DEF CON 26

I returned home yesterday from DEF CON in Las Vegas. I attended with my teammates from Defiant. As we are a remote team, this is our annual get together for some face-to-face meetings, hacking escapades, and some fun. I knew there would be a lot of people there. I was woefully unprepared for the sheer crush of humanity.

I brought my kids. After living in Mount Shasta, they haven’t traveled a ton lately. They had never seen Las Vegas. Mark took them around to sightsee while I did work things. We also got a badge for Max to attend DEF CON. Of course, Claire was jealous and wanted to see too. So we swapped badges for a bit so she could visit the R00tz Asylum village and play. Both of my kids had a BLAST. And I had fun, too. Claire wore her Pen Tester for Hire t-shirt to school today. I hope it is well revered.

Max and I attended a talk on hackable touchscreens that ended up on Wired before we even left the room. When the webcam intrusion lit up the screen during the talk, Max’s eyes lit up, too.

Meeting my teammates and bosses for the first time was great.

I felt a little torn having both family and work at the same event — I wanted to spend time with everyone — but it all worked out. I had some heart-to-heart talks with my friends and laughs with my family. And the crescendo of them all together on the last night was amazing. 

There may or may not be video of me dancing to Michael Jackson. (Spoiler: there is)

Ceasar’s Palace was lovely. Until the last night. Others have written about the hotel security checks more eloquently than I ever could. We had a visit, and I just let Mark handle it. If I was alone, I probably would have been much more upset about the visit. If I was alone with the kids, I would have been freaked out.

They had said that we had not had our room serviced, and that meant they had to inspect the room. Problem is, we DID have our room serviced. There was no valid reason for the visit from Ceasar’s Palace security, even though it got sorted out quickly. No one else on our team had a visit. All in all, it was weird. 

It’s over, though, and so I have turned my attention and focus to the good memories.

Not nearly as long as I thought it would be.
DEF CON Patrol included golden retrievers. (Not sure these folks were here for DEF CON.)
Send your USB drives to North Korea. 
Mr. Bean (at least the cardboard cutout of him) came along with us.

That all being said, I’m fairly certain it will be my first, and last, DEF CON. 

 

How to Turn Negative People into Cheerleaders

iuAnyone who has accomplished anything in this world has had to deal with negative people. No matter what you set out to accomplish, the very fact of having a goal is going to bring out negativity in someone somewhere. Whether you’re going to art school or becoming a lawyer, you’ll hear someone say something negative about what you’re trying to do. You may even have someone actively sabotage your efforts when you’re at your weakest.

Whether it’s a roommate bringing home a pizza and ice cream when you’re on day 5 of a new diet or perhaps a parent refusing to support a career decision, you’ll eventually have to deal with negative people in your life. They are, in fact, a part of life. Here’s how to look at negative people as a gift rather than an annoyance.

Understand the fear.

There’s a reason why negative people are unsupportive, and it’s likely fear based. The roommate or spouse sabotaging your diet might be afraid of how your relationship will change if you become one of those healthy people. What does that say about them in comparison? Unsupportive parents might have their own fears about what you’re trying to accomplish, and they want to protect you from disappointment. Sometimes people have a fear that stops them from being successful themselves. As you start creating success yourself, they have to face their own fears. And sometimes it is easier to try to control you and knock down your success than it is for them to deal with their own blocks and fears.

When we can see someone else’s negativity as connected to their own fears and blocks, it makes it a little easier to accept them as they are. It doesn’t it make their negativity right or good, but it allows us to rise above it and see it for what it really is. And, it lessons the impact of the negativity when you can clearly see the motivation behind it.

Deepen your commitment.

A negative person gives you an opportunity to deepen your commitment to your dream. If you’re fully committed, it’s easier to brush off negativity and see it clearly. When you’re not wholly committed to a project or an idea, however, negative people can make you doubt yourself. They may cause you to waver. However, if you approach it from a place of commitment, a negative person can actually be an asset.

Say for example you’re going to start a new business selling a product you really like. A negative person tells you that there are so many people selling that product, you’re never going to be able to make money doing it. And maybe they’re partially right. Maybe the market is truly saturated, and you’ve got an uphill battle. Remind yourself WHY you decided to start the business. Remember why you love the product. And in deepening your commitment, you deepen your focus and start creating a differentiation in your mind. So yes, the market might be saturated. However, what about your passion makes you different?

No matter how much competition exists, you can always set yourself apart. Think about those who have succeeded in highly competitive environments and claim that experience for yourself.

Do your research. 

If you’re encountering negativity, find evidence to refute their beliefs if you don’t have it already. Even if your dream is to become the next big pop star and the evidence of probability is against you, find stories of pop stars that were successful and read them. Watch videos on how pop stars became successful. There will always be evidence to support any belief you choose to magnify. Find the evidence that supports what you want to create, and use it to convince yourself they’re wrong. It might not make sense to try to convince the negative person, especially if their mind is made up. After all, it’s your thoughts and beliefs that will create your experience, not the negative person’s.

iu

Take control of your thoughts.

Negative people have the power of being somewhat like the fire that blacksmiths use to shape iron. When you’re in the fire of negativity, you and your project become malleable like the iron. If you stay in the fire too long, the iron becomes a pile of goo. But just a little fire allows you to shape your thoughts about yourself and your project in creative ways. Your thoughts create your experience of your reality, so if you take control of your thoughts when you’re in the fire, get yourself out of the fire and reshape your thoughts into something that helps you, the fire has been of benefit. But don’t let the negative person be the blacksmith. It’s your life, your mind, your thoughts, and your project.

Deepen your attention where it matters.

Your attention is your greatest asset. What you give attention to magnifies. If you give too much attention to negative people, their words and actions magnify. Deepen your attention on what you would like to magnify, the success of your venture. Consciously make a decision to magnify what you want, and minify what you do not want. If you give your attention to doubts, they magnify. If you give your attention to possibilities, those magnify.

Act quickly.

Negative people, if given attention and focus, can often take us off plan and take us away from the things we’re trying to create. The best way to move beyond negative people is to act quickly. Nothing silences negative people like action and success. Action also helps you get out of your mind, where the worrying ego-based thought processes might actually entertain a negative thought.

Meditate.

You’ll never find negative people inside. When you meditate, you silence the monkey mind that loves mulling about with worries and negative what-ifs. When you meditate, you find the still calmness within where everything is possible, all ideas are valid, and dreams are incubated. The greater your connection to your inner self, the less negative people can sway you from your dreams. Go for walks, focus on the possibilities, and immerse yourself in the positive creative energy of all that you are. There is no amount of negativity that can overcome who you really are.
b0ba2ebf7ed9e9da222673e526cdfadf

Establish boundaries.

If a negative person is seriously undermining your ability to get a project done, stay on your diet, or do what you really want to do, it’s okay to establish boundaries. It’s okay to say, “Hey, this is not okay.” It’s okay to tell your roommate to eat pizza at restaurants, and it’s even okay to tell your parents that art school is your final decision. And if your negative friend or family member doesn’t wake up to what they’re doing to you, it’s okay to say, “I love you, but I need some space here.” After all, if they’re not in support of your dream, do you really need them in your life? Say no thank you, and mean it.

Ultimately, the key to making negative people your cheerleader is to be successful despite others’ negativity. The more you commit to your idea, dream or project, the more successful you’ll be. And then they’ll be the first person to say, I knew her when…

 

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!

[et_bloom_inline optin_id=”optin_2″]

 

Recovering from Negative SEO

Negative SEO is really a thing. I’ve spent a good portion of the last year helping people recover from Google penguin penalties. One person had hired a bad SEO person who built spammy links to his site. The other company was under attack from a competitor who was attempting to get them removed from the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Losing rank from the SERPs can destroy a business. And I imagine that this is what happens when someone finds out that they’re not in the SERPs anymore.

remove all the links

It’s not good.

Recovery requires a laborious process of researching links, determining what was a bad link versus a good link, contacting the site owners of the bad links, and creating both a spreadsheet to send to Google and a disavow file to upload to Google Webmaster Tools.

It’s a lot of work. More importantly, it took expertise to know which links to remove and which ones to leave alone.

The Emails

This morning, I awoke to an email from a company I had linked to on this post about resources for remineralizing teeth. They asked me to remove links to their site from mine because of a Google penalty.

I removed the link as they asked, but I had to wonder who they had hired to do this process. They lost a link from a customer, on a site that is a far cry from spammy, on a page that ranks for the problem their product solves.

This site is not a spammy site. It’s just my personal site, a site that often languishes as I work on other projects. The metrics on this site are pretty good for a site that has languished as long as it has. It has longevity and decent enough trust flow and low citation flow. I’ve never built links to this domain, and I know where every link comes from.

They lost out on something that was benefitting them, not something that was hurting them. Of course, I replied to them that they were hurting themselves. But I am sure that email will not make much sense to the person doing the link removal. She was told to “remove all the links” and wasn’t given any sort of guidance about what links to remove or which to leave alone. As such, she’s further damaging her company’s commerce website and their bottom line.

The Spreadsheet

I’ll end up as a “removed” notation in the spreadsheet that gets uploaded to Google drive. I was nice and responded. She will probably receive very little response to her email blasts to site owners, and the responses that she does receive will make Guido the loan shark seem like a nice guy. She’ll be asked for payment for link removal. If her company pays for link removal because they fear both Guido and Google, they’re making another bad decision. Never pay for link removal. But definitely make sure you keep track of the sites you contact, whether or not they respond, how they respond, and the end result of your link removal request.

Which sites do you contact? There are site research tools that will give you an overview of the link quality on each site. For the site that contacted me this morning, I linked specifically to a toothpaste that worked for Claire’s remineralization. It was a good link. Any good SEO person would have recognized that it was a good link. She was not a good SEO person.

How to tell if you have a penalty

Most companies probably don’t even know that they’ve received a Google penalty for bad links. Many don’t even know about Google Webmaster Tools. They just see that they’re out of the SERPs. Or maybe they see that their traffic is diminishing, or sales are going way down. They hire someone to figure out why.

Google Webmaster Tools tells you if you have a penalty. However, you can still have a penalty and not have it show up in GWT. The best way to tell if you have a penalty is to examine the search engine result pages yourself.

The Disavow File

The disavow file tells Google that you disavow any links from bad properties. Some people think that you can just upload a disavow file to Google Webmaster Tools and be done with your bad links. However, through my research and experience I have found that you need to show some level of attempt that you have tried to remove the bad links. You have to go through the process of bad link removal and upload a spreadsheet detailing what you’ve done to Google Drive. This spreadsheet combined with a disavow file has been proven to work. You cannot just upload a disavow file and recover your property from bad links.

The thing is, you have to ensure that you’re protecting your good links, too, unlike our friend who emailed me this morning. You have to look at the links coming into your web site and actively manage your inbound links as a part of managing the asset of your web site.

Even if you have no penalty, always manage a disavow file. Even if you are not blasted from the SERPs, you can still ask for link removal. You can still disavow links.

Penalties and Negative SEO will only grow

If you live by Google, you will die by Google. Meaning, if your business is dependent upon search traffic, when search traffic is affected you will lose your business. You have to manage your organic search traffic as an asset, protecting it from damage by anyone, including Google. How do you do this?

Monitor backlinks at all times. Use tools such as AHREFS/Majestic to see what’s pointing at your website. If you see something wonky, get rid of it before it becomes an issue.

Maintain a Google drive spreadsheet of your inbound links and any actions that you’ve taken. If you’ve contacted the site owner and they’ve asked for money for removal, if they’ve responded and removed, if they’ve not responded… just keep a record of how you’re managing your inbound link profile.

Keep a disavow file even if you don’t think you need one.

Be proactive. Penalties and negative SEO are going to be a fact of life going forward. If your web site drives your business, and organic search is a big part of where your traffic comes from, showing that you’re proactively managing your link profile can prevent being victimized by penalties.

Expand your reach beyond search. Organic search traffic is only one way to get people to visit your web site, engage, and buy. There are a lot of other ways where you’re not dependent upon Google to drive your business success. Social engagement is but one. As with living/dying by Google, you can also live and die by Facebook, Twitter, or any other traffic source. The key is to build an asset and market it in ways that leverage traffic sources but are not dependent upon it.

 

State of the Web 2015

I’ve been working in internet-based businesses for 20 years now. As such, I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve gotten burned out. And I’ve gotten re-inspired. I’ve started working with a few businesses to help them take advantage of where the internet is today. And in a recent conversation with a client, I was asked what I saw as the top trends in Internet business right now. It made sense to put everything into a blog post, but where to put it… oh yeah, here is good. Might as well start blogging again, even if it isn’t about kittens, doggies, kids, or adventures in Shasta. (But yes, things in Shasta are awesome. The kids are thriving. Mark’s business is thriving. My kittens are hilarious, Alex is awesome, and I still miss Riley.)

So, the state of the Web. Here are the trends I see.

mobile-phone-usage

Being mobile-ready is absolutely critical

More and more traffic to web sites is coming from non-desktop sources. Whether your traffic is coming from iPads, iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, or the plethora of me-too table computers, mobile traffic is dominating. If your web site isn’t mobile-ready or “responsive” yet, now is the time to get it responsive. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, a personal blog, or a large multi-national corporation. If you want to get found, it is critically important to have a web site that adapts to the device it’s being viewed on.

Don’t know if your site is mobile ready? Here’s a great tool from Google that gives you an idea. If you’re not sure how to get mobile ready, talk to your web developer. If your web developer downplays the importance of being mobile ready, find a new web developer.

Ensuring your site is mobile ready will even determine whether or not you rank in the SERPs (search engine result pages). If you like organic (free) traffic from Google, being mobile ready is critical for your business.

Social media marketing dominates

It’s no secret that social media is the place where people congregate online. What’s growing is how businesses engage with their customers and prospects on social media. Facebook is definitely the top dog at the moment. Untethered by Twitter’s 140-character limit, Facebook allows people — and businesses to engage at a deeper level, interacting in a way that is most comfortable to consumers. While Facebook advertising has been a point of contention for many users, it is one of the most effective and non-intrusive methods of connecting with prospects. Facebook’s depth of targeting capabilities and awesome return on investment makes it my favorite choice for growing businesses.

Of course, other social networks know this. And they’ll also allow for increased ability to target and market to consumers. Advertising is the dollar that drives the internet and makes it possible for us all to enjoy social media without paying for it. Watch for the other social networks to consistently improve and innovate in the advertising space.

Engaging your customers on social media also feeds into your search placement. So even if you’re only focused on ranking in the SERPs, your social media participation is incredibly important to your rank.

But there are still billions of searches performed each month. Search is still incredibly important, and social media involvement supports search.

Retargeting creates assets.

What is retargeting? Say for example you find some great shoes on Nordstrom’s web site. Then, you go check on Facebook and see an ad for those same shoes. Boom, you’ve been retargeted. If you do any online marketing at all, setting up retargeting is very important. It basically creates a list of people within either Google or Facebook that you know are interested in whatever you have to offer. You can set up retargeting for your site as a whole, or your can set up retargeting for each individual content area. If you do it by content area, the segment or “custom audience” becomes incredibly targeted. And it has value. It becomes a method of targeting your marketing quite effectively to each segment’s specific interest.

google-inbox

Email marketing is evolving.

Have you tried out Google Inbox? It’s a nifty little tool for your mobile device that segments your Gmail based on the type of mailing. If you’re an internet marketer, it might be kind of depressing to see your mail grouped in with the latest in spam-related pitches.  If you’re looking to develop a long term relationship with your customers, you’ve got to be very strategic in how you develop and manage your email list. Here are things that are out:

  • Sending out mailings pitching Clickbank garbage every single day. If you’re looking to churn through users and bleed them for cash, go right ahead.
  • Offering lightweight “bonuses” to entice people on to your list and never providing any value to your customers.
  • Using your email list to sell sell sell without ever providing any valuable content to your users.
  • Thinly veiled affiliate offers for garbage products/services (I’m looking at you, affiliate marketers pushing Hostgator accounts. Shame on you.

I’m sure you see some familiar activities that are out. These activities destroy your deliverability, destroy customer relationships, and destroy your business. Your customer’s inbox is the most important piece of internet marketing. It’s the place where you come into their experience most intimately, and it requires a level of respect that most internet marketers fail to grasp. So what’s in?

  • Creating value. Send your customers things that will genuinely help them — sporadically.
  • Respecting your customer’s inbox. Don’t inundate them with emails every day.
  • Use email to invest in your relationship with your customers and prospects.

If you’re having issues with deliverability and low open rates, look at managing your list more efficiently. If your customers don’t find value in what you send them, it has an affect on your deliverability (e.g., the big email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc. watch these things).

Manage SEO

Manage your SEO as if it were an asset.

Search placement is no longer something to take for granted. Negative SEO is definitely a real thing, and being targeted by unscrupulous competition happens. It’s going to happen more frequently. And if you shot yourself in the foot with bad link building, it is still possible to recover from negative SEO. If you’re not aware of how and why your rank is where it is, there are tools I can show you that will give you an idea of what metrics go into your search rank. If you’re not ranking at all, there are things you can do to rank again. Negative SEO and penalties are here to stay, and it’s very important to watch your rank and manage your search placement as the asset for driving business that it is.

Content marketing will continue to dominate.

Writing blog posts, creating infographics, and placing articles on web sites that also link back to your own web site will continue to create value both for search engine placement but also for engaging customers and prospects. However, there is a lot of crap out there on the internet. I hope I am guilty of very little crap content generation, but the awareness of how much crap is out there should do one thing for us: make us commit even more towards creating content of value. Make people laugh. Make people inspired. Make people feel good. All of that value does one thing: creates brand recognition and brand loyalty.

 

 

Shasta Summer

I’ve found my heaven on earth, and it is here. Shasta gives me such a fantastic opportunity to enjoy summer, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Now that the crazy busy time is over, I’m finding myself crazy busy doing other things.

Garden

Potatoes!

Potatoes!

The garden doesn’t take as much time in the summer as in the spring, other than watering. I’ve been harvesting plenty of veggies, and I got my first-ever potatoes this week. I pulled up a couple of plants and they had produced quite a few potatoes. It was kind of cool to see such beautiful veggies come up from what was going to be garbage. I had a few red potatoes I bought from the store that grew eyes. Planted them a couple of months ago, and got these… with more to come!

It scares me that I am excited about potatoes, but there ya go.

Hiking

Spring Hill vista looking towards town.

Spring Hill vista looking towards town.

There are so many trails into the forest around here, I cannot even describe them all. Claire has been doing camp in town, and I took that as my time to walk the dog. I did not enjoy walking around town very much, so I started looking for trails close to town.

Spring Hill is just north of town, offers a good workout, and is quiet. I really have been enjoying it. I walk up, I run down, and I’m finished in time to pick her up.

It’s become a great way for me to start the day, tires out the dog so he’s less of a spaz, and it’s conveniently located.

This morning’s jaunt was a lot warmer than what I’ve been used to. That’s okay. After I finish some work, I’m off to cool down.

Swimming

Claire loves swimming!

Claire loves swimming!

I apparently have two fish for children. Max, well, he’s a Pisces, so there’s an explanation there. Claire is a little Leo, but apparently lions can swim. Add some tenacity and you’ve got a little girl who heads for the deep end no matter what anyone else says. We’ve been going to the lake quite a bit. After swimming for 2 hours straight, they both whine when I say it’s time to take a break. Now I know why they used to make everyone get out of the pool for 10 minutes every hour. I used to complain as a kid; as a parent, I get it.

Claire, at age 4, has no problem putting her face into water. I bought her a cheap pair of goggles so she can watch the fish swimming under her.

The water is cold, but when it’s hot outside it’s absolutely perfect. It chills me so much that I end up wearing a hoodie when it’s 90 degrees outside! I ended up having to put two comforters on me last night just to try to get warm so I could stop shivering. It was 75 degrees in my room at the time.

We don’t have air conditioning. Because it usually drops into the 50s at night, we just open windows overnight. The house is so well insulated, it stays cool all day.

The Gift of Living in Shasta

If I ever need a reminder of connection, a visit to the headwaters reminds me. Water that hasn’t seen the light of day for 400 years (or so I’ve been told) pours out of the ground at a very rapid rate. It is cold, sweet, and delicious. I’m certain it’s the best tasting water I’ve ever had.

This is nature. It is also our natural state. It is what we are, and it is what Spirit is. If we need a reminder of our abundant nature, it is right there.

The gift of living here provides me opportunity to connect to spirit like never before. I feel like I’ve got more clarity, focus, and intention in my life now than ever. I feel more healed of past traumas, and more intent on doing what I came here to do.

 

Life Update June 2013

So, long time no write, eh. I haven’t had much to write. No contrast, I suppose. Things haven’t been all wine and roses, but they haven’t been unmanageable. Life has been exceptionally good this year. Busy and active, but very good.

I have enjoyed the early spring here in Mount Shasta, putting my veggies in early and getting new veggies going that I haven’t planted before. Digging in the dirt has a meditative state to me that puts me in a state of bliss. I do wish I had a bit of a warmer climate in the garden so that tomatoes and cucumbers were happier, but I have ways of modifying things.

This year, I’ve planted:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Beets
  • Beans
  • Peas

I’ve got some perennials revisiting (lots of berries), as well as the plum, cherry, and apple trees.

The garden here has been a challenge for me to get used to. I have been used to gardening in very fertile, alkaline soil. Here, I’m dealing with acidic volcanic sand. Lots of soil amending. But the blueberry bushes are as happy as can be.

In addition to working outside, I’ve been walking and hiking more than ever. For a while, I had a GPS going to see how many miles I could do in 2013. But I forgot to put it on too many times. Then it started getting in the way of what I really wanted, which was to escape into nature every day.

I think Mark is tired of hearing me say, “I love everything about living here.” I love my house, my yard, my neighborhood, my neighbors, my friends, my meadows, my mountains, my forests… everything about living here is blissful to me.

Max just finished 6th grade; Claire is getting ready to start kindergarten. I really like the teachers at the schools here. Unfortunately, the system of mainstream schooling is so limited. I feel like this year especially Max fell through the cracks. He was very frustrated by math and social things, and he developed some coping mechanisms that won’t serve him well if they continue.

It’s time to make some changes. Not sure exactly what we’ll do, but it will be something different than years past. I am nervous about the change, but also looking forward to a shift that is more in alignment with who my kids are and who we are as parents.

Clearing to ZeroMark launched a new product yesterday, Clearing to Zero. It’s a ho’oponopono meets neuroscience DVD. I watched it myself a couple of weeks ago as we were getting ready to produce it, and it whacked me out for a day. But it also dissolved a few things and helped me get really clear on a few things. Since watching the DVD, I’ve been getting more intuitive guidance about life going forward. I’m making a few changes, but overall, I got a sense that I am on the right path. After all, there are zero limits, right? Life is good.

I decided to give up maintaining my own code on a shopping cart application I wrote 10 years ago, and I migrated to another cart. So far, so good. Though there are some intricacies that I have to learn. Learning to work with someone else’s code is like learning a foreign language. Not really fun. But it should be more productive going forward.

I’m going to make an effort to write more, both here and a new book forthcoming. Maybe even a few videos and pictures. But for now, this at least gets me writing again.

 

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…

 

A message of hope

The past few months have not been the easiest. Bad news after bad news, and challenges I won’t get into here. And in the middle of all of it, I was called to finish a book that I started last fall when things weren’t so challenging.

The “calling” came through undeniable synchronicities. I had no idea why, but I followed what Spirit seemed to be guiding me to do. It felt somewhat disingenuous to go through the process of writing a book about wealth while I was going through preparation for an IRS audit (how much wealth am I generating with that manifestation, you know!?), but I followed where the inspirations were leading.

The process ended up giving me everything I needed as I was going through the challenges. The messages in the book were for me as much as they were for the participants and for the book. The chapters seemed to write themselves, almost as if a larger part of me was writing it, or something outside of me. When I was bogged down in the details of my everyday life, something would happen that would allow me to see exactly what would need to be written next.

It was an amazing process, and not at all “work.” In fact, the book is a testament to my spiritual sustenance and connection to something larger than myself.

The greater lesson for me now is one of hope. When things were challenging and overwhelming, writing The Wealth Diet created one thing that I could focus on that was productive and moving forward. It became a port in a storm where I could channel my creative energy.

I still have challenges, but I am already turning my attention to the voice that continues to want to write and move forward. Messages keep coming in, messages that I can only assume want to be written.

The message, too, is that there is something larger than our conscious minds within each and every one of us. The message of love and assistance during even the darkest hours is always there within our hearts waiting to be heard. Our challenge during times of challenge is to listen to that voice, heed its call, and embrace that larger part of who we all are.

That, my friends, is true wealth. And we all have it within ourselves.

 

The Wealth Diet

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve launched my new book on Amazon. It’s called The Wealth Diet, and it’s based upon an experiment I did last month with a group of people over at TheWealthDiet.com. The experiment ended up being quite powerful, and one of the participants suggested that it would make a great book.

And thus, it is.

You can buy it for the Kindle now, and in a few weeks, you’ll be able to purchase the actual paperback book from Amazon and other bookstores worldwide.