January 2018 - TOOWi MEDIA
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Archive Monthly Archives: January 2018

Guest Jon Rassmussen

I just finished up my interview with Jon Rasmussen, who’s a Shaman practicing in California. 

He’s officially my first featured guest on The QH3 Podcast, since I decided to relaunch the show to focus on awakening stories. It was so nice to get a chance to reconnect with him.  Besides being a gifted Shaman he’s also a wonderfully down to Earth guy.  I see him as a courageous fellow as he’s been willing to put himself out there as a healer for a good part of career. He’s written books, recorded audio series, and recently appeared on A&E’s The Lowe Files   -which stars the infamous Rob Lowe and his sons looking into the bigger mysteries of life. 

Jon and I connected about 3 years ago on QH3. I sought him out, as at that point in my life I found myself needing a Shamanic mentor to be exact.

Despite being a faculty member of a graduate institute that promoted alternate healing approaches, I was still dealing with the challenges of having to live in two worlds; one being the world of the healer, and the other holding down a job as a licensed mental health professional. Put mildly, they are two very different worlds.  While in Graduate school I’d connected with a bright young professor who had a very unique background as a Yale-trained psychologist and also a Shaman, thanks to her Cherokee heritage. This relationship was crucial over an exceptionally hard time in spiritual development. But we’d lost mostly due to increasing obligations of  our professional lives.  So not having the time to devote to a face-to-face mentorship, I went looking for easier fits. That’s where I connected with Jon’s work through his Youtube channel. It was the right medicine for the challenges I was facing at the time. Jon’s online material, I think, had a bigger influence on my decision to exit corporate and launch a digital media brand later on. Jon actually came from the hard-charging world of Silicon Valley, as he worked as a software engineer before stepping into healing. So I think the combo of his past, understanding the high-achiever type, as well as the pitfalls of the competitive professional landscape made him a great fit. I leaned in.

So, that’s how we got to this place three years later.  In this interview, we got to explore the shift from the mainstream working world to healer a little deeper. Jon seemed really vulnerable to me, and totally willing to fling open the door to his past. He talked about the journey to find a balance between the vulnerability and courage that’s needed to work as a Shamanic healer. He also dove into his life before prior to discovering Shamanism, and talked about some of the early signs he got along the way. He also delved into some of his psychological sensitives and what it took before he finally committed to exploring the healing path. I really enjoyed my time with Jon, as he’s fun, insightful, and willing to have a good chat.  I think there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the interview too.

Overall, I think Jon offers a clear example of what the journey to become a healer can look like. He also offers practical advice on how to manage life if you’re a spiritually-sensitive or intuitive type.  If you’re eager to listen, just hang tight. I should have the interview up here in a few days.  In the meantime, feel free to check the->>> QH3 PODCAST STREAM BY CLICKING HERE  

Grace to fill your sails today!

J-

Your Great Spirit

So, life is amazing. You ever noticed how the right books and messages seem to fall into place?… 

I got my hands on Ray Dalio’s latest book called “Principles.” If you haven’t heard of Ray, he’s become an icon in the investment and trading communities. In terms of net worth, he’s up there with the Warren Buffets, Richard Branson’s, and other ultra billionaires. He’s in rare air. Thanks in part to Tony Robbin’s coaxing, and his own readiness, he’s stepped forward into a teaching phase of his life. 

Ray’s book got me thinking about the role of business in both our personal and collective evolution.

Like many before him, especially the great stoics like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, Ray praises common wisdom. Yeah, he’s a big proponent of AI, and automating systems, but he reminds readers it all needs to be rooted in common wisdom.  He revisits the importance of the old stand-bys too, like a good work ethic, and discipline, staying open to struggle. He talks of creating systems and reliable circles of guidance to track and guide progress.  And he’s also a believer in playing a part in a evolving whole.  He’s really used his career and business success as a way to better understand the relationship between common wisdom and big system thinking.

But beyond all that Ray’s book reminded me of the importance of acknowledging SPIRIT in culture. Ray’s book does a great job at helping people understand the kind of wisdom that needs to be applied to guide growth of any kind, from small to large. But I think it also does something else, perhaps something that wasn’t intended. His book indirectly supports the necessity of spirit in healthy business cultures.

It seems one of the things that’s made Ray such an enigma in corporate culture, was his ability to create cultures that work. Despite the radical profitability of his company Bridgewater Associates over the long term, there also seemed to be freedom built into his systems. This stood out. People wondered, how do you create such profitability, and still nurture the growth and freedom of your employees?  As some of you know, I’ve spent time working in big company cultures. While many are great at creating the appearance of spirit, and establishing sound principles, ethics, and even compassion and care for the whole, cracking the nut called genuine spirit ain’t easy. Happiness doesn’t come cheap. The beating heart of true innovation often goes missing. 

This got me thinking about the notion of spirit in our business culture. Spirit doesn’t really carry much weight anymore. It’s lost ground to new world ideas like Soul, Spirituality, and cognition. Native cultures are still connected and carrying on traditions rooted in spirit, but collectively we’ve relegated spirit to high school pep rallies and mandatory team building at challenge courses. What’s spirit? In native traditions, Spirit is an actual living thing, something that’s both part of nature and entirely free on its own. It’s conscious.

What seems to get lost in big organizations is that spirit isn’t actually something that gets reproduced. Or can be created by replicating natural systems, it’s actually tapped into. It’s there already, but needs the room to spread it’s wings. It’s not some extra energy source that gets created when we you put the right mechanisms in place. It’s freed. Well, this can be argued of course, but I’d ask you to be open to hearing me out.  Imagine spirit as something we own, and have our share of, and nature owns the master share. Spirit, generally, comes alive in spaces where genuine connection can be made. That happens most when we feel free to express ourselves through choices -that make sense for ourselves. Nature is a great illustration of a GREAT SPIRIT unleashed, as it’s this grand system of tiny things all perfectly connected and free to do whatever the hell it wants. There’s rules, and systems, but these rules serve this greater freedom. And all things within it get the same opportunity to play. So Ray’s book helped spark this larger question; how can we get better as a society at creating systems that best reflect freedom? Nature, in this sense, is both the perfect guide and master. If we learn to do a better job of listening to nature, both within ourselves and outside in nature, we better our chance at connecting to the genuine spirit of nature called freedom. Like Ray’s book suggests, we are granted the blueprint. We’re freed up to co-create, as that’s what freedom really is. It’s a dance where new expressions meet old processes and new expressions of freedoms are made. So maybe our job as leaders in our communities is to help collaborate on creating systems that are better suited to help others reconnect to the freedom they carry. Practically this means giving people choices, and the space to be heard and express themselves. Some of you may be wondering if you can have all that and still maintain the integrity that’s needed to achieve a common goal.  

A great example exists outside your door. This type of freedom is alive and well. Just take a walk outside in nature! Have a good look around. That freedom you see, remember it’s within you too. 

 

The Authenticity Trap: the art of staying true and serving others at the same time

So, I’ve struggled at times to walk this fine balance between authenticity and service. Have any of you had this issue? One one side you hear the message, “Be authentic. Don’t compromise, follow your heart’s true desire and never give up on living your dream!”  And on the other it’s “Serve! Don’t be selfish, commit to caring and creating value for others. You don’t have to do anything special, just learn to listen and fill the gaps. Give and you shall receive.”

This can lead to some serious soul-grinding along the way. However, as I’ve come along I’ve discovered there is a way to free yourself from this seeming paradox.

First, it’s helpful to realize whether you’re serving yourself or others, there’s no one right way. There’s only “ways.” By taking the time to examine the space between these two approaches we can get some answers for ourselves. Others have referred to this approach as a “middle way, the narrow path, or the “road less traveled. However, I like to call it integrity.  Lets see if I can help make sense of this.

I’d suggest a first step at understanding these two approaches is to start looking at their similarities. If we wade in comparing differences, we’re headed for a long walk in dark woods. Unfortunately, this is where the bulk of the self-help and success literature falls. We often pit one way of life against the other, service-to-self vs service-to-other. Lots of books get sold this way. The truth is whether you’re serving yourself or others, the process of growth looks the same.

How’s so?…

Each requires; asking, listening, adapting, and then giving. Giving, as well as sharing, are essentially actions. These are the fundamentals needed to grow and make progress, or find fulfillment. Let’s break these down by looking at service-to-self first.

Ask

Typically, for those that see themselves on a spiritual journey, or the “the road to authenticity,” this process begins by turning inward or looking within. This is the ask. To get answers to the big questions we have to learn to get quiet. 

Listen

Then comes the practice of listening. Wisdom tends to be a whisper, so we have to learn to lean in. And this is important, because there’s alot of noise bouncing around in our head’s. Noise meaning we live in a world of information, advice, and agendas, and that includes our own internal judgement and expectations. Most of what’s in our head’s wasn’t consciously put there, it was swallowed. So the discipline of turning inwards and fine tuning is important. It helps us filter out the noise but also connect to truer source of guidance. Inner guidance.

Adapt

Once we’ve made a connection, we then have to make adjustments. Many of our decisions in life are based on assumptions drawn from information.  So adaptation a key step. Without the adjustment, we’re like planes stuck perpetually circling the airport.

Give it away

Finally, the last step is take what we’ve learned through the process and then share it with the world. This is the critical leap where a genuine contribution is made.

Now this process and steps are the same for those who live in service. The big difference, of course, is that they focus on helping others first. Or in other words, they start by turning their attention outward. When a person serves others, they work their way from the outside world in. So, instead of turning inward to ask as a first step, they ask the world, etc. In today’s business cultures the lingo is “value-driven.” Business, on the grand stage, sets up systems that operate in this way. They automate this process.

So, when you see the similarities, progress becomes less about which way or path you choose. And even less about what you set out to achieve. Progress becomes more about maintaining integrity in the process. Integrity, at least in the way I’m using it, simply means we embrace change. There’s no longer a need for a destination or end goal. It’s an adventure where direction is offered along way. So I see integrity as this art of maintaining a vision without boundaries. The vision is only realized when we accept input along the way. Integrity is the grace in which we handle this middle ground and change. Man, have I had some learning to do around this.

So, no matter your preferred path, if you learn to see life as an invitation to create a healthy conversation, things get better.  Life is a good chat, or can be. The moment we stop listening is the signal we’re headed for trouble. Grace disappears, and things get sticky when we end up there.

I’m a huge fan of Glennon Doyle. Here’s a woman who for 10 years hid herself in a closet at 4:00 am to find the time and space to write. She began with a simple dream, an honest, heart-felt intention to reach out and touch the world. And she did! She started a truly magical conversation through her blog and then books. But then she remained open to continuing the conversation along the way. She shared her changes out loud because she made a commitment to not hide from life. Then later, when she decided to divorce her husband and then remarry another woman, despite being touted as an acclaimed “relationship expert,” she maintained her integrity. How?… She walked the narrow path. She didn’t listen to the noise and advice of those with agendas. She exercised her integrity. The art of integrity comes with knowing where you’re headed, and accepting direction along the way. The direction she accepted, of course, came when she learned to listen to life. She’s mastered the art of the conversation. Here’s a great article where Glennon talks through her decision to walk away from her marriage.

So, I guess I’d end by saying we’ve all been tasked with discovering a new way in life. We can call this “our way.” Whether we like it or not, there’s no way around the fact that we will create something brand new. The life you live will never be repeated again. Learning to celebrate this by staying open to change and embracing the process is a powerful thing. You’ll inherit a life filled with integrity and grace. Just keep the conversation going!

Watch the video and listen to the episode associated with this post.

The Tricky Business of Relationships in the Crowdfunding Worlds

So, as some of you know I’ve been considering crowdfunding. I went out the side door of my corporate job about 8 months ago to launch this brand.

This wasn’t a willy nilly move. I have a family I’m passionate about, and a beautiful boy who happens to have Down Syndrome named Gus.  We have complexity in our life that adds financial pressures, as many of you do. So, consequently, I started planning a couple years before to my exit, which means I’d managed to save a bit for runway.  I had a mission and plan and was bursting with purpose. But after about 6 months of burning cash like coal on a old-timey steam train, an alternative reality dawned. I realized I’d have to consider outside funding. Loans were a no-go, I have an uphill battle already to fight with my business. Taking on more debt seems foolish. So the next logical step seemed like crowdfunding. 

Now, in terms of money, I’m in a somewhat unique position. I’m a therapist with a private practice. I can learn  on my practice if needed.  And also, selfishly, I can maintain my integrity as an independent business owner which is important to me. This seems a popular sentiment with many entrepreneurs.  So my profession affords me a luxury every not every startup founder has. Many business hopefuls have to retreat back into the job world when things go sideways. And honestly, employment isn’t an option I can entirely take off the table either. But my position as a service provider grants me leeway. It’s also presented challenges. For one, I’m constantly stuck contemplating a fuzzy line, like how do I know when take my foot off the gas or double down? How far is to far? And how much debt can I take on? Plainly put, there’s an incredible investment of time, energy, and resources that goes into any new business venture. Giving up the tiniest bit of ground to spend time elsewhere seems ludicrous to me. Very early into it a basic truth emerged. You can goes as far as you put it. Progress directly correlates to the amount of the time and energy you put into your business. And also, importantly, the quality of the time you put in. Progress demands serious effort, consistent effort. It’s a beautiful struggle that anybody who chooses to go into business would be wise to prepare for. How you learn to manage time becomes essential. So this fact that I have options to fall back as a professional skill doesn’t help with this reality at all. It’s actually complicates it.  It’s also at times it’s created a false sense of security. I find myself pushing in ways I might not push if I was forced to operate with a static bottom line. Perhaps it’s both good and bad, the jury’s still out.

So it’s here at this cross-roads that I landed on Crowd Funding. Right off the bat, I saw there’s an underbelly to crowdfunding. While it’s an unbelievable blessing to have this choice as an entrepreneur, there’s booby traps everywhere. There’s loads of advice touted by “experts” that hasn’t translated.

So let’s start from the beginning. When blessed with this bright idea I began consuming books on Audible, like a Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide, and cramming in Youtube videos like ->>THIS on Crowdfunding whenever possible. Lunch-breaks, and on commutes snacking on podcast like Mixergy , Funding The Dream, and EOFire.  After a couple months of cramming this stuff down my throat, I decided to opt for what I thought was a healthy approach. I’d go slowly and take 3 months just building relationships in the online crowdfunding worlds. I’d then support others campaigners financially, and then scale. Relationship building is touted by many “experts” as a first step.  Now, I get paid to give advice on relationships, so this idea seemed sensible enough to me. 

After all, you don’t cannon ball into the pool at a pool party. You work on building relationships on the pool deck first.

The road-map that was laid out seemed to be rooted in the notion that crowd-funders are aware of the crucial importance of relationship-building, and so you can get good traction by starting there first. While this was a very big assumption, especially considering the diversity of campaigners in terms of age and experience, it was one I willing to go with. 

Well, I got a surprise. First off, I found most campaigner weren’t open for friendly chats. At all.  And why would they be? Most campaigners are hustlers bleeding time, energy, and money out their ears. Most don’t have the time to brush their teeth, let alone respond to the random emails of possible supporters. I was actually surprised to see how many didn’t respond at all. So, already in just the first stage of my plan, I’d was running into walls. And this advice was touted as the easiest and most important step. At this point I’d already dumped weeks of my money and time into relationship building. I’d tried reworking my messaging and introduction strategies. I’d even hired a VA to help with the effort. Essentially, after two months of I was facing a zero. I’d was standing in a crater of assumptions fed by crowdfunding experts, and wondering, “WTF.” After all that, I’d made one connection with potential.  It was a 16 year old kid in the UK promoting his first album. I’m a 47 year old professional launching a media company…. So yeah. Not much potential to lay the ground works of a successful funding campaign. 

This general air of stuffiness seemed to translate to both Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  Sadly, my efforts may have done more damage than good. It seemed that campaigners operated well above the platitudes flung around in the books, blogs, and communities I’d run into.  Instead, they focused on the relationships that make the most sense. At times it felt like a high school locker room, with the emotional subterfuge to match. There’s a lot of a value judgments that get made without much to go on.  I found many campaigners to be reactive when they make an initial assessment about the value you represent. Very little chose to respond and play anything out to discover this.  As a relationship strategiest, this was the first of a few red flags. If you’re new to these platforms, and haven’t established a history as a supporter or investor, most tend to shy away. Remember, campaigners, like me, come to raise capital. So investing time at the relationship level had to make sense. And as usual, this meant to a campaigner’s bottom line. Or at least that’s the way it seemed to me.

Also, the game is played at a much higher intellectual level than times previous. Many campaigns are hired and ran by professional teams. And those that aren’t are getting fed information from top level sources of guidance. Bigger companies are wading into crowdfunding and giving away their strategies these days to promote loyalty, so many smaller campaigners adopt attitudes and approaches to match. It’s a mismatch, of course, but it happens anyway. 15 year old kids with card games are operate like their prepping for an IPO. See this article for examples. It’s way more serious than I expected. While I get that people’s dreams are riding on campaigns, many seem to have taken an extra leap. I didn’t see the time devoted to interpersonal elements, like was suggested. People didn’t take the taking the time to chat when invited. I found it interesting that many campaigners were promoting social agendas and larger global initiatives, but I didn’t see a much higher response rate there. The marketing may looks fuzzier, but it didn’t translate down the wire. But I can’t leave out the possibility my approach and lack of skill in managing online communities was to blame. So, again, feeling this out out it can be tricky. 

For instance;

Probably 95% of the campaigners I reached out to ignored my emails. The 5% who did respond replied with suspicion, perhaps imagining I was trying to hack their funding models?… Who knows. A few were outright hostile. I had one fellow raising money for a biker cookbook belittle me for sending him what he called a spam my message. And honestly, it wasn’t my best. But his re-activeness was an example of a bigger pattern I ran into on Kickstarter and IndieGogo, which in the end made them both huge turnoffs. I saw oodles of false entitlement wrapped up in the clicky codes and operating ethics unique to the online crowdfunding worlds.  At one point I got reported, which was funny to me.  I wasn’t aware that this could even happen. But apparently it could, and it did. My banishment was executed on Kickstarter. I discovered they have a limit on the amount of messages a person can send.  I was reinstated pretty quickly, but this seemed an odd response. I mean here I am on a community building platform, and I get excommunicated for trying to build relationships?… While I’d hoped and worked towards a better outcome, I wasn’t really surprised by what unfolded. Despite the expert advice, I could see the crap as I was stepping into it. The advice I’d got just didn’t prove applicable. It’s a different world of relationships in there with different rules, a mashup of those found in online communities, fundraising and social media circles.  So, I had some real learning to do.  From an observation level, what I experienced seems to jive with some of the research I’ve come across on the impact of technology and social media on relationship skillsets. The best and worse of human behavior tends to get amplified in the digital worlds.  A colleague sent me this article published in the The Atlantic that seems to illustrate this idea pretty clearly.  Interestingly, I stand in the middle regarding technology and it’s impact on relational development. I see good and bad, which seems a universal truth. I actually happened to be preparing to speak on a school panel on the issue of technology addiction while writing this.  

So back to my adventure in crowdfunding….  So the dilemma became do I keep plugging away at this, or change things up? Perhaps make an effort to raise my public profile and then try to step back into crowdfunding world? Maybe being more visible could help get me cross the stuffiness gap I’d run into. Truth be told, I wasn’t offended by what I found. Frustrated maybe. It’s just humans doing human. If I’ve learned anything as a marriage and family therapist, it’s that there’s a world of hidden rules when we step into any new relationship. I was also reminded that people tend to shy away from people they’re not familiar with. Just review the magazines at the check out line the next time your in the grocery store. This idea scales in crowdfunding communities too. If people see you’ve been featured on a 30 second spotlight on Fox News, for instance, you instantly become a better bet. Ritual investments of time and money stand as proof that you’re willing to do what needs to be done as a campaigner. Being friendly and driven to do wonderful things ain’t enough, in most cases.  Again, it’s a cultural capital thing not entirely unique to the crowdfunding world. 

So, in the end, I decided to take a temporary leave of absence from Kickstarter and Indigogo. It turned out to be a good thing, as I discovered the value of alternative crowdfunding sources like Patreon. This platform grants more leeway to creator-types like me, and takes away much of the pressures that come with time-sensitive campaigning. I opened an account you can see HERE if you want a look. I have a goal of supporting community projects and larger global initiatives through my brand, so Patreon seemed made sense for this too. I addition, I decided to reach out to other founders in my networks who’ve attached their brands to larger community missions. One of the first conversations I had was with Cameron Brown,the CEO of Thriving Collective. I’d had a good conversation with him when he was a guest on The Pioneers of Insight, which is one of my podcasts. He’s a charismatic eco warrior who’s managed this tightrope of building a business around a larger cause. So, I’ll write about what I learned from him next. 

Click here to listen to my interview with Thriving Collective CEO Cameron Brown  

And here’s a video where I grapple with the issue of a purpose-driven life

 

What Do You Do With Absolute Security?…

I love this quote, “do what you’d do if you felt most secure.”

It’s like a message in bottle that’s just as alive now as it was 800 years ago! Meister Eckhart, a philosopher-monk who lived in the middle age, is credited as being it’s author. I had a dream about this guy when I was in the middle of a research project a few years ago. He’s ended up becoming a spiritual mentor of sorts. He was helpful then and still is now, at least in terms of the value his insights continue to bring me.

If you’re curious, here’s an image of Meister that’s managed to survive the ages.

I think this is a great quote to reflect on as it points to a mystery within human nature. It’s this;

The way we feel about ourselves matters.

We can build multi-billion dollar complexes to smash atoms, design computers to decode DNA, air condition 5 acre football stadiums, but none of it’s enough if we simply feel bad.

Why does feeling matter at all?

As human beings, feelings point us back to our nature. We aren’t just thinking or believing beings, we’re feeling beings. Feelings flow from what we think and believe, but ultimately it’s feelings that carry the most weight.  For instance, you can live a life thinking, believing, and doing all the right things, and still fall short. If you don’t feel loved, you don’t have squat. And the biggest leap we all need to take is learning how to love ourselves. If we’re not connected to the type of love that radiates from within, we’re stuck with conditional love. And that won’t do the trick over the long haul. Probably most importantly, feelings point us back to an essential truth. Love is what ultimately sets us free.

So back to Meister Eckhart’s idea of doing what you’d do if you felt most secure. Let’s pause to think that through. If you felt absolutely secure, you wouldn’t actually need anything. Desire would go away. Doubt and fear too. You’d be left with love, so you’d act out of love. Love provides the keys to actualize freedom. This quote is a doozie, as it challenges us to reflect on what it would take for each of us to love and free ourselves.

So today, I want to encourage you reflect on feeling as a path to love and freedom. But just for a bit. Remember, thinking is not enough. Feeling is what’s important. By learning to engage feeling, we get a compass to find our way home.

Here’s a suggestion:

Self love is an art that starts with believing in yourself. Which means believing in your ability to care for yourself, manage, and direct your life. Believing starts with thinking, so I’d encourage you to start there. If you’ve lost trust in your ability to create happiness, do it anyway. The act of repeating these thoughts over time will influence what you believe and how you feel about yourself.

So simply start by repeating this basic thought, “I am good enough.” It’s a powerful mantra. Again, if you find yourself battling this thought, or feeling like a charlatan for thinking it, keep going. See that as a signal to invest more. Remember, you may have spent a lifetime thinking and believing otherwise, so this takes some effort. But start with thinking, because it tends to be easier than trying to start by believing or feeling the ultimate outcome. It’s much easier to get traction with thinking. Imagine if I said, so just FEEL different, or stop believing the thoughts you have! Not easy to start from there…

Every day, practice this art of thinking as the path to believing in yourself. Remember love grows where love flows. But also realize it’s work to tend a garden. You will have to work consistently at this!

Here’s a video and a episode where I wade into these things 

What do you fear the most?

So this mediation came out of a talk with a great spiritual mentor.

The talk, and encounter, was part of a magical string of events that happened over the course of a couple years. This conversation was a highlight of a very adventurous research project I’d taken on while serving as faculty of a graduate program and balancing a practice. I’ll talk more about that later in the blog, and you’ll hear more about it on the show. But I’ll spoil the punchline just a bit here; this mentor wasn’t alive, so to speak. He was a soul that came through while my colleague was in a deep hypnotic trance -which was part of the research process we were developing.

We’d taken on this project to gain insights into ways to help people release deeply-seated trauma. And honestly, we were also playing around a bit. We both considered ourselves healers first, and professional therapist’s second. So with the research we did allow ourselves to play.  Anyway, this soul stepped through. He had a lot to say about the process we were developing which proved to be enormously helpful.  Eventually our chat turned into a  a much bigger conversation about soul, soul purpose, and soul journeys. There  ended up being many enlightening conversations that followed.

Some of ideas that really stood out were the notion that fear and pain were signals, or information that the soul uses to guide it’s ultimate purpose. Neither were bad, necessarily. Ultimately it was how we respond to our fear that’s important. This soul went on to explain that there was a“shortcut” to help people discover their true purpose. He said, “take them to the most painful moment in their life. Behind the pain is a thread of experiences that goes back to the birth of their soul. He called this an “original wound.” He then said, “our purpose and greatest opportunity for happiness lay in ability to face the fears attached to that pain. It’s that simple,” he said. 

The other way to look at this is that pain and fear are messengers. They’re threads that connect us to our soul’s purpose, intentions, and desires. Learning to see emotion, trust emotion, process and then move through it is the whole deal. We don’t feel by accident. Learning to relate to our feelings mindfully unleashes our highest potential. They lead us home to our deepest truths. They aren’t distractions or byproducts to be ignored, which is shitty notion that gets perpetuated in our culture. Misunderstood or repressed feelings can create problems, but feelings alone are not. They’re reflections of power and ability as creator souls. They’re game changers, in other words. So, I personally found this idea behind fear and pain to be a validation of my own evolution as a healer. Pain is a purifier. Fear tells me where I need to go.

So, I invite you to consider how you can make use of his this idea in your life.  Pain and fear, when addressed mindfully, can help you take a quantum leap in every area of your life. Start small, as it smarts a bit to undertake this. Look at one area of your life. Then ask yourself, what pain am I running from? What fears do I just not want to face?… Again, this could be in your relationships, career, and spiritual life. The most painful area will represent your greatest opportunity for growth and happiness. It’s what you came here to address, if you’re open to running with that idea.  It is hard work, so I recommend you take it slowly. But go anyway. Steadily move towards a greater understanding of what they have to teach you.

Here’s an episode where I interviewed author and Transformational Leader Shajen Joy Aziz. We dig into a few of these issues. And a video for icing on the cake too!

 

Meditations for Soulful Citizens

So, I’ve been thinking about ways I can offer more to our growing community.  Not to just add content for content’s sake, but offering something to help you continue your growth conversations. 2018 is my year to step forward as a healer, so I thought adding meditations could be a good fit.

But then I thought, there’s millions of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts offering daily reflections. Which means most of you have more choices than you know what to do with there. Then I thought about, “soulful meditations. ” I poked around and saw there’s less stuff that puts our daily challenges into the perspective of the larger Soul Journey.  So the light went on. This felt like it could be valuable and worth the effort.

So I’m calling these Meditations for Soulful Citizens. I’ll be offering reflections around the idea of Soulful Success, and that here is the idea that ultimate success comes from meaningful connection with our highest identify and purpose.

So I just published the first of what I hope will be many meditations to come. I’m targeting daily publication, however I’m not going to be too rigid about that. I’ve discovered ultimatums are great for crazy making. So I’ll aim high and do my best to get them often. I’m imagining them as something you’ll listen to during your daily commute or after a morning stretch, run, or waking up with a cup of or coffee. 

Here’s the text and link to the first meditation on acceptance. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ->> http://bit.ly/2CwaD91

ACCEPTANCE

Today you’ll walk into a world of differences. All of us will. But beyond those difference lies a wealth of positive energy. We can tap into it if we learn to see past the differences and connect based upon similarities. This is a choice that moves us into a world of contrasts. When we see things in terms of contrasts, like people for instance, we’re able to see that we’re all essentially shades of the same thing. So this step can kick off a powerful process of change.

We can call this the process of acceptance. Learning to accept the differences we see around us helps us on the inside too. It triggers inward growth, or self-acceptance. The more we accept about others and our world, the more we grow.  We literally expand, as we gain resources through new relationships. And we gain more access to the resources available to us as souls. Our consciousness expands too, so lots of spiritual goodies come into focus.  So we experience gains equally, both in our waking and spiritual life. 

So here’s a suggestion to put it into practice:

Think about the soulful people and organizations you admire. Be discerning and try not to judge. Look to see, not seek differences. What did you discover? Perhaps compassion, unity, and tolerance? Innovation? Diversity? If so, these are all byproducts of acceptance. Now take a look at yourself, lovingly. What do you see?… Remember, try not to judge. Awakening your highest potential doesn’t have to be a struggle, learning to exercise compassion is key. So start by looking at yourself with kindness and without judgement.  Whatever you discover, practice acceptance. The path to your soul is a road paved through self-acceptance.  

Here’s a Meditation For Soulful Citizens episode where we wrestle with this issue of moving past judgement. I’ve also included a video too!