Dream a new dream…

Dream a new dream…

800px-Lincoln_Memorial_I_Have_a_Dream_Marker_2413Getting started….taking the first step…..staring at a blank page…..this is the hardest part of starting anything new.  Those of us who have been on the planet a few years may WANT to go from being frozen to forward motion – but how do we do that?  I’ve written before about the need to do something dramatic to get yourself out of a rut.  So if you find yourself wondering what happened to the last 6 months and fretting over why nothing has yet happened, don’t feel bad because you’re not alone.

To start something new or to gain some forward momentum in your life it’s important to first think of something you’d like to do.  If you’re anything like me, you got caught up in work and family and life in general, and you can’t even remember what your dreams were when you were young.  No time to fret over that……just look forward.  So step one in a new life is to dream a new dream – think of something new you’d like to do no matter how weird it sounds for a 95 year old to start medical school or an overweight middle aged housewife to begin ballet classes.   WHO CARES?  I mean really – do you really care what anyone else thinks?  And quite frankly in my book if someone else thinks you can’t do it- all the more reason TO DO IT.  Use that negativity as a motivating force to get you moving towards your dream.

So step one – dream a new dream.  Make a list of all the things you have ever wanted to do and throw in a few things you just realized you want to do.  Then review and refine the list by crossing off the things you’re less than enthused about and settle on one or two things that you want to accomplish.  Perhaps you want to learn a new language or improve on an old one?  Maybe your goal is to lose weight or become comfortable in your own skin (whatever weight that might be).  Or maybe you have always wanted to write a book?  If  so start off with a blog – you can write whatever you want (apparently, ha) and there’s no one to stop you or tell you you’re not good at it. Your dream can and should be anything you want it to be and it doesn’t matter if it seems absurd.  Just give yourself permission to dream or to do whatever you want to do.  The point is to just dream a new dream and get started on your new life.  That’s the first step in the sequence of many steps that will make up your future.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  Harriet Tubman

Jot of Joy

Jot of Joy

By putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, you’ll see things with fresh eyes, and solutions you may never have noticed will crop up, one after another, until you realize that you’ve just had a very, very bright idea, one that might just help you realize your heart’s desires.

 “The Joy Diet”

Does what we think influence what happens to us?

Does what we think influence what happens to us?

The other day I said to my sister “What would happen if I parked in a Handicap parking spot and then got a ticket?”  She said “Oh that would never happen…forget it about it” and I went on about my business. Literally the next day I pulled into Best Buy and for some completely moronic reason that escapes me now, I parked in a handicapped spot (I had just dropped my sister off a physical therapy….as she had just had knee surgery…so I had her handicapped placard hanging in the car….but regardless of that it was admittedly, a totally moronic thing to do).  When I exited the store, sure enough, there was a cop standing there.  A really pissed off cop…by the way.  I cannot tell you how stupid I acted or the totally banal things I said to this guy….its any wonder that the guy didn’t arrest me on the spot.  I just got flustered I guess and got myself deeper and deeper with each word.  After the whole ordeal was over…..I felt worse than I had the only time I was ever fired from a job.  So I sat in the car for a while and wondered “is it possible that I just made that happen by thinking about it?  Or was this was just a coincidence?  I wonder what a statistician would say the likelihood of THAT event occurring by chance?  I had JUST said that the day before….had my thoughts or words about this very thing made it happen? Despite feeling pretty blue on the outside, I was actually secretly happy to see that I had influenced SOMETHING…..no matter what it was.  At least I had seen the cause and effect of my thoughts.  And now, I thought to myself, I just have to figure out exactly what I did and do the opposite of that.  Instead of making something bad happen could I figure out how to make good things happen?  Is that even possible?

This is a point worth discussing……and quite frankly I’d love to discuss it with YOU.  I’ve been reading a bunch of books lately about this subject starting with the worst one “The Secret”.  It’s not that I didn’t LIKE that book. I DID.  But I went through the same process as everyone else feeling like a total idiot when a new Mercedes  Benz didn’t show up in my driveway after I time contemplating it.  But it kind of left me wondering “so what the heck do I do next?”.  First of all, if I’m going to read a book like that, I’d appreciate it the author would tell me HOW they made their million dollars and HOW they got their new car, or the Man (or Woman) of their dreams, etc.  Quite frankly if I had to guess I’d say that we’ve all been pretty discouraged by the results (or lack there of) of practicing the tenants of “The Secret”.

But rather than just forget the whole idea because of one mediocre book, I decided that it seems like there’s something to this. AND by the way, it appears that other people are talking about this very thing now (have you ever noticed how that happens?  You discover something new and think it’s totally novel, only to discover that half the planet is already buzzing about it!  But I digress!).  Perhaps it’s time for our species to take a step up to the next level of our development and look beyond the Newtonian Physics that we’ve all been taught as young adults….and at least think about the possibility that there may be some way to manipulate or direct our lives to our benefit.  All I can say is that even if there’s one chance in hell that this can be done I think it’s worth trying to figure it out.  (and by the way I am a Christian and I do not think this conflicts with the tenants of Christianity…..Jesus often taught that the words we speak have the power to influence our lives).

OK so to conclude for today, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from a book I’ve been reading by “The best known life coach in America” (as per USA Today)….Martha Beck (of Oprah fame).  She opens the book (Steering by Starlight: The science and magic of finding your destiny) with this:

“The first guy to go in always carries a shotgun” says Kirk Fowler.  He’s not a big man, for a law enforcer; in fact he’s not much taller than I am.  This is a quality I appreciate in a martial arts instructor.  Kirk is my sensei, and in the middle of a lesson, he’s telling me how he used to serve warrants on suspected drug runners and coyotes  con-artists who take would-be immigrants’ money, then load them into trucks and abandon them in the desert to die.  “These are really violet people,” Kirk says, “and they have an intense fight-or-flight reaction at the first sight of the officers.  They’re usually doing drugs as well as selling them, and that makes them about as violet and unpredictable as humans get.  You’re never in more danger than when you’re walking into a room to serve a warrant.  It’s scary as hell.”

It’s hard to imagine Kirk terrified.  He’s a master of aikido, a martial art that focuses more on inner peace than on physical power.  I’m learning aikido because it works like magic.  Literally.  An aikido master gently touches your head and suddenly you’re on the floor.  You try to slug him and you can barely lift your arm.  These effects feel almost supernatural, but given a few minutes anyone can use them well enough to see that they’re real.  So it isn’t surprising that Kirk’s aikido training was very helpful when he worked for the border patrol.  What is surprising is the way it helped.

“One day when I was serving a warrant,m I decided to try going in with my energy totally calm and relaxed, instead of high adrenaline.  The suspects were in a motel room, wired, scared and well armed.  To reach a place where my energy was calm, I had to imagine that all of them were already dead.  So I went into that room feeling really quiet and respectful, the way you’d feel going to a funeral.  And when i opened the door, no one did anything.  The suspects just looked at me as though they’d invited me to a summer picnic.  they cooperated with the officers through the whole arrest.  Even to me that was weird.  From then on I kept my energy tuned that way whenever we served a warrant.  I still had the shotgun. But I never needed it.  Over and over, people who should have fought or run simply started cooperating.”

OK just FYI as I discover more about this I will share more with you….if you’re interested.  PLEASE if you see my blog, say hello.

The beauty in life far outweighs the pain…..

The beauty in life far outweighs the pain…..

 

I could talk all day on the subject of pain and fear – because unfortunately I’ve become intimately aware of the former and often found myself fighting against the latter.  Fear and Hate and Anger and the resulting pain is very pervasive in the world we live in.  If you turn on the TV, you are inundated by negative stories that could put even Gandhi in a bad mood.  Despite all that negativity, I DO see beauty wherever I look.  Even when a terrible thing happens, I still see love in it’s wake. I thank GOD for that perspective.  After the Boston Marathon Bomb – passers by were the first to help & comfort the hurt and dying.   EMT’s rushed in to stabilize victims and hospital personnel practically killed themselves working non-stop shifts just to save people’s lives.  Often when something bad happens, people come together to help one another displaying incredible selflessness. And even in humanity’s darkest moments….there is still GOOD in the world.

Fear & negativity don’t get you anywhere, by the way.  I admit that there are many negative things in life that can induce fear – the ideas of death, destitution, hunger,anger, rejection, unrequited love, failure, loss, separation, pain and illness are enough to turn anyone into a Scrooge.  Yes life can deliver some awful things – and most of those things are scary as hell.  For that reason I want to focus on the things that heal and mend and lift us up a little bit each day.

A few years ago I was working on the “V-Chip”project and was contacted by the office of the Vice President (which at the time was Al Gore).  They wanted me and my father (an incredible entrepreneur & inventor named Andrew Andros) to demonstrate a product we had been working on that would give parents the ability to control the amount of violent and perverse TV shows that their children had access to  (something we take for granted now, but there actually was a time when this wasn’t an option).  My father later testified about Violence in the Media before the Senate Commerce Committee.  At that time people were starting to wonder if children were being influenced by violent images in the media.  To bring our product to market (the “TV Guardian”) I did a great deal of research on the subject and found that the images we see DO influence our bodies in very much the same way as the food we ingest.  Think of it this way….if you wake in the morning and eat a bag of salty corn chips….and did the same for lunch and then for dinner…..How do you think you’d feel?  How healthy would you be?  The things we eat  influence how healthy we are.  BUT do the things we SEE influence how we feel and think?  Unless you’re a sociopath I’m sure the last scary movie you saw scared the hell out of you.  When the body senses fear a whole series of chemicals are released in the body to prepare us for fight or flight.  OF COURSE if you consistently ingest negative images (scenes of hurt and anger and fear and greed)you are going to influence your own body chemistry in the same way.  There’s a great deal of research out there that talks about how stress affects the human body.  There are also studies that support the idea that what we THINK influences what we are and how we feel.  If you don’t believe me, read my blog posting called “Messages from water & beyond. With that in mind try to take some extra time each day to look for the beauty and joy in life…..heal your heart by stopping to smell a flower or snuggling with and loving your children or pets.  Think about the people out there that volunteer to help the homeless or people who sacrifice their lives caring for the sick and helpless.  Love and hope and joy ARE out there.  Surround yourself with beautiful art, music, laughter, joyous people and all the things in life that heal us.

I want to remind your heart….your inner child…about something.  I think we all had a sort of wisdom about truth when we were younger and as life goes on that truth gets fainter and fainter each day.  We forget where we came from and as the world loads us up with all the reasons to be afraid, we have to make a point to reach up….to look up and seek the hand of God and rediscover that we’re not alone.  We have to remember that the glue that holds the whole big universe together is love; and nothing is more important than love.

I God the Father 12don’t understand any more than anyone why bad things happen to good people, but I do believe with all my heart that there IS a creative designer and that He sent us here to live these human lives to learn somethingto seek and rediscover love in all its different forms.  God does exist and there’s more to life than the years between our physical birth and death.  Jesus promised us this and science is discovering proof of this more and more each day.  Knowing that death is not the end helps us to trudge through the muck. Knowing that we will some day be reunited with those we’ve loved and lost and knowing that we’ll reunite with the one central love of GOD, puts all the pain in perspective.  Think about it – if you KNEW for sure that there was life after death and that “death” wasn’t really the end…..but rather some incredible, beautiful, enlightened and brilliant new beginning…a gateway into the divine…..then that would help us to put death into a different light.  It doesn’t do a whole lot for the suffering part, but the death part really becomes way more tolerable.  That’s why I thank God for the perspective He gave me…..it’s a great gift just to be able to see the beauty (but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop that skill, either).  I realize this is a stretch but it does remind me of all the highly over publicized court cases that are beaten to a pulp in the media.  People are frequently bitching because “so and so wasn’t convicted of that crime.” And then the media finally releases one last little tid bit of information that makes sense out of everything…..and we all collectively say “OH well why didn’t they just tell us that?”

For some reason GOD has veiled our minds and hearts from the truth about death.  Yes, He’s thrown us a bone here and there, but He’s essentially mandated that we live our lives in a sort of amnesia.  He’s set things up so that we live our lives blinded from the truth for the most part, in a sort of “life long test” to see if “unaided” we can find love & truth.  I still believe (with all my heart) that someday the veil will be lifted and we’ll all collectively say “OH, well why didn’t You just tell us that?” (but by then we’ll be so thrilled that we’re enveloped in the love of God that we’ll most likely be speechless and in awe of God and completely unable and unwilling to bitch about anything at all).

Meanwhile…..we live and laugh and cry….and we seek and love and listen and we do what we can to uncover the truth from the heap of “life” that truth is hidden under.  I hope that just thinking about….and knowing that the good is out there helps you to find it in your own life.   I may not know you but I know you’re out there…..and I’m sending love your way.


 

If you find anything of interest here, won’t you please feel free to talk to me about it?  I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than talk to YOU about what you think.

How the people that bug us the most, can help us.

How the people that bug us the most, can help us.

jungThere is something to this saying from Jung that “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”   

My sister and I had an argument once….and in the middle of this knock down drag out screaming fest I realized that all the things I was saying about her, were the exact same things she was saying about me.  20 years later I haven’t stopped thinking about that moment in time – what it meant and what it said about who and what I am.

As difficult as it is – if this same thing ever happens to you –  stop and ask yourself if the things this other person is saying about you are true. Ask yourself who this other person is and if they have any reason to lie to you or to hurt you.

I’m not saying that it’s 100% for sure that the things they’re saying will be true, but I am saying that they COULD be true and no one is going to help you to come to this revelation besides yourself.

Do yourself a favor and start by being honest with yourself.  It’s funny but that’s one of the hardest things in the world to do – to see yourself as you really are.  Have you ever noticed how the heavier person doesn’t see themselves as quite that fat or the person with heavy-duty wrinkles thinks they look great for their age?  Have you ever noticed how different you look when you look in the mirror vs. how you look in a snap shot?  It is hard to be realistic about ourselves and of course it’s always easier to criticize someone else OTHER than ourselves.

Take this opportunity to try to see yourself through your loved ones eyes….make sure that person really does love you and isn’t suffering from their own delusions of perception, but if you know them and trust them, you should consider if their criticisms of you are true.

Don’t beat yourself up over it…..just try to see yourself for who you really are.  Then if you don’t like what and who you see, CHANGE.  Don’t listen to that BS that people say “you can’t teach and old dog new tricks.”  That is pure doggie doo doo.  You can do and be whoever and whatever you want to be.

Start by being honest with yourself.  Don’t get depressed by what and who you see….just take strength and joy from knowing that you can do and be whoever you want to be.