real life examples

Looking back

Looking back at my second year with the Master Key Experience, I’d have to say it’s been pretty amazing. This time last year I was on my way to completing something I never thought I would even try – and it worked out great! Since then, I’ve:12841274_234206800257983_4398829372072310848_o

  • traveled to Hawaii (Kauai, Oahu, and the Big Island)
  • became a Certified Guide for the Master Key Experience
  • did the Small Product Lab (and made something cool)
  • made my first ever book trailer
  • did my first Indiegogo
  • published a novel (the Kindle version has broken the top 1000 in its categories on Amazon several times now)
  • written the second in the series (I’m revising it at present)
  • decided to quit selling Avon (it’s just not what I want to spend my time doing)
  • went to Wizard World New Orleans to sell my book (wow! That con was huge!)
  • did my first ever webinar (to sell my edible landscaping course, which is opening up again in a few weeks)

I think I did okay. 🙂

How are things with you?

Week 22a: 11 ways to avoid thinking

When I was doing my Silence, it occurred to me that most of what we do is to avoid thinking.

So for those of you who aren’t interested in learning to think, control your mind, or have a better life, here are some wonderful tips on how to do that:

  1. Never do your Sit. It takes too much time. You’ve got better things to do. Besides, you can function just fine with your kids, partner, phone, TV and computer going all at once.
  2. Have every app on your phone send you notifications! You’ll be bombarded with noise from your email, messages and apps. How fun is that?
  3. Check your email, social media, and websites every hour. Every one of them. You know, just in case.black-892457_640
  4. Turn on the TV to a 24 hour news network and keep it on all day and all night. Put a TV in every room of your house. You never know what you might be missing.
  5. Never go anywhere without at least one person with you, especially someone who talks constantly.
  6. Better yet, you talk constantly. Stream of consciousness is good for you.
  7. Eat every hour, more if you feel like it. Between preparing, eating, and cleaning up, you’ll be constantly busy. Keeps you from having to think. And make sure you eat in front of the TV, computer, or both. You’ll never have to think then.
  8. Keep busy. Busy, busy, busy! Don’t ever take any time to yourself. You’ll get lots of praise and admiration from others for being so darn busy, plus you’ll have a great excuse for when you don’t want to do something.
  9. Your vice of choice, whatever it is. Smoking, drinking, gaming, and drugs are great ways to avoid thinking.
  10. If you are forced to be alone, for example, you’re driving somewhere or in the shower, make sure there’s something to listen to. Audiobooks, radio, your favorite tunes, whatever. They’ll stop you from thinking for sure!
  11. When you do think, it’s important to think of negative things. Worry a lot. Get angry. Feel sorry for yourself. Indulge all the negativity you can. That will be sure to keep you from thinking about anything useful.

So there you have it: eleven awesome ways to keep from thinking.

If this does not sound fun, useful, peaceful, or like anything you want, then why not try another way?

Week 22: if you want something done …

I had forgotten which week the Silence was, but when Mark J said this was the week I got right on it – booked a hotel room, and went quiet from Monday afternoon to just a bit ago today. It was good.

But while I was keeping quiet, I thought of all the things which have been going on lately in my life. As it turns out, I’ve met another goal on my DMP, although not exactly the way I had planned to: I wanted a certain amount of money by a certain date, but while I thought I had specified where this was coming from, subby interpreted what I wrote in an equally legitimate way! And the money arrived. 🙂

Now I feel, though, as if it’s time to get serious.

Check out this Google search:

Capture

(I find that last one amusing)

But really, when it boils down to it, the best way to get something done is to have subby do it.

Last week, I was thinking “the floor needs scrubbing” – and I go out not ten minutes later and my son is working on it. He got the idea and motivation to do it and he gets up and down a lot easier than I do, and so it was done.

(as it turned out he only did part of it but the whole process amazed me)

It puts a new twist on the whole matter of doing things, because sometimes we stress and strain yet we might not even be the right person to do the job. We don’t know. But subby does know, and if we will just say what we want with enough precision, using emotion and enthusiasm, it will use the proper people and methods to get the job done. We just have to get all the voices out telling us we can’t do it out of the way.

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 19: overcoming fear

This week we got a few tips from Mark J on overcoming fear, which I found particularly relevant right now.

Haanel also talks about overcoming fear in the preface to Part 19. I never really understood why he did this, or what it had to do with the rest of Part 19. Until today, it seemed random.

Later, Haanel writes:

In seeking the truth we are seeking ultimate cause; we know that every human experience is an effect; then if we may ascertain the cause, and if we shall find that this cause is one which we can consciously control, the effect or the experience will be within our control also.

It occurred to me this morning that fear, rather than being a cause, is an effect.

Now, I’ve talked about causes and effects before, because that’s what this class really is about: determining the effects we want (our DMP and PPNs) then understanding the causes and how to produce them so we get those effects (or results).

So why am I finding all this fear-overcoming stuff so relevant? I mean, I’m a Certified Guide in the Master Key Experience! I have a big S on my chest and a cape and everything. 😉

(if you believe that, I also have a bridge to sell you … on sale, today only!)

But in my old blueprint, I’m a big fat fear-bucket, and the old blueprint must be where this is coming from. Because my future self, my true golden self, is afraid of nothing.

Now, when I watched the video this week where Mark went over the fear-curing tips, it also occurred to me that I have had those tips for a full year now. I have no excuse. And the question came up again this morning: So why have I not been using them?

Here are some ideas I came up with:

  • was fighting fear with those simple tips straying too far from my old blueprint?
  • was there something inside that wanted to keep life safe within those old boundaries? (even if that doesn’t serve me anymore?)

I felt as if I was getting somewhere. So I began to write out my fears:fear-1027574_640

  • it’s all too big; I can’t change
  • I will change and lose who I am. Which is silly, if you think about it: I’m trying to become my true self; by definition, this IS who I am – who I was meant to/made to be, who I used to be before people told me I wasn’t. This is why we love babies so much, by the way, because they are their true authentic selves.
  • I’ll get dragged back into an abusive situation if I don’t keep my guard up

There is a whole lot of backstory into that last one, involving every kind of abuse basically since I was born, 14 years in a high-maintenance fundamentalist so-called “Christian” cult, and so on. Because of that, even now, 10+ years out of that situation, I’m very very wary of anything labelled “spiritual”, any kind of hierarchy, anything using Scriptures, or any kind of situation where one person has control over a lot of others, where they’re applying pressure or influence to coerce others to do things in the name of “spiritual growth”.

But I haven’t trusted my subby’s power of discernment. I haven’t trusted my own growth or my ability to thrive without my old blueprint to compel me. I haven’t understood (or believed in) my own power. As Haanel states in the preface:

…the way to overcome fear is to become conscious of power.

What is this power?

You may know that thought constantly, eternally is taking form, is forever seeking expression, or you may not, but the fact remains that if your thought is powerful, constructive, and positive, this will be plainly evident in the state of your health, your business and your environment; if your thought is weak, critical, destructive and negative generally, it will manifest in your body as fear, worry and nervousness, in your finance as lack and limitation, and in discordant conditions in our environment.

Our power, our birthright if you will, is to use our thoughts to change our environments. As far as we know, animals don’t do this (with the exception of creatures such as ants, bees, wasps, etc, who create their own homes out of nothing, and possibly the burrowing animals such as rabbits).

So what does that quote tell us? That our thoughts are the cause. Once we become conscious of the power to control our thoughts, and gain the ability to do so, we have the power of overcoming fear.

The 7 Day mental diet is as good a place as any to begin.

Week 17: courage

Some weeks, I know what I’m going to write about for a while in advance, and some weeks I don’t. This is one of the latter sort. But that lovely subby is always at work! This morning, I woke up with this song on my mind:

Now, I was six when this song came out, and I haven’t heard it in probably decades. So why now?

Well, this song is so relevant to the Master Keys that it’s scary. Look at the lyrics:

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

For we were young, and sure to have our way.

Cynicism, after all, is only disappointed idealism.

What is age but a number? Why are we so sure that living the life we choose, or fighting and never losing, is only for the young?

Because our old blueprint has told us it is.

Somewhere along the line, we lost that single-mindedness, that ability to lose ourselves in a task which meant everything to us, to believe we really could succeed.

Haanel talks about this ability:

The greatness of an actor lies in the fact that he forgets himself in the portrayal of his character, that the audience is swayed by the realism of the performance.

And of course then I immediately thought of Alan Rickman.

My family and I watched the Harry Potter series over the holiday, and the one thing which struck me after we finished the series was how you never felt that this was a man portraying Severus Snape, but this was the man himself.

And we also recently watched Galaxy Quest, and one of the best parts was the transformation of Alexander Dane from a neurotic, cynical, washed-up actor to a man who inspired the Thermians (a group of aliens who had no concept of deception and abhorred violence) to rise up against their genocidal invaders.

So what does all this have to do with you?

The real question is: what is your ‘thing’? What is the life you chose, and perhaps left behind as ‘unrealistic’? What is your fight? Why did you stop? What is your gift? Why did you stop using it, developing it, sharing it?

What made you lose that conviction that you could succeed? And more importantly, what is going to get you back into your fight? To inspire those around you into action to make this place better?

The good news is that the answers are inside you. You already have everything you need to get all that back. You just need a bit of guidance to find your courage for yourself.

Which, I decided, is my word for this week, and this year. Courage. 🙂

 

Week 16: converting difficulties into blessings

I have been in the New Orleans area this past week, and I have learned SO much. The one thing which amazed me the most is how many people I met who were saying things like, “I decided I need to follow my own inner voice.” Wow!!


This week, we’ve been asked to look for kindness, both in ourselves and in those around us.

The preface to Part 16 of the Master Keys says:

… through an understanding and conscious operation of spiritual laws, we can convert every seeming difficulty into a blessing.

Isn’t that what kindness is all about?

Here is what I mean. If you pay for something you bought, that’s not particularly kind in and of itself. That is simply a transaction. But if you buy it to help someone else, or pay for someone who comes up short at the register, then it becomes a kindness. That person you helped had a seeming difficulty, which you turned into a blessing.


Haanel again hammers at the idea that thought is the cause. The only cause. If we want something, anything else, these things are simply effects, and we need to develop the appropriate thought patterns to produce that effect. Our time is best spent in developing those thought patterns (aka: the silence/the sit), because once you think about something in a certain way, the outward world MUST change to correspond to that.


So: kindness. Converting difficulties to blessings. Thought being the cause. How do these things fit together?

Let me give you an example: you go into your bathroom, and there’s a towel on the floor. You can have several thoughts about this, but here’s two that everyone can relate to —

  • oh, look, the towel’s on the floor. Let me pick it up.
  • oh, look, the towel’s on the floor. I’ll get it later.

Which thought leads to the effect of a clean bathroom?

Well, you might think, “Who cares if a towel is on the floor?” That has an effect too, and if you’re asking that, I bet there is more than a towel on your bathroom floor. Am I right? 😉

If you live with others, you might have angry thoughts and blame them for that towel being there. That leads to other effects. Negative thoughts charged with angry feelings … I hope you see where I’m going with this. You wonder why you feel so bad all the time.

Or you can be kind and pick up the towel, giving yourself a feeling of accomplishment. Kind to the others in your home. Kind to yourself.

It’s the same seeming difficulty: a towel lying on the floor. Totally different thoughts. Completely different effects.


Haanel talks more about constructive and destructive thoughts, and how the thoughts themselves are not particularly good or bad. What matters are the thoughts we entertain, dwell on, and manifest in our lives. This is why the Mental Diet is so important, and why we need to be kind to ourselves while using it. It’s too easy to get into this vicious circle of I had this negative thought and therefore I’m bad (another negative thought), and so on.

I love love love this quote from Part 15:

We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.

light-bulbs-1125016_640Focus on what you want, your ideal, and on what you want to become, and voila! the light is on. It was dark, which seemed like a difficulty, but you turned it into a blessing, not only for yourself but also for those around 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 14: a universe

I hope all of you have had a good holiday.

Mine was better than most years, but then all of 2015 has been pretty amazing. You’re welcome to go back and read for yourself.

I don’t feel as if I have anything profound to say this week. I’ve been focused on spending time with my family and preparing to go to New Orleans next week to sell my book at Wizard World Comic Con.

But as a former physician whose Bachelor’s degree was in microbiology, I particularly liked Haanel’s reference to the microscopic world and how our cells are both intelligent and resourceful in carrying out their tasks.

I’ve read that a drop of intestinal flora carries more living creatures than the stars in the known universe. Quadrillions of them, bearing their children and living their lives. Each of us is a universe in our own right, and that thought makes me smile, remembering Men In Black and the galaxies in the game at the end.

And then of course one of my favorite scrolls began yesterday. We are nature’s greatest miracle indeed.

 

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.