Sustainable Prosperity
Aligning Spirit and the World of Form

Archive for the ‘Changing the Energy’ Category

An Open Mind is an Honest Mind

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011


 

We seem to pride ourselves on having open minds.

When it comes to what we need to examine, we tend to ask too few questions. Sadly, we omit the “good questions”—those that stretch us out of our comfort zone.

We also lie to ourselves about the problem—a lot. We shape the story with each re-telling so our perception is more limited with each rendition.

Most of our thinking is lying to our own ears.

We’re approaching the third anniversary of our 2008 near-miss depression.

What has changed?

Fundamentally, nothing.

The system that created the problem is still in charge. And, to make matters worse, the focus is still politics—not sustainability.

Our financial systems still operate by putting corporations ahead of people. While a person’s goal is employment, a corporation’s goal is profit. Corporations see people as competitors—for their profits. Jobs “take a bite out of our revenues.”

This is why job numbers aren’t improving dramatically.

We’re consuming one and a half times the world’s resources. The better we get at measuring this consumption, the more we ask the limited question, “When will we run out of earth?”

Really? That’s a quality question?

I think not.

To attain financial improvement, guess what the old system declares we must do?

Move our consumption from one and one half times to three times the earth’s resources. You know, run out of planet sooner.

Really? Is this the thinking of an open mind?

What intelligent, sane person would floor the gas peddle on the car upon seeing the brick wall down the road?

The truth is always simple. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

What’s the first thing you can do to be part of the solution?

Stop lying to your own ears.

The truth is we need a new economy. One that is based upon renewable and recyclable resources, not consumption. An economy that puts employment as it’s goal-not profits for corporations.

The truth is this is easier to do than you think:

Instead of investing blindly—invest in companies that put employment and sustainability first.

Invest your money in community banks that loan only to local community members.

Write your elected representatives and tell them to enforce the legislation that forces banks to provide modifications of mortgages (most intelligent folks do not realize the impact upon our economy the lack of compliance with the law is causing. Your house would be worth fifteen to twenty five percent more if the banks were forced to comply with the laws)

VOTE for those representatives that “get it” –the connection between the economy and our environment—both need to be sustainable for people.

Notice the lies you tell yourself about why these things are “so hard.” Just notice the lies you tell your own ears.  “I’m so busy, when will I find the time.” “I’m not really into conflict, so I stay away from politics.” “Someone else is working on this…”

Notice the lies are mutually exclusive to being an intelligent, sane person.

The truth is you can’t be a powerful person in your life, and in the world if you lie to your own ears.

The truth is an open mind, is an honest mind—and it doesn’t lie.

 

 

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Oh Happy, Where Are You?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011


If you’ll pardon my chutzpah, I’m willing to bet that the way you think of success is a lot like stepping on a garden hose and still expecting water to flow.

Do this one thing. Then, if your eyes don’t pop with a new understanding, stop reading.

Write down every form of success you’re chasing. (It’s part of being human—we all do the chasing.) Most folks have at least five (for example: meaningful career/work, fulfilling love relationships, a published book, art sold, a contest won, happy kids—you get the idea).

Go ahead—write down a few.

Back?

Okay, now circle which of these goals, or measures of success, would still feel like success if you attained them, yet you were unhappy.

How many did you circle?

Here’s my chutzpah again: I’ll wager the number is 0.

So, waddya think? Should happiness be a major component of your success?

Egos, because they are ego, only have limited responses to self-evident truths. Does your ego attempt to dismiss this idea of happiness being a major component of success with questions like, “What is happy anyway?” or “Who really is happy, after all?”

Notice how the above exercise isn’t obscured by any of the assertions ego poses on the elusive nature of happy. Just notice that.

Here’s another ego diversion: adopting unsustainable cultural ego qualities as measures of success.

That’s the world’s definition of success. You know—”If you have these things, and lots of them, you are successful: friends, money, status, things, status, attention, status, accolades, and status.”

Let’s say your talent is painting or writing. Ego says, “You must be Warhol or Hemingway.” Just to seem clever, Ego adds, “Of course, you must be the Warhol or Hemingway that is uniquely you.”

Aha. The Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that special?”

Notice how Ego doesn’t say, “You must be happy. Who cares who knows your name?” Notice how Ego ties your happiness with being known for something—as if you alone were not enough.

But there’s even more murky water when the ego defines success. Ego want to equate success with effectiveness.

Suppose you want to deliver clean water to tribes in the Sudan. The number of wells tapped and number of gallons provided is a measure of how effective your clean water initiative is. It’s not a measure of success. People with clean water can be miserable—especially if they have no food, no peace, and no hope. Consider how many folks with clean water in developed nations are miserable, too.

Ego wants desperately to equate effectiveness with success, especially in the realm of money. Ego says, “If I have a lot of money, I am successful.”

I won’t quote the plethora of studies that claim money isn’t a factor in happiness. I won’t lie and say that money isn’t a useful tool—just as clean water, food, and peace can be useful tools in building your success.

I am going to tell you success is measured by your happiness.

I am going to say that until you are happy, you will not be successful.

Ever.

There’s only one road to success: the happy road.

There are two parts to it.

First, define and pursue the ways you can create in this world of form and maintain alignment with your spirit. I’ll repeat that. Create in alignment with the authentic you.

The second part is this: Only you will know when you are creating in alignment. The ability to create in alignment expands as you expand your Being. Ideally, you would be able to create anything and be fulfilled even if nobody knew your name. Your happiness is not predicated upon effectiveness; it’s predicated on your alignment with Spirit.

My chutzpah will wager your ego got stuck on that. Most do. So let’s go back to the beginning: Is happiness a major component of your definition of success?

Happy is about giving—giving of yourself for the pure ability and congruency with your authentic nature. It’s about the inside process of Spirit. It’s about recognizing this: You wouldn’t be you if you didn’t do what is in you to do.

Authentic manifestation is creating from the inside out.

Happiness is an inside job. We express our happiness through our actions—or we express what the false self, the ego self, believes would make us happy from the outside in. It’s one side of duality or the other.

When you maintain the criteria of making happiness your definition of success, you become freer of the world’s outside-in pressure. You no longer confuse effectiveness with success, or success with more of anything.

Let the water of happiness run freely through the garden hose—focus on your authentic happiness and watch success blossom.

How’d my chutzpah do?

 

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The Power of One

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011


If normal is insane, do you want to try to get back to normal?

While you ponder this question, I want to highlight the difference between wrong and insane. (It’ll be handy later—trust me.)

Wrong has the potential, when first conceived, to work.

Insane will never work—no matter how much you if this or maybe that, insane has no legs to stand on, and it never will.

But back to normal.

Our collective systems, whether government, healthcare, banking/financial, or education, are not normal; they are insane.

Each system is built to work, the majority of the time, for about 15% of the population, but is postulated to work for everyone. The fact that you’ve been brainwashed along with everyone else to believe you are getting something from these systems doesn’t mean they’re actually WORKING. Think about this: If your car or transportation system only worked 15% of the time, would you consider it useful?

Each system makes a GOAL paramount, not a person.

Each system postulates that the goals will serve a person. But here’s the really insane part: There is no consciousness in these systems. They’re inanimate. Nor can there be a structure of consciousness in these systems. Because they are not living, breathing entities and are devoid of consciousness, these systems are always going to be untenable for the majority of the population most of the time.

Case in point: The goal to design a nuclear reactor that can survive an earthquake up to 7.2 on the Richter scale.

The goal to save people in any earthquake is a completely different goal.

It’s not wrong to build a nuclear reactor to withstand a 7.2 quake—it’s INSANE.

Another case in point: We want to get the economy moving again, so let’s make new markets.

Not a single regulation or change has been made to the previous markets, which allowed shadow trading and buying that fueled the economic collapse. It’s still legal to sell anything; anyone will buy and hedge the bet with insurance. New markets wouldn’t do anything different from what the old markets are trying to do: get back to normal.

Creating opportunities for people to sell services or products to each other is not the same as creating a new market. The former benefits the person who did the work. The latter benefits the person who creates the market. It’s not wrong to support the person who doesn’t do the work—it’s INSANE.

Now, the uber insane part? Your ego invokes an ostrich reflex. “The problem is too big. There is nothing I can do about it,” Ego cringes.

What can you do about the nuclear reactors?

STOP CONSUMING THE ENERGY THEY MAKE. You can seek green energy alternatives. (“OMG,” Ego cries, “It might cost me twenty dollars more per month!”) Tell your ego that your life and everyone else’s is worth it. Reject the brainwashing of our culture that demands the cheapest rate because cheap is better.

No matter where nuclear reactors are located, it’s a matter of time before the insanity of goal renders havoc to living things.

What can you do about the insanity of the economy and politics?

WAKE UP. The world needs conscious people. The world needs you.

Discontinue the mind-poisoning behavior that crap TV causes when it infiltrates your brain. Look at reality drama; its only purpose is to feed your ego’s need for superiority and judgment. The so-called “news?” It is the version of events a revenue power structure postulates for its own benefit. The structure’s M.O. is to hook your ego with fear—albeit at times more obvious than others—but it still isn’t news.

Find accurate sources of news, filled with information from many perspectives and devoid of teasers or pandering to fears.

VOTE intelligently.

SPEAK kindly and loudly—after you’ve educated yourself. The issue will always be one of two things: either LIFE is paramount or a goal is paramount. 

Withdraw support (energy/money) from destructive, negative structures. If it’s Rush Limbaugh and his most recent cruel, hate-spewed diatribe, do not buy the products advertised on the shows. If it’s your investments, never invest in anything that doesn’t put LIFE first.

The how of rechanneling your energy and money will come about day by day as you grow in consciousness; the progress will be organic. Let the arrival of your 401K statement or bank statement serve as a catalyst for you to explore where your money is invested. Ask others at your child’s sporting events if they have investigated in green sources of energy. It can be this simple once we align with the power of Goodness in the Universe.

Above all, regardless of the shell game played around goals and how good goals are, a goal is never life, nor can it ever be. It isn’t conscious, and it will never be conscious.

Say no to normal. Be clear you do not want to return to insanity. You deserve better.

If this concept depresses you, never forget that everything can be used for good—ONCE you wake up. You are life, and where there is life, there is hope.

You are the hope and glory. You are the light. You are the hero.

Just do your part, fully, present, and with all the love and kindness you can muster. You will draw like-minded others to your army of one, and one by one you will change the world.

That’s what saying no to insane normal will do: change the world.

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What is Your Honey?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Watching a beehive bustle can be confusing. At first it may appear as if the activity is for the sake of being a busy bee, but after some time the honey begins to appear and the activity now seems to have purpose—it seems to make sense.

If you look at your own life, and it’s activity, many times our business never produces the honey. Other times, we are thinking about honey and doing research on how to make honey. Sometimes, we are making honey, but it’s hard work and we wonder how long we can keep it up. And other times, we seem to be cranking out the honey—we are “on a roll.” It’s finally all come together for us. Consciously or unconsciously our actions will fall into one of these four categories of honey making.

Here’s what I want you to notice:

We call anything other than ‘the roll’ bad; when in fact, it’s the other three categories that provide us with the data necessary for successful honey production.

We value being busy as a means to ‘the roll.’  This leaves us little room for finding a new ‘roll’ or a new honey.

We lack an understanding of the purpose of “getting the roll’ is to enjoy ‘the roll.’

Quiet mind, peaceful mind, is the only meaningful navigational tool we have to ensure our busy produces the honey. It also ensures that everything is blessed in the production of the honey, yet we don’t thoughtfully consider its place in Sustaining our honey production.

What is your honey?  What is all your busy about?

Some might answer it’s a job, a relationship, a goal. If so, you’ll find yourself constantly doing-constantly worrying about the honey and always needing more honey.

If your honey is Goodness, Kindness, Love, Sustainability, Integrity, you know the reward already—Peace of mind that only equanimity brings.

You can discern if you’ve done your honey production ‘rightly’ by how you feel sustainably. Feeling good for a day or two is the achievement of ego. Dwelling in equanimity is the achievement of Spirit.

I know, you know, all this about doing, and aligning with your honey-but why do you think it’s so hard to practice what you know?

Now that’s something to quiet your mind about– don’t you think?

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Your Choice-Calm or Stormy Learning

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


Imagine you don’t know how to swim. You are given the choice of learning in calm water or learning in stormy water. Which would you pick?

This is one of those “duh” questions I ask to get people to focus on life learning—whether in crisis or in calm moments.

The feeling that drowning is imminent creates a chaotic mind. A chaotic mind has a litany of unconscious responses, none of them conducive to learning to swim. In fact, most drownings occur because of panic.

It’s like this in crisis mode, too: You are impaired. Research suggests your normal cognitive capacity is impaired up to 60 percent during crisis. I don’t know about you, but in a crisis, I’d prefer to have 110 percent of my cognitive capacity. Test this for yourself. Reflect on your last crisis. Besides the problem itself, was a major issue your inability to think?

In junior lifeguard classes, we learned that even in the roughest of waters, you can float on your back. Think about how counterintuitive floating on your back appears to a drowning person. On my junior lifeguard testing day, the seas were sufficiently rough to put the theory to the test. Intellectually, I knew I could float. Forcing my body to comply was an entirely different matter.

In crisis moments, you need to develop the spiritual equivalent to floating on your back: accepting what’s happening so you can deal with it.

On the other hand, making the choice to learn when the learning isn’t imperative for survival adds an element of ease and grace to life. It’s kindness and compassion for self put into action.

When is the best time to talk about your wishes should you become ill?

When you are well.

The best time to talk about how you’d like life to look in five years?

When you are happy.

The best time to talk about your marriage/business/partnership?

When there is harmony.

We’re conditioned to do the opposite. We wait to “work” on problems that appear, but never make time to prevent the problems.

While this may be normal, it isn’t natural. Anything that takes us out of harmony with life is unnatural.

The sacred cows and tender spots of our relationships with others are often cited as reasons for not working in calm moments. “They’ll get upset if I talk about ___ ,” the ego warns.

I’m not referring to picking the scab of a healing wound—not that kind of disruptive talking. I’m saying I’ve never, ever witnessed a crisis as the optimal time to have a talk on which any sustainable change can be built.

“How” is ego’s roadblock to most things, including how to work with ease and grace.

Try these maneuvers around the roadblock:

1.    First, affirm your intentions and goals, then state a specific time parameter. Here’s a money example: “Husband, I’d like both of us to be comfortable and knowledgeable about our income and expenses. Can we spend an hour later today discussing our budget?”

2.    Set ground rules you both agree to. Suggestions:

  • Ask open, curious questions (not pointed, accusing, putting-words-in-another’s mouth questions).
  • Take a breath when you stray from the intention.
  • Disagree kindly.
  • Table what seems “hard” to agree to. (You’ll come back to it later.)
  • Focus on areas of agreement.

3.    If you encounter a terse response, reaffirm your intentions and ask if your partner has difficulty with the intentions. Ask for feedback about your intentions.

4.    Be persistent and consistent. If your partner hears, “You don’t make enough money to suit me,” or, “I hate how you spend money,” in your request for budget discussions—and that’s not what you are saying—don’t let that get in the way. Acknowledge that your partner isn’t hearing what you’re saying and reaffirm your intention. “I want both of us to feel good about this budget discussion. Can you give it a chance and see how it goes?”

5.    Praise, praise, praise. Acknowledge how good it feels to make a start on a budget discussion, how good it feels to work as a team.

6.    What’s next? Agree what the next step is and, again, set a time parameter. (Hint: More than 1.5 hours on any subject is counterproductive.)

Whatever you want to achieve in life, you can use the calm moments to grow with ease and grace. Letting days slip by without allocating time for moments of calm is a choice. Learning during times of crisis is a choice, too, and while it might be your default setting, you can change it.

Take a moment to write down two things you’d like to learn in the calm. Carry them around with you for a day. Then knock on doors, and keep knocking until you’ve learned what you set out to learn.

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