Tuesday, December 22, 2009
That physical representation is so palpable in that moment of release! That is the difference of unconscious judgment and the release of that need. And in that moment ego also jumps back into the conversation.
Ego says I should always be in self-judgment for my own sake. Ego says that if I don't constantly evaluate and grade myself, I will become lazy and apathetic. In that state of apathy, my life will fall apart, dissolve into rot and ruin! Whoo, what an imagination.
So I can see the benefit of self-judgment, the benefit of motivation. Yet, I know there are other motivations. Ego tells me that those motivations aren't as effective. Ego is so sure about this. I turn to those concepts of motivation anyway and examine them for their worth and truth.
Considering the toll that judgment takes on me, I think it must be a "push" type of motivation. Push motivations are "pushing" against a resistance. What if there were a "pull" type of motivation that enticed me to the behavior that I thought was best for my highest good? What if it was more of a carrot? What if it made me salivate like cheese cake does?
So one sure thing that might have that effect on me is the goals that feed my core values.
My old perception of those goals were as distant objects and remote experiences. They didn't have a life in the present moment; inanimate objects of fantasy, reserved for "when".
If I bring those goals and core values into the present moment as the motivation for what I am working on in the present moment, joy takes over. I am no longer in conflict with my sense of worth, and I am highly motivated to follow through, leap forward, collecting in my mental arms all the elements that will make up the whole of that goal. Each task is grounded in the reality of the goal, that enticing completeness that represents my being, whole and perfect.
Monday, December 21, 2009
If I am more concerned with the control that I have had over the event, I will probably assign a lot of judgment to it. If I feel that I "performed" well and accomplished my intention, I will judge it as good, and assign a meaning of good to myself and the results. If I didn't perform well, then the meaning could well be negative, maybe even adversarial to myself.
If am more concerned with others' participation in an event, I might assign it a meaning of kindness or animosity. This is particularly true if I decide that the person's meaning was wrong or bad, and I then use that meaning to color every interaction subsequent to that decision. I have given something a meaning that may or may not have been an intention.
And even when it is an intention of the other, "good" or "bad", the meaning I give it is purely in my head. What if I were to assign a different meaning to it that relieves me of putting my personal sense of value at stake? What if I choose the meaning that any particular event will have in my life?
When we are young, events happen in our life that can seem traumatic, or dramatic, and at that point we might create a meaning around that event that becomes a rule for living. The meaning that we assigned to that event might be accurate, but by making a rule around that event for similar future events we are trapped into behaviors that are myopic and dabilitating.
In a similar way, I fall into the same trap with each event in my day if I were to assign meanings to events that become bigger than the event. And the egoic mind loves to find meaning and significance in every thing that happens in our lives.
So where can I go from here? Awareness. That is my gift in the discovery. I can now be aware of the meaning that I am assigning to my day, my hour, my minute, and reconsider that meaning in the light of what my intention is for my life.
Unless my life were lived by default, I can consciously find a higher significance - or none at all - in the thread of my day that weaves the fabric of my life.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
- Lead from the platform: The minister must be a cheerleader in this process, announcing the Homestudy at least two months prior to the start of the program. This year we incorporated video clips of Michael into the Sunday service announcements so that there is a visual and dynamic element to engage people.
- Printed materials: the weekly Messenger includes a Sign Up sheet that describes all the teams required to produce the program. The volunteer merely needs to check off the area of interest and fill in their name and number, drop the sheet into a prayer box, or hand it to a staff member.
- Repetition Repetition Repetition: Some of the most interested people may not have attended the "kickoff Sunday", so repeating the message for at least 3 weeks will usually canvas the more active members of your congregation.
- Seven to 10 "touches": Marketing gurus will tell you that it takes 7 to 10 contacts with a client before they take action. This is an important fact to keep in mind, because there may be plenty of people who want to volunteer. We only need to "touch" them enough and at the right time.
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Peace & Joy
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I've decided that self-discipline is actually self love. Self discipline is required for accomplishing goals that feed us. We have certain goals that we look to because we think they will make us feel really good. We might feel good about ourselves, or what the goals do for others in our life, but there is a great feeling associated with achieving goals.
As we envision those goals, there is a drive to attain the goals that is based on our concept of prosperity. That prosperity is not necessarily money, but a richness of life, a richness of quality of life.
In attaining our goals, we gift ourselves with what is in our higher good. We experience the power of the universe at our fingertips, knowing the universe is only too happy to oblige us with the things that make us happy.
If we gifted someone in our lives with the attainment of their goals, wouldn't that be a sign of love? It is a clear sign of honoring and respecting that person by helping them become all that they are capable of.
So what happens when we gift ourselves with the very same goals? When we follow through on a plan, we are not only ensuring that our self love is expressed in the accomplishment of a goal, but that the love for Self is being expressed in every step of the way. That is the expression of love that is our opportunity to experience. The process is a constant self love that is waiting to be appreciated.
So now I try to look at all opportunities, commitments, even to-do lists of tasks as ways that I can show my self that I am worthy and loved. It becomes a loop of energy and love that is only present when I am aware of how I am expressing through the actions of my day.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
But I also felt a revelation to pay attention to fear as a signpost to what will help me achieve my greatness. Not just a signpost, but a welcome signpost that will become my best friend. From where I am now, that seems somewhat remote to my mindset, but I know I have already moved a little bit in that direction.
The challenges for me are two:
- Can I discern the difference between fear of my greatness and my intuition of a less wholesome situation?
- Will I be able to trump my ego's reaction to cut and run?
This is where spiritual self-discipline comes in.
What do I want? How bad do I want it?
I was recently introduced to the phrase Spiritual Self-Discipline, and realized that it was something that I had not excelled at. I was pretty good at putting myself between a rock and a soft place. The soft place seems to win a lot.
As I examine this idea of fear being a signpost, a very welcome signpost that can show me the door to my authentic self, I can entrain my brain to be more aware of that fear, and to automatically turn to my authentic self for my next word or action.
Such was the case today. Having been sent a letter from an attorney's office on behalf of someone who seemed unwilling to explain a simple situation to me in their own words, I decided to bring my authentic self to the table and open a dialogue in the hopes of enticing his authentic self. Knowing I have no control over him, I decided to express my understanding of the situation and let him discover his own interpretation. Whether it is the one I would choose is out of my control.
Having turned to the fear as an opportunity to reach out and speak from my authentic self, I am much more at peace. It's a start.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
"Our race is designed to skate on the razorblade edge between order and chaos. Too much static order and we're bored. Too much flirting with chaos and we feel endangered. We all want to feel safe and loved. Yet by definition the human condition entails conflict.
"Note well that without exception anyone who has achieved anything in life has had to struggle to do it. Coming up against resistance gives us a chance to learn who we are and what we are here to do."
-Dr. Fred Alan Wolf ("Dr. Quantum" in The Secret)
This one can be a tough one to embrace! Struggle is for my own good??!!! Whoa, not anything like what I learned through the years. "A life of ease is the place for me!"
But I guess I've never lived looking for ease, always choosing the challenges that have a greater reward. Maybe not a financial reward, but the process. As an artist, that was always true; the joy and satisfaction of creating artistic work seemed to be enough.
And now I am even more excited about my new work as a Small Group Book Study designer because I know that my work and insight will bring forth the wisdom and insight of all the people that I touch with my programs.
In the meantime, I'm keeping Dr. Quantum's words in my head today as I have my van towed to the shop for repair - 15 minutes after I sold it. Maybe I can dream bigger.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
One member informed me that the average length of employment with a company is 3 years. The loss of one person from a company costs the company between one and two years of the position's salary.When job satisfaction increases that retention rate to 4 years, a company is able to save the cost of replacing each of those people, saving the company up to 33% of attrition costs!
When job satisfaction and empowerment increases that retention rate to 5 years, the savings climbs to 66%.
A big challenge for companies is keeping their best employees in the face of demoralizing layoffs and payroll cuts. Giving ALL the employees a say in the company with Inspiring Connection book study programs can pay huge dividends.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This is a result of looking at things from the end. By looking at the desired results we can move into the entire spectrum of opportunities and ways to express.
Friday, November 20, 2009
So it seems to me to come down to a test of limitations. A litmus test that can tell me when my thoughts come from egoic mind and when they come from my authentic self, my essence. And usually we can feel it in our body as well.
The concept that "when I am in limiting thoughts I might be in ego" could be used as an indicator, a barometer of the source of my consciousness. If I am in limiting thought, then I am in the egoic mind. When I am feeling free and unlimited thought, I am coming from my authentic self, my essence.
What are some of the limiting thoughts that I experience? They could have some of these emotions involved:
Therein lies the challenge when immersed in a "reasonable" world.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Working with Inspiring Connection would be a powerful tool for your company to create a truly comprehensive culture shift at all levels of the company in addition to a company's prime movers that consultants lead and train in company strategy.
Programs created by Inspiring Connection address the entire company when integrating new information and corporate culture by including all employees in small group discussions that are not curriculum based. This augments the original training for top executives conducted by the consultant.
All too frequently, attempts at culture shift falls to the wayside when there is resistance from the employees who were not initially engaged in the discussion and training. If they are not invested, they are less likely to act. This could result in minimal impact on the client company in the long run, and the culture shift is sometimes abandoned. Inspiring Connection can engage all levels of a company to empower and embrace the program, resulting in;
- 90% reduction in the time required for company wide buy in
- 80% to 95% cost savings over traditional training and development methods (for mid-level and front line staff)
- Develop peer respect and inter-departmental trust
- 100% accuracy of information dissemination (nothing is lost in the translation from top down)
- 100% active participation and engagement for all relevant employees in concepts and practices
- Create a common knowledge base for all employees
- An evaluation of the company's goals and implementation needs
- A description of how I would address their needs
- Exploration of how best to customize the program as necessary
Materials and manual are delivered in digital format.
Continued consulting to assist with implementation (up to 2 hours) will be included.
Exit evaluation surveys for participants will be compiled and reported to the company.
This will assist any consultant by compressing the timeline of impact.
I am very passionate about the programs that I create and the impact they have on a community. I believe in the power and wisdom that people find in speaking, and the connection and respect they develop hearing their colleagues.
Most of October was spent in preparation for my trip to Florida and the South East Unity Regional Conference. I felt very successful at the conference with the contacts that I was able to make and the clients that I met. In addition, the conference coordinator asked if I would like to conduct a workshop at next year's conference in Naples, FL. I'm very excited at the prospect. Looking forward to it.
I also spent a few days on the beach at Siesta Key, FL. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there is also speculation about it being an energy vortex. I felt a sense of that upon my arrival, just standing on the beach as the sun was going down. I found myself a bit overwhelmed by it, and seeking a vibrational harmony with this energy. My intention was to allow the energy to set the tone for my energy.
I felt like I had assimilated "island time" rather quickly, and my goal was to sit in the sun, sit in the water, float on the ocean all day. Enjoy the sunset each night. Repeat as necessary. Next year it will be a full 10 days, and I am already looking forward to it.
But more importantly, I bring that attitude home with me, and I look for opportunities to observe and appreciate this world and this life that I lead. With just a look in my memory banks, I feel that calm energy that flows from the sea and the sun, a breeze softening every moment.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
After the meeting, I had lunch at a family owned Mexican Restaurant, which was VERy good. It was some personal affirmations that finally got me to turn into the parking lot, and I was able to ignore those old thoughts of unworthiness.
Upon arriving at home, I was ready to start right into work, but I realized that I needed to take a lesson from my own book (see below). So I let my dog Rudy out, sat on the porch swing, and soaked in the sunshine. The clouds. The blue sky. The trees turning. The air getting crisp. The mind resting, for just a moment. Practicing presence, releasing thoughts, softening feelings with observation.
Work was much easier to address after that.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
But it occurred to me that this could be a very apt admonishment for adults. After all, the aim is for the demographic to live longer and healthier, isn't it? Who needs more of that than the adults in this world?
How much do you play?
Back at the beginning of the industrial revolution, with technology creating time saving and effortless accessories to free up so much free time, there was speculation that it would be a challenge to find enough things to do that would entertain us for hours each day.
How much do you play?
What if you committed to playing an hour a day? What would you do in that time? Computer time doesn't usually count, it's just a video game. Not the same.
Music. Toys. Sports. Hobbies. Creative outlets. Interactive board games.
Whatever disconnects you from the race and the chase. Whatever frees your mind from the schedule and the to-do list. Whatever gets you out of the past or future and into the present moment. The only place that you truly are.
PLAY 60 Minutes a Day. Can you imagine???
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I began to see it as my life, as the substance of my day. And it begged the question: Am I living my life, or is my life living me? And in that moment, I knew that it was only a shift of thought and perspective that would allow me to be a participant instead of a tool in the unfolding of each day.
I found a renewed sense of commitment to being present and observing; observing my life, as well as observing my immersion in it. To fully participate in the little things that make up my day. Maybe most importantly, I will find the vision of joy that will lead me to my greatest moments.
What is my vision of my life? What is it that I want to create? When I observe and cherish that vision, I act in concert with that vision, and I act in concert with the Universe that is happy as hell to give it to me.
On Sundays I sometimes grab Wayne Muller's Sabbath, and open it randomly. I read an essay to get me into the mood of the day. And today the essay was "Beginner's Mind". To accept that I don't know what will happen, to accept that I don't know how to get there. And to let go of what has come before and start fresh. To begin the week embracing the unknown.
Perhaps the mist is removed from where I am right now, just a bit. Perhaps I am not my work. Perhaps I am open to each and every soul that comes into my life today. Perhaps my vision is focused less on what is mine to do, and more focused on where I am right now. For a little while.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtan for more info about the origin of Kirtans.
The energy in the room with dozens of people was exhilerating. It's really futile to describe it, it is something that needs to be experienced to understand it.
The result as I'm driving home was not only a high energy level in my body and mind, but a strong sense of potential. I felt myself having greater empowerment and ability to make things happen in my life. It seemed as if some parts of a wall had been knocked down and I was free to move about the cabin. I could stretch my arms out in freedom and strength, I could feel my legs metaphorically stepping out in great strides up the mountain. I could feel my lungs take deep sharp breaths, building a rhythm of energy that would drive those legs.
As I'm feeling this energy, I'm also thinking that I want to nourish this feeling, this knowing that could propel me forward into my future with great energy and confidence.
To some, this might sound New Age woowoo. That's OK. I'm not really talking to them. I know that's becoming a smaller minority. The majority of you get it.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
As I was finishing my Tai Chi form, I rested and looked at the moon through the leaves and branches of the red bud tree next to my patio, and I felt a moment of mystery, the mystery of the tree itself.
The other day I was walking along and began to contemplate the mystery of gravity, the way we are drawn physically to this ball of rock and water. I thought about the fact that I am being pulled toward this mass, the wonder and awe at the balance of our universe. It amazed me that the gravitational pull comes from all the atoms in the Earth; the ones close to the surface in the soil, the crust of the planet, the magma center. The gravity that I feel is determined by the entire planet, and creates this balance of me walking on the surface. This gravity of every atom of this planet is holding me down by the attraction it has on every atom of my body.
That wonder and awe at the mystery of this principle that has created our physical universe is the space that I can fall into, the entry to Presence.
As I looked at the tree, and the moon glowing through its branches, I dwelt on the mystery of the tree, its growth, the fractals that produce wood and leaves, the amazing evolution of this species. I felt the world slip away and become massively present, all at once.
When he had asked where he would find the Zen, the Buddhist student was told by the teacher to listen for the small stream in the distance, and through the effort of listening to what underlies the sounds that are present, the student was able to step out of his thoughts and into the moment. As he was struck by the awe of Presence, he said, "Yes, now I hear it," the teacher said, "Enter the Zen from here."
Monday, August 17, 2009
One of the great support networks that I have is my small groups. I even have a small group of entrepreneurs to which I subscribe who are great at affirming my goals, celebrating my accomplishments, and supporting my dreams with resources and ideas. This makes it much easier to strengthen my conviction of the potential of prosperity, even the inevitable nature of prosperity as a principle of the universe.
I was born worthy.
I am grateful to find that I can do a lot more and reach a lot more people with my programs and the gifts I have to offer if I find partners and team mates who will benefit from working together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. And I lose nothing. So developing relationships is key for me.
Drop me a line, let me know how I can help you.
One of the things I've learned from my Legacy Connection group:
"ALONE WE ARE LIMITED, TOGETHER WE ARE BOUNDLESS!"
Drop me a line, let me know how I can help you.
But we all need support. In my Finding Freedom small group, I received very valuable feedback and affirmation when Kim said that I have created several vehicles of accountability for myself, I've joined groups or hired assistants who make an accountability network. I agree that the accountability is very important to my success, it is the support that I find in these groups that may have the most impact on my evolution.
What are your support systems? Can you reach out and find more? Can you form a small group of common purpose that will assist you in your growth and power?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I realize that I had gone into the evening lacking confidence, lacking interest, lacking a willingness to contribute. And the universe responded.
Today I have the opportunity to accept my responsibility and know that a different approach, attitude, preparation will have a different result. I can create the situation again, or create something different.
And no matter what shows up, it's not a reflection on me.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I unloaded the kiln on Thursday, and it was a very good batch of pots. The colors are very vivid and full of energy. On the left you can see one of the large jars that I finished.
The formal shapes begged for some loose poured glazing, and I couldn't be more happy with the results. The Computer chips are in slots in the sides. The jar is close to 2 feet tall.
In the background you can see Edan, my apprentice, working on a large pot. He has learned to throw large forms, and he has learned VERY quickly. This is one student who will surpass me in ability. I love having his energy around, it helps me to be more creative and energetic.
These are some pieces that I am creating for a client in California (San Diego). The piece on the left is my creation, the pewter piece on the right is the item that I am replicating. The glaze on my piece still needs some work, but The shape is coming along. The "beaker" on the right is a replication of a 16th century Italian measuring beaker that has stamps impressed on it as an official certification of it's accruacy. My replications of the replication are in porcelain, and they are used for floral arrangements. There are 5 different sizes for the company events. What fun!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
As the evening settles in and the sun gently falls to it's nightly rest, I look at the precious minutes left and wonder what I will do with them. What was my goal in this day of non-doing? Perhaps the goal was experiencing my self without demands. Experiencing myself without pushing the envelope, without any benchmarks of accomplishment. What an unfamiliar paradigm.
Even in non-doing, I realize I had set up expectations of accomplishment. I was going to: read some inspirational material, write some revelations, meditate, exercise, and solve all of my issues. Ha.
So now I look back on the day and realize that some was done and some was not. Where is the value in each?
Done: Prayer, meditation, writing, exercise.
What was not done: yes. exactly.
The exercise of not-doing is in non-judgment, in acceptance of self and circumstances and inertia. Sitting in inertia (the property of an object to remain at rest or to remain in motion) is rife with self-judgment fro me. The visual for me is of a marble that has come to a stop, and a million ideas swatting at the marble to get it moving in a direction.
That's an interesting turn of phrase: direction. So is that the source of discomfort? Lack of direction? Hmmm. . . .
Above all, I am learning from the experience through awareness. And this day of rest has revived me, leaving me restless and eager to DO. Tomorrow is another day.
PS I welcome any comments. . . .
Friday, June 19, 2009
But are we the result of those actions and choices? Is who we are based on what we do?
I would say that traditional thought would give "YES" as the absolute answer to that question. And traditional thought evaluated our character and our essence by what we do, what our actions created.
Yet, I am struck by the thought that our essence, our being, is not at all reliant on the actions that we undertake. From a being perspective, is any action even required?
Case in point; children. As young children, did we have any evaluation of self or others based on actions and choices? Considering that a young child forgives within minutes, I would say that the answer is no. There was no consideration of the results of our doing, the doing was the complete reward and goal. Our value was not in the least associated with what we did.
That is the purest example of our essence and our being. We only add judgement to our actions as we learn them from those we admire. And then that judgement shifts from being to doing.
Another way to look at it: What remains when all the doing is stripped away? What if all of the choices and results are erased from our chalkboard of life? What if we have absolutely nothing to show for all that we have done? What remains is the being that is timeless and unquestionably priceless.
The fact is, in my mind, that I am not the sum of all of my choices. Rather, my life is the sum of all of my choices; I am always complete and priceless, without lifting a finger.
Another case of mental vertigo, when the basis of life is shifted to an unfamiliar paradigm. But with that shift is an incredible gift of freedom from past judgments, and even freedom from time. Try it.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The fact is, I had not aspired to that level of performance until I had begun to play with other musicians in public. This was quite the stretch for me, way out of my comfort zone. But I pushed myself, set aside my fears, and jumped in with both feet.
I was stroking my ego with the positive response, and feeding my joy with the simple pleasure of creating music with the synergy of other live musicians. What a blast!
I can feel the correction to my ego after last evening, and I know that this is a small bump in the road. I am determined to see where I can go with the musical talent that I have been given. I have decided to let my own light shine. Let the chips fall where they may. And I will focus on the joy that I derive from the experience.
“ ...what I focus on in life is what I get. And if I concentrate on how bad I am or how wrong I am or how inadequate I am, if I concentrate on what I can’t do and how there’s not enough time in which to do it, isn’t that what I get every time? And when I think about how powerful I am, and when I think about what I have left to contribute, and when I think about the difference I can make on this planet, then that’s what I get. You see, I recognize that it’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do about it.”
-- W. Mitchell
Focus is apparently one of my challenges in life, and one that I am practicing much more than ever. Right now, a large part of my focus intention is to remain on task when I am working, or even doing something for fun. It seems that I had a fear of not being involved in everything, so my old tendency was to try to do it all, while accomplishing nothing. But now I create a focus in the morning and I am much more successful with the positive outcomes.
The quote above empowers me to go further and include the focus of abundance and joy and service in my life. Sometimes I tell myself that I am stuck with this bad mood, and other times I can tell myself to STOP and replace the old thoughts (they are just thoughts) with new thoughts that are much more fun and easy.
It's ironic that I haven't mastered this practice, that reminders like the quote above are always useful and helpful for me to change my life.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
This morning my intention came to me early: non-judgment. And I realized that, as an intention, it is a negative statement. Non-judgment means I am trying to stop something, I am creating resistance to something in my mind or my life. When I resist, I give it more power.
And where did the judgment come from, anyway? It was a habit that was developed in my youth as a constant motivator. There was judgment for my grades and scholastic achievement and non-achievement; there was judgment in athletic endeavors; everything was graded. As we learn in The Four Agreements, after a while, we take over the judgment ourselves, and we become the Great Judge of everything we do.
I can see now judgment was used as a motivator to push me along to accomplish greater things. Would that it had worked that way. And now? I continue to judge myself because I fear that there will be no motivation to accomplish anything if I stop judging. The fear of judging myself is seen by my old self as a motivator for doing my To-Do list.
What happens when Judgment is no longer my motivator? What is the worse case scenario? I can see that a lot of activites would be shunned because they did not fulfill my purpose to become the best-version-of-myself. Conversely, if activities were fulfilling my core values, I would feel a sense of joy. If an activity did not fulfill my core values, it would not feel rewarding.
And what happens without judgment? What happens when I fall short? I can choose again. That's all. Just choose again, and turn back to those things that are leading me to my higher good.
A challenging idea, because now I have to have faith in my ability to discern what is contributing to my highest good. To have faith in the ability to see and hear and know what is giving me passion in my life. To have faith that I can live my life well without the fear of judgment.
This is a journey into uncharted territory. We sail at dawn.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Finally! I am back to blogging on my Pottery web site again, though I have had to make a change to this blog site to do so, due to some technical changes. It always seems like updating things should make it easier, but instead it seems to provide new obstacles. Oh well, maybe it's the universe telling me this is the better way.
I attended the Summerfair Art fair at Old Coney in Cincinnati today. It was so different to see the the fair from my perspective since I haven't exhibited at a fair since 2007. I could feel the desparation that the artists were feeling, hoping to get a sale, trying to do the right things, look busy, use the right phrases. It was demoralizing to see all these amazingly gifted people practically begging to sell their exceptional artwork. That was me. And I was SOOO happy not to be one of them today.
On Friday I fired a commission for an event planner in California, and tomorrow I will unload the kiln and see how it turned out. I am happy with the results so far, as is the client. I'll ship it off this week.
Yesterday I dropped off some work to Robin Wood Flowers, and she has ordered more to keep up her stock. I was lucky to have some work on hand when she ran out. Good plan.
I have a new apprentice, Edan, starting on Thursday of this week. I am really excited about working wtih him, he has actually graduated from U. of MinnesOta, and is pursuing a career in pottery. I can't wait to get him started.
The other aspect of this is that I will now be working in the studio on a regular basis, Thursdays and Fridays. I had shut down the studio from February through April, and now I'll see what it feels like to put it back into use. This could be very energizing. I'll see how the body holds up to the work.
The bulk of my time is deveoping my new company that creates the materials for Small Group Book Studies, primarily for churches and non-profits. I have found that I have gift for asking questions. That is, in my mind, the best attribute of a teacher.
"Judge a man not by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks." -Voltaire
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
As people behaved the way they were, I was able to accept and honor who they were, and release the judgment of whether that behavior was appropriate for the moment. It was totally appropriate in their mind, and they were right. As I released non-acceptance, the world started to look much more beautiful. As I took down my walls of judgment, the reality of the world began to glitter with magic and joy.
By the end of the evening, I went home enveloped in a cloud of magic, walking with "diamonds on the souls of my shoes". The magic continued to vibrate into the evening as I sat on the porch, listening to the frogs and crickets, sluggish fireflies making their spring debut. The only thing that is perfect is the present.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A week ago I was talking to a marketing expert, Marjorie, and as I described the marketplace that I am working in, she asked who my competition was. I said, one person in California, and she can't work on this full time. Marjorie said, "It sounds like you found a Blue Ocean."
So I went on Amazon and bought the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, and I am totally pumped with the authors' complete analysis and process driven exploration of the "Uncontested Marketplace" phenomenon. The epitome of a Blue Ocean is the one that Cirque de Soleil created with their totally unprecedented entertainment.
As I read this, I am realizing the opportunity to create a Small Group Book Study -slash- MasterMind group that can allow the members to help each other to put into practice all the processes described in the book. Entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike would love to have this process in their arsenal, and at such an opportune time in the economy. This is the ideal time to start a business, or launch a new initiative. And to use this process would definitely improve the profit margin, and odds of success.
I will be pitching it to a couple networking groups, like LSS and Legacy Connections.
If you are interested, please comment/send an email. This will take place in central Cincinnati.
If you have read Blue Ocean Strategy, I would love to hear your comments. Tell me.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
How often do I start the day, from the moment I wake up, thinking about my business or other roles in which I function? I noticed that this morning, how focused I was on my to-do list, and trying to figure out how I was going to fulfill my role as a writer of Small Group Homestudies. And how am I going to market this wonderful product? When would I have time to do both?
I took a moment to really step back, look at who I am in this moment, nurture that part of me before stepping into my work day. There are several results from this self-focus.
- I come at my work with integrity
- I have greater access to my wisdom
- I am much kinder to myself
- I am more focused, having given myself support
- I am much more present to my clients and business partners
- I am authentic
I'm not just selling a product. I'm selling a gift. I keep my eye on that gift as an extension of myself, not the other way around.
Click the comment button, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
But Michael said something that encourages me in my latest endeavor to practice acceptance. He said that when he got the diagnosis, he realized that it is what it is. He said it isn't good or bad, it just is. And once he was able to accept that as what is, it opened the doors to all sorts of possibilities.
It opened the doors to all sorts of possibilities. As we learned in Gary Simmons' book The I of the Storm, the field of possibilities that exist as a principle of quantum mechanics is always available to us until we choose one belief. If Michael had decided that he was ineffective as a human being, or a father, or a force in the world, then the infinite field of possibilities would have collapsed to one possibility. Then all the doors that he sees now would have been closed, holding under lock and key the amazing array of treasures awaiting him .
When we accept what is, what comes to us, what we are, then the doors are flung open for infinite possibilities. Our treasures await us.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I am now promoting and using my Homestudy program for Steve Sherwood's book, Finding Freedom: The Five Choices That Will Change Your Life. There are several groups that are already forming around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. There is room for more people, when you are ready to participate. Just send me an email (click here) . or call me at 859 635-5599. This is a fantastic opportunity to discover what the book can transform in your life.
A regional coordinator for Unity churches is interested in promoting my Homestudy The I of the Storm on a regional level and a national level. She is interested in taking it to the national conference this year to introduce it as a powerful peacemaking tool for communities.
A national cancer support non-profit has expressed an interest in purchasing a Homestudy for Jeremy Geffen's book The Journey Through Cancer. I think this will be a perfect book to introduce their clients to the philosophy of the organization because it reflects their mission so clearly. It would be such a privilege to serve and help cancer survivors find their power through the journey. For those who haven't been through the journey, that might sound a bit strange, but there are the "ironic gifts" of cancer that are undeniable.
I started out on a walk with my dog, Rudy, down the road. My plan was to drive up to a kite festival when our walk was over, but my plans were deligthfully changed when I ran into a couple of neighbors who I so rarely get to chat with. So we discussed the world, family, the choice of happiness in our lives, and just really got a chance to connect. By the time I returned to my house, it was too late for the festival, and I figured I had come out ahead.
Sometimes when we lose our plan, a better plan can show up. But if we are attached to that first plan, everything else seems like an obstacle instead of a gift.
This is the gift of my out of town trips in the last couple of months, a gift of unattachment to what I expect. A new way to roll.
Take a minute to write a comment, I want to hear from you!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
It was a liberating weekend, for some reason. I think that, in combination with the recent trip to Hawaii, it was a totally disorienting month that required me to really let go of control; control of the time, of where I am, what conditions that I will be living and working in, location on the planet.
It felt like a boggle game where the dice were completely shook up and when everything settled, there is a whole new set of possibilities. And the realization that there will always be a whole new set of possibiities every time the game is shook up opens up a new acceptance of uncertainty.
What had happened is that someone had given me a new way of looking at things, a hidden part of myself that I was totally unaware of, that seemed to go completely against my type. But I didn't know that part of me was possible because I didn't know how much of my personality was determined by a way of being that did not honor myself. So the vertigo was about finding myself being pulled by a new way of being that was in seeming conflict and imbalance to my old way of being.
What I found was that my old way of being is to "Be Nice", to help others at the expense of myself. The reward (imagined, probably not real) was that people would like me. Maybe, maybe not. But would they really want to be around someone who sacrificed self for the sake of approval?
A new perspective at the top of the mountain, a dissying height. I can get used to that.
Just fixing dinner, to slow down as I went to the spice rack, to walk to the cabinet a little gentler, to sit down in the chair and notice my body folding and bending. It continued into the evening. What I noticed was how I moved into the moment when I slowed down. I can't slow down without becoming aware of the present.
And everything seemed smoother, more graceful, more natural. It seemed to calm me down, to find a little peace in the conscious activity of day to day, just by slowing down a little.
So my challenge to you, the Watson Challenge, is to slow down everything you do. Just for one day. Not a lot, not slow motion, just a little slower. Just enough to become present. Let me know how it goes.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
One night I was in an old hotel that was a panoply of businesses occupying the myriad of rooms facing on to the central courtyard below, a crescent moon shining down for our main spotlight, and a candle for ancillary lighting. The music was subtle, tunes arbitrarily chosen from chord progressions to support rapping. I was playing hand drums, which takes my total concentration. With that concentration, there is nothing that can intrude. Focus on the present.
Lying on the beach with very few people willing to brave the cool elements, the sun and beautiful Pacific ocean dominated the environment, and began to fill my mind with serenity and joy. But it wasn't the environment, it was my own mind that allowed for the beauty around to fill me up, to feel the energy of the island. In the moment, I was able to experience my bliss.
Attending Unity of Hawaii, I was able to release my experiences prior and to enjoy the experience of this service, to experience the warmth of the people around me, to appreciate the gifts of the spiritual guides present. I danced down the aisle to offer my gifts; I appreciated each person who approached and asked questions, only in the moment.
Perched on a mountainside above Moanoa valley, nestled among lob lobby pines, I was listening acutely to the winds and looking at the waining twilight, clouds spinning off into the west. In the moment that would never be again.
Flying into Cincinnati, the terrain was being occluded by impending dark, noticing the highway's curve and whine, the slower pace of blacktop tributaries leading to my quiet abode, a home by any other name. . .
Looking into each face, stranger or old friend, there is only this moment. Pain is of the past. Frustration is of expectations. This moment includes neither.
Friday, February 13, 2009
- This is a ten session series.
- Based on Steve Sherwood's Finding Freedom: Five Choices That Will Change Your Life.
- Inspirational and transformational information and exercises
- Complete guides make this a self-directed program
- The magic of the small group (5 to 8 people) is perfect for this book and program
This program allows people to find out what their greatest strengths are, and how to let go of the emotional strings that have been holding them back. Steve Sherwood says of this Homestudy program
- "I want everyone to know how important the Homestudy program is to understanding the book. I wrote Finding Freedom because there isn't time in a seminar to cover all the important topics. Only with extended study and the group environment of the Homestudy program will people get what they really need out of this book."
This Homestudy works well in a corporate setting, as well, by investing employee and/or management time into personal development that will pay with increased dedication and satisfaction. People connect at a more core level, developing greater trust and support for each other. Corporate culture and morale is vastly improved as intensive personal growth contributes to company efficiency.
Designed in 10 segments, this program can be implemented in its original time frame of 10 months, or shortened for your convenience to 10 or 20 weeks.
I am very excited about this program. The first groups of Finding Freedom have found it to be very key to their ability to continue their personal development over the long haul, which would otherwise fall back and return to their old ways of being. Many great attributes are being explored and embraced, and old habits are released.
Please comment and call me if you would like to know anything more about the program.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Driving home from yoga, I was plunged into darkness; even traffic lights were mute. I looked into the Valley of WalMart, and saw darkness. Over the horizon, I could see the glow of an electrified Meijers. I knew I would have a partial, if not complete, darkness surrounding my home. That Miejers parking lot flare would light the sky at home from a mile and a half away. Incessantly. But the glow was dull without the WalMart glare, and I was enjoying the soft night sky as I emerged from my car.
The silence of a blackout is precious, and like a blanket on the solitude. Even with company, a blackout has a weight, or maybe lightness, to it that is not familiar, that holds a certain ominence of impending nothingness. Even in company, the quiet demands more self awareness and familiarity with the uncertainty of self. No distractions. Well, less.
I pull out my Sony Walkman, and begin to play along on my instruments. Through the 3rd or 4th song, I hear a noise. A noise?! There shouldn't be a noise. It is the noise of wind. The heat is on, blowing through the air ducts, which means the electricity is back on. Fortunately, I had left no lights on in the house. The darkness prevailed, save the 4 candles alight in the living room. I run to a light switch to see that I am "saved", -and promptly turn it off. The candle light is much more pleasant. I resolve to purchase a lot of candles so that I will take advantage of this simple pleasure more often. Even with the TV on, the candles lend a glow that is soft and serene.
As I head down the hallway to prepare for bed, I can't help turning back to the computer to share these observations. My recent work in clay has been about how computers and computer chips have infiltrated our lives, creating dependence on a communication artery, one that could be called an artery of data that borders on emotion. Unfortunately, the written word is only 34 percent of our communication. Another 20 percent is our inflection and verbal nuance. The balance, almost 50 percent, is manifest in our visual cues. The last two factors are not present in this post.
So what are you getting out of it??
I hope you will comment.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I was reading through an email that I received about how our resolutions go in January:
Contrary to popular belief, gym memberships spike in February, NOT January. Diet centers and programs spike in February and all other self-help and personal growth programs have a steep increase in February.
Why is that? Didn't we make our resolutions in January? YES WE DID - but we tried to succeed ALONE!
You may be an exception to the rule... but the truth is, most of us do best when we're surrounded with support in reaching our goals and objectives. This is why it is KEY for you to have peers that 'get' you and understand what you are about.
The point of this is to have some people who support us in our goals and our dreams. When we find the poeple who believe in what we want, we can move forward with much more ease and grace. When we get energized by support, we can activate the law of attraction and bring into our experience the tools and resources that will allow us to serve our clients best. Other professionals come into view who can create a co-creative synergy that benefits everyone in the process.
But the important thing is to share our enthusiasm with someone who will in turn become enthused about your goals, as well as become enthused about their own goals and dreams. It is working so well for me! I am constantly amazed at how many people are contributing to my success, when I let them.
PS Please add your comments, I'd love to hear from you!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We give you as much material as we can to make it easy, efficient, and successful to implement a Book Study. There are schedules and timelines, team descriptions, guides for the facilitators and hosts, and other documents that help you organize and motivate your teams.
I understand how hard it is to locate the people to put the program into action, so I want to make it easy on them, and give all the information that they need so they don't have to re-invent the wheel.
If you wonder what that looks like, please give me a call and ask me about the details.
For me, writing the questions that engage your participants is the most exciting part, but the nuts and bolts are what you need for a successful program.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For those that may be interested, New Thought Unity Center in Cincinnati is conducting one of my HomeStudy Small Group Book Studies. This will be taking place from Feb. 15 through April 4, but you must commit and register between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 if you would like to participate. The book that we will be using is The I of The Storm, (Amazon reviews) which is an amazing book that helps us look at conflict as an opportunity for peace and growth. You can see more at Meetup.com (search for "Unity"), where you can join. After joining, you will be the first to know of the groups that will be forming all over the Greater Cincinnati area. Or just reply to me and I can help you! Please join up.
The challenging situations were ones that questioned my judgment, or my ability to reason in familiar and desirable places. In an interview I felt my ability for discourse to slip through my hands like water, desperately trying to provide the insight that I felt so adept with only hours before.
And in a discussion, it felt like I had become the butt of every joke.
Those were my perceptions. I have no real idea what was happening because I was reacting and reading into the situation much more than was actually happening. But as I sat in meditation just now, as I tried to relax into my true nature, I suddenly saw that I was looking at appearances, and taking them so seriously. I was mistaking my appearances, my own distorted perceptions, for who I really am, the core value of myself as a soul, as a spiritual being. And I was suddenly able to look at all the perceptions of myself, my own perceptions as well as perceptions any one else may have had, I was suddenly clear that I am not that. I realized that I was not those perceptions, I was not those judgments (both self-imposed and perceived of others), I was not any of those situations.
Suddenly I was able to step into The I of the Storm and relax, accept, and move on.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
So I took a few minutes to recognize my judgement of myself, and to accept the way I had lived my day. Once again, I created a new starting point.
What was interesting was how much I followed through on my commitments to myself tonight. I had set out to accomplish some simple tasks, and I stayed on them and finished them. A great lesson I received from Life Success Seminars, "The quality of my life depends on the commitments I make and keep." Including the commitments that I make to myself.
A new starting point.