Nobody’s Guru

 23316737_1568435839879840_1335567993384597821_nCan we talk about authenticity for a minute?

I feel very fortunate to get to do the work I do. And I put in significant effort to do the part of that work that is mine to do. But I’m no one’s guru.

(Though, I have studied the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, have read a six volume novelization of the Ramayana to my youngest daughter,  and I adore and feel a kinship with Indian mysticism. Of course, if I were going to borrow a word from Sanskrit for what I do, it would be devastra not guru.)

My job is not to save anyone. Or to fix anyone. Or to sit back on my regal cushion and dictate how anyone should live their life in order to reach some final state of bliss from which they never have to return. That is not what I do.

What do I do? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here’s my authentic truth:

Every morning I get up early. (Though I used to stay up late…) I fill the water jar I use with a mix of cool and boiling water poured over the five crystals that live in the bottom of the jar. (Apatite, magnesite, fluorite, azurite, and aquamarine, in case you’re wondering…) I ground into my source. I connect with my guides. And I call to Spirit to join with and work through me. (And because my ancestors were burned at the stake, and starved, and chased out of their homelands, and all our rituals were lost — I humbly borrow from other sources and follow my own guidance for these rites.) I sing over the water during this ceremony, and call in my allies to bless it, and then I drink the inspired elixir. Afterward, I meditate and do yoga or some other movement practice. (Again, borrowing from other sources for this technology.)

I do this everyday to draw in the power, and guidance, and courage to be of service to my people. I do this because I know, even in the smallest endeavors, I do nothing. Whether I am coaching or consulting, or doing emotional body work or shamanic integration — I don’t do one bit of the actual work. The only thing I ever do in any of my practices for supporting others to reach their greatest heights is hold space. I hold space for my clients and I hold space for Spirit. That’s all I am ever doing. Or ever going to do.

That’s my authentic truth.

And authenticity is what it is all about. The space I hold is for my clients to be their true authentic self. When we work together, the process is focused (through whatever means or tools Spirit uses my body to wield) solely on peeling back the layers necessary to reveal the authentic person always already inside each one of them. I am not my clients’ leader, or master, or guru. They are!

I am just a catalyst. A door through which my clients pass on their way to realizing their own truth. A door in a house of Spirit.

My clients are among the most powerful people in the world. I concentrate my efforts on supporting badass (self-identifying) women, femme, and non-binary leaders because I believe we need more fully empowered people in these ranks to lead the world right now. But I also work with some brave (self-identifying) men, too! For all of my clients, in all of our work together, we are digging into, uncovering, and integrating their truth. Their authentic and undaunted self.

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See this amazing human, here? This is one of my clients, Layne. (I asked permission to brag about her…). Over the course of our work together, I have watched Layne become one of the most potent humans I know. Sure, she still has some things that she is improving in her life. (Don’t we all, and if we don’t, what are we doing??) But you know what this woman has that so many people in this world struggle with, or can’t seem to muster — authenticity, of course! Through our work together, Layne has developed her authenticity to such a degree that she can now say what she thinks in any situation, she can act from her own truth regardless of external pressures, and she can honour herself in all her relationships. Our work has put her in touch with her own power, and she regularly checks in with that power when making decisions or taking courageous action. She has become (and continues to hone) her own fully realized self. And she doesn’t need a guru!

But let me stop speaking for her and share with you Layne’s own words: “Nathan has been a fantastic guide and ally through this journey called life.  Over the last five years, he has helped me achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and find the joy of living authentically along the way.  A true gem of a human, I’m ever thankful for the work we do together.” (See that, she called me “a human”…)

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Here’s a little more authenticity for you. I never asked to be a life coach, or an emotional body worker, or a shamanic practitioner. (I actually would happily hermit my days away making art and music and poetry.) But I did ask to be of service to my fellow humans. I did ask to be a tool for Spirit to work through me. I did ask to be courageous in being my Most-Me. And in order to fulfill my end of the bargain, in order for me to put myself in position to hold space for Spirit and to hold space for others who want to become their own Most-Me — I have to talk about what I’m here to do. I have to be brave (af!) to stand up and say, “I’m here to help!.”

So I’m going to do that. I’m going to be in your various feeds, and popping up again and again in your notifications, saying I’m here to help. I’m going to be real, and authentic, but I’m not going to be quiet about it. And if that happens to get in your way, then I would gently suggest that you look at why you’re feeling what you’re feeling about it, and/or that you unfriend me or unsubscribe so that you don’t have to be bothered. Because my people, they don’t need a guru, they need themselves — and I’m not going to let anything (not propriety, or coolness, or anyone else’s resistance to me offering my services to others on social media) stop me from boldly standing up and calling out to those who could use my support in getting there. That’s just one of the ways I hold space for my people (and for Spirit) to do what needs doing.

If this speaks to you… If you want help becoming who you are really meant to be… If you need authentic, inspired, compassionate support, but you don’t need a guru — then may I tenderly invite you to follow up with me? Message me, comment below, send me a telegram. Reach out! Or if you know someone who could use my help, will you share this with them? And, if you feel so called, here’s a link you may use to apply to work with me right now: https://centerforemotionaleducation.as.me/manifesting-my-most-me. I’m here for you.

With love and respect.

Be well.

Working with Our Wounds: Integrating Ancestral, Transgenerational, and Early Life Trauma

I’ve had a lot of folks ask me about this lately — so here’s what a lifetime of experience and over a decade of study has taught me about trauma:
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When we experience something traumatic in life — whether we’re still in the womb, in our adult prime, nurturing our own babies, or in our twilight years — there is a psychological marker inserted into our neural processing. Like a wedge, it interrupts and reshapes everything that goes on around it. This modulation of our neuropsychology stays with us, regardless of years of ignoring and pretending that we are not (have not been and will not be) affected. In many cases, even if we have made numerous attempts to heal, to realign, or to augment the effect(s) of the traumatic experience, the results of such addresses are temporary and maintenance-oriented at best. We may find that we can repeatedly heal the symptoms, without ever touching the wound(s).
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From a Shamanic perspective, trauma is engrained energetically into our very beings, and sometimes even results in a split or loss of one’s soul. All the healing in the world can do nothing more than maintain the health of the left over part(s) of us. We feel some relief, we go on in hope, but pretty soon, because the original source of the imbalance is left untouched, the same old symptoms, or even brand new ones begin to spring from it. Like a splinter that was healed over instead of removed, the wound festers, and no address at the level of the surface of the skin can do anything to fix the deeper issue. In order to heal the symptoms of the trauma we have to go to the source.

One way we do this unconsciously is to repeat patterns of behavior that are either part of the cause(s) or part of the result(s) of the trauma. This is how we unknowingly attempt to heal the source of our suffering. We keep having the same painful relationships. We keep going back to the same unhealthy lifestyles. We keep protecting ourselves even when there is no danger. We keep re-experiencing similar trauma to the original event. All because the epicenter of our pain is calling us back, back, back to the place(s) we were injured so that we can truly heal at the source, back to the trauma that caused the wound(s) in the first place.

But there is another way.

If, with a trusted practitioner, we return to that original source; if we go back to the intersection of the trauma, we have an opportunity awaiting us. Instead of continually healing ourselves of the symptoms superficially associated with the wound, we can delve under the triggers, under the skin rashes, under the lack of confidence, and the slew of bad relationships, and the failure to thrive. We can get at the splinter wedged into the center of our life and pull. it. out.
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That’s what my Emotional Body Integration sessions are all about. I spend about 2 hours helping you get in touch with, find the roots of, and address the original trauma. I help you reintegrate the part(s) of you that the trauma split away. And then you get to finally, finally heal your old wounds, drop your old shields, and experience yourself in a new, whole, and empowered way. Problems and issues you never even associated with the traumatic event fall away. Patterns you’ve been beating your head against forever begin to effortlessly unravel. Old proclivities that you forgot or lost after your trauma, return to you like dear friends. And life takes on an aspect that is lighter, brighter, and more fulfilling.
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I’ve had clients discover how a relatively trivial event they’d almost forgotten from childhood was undermining their ability to launch a new business. And once that wound was addressed, they went on to blast off to huge success in their new endeavors. I’ve helped clients retrieve parts of themselves that they had lost touch with for decades. Suddenly they began making art, or writing, or singing again. With another who was experiencing profound shame over the death of a pet, we discovered the shame was linked to a childhood trauma that was assumed healed already. By addressing that old hurt, we made room for more peace in the current grieving process and brought deeper healing to the original trauma.
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Are you suffering? Have you tried everything else already? Are you ready to be done with self-limiting cycles and painful reproductions of your past? That’s what I’m offering, because I know what it’s like, and I don’t want anyone else to have to keep carrying the weight of their old wounds.
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I’m in such a fortunate place in my life because of how this work has healed me. Over the last decade, I’ve been on a path of deep exploration and restoration and growth. I’d learned so much about protecting and hiding myself during my upbringing, and from the hurt that was passed on to me from those in my family who came before me. I built shields to keep me safe, but which also kept me in, and kept others at bay. I lost my family, my livelihood, and my will to go on. I repeated patterns of unhealthy relationships built on trying to belong, and trying to help others in order to justify my value. I even dragged myself through a series of several horrendous, high-speed car accidents, over and over again, barely (and lucky to be) walking away. All just to (unconsciously) try to heal myself of the wounds I carried.
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Then I started my training (with CTI) to be a Life Coach in 2006, and began to peel back the leathery layers I had grown over my old hurts. I started making a practice of digging into the places I would normally ignore. Then, as part of my work (with my partner Natalie) to create our line of emotional education tools called Feeleez in 2007, and the research and work we’ve gone on to do with parents since, I learned about emotional development, neuro-emotional dynamics, and rewiring neuro-emotional programming.  Finally, about 3 years ago, I entered into an apprenticeship with Shaman, Marge Hulburt, in Missoula. Through her tutelage and tender but powerful skill in healing, I began the simultaneous process of addressing my latent energetic wounds and learning to help others to do the same. These experiences have not only brought profound changes to my life and allowed me to integrate my past trauma, they have also culminated in empowering me to offer this deep healing to others.
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Part of my life purpose is to ease suffering in the world. I’m on a mission to reach as many people haunted by ancestral, transgenerational, and early life trauma as I possibly can. If you know someone struggling with their past pain, or pain handed down to them from their family, will you share this post with them? And if you, yourself, are struggling with your old wounds, may I gently invite you to get in touch with me. I offer a free “Get the Splinter Out” Strategy Session designed to help you get super clear about what you’re dealing with, what you want instead, and what to do about it.
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Please don’t wait for your same old pattern(s) to knock you into the dirt again. Take this chance to do something different today that will change every day that comes after. Message me or check out the FAQs for more information, and/or follow this link to schedule your complimentary consultation now.
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Because you deserve to be your whole self.
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With love and respect.

 

Be well.

Purpose

Patience masters resolve:
From under the wheels of time,
she pulls a carbon miracle:
Right there
in front of God and Everyone:
Unfailing the wrinkle(s)
of her circumstances;
Biding moments;
Bracing and braving
her tender fortitude.
And then comes the day:
Then comes the instant:
Then comes the action
that she can’t take back:
The leap off the edge
of comfort:
The thing we sometimes call
the opening…

One unfurled,
the bees will have their way
with her;
The season will undo her;
The wind and rain and sun
will all gang up
to destroy her:
But that is not her concern.
She only lives
to courage her bloom through
the opening:
She only lives
to be her true
unbridled self.

Kinda like you and me,
I guess:

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Today, You are a New You

What are you bringing into your life today? What are you drawing toward you with your focus, intention, and emotional state? What are you creating in your immediate future?

Everyday, we are building our stories. Everyday, we are attracting and manifesting the things we focus on, and intend, and feel. Everyday, whether we want to or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we make an effort to do so or let it happen passively, we are creating our lives.

The present we are experiencing today is the result of what we have been making up to this point. Everything you see in your world is the result of your focus and intention in all the days before now. Most likely you have (as most of us) spent the majority of your life in ignorance of this fact, and therefore, have witnessed a lot of your life with wonder and confusion, not realizing from where it has all come.

But today?  Today you know what you are bringing toward you. (And if not, then I am here to tell you.) Today you are being given the opportunity to focus on, intend, and delight in realizing the life you know is right for you.

It exists already inside you. You feel it and know it as if it were your own hand. You always have.

You’ve just been too afraid to believe it.You’ve just been duped by the naysayers preaching into your ear since you were born. You’ve just been deceived about who and what you are, and what you are capable of doing, and how life works. You’ve been lied to. And now, today, you are in the right place and time to say, “No more lies.”

You can be who you are now. You can do what you dream now. You can have your life now. You simply have to believe it. And know it. And feel it in your bones that you are your most magnificent you. You are the creator of your life.

When you believe that – as a beyond-any-shadow-of-a-doubt belief – then, and only then, will you begin to see it. Look where you are and realize that it is all the result of what you have believed until now. And recognize that if you want to see something different, you will have to change what you believe.

Today is when you begin to believe in what you will see next. SO get busy, you’ve got some focussing, and intending, and feeling good about your life that you’ve got to get to. Your time is now!

Be well.

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Want help changing the beliefs that inform what you’re seeing in your life? Get in touch  with me to set up your complimentary strategy session today!

Who Controls YOU?

Are you a puppet? No offense, but seriously, is someone controlling you? Is someone conjuring your life and making you play along? Is someone else writing you in as the unwitting character of your own story?

Well, I’m hoping that by the last one of those questions, you were shouting a resounding, “Noooo!” But put more subtly, I wonder if you might find yourself frighteningly less disagreeable. What I mean is, you may be willing to resist being called a puppet, or being outright controlled by another, but are you giving away your power in other less obvious situations?

Here’s a good way to check – answer these few questions:

  • How did your life get the way it is?
  • How did you get to be the way you are?
  • How did you arrive at your current financial state?
  • If things aren’t the way you’d like, how do/will they change?

If you responded to any of the above questions with any answer other than, “By my choice and intention” or a variation thereof, then you are giving away your power.

How, and to what degree, we take responsibility for our lives and what is showing up in them right now, are fantastic indicators of how much power we currently have. If we are aware that we are responsible for everything, then we are already more powerful. If we own that responsibility and make it our motivation – well then, our power becomes immeasurable.

A place to begin taking more responsibility in your life is by refusing to ever play the victim again.

I don’t mean become a bully, take self-defense classes, or increase your vibrato in adversarial scenarios. I mean stop blaming anyone else for anything that happens to you. Stop saying that the universe doesn’t want you to have something. Stop saying that you “can’t” because of someone else. Stop pointing the finger at coworkers, bosses, spouse, lovers, friends, kids, or strangers. Don’t let them have that power over you.

Take that power back! Own every aspect of your creation. Delight in the surprises that you have made for yourself. Revel in the opportunities for growth, and exploration, and change. Savor the many chances to bite the dust on your own volition, by virtue of your own power, and at the end of your own choices.

Sounds hard, but you begin with one choice. Make the one choice to own your power. And then, just don’t stop using your ability to chose, recognizing that your life is all your choice.

Be well, powerful choosers.

Whatcha-Whatcha Whatcha-Want?!

Got any idea what you want for your life? Or what you want in your life? Or from it?

Well, although it would be more convenient for the present discussion if you said, “No… I don’t know what I want at all…”, the fact is nearly everyone has at least an inkling. It’s the urge that calls to us from the corners of our thoughts and feelings. It’s the intangible drive that pushes us toward some things and away from others. Our secret, or at least unspoken, desires influence our decisions every step of the way through every interaction of every day, and often without our ever knowing it.

And that’s the sticking point, isn’t it? Most of us are all too regularly motivated by subsurface wishes that remain hidden from us, even as they alter the course of our lives.

Think that can’t happen to you? Well, just take a moment to remember all the times you’ve given in to one of your favorite foods or vices, even after you were making a sincere effort to resist. That’s the power of “less-conscious” wants in our lives.

My point here is not to make you feel guilty or powerless. We are all motivated by “unseen hands”. Our power lies in rending the veil. Like the pivotal moment in The Wizard of Oz, we must tear away the shroud of “the man behind the curtain” and expose his mechanizations for what they are in order to be free.

So what’s behind your own curtains? Whatchu got in there?! What are your secret desires? What do you want?

The flip side of this discussion is, of course, that the best way to get what you want in your life is to know that you want it – to claim it, to celebrate it, and to move toward it with conviction. The more time you spend discovering your self and your self’s agenda, the more power you bring to both, the more crystalline your identity will be, and the more realized you will become. When given proper attention and focus, the things we want in life transform from a list of hopeful ideas into the resonant creation of the life they represent. And although it contradicts modern “conventional wisdom” – if we give power to the things we want, and know that we can bring them into fruition by virtue of our intention, attention, and extension of effort, then rather than a bane to poison our happiness, our wants simply become signs of what lies in store for us.

And that’s the moral of this particular story. The universe is a generous, abundant place, containing and offering all that we might ever need or desire. It has always provided for us, filling our bodies with energy, replacing our atoms with care and compassion, adjusting it’s every move to assist us. Simply by virtue of our wanting something, the universe responds and conspires with us to make it manifest. It has been doing this since the beginning of time, and continues moment by moment everyday, working with us to create.

May I encourage you to pull out your master list of secret desires, clear out the attic of your wishes, and make a claim for all that you want for, in, and from your life. Write it down, make it into a song, draw a picture, or carve a sculpture – but make it plain and tangible. Let the edifice remind you of the thing you’re manifesting, and empower you to move yourself in collusion with the universe to create the life of which you dream. It’s yours – but only if you want it.

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Be well, my fellow future-makers.

Sh¡ne!

Here’s a recent post from my DreamCatching project (which has been consuming pretty much all of my non-coaching time!). I thought it would be appropriate for readers here as well. Enjoy!

28 DAYS at the BRINK!

mandelaToday’s theme is Sh¡ne and for me it is the quintessential take-home message of all of the coaching sessions I’ve done, and all the interactions with gallery visitors that I’ve had since I’ve been in the space. So many of us are coming to terms with, recognizing the desire to be, and leaping bravely into freeing our most-self. We’re coming out of hiding, turning off our invisibility powers, opening our chests fully and bravely, and radiating who we are out to all the wide world. And the resounding response is “Welcome! So good to see YOU.”

Shine1So may I encourage you to get in on it while you can, to catch the fever, to do yourself and the rest of us a favor and let out your Most-Me. We need it! And maybe everyone won’t, but most of us, and surely the ones that matter, will absolutely love you for it. Be…

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Corollaries

In the last post, I started explaining the concept of Blind Faithº — the bedrock belief that everything everything is working out for our highest possible good(s).

 And though I think I gave a pretty good answer to this question already, I can still imagine someone wondering: “WHY?”

Because I have other plans for this post, I don’t want to spend much more time on that at present, but I will give the following three assertions in response:

  • First, I happen to believe, as I mentioned already, that we all live and die, perceive and ignore, experience and avoid the entire world of life based almost solely on what we believe about it. The perspective we hold on life is the essence of what we live and experience.
  • I also happen to believe that we are all connected — that is, absolutely and utterly interlaced and continuous — All is One, as they say. From our mingling atoms, to the energy connecting us and the empathy we share with everyone, we are as indivisible from stars as we are from each other. That is, we are all vital parts of the same thing.
  • Finally, I also believe that the whole thing of which we are all parts cannot, truly speaking, ever do itself harm. There is no source of suffering in the universe, there is only a source of benevolent abundance, and our willingness to allow it in our lives or not.

I can’t say for certain if these beliefs are antecedents or offspring of my Blind Faith in the process of existence. On the one hand, they feed into and make possible this bedrock reliance on our safe growth and development. Knowing that belief creates experience, knowing that my belief and experience have told me that everything is part of the same thing, and knowing that there’s no reason to believe that the universe would need or want or even be able to harm itself — does, in fact, make it easier to believe that everything is working out for all of our highest possible good(s). On the other hand, Blind Faith is all that underpins that knowing. I just believe those assertions to be true. And further, it is my trust in the continual evolving of our potentials in particular that guides me to believe the above assertions to be true.

It’s rather like a hot air balloon. You wouldn’t say that it’s the air alone, or the heat alone, or the silk alone, or the stitching alone, or the tie-lines alone that make it fly. They all have to be there working together. The air is held by the  stitched silk, the silk balloon is held to the frame for the flame and the basket for the pilot by the tie lines — the flame heats the air up so that it swells in the balloon, which lifts against the tie-lines, which pulls the rigging upward with the balloon, which means the flame stays with the balloon and heats the air, etc. etc.. Who can tell which one comes first or is the most important when you’re soaring through the sky?

Put all together, my philosophical hot air balloon works something like this:

I hold that the overriding principle in all of my experience of life is that everything is infinitely interwoven, part of the same universal thing; and that this entirety is benevolent to itself, and has orchestrated all of its parts so that everything is working together for the furtherest possible development of everything that is, toward our highest and most evolved well-being; and when we allow ourselves to hold that belief long enough to habitualize it into our default perspective, then we perceive nothing but the continual joyful unfolding of our potential.

The bottom line for the moment is — it’s worthwhile to hold the perspective “that everything always works out for me”, in part, just because it conditions us to see that happening in our lives. The more often we remind ourselves that it’s all going perfectly, the more regularly we will experience just that. The more consistently we consider our experiences to be good for us, the more good experiences we get to have!

In terms of action, you might be asking, “Once I get my Blind Faith up and running — what do I do?” How do you turn Blind Faith into the job you want, or the relationship you want, or the lifestyle you want? And I would certainly be remiss if I left you, as I unfortunately did my friend (in the conversation I described in the previous post) without any further explanation.

Here’s some actions that happen for me while I am living the life of Blind Faith:

  • For starters and foremost-ers — I give a lot of gratitude. I’m giving thanks for the many blessings of life every single day. When something goes “wrong”, I give thanks for the right. When something goes “worse”, I appreciate that it’s as good as it is. Even when I am at my lowest, I am giving thanks for what I must be gathering from it. That energy of being thankful for what is unfolding is both the means and the end of living a fulfilled life.
  • Another thing I do a lot is look for the good that is coming. I look for proof of the good that’s already in my life. I make note of the ease I am having. I count my blessings. I expect that the asshole who cut me off in traffic, that made me miss the exit off the freeway, and that made me too late for my important appointment has actually done me a favor, and as soon as I come to my senses I will realize what that is. I know it’s all working out, so I am anticipating how that will occur, and I am ready when the moment comes to jump — which usually means I make all of the appointments I am supposed to make with no trouble at all.
  • In addition to looking for the proof that life is working out well for me (and thereby self-justifying my faith), I am also on the lookout for how well life is working for other people. I’m giving thanks for other people’s successes and achievements and wisdom and abundance. I’m counting the blessings I see in other’s lives as we meet in passing. I’ve even been thankful for the jokey signs of certain panhandlers…
  • Another practice in which I regularly engage is relaxing. I take a pause from all activity, and just breathe deeply and fully. Even if it is just mere moments at a time, I get clear and centered and light, and I lean into the extremely calming notion that everything everything is working out perfectly for me. It’s an excellent respite from thinking and doing stuff all the time, but much more importantly, this is a vital practice because it is re-programming my subconscious. This is a simple but effective form of self-hypnosis — little daily increments of getting the largest, most powerful part of my brain on board with remembering and helping me act as if everything is proceeding as it should (which, of course, is how I want me to act!).
  • I also practice having fun. I grew up thinking everything had to be for some purpose. “You have to be doing something meaningful with your time or you’re wasting it.” Even something as simple and personal as making art had to have some higher purpose. I have, since, come to realize that the only real purpose — for anything and everything — is because it feels good and right. We may not be able to make laws or run a society based on it, but every person as the master and law of him/herself must abide by it or perish. We must and can only do what feels good and right to each of us. Having fun feels good for me, and more importantly, it’s proving my faith to the everything. Again, it is both the means and the end in itself.
  • Another vital practice is nurturing the inevitable manifestations of the life I want and the good coming to me. I make room for the things I am welcoming. I make preparations for the fruition of my plans. I look for the things I am being offered to do in order to allow what I want to come. I act in order to express my belief — I pick up my shovel so that my faith can move the mountain.

When we act, it is important to remember that we have to have our minds ahead of us, or no matter what action(s) we take we will be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. As Buddha supposedly said (and someone wrote down in the Dharmapada), “with our thoughts we make the world” — our hands just move it around. When our minds are working with us, expecting good things, looking for more things for which to be grateful, receiving the experience of life in faith that all is and will be well — then even the smallest action has the weight of an epic triumph. Or as Jesus reportedly pointed out — your “faith alone” is enough to move the mountain; if you have that, then all you have to do is “tell the mountain to throw itself in the sea and it will be done” (Matthew 21:21).

So get out there. Be full of Blind Faithº. And enjoy yourself — it’s all going to be just lovely.

Be well.

º the unshakeable definition of all things, circumstances, and events as positive agents in our becoming.