Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Imagination - which way?

“Books are the best of things, well used. What is the right use? What is the one end, which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dream, be unreasonable and write what comes to you for 15 minutes. (Ben von Burg)

Emerson viewed books or writing as a means to inspire others. I am sure he would have been a blogger.  My life purpose is to evoke and call out the beauty and capacity that lies in others and is closely connected with the theme of this quote. Imagination is a powerful tool for either creation of value or squander.  This marvelous attribute of the human allows each of use to see that which is unseen whether it be positive or negative.  Anxiety can be imagination seeing the worst case scenario and then living it as if it already is happening.  I choose to use my imagination to vision the creation of that which has value for myself and others. 

A vision isn't an idea but a force of power, a force in my heart.  It may begin as an idea, but soon takes form.  It is seen as existing.  There are few forces as powerful.  The vision answers the question, "what do I want to create?"  It becomes the channel through which my energy flows and brings focus to my life. This can be like a child, How will I care for it?  Will I nurture it or will I let it fend for itself?  Will I attempt to control it or let it begin to have its own identity; ever expanding into something greater than  imagined at first?  Will I allow it to be come my teacher?  This is one of the greatest expressions of my role as a creator to imagine and to inspire others to have and live their dream.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Decision, Decision, What will I decide?

“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?(Maryellen Smith)

Make a decision, that is my challenge.  One of the greatest decisions I made was years ago.  I decided that I could change my fate.  I grew up in a fear bound home environment.  Depression, gloom, judgement, illness, despair and criticism was the theme of most days.  As a kid I decided that I wasn't going to live my life with such negativity and decided to be positive and seek the light.  

This decision is affirmed each day.  I can choose to allow the negativity of the culture that filters in through the media suggesting  inevitable economic doom and scarcity is in the future for all.  I choose this day to join the abundance that awaits me.  Today I choose to see the inherent goodness that surrounds me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Will vs. Self-will

The inspiration for this writing came from a comment from a group member recently. 

On of the greatest attributes I have is my power of choice.  It resides in each of us.  I recall a study conducted about 35 years ago which measured the capacity of profoundly retarded residents to have a preference or choice in a state mental institution.  The study sought to determine if the residents had a preference for music.  The results indicated that even these folks preferred a particular type of music. (email me for the type of music)

Will is the vital aspect of our capacity to love or to anger without condition.  However it is easy to defend our right to choose in such a way that we would rather be right about a belief or behavior that is self-defeating or harmful. At times this determination is so strong that on makes "rightness" the 'higher power.'  It can take to form of needing to know everything, leaving little room for mystery, surprise and excitement.  This need to know is easily perceived as the higher power.

I can choose to surrender my knowing to the 'higher power' in the form of living without knowing the future.  Not meaning that I become mindless, but even more mindful of the here and now; living in the present.  Surrender for me is the yielding of my will to God.  Trusting the creator to know more than I; caring for me even more that I care for myself; believing that the creator didn't make junk and wanted me to live in abundance.

This support group of individuals are working on specific life areas that have been difficult to manage.  Although it isn't a 12 Step program, it utilizes the wisdom from these programs.  The first three steps address the issue of 'will'; 1) admission of being powerless over ______ - that my life has become unmanageable, 2) believing that a power greater than myself can restore sanity, and 3) a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God as I understand.

I believe my greatest power comes forth when I choose to being open to the presence of the power that is greater than me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Inspiration that came after the Big Dream

“The arts and inventions of each period are only its costume, and do not invigorate men.” Emerson
Think of the last time that you thought, said, or did something that was original. What inspired or invigorated this? (Michael Brajkovich)

The last bit of inspiration was today.  While seeking a place for a healing workshop for individuals experienced losses because of the May 22 Tornado in Joplin, I discovered there were no sleeping rooms or facilities available due to the overwhelming demand for the huge influx of workers to help with the clean-up and reconstruction.  The city had the feel of a boom town.  One individual suggested a camp and retreat facility about 10 miles away.  The first visit to the facility allowed us to see some possibilities.  Based on our format for workshops the spaces available were marginally useful.  The manager suggested a return visit the following day after the current users had checked out.  When we arrived at noon today, we were able to explore all of the spaces.

The typical workshops we have presented in the past were for adults.  The concept of meeting needs, then preparing to meet the need was clear and loud in my mind.  Those who had lost so much, especially the kids could likely experience anxiety when their parents were gone for the three days of the workshop.  Then it 'hit' me!  This place was set up for families! Bring the kids!  I can create some positive activities that will help the kids too!  The additional costs would be minimal; it give an opportunity for more people to have ways to help the families that have lost so much.

If you would like to join in sponsoring this event that will be held November 11-13 contact me or Freedom Seminars .  Help is needed, it is so much bigger that one person.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Unique...

“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be an artist one has to find beauty in ordinary things. Find 10 things of great beauty in the landscape that surrounds you. For example, crumple sheets on your bed in the morning, the smell of coffee making its way around a busy office. (Ana Guardia)

The list comes easily.  Watching the wind play with the surface of the small lake, movement of the reeds responding to the same breeze, a seemingly mindless journey of the dragon fly, sounds of the Red Wing Blackbird swooshing by as a warning to move from the nest, the slight brush on my hair for his wing, the play of light on the floor as it passes through the prism of cut glass of the front entryway, the interesting angles of the various magazines on the sofa table,  unique patterns of each plank of cypress flooring beneath my chair, melodious sounds of table ware being placed in the drawer, and distant sound of the cow beckoning her calf.

The greatest beauty is found in the people that I encounter.  My challenge is to observe and value that which is unique in myself.  My senses that allows me to become aware of the beauty that surrounds me is truly a marvelous gift.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

on Guilt..

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
What message is yearning inside you?  What is something you know deep in your soul?  Don’t look for someone else to describe it.  You do it.  Write it down.  Write it as a poem, a sentence or even just a string of words.  Just make sure you get it to paper. (Michael McFadden)

Guilt – Such a loaded concept.  Guilt has been a part of my life since I can remember. I didn’t grow up in a religious family; that didn’t happen until I was in my early teen years.  The guilt was there long before Billy Graham came to Oklahoma and my folks became believers.  It manifested itself in a sense of being less than anyone else.  I was painfully shy and withdrawn.  My parents didn’t intended to use guilt as means of control; their actions which triggered a guilt response in me were motivated out of a caring and love that wanted me to be a competent human being.  The “Why didn’t you…”; “you are lazy”; report cards from teachers stating “can do better” were positive intentions.  My internal experience concluded that I was faulty protoplasm.  I believed I had to justify everything that I did.  If I had ‘fun’, I was accused of being lazy, not caring about the family, not respecting my parents.  If I spent any money or was the cause of money being spent, I felt guilty because I didn't deserve it and I owed a debt (with compound interest) that couldn't be repaid.

This type of guilt might be referred to as ‘false guilt.”  False guilt is very difficult to confront; where as true guilt can be confronted; amends made; actionable steps can be taken.  False guilt is a elusive and intangible but haunts and torments as a thief in the night taking what belongs to each one of use – our sense of completeness and wholeness.  It steals self-confidence and self-reliance; making us slaves to the opinions, and judgments of others.  We begin to make it our business what other think of us.  The false guilt is brought on by the many tapes and messages given in the past which begins to generate a feeling of being bad without ever doing anything wrong.

The differentiation between true and false guilt is a first step to emotional freedom.  False guilt is a lie!  Differentiation begins with determining responsibility.  Is it your fault? If it is, take action to change your behavior; gain insight into your motivation.  Some acts that were harmful were out of good intentions; keep the good intentions and learn more effective means to accomplish that good intention.  Change yourself or situation if it is true guilt. Making mistakes is human and forgiveness of self is critical.  Make amends when doing so is appropriate and doesn’t create more harm. Be open with your mistakes with those that you trust and seek feedback about the guilt – is it true or false guilt?

One of the greatest gifts I can present to those that I love is a guilt free spirit.  I become open for their love and their gifts which is the greater gift – being worthy of the abundance that is available to me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The power of your legacy

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

One definition of legacy is what someone feels, thinks and says when they hear your name. What are you doing today to build the legacy you want? 

One of the legacies that I desire to transmit to those I encounter, either family or friends is a sense of acceptance of their own value and capacity for life.  My efforts in that direction to seek to create value each day.  Value is determined by what I choose to exchange for this moment, this breath.  Often I make a poor bargain by choosing to engage in activity that has little value for anyone.

I remember on frequent occasions that I would stop by the farm in Oklahoma as a young man to visit with my father.  His response to me before his senior years was; "we can visit while we work".  This is a strong legacy which strongly influenced my sense of always needing to work.  I find I battle this in my personal life; needing to be busy - often too busy to take time to spend time with others. By contrast,  if I stopped to visit my uncle, he would stop what he was doing would sit under a shade tree to visit. Years later when I stopped to visit is son, he always took time from his work to spend with me. 

We leave legacies.  What do you choose to leave?

Monday, July 11, 2011

“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mirror, mirror on the wall… find the nearest mirror. Look. Keep looking for 3 minutes. Write about what you see. (Esther Poyer)

An interesting exercise.  I rarely look at myself in the mirror - only when attempting to get the perennial 'rooster tail' to cooperate or locating wild hairs to eradicate.  The thoughts I experienced didn't seem to be reflective of those I had imagined of someone of almost 70 years. The image reminded me of my father in his later years.   I saw the reflected image to be stoic and rather flat.  I observed an observer; a seeker of understanding.  This has been a life long pattern; I was called the question box in my early years.  I also saw a calm and peaceful man; comfortable with himself and life.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Paradox of the Comfort Zone!

Most of us are familiar with the concept of the comfort zone.  Challenging this zone of familiarity involves 'risk' and some form of fear...resistance, judgement, terror, pluralizes, escapes.  Interestingly, the riskiest of all places is this comfort zone.  It becomes the place of standing dead.  Avoiding risk might have a number reasons; fear that we might get what we want, fear of failing, losing what we have, or might not be able to manage success.  The attraction of the comfort zone is predictability and familiarity.

Chadin once said, "You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience."  This concept is essential for any person seeking "comfort" - each of us is created in the image of our creator; we are spiritual beings.  We are designed with the power to create, to exercise our will, use our intuition, employ our be fully alive.  To be fully alive, I must live not "having to know" but believing in my ultimate security as a creation of the creator.  The comfort zone becomes the place of "having to know" even if it is a miserable knowing.  It becomes a place of having to be right!

A first step in breaking free of the tyranny of the comfort zone is telling the truth.  By exercising your will and say, "I choose to feel afraid", "I choose to avoid people", "I choose to be miserable".  Only when owning your decision can your circumstance begin to change.  This is a decision of becoming responsible for your experience

When you know you are an expression of the Creator, you have made all of the choices that have shaped your experience.  You give up blame, the rent you pay to dwell in the comfort zone.  Blaming others and circumstances surrenders your personal power.  What are the results that you want in your life?  See yourself as having arrived; how does that feel? Write it down!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Being Real!

“Self-censorship is not just self-betrayal and self-abandonment (which would be bad enough), but soul-betrayal and betrayal of our Muse, out inner voice, our highest self.” Emerson

Too often we censor ourselves, our actions, and our work in hope or fear of what might happen if we otherwise don’t. What words would you write today, and what actions would you take, if you had nothing to fear, nothing to lose?(Tanner Christensen)

Being Real with one's vision, purpose and values is fundamental.  Too often my self-abandonment or  'censoring' occurs by letting another person's self-abandonment become more important than being real or present with my vision, purpose and values.  At times I betray myself because being real creates tension with those around me...I just don't want to do the battle.  I join the ranks of the "I don't wants", and my energies are directed toward building fortresses of protection rather than creating the vision that comes from living my purpose and values.  The fortress, thought to be protective becomes a prison for my Real, Uncensored Self.

Being Real is knowing my vision, the What -  the future I seek to create for myself.  Being Real is knowing my purpose or the Why, responding to life's question - "What is your meaning?" What is my distinctive purpose?  Being Real is knowing and doing my core values or my How.  These values may be expressed as; loving, integrity, openness, honesty, caring.  The key to Being Real begins with knowing who I am?
  • Who are you?
  • What is your vision?
  • Why?  Your distinctive purpose
  • How do you express your core values?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Living Vertical...

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”
What is one thing you can do that would make today worthwhile? What’s stopping you from getting started right now?
Jessica Dang

Today I choose what is most important.  For today I choose to spend with family; working in my garden, sharing skills with a nephew, preparing for a family weekend together.  The effort spent will be with the vision of being with and helping provide for those that are most important in my life.  It is one the languages of my love. From an anonymous verse...

This is the beginning of a new day.
I have been given this day
to use as I WILL.
I can waste it...
or use it for good,
But what I do today is important,
Because I am exchanging
a day of my life for it!
When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever,
Leaving in its place
something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain,
and not loss;
Good and not evil;
success and not failure;
In order that I shall not regret
the price I have paid for it.

The challenge for making the choice of doing this day is often filtered through the 'should', 'must' and 'have to' beliefs left by those that I have judged to be more than I am (horizontal thinking).  To live on the vertical, I choose to create value for myself and those around me according to my decisions - knowing clearly my purpose and meaning; and at the close of the day I will have taken one step toward the man I was designed to be. 

What is your one thing for today?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Am...

In one sentence, who are you?
(Elizabeth Presson)

"I am a free and loving man; committed to evoking and challenging others to know their own personal power."


"Who are you?"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#1 Passion

What is your #1 passion in life?  Now, imagine what would happen if you incorporated that passion into your life daily.  Write down your passion and keep it close to you.  Remind yourself of it daily, just like brushing your teeth.
(Eric Handler)

My number 1 passion is being in the moment when another person has a breakthrough of understanding that allows them to have a fuller and more meaningful life.  This can be the moment when a youngster catches their first fish, learns to ride a bike, forgives themselves and/or others, or knowing and claiming  their worth.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Universe Rewards Action!

“The world belongs to the energetic.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s easy to blame our failure to meet our goals or to live our dream lives on a lack of energy, and we don’t always stop to think about the quality of energy in our lives. Yet we can choose to create and manage our own energy flow.
Think of an instance when you’ve been so involved in an activity that you’ve lost track of time, and then identity the passions and energies you were feeding. Who was there with you? What were you doing? What will you do to make time for moments like that one more often?
(Julia E)

This is an easy one!  The instance I think of is doing the training that Pat and I began over 23 years ago.  It has become known as Freedom Seminars.  Currently we present the training in 5 days.  During that time participants learn more of their purpose and meaning.  The exercises require great effort, honesty and trust.  The five days often to seem to be many more, as if we have been there for ever; and by the end of the time it as if we just arrived and don't want to leave.  Each participant is stretched to a level they have never gone and discover the presence of energy within themselves never imagined before.  We are with people that seek love, joy and peace that discover it in a new and powerful way.  Currently we are planning to present more of these trainings over the next several years!

The Universe Rewards Actions.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

...doing the middle

"That was a crazy thing that you did!" my cousin exclaimed.  I choose not to return from the peak of Mt. Evans by the foot path but boulder to boulder.  It took longer, but each step was an experience in itself.   I made the choice of direction for my energy.  My cousin was likely concerned about what could have having to get this 'old guy' off the mountain if he had an accident. 

I was keenly aware of my physical limitations as I made the descent; knowing that any of my children or grandchildren would have moved down more smoothly and quickly.  I was also aware of how our minds and thoughts determine our physical expression. Our will, one of those special gifts we share, directs choices that we make. 

On this day I choose not to follow the path, but one that would allow a unique knowing of the impact of gravity, the feel of granite, the sense of being small, making here and now decisions, and discovery.  During the journey down from the peak I was once again aware of the beginning of a journey, the challenge, the commitment and excitement.  And the middle..."Why in the world did I decide to do such a thing!"  Often this is the most difficult part of any journey, whether driving thru Kansas; a project, a relationship;  it is a step at a time, mindful of the destination.  The finish...the SOA- a sense of accomplishment... gives each of us one of the greatest reasons for challenging our selves to a higher level. 

"You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience." Teilhard de Chardin

Saturday, July 2, 2011

October 8,1941

Find something that happened on the day that you were born, and write about it.*

 Two events occurred on the day of my birth that reflects both the dark and light side of mankind.  In Eastern Europe the construction of the Concentration Camp Birkenau - "Auschwitz"; British and  American researchers and American pharmaceutical companies met in Washington, DC to devise a plan to mass produce the recently discovered antibiotic, penicillin. Little needs to be said about the darkness of the construction of a facility for the "final solution."

The accidental discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 showed promise of a new way to combat many life threatening conditions.  It wasn't until February 12, 1941 that the first human was given this wonder drug in England.  The Oxford patient made a remarkable recovery from a fatal infection but died several days later because the production of the antibiotic was to time consuming.  The war effort in England made it impossible to do the required research to mass produce penicillin, hence the request to American ingenuity.  Prior to the meeting on October 8, 1941 most efforts in research and production of penicillin had been conducted by academic and governmental groups.  It was at this meeting that the pharmaceutical companies were asked to have a greater role in producing the new wonder drug. read more

The two event represent choice of will for each create value or destruction.  Which do you choose today?

*Seth Godin

Friday, July 1, 2011

...wisdom to know the difference

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?*

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
Reinhold Niebuhr

In approaching the things that are not working in my life, I first must understand if they fall in either my circle of influence or the circle of concern.  Often the difficult are in my circle of influence but treated as concerns to adapted or accepted.  Denial can wear some very fashionable clothing.  Some of my greatest challenges are in my closest relationships.  When I own those challenges as being in my circle of influence, then I will approach these as I do others...straight on.  In owning these challenges, issues of shame, guilt, anger and love will be confronted.  One great fear is that of being separated or distanced.

Carlos Miceli*

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It Works!

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mess up your hair. If you are wearing makeup – smudge it. If you have a pair of pants that dont really fit you – put them on. Put on a top that doesn’t go with those pants. Go to your sock drawer. Pull out two socks that don’t match. Different lengths, materials, colors, elasticity.
Now two shoes. You know the drill.
Need to add more? Ties? Hair clips? Stick your gut out? I trust you to go further.
Take a picture.Are you feeling dread? Excitement? Is this not the image you have of yourself? Write about the fear or the thrill that this raises in you? Who do you need to look good for and what story does it tell about you? Or why don’t you care?
Here I am, uncensored, with the green house I just constructed for my wife.  The greenhouse itself is an expression of creativity, redemption, resurrection, of that which had been abandoned, forgotten and otherwise neglected.  The whole thing is askew, unbalanced, sorta symmetrical.  The picture was taken in mid March of this year and has been the home of many hundred plants that survived the cold and many storms of the spring.  It works!  A metaphor of my purpose in life, seeing the potential in others and calling it out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From the future!

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?
(Author: Tia Singh)

Hi Russ

I really appreciate your diligence in holding to your vision and purpose.  The impact continues into many part of the world with men and women teaching others to know their potential and achieve their dreams. 

Hello Russ, thanks for the encouragement.  It energizes me to keep challenging and going forward with my dreams and activities that support my vision (see 28Jun2011 post).  The reasons I have for not doing the work are just arguments for my limitations. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweet Peace!

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

     "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds..."  Phil 4:7 is a statement about the nature of peace. Peace an outcome of living principles and is unattainable as a target of understanding.  Most of us seek to understand as a means to gaining control or acquisition;  which works in many cases; however the spiritual states of peace, love, joy are results of living basic life principles.  Some principles are: Pay Attention, Tell the Truth, Ask for What You Want, Keep Agreements, Take Responsibility for Your Experience, Taking Care of Yourself - so that you can take care of others.
     Trusting yourself is a key in each of the principles. Trusting your own mental and spiritual faculties. How often is our reality check the opinion or approval of others; not trusting our own assessment of reality.  When we must understand all things, we have limited the possibilities to the most comfortable life solutions we know.  Much of our understanding is filed away as fears and limitation.  As a result "settling" is our only option. 

  • Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. 
  • For each goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. 
  • Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. 
  • When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from.
  • Now you’ll be able to make a smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. 
  • So begins the process of “trusting yourself.”

(Sean Ogle)

Monday, June 27, 2011

One of the most difficult jobs...

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

       In late July 2008 I began a most difficult job...providing supportive therapy in area care centers for the aged and emotionally challenged adults.  I worked diligently to communicate in a meaningful way with each client.  The most difficult for me emotionally was attempting to communicate with those individuals that still have their access to their mental capacities but couldn't use their voice due to strokes or other circumstances. Often they would become highly agitated; wanting to communicate their thoughts but couldn't. Their family histories frequently indicated abandonment and tremendously dysfunctional lives.

       I could read the panic, frustration and despair in their behavior...wanting to be heard, to be understood...their mind being locked up inside their body with out a means to be expressed.  I realized in a most real way the urgency of seizing the moment; the time for apology, saying I love you,  I forgive you, you matter to me.  Truth is how we are able to maintain the integrity of our mind.  Knowing and Telling the truth is a most powerful life experiences.  It isn't always pleasant, and like a client said,  "I know that the truth will set me free, sometimes it hurts like hell!" Such a tragedy, spending life intending to do make those amends and give blessings to those you love and having the desire, and not able to do it.

  • When did you feel most alive recently?
  • Where were you? 
  • What did you smell? 
  • What sights and sounds did you experience? 
  • Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. 
  • Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand. (Sam Davidson)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Personal Recipe

I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now.*   My first response to this prompt was, "What I think about, I bring about."  and wasn't excited about writing to this one.  Knowing this truth for me, I take in hand the task to discover something new.
     Taking the past of least resistance is the person I never want to be! Many I know that are my age have arrived at a place of 'retirement' which doesn't compute for me.  I choose not to become solely self-centered and self-focused...viewing everything with "what's in it for me?"  Taking it easy isn't an option for me, I am driven and excited about learning and growing.

My personal recipe* for preventing this is to use my mental and physical gifts daily.  It is joy for me to exercise my imagination, intuition, reason, perception and access my memory.  Most of all continue to use the power of choice and will to create value each day. “Thought is the seed of action.”*

*Harley Schreiber

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Call to Arms!

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write the “call to arms” note you’re sending to everyone (staff, customers, suppliers, Board) charting the path ahead for the next 12 months and the next 5 years. Now take this manifesto, print it out somewhere you can see, preferably in big letters you can read from your chair.*

     Greeting staff and Freedom Graduates!  Today we are faced with the dilemma of many of your friends and acquaintances that are living lives of quiet desperation.  A desperation of living a life of unclear meaning and purpose.  Each day that passes is one day of less joy, peace and love that is theirs to enjoy.  They have believed in many ways that what they are living is as good as it gets and must get to death as safely as possible. They are enduring unnecessary stress and sorrow.   Our understanding of living an abundant life is not a secret to be kept.  I cannot, you cannot let the fear of their opinions stop us from sharing the tools and understanding that is gained in our program of Roots and Wings.
      In the next twelve months we can have 90 in the three remaining seminars of 2011 and 60 more in the first three of 2012.  Within 5 years we can share our wealth of experience and tools with another 1500. 

Russ Hardesty 25June2011

*Sasha Dichter

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Voice and Sound of the Accuser!

Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

      From the earliest memory most everyone heard this voice, the one of the Accuser!  It might have had the same sound as a parent, relative, teacher, tv or movie personality,  peer or anyone that was present in our world.  It's message questioned the integrity of thoughts, ideas, even worthiness to exist.  The power of these messages soon became perceived truths about our selves.  This leads to what I call, "horizontal thinking" ... taking my meaning by comparing myself to others.  There will always be another that does that which 'seems' to be superior which often leads to either perfectionism or abandonment of that which is desired.
     Horizontal thinking begins to discount our ordinary; "we are our most potent at our most ordinary."* Imitation of others, abandonment of self, and 'settling' become a way of life.  Often our response is to gather those that we perceive to be needier, weaker, and dependent to give our lives meaning.  Our genius resides in our 'ordinary'...excellence becomes our objective when we leave that horizontal plane and choosing the 'vertical' to celebrate, nurture and challenge what seemed so ordinary by comparison.

     The Accuser is powerless; it seeks to suck the energy from your Genius for it own.  It lives on the horizontal disguising itself as your friend!
  • What is the voice and sound of your Genius?
  • How does the Accuser speak to you?
  • What are those accusations that rob you from your excellence?
  • What is one actionable step that you can do today to confront the noise?

*Patti Digh

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shy and Somewhat Impish...

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

      If you could picture your intuition as a person, what would he or she look like?*  Sounds like a question my intuitive person would ask.  But in order for me to respond to this prompt I need to consult my imaginative person.  Imagination for is aware of the behavior or persona of him (intuitive) - shy ... like the noisy rambunctious child that when in the presence of strangers or new settings; head down with fleeting glances to see who is looking.  Impish in the sense that his bizarre responses pops up from no where.
      He seems to know without knowing how it knows.  His voice is not very loud,  vision is greater. Intuitive is a skinny kid, dark hair, doesn't like shoes, preferring  few encumbrances (conveniences), avoids convention...prefers making it up as he goes along.  He knows his source of knowing is God and isn't fearful in that presence.  For the most part he doesn't want to intrude and waits for invitation.

If you sat down together for dinner, what is the first thing he or she would tell you?*  

     Given the nature of intuitive, telling would be in the form of a question. "How is it that it is so difficult to hear my voice?"   "Would you be confused as much if you could consult me more often?"  Perhaps a statement like, "I really can be trusted."  Another statement/question, "have you noticed how smoothly life works when you do listen and trust?"

*Susan Piver

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Abundant Energy...No energy crisis here!

Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

       Energy is a necessity for life.  Whether it be food, fuel for the family car, or electricity to operate your computer our lives have become dependent on energy of various forms. 
      The under utilized energy that is essential to a life well-lived is energy that every living being emits.  Yes, that includes you!  We are more than consumers, we are sources of energy.  Each of us have the potential of sharing our energy with others; isn't that what happens when a couple fall in love?  A parent aches to give freely to their child? Their parent?  Friend?
      What do you do with this resource?  You can squander it by not valuing it; social scientists might refer this choice as low-self esteem.  I can destroy with it with negativity, criticism, or sarcasm.  You can empower others with it through kindness, appreciation and acknowledgement.
      One of the marvelous ways to utilize this potential energy is through the choice of association.  Who do you seek to spend time with?  How long do you remain in the presence of those who suck the life of every living thing around?  Do you seek to be with those that energizes the space they live?  Who would you want to be in the presence of?*  It is one of our fundamental freedoms!

David Spinks*

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Enthusiasm - where did it go?

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” is another Emerson quote.   The first thoughts that popped into my awareness was 'reluctance' and  'the battle for initiative'.  Following these two thoughts came  "So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3.16)  Reluctance, resistance to initiative, and passionless actions wastes our human potential.  Reluctance comes in various forms such as cynicism and negativity. 
     Enthusiasm* is a wonderful experience.  It generates a 'high' not only in ourselves, but energy in our surroundings - sparking either like energy or fear in the hearts of those around us.  Reluctance is the death to dreams and vibrant relationships.  Timing in life is critical; while one is judging or evaluating a possibility, the magic moment can fade.   How can you capture the moment of inspiration?  Emerson says it two words; "Trust thyself."
     Trusting yourself is believing in yourself, in your work, in your purpose and meaning.  Reluctance promotes itself with a set of reasons or story which is filled with many messages or tapes in our unconscious.  These stories are often connected with some perceived failure or disappointment in life.  Falling in love with your work, you purpose and meaning is the antidote for reluctance.  Is your vision of yourself big?  It is really hard to fall in love with something that is small, safe and free of challenge.  
       The vision begins with a wish turning to a want.  The next challenge is do you believe that you can.  Trusting yourself!  Now comes the measure of trusting yourself...I will!  
       A surefire way to overcome reluctance is to start; waiting isn't a strategy.  Time marches on, and the moment becomes the past quickly. You have what you need or you wouldn't had the inspiration.  Breaking through your barriers isn't accomplished by talking or thinking about them, but with massive action. 

Do you want to create something that impacts people on a deeper level?  How can you bring more energy or enthusiasm to your work, your relationships, you life?*
Share your decision!

*Mars Dorian

Monday, June 20, 2011

Toning up Your Mental Muscles!

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Confusion is a common for many.  This dilemma often results from one not knowing and trusting their own mind.  Advice of friends, family, media all suggest what you should think or believe.  Not trusting one's self is often connected to this confusion.  The addiction to the approval of others and our many broken agreements we have made with ourselves erodes confidence in the faculties of our mind.   These faculties of reason, memory, will, imagination, intuition, perception begin to become dormant or utilized to argue for our inadequacy and dependency on the 'smarter' ones. 

Each one of us is gifted with these marvelous faculties to varying degrees, all of which can be strengthened through use.  Acknowledgement and appreciation of these gifts is a beginning.  Trust is built by keeping agreements; keeping agreements with yourself is a powerful beginning.  Knowing what you want, believing that you can and committing taps these mental muscles.  

 For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”  Jen Louden

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Its None of My Business...

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Its none of my business what you think of me."  I had to hear this only once to get it.  Success in my early years was evaluated by the opinion of others.  I found myself seeking others to let me know that I had done well. The moment we were born, those around us began pushing their interpretation of life on us as it was the 'absolute truth'.  I soon discovered there was less stress and life needs were more easily met through compliance and imitation.  These interpretations and beliefs soon became my own and relegated to the unconscious to become a part of my 'operating system'.

The opinion of others continues to have a loud voice today, but I know I have a choice.  Daily I choose what I will do and what evaluation to give of that choice.  So often, it is easy to verbalize my wishes, wants, my abilities - what matters most are the actions.  Talking about what I am going to do can seem as if it has already been accomplished.  The phrase, "the universe rewards action" is a truth.  Change and transformation occurs only as a result of action.

Some projects receive a lot more talk than walk.  Starting is the most important aspect of something that I have decided isn't a 'feel good' deal.  Talk or 'self talk' is no substitute for action.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Greatness and Excellence

Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The expansion and fuller expression of myself is encased in my dreams and the tools of intuition, imagination and faith (trusting myself and creator) creates the plan for actionable steps.  My will or that part of me that takes action brings the plan into existence.  In my quest the noise of the old patterns, cultural compulsions of  'should', 'have to', 'must' have a loud voice.

This noise can be quietened with the question, "What are the costs of inaction?"*  The antidote for compulsive behavior is compulsive behavior (abstinence of an effective solution for compulsive use of alcohol).  Fear of doing the thing can be countered with the fear of not doing the thing.  Fear without being challenged by default will manifest.  Fear of being a failure does create failure.

Will  action on my dream be a manifestation of the man that I am?  If the answer is 'yes', go for it! Confronting the fear is a commitment check; "how bad do I want it?"  As I step into the 'not knowing', I discover more fully my character.

Failures can become feedback that allow me to 'fine tune' my efforts and utilize my intuition and imagination rather than judge my character. Assessing the positive outcomes of the journey allows the trip to be valuable.  A tool that is helpful on pursuit of the dream is knowing each day is one in which I can experience greatness or excellence.  It is the little things accomplished each day that allows me to arrive.

"It is by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.  Samuel Johnson"

* Dan Andrews

Dream Big

Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dreams are a vital part of human happiness!  Our lives are designed for growth and expanding awareness.   When there is a sense of growth and change there is a sense of happiness even when there other elements of our lives aren't working so well.  Happiness is a result of being expansion.  This expansion is definitely connected to our dreams.  My dreams are connected to my sense of purpose and meaning in my life.  These dreams allow me to know more fully my purpose and meaning...they are the voice of the hidden area of my self that learned to discount their value.  Dream big, that is a the key for me...even if my conventional wisdom would argue its vanity.

One of my intermediate dreams is to assist the people of Joplin, Mo as they recover from the devastation of May 22.  My vision is the healing of broken dreams, loss of what had been the meaning of life for many.  There are many challenges to come as the stress of that devastation impacts personal relationships, marriages, parenting, fear of starting again.

Another dream is of empowerment of individuals who struggle with their personal ineffectiveness and buying the irrational belief their lives are stuck and have to settle rather than being powerful creators.

Another is to be with my wife and family in times of joyous fellowship and connection. 

My greatest challenge to empowering and bringing to existence these dreams is my pattern of becoming a prisoner of the urgent and loudest 'squeak' in my day to day world.

Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.
(Author: Michael Rad)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Catching the Light!

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once upon on a time I dreamed of gathering stars from the night sky until the milk bucket filled and on some nights I filled the jar with fireflies to illuminate the area around the cot.  These times were when I dreamed...and the time my teachers blamed my academic failures on daydreaming.

That gleam of light flashing across the mind surely must be called intuition and imagination.  These marvelous intellectual attributes can only be utilized when one takes time to to be thoughtful and somewhat disengaged from the urgency of the moment.  Each has their own special time or circumstance for this magic to happen.

One of my favorite places and circumstances is mowing hay.  I have done this task for many years that it takes little concentration or focus to do the job - which allows my mind to invent, imagine and have those 'ah-ha' moments.  It seems as if I enter a time warp, lost in those delightful meandering thoughts, images, ideas and insights into myself and the world around me.  It was in times of mowing hay or plowing fields as a youth that I imagined great things and wonderful relationships, many of which are now present in my life. In most instances, the reality of today has exceed my dreams of my youth;  those dreams were the energy to do the work that created my reality for which I am grateful!

I continue to dream; perhaps greater that before.  I dream of individuals coming to greater understanding and experiencing their wonderful potential.  The dream is of breakthrough and transformation for many of our youth and knowing more of their capacity to dream.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Through the Portal

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was 1964, I had just finished my Bachelors in Elementary Education.  I had determined to go to Washington State from New Mexico, but first had taken the family to Oklahoma for the summer and wait for the birth of our third child.  While there one Sunday afternoon while visiting a friend, asked "Do you know the best route to Washington State?"  My friend replied that he had never been there, but one of his neighbors has a son visiting there and he would know.  Immediately, I drove the '56 Desoto down the road, knocked, was invited in.  As I was telling the mother I would like to visit with her son, he walked into the living room.  I asked, "What is the best route to get to Washington?"  The man looked out the window to the Desoto that had a missing front right fender from a recent collision with a cow, and replied "Drive the Ford Ranchero that your car is parked beside and I'll give you the gas money to get it there.  When you get there I'll loan you a car to drive until you get settled in."  I hadn't told him that I had to put a quart of transmission fluid in the car every 50 miles and it was extremely thirsty and that I had just a little over $100 to make the trip and find a place to stay.

I had planned to leave two days later knowing that I would need to drive slow, carry at least a case of transmission fluid, hope not to get stopped for the missing fender, but had determined to go.  I knew I needed to be there for a few weeks to locate a summer job to earn enough money to get my family moved, locate a teaching position before the beginning of school in the fall and find housing.  I thanked the gentleman and made arrangements to get the Ranchero the next day.  I had a way to carry our family's belongings and get there with money to spare, WOW!

I didn't know a soul that lived in Washington, but had heard of an area that had recently been opened for homesteading, the last in the U.S. and that was where I wanted to go!  When I arrived five days later, a gentleman asked me if I knew how to operated a combine, he needed someone to harvest his wheat.  I took the job of course!  Three days later while operating the combine, two men walked out as I was unloading a hopper of grain into a truck.  One climbed upon the machine and asked if I was the guy that was teacher and looking for a position!  Later in the week I was offered a temporary job in a group home to be a house parent until later in the fall until the newly hired family arrived!

How bad do you want it? Imagine it, step through the portal, and until I stepped through the portal, willing to do so not knowing did I experience "the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do the Work!

Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Someone in a recent group I worked with said, as if in a 'breakthrough' moment,  "today is the first day of the rest of my life".  I commented "that sounds like one of the posters I read when I was in graduate school in the late '60s."  The puzzled look on the face was my reality check; this person was a second generation of those times, and this truly was a 'breakthrough'.

Having one life to live; one day, one hour, one moment...what will I exchange this precious time for?  Each of us has this one life given to us, not knowing its length or condition - will you do the work?  Will your work reflect the woman or man that you are?  Doing who we are allows others to know and be connected in an honest and intimate way.  Doing our work is the way of strengthening our sense of being and personal power. 

Our map to follow is to be created by ourselves.  It becomes our job description. "Make everything you do every day worth the time you spend on it."   "And don't fire yourself!" (Colin Wright)

Each can write their own job description, if we don't - we find ourselves loosing the precious, non-renewable resource of our "moments".  Your dreams, your imagination, and your intuitions are the tools to create the map and write your job description.  Do the Work!

Monday, June 13, 2011


When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had no idea that I would spend the majority of the past week with sixteen wonderful people embarking on a journey not knowing for sure where we were going.  In the space of trust and safety each one helped open a world of amazement and wonder that allowed new possibilities emerge.  The awareness around each turn seems "wholly strange and new".

The beauty of the experience was the arrival surprised by the beauty, joy, peace and love...Amazingly the elements were not in another land or in the hands of a magician or wizard but within the travelers.  Many of the gifts were found in what each thought to be excess baggage, unwanted items, even junk.   Each of the sojourners had dreams, but once on the journey, those dreams were exchanged for new ones or those of long ago that were thought to be unreasonable and childish.  One of the greatest surprises was playing with one another in the innocence of a child... free of judgement and steeped in love and trust.

Having arrived in such a wonderful land it would be easy to just rest.  This arrival only is the earnest payment on what is to come!  Growth and expansion with focus helps block out all of the distractions, keeps you from being the prisoner of the moment, becoming disoriented.  As you journey, be open to being surprised with more than you imagined; seize each moment.  Had I insisted on my original destination, I would be a hermit in a world of a few people...each like prisoners of my fear of being alone and abandoned. Being 'open' to the new possibilities, I have become wealthy beyond imagination ..a multitude of people in my life because they are free to be who they are and they choose to be my friend!! WOW

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?

I will surprise my self by completing a project that has been hanging for about two years.  This Week.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mass Mindedness

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?
Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?
Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?
Now Do. The Thing. You Fear. (Lachlan Cotter)

The voice one hears in solitude is that voice of the genius, our intuition, our imagination. The noise and churning in the familiar world of the masses drown, confuse and overpower these voices within that call use to expansion of our being.  The addiction to approval is powerful and is constantly pulling one to prison of acceptance.  There resistance is viewed as the enemy in mass mindedness and one often feel a negative emotion when seeking their own expression.  Separation or being different triggers insecurity and the need to rationalize or defend that security has an extremely high price... unrealized dreams and the experience of love and joy.

Fear of failure is a familiar cry heard from those huddled in the pseudo-security of mass mindedness.  Those fears of success may be the fear of separation.  What will today's blunder matter in the future.  Can you do anything less than who you are?  Great questions, thanks to Lachlan Cotter!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A divine idea!

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours? (Fabian Kruse)

Early human learning relies on imitation. Children often seek to imitate the behaviors of those around them.  It become an essential way of acquiring skills of survival in our culture.  Dependency on this learning technique arrests development of an individual's potential.  Inherent in each in each of us is the desire for growth and expansion.  This aspiration awakens the genius in us in the form of dreams, visions and goals. Saying no; arguing for the reasons not to follow the dream is surely death or arrested development of our soul and spirit. The reasons limit our endeavor to known resources and only bargain for the 'minimum wage'.

A recent 'divine' idea is no doubt influenced by the actions of others, but is also inspired.  For years my wife, Pat, and I have lead personal growth seminars.  Joplin, Missouri was struck with a devastating tornado in May.  The vision came as I was planting our spring garden.  Why not take our seminar to the community of Joplin for those whose lives were devastated by this natural disaster?  Why not provide it as a way to help them recover and perhaps restructure their personal lives as other are helping to restore the physical aspects of their community? Why not invite others wanting to assist in this aspect of recovery a vehicle to serve the residents in Joplin?  As I share this idea with others, it captures and stimulates the compassion and imagination of many.  I'm so excited for the recovery of the 'spirit' of many Joplin!

Which Story Will You Choose?

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Eric Handler)

Human misery is often a choice.  No doubt there are many situations of suffering that happen as a result of the acts of nature, miscalculation of other people, or intentional abuse or aggression that are not of one's choosing.  Most everyone in the world has been or is a victim.  A first choice I have about that situation is the story I tell myself regarding the situation.  My identity can be defined by the victim story or the wholeness that resides in me.  The wholeness has the energy and genius to help alleviate or manage that terrible situation.  Human misery often separates us from others which empowers the misery is often a choice as to whether to seek connection or not.  Each human, when physically and mentally capable, can choose their story and their connections.  The message in the simplest form, "each of us is whole and worthy of our desires which respects the wholeness and worthiness of all creation."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Living without knowing

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” When writing about something that I am afraid to write is such an interesting exercise.  One area that I am afraid to write about is that which I do not have the sense of knowledge or expertise. My fear is of being seen as ignorant or unlearned.   The  is as Emerson mentioned in his statement about belief that 'eyes of others have on other data for computing our orbit'.  It is most likely connected with a core belief that I might not be very bright or even dull witted.  The event that causes me to access this hidden belief about myself will often surface when someone responds or talks to me as if I am unlearned. The emotional response is anger, which may be masked by some smart come back or retort. 

Just this day I taught in a seminar that when we undertaking something to our limit of ability, uncomfortable as it may seem,  a greater capacity within ourselves enters our awareness.  In the words of my graduate professor, Dr. P.T. Teska -  The key to living well is learning to live not knowing

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is This Where I was Headed?

There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?  (Corbett Barr) 

In what ever action I choose today helps determine who I will be in my future.  Those actions can be simple choices of food, drink, work, friends, reading material, flossing and the list goes on.  Too often we believe only the big decisions are the important ones, however it little ones made from a habit have great influence.  I would say to the person I was five years ago, "Thanks for choosing to leave the daily routine of a job that provided a known income to allow new possibilities to present themselves and staying on the healthy diet and exercise program. "  And to the person I am becoming five years from now, "I am excited for the emergence of today's dream!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Toothless Accuser!

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My rational mind often seeks to make sense of things.  However, too often I opt for looking for the 'fatefullness' of a situation rather than seeking intellectual honesty.  Looking for that fateful meaning, I yield the genius part of myself.  The genius doesn't know the boundaries placed upon me by 'fate'.  The resistance is the toothless accuser that constantly reminds me of my limitations.  My dreams, imagination, and intuition are the tools of the genius. What do I create today?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Was it a Good Trade?

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each day my goal is to ask myself the question, Am I willing to trade this day of my life for what I am planning to do?  At the end of the day, I reflect on the bargain that I made.

Today, with my grandson, I played checkers; planted pole beans; helped him learn how to operate a manual planter for seeding green beans; and we planted his speckled beans. We also followed the Kill Deer watching her 'wounded bird' ploy as she led us away from her nest and drank the cold water we carried in the knapsack.  What a bargain and investment, not to mention the pleasure and satisfaction.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The One Place

If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alaska is one place I want to experience.  It is associated with the dream and imagination of my youth.  I often envisioned being in touch with untouched creation and my untapped resources of adaptation and creativity living in this place.  The dream was in contrast with the sense of limitation that was seeming imposed on me by the culture seeking to 'better' me through appropriate behaviors and having the correct answers to questions I never asked. 

Growing up in Oklahoma heat of summer, I spent most nights sleeping outdoors.  Looking at the immense night sky, I became aware that truth was something so great that I could never fully understand and it was truth regardless who spoke it.  It stands on it own, not to be judged; and what appears to be truth in the present moment may be only a portion of a greater truth.  I concluded that I must always be open to knowing the greater truth challenging me to a lifetime of growth and learning.

Back to Alaska -  I choose to travel there during the next two years.  On the journey, I will be open to the dreams and imagination of my youth!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Real Thing!

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where do I want to go next?  Often in my life, my destination was the immediate or urgent.  The choices are immense. Experience has taught me that I must choose the destination rather than following someone else.  Each choice requires my most precious, non-renewable resource - time.  Am I willing to exchange it for my choice?  What do I need to pack?  (Reflecting on past journeys I often took more that I needed.)  Do I trust my Maker to provide?  Can I be open to not knowing?  Relying on those resources that reside within me is perhaps the greater challenge. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Strong Belief!

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

When reflecting on my life, the strongest belief I have experienced is the integrity of the human spirit /soul.  My greatest joy is the moment of triumph of a human being experiencing success of a hard won victory.  When sustained effort against the resistance of  limitation or barriers allows attainment...a handicapped youth finishing a Special Olympics event; a child taking the first step; a young man acknowledging their addiction; a senior adult re-gaining the use of  stroke impaired speech.  At times the gift I or another can share is to believe in the capacity of those who falter or doubt their own capacity.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

My failure is in-action to express my being.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

With Fifthteen Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having just fifteen minutes to live.....I will let my closest loved ones know of their gifts. During this time I would truly celebrate the beauty of the moment, experiencing the miracle of each breath, each sound, each sight, each emotion. If possible I would seek to be in the physical presence of my wife Pat, and as many of my family members that could be available. My thoughts would be very much in words of the song by Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful Life." I would celebrate knowing that I lived my life to my fullest, doing and accomplishing many things to make a difference in the lives of many.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Take Responsibility for Your Experience!

The truth does set us free, but it may hurt while the freedom comes. Taking responsibility for our experience is one of the points of personal power. Taking or owning responsibility for your experience in life is shifting from being the victim of others or circumstances to accountability. Relationships, health, financial status, professional woes are often blamed on life. Failure to accept our part in the difficult or disappointing situation causes one to seek a reason or story (rationalization) for an explanation. Blaming is the most frequent strategy. Anytime one begins to blame, responsibility for our experience is placed outside of ourselves, making us the victim. Being a victim is a denial of our personal power! Owning or admitting our role in the situation is the beginning of freedom.

In the process of taking responsibility for our experience underlying emotions and beliefs that have been a part of our lives become known. These emotions haven't been given their true voice and had to wear a mask to find expression. Hurt may well be the mask worn by a deep anger; a physical ailment may be the mask of resentment; or an obsessive/compulsive behavior may be the expression for an fulfilled connection with a significant loved one. "If it weren't for you" can be a self-defeating game that is played.

One classic expression of not owning our own experience is taking the responsibility for others experience. A parent often blames themselves for the choices and difficulties their children experience - long after the child has aged into adulthood. Another expression of owning someone's experience is "wanting something more for another than they want for themselves." So often owning another person's experience is avoidance of taking responsibility for one's personal experience and accountability.

Taking responsibility for your experience a full commitment to owning your experience. This maybe the most difficult step of the process. While we may own the part that isn't so objectionable, the ugly parts can be ignored or denied. So often individuals doing personal growth or change work seek to create a "new person" to replace the flawed one. Taking responsibility for your own experience is about owning the whole you, warts and all, that you are now! This step of personal power is acknowledging that you are enough, that your creator didn't make "junk", but empowered and equipped you to complete your destiny. As one owns their experience, openness to learning and support are welcomed. Being grateful and celebrating your experience is one expression of true freedom!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Fourth Point of Power

What do you want?  Such a powerful question, but yet is so marginalized with echos of mass mindedness.  Many wants expressed are those things we should want.  The 'shoulds' seem to be the reverberations of our sub-culture...peer group, family system, religious order, social organization.  What do you truly desire, something even beyond your perceived purpose in life?  What is that Vision? The vision coupled with our life purpose is the material that our Creator can partner.

Most adults lack the sense of real vision.  Some just desire a better job and becoming debt free --- arriving at zero.  Many more have a negative vision, knowing what they don't want, don't like...less grownup and more given ups!  Some have a diminished visions, always focusing on the means and the outcome or results---rationalizing a reason rather than realizing the vision.

This great point of power is expressed as Ask for What You Want! The whole of the universe - our Creator and fellow co-creators are waiting for your request.  What is your Vision, What is it that you Want?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Point of Power

In a recent blog I talked of two essential points of power, Tell the Truth and Pay Attention which allows one do bring to consciousness those limiting beliefs that creates barriers to creating things that matter most. The limiting beliefs that most share are rooted in a belief of our personal powerlessness and unworthiness.  Paying attention to and telling ourselves the truth about our current reality brings to our consciousness the behaviors and patterns that operate at a seemingly automatic level.

This awareness allows the clear opportunity to begin to create a new and healthier set of behaviors which gives a greater sense of purpose and meaning.  Awareness doesn't create the change; it can lead to more 'guilting', 'shaming' or other negative emotions.  Change occurs when awareness is coupled with commitment expressed as action. This new awareness with commitment can be referred to as discipline.  One operational definition of discipline is "giving myself a command and following it!" or a third Point of Power...Keep your agreements! 

I have often said that it seems that we keep an agreement with a stranger or casual acquaintance before we will with ourselves. Each time an agreement is broken, trust erodes and reinforces those structural conflicts within ourselves...personal powerlessness and unworthiness.  Discipline and keeping agreements with ourselves is essential.  As we discipline ourselves, a heightened awareness of our purpose and meaning expands which lead to another level of awareness that can be described as experience.  Only with experiencing a new behavior can the limiting beliefs be effectively overcome with a new and greater truth...our worthiness and power!  Tell the Truth, Pay Attention and Keep Your Agreements.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Points of Power

In a conversation with some friends today, I described the experience of growing up in a home with both parents who were heavy smokers.  I told of the times that our family of five, crowded in the cab of '40 Chevy pickup filled with smoke.  I remember the many times my father told me not to start smoking, "do as I say, not as I do!"  Confusing? a neurotic message? yes!  This is an example of structural conflict and manifests itself in many forms.  These structural conflicts hinder us from bringing into existence all of those things that are most important.

We all are products of our upbringing and taught our limitations. Many of these teachings have allowed us to survive but often over-function.  After being told we can't do or have things, we generalize an inability to have what we want. Two basic limiting beliefs permeate our deep structure; our powerlessness and unworthiness.  Strengthening our personal power lies in our willingness to look into this deep structure, and begin to "Tell the Truth".

The truth isn't just seeking the truth, but honestly seeking understanding of the ways we limit and deceive ourselves.  Learning to tell the truth about my current reality, which is dependent  on a second point of power, "Pay Attention".  This is the first critical task; recognizing the pattern and the resulting actions of the patten.

Next time you become aware of falling short of a desired want, stop take time to Pay Attention and Tell the Truth. Allow this truth to enter your conscious mind, bringing the structural conflict to honest examination. Is there a belief based on my unworthiness? my powerlessness?  What is the truth?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Going Vertical

The path of least resistance is found in Horizontal thinking. This kind of thinking is constantly seeing approval and acceptance of others. Horizontal thinking values others’ opinions more than our own. Horizontal thinking accepts mediocrity as the standard. The fear of being alone or not noticed drives this kind of thinking.
The alternative to horizontal thinking is vertical thinking … working toward excellence in your life. Did you notice the word ‘working’? It is not working extra hard on what someone else wants or has told you to do. It is taking initiative to do the work you have decided that is worth doing. Avoidance is the watchword of horizontal thinking. By avoiding that idea or action that strikes fear in your heart you become boring, mediocre and invisible.
Rather than allowing fear to dominate your actions, allow fear to be that indicator of the importance of the work that you have chosen. In truth the work that really matters is scary! Excellence is a pattern more than a destination. Each moment, each hour and each day we decide to follow mass mindedness (Horizontal thinking) or trust our own internal guidance system (Vertical thinking). I challenge you to Go Vertical!
~ Russ