MKE Week 9- The Law of Giving in Action

This past week I had the great pleasure of visiting a college campus I've known of nearly all my life but never experienced. Berea College is truly a fantastic example of the Law of Giving in action. The college proudly offers 32 majors, 15 teacher education programs, 16 national and international honor societies, and so much more in the way of accolades. What's so amazing about this, you might ask? Each admitted student enters with a scholarship that covers nearly $100,000 for a four year education! Berea is one of only seven federally recognized work colleges in the country. How do they do that?

Berea College is a private non-denominational college who relies on the gifts of alumni and friends and on income from the college's endowment. It's students come from all walks of life, all 50 states and 62 countries round the world. The college has proven concern for the environment with numerous accomplishments in the realm of sustainability including several campus buildings that have been built or retrofitted to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Statuses. It also houses Kentucky's first developed Ecovillage, consuming 75% less energy and water than conventional housing. Students participate in the administration, maintenance and demonstration to visitors of these and so many further features, trading labor for education in this working college. 

Additionally and most intriguing to me, the Student Crafts program (including broomcraft, ceramics, jewelry, weaving and woodcraft production areas)  avails students of new creative skills while furthering their cognitive thinking and providing the potential of new creative endeavors to be enjoyed for a lifetime. The products created by the students are sold in various shops around the campus and around the world as well! I had the great pleasure of seeing these items and visiting the bustling weaving studio, the area that naturally fascinates me most! The energy of the campus and the working shops was tangibly positive and joyfilled. The attitudes of those at work were of great appreciation for the skills they were developing. The director of the weaving studio spent such generous time with me, talking with me as if we were old friends catching up!

It's likely evident I could go on all day about this experience. I first wanted to visit the campus with my general awareness of their Student Crafts program. This program fascinates me to no end! To also find that the very engine that drives this entire operation, successful since 1855, embodies the very law of giving and receiving that we have all  been focused with, endears this place to me all the more while proving that the Universal Mind merely needs willing and actionable conduits. Berea's Alumni list includes a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a Physicist and Inventor of touchscreen technology, the developer of the catalytic converter, a former US Secretary of Commerce, and automotive engineer and developer & owner of Roush Racing, Mr. Jack Roush himself. If this is not evidence of the greatness that is waiting for us to engage, I don't know what is!

 

 

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MKE Week 8- However, when man awakens to the Truth…

It's amazing what one quiet meditative session can yield! As I have progressed to this point in week 8, I have had vast successes and yet something is still not aligning. The imbalance I have been sensing really reflected in my quiet times over the last couple weeks, as I have had difficulty focusing or spending the entire 15 minutes, let alone more. In an attempt to rectify this I chose myself as the object of my focus this morning. More specifically, what do I REALLY want out of this experience; out of my future self?

"People say they desire abundant life, and so they do. But so many interpret this to mean that if they will exercise their muscles or breathe scientifically, eat certain foods in certain ways, drink so many glasses of water every day of just a certain temperature, keep out of drafts, they will attain the abundant life they seek." -Haanel 8:21

This quiet meditative time was a bit soggy. I wept as I realized that my future self is still a stranger. I asked myself, "what do I want?". I thought through my Definite Major Purpose as it is written. I have actually written into it the external things that I think sound like they will help me get what I think I want. Yep, 8:21 describes me. Some of the elements included there, as I see them, make me want to respond, "Who is that?!" Back to the drawing board.

 

 

Mind you, these elements are all contained in my DMP. However, I find that I was trying once again, to determine how I was  going to create the external results- with external efforts. Truly this results in nothing more than building a house on sand. A house merely set on sand (external) will blow away with the first wind, or drift away with the first flood. For a house to stand, it must be rooted in the bedrock (internal)!

For the record, this is what I want, and a revision is coming. I want to restore my body to health and wholeness. I want a quiet and peaceful  mind. I want to write articles and books. I want to develop my skills and create using my cherished fiber arts. I want to share what I create with others, endeavoring to share the joy I gain in creating with them. I want to travel. A lot.

As you read your Definite Major Purpose, what are you feeling? Is it truly YOU that you have written about? If you find any sentence that seems to get hitched in your solar plexus, perhaps another revision is due for you too!

This is not a sprint. It's a marathon; one whose prize for FINISHING surpasses any pot metal trinket we can hang on our wall! I want it! No doubt you want it too! Let's go get that prize together!

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MKE Week 7- I’ll Just Leave This Right Here For A While

"We must plant the seed and leave it undisturbed." -Haanel 7:27

I might have elevated to the status of amateur gardener by now, but I more likely may yet remain a novice. I still often find that my garden produces more growth at times when I leave town than when I'm regularly nearby. Like that child I am anxious. Is the soil fertile enough? Has the seed received enough water? Has it received too much water? Is it warm enough? Did I plant it right? Does the environment it is planted in provide the proper pH? Maybe I should go check…

"…we are too anxious; we manifest anxiety, fear, distress; we want to do something; we want to help; we are like a child who has just planted a seed and every fifteen minutes goes and stirs up the earth to see if it is growing. Of course, under such circumstances, the seed will never germinate, and yet this is exactly what many of us do in the mental world." -Haanel 7:26

Well, perhaps I am yet but a novice. 

I've really pondered these comparisons to cultivating our inner work to determine how the overworked seed in the garden corresponds to tilling the soil, planting the seed and leaving it for a while in our inner world. Just as I overparent the seeds in my vegetable garden, I recognize I may be doing just the same in my inner "garden of life". As I design what I would like my life to be, I find the concurrent and pervasive anxiety over how I will carry out the measures to achieve these things. For that matter, what are the measures? As I ponder my vegetable garden the path becomes clearer. 

Considering the garden at its most elemental and non-scientific early state, what really separates the seed from the rest of its surrounding detritus? Time and stillness! That seed can have ample food, water, heat, shade, sunlight, an all around perfect environment. But without stillness and time, its message, its life purpose to grow into all it was meant to become, will never come to pass! Indeed, its internal world will never have the pleasure of demonstrating the full potential of the beauty it was intended to reveal to the world. Without tranquil time, the identity of this seed will never have the opportunity to take root and will instead remain lost in the shuffle of its chaotic environment. And so it is with me and you. 

I challenge us collectively to take this idea into our quiet contemplative times. For our greatest intended imprint on the world to be fully realized, we must allow the seed of our definite major purpose to germinate. It must take root. And I have to believe the rest will develop at the proper times.

 

   

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MKE Week 6- The Championing of the Mighty Blueprint

Wow! What a journey thus far! Week 6 finds me feeling rather grumpy, behind schedule and recognizing the all-too-familiar. I am heavily challenged this week and my frustration plants me dead-center on the battleground for my inner self. It seems I am taking some fire from my old blueprint.

field

Formerly this site was no battle ground at all. It was merely a mental field; quiet, sublime and neutral. I always landed in it once I grew tired of the effort  and fearful of defeat along whatever path I had been on. From here I have always advanced down the old warn, well-trodden path of "same old mediocrity, different day," my fear of another failure always seemingly met. As Haanel has expressed, we form a habit of failure if we do not complete what we set out to do.

All my life I have begun many processes of varying subjects, with a subconscious assumption of failure as the probable outcome. I recognize this  largely results from ancestral aspects of my old blueprint coupled with lifelong habits that supported them. While one side of my ancestry seemed to maintain expectations and acceptance of mediocrity to descend through the generations, the other esteemed hollow symbols of success which I refused to  embrace. Failure seemingly resulted as my habit, my functional belief before I even began anything!

female warrior

So that formerly tranquil field of mediocrity is now drawing fire, and it's ok! Anything worth  possessing is surely worth fighting for! This MKE journey makes it quite a simple task. Follow through; conduct the activities when directed, Do it mindfully! But it is not always easy! Stay true and honest with oneself; guard the thoughts so the conscious mind remains a worthy gatekeeper of the subconscious; get uncomfortable and do it anyway!

 

That fine estate is mine and I possess and cherish it! There is nothing greater.

Cliffs

No neglect, excuses, servitude, apathy, unbelief, laziness or melancholy; and definitely no ragged old recycled hand-me-down blueprint is going to keep me from it!

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MKE Week 5- My FAT Wallet and Other Fascinations

This amazing journey we know as the Master Key Experience has just reached another level! The law of giving is dynamic; it's kinetic; and it's immediate! And my wallet is getting tough to close. Just as Haanel states in 4-21, "The more we give, the more we shall get; we must become a channel whereby the Universal can express activity".

As an introvert this fervent focus on giving and being a grateful receiver is new for me and yet the dividends seem as if they were just waiting for me to openly act. In the last week, I have:

  • Sold three high-dollar items I am no longer using- with EASE;
  • Received special orders to be made for holiday gifting;
  • Acquired two new members in my business organization- with EASE

As we work to refine our Definite Major Purpose statements, one of my needs is autonomy. Until last year I managed a high-end Italian restaurant, which I enjoyed for a number of years. Within that last year, however, the stressors of the job began to outweigh the dividends and as a highly respected business acquaintance of mine is famous for saying, "If you're not having fun, you're done!" As "fun" was becoming a distant memory I elected to leave the industry in 2016; putting the detractors, along with the dividends,  in my rearview mirror.

Since that time I have not looked back with any regrets, but the one pothole in my journey needing a good solid patch has been the obvious discontinuation of income.  My sweetheart is perfectly happy with me piloting my own life, working or not working as I choose. But I need challenge, drive, passionate purpose! Until recently I've been trying to fulfill the external with the external, failing to make use of that subconscious power and living within very narrow limits (Haanel 5-1). No more!

As I hear it, there is a fine estate awaiting a claimant (5-14). I earnestly desire it. I assert my claim. And I take possession. And I'm headed to the bank! My wallet is full.

Estate

 

 

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MKE Week 4- Guarding the Garden

"…I am prepared for wisdom and principles which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position and happiness far beyond my most542d09b527c6b30b470123e623e4ea28 extravagant dreams until even the golden apples of the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward". -Greatest Salesman

I decided to delve into that garden to enhance the mental image accompanying Mandino's message as I read it. With the beautiful imagery comes the story that absolutely aligns the Garden of Hesperides with the garden that is my world within.

The mythological Garden of Hesperides is Hera's orchard in the west, from which golden apples  grant immortality when eaten. The hesperides were nymphs tasked with tending the garden and were found to take of the apples for themselves. Hera placed a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon in the garden to further safeguard it.

The Titan's Curse  by Rick Riordan provides great descriptive imagery to the garden. The garden is described as the most beautiful place ever seen. The grass shimmers with early evening light, the flowers so brilliant with colors they nearly glow by night. There are stepping stones of polished black marble encircling a large tree with every branch glittering with the golden apples of immortality.

tree-brain-rightAs I ponder this, why shouldn't my world within be this garden? I create the within, do I not? I should find within it the most brilliant colors, the richest textures, the warmest light emanating from there! Additionally, I do need my hundred-headed dragon, my conscious mindfulness,  to safeguard it. For if it's left open to intrusions, perhaps the old thoughts, the old blueprint, external opinions or influences of others, then my garden will be the same old dusty patch of infertile soil I have known. As I renovate my inner garden there's no doubt the golden apples of a new abundance I've never experienced will be MY just reward! When this fruit comes to full harvest, then I am immortal in legacy, in the fulfillment of all that I'm purposed with here on this earth!

 

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MKE Week 3- Two roads diverged in a wood…

images

                              It was only a week before the beginning of MKMMA, and I was marveling at three distinct occasions that this Robert Frost poem appeared in my interactions. I have not come across this poem in nearly 30 years, so the sudden exposure to it grabbed my attention.

I have been known to mostly travel those roads, grassy and wanting wear. It has not always been the easiest road to choose, especially when there were external influences applying pressure to enter the well-traveled road. As I ponder this from the road I stand on now, however, I can't help but find myself at a newfound set of two roads.

YOU-ARE-HERE

The operations of the mind are produced by two parallel modes of activity, the one conscious and the other subconscious." -Haanel 2-1

As I picture the two roads now, they are the conscious and the subconscious. I have been leading my life nearly exclusively with the conscious mind, creating a map of decision for myself looking more reminiscent of this.

All of my decisions have been based on analytical bets: What is the most strategic path for my best life? What will make me independent? What will make the significant people in my life happy? What is best for myself and my child? What will make me have success? The trouble with this gambling rests with the repeated attempts to make the most of the external… with the external:

I always ignored passions and seemingly unrealistic interests and considered them as hobbies, things to enjoy in the spare time I might gain someday after I have "made it" and I can afford to do something lacking worth. 

What backwards thinking! What a way to watch a life drift by, only to reminisce with regret at the end! As a consequence, I never "made it" but I have learned so much on my journey. All of those steps on the paths I've followed, graciously led me to the Master Key so that from this point forward I know what to do!

"The solar plexus has been likened to the sun of the body… and is thrown off in an atmosphere which envelopes the body.  If this radiation is sufficiently strong enough the person is called magnetic… and may wield an immense power for good." -Haanel 3-5,6

images-3

YES!!! I'll follow the sun! And I will allow the experience and guardianship of my conscious mind to serve in its proper parameters. It is liberating to know that, "this center of energy is omnipotent because it is the point of contact with all life and all intelligence," (3-11).  I only need to direct it to accomplish what I desire! Goodbye control-freak tendencies trying to figure out all the steps!

 

 

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MKE Week 2- And I’m Dumbfounded!

 

BrainonaScale"The value of the subconscious is enormous; it inspires us…" -Haanel Part 2:7

Once I learned of the Master Key Experience, I have yearned for the program with great expectations. Far be it from my CONSCIOUS assessment throughout that time, that by the second week I would already be reaping the benefits and realizing dynamic changes in the way I respond to the world without! In these mere two weeks, I have:

  • had amazing conversations with my daughter;
  • realized increased levels of motivation to get things done;
  • DONE things I typically have waited for help to do, knowing previously I would lose patience too quickly or have fear of not completing PERFECTLY (perfection paralysis, anyone?);
  • become more creative with meal preparation;
  • found amazing patience with things I've been known to have a short fuse for;
  • begun learning to FEEL, without fear of allowing myself to really FEEL.

This is but a condensed list and barely at the midpoint of the second week! If this was all I reaped from MKE, it would be an enormous change! Yet I have 24 weeks to go, let alone the rest of a life with which to practice all I learn. WOW!

In the past few years, I learned much about my true state of being; that I truly lacked self-love, confidence or a healthy inner world. I learned that all those things I thought I possessed were only anchored to my achievements in physical fitness. I was relying on the cement for my strength as I now know it to be. Once that was all ripped from me, by way of my body beginning to fail to respond to my efforts, all the feelings I had for myself before returned, without  hesitation and with a vengeance.

Nothing made sense. I eliminated possible irritants from my diet and I gained weight. I worked out more and I gained weight. I worked out less and I gained weight. The only absolute ever resulting was, ~say it with me~, I GAINED WEIGHT! This is all very current in my cement. I weigh more now than I have in fifteen years, never mind that I have militantly worked and monitored my diet closely. Heck, I even just ran a 5K, the first in a long time, and placed 6th in my age bracket. Believe me when I say there have been lots of tears throughout this time of trying to sort it all out, gaining weight all the way.

Thankfully my mind is changing and I know with all that I am, that the healing of my inner world will chisel all that needless cement away; first in my thought world, but quickly in my physical world as well. With the help of these truths with which we are saturating our world within, I don't "hope this will help me reverse these physical issues"; I WILL reverse these issues and, clearly, that will be but one benefit amongst many, MYRIAD and life-changing benefits of this journey! Onward and outward!

 

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Master Key- Week 1… Fine Wine Intentions

It’s finally here! I have eagerly anticipated Master Key ever since learning about it from a friend. Here we are!

It is pleasing to begin the disciplines that have proven to change the lives, outlooks and OUTPUTS of so many before me. Today I choose to shed my old skin, my blueprint, which has suffered the bruises of failure and wounds of mediocrity for way too long. It is amazing to find oneself automatically acting in the same way and worse, with the same lifelong internal messages, hoping for a new and different outcome, this time. Perhaps using the brain to do the work of the mind is the fault.

For far too long I’ve devoured the grape skins and pulp, hoping for fine wine results. I have been picking at the scraps while missing the life-giving source within, missing it due to the clogged filter of mediocrity that was all I once knew. No more! No longer will I accept mediocrity, nor will I leave outcomes to chance and wishes. Now I know a better blueprint must be crafted, and I will carefully sculpt it with surgical precision until it leaves no space for the messages and design of old to creep back in. That format has been in place far too long to allow it any crevice to sneak back through once the New Blueprint is complete.

This is my intention. This is my promise. And I always keep my promises!

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Try This Now! Invaluable Life-Changing Lessons of Nonverbal Learning

Learning a new skill from an expert is almost always a great privilege. 

Learning from an expert without having language as the prime communication method adds many impactful layers to the experience. Beginning Andean knitting in Peru was one of the greatest transformative experiences of my life. Andean lady KnittingMy teacher was a lovely Quechuan woman from the remote highlands. Her native local tongue was clearly not one that could deliver hints of meaning, as experienced with knowledge of the romance languages. Our communication was exclusively nonverbal.

Learning apart from the spoken word brings so many dimensions to taking on a new skill. Though I anticipated this before beginning this trip, nothing ever prepared me for this primal shift. I never expected the ways in which this special time affected me. Sitting with my newfound friend and watching her slowly demonstrate the steps then pausing and waiting for me to try to mimic her movements was immensely maternal. My subconscious memory must have traveled back to when I learned as an infant. Perhaps infancy is the only time when most have experienced nonverbal learning! I felt incredibly peaceful and not the slightest bit frustrated as I do sometimes when trying new things. I acquired an immediate and deep connection with this Quechuan woman. The atmosphere was thick with the sense of being in the midst of a life-changing event. I will never forget it and I can close my eyes and be back in the moment immediately!

 

Andean Teacher KnittingAndean bag in progress

Thinking about it, when was the last time you learned without language?

Apart from learning a second language by immersion, most of us would likely reply that it was back before our most cognitive recollections. Imagine the implications of returning to learning a new skill without the luxury of spoken communication at this very moment in your life! Could your knowledge be absorbed in unexpected new ways by nonverbal learning means?

When you learn a new skill in a nonverbal way, perhaps it elicits a different perspective derived from other cognitive processes. As Cornell University explains, skill mastery is associated with increased activity in areas of the brain not engaged in skill performance, and this shift can be detected in large-scale networks of the brain. During Studies there, increased brain activity was found after training, in the default network that is involved in self-reflective activities, including future planning and even daydreaming.

Putting it All Together

To summarize, I’ve verbalized as effectively as possible my recent experiences in nonverbal learning. Quite appropriately, words merely deliver a fraction of all I gained from learning without the use of words. As a result, I challenge each of us to find opportunities for absolute nonverbal communications. Whether you seek an opportunity to learn a new skill, enhance a relationship or simply experiment with a friend over coffee, it will truly promote a unique experience. Perhaps it will even be a life-changing event as it was for me!

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