The other side of fear

Is Anything I want

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

— Jack Canfield.

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! 

Last one, best one! (Week 18)

“I will live this day as if it is my last.“

Og Mandino

That really sums it up. 

As always, there is so much learning and depth in each week of the Master Key course that I can’t possibly cover everything in a blog post. However…

That really sums it up. 

One of our assignments is to continue reading Obituaries and asking ourselves questions such as:

“What might that person give to change places with me and have one more day?” 

Talk about amplifying our gratitude. 


“Who can I tell today how grateful I am for their presence?” What if I were not here tomorrow? Who needs to know how much they mean to me? That question leads to increasing my communications with others, reaching out to others, and just letting people know how much they mean to me or that I love them. 


“How would I behave today if I was finishing the beautiful masterpiece that is my life?” That question appeals to me because I love viewing my life as a beautiful piece of art, my masterpiece in progress. What if I were around no more to add to this masterpiece? 

“If I waste today I destroy the last page of my life. Therefore, each hour of this day will I cherish for it can never return.” 

Og Mandino

What if today were the last page of my story? My life is a work of art in progress or my life is a story in progress… What if this day, this last hour, this moment were the last I added to my artwork, the last page or the last paragraph of my story? Would I live those last moments any differently? 

That is a question I am training myself to ask more often, throughout the day. 

“Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be? Is there a purpose in nature? Is this my day to excel?”

Og Mandino

I read that line and I think about the amazing night I had with my teenage son last night. My son had mentioned to me that he wanted to get back into playing the piano, just for fun. I searched the virtual marketplace and surprised him with bringing home a keyboard. The evening started with him playing the keyboard, but from there it was just one of those nights that we interacted for hours and simply had the best time. It was one of those nights that would never happen if I tried to force it. We had many discussions about all sorts of topics. 

At times our discussions were topical. At times they were philosophical, and other times deep and personal. At times we were talking lightly, interacting and being silly. At times we were slap-happy and laughing. And at times we were laughing so hard we couldn’t stop! 

I laughed till I cried and my belly hurt! 😀  

I had the thought, that in those moments, my purpose was exactly that. 

My purpose in those moments, was to be in those moments, with my son. 

There were no doubts for me about that. When I awoke today I was not plagued with thoughts about the work that did not get done or how much more productive I could have been. Last night I was fully in the moment I was supposed to be in; fully engaged as if it was my last day. That WAS my purpose that day. Being fully in those amazing, fun, deep, silly, thoughtful, hilarious and thought-provoking moments with my son, was absolutely my purpose. 

That WAS my purpose in those moments. 

If I had to leave this earth today, what better interaction to leave my son with than that one? 

I went into work in the dojo yesterday with similar thoughts. I went in with the thoughts of “What if these were my last ninja turtle classes to teach?” 

Our school has been influenced over the years by Dave Kovar who is known to be a teacher of teachers in martial arts. He helps martial arts schools excel and was named instructor of the year by Blackbelt Magazine in 2019. (https://blackbeltmag.com/arts/history-philosophy/2019-black-belt-hall-of-fame, or see his blog at https://blog.kovarsystems.com/.)

Mr. Kovar teaches instructors to go into every single class with the mindset that THIS will be my best class ever! I began my classes yesterday and today with the thought that I might not be here to teach another class! What if this was my last class? What impression would I want to leave with these little ninja turtles? 

We have many sayings in our martial arts school, some of which are often used like cadence calls. The instructors ask a question and there is a standard answer that students learn to shout back. This serves to help students re-focus, keep the energy level up, and respond together as a team. When an instructor is counting for drills and about to ask for the last repetition of a drill, the teacher may yell “LAST ONE!” And the students shout back “BEST ONE SIR!” (Or MA’AM!) This is to help the student focus on that last rep and really make it their best one. 

Again, what if this last repetition was really my last one? What if THAT was the one that really counted? 

What if this was the last martial arts class I would ever attend as a student? How would I be as a martial arts student?” Would I be even more focused? Would I give every drop of energy? How would I take initiative? Would I be more helpful to the person next to me?

How would the person I intend to become, participate in the class? An awesome question for the week is: 

“What would the person I intend to become do next?” 

My word or virtue for the week was initiative. What if I did not take initiative and this was my last day on the planet? What if I faded into the background today and played small, and it ended up being my last day? What opportunities may have gone by? 

I attended a networking meeting. It was the first Chapter meeting of an organization to help people write, publish and market a book. I went to that meeting thinking “I have no idea how I will take initiative at this meeting, but I have to find a way to take initiative as if it was my last opportunity to do so.” What if this were the last networking opportunity I would ever attend? Would I want my last networking event to be one where I sat in the corner and didn’t engage, didn’t talk to anyone? Or would I initiate conversation with the person next to me or the person across the room? (Thankfully, I did the latter.) Would I take it upon myself to make connections and gather a list of contact information to start an email list for everyone in the group? (Happily, I did that too.) 

Depth of relationships and connections with others really came to the forefront this week as I thought about lasts. Thinking that my time with others could be my last time with them made a profound impact. When I went into classes or events, the people in those events seemed to be the most important aspects. 

During a meditation this week, as I was visualizing my DMP (Definite Major Purpose), my future vision, come to life. All of a sudden, the relationships were emphasized. Within each aspect of my big future vision, my DMP, I saw myself deeply connecting with loved ones as well as acquaintances and the depth brought tears to my eyes. 

I saw details of the connection with my loved one as we were traveling, and building our life together. I saw the depth of connections with my adult sons as they visited. I saw the awesome conversations and interactions with the guests of my Airbnb. I saw the meaningful and rewarding connections with my coaching clients, class and workshop participants and readers. Details of these connections became alive and vivid. 

The connections stood out. 

Especially the connections with my loved ones. Everything I did, everything I experienced, everything I saw was more extraordinary and significant when underscored by love, appreciation and connection. 

Speaking of connection… the connection underlying all connections is our connection to the Universal Mind. 

I am an individuation of God, and so is everyone else. So, when I connect with others, I get to know God. I am a part of the whole, and these connections add meaning and richness to my life. 

“It is evident, therefore, that the individual is simply the differentiation of the one Universal Mind “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” and his so-called individuality or personality consists of nothing but the manner in which he relates with the whole.” 

Charles Haanel

That might explain why connections with others have become especially meaningful and rewarding this week as I focus on living this day as if it were my last. As I focus on every single thing I experience as my last. 

I will live this day as if it is my last means: 

I will teach this class as if it is my last.

I will be a student in this class as if it is my last. 

I will perform this repetition as if it is my last. 

I will engage with people at this event, as if it is my last. 

I will travel and share it deeply with my loved ones, as if it is my last. 

I will connect with my guests this time, as if it is my last. 

I will facilitate this group, this session of this group, as if it is my last. 

I will conduct this coaching call with this client, as if it is my last. 

I will connect and discuss and engage deeply in conversation with my son (my child, my partner, my coworker, my client, my teacher, my student, my friend, my parent) as if it is my last. 

I will laugh with this person until my eyes water and my belly hurts, as if this time is my last. 

I will play with this doggy, pet this doggy, connect with this cat as if it was my last time. 

I will take in this moment, appreciate, savor, relish, cherish and enjoy this moment doing whatever I’m doing… as if it is my last moment on earth. 

“And if it is my last, it will be my greatest monument.”

Og Mandino


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Becoming (MKE Week 17HJ)

A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness; therefore the consciousness must change, and as the consciousness changes, all conditions must gradually change, in order to meet the requirements of the new situation.” 

Charles Haanel

This week we’ve been re-reading and reviewing previous chapters of the Master Key System. For me, it’s a week in which thoughts are swirling and various pieces are coming together. In an earlier post, https://myjourney2blackbeltliving.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/preparing-the-soil-for-my-ideal-mke-week-16/, I talked about preparing the soil (our internal environment) for the planting of our ideal. MKE Guide, Laura, summed it up this way:

Great advice to plant the seeds of our dreams into the nicely tilled soil of happiness and harmony, and to remember to fertilize with much love!

You can see Laura’s blog here: http://youinspiredhere.com/

This quote from an earlier chapter of Haanel jumped out to me as I had previously written about this concept — the idea of preparing and cultivating our internal environment (the soil) to give our dreams, our DMP, our ideal vision the absolute best chance to take root, grow and flourish. I thought about this further and substituted different thoughts for “happy.” Underlying our ideal visions are a few core concepts such as being happy, being connected, having loving relationships, having abundant wealthy lives and being healthy with abundant energy to enjoy life and leave a legacy. Our DMPs, our ideal visions represent our own unique examples of abundance, love and health.

Let’s try some substitutions:


A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness;

Similarly, thoughts of abundance, wealth or riches cannot exist in a consciousness of lack and competition.

If one believes in a world of scarcity and lack, one cannot successfully grow and manifest thoughts of riches and wealth. Thoughts of abundance can’t take root, grow and bloom in an internal environment where one is focused on scarcity and operating routinely on the competitive plane.

therefore the consciousness must change, and as the consciousness changes, all conditions must gradually change, in order to meet the requirements of the new situation.” 

If I desire wealth and abundance, I do not focus on scarcity. I concentrate on riches and abundance. This is how my consciousness begins to change. Moreover, I see the riches and wealth as services. I focus on riches and wealth as the means to an end, not the other way around. I concentrate on abundances all around me and I know that the abundance of wealth and of riches are opportunities for giving. I cultivate the mental environment in which I see riches and wealth as giving love, giving happiness, giving kindness and helping solve problems or challenges. I know that riches are opportunities to serve and to continue being in the flow of giving and receiving. This is the mental environment I cultivate rather than one of lack, and my conditions also gradually change.

Let’s try another one:


A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness;

Loving thoughts cannot exist in a consciousness of judgment, resentment, prejudice or hatred. Thoughts of love can’t take root, grow and blossom if the mental environment is full of judgments of others; if the internal world is hanging on to anger and blame; if the internal state is consumed with fear, or if it is filled with negative predetermined judgments.

therefore the consciousness must change, and as the consciousness changes, all conditions must gradually change, in order to meet the requirements of the new situation.” 

To give love, and loving thoughts, the best chance to flourish and multiply, we concentrate on love, gratitude and kindness. I can’t maintain and grow thoughts of love if I am focused on judgment or fear. Instead, I focus on seeing kindnesses all around me and I am alert to opportunities to be kind. I cultivate a habit of being grateful. I take note of things, people, places, experiences, concepts, feelings and ideas that I am thankful for and I take a moment to really feel the gratitude. I concentrate on love and Spirit, my connection to nature, The Universe, or God or love, and let these thoughts permeate my being. I look for opportunities to love and to be loving, and my conditions gradually change.

Health and Wellness

“A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness;”

Healthy thoughts, so important to manifesting what we want to create, cannot grow and flourish and manifest in an internal world that is bursting with thoughts of stress, anxiety, worry, and even anger and despair.

therefore the consciousness must change, and as the consciousness changes, all conditions must gradually change, in order to meet the requirements of the new situation.” 

Thoughts of health, wellness and energy can take root and blossom when the internal state is relaxed and the mind is focused on love, gratitude, and being connected with Spirit or God. With practice, I can recognize when my thoughts are spiraling into despair, hopelessness or self-hatred and replace the thoughts and feelings . The mind cannot be fully immersed in feeling gratitude, love or spiritual connection and feel fear, anxiety or hatred simultaneously. The practice of meditation can aid the relaxation of thought and one can also practice changing their internal state by substituting pleasant thoughts for painful ones. As the consciousness changes, so do the conditions and a person can be more often in gratitude and happiness and grow their thoughts of health, energy and wellness.


Image by Lenora Cagle from Pixabay

Each of these examples involves a becoming. The conditions of the internal environment must change in order to meet the requirements of the new desire, the new demand.

In order to do something you’ve never done, you’ve got to become someone you’ve never been.”

Les Brown

You can’t achieve new things without becoming someone new. Changing the consciousness of our internal world will be reflected in our outer world. In this process of becoming, we are actually becoming more of ourselves. More of who who were meant to be.

When I first thought seriously about authoring a book, (when my thought changed from a distant wish “I’d like to write a book someday,” to a proclamation “I’m going to write a book,” I realized I would have to BECOME an author. I realized I would have to become something different. In this case, I would have to become someone who can put themselves out there in the world very vulnerably and authentically. I must become someone who can deal with criticism, backlash and even cruelty. (I watched a video of Brene’ Brown talk about all the nasty comments she gets about her weight and the clothing she wears when she speaks!)

When I became a life coach, I had to grow and expand my comfort zones and BECOME a bigger version of myself. When I earned my black belt, I had to BECOME someone who could face some of my biggest fears.

In order to manifest my DMP, in order to realize my ideals, I will be BECOMING in all kinds of new ways. I am shifting the consciousness of my internal world. I will be BECOMING someone different in order to manifest each piece of my DMP or vision. (If I don’t have to become someone new, I probably did not aim big enough when formulating my DMP.) I have to change my consciousness, my internal state and my conditions. I have to become my better, bigger self. I have to become that person I saw in the mirror when we did the mirror exercise (We did an exercise where we looked ourselves in the eye, in the mirror, and repeated the one-sentence version of our DMP for 50 whole minutes!) In this exercise, I saw that I would clearly need to BECOME, in order to realize this ideal. In fact, I even changed my one-sentence version of my DMP during the exercise, and made it BIGGER, with the clarity that I would have to BECOME bigger.

As I become something bigger, I am becoming more of my true self. This definitely doesn’t work if you try to become someone you are not, at your core. Although I am becoming something new, I am actually becoming more of my best self. I am becoming more of who I was meant to be.

Two very profound questions came up this week which are instrumental in helping me with my becoming:

  1. “Where do I need to grant myself permission?”

Granting ourselves permission can be extremely powerful. We grow up having to ask permission to do just about everything. This habit is ingrained. Giving ourselves permission can counteract so many Gremlins, fears or self-defeating thoughts. Sometimes we are holding back, and granting permission allows us to let go and play full out.

Ways I’m granting myself permission:

  • to be happy
  • to live abundantly
  • to view work as fun, enjoyable and flowing (as opposed to struggle)
  • to view my Larger Vision, my DMP as something that flows easily
  • to be great in any of the roles that I play

The next question that was asked this week hit me over the head as extremely powerful. I will continue asking myself this question on a regular basis and I believe this will be life-changing:

2. “What am I pretending not to know?”

Image by Tawan sudpaifah from Pixabay

That one is huge. That one cuts through to my core, to my spiritual center. That one answers the above questions and more.

I was writing down some answers to that question, “What am I pretending not to know?” in a journal. The amazing thing is that I know that when I let these answers come from within, that place where I am connected with the Creator, I am answering from my better future self. When I was writing, I had been going through an incident with my teenage son. My default when going through something difficult or challenging is to question myself. (Some people default to blaming others, I default to critiquing myself.) So the answer that topped my list was:

“I AM a great mother.”

Similar answers, or truths were written in my journal regarding other roles I play in my life, as well as the roles I will play in order to realize my DMP for my future. And, when I connect with my future self, I am given these knowings. Other truths that came to me were knowings such as “I know I am connected to Spirit,” and “I know I am an individuation of the Universal Mind, or God, and so I too am a creator, I too am love, I too am capable of serving others in great ways.”

When I was writing down my answers or my truths, a text from my partner came in at the same time. He was responding to an earlier conversation about my teenager. He said “Yes, you will be aware and you can improve and get better, but — You ARE a great mother…” and then he proceeded to say some of the other EXACT same sentences I had just written down!

He texted me several of the EXACT sentences, word for word, that I had just written.

Ok, in my opinion that was the Greater Intelligence working through him in order to affirm to me that these are INDEED my truths.

I am becoming my future self.

I am becoming the person in my DMP.

I am becoming.

*Here’s to becoming our truest, most beautiful, most happy, healthy, loving and abundant selves! 🙂

And here is just a taste of some great blog posts from other MKE Masterminders!

Normalizing the vision! (MKE Week 17)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s week 17 in the Master Key Course and Mastermind group. What am I noticing this week?

I’m still noticing kindnesses. Last week was the program-wide focus on kindness. So cool! Everyone in the entire program, in several countries, was focused on kindness for the entire week. Everyone was noticing acts of kindness all around them, looking for opportunities to to be kind to others, looking for opportunities to perform random acts of kindness, and sharing them for ideas and inspiration. Noticing acts of kindness all around me motivates me to carry out more acts of kindness, and we’ve been witnessing the law of growth in action!

The trait I’m focusing on this week is discipline. Noticing when martial artists around me are disciplined. Noticing when my kids are disciplined. Recognizing when I decide to do something that will benefit my future self rather than just my right now self. And, as I listened to Earl Nightingale’s 1957 spoken world record, the first spoken word record to go gold, I decided to take on his 30-day challenge. A 30-day challenge that will require the utmost in discipline!

Here’s another thing I’m noticing. My DMP, or definite major purpose, is being normalized! Woo Hoo! The DMP is the vision we’ve been working on that reflects our deep desires and passions. It is what we want for our future. Our ideal. It is our ideal minus anything that might be influenced by our friends, families, culture, society, what we think we should want, or what we believe we can have. It’s the ideal of what we want for our future with no limitations. As if limitations are not a thing.

I’m noticing a fundamental difference in how I hold my DMP or my vision, in my mind. While I was first crafting my DMP, it was somewhat distant. There was a leap, a gorge… a valley separating me from that ultimate vision. That is no longer the case. As I concentrate on being one with my ideal; as I let myself meld into my vision during my meditation, I become one with it. While I am in my meditation, for small blips of time, I am ONE with my future vision. Then, when I am out and about in my life, I notice that this vision is not as distant as it once was. The believability gap has been bridged. I notice a strengthening of faith. My DMP no longer feels like an exciting dream in the far-off future, but something that simply… will be.

Here’s what got me thinking about this. Over a year ago, I started a project to write a book. The project got put aside because I chose to focus on becoming a black belt in martial arts instead. It’s taken me awhile to pick my book project back up and actively work on it. I am in an author’s group, and one of the first assignments was to video myself giving an “I am an author” speech. The assignment was to video myself talking at some point in the future (speak as my “future self”) as if I’ve already published the book. When I worked on this assignment over a year ago, I struggled with it a bit. I wrote down notes and it took several recordings for me to finally post my video.

Since I’m pretty much starting my whole program from scratch now, I decided to do a trial run, a re-do of this assignment while I was out and about during my day. I thought “What would it look like if I did my “I am an author speech over again now?”

Guess what? It came easily! No notes and just one take.

Easy peasy. One and done.

What was the difference? Why was this a struggle my first time around and this time I didn’t have to prepare anything or record it more than once?

Photo by David Straight on Unsplash

A huge difference is the believability gap. There’s no longer a valley or even a gorge separating me from my future author-self, or any other part of my future-self. There’s no valley between myself and my “authordom.” There’s no gorge between me and my flourishing “online-preneur.” There’s no ravine between me and my rockin Airbnb-business-owning self.

The gap has been bridged. The gap, no longer a ravine or a gorge or a valley, is now just a bit of time, covered by some steps on a bridge. The bridge has been formed by clarity, a strengthening of belief, and familiarity.

My DMP has been normalized! That’s pretty cool actually. In the beginning, my future vision felt like something in the distance that I maybe could make happen with a lot of hope. Now, with all my readings of my DMP, with seeing it in pictures around my house and in my pocket, with writing it in various forms, seeing it as a movie trailer, reading it as a press release, and seeing it as a sentence… and most recently… becoming one with it for blips of time during my meditations… it’s become clear and familiar.

It’s been normalized!

Remember those times you became aware of some new fashion that you thought was “Gawd Awful” and ridiculous and you swore you’d never wear it, and then you slowly kept seeing it more and more and more until it eventually didn’t seem ridiculous — just normal — and you realized you were wearing that same article of clothing or hairstyle?


Or, I know someone (we’ll call her Kathy) who thought at one time that sparring, especially boxing, was ridiculous and something she would never do in a million years. She took some martial arts classes and was slowly introduced to the idea of sparring. Kathy not only feared sparring but thought those who participated in it — especially boxing — were ridiculous. (Because she’s a very nice person and didn’t want to hit anyone for sport.) She decided to take some more classes to learn more about it. And she did. In fact, she started getting good. She then decided to get some more training, augment her training at an additional gym, and work with awesome coaches. (You see where this is going.)

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Kathy became a Golden Gloves champion and a sparring instructor!


Now that took a boatload of courage (Courage is something you get AFTER you do the thing that scares you) and a truckload of determination. But competing in the Golden Gloves became more real and believable, slowly over time. The believability gap was bridged as her future vision became normalized.

That’s what I noticed this week. That’s what I noticed with my “I am an author” video. That re-doing my speech was easy peasy because the vision is clearer and less distant. The believability gap has shortened.

Now, I just need to stay on that bridge, one step at a time.

When I get sideswiped by fear; when I dig my heels in with resistance, I will concentrate on my DMP.

To concentrate is to become one with it in my mind. When I become one with it, there is no gap. It simply is.

It is something that simply… will be.

I take another step.

Preparing the soil for my ideal (MKE week 16)

Image by Todd Kay from Pixabay

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.” 

Charles Haanel

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.”

Wallace Wattles

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.”

Wallace Wattles

(For more thoughts on Harmony, see my prior blog post https://myjourney2blackbeltliving.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/awesome-exercises-insight-and-harmony-mke-week-15/, or this awesome take on harmony by another MKE’er https://dvancemasterkey.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/master-key-experience-week-14/.)

Harmony is intricately tied to happiness.

“Our highest happiness will be best attained through our understanding of, and conscious cooperation with natural laws.”

Charles Haanel

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.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

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…”

Charles Haanel


“I remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat…”

Og Mandino

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.”

Charles Haanel

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.”

Charles Haanel

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.

Photo by Yoga Kurniawan on Unsplash

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.

Who is This Man Called Og?

I found this article by fellow MKE’er so interesting and inspiring… Who is this Og person anyway? Thank you for writing Bonnie Jo!

The Elevated Life

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…

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Awesome exercises, insight and harmony (MKE week 15)

Image by Vane from Pixabay

So much in the past few weeks! So much to write about!

Awesome exercises

  1. 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.
  2. 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 —
  3. 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 “I made” 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!”
  4. 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 time never 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.”

Og Mandino

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.”

Og Mandino

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.

Charles Haanel

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.

Charles Haanel

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.

Og Mandino

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.

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay


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…”

Marianne Williamson

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…


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.

My Vision is in HARMONY with The Universe.


And check out this awesome take on Harmony by another MKE’er. https://dvancemasterkey.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/master-key-experience-week-14/ (I’ll add links to other awesome blog posts later.)

And here is another great one on Week 15 in Master Key Course: https://philipmachmke.wordpress.com/

Peace, Love and Harmony to YOU. 🙂

Blast into the unknown with the 4 habits (MKE week 14)

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

Image by kirillslov from Pixabay

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:

  1. 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.

My experience

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?” 

Why NOT me?


See you in The Unknown. 🙂

The card and the hero’s journey (MKE week 13)

Week 13 of the MKE Course! 

Feeling especially grateful. Abundant. Lucky. 

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!  

The card.

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.)

Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

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!

Lots of love.

Love Infusion (MKE Week 12)

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. 

Marianne Williamson

I am meant to grow into my full expression. Who am I NOT to?

Desire. Inspired.  

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…

Woodrow Wilson


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

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.

Charles Haanel

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.

Charles Haanel

One-Sentence DMP

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. 

50-Minute Exercise

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. 

Adding Vitality

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.  

Happy Holidays! 

Meditation on who I intend to be. (MKE Week 11)

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.” 

“I persist until I succeed.”  (from Og Mandino.)

I always keep my promises. 

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