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awakening big picture growth musings spirit success Wealth

What is the most destructive question that everyone asks themselves?

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the underlying question almost everyone has running in the back of their minds.  Someone makes you an offer and you automatically ask it.
“What’s in it for me?”
Parents ask a variation, “What’s in it for my child, my family?”

 

It’s perfectly normal and most everyone does it.

 

So why is it a problem?

Because this question reveals a mindset of lack.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme.”
“Take, take, take.”
It’s the voice of the ego based on fear, insecurity, and a lack of abundance.

 

It’s victim thinking, not a hero.

Poverty Thinking

I experienced this growing up.

 

It was like life was an all you can eat buffet.
But “You better get your money’s worth.”
It’s why cruise ship guests put on their “buffet pants.”
Or the advice of some who say, “don’t fill your plate with the cheap stuff, grab the good stuff.”

 

Now, what if we could shift this to the opposite?

What if we could change the question?
Not
“What’s in it for me?”
But rather

“How can I help?”

Abundance Thinking

By asking this new question, there is an assumption of abundance.  This question assumes you have the power, capacity, and ability to help.  It’s a powerful question. You are tapping into your true gifts. It comes from a deeply spiritual place, not your ego.  There is more than enough to share.

 

We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives.  I personally experienced many magical miracles. And then flipped to complete despair.

 

What I’ve noticed is the presence of the first question and not the latter.  Mindset is the key.

So what is mindset?

A mentor of mine recently gave me an amazingly simple definition:

 

“Mindset is the voice(s) in your head.”

 

That’s so true.  I hear my parents, teachers, and even people I don’t care for speaking in my head.

 

Who put these voices in our heads?

They get installed automatically throughout life.  Parents. Teachers. Relatives. Caregivers. Friends.  Facebook. The media…

 

The thing is, unless you are aware, you are being programmed all the time.  If you let it wash over you daily without consciousness, you are installing these voices.  The prevailing mindset of lack, poverty, and despair.

Reboot

The good news is, you can reinstall new voices.  It’s like upgrading your internal operating system to the latest, greatest version.  You choose your own voice.
Tomorrow, my son turns sixteen.  Sixteen! We’re about to start visiting colleges.  Think about focus of study. Plan out a course for life.
What I want most for him is to flip the questions.  Ask more empowering ones.
“How can I help?”
“What can I offer the world?  
What was I born to do?  
What are my gifts?

What makes me the only one?”

A Lifetime of Questions

Of course, questioning goes on for a lifetime.
We never completely know.  We are always discovering.

 

The journey of life and success IS the journey of discovering the answers to this question.  Life is self-discovery. And this question can change your life.

How can I help?

I hope this awakens something inside of you.  New voices = new life. This goes beyond parenting, music, education, business, whatever.  This is for you. And through you, you will light up the world.
“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.   Let your light so shine, so that they may see your good works…” – Matthew 5:14. the Bible

 

Categories
awakening growth joyful living process spirit

A new mantra to smooth out your day

What is a mantra?

A statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Many times, the words I hear in my head were not consciously chosen.  They just keep cycling through.  Things my Mom said or my Dad told me.  Sometimes they are not so good and I really need to excise them like a bloody tumor!

But words have power.

By designing the words that are in my human operating system, I can begin to change from within.

When I became a father, I consciously deleted all cursing from my vocabulary.  It wasn’t easy, but I really wanted to be a good role model for my son.  I used  to curse like a sailor.  And it wasn’t conscious.  I just picked it up from the environment I was in.  After a few months of catching myself, it became easier.

A new mantra

Everything that happens is neither good nor bad.  It just is.

Next time you feel frustrated, impatient and angry, realize that it is based on a judgement.

You are perceiving that something is not happening the way you think it should be.

No judgement.

Strike Should

The word “should” is a clue.  Whenever you hear it, run away.  Strike it from your vocabulary.  There are no shoulds.  Stop shoulding on the world.

No judgement.

Start using that phrase as internal mantra.  Your new self-speak.  Hear it in your head.  “No judgement.

Just let the moment pass over you as if you were watching from afar.  What used to cause you pain will have no effect anymore.

No judgement.

 

Categories
awakening big picture inspirational quotes joyful living spirit

What favorite quote has changed your life?

What favorite quote inspires and uplifts you? 

Do you have a favorite quote you live by?

Mine comes from a Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.  It has resonated throughout my being for decades now.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

It is so powerful yet simple.  Stop talking and do it.  Do the right thing.  For if you do not, you are standing on quicksand.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

At the end of a life, what else will you have? 

All the material possessions, they turn to dust.  They are just trinkets, baubles or as Robert Kiyosaki calls them, “doodads.”  Meaningless.

But to have live a life of right minded action?  The experiences, results, all flow from how we be and do.

A few thousand years ago, Siddhartha Gautama, a man, became known as the enlightened one.  The Buddha.  His teachings became what is now known as either a religion or a philosophy depending on who you talk to.  One of the most powerful teachings is the Eightfold Path.

These 8 steps lead to a path of a good and successful life.  It’s a Middle Way – not too hot and not too cold.  Just right.  It’s like the original 7 Habits of Highly Successful People!  Only one louder!

Here is the Eightfold Path

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Intent
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

These are not rigid rules or commandments.  It’s not authoritarian.  It’s a self-help book.  It’s the original coaching program.  Thanks Sidd!

Anyone Can Use Them

And you don’t have to call yourself Buddhist to benefit.  These days I call myself Catholic and Buddhist.  Perhaps one day I’ll expand that to other labels too.

But there’s no conflict.  All spiritual paths are good.  There is no difference.

Really.

Sure there are religious practices that look different from the outside.

  • Making the sign of the cross.
  • Bowing to Mecca.
  • Chanting in Hebrew.
  • Chanting in Latin.
  • Chanting in Sanskrit or Pali.

It’s all the same with minor external differences.

The real culprit in the world is absolutism

Puritanism.  Fundamentalism.  Holding too strongly to anything.  I’ve seen it in all areas of life.  Snobbery leads to arrogance leads to condescension and separatism.  It’s tribalism.

There are coffee snobs who would never ever drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Wine purists who do not drink Merlot.

Music teachers who have frozen in time all methods of certain master teachers as if time stood still.

People who judge others by the shoes they wear, the cars they drive, the words they use.

Hmm.  That’s it.  Judgement

“No judgements.”  That’s another good quote to live by.

It gets in the way.  Acceptance is the new middle way.

And to accept I need to change my thinking, being and doing.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

Categories
awakening spirit

Do you know how to hear the secret chord?

“Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord”

– Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I’ve been listening for that chord. 

It haunts me.  Just when I think I hear it, it slips away like a distant echo.  A foghorn on the black lake in the mist.

Years ago, in Thailand, I heard someone call my name.  I turned around, and there was a guy I didn’t recognize.  He was incredulous.

“Don’t you remember me?”

“No.  How do I know you?”

“We spent last summer in Taiwan together.”

“I wasn’t in Taiwan last summer.  In fact, I was only there once as a child.”

“No, dude, you were there.  It’s me Carter.”

“Carter?  Well, I don’t know how you know me but I don’t think we ever met before.”

We ended up spending days together.

We talked and talked. It was as if every question I had, he had the answer to.  And every question he had, I had the answer to.  It was like the secret chord was not a sound, but rather a conversation.

I slip in and out of periods of extreme magic. 

Unswerving faith in an invisible sun and powerful connection with a force.

And then I go all the way to the other side.

It’s like the title of a book I read long ago:  power versus force.

Sometimes I’m surfing the waves of power. 

Effortless, magical waves of abundance flow through me.

And then I get stranded on a rock.

Unable to move, marooned for what feels like eternity. 

No matter how hard I try, it seems I make little progress.

And then I remember to let it go. 

I breathe into the wind.  I let it lift me and somehow I get a little lighter.  The color of the light changes and I begin to move with flow.  The distant mountain that I so desperately sought flashes by me as I reach even higher vistas without effort.  I smile with relief.

Until I forget it all again.

Lately, I’ve been remembering again.

It all begins with internal dialog.  Is it filled with awe and gratitude?  Or has it turned to checklists and self-critiques?

I begin to practice saying it over and over.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

And a slight tingle begins.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

I try to remember this throughout the day.

It’s easiest to remember in the grey dawn light before lists and worries start to crowd the edges of my mind.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

Today I awoke at 4:34 am.

I laid in bed with my mantra.  Letting it flush through me, a golden sparkly white light coming in waves.

And out there, on the edge, somewhat distant, I think I hear it.

The secret chord.