing conflict can be uncomfortable because Earth Angels are so attuned to energy. We can feel when others are stressed, angry, sad, or uncomfortable. Their emotional energy affects us directly. Fortunately, we can use our awareness to shift this discomfort in a healthier and more peaceful direction. Remember the metaphor of the caring parent: she gets involved in her child’s conflict because she loves him. With a loving heart, you step in and tell the truth—whether it’s with your child, a friend, your spouse, or a co-worker. You reveal your real feelings, because you know it’s the only route to a long-lasting and healthy relationship. Holding your feelings in is like putting a steadily increasing amount of air into a balloon. There’s a limit to how much air the balloon will hold before it explodes! Making Peace with Conflict Adversity pushes us to become stronger, and I’ve had my share of adverse experiences! I’ve been tricked, manipulated, sued, gossiped about, betrayed, lied to, abandoned, stalked, used, abused, and subjected to just about every other painful situation you can think of. Yet, instead of being bitter, I’ve grown stronger and wiser with each experience. In fact, I’ve learned that when your back is pushed up against the wall (metaphorically), you find your inner strength. A couple of years after Esther Hicks defended me, I was going through a divorce in which my ex-husband’s lawyer was viciously going after every penny I’d ever earned . . . and would ever earn. They were demanding my home, my entire retirement savings, and half my future earnings for life. My conflict-phobic self normally allowed angry people to take whatever they wanted from me, in exchange for peace. But this time I had no choice but to stand up for myself. I had to face the conflict head-on. I prayed constantly for help, and I clearly heard Archangel Michael say that he was watching over me. The situation was frightening and enraging. I endured process servers, depositions, and courtrooms. I felt emotions that I’d never previously experienced. I remembered past lifetimes of persecution. At first, I was angry with him for “doing this to me.” I felt like a complete victim. I finally awoke from my Earth Angel “bubble” and realized that these negative things were happening in my life because I wasn’t listening to heaven. I realized that God and the angels had tried to forewarn me of every one of those painful experiences, and if I’d noticed their red-flag warnings, I would have avoided a lot of pain. So I had to do major forgiveness work to come to peace with myself for ultimately betraying my own self. Once I forgave myself for getting in the situation that I was in, I found my inner power and strength. I stood up for myself and took charge of the situation! It wasn’t about the outcome of the divorce. It was all about me learning how to face adversity with grace, poise, and peace. Now I want to pass along this exciting information to you! You, too, can learn how to peacefully and lovingly take care of yourself in harsh circumstances. I’ve learned so much from each painful occurrence, and this book is my opportunity to share this hard-earned knowledge with you. So my knowledge comes from firsthand experience, as well as working with people around the world. I’ve interviewed, counseled, and taught thousands of Earth Angels across the globe. I’ve learned about the fears that drive us to act in self-sabotaging ways. And more important, I’ve learned how to overcome those fears and behaviors! In my undergraduate psychology classes, I learned about and studied assertiveness in intellectual ways. I knew that assertiveness was a way to communicate my feelings and needs while respecting the rights of others. What took me years to learn was how to respect my own rights. Are You an Earth Angel? Earth Angel is a term I use to describe people who: Are highly sensitive Have an innocence in their outlook on love and life, which others may call naïve Believe in God’s loving power (but aren’t necessarily religious) Are gentle and caring See the best in others, including their hidden potentials Are trusting and optimistic Have been taken advantage of by those who use the Earth Angels’ niceness for their own gain Have had painful relationship experiences, but still believe in true love and friendship Cherish the magical parts of spirituality, such as manifestation, unicorns, fairies, mermaids, and the like Feel called on a mission, with a sense of duty and stewardship toward others, including strangers Want everyone to be happy Are unhappy when others are upset Believe in fairness Does that sound like you or someone you love? Everyone is God’s creation, and everyone has a purpose in life. Earth Angels are those who feel “sent” to Earth to bring about peace and create lasting positive change. Earth Angels use prayer, kindness, and love to help others. They can be any gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. The common denominator is that Earth Angels feel compelled to help people and “make” them feel happy. In fact, they only feel happy when others are happy. Sometimes Earth Angels are called lightworkers, which is a related term for highly sensitive people on a spiritual mission to bring peace to the world. To me, Earth Angels are a subcategory of lightworkers. They are the sweet, caring, and giving lightworkers of the world. In my books Earth Angels and Realms of the Earth Angels, I describe the various realm origins of lightworkers, including that of the incarnated angel. In this book, the term Earth Angel encompasses all the realms. It also includes rainbow, crystal, and indigo children and adults. In the ultimate sense, Earth Angels are performing an important mission collectively by walking around smiling and uplifting everyone with whom they come into contact. They are natural healers whose very presence heals people, animals, and plants. Earth Angels are highly connected with the Divine, and they’re naturally intuitive. In fact, they’re so connected that they’re frequently ungrounded, spacey, and forgetful. If you’re an Earth Angel, you’re obsessed with other people’s happiness. If anyone you love is unhappy, you become upset. You may blame yourself for his or her un-happiness, which creates the Earth Angel cycle of codependency, where your happiness is dependent upon another’s. And since you can’t control others’ happiness, you feel unable to predict or control your own, as it’s contingent upon someone else. Earth Angels are usually “conflict-phobic,” meaning that they fear arguments and confrontations. Angry people are the opposite of happy people to an Earth Angel. So if faced with such an individual, Earth Angels will shut down and usually comply with the other person’s wishes, feeling at fault if someone is unhappy or angry. They are convinced they’ve failed in their mission to bring happiness to others. As a result, Earth Angels will do practically anything to keep the peace! Their conflict phobia makes Earth Angels targets for manipulative people who take advantage of others’ niceness. Before they learn their earthly lesson about holding boundaries, Earth Angels usually fall under the spell of narcissistic individuals who only care about their own needs. (We’ll discuss this topic in depth throughout this book.) Earth Angels find themselves in a bind because their life purpose is to bring peace to the world. They are lights sent from heaven to shine peace and happiness and lift others’ consciousness and vibrations—so they’re usually the world’s kindest, nicest, and gentlest people! In fact, they pride themselves on being sweet in the roughest of situations (although Earth Angels do lose their tempers when pushed to their limit). Earth Angels view themselves as tough, even though they’re highly sensitive. They shoulder other people’s burdens and rarely ask for help. If help is offered, they won’t accept it. They’re afraid of “bothering” anyone. An Earth Angel thinks: If I allow this person to help me, I’m making him go to a lot of trouble, which might result in him feeling tired or sad. I don’t want to inflict that on another person, so I’ll just do everything myself. Because Earth Angels can see everyone’s hidden potentials and inner light, they tend to overlook other people’s hurtful behavior—especially toward them. An Earth Angel will make excuses about someone who’s mistreating them, saying, “Oh, she didn’t mean it . . . it wasn’t that bad,” or “He was just having a rough day.” The person who’s acting hurtfully doesn’t need to expend any effort in justifying him- or herself, because the Earth Angel does it for him or her! How are such people supposed to learn about the effects of their behavior if Earth Angels are constantly making excuses for them? How are others supposed to take responsibility for their lives, if Earth Angels are offering to do everything for them? As an Earth Angel, you’re here to bring more light into the world, not to enable people’s egocentric behavior! By constantly giving in all of your relationships, you may suffer from symptoms of imbalance, including: — Resentment. Feeling used for being nice, and not having the niceness reciprocated, you may find that the resentment builds up, becoming a toxic, acidic energy that sours you and can lead to health consequences. — Fatigue. Constantly giving is draining on your time, energy, finances, and other resources. You may stay up late and get up early to have enough time to give to others. — Money issues. Are you paying for everything? This is an unhealthy imbalance in your relationships. — Health issues. You may develop serious health concerns from your energy imbalances. These can range from skin problems (repressed anger) to weight gain (protecting yourself with body fat) to throat ailments (fear of speaking up) to breast issues (nursing everyone until you’re drained). If you have high self-esteem, you’ll choose relationships with nice people who won’t take advantage of you. However, most Earth Angels are drawn to unhappy people who need “fixing.” This gives them a sense of purpose. You might meet truly nice people, but not notice or be attracted to them because they’re already healed. So your heart beats faster when you meet unhappy or angry people, since they present a challenge. I can make him happy, you unconsciously decide. Other people can sense that you’re desperate for them to be happy. So they start to take advantage of you and depend upon you for their entertainment, support, and emotional well-being. And when they’re unhappy (which is most of the time, because only they can give happiness to themselves . . . and we’re all unhappy when we’re taking advantage of someone else, or looking outside of ourselves for happiness), they blame you! And you then blame yourself, and your light dims. Part of your life purpose is learning how to have healthy boundaries with others. It’s about loving people in a way that’s healthy, instead of “enabling” them. INTRODUCTION What Does It Mean to Be “Assertive”? There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstandings about the word assertive. Some people confuse assertiveness with aggression. It’s no wonder they’re afraid of being assertive! Therefore it’s very important that we define our terms so that we can have a mutual understanding of what we’re talking about here. A Definition of Assertiveness Assertiveness means that you’re aware of your feelings and opinions and that you state them to yourself and others in a way that respects other people’s rights. An assertive person is kind, peaceful, and gentle yet never apologizes for his or her feelings, because feelings are to be honored and respected. Assertiveness is spiritually Divine, because it’s a way of interacting that acknowledges that you are one and equal with others. Therefore, you have as much right to be happy as other people. — Assertiveness in personal relationships: If you’re assertive, you know that relationships are built upon revealing your true self. Otherwise you’ll never feel loved, because the other person doesn’t even know the real you! The only way to genuinely feel loved is to take the risk of being your true self and then find that you’re accepted and cherished for who you really are. — Assertiveness in business: In business settings, it’s all about gaining respect. When you’re assertive at work, you tell it like it is. You don’t raise your voice or put anybody else down personally or attack others’ opinions. You don’t have to be tough or traditionally “masculine” to be assertive. In fact, assertiveness can be extremely gentle. An assertive businessperson speaks calmly and passionately at the same time. — Assertiveness in life-purpose situations: As an Earth Angel, you have a very important life mission. You’re here to speak up on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves (such as children, animals, oppressed people, and Mother Nature and the environment). You’re here to help others hear and trust Divine messages. So this means you’ll be called into doing work as a teacher, where you convey important information, either in a formal setting such as a classroom or as you meet people along the way. As an Earth Angel, you’re also expected to do advocacy or activism work. This means staying aware of what is going on in the world and making sure everyone has a voice. In practical terms this means that you’ll sign petitions, speak out, spread awareness, go to meetings, contact your local representatives, volunteer, pray, and attend peaceful rallies. What Assertiveness Is Not Now let’s contrast that assertive energy with aggression and other similar characteristics. Aggression means that you care only for your own feelings and rights and not about the other person. Aggression is loud, angry, and ugly. An aggressive individual wants to wear down the other person’s resolve by being imposing, threatening, and obnoxious until his or her demands are agreed to. Of course, we all occasionally lose our tempers. And hopefully we learn from this every time it occurs. The learning can be about ways to deal with anger that don’t involve storing it up until we become explosive. Aggression is different from occasionally losing your cool. Aggression means that you’re selfishly pushing your will upon another person. It means that you’ve decided that your rights are more important than someone else’s. Earth Angels are much too sensitive to engage in this type of behavior for long. The Earth Angel knows that we are all one, with equal rights. Passive-Aggression Passive-aggression is often confused with assertiveness. The passive-aggressive response means that you’re afraid of conflict, so you show your anger in ways that hurt other people but are so under-the-radar that you can’t be blamed. — In business settings: Passive-aggressive people sabotage the work assignment that they don’t want to do. For example, a woman I know was given a task at work that she absolutely deplored. But she was afraid of saying no to her boss, so instead she made many mistakes while completing the task to ensure that she’d never be asked to do it again. — In personal relationships: Examples of passive-aggression include withholding love or sex until you get your way, or saying something mean about your partner in public that you haven’t had the courage to say directly to him or her in private. Passivity And then there’s just plain old passivity. This means that you don’t acknowledge your feelings to yourself or others. Being passive means that you have numbed your feelings so that you no longer care about yourself, others, or the issues in the world. Passive people have run away from responsibility and their emotions by “checking out” through drug use or other addictive behavior, spaciness, depression, isolation, or running from job to job or relationship to relationship. — In business settings: Passive people go along with their bosses’ whims and wishes without question. In life in general, passive people are like corks floating on the sea, without any control or opinions. They have dreams, but they never expect to realize them. Dreams are for “lucky, rich, or famous people.” The passive person believes that fortunate people were born that way, without realizing that the same opportunities are available to everyone through determination and hard work. — In personal relationships: Being passive means that you allow others to control what you do. This is often called “being a doormat.” People who are passive frequently become depressed, in a state that is referred to in psychology as learned helplessness. It’s almost as if your spirit has been beaten out of you. Fortunately, your soul is alive and well, and ready to be reignited. Some people are passive because they’re afraid of being seen for who they are. This usually stems from a childhood where they were teased or punished for speaking or acting up, or from a past life in which they were killed or tortured or faced some other painful outcome. While passive people desperately want to be effective in this world, they’re afraid of taking that risk. So in my teaching and Angel Therapy work, I help them see that they aren’t living in their childhood or that painful medieval life they remember—and that life is about taking risks! Homework from Heaven Occasionally I will meet people who will argue with me about their passivity. They’ll tell me that they’re being passive in relationships and in the world because they’re using the Law of Attraction. Their argument is that what you think about comes into being, so they’re only going to think about goodness and peace and happiness. And it’s wonderful to put your whole focus on the positive! But it’s not enough. Covering negativity with positive affirmations is like throwing a new rug over a dirty floor. The dirt’s still there! If prayers and positive thoughts were enough, you and I could have just stayed in heaven and sent positive energy to the people here on Earth. When we truly pray (and don’t just mouth the words), we always receive “homework from heaven,” which are action steps we’re Divinely guided to take. Homework-from-heaven action steps include reading a book, making a call or driving across town, teaching others about a topic, starting a new project, and so forth. The reason why we’re in physical human bodies is because there’s a need for our human voice, our human efforts, and our human action steps. Think of the different archangels as the heavenly counterpart to this: Archangel Michael is constantly effecting his purpose of eradicating fear by taking angelic action steps. He uses his signature sword and peaceful warrior energy to clear away lower energies. Archangel Ariel is very active in helping heal and preserve the environment. And then there’s Archangel Gabriel, whose actions involve delivering messages and encouraging human messengers such as writers, teachers, and artists. These angels offer perfect examples of ways for us Earth Angels to take action. Sometimes we need to put up a fight like Archangel Michael. Sometimes we need to stand up for the environment like Archangel Ariel. And at other times we need to speak up like Archangel Gabriel. These are all very powerful action steps! Sending light and love doesn’t mean mouthing words and saying a quick prayer. It means going deep within yourself and calling upon the power of God and the universe to fill you up and then sending that power outward. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it does mean blocking out external distractions. So close your eyes and breathe deeply, and call upon the light and the love of the universe to build within you and strengthen your resolve. PART I ASSERTIVENESS BASICS CHAPTER ONE IT ALL BEGAN WITH THE ORIGINAL TRAUMA Before you were born, you had an ideal life in heaven. (Heaven refers to a high-vibrational non-physical existence. It’s where we live in between our physical lives.) In heaven, there are no bills to pay, no urgent deadlines, and no stress. You spend your time helping earthly people and animals, learning how the universe works, and growing in your understanding and elevating your vibration. On Earth, the ego rules the roost because the physical body demands to be fed, clothed, and sheltered. This sets up a system of competition where people maneuver to get their needs met. The belief is: I better get mine before someone else does. So there’s a lot of rushing around, scurrying to compete and earn money. Now let’s take a deep breath and let all that energy go as we focus upon heaven. In contrast to Earth’s materially competitive focus, in heaven every need is automatically met. There’s no physical body, so there’s no competition for food or jobs. There’s no competition in heaven, because there are no needs. No one needs money, houses, cars, prestige, or employment. So no one tricks or manipulates you. Why would they, when there’s nothing to gain? Besides, all truth is palpable and apparent in heaven, so there’s no way to deceive others. In heaven, everyone feels supported and respected for who they are. Kindness and consideration prevail, and there’s infinite patience. Everyone behaves lovingly toward everyone else, as most people have reached the spiritual realization of oneness, so they know that how they treat others is actually how they’re treating themselves. Imagine. . . Take a moment to imagine feeling completely loved and honored. There’s no sense of having to prove yourself. You know you’re lovable, just as everyone is. Experience this warm feeling of complete love in your heart, and let that warmth radiate throughout your body. Imagine what it’s like to trust everyone you meet, and feel relaxed and safe in their presence. You know that all whom you encounter have their hearts open and are acutely aware of oneness. So they won’t do anything mean, because they know that this would only be an act of meanness toward themselves. Imagine being where everyone is happy and healthy. Where the sun always shines, and it’s just the right temperature. Imagine flowers and birds and trees in a perpetual springtime. . . . You’re seeing and feeling heaven. The Recruitment Process So there you are in heaven, relaxing and doing your work and feeling so good because you are entirely loved. And then one day recruiters arrive, asking you to return to Earth for a very important mission that only you can fulfill. At first you balk at their request. After all, the last time you were on Earth, people weren’t that nice to you. You recall past lifetimes when you were also an Earth Angel. And throughout history, Earth Angels, with their spiritual gifts of healing and teaching, have often been misunderstood. In fact, there was at least one lifetime when you were accused of witchcraft because of your spiritual healing gifts. You were persecuted, and your death was not easy. So when the recruiters are asking you to return to Earth, you’re not excited about the prospect. You inquire whether you can simply send prayers and guidance to earthly people from your heavenly vantage point. The recruiters bow their heads and sigh. They explain to you that people often don’t listen to their guides or angels. They say that Earth Angels are needed in human bodies, because people only listen to other people. The recruiters show you how you can benefit by going to Earth. After all, Earth gives you the opportunity to learn and grow and heal any fears that you held previously. On this plane you have the opportunity to feel deeply both physically and emotionally. You also have the experience of duality, where you get to encounter the darkness and the light. Besides, the recruiters explain, they need you on Earth. They need you to guide people who aren’t as aware and experienced as you are. So reluctantly, you agree to come back to Earth in a human form. With the help of your guides and the recruiters, every part of your life is mapped out ahead of time. Of course you have freewill choices about everything, but the guides are very influential in urging you to balance your karma with certain people. So you agree to have them as your parents, friends, and partners. You’ve been with these souls in other lifetimes. And it’s essential that you clear any unforgiveness, fear, or anger that you might harbor in those relationships. Spiritual growth also calls for you to take 100 percent responsibility for everything that you see, feel, and think. The Original Trauma After you’re born, you look around as a baby for that unconditional love that you had in heaven. Your parents love you, but like all earthly humans, their hearts are partially closed. Your parents, like all people, have fears that block them from the full experience of love. You immediately go into withdrawal, like an addict quitting drugs cold-turkey. Where’s the love? Where’s the love? is your panicked cry, as you desperately seek that delicious feeling of heavenly bliss and joy. Your parents do their best to keep you happy, but you unconsciously know that something’s missing. For your entire life, you seek that feeling of unconditional love. You meet someone and think, This is it! You believe that each new person is the source of the love you desperately seek. Deep down, you remember how you felt in heaven. There, you felt completely accepted for who you are. You felt lighthearted, optimistic, carefree, and completely loved and loving. Most of all, you felt safe. In heaven, there was no sense of stress, strain, or danger. Everyone was trustworthy, and no one wanted anything from you, except for you to be happy. Doesn’t that sound heavenly? So you spend a lifetime looking for that sense of approval, safety, peace, and love. You may find that feeling temporarily in relationships, food, alcohol, or drugs. Some people encounter this bliss when they’re in nature, exercising, having sex, shopping, or engaged in a creative process. For most, it’s fleeting. What’s helpful to know is that we can never entirely replicate heaven’s high vibrations in our earthly world of duality. We can come very close, and we can have pockets of moments where we’re one with love. But it’s unrealistic to think that we can maintain that state at all times. The best you can do is to keep the doorway to heaven open in your heart. This allows you to have a continual warm feeling of love every day, no matter what’s going on in your life or in the world. In meditation one day, I heard and felt the presence of Archangel Michael. He explained the importance of enjoying life, no matter what’s going on. He said that very often, we put our happiness in the future. We think that happiness is conditional, based upon certain achievements, such as earning enough money, accolades, or approval; losing weight; getting married; buying a new house; being published; or some other accomplishment. While those experiences can be very exciting and fulfilling, they still don’t replicate that complete feeling of safety and approval that we have when we’re in heaven. You get close to those heavenly feelings when you’re balancing giving and receiving. When you’re only giving, you’re excluding yourself from the sense that you deserve and need love, too. So it’s a matter of focusing upon service and giving from your soul, and also giving to yourself. Pure Giving The only form of giving that leads to spiritual growth and true peace is when you give because you’re guided to. Doing so because you feel guilty, sorry for someone, or obligated is giving from a place of fear. That means you’d be acting from your lower self, and the gift—whether it’s time, money, help, advice, support, or love—would be tainted with the lower frequencies of that guilt, fear, or obligation energy. As Earth Angels, we’re here to give, help, and heal. And the reason why we give is the difference between creating a life of joy for ourselves and others . . . and living like a victim or martyr in misery: If you’re giving because you hope that you’ll be appreciated and loved for all that you do, you’ll constantly feel disappointed that you’re not getting as much in return as you gave. You’ll also have an empty feeling that people love you for what you can do for them, instead of for who you are. If you’re giving in order to keep someone from being angry with you, then you’ll always feel nervous, like you have to walk on eggshells in case that person, despite your efforts, still decides to be upset with you. If you’re giving because you hope that the person will help you in return, you’ll always feel guilty that your true intentions were impure. You’ll also feel hurt when the other person doesn’t reciprocate. Only give because you truly are happy to do so. In that experience, you’ll find your heavenly bliss. In fact, a good rule to live by is: Never do anything unless you want to. Either don’t do the action, or go meditate and pray until you can shift your mind-set to one of happiness toward it. CHAPTER TWO HOW TO BE ASSERTIVE As a peace-loving, gentle person, you may have learned to avoid conflict at all costs. You just go along with someone’s bad idea rather than stand up to him or her and risk an argument. This style of living gives you a sense of control over your life, because deep down you know you’re not really agreeing with the person. It’s as if you’re leading two lives: one on the surface, with your behavior; and the other beneath, with your true feelings and opinions. In some cases, Earth Angels have numbed themselves so much in order to cooperate with others that they’ve completely disconnected from their own opinions. They don’t know how they feel or what they think about anything, because they’re so accustomed to being told what to do, feel, and think. Sometimes, tragically, this is because of an abusive situation where they fear for their physical safety, so they comply with their abusers’ wishes in order to survive. Still other Earth Angels are conflict-phobic because they’re shy and don’t want to call attention to themselves. They’d rather remain invisible, so they almost never speak up for themselves. And when they do, people don’t hear or notice them. The trouble with these coping styles is that if you don’t let people know how you feel, they’ll incorrectly assume that everything’s okay. People won’t know how you really feel or think unless you tell them. In addition, assertiveness means that you’re clear, honest, and direct with others. Hinting at how you feel and hoping the other person gets the hint never works. This is a guarantee that you’ll always feel ignored and misunderstood. Instead of hinting, you have to clearly communicate your feelings. You may worry that if you’re truthful, people will leave you. But the truth is that you’ll be the one to leave, if you don’t muster up the courage to be honest. If you don’t tell the other person how you really feel, the relationship will be unbalanced and unhealthy, and you—as a highly sensitive person—won’t want to stay. Being conflict-phobic can also block you from fulfilling the very important mission you were born to do! In order to fulfill your lightwork, you need to reawaken and own your power! If this sounds frightening or dangerous, please stay with me anyway. The fear is coming from your ego and past experiences. Fortunately, it isn’t based upon reality as it relates to your future or your Divine mission. Remember that if the earth were perfect, you and I wouldn’t be needed here in physical form. We could have just stayed in heaven and sent prayers to everyone. But humans rarely hear their angels, or if they do, they wrestle with self-doubts. So we were sent to Earth to speak up and take other actions to enact God’s will of peace. Being passive isn’t in our job description. Peace is our mission. And being peaceful is very different from being passive. The Superwoman/Superman Syndrome of Earth Angels As an Earth Angel, you possess certain “superpowers.” Some Earth Angels have a superpower of invisibility, for instance. This means that they can slip in and out of places and situations relatively unnoticed. Of course, the downside to having an invisibility superpower is that you’re often ignored by waiters and waitresses, and even loved ones. What’s Your Superpower? Every Earth Angel has something amazing that he or she is good at. Here are a few examples of Earth Angel superpowers: Healing Manifesting Breaking* or fixing electronics Animal communication Miraculous gardening abilities Weather magic Knowing instantly whether someone is being honest Foreseeing the future There are many other superpowers, too. Spend time pondering what yours is. Observe yourself with others or out in nature and notice what comes very easily and magically to you. That’s your superpower! Your superpower is a skill that you brought from heaven to help with your life mission. For example, if you can easily hear the voices of animals talking, then your life purpose involves animal communication. If you have a talent for predicting or influencing the weather, your purpose involves protecting people from major storms. Taking Off Your Cape Even superheroes need a day off. As Earth Angels, we’re inordinately strong emotionally and physically. We’re used to being the helpers in relationships, and the ones who come to everyone’s rescue. But sometimes our superpowers can confuse us. We may say yes to every request for help, without first meditating on how that new duty will impact our already-full schedule. Even though you have broad shoulders and a big heart, your assertiveness training involves learning to say no, especially to unreasonable demands upon your time. After all, time is your greatest resource in putting your life purpose into action. For example, if you’re destined to become a healer in private practice and are intending to make this happen, you’ll need to devote many hours to your clients. That means that any hours spent doing an activity purely because of guilt, out of obligation, or because you were bullied into it will be time taken away from your clients. That time spent doing something meaningless could be better directed toward healing someone—or even saving his or her life. So if you’re reluctant to say no to time and energy drains, then do it for your clients! How to Stand Up for Yourself When confronted with any form of danger, every living creature defends itself. This is a hardwired response built into every physical being to guarantee its survival. So it’s okay to acknowledge to yourself that you have a defense mechanism. This doesn’t make you less spiritual or less angelic in any way. Again, think of warrior angels such as Archangel Michael with his sword and his armor, signifying that even the most peaceful angels have to sometimes go to battle. And there’s a feminine equivalent to Archangel Michael’s archetype within every woman. Research stories of strong warrior women, like Joan of Arc or the suffragettes. When someone says or does something that stirs a reaction in you, it’s very important to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings to yourself. Perhaps you notice that your stomach muscles tighten; you perspire; or you become flush with anger, rage, or even embarrassment. If at all possible, walk away from the situation, even if you have to excuse yourself to go to the restroom. This moment away helps calm down your physiological reactions. Otherwise, you may act impulsively and say things that you later regret. While you’re alone, have an honest conversation with yourself. Begin by noticing how you feel physically. Is your heart racing, is your breathing shallow, or are your thoughts explosive? Any of these reactions can show that the other person has triggered anxiety within you. This anxiety response is also called fight or flight. It’s an instinctual response to danger. When there’s danger, your instincts spur you into either fighting or running away (that is, flight). While you’re by yourself and meditating, it’s a good idea to pray for guidance, support, and peace. You want to be honest with yourself and with others, but you don’t want to blow situations out of proportion. Nor do you want to engender hard feelings. Whenever we avoid conflict by keeping our feelings to ourselves, we do ourselves and others a disservice. This is a form of dishonesty and manipulation. We’re trying to control the other person’s reactions by controlling what we tell them. So that means you’re being controlling if someone asks you if you’re upset and you say that you aren’t when you really are. You’re trying to keep him or her from being angry with you or from starting an argument with you. Or, you’re holding your feelings inside to prevent the other person from seeing that you are hurt. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go to the other extreme and bulldoze the other person with the blunt truth. There’s an in-between way to handle conflict that’s just right and very healthy and honest. After you’ve collected your thoughts and feelings, go to the person and say this magical phrase: “I’d like to clear some things with you.” This nonthreatening phrase keeps communication open because the other person doesn’t feel accused. Start by taking a deep breath and silently praying for strength and a clear mind. Even though your heart may be racing and you might even be perspiring, know that anytime you do something for the first time, you’ll feel intimidated or afraid. Each time you practice a new behavior, it becomes easier and more natural. Look the other person in the eye and say to him or her from your heart and without apology: “I really care about our relationship, so I need to share my feelings in order for us to clear them.” Now, the other person may feel threatened by this and might immediately become defensive or even argumentative. Don’t let this throw you, unless the other person becomes verbally or physically abusive. (Don’t try to negotiate with an abusive person, especially if he or she intoxicated. If abuse occurs, leave immediately and seek appropriate support or protection.) In most situations, others will be open to hearing you. During your discussion, it’s vital that you own your feelings. This means: don’t use blaming or shaming words. Even if you do blame them, saying that you do will shut down all further communication. Use phrases such as I feel, I felt, and to me. This way, you’re not poking and prodding at the other person with accusatory phrases, and inadvertently provoking their defensiveness. Do your best to keep your cool while talking about and owning your feelings. If you start to cry, let yourself be real. The same with anger: allow yourself to be authentic, but don’t act on this emotion, such as by yelling or calling names. Also, please don’t put yourself down in any way. Don’t diminish, disparage, or apologize for your feelings . . . ever! Remember: You have a right to your feelings, even if other people don’t understand or agree with them! Your feelings are your signals of deep truths inside of you. They’re the language of your soul, and they need you to listen to them. After you’ve talked about your feelings, allow the other person to explain his or her own. There are always two sides to every story. However, notice your gut feelings while you’re listening. If you get an uneasy feeling that the other person is covering his or her tracks or being dishonest with you, then note that—because he or she probably is. As your assertiveness level grows stronger, you’ll have the courage to say to a person who’s lying to you, “I don’t believe what you’re saying,” or something equivalent. But for now, just notice that you get the feeling that he or she is being dishonest, manipulative, or defensive. This isn’t the kind of person you want to spend much time with. Those are toxic behavior patterns that permeate all of that individual’s relationships. If the other person starts blaming you or is defensive, the conversation will go in an unproductive direction. Blaming is a key symptom of the ego’s fears about being exposed. As long as one or both of you are involved in blaming, nothing will get resolved. Toxic relationships will pull you down every time. You don’t need to have one when there are so many nontoxic potential friends and partners available. Never believe you have to settle for an unhealthy relationship. You don’t. Boundaries A boundary is your limit, which no one can overstep or violate. No matter who the other person is or how much you love him or her, your boundary is something that he or she is not allowed to breach. For instance, I have boundaries in all of my relationships that dictate that you must treat me with respect. I, in turn, will treat you with respect. This is a non-negotiable boundary for me, and if anyone violates this and is disrespectful toward me, I will try to clear the energy by discussing my feelings and boundaries, and then listening to the other person. If he or she continues to be disrespectful toward me, the relationship is over, without any guilt on my part. I still love the person, but because of the behavior overstepping my firm boundary, I no longer have contact with him or her. Boundaries are a necessary part of self-care, just like washing your hair or wearing shoes to protect your feet. They are healthy, normal, and necessary. Every relationship has issues and negotiations about each person’s personal boundaries. So it’s not whetheryou have conflict, but how you deal with conflict that matters for a long-term relationship. Personal boundaries include how much . . . . . . body space and distance from other people you need. . . . time alone you prefer. . . . affection and romance you require. . . . you need to hear words of affection. . . . you need your personal items to be left alone and untouched by others. . . . importance you attach to honesty, reliability, and sobriety within the relationship. . . . financial equality and fairness matter to you. [. . . and so forth.] Part of being an assertive Earth Angel is learning how to have the strength and the courage to maintain your boundaries. It can get exhausting when it feels like other people are trying to step all over them. It might wear you down, and you start to think, Does this really matter? Well, it does! Your inner self relies upon your outer self for caretaking. You might say that your inner self is like a little child you’re nurturing. That means that if it’s tired or needs to play, your outer self should honor this and not push your inner self beyond its limits. Even though the other person may be disappointed or even angry when you say no, believe me when I tell you that he or she does understand. Remember that the other person is human, too, and knows what limitations are like. Even if your refusal comes as a disappointment, deep down he or she will respect you for it! When you say no, you’re modeling healthy behavior for others. Part of the reason why they may react angrily toward you is because it’s never occurred to them that they could say no to unreasonable demands put upon their own time! So when you do something that people haven’t seen you do previously—like saying no—they may be surprised. They may take your refusal personally, and it’s okay for you to briefly explain that this isn’t anything personal and has to do with you maintaining clear boundaries with respect to your schedule. Don’t feel like you have to explain why you’re saying no, though. The more you explain why, the more leverage the other person has, which he or she can use to manipulate you into changing that no into a yes. Boundaries mean that you teach people what you will and won’t accept in the relationship. They can be a lot of work, but that’s what it takes to build a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Respect your right to schedule your time. Don’t allow others to dictate your schedule to you. For instance, you have the right to not answer the phone or doorbell when it rings, and to not feel obligated to immediately answer e-mails or social-media posts. If someone asks you to drop everything to drive him or her across town, you have the right to say no. It’s like the adage “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” We must overcome impulsive rescuing tendencies, unless it’s an actual emergency and we feel internally guided to help. Source Is the Only Source A lot of people use guilt to manipulate others into getting their way. They also include flattery mixed with guilt. So, as an example, they’ll say, “Only you can help me; and if you don’t help me, there will be horrible consequences for me.” As a sensitive Earth Angel, you don’t want anyone to suffer, so you allow the other person’s words to manipulate and control you. Then you feel weak and used, as well as resentful and angry. Add to this the frustration that arises because you’ve backtracked on your promise to take excellent care of yourself . . . and you’ve got a heap of toxic energies inside your mind, emotions, and body. It’s so important to remind yourself that every person has the same Source: God. Those who play with your emotions to get their way are creations of God, just like you and everyone else. You’re not their God, nor are you their Source. So, allow Source God to be each person’s caretaker. Pray for guidance about how you can truly help others gain strength and be self-sufficient. Of course, there will be instances where you’re acting as an Earth Angel and bringing forth God’s help through your efforts. But those instances are clearly guided by love, not by guilt. If you’re giving because of guilt, it’s not true or pure giving, as was discussed in the previous chapter. Your gift out of guilt is tainted with toxic energies. Healthy Boundaries Boundaries are a form of self-care. When you uphold your boundaries, meaning that you don’t allow others to manipulate, guilt, or control you, your inner self applauds and thanks you. Your self-esteem and confidence increase whenever you successfully stand up for yourself. Now, by “stand up for yourself,” I don’t mean that you’re aggressively pronouncing judgments over others. Remember that assertiveness upholds everyone’s rights: yours and those of the other person involved. When you maintain your boundaries and say no with grace, love, and firmness, you teach people how to handle boundaries. You’re not their Source; God is! If you make yourself their Source, then how will they ever learn to support themselves and grow? When I was first teaching angel courses, I made time to sit down personally one-on-one with each student. During these individual sessions, I’d tune in to the student’s angels and answer all of the questions that he or she had. And then I’d go home and be ill and tired for two to three days after the workshop; I had allowed myself to become drained, under the misguided notion that I was the one to help and serve all these students. After that, I realized that I wasn’t doing myself or them any favors by being so accessible. I realized that it was important for me to model good healthy boundaries to my students, many of whom were in training to become spiritual teachers themselves. I needed to teach each student how to access Divine guidance and answers for him- or herself, instead of needing to go through me or another person. So, in my teaching I began emphasizing how to receive clear angel messages for yourself. I also created defined breaks in the schedule for the course, during which I wouldn’t allow anyone to ask me questions. When questioned during my break, I’d say: “Other people may want to hear the answer to this question, so let’s save it for when we’re all back together.” I’d also tell students that I was in a human body that needed rest and recharging. I knew that by taking a break, I’d be a more effective and higher-energy teacher. I’d also be happier, which is a very important quality in a teacher. I’ve always told my students that it’s beneficial to take lots of different classes, as long as the teacher is a happy person. A happy teacher teaches other people how to be happy, both directly and by role-modeling happiness. And happiness is the most important thing anyone can teach! In addition, when you exercise strong and healthy boundaries as a parent, you teach your children how to do the same. Don’t you want your children to grow up learning to respect themselves, their time, and their energy levels? Of course you do! Well, so too does God want this for you and everyone else! Affirm often: “I think I can; therefore I can!” Plenty of people come to me and argue in favor of their limitations. They forcefully tell me why they can’t enact the positive steps that their angels are guiding them to take. They imply that they’re somehow exceptional and are being blocked or thwarted from their dreams. Everyone else gets cut a break, but they’re very special victims in their own minds. If they would put half the energy they expend arguing for what they can’t do toward arguing in favor of what they can do, then they would be well on their way to living their dream lives! Benefits of Boundaries When you exercise your boundaries and learn to say no, you have more free time to devote to your passions and priorities, instead of feeling like you have to steal away moments to write that article, take that class, read that book, learn to play that musical instrument, start that new business, practice your healing skills . . . and so forth. Boundaries give you a healthier and happier mind and a higher energy level, because you’re no longer fixated on the thought that people have taken advantage of you. When you feel resentful, you obsessively think about the other person’s inconsiderate behavior toward you. This type of thought pattern, if left unchecked, can lead to depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, loneliness, fearfulness, and other toxic results. ___________ *If you break every watch, computer, and radio you come near, then your life purpose is to thwart destructive electronics, such as weapons or anything that harms people, animals, or the environment. CHAPTER THREE NO MORE RESCUING: BOUNDARIES WITHOUT GUILT OR FEAR Earth Angels think that rescuing is a normal part of all relationships. They see themselves as strong and able to manifest endless resources—which is an accurate description, because they’ve learned how to tap into Source for energy and supply. Earth Angels are so empathetic that they can feel everyone’s emotions, especially the painful ones. In fact, many Earth Angels have difficulty distinguishing their own feelings from other people’s. The combination of Earth Angels being able to feel other people’s pain plus their desire for everyone to be happy makes them natural rescuers. Rescuing is a beautiful thing to do if you’re a firefighter or medical first responder, or in any situation where the person is unable to help him- or herself. But rescuing people who could dig themselves out of their own jams is where Earth Angels get into trouble. When an Earth Angel steps in and rescues someone who’s capable of rescuing him- or herself, this is called enabling. It means that you’re taking away someone’s opportunity to grow and learn. An example would be a mother who still does her teenage son’s laundry and cleans up his room and makes his bed when he’s quite capable of doing all this himself. He would also benefit by learning how to take care of his environment. Or think of the parents who complete their child’s science project, even though the child would learn new skills by working on it alone with minimal adult supervision. Some Earth Angels rescue strangers. They meet a new person whom they pity, and they offer outrageous help, including opening their house to a recent acquaintance to live in rent-free, loaning or giving money to an individual whom they barely know, spending hours on the phone offering advice, or driving a virtual stranger to appointments. Rescuers believe it’s their job to fix others, and they believe that they’re uniquely qualified to do so. If they don’t help, no one else can! This gives them a sense of meaning and purpose, and also can feed into egocentric feelings of specialness. In addition, rescuing allows you to focus more on other people’s problems than on your own (deflecting your energy away from fixing your own life). Professional Victims Beware of “professional victims.” Earth Angels have a compulsion to save people and so are a lock-and-key with those who exploit them, and who insist upon constantly being rescued. Although you know that everyone is a child of God, you must also acknowledge that some people choose to live disconnected from God’s guidance. They take advantage of others, including nice people like you. Professional victims will make you feel flattered and special, as they explain that you’re their only hope. They’ve singled you out especially because God “told” them that you’d fix everything for them. So you take a deep breath, agree to help them, and think, I’ll figure out how I can help as I go along, since you have no idea what to do at the time. You also wonder how you’ll keep your own life in balance while taking on the Herculean task of rescuing yet another person. So you do your best to lend a hand, but the professional victim lets you know that your help doesn’t come quickly enough or isn’t good enough. Surely there’s more you can give to this poor victim? Somewhere along the line, you reach a breaking point or a loved one points out that your rescuing behavior is unhealthy. When you stop rescuing professional victims, they get angry. Very angry. And they then begin attacking you with verbal threats, rude posts on your social-media page, or harassing phone messages. In fact, while you’re rescuing them, they attack you for not doing a good enough job of it. You’re never doing enough for them. If they’re unhappy, professional victims will say that it’s your fault. So the next time you get the compulsion to rescue someone, pray for guidance first. Professional victims have endless drama and bottomless-pit needs that can never be filled. They’re ungrateful for the help they get, and in fact they criticize it. You’ll never feel satisfaction while rescuing a professional victim, because they intend to suck and drain you dry. (We’ll talk more about how to identify and handle these toxic relationships in Part II.) Rescuing Addiction Addictions are always an attempt to fill an inner emotional emptiness with something outside of ourselves. The addiction momentarily makes us experience those delicious feelings of safety, love, and peace—just as we did prior to the original trauma (see Chapter 1). You feel like a hero when you rescue someone, which is a sensation that temporarily boosts your self-esteem. This feeling is very strong if you believe, Only I can help him. He’s counting on me! Now is it really true that you’re the only one who can rescue the person? What are some alternatives for him if you weren’t available to rescue him? Please be honest with yourself about the answers to these questions. You become addicted to rescuing when there’s a pattern across several relationships where you’re the clear rescuer and the other person is a victim in need of rescuing. Rescue addiction has the classic hallmarks shared with other addictions: You start to depend upon the behavior in order to feel whole, happy, or important. You conduct rescuing impulsively by immediately saying “I’ll do it!” without first considering alternatives or the aftermath. The rescue addiction, like any addiction, leads to messy consequences. Soon after enlisting yourself to rescue someone, you start to experience familiar feelings creeping in: being overwhelmed with too much to do; resenting that no one else is helping; feeling unappreciated by those you’re helping; wishing you were instead spending time on a personally meaningful project; and feeling guilty because you’re conflicted about rescuing the person. These feelings are intensified even more if the person you’re rescuing begins to make additional demands on your time or other resources. So, what’s wrong with rescuing? A lot! If you rescue others, you rob them of the chance to develop problem-solving skills. You also give people a safety net to get entangled in another crisis, because they know that they can depend upon you to bail them out. In addition, the addiction is caustic to your self-esteem because you don’t have a healthy, real relationship with those whom you rescue. Instead, the relationship makes you feel that you’re only loved for what you can do for others, instead of being loved for who you are. That’s a lonely feeling that leads to the downward spiral of low self-worth. Volunteering for Committees Volunteer service is God’s work, in that volunteers fulfill much-needed roles in communities. But there’s a balance some Earth Angels need help achieving! It’s one thing to volunteer to assist part-time with a project that’s dear to your heart. But it’s another thing to feel railroaded and pressured to join multiple committees in which you have no interest. Unless you’re sure that the volunteer work brings you joy, skip it. You’re not truly giving unless you’re giving from a place of love. There are plenty of volunteer positions available that are aligned with your personal passions and natural interests. Similar to this are committees at your job that are unpaid and which you’re pressured to join. Remember that it’s okay to say no to activities for which you don’t have the extra time. As long as you’re doing your regular job well, you’ll be appreciated. And if you’re not appreciated at work, it’s time to dust off your résumé and look for a position where you will be! Discernment, Not Judgment Earth Angels pride themselves on being nonjudgmental. That’s why it’s important for them to develop a sense of discernment instead. Discernment operates off of the Law of Attraction. It says: I am attracted to this; I am not attracted to that. For example, discernment might say that you’re not drawn to something. Judgment, on the other hand, labels everything as either being good or bad. So it’s more intellectual in its scope. With judgment, you’d say: This person is bad. That person is good. With discernment, the Law of Attraction would say: I am attracted to this person. I am not attracted to that person. With discernment, you’re honest with yourself about how you feel in the presence of another person or situation. You don’t try to rationalize your feelings. You don’t downplay them. You listen to and honor them with discernment! Be discerning about whom you hang out with, because those folks will influence your energy and experiences in life. Yes, you can see the good in everyone, but if a relationship is toxic, it can pull you way down. For example, I used to belong to a meditation group in which we took turns leading the meditation and offering a brief teaching each week. The group was harmonious, sweet, uplifting, and supportive. Then one day, a self-proclaimed atheist said he wanted to join our group. Being an openhearted, “we love everyone” type of group, we had a discussion and decided to allow him in. That’s when trouble started, as the man began playing devil’s advocate to everything we said and arguing every point. Our meditation group became unpleasant, and we all stopped meeting within one month of his joining. So sometimes, it’s for the greatest good of all concerned if you say no to someone entering your life. CHAPTER FOUR HOW TO BE NICE AND LOVING, WITHOUT BEING A PUSHOVER Earth Angels are nice because they’re very sensitive to how energies affect other people. They treat others as they’d wish to be treated, very much living by the Golden Rule. Earth Angels see the best in others and expect the best in return. Oh, if only the world really worked that way! The three-dimensional physical world contains the ego, and the ego prevails for the majority of people, who aren’t aware of the path of true happiness from living in the higher self. Now, this doesn’t mean that Earth Angels need to lower their standards and try to fit into the lowest common denominator of rude or ego-based behavior. But it does require Earth Angels to be aware of ego energy when it shows up. If you have been taken advantage of repeatedly for being a nice person, then please pay extra attention to this chapter. The ego energy is all about “me” and “I”: What is in it for me? and What can I get out of this? That’s why self-centered people are called egocentric or egotistical. Therefore, it’s important to take some time when you’re with someone to tune in and be very aware of how your body feels in that person’s presence. Your body is one of the most accurate divination tools on this physical plane. It is a crystal that resonates with energy vibrations. So when you meet someone, rather than worrying, Does she like me? Am I good enough? and posing these sorts of self-doubting questions, instead listen to what your body says. Notice: Do I feel drained of energy when I’m around this person? Does my stomach tighten with defensiveness, bracing myself against some danger? Do I feel myself backing away from this person or wanting to leave her presence? Is there a sense that I’m the only one giving in this relationship? Does it feel like the other person is all about taking? Does the other person joke or brag about how much she gets away with or takes advantage of others? After being with this person, do I feel tired or depressed or anxious? So when you encounter a person who’s ego-focused, you’ll feel a draining sensation in your body, because your energy is literally being drained. You’re also being scanned energetically by the egocentric person, who’s assessing what she can take from you. What egocentric people want to take from you can vary. They may be looking for simple things such as a listening ear or kind words. Most Earth Angels don’t feel taken advantage of for giving these things, unless it becomes a one-sided relationship where you’re the only one giving the compliments and doing the listening, and the other person never says anything nice to you, nor do they care enough to be your sounding board. To find a person who isn’t egocentric, you’ll need to hold the intention of meeting other Earth Angels and givers . . . or those who have been working to develop self-awareness, and who have come to the realization that the path to true happiness is through balancing giving and receiving. Relationships are synergistic. You can be as nice as an angel in heaven, but unless you’re with someone who honors and respects your niceness, you’ll tend to be taken advantage of by those who are egocentric. If someone’s egocentric, don’t worry whether or not he or she likes you. Egocentric people are incapable of liking anyone, because their hearts are closed. They don’t even like themselves. When you get a sense that someone’s a “taker,” pull back your energy and don’t try so hard. He or she is not worthy of your time or friendship, and you’ll end up “breaking up” anyway when you get tired of being taken advantage of. You have a limited amount of time here on Earth, and it’s best to spend it on someone who’ll appreciate being helped. Egocentric people see help from others as threatening to their egos, because it means they’re “weak” if they accept it. They also see receiving help as “winning” in their endless game of taking as much as they can without giving anything in return. When dealing with an egocentric person, it’s not about getting his or her approval through being nice. It’s impossible to get the approval of those who are only concerned about themselves. Instead, focus on being loving and on respecting yourself. With all assertive encounters, your goal isn’t to change the other person. Your intention is to be honest and authentic, and take good care of yourself and treat other people with respect. Realness and Respect If you were raised on platitudes like “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” you may mistake this wisdom as a directive to be “phony nice.” There’s a real difference between discerning when to hold your tongue and keep yourself from saying something hurtful versus faking a smile and pretending to laugh. Many Earth Angels are nice because that’s their way of manipulating and controlling the reactions of others. And that’s egocentric, too! Niceness that comes from fear that the other person may leave you or not like you unless you’re super-sweet isn’t a true gift to anyone. Even the coldest and most unaware people have enough sensitivity to notice when someone’s faking it. When selfish or egocentric people spot someone faking niceness, they think, This person’s trying too hard to act nice. She must want something from me. So I will take advantage of her first, before she can do the same to me! So, being “phony nice” makes you vulnerable to those who are looking for an easy take. In this dance, you’re both being insincere. You, as the Earth Angel, exercise your power when you’re your authentic self. Every day, practice taking off the false-self mask of faking a smile when you don’t feel like smiling. Daily, practice saying at least one sentence aloud that describes how you actually feel, even if you’re afraid of others’ reactions. With practice, you’ll gain confidence and security in being your true self. Instead of trying to make other people “like” you, you would be better off holding the intention to gain self-respect and the respect of others. “Respect” means that someone believes in you as a responsible, trustworthy, and real person. Respect and trust go hand in hand. If you pretend to be happy when you’re not, other people won’t trust you, because they’ll wonder in what other ways you’re being phony. If you force a smile or laugh, others won’t respect you, because phoniness shows that you don’t respect yourself. Everyone feels the whole rainbow of human emotions, and you’re no exception. There will be times when you’ll be really angry, and it’s okay to let others know it as long as you don’t hurl toxic anger energy their way. There will be times when you’ll be hurt, depressed, confused, silly, and every other color of emotion that exists. There will be occasions when you’ll disagree with your boss or another authority figure. The assertive Earth Angel’s facial expression and body language match exactly with how she thinks and feels. She doesn’t try to project a façade of coolness or happiness. She maintains respect for herself and others. She doesn’t blame others for her feelings, but she is honest if she’s upset with someone’s behavior. The assertive Earth Angel realizes that relationships are a series of negotiations between two people who may have style differences. By talking openly and respecting each other’s feelings and opinions, both can have their needs met and enjoy a healthy, long-term relationship. CHAPTER FIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR EARTH ANGELS Your heightened sensitivity means that you feel others’ reactions to what you say. So, your communication style differs from people of average sensitivity levels. In this chapter, we will look at some of those differences. Talking in Incomplete Sentences Earth Angels often worry that they’re bothering other people. They rush through the words they’re using so they don’t take up other people’s time. Or they skip over details about the topic they’re discussing, either because they’re trying to keep their side of the conversation brief . . . or because of the belief that others are as psychic as they are, with the assumption that they will know what they’re talking about. Sometimes ungrounded Earth Angels talk in incomplete sentences that make no sense to anyone. And other Earth Angels use New Age jargon that “normal” people can’t understand. ("What’s a chakra?” they may ask with puzzlement.) Other people become frustrated because they don’t understand what you’re trying to get across. This sets up miscommunications, which can lead to hurt feelings and other problems. So the first step for Earth Angels is to slow down and communicate enough information so the other person knows clearly what you’re trying to convey. However, the opposite extreme of talking too much and dominating the conversation is also a communication trap that many Earth Angels fall into. Talking nonstop comes from wanting to please—and get attention and acknowledgment from—others. If you tune in to people’s eyes while you’re talking with them, you’ll know if they’re engaged in the conversation with you. If you notice their eyes wandering or glazing over, this is a sign that you’ve lost communication with them. This can happen because of the other person’s toxic behavioral patterns, such as narcissism or one-sided friendship. Or, it could be because he or she doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, or you’re talking so much that he or she lost interest in connecting with you. Some of these communication issues occur because Earth Angels are so sensitive to chemicals. So they can become overstimulated from caffeine or sugar, and have a motormouth in which they talk and talk and talk without realizing it. If that sounds like you, it’s time to cut back on caffeine and sugar. Substitute natural stimulants such as rosehips tea or peppermint tea for these two chemicals. It’s also important to ground yourself, especially in business settings or while talking with “normal” people. Take a deep breath and touch your feet, or walk on grass or soil to ground yourself. Keep your conversations as down-to-earth and practical as possible. Save your philosophical discussions for ears that can hear these high-level topics. Repeating Phrases Earth Angels sometimes repeat themselves out of anxiety as well. One of the hallmark phrases that Earth Angels use is: “I’m sorry.” Earth Angels apologize continually, as if they are apologizing for their own existence. This again is because they’re not accustomed to having a physical body. They realize that their bodies are taking up space and using resources, and they remember fondly the days when they were celestial angels who could help people without having any sort of physical interference. The trouble with apologizing is that it’s inappropriate and detracts from intelligent conversations. It’s also an unconscious habit, which needs to come to the level of consciousness so that you can heal it and let it go. One way to do so is to create a pact with another Earth Angel friend of yours. Promise each other that you will gently point out when the other one is apologizing. This really works, as long as you’re both kind to each other because you remember you are both highly sensitive to perceived criticism. Earth Angels also tend to say “Thank you” repeatedly, especially if someone is doing them a favor. This is a sign of the Earth Angels’ feelings of undeserving, and fear that they’re taking up someone else’s time and bothering him or her. This, again, is because you’re not accustomed to having a physical body, and you’re also not used to allowing others to help you. When you were a celestial angel, you were the one doing all of the giving. But once you take on a physical body, you become part of the polarities of giving and receiving. So, while it is appropriate to offer your gratitude for someone’s help, please be aware that it is unnatural, unnecessary, and ultimately annoying if you repeatedly thank the person. Another oft-repeated phrase is the question “Are you mad at me?” Earth Angels take everything very personally, including another person’s silence or need for space. If Earth Angels feel someone pulling back in the relationship, their first impulse is to chase after him or her and get reassurance that they’re still loved and that the other person isn’t upset with them. This action always backfires, unless you are with a highly sensitive person who has compassion for your insecurities. In normal circumstances, though, when you repeatedly ask others if they’re mad at you, you can actually push them into being angry with you. So, if you’re feeling insecure about your relationship, your best action is to sit down with the other person and say, “Do we need to clear anything? Are we okay?” And then be quiet and let the other person talk. Most of the time, people won’t have any idea what you’re talking about, because they’re not mad at you at all. They will explain that they have their own issues, which are distracting them from their relationship with you. If you feel you are being neglected in your relationship or your needs are not being met, you’ll have to be very clear about this boundary and expectation with the other person. Relay this in an adult, assertive way, and not as a child begging for a scrap of attention. You need to respect yourself and your needs, and you deserve to be in a relationship where they’re met! Trying Too Hard When you’re communicating, don’t try too hard to get other people to like you or to be impressed with you. Others can sense the energy of someone who is trying too hard. That energy is always repelling to people and pushes them away. No one likes to be coerced into anything, including being pushed into liking someone. A person who normally would be happy to be with you may think that something is wrong with you that you need to convince him or her to like you. This is especially true in heterosexual romantic relationships, where the man tends to like to do the pursuing and wooing. Let him come after you! Not the other way around. Respect Yourself as You Respect Others Don’t talk “up” to people, as if you see them as an authority figure or have them on a pedestal and hold them superior to you. If you have a great deal of respect for someone or he or she is a celebrity, talk to him or her as if to a regular person. The Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you applies perfectly to conversations. You don’t want anyone to make a fuss about you, and neither do other people (unless they are narcissists, and you don’t want to be involved in that type of relationship anyway). Complaining Do you tend to complain a lot? If you do, you may be pushing people away. Those who complain come across as whining children, who see themselves as victims who have given away their power to others. You are neither a victim nor a little child. As an adult, you can make choices to change your life. When you complain, are you looking for sympathy or solutions? The honest answer to this question can help reveal hidden fears of which you were unaware. Complaining is an unconscious communication habit. It’s a negative affirmation that draws to you the very thing you’re complaining about. It does nothing to help improve your situation. So, instead of complaining, get to work on changing your life for the better! In conversation, be real and authentic. Speak in enough detail that other people know what you’re talking about. Don’t start a conversation in the middle of a thought or assume that other people will psychically understand everything you’ve been thinking about. Breathe while you’re talking, and allow the other person to have space to reply. Be a good listener, and pay attention to what the other person is saying. Above all, though, listen to your own feelings as you’re having a conversation. Because the most important conversations that you’ll ever have are with your true self and with God. CHAPTER SIX GETTING RID OF GUILT AND WORRY Two emotions that are commonly experienced by Earth Angels are guilt and worry, and in this chapter, we’ll examine each in turn. Guilt Guilt occurs for several reasons: You’re engaging in an action that doesn’t accord with your beliefs and morals. You believe you’re not doing enough or haven’t done enough. You believe that you should make everyone happy. When someone’s unhappy, you blame yourself. Earth Angels have parental guilt toward everything that needs caretaking on this planet, including people, animals, plants, bodies of water, and so forth. You believe that you’re loved for what you do, instead of who you are. So, unless you’re doing “enough” or the “right thing,” you feel undeserving of love. When you were in the spirit world as a celestial angel, you could help on a very wide scale. Yet, you were still limited in the aid you could offer because people have freewill choices. Not even God can intervene when someone has made a freewill choice to suffer, or perform a hurtful deed. Now that you’re in a physical body, you’re even more restricted as to how many people you can affect at once. Physical bodies give you certain limitations that you didn’t have when you were a celestial angel. This can create a low-level feeling of frustration, because deep down you remember being able to travel wherever you were needed instantly. You remember being able to defy physical laws and enact miraculous solutions. And while you still have access to all of your spiritual gifts, the dense physical plane slows everything down. As a result of all these factors, you feel guilty—when it’s not your fault! By taking on a physical body, you’ve traded in one set of superpowers for another set. For example, people generally don’t listen to their guardian angels. They either don’t hear the voice of their angels, or they don’t trust or believe the messages that they receive. So you took on a human body because people do listen to other people. You’re still a messenger for God, except now as a human you can be louder and easier to understand. So we Earth Angels need to let go of guilt about not having easy access to our celestial spiritual gifts. Some guilt occurs when you do something that you believe is wrong. For instance, if you believe that cigarette smoking is harmful and low-vibrational, and you still smoke, you’re betraying yourself and the result will be guilt. Same thing if you believe it’s wrong to eat junk food, get drunk, have an affair, cheat on an exam . . . and yet you do these things anyway. As long as you’re engaged in behaviors you feel bad about, guilt will be the natural consequence. Guilt is a very low-vibrational energy. The angels say that guilt clips the wings of lightworkers. It makes us less effective as healers and manifestors. So, if you’re engaging in behaviors you don’t feel good about, there are two ways to handle this: 1. Stop doing the behavior! This is likely the healthiest route to take. Admittedly, it’s not the easiest path, but that’s why following this option makes you stronger and raises your self-esteem. 2. Change what you believe about the behavior! Guilt is more toxic than any behavior you can engage in. So if you’re going to continue with it, it’s essential that you let go of the guilt surrounding it. Meditate, pray, do research, talk to trusted people, and take other healthy steps to realign your beliefs about the behavior so that you truly can engage in it guilt-free. Everyone Has Free Will As we’ve discussed, a lot of guilt occurs because other people are unhappy and we blame ourselves for being unable to fix them. This is where we have to remember “freewill choices.” We naturally assume that everyone wants to be happy. This is because we know that happiness is the highest vibration, and one that’s healing and healthy. So why wouldn’t everyone want to be happy? In spiritual truth, we were all created equally happy, because we were made in the image and likeness of God, Who’s pure bliss, joy, and happiness. So deep down, we already are happy in our souls! But in this 3-D physical world of duality and polarities, there are opposing forces to everything. So the opposite of happiness would be depression. Some people’s lives are dedicated to experiencing duality opposites, and they go to dark extremes in order to push their ability to feel. There are some people who don’t feel alive unless they feel depressed. And one could argue that you’re in that category, too! After all, if you’re not allowing yourself to be happy, just because someone else is unhappy, aren’t you also contributing to unhappiness in the world? Wanting everyone to be happy ultimately is very controlling. You’re making the decision for others what emotional state they should be in. And then you might be pressuring them to follow your advice so that they can feel happy. That’s really rude and, ultimately, borders on playing God. Everyone makes their own choices, and while you can be a very positive influence and role model for others, in the end it’s up to them to choose whether to be happy or not. Love means respecting someone’s choices for themselves. Of course, if a loved one goes into clinical depression, you’d definitely want to intervene and seek professional help. Depression can lead to serious health consequences and even suicide. But for an average amount of sadness, give people space to make up their own minds if that’s how they want to live. This will make your life a whole lot easier. You don’t have to be in charge anymore, which is a very freeing realization! And if you don’t enjoy being with someone who chooses to be chronically unhappy, know that you don’t have to spend time with him or her! Worry Worry arises when you try to control the future by figuring out what bad things might happen so that you can prevent them. The trouble with worry as a control device is that the opposite of what you desire always occurs. What you worry about tends to happen. It’s an extremely low-vibrational energy that causes tension in your face, body, and mind. Worry pushes away other people, who are consciously or unconsciously repelled by the low energy of this emotion. So, worrying can leave you feeling lonely and afraid at a time when you need support. In addition, by obsessively worrying about something, you’ll tend to manifest that very thing in a self-fulfilling prophecy. So instead of helping you control the future, worry actually brings about everything you don’t want. It’s probably one of the worst defense mechanisms that you can adopt. Worry can be an inherited habit. If you saw your parents worrying a lot, you may have adopted this behavior as a normal part of life. Sometimes parents feel that this is a requirement of love. Some parents even tell their children: “I only worry about you because I love you.” And then the child grows up confusing worry with love. Of course it’s normal to be worried about our children! But when we realize that this emotion helps nothing and can often bring about negative results, we become more motivated to turn this around. Worry can become an addictive habit as well. (Addictions are obsessive and compulsive behaviors that create temporary relief and happiness, followed by long-term pain.) Worry can briefly give you the feeling that you’ll be able to master and control the situation, so it becomes your go-to coping habit. In addition to the behavioral addiction to this emotion, excessive worry can also lead to substance addictions that you turn to in an attempt to calm yourself down. People who worry a great deal have a sense of doom-and-gloom about their future. They expect the worst, often as a way of avoiding being surprised or disappointed if the worst in fact occurs. These are often people who have had challenging and harsh lives, and all they’ve known is pain and betrayal in their relationships. So it’s no wonder that they worry that more pain will come their way. Chronic worry can suppress your immune system, and you might also experience symptoms of panic attacks and muscular tension. Medical studies show that chronic worriers are more prone to cardiovascular disease and other illness. The first thing to know is that you can make a better future for yourself without having to resort to worry. So before you start worrying about worrying, let’s talk about some real options for you: 1. Avoid stimulants in food and beverages. Coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, sugar, and other stimulants can make your body nervous and tense, and your mind will attribute this tension to anxiety. 2. Exercise. Blowing off steam through cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, running, using an elliptical trainer, yoga, fast walking, swimming, bicycling, dancing, and so forth is a wonderful way to reduce or eliminate the worry habit. 3. Turn worries into prayers. Worries never help anything, but prayers always help everything. The next time you’re fretting about something, frame your concern into a complete sentence. Either write the worry down on paper, type it on your computer, or say the complete sentence out loud. By facing your worries, you defuse their power over you. Worries, left inside and unconscious, are what create the low-level rumblings of anxiety in the background of your mind and emotions. Next, put the words God, please help me with this. . . in front of the worry. You have now turned your worry into a prayer. As you know, God and the angels can only help you if you give them permission. They respect your freewill choices, and will only intervene if you ask. So by turning worries into prayers, you have just allowed heaven to support you with miraculous solutions. Dark Night of the Soul The dark night of the soul occurs when you confront your innermost fears and feel them completely and deeply. For most people, this means facing issues of life and death, the meaning of your life, and whether life is worth living. The dark night of the soul is similar to the initiations that ancient Egyptian candidates for high priest- and priestesshood would endure. In that culture, you’d be enclosed in a sarcophagus, which is like a coffin, for several days. In that enclosed environment, with no light and just enough air for you not to suffocate, your mind would terrify you as your fears came alive as very realistic hallucinations. At the end of two or three days, when the sarcophagus was opened up, if you were still alive, you passed the initiation. Some people actually died from fear, even though it was just in their minds. This shows how terrifying our thoughts can be if we were to really confront them head-on. In a dark night of the soul, you feel totally alone in the world, completely misunderstood, as if you don’t fit in anywhere. You feel like your life doesn’t matter, so what’s the use of carrying on? Like the ancient Egyptian initiation, the dark night of the soul puts you in a position of life or death. Some people don’t survive, because they decide life isn’t worth living, and they tragically take their own lives. For some, this suicide takes a slower pace, with the person using toxic addictions to gradually kill themselves. But if you can stay with the emotions, including the very painful ones, the dark night of the soul can actually lift your whole life to a higher and clearer level. Nobody wishes for a dark night of the soul, and it’s not something that you can create artificially. Basically, it just happens when you least expect it, usually because something has triggered a deep and dark emotional place inside of you. Dark nights of the soul, like every part of life, serve a healing and useful function. The dark night of the soul is a mirror that you hold up to yourself so that you can see the contents of your ego’s fears. A lot of the painful emotions you’re experiencing are connected to situations that happened in your childhood. Present-day situations are triggering painful memories. Don’t numb your pain or run away from your emotions. They’re your teachers! Just keep asking your painful feelings, What are you here to teach me? Ultimately, it will boil down to this: forgiving yourself and everyone who has ever hurt you is the only way to escape the pain. You don’t need to forgive their actions. You definitely should still stand up for yourself and be truthful about your feelings. And you don’t want to stand for any form of abuse. But forgiveness is essential as the ultimate detox. Let go of the past in all directions of time and finally be free! CHAPTER SEVEN BE YOUR OWN AUTHORITY FIGURE One of the top questions I’m asked is whether someone’s dream will be successful or not. Usually people will tell me that they have a dream career, and they wonder whether it’s safe to make the change from their current job and move forward in the direction they desire. As an example, people will often ask me if they’re a healer. What they really mean by that question is: “Could I be successful as a professional healer?” They know they’re a healer because they’ve had many experiences where their healing energy has helped someone. But what they don’t know for certain is whether they could make it a full-time occupation. When someone asks me this question, of course I can give him or her a reading. I can see the energy around everyone and how it relates to their ideal career and life purpose. This is something I’ve been doing with my friends since I was a kid. While I’m certainly happy to do career and life-purpose readings, what I’d prefer is for people to become their own authority figures. Because what troubles me during these readings is the feeling that the person is giving his or her power away to me. So I always do my best to empower him or her. We’re raised to be disempowered, unfortunately. In school, we’re taught that we must raise our hands in order to go to the bathroom, which is a basic and necessary bodily function. We’re taught that we have to raise our hands before we can speak, when speaking is another natural function. Yes, these rules create social parameters and order. But the unfortunate result is that we learn to squelch our natural impulses and instincts. We become overly compliant. We also learn to rely upon other people giving us permission to do what we want or need to do. This sets up a very unhealthy chain of events. And it leads to people second-guessing themselves as adults. So if a very talented healer comes to me and she isn’t doing healing work because she’s second-guessing herself, I consider this a tragedy. Think about how many lives she could have touched and healed if she’d just followed her inner guidance when it first arose. Stop Playing Life Safe! Every successful person has to take ri