Archives for October 2017

We Are All Messengers; What Kind of Messenger Are You?

Part 8 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

While Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, challenged us to think and act in ways that are humanity+ versus humanity-, including choosing to start, run and/or work only for humanity+ corporations, our Sunday at the MindValley Reunion held in San Diego in August started out a lot more solemn.

My Lyft driver had asked me if I was on my way to church, like some of his other fares for the morning, and I had said, “no,” but the experience of watching Don Miguel Ruiz, world renowned author of The Four Agreements, speak resembled the church experiences that I enjoyed most.

The room was full of reverence, and I had a front row seat. He spoke slowly and deliberately, and if I allow my focus on his image to grow fuzzy, I could see a glow around him, as though he was connected to a higher source and was channeling it to us. Though I absorbed every word, I only captured about a third, as I wanted to remain present, entranced, and really take what he was saying deep into my consciousness.

All the following excerpts are quotes from Don Miguel Ruiz, with my reflections below:

“Gratitude becomes generosity.”

My own perception of what he meant was that if we give without being grateful, we can harbor resentment. We must give from a place of gratitude, knowing that we are provided for and supported by the divine. Once we fill ourselves with the gratitude of our own blessings, we tend to want to spill it out onto others. So, focus first on gratitude, and then generosity.

“The problem is our domestication and disillusion.”

I am going by my impression, because it has been some time now since the actual event and the context of his intention is forgotten. My interpretation of this based on the notes I took that followed this are that we focus on our material needs and perceive separation between us and others. This causes us to perceive life as a struggle for survival, an “us versus them” or “us or them” mentality. However, we are more than physical beings, and our separation from each other is merely an illusion that we create needlessly.

He proclaimed the Human Manifesto: Preserve our planet and morality

This theme emerged from several of the speakers throughout the weekend. If we do not allow the progression of our nature from what we have been and how we have lived to what scientists, spiritualists, and intuits agree is the movement toward higher consciousness, then we just may destroy ourselves. If you pay attention, you’ll see this emerging everywhere around you, too.

“Awareness allows you to see possibilities of what you can do with your life.”

Awareness of what? Your own true nature and the nature of everything. To start simply, use the awareness that there can be other ways to be, to live, to act. Question the status quo, especially if you see things around you that concern or irritate you. If that is not the way, what are the other ways? Perhaps your noticing is your soul calling you to a higher purpose. However, as Jeffery Allen warned, we have to be careful not to become elitists in our higher consciousness. And as Vishen advised, the way to help others see your side is to seek understanding first, and to debate worthy issues without alienating people. Alienating those who opine differently from you will only cause them to become stauncher and give them motivation to hold on to their ways of thinking.

“We want to have the eye of the artist. We follow that beauty…Every single human is an artist…creating a story in which we are the main character.”

This reminds me of quote from T. Harv Eker, “Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.” Your life is an empty vessel, even with your past. We are meaning-making machines. And in the consciousness we have been living we have created many stories, many of which don’t serve us, such as the epidemic belief that fuels most misery, “I am not enough.” Marisa Peer, the next speaker I will chronicle in this blog series, attributes this belief for epic suffering, even among the rich and famous and royal. It’s prevalent, and if you want to know if this belief is part of your story, ask yourself why you do certain things – buy the products you buy, pine for the job you never really try for, decline to make a connection with someone. But is it true? Not if you see yourself from the Divine’s perspective. Whatever your story has been, you can change it – Right NOW!

“I am not real. I am the force that make [that story] happen.”

From a quantum physics perspective, we are energy; everything is energy at an atomic level. It cannot be created nor destroyed, only change forms. Remember this physics lesson: “An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force?” That outside force can be you. It can be a conscious decision and the actions resulting from that decision. What makes something matter is our perception of it. This can be applied to physical matter, or things we deem important. What are you making important, and is it really? Why? Does that empower your or disempower you? If the latter, this is something you can change.

“A dog doesn’t know it’s a dog. A cat doesn’t know it’s a cat. And they don’t care. Why should we?”

A lot of time and energy is invested in trying to live up to a standard either set by ourselves or society. When we perceive ourselves as failing to reach that standard, suffering ensues. Many believe it is in our nature to continually grow, and we have been taught that setting goals is a positive step in achieving them. I am not refuting this. However, there is a very powerful question that we need to ask if we are to commit our time, energy, or even money, in becoming that version of ourselves – why? Why do you care if you earn $100K+? Why do you want to own a beautiful home? What does being CEO really mean? What criteria are we using to define how we want ourselves to be? Whose criteria are we using? Who are you really? Does it matter if you live up to standards? Can you love yourself unconditionally? Can you allow others to love you unconditionally?

“We only have 100 years to enjoy our physical body, or to suffer our physical body.”

This one hit home for me, as I have been confronting my self-image after gaining back all the weight I lost and then some and seeing my skin decline into continual painful breakouts. I just climbed a mountain on Saturday, and I am thankful that in spite of my lack of conditioning, I was able to do it. At times, the grade was so steep that I had to use my hands, and it had rained the day before, so with the rocks and leaves, it was very slippery. My body came through, and I was very proud of it. It also made it down the mountain – 8 miles in total. I want to make it a regular practice to see what my body can do and be grateful for that rather than spending time being critical of how it looks and comparing it to how it used to look or comparing it to how others look. This is very challenging. Don Miguel had suffered a heart attack, so this was coming from a place of life-experience wisdom, not just Toltec wisdom. Can I look into the mirror and instead of noticing a few white hairs, wrinkles, and painful cystic acne appreciate the joy of my smile, the eyes given to me by my father, the lips given to me by my mom? Can I appreciate that my own daughter has gotten the same lips, and my other daughter has gotten my nose? Can I see my scars and be thankful that…well, I don’t know…I’m still working on it. I got a book written by Wayne Dyer’s daughter, who suffered a painful skin condition that she healed herself by accepting and loving herself as is.

“You can create your own personal paradise or you can create your own personal traumas, your own personal hell, but it’s not real; it’s just your story. Your challenge is to face the main character of your story…Face the end of your story as you know it, and [create] a new beginning.”

Here is a blog I published in 2015 explaining some things I learned both from Landmark Education and Vishen Lakhiani on flipping the script of your sad story. I will be honest – it has not happened overnight, and I continue to identify sad stories I have been telling myself from a very young age. They have kept me in a victim mentality, from taking action on my own behalf, and from following through on what could have been huge opportunities. In essence, the stories of my past have been perpetuating into my present, and will continue to do so in my future UNLESS I am aware of them and can take back my power to create a new story. Technology has been developed, and continues to be developed, to help you access and override these stories, including John Assaraf’s and Brent Phillips’ brain entrainment programs, isochronic and binaural beats (Yes, Pearl Jam’s Binaural album was produced with these, but you have to experience them with headphones to benefit), and Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy (more about that next week.)

“I believe in angels. I believe in you – because you are angels. You are a messenger. But what kind of messenger are you? Are you a messenger of truth [or of story?]”

This is what resonated through from the day before. What kinds of messages am I perpetuating when I share my opinion? What are my intentions and are they pure? Are they good? Am I needlessly and even harmfully creating divisions between myself and others or between others? My most popular post shares an all too common practice of recruiters to blacklist candidates. Though my intention was to help prevent people from unconsciously burning bridges with recruiters, the article had an impact I did not expect. The majority of the comments were job seekers sharing their disappointment, and even disgust, with how [some] recruiters operate. By no means did I intend to justify any unjust or immoral recruiting practices, nor did I intend to instill a fear of recruiters, but my headline certainly did leverage potential fear. That is probably what garnered so much readership. In spite of how excited I am by the number of readers and the high engagement, I am choosing to be more conscious of my headlines. I am using the post to attempt to generate conversations that encourage people to be more empathetic, and to see people from all parties as people, flawed, but innately good.

Don Miguel’s son and co-author of The Fifth Agreement,” Don José, also relayed some powerful messages that complimented his father:

“The minute we let our art come out, something happens > judgment.”

“How do you want to hurt the human mind when the human mind is suffering the same mistake a hundred times over and over again?”

“Now it’s time for my will to be loyal to my body.”

“What brings us happiness is to be loyal to the sacred heart; it’s our intuition.”

“Mistakes teach us what we want to participate in in life, and what we don’t want to participate in.”

“If you created the virus, you can create the anti-virus.”

“Decide – it ends with me!”

“Magic is in every word that you speak. You can break a spirit or we can lift a spirit with the words that you speak.”

“You are here to make a masterpiece out of your life.”

When Don Miguel and Don José left the stage, nearly all of the 800 attendees were in tears and gave them a standing ovation. The host came out in tears, and it seemed to dishonor the experience to just move on to the next speaker. Instead, she told us to meditate or journal on what kind of messengers we are and want to be. I realize that I cannot recreate the reverence of the room on that blessed Sunday where I was about 12 feet from one of my literary heroes. But I hope that you can take about 5 minutes to meditate or journal on even just one of these excerpts, or start writing a new story for yourself. It is the best way I can think of to pass on the blessing of that experience to you, and gratitude leads to generosity.

 

Please share your insights in the comments below.

07 Insignificance

Binaural is the sixth studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on May 16, 2000 through Epic Records. Following a full-scale tour in support of its previous album, Yield (1998), Pearl Jam took a short break before reconvening toward the end of 1999 to begin work on a new album.

PennWomen2017

I am pausing my blog series on the MindValley Reunion to bring to you excerpts from the PA Conference for Women last week, which featured life-altering content from extraordinary speakers, including Brené Brown and Michelle Obama.

If you couldn’t be there among 12,000 others, or even if you were there but it went so fast that you could hardly absorb the wisdom bombs that were dropped one right after the other, here is a record. I captured pictures of my Twitter feed where I shared many of these wisdom bombs, and welcome you to follow me for this and all future wisdom bombs I am to share, but if you are not on Twitter, I still want you to enjoy the great takeaways.

I will return to the MindValley Reunion recap next week to begin to share Day 2, which began with a very moving talk from Don Miguel Ruiz and Don José Ruiz.

Sister Sledge – We Are Family

Four sisters: Kim Sledge (born 21 August 1957), Debbie Sledge (born 9 July 1954), Joni Sledge (born 13 September 1956), and Kathy Sledge (born 6 January 1959). Best known for their work with Chic in the late ’70s, Sister Sledge reached the height of their popularity during the disco era but had been recording since the early ’70s and were still active in the late ’90s.

Does Humanity Need a Reset?

Part 7 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe in synchronicity. So, in light of the news of tragic loss and the resulting justified disillusionment, I feel it is very appropriate that this is the topic that had been on the agenda for this series of posts recounting the wisdom, tools, and insights learned at the MindValley Reunion in San Diego that I attended in August.

The last speaker on the first day of the MindValley reunion was none other than Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley. He shared the teachings of five renowned teachers in different realms to support the concept of putting humanity on a better, more enlightened path.

These five teachers included:

The Scientist – Tom Chi, inventor of Google Glass, and then some.

The Writer – Blogger Tim Urban, author of “Wait But Why?”

The Naturalist – Charles Darwin, who I don’t think needs an introduction, though he is apparently grossly misinterpreted, as I learned.

The Philosopher – Ken Wilber, who is a teacher of integral thinking. I will try my best to summarize clearly, though after so many weeks, I am a bit foggy on some of the concepts.

The Mystic – Neal Donald Walsch, Author of Conversations with God, which had a tremendous impact on Vishen, as he has stated many times.

To start, we were showed a video recording of a live MindValley event where an audience member asks Tom Chi a question, and without hesitation and with obvious earnest concern, he shares that if human consciousness does not evolve faster than technology, it will be used with evil intentions and could be the cause of our demise.

(You may want to take a look back at the post that shared Jeffery Allen’s take on individual and planetary consciousness progression.)

Tim Urban shared an alternative future, which requires us to recognize our connectedness, functioning as one organism, sharing our knowledge, and making sure that our work represents cooperation rather than cancer.

This is where Vishen challenged entrepreneurs and corporate employees alike to evaluate whether or not their companies were humanity plus (+) or minus (-). He shared a story from Tom Chi, who in spite of a very lucrative offer, refused to help a humanity- company promote their unhealthy product, which they intended to package as humanity+, but science refuted it. It made me think about my clients and where they have landed and where they will land in the future. How can I help them ensure that they land somewhere where their contributions further the betterment of humanity vs. landing at a company using social responsibility and community outreach as a public relations tactic to veil what is really a harmful intention, or just a result. (I will be working on a checklist for this.)

You probably think of evolution when you hear the name Darwin. This is an accurate attribute. You may also think of “survival of the fittest,” which for me conjures a vision of every man for himself. I think of the people of Puerto Rico right now who are out of water and supplies. I saw a post from someone attempting to raise funds to extract a citizen who DID have supplies, but feared for his life. It is extremely bleak either way, to have or to have not. I observe social media trollers claiming that others have lesser intelligence for their political, even religious views. I even see them either predicting or willing that they are eliminated somehow to make things better for the more deserving. And, I have seen people point to Darwin’s supposed theory to support their will. In actuality, the concept Darwin was hoping to promote he called the Diffusion of Sympathy, which is quite the opposite of eat or be eaten. In fact, he used science to purport that every single living thing is absolutely essential to a thriving planet, and we should be actively looking out for the survival of all species and the habitats thereof. If we could consider the pain of others our own pain, we could preserve our planet. If Darwin were alive today, he would more likely be an environmentalist and a pluralist. This blew my mind!

What Vishen shared about Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory was a bit complex and after many weeks, as I said, is a bit foggier. I want to do it justice, but think I need a refresher. I won’t try to teach you what I didn’t learn well, but I can share with you what I took away, and you can watch this video to get this right from him. There are states of consciousness and stages of consciousness. When you are evaluating a guru to help you achieve a higher level of consciousness or living, evaluate the guru based on worldview stage rather than state. The worldviews progress in the following order:

Egocentric > Ethnocentric > Worldcentric > Cosmocentric

70% of the planet adopts an egocentric worldview, which you can interpret to mean that they are out for themselves. In ethnocentric, you can love and you think more about your immediate community’s wellbeing, which could mean a geography or a dogma. As you can probably infer, at the worldcentric stage you look out for the planet and all its being. 30% of the planet are either ethnocentric or worldcentric. Less than 1% are at the cosmocentric stage, truly acknowledging our oneness with all things in the Universe.

By integral, he means luminous, where you would experience freedom and fullness that have not been fulfilled by our individual, community, or even planetary identity. We would need to access a wisdom that transcends rational thought and logic.

At this point Vishen points out how divisive this last election was, and how our current climate can either inhibit or enhance our evolution through these stages, depending on how we respond.

Do you remember a time when the terms liberal and conservative were not part of our vocabulary, when we did not identify ourselves or others by these terms? I remember learning these terms in high school social studies, which was actually when they emerged. The first person to use these terms was Newt Gingrich. These words were intentionally chosen to manipulate and divide us, according to Vishen – I cannot be certain of someone else’s intentions unless they themselves claim them. Whether it was intentional or not, we may at least agree that these terms absolutely changed political rhetoric, and not for the better. Within the last 18 months we have seen even worse rhetoric emerge, to include such insults as “snowflake” and “deplorables.” This is in direct conflict with any goals we may have to preserve our species, unify, and furthermore transcend the painful suffering and lead a more awakened enlightened life.

Vishen points out that this type of response to what can be healthy debate for the sake of arriving at solutions that work for most will only make opponents justify maintaining their limiting view points, and prolong our suffering. Instead, we can aim to stand up to ideas, not people.

In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, I see many people desperate to right the world after such a wrong, but they are wanting to do it through more violence and pain. Hoping that the gunman rots in hell is a justifiable response and can be considered a natural reaction to horrific, incomprehensible event, but it doesn’t progress us to where we need to be to create a better world, which I imagine we all want.

In Vishen’s book, Code of the Extraordinary Mind, he asserts that “hurt people hurt people.” The gunman would not have been a gunman if he had not been damaged in some way. If we want to prevent future gunmen (or gunwomen,) we have to adopt Darwin’s less popular, but more productive, concept of sympathy. We have to help each other heal our wounds instead of vilifying people for what they do from a place of extreme pain.

While you pray for the victims and their loved ones, pray also for those who seek to use violence. Pray that they can feel love, that they can feel compassion. Send them compassion, so they know what it looks and feels like. If they think that a mass shooting is the only way to be heard, pray that they are heard NOW. Pray that someone listens, that someone hugs them. Pray that they find an other way to express themselves and heal their pain.

The last teacher that Vishen shared was Neal Donald Walsch, who literally sat and asked powerful questions and that wrote stream of consciousness in a trance-like state the answers that manifested. Asking questions is the most powerful way to garner answers. He shared then five questions we can ask ourselves going forward to do our own part in being contributors to unity instead of divisiveness:

  1. What am I doing to build human consciousness?
  2. Am I working for or running a humanity+ or a humanity- organization?
  3. How do I widen my “circle of we?”
  4. How can I grow into integral living?
  5. Will I stand up for unity?

The next MindValley reunion speaker I will share with you is Don Miguel Ruiz, and he has some equally powerful questions, as well as some incredible insight that will help you chip away at your individuality to access the divinity within and live a life that elevates your way of being and transcends suffering and pain.

I know that so many are seeking answers: Why do things like this happen? What makes a person want to inflict so much pain? What can we do to stop this from ever happening again? What kind of world are we living in? What is going to happen to us? Can we ever feel safe again?

I hope that this post helps you ask empowering questions that generate real hope and solutions.

 

Besides sharing one of my favorite healers’ songs as part of this post, starting this week I will be sharing #TuesdayTunes on my Facebook fanpage. These are songs that I find to be uplifting, motivating, spiritual, insightful, heart-opening, and or relevant to a growth lesson. Many, if not most of them, will be covered by me. Consider it a vocal hug from me to you 🙂

Bob Marley – One Love

One love, One heart Let’s get together and feel all right Hear the children crying (One Love) Hear the children crying (One Heart) Sayin’ give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right Sayin’ let’s get together and feel all right Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love) There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart) Is there a place for the hopeless sinner Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?