Category Archives: Helping Others

Painting Heart

Love Over Labels – Week 28

As I worked the label machine this week, I noticed something important beneath the labels: self-image. My self-image choices control which labels are available for my experiences.

If I feel at risk, my experience of vulnerability might be limited to the labels of fear or anger.

If my self-image is stronger, vulnerability becomes just that, an experience of humanity, but not a source of anxiety.

And, yet, the need to “run” the machine and “label” my emotional experiences to make them more productive and less fearful seems like camouflage for something deeper.

What if the need to label was just my “subby” running the old programming and unwilling to be interrupted? My subconscious gives me the appearance of conscious control without relinquishing control at all. AARGH!

What if the need to label instead of just experience in the present moment was a defense mechanism?

I listened to a professional coach today who opined that change is a function of 3 factors:
• Leverage
• Awareness and
• Decision

As I pondered this, it struck me that I often substitute “relabeling” for active listening. Real listening, being completely present, requires a lot less recapitulation and is much more beneficial.

The path to beneficial listening and life experience? For me, love. Love for self, primarily, and love for the people with whom I interact. As in Mandino’s Scroll 2, I can use love as a shield if I need to, but I can usually cast it aside in a posture of acceptance, responsibility and defenselessness, living the law of least effort.

Thus, combining the law of love with the law of least effort allows the experience of vulnerability without any sense of risk.

As I processed this, I felt liberated. The chains of unnecessary control over the language of my experiences began to fall away. With them, the needs to judge, evaluate and control began to fade, too.

I could see another layer to the “opinion” diet. Rewording the ideas and concepts of others was a really good way to keep the opinion machine cranking while seeming to appear caring and concerned. That was a “win win” for the old blueprint. Oops!

Another idea the coach expressed was about time. He opined that “subby” doesn’t know time, just like it doesn’t know size. Uh-oh! That can’t be true, can it? You mean it doesn’t have to take a long time to transform? Oh, no! All my excuses are crap!

This is me laughing at myself as Mandino recommends in Scroll 8. I was definitely taking myself way too seriously!

Biggest benefit this week: without the burdens of opinion, defense and judgment, I’m a lot lighter on my feet as I dance through life.

I’m glad you’re dancing with me.

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Mt Rainier

Commencement & Recovery – Week 25

This week we “finished” the Masterkey Experience (MKE) with Mark & Davene Januszewski. At least, Sunday last was our final webinar. We thus begin (commence) a fully self-directed life, at least in theory.

For me, something seemed right about that, and something seemed to be missing. I felt increasing control over my thoughts and feelings, one of the main objects of the course. And with that independence of thought, I had a clear idea of the forward path.

I knew what I should do: continue with the complex progressions I’d worked so hard to build in the last 6 months. Why? I didn’t know exactly.

A scripture struck me as I pondered. It says this:

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31: 19-20

Likening this scripture to the Masterkey Experience, I could see that continuing on with my reading, DMP (definite major purpose) recitation, meditation, gratitude, kindness, etc. would be like me pressing forward, feasting on the knowledge gained, until I reached a point of more automatic functioning.

Then it struck me. The coursework for the Masterkey Mastermind Alliance began with neural science. We learned in studying neural peptide conditioning that our habitual thought and feeling patterns in essence create chemical addictions in our cells because of the endocrine chemicals prompted by those thoughts and feelings. Addiction!

A conversation with a mentor came back to me. He said that for most addictions, a year of diligent 12-step practice would be required for each year of addiction before one could be anywhere close to secure in recovery. Again likening this to the MKE, I could see why I felt impressed to continue my readings, etc.

I am new into recovery from the old neural peptide addiction, and retrogression is almost sure if I stop progressing.

Just like with a “standard” addiction, ground gained in recovery is dearly bought, and giving it up devalues the sacrifice inherent in the purchase. To go back here is to even more painfully and significantly reject the hero within. I’d be giving up on the hero’s journey, never to fully realize the greatness I’ve felt beginning to unfold.

Giving up would be like a dog returning to its vomit, so much better is my new life than the old. That would be too big a waste.

And so, like the recovering addict I am, I will stick with my recovery structures so I can continue to progress and enjoy the fruits of a new life.

Not coincidentally, it turns out, I felt impressed a couple weeks ago to seek a new service opportunity. That makes perfect sense in the context of addiction recovery. Step 12 can be stated this way:

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

What we see encapsulated there is nothing more than an affirmation of Haanel and Emerson, whose instructions mirror the Master’s teaching. To save one’s life, one must lose it in the service of others. You only keep what you’re willing to give away.

The context of addiction recovery also makes clear why a true mastermind is required for success in realizing the life changes intended in a declaration of definite major purpose. Every recovering addict needs a sponsor. A sponsor is a confidant to whom one can turn when the winds of adversity blow, and one with whom one can move forward in perfect harmony of purpose. No sponsor, no recovery.

I feel intensely grateful for all that I’ve learned and all that I’ve won in the last 6 months. I’m confident, too, that the next 6 will be even more wonderful. I’m glad you’re still with me on the journey.

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ID-100158083

The Reign of Terror Ends – Week 24 Supplemental

Over the last 5 or 6 days, I’ve been doing battle with fear. Well, battle may be a strong word, as I’ve not been contending with fear. Rather, I’ve been experiencing fear and “dealing” with it. I found some interesting ideas in the process.

In the MKE, the Masterkey Experience, we’ve been learning about ourselves, and we’ve been exploring the limits of personal power. Each of us is on an individual quest, and our “mileage,” as one would expect, has varied.

Where I’ve come so far is a place where I can celebrate my individual gifts and talents. I also celebrate everyone else’s gifts and talents. This is a place of abundance, love, bliss, freedom, autonomy, health, service, legacy, recognition and unending spiritual growth. Nice place? You bet.

What’s the catch? Glad you asked. Because there is one, and the price is steep. At least it seemed steep at first glance.

In answer to question 15-9, Haanel gave us one version of the key to this kingdom. “We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.”

Most of us have experienced the idea that faith is the polar opposite of fear. If so, to use Haanel’s comparison, fear is darkness, and all that is needed to dispel darkness is to turn on the light of faith.

Marianne Williamson said it this way:

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’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

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.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

In the Hero’s Journey motif, the hero is heralded into a new life. That new life begins by leaving the old one and entering an unknown world. On the journey, the hero, with help at first, faces danger and adversity. Ultimately, the hero comes to the abyss, where he or she must “do battle” with nemesis. In that battle, the hero’s old life dies in sacrifice to nemesis. Atonement and resurrection follow, bringing the hero a new life in which he or she re-enters the previously known world with new powers and a new role of leadership and service to the rest of humanity.
Hero's Journey
Interestingly, my experience was that every adversity along my path, with or without help, felt like the abyss of nemesis. Until now.

Until now, I believed bromides like, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Or, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Not that these don’t express truth. They do. However, the truth they express has a significant limitation.

The limitation is that the recommended practice presupposes the ongoing presence of fear. Until now, I believed that was inevitable, so the expressed truths made perfect sense. In fact, having practiced a little, I had personal proof that the practice worked.

Inside, however, I knew a greater truth lay waiting discovery. Until now.

My discovery? My greater truth is, “Danger is real, but fear is optional.” And, fear is not recommended. Moreover, danger, too, is largely optional. When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. Then I have a new heaven and a new earth.

I intuited that I was dealing with some “core” fears. These were wrapped around a couple deeply held beliefs I had layered into my DNA over many years, starting very young.

Fear 1: Money is evil, and I can’t handle or manage money.

Fear 2: I am unable to achieve at a truly high level.

I knew all along that fear is irrational and that my ultimate triumph was assured because of my faith in Christ. That cognition did not alter or banish my fear.

Until now.

In the abyss of nemesis (fear), the light of insight began to dawn. I saw that all fear is really one fear: “What if?” All the variations of fear are an extension of the basic fear. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if _________? Fill in the blank for yourself. Even worse for me was the extended formula. What if X? Then Y? Horrors!

Whence, then, the light? Faith. Faith is a gift, free for the asking, and unlimited in its power. The price? Sacrifice.

My sacrifice is being willing to live without fear. In essence, to take up my bed and walk. In Hero’s Journey terms, to sacrifice the former dependent-on-fear life.

I now see that fear has been my crutch, my excuse, my “out.” The core of that fear? What if I’m not the hero I imagine myself to be? What then?

It’s great that our paths are strewn with concept-tools like the Serenity Prayer, the Law of Least Effort, and scriptural maxims like, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I particularly appreciate the Law of Least Effort this week. The idea that I could just accept things as they are without resistance or rancor has been very comforting. Acknowledging the fact that I largely created my own abyss and crafted my own nemesis is empowering, even if a little troubling. The practice of defenselessness makes it more comfortable to proceed into an excuse-free world.

The Hero’s Journey motif is consistent throughout history and across all cultures. Why? Because we are all born knowing we’re heroes and heroines. In American parlance, we’re all superheroes. The imagination of creative writers gives voice to this universal knowledge. The persistent success of comic book heroes bears loud testimony to, and gives vibrant social proof of, the underlying universal truths we all perceive.

What I did not, perhaps could not, see was it is only in the hero’s journey that I discover the type of superhero I am. It is only in facing the adversity of my life, in facing the adversity for which I programmed myself, that my real strengths emerge. It is only in following my self-directed bliss that my true greatness unfolds. And it is only in my personal abyss in which the gold of my character and persona are sufficiently refined to be of general benefit when I re-emerge into the known world.

So, what if I’m not the superhero I imagine myself to be? Shallow self-knowledge of the pre-Hero’s Journey world all but guaranties I will not be as I thought. After all, it is only in the journey that I recognize my true gifts, my superpowers.

Here’s the good news. Since I’m definitely a superhero, the worst my new world can be is with me as Aquaman. Maybe my only superpower is sea life telepathy, but that’s still pretty cool when the need arises. Good thing I like sea life and the water in general, huh? At least I’m ripped, buffed out and look good in spandex, right?

When I told a business partner today that he had a superhero within, he immediately smiled. His “Subby” resonated with the idea so fast the smile was on his face before he could finish processing the words.

What’s your superpower? Aren’t you glad you engaged in the Hero’s Journey so you could find it?

As always, I’m glad you’re with me on the journey.

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easter_candy

Is it I? – Week 24

As we progress towards the Easter season, my thoughts turn to the Last Supper. The accounts of that event describe Jesus telling the 12 apostles, “One of you will betray me.”

With one exception, the 12 immediately asked, “Is it I?”

As I caught hold of this idea, my thoughts turned to my new profession, network marketing. I rep a company that has as much going for it as any, and yet casual observation would cause one to believe there might be a problem.

Less than 3% of our active distributors generate enough regular, residual income to provide for their needs without supplementation from regular outside employment or other sources of income. And that result actually compares very favorably with other companies in the industry to the best of my ability to observe.

Failure hurts. One of my friends and team members told me by email recently that he was reassessing his professional life while licking the wounds he suffered in network marketing (at least two companies).

This experience gave me a chance to practice the Law of Least Effort. That law, from Deepak Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, recommends we practice accepting things, people and situations just as they are in the moment, practice taking responsibility for any part we may have played in creating any situation or circumstance, and practice defenselessness by abstaining from any need to defend ourselves, our actions or our point of view.

Now, to the question: Is it I? Is it my fault my team member failed? I have to answer, “No,” without defensive emotion, because others of our team are succeeding very nicely. My friend has had access all along to the same mentoring and training as the successful.

Is it the company? Did it fail my friend? I mentioned Wallace Wattles last week, and I’ll refer to him again now. In The Science of Getting Rich, Wattles correctly observes that people in almost every community are getting rich in almost every industry, trade, profession and occupation, while others are miserably failing, right alongside them. Since others are succeeding in my company, including me, it’s obviously not the company’s fault, either.

What about the network marketing industry? Is it a colossal, monumental, predatory failure as many claim? Don’t think so. First, surveys show that a significant portion of network marketers are very pleased with their experience, regardless of their level of monetary performance. Second, failure rates in business in general are high. When I practiced law, I recall to have read that 90% of businesses fail in their 1st 5 years, and 90% of those that survive fail in the next 5 years. That’s about a 99% failure rate within the 1st 10 years. My company’s version of network marketing fares pretty well by comparison, with a success rate of over 2%.

Whence lies the problem then? Mark J and Go90Grow fans know one possible answer: skills. Eric Worre fans and Big Al fans know the same thing. People who succeed at anything generally have skills that those who fail don’t. Did my friend acquire the skills? Perhaps not. Or, like I used to do, maybe he simply didn’t use them.

In addition, I think there’s something more basic at work here. If better than 95% of business attempts fail, no matter the industry, there must be a human nature issue present. Haanel, in Masterkey System paragraph 23-9, offers some insight. He says,

“The average person is entirely innocent of any deep thinking; he accepts the ideas of others, and repeats them, in very much the same way as a parrot; … and this docile attitude on the part of a large majority who seem perfectly willing to let a few persons do all their thinking for them is what enables a few men in a many countries to usurp all the avenues of power and hold the millions in subjection.”

If Haanel is correct, and I believe he is, business failure is the natural consequence of shallow, dependent thinking. I saw this in myself until recent changes from the MKE, the MasterKey Experience.

Haanel points out in paragraph 23-8 that Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie and others, because of their depth and independence of thought, became, for their time, “the wealthiest men in the wealthiest country on the globe.” How? Because they each made money for a great many people.

With my newly acquired thinking skills, I could see the accuracy of Haanel’s analysis. Carnegie, for example, made money for suppliers of capital, materials suppliers, laborers, managers, customers and governments. He did so by consistently giving them all more in “value” than what they gave him in exchange. This required significant insight, that which only comes from deep, accurate thought. Significantly, Carnegie did not keep all the resulting wealth for himself, but funded museums, colleges and other institutions. Thus, society also received more in “value” than it gave Carnegie. Every successful businessman in free society follows the same general pattern.

Back to myself as a contrasting example. Until now, I had not thought through the needs of the various stakeholders in my business. Fortunately, the “micro-franchise” system of network marketing already did much of the thinking for me. Shareholders are being rewarded with significant profits. Managers are earning nice salaries. Employees seem relatively easy to attract and employ. Distributors, over time, earn checks commensurate with their efforts. Customers continue to buy products because their “use value” exceeds the price, in many cases by a significant margin. The company initiates ongoing “give back,” charity or legacy efforts in the community, open to distributor financial and time participation.

That reassuring foundation, however, did not save my friend his pain. There must be some other area of thought or belief which holds an opportunity for improvement. I believe the most likely area is beliefs about power.

I have observed that the vast majority of people only use “positional” power. Very few use real, “personal” power. Positional power is derived from a position, role, attribute, skill or talent. I have a great memory, and I used to draw lots of positional power from that advantage. For example, a great memory gives me access to a good vocabulary and many facts. I drew significant self-esteem from that, especially in comparison to others. You can easily see examples of positional power in your own life. Your parent probably said more than once, “Because I said so.”

Personal power, in contrast, is a sense of one’s innate value. With that sense, I was able to reassure another team member recently that the most significant thing he brings to a business interaction is himself. After all, we, the essence of “I” within, endure, and our relationships endure. Homes, businesses, countries and, ultimately, even planets, are temporary. When we understand our own native value, we stand on the threshold of personal power.

That brings me back to Easter. We celebrate then the Atonement and resurrection of Christ. Jesus, the archetypical hero, faced overwhelming adversity, sacrificed himself in the abyss of the Atonement, and, with life in himself, came forth from the tomb the 3rd day resurrected into newness of life. As mentioned two posts previously, He offers a new life to us on terms of faith, repentance and obedience.

And, in essence, The Lord asks me, every day, if I will betray myself by denying my personal power. Fortunately, He also offers me grace to help me hold on my way through the adversity and abyss of my own “Hero’s Journey.” Almost every day now I see another facet of my new life manifesting, which gives me greater power to serve and offers me more to give.

Will that close the gap between me and the highest achievers in my company? I don’t know. I do know that each day I better control my thoughts and my emotions. My wife is happier, my children are happier, and I’m happier. Empathy expands and love deepens. Joy abounds. I feel very blessed as I celebrate each magical day, and I intend to bless as many others as my time and days allow.

I’m glad you’re with me on the journey.

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balance

In Search of Work-Life Balance – Week 23

I was recommended a TED talk recently on work-life balance. You can see it [] if you like.

I liked Ms. Slaughter’s conclusion that caregiving and breadwinning are both valuable, even equally valuable, but I confess to have balked at her recommendations for forced, governmentally imposed structure to “change” society. You will have noted in my last post, perhaps, my belief that intelligence, if honored, must be invited to change rather than being forced to change. I suppose I have more faith in humanity than does Ms. Slaughter. I also believe markets inspire and encourage change, all on their own. Either way, a market or a government in many respects is an amalgam of its members or participants. As we change, our institutions change.

This week’s Masterkey System lesson, number 23, also invites change. In it, Haanel invites us to consider how our thoughts either attract or repel abundance, and, with it, prosperity. Haanel correctly asserts that wealth follows service. The more people we serve, the more wealth follows, in proportion to the value of our service.

The basic proposition of give more, get more appears to ignore motive, at least on the surface. I took counsel, however, from Haanel’s guidance in paragraph 23-4 to examine my motives. He said, “… our problem is to keep an open mind, … to be interested in the race rather than the goal, for the pleasure is in the pursuit rather than the possession.”

I took this to mean that if I focus too much on the object of my effort (my own goal), I risk substituting attachment for intention. I read Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to recommend intention and to avoid attachment. Having unintentionally not heeded that advice at first, I have lots of experience with the consequences of attachment. I don’t recommend that path.

Recently, I’ve been able to change. I can now better dial my attachment (or expectation for action by another) to zero, while keeping my intention (or enthusiasm) high. The results are as you might predict. Positive response is up; rejection is down.

Masterkey System paragraph 23-5 says, “You can make a money magnet of yourself, but to do so you must first consider how you can make money for other people.” As an American, I’m culturally and socially predisposed to believe more is more.
I’ve learned, perhaps paradoxically, that less is often more, and sometimes less is substantially more.

An illustration may help. In a prospecting conversation, you might think that more description about product, plan or company would encourage quicker and deeper investigation. Au contraire! That, I can tell you from sad experience, works very poorly.

What does work is for me to create interest with simple statements. When the other person expresses interest, it is almost always best for me to ask questions and listen with the intent to invite the other person to share deeply held fear, hope, pain and/or desire. In that way, I allow him or her to connect those feelings with the opportunity or solution in which he or she expressed interest. Go90Grow students will recognize this pattern, of course.

The same goes for marketing. I may have a product or opportunity that verifiably serves a non-segmented market, but it doesn’t pay me to advertise that idea. You, my reader, will likely not be shocked to hear I tried. And failed, ignominiously.

Again, less is more. I serve better when I narrow my focus. A recent coaching experience highlights the wisdom of this idea. I mostly interact with current or former professionals, self-employed and business owners. After 4 years of this, my language patterns serve that market very well. Last night, however, I counseled with a new business associate, age 19.

As I began to talk with him about my marketing process, it quickly became apparent that I knew little or nothing of his world or the world of his likely business prospects. After an hour or so, I began to get a sense of what they were going to want and need, but it took some focus and concentration to put myself in that world. Having done so, I’m looking forward to helping my new associate get his business off to a flying start.

This brings me back to work-life balance.

It turns out one of the primary benefits of the opportunity I promote is to dramatically broaden choices for work-life balance. I might not have seen this before, but I do now.
And, by helping my business associates voluntarily segment their markets, they get better results, with less effort.
Thus, the value of my service increases, my attachment stays dialed down to zero, my intention stays dialed high, and I enjoy the journey more. Natural consequences? You already know.

Thank you, as always, for joining me on this journey.

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ID-100158083

A Life Orchestrated Around Fear – Week 22

How big is fear in your life? In mine, fear was the primary driving force behind much of the programming. You probably know some people like that. Maybe it’s you sometimes.

I feared the future, failure, success, commitments, not committing, poverty, wealth, feasting and famine. Most of all, I feared not being “enough.”

Always something more was needed. More education, more training, more information, more money, more time, more fitness, more suits, more titles, more achievements, more skills. Never enough, never sufficient.

Unknowingly, I had given power to some nebulous event or person or circumstance or business or system to make me good enough, smart enough, organized enough and/or attractive enough to succeed.

Mind you, I didn’t originate much of this programming. I learned it at my parents’ knees. Extended family taught me. Teachers taught me. Society taught me. And I learned and I bought and I internalized all the lessons of inadequacy, limitation and lack.

And, recently, I unlearned them. I first created a desirable life vision. Then I read edifying truths about how to profitably think. Then awareness dawned.

Consciousness precedes change.

I now know that the only way for me to experience growth and positive change is to create the desired conditions inside, in the subjective. Then, over time, conditions outside, in the objective, manifest in conformity with the vision within.

Another example might help. Several recent experiences demonstrated the power of enmity. In one, a friend called with exciting news about finding a new company with which to apply his skills and talents. As he described his new “love,” I chided him for being the “message” rather than the messenger. I apologized later, but the damage was done. Healing will hopefully mend the breach over time.

The impact of these experiences caused me to ponder how they were all related, and the answer came easily. In each experience I manifested a sense of enmity or competition. And I easily discerned the source: insecurity. The source of insecurity? FEAR. Same song; different verse.

I feel grateful for the consciousness of fear as it manifested in insecurity. I know from recent study in the Masterkey Mastermind Experience that fear, guilt, anger, hurt feelings and unworthiness frequently accompany expansion of one’s comfort zone. Thus, my awareness of these feelings allows me to simultaneously feel reassured in progress, despite the pain of unintentionally straining relationships.

Given the foregoing, you won’t be surprised that close friendships have been rare, and that a sense of impending doom was a frequent companion until recently. Praise God for a new day!

A month’s reading of Mandino’s Scroll V from The Greatest Salesman has taught me that mourning yesterday’s failures darkens today’s joy and diverts energy from making today the best it can be. I can, however, make amends today as well as possible, and I can remember to connect.

You see, enmity fosters a sense of “other.” We’re learning from Haanel’s Masterkey System that “other” is an unnecessarily limiting illusion. The truth is connection. Connection with God above, connection with God within (myself), and connection with God all around (nature, people, etc.). With connection, enmity vanishes.

We have, each moment, a privilege. That privilege is choice. For me, the best choice is conscious connection. Eventually, with practice, connection will be automatic and require no further conscious choice. I will have changed the music and the orchestra will play a more pleasing tune.

Until then, I am humbled and grateful for loving, forgiving friends, companions and fellow travelers.

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Painting Heart

It’s Whatever You Need It to Be – Week 20 Supplement

February 19, 2014

Had a transcendent experience this morning as I pondered over an event yesterday in a collaborative healing session with my craniosacral therapist. We were talking about energy exchange, and he told me of a Sitka Spruce tree anomalously growing in one of our local parks. It’s anomalous because it belongs in a rain forest, and our locale is not one of those. However, being near Seattle, we get out fair share of rain most years, and this park does include wetlands.

Steve (his name) told me I should visit the tree to feel its energy field. He then invited me to discern whether its energy was male or female.

I learned from Steve years ago that physical distance is no barrier to sensation, so I visited the tree remotely from the treatment room. I concluded that the tree’s energy was male. Steve told me that was interesting because he thought its energy was female.

Then (I know now) came the most amazing revelation. I told Steve that he perceived the tree’s energy as female because that’s what he needed it to be. Those were the right words, but I hadn’t yet perceived the spiritual reality.

And, this morning, the lightning struck: the energy of many things in God’s creation is fluid, flexible and responsive. It becomes whatever we need it to be.

The energy type, if you will, of many things is fixed, as well. My energy is predominantly male, because gender is an essential characteristic of my existence and identity. Therefore, if you need male energy and are willing to collaborate with me, I’m a great source.

However, there is an infinite pool of completely generic energy constantly available all around us. We need not attempt to draw female energy, for example, from an inherently male rock. In fact, all I need to do is identify the energy I need, and I can invite it into me with every breath, if I’m willing. See, e.g., Haanel, Part 20, paragraph 20.

Money, which we call currency and is simply a symbol of life energy, is energetically generic. It is whatever we need it to be. If I need money to be scarce or difficult, it is. On the other hand, if I need money to be abundant and free-flowing, it is that, as well.

The “trick” if you want to call it that, is to access your needs, your true needs. You can get a feel for these needs by looking carefully at your life as it now stands. Is money tight for you? Then that is (or, until recently, was) your need. Want a new reality? Change your needs.

My situation yesterday might illustrate. My wife had then been absent for a week, and, upon pondering Dr. Paul Zak’s TED talk about oxytocin, it struck me that I was manifesting symptoms of oxytocin deficiency. I’ve embedded that talk here for you.

I estimated that getting a massage might not only relieve tension, but it might prompt oxytocin release from human touch. That didn’t work. Part of the problem was a lack of connected touch, so no energetic circuit occurred. I left the massage disappointed, blaming myself and the apparent lack of skill and emotional availability of the masseuse.

I found out later by inspiration that I could have participated in a “touchless” energetic circuit if I’d been more aware of the possibilities. After all, there is an infinite supply of generic energy universally available. All I needed to do was create a demand or need.

I’m still a big fan of massage and personal touch, as some touch is essential to most of our health. Next time, I’ll go in with a clearer sense of my part in the circuit, and I’ll make sure to wait for a masseuse who better suits my needs.

In all this, I learned, even more importantly in the long term, that I had imagined and affirmed a bright future without really creating a need for it. That error essentially left me waiting for some mysterious force to “grant” me my future rather than effectively creating it from within.

A couple things about need may also be helpful. The need must be for your own good and for the good of people around you. It must not take anyone else’s good, and you must be willing to receive your “need” on proper exchange. As is popularly and pithily repeated, “There ain’t no free lunch.” Equally importantly, you get to pick whether receiving your “need” is hard or easy.

A couple good ways to start “paying” for your “lunch” are:
• Keep all your promises. You have to trust yourself, others need you to be trustworthy, and infinite supply is increasingly available only as you make your integrity more pleasing. I wrote a post about that. Your integrity becomes more pleasing as you carefully consider each promise and then keep it. It makes no difference to whom the promise was made. Might be yourself, your spouse, your family or your God. Keep all your promises.
• Make a conscious choice to control the flow of your life energy. The most fluid elements of that energy are time and money. If you don’t consciously choose control (until that habit becomes automatic), your time and money will randomly and haphazardly leak into the nearest sink. I use “sink” generically here to mean any place or thing into which energy flows and stays. Some of my “sinks” are video games, TV and entertainment. A goal without a plan is only a wish, and calendars and budgets (two weaknesses that are becoming strengths for me) are great tools for planning.
• Become aware of the needs of others. Give to every person you encounter, in some way, shape or form. Smiles are great gifts, as are random kindnesses. A sincere compliment is always well received, too. Money becomes no object when you become open to the possibilities. Are the best things in life free? Give those, abundantly.
• Welcome the abundance of others. Greet their gifts to you with a hearty, “Thank you.” Participate in the flow of giving and receiving.

My wife and I have created a need for schools for children which affirm their possibilities, preserve their curiosity, and reward their inherent passion. We also have a need for “schools” or programs for adults which allow them the same privileges. This need only becomes a demand, however, when I flesh out the detail so I have a firm idea of the intended structure and the amount of life energy needed to make it happen.

You already have in mind at least a vague idea of what you want your life to look like, feel like and be like. You may be making good progress, or you may find yourself foundering. You’ll gain ground on your dream as you add detail and create real need.

If you’re ready for this, I rejoice with you. I embrace and affirm the new reality you’re creating. I know you’re walking with me, and I welcome your company. After all, there’s an infinite supply of generic energy just waiting for us both to welcome it in.

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Heart in Hand

God is Love – Week 20

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We learn from scripture and experience that God is Love. Jesus Christ taught His disciples that the pre-eminent commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, might, mind and strength.

The second commandment is similar: to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

Study of Haanel’s Masterkey System is a great companion to studying scripture. Truth is truth, and variety of expression can be mind-expanding. For me, it can even seem soul-expanding.

This week I experienced a dramatic failure from failing to apply an industry best practice. I think I’m in good company having initially resisted this best practice, and pondering Haanel’s Lesson 19 led me to understand the nature of my error. I’ll give some detail later on about the failure and the best practice to assuage your curiosity, but the main lesson is more important in that it has universal application.

In Lesson 19 we learn that the only principle in physical, mental and spiritual matters is “mind” or thought. In Haanel’s lexicon, “principle” means a concept that has power. “Power” is the ability to create a pleasing result. Power provides the energy necessary to change polarity and thus cause movement. Movement can be physical, mental and/or spiritual.

Therefore, right thinking is the only positive power, and access to power is immediately granted to one who thinks correctly.

And what is the ultimate “right” thought? Put another way, what is the ultimate “right” motivation? The title to this post gives away the answer to all who are ready to receive it. All good, and all power, can ultimately be attributed to one thought, one motivation: love. God is love, because His only thought is love; His only motivation is love.

Love is multilayered, at least to my mortal, temporal mind. I can, and should, love God, love myself, love my wife, love my family, love my neighbors, love my community, love my nation and love my world. It is appropriate for me to draw motivation from each and all of these layers.

As I demonstrate love for God:
• I revere Him and trust Him;
• I love myself and the rest of His creation;
• I recognize His love for me in His commandments and instructions;
• I embrace His gift to me of agency, personal power and divine potential; and
• I obey Him, not out of fear or a sense of obligation, but out of a desire to honor Him by manifesting the best of which I am capable, always remembering that each act or thought of obedience expands my capacity.

As I demonstrate love for myself:
• I invest in personal development every day, always listening for God’s whisper inviting me to receive knowledge from additional sources;
• I choose nutrition appropriate to my needs;
• I respect my body by adopting appropriate exercise habits;
• I search out my divine destiny, mission and purpose to make sure my life’s ladder is leaning against the best wall;
• I embrace my potential by creating a detailed vision, image and/or statement of that purpose;
• I embrace the need to gain specific knowledge to help me achieve my purpose;
• I rejoice in visualizing, articulating and “owning” objectives, strategy and tactics calculated after due consideration to help me manifest my purpose;
• I choose one or more companions who will join with me in perfect harmony to pursue the path of purpose; and
• I keep all my promises, knowing that every promise kept is a blessing, and every promise broken is a burden.

I could go on a bit, but if you’re ready, you’re already getting the point.

Thank you for reading this far. Now, to relieve your curiosity, here’s what happened.

In an attempt to build a relationship and to collect a decision, I followed up with a friend, who is also one of my health care providers. I had answered his request for information with a conditional delivery of data and other resources. The condition was that he actually read and/or view the data and resources and report to me what he thought of them. He didn’t report, hence my follow up.

Despite my best shot at being supportive and non-confrontational, my “friend” was unable to resist what he perceived to be an invitation to provocation, and he totally went off on me, accusing me of social ineptitude (which may be true), and disparaging (without foundation) my industry, company, products, and personal integrity. He didn’t disparage my ancestry or progeny, but he came close. 🙂 The incident definitely damaged the relationship, and it might have destroyed it.

Lessons learned: twofold. One, my friend did not feel my love. Some aspect of my motivation and communication must have been selfish, self-serving, judging or condemning to provoke his reaction. Unless, as was observed by one of my mastermind partners, my friend is mentally ill, in which case his response was outside his control anyway.

Two, and equally important to the future of all my relationships, I did not love my friend or myself enough to make sure he was a “prospect” before offering him information. I learned in Go90Grow a method to employ up-front contracts (Hero’s Journey Skills) to distinguish between a “possibility” and a “prospect,” and I simply rebelled against using them. Mark J reassured me in a private conversation after the incident that my rebellion is unfortunately pretty typical. If I had operated from the sole motivation of love and applied the HJ skills, there is no way I would have invited my friend to receive information in the 1st place, let alone experienced the awkward and exceptionally unpleasant consequence mentioned above.

It happened that my friend and I attended a church leadership meeting this evening. A brief apology, expressions of love and a sincere hug later, our relationship begins anew. Trust will build with time.

Some knowledge, for me anyway, can only be acquired at a great price. I hope you are willing to accept it at “market” rather than unnecessarily paying extra. You and everyone around you will be happier, I promise.

Appropriate to today’s post, the closing hymn for our morning worship service was “God is Love.” It served as a wonderful affirmation of the inspiration with which the day started. God is love, because love is His only thought and His only motivation. Natural Action: He serves, without attachment or expectation of reciprocity. Natural result: He is Master.

Thus we see that Haanel, with Christ, really is offering us the Masterkey. As love becomes our only thought and our only motivation, we likewise gain mastery, line upon line, precept on precept, here a little and there a little, until we come to the measure and stature and fullness of Christ.

I hope you, too, know and feel God’s love. Join me in embracing and embodying love, won’t you?

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Phoenix

Self-Guided (vs. Other-Guided) – Week 17 HJ

George Carlin has a great monologue on self-help. It’s a little rude, like much of Carlin’s work, and here it is:

Carlin’s basic point, if you don’t want to watch it, is it’s only self-help if you do it yourself. If you use a resource, whether book, person, video, etc., it’s no longer self-help. It’s just help.

I love Carlin’s literalism. He lives the inherent external and internal social contract that we call language. Externally, we agree with others on the meaning of word symbols. That allows interpersonal communication. Internally, we do the same thing. That allows awareness.

The misuse of word symbols, whether intentional or not, creates misunderstanding externally and confusion internally.

Now, think for a minute about spirituality. One dictionary defines my intended context of the word as “… of or pertaining to sacred things or matters; religious; devotional; sacred.” Query: who gets to define spirituality for you? Is it a private matter between you and God, as you conceive Him? Or is spirituality defined for you by your minister, church or some other person or entity?

And, if another gets to define spirituality, what then, is faith? Can you have faith without some independent sense of what is sacred? The answers to these questions are matters for your private devotion, and I shan’t more overtly here insert my personal beliefs.

Query second: if you espouse faith in God, do you let any person, institution or incident dissuade you from your faith? I espouse faith in God through a particular denomination, one of the nominal adherents of which was Theodore “Ted” Bundy, the noted serial rapist/killer. Does Mr. Bundy define my faith, even if his name means “gift of God”? I trow not. I confidently assert, “No!”

What about a well-meaning but under-informed associate? Does his or her bigoted, benighted, unduly limited, and/or under-confident view get to define for me what it means to be a Christian? Of course not. That is between me and Christ, Himself.

What about your life, your mission, your purpose, your destiny? Who defines you, your limits, your mission, your destiny?

This is also a matter for your private meditation and devotions.

What about your goals, your dreams, your search for meaning in your life? Are you going to let some bad example, a misinformed person, your own history of achievement (or lack of same) define what you can or can’t be, do or have?

Now that’s a much harder question for most of us. As infants, children, adolescents and young adults the vast majority of us were offered beliefs, ideas and other programming by our family, teachers, friends and others that invited us to believe in personal limitations well below our actual potential.

If true, what’s next? I believe true answers lie within. Carlin had it right. If I, or anyone else, tells you what to do, that’s not self-help. That’s just help. And, no other person can tell you what your truth is. No other person can know your purpose or your destiny.

What I can tell you is the search for purpose is worth it. When you find it, life gets way easier. I recommend the journey and the search. You needn’t worry about the “how.” Resources and other help will find you as you need them.

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image

Basic Symbols, Basic Shapes, Basic Colors – Week 16

I don’t know about you, but symbolic learning isn’t my strong suit.  I am just more skilled at interpreting, absorbing and synthesizing the literal.  The figurative, i.e., symbols, are another story.

One nice thing about symbols is they are susceptible of multiple interpretations, and maybe that’s the point.  A symbol can be meaningful to me in one way, and to you it can be meaningful in another, and the diversity of interpretation does no violence to the utility of the symbol nor to either of us.

For the last 15 weeks, I’ve been using, largely ignorantly, 6 symbols to help me learn the lessons of the Masterkey System.  There are 4 primary symbols and 2 supplemental symbols.  The four primary symbols are a blue rectangle, a red circle, a green triangle, and a yellow square.  The two supplemental symbols are a compass and a magnifying glass.

I understood rapidly the import of the supplemental symbols.  After all, these are items I’d used many times in life, and I knew their “real world” utility.  So, thinking of a compass as directing me to follow my Dharma was easy.  Thinking of a magnifying glass as reminding me to stay focused was also easy.

Not that doing those two things was easy, mind you.  It still isn’t.  I’m still learning to operate my thinking and feeling mechanisms more efficiently and effectively.  Progress occurs, however, which is gratifying and reassuring.

Now, what about the primary symbols?  What do I learn from basic shapes and basic colors?  Not much, it turns out, until I felt prompted to take on a simple project.  You may like this story, and it may benefit you, God willing.

Here’s the project.  Some years ago, my daughter gave me a refrigerator magnet composed of a colored, patterned circle upon which she’d written her name in cursive script.  The paper circle was glued to a glass “jewel,” a piece of glass shaped like a river rock, flat on the bottom and rounding on the top, and a magnet was glued to the back.  This little magnet was attractive, it constantly reminded me of my daughter, and like all such things, was useful in temporarily affixing two-dimensional items to the refrigerator.

One day, tragedy struck.  Entropy came to collect its due, and the paper giving my magnet its import separated.  The jewel could still memorialize my daughter, but the item’s essential utility ended.  I was left with a marred memento and a bare, unattractive ceramic craft magnet.  That just wouldn’t do.

Next, the inspiration.  If my daughter could craft a magnet, so could I.  I sought counsel from my mother about where to find the glass jewels, and she guided me appropriately.  The same store, unsurprisingly, had craft magnets and clear adhesive.

I already had digital versions of the four basic symbols and a pictorial representation of a compass.  I have a real compass, but it’s safely ensconced in my emergency “go pack” left over from years of being a Boy Scout leader.  My plastic magnifying glass lies on a prominent place on my desk.  I reduced the size of the symbols to fit the size of the glass jewels, and printed them.

A pencil and scissors made short work of fitting the paper symbols to individual jewels.  A little glue, a little patience, overnight curing, and, Voila!, new refrigerator magnets.  Here’s a picture:

IMG_0417

It turns out that this supplemental kinesthetic exercise opened my eyes to the utility of the blue rectangle, the red circle, the green triangle and the yellow square.  For me, the message is one of simplicity.  It turns out that amazing things are produced out of simple ingredients.

Reminds me of a scripture.  “… by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; ….”  Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6.  You’d think, wouldn’t you, that having read that verse several dozen times, I’d have the message down, right?  Well, the teacher only appears when the student is ready.  And, fortunately, when the student becomes a servant, then the Master appears.

And so, my basic shapes with their basic colors now enshrined in refrigerator magnets, remind me constantly to remember to think basic, productive thoughts, feel basic, positive emotions, speak simple, edifying words, give unselfish, caring service, do simple, traction-producing activities, and hold basic, divinely inspired intentions.

I am repenting from Naaman’s fault.  I thought  I was supposed to do some great, heroic things.  It turns out that real heroism comes from consistently doing the humble, simple things which are the building blocks for a heavenly soul.  When I do that, the mansion takes care of itself.

What do you think?  Will you join me in the real hero’s journey?  Will you search out your divine destiny and use your God-given powers of perception to find the basic building blocks that will bring it about?  I know you can; I pray you will.

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