Carol has trouble saying no. She agrees to every request at work and every favor her friends ask. “I am spread too thin to do a good job and I have no time left for myself. I’m angry with myself for not setting boundaries, and at my friends for putting me in this position. My anger only makes things worse — it is straining my relationships and making it even harder for me to say NO!”

The clutter in John’s house was driving him crazy. “I have papers all over and it just keeps getting worse. I can’t find what I need — not even my bills. I feel guilty about the mess, and this makes me avoid dealing with it even more. It’s a vicious cycle; the worse I feel, the more I procrastinate, the bigger the mess and the more hopeless I feel.”

Many people get stuck in ruts like these — you don’t handle something the way you think you should, and you feel worse and worse. You may even unconsciously think that somehow feeling bad or guilty will make it better, or is your “punishment.” We often fall into this trap. When we feel bad, not satisfied with a situation, stuck in anger or depression, we may react by feeling worse, blaming and abusing ourselves or others. This seems to us an appropriate reaction, despite the fact that experience shows us that it only compounds the situation.

The true foundation of this problem is misunderstanding the purpose of our emotions. Negative feelings and dissatisfaction with life are part of a feedback mechanism, a way to let us know that something is amiss. The awareness of the difference between what we want and what we’ve got, feeling good and not, negative emotions and life situations, show us that we are not in alignment with our Source. Our energetic patterns are not supporting who we are and who we want to be.

How we feel actually shows us exactly what we do support in our energetic and vibrational fields. This gives us important information that we can use to break free of our dysfunctional patterns and manifest what we desire. If we believe that we want to be efficient yet constantly put things off, our energy is supporting procrastination. It may also support our fears of success, relationships, responsibility, and feeling “too” good. When we feel stuck, it is because we are causing the same situation over and over again. We are in a vibration of “stuckness.” We all know what that feels like. You can feel it now. Imagine that you are stuck repeating something you don’t want, jobs where you are not rewarded, paperwork piling up, or even getting sick too often. Think about the unwanted repetitions and feel what that feels like in your body. Heavy, down, tiresome — NOT GOOD. Now, concentrate on feeling that you are creating the life that you want — things are flowing well, you identify problems and resolve them easily and life is good. How does that feel?

This awareness isn’t about adding blame to what already feels bad. Most of us have already learned that. This is about changing our negative, repetitive patterns, and about using our feelings to make us aware when are not a vibrational match for what we want. We can learn to be conscious creators rather than unconscious reactors. If we don’t make this shift, our problems — physical or mental, big or small — will intensify and grow.

The good news is that we can do this at any time. Not by focusing on the problem, as we habitually do, but by making our energy strong for our preferred result. Before we even attempt to solve a problem, we must become a vibrational match for our preferred result. If we try to solve problems from the same vibrations that created them, our solutions will be short-lived at best.

To change our patterns, it is helpful to strengthen our energy field. One way to do this is to sit or stand with your toes pointing toward each other and your tongue on the roof your mouth. You can practice abdominal breathing and other exercises to relax your energetic field and help you release the muscular holding in your body.

Don’t focus on that which needs to be changed — the mess, how many things you have tried before, how difficult it is to change, how your friends or relatives have similar problems, etc. Focus on what is right in your life — at this moment — while you attempt to achieve your goals. Resonate with what you want to attract. If you want things in order, find the places where order already exists. If you can’t find order in your life, put your attention on the benefits orderliness will bring you. For example, if you think orderliness will bring peace, focus on the peace you feel walking in nature.

Carol learned to pay attention to her inner “radar.” She focused her attention on the vertical line going down the center of her body to help her become neutral enough to interpret her feelings. Carol considered whether saying yes made her feel good inside, or if there was something that didn’t feel quite right. It took some practice to follow her feelings instead of what she thought others expected of her. As she came more into alignment, Carol found that others asked her to do things more selectively. Her productivity, relationships, and enjoyment of life increased.

John had spent years trying to solve his clutter problem. He read books and attended classes, but found no long-term solutions. When he stopped focusing on his problem, he changed his situation. Instead of deciding that his life was indeed a mess, he took responsibility for creating a different scenario. He created good feelings within himself, making those his reality rather than the piles of bills and papers. The good feelings became an attractor field that brought his inner desires and outer life into alignment with his positive purpose. While still not the neatest or most organized person, clutter ceased to be an issue for John. In fact, John realized that clutter had been only a smokescreen to keep him from having the success he felt too frightened and undeserving to achieve.

If you want success, feel it, experience it, surround yourself with it. Find everything you can think about right now that contributes to your feelings of success. Be clear about where you want to go — and do whatever you can to bring that energy into your field now, from a position of ease and success.

Gratitude journals are another way to help shift your field. As you focus your attention on what you appreciate in your life, you attract more things of similar vibration — both the vibration of appreciation as well as the specific things that you are grateful for. As your life gets better, you may decide to create additional goals for yourself — not because life is not working, but because it is. And you can continue to focus on other desires that you would like to manifest from the new acceptance of your role as a joyous creator of your own life.