Love

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That just about says it all!

The Beatles expanded on it a bit when they sang, “Love is all there is.”

Today we get the opportunity to live into that truth. When we peel away the layers of conditioning and commercialism that have clouded the meaning of this day and of this word, it is possible to remember the truth that Love is truly all there is!

How can you live into that truth today?

How can you express more of your love today?

Can you let go of what you “think” love is?

Can you let go of what you have been taught that Valentine’s Day means and open, instead to the deeper meaning of love?

butterfly-heartWhat would it take to offer yourself, in love, to your lover, to your family, your community and to the world today?

Can you reach inside of yourself, find more of the love that is your essence and offer it freely and joyfully?

That is the biggest gift you can offer on this Valentine’s Day and every day.

And, in truth, that is the biggest gift you can give yourself: For when you share more of your love freely, without conditions, without expectations, guess what circles right back around and flows into your life…

You got it… More love.

To borrow from the Beatles once more:

“And in the end…
the love you take
is equal to the love you make!”

So what are waiting for?

Go make some more love! 😉

In Relationships When One Of You Wins Both Of You Lose

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As we move towards Valentine’s Day it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, the thrill of new romance, the highs of love, the heat of passion, the thrill of the pursuit.

But what happens later, as you move deeper into the relationship, further into your connection? What happens as you begin to discover the “edges,” and the areas of disagreement and conflict?

And what if you’re at one of those edges now? What if Valentine’s Day is activating one of those areas of conflict? What then? What now?

There is a simple – though perhaps not easy – shift that can help you move through those edges. In my personal experience, and in my observations of clients and friends, when couples move close to that edge, that conflict space, the immediate, and mostly unconscious, reaction is one of defensiveness. Each person in the relationship wants to “protect their turf.” Each partner wants to “win” the battle.

But when one of you “wins” the battle that means the other loses. And if you keep focusing on winning those battles, there can be no winner in the war.

If one of you loses, you both lose.

And as strange as this sounds, if one of you wins, you both lose!

In any conflict or argument or difficult situation the key is not to win, it’s not about “being right” but rather about making it right!

Instead of defending your turf, can you share your turf?

Instead of winning at all costs, can you open up to hear what your partner needs to win?

There is a concept that says “Give to others that which you most want for yourself.” In other words, if you want more money, help others get more money. If you want more peace in your life, bring peace into the life of someone else. If you want more love in your life, share more of your love with others.

And when you find yourself in a place of conflict in your relationship and you feel the desire to “win” surging up inside you, remember that when you help another win, you win.

So in those moments, see if you can pause and ask yourself, “What can I do to help my partner win in this situation?”

Because when you help your partner win, you both win. And, more importantly, your relationship wins!

Remember, when one of you wins, both of you lose.

But when you help your partner win, you both win.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

Does Love Complete You or Awaken You to Your Own Completeness?

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I’m learning to play John Mayer’s song, Fathers, and in the first line he sings:

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world.

I love that. But I also question it.

Can a girl really put the color inside of my world?

Can the love of a girl put the color inside my world?

I mean, shouldn’t we put the color into our own world? And really, isn’t the color there already? Maybe it’s just waiting to be seen… or to be shown.

It also got me thinking about the movie Jerry Maguire and that whole “You complete me” theme they had going.

Same questions:

Can someone complete me?

Can love complete me?

Aren’t I already complete? Maybe I just need to remember that completeness?

I’ve got some more thoughts on this, but I’d love to hear what you think. I’ve really enjoyed your comments and insights on my Ring of Fire “coincidence” and want to open some space for you to share your thoughts here as well.

The Law of Attraction Blog Carnival Is Posted

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Well after a hiatus of a few months, the longest running blog carnival dedicated to the Law of Attraction is back. The newest edition, #28 is now posted at Living the Law of Attraction. This edition is on relationships.

I am so pleased the Ellie and Dean of Law of Attraction for Beginners have stepped in to make sure that this carnival continues!

So go check out this edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival and the excellent articles. And if you want to catch up on some past editions you can check them out at the Law of Attraction homepage.

Aloha Spirit Is Alive

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In May, my wife and I took a weeklong vacation to Hawaii. It was our first extended trip alone (without baby) since Ella was born over 3 ½ years ago. During our time there we had the opportunity to connect in a much deeper way than we had in the past 3-plus years.

As graduates of the 2-year Master of Intuition Medicine program at the Academy of Intuition Medicine in Sausalito, California, we both use our training in our work with others, though we rarely find the time during our regular life to work on each other. We did in Hawaii.

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While Melissa was working on me I had some very interesting insights and felt quite a bit of old “stuff” clearing out. But the most interesting and awakening moment for me came at the very end of the session.

Normally, at the end of our intuitive sessions we follow a specific energy “protocol” to complete and close the session. However, when Melissa was finishing her work with me, she felt guided to use a new and unfamiliar energy in the closing protocol.

When she asked me if that was ok, I told her it was fine. (I tend to be less attached to following protocols than she is, but that’s another story!).

Even though this energy was new and unfamiliar it filled me with a sense of belonging and a feeling that I was being held. It felt like I was being pulled into the embrace of a large, loving grandmother and being completely wrapped in her welcoming arms.

But within that sense of belonging there was also a strong and distinctive undercurrent of forward motion and awakening running through that energy.

It was unlike any energy I had experienced prior to this session. Soft, warm, nurturing and accepting and yet catalyzing and purposeful at the same time.

I felt accepted for who I am now and encouraged to become more fully and truly me. It was a powerful and strange feeling.

After the session, while Melissa took a shower, I walked across the street to “our” beach on the north shore of Kauai. Standing at the edge of the water, watching the waves flowing into the shore I had one of those experiences that really can’t be fully expressed in words. I felt the energy Melissa had just used flowing up into me from the Earth. And as it flowed into me I had the clear sense that I was being “shown” the creation and history of that energy.

The Hawaiian Islands are quite “young,” geologically speaking. Kauai, the island we were on, is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, having emerged from the ocean floor a mere 5 million years ago. While the youngest island, Hawaii or The Big Island, is still in the process of being forming.

As I stood there on that beautiful, calm, and peaceful beach, I could feel that, because of its relative geologic youthfulness, the vast energy of the island’s creation is still alive in the rocks that underlie the land. The heat and fire of the upheaval that forced the molten lava up out of the ocean still lives in the essence of that island.

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But that heat and fire has been softened and tempered by the coolness of the lush vegetation that now covers the island as well as the pristine water that surrounds it.

And then I had a flash of intuition that told me that I was experiencing Aloha energy.

I had heard of the Aloha Spirit, but I always thought that it meant the courtesy and warmth you feel from the residents of the islands.

It never occurred to me that Aloha Spirit referred to the energy of the Islands themselves.

I know that Aloha means many things to the indigenous people of the islands: Hello, goodbye, love, and probably much more that I’m not aware of.

But in that moment, on the beach, I have no doubt that I was feeling the True Spirit of Aloha. It was much more than a word, it was a living presence embedded in the essence of that land and I felt it holding me, accepting me and also urging me to become a more complete expression of my essence.

Standing there, basking in that energy, I understood why so many people are drawn to those islands. And I knew that I would return.

And I know also that every place has its own essence, its own unique energy. And no matter where you are, you can tap into the essence of your place to find acceptance, support and encouragement.

Try it.

Go outside and find a quiet spot. Feel your feet on the Earth. Let go of your connection to daily concerns and stress. And invite that energy to join you.

It will!

You may not notice it at first. But if you continue to make time to go outside and find those quiet places you will begin to feel the Spirit of your place!

And when you do, you will know the beautiful feeling of being held and accepted while also being encouraged to move forward into a bigger, and more complete expression of who you truly are.

What Is Your Learning Edge

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I first heard the term Meme Debt from Aaron Potts. I don’t know if he coined the term, but I love it, and it definitely applies to me right now!

With three more memes in the hopper, I’m just now getting to Adam Kayce’s excellent meme, What’s Your Learning Edge?

When I read his post, I had a visceral reaction. The clarity and laser focused quality of his challenge opened the door to some deep personal reflection.

Here is Adam’s challenge:

If you’re not currently pushing the envelope of your intellectual horizons… or if you’re feeling a staleness in your life that you wouldn’t mind giving the ol’ heave-ho to… then I invite you to pick something that you’ve always been curious about, and dive into it with all the passion of a two-year-old on a playground.

I love that! But I have one little problem with the specifics of that challenge. I’ve never had a problem pushing the envelope of my intellectual horizons. Learning, seeking knowledge, wanting to understand things has always been a passion and a joy for me.

And, admittedly, it’s also been a bit of an escape for me as well.

During my younger days, I could have been (and probably was more than a few times) called a “know it all.” I did know quite a bit, and when something crossed my path that was unknown to me I went out and learned about it.

I remember an incident back in the mid-80s, when I worked in the video production department of a large life insurance company (can you believe it?). I once caused the department secretary to literally jump up and down and and gleefully shout to the world she knew something I didn’t.

I realized then that I had a bit of a problem.

“Hello, I’m Edward Mills and I’m a Know it all!!!”

Well, since then, I’ve relaxed quite a bit. Although I still love learning I’m not quite so invested in needing to know everything!

So in response to Adam’s challenge, I could certainly find a number of different topics to dive into with the most likely winner being a deeper exploration of Systems Theory.

However, if I am to be honest with myself, and with you, that would not push any “edge” for me.

When I consider the visceral nature of the reaction I had to Adam’s post the first time I read it, I must acknowledge that my learning edge is not attached to my intellectual horizons.

So, Adam, I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to stray just a bit from the specifics of your challenge.

The learning edge I am going to push has to do with Creating and Sustaining Relationships.
My presence here in the blogosphere has pointed out one of my core weaknesses – or rather, one of the areas where I have a prime opportunity to grow!

When I look back through my relatively short blogging history I see that it is littered with budding relationships that I have allowed to fizzle out. (Yes, I acknowledge that it takes two to tango, or not, as the case may be).

You might look and think that I’m a pretty good connector, but my blogging past – not to mention my life before blogging – is littered with connections that have faded.

My learning edge has to do with learning how to sustain relationships. And the blogosphere is a great medium for this lesson.

There are many great resources and role models out there for me to learn from. Adam is certainly doing a great job! And I consider Dawud and Wendy to be stellar examples of excellence in connection. I’ve also gotten truly wonderful advice from Ponn, Char, Easton, Gayla and, of course, the master connector Dan. Many thanks to all of you!

By intentionally choosing to “hang out” with more “connectors” I will push my edge and learn how to more fully and effectively participate in the growing conversation that we are creating here in the blogosphere.

But I’m also going to reach out beyond the confines of the blogosphere and push my edge by deepening connections in the “real world!”

It’s certainly no coincidence that I won the book Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More during Wendy’s blog birthday celebration. (I just noticed that Lisa Mills won another copy of Meet and Grow Rich. No relation but maybe a new connection!)

One of my assignments is to finish reading the book and start up a local business Mastermind group – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time!

So in the spirit of picking up some dropped balls, I’m going to tag a few old friends to find out what their learning edges are:

Phylameana at Spiral Visions, David at Glittering Muse, Steve at the Fast Lane, Gleb at Personal Development Blog, and Alex Shalman.

So here’s a question for you master connectors out there: What other books about connection and relationship building do you recommend? And what online resources do you recommend – specifically who are the blogers that best exemplify the art of connection?

And now it’s your turn. If you have a blog, go write a post about your learning edge. If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment below. What is your learning edge? What will you commit to learning with the passion of a two-year old at the playground?

Our Home Feels A Bit Empty This Morning

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Our cat, Rasta, moved on from this physical world Sunday evening. It was not a surprise. She had been fading for the past few months, and in the last week it became clear that she was moving out of this physical world.

The swirl of emotions that Rasta’s passing has stirred up in me has been a bit surprising. In less than 48 hours I have run the spectrum from sadness and guilt all the way up to relief and joy. It’s amazing that such a small creature can have such a large impact.

Even though my wife had found her, abandoned and scared, a few months before we met, Rasta was really my cat. I remember the first time I visited Melissa in Phoenix and Rasta would barely take a step inside the house. By the time I left, she was actually letting me pet her for a few minutes before scampering outside again.

Over the course of the next few months, as my relationship with Melissa deepened, so did my connection with Rasta. And as she discovered that she could trust us, her true, deeply loving nature came out. She would sit in our laps, purring or sleeping, while we watched movies or talked on the couch.

Watching Rasta settle back into a space of trust and love was highly rewarding, although I sense that she never quite returned to the same level of trust that she probably had with her first family.

As I write this, I realize that Rasta’s abandonment and my adoption may have created a special bond between us, one that engendered trust and a deep connection.

And then Ella came along. It’s been said that when a child joins a family the pets take a back seat. And as I look back on the past 3 ½ years, this is where my sense of guilt and regret comes in.

I realize that I did abandon Rasta. Not by leaving her behind when we moved, or forgetting to feed her, but by dramatically decreasing the attention and love that I showed her after the arrival of my daughter.

Admittedly, it would have been much easier to continue nurturing Rasta if she had been a bit less reactive. From the time that Ella was born, Rasta expressed her displeasure with the situation by constantly peeing in Ella’s room, becoming increasingly more finicky about what she would eat, and just generally being aloof.

As I look back I can see that we got ourselves into a cycle of disconnection. My attention shifted to Ella. Rasta reacted by peeing in Ella’s room. I got upset and disconnected further. Rasta became more aloof. And on it went.

It’s not so different from the patterns of protection that we create in our relationships with other humans!

But that doesn’t make it any easier to recognize that I could have broken the cycle by reconnecting with Rasta. I did try, but it never seemed to be enough for Rasta and, with the added responsibility of fatherhood, I just could not create enough time to make it enough for her. If I went to Rasta’s corner and sat down to love on her, she would often get up and walk away, almost defiantly daring me to follow her.

So in the last few days of her life, when she could do nothing more than make weak little mewing sounds and roll over where she was laying, it felt good to reconnect with her. I would lay there with her and scratch her head and neck. And she would push her head into my fingers, moving her head to help me find just the right spot.

It felt as if we were both remembering the love that had connected us in the beginning. Rasta no longer had the energy to put up her walls and resist my affection. And I made the time to lay there on the floor and reconnect.

In the end, Rasta passed quietly and peacefully on her own. I was upstairs, putting Ella to bed (ironically).

Rasta

Here is Rasta “playing” with one of Ella’s toys. She discovered that she could push on the buttons and make them talk or play music. I swear she knew which one was the cat button and pushed it more than the others. I don’t think I ever heard her push the dog button. But that could have been a coincidence!

The Face Behind Evolving Times

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I’ve been tagged by Dawud Miracle at Healthy Web Design with the latest meme – The Face Behind The Blog. David Airey started this meme a few weeks ago and you can see all the folks who have particpated in it so far in this post. Seeing these photos is a great way to connect with the people behind the blogs you read.

Here’s the basic idea from David:

Post a short blog article that includes a photograph (or a series of photos) showing the face behind your blog. If you already show a photo somewhere on your site (such as in your about page), then make your post more interesting and choose a photo that’s not currently online.

Alrighty then. Here are a few photos to show you the face behind Evolving Times.

DSCN0553

What can I say? Here’s the real face behind Evolving Times! Well, maybe that’s just one of the many faces behind Evolving Times. Read on for more!

M&E on the Napali Coast - Close up

Here’s my wife Melissa and I on the Napali Coast, well part of us.

Melissa & Ed on Hanalei Bay Beach

Here’s the rest of us! Yes, I love taking self portraits this way. Oh, and this one was on the beach at Hanalei Bay after we had renewed our vows for our fifth anniversary!

Ella & Dad in the Garden

Here’s me and Ella studying something in the garden. We’re probably watching a snail eat our plants!

Our House

Here’s our little house and my little garden. Don’t have time for much more than that these days.

Melissa & Ed at Kilauea Lighthouse

Here’s Melissa and I again in Hawaii. This time at the Kilauea Lighthouse.

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Who taught Ella to do that?

Drumming

A behind the scenes look at me would definitely not be complete without a photo of a drum circle! This one was at our annual New Year’s Eve party and ritual.

Tired Ella after her bath

And here’s a very tired Ella after her bath.

So there’s a very quick look at some behind the scenes photos of the face behind Evolving Times. I hope you enjoyed it!

I’m supposed to tag a few of my favorite bloggers, although it seems like everybody in the world has already been tagged. Sorry if I’m double tagging you, but here I go.

Aaron at Today is that Day

Shama Hyder

Gleb Reys at Personal Development Ideas

Ponn Sabra at Empower Women Now

Dan & Jennifer at AskDanandJennifer

Laura Young at the Dragon Slayer’s Guide

Donald Latumahina at Life Optimizer

That’s it. Have fun playing.

I Needed A Vacation From My Vacation

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This week has been a bit of a wash. Seems I needed a vacation from my Hawaiian vacation!

The biggest lesson learned: A seven-day trip to Hawaii is just not enough. But when you’re leaving your 3 ½ year old daughter for more than 2 nights for the first time, seven days feels like a lot! When you get to Hawaii, however, and realize that, with two nearly full days of traveling, you only have five days to relax, your perspective changes pretty quickly.

DSCN0583
That’s the beach right across from our little North Shore Cottage.

There were so many things my wife and wanted to do: Kayaking in Hanalei Bay, Snorkeling at Tunnels and Ke’e Beaches, hiking the Na Pali Coast, plus relaxing, hanging out on beautiful beaches, shopping, sight-seeing, getting massages, catching up on our reading, doing some “fun” writing, and of course, well you know, 5th year anniversary type stuff!

Well to say that our eyes were bigger than our calendars is bit more than understatement. It took us about 4-days to figure out that our to-do lists had stowed away in our baggage. Apparently they made it though the security checkpoint by swapping out the normal work-related items to fun and “relaxation” related items and thereby convincing us that they were essential components for our vacation enjoyment!

By the time we realized that we had been running ourselves ragged to get all of our vacationing “done” we only had two days left to relax!

It was most definitely an eye-opening experience. And it did leave me needing a vacation! Today is the first day that I feel like I am mostly back to work.

The good news? We won’t do that again!

And, even better than that, I’ve got a ton of material to write about. So watch for Hawaii-related posts to show up over the next few days and weeks as the experiences and ideas come into focus and wriggle their way out of my fingers and into the blogosphere.

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There’s Melissa and I at the Kilauea Lighthouse.

Aloha Everybody. I’ll See You On The 21st.

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I’m off to the beaches of Kauai for a relaxing week with my wife and no daughter! This is the first time we’ll be without Ella for more than 2-days since she was born 3 ½ years ago! I’m feeling an interesting mix of excitement and anticipation with a bit of melancholy.

There’s a little bit of that “will she be all right?” voice in my head. Fortunately the, “I can’t wait to be lying on the beach,” voice is significantly louder right now!

Just a few updates on what will be happening here at Evolving Times while I’m gone.

The curious thing is that I’ve actually got more posts scheduled to come out next week than I have in quite a few weeks. Strange how that works. I finished a couple of drafts that had been lying around for a while, followed the advice of Darren Rowse and updated a couple of timeless, but Underperforming Posts from the early days of Evolving Times, and have thrown in a couple of quick, fun entries. I think you’ll enjoy what I’ve got for you while I’m gone.

And who knows, you may even see a live, from the beach, post or two while I’m gone!

However, I will NOT be actively responding to comments while I’m gone. (I will make attempt to moderate comments at least a couple of times while I’m gone). I’ll do my best to get caught up when I return, but no guarantees. I also will not be responding to email contacts while I’m away. But I will get caught up with those when I return.

And finally, I will not be hosting a Law of Attraction Live radio show on Monday. Tune in to BlogTalkRadio on the 21st for the next Law of Attraction Live radio show. And you can listen to all the archived shows at the Evolving Times host page.

Have a great week. I’ll see you when I get back!

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