Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Life Lessons Learned from the BP Oil Spill

In the wake of the BP oil spill, we face a major environmental disaster. Hundreds of animals are dead, and even more are in danger. It could take years for affected areas to fully recover.

As cleanup efforts are ongoing, engineers are still trying to work out the best method to control or stop the oil. Countless environmental lessons can be gleaned from this catastrophe, and BP and the World as a whole will hopefully learn from the mistakes that were made.

While the focus is currently centered on what lessons the spill has taught us about drilling, safety, and the environment, we can also gather a number of lessons about life when we step back and look at the big picture. We have asked contributors to share with us some life lessons they have learned and questions for the general population to reflect on as a result of the oil spill.


1.) It should not take a disaster like the BP oil spill to remind us about interdependence and responsibility. We must stop taking responsibility after the fact and using it as an act of contrition - but rather proactively engage in responsible decision making which considers the ramifications of our actions before we engage in them. Apology does not obviate responsibility. Increasingly, technology and urbanization have allowed us to distance ourselves from other people and other living things. When we honored our tribal origins - we were far more aware of how our actions impacted not just ourselves, but everyone and everything around us. My kindergartener warns me to carefully discard plastic, lest a dolphin choke. At the end of the day, taking responsibility means embedding our actions in a context of other, rather than self. 6 year olds get that. CEOs should too.

Ramani Durvasula

2.) The more risk you have and the more groups involved, the more you put systems in place to check, re-check and re-check what is going on in great detail. This applies to any part of life, health, environment, business, relationships, spiritual life, workplace issues, and everything else. This is no time to hang out in la la land. Get into the nitty gritty.

Dr. Linne Bourget

3.) Spiritually, everything happens for a reason and there is always a higher positive purpose, so stay tuned and look for it. Be careful not to send more negative energy or judgment into the Gulf, but send them positive thoughts of healing for people, economy, and environment.

Dr. Linne Bourget

4.) Do scenario planning IN ADVANCE for what might happen and pre-test your solutions so you can mitigate the negative consequences for all involved when the crisis comes. Working in very difficult circumstances, do not assume you can easily fix what crises may erupt.

Dr. Linne Bourget

5.) Just as BP execs are scrambling, so should we. What part of you is leaking energy so profusely it cannot be controlled? How much of your life and the lives of others will be destroyed because you refused to move on to more sustainable forms of energy? What once was your black gold? Pounds of caffeine or sugar, drugs or drama? Hanging onto a deadly job? A harmful relationship? The hole has burst open. Nothing will close it. Is it too late to repair the damage? When will you finally let go and move on? What will it take?

Rebecca Elia, MD

6.) Each of us has the power to reduce, reuse, or it by taking shorter showers, using energy-efficient light bulbs, taking cloth bags to the grocery store, or one of the many other great ways we can conserve. If the BP oil spill (not to mention other recent hurricanes, tsunamis, and fires) has taught us anything, it's that we need to take responsibility for our actions...and also be willing to make a change. We're well past the point of pointing fingers and blaming others. Every person on the planet must be willing to do their part. Our future...and our children's future...are depending on it!

Shelly Rachanow

7.) Did BP get caught up in the 'It can't happen to us' mentality? Leaders and companies need to regularly assess the most likely areas where their hidden risks might occur.

Gary Patterson

8.) We MUST learn to stop letting lobby money talk over the voice of common sense and obvious safety. The first response often resorts to a knee-jerk reaction, like "let's stop all drilling", but it is not a proper use of given resources. We must be energy independent, and safety must always be thought out in worse case scenarios. Deep water drilling is a disaster waiting to happen - a time bomb - forced on by "environmentalists" really masked as policymakers for their industry. It is high time real people who love and appreciate the beauty of our nation be allowed to the decision table. Everyday people who don't make a buck over the outcome, but value the blessings of nature. Money must stop making policy decisions.

Lindy Abbott

9.) I think there's a big difference between lessons offered and lessons learned. There's no doubt that the gulf oil spill is offering a post-graduate course in how to live on planet earth (and how not to), but will anyone learn? Will we understand that the spill was caused by greed? Our greed for oil and the oil company's greed for money. Will we learn that it was caused by laziness? Ours for driving everywhere and the oil company's for the shortcuts they took in drilling. And will anyone bother to understand the "why" of it all? Will anyone understand that they were drilling out there, and taking that risk, because that's where the oil is now? We've pumped all of the easy stuff, and the new stuff is going to be tough, expensive and nasty. Will anyone learn that this was caused by our insatiable appetite for oil, and that as we pass the peak of global oil production, these horrific environmental disasters can only become more common. When will we ever learn?

Chip Haynes

10.) I had a mentor named Wilma Leverenz when I was in my early twenties who used to say two things to me. The first was The 8Ts. "Take the Time to Think Through Things Thoroughly", and as this story has unfolded about how the oil spill happened, clearly the risks were not properly weighed and thought through, and mass destruction ensued. The second thing that she told me was "Feelings Are Not Facts". So despite how we might feel about something, or someone, it is not a guarantee that we are right about our assumptions about the situation, the person or their motives. And finally the third tool that I live by is "It is what it is", and this is like anything else. As soon as we accept circumstances exactly as they are the sooner we will be effective at dealing with the problem. Collectively, we bear a responsibility. Individually we can respond in ways that turn this horrible event into something positive.

Liora Farkovitz


What life lessons have you learned from the oil spill? What do you think the World stands to learn? We invite you to share your thoughts with us below in the comments sections.

This posting was compiled by Editor Sam Etkin of, the number one self improvement resource on the Web. For more quality self improvement content, please visit

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sentenced to Success!

Posted by the outstanding Full Spectrum Leader, Chris Widener

I once heard a speaker use the statement, “I have been sentenced to success!” I heard that almost twenty years ago, yet it still sticks in my head.

Imagine that. What if we had been given a life sentence to serve, say 75 years, and the sentence was to do time in a place called “Success”? The truth is that we have.

Let me back up. We have been given a life sentence. But, unlike a sentencing in a real life courtroom, we get to actually choose where we will “do our time.”

Here are some of the choices people make:

The prison of poverty.
Poor people are no better or kinder or anything else than people with money. People are people regardless of how much money they have. Frankly, I have had little and I have had a lot, and yes, I will choose having a lot! When you choose to live in poverty you are in a prison that does not allow you the freedoms we were intended to experience. We are unable to help others as we desire. My advice? Don’t choose a sentence to the prison of poverty.

The prison of depression.
Depression is like a blanket that overwhelms you and eventually smothers you. Now before you go accusing me with, “Chris. You just don’t understand.” Yes I do. I have had a history of depression. Depression is rampant in my family of origin. I know firsthand what a prison depression is. When you are locked up in depression you cannot live life as it was intended. But you can get out! My advice? Don’t choose a sentence to the prison of depression.

The prison of the lack of health.
Lacking health is a real pain! The freedom we lose when we choose to live in a state of a lack of health is terrible – and unnecessary! We don’t have to live in that prison. We can choose a different sentence! We can choose health! My advice? Don’t choose a sentence to the prison of the lack of health.

The prison of doubt, worry, and fear.
This is a dark, dark prison. It is one that haunts you the whole time you reside there. It makes you believe that the surroundings are worse than the really are. It keeps you from enjoying life and becoming the kind of person you were intended to become! My advice? Don’t choose a sentence to the prison of poverty. My advice? Don’t choose a sentence to the prison of doubt, worry and fear.

There is another option. You can choose to be sentenced to success! You can choose to actually be set free! You can choose to walk out of that courtroom and live the life that you choose!

What can you experience when you are sentenced to success. How about these:

Good health
Financial abundance
Emotional freedom
Positive relationships
A career you love
Spiritual liberty

And how will you experience these? By choice. Your choice. You choose exactly what kind of life you will live. You choose the sentence you will serve here on earth and the experience that you have.

Will you languish in a dark prison or in the open freedom that comes from the sentence of success? That depends on the choices you make.

I challenge you to choose this day to:

Pursue financial independence
Develop yourself spiritually
Make a change so you are in a career you love
Re-commit yourself to loving relationships
Achieve emotional health

Make a choice TODAY. Do not spend another day in a prison where you do not belong!

Where will you serve your sentence? You get to decide.

As for me?

I have been "Sentenced to Success" !

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Monday, June 28, 2010

10 Steps to Detect and Stop Secret Self-Sabotage

by Guy Finley for Monday June 28, 2010

It's a little known - yet much denied fact - that people treat you the way you secretly ask to be treated. Your unspoken request that determines how others behave toward you is extended to — and received by — everyone you meet.

What is your invisible inner life? It's the way you actually feel — as opposed to the way you're trying to appear — when meeting any person or event.

In other words, your invisible inner life is your real inner condition. It's this state of internal affairs that communicates with others long before any words are exchanged. These silent signals from your inner self are what a person receives first upon meeting you. The reading of them
determines from that point forward, the basis of your relationship. This unseen dialogue that goes on behind the scenes whenever two people meet is commonly understood as "sizing one another up." But here's the point of this introduction.

We're often led to act against ourselves by an undetected weakness that goes before us — trying to pass itself off to others — as strength. This is secret self-sabotage. It sinks us in our personal and business relationships as surely as a torpedo wrecks the ship it strikes.

Any person you feel the need to control or dominate — so that he or she will treat you as you "think" you should be treated will always be in control of you and treat you accordingly. Why? Because anyone from whom you want something, psychologically speaking, is always in secret
command of you.

It would never dawn on any person to want to be more powerful or superior to someone else unless there was some psychic character within him or her that secretly felt itself to be weaker or lesser than that other individual.

Any action we take to appear strong before another person is actually read by that person as a weakness. If you doubt this finding, review the past interactions and results of your own relationships. The general rule of thumb is that the more you demand or crave the respect of others, the less likely you are to receive it.

So it makes no sense to try and change the way others treat you by learning calculated behaviors or attitude techniques in order to appear in charge. Stop trying to be strong. Instead, start catching yourself about to act from weakness. Don't be too surprised by this unusual instruction. A brief examination reveals its wisdom. Following are ten examples of where you may be secretly sabotaging yourself while wrongly assuming you're strengthening your position with others.

1. Fawning before people to win their favor.
2. Expressing contrived concern for someone's well being.
3. Making small talk to smooth out the edges.
4. Hanging onto someone's every word.
5. Looking for someone's approval.
6. Asking if someone is angry with you.
7. Fishing for a kind word.
8. Trying to impress someone.
9. Gossiping.
10. Explaining yourself to others.

The next time you feel yourself about to give into any of the above behaviors, give yourself a quick and simple internal test. This test will help you check for and cancel any undetected weakness that's about to make you sabotage yourself.

Here's what to do: Run a pressure check.

Here's how: Come wide awake, relax, and run a quick inner scan within yourself to see if that remark you're about to make, or the answer you're about to give without having been asked for it, is something you really want to do. Are you about to speak because you're afraid of some as yet
undisclosed consequence if you don't?

Your awareness of any pressure building within you is proof that it's some form of fear — and not you — that wants to do the explaining, fawning, impressing, blabbing, or whatever the self-sabotaging act the inner pressure is pushing you to commit.

Each time you feel this pressurized urge to give yourself away, silently but solidly refuse to release this pressure by giving in to its demands. It may help you to succeed sooner if you know that fear has no voice unless it tricks you into giving it one. So stay silent. Your conscious
silence stops self-sabotage.

Special Summary: In any and every moment of your life, you are either in command of yourself, or you are being commanded by unconscious conditions within yourself.

Excerpted from Design Your Destiny, by Guy Finley, Llewellyn Publications

Guy Finley is one of today's brightest voices in the field of self realization, showing men and women everywhere how to find a life of freedom, enduring fulfillment, and true purpose. Director of the non-profit Life of Learning Foundation, Guy is the best-selling author of more than 35 books and tape albums on self-realization and higher success. He is also a regular contributor to Cultivate Life Magazine. (See Below)

The Full Spectrum Leadership team actively supports the many amazing contributors who add value to the personal development industry. Peter Shepherd of Trans4Mind for many years has consistently endeavored to bring us all the very best thinking available today. We support Cultivate Life Magazine, and for the lowly cost of $20 per year we are sure you will appreciate having Peter, Guy and the team in your corner.

Click image below and check it out for yourself.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us!

by Peter Comrie

In our world today, with all its vagaries and conditions, we still must reconcile that we are a society that lives in an economic environment. We are deluged with detailed information about every subject under the sun, and yet poverty consciousness rules much of our thinking.

As I personally navigate the business world, working to make my economic conditions acceptable and worthy, I'm caused to believe that I'm often missing something exceedingly simple. And then I look at what really are the primary motivators for me and my team.

Watch this fascinating talk below visually unfold before you through witty and beautiful illustration. Dan Pink makes the case that there are hidden truths behind what really motivates us. Namely that it's not the age-old motivators of money and power that drives us, but our desire for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

You're going to enjoy this.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Legend and a Legacy

by Peter Comrie

This Legend has taken his abilities and energy and focused them in such a way that enabled him to overcome many obstacles throughout his life. His childhood was one of poverty, slavery and some of the most debilitating work known to man. He was born in 1856.

During his years of slavery, he was property of James Burroughs of Virginia. He had little knowledge of his biological father.

He was raised by his mother. During slavery, it was illegal for slaves to receive an education. However, in September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and soon after the Civil War, slaves now experienced freedom.

Soon after freedom, our Legend greatly desired an education. Instead of dwelling on the past of what he had experienced in slavery, he focused on bettering his life and making a difference. He had no idea how he would, but he knew his outcome.

When he was 16 years old, he made a decision that he was going to attend Hampton Institute in Virginia. Even though the decision was made, he didn't know how he would get in, and if he did get in, he didn't know how to pay for it. But despite the unknowns, he showed up on the doorstep of Hampton Institute with no money and no food.

Hampton Institute was founded and run by General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. The institution that he molded was to become a tremendous influence in our young mans life.

General Armstrong valued and lived by work, study, hygiene, morality, self-control and independence. His institution was not for the weak and not for the lazy.

After graduating, this former slave whom we all know as Booker T. Washington became a teacher in Tinkersville, West Virginia. Then in 1879, his old friend and mentor, General Armstrong, asked him to return to Hampton Institute as a teacher.

He gladly accepted and eventually was recommended by Armstrong for principal of a new school, Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.

With Washington as principal, both he and the school grew to a world famous status. Even though he became well known, Washington still didn't receive the financial help from the state to complete his schools development.

Determined not to let progress suffer, he took it upon himself to raise the money on his own. Washington began traveling and speaking to various groups to solicit funds. He was very successful in this endeavor, gaining support from whites and blacks alike.

Among some of his contributors were Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller who would give on a regular basis.

Through his hard work, determination and sheer willingness to live a life of legacy, Washington continued to grow, excel and give of himself. His ability to follow through with his already decided outcome, he wrote a bestseller book in 1901 entitled Up From Slavery.

Eventually he became an advisor to the President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. Consequently, Washington became the first black person to ever dine with the President at the White House.

Not bad for an uneducated slave who had nothing going for him except his willingness to do what it took to succeed and never take no for an answer.

What are your set backs, your hindrances, your problems?

Do you hear the "No" in the back of your mind? Take some indirect advice by example from Booker T. Washington.

Your life has an offer to make to the world.

What is it?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leaders and Intuition

by Peter Comrie

Are you a leader in your organization?

Are you an instigator of change or a catalyst in your family circle, school, church or institution?

Does your work entail initiating change?

Do you want to make a difference?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, then you are a leader!

Being a leader is about being a decision-maker and problem-solver. When you are bombarded with decisions or choices, what are your first thoughts? What are the initial ideas that come into your mind? When problems arise or when opportunities come, what ideas first pop in your head? Can you rely on your intuition?

You may not know it but you have intuitive powers. All you have to do is to unleash these. Get acquainted with the power within. Here are some sources of intuition:

Has this ever happened to you? Sometimes a decision that you made in a matter of seconds is more reliable than a well-thought out decision!

What you see and feel in the first two seconds can be considered more meaningful. You might not believe in first impressions but these could be true! First impressions may be difficult to explain. Some people decide on certain matters depending upon what they feel and how things appear to them. These people learned to trust their instincts.

Past experiences.
The Sensation-Perception Theory or philosophy of empiricism underscore experiences as valuable sources of knowledge. When faced with recurring problems that demand immediate responses, you normally come up with solutions based on past experiences.

What worked in the past might work again in a current situation. Remember that you do not need complex mathematical models to decide on intricate problems. Just sit back and go over your previous strategies.

What do you do if you encounter a totally different problem? This new problem is something that you have not yet encountered in the past.

Well, the mind has limitless reasoning power and understanding. As you acquire knowledge, your level of understanding is elevated. When you face a new problem, it may require a solution that is altogether new. Your previous experiences won’t work this time so you devise a creative and novel strategy. According to Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.”

The qualitative approach, such as the use of intuition, is a powerful tool in solving difficult problems and in deciding whether to take advantage of opportunities. It is inherent and doesn’t require a sophisticated formula.

All you need is to learn to trust what you see and what you feel. Intuition is a guide and more like a compass; it would always point to the north. However, it needs to be readjusted every now and then, because it could be destroyed when wrongfully exposed and misused. So let your intuition be your guide in becoming an effective leader.

Peter is the co-founder and principal coach at Full Spectrum Leadership. Visit the website at:

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Addiction to Thinking

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Randall sought my help because he was stuck being miserable and had no idea how to get out of his misery. In his life he had experienced moments of great joy and sense of oneness with all of life, but those moments were infrequent. He wanted more of those moments but had no idea how to bring them about.

Randall is an extremely intelligent man, but in some ways he was using his own intelligence against himself. The problem was that when Randall did have those brief moments of true connection, he immediately went into his mind to try to figure out how it happened. The moment he went into his mind, he lost the connection that he so desperately desired.

The reason Randall went into his mind was that, as much as he wanted the joy of deep spiritual connection, he wanted something even more than that - control over that connection. Randall’s ego wounded self believed that he could control the connection with Spirit with his intellect - if only he could figure it out then he could control it. The last thing Randall wanted to do, which is what is necessary to connect with Spirit, is to surrender his thinking. Randall was deeply addicted to thinking as a way to not feel his inner experience. Thinking was his way of controlling his painful feelings, such as his aloneness, loneliness, and helplessness over others and over his spiritual connection.

Many us of are addicted to thinking. We believe if we can just figure things out we can control others and the outcome of things. We want to control how people feel about us and treat us by saying just the right thing - so we have to think about it over and over to discover the right thing to say. This is called "ruminating." Ruminating is obsessively thinking about something over and over in the hopes of finally coming up with the "right" answer, the right thing to say, the right way to be to have control over others and the outcome of things. Ruminating is also a way to have control over our own painful feelings, which is what addictions are all about.

In my work with Randall, he would immediately go into his head and analyze what was happening in the session the minute feelings came up. Over and over I would bring him out of his head and into his body, into his feelings. His feelings were so terrifying to him that he could only stay with his feelings for a few moments before he was back into his head - explaining, figuring out, intellectualizing. He was so terrified of the soul loneliness and aloneness he felt that he had learned to avoid these feelings with his mind. Yet until Randall was willing to feel his painful feelings, which had been there since childhood, he couldn’t stay out of his head. As long as his intent was to control his pain rather than learn from it, he would not be able to move into the spiritual connection he so desired.

The purpose of all of our addictions are to avoid pain, especially the deep soul loneliness that we all feel in this society. The problem is that our disconnection from our feelings - which is our Inner Child - creates aloneness as well. Our feeling self, our Inner Child, is left alone inside with no one to attend to the painful feelings. It is only when our desire is to learn about how we may be causing our own painful feelings that we open to our inner experience. Our desire to learn also opens the door to our spiritual connection, which we cannot feel when our intent is to avoid pain with our various addictions.

It took Randall many months to be willing to feel his painful feelings, but he discovered that when he finally had the courage to feel them, it was not as bad as he thought. In fact, when he was no longer abandoning his Inner Child by going into his addictive thinking, he no longer felt alone within. Connecting with himself allowed him to connect with Spirit more and more of the time. Rather than getting there through thinking and trying to control it, he was getting there by being present in the moment with his inner experience - surrendering to the moment. Randall found that while he could not control others and the outcome of things, he actually did have control over his misery - by choosing the intent to learn rather than protecting against pain. While he couldn’t control Spirit, he did have control his own intent, which eventually led to his being able to connect with Spirit.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness","Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?" Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: or

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Reclaim Your Right To Be Self-Ruling

By Guy Finley

Whatever it is that we wish to let go of must be something from which we wish to be free. This may be unpleasant or troubling relationships, a problem-filled past or fearful future, any form of addiction, recent painful events -- or any of those disturbing thoughts and feelings about these same troubling things that we no longer want in our lives.

The truth is that troubles like these come with being human. We all know how it feels to want to let go. The problem is that wanting to let go, and actually being able to, is still light years apart for most of us. But it need not remain this way. The gulf can be sealed permanently once we understand that all that separates us from our intention to let go are those mistaken ideas we carry around about the nature of what's actually weighing us down. This is why we need new and higher self-knowledge.

For instance, no thing in itself -- no event, no relationship, no regret-filled thought or feeling -- has any real weight of its own with which to pull us down. The nature of what really weighs on us is something altogether different. This can help to explain a deep mystery: Why is it that regardless of everything we do in our exterior life to rid ourselves of this or that problem, person, or contrary condition, we have yet to genuinely shake ourselves free?

The real act of letting go is first an interior action, followed, if needful, by a wiser exterior action. After all, what is it that binds us if not where we are blind to some unconscious need to either maintain or keep forming these painful attachments? To see the truth of these findings is to realize why there can be no substitute for self-illumination. After all, no one frees themselves by laying down with one hand what they unknowingly cling to with the other! This explains why the aim of all true spiritual teachings has always had a dual purpose: 1) to reveal to us that no condition in our life exists apart from the consciousness responsible for its continuing creation, and 2) to bring the light of this higher self-knowledge into the unexamined darkness of our consciousness so that we no longer make the mistake of clinging to anything that compromises our integrity.

If you want to know how to answer any ache you feel, here's the real answer: We need never answer any part of ourselves that wants to punish us, intimidate, or otherwise drag us down. Our power to dismiss these tormenting thoughts and feelings comes to us in proportion to our
awakening understanding that we do not work for them. Therefore, we owe them nothing -- not one consideration, not even the wish that they would leave us alone!

Our refusal to answer to these dark, discouraging, self-wrecking states leaves them with no one to try to push around. And without someone to bully about or otherwise drag down into their conflicted world, they have no world to rule over! Our awakened consciousness reclaims our right to be self-ruling because its power knocks all would-be dictators from their throne.

No disturbance of any kind has the power to swamp and sink our heart or mind once we realize that we are the one lending these storms the force they need to drag us down. In practical terms this means that whatever disturbances we unknowingly create within us may be instantly
uncreated in the very same moment we withdraw our consent to remain conflicted.

Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now by Guy Finley, Red Wheel Weiser, 2004

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Sakena Yacoobi - Serving Afghanistan

Posted by Peter Comrie

Here in North America, with all of our abundance, peace, and opportunities, it can be very easy to forget that much of this amazing planet, with it's rich and diverse peoples, are constantly subjected to fear-based and terrifying conditions.

With our easy access to schooling, libraries, community colleges, and the Internet, it's often difficult to remember that millions of people, just like you and me, live without our luxuries. Yet they can still set for us incredible examples of love-based leadership in action every day of their lives.

Did you know that for a long period of time in recent history, education for women in Afghanistan was banned? Meet Sakena Yacoobi, who founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in 1995 to restore educational and health programs. While constantly putting her life on the line and under constant threat by the Taliban, she serves more than 350,000 Afghan women and children each year. As the program expands, her mantra only gets stronger - "the way to peace is through education"

This my friends is Love-Based Leadership. What example are you setting?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Letting Go!

Posted by Phil Evans

In exactly the same way that birds have to find the courage to let go of a branch in order to actually fly, we must also let go of our emotional branches if we are to experience the exhilaration of soaring to our highest potential in life!

The branches we hold on to are our innermost attachments: our beliefs, our bad habits and those memories which keep us stuck. And then there are the outer attachments: they are people, possessions, positions and privileges - to name but a few. We must be aware that as long as we hold onto them, we will actually live in fear (of letting go and loss) and we will never feel the freedom that we all deserve. Once you become aware of those birds and the initial courage they display when they let go of their branches just prior to flying, you will be capable of experiencing life in a totally different way. This can be your new recipe of how to live a life where you learn to let go of one branch at a time, and learn to have new experiences, one at a time. The birds have found that by letting go of one branch, they are then able to spend the rest of their lives trying many other branches, one branch at a time, and they can enjoy the view from each new vantage point. What a way to live!

Are you actually flying and soaring in your life, or are you stuck on one branch, resenting others as they fly past?

You can do it, go on, just try letting go!

Remember this: Not letting go of old stuff is the same as driving through life with a flat tire on our cars; not stopping to change it; hoping that it will fix itself; pretending that the ride is smooth; knowing that it isn't; until one day it gets so loud and bumpy that we are forced to stop and take a look, and actually get help!

Remember: "What others do or say is their stuff; how we react, or not, is our stuff"!

And: "True Happiness in life isn't having what you want, but wanting what you have"!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In which "Cult" do you qualify to belong?

by Peter Comrie

This past weekend, here in beautiful Kelowna, B.C., saw an amazing group of individuals take a stand for what is the very best of life.

We held a Full Spectrum Leadership Basic Training class with some the very finest people I have ever encountered. They gathered together on Friday with their stories, their identities, their ego's, and their courage.

Guided through the class by master facilitator Doug Cameron, by Sunday evening, this delightful group saw the possibility of their life turning out the way they have always dreamed it could. They went back into their worlds with a whole upgraded perspective about the possibilities in their lives.

Interestingly though, during the weekend, one of the class members made a call to their mother to check in. During the conversation, this delightful person, shared what they were working through in the class. Mothers response was, let me say, "interesting".

Upon hanging up, mother immediately telephoned other family members proclaiming that her middle-aged child had been abducted by a "cult", and was undergoing severe brainwashing. It resulted in our classmate getting calls of concern from other immediate, and extended family members.

Needless to say, upon hearing our classmates story, my usually quiet sardonic and acerbic sides kicked in with a full head of steam. And, I think I pulled something during my laughter.

What this whole incident did for me, was inspire me to look at the issue of "cults" to determine which one I was most attracted to. So firstly, following below, is the Wikipedia definition of "Cult".

"The word "cult" pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are reasonably considered strange.[1] The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The narrower, derogatory sense of the word is a product of the 20th century, especially since the 1980s, and is considered subjective, and is a result of the anti-cult movement, which uses the word in reference to groups seen as authoritarian, exploitative and possibly dangerous. The word implies a group which is a minority in society; for example, the Hare Krishna group was labeled a cult when imported to the West from India.[2]"

So dear friends, following now are my "subjective" criterion of eligibility into what I see as the two most significant "cults" in my world today. You pick for yourself which one deserves the benefit of your membership. Oh, and remember, "brains" that get "washed" usually shrink. :-)

Cult #1. Individuals must be:

Closed Minded
Non-supportive (especially to family members)
Poverty conscious (spiritually, emotionally, and financially)
Fear-based reactionaries

Cult #2. Individuals must be:

Wealth conscious (spiritually, emotionally, and financially)
Love-based leaders

Now, I absolutely know that both Cults 1 and 2 can extend the appropriate attributes for membership far past the ones I mentioned above, but I think by now you get my point.

So my friends, decision time. Which one deserves your nod? Take your time, consider the implications, choose wisely, and then go proclaim your proposition. And remember, whomever you share your membership with will likely be "brainwashed" as they witness your actions.

Oh, and by the way, to keep my mailbox almost empty, Cult #1 members need not respond to this posting.


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Learning The Power of Intention

Posted by Jeanie Marshall

It was early in my career, for which I am very grateful.

I was leading the last three days of a five-day training program for US Federal government employees who were mid-level managers newly assigned to overseas posts. In the group of 30, there were a few seasoned managers, but most had under three years’ experience managing others.

I had designed the training, which included the development of some case studies for them to explore in small groups and then present to the total group. As they discussed performance issues, I noticed attitudes that seemed different from the empowering practices I was advocating. Keeping my judgment in check, I asked “What is/was your intention?”

The first time I asked that question to a man who was talking about a specific situation he was remembering from his past that was similar to the case study. With curiosity in my voice and demeanor, I asked “What was your intention?” He answered, rather vehemently, “to get rid of this person as soon as possible.” I listened and — and this is very important — I made no reprimand, judgment, or correction. I let his answer stand for itself, heard and accepted.

We continued. I asked whenever inspired, “What is your intention” or “What was your intention?” and sometimes even “What do you think was their intention?” The most amazing dynamic occurred! The answers kept reflecting greater and greater empowering practices by the speaker. It was as if once voiced, the less empowering intentions lost their power and people were able to articulate more empowering intentions. As the trainer, I offered no resistance, only acceptance of their expressions, so they did not have to resist my resistance or defend themselves.

If I had been writing a screenplay to show the power of asking about intention, I could not have orchestrated it better. The whole group changed. In three days, this somewhat disgruntled group of individuals became a mostly upbeat, empowered group, eager for their new assignments.

As much as they learned, I learned more. Over time, I have come to describe my role as “holding a space” for others to expand or grow. Instead of trying to get them to learn something on my agenda or to accept my point of view, I joined with them to learn what they most needed to learn. Of course, there were many other principles and techniques that I was hired to impart to them, but this was the most important, in my opinion, and it was unplanned.

This single incident has been the foundation for exploring my own intention and helping clients to identify their own intention. Intention is an integral part of my work.

Today, as you think about your day or an important portion of your day, what is your intention?

Intention is the basis for all action. Here is an incident that helped to form my interest in helping others to be aware of intention.

Jeanie Marshall, Personal Development Consultant and Coach with Marshall House, writes extensively on subjects related to personal empowerment, meditation, and effective use of language,

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seize The Day!

by Adarsha Shivakumar

Tomorrow we'll seize the day and throttle it! ~ Calvin & Hobbes

If today were my last day on Earth and I could share 500 words of brilliance with the world, here are the important things I'd want to pass along to others... All of us trip and fall at points in our lives. Some of us stay down, too scared from the pain to get up, or just too unwilling to work to get up. Some of us get up, but we are hesitant to go forward, and just stay where we are. Some of us get up and move forward, slowly, but never with the pace and confidence that we earlier had in our stride. But there are a few of us who get up, dust ourselves off, and go forward stronger, learning from our mistakes and ready to take on any obstacle.

We fear falling down, and consequently slow our pace or stop completely so that we don't get hurt. We fear pain, so we shorten our goals so that we can't hurt ourselves in trying to achieve them. But, is it worth giving up our dreams to avoid all pain? Is it worth giving up our hopes and goals to avoid something that is inevitable? Should we just lock ourselves away, along with everything we dream of doing? No. We cannot. We should not. We must not let fear dictate our lives.

We must not give up our dreams so easily. Too many of us live for others. Build our lives around what people want us, expect us, to be. Conform, mold, tear apart our true selves, our true ambitions, dreams, and goals, just to appease others. Your life is not somebody's puppet, but you must take the strings into your own hands. Do not give weight to other people's jeers, their insults. Take them in stride, reflect on them, but don't let them dictate your actions, your choices, your life. Because in the end, it doesn't matter what they think of you, what they see you as. Brave. Terror. Cold. Joyful. Heartless. Savior. All that matters is what you choose.

Adarsha is a fifteen year old Indian American out to change the world as the executive director of Project Jatropha.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Give Love!

by Peter Comrie

Today we get another amazing Full Spectrum Leadership Basic Training underway in beautiful Kelowna B.C.

In a world rife with cynicism, fear and anger, the folks who will be spending time with us this weekend will discover the solution to fear-based reactionism is Love-Based Leadership.

Just like The Beatles, MC Yogi wants to remind you that "The love you take is equal to the love you make". So what's stopping you? If you want love, give love away. Or even better -- give love away because it's just plain awesome.

Check out what we're doing at:

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Greatness in Others & Recognizing Our Own!

by DailyOM

We cannot recognize greatness in others unless
we too posses that same quality in ourselves.

A person who is said to possess greatness stands apart from others in some way, usually by the size or originality of their vision and their ability to manifest that vision. And yet those who recognize that greatness, whether they display it themselves or not, also have greatness within them; otherwise, they could not see it in another. In many ways, the achievements of one person always belong to many people for we accomplish nothing alone in this world. People who display greatness rely upon others who are able to see as they do, to listen, encourage, and support. Without those people who recognize greatness and move in to support it, even the greatest ideas, works of art, and political movements would remain unborn.

We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along. When we respond to someone else’s greatness, we feed our own. We may feel called to dedicate ourselves to their vision, or we may be inspired to follow a path we forge ourselves. Either way, we cannot lose when we recognize that the greatness we see in others belongs also to us. Our recognition of this is a call to action that, if heeded, will inspire others to see in us the greatness they also possess. This creates a chain reaction of greatness unfolding itself endlessly into the future.

Ultimately, greatness is simply the best of what humanity has to offer. Greatness does what has not been done before and inspires the same courage that it requires. When we see it in others, we know it, and when we trust its presence in ourselves, we embody it.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Claiming Responsibility for the Self!

by Gabriella Kortsch

As children, our parents often admonished us: be responsible! Take responsibility for what you do. And we took it to mean that if we had chores or homework to do, then we needed to be responsible about completing those tasks, and not dawdle, or worse, procrastinate so much that in the end they never got done, and we wound up with real emergencies on our hands.

When he was still quite young, I used to say to one of my sons (I found the saying in some article): your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency when he would come to me in the 11th hour with a paper that had not been written, or a project that had not been properly planned.

But this is not what claiming responsibility for the self is really all about.

Implementing a Different Type of Responsibility

One thing is to be responsible out there in the world, as described above, and another thing is to claim responsibility for the self. Both types of responsibility form part of responsible behavior, but the latter is much less understood, and even less implemented in an individual's life. We pay little attention to it because the world at large gives it little merit, it is not talked about as something valuable to achieve, such as having an outstanding academic record, getting a prestigious position in an important firm, or becoming financially successful in the world.

Being Responsible for the Inner You

To claim responsibility for the self literally means to decide to be responsible for all that goes on within the self. Not, let me hasten to add, for all that happens to the self. You can not control that (also see You Don't Have to Blame Anybody). If you live in a police state and are arbitrarily arrested, or if you live in an area often devastated by hurricanes, or if you live in a third-world country with raging hunger and poverty, or if you are of the wrong ethnic or religious origin (according to the powers-that-be) and are subject to harassment or worse, it is clear that you are unable to claim responsibility for that manner of events.

Claiming Responsibility for Your Reactions

But you can - without the slightest doubt - claim responsibility for the way in which you react to all of that, and therefore, you can claim responsibility for the way you feel about it all (also see No One Can Control Your Emotions), for the state of your being in the midst of such havoc and chaos, and therefore, in a nutshell, you have control of your life. As long as you are in control of what goes on inside of you, what happens on the outside carries much less weight. Imagine the potential freedom this would give you. Imagine a world where you are free to choose how you feel, think, and react. Imagine a world where you inner well-being lies in your own hands.

Does Your External World Control You?

We can take this into the arena of much more normal external events and experiences and understand how we can begin to take control of much of that which ails and plagues us by claiming responsibility for the self.

• your boss just passed you over for a promotion
• the bank declined your request for a loan
• the person you love just walked out on you
• the girl you asked out for a first date said she already has a boyfriend
• it rained the entire week you spent in Bali
• seven publishers rejected your manuscript
• your college application was put on waitlist
• one of your best clients moved over to the competition
• you had a reconciliatory dinner with your partner and the two of you wound up having a fight

In each of these examples something external to the self causes frustration, heartbreak, pain, annoyance, anger, or any number of other unhelpful emotions. And so we explain our negative emotions to by blaming them on the event or the person. Obviously we feel that way because of what happened.

Choosing to be in Control of Your Well-Being

If that is explanation enough for you, then you are willing to give over control of your state of well being to an event or another person. It is tantamount to saying that you are not in control of your state of well being. You might say: How can I be when these things happen to me? The way I feel is totally dependent on what just happened. Anybody would feel that way under those circumstances. Nevertheless, there is another way of looking at it … if only you will try. You can be in control of your state of well being by deciding to be. It's as simple as that.

Make the decision that when things happen that would normally upset you, you will, in future, look at all the possibilities, all the alternatives of reaction at your disposal. Of all of these alternatives, one of them is always going to be:

• I can choose not to get upset
• I can choose to remain calm
• I can choose to keep my cool
• I can choose to remain in a good mood
• I can choose to refuse to let this person or event bother me
• I can choose to look at this as a learning situation and take something positive from it in order to advance to the next place in my life
• I can choose to grow from this
• I can choose not to worry (because worrying never solved anything at all)
• I can choose to smile
• I can choose to walk away from this situation
• I can choose to let this person be the way they are, realizing that their way of thinking, or their behavior says nothing at all about me
• I can choose to believe in my own value as a wonderful human being
• I can choose to laugh
• I can choose to shake hands

The examples of the choices you can offer yourself are endless, but if you make certain that your choices are always roads that take you to a good state of being, that enhance your well-being, and that serve you in some way, you are truly taking control, and claiming responsibility for the self. The goal of all of this is … contrary to what many of us learned in our early years … that we must first take care of ourselves. This is not selfishness. This is not egotistical behavior. This is recognizing that the better my inner state of well-being is, the higher my energetic frequency is (when you are happy your energetic frequency is high, when you are depressed or distressed, it is very low), and therefore the greater the possibilities are that I will have a positive impact on my world. The ripple effect of my very state of being – if it is energetically high - will be good for others, and in my own small way, I will be helping to change the world in a positive way.

Claiming responsibility for the self then becomes not only something that is good for me, but it is good for the world. Claiming responsibility for the self brings me inner freedom, and helps to bring it to the world by the ripple effect of my example.

Claiming responsibility for the self is one of the biggest and most important steps you can take to make your life and your personal world the best it can possibly be.

Dr. Kortsch holds a doctorate in psychology and dedicates herself to integral coaching, clinical hypnotherapy, relationship coaching, and energy techniques. She is an author and professional speaker and broadcasts a live weekly radio show in English that is available on the Internet or for listening on her website. Visit Advanced Personal and sign up for her cutting-edge newsletter in English or Spanish, or visit her blog for more timely articles.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

What I've Learned!

by Peter Comrie

I had the opportunity earlier today to reflect on many of the lessons I've learned on my journey through this amazing thing called my "life". Please allow me the indulgence and let me share them with you as way of expanding the consciousness. If any of them fit for you, please take them.

What I've Learned!

I've learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned-
that it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I've learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I've learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can't.

I've learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I've learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I've learned-
that regardless of how hot and
steamy a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had
better be something else to take
its place.

I've learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I've learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you're down,
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned-
that sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me
the right to be cruel.

I've learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I've learned-
that just because someone doesn't love
you the way you want them to doesn't
mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you every
once in a while and you must forgive
them for that.

I've learned-
that it isn't always enough to be
forgiven by others. Sometimes you
have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned-
that we don't have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I've learned-
that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I've learned-
that two people can look at the exact
same thing and see something totally

I've learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I've learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A True Lesson From Nature!

by Peter Comrie

In today's rapidly changing world many of our assumptions are going through some profound changes. People who are developing a deeper consciousness are looking once again to nature for answers to some of today's more perplexing questions.

Nature, in its most finest expression, often presents us with examples that cause us to question many of the assumptions that we, as humans, foist upon the world as fact. Today's video posting will cause you undoubtedly to think differently about some of your own assumptions. And, if nature can contradict us, perhaps we should be doing more of it ourselves.

I do believe that you will enjoy what you will learn from the irony that nature presents to us in the following video offering. And it will certainly make you smile.

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