It’s a Hard Knock Life…

Hey Damon!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

One of my favorite childhood movies was Annie. I remember seeing it with my dad in the theater and also having the record (yes, a record) of the soundtrack.  I loved it.  I memorized every song and many of the dance moves associated with the tunes.  One of my favorite songs was: “It’s a Hard Knock Life”.  The thought that these poor little orphan girls were forced to clean most of the day and had no pretty clothes and no home was so sad to me but the idea of how they banded together to help each other progress was inspiring.  Of course Daddy Warbucks is delighted by Annie and adopts her and it ends beautifully, but only after a lot of conflict.  We all love a good rags-to-riches story.

You and I were discussing that a good plot always has to have a lot of conflict to keep us interested.  If we were watching a movie about a person that was just happy and had a fun life we would wonder where the bad guy was or when the aliens were coming to invade.  We would get no real pleasure out of watching a person just live a happy life free of trial. I would like to submit that our lives are the same.  Without conflict not only would we be bored silly, we would not grow.  If we could read or tie our shoes on the first try there wouldn’t be the excitement when we finally learned how to do it. We will make mistakes.  A lot of them.  Learning to get past failure and move on is difficult.  Sometimes fear gets in the way.  I love this quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables:

“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”

Life is going to contain conflict and choices and because it does we are going to make mistakes.  But tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it and if we keep going we are going to learn and learn and learn and become more than we could have imagined.  Maya Angelou said this:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

We are all at various stages of crisis and learning.  To judge one another would be unfair and futile.  Helping one another and loving one another through life is a great gift that we can all give. It truly is a hard-knock life sometimes.  But as we keep making mistakes and learning and growing and becoming better and better, I have to say that I think it all seems worth it.

Hey Marisa!!

Happy Friday!! I’d like to add that the original film version of Annie holds a special place in my heart as well; it riveted me upon release, and though it’s not a title I’ve revisited later in-life, I too had that gatefold record, and played it incessantly. I even had a red wind-breaker I received on my seventh birthday that I called my “Annie jacket” (I’ll not make defenses here about my masculinity, but will rely instead upon my Rambo posts someday to make up for it 🙂 ).

What you say about conflict is so salient, and something everyone needs to be mindful of. As many Zen teachers already know, we must be thankful for conflict the same as we’re thankful for the blessings that come our way, for the latter really holds no meaning without contrast. Abraham-Hicks speaks often about contrast and it’s importance in our life: It’s not that we should cultivate conflict, but we should indeed recognise its place and not allow it to change our overall higher-vibration. So long as we can continue to “bounce-back” from adversity, we’ll be on the up-and-up pathway to being more enlightened.

Both quotes you provided are perfectly-representational of how our mindset should be. The Anne of Green Gables one speaks of optimism about the future, and the Maya Angelou quote is a reminder that we’re all currently doing the best we can do; I love what it intimates about the Japanese expression of kaizen, which is “continual improvement”. What else can we strive for than that?

Exactly!  (I am still laughing a bit about your red “Annie” jacket.)  I spent many hours watching Anne of Green Gables with my grandma and am thankful for how much I learned from it and I still hold those times in my heart.  There is inspiration all around us if we choose to see it.  Continual improvement really is the crux of life.  Surrounding ourselves with positive people and those we love makes the journey all the more bearable. =) Have a great weekend everyone and listen to the radio show this Sunday!  There will be more information and a link then.

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Living Out Your Own Life Story!

I’ve just discovered a great-looking new film that should really resonate with most of our readers:

Finding Joe views our individual lives in the same schema that Joseph Campbell applied archetypes to ancient stories, and by association, how they continued to resurface in more modern fairy tales, such as the Star Wars saga. Finding and applying these distinctions to shared tales in order to understand our human inter-connectedness is fascinating enough, but this film looks to be quite inspirational in how it encourages us to live out our own story we’ve created for ourselves, or perhaps came into this world to play forward. Check out this trailer:

 

 

And if you’ve never heard of the Spiritual Cinema Circle, it’s a Netflix-like service that specialises in spiritually-affirming and inspirational films of all types. As I continue to pursue enlightenment in my own life, I find that I can’t handle the same sort of content I used to; more and more it’s these films such as the Spiritual Cinema Circle carries that are the titles I seek out first. Let us know if you’ve seen Finding Joe! I’ll be checking it out soon enough and hope to share more insight.   -D

 

Are You IN Your Genius?

Hey Marisa!!

Happy Friday! Today we’re discussing our “zone” that defines who we our. Last evening as I taught the first class of the new semester, I showed my students a clip from the film Immortal Beloved (1994), wherein Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is premiered. In his own memory of youth, he runs away from his abusive father to lie in a nearby pond, gazing up at the stars. As the camera tracks away from him we become aware that the star field reflection in the inkish water eventually becomes the universe itself, and that Beethoven is merely one of those points of light in the vastness of a trillion others. One student pointed this out, and I got to thinking how the concept relates to our own topic today.

When we’re working in our own “genius”, which all of us have in some unique form, things are in-flow, and everything else that is not part of that seems to fall away to make room for the God-given expansion that’s occurring. Have you ever been so actively-involved in an activity you enjoyed so much that time flew by much to your surprise? That’s when you’re in flow; that’s how you know your purpose. Many people get tripped up on the road to discovering their own “state of grace” because we often times feel that we’re being selfish to lay this or that obligatory activity aside to make room for what we really want to do. I’m not talking here about the itch to read that latest thriller novel or ducking out to see an engaging new film. I’m talking about doing the work that in the end will help so many others along the way, if we can just push everything else aside to allow its growth and expansion.

For me that has been ish. Sharing our state of flow with readers from currently over 54 countries, as well as thousands of listeners to the radio show has been fulfilling, but it’s the HUGELY positive effect that matters more: the staggering amount of positive feedback we’re receiving about people finally getting over addictions, becoming clutter-free, being cured of clinical depression and other major ailments, all due to the resources we’re sharing with the world is invigorating, and something I could spend time with every moment of every day. I want so badly for that to be the case; the coaching services and our increased number of radio shows with big guests in the near future will help enable this passion to be the expansion God has directed and allowed, and which has been the most effortless and exciting thing I’ve been able to develop. That’s not to say there aren’t difficulties in this process; there wouldn’t be a sense of accomplishment or drive if there weren’t growth opportunities laid before us. But this is a ride that I know will continue to grow and sustain not only us, but those we help. I know you have a lot to say about helping yourself first in order to be able to properly do just that!

Hey Damon!

I really appreciate what you’ve said so far. That scene in Immortal Beloved is one of the most powerful I have ever seen. It points out so beautifully how we are all individuals that are part of something greater. We all have unique talents that drive us forward, enriching our own lives and the lives of others.

There is a lot of power in reaching out by using our abilities to inspire. I know that I am particularly inspired by music. Sometimes I long for the soothing sound of a cello and other times I can’t stop myself from dancing to the beat of the drums and playing air guitar. I’m thankful for those musicians who use their ‘genius’ to make my own journey a little bit better.

I too love working on ish. When we decided to make our journey to Inspire, Shine, and Heal, it felt good and fun. We have a great time writing together and doing the radio show is a blast. Many times when certain topics that we are discussing really resonate within my soul, I know I’m in that genius part of myself and helping and healing others also helps and heals me. Whether someone is talented in art, teaching, music, cleaning, being kind, organizing, dancing, nursing, fixing, building, cooking, writing, acting, singing, or a million other things, I am thankful for the time spent to lift me up and enrich my life. So my challenge on this Friday is for all of our readers to do something you love, something that inspires you, and notice the ripple effect you have in the lives of others.

Update

Hello all! This is just a note to say that our Daily Feature today is more akin to one of our Daily Posts, so if you haven’t yet checked it out, head on over! The assessment tool we share is a huge help for launching into the new you!

With back-to-school, the radio show, a flood of queries and shared testimonials, and the new eBook series, we’re also considering doing one very strong post per week, rather than M, W, F. We’ll still have the Daily Feature, but only one “discussion”, on Fridays for the time-being. As always, we’ll be sharing with you resources we’ve carefully selected out of the breadth of material we’ve experienced first-hand this past decade, sharing it just as-is, as the authors and transformational leaders themselves present the material, but with our own unique insights as we’ve experienced them.

Continue to enjoy the Daily Feature videos, links, and quotes, and we’ll see you in this spot again for Friday’s in-depth discussion!

Take care,

-D

Caught in the Rush

Hey Damon!

Okay, I will admit it: back to school is kicking my butt!  Anyone else? There has been a ridiculous amount of “stuff” to do to get kids ready this year.  My kids started a few days ago and I am exhausted!  I run them to school then I rush home and figure out what’s for dinner and do laundry and clean the house and if I’m lucky I get a few minutes in the shower but even that is not relaxing because I’m in a state of worry the whole time about what my three year old is flushing, tearing, coloring on or dumping out!

It can be difficult in days like these to see the bigger picture.  It’s easy to get caught in the rush and forget who you are working for. My job is to hold myself together and take care of my children. Life throws us curve balls sometimes and we learn, we grow, and we change. That is never more prevalent, I believe, than when raising children.

Tonight, now that the school supplies are almost all (finally) bought, the clothes are neatly folded, the backpacks are all in a row, lunches are made, and children are tucked in, I feel like a hero. After a week of stress, unease, a lot of firsts for my kids, anxiety, and rush…the weekend is in sight.  And I say, ahhhhhhhhh.

Hey Marisa!!

Happy Friday! As we discussed on our last radio show, everyone really does need to take daily stock (and sometimes more) of “letting go” and making sure there’s a good balance of work versus play. Thankfully we have the weekends to ensure play, but most-often that set-up doesn’t work if we run ourselves ragged through the work week.

But it’s not only the “daily grind” that gets to us – sometimes it’s the larger stresses and worries that hang over like a cloud. Just as you (and I) have dealt with back-to-school fundamentals for children this past week or so, I also had an important job interview hanging in the balance. With my life “on-hold” for six weeks until I received word about the outcome, I definitely let myself get a bit worn. Now that summer’s coming to an end, it’s a perfect time to keep a pulse on what maintains our bliss!

M: Weekends don’t ensure bliss around here!  There is house-work and yard-work to be done.  There is grocery shopping and a myriad of other errands and tasks!  But lately I have tried to make time for some sleeping-in and family breakfasts and time for swimming or at least jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath! It’s the little things that add up to the sum of our lives and I strive to make some of those things fun! Taking a time-out is sometimes the best thing.

I’m one who likes to get all of the work done and then relax or play but when you have so much work sometimes you never get to enjoy life! I’m working on myself to remedy that situation and find a few moments to enjoy what I’m doing. So from me to all of you parents and teachers and students that have been caught up in the rush…may you find some time for fun, rest, and play in your busy school year! And may I add: HAPPY FRIDAY!

An Upper for Your Daily Life!

Hey Marisa!!

I just want to discuss the teachings of Abraham-Hicks with our readers; I know that the Abraham material was new to you this time last year when we started having long theological conversations, and it seems we both started referring to this material more and more, especially of late.

To anyone who hasn’t heard of these teachings, “Abraham” is a channeled “group consciousness from the non-physical dimension”, which comes through the mouth and body of Esther Hicks (who I think looks strikingly similar to Ms. Garrett from The Facts of Life (1979) ), hence the label of “Abraham-Hicks” on the various programs, books, CDs, DVDs, and live events that represent the collective wisdom of these teachers.

Sound hokey? It did to me too, but one cannot deny the powerful relevancy of each message amongst these teachings, regardless of the topic you choose to explore; whether from non-physical entities or simply from the subconscious mind of Esther, the various words of wisdom spills forth with clear-cut relevancy, humour, and the type of logical application that resonates true in your very soul, as if its long-forgotten information we at one-time instinctually knew, all running along the concept of Universal Laws and the scientific Quantum Theory of energy.

Go here to view a few short video clips of Abraham’s teachings on many various topics; this one covers quite a few broad topics within just a few minutes. Or you can simply do a Youtube search for “Abraham-Hicks” plus whatever your question currently pertains to (the lottery, “How can I find the right partner?”, the grieving process, et cetera).

Here’s a short-list of the most-basic concepts behind the teachings, which mesh with so many of the world’s major religions:

A Synopsis of Abraham-Hicks’ Teachings

1. You are physical extension of that which is non-physical.

2. You Are Here in This Body Because You Chose to Be Here.

3. The basis of your life is freedom; the Purpose of Your Life is Joy.

4. You Are a Creator; You Create With Your Every Thought.

5. Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have.

6. As You Are Choosing Your Thoughts, Your Emotions Are Guiding You.

7. The Universe Adores You for it Knows Your Broadest Intentions.

8. Relax into Your Natural Well-Being. All is Well. (Really It Is!)

9. You Are a Creator of Thoughtways on Your Unique Path of Joy.

10. Actions to Be Taken and Possessions to Be Exchanged Are By-products of Your Focus on Joy.

11. You May Appropriately Depart Your Body Without Illness or Pain.

12. You Can Not Die; You Are Everlasting Life.

P.S. It is not necessary for even one other person to understand the Laws of the Universe or the processes that we are offering here in order for you to have a wonderful, happy, productive Life Experience — for you are the attractor of your experience. Just you!

Hey Damon!

Feel better.  Those are the first words I think of when I hear Abraham-Hicks.  No matter what my problem is (or even if I don’t have one) I always feel SO good about myself after listening to the words of wisdom!   I love it!  I encourage all of our friends to check out some of this stuff, it will make you appreciate yourself and others more fully by opening your eyes to who you really are.  I feel empowered and more aware of my purpose within a few minutes of listening!  I wish you well as you learn more about who you are, who you can be, and what makes you tick.

You are IT!


Hey Damon!

Insist on yourself.  Never imitate.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, about what it means to be ourselves and not imitate others.  When we are babies and toddlers and children we learn by imitating our parents.  (All of us who are parents know that this can be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing!) We watch our parents closely and model our behavior and patterns after them.  So many things are learned so quickly.  Then when we become adolescents we spend time trying to be anything BUT our parents.  We want to break free and figure out who we are and what drives us.  I have a 14 year old son who is in this stage now and it thrills me to see all of the things he wants to try and create.  His hair is longer than I like and his room is rarely clean but he and I have different ideas about hair and organization. It’s easy to let these things go in the face of all of the wonderful things he is learning and becoming.

I wonder if I am as easy with myself as I am with him.  I love him and therefore I want him to see what things he likes and doesn’t like, I want him to try new things and test some waters.  I want him to be safe also, so of course there are boundaries but I try to keep them flexible so he can experience as much as possible during this formative stage in his life. Do I do this for myself?  Sometimes I am not as kind to myself. I like to try new things as well, I like to go new places and meet new people.

I think that sometimes as adults we feel like we have to have all of the answers and that we don’t need to keep learning and growing – that because we are physically “grown” we are somehow emotionally and spiritually grown as well.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  How can I expect to do all of my growing in 30 or even 40 years? I don’t expect, logically, to accomplish every single thing I want to do and know everything I want to know and experience all I want to experience in 100 or more years!  The things I know now and am learning now will add to my character, surely, but how much more character will I have at 70 or 80 than I do now?  And how much more wisdom? Life truly is a journey…we never arrive, we are always in motion, learning and changing.

Comparing ourselves to others is futile.  We can not be someone else.  We have not had their life experiences and we don’t know the intents of their hearts.  We merely see a shell of them (which is why we can never properly judge another person). All we can do is keep moving in a direction that feels right and good to us.  If we feel happy then we are doing well, if we don’t then something needs tweaked.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and not only endured. If we are happy then we cause others around us to feel that happy energy also.  If we aren’t living our best lives where all things good are possible for the taking, we may need to re-prioritize. You are the only you.  You are IT…the only chance you have to be who you really are, no one else can ever do it for you.

To recap: try new things, be kind to yourself as you continue to learn, we’re never really “grown”, don’t compare yourself to anyone else and ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

Hey Marisa!!

We’ve discussed this topic quite a bit lately, and I believe it’s completely under-considered by most people; our individualism is THE reason we’re all here to begin with, and to help each other develop and grow. The trouble is, because we’re shepherded from our earliest experiences to fall-into a certain track, it becomes less a loose-template for living, and more of a “comfort zone” for us, no matter how negative or positive a thing it really is for our unique imprint upon this world.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in looking at siblings from the same family – some of the children grow up in their parents’ best graces because they happen to naturally “fit the mold” of that set of parents’ expectation; these siblings usually have the greatest amount of confusion over why it’s “just so hard” for the other(s) to fall into line like they do, and chalk it all up to simple “wildness”, which usually isn’t the case. Any exhibitions of deviance from “normal” parental expectations are usually a sign of deficiencies not being met. Just as a child without a proper amount of protein in the morning will spazz out and be ill-tempered, so it is if a child isn’t given the proper attention or freedom to spread their wings a bit in the areas their own soul came to this Earth needing expression-wise.

Again, I’m not talking about social deviance here, but merely the opportunity to try out certain activities or responsibilities their natural predilection pulls them to. Just as we might crave a carrot because of a vitamin deficiency that such food will remedy, so too our soul craves certain expression, and when repeatedly-denied this can have negative repercussions, not to mention rob us of the enriching experiences.

I love what you say about this being our “only chance you have to be who you really are, no one else can ever do it for you”. Regardless of our past, we have to claim our own identity TODAY, regardless of the baggage of others!