Monthly Archives: December 2013

Voyage of Discovery – Week 13

Life is a voyage of discovery.  Every day we resume the voyage, headed towards our destination, and we set the sails.  We may not pick the wind or the height of the seas, but we set the sails, and we hold the rudder.

And what do we discover?

Every day, we discover whether we’re ready or not ready for the goals and objectives we’ve chosen.

Because, as is has been so profoundly stated, it’s not the wind, but the set of the sails that determines where our ship will go.

My experiences this month may offer a good illustration.  I’d set an ambitious professional goal.  When I set it, I thought it reasonable and achievable, though stretching.  I didn’t count on mutiny from within.

You see, the master key mastermind alliance is preparing me to unfold into my best self, and my progress so far had me believing I was ready for a big step forward.

One of the conditions I thought past is depression, specifically the bipolar variety.  By the grace of God, I’d happened onto a 3-element regime that eliminates, or so I’d thought, all the physiological causes of my bipolar depression symptoms.

And yet, over the past 3 weeks, I experienced, 3 or 4 days per week, depression symptoms ranging from mild to moderate to almost severe.

And, then, yesterday, a breakthrough.  The week 13 webinar talked about the lengths to which some of the mental crew will go to keep the ship of life on the old course.  And outright mutiny is not beyond the pale.

I was simultaneously stunned and elated.  Because I knew then the truth.  The mind cannot effectively discern the difference between a vividly imagined event and a real one.  Charles Haanel’s words from Lesson 2, paragraph 14, Lesson 3, paragraph 4, Lesson 4, paragraph 4, Lesson 5, paragraph 8, Lesson 7, paragraph 23, etc. came ringing back.  Health is the real truth; illness is an illusion created by inferior thought.

Just as one is never again fooled after understanding a magician’s trick, my conscious mind was suddenly liberated from the bondage of the illusion of depression.  I had laid a solid, scientific foundation for mental health.  Therefore, the appearance of depression had to be an illusion contrived by my subconscious mind running the old blueprint!  And a vivid illusion it was, too!

The bad news for this month is I wasn’t ready for the destination for which I thought I’d set the course.  The good news is I now have better sense than to fall for the same trick twice.

So, my sails are once again trimmed to profit from the wind, and my rudder is set with an eye clearly fixed on the land of promise.  I didn’t die trying, and I have strength for the next leg of the journey.  As Mandino says, slightly edited, surely one tack at a time is not too difficult.

Are you troubled by the one step forward, two steps back phenomenon?  Take heart.  As you press on, you’ll find ways to keep moving forward, thus eliminating any tendency to retrogress.   Teachers, guides and mentors are all around you, just waiting for you to be ready.

Remember, life is a journey of discovery.  If you aren’t ready today for progress, tomorrow’s a new day.  Mandino gives us good advice in scroll 3.  Forget the day that is past, and focus on today, because, after all, today is the best day of your life.

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Idle Thoughts, Idle Words – Week 12

A scripture came to mind this morning:

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  (Matthew 12:34-37, KJV)

The idea of an idle word or idle thought stuck in my mind.  “Idle” struck me on several levels of meaning:

  • Without true intent or      without focused intent
  • Expressing idleness rather      than industry
  • Casual rather than serious
  • Without forethought
  • Without foresight
  • Without understanding

All of these concepts boil down to a central problem.  Every spoken word is an act of creation.  Words spoken without integrity create chaos, and words spoken with integrity create harmony.

A flood of memories came back, illustrating how many of my words have been uttered without integrity, some intentionally and some unintentionally.

With this insight and these memories, I began to become aware of the magnitude of each thought and each spoken word.  Because we really will (and do, daily) face judgment.

Ultimately, the effort of our lives will be weighed and measured against the standard of truth.  And every thought contributes to either meeting or failing to meet that standard.

My idle words have created little dust devils of chaos.  And those little vortices of chaos have incented people touched by them to doubt me, doubt themselves, and doubt their Creator. None of those are good things.  No wonder Jesus said that such would give rise to eventual judgment.

Fortunately, part of the creative power with which God endowed us is the power to change.  Or, in other words, the power to create a new reality.  Or, in other words, the power to repent and become more godly.

You can guess what my new initiative will be: to limit (at first) and then eliminate idle thoughts.  Because I know that when the idle thoughts are gone, all the idle words and deeds will have magically vanished out of my life, the dark having naturally been displaced by the light.

What about you?  Will you join me?  You know, if you do, I believe we can change the world.

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It’s a War in There – Week 11

It came to me last week that I’m in a battle of the blueprints. My old blueprint is at war with the new one, and my inner child is the battleground.

Or, at least that’s how it seemed to me at first.  What emerged from several days of treatment, therapy and meditation was a thread of enlightenment that freed me from the battle:  opposition equals choice.

There is a natural flow of energy all around us and within us.  Sometimes that energetic flow presents opportunities for us to perceive opposition, and my previously more infantile, western-trained mind perceived opposition as conflict.

The truth is far different, for those who are willing to see it.  A sense of opposition can portend conflict if that is desired or if that is a person’s default posture.  In reality, we create conflict from opposition by choice.  I learned that placing myself in opposition was usually optional and not recommended for serenity.

I will attempt to illustrate by describing briefly the sequence of events that led to this realization.

The “battle” idea came Tuesday evening.  What followed on Wednesday were two scheduled treatment / therapy sessions, one with my chiropractor and one with my massage therapist.  Here’s what transpired, to the best of my ability to articulate.

I offer that disclaimer, because all truth is spiritual truth, and one is only able to perceive spiritual truth by aligning with the Spirit of Truth.  Therefore, you’ll see in me what you’re ready to see in yourself, and no more.

In the treatment sessions, I was able to experience a sense of the ongoing cyclical flow of energy in my body and the ongoing cycle of ebb and flow of the cerebro-spinal fluid.  To get there, however, a couple blocks to the flow had to be recognized and removed.

One of the blocks seemed to be an inherited sense of the futility of action.  In other words, a number of my antecedents had internalized, unintentionally, the idea that success was impossible.  Therefore, action was futile.  A couple other related emotions were released in the same sessions.

I came away feeling jubilant, not anticipating the other shoe dropping.  Still, even the temporary sense of connection stemming from the conscious sensation of the flow of energy within me was very exhilarating.

Thursday morning the other  shoe dropped.   I awoke with my back about as seized up as it’s ever been.

I worked through releasing some emotions using Dr. Hansen’s Emotion Code framework.  A cascade of emotions poured out, many of them what Dr. Hansen calls “inherited” emotions.  Part of the process of releasing emotions was the internal energy awareness gained on Wednesday.

That process continued Friday morning in preparation for two more treatment sessions Friday afternoon.  I came away from the treatments feeling better, if a little dazed.

Saturday morning an early appointment prevented in-depth self-care, to my benefit, it turned out.  On returning home, depression set in, and I was all but immobilized until late Saturday.  A few more emotions were released, and, late in the day, the depression passed.

This pattern continued through the next several days as my therapy sessions, emotion release ministry, meditation and personal development practices continued.

After eight or nine days of this pattern, I seemed to perceive a harmony:  it isn’t many things; it’s one thing.  In other words, my mind (or spirit, if you like), my body and my emotions aren’t separate entities.  This is an integrated system, to the extent I’m willing to allow integration.

Back to the idea of conflict.  Perceived opposition, combined with an inclination to choose conflict, activated by fear, causes emotions to “stick” to the body.  That “stickiness” binds the fascia to the muscle, in some cases, causing stiffness and pain and trapping the emotion in the body.  In other cases, the emotion lands and sticks on neural tissue or joints.

In my case, several factors were acting in concert to facilitate a release of trapped emotion: stimulation of fascia, muscles, nerves and joints via the physical treatments, stimulation of new thoughts via the Master Key System-led blueprint change, and my willingness to attend, recognize and release the trapped emotions via the Emotion Code.

I’m grateful for this experience, because it’s allowing me to see and sense in others some of the same perceived difficulty, and I now have some great tools to help them more quickly find relief.

Hence the main lesson: opposition is a constant, but conflict is optional.  With the space that awareness creates, other choices are possible.  And the best news of all?  We get to pick.

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Silence & Stimulation – Week 10

I love Charles Haanel’s invitation to gain power by going into the silence, into the stillness or, in other words, to meditate.  The invitation is interesting because weakness, in Haanel’s words, comes from “nothing.”  Therefore, silence and stillness, which yield power, are something rather than nothing.

This is easiest for me to apprehend by comparing stillness to simulation.

Stimulation is all around us, but some of us wire ourselves up to need inappropriate stimulation.  Others of us cater to “meaningless” stimulation (e.g., TV playing constantly as a substitute for white noise) because true stillness or silence is unbearable.  For some of us, even a few moments of silence is too much “alone time.”

Brain Chemistry & Addiction

We learn from reliable sources that our inner world is an interesting mix of thought, emotion, belief, action, results, and evaluation.  It is said that by 5 years of age, the dominant programs of our lives are already firmly established.  And changing those programs from the outside-in by attempting behavioral modification is all but futile.  If you get more than 6 months of modified behavior, you’re well above average.

It is now known that the cycle above referenced (thought-emotion-belief-action-result-evaluation) has a neurological component that floods our bodies with a cascade of brain-based endocrine chemicals during the cycle of any habitual experience.  Hence the addictive power of nicotine, cocaine, gambling, pornography and anger, which are common, negatively perceived examples.  On the positively perceived side, we get similar results from regular exercise, meditation, prayer, service and accomplishment.

No matter what our habits, our bodies become accustomed to the related brain chemical cascade, and that familiarity, over time, in essence becomes an addiction.  As Alcoholics Anonymous so poignantly teaches, addiction is a spiritual disorder, and attempting to conquer addiction by behavior modification alone is an exercise in futility.

Addiction Recovery

Still, every dark cloud has a silver lining.  Or, as Napoleon Hill gleaned from Charles Haanel, every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.  My life was blessed with a noxious, harmful stimulation addiction as part of a larger problem.  I know well that the path of recovery passes through a spiritual vale of tears, at the end of which we burst forth into the sunshine of a new life.

My experience with Haanel’s Master Key System has led me back down the same path as I have been brought face to face with the more generic form of my addiction: stimulation.  All that you need know about me in this context is that recourse to stimulation was a defense mechanism of the infantile mind reacting to the energetic ravages of depression.  For, as with most who are similarly afflicted, depression sapped me of the energy needed to address the task-oriented needs of my life.  Stimulation seemed a natural defense in that it lent energy today by borrowing against future reserves.  (Insane, I know, but that’s addiction for you.)

One habitual, left-over behavior, even of late, was to turn part of my attention, sometimes even during a worship service, to an electronic device.  Electronic devices with screens stimulate the reticular cortex, triggering a variety of brain chemicals.  For me, these closely mirrored the cascade created by the more negative addiction for which I sought recovery.

I became aware of this similarity recently in the process of writing, reciting and implementing a new blueprint for my life.  Over several weeks (weeks 6-8 of the Master Key System), it became obvious that the good work I was doing with the Master Key System and its exercises was being undermined and partially nullified by excess stimulation from electronic devices.

In case you haven’t discerned this by now, there are good reasons electronic devices are popular, and convenience isn’t the only one.

Silence and Detoxification

With any chemical addiction, a detoxification process is essential to recovery.  Only by allowing the body to purge itself of the harmful, addictive chemicals can one come to a new place of beginning.

With a stimulus addiction, Haanel’s invitation to seek stillness and silence is particularly appropriate.  There are huge benefits to acclimating to silence.  For me, the primary benefit is enhanced spiritual communion.  Haanel points out in week 10’s lesson that thought, which can only be focused in silence, is the nexus point between our physical world and the spiritual world.

This is a direct analog to the physical world, where minerals can only be enlivened by the intervention of life via the root systems of plants and other like methods.  Likewise, our physical form can only be spiritually enlivened by inviting contact with the Infinite (God, our Heavenly Father, in my conception) by pondering positive, productive thought while being silent.  Haanel likens this to an electrical circuit where Infinite Intelligence is the positive pole and thought is the negative pole.  Without that polarity, there is no circuit.

Silence promotes or invites polarity because it creates a void space into which inspiration (or spiritual knowledge) can flow.  It provides a canvas upon which creative thought can be painted.  We are not responsible for the material manifestation process, but we are responsible for creating the space (i.e., the void) in which the manifestation can unfold.

And, as we create new habits by changing our dominant thoughts, a new, hopefully more positive, chemical addiction takes hold.  And when it does, manifestation of the new, related reality quickly follows.

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