Monthly Archives: March 2014

Week 24 – Happiness is worth the effort

Are you doing what you love? …. does your daily routine feel like a prison sentence, or do you bound out of bed in the morning excited to start the day.

Most people, we know,  live lives of quite desperation. never really getting out of neutral.
Some daydream of a different life … maybe someone else’s life. Some don’t know what there lives passion is … they just know this isn’t it.

What would you say (more importantly, what would you DO) if I told you, that you could start living a life of deep passion, doing what you love and loving what you do?
Would you want to know more? Would you take action on it?
Would it be Ok if I shared some thoughts on how to make that happen?

“We must act out passion before we can feel it.” ~Jean-Paul Sartre

Keep in mind that passion is not the product of wishing; it’s the product of doing. That’s what divides the world. There are those who wish and dream and never take their lives out of neutral. Then there are those who figure out what they want, shift into gear and hit the gas.

Deep down, who do you yearn to be?
Flashlights are meant to light up … the very reason for existing is to give light. If you throw it in a drawer and never pull it out, never use it for its intended propose  … batteries go stale … the bulb doesn’t work … its kind of sad.
It reminds me of people who place themselves and their passions in a drawer and never turn on their own lives. A person’s life is meant to be lit too.

What is the flame in your life? Is it lit? Is there light and heat? Or has the passion been allowed to go stale?
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Look at passion as though it were a living, breathing thing. If you feed it, it will grow and thrive and expand, filling your life with joy and happiness. If you don’t, it will eventually do what all living things do when they don’t get fed.

How sad is it to meet a musician who no longer plays music or a singer who doesn’t sing, or a dancer who doesn’t dance. Unmet and undiscovered passions are flames that are never lit and happiness that is never realized.

When you decide to move from neutral and put the foot on the gas, it doesn’t have to be pushed to the floor, just enough to move you forward and get your blood pumping a bit.
Turn on that light of purposeful living. Don’t wait. Start filling your life with whatever meaning and passion it lacks.

Everyday you don’t, you delay doing what you were created to do.
If you don’t know what excites you, that’s fine. I’ve rewritten my DMP 5 times (definate major purpose)Experiment! Pick something up and give it a try (artistic, expressive, athletic, entrepreneurial, technical, mechanic, spiritual, moral, developmental, whatever). If it doesn’t float your boat, set it down and try something else. If that doesn’t, try again.

Choosing to fill your life with what makes your heart beat will transform it. You will be filled with more energy and love and excitement. You will be driven to do and create and discover. You will feel the warm blood of purpose course through your veins, adding meaning and value to your life. You will be happier, more fulfilled, more in love with the life you lead.

Does the prospect of a more passion-filled life excite you? Enough to do something about it?
Some ideas to find your passion

1 – Determine what your “Personal Pivotal Needs” (PPN’s) are.
These will help you to focus your life’s purpose and direction. If you decide that what drives you is liberty and autonomy. It doesn’t make sense to make your passion owning a restaurant that will make neither of those things possible. The PPN’s will help to point the ship to the right port.
2 – Discover what makes you tick
So, what floats your boat? If you know, great! But if you don’t, you may find yourself living in the shadow of relentless sameness, spinning wheels, going nowhere, unfulfilled, unexcited, frustrated, bored.
If that’s the case, start exploring possibilities. Try new things. Talk to new people about what they love. Read. Learn. Discover. Make a list of interests or even potential interests and see if something stands out. As you expose yourself to opportunities and look into what’s out there, dive head first into what moves you.
Perhaps it’s business or sales or working with your hands or movie production or foster care or graphic design or marketing or acting or politics or blogging or martial arts or the cause of happiness. Doesn’t matter … you finding your passion might change the world … and if doesn’t it will at least change YOUR world.
I struggled with this mightily … first giving myself persimmon to want more from life, then trying to figure out what it was. And truth be told … right now I have a clear vision what it is but in a few years that may change. The important thing is to start the journey … get out of neutral.
3. Make a date with what you love to do
Make time for doing what moves you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of doing all the things that have to get done, living paycheck to paycheck, always running, always behind, never really enjoying life, never having time to pursue your passion.
So schedule it! Calendar in park days, play dates, concerts, field trips to the Art Gallery, and how-to workshops and seminars. Schedule time to practice the guitar or climb a mountain or paint. Even if it’s only a few minutes here and there. Life is lived in the moments, so fill them with passion and your life will be more passionate.
You don’t have to get paid for it. You just have to do it. Set aside time when phones are turned off and email is ignored and purpose is fulfilled. Then as circumstances allow, stretch the moments.
4. Get help
Sometimes we have seemingly insurmountable obstacles that get in the way of pursuing new ideas and exploring possibilities. We tell ourselves it won’t work or that we wouldn’t be able to make it work even if in theory it otherwise would. We tell ourselves we’re too busy or it’s too expensive or we’re too old or too sick or lazy or tired or inadequate.
We fear taking that essential step and so we leave our lives unexplored, undiscovered, uncreated. We believe the lies we tell ourselves and so we stay in the shadow of our own lives. We leave the wick unlit. The purpose unsought. Passion unknown.
But that’s not what we’re all about. That’s not what life was created for. That’s not the life you were meant to live. You were meant to live a life of purpose and on purpose.
Sometimes we just need a good kick in the butt. If that’s all you need to take a step toward the unmet passions of your life, that’s awesome! Go get to the work of building a life you’re deeply happy about living.
But if you need more–a push, some direction, help, a community, a mentor and coach, I highly recommend creating a master mind, get a life/business coach. Or talk to someone who you see went through this process. You don’t have to go it alone.

Much Love.

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WEEK 23 – “To thy own self be true”

(This post is a little heavy … I know my posts usually have a little humour in them, but I’m starting to find this process of journaling very theriputic and I really appreciate having this sounding board … thanks for your comments)

As our time together is coming to and end soon, I’ve been meditating on what is the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the Master Keys.

If I’m being “honest” with myself (The irony will make senesce later) it’s that I haven’t always been honest with myself.  You see, I have enjoyed a modicom of success in my life … I have been to self help deals before … paid thousands of dollars to see “gurus” talk, been on weekend educational retreats, I own close to 100 books on the subject of improving myself,  (frankly NONE of them come close to the information we have received for the last 6 months.)  After all this time in reflection I can openly admit … I lie to myself constantly.

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about Honesty

What is honesty?

Honesty is the process of seeing, accepting and expressing our authentic, true self.
And this all starts with being honest with ourselves. Nothing is more important. All too often, we fall into the trap of deceiving ourselves  by trying to justify our behaviour.

The real enemy behind being  dishonest is fear. Until we face our fears, our rationalization for being dishonest sticks around. It’s a slippery slope. We loose our integrity. We begin to lie, we begin to rationalize, we begin to deceive others, and we begin to act on the impulses of envy, greed and manipulation.

We may think we are getting away with it because we are not getting caught in the act by others, but we are getting caught every single time by ourselves. And we experience the internal consequences every time. Our own minds know when we are not acting with integrity.

And the turmoil of not living in alignment with our true authentic self ensures that we can not have inner peace.

All dishonesty is a form of self sabotage in the long run. By not building our lives around a skeleton of integrity, we cut our self off from who we really are and the result is that our true spirit fades away. We loose our self.

If we desire to live a life which we enjoy, if we desire to live the life that we intended to live by coming here in the first place, we need to learn how to express who it is that we truly are in every single moment.

We must first lie to our selves before we can lie to others, because of this we need to be brave enough to ask ourselves what we are so afraid will happen if we are 100% honest with ourselves and others.

Honesty never feels bad. What feels bad are the conclusions we draw about (and judgments we cast on) our honesty.

Those of us who are aware that our minds create our reality, often find ourselves at an impasse when it comes to honesty. On one hand it is true that whatever you focus on…you get more of and that if you want to live a different life, you have to tell a different story relative to your life.

I’ve realized that  I have lied to myself almost everyday.   I’ve ignored my true bliss for most of my life.  When I have allowed myself to think about it I quickly pushed it out of my mind and would lie to myself again “that is impossible, stop day dreaming about a fantasy that will never happen”  I convinced myself that I needed to be a good provider, that I can always make up for the time away from family tommorow. I told myself that my purpose was to make a better life for my kids … all the while being miserable.  I was afraid of telling myself the truth, that I’m allowed to be happy, that I can be the best provider ever but if I’m not leading by example, by living a life of purpose …them I’m really doing them a disservice.  

I’ve also told myself that I always gave my best effort, when the truth is because my heart was not fully invested in my endeavours …  I fake it.  I’ve managed to get by on a little charm , and a great ability to cram.  I lied to myself that “l’ll do the best I can”  but never doing my best. Tomorrow has always been the saving grace.

Well, time to face the music … no more lie’s, I will never tell myself a lie again.

I was created on purpose, and for a purpose.

I am natures GREATEST miracle  DAM IT!! And I NEED to live each day as if it my last.

That is the greatest gift I can give myself and my kids.

WEEK 22A – “Can we have a moment of silence please”

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation…tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a grey vegetation.” ― Jean Arp … written in 1957

When was the last time you went two full days without saying a single word? Without the distractions of phones, email, texting, work or anything else that occupies  you and your mind?

I recently had they chance to complete our latest assignment of 2 days of complete silence.   I decided the only way to really experience it would be to go into the mountains and isolate myself from everyone.

I learned a lot about myself and how I think. I learned how uncomfortable I can be without the “fluff” I have managed to fill my mind with.  I learned that when you have the quiet, and the calm, when you aren’t on auto pilot, you can get some good thinking in.  Your thoughts slow down, you can really meditate on the simplest things.

After finishing my time in silence I thought about how I would like this to become a regular part of my routine.  And I wanted to justify to myself, why taking the time was so important.  So here goes.

Silence and reflection is essential. A car engine needs to be cooled down, especially after a long or hard drive. We should give our minds the same opportunity. Scheduled periods of reflection, need to be apart of our day.  We are convinced that everything  is needed NOW. We are plugged in 24/7. Getting a chance to recharge the batteries is important for long term engine health.

We are living by the clock. I think I was about halfway through the first day before I stopped looking at my watch every 15 minutes.  Time seemed to be going by at a snails pace.  I was fidgeting  the whole time.  Finally, about dinner time,  I stopped thinking about the time and about what I really wanted out of the experience.  We obviously have some time constraints in day to day lives, but after this experience, I am going to spend less time worrying about what time it is and more time thinking about how I’m spending that time.

Simple is better.  Out in the middle of no where, I started thinking about all the writers I admire so much, and the things they were able to accomplish.   I realized that the greatness came from the lack of distractions. Slowing down. Devoting themselves to a singleness of purpose, and enjoying the simple pleasures of mindfulness. They were called recluses, hermits.  But It was in their isolation that their works of art emerged.  They showed that there is a different, and perhaps better, way to live.  One that focuses on the truly important things in life.

WEEK 22 – The cycle of anger

blog anger.001

 We have all done it … or heard it done.

A kid who is in trouble, and trying to avoid being punished says “I didn’t do it .. Jonny did it!!!”.  And the worst part is we/they did this even when it was obvious that we/they were the guilty one.

Now let’s ask ourselves …. Have we outgrown this tactic as adults?? Do we pass the buck.  Well, it was time for me to be honest with myself and had to ask some tough questions … this post may not sit well with you either, but as Davene likes to say “time to put your big boy pants on”.  Projecting our mistakes onto other people or circumstances and blaming everyone but ourselves, might feel good at the time.  It protects our ego, but what is the fall out??

A great deal of the anger we feel is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt—and beyond this, the distressing emotions of hurt and fear.

Anger, is almost never a primary emotion. For underneath anger is feelings like, unimportant, accused, guilty, untrustworthy, devalued, rejected, powerless, and unlovable.

Anger, really, is just sadness turned inward,

And all of these feelings are capable of creating considerable emotional pain. So its understandable that we can go to great lengths to avoid feeling these things.

In fact I think we can get so good at using anger as a buffer from these other emotions that we can fool ourselves, even lying to ourselves, that it becomes real.  Anger creates adrenaline, and adrenaline can even feel good (for a moment). We can get addicted and attached to those feelings. (neropeptides remember those??)

This is really how all negative emotions work. They allow us to escape shameful thoughts , anxiety, and even guilt. At least they have the potential to do that, before we learned these skills over the last 6 months

Lets give a real world example.  Your Wife/husband/coworker says something hurtful or thoughtless.  You have choice; you could boldly share your feelings, show your vulnerability and possibly risk opening yourself up to more assaults …

or you can ATTACK … find something … anything really  … “why don’t you pick up your stuff” … “remember that time 12 years ago when you said ….”  “oh man , your just like your mother”. We use these things  to counter punch and attack with.

What we are basically doing, unconsciously, is trying to make them feel hurt, or really hurt them back. Tit for tat. Verbal Blow for blow. And while we are on this rampage, guess what happens?? you guessed it … you no longer feel hurt, rejected, or guilty … for the time being at least, (until you realize what you’ve done). And this continues the childish behaviour we mentioned at the outset “No you did it!! not me”

And now the person you’ve just unloaded on is left holding the bag of unwanted feelings. You have managed to transfer whatever feelings of hurt you were having back to them … “congratulations  jackass… you win”.   

or did you??

Now they have a choice … Fight or flight

The most primal of all instincts …. by being the lighting rod of your anger they now will either: attack back … continuing and possibly escalating the anger between the two of you … or they will unconsciously believe you wish to do them harm and back away from you. Stop talking to you and avoid you altogether.  Which does nothing to solve the issue that started the whole thing in the first place.

So, to change what can be a never-ending vicious cycle, it’s absolutly crucial to understand not only what caused the anger but also its detrimental effects.

Ultimately, feeling hurt—and then acting out a compulsion to retaliate in kind—is really childish … and quite frankly after all that we learn in the last 6 months … beneath us.

In such cases, can we learn how to hold onto our most rational adult self and “process”—internally—what’s happening inside our head?

And to do this before we alleviate our feelings of guilt, hurt, or fear by turning them into anger?

I don’t know … But I’m working on it.  I’m natures greatest miracle and I’m making the conscious decision right now to “STOP THE MADNESS” and go make the peace.

Even if it was her fault 🙂