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.