My 500 words

Week 4 – letting go

Letting go can (I suppose) be good or bad, depending on your point of view. Maybe I just need to not have an opinion on it altogether.


This has been one of those weeks where you want to chuck it all and do something else.

You ever have weeks like that?

In some ways, that dissatisfaction with the way things are is good – it’s a sign that you’re ready to make a serious shift in your life. But until the shift happens, it’s sort of uncomfortable.

Even now, I’ve been going over my old blog posts, trying to figure out how to make sense of some of the things which are going on in my life right now. Trying to figure out what to write today. And all I can think of is letting go.letting go

But what do I let go of? That’s the question which has dogged me. How do you know what to let go of and what to keep? When to do what you’ve said you’ll do and when to let it go as a bad decision and take the consequences?

I had one such decision to make this week.

Months ago I felt weird about doing something, but it seemed like a good financial decision, so I laid the plans for it even though I didn’t feel enthusiastic about it.

But some extremely serious things have happened – unrelated to myself – which made me have to take a moral stand around the matter, and it’s been keeping me up at night for the past few weeks.

I felt torn between financial needs and moral obligations, desire to help and rage at even being anywhere near the place I said I would be, and a voice waking me up every morning telling me not to do this thing I said I would do.

I had no idea why these strong feelings came to me around this issue. Objectively, it wasn’t all that big of a deal. But it bothered me immensely. Was I using this as an excuse, failing to break through my comfort zone? Or was I in danger of ignoring the strong direction of my intuition?

So I did a bit of a sit. How did it feel to not do this? How did it feel to do this?

And I followed my heart. Which was telling me not to do this.

All of a sudden, when I became serious about letting go, I knew exactly why I needed not to do this (personal/family reason) and it all made sense.

It was so strange – if I listened to my inner guidance months ago, had realized letting go was the right thing to do weeks ago, I would have saved a ton of money, time, and angst. Why didn’t I listen?

I feel as though I have held on to some weird part of my old blueprint which still is trying to run things.

It’s difficult to explain, especially to those of you who’ve never taken this course. But I’m seeing implications running through everything. Areas where I’ve ignored clear signs and direction as to what to do because I had invested in something which could not serve me or my family and was unwilling to admit I’d been wrong.

What does this have to do with the Master Key Experience? Well, everything. I would never have been able to sort through this and come to the point of letting go without the help of this course. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to see what the problem was or how to solve it. So I feel very grateful. I feel as if this is a new direction for me.

I ran across something earlier today which had me in tears:

At times you may find yourself between worlds, unsure about anything, with no idea what is being asked of you. It is clear some sort of death has occurred and that things will never be the same again.

But where is the rebirth? The new life purpose? The promised healing, intimacy, clarity, and joy?

Nothing has yet emerged from the womb of Now. No direction for the journey ahead. Or so it seems.

While the uncertainty can be disorienting, in another sense you are home. In this realm, terror and exhilaration co-arise and weave in and out of one another. They appear as they are – energies of aliveness, filled with information for the journey ahead. But the data they carry is holy, and not always navigable by the density of the mind.

The alternating waves of hope and hopelessness, appearing and dissolving in a vast field of holding. In this environment, even fear is seen as an emissary, a special tour guide into the hidden places of the sacred world.

Yes, the longing can be excruciating at times… for healing, for transcendence, for understanding, for some magical “other” to come and remind you of how majestic you truly are. There is a cosmic ache for clarity, for ground, and for some resolution to all the contradictions. A yearning for just a moment of rest and respite from the raging, full-spectrum relentlessness of the unknown.

Perhaps the greatest act of kindness and surrender now is to turn toward the death and the reorganization. To stay embodied to the “falling apart,” and discover if you were ever “together” to begin with. For what you are is beyond all this.

You are the warm erupting luminous space in which “together” and “apart” are lovers, dancing together into eternity, spinning with one another so that the unprecedented majesty of what you are can finally break through and find safe passage here into a world that has gone a bit mad.

Right in between the death and the rebirth is the secret place. Stay there and listen. And feel the waves of sweet and fierce love, as they descend and wash through. – Matt Licata

Be well. 🙂

 

Week 2 – Protecting subby

Who or what is subby? Why does subby need protecting?

Well, “subby” is what we in the Master Key Experience call our subconscious mind.

Picture a 5 year old autistic savant. This kid can calculate anything in an instant, but is innocent and knows nothing about life. This kid takes you literally (as five year olds do) and desperately wants to please you. All you have to do is to suggest something would help, and this kid rushes off to go do it.


Those of you who watched the free video series learned about the relationship between subby and our conscious mind, and how subby is the one who directs our actions. Like an ant on the back of an elephant, the only thing we have a chance of doing is to direct subby – there’s no way to control it (this is what “subconscious” means – we have no conscious control).

But we can give suggestions. And remember, all subby wants is to please us.

Should be easy, right?

That’s where we get in our own way.

The one thing I’ve learned in my time in the Master Key Experience is how undisciplined my conscious mind is, even now in my third year doing this. I got some notion passing through my head that maybe I didn’t need to do all this … and now my copy of Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman is gone, and everything with it. My DMP, my cards, my Blueprint Builder, the works. I keep it all together in a ziplock bag which has gone everywhere with me … which seems to have vanished.

Well.

I have another copy, and I’ve repeated all the things so much I have most of them memorized, so it’s okay. I’m fine. But it’s a clue-by-four to the head as to what can happen when you get careless and fail to protect your subby from suggestions about things you don’t actually want!

And it’s even worse for those of you whose minds are even more undisciplined. Fortunately, my manifestation was minor. Nothing serious happened. But it could have been much worse.

So how do you protect subby?

Mental diet.

You have to be the “watchman at the gate” keeping any unwanted influences away from this little subby of yours. It’s a never-ending job, watching what you see, what you hear, how you interpret those things.

It can be done, but it takes vigilance. It takes a determination to only consider things, to only say things, which you want manifested in your life.

But it’s worth it. On my DMP I have the idea that I become a NYT bestselling author in 2021. I have reason to believe it’s going to happen much sooner. More on that later.

This is what the members of the Master Key Experience are just barely beginning to learn about this week: their power, and their responsibility to this innocent little savant inside of them. It’s fairly daunting, yet inspiring as well.

I almost forgot to post my 2016 tribe! I’ll go do that now.

Have a great week!

What is your value?

I thought about value this morning while I read The Greatest Salesman by Og Mandino. This month’s reading talks a lot about multiplying our value, and a lot of people take that as “make more money” or “work way harder” and I’m not convinced that this is what Mandino is referring to. Does how hard you work or how much money you make determine your value? Some people think this is the case, but I disagree.

He talks about a grain of wheat which becomes many grains once it’s planted – but I don’t think it’s just about having a bunch of kids, or even “duplicating” yourself in a business sense, even if that was a possibility. That particular concept sounds like putting cement on others to me.

He talks about setting goals, but are the goals really what gives you value?

So what is your value?

You have intrinsic value from being alive, being human, giving and receiving from others in your group. But there’s more:

A field of clay touched with the genius of man becomes a castle …value-castle-917427_1920

… cannot I do the same with the clay which bears my name?

It seems to me as if this is saying it’s what we do with ourselves that makes the difference. Sure, you can eat and sleep and go to the bathroom and have kids and interact with others of your kind and do whatever you need to in order to have and get those things comfortably. But is that any different than what animals do?

It’s the genius of man, our thinking, which improves and multiplies the basic value that we’re born with.

We all know those “field of clay” people – and I certainly don’t look down on those who have no aspirations other than to eat and have kids and such. Just like the field, they have intrinsic value. They are good and useful and even beautiful in their own right. But I don’t think that you’re here because that’s what you want to be. You want to become a castle, metaphorically speaking. You want your life to be grand. You want to be a refuge of safety, an inspiration, a tower of strength, the launching point of something new and exciting and wonderful. You have dreams of making the world around you better.

Today I surpass every action which I performed yesterday. I climb today’s mountain to the utmost of my ability yet tomorrow I climb higher than today, and the next higher than tomorrow. To surpass the deeds of others is unimportant; to surpass my own deeds is all.

A lot of people believe their best days – the times when they had the most value, the most worth – were when they were in high school, or some other point in the past. To me, this is just cement.

Multiplying your value

I believe that multiplying my value means multiplying the abilities I have inside. Being able to do more than I did yesterday, last week, last year. Being more of a person than I was. Having more inner strength, more kindness, more love.

Multiplying my value means increasing my courage.

It does take courage to multiply your value, I think. That little seed needs courage to emerge from its shell. If it makes the wrong choice as to when to emerge, does so too soon, it can’t go back in. On the other hand, if it waits too long, stays in the seed, refuses to come out, it rots. But if it takes the opportunity to emerge, and persists in doing so, it can become something amazing.

 

The secret to reaching your goals

I know many people think that there’s a secret to reaching goals. I used to think that too. Sometimes I still think that way when my old blueprint tries to sneak up on me.

These past two weeks were like that: I felt lost and foggy, which didn’t surprise me. This is often a bad time of year for me anyway, but often when I’m in a more structured environment and then that disappears, it takes a while for me to become more self-directed again. Many of this year’s students have been saying the same thing.

So while it felt uncomfortable at times, and I even began having doubts about some things I know I can have in my life (along the lines of could I really do them), I knew it would pass, because this sort of thing has happened before.

Is there really a secret to achieving goals?

Today I was reading in the Master Key and something jumped out at me in the foreword to part 9:

If you wish to change conditions you must change yourself.

Haanel change conditions

Okay, I’m sure most of you are thinking: so how does one do that, exactly? Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, this shouldn’t be too mysterious.

Hold in mind the condition desired; affirm it as an already existing fact.

Again, it boils down to: WHAT DO YOU WANT? You have to be specific. Literal. If a computer did what you just said and thought, what would happen? Because it will happen if you affirm it as an already existing fact.

We never question it when we do this in the negative sense (something like “why does this always happen to me?” – which is another affirmation as an existing fact) but for some reason people get all twisted around about doing this in the positive sense. As if there’s something weird or wrong about positive thinking.

But I digress.

Haanel goes on to say:

Character is not a thing of chance, but it is the result of continued effort.

Well, then. I guess I have slacked off a bit, and gotten off my target.

I’ve been feeling over the past few days that I need to lighten myself, to begin cutting things out of my life that aren’t getting me to my goals, that don’t advance my objective.

I feel this is another “secret” which people leave out when talking about the process of getting what you want. It’s all very well to have intention and ambition, but you can’t physically do everything you might have the whim to do (I’m looking at you, Facebook), for the simple reason that there isn’t time. You have to decide what stays in your life and schedule and what goes. I’ve done this before, but I feel as if that sort of pruning needs to happen again.

So I’m going through a time of refocusing, I think, which is always good.

How are you doing these days? Have you found that the mental diet is helping you?

(if you’re not sure what I mean, sign up to one of my lists, or drop a reply below, and I’ll send it to you)

Week 24: the truth

So what is “the truth”?

Ask twenty people and you’ll get twenty different answers, mostly involving whatever ideology was imprinted onto them as part of their old blueprint: a copy of a copy of a copy, as Mark J likes to say.

We already know that the evidence of our senses is only a clue to the truth, and may actually be wrong.

So what does Haanel say?

When you come to know that every form of disease, sickness, lack and limitation are simply the result of wrong thinking, you will have come to know “the Truth which shall make you free.” ….

… Your real work consists in convincing yourself of the truth of these statements. When you have succeeded in doing this you will have no difficulty in thinking the truth, and as has been shown, the truth contains a vital principle and will manifest itself.

(emphasis mine)

In other words, you don’t have to ‘work’ at manifesting the truth once you have it. However, there is a bit of mental work involved in breaking out of the “cement” – the mindless slavery to others’ ideas, opinions, and ideologies – then getting control of yourself to the point that you can look past relying only on your senses and experiences and begin to grasp your own destiny for yourself.

(for example, this month, Og Mandino tells us to master our emotions – easier said than done at times)

Haanel isn’t saying anything new; this is basically what he’s been saying the entire time. Last year, I didn’t get it, to be honest. I feel as if I’m just starting to understand what he’s talking about. I have had a lot of cement on there. 🙂

I do like this statement of his very much:

…you have no patient but yourself; you have nothing to do but to convince yourself of the truth which you desire to see manifested.

Isn’t that what we do every day? We believe certain things (whether or not they’re true) then live like they’re true, think as if they’re true, make choices as if they’re true, react to others as if they’re true … and what else did you think was going to happen? This thing you believe begins to manifest in your life!

And the things we think are imprinted on us from the time we’re born, when we’re not much more than just a subby ourselves, before the conscious mind can form enough to be a “watchman”.

Some people have overcome this alone, after decades of labor and heartache. Most people (like 99%) never even know how to begin. They just live feeling trapped and die regretting that they never did what they were born to do.

That’s why it’s so important to get help from like-minded people. To start examining your thoughts.

You know what I’m going to say. If you haven’t started on the 7 Day mental diet, why not? If you gave up, why? You’ll be a whole lot better, and you’ll have a great head start when the Master Key Experience comes around in September.

I love this quote:

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot

Thanks for hanging with me another year. Be well.

Week 23: deep thought

Deep thought.mar-1203345_640

As I mentioned in my last post, most people will do just about anything to avoid thinking.

I see it all around me: people asking questions when a two second Google search would do. Collecting opinions to see what everyone else thinks about an intensely personal matter.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with wanting to fit in – it’s about the fear of deep thought, an intense fear of what you might hear inside, if you would just stop and listen.

People are so … distrustful of themselves, of their own hearts, so wanting to control and avoid whatever they are so terrified might happen, that they would rather look unintelligent, dependent, and incapable than spend just a few minutes in deep thought.

Haanel puts it this way:

 The average person is entirely innocent of any deep thinking; he accepts the ideas of others, and repeats them, in very much the same way as a parrot; this is readily seen when we understand the method which is used to form public opinion, and this docile attitude on the part of a large majority who seem perfectly willing to let a few persons do all their thinking for them is what enables a few men in a great many countries to usurp all the avenues of power and hold the millions in subjection.

If you’re here, I’m assuming you don’t want to be like the average person – instead, you want to make a difference, to improve your life, to make things better inside yourself and around you.

So why is thinking important? Who cares if we think or not? How does thinking benefit us?

Some of you are laughing right now. Others of you are serious. It’s the second group I want to address.

Bottom line: Silent, prolonged, deep thought is how you connect with the Universal Mind (Whatever you want to call it/him/her. Don’t get twisted up about the name.)

There is nothing mystical about it. Not one thing.

Have you ever been really focused on finding a solution to a problem then … AHA! … the answer comes to you? Remember that feeling. Hold onto it. What happened is called inspiration.

From dictionary.com:

Inspiration: noun. 5. Theology. a. A divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.

Okay, now, if you don’t believe in divine influence, fine. But something happened there, something which is important, something we can use to our benefit.

Notice what happened before that AHA moment? You were exercising deep concentrated thinking. You were thinking very intently on your problem. And then BAM! – the answer came, as if out of nowhere. But it wasn’t out of nowhere. In that instant, you made the connection – to whoever or whatever you want to call it – and got your answer.

And you can get that answer again, to any question you want answered. Anything. World peace, end hunger, that one thing in your life you always yearned for, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is. You can get the inspiration … the answer to any question you have. You just have to learn how.

(which is what the Master Key Experience teaches you)

Now, I’m not saying I’m enlightened or achieve this all the time. If anything, I’m a student. But I’ve gotten the answers to things which frankly amaze me, things I very much wanted the answers to.

(that’s part of the equation, by the way – you have to really truly want the answer … which means getting the blocks like fear, etc out of the way first … )

You have a couple of choices. You can keep reading along and hope you can figure it out on your own. Or you can take a step forward into understanding yourself.

I have a brief pamphlet written in the 1930’s called The Seven Day Mental Diet. If you follow the instructions in it, you’ll begin seeing a lot about yourself and others. If you’d like a copy, let me know.

 

 

Week 21: the real battle

Many people would tell you a real battle is around every corner: what person is going to be President, what laws are passed about this or that, what happens to which celebrity.

We can spend our whole lives in outrage about one injustice or another, talking about it, obsessing over it, worrying about it, and end our lives never having accomplished anything that really matters to us. Our dreams, our aspirations, the things that we were born to create and do. Making a positive change in the world, instead of focusing on (and I believe, manifesting more of) the negative.

If you’d like to spend your life in outrage, or worse, on fictional outrage (around the latest soap opera, or movie, etc), that’s fine. Somehow I doubt you’re that sort, though, as most people who end up here are looking to change their lives and do something for the better. In order to do that, though, you have to understand where the real battle is.

It’s not over what some person did to some other person.

It’s not what law was passed about whatever.

It’s not about what TV character did what.

It’s not even about who’s going to be President.

So what’s the real battle?

What does Haanel say?

The real battle of life is one of ideas; it is being fought out by the few against the many; on the one side is the constructive and creative thought, on the other side the destructive and negative thought; the creative thought is dominated by an ideal, the passive thought is dominated by appearances….

… all men will have to take their place on one side or the other; they will have to go forward, or go back; there is no standing still in a world where all is motion; it is this attempt to stand still that gives sanction and force to arbitrary and unequal codes of law.

Cause and effect.

The real battle is in your head: the battle of ideas. Will you fight to become the woman or man you were born to be, or will you continue to be what everyone tells you you’re supposed to be? Will you become a creative, positive, and constructive thinker, or will you stay with the majority crowd of passive negativity and be part of the problem, manifesting the destructiveness we see around us every day?

It’s totally up to you.

It’s the most difficult fight you’ll ever face, what seems to be bucking the outer world, but in reality, you’re just battling to connect with your inner world and the might of the entire universe behind it.

Haanel makes the analogy of touching a live wire, but that didn’t seem like a very beneficial thing to me (having done so in the past and not enjoying it much). But the other day these couple of sentences from the Master Keys jumped out at me (thanks, subby!):

…Omnipotence itself is absolute silence, all else is change, activity, limitation. Silent thought concentration is therefore the true method of reaching, awakening, and then expressing the wonderful potential power or the world within.

shift-868980_640For some reason, this reminded me of when I first learned to drive. I was learning on a stick shift (manual transmission) and my engineer then-boyfriend (now husband) told me that the way it worked was:

  • the engine had a plate which was spinning – but if you do nothing, nothing will happen.
  • the drive train had another plate which was also spinning – also, if you do nothing, nothing will happen.
  • the clutch and gas pedals served to get those two plates spinning at the same speed then put them together so the power of the engine could be passed along to run the wheels. Then the car will move!

Whether this is exactly right doesn’t matter. What does matter is the concept of two different things coming together at the same speed, allowing the power of one to be transferred to the other.

So what does that quote up there tell us? That Omnipotence (or the universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it) is running at absolute silence. Like those two plates, we have to get ourselves to the same place as the universe is in order to connect, so the power can be passed along to us.

You can call this whatever you want. Some call this prayer, some call it meditation, it really does not matter. The world tells us, of course, that every word and label is vitally important and that we should be outraged about it, and fight and worry and fuss, and protest and feel persecution about it if others want to call it something else.

(Not much silence there.)

So do you have to get religion? Not at all. You just have to get quiet.

Now, that’s a real battle in and of itself! Between the TV and the cell phone and the family and the job and all the zillion things everyone tells you that you should be doing, finding a few moments for yourself can feel insurmountable. Then when we do get some time, we avoid silence, avoid thinking, by going on Facebook or Twitter or Netflix.

Am I right?

Here’s what you can do: when you have the urge to do something you know will waste time, instead, take 5 minutes of this (you can get a timer if you want), go somewhere quiet, and just sit.

You’ll be ahead of 99.99999999999% of the world who does not ever just sit and be quiet for 5 minutes.

And watch the fireworks begin.

Because your old programming and everyone associated with it HATES when you do this. You’ll find every reason in the book not to. You’re really getting something done when you post pictures of cats on Facebook! People will think you’re weird! Blah blah blah.

That’s why it’s a battle 🙂

But this battle for yourself is certainly worth it! And you’ll be taking a tiny baby step into learning more about who you are, who this Universe thing is, and if you’re very quiet, the two of you might even connect. How cool is that?

Let me know what you discover.

Week 20: failure is impossible

This week has been interesting so far: I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit. But I’ve had my share of what seemed like failure along the way, too, just like anyone else.

This week, though, I was reading Part 20 of The Master Keys, and Haanel said something which struck me (he’s referring to our subconscious mind):

Our failures are a result of the operation of exactly the same principle; the principle is unchangeable; its operation is exact, there is no deviation; if we think lack, limitation, discord, we shall find their fruits on every hand; if we think poverty, unhappiness or disease, the thought messengers will carry the summons as readily as any other kinds of thought and the result will be just as certain. If we fear a coming calamity, we shall be able to say with Job, “the thing I feared has come upon me”…

And I thought:

Where is the failure here?

The “calamity”, as Haanel puts it, is neither a failure of the subconscious mind nor a failure of the law of attraction, is it? They both worked, just as if you jump off of the roof, you can’t say it was a failure that you hit the ground.

When I read this, I realized that there is no such thing as failure when it comes to the law of attraction, just as there is no failure when it comes to the law of gravity. It will work every time. What actually happens depends on the choices you make.

I was going to title this week’s blog post as “staying positive in a negative world”. But it seems to me that all over the world, people are doing exactly what Haanel mentioned above: thinking lack, limitation, and discord. And then they wonder why this is manifested in their lives. It’s simply because they don’t understand the law.failure

Now it seems a bit silly if you really compare it to the law of gravity: who in their right minds would jump off of the roof and expect not to hit the ground?

But it’s just that lag time between the thought and the manifestation which makes it so vital to understand all this. If you have been negative, you have time to start changing your thoughts so as to modify or even change the result that is coming for you as inevitably as the ground.

Like the aphids, we can grow wings.

Haanel later adds:

Every time you think you start a train of causation which will create a condition in strict accordance with the quality of the thought which originated it. Thought which is in harmony with the Universal Mind will result in corresponding conditions. Thought which is destructive or discordant will produce corresponding results. You may use thought constructively or destructively, but the immutable law will not allow you to plant a thought of one kind and reap the fruit of another.

That’s the whole point of the Master Key Experience, in my view (should I dare to state an opinion here 😉 ) – getting us off the tracks for “the thing I feared has come upon me” and onto the tracks of the things we want in our lives.

You have to stop thinking of failure in order to succeed.

I don’t know about you but two years ago that would have seemed impossible to me.

You might be thinking right now, “What do I do then? Am I doomed? I don’t want to fail! I don’t want bad stuff to happen because of my thoughts … but I feel powerless to control them.”

No! You’re not doomed! The first thing you need to realize is that you are not powerless. You can begin the way we all began in the Master Key Experience: by being an observer.

Watch your thoughts. Don’t judge them, don’t say “this thought is good/bad”. Don’t beat yourself up about them. Just watch them.

Watching your thoughts is much easier than changing them, but although it’s still pretty hard to do consistently, it’s the most important first step you can take.

I’m here to tell you that you can do it. If I can do it, anyone can. 🙂

There’s this booklet called The 7 Day Mental Diet which was written back in 1935 (not a particularly pleasant time in history, if you recall) to help people with watching their thoughts, and with actually changing them! If you’d like a copy, fill out the form that pops out when you scroll down and I’ll send it to you.

Week 15: failure and opportunity

Failure is not necessarily a bad thing. In it lie the seeds of opportunity, if you’re willing to look for it.

Let me explain. For the first time since starting this course in September 2014, I have failed to complete a weekly service.

(those of you taking the course know how ‘gasp’ worthy that is)

My weekly was to make a full-length Victorian dress for the event I’m going to next weekend. Not just one dress, but a reversible dress, with different colors and styles on each side. And my machine was broken, so I was going to do it by hand. While in the middle of a holiday week, while watching a marathon of Harry Potter movies with my daughter and her boyfriend coming over every day.

Okay, so I put myself in a situation where I was probably going to fail. This is straight out of my old blueprint, and looking back, it seems silly. At the time, it didn’t seem that way. But in the back of my head, I thought, “can I really do this?” so even then I knew.

Things were going pretty well, actually. The skirt was sewn, the bodice and sleeves were cut out, and fit great. But then a sleeve got put in inside out, and the neckline was wrong, and on and on and on. Finally, realizing I couldn’t do the buttonholes in time, I went to a local sewing shop on Sunday and bought me a new machine.

(They were technically closed, but they were renovating and when I said I needed a machine today and if they were closed did they know anyone who sold them, they said come on in. Good business, there.)

But the neck was giving me fits and it was 11:30 pm and I normally go to bed at 10 and I hadn’t gotten to the buttonholes yet and the skirt was still to be put on and that damn sleeve still wasn’t right and I had to admit I had failed.


Haanel tells a story about failure, right at the start of part 15, and when I read it, I found it inspirational.

Here’s how it goes: An experiment was done at the Rockefeller Institute by a Dr. Jacques Loch (MD/PhD) where potted roses infested with aphids (which have no wings) were put into a room near a closed window and allowed to dry out.

Now, these aphids were in trouble. They thought they had chosen a great place to live, but it had turned disastrous. They had no food, no water, and things looked pretty dim. They had failed spectacularly. What could they do? They were just bugs, crawling around on a dying rose bush. It seemed as if they were doomed.

So what did they do? Did they just lay down and die? No.

The only method by which they could save themselves from starvation was to grow temporary wings and fly, which they did.

(emphasis mine)

They took a failure and turned it into an amazing opportunity for freedom. They found resources and abilities within themselves they never had before.

When I first read this, I thought: if an aphid can do this, so can I. I am more than an aphid! So I began a little experiment of my own.

(no, I’m not trying to grow wings)

(according to Wikipedia, it’s actually their children who are born – very quickly, I’d presume – with wings)

(I’ll tell you about my experiment later. This post is getting too long as it is, and I have a lot more to say.)


So how does failure turn into opportunity? If you use it to learn something.

It didn’t hit me until yesterday that I had failed, and what that meant. I felt as if I let myself down, and I did cry a bit about that. But then I realized that I had been half-assing it for a while now. Reading Og once a day instead of three times. Not listening to my recording at all – it needs to be re-recorded and I’ve been putting it off. ‘Sort of’ finishing weekly tasks ‘well enough’. Not keeping my promises to my customers. No wonder subby figured I was going back to the old blueprint. I was.

Before I began this class, I had failed in every single area of my life. Every one.

(don’t even bother telling me ‘no, look at all the good stuff you did,’ because I have them on stacks of cards and almost every one is bittersweet, a record of great starts, even great accomplishments, ending in massive failure – and I guarantee you do not know the details)

So why in the world would I want to go back to that?

They say when you’re stressed, you seek out the familiar, and I guess that’s what I was doing.


A few months ago, someone who has known me since 1980 told me I was neutral evil.

(we were sort of having an argument at the time)

For those of you who have never played Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), here’s a fair description of the concept of alignment, and more specifically about the neutral evil alignment, although this other person and I go with the altruistic/selfish view of good/evil rather than the newer version, which is too simplistic to translate to reality.

(If you need more examples, here’s a whole slew of alignment charts applied to fictional characters. Some charts are more accurate than others.)

Now, at first him saying I was neutral evil hurt my feelings. I always thought of myself as neutral good, or at least that’s what I always wanted to be.

But then I thought about it a while, looked at my life, at who I really am, and decided that perhaps this is why the course has been so difficult for me: I am trying to change my alignment.

In D&D, changing alignment is a serious matter for a player-character: you change not only how you are as a person, you change everything, down to your gods. Changing alignment costs you, in a big way.

This explains some things. It’s making me re-evaluate my DMP, and why I do what I do, why I want what I want. This … failure, if you will (if not in me as a person but certainly in my relationships), is becoming an opportunity, because it opened my eyes to what I was pretending not to know.

I need to stop trying to change my life and change it.

(Sort of like Morpheus and Neo when they’re fighting.)

I’m scheduling this post. When it appears, I’ll be driving to New Orleans on Thursday, to go to Wizard World Comic Con and sell my book, and to go to a business conference. My dress will be done. How do I know? Because I have thought the matter through and starting at noon, for ten hours today (Tuesday) I will work on that dress. If it’s not done, then I will start at noon and work on it for ten hours Wednesday, or until it’s done.

I will make it happen.

(okay, now I really am getting silly here, channeling Palpatine, but it’s going to happen, and my week will be awesome)

So if you have failed, are failing, no matter how badly, it doesn’t matter. You can turn that failure into a chance to become someone that you weren’t before.

Look for the opportunity.

Find the resources and abilities in yourself that you didn’t know you had.

Make it happen.

See you next week. 🙂

Week 13: Effects and causes

This week, Haanel talks more about causes and effects: more specifically, that each of the effects we see around us, from natural to man-made, have a particular cause. Once we find the cause, we can create the effect for ourselves whenever we want.

For example: people have observed birds flying, leaves floating, and so on, since the beginning of humanity, and for thousands of years people spent their lives trying to create the effect without understanding the cause. As far as I can tell, even the Wright brothers more or less stumbled upon the effect, and so we have airplanes. But once we learned the cause (aerodynamics) we could create the effect of flying whenever we wanted to!

I think it’s the same way with the other effects in our lives. We see how our lives are, and we spend our lives trying to create situations which we think are good, without really understanding the cause of either why we are here now or why someone who has what we want got that.

(many times, we don’t really even know what we want in the first place, but that’s another matter)

We may stumble upon it, and many often do. When we understand the cause, though, we’ll be able to create that effect whenever we like.

During the first part of the class (and some people are still struggling with the question) we asked: what do you want? That is the effect.

But what is the cause? That is what we need to figure out.

(This reminds me a bit of our battleship exercise.)

Haanel talks about belief, about the Universal Mind, about how our thoughts become the cause which creates literal effects in our existence. Not supernatural. Not mystical. Real effects from a real cause: your thoughts.

(If the thoughts you create inside your own head are not real, then what is?)

Anyone who’s tried to guide their thoughts (aka the 7 day mental diet) has learned how difficult it is at first. Just like anyone else who’s trying to create an effect, it takes some doing. Things (whether a positive mental attitude or a skyscraper) do not just jump into existence because you wish they would.

So now the task is to examine the effects we want then go back to see what the cause might be for this. Haanel gives us a clue:

The athlete may read books and lessons on physical training all his life, but unless he begins to give out strength by actual work he will never receive any strength; he will eventually get exactly what he gives; but he will have to give it first. It is exactly the same with us; we will get exactly what we give, but we shall have to give it first. It will then return to us many fold, and the giving is simply a mental process, because thoughts are causes and conditions are effects; therefore in giving thoughts of courage, inspiration, health or help of any kind we are setting causes in motion which will bring about their effect.

Or as Mark J likes to say: give more, get more.

This is more like a clue-bat: an athlete who just sat around reading books about training but never did any would be ridiculed!

But we say we want wealth yet are fearful, greedy, and stingy; say we want happiness but are mean to others, or think of unhappy things all day; say we want health but do and think things we know are unhealthy. And so we get what we think about.

You see, the law of attraction is no different from any other law. It works 100% of the time. You can’t get away from it any more than you can get away from the law of gravity. You reap what you sow.

Right now is a good time of year to think about these things, because while you may be sure of the effect you want, if you don’t understand the cause then you probably won’t get that effect.