UniqueThis 's Entries

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  • 27 Jul 2011
    I spent last week in Santa Fe, NM for a Transformational Leadership Council retreat. These TLC retreats are held twice a year, and this is the third one I’ve attended. It was also the largest, with about 80 members (out of a total of 114) present. The atmosphere at TLC is like a big family reunion. It’s a place where people who are doing transformational work can come together to help and support each other both personally and professionally. Sometimes business deals happen, but the main focus isn’t transactional. It’s about caring for each other, supporting each other, and helping each other grow and improve. We meditate together each day, we sing, we dance, and we do fun and sometimes silly activities. We share many laughs and hundreds of hugs. We help support those who are going through rough times. We share our best ideas on how to accelerate the healing of this planet. We also pool our knowledge and skills to help each other in a spirit of cooperation. For example, at the January TLC retreat in Puerto Rico, I did a presentation on building web traffic. It was rewarding to see that six months later, a number of TLC members had already applied those ideas to reach more people with their positive messages. On top of that, we do a lot of deep introspection. We push ourselves to grow as human beings, to become more aware and to recognize new truths, to become stronger and more courageous, to connect more deeply and to become more heart-centered, and to more fully step into our missions to help create a better world. One of the most important elements is that we do this away from the public eye, sans fans and critics alike, so we can keep the energy very positive and loving but also honest and real. For me, going to TLC is like taking a weeklong spa day for the heart and spirit. Immersion Imagine spending a week with 80 transformational leaders, many of whom are the top experts in the world at what they do. Some are fabulously wealthy. Some are deeply insightful and brilliant. Some are very loving and compassionate. Some are incredibly fearless. You can informally walk up and ask anyone there about anything, and they’re happy to share their best ideas as if they’re your brothers and sisters. Some of them have been doing this kind of work longer than I’ve been alive. They know all the best methods and processes and whatnots. They know the places where fear, denial, and falsehood love to hide. Being at TLC is like going to a place where everyone has X-ray vision, so by default you end up walking around naked the whole time, even if you think you’re wearing clothes. If you speak something other than your truth, you’ll get called on your B.S. But you don’t get judged for your foibles. You just receive more unconditional love and acceptance. The focus there isn’t on fixing ourselves or transcending what we believe to be our faults. It’s about integrating the various parts of ourselves into a complete whole. The atmosphere at TLC is similar to what you’d find at CGW (especially on the third day of CGW). My ego would just love to credit the brilliant CGW content, but the content is only part of it, and arguably not the most important part. Many of the shifts have more to do with being around the energy of so many conscious people. It can be difficult to define or explain those shifts afterwards, but they’re extremely potent, and they can send one’s life spiraling off in new directions. Every CGW and TLC have had that kind of effect on me. In such an environment, much of the B.S. we tell ourselves simply burns away, and new truths finally have the chance to be seen and heard. For example, when people at CGW see how their lives could be filled with so much more love and connection, they cannot return to doing soulless work on Monday morning; the utter foolishness of that approach is too obvious to ignore, so they quit that same week and quickly transition to a path with a heart. They finally see that on the heartless path, they were already living without that which mattered most to them, so there was nothing more to lose… and everything to gain… by letting it go. TLC has a similar effect on me. It’s not really the content we share that’s the biggest element. The content does help, but the bigger shifts have to do with being bathed for several days in the positive energy we create. We could gather with no formal plan or structure, and it would still have a transformational effect. Great content just makes it that much better. Many TLC members recognize that working on ourselves and working to create a better world are inherently the same thing. Healing the world is a journey of self-healing. We are teachers because we are lifelong students, and teaching is one of the fastest (and most intense) ways to learn. That’s why I wrote 1000 articles and a book… and why I do workshops that turn out differently each time. By giving thoughts and ideas form and expression, I deepen my understanding of them. If I knew how an article was going to turn out before I started writing it, I wouldn’t need to write it. Everything I share and express is a growth experience for me; otherwise I delete it before it’s done and never post it. Intensity Every time I’ve gone to TLC, I’ve returned home feeling like a different person. At times the TLC experience can be like drinking from a fire hose. Occasionally I have to spend some time walking around by myself just to internally process the shifts that occur. Before attending TLC this time, I was already in a really good place. I’d just finished an amazing Conscious Growth Workshop a couple days earlier, so I was still enjoying that post-workshop high, feeling incredibly grateful and happy and super motivated. The first couple days of TLC were a bit of a letdown, energetically speaking. It usually takes a day or two for the energy at TLC to amp up, just as it does at CGW. It was great to reconnect with so many friends, but on Day 2 I started feeling bored and listless. By the next morning, I was actually feeling grumpy, and when I turned within to ask myself why, I realized that part of me felt that I really didn’t need a “vacation” right now and that I’d much rather be getting some real work done. Going to this particular TLC seemed like an unnecessary indulgence when I had so many other things to attend to, both personally and professionally. At this particular time, I didn’t want to be on a retreat. I wanted to be advancing. I was already renewed and energized when I got there. But I still had several more days there, and I didn’t want to be fighting with myself the whole time, so I acknowledged and accepted that feeling and the message behind it, applying a process that was a blend of Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind method and Hale Dwoskin’s Sedona Method. (Both of them were at TLC.) This process took only minutes. In fact, I did it while taking a shower, so it didn’t even take any extra time. Almost immediately, the grumpiness and boredom vanished, their message received. By realizing that I wanted to be active and productive rather than taking time off and restoring myself, I shifted my focus and saw that I could use TLC to get some actual work done and to make it a productive experience, instead of treating it like an unwanted break. This might seem obvious in retrospect, but it wasn’t obvious to me at the time. With a better attitude, I launched into the third day of TLC with a lot more motivation and passion, and this energy carried me through the rest of the week. I spent many hours connecting with people I wanted to get to know better, and I deepened some existing connections. I picked up ideas for improving CGW, and I got advice for growing my business. I found several new potential joint-venture partners. I learned new methods and techniques. I also shared a lot of advice to help others, especially with blogging and traffic building. And I recorded a few videos to help members promote their work. And I had a lot more fun since I was congruent about wanting to be there. I took the exercises seriously and worked a lot on myself too. It’s too much to explain in a blog post though. (That’s a B.S. excuse, but I’m hoping you’ll buy it for now while I do more inner work on it and build up the courage to share it.) Suffice it to say that I went through some huge emotional shifts related to my past. One morning I woke up in my hotel room, and all I could do was cry for about an hour, struck by some realizations I’d been repressing for most of my life. Pretty frakkin’ painful stuff. I’m still not sure I’m ready to deal with it yet, but I have to practice what I preach. Sometimes it annoys me that I teach courage. There was another attendee who arrived later in the week, and her needs were practically the opposite of mine. She’d been on the road for a few weeks, and she was feeling worn down. She came to TLC for renewal and rejuvenation, and she got that. Authenticity One thing I love about TLC is that the people there are very authentic. One thing I hate about TLC is that the people there are very authentic. (That isn’t a typo.) As much as you might think you’d love it, hanging out with dozens of highly authentic people for a week is tougher than it sounds. That kind of experience shines a light on your own authenticity issues. You may even come to see that the pursuit of authenticity is yet another form of self-delusion. Many people have asked me how on earth I can publicly share certain aspects of my life on my blog, such as I wrote about in the article Share Your Shame. The underlying assumption is that if people knew the real truth about you, you could be socially ostracized. Your friends and family would shun you. You’d be cut off, abandoned, and tossed aside for being unworthy. In the end you would receive less love. But the truth is that the exact opposite happens. Initially there may be some tumult, but the long-term outlook is extremely positive. When you learn to love and accept all parts of yourself, especially the parts you’d rather keep hidden, then you attract a lot more authentic love and support from others. Instead of being shunned, you’re welcomed and invited and included. We all have these dark parts of ourselves that are difficult to accept and integrate. But your secrets aren’t secret at all. People can see right through you. They just aren’t telling you about it because they can see you aren’t ready to deal with it yet. Your inner shame is far from unique. We all have similar issues. Only the details are different. My friends in TLC have plenty of dirt on me. It’s not like it’s a secret. They know I separated from my wife last year, that I went bankrupt, that I used to be a thief, that I’m into D/s, and so on. And it just isn’t a big deal. In fact, all that stuff is more like a badge of honor. During the awards ceremony one night, I joked that I was hoping to qualify for the most recent divorce award. The truth, however, is that my issues just aren’t particularly striking or unique. It’s practically a truism that the people there have had to go through some serious challenges at one point or another, such as divorce, loss, addiction, financial scarcity, abuse, and more. It’s a pretty common pattern that a TLC member’s life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, as opposed to smooth sailing all the way. The stuff that really tugs at my heart is when these loving and compassionate people have to deal with things like the death of a spouse or a drug-addicted child. And they ultimately process those experiences in ways that allow them to become even more loving and compassionate, even though they have every reason to justify becoming resentful and bitter. People sometimes ask me, “Is so and so the real deal?” And having met these people behind the scenes, I have to say yes again and again. These people pour their hearts and souls into their missions, and I respect and love them immensely. I feel honored to be included in this group. The Challenge of Being in the Public Eye One of the reasons TLC is so important is that doing this kind of work can be very challenging, especially when you’re in the public eye. The exposure to criticism can be brutal at times. It’s really helpful to have a group of supportive friends you can turn to, get bandaged up, and go back out into the world again. These people aren’t superheroes. They’re very much human. When they take a beating, it hurts them and slows them down, but in the long run, it also makes them stronger and more compassionate. I can’t say I’ve encountered anyone there who does this kind of work for the money. If such a person exists, I’ve never met him/her. Even the ones who teach about wealth and abundance seem to be primarily motivated by the love of the work and the desire to contribute. The truth is that it breaks their hearts when they see people suffering from lack, and they want to do what they can to alleviate suffering and spread more happiness and abundance. I think if you got to know the people behind the scenes as I have, you’d feel immensely grateful for them. Even when they’re dealing with major personal and professional challenges, they just keep giving, giving, giving. Maybe their contributions aren’t perfect, but they do the best they can. What you may not realize is that these people question everything they do. They question whether they should use certain Internet marketing techniques, or if the methods would be manipulative. They wonder about how they can help more people. They wonder how they can be more impactful on each person they connect with. They wonder about what to work on in themselves so that they may become better teachers. For all the criticism they receive, they are their own harshest critics. If their critics actually knew the personal standards these people hold themselves to, it would make those critics cringe and say, “Whoa… go easy on yourself.” Of course this is something I had to learn as well. I spent a good 10 minutes today casting unconditional love at Tony Robbins. He isn’t a TLC member, but it became clear to me that he too must be doing the best he can. Inspiration I realize this is a rambling article, perhaps a bit too stream of consciousness, so let me get to the wrap up portion. This was a mind-blowing week, but one element in particular was especially mind-blowing. About halfway through the week, Joe Vitale gave a talk on inspiration. I first met Joe and his wife Nerissa at the July TLC in 2009, so I’ve known them for about a year, but this is the first time I saw Joe speak. He was simply brilliant. Joe and I have something in common in that we are both content machines. He’s authored 52 books, for instance, and he’s constantly giving birth to new products. I haven’t been working in this field as long as he has, but I’ve authored a respectable 1000 articles in less than 6 years, which is enough to fill about 25 books… not to mention getting one actual book published as well. Joe explained how he creates his content, which I recognized as essentially the same approach I use. When an inspired idea comes to me, I act on it almost immediately. I know that I have about a 48-hour window — maximum — to write and publish that idea. Otherwise the energy is gone. Trying to create that same content later is possible, but it’s much more difficult and takes a lot longer. The experience is like catching a wave. I might wake up one morning and get an idea for a new article, and I know I need to grab my laptop immediately and let it flow through me. In those situations I can write nearly as fast as I can type, without having to pause to think. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s a real wave and what’s just a minor swell, but this calibration gets better with practice. When you catch the wave and stick with it, it has sufficient energy to carry you all the way through to completion of whatever it is you’re creating, as long as you’re willing to put most other things aside and stick to that wave like glue. Again, it’s like surfing. If you stick with the wave, you can ride it all the way to shore. Well… as Joe continued to speak, I realized that he does something I don’t. He uses this same method for acting on business ideas in general. I haven’t been doing that. I only use it for content creation, and the vast majority of that content has been in the form of free articles. Joe, however, also uses this method to conjure up new products, workshops, events, business deals, and so on. That’s when I gave myself a mental slap upside the head. Duh. Duh. Duh. For some stupid reason, I’ve been managing the rest of my business in a much more left-brained fashion. I get inspired business ideas all the time, but instead of acting on them immediately and riding them like the time-sensitive waves they are, I toss the ideas into my inbox for later processing. Then perhaps a week later, I’ll consider each idea carefully and integrate it into my to-do list for future action. But by and large, by the time I get around to them, if ever, that wave of energy has long since dissipated, and trying to start those projects is like pulling teeth. Consequently, the content creation aspect of my business has always been super easy for me. I know I’ll never run out of ideas there. But the rest of my business changes much more slowly. My website, for instance, has essentially the same design as it did 5 years ago. Very quickly I got the idea to do a 30-day trial of acting on inspiration almost immediately whenever it hits me, whether it has to do with content creation or some other idea. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait, so I kicked it off while I was still at TLC. To be honest, I really don’t care about the exactitude of the 30-day stretch for this trial, but today was Day 4. This is new territory for me, so it may entail some hidden risks. I know it works on the content side, but I can’t predict what will happen as I apply this to the rest of my life. In order to begin this trial, I had to remind myself that worst case, I probably can’t screw things up so badly in 30 days that I can’t repair the damage later if necessary. Because the potential benefits are so great, I’m willing to take this risk. 30 Days of Inspired Action The same day I heard Joe’s talk (Friday), I was in my hotel room at around 8pm, and a stray thought popped into my head. I got the idea to put up an eBay auction for a 60-minute consultation, as I shared in my previous blog post. I began to ponder it, and my initial inclination was to jot down the idea and then consider it when I got back to Vegas the following week. Then I stopped and smacked myself and said, “No… you have to catch this wave now and see where it takes you. Don’t just let it pass.” So I dove into immediate action. I wasn’t sure how far I’d get with it, but I started by checking to see if my old eBay account was still good. I hadn’t logged in since March 2001, but the account was still there. I haven’t used eBay in a very long time, so it took me about 30 minutes to create the listing and make it live, something an experienced eBayer could have done in 10 minutes or less I’m sure. Then I spent another 20 minutes writing a quickie blog post about it, and that also fed to myTwitter and Facebook pages. Imagine that. Less than an hour after getting the idea, it was already up and running. If I’d written it down instead of acting upon it immediately, I could have wasted that much time just pondering whether or not I should do it. A few minutes later, I was Skyping with Erin, and I told her what I’d done. She loved it. Then she checked on the auction and told me I was already up to $51. I said, “You’re joking… it hasn’t even been up for 10 minutes yet.” But she wasn’t joking. By the time I went to bed, it had reached $132.50. The next morning it was at $425. Today it hit $1000, and there are still 3 days left till the auction closes. I can’t predict where it will end up. If you want to see what it’s up to now, you can visit the auction page. The auction officially ends on Friday, July 30, at 9:28:29 PDT. The next day I told Joe about this, and he loved it. I told other TLC members about it as well, and throughout the rest of the conference, people would check in with me to see how the auction was going. I think they were just as curious about it as I was. One morning at breakfast a fellow TLCer asked me, “So what are you up to?” I started telling him what I’d been doing, and he said, “No no… I mean, ‘What are the bids up to?’” Some people have asked me what this means. Does it mean I’m going to be doing paid coaching and consulting? Does it mean I’ll do more eBay auctions? Honestly I have no idea. It’s not part of some grand plan. This was pure impulse. I’m simply going with the flow of an inspired idea and riding it to shore. I can’t say when the next wave will arrive or what it will look like. This wasn’t even an idea with an intention behind it. I wasn’t intending to make money with it or anything. The motivation for this idea was sheer curiosity. I want to see what happens when I act on these sorts of ideas immediately, without trying to analyze or understand them first. In order to be true to this 30-day trial, I can’t think and plan ahead. If I schedule a bunch of stuff in advance or try to plan things out, I’m at risk of not being able to ride those waves of inspiration when they come. One thing I find very interesting is that from today through the rest of the trial, my calendar is completely blank. I don’t have a single scheduled appointment at all — no interviews, no meetings, nothing. There are still some events coming up, including my son’s 7th birthday and some potential travel, but none of it is in the form of a fixed appointment, at least not yet. I did have an appointment to meet with someone Wednesday morning, but it got bumped to today, so it’s already done with. And I would definitely say it was an inspired meeting. I’m used to having a flexible schedule, but it’s pretty unusual to have such a huge block of time with no scheduled appointments. I should at least have a radio interview in there… or a workshop… or a scheduled phone call… or something. But no — it’s totally blank. Is that just a coincidence? I can’t say. But this is an ideal time for me to conduct such an experiment. I could even extend it well beyond the 30 days, especially since the next CGW is still 3+ months away. A Sample Day As a typical example of how things are going with this trial so far, I’ll share how today went. I woke up at 5:30 this morning, and immediately my mind was racing with thoughts of writing this blog post. I didn’t originally plan to blog about my TLC trip, but the inspiration was there, so I had to ride it. I went straight to my computer and started writing, which was effortless. After 3 hours of writing, which passed in a blink, the phone rings. It’s Erin inviting me to go to breakfast with her. I realize that I’m starving and could use a break anyway, so I accept. While at breakfast, I got some inspired ideas related to our separation. Instead of pondering them and hashing them out a bit more, I shared them with her immediately. That turned out to be a wonderful thing, as it sent us down a path towards resolving some tricky practical aspects of our separation. Erin and I both leave happier, with a commitment to taking some specific actions that should make life easier for us both. From breakfast I drove to Starbucks to meet with a British military intelligence officer. I didn’t have any particular need to meet with him other than the fact that he expressed interest, and my intuition gave it a green light. We ended up having a fascinating 2.5-hour conversation. I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After a couple hours, the thought occurred that many of my readers might be interested in hearing what he had to say, so I asked him if he’d be up for an interview. He agreed. It turned out that doing an interview would be a win for him too because he’s about to enter a phase of writing and publishing his own ideas, including starting a blog. By the time I got home, he’d already sent me some article links that we discussed. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but I quickly wrote up a forum post to keep riding that wave. I wanted to see if there was interest in such an interview and if people had specific questions. It looks like there is indeed interest, so I’ll compile some questions and send them off to him when I feel inspired to do so. I wasn’t feeling any major waves of inspiration this afternoon, so I ate lunch, processed some communication, and handled a few minor tasks while watching the movie Pulp Fiction. Lately I’ve been getting a number of synchronicities associated with the filmInception, which I haven’t seen yet. I thought maybe I’d go see it this evening, and I saw there was a 7pm show at the local IMAX, so I “planned” to hit that show. Whoops. But around 6:30pm when I was thinking about leaving, I realized that I just didn’t feel inspired to go see the movie, at least not yet. I was starting to feel a mild pull in a different direction — oh yeah, I still wanted to finish up and post the blog entry I’d started in the morning. So I decided to skip the movie and go with the writing wave. You’re reading the result. While I’m writing the final section of this post, I hear a text message come through on my cell phone, but I don’t check it till now. It’s Rachelle asking about Skyping tonight. That feels right, so as soon as I’ve posted this article, I’ll flow into that next. I haven’t had dinner yet, but I notice I’m not hungry. There’s another IMAX showing of Inception at 10:20pm. If I go to that show, I’ll still have 30 minutes to Skype, but it would keep me up till 1am. I can’t predict whether I’ll see it tonight or not. I’ll have to wait and see if the energy of the moment is pulling me in that direction. As I was typing the last sentence, my laptop tells me I’ve got 9 minutes of battery power left. Time to go plug it in. This is going to be a very unusual 30 days. I have no idea how it will turn out. I can’t even say how much I’ll blog about it along the way — that too will depend on whether I’m inspired to do so. In any event, you may see some rather erratic behavior from me in the coming weeks. I’m extending this trial across all areas of my life, both personally and professionally. It’s a 24/7 commitment with no breaks except those that occur naturally as the inspirational waves ebb. I’m excited about this. It’s going to be an interesting 30 days to be sure. Wish me luck! 
    1593 Posted by UniqueThis
  • I spent last week in Santa Fe, NM for a Transformational Leadership Council retreat. These TLC retreats are held twice a year, and this is the third one I’ve attended. It was also the largest, with about 80 members (out of a total of 114) present. The atmosphere at TLC is like a big family reunion. It’s a place where people who are doing transformational work can come together to help and support each other both personally and professionally. Sometimes business deals happen, but the main focus isn’t transactional. It’s about caring for each other, supporting each other, and helping each other grow and improve. We meditate together each day, we sing, we dance, and we do fun and sometimes silly activities. We share many laughs and hundreds of hugs. We help support those who are going through rough times. We share our best ideas on how to accelerate the healing of this planet. We also pool our knowledge and skills to help each other in a spirit of cooperation. For example, at the January TLC retreat in Puerto Rico, I did a presentation on building web traffic. It was rewarding to see that six months later, a number of TLC members had already applied those ideas to reach more people with their positive messages. On top of that, we do a lot of deep introspection. We push ourselves to grow as human beings, to become more aware and to recognize new truths, to become stronger and more courageous, to connect more deeply and to become more heart-centered, and to more fully step into our missions to help create a better world. One of the most important elements is that we do this away from the public eye, sans fans and critics alike, so we can keep the energy very positive and loving but also honest and real. For me, going to TLC is like taking a weeklong spa day for the heart and spirit. Immersion Imagine spending a week with 80 transformational leaders, many of whom are the top experts in the world at what they do. Some are fabulously wealthy. Some are deeply insightful and brilliant. Some are very loving and compassionate. Some are incredibly fearless. You can informally walk up and ask anyone there about anything, and they’re happy to share their best ideas as if they’re your brothers and sisters. Some of them have been doing this kind of work longer than I’ve been alive. They know all the best methods and processes and whatnots. They know the places where fear, denial, and falsehood love to hide. Being at TLC is like going to a place where everyone has X-ray vision, so by default you end up walking around naked the whole time, even if you think you’re wearing clothes. If you speak something other than your truth, you’ll get called on your B.S. But you don’t get judged for your foibles. You just receive more unconditional love and acceptance. The focus there isn’t on fixing ourselves or transcending what we believe to be our faults. It’s about integrating the various parts of ourselves into a complete whole. The atmosphere at TLC is similar to what you’d find at CGW (especially on the third day of CGW). My ego would just love to credit the brilliant CGW content, but the content is only part of it, and arguably not the most important part. Many of the shifts have more to do with being around the energy of so many conscious people. It can be difficult to define or explain those shifts afterwards, but they’re extremely potent, and they can send one’s life spiraling off in new directions. Every CGW and TLC have had that kind of effect on me. In such an environment, much of the B.S. we tell ourselves simply burns away, and new truths finally have the chance to be seen and heard. For example, when people at CGW see how their lives could be filled with so much more love and connection, they cannot return to doing soulless work on Monday morning; the utter foolishness of that approach is too obvious to ignore, so they quit that same week and quickly transition to a path with a heart. They finally see that on the heartless path, they were already living without that which mattered most to them, so there was nothing more to lose… and everything to gain… by letting it go. TLC has a similar effect on me. It’s not really the content we share that’s the biggest element. The content does help, but the bigger shifts have to do with being bathed for several days in the positive energy we create. We could gather with no formal plan or structure, and it would still have a transformational effect. Great content just makes it that much better. Many TLC members recognize that working on ourselves and working to create a better world are inherently the same thing. Healing the world is a journey of self-healing. We are teachers because we are lifelong students, and teaching is one of the fastest (and most intense) ways to learn. That’s why I wrote 1000 articles and a book… and why I do workshops that turn out differently each time. By giving thoughts and ideas form and expression, I deepen my understanding of them. If I knew how an article was going to turn out before I started writing it, I wouldn’t need to write it. Everything I share and express is a growth experience for me; otherwise I delete it before it’s done and never post it. Intensity Every time I’ve gone to TLC, I’ve returned home feeling like a different person. At times the TLC experience can be like drinking from a fire hose. Occasionally I have to spend some time walking around by myself just to internally process the shifts that occur. Before attending TLC this time, I was already in a really good place. I’d just finished an amazing Conscious Growth Workshop a couple days earlier, so I was still enjoying that post-workshop high, feeling incredibly grateful and happy and super motivated. The first couple days of TLC were a bit of a letdown, energetically speaking. It usually takes a day or two for the energy at TLC to amp up, just as it does at CGW. It was great to reconnect with so many friends, but on Day 2 I started feeling bored and listless. By the next morning, I was actually feeling grumpy, and when I turned within to ask myself why, I realized that part of me felt that I really didn’t need a “vacation” right now and that I’d much rather be getting some real work done. Going to this particular TLC seemed like an unnecessary indulgence when I had so many other things to attend to, both personally and professionally. At this particular time, I didn’t want to be on a retreat. I wanted to be advancing. I was already renewed and energized when I got there. But I still had several more days there, and I didn’t want to be fighting with myself the whole time, so I acknowledged and accepted that feeling and the message behind it, applying a process that was a blend of Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind method and Hale Dwoskin’s Sedona Method. (Both of them were at TLC.) This process took only minutes. In fact, I did it while taking a shower, so it didn’t even take any extra time. Almost immediately, the grumpiness and boredom vanished, their message received. By realizing that I wanted to be active and productive rather than taking time off and restoring myself, I shifted my focus and saw that I could use TLC to get some actual work done and to make it a productive experience, instead of treating it like an unwanted break. This might seem obvious in retrospect, but it wasn’t obvious to me at the time. With a better attitude, I launched into the third day of TLC with a lot more motivation and passion, and this energy carried me through the rest of the week. I spent many hours connecting with people I wanted to get to know better, and I deepened some existing connections. I picked up ideas for improving CGW, and I got advice for growing my business. I found several new potential joint-venture partners. I learned new methods and techniques. I also shared a lot of advice to help others, especially with blogging and traffic building. And I recorded a few videos to help members promote their work. And I had a lot more fun since I was congruent about wanting to be there. I took the exercises seriously and worked a lot on myself too. It’s too much to explain in a blog post though. (That’s a B.S. excuse, but I’m hoping you’ll buy it for now while I do more inner work on it and build up the courage to share it.) Suffice it to say that I went through some huge emotional shifts related to my past. One morning I woke up in my hotel room, and all I could do was cry for about an hour, struck by some realizations I’d been repressing for most of my life. Pretty frakkin’ painful stuff. I’m still not sure I’m ready to deal with it yet, but I have to practice what I preach. Sometimes it annoys me that I teach courage. There was another attendee who arrived later in the week, and her needs were practically the opposite of mine. She’d been on the road for a few weeks, and she was feeling worn down. She came to TLC for renewal and rejuvenation, and she got that. Authenticity One thing I love about TLC is that the people there are very authentic. One thing I hate about TLC is that the people there are very authentic. (That isn’t a typo.) As much as you might think you’d love it, hanging out with dozens of highly authentic people for a week is tougher than it sounds. That kind of experience shines a light on your own authenticity issues. You may even come to see that the pursuit of authenticity is yet another form of self-delusion. Many people have asked me how on earth I can publicly share certain aspects of my life on my blog, such as I wrote about in the article Share Your Shame. The underlying assumption is that if people knew the real truth about you, you could be socially ostracized. Your friends and family would shun you. You’d be cut off, abandoned, and tossed aside for being unworthy. In the end you would receive less love. But the truth is that the exact opposite happens. Initially there may be some tumult, but the long-term outlook is extremely positive. When you learn to love and accept all parts of yourself, especially the parts you’d rather keep hidden, then you attract a lot more authentic love and support from others. Instead of being shunned, you’re welcomed and invited and included. We all have these dark parts of ourselves that are difficult to accept and integrate. But your secrets aren’t secret at all. People can see right through you. They just aren’t telling you about it because they can see you aren’t ready to deal with it yet. Your inner shame is far from unique. We all have similar issues. Only the details are different. My friends in TLC have plenty of dirt on me. It’s not like it’s a secret. They know I separated from my wife last year, that I went bankrupt, that I used to be a thief, that I’m into D/s, and so on. And it just isn’t a big deal. In fact, all that stuff is more like a badge of honor. During the awards ceremony one night, I joked that I was hoping to qualify for the most recent divorce award. The truth, however, is that my issues just aren’t particularly striking or unique. It’s practically a truism that the people there have had to go through some serious challenges at one point or another, such as divorce, loss, addiction, financial scarcity, abuse, and more. It’s a pretty common pattern that a TLC member’s life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, as opposed to smooth sailing all the way. The stuff that really tugs at my heart is when these loving and compassionate people have to deal with things like the death of a spouse or a drug-addicted child. And they ultimately process those experiences in ways that allow them to become even more loving and compassionate, even though they have every reason to justify becoming resentful and bitter. People sometimes ask me, “Is so and so the real deal?” And having met these people behind the scenes, I have to say yes again and again. These people pour their hearts and souls into their missions, and I respect and love them immensely. I feel honored to be included in this group. The Challenge of Being in the Public Eye One of the reasons TLC is so important is that doing this kind of work can be very challenging, especially when you’re in the public eye. The exposure to criticism can be brutal at times. It’s really helpful to have a group of supportive friends you can turn to, get bandaged up, and go back out into the world again. These people aren’t superheroes. They’re very much human. When they take a beating, it hurts them and slows them down, but in the long run, it also makes them stronger and more compassionate. I can’t say I’ve encountered anyone there who does this kind of work for the money. If such a person exists, I’ve never met him/her. Even the ones who teach about wealth and abundance seem to be primarily motivated by the love of the work and the desire to contribute. The truth is that it breaks their hearts when they see people suffering from lack, and they want to do what they can to alleviate suffering and spread more happiness and abundance. I think if you got to know the people behind the scenes as I have, you’d feel immensely grateful for them. Even when they’re dealing with major personal and professional challenges, they just keep giving, giving, giving. Maybe their contributions aren’t perfect, but they do the best they can. What you may not realize is that these people question everything they do. They question whether they should use certain Internet marketing techniques, or if the methods would be manipulative. They wonder about how they can help more people. They wonder how they can be more impactful on each person they connect with. They wonder about what to work on in themselves so that they may become better teachers. For all the criticism they receive, they are their own harshest critics. If their critics actually knew the personal standards these people hold themselves to, it would make those critics cringe and say, “Whoa… go easy on yourself.” Of course this is something I had to learn as well. I spent a good 10 minutes today casting unconditional love at Tony Robbins. He isn’t a TLC member, but it became clear to me that he too must be doing the best he can. Inspiration I realize this is a rambling article, perhaps a bit too stream of consciousness, so let me get to the wrap up portion. This was a mind-blowing week, but one element in particular was especially mind-blowing. About halfway through the week, Joe Vitale gave a talk on inspiration. I first met Joe and his wife Nerissa at the July TLC in 2009, so I’ve known them for about a year, but this is the first time I saw Joe speak. He was simply brilliant. Joe and I have something in common in that we are both content machines. He’s authored 52 books, for instance, and he’s constantly giving birth to new products. I haven’t been working in this field as long as he has, but I’ve authored a respectable 1000 articles in less than 6 years, which is enough to fill about 25 books… not to mention getting one actual book published as well. Joe explained how he creates his content, which I recognized as essentially the same approach I use. When an inspired idea comes to me, I act on it almost immediately. I know that I have about a 48-hour window — maximum — to write and publish that idea. Otherwise the energy is gone. Trying to create that same content later is possible, but it’s much more difficult and takes a lot longer. The experience is like catching a wave. I might wake up one morning and get an idea for a new article, and I know I need to grab my laptop immediately and let it flow through me. In those situations I can write nearly as fast as I can type, without having to pause to think. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s a real wave and what’s just a minor swell, but this calibration gets better with practice. When you catch the wave and stick with it, it has sufficient energy to carry you all the way through to completion of whatever it is you’re creating, as long as you’re willing to put most other things aside and stick to that wave like glue. Again, it’s like surfing. If you stick with the wave, you can ride it all the way to shore. Well… as Joe continued to speak, I realized that he does something I don’t. He uses this same method for acting on business ideas in general. I haven’t been doing that. I only use it for content creation, and the vast majority of that content has been in the form of free articles. Joe, however, also uses this method to conjure up new products, workshops, events, business deals, and so on. That’s when I gave myself a mental slap upside the head. Duh. Duh. Duh. For some stupid reason, I’ve been managing the rest of my business in a much more left-brained fashion. I get inspired business ideas all the time, but instead of acting on them immediately and riding them like the time-sensitive waves they are, I toss the ideas into my inbox for later processing. Then perhaps a week later, I’ll consider each idea carefully and integrate it into my to-do list for future action. But by and large, by the time I get around to them, if ever, that wave of energy has long since dissipated, and trying to start those projects is like pulling teeth. Consequently, the content creation aspect of my business has always been super easy for me. I know I’ll never run out of ideas there. But the rest of my business changes much more slowly. My website, for instance, has essentially the same design as it did 5 years ago. Very quickly I got the idea to do a 30-day trial of acting on inspiration almost immediately whenever it hits me, whether it has to do with content creation or some other idea. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait, so I kicked it off while I was still at TLC. To be honest, I really don’t care about the exactitude of the 30-day stretch for this trial, but today was Day 4. This is new territory for me, so it may entail some hidden risks. I know it works on the content side, but I can’t predict what will happen as I apply this to the rest of my life. In order to begin this trial, I had to remind myself that worst case, I probably can’t screw things up so badly in 30 days that I can’t repair the damage later if necessary. Because the potential benefits are so great, I’m willing to take this risk. 30 Days of Inspired Action The same day I heard Joe’s talk (Friday), I was in my hotel room at around 8pm, and a stray thought popped into my head. I got the idea to put up an eBay auction for a 60-minute consultation, as I shared in my previous blog post. I began to ponder it, and my initial inclination was to jot down the idea and then consider it when I got back to Vegas the following week. Then I stopped and smacked myself and said, “No… you have to catch this wave now and see where it takes you. Don’t just let it pass.” So I dove into immediate action. I wasn’t sure how far I’d get with it, but I started by checking to see if my old eBay account was still good. I hadn’t logged in since March 2001, but the account was still there. I haven’t used eBay in a very long time, so it took me about 30 minutes to create the listing and make it live, something an experienced eBayer could have done in 10 minutes or less I’m sure. Then I spent another 20 minutes writing a quickie blog post about it, and that also fed to myTwitter and Facebook pages. Imagine that. Less than an hour after getting the idea, it was already up and running. If I’d written it down instead of acting upon it immediately, I could have wasted that much time just pondering whether or not I should do it. A few minutes later, I was Skyping with Erin, and I told her what I’d done. She loved it. Then she checked on the auction and told me I was already up to $51. I said, “You’re joking… it hasn’t even been up for 10 minutes yet.” But she wasn’t joking. By the time I went to bed, it had reached $132.50. The next morning it was at $425. Today it hit $1000, and there are still 3 days left till the auction closes. I can’t predict where it will end up. If you want to see what it’s up to now, you can visit the auction page. The auction officially ends on Friday, July 30, at 9:28:29 PDT. The next day I told Joe about this, and he loved it. I told other TLC members about it as well, and throughout the rest of the conference, people would check in with me to see how the auction was going. I think they were just as curious about it as I was. One morning at breakfast a fellow TLCer asked me, “So what are you up to?” I started telling him what I’d been doing, and he said, “No no… I mean, ‘What are the bids up to?’” Some people have asked me what this means. Does it mean I’m going to be doing paid coaching and consulting? Does it mean I’ll do more eBay auctions? Honestly I have no idea. It’s not part of some grand plan. This was pure impulse. I’m simply going with the flow of an inspired idea and riding it to shore. I can’t say when the next wave will arrive or what it will look like. This wasn’t even an idea with an intention behind it. I wasn’t intending to make money with it or anything. The motivation for this idea was sheer curiosity. I want to see what happens when I act on these sorts of ideas immediately, without trying to analyze or understand them first. In order to be true to this 30-day trial, I can’t think and plan ahead. If I schedule a bunch of stuff in advance or try to plan things out, I’m at risk of not being able to ride those waves of inspiration when they come. One thing I find very interesting is that from today through the rest of the trial, my calendar is completely blank. I don’t have a single scheduled appointment at all — no interviews, no meetings, nothing. There are still some events coming up, including my son’s 7th birthday and some potential travel, but none of it is in the form of a fixed appointment, at least not yet. I did have an appointment to meet with someone Wednesday morning, but it got bumped to today, so it’s already done with. And I would definitely say it was an inspired meeting. I’m used to having a flexible schedule, but it’s pretty unusual to have such a huge block of time with no scheduled appointments. I should at least have a radio interview in there… or a workshop… or a scheduled phone call… or something. But no — it’s totally blank. Is that just a coincidence? I can’t say. But this is an ideal time for me to conduct such an experiment. I could even extend it well beyond the 30 days, especially since the next CGW is still 3+ months away. A Sample Day As a typical example of how things are going with this trial so far, I’ll share how today went. I woke up at 5:30 this morning, and immediately my mind was racing with thoughts of writing this blog post. I didn’t originally plan to blog about my TLC trip, but the inspiration was there, so I had to ride it. I went straight to my computer and started writing, which was effortless. After 3 hours of writing, which passed in a blink, the phone rings. It’s Erin inviting me to go to breakfast with her. I realize that I’m starving and could use a break anyway, so I accept. While at breakfast, I got some inspired ideas related to our separation. Instead of pondering them and hashing them out a bit more, I shared them with her immediately. That turned out to be a wonderful thing, as it sent us down a path towards resolving some tricky practical aspects of our separation. Erin and I both leave happier, with a commitment to taking some specific actions that should make life easier for us both. From breakfast I drove to Starbucks to meet with a British military intelligence officer. I didn’t have any particular need to meet with him other than the fact that he expressed interest, and my intuition gave it a green light. We ended up having a fascinating 2.5-hour conversation. I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After a couple hours, the thought occurred that many of my readers might be interested in hearing what he had to say, so I asked him if he’d be up for an interview. He agreed. It turned out that doing an interview would be a win for him too because he’s about to enter a phase of writing and publishing his own ideas, including starting a blog. By the time I got home, he’d already sent me some article links that we discussed. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but I quickly wrote up a forum post to keep riding that wave. I wanted to see if there was interest in such an interview and if people had specific questions. It looks like there is indeed interest, so I’ll compile some questions and send them off to him when I feel inspired to do so. I wasn’t feeling any major waves of inspiration this afternoon, so I ate lunch, processed some communication, and handled a few minor tasks while watching the movie Pulp Fiction. Lately I’ve been getting a number of synchronicities associated with the filmInception, which I haven’t seen yet. I thought maybe I’d go see it this evening, and I saw there was a 7pm show at the local IMAX, so I “planned” to hit that show. Whoops. But around 6:30pm when I was thinking about leaving, I realized that I just didn’t feel inspired to go see the movie, at least not yet. I was starting to feel a mild pull in a different direction — oh yeah, I still wanted to finish up and post the blog entry I’d started in the morning. So I decided to skip the movie and go with the writing wave. You’re reading the result. While I’m writing the final section of this post, I hear a text message come through on my cell phone, but I don’t check it till now. It’s Rachelle asking about Skyping tonight. That feels right, so as soon as I’ve posted this article, I’ll flow into that next. I haven’t had dinner yet, but I notice I’m not hungry. There’s another IMAX showing of Inception at 10:20pm. If I go to that show, I’ll still have 30 minutes to Skype, but it would keep me up till 1am. I can’t predict whether I’ll see it tonight or not. I’ll have to wait and see if the energy of the moment is pulling me in that direction. As I was typing the last sentence, my laptop tells me I’ve got 9 minutes of battery power left. Time to go plug it in. This is going to be a very unusual 30 days. I have no idea how it will turn out. I can’t even say how much I’ll blog about it along the way — that too will depend on whether I’m inspired to do so. In any event, you may see some rather erratic behavior from me in the coming weeks. I’m extending this trial across all areas of my life, both personally and professionally. It’s a 24/7 commitment with no breaks except those that occur naturally as the inspirational waves ebb. I’m excited about this. It’s going to be an interesting 30 days to be sure. Wish me luck! 
    Jul 27, 2011 1593
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Today is Day 5 of my 30-day trial of inspired living, as I explained in the previous post. If you missed that post, basically I’m testing what it’s like to live without thinking or planning ahead. I’m living in the moment and doing my best to act on inspiration whenever it comes to me, riding each wave for as long as it lasts. If I’m not feeling any strong inspiration, then in those moments I’ll take some downtime or catch up on routine tasks like email — and take the time to eat, shower, etc. I’m not scheduling anything at all, unless the inspiration to schedule something hits me. I’m not using an alarm clock to wake up at any particular time, I’m not “planning” to exercise unless I’m inspired to do so, and I’m only eating meals if and when I’m inspired to eat. I’m learning that hunger can be somewhat inspirational at times, but last night I skipped dinner entirely and went to bed hungry because I didn’t feel inspired to eat. I was too busy following other inspirations, so being hungry didn’t bother me much. By the end of the day, I was spent and collapsed into bed. A Difficult Trial What began in the spirit of fun and adventure is now becoming much more difficult. I’m realizing that this is shaping up to be the most challenging and intense 30-day trial I’ve ever done. How nice that this part of it shows up after I’ve already made a public commitment to it… This trial isn’t about testing a new habit or altering my sleeping or eating patterns. It’s a 24/7 commitment. Part of me is surprised that I can even commit to this at all. I had to get my thinking to a whole different level just to say yes to this experiment. Dealing with the unpredictability of what’s going to happen next is extremely unsettling. In order to make it through this, I have to let go of trying to control anything. I have to let go and trust. I’m also seeing that in any given moment, I can be under the influence of multiple waves of inspiration at the same time. They don’t conveniently line up for linear processing. They arrive in complex layers sometimes. When there are multiple waves overlapping, I do my best to ride the strongest wave at the time. Another pattern is that each wave has its own crests and troughs. Sometimes there’s a powerful impulse, but it’s too much to do all at once. After I catch and ride the initial wave, there’s a lull, and then another related wave shows up to move things further along. Initially I figured that I couldn’t screw things up so badly with this trial that the damage would be irreparable. Now I’m having serious doubts about that. As I ponder what’s beginning to show up now, I can easily see a pathway where I could do some real “damage.” I could throw a lot of things out there that would make it impossible to ever return to my Day 1 equilibrium. There are certain things that, once I put them out there, can’t be recalled. If I act on such impulses, my life will spin off in some new direction, and there will be no going back. An example was when I shared the story in the Meaning of Life: Intro article. There was no way to back away from that once it was posted. I don’t regret doing it, but I can never go back to what my life was like before I posted that. At this point, I now expect that by Day 30, I’ll have probably done at least some things that will make it impossible to restore my life to essentially the same place it was in on Day 1. That’s pretty unsettling. I now see that it’s going to take a lot of courage to continue, let alone complete, this trial. I know you probably don’t see evidence of that yet, but I imagine you’ll have a better grasp of what I mean by the end of the trial. Subjective Reality There’s another aspect to this trial that I haven’t mentioned yet. For me this trial is also a deeper exploration of the perspective of subjective reality. Subjective reality is the notion that consciousness is primary, that there’s only one consciousness, and that all of physical reality is essentially a dream world that arises within consciousness. I’ve shared articles about this concept years ago. If you care to learn more about it, see the Archives, and scan for the articles with “subjective reality” in the title. At the last CGW, I spent much of the final two hours explaining how subjective reality works, along with some personal experiments that indicate it may in fact be a more accurate model of reality than the objective model (whereby the physical universe is primary and consciousness arises within it). At one point, I asked the CGW attendees that if they had to pick one or the other, which model did they feel was probably the more accurate depiction of how reality actually works? Interestingly, the room was divided roughly 50-50, with half the people favoring the subjective model and half favoring the objective one. That didn’t surprise me because I’ve been on the fence as to which model is likely to be more accurate. From a subjective standpoint, it makes perfect sense that the dream characters in my reality would reflect back to me a 50-50 split. Well, after that CGW, I began thinking that I was ready to explore the subjective perspective in greater depth than ever before. I had largely stopped progressing down that path because quite honestly, it scared me. Things were beginning to get too strange too quickly. This perspective was bestowing me with more power than I felt ready for. For example, in less than a year (which was 2006-2007), I progressed from manifesting pennies to manifesting $50K. And to this day I can still create roughly $50K amounts with relative ease. I’ve also manifested lots of other good things in my life. All of my needs are well met, I enjoy an abundant life, and I’m genuinely happy with my existence. But this begs the question, “How deep does the rabbit hole really go?” After a few years of stalling interspersed with some very gradual steps forward, I finally decided that as scary as it was, I needed to get moving in this direction once again. Within days some synchronicities began showing up. Some were personal, and others were more public and obvious. For example, right after I made this decision, the movie Inception showed up in my reality and began generating a lot of buzz. Several people began telling me to go see it, some claiming that it included elements of subjective reality. I almost went to see it last night, but I still haven’t seen it yet. Maybe today if the inspiration hits me. Before making this decision though, I’d never even heard of this movie. Another thing that happened is that some TLC friends shared some subjective manifestation stories of their own with me, stuff that was beyond what I’d experimented with on my own. For example, Joe Vitale shared the story of Dr. Hew Len, a therapist who cured a hospital filled with mentally ill patients without ever seeing them. If you believe the story, this sort of healing is tough to explain objectively, but it makes perfect sense if reality is in fact a subjective dream world. If you want to learn more about this therapist, go read the article The World’s Most Unusual Therapist, or read Joe’s book Zero Limits. I’ve already started testing some of these ideas, and some curious results are beginning to show up. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to regard other human beings as separate and distinct from me now. At present I’d say I’m now around 80-20 in the sense that I’m 80% certain that subjective reality is the more accurate model of how the universe actually works. Consequently, I’m beginning to loosen my grip on the objective side, and I’m beginning to do things that may seem risky from an objective standpoint, but subjectively they make perfect sense. This trial is a good example. Objectively speaking, it’s a very risky thing to do. By acting impulsively for weeks on end without pausing to think things through, I could really screw up my life both personally and professionally. I could potentially do and say some things that have serious long-term consequences, not just for me, but for other people in my life. However, from a subjective standpoint, this should actually be a much more sensible way to live. The notion of an “out there” is nothing but illusion, and it makes no sense to fear what may happen in a world that’s a projection anyway. Needing to Know I’m embarking on this trial because I really need to know. I can’t remain on the fence. I have to go down this pathway and see where it leads. It scares me to do so, but I’ll just take it one day at a time. If things get really screwed up along the way, I’m willing to accept those consequences. I’d be willing to sacrifice a lot in order to discover some new truths (or old ones I’ve forgotten). I think that deep down, part of me already knows that reality is subjective and that the whole objective model is pure delusion. But I can’t overcome my doubts by staring at them and pondering them. I have to push through the fear and doubt and resistance and see what really lies on the other side. Will it be a glorious new level of existence, or will it lead to chaos? I strongly suspect it’s the former, but the only way I can really do this experiment properly is by being willing to accept the possibility that I may experience the latter. Inner Processing I’m still doing a lot of inner processing. If I feel inspired to share the details at some point, I’ll do so, even if it’s really difficult in the moment. Last night I went to bed at 1:30am, and I woke up at 4:30am. Some very emotional stuff began coming up again, and I did little else but cry and sob till 6:15am. I’m still not sure if I’ll share the details about this publicly. It would probably stir up some drama if I did, but for now I’m not feeling the inspiration to write about it, at least not yet. I am getting a glimpse of things to come. I may not be able to control it, but I can try to make sense of it along the way. One thing I’m seeing is that I’m going to be pretty busy. Lots of energy is getting stirred up, and it’s leading to a lot of activity. I can’t separate the personal side from the professional side, so I don’t know in advance which part of my life I’ll be working on most. It feels like I’m working on both at the same time. I made breakfast almost two hours ago, before I started writing this post, but it’s been sitting there uneaten this whole time. I’m pretty hungry, but I’ve had to follow this wave of inspiration to write because it was the stronger wave. Hopefully I can go eat once I post this. I’m also very thirsty. There’s a full glass of water next to me, but I’ve barely sipped it. I stuck with the writing wave until it reached its shoreline, even as my hunger and thirst increased along the way.
    1522 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Today is Day 5 of my 30-day trial of inspired living, as I explained in the previous post. If you missed that post, basically I’m testing what it’s like to live without thinking or planning ahead. I’m living in the moment and doing my best to act on inspiration whenever it comes to me, riding each wave for as long as it lasts. If I’m not feeling any strong inspiration, then in those moments I’ll take some downtime or catch up on routine tasks like email — and take the time to eat, shower, etc. I’m not scheduling anything at all, unless the inspiration to schedule something hits me. I’m not using an alarm clock to wake up at any particular time, I’m not “planning” to exercise unless I’m inspired to do so, and I’m only eating meals if and when I’m inspired to eat. I’m learning that hunger can be somewhat inspirational at times, but last night I skipped dinner entirely and went to bed hungry because I didn’t feel inspired to eat. I was too busy following other inspirations, so being hungry didn’t bother me much. By the end of the day, I was spent and collapsed into bed. A Difficult Trial What began in the spirit of fun and adventure is now becoming much more difficult. I’m realizing that this is shaping up to be the most challenging and intense 30-day trial I’ve ever done. How nice that this part of it shows up after I’ve already made a public commitment to it… This trial isn’t about testing a new habit or altering my sleeping or eating patterns. It’s a 24/7 commitment. Part of me is surprised that I can even commit to this at all. I had to get my thinking to a whole different level just to say yes to this experiment. Dealing with the unpredictability of what’s going to happen next is extremely unsettling. In order to make it through this, I have to let go of trying to control anything. I have to let go and trust. I’m also seeing that in any given moment, I can be under the influence of multiple waves of inspiration at the same time. They don’t conveniently line up for linear processing. They arrive in complex layers sometimes. When there are multiple waves overlapping, I do my best to ride the strongest wave at the time. Another pattern is that each wave has its own crests and troughs. Sometimes there’s a powerful impulse, but it’s too much to do all at once. After I catch and ride the initial wave, there’s a lull, and then another related wave shows up to move things further along. Initially I figured that I couldn’t screw things up so badly with this trial that the damage would be irreparable. Now I’m having serious doubts about that. As I ponder what’s beginning to show up now, I can easily see a pathway where I could do some real “damage.” I could throw a lot of things out there that would make it impossible to ever return to my Day 1 equilibrium. There are certain things that, once I put them out there, can’t be recalled. If I act on such impulses, my life will spin off in some new direction, and there will be no going back. An example was when I shared the story in the Meaning of Life: Intro article. There was no way to back away from that once it was posted. I don’t regret doing it, but I can never go back to what my life was like before I posted that. At this point, I now expect that by Day 30, I’ll have probably done at least some things that will make it impossible to restore my life to essentially the same place it was in on Day 1. That’s pretty unsettling. I now see that it’s going to take a lot of courage to continue, let alone complete, this trial. I know you probably don’t see evidence of that yet, but I imagine you’ll have a better grasp of what I mean by the end of the trial. Subjective Reality There’s another aspect to this trial that I haven’t mentioned yet. For me this trial is also a deeper exploration of the perspective of subjective reality. Subjective reality is the notion that consciousness is primary, that there’s only one consciousness, and that all of physical reality is essentially a dream world that arises within consciousness. I’ve shared articles about this concept years ago. If you care to learn more about it, see the Archives, and scan for the articles with “subjective reality” in the title. At the last CGW, I spent much of the final two hours explaining how subjective reality works, along with some personal experiments that indicate it may in fact be a more accurate model of reality than the objective model (whereby the physical universe is primary and consciousness arises within it). At one point, I asked the CGW attendees that if they had to pick one or the other, which model did they feel was probably the more accurate depiction of how reality actually works? Interestingly, the room was divided roughly 50-50, with half the people favoring the subjective model and half favoring the objective one. That didn’t surprise me because I’ve been on the fence as to which model is likely to be more accurate. From a subjective standpoint, it makes perfect sense that the dream characters in my reality would reflect back to me a 50-50 split. Well, after that CGW, I began thinking that I was ready to explore the subjective perspective in greater depth than ever before. I had largely stopped progressing down that path because quite honestly, it scared me. Things were beginning to get too strange too quickly. This perspective was bestowing me with more power than I felt ready for. For example, in less than a year (which was 2006-2007), I progressed from manifesting pennies to manifesting $50K. And to this day I can still create roughly $50K amounts with relative ease. I’ve also manifested lots of other good things in my life. All of my needs are well met, I enjoy an abundant life, and I’m genuinely happy with my existence. But this begs the question, “How deep does the rabbit hole really go?” After a few years of stalling interspersed with some very gradual steps forward, I finally decided that as scary as it was, I needed to get moving in this direction once again. Within days some synchronicities began showing up. Some were personal, and others were more public and obvious. For example, right after I made this decision, the movie Inception showed up in my reality and began generating a lot of buzz. Several people began telling me to go see it, some claiming that it included elements of subjective reality. I almost went to see it last night, but I still haven’t seen it yet. Maybe today if the inspiration hits me. Before making this decision though, I’d never even heard of this movie. Another thing that happened is that some TLC friends shared some subjective manifestation stories of their own with me, stuff that was beyond what I’d experimented with on my own. For example, Joe Vitale shared the story of Dr. Hew Len, a therapist who cured a hospital filled with mentally ill patients without ever seeing them. If you believe the story, this sort of healing is tough to explain objectively, but it makes perfect sense if reality is in fact a subjective dream world. If you want to learn more about this therapist, go read the article The World’s Most Unusual Therapist, or read Joe’s book Zero Limits. I’ve already started testing some of these ideas, and some curious results are beginning to show up. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to regard other human beings as separate and distinct from me now. At present I’d say I’m now around 80-20 in the sense that I’m 80% certain that subjective reality is the more accurate model of how the universe actually works. Consequently, I’m beginning to loosen my grip on the objective side, and I’m beginning to do things that may seem risky from an objective standpoint, but subjectively they make perfect sense. This trial is a good example. Objectively speaking, it’s a very risky thing to do. By acting impulsively for weeks on end without pausing to think things through, I could really screw up my life both personally and professionally. I could potentially do and say some things that have serious long-term consequences, not just for me, but for other people in my life. However, from a subjective standpoint, this should actually be a much more sensible way to live. The notion of an “out there” is nothing but illusion, and it makes no sense to fear what may happen in a world that’s a projection anyway. Needing to Know I’m embarking on this trial because I really need to know. I can’t remain on the fence. I have to go down this pathway and see where it leads. It scares me to do so, but I’ll just take it one day at a time. If things get really screwed up along the way, I’m willing to accept those consequences. I’d be willing to sacrifice a lot in order to discover some new truths (or old ones I’ve forgotten). I think that deep down, part of me already knows that reality is subjective and that the whole objective model is pure delusion. But I can’t overcome my doubts by staring at them and pondering them. I have to push through the fear and doubt and resistance and see what really lies on the other side. Will it be a glorious new level of existence, or will it lead to chaos? I strongly suspect it’s the former, but the only way I can really do this experiment properly is by being willing to accept the possibility that I may experience the latter. Inner Processing I’m still doing a lot of inner processing. If I feel inspired to share the details at some point, I’ll do so, even if it’s really difficult in the moment. Last night I went to bed at 1:30am, and I woke up at 4:30am. Some very emotional stuff began coming up again, and I did little else but cry and sob till 6:15am. I’m still not sure if I’ll share the details about this publicly. It would probably stir up some drama if I did, but for now I’m not feeling the inspiration to write about it, at least not yet. I am getting a glimpse of things to come. I may not be able to control it, but I can try to make sense of it along the way. One thing I’m seeing is that I’m going to be pretty busy. Lots of energy is getting stirred up, and it’s leading to a lot of activity. I can’t separate the personal side from the professional side, so I don’t know in advance which part of my life I’ll be working on most. It feels like I’m working on both at the same time. I made breakfast almost two hours ago, before I started writing this post, but it’s been sitting there uneaten this whole time. I’m pretty hungry, but I’ve had to follow this wave of inspiration to write because it was the stronger wave. Hopefully I can go eat once I post this. I’m also very thirsty. There’s a full glass of water next to me, but I’ve barely sipped it. I stuck with the writing wave until it reached its shoreline, even as my hunger and thirst increased along the way.
    Jul 27, 2011 1522
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Apparently there’s a lot of interest in this 30-day inspiration trial. My various e-inboxes have been surging with messages expressing support and curiosity. Many of them have to do with the subjective reality aspect of this trial, so that’s what I’ll address in this Day 6 update. Inception Let me get this out of the way first. I finally saw the movie Inception last night. Honestly I thought it was good but not up to all the hype surrounding it. I thought it would have been cooler if the dreams were like real lucid dreams, such that the conscious characters could wield more control over their environments, as inThe Matrix but even more so. I thought there were some interesting elements to it, like the totems, but I was a bit restless during some of the action sequences. Overall I’d give it a B+. Death and Subjective Reality After seeing Inception, several people asked me about the risk of committing suicide in connection with a subjective belief system. If you believe that reality is a dream world, will you want to kill yourself at some point in order to awaken from the dream? Death may be the ultimate revealer of truth. But it may also be the ultimate false barrier. There’s no guarantee that after death, truth is revealed. The dream may simply continue on in a different form. I’ve had nighttime dreams where I died and woke up, but it was a false awakening. The dream continued on, with me dreaming that I woke up in my bed, realized I’d been dreaming, and went on about my day. But then I woke up again for real… Or did I?  Objectively speaking, death is inevitable, and it’s apparently a serious transition. Subjectively speaking, death is simply another belief border. It’s an unknown where one’s own beliefs must create the experience. In the subjective sense, dying is like visiting a city you’ve never been to. Before this summer, I’d never visited Montreal. As I got closer to taking that trip, my beliefs filled in more and more of the details, so when I arrived there, the city manifested itself as a projection consistent with my beliefs. I never saw the whole city of course, only a small window into it, one which could simply have been a thought projection. I rather liked the simulation of Montreal. It was a cool place to dream up. I might dream it up again someday and flesh out more of the details. Death is like visiting a new city. Your beliefs will fill in the details, and you’ll see something largely consistent with your expectations. My reality includes many people who approach death slowly and cautiously. Instead of crossing over suddenly, they take years to cross that border. This part of my reality is a projection of my belief that death isn’t something I understand well enough to jump into haphazardly, so I must creep up on it very slowly. Hence lots of people in my reality take many years to transition, and they usually don’t want to go because they don’t feel ready to die yet. I don’t feel ready to die yet either. If I were to shift my beliefs about death, such that dying quickly at my own hands appeared to be a wise choice, then my dream world would most likely manifest a major increase in suicides (or some other form of swift transitions), and people in general would take less time to cross over. But as long as my reality is largely doing the opposite, with so many people slowly creeping up on that border crossing, it’s because I’m still projecting my own cautious attitude towards death, and it would be very unlikely for me to dive into it impulsively. So keep an eye out for an increase in mass suicides in this dream world. Until that happens there’s no cause for concern.  eBay Auction After sharing yesterday that eBay delisted my consultation auction before it had a chance to finish, a number of people offered me alternative suggestions, most of which were ways I could work around eBay’s rules and essentially try again. Objectively speaking, all of those are good suggestions, and I appreciate that people took the time to share them. But I have to decline those ideas because I’m on the subjective side now, and on that side, my interpretation of these events leads me down a different path. Why did eBay delist my auction for a 60-minute consultation? Well, basically someone must have reported it as inappropriate, even though there are many similar auctions listed on the site. eBay then took it down because they’re playing it safe. Apparently they consider it too risky to list intangible items, but they only seem to take action when someone actively reports it. As I interpret this reality as a dream world, a projection of my own thoughts, I have to ask what thoughts gave rise to these dream events. To me that’s rather obvious. This event tells me that some part of me is concerned about the path I’m going down. It feels I should play it safe. And if I don’t do so, it’s going to turn me in, so to speak, meaning that it may sabotage my progress and keep me from moving forward. In other words, it’s going to cut my 30-day trial short if it feels I’m going too far into the realm of the intangible and not staying grounded enough. This is the part of me that trusts the physical but not the intangible. Now look at the proposed solutions that people suggested. Many of those solutions are ways of doing essentially the same thing and attempting to bypass the problem by working around eBay’s rules, sometimes in a sneaky way. I have to reject such solutions because objectively speaking, eBay has the right to set its own policy, and I’m not going to try to play games with them or jump through hoops to work with them. If they don’t want me to do business with them in the manner I’d prefer, that’s their choice, and I’ll honor that. No tricks or games. Subjectively speaking, I’m saying that it doesn’t make sense for me to try to sneak past my own subconscious doubts. My subconscious has every right to object. So I listen to this objection and say, “Yes, I hear you. There may be unforeseen risks ahead. Please continue to remain alert and watch out for them.” On the objective side, I accept eBay’s warning, thank them for it, and let it go. This incident was simply the manifestation of a part of me that’s telling me to be cautious. It is a message to hear, not a problem to be solved. This was a warning sign but not a roadblock, a yellow light but not a red one. The eBay listing didn’t cost me any money, and I actually saw a boost in web traffic due to the extra publicity over this event. Yesterday was my highest-traffic day in nearly 2 months. So despite the apparent setback, I actually came out ahead. I also like that this experiment has stimulated some cool discussion and many interesting suggestions, and I’ll bet that down the road we’ll see a number of people doing further experiments along these lines. The objective world “problem” here is a solvable one. There are many workable solutions, such as using a different auction platform or finding another way to list the auction that would satisfy eBay’s requirements. So the message here is that there is a way to move forward without triggering any alarms; I just need to be careful about it. Another aspect here is that I was perhaps a bit ignorant in listing my consultation on eBay. I hadn’t used eBay in almost a decade. If I’d been more savvy, I might have done the listing differently and made it work the first time. This part of the message tells me that there may be a learning curve here. The reason for caution is that I’m not that subjectively savvy yet, so I’m bound to make some mistakes. Our dream eBay is right too. I’m entering new territory, leaving behind the solidity of what I know and entering into a world of intangible possibilities. There may be unforeseen challenges ahead, so it’s best to take it slow at first. On the objective side, it would make sense to find a way to restart the auction. But this was a subjective experiment, not an objective one. In this case it’s all about the meaning of the events, not the events themselves. I see no strong subjective reason to restart the auction, so I’m not planning to do so. I believe I’ve received the message, and now the dream can proceed in some other direction. Emotional Healing The past few days have been very healing for me. I’ve been doing a lot of emotional processing on my own, and today I shared these experiences with Rachelle. I’m so very grateful for her love and support. I’m lucky to have such an angel in my life. I expect to share much of this publicly soon. I feel emotionally ready to do that now, but my tanks are a bit empty, so I need to recharge first. It’s been taking me a while to make sense of all of this, what it all means, and in what form it would make sense to share it. Subjectively speaking, there’s no need to share anything for the benefit of others. The reason to share is because it’s part of the healing process for the one doing the sharing. For me, writing can be an intensely cathartic experience. And the feedback on that writing can be very revealing as well. Subjective Communication One side effect I’m noticing with this experiment is that my communication is becoming much clearer. I’ve felt that lately, I’ve been doing a much better job of expressing the real me, and I’m doing a better job of listening to others. In the objective world, we’re all separate and distinct individuals, but in the subjective world, we’re all a part of the same whole. When I communicate from the subjective frame, I know that I’m really talking to myself. There are no separate and distinct individuals in the dream world. The notion of privacy in your own dream world is pure self-delusion. So I’m less inclined to hold back because I figure that the projections in my dream world with whom I communicate already know everything there is to know about me. Consequently, the only person I can possibly delude is myself. Hence when I communicate, I monitor what’s coming out of me, and I ask myself, “Am I really speaking my truth?” Sometimes I catch myself succumbing to self-delusion. You may have noticed a shift in my writing within the past week. That’s due to this experiment. I’m writing as if I’m talking to myself, and you already know everything there is to know about me because you’re a character within my dream world. I can’t hide anything from you, so what’s the point in trying? Even on the objective side, I considered myself to be very open and honest. I don’t intentionally lie or mislead people. But the subjective side is peeling away layers where I may have been misleading myself without realizing it. It is causing me to be more truthful with myself first and foremost. It is the difference between writing an article for publication and writing in my own journal. I am no longer writing for the public; now I am simply journaling. And interestingly, my dream characters really seem to like that since the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive lately. Hmmm… Also, I’m paying a lot more attention to the reactions my communications receive. On the objective side, it’s easy to give myself permission to dismiss certain reactions. If I don’t like a piece of feedback, I can say something like, “Well, that’s your opinion, but I don’t agree.” I don’t even have to respond at all; I can simply ignore it if I wish. However, on the subjective side, I can’t get away with that. Every piece of feedback is a part of me expressing itself, so all of it matters, and none of it can be insignificant. If I dismiss something, it could mean that I’m suppressing a part of myself, which isn’t a healthy thing to do. I have to listen, listen, listen. This has led me to feel much more responsible for the entire process of communication. I’ve especially seen this when I communicate with Rachelle. In the past few days, she and I have reached a deeper level of intimacy than ever before. There have been tears on both sides, but it has been amazing and beautiful. I am so in love with her that I don’t think I could go back to the objective way of communicating. I no longer doubt that she’s a part of me. This is beginning to spread to other connections as well. Everything is going deeper, and it’s happened very quickly, so quickly that I’m stunned by it all. I expect that by the end of the 30 days, all of my relationships will be radically transformed — for the better I believe. This might seem counter-intuitive at first glance. You might think that if you saw everyone as a dream character, you’d be less inclined to communicate at all. But I’m experiencing the opposite. Since everyone I see is a part of me, I’m becoming intensely curious about everyone. As I walk around in public, I can really feel that I’m walking around in my own subconscious dream world. I keep staring at people and thinking, I wonder what part of me you represent. It’s an awesome experience to be at that level of awareness where there are no strangers. Everyone in my world is so beautiful and radiant. When I converse with someone, even someone who appears to be a stranger at first glance, it’s possible to go very deep very quickly. I’m realizing that all the NPCs in this reality have some amazing depth to them, if only I care to look. Getting to Know Your NPCs When I was on the plane flying back from Santa Fe on Monday, I ended up sitting next to a 67-year old man. My initial thought was to greet him in a friendly manner as I always do with my seat mates; then maybe I’d do some reading or work on an article. That’s probably what I would have done if I’d been seeing reality through the objective lens. But since I was on the subjective side, my reaction was one of curiosity. Who is this dream character? What part of me does he represent? Why is he seated next to me on this dream flight? What can I learn from him? As I sat down, he asked me, “So where’s home for you?” I told him that I was returning to Las Vegas. I asked him, “How about you?” He said he was traveling to Portland. I could have easily allowed the polite chit chat die there and pulled out a book to read, but instead I let my curiosity lead me. After settling into my seat, I decided I wanted to learn more about this dream man and what he could teach me about myself. So I initiated a conversation with him. I started by asking what he did for a living. He was a retired teacher but currently doing TV programming in Hong Kong. He also shared that he was a Seventh Day Adventist. For the entire flight we remained immersed in one-on-one conversation, interrupted only by the drink service. It definitely wasn’t a shallow conversation. I asked him all about his religious beliefs and practices, his values, and more. We talked about his relationship with his son, his recent financial challenges, and all sorts of topics. I listened to him intently because in truth I was listening to a part of myself. I could not judge him in any way. When he talked of certain struggles, my objective reaction would have been to offer solutions or assistance. But this time I listened compassionately and tried to understand how and why I manifested this particular character, and in my mind I was saying to myself, “I’m sorry. I love you.” I never asked him his name, nor did I give him mine. Do such labels even matter in a dream world? Not to me. After the plane landed and we went our separate ways, I thought about how all of his thoughts and values and beliefs are all within me, and I learned some new truths about myself in the process. For example, I asked him about the connection between vegetarianism and Seventh Day Adventism, and I realized that the values he was expressing were my own. Yes, I value my health because I’m expressing a desire to become a clearer channel for the divine; I can see that. He was vegan too. Was that just a coincidence? What I found most fascinating is that during our conversation, he’d occasionally begin some of his sentences with assumptions about my own beliefs and values, as if I were a Christian like him. And yet I never told him that I had any religion at all, nor did I express any particular beliefs. At one point he asked if I was married, and at first I cringed, assuming that within his belief system, my current situation would have to be met with harsh judgment of some sort, especially after he told me that he and his wife get up at 4am and read the Bible for an hour every single day. Or maybe it would stop our pleasant conversation cold, and he’d freeze up. But I told him the truth about my situation, and I was amazed that it didn’t phase him at all. I know that I haven’t fully crossed over to the subjective side. My thoughts and my language keep shifting back and forth between the subjective and objective lenses. It reminds me of when I spoke Franglais in Montreal. I’m still such a newbie at this. It may take a while for me to become competent on the subjective side. In the meantime I shall continue doing the best I can. Immersion is an excellent teacher. This is an utterly fascinating experience. Thank you for sharing this dream world with me. I’m grateful for your presence here. I have so much to learn from you. 
    2152 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Apparently there’s a lot of interest in this 30-day inspiration trial. My various e-inboxes have been surging with messages expressing support and curiosity. Many of them have to do with the subjective reality aspect of this trial, so that’s what I’ll address in this Day 6 update. Inception Let me get this out of the way first. I finally saw the movie Inception last night. Honestly I thought it was good but not up to all the hype surrounding it. I thought it would have been cooler if the dreams were like real lucid dreams, such that the conscious characters could wield more control over their environments, as inThe Matrix but even more so. I thought there were some interesting elements to it, like the totems, but I was a bit restless during some of the action sequences. Overall I’d give it a B+. Death and Subjective Reality After seeing Inception, several people asked me about the risk of committing suicide in connection with a subjective belief system. If you believe that reality is a dream world, will you want to kill yourself at some point in order to awaken from the dream? Death may be the ultimate revealer of truth. But it may also be the ultimate false barrier. There’s no guarantee that after death, truth is revealed. The dream may simply continue on in a different form. I’ve had nighttime dreams where I died and woke up, but it was a false awakening. The dream continued on, with me dreaming that I woke up in my bed, realized I’d been dreaming, and went on about my day. But then I woke up again for real… Or did I?  Objectively speaking, death is inevitable, and it’s apparently a serious transition. Subjectively speaking, death is simply another belief border. It’s an unknown where one’s own beliefs must create the experience. In the subjective sense, dying is like visiting a city you’ve never been to. Before this summer, I’d never visited Montreal. As I got closer to taking that trip, my beliefs filled in more and more of the details, so when I arrived there, the city manifested itself as a projection consistent with my beliefs. I never saw the whole city of course, only a small window into it, one which could simply have been a thought projection. I rather liked the simulation of Montreal. It was a cool place to dream up. I might dream it up again someday and flesh out more of the details. Death is like visiting a new city. Your beliefs will fill in the details, and you’ll see something largely consistent with your expectations. My reality includes many people who approach death slowly and cautiously. Instead of crossing over suddenly, they take years to cross that border. This part of my reality is a projection of my belief that death isn’t something I understand well enough to jump into haphazardly, so I must creep up on it very slowly. Hence lots of people in my reality take many years to transition, and they usually don’t want to go because they don’t feel ready to die yet. I don’t feel ready to die yet either. If I were to shift my beliefs about death, such that dying quickly at my own hands appeared to be a wise choice, then my dream world would most likely manifest a major increase in suicides (or some other form of swift transitions), and people in general would take less time to cross over. But as long as my reality is largely doing the opposite, with so many people slowly creeping up on that border crossing, it’s because I’m still projecting my own cautious attitude towards death, and it would be very unlikely for me to dive into it impulsively. So keep an eye out for an increase in mass suicides in this dream world. Until that happens there’s no cause for concern.  eBay Auction After sharing yesterday that eBay delisted my consultation auction before it had a chance to finish, a number of people offered me alternative suggestions, most of which were ways I could work around eBay’s rules and essentially try again. Objectively speaking, all of those are good suggestions, and I appreciate that people took the time to share them. But I have to decline those ideas because I’m on the subjective side now, and on that side, my interpretation of these events leads me down a different path. Why did eBay delist my auction for a 60-minute consultation? Well, basically someone must have reported it as inappropriate, even though there are many similar auctions listed on the site. eBay then took it down because they’re playing it safe. Apparently they consider it too risky to list intangible items, but they only seem to take action when someone actively reports it. As I interpret this reality as a dream world, a projection of my own thoughts, I have to ask what thoughts gave rise to these dream events. To me that’s rather obvious. This event tells me that some part of me is concerned about the path I’m going down. It feels I should play it safe. And if I don’t do so, it’s going to turn me in, so to speak, meaning that it may sabotage my progress and keep me from moving forward. In other words, it’s going to cut my 30-day trial short if it feels I’m going too far into the realm of the intangible and not staying grounded enough. This is the part of me that trusts the physical but not the intangible. Now look at the proposed solutions that people suggested. Many of those solutions are ways of doing essentially the same thing and attempting to bypass the problem by working around eBay’s rules, sometimes in a sneaky way. I have to reject such solutions because objectively speaking, eBay has the right to set its own policy, and I’m not going to try to play games with them or jump through hoops to work with them. If they don’t want me to do business with them in the manner I’d prefer, that’s their choice, and I’ll honor that. No tricks or games. Subjectively speaking, I’m saying that it doesn’t make sense for me to try to sneak past my own subconscious doubts. My subconscious has every right to object. So I listen to this objection and say, “Yes, I hear you. There may be unforeseen risks ahead. Please continue to remain alert and watch out for them.” On the objective side, I accept eBay’s warning, thank them for it, and let it go. This incident was simply the manifestation of a part of me that’s telling me to be cautious. It is a message to hear, not a problem to be solved. This was a warning sign but not a roadblock, a yellow light but not a red one. The eBay listing didn’t cost me any money, and I actually saw a boost in web traffic due to the extra publicity over this event. Yesterday was my highest-traffic day in nearly 2 months. So despite the apparent setback, I actually came out ahead. I also like that this experiment has stimulated some cool discussion and many interesting suggestions, and I’ll bet that down the road we’ll see a number of people doing further experiments along these lines. The objective world “problem” here is a solvable one. There are many workable solutions, such as using a different auction platform or finding another way to list the auction that would satisfy eBay’s requirements. So the message here is that there is a way to move forward without triggering any alarms; I just need to be careful about it. Another aspect here is that I was perhaps a bit ignorant in listing my consultation on eBay. I hadn’t used eBay in almost a decade. If I’d been more savvy, I might have done the listing differently and made it work the first time. This part of the message tells me that there may be a learning curve here. The reason for caution is that I’m not that subjectively savvy yet, so I’m bound to make some mistakes. Our dream eBay is right too. I’m entering new territory, leaving behind the solidity of what I know and entering into a world of intangible possibilities. There may be unforeseen challenges ahead, so it’s best to take it slow at first. On the objective side, it would make sense to find a way to restart the auction. But this was a subjective experiment, not an objective one. In this case it’s all about the meaning of the events, not the events themselves. I see no strong subjective reason to restart the auction, so I’m not planning to do so. I believe I’ve received the message, and now the dream can proceed in some other direction. Emotional Healing The past few days have been very healing for me. I’ve been doing a lot of emotional processing on my own, and today I shared these experiences with Rachelle. I’m so very grateful for her love and support. I’m lucky to have such an angel in my life. I expect to share much of this publicly soon. I feel emotionally ready to do that now, but my tanks are a bit empty, so I need to recharge first. It’s been taking me a while to make sense of all of this, what it all means, and in what form it would make sense to share it. Subjectively speaking, there’s no need to share anything for the benefit of others. The reason to share is because it’s part of the healing process for the one doing the sharing. For me, writing can be an intensely cathartic experience. And the feedback on that writing can be very revealing as well. Subjective Communication One side effect I’m noticing with this experiment is that my communication is becoming much clearer. I’ve felt that lately, I’ve been doing a much better job of expressing the real me, and I’m doing a better job of listening to others. In the objective world, we’re all separate and distinct individuals, but in the subjective world, we’re all a part of the same whole. When I communicate from the subjective frame, I know that I’m really talking to myself. There are no separate and distinct individuals in the dream world. The notion of privacy in your own dream world is pure self-delusion. So I’m less inclined to hold back because I figure that the projections in my dream world with whom I communicate already know everything there is to know about me. Consequently, the only person I can possibly delude is myself. Hence when I communicate, I monitor what’s coming out of me, and I ask myself, “Am I really speaking my truth?” Sometimes I catch myself succumbing to self-delusion. You may have noticed a shift in my writing within the past week. That’s due to this experiment. I’m writing as if I’m talking to myself, and you already know everything there is to know about me because you’re a character within my dream world. I can’t hide anything from you, so what’s the point in trying? Even on the objective side, I considered myself to be very open and honest. I don’t intentionally lie or mislead people. But the subjective side is peeling away layers where I may have been misleading myself without realizing it. It is causing me to be more truthful with myself first and foremost. It is the difference between writing an article for publication and writing in my own journal. I am no longer writing for the public; now I am simply journaling. And interestingly, my dream characters really seem to like that since the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive lately. Hmmm… Also, I’m paying a lot more attention to the reactions my communications receive. On the objective side, it’s easy to give myself permission to dismiss certain reactions. If I don’t like a piece of feedback, I can say something like, “Well, that’s your opinion, but I don’t agree.” I don’t even have to respond at all; I can simply ignore it if I wish. However, on the subjective side, I can’t get away with that. Every piece of feedback is a part of me expressing itself, so all of it matters, and none of it can be insignificant. If I dismiss something, it could mean that I’m suppressing a part of myself, which isn’t a healthy thing to do. I have to listen, listen, listen. This has led me to feel much more responsible for the entire process of communication. I’ve especially seen this when I communicate with Rachelle. In the past few days, she and I have reached a deeper level of intimacy than ever before. There have been tears on both sides, but it has been amazing and beautiful. I am so in love with her that I don’t think I could go back to the objective way of communicating. I no longer doubt that she’s a part of me. This is beginning to spread to other connections as well. Everything is going deeper, and it’s happened very quickly, so quickly that I’m stunned by it all. I expect that by the end of the 30 days, all of my relationships will be radically transformed — for the better I believe. This might seem counter-intuitive at first glance. You might think that if you saw everyone as a dream character, you’d be less inclined to communicate at all. But I’m experiencing the opposite. Since everyone I see is a part of me, I’m becoming intensely curious about everyone. As I walk around in public, I can really feel that I’m walking around in my own subconscious dream world. I keep staring at people and thinking, I wonder what part of me you represent. It’s an awesome experience to be at that level of awareness where there are no strangers. Everyone in my world is so beautiful and radiant. When I converse with someone, even someone who appears to be a stranger at first glance, it’s possible to go very deep very quickly. I’m realizing that all the NPCs in this reality have some amazing depth to them, if only I care to look. Getting to Know Your NPCs When I was on the plane flying back from Santa Fe on Monday, I ended up sitting next to a 67-year old man. My initial thought was to greet him in a friendly manner as I always do with my seat mates; then maybe I’d do some reading or work on an article. That’s probably what I would have done if I’d been seeing reality through the objective lens. But since I was on the subjective side, my reaction was one of curiosity. Who is this dream character? What part of me does he represent? Why is he seated next to me on this dream flight? What can I learn from him? As I sat down, he asked me, “So where’s home for you?” I told him that I was returning to Las Vegas. I asked him, “How about you?” He said he was traveling to Portland. I could have easily allowed the polite chit chat die there and pulled out a book to read, but instead I let my curiosity lead me. After settling into my seat, I decided I wanted to learn more about this dream man and what he could teach me about myself. So I initiated a conversation with him. I started by asking what he did for a living. He was a retired teacher but currently doing TV programming in Hong Kong. He also shared that he was a Seventh Day Adventist. For the entire flight we remained immersed in one-on-one conversation, interrupted only by the drink service. It definitely wasn’t a shallow conversation. I asked him all about his religious beliefs and practices, his values, and more. We talked about his relationship with his son, his recent financial challenges, and all sorts of topics. I listened to him intently because in truth I was listening to a part of myself. I could not judge him in any way. When he talked of certain struggles, my objective reaction would have been to offer solutions or assistance. But this time I listened compassionately and tried to understand how and why I manifested this particular character, and in my mind I was saying to myself, “I’m sorry. I love you.” I never asked him his name, nor did I give him mine. Do such labels even matter in a dream world? Not to me. After the plane landed and we went our separate ways, I thought about how all of his thoughts and values and beliefs are all within me, and I learned some new truths about myself in the process. For example, I asked him about the connection between vegetarianism and Seventh Day Adventism, and I realized that the values he was expressing were my own. Yes, I value my health because I’m expressing a desire to become a clearer channel for the divine; I can see that. He was vegan too. Was that just a coincidence? What I found most fascinating is that during our conversation, he’d occasionally begin some of his sentences with assumptions about my own beliefs and values, as if I were a Christian like him. And yet I never told him that I had any religion at all, nor did I express any particular beliefs. At one point he asked if I was married, and at first I cringed, assuming that within his belief system, my current situation would have to be met with harsh judgment of some sort, especially after he told me that he and his wife get up at 4am and read the Bible for an hour every single day. Or maybe it would stop our pleasant conversation cold, and he’d freeze up. But I told him the truth about my situation, and I was amazed that it didn’t phase him at all. I know that I haven’t fully crossed over to the subjective side. My thoughts and my language keep shifting back and forth between the subjective and objective lenses. It reminds me of when I spoke Franglais in Montreal. I’m still such a newbie at this. It may take a while for me to become competent on the subjective side. In the meantime I shall continue doing the best I can. Immersion is an excellent teacher. This is an utterly fascinating experience. Thank you for sharing this dream world with me. I’m grateful for your presence here. I have so much to learn from you. 
    Jul 27, 2011 2152
  • 27 Jul 2011
    This 30-day inspiration trial is almost too strange. I feel like a blind man excitedly examining a rainbow. There’s definitely something there, but I’m not sure I have the faculties to make sense of it. I feel a bit foolish trying to explain it. It’s tough to translate the experience into words; words alone can’t do it justice. Is it scary? Most definitely. Why is it scary? Partly because I have no idea what’s going to happen next or where this will lead, and the logical part of my mind is freaking out a bit. It’s difficult to feel grounded and secure. I have no idea where I left my comfort zone. I really can’t even see it from where I’m standing. The pace of change I’m experiencing is extremely rapid. So much has already shifted in just the first week, including a lot I haven’t blogged about. Honestly I’d have to write for at least 5-6 hours per day just to explain all the stuff that’s happening, so I can really only blog about the highlights. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to identify what’s a highlight at this time. Even the blogging aspect falls within the purview of the trial, so I’m only blogging when I feel inspired to do so, and only about the details that flow through me in that inspired state. That part can be frustrating. My logical mind often voices objections, pointing out that we should also share X, Y, and Z, since it would help tie things up in a neater, less disjointed bundle. Unfortunately the inspiration just takes off in some other direction, and in order to stick with this trial, I have to run with it. So whatever comes through when I’m blogging, I just have to trust that it will be enough. My logical mind is constantly trying to play catch-up. Here’s how that’s playing out: I get an inspired idea, and once I recognize it as such, I take action on it almost immediately. Those actions generate some results. And those results can cause ripples of change (i.e. consequences). My mind then attempts to make sense of those ripples and predict what effects they’re likely to have. Suppose I feel inspired to suggest a certain idea to Rachelle that pertains to our relationship. I act immediately and discuss it with her as soon as possible. We both like the idea and come to some new decisions. My mind then tries to understand the consequences of those decisions, so it can begin envisioning a new future consistent with them. This is how my mind would normally operate before this trial. However, what’s happening now is that while my logical mind is doing its usual mental processing, trying to get a clearer grasp of what’s happening, I’m already off and running with the next inspired idea. That leads to more actions, more results, and more ripples. While my mind is waiting for the ripples to settle, I just keep splashing around. More ripples are generated, and those ripples interact with each other. The consequences of different actions combine to create blended consequences that are very difficult to fathom. Imagine you quit your job one day. Then a couple days later, you move to a new city. Then a few days after that, you buy a new car. And then after a few more days, your best friend passes away. That would be a very severe week of change, and your mind would have a hard time keeping up. Now imagine experiencing this pace of change for a whole month without a break. I’m exaggerating this of course, but I think you get the idea. By stacking so many changes on top of each other, prediction becomes almost impossible. If there’s a pattern to these ripples, I can’t see it clearly yet. This frustrates my logical mind’s attempts to predict where things are headed. Consequently, it’s beginning to throw in the towel on even trying. It’s not quite there yet though — it’s still cussing a lot. The net effect is that doing this trial is like taking my future expectations and constantly erasing them. As soon as a new future expectation begins to form, I erase it again. Every day, often multiple times per day, I keep going back to a blank slate. With no clear future expectations that I can comprehend, I can’t derive any sense of security from knowing where things are going. I have to keep coming back to the present moment, breathing through whatever is arising right now. This is very difficult for me. But I’m so curious to know what it’s like to live this way for a while, and my curiosity is keeping me going. I suspect that given enough time on this path, I’ll begin to get used to it, and it won’t feel so scary after a while. I’m hoping that happens sooner rather than later. The good news is that the degree I can attempt to predict where things are headed, which may be nothing but a conceit at this point, it does appear that this is shaping up to be a very positive transition period. There’s some fear but also a lot of happy excitement. Most of the inspirations that have come through during this first week seem to be concentrating on emotional healing (of myself and others) and a transformation of pretty much all of my relationships in some way or other. I expect that those parts of my life will be in a very different place by the end of this trial. Even if I were to stop now, some major shifts have already occurred. But I can’t predict what things will look like at the end of the 30 days because the pace of change is just too rapid. However, I do have reasonable cause to believe this trial will leave me much better off than when I started. If I were to stop now, I could easily make that claim. I can’t believe it’s only been 7 days. That’s been more than enough time to conclude that this path is worthy of further exploration. I wonder what would happen if a group of people did such a trial together as a team effort. That would just be explosive to watch. I do appreciate all the love and support people have been sending my way this week. The extra social support really helps. Knowing that people are finding value in these updates gives me more motivation to keep going. So thank you for that!
    1469 Posted by UniqueThis
  • This 30-day inspiration trial is almost too strange. I feel like a blind man excitedly examining a rainbow. There’s definitely something there, but I’m not sure I have the faculties to make sense of it. I feel a bit foolish trying to explain it. It’s tough to translate the experience into words; words alone can’t do it justice. Is it scary? Most definitely. Why is it scary? Partly because I have no idea what’s going to happen next or where this will lead, and the logical part of my mind is freaking out a bit. It’s difficult to feel grounded and secure. I have no idea where I left my comfort zone. I really can’t even see it from where I’m standing. The pace of change I’m experiencing is extremely rapid. So much has already shifted in just the first week, including a lot I haven’t blogged about. Honestly I’d have to write for at least 5-6 hours per day just to explain all the stuff that’s happening, so I can really only blog about the highlights. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to identify what’s a highlight at this time. Even the blogging aspect falls within the purview of the trial, so I’m only blogging when I feel inspired to do so, and only about the details that flow through me in that inspired state. That part can be frustrating. My logical mind often voices objections, pointing out that we should also share X, Y, and Z, since it would help tie things up in a neater, less disjointed bundle. Unfortunately the inspiration just takes off in some other direction, and in order to stick with this trial, I have to run with it. So whatever comes through when I’m blogging, I just have to trust that it will be enough. My logical mind is constantly trying to play catch-up. Here’s how that’s playing out: I get an inspired idea, and once I recognize it as such, I take action on it almost immediately. Those actions generate some results. And those results can cause ripples of change (i.e. consequences). My mind then attempts to make sense of those ripples and predict what effects they’re likely to have. Suppose I feel inspired to suggest a certain idea to Rachelle that pertains to our relationship. I act immediately and discuss it with her as soon as possible. We both like the idea and come to some new decisions. My mind then tries to understand the consequences of those decisions, so it can begin envisioning a new future consistent with them. This is how my mind would normally operate before this trial. However, what’s happening now is that while my logical mind is doing its usual mental processing, trying to get a clearer grasp of what’s happening, I’m already off and running with the next inspired idea. That leads to more actions, more results, and more ripples. While my mind is waiting for the ripples to settle, I just keep splashing around. More ripples are generated, and those ripples interact with each other. The consequences of different actions combine to create blended consequences that are very difficult to fathom. Imagine you quit your job one day. Then a couple days later, you move to a new city. Then a few days after that, you buy a new car. And then after a few more days, your best friend passes away. That would be a very severe week of change, and your mind would have a hard time keeping up. Now imagine experiencing this pace of change for a whole month without a break. I’m exaggerating this of course, but I think you get the idea. By stacking so many changes on top of each other, prediction becomes almost impossible. If there’s a pattern to these ripples, I can’t see it clearly yet. This frustrates my logical mind’s attempts to predict where things are headed. Consequently, it’s beginning to throw in the towel on even trying. It’s not quite there yet though — it’s still cussing a lot. The net effect is that doing this trial is like taking my future expectations and constantly erasing them. As soon as a new future expectation begins to form, I erase it again. Every day, often multiple times per day, I keep going back to a blank slate. With no clear future expectations that I can comprehend, I can’t derive any sense of security from knowing where things are going. I have to keep coming back to the present moment, breathing through whatever is arising right now. This is very difficult for me. But I’m so curious to know what it’s like to live this way for a while, and my curiosity is keeping me going. I suspect that given enough time on this path, I’ll begin to get used to it, and it won’t feel so scary after a while. I’m hoping that happens sooner rather than later. The good news is that the degree I can attempt to predict where things are headed, which may be nothing but a conceit at this point, it does appear that this is shaping up to be a very positive transition period. There’s some fear but also a lot of happy excitement. Most of the inspirations that have come through during this first week seem to be concentrating on emotional healing (of myself and others) and a transformation of pretty much all of my relationships in some way or other. I expect that those parts of my life will be in a very different place by the end of this trial. Even if I were to stop now, some major shifts have already occurred. But I can’t predict what things will look like at the end of the 30 days because the pace of change is just too rapid. However, I do have reasonable cause to believe this trial will leave me much better off than when I started. If I were to stop now, I could easily make that claim. I can’t believe it’s only been 7 days. That’s been more than enough time to conclude that this path is worthy of further exploration. I wonder what would happen if a group of people did such a trial together as a team effort. That would just be explosive to watch. I do appreciate all the love and support people have been sending my way this week. The extra social support really helps. Knowing that people are finding value in these updates gives me more motivation to keep going. So thank you for that!
    Jul 27, 2011 1469
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Some people mentioned that I seem to be doing two overlapping trials here. First, I’m doing 30 days of acting promptly on inspiration whenever it strikes. Second, I’m also delving more deeply into the subjective reality frame. So what’s that all about? I honestly don’t know, but I’ll try to make sense of it as I write. Could I separate these two trials? On the surface it sure seems like I could. My initial idea for this trial was just going to be the inspiration part. I wasn’t planning to do a subjective reality trial. But these two aspects got tied together in a strange way, and now they’re inextricably intertwined. I can no longer separate them out. Planning vs. Inspiration The subjective reality aspect actually started first. This goes back to Sunday, July 18th, the final day of the July Conscious Growth Workshop. The final segment on spirituality was from 2pm to 4pm. Dana, a local friend and one of our CGW staff, asked me during lunch what I was going to talk about during that final segment. I said, “I have no idea.” He laughed. I repeated, “No, really. I honestly don’t know.” For each CGW I’ve always gone in well-prepared. I live and breathe the topics I talk about, so I could seriously do the entire workshop off the cuff if I had to, and I’m sure it would still turn out well. But my mental side always likes to plan everything out, so I can know in advance how everything will fit together. I also like to create a good balance of different teaching modalities, including lecture, demonstration, interactive exercises, games, fieldwork, one-on-one sharing, group work, written exercises, Q&A, and more. Good planning is important for pacing too, so I don’t spend too much or too little time on any particular segment. That said, I’ve noticed that as I was delivering this past CGW, I was breaking from my plan a lot. For most segments I felt inspired in the moment to do things differently than what I’d originally planned. I’d change up the order of certain elements, tell different stories than I expected to, and swap in different exercises. And overall it worked really well when I went with the inspiration of the moment. I’m comfortable in front of an audience, so I don’t have to deal with nervousness or anything like that. I’m fine being in the moment, and I trust that I can speak well off the cuff, even for hours at a time. But I know that people come from far and wide to attend CGW, and I want to deliver the best value I can. I’d find it dishonorable to go into a CGW not feeling well-prepared with a solid plan for each segment. When I do a CGW, I commit to doing my best. I always assumed that careful planning and structure were necessary for me to deliver my best and for attendees to receive good value. Now I’m not so sure. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve reached the point where I may be able to deliver an even better experience if I set that plan aside and allow myself to be fully in the moment and go with the flow of inspiration. Can I Trust Inspiration When the Stakes Are High? This last CGW experience was beginning to challenge my notions of the best way to deliver value. Do I truly deliver more value when everything is pre-planned, or am I somehow able to do an even better job when I’m just being there in the moment, and I don’t know what I’ll say in advance? Well, at the end of that Saturday (Day 2 of CGW), I went home to plan out the final two hours of the workshop. I had delayed planning this part of the workshop because I wanted to see how this particular audience handled the first two days. I’d made a lot of changes for this CGW, and there were good reasons why it made sense to apply just-in-time planning for the final closing segment. I’d already delivered this segment three times before at previous workshops, so I had old templates I could have fallen back on, and I also figured it would only take about an hour to make the plan. That night, however, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to create the plan. I wrote something out that seemed reasonable, but it felt hollow to me… heartless. I didn’t understand why my intuition said, “This is stupid.” As I tuned into my intuition for more guidance, the message was loud and clear. Let go and forget the plan. Just get up and speak your truth. It’s already inside you. You don’t need a plan. It will only hold you back and cause you to get stuck in your head. So I left the plan behind and decided I was ready to allow inspiration to flow through me when I delivered that final segment. The morning segment that Sunday had already been planned out, but I broke from the plan a lot. The resulting mixture was probably 70% inspiration of the moment and 30% pre-planned. And it seemed to go really well. I noticed that my energy was shifting to a different place the more I was able to let go. More passion and enthusiasm — and fun — were flowing through me. I normally have a handout for each day of CGW, but for this final day I decided not to use one. That wasn’t due to laziness. The Day 3 handout was already designed since I’d used it for previous CGWs. But I felt we’d be better off without the written exercises that day, so we could do more interactive exercises and fieldwork that morning instead. I thought that worked well. Some people actually liked the fact that there were no written exercises that day. As we got closer to the afternoon segment, I had enough evidence to believe it would work out okay. I could say that I had to push myself with a bit of courage here, but it didn’t play out that way. I was at peace with the decision. The workshop had been going so well up to that point that I felt that even if I semi-flubbed that final segment, people had already received so much value, so I felt I had enough social capital to take a small risk without it being a big deal either way. I also believed that I could share plenty of insights and ideas without a structured plan, so I really wasn’t worried about screwing up. I felt competent and confident to do this segment without a plan. My main concern was that I’d open too many threads, and I’d have a hard time wrapping everything up on time. How was I going to pace myself? I felt it was okay to let go and trust in that area as well. If I opened a loop that I wasn’t able to close, I could always blog about it later. Speaking from Inspiration When I got up to speak, I didn’t even know what the first words out of my mouth would be. But the words were there. I ended up talking mainly about the question, “What is the true nature of this reality?” That led into a discussion of subjective reality vs. objective reality. I shared the details and results of some experiments I’d already done, going back to 2006. We didn’t do any special exercises, but the segment became very interactive. Lots of people asked questions and shared their own stories, and instead of holding Q&A till the end, I integrated all of that on the fly. It was like a dance where neither partner is trying to lead, but somehow they still synchronize their movements. The segment didn’t feel like a presentation. It was more like a conversation, almost like I was talking to myself. Would you pre-plan a conversation? Would that even make sense? I felt like I was listening a lot more. I was tuned in to what people in the audience were thinking and feeling. As I spoke, I was mainly addressing the energy I perceived in the room. I was constantly looking for eddies in the audience’s energy and seeking to smooth them out. If I sensed confusion, I simplified by offering up analogies people were already familiar with. If I sensed mental overwhelm, I shifted into story-telling mode. If I sensed curiosity, I shifted to Q&A. If I sense the pressure build-up of people wanting to say something, I invited them to share their experiences. If I sensed eagerness to hear more, I went back to exposition. These are the things we naturally do when we’re engaged in a compelling one-on-one conversation. The flow of that segment was very different from the previous times I’ve done it. So was the content. I felt that the audience was really with me. People were much more present — leaning forward, nodding in reaction to certain segments, asking questions, sharing their own insights. I loved every minute of it. It was such a wonderful experience to be fully present and to enjoy such a cool dialog with like-minded people. Of course we’re like-mindedsince we’re all projections of the same mind! I didn’t seem to be sharing answers or advice or solutions, not really. Mostly I was sharing questions, observations, experiments, and stories. It was like having a conversation with myself. Even as I spoke about subjective reality, I began to slip into a subjective mindset. If you want to have a really strange experience, try believing that you’re actually dreaming while you’re speaking in front of a live audience.  Subjective Blogging This is the same manner in which I’ve been blogging this past week. I’m sharing my observations as a fellow explorer, not as a teacher with answers to share. But perhaps that’s the best form of teaching anyway — to explore and share along the way. That’s what got me started with blogging in the first place, and it’s why my website’s URL is my own name instead of something more generic. This website is a chronicle of my personal journey. My best writing comes through when I’m writing for myself, fully living my life and using blogging to deepen my understanding along the way. I feel that, and others notice it too. What really fascinates me is that I’ve been getting tons of positive feedback about my blogging this week. It’s a major brain-pretzelizer to try to understand why subjective blogging generates more positive objective feedback than objective blogging does. Why the heck do you like it better when I blog just for myself and not for you? Perhaps it’s because the idea that you and I are separate is truly a delusion. When I blog for myself, I am in fact blogging for you because we’re the same self. When I try to blog for you as a separate person (or group of people), then I’m actually splintering myself, and my writing reflects that. I wonder if your experience of reading my articles is the same. When I blog for myself, do you feel like you’re reading your own thoughts and feelings? When I blog objectively, do you feel more distanced from me, like we’re just not on the same wavelength? Do you feel closer and more connected with me now than you did a month ago? If subjective reality is false, then why does it generate results that are objectively better than an objective mindset? In 2006 I increased my financial results dramatically through subjective experimentation, and I’ve always enjoyed an abundant flow in that area ever since. Now I’m seeing huge positive shifts in my relationships too, results that are way beyond what I was able to achieve with an objective lens. If subjective reality is bunk, then I’d expect a decline in my results. But I’m seeing the opposite. That gives me good cause to go further down this path, since I’m seeing more and more evidence that subjective reality is the more accurate lens of the two. When you realize that you’re dreaming, you have much more power to change the dream vs. when you’re unaware (or in denial) that you’re dreaming. You can’t launch a satellite into orbit if you believe the earth is flat. Perhaps we’re both projections of the same consciousness after all. Perhaps you’re also awakening to the possibility — no, the likelihood — that this is a dream world. This dream world blog you’re reading is reflecting back to you your own shifts in consciousness. As you awaken to the notion that you’re really dreaming, this blog is manifesting those shifts. I’m here to reflect back to you the truth that yes, you are indeed dreaming, and I’m a projection within your dream world. In the weeks ahead, many of your own thoughts and feelings are going to show up here in written form, in such synchronous ways that it will be harder and harder for you to deny what’s happening. You’ll be pushed further down the rabbit hole. But you’re ready to take that leap, aren’t you? It will take courage to leave your objective comfort zone, but by now you’ve already concluded that the old path is a dead end. You can’t go back. You can only press on. Silly Rabbit After that CGW, I began feeling it was time to go deeper down that rabbit hole myself. I almost couldn’t help it. After speaking about it for nearly two hours, my mind was already shifting into subjective mode. One thing I really like about CGW is that it’s such a flexible workshop, so as I learn and grow, the workshop and how I present it can continue to evolve. The core principles of Truth, Love, and Power all make sense whether you view them through the objective lens or the subjective one. For example, we can talk about objective Truth (science) or subjective Truth (awareness). We can talk about love objectively (relationships and social support) or subjectively (joy and sorrow). We can talk about power objectively (cause and effect) or subjectively (intention and manifestation). I think it would be an amazing experience to deliver CGW #5 in October from the subjective frame. Just thinking about that excites me and freaks me out at the same time. What the heck would it be like to deliver a 3-day workshop while believing I’m actually in a dream world the entire time? That would mean I’m actually doing an entirely internal workshop, talking to various parts of myself and seeking to elevate, expand, and integrate them into a more complete whole. It’s still 3 months away, but this does feel like an inspired idea to me. If people like my subjective blogging better, would they also prefer a subjective workshop? On one level, I regard this sort of thing as risky. What if it just turns out to be too strange for people? What if I don’t seem to be delivering enough value? What if people get upset with me because I don’t deliver the kind of experience they expected? On another level, what if it works? What if it delivers more value than I previously thought possible? What if it creates a much deeper level of connection and raises the energy of the room to higher highs? What if it leads me into a whole new experience of communicating? And what if every CGW afterwards benefits from this? What does value even mean in a subjective dream world? I can only be delivering value within myself. In that regard, value equals healing and re-integration. I think these risks are manageable, even in an objective sense. For starters, not many people have signed up for CGW #5 yet because it’s still 3 months away. I think we’re at 8 registrations so far, which is actually really good to see this far in advance. If any of those people think CGW #5 may turn out to be too strange after reading these recent blog posts, I’m happy to offer them a refund. However, one of those people already shared with me how excited she is about this new direction, so that’s a good sign. Objectively speaking, I have a solid structure for CGW already worked out, as it has evolved over the previous three workshops. So I know I always have that game plan to fall back on if I feel it’s wise to do so. I don’t have to take the risk of going into a 3-day workshop with no plan at all. I can actually play it safe in this case since the fallback plan is already there. I’m pretty good at gauging the audience’s experience, so if I start out delivering CGW #5 this way, and I see that by the morning break on Day 1, it isn’t quite working, I can always back off and switch modes. It’s a 3-day workshop, and there’s plenty of room to experiment without risking a serious degradation in the overall experience and the value people receive from it. I can solicit advanced feedback as well. So if you like this idea — if some aspect of it resonates with you and makes you more likely to attend CGW #5 — please tell me. If you don’t like it and you feel it would make you less likely to attend CGW #5, please let me know that too. If there’s a lot of support for this idea, I may update the CGW page to reflect that. If I’m really honest with myself, I have to admit to myself (and to you — what’s the difference anyway?) that deep down, I already know that this is the path I must take. But some part of me fears it, and so I project those fears onto you. I assume that you probably won’t like it, or you’ll think it’s crazy. At least that’s what I tell myself, so I can reject the idea in advance. After all, I have to give you what you want, and if you don’t want this, then who am I to argue with you? But I haven’t even asked you yet, so how can I really know? And what if the answer comes back that you’d really love to experience such a thing? And what if we do it that way and it works amazingly well? Will we ever be able to come back out of the rabbit hole again? Will we lose ourselves in that world for good? Will we finally swallow the red pill instead of just tucking it away in our cheek? The Connection Between Inspiration and Subjective Reality My inspiration trial is entangled with subjective reality because they both hit me at the same time. By following my inspiration at the previous CGW, at the point where I finally let go, I was inspired to talk about subjective reality. Then as I moved forward with a subjective perspective for the next few days, I began to receive an even greater flow of inspired ideas. I started seeing inspiration itself as a form of communication with the true dreamer of this world. That led to some intense curiosity, and by the middle of that week, I began thinking about doing a 30-day trial of acting on inspiration 24/7. I couldn’t escape the subjective lens though. By that time I was becoming too immersed in it. I don’t fully understand the link between subjective reality and inspiration, but I can see and feel that there’s definitely a connection, and it isn’t a trivial one. The more I act on inspiration, the more it’s shifting me to view reality subjectively. These inspired actions and their consequences make a lot more sense to me when viewed through the subjective lens. I can’t objectively explain where these inspirations are coming from. But subjectively something quite beautiful and amazing is unfolding. The dreamer and the dream world are becoming one. Likewise, the more I shift into the subjective reality mindset, the easier it is for me to receive and act on inspiration without hesitation. If I were on the objective side, I’d be too worried about the consequences. It would be much harder to let go and trust the flow of what’s happening. But if I know this is a dream world, I’m less freaked out by the strangeness of it all. If this is a dream, then anything is possible. If I know that reality is a dream, I’m inclined to give more weight to certain aspects of the dream world. For example, I consider the inhabitants of the world and my relationships with them to be of greater importance because they all represent parts of me. Interacting with the characters of this world becomes utterly wondrous and fascinating because it’s like I’m delving deeper into the contents of my own subconscious. I’m deeply invested in creating positive, loving relationships with the other characters in this dream world because to me, it is all self-love and inner harmony. If I see conflict anywhere, I’m motivated to gush love all over it to resolve it, since otherwise I’m neglecting an internal conflict within my own being, and it can’t be healthy to let that fester. Consequently, I’ve been spending a great deal of time on communication. Whenever a problem or conflict arises, I do my best to act immediately. I can’t ignore it and hope someone else will handle it. If I’m the dreamer, then I must be 100% responsible for it. Everything I see in the world… is me. My role then becomes that of a healer. By healing damaged relationships within the dream world, I’m healing myself. I’m becoming whole again. This is a huge shift in thinking, and very quickly I developed a backlog of relationships that I feel need to be cleansed and healed with love and forgiveness. I’m tending to them as best I can. I may not be able to heal everything overnight, but the progress within just this past week has been stunning. Money and possessions, on the other hand, become almost inconsequential. What does it mean to own something in a dream? You can still acquire dream stuff if you want, and most dream characters will respect your claims to dream property, but it’s still a bit silly to think of dream objects as something you can own. Even if you buy something with dream money, is it really yours? It’s just a dream object you associate with your avatar’s dream inventory. You can just as easily enjoy the physical aspects of the dream world without having to own any of it. You can use up your dream money or spend it too fast I suppose, but it can’t be all that hard to replenish it either. When you view reality through the subjective lens, your focus shifts a great deal, especially with regard to what you define as important. If your life isn’t quite working, if you aren’t happy or if you aren’t getting the results you desire, could it be that you’re focusing on the wrong things? Could it be that the objective lens has led you astray? Are you still asleep, unaware or unwilling to accept that you’re dreaming? What would your life be like if you did your own 30-day trial of inspired, subjective living? Is that part of your path with a heart? At present I’m feeling more inspired than ever. And I’m also viewing reality as a subjective experience more than ever. That cannot be a coincidence. You’re feeling more inspired too, aren’t you? 
    3417 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Some people mentioned that I seem to be doing two overlapping trials here. First, I’m doing 30 days of acting promptly on inspiration whenever it strikes. Second, I’m also delving more deeply into the subjective reality frame. So what’s that all about? I honestly don’t know, but I’ll try to make sense of it as I write. Could I separate these two trials? On the surface it sure seems like I could. My initial idea for this trial was just going to be the inspiration part. I wasn’t planning to do a subjective reality trial. But these two aspects got tied together in a strange way, and now they’re inextricably intertwined. I can no longer separate them out. Planning vs. Inspiration The subjective reality aspect actually started first. This goes back to Sunday, July 18th, the final day of the July Conscious Growth Workshop. The final segment on spirituality was from 2pm to 4pm. Dana, a local friend and one of our CGW staff, asked me during lunch what I was going to talk about during that final segment. I said, “I have no idea.” He laughed. I repeated, “No, really. I honestly don’t know.” For each CGW I’ve always gone in well-prepared. I live and breathe the topics I talk about, so I could seriously do the entire workshop off the cuff if I had to, and I’m sure it would still turn out well. But my mental side always likes to plan everything out, so I can know in advance how everything will fit together. I also like to create a good balance of different teaching modalities, including lecture, demonstration, interactive exercises, games, fieldwork, one-on-one sharing, group work, written exercises, Q&A, and more. Good planning is important for pacing too, so I don’t spend too much or too little time on any particular segment. That said, I’ve noticed that as I was delivering this past CGW, I was breaking from my plan a lot. For most segments I felt inspired in the moment to do things differently than what I’d originally planned. I’d change up the order of certain elements, tell different stories than I expected to, and swap in different exercises. And overall it worked really well when I went with the inspiration of the moment. I’m comfortable in front of an audience, so I don’t have to deal with nervousness or anything like that. I’m fine being in the moment, and I trust that I can speak well off the cuff, even for hours at a time. But I know that people come from far and wide to attend CGW, and I want to deliver the best value I can. I’d find it dishonorable to go into a CGW not feeling well-prepared with a solid plan for each segment. When I do a CGW, I commit to doing my best. I always assumed that careful planning and structure were necessary for me to deliver my best and for attendees to receive good value. Now I’m not so sure. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve reached the point where I may be able to deliver an even better experience if I set that plan aside and allow myself to be fully in the moment and go with the flow of inspiration. Can I Trust Inspiration When the Stakes Are High? This last CGW experience was beginning to challenge my notions of the best way to deliver value. Do I truly deliver more value when everything is pre-planned, or am I somehow able to do an even better job when I’m just being there in the moment, and I don’t know what I’ll say in advance? Well, at the end of that Saturday (Day 2 of CGW), I went home to plan out the final two hours of the workshop. I had delayed planning this part of the workshop because I wanted to see how this particular audience handled the first two days. I’d made a lot of changes for this CGW, and there were good reasons why it made sense to apply just-in-time planning for the final closing segment. I’d already delivered this segment three times before at previous workshops, so I had old templates I could have fallen back on, and I also figured it would only take about an hour to make the plan. That night, however, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to create the plan. I wrote something out that seemed reasonable, but it felt hollow to me… heartless. I didn’t understand why my intuition said, “This is stupid.” As I tuned into my intuition for more guidance, the message was loud and clear. Let go and forget the plan. Just get up and speak your truth. It’s already inside you. You don’t need a plan. It will only hold you back and cause you to get stuck in your head. So I left the plan behind and decided I was ready to allow inspiration to flow through me when I delivered that final segment. The morning segment that Sunday had already been planned out, but I broke from the plan a lot. The resulting mixture was probably 70% inspiration of the moment and 30% pre-planned. And it seemed to go really well. I noticed that my energy was shifting to a different place the more I was able to let go. More passion and enthusiasm — and fun — were flowing through me. I normally have a handout for each day of CGW, but for this final day I decided not to use one. That wasn’t due to laziness. The Day 3 handout was already designed since I’d used it for previous CGWs. But I felt we’d be better off without the written exercises that day, so we could do more interactive exercises and fieldwork that morning instead. I thought that worked well. Some people actually liked the fact that there were no written exercises that day. As we got closer to the afternoon segment, I had enough evidence to believe it would work out okay. I could say that I had to push myself with a bit of courage here, but it didn’t play out that way. I was at peace with the decision. The workshop had been going so well up to that point that I felt that even if I semi-flubbed that final segment, people had already received so much value, so I felt I had enough social capital to take a small risk without it being a big deal either way. I also believed that I could share plenty of insights and ideas without a structured plan, so I really wasn’t worried about screwing up. I felt competent and confident to do this segment without a plan. My main concern was that I’d open too many threads, and I’d have a hard time wrapping everything up on time. How was I going to pace myself? I felt it was okay to let go and trust in that area as well. If I opened a loop that I wasn’t able to close, I could always blog about it later. Speaking from Inspiration When I got up to speak, I didn’t even know what the first words out of my mouth would be. But the words were there. I ended up talking mainly about the question, “What is the true nature of this reality?” That led into a discussion of subjective reality vs. objective reality. I shared the details and results of some experiments I’d already done, going back to 2006. We didn’t do any special exercises, but the segment became very interactive. Lots of people asked questions and shared their own stories, and instead of holding Q&A till the end, I integrated all of that on the fly. It was like a dance where neither partner is trying to lead, but somehow they still synchronize their movements. The segment didn’t feel like a presentation. It was more like a conversation, almost like I was talking to myself. Would you pre-plan a conversation? Would that even make sense? I felt like I was listening a lot more. I was tuned in to what people in the audience were thinking and feeling. As I spoke, I was mainly addressing the energy I perceived in the room. I was constantly looking for eddies in the audience’s energy and seeking to smooth them out. If I sensed confusion, I simplified by offering up analogies people were already familiar with. If I sensed mental overwhelm, I shifted into story-telling mode. If I sensed curiosity, I shifted to Q&A. If I sense the pressure build-up of people wanting to say something, I invited them to share their experiences. If I sensed eagerness to hear more, I went back to exposition. These are the things we naturally do when we’re engaged in a compelling one-on-one conversation. The flow of that segment was very different from the previous times I’ve done it. So was the content. I felt that the audience was really with me. People were much more present — leaning forward, nodding in reaction to certain segments, asking questions, sharing their own insights. I loved every minute of it. It was such a wonderful experience to be fully present and to enjoy such a cool dialog with like-minded people. Of course we’re like-mindedsince we’re all projections of the same mind! I didn’t seem to be sharing answers or advice or solutions, not really. Mostly I was sharing questions, observations, experiments, and stories. It was like having a conversation with myself. Even as I spoke about subjective reality, I began to slip into a subjective mindset. If you want to have a really strange experience, try believing that you’re actually dreaming while you’re speaking in front of a live audience.  Subjective Blogging This is the same manner in which I’ve been blogging this past week. I’m sharing my observations as a fellow explorer, not as a teacher with answers to share. But perhaps that’s the best form of teaching anyway — to explore and share along the way. That’s what got me started with blogging in the first place, and it’s why my website’s URL is my own name instead of something more generic. This website is a chronicle of my personal journey. My best writing comes through when I’m writing for myself, fully living my life and using blogging to deepen my understanding along the way. I feel that, and others notice it too. What really fascinates me is that I’ve been getting tons of positive feedback about my blogging this week. It’s a major brain-pretzelizer to try to understand why subjective blogging generates more positive objective feedback than objective blogging does. Why the heck do you like it better when I blog just for myself and not for you? Perhaps it’s because the idea that you and I are separate is truly a delusion. When I blog for myself, I am in fact blogging for you because we’re the same self. When I try to blog for you as a separate person (or group of people), then I’m actually splintering myself, and my writing reflects that. I wonder if your experience of reading my articles is the same. When I blog for myself, do you feel like you’re reading your own thoughts and feelings? When I blog objectively, do you feel more distanced from me, like we’re just not on the same wavelength? Do you feel closer and more connected with me now than you did a month ago? If subjective reality is false, then why does it generate results that are objectively better than an objective mindset? In 2006 I increased my financial results dramatically through subjective experimentation, and I’ve always enjoyed an abundant flow in that area ever since. Now I’m seeing huge positive shifts in my relationships too, results that are way beyond what I was able to achieve with an objective lens. If subjective reality is bunk, then I’d expect a decline in my results. But I’m seeing the opposite. That gives me good cause to go further down this path, since I’m seeing more and more evidence that subjective reality is the more accurate lens of the two. When you realize that you’re dreaming, you have much more power to change the dream vs. when you’re unaware (or in denial) that you’re dreaming. You can’t launch a satellite into orbit if you believe the earth is flat. Perhaps we’re both projections of the same consciousness after all. Perhaps you’re also awakening to the possibility — no, the likelihood — that this is a dream world. This dream world blog you’re reading is reflecting back to you your own shifts in consciousness. As you awaken to the notion that you’re really dreaming, this blog is manifesting those shifts. I’m here to reflect back to you the truth that yes, you are indeed dreaming, and I’m a projection within your dream world. In the weeks ahead, many of your own thoughts and feelings are going to show up here in written form, in such synchronous ways that it will be harder and harder for you to deny what’s happening. You’ll be pushed further down the rabbit hole. But you’re ready to take that leap, aren’t you? It will take courage to leave your objective comfort zone, but by now you’ve already concluded that the old path is a dead end. You can’t go back. You can only press on. Silly Rabbit After that CGW, I began feeling it was time to go deeper down that rabbit hole myself. I almost couldn’t help it. After speaking about it for nearly two hours, my mind was already shifting into subjective mode. One thing I really like about CGW is that it’s such a flexible workshop, so as I learn and grow, the workshop and how I present it can continue to evolve. The core principles of Truth, Love, and Power all make sense whether you view them through the objective lens or the subjective one. For example, we can talk about objective Truth (science) or subjective Truth (awareness). We can talk about love objectively (relationships and social support) or subjectively (joy and sorrow). We can talk about power objectively (cause and effect) or subjectively (intention and manifestation). I think it would be an amazing experience to deliver CGW #5 in October from the subjective frame. Just thinking about that excites me and freaks me out at the same time. What the heck would it be like to deliver a 3-day workshop while believing I’m actually in a dream world the entire time? That would mean I’m actually doing an entirely internal workshop, talking to various parts of myself and seeking to elevate, expand, and integrate them into a more complete whole. It’s still 3 months away, but this does feel like an inspired idea to me. If people like my subjective blogging better, would they also prefer a subjective workshop? On one level, I regard this sort of thing as risky. What if it just turns out to be too strange for people? What if I don’t seem to be delivering enough value? What if people get upset with me because I don’t deliver the kind of experience they expected? On another level, what if it works? What if it delivers more value than I previously thought possible? What if it creates a much deeper level of connection and raises the energy of the room to higher highs? What if it leads me into a whole new experience of communicating? And what if every CGW afterwards benefits from this? What does value even mean in a subjective dream world? I can only be delivering value within myself. In that regard, value equals healing and re-integration. I think these risks are manageable, even in an objective sense. For starters, not many people have signed up for CGW #5 yet because it’s still 3 months away. I think we’re at 8 registrations so far, which is actually really good to see this far in advance. If any of those people think CGW #5 may turn out to be too strange after reading these recent blog posts, I’m happy to offer them a refund. However, one of those people already shared with me how excited she is about this new direction, so that’s a good sign. Objectively speaking, I have a solid structure for CGW already worked out, as it has evolved over the previous three workshops. So I know I always have that game plan to fall back on if I feel it’s wise to do so. I don’t have to take the risk of going into a 3-day workshop with no plan at all. I can actually play it safe in this case since the fallback plan is already there. I’m pretty good at gauging the audience’s experience, so if I start out delivering CGW #5 this way, and I see that by the morning break on Day 1, it isn’t quite working, I can always back off and switch modes. It’s a 3-day workshop, and there’s plenty of room to experiment without risking a serious degradation in the overall experience and the value people receive from it. I can solicit advanced feedback as well. So if you like this idea — if some aspect of it resonates with you and makes you more likely to attend CGW #5 — please tell me. If you don’t like it and you feel it would make you less likely to attend CGW #5, please let me know that too. If there’s a lot of support for this idea, I may update the CGW page to reflect that. If I’m really honest with myself, I have to admit to myself (and to you — what’s the difference anyway?) that deep down, I already know that this is the path I must take. But some part of me fears it, and so I project those fears onto you. I assume that you probably won’t like it, or you’ll think it’s crazy. At least that’s what I tell myself, so I can reject the idea in advance. After all, I have to give you what you want, and if you don’t want this, then who am I to argue with you? But I haven’t even asked you yet, so how can I really know? And what if the answer comes back that you’d really love to experience such a thing? And what if we do it that way and it works amazingly well? Will we ever be able to come back out of the rabbit hole again? Will we lose ourselves in that world for good? Will we finally swallow the red pill instead of just tucking it away in our cheek? The Connection Between Inspiration and Subjective Reality My inspiration trial is entangled with subjective reality because they both hit me at the same time. By following my inspiration at the previous CGW, at the point where I finally let go, I was inspired to talk about subjective reality. Then as I moved forward with a subjective perspective for the next few days, I began to receive an even greater flow of inspired ideas. I started seeing inspiration itself as a form of communication with the true dreamer of this world. That led to some intense curiosity, and by the middle of that week, I began thinking about doing a 30-day trial of acting on inspiration 24/7. I couldn’t escape the subjective lens though. By that time I was becoming too immersed in it. I don’t fully understand the link between subjective reality and inspiration, but I can see and feel that there’s definitely a connection, and it isn’t a trivial one. The more I act on inspiration, the more it’s shifting me to view reality subjectively. These inspired actions and their consequences make a lot more sense to me when viewed through the subjective lens. I can’t objectively explain where these inspirations are coming from. But subjectively something quite beautiful and amazing is unfolding. The dreamer and the dream world are becoming one. Likewise, the more I shift into the subjective reality mindset, the easier it is for me to receive and act on inspiration without hesitation. If I were on the objective side, I’d be too worried about the consequences. It would be much harder to let go and trust the flow of what’s happening. But if I know this is a dream world, I’m less freaked out by the strangeness of it all. If this is a dream, then anything is possible. If I know that reality is a dream, I’m inclined to give more weight to certain aspects of the dream world. For example, I consider the inhabitants of the world and my relationships with them to be of greater importance because they all represent parts of me. Interacting with the characters of this world becomes utterly wondrous and fascinating because it’s like I’m delving deeper into the contents of my own subconscious. I’m deeply invested in creating positive, loving relationships with the other characters in this dream world because to me, it is all self-love and inner harmony. If I see conflict anywhere, I’m motivated to gush love all over it to resolve it, since otherwise I’m neglecting an internal conflict within my own being, and it can’t be healthy to let that fester. Consequently, I’ve been spending a great deal of time on communication. Whenever a problem or conflict arises, I do my best to act immediately. I can’t ignore it and hope someone else will handle it. If I’m the dreamer, then I must be 100% responsible for it. Everything I see in the world… is me. My role then becomes that of a healer. By healing damaged relationships within the dream world, I’m healing myself. I’m becoming whole again. This is a huge shift in thinking, and very quickly I developed a backlog of relationships that I feel need to be cleansed and healed with love and forgiveness. I’m tending to them as best I can. I may not be able to heal everything overnight, but the progress within just this past week has been stunning. Money and possessions, on the other hand, become almost inconsequential. What does it mean to own something in a dream? You can still acquire dream stuff if you want, and most dream characters will respect your claims to dream property, but it’s still a bit silly to think of dream objects as something you can own. Even if you buy something with dream money, is it really yours? It’s just a dream object you associate with your avatar’s dream inventory. You can just as easily enjoy the physical aspects of the dream world without having to own any of it. You can use up your dream money or spend it too fast I suppose, but it can’t be all that hard to replenish it either. When you view reality through the subjective lens, your focus shifts a great deal, especially with regard to what you define as important. If your life isn’t quite working, if you aren’t happy or if you aren’t getting the results you desire, could it be that you’re focusing on the wrong things? Could it be that the objective lens has led you astray? Are you still asleep, unaware or unwilling to accept that you’re dreaming? What would your life be like if you did your own 30-day trial of inspired, subjective living? Is that part of your path with a heart? At present I’m feeling more inspired than ever. And I’m also viewing reality as a subjective experience more than ever. That cannot be a coincidence. You’re feeling more inspired too, aren’t you? 
    Jul 27, 2011 3417
  • 27 Jul 2011
    “What is the primary goal?” “You should know, Professor. You programmed me.” – War Games Well… this 30-day trial of inspiration is absolutely amazing. I’m so far down the rabbit hole of subjective reality that I can perceive little else but rabbits now. And there sure are a LOT of rabbits down here! Today is technically Day 12 of this experiment. That seems ridiculous to me. How could so much have changed in only 12 days? The pacing of life has become almost unfathomable compared to what it was like before. I feel like I’ve lived through the mental and emotional equivalent of about 3 months in less than 2 weeks. Each day is like a week in terms of the density of its intensity. I know this is a long update (over 7400 words), but it still barely scratches the surface of what’s been happening. Fortunately you don’t actually have to read it. I’ll simply dream that I get to read and digest your reactions to this as if you’d read it. But they won’t even be your reactions because there’s no you. I’ll be hearing the echoing projections of my own inner reactions to what I’m sharing with myself. I can accept that. I still need to write all of this down for my own processing reasons. My mind needs some time to digest the events of the past week. Fragile Tension For some reason I now own an iPad. Why do I have an iPad? I’m not really sure. I wouldn’t have gotten one for objective reasons, but I had to get one in order to stick to the rules of this experiment. l feel like Riker in the ST:TNG episode “Frame of Mind” saying, “I still have a phaser… why do I have a phaser?” (If you don’t get that reference, go download the Star Trek files to your character’s database.) I went out Friday night to run some usual errands. At least I thought they were usual. It was the first time I went out since I dreamt that I flew back from Santa Fe last Monday. By Friday I was more immersed in my experiment than ever. I even felt inspired to do these errands at the time. I was also nearly out of dream food, so I was going to hit Costco and Whole Foods to do a typical food shop. The errands may have been typical, but I wasn’t my usual self. I’d been holding the subjective reality perspective for days on end. As I went to my garage to get in my car, I reminded myself that this was a dream world. It’s funny that my dream car is a 2010 Hyundai Sonata. Perhaps I need to upgrade my imagination. Then again, I like the car, and it runs great, so as far as dream cars go, it’s not bad. Something was very different. Driving my car wasn’t the same, nor was shopping. I’d normally find such experiences rather boring, but now I was filled with child-like wonder. Everything was fresh and new and exciting. In a dream world, anything can happen, so I was keeping myself energetically open and receptive, not knowing what to expect. I bought mostly fresh produce, but then on impulse I randomly grabbed a few bottles of wine — three of them. That’s very odd behavior for me. In the past I’d typically drink wine once or twice a year. But now it was just dream wine, and it seemed like a fun thing to buy at the time, especially since I’d be paying with dream money. I didn’t even look at what I was buying. I just randomly grabbed some bottles and placed them into my cart. I barely noticed what kind or color. I just pulled whatever I felt drawn to. The wine ranged in price from $7 to $13 per bottle. One was a 2005 Spanish red wine. I don’t think I’ve ever had Spanish wine before, and the type wasn’t something I’d ever heard of. When I had some later, it turned out it was really good, just the right blend of mild sweetness and tartness and not too acidic. Dream wine apparently tastes better than the real stuff. But given that my dream alcohol tolerance is so low, I felt tipsy even after one glass. Why? Because I believed it would affect me like that, and so it did. If you dream that a substance affects you, your mind creates the effect you expect. When I checked out at Costco, the female dream clerk and her helper were extra friendly and flirtatious — and hot — so I flirted back. It got a bit silly. That’s unusual for Costco, but I shrugged it off and left the store. Hot people working at Costco? Hmmm… unusual but not unheard of. Even so, it got my attention. After Costco, I had a strong urge to pop over to the dream Best Buy, which was nearby in the same shopping center. I felt I was supposed to go buy an iPad. Why? No idea. It seemed like a cool device, but logically I didn’t perceive a strong need for one, although I do feel it would be cool to travel with one, so I can leave my heavier Macbook Pro at home. I went to the Apple section of the store. It was around 9:00pm dream time, and no one was there. I said, “Ok, inspiration, which model should I get?” It said to get the best, so I presumed that meant the 64GB model with WiFi and 3G. There were no boxes sitting out, so I went to hunt for a dream character employee. The store was mostly deserted, so I went to the front of the store and found the guy by the exit. I asked if they had any iPads in stock. He grimaced and said, “Not sure… let me check.” He uses a small microphone to ask someone else if they have any iPads in stock. Then he looks at me disappointed and says, “He says we only have the 64GB/3G model in stock,” as if no one would ever want that one. I said, “Great! That’s the one I want. Tell him to bring me one, and I’ll meet him at the register.” I buy it, and I’m extra chatty with the male clerk. I know I’m looking at him strangely because I don’t think he’s a real person separate from me. He’s a character in this dream world. The interaction is so easy and smooth that afterwards I feel like I could have hit on him and gotten his phone number if I wanted to, and that he’d happily give it to me. I’m totally straight, but I think it would have been fun to try. Instead I settle for a $10 discount on the iPad keyboard and another discount on the total order. I didn’t ask for either discount — he just gave them to me. Apparently dream shopping is a little cheaper than regular shopping. Next I go to Whole Foods. I buy almost all raw food there aside from two cans of organic veggie soup. Overall I buy the foods I believe are healthiest and that I’ll enjoy, knowing that my dream body will simulate the best reactions to those foods. While I’m in the produce section bagging up some organic apples, an older guy comes up to me and asks me if I work there. When I tell him no, he apologizes and gives me a very strange look. I felt like he was asking me something other than the surface question though, more like, “Are you the guy in charge of this dream?” It did not feel like a normal human interaction the way it played out. I continue my shop with the suspicious feeling that he’s on to me. As I’m about to leave Whole Foods, I get the impulse to see if they have any vegan pizza slices left in the food service section. I haven’t had dinner yet, and I figure a couple slices would go down nicely. But then I have the inspired thought that I’d love to get a whole pizza to take home with me, so I can have leftovers the next day as well, but I don’t want to wait 20-25 minutes for them to make one since I’m ready to check out and go home. I walk over to that area to take a look, and the guy had just put out a whole fresh vegan pizza with red onion, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms, and black olives. Too perfect — and very strange since the store seemed deserted, and it was only 30 minutes till closing. Did they expect to sell that many slices of vegan pizza in the final 30 minutes on a Friday night? I don’t see how they’d even come close. I ask the guy if I can have the whole pizza, and he happily consents and boxes it up for me. Nice timing, I think to myself. I go to the only register that’s still open. The female clerk is gorgeous, friendly, and flirty, and our interaction is fun and playful. Those kinds of interactions aren’t unusual for me, but this one was smoother and more flowing than usual. I felt like I was interacting with a dream character, a projection of my own subconscious, and that changed the nature of the interaction. It’s very hard to describe how it was different, but it just wasn’t the same as before. The interaction was completely frictionless. There was no sense of any expectation, judgment, or concern with what the other person was thinking. Communicating from a place of such emptiness is very simple and easy. It’s just like talking to a character in a lucid dream. I went home with a feeling that something had shifted. But that was only the beginning. The pizza was really good too. I made Rachelle envious by eating it while I video-Skyped with her later that night, occasionally offering her a virtual bite. She got me back big time though… by teasingly offering me virtual bites of her. And I know just how delicious she is.  Perfect All across my reality, people seem different now. It’s as if the world has been injected with happiness. I notice more people laughing, smiling, having fun, and being flirtatious. If you’re active in the forums, you may have perceived an energetic shift there within the past week or two. I’ve certainly noticed it. The place seems more fun and playful and optimistic than usual. And it’s overflowing with synchronicities too, at least for me. In terms of online feedback, during this trial I’ve been getting significantly more than usual, but virtually none of it is negative. Where did all the harsh critics go? It’s like they suddenly vanished. The feedback I’m getting now is overwhelmingly loving and supportive and compassionate. Some of it also slides towards the seductive and sexy. Apparently something I’m doing is making certain women find me more attractive and reach out to me with a desire to connect. Can’t say I mind that.  I don’t recall getting any personal insults via email in more than a week. The closest thing to negative feedback was some emails urging caution with this experiment, but I can’t call any of them critical. The messages are more like, “Be careful. I’ve tried what you’re trying, and there are some risks to watch out for. So here are some suggestions…” Easy Tiger These social shifts were very rapid, practically overnight. It’s been taking me a while to mentally and emotionally catch up to them. At first I was really excited about it. I was enthralled by all these positive changes. I was in a place of amazement and wonder. So I began to step on the accelerator, so to speak, trying to push things ahead faster and faster. But as I did that, I lost the flow of inspiration. I was trying to go too fast, being too impatient. I soon felt overwhelmed by the rapidly accumulating consequences of my actions. These consequences were overwhelmingly positive, but they were coming in too hard and fast for me to keep up. I ended up with a backlog of communication that I’m still trying to catch up with. Then I began to almost panic. For a couple days earlier this week, I felt nervous, anxious, and insecure. Things were shifting so quickly that I was constantly out of my comfort zone. I needed to slow down, be patient, and get back in the flow of inspiration. This isn’t something I should be trying to force. I slowed down and gradually synched back up again with the flow of inspiration. I took a break from blogging for a few days. I tried to write a new post now and then, but it felt forced and uninspired, so I stopped within minutes. I was getting the signal to slow down and relax and let my mind and emotions catch up. For much of this week, I’ve been taking it easy. I played with the kids, learned to use my iPad and installed some apps, and tended to some errands like getting an oil change and a car wash. My dream car is nice and clean now. I also did some tax forms for my business that were due on Monday. It was very easy to do this. I would even say it was inspired, but in a low intensity sort of way. I found it interesting that the inspiration to get my tax forms done on time still arrived. Even though it’s a dream world, it makes sense to tend to the basics of living within the constraints of the dream storyline so as to avoid creating unwanted dream world consequences. I may be running a dream business, but it still matters to me. It’s part of the story. Think of it like watching a movie or reading a novel — or better yet, playing an interactive video game. You may know in the back of your mind that it isn’t real, but you can still get sucked in by the plot and feel like you’re right there with the characters. That’s how my life feels. I can pull back and know that I’m dreaming, but I can also allow myself to get sucked into the story. I took some time to meditate for an hour. That helped me release much of the stress associated with these shifts and to be more accepting of this new reality. I’m feeling much better today, more peaceful and calm. But I’m still very excited about what’s happening. This is an absolutely amazing adventure. Pacing myself has been a challenge, but I’m getting better at surfing the waves of inspiration without overdoing it. I suspect it may take me a few more weeks to feel good about my calibration though. I’m gradually learning how to surf. The Sweetest Condition The biggest shifts by far have been in the area of personal relationships. Things have improved so rapidly in this area that my mind and emotions are still playing catch up. It’s like the kind of reaction you might have if your whole family suddenly died in an accident, a complete derailment of your previous expectations. The intensity of the experience is roughly at that level, but in this case, the changes are extremely positive. For starters, my relationship with Rachelle has shifted enormously. We’ve gone a lot deeper into our connection with each other, and it’s safe to say that we’re more in love than ever. I’m overflowing with gratitude for her. Even though she’s in Saskatoon right now and still has 3 more weeks on her Canadian tour for her play, we keep in touch by video Skype nearly every day. We connect so deliciously in all four quadrants — body, mind, heart, and spirit. I swear she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I can attribute this shift directly to this experiment. It may seem counterintuitive as to why it works, so let me explain that. I stopped seeing Rachelle as a separate individual, and I began to interact with her as a dream character, a projection of the dreamer’s subconscious. This had the effect of allowing me to release all judgments and expectations of her. I began to see her through different eyes, with a sense of child-like wonder, amazement, and curiosity. When I communicate with her, I do my best to interpret what she says much like it’s a part of my own subconscious talking to me. It’s impossible for me to disagree with her about anything in that state, so I have to “yes, and” everything she says. After all, it’s coming from me. When Rachelle raises a concern, I treat it as my own. I look within myself to see why I’m now expressing that concern through the character of Rachelle. By dialoging with her about it, I listen carefully to understand that aspect of myself. Then if I perceive a problem to be solved, I solve it within. And almost magically, Rachelle herself releases that concern and expresses a positive shift. I don’t even have to tell her how I worked it out. She just starts behaving differently. I’ve done the same with many of my other relationships, and it’s been incredibly healing. I can’t possibly share all of it, as the details would require literally days of typing. But I can say it’s been absolutely magical. In Sympathy It starts when I feel the urge to contact someone with whom I feel there’s some unresolved or blocked energy. I notice I keep thinking about certain people, sometimes people with whom I haven’t directly communicated in months. I sense there’s still some kind of karmic connection between us that requires resolution. I turn within and do my best to identify what that person means to me. This is basic dream interpretation 101. What does the dream character represent? What part of my subconscious is being expressed through him/her? Then I seek to heal my relationship with that part of myself. The primary vehicles for that are acceptance and forgiveness and unconditional love. So this isn’t about transcending parts of myself. It’s about re-integrating parts of myself that I previously tried to deny, judge, or reject. When I heal that part of myself, the relationship with the other person automatically improves. Usually there is some direct contact with the other person as this plays out. As part of this healing process, I typically contact them. Sometimes things are resolved with a few emails; other times it’s a phone call. I could also do it face to face. This weekend I had a phone call with a friend that lasted for 3 hours. We had previously disconnected on a bad note that turned out to be a misunderstanding. By the end of the call, I felt we had healed the rift, and I think she felt the same. Or to be more accurate, I projected those feelings onto her because I had healed this disconnect with a part of myself. I had to reintegrate what she meant to me. Sometimes the other person senses me working on our relationship and contacts me, or so it seems. Synchronicities are off the scale right now, let’s just say. I guess this is almost like going through a 12-step program, but I didn’t make a list of past transgressions to remedy. Instead I’m just noticing what’s arising in the present moment. If my thoughts keep going towards a certain person, I know there’s a karmic connection that needs to be looked at and healed. Then it feels like there’s a powerful release of trapped energy. I know I’m not done with this process. I can feel more of this work flowing towards me. But it has been incredible and amazing and beautiful thus far. My relationship life has been magically transformed so quickly that it makes my head spin. I am still trying to catch up both mentally and emotionally. It’s hard to keep my own memory in sync with all the shifts. I think the best way to describe it is that all the friction that got in the way of unconditional love is finally evaporating. Even if I were to stop now, I’d be stunned at how wonderful this part of my life has become. But I know there’s more to come. It’s hard for me to even fathom where I’ll be in this area of my life at the end of this 30-day trial. I have no doubt that Day 30 will be radically different from Day 1, so much so that it’s going to seem like I’ve gone through some kind of dimensional portal into an alternate universe. Comatose But wait, there’s more — a lot more. Rachelle and I have been, by default, monogamous with each other for the 6+ months we’ve been involved. Well, there was a fun threesome along the way, but other than that, we focused our energy primarily on each other. This actually required some blocking on our part. We both had other opportunities along the way, but we chose not to pursue them. It just seemed inappropriate. We were falling so much in love with each other that it wouldn’t have felt right to introduce other energies. Neither of us wanted to risk derailing what we were creating together. We recognized that something beautiful and magical was unfolding between us, and we wanted to go with the flow of it and soak up that experience as fully as possible. This has been an amazing journey for us. When we talked last night, we acknowledged that this has been the best year of our lives — filled with adventure, excitement, passion, and wonderful growth experiences. In the beginning, we were subjected to some judgment about our D/s explorations together, but if that judgment is still there, I no longer perceive it, perhaps because I made peace with that part of myself along the way. D/s play has been an amazing and wonderful part of our connection… and incredibly healing for us both. For me it has been a journey of learning how to receive love and letting go of all the guilt and shame I previously associated with it. I’ve had to work on myself a lot in this area, and I still do. Imagine being able to command a woman to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you know that she’ll lovingly obey you and that she’ll also enjoy it immensely. But then notice that you hesitate to do so because you feel guilty and ashamed about it. You can’t bring yourself to ask her for what you want. You don’t feel worthy of that kind of love. It’s too much — too intense — too selfish. So instead, you stay in your comfort zone and ask for less than what you really want. You compromise. What you ask for is lovingly given. But how can you bring yourself to ask for what you really want and feel good about receiving it? That’s my situation, and healing this part of me is what I personally gain from exploring D/s. Maybe it sounds like a stupid problem to have, and I can understand why people would initially see it as a very shallow pursuit, but for me it has been a very deep and emotional part of my self-development. I grew up in a home where the words “I love you” were never spoken (or at least I don’t recall hearing them). Hugs didn’t happen except on special occasions, and only with visiting relatives. My physical needs were abundantly satisfied, but as a child, I didn’t feel loved or cared for. The closest thing to love that I felt was when I was praised by my teachers for doing well on school assignments. That’s probably why I became such a good student and had such positive relationships with my teachers. If I expressed any emotional neediness as a child, such needs were seldom fulfilled. I didn’t know how to get those needs met, so essentially I gave up. I have vague memories of being sensitive, loving, and compassionate as a young child, but by the time I was six years old, I had picked up too many emotional scars… and a physical scar as well from when I was stabbed. That scar on my right arm is still visible today, nearly 35 years later, a perpetual reminder of what remains to be healed within. After that time, my heart was filled with mostly darkness – anger, hatred, despair, and a deep-seated distrust of others. I wondered why God had made me such a bad person. Why was I always screwing up? Why couldn’t I be good and follow the rules? I’d pray every night that I might somehow summon the strength to always be good, so that I might one day become worthy of love. I would feel such intense hatred at times, mostly directed towards myself, that I began to grind my teeth, a habit that continued even while I slept. The unconscious nighttime habit stuck well into adulthood, and as a result my molars are nearly flat, with much of their enamel gone. Years passed, and I eventually forgot that I had a heart at all. I retreated almost completely into my mind. I learned computer programming at age 10, and the computer became my best friend and loyal companion. I had human friends along the way, but there was little emotional intimacy in those connections. For the most part, I was emotionally alone well into adulthood. I wouldn’t say that anyone really knew me. I didn’t feel I could trust anyone, least of all myself. I met Erin when I was 22, and she somehow got inside. Perhaps it was her nature to do so. I tried to break up with her shortly after we connected, confessing that I didn’t know how to love. Yet that was the seed that became my own undoing since the reason I wanted to break up with her was that I began to care about her, and I didn’t want to see her hurt. My heart was beginning to break out of its crusty shell. Through our 15-year relationship, a lot of healing took place. I learned how to express love. Or perhaps I remembered how. Along the way, my life path shifted towards giving and service. I came to genuinely care about people. I liked expressing that part of myself. And my life improved tremendously as a result. I began to adopt the mindset of a lightworker. I focused on giving, giving, and more giving. I noticed that when I did that, good stuff would always flow back to me. But ultimately, that was only half of the healing process. I Feel Loved I didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but I knew that it was time for Erin and me to separate. She had guided me far enough down the path of giving love that it was clear I’d never slip back. I could keep advancing down that path on my own. I understood how important it was. Erin, however, wasn’t the right person to help me heal the other half of myself, the part that was unable to receive love. It wasn’t her role to perform. I needed a different teacher to help me with that. As I learned to give more, a lot of good stuff would flow back to me. But it was very difficult for me to receive it. People would thank me and praise me for my help, but I felt uncomfortable with such expressions of appreciation. So I put up blocks and barriers to receiving, mostly unconsciously. I discouraged people from emailing me. I declined invites from people who wanted to meet with me in person. I hid behind a computer much of the time. I implemented a variety of strategies that made it possible for me to give a lot without allowing myself to receive much. I couldn’t completely stop the flow of receiving though, so I redirected it in other ways, such as growing my business. I reached the point of allowing financial abundance to flow through me, but I couldn’t accept expressions of love and appreciation that were too emotional in nature, nor could I ask for such love. It would have disgusted me to act like I cared about such things — I couldn’t possibly be so emotionally needy. But little by little, the emotional side began to get through. Sometimes I’d cry after receiving certain pieces of feedback, such as learning that I’d prevented a suicide. Eventually some part of me triggered a major shift in this area, like a spiritual subroutine that suddenly became active. At first it hit me intuitively, then later on, logically. I began to realize that if I could become happier and more fulfilled, I could do a better job of serving others. After Erin and I separated last year, I felt a strong intuitive urging to explore D/s with a female partner. Shortly thereafter, Rachelle came into my life. She has been a true gift in that regard, and I am intensely grateful for her. When I think I’m pushing myself to ask for what I want, she gives of herself lovingly and then encourages me to ask for more. After months of this, I came to realize just how much I’m still holding back. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I know there are still some blocks to work through. I find it very difficult to ask for things that I would love… without feeling any shame or guilt for asking. And so I manifested a dream world in which selfishness is shunned and pleasure is regarded as sin. It’s okay to give to others, but we can’t give too much to ourselves; if we do that, we’re bad people. Of course Rachelle and I have talked through all of this, but I still find it a challenge. Rachelle has been the ideal partner for me in this regard. The ways I most want/need to receive love are symmetrically the ways in which she most enjoys expressing love. The more I’m able to open up and ask for what I want, the more she enjoys it too. When I hold back too much, I see my own hesitation reflected through her reactions. If there are boundaries in our connection, they’re my own. To my best recollection, she has never found it necessary to decline anything I’ve asked her for, and she’s never used our safe word. Whatever I ask for, she lovingly grants. I feel a bit foolish to have such a problem. After all, what kind of guy would hold back in a situation such as mine? And yet, it’s a huge challenge for me nonetheless. It’s hard enough for me to come to terms with all the love she’s poured onto me already, let alone to seek further expansion of it. Freelove But wait… there’s more. It gets better. As I applied the subjective perspective to my relationship with Rachelle, and to myself as well, I finally began seeing the big picture. Up to this point, I didn’t identify my challenges with D/s as a problem with receiving love. I knew there were some internal shifts happening, but I didn’t quite understand them. Now I can see what’s really been happening, so I can work with the process more consciously. I can’t share all the details without typing for many more hours (and my wrists are beginning to get sore as it is), but the short version is that after much discussion, Rachelle and I decided to open our relationship and explore polyamory together. We both knew we’d eventually turn this corner, and the time just seemed right. Energetically we’re still processing what this means to us, but we’ve already taken steps to move forward, and at this point, there’s sufficient momentum to carry us through to getting involved with other partners. That is already unfolding. Yes, I’m being intentionally vague about it. It feels premature to share more details, especially since exploring polyamory by definition involves other people… or other dream projections, depending on your perspective. I can say that something very interesting began to happen when we made this shift. A number of women began opening themselves to one or both of us, either suggestively hinting or outright stating they’d like to explore D/s with us… or try a threesome… or explore some kind of similar sharing of love and connection with us… or potentially get involved long-term. There was such a surge in a short period of time that we couldn’t help but notice. But yet, we hadn’t gone public about it yet. Somehow those people must have picked up on the shift we were going through, and they felt safe enough to let us know of their interest. Of course that makes perfect sense in a dream world. We’re entering into this part of our journey together very consciously and with a lot of communication. We check in with each other each day, often multiple times per day, and go deeper into our thoughts and feelings about it. At first we each had to work through some blocks and strong emotions, even though we knew it was what we wanted to experience. Now we seem to have reached a point of acceptance and also excitement about the idea. There’s such a strong bond of love and trust between us that we feel we can make this work. We want to be able to open up more and share the tremendous love we have between us with others. This isn’t primarily about sex, although we each want that to be a part of our exploration together. The primary intentions are to increase our alignment with Oneness, to open our hearts even more, and to shed all negative associations to sharing love openly, including shame, guilt, fear, jealousy, envy, and attachment. Sex is a yummy icing on the cake, but in truth it’s one of many healing modalities, albeit a potent one. I Am You Previously my favorite analogy for explaining the principle of Oneness was the cells-in-the-body model. We’re all cells in the larger body of humanity. We have both an individual identity and a collective one. The health of the body and the health of the cells are one. This was a powerful analogy, and it helped me make great strides forward in this part of my life. I was able to open up and connect socially with much greater ease and comfort when I recognized that other people were cells in the same body as me. I’ve been sharing this analogy for years — in my blog, in my book, and at CGW. But now I’m letting that analogy go because I’ve found a much more powerful replacement to help me align with Oneness. That new analogy is that we’re all projections of the same dreamer in a dream world. With this analogy there’s no longer a cell wall between us. There’s no separation at all. We aren’t just individual parts of the same whole — we’re different windows into the same being. Now when I see another person, I don’t think that we’re two cells in the same body. I see us as different viewports into the same being. In fact, we are the same being. You are me, and I am you. At one point instead of saying “I love you,” Rachelle and I said to each other, “I am you.” That had a whole different feel to it energetically. It felt like our connection suddenly went much deeper. I realized that Rachelle and I aren’t two separate individual beings. We’re in fact the same singular being, the same consciousness. Separation is a complete illusion. We are two different images of the same thing. And the same goes for everyone else. I’ve been walking around for days in a daze, seeing myself in everyone and everything. It’s so obvious that I can scarcely believe I didn’t notice it before. All love is self-love. All conflict is inner conflict. The experience of Oneness within and harmonious relationships without are the same pursuit. Dream On I can no longer accept the premise of objective reality. I’ve gone too far down this rabbit hole and encountered too many amazing rabbits to expect that I’ll ever surface topside again. I’m now virtually certain that reality is in fact a dream world. If there’s a better analogy for the true nature of this existence, I haven’t come across one yet. I say “virtually certain” because I still have some doubts and fears to work through. But one by one, they appear to be collapsing in a cascading fashion. I think their days are numbered and that it’s only a matter of time before I shed them all. So many things that confused me before have now become clear. Take quantum mechanics for instance. This is a real brain-pretzelizer from an objective standpoint. Why would consciousness affect physical matter? But if this is a dream world, then the existence of quantum mechanics is a rather obvious projection of the underlying nature of the dream. Quantum physical events don’t get resolved until they’re observed because the dreamer has to perceive them in order to resolve them, in order to give them form and substance. If the dreamer doesn’t perceive something, then the dream mind doesn’t bother to resolve it. This is precisely the behavior you’d expect from a dream. This simulated reality only manifests what we can perceive. Until the dreamer perceives something, that something is stuck in non-created limbo. It would make no sense for the simulation to generate something that would never be perceived. Hence this dream reality, should you attempt to study it through an objective lens, must reflect something back to you that is for all intents and purposes what we’ve identified as quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is nothing but a fancy label for dream world physics. In fact, all of science is the study of the inner workings of the dream world. What about the Law of Attraction? This too is a side effect of being in a dream world. When you hook yourself into dreamer-level consciousness, you gain some ability to alter the dream by planting suggestions within the subconscious of the dreamer. The dream world then shifts accordingly. And of course the dream world must be consistent with your beliefs. So thoughts and beliefs of financial scarcity will manifest scarcity, and thoughts of abundance will manifest abundance, just as you’d expect in accordance with the Law of Attraction. Perhaps a more accurate name for the LoA would be the Law of Subconscious Suggestion. The dream world manifests the most powerful suggestions that you plant within the subconscious of the dreamer. By accessing the dream program, you can reprogram the dream. The more self-aware you are — i.e. the more lucid you become — the greater your ability to apply this ability. But the more asleep you are — i.e. the more you succumb to the false belief that you’re in an objective world — the more you must live out your days as an NPC, unable to reprogram the dream. What about psychic abilities? That makes sense from a dream perspective too. It suggests, however, that there may be some inherent limits to psychic abilities. In a dream world, your psychic abilities are limited by your beliefs. If you don’t subconsciously believe you can do it, you probably can’t manifest it. All psychic readings are actually self readings. Top psychics can pick up seemingly astounding info about people they’ve never met because the underlying truth is that they are in fact the same being they’re reading for, so the psychic is simply reading his/her own subconscious, and the client is nothing but a projection and doesn’t exist as a separate individual anyway. Consequently, a psychic should be able to create a powerful boost in their abilities by recognizing the fact that they’re always reading themselves and that there really is no client “out there.” A psychic’s ability to predict the future of some aspect of the dream is limited to the psychic’s degree of lucidity. You aren’t really predicting anything because dreams are largely unpredictable. But you can implant suggestions into the dreamer’s subconscious. So psychic prediction is really subconscious creation, i.e. self-fulfilling prophecy. In a dream world, everything is a projection of the subconscious of the dreamer. Consequently, the dream world is absolutely overflowing with clues that you’re dreaming right now. You just can’t see them until you look for them. Such is the nature of being asleep. Try this. Look up the lyrics to any of your favorite songs, or go play a song or two, and listen to the words. As you hear the words, imagine that you’re dreaming right now and that the song is a message from your own subconscious. You will see that the song’s lyrics are trying to reveal to you that you’re dreaming right now. Notice the real meaning behind the song’s metaphors. Many songs are about reintegration. Love the different parts of yourself. Stop all violence and conflict. You’re only fighting with yourself. Some songs point out that you’re asleep and in denial about it. Even a song with seemingly crazy lyrics will begin to make sense if you regard it as communication from your own dream world. What are the last echoing words of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for instance? “A Denial!” And what’s the meaning of the line, “With the lights out, it’s less dangerous”? It’s telling you that you’re afraid to wake up. What would it mean to turn on the lights? Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. Try it with any song that inspires you. The reason a song moves you emotionally is that it’s causing the dreamer within to resonate with a deeper level truth. You can do the same thing with any TV show or movie that you find inspiring to watch. Did you like The Matrix just a little too much? Any idea why? Because you’re in one right now. Shine Being in a dream world has some powerful implications. I’ve found that my ability to create my reality has increased massively these past 12 days. My focus has largely been on healing and expanding the relationship part of my life, and that makes perfect sense to me. The most exciting element of such an immersive and persistent dream, at least for me, is the experience of interacting with the other dream characters. The more love and harmony I can create with those characters, the better the dream becomes. I’m currently excited but also trepidatious about what this might mean. As I have some skill with nighttime lucid dreaming, I’m beginning to wonder if I can bring those abilities to bear in this dream world too. Part of me wants to dive into that, but another part of me knows I should learn to walk in this dream world before trying to fly. Nevertheless, I did a small test this afternoon, trying to move a pen across the counter with my mind. I tried for about a minute. The pen didn’t budge. However, during those 60 seconds, I noticed all sorts of thoughts and feelings arising within me. There was fear and paranoia over what might happen if the pen actually moved. I felt a ripping sensation as a terrified part of myself began to surface. I sensed that if that pen actually moved, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It would mean the end of my life as I know it. It was obvious that I’m not ready to see that pen move. Part of me won’t allow us to go there yet. It would be too terrifying if it actually happened. But another part of me knows that the pen is eventually going to move. However, I have a lot more growth ahead of me before I’m ready to see that. In the meantime, I’ll continue to deal with the challenges and growth experiences that are right in front of me as I follow the flow of inspiration moment by moment. Those lessons have to do with relationships, giving and receiving unconditional love, and releasing some shame and guilt. You can call me crazy for going this far down the rabbit hole, but it won’t stop me from moving forward. I’d simply interpret you as a projection of my own fear and doubt, which I acknowledge are still present within me. As you raise your voice in protest, I’ll accept your objections as if they’re my own, and I’ll forgive myself for those delusions and re-integrate those skeptical parts of myself, honoring them for their commitment to keeping me safe and protected. You are beautiful and amazing, my favorite figment. 
    1372 Posted by UniqueThis
  • “What is the primary goal?” “You should know, Professor. You programmed me.” – War Games Well… this 30-day trial of inspiration is absolutely amazing. I’m so far down the rabbit hole of subjective reality that I can perceive little else but rabbits now. And there sure are a LOT of rabbits down here! Today is technically Day 12 of this experiment. That seems ridiculous to me. How could so much have changed in only 12 days? The pacing of life has become almost unfathomable compared to what it was like before. I feel like I’ve lived through the mental and emotional equivalent of about 3 months in less than 2 weeks. Each day is like a week in terms of the density of its intensity. I know this is a long update (over 7400 words), but it still barely scratches the surface of what’s been happening. Fortunately you don’t actually have to read it. I’ll simply dream that I get to read and digest your reactions to this as if you’d read it. But they won’t even be your reactions because there’s no you. I’ll be hearing the echoing projections of my own inner reactions to what I’m sharing with myself. I can accept that. I still need to write all of this down for my own processing reasons. My mind needs some time to digest the events of the past week. Fragile Tension For some reason I now own an iPad. Why do I have an iPad? I’m not really sure. I wouldn’t have gotten one for objective reasons, but I had to get one in order to stick to the rules of this experiment. l feel like Riker in the ST:TNG episode “Frame of Mind” saying, “I still have a phaser… why do I have a phaser?” (If you don’t get that reference, go download the Star Trek files to your character’s database.) I went out Friday night to run some usual errands. At least I thought they were usual. It was the first time I went out since I dreamt that I flew back from Santa Fe last Monday. By Friday I was more immersed in my experiment than ever. I even felt inspired to do these errands at the time. I was also nearly out of dream food, so I was going to hit Costco and Whole Foods to do a typical food shop. The errands may have been typical, but I wasn’t my usual self. I’d been holding the subjective reality perspective for days on end. As I went to my garage to get in my car, I reminded myself that this was a dream world. It’s funny that my dream car is a 2010 Hyundai Sonata. Perhaps I need to upgrade my imagination. Then again, I like the car, and it runs great, so as far as dream cars go, it’s not bad. Something was very different. Driving my car wasn’t the same, nor was shopping. I’d normally find such experiences rather boring, but now I was filled with child-like wonder. Everything was fresh and new and exciting. In a dream world, anything can happen, so I was keeping myself energetically open and receptive, not knowing what to expect. I bought mostly fresh produce, but then on impulse I randomly grabbed a few bottles of wine — three of them. That’s very odd behavior for me. In the past I’d typically drink wine once or twice a year. But now it was just dream wine, and it seemed like a fun thing to buy at the time, especially since I’d be paying with dream money. I didn’t even look at what I was buying. I just randomly grabbed some bottles and placed them into my cart. I barely noticed what kind or color. I just pulled whatever I felt drawn to. The wine ranged in price from $7 to $13 per bottle. One was a 2005 Spanish red wine. I don’t think I’ve ever had Spanish wine before, and the type wasn’t something I’d ever heard of. When I had some later, it turned out it was really good, just the right blend of mild sweetness and tartness and not too acidic. Dream wine apparently tastes better than the real stuff. But given that my dream alcohol tolerance is so low, I felt tipsy even after one glass. Why? Because I believed it would affect me like that, and so it did. If you dream that a substance affects you, your mind creates the effect you expect. When I checked out at Costco, the female dream clerk and her helper were extra friendly and flirtatious — and hot — so I flirted back. It got a bit silly. That’s unusual for Costco, but I shrugged it off and left the store. Hot people working at Costco? Hmmm… unusual but not unheard of. Even so, it got my attention. After Costco, I had a strong urge to pop over to the dream Best Buy, which was nearby in the same shopping center. I felt I was supposed to go buy an iPad. Why? No idea. It seemed like a cool device, but logically I didn’t perceive a strong need for one, although I do feel it would be cool to travel with one, so I can leave my heavier Macbook Pro at home. I went to the Apple section of the store. It was around 9:00pm dream time, and no one was there. I said, “Ok, inspiration, which model should I get?” It said to get the best, so I presumed that meant the 64GB model with WiFi and 3G. There were no boxes sitting out, so I went to hunt for a dream character employee. The store was mostly deserted, so I went to the front of the store and found the guy by the exit. I asked if they had any iPads in stock. He grimaced and said, “Not sure… let me check.” He uses a small microphone to ask someone else if they have any iPads in stock. Then he looks at me disappointed and says, “He says we only have the 64GB/3G model in stock,” as if no one would ever want that one. I said, “Great! That’s the one I want. Tell him to bring me one, and I’ll meet him at the register.” I buy it, and I’m extra chatty with the male clerk. I know I’m looking at him strangely because I don’t think he’s a real person separate from me. He’s a character in this dream world. The interaction is so easy and smooth that afterwards I feel like I could have hit on him and gotten his phone number if I wanted to, and that he’d happily give it to me. I’m totally straight, but I think it would have been fun to try. Instead I settle for a $10 discount on the iPad keyboard and another discount on the total order. I didn’t ask for either discount — he just gave them to me. Apparently dream shopping is a little cheaper than regular shopping. Next I go to Whole Foods. I buy almost all raw food there aside from two cans of organic veggie soup. Overall I buy the foods I believe are healthiest and that I’ll enjoy, knowing that my dream body will simulate the best reactions to those foods. While I’m in the produce section bagging up some organic apples, an older guy comes up to me and asks me if I work there. When I tell him no, he apologizes and gives me a very strange look. I felt like he was asking me something other than the surface question though, more like, “Are you the guy in charge of this dream?” It did not feel like a normal human interaction the way it played out. I continue my shop with the suspicious feeling that he’s on to me. As I’m about to leave Whole Foods, I get the impulse to see if they have any vegan pizza slices left in the food service section. I haven’t had dinner yet, and I figure a couple slices would go down nicely. But then I have the inspired thought that I’d love to get a whole pizza to take home with me, so I can have leftovers the next day as well, but I don’t want to wait 20-25 minutes for them to make one since I’m ready to check out and go home. I walk over to that area to take a look, and the guy had just put out a whole fresh vegan pizza with red onion, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms, and black olives. Too perfect — and very strange since the store seemed deserted, and it was only 30 minutes till closing. Did they expect to sell that many slices of vegan pizza in the final 30 minutes on a Friday night? I don’t see how they’d even come close. I ask the guy if I can have the whole pizza, and he happily consents and boxes it up for me. Nice timing, I think to myself. I go to the only register that’s still open. The female clerk is gorgeous, friendly, and flirty, and our interaction is fun and playful. Those kinds of interactions aren’t unusual for me, but this one was smoother and more flowing than usual. I felt like I was interacting with a dream character, a projection of my own subconscious, and that changed the nature of the interaction. It’s very hard to describe how it was different, but it just wasn’t the same as before. The interaction was completely frictionless. There was no sense of any expectation, judgment, or concern with what the other person was thinking. Communicating from a place of such emptiness is very simple and easy. It’s just like talking to a character in a lucid dream. I went home with a feeling that something had shifted. But that was only the beginning. The pizza was really good too. I made Rachelle envious by eating it while I video-Skyped with her later that night, occasionally offering her a virtual bite. She got me back big time though… by teasingly offering me virtual bites of her. And I know just how delicious she is.  Perfect All across my reality, people seem different now. It’s as if the world has been injected with happiness. I notice more people laughing, smiling, having fun, and being flirtatious. If you’re active in the forums, you may have perceived an energetic shift there within the past week or two. I’ve certainly noticed it. The place seems more fun and playful and optimistic than usual. And it’s overflowing with synchronicities too, at least for me. In terms of online feedback, during this trial I’ve been getting significantly more than usual, but virtually none of it is negative. Where did all the harsh critics go? It’s like they suddenly vanished. The feedback I’m getting now is overwhelmingly loving and supportive and compassionate. Some of it also slides towards the seductive and sexy. Apparently something I’m doing is making certain women find me more attractive and reach out to me with a desire to connect. Can’t say I mind that.  I don’t recall getting any personal insults via email in more than a week. The closest thing to negative feedback was some emails urging caution with this experiment, but I can’t call any of them critical. The messages are more like, “Be careful. I’ve tried what you’re trying, and there are some risks to watch out for. So here are some suggestions…” Easy Tiger These social shifts were very rapid, practically overnight. It’s been taking me a while to mentally and emotionally catch up to them. At first I was really excited about it. I was enthralled by all these positive changes. I was in a place of amazement and wonder. So I began to step on the accelerator, so to speak, trying to push things ahead faster and faster. But as I did that, I lost the flow of inspiration. I was trying to go too fast, being too impatient. I soon felt overwhelmed by the rapidly accumulating consequences of my actions. These consequences were overwhelmingly positive, but they were coming in too hard and fast for me to keep up. I ended up with a backlog of communication that I’m still trying to catch up with. Then I began to almost panic. For a couple days earlier this week, I felt nervous, anxious, and insecure. Things were shifting so quickly that I was constantly out of my comfort zone. I needed to slow down, be patient, and get back in the flow of inspiration. This isn’t something I should be trying to force. I slowed down and gradually synched back up again with the flow of inspiration. I took a break from blogging for a few days. I tried to write a new post now and then, but it felt forced and uninspired, so I stopped within minutes. I was getting the signal to slow down and relax and let my mind and emotions catch up. For much of this week, I’ve been taking it easy. I played with the kids, learned to use my iPad and installed some apps, and tended to some errands like getting an oil change and a car wash. My dream car is nice and clean now. I also did some tax forms for my business that were due on Monday. It was very easy to do this. I would even say it was inspired, but in a low intensity sort of way. I found it interesting that the inspiration to get my tax forms done on time still arrived. Even though it’s a dream world, it makes sense to tend to the basics of living within the constraints of the dream storyline so as to avoid creating unwanted dream world consequences. I may be running a dream business, but it still matters to me. It’s part of the story. Think of it like watching a movie or reading a novel — or better yet, playing an interactive video game. You may know in the back of your mind that it isn’t real, but you can still get sucked in by the plot and feel like you’re right there with the characters. That’s how my life feels. I can pull back and know that I’m dreaming, but I can also allow myself to get sucked into the story. I took some time to meditate for an hour. That helped me release much of the stress associated with these shifts and to be more accepting of this new reality. I’m feeling much better today, more peaceful and calm. But I’m still very excited about what’s happening. This is an absolutely amazing adventure. Pacing myself has been a challenge, but I’m getting better at surfing the waves of inspiration without overdoing it. I suspect it may take me a few more weeks to feel good about my calibration though. I’m gradually learning how to surf. The Sweetest Condition The biggest shifts by far have been in the area of personal relationships. Things have improved so rapidly in this area that my mind and emotions are still playing catch up. It’s like the kind of reaction you might have if your whole family suddenly died in an accident, a complete derailment of your previous expectations. The intensity of the experience is roughly at that level, but in this case, the changes are extremely positive. For starters, my relationship with Rachelle has shifted enormously. We’ve gone a lot deeper into our connection with each other, and it’s safe to say that we’re more in love than ever. I’m overflowing with gratitude for her. Even though she’s in Saskatoon right now and still has 3 more weeks on her Canadian tour for her play, we keep in touch by video Skype nearly every day. We connect so deliciously in all four quadrants — body, mind, heart, and spirit. I swear she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I can attribute this shift directly to this experiment. It may seem counterintuitive as to why it works, so let me explain that. I stopped seeing Rachelle as a separate individual, and I began to interact with her as a dream character, a projection of the dreamer’s subconscious. This had the effect of allowing me to release all judgments and expectations of her. I began to see her through different eyes, with a sense of child-like wonder, amazement, and curiosity. When I communicate with her, I do my best to interpret what she says much like it’s a part of my own subconscious talking to me. It’s impossible for me to disagree with her about anything in that state, so I have to “yes, and” everything she says. After all, it’s coming from me. When Rachelle raises a concern, I treat it as my own. I look within myself to see why I’m now expressing that concern through the character of Rachelle. By dialoging with her about it, I listen carefully to understand that aspect of myself. Then if I perceive a problem to be solved, I solve it within. And almost magically, Rachelle herself releases that concern and expresses a positive shift. I don’t even have to tell her how I worked it out. She just starts behaving differently. I’ve done the same with many of my other relationships, and it’s been incredibly healing. I can’t possibly share all of it, as the details would require literally days of typing. But I can say it’s been absolutely magical. In Sympathy It starts when I feel the urge to contact someone with whom I feel there’s some unresolved or blocked energy. I notice I keep thinking about certain people, sometimes people with whom I haven’t directly communicated in months. I sense there’s still some kind of karmic connection between us that requires resolution. I turn within and do my best to identify what that person means to me. This is basic dream interpretation 101. What does the dream character represent? What part of my subconscious is being expressed through him/her? Then I seek to heal my relationship with that part of myself. The primary vehicles for that are acceptance and forgiveness and unconditional love. So this isn’t about transcending parts of myself. It’s about re-integrating parts of myself that I previously tried to deny, judge, or reject. When I heal that part of myself, the relationship with the other person automatically improves. Usually there is some direct contact with the other person as this plays out. As part of this healing process, I typically contact them. Sometimes things are resolved with a few emails; other times it’s a phone call. I could also do it face to face. This weekend I had a phone call with a friend that lasted for 3 hours. We had previously disconnected on a bad note that turned out to be a misunderstanding. By the end of the call, I felt we had healed the rift, and I think she felt the same. Or to be more accurate, I projected those feelings onto her because I had healed this disconnect with a part of myself. I had to reintegrate what she meant to me. Sometimes the other person senses me working on our relationship and contacts me, or so it seems. Synchronicities are off the scale right now, let’s just say. I guess this is almost like going through a 12-step program, but I didn’t make a list of past transgressions to remedy. Instead I’m just noticing what’s arising in the present moment. If my thoughts keep going towards a certain person, I know there’s a karmic connection that needs to be looked at and healed. Then it feels like there’s a powerful release of trapped energy. I know I’m not done with this process. I can feel more of this work flowing towards me. But it has been incredible and amazing and beautiful thus far. My relationship life has been magically transformed so quickly that it makes my head spin. I am still trying to catch up both mentally and emotionally. It’s hard to keep my own memory in sync with all the shifts. I think the best way to describe it is that all the friction that got in the way of unconditional love is finally evaporating. Even if I were to stop now, I’d be stunned at how wonderful this part of my life has become. But I know there’s more to come. It’s hard for me to even fathom where I’ll be in this area of my life at the end of this 30-day trial. I have no doubt that Day 30 will be radically different from Day 1, so much so that it’s going to seem like I’ve gone through some kind of dimensional portal into an alternate universe. Comatose But wait, there’s more — a lot more. Rachelle and I have been, by default, monogamous with each other for the 6+ months we’ve been involved. Well, there was a fun threesome along the way, but other than that, we focused our energy primarily on each other. This actually required some blocking on our part. We both had other opportunities along the way, but we chose not to pursue them. It just seemed inappropriate. We were falling so much in love with each other that it wouldn’t have felt right to introduce other energies. Neither of us wanted to risk derailing what we were creating together. We recognized that something beautiful and magical was unfolding between us, and we wanted to go with the flow of it and soak up that experience as fully as possible. This has been an amazing journey for us. When we talked last night, we acknowledged that this has been the best year of our lives — filled with adventure, excitement, passion, and wonderful growth experiences. In the beginning, we were subjected to some judgment about our D/s explorations together, but if that judgment is still there, I no longer perceive it, perhaps because I made peace with that part of myself along the way. D/s play has been an amazing and wonderful part of our connection… and incredibly healing for us both. For me it has been a journey of learning how to receive love and letting go of all the guilt and shame I previously associated with it. I’ve had to work on myself a lot in this area, and I still do. Imagine being able to command a woman to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you know that she’ll lovingly obey you and that she’ll also enjoy it immensely. But then notice that you hesitate to do so because you feel guilty and ashamed about it. You can’t bring yourself to ask her for what you want. You don’t feel worthy of that kind of love. It’s too much — too intense — too selfish. So instead, you stay in your comfort zone and ask for less than what you really want. You compromise. What you ask for is lovingly given. But how can you bring yourself to ask for what you really want and feel good about receiving it? That’s my situation, and healing this part of me is what I personally gain from exploring D/s. Maybe it sounds like a stupid problem to have, and I can understand why people would initially see it as a very shallow pursuit, but for me it has been a very deep and emotional part of my self-development. I grew up in a home where the words “I love you” were never spoken (or at least I don’t recall hearing them). Hugs didn’t happen except on special occasions, and only with visiting relatives. My physical needs were abundantly satisfied, but as a child, I didn’t feel loved or cared for. The closest thing to love that I felt was when I was praised by my teachers for doing well on school assignments. That’s probably why I became such a good student and had such positive relationships with my teachers. If I expressed any emotional neediness as a child, such needs were seldom fulfilled. I didn’t know how to get those needs met, so essentially I gave up. I have vague memories of being sensitive, loving, and compassionate as a young child, but by the time I was six years old, I had picked up too many emotional scars… and a physical scar as well from when I was stabbed. That scar on my right arm is still visible today, nearly 35 years later, a perpetual reminder of what remains to be healed within. After that time, my heart was filled with mostly darkness – anger, hatred, despair, and a deep-seated distrust of others. I wondered why God had made me such a bad person. Why was I always screwing up? Why couldn’t I be good and follow the rules? I’d pray every night that I might somehow summon the strength to always be good, so that I might one day become worthy of love. I would feel such intense hatred at times, mostly directed towards myself, that I began to grind my teeth, a habit that continued even while I slept. The unconscious nighttime habit stuck well into adulthood, and as a result my molars are nearly flat, with much of their enamel gone. Years passed, and I eventually forgot that I had a heart at all. I retreated almost completely into my mind. I learned computer programming at age 10, and the computer became my best friend and loyal companion. I had human friends along the way, but there was little emotional intimacy in those connections. For the most part, I was emotionally alone well into adulthood. I wouldn’t say that anyone really knew me. I didn’t feel I could trust anyone, least of all myself. I met Erin when I was 22, and she somehow got inside. Perhaps it was her nature to do so. I tried to break up with her shortly after we connected, confessing that I didn’t know how to love. Yet that was the seed that became my own undoing since the reason I wanted to break up with her was that I began to care about her, and I didn’t want to see her hurt. My heart was beginning to break out of its crusty shell. Through our 15-year relationship, a lot of healing took place. I learned how to express love. Or perhaps I remembered how. Along the way, my life path shifted towards giving and service. I came to genuinely care about people. I liked expressing that part of myself. And my life improved tremendously as a result. I began to adopt the mindset of a lightworker. I focused on giving, giving, and more giving. I noticed that when I did that, good stuff would always flow back to me. But ultimately, that was only half of the healing process. I Feel Loved I didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but I knew that it was time for Erin and me to separate. She had guided me far enough down the path of giving love that it was clear I’d never slip back. I could keep advancing down that path on my own. I understood how important it was. Erin, however, wasn’t the right person to help me heal the other half of myself, the part that was unable to receive love. It wasn’t her role to perform. I needed a different teacher to help me with that. As I learned to give more, a lot of good stuff would flow back to me. But it was very difficult for me to receive it. People would thank me and praise me for my help, but I felt uncomfortable with such expressions of appreciation. So I put up blocks and barriers to receiving, mostly unconsciously. I discouraged people from emailing me. I declined invites from people who wanted to meet with me in person. I hid behind a computer much of the time. I implemented a variety of strategies that made it possible for me to give a lot without allowing myself to receive much. I couldn’t completely stop the flow of receiving though, so I redirected it in other ways, such as growing my business. I reached the point of allowing financial abundance to flow through me, but I couldn’t accept expressions of love and appreciation that were too emotional in nature, nor could I ask for such love. It would have disgusted me to act like I cared about such things — I couldn’t possibly be so emotionally needy. But little by little, the emotional side began to get through. Sometimes I’d cry after receiving certain pieces of feedback, such as learning that I’d prevented a suicide. Eventually some part of me triggered a major shift in this area, like a spiritual subroutine that suddenly became active. At first it hit me intuitively, then later on, logically. I began to realize that if I could become happier and more fulfilled, I could do a better job of serving others. After Erin and I separated last year, I felt a strong intuitive urging to explore D/s with a female partner. Shortly thereafter, Rachelle came into my life. She has been a true gift in that regard, and I am intensely grateful for her. When I think I’m pushing myself to ask for what I want, she gives of herself lovingly and then encourages me to ask for more. After months of this, I came to realize just how much I’m still holding back. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I know there are still some blocks to work through. I find it very difficult to ask for things that I would love… without feeling any shame or guilt for asking. And so I manifested a dream world in which selfishness is shunned and pleasure is regarded as sin. It’s okay to give to others, but we can’t give too much to ourselves; if we do that, we’re bad people. Of course Rachelle and I have talked through all of this, but I still find it a challenge. Rachelle has been the ideal partner for me in this regard. The ways I most want/need to receive love are symmetrically the ways in which she most enjoys expressing love. The more I’m able to open up and ask for what I want, the more she enjoys it too. When I hold back too much, I see my own hesitation reflected through her reactions. If there are boundaries in our connection, they’re my own. To my best recollection, she has never found it necessary to decline anything I’ve asked her for, and she’s never used our safe word. Whatever I ask for, she lovingly grants. I feel a bit foolish to have such a problem. After all, what kind of guy would hold back in a situation such as mine? And yet, it’s a huge challenge for me nonetheless. It’s hard enough for me to come to terms with all the love she’s poured onto me already, let alone to seek further expansion of it. Freelove But wait… there’s more. It gets better. As I applied the subjective perspective to my relationship with Rachelle, and to myself as well, I finally began seeing the big picture. Up to this point, I didn’t identify my challenges with D/s as a problem with receiving love. I knew there were some internal shifts happening, but I didn’t quite understand them. Now I can see what’s really been happening, so I can work with the process more consciously. I can’t share all the details without typing for many more hours (and my wrists are beginning to get sore as it is), but the short version is that after much discussion, Rachelle and I decided to open our relationship and explore polyamory together. We both knew we’d eventually turn this corner, and the time just seemed right. Energetically we’re still processing what this means to us, but we’ve already taken steps to move forward, and at this point, there’s sufficient momentum to carry us through to getting involved with other partners. That is already unfolding. Yes, I’m being intentionally vague about it. It feels premature to share more details, especially since exploring polyamory by definition involves other people… or other dream projections, depending on your perspective. I can say that something very interesting began to happen when we made this shift. A number of women began opening themselves to one or both of us, either suggestively hinting or outright stating they’d like to explore D/s with us… or try a threesome… or explore some kind of similar sharing of love and connection with us… or potentially get involved long-term. There was such a surge in a short period of time that we couldn’t help but notice. But yet, we hadn’t gone public about it yet. Somehow those people must have picked up on the shift we were going through, and they felt safe enough to let us know of their interest. Of course that makes perfect sense in a dream world. We’re entering into this part of our journey together very consciously and with a lot of communication. We check in with each other each day, often multiple times per day, and go deeper into our thoughts and feelings about it. At first we each had to work through some blocks and strong emotions, even though we knew it was what we wanted to experience. Now we seem to have reached a point of acceptance and also excitement about the idea. There’s such a strong bond of love and trust between us that we feel we can make this work. We want to be able to open up more and share the tremendous love we have between us with others. This isn’t primarily about sex, although we each want that to be a part of our exploration together. The primary intentions are to increase our alignment with Oneness, to open our hearts even more, and to shed all negative associations to sharing love openly, including shame, guilt, fear, jealousy, envy, and attachment. Sex is a yummy icing on the cake, but in truth it’s one of many healing modalities, albeit a potent one. I Am You Previously my favorite analogy for explaining the principle of Oneness was the cells-in-the-body model. We’re all cells in the larger body of humanity. We have both an individual identity and a collective one. The health of the body and the health of the cells are one. This was a powerful analogy, and it helped me make great strides forward in this part of my life. I was able to open up and connect socially with much greater ease and comfort when I recognized that other people were cells in the same body as me. I’ve been sharing this analogy for years — in my blog, in my book, and at CGW. But now I’m letting that analogy go because I’ve found a much more powerful replacement to help me align with Oneness. That new analogy is that we’re all projections of the same dreamer in a dream world. With this analogy there’s no longer a cell wall between us. There’s no separation at all. We aren’t just individual parts of the same whole — we’re different windows into the same being. Now when I see another person, I don’t think that we’re two cells in the same body. I see us as different viewports into the same being. In fact, we are the same being. You are me, and I am you. At one point instead of saying “I love you,” Rachelle and I said to each other, “I am you.” That had a whole different feel to it energetically. It felt like our connection suddenly went much deeper. I realized that Rachelle and I aren’t two separate individual beings. We’re in fact the same singular being, the same consciousness. Separation is a complete illusion. We are two different images of the same thing. And the same goes for everyone else. I’ve been walking around for days in a daze, seeing myself in everyone and everything. It’s so obvious that I can scarcely believe I didn’t notice it before. All love is self-love. All conflict is inner conflict. The experience of Oneness within and harmonious relationships without are the same pursuit. Dream On I can no longer accept the premise of objective reality. I’ve gone too far down this rabbit hole and encountered too many amazing rabbits to expect that I’ll ever surface topside again. I’m now virtually certain that reality is in fact a dream world. If there’s a better analogy for the true nature of this existence, I haven’t come across one yet. I say “virtually certain” because I still have some doubts and fears to work through. But one by one, they appear to be collapsing in a cascading fashion. I think their days are numbered and that it’s only a matter of time before I shed them all. So many things that confused me before have now become clear. Take quantum mechanics for instance. This is a real brain-pretzelizer from an objective standpoint. Why would consciousness affect physical matter? But if this is a dream world, then the existence of quantum mechanics is a rather obvious projection of the underlying nature of the dream. Quantum physical events don’t get resolved until they’re observed because the dreamer has to perceive them in order to resolve them, in order to give them form and substance. If the dreamer doesn’t perceive something, then the dream mind doesn’t bother to resolve it. This is precisely the behavior you’d expect from a dream. This simulated reality only manifests what we can perceive. Until the dreamer perceives something, that something is stuck in non-created limbo. It would make no sense for the simulation to generate something that would never be perceived. Hence this dream reality, should you attempt to study it through an objective lens, must reflect something back to you that is for all intents and purposes what we’ve identified as quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is nothing but a fancy label for dream world physics. In fact, all of science is the study of the inner workings of the dream world. What about the Law of Attraction? This too is a side effect of being in a dream world. When you hook yourself into dreamer-level consciousness, you gain some ability to alter the dream by planting suggestions within the subconscious of the dreamer. The dream world then shifts accordingly. And of course the dream world must be consistent with your beliefs. So thoughts and beliefs of financial scarcity will manifest scarcity, and thoughts of abundance will manifest abundance, just as you’d expect in accordance with the Law of Attraction. Perhaps a more accurate name for the LoA would be the Law of Subconscious Suggestion. The dream world manifests the most powerful suggestions that you plant within the subconscious of the dreamer. By accessing the dream program, you can reprogram the dream. The more self-aware you are — i.e. the more lucid you become — the greater your ability to apply this ability. But the more asleep you are — i.e. the more you succumb to the false belief that you’re in an objective world — the more you must live out your days as an NPC, unable to reprogram the dream. What about psychic abilities? That makes sense from a dream perspective too. It suggests, however, that there may be some inherent limits to psychic abilities. In a dream world, your psychic abilities are limited by your beliefs. If you don’t subconsciously believe you can do it, you probably can’t manifest it. All psychic readings are actually self readings. Top psychics can pick up seemingly astounding info about people they’ve never met because the underlying truth is that they are in fact the same being they’re reading for, so the psychic is simply reading his/her own subconscious, and the client is nothing but a projection and doesn’t exist as a separate individual anyway. Consequently, a psychic should be able to create a powerful boost in their abilities by recognizing the fact that they’re always reading themselves and that there really is no client “out there.” A psychic’s ability to predict the future of some aspect of the dream is limited to the psychic’s degree of lucidity. You aren’t really predicting anything because dreams are largely unpredictable. But you can implant suggestions into the dreamer’s subconscious. So psychic prediction is really subconscious creation, i.e. self-fulfilling prophecy. In a dream world, everything is a projection of the subconscious of the dreamer. Consequently, the dream world is absolutely overflowing with clues that you’re dreaming right now. You just can’t see them until you look for them. Such is the nature of being asleep. Try this. Look up the lyrics to any of your favorite songs, or go play a song or two, and listen to the words. As you hear the words, imagine that you’re dreaming right now and that the song is a message from your own subconscious. You will see that the song’s lyrics are trying to reveal to you that you’re dreaming right now. Notice the real meaning behind the song’s metaphors. Many songs are about reintegration. Love the different parts of yourself. Stop all violence and conflict. You’re only fighting with yourself. Some songs point out that you’re asleep and in denial about it. Even a song with seemingly crazy lyrics will begin to make sense if you regard it as communication from your own dream world. What are the last echoing words of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for instance? “A Denial!” And what’s the meaning of the line, “With the lights out, it’s less dangerous”? It’s telling you that you’re afraid to wake up. What would it mean to turn on the lights? Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. Try it with any song that inspires you. The reason a song moves you emotionally is that it’s causing the dreamer within to resonate with a deeper level truth. You can do the same thing with any TV show or movie that you find inspiring to watch. Did you like The Matrix just a little too much? Any idea why? Because you’re in one right now. Shine Being in a dream world has some powerful implications. I’ve found that my ability to create my reality has increased massively these past 12 days. My focus has largely been on healing and expanding the relationship part of my life, and that makes perfect sense to me. The most exciting element of such an immersive and persistent dream, at least for me, is the experience of interacting with the other dream characters. The more love and harmony I can create with those characters, the better the dream becomes. I’m currently excited but also trepidatious about what this might mean. As I have some skill with nighttime lucid dreaming, I’m beginning to wonder if I can bring those abilities to bear in this dream world too. Part of me wants to dive into that, but another part of me knows I should learn to walk in this dream world before trying to fly. Nevertheless, I did a small test this afternoon, trying to move a pen across the counter with my mind. I tried for about a minute. The pen didn’t budge. However, during those 60 seconds, I noticed all sorts of thoughts and feelings arising within me. There was fear and paranoia over what might happen if the pen actually moved. I felt a ripping sensation as a terrified part of myself began to surface. I sensed that if that pen actually moved, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It would mean the end of my life as I know it. It was obvious that I’m not ready to see that pen move. Part of me won’t allow us to go there yet. It would be too terrifying if it actually happened. But another part of me knows that the pen is eventually going to move. However, I have a lot more growth ahead of me before I’m ready to see that. In the meantime, I’ll continue to deal with the challenges and growth experiences that are right in front of me as I follow the flow of inspiration moment by moment. Those lessons have to do with relationships, giving and receiving unconditional love, and releasing some shame and guilt. You can call me crazy for going this far down the rabbit hole, but it won’t stop me from moving forward. I’d simply interpret you as a projection of my own fear and doubt, which I acknowledge are still present within me. As you raise your voice in protest, I’ll accept your objections as if they’re my own, and I’ll forgive myself for those delusions and re-integrate those skeptical parts of myself, honoring them for their commitment to keeping me safe and protected. You are beautiful and amazing, my favorite figment. 
    Jul 27, 2011 1372
  • 27 Jul 2011
    One thing I was very curious about was how the dream world perspective would affect my experience of physical intimacy. Would it seem very different if I knew that the woman was a character in my dream world, a projection of some part of me? This past weekend I had a chance to enjoy some dream world intimacy, so I’ll share what that was like from my perspective. Fair warning: If your dream character has a subroutine that makes you express resistance to reading about sensuality and/or sex, especially when it’s of a very personal nature, please feel free to skip this post completely. You’ll probably miss some additional insights if you do though. In the meantime I’ll do my best to love, accept, and forgive my own Puritanical side. Since I started this trial while I was traveling, and since Rachelle and I haven’t been physically together for about a month now (she’s still touring with her play in Canada), I didn’t have anything happening in the area of physical intimacy when I began this 30-day inspiration trial. I’m glad about that though because with all the other shifts this experiment has caused, pacing myself can be a real challenge. Diving into subjective reality while being sexually active might have been a little too much to process when I first started. It took me some time to reach the point where I felt ready for it. I knew I’d eventually take this step, but when I thought about it in advance, my emotions were all over the place. Sometimes I was excited about it, other times anxious, and other times just plain horny. Mostly I was excited and curious. I really wanted to know what it was like. For lack of a better term, I arranged a play date with a woman this past weekend. Given a subjective perspective, this was easy; it happened naturally as a result of acting on inspiration. From an objective perspective, it may seem a bit unusual if you’re a fairly traditional person. She and I have only seen each other in person a couple of times, and we hadn’t spent any time alone together. We never dated or kissed or anything like that. We mainly kept in touch online. Nevertheless, we agreed to get together for a few hours, and we gave each other a green light in advance to do whatever felt good to us in the moment. We agreed that if either of us felt uncomfortable at any point, all we had to do was say the word, and we’d both pause or stop what we were doing and discuss our feelings about it. I liked that we verbalized all of this in advance, or perhaps I was just verbalizing it to myself to gain more clarity. Either way, it put me in a place of feeling free to do whatever I felt like doing with her, without feeling that I had to guess at what she was thinking. So basically, we created a safe space for mutual play. Of course she knew about my experiment and that I’d be interacting with her like a character in my own dream world. Since I’m also doing my best to act on inspiration as it arises, I couldn’t plan anything in advance with her. My mind sometimes wanted to race ahead and mentally play out different scenarios with her, but when that happened I would just tell it to chill out and relax. I wanted to be open and receptive when she was with me, not stuck in my head. Most of all I was really curious. I’ve had sex in lucid nighttime dreams before, which is a lot of fun, but since a lucid dream only lasts minutes (15-20 minutes is a long one), there’s little time for chit chat or foreplay, so it’s normally a jump-and-hump kind of thing. Grab a dream woman and go to town. Since we’d have hours of time together, and since I felt this wouldn’t be an isolated fling with her, I felt good about going with the flow of inspiration in the moment. I really wasn’t attached to any particular outcome. I also gave some thought to my challenges with receiving love. I find it so easy to give but much harder to receive. So I gave myself permission in advance to be totally selfish with her. I wanted to fully enjoy her, however that played out, and not feel like I was holding back. After all, she’s my dream character and therefore a part of me. I even shared my thoughts and feelings about this with her in advance. The night before our encounter, Rachelle and she and I all Skyped together for about an hour. That happened spontaneously, and we had so much fun being silly and sexually suggestive. I think I started out by jokingly telling her that Rachelle and I were discussing what I should do with/to/at her… something involving a blindfold and a piece of fruit. I’ll let you imagine how the conversation progressed from there. Suffice it to say that we shared a lot of laughs and sexy playfulness. It would be beyond this scope of this article to go into much depth on it, but I want to briefly mention that Rachelle and I do a lot of communicating as we move through this polyamorous space together, and I feel very good about how all of this has been playing out. I’ve noticed that the only issues I really need to work out are my own. When I feel congruent, my relationships with others manifest as harmonious. That’s been a very powerful lesson because it makes life a lot simpler. I can’t possibly fathom the inner workings of the hearts and minds of multiple women at the same time — I found that utterly impossible when I tried. But fortunately I’ve learned that I don’t have to do that. I only have to look within my own heart and mind and create the experience of inner harmony, working through any blocks that surface along the way. When I achieve inner harmony, then everyone “out there” also conveys that they feel good about what’s happening. Consequently, I’m finding it relatively easy to enjoy polyamorous harmony in my life because I know that it’s a projection of inner harmony. Being able to love multiple people is the same thing as being able to love the various parts of myself. I should also mention that I’ve had to re-think my views on privacy in light of subjective reality. In a dream world, does privacy even have any meaning? To my own avatar, it seemingly matters little. I appear to be comfortable talking openly with anyone about anything. But I also recognize that other characters in this dream world seem to value their privacy. Subjectively then I must interpret these characters as parts of myself that do care about privacy. This perspective helped me realize that there are still parts of me that value some aspects of privacy. For example, I know that if I want more connections, I can simply be more open; if I want to tone them down to avoid becoming socially overwhelmed, I can be a little more selective about what I share. At the moment, the flow of new connections is high but not overwhelming, so I’m happy to maintain an open posture, so to speak. When I start feeling overwhelming, I can back off from blogging and be quiet for a while, knowing that it will reduce the volume of incoming communication. Anyway… back to our story. The next day I had an intuitive feeling that my dream playmate was arriving, so I went to my front door and opened it, just as she was pulling up. Gotta love dream timing.  As she came to my door, we hugged and gave each other a quick kiss. Then we sat on the couch and talked for several minutes, partly about the dream world experiment. That all seemed to flow just fine, although the energy seemed a bit more mental than I’d anticipated. I was really believing that she was a dream character and that I could do anything I wanted with her for the next few hours. I was also committed to going with the flow of inspiration and not getting stuck in my head. However, since this was a new type of experience for me, I began feeling a bit overexcited shortly after she arrived. I shared that with her openly. I never felt like I had to hide my true feelings from her because she is me, so at all times I had no qualms about being totally open and transparent. When it felt right to me, I would update her on what I was thinking and feeling in the moment. If I felt excited, I told her. If I felt happy and blissful, I’d tell her. If I enjoyed touching her, I shared that as well. Subjectively you could say that I wanted to verbalize my own feelings, so I could gain more clarity on what I was experiencing. After a few minutes of conversation, I felt a strong desire to kiss her, so without hesitation I kissed her. We started kissing with some passion at first, but that rapid shifting of our energy felt too abrupt. I wasn’t feeling inspired to have a hot make-out session just yet, so I paused and got back in touch with the flow of inspiration. I sensed we needed to be lying down, not sitting, especially since I wanted to relax more. So I told her to lie down on the couch, and we got comfortable. We faced towards each other, legs intertwined, and I pulled her in very close. That felt really nice. I began feeling a surge of warmth, tenderness, and caring for her. Holding and being held by her was like being wrapped in a blanket of love. We cuddled, kissed gently, rubbed noses, and caressed each other lovingly. It wasn’t a sexual type of energy. It was a very loving and tender experience. I was feeling very centered in my heart. I told her how much I enjoyed holding her and that she was a yummy dream character. I remember saying things like, “This feels really nice.” “It feels so good to hold you close.” “I care about you.” “You are loved.” She shared similar feelings with me. I didn’t feel like I had to hold anything back since after all, she’s a part of me. I caressed her a lot, massaged her back and neck, ran my fingers through her hair, and gave her a nice head-scratching. She really liked that. I told her I enjoyed puttifying her (i.e turning her into putty). I think she said something like, “Mmmmm… You go ahead and puttify away…” In those moments I realized how much I was enjoying making her feel good, and yet I was still being completely selfish. I was doing what I most wanted to do in the moment. I loved feeling the warmth of her body pressed against me, the silky smoothness of her hair between my fingers, and the softness of our lips gently exploring each other. I enjoyed her sweet scent and the delicious taste of her skin. My eyes feasted upon her smile, and I took great delight in watching her eyes roll back into her eyelids as I scratched her head and squeezed the back of her neck. I’ve had many sensual experiences before, but this one was different somehow. I was more present and aware of what was arising in the moment. I was more in touch with my feelings. My mind became calm and quiet. And most of all, the experience was completely frictionless because deep down I knew that she was me. The better I made her feel, the more blissful I felt. It was a beautiful experience of Oneness. After perhaps 30 minutes of holding each other, one of my arms started to go numb, so we shifted positions, with her lying mostly on top of me but at a slight angle. I slid my hands beneath her clothes and started massaging her lower back and below. There was no resistance or need to ask permission because there was only one consciousness present, and we were in a state of flow. She seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, and in that moment I felt the inspiration to give her a nice long massage. I love giving massages even more than receiving them, so this was certainly not a sacrifice or compromise on my part. I was getting so much pleasure from making her feel good that I wanted to make her feel even better. She had no resistance to that idea whatsoever, so I took her upstairs, pulled out the massage table, and gave her a nice massage. I was barely aware of the passage of time, but I ended up massaging her for hours, pausing at times to kiss her softly when I felt the desire to do so. Instead of her being quiet the whole time, we talked a lot along the way, sharing intimate stories with ease. There were no barriers to trust. It all felt very natural. At one point during the massage, I looked at her neck and exclaimed, “Oh no! I can’t believe I did that to you!” I saw that I’d accidentally given her a huge hickey, which must have happened while I was biting and sucking her neck when we were on the couch. I only did that very briefly, and I didn’t think I was sucking hard enough to leave a mark, but apparently she was just too tasty. She thought it was funny though, and before she left, we decided to post a photo of it to my Facebook page as a caption contest. Most commenters seemed to take it with the same silly teenage-like attitude in which it was intended. Someone made an errant comment about it being abuse, but of course a hickey doesn’t actually hurt, and it usually heals quickly. For the record I’ve never been into causing people pain, such as S&Mers might enjoy. Even with a dream character, I’m not inspired by that sort of thing. I kept noticing how good it felt to make her feel good. Seeing her smile or hearing her moan during the massage was a source of pleasure for me. The better I made her feel, the more I enjoyed the experience. That made perfect sense because she is me. Pleasuring her and pleasuring myself were the same thing. After the massage we moved to the bed. We held, spooned, and kissed each other while listening to music. That felt really good. Interestingly, as we moved to the bed, we both acknowledged at the same time that we shouldn’t try to have sex. We were running out of time because she had an appointment later and was awaiting a phone call that would let her know when she needed to leave. We knew that call could come at any minute. Trying to have sex at that point would have felt forced and rushed, and I was really enjoying the slow and sensual nature of our connection. I didn’t feel any disappointment that we weren’t going to have intercourse. Instead I was noticing how great it was that we were so perfectly in sync as we rode the waves of inspiration together. We kissed more, and I began feeling more passionately towards her. I started touching her more sexually, knowing that it would make her feel good. After a time I began giving her oral sex (something I really love doing). We lost count of how many orgasms she had, but she said it was at least four. Since I knew the phone could ring at any minute, I wasn’t even thinking about trying to give her an orgasm at the time. I was just going with the flow of making her feel good, taking pleasure in her pleasure. I actually found the experience more sensual than sexual. After that we cuddled some more, and soon she started to give me oral sex. That’s normally an intense sexual experience for me, but this time all my energy was still in my upper chakras, so it felt more loving and sensual than sexual at first. Only gradually did I begin to feel a build-up of sexual energy. Unfortunately her phone rang when we were only a few minutes into it, so we knew she had to leave. I pulled her on top of me and kissed her a bit more. Then we got dressed, took that silly pic of her neck, I saw her to the door, and we hugged goodbye. I’m not sure when we’ll get together again, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.  Throughout the roughly four hours we spent together, there was no attachment to outcomes, no pre-occupation with what was going to happen next, no force of any kind. It was a beautiful and continuous flow of inspirational waves. I think it surprised me how much emotional and sensual pleasure I received from giving her pleasure. I’ve long known that I enjoy that sort of thing, but I went much deeper into that experience this time. For whatever reason, the sound of a woman moaning with pleasure floods me with positive feelings too. I think our time together ended at the right moment. It gives me a chance to reflect upon the experience. Obviously there’s still plenty more to explore in this direction, but I’m glad we didn’t try to squeeze everything into a single session. I think it may have felt overwhelming to try to lose my subjective virginity too abruptly. Our pacing felt perfect to me. I have no regrets about it at all. I do believe I’m being honest with myself when I say that I received great pleasure from giving her pleasure. I really didn’t feel like I was holding back or that I was giving to avoid receiving. I was truly interacting with her just like I would if I knew I was dreaming. This subjective reality and inspiration experiment is mind-blowing to say the least. I’m feeling very grateful right now. Living in the flow of inspiration takes some getting used to, and at times it can be quite an emotional roller coaster, but life seems to keep getting better with each passing day. I’m curious about a great many things, but I know I need to pace myself to avoid feeling overwhelmed. What will the next experience be like? What will it feel like to re-connect with Rachelle with a dream world perspective when she returns to Vegas? What will a dream world threesome feel like — is it possible to maintain the same sense of inspirational flow with more than two people? What about dream world safe sex practices? There’s so much to consider, but it’s best to avoid getting ahead of myself. I’ll continue riding the waves of inspiration as they come without trying to force anything. I wonder how many “That’s what she said” setup lines I have in this article. I’ll bet Rachelle could find at least 10. I <3 dream women. 
    1641 Posted by UniqueThis
  • One thing I was very curious about was how the dream world perspective would affect my experience of physical intimacy. Would it seem very different if I knew that the woman was a character in my dream world, a projection of some part of me? This past weekend I had a chance to enjoy some dream world intimacy, so I’ll share what that was like from my perspective. Fair warning: If your dream character has a subroutine that makes you express resistance to reading about sensuality and/or sex, especially when it’s of a very personal nature, please feel free to skip this post completely. You’ll probably miss some additional insights if you do though. In the meantime I’ll do my best to love, accept, and forgive my own Puritanical side. Since I started this trial while I was traveling, and since Rachelle and I haven’t been physically together for about a month now (she’s still touring with her play in Canada), I didn’t have anything happening in the area of physical intimacy when I began this 30-day inspiration trial. I’m glad about that though because with all the other shifts this experiment has caused, pacing myself can be a real challenge. Diving into subjective reality while being sexually active might have been a little too much to process when I first started. It took me some time to reach the point where I felt ready for it. I knew I’d eventually take this step, but when I thought about it in advance, my emotions were all over the place. Sometimes I was excited about it, other times anxious, and other times just plain horny. Mostly I was excited and curious. I really wanted to know what it was like. For lack of a better term, I arranged a play date with a woman this past weekend. Given a subjective perspective, this was easy; it happened naturally as a result of acting on inspiration. From an objective perspective, it may seem a bit unusual if you’re a fairly traditional person. She and I have only seen each other in person a couple of times, and we hadn’t spent any time alone together. We never dated or kissed or anything like that. We mainly kept in touch online. Nevertheless, we agreed to get together for a few hours, and we gave each other a green light in advance to do whatever felt good to us in the moment. We agreed that if either of us felt uncomfortable at any point, all we had to do was say the word, and we’d both pause or stop what we were doing and discuss our feelings about it. I liked that we verbalized all of this in advance, or perhaps I was just verbalizing it to myself to gain more clarity. Either way, it put me in a place of feeling free to do whatever I felt like doing with her, without feeling that I had to guess at what she was thinking. So basically, we created a safe space for mutual play. Of course she knew about my experiment and that I’d be interacting with her like a character in my own dream world. Since I’m also doing my best to act on inspiration as it arises, I couldn’t plan anything in advance with her. My mind sometimes wanted to race ahead and mentally play out different scenarios with her, but when that happened I would just tell it to chill out and relax. I wanted to be open and receptive when she was with me, not stuck in my head. Most of all I was really curious. I’ve had sex in lucid nighttime dreams before, which is a lot of fun, but since a lucid dream only lasts minutes (15-20 minutes is a long one), there’s little time for chit chat or foreplay, so it’s normally a jump-and-hump kind of thing. Grab a dream woman and go to town. Since we’d have hours of time together, and since I felt this wouldn’t be an isolated fling with her, I felt good about going with the flow of inspiration in the moment. I really wasn’t attached to any particular outcome. I also gave some thought to my challenges with receiving love. I find it so easy to give but much harder to receive. So I gave myself permission in advance to be totally selfish with her. I wanted to fully enjoy her, however that played out, and not feel like I was holding back. After all, she’s my dream character and therefore a part of me. I even shared my thoughts and feelings about this with her in advance. The night before our encounter, Rachelle and she and I all Skyped together for about an hour. That happened spontaneously, and we had so much fun being silly and sexually suggestive. I think I started out by jokingly telling her that Rachelle and I were discussing what I should do with/to/at her… something involving a blindfold and a piece of fruit. I’ll let you imagine how the conversation progressed from there. Suffice it to say that we shared a lot of laughs and sexy playfulness. It would be beyond this scope of this article to go into much depth on it, but I want to briefly mention that Rachelle and I do a lot of communicating as we move through this polyamorous space together, and I feel very good about how all of this has been playing out. I’ve noticed that the only issues I really need to work out are my own. When I feel congruent, my relationships with others manifest as harmonious. That’s been a very powerful lesson because it makes life a lot simpler. I can’t possibly fathom the inner workings of the hearts and minds of multiple women at the same time — I found that utterly impossible when I tried. But fortunately I’ve learned that I don’t have to do that. I only have to look within my own heart and mind and create the experience of inner harmony, working through any blocks that surface along the way. When I achieve inner harmony, then everyone “out there” also conveys that they feel good about what’s happening. Consequently, I’m finding it relatively easy to enjoy polyamorous harmony in my life because I know that it’s a projection of inner harmony. Being able to love multiple people is the same thing as being able to love the various parts of myself. I should also mention that I’ve had to re-think my views on privacy in light of subjective reality. In a dream world, does privacy even have any meaning? To my own avatar, it seemingly matters little. I appear to be comfortable talking openly with anyone about anything. But I also recognize that other characters in this dream world seem to value their privacy. Subjectively then I must interpret these characters as parts of myself that do care about privacy. This perspective helped me realize that there are still parts of me that value some aspects of privacy. For example, I know that if I want more connections, I can simply be more open; if I want to tone them down to avoid becoming socially overwhelmed, I can be a little more selective about what I share. At the moment, the flow of new connections is high but not overwhelming, so I’m happy to maintain an open posture, so to speak. When I start feeling overwhelming, I can back off from blogging and be quiet for a while, knowing that it will reduce the volume of incoming communication. Anyway… back to our story. The next day I had an intuitive feeling that my dream playmate was arriving, so I went to my front door and opened it, just as she was pulling up. Gotta love dream timing.  As she came to my door, we hugged and gave each other a quick kiss. Then we sat on the couch and talked for several minutes, partly about the dream world experiment. That all seemed to flow just fine, although the energy seemed a bit more mental than I’d anticipated. I was really believing that she was a dream character and that I could do anything I wanted with her for the next few hours. I was also committed to going with the flow of inspiration and not getting stuck in my head. However, since this was a new type of experience for me, I began feeling a bit overexcited shortly after she arrived. I shared that with her openly. I never felt like I had to hide my true feelings from her because she is me, so at all times I had no qualms about being totally open and transparent. When it felt right to me, I would update her on what I was thinking and feeling in the moment. If I felt excited, I told her. If I felt happy and blissful, I’d tell her. If I enjoyed touching her, I shared that as well. Subjectively you could say that I wanted to verbalize my own feelings, so I could gain more clarity on what I was experiencing. After a few minutes of conversation, I felt a strong desire to kiss her, so without hesitation I kissed her. We started kissing with some passion at first, but that rapid shifting of our energy felt too abrupt. I wasn’t feeling inspired to have a hot make-out session just yet, so I paused and got back in touch with the flow of inspiration. I sensed we needed to be lying down, not sitting, especially since I wanted to relax more. So I told her to lie down on the couch, and we got comfortable. We faced towards each other, legs intertwined, and I pulled her in very close. That felt really nice. I began feeling a surge of warmth, tenderness, and caring for her. Holding and being held by her was like being wrapped in a blanket of love. We cuddled, kissed gently, rubbed noses, and caressed each other lovingly. It wasn’t a sexual type of energy. It was a very loving and tender experience. I was feeling very centered in my heart. I told her how much I enjoyed holding her and that she was a yummy dream character. I remember saying things like, “This feels really nice.” “It feels so good to hold you close.” “I care about you.” “You are loved.” She shared similar feelings with me. I didn’t feel like I had to hold anything back since after all, she’s a part of me. I caressed her a lot, massaged her back and neck, ran my fingers through her hair, and gave her a nice head-scratching. She really liked that. I told her I enjoyed puttifying her (i.e turning her into putty). I think she said something like, “Mmmmm… You go ahead and puttify away…” In those moments I realized how much I was enjoying making her feel good, and yet I was still being completely selfish. I was doing what I most wanted to do in the moment. I loved feeling the warmth of her body pressed against me, the silky smoothness of her hair between my fingers, and the softness of our lips gently exploring each other. I enjoyed her sweet scent and the delicious taste of her skin. My eyes feasted upon her smile, and I took great delight in watching her eyes roll back into her eyelids as I scratched her head and squeezed the back of her neck. I’ve had many sensual experiences before, but this one was different somehow. I was more present and aware of what was arising in the moment. I was more in touch with my feelings. My mind became calm and quiet. And most of all, the experience was completely frictionless because deep down I knew that she was me. The better I made her feel, the more blissful I felt. It was a beautiful experience of Oneness. After perhaps 30 minutes of holding each other, one of my arms started to go numb, so we shifted positions, with her lying mostly on top of me but at a slight angle. I slid my hands beneath her clothes and started massaging her lower back and below. There was no resistance or need to ask permission because there was only one consciousness present, and we were in a state of flow. She seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, and in that moment I felt the inspiration to give her a nice long massage. I love giving massages even more than receiving them, so this was certainly not a sacrifice or compromise on my part. I was getting so much pleasure from making her feel good that I wanted to make her feel even better. She had no resistance to that idea whatsoever, so I took her upstairs, pulled out the massage table, and gave her a nice massage. I was barely aware of the passage of time, but I ended up massaging her for hours, pausing at times to kiss her softly when I felt the desire to do so. Instead of her being quiet the whole time, we talked a lot along the way, sharing intimate stories with ease. There were no barriers to trust. It all felt very natural. At one point during the massage, I looked at her neck and exclaimed, “Oh no! I can’t believe I did that to you!” I saw that I’d accidentally given her a huge hickey, which must have happened while I was biting and sucking her neck when we were on the couch. I only did that very briefly, and I didn’t think I was sucking hard enough to leave a mark, but apparently she was just too tasty. She thought it was funny though, and before she left, we decided to post a photo of it to my Facebook page as a caption contest. Most commenters seemed to take it with the same silly teenage-like attitude in which it was intended. Someone made an errant comment about it being abuse, but of course a hickey doesn’t actually hurt, and it usually heals quickly. For the record I’ve never been into causing people pain, such as S&Mers might enjoy. Even with a dream character, I’m not inspired by that sort of thing. I kept noticing how good it felt to make her feel good. Seeing her smile or hearing her moan during the massage was a source of pleasure for me. The better I made her feel, the more I enjoyed the experience. That made perfect sense because she is me. Pleasuring her and pleasuring myself were the same thing. After the massage we moved to the bed. We held, spooned, and kissed each other while listening to music. That felt really good. Interestingly, as we moved to the bed, we both acknowledged at the same time that we shouldn’t try to have sex. We were running out of time because she had an appointment later and was awaiting a phone call that would let her know when she needed to leave. We knew that call could come at any minute. Trying to have sex at that point would have felt forced and rushed, and I was really enjoying the slow and sensual nature of our connection. I didn’t feel any disappointment that we weren’t going to have intercourse. Instead I was noticing how great it was that we were so perfectly in sync as we rode the waves of inspiration together. We kissed more, and I began feeling more passionately towards her. I started touching her more sexually, knowing that it would make her feel good. After a time I began giving her oral sex (something I really love doing). We lost count of how many orgasms she had, but she said it was at least four. Since I knew the phone could ring at any minute, I wasn’t even thinking about trying to give her an orgasm at the time. I was just going with the flow of making her feel good, taking pleasure in her pleasure. I actually found the experience more sensual than sexual. After that we cuddled some more, and soon she started to give me oral sex. That’s normally an intense sexual experience for me, but this time all my energy was still in my upper chakras, so it felt more loving and sensual than sexual at first. Only gradually did I begin to feel a build-up of sexual energy. Unfortunately her phone rang when we were only a few minutes into it, so we knew she had to leave. I pulled her on top of me and kissed her a bit more. Then we got dressed, took that silly pic of her neck, I saw her to the door, and we hugged goodbye. I’m not sure when we’ll get together again, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.  Throughout the roughly four hours we spent together, there was no attachment to outcomes, no pre-occupation with what was going to happen next, no force of any kind. It was a beautiful and continuous flow of inspirational waves. I think it surprised me how much emotional and sensual pleasure I received from giving her pleasure. I’ve long known that I enjoy that sort of thing, but I went much deeper into that experience this time. For whatever reason, the sound of a woman moaning with pleasure floods me with positive feelings too. I think our time together ended at the right moment. It gives me a chance to reflect upon the experience. Obviously there’s still plenty more to explore in this direction, but I’m glad we didn’t try to squeeze everything into a single session. I think it may have felt overwhelming to try to lose my subjective virginity too abruptly. Our pacing felt perfect to me. I have no regrets about it at all. I do believe I’m being honest with myself when I say that I received great pleasure from giving her pleasure. I really didn’t feel like I was holding back or that I was giving to avoid receiving. I was truly interacting with her just like I would if I knew I was dreaming. This subjective reality and inspiration experiment is mind-blowing to say the least. I’m feeling very grateful right now. Living in the flow of inspiration takes some getting used to, and at times it can be quite an emotional roller coaster, but life seems to keep getting better with each passing day. I’m curious about a great many things, but I know I need to pace myself to avoid feeling overwhelmed. What will the next experience be like? What will it feel like to re-connect with Rachelle with a dream world perspective when she returns to Vegas? What will a dream world threesome feel like — is it possible to maintain the same sense of inspirational flow with more than two people? What about dream world safe sex practices? There’s so much to consider, but it’s best to avoid getting ahead of myself. I’ll continue riding the waves of inspiration as they come without trying to force anything. I wonder how many “That’s what she said” setup lines I have in this article. I’ll bet Rachelle could find at least 10. I <3 dream women. 
    Jul 27, 2011 1641
  • 27 Jul 2011
    A Roller Coaster of Emotions Throughout this trial my emotions have been all over the place. Sometimes I’ve felt incredibly blissful, and other times I’ve felt very stressed. When I feel stressed, it isn’t related to events coming up or anything like that. My calendar is still essentially blank. So I’m not feeling anxious about anything I “have to” do. If I wanted to I could just be a couch potato for days on end. I believe this stress has to do with the nature of this experiment. My whole conception of reality has been stretched to the point where I’m actually feeling a sense of loss or grieving with respect to my old life. I’m too far down the proverbial rabbit hole to be able to turn back, so part of me knows this is a permanent shift of some sort. That isn’t easy to accept, and I’m experiencing different waves of emotion as I try to understand the consequences. “Loss” may be the wrong word. I’m not teary eyed about it. But it’s such a huge change that it sometimes feels like I’m floating through space with no solid ground beneath me. I don’t have enough familiarity with this way of living to know what’s coming up, so I really can’t predict the long-term consequences. Life has become much less predictable, and the rate of change is extremely rapid. The changes I’ve experienced as a result of this trial have been incredibly positive, even in the objective sense, but positive change can still be stressful. Events like moving to a nicer home, getting married, or winning the lottery can add a lot of stress to your life. So that’s what it feels like for me. I love the positive changes, but collectively I’m feeling a lot of stress about it. Fortunately this stress seems to be gradually decreasing over time as I get used to living this way. In many ways I feel like a baby, having to relearn so many things from the ground up. It feels like I’ve torn apart my life, and I’m rebuilding it from fairly basic building blocks. That takes time. On the other hand, sometimes I’ve been feeling totally blissful, happy, and excited too. I believe I can handle the stress. I just need to pace myself and take steps to keep the stress manageable. I’m optimistic that the stress feelings will continue to diminish with time. I’m constantly out of my comfort zone, but I expect that given enough time, I’ll eventually become more comfortable with this way of perceiving reality. Comfort and Grounding For most of this trial, I haven’t bothered to stick to much of a routine. If this is a dream world, then what’s the point? Well, I’m starting to realize there is a point to having a routine. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, some daily structure can have a soothing effect. It reduces stress and provides a sense of security and stability. Feeling like you’re floating through a cosmic wonderland might be exciting for a while, but doing that for weeks at a time can be very unsettling. Simple things like going for a walk, preparing and eating meals, and even breathing help me feel more grounded. I may know it’s not real, and in a dream world, much of what I do may not even be necessary, but I’m finding good reasons to do those things anyway. Nighttime dreams are usually very brief, lasting only a matter of minutes. But when you have a dream that lasts for weeks, it really does feel nice to populate the dream world with some persistent structures in time and space, if only for emotional reasons. During this experiment I’m feeling very appreciative of my home, long-term relationships, and other things that give me a sense of stability. Even eating an apple helps me feel grounded because it’s familiar. I’m reminded of the scene from the first Matrix movie where Cypher is enjoying a steak dinner with Smith. He says he knows the stuff in the Matrix isn’t real, but he doesn’t care. I can relate to feeling much the same way. I know it’s all dream stuff, but for now I still need to connect with what’s familiar for a sense of stability and grounding. Synchronicities On the flip side, the more I embrace the belief that life is a dream, the more the dream world reveals itself as such. For starters, the number of synchronicities I’m experiencing is way off the scale, and it’s not just with me. All my inboxes have been flooding with similar messages from others reporting a major increase in synchronicities lately. It feels as if the whole dream world is shifting. I’d say that on average, I’m seeing about 3-5 striking synchronicities every day now. They’ve been coming in nonstop since this experiment started. Have you seen an increase in syncs in your life this month? I wonder if it’s related to this experiment somehow. For example, about a week ago, I had the strange inspiration to go rent the movie Alice in Wonderland (the recent version with Johnny Depp). An hour or two before I left my house, someone had just emailed me a quote from the Princess Bride, which is my favorite movie of all time. As I walked into the video store, I saw the Princess Bride playing on a TV there. On my way home, I was listening to “When Tomorrow Comes” by Eurythmics, the first line of which is: Underneath your dreamlit eyes, shades of sleep have driven you away. The song before that one was “Sweet Dreams.” This is on their greatest hits album. About a block from my house, I see a real rabbit sitting in the middle of the street. He stares at me as I drive within a few feet of him. Funny that I would see him while driving home with Alice. I watch Alice while having dinner, and the movie is overflowing with subjective reality references like, “It’s just a dream” and “All I have to do is wake up” and “I make the path.” Alice even refers to the Mad Hatter as a figment. At the end of the movie, she leaves her old life behind and gets on a boat. In an objective sense, the movie is only so-so, but it’s a lot more interesting when viewed through a subjective lens. Reality is practically beating me over the head with validation that yes, this is a dream world. At times I feel that life has been dropping me hints about this, but it took me a long time to see the big picture. The whole 11:11 phenomenon was one of many clues — it makes perfect sense that such events would occur in a dream world. Dream People One funny aspect of this experiment is that since I’m doing it publicly, most of the people in my life know about it (or so it seems). So when people email me or call me, they often address me as a character in their dream world or as a projection of mine. Same goes for phone calls. Objectively I could say they’re just playing along. But subjectively it’s as if they’re finally acknowledging the truth. I’ve been spending a LOT of time on communication lately. It’s sometimes a challenge to maintain the frame of a dream during an immersive conversation, but I’m gradually getting used to it. I’ve noticed that conversations take on a whole different flavor when I view them through the dream lens and when I address the other person as a dream character. So far no one that I communicate with regularly has objected to being treated like a dream character. Actually it’s just the opposite. Most people seem intrigued and enjoy playing along, and we end up having some pretty deep conversations as a result. Even people that I thought were very left-brained are revealing different aspects of their personalities that I seldom see. They typically become much more playful, open, and light-hearted. One day when I was spending time with my dream daughter Emily, I asked her to consider that life might actually be a dream. Then I began pointing things out to her that seemed dream-like. I showed her rooms in my house that have no furniture in them, asking her what kind of real house would have empty rooms like that. It must be a dream house. Then it started pouring rain, and I took her outside and showed her that it was raining, but the sky was blue, and it was bright and sunny out. I asked her if that seemed at all like a dream. She seemed a bit suspicious while we pranced around in the rain. Was it real rain or dream rain? On a different day, I took Emily out to dinner. As we were driving back, stopped at a crosswalk, a pedestrian crossed in front of us with an umbrella. I asked Emily why someone would be using an umbrella when it’s not even raining. Must be a dream! Interacting with dream people is a lot of fun. In fact, I think I’ve been getting over-addicted to socializing during this time because the interactions are just so amazing. On many days I’ve spent hours on the phone. Lucid Dreaming Last week I had a lucid dream during a 20-minute nap. Within the dream world, I was in my own kitchen, and I knew that my body was asleep on the couch and that I was definitely dreaming. I decided to try doing telekinesis in the dream world. I couldn’t make it work at all. At best I was able to possibly make some leaves on a tree rustle a little, but it could just as easily have been explained by a dream breeze. It didn’t really feel like I was controlling it. In fact, I didn’t seem to wield any special abilities in the dream world at all. The whole experience could just as easily have happened in this reality. Now this is a strange development indeed. Normally when I have a lucid dream, I’m able to do all kinds of cool things like flying. But not this time. By believing that I’m dreaming while awake, is it possible that I somehow infected the next deeper level of dreaming with my limiting beliefs about this world? So far this was the only lucid dream I’ve had during this experiment. I wonder what will happen as I have more. Dream Food Some dream characters asked if there was a risk of eating non-vegan food during this experiment. I don’t see that as a serious possibility since I don’t regard non-vegan items as food. Even in my nighttime dreams, I still eat vegan, and if I ever dream that I eat something non-vegan by mistake, I actually get grossed out within the dream. I’ve been vegan since 1997, so I’ve been eating this way for most of my adult life (or at least I dreamt it that way). Eating non-vegan dream food would be like eating dream sawdust or dream bugs. I simply have no appetite for such things, regardless of the true nature of reality. That said, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with vegan dream food. Initially I figured I should be able to eat whatever the heck I wanted. How could it affect me if it’s just dream food? Would the awareness that I’m dreaming be enough to change how the food affected me? So I consumed lots of complex foods like pasta, pizza, soy lattes, and even some wine. I stopped exercising completely too. Haven’t been to the gym in weeks. About the only exercise I’ve done was going for some walks. I also didn’t pay as much attention to hygiene. What does it matter in a dream world? Sometimes I wouldn’t shave for more than a week. And guess what happened. I gained a few pounds. I started feeling sluggish. I didn’t get sick, but I definitely didn’t feel as good in my dream body. After a few weeks of that, I began to feel somewhat disgusted with myself. I began having strong cravings for healthier, lighter foods like fresh fruit. I knew I’d feel much better on those foods, even if they weren’t real. Then I realized that I could be seeing these results because I expected them. My subconscious was still filled with beliefs and memories about how certain foods would affect me, and the effects I experienced were all in line with those expectations. So I had the thought that if I wanted to have a healthier dream body, I should consume foods that I believed were the healthiest and avoid those that I believed were unhealthy. So several days ago, I shifted to doing that. I went to a local farmer’s market. I bought the foods I considered the healthiest stuff I could put in my body — celery, cucumber, dark leafy greens, fresh berries, grapes, etc. I hit a sync there too: As I walked up to the farmer’s market, a friend from Toastmasters was just walking out, so we hugged hello right at the entrance. I began eating foods I believed would make me feel good without negative side effects. And lo and behold, I started feeling much better within a couple days, and the excess weight began to drop off. Presently I’m really craving raw foods, and I know I feel best when I eat mostly fresh produce, so I’m doing 95-100% raw for now. I’m eating mostly fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and greens in various combos. The only cooked item I ate was a stir fry of fresh zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers. Now I’m starting to feel a stronger urge to exercise since I know it will make my dream body feel even better. What kinds of dream exercise might I do to put my dream body into optimal condition? These may seem like subtle distinctions as compared to the objective perspective, perhaps almost circular in nature, but for whatever reason, everything is different on the subjective side. Even things that were working for me objectively, I have to rebuild them on the subjective side with a new mindset. Eating based on my beliefs doesn’t feel quite the same as eating based on objective nutritional science. The same goes with exercising. Instead of having to objectively figure out an optimal diet by learning the science behind different foods and doing lots of trial and error, I can now simply eat whatever I presently believe is the healthiest and avoid what I believe to be unhealthy. This introduces a new level of self-honesty, since it’s harder to delude myself about my own beliefs. For example, on the objective side I may drink some coffee. The chemistry of coffee is so complex that apparently many scientists still don’t know what to make of it. So it’s easy to justify drinking it. It can mentally place it into the gray area of health by focusing on the potential benefits. Or I can simply enjoy the indulgence. But on the subjective side, it’s a lot harder to do this. When I ask myself how I honestly believe coffee will affect me, I can’t pretend it’s a health food. I have too much history with it and too many memories of how addictive it is for me and how it messes with my thinking. So for the moment, I must deal with my subconscious expectation that coffee will negatively impact my health. Subjective Rebuilding It takes a while to rebuild my life from the subjective side. I feel very fortunate that I have the time to do so because it looks like it’s going to take many more weeks. I’ve made major progress in the area of relationships, and this week I seem to be focusing on health a lot. But I have yet to dive into the career and financial aspects of my life. I sense that’s coming up though, perhaps within the next few weeks. It’s hard to say because I’m just going with the flow of inspiration. Apparently this flow is taking me through a process of recoding my whole life part by part. As I mentioned earlier, this has been somewhat stressful due to all the changes, but it’s also pretty exciting to see it unfold. I’m certainly pleased with the results thus far. Even in areas where my life may look relatively unchanged, my inner experience has shifted massively. I may be eating similar foods once again, but it feels so different to buy, prepare, and eat foods with a dream world perspective. I know that I have so much more to explore from this perspective. Right now I mainly want to get the basics right. I don’t want to attempt anything too fancy. I want to see what it’s like to get my overall life working subjectively and to maintain that for a while. Right now I feel like I’m only 30% of the way through this initial process of subjectively refactoring my life. I can see that there’s still a lot more to go. The Power of Belief As I move forward with my subjective life, I have a few options when it comes to dealing with beliefs. The first option is that I can work within the framework of my existing beliefs. This suggests that if I do what I subconsciously believe will work, I can expect a positive outcome. So I have to get clearer about my existing beliefs and stay true to them. The second option is to condition new beliefs to replace the old ones, and see how those new beliefs affect me. There are a number of different methods for this, but it’s tricky work because beliefs interact with each other. It can also be pretty time consuming because we have a lot of subconscious beliefs. A third option is to reduce my reliance on beliefs altogether. I can realize that they’re simply experiential filters, and I don’t necessarily need them. There are methods to do this as well, such as Ho’oponopono. Right now I’m mainly shifting into the first option. I feel intuitively drawn to explore that space first. That’s the space I understand best, and the results I can expect there seem the most stable, grounded, and predictable. That should give me a stable base for exploring other options. Then I suspect I’ll explore the third option more intently, working to reduce my conditioning and seeing what effect it has. I want to build up more experience living subjectively before I attempt anything like that in earnest though. What I’ve already done so far is enough of a shift to process. I wouldn’t want to add more change to my life just yet. I’m barely able to handle the current pacing. Beliefs essentially act as experiential filters. They constrain the dream world. I don’t feel ready to release too many of those constraints just yet, but I suspect that with enough experience living this way, I’ll eventually feel ready to explore that part of dream life. Recoding the Dream Even though I don’t want to make major changes in this area, I can’t resist the temptation to play around with some dream reprogramming work. It’s too much fun to avoid it altogether. For starters, I’ve been recoding the dream characters in my life to experience greater financial abundance. Secondly, I’ve been working to inject more peace and harmony into the dream world, such as by imagining the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as ended. I started doing this a couple weeks ago. I’m curious to see if it has any noticeable effect. As for what technique to use, in a dream world the specific technique doesn’t matter. What matters is that you believe and expect it will work. A method is meaningless unless you create the belief in it, and that belief would be pretty hard to manufacture on the objective side. On the subjective side, however, such a belief arises as a natural consequence of being in a dream world. I believe I have the ability to make changes in the dream world through the application of thought and intention. I’ve seen this in the past with my own life, and I’ve seen how it’s possible to reprogram other dream characters at times. One specific method I use is to “remember” a dream character differently and to stop validating a less desirable reality for them. So if they’re currently broke, I refuse to feed any more energy to their brokeness. In my mind’s eye, I remember them as already abundant. And then when I interact with them, I affirm them as enjoying financial abundance right now. If they disagree with me initially (some are ornery), I point out that they must be crazy or blind not to see all the money that’s flowing through their life. Or I imagine them as more flexible and more grateful. Objectively speaking you could say this is a form of hypnosis. However, I find that it works even if I don’t tell the dream characters what I’m doing on their behalf. Now maybe you think this is crazy (or I’m just imagining that a dream character might react in that way), but it seems to be working — and in a manner that’s so over the top, I’d have to be blind not to notice that something has shifted. Since I started doing this, and even before I told anyone what I was doing, various dream characters started reporting windfalls of extra money coming to them, often in unexpected ways. That’s been really cool to see. If you haven’t seen this happening in your own life yet this month, you’re about to see it soon. When the money shows up, be sure to receive it with gratitude; say yes to it. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to remember you as a financially abundant dream character and treat you as such. I’m no longer interested in feeding any energy to your financial struggles. Financial scarcity is so last dimension. I’d rather enjoy a dream world where every dream character can enjoy plenty of abundance. The subjective mindset takes responsibility to a whole new level. I have to feel a sense of responsibility for everyone in my dream world. I do my best to focus on affirming the positive for them. However, I haven’t practiced this enough to make it an ingrained habit yet, so I still flop into the habit of affirming what’s already present at times. I’ll get better with time. Does this mean I see myself as some kind of god? No, it just means I’m a dream character with some degree of programming skill. I know how to implant suggestions into the dreamer’s subconscious, and then they manifest in the dream world. I can’t say who the dreamer is, and I don’t always know what the effect will be or if the new commands will be accepted. But I can see that there are effects being created, and they can be pretty intense and dramatic at times. I’m reminded of these lines from the Depeche Mode song “Lie to Me”: Experiences have a lasting impression But words once spoken Don’t mean a lot now … So lie to me But do it with sincerity Make me listen Just for a minute Make me think There’s some truth in it In other words, you don’t have to be loyal to a present reality you don’t want. You can creatively “lie” your way into a new reality. I wouldn’t call this a fake it till you make it approach. Faking it implies you don’t believe it. In this case, you have to know that you have the power to implant commands into the dreamer’s subconscious and that they’re going to manifest in the dream world at some point. When you believe you can do this, the process of implanting a command is as simple as declaring it. If you don’t believe you can do this, you’re right. If you believe you can do it, you’re also right. A Special Challenge for Our Forum Community Since this experiment began, our forum community has exploded with activity. This is the most active month we’ve ever seen, and we’re currently averaging more than 1,000 new posts per day. I think it would be really cool if in the forums, for at least the rest of the month, we could all focus our energy on creating what we desire. Let’s collectively stop feeding energy to what we don’t want. Let’s stop validating any negativity we see in others. No more pity parties or group griping sessions about what isn’t working. That has never worked. Let us instead affirm the potential we see in each other instead of the lack thereof. Even if we must creatively lie to each other, I’d love to see what kind of effect that would have. I think it warrants at least a couple weeks of experimentation. For those who want better relationships, treat them as if they’re already attracting the relationship of their dreams. For those who want more abundance, interact with them as if they’re already rich; even ask them for financial advice. For those who want a new career, affirm that they’re already doing what they love and that they’re inspiring others as well. Treat everyone as the best version of themselves that you can imagine. We only need a certain number of active members to hold the energy of this experiment. Once critical mass is achieved, the experiment will become infectious. It might even spread to other forums as well. If you don’t like the results, you can always go back to complaining about what isn’t working in September. What do you think would happen if we did this as a group? Let’s find out.
    2949 Posted by UniqueThis
  • A Roller Coaster of Emotions Throughout this trial my emotions have been all over the place. Sometimes I’ve felt incredibly blissful, and other times I’ve felt very stressed. When I feel stressed, it isn’t related to events coming up or anything like that. My calendar is still essentially blank. So I’m not feeling anxious about anything I “have to” do. If I wanted to I could just be a couch potato for days on end. I believe this stress has to do with the nature of this experiment. My whole conception of reality has been stretched to the point where I’m actually feeling a sense of loss or grieving with respect to my old life. I’m too far down the proverbial rabbit hole to be able to turn back, so part of me knows this is a permanent shift of some sort. That isn’t easy to accept, and I’m experiencing different waves of emotion as I try to understand the consequences. “Loss” may be the wrong word. I’m not teary eyed about it. But it’s such a huge change that it sometimes feels like I’m floating through space with no solid ground beneath me. I don’t have enough familiarity with this way of living to know what’s coming up, so I really can’t predict the long-term consequences. Life has become much less predictable, and the rate of change is extremely rapid. The changes I’ve experienced as a result of this trial have been incredibly positive, even in the objective sense, but positive change can still be stressful. Events like moving to a nicer home, getting married, or winning the lottery can add a lot of stress to your life. So that’s what it feels like for me. I love the positive changes, but collectively I’m feeling a lot of stress about it. Fortunately this stress seems to be gradually decreasing over time as I get used to living this way. In many ways I feel like a baby, having to relearn so many things from the ground up. It feels like I’ve torn apart my life, and I’m rebuilding it from fairly basic building blocks. That takes time. On the other hand, sometimes I’ve been feeling totally blissful, happy, and excited too. I believe I can handle the stress. I just need to pace myself and take steps to keep the stress manageable. I’m optimistic that the stress feelings will continue to diminish with time. I’m constantly out of my comfort zone, but I expect that given enough time, I’ll eventually become more comfortable with this way of perceiving reality. Comfort and Grounding For most of this trial, I haven’t bothered to stick to much of a routine. If this is a dream world, then what’s the point? Well, I’m starting to realize there is a point to having a routine. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, some daily structure can have a soothing effect. It reduces stress and provides a sense of security and stability. Feeling like you’re floating through a cosmic wonderland might be exciting for a while, but doing that for weeks at a time can be very unsettling. Simple things like going for a walk, preparing and eating meals, and even breathing help me feel more grounded. I may know it’s not real, and in a dream world, much of what I do may not even be necessary, but I’m finding good reasons to do those things anyway. Nighttime dreams are usually very brief, lasting only a matter of minutes. But when you have a dream that lasts for weeks, it really does feel nice to populate the dream world with some persistent structures in time and space, if only for emotional reasons. During this experiment I’m feeling very appreciative of my home, long-term relationships, and other things that give me a sense of stability. Even eating an apple helps me feel grounded because it’s familiar. I’m reminded of the scene from the first Matrix movie where Cypher is enjoying a steak dinner with Smith. He says he knows the stuff in the Matrix isn’t real, but he doesn’t care. I can relate to feeling much the same way. I know it’s all dream stuff, but for now I still need to connect with what’s familiar for a sense of stability and grounding. Synchronicities On the flip side, the more I embrace the belief that life is a dream, the more the dream world reveals itself as such. For starters, the number of synchronicities I’m experiencing is way off the scale, and it’s not just with me. All my inboxes have been flooding with similar messages from others reporting a major increase in synchronicities lately. It feels as if the whole dream world is shifting. I’d say that on average, I’m seeing about 3-5 striking synchronicities every day now. They’ve been coming in nonstop since this experiment started. Have you seen an increase in syncs in your life this month? I wonder if it’s related to this experiment somehow. For example, about a week ago, I had the strange inspiration to go rent the movie Alice in Wonderland (the recent version with Johnny Depp). An hour or two before I left my house, someone had just emailed me a quote from the Princess Bride, which is my favorite movie of all time. As I walked into the video store, I saw the Princess Bride playing on a TV there. On my way home, I was listening to “When Tomorrow Comes” by Eurythmics, the first line of which is: Underneath your dreamlit eyes, shades of sleep have driven you away. The song before that one was “Sweet Dreams.” This is on their greatest hits album. About a block from my house, I see a real rabbit sitting in the middle of the street. He stares at me as I drive within a few feet of him. Funny that I would see him while driving home with Alice. I watch Alice while having dinner, and the movie is overflowing with subjective reality references like, “It’s just a dream” and “All I have to do is wake up” and “I make the path.” Alice even refers to the Mad Hatter as a figment. At the end of the movie, she leaves her old life behind and gets on a boat. In an objective sense, the movie is only so-so, but it’s a lot more interesting when viewed through a subjective lens. Reality is practically beating me over the head with validation that yes, this is a dream world. At times I feel that life has been dropping me hints about this, but it took me a long time to see the big picture. The whole 11:11 phenomenon was one of many clues — it makes perfect sense that such events would occur in a dream world. Dream People One funny aspect of this experiment is that since I’m doing it publicly, most of the people in my life know about it (or so it seems). So when people email me or call me, they often address me as a character in their dream world or as a projection of mine. Same goes for phone calls. Objectively I could say they’re just playing along. But subjectively it’s as if they’re finally acknowledging the truth. I’ve been spending a LOT of time on communication lately. It’s sometimes a challenge to maintain the frame of a dream during an immersive conversation, but I’m gradually getting used to it. I’ve noticed that conversations take on a whole different flavor when I view them through the dream lens and when I address the other person as a dream character. So far no one that I communicate with regularly has objected to being treated like a dream character. Actually it’s just the opposite. Most people seem intrigued and enjoy playing along, and we end up having some pretty deep conversations as a result. Even people that I thought were very left-brained are revealing different aspects of their personalities that I seldom see. They typically become much more playful, open, and light-hearted. One day when I was spending time with my dream daughter Emily, I asked her to consider that life might actually be a dream. Then I began pointing things out to her that seemed dream-like. I showed her rooms in my house that have no furniture in them, asking her what kind of real house would have empty rooms like that. It must be a dream house. Then it started pouring rain, and I took her outside and showed her that it was raining, but the sky was blue, and it was bright and sunny out. I asked her if that seemed at all like a dream. She seemed a bit suspicious while we pranced around in the rain. Was it real rain or dream rain? On a different day, I took Emily out to dinner. As we were driving back, stopped at a crosswalk, a pedestrian crossed in front of us with an umbrella. I asked Emily why someone would be using an umbrella when it’s not even raining. Must be a dream! Interacting with dream people is a lot of fun. In fact, I think I’ve been getting over-addicted to socializing during this time because the interactions are just so amazing. On many days I’ve spent hours on the phone. Lucid Dreaming Last week I had a lucid dream during a 20-minute nap. Within the dream world, I was in my own kitchen, and I knew that my body was asleep on the couch and that I was definitely dreaming. I decided to try doing telekinesis in the dream world. I couldn’t make it work at all. At best I was able to possibly make some leaves on a tree rustle a little, but it could just as easily have been explained by a dream breeze. It didn’t really feel like I was controlling it. In fact, I didn’t seem to wield any special abilities in the dream world at all. The whole experience could just as easily have happened in this reality. Now this is a strange development indeed. Normally when I have a lucid dream, I’m able to do all kinds of cool things like flying. But not this time. By believing that I’m dreaming while awake, is it possible that I somehow infected the next deeper level of dreaming with my limiting beliefs about this world? So far this was the only lucid dream I’ve had during this experiment. I wonder what will happen as I have more. Dream Food Some dream characters asked if there was a risk of eating non-vegan food during this experiment. I don’t see that as a serious possibility since I don’t regard non-vegan items as food. Even in my nighttime dreams, I still eat vegan, and if I ever dream that I eat something non-vegan by mistake, I actually get grossed out within the dream. I’ve been vegan since 1997, so I’ve been eating this way for most of my adult life (or at least I dreamt it that way). Eating non-vegan dream food would be like eating dream sawdust or dream bugs. I simply have no appetite for such things, regardless of the true nature of reality. That said, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with vegan dream food. Initially I figured I should be able to eat whatever the heck I wanted. How could it affect me if it’s just dream food? Would the awareness that I’m dreaming be enough to change how the food affected me? So I consumed lots of complex foods like pasta, pizza, soy lattes, and even some wine. I stopped exercising completely too. Haven’t been to the gym in weeks. About the only exercise I’ve done was going for some walks. I also didn’t pay as much attention to hygiene. What does it matter in a dream world? Sometimes I wouldn’t shave for more than a week. And guess what happened. I gained a few pounds. I started feeling sluggish. I didn’t get sick, but I definitely didn’t feel as good in my dream body. After a few weeks of that, I began to feel somewhat disgusted with myself. I began having strong cravings for healthier, lighter foods like fresh fruit. I knew I’d feel much better on those foods, even if they weren’t real. Then I realized that I could be seeing these results because I expected them. My subconscious was still filled with beliefs and memories about how certain foods would affect me, and the effects I experienced were all in line with those expectations. So I had the thought that if I wanted to have a healthier dream body, I should consume foods that I believed were the healthiest and avoid those that I believed were unhealthy. So several days ago, I shifted to doing that. I went to a local farmer’s market. I bought the foods I considered the healthiest stuff I could put in my body — celery, cucumber, dark leafy greens, fresh berries, grapes, etc. I hit a sync there too: As I walked up to the farmer’s market, a friend from Toastmasters was just walking out, so we hugged hello right at the entrance. I began eating foods I believed would make me feel good without negative side effects. And lo and behold, I started feeling much better within a couple days, and the excess weight began to drop off. Presently I’m really craving raw foods, and I know I feel best when I eat mostly fresh produce, so I’m doing 95-100% raw for now. I’m eating mostly fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and greens in various combos. The only cooked item I ate was a stir fry of fresh zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers. Now I’m starting to feel a stronger urge to exercise since I know it will make my dream body feel even better. What kinds of dream exercise might I do to put my dream body into optimal condition? These may seem like subtle distinctions as compared to the objective perspective, perhaps almost circular in nature, but for whatever reason, everything is different on the subjective side. Even things that were working for me objectively, I have to rebuild them on the subjective side with a new mindset. Eating based on my beliefs doesn’t feel quite the same as eating based on objective nutritional science. The same goes with exercising. Instead of having to objectively figure out an optimal diet by learning the science behind different foods and doing lots of trial and error, I can now simply eat whatever I presently believe is the healthiest and avoid what I believe to be unhealthy. This introduces a new level of self-honesty, since it’s harder to delude myself about my own beliefs. For example, on the objective side I may drink some coffee. The chemistry of coffee is so complex that apparently many scientists still don’t know what to make of it. So it’s easy to justify drinking it. It can mentally place it into the gray area of health by focusing on the potential benefits. Or I can simply enjoy the indulgence. But on the subjective side, it’s a lot harder to do this. When I ask myself how I honestly believe coffee will affect me, I can’t pretend it’s a health food. I have too much history with it and too many memories of how addictive it is for me and how it messes with my thinking. So for the moment, I must deal with my subconscious expectation that coffee will negatively impact my health. Subjective Rebuilding It takes a while to rebuild my life from the subjective side. I feel very fortunate that I have the time to do so because it looks like it’s going to take many more weeks. I’ve made major progress in the area of relationships, and this week I seem to be focusing on health a lot. But I have yet to dive into the career and financial aspects of my life. I sense that’s coming up though, perhaps within the next few weeks. It’s hard to say because I’m just going with the flow of inspiration. Apparently this flow is taking me through a process of recoding my whole life part by part. As I mentioned earlier, this has been somewhat stressful due to all the changes, but it’s also pretty exciting to see it unfold. I’m certainly pleased with the results thus far. Even in areas where my life may look relatively unchanged, my inner experience has shifted massively. I may be eating similar foods once again, but it feels so different to buy, prepare, and eat foods with a dream world perspective. I know that I have so much more to explore from this perspective. Right now I mainly want to get the basics right. I don’t want to attempt anything too fancy. I want to see what it’s like to get my overall life working subjectively and to maintain that for a while. Right now I feel like I’m only 30% of the way through this initial process of subjectively refactoring my life. I can see that there’s still a lot more to go. The Power of Belief As I move forward with my subjective life, I have a few options when it comes to dealing with beliefs. The first option is that I can work within the framework of my existing beliefs. This suggests that if I do what I subconsciously believe will work, I can expect a positive outcome. So I have to get clearer about my existing beliefs and stay true to them. The second option is to condition new beliefs to replace the old ones, and see how those new beliefs affect me. There are a number of different methods for this, but it’s tricky work because beliefs interact with each other. It can also be pretty time consuming because we have a lot of subconscious beliefs. A third option is to reduce my reliance on beliefs altogether. I can realize that they’re simply experiential filters, and I don’t necessarily need them. There are methods to do this as well, such as Ho’oponopono. Right now I’m mainly shifting into the first option. I feel intuitively drawn to explore that space first. That’s the space I understand best, and the results I can expect there seem the most stable, grounded, and predictable. That should give me a stable base for exploring other options. Then I suspect I’ll explore the third option more intently, working to reduce my conditioning and seeing what effect it has. I want to build up more experience living subjectively before I attempt anything like that in earnest though. What I’ve already done so far is enough of a shift to process. I wouldn’t want to add more change to my life just yet. I’m barely able to handle the current pacing. Beliefs essentially act as experiential filters. They constrain the dream world. I don’t feel ready to release too many of those constraints just yet, but I suspect that with enough experience living this way, I’ll eventually feel ready to explore that part of dream life. Recoding the Dream Even though I don’t want to make major changes in this area, I can’t resist the temptation to play around with some dream reprogramming work. It’s too much fun to avoid it altogether. For starters, I’ve been recoding the dream characters in my life to experience greater financial abundance. Secondly, I’ve been working to inject more peace and harmony into the dream world, such as by imagining the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as ended. I started doing this a couple weeks ago. I’m curious to see if it has any noticeable effect. As for what technique to use, in a dream world the specific technique doesn’t matter. What matters is that you believe and expect it will work. A method is meaningless unless you create the belief in it, and that belief would be pretty hard to manufacture on the objective side. On the subjective side, however, such a belief arises as a natural consequence of being in a dream world. I believe I have the ability to make changes in the dream world through the application of thought and intention. I’ve seen this in the past with my own life, and I’ve seen how it’s possible to reprogram other dream characters at times. One specific method I use is to “remember” a dream character differently and to stop validating a less desirable reality for them. So if they’re currently broke, I refuse to feed any more energy to their brokeness. In my mind’s eye, I remember them as already abundant. And then when I interact with them, I affirm them as enjoying financial abundance right now. If they disagree with me initially (some are ornery), I point out that they must be crazy or blind not to see all the money that’s flowing through their life. Or I imagine them as more flexible and more grateful. Objectively speaking you could say this is a form of hypnosis. However, I find that it works even if I don’t tell the dream characters what I’m doing on their behalf. Now maybe you think this is crazy (or I’m just imagining that a dream character might react in that way), but it seems to be working — and in a manner that’s so over the top, I’d have to be blind not to notice that something has shifted. Since I started doing this, and even before I told anyone what I was doing, various dream characters started reporting windfalls of extra money coming to them, often in unexpected ways. That’s been really cool to see. If you haven’t seen this happening in your own life yet this month, you’re about to see it soon. When the money shows up, be sure to receive it with gratitude; say yes to it. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to remember you as a financially abundant dream character and treat you as such. I’m no longer interested in feeding any energy to your financial struggles. Financial scarcity is so last dimension. I’d rather enjoy a dream world where every dream character can enjoy plenty of abundance. The subjective mindset takes responsibility to a whole new level. I have to feel a sense of responsibility for everyone in my dream world. I do my best to focus on affirming the positive for them. However, I haven’t practiced this enough to make it an ingrained habit yet, so I still flop into the habit of affirming what’s already present at times. I’ll get better with time. Does this mean I see myself as some kind of god? No, it just means I’m a dream character with some degree of programming skill. I know how to implant suggestions into the dreamer’s subconscious, and then they manifest in the dream world. I can’t say who the dreamer is, and I don’t always know what the effect will be or if the new commands will be accepted. But I can see that there are effects being created, and they can be pretty intense and dramatic at times. I’m reminded of these lines from the Depeche Mode song “Lie to Me”: Experiences have a lasting impression But words once spoken Don’t mean a lot now … So lie to me But do it with sincerity Make me listen Just for a minute Make me think There’s some truth in it In other words, you don’t have to be loyal to a present reality you don’t want. You can creatively “lie” your way into a new reality. I wouldn’t call this a fake it till you make it approach. Faking it implies you don’t believe it. In this case, you have to know that you have the power to implant commands into the dreamer’s subconscious and that they’re going to manifest in the dream world at some point. When you believe you can do this, the process of implanting a command is as simple as declaring it. If you don’t believe you can do this, you’re right. If you believe you can do it, you’re also right. A Special Challenge for Our Forum Community Since this experiment began, our forum community has exploded with activity. This is the most active month we’ve ever seen, and we’re currently averaging more than 1,000 new posts per day. I think it would be really cool if in the forums, for at least the rest of the month, we could all focus our energy on creating what we desire. Let’s collectively stop feeding energy to what we don’t want. Let’s stop validating any negativity we see in others. No more pity parties or group griping sessions about what isn’t working. That has never worked. Let us instead affirm the potential we see in each other instead of the lack thereof. Even if we must creatively lie to each other, I’d love to see what kind of effect that would have. I think it warrants at least a couple weeks of experimentation. For those who want better relationships, treat them as if they’re already attracting the relationship of their dreams. For those who want more abundance, interact with them as if they’re already rich; even ask them for financial advice. For those who want a new career, affirm that they’re already doing what they love and that they’re inspiring others as well. Treat everyone as the best version of themselves that you can imagine. We only need a certain number of active members to hold the energy of this experiment. Once critical mass is achieved, the experiment will become infectious. It might even spread to other forums as well. If you don’t like the results, you can always go back to complaining about what isn’t working in September. What do you think would happen if we did this as a group? Let’s find out.
    Jul 27, 2011 2949
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Acting on Inspiration Acting on inspiration in the moment, as opposed to planning things out in advance, was a very different way of living for me. In some ways I liked it, and in other ways I didn’t. I enjoyed the feeling of flow from one action to the next. Instead of hesitating or thinking things through, I just dove right in and took action on whatever felt inspired in the moment. That kept me from getting stuck in my head, so there was very little friction in moving from idea to implementation. Synchronicities increased massively, usually with several occurring each day. I sure noticed a lot of rabbits during this trial.  When I finished one activity, quite often something else would come up the very minute I finished it. For example, as I was saying goodbye to someone on the phone, Erin walked in the door. Then right as she left, the phone rang again. This sort of timing happened many times during this trial. What I didn’t like was that the flow of inspiration seemed fairly chaotic at times. Sometimes I felt like I was moving forward with purpose, but other times the experience seemed practically random. In retrospect some of those inspired ideas didn’t seem to be worth pursuing. I think it would have helped to engage the left brain a bit and filter some of them out. I spent a lot of time on communication during this trial — more phone calls, emails, and visits with people. Initially this produced some positive shifts in my relationships. But after a couple weeks of this, I began feeling socially overwhelmed. My inboxes were overflowing with messages from people expecting a personal response from me. It was way too much to keep up with. So by the final week of the trial, I had to pull back socially and stop being so open with my energy. It simply wasn’t practical to maintain it. I really don’t want to be spending 8+ hours a day on communication like I did on some days of this trial. As for my work, that also seemed like a mixed bag. On the positive side, I blogged a lot during this trial, and that led to a major increase in feedback as well as a surge in forum discussions (about double the usual). Since my income is largely passive in nature, that part of my income wasn’t negatively affected by this trial. On the other hand, I didn’t do any serious project-based work during this trial, and I skipped certain business tasks I normally would have done, such as sending out anewsletter. So that probably depressed my income a little. Based on what I experienced during this trial, I think that if I ran my business based on pure inspiration in the long run, it would produce some benefits, but I suspect it would hurt me in others ways. The nature of my business allows me to do this sort of thing, but for people with different business models, I think this trial could do more harm than good. Sometimes I really liked the inspired tasks I was doing. But overall I didn’t like the feeling that things were slipping out of control. If technology didn’t do most of the work of keeping my business running for me, I think this trial could have left me with a mess to clean up. Acting on inspiration can create a lot of loose ends. If I lived this way for several months in a row, I suspect I’d end up with a disorganized mess of way too many open loops. At some point it’s important to sit down and close those loops, and I didn’t find that inspiration alone was sufficient to get the job done. For example, during this trial I created a major open loop of deciding that I wanted to move beyond copyrights for my online articles. The feedback I received was voluminous, including a chaotic sampling of offers to create versions of my site in other languages. It goes to show what a complex undertaking this could be, especially when it comes to dealing with translations intelligently. Inspiration may have opened the door to moving forward, but it doesn’t seem adequate to solve all the little problems and challenges that need to be worked out. Making this idea practical seems like more of a left-brained task. Review the various options, consider the expected consequences, and make the best decision I can. I think inspiration works best for opening new doors and moving forward on fresh ideas. After that, I’d put my money on persistence and self-discipline to cross the finish line. Inspiration is a powerful resource, but it can’t substitute for perspiration. Subjective Reality The subjective reality aspect of this trial involved seeing life from a dream world perspective. I found this to be a very powerful shift. For the first few weeks, it was challenging to maintain this perspective. I had to keep reminding myself multiple times each day, “I’m dreaming,” “This is a dream,” etc. But by the final week, I somehow shifted from conscious competence to unconscious competence, meaning that my subconscious accepted this as my default way of seeing the world, so I no longer had to consciously think about it. This was one of the key benefits of doing a 30-day trial. I was able to hold this perspective long enough and consistently enough that my subconscious took over for me. Now it just feels like a natural part of my belief system, something I take for granted. This trial was a big emotional roller coaster, and I’m happy that I can maintain this point of view now without so much conscious effort. With some experimentation I refined my perspective on other dream characters. Initially I used the perspective that everyone I interacted with was a part of me, like a projection of some part of the dreamer’s subconscious. This yielded some powerful breakthroughs, but I feel like it wasted a lot of time as well. Interacting with everyone at this level is tremendously time-consuming. You have to listen for the message behind every interaction. While some of those messages were truly insightful, others seemed largely worthless to me. While I agree with the perspective that we’re all connected, I no longer hold the perspective that every dream character I encounter represents an important part of me that I need to understand in great depth. That point of view just didn’t pan out in terms of results. Now my perspective is that the dream world is filled with lots of richness and variety, and whatever I pay attention to will expand. If I want to delve into a dream character’s apparent issues with scarcity thinking, for instance, the consequence is that I’ll be expanding that aspect of my reality. I’ll be programming the dream for more scarcity. This has changed the way I perceive responsibility. At first I felt like it was my responsibility to understand and then fix every problem I perceived. However, that approach actually backfired. The more I focused on understanding and helping people in need, the more neediness the dream world manifested. Eventually my inboxes were overflowing with needy messages. That left me feeling very drained and demotivated, and I began craving more alone time just so I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone’s problems. Within a couple weeks, I realized that this approach was totally unsustainable. But I also had to accept that I was inadvertently creating that reality. I realized how important it is to focus my attention on those aspects of the dream world I wish to expand. So I’ve begun to withdraw my attention from problems and neediness. Now I’m once again focusing on my goals and intentions. And lo and behold, the good stuff is already beginning to expand, and my perception of neediness is quickly receding. This trial really drove home the idea that we experience what we think about. Thoughts and feelings manifest. One of the worst things we can do, therefore, is to complain. Complaining directs the dream world to give us more to complain about. Belief I’d say that the most important lesson I learned from this trial was to pay attention to my beliefs. When I first started living subjectively for an extended length of time, it felt like I was floating through space. Lots of strange things occurred that convinced me this really is a dream world. What actually helped me re-ground myself was realizing that my own beliefs were constraining my experience. So while it may seem like anything is possible in a dream world, my beliefs determine how probable certain events are. This is where we can connect the dots between the subjective and objective frames. In the objective frame, we’d say that physical reality is primary and that consciousness arises within it. A subjective experience is a bunch of neurons firing in your brain. In the subjective frame, we’d say that consciousness is primary and the dream world of physical reality arises within it. An objective experience is a result of your beliefs and expectations constraining the dream’s potential. Subjectively speaking, an objective experience isn’t really objective at all. It just seems that way because your beliefs are narrowing the field of probabilities. Reality only seems objective because you believe and expect it to. Much of personal development has to do with massaging your beliefs to shift the field of probabilities. For example, if you go to university and get a degree, that may shift your beliefs about what kind of job you can get or how much money you can earn. If you don’t think you can get a certain type of job, you probably won’t even apply for it. And if you do apply, you’ll sabotage yourself at one point or another since you won’t believe that you’re qualified. If you read 10 books in a particular field, that may shift your beliefs about your odds of success in that field. You believe that education makes a difference. But could you have gotten results that were just as good or better without the education, if you simply believed you could succeed? Since beliefs have a tendency to remain stable, the dream world has an element of consistency to it, making it seem largely objective. However, if you shift your beliefs, your dream world will shift as well. In the final week of this trial, I began thinking a lot about my beliefs and how they may be filtering and controlling my experience of the dream world. I figured that if I understood my beliefs better, I should be able to improve some aspects of the dream simply by working within those constraints. As I mentioned in a previous post, I can also work on reprogramming or removing beliefs, but for now I want to try working within the structure that’s already there. I decided to start with diet and exercise, which were lagging behind for most of this trial. I began eating foods that I believed would give me good energy. Last week I started exercising again too. I asked myself, “What kind of exercise do I believe will give me the greatest benefits in terms of my health and energy?” I’ve tried many forms of exercise over the past two decades, but the answer that came up for me was doing some serious cardio. My beliefs are filled with “education” about the benefits of cardio exercise, and I also have plenty of memories to that effect. So I dove in and started doing 60 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym each morning. I hadn’t exercised in several weeks, so I felt I’d be out of shape, but then I reminded myself that it’s just a dream. How hard could it be if my cardiovascular system isn’t even real? That mindset made the exercise seem easier than ever. I did this workout 5 out of the past 7 days (I took off Sat and Sun), and I’m feeling great. I could be doing something much fancier, but I don’t actually believe those other workouts to be any more effective than an hour of cardio at 80-90% of max heart rate, at least in terms of its ability to keep me feeling alert and energetic. Now I’m turning my attention to my business using this attitude as well. Instead of thinking about options and opportunities, I’m pondering my beliefs. What do Ibelieve to be my best options and opportunities? That may seem like a subtle distinction, but it gets me thinking in new directions. Final Thoughts Overall I’m glad I did this trial. It was one of the most intense 30-day trials I’ve ever done, but it’s given me a new sense of possibility. Acting on every inspiration of the moment with no advance thinking or planning didn’t work out so well, but the subjective reality aspect of this trial was wonderful. I can explain the shortcomings on the inspiration side simply by noting my beliefs. I didn’t actually believe that acting on inspiration alone was an optimal approach, and so my dream world manifested mixed results. This trial ended differently than it began. During the first couple weeks, the rapid pace of change was stressful, and it was challenging to hold the subjective perspective for so long. But by the end of the trial, the pacing had become more reasonable. I felt I’d finally integrated the subjective perspective at a subconscious level, so I didn’t have to think about it much. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, realizing that I could enjoy the best of both worlds by combining inspiration and planning together, in accordance with my beliefs. Before this trial I primarily saw the world through the objective lens. Now I see it primarily as a subjective dream world, and the objective aspect is secondary. The objective world is merely the field of dream possibilities filtered through my beliefs and expectations, so it seems semi-consistent. Thirty days was enough time to do this experiment and learn the lessons I wanted to learn, but it’s not enough time to understand the long-term effects. The way I see the world is so different than when I first started this trial. That’s got to have some kind of impact over time, but I can’t predict what it will look like. I think I’ll need a few more months before I have a clearer sense of it. CGW #5 What about CGW #5 in October? Some people suggested that I do the workshop from a subjective perspective. There’s also the idea of presenting it from a place of inspiration in the moment with no pre-planning. I can safely reject the second idea based on the results of this trial. While speaking off the cuff for 3 days might be a fun experiment, I don’t have good reason to believe it would produce the best results. In the past I’ve seen very good results from the pre-planned elements like the exercises, so I’m going to keep what works well and continue to refine it as usual. CGW #4 worked very well, so I expect to use a similar format for CGW #5 with a number of tweaks to make it work even better. If I feel inspired in the moment to stray from my plans, as I did with CGW #4, I’m happy to go with the flow of inspiration. But I’m not going to slack off on the planning and preparation. I simply don’t believe that would be the best approach. As for the subjective perspective, that has become my default way of thinking now. This may affect how I present certain aspects of the workshop, but I don’t expect these to be significant sweeping changes. I’ve already been teaching the principles with a mixture of subjectivity and objectivity. As for the core content of the workshop, that’s going to remain essentially the same. The cool thing about the 7 principles (Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Authority, Courage, and Intelligence) is that they all have subjective and objective aspects. When we speak of Truth, for example, we can talk about your inner truth (your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs), or we can talk about external truth (perceptions and predictions). The core principles are universal enough that you can apply them just as easily to a dream world as to a physical universe. So it doesn’t matter how you believe reality works — the principles can help you accelerate your growth either way. That’s because the principles stem from consciousness, regardless of where that consciousness comes from. If you’re conscious, you can use these principles to good effect. I’d say the most likely source of improvements for CGW #5 is that I’m going to pay a lot more attention to my beliefs with respect to each segment. I’ll go over my notes from the previous workshops and think about how the feedback reflects my own beliefs and expectations. Then I’ll make changes based on what I believe will work best. The bigger issue is that this trial has given me such a new sense of possibility that I can’t say what I’m going to do after CGW #5. I originally expected to do many more CGWs, but now I can’t say for sure whether I will or not. At the moment the October CGW is the only one scheduled. I haven’t lived with the results of this trial long enough to get a clear sense of what I’ll do next. It’s possible that I may schedule more CGWs, perhaps even in different cities, but it’s also possible I may decide to take my work in a different direction after CGW #5. I’m very glad I did this trial. It was intense, but it was worth it.
    1139 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Acting on Inspiration Acting on inspiration in the moment, as opposed to planning things out in advance, was a very different way of living for me. In some ways I liked it, and in other ways I didn’t. I enjoyed the feeling of flow from one action to the next. Instead of hesitating or thinking things through, I just dove right in and took action on whatever felt inspired in the moment. That kept me from getting stuck in my head, so there was very little friction in moving from idea to implementation. Synchronicities increased massively, usually with several occurring each day. I sure noticed a lot of rabbits during this trial.  When I finished one activity, quite often something else would come up the very minute I finished it. For example, as I was saying goodbye to someone on the phone, Erin walked in the door. Then right as she left, the phone rang again. This sort of timing happened many times during this trial. What I didn’t like was that the flow of inspiration seemed fairly chaotic at times. Sometimes I felt like I was moving forward with purpose, but other times the experience seemed practically random. In retrospect some of those inspired ideas didn’t seem to be worth pursuing. I think it would have helped to engage the left brain a bit and filter some of them out. I spent a lot of time on communication during this trial — more phone calls, emails, and visits with people. Initially this produced some positive shifts in my relationships. But after a couple weeks of this, I began feeling socially overwhelmed. My inboxes were overflowing with messages from people expecting a personal response from me. It was way too much to keep up with. So by the final week of the trial, I had to pull back socially and stop being so open with my energy. It simply wasn’t practical to maintain it. I really don’t want to be spending 8+ hours a day on communication like I did on some days of this trial. As for my work, that also seemed like a mixed bag. On the positive side, I blogged a lot during this trial, and that led to a major increase in feedback as well as a surge in forum discussions (about double the usual). Since my income is largely passive in nature, that part of my income wasn’t negatively affected by this trial. On the other hand, I didn’t do any serious project-based work during this trial, and I skipped certain business tasks I normally would have done, such as sending out anewsletter. So that probably depressed my income a little. Based on what I experienced during this trial, I think that if I ran my business based on pure inspiration in the long run, it would produce some benefits, but I suspect it would hurt me in others ways. The nature of my business allows me to do this sort of thing, but for people with different business models, I think this trial could do more harm than good. Sometimes I really liked the inspired tasks I was doing. But overall I didn’t like the feeling that things were slipping out of control. If technology didn’t do most of the work of keeping my business running for me, I think this trial could have left me with a mess to clean up. Acting on inspiration can create a lot of loose ends. If I lived this way for several months in a row, I suspect I’d end up with a disorganized mess of way too many open loops. At some point it’s important to sit down and close those loops, and I didn’t find that inspiration alone was sufficient to get the job done. For example, during this trial I created a major open loop of deciding that I wanted to move beyond copyrights for my online articles. The feedback I received was voluminous, including a chaotic sampling of offers to create versions of my site in other languages. It goes to show what a complex undertaking this could be, especially when it comes to dealing with translations intelligently. Inspiration may have opened the door to moving forward, but it doesn’t seem adequate to solve all the little problems and challenges that need to be worked out. Making this idea practical seems like more of a left-brained task. Review the various options, consider the expected consequences, and make the best decision I can. I think inspiration works best for opening new doors and moving forward on fresh ideas. After that, I’d put my money on persistence and self-discipline to cross the finish line. Inspiration is a powerful resource, but it can’t substitute for perspiration. Subjective Reality The subjective reality aspect of this trial involved seeing life from a dream world perspective. I found this to be a very powerful shift. For the first few weeks, it was challenging to maintain this perspective. I had to keep reminding myself multiple times each day, “I’m dreaming,” “This is a dream,” etc. But by the final week, I somehow shifted from conscious competence to unconscious competence, meaning that my subconscious accepted this as my default way of seeing the world, so I no longer had to consciously think about it. This was one of the key benefits of doing a 30-day trial. I was able to hold this perspective long enough and consistently enough that my subconscious took over for me. Now it just feels like a natural part of my belief system, something I take for granted. This trial was a big emotional roller coaster, and I’m happy that I can maintain this point of view now without so much conscious effort. With some experimentation I refined my perspective on other dream characters. Initially I used the perspective that everyone I interacted with was a part of me, like a projection of some part of the dreamer’s subconscious. This yielded some powerful breakthroughs, but I feel like it wasted a lot of time as well. Interacting with everyone at this level is tremendously time-consuming. You have to listen for the message behind every interaction. While some of those messages were truly insightful, others seemed largely worthless to me. While I agree with the perspective that we’re all connected, I no longer hold the perspective that every dream character I encounter represents an important part of me that I need to understand in great depth. That point of view just didn’t pan out in terms of results. Now my perspective is that the dream world is filled with lots of richness and variety, and whatever I pay attention to will expand. If I want to delve into a dream character’s apparent issues with scarcity thinking, for instance, the consequence is that I’ll be expanding that aspect of my reality. I’ll be programming the dream for more scarcity. This has changed the way I perceive responsibility. At first I felt like it was my responsibility to understand and then fix every problem I perceived. However, that approach actually backfired. The more I focused on understanding and helping people in need, the more neediness the dream world manifested. Eventually my inboxes were overflowing with needy messages. That left me feeling very drained and demotivated, and I began craving more alone time just so I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone’s problems. Within a couple weeks, I realized that this approach was totally unsustainable. But I also had to accept that I was inadvertently creating that reality. I realized how important it is to focus my attention on those aspects of the dream world I wish to expand. So I’ve begun to withdraw my attention from problems and neediness. Now I’m once again focusing on my goals and intentions. And lo and behold, the good stuff is already beginning to expand, and my perception of neediness is quickly receding. This trial really drove home the idea that we experience what we think about. Thoughts and feelings manifest. One of the worst things we can do, therefore, is to complain. Complaining directs the dream world to give us more to complain about. Belief I’d say that the most important lesson I learned from this trial was to pay attention to my beliefs. When I first started living subjectively for an extended length of time, it felt like I was floating through space. Lots of strange things occurred that convinced me this really is a dream world. What actually helped me re-ground myself was realizing that my own beliefs were constraining my experience. So while it may seem like anything is possible in a dream world, my beliefs determine how probable certain events are. This is where we can connect the dots between the subjective and objective frames. In the objective frame, we’d say that physical reality is primary and that consciousness arises within it. A subjective experience is a bunch of neurons firing in your brain. In the subjective frame, we’d say that consciousness is primary and the dream world of physical reality arises within it. An objective experience is a result of your beliefs and expectations constraining the dream’s potential. Subjectively speaking, an objective experience isn’t really objective at all. It just seems that way because your beliefs are narrowing the field of probabilities. Reality only seems objective because you believe and expect it to. Much of personal development has to do with massaging your beliefs to shift the field of probabilities. For example, if you go to university and get a degree, that may shift your beliefs about what kind of job you can get or how much money you can earn. If you don’t think you can get a certain type of job, you probably won’t even apply for it. And if you do apply, you’ll sabotage yourself at one point or another since you won’t believe that you’re qualified. If you read 10 books in a particular field, that may shift your beliefs about your odds of success in that field. You believe that education makes a difference. But could you have gotten results that were just as good or better without the education, if you simply believed you could succeed? Since beliefs have a tendency to remain stable, the dream world has an element of consistency to it, making it seem largely objective. However, if you shift your beliefs, your dream world will shift as well. In the final week of this trial, I began thinking a lot about my beliefs and how they may be filtering and controlling my experience of the dream world. I figured that if I understood my beliefs better, I should be able to improve some aspects of the dream simply by working within those constraints. As I mentioned in a previous post, I can also work on reprogramming or removing beliefs, but for now I want to try working within the structure that’s already there. I decided to start with diet and exercise, which were lagging behind for most of this trial. I began eating foods that I believed would give me good energy. Last week I started exercising again too. I asked myself, “What kind of exercise do I believe will give me the greatest benefits in terms of my health and energy?” I’ve tried many forms of exercise over the past two decades, but the answer that came up for me was doing some serious cardio. My beliefs are filled with “education” about the benefits of cardio exercise, and I also have plenty of memories to that effect. So I dove in and started doing 60 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym each morning. I hadn’t exercised in several weeks, so I felt I’d be out of shape, but then I reminded myself that it’s just a dream. How hard could it be if my cardiovascular system isn’t even real? That mindset made the exercise seem easier than ever. I did this workout 5 out of the past 7 days (I took off Sat and Sun), and I’m feeling great. I could be doing something much fancier, but I don’t actually believe those other workouts to be any more effective than an hour of cardio at 80-90% of max heart rate, at least in terms of its ability to keep me feeling alert and energetic. Now I’m turning my attention to my business using this attitude as well. Instead of thinking about options and opportunities, I’m pondering my beliefs. What do Ibelieve to be my best options and opportunities? That may seem like a subtle distinction, but it gets me thinking in new directions. Final Thoughts Overall I’m glad I did this trial. It was one of the most intense 30-day trials I’ve ever done, but it’s given me a new sense of possibility. Acting on every inspiration of the moment with no advance thinking or planning didn’t work out so well, but the subjective reality aspect of this trial was wonderful. I can explain the shortcomings on the inspiration side simply by noting my beliefs. I didn’t actually believe that acting on inspiration alone was an optimal approach, and so my dream world manifested mixed results. This trial ended differently than it began. During the first couple weeks, the rapid pace of change was stressful, and it was challenging to hold the subjective perspective for so long. But by the end of the trial, the pacing had become more reasonable. I felt I’d finally integrated the subjective perspective at a subconscious level, so I didn’t have to think about it much. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, realizing that I could enjoy the best of both worlds by combining inspiration and planning together, in accordance with my beliefs. Before this trial I primarily saw the world through the objective lens. Now I see it primarily as a subjective dream world, and the objective aspect is secondary. The objective world is merely the field of dream possibilities filtered through my beliefs and expectations, so it seems semi-consistent. Thirty days was enough time to do this experiment and learn the lessons I wanted to learn, but it’s not enough time to understand the long-term effects. The way I see the world is so different than when I first started this trial. That’s got to have some kind of impact over time, but I can’t predict what it will look like. I think I’ll need a few more months before I have a clearer sense of it. CGW #5 What about CGW #5 in October? Some people suggested that I do the workshop from a subjective perspective. There’s also the idea of presenting it from a place of inspiration in the moment with no pre-planning. I can safely reject the second idea based on the results of this trial. While speaking off the cuff for 3 days might be a fun experiment, I don’t have good reason to believe it would produce the best results. In the past I’ve seen very good results from the pre-planned elements like the exercises, so I’m going to keep what works well and continue to refine it as usual. CGW #4 worked very well, so I expect to use a similar format for CGW #5 with a number of tweaks to make it work even better. If I feel inspired in the moment to stray from my plans, as I did with CGW #4, I’m happy to go with the flow of inspiration. But I’m not going to slack off on the planning and preparation. I simply don’t believe that would be the best approach. As for the subjective perspective, that has become my default way of thinking now. This may affect how I present certain aspects of the workshop, but I don’t expect these to be significant sweeping changes. I’ve already been teaching the principles with a mixture of subjectivity and objectivity. As for the core content of the workshop, that’s going to remain essentially the same. The cool thing about the 7 principles (Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Authority, Courage, and Intelligence) is that they all have subjective and objective aspects. When we speak of Truth, for example, we can talk about your inner truth (your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs), or we can talk about external truth (perceptions and predictions). The core principles are universal enough that you can apply them just as easily to a dream world as to a physical universe. So it doesn’t matter how you believe reality works — the principles can help you accelerate your growth either way. That’s because the principles stem from consciousness, regardless of where that consciousness comes from. If you’re conscious, you can use these principles to good effect. I’d say the most likely source of improvements for CGW #5 is that I’m going to pay a lot more attention to my beliefs with respect to each segment. I’ll go over my notes from the previous workshops and think about how the feedback reflects my own beliefs and expectations. Then I’ll make changes based on what I believe will work best. The bigger issue is that this trial has given me such a new sense of possibility that I can’t say what I’m going to do after CGW #5. I originally expected to do many more CGWs, but now I can’t say for sure whether I will or not. At the moment the October CGW is the only one scheduled. I haven’t lived with the results of this trial long enough to get a clear sense of what I’ll do next. It’s possible that I may schedule more CGWs, perhaps even in different cities, but it’s also possible I may decide to take my work in a different direction after CGW #5. I’m very glad I did this trial. It was intense, but it was worth it.
    Jul 27, 2011 1139
  • 27 Jul 2011
    In previous articles about lightworking and darkworking, I mentioned that both paths ultimately lead to the same place. In this article I’ll explain what that convergence looks like. Lightworking and darkworking are potent power-building methods. By focusing intently on a unidirectional flow of energy, a strong current can be created, and inner resistance can be overcome. On a practical level, this means that through lightworking or darkworking, you can become a lot stronger than you were in a pre-polarized state. For a lightworker, this flow takes the form of service. The lightworker focuses on an outward flow of energy through giving, giving, and more giving. For a darkworker, this flow takes the form of selfishness. The darkworker focuses on an inward flow of energy through taking, taking, and more taking. Ultimately these are phases of development, not permanent resting places. Initially, when a non-polarized person focuses on one modality (either lightworking or darkworker), their power can increase dramatically. Power in this case is your ability to create your reality. Pre-polarized people are generally weak. They have very little power, so they largely play the role of pawns. They don’t know how to use their power well enough, so their creative expression is low. Pre-polarized people are constantly dissipating their power. They fall into patterns like focusing on what they don’t want, complaining, and giving their power away to others. If they set goals, they usually fail to achieve them. They’re easily distracted and knocked off course. Someone else is always the boss of them. They don’t wield much direct control over their lives. Polarized people, on the other hand, are focused. Because they’re highly congruent, they create a strong unidirectional energy flow. By getting clear about their deepest desires, they’re able to overcome obstacles more easily. Generally speaking, highly polarized people have an easy time functioning in society. They know how to use their power to solve practical problems. Lightworkers and darkworkers may channel their power differently, but they can get things done. You’ll rarely hear polarized people say something like, “I can’t afford that,” as such a statement is an abuse of power. Lightworkers and darkworkers are stronger than that. They know how to channel their power to get what they want instead of inadvertently creating the opposite. Moreover, lightworkers and darkworkers aren’t into wishful thinking. They’re able to get real results. If they desire something, they can get it. Another reason they’ll rarely say something like, “I can’t afford that,” is that they know they’ll get what they want if they continue to use their power intelligently. It’s not just wishful thinking that makes them focus on their desires. It’s experience. The Shadow For a time lightworking and darkworking will generate a strong increase in power. Positive results are generated more quickly. But eventually they reach a point where their power seems to be maxed out. It may even begin to decline. This is the point where the shadow self needs to be integrated. The shadow is the opposite polarity. A lightworker’s shadow self includes the voices of greed, selfishness, ambition, competition, lust, and the desire for power. A darkworker’s shadow self includes the voices of love, caring, compassion, and the desire for authentic connection. For either modality the initial impulse will be to repress these parts of the self, if they’re even acknowledged. A lightworker, for instance, may do more inner work to try to transcend thoughts of selfishness, or s/he may try to rationalize or justify his/her actions as a form of service. Similarly, a darkworker may subtly sabotage relationships and keep people at a distance, so they don’t get too close and point out the compassionate shadow self. Integration When the lightworker or darkworker can recognize that they’ve reached this point, then the work of integration begins. For the lightworker it’s time to recognize that service to self and service to others are not in conflict. The more the lightworker serves him/herself, the more s/he can be of service to others. The lightworker must also recognize that s/he deserves to receive the service of others, and that denying this gift now would be a mistake. For the darkworker it’s time to recognize that the best way to get what s/he wants is to serve others. The more the darkworker begins to care about others, the more powerful s/he can become. The darkworker must also recognize that s/he actually feels best when sharing value with others, and that denying the value of giving now would be a mistake. When lightworkers and darkworkers begin to integrate their shadows, they both gain another increase in power. They also increase their alignment with the principle of oneness. New Frequencies of Power Unlike the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, transformation doesn’t usually occur overnight. It takes time and patience. The benefit of polarization is that it helps you learn how to channel power effectively. It also leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of power. Power can be a nebulous concept at times. Asking questions like, “What should I do?” and “What might I create now?” tend to be difficult to answer. Lots of people answer, “I don’t know.” And so all they know how to do is to continue affirming the status quo. And quite often the status quo is not at all what they really want. But when the lightworker asks, “How can I help this person?” or when the darkworker asks, “What would give me pleasure?” there’s more clarity. Such questions are usually easier to answer, especially when you consistently stick with one side or the other for a period of years. The lightworker gets really good at channeling power into service, and the darkworker, into self-centered pursuits. These are limited uses of power, but they’re educational. In the end these training periods can be very worthwhile. When integration begins, the lightworker and darkworker seek to maintain their focus while expanding the breadth of their power. The goal is to keep the intensity high while broadening the spectrum. Lightworkers and darkworkers each know how to channel certain frequencies of power. And one of the best ways for them to integrate other frequencies is to learn from each other. Essentially they become each other’s teachers. They may butt heads at times, but among powerful people there tends to be a certain degree of mutual respect as they learn more about the nature of power from each other. Through their interactions the hero and the villain both become stronger, as each becomes more like the other. More broadly, powerful people tend to attract each other, regardless of their primary polarity. Interacting with people who have mastered frequencies of power that are very different from the ones you’ve mastered brings about a whole new set of challenges. Can you master a broader spectrum of power frequencies without losing focus? Can the empire-building darkworker transform into a wealthy philanthropist? Can the service-driven lightworker become an effective marketer? This transformation can be a disruptive time, but it’s also an exciting time because more frequencies are available for exploration. The path may include many starts and stops. But in the end, the lightworker and the darkworker have the potential to gain each other’s powers, which unlocks more creative energy for all.
    1949 Posted by UniqueThis
  • In previous articles about lightworking and darkworking, I mentioned that both paths ultimately lead to the same place. In this article I’ll explain what that convergence looks like. Lightworking and darkworking are potent power-building methods. By focusing intently on a unidirectional flow of energy, a strong current can be created, and inner resistance can be overcome. On a practical level, this means that through lightworking or darkworking, you can become a lot stronger than you were in a pre-polarized state. For a lightworker, this flow takes the form of service. The lightworker focuses on an outward flow of energy through giving, giving, and more giving. For a darkworker, this flow takes the form of selfishness. The darkworker focuses on an inward flow of energy through taking, taking, and more taking. Ultimately these are phases of development, not permanent resting places. Initially, when a non-polarized person focuses on one modality (either lightworking or darkworker), their power can increase dramatically. Power in this case is your ability to create your reality. Pre-polarized people are generally weak. They have very little power, so they largely play the role of pawns. They don’t know how to use their power well enough, so their creative expression is low. Pre-polarized people are constantly dissipating their power. They fall into patterns like focusing on what they don’t want, complaining, and giving their power away to others. If they set goals, they usually fail to achieve them. They’re easily distracted and knocked off course. Someone else is always the boss of them. They don’t wield much direct control over their lives. Polarized people, on the other hand, are focused. Because they’re highly congruent, they create a strong unidirectional energy flow. By getting clear about their deepest desires, they’re able to overcome obstacles more easily. Generally speaking, highly polarized people have an easy time functioning in society. They know how to use their power to solve practical problems. Lightworkers and darkworkers may channel their power differently, but they can get things done. You’ll rarely hear polarized people say something like, “I can’t afford that,” as such a statement is an abuse of power. Lightworkers and darkworkers are stronger than that. They know how to channel their power to get what they want instead of inadvertently creating the opposite. Moreover, lightworkers and darkworkers aren’t into wishful thinking. They’re able to get real results. If they desire something, they can get it. Another reason they’ll rarely say something like, “I can’t afford that,” is that they know they’ll get what they want if they continue to use their power intelligently. It’s not just wishful thinking that makes them focus on their desires. It’s experience. The Shadow For a time lightworking and darkworking will generate a strong increase in power. Positive results are generated more quickly. But eventually they reach a point where their power seems to be maxed out. It may even begin to decline. This is the point where the shadow self needs to be integrated. The shadow is the opposite polarity. A lightworker’s shadow self includes the voices of greed, selfishness, ambition, competition, lust, and the desire for power. A darkworker’s shadow self includes the voices of love, caring, compassion, and the desire for authentic connection. For either modality the initial impulse will be to repress these parts of the self, if they’re even acknowledged. A lightworker, for instance, may do more inner work to try to transcend thoughts of selfishness, or s/he may try to rationalize or justify his/her actions as a form of service. Similarly, a darkworker may subtly sabotage relationships and keep people at a distance, so they don’t get too close and point out the compassionate shadow self. Integration When the lightworker or darkworker can recognize that they’ve reached this point, then the work of integration begins. For the lightworker it’s time to recognize that service to self and service to others are not in conflict. The more the lightworker serves him/herself, the more s/he can be of service to others. The lightworker must also recognize that s/he deserves to receive the service of others, and that denying this gift now would be a mistake. For the darkworker it’s time to recognize that the best way to get what s/he wants is to serve others. The more the darkworker begins to care about others, the more powerful s/he can become. The darkworker must also recognize that s/he actually feels best when sharing value with others, and that denying the value of giving now would be a mistake. When lightworkers and darkworkers begin to integrate their shadows, they both gain another increase in power. They also increase their alignment with the principle of oneness. New Frequencies of Power Unlike the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, transformation doesn’t usually occur overnight. It takes time and patience. The benefit of polarization is that it helps you learn how to channel power effectively. It also leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of power. Power can be a nebulous concept at times. Asking questions like, “What should I do?” and “What might I create now?” tend to be difficult to answer. Lots of people answer, “I don’t know.” And so all they know how to do is to continue affirming the status quo. And quite often the status quo is not at all what they really want. But when the lightworker asks, “How can I help this person?” or when the darkworker asks, “What would give me pleasure?” there’s more clarity. Such questions are usually easier to answer, especially when you consistently stick with one side or the other for a period of years. The lightworker gets really good at channeling power into service, and the darkworker, into self-centered pursuits. These are limited uses of power, but they’re educational. In the end these training periods can be very worthwhile. When integration begins, the lightworker and darkworker seek to maintain their focus while expanding the breadth of their power. The goal is to keep the intensity high while broadening the spectrum. Lightworkers and darkworkers each know how to channel certain frequencies of power. And one of the best ways for them to integrate other frequencies is to learn from each other. Essentially they become each other’s teachers. They may butt heads at times, but among powerful people there tends to be a certain degree of mutual respect as they learn more about the nature of power from each other. Through their interactions the hero and the villain both become stronger, as each becomes more like the other. More broadly, powerful people tend to attract each other, regardless of their primary polarity. Interacting with people who have mastered frequencies of power that are very different from the ones you’ve mastered brings about a whole new set of challenges. Can you master a broader spectrum of power frequencies without losing focus? Can the empire-building darkworker transform into a wealthy philanthropist? Can the service-driven lightworker become an effective marketer? This transformation can be a disruptive time, but it’s also an exciting time because more frequencies are available for exploration. The path may include many starts and stops. But in the end, the lightworker and the darkworker have the potential to gain each other’s powers, which unlocks more creative energy for all.
    Jul 27, 2011 1949
  • 27 Jul 2011
    As my 30-day subjective reality experiment concluded last month, I shifted to a different mode of living. I finally got used to seeing the world through a dream lens. It was seriously challenging to hold that perspective at first, but after a few weeks, my subconscious took over, and I no longer had to consciously remind myself that this is a dream. Eventually the dream perspective became my default way of thinking. Freeing Mental RAM Up until that point, holding that perspective was a major cognitive burden. My mind often felt fried at the end of the day. The experiment required a serious conscious effort, a lot of dedication, and perhaps a twist of fanaticism. Holding the subjective perspective required a significant amount of mental RAM. Multiple times per hour, I had to keep refreshing that perspective. Otherwise I’d fall back into an objective mindset by default. This was difficult to be sure. I don’t think I could have succeeded in making this shift if I hadn’t dedicated myself to 30 days of total immersion. While it can be a fun experience to try holding this perspective for an hour or perhaps an afternoon, doing it as continuously as possible for a whole month is a whole different animal. It’s like the difference between having an idea for a new business and actually starting one. The first is easy and fun; the second can be fun too, but it requires a lot more work. One is dabbling; the other is doing. Most of the gains are only accessible on the doing side; dabbling only gives you a glimpse that something cool is there. After the point of subconscious integration, everything became easier. Conscious effort was no longer required. In a way this has been an eerie transition. It almost feels like I’ve shifted dimensions. It’s one thing to condition a new belief about financial abundance or eating healthier, but changing my beliefs about the very nature of reality has really turned my life inside out. This was not an easy transition. In this article I want to document some of the ongoing effects of this experiment, now that I believe I have a clearer understanding of where this is leading long-term. Beliefs Are Buried First, this experiment really drove home how easy it is to take beliefs for granted and not even be aware of how they filter our experiences. Because I made such a big shift in my beliefs in a few weeks’ time, I was able to see the marked contrast between the old beliefs and the new ones. It felt like I went through a major reprogramming of my subconscious. Most beliefs are subconscious. They run on autopilot. We don’t even notice them. Installing a new belief is like putting on a Band Aid. At first you can’t help but notice that you have some foreign object sticking to your skin. But after a while, the sensory input patterns stop making impressions upon your conscious mind. You stop noticing the Band Aid. Essentially it becomes a part of you. Then later you see it again, or maybe someone else notices it, and you say to yourself, “Oh yeah… I’m wearing a Band Aid.” The subconscious mind is very pliable and programmable. That makes it very powerful. But it has a downside as well. Once some programming is installed, it takes more effort to uninstall and reprogram it. A half-assed effort won’t get you very far; you’ll just solidify the old programming by piling more code on top of it. One of the best ways to change your beliefs is through a process of immersion, which is what I used for making this shift. I consciously set the old beliefs aside and pushed myself to adopt the new beliefs 24/7. And I did it publicly, so other people would hold me accountable and help to push me. It isn’t easy but it works. Hacking the Mind As a result of this experiment, my mind seems to be running a different operating system. Instead of running an objective operating system, it’s now running a subjective one. As with any good operating system, it takes some getting used to, but after a while your comfort level increases, and you don’t notice it so much. You run programs on top of it, but you take the underlying OS for granted much of the time. However, the OS is always running, and it dictates which programs you can and can’t run. You may not notice it, but it’s still doing a lot of work in the background. What I didn’t realize before this experiment was that a mental OS has constraints that are similar to a computer’s OS. Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses depending on its architecture. Even if the underlying hardware is the same, switching to a different OS can unlock new capabilities. Some things may be easier with a new OS, if only because you can gain access to new high-level software that’s written for that OS. On my Macbook Pro, I’m running Mac OS X, but I also have Windows 7 installed. There’s some Windows software I really like, such as The Journal, that isn’t available for Mac OS. So I run Windows programs on my Mac using Parallels, which creates a virtual Windows machine that runs along with OS X. Objective Subjectivity When my mind was previously running an objective operating system, it’s strength was running programs that were built upon that architecture. But it wasn’t as good at running subjective programs. In order to run subjective programs on my objective OS, I first had to run a subjective virtual machine. That allowed me to see reality through a subjective lens. Then I could run subjective programs on top of that. This was very mentally burdensome though. It took a lot of mental RAM to load a subjective virtual machine into my conscious mind. And that didn’t leave much room for running subjective programs. For example, suppose I want to try having a conversation with someone as if they’re a dream character, but my underlying subconscious belief is that reality is objective in nature. How can I make this interaction happen? First, I have to load up my subjective virtual machine. In other words, I have to imagine that reality is a dream while suspending my belief that reality is objective. It takes some conscious mental effort to do that. Then I have to imagine that other people are dream characters, and I have to retain that perspective while conversing with them. And finally, I have to pay attention to what I’m experiencing. That’s a lot of mental work! It’s no wonder my brain felt fried at the end of the day. Moreover, with an objective OS and a subjective virtual machine running on top of it, there wasn’t as much mental RAM available for subjective programs and their data. This turned out to be a serious limitation that prevented me from having the fullest experience of subjective reality. Ultimately it required too much mental effort. I needed to get the subjective OS running natively instead of as a virtual machine on top of an objective OS. Installing a Subjective OS My subjective reality experiment was basically a process of installing a subjective OS to replace my objective one. At first I had to run it as a virtual machine. But eventually I was able to get it running natively (i.e. subconsciously). After this point the cognitive burden was greatly diminished. More mental RAM was freed up, as well as more CPU cycles. This meant that I could run more complex subjective programs. In practical terms, I could do more than have subjective conversations with friends or write subjective articles. Now I could see how to run my whole business subjectively and make plans for the long term, based on reality being a persistent yet flexible dream. I had to rewrite a lot of code to add useful software to my subjective OS. I had to figure out how to eat, how to exercise, how to have relationships, and so on. I had good programs for these functions on my objective OS, but they couldn’t work the same way on the subjective side. The porting process required a lot of thought. I’m still going through this process now, but at least I have the basics figured out. I’m able to function just fine, but so much has changed that I’m not living the same way I did before this experiment. It was very much like switching to a new OS on my computer and having to learn all different software. At first, productivity drops because so much is unfamiliar. Now I’m at the point where I have some good basic programs, and I’m able to be moderately productive again. This past week has been very productive for me. I like the OS analogy since it helps me understand and explain what’s happening, but let’s not overplay it and get into dual booting and such. Dual booting may be a nice option for a computer, but I don’t yet see an equivalently easy way to do that with my brain. Then again, maybe that’s what happens when we go to sleep and have a dream.  Synchronistically, my relationship with my iPad (which I bought during my subjective trial) has been tracking the same relative progression. At first I couldn’t do much with it, and I was doubting whether it was an intelligent purchase. It took me a while to figure out how to use it productively. Fast forward a month, and now I’m loving my iPad. I educated myself on how to use it effectively, tested lots of apps to find some good ones, and tweaked the settings to suit me better. Now I’m able to be very productive. Some days I’m using it more than my Macbook. In a dream world, this all makes sense because my outer experience is a projection of my inner experience. Subjective Objectivity During my 30-day experiment, my sense of reality was all over the place. I often felt ungrounded and emotional. Some days were just so strange. But near the end of that trial, I began to reach a new place of stability and consistency, which has continued to this day. I’m really glad for that. I realized that even though this reality may be a dream, this dream world contains its own form of objectivity. There’s a certain degree of persistence that’s predictable and reliable. It’s not completely random and chaotic. From the dream world perspective, the world seems to be fairly stable because my beliefs are stable. If I don’t shift my beliefs around so much (like I did during my trial), then reality settles into semi-predictable patterns. This stability means that I can still effectively apply objective-world skills. I can think and plan ahead. I can predict the likely consequences of my actions (or inactions) with reasonable accuracy. I can set and achieve goals. I can learn and grow. It’s very refreshing to know this. For me this is an exciting place to be. It means I don’t have to completely abandon the objective OS software that was working well for me. With some tweaks here and there, I can port those apps over to the subjective side. It’s not quite the same on the subjective side though. Every app runs a little differently. But I can still run them. A New Sense of Possibility A major benefit of perceiving life subjectively is that I’ve gained an incredible new sense of possibility. I’ve released many self-imposed limitations. I realized that the objective mindset was causing me to hold myself back too much, especially when it came to my career path. From an objective frame, it’s too easy to fall into a pattern of playing it safe. Most of the time you don’t even realize you’re playing it safe because it’s a subconscious pattern. It’s the Band Aid you don’t even realize you’re wearing. Other people can see it more clearly than you can though. I was aware of this pattern and would often push myself (and others) to be more courageous. But now I don’t feel that as much courage is required because the risks are less real. I’m willing to accept any outcome without feeling attached to it. It’s hard to get too attached to elements of a dream world. Change is inevitable. From a subjective frame, I’m asking questions like, “If this really is a dream, what now becomes possible for me that I previously considered impossible?” Story Initially when I asked questions like this, I thought about how cool it would be to do seemingly magical things like I might do in a lucid dream at night. Wouldn’t it be amazing to fly, perform telekinesis, etc? But then I began to seriously ponder the implications of that. If I could actually create those things, would I really want to? At first I noticed some fear coming up about what that would do to my sense of reality. But once I had the subjective OS installed, I didn’t feel much fear about it. Instead I began thinking in terms of story. A 15-minute lucid dream is a cool experience. Without much time to develop an interesting story, you go for spectacle instead. Fly. Do magic. Have sex. Fight. The experience is fleeting, like riding a roller coaster. If you only have 15 minutes to live, it’s perfectly fine to invest it in an intense emotional experience. Do whatever makes you scream in delight. Enjoy yourself! But our waking dream world is a different beast altogether. It lasts much longer than 15 minutes. It’s more enduring and persistent. It doesn’t come undone so quickly. We can still choose to center our lives around spectacle. We can overload ourselves with entertainment, thrill seeking, and drama. But after a while, those kinds of experiences become boring. They’re not very fulfilling in the long run. Yawn! Fortunately we aren’t limited to spectacle. We can move beyond spectacle into the realm of story. Story is much cooler than spectacle. With my objective OS running, I didn’t think much about the story of my life. I thought about goals, projects, and tasks. I thought about life purpose. I even thought about vision. But I didn’t really think of my life in terms of an unfolding story with a plot, characters, settings, and so on. A persistent subjective world is an ideal place for rich and vivid stories to be told. Such stories don’t have to be told in disjointed episodes like you might see on most fictional TV shows. We can create much grander and more expansive tales. Isn’t it interesting that TV itself has been gradually evolving to give rise to more intricate stories that play out over a period of years, such as the show Lost? Perhaps the popularity of these shows is tracking our own shift in awareness.  Your life is a story. My life is a story. Humanity’s existence is a story. What’s the story of your life? Is it a string of random episodes? Does it rely too much on spectacle as opposed to good storytelling technique? Is it boring? Is it compelling? Is it shallow? Is it deep? What will be the next act in your story? The next scene? What would you like to create? What would advance the plot, the character development, the message? Instead of thinking about my life purpose, lately I’ve been thinking about my life story and how it’s unfolding. What story am I creating? What role is my avatar playing? This shifted me away from thinking about creating a magical dream world because I realized that would rely too much on spectacle. With too much power concentrated at the avatar level, we wouldn’t have the right level of balance between the avatar and the environment. My character wouldn’t face worthy challenges. Life would become too easy, and the resulting story would be dull. It’s like playing a video game in God mode. It can be fun for 15 minutes, but in the absence of a worthy challenge, boredom ensues. My life story has always been more compelling when I face big challenges. For example, my story became a lot more interesting (at least to me) when I went through a period of shoplifting addiction, and I risked being caught and arrested multiple times per week. My character had to grow from that experience in order for the story to progress. A story where I sat in prison for a few years wouldn’t have been interesting for me. Another fun challenge was when I pushed myself to go through college in three semesters. At the time I took on that goal, I didn’t know how I’d pull it off. I did it because I wanted to push myself. Creating a story where I graduated college in four years would have bored me to tears, especially if I had to live it. A 3-semester graduation was a cool plot twist. Getting a regular job would have seemed a very boring story to me. Becoming an entrepreneur has been much more exciting to experience, to watch, and to remember. Good constraints give rise to worthy challenges, and worthy challenges give rise to good story. This realization gives me a sense of deep gratitude for all the apparent constraints in this seemingly physical universe. I had to accept that I really want those constraints, not because I’m afraid to face the alternative, but because the alternative would inevitably bore me to tears if I were to experience it for a sufficient length of time. In order to create a cool story, one that’s exciting and fulfilling and meaningful, I have to be subjected to constraints. So even though this may be a dream world, I want to continue to believe that it has structure and limitation. In other words, to a certain extent, life has to be hard, or it isn’t worth living. The things that seem most nasty to us contain the seeds of our greatest joys. Every problem is a storytelling vehicle. Without problems there can be no story elements like triumph or heroism. This is, I believe, what Kahlil Gibran meant when he wrote, “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.” Subjective Living Lately I’ve been asking myself, “Where do I want to take my life story from here? What kind of impact do I wish to have on the stories of others… or on the story of humanity itself?” These have been supremely motivating questions to ask. I’ve been coming up with all kinds of cool answers. During the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a major life review, spending many hours journaling, thinking, and planning. First I tossed out all my old goals and started from scratch with a blank slate. Then I thought each part of my life from this new place of a subjective world that includes purposeful constraints. It took me days just to figure out how to interpret my career, finances, relationships, health, and so on from this new perspective of subjective objectivity. And the further I went with it, the more excited I became. All the pieces were coming together holistically, and some elegant next steps to take were revealed. I’m looking at my life from the perspective that it’s an unfolding story in a dream world. The dream world has various constraints, and I need those constraints to exist because working within them (and sometimes overcoming them) serves as a vehicle for interesting and meaningful storytelling and character development. The alternative is long-term boredom. I can be passive and let the story unfold haphazardly and chaotically. But it’s more fun and fulfilling to actively participate as the primary writer. It’s like being a game designer and a gamer at the same time. What game would I like to write that I’d most enjoy playing? What story would I most like to experience? Dropping Boring Story Elements As a side effect of these realizations, I’ve also been dropping elements from my life that don’t contribute much to the unfolding story element. For example, this week I canceled my cable TV and DVR service. Aside from watching Star Trek reruns, I didn’t use it much anyway. The cable TV/DVR was part of a bundle I got with my cable modem service, auto-billed to my checking account. I realized that having my character watch TV was a boring story element, and paying for a service I barely used was lame too. I checked my bill and saw that with all the taxes and fees, I was paying $93 per month ($1115 per year) for basic cable for one TV and with no premium channels like HBO. Easy decision to cancel. There are more interesting uses for dream world time and money. Even though I love many of the stories within Star Trek, I realized that (1) I already know those stories by memory, (2) they’re too short and simplistic to be interesting to me anymore, and (3) continually exposing myself to those fictional stories causes me to pay less attention to the story of my own life and the world at large. What I find most fascinating is that by thinking of my life as a story, it’s pushing me to do a better job of aligning myself with all the best principles and practices I’ve written about previously. Now I see all of that as character development. Having a kick-ass character doesn’t necessarily make for an interesting story. It’s the character’s growth over time that helps create a cool story arc. Writing a Kick-Ass Story I acknowledge that my life has become too easy. I know that many people are still struggling with challenges like figuring out what kind of work they’d enjoy, moving from scarcity to abundance, and cultivating loving relationships. But for me this stuff has become dirt simple. I don’t have to think about it because I’ve already integrated the required mindsets and behaviors into my subconscious. I’ve invested years of effort writing millions of words to help people make similar gains. Information-wise, I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say about most of the topics I’ve written about. I’m sure I could keep coming up with new ideas for years to come. I still love writing, and I expect it will always be a part of my life, but if I make it my primary career outlet for another six years, the story of my life will become dull and boring, and it won’t fulfill me anymore. I need to face more ambitious challenges to craft a better story from this point on, particularly in the area of my career. It’s time to begin a new act. I’ve already worked out a plan for what I want to do next. I have a lot to wrap up this year, so I probably won’t be too far along with it till 2011, but it’s so inspiring to me that I’ve already been working hard on it. It’s the most kick-ass vision I’ve ever come up with. So it’s safe to say that I’m at the beginning of another major career transition right now. This is like nothing I’ve ever done before, and like nothing I’ve planned before either. It’s not a traditional career that can be named or labeled in conventional terms. It’s something that’s uniquely me. I’m still not sure how I’ll pull it off. I just know that I must do it. No matter what happens, it will make for an interesting story.  I’m not going to share the details in advance for a few reasons. First, it would be premature. I still have many details to work out, so the core concept is still evolving. I need to spend more time working through this on my own. Second, I don’t want to get a bunch of feedback about the new direction. If I were to publicly post what my plan is, I know from experience that my inboxes will fill up, and most of the feedback won’t be useful or actionable because it will come from people who’ve never met me and who are projecting their issues onto me. I’ve been through enough rounds of that already, so I hope you can understand why I’m not going to go there this time. I don’t expect that people will dislike the idea — quite the contrary. They’re more likely to find it too ambitious. I’d expect that the public reactions would be similar to what happened when I told people I was going to graduate college in three semesters. Nothing I’d done up to that point suggested that it was an attainable goal for me. I just knew I had to do it. People didn’t believe I could do it, so they tried to talk me out of it, which I found annoying because I was committed. Even years after I did it, people I’d never met would publicly call me a liar for writing about it. One person even called my old university and got some administrator to verify that I did it. I was surprised the school did that since I figured student academic records were confidential, but at least the caller was able to validate my story. I told that story because I wanted to share how I did it, and I thought it would inspire people, and it certainly did that in many cases. But to talk about such things in advance, at least for me, seems to do more harm than good. And thirdly, it makes for a better story if I don’t serve up any spoilers. It will be more fun to simply do it and watch people try to make sense of it afterwards. Over the next year, many people will probably figure it out because there will be a shift in my actions that will invariably drop some clues, but for the immediate future, it will probably seem like little has changed for the rest of 2010 at least. I’m not going to suddenly stop blogging this month or anything like that. I am pretty sure, however, that the upcoming Conscious Growth Workshop will be the last one I deliver, so if you want to attend one ever, this October CGW will probably be your final opportunity. Sorry to those who were hoping for more, but I’m not planning to do CGWs in other cities. On the bright side, I’m going to make sure this is our best CGW ever, so we go out on a high note. That said, I’m a bit more concerned now that we could actually sell out, so if you’ve already made your hotel reservations and haven’t booked your ticket yet, I caution you not to wait till the last minute to register for it. CGW starts in less than 7 weeks. I can at least say that unlike my 2004 transition from game development to personal development, this new transition is about building upon what I’ve already done. It’s definitely more of a forward step than a sidestep, and it has to do with expanding my contribution. I’ve never blogged about this before, so if you look to the blog for clues, I’m afraid you’ll come up empty handed. In a way it feels like I’ve come full circle. You could say that my current mindset is more grounded, practical, and objective than ever. But it’s running on a subjective OS, and that unlocks new possibilities. I see that reality is a simulation, I see that it has a variety of constraints, and I see that those constraints are purposeful. I don’t feel limited by the constraints. I feel inspired by them. The constraints make it possible to create a kick-ass story. I’m frakkin’ starving now, so I’m gonna go feed this avatar! What’s your kick-ass story?
    1164 Posted by UniqueThis
  • As my 30-day subjective reality experiment concluded last month, I shifted to a different mode of living. I finally got used to seeing the world through a dream lens. It was seriously challenging to hold that perspective at first, but after a few weeks, my subconscious took over, and I no longer had to consciously remind myself that this is a dream. Eventually the dream perspective became my default way of thinking. Freeing Mental RAM Up until that point, holding that perspective was a major cognitive burden. My mind often felt fried at the end of the day. The experiment required a serious conscious effort, a lot of dedication, and perhaps a twist of fanaticism. Holding the subjective perspective required a significant amount of mental RAM. Multiple times per hour, I had to keep refreshing that perspective. Otherwise I’d fall back into an objective mindset by default. This was difficult to be sure. I don’t think I could have succeeded in making this shift if I hadn’t dedicated myself to 30 days of total immersion. While it can be a fun experience to try holding this perspective for an hour or perhaps an afternoon, doing it as continuously as possible for a whole month is a whole different animal. It’s like the difference between having an idea for a new business and actually starting one. The first is easy and fun; the second can be fun too, but it requires a lot more work. One is dabbling; the other is doing. Most of the gains are only accessible on the doing side; dabbling only gives you a glimpse that something cool is there. After the point of subconscious integration, everything became easier. Conscious effort was no longer required. In a way this has been an eerie transition. It almost feels like I’ve shifted dimensions. It’s one thing to condition a new belief about financial abundance or eating healthier, but changing my beliefs about the very nature of reality has really turned my life inside out. This was not an easy transition. In this article I want to document some of the ongoing effects of this experiment, now that I believe I have a clearer understanding of where this is leading long-term. Beliefs Are Buried First, this experiment really drove home how easy it is to take beliefs for granted and not even be aware of how they filter our experiences. Because I made such a big shift in my beliefs in a few weeks’ time, I was able to see the marked contrast between the old beliefs and the new ones. It felt like I went through a major reprogramming of my subconscious. Most beliefs are subconscious. They run on autopilot. We don’t even notice them. Installing a new belief is like putting on a Band Aid. At first you can’t help but notice that you have some foreign object sticking to your skin. But after a while, the sensory input patterns stop making impressions upon your conscious mind. You stop noticing the Band Aid. Essentially it becomes a part of you. Then later you see it again, or maybe someone else notices it, and you say to yourself, “Oh yeah… I’m wearing a Band Aid.” The subconscious mind is very pliable and programmable. That makes it very powerful. But it has a downside as well. Once some programming is installed, it takes more effort to uninstall and reprogram it. A half-assed effort won’t get you very far; you’ll just solidify the old programming by piling more code on top of it. One of the best ways to change your beliefs is through a process of immersion, which is what I used for making this shift. I consciously set the old beliefs aside and pushed myself to adopt the new beliefs 24/7. And I did it publicly, so other people would hold me accountable and help to push me. It isn’t easy but it works. Hacking the Mind As a result of this experiment, my mind seems to be running a different operating system. Instead of running an objective operating system, it’s now running a subjective one. As with any good operating system, it takes some getting used to, but after a while your comfort level increases, and you don’t notice it so much. You run programs on top of it, but you take the underlying OS for granted much of the time. However, the OS is always running, and it dictates which programs you can and can’t run. You may not notice it, but it’s still doing a lot of work in the background. What I didn’t realize before this experiment was that a mental OS has constraints that are similar to a computer’s OS. Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses depending on its architecture. Even if the underlying hardware is the same, switching to a different OS can unlock new capabilities. Some things may be easier with a new OS, if only because you can gain access to new high-level software that’s written for that OS. On my Macbook Pro, I’m running Mac OS X, but I also have Windows 7 installed. There’s some Windows software I really like, such as The Journal, that isn’t available for Mac OS. So I run Windows programs on my Mac using Parallels, which creates a virtual Windows machine that runs along with OS X. Objective Subjectivity When my mind was previously running an objective operating system, it’s strength was running programs that were built upon that architecture. But it wasn’t as good at running subjective programs. In order to run subjective programs on my objective OS, I first had to run a subjective virtual machine. That allowed me to see reality through a subjective lens. Then I could run subjective programs on top of that. This was very mentally burdensome though. It took a lot of mental RAM to load a subjective virtual machine into my conscious mind. And that didn’t leave much room for running subjective programs. For example, suppose I want to try having a conversation with someone as if they’re a dream character, but my underlying subconscious belief is that reality is objective in nature. How can I make this interaction happen? First, I have to load up my subjective virtual machine. In other words, I have to imagine that reality is a dream while suspending my belief that reality is objective. It takes some conscious mental effort to do that. Then I have to imagine that other people are dream characters, and I have to retain that perspective while conversing with them. And finally, I have to pay attention to what I’m experiencing. That’s a lot of mental work! It’s no wonder my brain felt fried at the end of the day. Moreover, with an objective OS and a subjective virtual machine running on top of it, there wasn’t as much mental RAM available for subjective programs and their data. This turned out to be a serious limitation that prevented me from having the fullest experience of subjective reality. Ultimately it required too much mental effort. I needed to get the subjective OS running natively instead of as a virtual machine on top of an objective OS. Installing a Subjective OS My subjective reality experiment was basically a process of installing a subjective OS to replace my objective one. At first I had to run it as a virtual machine. But eventually I was able to get it running natively (i.e. subconsciously). After this point the cognitive burden was greatly diminished. More mental RAM was freed up, as well as more CPU cycles. This meant that I could run more complex subjective programs. In practical terms, I could do more than have subjective conversations with friends or write subjective articles. Now I could see how to run my whole business subjectively and make plans for the long term, based on reality being a persistent yet flexible dream. I had to rewrite a lot of code to add useful software to my subjective OS. I had to figure out how to eat, how to exercise, how to have relationships, and so on. I had good programs for these functions on my objective OS, but they couldn’t work the same way on the subjective side. The porting process required a lot of thought. I’m still going through this process now, but at least I have the basics figured out. I’m able to function just fine, but so much has changed that I’m not living the same way I did before this experiment. It was very much like switching to a new OS on my computer and having to learn all different software. At first, productivity drops because so much is unfamiliar. Now I’m at the point where I have some good basic programs, and I’m able to be moderately productive again. This past week has been very productive for me. I like the OS analogy since it helps me understand and explain what’s happening, but let’s not overplay it and get into dual booting and such. Dual booting may be a nice option for a computer, but I don’t yet see an equivalently easy way to do that with my brain. Then again, maybe that’s what happens when we go to sleep and have a dream.  Synchronistically, my relationship with my iPad (which I bought during my subjective trial) has been tracking the same relative progression. At first I couldn’t do much with it, and I was doubting whether it was an intelligent purchase. It took me a while to figure out how to use it productively. Fast forward a month, and now I’m loving my iPad. I educated myself on how to use it effectively, tested lots of apps to find some good ones, and tweaked the settings to suit me better. Now I’m able to be very productive. Some days I’m using it more than my Macbook. In a dream world, this all makes sense because my outer experience is a projection of my inner experience. Subjective Objectivity During my 30-day experiment, my sense of reality was all over the place. I often felt ungrounded and emotional. Some days were just so strange. But near the end of that trial, I began to reach a new place of stability and consistency, which has continued to this day. I’m really glad for that. I realized that even though this reality may be a dream, this dream world contains its own form of objectivity. There’s a certain degree of persistence that’s predictable and reliable. It’s not completely random and chaotic. From the dream world perspective, the world seems to be fairly stable because my beliefs are stable. If I don’t shift my beliefs around so much (like I did during my trial), then reality settles into semi-predictable patterns. This stability means that I can still effectively apply objective-world skills. I can think and plan ahead. I can predict the likely consequences of my actions (or inactions) with reasonable accuracy. I can set and achieve goals. I can learn and grow. It’s very refreshing to know this. For me this is an exciting place to be. It means I don’t have to completely abandon the objective OS software that was working well for me. With some tweaks here and there, I can port those apps over to the subjective side. It’s not quite the same on the subjective side though. Every app runs a little differently. But I can still run them. A New Sense of Possibility A major benefit of perceiving life subjectively is that I’ve gained an incredible new sense of possibility. I’ve released many self-imposed limitations. I realized that the objective mindset was causing me to hold myself back too much, especially when it came to my career path. From an objective frame, it’s too easy to fall into a pattern of playing it safe. Most of the time you don’t even realize you’re playing it safe because it’s a subconscious pattern. It’s the Band Aid you don’t even realize you’re wearing. Other people can see it more clearly than you can though. I was aware of this pattern and would often push myself (and others) to be more courageous. But now I don’t feel that as much courage is required because the risks are less real. I’m willing to accept any outcome without feeling attached to it. It’s hard to get too attached to elements of a dream world. Change is inevitable. From a subjective frame, I’m asking questions like, “If this really is a dream, what now becomes possible for me that I previously considered impossible?” Story Initially when I asked questions like this, I thought about how cool it would be to do seemingly magical things like I might do in a lucid dream at night. Wouldn’t it be amazing to fly, perform telekinesis, etc? But then I began to seriously ponder the implications of that. If I could actually create those things, would I really want to? At first I noticed some fear coming up about what that would do to my sense of reality. But once I had the subjective OS installed, I didn’t feel much fear about it. Instead I began thinking in terms of story. A 15-minute lucid dream is a cool experience. Without much time to develop an interesting story, you go for spectacle instead. Fly. Do magic. Have sex. Fight. The experience is fleeting, like riding a roller coaster. If you only have 15 minutes to live, it’s perfectly fine to invest it in an intense emotional experience. Do whatever makes you scream in delight. Enjoy yourself! But our waking dream world is a different beast altogether. It lasts much longer than 15 minutes. It’s more enduring and persistent. It doesn’t come undone so quickly. We can still choose to center our lives around spectacle. We can overload ourselves with entertainment, thrill seeking, and drama. But after a while, those kinds of experiences become boring. They’re not very fulfilling in the long run. Yawn! Fortunately we aren’t limited to spectacle. We can move beyond spectacle into the realm of story. Story is much cooler than spectacle. With my objective OS running, I didn’t think much about the story of my life. I thought about goals, projects, and tasks. I thought about life purpose. I even thought about vision. But I didn’t really think of my life in terms of an unfolding story with a plot, characters, settings, and so on. A persistent subjective world is an ideal place for rich and vivid stories to be told. Such stories don’t have to be told in disjointed episodes like you might see on most fictional TV shows. We can create much grander and more expansive tales. Isn’t it interesting that TV itself has been gradually evolving to give rise to more intricate stories that play out over a period of years, such as the show Lost? Perhaps the popularity of these shows is tracking our own shift in awareness.  Your life is a story. My life is a story. Humanity’s existence is a story. What’s the story of your life? Is it a string of random episodes? Does it rely too much on spectacle as opposed to good storytelling technique? Is it boring? Is it compelling? Is it shallow? Is it deep? What will be the next act in your story? The next scene? What would you like to create? What would advance the plot, the character development, the message? Instead of thinking about my life purpose, lately I’ve been thinking about my life story and how it’s unfolding. What story am I creating? What role is my avatar playing? This shifted me away from thinking about creating a magical dream world because I realized that would rely too much on spectacle. With too much power concentrated at the avatar level, we wouldn’t have the right level of balance between the avatar and the environment. My character wouldn’t face worthy challenges. Life would become too easy, and the resulting story would be dull. It’s like playing a video game in God mode. It can be fun for 15 minutes, but in the absence of a worthy challenge, boredom ensues. My life story has always been more compelling when I face big challenges. For example, my story became a lot more interesting (at least to me) when I went through a period of shoplifting addiction, and I risked being caught and arrested multiple times per week. My character had to grow from that experience in order for the story to progress. A story where I sat in prison for a few years wouldn’t have been interesting for me. Another fun challenge was when I pushed myself to go through college in three semesters. At the time I took on that goal, I didn’t know how I’d pull it off. I did it because I wanted to push myself. Creating a story where I graduated college in four years would have bored me to tears, especially if I had to live it. A 3-semester graduation was a cool plot twist. Getting a regular job would have seemed a very boring story to me. Becoming an entrepreneur has been much more exciting to experience, to watch, and to remember. Good constraints give rise to worthy challenges, and worthy challenges give rise to good story. This realization gives me a sense of deep gratitude for all the apparent constraints in this seemingly physical universe. I had to accept that I really want those constraints, not because I’m afraid to face the alternative, but because the alternative would inevitably bore me to tears if I were to experience it for a sufficient length of time. In order to create a cool story, one that’s exciting and fulfilling and meaningful, I have to be subjected to constraints. So even though this may be a dream world, I want to continue to believe that it has structure and limitation. In other words, to a certain extent, life has to be hard, or it isn’t worth living. The things that seem most nasty to us contain the seeds of our greatest joys. Every problem is a storytelling vehicle. Without problems there can be no story elements like triumph or heroism. This is, I believe, what Kahlil Gibran meant when he wrote, “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.” Subjective Living Lately I’ve been asking myself, “Where do I want to take my life story from here? What kind of impact do I wish to have on the stories of others… or on the story of humanity itself?” These have been supremely motivating questions to ask. I’ve been coming up with all kinds of cool answers. During the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a major life review, spending many hours journaling, thinking, and planning. First I tossed out all my old goals and started from scratch with a blank slate. Then I thought each part of my life from this new place of a subjective world that includes purposeful constraints. It took me days just to figure out how to interpret my career, finances, relationships, health, and so on from this new perspective of subjective objectivity. And the further I went with it, the more excited I became. All the pieces were coming together holistically, and some elegant next steps to take were revealed. I’m looking at my life from the perspective that it’s an unfolding story in a dream world. The dream world has various constraints, and I need those constraints to exist because working within them (and sometimes overcoming them) serves as a vehicle for interesting and meaningful storytelling and character development. The alternative is long-term boredom. I can be passive and let the story unfold haphazardly and chaotically. But it’s more fun and fulfilling to actively participate as the primary writer. It’s like being a game designer and a gamer at the same time. What game would I like to write that I’d most enjoy playing? What story would I most like to experience? Dropping Boring Story Elements As a side effect of these realizations, I’ve also been dropping elements from my life that don’t contribute much to the unfolding story element. For example, this week I canceled my cable TV and DVR service. Aside from watching Star Trek reruns, I didn’t use it much anyway. The cable TV/DVR was part of a bundle I got with my cable modem service, auto-billed to my checking account. I realized that having my character watch TV was a boring story element, and paying for a service I barely used was lame too. I checked my bill and saw that with all the taxes and fees, I was paying $93 per month ($1115 per year) for basic cable for one TV and with no premium channels like HBO. Easy decision to cancel. There are more interesting uses for dream world time and money. Even though I love many of the stories within Star Trek, I realized that (1) I already know those stories by memory, (2) they’re too short and simplistic to be interesting to me anymore, and (3) continually exposing myself to those fictional stories causes me to pay less attention to the story of my own life and the world at large. What I find most fascinating is that by thinking of my life as a story, it’s pushing me to do a better job of aligning myself with all the best principles and practices I’ve written about previously. Now I see all of that as character development. Having a kick-ass character doesn’t necessarily make for an interesting story. It’s the character’s growth over time that helps create a cool story arc. Writing a Kick-Ass Story I acknowledge that my life has become too easy. I know that many people are still struggling with challenges like figuring out what kind of work they’d enjoy, moving from scarcity to abundance, and cultivating loving relationships. But for me this stuff has become dirt simple. I don’t have to think about it because I’ve already integrated the required mindsets and behaviors into my subconscious. I’ve invested years of effort writing millions of words to help people make similar gains. Information-wise, I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say about most of the topics I’ve written about. I’m sure I could keep coming up with new ideas for years to come. I still love writing, and I expect it will always be a part of my life, but if I make it my primary career outlet for another six years, the story of my life will become dull and boring, and it won’t fulfill me anymore. I need to face more ambitious challenges to craft a better story from this point on, particularly in the area of my career. It’s time to begin a new act. I’ve already worked out a plan for what I want to do next. I have a lot to wrap up this year, so I probably won’t be too far along with it till 2011, but it’s so inspiring to me that I’ve already been working hard on it. It’s the most kick-ass vision I’ve ever come up with. So it’s safe to say that I’m at the beginning of another major career transition right now. This is like nothing I’ve ever done before, and like nothing I’ve planned before either. It’s not a traditional career that can be named or labeled in conventional terms. It’s something that’s uniquely me. I’m still not sure how I’ll pull it off. I just know that I must do it. No matter what happens, it will make for an interesting story.  I’m not going to share the details in advance for a few reasons. First, it would be premature. I still have many details to work out, so the core concept is still evolving. I need to spend more time working through this on my own. Second, I don’t want to get a bunch of feedback about the new direction. If I were to publicly post what my plan is, I know from experience that my inboxes will fill up, and most of the feedback won’t be useful or actionable because it will come from people who’ve never met me and who are projecting their issues onto me. I’ve been through enough rounds of that already, so I hope you can understand why I’m not going to go there this time. I don’t expect that people will dislike the idea — quite the contrary. They’re more likely to find it too ambitious. I’d expect that the public reactions would be similar to what happened when I told people I was going to graduate college in three semesters. Nothing I’d done up to that point suggested that it was an attainable goal for me. I just knew I had to do it. People didn’t believe I could do it, so they tried to talk me out of it, which I found annoying because I was committed. Even years after I did it, people I’d never met would publicly call me a liar for writing about it. One person even called my old university and got some administrator to verify that I did it. I was surprised the school did that since I figured student academic records were confidential, but at least the caller was able to validate my story. I told that story because I wanted to share how I did it, and I thought it would inspire people, and it certainly did that in many cases. But to talk about such things in advance, at least for me, seems to do more harm than good. And thirdly, it makes for a better story if I don’t serve up any spoilers. It will be more fun to simply do it and watch people try to make sense of it afterwards. Over the next year, many people will probably figure it out because there will be a shift in my actions that will invariably drop some clues, but for the immediate future, it will probably seem like little has changed for the rest of 2010 at least. I’m not going to suddenly stop blogging this month or anything like that. I am pretty sure, however, that the upcoming Conscious Growth Workshop will be the last one I deliver, so if you want to attend one ever, this October CGW will probably be your final opportunity. Sorry to those who were hoping for more, but I’m not planning to do CGWs in other cities. On the bright side, I’m going to make sure this is our best CGW ever, so we go out on a high note. That said, I’m a bit more concerned now that we could actually sell out, so if you’ve already made your hotel reservations and haven’t booked your ticket yet, I caution you not to wait till the last minute to register for it. CGW starts in less than 7 weeks. I can at least say that unlike my 2004 transition from game development to personal development, this new transition is about building upon what I’ve already done. It’s definitely more of a forward step than a sidestep, and it has to do with expanding my contribution. I’ve never blogged about this before, so if you look to the blog for clues, I’m afraid you’ll come up empty handed. In a way it feels like I’ve come full circle. You could say that my current mindset is more grounded, practical, and objective than ever. But it’s running on a subjective OS, and that unlocks new possibilities. I see that reality is a simulation, I see that it has a variety of constraints, and I see that those constraints are purposeful. I don’t feel limited by the constraints. I feel inspired by them. The constraints make it possible to create a kick-ass story. I’m frakkin’ starving now, so I’m gonna go feed this avatar! What’s your kick-ass story?
    Jul 27, 2011 1164
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Life offers an abundance of concerns to which you can give your attention. A significant part of living consciously includes deciding what is deserving of your attention and to what extent as well as deciding what isn’t deserving of your attention. Attention Worthiness How do you decide what’s worthy of your attention and what isn’t? Let’s consider some potential concerns. On a scale of 1-3, make a quick rating of how attention-worthy each concern is for you (see list below). 1 = unworthy of your attention2 = somewhat worthy of your attention3 = very worthy of your attention Here’s the list. These are in no particular order, and it’s not a complete list. It’s just a list to get you thinking. “It depends” is a perfectly reasonable answer if you feel your rating would depend on the situation or circumstances. If that’s your answer, see if you can gain clarity about how the situation would affect your answer. your favorite TV show(s) astrophysics government national/global news local news your neighborhood your home your job your income your best friend your boss your parents your family the economy Facebook productivity your nighttime dreams your goals literature poetry movies porn gossip about people you know email Twitter the latest software income taxes your net worth your weight your physical appearance your wardrobe your primary relationship partner meditation physical exercise reading non-fiction reading fiction music art travel fine dining cooking smoking doing drugs pharmaceuticals conspiracy theories healthy eating forming positive habits overcoming addictions making money protecting the environment cleaning being organized personal hygiene dating going to bars or night clubs theater dancing sex marriage having kids parenting law mathematics medicine biology science chemistry physics manufacturing mining stocks real estate investing farming coffee geography learning other languages writing Internet marketing philosophy metaphysics video games gambling technology computer programming entertainment education national debt the military personal growth psychic development your emotions being in nature developing new skills science fiction your next promotion public speaking attending conferences You can print out this list and jot down a numerical rating for each item, or you can simply say each rating aloud as you read it online. Feel free to add your own items too — anything you’d like to include is fair game. Take your time as you do this. Don’t necessarily go with your initial impulse rating for each item. Pause for a moment and think. How do you know if an item is worthy of your attention or not? What makes one item worthy and another unworthy? Push yourself to come up with a reason to justify each rating. This is a learning exercise to help you discover what matters most to you and why. Precious Attention Notice that if you want to, you can choose to give your attention to anything you desire. If you want to focus on your income, you can do that. If you want to give some attention to the environment, a fiction book, or your girlfriend, you can do those things too. Notice that in the absence of such choices, your attention will be pulled towards something by default. If you don’t make a conscious choice here, someone else will decide for you. It may be your boss, a family member, an advertiser, a collective social influence, or someone or something else, but it won’t be something of your deliberate choosing. When you don’t make these choices yourself, you fall back into unconscious living, and generally speaking, your results will suffer for it. Such unconscious results are usually quite poor compared to the results you can get from living consciously. And lastly, notice that attention is a very limited resource. You don’t have an infinite attention capacity. You can only give your attention to one item — or at most, a few items — at a time. Attention should be viewed as a precious resource, something you invest carefully and thoughtfully. You don’t have much of it to spread around, so don’t let it go to waste. Where Is Your Attention Going? Now that you’ve given some thought to what’s worthy of your attention, it’s a good idea to make a list of what’s actually capturing your attention. I suggest that you set aside a full day or two for attention capture. You can do this very easily. Get a blank piece of paper, and each time something new catches your attention that isn’t already written down, add it to your paper. Don’t worry about tracking how much time you attend to each item. Just make a complete list that reflects the variety of thoughts and activities that captured your attention throughout the day. At the end of the day, your list may look something like this: feeling I should get out of bed earlier wanting to lose weight wanting to eat healthier figuring out what to eat web surfing email working on Project A worrying about money thinking about the weekend talking with my partner about something trivial feeling stressed driving to work, thinking about bills attending a meeting, mostly zoning out reading work-related items watching TV … etc. When you feel you have a pretty good representation of your attention-grabbing concerns, whether it takes you a few hours or a few days to complete the list, go ahead and give each item on your list a 1-3 rating like you did earlier. Of all the items that captured some of your attention, which ones were truly worthy of it? What do you notice about this? Are you giving your attention to items that are worthy of you? Or is your attention being drained away by trivialities? Which items weren’t on your list that should have been? Determining Attention Worthiness How do you know if an item is worthy or your attention or not? How can you separate the important from the irrelevant? Here are some key criteria to consider: Consequences What are the consequences of giving an item your attention vs. withholding your attention? If there’s little difference either way or if the overall consequences are unimportant, it’s fair to say that the item isn’t worthy of your attention. When it comes to understanding consequences, you must make your own assessment in this area. Don’t blindly subscribe to someone else’s assessment of the importance of a particular concern. For example, I have never voted in any political election. I have never registered to vote. Certain social pressures may try to get me to believe that voting is my civic duty and that I’d be a bad person not to vote, but I say B.S. to all of that. Ultimately I have to make my own assessment of the importance of this action, and my personal determination is that in the grand scheme of things, my individual vote is irrelevant and statistically meaningless. Calling it a “right” or a “privilege” seems more like marketing than truth to me. So I do not vote… ever. Voting is a waste of time. Not voting doesn’t mean I don’t care about world affairs. Of course I care. However, there are more intelligent options available to create change than the wasted effort of filling out a ballot. Whether I vote or don’t vote, the consequences are negligible either way. As an activity, voting is unworthy of my attention. You’re free to disagree with me of course. If you think voting is a good use of your time, by all means continue the practice. My point is that you cannot blindly accept social programming when it comes to determining what is or isn’t important to you. You have to make that determination for yourself. Attention-worthy tasks show a pattern of having impactful consequences if you focus on them. Giving them your attention makes a very noticeable difference. If, however, you squander your attention on unworthy items, your results will be either negligible or negative. Control In addition to consequences, also consider the degree of control you have over a particular concern. If by giving your attention to a certain item, you have the ability to influence it in a meaningful way, then it’s more attention-worthy than an item that you cannot influence much. For example, through my writing, I’m able to exert a lot of influence over people’s results when it comes to personal growth. This is an area where I have a lot of control. I can decide which topics to write about and how to express key points. Since I’ve been doing this for many years, I can see that my efforts have a positive impact. I can nudge people towards making more conscious choices. Every time I post a new article, it creates many ripples. On the other hand, I don’t seem to have much control over the local politics in Las Vegas. I could give that subject a lot of attention, but I’m not currently in a position to have much impact there. So keeping up with local politics isn’t a good use of my time, relatively speaking. Consequently, I largely ignore local politics, so I can focus on other areas where I can make a more positive difference with less effort. This choice helps me be more efficient. If you give your attention to items you can’t control, you’re essentially wasting your time. It’s more intelligent to focus on what you can control and influence. Then your influence will expand over time, and your power will increase. Opportunity Cost The attention-worthiness of any particular concern is relative to other items you could be choosing instead. Will you watch TV or read a book? Will you go on a date or work on your Internet business? Will you get up early and exercise or sleep in late? Whenever you give your attention to one concern, it means you’re withholding your attention from all other possible concerns. This entails a hidden cost of the potential value of the items you’ve declined to pursue. If you had used your time differently during the past 5 years, you could have an extra million dollars in the bank. Another path might have led you to travel through dozens of different countries. And still another path might have you looking at a very fit and sculpted body in the mirror right now. Are you happy with the path you’re currently following? Do you feel you’ve been giving your attention to thoughts and activities that are truly worthy of you? Are the opportunities that you’ve declined to pursue of lesser value than the ones you did pursue? Have you been turning down the good in order to pursue the best? Or are you feeling disappointed with yourself right now? Attention = Investment Think of your attention as an investment. For each unit of time you invest, you’re generating certain results. Some investments yield positive returns. Others yield zero or negative returns. Don’t expect to be perfect right off the bat. This is a growth process that plays out over many years. To live more consciously, keep withdrawing your attention from trivial concerns, and redirect it towards those areas where you can have a stronger and more positive impact. For example, I spent a lot of time during my 20s creating and publishing video games. Eventually I pulled my attention away from that field and redirected it to personal development. Shifting my attention thusly has allowed me to have a stronger and more positive impact, and I also reap greater rewards from creating and delivering more value to others. Making these kinds of shifts can be a real challenge. Don’t expect the journey to be easy. Many people remain addicted to trivialities all the way to their graves. Often they can’t get past the social conditioning that tells them they should care about things that simply don’t matter. Don’t fall into that trap. Conscious Attention To live consciously, you must be the one to clarify and decide what matters most to you, and then you must discipline yourself to focus your attention on those items by deliberately withdrawing your attention from lesser concerns. Don’t expect life to do this for you. Don’t expect others to help you much. And never, ever whine that you don’t know what to do. It’s your job to figure it out — the task sits squarely on your shoulders. To complain that it’s too burdensome will only make it seem harder. It’s okay to make mistakes as you figure this out. You don’t need to concoct a grand plan in advance, so don’t use the lack of one as an excuse for procrastination. Simply do the best you can in each moment, and you can continue to upgrade your choices as you go along. Keep pushing yourself to drop low-value activities, and replace them with higher value ones. Drop TV and read non-fiction instead. Dump the gossip-addicted friend who does nothing for you intellectually, and replace her with a more intelligent and resourceful friend. Quit the cigarettes, and shift that slice of your attention — and your budget — to becoming a fitness maven. If you still insist on using the “I don’t know what to do” excuse, then drop to the floor and do push-ups until you think of something that’s a better use of your time than doing push-ups. I suspect your brain will come up with a few ideas very shortly. Very often when you reduce the time wasters by dropping low-value relationships and activities from your life, your understanding about what really matters to you will skyrocket. Time wasters will invariably fog your vision. Get rid of them as quickly as you can, and clarity will return. You will not miss the time wasters, even if you feel you’re addicted to them now. Don’t let the difficulty of the task become an excuse for laziness. Keep pushing yourself to upgrade to more attention-worthy activities while dropping trivialities from your life, and you’ll find that your life becomes something quite special — rich in meaning and purpose. The alternative is a life of increasing disappointment and regret.
    1227 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Life offers an abundance of concerns to which you can give your attention. A significant part of living consciously includes deciding what is deserving of your attention and to what extent as well as deciding what isn’t deserving of your attention. Attention Worthiness How do you decide what’s worthy of your attention and what isn’t? Let’s consider some potential concerns. On a scale of 1-3, make a quick rating of how attention-worthy each concern is for you (see list below). 1 = unworthy of your attention2 = somewhat worthy of your attention3 = very worthy of your attention Here’s the list. These are in no particular order, and it’s not a complete list. It’s just a list to get you thinking. “It depends” is a perfectly reasonable answer if you feel your rating would depend on the situation or circumstances. If that’s your answer, see if you can gain clarity about how the situation would affect your answer. your favorite TV show(s) astrophysics government national/global news local news your neighborhood your home your job your income your best friend your boss your parents your family the economy Facebook productivity your nighttime dreams your goals literature poetry movies porn gossip about people you know email Twitter the latest software income taxes your net worth your weight your physical appearance your wardrobe your primary relationship partner meditation physical exercise reading non-fiction reading fiction music art travel fine dining cooking smoking doing drugs pharmaceuticals conspiracy theories healthy eating forming positive habits overcoming addictions making money protecting the environment cleaning being organized personal hygiene dating going to bars or night clubs theater dancing sex marriage having kids parenting law mathematics medicine biology science chemistry physics manufacturing mining stocks real estate investing farming coffee geography learning other languages writing Internet marketing philosophy metaphysics video games gambling technology computer programming entertainment education national debt the military personal growth psychic development your emotions being in nature developing new skills science fiction your next promotion public speaking attending conferences You can print out this list and jot down a numerical rating for each item, or you can simply say each rating aloud as you read it online. Feel free to add your own items too — anything you’d like to include is fair game. Take your time as you do this. Don’t necessarily go with your initial impulse rating for each item. Pause for a moment and think. How do you know if an item is worthy of your attention or not? What makes one item worthy and another unworthy? Push yourself to come up with a reason to justify each rating. This is a learning exercise to help you discover what matters most to you and why. Precious Attention Notice that if you want to, you can choose to give your attention to anything you desire. If you want to focus on your income, you can do that. If you want to give some attention to the environment, a fiction book, or your girlfriend, you can do those things too. Notice that in the absence of such choices, your attention will be pulled towards something by default. If you don’t make a conscious choice here, someone else will decide for you. It may be your boss, a family member, an advertiser, a collective social influence, or someone or something else, but it won’t be something of your deliberate choosing. When you don’t make these choices yourself, you fall back into unconscious living, and generally speaking, your results will suffer for it. Such unconscious results are usually quite poor compared to the results you can get from living consciously. And lastly, notice that attention is a very limited resource. You don’t have an infinite attention capacity. You can only give your attention to one item — or at most, a few items — at a time. Attention should be viewed as a precious resource, something you invest carefully and thoughtfully. You don’t have much of it to spread around, so don’t let it go to waste. Where Is Your Attention Going? Now that you’ve given some thought to what’s worthy of your attention, it’s a good idea to make a list of what’s actually capturing your attention. I suggest that you set aside a full day or two for attention capture. You can do this very easily. Get a blank piece of paper, and each time something new catches your attention that isn’t already written down, add it to your paper. Don’t worry about tracking how much time you attend to each item. Just make a complete list that reflects the variety of thoughts and activities that captured your attention throughout the day. At the end of the day, your list may look something like this: feeling I should get out of bed earlier wanting to lose weight wanting to eat healthier figuring out what to eat web surfing email working on Project A worrying about money thinking about the weekend talking with my partner about something trivial feeling stressed driving to work, thinking about bills attending a meeting, mostly zoning out reading work-related items watching TV … etc. When you feel you have a pretty good representation of your attention-grabbing concerns, whether it takes you a few hours or a few days to complete the list, go ahead and give each item on your list a 1-3 rating like you did earlier. Of all the items that captured some of your attention, which ones were truly worthy of it? What do you notice about this? Are you giving your attention to items that are worthy of you? Or is your attention being drained away by trivialities? Which items weren’t on your list that should have been? Determining Attention Worthiness How do you know if an item is worthy or your attention or not? How can you separate the important from the irrelevant? Here are some key criteria to consider: Consequences What are the consequences of giving an item your attention vs. withholding your attention? If there’s little difference either way or if the overall consequences are unimportant, it’s fair to say that the item isn’t worthy of your attention. When it comes to understanding consequences, you must make your own assessment in this area. Don’t blindly subscribe to someone else’s assessment of the importance of a particular concern. For example, I have never voted in any political election. I have never registered to vote. Certain social pressures may try to get me to believe that voting is my civic duty and that I’d be a bad person not to vote, but I say B.S. to all of that. Ultimately I have to make my own assessment of the importance of this action, and my personal determination is that in the grand scheme of things, my individual vote is irrelevant and statistically meaningless. Calling it a “right” or a “privilege” seems more like marketing than truth to me. So I do not vote… ever. Voting is a waste of time. Not voting doesn’t mean I don’t care about world affairs. Of course I care. However, there are more intelligent options available to create change than the wasted effort of filling out a ballot. Whether I vote or don’t vote, the consequences are negligible either way. As an activity, voting is unworthy of my attention. You’re free to disagree with me of course. If you think voting is a good use of your time, by all means continue the practice. My point is that you cannot blindly accept social programming when it comes to determining what is or isn’t important to you. You have to make that determination for yourself. Attention-worthy tasks show a pattern of having impactful consequences if you focus on them. Giving them your attention makes a very noticeable difference. If, however, you squander your attention on unworthy items, your results will be either negligible or negative. Control In addition to consequences, also consider the degree of control you have over a particular concern. If by giving your attention to a certain item, you have the ability to influence it in a meaningful way, then it’s more attention-worthy than an item that you cannot influence much. For example, through my writing, I’m able to exert a lot of influence over people’s results when it comes to personal growth. This is an area where I have a lot of control. I can decide which topics to write about and how to express key points. Since I’ve been doing this for many years, I can see that my efforts have a positive impact. I can nudge people towards making more conscious choices. Every time I post a new article, it creates many ripples. On the other hand, I don’t seem to have much control over the local politics in Las Vegas. I could give that subject a lot of attention, but I’m not currently in a position to have much impact there. So keeping up with local politics isn’t a good use of my time, relatively speaking. Consequently, I largely ignore local politics, so I can focus on other areas where I can make a more positive difference with less effort. This choice helps me be more efficient. If you give your attention to items you can’t control, you’re essentially wasting your time. It’s more intelligent to focus on what you can control and influence. Then your influence will expand over time, and your power will increase. Opportunity Cost The attention-worthiness of any particular concern is relative to other items you could be choosing instead. Will you watch TV or read a book? Will you go on a date or work on your Internet business? Will you get up early and exercise or sleep in late? Whenever you give your attention to one concern, it means you’re withholding your attention from all other possible concerns. This entails a hidden cost of the potential value of the items you’ve declined to pursue. If you had used your time differently during the past 5 years, you could have an extra million dollars in the bank. Another path might have led you to travel through dozens of different countries. And still another path might have you looking at a very fit and sculpted body in the mirror right now. Are you happy with the path you’re currently following? Do you feel you’ve been giving your attention to thoughts and activities that are truly worthy of you? Are the opportunities that you’ve declined to pursue of lesser value than the ones you did pursue? Have you been turning down the good in order to pursue the best? Or are you feeling disappointed with yourself right now? Attention = Investment Think of your attention as an investment. For each unit of time you invest, you’re generating certain results. Some investments yield positive returns. Others yield zero or negative returns. Don’t expect to be perfect right off the bat. This is a growth process that plays out over many years. To live more consciously, keep withdrawing your attention from trivial concerns, and redirect it towards those areas where you can have a stronger and more positive impact. For example, I spent a lot of time during my 20s creating and publishing video games. Eventually I pulled my attention away from that field and redirected it to personal development. Shifting my attention thusly has allowed me to have a stronger and more positive impact, and I also reap greater rewards from creating and delivering more value to others. Making these kinds of shifts can be a real challenge. Don’t expect the journey to be easy. Many people remain addicted to trivialities all the way to their graves. Often they can’t get past the social conditioning that tells them they should care about things that simply don’t matter. Don’t fall into that trap. Conscious Attention To live consciously, you must be the one to clarify and decide what matters most to you, and then you must discipline yourself to focus your attention on those items by deliberately withdrawing your attention from lesser concerns. Don’t expect life to do this for you. Don’t expect others to help you much. And never, ever whine that you don’t know what to do. It’s your job to figure it out — the task sits squarely on your shoulders. To complain that it’s too burdensome will only make it seem harder. It’s okay to make mistakes as you figure this out. You don’t need to concoct a grand plan in advance, so don’t use the lack of one as an excuse for procrastination. Simply do the best you can in each moment, and you can continue to upgrade your choices as you go along. Keep pushing yourself to drop low-value activities, and replace them with higher value ones. Drop TV and read non-fiction instead. Dump the gossip-addicted friend who does nothing for you intellectually, and replace her with a more intelligent and resourceful friend. Quit the cigarettes, and shift that slice of your attention — and your budget — to becoming a fitness maven. If you still insist on using the “I don’t know what to do” excuse, then drop to the floor and do push-ups until you think of something that’s a better use of your time than doing push-ups. I suspect your brain will come up with a few ideas very shortly. Very often when you reduce the time wasters by dropping low-value relationships and activities from your life, your understanding about what really matters to you will skyrocket. Time wasters will invariably fog your vision. Get rid of them as quickly as you can, and clarity will return. You will not miss the time wasters, even if you feel you’re addicted to them now. Don’t let the difficulty of the task become an excuse for laziness. Keep pushing yourself to upgrade to more attention-worthy activities while dropping trivialities from your life, and you’ll find that your life becomes something quite special — rich in meaning and purpose. The alternative is a life of increasing disappointment and regret.
    Jul 27, 2011 1227
  • 27 Jul 2011
    I think the best way for us to make sure our diets are in line with our morals is to stay connected with the end-to-end processes that we support through our food choices. For example, if you’re a meat eater, then I would strongly recommend that you go hunting once in a while and eat what you kill. I think it’s important to have that experience, so you can fully appreciate your choices. If you can’t personally kill an animal and prepare it for consumption, that would signal a major internal incongruency, so perhaps it would be wise to reevaluate your food choices. I wouldn’t say you need to do this every time you eat meat, but do it at least once a year to stay connected to the process from killing to consuming. For someone who only eats fish, then going fishing would suffice. For a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I’d suggest having the experience of milking a cow and drinking its milk. Or visit a chicken farm and get some fresh eggs right from the source. Hang out with the cows and chickens to see what they’re like up close. Notice how you feel about taking and consuming their milk and eggs. If you like to eat processed foods, see if you can arrange a visit to one of those food factories you’ve been supporting, and observe the production line. For example, Ethel M. Chocolates in Las Vegas offers a free factory tour with free chocolate samples at the end. Going on that tour probably won’t make you love or hate chocolate, but it may raise your awareness of the types of jobs human beings do to make gourmet chocolates. It helps raise your awareness of the consequences of your actions. For a few years now, I’ve kept a small garden in my backyard. I’m not much of a gardener, but it’s been a learning experience to grow and consume some of my own food. I noticed that I prefer eating plants that renew themselves as opposed to pulling them out of the ground and killing them. I have some green onions, for example, that have been thriving for years. I snip off pieces here and there, and the plants auto-renew. The same goes for herbs. Fruit trees are also great because you can eat the fruit, and the plants live on and bear more fruit. I favor fresh fruit as a large part of my diet. I can’t see myself hunting down and shooting a deer or some other animal. I’d rather watch the animal continue to live. If a lion wants to kill it, that’s fine, but I’m not a lion. If someone is going to eat meat though, then I think that hunting and eating the prey would be an essential experience to have. Otherwise it’s too likely to lower one’s awareness and slip into incongruency, which erodes self-respect over time. I saw many deer up close on my recent road trip, along with cows and various other animals, and I never felt the desire to pull out a weapon and kill them and eat them. Instead I saw them as quite beautiful and peaceful. I wanted to sit and watch them, not end their lives. At one point Rachelle and I got pretty close to a deer and practically had a conversation with it while we took some photos. At no point did we talk about the deer’s potential tastiness and satiety. Perhaps that’s why it allowed us to get so close, almost within petting range. Afterwards we thanked it for the photos. I see inner congruency as a matter of degree more than essence. Improving the congruency between our values and our decisions is a lifelong process. It’s not about achieving perfection. As soon as you complete one step, you may think you’ve achieved some new level of moral godhood for a while, but shortly thereafter the next steps will present themselves. I think about 9 billion farm animals are slaughtered for food each year in the USA. I wonder how many of those deaths would occur if the end consumers had to do the killing personally. I think we can all agree that it would be a lot less than 9 billion killings. If you eat meat but you’ve never personally and deliberately killed and eaten an animal, and you resist even making the attempt, does that make you a chicken? Yeah, I think it does. After all, if your values support eating meat, then surely they must support the most basic process that makes it possible to eat meat: to deliberately kill an animal and eat its flesh. There are lots of ways to extend the ideas in this article of course. Food choices are just one application. The overall point is that if you can’t bring yourself to participate in the processes you’re supporting right now through your choices, then do you really respect those processes And if you continue to partake in processes you don’t respect, then do you really respect the choices you’re making? And if you continue to make choices you don’t respect, then do you really respect yourself? When you take steps to increase the congruency between your values and your choices, your self-respect increases. And with greater self-respect, you’re less likely to allow yourself to be trapped in abusive situations, and you’re more likely to maintain high standards for your life, both personally and professionally. If your values and your choices are out of sync, it means you don’t value yourself.
    1124 Posted by UniqueThis
  • I think the best way for us to make sure our diets are in line with our morals is to stay connected with the end-to-end processes that we support through our food choices. For example, if you’re a meat eater, then I would strongly recommend that you go hunting once in a while and eat what you kill. I think it’s important to have that experience, so you can fully appreciate your choices. If you can’t personally kill an animal and prepare it for consumption, that would signal a major internal incongruency, so perhaps it would be wise to reevaluate your food choices. I wouldn’t say you need to do this every time you eat meat, but do it at least once a year to stay connected to the process from killing to consuming. For someone who only eats fish, then going fishing would suffice. For a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I’d suggest having the experience of milking a cow and drinking its milk. Or visit a chicken farm and get some fresh eggs right from the source. Hang out with the cows and chickens to see what they’re like up close. Notice how you feel about taking and consuming their milk and eggs. If you like to eat processed foods, see if you can arrange a visit to one of those food factories you’ve been supporting, and observe the production line. For example, Ethel M. Chocolates in Las Vegas offers a free factory tour with free chocolate samples at the end. Going on that tour probably won’t make you love or hate chocolate, but it may raise your awareness of the types of jobs human beings do to make gourmet chocolates. It helps raise your awareness of the consequences of your actions. For a few years now, I’ve kept a small garden in my backyard. I’m not much of a gardener, but it’s been a learning experience to grow and consume some of my own food. I noticed that I prefer eating plants that renew themselves as opposed to pulling them out of the ground and killing them. I have some green onions, for example, that have been thriving for years. I snip off pieces here and there, and the plants auto-renew. The same goes for herbs. Fruit trees are also great because you can eat the fruit, and the plants live on and bear more fruit. I favor fresh fruit as a large part of my diet. I can’t see myself hunting down and shooting a deer or some other animal. I’d rather watch the animal continue to live. If a lion wants to kill it, that’s fine, but I’m not a lion. If someone is going to eat meat though, then I think that hunting and eating the prey would be an essential experience to have. Otherwise it’s too likely to lower one’s awareness and slip into incongruency, which erodes self-respect over time. I saw many deer up close on my recent road trip, along with cows and various other animals, and I never felt the desire to pull out a weapon and kill them and eat them. Instead I saw them as quite beautiful and peaceful. I wanted to sit and watch them, not end their lives. At one point Rachelle and I got pretty close to a deer and practically had a conversation with it while we took some photos. At no point did we talk about the deer’s potential tastiness and satiety. Perhaps that’s why it allowed us to get so close, almost within petting range. Afterwards we thanked it for the photos. I see inner congruency as a matter of degree more than essence. Improving the congruency between our values and our decisions is a lifelong process. It’s not about achieving perfection. As soon as you complete one step, you may think you’ve achieved some new level of moral godhood for a while, but shortly thereafter the next steps will present themselves. I think about 9 billion farm animals are slaughtered for food each year in the USA. I wonder how many of those deaths would occur if the end consumers had to do the killing personally. I think we can all agree that it would be a lot less than 9 billion killings. If you eat meat but you’ve never personally and deliberately killed and eaten an animal, and you resist even making the attempt, does that make you a chicken? Yeah, I think it does. After all, if your values support eating meat, then surely they must support the most basic process that makes it possible to eat meat: to deliberately kill an animal and eat its flesh. There are lots of ways to extend the ideas in this article of course. Food choices are just one application. The overall point is that if you can’t bring yourself to participate in the processes you’re supporting right now through your choices, then do you really respect those processes And if you continue to partake in processes you don’t respect, then do you really respect the choices you’re making? And if you continue to make choices you don’t respect, then do you really respect yourself? When you take steps to increase the congruency between your values and your choices, your self-respect increases. And with greater self-respect, you’re less likely to allow yourself to be trapped in abusive situations, and you’re more likely to maintain high standards for your life, both personally and professionally. If your values and your choices are out of sync, it means you don’t value yourself.
    Jul 27, 2011 1124
  • 27 Jul 2011
    One of the conscious growth principles I’ve been teaching for years is the principle of Love. This principle states that you’ll grow significantly faster — and enjoy the process of growth much more — when your life is rich in supportive, encouraging connections. People violate this principle constantly — and to their detriment when they do so. Partly that happens because they don’t understand this principle deeply enough. Consider two scenarios: Scenario A – You wake up on a typical weekday morning, alone. As you open your eyes, you see several piles of clutter, including bills, reminding you that you need to sort through them. Your roommate hears you get up, pops through the doorway of your room, puffs some smoke from a cigarette in your direction, then glares at you and says, “Hey lazy ass, you’d better hurry up or you’ll be late. By the way… Greg is coming over tonight. I know you don’t like him, so just deal with it.” You go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, noticing how dirty the place is. Scenario B – You wake up on a typical weekday morning. Your lover is lying in bed next to you, and s/he cuddles up against you, embraces you tightly, and says, “It feels so good to cuddle you. I love you. Mmmmm… And you really turn me on, sexiness! [Snarl]” S/he massages you a bit, which generates some feel-good endorphins. As you get out of bed, you notice a shelf full of books and pictures that inspire you. You go to the bathroom and see your list of goals taped to your mirror, so you review them as you brush your teeth. What’s the difference between these two scenarios? Essentially it comes down to each person’s alignment with the principle of Love. Which situation would you prefer? The second one seems like a nicer one to experience, but there’s a more subtle difference that might be harder to accept. The second person is likely to grow and change much faster than the first. In the first case, the person is wallowing in unsupportive connections. The cluttered environment, the unsympathetic roommate, the messy bathroom — these will typically build stress, which reduces the person’s inner resourcefulness and promotes stagnation. It’s hard to feel motivated when your day begins like this. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out if this is how it starts. In the second case, the person has created an environment that’s positive and supportive. From the lover’s touch to the positive books and pictures to the list of goals, this person is likely to start the day with uplifting, motivating thoughts. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out. Which scenario does your life resemble? Neutrality Sucks Perhaps you’re in the middle somewhere. You might think that’s a neutral situation. Maybe you don’t have much positive support, but the negative stimuli aren’t present either. Generally speaking, that’s still a negative situation growth-wise. A lack of positive support will slow you down tremendously. It’s not enough to avoid the negatives. You need to add the positives. Otherwise you’re still likely to stagnate. Neutrality is just another form of stuckness. Positive support is like gravity. It pulls you in the direction of positive growth. It might take some work to set it up at first, but it usually takes little effort to maintain. Without that gravity helping you out, you’ll have to push yourself constantly, and that isn’t very sustainable. You want to give yourself every advantage, and this includes creating a super-supportive environment. Each scenario maintains itself. You can expect that the following days in each timeline will look essentially the same. The clutter will probably still be there the next day. So will the inspiring books and pictures. Neither person has to work at it — the continuity just happens. Unconscious vs. Conscious Connecting Which scenario you experience is a matter of choice. But it’s not about choosing between A or B. It’s about exercising your power to choose vs. not exercising it. It’s about being conscious vs. unconscious. No one really chooses the first scenario or even a neutral scenario. It’s just something you fall into. In the absence of direct conscious intervention, these types of scenarios happen organically. Scenario B, however, is no accident. This scenario happens because someone deliberately chooses to create it. Even the presence of a supportive lover isn’t an accident. It’s a choice. Sure there may be a lot of action steps and some courage required to make it happen, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very achievable part of the picture if you make it a priority. Alignment with the principle of Love is one of the key differences between unconscious and conscious growth. When someone is truly on a path of conscious growth, the telltale sign is that they’ve deliberately sculpted their environment to support their highest and best vision of themselves. Whatever doesn’t fit that vision gets cut. If you took a highly conscious person and put them into scenario A, what would they do? Get a new roommate or move to a new place. Clean up the clutter and dirtiness. Make new friends who are supportive and invite them over. Write out some goals and post them. Decorate the place with some inspiring pictures. A truly conscious person could make these changes within a few days max. The conscious person would be unwilling to tolerate an environment that doesn’t support his/her vision. Their standards would be higher than that. Create an Environment That Supports You If you think you’re strong enough to be immune to the effects of your environment, then let’s put you in prison for a year and see how well you thrive there. If you look at the most conscious people on earth, you’ll see just how refined their environments are, both physically and socially. Having a home base that’s super-supportive gives them the strength to handle less friendly situations without getting overly discouraged. Such people surround themselves with positive, loving support. Start with the easy stuff. Change some elements of the physical space you live in. This can be really simple, so don’t overcomplicate it. Google a picture of a place you’d like to travel to, print it out, and literally tape it to your wall. How long will that take? A few minutes perhaps. You can fancy it up later. Take the piles of clutter, and stick them in a closet or drawer somewhere, so they don’t serve as a constantly stressor each time you see them. Pull out a small bit of the pile each day, and sort through it little by little. Or set aside a chunk of time to go through the whole thing as fast as possible. Don’t let clutter become a negative visual stimulation that broadcasts, “You can’t have what you want because you’re overwhelmed as it is.” Make a list of qualities you’d like to have in friends, lovers, coworkers, etc. Post it where you can see it. Spend 10 minutes a day imagining that you’re already there. You can do this while lying in bed as you drift off to sleep. Don’t hang out with people who disempower you. Not only will they discourage you, but they’ll turn away the very people who’d otherwise support and encourage you. Supportive people are repelled by negative-minded people. Don’t leave your social and environmental support to chance. It’s too important. These daily influences matter. Put yourself in the advantaged position of scenario B. You’ll grow much faster in that situation, and you’ll enjoy your life more as well. Make it so. 
    1412 Posted by UniqueThis
  • One of the conscious growth principles I’ve been teaching for years is the principle of Love. This principle states that you’ll grow significantly faster — and enjoy the process of growth much more — when your life is rich in supportive, encouraging connections. People violate this principle constantly — and to their detriment when they do so. Partly that happens because they don’t understand this principle deeply enough. Consider two scenarios: Scenario A – You wake up on a typical weekday morning, alone. As you open your eyes, you see several piles of clutter, including bills, reminding you that you need to sort through them. Your roommate hears you get up, pops through the doorway of your room, puffs some smoke from a cigarette in your direction, then glares at you and says, “Hey lazy ass, you’d better hurry up or you’ll be late. By the way… Greg is coming over tonight. I know you don’t like him, so just deal with it.” You go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, noticing how dirty the place is. Scenario B – You wake up on a typical weekday morning. Your lover is lying in bed next to you, and s/he cuddles up against you, embraces you tightly, and says, “It feels so good to cuddle you. I love you. Mmmmm… And you really turn me on, sexiness! [Snarl]” S/he massages you a bit, which generates some feel-good endorphins. As you get out of bed, you notice a shelf full of books and pictures that inspire you. You go to the bathroom and see your list of goals taped to your mirror, so you review them as you brush your teeth. What’s the difference between these two scenarios? Essentially it comes down to each person’s alignment with the principle of Love. Which situation would you prefer? The second one seems like a nicer one to experience, but there’s a more subtle difference that might be harder to accept. The second person is likely to grow and change much faster than the first. In the first case, the person is wallowing in unsupportive connections. The cluttered environment, the unsympathetic roommate, the messy bathroom — these will typically build stress, which reduces the person’s inner resourcefulness and promotes stagnation. It’s hard to feel motivated when your day begins like this. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out if this is how it starts. In the second case, the person has created an environment that’s positive and supportive. From the lover’s touch to the positive books and pictures to the list of goals, this person is likely to start the day with uplifting, motivating thoughts. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out. Which scenario does your life resemble? Neutrality Sucks Perhaps you’re in the middle somewhere. You might think that’s a neutral situation. Maybe you don’t have much positive support, but the negative stimuli aren’t present either. Generally speaking, that’s still a negative situation growth-wise. A lack of positive support will slow you down tremendously. It’s not enough to avoid the negatives. You need to add the positives. Otherwise you’re still likely to stagnate. Neutrality is just another form of stuckness. Positive support is like gravity. It pulls you in the direction of positive growth. It might take some work to set it up at first, but it usually takes little effort to maintain. Without that gravity helping you out, you’ll have to push yourself constantly, and that isn’t very sustainable. You want to give yourself every advantage, and this includes creating a super-supportive environment. Each scenario maintains itself. You can expect that the following days in each timeline will look essentially the same. The clutter will probably still be there the next day. So will the inspiring books and pictures. Neither person has to work at it — the continuity just happens. Unconscious vs. Conscious Connecting Which scenario you experience is a matter of choice. But it’s not about choosing between A or B. It’s about exercising your power to choose vs. not exercising it. It’s about being conscious vs. unconscious. No one really chooses the first scenario or even a neutral scenario. It’s just something you fall into. In the absence of direct conscious intervention, these types of scenarios happen organically. Scenario B, however, is no accident. This scenario happens because someone deliberately chooses to create it. Even the presence of a supportive lover isn’t an accident. It’s a choice. Sure there may be a lot of action steps and some courage required to make it happen, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very achievable part of the picture if you make it a priority. Alignment with the principle of Love is one of the key differences between unconscious and conscious growth. When someone is truly on a path of conscious growth, the telltale sign is that they’ve deliberately sculpted their environment to support their highest and best vision of themselves. Whatever doesn’t fit that vision gets cut. If you took a highly conscious person and put them into scenario A, what would they do? Get a new roommate or move to a new place. Clean up the clutter and dirtiness. Make new friends who are supportive and invite them over. Write out some goals and post them. Decorate the place with some inspiring pictures. A truly conscious person could make these changes within a few days max. The conscious person would be unwilling to tolerate an environment that doesn’t support his/her vision. Their standards would be higher than that. Create an Environment That Supports You If you think you’re strong enough to be immune to the effects of your environment, then let’s put you in prison for a year and see how well you thrive there. If you look at the most conscious people on earth, you’ll see just how refined their environments are, both physically and socially. Having a home base that’s super-supportive gives them the strength to handle less friendly situations without getting overly discouraged. Such people surround themselves with positive, loving support. Start with the easy stuff. Change some elements of the physical space you live in. This can be really simple, so don’t overcomplicate it. Google a picture of a place you’d like to travel to, print it out, and literally tape it to your wall. How long will that take? A few minutes perhaps. You can fancy it up later. Take the piles of clutter, and stick them in a closet or drawer somewhere, so they don’t serve as a constantly stressor each time you see them. Pull out a small bit of the pile each day, and sort through it little by little. Or set aside a chunk of time to go through the whole thing as fast as possible. Don’t let clutter become a negative visual stimulation that broadcasts, “You can’t have what you want because you’re overwhelmed as it is.” Make a list of qualities you’d like to have in friends, lovers, coworkers, etc. Post it where you can see it. Spend 10 minutes a day imagining that you’re already there. You can do this while lying in bed as you drift off to sleep. Don’t hang out with people who disempower you. Not only will they discourage you, but they’ll turn away the very people who’d otherwise support and encourage you. Supportive people are repelled by negative-minded people. Don’t leave your social and environmental support to chance. It’s too important. These daily influences matter. Put yourself in the advantaged position of scenario B. You’ll grow much faster in that situation, and you’ll enjoy your life more as well. Make it so. 
    Jul 27, 2011 1412
  • 27 Jul 2011
    You’ve taken many painful lumpsSurvived life’s tearful turnsEndured some brutal bruises, bumps,And saintly savage burns Be grateful for the strength you’ve gainedYour inner muscles bulgeBut lips are drained and legs are chainedBy fears you still indulge Your animator kept from viewLocked up inside a cellIt pleads release long overdueWhile you secure the shell If you should seek to sow the seedOf peace within your heart,The breathless breather must be freedNo secret self apart Your essence never lacks the nerveIts power shines divineTo be in spirit is to serveWith courage by design So dig your cowardice a graveAnd lower it to restYour daring, dauntless dreams will saveThe slave still dispossessed  
    1416 Posted by UniqueThis
  • You’ve taken many painful lumpsSurvived life’s tearful turnsEndured some brutal bruises, bumps,And saintly savage burns Be grateful for the strength you’ve gainedYour inner muscles bulgeBut lips are drained and legs are chainedBy fears you still indulge Your animator kept from viewLocked up inside a cellIt pleads release long overdueWhile you secure the shell If you should seek to sow the seedOf peace within your heart,The breathless breather must be freedNo secret self apart Your essence never lacks the nerveIts power shines divineTo be in spirit is to serveWith courage by design So dig your cowardice a graveAnd lower it to restYour daring, dauntless dreams will saveThe slave still dispossessed  
    Jul 27, 2011 1416
  • 27 Jul 2011
    In the previous post, I mentioned that I’d share a method for achieving goals where you aren’t already a good match for the goal. For example, how do you become a millionaire if your vibe is riddled with thoughts and feelings of scarcity? I’ll share that process with you now. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, I suggest you read it first, so you can better understand the context of this one. I know it’s a lot of reading, but it will be worth your while. Stretch Goals For the sake of convenience, let’s use the term “stretch goals” to refer to the types of goals for which you aren’t already a good match. Such goals are of course relative to the person setting them. Buying a new car wouldn’t be a stretch goal for someone who can easily afford it, but it could be a stretch goal for someone who’s broke and struggling with unemployment. The first person can simply walk into a dealership, pick a car, pay cash for it, and drive away with it. The second person may be looking at tougher challenges to overcome. Jack Canfield likes to refer to these as breakthrough goals, perhaps because when you achieve such a goal, you’re breaking through to a whole new level of being. Vibrational Alignment People don’t experience the same level of difficulty in achieving similar goals because each person has a different degree of vibrational alignment (or lack of alignment) relative to the goal. A goal is only easy or hard relative to your vibe. Some vibes are weak matches for certain goals. Other vibes are strong matches. The more strongly your vibe matches a goal, the more easily and effortlessly you can achieve that goal. For example, if I wanted to earn an extra $10K this month, that would be a fairly easy goal for me to achieve. I could probably do something this weekend that would generate an extra $10K by the end of the month. My vibe is already a good match for receiving such sums. It feels normal to me. But since the goal wouldn’t cause me to stretch, it isn’t very inspiring either. As far as goals go, it’s a bit dull. For someone else, earning an extra $10K this month might be a seemingly impossible fantasy. Their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors create a different vibe. Whereas I see ease and simplicity, they might see struggle, obstacles, or lack of opportunity. They might also become overly excited about the idea of earning an extra $10K (which suggests it isn’t normal for them), thereby positioning the goal in the realm of fantasy instead of possible reality. To yet another person, the goal of earning an extra $10K this month might be right in the middle — enough of a challenge to be interesting and motivating, but not so challenging as to appear impossible. For this person it’s a stretch goal. They see it’s possible, but they aren’t sure how to make it a reality yet. Your vibe largely determines which goals you’re even willing to set. If your vibe is too far out of alignment with a particular goal, you’ll never bring yourself to set such a goal. That would be self-delusion at best, like a scarcity-minded person setting the goal to become a billionaire. The mind won’t believe the goal, so the person won’t take the actions needed to get there. When your vibe is a very close match for a goal, you probably won’t even think of it as a goal. It will simply be a task to do, like making dinner or taking your dog for a walk. For me, writing a new article is a basic task which I often do for the sheer enjoyment of writing. So we could say that my personal vibe is a very close match for the goal of writing an article. When your vibe is somewhere in the middle, you have a stretch goal. Your vibe is enough of a match for the goal to enable you to set the goal and take it seriously, but not yet enough of a match to experience the achievement of the goal. One of the best reasons to set goals and work to achieve them is the vibrational shift you must undergo in order to achieve new goals, especially stretch goals. Matching vs. Mismatching Vibes There are two types of vibes to think about with respect to any goal: 1) Vibes that match the goal 2) Vibes that don’t match the goal When your vibe is in the first category, then achieving your goal is relatively easy. You will still take action, but your actions will flow easily, and they won’t feel terribly effortful. Taking action will often feel like play. The actions you choose will be the right actions that will move you closer to your goal. You’ll probably experience many synchronicities too. Great opportunities will come to you. You’ll see good evidence that real progress is happening. Other people will notice that you’ve shifted. When your vibe is in the second category, the path to your goal will seem difficult and littered with obstacles. You’ll notice the obstacles and will probably feel a strong desire to procrastinate, and you’ll often indulge in distractions. You will identify actions to take, but they won’t be the right actions. When you take action, you’ll often feel resistance, either from inside yourself or from the external world. Getting to your goal will feel like work more than play. You may invest a lot of time and effort into your goal, but you probably won’t get there. Months or years may pass, and you’ll have little to show for it. These are the extremes. Depending on the degree of alignment between your vibe and your goal, you’ll probably fall somewhere in the middle. Some aspects will look like the first example, while other aspects will resemble the second situation. This means that your vibe is a partial match for your goal. Some parts of your vibe are very well aligned with your goal, while other parts are opposing your goal. Stop Using Force Now here’s the tricky part to understand, so please read this next bit carefully. When your vibe is a good match for your goal, you’ll naturally have a sense of the right actions to take, and synchronicities will show up to guide you as needed. You won’t have to struggle to figure out what to do next. Most of the time, the next action to take will be fairly obvious, and it will feel good to you. It will be an action you want to take. You won’t have to force it. However, when your vibe is a poor match for your goal, you’ll come up with some actions to take, but they’ll be the wrong actions. You won’t have a strong inner feeling of clarity about them. You’ll have a lot of doubts. It will be hard to choose a path, and even when you do choose, you won’t feel certain that it’s the right path for you. When you do take action, you’ll be acting under a cloud of doubt and uncertainty. You’ll also have a strong tendency to procrastinate and delay. A common prescription for people in the second situation is to use force. Take more action. Fight procrastination. Push yourself harder. Eliminate distractions. Focus! Do it now! Get to work! This doesn’t work well. It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. Even if you do achieve a goal this way, it will be difficult to sustain it, and a fall is inevitable. Your vibe and the goal are constantly resisting each other. As soon as you let down your guard, they repel each other. Imagine trying to get up at 5am when your vibe isn’t a match for being an early riser. Instead of popping out of bed feeling alert and refreshed, you feel tired and sleepy and hit the snooze button. When you are a match for such a goal, however, you can arise early with ease. The goal requires no struggle at all. It’s just your normal wake-up time. No big deal. It’s safe to say that if a goal seems like a big deal to you, this indicates that your vibe isn’t yet a match for that goal. When you notice that you’re trying to force a goal, stop for a moment and think about it. Why is this such a struggle for you? Why are you fighting what you claim to desire? Why are you sabotaging yourself? Why do you keep procrastinating? Ask yourself, Do I really want this goal? Is this a good goal for me at this time? It’s okay if it’s a stretch goal. Just be sure it’s something you really want. It’s perfectly okay to desire a goal that may seem like it’s beyond you right now. If you realize that you don’t really care enough about this goal to take it seriously, then let it go. If you don’t desire to do what it takes to become a match for the goal, there’s no point in fussing over it. Drop it, and accept the consequences of that decision. I often see this pattern with people who go to college because their parents expect them to. They pick a major that others will approve of. But they don’t enjoy the coursework, and they don’t even want to work in that field. That’s a no-brainer recipe for vibrational resistance. Then these students wonder why they procrastinate on their studies and don’t feel motivated. Sure it takes courage to choose your own path, but you aren’t here to live up to other people’s expectations. Now if you still feel good about the goal and you still want the outcome, that’s perfectly fine too. Just because you aren’t a match for the goal doesn’t mean you should drop it. Some of the best goals will require you to shift your vibe in order to achieve them. It could be said that the vibrational shift is an even greater accomplishment than the external goal. For example, aligning your vibe with abundance can be a greater accomplishment than earning some specific sum of money. Once you’ve integrated the vibe of abundance, your whole life is transformed, not just your finances. Orbiting vs. Achieving Your Goal Let’s assume for now that you have a goal that you like, but you aren’t yet a vibrational match for it. What’s the next step? Well, many people would say that the next steps are to make plans and start taking action, but for a goal of this nature, that approach doesn’t work well. It will usually cause you to run in circles. It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. You can push with great force, but that isn’t a wise idea. If you want the magnets to stick, then it’s easier if you flip one of the magnets around. If you do that first, then you can pretty much let go, and the magnets will attract each other. You may give them a nudge, but forcing them together isn’t necessary. Now this is a very simple analogy, so let’s expand it a bit. Your vibe is much more complex than a single magnet. Your vibe with respect to any single goal is like 100 pairs of magnets. Some magnets have their poles aligned to attract each other, but some are repelling each other. So when you try to achieve your goal by taking direct action, sometimes you’re in the flow, and sometimes you’re out of flow. Some parts of your vibe are pulling the goal towards you. Other parts of your vibe are pushing the goal away. You don’t have to be in perfect 100% alignment to achieve your goal. You just have to make enough shifts such that the overwhelming force is attractive rather than repulsive. But it has to be strong enough to overcome inertia and any repelling forces. If there’s too much repelling force or inertia and not enough attracting force, then you’ll fall into the trap of running in circles when you try to take action. The Earth and the Moon attract each other gravitationally. But they don’t crash into each other. The Moon just runs in circles around the Earth. But what if we could somehow slow down or stop the Moon’s motion relative to the Earth? Then the Earth and the Moon would attract each other till they collided. This would be bad for people on Earth, but the Earth and Moon would become one. Similarly, if you wish to become one with your goals, you’ll need to work with the various forces and motions that are present until a collision course with your goals becomes inevitable. This is essentially what it means to become a vibrational match for your goal. If you’re not a match, you’ll end up orbiting your goal instead of reaching it, despite having a lot of gravity on your side. Understanding the New Vibe Now here’s another tricky part, so read this carefully and ponder it a bit. The #1 reason people struggle to achieve their stretch goals is that they don’t have a solid understanding of the matching vibe. Because they don’t understand what the new vibe looks like and feels like, they don’t understand the right actions to take. So they take the wrong actions, they struggle, and they get results they don’t want. The most important thing you can do to achieve a stretch goal is to deepen and clarify your understanding of the matching vibe. What will your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors be like when you’ve already achieved the goal? What kind of person will you be when you’re already there? Someone who earns $1 million per year doesn’t have the same vibe as someone who earns $50K per year. The thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of each person are very different. If you’re earning $50K per year, and you set a stretch goal to earn $1 million per year, the first thing you must do is study and understand the vibe you’d be emitting if you were already at the $1 million per year level. It will be very different than your current $50K vibe. Energetically speaking, you won’t be the same person. Your greatest risk of failure stems from the problem of projecting your $50K vibe onto the $1 million goal. You can’t use a $50K vibe to create the action list to achieve this goal. You have to use the $1M vibe to create the action list, and you can’t do that until and unless you understand the $1M vibe well enough. Most people don’t do what it takes to understand the new vibe. They project their old vibes forward in time, but that doesn’t work. It only keeps them orbiting the same goal, running in circles for years. You must figure out which of your 100 internal magnets are aligned with the new goal’s magnets, and which aren’t aligned. When you dive into action without this understanding, the odds of success are very low. The opposing magnets will simply repel each other, and you’ll be kept in orbit indefinitely. The closer you get to your goal, the stronger the opposing force will be. This may look like you’re sabotaging yourself each time you get close to your goal. Forcing it won’t work. It will only frustate you. Then you’ll say to yourself things like, “Why is this taking so long? I should be much further along by now.” or “Why do I keep procrastinating?” How to Learn the New Vibe There are many ways to deepen your understanding of the new vibe that pairs with your goal. Here are some suggestions. First, be humble as you enter this process. Admit that you don’t yet understand the new vibe. If you did understand it, you’d already be coasting effortlessly to your goal. Accept that if you’re struggling, it’s because you don’t understand the new vibe well enough. You might also be clinging to some false assumptions about it. Try to set aside any preconceived notions about the new vibe. Start with a blank slate. Open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t pretend to know something you haven’t yet experienced. If you aren’t already living it, it’s safe to say that you don’t know it yet. It may help to think about a goal you’ve already achieved. Remember your vibe before and after the goal was achieved. Think about the goal of learning to drive a car. Notice how different your vibe was before you learned. It probably seemed like a big deal. You may have put the goal on a pedestal. You may have felt a bit stressed about it. But as you got closer to achieving this goal, your vibe shifted to the point where driving seemed like no big deal. If your vibe didn’t shift, you still wouldn’t be able to drive yet. We could say that practice is what helped to shift your vibe, but we could also say that you shifted your vibe by spending time with people who already had the right vibe (i.e. experienced drivers), and you picked up the right vibe (not just the know-how) from them. Once you matched the vibe of a confident driver, you could drive confidently too. This leads us into the next step. If possible, identify people who’ve already achieved the goal you want to achieve (or something similar). Buy their books, and read them for starters. Join clubs where these people are members. Do whatever it takes to get face time with such people. Don’t admire such people from a distance. You need to connect with them in person, and preferably one on one. This means not over the phone and not over the Internet. In person means in person. This is easier than it sounds if you make it a priority. When you hang out with such people in person, you’ll learn so much about the new vibe you wish to create. Some inner shifts will happen automatically. This is very important. Don’t blow it off unless you prefer to orbit your goals instead of experience them. So if you want to be a millionaire, go to places where millionaires hang out, and spend time getting to know them. Talk to them about money. Don’t worry about getting how-to tips. You won’t be able to apply them yet anyway. Instead, get a sense of the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about money. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about their vibe? Why is it that they’re a match for having lots of money, and you aren’t? The vibrational differences tell the story. If you’re shy or socially dorky, go to a park or coffee shop in a wealthy neighborhood. Sit down, shut up, and observe. Listen to people’s conversations. Do this again and again until you start getting a clear sense of the vibe of such people. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about them? Are you willing to embrace this vibe? Notice that such people don’t usually say, “Holy frak! I can’t believe I have all this money! It’s so unreal!” Having lots of money is just normal and routine for them. It’s no big deal. That’s the vibe you want to understand. If you think having a lot of money is a big deal, that’s why you don’t have it. That’s the vibe of wanting money and not having it. The vibe of having money is totally different. Next, spend time visualizing yourself as already having the vibe needed to achieve your goal. You’ll learn about this vibe partly from being around people who’ve already achieved your goal. Visualization can help you personalize the vibe. Other people will give you clues with respect to where you need to make shifts, but your vibe is uniquely your own. Your wealth vibe, for instance, won’t be quite the same as someone else’s. However, you’ll still have a lot in common with other wealthy people when you make the shifts that work for you. I recommend spending about 10 minutes per day visualizing how your life will be different once you’ve achieved your goal. How will you really think, feel, and behave on the other side of that goal? Try to make as few adjustments as possible to your current vibe, just enough to realistically see yourself in that situation and having it feel normal to you. This is important. Realize that if you’re going to achieve this goal in reality, then it’s still you on the other side, with all your dorkiness coming along for the ride. It’s not your higher self or your ideal self. It’s just a slightly adjusted version of your normal, everyday self. Try doing it like this. Imagine a scene that represents your goal. Now put your current self into that scene. This is the person you are right now, your normal self. Imagine yourself going through that scene as if it were completely real and happening right now. You just quantum leaped right into it. Do your best to imagine this not as a dream or fantasy, but as solid reality, like a real event that’s happening today, perhaps a few hours from now. Now let your character interact with the scene. How would you realistically react to what’s happening? What you want to understand is your character’s vibrational interaction with the vibe of the scene. This will tell you where some of your magnets are pointing in the wrong directions. The more realistic you can make this scene, the more you’ll learn from it. Daydreaming isn’t the same thing as visualizing. You can visualize yourself being in a sex scene for the purpose of taking care of yourself, but that isn’t the same thing as visualizing a sex scene that you actually want to experience in reality. Your mind can tell the difference between a fantasy visualization and a serious goal. Otherwise you’d manifest lots of sex just by imagining it. You can imagine anything you want, but it won’t become real until you match the vibe of that experience too, and that part takes a bit more work. For example, suppose one of your goals is to live in a mansion and have a staff of servants. In most of your visualizations, you imagine how great it will be, but that doesn’t get you any closer to your goal. However, when you take the time to imagine it as 100% real, and you plop your current self into that new reality, you notice some issues coming up. Maybe you feel nervous and anxious living in such a big place. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable telling your servants what to do — maybe you feel bad about the idea of other people cleaning your toilets and making your meals. Maybe you also feel some excitement about having such a cool place to live, but that also suggests a mismatch because if you actually lived there, it would probably feel normal to you. You might appreciate your home, but you probably wouldn’t feel excited about living there every day. Take notes about these experiences. Write down things like: I don’t feel good about paying 20x bigger tax bills. I don’t like telling other people what to do. I’d feel stressed if I had to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year minimum just to cover my expenses. What are the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have that indicate you’re still a mismatch for your goal? Sometimes it’s the extended consequences of the goal, rather than the goal itself, that reveal a lack of alignment. For example, if you want to be a famous actor, what do you think about being in the public eye? Can you handle public criticism from people who don’t know you? Can you accept that as being a normal part of your life, or does that seem like something you’d want to avoid? If you want to achieve a goal, you must accept the logical consequences of that goal. If you resist the consequences, you resist the goal. Now ask your mind to show you what vibrational adjustments you need to make to be congruent with your goal. Imagine that your character is downloading a new personality subroutine. Let your adjusted self interact with the scene anew. Allow your mind to keep making tweaks until your character seems to be a comfortable, natural fit for the scene. Get a sense of your character’s new vibe. What’s different about it? What had to be changed? Again, take some notes that you can refer to later. You may notice things like: My new character is more confident. My new character jokes with the staff; s/he appreciates them but also retains an air of authority. My new character feels that it’s easy to earn enough to cover all the expenses; this isn’t a big deal. A very helpful final step is to broadcast your desires. Share your goal openly with the people in your life, and talk about it seriously as if you intend to make it real ASAP. Notice how the people in your life react to your announcement. This will quickly reveal which relationships in your life are helping you become a match for your goal and which are holding you back. You’ll need to drop or transform the relationships that will otherwise hold you back. Don’t get clingy since that just holds everyone back and builds resentment. Accept that you’re here to grow. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with much more compatible partners anyway, so no worries about being alone. Turning Repulsion Into Attraction This process will help you create a vibrational to-do list. This is even more important than your action list. Once you take steps to adjust your vibe to be in harmony with your goal, the action steps will begin to flow rather easily. What’s a vibrational to-do list? It’s a list of the personal development work you need to do in order to become a match for your goal. Ultimately it will include three types of growth experiences: You’ll shed limiting beliefs and perspectives that align with the old vibe, replacing them with new truths that align with the new vibe. You’ll shed negative relationships that are bad match for your new vibe, and you’ll add positive new relationships that are well aligned with it. You’ll stop feeding your power to excuses and obstacles, and you’ll begin emitting a more powerful vibe that draws your goal increasingly near. These personal growth experiences are the inner magnets that you must re-align. Let’s consider each category in turn. New Truths Suppose your goal is to earn $1M per year. That’s about $80K per month. If you currently earn $50K per year, then this may seem like a very large sum. But if you were a match for this goal, then $80K per month must look and feel like a normal sum to you. It’s just your regular paycheck. There’s nothing special about it. If you’re going to turn it into a big deal, then you’re pushing this goal away. So your new truth might be, “Earning $80K per month is normal. It’s easy and natural for me.” To help you align with this goal, you might go to your bank, withdraw $1000 cash, and carry it around in your wallet every day. That may feel uncomfortable at first, but keep doing it till it feels normal and natural to you. How does it feel to carry two hours’ worth of pay in your wallet? It’s no big deal. Embrace your new truth, and it will help you create a more abundant vibe. If you want to earn 20x more money, then you need to change your relationships to money by a factor of 20. A $1000 sum in your new vibe is equivalent to a $50 bill in your old vibe. If you can’t make little adjustments like this to get started, then you aren’t yet serious about your goal, are you? Are you going to make it real or not? If you’re going to make it real, then you’d better get used to dealing with larger sums of money as if it’s a totally normal experience for you. So start building that comfort now. Otherwise you’ll repel those larger sums because you’ll freak yourself out when they start to show up. New Connections Suppose your goal (once again) is to go from earning $50K to $1M per year. When you imagine yourself as already there, it becomes clear that some of your current friends won’t be able to handle it. So part of your inner work will be to either (1) drop these people from your life, so they stop blocking you, or (2) have some deep conversations to transform these relationships, so these people can get behind your goal. Build new relationships too. What kinds of people would you have in your life if you already achieved your goal? Start building those relationships now. They’ll actually help you get there. Don’t do the “I’m not worthy” thing. If you’re going to make this goal a reality, then you’re going to have to overcome those feelings of unworthiness. You might as well start now. The same goes for family members. In my early 20s when I decided to start my own business, I distanced myself from my parents and siblings because they were so immersed in the employee mindset. I had to be around other entrepreneurs to understand the vibe of success on this path. Don’t cling to relationships that aren’t a good match for your goal. This is an area where you may really have to do some house-cleaning. Yes, you’ll see a lot of relationships come and go. That’s part of life. You’ll get used to it. If you want to be a match for having lots of growth experiences, then you’d better embrace the idea of seeing your personal relationships shift around a lot. Otherwise, you’ll be a match for stagnation and foot-dragging. This sort of shifting is nothing to fear. It can be quite exhilarating to connect with a variety of cool people in your lifetime. Clinginess isn’t a vibrational match for growth. Embracing Your Power The third area for personal development work is to notice where you’re giving your power away, and begin to reclaim your power. It’s time to stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and accept the full consequences of what it will take to achieve your goal. Suppose you want to have a threesome (sexually). Obviously there are plenty of people on the planet who are willing to engage in this, so it’s certainly possible for you to have such an experience if you’re willing to do what it takes to make it a reality. It’s certainly not that difficult action-wise. Ask enough people, and you’ll get some yeses. Arrange a time to get together, and have fun. And yet despite the simplicity of this goal, you can massively overcomplicate it if you give your power away. Suppose you ask your current partner, and she says no. You can blame her for being a stick in the mud, or you can try to convince her (a form of force), but you’ll probably end up with a bad experience if you go that route. You can also accept your partner’s no and learn to live without the threesome. But if this is a strong desire for you, then this will only build resentment. Settling for less than you desire certainly won’t lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. It may appear to be a more socially acceptable choice in some circumstances, but that’s just another instance of your feeding your power to something that blocks you (the delusion of being socially accepted by others in this case). The deeper inner work is to ask, Why am I with a partner who doesn’t naturally want the same things I do? Why am I settling for less than I desire? Why am I being so clingy with someone who wants different experiences than I do? To make the threesome real (not merely a fantasy), this inner work has to be done. These apparent conflicts need to be resolved. You have to learn to use your power to feed your desires, not obstacles. If you were already a strong match for having threesomes, you could make one happen this week, perhaps even today. I know someone who claims to have had 500+ threesomes. For him it’s a fun but also an easy thing to experience. He can go out and make it happen with two women he just met, and he certainly doesn’t look like a swimsuit model. While most people block such an experience from happening, he directs his power to creating the experiences he wants to have. I hope you can see that logistically, this really isn’t that difficult of a goal. The action steps are pretty basic, mostly involving some communication. But if your vibe isn’t a good match for such an experience, then it may appear to be virtually impossible for you. It will seem like the external world is opposing you, but that isn’t the case at all. Your own vibe is what’s creating the mismatch. If you adjust your vibe enough, the goal becomes easy and straightforward. It may even happen on its own without your having to ask. Achieving stretch goals requires fixing the magnets that aren’t turned the right way. This includes dropping limiting beliefs and false assumptions, dumping disempowering relationships, and letting go of excuses and blame. If you avoid this inner growth work and try to jump ahead to cause-and-effect action steps, you’ll simply orbit your goal. Do the Personal Growth Work Once you’ve identified the personal growth work you must go through in order to become a match for your goal, then get busy working on it. If you’re conscious about it, you can compress lessons that would otherwise take years into a few months or weeks, creating big shifts in a short period of time. There are tons of methods you can use to do this personal growth work. This website is filled with them. Here are some examples: Journal to gain new insights (contrast the old vibe with the new one). Have deep conversations with people who are intelligent and aware. Meditate on feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Keep visualizing yourself as already there; feel it as real. Disconnect from people who aren’t a match for your goal. Join a club that will help you align your vibe with your goal. Move to a new city that’s a better match for your goal. Replace the books on your bookshelf with books that match the new vibe. Donate possessions that aren’t a good match for the new vibe. Catch yourself giving your power away, and reclaim it by directing it back towards your desires. When someone says no to your desires, say no to that aspect of your relationship with them (or to the whole relationship, if necessary). Create new empowering belief statements to replace old limiting beliefs. Hang out regularly with people who can naturally help you align with your goal (i.e. people who inspire you in that direction). Intend and expect to reach your goal. Use the word “when” instead of “if” when talking about your goal. Blog about your goal or talk about it publicly (this will reveal mismatching relationships and help attract compatible connections too). Conduct experiments like 30-day trials to immerse yourself in the experience of a new vibe. Change your diet, clothes, etc. to eat, dress, and live as if you’re already there. Put up pictures or other inspirational messages that represent the new vibe. Read books written by others who emit a vibe that’s compatible with your goal. Go to lectures, workshops, seminars, and retreats that will help immerse you in the new vibe. Forgive people who’ve wronged you, and release the hurt and resentment. I think you get the idea. The exact processes you use here aren’t that important. Last year I went to a talk where Joe Vitale asked everyone in the room (a room full of professional speakers and authors) to shout out their favorite personal growth processes. He had two people writing them down on a large white board. Within 10 minutes the board was completely filled, and they still kept going by writing over the previous items. This drove home the point that there are countless ways to do inner work. Use your favorite three-letter acronym process. Get therapy. Poke yourself with your finger a few times. Go to Sedona and consult with the vortex aliens. Whatever. The specific process doesn’t matter. What works best for me may not work at all for you, and vice versa. The important thing is that the processes you use are helping you become a match for your goal. Don’t stick with a process that isn’t giving you results. Results in this area may involve a lot of inner processing, but they should still create tangible effects. For many years I’ve wanted to travel a lot more. But I didn’t have the right vibe for a travel-rich lifestyle. I had limiting beliefs about how difficult it would be to make travel a regular part of my life. I had home-centric relationships that didn’t support a travel-rich lifestyle. I gave my power away to reasons (i.e. excuses) for why I couldn’t travel as much as I wanted to. I did some serious inner work to resolve those blocks, and as I did this, travel began showing up in my life very easily. Now it seems normal and natural to travel often. Two weeks ago I was in Canada. This week I spent a couple days in Sedona (consulting with the vortex aliens, no less). And next week I’ll be in New Orleans. Travel has become an easy and natural part of my life. It took some inner work to integrate the frequent traveler vibe, but I’d say it’s pretty well integrated now. I like being a travel slut. When you’ve integrated the new vibe well enough (perfection isn’t necessary), you’ll find that the right actions begin to flow with ease. It feels natural and casual. There’s little or no resistance. When you want to experience something that’s aligned with your vibe, you just create it. It’s no more difficult than making a meal. Now here’s the rub. The personal growth work will not be easy. It may be very challenging. But this is the area where you’ll make the fastest progress when working towards goals that you aren’t already a good match for experiencing. Once you resolve the alignment issues, the goal almost takes care of itself. You won’t have to worry so much about problems like procrastination and self-sabotage. If you want to get through this part faster, read my book Personal Development for Smart People. It covers the 7 fundamentals of personal growth and how to speed up the process, regardless of what type of goal you’re trying to achieve. I’ve alluded to 3 of those 7 principles in this article. For the others I have to refer you to the book because it would take way too long to explain them properly in an article (and this one is already pushing 8000 words). A full book was necessary to do this topic justice. Avoid Delusional Role Models I feel very fortunate because I have a privileged perspective that isn’t available to most people. I get to observe lots of people going after different goals, and I get to see who succeeds and who flounders. And because I’m exposed to all this raw data, I’m able to learn patterns that most people don’t have the opportunity to learn within their lifetimes. One thing that’s become very clear is that when people succeed, they tend to get there by taking actions that are easy and natural for them. Force doesn’t work well. Force can sometimes get you to a goal, but the form of the goal will be a bit off from what you wanted, and it will be hard to hold onto it. When you achieve a stretch goal using this vibrational alignment process, however, it’s easier to hang onto it afterwards — and to further build upon it. And you’ll enjoy the process of getting there so much more. This is a very personal process, however. You have to keep coming back to what works for you. You have to stop projecting false imaginings onto other people, especially people you’ve never met. That’s delusional thinking that will only push your goal further away. For example, if you set a goal to become a millionaire, search your thoughts for the kinds of images that come up. What associations do you already have in your memory? Where did you learn them? Are they accurate? Do they apply to you? Did you pick up fictional characters from TV or film for your role models in this area? When you think of millionaires, do you imagine Ebeneezer Scrooge or Gordon Gecko? Do you imagine millionaires that you’ve only seen on TV but which you’ve never met face to face? Such mental clutter will screw up your vibe in this area. Go back to basics and re-learn the right vibe from scratch. Admit that you don’t really understand the true vibe of what it’s like to be an actual millionaire in the real world. I have many millionaire friends, and none are anything like the way I’ve seen wealthy people portrayed in fictional books, TV shows, or movies. Their real vibes are totally different than the fictional versions. Their vibes are also quite different than what I’d have expected based on interviews I’ve seen with other millionaires, or from what I’ve read in books written by millionaires. When you only experience certain people through indirect media, don’t pretend that you know the person being represented. It’s too easy to project false assumptions and beliefs onto someone else when you only connect from a distance. If you later interact with such people one-on-one and face-to-face, those interactions will often throw you for a loop. The other person’s vibe won’t be what you expected. Obviously I’ve shared many details about my life via my blog, but it’s safe to say that someone who spends 30 minutes chatting with me one-on-one in person will knowme significantly better than someone who’s read all of my articles but has never met me in person. The second person will have a lot more information about me, but the first person will have a much better understanding of my actual vibe. I feel the same about others. If I haven’t met you in person, then I don’t claim to know you at all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone in person who’s clearly shy and introverted, but from their blog postings, you’d think they were a social butterfly. In most cases, they didn’t intentionally create a false image to deceive people. It’s just that their real vibe doesn’t get transmitted over the Internet. This leads people to project all sorts of false assumptions onto them, making it hard to use such people as good role models. One of the reasons it’s so important to favor in-person communication (especially when you want to understand a new vibe) is that your skin cells are covered with tiny antennae that pick up electro-magnetic fields emitted by other people (such as their heart waves and brain waves). Every human being is like a walking transmitter and receiver. This aspect of our biology, however, is essentially a local phenomenon. It drops off massively if you’re more than a meter or two away from someone. Even watching someone from a stage is too far. You really want to be no farther than the distance of sharing a meal together. That’s when you’ll learn the most about someone else’s vibe. Of course you’ll learn even more about someone’s vibe if you sleep with them, but you don’t have to take things that far. Consequently, if you’ve never spent any real time with me in person, then it’s not such a good idea to use me as a role model for any goals I might have achieved that you also want to achieve. If you only know me from my blog posts or podcasts or from watching me give a speech, you don’t really know what my normal daily vibe is like. You’re better off finding someone local who can serve as a role model, someone you can hang out with in person, if only for a short time. If you use primarily Internet-based role models, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time running in circles instead of achieving your goals because it will be very hard for you to lock onto the right vibe. You’ll merely be creating a false projection that doesn’t much resemble the real vibe that matches the goal. The Process in Review Here’s what our overall process looks like step by step: Define your outcome. Develop a deeper understanding of the new vibe that matches the goal (get face time with people who’ve achieved it, visualize yourself as already there). Contrast your current vibe with the new vibe to see where you’re out of alignment (use contrasting visualizations, broadcast your desires). Identify the personal growth work necessary to adjust your vibe (new truths, new connections, smarter application of your power). Use your favorite processes to do the personal growth work until you achieve enough alignment to experience the flow of inspired action. Allow the flow of inspired action (not force) to guide you to your goal. Enjoy the harmonious manifestation of your goal. It’s a simple process in essence, and it works amazingly well. No goal is out of reach with this process. But what if you can’t find any role models for a particular goal? Then you’ll have to rely more heavily on visualization. This may require more experimentation to find the right vibe. It’s one reason that new goals that have never been accomplished before by anyone usually take longer to achieve. It takes a while to figure out the right vibe that aligns with the goal. For example, human beings are always building faster computers than the ones that exist today because the vibe of “building a slightly faster computer” is already known and understood by enough people to make that possible. However, the vibe of “building a sentient android” is not yet understood and integrated, so we don’t have a Mr. Data yet. Some fun areas for vibrational “play” involve exploring spaces with stretch goals that no one has ever achieved before. Can you figure out the vibe that aligns with the goal? Can you do the personal growth work to become a match for that vibe? Or will you stick to the vibes that represent a “been there, done that” experience for someone else? What about the action steps? When your vibe becomes a strong match for your goal, you don’t even have to think about the action steps. That would be like telling you how to make dinner. There are countless resources to inform you about the action steps to take. When your vibe is a match for your goal, those action-step resources will tend to effortlessly flow to you. If it seems like the action steps are unknown or a struggle, then you need to do more work on aligning your vibe with your goal. Now if I could only figure out the vibe of writing a typo-free article on the first try.   
    1137 Posted by UniqueThis
  • In the previous post, I mentioned that I’d share a method for achieving goals where you aren’t already a good match for the goal. For example, how do you become a millionaire if your vibe is riddled with thoughts and feelings of scarcity? I’ll share that process with you now. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, I suggest you read it first, so you can better understand the context of this one. I know it’s a lot of reading, but it will be worth your while. Stretch Goals For the sake of convenience, let’s use the term “stretch goals” to refer to the types of goals for which you aren’t already a good match. Such goals are of course relative to the person setting them. Buying a new car wouldn’t be a stretch goal for someone who can easily afford it, but it could be a stretch goal for someone who’s broke and struggling with unemployment. The first person can simply walk into a dealership, pick a car, pay cash for it, and drive away with it. The second person may be looking at tougher challenges to overcome. Jack Canfield likes to refer to these as breakthrough goals, perhaps because when you achieve such a goal, you’re breaking through to a whole new level of being. Vibrational Alignment People don’t experience the same level of difficulty in achieving similar goals because each person has a different degree of vibrational alignment (or lack of alignment) relative to the goal. A goal is only easy or hard relative to your vibe. Some vibes are weak matches for certain goals. Other vibes are strong matches. The more strongly your vibe matches a goal, the more easily and effortlessly you can achieve that goal. For example, if I wanted to earn an extra $10K this month, that would be a fairly easy goal for me to achieve. I could probably do something this weekend that would generate an extra $10K by the end of the month. My vibe is already a good match for receiving such sums. It feels normal to me. But since the goal wouldn’t cause me to stretch, it isn’t very inspiring either. As far as goals go, it’s a bit dull. For someone else, earning an extra $10K this month might be a seemingly impossible fantasy. Their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors create a different vibe. Whereas I see ease and simplicity, they might see struggle, obstacles, or lack of opportunity. They might also become overly excited about the idea of earning an extra $10K (which suggests it isn’t normal for them), thereby positioning the goal in the realm of fantasy instead of possible reality. To yet another person, the goal of earning an extra $10K this month might be right in the middle — enough of a challenge to be interesting and motivating, but not so challenging as to appear impossible. For this person it’s a stretch goal. They see it’s possible, but they aren’t sure how to make it a reality yet. Your vibe largely determines which goals you’re even willing to set. If your vibe is too far out of alignment with a particular goal, you’ll never bring yourself to set such a goal. That would be self-delusion at best, like a scarcity-minded person setting the goal to become a billionaire. The mind won’t believe the goal, so the person won’t take the actions needed to get there. When your vibe is a very close match for a goal, you probably won’t even think of it as a goal. It will simply be a task to do, like making dinner or taking your dog for a walk. For me, writing a new article is a basic task which I often do for the sheer enjoyment of writing. So we could say that my personal vibe is a very close match for the goal of writing an article. When your vibe is somewhere in the middle, you have a stretch goal. Your vibe is enough of a match for the goal to enable you to set the goal and take it seriously, but not yet enough of a match to experience the achievement of the goal. One of the best reasons to set goals and work to achieve them is the vibrational shift you must undergo in order to achieve new goals, especially stretch goals. Matching vs. Mismatching Vibes There are two types of vibes to think about with respect to any goal: 1) Vibes that match the goal 2) Vibes that don’t match the goal When your vibe is in the first category, then achieving your goal is relatively easy. You will still take action, but your actions will flow easily, and they won’t feel terribly effortful. Taking action will often feel like play. The actions you choose will be the right actions that will move you closer to your goal. You’ll probably experience many synchronicities too. Great opportunities will come to you. You’ll see good evidence that real progress is happening. Other people will notice that you’ve shifted. When your vibe is in the second category, the path to your goal will seem difficult and littered with obstacles. You’ll notice the obstacles and will probably feel a strong desire to procrastinate, and you’ll often indulge in distractions. You will identify actions to take, but they won’t be the right actions. When you take action, you’ll often feel resistance, either from inside yourself or from the external world. Getting to your goal will feel like work more than play. You may invest a lot of time and effort into your goal, but you probably won’t get there. Months or years may pass, and you’ll have little to show for it. These are the extremes. Depending on the degree of alignment between your vibe and your goal, you’ll probably fall somewhere in the middle. Some aspects will look like the first example, while other aspects will resemble the second situation. This means that your vibe is a partial match for your goal. Some parts of your vibe are very well aligned with your goal, while other parts are opposing your goal. Stop Using Force Now here’s the tricky part to understand, so please read this next bit carefully. When your vibe is a good match for your goal, you’ll naturally have a sense of the right actions to take, and synchronicities will show up to guide you as needed. You won’t have to struggle to figure out what to do next. Most of the time, the next action to take will be fairly obvious, and it will feel good to you. It will be an action you want to take. You won’t have to force it. However, when your vibe is a poor match for your goal, you’ll come up with some actions to take, but they’ll be the wrong actions. You won’t have a strong inner feeling of clarity about them. You’ll have a lot of doubts. It will be hard to choose a path, and even when you do choose, you won’t feel certain that it’s the right path for you. When you do take action, you’ll be acting under a cloud of doubt and uncertainty. You’ll also have a strong tendency to procrastinate and delay. A common prescription for people in the second situation is to use force. Take more action. Fight procrastination. Push yourself harder. Eliminate distractions. Focus! Do it now! Get to work! This doesn’t work well. It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. Even if you do achieve a goal this way, it will be difficult to sustain it, and a fall is inevitable. Your vibe and the goal are constantly resisting each other. As soon as you let down your guard, they repel each other. Imagine trying to get up at 5am when your vibe isn’t a match for being an early riser. Instead of popping out of bed feeling alert and refreshed, you feel tired and sleepy and hit the snooze button. When you are a match for such a goal, however, you can arise early with ease. The goal requires no struggle at all. It’s just your normal wake-up time. No big deal. It’s safe to say that if a goal seems like a big deal to you, this indicates that your vibe isn’t yet a match for that goal. When you notice that you’re trying to force a goal, stop for a moment and think about it. Why is this such a struggle for you? Why are you fighting what you claim to desire? Why are you sabotaging yourself? Why do you keep procrastinating? Ask yourself, Do I really want this goal? Is this a good goal for me at this time? It’s okay if it’s a stretch goal. Just be sure it’s something you really want. It’s perfectly okay to desire a goal that may seem like it’s beyond you right now. If you realize that you don’t really care enough about this goal to take it seriously, then let it go. If you don’t desire to do what it takes to become a match for the goal, there’s no point in fussing over it. Drop it, and accept the consequences of that decision. I often see this pattern with people who go to college because their parents expect them to. They pick a major that others will approve of. But they don’t enjoy the coursework, and they don’t even want to work in that field. That’s a no-brainer recipe for vibrational resistance. Then these students wonder why they procrastinate on their studies and don’t feel motivated. Sure it takes courage to choose your own path, but you aren’t here to live up to other people’s expectations. Now if you still feel good about the goal and you still want the outcome, that’s perfectly fine too. Just because you aren’t a match for the goal doesn’t mean you should drop it. Some of the best goals will require you to shift your vibe in order to achieve them. It could be said that the vibrational shift is an even greater accomplishment than the external goal. For example, aligning your vibe with abundance can be a greater accomplishment than earning some specific sum of money. Once you’ve integrated the vibe of abundance, your whole life is transformed, not just your finances. Orbiting vs. Achieving Your Goal Let’s assume for now that you have a goal that you like, but you aren’t yet a vibrational match for it. What’s the next step? Well, many people would say that the next steps are to make plans and start taking action, but for a goal of this nature, that approach doesn’t work well. It will usually cause you to run in circles. It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. You can push with great force, but that isn’t a wise idea. If you want the magnets to stick, then it’s easier if you flip one of the magnets around. If you do that first, then you can pretty much let go, and the magnets will attract each other. You may give them a nudge, but forcing them together isn’t necessary. Now this is a very simple analogy, so let’s expand it a bit. Your vibe is much more complex than a single magnet. Your vibe with respect to any single goal is like 100 pairs of magnets. Some magnets have their poles aligned to attract each other, but some are repelling each other. So when you try to achieve your goal by taking direct action, sometimes you’re in the flow, and sometimes you’re out of flow. Some parts of your vibe are pulling the goal towards you. Other parts of your vibe are pushing the goal away. You don’t have to be in perfect 100% alignment to achieve your goal. You just have to make enough shifts such that the overwhelming force is attractive rather than repulsive. But it has to be strong enough to overcome inertia and any repelling forces. If there’s too much repelling force or inertia and not enough attracting force, then you’ll fall into the trap of running in circles when you try to take action. The Earth and the Moon attract each other gravitationally. But they don’t crash into each other. The Moon just runs in circles around the Earth. But what if we could somehow slow down or stop the Moon’s motion relative to the Earth? Then the Earth and the Moon would attract each other till they collided. This would be bad for people on Earth, but the Earth and Moon would become one. Similarly, if you wish to become one with your goals, you’ll need to work with the various forces and motions that are present until a collision course with your goals becomes inevitable. This is essentially what it means to become a vibrational match for your goal. If you’re not a match, you’ll end up orbiting your goal instead of reaching it, despite having a lot of gravity on your side. Understanding the New Vibe Now here’s another tricky part, so read this carefully and ponder it a bit. The #1 reason people struggle to achieve their stretch goals is that they don’t have a solid understanding of the matching vibe. Because they don’t understand what the new vibe looks like and feels like, they don’t understand the right actions to take. So they take the wrong actions, they struggle, and they get results they don’t want. The most important thing you can do to achieve a stretch goal is to deepen and clarify your understanding of the matching vibe. What will your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors be like when you’ve already achieved the goal? What kind of person will you be when you’re already there? Someone who earns $1 million per year doesn’t have the same vibe as someone who earns $50K per year. The thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of each person are very different. If you’re earning $50K per year, and you set a stretch goal to earn $1 million per year, the first thing you must do is study and understand the vibe you’d be emitting if you were already at the $1 million per year level. It will be very different than your current $50K vibe. Energetically speaking, you won’t be the same person. Your greatest risk of failure stems from the problem of projecting your $50K vibe onto the $1 million goal. You can’t use a $50K vibe to create the action list to achieve this goal. You have to use the $1M vibe to create the action list, and you can’t do that until and unless you understand the $1M vibe well enough. Most people don’t do what it takes to understand the new vibe. They project their old vibes forward in time, but that doesn’t work. It only keeps them orbiting the same goal, running in circles for years. You must figure out which of your 100 internal magnets are aligned with the new goal’s magnets, and which aren’t aligned. When you dive into action without this understanding, the odds of success are very low. The opposing magnets will simply repel each other, and you’ll be kept in orbit indefinitely. The closer you get to your goal, the stronger the opposing force will be. This may look like you’re sabotaging yourself each time you get close to your goal. Forcing it won’t work. It will only frustate you. Then you’ll say to yourself things like, “Why is this taking so long? I should be much further along by now.” or “Why do I keep procrastinating?” How to Learn the New Vibe There are many ways to deepen your understanding of the new vibe that pairs with your goal. Here are some suggestions. First, be humble as you enter this process. Admit that you don’t yet understand the new vibe. If you did understand it, you’d already be coasting effortlessly to your goal. Accept that if you’re struggling, it’s because you don’t understand the new vibe well enough. You might also be clinging to some false assumptions about it. Try to set aside any preconceived notions about the new vibe. Start with a blank slate. Open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t pretend to know something you haven’t yet experienced. If you aren’t already living it, it’s safe to say that you don’t know it yet. It may help to think about a goal you’ve already achieved. Remember your vibe before and after the goal was achieved. Think about the goal of learning to drive a car. Notice how different your vibe was before you learned. It probably seemed like a big deal. You may have put the goal on a pedestal. You may have felt a bit stressed about it. But as you got closer to achieving this goal, your vibe shifted to the point where driving seemed like no big deal. If your vibe didn’t shift, you still wouldn’t be able to drive yet. We could say that practice is what helped to shift your vibe, but we could also say that you shifted your vibe by spending time with people who already had the right vibe (i.e. experienced drivers), and you picked up the right vibe (not just the know-how) from them. Once you matched the vibe of a confident driver, you could drive confidently too. This leads us into the next step. If possible, identify people who’ve already achieved the goal you want to achieve (or something similar). Buy their books, and read them for starters. Join clubs where these people are members. Do whatever it takes to get face time with such people. Don’t admire such people from a distance. You need to connect with them in person, and preferably one on one. This means not over the phone and not over the Internet. In person means in person. This is easier than it sounds if you make it a priority. When you hang out with such people in person, you’ll learn so much about the new vibe you wish to create. Some inner shifts will happen automatically. This is very important. Don’t blow it off unless you prefer to orbit your goals instead of experience them. So if you want to be a millionaire, go to places where millionaires hang out, and spend time getting to know them. Talk to them about money. Don’t worry about getting how-to tips. You won’t be able to apply them yet anyway. Instead, get a sense of the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about money. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about their vibe? Why is it that they’re a match for having lots of money, and you aren’t? The vibrational differences tell the story. If you’re shy or socially dorky, go to a park or coffee shop in a wealthy neighborhood. Sit down, shut up, and observe. Listen to people’s conversations. Do this again and again until you start getting a clear sense of the vibe of such people. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about them? Are you willing to embrace this vibe? Notice that such people don’t usually say, “Holy frak! I can’t believe I have all this money! It’s so unreal!” Having lots of money is just normal and routine for them. It’s no big deal. That’s the vibe you want to understand. If you think having a lot of money is a big deal, that’s why you don’t have it. That’s the vibe of wanting money and not having it. The vibe of having money is totally different. Next, spend time visualizing yourself as already having the vibe needed to achieve your goal. You’ll learn about this vibe partly from being around people who’ve already achieved your goal. Visualization can help you personalize the vibe. Other people will give you clues with respect to where you need to make shifts, but your vibe is uniquely your own. Your wealth vibe, for instance, won’t be quite the same as someone else’s. However, you’ll still have a lot in common with other wealthy people when you make the shifts that work for you. I recommend spending about 10 minutes per day visualizing how your life will be different once you’ve achieved your goal. How will you really think, feel, and behave on the other side of that goal? Try to make as few adjustments as possible to your current vibe, just enough to realistically see yourself in that situation and having it feel normal to you. This is important. Realize that if you’re going to achieve this goal in reality, then it’s still you on the other side, with all your dorkiness coming along for the ride. It’s not your higher self or your ideal self. It’s just a slightly adjusted version of your normal, everyday self. Try doing it like this. Imagine a scene that represents your goal. Now put your current self into that scene. This is the person you are right now, your normal self. Imagine yourself going through that scene as if it were completely real and happening right now. You just quantum leaped right into it. Do your best to imagine this not as a dream or fantasy, but as solid reality, like a real event that’s happening today, perhaps a few hours from now. Now let your character interact with the scene. How would you realistically react to what’s happening? What you want to understand is your character’s vibrational interaction with the vibe of the scene. This will tell you where some of your magnets are pointing in the wrong directions. The more realistic you can make this scene, the more you’ll learn from it. Daydreaming isn’t the same thing as visualizing. You can visualize yourself being in a sex scene for the purpose of taking care of yourself, but that isn’t the same thing as visualizing a sex scene that you actually want to experience in reality. Your mind can tell the difference between a fantasy visualization and a serious goal. Otherwise you’d manifest lots of sex just by imagining it. You can imagine anything you want, but it won’t become real until you match the vibe of that experience too, and that part takes a bit more work. For example, suppose one of your goals is to live in a mansion and have a staff of servants. In most of your visualizations, you imagine how great it will be, but that doesn’t get you any closer to your goal. However, when you take the time to imagine it as 100% real, and you plop your current self into that new reality, you notice some issues coming up. Maybe you feel nervous and anxious living in such a big place. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable telling your servants what to do — maybe you feel bad about the idea of other people cleaning your toilets and making your meals. Maybe you also feel some excitement about having such a cool place to live, but that also suggests a mismatch because if you actually lived there, it would probably feel normal to you. You might appreciate your home, but you probably wouldn’t feel excited about living there every day. Take notes about these experiences. Write down things like: I don’t feel good about paying 20x bigger tax bills. I don’t like telling other people what to do. I’d feel stressed if I had to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year minimum just to cover my expenses. What are the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have that indicate you’re still a mismatch for your goal? Sometimes it’s the extended consequences of the goal, rather than the goal itself, that reveal a lack of alignment. For example, if you want to be a famous actor, what do you think about being in the public eye? Can you handle public criticism from people who don’t know you? Can you accept that as being a normal part of your life, or does that seem like something you’d want to avoid? If you want to achieve a goal, you must accept the logical consequences of that goal. If you resist the consequences, you resist the goal. Now ask your mind to show you what vibrational adjustments you need to make to be congruent with your goal. Imagine that your character is downloading a new personality subroutine. Let your adjusted self interact with the scene anew. Allow your mind to keep making tweaks until your character seems to be a comfortable, natural fit for the scene. Get a sense of your character’s new vibe. What’s different about it? What had to be changed? Again, take some notes that you can refer to later. You may notice things like: My new character is more confident. My new character jokes with the staff; s/he appreciates them but also retains an air of authority. My new character feels that it’s easy to earn enough to cover all the expenses; this isn’t a big deal. A very helpful final step is to broadcast your desires. Share your goal openly with the people in your life, and talk about it seriously as if you intend to make it real ASAP. Notice how the people in your life react to your announcement. This will quickly reveal which relationships in your life are helping you become a match for your goal and which are holding you back. You’ll need to drop or transform the relationships that will otherwise hold you back. Don’t get clingy since that just holds everyone back and builds resentment. Accept that you’re here to grow. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with much more compatible partners anyway, so no worries about being alone. Turning Repulsion Into Attraction This process will help you create a vibrational to-do list. This is even more important than your action list. Once you take steps to adjust your vibe to be in harmony with your goal, the action steps will begin to flow rather easily. What’s a vibrational to-do list? It’s a list of the personal development work you need to do in order to become a match for your goal. Ultimately it will include three types of growth experiences: You’ll shed limiting beliefs and perspectives that align with the old vibe, replacing them with new truths that align with the new vibe. You’ll shed negative relationships that are bad match for your new vibe, and you’ll add positive new relationships that are well aligned with it. You’ll stop feeding your power to excuses and obstacles, and you’ll begin emitting a more powerful vibe that draws your goal increasingly near. These personal growth experiences are the inner magnets that you must re-align. Let’s consider each category in turn. New Truths Suppose your goal is to earn $1M per year. That’s about $80K per month. If you currently earn $50K per year, then this may seem like a very large sum. But if you were a match for this goal, then $80K per month must look and feel like a normal sum to you. It’s just your regular paycheck. There’s nothing special about it. If you’re going to turn it into a big deal, then you’re pushing this goal away. So your new truth might be, “Earning $80K per month is normal. It’s easy and natural for me.” To help you align with this goal, you might go to your bank, withdraw $1000 cash, and carry it around in your wallet every day. That may feel uncomfortable at first, but keep doing it till it feels normal and natural to you. How does it feel to carry two hours’ worth of pay in your wallet? It’s no big deal. Embrace your new truth, and it will help you create a more abundant vibe. If you want to earn 20x more money, then you need to change your relationships to money by a factor of 20. A $1000 sum in your new vibe is equivalent to a $50 bill in your old vibe. If you can’t make little adjustments like this to get started, then you aren’t yet serious about your goal, are you? Are you going to make it real or not? If you’re going to make it real, then you’d better get used to dealing with larger sums of money as if it’s a totally normal experience for you. So start building that comfort now. Otherwise you’ll repel those larger sums because you’ll freak yourself out when they start to show up. New Connections Suppose your goal (once again) is to go from earning $50K to $1M per year. When you imagine yourself as already there, it becomes clear that some of your current friends won’t be able to handle it. So part of your inner work will be to either (1) drop these people from your life, so they stop blocking you, or (2) have some deep conversations to transform these relationships, so these people can get behind your goal. Build new relationships too. What kinds of people would you have in your life if you already achieved your goal? Start building those relationships now. They’ll actually help you get there. Don’t do the “I’m not worthy” thing. If you’re going to make this goal a reality, then you’re going to have to overcome those feelings of unworthiness. You might as well start now. The same goes for family members. In my early 20s when I decided to start my own business, I distanced myself from my parents and siblings because they were so immersed in the employee mindset. I had to be around other entrepreneurs to understand the vibe of success on this path. Don’t cling to relationships that aren’t a good match for your goal. This is an area where you may really have to do some house-cleaning. Yes, you’ll see a lot of relationships come and go. That’s part of life. You’ll get used to it. If you want to be a match for having lots of growth experiences, then you’d better embrace the idea of seeing your personal relationships shift around a lot. Otherwise, you’ll be a match for stagnation and foot-dragging. This sort of shifting is nothing to fear. It can be quite exhilarating to connect with a variety of cool people in your lifetime. Clinginess isn’t a vibrational match for growth. Embracing Your Power The third area for personal development work is to notice where you’re giving your power away, and begin to reclaim your power. It’s time to stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and accept the full consequences of what it will take to achieve your goal. Suppose you want to have a threesome (sexually). Obviously there are plenty of people on the planet who are willing to engage in this, so it’s certainly possible for you to have such an experience if you’re willing to do what it takes to make it a reality. It’s certainly not that difficult action-wise. Ask enough people, and you’ll get some yeses. Arrange a time to get together, and have fun. And yet despite the simplicity of this goal, you can massively overcomplicate it if you give your power away. Suppose you ask your current partner, and she says no. You can blame her for being a stick in the mud, or you can try to convince her (a form of force), but you’ll probably end up with a bad experience if you go that route. You can also accept your partner’s no and learn to live without the threesome. But if this is a strong desire for you, then this will only build resentment. Settling for less than you desire certainly won’t lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. It may appear to be a more socially acceptable choice in some circumstances, but that’s just another instance of your feeding your power to something that blocks you (the delusion of being socially accepted by others in this case). The deeper inner work is to ask, Why am I with a partner who doesn’t naturally want the same things I do? Why am I settling for less than I desire? Why am I being so clingy with someone who wants different experiences than I do? To make the threesome real (not merely a fantasy), this inner work has to be done. These apparent conflicts need to be resolved. You have to learn to use your power to feed your desires, not obstacles. If you were already a strong match for having threesomes, you could make one happen this week, perhaps even today. I know someone who claims to have had 500+ threesomes. For him it’s a fun but also an easy thing to experience. He can go out and make it happen with two women he just met, and he certainly doesn’t look like a swimsuit model. While most people block such an experience from happening, he directs his power to creating the experiences he wants to have. I hope you can see that logistically, this really isn’t that difficult of a goal. The action steps are pretty basic, mostly involving some communication. But if your vibe isn’t a good match for such an experience, then it may appear to be virtually impossible for you. It will seem like the external world is opposing you, but that isn’t the case at all. Your own vibe is what’s creating the mismatch. If you adjust your vibe enough, the goal becomes easy and straightforward. It may even happen on its own without your having to ask. Achieving stretch goals requires fixing the magnets that aren’t turned the right way. This includes dropping limiting beliefs and false assumptions, dumping disempowering relationships, and letting go of excuses and blame. If you avoid this inner growth work and try to jump ahead to cause-and-effect action steps, you’ll simply orbit your goal. Do the Personal Growth Work Once you’ve identified the personal growth work you must go through in order to become a match for your goal, then get busy working on it. If you’re conscious about it, you can compress lessons that would otherwise take years into a few months or weeks, creating big shifts in a short period of time. There are tons of methods you can use to do this personal growth work. This website is filled with them. Here are some examples: Journal to gain new insights (contrast the old vibe with the new one). Have deep conversations with people who are intelligent and aware. Meditate on feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Keep visualizing yourself as already there; feel it as real. Disconnect from people who aren’t a match for your goal. Join a club that will help you align your vibe with your goal. Move to a new city that’s a better match for your goal. Replace the books on your bookshelf with books that match the new vibe. Donate possessions that aren’t a good match for the new vibe. Catch yourself giving your power away, and reclaim it by directing it back towards your desires. When someone says no to your desires, say no to that aspect of your relationship with them (or to the whole relationship, if necessary). Create new empowering belief statements to replace old limiting beliefs. Hang out regularly with people who can naturally help you align with your goal (i.e. people who inspire you in that direction). Intend and expect to reach your goal. Use the word “when” instead of “if” when talking about your goal. Blog about your goal or talk about it publicly (this will reveal mismatching relationships and help attract compatible connections too). Conduct experiments like 30-day trials to immerse yourself in the experience of a new vibe. Change your diet, clothes, etc. to eat, dress, and live as if you’re already there. Put up pictures or other inspirational messages that represent the new vibe. Read books written by others who emit a vibe that’s compatible with your goal. Go to lectures, workshops, seminars, and retreats that will help immerse you in the new vibe. Forgive people who’ve wronged you, and release the hurt and resentment. I think you get the idea. The exact processes you use here aren’t that important. Last year I went to a talk where Joe Vitale asked everyone in the room (a room full of professional speakers and authors) to shout out their favorite personal growth processes. He had two people writing them down on a large white board. Within 10 minutes the board was completely filled, and they still kept going by writing over the previous items. This drove home the point that there are countless ways to do inner work. Use your favorite three-letter acronym process. Get therapy. Poke yourself with your finger a few times. Go to Sedona and consult with the vortex aliens. Whatever. The specific process doesn’t matter. What works best for me may not work at all for you, and vice versa. The important thing is that the processes you use are helping you become a match for your goal. Don’t stick with a process that isn’t giving you results. Results in this area may involve a lot of inner processing, but they should still create tangible effects. For many years I’ve wanted to travel a lot more. But I didn’t have the right vibe for a travel-rich lifestyle. I had limiting beliefs about how difficult it would be to make travel a regular part of my life. I had home-centric relationships that didn’t support a travel-rich lifestyle. I gave my power away to reasons (i.e. excuses) for why I couldn’t travel as much as I wanted to. I did some serious inner work to resolve those blocks, and as I did this, travel began showing up in my life very easily. Now it seems normal and natural to travel often. Two weeks ago I was in Canada. This week I spent a couple days in Sedona (consulting with the vortex aliens, no less). And next week I’ll be in New Orleans. Travel has become an easy and natural part of my life. It took some inner work to integrate the frequent traveler vibe, but I’d say it’s pretty well integrated now. I like being a travel slut. When you’ve integrated the new vibe well enough (perfection isn’t necessary), you’ll find that the right actions begin to flow with ease. It feels natural and casual. There’s little or no resistance. When you want to experience something that’s aligned with your vibe, you just create it. It’s no more difficult than making a meal. Now here’s the rub. The personal growth work will not be easy. It may be very challenging. But this is the area where you’ll make the fastest progress when working towards goals that you aren’t already a good match for experiencing. Once you resolve the alignment issues, the goal almost takes care of itself. You won’t have to worry so much about problems like procrastination and self-sabotage. If you want to get through this part faster, read my book Personal Development for Smart People. It covers the 7 fundamentals of personal growth and how to speed up the process, regardless of what type of goal you’re trying to achieve. I’ve alluded to 3 of those 7 principles in this article. For the others I have to refer you to the book because it would take way too long to explain them properly in an article (and this one is already pushing 8000 words). A full book was necessary to do this topic justice. Avoid Delusional Role Models I feel very fortunate because I have a privileged perspective that isn’t available to most people. I get to observe lots of people going after different goals, and I get to see who succeeds and who flounders. And because I’m exposed to all this raw data, I’m able to learn patterns that most people don’t have the opportunity to learn within their lifetimes. One thing that’s become very clear is that when people succeed, they tend to get there by taking actions that are easy and natural for them. Force doesn’t work well. Force can sometimes get you to a goal, but the form of the goal will be a bit off from what you wanted, and it will be hard to hold onto it. When you achieve a stretch goal using this vibrational alignment process, however, it’s easier to hang onto it afterwards — and to further build upon it. And you’ll enjoy the process of getting there so much more. This is a very personal process, however. You have to keep coming back to what works for you. You have to stop projecting false imaginings onto other people, especially people you’ve never met. That’s delusional thinking that will only push your goal further away. For example, if you set a goal to become a millionaire, search your thoughts for the kinds of images that come up. What associations do you already have in your memory? Where did you learn them? Are they accurate? Do they apply to you? Did you pick up fictional characters from TV or film for your role models in this area? When you think of millionaires, do you imagine Ebeneezer Scrooge or Gordon Gecko? Do you imagine millionaires that you’ve only seen on TV but which you’ve never met face to face? Such mental clutter will screw up your vibe in this area. Go back to basics and re-learn the right vibe from scratch. Admit that you don’t really understand the true vibe of what it’s like to be an actual millionaire in the real world. I have many millionaire friends, and none are anything like the way I’ve seen wealthy people portrayed in fictional books, TV shows, or movies. Their real vibes are totally different than the fictional versions. Their vibes are also quite different than what I’d have expected based on interviews I’ve seen with other millionaires, or from what I’ve read in books written by millionaires. When you only experience certain people through indirect media, don’t pretend that you know the person being represented. It’s too easy to project false assumptions and beliefs onto someone else when you only connect from a distance. If you later interact with such people one-on-one and face-to-face, those interactions will often throw you for a loop. The other person’s vibe won’t be what you expected. Obviously I’ve shared many details about my life via my blog, but it’s safe to say that someone who spends 30 minutes chatting with me one-on-one in person will knowme significantly better than someone who’s read all of my articles but has never met me in person. The second person will have a lot more information about me, but the first person will have a much better understanding of my actual vibe. I feel the same about others. If I haven’t met you in person, then I don’t claim to know you at all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone in person who’s clearly shy and introverted, but from their blog postings, you’d think they were a social butterfly. In most cases, they didn’t intentionally create a false image to deceive people. It’s just that their real vibe doesn’t get transmitted over the Internet. This leads people to project all sorts of false assumptions onto them, making it hard to use such people as good role models. One of the reasons it’s so important to favor in-person communication (especially when you want to understand a new vibe) is that your skin cells are covered with tiny antennae that pick up electro-magnetic fields emitted by other people (such as their heart waves and brain waves). Every human being is like a walking transmitter and receiver. This aspect of our biology, however, is essentially a local phenomenon. It drops off massively if you’re more than a meter or two away from someone. Even watching someone from a stage is too far. You really want to be no farther than the distance of sharing a meal together. That’s when you’ll learn the most about someone else’s vibe. Of course you’ll learn even more about someone’s vibe if you sleep with them, but you don’t have to take things that far. Consequently, if you’ve never spent any real time with me in person, then it’s not such a good idea to use me as a role model for any goals I might have achieved that you also want to achieve. If you only know me from my blog posts or podcasts or from watching me give a speech, you don’t really know what my normal daily vibe is like. You’re better off finding someone local who can serve as a role model, someone you can hang out with in person, if only for a short time. If you use primarily Internet-based role models, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time running in circles instead of achieving your goals because it will be very hard for you to lock onto the right vibe. You’ll merely be creating a false projection that doesn’t much resemble the real vibe that matches the goal. The Process in Review Here’s what our overall process looks like step by step: Define your outcome. Develop a deeper understanding of the new vibe that matches the goal (get face time with people who’ve achieved it, visualize yourself as already there). Contrast your current vibe with the new vibe to see where you’re out of alignment (use contrasting visualizations, broadcast your desires). Identify the personal growth work necessary to adjust your vibe (new truths, new connections, smarter application of your power). Use your favorite processes to do the personal growth work until you achieve enough alignment to experience the flow of inspired action. Allow the flow of inspired action (not force) to guide you to your goal. Enjoy the harmonious manifestation of your goal. It’s a simple process in essence, and it works amazingly well. No goal is out of reach with this process. But what if you can’t find any role models for a particular goal? Then you’ll have to rely more heavily on visualization. This may require more experimentation to find the right vibe. It’s one reason that new goals that have never been accomplished before by anyone usually take longer to achieve. It takes a while to figure out the right vibe that aligns with the goal. For example, human beings are always building faster computers than the ones that exist today because the vibe of “building a slightly faster computer” is already known and understood by enough people to make that possible. However, the vibe of “building a sentient android” is not yet understood and integrated, so we don’t have a Mr. Data yet. Some fun areas for vibrational “play” involve exploring spaces with stretch goals that no one has ever achieved before. Can you figure out the vibe that aligns with the goal? Can you do the personal growth work to become a match for that vibe? Or will you stick to the vibes that represent a “been there, done that” experience for someone else? What about the action steps? When your vibe becomes a strong match for your goal, you don’t even have to think about the action steps. That would be like telling you how to make dinner. There are countless resources to inform you about the action steps to take. When your vibe is a match for your goal, those action-step resources will tend to effortlessly flow to you. If it seems like the action steps are unknown or a struggle, then you need to do more work on aligning your vibe with your goal. Now if I could only figure out the vibe of writing a typo-free article on the first try.   
    Jul 27, 2011 1137
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Last night I had a really cool lucid dream. It started out as a regular dream that involved a bunch of robbers stealing items from a large house. I was trying to foil the robbers’ plans. At some point I realized that I was dreaming and became lucid. I ignored the robbers after that and decided to try something interesting. Instead of donning super powers and going around flying, I wanted to see if I could get my dream characters to become more lucid themselves. Could I get them to realize that we were in a shared dream together and to rise above their pre-scripted dream roles? Could I get them to fess up to that fact that our shared reality was a dream? I went outside and found some characters to interact with, but they seemed pretty dim-witted. They acted like plain vanilla NPCs that couldn’t handle off-script events. Then I had the idea that perhaps within the dream world, there are somehow limited “computing” resources available. Since I was outdoors in a complex scene, could it be that rendering the outdoor environment was chewing up a lot of dream resources, and that fewer resources were then available for the characters themselves? I thought that if that were the case, then perhaps I could experience richer character interactions if I went to a simpler, less visually complicated location in the dream world. Then perhaps the dream “computer” could devote fewer resources to rendering the environment and transfer some of those resources to creating richer dream characters that were more responsive. If I could say that the whole dream is happening within my physical brain, then I’m just saying that if my brain doesn’t have to render the illusion of rich, sprawling outdoor scenes, then perhaps it can devote more neurons to the task of creating richer characters. I went back to the house where my dream began, and I found a small room there. It had a basic layout with white walls, a window obscured by blinds, a bed, a couch, and a table. I figured that the dream renderer wouldn’t be overly taxed by such an environment. Three characters appeared in the room. Two were representations of friends I know in real life, and the other was some dream character I’d never seen before. I talked to the dream characters, and they seemed much smarter and more self-aware than the NPC-like characters I tried interacting with outdoors. We had a fascinating discussion about the nature of the dream world. They were aware that our shared reality was a dream, although one of them was skeptical about it. We talked about different ways of explaining how the dream world worked and why it seemed so real. We didn’t really understand how our dream world worked, but the best analogy we came up with was that it functioned much like a Holodeck from Star Trek. In other words, the dream world was being rendered as if by a computer, but that computer has limited computing resources (analogous to a physical computer’s processing power, memory, secondary storage, etc.). This dream computer only renders what is seen and interacted with, much like a computer game only renders what is visible on the screen. These computing resources are general purpose, so they can be transferred among “systems” like scene rendering, event creation, character development, etc. For a complex outdoor scene, we could say that most of the available resources are being used to render the scene. For a simpler environment, more resources might be available for simulating character interactions. When I awoke from the dream, which seemed to last for hours, I wondered if our “physical” world operates in much the same way. Does it also have limited computing resources? Do public interactions with NPCs seem to be more shallow because the world’s renderer is devoting most of its resources to rendering complex scenes? Do private interactions in a home seem to have more depth because there are more resources available to simulate the characters we interact with? What if the world really does operate like a giant simulation with limited computing resources that get transferred? Do other parts of your life seem to become richer when you cultivate a zen-like space that’s free of clutter and distraction? Do you tend to have experiences that aren’t as deep or rich when you’re out in a busy public area where hundreds of NPCs are being rendered? Do you have the deepest conversations when you’re alone with someone in a simple environment? Is there a special advantage to simplicity? Does it free up more computing resources to enrich the simulation of other parts of your life experience? If you fill your life with clutter in any form — visual clutter, shallow interactions with NPCs, a job you dislike — is it possible that you’re essentially wasting computing resources that could be used to simulate a much richer life? How can life’s computer bring new experiences into your simulation, such as a rewarding relationship, if you’re wasting it’s resources simulating what you don’t want? Many people have discovered that when they drop from their lives that which doesn’t inspire and fulfill them, a temporary void is created, but that void is soon filled with new experiences. As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” When you shut down one aspect of your reality, perhaps you’re freeing up computing resources that can then be used to enrich your simulation in other ways. What if you assume that most of the time, the computer that’s simulating your life is running at full capacity? You can’t add anything new until you delete something old. If you want to launch some new programs, such as a new relationship or a richer career path, you must first close some programs that are already running. One of the simplest ways to do this is to, at least temporarily, go to a very simple, quiet, uncluttered space, and be alone for a while. Another idea is to physically throw out or give away what you don’t need. If something is present in your life, but it’s not adding value, then it’s wasting computing resources. You’re asking life’s computer to keep rendering it. Why waste its resources? Is your reality simulating what you want it to be simulating? If not, then delete from the simulation that which you no longer desire. You certainly have a lot of control over the simulation. Close the unwanted programs, so you can reclaim the resources needed to create what you desire. That’s a lot better than intending what you want and having your reality respond with an hourglass icon.
    2056 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Last night I had a really cool lucid dream. It started out as a regular dream that involved a bunch of robbers stealing items from a large house. I was trying to foil the robbers’ plans. At some point I realized that I was dreaming and became lucid. I ignored the robbers after that and decided to try something interesting. Instead of donning super powers and going around flying, I wanted to see if I could get my dream characters to become more lucid themselves. Could I get them to realize that we were in a shared dream together and to rise above their pre-scripted dream roles? Could I get them to fess up to that fact that our shared reality was a dream? I went outside and found some characters to interact with, but they seemed pretty dim-witted. They acted like plain vanilla NPCs that couldn’t handle off-script events. Then I had the idea that perhaps within the dream world, there are somehow limited “computing” resources available. Since I was outdoors in a complex scene, could it be that rendering the outdoor environment was chewing up a lot of dream resources, and that fewer resources were then available for the characters themselves? I thought that if that were the case, then perhaps I could experience richer character interactions if I went to a simpler, less visually complicated location in the dream world. Then perhaps the dream “computer” could devote fewer resources to rendering the environment and transfer some of those resources to creating richer dream characters that were more responsive. If I could say that the whole dream is happening within my physical brain, then I’m just saying that if my brain doesn’t have to render the illusion of rich, sprawling outdoor scenes, then perhaps it can devote more neurons to the task of creating richer characters. I went back to the house where my dream began, and I found a small room there. It had a basic layout with white walls, a window obscured by blinds, a bed, a couch, and a table. I figured that the dream renderer wouldn’t be overly taxed by such an environment. Three characters appeared in the room. Two were representations of friends I know in real life, and the other was some dream character I’d never seen before. I talked to the dream characters, and they seemed much smarter and more self-aware than the NPC-like characters I tried interacting with outdoors. We had a fascinating discussion about the nature of the dream world. They were aware that our shared reality was a dream, although one of them was skeptical about it. We talked about different ways of explaining how the dream world worked and why it seemed so real. We didn’t really understand how our dream world worked, but the best analogy we came up with was that it functioned much like a Holodeck from Star Trek. In other words, the dream world was being rendered as if by a computer, but that computer has limited computing resources (analogous to a physical computer’s processing power, memory, secondary storage, etc.). This dream computer only renders what is seen and interacted with, much like a computer game only renders what is visible on the screen. These computing resources are general purpose, so they can be transferred among “systems” like scene rendering, event creation, character development, etc. For a complex outdoor scene, we could say that most of the available resources are being used to render the scene. For a simpler environment, more resources might be available for simulating character interactions. When I awoke from the dream, which seemed to last for hours, I wondered if our “physical” world operates in much the same way. Does it also have limited computing resources? Do public interactions with NPCs seem to be more shallow because the world’s renderer is devoting most of its resources to rendering complex scenes? Do private interactions in a home seem to have more depth because there are more resources available to simulate the characters we interact with? What if the world really does operate like a giant simulation with limited computing resources that get transferred? Do other parts of your life seem to become richer when you cultivate a zen-like space that’s free of clutter and distraction? Do you tend to have experiences that aren’t as deep or rich when you’re out in a busy public area where hundreds of NPCs are being rendered? Do you have the deepest conversations when you’re alone with someone in a simple environment? Is there a special advantage to simplicity? Does it free up more computing resources to enrich the simulation of other parts of your life experience? If you fill your life with clutter in any form — visual clutter, shallow interactions with NPCs, a job you dislike — is it possible that you’re essentially wasting computing resources that could be used to simulate a much richer life? How can life’s computer bring new experiences into your simulation, such as a rewarding relationship, if you’re wasting it’s resources simulating what you don’t want? Many people have discovered that when they drop from their lives that which doesn’t inspire and fulfill them, a temporary void is created, but that void is soon filled with new experiences. As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” When you shut down one aspect of your reality, perhaps you’re freeing up computing resources that can then be used to enrich your simulation in other ways. What if you assume that most of the time, the computer that’s simulating your life is running at full capacity? You can’t add anything new until you delete something old. If you want to launch some new programs, such as a new relationship or a richer career path, you must first close some programs that are already running. One of the simplest ways to do this is to, at least temporarily, go to a very simple, quiet, uncluttered space, and be alone for a while. Another idea is to physically throw out or give away what you don’t need. If something is present in your life, but it’s not adding value, then it’s wasting computing resources. You’re asking life’s computer to keep rendering it. Why waste its resources? Is your reality simulating what you want it to be simulating? If not, then delete from the simulation that which you no longer desire. You certainly have a lot of control over the simulation. Close the unwanted programs, so you can reclaim the resources needed to create what you desire. That’s a lot better than intending what you want and having your reality respond with an hourglass icon.
    Jul 27, 2011 2056
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Even when you take the time to set clear goals, visualize success, and break big goals down into projects and action steps, it can be difficult to get yourself to take action consistently until your goal is 100% complete. Crossing the starting line is much easier than crossing the finish line. Your overall results in life largely depend on your ability to follow through until you achieve completion. Many projects produce essentially zero results if they’re 90% complete. The key results only appear when you reach 100% completion. For example, if I write 90% of an article and don’t publish it, it produces no value other than being a private journaling exercise. The value cannot be delivered until the article is 100% complete and published. Incompletes Incompletes can produce feelings like dissatisfaction, discomfort, stress, worry, shame, and regret. We worry that we may have wasted too much time and energy on such projects with little to show for our efforts. One way to avoid racking up too many incompletes is to give more careful thought to which particular projects you’re willing to accept in the first place. Having too many active projects at the same time makes it hard to complete them. It’s like trying to juggle too many balls at once. You end up dropping every ball. One reason we take on too many projects is the desire for variety. Working on the same project day after day can get boring. Another reason is that projects tend to be easier and more motivating in the beginning. Starting a new project is often fun. It’s much more difficult to work through the middling grind of a project and see it through to completion. Learning Your Lessons In order to move forward into a better place of achievement, we first need to absorb the lessons from our incompletes. If you’re carrying around some psychological baggage from past incompletes, then take a moment to forgive yourself for those mistakes. You screwed up. It’s okay. You’re human. At the same time, it’s wise to allow a little of that sting from past incompletes to hang around. That feeling of regret is there for a reason. It serves as an ongoing warning that we don’t want to get into similar situations again. The feeling of regret has a positive message, encouraging you to avoid starting too many projects if you won’t complete them. Instead of trying to drug this seemingly negative feeling with excess food or drink, turn towards it. Give it your full attention for a moment, and listen to what it has to say. Ask yourself, What lessons can I learn from my incompletes? How can this make me stronger? You might hear something like this: I’m tired of wasting time on projects that never go anywhere. Obviously I’m only going to get results if I complete something. So before I set any new goals or tackle any new projects, I’d better be sure I’m going to see them through to completion. If circumstances really do change in unexpected ways, and the project becomes obsolete before it’s done, then it’s okay to dump it and move on to something else. But if the original decision is still sound, then let’s keep pushing through to the end and get it done. I need to avoid overloading myself with too many projects at once. Ideally I should keep things simple and stick to one serious project at a time, perhaps two projects for variety. When I’m done, then I can add something new. But trying to do 10 things at once obviously isn’t working. I need to stop saying yes to new projects when I still have important incompletes to close. Abandoning Failed Strategies Notice which strategies you’ve already tried to get yourself to take action consistently. If you’ve tried something a few times, and it has never worked, stop doing it. Quite often people get into circular patterns where they keep trying the same failed strategies every few years, hoping that somehow things will be different. That doesn’t work. An example of a strategy that has never worked for me is trying to associate more pain to incompletion and more pleasure to completing a project, such as by using NLP techniques. I can safely abandon this strategy because I know it’s a dead end. My mind is smart enough to see right through these silly attempts at conditioning. It might work for a dog, but my mind resists such obvious attempts to make it less conscious. I always know that I have a choice. So I don’t use or revisit this strategy because it’s ineffective. Consciously acknowledging this realization helps me avoid using the wrong approach. When I feel overwhelmed, instead of trying to get myself to feel more motivated and work harder and faster, I say no more often, cancel some items, and pay more attention to simplifying my life. What are your failed strategies? Are you willing to drop them, so you can free your mind to figure out something more intelligent that might actually work? Resting in the Space of Possibility One positive step forward is to recognize that it’s at least possible for you to complete projects, even very difficult ones. Perhaps if you think back, you can recall some projects you did actually complete, and you can remember the results you got from them. Maybe it was something as simple as completing a school project and getting a good grade on it. Take a moment to acknowledge that for whatever goal or project you’d like to tackle next, it is at least possible for you to complete it in a timely manner. You aren’t attempting the impossible. There is a way to get it done. The action steps are doable. The project is achievable. Accepting the Difficult Work Worthwhile projects don’t normally complete themselves. A good project will frequently require a serious investment of time and energy. Even if the work is enjoyable, you may still need to put in many hours to see it through to the end. Almost every meaningful project will include some unpleasant or difficult tasks. You aren’t going to enjoy those tasks, but they’re essential for the project’s completion. You have the option of only doing what’s easy, but if you stick with what’s easy all the time, most of your projects will be pretty low on the value scale. Even if you complete them, they aren’t going to make much of a difference. If you wish to stop having so many incompletes and see more of your projects through to completion, you must accept that certain tasks will be difficult and to decide to do them anyway. It’s easy to say that you’re committed to completing a project. Anyone can say they’re committed. But a real commitment means that you’re willing to do the dirty work. It may slow you down. It may frustrate you. You may need to take more breaks in order to get through it. But when you’re committed, you accept the existence of difficult work, and you decide to push through it regardless of the difficulty. This is a key difference between starting projects and finishing them. Most of the perceived difficulty has nothing to do with the true nature of the task anyway. You’re simply interpreting the task in a way that creates resistance. So a commitment to complete difficult tasks is really a commitment to face and overcome your own resistance. It’s a commitment to overcome the limiting beliefs that bias you against doing certain types of work. To complete a project, you must eventually do the steps required for project completion. If you don’t feel like doing a particular step, and you use your feelings to justify avoidance of that step, then your project will remain stuck in an incomplete state. A better approach is to recognize that a task is just a task, and it’s subject to many different interpretations as to how pleasant or unpleasant it may be, so instead of looking at it from a perspective that creates unpleasantness, you can choose to regard the task as simply one more stepping stone on par with all the others. Asserting Your Dominant Will There are countless techniques you can use to push through inner resistance when the going gets tough. I’ve shared many of them in previous articles like Do It Nowand Overcoming Procrastination. It’s nice to have a toolkit of techniques, but that isn’t enough by itself. Many people know plenty of anti-procrastination techniques, but they can’t get themselves to apply them consistently. The problem is if once you fall into the trap of procrastinating, you can just as easily procrastinate on overcoming procrastination. Anti-procrastination techniques don’t self-activate. The nature of this problem is that it encourages you to resist solving it. A strategy I’ve found that works well is more of a mindset than a technique. It’s the mindset that says, No matter what, my conscious will is ultimately in charge, and it always has the ability to step in and take command immediately. When you tackle a challenging goal, you’re going to catch yourself going dark now and then. At some point your conscious will steps in and says, Hey, you’re procrastinating. This is a waste of time. That barely noticeable voice is your inner alarm clock. Instead of hitting the snooze button, pull that thought into the center of your consciousness and amplify it. Give it your full attention. When you give that thought your full attention and let its voice be heard, it gets louder: WTF, you lazy ass! You don’t need to be checking the news right now. You have much more important things to be doing. Get your ass back to work! The mindset aspect here has to do with your relationship to that voice. When you succumb to procrastination for long periods of time, and that voice shows up, you’ll have a tendency to push it away. You define the part of you that procrastinates as “me” and the part of you that wants to get some real work done as “not me,” as if the strong part (not you) is trying to push the weaker part (you) into action. As long as you maintain these kinds of inner relationships, procrastination will be your constant companion. To overcome procrastination, do the opposite. When that alarm clock voice shows up, realize that this strong voice is the real you. And the lazy procrastinator is not you. When you procrastinate, you go dark and become something less than your true self. When you wake up and recommit to your goals and projects, that’s the real you. Self-Dominance vs. Self-Abuse When you wrap your identity into the part of you that wants to procrastinate, you’ll have a tendency to beat yourself up. When you look back and realize you wasted a lot of time, you’re identifying with the part of you that procrastinates. So when you get frustrated with that part, you’re getting frustrated with yourself. And when you beat up that part of yourself for its bad habits, you’re abusing yourself. This won’t help. It will simply perpetuate the cycle and keep you stuck. The problem is that when you self-identify with the part of you that procrastinates, and then you beat up that part of yourself, you’re lowering your self-esteem. You’re saying to yourself, I’m such a loser. I suck. I can’t get anything done. This is self-abuse. It cannot help you. Don’t do this. Avoid self-identifying with the part of you that procrastinates. Imagine that the part of you that procrastinates is the animal part of you. It’s prehistoric baggage. It has many positive aspects that keep you alive, but you can’t let this part of you run amok. Your conscious mind needs to keep a tight leash on it. The real you is the part of you that’s conscious and aware. This is the part of you that’s capable of making high-level decisions. This is the part of you that sets goals and takes on projects that aren’t essential for survival. Your arms are a part of you, but you probably wouldn’t say that your identity is that of an arm. Your conscious will dominates your arms. You can wave them around, use them to pick up objects, train them to get stronger — whatever you desire. You’re the boss of your arms. Similarly, you’re the boss of the lazy part of yourself that wants to procrastinate. Acknowledge that it’s there. Recognize that it’s a part of you, but it can’t fully define you, just as your arm can’t define your body. Appreciate the good it does for you, like directing your fight or flight impulse to keep you alive in emergency situations. But whatever you do, don’t give your power away to this part of you. It is your servant. It isn’t meant to be your Master. In order to shift yourself to a place of achievement, you must claim your role as Master over the part of you that wants to be lazy and expedient. You have the power to be dominant over this part of you. Your conscious will is so much stronger. Strengthening Your Will Just like a muscle, your conscious will grows stronger when you exercise it regularly, and it atrophies when you fail to exercise it. Fortunately, no matter how weak you’ve allowed yourself to become in this area, you can always train yourself back up to a place of strength. Practicing self-dominance can actually be fun. A good way to practice is to verbalize your commands to yourself out loud. Tell yourself what to do, as if commanding the lazy part to get in line. For example, if you have a tendency to want to linger in bed when your alarm goes off, say to yourself, On your feet now! Get dressed and brush your teeth. Imagine that this commanding voice is your true self commanding aspects of your lower self. Your fully conscious self is commanding parts of you that are less conscious. See the truth that the real you really does want to get out of bed. You want to have that experience today. Choosing to do the opposite isn’t really you. No matter how much you struggle with this, that’s okay. It’s a lifelong challenge, and perfection isn’t a realistic standard. Sometimes you’ll go dark. But when you eventually rise again to a new level of consciousness, strive to maintain it as long as you can. I’m taking a 10-week course where the current assignment is to check in with myself every hour for two full weeks (an hourly alarm can serve as a reminder). At least once per hour I must pause and reflect on what I’m thinking and doing in that moment. Am I behaving wisely? Or have I slipped into unconsciousness? Am I creating my life, or am I merely reacting? I’d encourage you to try a similar challenge. Whenever you catch yourself slipping into negative emotions, unconscious behavior, or self-identification with laziness and procrastination, take a moment to reassert your dominant will. Take stock of who you really are, and issue the proper commands for what you are to do in this moment. Don’t project your higher self as something outside of you. Embrace the beingness of your higher self in each moment. Your higher self is the real you.  
    1016 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Even when you take the time to set clear goals, visualize success, and break big goals down into projects and action steps, it can be difficult to get yourself to take action consistently until your goal is 100% complete. Crossing the starting line is much easier than crossing the finish line. Your overall results in life largely depend on your ability to follow through until you achieve completion. Many projects produce essentially zero results if they’re 90% complete. The key results only appear when you reach 100% completion. For example, if I write 90% of an article and don’t publish it, it produces no value other than being a private journaling exercise. The value cannot be delivered until the article is 100% complete and published. Incompletes Incompletes can produce feelings like dissatisfaction, discomfort, stress, worry, shame, and regret. We worry that we may have wasted too much time and energy on such projects with little to show for our efforts. One way to avoid racking up too many incompletes is to give more careful thought to which particular projects you’re willing to accept in the first place. Having too many active projects at the same time makes it hard to complete them. It’s like trying to juggle too many balls at once. You end up dropping every ball. One reason we take on too many projects is the desire for variety. Working on the same project day after day can get boring. Another reason is that projects tend to be easier and more motivating in the beginning. Starting a new project is often fun. It’s much more difficult to work through the middling grind of a project and see it through to completion. Learning Your Lessons In order to move forward into a better place of achievement, we first need to absorb the lessons from our incompletes. If you’re carrying around some psychological baggage from past incompletes, then take a moment to forgive yourself for those mistakes. You screwed up. It’s okay. You’re human. At the same time, it’s wise to allow a little of that sting from past incompletes to hang around. That feeling of regret is there for a reason. It serves as an ongoing warning that we don’t want to get into similar situations again. The feeling of regret has a positive message, encouraging you to avoid starting too many projects if you won’t complete them. Instead of trying to drug this seemingly negative feeling with excess food or drink, turn towards it. Give it your full attention for a moment, and listen to what it has to say. Ask yourself, What lessons can I learn from my incompletes? How can this make me stronger? You might hear something like this: I’m tired of wasting time on projects that never go anywhere. Obviously I’m only going to get results if I complete something. So before I set any new goals or tackle any new projects, I’d better be sure I’m going to see them through to completion. If circumstances really do change in unexpected ways, and the project becomes obsolete before it’s done, then it’s okay to dump it and move on to something else. But if the original decision is still sound, then let’s keep pushing through to the end and get it done. I need to avoid overloading myself with too many projects at once. Ideally I should keep things simple and stick to one serious project at a time, perhaps two projects for variety. When I’m done, then I can add something new. But trying to do 10 things at once obviously isn’t working. I need to stop saying yes to new projects when I still have important incompletes to close. Abandoning Failed Strategies Notice which strategies you’ve already tried to get yourself to take action consistently. If you’ve tried something a few times, and it has never worked, stop doing it. Quite often people get into circular patterns where they keep trying the same failed strategies every few years, hoping that somehow things will be different. That doesn’t work. An example of a strategy that has never worked for me is trying to associate more pain to incompletion and more pleasure to completing a project, such as by using NLP techniques. I can safely abandon this strategy because I know it’s a dead end. My mind is smart enough to see right through these silly attempts at conditioning. It might work for a dog, but my mind resists such obvious attempts to make it less conscious. I always know that I have a choice. So I don’t use or revisit this strategy because it’s ineffective. Consciously acknowledging this realization helps me avoid using the wrong approach. When I feel overwhelmed, instead of trying to get myself to feel more motivated and work harder and faster, I say no more often, cancel some items, and pay more attention to simplifying my life. What are your failed strategies? Are you willing to drop them, so you can free your mind to figure out something more intelligent that might actually work? Resting in the Space of Possibility One positive step forward is to recognize that it’s at least possible for you to complete projects, even very difficult ones. Perhaps if you think back, you can recall some projects you did actually complete, and you can remember the results you got from them. Maybe it was something as simple as completing a school project and getting a good grade on it. Take a moment to acknowledge that for whatever goal or project you’d like to tackle next, it is at least possible for you to complete it in a timely manner. You aren’t attempting the impossible. There is a way to get it done. The action steps are doable. The project is achievable. Accepting the Difficult Work Worthwhile projects don’t normally complete themselves. A good project will frequently require a serious investment of time and energy. Even if the work is enjoyable, you may still need to put in many hours to see it through to the end. Almost every meaningful project will include some unpleasant or difficult tasks. You aren’t going to enjoy those tasks, but they’re essential for the project’s completion. You have the option of only doing what’s easy, but if you stick with what’s easy all the time, most of your projects will be pretty low on the value scale. Even if you complete them, they aren’t going to make much of a difference. If you wish to stop having so many incompletes and see more of your projects through to completion, you must accept that certain tasks will be difficult and to decide to do them anyway. It’s easy to say that you’re committed to completing a project. Anyone can say they’re committed. But a real commitment means that you’re willing to do the dirty work. It may slow you down. It may frustrate you. You may need to take more breaks in order to get through it. But when you’re committed, you accept the existence of difficult work, and you decide to push through it regardless of the difficulty. This is a key difference between starting projects and finishing them. Most of the perceived difficulty has nothing to do with the true nature of the task anyway. You’re simply interpreting the task in a way that creates resistance. So a commitment to complete difficult tasks is really a commitment to face and overcome your own resistance. It’s a commitment to overcome the limiting beliefs that bias you against doing certain types of work. To complete a project, you must eventually do the steps required for project completion. If you don’t feel like doing a particular step, and you use your feelings to justify avoidance of that step, then your project will remain stuck in an incomplete state. A better approach is to recognize that a task is just a task, and it’s subject to many different interpretations as to how pleasant or unpleasant it may be, so instead of looking at it from a perspective that creates unpleasantness, you can choose to regard the task as simply one more stepping stone on par with all the others. Asserting Your Dominant Will There are countless techniques you can use to push through inner resistance when the going gets tough. I’ve shared many of them in previous articles like Do It Nowand Overcoming Procrastination. It’s nice to have a toolkit of techniques, but that isn’t enough by itself. Many people know plenty of anti-procrastination techniques, but they can’t get themselves to apply them consistently. The problem is if once you fall into the trap of procrastinating, you can just as easily procrastinate on overcoming procrastination. Anti-procrastination techniques don’t self-activate. The nature of this problem is that it encourages you to resist solving it. A strategy I’ve found that works well is more of a mindset than a technique. It’s the mindset that says, No matter what, my conscious will is ultimately in charge, and it always has the ability to step in and take command immediately. When you tackle a challenging goal, you’re going to catch yourself going dark now and then. At some point your conscious will steps in and says, Hey, you’re procrastinating. This is a waste of time. That barely noticeable voice is your inner alarm clock. Instead of hitting the snooze button, pull that thought into the center of your consciousness and amplify it. Give it your full attention. When you give that thought your full attention and let its voice be heard, it gets louder: WTF, you lazy ass! You don’t need to be checking the news right now. You have much more important things to be doing. Get your ass back to work! The mindset aspect here has to do with your relationship to that voice. When you succumb to procrastination for long periods of time, and that voice shows up, you’ll have a tendency to push it away. You define the part of you that procrastinates as “me” and the part of you that wants to get some real work done as “not me,” as if the strong part (not you) is trying to push the weaker part (you) into action. As long as you maintain these kinds of inner relationships, procrastination will be your constant companion. To overcome procrastination, do the opposite. When that alarm clock voice shows up, realize that this strong voice is the real you. And the lazy procrastinator is not you. When you procrastinate, you go dark and become something less than your true self. When you wake up and recommit to your goals and projects, that’s the real you. Self-Dominance vs. Self-Abuse When you wrap your identity into the part of you that wants to procrastinate, you’ll have a tendency to beat yourself up. When you look back and realize you wasted a lot of time, you’re identifying with the part of you that procrastinates. So when you get frustrated with that part, you’re getting frustrated with yourself. And when you beat up that part of yourself for its bad habits, you’re abusing yourself. This won’t help. It will simply perpetuate the cycle and keep you stuck. The problem is that when you self-identify with the part of you that procrastinates, and then you beat up that part of yourself, you’re lowering your self-esteem. You’re saying to yourself, I’m such a loser. I suck. I can’t get anything done. This is self-abuse. It cannot help you. Don’t do this. Avoid self-identifying with the part of you that procrastinates. Imagine that the part of you that procrastinates is the animal part of you. It’s prehistoric baggage. It has many positive aspects that keep you alive, but you can’t let this part of you run amok. Your conscious mind needs to keep a tight leash on it. The real you is the part of you that’s conscious and aware. This is the part of you that’s capable of making high-level decisions. This is the part of you that sets goals and takes on projects that aren’t essential for survival. Your arms are a part of you, but you probably wouldn’t say that your identity is that of an arm. Your conscious will dominates your arms. You can wave them around, use them to pick up objects, train them to get stronger — whatever you desire. You’re the boss of your arms. Similarly, you’re the boss of the lazy part of yourself that wants to procrastinate. Acknowledge that it’s there. Recognize that it’s a part of you, but it can’t fully define you, just as your arm can’t define your body. Appreciate the good it does for you, like directing your fight or flight impulse to keep you alive in emergency situations. But whatever you do, don’t give your power away to this part of you. It is your servant. It isn’t meant to be your Master. In order to shift yourself to a place of achievement, you must claim your role as Master over the part of you that wants to be lazy and expedient. You have the power to be dominant over this part of you. Your conscious will is so much stronger. Strengthening Your Will Just like a muscle, your conscious will grows stronger when you exercise it regularly, and it atrophies when you fail to exercise it. Fortunately, no matter how weak you’ve allowed yourself to become in this area, you can always train yourself back up to a place of strength. Practicing self-dominance can actually be fun. A good way to practice is to verbalize your commands to yourself out loud. Tell yourself what to do, as if commanding the lazy part to get in line. For example, if you have a tendency to want to linger in bed when your alarm goes off, say to yourself, On your feet now! Get dressed and brush your teeth. Imagine that this commanding voice is your true self commanding aspects of your lower self. Your fully conscious self is commanding parts of you that are less conscious. See the truth that the real you really does want to get out of bed. You want to have that experience today. Choosing to do the opposite isn’t really you. No matter how much you struggle with this, that’s okay. It’s a lifelong challenge, and perfection isn’t a realistic standard. Sometimes you’ll go dark. But when you eventually rise again to a new level of consciousness, strive to maintain it as long as you can. I’m taking a 10-week course where the current assignment is to check in with myself every hour for two full weeks (an hourly alarm can serve as a reminder). At least once per hour I must pause and reflect on what I’m thinking and doing in that moment. Am I behaving wisely? Or have I slipped into unconsciousness? Am I creating my life, or am I merely reacting? I’d encourage you to try a similar challenge. Whenever you catch yourself slipping into negative emotions, unconscious behavior, or self-identification with laziness and procrastination, take a moment to reassert your dominant will. Take stock of who you really are, and issue the proper commands for what you are to do in this moment. Don’t project your higher self as something outside of you. Embrace the beingness of your higher self in each moment. Your higher self is the real you.  
    Jul 27, 2011 1016
  • 27 Jul 2011
    What does it mean to wake up and become more conscious? Let me share some perspectives that should make it easier to understand the process of waking up. The Cellular Perspective From the cellular perspective, you can see yourself as an individual person interacting with other individuals. You’re like a single cell in the larger body of humanity, which is comprised of billions of other people-cells. For example, I could say that I’m a guy (a cell) who’s dedicated to helping people (other cells) live more consciously. I may communicate with many people during my lifetime, but each person is a unique individual, so the impact is different for everyone. We may all be part of some larger body of humanity, but our interactions mainly occur at the individual cellular level. This is similar to one of the cells in your body noticing the other cells around it and deciding to do what it can to be of service to those cells. It may help a lot of cells, but it still regards itself as an individual cell helping other individual cells. And it won’t help all cells equally, nor could it do so even if it tried. The Holistic Perspective From the holistic perspective, you see yourself as an integral part of the universe as a whole. The overall intent is to help universal consciousness grow and evolve, particularly the human consciousness of which you’re a part. This would be like one of the cells in your body recognizing that it’s part of a larger physical body, whereby it stops thinking of itself primarily as an individual cell and begins to see itself as being of potential service to the greater whole. Its fate isn’t as important as the fate of the larger body. So with this perspective, instead of thinking of myself as a guy who helps people live more consciously, I can see myself as a servant of humanity helping to create a more conscious humanity, or as a servant of universal consciousness itself. My primary role here is to serve conscious evolution, which isn’t necessarily what’s best for any particular individual human in the short term. Other Perspectives Of course there are other perspective too. We could discuss identification with community, nation, all life, the cosmos, etc. These perspectives are equally valid, but exploring them would add complexity without adding much substance to the core ideas. So for now I want to keep this simple. On the atomic side, you’re an individual, and other people are individuals too. On the holistic side, we’re all part of a greater whole. I’m not suggesting that any one perspective is best. All of these perspectives are valid. But I will suggest that it’s important to integrate the holistic perspective more fully into your life if you wish to experience a healthier flow of abundance. “Waking up” basically means that you consider and integrate the holistic perspective as part of your daily life. Of course there are degrees of waking up, depending on how aware you are of the holistic perspective and how fully you’ve integrated it into your life. In the same manner, the cells in your body may have varying degrees of awareness that they are in fact part of a larger human body. Alternatively, to be “asleep” is to be unaware of the larger holistic perspective. We could also define this behaviorally by saying that someone is asleep if they’re aware of the holistic perspective, but they don’t attempt to act congruently with it. In terms of semantics, I’d say that the first group is asleep, while the second group is trying to sleep. Fairness At the individual level, fairness seems to be about equality. But of course we don’t see that much genuine equality in the world. It’s quite obvious that some individuals have more resources than others. Some people seem to be luckier too. Does your own human body care about fairness when it doles out resources like oxygen and sugar to its individual cells? To an extent, sure. When resources are abundant, there’s plenty for all, but even then the distribution isn’t perfectly equal. And when resources become scarce, the body will starve cells that are less important to its survival to divert more resources to the most crucial cells. So the question is, are you an essential cell in the larger body of consciousness? Or are you superfluous? Well… look at the resources that life sends your way. Do you feel all your needs are well met — your physical needs, emotional needs, social needs, self esteem needs, etc? Are you a highly self-actualized individual? Or do you have strong unfulfilled cravings for things that are important to you? Have you possibly given up on meeting some of your needs? Are you flourishing or are you stuck? If you’re struggling to get your needs met, that’s a hint and a half that life itself isn’t particularly concerned with your well-being. Don’t fret though if this describes your situation. It’s a problem that can be fixed. Just don’t try to fix it by clamoring and complaining — that doesn’t work and will often backfire. This may not seem fair, but in a way it is reasonable. You may be a very nice, kind, and generous person, but if your focus is at the cellular level, you’re probably missing so much of the big picture that in the grand scheme of things, your contribution just doesn’t matter that much, at least not from the perspective of universal consciousness. You may be doing what could just as easily be done by someone else, which means you’re highly expendable. You may be playing follow the follower. You may be genuinely helping, but only at the cellular level. You may be doing nothing much, which makes it easy to ignore you. If you live in such a way that doesn’t really contribute much, don’t be too surprised if it seems like life is starving you for resources. After all, life doesn’t need you as much if you aren’t actively helping with its expansion and growth. Consider the cells in your own body. You may scratch an itch on your arm and kill lots of cells in the process without even thinking about it. Individual skin cells just aren’t that important to your overall survival. But you’re less likely to scratch off a patch of critical brain cells. A cut on your finger is no cause for alarm, but a cut on your eyeball is something you’d do more to avoid. Your body is even designed to protect some parts more than others. If something flies at your face, you’ll automatically throw up your arms to protect your head. But you won’t normally use your head to protect your arms. Do you think you’re among the critical humans that the larger body of humanity would move to defend and protect? Or are you among the sacrificial parts? What Does Consciousness Want? What do you want as a human being? Think about your goals, dreams, and aspirations for a moment. Now consider what an individual cell in your body would want. It wants oxygen and sugar. It wants to eliminate waste. Is this on the same level as your goals? Do you aspire to breathe, eat, and take dumps as your primary goals for the year? Hopefully not. Now look at this from the other side. From the perspective of the consciousness itself, your human-level dreams and goals seem petty. It’s important to keep people happy to an extent, but the fate of any one human is largely insignificant. Universal consciousness really doesn’t care if you have a job or an income, if you get the house you want, if you have a good relationship or not. It doesn’t care if you get laid or remain a virgin. Well, it cares a little, but it’s not a major concern, just as you aren’t overly concerned about the fate of any individual cells in your body. It’s the body’s overall status that matters. And you probably identify more with your mind (your collective cellular intelligence) as opposed to your physical body anyway. Similarly, universal consciousness is more concerned with the evolution of consciousness itself (our collective consciousness) as opposed to the fate of any individual human or even of humanity itself. Now the loss of humanity would probably be a setback, but consciousness may eventually recover in other forms. What does consciousness really want? Like you and like your individual cells, it wants to get its needs met, and it wants to grow and evolve. But the level on which it’s capable of doing this goes way beyond what you’re capable of as an individual. Look around at all the amazing — and accelerating — achievements of consciousness. It’s expanding in many directions simultaneously. Consider what’s evolving on earth. Humanity itself is becoming smarter and faster and more connected. And it’s having some health issues to deal with as well. And consciousness wants to keep going. Living Small or Living Large You can spend your life fussing over your own piddly cellular needs, but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t be anything to write home about. No matter what you do or don’t do as an individual, it’s just not going to matter that much. The same can be said of any cell in your body. At the individual level, a single cell isn’t particularly important. Imagine asking a cell in your body what he’s doing with his life, and he talks about the Bloodstream Marketing course he’s taking and how excited he is about all the extra sugar he’ll earn from his efforts. Oh boy! But will his efforts pay off? Probably not. If he isn’t getting his needs met, there’s probably a good reason for it. The larger body will see that his needs are well met if there’s a good reason to do so. Otherwise it will divert resources where they’re needed. This is how silly we humans appear to universal consciousness. It still cares about us and wants to see us happy for the most part, but it finds our cellular perspective to be rather limiting. If you push to get your individual needs met, but you do so in ways that the larger body doesn’t care about or which may interfere with its bigger plans, it will either ignore you, or it will swat you down like a mosquito. Imagine if a cell in your body said, I just want to eat food and reproduce like crazy.That might seem fun from his perspective, but then the larger body has a tumor to deal with. Send in the white blood cells. If you feel like some greater force keeps knocking you back down every time you try to get ahead, you’re not imagining it. It really is knocking you back down, and it will continue to do so until you stop trying to get ahead like a cancer cell would. Have you ever noticed, for instance, that as soon as you try to make progress on cancer-like projects, you keep getting distracted, so your attention has to turn somewhere else? Quite often we cry “Life is so unfair” when from a larger perspective, it’s a no brainer that life is either going to ignore us or attack us. Humanity’s white blood cells will come after us and make life unpleasant for us when we forget that we’re part of a larger whole and that its well-being is more important than our individual well-being. Now imagine if an individual cell in your body said to you, “Wait a minute. I get it. I may be just a tiny cell, but I’m a part of this whole body. That’s cool. Is there anything I can do to help?” What would you say to it? You might wonder what one conscious cell could do for your whole body. Not much most likely. But then you might think, What if this cell could wake up many others, and what if those cells could awaken still more?Eventually you could have a body filled with cells that were aware of the whole body and seeking to serve it. This would fix a lot of your problems. You’d have much better health for starters. Cancer wouldn’t be able to take root. Most diseases would be eradicated easily. You’d always be able to maintain your ideal weight. So you might tell that one conscious cell, “Go around and wake up more cells. Gather them together. Then we’ll talk.” Being a Conscious Human A conscious cell is aware of the whole body and realizes that the body matters more than any individual cell. The cells are there to serve the evolution of the body and mind, not merely themselves. There’s obviously a connection between the good of the cells and the good of the body, but it’s easier to have a healthy body if on some level, the cells are aware that the body’s health is more important than their own. A cell that works against the health of the body is a disease cell. A conscious human being is aware of the larger body of humanity and has a sense of a greater consciousness that’s unfolding and evolving at a much higher level than any individual human can. There is value in the lower level perspective. It’s not a perspective to ignore but rather to integrate with the holistic perspective. For example, through relaxed meditative breathing, we can connect with the lower level perspective of our own cells. Breathe in. Breathe out. We’re getting plenty of oxygen. Life is good. This cellular level perspective can help to ground us. Many meditations are essentially about tuning back in to this cellular perspective, while other meditations involve expanding to a more holistic perspective. The ideal is to be able to consider all of these perspectives as valid. If our cells aren’t healthy, our bodies can’t be healthy, and so humanity itself can’t be healthy. And of course the opposite holds true as well. But there are ways of meeting our needs on different levels that are in alignment with all of these perspectives, and there are other ways that are out of alignment. To live consciously, we need to shift towards the ways that are in alignment, so we can meet our needs as we also meet the needs of the cells in our bodies and of the greater body of humanity. I’m certainly not the first human being to have the experience of “waking up” and becoming aware of this. Other conscious humans helped wake me up and continue to help me stay awake… or to reawaken me when I lose that perspective. I also endeavor to do my part and help other people wake up to the realization that jobs and money and marriage and retirement just aren’t that important. There are more important things to attend to here. Meeting our cellular needs is still important, but we don’t want to fuss at that level too much. We have more significant work to do here, and we could be experiencing life at a much higher level of existence. Living your life as a part of humanity will take your experience to a level that’s far beyond life as an individual human being. Even if your intention is to help people, try expanding it to a vision of helping humanity, as if humanity itself is a conscious entity. It’s a whole different level of being. Now what I’m seeing is that the gathering phase is well underway. Many years ago, it seemed like conscious people were very isolated. Now they’re coming together in bigger and bigger groups. I’m involved in multiple groups of this nature, and it seems like every few months I’m hearing about new groups forming. The conscious humans are clustering, and these clusters are growing larger and more organized. It’s as if new organs are incubating with the larger body of humanity. Something is definitely happening, and it’s a wondrous thing to behold. Consequently, while I know some people are worried about where humanity is headed, I’m not worried at all. In fact, I’m excited about it. I have the privilege of being able to see what many of these conscious people are up to, and they’re starting to create transformational ripples. If you’re reading this article, then these ripples have already reached you, and you’re being impacted by them. Some conscious cells are still isolated, however. Others are in very small groups only. And of course there are lots of people who still primarily think at the cellular level (go Bloodstream Marketing). But this is changing. Perhaps the simplest way I can explain what’s happening is that humanity’s Power has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and now its alignment with Truth and Love desperately need to catch up. Otherwise humanity will eventually crash and burn. For instance, the first atomic bombs were dropped only 66 years ago, yet now we must somehow ensure that they’re never used on a global scale, not even 1000 years from now. One serious mistake or lapse during any minute that we have nukes, and it’s a major setback for us all. That’s a tall order that cannot be satisfied at the cellular level of consciousness. We’ve had too many close calls already (see the documentaryCountdown to Zero for details on that). The larger body of humanity is aware of this challenge, and it recognizes that we need more people who are Truthful, Loving, and Powerful to deal with this existential threat. You’re going to start picking up on this at the individual level, if you haven’t already. For instance, you’re going to feel far less tolerant of political leaders who lie to you. We’re going to see different kinds of leaders emerge, the kinds of leaders we truly need in this day and age. There are plenty of people like that, but in order for them to become popular enough, we just have to continue waking up more individual people. Once enough people are awake (or stop trying to sleep), we’ll see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening in the world of business, where popularity with the masses isn’t as necessary. The Flow of Abundance What we’re seeing is that on some level, this higher consciousness is taking note of what’s happening, and it seems to be assisting and accelerating the process. It wants human beings to wake up because a body of conscious cells can do much more than a body of unconscious ones. So if you’re concerned that there are too many crises in the world, recognize that there’s an upside. These major challenges are helping more and more people to finally wake up. We can’t even begin to address these challenges with cellular-level thinking, so we have to wake up in order to solve them. There’s a lot of rebalancing that’s occurring as universal consciousness and individual human consciousness communicate with each other about how to best meet each others’ needs. How can humanity continue to evolve and expand while keeping individual humans happy and healthy? For humanity to be at its best, enough individual humans need to be at their best as well. You’re going to see this reflected in your own life too, as you grapple with the challenge of how to serve some greater life purpose while also making sure your individual needs are satisfied. In a way, you’re helping humanity experiment in order to find good solutions, which it can then spread to other cells. This is why cells like me feel an undeniable urge to pass on what we’ve figured out thus far. As I’ve seen in my own life, this higher level consciousness is clearly listening. Somehow it can perceive the level at which we’re thinking, and it responds in kind. If you keep thinking at the cellular level, this higher consciousness will keep trying to wake you up. You may lose your job and other possessions, for instance, until you finally realize that those things don’t matter. We have more important things to deal with right now. I’m far from perfect in this area, but I’m gradually getting the hang of it. I’m noticing that whenever I slip back down to cellular level thinking, I get a good smackdown. I feel like everything slows to a crawl. And when I shift back up to a higher level perspective, it’s like I’m back in the flow again. The phone rings with fresh opportunities, money just shows up, loving relationships flow into my life, and more. Fortunately perfection isn’t necessary. We just have to shift the balance far enough to achieve critical mass. For those who are stuck at the cellular level of thinking, I suspect that life is going to become increasingly difficult for you. You’re going to see your worries, fears, and frustrations magnified. Life will seem to be getting worse. It may seem like important aspects of society are falling apart around you. This is happening for a reason though. These old systems are going to be dismantled. That’s actually a good thing. They’ll be replaced with better things. For instance, you may be worried about debt, either your own or your country’s or someone else’s. But from the larger perspective of humanity, debt is meaningless. Humanity really doesn’t care if our financial system collapses or not. In fact, it may be better for it to collapse and be replaced by something else. So if you’re really attached to the current system and the money in your bank, you may get scared. But if you’re looking at the big picture, you’ll probably feel excited instead. Be willing to lose what doesn’t matter, so we can all gain what does matter. Jobs don’t matter, but creativity does. Paying our bills doesn’t matter, but keeping our bodies healthy does. Getting good grades in school doesn’t matter, but preserving and passing on our collective knowledge does. Start reorganizing your life around what matters, and be willing to shed what doesn’t. Try not to be too attached to remnants of the old cellular consciousness, like the money you have, the job you do, and the home you live in. The more you cling to those things, the more stressed out you’ll be. Just notice that these are all artificial cellular level concerns. What’s important is that humanity is evolving in a very positive way. You can resist that change and see your old goals fall apart, or you can flow with it and actively participate in the process of change. For those who are waking up, life is going to become much easier in a way. Your life will explode with opportunities to learn, love, share, and grow. The good stuff will come from your alignment with the expansion of universal consciousness. But it’s important to keep the perspective of what really matters. Money doesn’t matter. Bloodstream/Internet Marketing is pointless and shallow. Waking people up and consciously co-creating something amazing is what matters. When you align yourself with this higher level consciousness, abundance will flow through your life with relative ease. However, this type of abundance will be universal level abundance, not human level abundance. It doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have more money, a more luxurious home, or more possessions. That kind of stuff just doesn’t matter and represents artificial needs, not real needs. This level of abundance means that you’ll be experiencing the benefits of being in a healthier body. You’ll get more of what really matters — more growth opportunities, more love, more joy, more inner peace. Focus on your true needs. What do you need to feel abundant? You need to keep your body healthy with healthy food, sunshine, and clean air and water. You need a reasonable degree of safety. You need love and belongingness. You need self esteem. You need an outlet for your creativity. Your true needs are quite simple in fact, and they’re easier to satisfy than your artificial needs. You don’t need the latest tech gadget. You don’t need a job or an income. You don’t need to get married. You don’t need to master Bloodstream Marketing. Your artificial needs may not align well with humanity’s larger concerns. But your true needs certainly do align. It’s in humanity’s best interests to keep its best servants healthy, happy, and prosperous. In that sense, it you dedicate yourself to serving this greater body, it will surely watch your back. Aligning With Higher Level Desires In order to tap into this greater flow of abundance, you have to tap into higher level desires. First, recognize that your human level goals are beginning to bore you. No matter how important you try to make them, you can’t get motivated to work on them. You just can’t get that worked up about making money beyond a certain point. People may tell you it’s important to have specific financial goals, but when you try to do this for yourself, it makes you feel yucky inside. You can’t get motivated to work on those kinds of goals. They don’t inspire you. And so you procrastinate and then beat yourself up. It’s time to end this cycle. It’s time to re-align your desires with something that actually matters to you. You can set better goals than the human equivalent of stockpiling oxygen and sugar. Stop thinking about what you want for yourself as an individual. Start thinking about what you want for humanity as a whole. In the past, you may have been hesitant to even think at that level. Start thinking at that level now. What do you want for humanity itself? Where would you like to see this larger body go during your lifetime and beyond? Do you want us to clean up the planet? Explore outer space? Improve our educational systems? Stop fighting wars? Let yourself dream about what’s possible for humanity. Notice that these dreams are much more impressive than anything you could possibly do as an individual. Become a billionaire? Who cares? Start a charity? Big deal. Discover a new planet? Nice try. When will you be ready to work on a real goal, a goal for humanity itself? Receiving Guidance The best part is that you don’t even need to figure this out yourself. All you need to do is wake up to this higher level perspective, and then simply ping this universal consciousness to tell it you’re awake and ready to serve. Ask it for guidance, and guidance will come. Just be aware that universal consciousness is frakkin powerful. It’s way more powerful than human level consciousness. When you tap into this resource and align yourself with it, your life is going to speed up. At first it may seem like drinking from a firehouse. It will take some time to get used to it. If you feel that the flow is too much for you, you can ask it to slow down. I do this all the time. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I say to the universe aloud, “Okay… this is too fast. Let’s slow this down for a week or two and give me a chance to catch my breath.” Then when I’m ready, I ask it to speed up again. With practice you’ll get used to this faster pacing. You’ll get used to things showing up when you need them. You’ll get used to experiencing synchronicities almost every day. A synchronicity is no accident. Universal consciousness knows what you need, perhaps even better than you do. You really don’t even have to ask for your specific needs to be met once you ask to be a better servant of humanity. As Jesus said, just say, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Lately I’ve been holding off on setting specific goals for myself. Instead I’ve been saying to the universe, “Bring me what you want me to work on, and also please bring me whatever you know I need for optimal health, happiness, and flow.” And then I do my best to remain open-minded and detached from outcomes. I let the universal consciousness guide me instead of having to set specific goals and intentions. I still have an intention, but it’s simply to do what’s best for humanity as a whole. Partly I’m doing this because I’ve reached the point where any individual-level goal would bore me, and I wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to work on it. I just don’t care that much about oxygen and sugar to make it the central focus of my life. So I’m willing to risk things like losing my money, losing my home, having my relationships disrupted, etc. just for the opportunity to see where this flow leads. And yet somehow when I move past this fear of losing stuff, I seem to gain much more than I lose. As far as meeting my human needs goes, they’re all nicely satisfied and then some. Bloodstream Marketing just can’t compare. Effect on Relationships When you begin to align yourself with the perspective of higher level consciousness, your relationships with other people will shift. Try not to be too attached to what happens here. Your pairings with any one or more individuals aren’t necessarily going to be stable. It’s how your relationships affect the whole of humanity that matters. What ripples are you and your relationships co-creating? People who aren’t compatible with this new perspective will fade from your life. At first you may fear that you’re going to end up alone, but there’s no cause for alarm. New relationships will come into your life, relationships with people who have a similar perspective. And these relationships will be much better for you than the old ones. They’ll help you hold the new perspective. These new relationships will be different than what you’re used to, however. There will be less rigidity and more flexibility in this part of your life. Such relationships may defy traditional labels. You may feel a bit ungrounded in this new space. It takes time to get used to it. Eventually you’ll realize that happiness and love can come from anywhere. You may have your emotional needs met equally well by a long-time partner or with someone you just met. Universal consciousness will guide you to whatever it is that you need to sustain your emotional health, as long as you don’t get too attached to how it shows up. If you remain open and flexible, your emotional needs can be satisfied with relative ease. Trust that universal consciousness knows just what you need, and it will deliver it right to you if you’re ready to accept it. Again, you don’t even have to ask once you’re on this path. It will satisfy your emotional needs because doing so makes you a better servant. You can’t serve humanity so well if you’re feeling lonely and disconnected. You’ll be more motivated if you have love in your life, so love will be delivered unto you. Compared to where I was a few years ago, my relationship life might seem a bit strange these days. I have many relationships that would be difficult to label, but they seem to be healthy and flourishing in ways that are hard to get my head around. I can’t really define what they are, and I can’t predict where they’re going. But it seems like these connections are good and healthy for all involved. My biggest relationship challenge is unloading the traditional-minded baggage that nudges me to lock down and label each relationship, so I can feel like I understand it. But whenever I fall into that pattern, things get worse, not better. Conscious relationships don’t seem to like being locked down and labeled. They require more freedom and flow. At first this sort of situation could make a person feel insecure. You may be accustomed to having a sense of security based on the stability of predictable interactions with people close to you. However, when you align yourself with universal consciousness, you’re likely to move around a lot more relationship-wise. You’re going to meet and interact with a lot more people than you’re used to. Your social life will be rich and varied. Your stability has to come from trusting that no matter where you are, your emotional needs will still be satisfied. You’ll have the opportunity to share love, intimacy, affection, etc., and it can be more abundant than what you experienced at the individual level of being. I assure you that you won’t have to go it alone. This isn’t a lonely path — it’s actually an incredibly social path. Effect on Work Your work life will be transformed as well. You’ll probably need to stop thinking of your career in terms of having a stable job and earning a set income. Serving humanity requires a lot more flexibility and flow than a traditional job can provide. Thinking of starting or running a business is equally limiting. This is human level thinking. What does humanity need? Humanity is more concerned with things like creativity, purpose, and expansion. It would love to see you contribute to the ongoing expansion and evolution of consciousness. That’s what matters. The other stuff is too trivial to fuss over. I don’t really have a job title. Sometimes I make one up like President or CEO when it’s required for social convention, but the title is meaningless to me. When people ask me what I do for a living, I don’t really know what to say. I don’t do anything for a living. I just live. In certain situations I might say that I’m a blogger, author, or speaker, but that’s mainly what I say to people who are asleep and I don’t have time to wake them up in that particular moment. If I’m talking to someone who’s awake, then either they won’t ask such a silly question, or they’ll understand my honest answer… and they’ll probably share a similar feeling about job titles. My business cards have the wrong address because I haven’t updated them in 5 years. My website obviously isn’t the prettiest one out there. I’ve never spent money to market or promote my website, book, or workshops. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to do so; it just hasn’t ever been necessary. Humanity takes care of all my marketing and does a better job than I could. Last year I uncopyrighted all my blog posts and podcasts, so you have just as much ownership of this article as I do. From a cellular level, that might seem like a foolish decision. But that isn’t the level at which I made the decision. What does a copyright mean to humanity? Of course it’s meaningless. What would you think if one of your cells tried to patent the Krebs Cycle? Silly cells… Some people are repackaging and selling my work for money. Does that bother me? Of course not. Even though they may be operating at an individual level of consciousness, they’re actually helping. They’re spreading ideas that humanity wants to spread; after all, humanity gave me those ideas to share in the first place. They’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. I think some of them have been donating back to me as well, since I’ve seen a modest increase in donations lately. But I didn’t do this to get more donations. I did it because it should help the ideas spread and get more people thinking about living consciously. It really doesn’t matter which humans get credit or make money from it. I think my business actually works better because I don’t manage it with a cellular mindset. Millions of people have been drawn to my work, and it’s been translated into more languages than I can track. People keep sharing it, with or without my permission. New opportunities keep showing up. Money keeps flowing. Everything works. Well, aside from my web server, which I may have to upgrade yet again due to traffic growth. But that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it? Why does my business work? Because it’s not really a business. It’s a service, not primarily for individual humans, but for humanity itself. The purpose is to help enough people wake up and live more consciously, so that humanity itself may continue to survive and thrive. And by performing this service for humanity, it takes care of all my needs. It’s really good at it too. I barely have to lift a finger to attend to such things. I rather appreciate that. Individually speaking, there are some humans out there who don’t particularly like my work. But that’s largely irrelevant because humanity as a whole has made it abundantly clear that it appreciates what I’m doing and wants to speed things along with further expansion. These days I largely ignore cellular level feedback because it comes from people at varying levels of wakefulness, so of course they won’t all agree. But I pay close attention to feedback from universal consciousness, such as whether my life is flowing well or not. These days it’s flowing amazingly well, so I figure I’m on the right track. Is humanity making it abundantly clear that it appreciates what you’re doing? If not, any guesses as to why? Could it be that you’ve been ignoring humanity’s needs, and thus it’s been ignoring your needs? Try doing the opposite and see what happens. I think you’ll like it. Conscious Business Recently I’ve been listening to an audiobook about the history of Google. Google began as a fairly idealistic company with the grand mission of organizing and providing access to all the world’s information. Does that sound like an individual level goal or a goal for humanity itself? Of course Google has since become a giant, besting all other search companies. Interestingly, one of the reasons it succeeded is because it attracted some of the brightest minds in the world, people who were inspired by its mission and who would not have worked for the company if it was just about the money. You could say that humanity diverted the best resources to Google because Google’s mission served the best interests of humanity. In fact, Google has helped to create a smarter, more self-aware humanity. Microsoft used to be a similar purpose-driven company, with the mission of putting “a computer on every desk and in every home.” That was an expansive goal that served humanity. But a lot of people now believe Microsoft has lost its way, and sometimes it acts more like a cancerous tumor than a servant to humanity. Do you believe that Microsoft is here to serve humanity, or mainly itself? Is it working with the expansion and evolution of humanity, or is it working against it? Probably a bit of both. Hence its mixed results and recent stagnation. Microsoft needs a new mission that aligns with humanity’s expansion. So far its current attempts at a new mission have been fluffy and noncommittal. It wastes too much energy on trying to defend its turf, failing to recognize that there’s only one turf, and it belongs to universal consciousness. If you happen to work for Microsoft, do what you can to wake more people up within your company, and eventually the culture will shift, as will the company’s results. The irony is that companies that care less about quarterly returns and more about service to humanity can often achieve amazing growth. Why? Because humanity wants those companies to succeed. It sends them whatever resources they need to succeed. Notice which companies appear to be serving the expansion and evolution of humanity and which are only here to serve themselves and their stockholders. If you were a genius, which kind of company would you want to work for? If you were humanity itself, which companies would you support? Which would you ignore? Which would you wish to tear down or transform? Now what kind of company do you currently work for? * * * Martin Luther King, Jr. said that we have guided missiles and misguided men. Let’s change that. Guidance is available to you whenever you want. You just have to be reasonably awake to receive it. Then you’ll have all the inspiration you could possibly want.
    1047 Posted by UniqueThis
  • What does it mean to wake up and become more conscious? Let me share some perspectives that should make it easier to understand the process of waking up. The Cellular Perspective From the cellular perspective, you can see yourself as an individual person interacting with other individuals. You’re like a single cell in the larger body of humanity, which is comprised of billions of other people-cells. For example, I could say that I’m a guy (a cell) who’s dedicated to helping people (other cells) live more consciously. I may communicate with many people during my lifetime, but each person is a unique individual, so the impact is different for everyone. We may all be part of some larger body of humanity, but our interactions mainly occur at the individual cellular level. This is similar to one of the cells in your body noticing the other cells around it and deciding to do what it can to be of service to those cells. It may help a lot of cells, but it still regards itself as an individual cell helping other individual cells. And it won’t help all cells equally, nor could it do so even if it tried. The Holistic Perspective From the holistic perspective, you see yourself as an integral part of the universe as a whole. The overall intent is to help universal consciousness grow and evolve, particularly the human consciousness of which you’re a part. This would be like one of the cells in your body recognizing that it’s part of a larger physical body, whereby it stops thinking of itself primarily as an individual cell and begins to see itself as being of potential service to the greater whole. Its fate isn’t as important as the fate of the larger body. So with this perspective, instead of thinking of myself as a guy who helps people live more consciously, I can see myself as a servant of humanity helping to create a more conscious humanity, or as a servant of universal consciousness itself. My primary role here is to serve conscious evolution, which isn’t necessarily what’s best for any particular individual human in the short term. Other Perspectives Of course there are other perspective too. We could discuss identification with community, nation, all life, the cosmos, etc. These perspectives are equally valid, but exploring them would add complexity without adding much substance to the core ideas. So for now I want to keep this simple. On the atomic side, you’re an individual, and other people are individuals too. On the holistic side, we’re all part of a greater whole. I’m not suggesting that any one perspective is best. All of these perspectives are valid. But I will suggest that it’s important to integrate the holistic perspective more fully into your life if you wish to experience a healthier flow of abundance. “Waking up” basically means that you consider and integrate the holistic perspective as part of your daily life. Of course there are degrees of waking up, depending on how aware you are of the holistic perspective and how fully you’ve integrated it into your life. In the same manner, the cells in your body may have varying degrees of awareness that they are in fact part of a larger human body. Alternatively, to be “asleep” is to be unaware of the larger holistic perspective. We could also define this behaviorally by saying that someone is asleep if they’re aware of the holistic perspective, but they don’t attempt to act congruently with it. In terms of semantics, I’d say that the first group is asleep, while the second group is trying to sleep. Fairness At the individual level, fairness seems to be about equality. But of course we don’t see that much genuine equality in the world. It’s quite obvious that some individuals have more resources than others. Some people seem to be luckier too. Does your own human body care about fairness when it doles out resources like oxygen and sugar to its individual cells? To an extent, sure. When resources are abundant, there’s plenty for all, but even then the distribution isn’t perfectly equal. And when resources become scarce, the body will starve cells that are less important to its survival to divert more resources to the most crucial cells. So the question is, are you an essential cell in the larger body of consciousness? Or are you superfluous? Well… look at the resources that life sends your way. Do you feel all your needs are well met — your physical needs, emotional needs, social needs, self esteem needs, etc? Are you a highly self-actualized individual? Or do you have strong unfulfilled cravings for things that are important to you? Have you possibly given up on meeting some of your needs? Are you flourishing or are you stuck? If you’re struggling to get your needs met, that’s a hint and a half that life itself isn’t particularly concerned with your well-being. Don’t fret though if this describes your situation. It’s a problem that can be fixed. Just don’t try to fix it by clamoring and complaining — that doesn’t work and will often backfire. This may not seem fair, but in a way it is reasonable. You may be a very nice, kind, and generous person, but if your focus is at the cellular level, you’re probably missing so much of the big picture that in the grand scheme of things, your contribution just doesn’t matter that much, at least not from the perspective of universal consciousness. You may be doing what could just as easily be done by someone else, which means you’re highly expendable. You may be playing follow the follower. You may be genuinely helping, but only at the cellular level. You may be doing nothing much, which makes it easy to ignore you. If you live in such a way that doesn’t really contribute much, don’t be too surprised if it seems like life is starving you for resources. After all, life doesn’t need you as much if you aren’t actively helping with its expansion and growth. Consider the cells in your own body. You may scratch an itch on your arm and kill lots of cells in the process without even thinking about it. Individual skin cells just aren’t that important to your overall survival. But you’re less likely to scratch off a patch of critical brain cells. A cut on your finger is no cause for alarm, but a cut on your eyeball is something you’d do more to avoid. Your body is even designed to protect some parts more than others. If something flies at your face, you’ll automatically throw up your arms to protect your head. But you won’t normally use your head to protect your arms. Do you think you’re among the critical humans that the larger body of humanity would move to defend and protect? Or are you among the sacrificial parts? What Does Consciousness Want? What do you want as a human being? Think about your goals, dreams, and aspirations for a moment. Now consider what an individual cell in your body would want. It wants oxygen and sugar. It wants to eliminate waste. Is this on the same level as your goals? Do you aspire to breathe, eat, and take dumps as your primary goals for the year? Hopefully not. Now look at this from the other side. From the perspective of the consciousness itself, your human-level dreams and goals seem petty. It’s important to keep people happy to an extent, but the fate of any one human is largely insignificant. Universal consciousness really doesn’t care if you have a job or an income, if you get the house you want, if you have a good relationship or not. It doesn’t care if you get laid or remain a virgin. Well, it cares a little, but it’s not a major concern, just as you aren’t overly concerned about the fate of any individual cells in your body. It’s the body’s overall status that matters. And you probably identify more with your mind (your collective cellular intelligence) as opposed to your physical body anyway. Similarly, universal consciousness is more concerned with the evolution of consciousness itself (our collective consciousness) as opposed to the fate of any individual human or even of humanity itself. Now the loss of humanity would probably be a setback, but consciousness may eventually recover in other forms. What does consciousness really want? Like you and like your individual cells, it wants to get its needs met, and it wants to grow and evolve. But the level on which it’s capable of doing this goes way beyond what you’re capable of as an individual. Look around at all the amazing — and accelerating — achievements of consciousness. It’s expanding in many directions simultaneously. Consider what’s evolving on earth. Humanity itself is becoming smarter and faster and more connected. And it’s having some health issues to deal with as well. And consciousness wants to keep going. Living Small or Living Large You can spend your life fussing over your own piddly cellular needs, but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t be anything to write home about. No matter what you do or don’t do as an individual, it’s just not going to matter that much. The same can be said of any cell in your body. At the individual level, a single cell isn’t particularly important. Imagine asking a cell in your body what he’s doing with his life, and he talks about the Bloodstream Marketing course he’s taking and how excited he is about all the extra sugar he’ll earn from his efforts. Oh boy! But will his efforts pay off? Probably not. If he isn’t getting his needs met, there’s probably a good reason for it. The larger body will see that his needs are well met if there’s a good reason to do so. Otherwise it will divert resources where they’re needed. This is how silly we humans appear to universal consciousness. It still cares about us and wants to see us happy for the most part, but it finds our cellular perspective to be rather limiting. If you push to get your individual needs met, but you do so in ways that the larger body doesn’t care about or which may interfere with its bigger plans, it will either ignore you, or it will swat you down like a mosquito. Imagine if a cell in your body said, I just want to eat food and reproduce like crazy.That might seem fun from his perspective, but then the larger body has a tumor to deal with. Send in the white blood cells. If you feel like some greater force keeps knocking you back down every time you try to get ahead, you’re not imagining it. It really is knocking you back down, and it will continue to do so until you stop trying to get ahead like a cancer cell would. Have you ever noticed, for instance, that as soon as you try to make progress on cancer-like projects, you keep getting distracted, so your attention has to turn somewhere else? Quite often we cry “Life is so unfair” when from a larger perspective, it’s a no brainer that life is either going to ignore us or attack us. Humanity’s white blood cells will come after us and make life unpleasant for us when we forget that we’re part of a larger whole and that its well-being is more important than our individual well-being. Now imagine if an individual cell in your body said to you, “Wait a minute. I get it. I may be just a tiny cell, but I’m a part of this whole body. That’s cool. Is there anything I can do to help?” What would you say to it? You might wonder what one conscious cell could do for your whole body. Not much most likely. But then you might think, What if this cell could wake up many others, and what if those cells could awaken still more?Eventually you could have a body filled with cells that were aware of the whole body and seeking to serve it. This would fix a lot of your problems. You’d have much better health for starters. Cancer wouldn’t be able to take root. Most diseases would be eradicated easily. You’d always be able to maintain your ideal weight. So you might tell that one conscious cell, “Go around and wake up more cells. Gather them together. Then we’ll talk.” Being a Conscious Human A conscious cell is aware of the whole body and realizes that the body matters more than any individual cell. The cells are there to serve the evolution of the body and mind, not merely themselves. There’s obviously a connection between the good of the cells and the good of the body, but it’s easier to have a healthy body if on some level, the cells are aware that the body’s health is more important than their own. A cell that works against the health of the body is a disease cell. A conscious human being is aware of the larger body of humanity and has a sense of a greater consciousness that’s unfolding and evolving at a much higher level than any individual human can. There is value in the lower level perspective. It’s not a perspective to ignore but rather to integrate with the holistic perspective. For example, through relaxed meditative breathing, we can connect with the lower level perspective of our own cells. Breathe in. Breathe out. We’re getting plenty of oxygen. Life is good. This cellular level perspective can help to ground us. Many meditations are essentially about tuning back in to this cellular perspective, while other meditations involve expanding to a more holistic perspective. The ideal is to be able to consider all of these perspectives as valid. If our cells aren’t healthy, our bodies can’t be healthy, and so humanity itself can’t be healthy. And of course the opposite holds true as well. But there are ways of meeting our needs on different levels that are in alignment with all of these perspectives, and there are other ways that are out of alignment. To live consciously, we need to shift towards the ways that are in alignment, so we can meet our needs as we also meet the needs of the cells in our bodies and of the greater body of humanity. I’m certainly not the first human being to have the experience of “waking up” and becoming aware of this. Other conscious humans helped wake me up and continue to help me stay awake… or to reawaken me when I lose that perspective. I also endeavor to do my part and help other people wake up to the realization that jobs and money and marriage and retirement just aren’t that important. There are more important things to attend to here. Meeting our cellular needs is still important, but we don’t want to fuss at that level too much. We have more significant work to do here, and we could be experiencing life at a much higher level of existence. Living your life as a part of humanity will take your experience to a level that’s far beyond life as an individual human being. Even if your intention is to help people, try expanding it to a vision of helping humanity, as if humanity itself is a conscious entity. It’s a whole different level of being. Now what I’m seeing is that the gathering phase is well underway. Many years ago, it seemed like conscious people were very isolated. Now they’re coming together in bigger and bigger groups. I’m involved in multiple groups of this nature, and it seems like every few months I’m hearing about new groups forming. The conscious humans are clustering, and these clusters are growing larger and more organized. It’s as if new organs are incubating with the larger body of humanity. Something is definitely happening, and it’s a wondrous thing to behold. Consequently, while I know some people are worried about where humanity is headed, I’m not worried at all. In fact, I’m excited about it. I have the privilege of being able to see what many of these conscious people are up to, and they’re starting to create transformational ripples. If you’re reading this article, then these ripples have already reached you, and you’re being impacted by them. Some conscious cells are still isolated, however. Others are in very small groups only. And of course there are lots of people who still primarily think at the cellular level (go Bloodstream Marketing). But this is changing. Perhaps the simplest way I can explain what’s happening is that humanity’s Power has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and now its alignment with Truth and Love desperately need to catch up. Otherwise humanity will eventually crash and burn. For instance, the first atomic bombs were dropped only 66 years ago, yet now we must somehow ensure that they’re never used on a global scale, not even 1000 years from now. One serious mistake or lapse during any minute that we have nukes, and it’s a major setback for us all. That’s a tall order that cannot be satisfied at the cellular level of consciousness. We’ve had too many close calls already (see the documentaryCountdown to Zero for details on that). The larger body of humanity is aware of this challenge, and it recognizes that we need more people who are Truthful, Loving, and Powerful to deal with this existential threat. You’re going to start picking up on this at the individual level, if you haven’t already. For instance, you’re going to feel far less tolerant of political leaders who lie to you. We’re going to see different kinds of leaders emerge, the kinds of leaders we truly need in this day and age. There are plenty of people like that, but in order for them to become popular enough, we just have to continue waking up more individual people. Once enough people are awake (or stop trying to sleep), we’ll see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening in the world of business, where popularity with the masses isn’t as necessary. The Flow of Abundance What we’re seeing is that on some level, this higher consciousness is taking note of what’s happening, and it seems to be assisting and accelerating the process. It wants human beings to wake up because a body of conscious cells can do much more than a body of unconscious ones. So if you’re concerned that there are too many crises in the world, recognize that there’s an upside. These major challenges are helping more and more people to finally wake up. We can’t even begin to address these challenges with cellular-level thinking, so we have to wake up in order to solve them. There’s a lot of rebalancing that’s occurring as universal consciousness and individual human consciousness communicate with each other about how to best meet each others’ needs. How can humanity continue to evolve and expand while keeping individual humans happy and healthy? For humanity to be at its best, enough individual humans need to be at their best as well. You’re going to see this reflected in your own life too, as you grapple with the challenge of how to serve some greater life purpose while also making sure your individual needs are satisfied. In a way, you’re helping humanity experiment in order to find good solutions, which it can then spread to other cells. This is why cells like me feel an undeniable urge to pass on what we’ve figured out thus far. As I’ve seen in my own life, this higher level consciousness is clearly listening. Somehow it can perceive the level at which we’re thinking, and it responds in kind. If you keep thinking at the cellular level, this higher consciousness will keep trying to wake you up. You may lose your job and other possessions, for instance, until you finally realize that those things don’t matter. We have more important things to deal with right now. I’m far from perfect in this area, but I’m gradually getting the hang of it. I’m noticing that whenever I slip back down to cellular level thinking, I get a good smackdown. I feel like everything slows to a crawl. And when I shift back up to a higher level perspective, it’s like I’m back in the flow again. The phone rings with fresh opportunities, money just shows up, loving relationships flow into my life, and more. Fortunately perfection isn’t necessary. We just have to shift the balance far enough to achieve critical mass. For those who are stuck at the cellular level of thinking, I suspect that life is going to become increasingly difficult for you. You’re going to see your worries, fears, and frustrations magnified. Life will seem to be getting worse. It may seem like important aspects of society are falling apart around you. This is happening for a reason though. These old systems are going to be dismantled. That’s actually a good thing. They’ll be replaced with better things. For instance, you may be worried about debt, either your own or your country’s or someone else’s. But from the larger perspective of humanity, debt is meaningless. Humanity really doesn’t care if our financial system collapses or not. In fact, it may be better for it to collapse and be replaced by something else. So if you’re really attached to the current system and the money in your bank, you may get scared. But if you’re looking at the big picture, you’ll probably feel excited instead. Be willing to lose what doesn’t matter, so we can all gain what does matter. Jobs don’t matter, but creativity does. Paying our bills doesn’t matter, but keeping our bodies healthy does. Getting good grades in school doesn’t matter, but preserving and passing on our collective knowledge does. Start reorganizing your life around what matters, and be willing to shed what doesn’t. Try not to be too attached to remnants of the old cellular consciousness, like the money you have, the job you do, and the home you live in. The more you cling to those things, the more stressed out you’ll be. Just notice that these are all artificial cellular level concerns. What’s important is that humanity is evolving in a very positive way. You can resist that change and see your old goals fall apart, or you can flow with it and actively participate in the process of change. For those who are waking up, life is going to become much easier in a way. Your life will explode with opportunities to learn, love, share, and grow. The good stuff will come from your alignment with the expansion of universal consciousness. But it’s important to keep the perspective of what really matters. Money doesn’t matter. Bloodstream/Internet Marketing is pointless and shallow. Waking people up and consciously co-creating something amazing is what matters. When you align yourself with this higher level consciousness, abundance will flow through your life with relative ease. However, this type of abundance will be universal level abundance, not human level abundance. It doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have more money, a more luxurious home, or more possessions. That kind of stuff just doesn’t matter and represents artificial needs, not real needs. This level of abundance means that you’ll be experiencing the benefits of being in a healthier body. You’ll get more of what really matters — more growth opportunities, more love, more joy, more inner peace. Focus on your true needs. What do you need to feel abundant? You need to keep your body healthy with healthy food, sunshine, and clean air and water. You need a reasonable degree of safety. You need love and belongingness. You need self esteem. You need an outlet for your creativity. Your true needs are quite simple in fact, and they’re easier to satisfy than your artificial needs. You don’t need the latest tech gadget. You don’t need a job or an income. You don’t need to get married. You don’t need to master Bloodstream Marketing. Your artificial needs may not align well with humanity’s larger concerns. But your true needs certainly do align. It’s in humanity’s best interests to keep its best servants healthy, happy, and prosperous. In that sense, it you dedicate yourself to serving this greater body, it will surely watch your back. Aligning With Higher Level Desires In order to tap into this greater flow of abundance, you have to tap into higher level desires. First, recognize that your human level goals are beginning to bore you. No matter how important you try to make them, you can’t get motivated to work on them. You just can’t get that worked up about making money beyond a certain point. People may tell you it’s important to have specific financial goals, but when you try to do this for yourself, it makes you feel yucky inside. You can’t get motivated to work on those kinds of goals. They don’t inspire you. And so you procrastinate and then beat yourself up. It’s time to end this cycle. It’s time to re-align your desires with something that actually matters to you. You can set better goals than the human equivalent of stockpiling oxygen and sugar. Stop thinking about what you want for yourself as an individual. Start thinking about what you want for humanity as a whole. In the past, you may have been hesitant to even think at that level. Start thinking at that level now. What do you want for humanity itself? Where would you like to see this larger body go during your lifetime and beyond? Do you want us to clean up the planet? Explore outer space? Improve our educational systems? Stop fighting wars? Let yourself dream about what’s possible for humanity. Notice that these dreams are much more impressive than anything you could possibly do as an individual. Become a billionaire? Who cares? Start a charity? Big deal. Discover a new planet? Nice try. When will you be ready to work on a real goal, a goal for humanity itself? Receiving Guidance The best part is that you don’t even need to figure this out yourself. All you need to do is wake up to this higher level perspective, and then simply ping this universal consciousness to tell it you’re awake and ready to serve. Ask it for guidance, and guidance will come. Just be aware that universal consciousness is frakkin powerful. It’s way more powerful than human level consciousness. When you tap into this resource and align yourself with it, your life is going to speed up. At first it may seem like drinking from a firehouse. It will take some time to get used to it. If you feel that the flow is too much for you, you can ask it to slow down. I do this all the time. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I say to the universe aloud, “Okay… this is too fast. Let’s slow this down for a week or two and give me a chance to catch my breath.” Then when I’m ready, I ask it to speed up again. With practice you’ll get used to this faster pacing. You’ll get used to things showing up when you need them. You’ll get used to experiencing synchronicities almost every day. A synchronicity is no accident. Universal consciousness knows what you need, perhaps even better than you do. You really don’t even have to ask for your specific needs to be met once you ask to be a better servant of humanity. As Jesus said, just say, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Lately I’ve been holding off on setting specific goals for myself. Instead I’ve been saying to the universe, “Bring me what you want me to work on, and also please bring me whatever you know I need for optimal health, happiness, and flow.” And then I do my best to remain open-minded and detached from outcomes. I let the universal consciousness guide me instead of having to set specific goals and intentions. I still have an intention, but it’s simply to do what’s best for humanity as a whole. Partly I’m doing this because I’ve reached the point where any individual-level goal would bore me, and I wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to work on it. I just don’t care that much about oxygen and sugar to make it the central focus of my life. So I’m willing to risk things like losing my money, losing my home, having my relationships disrupted, etc. just for the opportunity to see where this flow leads. And yet somehow when I move past this fear of losing stuff, I seem to gain much more than I lose. As far as meeting my human needs goes, they’re all nicely satisfied and then some. Bloodstream Marketing just can’t compare. Effect on Relationships When you begin to align yourself with the perspective of higher level consciousness, your relationships with other people will shift. Try not to be too attached to what happens here. Your pairings with any one or more individuals aren’t necessarily going to be stable. It’s how your relationships affect the whole of humanity that matters. What ripples are you and your relationships co-creating? People who aren’t compatible with this new perspective will fade from your life. At first you may fear that you’re going to end up alone, but there’s no cause for alarm. New relationships will come into your life, relationships with people who have a similar perspective. And these relationships will be much better for you than the old ones. They’ll help you hold the new perspective. These new relationships will be different than what you’re used to, however. There will be less rigidity and more flexibility in this part of your life. Such relationships may defy traditional labels. You may feel a bit ungrounded in this new space. It takes time to get used to it. Eventually you’ll realize that happiness and love can come from anywhere. You may have your emotional needs met equally well by a long-time partner or with someone you just met. Universal consciousness will guide you to whatever it is that you need to sustain your emotional health, as long as you don’t get too attached to how it shows up. If you remain open and flexible, your emotional needs can be satisfied with relative ease. Trust that universal consciousness knows just what you need, and it will deliver it right to you if you’re ready to accept it. Again, you don’t even have to ask once you’re on this path. It will satisfy your emotional needs because doing so makes you a better servant. You can’t serve humanity so well if you’re feeling lonely and disconnected. You’ll be more motivated if you have love in your life, so love will be delivered unto you. Compared to where I was a few years ago, my relationship life might seem a bit strange these days. I have many relationships that would be difficult to label, but they seem to be healthy and flourishing in ways that are hard to get my head around. I can’t really define what they are, and I can’t predict where they’re going. But it seems like these connections are good and healthy for all involved. My biggest relationship challenge is unloading the traditional-minded baggage that nudges me to lock down and label each relationship, so I can feel like I understand it. But whenever I fall into that pattern, things get worse, not better. Conscious relationships don’t seem to like being locked down and labeled. They require more freedom and flow. At first this sort of situation could make a person feel insecure. You may be accustomed to having a sense of security based on the stability of predictable interactions with people close to you. However, when you align yourself with universal consciousness, you’re likely to move around a lot more relationship-wise. You’re going to meet and interact with a lot more people than you’re used to. Your social life will be rich and varied. Your stability has to come from trusting that no matter where you are, your emotional needs will still be satisfied. You’ll have the opportunity to share love, intimacy, affection, etc., and it can be more abundant than what you experienced at the individual level of being. I assure you that you won’t have to go it alone. This isn’t a lonely path — it’s actually an incredibly social path. Effect on Work Your work life will be transformed as well. You’ll probably need to stop thinking of your career in terms of having a stable job and earning a set income. Serving humanity requires a lot more flexibility and flow than a traditional job can provide. Thinking of starting or running a business is equally limiting. This is human level thinking. What does humanity need? Humanity is more concerned with things like creativity, purpose, and expansion. It would love to see you contribute to the ongoing expansion and evolution of consciousness. That’s what matters. The other stuff is too trivial to fuss over. I don’t really have a job title. Sometimes I make one up like President or CEO when it’s required for social convention, but the title is meaningless to me. When people ask me what I do for a living, I don’t really know what to say. I don’t do anything for a living. I just live. In certain situations I might say that I’m a blogger, author, or speaker, but that’s mainly what I say to people who are asleep and I don’t have time to wake them up in that particular moment. If I’m talking to someone who’s awake, then either they won’t ask such a silly question, or they’ll understand my honest answer… and they’ll probably share a similar feeling about job titles. My business cards have the wrong address because I haven’t updated them in 5 years. My website obviously isn’t the prettiest one out there. I’ve never spent money to market or promote my website, book, or workshops. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to do so; it just hasn’t ever been necessary. Humanity takes care of all my marketing and does a better job than I could. Last year I uncopyrighted all my blog posts and podcasts, so you have just as much ownership of this article as I do. From a cellular level, that might seem like a foolish decision. But that isn’t the level at which I made the decision. What does a copyright mean to humanity? Of course it’s meaningless. What would you think if one of your cells tried to patent the Krebs Cycle? Silly cells… Some people are repackaging and selling my work for money. Does that bother me? Of course not. Even though they may be operating at an individual level of consciousness, they’re actually helping. They’re spreading ideas that humanity wants to spread; after all, humanity gave me those ideas to share in the first place. They’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. I think some of them have been donating back to me as well, since I’ve seen a modest increase in donations lately. But I didn’t do this to get more donations. I did it because it should help the ideas spread and get more people thinking about living consciously. It really doesn’t matter which humans get credit or make money from it. I think my business actually works better because I don’t manage it with a cellular mindset. Millions of people have been drawn to my work, and it’s been translated into more languages than I can track. People keep sharing it, with or without my permission. New opportunities keep showing up. Money keeps flowing. Everything works. Well, aside from my web server, which I may have to upgrade yet again due to traffic growth. But that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it? Why does my business work? Because it’s not really a business. It’s a service, not primarily for individual humans, but for humanity itself. The purpose is to help enough people wake up and live more consciously, so that humanity itself may continue to survive and thrive. And by performing this service for humanity, it takes care of all my needs. It’s really good at it too. I barely have to lift a finger to attend to such things. I rather appreciate that. Individually speaking, there are some humans out there who don’t particularly like my work. But that’s largely irrelevant because humanity as a whole has made it abundantly clear that it appreciates what I’m doing and wants to speed things along with further expansion. These days I largely ignore cellular level feedback because it comes from people at varying levels of wakefulness, so of course they won’t all agree. But I pay close attention to feedback from universal consciousness, such as whether my life is flowing well or not. These days it’s flowing amazingly well, so I figure I’m on the right track. Is humanity making it abundantly clear that it appreciates what you’re doing? If not, any guesses as to why? Could it be that you’ve been ignoring humanity’s needs, and thus it’s been ignoring your needs? Try doing the opposite and see what happens. I think you’ll like it. Conscious Business Recently I’ve been listening to an audiobook about the history of Google. Google began as a fairly idealistic company with the grand mission of organizing and providing access to all the world’s information. Does that sound like an individual level goal or a goal for humanity itself? Of course Google has since become a giant, besting all other search companies. Interestingly, one of the reasons it succeeded is because it attracted some of the brightest minds in the world, people who were inspired by its mission and who would not have worked for the company if it was just about the money. You could say that humanity diverted the best resources to Google because Google’s mission served the best interests of humanity. In fact, Google has helped to create a smarter, more self-aware humanity. Microsoft used to be a similar purpose-driven company, with the mission of putting “a computer on every desk and in every home.” That was an expansive goal that served humanity. But a lot of people now believe Microsoft has lost its way, and sometimes it acts more like a cancerous tumor than a servant to humanity. Do you believe that Microsoft is here to serve humanity, or mainly itself? Is it working with the expansion and evolution of humanity, or is it working against it? Probably a bit of both. Hence its mixed results and recent stagnation. Microsoft needs a new mission that aligns with humanity’s expansion. So far its current attempts at a new mission have been fluffy and noncommittal. It wastes too much energy on trying to defend its turf, failing to recognize that there’s only one turf, and it belongs to universal consciousness. If you happen to work for Microsoft, do what you can to wake more people up within your company, and eventually the culture will shift, as will the company’s results. The irony is that companies that care less about quarterly returns and more about service to humanity can often achieve amazing growth. Why? Because humanity wants those companies to succeed. It sends them whatever resources they need to succeed. Notice which companies appear to be serving the expansion and evolution of humanity and which are only here to serve themselves and their stockholders. If you were a genius, which kind of company would you want to work for? If you were humanity itself, which companies would you support? Which would you ignore? Which would you wish to tear down or transform? Now what kind of company do you currently work for? * * * Martin Luther King, Jr. said that we have guided missiles and misguided men. Let’s change that. Guidance is available to you whenever you want. You just have to be reasonably awake to receive it. Then you’ll have all the inspiration you could possibly want.
    Jul 27, 2011 1047
  • 27 Jul 2011
    Lately I’ve been using a different model for thinking about human relationships, and it’s working out really well. It may seem a bit unusual though.  As I considered different relationship models like monogamy, serial monogamy, polyamory, and more, I soon realized that what I really wanted to experience wasn’t a good match for any existing labels that I knew of. I wouldn’t want to apply any of those old labels to myself because none of them make sense to me. They all seem too narrow and limiting. In 2009 I wrote a post about Label-free Relationships. This mindset of trying to avoid labeling my connections with other people was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t quite enough. What helped me adopt a different perspective was my stepped-up exploration of subjective reality within the past year. I pondered that if life is a dream, then what does it mean to have relationships with other people (dream characters)? In a dream we’re all inherently connected anyway. It may still make sense to classify relationships with your fellow dream characters based on how you relate to them, but labeling isn’t the real issue here. The bigger issue is how you relate to the dream itself — to life. Clearly there’s a broader and more significant relationship here than your individual connections with other dream characters. Those low-level connections are still important, but focusing on them too much seems limiting. I began to explore this idea of stepping back from managing my connections at the dream character level, particularly with respect to conscious growth. Instead of thinking about my relationships with people X, Y, and Z, and pondering how those individual relationships might continue to grow and evolve, I began paying more attention to my general relationship with life itself. I started to wonder that if we’re all connected, then maybe focusing on individual relationships is too granular. Suppose you’re in a relationship with a woman, but instead of relating to her as a complete person, you focus most of your attention on your relationship with her breasts. Sure you might enjoy such a relationship for a while, but eventually you’re going to have this woman poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just my boobs, ya know!” And that’s a fairly gentle reaction. She might of course start yelling at you to take a break from her bossom.  Consider this as an analogy for life itself. Suppose that when you focus too much of your attention on your relationship with just one person, life eventually starts poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just this one dream character, ya know!” And again, that’s a gentle reaction. Life could just as easily yell at you when your focus is too limiting, such as by giving you the experience of having to deal with lying, cheating, etc. This isn’t a punishment. It’s a wake up call to help you see there’s more to life and to relationships than you previously realized. Now this makes for an interesting theory, but what of the application? Well, I’m a dive-in-and-try-it sort of figment, so I decided to give this a try to see what it actually feels like. I can’t say I’m that far along with it yet, but I’ve been testing this for at least a month now, and I’m really falling in love with it. Instead of putting so much attention on my individual relationships, I’m paying more attention to my relationship with life itself. Actually I wouldn’t say I’m quite that high up yet. The way I currently think about this is to imagine the sum total of my relationships with all the people in my life as if they’re a relationship with a single entity. I hope that makes at least some sense. From this perspective, my relationship needs can be met by anyone. They don’t have to be met by any particular person. For example, if I feel a desire for stimulating conversation, I could have that experience with a close friend, or I could have it with someone I just met. Instead of requiring any particular relationship to fulfill this desire, I simply allow life itself to fulfill it without being attached to where it comes from. The same goes for my desire to give to others. I don’t worry about how much or how little I’m giving to any particular person. I simply focus on giving to life itself. And again, it doesn’t matter if I give to a close friend or a total stranger. It’s the act of giving that satisfies me. This mindset has really changed the way I relate to people. I feel very unattached to outcomes when it comes to my relationship with any one person. When I’m with someone, I feel very present because I don’t need anything from them. I don’t need that particular relationship to satisfy my needs because I can just as easily have those needs met by someone else. In terms of which needs are satisfied by which person, I delegate those decisions to life. This has also made me very curious about the nature of each individual relationship and how it relates to the whole. Instead of trying to lead someone or allowing myself to be led by them, I see the relationship as a flowing dance where no one leads. I ask, “Where does this relationship want to go?” A very similar question is: “Where does life want this relationship to go?” I’d say the biggest transformation is in how I relate to women, especially my female friends. When I think about how each individual relationship is evolving, it can look rather complicated. But this new model simplifies everything. I stopped trying to make sense of these relationships at the individual level, and instead I focus on the big picture of my relationship to women in general… and beyond that my relationship to life. In practice this means that when I connect with someone, I don’t worry about what kind of relationship I have with that person, and I don’t try to label it. I allow that relationship to go wherever it wants to go, using my intuition to guide me in the moment. So as to avoid any preconceived notions about where a particular connection may be heading, I like to set up intentionally ambiguous ways to connect. I avoid what looks like traditional dating because that pre-supposes a desire to have a certain kind of connection with someone. When I connect with someone, I like to keep the door open to all possibilities. Will we just hang out and talk for a while? Will we become friends? Will we end up in bed together? Will we do business together? Will we become activity partners? I remain open to endless possibilities for each individual connection. As a new relationship evolves over time and takes shape, I can try to look back on those first connections and retroactively resolve them by saying, “That was a business meeting” or “That was a date”, but that doesn’t seem to work either. There’s too much fluidity and flexibility. I rather like not having expectations about how things will turn out in advance. I’ve found that since I started doing this, my relationships have taken on a level of richness and complexity that I’ve never experienced before. I don’t mean complexity in terms of these relationships being overly complicated, but rather complexity in the sense of enjoying the exquisitely delicious creations of an expert chef… or perhaps tasting a really good wine and experiencing all its subtleties. In the past if I was connecting with a woman I was attracted to, I might be thinking about her in a certain way. I might even try to lead our connection down a certain path. But now I don’t really see a point in doing that. I find it more enjoyable to hold no desires as to how that particular connection turns out — I keep my desires at the higher level of what I want to experience in general, and I avoid attaching those desires to any specific person. I just relax and enjoy the flow of our connection and see where it wants to take us. This just feels so much more natural to me. I know that whatever needs or desires aren’t filled by this particular person will simply show up in some other way. I rather like this way of living. It feels very freeing and flowing. You’re basically surrounded by people, so there’s no need to lock your gaze onto specific individuals and demand or expect that they be the main fulfiller of your needs or the primary recipient of your gifts in some areas. Wouldn’t it be better to simply allow life itself to meet your needs through whatever channels it deems best? Life is actually quite good at this, if you give it a chance to prove itself. To further open myself to a better relationship with life, I’ve relaxed my intentions by not asking for much. I just hold the intention that life will bring me all that I need to feel happy and fulfilled, and it will receive my gifts in return. Then I relish in the delicious mystery of wondering how this will manifest, staying present to whatever opportunities arise and flowing with them as they do. Consequently, it seems like I’m making much faster progress in certain areas than I was a few months ago, but I don’t feel like I’m personally doing as much. Things are happening, but I don’t feel like I can take credit for them. In a way it feels like I’m allowing life to live through me, like I’m partly stepping aside and allowing it to animate my avatar while I relax into the flow of its direction. For many years I’ve had that feeling when I write articles. I don’t try or struggle to write; the words flow with effortless ease. I don’t know what I’m going to write in advance. I just get a “knock” in the back of my mind, and I can tell there’s a message ready to flow through me. I’m simply inspiration’s typist.  Now I’m having a similar experience as I relate to other people. I don’t try to be social. I just get a sort of ping — a feeling that it’s time to go out and connect in some way. I sense there’s a certain energy that needs to flow through me, and it shows up in the form of communicating with other people. The kinds of connections that show up when I hold this mindset seem to have some special beauty to them. Just as I feel that an inspired article is a beautiful work (as long as I don’t get in the way of the inspiration), I have the same feeling towards inspired relationships with other people. I can’t predict in advance how they’ll evolve, but these interactions seem beautiful to me. Interestingly, it appears that life is indeed bringing me exactly what I need in this area because I’m feeling very happy and fulfilled. I don’t feel like anything’s missing right now, and my intention for this part of my life is simply to remain in this wonderful flow. I also feel that life is bringing me new opportunities to give, also in ways that leave me feeling very fulfilled. As I mentioned in my previous post, new workshops are lining up. But this came about largely by following the flow of spontaneous action. One day a few weeks ago I was on the Vegas Strip, and I felt a strong impulse to check out the conference center in one of the hotels. So I did that. As I turned a corner, I saw an employee walking towards me from the opposite direction, and I had an intuitive urge to ask him if he knew who I should talk to about booking some meeting space. My doubts tried to block me for speaking up, but I told them to shut up. He was very helpful and gave me directions to the sales office. Minutes later I found myself asking the receptionist if I could talk to a meeting planner. Shortly thereafter I was speaking to someone about booking workshops. We set an appointment for me to come back later to check out specific rooms (those rooms were occupied at the time). Note that this was totally spontaneous. I’d only had the impulse to do this minutes earlier, and at first I didn’t even know why I was in the conference center. It wasn’t anything I had planned to do. It just felt like the right thing to do. In order to follow this flow of action, it was helpful to view the experience through the lens of subjective reality. At the time I was dressed pretty schlubby, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, an old pull-over hoodie, and sneakers. But when I felt hesitant to act, I reminded myself that it’s just a dream. I might not make a great first impression with the meeting planner figment, but I knew that I could speak confidently and enthusiastically regardless of how I looked. Feeling that I needed to dress nicer was just a cowardly delay tactic that cut me off from the flow. It was more fun to take immediate action. This was just one example of how I’m working on following the flow of inspiration in other parts of my life — not just when it comes to blogging. Of course I don’t always get it right. One time I was out with a woman I was meeting for the first time, and after only a short time with her, I started feeling very warmly towards her. I felt a strong desire to hold her hand and also to cuddle her as we talked, but it just seemed way too fast and seemingly out of sync with our conversation, and my mind couldn’t make sense of it. I held back from acting on those feelings, so I lost the flow in that regard, even though we still maintained a wonderful connection together. On another day I shared with her what I was thinking and feeling in those moments, curious to see how she would have reacted if I had acted on those feelings. Suffice it to say that my intuition was right. D’oh! This was yet another lesson that I really need to trust these intuitive pings and take more “risks” when my mind is struggling to make sense of it. The irony is that even though she and I talked a lot about subjective reality, I forgot to remind myself that I was in such a reality. This stuff can really bake your noodle (or if you’re a raw foodist, dehydrate it).  Being in the flow of inspiration is easy for me when I write; it’s pretty much second nature now. You might think it should be fairly straightforward to apply the same idea of acting on inspiration to relationships, but in practice I find it more challenging. First, there’s a lot of social conditioning to get past. Second, it seems more challenging to remind myself to think subjectively when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone. I’m still working through the conscious competence phase, striving to reach unconscious competence when I won’t have to think about it so much. I’m definitely making progress though, and I’m enjoying the process tremendously. I know that objectively speaking, it may sound totally ludicrous to relate to other human beings as if we’re all characters in a dream world, but before you make such judgments, let me ask, Have you tried taking this seriously for at least 30 days? If you aren’t willing to test your assumptions about the nature of reality, can you really claim to be objective? That isn’t objectivity; it’s stubbornness. On a grander scale, I’m starting to wonder what it would be like if everyone related to each other like dream characters. I’ve noticed that when I pop into subjective mode in the middle of a conversation, the interaction shifts pretty quickly… usually within 30-60 seconds. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like the connection becomes brighter and more real. It opens up and starts flowing, whereas it was previously constricted and stifled when viewed through the objective mindset. I’m going to continue exploring this mindset because I find it absolutely fascinating. Not only does it work better, but it’s a lot of fun as well. The best part is that the other dream characters really seem to like it. When I tell someone I’m thinking subjectively and regarding them as a character in a shared dream, they don’t respond negatively. To my recollection, every time I’ve done this with someone in person, the other person invariably enjoys playing along with me. Their shields go down, not up. I’ve just given them permission to join me in a playful, creative space where anything is possible. I’ve also removed all judgment from the interaction. So consequently, the interactions that result from this mindset flow so much more easily than what you might experience if you try to connect with an objective lens. When I’m in this mindset, other characters are more likely to engage in playful interactions with me automatically, even if I don’t tell them what I’m doing. And these interactions can take all sorts of strange twists and turns. A couple days ago I was checking out at the grocery store, and the guy behind me in line says to me, “Hey, I know you. You’re that guy who was in the news.” I paused and wondered what “news” he was referring to, figuring that he must have recognized me. I’ve been recognized in public a number of times before, so that wouldn’t have been a total surprise. But instead he continued, “You’re that gorilla guy, aren’t you?” I glanced at the conveyor belt, which was filled with dozens of bananas I was buying, then looked at him and smiled. I said, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” He told me he thought it was clever. I said, “It is clever… just not original.” Since I buy a lot of bananas, I often get comments from people about being a monkey or gorilla or having one as a pet.  To top it off, the cashier informed me that recently someone had actually dressed up in a gorilla suit, ran into the store, and stole a bunch of bananas. The cashier said it must have been some kind of prank. Apparently the gorilla got away too. Definitely a dream world.  The objective lens separates us. The subjective lens makes us one. Communicating from a place of oneness is a much different experience than communicating from a place of separation. Connecting subjectively is more lively, vivid, spontaneous, and fun. I still have to integrate this subjective mindset into other parts of my life. It feels like I’m upgrading a lot of old code little by little. I’m enjoying this gradual unfolding though. I love the mystery of not knowing what lies around the next bend. I don’t think I’d enjoy it nearly as much if I could somehow instantly erase all the old conditioning and drop in the new mindset in a fully integrated manner. I’m getting a lot of mileage from experiencing the contrast between the objective and subjective POVs at a very granular level as I keep making micro-shifts. Have you had any experiences along these lines? What do you make of them? Seen any gorillas lately?   
    1326 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Lately I’ve been using a different model for thinking about human relationships, and it’s working out really well. It may seem a bit unusual though.  As I considered different relationship models like monogamy, serial monogamy, polyamory, and more, I soon realized that what I really wanted to experience wasn’t a good match for any existing labels that I knew of. I wouldn’t want to apply any of those old labels to myself because none of them make sense to me. They all seem too narrow and limiting. In 2009 I wrote a post about Label-free Relationships. This mindset of trying to avoid labeling my connections with other people was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t quite enough. What helped me adopt a different perspective was my stepped-up exploration of subjective reality within the past year. I pondered that if life is a dream, then what does it mean to have relationships with other people (dream characters)? In a dream we’re all inherently connected anyway. It may still make sense to classify relationships with your fellow dream characters based on how you relate to them, but labeling isn’t the real issue here. The bigger issue is how you relate to the dream itself — to life. Clearly there’s a broader and more significant relationship here than your individual connections with other dream characters. Those low-level connections are still important, but focusing on them too much seems limiting. I began to explore this idea of stepping back from managing my connections at the dream character level, particularly with respect to conscious growth. Instead of thinking about my relationships with people X, Y, and Z, and pondering how those individual relationships might continue to grow and evolve, I began paying more attention to my general relationship with life itself. I started to wonder that if we’re all connected, then maybe focusing on individual relationships is too granular. Suppose you’re in a relationship with a woman, but instead of relating to her as a complete person, you focus most of your attention on your relationship with her breasts. Sure you might enjoy such a relationship for a while, but eventually you’re going to have this woman poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just my boobs, ya know!” And that’s a fairly gentle reaction. She might of course start yelling at you to take a break from her bossom.  Consider this as an analogy for life itself. Suppose that when you focus too much of your attention on your relationship with just one person, life eventually starts poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just this one dream character, ya know!” And again, that’s a gentle reaction. Life could just as easily yell at you when your focus is too limiting, such as by giving you the experience of having to deal with lying, cheating, etc. This isn’t a punishment. It’s a wake up call to help you see there’s more to life and to relationships than you previously realized. Now this makes for an interesting theory, but what of the application? Well, I’m a dive-in-and-try-it sort of figment, so I decided to give this a try to see what it actually feels like. I can’t say I’m that far along with it yet, but I’ve been testing this for at least a month now, and I’m really falling in love with it. Instead of putting so much attention on my individual relationships, I’m paying more attention to my relationship with life itself. Actually I wouldn’t say I’m quite that high up yet. The way I currently think about this is to imagine the sum total of my relationships with all the people in my life as if they’re a relationship with a single entity. I hope that makes at least some sense. From this perspective, my relationship needs can be met by anyone. They don’t have to be met by any particular person. For example, if I feel a desire for stimulating conversation, I could have that experience with a close friend, or I could have it with someone I just met. Instead of requiring any particular relationship to fulfill this desire, I simply allow life itself to fulfill it without being attached to where it comes from. The same goes for my desire to give to others. I don’t worry about how much or how little I’m giving to any particular person. I simply focus on giving to life itself. And again, it doesn’t matter if I give to a close friend or a total stranger. It’s the act of giving that satisfies me. This mindset has really changed the way I relate to people. I feel very unattached to outcomes when it comes to my relationship with any one person. When I’m with someone, I feel very present because I don’t need anything from them. I don’t need that particular relationship to satisfy my needs because I can just as easily have those needs met by someone else. In terms of which needs are satisfied by which person, I delegate those decisions to life. This has also made me very curious about the nature of each individual relationship and how it relates to the whole. Instead of trying to lead someone or allowing myself to be led by them, I see the relationship as a flowing dance where no one leads. I ask, “Where does this relationship want to go?” A very similar question is: “Where does life want this relationship to go?” I’d say the biggest transformation is in how I relate to women, especially my female friends. When I think about how each individual relationship is evolving, it can look rather complicated. But this new model simplifies everything. I stopped trying to make sense of these relationships at the individual level, and instead I focus on the big picture of my relationship to women in general… and beyond that my relationship to life. In practice this means that when I connect with someone, I don’t worry about what kind of relationship I have with that person, and I don’t try to label it. I allow that relationship to go wherever it wants to go, using my intuition to guide me in the moment. So as to avoid any preconceived notions about where a particular connection may be heading, I like to set up intentionally ambiguous ways to connect. I avoid what looks like traditional dating because that pre-supposes a desire to have a certain kind of connection with someone. When I connect with someone, I like to keep the door open to all possibilities. Will we just hang out and talk for a while? Will we become friends? Will we end up in bed together? Will we do business together? Will we become activity partners? I remain open to endless possibilities for each individual connection. As a new relationship evolves over time and takes shape, I can try to look back on those first connections and retroactively resolve them by saying, “That was a business meeting” or “That was a date”, but that doesn’t seem to work either. There’s too much fluidity and flexibility. I rather like not having expectations about how things will turn out in advance. I’ve found that since I started doing this, my relationships have taken on a level of richness and complexity that I’ve never experienced before. I don’t mean complexity in terms of these relationships being overly complicated, but rather complexity in the sense of enjoying the exquisitely delicious creations of an expert chef… or perhaps tasting a really good wine and experiencing all its subtleties. In the past if I was connecting with a woman I was attracted to, I might be thinking about her in a certain way. I might even try to lead our connection down a certain path. But now I don’t really see a point in doing that. I find it more enjoyable to hold no desires as to how that particular connection turns out — I keep my desires at the higher level of what I want to experience in general, and I avoid attaching those desires to any specific person. I just relax and enjoy the flow of our connection and see where it wants to take us. This just feels so much more natural to me. I know that whatever needs or desires aren’t filled by this particular person will simply show up in some other way. I rather like this way of living. It feels very freeing and flowing. You’re basically surrounded by people, so there’s no need to lock your gaze onto specific individuals and demand or expect that they be the main fulfiller of your needs or the primary recipient of your gifts in some areas. Wouldn’t it be better to simply allow life itself to meet your needs through whatever channels it deems best? Life is actually quite good at this, if you give it a chance to prove itself. To further open myself to a better relationship with life, I’ve relaxed my intentions by not asking for much. I just hold the intention that life will bring me all that I need to feel happy and fulfilled, and it will receive my gifts in return. Then I relish in the delicious mystery of wondering how this will manifest, staying present to whatever opportunities arise and flowing with them as they do. Consequently, it seems like I’m making much faster progress in certain areas than I was a few months ago, but I don’t feel like I’m personally doing as much. Things are happening, but I don’t feel like I can take credit for them. In a way it feels like I’m allowing life to live through me, like I’m partly stepping aside and allowing it to animate my avatar while I relax into the flow of its direction. For many years I’ve had that feeling when I write articles. I don’t try or struggle to write; the words flow with effortless ease. I don’t know what I’m going to write in advance. I just get a “knock” in the back of my mind, and I can tell there’s a message ready to flow through me. I’m simply inspiration’s typist.  Now I’m having a similar experience as I relate to other people. I don’t try to be social. I just get a sort of ping — a feeling that it’s time to go out and connect in some way. I sense there’s a certain energy that needs to flow through me, and it shows up in the form of communicating with other people. The kinds of connections that show up when I hold this mindset seem to have some special beauty to them. Just as I feel that an inspired article is a beautiful work (as long as I don’t get in the way of the inspiration), I have the same feeling towards inspired relationships with other people. I can’t predict in advance how they’ll evolve, but these interactions seem beautiful to me. Interestingly, it appears that life is indeed bringing me exactly what I need in this area because I’m feeling very happy and fulfilled. I don’t feel like anything’s missing right now, and my intention for this part of my life is simply to remain in this wonderful flow. I also feel that life is bringing me new opportunities to give, also in ways that leave me feeling very fulfilled. As I mentioned in my previous post, new workshops are lining up. But this came about largely by following the flow of spontaneous action. One day a few weeks ago I was on the Vegas Strip, and I felt a strong impulse to check out the conference center in one of the hotels. So I did that. As I turned a corner, I saw an employee walking towards me from the opposite direction, and I had an intuitive urge to ask him if he knew who I should talk to about booking some meeting space. My doubts tried to block me for speaking up, but I told them to shut up. He was very helpful and gave me directions to the sales office. Minutes later I found myself asking the receptionist if I could talk to a meeting planner. Shortly thereafter I was speaking to someone about booking workshops. We set an appointment for me to come back later to check out specific rooms (those rooms were occupied at the time). Note that this was totally spontaneous. I’d only had the impulse to do this minutes earlier, and at first I didn’t even know why I was in the conference center. It wasn’t anything I had planned to do. It just felt like the right thing to do. In order to follow this flow of action, it was helpful to view the experience through the lens of subjective reality. At the time I was dressed pretty schlubby, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, an old pull-over hoodie, and sneakers. But when I felt hesitant to act, I reminded myself that it’s just a dream. I might not make a great first impression with the meeting planner figment, but I knew that I could speak confidently and enthusiastically regardless of how I looked. Feeling that I needed to dress nicer was just a cowardly delay tactic that cut me off from the flow. It was more fun to take immediate action. This was just one example of how I’m working on following the flow of inspiration in other parts of my life — not just when it comes to blogging. Of course I don’t always get it right. One time I was out with a woman I was meeting for the first time, and after only a short time with her, I started feeling very warmly towards her. I felt a strong desire to hold her hand and also to cuddle her as we talked, but it just seemed way too fast and seemingly out of sync with our conversation, and my mind couldn’t make sense of it. I held back from acting on those feelings, so I lost the flow in that regard, even though we still maintained a wonderful connection together. On another day I shared with her what I was thinking and feeling in those moments, curious to see how she would have reacted if I had acted on those feelings. Suffice it to say that my intuition was right. D’oh! This was yet another lesson that I really need to trust these intuitive pings and take more “risks” when my mind is struggling to make sense of it. The irony is that even though she and I talked a lot about subjective reality, I forgot to remind myself that I was in such a reality. This stuff can really bake your noodle (or if you’re a raw foodist, dehydrate it).  Being in the flow of inspiration is easy for me when I write; it’s pretty much second nature now. You might think it should be fairly straightforward to apply the same idea of acting on inspiration to relationships, but in practice I find it more challenging. First, there’s a lot of social conditioning to get past. Second, it seems more challenging to remind myself to think subjectively when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone. I’m still working through the conscious competence phase, striving to reach unconscious competence when I won’t have to think about it so much. I’m definitely making progress though, and I’m enjoying the process tremendously. I know that objectively speaking, it may sound totally ludicrous to relate to other human beings as if we’re all characters in a dream world, but before you make such judgments, let me ask, Have you tried taking this seriously for at least 30 days? If you aren’t willing to test your assumptions about the nature of reality, can you really claim to be objective? That isn’t objectivity; it’s stubbornness. On a grander scale, I’m starting to wonder what it would be like if everyone related to each other like dream characters. I’ve noticed that when I pop into subjective mode in the middle of a conversation, the interaction shifts pretty quickly… usually within 30-60 seconds. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like the connection becomes brighter and more real. It opens up and starts flowing, whereas it was previously constricted and stifled when viewed through the objective mindset. I’m going to continue exploring this mindset because I find it absolutely fascinating. Not only does it work better, but it’s a lot of fun as well. The best part is that the other dream characters really seem to like it. When I tell someone I’m thinking subjectively and regarding them as a character in a shared dream, they don’t respond negatively. To my recollection, every time I’ve done this with someone in person, the other person invariably enjoys playing along with me. Their shields go down, not up. I’ve just given them permission to join me in a playful, creative space where anything is possible. I’ve also removed all judgment from the interaction. So consequently, the interactions that result from this mindset flow so much more easily than what you might experience if you try to connect with an objective lens. When I’m in this mindset, other characters are more likely to engage in playful interactions with me automatically, even if I don’t tell them what I’m doing. And these interactions can take all sorts of strange twists and turns. A couple days ago I was checking out at the grocery store, and the guy behind me in line says to me, “Hey, I know you. You’re that guy who was in the news.” I paused and wondered what “news” he was referring to, figuring that he must have recognized me. I’ve been recognized in public a number of times before, so that wouldn’t have been a total surprise. But instead he continued, “You’re that gorilla guy, aren’t you?” I glanced at the conveyor belt, which was filled with dozens of bananas I was buying, then looked at him and smiled. I said, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” He told me he thought it was clever. I said, “It is clever… just not original.” Since I buy a lot of bananas, I often get comments from people about being a monkey or gorilla or having one as a pet.  To top it off, the cashier informed me that recently someone had actually dressed up in a gorilla suit, ran into the store, and stole a bunch of bananas. The cashier said it must have been some kind of prank. Apparently the gorilla got away too. Definitely a dream world.  The objective lens separates us. The subjective lens makes us one. Communicating from a place of oneness is a much different experience than communicating from a place of separation. Connecting subjectively is more lively, vivid, spontaneous, and fun. I still have to integrate this subjective mindset into other parts of my life. It feels like I’m upgrading a lot of old code little by little. I’m enjoying this gradual unfolding though. I love the mystery of not knowing what lies around the next bend. I don’t think I’d enjoy it nearly as much if I could somehow instantly erase all the old conditioning and drop in the new mindset in a fully integrated manner. I’m getting a lot of mileage from experiencing the contrast between the objective and subjective POVs at a very granular level as I keep making micro-shifts. Have you had any experiences along these lines? What do you make of them? Seen any gorillas lately?   
    Jul 27, 2011 1326
  • 14 Jul 2011
    I usually see hummingbirds every day when I’m at home. I don’t have any bird feeders, but the birds love to hang out in my backyard or buzz around my office window. Sometimes I’ll see several of them hovering nearby. Lately I’ve been wanting to see if I could actually touch one… not in an aggressive way but by keeping myself in a very pure-of-heart state and inviting them to connect. They can dart around very quickly, so if they don’t want me to touch them, there’s no way I’d be able to. About a week ago, one was flying in circles around my head about 12 inches from my face, but that’s the closest she came. I was trying to get her to land on my finger, but I wasn’t even sure if that would work. Hummingbirds have such little feet that they seem to like perching on the thinnest twigs, and my finger might be hard for them to grip (without injuring me, that is). Then yesterday I was finally able to pet one for the first time. A friend stumbled upon a hummingbird sitting cozily in her nest in a tree, just a few feet from my backdoor and right at our eye-level. I’d never seen that nest before. It was a tiny nest, just big enough for the hummingbird to sit in it with her head and beak hanging out on one side and her tail feathers hanging out the other side. I said hello to the hummingbird and asked if I could pet her. She didn’t say no, so I figured she was okay with it. She seemed very content as I gently ran my fingers along her back. Then after a minute or two, she flew up and hovered around the nest, as if to invite us to take a closer look. When we looked in the nest, we saw that it contained two tiny eggs. We were both adorified. I smiled and told the hummingbird there’s no need to worry and that her eggs were safe. This morning I went out to see if she was still there. It’s very windy out, so I wasn’t sure if she’d be in the nest. Sure enough, she’s still there, presumably keeping her eggs warm. I pet her again, and as soon as I did so, she opened her beak as if to say hi. I’ve never been able to pet a hummingbird before, so I think it’s really cool that this intention was able to manifest. It only took a few weeks between setting the intention and seeing it manifest. To me this experience also has a special symbolic, dream-like meaning. Lately I’ve been feeling super happy and joyful; everything in my life is flowing beautifully. I’ve also been eating 100% raw for the past 2 weeks, which often leaves me feeling blissful. Hummingbirds are a symbol of joy, so symbolically it’s like I was able to touch joy directly instead of just having it circulate around me. I don’t know if this post will hold any meaning for you, but it was a happy experience I wanted to share. Hummingbirds are really cute.
    1211 Posted by UniqueThis
  • I usually see hummingbirds every day when I’m at home. I don’t have any bird feeders, but the birds love to hang out in my backyard or buzz around my office window. Sometimes I’ll see several of them hovering nearby. Lately I’ve been wanting to see if I could actually touch one… not in an aggressive way but by keeping myself in a very pure-of-heart state and inviting them to connect. They can dart around very quickly, so if they don’t want me to touch them, there’s no way I’d be able to. About a week ago, one was flying in circles around my head about 12 inches from my face, but that’s the closest she came. I was trying to get her to land on my finger, but I wasn’t even sure if that would work. Hummingbirds have such little feet that they seem to like perching on the thinnest twigs, and my finger might be hard for them to grip (without injuring me, that is). Then yesterday I was finally able to pet one for the first time. A friend stumbled upon a hummingbird sitting cozily in her nest in a tree, just a few feet from my backdoor and right at our eye-level. I’d never seen that nest before. It was a tiny nest, just big enough for the hummingbird to sit in it with her head and beak hanging out on one side and her tail feathers hanging out the other side. I said hello to the hummingbird and asked if I could pet her. She didn’t say no, so I figured she was okay with it. She seemed very content as I gently ran my fingers along her back. Then after a minute or two, she flew up and hovered around the nest, as if to invite us to take a closer look. When we looked in the nest, we saw that it contained two tiny eggs. We were both adorified. I smiled and told the hummingbird there’s no need to worry and that her eggs were safe. This morning I went out to see if she was still there. It’s very windy out, so I wasn’t sure if she’d be in the nest. Sure enough, she’s still there, presumably keeping her eggs warm. I pet her again, and as soon as I did so, she opened her beak as if to say hi. I’ve never been able to pet a hummingbird before, so I think it’s really cool that this intention was able to manifest. It only took a few weeks between setting the intention and seeing it manifest. To me this experience also has a special symbolic, dream-like meaning. Lately I’ve been feeling super happy and joyful; everything in my life is flowing beautifully. I’ve also been eating 100% raw for the past 2 weeks, which often leaves me feeling blissful. Hummingbirds are a symbol of joy, so symbolically it’s like I was able to touch joy directly instead of just having it circulate around me. I don’t know if this post will hold any meaning for you, but it was a happy experience I wanted to share. Hummingbirds are really cute.
    Jul 14, 2011 1211
  • 14 Jul 2011
    I saw this posted in the Association of Shareware Professionals newsgroups today and couldn’t resist sharing: What really happens at an internet help desk Although it’s a humorous video clip, it illustrates a pretty common societal frustration. It can sometimes be difficult for geeks and non-geeks to get along when it comes to computers. There’s such a huge lack of understanding by the typical non-geek as to how to perform tasks that we computer geeks would consider basic. To use a computer effectively still requires a fairly high degree of intelligence and skill, although I suppose that depends on how you define “effectively.” I’ve been comfortable with computers since I was 10 years old (I’m 33 now), so it’s difficult for me to even understand what it must be like for people with low or average computer skills. How do they live? To not have the strong technical skills I’ve developed over the years… would be like losing one of my senses. The great thing about technical skills is that they’re so versatile. Take this web site, for example. I whipped it up from scratch in a few days. To me it was easy, and many of my fellow geeks could do the same thing and also consider it easy. But think about all the technical skills that we just take for granted to make a fairly simple site like this. Registering a domain name. DNS. Configuring an Apache web server to host the new site. HTML. PHP. Making forms. MySQL. CSS. FTPing files. SSH. Finding, installing, and configuring the script for this blog. Search engine submissions. There’s no way a non-geek could even begin to attempt something like this on their own. They have to find a geek to do it for them. In some cases that can be cost-efficient even for a geek, but if you have the technical skills yourself, it’s often far faster just to do something yourself than to try to explain it someone else. But for a non-geek, they’re often stuck with a great deal of limitations on what they can do without having to pay more than it’s worth to them. This is probably why so many small business web sites are poorly maintained. What would it be like for a geek to wake up one morning and suddenly lose all his/her technical skills? What kind of career might you pursue? It’s interesting that as I transition towards writing and speaking as my primary career, I’m doing so in a very geeky fashion. While I’m speaking at least 1-2x per month locally to build up skill, I’m mainly focusing on adding new content to this web site and building an online info products business. First there will be lots of online articles (great for search engines and links). Then I plan to put up some downloadable audio content. Then maybe podcasting support. Lots of geeky features. But I think my technical skills give me an edge that other writers and speakers can’t easily take advantage of (unless they have lots of money). But even prominent speakers that do have lots of money to spend on their web sites will often hire someone that gives them an overanimated flash site or one that isn’t well optimized for search engines because virtually all the text is done as graphics (and no ALT tags to boot). It’s rare to find a non-geeky speaker that has a really well-done web site, and many of these sites aren’t updated, some listing speaking schedules from 2002 and earlier. What it will be like to transition to working in a non-geeky profession while doing so in a geeky way? I’d be curious to hear from any fellow geeks who survived such a transition and if/how you used your technical skills creatively in your new career.
    1452 Posted by UniqueThis
  • I saw this posted in the Association of Shareware Professionals newsgroups today and couldn’t resist sharing: What really happens at an internet help desk Although it’s a humorous video clip, it illustrates a pretty common societal frustration. It can sometimes be difficult for geeks and non-geeks to get along when it comes to computers. There’s such a huge lack of understanding by the typical non-geek as to how to perform tasks that we computer geeks would consider basic. To use a computer effectively still requires a fairly high degree of intelligence and skill, although I suppose that depends on how you define “effectively.” I’ve been comfortable with computers since I was 10 years old (I’m 33 now), so it’s difficult for me to even understand what it must be like for people with low or average computer skills. How do they live? To not have the strong technical skills I’ve developed over the years… would be like losing one of my senses. The great thing about technical skills is that they’re so versatile. Take this web site, for example. I whipped it up from scratch in a few days. To me it was easy, and many of my fellow geeks could do the same thing and also consider it easy. But think about all the technical skills that we just take for granted to make a fairly simple site like this. Registering a domain name. DNS. Configuring an Apache web server to host the new site. HTML. PHP. Making forms. MySQL. CSS. FTPing files. SSH. Finding, installing, and configuring the script for this blog. Search engine submissions. There’s no way a non-geek could even begin to attempt something like this on their own. They have to find a geek to do it for them. In some cases that can be cost-efficient even for a geek, but if you have the technical skills yourself, it’s often far faster just to do something yourself than to try to explain it someone else. But for a non-geek, they’re often stuck with a great deal of limitations on what they can do without having to pay more than it’s worth to them. This is probably why so many small business web sites are poorly maintained. What would it be like for a geek to wake up one morning and suddenly lose all his/her technical skills? What kind of career might you pursue? It’s interesting that as I transition towards writing and speaking as my primary career, I’m doing so in a very geeky fashion. While I’m speaking at least 1-2x per month locally to build up skill, I’m mainly focusing on adding new content to this web site and building an online info products business. First there will be lots of online articles (great for search engines and links). Then I plan to put up some downloadable audio content. Then maybe podcasting support. Lots of geeky features. But I think my technical skills give me an edge that other writers and speakers can’t easily take advantage of (unless they have lots of money). But even prominent speakers that do have lots of money to spend on their web sites will often hire someone that gives them an overanimated flash site or one that isn’t well optimized for search engines because virtually all the text is done as graphics (and no ALT tags to boot). It’s rare to find a non-geeky speaker that has a really well-done web site, and many of these sites aren’t updated, some listing speaking schedules from 2002 and earlier. What it will be like to transition to working in a non-geeky profession while doing so in a geeky way? I’d be curious to hear from any fellow geeks who survived such a transition and if/how you used your technical skills creatively in your new career.
    Jul 14, 2011 1452
  • 14 Jul 2011
    How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life? I’ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes people diagnosed with alexathemia, the condition whereby people either don’t feel emotions or are completely out of touch with their emotions. You’d think such people would be hyper-rational, but they aren’t. They can’t even function in society. They have no emotional context for deciding what’s important to them, so earning a dime is just as important as earning a million dollars. They’ll spend hours on tasks others would consider trivialities, like deciding what time to schedule a dentist appointment. Our emotions are a logical shortcut — we “feel” the difference between the relevant and the irrelevant. On to dealing with difficult or irrational people… I certainly haven’t been sheltered from such people, even though I’ve only been an “employee” for a total of six months of my life when I was in college. They’re everywhere! I’ve still had to deal with irrational/abusive people in business deals, landlords, etc. But such people rarely get to me because of how I deal with them on two levels: 1) There was a story about the Buddha where a verbally abusive man came to see him and starting hurling insults. But the Buddha just sat there calmly. Finally the man asked the Buddha why he failed to respond to the insults and abuse. The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” If someone is irrational, abusive, etc., you can mentally decline to accept “the gift.” Let that person keep their anger and insanity, and don’t let it affect you. This takes practice, but there are many mental imagery techniques that can help. I usually visualize the anger as a red energy that bounces off me or passes through me and simply returns to the source. This is a message to my subconscious mind to acknowledge that the anger belongs completely to the other person. So this part tackles the other person’s effect on my emotional state. And it works very well. I never lose my cool unless I’m doing it on purpose for some specific reason. Sometimes it’s better to respond to an angry person with some shouting of your own and then slowly bring them back down. I also mentally acknowledge that it’s probably a lack of love and happiness in their life that causes them to behave as they do. 2) Now that you’ve gotten your emotions handled, you still have to deal with the practicalities of this person and their effect on your life. Sometimes it’s enough to just manage your emotions, but other times that isn’t enough — you need to take action to address the situation. In this case I use my logic and intelligence to decide what to do, depending on the specifics of the situation. It’s like playing a game of chess — if I do this, then how will this person react? Even with irrational and hurtful people, their behavior is often predictable to some degree if you know a little about them. Human behavior is purposeful, but it can be hard to figure out the other person’s intentions. Use what you do know to anticipate their responses to various possible actions you might take. Your information may be imperfect, but do the best you can. Think of it as an exercise in risk management. Here are some possible actions: Remove the person from your life. This is a bit extreme, but sometimes it’s the best option. If your landlord is really bad, consider moving. If your boss or coworkers are terrible, leave. Many years ago I once told a friend I could no longer continue to have him in my life because he was deeply into software piracy, and I just didn’t want that kind of influence in my life. Confront the person about his/her behavior directly. Raise your standards for what you’re willing to accept in your life, and enforce them. This strategy is my personal favorite, but some people aren’t comfortable with it. The advantage of this approach is that you stop playing games, and you find out exactly where you stand with the other person. This is what I’d use if I had a difficult boss or coworker — I’d just lay everything out on the table with that person, explain why certain things were no longer tolerable for me, and detail what I wanted to see happen. Now the other person may decline your “demands,” but then at least you know where you stand and can decide based on that. Paint a line, and if the other person crosses it, you now know the abuse is willful. Use behavioral conditioning on the other person. I know of a team that did this with their verbally abusive boss. They conditioned their boss to be encouraging and supportive. Going to their boss and confronting him just didn’t work, so they got together and worked out a behavioral conditioning strategy. They stopped rewarding his negative behavior and began rewarding his positive behavior. Whenever he was abusive, he would either be ignored, or his employee(s) would say, “Are you intending to manipulate me through verbal abuse?” They would constantly point out to their boss when he was being abusive. But whenever he was the least bit encouraging, like if he said, “good work” or “thank you,” they’d thank him for his kindness and encouragement. Within a few weeks, this boss had completely turned around. I wrote a previous entry on behavioral conditioning techniques, so there are other ways to gently change another person. But this assumes you have enough leverage on the person. Get leverage, and use that leverage to force action. This can be risky, but sometimes it’s the best option. You might need to see if you can get another person fired if they really are hurting productivity. In software companies it isn’t uncommon for a team to petition management to fire a weak member that’s holding them back. I use this a lot myself when dealing with difficult people in business in cases of willful misconduct. You contact everyone who does business with that person to let them know what’s happening. And if it’s a big enough deal, throw in local govt reps and members of the press too. You might think of this as the whistleblower strategy. Let it go. Sometimes this is the best option if someone injures you in some way. Just let it go and move on. There’s a deeper issue here too… Are the reasons you’re allowing this difficult person to remain in your life valid? For example, if you make money a higher priority than quality of life, then how can you complain when you get the former but sacrifice the latter? I think people often have a hard time making quality of life a high enough priority — we’re taught to just suck it up and tolerate it if we have a difficult boss (and then die of a heart attack or stroke). The one time I was an employee, I didn’t particularly like my boss; he behaved like a jerk and didn’t seem too bright either. But I also figured that if I was a lifelong employee, I might have other bosses like this too, and it wouldn’t always be convenient to quit. So I decided not to be an employee. Then when I worked with retail game publishers, I encountered dishonesty and incompetence, and this was so common that I felt it would be hard to run that kind of business and not have to deal with such people, so I decided not to work with those people either. When I switched to doing game development independently, I loved the people and really enjoyed it, so I stuck with that for years. I chose not to base my career around working with difficult people. And now that I’m getting into speaking, I’m having a great time at that too, and I get along great with the people, so I’m happy on this path too. It seems that different kinds of careers attract different kinds of people, and some industries seem to attract more jerks than others. You don’t have to work in a slaughterhouse (which reportedly has the highest turnover rate for any kind of job), but you don’t have to work in a tech sweathouse either. You might think that dealing with a difficult boss is a “have to,” but it isn’t. You can’t control everything, but in most cases you have enough control over your life to avoid having to deal with such people. Just because everyone else around you tolerates an abusive boss doesn’t mean you have to.
    1484 Posted by UniqueThis
  • How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life? I’ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes people diagnosed with alexathemia, the condition whereby people either don’t feel emotions or are completely out of touch with their emotions. You’d think such people would be hyper-rational, but they aren’t. They can’t even function in society. They have no emotional context for deciding what’s important to them, so earning a dime is just as important as earning a million dollars. They’ll spend hours on tasks others would consider trivialities, like deciding what time to schedule a dentist appointment. Our emotions are a logical shortcut — we “feel” the difference between the relevant and the irrelevant. On to dealing with difficult or irrational people… I certainly haven’t been sheltered from such people, even though I’ve only been an “employee” for a total of six months of my life when I was in college. They’re everywhere! I’ve still had to deal with irrational/abusive people in business deals, landlords, etc. But such people rarely get to me because of how I deal with them on two levels: 1) There was a story about the Buddha where a verbally abusive man came to see him and starting hurling insults. But the Buddha just sat there calmly. Finally the man asked the Buddha why he failed to respond to the insults and abuse. The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” If someone is irrational, abusive, etc., you can mentally decline to accept “the gift.” Let that person keep their anger and insanity, and don’t let it affect you. This takes practice, but there are many mental imagery techniques that can help. I usually visualize the anger as a red energy that bounces off me or passes through me and simply returns to the source. This is a message to my subconscious mind to acknowledge that the anger belongs completely to the other person. So this part tackles the other person’s effect on my emotional state. And it works very well. I never lose my cool unless I’m doing it on purpose for some specific reason. Sometimes it’s better to respond to an angry person with some shouting of your own and then slowly bring them back down. I also mentally acknowledge that it’s probably a lack of love and happiness in their life that causes them to behave as they do. 2) Now that you’ve gotten your emotions handled, you still have to deal with the practicalities of this person and their effect on your life. Sometimes it’s enough to just manage your emotions, but other times that isn’t enough — you need to take action to address the situation. In this case I use my logic and intelligence to decide what to do, depending on the specifics of the situation. It’s like playing a game of chess — if I do this, then how will this person react? Even with irrational and hurtful people, their behavior is often predictable to some degree if you know a little about them. Human behavior is purposeful, but it can be hard to figure out the other person’s intentions. Use what you do know to anticipate their responses to various possible actions you might take. Your information may be imperfect, but do the best you can. Think of it as an exercise in risk management. Here are some possible actions: Remove the person from your life. This is a bit extreme, but sometimes it’s the best option. If your landlord is really bad, consider moving. If your boss or coworkers are terrible, leave. Many years ago I once told a friend I could no longer continue to have him in my life because he was deeply into software piracy, and I just didn’t want that kind of influence in my life. Confront the person about his/her behavior directly. Raise your standards for what you’re willing to accept in your life, and enforce them. This strategy is my personal favorite, but some people aren’t comfortable with it. The advantage of this approach is that you stop playing games, and you find out exactly where you stand with the other person. This is what I’d use if I had a difficult boss or coworker — I’d just lay everything out on the table with that person, explain why certain things were no longer tolerable for me, and detail what I wanted to see happen. Now the other person may decline your “demands,” but then at least you know where you stand and can decide based on that. Paint a line, and if the other person crosses it, you now know the abuse is willful. Use behavioral conditioning on the other person. I know of a team that did this with their verbally abusive boss. They conditioned their boss to be encouraging and supportive. Going to their boss and confronting him just didn’t work, so they got together and worked out a behavioral conditioning strategy. They stopped rewarding his negative behavior and began rewarding his positive behavior. Whenever he was abusive, he would either be ignored, or his employee(s) would say, “Are you intending to manipulate me through verbal abuse?” They would constantly point out to their boss when he was being abusive. But whenever he was the least bit encouraging, like if he said, “good work” or “thank you,” they’d thank him for his kindness and encouragement. Within a few weeks, this boss had completely turned around. I wrote a previous entry on behavioral conditioning techniques, so there are other ways to gently change another person. But this assumes you have enough leverage on the person. Get leverage, and use that leverage to force action. This can be risky, but sometimes it’s the best option. You might need to see if you can get another person fired if they really are hurting productivity. In software companies it isn’t uncommon for a team to petition management to fire a weak member that’s holding them back. I use this a lot myself when dealing with difficult people in business in cases of willful misconduct. You contact everyone who does business with that person to let them know what’s happening. And if it’s a big enough deal, throw in local govt reps and members of the press too. You might think of this as the whistleblower strategy. Let it go. Sometimes this is the best option if someone injures you in some way. Just let it go and move on. There’s a deeper issue here too… Are the reasons you’re allowing this difficult person to remain in your life valid? For example, if you make money a higher priority than quality of life, then how can you complain when you get the former but sacrifice the latter? I think people often have a hard time making quality of life a high enough priority — we’re taught to just suck it up and tolerate it if we have a difficult boss (and then die of a heart attack or stroke). The one time I was an employee, I didn’t particularly like my boss; he behaved like a jerk and didn’t seem too bright either. But I also figured that if I was a lifelong employee, I might have other bosses like this too, and it wouldn’t always be convenient to quit. So I decided not to be an employee. Then when I worked with retail game publishers, I encountered dishonesty and incompetence, and this was so common that I felt it would be hard to run that kind of business and not have to deal with such people, so I decided not to work with those people either. When I switched to doing game development independently, I loved the people and really enjoyed it, so I stuck with that for years. I chose not to base my career around working with difficult people. And now that I’m getting into speaking, I’m having a great time at that too, and I get along great with the people, so I’m happy on this path too. It seems that different kinds of careers attract different kinds of people, and some industries seem to attract more jerks than others. You don’t have to work in a slaughterhouse (which reportedly has the highest turnover rate for any kind of job), but you don’t have to work in a tech sweathouse either. You might think that dealing with a difficult boss is a “have to,” but it isn’t. You can’t control everything, but in most cases you have enough control over your life to avoid having to deal with such people. Just because everyone else around you tolerates an abusive boss doesn’t mean you have to.
    Jul 14, 2011 1484
  • 14 Jul 2011
    What is your career? Forget about how you define this to others for now, and just think for a bit about how you define your career to yourself. What does it mean to you to have a career? Is it just your job? Is it something you do to make a living? Is it what you do for money? Is it your work? Most people would define a career as more than a job. Above and beyond a job, a career is a long-term pattern of work, usually across multiple jobs. A career implies professional development to build skill over a period of time, where one moves from novice to expert within a particular field. And lastly, I would argue that a career must be consciously chosen; even if others exert influence over you, you must still ultimately choose to become a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. If you didn’t make a conscious choice at some point, I would then say you have a job but not a career. One of the difficulties I see a lot of people experiencing lately is that they spend the bulk of their days working at a job that isn’t part of a consciously chosen career. Once you graduate from school and enter the work force, you don’t suddenly gain the knowledge of what kind of career to build. Most likely you just focus on getting a job as your first step after school. And you probably have to make this choice in your early 20s. After a decade or two, you’ve established a pattern of work and built up some expertise. But at what point did you stop and say, what is my career going to be? Sometimes when you ask people what their career is (instead of asking what their job is), the question makes them uncomfortable. Why? Because they think of a career as something intentionally chosen, purposeful, and meaningful, and they don’t see those qualities in their job. Another possibility is that they feel deep down that their real career lies elsewhere. Just because you’ve been working in a field for many years doesn’t mean you have to turn that pattern of work into your career. The past is the past. You can continue to run the same pattern and follow that same path into the future, but at any time you’re also free to make a total break with the past and turn yourself onto an entirely new career path in the future. Ask yourself if you were starting over from scratch today, fresh out of school, would you still choose the same line of work? If the answer is no, then you only have a job right now, not a career. Your career lies elsewhere. I went through this process myself last year when I asked myself, “What is my career?” I’ve been developing and publishing computer games since 1994. And that was exactly what I wanted to do when I was 22 years old. Game development was the career I had consciously chosen; I didn’t just fall into it. It took a lot of work to start my own company and build it into a successful business. But at age 33, I had to stop and say that I no longer wanted game development to be my career. I still enjoy it, and I may continue doing a little on the side as a hobby for many years, but I no longer think of it as my career. And yet, when I looked around for what else I might define as my new career, I was in a quandary. I saw all the assets I’d built in my game development career… and a long list of goals yet to be accomplished. Of course, the real problem was that I was looking to the past and projecting it onto the future. So all I could see on the road ahead was a continuation of the road behind. My solution was to use zero-based thinking… imagining I was starting from scratch again, forgetting the past for a moment, seeing the present moment as something fresh and new that didn’t already have a directional vector assigned to it — it could point in any new direction I gave it. At the same time I started thinking like this, I also decided to broaden my definition of career. While running my games business, I had been operating with a very 3rd-dimensional view of a career. It was about success, achievement, accomplishment, making a good living, sales, serving customers, etc. At different times my career was that I was a game programmer, a game developer, or a game publisher. Those were the labels I used. But whereas these kinds of objectives were very motivating to me when I was in my 20s, years later I found them to be far less motivating. Achieving more and succeeding more just wasn’t enough of a motivator by itself. And I’ve seen others fall into the same situation too — the things that motivated them greatly at one point no longer seem all that motivating years later. The motivational strategies that work in your 20s don’t necessarily keep working in your 30s. The solution I found was to look behind the labels and discover the core of my career. When I looked behind the labels of game programmer, game developer, and game publisher, I saw that the core of my career was entertaining people. That was the real purpose behind what I was doing. And that’s when it made sense to me that this was a very motivating purpose for me in my 20s, but that in my 30s it lost its edge because I had grown to the point in my own life where I felt that entertaining people was no longer the BEST way for me to contribute. Think about this for a moment. What is the core of your career? What do you contribute? What is the big picture of what you do? If you work for a large company, then how do your actions contribute to some larger purpose? Be honest with yourself. And don’t ignore the role your company plays in your career; your career depends heavily on what you’re contributing down the line. If you truly assign a noble purpose to what you do, that’s great. For example, if you work at a grocery store, you might be inspired by the fact that you help feed people. But don’t force it if you don’t actually believe it. If you feel your contribution is weak or even negative, then admit that to yourself, even if you don’t immediately plan to do anything about it. Go behind the labels. Don’t stop at definining your career as computer programmer or lawyer or doctor. What are you contributing as a computer programmer? How does your career make a difference in other people’s lives? Is it nothing more than a way for you to make money? As a lawyer do you resolve disputes and spread peace, or do you milk conflict for money? As a doctor do you heal people, or are you just a legal drug pusher? What is the essence of your career right now? Now when you have your answer, you next have to ask yourself, is this you? Is this truly a career that reflects the best of who you are as a person? For example, if you see the real purpose behind your current line of work as making a handful of investors wealthier… nothing more noble than that… then is that an accurate reflection of your best contribution? Is that you? If you already have a career that accurately reflects the best of who you are, that’s wonderful. But if you don’t, then realize that you’re free to change it. If your career as a regional distributor for a major soda manufacturer basically boils down to pushing sugar water to make people fatter, you don’t have to keep it that way. I think if you realize that your current work doesn’t fit who you are, then you have to make a choice. You have to decide if you deserve having a career that truly suits you. If you don’t feel you deserve it, then you will settle for defining your career in such narrow terms as job, money, paycheck, promotion, boss, coworkers, etc. No one is forcing you to accept that as your definition of career. On the other hand, you can choose to embrace another definition of career that uses terms like purpose, calling, contribution, meaning, abundance, happiness, fulfillment, etc. This requires a top-down approach. You first think hard about what your purpose here is… what kind of contribution do you want to make with your life? Once you figure that out, then you work down to the level of how to manifest that in terms of the work you do. And for many people, the seeming impossibility of that manifesting part is paralyzing. This is especially true for men, who usually take their responsibility as breadwinners very seriously. You see yourself logically having two choices: I could stay in my current job, which pays the bills and earns me a good living, or I could go jump into something that fits me better, but I just can’t see how to make money at it. I have a mortgage to pay and a family who depends on me; I can’t do that to them. The problem though is thinking that these are the only alternatives… thinking that you have to make a choice between money and happiness. That assumption is what causes the paralysis against action. You can also envision the third alternative of having money and happiness together. In fact, that’s actually the most likely outcome. If you don’t currently have a career that is deeply fulfilling to you in the sense that you know you’re contributing in a way that matters, then deep down, you will sabotage yourself from going too far with it. You will always know that you’re on the wrong path for you, and this is going to slap a demotivating slump over everything you try to do in that line of work. You’ll do your job, but you’ll never feel that you’re really living up to your potential. You’ll always have problems with procrastination and weak motivation, and they’ll never be resolved no matter how many time management strategies you attempt. Your job will never feel like a truly satisfying career — it just can’t grow into that because you’ve planted your career tree in bad soil. You’ll always be stuck with a bonsai. But when you get your career aligned from top to bottom, such that what you’re ultimately contributing is an expression of the best of yourself, the money will come too. You’ll be enjoying what you do so much, and you’ll find your work so fulfilling, that turning it into an income stream won’t be that hard. You’ll find a way to do it. Making money is not at odds with your greater purpose; they can lie on the same path. The more money you make, the greater your ability to contribute. But most importantly you’ll feel you really deserve all the money you earn. When your career is aligned with the best of who you are, you won’t secretly feel that your continued career success means going farther down the wrong path. You won’t hold back anymore. You’ll want to take your career as far as you can because it’s an expression of who you are. And this will make you far more receptive to all the opportunities that are all around you, financial or otherwise. But how do you make this transition? Is a leap of faith required? Not really. I don’t think of it as a leap of faith. It’s more of a leap of courage, and it’s a logical kind of courage, not an emotional one. It comes down to making a decision about how important your own happiness and fulfillment are to you. Really, how important is it for you to have meaningful, fulfilling work? Is it OK for you to continue working at a job that doesn’t allow you to contribute the very best of who you are? If you find yourself in such a situation, then your answer is yes — you’ve made it OK for you to tolerate this situation. But you see… self-actualizing people who successfully make this leap will at some point conclude that it’s definitely not OK. In fact, it’s intolerable. They wake up and say, “Wait a minute here. This is absolutely, totally unacceptable for me to be spending the bulk of my time at a job that isn’t a deeply fulfilling career. I can’t keep doing this. This ends now.” These people “wake up” by realizing that what’s most important about a career is the high-level view that includes happiness, fulfillment, and living on purpose. Things like money, success, and achievement are a very distant second. But when you work from within the first category, the second category takes care of itself. Before you’ve had this awakening, you most likely don’t see how that last sentence is possible. And that’s because you don’t understand that it is nothing more than a choice. You have probably chosen to put money above fulfillment in your current line of work. That choice means that you won’t have fulfillment. But it’s not that you can’t have fulfillment — you can choose to change your priorities and act on them at any time. The real choice you made was not to be fulfilled in your current line of work. You bought into the illusion that money is at odds with fulfillment, and that money is the more important of the two, so that is all you see. No matter what job you take, you find this assumption proves true for you. But once you go through the “waking up” experience and firmly decide to put fulfillment first, you suddenly realize that being fulfilled AND having plenty of money is also a choice that’s available to you. There are countless ways for you to do both; you simply have to permit yourself to see them. You realize that you were the one who chose EITHER-OR instead of AND, while all the time you were totally free to choose AND whenever you wanted. You set the standards for your career choices. Most likely your current standard ranks fulfillment and meaningful contribution very low in comparison to working on interesting tasks and making sufficient money. But those standards are yours to set. At any point you’re free to say, “Having a deeply meaningful and fulfilling career is an absolute MUST for me. Working for money alone is simply not an option.” And once you make this conscious choice, you WILL begin seeing the opportunities that fit this new standard. But you’ll never even recognize those opportunities as long as it remains OK for you to spend all your work time being unfulfilled. I want to drive home this point. Having a fulfilling career that earns you plenty of money doesn’t require a leap of faith. It only requires a choice. You just have to wake up one day and tell yourself that you deserve both, and that you won’t settle for anything less. It’s not about finding the right job. A career isn’t something you find; it doesn’t require someone to give you something. You aren’t at the mercy of circumstances. A career is something you create, something you build. It means that the work you do each day is aligned with what you feel to be your purpose. Once you start doing this kind of work, even if for no pay initially, your self-esteem will grow to the point where you’ll become so resourceful and open to new opportunities that you’ll have no trouble making plenty of money from it. However, when you do so, the money won’t be that important. It will just be a resource for you to do more of what you love. Your life is too precious to waste working only for money or for a purpose that doesn’t inspire you. No one can hold you back from making this decision but you. Especially don’t hide behind your family’s needs. If your family truly loves you, then they need you to be fulfilled and living on purpose far more than anything else. And if you love them, then isn’t your greatest role to serve as a model to them of how to be happy? What would you want for your own children for their careers? And do you want the same for yourself?
    1215 Posted by UniqueThis
  • What is your career? Forget about how you define this to others for now, and just think for a bit about how you define your career to yourself. What does it mean to you to have a career? Is it just your job? Is it something you do to make a living? Is it what you do for money? Is it your work? Most people would define a career as more than a job. Above and beyond a job, a career is a long-term pattern of work, usually across multiple jobs. A career implies professional development to build skill over a period of time, where one moves from novice to expert within a particular field. And lastly, I would argue that a career must be consciously chosen; even if others exert influence over you, you must still ultimately choose to become a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. If you didn’t make a conscious choice at some point, I would then say you have a job but not a career. One of the difficulties I see a lot of people experiencing lately is that they spend the bulk of their days working at a job that isn’t part of a consciously chosen career. Once you graduate from school and enter the work force, you don’t suddenly gain the knowledge of what kind of career to build. Most likely you just focus on getting a job as your first step after school. And you probably have to make this choice in your early 20s. After a decade or two, you’ve established a pattern of work and built up some expertise. But at what point did you stop and say, what is my career going to be? Sometimes when you ask people what their career is (instead of asking what their job is), the question makes them uncomfortable. Why? Because they think of a career as something intentionally chosen, purposeful, and meaningful, and they don’t see those qualities in their job. Another possibility is that they feel deep down that their real career lies elsewhere. Just because you’ve been working in a field for many years doesn’t mean you have to turn that pattern of work into your career. The past is the past. You can continue to run the same pattern and follow that same path into the future, but at any time you’re also free to make a total break with the past and turn yourself onto an entirely new career path in the future. Ask yourself if you were starting over from scratch today, fresh out of school, would you still choose the same line of work? If the answer is no, then you only have a job right now, not a career. Your career lies elsewhere. I went through this process myself last year when I asked myself, “What is my career?” I’ve been developing and publishing computer games since 1994. And that was exactly what I wanted to do when I was 22 years old. Game development was the career I had consciously chosen; I didn’t just fall into it. It took a lot of work to start my own company and build it into a successful business. But at age 33, I had to stop and say that I no longer wanted game development to be my career. I still enjoy it, and I may continue doing a little on the side as a hobby for many years, but I no longer think of it as my career. And yet, when I looked around for what else I might define as my new career, I was in a quandary. I saw all the assets I’d built in my game development career… and a long list of goals yet to be accomplished. Of course, the real problem was that I was looking to the past and projecting it onto the future. So all I could see on the road ahead was a continuation of the road behind. My solution was to use zero-based thinking… imagining I was starting from scratch again, forgetting the past for a moment, seeing the present moment as something fresh and new that didn’t already have a directional vector assigned to it — it could point in any new direction I gave it. At the same time I started thinking like this, I also decided to broaden my definition of career. While running my games business, I had been operating with a very 3rd-dimensional view of a career. It was about success, achievement, accomplishment, making a good living, sales, serving customers, etc. At different times my career was that I was a game programmer, a game developer, or a game publisher. Those were the labels I used. But whereas these kinds of objectives were very motivating to me when I was in my 20s, years later I found them to be far less motivating. Achieving more and succeeding more just wasn’t enough of a motivator by itself. And I’ve seen others fall into the same situation too — the things that motivated them greatly at one point no longer seem all that motivating years later. The motivational strategies that work in your 20s don’t necessarily keep working in your 30s. The solution I found was to look behind the labels and discover the core of my career. When I looked behind the labels of game programmer, game developer, and game publisher, I saw that the core of my career was entertaining people. That was the real purpose behind what I was doing. And that’s when it made sense to me that this was a very motivating purpose for me in my 20s, but that in my 30s it lost its edge because I had grown to the point in my own life where I felt that entertaining people was no longer the BEST way for me to contribute. Think about this for a moment. What is the core of your career? What do you contribute? What is the big picture of what you do? If you work for a large company, then how do your actions contribute to some larger purpose? Be honest with yourself. And don’t ignore the role your company plays in your career; your career depends heavily on what you’re contributing down the line. If you truly assign a noble purpose to what you do, that’s great. For example, if you work at a grocery store, you might be inspired by the fact that you help feed people. But don’t force it if you don’t actually believe it. If you feel your contribution is weak or even negative, then admit that to yourself, even if you don’t immediately plan to do anything about it. Go behind the labels. Don’t stop at definining your career as computer programmer or lawyer or doctor. What are you contributing as a computer programmer? How does your career make a difference in other people’s lives? Is it nothing more than a way for you to make money? As a lawyer do you resolve disputes and spread peace, or do you milk conflict for money? As a doctor do you heal people, or are you just a legal drug pusher? What is the essence of your career right now? Now when you have your answer, you next have to ask yourself, is this you? Is this truly a career that reflects the best of who you are as a person? For example, if you see the real purpose behind your current line of work as making a handful of investors wealthier… nothing more noble than that… then is that an accurate reflection of your best contribution? Is that you? If you already have a career that accurately reflects the best of who you are, that’s wonderful. But if you don’t, then realize that you’re free to change it. If your career as a regional distributor for a major soda manufacturer basically boils down to pushing sugar water to make people fatter, you don’t have to keep it that way. I think if you realize that your current work doesn’t fit who you are, then you have to make a choice. You have to decide if you deserve having a career that truly suits you. If you don’t feel you deserve it, then you will settle for defining your career in such narrow terms as job, money, paycheck, promotion, boss, coworkers, etc. No one is forcing you to accept that as your definition of career. On the other hand, you can choose to embrace another definition of career that uses terms like purpose, calling, contribution, meaning, abundance, happiness, fulfillment, etc. This requires a top-down approach. You first think hard about what your purpose here is… what kind of contribution do you want to make with your life? Once you figure that out, then you work down to the level of how to manifest that in terms of the work you do. And for many people, the seeming impossibility of that manifesting part is paralyzing. This is especially true for men, who usually take their responsibility as breadwinners very seriously. You see yourself logically having two choices: I could stay in my current job, which pays the bills and earns me a good living, or I could go jump into something that fits me better, but I just can’t see how to make money at it. I have a mortgage to pay and a family who depends on me; I can’t do that to them. The problem though is thinking that these are the only alternatives… thinking that you have to make a choice between money and happiness. That assumption is what causes the paralysis against action. You can also envision the third alternative of having money and happiness together. In fact, that’s actually the most likely outcome. If you don’t currently have a career that is deeply fulfilling to you in the sense that you know you’re contributing in a way that matters, then deep down, you will sabotage yourself from going too far with it. You will always know that you’re on the wrong path for you, and this is going to slap a demotivating slump over everything you try to do in that line of work. You’ll do your job, but you’ll never feel that you’re really living up to your potential. You’ll always have problems with procrastination and weak motivation, and they’ll never be resolved no matter how many time management strategies you attempt. Your job will never feel like a truly satisfying career — it just can’t grow into that because you’ve planted your career tree in bad soil. You’ll always be stuck with a bonsai. But when you get your career aligned from top to bottom, such that what you’re ultimately contributing is an expression of the best of yourself, the money will come too. You’ll be enjoying what you do so much, and you’ll find your work so fulfilling, that turning it into an income stream won’t be that hard. You’ll find a way to do it. Making money is not at odds with your greater purpose; they can lie on the same path. The more money you make, the greater your ability to contribute. But most importantly you’ll feel you really deserve all the money you earn. When your career is aligned with the best of who you are, you won’t secretly feel that your continued career success means going farther down the wrong path. You won’t hold back anymore. You’ll want to take your career as far as you can because it’s an expression of who you are. And this will make you far more receptive to all the opportunities that are all around you, financial or otherwise. But how do you make this transition? Is a leap of faith required? Not really. I don’t think of it as a leap of faith. It’s more of a leap of courage, and it’s a logical kind of courage, not an emotional one. It comes down to making a decision about how important your own happiness and fulfillment are to you. Really, how important is it for you to have meaningful, fulfilling work? Is it OK for you to continue working at a job that doesn’t allow you to contribute the very best of who you are? If you find yourself in such a situation, then your answer is yes — you’ve made it OK for you to tolerate this situation. But you see… self-actualizing people who successfully make this leap will at some point conclude that it’s definitely not OK. In fact, it’s intolerable. They wake up and say, “Wait a minute here. This is absolutely, totally unacceptable for me to be spending the bulk of my time at a job that isn’t a deeply fulfilling career. I can’t keep doing this. This ends now.” These people “wake up” by realizing that what’s most important about a career is the high-level view that includes happiness, fulfillment, and living on purpose. Things like money, success, and achievement are a very distant second. But when you work from within the first category, the second category takes care of itself. Before you’ve had this awakening, you most likely don’t see how that last sentence is possible. And that’s because you don’t understand that it is nothing more than a choice. You have probably chosen to put money above fulfillment in your current line of work. That choice means that you won’t have fulfillment. But it’s not that you can’t have fulfillment — you can choose to change your priorities and act on them at any time. The real choice you made was not to be fulfilled in your current line of work. You bought into the illusion that money is at odds with fulfillment, and that money is the more important of the two, so that is all you see. No matter what job you take, you find this assumption proves true for you. But once you go through the “waking up” experience and firmly decide to put fulfillment first, you suddenly realize that being fulfilled AND having plenty of money is also a choice that’s available to you. There are countless ways for you to do both; you simply have to permit yourself to see them. You realize that you were the one who chose EITHER-OR instead of AND, while all the time you were totally free to choose AND whenever you wanted. You set the standards for your career choices. Most likely your current standard ranks fulfillment and meaningful contribution very low in comparison to working on interesting tasks and making sufficient money. But those standards are yours to set. At any point you’re free to say, “Having a deeply meaningful and fulfilling career is an absolute MUST for me. Working for money alone is simply not an option.” And once you make this conscious choice, you WILL begin seeing the opportunities that fit this new standard. But you’ll never even recognize those opportunities as long as it remains OK for you to spend all your work time being unfulfilled. I want to drive home this point. Having a fulfilling career that earns you plenty of money doesn’t require a leap of faith. It only requires a choice. You just have to wake up one day and tell yourself that you deserve both, and that you won’t settle for anything less. It’s not about finding the right job. A career isn’t something you find; it doesn’t require someone to give you something. You aren’t at the mercy of circumstances. A career is something you create, something you build. It means that the work you do each day is aligned with what you feel to be your purpose. Once you start doing this kind of work, even if for no pay initially, your self-esteem will grow to the point where you’ll become so resourceful and open to new opportunities that you’ll have no trouble making plenty of money from it. However, when you do so, the money won’t be that important. It will just be a resource for you to do more of what you love. Your life is too precious to waste working only for money or for a purpose that doesn’t inspire you. No one can hold you back from making this decision but you. Especially don’t hide behind your family’s needs. If your family truly loves you, then they need you to be fulfilled and living on purpose far more than anything else. And if you love them, then isn’t your greatest role to serve as a model to them of how to be happy? What would you want for your own children for their careers? And do you want the same for yourself?
    Jul 14, 2011 1215
  • 14 Jul 2011
    What if you currently live a very comfortable lifestyle and you have a lot of assets? How can you justify running off to do what truly makes you happy if it might put all your current assets at risk? Here’s my take on this…. To abandon a comfortable lifestyle that isn’t deeply fulfilling is to abandon nothing. There’s nothing of real substance there to protect. An income, a car, a house, or a lifestyle are not worth protecting if the cost of such protection is your own fulfillment and happiness. People who achieve some of the external trappings of success without internal fulfillment are only living an illusion when they tell themselves they have something of value to protect. In most cases the feeling that there’s something to protect is just an excuse used to avoid facing the real fear — that maybe all this stuff isn’t really worth anything compared to what’s being lost… that maybe I should be living more boldly and not be so concerned about what happens to all my stuff. I currently have some material stuff in my life. I have a business, computers, a car that’s fully paid for, and my wife and I are closing escrow on a new home we’ve bought. But that’s all just stuff. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have any real value. I’d gladly give it all up and live in a shack if that was the price I’d have to pay to live my mission. I want my life to have had more value than just acquiring stuff and living comfortably. I may die rich, or I may die broke. But I won’t die with my music still in me. After all, why are we here? Is it to acquire stuff, live a comfortable lifestyle, make our families as comfortable as possible, and then die? Whether there’s an afterlife or not, one thing is clear — we can’t take any of that stuff with us. Our comfortable lifestyle has no power to endure. And here’s the worst part. While you’re working so hard to acquire and protect all that stuff, you could die unexpectedly. You might die today. You might die tomorrow. Maybe you won’t die for another 70 years. Maybe your consciousness will be transferred into an android body a few decades from now, but you could still be destroyed in an accident, even if you make a backup of yourself. At least in the present, you’re still vulnerable. Death happens to people every day. 150,000+ people died from the quake and tsunami in Southeast Asia. How many of them knew at the beginning of December 2004 that they only had a few weeks left to live? And look what happened to all the stuff those people acquired — destroyed. Fisherman or tourist — it doesn’t matter. We all end up the same way. So what is the point of a life dedicated to the acquisition and protection of stuff? All of your money and possessions can be taken away from you by forces outside your control. No matter how many asset protection techniques you apply, you can never guarantee full security of your stuff. It’s perpetually vulnerable. There can be no true security then in a life based on the acquisition and protection of stuff. So what have you got to lose? What are you truly risking if you go after your dreams? If your current lifestyle is unfulfilling, then you’re starting broke, no matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter if you start with $0 or $1 million. You have nothing to lose either way. Money and material assets are just resources to use while you’re here — you can’t take them with you. You’re only a temporary steward of the money and possessions that pass through your life. So when you risk money, you don’t risk anything of any enduring value. Earn money, lose money, invest money. But don’t make material objects more important than your own fulfillment and happiness. If you’re sitting behind a desk working at a job you hate in order to protect your current lifestyle, you are protecting nothing. Isn’t there a part of you, deep inside, that wants to just walk away from all of that junk and start really living? Can you feel how empty and hollow your days are, how devoid of meaning? Have you forgotten what it’s like to really live a day that fulfills you deeply as a human being? Look around your home at all your stuff. Recognize that in the long run, it will all eventually end up as dust. None of it will endure. It’s all temporary. Your house will eventually crumble. Your car will wind up in a junkyard. You cannot permanently keep any of this stuff. Eventually you’re going to lose it all. Or it will lose you. So what kind of life is that — one that’s dedicated to the guarding of dust? Is that what you want your life to be about? If you feel there’s any purpose to your existence as a human being, then is this it? Life is just too precious to waste. If you are spending your days working at a job that isn’t deeply fulfilling to you, then you’re spending your days guarding dust. There’s no real value there. Stuff cannot fulfill you. Ultimately it will only distract you from living on purpose. What does it mean to really live? Deep down, you already have a sense of the direction where this answer lies for you. Ultimately, it’s a choice. You’re totally free to live the kind of life you want. But you’ll know you’re really living when you would live pretty much the same way even if you knew you only had 18 months left. If you would make some big changes in your life upon learning that you only had 18 months to live, then why not make those changes now? Someone reading this blog entry probably has less than 18 months to live. Maybe it’s you. Live for what is real to you. Live for what truly matters to you. What matters to me — what is real to me — is inspiring and helping people. Directly or indirectly, whenever I’m able to help someone solve a really tough problem or to motivate someone to finally push past a big obstacle, that is something I find tremendously fulfilling. And the fulfillment I get from doing this is so great that it trumps all the external stuff. It doesn’t matter how much money I make. It doesn’t matter if people reject my ideas or poke fun at what I enjoy doing. This blog entry may be read by over 1000 people, but it may be such that the ideas within are only able to help one person in a very small way. The other 999 may conclude I’m nuts and unsubscribe. And that’s fine. It’s that one person I’m writing for. But at the same time, starting from the point of spending each day doing something that fulfills me, I’m building this work into a business that can support and sustain me and my family. This will ultimately include paid speaking engagements, and information products like books and audio programs. So I’m starting with doing what I love and building it into a source of income. The more money the business generates, the more people I’m ultimately able to reach. So making money is aligned with my own personal fulfillment — they aren’t at odds with each other. If you do what you love, then you can surely find a way to turn it into an income stream — then the more money you make, the more you expand your capacity to continue doing what you love in bigger and bigger ways. Taking what you love to do and turning it into a source of income, either as an employee or an entrepreneur, seems hard to resist. If you’re going to spend so much time working to make money, why not make that money in the pursuit of your dreams instead of in the protection of dust? What does your current to do list look like? Is it filled with tasks that aren’t even real to you? Are you typing stuff that doesn’t matter, going to soulless meetings, shuffling papers and filling out forms to appease computers, while sitting in a Dilbert-style cage all day? Why do you continue to choose that life each day? You’re always free to stop at any time. You make the rules. What percentage of the tasks on your to do list will fulfill you deeply to do them? What kind of to do list would be real to you? What items might it contain? Compose a new piece of music. Write something inspiring and share it with others. Give your spouse a massage. Exercise. Play with your kids. Make a snowman in Las Vegas (my wife did this one yesterday). Clear out some clutter. Read a really great book. Audition for a local play. Start your own business. Tell your boss, “Talk to the hand. I don’t do soulless work anymore.” Do something that leaves you feeling at the end of the day that you really contributed the best of yourself. Don’t die with your music still in you.
    1041 Posted by UniqueThis
  • What if you currently live a very comfortable lifestyle and you have a lot of assets? How can you justify running off to do what truly makes you happy if it might put all your current assets at risk? Here’s my take on this…. To abandon a comfortable lifestyle that isn’t deeply fulfilling is to abandon nothing. There’s nothing of real substance there to protect. An income, a car, a house, or a lifestyle are not worth protecting if the cost of such protection is your own fulfillment and happiness. People who achieve some of the external trappings of success without internal fulfillment are only living an illusion when they tell themselves they have something of value to protect. In most cases the feeling that there’s something to protect is just an excuse used to avoid facing the real fear — that maybe all this stuff isn’t really worth anything compared to what’s being lost… that maybe I should be living more boldly and not be so concerned about what happens to all my stuff. I currently have some material stuff in my life. I have a business, computers, a car that’s fully paid for, and my wife and I are closing escrow on a new home we’ve bought. But that’s all just stuff. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have any real value. I’d gladly give it all up and live in a shack if that was the price I’d have to pay to live my mission. I want my life to have had more value than just acquiring stuff and living comfortably. I may die rich, or I may die broke. But I won’t die with my music still in me. After all, why are we here? Is it to acquire stuff, live a comfortable lifestyle, make our families as comfortable as possible, and then die? Whether there’s an afterlife or not, one thing is clear — we can’t take any of that stuff with us. Our comfortable lifestyle has no power to endure. And here’s the worst part. While you’re working so hard to acquire and protect all that stuff, you could die unexpectedly. You might die today. You might die tomorrow. Maybe you won’t die for another 70 years. Maybe your consciousness will be transferred into an android body a few decades from now, but you could still be destroyed in an accident, even if you make a backup of yourself. At least in the present, you’re still vulnerable. Death happens to people every day. 150,000+ people died from the quake and tsunami in Southeast Asia. How many of them knew at the beginning of December 2004 that they only had a few weeks left to live? And look what happened to all the stuff those people acquired — destroyed. Fisherman or tourist — it doesn’t matter. We all end up the same way. So what is the point of a life dedicated to the acquisition and protection of stuff? All of your money and possessions can be taken away from you by forces outside your control. No matter how many asset protection techniques you apply, you can never guarantee full security of your stuff. It’s perpetually vulnerable. There can be no true security then in a life based on the acquisition and protection of stuff. So what have you got to lose? What are you truly risking if you go after your dreams? If your current lifestyle is unfulfilling, then you’re starting broke, no matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter if you start with $0 or $1 million. You have nothing to lose either way. Money and material assets are just resources to use while you’re here — you can’t take them with you. You’re only a temporary steward of the money and possessions that pass through your life. So when you risk money, you don’t risk anything of any enduring value. Earn money, lose money, invest money. But don’t make material objects more important than your own fulfillment and happiness. If you’re sitting behind a desk working at a job you hate in order to protect your current lifestyle, you are protecting nothing. Isn’t there a part of you, deep inside, that wants to just walk away from all of that junk and start really living? Can you feel how empty and hollow your days are, how devoid of meaning? Have you forgotten what it’s like to really live a day that fulfills you deeply as a human being? Look around your home at all your stuff. Recognize that in the long run, it will all eventually end up as dust. None of it will endure. It’s all temporary. Your house will eventually crumble. Your car will wind up in a junkyard. You cannot permanently keep any of this stuff. Eventually you’re going to lose it all. Or it will lose you. So what kind of life is that — one that’s dedicated to the guarding of dust? Is that what you want your life to be about? If you feel there’s any purpose to your existence as a human being, then is this it? Life is just too precious to waste. If you are spending your days working at a job that isn’t deeply fulfilling to you, then you’re spending your days guarding dust. There’s no real value there. Stuff cannot fulfill you. Ultimately it will only distract you from living on purpose. What does it mean to really live? Deep down, you already have a sense of the direction where this answer lies for you. Ultimately, it’s a choice. You’re totally free to live the kind of life you want. But you’ll know you’re really living when you would live pretty much the same way even if you knew you only had 18 months left. If you would make some big changes in your life upon learning that you only had 18 months to live, then why not make those changes now? Someone reading this blog entry probably has less than 18 months to live. Maybe it’s you. Live for what is real to you. Live for what truly matters to you. What matters to me — what is real to me — is inspiring and helping people. Directly or indirectly, whenever I’m able to help someone solve a really tough problem or to motivate someone to finally push past a big obstacle, that is something I find tremendously fulfilling. And the fulfillment I get from doing this is so great that it trumps all the external stuff. It doesn’t matter how much money I make. It doesn’t matter if people reject my ideas or poke fun at what I enjoy doing. This blog entry may be read by over 1000 people, but it may be such that the ideas within are only able to help one person in a very small way. The other 999 may conclude I’m nuts and unsubscribe. And that’s fine. It’s that one person I’m writing for. But at the same time, starting from the point of spending each day doing something that fulfills me, I’m building this work into a business that can support and sustain me and my family. This will ultimately include paid speaking engagements, and information products like books and audio programs. So I’m starting with doing what I love and building it into a source of income. The more money the business generates, the more people I’m ultimately able to reach. So making money is aligned with my own personal fulfillment — they aren’t at odds with each other. If you do what you love, then you can surely find a way to turn it into an income stream — then the more money you make, the more you expand your capacity to continue doing what you love in bigger and bigger ways. Taking what you love to do and turning it into a source of income, either as an employee or an entrepreneur, seems hard to resist. If you’re going to spend so much time working to make money, why not make that money in the pursuit of your dreams instead of in the protection of dust? What does your current to do list look like? Is it filled with tasks that aren’t even real to you? Are you typing stuff that doesn’t matter, going to soulless meetings, shuffling papers and filling out forms to appease computers, while sitting in a Dilbert-style cage all day? Why do you continue to choose that life each day? You’re always free to stop at any time. You make the rules. What percentage of the tasks on your to do list will fulfill you deeply to do them? What kind of to do list would be real to you? What items might it contain? Compose a new piece of music. Write something inspiring and share it with others. Give your spouse a massage. Exercise. Play with your kids. Make a snowman in Las Vegas (my wife did this one yesterday). Clear out some clutter. Read a really great book. Audition for a local play. Start your own business. Tell your boss, “Talk to the hand. I don’t do soulless work anymore.” Do something that leaves you feeling at the end of the day that you really contributed the best of yourself. Don’t die with your music still in you.
    Jul 14, 2011 1041
  • 14 Jul 2011
    It’s fair to say that if you don’t know your purpose in life, you won’t be spending much time working on it. So what will you end up doing with your working time instead? Three things: 1) Working on your needs, 2) Working on other people needs, 3) Working on other people’s purposes. If you don’t know your purpose, the limit of the work you do for yourself will be stuck at the level of need, which at best has the potential to grow into greed. Not particularly fulfilling spending your whole working life this way… Try it yourself for a few decades if you don’t believe me, and then look at the passionless shell that stares back at you from your mirror. As you work with/for other people, most likely you’ll be putting lots of effort into satisfying other people’s needs and greeds: your boss, your customers, your company’s investors, etc. Even in your free time, you’ll be working to fulfill the desires of advertisers who want you to watch TV and buy stuff. Again, not particularly satisfying, although you may be thrown a few bones by your benefactors, such as the “gift” of working on some interesting projects. This kind of life will ultimately make you want to stand up and shout, “What exactly is the point of all of this?” But if you actually do that, you’ll only get blank stares in return. There is no point. Now if you’re very lucky, you may get the chance to work for someone or some organization which is itself focused on achieving a conscious purpose. However, there’s no telling what that purpose might be. If you don’t know your own purpose, you can’t consciously choose to work for someone whose purpose aligns with yours except by accident or chance, and the odds of alignment are low. So there’s a good chance you’ll be working hard to achieve a purpose you don’t agree with. For example, if you join the military, you may be put to use to achieve some big purpose, but what exactly will it be? Most likely, in such situations you’ll be given a purpose to achieve that isn’t what you’d choose consciously for yourself. Fulfilling to spend your whole life this way? Not likely, but it’s at least a decent path for people who don’t like to think much — others will take care of all the thinking for you (and benefit greatly from all your thoughtless doing). So if you don’t know your purpose in life, what kind of life will you end up living? I’ll sum it up with one word: owned (or if you’re a tremendous nerd, pwned). Your life is owned by others — their needs, their goals, their purposes. Why? Because if you don’t know your purpose, others will put you to good use achieving theirs. Advertisers spend billions every year to get you to take some small action. The company you work for or the customers you serve — they want to own you too. And how can you say no? You don’t have a better option, do you? Might as well get a job and buy stuff, make some customers happy along the way, and die quietly. That’s what others have planned for you. That seems to be what everyone else is doing. Might as well jump on the same bandwagon… seems safe enough. Is that the plan you wish to follow? Yes? Great… here’s a Scooby Snack. End of blog entry. Hmmm… still reading, eh? Ok, welcome to the super secret society for purposeful living. Shhhh…. If you happen to be someone who’s consciously aware of your purpose in life, then you already know what’s missing from the above — freedom. When you don’t choose your own purpose, a purpose will be given to you by others. You give up your freedom. Sure you still maintain the illusion of freedom. You can decide the low level actions you take each day. But you’ve lost the greatest freedom — the ability to choose your own answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” If you let someone else answer this question for you, then you’re owned. And it may not even be a single person giving you that answer. Most likely it’s a collection of many sources: advertisers, employers, coworkers, friends, family, social pressures, etc. Each contributes a small piece to your answer. But because there are so many contributors, the answer that comes out is fuzzy and complicated. So you end up living a fuzzy, complicated life crafted by third-party biographers, many of which you’ve never met. On the other hand, when you know your purpose and live it consciously each day, you’re free. No one else owns you. Whether you run your own business or work for someone else, you always see yourself as self-employed. You lead your own life, and although others may hold formal authority over you in some situations, you focus on what you can control and don’t whine about what you can’t, and in so doing, your influence expands to the point that you become a leader no matter what your formal position. Your leadership comes from knowing your purpose. While your circumstances will change, your inner compass is constant. You could be caught in a sea of external chaos, yet you’re always steering a clear straight-ahead course, which allows you to feel certain when no one else can. It doesn’t matter what position you hold. When you live your purpose, you become a leader. When you don’t live your purpose, you become property. When you choose the kind of work you do, you consciously choose what aligns with your purpose. Every day your actions are your answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” You’ll still be bombarded by messages from others who want to own you in some way, but those influences will become harmless background noise, unable to sway you. Whatever happens out there, it’s like the waves tossing around on a stormy sea while you’re 1000 ft below the surface, where the water is calm. By knowing your purpose, you begin living on a deeper level where surface happenings like corporate politics can’t knock you around. Your purpose provides unshakable stability and security. If you don’t live on purpose, then you don’t even know how to set goals. Even when you think you’re being proactive, where are your goals really coming from? Ultimately, they’ll come from your past conditioning, which means they’re coming from others. You set a goal to buy a new house or a new car, but if those goals aren’t driven by your own conscious purpose, then they’re really the bank’s and the car dealer’s goals for you, both of which are spending lots of money to get you to adopt them. Even if you want to advance in your career and make more money, there are many who want you to achieve that goal too, especially since it will allow you to spend more money and do more productive work. So whose goals are you working so hard to achieve? Sure you think you want all those things. You’ve been taught to want them by your owners. To break free of working on your owners’ goals, you have to know your own purpose. And this means you have to empty your head of all your owners’ thoughts and conditioning and get deep down to 1000 ft below sea level, where your thoughts are clear and calm, where you once again remember who you really are. At that level all the external fluff fades, and you can hear yourself clearly. You have to squeeze your brain like a sponge to get all those owners’ voices out. The owners’ voices are the ones that make you feel weaker and more afraid. Once you go deep enough though, your own voice will begin to reassert itself. You’ll remember what you’re here to do, and you’ll recall the state of passion that drives you to do it. After that, the hard part is listening to this inner voice and trusting it. It’s so easy to trust your owners because they seem so certain, and there are so many of them. Your inner voice is much quieter, but if you let it drive you instead of the external world, you’ll come to know your purpose, and your life will become immensely fulfilling. You’ll finally be free.
    1028 Posted by UniqueThis
  • It’s fair to say that if you don’t know your purpose in life, you won’t be spending much time working on it. So what will you end up doing with your working time instead? Three things: 1) Working on your needs, 2) Working on other people needs, 3) Working on other people’s purposes. If you don’t know your purpose, the limit of the work you do for yourself will be stuck at the level of need, which at best has the potential to grow into greed. Not particularly fulfilling spending your whole working life this way… Try it yourself for a few decades if you don’t believe me, and then look at the passionless shell that stares back at you from your mirror. As you work with/for other people, most likely you’ll be putting lots of effort into satisfying other people’s needs and greeds: your boss, your customers, your company’s investors, etc. Even in your free time, you’ll be working to fulfill the desires of advertisers who want you to watch TV and buy stuff. Again, not particularly satisfying, although you may be thrown a few bones by your benefactors, such as the “gift” of working on some interesting projects. This kind of life will ultimately make you want to stand up and shout, “What exactly is the point of all of this?” But if you actually do that, you’ll only get blank stares in return. There is no point. Now if you’re very lucky, you may get the chance to work for someone or some organization which is itself focused on achieving a conscious purpose. However, there’s no telling what that purpose might be. If you don’t know your own purpose, you can’t consciously choose to work for someone whose purpose aligns with yours except by accident or chance, and the odds of alignment are low. So there’s a good chance you’ll be working hard to achieve a purpose you don’t agree with. For example, if you join the military, you may be put to use to achieve some big purpose, but what exactly will it be? Most likely, in such situations you’ll be given a purpose to achieve that isn’t what you’d choose consciously for yourself. Fulfilling to spend your whole life this way? Not likely, but it’s at least a decent path for people who don’t like to think much — others will take care of all the thinking for you (and benefit greatly from all your thoughtless doing). So if you don’t know your purpose in life, what kind of life will you end up living? I’ll sum it up with one word: owned (or if you’re a tremendous nerd, pwned). Your life is owned by others — their needs, their goals, their purposes. Why? Because if you don’t know your purpose, others will put you to good use achieving theirs. Advertisers spend billions every year to get you to take some small action. The company you work for or the customers you serve — they want to own you too. And how can you say no? You don’t have a better option, do you? Might as well get a job and buy stuff, make some customers happy along the way, and die quietly. That’s what others have planned for you. That seems to be what everyone else is doing. Might as well jump on the same bandwagon… seems safe enough. Is that the plan you wish to follow? Yes? Great… here’s a Scooby Snack. End of blog entry. Hmmm… still reading, eh? Ok, welcome to the super secret society for purposeful living. Shhhh…. If you happen to be someone who’s consciously aware of your purpose in life, then you already know what’s missing from the above — freedom. When you don’t choose your own purpose, a purpose will be given to you by others. You give up your freedom. Sure you still maintain the illusion of freedom. You can decide the low level actions you take each day. But you’ve lost the greatest freedom — the ability to choose your own answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” If you let someone else answer this question for you, then you’re owned. And it may not even be a single person giving you that answer. Most likely it’s a collection of many sources: advertisers, employers, coworkers, friends, family, social pressures, etc. Each contributes a small piece to your answer. But because there are so many contributors, the answer that comes out is fuzzy and complicated. So you end up living a fuzzy, complicated life crafted by third-party biographers, many of which you’ve never met. On the other hand, when you know your purpose and live it consciously each day, you’re free. No one else owns you. Whether you run your own business or work for someone else, you always see yourself as self-employed. You lead your own life, and although others may hold formal authority over you in some situations, you focus on what you can control and don’t whine about what you can’t, and in so doing, your influence expands to the point that you become a leader no matter what your formal position. Your leadership comes from knowing your purpose. While your circumstances will change, your inner compass is constant. You could be caught in a sea of external chaos, yet you’re always steering a clear straight-ahead course, which allows you to feel certain when no one else can. It doesn’t matter what position you hold. When you live your purpose, you become a leader. When you don’t live your purpose, you become property. When you choose the kind of work you do, you consciously choose what aligns with your purpose. Every day your actions are your answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” You’ll still be bombarded by messages from others who want to own you in some way, but those influences will become harmless background noise, unable to sway you. Whatever happens out there, it’s like the waves tossing around on a stormy sea while you’re 1000 ft below the surface, where the water is calm. By knowing your purpose, you begin living on a deeper level where surface happenings like corporate politics can’t knock you around. Your purpose provides unshakable stability and security. If you don’t live on purpose, then you don’t even know how to set goals. Even when you think you’re being proactive, where are your goals really coming from? Ultimately, they’ll come from your past conditioning, which means they’re coming from others. You set a goal to buy a new house or a new car, but if those goals aren’t driven by your own conscious purpose, then they’re really the bank’s and the car dealer’s goals for you, both of which are spending lots of money to get you to adopt them. Even if you want to advance in your career and make more money, there are many who want you to achieve that goal too, especially since it will allow you to spend more money and do more productive work. So whose goals are you working so hard to achieve? Sure you think you want all those things. You’ve been taught to want them by your owners. To break free of working on your owners’ goals, you have to know your own purpose. And this means you have to empty your head of all your owners’ thoughts and conditioning and get deep down to 1000 ft below sea level, where your thoughts are clear and calm, where you once again remember who you really are. At that level all the external fluff fades, and you can hear yourself clearly. You have to squeeze your brain like a sponge to get all those owners’ voices out. The owners’ voices are the ones that make you feel weaker and more afraid. Once you go deep enough though, your own voice will begin to reassert itself. You’ll remember what you’re here to do, and you’ll recall the state of passion that drives you to do it. After that, the hard part is listening to this inner voice and trusting it. It’s so easy to trust your owners because they seem so certain, and there are so many of them. Your inner voice is much quieter, but if you let it drive you instead of the external world, you’ll come to know your purpose, and your life will become immensely fulfilling. You’ll finally be free.
    Jul 14, 2011 1028
  • 14 Jul 2011
    Success literature going back hundreds of years espouses the benefits of hard work. But why is it that some people seem to feel that “hard work” is a dirty word nowadays? I define “hard work” as work that is challenging. Both hard work and “working hard” (i.e. putting in the time required to get the job done) are required for success. A problem occurs when people think of challenging work as painful or uncomfortable. Does challenging work necessarily have to be painful? No, of course not. In fact, a major key to success is to learn to enjoy challenging work AND to enjoy working hard at it. Why challenging work? Because challenging work, when intelligently chosen, pays off. It’s the work that people of lesser character will avoid. And if you infer that I’m saying people who avoid challenging work have a character flaw, you’re right… and a serious one at that. If you avoid challenging work, you avoid doing what it takes to succeed. To keep your muscles strong or your mind sharp, you need to challenge them. To do only what’s easy will lead to physical and mental flabbiness and very mediocre results, followed by a great deal of time and effort spent justifying why such flabbiness is OK, instead of stepping up and taking on some real challenges. Tackling challenges builds character, just as lifting weights builds muscle. To avoid challenge is to abandon one’s character development. Now it’s natural that we’ll tend to avoid what’s painful, so if we see challenge as purely painful, we’ll surely avoid it. But in so doing, we’re avoiding some very important character development, which by its very nature is often tremendously challenging. So we must learn to fall in love with challenge instead of fearing it, just as a bodybuilder can learn to love the pain of doing “one more rep” that tears down muscle fibers, allowing them to grow stronger. If you avoid the pain, you miss out on the growth. This is true both for building muscles and for building character. While a common philosophy says to go with the flow, the downside to this belief system is that you must yield control of your life to that flow. And that’s fine if you don’t mind living passively and letting life happen to you. If you feel you’re here to ride your life instead of drive it, then you’ll have to accept where the flow takes you and learn to like it. But sometimes the flow doesn’t go in a healthy direction. You can go with the flow and end up in a pretty screwed up situation if you don’t assume more direct control when needed. On the other hand, there’s the alternative way of looking at life with you as the driving force behind it. You create and control the flow yourself. This is a more challenging way to live but also a much more rewarding one. You aren’t limited to those experiences that can only be gotten passively or painlessly — now you can have much more of what you want by being willing to accept and take on bigger challenges. If I only went with the perceived easy flow of my life, I’d never have learned to read, write, or type; those were all challenges where I felt I was going against the flow of what was easy and natural. I wouldn’t have gotten any college degrees. I wouldn’t have started my own business. I certainly wouldn’t have developed any software. No way I would have run a marathon — one doesn’t exactly flow into such a thing. And I most certainly wouldn’t be doing any public speaking. This web site wouldn’t exist either; it was definitely an entity created more by drive than by flow. I do believe there is an underlying flow to life at times, but I see myself as a co-creator in that flow. I can ride the flow when it’s headed where I want to go, or I can get off and blaze my own trail when necessary. When you step up and learn to see yourself as the driver of your life instead of the passive victim of it, then it becomes a lot easier to take on big challenges and to endure the hardships they sometimes require. You learn to associate more pleasure to the character development you gain than the minor discomforts you experience. You become accustomed to spending more time outside your comfort zone. Hard work is something you look forward to because you know that it will lead to tremendous growth. And you eventually develop the maturity and responsibility to understand that certain goals will never just flow into your life; they’ll only happen if you act as the driving force to bring them to fruition. When faced with the prospect of saying to yourself, “If I always avoid hard work, I’ll never in my life get to experience X, Y, or Z,” it’s a little easier to embrace the benefits of hard work. What will you miss out on? You’ll probably never run a marathon, marry the mate of your dreams, become a multi-millionaire, make a real difference in the world, etc. You’ll have to settle for only what going with the flow can provide, which is mediocrity. You’ll basically just take up space and die without really having mattered. The world will be pretty much the same had you never existed (chaos theory notwithstanding). If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work. Hard work makes the difference. It’s what separates the children from the mature adults. You can keep living as a child and desperately hoping that life will always be easy, but then you’ll be stuck in a child-like world, working on other people’s goals instead of your own, waiting for opportunities to come to you instead of creating your own, and doing work that in the grand scheme of this world just isn’t important. When you learn to embrace hard work instead of running from it, you gain the ability to execute on your big goals, no matter what it takes to achieve them. You blast through obstacles that stop others who have less resolve. But what is it that gets you to this point? What gets you to embrace hard work? Purpose. When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. If your life has no real purpose, then you can avoid hard work, and it won’t matter because you’ve decided that your life itself doesn’t matter any