Sponsored Sharing vs. Sponsored Spamming

Most of the people I know are on some form of social media somewhere. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, blog networks of all sorts. I love social media. It’s helped me reconnect with friends from years past and keep up with family and friends that live too far away. These online meeting grounds do not charge for their services, and most of them have advertising on sidebars or elsewhere. I know that there is great cost associated with managing such a deep network, so I don’t mind the advertising. Sometimes I even find the advertising interesting.

Of course, as more eyeballs turn to social media for their distractions, more advertisers are looking for ways to “monetize” social media. There are internet marketers, spammers, and scammers galore looking for ways to get your attention and into your mind and wallet.

One of the recent trends in the field of social media marketing is “sponsored sharing.” There are companies out there that are looking to use your newsfeed to get to your friends, and they’re willing to pay you for the privilege.

I would be very careful using such a service. Not only will it negatively affect your audience, it will negatively affect your friendships.

Think of it this way. An advertiser buying space on a sidebar next to your newsfeed on either Twitter or Facebook is akin to an advertiser buying a 30-second spot during your favorite television show. It’s a trade off to your enjoyment and connection, and you allow the interruption.

When you post something in someone’s newsfeed (in other words, when you post a status update) you are visiting them in an intimate space. You are sitting at their home telling them what’s new in your life or what is important to you.

A sponsored link in that space is like being invited to dinner and spontaneously being possessed by a random arbitrary advertiser at someone’s dinner table. It’s the first step towards being asked to leave, and perhaps even being permanently ostracized.

Don’t do the sponsored links.

I don’t mind if you talk about your own products or projects. For example, if you recently launched a new product, I don’t mind hearing about it. But if you’re an affiliate promoting someone else’s product, keep it off my newsfeed. Otherwise you’re a spammer.

Friends don’t spam friends.

If you have a mailing list and you send me a mailing that has nothing more than links to products you found on Clickbank, you’re not telling me anything new. You’re a spammer. Cut it out, or you’re going to get unsubscribes from me.

A Prescription Better Social Sharing

To those companies and advertisers looking to *gag* monetize *gag* social media, I understand your pain. I do. We’re not watching television anymore, as there is not much compelling content that the media is putting out there in an advertisable format. The valuable viewer is turning towards HBO or Netflix to avoid your interruptions. How else do you get the eyeballs of those with disposable income?

I have some ideas.

Do something meaningful. Create something unique and powerful. Create a product that is worth talking about.

Don’t be an internet marketer. Be a content producer. Produce something meaningful. It might not be meaningful to everyone, but it will be meaningful to someone. Talk about your own products.

If you find a product that is meaningful to you, I don’t mind if you talk about it. For example, I found a coffee that I just love here in Mount Shasta. It’s great. Sometimes I rave about it on my news feed. But I am raving about it because it is a part of my current experience.

I rave about things that are important to me. Should I be paid for doing so? Maybe, I don’t know. But I don’t think we should be willfully raving about things just for money. It cheapens the experience of connecting with our friends, our families, and our fellow earthlings.

I also don’t think we as advertisers should be paying for buzz. We shouldn’t be paying for views on our videos; that’s just gaming the system.

Generating “buzz” is about doing something meaningful. Buying buzz cheapens your work. People are waking up to the marketers. They see content for what it is, and they can tell when something is worthwhile and substantive.

What is meaningful?

Meaningful work comes from the heart. It comes from you. It comes from your inspiration. It comes from seeing a problem and solving it in an inspired way.

If you’re not sure how to find what is in your heart or what inspires you, it’s time to reconnect with who you really are.

 

Mindfulness for Busy Moms

I am a big advocate of meditation as a method of clearing unproductive thoughts. Very rarely do helpful things happen in the mind, but meditation is the best tool for clearing those unhelpful thoughts so that more productive ones can come forth.

“The mind is a terrible master, but a wonderful servant.”

As you watch your thoughts, you’ll notice some patterns. Some thoughts are about the past. Some thoughts are about the future.

Very rarely, you will have a thought that is helpful in the here and now. And those productive thoughts seem to creep in when you’re focusing your mind on something else. Productive, inspired thoughts are often a result of meditation. And honestly, those inspired thoughts often begin as a feeling rather than a thought.

As a mom, I very rarely have an hour to myself to meditate. There are many demands on my time, but I make a conscious attempt to quiet my mind and tap into the wisdom of my body every day. Here are some ways I do it, even though I am busier than the proverbial one-legged man.

1. Use your breath. The breath is powerful. It is the one constant, the one part of your being that you cannot quiet. It also mirrors the flux of the universe… one moment we are here, the next moment we are not. We are creating and re-creating our experience in every instant.

The breath does not occur in the mind; it occurs in our chest, nearest our heart. The breath is the reminder that our heart has its own wisdom, its own power, and it is central to our being. As you breathe in, bring your focus into your body, into your heart, into the space where the magic occurs.

2. Use movement. Movement activates the wisdom in your body. Your mind does not have to calculate or computer what the next step should look like, you just do it. And as your mind is given less to do, the body’s wisdom takes over. A “walking meditation,” especially in nature, can lessen the wandering thoughts and allow the inspiration of the moment to come through your body’s other wisdom centers.

When coupled with awareness of your breath, the increased awareness within your body revitalizes your beingness to tap into the magical space.

3. Spend more time with mindful beings. Be more dog-like. Cat like, if you prefer. Deer like, if you want. Childlike, even. The animals in our world are not plagued with thoughts of the past or the future. They also have memories and patterns, but they are in the here and now more than anyone I have encountered.

Of course, you have been gifted with creative abilities far beyond the animals, but to master your animal nature is not to eschew it. To master your animal nature, you learn to use that nature so that you can hone your creative abilities. Cultivating mindfulness so that it is useful to you is mastering your nature.

4. Get out into nature. The natural world is full of peaceful, heart-centered reminders of your physical body, quieting the mind. A walk in nature with a couple of canine friends is the perfect antidote to an overactive mind. Running water, rustling leaves, warm sunshine, and green plants everywhere remind us of the physical world, grounding us in our bodies. Green is the color of the heart chakra, the center of your being where your deeper connection to the wider consciousness of All That Is becomes much more apparent.

Max and Riley play in the stream in the meadow.

Bring your children with you. There is a creek running through our neighborhood. I grab the children, the dog, a neighbor’s dog, and head to the creek. The dogs and kids splash in the water. And I contemplate. I breathe. I stretch, and sometimes I play in the water, too. Time seems to fly as we’re there. It becomes very easy for me to let go of all of the things I need to do and just be.

5. Do chores. I’ve got plenty of those. I use the mindless activities of washing dishes, cleaning the house, and gardening as meditation time as well. Repetitive activities are a good time to clear your mind of all thoughts while going through the motions of “chopping wood and carrying water.”

Why Cultivate Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has enormous benefit. It reduces stress, which creates greater harmony in all areas of your life including your physical and mental health. It also opens you to the deeper part of yourself where inspiration resides.

It allows your spiritual energy to flow. It brings ideas, peace, wisdom, greater patience, and a higher propensity to see your world and your self much more clearly.

Scientists beginning to explore the benefits of meditation and mindfulness are showing that it even rewires your brain to make the benefits of a five minute meditation session last much longer.

Meditation and Mindfulness are Important to Conscious Creation

You cannot create what you want until you are clear. If you are thinking about the past, you are trapped in old patterns. If you are worrying about the future, you creating a probable future that is shaped by your worries.

Getting clear means clearing the data in your mind. It means tapping into something that is much larger than who you are. It means being open to change, to flowing energy, and to exploring who you are, what you really want, and your inspiration.

Meditation is the clearest, cleanest, and most proven method of getting there.

There is No Perfect Meditation

The goal of mindfulness and meditation is to be able to discern who you really are. It is to learn that you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, and you are not the sum of your past. You are here now. You are not your future, either. You are nothing more than who you are as the observer here now.

There are plenty of times to allow that mindfulness in. Supporting the intent to increase mindfulness in your experience with small breaks of meditation when you can. Just like a muscle, your ability to be mindful will grow the more it is used.

 

The Wealth Diet Free on Kindle Today

To celebrate the first day of summer, I’m offering The Wealth Diet for free on Kindle today, June 20, 2012. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get the book for free and read it using the free Kindle app on your iPad, your iPhone, Android, or even on your PC or Mac.

I don’t have a Kindle either, but I have an iPad, and I really like the Kindle app on the iPad for reading books. It gives me the ability to read in bed, in the dark, without burning my eyes out or turning on lights. I can choose my fonts. I can customize the experience of reading to my own particular idiosyncrasies. I really appreciate eBook reading, and the devices that make it user friendly. My Kindle library keeps growing. And I really believe in the digital publishing platform, which is why I am offering the Kindle book for free right now.

To get the book, you can go here.

The Wealth Diet Kindle eBook

I’ve added a bunch of free resources to the Kindle book, which you can find in the back of the book. These are videos, audios, and links to resources that can help you clear unconscious beliefs. There is a link for one audio about Inspired Wealth that Mark did for The Wealth Diet experiment that is only available (for the moment) for people who buy The Wealth Diet. When you get your Kindle eBook, you can grab those resources through links in the back of the book.

I hope you have a blessed summer 2012, experiencing more abundance than you can imagine!

 

Summer in Mount Shasta

I spent the weekend recovering from a group yard sale suggested by a neighbor that started with the idea of “how bad could it be?” The answer came loud and clear: I’m done with yard/garage sales. I will never again buy things I don’t need, and I will give away the things I unknowingly accumulated.

If there is a Certified Minimalist Accreditation Program somewhere, sign me up.

My recovery attempts led me to doing a lot of things unique to Mount Shasta. We had a Father’s Day brunch bordering on dinner at the Hi-Lo in Weed (not my choice, but the Hi-Lo is consistent if not healthy), I took the dogs swimming in the creek by our house, we went to the lake (because one swim is not enough for the dog), and meditated in the forest.

Swimming with doggies

Swimming with doggies

Once summer is in full force in Mount Shasta, I seem to develop amnesia that the winters here can be so brutal. Every day feels like perfection. Summer in Mount Shasta feels like you planned the most perfect vacation you could have ever planned, and the weather cooperates completely. It’s like this EVERY DAY. Sure, you get a hot day here and there, but because we are blessed with no humidity, the nights always cool down.

And for those hot days, you only need to travel up a few thousand feet to get relief. For those cold days, you can always travel to Redding to escape the cold and snow. And coming from Chicago, I’ll just say that Mount Shasta’s idea of “cold” has no idea what cold really is.

Sunset at Lake Siskiyou

Sunset at Lake Siskiyou

Mount Shasta summer is sublime. Through the survival of ten feet crazy snowdrifts in the driveway, we have earned this.

  • The Fourth of July is a really big deal. The fifth of July feels like you’re falling off a cliff into a snowdrift.
  • The sky is clearer and bluer than it is anywhere else I’ve ever been.
  • It’s hot in the sun, cool in the shade. We don’t have an air conditioner and don’t need one.
  • Tourists EVERYWHERE.
  • The probability of running into an actual Telosian rises exponentially.
  • The probability of running into someone looking for an actual Telosian is near 100%.
  • If it rains, it’s snowing somewhere.
  • The mountain is more beautiful in the summer than anything else I’ve seen.
  • The bears make themselves known, though you’ll probably smell one before you see one.
  • The population of the town quadruples for about 3 weeks.The population of my neighborhood doubles.
  • At least two-thirds of the tourists are carrying massive cameras requiring chiropractic adjustments post vacation. Don’t we have smaller options now?
  • I don’t have to shovel snow, but I do have to water my garden twice a day because it isn’t going to rain.
  • Sprinkler systems and drip hoses are a girl’s best friend.
  • It cools down enough every night to remind you that winter never really leaves. If you need a reminder of that, just look up.

 

 

Redefining the Perfect Life

There is an epidemic of false perfection in America. It is perpetrated by the media, but it is accepted by you. You, like me, fall into guilty pleasures of fantasy that some people have it made, that some people have all the luck, that some people have found “the secret” to living a perfect life. You believe that those living the lifestyles of the rich and famous are somehow wealthier than you.

In order to experience what they have, you must redefine wealth.

Wealth is so much more than money. I’ve had money, I’ve had fancy possessions, and I have had many interactions with those you may consider to be rich and famous.

Last month, I ended up sitting at dinner next to a rich and famous man. The star of many Hollywood movies, if I mentioned his name to you, you would instantly know who he is. You would recognize him on the street. And like many people at the restaurant that night, your words would have fallen silent when he walked into the room.

There was no mistake about it. He was as wealthy as they come.

And he, like many of the rich and famous I have known, was as human as they come.

He does not have the perfect life you might imagine. In fact, I witnessed an argument between him and his wife that positively ruined their dinner. The tension was palpable.

I sent them both much love and compassion as I sat next to them. I imagined their argument as a glowing red ball between them and sent deep feelings of heart-centered love to that glowing red ball in the hopes of dissipating that which divided them that night.

He was fairly down to earth for the level of fame he has experienced. I don’t think he’d tell you he has a perfect life; I think he’d tell you he’s human.

But the machine of marketing will tell you that his life is perfect.

Why the pedestal?

It is my belief that we place other people on pedestals of idolatry because we have been trained to want something more than what we are. It is okay to want things, desire is a good thing. But when we are wanting things that are externally driven versus internally driven, it removes us from our path as conscious creators.

The externally driven, ego-based desire separates you from who you really are. We are shown rich people with their car collections, and then sold a program to help you attract a new car. We are shown fancy new cars and a debt payment plan that enslaves and entraps us. We see a celebrity with the latest fashions and are sent subliminal messages that separate us from our wealth so that we have a piece of cloth.

The pedestal exists to keep you wanting.

Those who keep the pedestal in place are trying to sell you something. I know, shocking. It is absolutely shocking that the marketers of this world are doing what they do… they are using age-old laws of persuasion to create a need within you and their product as the solution to that need.

You can play that game if you want. But when you’re ready to live a life of fulfillment and abundance, you must turn within and start exploring who you are from the inside out. There is no other way.

Every great spiritual teaching of the world has consciousness exploration as a main tenet. We become trained at a young age to look outside. We get lost. And there is no one who can lead you back to your inner wisdom except you.

In my book, The Wealth Diet, I tell you what has worked for me. But you must do your own searching. If you don’t know where to start, there are resources that can help. I have shared a few.

In The Wealth Diet, there are 28 exercises to help you find your unique, internally driven desire. The internally driven desire is who you really are. It is being the artist instead of the accountant, it is being driving the car you really like instead of the status symbol. It is having more than enough money to do what you want, it is having miracles of abundance come your way without having to sacrifice your integrity for them.

It is no coincidence that day one of The Wealth Diet asks you to step away from the media that insidiously separates you from your internal desire.

What is the Perfect Life?

If perfection is being airbrushed on the pages of a magazine, it doesn’t exist. But if perfection is attuning to your heart and living your life’s desires, then there is a perfect life that is all your own.

Wealth is inside of you. It is in your heart, your dreams, and your inner desires. It is in the plan your soul made when you decided to exist in this earthly arena.

We have been distracted for too long by the glitter, the sizzle, and the falsehood. It has created a society of unsustainable consumerism that makes the hunger of desire even stronger.

You have all that you need, and you are on the perfect path with your inner guidance as a compass. Go forth and live your perfect life.

 

The Wealth Diet and Speaking My Truth

The Wealth DietLast year, I started writing The Wealth Diet. But it kept coming out wonky and blocked. Then, I started writing again on TheWealthDiet.com with a group of people as a part of The Wealth Diet experiment.

I wrote from my heart, and I wrote my truth. And the words flowed like a river.

What was difficult before became easy once I wrote from my heart, from my truth, from the center of my being.

I’m not sure if “The Wealth Diet” is the best title for my book. It’s not necessarily about money, but it sure is about experiencing wealth. The Wealth Diet is about living the best life you can possibly live, and it is about living from your heart.

The exercises in The Wealth Diet can be used to create any type of wealth. They are simple to do and easy. You don’t need a coaching program, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. All you need is readily available to you, inexpensive, easy to understand, and simple.

That’s right. I said it. Creating wealth is an incredibly simple process.

Getting outside help is helpful at times. Therapy is helpful, too. Be judicious about those you hire as trusted advisers. There is no multi-thousand dollar program that will make you wealthy.

You will make yourself wealthy. You do it by allowing yourself to experience the wealth that you are.

In The Wealth Diet, I share a number of personal stories about my experiments in manifestation. These stories go back to when I was a child, and many of them happened in over 15 years ago. These stories are all examples coupled with exercises that will help you in your own journey of uncovering wealth.

No one can do it for you.

I also share my stories from some experiences while living and working in Austin, Texas. We left Texas rather abruptly, and in response to the a “last straw, final wake up call” situation. It was time to leave. Since leaving, there have been many requests for us to tell our tale, and we haven’t. It hasn’t been the right time, and it hasn’t had the right energy.

In The Wealth Diet, I tell one of those stories. The context is a lesson, and it is from my perspective. My intent in telling this story is to help people recognize when they are in a situation where they are giving away their power.

Conflict Avoidance Creates More Conflict

Unfortunately, that story got someone’s dander in the air, from all accounts I have received. I, like many others, have been threatened to “keep quiet.”

As I kept quiet over the last few years, my writing suffered. And I am a writer, first and foremost. I made a decision to keep quiet to avoid conflict, and instead I felt a conflict within myself. It was as if I was in a prison of my own making, a silent, invisible prison of fire.

I was choosing to put myself in that situation because of the threats. I couldn’t speak up. I couldn’t speak out. And when I tried, I held back. My priority was to avoid conflict.

I finally made a decision to speak my truth, and the dam broke. I began to feel the words gushing forward in a rush. My connection to Spirit returned full force, and I began receiving guidance and messages not only about what to write next, but what to do next.

My priority now is not to avoid conflict, but to stay centered in the truth of my heart. I have expended so much energy avoiding this conflict due to the threats, staying centered in the truth of my heart has been a foreign journey. And that is the saddest part of all of this.

The Wealth Diet is not about my experiences in Texas, but it is about my experience of generating wealth… before, during, and after Texas. There are some stories. My apologies to the people this offends.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

The Wealth Diet is about claiming your own power and living from a place of power, and how I have done that. That is personal wealth. And you cannot have truly wealthy experiences until you claim your own power, love yourself, and forgive others. You cannot have true power until you stand up to the bullies who hope to keep you down, servile, and silent.

Learn more about The Wealth Diet.

Buy on Amazon Kindle or paperback.

…the truth shall set you free…

 

The end of days

My 3 year old is constantly asking me questions for which I have no answer. She is quite aware of her surroundings, and very bright.

Today she was listening to a song about how sunset is the end of the day, and she asked me, “When will the days end?”

I answer: “Uhm. When the sun goes down?”

Claire: “No, all the days. When do they stop?”

I told her that we don’t know, we’re not supposed to know.

“Does Jesus know?”

“I guess, maybe. Maybe Buddha and Quan Yin know, too. But it’s not something we know.”

A few weeks ago, she asked me if our lives here are just a story. You know, like maybe we’re just all actors in a drama that eventually ends with happily ever after.

I think I’m going to need some help with this kid.