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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
What if...? 
What if it were all taken care of?

...........................

Pick the top three issues in your life. Come on, you know them easily (I wanna make more money... I wanna be in love... I wanna lose weight... or whatever!) Now just imagine that by some magic wand, they could all be taken care of.

**Poof** There's the raise!
**Poof** That cutie is right there across the room.
**Poof** Whoda thunk the chocolate diet could actually work??

Now what?

How happy are you?

And for how long?

All this time we've been saying how those things have been holding us back... how if we could only have... if it weren't for... it's all because...

What? They're done... so what?

If we haven't really thought about what's beyond that, then our lives aren't being stopped by them, but actually being defined by them.

It's why we have those blockages and not the building blocks... because we've been defining ourselves by what we don't have.... our coulda's and shoulda's... and only-if's.

And ok, so all three is pushing it... and there ain't no magic wands...

or are there?

There's MOTIVATION.

There's ACTION.

There's GROWTH.

There's IMAGINATION.

There's CREATION.

There's the MAGIC.

So now what?


1:23 PM


Sunday, February 26, 2006
Who are we, really? 
We are who we believe we are...

.................

If you woke up one morning, totally forgetting your past, who would you be?

That's the question that was posed to Doug Bruce in the movie, Unknown White Male. You see, one day he found himself on a train to Coney Island with no ID and no IDEA who he was. His entire past had been wiped clean.

This documentary follows him for two years after that day, as he rebuilds not only his life, but his entire identity, from scratch. It's truly a fascinating film and really makes you think about who we are, how we got to where we are now, and where do we go from here?

Are we a product of our past? We certainly are affected by it. Doug was different; everyone could see that... and everyone had to grieve the loss of the old Doug as they learned to embrace the new one.

They had no bond to him, including his own family, so they had to forge new ones. He wasn't obligated to anyone any more. He didn't have to make future choices based on what's long gone... because it was truly gone.

So what of everyone else's past too? Is it still real because they remember it? What if they forgot too?

And what about us? What can we learn from this?

Do we need to be tied to our pasts, just because we have memories and ideas about what happened? If we let it go, even just a little bit, aren't we freer? Free enough to become something new? Anything we want to be?

When we have nothing... don't we have the chance to have it all?


11:41 PM


Friday, February 24, 2006
Balance and Harmony 
The song of Life isn't just about an equal number of notes, it's about making sure they make beautiful music together.

..............................

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about balance... balancing time, energy, resources and motivation... balancing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements... and kind of ignoring a different aspect of Life... harmony.

Not that I wasn't pursuing it, mind you; I just wasn't finding a place to put it in my lil book. One of my good friends sent me a planner he uses and it just sort of reminded me about harmony. I think they were using harmony like balance, which is good for them.... but since I do see them as different aspect of life, I'm going to continue to search for the best way to get them BOTH down on paper.

Balance is about giving some equality to the different parts of our lives. Work Time and Play Time may not be the same amount of hours, but they ought to be given the same amount of consideration. The same with Rest Time. We really did learn everything we needed to know in Kindergarten, didn't we?

How harmony differs is that each of these times kind of needs to "fit" with each other. They don't have to be similar (we could have a desk job during the week and skydive during the weekend) but they should somehow compliment one another. By that I mean, they go with who we are. If we're a brainiac/weekend warrior, then the desk job/skydive thing is a perfect fit. Harmony happens when each part of who we are gets to resonate every once in a while. Harmony comes when we're wholly satisfied.

It's when we neglect some piece of ourselves that we eventually take notice. It's this little black hole that starts to tug at our attention. Our lives feel less fulfilled when we ignore it.

Remember that even one note unplayed is noticeable amongst a giant symphony. That's why it's important to not only make the time, but make the time count.

Leave no song unsung!


1:50 PM


Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Piece by piece 
You can tear down a wall brick by brick too.

.........................

Much like the game Breakout, a breakthrough to success often happens a little bit at a time. Sometimes, like my LifeWatch submission, you end up just hitting the wall. Then there are these other times when just a little piece chips away, like my recent acceptance into 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life.

By next foray will be into newspaper syndication (cross fingers and hope to type). I'm going into it with a rather realistic attitude. I certainly don't expect it to get me a spot on Oprah, or even make enough money for me to quit my day job. I just want to reach people who haven't made it here.

Tiny pieces to a big puzzle.

And speaking of tiny pieces, I've come across a few items that fascinate and I feel are somehow relevant to my new system. The first one is Sparklines, word size graphics that convey ideas quickly and Thinkmap's Visual Thesaurus which relates words in a 3D floating pattern. They've got my head swimming with idea... the little pieces twisting like a snow globe during the Holiday Rush.

It's all very exciting but some of them have to settle down, cause I'm getting dizzy.

So what do you think about these concepts? How can they help you reach your goals?

I've got my own ideas, but I want to hear what pieces you've got.

Let me know.


10:01 PM


Monday, February 20, 2006
Tending the garden... 
In order for the tree to bear fruit, it's roots must remain strong.

..................................

With the raining beating outside and the temperatures working their way down into the 40's (hey, when you live in California, that's cold! :-) I decided to spend much of the weekend indoors. It was as if Nature was trying to tell me "hey get back to work on that crown molding!" (okay, maybe it was my guilt of neglecting to do it over the last five months, but still I was getting that message.

Caulking looks so easy... but it sure is a lot of work! (everything takes longer than anticipated... so don't anticipate and just let it take what it takes)

I also tended to my website just a lil bit. Every month USED to be my maintenance time... y'know, spruce it up here, add a feature... but I had been neglecting that as of late as well. Much as Saturday was spent putting in some neat code, watch it mess up the page, take it out, put in another code bit of software... move on to some other feature...

I ended up with send to a friend, which lets you send the page's link to someone. I'm not so sure why I didn't have that all this time. It's not exactly the way I'd like it, but it's sure nice to have.

I was also going to work on my planning system, but instead of focusing on planning my goals, I opted instead to work on a goal itself. One of the goals that has been nudging at me is to become syndicated in newspapers. I'm not particularly set on WHAT gets syndicated, since I have quite a bit that COULD. I'm really quite open to whatever best serves the readers. I tried with my LifeWatches last month without much success. I won't be giving up on them, of course, but I don't want my goal to be lost because my target is off.

So I started to prepare my "Dear Guru" since help columns tend to fit well with newspapers and since I've been putting them on my front page more than my articles, I've been getting a lot people responding. I have one plan to get it moving forward once it's ready, but if anyone out there has connections (**hint hint**) please let me know.

Today is President's Day, where we celebrate the day by not working and buying things. Hmm, sounds like every other holiday these days, doesn't it?

With the sun out and a slight chill still hanging in the air, it's time to venture out in search of another goal... 50% off.

Have a fruitful day!


9:19 AM


Friday, February 17, 2006
When you least expect it... 
Love is more powerful when you least expect it...

......................

OK, it's February 17th... Valentine's is days over... New Years was six weeks ago... and Christmas is 310 days away... why am I making a big deal of it? Because today means nothing really. It's just an ordinary day.

You know how you kept saying that Valentine's day was "just another day" and so was New Years and Christmas... well, today really is. So instead of waiting for another holiday to dismiss, why not turn things around and make today special?

People expect gifts and "I love you... smootch smootch" on those days. You're seen as some poor lonely pathetic loser if you don't get involved then (and you know who you are and I already told you not to think that!!), but anyway...

So how would you feel if someone just decided to surprise you with a gift or a card.. or even just a kind word? Well, they'd feel the same way too.

So go do it... today, tonight... now. Surprise 'em.

It doesn't have to be just another day.


4:13 PM


Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Go on! 
The past is behind you for a reason...

...................

OK, so it looks like whatever was broken with my blog is now fixed. I'm back to my old self, or rather, my old site. It feels good to be home.

I could go and 'backblog' now to fill in the missing days, but I'll just move forward, taking those topics with me into the future. Let's just let the past lie in yesterdays and see what tomorrow brings.

The past several days have been nice and relaxing... slower paced. Not as productive as I like, but that's due to some old habits of mine. I grew up on urgency, so I just kind of thrive in that environment. Now's not the time to create that sort of thing.

Had a very good meeting today. It was a brainstorming session that had toys strewn around the room for people to play with. The person running the meeting really understands play and creativity. It was refreshing.

I even got the chance to draw the view outside the window (update: I faxed it to myself, then recolored it to look like the original in red pen, so this is it, sorta).

Creativity Rocks!

The key is to get our mind in a place free from logic... to get outside of the office, and outside of ourselves. That's often why we get our best ideas in the shower or while sitting in traffic... cause our mind doesn't have much else to do.

On a recent walk around my neighborhood, the pieces to my system started to fall into place. I had been trying too hard to put too much into too little a space. Just by simplifying my mind, I started to see how simple the pieces need to be.

It's like I'm "moving in" to the right space. The boxes aren't unpacked yet, but at least they're being put into the right rooms. I redid the calendar pages once again... and will be seeing how it goes.

Creativity is like the breaking open of a shell. It's dramatic, almost violent... but it's a bursting forth of possibilities. Once that shell is gone, who knows what mighty things will grow.

Time will tell.


7:06 PM


Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Love... 
Love isn't overrated, it's just misunderstood.

.......................

Valentines, like Christmas, is a very relationship driven event. It can be a wonderful time, or it can be very stressful. There can be this expectation of having to take the relationship to "the next level" ... or a lack of commitment can be uncovered. Then there's those without someone ... there's loneliness or bitterness.

It can be a pretty tough time.

That's why it's important to take it easy today. Drop any expectations. If you're in a relationship, just be in it. Celebrate what you have, instead of yearn for something that might not be.

If you have no one "special" then be your own best friend. Don't beat yourself up over being alone. Alone doesn't have to equal lonely.

Love comes from within... and that's where you are already... so it's easy to love yourself, because you're the closest to you. So be gentle, be kind, be loving.

And share your love. It doesn't have to be romantic to be special. Love comes in so many forms... so send an ecard, or an email... or pick up the phone. Sure, you'll get voicemail (they may have gone out to dinner, y'know), but plant that seed of love anyway. It'll grow more than you know.

.......................

What are your Valentine's day plans?


7:20 AM


Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Down Time... 
Don't let the down time get you down.

...........................

With the major projects out of the way, and nothing particularly pressing going on right now; everything seems so different. Whereas last week I was going into work early, staying late, eating in... now I'm having my breakfast at home, going out for lunch (if only to take a walk) and getting home at a reasonable hour. It's definitely more balanced, yet each moment doesn't have that same sense of being driven.

You can't stay in overdrive for too long. You'll definitely burn out... but it's interesting to study the subtle differences in motivation. Right now, that something-something can wait. If not today, then tomorrow.... not 9 O'clock? Then 10 is fine.

With nothing urgent, that's ok... but it's a good reminder for when the opposite is true. When something does need to get done, then 10 o'clock is NOT fine, when 9 can be better.

You wonder where your day went? It slipped away quietly, like sand slipping back to the sea.

Of course, not to end on that note... I've filled my day with very productive stuff -- cleaning up and organizing files. Stuff that's only going to matter when you need it again (believe me, don't do it and you'll realize why you should've).

Closing a chapter is as important as starting a new one.

Like a wave, the down part is not a depression, it's the power behind the next big crest.


9:20 PM


Tuesday, February 07, 2006
In the "no" 
Saying "no" to what you don't want is as powerful as saying "yes" to what you do.

................................

(I stop tinkering with my calendar for a moment to chat with you....)

Every task list I've seen do far is a "Yes" list. Some are good yes lists; others aren't... but they all basically just cover the things you SHOULD do.

They're still only half way there.

For us to completely reach our goals, we need to not only do what we need to do, but also NOT do what we do not need to do.

For instance, if we'er trying to quit smoking, that's not a "yes" to no cigarettes. It's definitely a "no" to each and every cigarette.

And sometimes a goal can be on BOTH lists. For instance, I'm doing all I can to stay fit. My Yes List consists of eating the right foods and going to the gym... but that's nto all there is to it. I also have to say NO to breads. I can work out and eat my veggies all day long, but if I let bread get through these lips, they're heading straight for my stomach... and not leaving any time soon.

So whenever you're setting up your goal list, don't just say a resounding Yes... also say positively NO!



1:34 PM


Monday, February 06, 2006
The Five Phases of Reality 
Reality is an experience, not an explanation.

.......................

Okay, so after I publish the last post, I had an intense conversation with Thomas. It only lasted about 5 seconds, but that's just how SpiritTalk is.

Basically, the message is to spend less time 'splainin' myself and more time 'splainin' the concepts... then let everyone else judge for themselves.

So here's my supplemental message for the day.

There are five phases to Reality...

Existence
This is reality undisturbed. It is what it is, regardless of anyone's belief that it is.

Observation
This is what we consider 'reality' because it's what we see. However, it's no longer undisturbed. It becomes the realization from the pool of Possibility.

Interpretation
As seen through the eyes of our current beliefs, this is the first step of trying to make sense of what we observe. Sometimes it fits; sometimes it doesn't.

Understanding
This is where Reality becomes a part of us. Reality now fits in with what we believe, or what we believe now fits with what we've experienced.

Expression
This is what we do with what we understand. It's our beliefs going out into Reality so that others can experience it.

And that's the way it is...

... in my reality anyway.


9:06 PM


It's Just Closer... 
Closer is only better if it's where you want to be.

..................................

The last couple of days have had a lot of fragmented thoughts that string together like pearls... I guess, you can call them "Pearls of Wisdom." :-)

Basically, it's just where my mind ended up after a series of different events.

First off, I'm think a lot about my goal system. At Friday's Power Lunch, I summarized my latest changes, went through a small series of questions and answers, then set off to see where these new ideas will fit.

Then came some very complimentary emails and conversations, where people mentioned that I was more "spiritually advanced" than they were. (We'll get to that in a minute)

And then came the Super Bowl, where everyone had an opinion as to which team was better.

So I got to thinking... is it really "better" or just "closer"... and not necessarily closer to the Truth, per se, but rather closer to the ideal that someone else has set?

You see, although I have this life-long passion to explore and express spirituality, it only appears more "advanced" to people who want to go where I am heading. To those that feel they are in the dark, I can certainly appear to be a light. To those whose opinions are vastly different than my own, I can certainly appear to be a lost soul.

I know MY Truth. I have experienced things that encourage me to venture onward. Yet, no matter how real these experiences are to me; no matter how sincere my sharing might be, it doesn not prove it to be real or not real. (If a magician pulls a coin out of my ear, does it mean there was a coin in my ear... just because I saw it?)

So whether it's Religion or Science, Monotheism or Atheism, it still comes down to BELIEF. And you either have faith in it, or you don't... and other people agree with you, or they don't. I can tell you that I alone see the Truth, but if you believe that YOU alone see the Truth, that automatically puts me out of the running.

So where does that lead us? I'm certainly not going to stop what I'm doing... both in my travels and in my pointing the direction for you to follow...

Just as someone who knows the power of being physically fit... the clarity of being mentally sharp... or the peace of being spiritually still... you can "better" yourself by moving closer.

It's all out there; it's all real. It's just somewhere where you aren't right now.

I'm just here to point.


5:26 PM


Friday, February 03, 2006
See the light on... 
When people come together, the light burns brightly between them.

........................

Today had an amazing afterglow. Yesterday was dramatic, but not traumatic... because of the amazing people I work with. No one complained (well... that I know of...) They just banded together and focused all their energy to get us back to before the disaster.

Everyone had this calm about them... like quiet satisfaction. Even my boss said she wasn't surprised that we were back up so quickly, because we're such a great team. Even when I tried to make jokes about it, the reply was 'it happens, just let it go.'

Let it go??? Of course I let it go... I DELETED it from my memory... just like I deleted all those files... and... and... ok, I'm over it.

It's in adversity that we show our character... and everyone was well worth the pastries and more. (I'm back on my low-carb thingee, so I can only take their word that the pastries were deeelicious).

Actually, there's been a lot of good AND bad going on around me lately... so it really all depends on what I choose to let in.

........................


For 'bad'... well...

My manuscript to turn LifeWatches into a book and calendars got its first rejection this week.

So I'll just take it as a sign that I didn't make myself clear enough, and will clean up the presentation of it.


And on the same day, a check came for overpayment on my mortgage insurance.

... Soooo, not a bad day.


The hot water was off in my building for a whole week...

... Now I go to the gym in the mornings; more than I did in the evenings.


I worked long long hours the last several weeks.

... This relaxed time is so much sweeter.


And there's been some really really good things...

... Some so-cool-software-I-can't-believe-they're-buying-it-for-me just arrived.

... It's so cool.


........................

And last night I had a wonderful conversation with one of my dear readers. In giving her some advice, I restated some of the lessons that I enjoy following (and often need to hear again and again myself).

Being good to yourself isn't slacking
It isn't about the bon bons and Jerry Springer. You don't have to slack off to e good to yourself. You just need to do something FOR yourself.

Don't just say "no"
You can't say no to other people, if you've got nothing else to take its place. That leaves rooms for the same old habits. Instead...

Fill up your time with your own yeses.
You won't have time for other people's burdens if you're busy doing things for yourself. It'll be easier to turn down the "other stuff" because there simply isn't enough room for it.

Being the Helper can be selfish
Whenever we help other people, we need to ask ourselves "why?" Are we really doing for them, without expectations, without return of reward? Or are we doing it so we can feel better about ourselves? Or worse, better than the ones we're helping?

Being Yourself isn't selfish
It doesn't help us if we spend all our energy on someone else. Once we burn out, we can't help either one of us. Enriching ourselves so much so that we can easily help others is the key.

Never empty your cup into another, but let your overflow quench the world.

Those were my gifts to her... and to you... and to me.

I expect nothing in return... that's why it's called a gift.


7:02 PM


Thursday, February 02, 2006
Plan Z 
Always have a backup plan for the backup plan.

...........................

Well, ironically, that's what my calendar says anyway. I put my own quotes as part of my datebook and that was the quote of the week.

But did I listen?

Hellooooo, McGuru????

I didn't do it... well, I did... but I didn't.

I put a file into the online system that I didn't want after all... so I chose 'delete' ... and (well, you can see it coming...)

"Um, where's the folder with all my stuff?"

(You know, the stuff that I worked on the past 75 hours last week... that stuff)

"I'll just keep hitting the back button on the browser... and, oh look, confirmation that the FOLDER was deleted..."

I didn't do THAT.

"Um..." I type in the Instant Messenger... "when is the class?"

"..."

"..."

"12"

(Clock says "11")

"Well..."

So, after a number of frantic phone calls and emails, they rearrange the class to give me ONE DAY to get it all back.

Now, it was more like back to Square 5 instead of Square 1, but still...

So the whole team pulled together and with a lot of concentration and hard work, we managed to get it back up to class-ready by the end of the day.

PHEW!!!!

I have to go pick up some pastries tomorrow morning.


8:38 PM


Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Nectar 
Life is sweeter when you earn it.

....................

Yesterday was the first "light" day in a very long time. I put everything else on hold in order to finish up what seemed like a never-ending project (and it would've been if there wasn't such a pressing deadline).

Was I thrilled to put in so much time? No. Was I glad I did it? Absolutely.

Without the motivation, the time, energy and resources would've been sent someplace else. All pieces of the TERM fell into place and voila!

So today is a "me day." I'm taking the day off from work to get myself 'situated'... catch up on all the neglected things that have been waiting patiently for my return. But nothing too stressful. After all, what good is trying to achieve balance by tipping over the other way?

Nah, what gets done, gets done... because today is all about ME, not THEM.


6:55 AM


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