How Will You Spend Your Dash?

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Well Steve Johnson, at the Fast Lane, has again turned me on to a great link. It’s a quick little movie that is well worth the three minutes it takes to watch. Go check out The Dash.

Light and Death

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With all this death swirling around lately – my uncle passed over the Labor Day weekend, and my father-in-law departed this past Thursday – I have been struggling with how to address the heaviness that surrounds death. I felt the heaviness when I returned from Boston after my uncle’s funeral and I feel it now as we prepare to leave Nashville where we’ve been saying our goodbyes to Melissa’s father.

And right in the middle of all this, Rob Brezny, the Free Will Astrology guy, came to the rescue with a bit of inspiration and assistance in my weekly horoscope. Here’s what he wrote a couple of weeks ago:

There was one main reason why America’s founding fathers gave Thomas Jefferson, not Benjamin Franklin, the job of composing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They were afraid that Franklin, a compulsive teaser and trickster, would slip jokes into the document. In my opinion, we Americans would have been better served if Franklin had been chosen and allowed to mess around. After all, even the most profound commitments and weighty situations benefit from the leavening power of humor. Keep that in mind during the oh-so-serious games that are ahead for you, Virgo.

Hearing that gave me permission to lighten up a bit. Obviously, I’m not going to start cracking jokes when I hear of someone’s death or wear a clown costume to the next funeral I attend. But Brezny’s advice is sound, I believe, in that it reminds us of the importance of balance in all things, even death.

Is there really room for lightness and humor within the heaviness that surrounds death? I think so. Mark Twain, a master of bringing lightness to heavy subjects had this to say about age. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” It’s not a great leap from age to death. Certainly, age and death go hand in hand. And what is true for one must be true for the other. Therefore, death also, is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.

Thursday morning as I was preparing to fly down here to Nashville for the funeral, I spoke with my friend Duane Vos of Creative Window Fashions. He reminded me to have fun. “Have fun?” Are you crazy? “Remember, it’s all about fun,” he teased.

Thanks for the reminder Duane. It truly is all about fun. We’re here for joy, to enjoy this journey, all of it! Even, and maybe especially, our transition back to our Source.

 

Law of Attraction Carnival – Joy

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Welcome to the September 26th edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival. The topic of this edition is Joy. If you have spent any time at all studying the Law of Attraction you know that much of the information focuses on joy. Joy, it is said, is one of the most positively attractive vibrations that you can offer to the Universe. When you are feeling joy you are aligned with your desires, you are connected to Source, and you are drawing to you, things, people and events that are aligned with your desires.

Seems pretty straightforward, except for one thing. There is joy and then there is JOY. We have all experienced those fleeting moments of joy that bounce us up the emotional scale for a moment or a day or a week, only to find ourselves back down near our emotional set point when the moment has passed. This is joy. This is a feeling driven by external events. It is not powered from within but fueled from something outside. Because of that, its very nature is transient, temporary.

The other joy, the big JOY, the JOY that is powered from within, is not transient. It is, I believe, an expression of our true nature, an expression of our connection to Source moving through us. This JOY is not fueled by external circumstances. This JOY is independent of circumstances, events and things. When we are aligned with this JOY, what we have, who we are with and what is happening in the world around us are irrelevant.

Does this mean that the small joy is bad or that, as Deliberate Creators, we should seek to avoid the small joys and strive only for the big one? Absolutely not. For those small joys – the moments when we look into a lover’s eyes, or hear the innocent giggles of a baby, or step back and look with joy at a work of art we are creating – are moments that give us a taste of the big JOY. And each of those moments offers a potential doorway into the big JOY.

Yes, seek joy, step into the world following your guidance into relationships, places and situations that hold the promise of joy, but know that ultimately what you are seeking is the big JOY, the JOY that flows out from you into the world independent of anything around you.

So here then, are some entries from the blogosphere that focus on the topic of joy. Enjoy them. Pun intended. And see if you can begin noticing when you are experiencing joy and when you are experiencing JOY!

Dave Trager is right on in this entry: We came for the joy of expansion. That’s big JOY there, by the way!

At The Path of Power, Hieu Doan provides some good tips for integrating Visualization  into our lives. A very powerful process, as you become more proficient at visualizing, is to visualize JOY on a daily basis.

Raymond David Salas, at Zen Chill, has this entry on How to Be Irresistible. One of his tips is to Focus on what you love and enjoy. Yeah to that!

Over at the Glittering Muse, David Thomas has a wonderful entry about Wine as Life Shared. You can just feel the Joy swirling around in those glasses as he breathes in the aromas and lets those flavors awaken his taste buds. Ah, joy!

I’m going to pop one of my own entries into this Carnival as well. The article, Caution, Singing Driver or Tears of Joy Ahead, offers a personal look at the power of joy.

Bryan Flemming has this day-20 update on his Million Dollar Savings Club. Can’t you feel the joy as you count those dollars?

Kevin Chu at Smart Living for Smart people reminds us that setting goals will bring us great joy if we Don’t Wait Until it Hurts.

And finally, Alexander Becker, at WOW, inspires us to Leap Forward and Benefit from Nonlinear Growth. Leap on over to WOW right now and begin Leaping into JOY.

That’s it for this edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival. Our next edition will be out on October 10th. If you would like to submit an entry for an upcoming edition, please view the submission guidelines on the Law of Attraction Carnival homepage and then head on over to the blogcarnival site to submit your entry.

Until next time, enJOY!

A Good Day To Die

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I had a bit of a fright on the way home from the airport this morning. Driving home after dropping off my wife and daughter for their early morning flight to North Carolina, a truck suddenly pulled into the lane in front of me. No damage done, just a few extra quick heartbeats. But it did catalyze an interesting question – from an evolutionary perspective.

Am I ready to die?

Sure, it sounds a bit morbid, but hear me out on this one. The question was not if I wanted to die. I certainly do not want to die quite yet: I’m rather enjoying this physical experience. The question addressed whether I was prepared to depart this physical form at this time. In other words, if today is my day to die, could I do so with a feeling of completeness and acceptance?

Some Native American warriors, before entering battle, would say a prayer: “Today is a good day to die.” This was not a death wish, but rather, an acknowledgement of death as a continuation of life and recognition of and desire to tap into the powerful intuitive perceptions that come from their non-physical essence.

I suppose that anytime you drive on the freeway you are entering a battlefield of sorts. And while I did not offer a prayer welcoming death before I began my drive home, the adrenalin that poured through me after the truck incident awakened that same sense of nerve-tingling anticipation.

This question, “am I ready to die, has arisen before often with no clear answer. The last clear answer came, not coincidentally, during Melissa and Ella’s last trip without me. At that time, over a year ago, the answer was a resounding “no!”

The sticking point, back then, was the prospect of never seeing my daughter again. Ella was not yet walking and the thought of missing her first, tentative steps opened a deep well of grief. That grief cascaded outward, projecting scenes of her future that I would miss: Her first attempts at sentences with juxtaposed words and dropped consonants, the anxiousness I would feel about her first dating experiences, driving her to college and helping her move into her dorm-room, handing her off to her future husband. Each of these scenes flashed through my mind, leaving me in tears at the prospect of missing these and so many other poignant moments.

Today, however, my response to the question was quite different. Instead of a welling up of grief, there was a long moment in which I deeply and effortlessly connected with the joy that I have already experienced. In that moment I felt complete. And, in that moment of completeness, I was able to answer, truthfully, that “yes” I was ready to die.

This completeness was an awakening for me. It was not based on having done or accomplished anything. Rather, it was based on my ability to be in a feeling space of acceptance and peace. As I held the question, “am I prepared to die,” in my mind, I was, for that brief, but intensely powerful moment, able to accept that the joy and love I have experienced has been enough.

As I write this, it seems somewhat less significant. And perhaps as you read this, the words will lack the profundity that I felt. But in that moment, driving up I-80, it felt big. I understood, perhaps for the first time, that the peacefulness for which I have been searching has nothing to do with what I have accomplished, or who I know, or how much money I have in the bank. That feeling of peacefulness is based solely on my ability to feel present and complete in each moment.

When I feel complete I am complete. It is that simple.

On the way home, I went for a pre-dawn hike at one of my favorite Marin County trails. Along the way I stopped to sit and absorb the silence and beauty around me. Bubbling up from within the silence arose a sense of how much energy it takes to monitor and maintain my physical body.

When I am “attached” to this life, or in a space where I feel the “need” to stay alive, I invest a great deal of energy to ensure that life in this physical body continues. Most of this energy is unconscious, and yet clearly comprises a large percentage of my overall life energy expenditure.

It was equally clear that all of that energy is wasted. My body knows how to take care of itself with little or no input from me. In fact it knows how to take care of itself far better than I do and my attempts to improve upon what it does best end up causing more harm than good.

Consider for a moment how much these physical bodies can take. They are like Timex watches: They take a lickin’ and keep on tickin.’ How incredible is it that these bodies can survive and recover from car crashes, falls, fights. Think of the self-imposed damage they can withstand from eating unhealthy food, ingesting toxins, and not exercising.

The life force that flows through our bodies is strong and requires no prompting or direction from our minds.

Life desires life!

Our bodies are the physical expression of our non-physical form. They are life and they desire more of it. We don’t have to “do” anything to monitor, ensure or improve upon the state of our bodies.

If, instead of continually trying to ensure our physical survival, we just got out of the way, our bodies would show us how perfectly suited they are to life in this physical environment. They would, if we let them, show us what it feels like to truly thrive. And, by letting go of our need to constantly take care of our bodies, we would gain a huge chunk of extra energy to invest in other areas of our life.

So, is today a good day to die? It certainly is a good day to ask the question, “am I ready to die?” For when you are ready to die, you are then truly ready to fully live and to thrive!

Caution: Singing Driver, or, Tears of Joy Ahead

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Accepting all I’ve done and said
I want to stand and stare again
Til there’s nothing left out,
It remains there in your eyes
Whatever comes and goes
I will hear your silent call
I will touch this tender wall
Til I know I’m home again.

Peter Gabriel

This past weekend, when my wife and I were up in Gualala for a quick overnight getaway, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Caution: Singing Driver. I loved it! It reminded me of how much I love to sing in the car when I’m alone and how long it’s been since I’ve really blasted out some tunes.

This morning, on the way home from dropping off my wife and daughter at the airport for their visit to Mimi and Pop-pop, I had a chance to let loose with some good tunes.
Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” the special mix live version, happened to be in the tape player. And if you haven’t heard that version, I highly recommend it. I was singing along with Peter, Paula and everyone else. I could feel the power of the positive, creative energy they generated when they recorded that song. It was palpable, both in their performances and in the response of the crowd.

As I sang along, with a beaming smile and tears running down my cheeks, so moved by the energy I felt flowing into and through me, I was reminded of a question that a student in my 12-week Law of Attraction course posed on the first night of class. After the guided visualization that connected her so deeply to her joy, she wondered how she could hold that level of intense joy, joy that threatens to bubble up and out of her through tears or other expressions.

At the time I wondered, a bit playfully, back to her and the entire class, why that would be such a bad thing. To feel joy so intensely that tears come would mean that, as Abraham says, you are pretty “tapped in, tuned in and turned on.”

Too bad it is that we don’t feel comfortable at the prospect of walking around all the time with tears of joy and a big smile on our faces. What would our neighbors and co-workers and family think of us? They’d probably consider us loony and have us hauled away to the funny farm. (Hmm interesting name!) 

When I picture the mystical poet Rumi, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine him walking around with tears of joy constantly flowing down his face. Jesus, too, I can imagine having extended moments of overflowing expressions of joy.

And while I’m not quite ready to call in 24/7 tears of joy, I am open to allowing many more experiences and expressions of joy into my life!

What brings you to tears? What awakens such a profound sense of joy that you can’t help but allow the tears to flow?

For me it is music that harmonizes with my essence, my daughter’s exuberant “dada!” as I walk in the door, a visit from a hummingbird just when I feel lost and disconnected from my joy, the story of a student sharing a newly remembered connection to their joy. These moments connect me to my joy. Yes, the joy threatens to and often does overflow into tears. And that’s just fine with me!

The Images of Money

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“If money was a person, who would it be?”

Drew Rozell asked me this yesterday during the Inner Circle Coaching Group that he leads. When I checked in, I immediately saw an imposing, conservative looking, older man, dressed in a suit and tie, obviously wealthy, and, at least to me, unapproachable and intimidating. In his presence I felt diminished, withdrawn, and I wanted to stay that way. I did not want to be seen by this man. The thought of being seen by him made me cringe, as if his attention would make me even smaller.

It was quite an image, and quite a revelation for me. Money has never been the focus of my practice. And that lack of focus has shown up through a rather inconsistent flow of money into my life. Some months there’s plenty, other months there’s not a whole lot. Seeing this image explained why true abundance has eluded me up to now.

At the beginning of the year, I made the commitment to shift my focus more towards money. Not that money would become the reason for what I do, but that it would become a welcomed aspect and benefit of my work.
When I connected with that old, unwelcoming man image of money I knew I had some shifting to do.

Who would I replace that man with? Who would I choose to represent money?
The answer literally came running to me in meditation.

The new image of money I choose to embrace is a young boy, perhaps eight years old. He is running around a playground, blissfully enjoying the sun and the swings and the jungle gym. He is beckoning me to join him, to play with him, to revel in the wondrous innocence of childhood and the abundance of the world around us.
There is so much freedom in that image. The feeling reminds me of the scene in the movie Hook when Robin Williams finally remembers that he is Peter Pan and takes off flying out over the sea.

For me, connecting with money from a place of innocence and joy and playfulness feels so much more inviting than from a place of conservative, stodgy seriousness. After all what is money for if not to expand the ways in which I can play in this life?

So when it comes to money, from now on you’ll find me at the park, swinging on the swings and sliding down the big spiral slide and generally have a grand old time.

And by the way, this image of money asked me to let you know that there’s always room for more playmates at the park!

I hope to see you there.

Start Your Day with a Smile

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Try this: Every morning, when you first become aware of your wakeful presence, smile! Start your day with a smile. Make it your intention to have the very first intentional thing you do each day be a smile. You’ll be amazed at how powerfully that one act can be at setting the tone for your day. Do it no matter how tired you are, no matter how little sleep you got, no matter how much you’re dreading some aspect of your day. Smile.

I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Remember that a smile can brighten a person’s day. And if you wake up with a smile, it just might be your day that gets brighter.

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