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Evolution

How are your evolving?

Evolution not revolution

I am a member of a generation that wanted to rebel against the establishment and then we became the establishment.  The Beatles got it and sang about us being a group that did not want to really rebel, when they sang “Revolution” in the watershed year of 1968.  For those of you too young to remember 1968, it started with the Tet offensive, which was followed by Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to run for president, the assassination of Martin Luther King in April, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in June, the riots in Chicago during the Democratic national convention, in November Richard Nixon was elected President of the US as the “Peace” candidate, and the year ended with three US astronauts orbiting the moon, reading from the Gospel of John on Christmas.

As a generation, we declared that we (males) were like Peter Pan and would never grow up and would never sell out to the establishment.   As the draft ended and we had families, we realized that we had sold out.  Now, as we “retire” from the establishment jobs and roles that we enjoyed, we have an opportunity for reflection.  As they enter this phase of life, I suspect many boomers wake up and realize that whether they planned for it or not, they are for all intents and purposes retired from the establishment.  For me it has been in the fall of my sixty-sixth year.

I was reading a blog last week from Harvard business review.  It was a post from an executive coach talking about his work with executives who are planning for a new retirement.  This is the area of practice that I created my coaching practice around when I was a young whipper snapper of sixty-two.  Then, I looked at it as a business.  Today it is a “retirement” business which is more like a practice.  I have to run it as a business, but it is not conducted by the same rules.  There are different driving forces at play.

Frankly, looking at the lyrics to the aforementioned song – I now find I finally have “the plan” and it is all about evolution.  To evolve you must give some stuff up and you must add other stuff in.  The challenge is to determine what you want to add in and what you want to take out – how are you evolving?

What are you evolving from?

Life Coaching in Pittsburgh helping others find their path to evolutionary masculine behaviorFor me, “The plan” is all about giving back.  Helping people figure out their stuff.  It defies positioning from a marketing perspective.  And it defies being run as a business.  I think some examples of the things that I have decided not to do are in order.

I am not much longer going to continue with casual business networking, despite it providing me most of my clients for the last four years.  I am no longer engaged in it the way that others are.  I have evolved to the point where I can see that I have a core group of referral partners that I know, like, and trust.  They remain a core part of my support mechanism.

I am no longer actively seeking clients who are young people wanting to grow long-term, sustainable businesses.  I love the ones that I am still working with and I might work with a few more, but it is not going to be my core focus.  To be true to myself, I need to focus on the evolving needs of today’s boomers as they hit “retirement”.  The 65 of our youth is now more like 85.  When we were born at the middle of the last century, conventional wisdom was that at about 65 people were close to death.  Today that is much more like 85.

I am not going to see clients in my home office, especially since I am selling it to move to a more maintenance-free home.  I will see them in a shared office facility, in coffee shops, their offices, restaurants, or, during the summer, in parks or along walking trails.  Steve Jobs used to have walking meetings.  I will also use Skype and FaceTime.

I am also changing my focus.  I want to work with men in their fifties and sixties who want to design a life in which they are not controlled by an ever enlarging prostate gland, fearing ED, and living in the past, but are rather active, flexible, centered, content and wise.  And I want to work with women in that age group who want a new relationship with their male friends devoid of the opposites of the first half of life and focused on their commonalities with a less gender-biased reality which defines the second half of life.  A retirement-era life in which our differences are replaced by a new harmony and coherence.  And you know what – both men and women are going to have to change their approach to one another and get over the pain from the first half of life in order to co-create a better way of living in the afternoon of their days.

What are you evolving to?

We have such potential in the afternoon of life.  If we can find purpose and meaning, it is likely many of us can and will live Evolving to our true nature involves embracing the core energies inside each of us.active lives until we are at least 85.  But the things that mattered in earlier days are gone.  Men, particularly, need to find a new way.  A new meaning.  A new authenticity.  We are not as strong, we can no longer make love four times a night, throw a fastball, dunk a basketball, hike into the woods with massive amounts of camera gear on our backs and hundreds of other things.  In saying this in no way am I saying that women do not have a similar challenge, but I see too many men sitting on lawn chairs at North Park in the summer and complaining about having nothing to do as they slip into a meaningless life.  They need to find a new way of “manning up”.

As men, we have things we never imagined we would have earlier times.  We have wisdom, even if looking for “masculine wisdom” produces an error in SEO tools since it is not searched for. We have experience.  We have patience.  We have humility.  We need to create a world in which masculine wisdom is not a contradiction in terms – we need to be evolving to that.

My practice focus is for men and women who are wisdom weavers.  People that want to weave together an integrated wisdom based on masculine and feminine energies.

To do this, my “retirement project” is to launch a new website and web community using  an integrated technology from Rainmaker.  It will include educational materials, podcasts, media, imagery, writings and forums dedicated to helping people weave wisdom together in an integrated, integral fashion.  It will also offer various life coaches an opportunity to participate in at least six areas:

  • Careers
  • Relationships
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Mindfulness
  • Community and support

What about you?

Want to help change the world and chart your evolutionary path?  Please plan on sharing your story with us by participating in a new series beginning in January on reclaiming your authentic self in the second half of life.  We will be discussing this series during a live webinar on December 2 at 7 – 8 PM EST.  To register for this free event please click on join us below.shutterstock_114969346

Image Credits – Shutterstock

simplify - decluttering

Simplify

How did we get all this stuff?

As we age, there seems to be less attachment to possessions, or the need for possessions.  In the first half of life, I was consumed by being a consumer.  I had to have the latest “stuff”.  Even when I turned fifty, the entry point the afternoon of life, and we moved into a smaller condo during a relocation, the deal I made with my wife is that I could buy any electronics items that I wanted.  And I did.  We had gadgets everywhere.

When we moved to Pittsburgh ten years ago, we bought a four bedroom home for the two of us mostly to hold all of the stuff that we had bought in. Our sizable condo that we were moving out of was filled with books, electronics, photography gear and the matting tables and printers to support my professional fine art photography experiment.  But then we added even more to fill the deck with outdoor furniture and build out my home office as I launched my coaching practice. I was attracted to the idea of seeing clients in my office on the lower level of the house, which I have done for the last two years.  So we had filled up our space with stuff.

Downsizing and the opportunity to declutter life

We are now downsizing.  And like many things in life it came when we hit a tipping point.  Last week in this series I wrote about the knee injury that brought my awareness to the present moment back into focus and the need for mindfulness.  That silence and reflection finally got me in touch with the absurd lifestyle that we are currently living.

So we have decided to downsize, and in order to do that we are in the process of decluttering the house as many people do prior to listing it.  But we are going further than that.

In my research on how to declutter, I found a common theme of advice.  Look at every item you own and ask yourself” is it some thing that I need?”,  If not,  “is it something that brings me pleasure?”. Be honest.   If the answer is yes to both – then – “where am I going to put it in my home”?

Horcruxes in the Muggle World

In the Harry Potter series, J.K Rowling invented the term Horcrux as an object that “he who must be not be named” placed a part of his soul in.  I the series Tom Riddle – aka – Voldermort had placed his soul in six objects and in two other persons and he would live on until all of the  objects were destroyed.

I have a similar take on the same concept.  We place our energy, our soul in objects that we buy and those objects either enhance our lives or detract from it.  If our soul is partially placed in another person as it is in most marriages – it can be a positive placement or it can be a negative one. In the case of objects, we become burdened by all of the objects that we have sacrificed our soul for over the years.  It is easy to look around and ask myself, “What was I thinking?”.  It turns out – I was not thinking.  Just consuming.

If you now look at these objects and ask yourself if it is making your life better, really better. Then keep it.  But if it is making it worse, get rid of it.  What part of your soul have you given up to buy it and will releasing it heal your soul? Can you be grateful for it and then pass it on to someone who might be able to use it?

As I sit in this office, I am looking across the room at two clocks, a fountain that does not work, a Papago Indian basket with coasters in it, a cute sign that says “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” three glass candle pyramids containing oil,  A Samsun flat screen TV (that already is not working well), sound bar, blue ray player, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, three candles and a “peace” plaque – and these are just the items out on the credenza across from my office – the office that will be downsized.

None of them are needed.  One of the clocks was given to me in Utah by an admin that I relied on.  The Peace plaque is a gift from my daughter, the Arc sign was bought  at an arts fair in North Carolina at the outer banks, the TV equipment is an asset owned by my company because I used it for clients and educational material.  In a simple world all of these objects could be given away.  For most people if they move they will keep them and cram them somewhere.

What do you need to do to simplify?

I think that the answer for how to deal with these objects is simple.  The clock form my admin – I can write Regina a note and thank her for her service to me twenty years ago and give the clock away.  The Peace plaque can be moved.  The TV and other electronics gear will probably fit in the office that we will share when we move as it is depreciated now anyway – or move to the office that my business will open next year.  The other stuff is of no real value and is not needed and holds no semimetal value.  We will keep the TV (if it can be fixed) because the TV in my wife’s working office is from the Clinton Administration and weighs three hundred pounds being one of the first HD TVs in 2000 – but it still works..

How do you simplify?

I do not think that we need to declutter as a political statement.  Or forced minimalism. I am a capitalist and I believe that people should be allowed to buy and consume whatever they want and I do not think we are going to save the planet by not being consumers.  We have bigger problems than “American style consumption” with the planet, and frankly I think we might be too far along the path to mass extinction for this planet in this isolated spot in one of many universes.  I am more concerned with our individual and collective spiritual journey’s of our timeless existence.

What are we supposed to be learning right now, right here?  How are we, as “conscious components of the universe” expanding our awareness? The baby boomers era of conspicuous consumption is ending just as the Millennials who supposedly shunned it are beginning to embrace it in their own unique ways.

The survival of the planet is a much bigger question. As boomers in the afternoon and early evening of life, we need to declutter so we can experience life in such a way that we are expanding our consciousness and awareness and not escaping from being in contact with the people around us.  I think that is what Thoreau meant when he penned, “simplify, simplify, simplify”.  Perhaps then we can give some of our wisdom back to the planet an help others grow and solve our many problems.

What do you do first?

So what do you need to do?  The best advice I encountered is to take all of the objects from a room and put them out so they are visible and go through them.  What can we give away? What can we sell? What do we want to keep and where are we going to put it?

Then deal with it – right here, right now. Photograph the objects you are going to sell and list them on Craig’s list, eBay or somewhere else you like.  Put the items for donation together list them out for tax purposes and take them to your favorite charity.  Put the things you are keeping away with a new found respect and gratitude for the items that made the cut. Some items that are moving to another room might need to be moved temporarily to that room until you do this  for every room in the house.

We will start the process this week for the room in our house that is going away – our utility room.  Over the next eight weeks until we list the house in January, we will do the same until we have the first pass of the entire house done.  As we pack for the move into the new home, I am sure that we will encounter additional opportunities.

Of course if you are not moving yet, you can still enter the new year clutter free in your existing home and it will refocus your whole approach to the holidays form what am I going to get to what can I give away and free myself of the responsibility of ownership.

What about you, what do you have to simplify?  I plan on coming back to this theme as we live through this “simplify” process and experience the gratitude and holiday seasons that we are entering.  Hopefully we can simplify that as well.

 

Paradox of wisdom, working and mindfulness

The afternoon of life

The paradox of the afternoon of life is that just as we may feel we are finally hitting our stride – if we do not take a siesta, we risk burning out – never making it to the evening of life. I have found myself looking at living according to the rules of the first half of life and one point, even said that it is better to burn out than rust. The reality is that mind-set almost certainly leads to death; sooner rather than later.

Mindfulness – the key

The key for living in the afternoon of life is mindfulness. The consequences of not being mindful at any point in life takes a toll, but as we age it manifests increasingly in the physical being.

A perfect example of this phenomena occurred recently, serving as a good reminder to me of lessons I thought I’d mastered. Life is nothing is not a persistent teacher! Recently I’ve been very close to burn out and decided to take a much needed vacation. Shortly into the week, I was already feeling better, but true to my somewhat controlling nature, I was frantically counting steps to get back into shape so that I could better cope with the stress that I had put myself under. Yes you read that right – I was trying to control my relaxation in order to better or more quickly bring myself back to equilibrium so that I could intentionally continue to pile on more stress. A bit of a nasty cycle now that I think about it…

In the evening, my type A personality was still in control, when I tripped over an ill designed corner fireplace corner (really not sure what the architects were thinking but perhaps I should thank them?) and landed on my knees. My already compromised left knee took the brunt of the fall and I immediately knew I had severely injured it. It would set the tone for the rest of the vacation, and in fact the rest of my life.

When I started my coaching practice three years ago, I was determined to help people lead the life they wanted to live in the afternoon of life. In launching that practice, however, I used the approach that worked for people in the second stage of life, what the Hindi’s called the “householder phase”. Both Carl Jung and Gail Sheehy, the author of the book “New Passages”, have asserted that in this phase males and females are the most drawn to overly masculine or overly feminine stereotypes of behavior. While the feminist movement allowed many women to tune out this meme, most if not all men my age clearly did tune into the provider meme. The cause of this stereotypical behavior is the biological imperative to procreate so that the species survives. Whether that works out for the species in the long run is still open to debate.

I tried falling back to householder phase. And it simply does not fit.

The Hindi culture also points to the next phase which is the forest dweller phase, a time of detachment from the world. This detachment is the foundation of effective mindfulness practices. As we age, both genders cross back to the middle of the spectrum, in fact crossing over for men to slightly more feminine energy and vice versa for women who shift towards more masculine energy. Essentially, men become more nurturing and women more independent as they hit their late fifties.

I had been trying to balance my masculine outreach energy during the day with the compulsion to fit in more nurturing activities in the evening . This resulted in something many young women experience today when attempting to “have it all”. Simply put – I burnt out by trying to do too muc. This balancing was by doing more instead of being more.  The “balancing” itself was really overusing masculine energy instead of integrating more rootedness.

As I recovered by resting, I downloaded the book – “New Passages”. I read the original book when I went through my thirties crisis shortly after it was published in 1976. It helped me perceive that my angst at the time was a normal passage. The new book was written in the nineties and I am surprised that I did not find it when researching how people shift in the second half of life because Gail identified that well before Wayne Dwyer and the authors of Quantum Change did in this century.

At this point, all I have re-identified is that I now know the questions to ask. This Monday blog series – Siesta – focuses on living in the afternoon of life by including mindfulness practices. What does it mean for men especially to embrace feminine wisdom and energy and live in harmony with it. This is not a new script for a Transparent type TV show. While gender fluidity is becoming the norm today, this particular exploration is not about clothing or dramatic behavior. It is about how does a sixty or seventy something male live a life of significance without burning out, coping out or dropping out, And how can we have fun doing it? It is the questions we need to ask ourselves.

If you are a guy who has turned sixty, how are you dealing with finding a reason to get up in the morning each day, now that we are living in a time for men where for the most part, the thrill of being a male is gone? If you’re a woman experiencing the shift of focus from nurturing to “doing” – how does that impact your sense of identity? Regardless of your gender – have you noticed these changes in your partner? How has it affected your relationship balance?

We would love to know your story.

Seven Levels of Consciousness

Today there is a movement towards conscious capitalism. Many are benefiting from this movement, including onCore Ventures, but what is consciousness? According to the Oxford Dictionary: consciousness is “The state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.” My training in the art and science of coaching has taught me that the filters through which we view the world colors our awareness; and therefore our consciousness; as depicted on the following chart:

shutterstock_118660210-[Converted]

iPEC teaches that there are seven levels of consciousness and each level has three properties associated with it. iPEC breaks these seven levels into unconsciousness, awareness and consciousness. I find these confusing and believe they are all, in fact, levels of consciousness, to the point that I have created my own chart. I have intentionally put the higher levels of consciousness on the bottom, because there are advantages in each level.  In fact when Deepak Chopra teaches this concept he uses the term “earlier” levels of consciousness as opposed to “lower” levels.

20140727-shutterstock_155804528The lowest level, level one, in this hierarchy is Victim consciousness. It is characterized by the primary mindset of “I lose.” People with their primary energy level in this sphere often say things like “I could never do that,” and usually this strategy works just fine because someone else does “it” for them. I grew up with a father that had a lot of this energy and his life was controlled by it. Corporate America is filled with such victims.  In fact, many traditional companies intentionally tie the hands of their associates to the point where for many, this the “normal” way of showing up.

 

20140727-shutterstock_117223333The next level up is level two, Conflict consciousness. It is characterized by “You lose” as the primary thought pattern. Life is great for people primarily stuck in level two energy in companies or relationships with other people with a lot of level one energy. Both parties are equally miserable and comfortable with it.  But often times it seems like working in environments like these brings out the worst in most people and they are consistently wrestling with one another.

The downside to these levels – even if they work for you – is that you are under constant stress. This means your body is releasing cortisol, which does great things if you are running or fighting, but not so great things if you are just sitting there seething in a meeting or an argument. Cortisol shuts down your prefrontal cortex, insuring that you are pretty much unconscious of higher order thinking along with body basics such as digestion, excretion, blood flow to the extremities, and many other undesirable things.

As we become aware of our surroundings more, we begin to regain control and use of our prefrontal cortex, along with circulation to our nose and hands, we move into level three of consciousness which is Responsibility. This is where we take responsibility for our lives and begin to think in terms of “I win.” This is both good and bad because we are indifferent to how the other person is doing in our interaction, but it is, at least, good for us. We find it easier to forgive people and we begin to cooperate with others.

Further up the scale, level four, is Compassion consciousness – in which we now are focused on “You win”. In this level, we show up in service to others. An organization that I belong to for networking, BNI, has created a whole culture on this level of consciousness. The BNI motto is “Givers gain.” Great things can happen with this level of energy, however if we are unaware of our own needs and therefore fail to get what we want, we can easily descend into level one victim consciousness. The thinking goes something like this “If only I did more to save Charley, he would not have hung himself on the chandelier.” Ridiculous when you look at it on paper, and yet so many of us fall into this trap.

20140728-shutterstock_137478323Level five consciousness is Reconciliation. This is not a reconciling with God per say, but with the notion that we are all one. We can either win or fail, and both are just fine. There is tremendous acceptance of ourselves and others at this level. Great things can happen here. iPEC calls these three levels the awareness levels because we have to consciously decide to act. In these levels things happen for and because of us, not simply “to” us. This means our egos are in check and we are operating in a cooperative fashion with others. But as Voltaire and Uncle Ben (Stan Lee) teach us, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We must be ever diligent to our awareness in order to be successful. People with a lot of level five energy, (which is where I operated while in the corporate world) will descend, often rapidly, into level two conflict when stressed. If we both can’t win, then your gonna lose!

The two upper levels of consciousness do not require as much awareness on our part, in fact our ego really is a bystander to the process. In level six consciousness Synthesis takes place from a state of wisdom. This means that there is still some effort on our part to make things happen, but we are relying on our deep understanding of others and of life and our field of work to create.

At level seven, there is no effort needed and we exist in a place of Non-Judgement. This is not simply non-judgement of others’ actions but also of ourselves, and the universe at large. There is no “bad” or “good”. There is simply “is”. This is where true and effortless creation happens. This is the law of attraction and the power of intention in action. I believe it has to be in an area of our passion for life itself for it to happen. The header image featured above is an example of my photography in which I was absolutely passionate about my craft and the image simply appeared to me. It was precisely what I was searching for and yet, in level seven, we no longer need to actively search.

As a photographer, I like to think of these seven levels of consciousness as different lenses through which to view the world. The lower or earlier levels are primitive lenses and may distort the image, while the upper levels are like modern superb lenses with image stabilization and automatic correction of aberration and distortion. You can choose whichever lens or filter best suits the task at hand.

The ideas around these levels of consciousness were developed by Bruce Schneider the founder of iPEC and a master coach and therapist. They mirror the levels that were first reported by David Hawkins, PHD, MD in Power versus Force. Bruce developed an assessment to create a reading of levels, while David uses muscle testing to do the same thing. I am trained in both methods and use them in my coaching practice.

How about you? Have you experienced the higher levels of consciousness? Do you struggle with low level energy?

Image Credits: Header image – Frederick Geiger, all others – Shutterstock.

Multi Level Marketing

Multi-level Marketing as an onCOREventure

Lately, I have begun to work more closely with Multi-Level marketing (MLM) people through my membership in BNI. I have to admit, I have previously held a negative bias about MLM.  This perspective is rooted in an experience with one MLM in particular which directly affected a friendship. These friends unfortunately “drank the Kool Aide” and started pushing their conversion story to how they, and of course we by extension, could become wealthy beyond belief. At the time, I attributed this change in demeanor to the MLM scheme, but I’ve come to realize that it was my friend’s specific behavior to which I was reacting, not the MLM theory in general. Understanding this difference has removed the bad taste I once held for what can be a very profitable business tool.

For people in the second half of life, who are looking for an interesting way to spend their time and are passionate about something that could be woven into an MLM business, this type of structure is ideal. Many folks are often already set up for success in these types of ventures as they typically already have a network of friends and business associates from which to draw participation. Additionally, this network often shares similar core values and interests that play well with the MLM company marketing strategy for the products in which they are interested., If this sounds like you – then a company built around MLM is well worth considering.

Recently I watched a video in which the distributor of an MLM’s products discussed how people working for corporations are in fact working in a pyramid scheme. If that is true – why do so many people downplay the opportunities for success in the MLM world as nothing more than a pyramid scheme? I think the answer is simple. They have bought into the “American Dream” of working for forty hours a week for forty years in the hopes that this will allow them to retire comfortably at a reasonable age.  The unfortunate truth, which most of us who are well into the second half of life already know, is that the American Dream is really the American Nightmare. Retirement is simply no longer a safe bet for most people in their forties and fifties.

As indicated in my last blog, I have been working my way through a period of reflection and intense business delivery focus over the last six months, and now am operating in a more focused way on my original goals.  I strive to help people create the life that they were born to live, in the second half of life. My philosophy is counter-cultural to the American dream of retirement as being focused on recreation, travel, intrusion into adult children’s lives, and perhaps a part time retirement job befitting of the slow moving, overweight image of the typical American.

My view of retirement rather is one of moving away from the corporate world with its endless struggle to fit in to the mold of the company by keeping your head down and your mouth shut. I believe we need to “fit out” (be individuals-not drones) by keeping our heads up and truly listening to what other people need …and by trying to help them if we can.  I believe that our network of friends and family is the real measure of our net worth. We need the support of others, and the best way of getting to this is by investing in relationships before you need to cash them in.

So, if you are interested in promoting things like weight loss challenges and products that provide alternative paths to healing and beauty, such as natural cosmetics, or if you are drawn to nutrition products or handmade jewelry, etc., there are many MLM companies out there. If you are passionate about one, or more, of them, check them out. There is a list on Wikipedia that can get you started.

As a member in a BNI chapter and a professional coach, I work with many people in MLM. I’ve learned that there are different personas and core values that are very successful with the structure and processes for each company. If you wonder whether you have the core values and skills necessary to be successful in an MLM environment, we offer an assessment which will help you understand how you personally would do best in approaching a network marketing system in order to be successful. Check out your results here.

Leveraging these results, we will then have a short conversation which will give you either the confidence to go forward with a network marketing company, or perhaps the incentive to look at something else. I have found that the core energies you use to figure out if something is a good fit are often times the exact energies that stop you from implementing the processes that the MLM company wants you to pursue in order to be successful. This can be tricky to navigate and we are here to help you with this process.

Multi-Level Marketing is not for everyone, but many people earn thousands of dollars a month in this fashion. Many more, unfortunately, earn nothing. Understanding what you want, and at your core who you are, can make the all the difference.
How about you?  Are you interested in Multi-Level Marketing? Do you feel your interests, core values, and capabilities are in line with MLM principles? We’d love to hear your MLM story or work with you to take the next step in discovering your path to success in the second half of life.

You are not broken

Many people are stuck in victim energy or see others as victims – what if we were not broken?  We choose to remain broken, it is a way of being a victim and not needing to take responsibility for ourselves.  We become our disease.  Oh, I can’t do that – I have cancer. Or we become our limiting belief – I cannot dance, I have two left feet. We can transcend our broken beliefs by channeling the divine through us as was taught by Jesus when he said the kingdom of God is within you. I have been working with John Craig on a new video series. This series of his is an experiment as it is for me.  Working with John has been a gift to me and I hope to produce more work with him in the future.  This first experiment on my part with video has been very enlightening to me.  As photographer I have never liked being in the picture.  This video has allowed me to realize that the potential for this medium is one that I have been ignoring. Enjoy.

 

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.