Let Your Inner Child Guide You to Passion

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How long does it take you to shift from your adult, serious, side to your playful, inner child mode?More and more I’m discovering that one of the most powerful tools for personal growth and success is my ability to embrace and engage my playful, inner child space quickly and consistently.

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I don’t know about you, but I can be awfully serious a lot of the time. And even when I consciously give myself permission to let go of that seriousness, it can take a bit of coaxing to relax down into the playful, spontaneous, childlike space that is so natural and yet can be so difficult to hold.

But it’s that space, that vibration of spontaneous creativity that allows us to tap into the infinite possibilities of the Universe. It is that energy of playfulness and joy that fuels the inspired actions that allow us to attract our deepest desires.

But most of us are almost completely disconnected from that creative energy.

And, while I’m a pretty fun guy (no not a mushroom!) and love to play, this weekend I got to experience just  how long it takes me to REALLY drop down fully into that playful, creative, childlike vibration.

My daughter and I went camping this weekend with a few other families from her kindergarten class. We spent the weekend playing in the dunes north of Bodega Bay and I can trace the “downshifts” that moved me out of my serious, adult mind and into the playful, spontaneous, childlike vibration.

When we first arrived I was, of course, all business: Where are we camping? Where’s the best tent site? Set up the tent. Unpack the car… etc. It’s pretty amazing how my Virgo nature comes out, big time, when I first roll into a campground!

Fortunately, some other families were heading down to the beach just as we arrived and Ella tagged along with them while I got our campsite set up.
My first downshift came when I walked to the beach after setting up our site. All the way down to the beach I was in “Go” mode, walking fast and feeling like I was “supposed” to get down there to play with Ella. But the moment I walked across the boardwalk bridge and stood at the top of the dune looking down on the ocean and the beach and felt the wind coming off the water, I felt the first downshift.It’s quite difficult to stay in “go” mode when you’re at the beach. There is something hypnotic and mesmerizing about the ocean, and only the most die-hard do-ers can resist the ocean’s invitation to drop into a more relaxed vibration.

And the best part is that this invitation is available all the time: You don’t have to actually be at the ocean to access it.

Take a moment, right now, to imagine the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty air, the feel of the moisture on your face as the ocean wind swirls it around you. Take a deep breath and let yourself accept the invitation to downshift your vibration and come into resonance with the energy of the ocean.

Imagination is such a powerful tool for manifesting the life of your dreams. And you can improve your imagination just by using it! Take time to imagine that you are at the ocean, or the mountains, or the forest or wherever you feel most energized and connected!

My next downshift came after dinner. The kids were playing a game where the beautiful, exposed roots of an old pine tree growing out of the dunes was the “jail” and the roots of a smaller tree across the dunes was the “base” where you could “escape” to.

At first, just the children were playing while the adults sat, in the “jail” and talked about adult things. But, one by one, the fathers started joining in. You could see them get a little twinkle in their eyes… thinking about it, catching some of that contagious, playful, childlike energy. And then, suddenly, as they let go of their concerns about what they might look like or whether it was “ok” to play with the kids, they would burst out of the “jail” with a shout of joy as a pack of kids started chasing them around the dunes.

beach-fun-1Soon almost all of the “dada’s” were running around the dunes, acting like children, letting our playful, inner beings come out. And, quite honestly, I think the dads were having more fun than the kids! It happens that way. Kids play all the time. It’s their natural state. Dads… not so much! So when we do get out of our serious, responsible, mode the fun that’s been stuck inside starts coming out… big time!

Now, in addition to being a second downshift for me, when I jumped in and started running around the sand like a crazy, escapee, that game in the dunes really shifted the energy for our entire group. You could feel the group energy relax into playfulness. It was like a big sigh of relief as we let go of our collective responsibilities and allowed  ourselves to drop into the playful spontaneity of the present moment.

And that, of course, that led us all back over to the campfire for S’mores. And, it’s pretty hard to be serious while you’re making s’mores! Well, unless you get into a serious discussion of the BEST way to make them… You know, do you let the marshmallow catch on fire and then blow it out, or do you hold it just above the burn zone so that it  gets lightly browned? Do you melt the chocolate or let the toasted marshmallow do the melting? And this time we had a new twist added to the mix: Someone brought a jar of Nutella which… while not traditional, certainly did make a very good s’more when spread on the graham cracker in place of the chocolate bar!

The final downshift came after s’mores when we broke out our instruments and started playing music around the campfire. It brought me back to my days at summer camp on Cape Cod. There is something so universally appealing about playing music around a campfire. The crackling fire, the sparks, or “fire fairies” as Ella calls them, the soft glowing light on the faces, and the music filling the camp, rising up to the sky like an offering of joy and love.

And, as with the ocean, this energy is available to you all the time. You don’t have to wait until you’re at a campfire. Take a deep breath in and imagine the fire. Imagine the flames dancing and crackling. See the “fire fairies” as they rise up and dance in the smoke. Smell the smoke. And yes, even feel the smoke burning your eyes a little. And connect with the energy of the fire. That fire energy lives inside of you.

Connect with it. Feel it. Embrace it. Let it come out to play. Let it fuel your actions. That fire is the inspiration that empowers your actions. When you take actions that are fueled by your fire you accelerate the manifestation process.

Action without inspiration is like a lighter without fluid: You might get a few sparks, but no matter how often or how vigorously you click that button, you’re not going to get a flame.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

There is so much power in connecting with our childlike nature (not childish, childlike!). Yet we often allow our thoughts of how we “should” to act and who we are “supposed to” be get in the way and hold us back from connecting with that vibration.

Taking time, each day to consciously, actively, let that “inner child” come out to play can provide tremendous fuel and inspiration as you manifest your deepest desires!

TAKE ACTION:

This week, let your inner child come out to play. Do something that is absolutely NOT on the agenda of your adult, serious, responsible self. Indulge the playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you.

PS. One way to embrace that playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you is by amping up your passion. And the two people who can help you do that better than anyone else I can think of are Janet and Chris Attwood. Write now they’ve got some GREAT free content up for grabs as part of their Passionate Life Secrets program. You can check out the program and access the free content here:
==> Passionate Life Secrets.

How Will You Celebrate YOUR Independence?

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

declaration of independenceHappy Independence Day!

As you know, here in the US, today is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence (although it was actually signed a few weeks later) which declared our freedom from the Kingdom of Britain.

For most of us, Independence Day, or July 4th, has become a good time for a barbeque and fireworks. And there’s nothing wrong with a fun barbeque and a great fireworks display. In fact, we had our town fireworks last night which we watched from a neighbor’s balcony after a nice barbeque. It was great!

But since I’m not one to pass up a perfect opportunity for personal growth, here’s a suggestion: While you’re grilling up some great food and “oohing” and “ahhing” over the spectacular fireworks display, take just a moment or two to declare your independence from something that restricts your freedom.

In 1776, the leaders of what then were the Thirteen Colonies said “No more” to the tyranny of British rule. They declared their (our) freedom!

These leaders new, full well, that their actions would escalate what is now known as the Revolutionary War. But they were willing to fight for their freedom. They were willing to fight the “good fight.”
For these great men (and I’m sorry to say that no women signed this document) the good fight was described like this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
What holds you back from fully living? What restricts your liberty? What prevents you from fully engaging in the pursuit of happiness?

Check out this section (emphasis mine):

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Change just a few words in that section and you could easily be talking about the thoughts, beliefs, patterns, and habits that hold us in our comfort zone. Most of us are far more “disposed to suffer” in our comfort zone, that place we know so well, than we are to “right ourselves by abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed.”

Well today is the perfect day to declare your independence from some “Form” to which you are accustomed, one that restricts your freedom.

So lift a beer today and give a toast to freedom: Your freedom!

Choose a thought, belief, pattern or habit that holds you back and commit yourself, today and from this day forward, to the path of freedom!

And if you want to give your declaration a little oomph, speak this concluding line from the Declaration of Independence:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

And if you happen to be in the Bay Area and want to join us for a fun and potent process for declaring YOUR Independence, come to the monthly Law of Attraction group tomorrow (Saturday, July 5th) in Santa Rosa from 9:30 – 12:15.

How To Leverage Punctuated Equilibrium For Personal Growth

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Have you heard of the Term Punctuated Equilibrium? It’s the term evolutionary scientists use to describe a widely held theory related to evolution. According to this theory, evolution happens mainly in short bursts of rapid and sometimes massive changes that “punctuate” long stretches of “equilibrium.”

It’s also sometimes, and affectionately I’m sure, called Punk Eek! (I think it’s safe to say that those evolutionary scientists have a darn good sense of humor and maybe a bit too much time on their hands!)

Here’s the official Wikipedia definition:

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology. It states that most sexually reproducing populations will show little change for most of their geological history, and that when phenotypic evolution does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of branching speciation (called cladogenesis).

Got it?

This theory is not accepted by all scientists: Another school of thought embraces what they call Phyletic Gradualism (these guy s don’t have a catchy nickname) which states that evolution happens gradually and continually.

Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Phyletic gradualism is a macroevolutionary hypothesis rooted in uniformitarianism. The hypothesis states that species continue to adapt to new challenges over the course of their history, gradually becoming new species… During this process, evolution occurs at a slow but constant rate; for this reason, it is known as “evolution by creeps” (as opposed to punctuated equilibrium, or “evolution by jerks”)

Phyletic gradualism has been largely deprecated as the exclusive pattern of evolution by modern evolutionary biologists in favor of the acceptation of occurrence of patterns such as those described on punctuated equilibrium, quantum evolution, and punctuated gradualism.

Note that this theory “has been largely deprecated,” meaning it is no longer accepted by a large portion of the scientific community.

And that makes sense to me, because in my personal experience and observation of others, personal growth and evolution seems to happen more like Punctuated Equilibrium than Phyletic Gradualism. And it makes sense that our personal evolution would follow a similar pattern as our macro or societal evolution.

There are times, most of the time in fact, when we are coasting along, making gradual, incremental changes in our lives. We are in a homeostasis or equilibrium state. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, these times are important because they allow us to rest and integrate and prepare for the next round of punctuation!

Because, once in a while, our equilibrium is punctuated by something that throws us into a rapid state of growth. It could be a job loss or a divorce, an illness or the death of a loved one. Or it could be something internal that just bubbles up to the surface ready to be acknowledged and healed so that you can move to the next level of your life.

So if you accept that personal evolution flows in a pattern of Punctuated Equilibrium pattern how can you leverage this knowledge to accelerate your personal growth? Here are some suggestions:

1. Learn to recognize when you are in a phase of equilibrium or homeostasis and when you are in a phase of punctuation or rapid growth.
If you want to leverage this pattern to accelerate your personal growth the first step is to become aware of which part of the cycle you are presently in. Begin to recognize the symptoms and signs of equilibrium and of punctuation. There will be physical, mental, and emotional patterns indicative of each phase. In general, if you notice you are having more resistant emotions than usual, it is a sign that you are either in or moving towards a period of punctuation.

2. Ideally, learn to recognize the signs that you are beginning to move from a period of homeostasis into a period of rapid growth.
A more advanced form of awareness provides you with an early warning system. You begin to recognize the signs and signals that indicate you are preparing to head into a period of rapid personal evolution.

3. Take full advantage of your time in the equilibrium state.
For leading edge thinkers, the equilibrium state is not a time for twiddling your thumbs. This is a time of integration, rejuvenation and sharing. During these periods of homeostasis you put into action the insights and new awareness you have gained from the last round of punctuation. This is also a time for sharing and modeling what you have learned with others. And finally, this is a time to truly enjoy and appreciate our life experience.

4. Don’t rock the boat of equilibrium.
This is a tough one for me. I was affectionately given a charter membership in the “Gluttons for Growth Group” while working through the Master of Intuition Program I was going through the Academy of Intuition Medicine. For some of you, like me, the equilibrium times will be the uncomfortable phase. If there is no crisis or upheaval or rapid growth happening, you’ll want to shake things up and jump right back into a period of punctuation. Don’t do it! Both phases, equilibrium and upheaval, are necessary for your personal growth. And trust me…your equilibrium will be punctuated without your help.

5. When your equilibrium is punctuated, ask for support.
Let go of the Lone Ranger approach to personal growth. It doesn’t work! When you find yourself in a period of rapid growth or approaching one, call in the cavalry. When you ask for and allow support into your life during these times of rapid growth, you can dramatically accelerate your return to equilibrium. It’s important to have support systems in place before you enter a period of punctuation. I just launched a new program, the Rapid Evolution Mentorship, for times like this.

6. Just say “NO” to the sweep it under the rug school of personal evolution.
During times of rapid personal growth, crisis and upheaval, it is tempting to do whatever you can to return to homeostasis as quickly as possible. During these times of potential growth, issues will most likely come up that are uncomfortable and downright painful. Sweeping them under the rug does not make them go away. It just causes them to go back into hiding and regroup for the next round. And when they come out next time you can bet they will be even more potent! And even if you are able to return to equilibrium it will be at the same level as before. You will not have stepped up to the next level in your personal evolution and will have, therefore, wasted the time you spent in the punctuation period.

7. Mine the moment for gold.
It is during these periods of upheaval and rapid evolution that you will find the true gold in your life. Carl Jung called this the “Gold hidden in the shadows.” During these periods of rapid evolution higher levels of personal awareness are available to you if you’re willing to do the work. In this case, doing the work means being willing to look at and explore whatever is coming up. When you dive into the underlying elements that are bubbling up from your subconscious mind, you will facilitate a faster return to equilibrium AND a higher level of personal awareness. In other words, you will bring that gold back with you into your next period of equilibrium. And that gold will help you create a better life for youself and for those around you.
8. Know that it’s all good!
This is a tough one for some people. Most of us want to claw our way out of those periods of punctuation as quickly as possible. A few of us slightly strange folks (yes I’m one of them) can’t wait to dive back into the punctuation. In reality the most enlightened approach to Personal Punctuated Equilibrium is to enjoy both phases. Think of it this way: At an amusement park you’re not on a ride the entire time. You walk around, grab a snack, wait in line, and then get on a roller coaster for a short, thrilling ride. Punctuated equilibrium works the same way. You need both of them if either of them is to be truly effective.

Both the periods of punctuation and the periods of equilibrium are necessary for our personal growth. And if you judge either of them as bad or negative, you will minimize your ability to grow and the overall quality of your life.

So enjoy all of it and always be ready for your next ride!

51 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone

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Most of us love the familiar. Whether we realize it or not, we put a lot of work into ensuring that certain things in our lives remain constant.This personal “comfort zone” is the invisible, but very real area that defines the boundaries of what we know and understand. By staying within this comfort zone we reassure ourselves that we are safe. And as long as we are safely held within the walls of what we know we feel secure and confident.

As we move closer to the edges of that zone we begin to feel a bit shaky and unsure of ourselves. But those edges are where we grow. And by stretching those boundaries we increase our ability to receive.

T. Harv Eker, the author of The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind has said that our comfort zone equals our money zone. In order to have more money in our lives we must expand our comfort zone.

I would add that our comfort zone equals our joy zone, our love zone, our fulfillment zone, our spiritual connection zone, you name it.

So if you want more of anything in your life, the place to start is with your comfort zone. By expanding your comfort zone you will get more of what you want. It’s that simple.

Now it sounds easy enough, but most of us have built up some pretty sturdy walls around our comfort zone. Pushing them out or breaking them down requires conscious, concerted effort. And I have found that it’s easier to expand the comfort zone in small, steady, steps than in great big leaps. But in order to do that, you need to intentionally take expansive action on a daily basis.

So to get you started, I’ve created a list of 50 actions that might expand your comfort zone.

Keep in mind that the parameters of everyone’s comfort zone are different. So if you already love to Scuba dive, number 30 on this list isn’t going to expand your comfort zone very much! But there are most likely other items on this list that will work for you.

Also realize that many of these can, and may need to be, turned around to work for you. For example, number 6 is “Be the first to say, “I love you.” But if you’re the one that always says I love you first, you’ll need to turn it around to “Let the other person say ‘I love you’ first.” For some of you that’s going to be quite uncomfortable, especially when the other person doesn’t say “I love you!”

This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list. It can’t be. Instead, it’s a catalyst and a reminder for you to take small steps each and every day that expand your comfort zone.

Here’s the list:

1. Try some new food.
2. Go on a silent retreat.
3. Ask for a raise.
4. Smile at strangers.
5. Say hello to people in the grocery store.
6. Be the first to say “I love you.”
7. Perform at an open mike night.
8. Eat at a local restaurant by yourself.
9. Take a day off from work to volunteer at your child’s school.
10. Go back to school.
11. Start a new business.
12. Moonlight as a waitperson.
13. Unplug the TV for a week.
14. Write in a journal every day.
15. Learn to surf.
16. Go to a different church/temple/mosque each week.
17. Get your news from different sources.
18. Live in another country.
19. Do a house-swap for a month.
20. Use public transportation.
21. Wear an outrageous outfit.
22. Meditate for 15-minutes a day.
23. Put your cell phone in a drawer for a full week.
24. Make a fool of yourself – on purpose.
25. Call someone you admire in your community and ask them out for lunch.
26. Ask someone you admire to be your mentor.
27. Switch sides (of the bed) with your partner.
28. Confront a phobia.
29. Jump out of a plane (with a parachute please!).
30. Learn to scuba dive.
31. Say I love you to your parents/children/siblings/friends.
32. Admit you were wrong.
33. Go to a movie by yourself.
34. Take responsibility for something you didn’t do.
35. Give away all one-month’s income.
36. Give a public talk on a topic you’re passionate about.
37. Join a networking group.
38. Disconnect the Internet for a week.
39. Ask for help.
40. Get a part time job as a checker at your local grocery store.
41. Enter an art show.
42. Forgive someone.
43. Join Toastmasters.
44. Start a blog.
45. Ask for a partial or complete telecommute arrangement at work.
46. Take lessons in something you’ve always wanted to try (art, music, woodworking, dancing, etc.).
47. Learn a foreign language.
48. Read a book in a genre you don’t usually read.
49. Delegate more of your work.
50. Get up an hour earlier than usual.
51. Try a therapy or modality that seems a bit “out there.”

Which of these have the most potential for expanding your comfort zone? Which ones made you gulp or start to sweat a bit?

Which actions did I leave off this list that, for you, are particularly effective at expanding your comfort zone?

Leave a comment below and share some of yours.

Stretching Your Comfort Zone Fuels Your Doubts

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Now matter how many times I experience it, I’m still amazed by how quickly and silently doubts creep in to my thoughts when I’m not paying attention. This is especially true when I’m moving out of my comfort zone and into unknown territory.

Yesterday’s announcement of the start of the Law of Attraction Carnival celebration was a bit of a stretch for me. It’s the first time I have really stuck my flag in the ground and said, “I’m here, I’ve got valuable content and I want you to come join me!”

It was an even bigger stretch of my comfort zone to go out and round up the great prizes (and they really are great!) I’ve lined up to generate some buzz for this celebration and ethically bribe more folks to come check out Evolving Times.

And, coincidentally or not, an interesting thing happened after I posted yesterday’s announcement.

When I woke up this morning and logged on to Evolving Times I saw that my subscriber count had shrunk from 446 to 345. A 25% decrease!

Immediately the doubts started creeping in.

“What did I do wrong?”
“How did I alienate so many of my readers?”
“Should I just forget this whole celebration thing?”

Fortunately, I’ve experienced this enough to know not to buy into that part of my mind. Believe me, I’ve bought into those tempting and seductive doubts many times in the past, and doing so just dumps you right back down where you started!

I’ve also learned that working through those doubts on my on can often be a long and tedious process. The quickest and easiest method I have discovered for moving through those doubts is to call in the cavalry!

And so I did. I immediately sent an email out to my blogging friends and support team asking for their feedback.

In less than 30-minutes I had replies from Gayla, Aaron, Dawud, Wendy and Dan affirming my guess that the drop in subscribers was probably a Feedburner glitch (turns out they dropped all the feedburner email subscribers – 124 – from the count today) and confirming my belief that the post, the celebration, the contest, and the prizes all provide benefit and value for my readers.

Doubts have a very hard time hanging on in the presence of outside support. It can be quite difficult to disable your own internal doubts. But when you ask for support from others, and receive positive feedback, the doubts just melt away. They can’t survive the heat of the truth.

No one is immune to these creeping doubts. If you are actively engaged in personal development you probably experience them on a daily basis.

And if you’re not actively pushing yourself to move out of your comfort zone, you may not notice them, but those silent doubts are what keeps you tethered to your comfort zone.

I strongly doubt that these doubts ever go away, no matter how “advanced” or “evolved” you become.

Joe Vitale, someone who has clearly achieved a high level of mastery of the Law of Attraction, had doubts when he had a surprisingly similar blog-related experience. Joe writes, “Amazing how the mind falls back to negativity if it isn’t guarded against.”

Joe used his hot-tub, his virtual “think tank,” to unravel the power of his doubts and get back on track. I used my support system, my friends to unravel mine.

What do you use? How do you unravel the power of your doubts when you are venturing out of your comfort zone?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Time To Spread Our Wings And Fly

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I’ve started re-reading The Artist’s Way At Work by Mark Bryan, Julia Cameron and Catherine Allen. It’s a specifically focused application of the tools from The Artist’s Way.

Last night I came across this chapter prologue that I feel compelled to share with you:

There once was a dragon that was lost at birth by its parents and raised among farm animals. It grew up to eat grass and walk the fields like other tame beasts.

One day an older dragon flew over the fields, breathing fire and scattering all the animals in the barnyard. The young dragon on the ground was fascinated and frozen in its tracks. The older dragon, spying its young cousin, swooped down, grabbed the younger one in its huge jaws and flew far up into the sky.

When they were so far up the houses looked like toys, the older dragon dropped the younger one from his mouth, causing him to fall screaming toward the ground. Then, just before the younger dragon would have been killed, the older dragon swooped down, caught him in his mouth, and returned him to the sky, where he promptly dropped him again.

This horrible fall happened several times before the young dragon, frightened and angry, finally spread his own wings and with a roar of fire, sailed high into the sky becoming – for the first time in his life – his real self.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of all these terrifying drops. I’m ready to spread my wings and fly. I’m ready to hold my head high and let out an amazing roar. I’m ready to let the world see my true self!

What will it take for you to spread your wings and fly? What will it take for you to re-member your true nature, your real self, and share it with the world?

Are The Stars Out Tonight: Basking In Mystery

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Since I have not yet begun writing any solstice entries for this year, I thought I would dust off an ezine article I wrote in 2004. It fits in nicely with his request for entries that “Champion the darkness.”

Here it is.

Are The Stars Out Tonight: Basking In Mystery

On a clear, crisp June night I’m lying in my sleeping bag at 10,000 feet in the Sierra’s Desolation Wilderness. Here, far from the light and haze of the Bay Area, the sky is deep black, but thick with twinkling dots and dim wisps of cottony light. When I look from the corner of my eye, the dim lights become more defined, easier to perceive as stars. To count them all would take years, if it was even possible. The number seems incomprehensible. And the mystery of what could exist out there, somewhere, at once inspires and humbles me.

Enthralled by the night sky, I struggle to keep my eyes open, knowing with a disquieting certainty that upon my return to the “real” world my focus will be drawn steadily and relentlessly away from the mysteries of the night sky.

The real world of responsibilities, work, relationships and bills provides a powerful distraction from the mystery of the night sky and the mystery of our lives. This point was driven home, recently, when I heard the following two intriguing but contradictory statements in the same day.

First, in a recording, Carolyn Myss observed that this is the first time in which entire generations will grow up without seeing the stars! Imagine growing up in a big, bright city, without the resources to leave, surrounded by light, smog and tall buildings that blot out all but the most determined of the celestial objects.

The second statement I heard came later that day, in an NPR story about the Hubble Space Telescope. A lead scientist for the telescope explained how, since the dawn of humanity we have been seeking to understand the origin of the Universe. This, he said, is the first time that we do understand it. We can see the spectral remnants from the Big Bang and actually listen to the sounds of the Universe moments after its formation.

What a strange world we have dreamed into existence. Our technology and science enables us to unravel the secrets of the stars while simultaneously creating communities that will never see them. As our understanding of our world and the Universe has expanded, we have, as a culture, become disconnected from the inherently mysterious nature of our existence. And as individuals we run the risk of losing touch with the powerful force of mystery in our lives.

When was the last time you laid out at night gazing into the sky? When was the last time you attempted to count the stars, or trace the outline of Ursa Major? When was the last time you wondered who or what might be out there in the vast reaches of space, or what your place is within this Universe?

Mystery is a source of power for humans. We draw creativity, passion, healing and inspiration from the Unknown. Artists, scientists, inventors and philosophers all speak of the mysterious nature of discovery, creation and problem solving. Shamans and Healers of all cultures understand that the unknown holds the power to heal and transform the Soul, Mind and Body. When we lose touch with that mystery, we lose touch with a source of personal and communal power.

Passion, too, comes from Mystery. Consider your intimate relationships, past or present. It is not the daily encounters or the practical matters that keep a relationship growing. Nor is it the moments of tenderness and intimacy. These are all integral parts of a relationship, forming the foundation and structure. But it is in the moments of Mystery and Discovery that the flame of passion is refueled: It is when your lover surprises you with a perfect gift. Or when you catch an unexpected glimpse of your partner kneeling over a flower to inhale its aroma. The door to Mystery opens also when your partner displays her anger for the first time, or when he trusts you with the sharing of a grief long held hidden.

These moments when you encounter something new and surprising about your lover take the relationship deeper into the mystery and are the moments of growth and renewal for each of you as individuals. It may be love that sustains a relationship, but it is the glimpses into the mystery that refuels love. Relationships begin to stagnate and die, not when love fades, but rather, when the doorway into the Mystery remains closed for too long.

This is equally true in your personal life. When you close the door that leads to your personal mysteries, you deprive yourself of a source of power and passion. One way to reopen that door, or open it wider, is to embrace the mysteries around you. How does a tiny acorn transform itself into a majestic oak tree? How do the birds know when it is time to migrate? How does this computer do what it does? What waits for us in the vast reaches of space?

Do not believe that the scientists know everything. If Christopher Columbus had accepted the prevailing wisdom of his day, he never would have set sail. If Einstein had believed the existing theories of matter, space and time, he would not have formulated the theory of relativity.

Bask in the mysteries. Challenge existing assumptions. Discover your own answers. Become curious and childlike when something intrigues you. Begin to open the door to the external mysteries and the door to your personal mysteries will soon follow. When it does, you will have access to a vast source of inspiration, creativity, and power.

Comfort Zone Equals Money Zone or I Don’t Do Touchy Feely

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On Saturday, as I was waiting for the hotel elevator after the Millionaire Mind Intensive lunch break, I overheard a snippet of conversation a man was having on a cell phone.

“I’m here at this Millionaire Mind Conference.” “Yeah, there’s been some pretty interesting stuff. But there’s also been a lot of touchy feely stuff. And you know me…I just don’t do touchy feely!”

He really put an emphasis on that last statement. “I don’t do touchy feely.”

One of the concepts that T. Harv Ecker teaches is a simple equation: CZ=$Z: The size of your Comfort Zone equals the size of your Money Zone. If you want to expand your money zone you MUST be willing to stretch the boundaries of your Comfort Zone.

Was this man in the hallway of the Holiday Inn willing to stretch his comfort zone? I don’t think so. How much is his Money Zone going to expand if he holds onto his pattern of not doing touchy feely? Not a whole heck of a lot!

Now here’s the thing. It’s never comfortable to stretch your comfort zone. After all it is called the comfort zone. During this seminar I was continuously challenged to stretch my comfort zone, beginning at the very first break.

The trainer, David Wood, challenged us to meet at least one new person during every break. “Can you commit to that?” he asked. “Yeah, yeah. No problem. I can do that.” I said. Well, actually, I got caught up in the energy of the moment and screamed at the top of my lungs. “Yes!!!”

Well, you may not believe this, but I’m not actually a very good new-person-meeter. I’d much rather be in my office talking to a coaching client, or sitting, anonymously in a café writing blog posts, or teaching small, intimate groups.

So when the first break came I found myself falling into a familiar (comfortable) pattern. I walked out of the hall (without meeting anyone new) headed up the stairs (without meeting anyone new) went straight out the doors of the convention center and found myself standing at the corner of the sidewalk, just about to take a “quick walk around the block to get some fresh air.”

That’s what the guardian of my comfort zone was saying. “Don’t worry. You’ll have time to meet someone after you walk around the block. But right now, you need some exercise and fresh air. Go on.”

STOP!

Before my foot stepped off the sidewalk, I caught myself, turned around, and walked right up to a woman that was standing there and said, “Hi.”

That’s all it took to short-circuit the part of my comfort zone that wants to remain invisible, unseen, and on the sidelines. At the moment when I said “STOP” and overruled the voice of my Comfort Zone guardian, I expanded the boundaries of my Comfort Zone and began to break a pattern that had kept me small.

After that break, I made a commitment to myself. I committed to meeting someone new at every break. I committed to breaking the pattern that kept me separate and apart from others. I committed to letting myself be seen and seeing others. I realized that, while I was quite an exceptional observer of others, as long as I remained on the sidelines, watching, I was not truly seeing them.

And here’s the best part: It got easier and easier. At every break, I met at least one new person. I had wonderful conversations and connections with these people. I got to see how my pattern of staying on the sidelines and not being seen was holding me back. I got to see just how irrational my fears were.

So let me ask you this: What is your “touchy feely?” What is one thing that you “just don’t do?”

How is that pattern holding you back? How is that pattern keeping you small?

Do you want to change that pattern? Do you want to stretch your Comfort Zone?

Remember CZ=$Z: The size of your Comfort Zone equals the size of your Money Zone. But it’s not just your money zone. The size of your Comfort Zone also equals the size of your Joy Zone, your Love Zone, your Fulfillment Zone… Get it?

If you want more of anything in your life, you have to be willing to stretch your Comfort Zone. Are you willing to do so?

If you say “yes,” I want you to click on the “add a comment” link down below right now, and let me know what one step you are going to take today to stretch the boundaries of your Comfort Zone.

One million unique visitors by June 2007

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Ok, I’m getting serious about this blogging thing, and I’m thinking bigger. Way bigger. The quantum leap from local teacher/coach reaching hundreds of clients/students to a blogger reaching and providing value to potentially millions of readers is, well, quantum! But that’s just what I’m doing. It’s stepping out of a big cushy comfort zone and into a whole new realm.

I know from experience that making a jump like that all in one step is difficult and can be dangerous to your health. So instead of taking one giant leap, I’m going to make it in a set of smaller yet still significant steps.

My intention is to double the number of unique visitors to this Evolving Times blog every month until I reach one million visitors. If my calculations are correct, given my starting point of 1000 (1017 to be exact) visitors in August, by doubling the visitors each month, by June of 2007 I will have 1,024,000, give or take a few thousand!

On the first day of each month I’ll post a screenshot of my visitor stats from the previous month. I’ll also periodically write posts about the specific marketing tools I’m using to generate the monthly doubling as well as the specific Law of Attraction techniques I’m using. I’ll let you know what’s working and what isn’t working so well.

I’m also very open to your input and suggestions. If you notice something I’m not doing that could expand my readership, or if you see something I am doing that is potentially decreasing my readership, please let me know.

I’m thrilled about this experiment in attraction and hope that you’ll follow along over the next few months to see how I’m doing.

Here are my visitor stats for August.

Summary  
Reported period Month Aug 2006
  Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
Traffic viewed * 1017
 
2067
(2.03 visits/visitor)
8607
(4.16 pages/visit)
17834
(8.62 hits/visit)
309.24 MB
(153.19 KB/visit)
Traffic not viewed *  
 
5372 7365 82.45 MB

* Not viewed traffic includes traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.

Clothing Comfort Zone – Forever in Blue Jeans

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Last night I had dinner with my good friend Mike Shea. We were discussing the book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and the upcoming Millionaire Mind Intensive that we’re going to in December. He said that he was going to take one of the “action steps” suggested in the book and buy himself some nice clothes. I agreed that looking “like a million dollars” is an important step on the path to financial freedom.

However, this morning, as I was getting dressed, I caught myself automatically reaching for my blue jeans. As I pulled them on I recalled our conversation. “But I love my jeans,” I thought.  “They’re so comfortable and they just feel right.”

And then the light bulb went off and the bell went ding, ding, ding! “You’re a winner!”

The keyword there was “comfortable.” Stepping into financial abundance means stepping out of the comfort zone. To become truly wealthy, to achieve true financial freedom, I must be willing to leave this place of “making enough money to get by but not having a whole lot more.” I have to be willing to step out of this familiar space and venture into the unknown.

Wearing blue jeans most of the time is just one way that I – until now – unconsciously have perpetuated my connection to my present financial state.

By choosing different pants in the morning, pants that cause me to consciously step out of my comfort zone, I will start my day with an outlook and attitude that is more attractive to the abundant wealth that I am now allowing into my life.

What actions do you take – or not take – every day that anchor you into some existing comfort zone? Pay attention today to seemingly mundane thoughts and actions that may be holding you back.

Leave a comment and let me know what you discover.

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