WARNING: Scabiness and Graphic Anatomical descriptions Below

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Over the last few months I’ve been watching my fingernail go through an amazing transformation. Back in May I crashed my mountain bike and crushed the tip of my finger. Can you say, “Ouch?”

Within a few days, the nail turned a beautiful, solid gothic black. It was fun having my daughter’s friends come up and say, “Did you paint your fingernail?” NO!

I’ve kept thinking that the nail was going to fall off. But it never did. It just kept hanging in there until, finally, I thought that maybe it would reattach itself and heal.

bleeding injured boyIn the past couple of weeks, though, it’s finally started disconnecting from the back side. And now I can see the tip of a new fingernail growing underneath the old one. It’s fresh and new and only comes about halfway up to the tip of my finger.

It’s reminded me of how a cut heals. Have you ever wondered what purpose a scab serves? I mean, those things can get pretty gross after a while. You know, bubbly, brown, and, just… well, scabby. Why can’t we just get rid of them? Why do even need them at all? And the why the heck did our mothers always yell at us, “Stop picking at your scab?” (But I bet you kept picking at it anyway, didn’t you?)

The thing is they really do serve a positive purpose. That gross, puffy, pussy, icky stuff (and those are all technical terms, by the way) protects the new skin that’s growing underneath. Your mom was actually being helpful when she told you not to pick at those scabs: If it comes off too soon, the skin underneath is thin and sensitive and just not ready to protect itself yet. It’s not ready for the rigors of the real world. It still needs the protection of the scab until it toughens up a bit.

For the past few weeks I’ve been going through a pretty “scabby” phase in my life. And it’s been difficult to not “pick at the scab.” It’s so tempting to try and rush through this space.

Whenever we hit a bumpy, “scabby,” spot on our personal journey, it’s pretty normal to want to rush through it, to peel that scab off and get to the new skin underneath. I mean, who wants to sit in the scabby stuff?

But when you rush through the rough patch it’s just like pulling the scab off a wound. It might feel good at the time, but the new growth underneath isn’t quite ready for the light of day. The new awareness, the new belief, the new way of being, is not quite ready for the rigors of the “real” world.

The rough spots you go through in life are your personal growth scabs, they keep your tender new growth safe until it’s ready to come out and play in the world.

Have you ever wondered why you keep coming back around to the same personal growth lessons? Often the reason is because you rushed through the scabby phase and the new growth underneath wasn’t quite ready for the world. So it gets re-injured, another scab forms and, voila, you’re right back where you swore you would never be again.

Of course, then you also have the added frustration of the voice inside your head saying, “Why the heck am I back here again? Why can’t I just get over this?” And that voice gives you even more incentive to rush through the scabby spot.

Don’t do it!

“Stop picking at that scab!”

Sorry, I just had to channel your mother for a minute! 😉

But seriously, as difficult as it is to sit in your stuff, to be in that scabby spot, if you can let yourself just be there, for as long as it takes for the new growth underneath to get ready, you’ll end up saving yourself some return trips to that particular scabby spot!

My fingernail is almost ready to come off. It’s temping. I can see the new nail underneath. It seems like it’s hard enough and I can’t even tell how the old, broken nail is still hanging on. Every time I start playing a fingerpicking song on guitar that old nail gets in the way and it’s really tempting to yank it off.

But I’m not. When the time is right, it will come off.

As I’ve been sitting in this personal growth scabby spot it’s been REALLY tempting to rush through it. And I’ll admit that there were a couple of days when I was doing everything I could to try and push through it. Didn’t work! Still here.

But now I’m willing to be here. And while the external circumstances haven’t changed, nothing has changed on the outside, I’ve relaxed into this scabby spot, knowing that, just like the fingernail, when the time is right, I’ll move through it.

So if you happen to be in a scabby spot right now, see if you can settle into it and let the scab fall off naturally. I guarantee you, it will. And the funny thing is that the more you can relax into the scabby space, the faster that new growth underneath will be ready to come out and play in the “real” world.

This is one time when not rushing will actually accelerate the healing process.

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.

marshmallow-narrow

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.

Fun Friday: If You Can Raed Tihs Yuor Sratgne Lkie me

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This just came across my email screen and I thought it was interesting and fun enough to share. See if you can read the two paragraphs below. And if you can, share this with some friends, then compare notes.

Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed tihs forwrad it

And I’d love to hear your results. Leave a comment below and let us know if you could read it or not. (There is no right or wrong answer!)

It’s My Birthday Bash And I’m Giving You the Presents!

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As I get older, I realize how much more fun it is to give things away on my birthday than it is to get things. I constantly find myself in awe and appreciation that I am able to do what I love, share my gifts with you and get paid for it. That is such an incredible gift for me to be living and experiencing every day of my life that when my birthday comes around I usually feel like giving even more!

Now don’t get me wrong: I LOVE receiving gifts! And hey, if you really want to give ME something, you can get me an Amazon gift certificate so I can I buy some of my favorite things… Books! My Amazon email address is info@edwardmills.com).

My birthday is on Thursday (9/18) and, after the life-changing week I’ve just come through at the Enlightened Warrior Training Camp, I feel like having LOTS of fun this week! And that fun is going to start by giving away some birthday presents to you!

Everyone is going to get some great gifts and offers, but if you act really fast, there are some truly outrageous opportunities available over the next few days.

Remember, the Universe Loves speed.

Throughout the week I’ll be reminding you of the special gifts as well as the super-special birthday offers on other products and events. If you want to take advantage of them, you’ll want to make sure to be at the appropriate webpage ready to go when the time comes!

So here we go!

Gift #1 – Free Brainwave Entrainment CD Download

Between now and Satuerday morning, you can download the complete contents of my CD: An Introduction to Brainwave Entrainment Technology for Personal Growth and Success.

This CD normally costs $16.95, but through Saturday morning at 9:00 am (Pacific Time) you can access it for free!

Brainwave Entrainment technology is a safe and proven tool for enhancing your ability to reach specific brainwave states quickly and easily. If you have not experienced the power of Brainwave Entrainment you will definitely want to grab this one! Make sure you download your Brainwave Entrainment CD before Saturday morning.

Gift #2 – A Free Copy of My Essay On Becoming An Evolutionary Warrior

This essay was my contribution to the award winning, Amazon bestselling anthology Healing the Heart of the World: Harnessing the Power of Intention to Heal Yourself and Your World.

You can download a free PDF version of my essay, On Becoming An Evolutionary Warrior for free.

Gift #3 – Energetics of Attraction Special — PLUS 20 Fast Action Super Special spots!

Next up is the Energetics of Attraction

. The birthday special on this one begins Wednesday morning at 9:00 am (Pacific Time) and runs through Saturday at 9:00 am.

Here’s the deal. Go check out the Energetics of Attraction webpage. But if you’re interested, don’t order yet. Because from 9:00 am on Wednesday morning through 9:00 am on Saturday morning, the special birthday price for this life-changing Digital Learning Course will be just $79.00.

And to make it even more fun and just slightly crazy, if you’re really fast, the first 20 people to place their order on Wednesday morning will pay just $49!

Yes, that’s $100 off the regular price.

It’s my birthday gift to you but you’ll have to be fast to be one of the first 20 people.

Gift #4 – Awakening to Greatness 3-day retreat Special – PLUS 4 Fast Action Super Special spots!

On Thursday the BIG FUN kicks in! You see, I came out of my week at the Enlightened Warrior Training Camp renewed, rejuvenated, and ready to kick my game up a notch or 200!

And I can’t think of a better time to begin that process than my birthday! And the place I’m going to be focusing most of this ramped up energy is on my new Awakening to Greatness 3-Day retreats.

The one-day Awakening to Greatness retreat rocked! But one-day was definitely not enough. So I’ve turned it into a 3-day retreat with the first one coming up on October 10th – 12th at the incredible Granlibakken Resort and Conference Center on the North Shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe.

This 3-day retreat will change your life. The one-day seminar changed a whole bunch of lives and with the new content I’ve added to the weekend course, you’ll go even further!

At this retreat, you’ll uncover your core, limiting belief and have the opportunity to literally step through that belief into a new, empowering belief that will lead you to the life of your dreams. You’ll work hard and go deep at this retreat, but you’ll also meet some truly amazing people, have a ton of fun and you’ll leave on Sunday night ready to share and shine much more of your brilliance out into the world.

Now, here’s the deal: This is an all-inclusive retreat: It includes your lodging Friday and Saturday night. And this is definitely NOT dorm room lodging. The accommodations at Granlibakken are outstanding, and there will just be two of you to a room. The retreat also includes all your meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. And, again, these are not Burger King meal. These are resort quality meals!

The 4-day retreat I just returned from cost me almost $3,000. And, without a doubt, it was worth every single penny. In fact, knowing what I know now, I would have paid 3-times as much for the event!

Awakening to Greatness will be equally transformative!

Now, because this is the first time I’m offering this 3-day event and I want to get the “buzz” going, I’ve already priced this Awakening to Greatness 3-day retreat at an extremely low price of just $997. (If you’ve been to any “all-inclusive” retreats, you know that’s an amazing price).

But for my birthday, I’m going to do something completely crazy! Actually, I think I might have blown a circuit at Warrior Camp or something! Look, I’m totally jazzed about this retreat and I want YOU to be there with us. I’ve been dreaming about and planning for a 3-day event for over 2-years. And now it’s right around the corner.

In my experience, when you begin something new, it’s good to give it a little jump-start, something to get it over that initial inertia and get the momentum going.

My birthday gift to you, will also be that jump-start for this new event.

Here’s the deal: from 9:00am Thursday 9/18 through 9:00am on Saturday 9/20, instead of paying the regular price of $997, you’ll pay just $595!

That’s a savings of over $400! And remember, that includes your lodging Friday and Saturday nights and all of your meals for the entire weekend! Believe me, at that price. I will not be making much money on your attendance at this retreat. But it’s worth it because I know that after you participate, you’re going to want to tell all your friends about it. And that’s how the buzz gets started. And I want there to be some big buzzing going on about this event!

And now for the truly crazy part: The Super Special, fast action offer!

The first 4-people to register, beginning at 9:00 am on Thursday, will pay just $479!

That’s not a typo! The first four people who register on Thursday morning will pay just $479!

That price is actually lower than my hard costs for this retreat. But, like I said, I feel like giving away some gifts for my birthday, and, personally, I can’t think of any better gift than the gift of greatness!

Now, in addition to those 4 super-special priced spots going quickly, I also have to tell you that there are only 17 spaces remaining in this event – which means that only 13 spaces will be  left after those 4 get snatched up. So even if you miss out on the 4 super-special spots, you want to jump on this offer as quickly as you can to make sure you get in at the birthday special pricing.

If you’re interested in the Energetics of Attraction and/or the Awakening to Greatness 3-day retreat you’ll want to bookmark those pages and make sure you’re ready to order at 9:00am on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Here they are:

The Energetics of Attraction.

Awakening to Greatness 3-day retreat.

Your Mama Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock N’ Roll

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I’ll admit I’m a fan of fun old 80’s music. Hey, it’s my era! And leave it to Loggins and Messina to encapsulate the cause of all of the problems of an entire generation!

Think about it, if the parents of my generation had just lightened up a bit, danced more, and listened to some of that long-haired, hippy rock n’ roll music, we’d all be much better off right now. Right?

Not!

All right, I’ll admit that I sometimes toy with the possibility of blaming the state of my life on my parent’s inability to cut loose and enjoy themselves. There’s no question about it: learning that life is to be enjoyed is not all that easy when you’re surrounded by folks who just don’t know how to have any fun let alone dance or rock n’ roll.

However, as a Deliberate Creator, living at the leading edge of thought, I don’t have that luxury. And if you want to firmly place yourself out here on the leading edge of thought, neither do you.

Here’s the thing; It doesn’t matter how “TRUE” it is. Deliberate Creation is not about what is true, what appears to be true, or what has been true in the past.

Deliberate Creation is all about what you choose to be true in the present and the future. What truth do you want to create? That is the only question that really matters.

You can continue to blame your life on your parents’ inability to dance and rock n’ roll. If you do, you’ll continue to live the life story you’re in now. And if that works for you, great. Go for it!

But if you want to change your life story, you have to write it. And that means you have to let go of blame regardless of how “true”  it might be.

So if you’re mama didn’t dance and you’re daddy didn’t rock n’ roll stop wasting your time and energy on what they missed out on and get out there and start doing some dancing and rockin’ and rollin’!

The Deliberate Creator’s Declaration of Independence

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Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to dissolve the Mental, Emotional, Physical and Energetic bonds which have connected one person to another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal privileges to which the laws of the Universe entitle them, their own self-respect requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Deliberate Creators are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creative Source with certain unalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty, abundance, joy and the pursuit of happiness.

To secure these rights, certain thoughts, beliefs and ideologies have been instituted among men and women, deriving their just powers from the consent of the people. And whenever any of these thoughts, beliefs or ideologies becomes destructive to these unalienable rights, it is the responsibility of Deliberate Creators to alter or abolish them, and to institute new ones, laying their foundation on such principles and organizing their powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to empower their natural states of abundance, joy and love.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that beliefs long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. But experience has shown that individuals are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the beliefs to which they are accustomed. But when existing thoughts, beliefs and ideologies sabotage, subvert and ultimately destroy the will of Deliberate Creators, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such belief systems, and to create and embrace new beliefs that empower their strength, prosperity and evolution.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Deliberate Creators; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of thought, belief and ideology. The history of the existing Prevailing Belief System is a history of ongoing injury and usurpation, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these Deliberate Creators.

To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • This belief system would have us base our actions on fear.
  • This belief system holds that we lack personal power.
  • This belief system affirms that we are unable to manifest our desires.
  • This belief system defines the world as a dangerous place.
  • This belief system alleges that scarcity and lack is our natural state.
  • This belief system asserts that we are meant to struggle and suffer.
  • This belief system avows that vulnerability, intimacy and trust are weaknesses.
  • This belief system affirms that we are unworthy, undeserving and not good enough.

We, therefore, the representatives of the Deliberate Creators of the World, appealing to the Creative Source for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of all Deliberate Creators, solemnly publish and declare, that we are, and of right ought to be free and independent from the Prevailing Belief System; that we are absolved from all allegiance to those beliefs and that all Mental, Emotional, Physical and Energetic connections between us and the Prevailing Belief System, are and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent Deliberate Creators, we have full power to attract our desires, seek ever greater joy, engage in inspired action, bask in the limitless abundance of this Universe, and do all other things which true Deliberate Creators may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Creative Source, we mutually pledge to each other our support, our encouragement and our sacred honor.


If you would like to join us in declaring your independence from the prevailing belief system, add your name to the comments below. Every signature added to this document weakens the prevailing belief system and strengthens the new beliefs that empower our ability to create the lives we desire and the world we want!

So go ahead and sign your name now!

Are you willing to be the hero in your life story?

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And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

— Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

I rented the movie Transformers last week. Now hold on just a minute before you give me a hard time. Sometimes you just need to chill out with a mindless movie. I never watch TV so once a week I give myself the opportunity to indulge my inner child and watch a fun movie. And this was actually very fun!

But I’m not writing this to get you to go out and rent Transformers. (Although I know you want to!) No, this is about your life. Isn’t it always?

You see, as I was watching, I started to think about why we have so many action/adventure/sci-fi movies and why I enjoy them so much (especially the sci-fi ones). And as I was watching and thinking about it (so much for mindless!) Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces  popped into my head. Now you’re probably wonder what the heck does Joseph Campbell have to do with the Transformers? Not a lot, really. But somehow through my warped grasp on reality I managed to tie them together!

If you don’t know Joseph Campbell, he was perhaps the most famous and influential mythologer of the 20th century. And, let’s face it, as sad as it might be, these movies are a major part of our cultural mythology. I mean I grew up on Marvel comic books and those little suckers provided the stories and myths that I needed to make it through an otherwise life draining childhood.

And whether myths are stories told around a campfire, or tales told during a sweat lodge ceremony, or action adventure movies watched in 3D, they server a purpose. And that purpose is to remind us that we are the heroes of our lives.

We’re all on a hero’s journey. Whether or not we know it, our lives are the journey and, like it or not, we are the hero! The problem is that most of us never realize that we’re the hero on the journey of our life because our lives don’t very often resemble the Transformers or Lord of the Rings, or the Matrix, or Live Free or Die Hard.

Mostly we think that our lives are just, well, normal.

But that’s where we’re wrong. Our lives are anything but normal. And we get to choose, in every moment, whether we’re going to be the hero in our life, or if we’re going to watch our life pass by.

Remember the scene in Three Kings (another one of those hero myth movies) where George Clooney explained how courage worked to one of the other guys.

The way it works is, you do the thing you’re scared shitless of, and you get the courage AFTER you do it, not before you do it.

Well that’s how life works, even if you’re not in the Iraqi desert trying to find Saddam’s gold. Except that in our “normal” lives the things that we’re scared shitless of don’t seem like they should be all that scary. So we don’t think that our lives are an adventure or a journey. And we don’t think that we’re the heroes. But we are.

But every time we do the thing we’re scared shitless of – things like saying yes when the boss asks for someone to do a presentation, or starting our own business, or telling someone welove them for the first time, or asking our crush out on a date – we’ve stepped into the role of hero in our life.

So stop waiting for your life to turn into an adventure and start living as if it’s an adventure now!

Stop waiting for the moment when you have to be “heroic” and start looking for those moments right now, every day.

You don’t have to be battling Megatron to be a hero. Your battles are happening right now, even as you’re reading this. Ask yourself, “What would a hero do, if he or she was living my life right now?” And then go and do it!

The Italian Driving Method of Personal Growth

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Did you ever see the 1970’s super-cheesey movie, Gumball Rally? Alright, I admit I probably watched it about 20 times back then. It was fun, when I was ten.

Well, for some strange reason, a scene from that movie popped into my head the other day. (This might give you some insight into my state of mind!)

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this cinematic tour de force, The Gumball Rally is an illegal New York to LA car race with absolutely no rules. The winner, in addition to all the glory, gets to take home the coveted Gumball Machine! And I’m sure you can imagine the creative sorts of mischief that the drivers get up to as they attempt to arrive before everyone else at that finish line.

The scene that popped into my head takes place at the beginning of the movie and the starting line of the race. It’s our first introduction to the driver of team Ferrari, Raul Julia, who is sitting in his Ferrari convertible with his co-pilot, a much less experienced, and if my memory serves me, non-Italian, driver. Raul turns to him and says:

“And now my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving…” Here he reaches up, rips off the rear-view mirror and tosses it, with much Italian flare, out of the car. “…What’s-a behind me is of no importance. ”

Now certainly don’t recommend that you rip the rear view mirrors off of your car and start driving around with that attitude. However, when it comes to personal growth, I think this rule has some validity.

There is an approach to personal growth that goes something like this: “Until I uncover all of my past wounds and heal each and every one of them, I will never be happy, fulfilled and abundant in my present life.”

This attitude is rarely that explicit, and it’s almost never conscious. But there are many people (and I speak from my own personal experience as well as my observations of others) who, on some level, believe they can not have a great life until they have “handled” all of their past wounds. They seek answers to the questions: “Why am I the way I am now?” “Why do I always act this why?” “What happened to me?” “Who did this to me?”

That approach to personal growth has the potential to suck us down the rabbit hole into a never-ending search for the “cause” of what is “wrong” with us. We can end up traveling back in time to heal our past more often than we spend rooted in the present, focused on creating a better life now! At that point, our journeys into the past are not longer about finding answers that can help us improve the present. Those journeys become a way of avoiding the work that will create the positive changes in our lives.

And that’s never a good thing!

Here’s something I’ve discovered, something those voices don’t tell you when they’re suggesting that you take another journey into your past to find another wound to heal. You ready?

Balancing a bit of Raul Julia’s attitude can often create a more healthy relationship with the past and lead to a better life now and into the future.

I’m not suggesting that you completely throw away the rear view mirror when it comes to looking at your past. I don’t think that’s even possible. But maybe spending a bit less time looking in that rear view mirror would be helpful.

Certainly there is a lot that we can learn from exploring our past, including (and perhaps especially) the painful parts. But if we are to truly grow, the information we discover must be used to empower positive change in the present. In other words, we must act in the present on what we learn from the past.

So the next time you find yourself heading down memory lane, before you go there, remember the young, suave Raul Julia, sitting in his Ferrari and repeat these words: “What’s-a behind me is of no importance!”

11 Tips to Lighten Up The Compulsively Serious (or Break the Grip When Seriousness Strikes You)

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serious faceIs there someone in your life that’s always serious? Someone who’s quick to point out the risks involved or why you shouldn’t do something.

Or perhaps there’s a part of you that falls into that serious space from time to time? I do. I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky sort of guy most of the time. But every so often I feel my serious side starting to get a bit ambitious. And before it gets out of control I like to bring some balance and lightness to the situation.

Now don’t get me wrong, seriousness is not a bad thing. But it has the potential to become a problem if it’s not balanced with fun and lightness.

So here are some tips that I use (well, maybe not all of them!) to stay balanced. Maybe they can help you lighten up your serious side. And, of course, feel free to pass these on to some of your more serious sidekicks!

1. Go to a funny movie.

Laughter is one of the best remedies for out of balance seriousness. Get yourself to a funny movie and let the laughter break the spell. Extra points if it has no redeeming qualities. We’re talking Dumb and Dumberer here!

2. Hang out with fun people.
When you catch yourself getting serious, it’s time for a fun infusion. You do have some fun friends, don’t you? Call them up and go hang out with them. Extra points for every stupid joke told!

3. Take a break from your serious friends.
You know the ones I’m talking about! Now, don’t worry, you don’t have to dump them forever. Just take a few days off. You’re in fun infusion mode. The fewer rain on your parade types you have around the better. Extra points for not calling your parents or some other especially serious fixtures in your life!

4. Do something just for fun.
When serious strikes the last thing you feel like doing is anything without a definite purpose. That’s why it’s an especially good serious antidote. Go to the beach. Go for a hike. Play a game of golf. Put on a CD you haven’t listened to in a while. There’s got to be something you can think of that you could do just for fun. Extra points if it’s during work hours!

5. Get drunk, alright tipsy works.
No, I’m not condoning alcoholism here. This one is more for those mostly teatottaling types like me. Once in a while, a drink or two can help break the grip of seriousness and let the fun come out. Extra points for playing pool really badly while drinking a beer!

6. Surf YouTube for funny videos.
Sometimes a hilarious five-minute video will do the trick and snap you out of that serious space. Extra points for stopping after just one!
Here’s a good one to start you off:

Thanks to Caroline Middlebrook for turning me on to this one!

7. Go on a news boycott.
Let’s face it: the news is pretty darned serious. We could probably get away with calling it somber, sobering, or downright depressing! When the serious spell starts to grab hold of you, taking a few days away from the news can make a huge difference. Extra points if you use your regular news reading time to catch up on the comic strips!

8. Hang out with some young kids.
Kids, especially the little ones, haven’t had enough time hanging around with us to get too serious. So spending time with them is a great why to relieve the serious stuff. Extra points if you build sandcastles along with them!

9. Go bowling.
All right, it doesn’t have to be bowling. Could be badminton, bocce ball, or anything that is so far removed from your normal athletic pursuits that you won’t care how bad you do and will just let yourself have a goofy good time. Extra points for standing at the line and doing the kid-style, two-handed, underhand bowling throw!

10. Have a Karoke Party.
Gather up your friends and head down to your local karaoke bar and start belting out those tunes. No karaoke bar available? No problem, you can buy a used karaoke machine at Amazon for under $50. And then you can have a karaoke party whenever you need one. Extra points for not allowing any Frank Sinatra songs!

11. Dance like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
As far as I can tell there’s absolutely no way to remain serious while doing some of JT’s moves from Saturday Night Fever. A close second would be dancing to the Village People’s YMCA. If you can keep a straight face while acting out those letters you’re a better person than me. Extra points for bringing the boom-box outside and doing it where your neighbors can watch!


6 Personal Growth Themed Halloween Costumes

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For those of you who have still not decided what you’re going to be for Halloween, here are a few last minute ideas that will let you put this holiday to good use from a personal development perspective.

And as a bonus, most of these costume ideas will make great conversation starters!

So come on in and browse through the Personal Growth Costume Corner.

First up we have:

slimeMetamorphic Slime

When a caterpillar goes into its cocoon a very interesting process happens. The body of the caterpillar completely breaks down into what scientists refer to as metamorphic slime. The caterpillar does not just lose a few legs and grow wings. Rather the caterpillar breaks down into the essential building blocks that then get recreated in the form of a butterfly.

From time to time in our personal growth it can feel as if we are breaking down into metamorphic slime! And sometimes, in order to be recreated at a higher level, it requires that we be broken down into the essential building blocks.

So if you are feeling the need to experience Metamorphic Slime on a physical level this costume may be the way to go.

I’m not sure how you would pull this one off. You might want to try making up a big batch of “Goo,” “Flubber,” or even “Oobleck!” Try this page for some recipes, or you can try this page.

Next we have:

Your Comfort Zone

That’s right, for the cost of an old cardboard box, you can create a model of your comfort zone! And what better to get to know your comfort zone than to dress up as it for Halloween.

Just get yourself a big box and cut out holes for your head and feet (leave your arms confined inside the box). Then hang all the beautiful things you want more of just outside the box: money (or dollar signs) love (or hearts) pictures of a new car or house, anything you can think of that seems to be just beyond your reach right now.

You’ll also want to hang your trick or treat bag on the outside of the box and watch helplessly as it gets filled with more and more goodies that you can’t reach. Sorry, you’re safely tucked away in your comfort zone!

For bonus personal growth points, at the end of the night, ritually break out of the box to symbolize that you are breaking out of your comfort zone.

Now, for those of you looking for a more traditional approach to a personal growth costume how about:

thorYour Favorite Super Hero

The great thing about super heroes is that, when they’re not out “saving the world,” most of them have real lives and real problems. Some of them struggle with money, some struggle with business, almost all of them struggle with relationships.

It’s a great reminder that we’re all heroes in some ways, even though we struggle in some areas of our lives.

If you’re focusing a bit too much on the struggles, a good Halloween costume might be your favorite super hero. It will help you shift your focus onto the hero inside of you.

And then there’s always the:

Great Master

jesusSometimes in our personal development it’s helpful to “act as if.” Halloween is a perfect time for exercising those act as if muscles. Dress up as Jesus, buddhaBuddha, Moses, Muhammad, or some other great Master. The key, of course, is to not just dress like them, but to become like them.

For one night, act as if you are this person. (That probably means you won’t be out tossing rotten eggs and smashing your neighbor’s pumpkins this year!)

And if you’re interested in sharing your dreams with your neighbors and friends, how about:

A Vision Board/Box/Sphere

Imagine walking around for a night surrounded by your visions. It’s possible. Create a vision board costume. It could be a vision board a vision box or a vision ball.

The box is probably easiest to make, and gives you the most room to dream big, and unlike the comfort zone box, this one would have arm holes. A vision board would work if you’re pretty skinny. And the vision sphere has a nice “no beginning, no ending” sort of feel to it.

If you’re going to do this one, just make sure you have LOTS of magazines available before you start!

And finally we have:

A Tuning Fork

Law of Attraction enthusiasts will recognize this one as a symbol of attraction. (We attract things into our lives based on our vibrational offering).

There are a number of ways that you could pull this one off. The details are up to you.

For bonus points, and a lot of fun, you could get a whole bunch of your friends to dress up as tuning forks. And from time to time, one of you can start “vibrating” which, of course, starts the rest of you vibrating until the whole group is happily buzzing! (This is good technique to use when the Halloween party conversation becomes a bit dull).

So have you found your last minute personal growth Halloween costume? I hope so. And if not, perhaps these ideas have triggered another possibility for you.

Whatever costume you choose, have a happy Halloween!

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