The Best Raspberries – Week 7

I Meet this Day with Love in My Heart

 “Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” ~ Khalil Gibran

Liberty is defined as,  “The power or scope to do as one pleases.” As someone who fled a domestic abuse situation seven years ago, who has caregiving responsibilities for two family members, a full-time job and a business, this used to seem like an impossible ideal. But with the support of the MKE program, new habits and masterminding, it is becoming a reality!

Recently by brother Gary asked for a ride to the food shelf. I checked in with myself, “Can I choose to say “Yes” and still be at liberty? I decided to take on the challenge. My brother has special needs and doesn’t drive. The ride to the food shelf was filled with sweet his sweet words about how helpful and generous I was to give him assistance.  I had the opportunity to affirm him as well. Gary is super witty, friendly, creative, and has many other great qualities, and I focused on them. I also couldn’t help focusing on how unkept and dirty my car was, both insided and out. It made me feel squirmish.

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Self-Care

I knew Gary was going to take about an hour, so, once I dropped him off, I took the opportunity to, “Do it now” and was purging feelings of distress by cleaning up the inside of my car. Then, the “I am fit & in vibrant good health” section of my DMP called to me and I noted that I could take a walk along the railroad tracks behind the building. As I was walking, I thought about how a dirty car isn’t fit for a queen (I’m the Queen of the Boheme according to my DMP). So being a do-it-know kind of person, I got on my iPhone and found a car wash just two minutes away. Back to my car then, whisk. Off I went, with a new awareness of, 1) how I can have liberty in the midst of “duty”, and, 2) how I want my envirionment, including my car, to reflect my DMP and thus my life.

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Liberty

Getting my car washed and vacuumed was fun. I finished in time to return and meet Gary as he came out of the food shelf building. There he was with a cart full of organic produce and other beautiful food. It looked like a cornocopia. Gary’s face was beaming with happiness and contentment. As I helped him unload groceries into the trunk, he proudly handed me a carton of big juicy raspberries.

Driving home with bountiful nourishment and love for my brother gave me a great sense of gratitude and joy. With my PPN of Liberty, and the MKE program, and my own free will, I’m not in servitude to anything except my good habits. And they are mine!

And the raspberries? They turned about to be the very best raspberries I’ve ever tasted.

      

Monkey Mind – Week 6

The 7 Day Mental Diet for the Rest of My Life

Let’s start with the truth. I thought I had this positive thinking thing handled! But I really had no idea frickin’ idea just how many monkeys had taken up residence in my mind and turned it into a raucous jungle. Not until I started the 7 Day Mental Diet. And having walked toward the narrow gate, I’m not going to kid myself;  until I achieve a state of enlightenment, it’s always going to be the first day of this seven day diet. It seems to me that the mental diet is Napoleon Hill’s way of helping his readers stay vigilantly on the, “straight and narrow.”  It’s my understanding that heaven is more metaphorical than a place of perfect peace, beauty and harmony that we go to when we die. But this opionion I have no proof of.  But let me define one version of heaven as having control over our thoughts, and feeding Subby a heavenly diet, so we can experience some peace, harmony and joy right here, right now. Because who knows what comes after death and life is for living and I’d like my living to be unencumbered by the monkey mind.

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It’s true that we can’t stand still; that if we aren’t moving forward we’re moving backward. If you’re on a diet or a healthy meal plan for six days in a row, then eat a cake in one sitting, you just went backward, despite the six consecutive days of eating healthy. If you stay the course, you apply the knowledge of how that cake binge made you feel, with the realization that, there’s no such thing as discovering the ultimate “ah” in food, or anything in the material world. So advance or decline. Eat clean and moderately again and again and win, or binge on sweets again and again and lose. In my opinion (ha ha) the Law of Compensation is ruthless. But it’s also beneficient. Because if we reap what we sow, we get to choose what we sow, no?

So this week I realized that unless I ACTIVELY monitor my thinking AT ALL TIMES (except when I’m sleeping), while also setting my opinion aside (outside of my work in an advisory role, or if someone asks for it, which is rare, ha ha), my mind is going to veer toward the ever present  wide gate on the path of least resistance.

So chop! chop! A good life and good karma requires consciousness, discipline and being a slave to good habits! As my guide Nancy Ottinger would say, “Hey tribe, it’s time to giddy up!”

Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

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Disney – Week 5

Wow

Disney is known for creating magical experiences for theme park visitors and movie goers by giving us more than we expect. They do this by building a crescendo of “Wows”, each more amazing that then next. I take it as a new metaphor for my life, and also for what the MKE is opening up for me. Bye bye ego rule. Hello again Observer. Yes to the Magical Kingdom Subby is creating with my help.

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After one month of MKE webinars, practices and assignments, I am wowed. Not only by the program, which is providing a structure and community I didn’t even know I needed I’m also wowed when I think about all of the experiences that Mark and Davine accumulated, and the principles they assimilated, and the work it took to bring this to us. To me. In this very moment.

Most importantly, I’m wowed by myself.  I’m wowed by myself for jumping on my blog assignment after being on the Week 5 webinar for two hours and then the Q & A for another hour. I’m energized. I don’t need to eat yet, go to the bathroom, or do anything else except Do it Now! That said, I’m looking foward to a nice dinner. “Get the blog done first”. No question!

I’m wowed by my DMP, and I’m wowed by my guide, Nancy,  who brought me through the revisions, and sent me a Marco Polo while dancing to Cole Porter music. I’m wowed by those behind the scenes who read and helped make my DMP more concise and powerful. I’m wowed by the support that is summoned when I say, “Yes” to myself and “No” to others’ plans for me, and to old habits.  I’m wowed by what can happen in a month. And I’m wowed by synchronicity.

Mumsy and Liberty

One of my PPNs is Liberty. I’ve been living with my mother for the past few months as she is in need of some assistance. I recently stopped living with my partner of five years and also have a house in FL, but mom and some of my other close family members are here in Minneapolis. It  was natural for me to take this step. I might not sound liberating, but it is right now. Mumsy is 96 years old and inspires me every day.  She can be seen wearing a cute pair of red shoes, a red beret and a red cape, or doing balance exercises in the kitchen to Latin Music as she holds onto the back of a kitchen chair. She likes to watch television using captions. I don’t watch much TV. However, as I walk by her sitting area, or if I’m sitting next to her, a Liberty Insurance commercial comes on sometimes, and I see these words typed across the screen: Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Apparently it’s a commercial jingle. I’m wowed by the synchronicity. The universe has interesting ways of communicating, and I’m noticing more of it.

Going Up even if I Don’t Go Down

I’ve noticed  also that my mood is UP, and that’s not typical when I’m leaning into a Minnesota winter. I hope to get to FL, but I said “Yes” to what is needed, and bought a green wool hat with a BIG pompom on it from Target, and I love it. While shopping there on Friday, I sneezed and someone said, “Bless You”, and since I’m practicing giving something to everyone I encounter,  we struck up a conversation about where the gestur of saying, “Bless you” when someone sneezes came from, and what I had learned is that it came from the fact that you can’t sneeze and breathe at the same time, so it is customary to offer up a prayer of protection. So she blessed me, and I gave her a story and a connection we don’t usually get with other shoppers. I felt UP when I told my mom that that it is a gift to be able to spend time with her and that I feel happy living here. I felt UP when I thanked my brother for the opportunity to give him a ride to work.

I thought I was living a pay-it-forward life, but I see I’ve only been paying forward a small fraction of what I’m capable of. It’s empowering to see my capacity to give grow while my own happiness increases. And I especially love that it’s not about grand gestures (though it can be), but that it’s about doing the work to achieve our heart’s desire.

Okay, now a word about this new exercise we have to not share opinions. I am going to so rise to this challenge. Maybe I’m going to write all of the opionions I have down for the first few days, just to get them out of my system. I found this quote by Don Miquel Ruiz:

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.

According to this quote, not having opinions will free me. That is LIBERTY! Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Liberty.

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I also found this quote from Tolkien, and I relate to it:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

I get to decide what to do with the time that is given me, and I’m deciding to go for my definite major purpose, and to do it with gusto.

I’m grateful to everyone helping to make this possible and I’m especially grateful to myself for my willingness to learn, grow, adapt and develop the new habit of doing it now!

Being of Icelandic descent, among others, I decided to look up the translation for thank you and do it now.  Here they are. I’m going to ask Mumsy to help me pronounce the words!

hvað gerir þakka þér fyrir (thank you in Icelandic).

gerðu það núna (do it now in Icelandic).

Thinking & Feeling so Many Things! – Week 4

The Dysfunctional Couple

I’ve been thinking about what I’m sacrificing to achieve my DMP. And it’s THE LIE; all the components of it. I’ve been thinking how something beneficial comes along at exactly the right time, even though my brain might protest with, “Hey wait a minute, this is bad timing”. And when it’s something in alignment with what I want with all my heart, the, “Hey wait a minute” thought is always triggered by some type of fear.

For example, I once was invited to be a leader for a great coaching company, anxiety got the upper hand, I turned it down and later regret this. Fear is a con man (or woman).  And this is just one example. I just got that fear and regret are like a dysfunctional married couple who stay together come hell or high water, and both things arrive.

My Wise Self

It’s my wise-self; Future-Self; current empowered self; best-selling author self who thinks, “It’s always the right time to have my Definite Major Purpose manifest. It’s always the right time to, “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!” It’s always the right time to be clear about my  hearts’ desire, and  to refuse everything  not aligned with it; especially those Powerful Purposeful Peptides (PPPs) that are playing  an old game. It’s always the right time to keep promises to myself. These new thoughts give me determination and fill me with en-thuuuuuuu-si-as-im! While driving in my car I’ve found myself repeating a phrase I relished in the past, “I’m alive, awake, alert & enthusiastic!” Wash.Rinse. Repeat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I’ve been thinking for the past few hours about how peptides will free me and create my new life, because I’m going to stop feeding the peptide addiction I have to certain negative feelings. The negative? “I’ve previously been addicted to relief, but until today relief seemed like a positive feeling , but now I know it’s a cop out. Sure, relief happens after a close call. Then it feels good. However, the relief I previously set myself up to feel is artificial, bad ju ju and is no longer going to swim around inside my body like those green blobs in What the Bleep, having a great time without me.

Pop. Pop. Fiz. Fiz. Oh What a Relief it Is, But Why Not Avoid Heartburn Altogether?

I’ve been recovering from an eating disorder since 1980. And I’m grateful and proud for 38 years of recovery. But dam_ if I didn’t just realize something. Though I don’t ever binge-purge this way, but I have purged in a different way. For example, by piling things on, or doing something in excess, like making too many plans, then cancelling something, or by dropping out of something when I feel stressed, or creating a vision of grandeur and then procrastinating because it felt too overwheming. So basically, I’m admittting that I’ve created stress so I can get unstressed. Twisted, and I’m a former shrink (it’s not in the degree or license, it’s in the habit, right?)

This realization about a different kind of purging came to mind while writing this Week 4 post after the Week 4 webinar, today. Apparently, up to this moment, I’ve been attached to suffering in the same way I was when I was when I was punishing myself with overeating, then setting myself free (but not really, since it was a repetitive cyle), which was itself a form of punishment. (I’m feeling really vulnerable sharing this). Yes, overcommiting,  then giving myself relief (permission to quit, cancel, or procrastinate),is a different version of the same peptide-ic pattern?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to relief as, “A feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.” Worse yet,  relief is defined as something given to people when they’re lacking something essential like food, clothing or shelter.” No, no, no! I don’t want or need this kind of relief.

So instead of procrastinating, or taking on too much, or overwhelming myself with a grandiose vision (unbacked by habits that work), so I can offer to relive myself later (sounds like going to the bathroom), I’ll feed my peptide-making-machine with positive emotion. I’ll also give myself relaxation (hot baths and massages, for example) and let you know how it goes.

Children need reassurance. However, I don’t. I’m an adult and what I need is to keep my promises to myself and others. I don’t need comfort, consolation, and solace when I have enthuasisam, recognition, freedom. Because today I am a new woman with a new life.

P.S. The Golden Apples of Hesperides

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Credit: holidaymapq.com

I love archetypes and symbols and I’ve been curious about the reference to the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides that Og writes about on page 52 of GS. So I looked it up! I learned that the, “Daughters of Evening” (singular Hesperis), in Greek mythology, were clear-voiced maidens who guarded the tree bearing golden apples that Gaea gave to Hera at her marriage to Zeus. …The golden apples were also guarded by the dragon Ladon. I’m glad I’m creating; that our group members are creating, an inner dragon to guard what is, “no more than our just reward.”

Sacrifice – Week 3

Enthusiasm, Commitment, Consistency and Honesty

Of all the ground covered in today’s Master Key webinar, enthusiasm, commitment, consistency and honesty are the four words that stand out for me. And the concept of sacrifice.

Honesty and the DMP

I’m an extremely enthusiastic person. However, as I reflect on today’s Master Key material, I admit that my natural gift of enthusiasm has previously been overshadowed by inconsistency and lack of commitment, especially by being dishonest with myself. I don’t mean always. I’m honest, but on a scale of 1-10, I’m about a 5 when it comes to my record of being honest with myself.  I’m setting myself straight with myself now, starting with revising an honest DMP.

Consistently Enthusiastic

When Mark said today that, “Enthusiasm is the key to achieving everything that you’ve always wanted”, I was glad he also brought up honesty. That’s because my former “river of dreams”pattern WAS to lead / start with enthusiasm, but not back it up by self-honesty, commitment and consistency. I’m not talking about day-to-day honesty in the sense of being a liar. But in the key domains of my life, I’ve fooled myself over and over again. Ouch. I’ve told myself, “This is the year I’ll write my next book”, or, “I’m going to mediate every day now”, or, knowing I’m better off without food that’s high in sugar, yet buying a carton of Trader Joe’s coffee ice cream. The words self-deception make me cringe, yet I have majored in it. I’ve broken big and little promises to myself thousands of times. This isn’t to say I haven’t achieved a lot of what I’ve set out to do. I’m proud and happy about my achievements and about how much adversity I’ve overcome. Others would tell you I’m a winner. And yet. And yet.

Motivation and the Detour

In 1997 when I discovered business and life coaching, I fell in love with it and decided to launch my own business. However, my biggest motivation in becoming self-employed was so I’d have the time to write that I didn’t (think) I had working full-time.

My coaching business was so successful that I allowed it to eclipse my original purpose of starting a business, which was to carve out more time to write books. I wrote one manuscript before I started coaching in 1997, and two e-books a few years ago. However, consistently acting on my heart’s desire to be a published author has shown up much more in my journals, and in conversations with myself and others, than in my daily life and practices. (Hence my long blog posts!)

If I had been honest with myself, where would I be now? I stayed in several relationships that weren’t good for me over the course of seventeen years, all because I wasn’t honest with myself. In writing my DMP, I don’t know what to write about a romantic relationship, yet. It’s extremely humbling and feels vulnerable to share this.

Sacrifice and What Serves Me and Others

Another thing that stands out for me from the Week 3 webinar is the notion of sacrifice. Writing this post has helped me identify what I want to sacrifice.

I now sacrifice FEAR, for it previously prevented me from realizing ALL of my heart’s desires. I sacrifice FEAR in it’s following forms:

~ putting the needs of others over my own (fear of rejection)

~ dishonesty about my needs, wants, desires, thoughts, emotions, etc. (fear of abandonment)

~ perfectionism about things that aren’t consequentional (fear of not being good enough)

 procrastination by majoring in minors and (fear of failing)

To achieve this sacrifice seems like a very tall order, but I know I’m in the right place at the right time doing the right things that enable me to sacrifice what doesn’t serve me or others.

“Do the thing you fear to do and keep doing it…that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” – Dale Carnegie

The Rush and Loyalty of Grace – Week 1

The Mystery of Momentum

What’s another word for “wow”? There has to be one. I’m sitting on a card table chair I borrowed from my friend Gloria, in front of my laptop, in my office nook in the attic of my 96 year old mother’s home, astonished by the mystery of momentum and how, when it’s set into motion, unseen forces sweep in to help us toward our destiny.

I’m astonished. Astonished that I ended a relationship with someone I loved, and thought I’d live the rest of my life with, but whose way of living was opposite of mine. There’s wonderment that at this moment I’m nestled into the finished attic at my mom’s and feel as though I’m protected from winter storms, just like sitting in front of a fireplace in a cozy cabin on Lake Superior in Two Harbors, Minnesota during a January blizzard. Safe. In the zone. Cradled in a loving embrace.

Life Just Knows

How did Life know mom needed me here now, as much to upload a photo onto a Facebook post she just wrote, as to lend her my arm so she feels safe as we walk down the sidewalk together to the car to go grocery shopping?  Life knows things. All things, like it was time to be with her. I’m mind-boggled that I don’t feel squelched, but instead feel delight. It ain’t perfect bliss. This evening Mumsy (mom’s nickname) panicked when she didn’t know where I’d, “disappeared to” (upstairs to listen to the Week 2 webinar), and then went to bed, exhausted from worry. I felt guilty for a moment, then remembered what Mark said in the webinar about choosing our response to each experience. I had no idea what my mom was going through, so I chose to say I was sorry she was worried and then released the guilt. And, I didn’t interfere with her going to sleep, as I might have if I’d let guilt take me on a ride into Default-ville. No more folks, right? No more going there, and if we do, we drive back out with each others’ help.

Watching the Universe with Admiration, Joy and Love

So I find myself quite impressed with the Universe, as if I’m watching It do Its’ thing, like an approving parent watches his or her child in a school play; with admiration, joy and love.  Not that it needs my approval.

I’m surprised that suddenly I’m a blogger because I was told to start a blog as part of the Master Key Experience.  All at once I have a Marco Polo account, and a group of comrades I don’t know yet (except for two), but can still call friends because I know they already are.

Grace has filled me with wonder, just as viewing the stalactites and stalagmites did when I toured the Cave of the Winds with my family in the late 1960s. It’s the same sense I had snorkeling in the Cayman Islands and experiencing an enthralling view of vast coral reefs, filled with neon colored creatures existing in beauty normally unseen by the human eye. “If all this beauty exists in the hidden depths of the earth”, I thought, “How much more must exist within us?”. I thanked my HP for the gift; for the glimpse; for the nectar of bliss.

Taking Off Together

I always experience this version of Grace that I’m writing about as I might a tsunami, or a brisk gust of wind, but without any of the destruction. It’s more like a sudden, bold invitation to get back on the ride I was meant to be on and fell off; an invitation that gives me an elongated second to say, “Yes” to getting back on course. Then we take off together, and one of my arms flaps in the breeze, while the other holds onto my hat. Holy cow! (There are other words for wow). I turn around and see a whole group that’s along for the journey. I’m grateful. This is going to be fun (and likely tear inducing).

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Hidden Wonder

I have two more words for wow: Master Key.

I can’t wait to find the hidden wonders and watch the concrete covering our golden buddhas start to drop off in chunks.

With pre-admiration, joy and love,

V