OK, I’m starting a new blog! I’ve been listening to a lot of Brene’ Brown recently, who researches courage and vulnerability, among many other things. She talks about putting yourself out there and really being seen and being vulnerable. Yikes.
If everything I want is on the other side of fear- and I believe it is- then the fear of putting myself out there seems like a good place to start. For me, putting myself out there encompasses almost all of my other fears (fear of taking risks, trying something big and failing or flailing, fear of being extremely raw and vulnerable, fear of dealing with negative/hurtful feedback, fear of taking in helpful feedback but in a public format, fear of not saying things in the best way, fear of hurting someone, fear of offending others, fear of the messiness that comes from actively engaging in life, fear of mistakes, etc.) The list could go on and on. But, I do believe that on the other side of this fear of really stepping up, really putting myself out there in a big way, is absolutely everything, and anything I want.
So, I’m entering my next phase. My next phase starts with this blog. I’ll be taking an amazing personal growth class and mastermind group (hopefully!), beginning work on my new emerging business and writing a book. I’ll share my thoughts and experiences here as I challenge myself, and grow into, putting myself out there!
A visual came to me in a meditation this week. I went into my sit thinking about this:
“The important fact that harmony and happiness are states of consciousness and do not depend upon the possession of things. That things are effects and come as a consequence of correct mental states.”
Material wealth and things don’t bring about happiness and harmony. Happiness and harmony help bring about material wealth and things.
You may be thinking that there are plenty of people who do not have much material wealth, but are happy. You may be thinking that there are people who are happy and harmonious, but the happiness has not transformed into material wealth.
The happiness and the harmony is the first critical step. It is the mental environment in which the seeds of what you desire can be planted. It is the foundation. You wouldn’t try to build a house on a shoddy foundation.
You wouldn’t try to grow an oak tree by planting an acorn in cement. It works out just about as well if you try to grow your dreams by planting your visions in a head full of negativity and doubt.
Happiness and harmony are the mental environment necessary for dreams to grow and flourish. Happiness and harmony are the definition of the “correct mental state” that Haanel refers to. The correct mental state is crucial to the development and manifestation of dreams.
Farmers study the best soils and environments for planting their crops. A whole field of agriculture is dedicated to it. In fact, North America is divided into 11 separate planting zones. When someone wants to plant a flower, a tree or a vegetable, much thought, care and effort goes into what conditions will give the plant the absolute best possible chance to grow and flourish. Tulip bulbs, for instance, require 12 to 14 weeks of cold weather, so planting them near the equator would not exactly be ideal. If you want to grow a rainbow eucalyptus tree (so cool) you wouldn’t try to plant one in Finland or the Sahara either, as they thrive in frost-free climates with lots of rain. Seems obvious, right?
So why set yourself up for failure by planting the seeds of your dreams in a hostile internal environment? A hostile internal environment would be any mental or internal space that is not conducive to your truest dreams becoming reality. In the MKE course we’ve spent weeks getting clear about our true desires, our “Definite Major Purpose.’ It wouldn’t make sense to plant those cherished dreams in cement.
Our dreams and desires, our Larger Vision or Definite Major Purpose requires a firm ground with nicely tilled soil of Happiness and Harmony.
Harmony is your connection to the Universal Mind or The Divine, or God. It is connecting to your intuition and being in tune with The Universal Mind and the laws governing the Universe.
“You must begin to live in harmony with the laws governing the universe.”
One crucial way to be in tune with Universal Mind is to be in a state of gratitude:
“Gratitude brings your whole mind into the creative energies of the universe.”
“Our highest happiness will be best attained through our understanding of, and conscious cooperation with natural laws.”
In addition to fine-tuning our harmony with Universal Mind and with others, a state of mental happiness is created and cultivated by carefully selecting our thoughts, and learning that we can attach any emotion we want to a thought. It is about creating an internal environment free from toxicity such as doubt, disbelief, judgment and fear; by substituting thoughts of God, love, excitement, passion or joy. It is about clearing our minds of all lingering resentments and angers by forgiving or just letting go. It is about cleaning out thoughts of lack, scarcity and limitation and replacing them with thoughts of abundance, personal power and possibility.
What else can we do to prepare our minds for planting our desires? What else can we do to give our dreams the ultimate, absolute best chance of becoming realities in the external world? There are many ways we can cultivate the soil and prepare for planting. We can practice the 7-Day Mental Diet (Emmet Fox), a habit of clearing the mind of all negative thoughts or judgments. We can practice limiting the number of judgments we entertain or spew out into the world. We can decrease the amount of time spent dwelling on any fears, anxieties or angers. We can focus on gratitude and giving which keeps us in an elevated state and in Harmony with The Divine. (We’ve been focusing on these past few weeks in MKE and it is AMAZING!) We can forgive. We can be super-conscious and aware of the language we use AT ALL TIMES, removing any phrases or words expressing lack, limitations or doubt:
“…as words are only thoughts taking form, we must be especially careful to use nothing but constructive and harmonious language…”
“I remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat…”
Gratitude and giving are essential nutrients for the soil. One of the most important ingredients to cultivating a happy and harmonious internal state, a most crucial fertilizers… (no, I am not using a manure analogy) is LOVE.
“This is an eternal and fundamental principle, inherent in all things, in every system of Philosophy, in every Religion, and in every Science. There is no getting away from the law of love. It is feeling that imparts vitality to thought. Feeling is desire, and desire is love. Thought impregnated with love becomes invincible.”
Love gives thoughts power. Love, which is connected to Universal Intelligence, or God, enables our thoughts and dreams to grow. Love is an emotion we can learn to attach to any thought. This is easier to do when we’ve already created an internal space full of Love. Creating an atmosphere of Love internally is creating the environment inside where thoughts are nourished and fed and can bloom. An internal state that is overflowing with Love enables our dreams (which are constructed of thoughts and images) it to attract what they need (like sunlight) to grow and flourish. Love enables our dreams to magnify and amplify.
“It is love which imparts vitality to thought and thus enables it to germinate.”
Did you hear that? Love allows our thoughts to germinate, or to sprout and grow. Love makes the soil of our internal environment more fertile. Fertile ground refers to soil that can supply nutrients and conditions necessary to produce an abundance of high quality growth.
Love is fertilizer for our dreams.
Yep. You heard it.
(For me, I’ll stick with an image of Miracle-Gro, rather that other thought. :D)
Love is an essential component of the right mental environment. Love and gratitude are intricately tied to harmony and happiness and together form the internal environment, or the “correct mental state” in which our Larger Dream, our Definite Major Purpose can grow, thrive and flourish. Harmony is created when we are connected to Source, or Universal Intelligence. Harmony and Happiness are states of consciousness that we can create.
Harmony and Happiness are states of consciousness that we can create!
They do not depend on material wealth, or things. Material wealth and things are the effects, or results, of correct thinking.
Harmony and happiness are the mental environment — the ground and soil in which we can plant the seed of our ideal — and expect that ideal to GROW.
Though I’ve been reading his writings morning, day and night, the identity of this man, Og Mandino, had escaped me. When it comes to personal development, I’m not one to ignorantly accept a pile of bullshit from someone who has not been in the trenches and found success through the struggle. On a quest to uncover the life behind the legend, I began to dig for some answers. The results of my search scratched the itch to know if Mr. Og had earned the right to offer advice on successful living.
What I found is that Og Mandino was an aspiring writer whose experience with deep pain invoked the surrender of his dreams. A walk through despair brought him full circle back to his love, his passion, his purpose. A fork in the road of his journey left him to choose between two paths. One street sign read “Suicide”, the…
So much in the past few weeks! So much to write about!
The NARC exercise (a gift to help us envision and FULLY FEEL both the PLEASURE of achieving our Vision or DMP; and the PAIN, heartache and sorrow of letting our DMP go) was a powerful and moving exercise and yes… I cried. (Surprise!) The experience was further driven home by a bizarre and powerful dream I had soon after doing the NARC exercise. (The dream involved losing an arm… an ARM!!!) This shocking dream drove the NARC exercise further into my gut and enabled me to take that first big step toward a portion of my DMP that I had been putting off. Taking that first scary step was HUGE.
The focus on gratitude and writing, reading, and FEELING my gratitude cards daily has been amazing. I’ve already seen it contribute to the law of growth. Little things, like writing on an index card that I was grateful for a T.V. coming to me (to replace my broken one and for my future Airbnb)… and a few days later another T.V. came to me! Not to mention the growth of intangibles like love and connection… Speaking of the law of growth —
The Franklin Makeover… OH MY GOSH!!! I was so excited and blown away by this. I kept thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Focusing on a specific quality or virtue for a full week… it makes perfect sense! Noticing a trait in others or in the world — or in my dog — focusing on it, loving it and appreciating it causes the trait to expand in my own life! It makes sense that the trait would begin to be amplified in me! And, if I’m able to see it and recognize it in others, it is also within me. Carl Jung talked about doing Shadow Work. The Shadow side of us represents all of those parts of ourselves that are repressed or unrecognized. The Shadow is usually thought of as our darker side and represents those qualities we judge or reject when we see them in others. Jungian theory says that those same qualities are within us, in our Shadow side. If they were not, if the seed of those traits were not in our Shadow, we would not even judge, reject or recognize them in others. The same is true for those traits we admire in others, but deny that we ourselves possess. I actually couldn’t recognize and admire qualities in others if I did not have the seed of them within me already. They may be in my Shadow side, unseen or rejected by me, but they are there. So the more that I recognize traits in others, the more I affirm that these qualities are also within me! And, as Mark and Davene point out, we begin noticing those traits more and more in ourselves. These traits grow in us without having to force them! … I chose to notice the trait of “Well-organized” for my first week, and have already noticed growth in my own organization. And it has been fun and positive instead of dreadful! I even heard someone say something to me regarding a spreadsheet I made. (Yes, you heard me… I used “spreadsheet” and “Imade” in the same sentence.) My friend said “Oh, you’re the type of person who likes to do that kind of thing.” And I quickly said “No, I’ve NOT been that type of person in the past!”
The meditations. For the meditations during the past two weeks, we have been directed to really focus and concentrate on Harmony and then on Insight.
For Insight, this week, it has come to me that I have insight into situations and potential obstacles or challenges when I am patient and let insight come to me through my intuition, gut and meditation. This insight comes with a knowing that challenges and obstacles are for a specific reason. Some of them I will be able to avoid and some may carry opportunities to further my growth. I will look for their purpose. There is a calmness to insight. It comes to a relaxed mind, and there is no panic about anything I intuit because I know there is no scarcity, and I am given everything I need to further my growth. There will be as many opportunities for growth as I need.
Harmony has still been on my mind this week as well. Last week I struggled a bit with what Harmony means for me in relation to the Universe and everything in it. This week, I remembered a past conversation and an image which shed more light.
My first thoughts about Harmony which were very clear, were about being in sync with The Universal Mind, the Creator. I am an extension of the Creator. Although I am of the same stuff as Creator or Source, I am also unique. I represent a unique facet of God. There is no one else exactly like me.
“Since the beginning of timenever has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.”
I am a unique creation of Nature and Nature’s greatest miracle.
“None can duplicate my brush strokes, none can make my chisel marks, none can duplicate my handwriting, none can produce my child, and, in truth, none has the ability to sell exactly as I.”
The Universal Mind also expresses itself through the individual. It is my duty to express myself fully and reach my potential. And to express my purpose and my desires to the fullest requires that I am in harmony with Universal Mind, and with all the Universal Laws. Our deepest desires, those things we want to do or accomplish based on our passions or what naturally excite us, are communications from the Universal Mind. I must be in harmony with this in order to express myself fully. I must be in harmony with what my true desires are, apart from any outside influences such as societal or familial expectations, beliefs about what it possible, fears, doubts or conditioning. And, I must be in harmony with Universal Laws, the ways things are created in the Universe, to bring my desires to fulfillment. To live according to my purpose.
My next thoughts were about being in harmony with everyone else. What does that mean? I recognize that although we are all individuations of the Divine, we are also all ONE, and so I recognize harmony as the goal. I cannot reach my fullest expression if I am living in constant disharmony and discord with others. That would zap my energy toward my inner fire (my DMP) and I cannot fully focus on LOVE and GRATITUDE if I am in the throws of discord and disharmony. Does that mean their is never any disharmony or conflict?
“All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.
I will know that any challenges and discord are here for a reason and I will do my best to extract from them what is required for my growth. This wisdom may require me to give up or let go of something I no longer need, or it may require me to accept something for my growth. I will continue to remind myself to use my insight to sense the purpose for the challenge or discord. What I am meant to extract from it.
“We are able to consciously control our conditions as we come to sense the purpose of what we attract, and are able to extract from each experience only what we require for our further growth. Our ability to do this determines the degree of harmony or happiness we attain.
I will do my best to remind myself that challenges and discord are here to further my growth and to find their meaning. This in turn allows me more harmony!!!
“I have been given eyes to see and a mind to think and now I know a great secret of life for I perceive, at last, that all my problems, discouragements, and heartaches are, in truth, great opportunities in disguise.
I took all of this about harmony into a meditation and what came to me was something my father said to me years ago. He said something along the lines of:
We ought to be like stars in the Universe.
Each star in the Universe is on its own individual path… Each star is living according to its own purpose… Every star is being exactly what it’s supposed to be… No star is going outside its path and interfering with the path of another… No star is blocking another star’s energy, or getting in the way of another… No star is going out of it’s path to control or abuse another star and an each is being exactly what it’s meant to be… each is on its own purpose and each is shining brightly, as brightly as it’s supposed to shine… and that is BEAUTIFUL.
THE UNIVERSE IS BEAUTIFUL.
Every star is in alignment with Source.
That is HARMONY… and that is BEAUTIFUL.
When we are in harmony, we are connected to the Universe. We are of the same “stuff” as the Universe; yet, we are individual expressions of it. We are meant to shine. What if the stars decided that they were too boastful to shine, and one or more of them decided to dull themselves down?
That famous quote by Marianne Williamson comes to mind:
“…‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone…”
When all are shining brightly… when all are doing their best to be themselves and to express themselves fully… when all are doing their best to live on purpose and on their own path… when all are in harmony and not abusing or controlling anyone else…
IT IS BEAUTIFUL.
Awhile ago at a friend’s lovely Art Journal retreat (https://laurakinker.com/blog/), I painted a large journal page a deep blue. I then painted on bright yellow stars. I added a picture of my Larger Vision, or my DMP (Definite Major Purpose).
I didn’t really know why I chose deep blue, or why I then chose to paint yellow stars. I was just following my intuition. My journal page was very different from those around me, so I wasn’t influenced by others.
Suddenly it makes sense.
Without even knowing it, I painted my Future Vision, my DMP, as in HARMONY with The Universe.
One assignment this week was to watch a movie; one or more of several inspirational movies, being alert to how the movie portrays the 4 habits of persistence.
The movie and the four habits
October Sky tells the story of a boy, Homer Hickam Jr, who grew up in a coal mining town, saw Sputnik cross the sky, developed a consuming passion for rocketry, and eventually became a NASA engineer! The film, based on a true story, shows the obstacles and the ups and downs of reaching this goal when almost everyone in the town believes the only way to escape the fate of a coal miner and get out of town, is on a football scholarship. Making the situation even more challenging, the boy’s father is the proud mine superintendent and wants his son to be like him and join him in the mines.
In our course, over several months now, we’ve done a progression of exercises and readings to develop the Four Habits of Persistence. This is an amazing set-up for being able to follow through. The following are the four habits and how I saw them exemplified in the movie:
A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
To have persistence, first and foremost there must be the fuel to get you through those challenges and hard times when you want to give up.
The fuel is a definite purpose, a calling, a passion or a compelling vision that is backed by burning desire. A passion or calling can be anything that you are genuinely excited about. Anything that you’re attracted to, that lights you up when you talk about it or think about it. Think about those things that have caused you to completely lose track of time when engaged in it, or that makes your eyes light up when you talk about it. Separate this from any feelings, thoughts or advice that could possibly be from anyone else. Separate it from any messages that could be that are from anyone else. Separate this from any messages that could be of society, culture, family or friends. This is not about “shoulds.” This is not about what you think you “should” find worthy. It’s not about what sounds like a good value or a worthy goal. This is something that just is. It doesn’t matter why you think you have the goal or the desire. It just is.
In this case, Homer didn’t know he had an extreme interest in rocketry. He just saw Sputnik cross the sky and thought it was beautiful and amazing. He didn’t exactly know where the burning desire came from. He just felt compelled to try to make his own rockets and he followed that. He followed that in spite of peoples criticisms and laughter. He attracted others to work with him and formed a team. He befriended the “unpopular” and risked his social status. All for a burning desire and a purpose. All because he followed a flame he felt inside. Initially, he didn’t have a why. He simply followed what called to him.
2. A definite plan expressed in continuous action.
When you feel the passion or the burning desire, you don’t have to necessarily know the how. At least not immediately. You don’t have to know precisely how you will accomplish your purpose or your vision. You do have to be open to opportunities, ideas and flashes of insight that will become your plan. You have to take general steps in the direction of your goal, and then be alert to ideas and opportunities. You have to be in touch with your intuition or your gut. Trust and faith in yourself and this process will keep you on track and will actually pave the way. If you don’t have a definite plan in the beginning, and most of us don’t, you do know some general steps you need to take to go in the direction of your idea. If you’re in sales, you may need to make sales calls. If you’re a writer, or want to be a writer, you need to get to writing. Maybe you need to network. You know SOMETHING to do to work toward your goal. Think about what service you would like to provide in exchange for your goal or your definite purpose. Think about this and visualize it and give it your best in both quality and quantity. Develop some traction points, or actions toward your goal that you know would move your forward. . Ask yourself “What is the one thing, that if I REALLY did it, I know in my heart would get me to were I want to be?” Do that. Commit to a few steps. Then take persistent, continuous action. BAM! You now have a plan. And, stay open to flashes of insight, ideas and opportunities.
Homer did this by following his gut and his intuition, and then learning and studying what would get him to the next step. When he was stuck, he would find someone to ask, someone to mastermind with. He asked one of the smartest boys in school, who his friends had made fun of, when he got stuck and eventually they became friends. When his studies led him to need supplies, he talked to others with specialized knowledge ho might be able to help (mastermind) and they were open to new ideas to solve the problem. He worked diligently on each rocket, learned from his mistakes, and moved forward with the next rocket. He simply kept going with persistent continuous action to build the next better rocket and when he ran across obstacles or challenges he stayed alert to ideas about how to move past or around them. He even got books and taught himself high level math, something he’d never before been good at. He came across many obstacles and even gave up for awhile, but came back to his passion, his calling. He had a plan to keep building better and better rockets and kept just taking the next step. At some point after he initially started, his teacher planted the idea that it might be possible to earn a college scholarship for this work. The idea of escaping a life of working in the coal mines ignited a flame that fueled him forward.
3. A mind closed tightly to all negative and discouraging influences; including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
Most of the time the discouragement from friends, relatives or acquaintances is unintended or meant to be loving. Much of the time it is an expression of someone else’s values; most of the time it is an expression of someone else’s fears. When you think about the typical Hero’s Journey (Joseph Campbell), it is common that the hero has to shed his old thinking (old blueprint) or face someone who wants to keep the hero “safe” by guiding him away from his desired path. The hero has to shed all these influences of people trying to keep him safe by maintaining the status quo. He has to overcome or discard all of the advice meant to steer him away from the potential danger and disappointment of working toward his vision, goal or purpose. He has to experience all of this and then take a leap of faith out of the ordinary world and into the unknown. This frequently occurs after meeting or speaking with a mentor, and being given a gift (such as wisdom or insight or a test) which pushes him over the edge and helps him take the leap into the unknown.
In this instance, Homer seems to be fighting most of the town in order to live his true purpose. His dad had visions of him being a leader in the coal mining industry like himself. The whole town collectively believes it is their lot to be coal miners, and that they don’t really have any other realistic options. Everyone thinks he is crazy for spending time building rockets and almost no one believes he could possibly earn a scholarship for it. They guide him to what they consider a better use of his time… learning the coal mining business. Homer experiences a succession of challenges and obstacles. He is ridiculed, he is shamed and he even temporarily gives up on his dream. When his dad can’t work in the mines, Homer decides to work the mines to help his family, quits school and quits his dream.
After a moving talk with his mentor, his teacher who is now ill, he receives the gift of knowing that someone believed in him and even counted on him. He makes the decision to go full out from that point forward. He teaches himself high level math, gets him team back together, and finds ways to build an even better rocket that gets noticed. Journalists take note, and so do college recruiters. Homer follows his inner compass and sheds the cement (opinions and urgings of others, societal and cultural influences, fears) that would otherwise have kept him stagnate and a coal miner.
4. A Mastermind alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with the plan and the purpose.
“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.”
Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
“The mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective.
No two minds ever come together without a third invisible force, which may be likened to a “third mind.” When a group of individual minds are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual in the group.
No man can become a permanent success without taking others along with him.”
Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
In this case, Homer first rallies his friends together to help him build and launch his rockets. He then goes outside his comfort zone and risks social ridicule by enlisting the help of a super smart kid who is often made fun of. Over time, they become a mastermind group working toward a definite and common purpose and ultimately all secure college scholarships!
Homer also has the support of his mentor, his teacher. She is one of the few people in the town who believes he has a shot of earning a scholarship and going to college. Even her disappointment when he temporarily chooses to work in the coal mines and give up on his dream is a factor in bringing him back to his purpose. Her belief in him is the spark that brings him back to his vision. He also acquires the help, support or admiration of a few others along the way, which helps him overcome obstacles and challenges. Eventually, even his father comes through with some assistance.
Homer and his team win the school science fair, and Homer earns the right to go to the National Science Fair. After one more huge hurdle, he earns first place in the national fair… securing college scholarships for himself and his team.
It’s no surprise that I cried during this movie, as I often do, especially at the end. I was so happy to see this boy, not only earning a college scholarship for him and his friends, not only meeting his hero, but as an adult enjoying a career as an engineer with NASA! My kids don’t understand why I often cry at movies like this and look at me like I’m crazy, but I cry every time I see someone truly living their purpose in a movie. I cry every time I see someone overcome odds and remain true to their internal compass, their passion, or what they really seem to be meant to be doing on this planet. I love that! That is a beautiful thing. Imagine what the world would be like if we were all doing that!
With this movie, I noticed a slight shift in myself. I remember watching these types of movies in my past and thinking something like “I wish I had that. I wish I had that kind of strength to know my purpose, live it, and stick to it no matter what — even with all kinds of obstacles and opposition.” Earlier in my life, I felt like I had something missing. A piece missing. I felt like I was missing that piece that would allow me to be THAT strong and THAT bold.
Now when I watch a movie like this… I am touched and inspired and a little scared of what’s ahead in my path. But I no longer feel like something’s missing. I no longer feel like I can’t do that. My beliefs have changed and I no longer feel like I can’t do what I need to do, or that I can’t be THAT strong or go the distance. My tears are no longer a mix of happiness for the character and a dose of wishing I had that piece. That piece that would make me THAT strong and THAT bold.
I no longer feel like I’m missing anything. I no longer feel like I’m missing something that would make me strong enough and bold enough to live by my internal compass, to be that true to myself and live according to my purpose. Now the tears are a mix of pure happiness for the character, inspiration for what I’d like to do, and the knowing that it’s up to me. Yikes. Yes, and a little bit of fear. Fear of diving into the unknown.
But I know I can change that fear into excitement… or anything else I want to change it into!
I know with the readings and studying, the meditations, martial arts, my index cards of accomplishments and qualities, the MKE course and leaders, my tribes, my masterminds, the linking, and my internal shifts, I can be what I will to be. I can live on purpose.
As I heard Wynnona Judd say (taking from the title of their song) regarding her and her mother’s persistence getting a record deal on Music Row — “Why NOT me?”
Grateful for family. Friends. Clients. Students. Teachers. And more.
I am blown away by feelings of gratefulness this holiday season. It would take a long time to go into specifics, but the holidays are a great time to focus on being in the flow of giving and receiving, and to focus on being grateful and appreciative for so many things and people around me!
One recent experience involved a pack of index cards.
We have 2 stacks of index cards. One stack is full of accomplishments and one is full of my qualities. Both are also filling up with things I am feeling grateful for. I’m finding that it’s awesome to shuffle the decks and read through the cards several times a day.
In the pile of cards filled with accomplishments, I have a card that says “I became myself.”
“I became myself.”
There were no tears when I wrote that card, but when I came across the card as I was shuffling through and reading cards in the deck, I cried.
I’ve been working on this my whole life. Becoming myself. For decades I’ve been trying to figure out who the heck I was, what my opinions were, what I liked and what I didn’t like. I didn’t have a good sense of self when I was young. I came across books by Wayne Dyer and started realizing I was not only at choice and responsible for my own happiness, but I started trusting what I liked and what I didn’t, and who I was. I also started reading lots of spiritual books to get in touch with my intuition and my gut which helped me know how to listen to myself and discern my own voice from the voices of everyone around me. I spent decades getting better at this. Trying to just be myself. I’ve had times when I felt like I needed to fight to be myself and times I felt like I had to stand up for myself in order to not completely lose myself. (My own life, my own creations. I know that the stories I told myself — or my thoughts — led to my situations and circumstances which led to other circumstances. So, I know that on some level, I set myself up for this.)
Recently I’d been working on completely loving myself. I finally made the decision to accept myself fully, the good and the bad. I finally made the decision that I wouldn’t dwell on mistakes I make, or times that I didn’t handle something in the best possible manner. I made the decision I would learn from these instances, but I would never again let my thoughts spiral downward to any place near self-condemnation.
Since I started the MKE course, this vow has been strengthened and I have a deeper and firmer understanding of how to actually love myself and not slip into the opposite state. Now, my perspective has shifted even more and I know I don’t have to dwell on any thought or emotion. Now I really know I have the choice of how to think, and I know how to change my mental state. I am now extremely protective of my mental space. I know I don’t want to stay in a state of mind in which I’m slipping from self-love into self-hate. I know I don’t want to harbor negative or self-judging thoughts or any judgmental thoughts, because I know the long term damage they can do. Now I know that it doesn’t even make sense to hold onto such thoughts or feelings — and why would I want to? I know that I am connected to, and part of, and one with Spirit… and so is everyone else. I am an individuation of the Universal Mind (or God) and it doesn’t even make sense to harbor negative thoughts of myself. This has helped me maintain the commitment I already made to love myself with all of my mistakes and imperfections.
So in this way, given all these progressions, given decades of process, I became myself.
This is not perfect. I have moments where I’m hard on myself or feel badly (I try to keep those under 6 seconds), or moments when I forget who I am or what I know or what I like. It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress. My life is a masterpiece in progress. I am still becoming myself more fully all the time. I’m becoming my best self. I slip up and make mistakes and I have setbacks. But in general,
I became myself.
For the first time, this really sinks into my bones as generally true.
I became myself.
Imperfectly perfect. A masterpiece in progress. These are the thoughts that flashed through me when I came across the card. These are the tears. I became myself.
Meditation and the hero’s journey
I started a meditation with these thoughts. I saw myself on the edge of a precipice. About to take the plunge into my Larger Dreams or my DMP (Definite Major Purpose). I’ve already been working on this and been making progress, but I saw myself as ready to dive off the cliff and take the plunge into working on it full out, 100% in. Ready to dive into the belly of the whale. (Mark J has made several references to the Hero’s Journey and I became enthralled with the idea… Google the stages) I felt like everything has led me to this point. I’ve been doing the work and preparing… but I am still in THIS world (the ordinary world) and haven’t actually taken the leap from the ordinary world into the unknown world. I have prepared. I have made tons of progress. I’ve climbed the rock and I am standing at the edge of the cliff. But, I haven’t actually dived in. (The Ordinary World.)
Standing on this rock, I met my Future Self. The one I’ve visualized in earlier meditations. The one who has also brought tears to my eyes. The one I saw living my DMP, living my vision and my desires. Ahhh…. My mentor. (The Mentor.)
She tells me to do the NARC (Neurological Associative Reactive Conditioning) exercise. In short, the NARC exercise is an exercise in deliberately feeling the extremes of what it will be like to live my true purpose, my true desire, DMP or Larger Vision, and what it will feel like NOT to. The pleasure or the pain. The Acceptance of the Call or The Refusal of The Call. The suggestion to do the NARC exercise is my gift. It is the gift of what I need. It is the push to cross the threshold from the ordinary world into the Unknown World. (The Gift. The Push to Cross the Threshold to the Unknown World.)
I’ve talked about the Refusal of the Call in prior blog posts. This refusal shows up in the form of Gremlins — thoughts and emotions that surface to hold me back or maintain the status quo. (Refusal of the Call.)
What if I refuse the call? (The call to my Larger Vision or Purpose or what I Really Want?) What would that feel like and look like? I am instructed to do this exercise and really feel what it would feel like if I refuse. I will physically and literally dump my written DMP into the trash and intentionally feel the pain of giving it up. Letting it go. I will feel the impact on my life, my emotions, my fulfillment, my family and loved ones, and especially the ways it may impact my sons.
I have already visualized and intentionally felt what it it would feel like to live my DMP in many ways and I will visualize this and feel this pleasure again. The choice is mine. And I know that when I pick that written DMP back out of the trash, the adventure has begun. I will then have dived into the world of the unknown. The belly of the whale.
(Tony Robbins talks about a similar technique he calls “The Rocking Chair Technique.”
I know during this meditation that I am about to take the plunge. I know that my instruction to do the NARC exercise is the push for me to cross the threshold. I am about to jump off the precipice into the world of the unknown, the belly of the whale. I know that there will be challenges and adventures. What is a journey without challenges? But I also know from my readings in Og Mandino and others that I will persist. And I know that if I continue to persist, I will succeed. And I can see and feel that my future self has a calm presence. A confidence and a happiness that tells me that at some point this will all be fine. It will be more than fine.
The Departure Stage is coming to an end and I am about to cross the threshold. I am about to take the plunge. This is where the adventure will REALLY kick in. This is the point of no return. There’s no going back. (The plunge. Crossing the Threshold.)
My fear is changing to excitement. The “I absolutely cannot wait — I am so excited I can barely stand it” — excitement.
I’ll let you know. 🙂
Happy New Year!!!
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy, Heroic and Harmonious New Decade!
Week 12 was a powerful week in the Master Key Course. We wrote a one-sentence version of our DMP (Definite Major Purpose) or vision, and did a moving 50-minute exercise with that one sentence. We’ve been thinking of fun ways to give our vision vitality using all the senses, and we’ve been continuing the many habits we’ve been developing such as meditation.
Individuation of Source. Facet of God.
Many aspects of all I’ve been learning and studying came together for me in a visualization this week. (Please keep in mind, when expressing my view of spirituality, I use several terms interchangeably such as Universal Mind, Spirit, Source, Universal Intelligence, and God.) I was concentrating on the magnificence of Universal Mind and its creative energy and power. I saw myself in harmony, and united with Spirit. I saw I that I am a part of the Universal Mind, and I saw myself coming from and rising out of Spirit. I saw myself as an individuation of it. I knew that as an individuation of the Universal Mind I am responsible for reaching my full expression. I believe each of us is meant to fully express ourselves because we are expressing a piece of universal intelligence. Decades ago I had a vision similar to this and it is my spiritual view that we are both one with Source and an individual expression or facet of God. This reminds me that as an individuation of Source, I am meant to grow into my full expression, or my best self. This also reminds me that I can get to know God by getting to know others, as we are all facets of the Universal Mind.
This famous quote from Marianne Williamson (often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela) says this best:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I am meant to grow into my full expression. Who am I NOT to?
I visualized the magnificence of Universal Mind and saw myself and everyone else as one with Universal Intelligence and an individuation of it. It came to me that anytime we have a desire — a true desire — a true want that is not blurred by the conditioning of society or by our fears or by what we think is possible or by what limitations we think exist, that desire is inspired or divine. If it is in harmony with Universal Mind and good for all, then It is part of our purpose of what is meant to be. And, anytime we have a desire, it is possible for that desire to come to fruition.
Thought cannot conceive of anything that may not be brought to expression…
You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.
Richard Bach is the author of one of my favorite books, Jonathon Livingston Seagull. I read that book as a teenager and was blown away. This is also one of my favorite quotes.
My desire or my vision is inspired and part of my full expression and meant to be. And it is possible.
In my meditation, I knew that in order to fully express myself, to bring my true desire or want to fruition, I access Creative Intelligence. I saw that thought is my bridge. Thought is what connects me, what connects me and my desire or dream to this creative power. I picture the bridge. I visualize it and I focus on it.
And then, this bridge in my visualization– this thought-bridge connecting desire to Universal Intelligence– became infused with love.
Thought impregnated with love becomes invincible.
I visualize this bridge being infused with love. I see it being injected with love. I see my definite major purpose or Vision as being infused with love. I see it as the color pink with swirls of orange. (Colors I love together and feel warm and energizing at the same time.) I see the love as all around the bridge at one with the bridge. I see pink and orange swirls enveloping the entire picture. I see and feel it as beautiful.
The law of love is the creative force behind every manifestation.
In the past, I have attempted to write similar one-sentence statements of my purpose or vision… but I attempted them backwards! What I mean is that I have attempted to start with the statement. Through this course, I have spent months writing my Larger Vision or definite major purpose. I have described it in a fun “press release” and I have made a vision board image of it. After creating these versions and reading my vision daily, and putting the images around me and visualizing, writing a one-sentence version flows pretty easily! I find the one-sentence version very inspiring, like a DMP injection! I read it or look at it and get an instant shot of joy and inspiration. An instant reminder of what inspires and excites me and what I’m working toward.
A 50-Minute Exercise involving our DMP and a mirror proved to be very powerful as well. Last week, I wrote about Growth and I noticed so much growth around me. In this exercise with my one-sentence DMP, I also saw growth. My one-sentence version grew and became bigger, which means my vision grew! I don’t mean that I added more words to it (although I did add a word or two), but my vision grew in magnitude and my vision of myself grew. I had to change a few words because I saw that who I would need to be, would be bigger. I made the changes and stepped into a bigger picture. And it felt right.
I rewrote my new one-sentence version on some index cards (because I’ve already been training my brain that anything I write on an index card MUST happen).
I infused it with love and energy by highlighting the sentence with pink and orange swirls.
I attached images of my vision board, the visual version of my DMP, to the backs of the cards and had them laminated!
I also put up a chalkboard/bulletin board I bought on a virtual garage sale. I bought it for my future Airbnb, but I put it up in my Chicago apartment and wrote “Welcome to Nashville!” as a way to bring vitality to the vision! What I noticed was that the next day, I woke up with excitement and the thought that I couldn’t wait to work on a project that is part of my Larger Vision. This particular project was one that I had previously been overwhelmed by. After bringing my vision into my home in such a live way, I woke up being excited about something that I had previously put off and feared!
I took my first steps on that project.
I am deeply grateful for this whole MKE experience.
Part Eleven of Haanel’s Master Key is rich and profound and I couldn’t possibly talk about all of the insights within. However, I did have a very powerful meditation that was sparked by one particular paragraph that I’d like to share.
Background: I was particularly excited when I read a certain paragraph deep within Part Eleven because it gave me a visual for who I want to BE.
In our Blueprint Builder from Think and Grow Rich, by it says that
“I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.”
— Napoleon Hill
I’ve been doing this in various ways, but I’ve been wanting to really visualize clearly who I want to BE in the future. I’ve been wanting to get a clearer picture of my future self.
Foreground: When I read paragraph 21, I was excited. It spoke to me because I knew it was a picture of that future self; a model of the future self who is able to bring her dreams into fruition:
“The operation of this thought process is seen in those fortunate natures that possess everything that others must acquire by toil, who never have a struggle with conscience because they always act correctly, and never conduct themselves otherwise than with tact, learn everything easily, complete everything they begin with a happy knack, live in eternal harmony with themselves, without ever reflecting much what they do, or ever experiencing difficulty or toil.”
— Charles Haanel
Yes! That’s something I want to meditate on! That’s a pretty darn good start to who I want to be in order to live my larger vision! What a perfect example! It also states in our blueprint builder, from Napoleon Hill, that “I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE.” The person described above is simply living life by trusting her intuition. She is in harmony with her deeper self and the Universal Mind and does not have to analyze, doubt or toil. Also in line with the blueprint builder, she doesn’t struggle with conscience. It states that “I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects.” Perfect fit.
Let’s look at that sentence from Haanel again:
“The operation of this thought process is seen in those fortunate natures that possess everything that others must acquire by toil, who never have a struggle with conscience because they always act correctly, and never conduct themselves otherwise than with tact, learn everything easily, complete everything they begin with a happy knack, live in eternal harmony with themselves, without ever reflecting much what they do, or ever experiencing difficulty or toil.”
— Charles Haanel
With that sentence in mind, I started a meditation with the intent to visualize myself as being that person. I immediately saw my future-self. I saw my future-self — the one who lives both in Nashville and at times in a groovy retro rolling home (a traveling RV). I saw the future-self who loves running a charming Airbnb while coaching, writing, creating and running workshops and traveling. I saw that future-self being in the flow of giving and receiving. living from her gut and connection to Spirit. I saw that future-self living, interacting and working happily, and without toil, finishing the projects that she starts and completely trusting her intuition. I saw that future-self acting on faith and giving to others effortlessly. I saw the smile and love in her heart as she carried out her DMP (Definite Major Purpose) or her larger vision as a service to others (part of our work in our Master Key course). I saw her being in complete harmony with her purpose and with Spirit, never questioning her intuition and never allowing her mind to go to a place of analyzing, doubt or fear. I saw her confidence. Not an ego kind of confidence. I saw the confidence she had in her purpose and vision and connection to the Universal Mind. I saw her belief which was not even remotely a question, just a certainty of connection with Universal Mind and the greater good. This was a beautiful picture.
And suddenly the future-self I had been witnessing was completely in the present. She was no longer my future-self, but myself. I saw myself being in the flow of giving:
“Wherever I go, and whoever I encounter, I will bring them a gift. The gift may be a compliment, a flower, or a prayer. Today, I will give something to everyone I come into contact with, and so I will begin the process of circulating joy, wealth and affluence in my life and in the lives of others.”
— Deepak Chopra
And then I saw specifics! I saw myself giving specific gifts to specific people! I saw myself giving a certain gift to clients who are currently enduring a difficult hardship. I saw the gift and how it was wrapped, and what I had written about it. This was something that had not previously occurred to me! (I love when I tap into ideas and inspirations during meditations! It is tapping into ‘creative intelligence.” ) I saw myself being in the flow of giving and receiving in the current moment. I saw my present work as a service to others; I watched myself coaching others and being coached and I knew that both were an example of being in the flow of giving and receiving. When I am coaching, I am not only giving, but I’m receiving wisdom and inspiration from my clients at the same time. I saw my current pet business as a service to the owners as well as to the animals. I witnessed the honor of caring for peoples’ treasured animals and I observed the love and spiritual connection I receive through the animals. I saw teaching martial arts as providing a service to the parents, to the kids, and to the adults I introduce to our martial arts system. I watched myself giving, not only in classes, but between classes and in my own time. I saw the flow as I trained with others, learned from my teachers, peers and students, and shared back and forth with them. I stayed in this visualization and watched myself in the flow and in harmony with my family, my partner, and my loved ones.
I saw myself being in harmony with the Universal Mind or Spirit. I saw my projects flowing with ease and decisions coming effortlessly from connection with my gut. I saw myself protecting and treasuring my mental space and spending time nourishing it well with meditation, mantras, and supportive reading and connections with others. Never did I see my mind lingering in overwhelm, doubt or fear because my mind did not linger in a state of analyzing. There was no need for that. Analyzing usually takes me out of belief and intuition. I was purely acting from connection to Spirit, or Universal Mind. I saw myself simply living and being.
I also saw myself stepping up. I saw myself putting myself out there into the world regularly. I didn’t see any thoughts, concerns or fears about risking or being vulnerable — I just was.
I just am.
I saw myself acting from a place of faith (knowing that faith is not a shadow, but a substance, a connecting substance) from Haanel. There was no significant questioning, analyzing or noise. I was too busy being. I was acting from a place of knowing that the only limitations are in our ability to think. I saw myself being in the flow of taking inspired action, and that inspired action leading to circumstances and relationships with others, and those circumstances and relationships with others leading to even more circumstances, and I saw endless and exciting possibilities.
“…while every effect is the result of a cause, the effect in turn becomes a cause, which creates other effects, which in turn create still other causes; so that when you put the law of attraction into operation you must remember that you are starting a train of causation for good or otherwise which may have endless possibilities.”
— Charles Haanel
Wow!!!! This expands and explains what I blogged about last week. Everything comes together in that sentence. When I take on that viewpoint, I get a sense of how I’ve created everything, good or bad, positive or negative, in my life.
Sometimes there really is no good vs bad, positive vs negative. Often, what I think is a negative — I come to see over time as something that contributes to my growth. Recently, I saw how a so-called “negative” external event fit into my DMP and can help me with one of my intended outcomes! In fact, there is really no positive or negative from the point of view that our subconscious goes about creating what we hold in our mind as dominant thoughts. Right now it is easy for me to see how I create everything in my life based on one cause affecting another and another. A dominant thought, feeling or belief may lead to circumstances or relationships, which may lead to other circumstances, relationships, or effects. Haanel writes:
“…any thought which we entertain brings to us certain friendships, companionships of a particular kind, and these in turn bring about conditions and environment, which in turn are responsible for the conditions of which we complain.”
— Charles Haanel
Or, the thoughts which we entertain are responsible for the conditions that we ADORE and are grateful for!
Especially when we have taken the time to learn how to create a positive internal environment, revamp our belief systems or blueprints, become clear about what we really want apart from external influences, and learn to concentrate and create intentional dominating thoughts!
Back to the meditation. I was looking down at my present self from above and I could see what I was doing and who I was being presently. I could see the chain of causes that are being initiated by who I am being in this vision. I could also step back and see the amazing possibilities that this is bringing to my future self. I could view my future self, see how she is being in the world, see the amazing causes and effects, see the joy and the bliss and the connection to others and see that she is truly on purpose in the world and bringing herself to her full expression. And this brought me tears.
And, now knowing I have the 4 habits of persistence, there is no going back.
“For today I am a new person with a new life.” And “…nothing retards my new life’s growth.”
Last week I realized that even a situation outside of myself could be one of my own gremlins holding me back from something big. A gremlin is a thought or feeling that interrupts, blocks, or distracts us from my larger purpose or agenda. Gremlins often pop up when we are on to something really big.. when we are about to step onto a bigger arena, play a bigger game, do something that feels risky, or do something we really want to do. Gremlins are often recognizable as thoughts or fears that hold us back. Sometimes they are almost unrecognizable, cleverly disguised as beliefs or even logic or “truth.” Last week it occurred to me that a gremlin might even take the form of an external situation; something outside my own head or heart. However, situations outside ourselves can hold us back from working on our dreams when we let them occupy space in our mind in the form of worry, fear, anger, sadness, or a “problem” to be “figured out” or solved. I know that I am in charge of my mental environment and it is up to me to change my internal state. I have the tools to do this.
I had a deeper realization that not only are the thoughts and feelings I have about such external circumstances gremlins — because they are distracting me from my larger purpose — but the actual circumstances are also my gremlins! My outer world reflects my inner world. I accept that on some level, I drew this situation to me as a distraction from what what I most want, that which seems huge and scary; my larger vision, my big dream. Once I recognize this, I am able to change my internal state about the situation. I am able to bring myself back to a vision that excites and compels me!
Through mantras, readings, meditation, visualization and using the law of substitution, I bring myself back to states such as excitement, energy, flow, exhilaration, bliss, gratefulness and love. And this is beautiful.
The beauty overwhelms me– in a good way! I now concentrate on the underlying knowing that this is spiritual.
The external situation which was distracting me from my future dreams and my future self is just a challenge. I am reminded by Og Mandino that “I welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.” My challenge truly becomes a part of my larger vision or my definite major purpose. It becomes a point of inspiration. The learning created by this obstacle (if I am open to it) compels me forward and becomes a part of my big dream. The heaviness of this challenge lifts as it becomes meaningful and integral to my work. I am excited by the learning and this energizes me to move forward. The challenge, for which I am now grateful, imbeds itself into my dream. I weave this challenge and all of its learning into the design of my larger vision and it takes on a new form. It is a new thread woven into the exquisite tapestry that is my vision. It is no longer like a scar, but a mark of beauty.
The theme of beauty, even in life’s challenges, is repeated all around me.
In my recent meditations I am amazed by the beauty of all of my recent learnings, and I am focused on the beauty of Spirit. Many visuals are coming to me in my meditations and they seem to center around a theme of growth. As suggested in Part 9 of the Master Key, I deliberately visualized a flower from the unseen into the seen; from the planting to the burst of the seed to the roots, to the stem bursting from the seed and through the soil, to the lifting and the leaves forming and the flower. I watched the living cells on all levels seek what they need for growth. I saw the roots search and find water. I saw the flower tilt toward the sun for nourishment. The entire process too beautiful for words. I then began to see other seeds dropping to the soil and bursting to life. I see many flower buds rising and and blossoming. The original one flower, from the original one seed has become many.
I am reminded of a sentence in Part 10 of the Master Key “… everything that has life is constantly attracting to itself the conditions and the supply which is necessary for its most complete expression.” This struck me as beautiful on at least two levels:
It occurs to me that we are supposed to reach, or aim, for complete expression. We are not here to be stagnate. We are here to grow and live our purpose. Just as an acorn is meant to be a beautiful oak, we are meant to find expression of our desires, passions or purpose. We are an individuation of the Universal Mind, an individuation of the Divine, and we are meant to grow and express ourselves fully. Another way of putting it is that we are not meant to die with our music still inside. For me, this also means that I am not meant to work a job I don’t love and then quiet the inner voice reminding me I’m not doing what I truly want, with various forms of addiction (whatever that may be, substances, social addictions, TV, eating, etc). I am meant to grow. I am meant to flourish. My desires are meant to compel me forward. I am an individuation of the Universal Mind, a facet of Spirit, and I am meant to create and express.
Not only am I supposed to reach toward full expression, but I subconsciously seek the means and opportunities to makes my dreams and goals realities. This is a spiritual process that I can initiate through thought. I must do the mental work to be clear about my ideals, to connect with and be in harmony with Spirit. But the means or the opportunities or the supply for growth are found by my subconscious mind, or the Universal Mind. (It is then up to me to be open to and recognize these opportunities and act on them!) “The creative power depends on our recognition of the potential power of spirit or mind.“ I am an individuation of Spirit and I connect through harmonious thought. The Universal Mind finds the ways and means for bringing about the ideal. The clearer I become about my ideal — my larger vision — my Definite Major Purpose — the closer I am to expressing myself. The spiritual process is at work and my subconscious is alert for means and opportunities that I must recognize and take action on. I am meant to attract the conditions and the means which are necessary for my most complete expression. And, my most complete expression is my Definite Major Purpose, or my larger vision or agenda. How awesome and beautiful is that?
After focusing on my visualization of the flower from the unseen to the seen, and after focusing on Part 10 of the Master Key, I am suddenly noticing visions of growth everywhere. I visualize the forming of the cone as suggested in Part 10 of the Master Key, and it takes on various colors and then seems to multiply (further growth). I write a thank you card to a friend. I draw a heart to show my affection and love and before I know it, that heart is growing and fully expressing itself. I draw the heart rising from a sea of smaller hearts, many of whom I imagine will also reach toward full expression and it will “grow and warm the earth” (Og Mandino). I am seeing growth everywhere I look.
The holidays and some family issues were inserted into week 9 and I got a little off track. How easily that can occur! I notice that if I let a newly forming good habit slide a little, it can pick up traction and take other newly formed habits right along with it, like a snowball. I am getting back on my track though and also noticing some important developments.
I’ve re-written my DMP (definite major purpose) or new life vision, and it feels exciting and energizing and also deeply meaningful. I have re-recorded two versions of my DMP to inspiring music that I can play while I am taking care of pets for my current business. I put more copies of my movie poster (the visual version of my DMP, like a vision board) around where I can see it and I am having one laminated. Most of all, I am still loving my “Press Release” (a description of my future vision already completed and described in a fun interview format). This is my favorite way of connecting with my vision, other than meditating. Speaking of meditating, visualizing my DMP as a service to others also magnifies and magnitizes my larger vision. I am loving focusing on a part of my larger vision and really seeing it come to life as a service to other people. It becomes deeper and more meaningful, and when I visualize parts of my DMP in this manner, I am energized and stimulated with more ideas and possibilities.
I’ve rearranged the shapes and colors I put up in my house. (We are linking colors and shapes to our goals and desires so that our subconscious makes the connections to our larger vision when we are out and about in the world.) We have previously put words, or goals, in the shapes. When I remove the words (a goal) in one shape, my mind automatically fills in the blank shape with the goal and date that belongs there. What I notice is that the feeling this immediately calls up is a sense of urgency. Even if the date on the goal is far away, when I fill the missing goal and date (in my mind) a rush comes over me as if I just have to get it done now. I don’t know why this feeling comes over me exactly but I love that!
I’ve asked someone to be a mastermind partner and allow me to report my goals and progress to her. This was a person who popped up right at the time I was thinking about finding a mastermind partner. I remembered that she was very positive and supportive awhile ago when I revealed to her my vision for my future business. We decided to help each other with this, and with martial arts goals. I am so glad to have this assignment (to find mastermind partners) that I know will lead to good things! Other connections have mysteriously popped up recently as well, such as connections with old friends. I love having Scroll 2 in the back of my mind as I connect with others. “I look on all things with love, and I am born again.” (Og Mandino)
Scroll 3 started in December. Scroll 3 is just what I’ve needed over the holidays, and with personal issues that have arisen. I realize that issues come up and are a part of life. They can be like “gremlins” in that they show up to hold me back, or keep me safe. In the last few weeks, I realized that a gremlin (a coaching term for any thought or feeling that serves to hold me back or keep me safe) is actually a thought or a feeling, and that I am in charge of my mental state. I am the gatekeeper in charge of the feelings and thoughts that occupy my mental arena. Once I have taken what I want to learn from a feeling or thought, I can change it.
It took me a while to fully learn that I really can control, or be in charge of my mental state. Then it took me awhile to realize that not only does this apply to a simple negative thought, it applies to gremlins which are often a conglomeration of negative thoughts and feelings. This week my enormous insight was that sometimes, even outside circumstances or issues that pop up, are actually gremlins that hold me back! My outer world reflects my inner world. Even if these issues seem to be outside myself (this can be any life challenge or issue), I know that my outer world is a reflection of my inner world, so anything that pops up and sets me back is really a reflection of something going on internally. Most likely, it is an internal fear (or overwhelm) of the hugeness of my future vision. Most likely, something has popped up that triggered me to fear, not only my own inadequacy, but my own power. The gremlin pops up to keep me safe and maintain the status quo — even if my gremlin pops up in the form of issues that appear to be outside myself. I now recognize that anything that holds me back is a gremlin, and any gremlin is a thought, and I am in charge of my thoughts. I am the gatekeeper of my mental state. Once I recognize a thought or a feeling — even if it is as big as the biggest gremlin — I can change my mental state. I am the guardian. I am in charge. I know what to do.
With my most recent situation, it has been a challenge to regain control of my mental state, since what occupies my thoughts appears to be an issue in my outer world. However, now that I realize this, I intentionally create a positive mental state. I know “the way to fight darkness is with light.” -Haanel. I create a positive, excited, loving or spiritual state of mind and then my thoughts and emotions wander back to the issue. However, the more I recognize these thoughts as a gremlin or distraction, a distraction from my awesome future self and my awesome future life, the more I am able to claim my mental state again and take back my role as gatekeeper. I go back to my readings, I meditate, I say my mantras, I go over my larger vision or DMP and get inspired and excited! I am back.
And, it is perfect that my reading has changed to Scroll 3. Since this gremlin that popped up seems a little trickier, a little more complicated, pulling me into thoughts and feelings, I can use the reading of this scroll to guide me through. Like the testing of the bulls, I am reminded that challenges are a part of life. I recognize that “each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.” I persist, and I succeed. I plant the seeds for tomorrow’s state of mind. And “never do I allow any day to end with a failure.” I love that. End on a good note. Plant a seed for tomorrow. Tomorrow I am born again.
Tomorrow I begin the day not only with “I will persist until I succeed,” but with a lesson from Scroll 1:
Today I begin a new life. And I make a solemn oath to myself that NOTHING retards my new life’s growth. Today my old skin has become as dust. I walk tall among men and they know me not, for today I am a new person, with a new life.
Old feeling creeping back in. Subtle. Just poking his nose around the corner. Staring at me from behind the door, but able to wash a slight feeling over me, as if casting a little spell from afar.
What IS it? What is that feeling? I’ve felt it before. I’ve felt its heaviness lurking in the background. Not sure what it is yet.
A little “blah.” A little “meh.” I go about my day and notice it again. Barely. Around the corner. Hardly noticeable. Lurking.
What IS that?
I don’t know right away but I know it slows me down. It slows my progress, my forward movement. It’s a little bigger now. It begins to loom over me.
A slightly bigger blah now. Addictions are calling me. The TV calls my name — but not watching.
What IS that feeling?
That’s the word.
I finally recognize the feeling. And, I know that overwhelm is a gremlin. A gremlin is a coaching term for any thought, feeling or fear that keeps a person from moving forward. Gremlins can be thoughts or beliefs such as “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good/old/young/smart enough to do this.” They can be “reasons’ why it’s not possible. They can be pure fear, or they can be feelings , as in the case of overwhelm. Often, they are so disguised that a person cannot recognize them as gremlins, and they are simply seen as “truth.” Those can be particularly stubborn. Gremlins can be big or small and act as roadblocks. They keep a person safe and protect the status quo. They often come up when a person is on the verge of doing something big, something scary, or something that they really want.
There are many strategies for dealing with gremlins. Most of the strategies fall into two categories: 1) strategies for subduing the gremlins, or putting the gremlins away so that the person can continue to move forward. And 2) strategies to help the person connect back into their larger vision and thereby blow past the gremlins.
Some of these strategies pass through my mind, although I don’t decide what to do with this overwhelm gremlin just yet.
I’ve been clarifying my larger vision (or definite major purpose) through writing, imagining and visualizing, and getting help from my guide for the past 8 weeks. I’ve been working toward some of the goals within that larger vision, including developing a business. I’ve been working on the overall structure. I suddenly realize that I’ve reached a little plateau. It’s like I’ve been climbing the stairs of a staircase with several flights. I’ve climbed and climbed and reached a landing. Now I’d have to turn and take a big step up to begin a whole new flight of stairs. That is scary. That requires a big step up. That is confusing if I’m unsure of my next step. From that perspective, it makes sense that a gremlin would pop up now.
I looked over the past few days and I saw another obvious reason a gremlin would pop up. I fell behind on my commitments a little. A few readings and a few mantras short. When I am playing full out — when I am committed to meditating, mantras, readings and more — there is no time for gremlins. I am absorbed in my larger vision, or my definite major purpose. I am fully engaged in what excites me most, and I am training my mind to be in belief, rather than in doubt. It makes sense that if I would fall behind on maintaining my belief, and on cultivating that positive internal environment, and that way of connecting to Source, that gremlins would begin to show up. It makes sense that they would poke their heads through the door.
I was starting my mutual coaching call and I still hadn’t made a decision about how to handle this overwhelm gremlin. When I was being coached, I heard myself talking about the overwhelm that had shown up. During my session, I also talked about what I love about the MKE course. I talked about the meditations and I instantly knew that meditation would show me my next step in my business. I knew it would show me what’s next and give me that little push to begin the next flight of stairs. I also talked about Emmet Fox and the 7 Day Mental Diet (recognizing negative thoughts as they occur and immediately substituting the negative thought and feeling for a pleasant one).
All of the sudden, it hit me.
I am in control of my mental state!
I’ve realized and written about the fact that negative emotions don’t stick around very long anymore, because they just don’t make sense. And as I learn to love myself, it just doesn’t make sense or feel very loving to keep them around. And I’ve been attempting the 7 Day Mental Diet and strengthening my belief that I CAN actually be in charge of my mind and I CAN change my mental state by substituting other thoughts and emotions. (The mind cannot actually focus on two different mental states at the same time.) And, I know that this is something that really has to be practiced to really get, it can’t merely be studied. I’ve been practicing substituting negative thoughts for pleasant ones. I’ve been practicing clearing my mental house. I’ve been practicing being in charge of my own mind, my own mental state. And I’ve been learning that I CAN.
I’ve already realized that I CAN simply choose to change a negative thought. I say it is simple — meaning that I’ve learned that I don’t actually need complicated strategies based on psychological theories that I learned in graduate school and as a therapist. And I see it as simple — meaning I don’t even necessarily need the cool and quicker strategies that I’ve learned as a coach. In that regard, it is simple, but not easy. The strategies and processes are simple, but they require work. They require mental work. Mental discipline. It takes a focused effort to develop the habit of being in control of my mental state — one that I am working on.
BAM! It hit me that this gremlin is no different. This feeling of overwhelm which has temporarily put the breaks on my mojo, is a gremlin!
And a gremlin is a negative belief, a negative feeling or …. (drum roll…)
a negative thought!
Why didn’t that occur to me? So simple! I can handle this overwhelm gremlin the same way I handle negative thoughts.
I can acknowledge the feeling of overwhelm and take what I want to learn from it. And then I can substitute a new feeling or thought… in this case, I’m choosing to be Excited! Enthusiastic!… Even Elated! All of a sudden it dawned on me that I DO know how to go to that mental space. I have examples of it in my larger vision, or definite major purpose, and in my “press release.” I’ve felt it in my meditations and I’ve begun to train my mind to go to a pleasant place. All of a sudden I am SO excited as I realize that this is NO different than what I’ve been practicing all week!
What are my major takeaways from this experience?
I notice what happens when I slack off my mental work. I am in charge of my mental state, and my mental state is worth the time and effort to honor and treasure it. It is worth feeding it with meditation, mantras (I love using a mantra or prayer bracelet), and positive input such as reading. When I nurture and treasure my internal world, it flourishes. What is more important than nurturing my internal world, when my outer world reflects the inner? I got to observe first hand one of the consequences of neglecting my mental space, even a little. It leaves a door a little open for gremlins.
I observe that I have climbed a lot of stairs. I take time to celebrate that, going over in my head some of the stairs I’ve actually climbed. I’ve been forming new habits. In doing so, I have been changing some old habits that weren’t supporting my best self. I’ve been honoring (and loving) myself. I’ve been focusing on all kinds of love for people and for circumstances. And I’ve been developing a clear vision for what I most want in my future based on my pivotal values or needs, and based on my heart. And I am now on a landing and must choose if I want to turn and begin my next flight of stairs.
I remind myself that when I’m unsure of my next step on a project, my intuition has the answers. I just need to stay connected to it. One way of doing this is through meditation. During meditation and visualization, I saw what my next step in my project would be. I knew it and I visualized it, and got clearer about it. Knowing the next small step lessened the overwhelm, and started quieting the gremlin.
I am in charge of my mind!!! I am in charge of my mental state! I can actually change my mental state! Whether this is a negative thought, or an emotion that lingers too long, or a gremlin; I don’t have to dwell on it. I can learn from it, and change my state. And the more I practice, the better I get. Being in charge of my mental state is simple, but it takes effort. It takes mental effort and mental discipline. It is exercise. It is mental exercise. Like a physical muscle, the more that I exercise it, the better I get at being in charge of my mental state. Meditation gives me practice. Being alert to my thoughts and emotions and being diligent about the Mental Diet gives me practice.
And it is WORTH it. My mental state is to be treasured, honored and prioritized. It affects my happiness, my productivity, my fulfillment, my purpose, my loved ones, and anyone I come in contact with.