Thursday, June 30, 2011

Announcing "The Writ"

Welcome to "The Writ"

Creative Ideas Light Up The World

I have always wanted to do a "creative writing performance piece" and now I've added to that description, "in repertoire."

What the hell does that mean?

Actually, it's pretty simple! Anyone who has participated in the Trust30 project has shown initiative at a given level. In many cases, it was a level that they didn't even know existed within themselves. To me, that was the most amazing thing that we created and shared.

An interesting idea (well, at least to me!) started to percolate in my brain today...

What could we create together?

Given the diverse personalities, backgrounds, experiences, ages and geographic locations of the numerous participants, what kind of story could we weave if we worked together under an particular set of rules?

So if you would like to play, here are my rules for "The Writ":

  • We are creating a work of fiction. You can base your contribution on experiences, dreams, ideas, notions, whatever, whether they be of a real or fantastical nature;
  • The story will be written a mere three paragraphs at a time;
  • Depending on the number of willing participants, that's how often your turn to add to and continue the story will come around. So if seven people want to do this, you will see your turn come up sometime within seven days;
  • After you write your three paragraphs, you will "toss the ball" to whomever you choose that hasn't contributed yet within that cycle. For example, using seven participants, if four people have already written and it's tossed to you, you write your three paragraphs and toss it to one of the remaining two people who have yet to add to the story in that cycle. A list of names will be at the bottom of the story, checked off each time you contribute, making it easy to keep track. Once everyone is checked off in that cycle, it starts over and the story can be tossed to anyone to begin a new cycle;
  • NOTE: This is actually harder to clearly explain than it is to do!
  • So that others can read the story as it continues to evolve, we will publish the story to date on each of our blogs. This way, not only can you enjoy it but non-participating readers of your blog could find this interesting and follow along;
  • You are free to end a chapter, start a new one or add a creative piece of art or photography anytime you see fit in the flow of the story.
  • You will also want to post to the Facebook page "The Writ" much like we posted to the Emerson page for the Self Reliance / Trust30 project.
That's it! I'm aiming to begin this on on Sunday, July 10th to allow as many as would like to participate time to work this into their schedules. I will kick it off that day with the title of the story and the first three paragraphs.

I promise not to start the story with "It was a dark and stormy night."

If you want to come along for the ride, respond back to this blog or on Facebook on "The Writ" page. That link is:

This project is created and offered in the spirit of the picture above. Creative ideas truly do light up the world.

Let's create one together.

Trust30; day 31: Image

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 don't 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.

Get ready to post it online.

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?

By now, you may be getting the idea that this Trust30 writing project, ostensibly on Emerson's "Self Reliance," is marching to its own beat. It isn't necessarily like any other program that you may have signed up for.

It doesn't care. I don't mean that in a callous way but in a "This is what I am with no apologies offered; you make up your own mind" -kind of way.

Thus, welcome to day 31 of a 30 day project. Come in and play if you want to, or not. Completely up to you, my dear.

I half-smile and confess that I was sort of expecting something like this. OK, here's my ante, deal me in...

The picture at the top is my "non-conformist" period, circa 1977. College senior, too cool for the world, long hair, ripped jeans, medallion around the neck. The adults who knew me thought I had lost my mind. "What happened to the nice young man we knew all of this time?" was frequently tossed my way.

This is also the time that my parents started the whole divorce drama, my mom moved towards a mental breakdown, the family unit illusion started to splinter and crack and my father and I almost came to blows, starting the twenty year separation.

Drama, drama, drama etc. My look matched the feeling. And guess what?

I looked just like virtually everyone else my age. Hair, clothes, attitude, etc. The only thing that I utterly rejected were all of the drugs available to me (other than alcohol, which was legal from the time I turned 18. Even that, I shied away from after one near-fatal night.)

I remind myself of that frequently when I look at the pierced, tatted, spiked, outlandish fashion, mood and attitude of many of today's twenty-somethings. They look like their friends, their peers... just like everyone else.

We make a statement to predominantly stand in lockstep with "our generation." Those who don't both gain and lose, as do all who color outside the lines. It molds and shapes our story and by and large, it tends to be a mostly unconscious period. Highly reactive; minimally creative.

And it is all OK. No harm, no foul; it is a platform we build to decide where we go from here.

The last part of this "bonus" prompt (and don't be shocked if another pops up tomorrow; I won't) asks lots of questions, all dealing around the main event - How does this make you feel?

Feelings that I truly understanding to be the language of the soul...

Feelings that will guide you towards your wisdom...

Feelings that will frame your life in the light...

If we choose to honor them.

How do you feel when you think about that?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trust30; day 30: 10 Year Text

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?

Hey! You, Rich 2011... it's Rich 2021! Don't get frightened. The clarity of the message you're receiving is due to the fact I... you... well, you know what I mean! Anyway, there are no more keyboards! In fact, there are no more phones at all.

Remember that old, classic movie "The Terminator"? It works like that! The implant on the side of my ear allows for true 'hands free' communication and the lenses on my eyes allow for visual information to be sent or received.

By the way, if you think you're rocking TV now at 1080p, wait till you try 4320 "eye," literally in front of your eyes! Think you can't have new thrills at 65 years young? Think again!

Enough of the "sneak preview." I have something to share with you. Man, I hope your "smart phone" of ten years ago can receive this; it's important.

If I've timed this right, you should be on the verge of wrapping up that little project you dived into. You know, Trust30. That's the one that got you committed to blogging everyday and gained you new friends and compadres all over the world.

Well, it may be over, but...

Don't stop.

You'll have to take "our" word on this. The energy that you started flowing by doing that project continues to grow at a fantastic rate, stretching out in amazing directions. This is all because you decided to keep the momentum alive by doing something everyday and learning to act on your intuition.

I'm not allowed to give you any details (I may even be saying too much here!) but as a "future self," you are really going to like this if you just keep reaching out, taking small steps, feeling forward in joy.

That's it, I'll get us in a jam if I say anymore. What I can say is that I love "you" and look back in incredible admiration and appreciation for the supposed chances you took. You grew and continued to stay aware on your joyous journey.

Signing off... hope I didn't fry your phone with the frequency!

Wait... what the hell was that? Am I dreaming this?

Well, it feels too good, like I just got "hugged from the inside." So whether it was a dream or not, I'll honor it as some kind of message from Self.

Keep stretching? Yes, I will.

Try more new things for the joy of the experience? You bet.

Find constant delight in meeting more "like-feeling" souls on their own unique journey, thus enriching mine? The best!

And always reminding myself to stay as conscious as I can in the moment and remembering to reach towards what feels good?

That is a given; a gift that I can, do, and will give myself.


All ways.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trust30, day 29; Overcoming Uncertainty

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

Imagine being happy, really happy, just being yourself.

Imagine being pleased, satisfied, dare I say, joyous, at the life story you're writing, the rich tapestry you're weaving moment by moment, now... now... now.

Can't do it? Whatever reason you come up with, it hits bedrock at the level of the ultimate lie; I am not good enough.

I reiterate, it IS a lie. I am not suggesting that you can move from the darkness of that lie into the light all at once. You may have to take it in increments. It's OK, you have the rest of your life to do so. It would obviously feel much better to do quicker rather than slowly. It would definitely feel better.

And that is your choice, the same choice that we all have. Do I make the best of now, or the worst? Even if it's an awful situation, you can find someway of looking at it that moves it slightly into the light, making it "less awful."

After all, the inverse of the lie, "I am not good enough" is "I am good."

Once you start to believe that, uncertainty fades away as rapidly as fog dissipating in the sunlight.

Trust yourself.

Trust your Self.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trust30, day 28; Alive-est

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

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.

Ni... ag...a...ra... Faaalllls... Slowly I turned, step by step, step by step...

That is an ancient comedy routine by Abbott and Costello. Very funny! You can see it here:

But that was it for me! In an earlier blog, I spoke of how I decided, even though dead tired and not too happy with the current state of things, to take a ride to the falls at night while visiting Buffalo, NY on business.

I have only been to these magnificent falls once before while driving with friends to Toronto in the late 80's. It was also the middle of winter with snow piled in the tens of feet by the Falls so needless to say, it was a short visit.

This time was deliberate. This time I needed to connect with something bigger than my current state of energy.

The big thing was that I found a spark to push myself and go in the late evening. That was a very good decision as it turned out.

If you've never been there, the first thing I can tell you is that you hear the power of the rushing water long before you get to the actual Falls. It is a roar that is hard to describe in any better terms than "all encompassing." It was fun to watch people on their phones near the river, screaming into them, trying to be heard. (Yes, I was eventually one of them, in case you were wondering.)

Then I noticed, even after 10 Pm, that there were still a decent gathering of people milling about the walkways, the Falls themselves, taking pictures, silently taking in the feeling of standing near such natural power. It's like a United Nations of visitors and that was pretty amazing to behold.

The Falls at night (and I did not have the best vantage point, which comes on the Canadian side overlooking the Horseshoe Falls) is still spectacular. They are illuminated by many colored, powerful spotlights. It is dazzling as the rising mists, water vapor you can see and smell, glows red, white, blue and shades in between. If you love nature, love water, enjoy connection with something greater, this is a place that you want to put on your short list to visit.

After speaking with my love, yelling into the phone, I drove back after taking it all in for an hour. How "ironic" that with my spirit renewed, a little project known as Trust30 came to my attention, starting the very next day.

Now I could jump in with no attention cast on my circumstances. I could and did choose to "let loose" and be more of mySelf, not holding back the joyous power of attention and expression that I am.

Thanks to Niagara Falls, I turned, step by step... and now I am pleased with the direction I am heading and it is getting better and more fun all of the time.

That's about as good as it gets (and it's still getting better!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trust30; day 27: 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. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”

I am going to do my best to avoid criticism in this post. I simply wonder if people don't understand the true power of focus. I know that I'm still learning, gaining perspective on how incredibly powerful it is. This prompt seems to be pulling in opposing directions, noting that thought is the seed of action but ignoring that focusing on anything is the actual planting of those seeds. It is incredibly simply but not easy.

There is no "No."

Every time I watch a parent with a young child that is not behaving according to their desires point at them at say an emphatic, "No!", I wonder if they understand the results of that action.

All choices exist all of the time. Black and white, odd and even, yes and no. All there, waiting for our choosing to "light them up," animate them, call them to action.

It's like wearing a mining helmet on your head. What you're looking at exists in the beam of light. As you turn away, something else becomes the subject of your attention and gains a place in your story.

The child wants attention. "Look at me!" his actions cry. The parent yells and thus gives him what he wants, even if it's perceived as negative. It is still attention. Mission accomplished.

So can anyone give me any reason at all why I would want to light up the kind of person that I would NEVER want to be in 5 years? And why I would want to put up a barrier to NOT become that?

I am a work in progress. I look in the direction that I now choose to progress towards. I understand that I'll have to adjust along the way and reserve the option to utterly change my course if that is what feels right.

However, I won't just say "No." To point my attention at something and utter the word is still pointing.

As an experiment, try pointing at something and walking in the opposite direction. See where it gets you and how comfortable it feels.

Thank you for this prompt. I believe that I'll choose "walking towards the light."

The light of "Yes, that feels right."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trust30; day 26: Call to Arms

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

What if today, right now, no jokes at all, you were actually in charge, the boss, the Head Honcho. 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.

You’re just written your own job description. You know what you have to do. Go!

(bonus: send it to the CEO with the title “The things we absolutely have to get right – nothing else matters.”)

I'm going to do something today that should have been done a long time ago.

I call upon the best of you, each and every one that our business touches.

I believe that sometimes in the pursuit of profit, we dehumanize the experience with our people, our partners and our customers. We stress, we grind, we compromise at every turn in attempting to wring every last penny out of any business and financial situation.

I'm not talking about avoiding touch decisions here. Rather, I'm speaking of not utilizing our greatest resource, the spark that cannot be automated, duplicated or economized.

Who knows how to make things "click" like you? Who sees the clear path, the better way that isn't so obvious to those who aren't walking your path, doing your job?

It takes nothing but brilliant small steps to climb great heights. I encourage you to take those steps willingly and with great joy and anticipation.

Here are two items within my power that I can take to show you my sincerity in setting out in this noble direction.

First, any decisions that need be taken in regards to reshaping positions, titles, roles and responsibilities that will have a dramatic impact on your life and livelihood will be discussed with you in advance so that we can enter into these new roles under the best of circumstances. "Hitting the ground running" works far better if one has entered the race willingly. Otherwise, it's more like being dropped out of an airplane at 20,000 feet minus a chute!

Second, I pledge to those souls willing to invest in themselves that I will "double down" on your willingness. Courses will be offered that will aid and assist you in opening your mind and heart to not only do your job better but live a better overall life, be a better person. The seminars and offerings will surprise and delight you and we are also looking for your input as to how they can be improved, made more relevant to you.

There are no edicts being proclaimed here. No one knows better than I that one cannot be forced to do something and then expected to do it well. I will let the "rising tide" of energy and optimism shake out those who do not feel the same. It always does so unfailingly.

Great ideas are wonderful. Great ideas, worked on with deliberate intent, by a team of individuals who enjoy discovering that limits are illusions, become magnificent achievements, brilliant creations that inspire growth in ways heretofore unimaginable.

That's my idea.

Together, we can make it real.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trust30; day 25: Most Ordinary

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

We are our most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our “ordinary” because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others (I’m not as good a writer as _____), false expectations of ourselves (I should be on the NY Times best seller list or not write at all), and false investments in a story (it’s all been written before, I shouldn’t bother). What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever, and pick up your ordinary.

My experience has shown me that there is is one negative "master thought" that dominates all others. It can wear many disguises as to deflect interest from itself because when we recognize and reflect on it, it feels so awful that we might begin to see it for the monstrous lie that it is.

These particular two are my "twin killers." I'll share them before pulling the curtain aside to reveal who's really running the show.

The lesser one is something I'll call "authenticism." Much like was stated in the prompt, this sounds like, "My story is nothing special." (Watch how ordinary works its way into the mix.) "I haven't done anything, proven anything.. I'm just ordinary, not an authority on anything meaningful or worth sharing."

Then the fear card gets played; "Besides, if anyone calls me out on not being an authority on this, that would be horrible. I could never live that one down."

The worst, most paralyzing of the demons is one that many know well; perfectionism. "I'll never get this right. If I can't have it perfect, I'm not going to put my name on it. Who am I kidding, why even bother. It will never be perfect. I'll never get it right."

I'm sure many of you will recognize that awful sentiment. Let's not attempt to put any kind of positive spin on this "perfect" garbage. Like all mind trash, it deserves to be dumped.

The mother of these is much, much worse. It would rather use it's "children" such as the ones listed here to remain out of the conscious spotlight.

I'm not good enough.

If you really consider those words, it feels like a little death... and there's no such thing as a "little death."

The self talk will involve use of "ordinary" in terms both mundane and cruel. As stated in today's prompt, it will animate negative comparisons, expectations, false investments and more.

"Oh, that's good for you. You're special. Not me; I'm ordinary."

"That's great for 'them,' not me."

Quit this right now.

We are something more, something "extra."

We are extraordinary. This is who we really are.

Our ordinary is simple grace, essential goodness, a unique point of view that has never been before and will never be again. It has a story associated with it that can spark an idea, light a creative fire, evolve into something practically unimaginable.

Joanne Rowling was an ordinary, unwed mother on welfare. How do you get from that negative label to the incredible empire that today evolves around her creative gravity? Books, movies, toys... an amusement park, for cripes sakes?

This is why the mental "slight of hand." This is why the deflection of dreams with seemingly simple questions like, "How?" Parlor tricks and ugly lies originating from the our deepest darkness, that which is utterly opposite of our true magnificence.

It comes back to choice yet again. Choose which aspect of self to nurture, to listen to and work with, the one that feels good.

Let your music dance and play for the joy of hearing the song. The right people will listen, none more important than you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trust30, day 24: Intuition

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

Later in the day, I'm glad that I sat and meditated before reading what today's post was about. As I am accessing this part of me, I had to ask it what it would look like if it were to appear.

I received a very clear picture of a young boy, probably around age of seven or eight. He has a wide, beaming smile and a full head of brown hair. It sounds cliched but he has "twinkling blue eyes," deep set in his face.

Looking at those eyes, they are the most incredible part of him. The reason that they are so deep is because they are the one feature that isn't a natural fit for a boy of this age.

These are old eyes, wise eyes. Eyes that have seen a lot, know a lot and maintain a deep joy for life and the game we create.

Yes, these are definitely eyes that know.

He walks over to me and takes my hand in both of his, examining it as if looking for something. After a few seconds, he turns up to lock eyes with me while still grasping my hand. Those eyes are like looking into the night when a billion stars are on fire.

"So," he asks me, "are you finally glad that you came?"

I knew that was going to be what he asked me. There was no doubt about it. It's merely the circle coming around to meet itself.

An incredibly vivid dream that I had for what seemed to be an eternity when I was young was standing at the gates of heaven. I was crying, pounding, imploring to all of my family on the opposite side to let me back in. That I had changed my mind, that I wanted to stay.

They said that I had to go, that I had made them promise, knowing that this was going to be the scene that we played out.

I have relived the feeling of that dream in rebirthing sessions in the past while staying in fifty degree water for more than an hour before they had to pull me out. It is the deepest sorrow that I have ever known, the origin of my "death urge" and I can feel vestiges of it lingering even now as I write these words.

But this, I absolutely know; I chose it. I desired to "come here" and know on an even deeper level. For that to happen, you must totally forget so that you think you are "risking" it all.

That is what my life story is about.

I turn to the child with those starry blue eyes, the mortal representation of all of those "left behind" as I quested in this life.

Speaking to him, to them all, I answer, "I wouldn't have done it any other way. Yes, I am very glad that I chose this and came under the circumstances that I did.

And although I know it isn't necessary, I forgive both you and myself over this abandonment. You played your part well and I see so clearly how you have been with me always. Thank you."

"It's nothing that you haven't done for me," says the boy. "Soon, you'll remember it all."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trust30, day 23: Courage to Connect

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

Who is one person that you’ve been dying to connect with, but just haven’t had the courage to reach out to? First, reflect on why you want to get in touch with them. Then, reach out and set up a meeting.

There has only been one event like this that took more courage than I knew existed to perform. I'd like to reprint here one of my earliest entries in Amazed and Amused. It is the complete essence of today's prompt. This was originally posted 4/28/09 and titled "Chipping Away at the Old Block."

Cute title, don't you think? A real play on words especially with a picture of me and my father taken in Florida in March sitting below them. However... some "old blocks" can't be chipped away at. Sometimes you just have to stick a ton-and-a-half of dynamite below them, light the fuse and hope you don't wind up killing yourself in the process.

Yeah, for me it was that kind of trip. If I had to subtitle it, I would tag it "Process can be a bitch."All I can give you is a taste of what happens when you know that there is major emotional baggage that you've been carrying around for way too long and you decide at some level, "That's enough."

My father and I had our rapprochement back in 1995 after my younger brother died at 35 years old. He was my only sibling and at this point I had not spoken to my father for over 20 years. I had created a total detachment from his entire side of the family, burned all bridges at front, back and in between.

I'll make a long story short and say that I wrote him a letter and he was moved enough to actually meet me and we talked for hours. That was 14 years ago and we've been glaciers, slowly and emotionally moving inches over time. As for me, I could always feel the remaining distance and I knew that I was internally responsible for most of it. One can't escape the heaviness, the wordless lies. The presence is always there.

So I drove down to Florida to see him in the first week of March, my life partner Jeri along for the ride (and what a ride!) My family took this drive several times in the Sixties and just the time spent in the car on the trip down was affecting me.

So what happened during the three days we visited? I had an awful lot to forgive and release within myself about this man, our family and my view of myself. I had put myself in the position of "no escape" by traveling down there. What manifested during those days was an excruciating episode with my back that I had to drive back home with, more tears during the passage than I ever knew were within me, emotional upheaval akin to being manic depressive and more insight about being the "author of my own story" than I could ever have achieved otherwise.

Oh yeah, deep end of the pool stuff. I had been carrying it around seemingly forever and it HAD to go, so I constructed this "destruction." Of course, I know that one can't actually "destroy" anything.

This much I can say; I now feel a deeper sense of peace and authority in my own life than I have felt in a very long time. It has manifested itself in the phone conversations my father and I have had each weekend since I returned. There's just a new sense of closeness there that didn't exist before this trip.

I had to travel many miles to "come home." I'm glad that I finally did.

My answer to the question I posed yesterday is that I'd rather be happy.

No doubt about it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trust30; day 22: Enthusiasm

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

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” is a great line from Emerson. If there’s no enthusiasm in what you do, it won’t be remarkable and certainly won’t connect with people on an emotional basis. But, if you put that magic energy into all of your work, you can create something that touches people on a deeper level. How can you bring MORE enthusiasm into your work? What do you have to think or believe about your work to be totally excited about it? Answer it now


Today's prompt presents a great opportunity to reflect on what has been created here in this Trust30 project. As I sit here and start to think about it, the organic, dynamic, attractive power of it begins to more fully show itself to me and I shake my head, blown away.

I won't even dare attempt to place myself in anyone's shoes but my own. Simply because I have admired the work of Seth Godin in previous years have I attempted to occasionally check and see what new thing he was up to.

The "mystery element" that began to change the dynamic of that interest was unexpectedly receiving a Kindle for Christmas. Now exploring, signing up for blogs to be electronically delivered, buying both new and classic books when inspired and being able to do a lot more reading while traveling began to move the pieces around for me.

That brought about awareness of "Poke The Box" and The Domino Project and the new paradigm that Seth and his team was committed to birthing. "Do The Work" followed suit and then "Self-Reliance" and a little off-shoot called the Trust30 project sprang up as a tributary. Who knew? (Other than Seth, of course...)

As I had started to read more blogs on a regular basis, my own languishing blog, "Amazed and Amused," began to approach the door of my mind much like a prodigal son. Always mentally declaring my intention to write and post, every real and imaginable excuse sprang to life and "prevented" me from doing so.

Besides, there were no readers (big surprise!) Who was I disappointing?

Be careful when you ask questions like that, whether out loud or in one's mind. An answer will always show up and get in your face.

I was in a hotel room in Buffalo, NY on May 31st. I had just taken a drive to Niagara Falls to walk in the night air, stand silently by the American falls and clear my mind. I was approaching exhaustion with the road and my job as a trainer. The batteries were getting increasingly more difficult to recharge and I was doing myself no favors with my brutal sleeping habits (not getting enough.)

When I returned back to the hotel, Trust30 made itself known to me. There was no decision to be made; I was committed regardless of any and all circumstances. If I wasn't going to stand up for mySelf and be who I really was, something that had haunted me for longer than I could recall, when was that time going to come?

The answer? Now... and I've never looked back.

I am "amazed and amused" at how this community has formed with no external impetus, no familiar guiding hand of any kind from the organizers. Yet I find this to be a tremendous source of delight and inspiration. What I read from others in this world wide locale consistently puts a smile on my face and lights the joy in my heart.

I have asked no one for anything and what I've received in return is priceless beyond measure. I know it is because when I made the decision to do this, even before I was aware of posting my articles via Facebook (eventually I've got to start utilizing my Twitter account as well), I was "all in." All of me was going to do this, no holding back.

That decision felt good. That's how I knew it was one made via alignment with my "authentic self" that we've been talking of in many of the recent posts.

Everyone has had to have heard the oft quoted, "Do what you love, the money will follow." For the longest time, I doubted, always asked, "How?"

No more. I run with my passion from this point on and let the cards fall where they may. My appreciation for this ongoing experience and the juice it has pulsed through my veins is priceless, worth far more than gold.

The funny thing is, I know that the "gold," in material form is coming too. I've seen it happen before and I now remember what the feeling was like just previous to arrival.

It felt just like this... but not as strong.

Gratitude to Seth and his team and the Domino Project and to all of you who have brought their attention to my thoughts and feelings expressed in this form. You have given me great riches and I do value and appreciate them.

And just think, we aren't done yet!

Trust30; day 21: You Know

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

We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

I have been fortunate enough to get to know a gentleman who is one of my favorite recording artists, record producers and song writers. His name is Don Dixon. When he's not doing any of the preceding activities or working with his wife, singer/painter Marti Jones, you might find him on the road either in concert or backing up another artist on bass. Right now, he's touring as part of Mary Chapin Carpenter's band.

As soon as I read today's prompt, it struck me that I've been writing about following our own wisdom, being disciplined enough to get quiet and access that "still, small voice" that resides in us all. I rely on that voice and the emotional, "gut" feelings it provides. It let's me know if what I'm doing will result in something rewarding... or not.

Almost immediately, one of Don's songs popped into mind. The title is "Inside These Arms." It has to do with the confusion one feels over falling in love but this one verse and the full chorus really seems to line up with today's focus:

"When your life's in a haze that you'll never get through

Do you long for the days when you knew what to do?

When your mind's in deep freeze but your heart is on track

When you see what you want, do you ever look back?

Just put your thoughts away

Never mind how it seems

'cause everybody's afraid

Everybody has time when life splits at the seams

It's not the way that you think

It's not the things that you do

'cause there's nobody around

Who can live his own life any better than you"

Indeed. There is no one who knows, no one who can live their own lives for you, better than you.

We all have to know this at the level of who we really are. This is why the silence, the turning to inner wisdom, following the heart, the "gut," is so necessary.

Having just finished Emerson's "Self-Reliance," he was a selfish man in the best, truest, most noble sense of the word. We must choose to be selfish as consistently as possible, for if we are not selfish enough to be true to ourselves, what do we have to give anyone else?

We can only give of our bounty, and the bounty is abundant indeed when we are aligned. You see it in great performances by athletes, said to be in "the zone." You see it in great works of literature and art, whose impact is palpable to all. Great acts of valor are usually done by those aligned with their highest power, greatest wisdom.

All is choice. Choose to make that choice out of the greatest sense of self, with the guidance of Self fully engaged and aligned.

The world will not give you what you will not give yourself.

Choose then for your self.

Be selfish.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trust30; day 20: Speak Less

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

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it?

One of the greatest gifts that my love and I give to each other is this; when we find ourselves having attracted a high degree of stress and anxiety, when things seem to be spinning out of control in the moment and we are feeling bad, we acknowledge that we have been blessed in this:

It's always happening to only one of us, not the other at the time.

Thus the one who is feeling stable can invite the other back to a better feeling place with some "check-in" questions:

  • Have you remembered to meditate?
  • What is your wisdom telling you? Can you hear it?
  • Can you remember the truth right now? (Everything always works out, and usually better than we can imagine, if we let it.)

This is the greatest role that we serve for each other. I consider it the true basis of our relationship, why we attracted each other into our lives when we did over eleven years ago, challenges and all.

The silence... meditating... hearing the "still, small voice" that is always present if we but listen.

You and I "need" no one, nothing (no-thing) in this world. Years ago when I studied A Course In Miracles, the lesson that sent me and my ego reeling was "I need do nothing." If you search on that quote plus ACIM, you will find many pages of results. I will share with you my present take on it.

I wrote yesterday that we are far more powerful than we dare dream. That power simply IS, period. It is manifest now as us, through us, for the joy of creating.

That is what it is.

It must Be what it Is.

I accept that my life story is my version of this on-going creation, which evolves into ever more choices and creation. This never changes. I need do nothing because that which "I am" is never at risk.

And yet, I get to choose anything, to focus as I please. Thus I am free to do anything in/with the power of that choice.

...which is why I began today's musing with comments about "high degrees of stress and anxiety." If we are not meditating, finding the silence, heeding our wisdom, we are choosing to take the power we are cast it to the winds.

Who you really are is never at risk. It knows. All is choice and choice is creation.

As "you," you are free to choose and attract as you desire, consciously or not.

If there is anything that is "stopping you (or I,)" it is this; we have temporarily forgotten who we really are. The "self" in the title of this writing project is capitalized; Self. I do not think this is a coincidence.

Nothing... no "thing" is stopping you or I but our "selves" (with a small "s.")

Choose to embrace the silence and hear your Wisdom. Align "self" with "Self" and the truth is made manifest:

You need do nothing. You are free to do anything.

Go and do it in joy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trust30; day 19: Facing (and Fearing)

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

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

By now, many of you know that I am a firm believer that all is choice. This is the engine that drives the gears of life onward as choosing begets creation from which results further choosing, more creating...

Welcome to eternity.

But that is much too big for the cloak of human scale we wear and the stories that we author. Our importance plays as the "micro to the macro," exercising our power and changing/altering perception around and about us.

If this sounds complex, here is the basic element to consider; We are always and eternally asking questions about all that we perceive in either a conscious or unconscious fashion. If we ever find ourselves caught on the proverbial "horns of a dilemma," it is because of the particular questions that we are asking in that moment as well as the ones we asked leading up to it.

Today's prompt is but one example of a method that can serve us all well; if we want better results, ask better questions.

"What are the costs of inaction?" When open and ready, this can produce a mother lode of acidic information, the kind that stings as it is considered

"What kind of person do I want to be?" Careful as this can cast a very bright light. Are we living up to our dreams, goals and aspirations or are we staggering under the weight of family or societal expectations?

Boy, have I "been there, done that." This revelation sucked in the highest magnitude (and nearly sucked the living spirit out of me.)

"In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?" Does lying on the floor, naked and sobbing in a fetal position count as an alternative positive outcome?


How about rallying to survive from that ultimate "ring of hell" to realize that a) One is still alive; b) Has options (small as they may be) and, c) Can summon the courage to make one tiny choice in the direction of the light? That the choice may be to shower for the first time in a week, put on clothes and turn mortal eyes towards the sun to see if it still shone... how about that?

Yeah, I've gotten "dramatic jollies" of the highest order in years gone by. I won't pin this one on anyone else; there is always a reward in seeing "how low can you go." It may be the most fornicated-up reward in one's life to date but that doesn't mean it isn't real or valid.

The other thing that I understand better now is that if I ask myself any of these questions and the answer comes back, "I don't know," that's either a lie or a stall. One could choose to then ask:
  • If I did know, how would I feel?
  • Could I know this and still survive?
  • Am I willing to receive the gift that answering this would give me?
That's just a few but there are countless others. It's never "one size fits all." It's" what works for me? What works for you?"

The real fun comes from staying awake, aware and fully engaged in the game. We are all more powerful than we dare dream. The fun comes in taking the reins and exercising that power, asking better questions and adjusting on the fly.

I learned from my days working in international shipping that huge containerized freight vessels, circumnavigating the great oceans of the world, are almost constantly off course. One captain told me, "If I left port and was as little as one half of a degree off course and never bothered corrected that as I went along, I'd miss my target port by hundreds of miles."

Today, computers on ships and airliners constantly churn out data, reference the laid-in course and ask two questions; "Where am I compared to this course?" and "What adjustments must be made now?" They use the feedback. It is vital.

Fear is feedback; are you ruled by feedback?

That's the power of choice, the power of asking better questions.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trust30; day 18: Dreams

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

Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imaged, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. - Henry David Thoreau

I will be delighted to spell out, in public, my three cherished dreams. I do this with the deliberate intent of allowing them to become as real in physicality as they are in thought form. I decline the invitation of giving any "air time" as to what's holding them back.

Why? Very simple. I know that whatever we give our attention to, makes that thing stronger; we "illumine" it with our energy. You could say that "attention is everything," the juice or spark of life.

I am not in denial that there exists the "other side" of all dreams. Really, that's how it is with anything and everything; This is way it must be in this world of duality. It goes with the territory.

Given that I have chosen to "advance confidently in the direction of my dreams" and am marveling at the things that I am seeing line up before my delighted eyes, why plug into the contrast? It's served it's sole purpose; the birthing of my dreams. I choose to let it be, with appreciation for the role it has played.

With that, I relish this triple helping of vibrational delight! Please pardon if I throw in a few of my favorite quotes as appetizers with each. It will serve to "cleanse the creational palate" between each course.

* * *

"Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision." -Stevie Wonder

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." - Carl Sandburg

Have I mentioned to you before how much I love the island of Maui? The funny thing about my "island paradise" is this; I never wanted to go there.


My beloved and I had only known each other a couple of months and we were joking about things we loved to do, whether real or "flights of fancy." Suddenly, almost as if a dormant seed shrugged off a long hibernation, we both said, "Maui."

I had always said that Tahiti was the exotic locale I wanted to experience as they typically receive as many visitors in a year as the state of Hawaii gets in a week!

That thought was gone and an unexplained passion to travel to Maui was born. That was February/March, 2000. Neither of us had any imaginable way to afford this trip.

We stepped off of the plane eight months later in November and my life has never been the same since. That was the first of three visits in a four year stretch with an additional one to Oahu thrown in for good measure. One of the trips was a reward for being a top producing salesperson.

To this day, I still don't know how all of the pieces came together. I am very appreciative that they did and I eagerly anticipate the yearly experience of wintering on Maui. I see myself writing and giving seminars during those months.

I also plan on kicking back and delighting in the constant discoveries of beauty and power that await me in myriad form.

Yes, I am smiling broadly as I write these words.

* * *

"Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." - Swami Sivananda

I grew up in New Jersey with a great love; the seashore. Specifically, the Jersey shore.

As a small child my parents would take us on long car trips to spend a week or more at the vacation homes of friends. We experienced the thrill of sand and surf, the heady intoxication of gambling away loose change on games of chance, first attempting to win toys and later, records and tapes by our favorite bands.

If I tried to give you a taste of all of the sensory delights, the memories of countless hours of body surfing (and almost dying,) the tribal rituals of boys and girls in the throes of puberty (and way too much time on their hands,) the boardwalk food... I could fill volumes.

As I grew older, the "wild oats" were well behind me. I fell in love with the southernmost point of the state, literally the "tip" of New Jersey; the Victorian seaside resort of Cape May.

It has a lovely but small beach. Tidal erosion keeps sending all of their sand up to Wildwood, a short distance north. (That resort has so much sand that it feels like walking across the Sahara before you even hear the ocean, much less see it!) The restaurants here are world class and diverse. The seafood is fresh and bountiful.

They even have a location named "Sunset beach." It sits facing the Delaware bay in such a direction that you get the sun setting into the water just as one would on the west coast. Imagine that, seeing the sun rise and set over the Atlantic in the same town!

My love and I have picked out our home here. We saw it as it was being built and absolutely fell in love with this "upside down" dwelling (the bedrooms are on the ground floor and the living space upstairs.) Someone else is "care taking" it for us now without being aware that they are doing so. We knew that this was our home from the day we laid eyes on it; That has never changed over the years.

I hope to entertain several groups of friends and fellow creators in this wonderful locale as we spend April through October there. I see it as a place of love and inspired creativity. I bet that you will as well.

* * *

"Ask yourself the secret of your success. Listen to your answer, and practice it." - Richard Bach

"Success is a journey, not a destination." - Ben Sweetland

I love what I do. I am very good at it.

I think that is why I am as good as I am; I believe in what I do, heart, mind and soul.

I also know that I am utilizing the gifts that were given me and that I continue to develop in this life story of mine.

This is truly a good feeling, one that I wish for you all.

My final dream is really not such a great stretch. I get to lecture, train and teach extremely diverse groups of people about sales skills and technology. I also weave in a great deal of what I have seen "work" in this life and the required mindset and heart-sense to make it so.

I force nothing on anyone. I value my happiness more than that. If I make my peace contingent on anyone "getting it," whatever "it" may be, I have just set myself up for massive failure because that is not within my control.

If I trust that the right people are being brought to me through their desires, via an evolving life story and expanding journey, then all I need do is give them my heart, mind, intellect and soul. There's no danger of any of these running out as they are of Source, not self.

My feedback and results tell me that I am keeping true to my course with this approach. Many people go out of their way and honor me by sharing how educated and entertained they were and how it has altered their point of view.

The honor is all mine.

I understand that this is all getting bigger. I see it, feel it and know it in my heart.

So my final dream, now placed "out there" and shared with all of you, is that I allow it to be.

* * *

With that, I leave you with a "triple play" of quotes. Enjoy!

"To do is to be." - Socrates

"To be is to do." - Plato

"Do be do be do." - Sinatra

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trust30; day 17: Invent the Future

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

My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now


My first prediction for the (immediate) future; there will be complaints from many of the #Trust30 bloggers, citing yet another case of "repetitive repetition" with this prompt.

My second prediction for the (almost immediate) future; I will be fairly tired today as I have yet to go to bed and the alarm is set for slightly more than three hours from now so I can make it into the Bronx (NY) for a 10 am training session.

I've got the seer's turban on tonight, baby!

There have been so many goals, ideals, dreams listed here that I wish to utilize this post as a meditation on how I feel in the future. There is a definite method to this madness.

The future, like tomorrow, never comes. We can only live here and now. Postponed feelings (which sound much like "I'll be happy when...") to me are frustrated feelings... aborted emotions. The mind has been cited in numerous studies of not knowing the difference between what is imagined and what is real. So...

Why do we dream? Why do we really want anything?

The answer is shockingly simple and yet I had to let it seep into my consciousness for quite some time before I got it; we want the joy, the happiness... we want to feel good.

When we understand this and line up with it, we realize that we can feel good now... right now. The only time that there is. And it's available to us immediately.

So I picture myself driving my wonderful Mercedes sports car along the Hana Highway, absorbing the astounding beauty of Maui while driving at a heady fifteen miles per hour (twenty if I'm lucky!) I smell the air, fresh and energized with the positive ions of boundless rainbows and waterfalls. I stop to luxuriate in the five different temperate zones that one frequents while driving this road. Once past tiny, charming Hana, having picked up homemade banana bread from the local stands to nourish me, I choose to stop at Haleakala National park and take a dip in the pools of Oheo Gulch. I am, as always, intoxicated by the wordless beauty of it all.

Inspired by the land, I slip a CD into the player to intensify the feeling in my soul. Keali'i Reichel will do just perfectly here. I choose his Melelana album and drift away on his native chants while driving. I know that my love and I are running low on wine back in the condo, so an hour or so later I turn into the Tedeschi winery at Ulapalkua Ranch to sample and buy several bottles including their Maui Splash. It is amazing that a wine made with pineapple can taste so wonderful.

Finally, I am back at our home in Kihei. We get to do what we love to do every night; sit on our lanai and watch yet another magnificent sunset, holding hands and toasting the life that we love and appreciate so much. It never gets old. We always stay young in mind and heart.

And I get to do, to feel this all, now.

How good am I?

(Answer: Very.)

Trust30; day 16: Wholly Strange and New

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

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.

It is April, 1995 and you are standing amidst thousands of people in a huge square in Kathmandu, Nepal. You had been with friends most of this time... well, friends for the strange journey that you are on. Before this trip to Nepal (and later, on to Tibet,) these people were mostly unknown to you, strangers from around the world.

The icon you have traveled to to the Boudhanath stupa, the holiest Buddhist site in Kathmandu. This is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike and it is crowded with gawkers and pilgrims walking around the square, turning prayer wheels and taking in as much of the "sacred carnival" atmosphere as possible.

Toto, I think we're not in Kansas anymore...

Fast forward to the present; this trip, sixteen years in the past, continues to shape me more than any other event in my life. Standing alone in the midst of the scene above, I was as much a "fish out of water" than I had ever been in my life. I had chosen this three week journey to explore and to further my learning into the healing modalities of Body Harmony and Conscious Connected Breathing (Rebirthing) with a group of like-minded people from around the world.

This trip changed me in ways so profound that even now, examining the weathered slides that I've scanned (trying to preserve what's left of them,) still stirs up emotions and feelings that must be dealt with and reintegrated.

I was confronted by my life and mySelf. I was physically as far away from perceived notions of "safety" and "home" as I could be. As this all-immersive journey took me to altitudes of 17,000 feet and more, my body convulsed under the physical and spiritual/emotional load.

One day after doing a healing session/exercise in a Tibetan hot spring, I started to shake uncontrollably and did not stop for many hours. They piled coats on top of me in a tent and watched as the pile quaked before their eyes. You could see what it was that was "shaking loose" inside me with the naked eye.

Towards the end of the three weeks, I felt clearer and more alive than I had ever felt before. Upon returning home, the insanity of the "end game" of my then-known life began shortly thereafter. In retrospect, it seems that having gone through such dramatic change in a condensed fashion, you can never go back "home" again. The familiar is simply gone.

I guess that if you are willing be be "alone" in as foreign as place as you can imagine and deal with the feelings that come up (...and boy, do feelings ever come up that you didn't even know that you had!), then "the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new."

Amen, and amen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trust30; day 15: One Thing

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

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.

Timing, as they say, is everything.

I find it hugely funny (the ironic version) that this should come up as today's prompt in Trust30, especially as we hit the half-way point.

I am a big advocate of "dynamic tension," meaning that there should be dreams, goals, desires in your life that fuel your passion, that are vital and life-giving, that keep you focused as you create your story. There is a "trap" contained within that tension because as it propels you forward, it can also "snap back" and bite hard if you get caught in what author Mike Dooley calls "the cursed hows."

Mike has written several books including "Manifesting Change" and "Infinite Possibilities," both N.Y. Times best sellers. At his website,, you can sign up for daily emails called "Notes From the Universe" that are geared towards reminders of who you really are, your power, your dreams, etc. Let me share the one that I just read before I checked in with today's Trust30 assignment:

WOW! Just checked in on your new home in Maui, Richard! Love all the "bells and whistles" you dreamed up! Smokin' hot!

Apparently, however, there's some confusion over where the bouncy seat is supposed to go. So I just told them to put it in your world headquarters executive office, in front of the aquarium... beside the hammock... behind the popcorn maker.


You're so cute,
The Universe

Your neighbors are going to flip, Richard, but then they probably expect this from you.

How's that for "coincidence?"

Mike contends that the "hows" are none of your responsibility, just deliberate action regarding what is directly ahead of you; sort of like getting in the car and knowing where you want to go is the first action required before "driving away."

In more traditional business and motivation, Steven Covey puts this kind of deliberate focus in the "Important, not urgent" quadrant. That's where he says your greatest gains will come from. I teach that one frequently when I ask those attending my training classes what they think or feel they "should" be doing next. (Again, I love contrasting "Should" with "Could." Nothing is more revealing or empowering in the way that I look at it.)

I fell in love with Maui in a deep, inexplicable, almost sacred way the first time that I set foot on her. She permanently holds a place in my heart and I took part of her with me when I left. I knew beyond "rational thought" that I wanted to be there, in a home or living space, three-to-four months of every year, January to April.

Considering that I live in New Jersey, 6,000 miles away from that dream/creation, I have no idea of "how" is this to happen. But I have NEVER given up or despaired about this dream. It is MINE. It fuels me, is a spark in my mind and heart, always and all ways. It is like a beacon, inspiring me to make small decisions that I don't even consciously know are linking up, creating the path that will unerringly take me there.

I am smiling as I write this. That is what a nourishing dream does for you. You feel good when you savor it; you know that it... is.. YOURS. And you are as selfish and loving towards it as you would be towards your children because that is indeed what it is, a child of your imagination and just as real as any "reality" can be.

I shared yesterday the "path" that got me from the depths of despair and life "destruction" to a permanent relationship, a job/career, rewards and opportunities that included presenting on national TV.

You could've "easily" traced that one out from where I started, right? The "hows" and the path were brightly lit and radiating as clear as day... not.

Am I willing for "this" to change? Am I willing to feel "alive" again and enjoy the construction of a vital, joyful dream? These are some questions that you could consider, to see if they help.

The joy is in the journey... IS the journey. That journey brought me back to this blog that had previously been languishing and a project that I didn't even know was coming or existed. And now, it is fun for me to "be my authentic self" and use this as a tool towards "putting it out there" and living it for all that it's worth.

Yep, saw that one coming a mile away...

I acknowledge myself that when the opportunity was attracted to me, when it met my "now" moment, that I chose to "take the step."

And I know it was the "right" step because it felt good and is only continuing to move forward in that energy. That is reward enough in the only time that matters... now.

I'll invite you to visit me in Maui a bit further down this road.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trust30; day 14: Alternative Paths

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

The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them


To me, the only real teacher in life is experience and the only way to really "get it" is to be playing the game of life in a conscious manner. That can be easier said than done, especially when we attract a cascade of not-so-pleasant events that tend to have us pushing our collective heads up our collective butts.

One such case that really taught me the value of staying awake / aware / "with it" and also remembering to make the best out of every situation occurred during the end of the 1990's.

I blew up my life... and not in a small way either.

You know that Thoreau quote, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go the the grave with the song still in them"? That was me.

Married for fifteen years to a terrific wife... nice house... comfortable income... secure job...

Pitched, chucked, thrown away... blown up.

Anyone who knew me said that I had gone crazy. Quit the job... massively depressed... fell behind in finances... used the Internet to escape into "one-nighters" with equally unhappy women..

Blew. It. All. Up.

Not one shred left of what previously was.

Before the selling of the house, before the divorce, as "rock bottom" was being hit, I took what seemed to be really "trivial" part-time jobs to try and start bringing in some money again.

One was doing surveys on the phone. I had people skills. I was good at it.

That led to a full-time position at another marketing company doing similar work for an insurance company, looking to upgrade their existing policy holders into higher coverage, higher revenue policies. I made the best of it.

I calmed down. I was "present" as I did my job. Again, I was good. They made me a supervisor of an entire team, then a shift. This was happening very fast, within just a few months.

As the "destruction" wound down and we sold the home and settled on an amicable divorce, "creation" was occurring in the ashes. I met a woman on the Internet from Philadelphia, several years older than me. This past February, we celebrated eleven years together as a couple.

My employer won a contract to put together a retail sales team for HP. I was asked if I would like to be part of that team.

Two years later, my love and I were on the beach in Maui at Presidents club. I was one of the top salespeople for that year and had won the trip as a reward. The coolest part was that in the short time (at that point) we had been together as a couple, this was our third trip to Hawaii! We had just come back from a previously planned one (to take her elderly father to Oahu) a mere eight weeks before going on this reward trip to Maui.

Finally, HP asked me if I would like to audition to become one of their reps selling for them on the national sales TV channel, QVC. I did and was accepted; that began a part-time, nine year run on (mostly) late night TV as an "electronics expert." I averaged being on about once a month, usually at 3 am.

I share this story with people who ask me about what path they should take in life. I offer to them that there really aren't any "shoulds," just "coulds."

They always have choices open to them. That's what life is about. To me, the constant choice is, "Do I make the best out of where I am right now, or not?" I absolutely believe that one can get to anywhere in life starting from any point. That's the "alchemy of life" at it's finest.

Seriously, how does one go from utter despair and a "menial" job as a telemarketer to working for a major technology company and sitting on a beach in Maui with a part-time gig on national TV in a little more than two years?

That's impossible, isn't it?

I'm just sharing my experience with you. Take it for what it's worth. I certainly do because nothing ever stays the same. Change is the name of the game.

Truthfully, it is "game, set, match," total and complete. Choose to play it for all it's worth, choice by choice by choice, making the best that you can out each and every one of them...

Even (and especially) when the choices aren't necessarily so "savory." There is still a better feeling decision one out of the two (or more) in front of you.

This "note to myself" is now complete. I certainly need reminding in the everyday flow of my life (and the world that results) from the choices that I make.

Today's feedback received with appreciation. Thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trust30; day 13: Surprise

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?

Back in the early 1990's, I was working as an inside sales support rep for an international containerized freight company. It was challenging work, requiring a mix of analytical ability as well as "people" skills.

The person who was elevated to become my manager was previously a member of the sales force in the NYC area that I supported. He was an English transplant, in his late 30's, with an American wife and two beautiful small children.

And he was not happy.

I know this because there were many evenings that I spent after hours with him, becoming an emotional support for him as he vented depths of profound sadness and anger about his life, his place in the world and essentially, the utter folly and meaninglessness of it all.

I would listen at great length and when he seemed more balanced, I would share a few thoughts for him to consider. Remember that previously I mentioned that I was in the "trenches" of my own spiritual path including weekly channeling sessions in our group of friends, speaking with spirit/higher energy. This was shaping me and giving me some insights that I was able to share with this man.

What I couldn't do anything about were two of the main physical outlets that he utilized to let off steam outside of the office; he drove his cars at a high rate of speed and he drank (not that he couldn't "handle it.") He also golfed and usually played darts at English pubs but those things would involve quantities of alcohol and driving home afterwards. It was a bad combination.

In retrospect, I could feel it coming. It was just a matter of when the pain would get too great. It didn't take much longer.

Less than a year after being named manager, he exited the world in a traffic accident, leaving behind stunned co-workers and a grieving family. Instead of assisting him in the office and playing "stabilizer and sounding board," I was at his funeral in a packed assembly. Hundreds upon hundreds of people were in attendance including some of his previous UK counterparts. A deep sense of sorrow and shock was evident throughout the room.

After the minister gave his sermon, he asked if anyone would like to get up and say a few words of remembrance about this man. It was then I saw demonstrated the relativity of time; the seconds ticked by like geological eras. Nothing was moving in the warm, sunlit hall on this early summer afternoon.

"Will no one have a few words to say about him?" the minister asked once more.

I stood up. In doing so, I felt the accumulated weight of that room and all of the time that I had spent with this man, trying to assuage a depression and sorrow that was bottomless.

I stood in front of everyone and said, "I had the honor of working with him and spending a fair amount of time talking about life with him. I know there were difficulties and I know he had some misgivings about if he had made right choices. But from my heart, I can tell you that this man loved his family more than words can describe. He told me so. So if you can remember nothing else about him, smile and think about the facts that many of the choices and decisions he made, he made out of love for his wife and children."

I looked at his wife and she smiled at me. I could hear sobs from around the room. I truly do not know where the strength came from to get up and make that speech. Perhaps it was "borrowed" from beyond this mortal plane. If that is the case, then I am glad that I was able to be used in that way to deliver a message of comfort.

I have not thought of that time and place in many years until this exercise brought them up for sharing. People occasionally ask me how I can get up and speak in front of groups of various numbers and previously, how I could speak while demonstrating electronic devices on live TV.

I enjoy my profession (past and present) and we can certainly all recognize the positive power of "accumulated evidence" in our lives. But now that this memory has come back to light, I can see that all of this pales in comparison to being part of the raw emotion of the day I just described. If I could speak with clear intent under those circumstances, I believe that there isn't anywhere that I cannot do the same.

I think that I'll foster those thoughts and see what unexpected, wonderful surprises the universe presents me with this week as I travel in and around New York.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trust30, day 12; Fear

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 fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:

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.

I love the sentiment and spirit of this question. There is zero doubt that if you absolutely know, right to the core of your soul, that you could be doing something that makes your heart sing, choosing not to pursue it will be a mighty weight that will affect every fiber of your life story... and not in a good way.

The excuses of "I don't know how," or "I can't afford the time/money" will actually assist you in seeing the core defenses that base ego will hurl against your desire. One of the most powerful is "What will they say/think?"

If that one comes up, then you know for certain that you are striking close to the nerve center of your "familiar zone." This is specifically what Emerson is addressing; you might be "kicked out of the club."

If that's the case, I think this quote by Marx is most apropos: "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member". (Love you, Groucho!)

Pursuing that dream is life giving, nourishing... it keeps you vibrant and alive IF you are doing for the joy of it. The "tender trap" that can be triggered if not conscious while engaged in the pursuit sounds like this; "I'll be happy when..."

When we find ourselves in that mindset, the journey can easily become a chore and not enjoyable. That is specifically when it becomes easy to say, "Screw it. I'll just stay here with everyone else. This many people can't be wrong so..." (This is the crux of the "Would I rather be right or would I rather be happy" dilemma. You point and observe, "Just like them" as they point at you and say the same thing in justification/rationalization.)

If this was easy, everyone would be doing it.

I love cliches because the kernel of truth within becomes apparent as you poke around it. "Carrying the weight of the world" doesn't happen when you stand alone in pursuit of your dream but rather, when you choose, consciously or not, to stay at the level of mass consciousness. The spark of authenticity contained within will never die and will attempt to make you aware of that weight crushing down on it... and "it" is really "you."

The true you... the authentic you... the One that you came here to express and Be.

Final thought; As you decide to embrace your dream, consider making this the first thing that you do... become comfortable with it. Line it up. The best analogy I can offer to those who ever played baseball or softball is the "new glove."

You yearned for that wonderful new glove. Begged for it. Put it on every list to Santa (or your parents/family.) And then the big day comes and it's finally a part of your life! What happens if you rush out to play with your new glove before taking a little time and patience to "break it in" the right way?

It didn't work too well as you tried to catch the ball, did it? The same applies to your dream, the thing you've been fearing to do because, "What would they say?"

Line up with it. Break it in. "Oil" it, work your way into it in joy because (really and truly,) the joy isn't just in the journey... it is the journey.

And when you've got that, you've got it all.