Tag Archive: mental exercise

Week 8: the power of decision


This week, we’ve been asked to think of a real battleship, sitting there in the water, and how it came to be.

So at first I thought of the actual parts, how they had to be ordered, and shipped there, and how men had to be employed to construct the ship. But before that, the parts had to be made in factories, and those factories had to have supplies, and those supplies had to come from somewhere:

  • steel for the hull, the guns, the decks, the railings, kitchens, plumbing, fuel/water/waste tanks, and so on
  • food for the men had to be grown and converted for long-term storage
  • fuel for the ship had to be pumped and refined
  • electronics had to be assembled out of all the rare elements that such things require
  • plastics had to be formed
  • perhaps wood had to be shaped for various parts
  • bedding, mattresses and pillows for the men had to be created from cotton, and so on
  • and of course these things came from the earth itself

But before any that was required, someone had to design the ship, someone with a passion for designing battleships. This person had to know what was needed, how to make it all fit together, and how to draft a set of many blueprints that the builder could use for building the ship itself.

And how did any of these people know what to do? They each had training from teachers, from history, from experience. Each of these different lines of production and thought could be imagined as a web streaming back into the first men and women who observed that logs float, or that drying food allowed it to be stored safely for later.

But someone had to commission the architect to design the ship, and others had to see the need for its creation. Who were these men and women? Master strategists in the military, reporting to the Secretary of Defense, who saw that a battleship would fill a gap in their grand plans. They may not have even been on a battleship before (I’m not sure about all that), but their minds envisioned this battleship long before it ever came to be.

And of course, they each had training, experience, and knowledge of history.

But today I want to talk about choice and decision.

If you look back at the roots for each word, you see that they mean slightly different things. The root for choice comes from a French word meaning to perceive. The root for decision comes from a Latin word meaning to cut off.

At each step in the production of this battleship, there were many choices: what color to make a certain area, which suppliers to use, what size would be best for a certain sheet of metal.

But at some point, a decision was made, and this is how the battleship came to be. The battleship is real; it sits there before us. Therefore real decisions were made: first, to commission it, then to design it, then to build it.

Think about a decision you’ve made in your life. Perhaps you decided to go into a certain career, or to move to a different house, or to buy a particular car.

That moment when you decided YES I will do this action, you instantly CUT OFF all other possible actions. If you decide to move to Canada, you can’t also decide to move to Peru. You might make a later decision to move to Peru, or to buy a home there, but you can’t move both places at the same time.

You must decide before it can happen.

Think of a decision you really made, that really happened in real life. Remember the FEELING you had when you made whatever decision you made. This is important.

I believe that this act of deciding does something inside you, something physiological, that sets your subby into motion. You have decided: it’s going to happen; there is nothing anyone can say or do about it; the universe can either help or get out of your way.

This is, I feel, the most important thing in the world. Nothing happens without a decision. You would not be here without many decisions being made. You would not be who you are without many more decisions being made, by both yourself and many others who raised and sheltered you.

But what I find most pertinent to this course is that I need to have the same attitude towards my DMP (Definite Major Purpose, aka WHAT DO I WANT?). I must decide that this will happen, and there is nothing anyone can say or do about it, and the universe can either help or get out of the way.

Or else change it to what I really do want. But until I decide, nothing will happen, and that, I think, is why some people do this exercise and fail to get what they say they want. Like the person who waffles about where to live, they are waffling about what they want in their heart of hearts. They never decided.

Week 8: the power of imagination

When I think of the power of imagination, like most people who grew up as I did, I think of Willy Wonka and his amazing factory, where everything was “eatable”:

Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you’ll see
Into your imagination …

… If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world, there’s nothing to it

There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you’ll be free
If you truly wish to be

This movie was partly the inspiration for my own adventures into edible landscaping, which has spawned a whole business, and one of my dreams is to influence the way home food gardening is seen in our society.

But what is imagination, really?

Haanel says, “Imagination is the constructive form of thought which must precede every constructive form of action.”

He goes on to give many examples: the architect of a building or the builder of a battleship must first imagine the finished product before any material can be purchased; the Captain of Industry must first imagine how he or she wants their corporation to become before the first employees can be hired or the first capital for their venture raised.

Again he stresses that the law of attraction will bring to you what you persistently hold in your mind, whatever that is, good or bad (!), so it’s vital — that is, if you want to succeed — for your thoughts to be positive, harmonious, and constructive, for as much of the time as possible.

You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.

So we’re on the mental diet still, well, at least I am. I don’t think anyone in the group has gone a full seven days without entertaining a negative thought, so if you signed up to get the mental diet (and get notified of new posts), and you’re having trouble, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

(actually, you should have gotten some tips to help you out 😉 )

But it’s the persistent thoughts that we hold that make the difference. Just like exercising your body, when you exercise your mind it grows stronger and you can keep hold of positive thoughts longer.

So imagine good and wonderful things so you can get closer to getting them in your life!

Week 5: so many opinions!

Okay, this week we’re being challenged to not have an opinion. On anything. Not verbally, not mentally. No opinions. Ever.

(unless we’re a world class expert on something and we are directly asked for our opinion)

This is harder than it sounds.

I find that my head is swimming with opinions on everything — this exercise has really opened my eyes to how much I put my self out there as the authority of other people’s lives. It feels humbling and a bit embarrassing.

Week 4: who am “I”?

This week’s reading focused on the “I”.

Most people think who they are is a race, or a gender, or a nationality, or a religion, or an ethnic group, or a sexual identity. Haanel says that we are not our bodies, as they are just tools of the “I”, just as much as the internet, our car, or the spoon we use to eat with.

Others think that who they are is their mind, but no, the Master Keys says, the mind is also just a tool. When you say “I think”, there is an “I” who is using the mind to do the thinking, the planning, and the acting.

So who am “I”?

The “I” must be something which controls and directs both the body and the mind

He goes on to mention that your “I” is not your personality either, as this is simply the result of your former ways of thinking, your old blueprint, if you will.

So what is the “I”? How can you find out who “you” really are?

He mentions exercises to train yourself to think, to strengthen your conscious mind — your World Without — so it can constructively address the World Within — your subby.

… when you have learned to control yourself you will have found the “World Within” which controls the world without; you will have become irresistible; men and things will respond to your every wish without any apparent effort on your part.

This is not so strange or impossible as it may appear when you remember that  the “World Within” is controlled by the “I” and that this “I” is a part or one with the Infinite “I” which is the Universal Energy ….

… referring to the Universal Mind. As I mentioned before, each of our subbies is an outlet to the Universal Mind.

So who “I” am, deep down, is my subby, who uses my mind and body to navigate and create my world.

Now you might be asking at this point, “So if I’m an outlet to the infinite power of God, why is my life so screwed up?”

The greatest and most marvelous power which this “I” has been given is the power tho think, but few people know how to think constructively, or correctly, consequently they achieve only indifferent results. Most people allow their thoughts to dwell on selfish purposes, the inevitable result of an infantile mind. When a mind becomes mature, it understands that the germ of defeat is in every selfish thought.

Basically, it’s because our conscious mind has abdicated as the “watchman at the gate”, and instead is preoccupied with Ebola, or the Kardashians, or the fall TV shows, or how the government is doing this or that, instead of being focused on anything constructive.

He takes pains to make it clear that he doesn’t mean we should give away everything and live in poverty, becoming what most people think of as “selfless”. I personally feel that this attitude is self-destructive and a attempt to selfishly garner pity and attention for how “holy” you are.

I think Haanel agrees:

Self-denial is not success. We cannot give unless we get; we cannot be helpful unless we are strong. The Infinite is not a bankrupt and we who are the representatives of Infinite power should not be bankrupts either, and if we wish to be of service to others we must have power and more power, but to get it we must give it; we must be of service.

He later says:

… we must be a channel whereby the Universal can express activity. The Universal is constantly seeking to express itself, to be of service, and it seeks the channel whereby it can find the greatest activity, where it can do the most good …

I find this seriously exciting! Remember all the little atoms in the Universal Mind’s “plastic mind substance”? Well, they are out there looking to see who is ready to do something good and useful so they can help!

There is so much in this chapter that I could be writing all day … but what we’re doing this week is basically a baby step attempt to turn our minds from our own pettiness and negativity on towards the ideals and aspirations that uniquely touch each of us individually, because these are the things which the “I” has always wanted to do, before the rest of the world with its ideas cast us into some cement copy of someone else (who probably isn’t either happy or doing much with their lives).

And this is only week 4!! I can’t imagine what will happen at the end of this. This whole thing is too exciting for words. 😀





Week 1: in which I fight a battle

So things have been going pretty well. We had our first real webinar, and after a bit of thought I wrote down what I want in life and sent it to be evaluated (then of course immediately thought of more stuff but that’s ok), and I’m still doing the readings and the exercises and all.

Today shit just got real.

You know I have had trouble with the darn sitting still for 15 minutes. Well, yesterday, I was feeling annoyed with myself because I kept swallowing! That did not seem as if it was following the spirit (or even the letter) of the whole thing, so today I was determined that I was not going to move other than to breathe for the 15 minutes.

Try 1: 8 minutes

Try 2: not even one whole minute before I swallowed! Grr, that made me mad.

Try 3: this was better, 9 minutes without swallowing. But it was clear that this was bringing up a lot of not. good. stuff. in the ol’ psyche.

I was able to do this on try 4, but not without a lot of appeals to the universe (or whoever was out there), telling myself to relax, that it was okay, Ze Frank’s “just breathe” mantra, bordering on anxiety attacks and everything else … and just when I was sure I was going fail and to have to do this a fifth time, the timer went off.


While I’m not enjoying this very much, the fact that I didn’t give up and just say “that was good enough” feels like a small victory. 🙂