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As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog – this year is all about completing my personal transformation.  In taking the journey, I’m finding that the World has turned into a village of mentors and teachers – from all walks and corners of life.

Today, I’ve been hit with an article from the blogosphere that poses the question:  Am I a hummingbird or an Eagle, when it comes to pursing the so called “American Dream.”

Honestly, the question has never crossed my mind, but as an entrepreneur and self-made human in the making, it’s an important one.

The following, is an excerpt from Will Marre, former President of the Covey Leadership Center.  It appears he, like many of us is on a quest as well.  Check it out…

I see it all the time now.  The hummingbird effect.  Hummingbirds flap their wings up to 70 times per second to stay in the air.  70 times a second.  Whew!

Eagles on the other hand don’t flap much at all, yet they can fly up to 80 miles in an hour.  Their secret is they surf the wind.  They catch currents and thermals and just zoom.  We’ve become a nation of hummingbirds.  It’s what happens when stress overwhelms us.

We now know a lot about the physical, emotional, mental circus that noisily plays inside us when we are under constant, unrelenting stress.  We either start flapping our wings frantically like a humming bird trapped in a glass room smashing ourselves against windows that look like a way out but aren’t, or hide in our nest.  Unending stress makes us feel powerless.  At first this makes us angry, then sad, and ultimately hopeless.  Desolate.

This is what I see in America’s workplace.  Frantic wing-flapping or hopeless disengagement.  This recession has, to use a phrase of my mother’s, knocked the stuffing out of us.  Let’s face it.  The last ten years have been a whopper.  8 million of us lost our jobs and many of those jobs are permanently gone.  We’ve been rocked by the dot-com bust, Enron, World Com, subprime defaults, foreclosures, Wall Street casino games and oil spills.  The suffering of 9/11 has become a never-ending ache of Iraq and Afghanistan.  And all of this is being narrated by an apocalyptic media who merchandise fear, anger and despair like 31 flavors of imminent personal catastrophe.

All of this might be livable if we simply shut off the noise, but the biggest stress has seeped under our doors like toxic smoke.  It’s the sinking fear of economic starvation that drives our work life.  All of us know people who have lost their jobs and haven’t found a new one.  All of us know people who have been forced to move in with others.  Most of us still juggle debt we thought we could handle.  And many of us work for companies, even good companies, that have laid off too many people and pushed the extra work around the way a farmer spreads manure over a garden patch.

Layoffs and trying to bloom through a new layer of fertilizer has happened many times before.  But not like this.  The economists who track the numbers say the past two year’s rise in worker productivity is the greatest in history.  But worker productivity is basically a measure of revenue divided by worker pay.  Thus if managers can fire workers faster than sales decline, productivity magically goes up.  Profits too, at least temporarily.   But real life is not found in spreadsheets.  And in real life all I see is hummingbirds.  People flapping their wings to the point of exhaustion.  Literally.

Last month, a sweet woman who recently found a new job told me that in her previous job at a large company a close colleague was so stressed out over wave after wave of layoffs that she began to suffer form fainting spells and heart palpitations.  This is what happens when our hormones trigger biological responses that constrict our blood vessels.  She refused to take time off or go to the doctor because she feared she would be singled out as a weakling or worse a health care risk.  Her husband had already been laid off so her fear was not unwarranted.  One morning she started to have a panic attack.  She refused to let her friend call 911, said she would be fine and would go lay down in an empty office.  Her friend called the sick woman’s husband and then went down to the darkened office.  She was dead.  A heart attack had stolen her life.  Sadly, I am not making this up.  Are we really working ourselves to death?

This is more than sad.  It’s tragic.  And it’s driven by, as Einstein said, counting the wrong things and not counting the things that should be counted.  Firing people and forcing the survivors to do more work is not leadership.  It doesn’t create more value.  Value is created when we innovate and invent.  These are creative acts that arise in positive work environments where the rhythm of human life is respected.  The invisible air currents that help us soar at unthinkable heights are not sensed when we are madly flapping.  Those opportunities only come when people have the calm to see what was previously invisible.  Work environments that create conditions for human innovation or extraordinary value are drying up, so we must create them ourselves.

The original American Dream was driven by the ideal of self-sufficiency.  Brave nation builders came to our country willing to clear a field of rocks and stumps so they could plant.  Today our farms are our minds.  It is over-time to take the rocks out of our heads and plant for a more secure, self-determined personal economic life.  We must learn how to become extraordinary at what we are passionate for.  We must learn to be economically literate and create a sustainable lifestyle.  We must find time to rest our wings and find ways to soar.  It’s possible.

Last evening we were walking through our neighborhood and ran into Jake.  He’s a young-in-his-30’s, constantly smiling, life-loving, neighbor who we originally met when he was waiting tables at a local pizza place.  He learned to use a video camera making movies of local skateboarders.  He talked himself into a local skateboard manufacturer as their performance team manager and videographer.  The company has exploded with growth (Who would have thought?) and Jake told us he was on his way to Europe for a month, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, to compete as a member of their high-speed downhill demonstration team.  I know…Jake is an example of a guy who lives near the beach in one of the most ideal communities in the world getting paid to ride and film skateboarding around the world.  It may not be your dream.  But it is his.  Jake will not die in an empty office.  And neither should you.

What’s the best thing you can do?  Don’t leap.  Wisely plan to take control of your economic future.  Choose, adapt, live.  Really live.  This week we celebrate our independence.  Be  sure to celebrate yours!

I’ve been crazy-busy getting a start-up through the last mile (to funding -ya!), but one of my mentors shared this with me today.   No words are necessary folks – take 3 minutes outta your day, you may find you’ll do a happy dance.  Enjoy.

The metaphor that comes to mind when thinking of my life and what is being accomplished is: Phoenix. Why “Phoenix?” Because it feels like I’m just beneath the surface and need to break free by rising up and stepping up and into the person I’m meant to be: My best self.

I’ve spent too much time acquiring knowledge and not enough living life based on what I know. I’m gifted; creative, to the point where I’ve lived years in “imagination” vs. the present. The promise of a better tomorrow for some can be very seductive and addictive and I’ve experienced both.

Now, I’m stripped bare; faced with real changes and opportunities that no amount of wishing or dreaming can accomplish. There is real work to do and that work must be done in the present, right now.

Objective: Point blank: I want a Future that I’d want to live in.

Why is this important? It’s probably obvious to most people doing personal development work: I’m awake and can’t pretend not to know what I know. Once I learned (and accepted) that I create my own heaven or hell – that’s it: you then have to go about the business of creating that heaven or hell. I want to experience what a great life looks and feels like.

Why now? It’s like the Universe has said: “He’s still not getting it. Take away his rose-colored glasses; in fact, shatter them.” Okay, message received: choose.

I choose to fight for it…

Bob Doyle asks: “How have you been stopped before? (what are the blocks?)” I almost laughed out loud at that question, but I sobered up and wrote it down in big fat capital letters.

The “blocks” have been many: not really being grateful for what I have; not really operating from a place of love; FEAR in getting x result – FEAR in not getting x result and finally the big “B” (now, not the 5-letter word but the six-letter one: BELIEF).

The other blocks were: Relying too much on my Intellect and Getting access to great information, learning and knowledge – WHILE NOT APPLYING IT in my life.

“Who looks outside; dreams. Who looks inside; awakes.” – C. Jung

What do I want from the readers of this blog: Well, if the spirit moves you and there is a thought or suggestion that comes to mind that you think might help me, then I would appreciate hearing about it. My primary plan this year forward is to keep myself open to helping others – with no agenda or reciprocation necessary. It’s about energy right now, and the fastest way for me to get this done is to help others – at least this is my belief. If I can do this, I should be able to attract the right things in my life.

Namaste,

Chris

Gratitude. One of the things I struggle with mastering. It should be something as natural as breathing, and for some I’m sure it is. For me, it has to be learned and consciously focused on until it becomes a habit. Of all the things a person could be addicted to, Gratitude would be one fine addiction!

So in keeping with my objectives this year, gratitude plays a vital part. In my exploration, I ran across the following little gem. Take from it what you will…~C

Did you know that there is an effective and an ineffective way to express gratitude?

Unfortunately, the ineffective way is far more common.
It is sort of the default form of gratitude that most people fall into. I was stuck here for a really long time until I found a far more powerful way to practice gratitude, one that moved me into perfect alignment with abundance and greatly accelerated the Law of Attraction.

First, let me talk about the ineffective way to express gratitude. This is gratitude that you express that is related to what is happening in your life right now.

It is closely related to the gratitude and appreciation we learn to express as children (i.e. to say thanks) and that is probably why it is often the default and why so many people get stuck here.

Ineffective gratitude includes things such as:
* your health
* your relationships
* your material posessions
* your friends and family
* a nice vacation

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this form of gratitude. All I am saying is that it is not nearly as powerful as what I am about to show you.

Often the problem with the above form of gratitude is that it comes from a place of lack. If you have ever expressed gratitude while thinking “at least… I am healthy, or at least I have a great family” then you know what I mean.

This form of gratitude is extremely week because it is based on the present circumstances. In other words, this form of gratitude is conditional. It makes it sound that you are grateful “only if you have good health, a great relationship, etc.”

Unfortunately, conditional gratitude fails to activate the law of attraction. The universe does not respond to conditional requests.

The second form of gratitude is complete in that it is a celebration of life itself, for all the experiences you are having. One other key difference is this.
Effective gratitude comes from an underlying attitude vs. a temporary focus on one item or thing to be grateful for.

With practice, this holistic form of gratitude can become second nature. When it does, the law of attraction will flow far more easily into your life.

The more powerful form of gratitude includes items such as:

* your life
* this awesome planet
* for being who you are
* for future events
* for problems, challenges, and hardships
* for your mistakes
* for your mind
* for your freedom

In other words, you become grateful for this amazing journey of your life regardless of what happens and where it takes you because you know that it is just right for you and that everything is happening for a reason.

When you are expressing effective gratitude, fear and loss disappear. There is no focus on any lack and when you reach this state, that is when abundance can truly start flowing into your life.

Being grateful for what you have in your life (your health, relationships, etc.) has its place. But when you start feeling truly grateful for everything that is happening in your life and open your heart, you will be amazed at how quickly the universe will start to answer.

So, start creating these feelings now, even in the most unlikely or unpleasant circumstances and notice how you begin to attract whatever you focus on into your life.

Source: www.GratitudeLog.com

EFT tapping helps us drill down right to the “blockages” – it’s physical and invokes our greatest BS detector – our emotional self. Feel good? It’s worked/working. Feel bad or the same? Nothing’s change, keep at it.

EFT cleanses the mind, so what can we do to nurture the soul, once we are free of these god-awful blocks?

Meditation, affirmation, intentions – all of this is good, and I also think cleansing the soul is also important. This is what I’ve found to help accomplish this. (IF YOU CAN THINK OF OTHER METHODS/TECHNIQUES that enrichen the soul and spirit, please share)

Ho’oponopono (Huna tradition)

The basic premise:

Ho’oponopono is not a religion With Ho’oponopono there are no teachers, gurus or high priests. Ho’oponopono practitioners know that the Creator is the only teacher there is. yes, there are those who are more experienced in the practice of Ho’oponopono, but they are regarded in the same way you would regard an older brother or sister.

Ho’oponopono is a tool for atonement, for correcting errors, erasing the effects of past actions and memories that cause havoc and grief in our lives, the lives of others and on mother nature as a whole.

Ho’opononpono has but one requirement: You have to be willing to accept that you are responsible for everything that has happened/is happening in your life. For a lot of people, this is a deal-breaker. If you aren’t willing to be responsible, this system will not work for you – find something else, but if you’ve embraced concepts like the Law of Attraction, you should be okay with this. (I know, it’s still TOUGH)

When faced with any adverse situation, the Ho’oponopono practitioner will immediately ask “What is it in me that is causing this event to take place, this person to behave this way, this sickness to manifest? etc”. Ho’oponopono practitioners know that blaming others is a sure way for making sure of the recurrence of a problem.

There is a lot of free information on the web about Ho’oponopono and I recommend you do a little exploring. In the meantime, here is the basic cleansing meditation that’s common in all of the Ho’oponopono rituals:

“I am sorry”
“Please forgive me”
“I love you”
“And I thank you”

The following explanation comes from the following source: http://www.thereisaway.org

“Dear Father:”
Here we acknowledge the Creator who gives Unconditional Love. If you believe that you are the result of an explosion or worse still that you created yourself, you are going to have a lot of trouble with this one.
The word Father means “Giver Of Life” and I am sure you realise that it has nothing to do with bearded patriarchs.
Addressing the Creator is fundamental to this process, since only the Creator can fix the mess that we (and our ancestors) have created.

“I am sorry”
This statement opens the door to atonement. The moment you take responsibility for any negative manifestation you experience or witness you also create an opportunity for healing.
The apology is not directed to the Creator. The Creator is Spirit and does not need nor care about apologies.
The apology is an acknowledgement that we are sorry for whatever it is that we (or our ancestors before us) have done to cause the adverse circumstance to take place.
There is no need to grovel, just a simple “I am sorry” will do.

“Please forgive me”
We are asking for forgiveness for having forgotten how much the Creator loves us.
We are asking for forgiveness for having shut out the Creator from our lives and missing out on all the wonderful experiences that we could have had.
We ask for forgiveness with the absolute certainty that it has already been granted. The Creator is Spirit and is Unconditional Love, incapable of experiencing feelings of anger, resentment and all the other ego related neurotic behaviours that afflict humans.
It is important to note here that Ho’oponopono practitioners never have to forgive anyone, since they realise that all wrongdoing is the result of their own wrong action or memories–past or present.

“I love you”
When Jesus was asked “which is the greatest commandments of them all” he surprised everyone (typical) and stated “You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Love is a great healing power. Sending the Creator an SMS of love will reverberate through your psyche and generate an immediate feeling of well being.
Once again being pure Spirit, the Creator, does not need your love, but the very act of thinking loving thoughts will tune your mind to that frequency with remarkable and immediate results.

“And I thank you”
As stated earlier, whatever your petition or concern, the moment you take responsibility for its occurrence and seek a way out–you are guaranteed a response.
Almost invariably the response will never be what you expect (or in some cases want)–but what you need to start the process of healing or reconstruction.
Your “thank you” is the acknowledgement that your petition has been heard and acted upon–that is all.

Love and Forgiveness
As I go through this creative destruction, making room for the wealth and abundance that is eager to flow into my life, I have sought the counsel of several people I consider mentors: U.S. Andersen, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, Stephen Covey, Stephen Pollan, Deepak Chopra, Don Miguel Ruiz, Carlos Castaneda and my Grandfather.

Each, at various points in my life have nurtured me, have shaped my thinking and help me discover my power and wisdom. And as I call on them, reflecting on where my life is now and soon to be, all respond back to me to say simply: “Love and Forgive.”

When afraid, breathe. When weak, love. When in doubt, trust. And when angry, forgive.

Despite the physical difficulties of my life right now, mentally, spiritually and emotionally I am as strong as I’ve ever been. This strength I can feel at the core of my being, and it’s intensity can be seen physically. I am losing weight, gaining energy and getting physically strong from the core outward.

In some ways I’m older than my years and in other ways I am still that developing child whose spirit and imagination hasn’t been killed off by the grind of life.

Recently, I’ve found a lot of value in practicing forgiveness, mainly with people that have directly or indirectly harmed me in some ways. I came to this naturally, because I haven’t the energy or the interest any more in carry the burden of the past, so I am quick to forgive and let go because I’m making room for the fantastic things that are flying into my life.

This year, I’ve decided to allow myself to become free to love and forgive – with no hidden agenda or reciprocation necessary on the recipient’s part. To love and forgive trumps hate and resentment, and I believe that resentment, hurt, jealousy, envy, greed, fear and pride are possibly the greatest blocks one can have in their lives preventing them from even brief moments of joy and bliss. Joy, bliss, pleasure, happiness are states that every human soul has the right to experience – if they remember and can back to that god-like state we are all born into the world with.

I have a mother and a father (now past) and I can say with absolute certainty that they, like me are/were imperfect beings and struggled (like all parents must) with learning exactly how to be a parent. At best, being a parent is a privilege and an honor, and at its most basic it is a responsibility. But just as children come into the world with no operations manual – parents are lacking a manual too.

In my quest to free myself from the burdens of the past, it was my parents who were 2nd and 3rd in line to receive my forgiveness. Who was first? Me. Forgiveness has to begin with the self – taking responsibility, owning it and finally being strong enough and wise enough to give and receive the ultimate gift – forgiveness.

…I am more a spiritual person than say religious and there is one spiritual teaching that resonants most strongly with me and that’s Ho’oponopono (Huna spiritual healing art). In essence, here is one of the main mantras or cleansing prayers, so to say:

While focusing on your heart, with an image of the person you want to receive your intention:

“I am sorry”
“Please forgive me”
“I love yo.”
“And I love you”

http://www.thereisaway.org/Ho’oponopono_cleaning_meditation.htm

It is shocking to the recipients of this forgiveness, yet I don’t bother to explain why. I’m operating on a completely different level now and to be here I simply can’t carry the past with me-and I’m really okay with that.

And as love and forgiveness embraces me, I am forever changed and blessed by it.

I am, once again–Alive

This past weekend I gave myself the gift of death. For a few days, I gave up the future, all notions of a “future” – faced with working on a “life plan” I found that I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) scribe any notion of the future, even a year out. I discovered something – having a future is to live in a mild state of sadness.

I’ve never had a future that manifested as envisioned – it was always different, and sometimes presented pleasures previously unimagined – and pain previously never experienced. But it’s always the same: What time is it? Now Where are you? Here.

And the past? – Like tags in a blog, recalling the past is 100% inaccurate to what was actually lived, experienced. The past and the future are used by the conscious mind to maintain firm, absolute control over our Identity. And it doesn’t matter if our identity was built by chance (situations, circumstances, opinions of others) or on purpose. There is a code, a master program that is running our life and dictating the experiences we are having and that determines the meanings we place on those experiences.

So, I gave myself a gift this weekend – I decided to forget about the future and instead focused on one question: “If I can be anyone, anything, who would I be?” I’m still working on this answer, but in asking the question I gained a sense of freedom I haven’t ever experienced as an adult. With no future, I’m forced to really see and live in the present. And believe me when I tell you there are things in the present which are less than desirable-no surprise there.

The surprise was seeing quite a few things that are actually pretty amazing – These things have been around me all this time, but in seeing the present vs living in imagination, it was like a fog lifted and the things in my life that give me joy pleasure suddenly “popped” into my awareness. I rediscovered the beauty of the persian art I have on my walls – paintings I haven’t really looked at – or even acknowledge for 5 years now; photo books from trips I’ve made to Africa, Canada and St. Thomas; a pretty substantial library filled with books on healing, psychology, personal development and believe it or not poetry.

It was like a blindfold was ripped off my eyes and I could see all of this great “wealth” that surrounds me.

It’s clear that as I gain clarity in my life and face and embrace the present moment, the Universe in return is determined to reveal the abundance that already surrounds me…

My life plan will reveal itself to me, when I finish answering the question: If I can be anyone, anything, who would I be?