by Peter Comrie
In these times, when the Internets value is often questioned because of the proliferation of the obscene, the mundane, and the irrelevant, a bright star emerges to show us the magnificent potentials yet to unfold.
Composer Eric Whitacre and Producer Scott Haines combined their considerable talents to show us that this virtual world can produce examples of sound and beauty that leave us breathless. We at The Wealthy Attitude believe that what Eric and Scott have achieved here serves as a metaphor for the kind of leadership deeply needed in these times. A living example of wonderful people from many nations combining their voices to bring forth a sound of beauty, optimism, celebration, and possibility. We honor each and every one of them.
Eric put together a choir of 185 singers from 12 countries who never sang together until their voices were edited together. Here they perform Whitacre’s composition Lux Aurumque. Sit back and imagine.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
by Peter Comrie
Monday, March 29, 2010
by Karen Wright
We've all heard of Post Traumatic Syndrome (PTS) in relation to surviving a horrifying event. Rape victims, wounded soldiers, accident survivors. The symptoms can be as devastating as the events that caused them: loss of memory, depression, uncontrollable fear. Survivors often live in a diminished state of existence - physically and psychologically withdrawing from the world. Isolating them even further in their personal hell.
Recently I heard a twist on this disorder: Post Traumatic GROWTH Syndrome. A condition also triggered by life-altering events, but one in which survivors don't shrink from life. Instead they use the distressing event as a springboard for living more fully.
They don't deny the reality of their situation, yet they aren't broken by it. They possess three qualities that help them balance the good and bad and find a new relationship tolife. Optimism, Imagination, and Resilience.
Rose-colored glasses and Pollyanna's have long been maligned as unrealistic and delusional. How in the world could someone experience, say, the death of a loved one and still find a reason to be joyful. Surely, such an individual is just kidding themselves and avoiding reality. So says life's realists. And perhaps, in such situations, there is a bit of fake it till you make it going on. But, deeper than that, individuals who seem to survive tragedy with less trauma call upon and trust their innate sense of purpose and continuity. For them, life's set-backs are no less painful, but they choose not to be overcome by that pain. They know the crisis and the pain are part of an unfolding path that cannot be judged on face value. They believe that all experiences serve spirit's development. They choose optimism as their perch for viewing the world.
Optimism leads to imaging a different reality. As a WWII survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl (Austrian psychiatrist) discovered that prisoners with the ability to imagine a life beyond their current circumstances were happier, more generous in nature, and less likely to succumb to illness or depression. Through the use of their imaginations they could believe that the hell of today would end and a better life would follow. Imagination allowed them to shift their attention and find a kind of peace through acceptance. This too would pass.
Imagination is an under-rated gift. Children flourish in their fantasy-worlds, but they soon find out that grown-ups don't appreciate such childish notions. Is it any wonder that so many adults find it nearly impossible to see beyond the most obvious and mundane? Perhaps all the recent attention on the Law of Attraction may soften our death grip onlife-as-it-is and remind us that WE are the creators of what is...and what can be.
Resilience is the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it unharmed or even better for the experience. Resilience means facing life's difficulties with courage and patience - refusing to give up. It is the quality of character that allows a person to rebound from misfortune, hardships and traumas.
Resilience is rooted in a tenacity of spirit--a determination to embrace all that makes lifeworth living even in the face of overwhelming odds. When we have a clear sense of identity and purpose, we are more resilient, because we can hold fast to our vision of a better future.
So, back to Post Traumatic Growth Syndrome. Optimism, imagination, and resilience give us a recipe for seeing the opportunity in the crisis. Today's world provides endless opportunities to choose our responses. A realist may tell you that the only rational response is fear or anger or retribution. They're informed by the facts of life and can't see beyond what is. No imagination. Little optimism. And, likely, little resilience. They hold fast to a world defined by yesterday's measures. They look back with longing and forward with trepidation - forgetting that the past and future they envision is merely an emanation of their own or collective thoughts.
Yes, there are many challenges we all face. Yes, many are in pain. Yet we possess this remarkable capacity to alter our experience by consciously choosing the view that supports our well-being most. Is that being a Pollyanna? Is that being unrealistic? You decide... as for me, I'm off imagining the miracles of tomorrow.
Karen is author of The Sequoia Seed: Remembering the Truth of Who You Are, a great read for anyone who is seeking understanding or guidance, inspiration or clarity in his or her life. Waking Up, the free bi-monthly ezine, was created to help you activate your natural motivation to move beyond mere existence and to really LIVE your dreams.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
by Peter Shepherd
Our beliefs strongly influence our behavior. They motivate us and shape what we do. For instance, it is difficult to learn anything without the belief that it will be pleasant and to our advantage. What are beliefs? How are they formed and how do we maintain them?
Beliefs are our guiding principles, the inner maps we use to make sense of the world. They give stability and continuity; they are stable data that helps us to make order out of confusion. Shared beliefs give a deeper sense of rapport and community.
Our Map of Reality
Beliefs come from many sources - upbringing, imitation of significant others, conclusions as a result of past traumas, and repetitive experiences. We build beliefs by generalizing from our experiences of the world and those of other people. Some beliefs come to us ready made from the culture and environment we are born into. When we are young, we believe what we are told about ourselves and the world, because we have no way of testing, and these beliefs may persist unmodified by our later achievements, because they had parental authority.
We become predisposed to believing what we are told, what we read and what we see on television, and try to adapt new information to fit our existing system of beliefs if we can. If we cannot fit information to the existing pathways, we refuse to believe the information. These are the filters and biases through which we perceive our reality.
When we believe something we act as if it is true; we have then made an investment of effort. This makes it difficult to disprove; beliefs act as perceptual filters - events are interpreted in terms of the belief, and 'exceptions prove the rule.' Beliefs are not just maps of what has happened, but blueprints for future actions.
Positive beliefs are permissions that turn on our capabilities; they are permissions to play and explore in the world of possibility. Limiting beliefs on the other hand, usually center around, 'I can't...' This may have seemed a valid statement at the past moment in time, but believing it is a description of your capability now and in the future will program your mind to fail, as it will prevent you finding out your potential capability.
Beliefs can be a matter of choice. They change and develop; we have new peers that we listen to, new authority figures and influences. We think of ourselves differently, we marry, divorce, change friendships and act differently because our beliefs change. We can create new limiting beliefs or we can create new empowering ones; our life is not fixed in stone - we retain our freedom to choose. We have each created many beliefs about our possibilities and what is important in life, and we can change them.
Beliefs do not of course just apply to other people's statements or to dogma, they may apply to our own judgments about other people and situations... "This is intolerable!" "I can't stand this any longer!" "She is simply awful to be that way!" "Everybody's against me!" When they are exaggerated and over-generalized, they are irrational and harmful beliefs to hold. In particular, they are self-defeating.
Our interpretations drive our emotions. When we have habitual interpretations they become beliefs that we identify with, and then our emotional responses become equally fixed and often highly stressful and inappropriate, and our actions follow suit.
Yes, We All Make Mistakes
We all do things we aren't proud of, we wouldn't be human if we didn't. Something that affects others in a way that we wouldn't be willing to experience ourselves. Sometimes we chose to act in a way that we know at the time isn't being true to ourselves, but it seems like a solution to our situation. Or maybe we are tempted to put our own interests first. Other times we may be carried away by emotions of anger or jealousy and do something out of spite we may later regret.
Or we don't do something, like helping a friend in need, which we know we really wanted to. Alternatively we may have the best of intentions, but things don't go as predicted, we make a mistake or realize something we have done was harmful, even though we didn't mean it to be.
These sorts of actions can leave us feeling ashamed and depressed, and we can end up carrying our guilt for years, but if we want to live happy lives, we need to take responsibility for the consequences of our behavior and move on.
Feeling guilty shouldn't be confused with taking responsibility for our past. Responsibility means that we make a concerted effort to change the behavior pattern that resulted in the mistaken choice, and the beliefs and feelings that empowered it. We need to move on by making peace with the past.
The natural tendency when we do something without integrity is to try to justify our actions, to make ourselves right. Or we may say the action was deserved, making the other person wrong. Both of these are avoiding the reality, by denying our own sense of truth and our own responsibility for our actions. We avoid our feelings of guilt by pretending it wasn't a mistake or misconceived choice that we acted on, indeed it was 'right.' We avoid our feelings of shame (feeling bad about how others perceive us) by pretending that it is the other who should be ashamed.
The problem isn't the harmful action or making a mistake - that's happened and can't be undone. The problem is what we tell ourselves afterward. Whether we are honest or if we lie to ourselves. It is that lie which causes all the damage to our own integrity and to further relationships with the other we have wronged. We need to drop our defenses, drop the lies we may have told ourselves to hide the truth, face up to the reality of our actions and their consequences - and forgive ourselves.
There is a big bonus to being realistic and truthful - we can learn the valuable lesson that the experience offers us. Indeed, it's only when we have learned that lesson that we can let go of the past error and live our life as truly ourselves in the present. To forgive ourselves we need to learn the lesson. Forgiveness has nothing to do with feeling sorry or apologizing, neither of which actually changes anything. From a higher perspective there is no right or wrong. There are choices and experiences. There is cause and effect. And neither can forgiveness be given by another; it has to be granted by ourselves. Unless we can truly forgive ourselves, we can never really move on and be free of the past.
What gets in the way of this forgiveness is judgment that I am a bad person. I need to separate my inherent worth from my actions. I am basically a loving being, I know that. We all are. Actually I am not even my thoughts and feelings. I create these and sometimes through ignorance or misguidedly I create them inappropriately, and my consequent actions can result in hurt for others. Then the best I can do is to learn from that so in the future I can create more truly to my nature. I need to realize that my earlier choice was a result of my ignorance - I didn't know what I can now see to be the lesson from the experience.
Personal transformation occurs when we free ourselves to reflect upon and revise our beliefs. This becomes easier to do when existing solutions, assumed truths and past decisions have been exposed as unrealistic and self-defeating. That's why each error, mistake or failure that we make presents an ideal learning opportunity.
Life is a journey of learning and the most worthwhile learning is derived from our personal experiences. When things go as we want, because we have good information and appropriate beliefs, then our learning is reinforced by this positive feedback. When things go astray, because we have faulty information and inappropriate beliefs, then we and those at the effect of our actions suffer. But here we have a chance to learn something new. Much of our new learning and personal growth does therefore come about as a result of painful experiences; provided we are willing and open to learn those lessons.
If we wish to grow and to use our experiences beneficially, it is vital that we focus on what we can learn rather than resisting the reality of what occurred. Find something you did (or failed to do) that you still feel bad about, which you regret, or that makes you feel ashamed. Now begin to take meaning and value out of this experience. Ask yourself: "What has this taught me about myself, about others, and about my life?" Based on this lesson, work out what beliefs you need to change, what fixed ideas you can let go of, what assumptions you made before that are no longer helpful.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
by Guy Finley
Are you afraid of some condition in your life? Here’s a life-transforming secret: that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear.
It is only within this special kind of inner-relationship that there is real safety, because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day as you practice this, you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions. They begin to lose their power over you.
Why? Because you are at last seeing these reactions for what they have always been:unintelligent mechanical forces. You are slowly becoming stronger than they are because by seeing them as they are not as they would have you see them you have helped yourself to climb above and outside of their influence. This self-insight is the difference between trembling through your life and being in command of it.
To be consciously afraid means that you know you are frightened, but at the same time you know that these very fears, as real as they may seem, are not you. And no wrong reaction can keep you captive once you begin to see it for what it is.
Fear is, and has always been, nothing but a self-limiting reaction that we cling to in the darkness of our present life-level, having mistaken it for a shield of self-protection. But, just as the faintest of early morning sunlight can dispel the night-long darkness, so does the smallest of insights into a persistent fear lead to
letting it go.
You can prove this powerful principle to yourself anytime you want. Just dare to proceed even while being afraid. But remember, your new aim isn’t to be courageous or to try and act strong in the face of fear. No. We’ve seen that this won’t work. You simply want to be more curious about your frightened thoughts and feelings than you want to believe in them.
If you will follow this simple but higher instruction, not only will you start to see these habitual reactions that have been keeping you scared and running, you’ll actually start seeing through them. This is where the real miracle occurs.
Each new insight into the actual nature of these negative reactions removes some of their power over you. And their loss is your gain. You are stronger now and you know it. You also know this new strength will never fail you because it isn’t just the appearance of a temporary opposite. This new strength of yours is the absence of an old weakness.
Let’s look at just one of the ways in which this principle of putting self-illumination before psychological self-protection can turn fear into fearlessness.
Do you know someone who you would rather run from than run into? Most of us do! Nevertheless, starting right now, resolve never again to avoid any person that scares you.
In fact, go ahead and walk right up to that critical man or aggressive woman and say or do exactly what you want instead of letting the fear tell you to do what it wants. Have no ideas at all about the way things should or shouldn’t go. You are there to watch and learn about yourself, not to win an ego victory. Let that person see you shake if that is what starts to happen. What do you care? Besides, it is only temporary. That unpleasant person before you can’t know it, but you are shaking yourself awake.
For the first time, you are letting your reactions roll by instead of letting them carry you away. As you stand there, momentarily apart from your usual self and working hard to remain as inwardly watchful as you know how, you can see that this flood of previously unconscious reactions has its own life story; a shaky sort of
story that up until now you had embraced as your own. But now you are beginning to see the whole story. The fears do not belong to you. Here is the explanation:
You have never been afraid of another person. The only thing you have ever been frightened by is your own thoughts about that person. Yes, you did feel fear, but it wasn’t yours and it wasn’t towards someone stronger than you. The fear you felt was in what you thought he or she was thinking about you.
Amazing isn’t it? You have been afraid of your own thoughts! And seeing this ends this. Now you can let this thought-self go, because no one consciously holds on to terror.
(Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go, by Guy Finley Rev. Edition, Llewellyn Publications)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 38 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visitwww.guyfinley.org,
Thursday, March 25, 2010
By Carolyn Evers
Eight years old Evan Frank raised more than $9,000 for a Christian organization's mission to drill thousands of wells for people in impoverished areas of the world that lack clean drinking water. When he heard of people who didn't have enough safe drinking water, he wanted to do something about it.
Evan decided he wanted to help and when he found that it cost $9,000 to drill a well he decided he would raise enough money to do this by himself. His parents were not certain that he could do this but Evan believed that he could. He started by baking brownies and selling them. He brought great enthusiasm to his goal and not only raised enough money for one well but went over the top and raised more than that. He has been a real inspiration to everyone that hears his story.
Actually, I think what the story really demonstrates is that a human being can accomplish whatever he sets out to do when he believes in the outcome and in himself.
Webster's dictionary defines belief as "a conviction that certain things are true; also it mentions trust or confidence, an opinion, expectation, or judgment." As I contemplated this, examples came to mind where someone's belief system actually changed the course of history.
Believe in yourself
Alexander the Great is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He was the inspiration for later conquerors such as Hannibal the Carthaginian, the Romans, Pompey and Caesar, and Napoleon. It is difficult for us in this century to understand the rise and fall of civilizations and the conquerors that were part of that vision. I only mention them because their victories were part of their belief in themselves and in the world in which they lived. I propose that they accomplished what they did because of this belief.
As a young child, Alexander's mother Olympias told him he was the son of a god. Apparently he carried those words with him and thought himself invincible as he was noted for leading his men from the front line. He reminded his men of their permanent values; he told his men they were the world's liberators.
When Alexander entered Egypt the Persian satrap surrendered and the Macedonians were welcomed by the Egyptians as liberators for they had despised living under Persian rule for almost two centuries.
Later Alexander made a pilgrimage to the great Temple and Oracle of Amon-Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun, whom the Greeks and Macedonians identified with Zeus Ammon. The priest at the Temple told him that he was the son of Zeus Ammon, destined to rule the world, and this must have confirmed to him his belief of divine origin.
Alexander the Great managed to briefly extend Macedonian power not only over the central Greek City-states, but also to the Persian empire, including Egypt and lands as far east as the fringes of India. Alexander's adoption of the styles of government of the conquered territories was accompanied by the spread of Greek culture and learning through his vast empire.
What we believe can draw greatness into our lives
Perhaps belief is what draws the possibilities of greatness to our journey and gives life to our dreams. There seems to be an element of the spiritual underpinning our beliefs. What I mean is that behind our beliefs seems to be a spiritual connection in the sense that the belief is connected to something larger than oneself. To connect to these beliefs it seems that one must be willing to be inspired.
What inspires you?
It might be a good idea to occasionally take stock of those thoughts and ideas that inspire you. Are your ideas bigger thanlife or are they ordinary and easily reached? How much faith and trust do you have in yourself? Are you willing to dare take a step beyond your comfort zone? Sometimes inspiration must include new ideas. Or perhaps it is the reworking of an old idea. Attitudes can be formed by simply accepting what others believe and not questioning what might be beyond those walls. Thinking within the box can create a wall around us. It is only when we intend to move outside of the box and think of life from a new vantage point do we truly become open to new ideas and inspirations.
Napoleon Hill was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill's works examine the power of personal beliefs and the role they play in personal success. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" is one of Hill's hallmark expressions.
Napoleon Hill was born in an impoverished one-room cabin in the Appalachian town of Pound in Southwest Virginia. Hill's mother died when he was nine years old. At the age of 15, Hill began writing as a Mountain reporter for a small-town newspaper in the area of Wise County. The turning point of Napoleon Hill's writing career is considered to have occurred in 1908 with his assignment, as part of a series of articles about famous men, to interview the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, one of the most powerful men in the world.
Hill discovered that Carnegie believed that the process of success could be elaborated in a simple formula that could be duplicated by the average person. Carnegie was impressed with Hill and asked him if he was up to the task of putting together this information with only reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses to interview or analyze over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, in order to discover and publish this formula for success.
As part of his research Hill interviewed many of those famous people of the time including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, and Theodore Roosevelt among others. As a result of Hill's studies via Carnegie's introductions, the Philosophy of Achievement was offered as a formula for rags-to-riches success by Hill and Carnegie, published initially in 1928 as a study course called The Law of Success.
Hill believed that negative emotions, fear and selfishness, among others, had no part to play in his philosophy, and Hill considered them to be the source of failure for unsuccessful people. In his first book Think and Grow Rich he presented the idea of a definite major purpose as a challenge to his readers in order to make them ask themselves, "In what do I truly believe?" For according to him, 98% of people had no firm beliefs, and this alone put true success firmly out of their reach.
Consider new ideas for personal evaluation
As I bring forth new information about Ascension and other spiritual work, I have found that some people seem to be unwilling to open up their mind to new thoughts and concepts. And yet I recognize the fact that the belief system is what governs the possibility of future growth and accomplishment. In my point of view it becomes important to consider new ideas without preconceived judgment. It is only until one opens the door to new thoughts that one can truly grow. After evaluation, one can sort out those ideas that do not resonate with them, but I think it's crucial to be willing to consider new thoughts if one is to grow.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
by Jan Bolick
If you've lost power, or never had any to begin with, how can you possibly make a difference? Why bother dreaming? Or trying to make a goal? Or even setting one? Someone or something will keep you from it anyway. Might as well forget about trying to make a difference in someone else's life -- much less your own.
PLEASE don't listen to ANY of nonsense above!!! You have plenty of power. It might not be obvious. You may have to hunt around a bit. But it's there somewhere. I hope this reader will help you with search and discovery so that you find your power. And if you are a manager, I hope it will help you help others find theirs. A must for morale & productivity.
One December morning - the house was colder than normal. The clocks were dead. Out the window, we saw trees sagging under a beautiful crystal-like layer of ice; power lines across the road beneath branches, limbs -- even whole trees.
We learned from our battery operated radio that 90% of the homes in our town were without power. They said it would take 8 days to restore.
We went in search of breakfast and found only one restaurant open. It seemed the entire town was there -- hungry and powerless.
Powerless. We had lost possession of control.
It's funny the habits we found hard to break. Passing the neighborhood video store on the way home from breakfast, my son said excitedly, "No school today! Let's get a video!" "Oh -- I forgot", he said. "We don't have power." For two days -- I flipped the light switch every time I entered a room. "Oh -- I forgot. No power."
No lights. No video. No hot water. Or stove. Or refrigerator. No washer. Or dryer. No television. No computer. Or e-mail. No phone. Or fax. No traffic lights. Or streetlights. Never mind that our ancestors didn't have these things. Never mind that many people of the world are without these things every day.
WE HAD NO POWER!
We are spoiled by power. Feel entitled to it.
Yet -- might it be true that by losing it, we uncover forgotten power? Hidden power? Maybe even become more powerful?
We remembered some forgotten power fairly easily. Like the gas hot water heater. And the gas logs. Then we remembered the "old-timey" telephone in the attic. You know -- one of those that doesn't need electricity?
And what about the gas grill? It became a great and fun place to heat water for hot chocolate, cook eggs and a "mean" tasting grilled cheese sandwich.
Our power was revealed in other ways as well.
Gerry and his friend went out with their chain saws on that first day, clearing streets and driveways all over town. They did it because they had the equipment and the know-how. Not for rewards or payment. They told us about a woman who gave them a $50 bill to thank them for their help. They refused. She insisted. They took the money and gave it to charity. They used their power to help others and to pay it forward.
Other friends and neighbors who did have electricity called their friends and neighbors to check in and offer assistance. Once we located our old timey telephone, we were lucky enough to receive one of those calls from Lou and Tracey. They invited us over for showers and dinner and to spend the night. We gladly accepted!
The first night, we helped cook dinner for ten others who had been invited for a warm-up dinner. It quickly became dinner for 35 and a night full of fun and laughter. We all forgot about our own cold, dark households -- for three nights in a row. Meanwhile -- their showers had revolving doors. The washer and dryer worked non-stop. And the countertops were constantly lined with charging cell phones and laptops. Lou and Tracey had power and they shared it. In the process, they reminded the rest of us about the power of friendship and generosity.
Our neighbor, Beth, also had power. Looking for those without, she knocked on doors and called on the telephone, repeating what became a famous refrain "Come on over and BYOT!" (Bring your own towel).
WCHL, our community radio station that had lost power, but the engineers and generators kept the sound waves going 24/7. And somehow the sleep-deprived announcers kept providing information and entertainment, both vital during this emergency situation. One announcement was about Weaver Street Market. They had lost power and their food was spoiling. In an effort to turn their misfortune into good fortune for others, they asked WCHL to announce "Come take our food. It's FREE."
Sally heard the announcement and went right over. Her power was out so she had no place for the food, but she knew of a family of eight whose home had burned to the ground the week before. They were starting over in a rental home near Sally and they had power, an empty refrigerator and an empty freezer. So Sally drove to Weaver Street and let the manager know the situation. He loaded her station wagon with food which Sally delivered -- filling her new neighbor's freezer to the brim.
Sally had lost the power to do her usual job. Weaver Street had lost their power to provide fresh food. WCHL had lost their usual source of power as well. Even so, this threesome had a powerful impact on a family that had suffered a tragedy few of us can even imagine.
Dave also heard an announcement on WCHL about someone giving free wood to those in need. Dave had no use for wood, but he knew of an older couple nearby who had run out, so he filled his trunk with wood and delivered it to the couple. Dave had lost power to do his usual job, but he found hidden power to help another couple in need.
The power lines had been completely ripped away from our house. We had gotten conflicting information about whether to wait for the power company or call an electrician. On the fifth dark day, we decided to call an electrician. As you might imagine, it was hard to locate one at this time. We finally reached Sam on Sunday morning at 7:00am. He drove 40 miles to come over and repair the damage. When we asked what we owed, he quoted his normal weekday, non-emergency hourly rate. He had the power to repair the damage done by the storm. He did it. He had the power to charge far more than his normal rate. He didn't.
The power was on and everyone went back to work and school.
Shortly before the storm, Shelly Heath, a teacher at McDougle Middle School, had introduced "kindness" as part of a values curriculum. Our town's loss of power added power to this values lesson, as kids came to school after the storm, reporting their many powerful exposures to kindness.
People often talk about things they wish they could have -- things they wish were different. Those wishful statements are often followed by reasons these wishes won't or can't come true. Reasons or obstacles -- like spouses, kids, bosses, mergers, layoffs, the economy, war -- the list goes on and on.
These obstacles seem to zap our power like the ice did.
Yet if we truly want the things described in our wishful statements -- don't we have the power somewhere? Forgotten power? Hidden power? We certainly found a lot of it back in December.
Copyright 2010 – Business Class Inc
About the Author:
Jan has thirty years of sales and management experience and loves sharing it (plus her love for solving problems and for making work fun) with others so that they can get through tough situations, make big goals and celebrate these achievements.
She is now President of Business Class Inc. provides resources to managers and business owners such as one-on-one coaching, master mind groups and management team retreats. Plus FREE resources such as a Blog, E-Zine and Quote Library, which currently includes 153 motivational quotes ready to download, print, post and share to help teach, learn, remind and reinforce important keys for business success.
Monday, March 22, 2010
By Robert Rabbin
Even Buddhists want to live passionate lives, in spite of their equanimity. Passion is life force itself, the very energy whose intensity, love, and enthusiasm for beauty and creativity produced this infinitely exquisite universe, whose mystery is beyond measure.
If we are to honor the ancient stardust within our DNA, we must become passionate, we must allow the pulse and power of universal forces free reign in our lives. For each, this will look different, and yet something in our eyes, something that is friends with wildness and sudden shifting plates of earth and collisions in deep space, will look similar and always familiar, as if when we meet each other, we meet ourselves.
We tend to grow into passion little by little, though we may sometimes take big leaps, because we are not able to take it in all at once. One day at a time, we grow into our truly passionate, authentic self and life. One day at a time, we shed old and useless selves, skins, patterns, fears, and ideas.
Growing into full possession of our passion and authenticity can be supported by certain principles. Here are some I've found to be useful:
Growth is an archeological dig into the deepest layers of self.
We must develop patience and persistence. We need to fall in love with the process, because we may need to dig and dig, haul tons of dirt, sleep in dusty tents for a long time. We should not be put off from deeper digging just because we find a shard of valuable pottery.
Growth toward passion is a law unto itself.
We cannot apply conventional standards of measurement. Neither success nor failure; neither good nor bad; neither right nor wrong exist in the context of growth. If we are on a journey without end, how can we know of our success, of our achievement, of our attainment? We can notice our escalating freedom and joy, and how much happiness we inspire in others. But this is not a goal; we just notice this happening as a consequence of the process of continuous growth. When we apply rigid achievement criteria, we immediately condition the process--we create tension and fear from the beginning. Our path is one of learning, applying, practicing. The more we grow, the more we are able to grow.
You are responsible for your own life.
We often develop the habit of blaming someone for our unhappiness or frustrations; likewise, we hold the hope that someone will come along and rescue us from what doesn't work in our life. Both attitudes are false: they do not correspond to reality. The simple fact is: each one of us has to do our own work. We must create our happiness, our fulfillment, our joy, our passion.
The point of power is now.
The past lives within you as the present. Yes, we are conditioned by the innumerable experiences and decisions that have occurred in the "past." But where is the past now? It is within us as the present. Even if we know why everything happened, we would still have to change what does not work for us in the present. We still have to see clearly into our life as it is now. We must become conscious of those factors within our psyche that drive and motivate us. We must become aware of our fears, insecurities, hopes, and wishes. We must become very conscious and aware of all that happens now, both within us and around us.
No one is to blame.
As we liberate ourselves from past conditioning and patterns of self-suppression, as we discover new reserves of strength and courage, we might be tempted to blame someone for having obstructed our freedom in the past. We might want to confront someone for a past hurt and speak a truth that we had been unwilling to speak. We ought to be careful as we do this. It is not appropriate to blame someone for our lack of freedom in the past. No one deserves to be abused just because, from our new vantage point of clarity and power, we want a different kind of interaction.
As we change, our understanding of the past will change.
We often feel the need to come to terms with the past in a definitive way. This is difficult, and perhaps not necessary. It is important to learn from the past, and sometimes we will need to resolve or heal something that occurred in the past so we are not carrying heavy ghosts. Still, how we see and understand what happened, and who did what to whom, is a function of how we see ourselves now. As we continue to grow and evolve, our interpretation and understanding of the past will always reflect new growth and the perspective of higher altitude.
We are always free to change our experience of what happens.
No one is in the way. We do not need anyone's permission, nor do we need a certain configuration of conditions in order to experience life in a free and joyful way. This may seem untrue, because we associate experience with external conditions, even with our internal states of mind and emotions. Through meditation and growth, we discover a place of equanimity, of clarity, and of happiness that is not a function of external conditions or internal states of mind and emotions. It is like climbing to the highest point on the highest mountain, still on the planet but high above everything. We would be wise to learn how to create the experience of freedom and joy, regardless of external conditions or internal states.
What we discover, we must express, or it is not real.
It is not only good, but necessary, to fully and honestly express one's passion and truth. Expressing the truth helps us stay free from self-deceit and hypocrisy. Expressing our truth implies that our deep flows and swirls of motivation, the creative urges of our soul, penetrate the vital essence of each thought, word, and action. We are like artists, or dancers, who give themselves to powers of magic and mystery, and who bring into the world what no one has seen, but when they do, they recognize what no one has ever seen as being eternal and mundane, personal and impersonal, real and unreal, stunning and glorious, and on and on and on.
We should try to be fluid and flexible, because nothing stays the same.
It is okay to change our beliefs, attitudes, values, priorities, commitments, and patterns of reaction and behavior. Life is growth: growth implies learning, learning implies change. This does not mean we are without a center or core, or that we are irresponsible and superficial. We can have a solid set of values and commitments from which we act. We can have goals and intentions. It is just that we will need to regularly visit these to see if they are accurate and if they reflect who we are becoming as we grow toward passion and truth. In a sense, our life is a series of transitions, with each moment being both a self-contained lifetime and a bridge to new life. We will need to learn how to live gracefully with change, how to negotiate transitions, how to incorporate our new discoveries into the arch of our life, spanning unknowable distances.
It is important to respect your limits; however, most limits are self-imposed.
It is important that we proceed at our own pace. Since personal growth is continuous, we need not be in a crushing hurry. We may need to rest, to take a break, to allow time for the integration of what has been recently discovered. We might not be ready to see something or deal with something. This is fine. There are no requirements, no final tests, no punishments. Life is growth; it is continuous. We need to respect how we need to proceed: the manner, the pace, the intensity. We should respect our limits. At the same time, let us not forget that limits are self-imposed. In terms of consciousness and awareness, we are essentially without limit. But we cannot drink the whole ocean all at once. The limitations that we encounter and go beyond in the process of self-discovery are self-created and maintained within us. Still, let's be kind and gentle with ourselves, and with each other, even as we know the most important thing in life is to grow towards passion and truth, towards life, towards full freedom.
When passion, pulse, and power breach the sea-walls of our language-based seeming reality and our petty patterns of self-imaging and all our concessions and self-betrayals and excuses, we hear within us the roar of the cosmos, the cosmic roar. That's when life begins.
As a pioneer in the field of executive coaching, Robert Rabbin founded The Hamsa Institute for Enlightened Leadership in 1990, and as a skilled and inspirational keynote speaker, leadership adviser, and self-awareness teacher. For more information, please visit the website: Robert Rabbin.com
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
By Darcy Eikenberg
Let’s pause for a moment to celebrate three unique innovators who died this year: Curtis Allina, Art Clokey, and Walter Morrison.
What–you haven’t heard of them? I bet you know their creations well: Pez, Gumby, and Frisbee.
I dare you not to grin when saying those three words! Pez, Gumby, and Frisbee collectively represent fun, silliness, play, and many more happy emotions we want in our lives today.
When each of these gentlemen’s obituaries appeared within a month of each other, it made me pause. What lessons did their innovations teach? As I strive to be more creative and innovative, what inspiration can I take from their journeys? After exploring their lives and legacies further, here are the top three things I discovered:
1. Great Innovation Can Happen Even if Life’s Hard
You’d think that if you were a master of something as creative, as inventive, as FUN as any of these three playthings, that you probably lived a charmed life. But that was far from the truth:
• Clokey was sent to live in a children’s home when his mom’s new husband rejected him after his natural father died in a car accident.
• Allina’s family perished in concentration camps in the 40s, leaving him as the sole survivor.
• Morrison, a WWII pilot, was shot down and spent 48 days as a prisoner of war in Stalag 13.
Those setbacks didn’t get in their way–in fact, they may have led to even greater creativity and innovation. For example, Morrison’s aeronautic skills helped him refine his original flying disc. The abandoned Clokey was eventually adopted by a well-known composer who introduced him to an artistic life that certainly led him to pick up a handful of clay.
2. Accept Whatever Comes
Gumby’s 1956 debut on “The Howdy Doody Show” led the stop-motion character to his own short-lived series and ongoing syndication. But his popularity faded in the 70’s, and creator Clokey struggled financially, according to published accounts.
Then a young comedian named Eddie Murphy played a foul-talking Gumby on Saturday Night Live in the 80’s. Many expected Clokey–the man who created TV’s religious-toned “Davey and Goliath” and who once planned to become an Episcopal priest–to be shocked and ashamed at how his creation was mangled.
But according to interviews, he loved it, although he was happy it was on late at night when children were sleeping (remember, this was the pre-TiVo era.) By accepting someone else’s interpretation and going with the affectionate outpouring, the edgy performance rejuvenated Gumby, and put the green guy in the hands of a whole new generation.
3. You Don’t Have to Create to be Creative
Pez was originally a Viennese mint, marketed to adults as an alternative to smoking. In fact, the stemmed dispenser was designed to look like a cigarette lighter. When the idea emerged to repackage the candy for children, company exec Allina had to persuade the conservative, European home office that the change would make sense.
Pez historian (now there’s a job!) David Welch told The New York Times that no one really knows exactly whose idea it was to put heads on Pez dispensers. However, Welch shared, “The idea came from the United States. And for the idea to have come out of the United States and made it to Austria where it could be approved, Allina was the only guy who could have made that happen.”
So whether Allina actually envisioned a Santa head on a stack of peppermints, we’ll never know. But he was the one to enable the creative move, to actually make it happen, and in the end, is credited with making the now multi-million dollar industry come to life. Not a bad legacy.
Speaking of legacy, it is worth noting one other thing these three men had in common. They all lived long lives: Pez’s Allina passed away at 87. Gumby animator Clokey died at 88; and Morrison, Frisbee’s father, died at 90. They left behind not only their respective innovations, but also buckets of inspiration for the creative spirit in all of us.
Where do you find your innovation inspiration–at work, outdoors, or at home in your garage? From music, TV, or a stroll through the mall? Who inspires you most–people you know well, or people you’ve only known from afar?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
By Edwin Harkness Spina
"Man is a creature of habit." This simple statement is deceptively profound. Most people's lives are comprised of a collection of habits that dictate many of their physical, emotional and mental actions and reactions. Depending on the level of conscious awareness you invest in a habit's creation, habits can either enslave you, turning you into a mindless automaton, or free you to pursue creative, joyful activities that enhance and give meaning to your life. Most people have a mixture of good and bad habits.
Habit is defined as an acquired behavior pattern followed until it has become almost involuntary. Habits can be good or bad, productive or non-productive. Good habits lead to skills, such as learning to ride a bicycle. They also save you time and energy by automating the performance of desirable actions. Brushing your teeth or driving a car are examples. These acquired behavior patterns free your mind from having to concentrate, as would be required of unfamiliar actions.
Bad habits predispose you to undesirable outcomes. Excessive drinking, smoking, drug use and overeating are examples of bad habits that can harm your body and impair your judgment, aside from wasting your time.
Common sense tells us that you want to replace bad habits with good ones, which is the basis of all self-development and evolution. But as almost everyone who has ever tried to quit smoking will tell you, this is not always as easy as it would seem.
Smokers are addicted to nicotine. But according to modern brain science, all habits induce emotional states that produce chemicals in your brain. Consequently, you become addicted to the chemicals secreted by your brain no matter what kind of habit you create!
With every thought or action you undertake, you create electrical pathways in your brain. As Joseph Dispenza says in the movie What the Bleep do We Know?, "neurons which fire together, wire together." Repetition etches these patterns more deeply into your brain.
To replace a bad habit with a good one, you need to break the association with your emotions and the chemicals you've grown accustomed to, and rewire your brain. This requires concentration and will.
If you are unaware or unwilling to acknowledge your non- productive habit, you will have a hard time replacing it. If you are not convinced a particular habit is bad for you, you will have no incentive to change it. But, if you are aware of your unwanted habit and are willing to devote your attention to it, then it can be changed. Deeply focused concentration, such as during a visualization exercise, increases the potency of your thoughts and more deeply affects your brain's rewiring.
Remember, it took regular action to install your unwanted habit - possibly over the course of several lifetimes - so it will take regular action to undo it. This is where your will comes in.
You strengthen your will, as well as your habit, with repetition. Every time you consciously reject the urge to give in to your bad habit, you strengthen your will. Every time you consciously undertake an action to install a new, positive habit, it becomes easier. This is how you rewire your brain and overcome your addictions.
When these habits are of a positive nature, this self- reinforcing cycle produces positive results, but the contrary is also true. This demonstrates a principle that Jesus taught, "For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath."
In other words, consciously acting to install positive habits strengthens your will and further attracts more like experiences. Giving in to bad habits, weakens your will, not only making it harder to install good habits, but doing so may cause you to lose what good habits you already had.
Can there be any better reason to develop your will and consciously establish positive habits?
The development of good habits is meant to improve your life, free you from the grip of negative habits and attract even more positive experiences to you. At the same time, always remember to be guided by wisdom and not convention. You should strive to perform good actions based on your own inner wisdom and conscious choice, not based on convention - not even good habits. This is the ultimate freedom.
Edwin Harkness Spina is an award-winning author and speaker. Ed is dedicated to presenting practical mystical techniques to improve people's lives and expand their minds. His workshops and seminars emphasize the practical application of these techniques to help others manifest their dreams. If you would like to increase your potential for intimacy by clearing your energy centers, please visit Energy Center Clearing
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The conditions that prevail at this time in the 21st Century call for an even greater degree of leadership to be brought forth. The entire “personal development” industry must now be focused on establishing an even stronger foundation on which tomorrow’s leaders must stand.
To that end, two significant organizations have combined to introduce Full Spectrum Leadership Training to the next generation of 21st Century leaders. Doug Cameron, the co-founder of The Eppica Centre, and one of the rare individuals personally mentored by the late Jim Quinn, invited Peter Comrie of The Wealthy Attitude to join forces to develop a training circumstance that would significantly impact 1000 of tomorrow’s leaders.
Why this, and why now?
Most everyone is aware of the growing complexity of the world we live in. Do you think that situations and events in the world are moving quickly now? Sysco Systems (the Internet infrastructure builder) has recently announced a new platform for delivering video over the Internet that is 12 times faster than anything we have experienced so far. Twelve times! This single technological innovation will transform, and open up new possibilities, unlike anything we have engaged until now. And, this is only one company introducing one innovation. There are thousands of company’s working on more innovations and new products than we can ever imagine.
The startling speed, and the resultant complexity, ergo confusion, creates, no demands, that leaders find a new clarity and vision to lead groups of people in new and innovative ways. So where do leaders, either fully seasoned and experienced leaders, or the next generation of leaders taking their first steps on their journey, go to find the focus, the clarity, and the wisdom to make the right choices.
Ironically, they go where leaders have gone for thousands of years.
They go to the TRUTH.
Leaders are not born, they are developed, they are trained, and they take 100% responsibility for the entire life experience. This is what Full Spectrum Leadership is all about.
Find out the whole scoop at: http://www.fullspectrumleadership.ca/