Creating your OnCore Venture

I have talked a lot about discovery in this blog as a way to provide some background information about who I am, and what my belief system is.  I am a firm believer in authenticity – my own and yours.  As a certified professional coach, I help people create the life they were born to live, at home and at work; which incidentally, to me are now one and the same.

Earlier this week, I introduced the topic of Wellness, which I believe to be a core component of living an OnCore Life.  Today we begin the discussion of creating your OnCore Venture.  As we say in the “about us” page, wellness and ventures go hand in hand.  Core to both is an honest, on-going discovery process.  I will continue to talk here about mine, and also allow others to share their stories in this space.

In deciding on your venture, where do you begin? Recently I shared that I tried making Photography my life after moving on from my Life 2.0 senior executive career. After a while however, I found that path lacking – those hoodoo’s in the photo above are not found in either eastern or western Pennsylvania.  I had arrived there by listening to the voices in my head (we sometimes like to call this intuition but it can be tricky), yet only discussed it with my spouse.  Now, my wife is very aware and supportive, but as a couple, well, we can be like all couples – both dysfunctional and delusional. Hindsight being what it is, I see now that this was merely a stepping stone in a more fulfilling, authentic journey.

I suspect that the way I finally found my OnCore venture is similar for most people. It is a process of interacting with others, getting out of one’s own head, and showing up in new places.  Davidji of the Chopra Center, teaches us to “ask the questions, live the answers.”  The universe is an abundant place and the answers come through synchronicity.  Yes, I started asking what is my purpose in my daily mediation practice, but it was in living the answers that people first started asking if was a coach, and then began telling me that yes, I am a coach.

I share with you what worked for me and what my clients are telling me also works for them. I found my answer for what is evolving into a fulfilling life through a practice of daily mediation, a plain and simple western interpretation of the more rigid eastern principles.  Davidji also teaches that at the Chopra Center “we are not Ayurvedic fundamentalists.” Applied to a daily mediation practice, this means go ahead and be comfortable.  Sit in a comfortable chair. Relax. If you want to stare at a wall and be smacked on the back of the head, by all means, go to a Buddhist Center. But if you want to be comfortable, relax and tune into what the universe is saying to you, find a comfortable place and start asking the questions “Who am I?,” “ What do I want?,” and “What is my purpose?” on a daily basis.

I began my own mediation practice through a Chopra center 21 day mediation challenge. The principle being that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a practice or habit.  Before making a decision on whether or not to try this, realize that it is fundamentally a way of learning to be comfortable with yourself.  Learning to be still. Once you can be still in the silence of meditation, you can then learn to bring that quietness and calm to all areas of your reality. From there, the possibilities are limitless. I came to understand that the thousands of thoughts which enter my mind everyday do not need to be dwelled on. They enter and leave of their own volition. It is my mind that holds on to them and worries about them. I now choose to just let them be.

As you begin to mediate, then start to ask your friends and family what you should do with the rest of your life. If they are like mine, they will not tell you what you really need to hear. If this is the case, find a group of people that will hold your agenda in their hearts and minds as they engage with you in these discussions.

At OnCore Ventures, we conduct monthly Life 3.0 Mastermind groups to discuss how people are transitioning from their current life of working for a living to a new way of launching the work/life they were born to live.

We have a limited number of openings for our July group which meets weekly for one hour on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM, beginning on July 11. Participation in the group is free, although there are two required pre-reading assignments. For more information reach out to me at Mastermind, and in the meantime please treat yourself and sign up for a 21 day meditation challenge.  The last one offered was a mind-body odyssey that my life partner and I found to be a refreshing renewal.

What you can expect to get out of the Mastermind group is a clear cut group of options for what your OnCore Venture can be – whether it is to say in play in your current job and change the way that you show up, find a business to create or buy, focus on enjoying your hobby, watching your grandchildren, shopping for the elderly or going back to school.  You will work with others just like you to figure out what’s next for you.

Wheat Belly

Several months ago, I read an article, on my iPAD, from Spirituality and Health talking about the findings from a book called “Wheat Belly.”  I was completely dumbfounded to learn that whole grain wheat, something millions of Americans believe to be a healthy food, is as bad for most people as the Wonder Bread of my youth that “helps build bodies 12 ways…”

It turns out that back in the grand experimental days of the fifties; fertilizers were introduced to wheat production in order to increase crop yields. This effectively changed the growth characteristics of the wheat plant, making it grow faster and taller, which in turn, made harvesting problematic. In order to keep the benefits but eliminate the production issues, cross breading was employed to make the wheat grew shorter and allow for easy harvesting of a larger crop. Voila! Wonder Wheat was born!

Unfortunately this miracle process also altered the glycemic index of the wheat to look a lot like refined sugar.  In other words, wheat now leads to intense cravings just like sugar.  Consumption of modern wheat products creates cravings in the body for …you guessed it…more wheat products. Along with a smattering of sugar injected during processing, this creates a vicious cycle that is a food producers dream…and a health advocates nightmare.

The author, Dr. William Davis, suggests eliminating wheat for a full month in order to see the effects it is having on your body. Coincidentally, a year earlier Wayne Dwyer convinced me to restrict my sugar content (not high fructose corn syrup sugar which I refuse to purchase – real sugar) to 15 grams a day. Over the past year, I have been working at this, in large part by substituting bread as a snack of choice. This made sense, I reasoned, because most “whole grains” bread has very little “SUGAR”. Unbeknownst to me, the very wheat in my bread was little different than sugar to my unsuspecting body.

Since my belly had not noticeably decreased in the last year of severely restricting sugar, I figured I would give the “no wheat” idea a go. This “eating thing” is a process, after all. Within three weeks all cravings for any food were GONE.  Not diminished – GONE.  Historically, I have typically had all the will power of a twenty one year old male in a bar with $100 in my pocket to burn.  Now my cravings for any food were GONE!  I was able to eat a meal and not be hungry for five hours.  In the past it would have been more like thirty minutes post-meal that I would be ready to eat again.

There were other changes too.  My joint pain – gone. My sinus congestion – gone. My sleep difficultly – gone. My Wheat Belly – well, that’s going (it is a process), but it’s clearly diminished.  I suspect because of my increased energy level that my Vitamin D deficiency is also improved. The way that modern wheat is digested causes inflammation of the digestive system, which may block the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Understanding all of this new knowledge, presented a few “Issues.”  I was eating so much wheat in the first place in an attempt to be healthy and socially responsible. My diet was mostly vegetarian, and I had completely eliminated land based animals from my diet, was using seitan as a substitute.  Seitan is wheat.  I was working out more, enjoying it less and not losing weight, especially on my belly.

So, since I am not a big legume fan, and wheat was out, I started eating meat occasionally. Because I am something of a food zealot, this meant consuming only grass fed, grass finished, and preferably local beef. Which, in turn, meant drawing on our home equity line of credit to afford, and frankly meat in general does not really taste that good to me anymore. Suffice to say, creating a diet without store bought wheat products has been a challenge.

It is possible to buy Ancient Wheat from sources in the US. Bluebird Farms and Einkorn are a few examples of retailers that sell ancient wheat products over the Internet and these products do not have the glycemic issue of modern whole grain wheat.  It is also possible to get gluten free products, however most of them are worse than wheat in terms of what our bodies do with it.  Following the Weston Price methodology, you can spend several days manipulating these toxic ingredients into edible, arguably nutritious food sources but this requires time and practice. The food preparation choices are rich, diverse, confusing, and all require cooking.

In short, there is no easy answer.  Michael Pollan purports the answer of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” With the revised interpretation of his quote “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” to include factory wheat, this sounds just about right.  This means, my answer has become “radical homemaking.” Fortunately for me, Whole Foods just opened a new store close to our home. Unfortunately Penn DOT is working on the road in front of the store.  If you are not from Pennsylvania, Penn DOT moves at a glacial pace in road construction projects. Now, I know that glaciers are moving faster because of global warming, so maybe Penn Dot will finish the road sooner than anticipated.

The real issue for me with radical homemaking is that because I have been “semi-retired” and my wife is working in a 24-7-365 Information Technology career, I am, necessarily, the radical homemaker. I am working to do this new “homemaking thing” while launching a small business at the same time.  Like everything else about living an OnCore healthy life – this too – is a process.

And my financial advisor cannot understand why I will not invest in Monsanto.  Maybe he will now.

I Am

This past Tuesday completed three weeks of intense effort around the completion of the iPEC training program for Energy Leadership.  It has been a time of growth, reflection, and a lot of work.

Working with my coach this week – yes coaches have coaches too- we processed a lot of this growth and I identified the feeling of “growing” too much, too fast and that I “needed a break”.  I also realized that recently I’ve been using technology non-stop when not interacting with people.  Strangely, for me anyway, the interaction with people was the part I enjoyed, while the technology thing, “not so much”.

I was left desiring an analogue world. Enviously, I thought of my son’s vinyl record collection, longing to hear music generated by a physically explainable piece of technology that you can actually see at work.

I wanted to read a book, not on my Kindle, or iPad, not an audiobook but a real book.  I had a flashback to the original Star Trek series in which Jim Kirk is being defended by the last lawyer in the Federation who was transported with his books, and he waxed on about how cool they were.  When I saw the episode as a kid,  I thought “what a load of crap”. Now however, I wanted a book – and absolutely nothing on “growth.”

My coach suggested that I actually go to a book store (most novel of ideas!) and I thought how quaint, shop in a store, what an adventure this will be. I stopped into the “real” world equivalent of Fox Books from “You’ve Got Mail” and mused that what  goes around, often comes back around. The big box guys are dying, while the little guys that are left might be the only ones able to compete with on-line book sellers and  e-books.  I went in to buy Vince Flynn’s retro piece on Mitch Rapp – I wanted low energy with lots of action to get out of my funk.

The universe, God, Spirit, Gaia, etc – intervened. Wayne Dwyer has a new book, “Wishes Fulfilled”.  Of all my spiritual and life teachers , Wayne simply resonates with me.  Wayne has been known to drop the F bomb to his spiritual audiences. I can relate to Wayne.  Don’t get me wrong, Deepak Chopra, Echardt Tolle, Ram Das, Don Miguel Luis are all wonderful – but I seem to just relate to Wayne.

So I picked up the book, merely to take a peak mind you, and somehow, it followed me home.  Three days later, I am half done with Wayne’s book.  I did read the first two pages of Flynn’s book, and plan to finish it this weekend because that is what I said I would do. However right now, I am enjoying Wayne’s book.

To summarize Wayne’s new book – “I AM”. I tend to absorb material from Wayne over time, first reading excepts, playing with them. Then going back and reading the whole thing, then listening to it on audio, then referring back when I, inevitably, forget.  I have not yet begun to scratch the surface of this new material, but I started to meditate with the intention of getting in touch with the wisdom of my ancestors. Incidentally, thanks to some recent genealogy research into cousins  I never knew about, I have a good feel for the wisdom of my for-bearers.  I know that my great grandmother ran a business and raised three very independent daughters,  one of whom photo-documented the family’s history in the early 1900’s.  The images depict strong women who knew who they were and lived it, not over-shadowed by their three successful brothers.  My grandmother’s sister, Julie Connors, was murdered in July 1912 in “the crime of the century” that played out in the NY Times for days when the manhunt for the killer went national.  All of this wisdom became available in my meditation this morning; the growth and the knowledge that all of that and more is available to me to use however I want because we all are “I AM”.

Time is an illusion. We have access to the field of intelligence of the totality of all time, if we only learn to tap it.  We are all one and we are all God.  The female version of Wayne; in that she is both spiritual and human, Marianne Williamson is famous for saying “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

So this weekend, as I read the Flynn novel, I will be a bit detached from the emotion of it, yet more in touch with what the story is triggering in me.  I am sure there is a lesson in that book as well because there are no mistakes and my selection of that book came to my intuition out of a feeling of not being enough or doing too much.

I guess what I said last week is true – once you know – you can’t not know.  And I know that I am powerful beyond belief as is everyone else that chooses to be.

Letting it Be

Early in my “first-life” career, I remember an employee telling of being taught by a priest at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown Ohio to take a time out and just “Be”.  The conversation edged on mockery and, as I was at that time parent to a teenager, the idea of any high school kid grasping the concept of  “Being” was difficult to wrap my head around. In hindsight, I myself as a “seasoned” adult was similarly unable to scratch that most elusive of surfaces.

This past weekend was spent at a seminar in Newark NJ – in a hotel that reminded me of many hotels at airports that I had given presentations at in the past. Because of the “baggage” from my previous life, I was determined to maintain constant awareness of how I was “showing-up” over the weekend – to be in the moment as much as possible – and not live in the past. I have noticed that self-observation is something of a light bulb. Once you flip the switch, the room is illuminated and you begin to see that which was always there, just waiting for you to pay attention.

Somehow, unbeknownst to me, the subtle adjustment to “Being” enabled a significant shift in my ability to manifest. Perhaps living in the moment, without expectation but with intent is the key. Consider the Law of Attraction which states that an intention, once set, forms the outcome.  Davidji of the Chopra center teaches us to ask the questions – live the answers. Similarly, setting the intention allows the universe to deliver the desired results. My intention for the weekend was to grow – and grow I did. As is often the case, the result was not what I expected or “wanted” but more a divine interpretation of what I actually “needed.”

In my previous life, I flew over one million hectic, rushed, miserable miles; so the plan this time around was to simply enjoy the experience. This weekend, I flew out and back from Pittsburgh to Newark in what is best described as a crop duster, skillfully handled by Snoopy, my dog faced pilot complete with scarf, no doubt looking for the red baron. Needless to say, the experience was very interesting and extremely noisy.  The last time I flew into Newark was on a 747 from Japan in First class. This trip was the polar opposite.  And yet, the difference did not disturb me, in fact it was entertaining. Occurrences that might once have been negative and frustrating simply no longer mattered.

I have found that I am now comfortable with myself. I expect my needs to be met and therefore they are.  No, the seats did not increase in size, nor did everything go perfectly. However,  I found a parking space close to the airport, the flight was on time, I got up to Newark easily, and as I walked out to the shuttle to go to the hotel, it stopped and waited for me. Anyone who has traveled to Newark should know that this, in and of itself, was a small miracle. As if once was not enough, when I was leaving on Monday, the shuttle which had just left, again stopped and waited for me to board.

Inevitably, the flight was delayed but as I sat in the terminal watching busy travelers, like ghosts of Geiger’s past, pace back and forth, I relaxed and enjoyed the time with myself.  I was the last one on the plane – in the old days, I had to get in first in case something went wrong.  I sat next to a man at least 50 pounds over weight and rather than feeling aggravation, I simply wished him well and harbored no resentment toward him – and somehow he seemed to shrink.  Going through security, I had the pleasure of a quick x-ray, an experience which in the past would have sent me plummeting down the path of fear and uncertainty.

All the while I watched myself having these experiences, not looking to next week or dwelling on the past but spending each moment truly “in the moment.” The few times I was triggered to past experiences, I was able to see immediately the effect on my attitude, able to witness how awful I felt, not retreat to the past, but accept it, and continue on.  Even when that awful feeling resurfaced, I did not resist.  I chose to accept that something was causing me to feel this way, until I understood enough to release it.

So – you may be asking – what exactly is my point? My point is this – If I can spend five days flying in a crop duster, sleeping in a hotel that bothered my back, and siting all day in chairs that made my whole body ache while remaining consciously in the moment, observing myself living and “being” – and incidentally becoming utterly enchanted by it – well then anyone can. If, of course, they decide with intent and purpose to do so.  The highs and lows were neither high nor low, they were simply different experiences that I was able to enjoy and then carry on.

The key to living Life 3.0 is awareness and being. To achieve the vision of my Core Purpose in life, I needed to be able to live in the moment and just be.  Perhaps this is the same lesson the old priest had already learned and was trying to impart to the wayward teenagers in his charge. Hopefully someday, we can evolve to a mindset where youth can grasp this subtle art. Until then, I hope the priest – and others – keep trying. I know I will. The next time you feel out of control because things did not go your way – take a few minutes to just settle down and observe – first others and then yourself.  Enjoy the experience – it is the only one available to you at any given time.

Transitions

Life 3.0 is our definition for the third phase of life.  According to a book that I am reading on Transitions – called  “Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes” by William Bridges – in the Hindi tradition there were four phases of life.  These phases were referred to by many names, but they consist of :

  • The Student – that period of time from 12 to 24 focused on learning and discovering our role in society – it was a period of probation or training and included an apprenticeship
  • The Householder – the period of time from 24 to 48 – a time of self sacrifice for others in society – a time for raising children
  • The Elder Advisor – also know as Forest Dweller – the period of time from 48 to 72 – a time for reflection and to discover who am I
  • Sannyasin – beyond 72 and is a period of time when one emerges from the forest understanding who I am – a time of wisdom and a time for reflection and preparation for the end of life

Today, we are living longer, and the ages have been pushed back for many of us, but we still yearn for that Forest Dwelling phase of life.  It is curious – in his book, Bridges glosses over this phase and sees it as an extension of the householder phase.  Others, including teachers like Dr. Wayne Dwyer believe differently.  They believe that “A Shift” occurs at some point in the life of an adult and all of a sudden life can not be lived as it was.

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist wrote – ”One can not live in the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in importance in the morning will be of little importance in the evening and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie”

Unfortunately, for many of us in America, we feel stuck in our careers – even though they no longer fit our needs.  Inside of us a fire burns and calls us into the forest.  OnCore Ventures’ Life and Career Review Programs helps individuals, couples and groups to discover life’s purpose and find a way to contribute to society in this very valuable phase of life, that we believe lasts from about 55 to 85.

A Life or Career Review will help who determine if you have shifted and introduce you to the process of Discovery.