Letting Go

a fine post by Paige Burkes (see link):

There I am: clenching with my white-knuckled fist, holding on with the grip of death.  I can’t let go.  Everything will fall apart if I let go.  The branch is slipping through my fist, cutting into my skin as I try to hold on even tighter.  I’m scared.  Scared of falling.  What kind of doom will I face?  I….can’t….let….go…….

The branch slipped through my fingers and I was on my own. 

But I didn’t fall.

Instead I was buoyed up into the sky like a helium balloon, zooming upward.

I was flying!

And I was laughing!

This was a dream I had the other night.

Fear Blocks The Flow

While I’ve learned to let go and trust my intuition and the powers of the Universe in so many areas of my life, there’s one area where I’ve continue to struggle.

I’ve finally come to realize that by trying to control, gripping, and holding on so tightly, I’m blocking the flow.  Blocking the great things waiting for me.

It’s time to let go.

Letting go is scary.  Releasing our perceived control is frightening.

But what are we really scared of?  That we can’t dictate the future?  Newsflash: We never could.

Receiving The Signs

I was asking the Universe for signs, messages that could help me to understand what I need to do and feel to shift in this area of my life.  That’s when I received this dream that I remember so vividly (I rarely remember my dreams).

At the same time, for no physical reason, I began to experience intense back pain.  From working with this emotional issue before, I knew it was my monkey mind freaking out because I was demanding change in this area once and for all.

I meditated and focused on the pain in my body.  I spoke to it to better understand what its message was for me.  I spoke softly to it to reassure that crazy monkey that all would be well. 

Just relax and let go.

It took almost a week for my crazed monkey mind to finally release its grip on my back.  And it has taken another week before I could move freely in the ways my body is accustomed.

The Process of Letting Go

Whenever I feel my fears start to well up, I remember my dream and repeat my positive mantra:  There’s always more than enough.  I am good enough to receive the best.

Letting go can be a process with baby steps.  Or it can happen all at once.  It simply depends on what we allow.

My mindful mind wants it to happen all at once because it’s all so silly.  But my monkey mind continues to screech in protest.  As I continue to remind the monkey that change is going to happen whether he likes it or not, he’s quieting down.

I’m letting go.

My mindful mind continues to flash the scene in my dream of me flying higher and higher, laughing the whole way. 

I know it to be true.  And it feels really, really good.

When I release my grip, when I trust in my Higher Self, when I let go and fly, the world changes and magic happens. 

I can’t wait to see what wonders await me.

SHE LET GO …. without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the “right” reasons.  Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask for advice.  She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.

She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of all the planning and all the calculation, about how to do it just right.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.  A smile came over her face.  A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and moon shone forever more.

Written by Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960)


Go West and Do Something with Horses

the great story of Paige Burkes, excerpted from this article (see link):

This is the story of an accountant run amok.

A woman who had her life planned out, mapped out, short-term and long-term goals set, thought she knew exactly what she wanted out of life, and was on the fast track to success in her career.

Then she woke up one morning and said, “What the f**k!?”  And her life changed forever.

The Question

My journey begins as a senior manager at a big public accounting firm in Boston.  I was on a mission to become a partner faster than anyone else ever had.  When it was clear I was about a year away from that, this nagging voice in the back of my head started asking, “Is this all there is to life?” I started to closely examine the lives of the partners I worked for and hoped to hell that I didn’t end up like them.  I wanted so much more.

Around that time I was offered a short-term position as the CFO of a company.  I thought that maybe working on the inside of a company might be different than auditing one so I accepted.  And I could always go back to the big firm when this project was over.

Within a couple of months I was miserable and knew that this wasn’t “it.”

Stepping Into the Unknown

I had made enough of a move to realize that I couldn’t go back to the big firm.  I couldn’t accept mediocrity for the rest of my life.  I had no idea where to go or what to do next, but I knew I couldn’t go back to where I came from.  It was just too painful.

This was the beginning of a huge shift in my life from being the incredibly organized, planned, and thought-out person to someone who learned to go with the flow and trust my intuition.

My husband at the time was a pilot.  He was based on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts.  Not knowing where to go next, I packed up our apartment and put everything in storage and moved to Nantucket.

I waited tables at one of the two restaurants open on the island that winter (big jump from corporate big shot).  Never let your ego believe that you’re too good or too big for anything.  That job opened many awesome opportunities that I never could have planned for.

We lived in a B&B whose owner let us run it for the pilots who needed an overnight place to stay.  I learned about the B&B business and decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to do.

The First Big Adventure

Just before Christmas I was sitting around at the restaurant after work with the other staff.  Another waitress said she was going on a trip to Costa Rica in a few weeks and the friend that was going with her bailed. She didn’t know what to do.  I thought, “Costa Rica has always been on my list of places I’d love to visit.”  So I asked if I could go with her.  She was ecstatic to not have to cancel her trip and I was about to cross something off my bucket list.

We left a few weeks later with our backpacks, a hotel reservation for the night and our Lonely Planet Guide.

It was the most amazing six weeks of my life.  I learned the magic of serendipity and happiness when I let go of plans and stopped trying to control things.  The experiences I had and the people I met were so much better than anything I could have planned.

Listen To That Little Voice

When I returned, I knew I couldn’t stay on Nantucket forever but didn’t know what to do next.  Around that time, my intuition started to scream at me, “Go west and do something with horses.”  My logical mind replied, “Where west?  It’s awfully big.  And what with horses?  There’s a lot I could do (even though I had done nothing with horses except some trail rides at camp when I was a kid).”  My intuition wisely replied, “You go figure it out.”  And I did.

When your intuition speaks, LISTEN and ACT on it.  It always has your best interest in mind.

I informed my husband that we were leaving in two weeks.  He asked, “Where?  And do what?”  I had always been the one with very clear goals and plans so he thought I had everything mapped out.  I got the “deer in the headlights” look when I responded that I had no idea but we just had to go.

Go West Young Woman!

Two weeks later we packed my Jeep and headed west.  From Boston we headed straight for Colorado.  We explored Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and northern California.

My intuition said that “something” would pop up along the way.  And if it didn’t, we would end up at my brother’s place in San Francisco.

We explored some amazing places but nothing popped, and I landed at my brother’s place for a couple of weeks.  I explored San Francisco and did online research to find something “west and horses.”

Getting Way Out of My Comfort Zone

I discovered an outfitting school outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  This is where you live in a tent in the deep woods for a month and a half and learn how to cook over an open fire, pack horses, hunt, fish, and be a guide.  This is serious outdoor living and I was intrigued.

Mind you, I was a major city girl who thought, “Ewww!  Dirt and bugs!” at the thought of camping.  But now I was open to anything.  And now I was going to be the female version of Jeremiah Johnson.

I called and registered at the last minute.  Upon arrival at the camp, I found that another woman and I were the first women they had ever had at this school. It had run for 25 years!

It was another absolutely amazing experience.  I learned levels of self-sufficiency that I never thought I had in me.  Going from city girl to this, doing it really well and loving it, I knew I could handle anything that would ever be thrown at me.

What’s Next?

By the end of the training, I knew I didn’t want to be an outfitter.  I remembered a vacation I took a couple years before to a dude ranch in Telluride, CO.  I remember looking up at the peaks and the amazingly blue sky thinking, “I have to be here.  I don’t know how or when, but I have to be here.”  (It’s that little voice talking to me again.)

Well, two years later I was there asking for a job.  Funny how the universe works.  Understandably, they told me to get lost (in a very nice way) since they only knew me as the city slicker guest I was.

Next, I called the Colorado Dude Ranchers Association and asked if they knew anyone hiring.  They said that, since it was very late in the hiring season (late May), there’s usually nothing available but they happened to know of a ranch looking for a manager.  Perfect!  I’m a manager!

I called the owner and talked for a couple of hours.  He invited us to the ranch where we spent a few days.  At the end of the second day he said, “Well, why don’t you stay.”  And we did.

I learned the ropes of all the positions at the ranch that summer.  Every time I took guests out for a ride I would say (sometimes to myself but usually to the guests), “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.  Other people are going to offices and jobs they hate and I get to be here.  Amazing!”

As fall turned into winter, the guests disappeared and my weakening marriage fell apart.  He wasn’t up for this new lifestyle that I was so passionate about.  He returned to Boston and we got a divorce.

I was alone at the ranch and it was the most peaceful time of my life.  Some guests that would come for a night or two would ask me if I was scared to be there alone.  They thought it was like that movie, The Shining.  I would always laugh and tell them I was more scared in a city than I ever am in the woods.

Off to More Adventures!

After a year at the dude ranch, I knew that wasn’t the “west and horses” that I was looking for, so I moved on.  Next, I worked at CSU’s equine facility feeding horses and mucking stalls while I worked with a trainer training horses.

This was followed by another manager position at a unique horse ranch in California.  Neither of these were “it” either, but I continued to learn new things from my different experiences.

Are you getting the picture here?  Life is a series of experiences that all have meaning.  In order to know what you want, you must have a lot of experiences that help you narrow things down.  None of them are bad.  None of them are failures.  Each one helps you to put the pieces together a little better.

And as you put the pieces together, the picture in the puzzle changes.  What’s good for you and what you want will change over time.  It’s perfectly normal.

Keep stepping out of your comfort zone and having more amazing experiences.

Settling Down

While I loved the outdoor life, I was tired of taking care of other people’s horses at other people’s places for minimum wage.  I wanted my own place and my own horses.  I felt that the only way I could get this would be to return to a corporate job, but to live where and how I wanted.

Six months later I found a great job.  With paycheck in hand, my new husband and I (met him at the dude ranch) went house hunting.  It took a lot of searching but we found our dream house on 20 acres in the mountains of Colorado.  We got our own horses and he even got mountain lions!

Knowing that I didn’t want to make the hour and a half commute every day, I negotiated with my boss to work from home one day a week.  Then, I pushed it to two or three days a week.

The days I worked from home, things were flexible.  My husband and I would go for long walks each day and spent lots of time together.  I made telecommuting flexible and seamless so that usually no one knew whether I was in the office or not.

Near the end of my eight years with this company, I worked it so that I could be home full-time. And I was the VP of Finance with a staff to manage.  Many would say that it’s impossible to work this kind of job remotely.  I knew it was possible and I made it happen.

Over the last five years I’ve had other jobs and have taken time off, but we live in the same amazing house with fabulous views, wildlife everywhere, and now three little kids who share our slice of heaven.

Sharing My Lessons to Help Others

A year ago I started my blog to help others see the possibilities for great things in their lives.  My writings there have been an eye-opening process for me.  I learned how much of myself I was still hiding behind the corporate persona that I wore so well.  I’ve learned how much better I can connect with and help others by dropping all the personas, being myself, and telling my stories.

Now I’m in the process of re-making myself into a leader of those looking to live happier lives.  Teaching people how to find and live the happiness that’s inside of them.  That’s my passion and my new career.  And I know that anything is possible.

Many people think they could never do many of the things I’ve done.  I didn’t think I could do them either – until I did them.

  • Leaving a successful career.
  • Making major leaps out of my comfort zone multiple times.
  • Creating my own lifestyle.

People may question why I wanted to do many of the things I did.  I say, why not?

I remember a phone call with my mother when I was at the dude ranch.  She asked, “Don’t you think you’re being a bit irresponsible?”  I thought that was the most bizarre question.  I answered, “Absolutely not!”  I thought I was doing the most responsible thing ever—making the journey to find myself and my passions and live life to the fullest.  It’s the only way I could be happy.


The Answer Lies in You (Me)

excerpted from this article (see link):

* * * * *

The following words were written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the Crypts of Westminster Abbey:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

“As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. 

“As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

“And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family.  From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.” 

* * * * *

Most of the things that we do is only focused upon feeding our egos because we think that will complete us without realizing that we ourselves is a complete entity and what we must do is to improve ourselves and that doesn’t mean getting signature clothing or owning fancy cars. Of course fancy cars can make a difference in convenience but where it goes wrong is when we are lead to think that we are not worth anything without them. It starts when we have no proper foundations to trust ourselves therefore we switch to materialism. We have to remember that no amount of wealth and jewelries can define a person although we cant deny that we do need some material things for survival like food, shelter and decent fallback wealth to be able to sustain our needs upon retirement or calamity; it is definitely not the same with materialism and it is not easy considering that most of us are exposed to billboards and programs that are designed to make us loose our self esteem if we don’t have what they have to offer. This mentality is what makes most of us unhappy making this world mostly unhappy.

* * * * *

So my friend this is what I will leave you with a declaration written by Virginia Satir in response to a 15-year-old girl’s question, “How can I prepare myself for a fulfilling life?” 

“I am me.  In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. There are people who have some parts like me but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone choose it.

“I own everything about me—my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all my thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, whatever they might be—anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth and all the words that come out of it—polite, sweet and rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud and soft; all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.

“I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.

“I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.

“Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.

“I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.

“However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.

“When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded.

“I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.

“I own me and therefore I can engineer me.

“I am me and I am okay.”


Marriage Myths

excerpted from this article (see link):

[ ]  Many of the traditional reasons why a man gets married are a myth.

“I won’t die alone”
Wrong. The simple fact is that one spouse WILL die alone. Visit the hospital and go to the terminally ill or cardiac departments. Few people have the time to sit with an ill relative all day and all night. Yes, you may get visitors, but they aren’t having the same thoughts as you are. You’re contemplating your mortality, while they’re wondering what food the hospital cafeteria offers. In the end, even with a loving and supportive family, most of us will leave this world alone, unless you both die simultaneously in an accident of some kind. Your spouse may die fifteen years before you, or you may be in the hospital for your last year. Ultimately, we all die alone. Married or not.

“I won’t grow old alone”
Not necessarily. A marriage can self-destruct at any time. Your partner may initiate divorce at age 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 or 70. Many married people end up in the same position (alone) as if they had never married at all. Now they enter their twilight years broke, as a result of being stripped of half or more of their life’s assets, losing half their retirement and pension funds, and being assessed alimony payments. [ ]

Men are led to believe that not marrying implies only one destiny; that of a solitary monk in a cave, a shunned loner. However, life is not so black and white. Not marrying does not mean you cannot continue to date or have meaningful relationships throughout your life. There are plenty of single people in all age brackets. A bad marriage can be the loneliest of institutions, because most of your emotional outlet and companionship is concentrated into one person who gives back nothing in emotion, affection or support. Young men in their 20′s and 30′s should be more aware of the alternatives that exist in life. They should be aware that marriage is a choice, and is not the only path life has to offer. An informed decision is less likely to be one that is later regretted.

“I’ll get regular sex”
Not from Modern, Western Women. Access to regular sex is the oldest and the most frequently cited reason to marry. Many men now know that Modern, Western Women frequently stop having sex after just a short time of being married. There are plenty of “sexless” marriages. Talk to a few married couples that are honest about their relationship. One or both partners may stop wanting sex after kids, or the sex may be as infrequent as once a year or once every six months, or the wife may only have sex when she wants the husband to buy her something, take her somewhere, or remodel the house. Read the honest opinions of married men on the Internet. Most Western, Married Men will have more sex with their Western Wives in the first six months of their marriage than they will in the next 40 years. Lastly, it remains to be seen whether sex with one exclusive partner for forty years or more is even a natural act, or just a man-made convention. In many Western Nations, the wife is no longer required to have sex with her husband. She can deny him at any time, for any length of time. She can, if she wishes, deny him sex forever and there is nothing that he can do about it. [ ]

Marriage is hardly a guarantee of regular sex, as many people are led to believe.

“I’ll have someone to cook and clean for me”
Not necessarily.  [ ]  Today’s woman is empowered by not performing the traditional housewife duties, regardless of whether she is working or not. If a husband asks that his wife perform traditional household duties because she is not working, he will often be labeled sexist, abusive or controlling, even if he is doing his “traditional role” of paying all the bills, providing for his family, and performing the traditional manly duties of vehicle repairs, maintaining the lawn and house upkeep.

“I have to be married to have kids”
Not anymore. Her ovaries do not physically need a [marriage] contract [ ] in order to be fertilised by your sperm. Cro-Magnon man had children long before lawyers invented marriage contracts. Often, you do not need to be married in order to share health benefits. You do not need to be married to designate your partner on a life insurance policy. [ ]  It is ironic that responsible parents who raise a healthy family, but never actually sign marriage paperwork, get less respect than divorced parents or married parents who are ineffective, inattentive or incompetent.

-Having a lifelong, faithful, committed relationship has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Owning a beautiful dream home together has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Rearing healthy, happy, and successful children has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Building a family and life together has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Growing old together has nothing to do with being “married”.

[ ]  You do need to be married in order to throw an extravagant four-hour party, and share the same last name.

You do need to be married in order to involve the state and government in your romantic affairs.

You do need to be married in order give away half of everything you own.

Besides that, marriage does nothing more than introduce lawyers and social workers into your life. These are people that otherwise would have nothing to do with your life or your relationship.

Men need to stop and ask themselves:

“Why exactly am I getting married? What exactly does marriage mean to me in today’s world? What is the benefit to me to get married?”

It is no longer a lifelong commitment, because it can be reversed overnight on her unilateral whim.

Marriage was originally created as a way for families to merge land, property, political power and influence; perhaps people should return to viewing it as just that and nothing more. The rest of it is fake modern TV Fantasy and Tabloid Gossip and Hype polluting the minds of today’s impressionable youth, and a way to keep the multi-billion-per-year wedding industry chugging along. Perhaps the only criteria should be to ask oneself: “How excited am I for us to merge our finances and assets?” When all the fluff and hype are boiled away, that may be the only remaining reality. Spend a day in divorce court, and you’ll see exactly what is real and tangible and lasting about marriage. [ ]  The rest are myths, lies, bold unsubstantiated promises, and maybes. “For better or for worse…”

The Western Divorce rate is 43%. It is higher in some parts of the world such as California, Great Britain and Australia. [ ]  Consider the number of people who are in a bad marriage, but elect to stay; Men who don’t want to lose 50%, women who know they can’t support themselves alone. Next, think of how many more couples stay together just for the sake of the kids. Of these “forced marriages”, consider how many of these marriages involve infidelity, no sex, or sleeping in separate beds or separate rooms. I estimate the percentage of happy and monogamous marriages to be under 5%. Are these odds you would take in a business venture, investment or loan? Most of the risk-averse population would not. Yet they seek this exception to the rule everyday through marriage.


excerpted from this article (see link)

Imagining guys running around in black pajamas and swords, disappearing in a puff of smoke? Well let’s start with a proper… non Hollywood idea of what the Ninja were… or are… and then see what we can learn from them.

Today we have this image of the Ninja as evil assassins sneaking around Japanese castles and killing under cover of night. What most people don’t know is that the Ninja were simple farmers, priests and shopkeepers who were forced out of Japanese society and hunted by their own government. They were the ultimate survivors. In fact the word Ninja in old fashioned Japanese translates to “the person who overcomes”.

Early in Japanese history a Samurai General named Daisuke Togakure lost a battle; and as was tradition in Japan his master ordered him to kill himself and ordered that his family be stripped of all title and land. Instead this Samurai General chose to survive. He fled his home with his family and went to live in the wilderness. Now an outcast being hunted by his own government he was forced to re-invent his understanding of combat. Togakure met up with some Chinese immigrants who had fled the massive wars going on in China. Their knowledge of battle tactics, medicine and technology from all over the Asian main continent helped Togakure form what would become one of the earliest and oldest traditions of the Ninja. (This is just a rough and quick version of the oral history of the founding if this tradition) There are many other traditions of Ninjutsu but they all are similar in that they contain a philosophy of life which values surviving and overcoming or “persevering” and which leads to a simple life style with a very alternative method of self defense. The philosophy of the Ninja stood in opposition of the Bushido code of the Samurai which contained a strong class structure, and espoused suicide as a noble and honorable ideal. To the Samurai the Ninja were dishonorable, evil creatures who had no right to live… the Ninja just wanted to be left alone to live their lives as they saw fit. [ ]

As a person who has studied and practiced this tradition for several years now I have found some great principles which are a guide I use in life and in my preparations to continue life. In all of my training and all of my study of the Ninja culture as it existed hundreds of years ago and as it exists today I have found five principles that seem to apply to the Ninjas secret to not only survive but to thrive. [ ]

Principle #1: Strong and clean spirit
[ ]  The Ninja speak of attaining an unfettered mind; that you should know who you are at your deepest core. Life should be spent learning, knowing and practicing what you are. This done in everyday life gives an unfettered mind and leads to good decision making under even the worst situations. [ ]

Principle #2: Utility.
While the Samurai prided themselves on beautiful swords passed down through their family for generations and body armor decorated with family crests and religious icons the Ninja often used little more than modified farming implements as weapons. This was in part because of the ban on civilians owning or carrying swords… (we can learn a lesson here) but also because of the principle of utility. To the Ninja they were not mere weapons, but rather everything was a tool. A Ninja didn’t pride himself on a fancy sword; instead he would make a sword which like all of his tools served more than one purpose. His other commonly used weapons were converted farming implements. [ ]  Sure the Ninja would have never turned down a fancy ray skin and ivory Katana, but he would usually be found with a much cruder instrument. [ ]

Principle #3: Simplicity.
As I said earlier the Ninja were mostly farmers and merchants, but they could be found in all levels and aspects of life. There were even some Ninja amongst the ruling class of Japan at one time. What was common amongst them was that they strove to live a simple life. Both historic and modern Ninja rarely had lavish homes or castles. Rarely were known to frequent parties and social events. Instead they lived simple lives enjoying the things in life which were of true value. Simplicity permeated all aspect of their life. Often a diet of simple, healthy home grown food was eaten. With this simplicity in lifestyle one also becomes more in tuned to your own environment, able to notice small changes in weather and even understand nature on a closer level. Rarely did the Ninja draw attention to themselves. Instead of going off to become famous warriors and have grand adventures most Ninja lived quiet lives in their villages and trained diligently in their fighting arts; not for glory, but simply as a means to protect them and their families from the outside world. [ ]

Principle #4: Community and Self-Reliance.
Contrary to what some may argue community and self reliance are not mutually exclusive ideas. The Ninja were experts at having a community OF self reliance. The Ninja often lived in very close nit villages and towns where they worked and trained together so as to provide everything they needed and thus insulate themselves from the rest of Japan. [ ]

Principle #5: Fluidity.
Absolutely essential to the fighting style and even day to day life of the Ninja is the principle of fluidity. The Ninja fighting style involves five principle ways or feelings of combat. Each one represents an element of existence and grants almost a personality to your movement and technique. Examples are fire, a strong hot burst of energy cutting through an opponent or earth, the stable and immovable feeling of power. The five elements (earth, wind, fire, water, and the void) are not in themselves all powerful; it is the Ninjas ability to transition from one to the other and combine them in response to any situation which is essential. This fluidity was not just expressed in the elemental forms of combat, but instead is the fundamental difference between the Samurai and the Ninja. The Samurai followed set in stone techniques and movements. Memorize enough movements and you will have one for every situation. The Ninja started when they had to adapt and abandon old ways; this flexibility allowed them to meet all situations and adapt their techniques to any situation. A fundamental idea in the Ninja philosophy is not to have expectations of what will happen, but instead to be ready for and deal with whatever comes. Work towards your goals but adapt to the outcomes as they happen, don’t get caught in a frustrating loop of things not going your way and reacting with the same effort every time. [ ]  We should have basic tools which will work in any situation. Tools which serve multiple purposes and can be adapted to anything we need.  [ ]

WATER: Just as water feeds life and contains a power in both its ability to draw away from and crash back onto anything, to slowly erode a mountain, feed the tallest tree; we need the essentials of life. [ ]

EARTH: Strong foundations in faith and community allow us to stand like a rock against the corruption and destruction around us. [ ]

FIRE: Fire is our arms, our brute force through firepower.
[ ]  The Ninja as with all people of Japan were disarmed by the ruling elites, however the Ninja refused to comply, instead they fought back. [ ]  Fire comes in a burst of violence, heat and action. It is emotional, but not un-controlled. Fire also represents our passion, the passion which makes us act. It is the burning sense of right and wrong which protects our very soul from the corruption of the world. [ ]

WIND: Wind leaves us aloof, it represents the lighthearted sense of security preparedness gives us. [ ]  The feeling of being un-touchable effects your very movement and every aspect of life. Being self reliant, with your own business and self sustaining property gives you this confidence and allows you to take stands politically and economically without fear of losing your job or being evicted from your home if you oppose the powers at be.

THE VOID: This is often a difficult concept. [ ]  The void is the sense that anything can and will happen. On one hand it is the knowledge of all potential dangers and the ability to handle them. On the other hand it is the ability to react with anything, having every tool in your toolbox so that you can react and adapt in any way necessary. [ ]  Where the void can help is in the idea of not being an idea. Not being anything in particular, be void of form. Don’t fit a stereotype . . . . [ ]

Switching Dimensions

from Pavlina:

When I want to make a significant change in my life, I often think of it in terms of switching dimensions. My attention is focused on my current reality right now, and my desired situation can be said to exist as some alternate reality outside of my primary focus. In that other reality, there’s another me who’s already where I want to be. My goal then is to become that other me and to shift into his reality.

[ ]  Here are the steps:

1. Ponder Other Possibilities.

First, imagine that all possible alternate realities can and do exist.  [ ]

[ ]  On a personal level, for every choice or event you experienced, some YOU in another reality made a different choice and/or experienced a different outcome, so there’s a whole network of new realities that splintered off from that one, a network that includes all possible branches of possibilities.

So in some other dimension, there are other versions of you who are living completely different lives.

Now ponder that in some of those dimensions, there are versions of you who are much happier, more successful, more socially supported, wealthier, etc.

Feel a sense of oneness with those other YOUs. Know that in fact they are all YOU.  [ ]

2. Explore the Relationship Between Your Reality and Your Vibe.

Second, begin to notice that there’s a relationship between your reality and your vibe.

Your vibe is your personal energy signature. It includes your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.

[ ]  Our vibes fluctuate a lot. On any given day, your vibe may shift all over the place. Or it may remain relatively constant. But in the background, you will tend to have a fairly stable default vibe that you keep returning to. It’s how you generally operate about 80% of the time.  [ ]

3. Identify Your Default Vibe.

Next, see if you can identify your current default vibe. [ ]

[ ]  Again, it’s easier to understand your current default vibe during those times when you’re having peak experiences that shift your vibe in exceptional ways. When you’re in a high or a low period relative to your default, you can view your default vibe from the outside looking in.

Another way to understand your default vibe is to spend some time with people who have very different default vibes. They will draw your vibe towards them, effectively stretching you away from your default experience, and during those times you can gain some perspective as well.

If you try to understand your default vibe from the inside, you’ll probably just label it with words like “normal” or “average.” But your version of normal may be another person’s version of timidity. You have to stretch yourself away from the center to understand what that center really looks like. Contrast is essential here.

4. Identify Your Desired Vibe.

Once you have some clarity about your default vibe, notice which of the exceptional vibes you feel most drawn to. What if you could turn a combination of those exceptional vibes into your default vibe, such that what was once exceptional and unusual becomes your normal day to day experience?

Suppose you notice that your default vibe has a lot of scarcity in it. When you do the contrast exercises in the previous step, you can see that you’ve been pessimistic, envious, and needy. But every once in a while, you have peak experiences of abundance, appreciation, and gratitude. If you could experience these peak vibes as your normal, default vibe, your life would change radically for the better. You would effectively switch dimensions into one where another YOU is experiencing delightful levels of abundance right now.

Vibes have many different frequencies, but for the sake of this change, you have a couple basic options. You could focus on just one aspect of your desired vibrational shift, such as switching from scarcity to abundance, or you can try to combine lots of different shifts into one. I find the former approach more effective since it’s simpler. Once I’ve locked in one change, then I focus on the next one. However, I do sometimes have to work on multiple shifts simultaneously because of their potential interactions. A vibe of low self-esteem can sabotage efforts to create a vibe of abundance, for instance.

5. Create a Trigger for Your Desired Vibe.

It’s not necessary to perfectly label a vibe with words. Vibes are much more expressive than words anyway. But it is important to come up with a way to reload your signature vibe whenever you want.

One way to trigger your desired vibe is to create a scene in your mind that evokes the vibe. After some practice this only takes seconds to load the vibe.

You may need to play around with the scene in your mind to reach the point where it feels just right. Keep tweaking your imagery till you feel it’s helping you experience the desired vibe.

In your imagery be specific. Imagine you’re playing the scene in a movie theater. So it’s not blurry or fuzzy or riddled with options. You just click a mental “play” button and watch it go.

Note that you are not necessarily trying to manifest exactly what’s in the scene. You’re simply creating a trigger to reload your vibe.

Other ways to trigger your vibe would be to find a song that evokes the vibe. Or create a shrine in your home that evokes the vibe when you look at the shrine; a shrine is simply a collection of objects.

6. Load the New Vibe Daily.

Now here’s the biggest and most important step. Commit to spending time each day triggering and experiencing your new vibe. Do this for at least 20 minutes a day, and keep it up for 3-4 weeks minimum. You don’t have to do the 20 minutes continuously though. Just aim to spend at least 20 minutes out of each day consciously practicing your new vibe.

If you do less than this, you’re probably wasting your time. The new vibe will not stick.

The idea here is that you have to condition the new vibe as a permanent, long-term habit. It typically takes about 3-4 weeks to do that.

If you hold the vibe of abundance every day for a week, for instance, and then you slip and get sidetracked, nothing much will change. Your default vibe of scarcity will not be dislodged. You’ll continue to experience essentially the same reality.

Once you’ve consciously done this for 3-4 weeks, the practice of loading up the new vibe will become a habit. This means that you’ll continue this practice automatically without having to think about it. At this point it’s only a matter of time before your new vibe begins to infect your default vibe, gradually shifting its frequencies over time. With each passing week, your default vibe will become increasingly abundant.

I usually do this by setting aside some time each day to meditate. During these meditations I load up my trigger, experience the desired vibe, and revel in it for 20 minutes or so. This practice not only turns the daily experience of the new vibe into a habit, but it also helps me get comfortable with it. After a few weeks, the new vibe no longer feels so exceptional to me; it begins to feel normal. Pretty soon I’ll be experiencing this vibe throughout each day, not just during my meditations.

Additionally, I also nudge myself to reload the new vibe whenever I can remember to do so. I do it when I wake up first thing in the morning and when I’m lying in bed before falling asleep. I do it when I’m showering, exercising, or making meals. Sometimes I remind myself to do it when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone. Basically I conspire to trigger my new vibe many times per day.

7. Act on Your New Vibe.

Your vibe controls which thoughts you have access to. As you begin to shift your default vibe, your thinking will change as well. You’ll begin to get new ideas that are inspired by the new vibe. Notice especially the ideas that are out of sync with your old vibe but which are clearly spawning from your new vibe.

Take action on these ideas as much as you can. Give yourself permission to be very spontaneous during this time. Don’t hesitate. Just act.

You won’t do this perfectly, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss an opportunity. Just keep leaning into your new vibe with action. Take action again and again.

Similarly, hold back on taking action when you identify ideas as stemming from your old vibe. Let those ideas fade.

So here you’re simply getting your actions aligned with your new vibe.

8. Shed the Incongruent.

This step is absolutely critical, and it’s a huge stumbling point for many people. I see lots of people crash and burn here. I can’t caution you enough that you’d better prepare yourself for it. This step often takes a lot of heart and courage to complete.

As you shift your vibe, your reality is going to shift too. But you must cooperate with these shifts. If you fail to cooperate, you will effectively block the shift from taking place, and you’ll remain stuck in your old reality.

As you shift your vibe internally, you’re going to see some flare-ups of polarized energy in your external reality. Some of it will be very positive. New forms of support will rush towards you to encourage you. But much of it will take the form of resistance.

A common form of resistance is people telling you that they don’t like what you’re doing, especially people who are close to you now. If your vibe has been fairly stable for a while, then realize that your personal relationships right now are a result of your current default vibe. As you shift your vibe, your relationships must change as well. Some people may shift their vibes to join you, but many won’t.

It’s a mistake to try to negotiate and compromise with the people who are putting up resistance. Simply disconnect from them and let them go. This will create space for new people to come into your life, people who are vibrational matches for your new vibe, not your old one.

If you want to create abundance then, expect to lose many of your scarcity-minded friends. If you can’t stomach that, realize that this is actually a result of the scarcity vibe itself. From the vibe of abundance, this is needy, clingy behavior, but from within the vibe of scarcity, it will more likely be labeled as loyalty.

The tricky part about shifting vibes is that some vibes include sticky elements that make them very stable. Scarcity is such a vibe. Depression is another. When you’re depressed, for instance, you’re going to repel happy people from your life, and so the only people who will deal with you are probably depressed, angry, or otherwise down on themselves. You won’t see much evidence of what a happy reality could be like until you shift your vibe. So some vibrational shifts are a bit of a catch 22 indeed. If you’re waiting for evidence that shifting your vibe will improve your reality, and you’re unwilling to try shifting until you see such evidence, you’ll be waiting a very long time. Your vibe will repel such evidence from even entering your reality.

This is why I like to have my default vibe infected with a sense of exploration and the desire to embrace new experiences. This helps expose me to new potential vibes to explore, and it helps prevent me from getting stuck. In fact, I’ve probably enjoyed the biggest and most positive shifts by embracing friends with vibes that were very different from my default vibe at the time I met them.

In order to complete my own shifts, I sometimes have to shed old friends who aren’t compatible with the other side. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it. People are like magnets, and keeping people in my life who will keep pulling me back to my old vibe isn’t helpful. Whenever I let go of those relationships, I feel relieved, and it’s so much easier to complete the shift afterwards.

Just to clarify this a bit more, I’m not really letting go of the people. I’m letting go of the vibes they’re currently holding. If they were to shift their vibes later to something more compatible with mine, they could easily re-enter my reality. For instance, I recently had to tell a friend that as long as she insists on holding herself in a vibe of depression and abuse (and remaining loyal to people who treat her like dirt), I’m not going to continue to connect with her because that’s incompatible with what I want to experience. But I let her know that I’m happy to reconnect when she shifts her vibe to something more compatible with me (positive, growth-oriented, etc).

On the other hand, it’s also quite beautiful when I connect with other growth-oriented people who are on a similar path, so we can work on our shifts together and help support and encourage each other along the way.

9. Embrace the Dimensional Shifts.

As you see your reality begin to shift, welcome it. Notice signs that you’re making progress, and celebrate them. Creatively observe that your reality is indeed changing.

These shifts happen over time, usually weeks or months in my experience. I like to think of this process as traveling through the intermediate dimensions between my old reality and my intended new reality. During much of this time, I’m no longer in my old reality, but I’m not quite in the new one yet either. I’m crossing through other dimensions that represent combinations of my old vibe and my new one.

This is where you will see a lot of partial matches. A business deal shows up, but it isn’t quite right. A new potential relationship partner shows up, but s/he isn’t interested or is already involved with someone else.

My advice here is not to force anything to happen. If you get too involved in these partial matches, you’re very likely to get stuck partway through your shift. So don’t get clingy with these intermediate universes and the “opportunities” they present to you.

Keep your focus on your new vibe, and do your best not to succumb to the lure of partial matches. I know they’re tempting, but don’t take the bait. This is especially tricky when shifting out of a scarcity vibe, where clinginess is part of the vibe. Just do your best to keep moving forward.

What happens to these partial matches as you continue to shift? In my experience they typically go one of two ways.

The first possibility is that they simply fade from your life, and something better shows up later.

The second possibility is that the nature of the connection shifts. So the same business deal or relationship exists in your desired reality, but the circumstances are different. In these situations, as you continue to shift, you’ll see changes occurring. New funding will come through that wasn’t there before. Someone who was unavailable becomes available.

When dealing with partial matches, it’s very important to allow them to be as they are without undue attachment to outcomes. If you try to force or push the partial match to become a full match, you’re going to stick yourself to one of those intermediate dimensions, and you will block yourself from experiencing a full match. I have fallen into this trap so many times it’s not even funny, but these days I’m really committed to not forcing things when I observe a partial match. I have enough experience that I don’t need blind faith to keep me going, just the remembrance that partial matches are a clear sign of progress but not a reason to pause in mid-shift and proclaim victory.

When you don’t fall for the temptation of a partial match and hold out for a beautifully aligned match, you can keep moving forward vibrationally. Then when your new vibe is locked in and your old vibe seems like a distant memory, you’re going to be in your new desired dimension, and that’s where the really good matches will appear with grace and ease. When these matches hit you, it’s like a smack upside the head. Their alignment with your desires seems almost too good to be true. Just be careful not to push them away by seriously thinking that they are too good to be true. Welcome them with appreciation and gratitude, and know that you’re ready to experience and enjoy them.

10. Enjoy Your New Reality.

Vibes can be very sensitive, and it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve what you might label as perfection. It would be really tough to lock onto the exact dimension you wish to experience and go there specifically. These tools are not that precise. But you can get close enough to your desired universe that you can still proclaim victory.

[ ]  A good way to lock in your new vibe is to appreciate your new reality. You’ve come a long way, and now you’re in a whole new universe. This new universe has a different energetic signature than your old one, and it’s a good match for your new vibe.

[ ]  It can take some time to get used to your new reality. Try not to get too excited about it, as if it’s something exceptional that won’t last. Try to embrace your new reality as normal; expect it to persist for a while. Feeling good about it is great, but don’t get so excited that you doubt its continuation since that may ultimately backfire on you. If you believe it’s too good to be true, you’ll attract a universe that validates your belief. So even if you attract something really amazing to you, know that you deserve it.

When you’re ready for another shift, you may wish to hold the more desirable parts of your current vibe/reality stable, and work on creating the vibrational shifts that will allow you to slide sideways into a nearby dimension that has your desired improvements. For instance, once you’ve shifted into a reality where you enjoy financial abundance, you may wish to shift from there into a reality that includes social abundance as well.

A Walkthrough

Here’s a walkthrough of how I’ve been using this process recently to make a significant change in my social life.

A year ago, I might have described my default vibe as it relates to my social life with words like: overwhelmed, vamped (as in my energy being sucked away), draining, repetitive, boring, mostly online, endless, cyclical, predictable, shallow, routine, lame, avoidance, stress, vampire squid.

My social reality at the time included lots of email, a busy discussion forum to manage, very active Facebook pages (personal and fan pages), and lots of friends and contacts around the world to keep in touch with. I was socially active but not in a way that I truly enjoyed.

What kinds of thoughts did this vibe spawn? It would often spawn thoughts like, Some people are way too needy, I need to get away from this, I have a backlog of communication to process, I should hire an assistant to manage my social life, I wish I didn’t have so many friends, I do NOT want to deal with this, Why do those two forum members have to be fighting again?, etc.

So what was the new vibe I wanted to create instead of this? I can describe it with words like: balanced, friendly, connected, laughing, happy, intimate, flowing, deep, peaceful, fun, engaging, smiles, hugs, love, joy, freedom.

My new vibe was something that I’d experienced in the past and also during peak social experiences. I could load it up by recalling certain memories or by visualizing a scene where I was hanging out with local friends having some deep discussions.

I already had some of this vibe in my life. My relationship with Rachelle is amazing and just keeps getting better. And I have some really awesome friends. But my default vibe wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

My old vibe was mired in social obligation. I wanted my new vibe to be congruent with choice and freedom.

So I focused on holding this new vibe for a while, and things began to shift. Actually it was a two-part shift. First, I focused on the freedom aspect for several months. During this time I fell out of harmony with Facebook and let that go. I fell out of harmony with the discussion forums and shut them down. I disabled my online contact form, closed my PO box, and killed off some email addresses. Some people that I previously had frequent contact with, such as our very active forum members, dropped out of my life. Embracing the vibe of social freedom helped me escape a reality riddled with social obligation.

As I integrated this freedom aspect, I felt incredibly relieved. It was a breath of fresh air not to have to keep up with so much communication. In my old vibe, I thought I needed it. In my new vibe, I just let it go; it was clear that I didn’t need it at all.

For a couple more months, I simply enjoyed this new reality. I had successfully escaped the universe where I was mired in social obligation, and I shifted to a universe where I enjoyed much more freedom of choice. I abandoned my old social obligations. They were no longer something I wished to have in my reality.

About a month ago, I decided to start working on the second part of this shift: creating social abundance — but without giving up my newfound social freedom. I got serious about this roughly a month ago, shortly after the Conscious Relationships Workshop.

For this part of the shift, I focused on entering a universe where I enjoyed deep connections with happy, growth-oriented people — but in person, not so much over the Internet. So for the vibrational aspect, I sought to create a vibe of extroversion, intimacy, bonding, and fun. I wanted to create a very active social life here in Las Vegas, not at StevePavlina.com.

For the first couple weeks, virtually nothing happened. Then it seemed like the floodgates opened. I think this shift happened faster because I was very ready for it, and there was nothing left to block it. I’d already gone through the shedding process, so now I was simply filling that social void with something different.

I can tell that I’ve already tipped. I have enough momentum going that I can coast into my new universe from here. Today my social life is basically right where I want it to be now. By “basically” I mean that the basics are good, and now it’s a matter of tweaking the details.

It’s fascinating to observe how different my social life is today vs. where it was before I engaged in this shifting process. I only worked about one hour total this past week since I’ve been too busy connecting with people — in person.

During the past week, for instance, I had a couple friends from out of town staying with me, I’ve had people over at my house every single day, including some I’d just met for the first time. I went out for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and midnight meals with people. I spent dozens of hours in deep conversations about personal growth, relationships, and the nature of reality. Yesterday I actually started losing my voice due to spending so much time in conversation.

Last Sunday I also spoke at the Direct Dating Summit. I wasn’t originally going to speak there, but I was invited to attend with some friends. I ended up speaking for an hour, mostly about staying in tune with your heart when connecting with people. While some people might see this as work, for me it was largely a social experience. Speaking is a great way to get instant visibility with a group of people and make new friends quickly. I spontaneously went out to dinner with some of the other speakers, then later in the week spent a few hours talking one on one with the organizer, Sasha.

I had originally been invited to speak at this conference back in January, but at the time I declined. Why? My vibe wasn’t at the right place yet for saying yes to it. But by the time I attended the event, I had progressed much further with my shift, and it was easy to say yes to it. This is a good example of leaning into a new vibe. In January I associated speaking at this event with potentially creating more social overwhelm. But as I shifted my vibe, I eventually saw it as a great way to have fun, connect, and share. This uncertainty phase is typical of vibrational shifts. For a while we still have one foot in both worlds.

Now I feel like I’m pretty well locked into the new vibe. I’m not 100% there yet, but probably 95% of the way there. There’s no serious temptation to go back to the past.

If anything, I probably overdid this change a bit. I was so fed up with the old vibe that I may have injected a bit too much energy into the new vibe and blew past my target universe. I don’t necessarily want to stay in a reality where I’m so social that I’m only working an hour per week. On the other hand, I’m still sharing a lot of value with people through conversation, and I spoke at a conference too. I have a tendency to discount that kind of speaking as something I just do for fun. It’s hard for me to see it as work, but maybe this super-social reality isn’t so bad after all.

This kind of experience is fairly common. When you reach your target universe or something very close to it, you may realize that some aspects are still a bit off, just like I’m observing. I don’t seem to be very productive in this reality, at least not based on how I defined productivity in the past, but on the upside, I’m a lot happier in this new reality. So I may shift from here to a more balanced universe where I feel like I’m contributing a bit more, even if it means being slightly less social. Or I may shift to a universe where my primary work becomes more social in nature.

Riding the Ripples

A vibrational change like this can create ripples through every area of one’s life. Even though I was focusing on a social change here, since the change was vibrational at its core, I can’t keep it isolated to just my social life. It’s going to affect every other area as well.

It would be hard for me to return to working the way I used to work a year ago. My life has become too social. I need to allow time for this new vibe to spill over into other parts of my life — and to figure out how I can maintain this vibe while also getting some work done. This will probably require reinterpreting what work means to me.

For instance, I’m feeling less interested in writing than I was a year ago. But public speaking appeals to me even more since it’s more social. I’m feeling more interested in speaking at other people’s events too, not just my own workshops. After doing several 3-day workshops, giving a one hour talk is exceedingly easy for me, and I enjoy them so much that I hardly think of it as work. Speaking is something I do for fun.

There were a couple other speaking engagements that I initially declined, and now I’m feeling inclined to accept them. In the past I was very hesitant to do certain events, but now I see that it gives me the opportunity to share my ideas, energy, and passion with people, and I know that people appreciate what I have to share. What blocked me from doing this in the past was the knowledge that more speaking would mean more activity on Facebook, the forums, email, etc, and I didn’t want more of that. But after making this vibrational shift, it feels silly to hold back, since now I know I can handle abundance in this area without feeling overwhelmed. I’m no longer maintaining online outlets that generate pile-ups and communication backlogs. Communicating face to face is naturally more manageable.

I still use software tools to connect with people, but I’m using them very differently today than I did a year ago. I think the best use for online social tools is to facilitate face to face connections. Things like Facebook and online forums are not something I define as truly social; those are faux social outlets and don’t come close to hanging out in person. You can’t hug a profile, and a smiley isn’t a real smile. Ultimately you’re just spending time alone with some digital device, and you’re encouraging your friends to have equally stunted social lives.

Note that here I’m just sharing my perspective from my new reality. In this reality Facebook is a shallow, pointless distraction that gets in the way of real intimacy. If I want to connect with a friend, I can invite them over for tea, and during our chat, I’ll learn more about them than I would by digesting a lifetime’s worth of online status updates.

These days most of my email is with people that I already see in person, and much of it is about coordinating logistics for meeting up. My email volume is very manageable and usually takes just a few minutes per day.

Today I make it difficult for people to initiate contact with me online because I’d rather not make new social connections via the Internet. Those channels are too cluttered and definitely not necessary. By focusing on connecting with people face to face, I’m already seeing my in-person social network expand. I’m making new friends by meeting friends of friends, and then friends of friends of friends — in person. This is giving me better matches than what I see via the Internet since my in-person friends know me much better than people who’ve only read my blog; they act as great filters for helping me connect with the kinds of people I want in my life, namely people who are conscious, happy, and growth-oriented.

A side effect of this shift is that I’m now in a reality where I feel so much better about my online readership. I’m back to feeling that it’s an honor and a privilege to connect with you, instead of a burden or an obligation. I may not let you email me, but I can embrace a deep conversation with you in person someday.

I must say that this has been a really kick-ass vibrational shift for me. It certainly wasn’t easy, and I had to let go of people and circumstances who resisted this change, but it was definitely worth it. I’m so much happier now, and I’m now enjoying a very abundant social life — not that fake online stuff, but really deep face to face connecting — and a lot more hugs! 

* * *

As you work through your own shifts, let me reiterate: it will be hard, but it will be worth it. The most difficult sticking point is being able to say goodbye to parts of your old reality than can’t make the journey with you. Your heart will ache at times, but you’ll be happier on the other side.

I’m coming to appreciate the resistance to vibrational shifting since I see that it serves a valuable purpose. Resistance helps keep your current vibe stable. When you drift away from it, forces push you back towards the center. This may seem like a trap, but it has the benefit of stabilizing your vibe long enough so you can experience and learn from the full richness of it. If your vibe could shift very easily, you’d be crossing dimensions all the time, and your reality would be highly unstable. It would be difficult to learn much. This would be the ADHD version of reality.

With a stable vibe, you’re less likely to accidentally flip into very different dimensions. This gives you time to explore, learn, and grow in a stable reality. Then when you’re ready to shift, you need to exert enough willpower to cross the resistance barrier. This ensures that when you do shift, it’s due to a very conscious and deliberate choice, not by accident.

If you think of resistance in this light, I think you’ll come to appreciate it as I do, and it won’t be such a big deal. You’ll see that it’s actually helping you.

And in truth, when you’re truly ready to change, you’ll know that no resistance can stop you. Dealing with resistance is a process of saying goodbye to the old and getting comfortable with the new. It’s a graduation of sorts, which is frequently a mixture of sorrow and joy.

Are you really ready to let go of negative, scarcity-minded people? Do you feel you deserve to experience happiness, joy, and love every day? Are you ready to enjoy your life fully, or do you need to punish yourself some more?

If you don’t like the reality you’re experiencing now, then why are you still clinging to this particular dimension? Are other possible dimensions too far outside your comfort zone? Are you willing to experience discomfort and uncertainty while you shift? What is it about this reality that you’d have a hard time saying goodbye to?

Shifting dimensions is challenging but also deeply rewarding. If I didn’t learn how to do this, I might be experiencing the inside of a prison cell today. In some other dimension, that is indeed what I’m experiencing. From my current dimension, I can feel compassion for that guy, but I have no desire to join him in his cell. And perhaps he also knows that in some other dimension, he is very happy and free. This contrast just makes me appreciate my current reality even more.


The Future

from here

What is the future of work? How about the future of education?  [ ]  People are debating whether or not going to college is worth it, and the work landscape looks fairly bleak. The future of work is constantly shifting as we untangle ourselves from the traces of our industrial past and figure out the implications of a mobile, wired, location-free global society.

The systems and structures we’re using are a bit broken. Not all of them are broken, and not everything needs to be redone, but I agree with the sentiment that innovation is desperately needed.

Innovation doesn’t come from a specific age, place, or group of people. We like to glamorize the entrepreneur as a college-dorm-room drop out, and Inc’s 30-under-30 lists sometimes make it seem as if you’re 31 or older; you’re toast. The good news is that innovation is popping up all over the place — New Orleans, Silicon Prairie, Start Up Weekends, etc. and Under 30 CEO’s recent (unofficial) reader rankings listed places like New Orleans, Kansas City, and Austin, Texas as great for entrepreneurship.

As TIME Magazine wrote in the 2009 special, The Way We’ll Work: “Who knows what jobs will be born a decade from now? Though unemployment is at a 25-year high, work will return eventually.” How it returns, however, has yet to be seen. In the report, Time suggests that managers and management will have to be rethought, women will rule the workforce, baby boomers won’t quit, and sustainability won’t be a fad – it’s here to stay. [ ]

Want to get intimately entrenched in understanding how the landscape of work is changing? Want to change the world yourself? The best way to make something happen is to do something. It doesn’t just matter what’s written in Time. It matters what you do, both for your own career, as well as in changing work and education for everyone.

Buddha/Clooney, Cont’d

from this post:

[ ]  Long before I had ever written a line for publication, or endeavored to deliver a speech in public, I followed the habit of reshaping my own character, by trying to imitate the nine men whose lives and life-works had been most impressive to me. These nine men were, Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford, and Carnegie. Every night, over a long period of years, I held an imaginary Council meeting with this group whom I called my “Invisible Counselors.”

The procedure was this. Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut my eyes, and see, in my imagination, this group of men seated with me around my Council Table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group, by serving as the Chairman.

I had a very DEFINITE PURPOSE in indulging my imagination through these nightly meetings. My purpose was to rebuild my own character so it would represent a composite of the characters of my imaginary counselors. Realizing, as I did, early in life, that I had to overcome the handicap of birth in an environment of ignorance and superstition, I deliberately assigned myself the task of voluntary rebirth through the method here described…

In these imaginary Council meetings I called on my Cabinet members for the knowledge I wished each to contribute . . .

[ ]  I still regard my Cabinet meetings as being purely imaginary, but I feel entitled to suggest that, while the members of my Cabinet may be purely fictional, and the meetings existent only in my own imagination, they have led me into glorious paths of adventure, rekindled an appreciation of true greatness, encouraged creative endeavor, and emboldened the expression of honest thought.

Solo Travel Benefits

from this blog post:

[ ]  I’ve previously mocked people who claim that traveling is a deep, life-changing experience. But one thing I will definitely grant is that solo travel forces you to evaluate who you really are, outside the context of your family and social circle. You also end up spending a lot of quiet, reflective moments on buses, trains and planes. Nothing to do but sit, think, and observe. Often, there’s not much going on around you worth observing, so you turn inward. You become conscious of your emotions, your thoughts, your body and mind.

[ ]  Travel forces introspection, and I think that’s a good thing. You can replicate these positive effects in your hometown with a transit pass and a willingness to leave your Kindle at home, but sometimes it’s hard to force it, especially if you’ve developed an information addiction over a lifetime of instant gratification. Everyone can benefit from silence, and the ability to tame your mind for even a minute or two at a time. Try it sometime: Sit still and quiet your brain. Let your inner monologue STFU for a minute, or repeat a mantra. It’s surprisingly difficult. [ ]