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*