Thursday, January 31, 2008

Forgiveness - A Journey To Freedom

by Dr. Trish Whynot

Forgiveness is a journey toward freedom from our past. It is a process that takes some effort and along the road there are plateaus that we reach. We may think that forgiveness is complete at these resting points and then something comes up to show us that there is more work to be done. These plateaus are where we tend to get stuck, to be hard on ourselves and to judge. The process of forgiveness is transformational; it is complex, not to be taken lightly and not something that can be done on command. Be patient and tender with yourself on your journey toward forgiveness. You will know you have forgiven when only love and gratitude remain in your heart for the person you desire to forgive and for the opportunity for personal growth and healing that was presented.

How often do we accept an apology without thinking twice about what we are really feeling around the issue and how often do we say the word, “sorry” without ever taking the time to understand why we did what we did in the first place? Are we practicing forgiveness here or attempting to avoid conflict? When we are on the giving or receiving end of someone saying “sorry,” if there is no attempt to understand the situation and to learn from it, we will find ourselves in this place again and after awhile “sorry” will have no meaning.

When we can resolve an issue and consecrate it with forgiveness we are free to move forward unencumbered by the past. We are able to move forward with a deeper understanding of who we are and with something we have learned. We will have let go of some emotional bondage and be able to move forward with a lighter load. Our unfinished business becomes complete and can be released, freeing up energy no longer needed to keep the unresolved issue and its emotional charge alive. Think about how great it feels when you complete a project. You no longer need to put any attention or energy toward it and now are free to put that energy elsewhere. Unfinished business, whether on the inside or the outside, is energetically exhausting and when we are giving away too much of our energy to all this stuff, it is not available for our use in keeping ourselves healthy and creative. You will merely be in survival mode, trying to keep all your stuff alive. We have cords coming from us to feed our stuff that is waiting for resolution and may wonder why we feel so tied down and drained at times. Completing unfinished business on the inside will free up space for unfinished business to resolve itself on the outside. This is also why we feel so free and full of energy and vitality when our unfinished business is completed. It is truly a rush; a rush of energy coming back into us and it feels great!

If we look at prison as a metaphor, we have criminals that are doing time to make up for what they have done and people awaiting trial. We put parts of ourselves in prisons of our own design, parts of ourselves that are awaiting trial, so to speak, waiting for us to give them a voice, waiting for us to take time to understand where they were coming from and waiting for us to forgive them and bring them back into our hearts. We also have parts of ourselves that we can’t forgive, that we have placed in solitary confinement. Those parts of ourselves that have done things that we can’t take back, that we have deemed unforgivable.

By putting these parts of ourselves out of our hearts we have put them in prison. We have scattered our light, separated ourselves from our Selves and are fragmented rather than whole. We may believe that locking up these parts will protect us from ourselves and make us more acceptable to others, but we are only fooling ourselves. In the process of resolving our unfinished business and bringing parts of ourselves back into our hearts we are able to move forward with more of our Self and a deeper understanding of life. We are lighter and able to attract more of what we want because we are becoming more of the beautiful, loving Being that we truly are.

Avoidance is a plateau on the forgiveness journey. Avoidance involves judging others. If we have not done the personal healing involved in the forgiveness process we may move forward in life attempting to dodge situations of like essence in the future. Perhaps betrayal is something you experienced in the past, if you have unfinished business around this event you may go through life seeing it through the eyes of betrayal, judging others rather than communicating your feelings, in order to avoid betrayal in the future. This takes a lot of energy to do and focusing your attention on betrayal will draw more opportunities for betrayal to you because what you put your attention toward is what you will create.

Forgiveness frees us from the past. Being freed from the past means that we have unlocked emotions and unfinished business, processed through them, learned from them, taken our power back and released them. Being freed from our past means that the issue or event no longer has a hold on us, we are no longer keeping it alive with our energy and no longer need to avoid the issue because we know that our energy is less likely to attract it. Because of what we have learned, if we do attract a situation with similar essence in the future, we now have the tools to handle it.

Being freed from our past doesn’t mean that we have forgiven and forgotten. We never have to forgive someone for what they have done. This is a place where people get stuck because there are things that people do that are just unforgivable. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that we forgive someone and invite him or her for dinner and it doesn’t mean that we need to contact the person in order to finish our unfinished business.

Necessary to the forgiveness process is being able to forgive someone for why they have done whatever they did. Forgiveness means that we have done the work involved to release ourselves from the emotional bondage that the event created for us. Forgiveness requires that we give ourselves permission to be free, to stop identifying ourselves with the event. If we are still talking about how we were wronged we are getting something out of it. We know that forgiveness is complete when our discussion is on what we have learned from it in efforts to help others who may be stuck here.

Sometimes we find ourselves having difficulty forgiving others because they couldn’t admit that they were wrong. When someone can admit that they were wrong the relationship has the potential of going to the next level of intimacy, bringing both parties closer through being vulnerable with their feelings. When the perpetrator can take responsibility for the feelings that fueled their actions and the victim can take responsibility for their emotions that attracted the situation there is the potential for growth and healing individually and in the relationship.

There is always a gift for us on our journey toward forgiveness but sometimes we have difficulty seeing it. Sometimes someone comes into our lives attracted by our energy, brings an issue to our awareness and then falls out of our lives. The issue that has been brought to our awareness is the gift. The situation is showing us something present in our energy field that is attracting this person and/or event to us. We all have free will and if the perpetrator is not ready to own his or her stuff then it may be necessary for us to let them go to figure it out with someone else. Fortunately they don’t need to own their stuff and apologize in order for us to be free to move forward in our lives.

We have all been the perpetrator and the victim at one time or another. When we come from a place of fear we can hurt other people. In being conscious of the place that we are coming from we can more easily avoid hurting others by being conscious of our feelings and choosing to come from a place of love.

Pretending to act from a place of love is another plateau on the forgiveness journey. We all long to act from a loving place, but we can’t pretend to do so. It is energetically impossible. You may be able to fool someone on the surface, but unresolved emotions will fuel your words and actions. When our emotions are not in line with our words/actions, we send mixed messages and our unconscious emotions can hurt the person on the receiving end whether they are aware of them or not. Our unconscious emotions are capable of pushing away those we love and can ultimately kill love over time. Unconscious fuel can leave energetic scars on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels of others. Pretending to act from a place of love on the forgiveness journey is really acting from a place of arrogance. Rising above the other person in an attempt to forgive is believing you are better than they are and that is arrogant. It would be more loving to be honest and let someone know that you had some feelings they brought up for you that are in need of resolution. Then at least they’d know where you were coming from rather than wondering and trying to decipher mixed messages.

Don’t confuse feeling sorry for someone with forgiveness. Forgiving someone because you feel sorry for him or her is arrogant as well. Feeling sorry for someone is judging them, looking down on them and assuming they aren’t capable of changing. Sometimes in our attempt to forgive a family member we may go through the feeling sorry for them phase in an attempt to keep them in our lives. This can serve the purpose of putting us back in control, but staying in this place will leave you on another plateau. It may help you to get through the holidays, but it won’t free you from your past. In feeling sorry for someone we aren’t honoring him or her or ourselves. Feeling sorry for someone can feed their self-pity, contributing to keeping them stuck.

Feeling an emotional charge is another clue that more work needs to be done in the process of forgiveness. When you note that talking about an event or person that hurt you in the past gets you heated or brings tears to the surface there is still an emotional charge. You may have cried or vented, but the roots of the emotion are still present. Healing at the root may involve peeling back layers that involve similar pain from past experiences with others, leading back to childhood events. Avoiding your feelings will leave you on another plateau.

If an issue affects us on a cellular level, it will be difficult to release and forgive and you may need some assistance in your process. If you feel like you should be over something and moving beyond, but aren’t able to do so, don’t judge yourself or fall into judgments from others, be honest with yourself and love yourself enough to get some help in your process. Chances are that there is a lot more going on than what is on the surface and that the processing could be transformational for you. It takes great strength and courage to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

Rationalizing and intellectualizing feelings in our head and judging them as acceptable or not will not release them. We need to bring our emotions in so we can feel them. In feeling them we can begin to understand why we are experiencing them and trace them back to their origin for healing. Looking back on a childhood event, we may judge it as not such a big deal, but through the eyes of a child it was huge. It is necessary for us to feel through the eyes of that child. This is where meditative techniques can be very beneficial to our process.

We have been taught to disregard our feelings as children and therefore go to great lengths to avoid the discomfort as adults. The more we try to avoid our feelings, the more we bury them and the harder they seem to come at us from others. Once we have some tools to process and understand our feelings we realize how wonderful and powerful they are. There are feelings attached to everything we think, do and say.

We have an abundance of Divine assistance available to us when we ask. Often when we ask for help in forgiving someone the assistance comes through in the form of situations coming at us where people are triggering our emotions. People triggering our emotions are helping us to bring buried feelings from our past to consciousness. As adults, when our emotions are triggered, only 10 to 20 percent of what we feel is from the current situation and the other 80 to 90 percent is old stuff coming to the surface. Unlocking and releasing emotions that we didn’t have the maturity or tools to process through initially is an integral part of the forgiveness process. Our emotions must be felt one last time in order to release them. If emotions around the issue arise bring them in and feel them. These feelings hold keys to our freedom from the past and our ability to create an extraordinary future.

It takes some work to get to the place and the space of forgiveness. Resolving our unfinished business and forgiving others and ourselves for not being perfect can create space for more of what we do want to come in. Feeling and releasing emotions that were attached to our unfinished business and replacing the voids with self-love, forgiveness and understanding, we will be magnets for more love. When we can receive love we can receive anything. Like attracts like. If we harbor anger we will be a magnet for angry people or for situations that will trigger our anger. If we choose to be conscious of our experiences and to process through them we can learn to create our lives. We can create, not with force, fear, or at the expense of others, but by tapping into our personal power and creating with love, harm to none, and by clearing the obstacles that we have put in place so that what we desire can find its way to us.

Forgiveness is truly a journey to freedom. You never have to forgive someone for what they did, resume a relationship, or contact someone from your past for forgiveness to be complete. Being free from your past is a decision only you can make.

It requires some effort, but it’s worth the trip. Freeing yourself from your past enables you to live more, love more and be more in your future. Freeing yourself of emotional bondage, you are free to move forward with a lighter load and capable of attracting more optimal futures than were previously conceivable. When the emotional charge from the pain incurred has shifted to the memory of what you have learned from the experience and only love and gratitude remain in your heart for yourself and those you have forgiven, you will know that forgiveness is complete. A greater understanding for the deeper meaning of your earth experience and destiny will be revealed and you will probably choose to learn in a more elegant fashion in the future. Life will be more fun, love will be less scary and you will truly believe that it’s great to be you!

The forgiveness process teaches us to be tender with ourselves and with others. We are all capable of hurting ourselves and others when coming from a place of fear and emptiness, but the process of forgiveness helps us to love ourselves and to consciously express from a place of love toward others.

In order to give the best of yourself it is necessary to love yourself first; otherwise you are giving from a place of sacrifice, which is a very, empty place.

Fall in love with yourself.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Forgiveness - The Path To Healing & Spiritual Growth

by Lisa Hoskins

The dictionary defines the word forgive as: [to pardon, as to for-give an enemy; to cease to feel resentment for, as to forgive an offense].

I have heard people say this many times: "I will never forgive them for what they did!", as if by saying this they are causing harm to the person who hurt them. The reality is that they are doing the harm to themselves alone. As defined in the dictionary, when you forgive someone you "cease to feel resentment". Resentment, along with anger, hate, jealousy and other negative emotions, will eat you up inside and can cause actual physical ailments and disease.

Often times after we have been emotionally, physically or spiritually hurt, the pain quickly turns to anger and resentment. We go over the episodes of the past in our heads, re-living each painful moment again and again like a never-ending nightmare. Each time we do this the old feelings surface and we once again feel the gut-wrenching pain the person caused us. By doing this we are living in the past instead of the present, and it can be a dangerous thing for everyone involved but the majority of danger falls right into your lap.

Many people feel that forgiveness is a gift. I agree! It is a gift, but not to the one you are forgiving. The gift is to yourself and what a wondrous gift it can be.

By forgiving the people who have hurt you in the past you set yourself free from the chains of resentment and other harmful emotions running rampant through your mind, body and spirit. By forgiving you are taking away the control the other person has over you. You are empowering yourself and growing by spiritual leaps and bounds. You will heal deep-rooted pain that perhaps you thought was gone a long time ago but has survived, living under all of the resentment that you have held onto for so long. By forgiving you are one step closer to your journey of self-growth and healing.

Some of you are on a journey of helping Creator to give healing to others who need it. The first step on your journey is to heal yourself. This can be very difficult as well as painful but the upside to the difficulties and pain is the end result, which is very rewarding indeed. It will be rewarding for both you as a healer and for those who you will help to heal.

I have heard of horrific and tragic stories relating to the suffering that people on this earth have gone through and like many of you, I have often asked how Creator could place anyone in such situations.

The truth of the matter is that many people who have lived such suffering and painful lives, or have survived horrific events go on to become wonderful healers on this earth, doing Creator's work.

They start foundations, organizations, become therapists, doctors, authors of self-help and spiritual books, host talk shows. The list goes on.

So perhaps this was Creator's plan all along and we should be thankful for many of the sufferings that have taken place and that we have to endure. Without them many people would not be who they are today - stronger, healthier, more forgiving, more helpful to others, more loving.

I once held on to a great amount of anger towards someone who had caused me pain for many years. One day a spiritual healer asked me to surround this person in light and send him love. I looked at the spiritual healer as if she were crazy! How DARE she ask me to do such a thing! How did she even think I would be capable of forgiving someone who had hurt me so bad?! I tried to remain open to what she was telling me, but honestly did not believe I could go through with it.

Then she said something to me that grabbed my attention - "By forgiving him and sending him loving thoughts, you will free yourself and he will no longer have such a great hold on you". As I drove home after speaking with her, I thought of this sentence many times and just the idea of the freedom from the pain sounded so joyous and peaceful, yet far away at the same time.

About a week later I quietly sat down and asked Creator to help me do what needed to be done. I asked Creator to surround this man in his light, and then sent loving thoughts to him along with my forgiveness. Most importantly, I forgave myself for the choices I had made during those years, and took responsibility for them as well. The pain that I had been holding for so long in my heart slowly poured out as I wept tears of sadness and joy at the same time. That day I freed myself from the chains of resentment and anger, from the pain I had endured for so many years, and from the control of a man who would no longer control anything about me, or within me.... I had healed myself with help from Creator, and from the spiritual healer who with one sentence changed me, and healed me. I am thankful to her and to my experience, for it has made me who I am today.

The next time you think of the act of forgiveness, try not to only see the other person(s) as the only recipient. for you are the most important recipient involved, and you are well worth it.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get Over It!

By: Neil Parmar

Are you obsessing over your shortcomings? Here's a few tips that will help you get on with your life.

Ever get stressed out because you weren't sure what you'd say at that morning meeting? Worried about what you'd look like after squeezing into last year's bathing suit? Have you said something you know you shouldn’t have?

Self-consciousness keeps us fighting that battle to control our self-image. But obsessing over our shortcomings inevitably traps us in embarrassment and shame.

The difference between embarrassment and shame is slight but significant, and the distinction is crucial for building a protective armor of self-esteem. When we introduce our friends to a colleague and forget her name, it's an embarrassing blow to our image, because we think others are viewing us in a negative light. If there are enough embarrassing moments that we begin viewing ourselves badly, then our self-image collapses and we feel that heavy weight of shame.

Creating a pillar of success in our lives is one way to end the dreaded trap of embarrassment and shame. Successfully completing a difficult project at work builds confidence and leads to future success. Similarly, a satisfying relationship is a prideful accomplishment and helps motivate us to seek other such connections.

But how do we take that first brave step away from self-consciousness in order to feel like (and ultimately become) a success?

Kill shame-inducing situations before they become a threat, advises David Allyn, Ph.D., a Harvard-trained social scientist and visiting scholar at Columbia University's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. His book, I Can't Believe I Just Did That, includes a few pointers:

Be on time. Punctuality creates self-discipline and impresses both others and yourself. It's a healthy habit that keeps you calm about the clock.

Stick to the facts. You're bound to get caught lying, so why bother? Lies just set you up with unnecessary opportunities to feel ashamed.

Cut the gossip. Comments made behind your back sting, and don't forget how you feel about those who talked about you. Focus on deep, meaningful talk where every conversation can be a chance to realize a dream or accomplish an aim.

Keep your word. It feels good to be considered reliable, so honor your word no matter what the reasons are for disregarding them. Remember, a promise is a promise.

If the damage is already done and you find yourself at the tail end of an embarrassing situation, you can still avoid that feeling of shame by recovering gracefully. Don't lash out in defense or lie to cover your tracks—you'll just end up feeling worse and likely complicate a relationship that doesn't need complicating.

Try laughing it off or explaining why you made the mistake. Also, don't leave a social situation simply to avoid the people you made a mishap in front of—avoidance will leave you feeling further ashamed and isolated.

Here's a very important point to remember:
People tend to forget others' mistakes and obsess over their own.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Things Can Be Fixed - Others Must Heal

As a consequence of a bunch of stuff I read, and chatted about yesterday, my original plan for this bridge week between January and February has been altered.

It has long been my position that one of the most important "attitudes" that inhabits a wealthy mind, is the attitude of "forgiveness". Resentments, anger, jealousy, hate, envy,....oh, I could go on, but you get my point, are the poison pills that we willingly consume while thinking we are getting back at someone else.

A very long time ago I discovered that "forgiveness is giving all hope for a better yesterday". It is my contention that the "wealthiest" attitude of all, is the one of "forgiveness" and once we have reconciled that, every other one becomes easy.

This week we are going to share much more on this most important subject, and to get us in the mindset, our friend Thom suggests a practice that I believe is worthy of your consideration.

I would lovingly suggest that everything, this week especially, is worth sharing with others. So I encourage you to send along the "reader", or the link to the blog, to those good people on your own lists.

Some Things Can Be Fixed - Others Must Heal
by Thom Rutledge

Are you a fixer? When someone tells you a problem they are having, do you immediately feel the need to offer advice? Is it difficult for you to just listen to someone who is in distress, to just be there for them without knowing precisely what to say or do? Are you uncomfortable with anything being in limbo? Are you addicted to certainties? Does your self-esteem depend on your ability to make things right for other people? If you're answering yes to some of these questions, you are probably a fixer.

Did you just now experience an impulse to "fix" the fact that you may be a fixer? If so, you are definitely a fixer.

I find it helpful when faced with a problem or a discomfort or a pain to ask this question:

Does this need to be fixed or healed?

Think about it. The two options are very different. When a pipe burst below my kitchen sink, I don't wrap a bandage around it and wait for it to heal. Similarly, when I cut my hand slicing tomatoes I don't imagine that I can simply "fix" the cut.

Certainly when something needs to heal, we still attend to it. I can apply pressure and bandage my cut. Or if I have the flu, I can go home, lie on the couch drinking juice and chicken soup. But I know that as much as I might try to convince myself otherwise, I cannot simply fix myself so that I don't have the flu anymore.

Consider relationship problems: do they need to be fixed or healed? In this context the question is more difficult because both are often called for. If I have been dishonest with you causing damage to your ability to trust me, then I need to fix my behavior and allow there to be time for the relationship to heal. I suppose this is analogous to a broken bone needing to be set so that it can heal properly.

When something needs to be fixed, it calls for us to be proactive in identifying what needs to be done and then doing it. When something needs to heal, our job is to protect the space around the wound or injury, allowing in only what will contribute to the process of healing.

"Does this need to be fixed or healed?" is just one of those good questions to keep around. Sometimes the answers will be obvious, and other times the question may just get us thinking in a different direction. Certainly using the question will save somevaluable energy when we can stop trying to fix what can only be healed, and stop waiting around for what needs fixing to heal.

Write the question down on an index card and put it in your pocket, your wallet, or your purse. Carry the question everywhere you go for the next week or so --- test drive it.

See if it makes a difference.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are You Happy To Lead A Mediocre Life Just Because Others Do?

By: TheArcher

When we read historical novels, we may laugh at the pointless lives that the gentry of that period led. The well to do who lived centuries ago spent their lives in idle pursuits totally oblivious (in most cases) to the wretchedness of the poor who spent all their waking hours working in return for meager sustenance. And they were so overly concerned with living their lives according to regimented protocol; it just wasn’t "the done thing" to do things differently than the way the neighbors did things. The lives of the poor were just as pointless because they failed to realize that they could improve themselves if only they tried. The few who did succeed in breaking free of poverty were generally ostracized by their families because they dared to do things differently.

But are we any different today? Have we really learnt anything at all? The activities of the 21st century are vastly different from those of previous times but many are just as pointless. And today, in this current advanced era, people on the whole are still far too concerned with what their family, friends and neighbors think. Very few people are willing to change.

Is your life perfect? If it is then there is no need to change anything. But I have never yet met anyone with a perfect life, have you? Some people have a career they love but their family life suffers. Some people have very good relationships with their families and friends but their health and fitness are not very good. And some people have a totally stuffed up life in nearly all areas. Even if we have some things right, there are always areas in which we can improve ourselves, we shouldn't just get to a certain age and stop. Life is all about learning; it isn’t something reserved for the young.

People will say, "Oh I couldn’t do it that way because everyone I know does it this way!" But are all those people you know getting perfect results! Very unlikely! So why keep doing things a certain way, with mediocre results, just because everyone else does it that way? Isn't it time to make a change and do things your own way? Maybe, just maybe, you will see vast improvements in your life. And if you stuff up or don't get it quite right the first time, don't give up. Just keep on trying things out until you find what really works for you. Don’t be bothered by those who try to deter you. Your true friends will support you and the opinion of the rest of them doesn't matter!

One thing to remember - if others object to what you are doing or becoming, it is because it is a reflection of something in their own lives that they need to deal with. When they see you becoming successful in some area of your life, they feel unsettled because they know that they should be trying to make improvements in their lives too and you are reminding them of that deficiency in themselves! So it is never about you, it is about them. The sad fact is that most people are quite prepared to plod along living a mediocre existence. They really cannot see that there are better possibilities for them if only they make an effort.

But you can see the possibilities, so go and live your dreams!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Options and Liberty

by Brian Klemmer

Here’s a novel thought: All people have freedom. What about those who live under a dictator? They, too, have freedom. Why? Because it’s the ability to choose, and all human beings have that, as Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl has so eloquently described, even in unimaginable circumstances. However, the consequences of their choices are far different than average circumstances. And even though all people have freedom, very few enjoy liberty.

Liberty is the ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it, to go where you want to go when you want to go there. Most important, it’s the ability to be what you want to be when you want to be it.

Compassionate samurai search for choices, solutions, and meaning in life, rather than waiting for them to appear. They try to increase the liberty that they and others enjoy. They don’t shrink from tough choices simply because they don’t like the perceived outcomes.

I believe that of all the gifts God grants us, the most powerful is choice. It’s also a very useful tool if used skillfully. It has a power that gives us the potential winner’s edge all of the time. It’s the ability to create liberty. That might sound like an unrealistic philosophy, but it isn’t. What you pick now determines what you enjoy tomorrow. What you decide not to choose also determines what you’ll never have in this lifetime.

So at the end of the day—or even at the end of your life—you can be an average person and blame others for what did or didn’t happen for you. Or you can be a compassionate samurai and enjoy yourself even amid dire circumstances and create a life of liberty for yourself and others.

If liberty is so great, why aren’t there more compassionate samurai experiencing it? The answer is because there’s a cost for everything. There’s no free lunch. Every benefit has a corresponding cost or something you must give up. There’s a price to acknowledging that you have choices (as there are different consequences for pretending that you don’t). There are costs for making the compassionate samurai choice, as well as for taking the easier way out. At West Point, we were taught always to choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong. They were teaching us to be compassionate samurai. Some might argue about the compassionate part, but we’ll save that for another discussion.

If we wimp out and don’t make the right choices, we lose our liberty.

Frankl once recommended the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be complemented by a "Statue of Responsibility" on the West Coast. Perhaps he was saying that our liberty requires us to make good decisions. If we wimp out and don’t make the right choices, we lose our liberty. When we do this, we choose obvious short-term benefits with not-so-obvious long-term costs over obvious short-term costs that have not-so-obvious long-term benefits. The very nature of a compassionate samurai is to pick the latter.

I’m concerned with what I see in American society; in fact, that was the impetus for writing this book. Listen to average people complain about how their children won’t benefit from the Social Security program, yet they’re unwilling to change their lifestyle in any way. Look at how average people enjoy the benefits of their current status, but they shrink from considering the future environmental impact of their excesses on their grandchildren even to the point of being "confused" about whether global warming and other such issues are real.

Consider those who made huge amounts of money in the Enron, Tyco, and even Arthur Andersen scandals, with no concern for the thousands who lost their retirement savings as a result—let alone the damages the economy suffered or the cynicism about business that was generated. This isn’t really a new thing. Such behavior has occurred throughout history in nations and families who received abundance rather than earning it. A different, higher value is established when something is earned. When life is painful enough, moving forward becomes a more obvious and easier choice to make for the average individual.

Excerpted from The Compassionate Sumurai: Being Extraordinary in an Ordinary World by Brian Klemmer

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two Choices We Face

by Jim Rohn

Each of us have two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives... The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation.

And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.

To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all, or to be less, or to be nothing at all.

Like the tree, it would be a worthy challenge for us all to stretch upward and outward to the full measure of our capabilities. Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can?

Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit. To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings. Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification.

Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of who and what they have become.

To Your Success

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In The Mirror

It was late. The tavern was sparsely populated. At the bar a man drank slowly in silence, watching himself intently in the bar mirror with each movement he made, and even staring at himself he made none. I wondered why he was so deep in thought and so I sat beside him, smiled, and offered to buy him a drink for the secret of the mirror.

He looked at me in the mirror and slowly smiled. "Ah my friend, the mirror, in truth, holds many secrets." he said. "Take a good look and them tell me what is it you see there. A reflection. Maybe ! But a reflection of what? If what you see is real. Is it the truth. Or maybe is it the truth we want to see. Have you ever taken the time to really look, to stare into the face of yourself. Think about it, he said. Only here, in places like this can one sit and stare. You don't even have to be drinking to see the face changing again and again."

He smiled a knowing smirk into the mirror and then toasted me with his glass. All we are now, all we were, all we hope to be is there in the mirrors layers. I watched his eyes smiling reflection and then looked into my own reflection, my bearded face looked back at me, but now it was somehow not the same. The eyes locked on each other and I was then transported through time itself.

Looking back were the eyes of wonder on a child’s face gazing with innocence imprinted with all I had seen forever etched and burnt into the who I am. The good times, the love. But also all the things that should not have been. How can adults not think a child does not see with eyes connected to the soul and all the words and intentions mean nothing for the eyes record only actions.

The face grew older, and the eyes grew confident and arrogant with teen years. Mirrors were used frequently now, but only to preen, to primp, and to worry, for this was a time of self indulgence, of holding all the world in school dance. That face was so full of pride, of joy, its reflection saw no truth, only dreams.

The ageing begins. The face ceases to smile as much responsibility comes, eyes worry about finding and holding a good job to be able to afford the dream. At the same time the small loves are long forgotten for the real one has come. The face becomes a remembrance of the joy of that love with eyes sparkling. once so real, so perfect it seems now surreal, part only of that other lost time

My new friend spoke and broke the spell and I marveled at the mirrors power, he smiled and said, "You see, you are there, as am I, as are all of us. We see the things we are and those we think we are, and those we hope to be, the things we gave up to be who we were, the things to come we will give up. Dreams lost and gained, love lost and won, wonderful victories and defeats We can see the face of who we wanted to be and who is it we have become."

He continued. "I have watched myself become a man, fall in love, and marry. I can see the loving husband I became, the caring father face with the kids, a worker, business man working always so hard trying to provide for the family. Trying to find that balance that never seems to come between providing enough so everyone can have all they demand or need and spending time with them.

Seeing the face of my dreams change from a goal together into just survival, watching the precious time of life’s loving together slowly slip away into oblivion. I see all of this, and so much more, for the mirrors reflection changes constantly" "But in all of this there is something I no longer see", he said with deep regret.

What is that I ask ? He looked over at me with such sadness in his eyes. He slowly took his drink and drank it down, and as he got up to leave he said "I don't see me !!!!."...I hesitantly lifted my head and looked, to see if I was there.

Try it sometime. Just look into a mirror for a while. Watch the faces change. See the eyes ask and answer questions you did not even know you had.

And hope.....when you are can say....with truth..."I can see me"

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Confusion - the Door to Deeper Wisdom

By Karen Wright

I've been giving some thought to the role of confusion in our lives. Like other emotions and mental states that don't feel productive, most of us would like to banish it from existence. But, if we look just a little closer, we might be able to see the silver lining. I woke from sleep a few nights ago with all these thoughts pouring from my barely conscious mind. So, because this has happened before, I grabbed the pad and pen that always sit by my bed and began to write. It was still dark out, but I have a pen that glows in the dark, so I didn't have to turn on the lights. Somehow all that brightness has a way of erasing dreams.

What I heard in my sleep was that confusion is a place where we have greater access to wisdom. When we stop thinking habitual thoughts, it's like we open a door. Thought actually blocks wisdom. When our brains can't figure something out they go a little nuts. You might relate? After all, that's what a brain is for... to figure things out. When it can't, we sort of stall. If we don't fight to get out of that stall, we can transition from one mode of knowing to another. From intellectual logic to deeper wisdom.

I also heard that wisdom isn't just a more advanced and elevated thought form. Wisdom is a place of no thinking - no mind. For anyone who finds peace in meditating, you have undoubtedly experienced this. Every meditation advice I've ever heard encourages you to NOT think, but to let thoughts simply come and go like clouds passing by. It's the non-thinking place that meditation aims for. In that non-thinking place, we connect with spirit.

From the time we first understood what thought was, we've been taught that thinking was the king of skills and education is supreme. What we forget is that education is derived from the Latin word educere which is the basis of the English word educe. To educate means to draw out - to bring forth. So, rather than an education system that tries to fill our students up, does this mean that we should instead be drawing forth wisdom from them? Well, let's not go there right now. Suffice it to say that thinking has become accepted as the bright person's way to the good life.

And thinking certainly does have its place. But, it's not our only tool. It would be like a carpenter having only a hammer. That's fine for some jobs, but not for everything. We've never been taught that we have any other faculties at our disposal than just thinking. Sometimes we need to put thought away and let non-thought educe the wisdom we already have within us.

We do this all the time, unthinkingly (pun totally intended!). When we daydream or our thoughts drift, we often return to a deeper sense of knowing by default. Like a bubble rising from the depths of the pond, wisdom surfaces in the moment of confusion to reveal an answer or insight that no amount of thinking could ever reach. Remember times when you tried really hard to recall something, but couldn't? And then hours later or in the middle of the night, when you weren't thinking of it at all, the memory resurfaced.

Like any unused muscle, learning how to not-think is going to take some time and practice to build to strength. Especially since when you find yourself not thinking, the first thing you do is think, "Hey, I'm not thinking!" Which is, of course, a thought! One way to develop your non-thought muscle is to experience the emotion of satisfaction without putting words to it. Look out at a beautiful sunset that just takes your breath away. Notice that it also, for just a moment, takes your words away too. That's the moment of non-thought. It's a feeling. A deep connection that no words could ever explain.

So, unlike your school teachers' advice, I'd recommend that in the coming days you practice the art of non-thought. Notice when you do, but don't comment on it... not even to yourself. Become more aware of the incessant dialog you have going on in your mind and stop feeding it more words. Are you a person who is compelled to verbalize every thought you have and every experience you're in? Do you stand before that majestic sunset and say, "What a beautiful sunset!" even if no one else is there? This is the first place to start. Break your addiction to words. Just let yourself feel the sunset, not comment on it.

Notice this week when you're feeling confused. Instead of struggling to find an answer to the confusion, stop and let it be. Know that in the fog of confusion, a path to a deeper knowing is opening up. Anticipate it and be expectant. Feel the freedom that not knowing allows you. Breathe and feel... don't think. It's at times like these that thinking will kill your inner wisdom. Welcome confusion.
It's where we let go of our little restrictive view of life.

And it's the only place where we can discover the truth beyond the circumstances.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The 5.75 Big Life Questions

I have to tell you, as I think it's important, the new mailing format for the "readers" is proving out to be much more relevant than even I thought it would be. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I wanted to put more power in the hands of our readers, power to comment back on issues through the new blog, power to subscribe and unsubscribe automatically, and power to refer the program just by forwarding a website link. All grand stuff.

From this desk, it is also an awesome tool for analysis of the effectiveness of the whole initiative. I get to see how many of the "readers" are opened, how many click-on's to the blog etc. Great stuff, and here is an example of what I mean.

Last week we touched on some really great material, and by a country mile, the one that got most of the subscribers attention, for the whole week of subjects, was the article on "Gossip, Rumor, and Innuendo". And I mean by a huge margin. Interesting eh? I'd certainly like to hear more on why you think that is so. I invite you all to comment on the blog on why you think it got the most attention.

So, on to today's offering.

To get the week off to a grand start, I thought it would be appropriate to hold on a "reader", and bring you a neat video about the "5.75 Questions" to get you thinking about where you are in your life. I think you'll be forwarding this one on to folks inyour own life path.

Click the link, sit back and consider.
The 5.75 Big Questions

Laugh out loud today!

Take care,


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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Make "Luck" Happen!

Do you know someone who's always lucky - a friend or colleague for whom things just work out - as if by magic?

The concept of luck brings up an age-old question: "Are some people born lucky and others not?" The answer to both parts of this question is "no." You - right now - have the ability to create your own luck. So-called luck is simply the ability to attract your desires into your life.

In fact, researcher Dr. Richard Wiseman conducted a ten-year scientific study on "the luck factor" and discovered that lucky people "generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good."

Philosopher William James referred to attitude as the "mother of luck." If a positive attitude is the mother of luck, then attraction and abundance round out the family. If you expect a positive outcome, you generally get one. If you pour energy intoworrying about a bad outcome, you may create a self-fulfilling prophesy. The law of attraction influences luck as well. Like attracts like; what you put out, you get back.

What you focus on influences your results. And a positive attitude plus positiveattraction equals abundance in all areas of life - including luck.

Follow this acronym to create your own lucky breaks:

L - Listen and let go. Listen to your intuition and detach from the outcome. Stay focused on your intuitive desires rather than on attempting to control the outcome.

U- Understand and notice. Observe your environment. Be mindful of opportunities. Take your blinders off and see what you've missed.

C - Claim what you want. You've got to know what you want. Observe what you deny yourself. It's impossible to create abundance from scarcity - as lucky people know.

K - Keep at it. Listen to your intuition, observe your environment and claim what you want; then take inspired action.

Once your "luck" begins to change and the good times roll in, be mindful. It's common to experience an identity shift as you attract more desires into your life. This may unconsciously - or consciously - activate your fear. You may feel like you're inunfamiliar territory and not entirely sure of the ground rules.
Persevere. Stay the course. Continue to follow the tenets of the LUCK acronym to help you through this growth spurt.

The next time you catch yourself waiting for a lucky break, take luck into your own hands. Survey your beliefs and thoughts; be aware of what you attract and watch your deepest desires flow more smoothly into your life. Empower yourself and watch the good fortunes of lady luck come your way.

How To Make Your Own Luck Some folks do have all the luck -- and psychologist Richard Wiseman can teach you how to be one of the lucky few.....Continue on here!

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How To Make Your Own Luck

By Daniel Pink

Some folks do have all the luck -- and psychologist Richard Wiseman can teach you how to be one of the lucky few.

"It's better to be lucky than smart." "You make your own luck in life." "Some folks are just born lucky." In an environment marked by rising tensions and diminished expectations, most of us could use a little luck -- at our companies, in our careers, with our investments. Richard Wiseman thinks that he can help you find some.

Wiseman, 37, is head of a psychology research department at the University of Hertfordshire in England. For the past eight years, he and his colleagues at the university's Perrott-Warrick Research Unit have studied what makes some people lucky and others not. After conducting thousands of interviews and hundreds of experiments, Wiseman now claims that he's cracked the code. Luck isn't due to kismet, karma, or coincidence, he says. Instead, lucky folks -- without even knowing it -- think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives. In his new book, The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), Wiseman reveals four approaches to life that turn certain people into luck magnets. (And, as luck would have it, he tells the rest of us how to improve our own odds.)

Wiseman's four principles turn out to be slightly more polished renditions of some of the self-help canon's greatest hits. One thing Wiseman discovered, for example, was that when things go awry, the lucky "turn bad luck into good" by seeing how they can squeeze some benefit from the misfortune. (Lemonade, anyone?) The lucky also "expect good fortune," which no doubt has
Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, grinning in his grave.

But if these insights aren't exactly groundbreaking, neither are they wrongheaded. For instance, Wiseman found that lucky people are particularly open to possibility. Why do some people always seem to find fortune? It's not dumb luck. Unlike everyone else, they see it. "Most people are just not open to what's around them," Wiseman says. "That's the key to it."

Wiseman began his career as a teenage magician who joined London's prestigious Magic Circle society and journeyed to Hollywood to perform for thousands. "Magic is very good training for seeing the world from somebody else's perspective," he says. Wiseman's latest research makes several forays into areas where most scholars rarely tread: He has investigated the psychological underpinnings of magic, the dynamics of deception, and the psychology of the paranormal. In 2001, he achieved international notoriety conducting a yearlong search for the world's funniest joke, testing how some 350,000 participants reacted to 40,000 jokes.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the hip and affable professor at a café overlooking London's Hyde Park.

How did a serious academic like you become interested in a squishy subject like luck?

Round about 10 years ago, I was talking to people about why they'd ended up where they'd ended up in their lives -- the people they were with, the careers they were in, and so on. And the words that kept coming up were things like "luck" and "chance." People said, "I met my partner by chance." Or "I'm in this particular career because I just happened to go to this party." I knew from the psychology literature that psychologists avoided luck. They said you couldn't do science with it. So I decided to test that. I did some research that asked people, "Do you consider yourself unlucky, or lucky?"

Over time, we built up a database of about 400 people from all over the UK, all walks of life, who considered themselves especially lucky or unlucky. The people in both groups were saying, "I've no idea why this is the case; I'm just lucky" -- or unlucky. But I didn't believe that for a minute. I thought there was something else going on. So in the Luck Project, we've had them take part in experiments, interviewed them, had them keep diaries -- all sorts of things -- trying to piece together why you'd have one group of people for whom everything would work out well and another group for whom things would be completely disastrous.

Isn't there a distinction between chance and luck?

There's a big distinction. Chance events are like winning the lottery. They're events over which we have no control, other than buying a ticket. They don't consistently happen to the same person. They may be formative events in people's lives, but they're not frequent. When people say that they consistently experience good fortune, I think that, by definition, it has to be because of something they are doing.

In other words, they make their own luck.

That's right. What I'm arguing is that we have far more control over events than we thought previously. You might say, "Fifty percent of my life is due to chance events." No, it's not. Maybe 10% is. That other 40% that you think you're having no influence over at all is actually defined by the way you think.

What are some of the ways that lucky people think differently from unlucky people?

One way is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines. When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people always want something new. They're prepared to take risks and relaxed enough to see the opportunities in the first place.

How did you uncover that in your lab?

We did an experiment. We asked subjects to flip through a news-paper that had photographs in it. All they had to do was count the number of photographs. That's it. Luck wasn't on their minds, just some silly task. They'd go through, and after about three pages, there'd be a massive half-page advert saying, STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It was next to a photo, so we knew they were looking at that area. A few pages later, there was another massive advert -- I mean, we're talking big -- that said, STOP COUNTING. TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU'VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS [about $235].

For the most part, the unlucky would just flip past these things. Lucky people would flip through and laugh and say, "There are 43 photos. That's what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?" We'd say, "Yeah, carry on." They'd flip some more and say, "Do I get my 150 pounds?" Most of the unlucky people didn't notice.

But the business culture typically worships drive -- setting a goal, single-mindedly pursuing it, and plowing past obstacles. Are you arguing that, to be more lucky, we need to be less focused?

This is one of the most counterintuitive ideas. We are traditionally taught to be really focused, to be really driven, to try really hard at tasks. But in the real world, you've got opportunities all around you. And if you're driven in one direction, you're not going to spot the others. It's about getting people to have various game plans running in their heads. Unlucky people, if they go to a party wanting to meet the love of their life, end up not meeting people who might become close friends or people who might help them in their careers. Being relaxed and open allows lucky people to see what's around them and to maximize what's around them.

Much of business is also about rational analysis: pulling up the spreadsheet, running the numbers, looking at the serious facts. Yet you found that lucky people rely heavily on their gut instincts.

Yes. You don't want to broadly say that whenever you get an intuitive feeling, it's right and you should go with it. But you could be missing out on a massive font of knowledge that you've built up over the years. We are amazingly good at detecting patterns. That's what our brains are set up to do.

What are some other ways you found that lucky people's minds operate differently?

They practice "counterfactual thinking." The degree to which you think that something is fortunate or not is the degree to which you generate alternatives that are better or worse.
Unlucky people say, "I can't believe I've been in another car accident." Lucky people go, "Wonderful. Yes, I had a car accident, but I wasn't killed. And I met the guy in the other car, and we got on really well, and there might be a relationship there."

What's interesting is that both ways of thinking are unconscious and automatic. It would never occur to the unlucky people to see it a different way.

Isn't there something delusional about that approach -- sort of a modern version of Dr. Pangloss's "All for the best in the best of all possible worlds"? Suppose I said, "I just wrote this article, and the article stinks, and nobody read it. But hey, at least I have two arms."

What's so delusional about that? If it keeps you going in the face of adversity and softens the impact of the fact that no one read your article, and therefore you think, "Well, I can write another article, and I'm going to learn from the mistakes of the past one, and I'm going to keep on going," I think that's fine. It would be delusional if you took it to the extreme -- especially if you weren't learning from your mistakes.

But can we acknowledge that sometimes bad stuff -- car accidents, natural disasters -- just happens? Sometimes it's purely bad, and there's nothing good about it.

I've never heard that from a lucky person.

So if you buy that way of thinking, then there is no bad luck.

That's right. That's what was weird about conducting some of the interviews. Subjects would say, "I'm the luckiest person alive" -- and they'd come up with dreadful stories. They'd have the same life events as the unlucky person, but they'd look at them entirely differently.

Isn't that just a fancy version of the power of positive thinking?

There's more science to it -- as opposed to the classic "Just think positive, and you'll be successful." I think if you understand a little about where it's coming from, it's a bit easier to adapt into your life.

We had a subject named Carolyn. When she would come to the unit to be interviewed, it would be just this whole string of bad-luck stories: "I can't find anyone. I'm unlucky in love. When I did find someone, the guy fell off his motorbike. The next blind date broke his nose. We were supposed to get married, and the church burned down." But to every single interview, she'd bring along her two kids. They were 6 and 7 years old -- very healthy, very happy kids who'd sit there and play. And it was interesting, because most people would love to have two kids like that, but that wasn't part of her world, because she was unlucky in her mind.

How do you get people to begin thinking like lucky people?

We've created a Luck School that teaches people certain techniques. One thing that we do is have people keep a luck diary. At the end of each day, they spend a couple of moments writing down the positive and lucky things that happened. We ask them not to write down the unlucky stuff. Once that starts to build up, what they're doing is adding on, each day. So they look back, and it's five days' worth of positive events, and now it's day six. After doing that for a month, it's difficult not to be thinking about the good things that are happening.

What are the applications of your research to business?

We've just done our first Luck School with an entire company. We took all 35 employees through it. The CEO was very open to change. The ideas resonated with him because that's how he has lived his life. So when he heard them, he said, "I want everybody in my organization to think like this." If we did nothing but make his employees feel better about themselves, he'll be a happy man. If it has an impact on profits and productivity, he'll be a very happy man.

Do you think that lucky organizations really exist?

Yes. Whether it translates to just percentages of lucky people, or whether it translates to a particular mixture, where some score high on one principle and others score high on another, I don't know. In the sense of organizational culture and identity, I think that some organizations will be seen as lucky and successful and others will be seen as unlucky, in the same way that individuals are.

You spent a year trying to find the world's funniest joke. Could you tell us the joke that won?

Two New Jersey hunters go hunting. After a while, one of the hunters clutches his throat and falls to the ground, his eyes roll back, and he's lying there motionless. The other one picks up a cell phone, dials 911, and says, "I think my friend is dead! I don't know what to do!" And the operator says, "Just relax. Calm down. The first thing to do is to make certain your friend is dead." There's a pause -- then a gunshot. And the hunter gets back on the phone and says, "Okay. Now what?"

That's some bad luck for the friend.

Yes, unfortunately. But bad luck is funny.

Bad luck is funny?

Bad luck is funny -- provided it's not happening to you.

Sidebar: Wanna Get Lucky?

According to Richard Wiseman, these four principles can create good fortune in your life and career.

1. Maximize Chance Opportunities

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. Listen to Your Lucky Hunches

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities -- for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect Good Fortune

Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good

Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don't dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

Daniel H. Pink (, author of Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Creative Edge

By Andrew Cohen
What Is Enlightenment Magazine

Truly creative people are always pushing the edge. If you see very talented musicians lost in spontaneous improvisation, they'll often tell you that in that state something comes over them. There's a certain place they describe out of which all authentic creativity springs—a mysterious point between the present and future, where a deeper current is flowing. This place is alive with the thrill of the unknown, full of risk and insecurity. It's the very point where something comes from nothing.

In order to create something new, a risk has to be taken, a leap beyond the known. And the thrill of that creative leap is a very impersonal human experience. Great artists, writers, musicians, scientists, engineers, athletes and many others all experience this same thrill. We find that we feel most alive, most liberated, when we're expressing our own creativity, pushing the edge in the right way for the right reasons. This potential for creativity seems to be an inherent part of the human capacity. The creative process is an evolutionary process. When you experience the creative impulse awakening in your self, it's no different than the original impulse that became the whole universe. It's nothing less that the Big Bang itself, working in you and through you. That's why it is always so thrilling.

Now, it is one thing to take the risk to leap beyond the known in music, art, writing—in any kind of temporary process where we are creating something. But in an evolutionary context, we want to aspire to a relationship to life itself that would be constantly creative. I'm not just talking about creativity with a canvas or with a musical instrument. I'm talking about creativity with our own souls. It's much more challenging. There's no time out. You can't put the brush or the instrument down and go back to your safe, secure, ordinary life. Living like this requires a radical letting go and a kind of care that few people dare to even consider. It means perpetually living right on the cutting edge of the life process—where the flowering of spirit as evolution is occurring in every moment.

It's ultimate creativity of self in a total response to life.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gossip, Rumors and Innuendo

By Gary Ryan Blair

"Extraordinary people talk about ideas, average people talk about events, and little people talk about other people. Which of these best describe you?"

To many people, the idea of "workplace violence" connotes the physical harm that one may do to another. However, there is another form of workplace violence that is just as dangerous and insidious, and this is workplace gossip, rumors, and innuendo.

While your first inclination may be to consider the way we talk as not being violent, the fact remains, our words in the context of gossip, rumors, and innuendo often lead to hurt, pain and suffering.

Today there's an ever-increasing emphasis on gossip, rumors, and innuendo which is played out in any number of Reality TV shows, in celebrity gossip shows, in the print media, and in political campaigns. Just to prove this point, I contacted the National Enquirer and learned that they sell more than 3 million copies each week!

In company offices, in meetings, on the phone, in emails, in social settings and around the water cooler, people are spending more time talking about someone else - in language that is most often harmful, hurtful, critical, demeaning, and judgmental - and outside the presence of the one who is the subject of the conversation.

Understanding Gossip and Those Who Gossip Gossip is an emotional cancer in the workplace that eats away at the sense of well-being of the individual and the team.

One of the hallmarks of a true "team" is shared values - including mutual honesty, trust and respect. Where gossip rears its ugly head, these shared values are nonexistent. In fact, when gossip exists in the workplace, there can be no "team." The label "team" is meaningless. At best, there is but a "group."

Contrary to popular opinion, gossip is not benign; it's not idle; it's not tame; it's not "for the fun of it." It's certainly not entertainment, and if you at all interested in living a quality life and running a quality business, you must put an end to it!

Ending Gossip, Rumors, and Innuendo When dealing with gossip in the workplace and throughout your life, it's critical to explore not only the symptom, but also the root cause of this particular aspect of "workplace violence." And, to discover root causes, it's well to turn the microscope on yourself and begin by answering a number of important questions:

1. What are my true motivations for gossiping?

2. What does gossiping get me?

3. Why am I willingly (consciously or unconsciously) choosing to cause another person harm, hurt, upset, or pain?

4. Is there another way to get this same result without harming another?

Honest and responsible responses to these questions can give you some insights into your personal relationship and help you to put an end to it in your office and throughout your life.

Everything counts!

If you'd like to learn how to eradicate gossip and live a more quality life, then get this Special Report: Gossip, Rumors, and Innuendo - Understanding Gossip and How to Control It!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Law of Attraction – at work!

Have you ever considered why wealthy people are wealthy? Is it chance, coincidence, just plain good luck, or is there something that they do differently to the majority of people. It is because the practice the law of attraction. They expect to be wealthy and with clarity and certainty focus on becoming wealthy, and it doesn't take long for wealth to manifest itself in their life.

The law of attraction works without fear or favor. If you focus on wealthy thoughts, you will become wealthy, but also if you focus on the lack in your life, the law of attraction provides what you are focusing on – lack.

If it is that easy then why isn't everybody wealthy?

Because it is not easy. It takes effort to concentrate on having wealthy thoughts. Just imagine you are having a good day and thinking lots of wealthy thoughts, and then you retrieve the mail and the vehicle insurance bill arrives. Do you think, 'no problems I will pay that early because I have the money, and I have never failed in paying it before', or is it 'how am I going to pay that bill along with all my others'. We tend to let the thoughts of lack drag us down, and we allow these thoughts to occupy our time. It is a defense mechanism that our mind develops to prepare us for the worst, and thus becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. We focus on not having the money to pay the bills, or just having enough to scrape through, and guess what we end up with. Not quite enough or just enough, but not too much left over.

It is amazing where the things that make us wealthy appear from when we focus on the things that we desire in our life. As mentioned, it is not easy to continue to focus on the wealthy things that we desire in our lives, but with practice it can be done, and don't you think it would be worthwhile to develop a habit that will help us achieve our desires and goals.

One of the big challenges that face almost everyone that develops the wealthy thinking habits is dealing with family and friends who are negative or complainers. If you have a family member or friend that continually points out all the difficulties in life and complains about everybody else, this has a devastating effect on your thoughts. It is extremely difficult to focus your thoughts on what you have and the wealth that you want to attract into your life, if you have someone whining or complaining in your ear. The best way to approach this problem is to firmly yet gently start pointing out all the benefits and privileges that you have, and speak about others in a positive way, rather than criticizing them.

In short it is easy to get taken up with all that is wrong, rather than thinking about what you have and the many blessings that you have, whether it be a great family, good health. There is always something that you can find to be thankful for and help you focus on better thoughts and thoughts that will lead to wealth. Not only this, but life is so much more enjoyable if you are looking for the good things in life. Life is short and every moment you waste thinking about problems or criticizing others is a moment that is lost to enjoy.

You have most likely heard the saying 'you are what you think' and more and more research is proving this to be true. I will pose a question to you "Is there more or less violence in the world than there was 50 years ago?" Another question "Is there more evidence of violence in the newspapers, on the radio, on the television, in computer games than there was 50 years ago?" Ever thought that this might be related. If you have people watch and listen to violence, their thoughts are occupied with violent images and 'you are what you think', especially when violence is portrayed as being acceptable.

Turn this around and if you concentrate on wealthy thoughts, your subconscious and unconscious thoughts work in harmony to make you wealthy. Just as thoughts of violence lead to violence, thoughts of wealth ultimately lead to wealth. The amount of time that it takes to achieve wealth will depend on your conviction and certainty about it taking place.

Surround yourself with people who have the same desires and goals. If you don't know anybody who has the same desires as you, then focus on meeting people who do possess the same desires. You will be pleasantly surprised when these sorts of people begin to appear in your life, it is the law of attraction.

Are you prepared to change your circumstances by thinking wealthy thoughts?

Remember nothing changes if nothing changes.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The True Body-Mind Connection.

Tom Venuto

Metaphysics & Brain science merge and prove that positive thinking and goal setting literally create your body and your entire life experience

Last week on a special edition of CNN's Larry King Live, Mr. King interviewed a panel of "mind experts" about how the thoughts you think literally turn into the events you experience, the material things you possess... AND even the health of your body.

For years, "positive thinking" and goal-setting were often criticized as "pollyanna" and "the law of attraction" was relegated into the category of "new age" fluff

On last week's show, panel experts Bob Proctor, John Assaraf and others who were featured in the movie 'The Secret' explained that recent breakthroughs in neuroscience along with understanding mental laws, reveals why goal setting, the "law of attraction" and "positive thinking" all work, regardless of whether you look at them from a metaphysical or a scientific perspective.

Scientists have even identified specific parts of the brain, such as the reticular activating system (RAS), which works with the visual parts of our brain to call our conscious attention to things that are important to reaching our goals and to filter out those things that are unimportant.

The RAS is activated by "programming" goals into our sub-conscious minds.
Our subconscious mind is the "power center" and THIS is the mechanism that explains why goal setting and positive thinking are now being accepted as scientific methods for change.

We are discovering that our brain is cybernetic in nature, which means that it is literally like a computer, waiting for a program to be installed.

Here's the kicker - the subconscious is completely neutral and impartial - it will carry out any instructions you give it.

Unfortunately, many of us are still running negative programs we picked up from others as children when our non-conscious minds were totally open and impressionable, or which we developed over the years as a result of repetition of our own negative thinking.

As it turns out, our own thoughts, repeated daily, are one of the primary ways that our "mental computer" is programmed on a sub-conscious level, which is the level of beliefs, habits and automatic behavior.

To change your results, you must overwrite old negative programming and install positive new programming into your subconscious.

This can be achieved through such techniques as written goal setting, positive self-talk (affirmations), and mental imagery (visualization).

In the 1970's, the Soviets and East Germans were the first to formally use structured mental rehearsal, and at that time, they dominated in several Olympic sports. Today, virtually all elite athletes use visualization extensively, as we now know that the brain cannot differentiate between real practice and practice that is vividly imagined.

If you are getting more of the same negative results in your life - such as the same health problems, or the same body fat continues to return even after you lose it, then you have probably been un-consciously running old negative programs and reinforcing them with negative thought patterns.

You can begin the positive mental reprogramming process by writing down your goals, changing your internal dialogue and taking a few minutes to relax, quiet your mind and perform a session of visualization or mental rehearsal every day (seeing yourself in your "mind's eye" not as you currently are, but as you ideally would like to be).

These methods, repeated often enough, will begin to program the non-conscious portion of the mind, which is the same part of the mind that controls your heart beat, digestion and new cell production, all on "automatic pilot."

In the last decade, neuroscientists discovered that you have the capacity to create an almost infinite number of new neural connections in your brain when you run new thought patterns.

The Old neural pathways are like grooves in a record, and if you are struggling with your health related behaviors or behaviors in any other area of your life, you have been playing the "old records" over and over again.

If you were to carve a new groove into that record, it would never play the same way again. the old pattern would weaken and the new one would take over. Brand new, positive thoughts, feelings and images begin to create new neural patterns.

Psychologists estimate that it takes 21 to 30 days to establish a new pattern in your brain. During this time, the focus on sticking with your practice and repeating your new thought patterns is critical.

Is this easy? For most people, no it's not. In fact, controlling your thinking and keeping it constructive may be one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced. Fortunately, writing goals and reading affirmations can help get you started.

You can take some of the pressure off yourself by simply accepting that negative thoughts and self criticisms will pop up from time to time. Just observe them, without mulling over them or adding to them, and change the polarity of the thought by quickly repeating one of your positive affirmations or by changing your mental pictures.

So is there something to this whole "positive thinking" thing?

The philosophers and theologians have been saying yes for the entire span of recorded history: "As you think, so shall you be." Variations on this proverb can be found in every spiritual and philosophical tradition.

But... if you are the left-brained, "prove-it-to-me" type, you don’t have to go on faith anymore. Scientists are beginning to prove more and more convincingly that thoughts are powerful things. Even Larry King seemed impressed with what his panel of "mind mentors" had to say. In fact, I just found out that Larry will be airing part two of this "Power of Positive Thinking" show next week.

So how soon are you going to begin your mental training right alongside your physical training? When are you going to learn how to harness this power locked up inside your mind?

Guess what? You're already using this force every day because you cannot turn it off. Whatever you are thinking and picturing in your mind repeatedly on a daily basis is on it's way to you already, so it's simply a matter of HOW you are using it, not IF you are using it.

What do you say to yourself every day? Do you say, "I am becoming leaner, healthier and more muscular every day?"... or do you say "I am a fat person
- Ive tried everything, nothing ever works?"

The fact is - you can think yourself thin and healthy or you can think yourself obese and ill. Maybe not in the literal sense...but most certainly as the critical part in the chain of causation...

You see, there's a lot of talk these days in the personal improvement world about law of attraction, manifesting, intention, visualization and of course, positive thinking

Without understanding that there is an orderly, scientific basis underneath all of this, many people will simply remain skeptics, while on the opposite extreme, others may get the idea that you can sit around meditating and visualizing, then expect a mystical "law of attraction" to kick in and then "poof!" a great body materializes out of thin air... along with the perfect relationship, a nice bank account and career success.

What really happens is "Positive thinking" and related methods quite literally re-program your brain, which in turn creates new behaviors that move you physically toward whatever you have been thinking about and focusing on.

So success is achieved through positive thinking + positive doing...
attraction + action.
There are two sides to the coin. Without paying attention to both, you may continue to struggle... often against nothing but yourself.

If you want to transform your body or any other aspect of your life, then you have to change on the inside (the mind) first and then everything else will follow.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Author, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

PS This process of *scientific* goal setting and mental reconditioning through emotionally charged mental imagery (visualization) and internal mental dialogue (affirmations) is the very first thing I have always taught my clients and the first thing I wrote about in my book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle You can learn all of these techniques in detail in chapter 1.

Learn more about the psychology of body transformation inside the Burn The Fat e-book.

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Feedback on The 50 Life Booster Questions.

I was sent an e-mail on Sunday morning from one of our subscribers whom I did not know personally. I could tell there was some urgency in her note by the language, and she was asking if she could speak with me directly. I was at first a tad reticent, but something said, “go ahead”. And boy am I glad I did.

Within seconds of me e-mailing her back my phone was ringing. “Lena”, proceeded to launch into a story that just made what we do here all worth while.

She’s a lady in her mid-fifties, and has a very common story. Failed marriage (for the younger woman), distant children, thirty years a home-maker, not very worldly, but a very real "smiley" voice.

She proceeded to tell me that she had been on our subscriber list for about six months after a friend sent her a “reader” she thought would lighten her load. She has diligently made it a habit to spend some quiet time every day to read the offering of the day.

She told me she would feel angry at many of them, and that she’d often cuss me out walking around her house. Then she read something that I’d just briefly mentioned a month or so ago. A friend had sent her a copy of an emotional tone scale, and she saw that her “anger” was a more positive emotion than the apathy and depression she was more used too. She related to me that she was actually looking forward to getting a little “pissed” with what I was sending in the Daily Reader.

Then the sky opened up for her.

When she received Friday’s e-mail with the attached 50 Life Boosting Questions by Thea Westra, she said a whole new set of sensations took her over. Lena said that for the very first time in her adult life, she saw a road map presented before her.

This happy sounding lady had not been asleep since Friday as she worked through the questions one by one. She said she had in excess of a hundred and fifty pages of stuff that “Peter, I don’t know where it came from”.

Bottom line, she related that she has never, ever, felt so empowered, vibrant, and alive. She feels she has turned a corner.

Before she e-mailed me, she called her former husband and congratulated him for the choices he has made for his live. She called each of her three children and apologized, releasing them from any “guilt” she may have infected them with. And lastly. ( and this is where I choked) she said she took an hour long look at herself in the mirror, forgave herself for adopting powerlessness and fear, and resolved to live the rest of her life “out loud”.

Folks, I asked Lena to write her experience out for the blog, and she promised, as she feels more confident around technologies, she certainly would. She just wanted let me know what happened, and she gave me permission to write something about our call.

I’m feeling an enormous sense of gratitude for Lena, for the materials our contributors so selflessly share, for the technology that allows us to communicate to quickly, and for you all, who provide the inspiration to pull it all together.

Thank you.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

50 Life Booster Questions

Developed by Thea Westra, Senior Thought Leader

1. What would you love to do or accomplish, before you die?

2. If you were to begin to achieve that/these, what is the first change you would start to make?

3. What would you need to include MORE of in your life?

4. What would you need to have LESS of in your life?

5. Rewrite your goal(s) so it is ‘moving towards’ something, rather than ‘moving away’ from something?

6. What is YOUR personal definition of success?

7. If you had to guess your life purpose, what would it be?

8. What daily habits could you replace with a better daily habit? List these.

9. What would a massive action ‘look like’ for you?

10. What action would you take, if you knew you could not possibly fail?

11. What has worked for you when accomplishing past personal goals?

12. What can you see about any past setbacks, which may actually benefit you?

13. What are you tolerating/putting up with?

14. What will you do, to completely erase petty things that are bothering you?

15. For what will you take 100% responsibility, from now?

16. If you were your own coach, what coaching would you give yourself right now?

17. Who and what are you listening to, most of the time?
How will you change that, if it needs changing?

18. What do you keep saying to yourself that usually thwarts your progress?

19. What could you now keep saying to yourself, to empower you?

20. What could you get done this week that you know needs doing?

21. For that task, what is the first step and the next step?

22. What could you put in your environment to remind you of your promises to yourself?

23. What could you include in each day to create and hold your vision for your future?

24. What have you 100%, decided to achieve?

25. What ways do you benefit by NOT deliberately moving toward what you want?

26. What activities and new habits will you deposit into your future, this month?

27. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited to you feel about taking these actions?

28. What could increase that score?

29. What are your highest aspirations for this year?

30. What are the greatest lessons you have learned in life?

31. What is life asking you to do differently?

32. What are you now willing to do that you’ve been unwilling to step into?

33. What non-negotiable decision are you willing to make for your life, and stick to?

34. What in your life needs immediate attention?

35. What strategies could you use to better manage your daily priorities?

36. What is perfect about where you are in your life right now?

37. Describe in detail, your feelings once all your goals are achieved?

38. Which books could you read, people could you call and websites could you visit, to support your goals?

39. In what way are you a better person this year than last year?
What will be your answer, next year?

40. Where will you fine-tune your use of time in the next 24-hours?

41. Is there anything you are ignoring, to which you should be paying attention? Be honest!

42. What are you most excited about now? What are you looking forward to?

43. What ways will you will get more energy into your life?

44. What newly created, personal standard(s) will you abide by; hail, rain or shine?

45. What are your greatest strengths and how will you leverage those?

46. What would you most like to be acknowledged for, so far in your life?

47. What do you need to give to yourself so that you can give more to others?

48. What new belief could you take on to speed up your personal decision-making processes?

49. What do you already know for certain? Is that the truth?

50. List all the benefits that you got from completing this exercise, and what are your next Forward Steps?

An Online Version can be found at:

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Magic of Enthusiasm

By John Carpenter Dealey

Norman Vincent Peale often taught that "There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. Those who are fired with an enthusiastic idea and who allow it to take hold and dominate their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm holds out, so will new opportunities"

When One Door Closes…

One day, many years ago, Frank Bettger, a young and ambitious professional baseball player got the biggest shock of his life. He was fired!

He had thought he was on his way to the top and being fired came as a total surprise. As it turned out, he was actually nervous and afraid. In order to hide that fear, he was trying to "taking it easy" and act like he was cool, calm and collected. It didn't work.

Lemons to Lemonade.

When Frank went up to the boss and asked why. The manager told him that "taking it easy will never work. That's what is holding you down. Whatever you do, after you leave here, wake yourself up and put some life and enthusiasm into your work!"

Frank made a decision that completely changed his life forever. He set out to establish a reputation (and live up to it!) for being the most enthusiastic ball player ever seen.

He realized that he could turn his life around by acting enthusiastic even when he was not. In spite of things not being what he wanted, he began to act enthusiastic. He put a smile on his face, a spring into his step, energy into his actions.

Did it work? Absolutely!

He became known as "Pep" Bettger and within 10 days got a new job that increased his income 700%. Here‟s what Frank Bettger has to say in his best selling book: "It worked like Magic! My enthusiasm overcame my fear. I played far better than I ever thought I was capable of playing. My enthusiasm affected the other players on the team, and they too became enthusiastic. I felt better than I had ever felt before."

Life is Choices

One of the great things about life is that we can choose a "new beginning" any time we want to. If today has not gone according to plan, no problem. Simply stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath and make a decision to take a new course of action beginning right now!

Dale Carnegie said: "Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto."

Enthusiasm - What’s That?

Enthusiasm is a source of energy. The dictionary defines "enthusiasm" as strong excitement of feeling, something inspiring zeal or passion, an intense emotion compelling action. Combine energy with action and all kinds of wonderful things will begin to happen in your world.

Let’s Get Energized.

Many studies have shown our minds cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something that really happened. So, let's take advantage of this convenient feature and vividly imagine a "new you" that is all enthusiastic and energized.

First, think about something that you really enjoy. What idea or activity quickens your pulse, opens your eyes, causes you to sit a little straighter? That‟s the one! Spend a few minutes with that. Visualize yourself involved in that. Notice how you feel, what your thoughts are, how others react to you. Capture that feeling of energy.

Like Nike said, ‘Just Do It!’

Now, make a decision to act enthusiastic. Don't feel like it? Do it anyway. Continue to visualize that favorite activity… see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Build on that energy.

Jump up and down, wave your arms, shout "Terrific" to the world! Put a smile on your face, a spring in your step. Act as if today is the best day of your life and before you know it, it will be.

Yes, You Can!

Norman Vincent Peale wrote: "you can if you think you can". We encourage you to act enthusiastic today. It‟s a vital element of success. Do it now. The rewards will be many. Get excited about something!

Enthusiasm is contagious and builds upon itself. The more energy and enthusiasm you put out, the more you will have returned to you. Make a point to be around energetic and excited people. By doing this, you will attract even more energy and success into your life.

Enthusiasm is Free!

This marvelous tool for success is yours to embrace and enjoy. There is only one simple rule: To be enthusiastic, all you have to do is act enthusiastic. Try it for 30 days - you will be astonished at the results.

Be enthusiastic, take action and success is yours.

About the books:
How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, by Frank Bettger
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference by Norman Vincent Peale

Bettger‟s book changed my life when I was a teenager. Prior to that, my father had been on Dr. Peale‟s staff and Dr. Peale‟s enthusiasm also has had a huge impact on my life.

These wonderful books have been best sellers for many years. In these books, you gain a wide variety of easy to use tools to bring more enthusiasm, success and joy into your everyday life.

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