Occasionally things go awry. Messages get sent that aren’t meant for the eyes of the end receiver. Sometimes such an event can cause the unexpected discontinuation of trust. When trust gets unraveled, it’s often difficult if not impossible for that trust to be restored. Such an event has occurred during this experience, which is why I must now terminate my personal Master Key Experience. The lesson herein is to treat life as if always the main character, center stage. Everyone is watching. There is no hidden backstage for performing differently. My hope is this experience will be constructive for those needing to tighten up their role. Always be your authentic best. If you are always authentic, you don’t experience the hiccups of someone unbeknownst seeing less than ideal backstage performance.
This week I am encountering myself. How I wish to show up fully, thoroughly, without my wardrobe of masks and with authenticity. It seems I’m so used to wearing those masks, I struggle to know who I really am. These tendencies were never materialized from a motivation of being fake, but that is the inherent result all the same. Like muscle that is atrophied, it becomes so easy to lose shape and strength. After long enough, I add the story that this is just the way it is.
Realizing these things finds me at a distinct crossroads. I can take the red pill or the blue pill. I can plod along on what seems as if it were an easy path and do the same thing; with the same results and the same output. Or I can double down and choose the more difficult, higher risk, more likely to stumble, rediscovery of what I don’t know that I don’t know path. And I can begin to live. I’m fighting for my life, not my mere survival and therefore the second path is inevitable.
To say that this weekend has been a pivotal and grand moment that defines the rest of my days grossly underestimates the reality of it! The term "breakthrough" equally expresses merely the slightest depiction of the reality. I believe no human words exist that could encapsulate all that has taken place for me!
For years I have been acutely aware of my insecurity in holding eye contact with anyone for any length of time; even my own daughter. All the effort I have put forth in my attempts to improve this trait have resulted in exhaustion with no significant change in my habits. ALL of this is now changed, forever!!
"Concentration is much misunderstood: there seems to be an idea of effort or activity associated with it, when just the contrary is necessary." -Haanel 17-6
This weekend I discovered the depth of the mutual exchange residing in the connection between two people when they look into one anothers eyes. The exercise which introduced this idea for me was one of the toughest things I have ever found myself performing. Exhaustive effort was necessary to carry it out. In very much the same way that a newcomer to fitness performs his new workout routine for the first time, my thoughts enveloped doubt and uncertainty. Focusing on this exercise and carrying through with it has ALREADY made it an activity requiring no effort or even conscious thought. Nothing sums up proof of this more than what I experienced at the airport upon returning home.
Having departed the plane I was waiting for the train to the main terminal when I noticed a man escorting a very slight elderly lady, presumably in her late 80s to early 90s. As I watched them approach a train car two away from mine, she glanced my way and I just felt the whole of my being just BEAMING at her! She caught my eye and quickly glanced away with a smile on her face. But then the sunshine glory of her gaze returned to connect with mine and OH! The pure rapture of our connection! That encounter will NEVER, ever leave my memory! No effort or conscious activity on my part in this encounter would have done any more than hinder the utter beauty of the moment!
We may think we are here developing ourselves for our personal wellness and success and we are right. But there is SO MUCH MORE to it! This world NEEDS us! The world and the people living on it are starving for what we have to share! And as these gifts develop, we rapidly find that the Law of Giving and Receiving comes into action IMMEDIATELY! Why not give it a try! Everyone wins!
We are past the midpoint of week 16, and I am preparing for a journey. A journey by plane. A journey to the unknown. A journey that conjures memories of when I first jumped from a perfectly good airplane at 15,000 feet. You may know what I'm talking about; that point after gawking out the window at the shadow of the rapid ascent of the tiny single engine plane you inhabit, indicated by the quick shrinking of that shadow against barren desert below. Sweaty palms. Adrenaline pump valve fully open. Finally my time to sit on the ledge. And. Fall.
When the plane begins accelerating down the runway I could still chicken out, maybe. But sitting on the ledge, tied to another who controls everything? Well, it's rather settled then.
Early tomorrow I fly out to San Diego, fulfilling the impassioned desire of my lovely and brilliant daughter for the purpose of attending a leadership program that will convene on several weekends through May. Here's what I've learned. It is life-changing IF you choose to challenge all that you are by staying committed to the end. It will gain intensity with each session. I will need to have with me the thoughtful and beautiful-to-me handkerchief my daughter gave me in a beautifully wrapped box. The sessions begin soon after I check in at the hotel. Snack and meal opportunities can be tough to coordinate. Ah, I got this one! Therefore, I'm backpacking in San Diego, right beside a marina with a multi-million dollar inventory of yachts. Have coffee maker, have hot water, have hot oatmeal and soups!
A bucket list item for me is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and, in ways, I feel like I'm embarking on that. Perhaps it's partly due to heading to the right stepping-off-the-ledge-from-the-civilized-world point for the PCT. I don't know. Perhaps it's the amount of unknowns I'm facing. I don't know what the content of this endeavor really holds, but I do know I need an industrial strength tissue! Let's call this my mental PCT.
One thing that surely is a "known" for me; I feel far more prepared and better equipped for this journey having experienced the Master Key. And this brings me to thoughts of my daughter. With fewer years on this earth and different experiences, I am infinitely awestruck, just as I have been so many times, by her strength, courage and drive to embark upon and see this program through to the conclusion. There were numerous individuals who did not do as she did. As I prepare for these unknowns, I think of her, knowing I will persist and I will succeed. If I had to get up on a stage and sing, which is probably my biggest fear, though I have no problem public speaking, I would do it. If I had to ride a roller coaster that does loops, which I hate, I would do it. No matter what this journey brings, I WILL DO IT. There are so many reasons for myself that I will do it. But if I chickened out of every last one of them, I WILL DO IT. For her. I can't think of a better ledge to be on at this moment!
"…Natural laws work in a perfectly natural and harmomious manner; everything seems to 'just happen'". (Haanel 16:31)
I am in the period of reconstruction according to part sixteen's introduction. You may do the math. And I see these characteristics of 16:31 happening all around me. That I am packing and preparing for this journey to begin tomorrow is testimony to this. Stay tuned!
"We cannot escape from the pictures we incessantly photograph on the mind, and this photography of erroneous conceptions is exactly what is being done by use of words, when we use any form of langage which is not identified with our welfare." -Haanel 15:15
I could spend a full six months with this one precept. It is truly amazing to look back over recent years and realize that less than ideal words held refuge in the subconcnscious even when I thought my path had transcended some age-old struggles. I had overcome a very damaging relationship, brought my body to the best level of fitness I had ever had, even developed a new relationship out of the blue. I was flying high on how my life had transformed. So what did I lack? At the time, I would emphatically responded, "Nothing! Nothing at all." And then…
My world caved in. And then other bits caved in further. And finally to cap it all off, my body decided to hit the rewind button and throttle me back to days of low self-confidence. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that I once struggled with and believed to be history, returned. I would sit in front of my mirror, putting on my makeup, and then bust into tears, negating the whole point, while my inner voice was saying, "Why? You're just putting lipstick on a pig!" It's tough to admit and tougher to believe that these words would eminate from within me to myself. But they did!
Now I know how raw and transparent these things are to write and therefore to read. However, this transparency brings to the surface the demand to get the greatest form of architecture in order. Thank goodness for the Master Key Experience. It literally gave my inner mesages great pause when I needed it most. When I previously thought I was in a great place, I was actually building my inner world completely on the outer and temporary manifestations.
"Words may become mental places that will live forever, or they may become shacks which the first breeze will carry away." -Haanel 15:22
Just like the proverbial house built on sand, my inner world immediately followed my outer world, right out to sea! Everything was swept away as life's storms unsettled it all. I had no foundation anchored in bedrock. Just as when one visits family after 20 years and it feels like no time has past, my self-deprecation, insecurity, and perceived insignificance tromped dirt right into my living space and plopped down on the couch of my heart and mind, and it felt as if we had only been apart for an hour.
Nothing demonstrates the importance of getting the thought life right than experience. Just as the Universe has a way of doing, the Master Key Experience enveloped me at just the right moment of my life. Desperate to rebuild my inner home with solid materials that will not crush, rust, spoil, rot or drift away! Quality takes time to build, and I am in it for as long as it takes!
Well, this blog entry will be far too brief and simple. My chosen movie to view was, “Wild”. I wish I had selected another. I have not read the book yet, though I have a copy. I’m pretty certain I will forego that and use my reading time more wisely. I have previously read and viewed other life journey/trail-related stories that were intellectual, inspiring, challenging, life-changing. I would describe “Wild” more like a whiny, despondent struggling-to-work-a-drug-and-sex-ravaged-life out by charging into a major undertaking with the same level of preparation and experience as one charges into a drug-and-sex-addicted life with. I don’t recommend this movie unless one is trying to lose a couple hours, senselessly and wastefully.
There are too many inspiring stories out there to have to endure this one. With poor sound, lots of flashes of inappropriate actions throughout the movie and generally an overall lack of objectivity, I don’t find this movie necessary to try to draw some meaning from. Just as we address other aspects of our personal and business growth, if a child can’t do it, then don’t do it. Needless to say, this is not a movie for a child in the least.
-Hi there! Yes you! If you are in a hurry, please pass my writing and take the 5 minutes to view the video linked at the end of the blog. It may change you!
Throughout the Master Key, there have been so many ideas that have particularly stuck with me. I must confess that I adore how often the priniciples are likened to weaving, tapestries, looms and fabric since I am a new weaver. When I weave, the fibers, the shuttles, the final cloth, the creative energies, all provide for me the same analogous mind work as found in our texts. My abilities have certainly improved since beginning the Master Key and I know it is due to letting go of perfection and, more importantly, FEAR!
"Thought will bring about conditions in correspondence with the predominant mental attitude. Therefore if we FEAR disaster, as FEAR is a powerful form of thought, disaster will be the certain result of our thinking. It is this form of thought which frequently sweeps away the result of many years of toil and effort." Haanel 13-16
It is easy to think of fear as a fleeting emotion, as if it leaves as fast as it arrives; a moment of indulgent absenteeism. As Haanel indicates, however it is a POWERFUL FORM OF THOUGHT. When one thinks of fear as a powerful form of thought, it becomes not so fleeting. It sounds more like an unwanted house guest, taking up residence against ones will. In fact it's a sloppy house guest, leaving a trail of rubbish in its wake; never honoring ones values; staying up late at night with the TV blaring. unaware or unsympathetic to the host's chosen habits. An ungrateful, unwanted, inconsiderate guest!
Exploring fear even further, let's contemplate our decision-making; all decisions we've made that come to mind: large, simple, miniscule decisions, everything. What makes the cornerstone of all the decisions we make? Honest introspection brings me to realizing fear has been my cornerstone! While fear has it's proper position in context, easily synonymous with common sense- do not climb into the lion exhibit at the zoo- the fear I'm addressing is that wall which obstructs ones path to potential GREATNESS.
"What if I waste material by messing up while I learn to weave?"
"What if the people I share my business with reject me? Even worse- what if they get MAD at me?"
"What if my car gets dinged when I park in this busy parking lot?"
"I would love to travel, but what if the plane crashes?"
Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear will guarantee mediocrity. So what do we do?
The Law of Substitution states that we cannot think about 2 things at the same time. Therefore when moving about the day, make the conscious effort to ensure that boldness and confidence in the making of your future self replace FEAR as the cornerstone of the choices made. Does this apply in every situation? YES! Because if you are fearful first, the big and small decisions emit from that form of thought; that WAY OF LIFE.
I conclude here by sharing this most impactful video, which set all this straight in my head today. Considering this man's persistent choices in continuing the dialogue, I'm certain FEAR would have made me completely ignore the first message had I received it. Yet look what happened because this man chose to continue! Please, if you often pass up such things, assuming you have gotten the gist of the message already, please CHOOSE to follow through this time. It may change you!
Here is the link: https://youtu.be/A_yEnZlZFnM
I'll be the change I want to see in the world, first by letting go of FEAR!
No task is successful without keen focus. "If a sculptor started out with a piece of marble and a chisel and changed his ideal every 15 minutes, what result could he expect? And why should YOU expect any different result in molding the greatest and most plastic of all substances, the only real substance?" (Haanel 12-7)
"The result of this indecision and negative thought is often found in the loss of material wealth. Supposed independence which required many years of toil and effort suddenly disappears." (Haanel 12-8)
Did I just read my biography? Again, again and again I find my old blueprint seeping up through the cracks of my consciousness, working me into the mental lather accurately described above. Energy without keen, singular focus is best described as mental lather; lots of production that lacks substance at its conclusion. That old blueprint would have me lose my grip and only hold my magnifying glass by a string. As soon as I focus on the image it magnifies, the focus of that old glass is moving off in another direction and focusing on another object.
Nearing the halfway mark of MKE and I am intently focused on two things: burning the old blueprint once for all and keenly magnifying my focus on what I want; the design for my now and my tomorrow.
"Your ideal must be sharp, clear-cut, definite!"
No scattering of my forces. These words are sensible on paper but only valuable when practiced. No more negativity, anxiety, worry or fear; only magnified focus on my mental diet. For negativity and its counterparts I substitute my focus on growing my ability to cooperate with the Omnipotence and Omnipresence of Universal Thought. No more will I allow these scoundrels to rob me of my prize. From today forward I wil sit in quiet repose and continue until I KNOW I am connecting with the infinite.
No longer do I set this gem that is the Master Key on the shelf for later tinkering when I feel bold enough or "when I have time". That time never arrives! The only time is NOW! Down with the old blueprint. Today is now. Now is now is NOW!
I persist! I win!
I will persist until I succeed! "…from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble." I will indeed remember to bend the ancient law of averages to my good. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep my eyes on the goals above my head!
There persists the old question often surfacing: "How does one best eat an elephant?" You know the answer: "One bite at a time". The basic truth this message conveys can get lost on us former perfection paralytics. Life often catches me evading matters when I have not mastered them, even at the first attempt. Given a lifetime of such paralysis, one can imagine the figurative pile of "uncompleteds" drifting in my wake. Thankfully there is no room for that here in the Master Key!
Using the Master Key, I'm empowering my new blueprint to always interject, ever pressing me forward on my New Path. Where I so frequently would turn around and confirm defeat, I now persist and plug forward. Each blow against the tree of my former life blueprint may indeed be trifling and seem of no consequence. But I persist and I succeed! The true gem in the process is this: I am available, I bring the materials, I provide the blueprint. The perfect design and architecture is not up to me! I don't have to fear the future, nor question the success of this endeavor, so long as I remain faithful to the tasks that belong to me. "What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." I desire them; I believe in them; I seek them, and I shall have them!
I build my castle one brick at a time. Fear, improbability, mistake, failure; none of these possess the land any longer! They have been evicted. But just like any sloppy tenant, sometimes it takes time to clean up the refuse left behind. Every heap of old blueprint disposed brings me closer to my mansion. At times I wind up dragging a bit of it back on my heel. But as the site gets cleaner, I will champion the effort and only the bright new creations of my thoughtful design and effort will prevail!
Here I am in week 10 of the Master Key, working to catch up from traveling. What a glorious time with friends that are as close as family. It's amazing what can happen when the old expectations of "the holidays" are tossed and exciting plans based on fresh expectations come into play. It really comes down to purposeful choice perspective.
Just as soon as I am riding the wave of the sweet memories made while away, my old blueprint wallops me with an out-of-nowhere sucker punch! The Christmas holiday outlook is forming and promising a grand Fight Night show! While boxing fans might expect the usual ring presence of in-laws, siblings, et al, this is not to be the case. "In the red corner, weighing in at 40 some-odd years of habitual reflex, Old Dusty Blueprint. In the blue corner, Strong and bold yet new to the ring, weighing in at a mere 11 weeks of developmental training and growth, Grand New Golden Blueprint! Let's get ready to rumble!"
The greatest beauty of this particular contest: "We ourselves contribute nothing to its efficacy, " Haanel 10:14. There will be no black eyes; no missing teeth; no knockout punch. "We can do nothing to assist in the manifestation, we simply comply with the law, and the All-Originating Mind will bring about the result."
I am the Manager, the Trainer of New Golden Blueprint. I have worked him through the disciplines, I've created the habits and I strive for adherence to them. But once in the ring, all the details of him championing the match will be taken care of. The work has been done and will continue. The circuit is complete. The harmonious victory is practically in the bag! Though Old Dusty may yet win some rounds, I know Grand New Golden will prevail! And through the perpetual noise of the cheering and jeering crowd, I repeatedly hear a distinct voice. With great passion and love, the voice often reassuringly repeats, "Relax!" Our champion is ready for this!