Create Your Life

I want to share a process with you that I have personally used multiple times to change my life dramatically.

The first time I used it, I tripled my income in a matter of months. That was over 20 years ago. The last time I used it, I shifted quite a few things I never thought possible in a matter of a week.

Life on planet earth has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Our manifestation efforts are rewarded much sooner as we become less dense. Time appears to be speeding up, but really, we are the ones speeding up. Time just seems to reflect back who we are. Our spiritual selves are awakening to who we really are, and that is ensuring that our reality reflects our beliefs much more quickly.

It means that when we worry, we create more of our worries. When we delve into anger, we create more of our irritations. When we entertain our fears, we see more that reflects danger. It’s made the world look a lot more wobbly and messed up, but again, we see, hear, and feel what we are.

But this shift also, of course, presents an opportunity. It presents an opportunity to create more of who we really are, more of what we really want, and more that brings us joy if we’d only allow ourselves to go there more often.

And because we live in a forgiving and safe universe, it doesn’t mean that we have to hold those states permanently. We’re allowed to wobble.

It’s kind of like working out… you start, and it hurts and feels uncomfortable. But then after a few weeks, you feel great and you can’t wait to work out. First, we allow ourselves to go to the place where all is perfect in our world. After a while seeing our world reflecting back that experience to us, it becomes much easier to maintain that state going forward.

So, here’s the process of consciously creating what you want. You’ll need to customize the process for yourself.

Determine how you create. Do you write? Paint? Draw? Scrapbook? We’re all creative somehow, as we’re all co-creators with the Divine energy that flows through us. It is entirely who we are. Decide how you’re going to create.

For me, I create in words. I write at least 1,000 words every day, sometimes for myself, sometimes for others, sometimes into the 3 books I need to finish. But I am a writer. So for me, I write.

For my good friend the artist, drawing and painting is a better creative outlet that allows him to get into that flow state where time and space disappears.

For another friend who is hyper organized and scrapbooks for fun, that’s her modality of creation.

There are many ways we can get lost in creation. I can also get lost in gardening, cooking, or even making natural deodorant and toothpaste. But for this process, choose something with computer, paper, or canvas. It is more about finding and maintaining that creative state and less about what you create. Immersing ourselves in that creative flow is what we’re looking for.

Imagine your perfect life. We’re creating a representation for our creation in the medium of words, pictures, or drawings, but that creative force of our desires resides within our imagination. Don’t limit it, don’t think about practicalities or how it might happen. Just imagine what happens after the perfect experience has come into your life. Here are some areas to think about, but also focus on the area that scares or worries or makes you feel sad the most.

What does your perfect life look like? Think about:

  • your finances
  • the car you drive (if you want one)
  • the house you live in
  • the area of the world you live in
  • creative opportunities you have to explore
  • the relationships you have with friends, children, family
  • that intimate relationship
  • your great job (if you want one)
  • your business
  • your body and your health

get creativeCreate the story of that perfect life. It’s just a story, just a picture, just a drawing, just a scrapbook. You get to have as much fun with this creation as you would like. Allow yourself to get really lost in the creative feeling, that blissed out place where you feel slightly altered. Write whatever comes to mind. Draw whatever comes to mind. Just let it flow and keep working on it. You might need multiple pictures, or maybe just one. You can go through magazines or internet searches to find pictures of the things you want, the experiences you want. Don’t think too much about how you will get things, or what needs to happen, or who needs to do something, just imagines that it has already all been done for you. It already exists in your mind just because you have imagined it. Now you’re creating the plan, the blueprint, the model for what comes next. Remember, it is less about exactly what you find and create and more about the state you are creating for yourself. How does it feel to create that? How does it feel to see your perfect life? How do you feel while you are creating? Really allow yourself to feel that.

Quiet the critical mind. The critical mind is the part of you that wants to keep you safe. It’s the part that tells you things need to be written a certain way, or that something is out of proportion. It tells you thinks could be better, or thinks of what others might say. Thank your inner critic for its feedback, but remind it that this is just play for you and that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Words can be misspelled, and sentences can be repeated. You can jump from relationship to finances and back again based on whatever is flowing and coming up. There is no perfect process, only a perfect vision. Trust that the process that flows from you is good enough.

Let go. After 10-20 minutes of creating, when the words or pictures are not flowing anymore, put it all away. Save the document, file it away, or get it out of your mind and immediately change into a different activity. If you think about it too much, you can end up sabotaging your creations. You have to let go, trust the universe, and stop thinking about whatever is happening now. You’re creating something new. When you’re done, you’re done. Go back to your life, and live it. Stay present as much as possible; don’t think about the process, just live and use that state of creativity to be in your now.

Allow the wobble. You’ll start to see some rather interesting activities reflecting back to you that something has changed. Allow the wobbling to happen, and don’t fret too much about it. Just know that the universe has heard you, and that your manifestations are coming. You might get some negative feedback from someone that is comfortable with where you are and wants you to stay that way. Forgive them for their fear, and trust that even they will be okay.

Repeat this process no more than once per day, but only when you have a few stress free moments to allow yourself to go into that carefree, anything-is-possible state.

I’d love to hear how this process works for you. It’s done wonders for me, multiple times. And it’s working rather quickly for me these days.

Remember, we’re only limited by what we believe. If you believe that you can’t, you cannot. If you believe that all is possible, you’re absolutely right. Enjoy the journey!

 

Processing Grief

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The last family portrait of our fosters all together before heading out for adoption.

The kittens have moved on to Portland. It was very difficult to say goodbye to them, for me and the kids. They’ve been a part of our lives for two and a half months, and we’ve been through a lot with them, especially Bruce. We all became very attached.

But they went to one of the best humane societies in the country, and two days after we said goodbye, they showed up on the “recently adopted” page. It’s amazing that they’ve been adopted faster than the scratches on my body have healed! They’re great cats, all of them, with unique and wonderful personalities that will bring joy and laughter to their new families. Three months ago, they were basically feral, afraid of humans. Now, they are ready for homes.

Bruce and Maia and kitten snuggles.

Bruce and Maia and kitten snuggles.

I commented to Max, “Can you imagine how hilarious it will be the first time Maia does velcro kitty for her new owners?” Maia is a little insane, you see, and has no problem jumping from across the room with all claws out ready to stick on your clothing and climb up onto your head or shoulder. She’d also like to jump up on my back and chase her tail when I was bent over cleaning litter boxes. And then five minutes later, she’d join Bruce in my arms for some snuggles and love. She’s kind of amazing, and Max really wanted to keep her.

We’re sad we couldn’t keep them. Really sad. We’re at the fur-enabled maximum with Alex, Luna, and Oliver, at least for now. And then, if I were to keep one, how was I to decide? We talked about it and could not make a decision on just one or even two. It was either that we keep all of them or we keep none.

Apparently, when the foster family keeps one of their foster animals, some in the industry (from my online research) call that “foster failure.” Failure? Okay. I guess so. That’s my kind of failure.

But I’ve succeeded. And in doing so, I felt as if I have lost six pets in a week. Success felt like failure for a while. There was no weaning off of them, they were here one day and gone the next. Putting them into the carrier to bring them back to the shelter was one of the more brutal experiences of my life. And Max would not let go of Bruce or Maia, so that made it even more difficult. My kids loved “the babies” as much as I did.

I have been watching videos and looking at pictures, allowing myself the freedom to grieve the loss. I knew it was coming, sure. But I had no idea how brutal it would be. I had them here too long, for one thing. With all of the health issues, they didn’t get up in weight fast enough to stick to the planned schedule. And being a first time foster mom, it is apparently a lot harder to say goodbye.

When Riley passed away a couple of years ago, I grieved hard then. I had some people say things about “it’s just a dog” or “he wasn’t even your dog, why are you so sad.” I tried to avoid those people, and I tried to allow that grieving to come up and process, but I also tried to get on with life.

This time, well, now I know. If anyone tries to tell me that they’re “just cats,” I could get ranty.

The Grieving Pariah

Grieving is not supported in our culture, it’s avoided and shunned. While other cultures have rituals and beliefs that support grieving, our culture sweeps it under the rug.

And I know why: it’s because we are a society of repressed people running around unable to feel much of anything. If you have one person around expressing sadness, it triggers something uncomfortable in the people around them. You see, they have it too, this grief held down and out of sight. But just because they’re not expressing it does not mean that they’ve been able to overcome and let it go. It stays within them, latent, waiting.

And when people see someone cry, it makes them uncomfortable. If they allowed that level of expression, if they start to cry, too, then their grief senses an opportunity to express itself. But we’re told to never let them see you cry, crying is a weakness, grieving is abhorred. Thus, grieving people become a pariah.

In our culture, depressed or sad people are shunned or medicated. Anyone who feels anything other than “love and light” is told to be more positive, to look on the bright side. And yes, I can definitely see the bright side with my fur babies finding homes where they will be cherished and loved. I feel immense gratitude for that, for the experience of being able to care for Sapphire and here babies, and I feel sadness, too. It’s a lot of competing emotions, but the happy gratitude feelings don’t negate the sadness. The sadness and grief is still there. But I get to hold all of them in the space of my heart, and that’s a gift.

We, as a society and culture, have missed out on this.

I’ve missed out on this.

And in doing so, I became burdened in a way I can only now see. Holding that grief out of sight requires an immense amount of effort.

Holding down grief

iurThis summer, Claire wanted to watch any movie that scared me as a kid. We were swimming a lot this summer, at the lake and the pool, so I rented Jaws. I am pretty sure I couldn’t swim for a month when I saw Jaws, and I sure as heck was never going to swim in a natural body of water. I think I got scared of the bathtub drain once, hearing the deep bass sounds in my head begin playing to let me know that there was a massive shark squeezing up a 2 inch drain. That will scare her, right? Actually, no, it didn’t. Not even a little. Though she did request swimming at the pool instead of the lake a lot more often… hmm.

The vision of the shark swimming around Quint’s boat with 3 barrels attached  came to mind. The more I grieved, the more I felt like barrels were popping up on the surface. I didn’t care who saw me cry, I didn’t care how puffy my eyes were. I felt this release of pressure on my soul, something tied into how I navigated my life and my work.

Mark encouraged me to deeply grieve, to really allow myself to let go into what I was feeling. I stopped trying to keep it down.

“I don’t think I have ever had such a big loss all at once,” I said.

“You have. You’ve had a lot of loss. You’ve just never really allowed yourself to fully grieve it all,” he said. Just that, he gave me permission to grieve. He held me, and he held space for me. “It’s going to come in waves, so just let it.” And I did. And after a while I’d be okay, and then it would come in like a wave again.

The more I allowed myself to grieve, to let out full-on guttural cries into a pillow about missing my babies, the less intense it has gotten. It still comes, these waves, like a tsunami of emotion I cannot control. But after the waves recede again, I feel lighter. I feel cleaner. I feel unburdened. I feel less overwhelm, less stress, and more fluid. There is a huge release of pressure when you let the grief out. You are no longer swimming through life attempting to hold back the barrels, holding back a rather powerful part of who you are.

A lot of my workaholism was tied into holding those barrels beneath the surface. Memories started popping that were laden with grief and shame, sadness and a conscious decision to not allow it to overcome me. I have a memory in which I consciously decided to channel that feeling into creating something, into getting things done, into being a “good person” by other people’s standards.

Freedom to grieve is freedom to be

As I have allowed the grieving process to move through me, I am sensing a degree of freedom in my life. Love flows more easily, I am less easily frustrated or angered. The release of all of the grief — and the freedom to release it whenever it comes up — is such a gift for me. It seems sad that so many people are not allowed, or rather do not allow themselves, the space to feel grief.

You see, feeling grief is an exercise of sorts in allowing ourselves to feel everything. If we allow it full expression of movement through us, it expands our ability to feel joy, peace, contentment, gratitude, and most importantly love. If we’re holding down decades of repressed sadness and grief, it requires such immense effort. We become depleted more easily. Everything seems a burden. We’re expending such unconscious energy holding back our tears and sadness, and we don’t even know why just getting out of bed seems to be such a chore.

I’m exploring this newfound freedom, and it’s deepening my experience of life. I have a greater capacity to feel everything, most importantly love. I look at my beautiful children, and I feel my heart ready to burst open with fullness. Even Mark, who can sometimes push my buttons like any good spouse, is seeing me deepen the feeling of love for him in my life.

I’m kind of amazed, and a little blindsided, at how much fostering has given me. And here I was thinking I was doing something noble and generous. Actually, the gifts that the kittens gave me were far greater and superior than I ever imagined.

But isn’t that life? We think we’re going into an experience to do one thing, and we come out on the other end transformed into something completely different. I couldn’t have predicted what this experience was to give me. And I didn’t think I’d have so much fodder for emotional and spiritual growth. But when you put the call out to the universe that you want something more, the universe answers. All we have to do is say yes.

The life best lived is lived with fullness and depth, not superficial perfection. If we are brave enough to dive into the depth and darkness, we might come out with a gift we could have never seen.

 

On Joy and Sorrow by Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

 

Negative emotions lead to liberation

It has been a very busy month. I had a goal of podcasting every single day for the month of September. I knew that with two eclipses, a Mercury retrograde, and the equinox all in one month, there would be a lot to talk about. However, the level of activity required of me for various projects became overwhelming. That was one commitment I couldn’t keep.

Bruce, feeling much better.

Bruce Almighty, feeling much better.

We still have the foster kittens. One of them, Bruce, got very sick and there was some talk about him not making it as his digestive system was not assimilating food. He didn’t feel well, and spent most of his time curled up on one of us while his brothers and sisters played. Some high powered antibiotics followed by some probiotics fixed him up, however, and he’s doing great now. The support from the shelter manager and all of my friends and family on Facebook helped me get through it all. And Bruce got a middle name, Almighty. How sweet is that? I swear, he’s got his own following now on Facebook.

Because Bruce, and his slightly insane tortie sister Maia, had not gained enough weight, they were not ready to get neutered and spayed for the September trip, so they have to wait another month.

All of this was unexpected, but as with parenting, fostering comes with commitments. And when we make commitments, we follow through. Well, I do. If I can do it, I do what I say I’m going to do.

Mark, however, is ready for life to return to normal. He is the only one in the house not enjoying the presence of the kittens, and he has let me know this. I, however, was not happy that he is not accommodating the kittens when I accommodate so much for him.

It started a fight. A big one.

I thought he was being unreasonable, and boy did I get mad at him. And during the course of the argument, I realized that the part of me that was mad at him had more expectations than other parts. It was all in my memory banks. He took a risk during the fight and asked me to shift my eye movement. I took a risk and did it. And I started to see some distinctions.

Now this is not to say that he’s not wrong, because KITTENS. But I started to see how I was running a pattern that made me more defensive and angry than I would have been otherwise. It wasn’t really about who was right or wrong, but how we communicated about what we want, what we feel, and what we believe so strongly to be true.

It was a fascinating bit of learning, and I suggested we talk about what had happened. So, we recorded a podcast about the experience. I actually suggested it, because I thought it would be interesting to dissect my belief pattern and talk about what it was, where it came from, and how I was able to identify it in the heat of an argument and let it go. So that podcast is here.

Magi, look at that nose!

The presence of the kittens here has really given me a lot to work with in understanding myself more and working with the emotions and the beliefs that come up. I committed to giving them a space to grow up, but they returned the favor with growth and healing I wouldn’t have been able to work with otherwise.

Negative emotions are good

So many times in spiritual communities, we are taught to immerse ourselves in positivity and “love and light” all the time, so much so that we lose opportunities to really grow and expand our understanding of ourselves. We mask over negative emotions or conflict so much that we never give ourselves opportunities to learn and grow.

Our emotions are wonderful tools for understanding what it is that we believe about our reality and ourselves. We are not our emotions, we are not our feelings, and we are not our thoughts, but these are programs that create the experience and our perceptions about what we think is so true. If we’ve got negative emotions, they come from our thoughts, which come from our beliefs. In ho’oponopono, this is our “data” we have to clean up. But if we don’t have negative experiences, how do we know which rooms of our mind need a cleaning?

Why suffer?

The only true purpose of suffering is to teach us how not to suffer anymore. When negative feelings or conflict show up, it gives you an opportunity to really understand yourself. Don’t mask it, not sadness, not depression, not anger, not frustration. All of these things, even boredom, are things that we create for a reason to explore ourselves more. Leverage emotions, leverage your states, and you find the path to alleviating suffering.

I am lucky to have the resources and tools to make distinctions and explore the beliefs that drive my reality, and I am lucky to realize that I am not my emotions, my states, or my feelings. I’m not even my thoughts or beliefs. Making that distinction about who I really am and how my beliefs create my reality and my experience, for both good and bad, help me to navigate my life in productive ways that lead to growth and more love.

And, did I mention kittens? 😉

Spay and Neuter, people. Please.

Maia

Maia and me: the kitten selfie

The kittens will be with us until mid-October. After that, they’ll be available for adoption through Siskiyou Humane Society. Each one of them is pretty special. Maia has developed the most amazing personality of all: fearless, cuddly and sweet, playful, and absolutely hilarious. She may need a post dedicated to her alone. If she ever slows down, I’ll take a picture that isn’t blurry.

Taking care of kittens over the last few months has taught me a lot about myself. It’s also given me a ton of respect for the people who commit to caring for animals. The people at the humane society have supported me throughout this process so very much; they are awesome people who I adore and respect so very much.

And as for the people who can’t even be bothered to spay or neuter or, as in Sapphire’s case, leave their animal behind when they move, well, let’s just say I hope I never meet you face to face. I still have a few belief patterns there that I’d love to share with you.

 

 

How to use your emotions and beliefs to gain freedom

We’re still fostering kittens. Sapphire got sick at one point, and it upset me a lot more than I thought it would. Whenever there is an upset and emotions coming up around an issue that feel a lot more powerful than the event warrants, there are usually beliefs that need to be cleared.

Our emotions are not us, even though we might say, “I am sad,” or “I am angry.” Our emotions, however, are wonderful tools for getting at the various beliefs we hold that may cloud our reality.

 

Emotions, beliefs, and freedom

A friend and I have been talking recently about Dr. Bruce Lipton‘s work on the biology of belief. He came across a process, apparently rooted in NLP, that can be used to reprogram beliefs. Using what I have learned from the Emotion Code process, we put together a simple process of muscle testing, emotional identification, and belief shifting while standing on my front porch. I used the process to clear some of these unconscious patterns.

It was kind of shocking how fast it shifted my emotional state. When my friend came over, I was plagued by uncontrollable tears about Sapphire being separated from her kittens. Within a minute of going through our belief shift process, I was free and clear of the tears.

Sometimes we have to dive into something really difficult and go through it so that we can find areas where we need relief and release from the belief data that keeps us from knowing who we really are. But we’re often so fearful of the pain that is there, we’ll do whatever we can to mask or avoid dealing with the emotions as they come up. Some of us even take medications to avoid going there because it is so scary. But by avoiding the work, we avoid going into the dark so that we can pull our soul out of its prison cell.

We are not our emotional states. Emotions are transient. They check into the hotel of our being and stay for a while. Some, like the rockstars they are, trash the place. But we are not our states, as much as we try to convince ourselves that we are. Even our language dictates believing that we are our emotions. (e.g., I am angry, I am sad, I am happy.) We are the larger part of ourselves where we are free and clear of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.

Meditation makes the distinction

I am a huge fan of meditation as a tool to get out of the traps of emotions, beliefs and thoughts. You start seeing who you really are in meditative state, and it shows us how we are not our emotions, our thoughts, or our beliefs. Our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs are tools that we use to navigate the matrix of life on earth. If we think that our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs are the things running the show, however, we’re imprisoned. As soon as we get the distinction, we become free.

Emotions show us the path to freedom

Our emotions, however, are quite useful. By allowing them to flow, allowing them to be what they are, they can show us what room they’re staying in within us. They let us know what beliefs we’re carrying around that cause us to make decisions about our life. Our emotions show us where our beliefs are, and it shows us what thoughts are plaguing us.

In the case of my sadness about Sapphire, I realized that I have been plagued by fears and anxiety related to abandonment and loss that stop me from taking certain risks in my life. I feared making certain changes because I was afraid of loss. Even asserting my desires and wants were becoming difficult as these erroneous beliefs were causing me to back down in fear whenever I was challenged.

I didn’t even have to spend hours in therapy looking for the erroneous beliefs. It doesn’t really matter where they came from, and it doesn’t really matter how they’ve caused me pain in the past. I just had to look at what was happening, and ask if it was something I wanted to change.

Often times, we want to make changes in our life, but we’re not quite sure what to do. We may be aware of our emotions, beliefs, and thoughts being separate from the real self, but we’re not quite sure how to leverage those emotions to find what we’re looking for. But our consciousness knows, and if we ask, we’ll get the pathway for clearance loud and clear. Our emotions are the key. The more we ask about what we’re feeling and the beliefs it’s associated with, the easier change becomes.

Quite literally, I was able to reprogram my beliefs without much analysis of where they came from, just by identifying what beliefs were operating, and intuitively determining the new belief and emotions that I would rather experience instead.

In the case of Sapphire, I decided that I would rather just know that no matter what happens, I am okay. So, I reprogrammed my unconscious to believe “I am okay with abandonment,” and “I am okay with loss.” Because really, we’re always okay. We might not like something, but we’re always okay.

Asking the body

Muscle testing is a pretty cool tool for getting at what is going on under the surface of our conscious mind. You know, the part of you that thinks it’s in control and knows what is going on, but the one that also is freaking out about the emotional state taking over. I have known about muscle testing for decades, but I am really lousy at reading it myself. And sometimes how we ask questions of our body can be tricky. Muscle testing is an art form that requires a bit of practice, and feedback from someone else who can help determine whether or not you’re getting something strong.

I started to write up everything that I did, and I realized that it was turning into a short novel. I tried to record a podcast about it, and realized I needed to do this visually. A friend, Armando, contacted me about doing a webinar about what had happened. Come to find out, he knew this process well, too.

So, we did a webinar, specifically about reprogramming the beliefs that create debt. You can view it on YouTube and get an idea of how this process works, and how you can use it to clear unhelpful beliefs. I also go into some detail on how I was able to help other people.

I am hoping to do even more of these webinars, sharing all that I’ve learned through various healing modalities. If you’d like to participate, join the mailing list for announcements!

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10 ways to make the new year rock

Everyone is hitting you with new years resolutions right now. I started thinking about what things are going well in my world, and what things I would like to improve. So here’s my own list… some of which I already do. Some I do okay. For some, I am miserably failing! Onwards and upwards, right?

Walk 30 minutes every morning. You’ve probably heard this one million times from one million sources. There’s a reason why walking first thing in the morning, before breakfast, gets recommended so many times. It does a lot for you physically, mentally and spiritually. Before the worries of the day can take over, a brisk walk firs thing works off glucose out of your system so your insulin hormones works better, which keeps your weight down.

It connects you with the natural world before you go into the manufactured world of adult worries, it bridges that time between sleep and awake so that your higher self can speak to you more clearly. I’ve been doing this for 2 years, and it has fundamentally changed my life. My body is happier, my dog is happier, and I am spiritually much happier and clearer. By the time I get to working, I am in a much more focused and clearer state of mind. It is now such a habit that if I miss a day, I feel like the entire day is off somehow.

Make lists. All sorts of lists. Make a list of things that worry you. Make a list of things that inspire you. Make a list of cool ideas. Make a list of the people who lift you up and make you feel good. Make a list of the things that you want to do before you die. Write it all down. When you write it down, you can let go of that anxiety to remember. It creates a placeholder for worries that you can dispatch quickly (or burn!), and it creates a list of things you can focus on when time allows. It also creates freedom from having to remember. When a worry comes up, you can remind yourself that you wrote that down and it will get done when the time is right.

Use technology for good. There’s been a lot written about how the internet is bad for you, Facebook depresses you, Twitter overwhelms you. The internet – or television – or anything else, is exactly what you make of it. Sometimes it is awesome and great, sometimes it makes you feel inferior or defeated.

Here’s a trick to make Facebook make you feel good. All of those people you went to high school, college, or even grade school with are extensions of yourself. Bless them, even the ones that annoy you. They ARE you. They may be your shadow self, but if they are in your awareness, then blessing them blesses you. Hide the people who make you feel bad. Seek out people who inspire you and make you feel good. (Elon Musk makes me feel good about the future of our world. He inspires me to think big.) Use this amazing tool consciously, deliberately, to connect with things that expand your life in a positive way.

Laugh more. Make others laugh more. Find hilarious things. Watch funny videos. Make a commitment to laugh at least 3 times a day. If you fail, roll over that commitment so that you have to laugh 6 times the next day. Life is hilarious. When something annoying happens, think of how to make it funny. Make it a priority! Think of how much money good comedians make. They create immense value in the world. They awaken us to the joy and exuberance that we really are! Let that out of you as much as you can. If it’s not flowing, then cry. Sadness and happiness are both behind the wall we keep up in order to function in life. When we let our sadness express itself, laughter can more easily express itself, too.

Make the mundane miraculous. Imagine how miraculous a mundane activity can be. For example, filling up the water decanter to pour water into the coffee maker. Some mornings, I wish the coffee would just make itself. But HOLY COW, I have clean and pure running water in my HOUSE. Most of human history has not had this. I have the most delicious coffee beans shipped from Africa, roasted by really cool people here in Shasta, and I enjoy this ambrosia every day. That’s a miracle, really.

The fact you’re reading this whenever and wherever you are… across the illusion of time and space. Miracle. You’ve heard that Einstein quote about acting like nothing is a miracle or that everything is. Have you tried experimenting with “everything is a miracle?” It’s kind of mind boggling, really. And it opens up your experience. Walks become a miracle. Your daily list of ideas gets bigger. Your belief in yourself as the miracle you are gets bigger.

There are so many miracles in our experience… miracles that are prerequisite to our life here. The sun is a perfect distance from the earth to create temperature to sustain life. How miraculous is that? So, if that can happen, what can happen in your life? Miracles happen every day. What miracle will you open yourself up to today? This year?

Love yourself. So, if you’re on this list reading this, you’re probably into ho’oponopono. You probably do the “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you,” a lot. Here’s something to add. “I love myself.” When you say, “I love you,” who are you saying it to? Honestly, it’s just you. If you’re taking responsibility for everything that comes into your experience, then you also get to claim the love for yourself too. There is nothing selfish about loving yourself. In fact, the more you love yourself, the more it will spill over into loving interactions with everyone else. The love you feel for yourself allows you to have healthy boundaries. It allows you to say “no” when you need to say no. It allows you to know when to say “yes.” Add some “I love myself” into the mix and watch what happens.

Play. What is play to you? Do you feel guilty for playing because there are about 40 other things you should be doing? I actually feel a little guilt for playing right now… writing this is a type of play for me, exploring these ideas makes me feel good. And there’s something inside me that says, “You really should be finishing up that web site for client A. Client B needs his books converted. Client C needs some focus too.” What is play to you? Do more of it. LOTS more of it. Ignore the voice that tells you what you SHOULD be doing. Do what you want to a lot more of the time. Take an entire day to do whatever you want, and begin moving your life towards more of that experience.

Eat whatever you want. Yes, I mean it. I’ve been on every single diet known to mankind. I really have. Vegetarian. Vegan. Primal. Grains. No grains. Juicing. Fasting. This year, screw the diets. Eat what you want, but make sure it makes you feel good. There’s a Christmas Pannettone in the kitchen right now. I would like to eat some, yes I would. So I am going to have some, because it’s Christmas. I might even have another cup or two of that astounding coffee. But tomorrow I’ll probably eat low carb and more vegetables than you’ve ever seen. Overall, I feel better on a mostly vegetable diet. But I’m not going to torture myself and avoid things I would like to enjoy. I eat what I want. And I want to feel good in my body. That’s REALLY what I want. (By the way, I had some pannettone, and immediately had an allergy attack. So, I’m good on the pannettone until next year.)

Say YES to people who make you feel loved, appreciated, and respected. People who don’t support who you really are can drain you. They suck you dry and exhaust you. We’re not going to talk about them. After all, that’s really want they want. Attention. All of your attention, because they’re not giving it to themselves, so they make their own inattention your problem. Let go of the need to save these people from themselves.

We’re happier being alone than we are with people who drain us. And sometimes even the people we love can drain us. We need breaks. We love ourselves, so we put ourselves first. If we need a sabbatical from people, we take it. And we say YES to the people who make us feel good. We say YES to the people who make us laugh, make us happy, and reflect back the feeling of

Meditate. Part of the power of ho’oponopono is that it expands the notion of who you really are. If you are willing to take responsibility for everything that comes into your experience, it naturally expands you. You claim more of your self. You claim power over more of your experience. All of the great spiritual traditions out there allude to our connection to something much larger than who we really are. Here’s the magic: YOU are larger than who you think you really are. The exploration of your inner self, your inner space, is our next frontier. That exploration starts with your unconscious, but it very quickly goes much deeper than that. How deep? You’ll have to meditate to go see. You’ll be amazed.

Overall, give yourself permission to be more than you ever thought possible. You ARE more than you ever thought possible. And you keep growing and expanding! It’s time to claim all of that.

You’ve probably read a lot in the last few years about ascension. I’ve come to the conclusion that ascension isn’t magic, and that many of us are in process on what they call ascension. Ascension, to me, is all of these things I just wrote about. It is discovering who we really are and making that manifest right here, right now. It’s going within to the depths of who we really are, and bringing what we find there out here into this reality to play. It’s letting go of the shoulds and the external games that say we need to be something that we are not. Ascension is simple being who we really are.

So, fellow travelers, ascend into 2014 by just being who you really are. It’s enough. It’s MORE than enough. It’s your new frontier. As you discover these worlds and possibilities within yourself, as you make those manifest here, you automatically change your experience and the whole world. Enjoy the process! That’s entirely what it is.

 

Forgive Yourself

Do you have that one person who drives you absolutely nuts? They push your buttons every chance they get. You forgive, you forget. You move on with your life  — but the next thing you know, they’ve done it again.

A lot of new-thought teachers that teach gratitude and love as the most powerful forces in the world. And I agree that they are. But you cannot put a band-aid of love and gratitude on top of negativity. The negativity seeps out, poisoning the well again and again until you do one thing.

Forgive yourSELF.

I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes. Mark came in and cracked a joke. The kids started cracking the same joke. No one could tell that my feelings were really hurt. I mean, seriously hurt. It was all in good fun for them. Had it been about anything else in the world, I would have probably laughed along with them. For some reason, this “joke” brought tears to my eyes.

The stark difference in their experience and my own experience was telling. I allowed myself to feel the emotion, knowing it was only a pattern and that it wasn’t really me. And then I asked myself how I could stop this pattern from bringing me to tears.

Spirit, which can be rather loud and unmistakable here in Mount Shasta, spoke.

It said, “Forgive yourself.”

I immediately got a higher-self impression of a past-life experience. A part of me that I did not understand or even know felt guilt surrounding this experience, and as such I have chosen a pattern of karma to balance that experience in this lifetime. That’s all it was.

Now, I cannot tell you specifically what that lifetime was. I don’t know. I cannot even tell you specifically what the pattern was or how it balances that guilt that a part of me is feeling. I don’t know why this dropped into my experience at that time, but I do know that I am supposed to write about it and share it with you.

In that split-second moment of awareness and understanding, I got a massive gift. I got a clear understanding of how and why ho’oponopono* works, I got a clear understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, and I got a deep understanding of what Christ said when he said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

(*Ho’oponopono is a ancient Hawaiian practice of “making things right.” It heals past hurts in relationship and cultivates forgiveness. It’s a powerful process, but it really is simply cultivating forgiveness and love. Mark has more about it on his blog.)

Forgiveness of the self, all parts of the self, all parts of creation, is the key to our freedom.

The Buddha’s primary teaching was that Nirvana was not something outside of us. It is within. He became his own guru, sat under the bodhi tree, and became enlightened, discovering the clearing of karma that is Nirvana. This awakening, this enlightenment, was not something he learned outside of himself. His search as Siddharta for his guru was fruitless. And for all of us, the path is similar. We look within. It is all within, because our experience is all us.

If it comes into our awareness, it is our own creation. The exterior is a mirror reflecting all that is within us. Yes, it is even reflecting parts of ourselves we don’t yet fully know. And the more we clear, the larger our sense of self becomes.

We do not need to ask the Divine to forgive us. We do not need to ask anyone else to forgive us. We don’t even need to forgive another person. We simply forgive ourselves for whatever is happening and however we brought it about.

The basis of most spiritual teachings is about taking personal responsibility for everything. If it shows up, you clear on it. Clearing is forgiveness. It is allowing whatever shows up to be what it is, but letting go of whatever is showing up with forgiveness.

As this new awareness came in, I began meditating, asking my Inner/Higher Self for guidance in what parts need forgiveness. And I forgave those parts of me. I let them go. Let go of your own hurts caused by others, and claim responsibility for whatever karmic balance is bringing this experience to your attention.

Forgive yourself, all parts of yourself, and know that all is right between you and others. Nirvana is within you. We simply must let go of all beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and patterns that stand between you and the enlightenment that is waiting for us to open to it.

 

Happiness versus Meaning

franklThere was an interesting article recently in the Atlantic entitled There’s More to Life That Being Happy. The article is on Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, which was one of the most influential books I’ve read in my life. I suppose I owe a thank you to whichever college professor assigned it to me at this point, but I cannot remember which one did!

According to the article, most Americans say they’re happy. But they don’t have much meaning in their life.

We are blessed to live in an amazing place, where most of us have abundant resources at our immediate disposal. We have everything that we could ever want or need. We have a general state of happiness. But we seek to fill the hole of a seemingly meaningless existence by receiving even more. It doesn’t work. And we numb the hole with addictions.

A movie (available on Netflix streaming) called Jeff, Who Lives at Home, deals with a similar issue. I highly recommend it; great characters, great writing, and a great story.

Jeff finds that, even though he has all the comforts of home, he hasn’t found meaning in his life. So he follows synchronicity that leads him to do something extraordinary, something that gives him that feeling of meaning. He finds it. I won’t spoil it, but I will say that it underscores Frankl’s message.

According to Frankl, happiness comes from receiving. Meaning comes from giving.

I would argue that to live a good life, you need a little of both. And I’d also argue that if we think we aren’t receiving or giving, we’re not attuned to our nature as human beings. We’re always giving and receiving. It’s part of our existence here on earth.

Inspired ManifestationIn Mark’s book, Inspired Manifestation, he talks about our natural place in this cycle of life. We’re constantly in a state of giving and receiving. Even if you feel you’re at the end of your rope, you are receiving something.

Even if all you are doing is breathing, you are receiving. And as you exhale, you are giving.

At your most basic level, you have all of the elements of both happiness and giving available to you now. You are giving. And you are receiving.

The key is to notice the most basic level of your place in that cycle, then extrapolate that back up to something much larger than that. Expand your notion of who you are. As you claim your place in the cycle of giving and receiving, you expand your experience and attention given towards your place in the cycle of All That Is.

Expansion Beyond The Self
Your ego, or your sense of self, divorces you from that cycle and divorces you from your ability to receive and give, and give and receive. You think you are the end-all, be-all. OK, ego, you have a place. Thanks for protecting us from being hurt. From bears. From saber-tooth-tigers and angry jerks. But you don’t run the show, ego.

We are a part of something much larger than ourselves. We are no more divorced from the ocean as a drop of water, to be cliche. We are a part of a large community of billions of souls on this planet, and we came here with purpose. With meaning. With something to do. Everyone you touch gives you an opportunity to give, and an opportunity to receive. Every interaction gives you an opportunity to expand a sense of meaning.

Says Frankl, “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself — be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.”

In becoming more human, you become more than human. In embracing your place as a giver and receiver, you become all that you were destined to become. You find your meaning. You find out who you really are. And you make the world a better place with everything you do.

If you seek more — whether it be happiness, meaning, or experience — then expand your sense of who you are. Live up to the responsibility of who you chose to be here.

You are an amazing human being that has immense meaning on this earth. And like your breath, all you must do is notice that you are. The evidence is already there.

See, isn’t that great? Meaning and happiness are already there for you. Just notice it. No heavy lifting here.

 

Healing after Tragedy

I’m devastated by what happened in Connecticut last week. Horrified. I’ve cried and hugged my kids tighter, and I’ve prayed. I’ve wondered why. I’ve engaged in precisely one conversation about gun control.

That was enough.

I understand that people are upset and they want a solution RIGHT NOW. They want someone to pass a law to make things better. They want better mental health treatment. They might even want to ban video games. It is horrific what we’ve all had to watch. And it’s more horrific that parents are waking up days before Christmas without their beautiful babies.

I don’t like guns either. I don’t like violent video games. I wish that I could make them ALL go away and live on a peaceful planet where we work in harmony to make the world a better place. I am very idealistic in this regard, I know, and I will leave figuring out the best course of action policy-wise to those who have done their research.

I am fully aware that the solution to this problem is beyond me. I can’t make it all go away. And that’s very disempowering.

Being disempowered does not make for a productive, happy self. And I know a lot of us are feeling rather disempowered, unhappy, fearful and depressed.

It’s easy to take aim at what we think the problem is and try to cut it out of our reality and make it go away. But we aren’t going to do that in this moment.

This moment is all we really have. We can’t change what happened in the past. We can’t wish it away. We can’t disarm the whole world and force people to love each other. We can’t even change the future; it doesn’t really exist.

All we truly have is this moment.

You have an opportunity right here, in this moment, to make the world a better place. You can say a kind word. You can do something for someone. You can say a prayer or send some love & light. You can simply close your eyes and tune into something within you that makes you smile.

You can’t change what happened in this moment. But you can do something in this moment that makes you/someone else feel better.

Empowerment comes when you can let go of the things over which you have no control and seize control of the things over which you have absolute control.

There are things, in this moment now, that you have absolute control. What will you do with that control?

  • Will you spend this moment arguing with someone about what must happen next?
  • Will you spend this moment reliving what happened by watching the news or reading an article?
  • Will you spend this moment curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth in fear?

Not to say that we shouldn’t grieve, as grieving is healing. Not to say that we shouldn’t consider a healthy course of action for our legislation going forward. Not to say we shouldn’t look at the psychological causality of such of an event.

But if we wish to be empowered towards a change, we must remain mindful as we do everything in consideration of the event. And we must take control of the things we have control over, which isn’t much in the face of such a tragedy. But in reality, it is all we have.

We can say a kind word. We can forgive. We can send love. We can pray. We can take a moment and do something kind for someone that makes their day. We can find something that makes us happy and bring more joy to our own lives.

In this moment, there is something you can do to make the world a better place. As we all do that, the positive in the world is magnified. As the positive in the world is magnified, so too is our ability to make real changes in the world as a whole.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi

 

Trends in Sales and Marketing

Fundamentals never change. But what are the fundamental aspects of sales and marketing, and what are the fads?

The fundamental basis of sales and marketing is relationships. Obviously, no one gets paid until something is sold. There are two ways you can sell: you can manipulate a “prospect,” or you can connect with a human being and explain how your product and service will meet their needs.

The internet has changed sales and marketing. However, they don’t change the fundamentals of sales and marketing: a relationship must exist between the product creator and the consumer. This lack of attention to the fundamental relationship between seller and buyer is the key to the problems in our culture.

The internet is just another method of connecting people in relationship across geographic distance. Because the internet allows people to connect with others who are more suited to their mindset, it exposes the reality of the sales process much more. It makes it more apparent when someone is deepening a relationship, and it makes it more apparent when someone is ripping a customer off.

We see it. We can see the company that only wants the sale who does not stand behind their product that breaks 2 weeks before its warranty. We see the company that sells us a product that doesn’t work unless you buy something else. We can see straight through the marketer who charges too much with the attitude that he’s doing great work if he can convince people to pay more than something is worth.

A recent article noted that tablet users (iPad, etc.) are a very important demographic. The early adopters, tablet users are showing us the way the internet (and internet sales) will be going. And tablet users are more discerning. They research more, they dig deeper, and they become very informed about the products they purchase.

They are leading the way… and the rest of the internet users will follow. It will become harder for the rip offs to continue finding victims.

Psychology Today recently ran this article about The Business of Manipulation. Within the article is a graphic, a matrix of different types of marketers. Unfortunately, many of the marketers in this country don’t know how to be anything more than “dealers” (selling a product they don’t believe in and don’t use themselves) and cannot fathom what it is like to be “facilitators” (selling a product they use themselves).

To the person focused on their own profit above serving customers, the goal of the sales and marketing is money. The mailing list exists to get sales. If a marketer of this ilk talks about relationship marketing, the relationship exists only to create sales.

Markets are made of people

Last week, I ran some metrics on our mailing list. We’re getting XX% opens on our newsletters, and I wanted to learn more about our list. As I am writing the scripts to run comparisons, I realized how wrong that attitude is. In this list made up of thousands of email addresses, there are individual emails… these trees in the forest. These email addresses are PEOPLE. There are a core group of people who open every single email we send out. And there are others who open most of them. We have relationships with those people. They are customers, but they are also friends.

In the internet marketing world, I am encouraged to find ways to manipulate the list to get more opens and clicks. I am encouraged to become a dealer, to focus on improving metrics, and “get the money out of the list.”

While you can break down customer demographics, group them, and learn about them in segments, the primary element marketers seem to forget is that markets are made of people.

Sales and marketing are changing

I can think of a few internet marketers who will think I am insane. They’ll tell me I need to create a syndicate and work with other internet marketers to extract money from lists of targets. I think they’re wrong.

And I think that’s going to change. People are wising up. Savvy consumers are more discerning about where to spend their money. People are researching more before they buy, and they’re demanding more than a product shipped on time. They’re demanding your attention to their needs.

Smart marketers are providing more value. Smart businesses are solving problems that we never knew we had.

Smart marketers are being honest. Truthful. And they’re connecting on a deeper level.

People are changing

As people, we’re changing. We’re becoming deeper and more aware, and the businesses we deal with are being asked to become deeper and more aware. We’re meditating more and exploring more aspects of our consciousness. We’re learning more about our multitudinous aspects of consciousness through deeper dreaming,

The simple act of meditation makes us more aware of subliminals. We’re not as open to manipulation as we were before. We are making conscious decisions based upon what we really need and want, not based on emotional appeals and high pressure sales tactics.

We’re demanding deeper connection in our relationships, in our entertainment, and in the communication that arrives in our home. That goes for all sorts of businesses.

How to succeed in the new landscape

Marketers are scrambling. People are watching less television, reading fewer newspapers, and less magazines. People are turning to online venues for their news, information, and connection.

To succeed means to get back to fundamentals. It means to look less at viewers, subscribers, and readers as a number and more as what they really are: people. It means looking beyond the metrix, beyond the matrix, and connecting with people in a relationship that actually improves their lives.

To develop those relationships, get to know your customers. Find out who they are. Find out what makes them happy, what challenges them, and solve their problems.

Along with finding out who your customers are, find out who YOU really are. What makes you happy, what challenges you, and solve your own problems in an interdependent way with your customers.

You are not that unique. The problems and challenges you have are the problems and challenges your customers have. Solve your own problems and extrapolate those solutions towards other human beings experiencing the same issues.

In The Wealth Diet, I provided some exercises that have worked for me to determine what things make me feel wealth from the inside out. Those also translate into methods of finding business solutions that make you happy as well as your customers.

But above all else, when you start to explore your heart and the energy within your being, you cannot help but expose who you really are. Allow that to flow, and the customers you were meant to serve begin to show up.