Filled with an unexpected and unusual organizational frenzy, I cleaned up my e-mails on Saturday..and promptly lost every blooming one.  I didn’t exactly delete them, they seemed to disappear into the ether somewhere.  Not the great result I was looking for.

They were probably occupying the same space with all the odd socks that have mysteriously disappeared over the years.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?

I panicked…it’s my go-to mode when the inexplicable happens.  I knew I had important unanswered e-mails sitting somewhere and I wanted them back.  Like now. And eventually I fell back on tried and true methods to be revealed later…


I was reminded of this today when I met with a friend who was frantically trying to gain access to a site that held a vital e-mail list.  She was sooooo ticked off,  steam coming out of her ears and a progressive annoyance becoming more and more obvious as she attempted various and no doubt brilliant manoeuvres guaranteed to fix the problem.  She was upset.

Fifteen minutes into my friend’s awesome manoeuvring nothing had changed.  Still no list.  Still no ability to log in to her site.  Sheer and utter frustration.  This was definitely not the easy path to great results.

No force necessary

We think that by forcing issues, making things happen, wanting it all to be different, fighting against what’s wrong we can make it all right.  Right?  But all it does is magnify the very thing we want to be different.

Thank goodness there’s another way, otherwise I’d still be up the creek without a paddle, in other words without my e-mails.

And yes, they returned to me from the depths of the internet black hole.  And no, I have no clue about the how of it.  I just know the why.

I used my imagination to see everything being back the way I wanted it. And in this space we’re led to a new and different action which brings the results we want.

We don’t have to force things to get what we want, all we have to do is occupy the consciousness of already having it.  Okay, okay, I know it’s easier said than done.  Especially when we’re in the middle of a melt-down over a relationship, or health challenge or something a little more significant than a missing e-mail or two.

The space of power

Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and freedom. ~ Viktor Frankl

And it’s here, in this space, that the power to change our world exists.  By taking a breath, a step back, we give ourselves time to change our focus, taking it off what we don’t want and placing it firmly and squarely on what we do want…a much easier path to great results.

Regardless of whether something is trivial or of vital importance to us, keeping our attention on what we don’t want, what we’re upset about, is never going to give us what we do want.

Stop the reinforcement

Most of what we feel is ‘wrong’ in our lives gets reinforced by our very thoughts about it. Every situation that you find yourself in that seems problematic, or upsetting, or hurtful is made manifestly worse by consistently returning to it.

And that’s the thing about imagination it works for us and ‘agin us.  It can preserve and keep the situation you really don’t want – because our thoughts and feelings dwell in this world of imagination.  And then again, imagination can transform and change the situation until we’re all yelling woohoo, I did it.

Don’t say ‘yes’ to anything if you want it to be ‘a big no way’.

Don’t get caught in the negativity trap

The ideas that impel us into action are those that dominate the consciousness, and the actions we might take from the state of mind of upset, or worry, or hurt, or annoyance are going to be different than the actions we would take if we were relaxed and comfortable, safe in the knowledge that our imagined outcome was assured.

Results are always a perfect reflection of our consciousness.

In every assumption we make, the means for its realization exists. Imagination and assumptions influence our behavior, by inspiring in us the movements, the actions, and the words which carry us forward towards the  fulfillment of our desires.

If you’re not convinced yet, try taking a step back from the next challenge that has you in a tizz and take time to imagine the outcome you want to experience.  And see what happens.  See if you have a new idea or two from which to act.  What have you got to lose?   Oh yes, all those upset, negative feelings that bring so much joy and great results.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. “We think that by forcing issues, making things happen, wanting it all to be different, fighting against what’s wrong we can make it all right. Right? But all it does is magnify the very thing we want to be different”

    I have found this to be so true. I have “learned” it again and again, but keep doing it wrong. We must train ourselves to mindfully respond with your wonderful technique of imagining the outcome we desire, instead of giving energy to the un-desired.

    Thank you Elle for a wonderful article.

    Dan Garner

    • Elle

      You know Dan, for me, it’s just about practice, it’s just about old thoughts and feelings still showing up and if I don’t like the look of them, I recognize the old stuff hasn’t been sufficiently replaced yet…but I press on…because I know that’s how I create new habits.

      For some things, turning to imagination is easy, mostly because I have no ‘conscious’ idea of what to do. But there are times when, like everyone else, I can get caught up in trying to force something to happen…funny thing is it really never works out as well. 🙂

  2. I was reminded of this in a small way yesterday. I dropped by the house to pick up something on the way to a meeting, was there for less than five minutes, and proceeded to lose my car keys in the process. I looked for them for 30 minutes: no dice.

    Somehow, in my mounting angry panic, I remembered something my boss (a social worker) told us once in a training meeting: anger and frustration literally make our vision worse (and our hearing and all other senses). The angrier I got, the less likely I was to see them. I sat down on the couch, called a friend to talk about anything BUT the car keys, took some deep breaths and told myself I’d find them, then got up to suddenly find my black keys on my black dresser. I had looked there several times and had just not seen them.

    Silly, but your post reminds me that this is a fitting metaphor for bigger problems. Our negative emotions not only do not help, they actually harm. Thanks for this perspective.


    • Elle

      Your boss was one smart bloke CJ – those high voltage feelings have a way of drowning out everything else. And in your case, they also prevented you from seeing your car keys. Funny that. But you are right, they’re all great metaphors for life in general – it’s being smart enough to recognize them and use the information beneficially. How cool is that? 🙂

  3. 🙂 You put it all so nicely and endorse my belief that everything is possible. Right now, I am going through an overwhelm phase. I know it will all be okay, but until it does – the process is driving me a little crazy. There is so much I want to do – but unfortunately, I cannot just let go of certain things like client work. Sometimes, it is necessary to push our own wishes back to oblige someone else. Cycle of life, I like to call it. Ah, but this too shall pass.

    I’ve quit looking at the size of my mailbox 😀 I’ve just set filters for certain emails, so they go directly into a folder without touching the inbox. Then I read just those when I can.

    Hugs, Vidya. (I love the “motivational blogger” tag!)

  4. Elle- WELL, I was kicked off of Facebook a few months ago because someone hacked my account. I was upset for about 3 minutes until I said ‘Who cares?’ E-mails and addresses lost- no big deal. If someone wants to get to me, they will. Anyway, no visualization – no AOL.

    NOW- after reading Esther and Jerry Hicks book again, I am visualizing myself with a flat stomach. My attitude and my posture has changed. I imagine myself already being there. What say you LOA expert? xxoo-Fran

    • Elle

      Hey Fran, I love that about you. Who cares indeed? Did you get back on FB pretty quickly – enquiring minds want to know the rest of the story!

      Funny isn’t it how our body pays attention to our inner self. Here you are imagining yourself with a flat stomach and your body begins to follow suit. I find that when what I’m imagining begins to feel natural to me that actions follow. And I never second guess what they might be because I’d tend to go to the obvious ones…I just leave it to that higher piece of me that knows exactly what I did to experience the fabulous scene I’ve written for myself. Adding in things like what my friends now say to me about how I look…and any other the things that might happen if it were ‘real’.

      I know you did it kiddo…so keep us posted. 🙂

    • Ah Elle- Mistake in above comment. It wasn’t FB but AOL that I was kicked off of. Nope- never let back on…but all for the good. It has made my life a lot easier! xxoo

  5. I love this post, Elle! I think I was like your friend and lost my feedburner list the other day. It was pretty devastating to think that it might be gone forever but I did think to myself, “Why worry over what I can’t control?” It took a while but the list did appear.

    Thank you for these great reminder!

  6. Hi Elle, One day my extremely annoyingly organized mother-in-law came in and reorganized my kids clothes that were already put away (by me), spent hours ironing things that didn’t need to be ironed (never touch one, myself), and I seriously was going to tell her to stop re-doing everything I had already done because it was frustrating and annoying to me. Finally I gave up on it and just would intentionally leave all 18 loads of laundry out for when she came to town. This never bothered her. In fact, I think it made her HAPPY. It gave her something to do. Also she started a giant ziploc bag of socks for those that had no match. At first I was annoyed with that, too – until I came up with several no-mate socks and remembered the bag – which held their friends. Aha! This actually made ME happy. Ever since then I never freak out about anything that disappears, seems to mysteriously delete itself or even those days when my cell phone refuses to put through a call. It’s like the universe knows when my sock and their sock need to match, and somehow it always is better timing than I had originally planned.

    • Elle

      What a great story Julie. I want an extremely annoying buy highly organized someone in my world…I’d willingly let them in…especially if it had the same happy ending as your story does. 🙂

  7. Hi Elle,

    Glad you were able to find your email list again. I love your phrase the internet black hole. That does seem to fit. I panicked today because my website email account was shut down because of a link I had attached to the post. I didn’t realize that the link had been blacklisted, so I was in a bit of a panic as it takes a bit of time to accumulate those subscribers. All ended well, as they restored my account, but I know that feeling of panic that comes over you when with a small click of a button, things disappear.

    • Elle

      Cathy, you make me feel so much better knowing that I’m not the only one who has the odd internet challenge. And I’m so happy all turned out well for you too. 🙂

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