Have You Left Your Joy Behind?

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I’m nervous!

You see I’m performing tonight for the first time in 10-years! Back in the day, I played my guitar and sang out in coffee shops, restaurants and small clubs a lot. And I loved it.

grease

I'm in the leather jacket, looking all Kinicki-like!

Music brings me joy. Or I suppose it’s more accurate to say that music awakens the joy that is already in me. I began playing guitar when I was 6 and have played on and off ever since – Wow, that’s 40-years! I performed in musicals starting out as the Captain of the Pinafore in 6th grade and ending with perhaps my crowning achievement, my role as Kinicki in Grease in a community theater performance… You know “Go greased lightnin’ rollin’ on down the line!”

(And as an interesting side note, I recently learned – through Facebook of course – that Dane Cook, the apparently somewhat famous comedian, was in the show. Is it bad that I didn’t know who Dane Cook was until I looked him up?)

But, as much as I love music, it’s interesting that it has always come and gone. I’ll play for a few years and then drop it. Play again for a while and then drop it.

And that’s just what happened about 10-years ago: Somewhere along the way, in between moving away from my musical “comfort zone” (where I knew all of the venue owners and could perform whenever I wanted) getting married, “settling down” and having a child, the performing dropped out of my life. I continued to play at home and invite friends over to jam for a while. But eventually even that stopped, and, for quite a few years, my guitar sat in its case, in a closet, untouched.

Why?

Playing music is something that brings me massive joy and lets that joy spread out into the world.

So why did I let it go? Why did I say “no” to my joy?

Well, as with any complex life experience there are number of factors. But at the very deepest level, I think it comes down to a core – and mostly unconscious – belief that I don’t deserve that much joy! I know it sounds sort of dramatic, but when I play music the joy can be almost overwhelming. And it lights up and activates any of the old, wounded places inside of me that have not been healed.

Aguitar-2nd my guess is that when I’ve chosen to move music to the back burner it’s because the places inside me that felt I didn’t deserve such joy were stronger than the parts of me that wanted that joy. My wounds won!

Now, it’s very interesting that for the past 3-days I have pulled the Hummingbird Medicine Card. And I shuffled the deck really well each day!

According to Jamie Sams – the creator of the Medicine Cards – Hummingbird is all about Joy! She writes.

“If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you love life and its joys. Your presence brings joy to others. You join people in relationships which bring out the best in them… You move comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste the succulent nectar of life.”

That’s it. That’s exactly what I do when I’m playing music.

Does the fact that Hummingbird has flown into my cards for the past 3-days mean that I’m done leaving that part of me behind? Does it mean that I’m ready to reclaim my joy and my ability to fully share that joy with others?

We’ll see!

And what about you? Have you left some of your joy behind? Is there something you used to do that opened you to the flow of joy and allowed you to share joy with others?

What is it? Where has it gone?

Whatever “reason” you have for no longer doing it, get over it!

For the past 10-years, my “reason” for not playing music was my family. I felt the pressure to be “responsible” and, as my father used to say, to “Do the right thing.” And a part of me believed that being responsible meant giving up the things that bring me joy.

D’oh!

How could I ever be truly responsible for my family when I have turned my back to joy? How could I ever hope to model TRUE Abundance to my daughter if I’m not willing to embrace and share my joy with her and with others?

Sharing what you love, sharing the song in your heart – whether it’s music or art or healing or whatever – is one of the most challenging things you can ever do. But until you are willing to say YES to your joy and to the things that bring you joy and to the joy YOU BRING to the world, TRUE Abundance will continue to elude you.

You may have lots of money, but that money will be empty, for your heart will be closed to the true nature of this life, which is JOY!

So take some time to consider what you have left behind. And when you find it, take a baby step today to start bringing it back into your life!

If you feel like sharing, send me an email, or leave a comment over at the Evolving Times blog.

Oh, and the next time you hear a hummingbird, remember this, from the Medicine Cards:

“Follow sister Hummingbird and you will soon be filled with paroxysms of joy and experience a renewal of the magic of living.”

I have no idea what “Paroxysms” are but they sound pretty frickin’ good to me! I’ll take it!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance

Edward

PS. If you’re in the North Bay and want to come share in some of the joy tonight (Saturday) I’ll be performing at Infusions Tea Shop in Sebastopol from 7:00 – 9:00.

PPS. I’m getting ready to launch a new training course – The Money System Upgrade – later this month. But before I launch the group program, I’m going to work with a handful of private clients and take them through the Money Upgrade System, one-on-one, at an introductory price. If you’re interested in working with me and having me upgrade your Personal Energy Systems so they are aligned with TRUE Abundance, go check out the details here.

Habits are Good Except When …

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light_switch

This morning I watched my daughter as she turned on the light in the laundry room so she could get a sweatshirt for school. There are three light switches outside the door. She started at the far end and worked her way down to the correct switch.

It was interesting to realize how much of what we do in our lives is habitual. When I turn on the laundry room light I take it for granted that it’s the switch closest to the door. I don’t have to think about it. I hardly even have to look at it.

Ella still does. The knowledge has not been hard wired into her brain yet. She has not repeated that action enough to create a neural pathway, so every time she does it, she still has to think about it and “figure it out.”

Those hard wired neural pathways create the habitual patterns that are extremely beneficial in our lives. Can you imagine if you had to figure out how to tie your shoes or read the paper, cook an egg or start your car every morning?

And you think it takes you a long time getting ready for work now?!?!

Most of us don’t have to think about those things: We don’t have to bog our conscious mind down with the minutiae of our daily tasks. Our subconscious mind takes over and handles those details. And that’s a really good thing… Except…

Except when the habitual patterns – the hard-wiring in our brains – keep us doing things that are NOT beneficial to the creation of TRUE Abundance.

Lately, I’ve been paying very close attention to the hard-wired patterns in my life. I’m evaluating them to see if they are serving me – moving me towards a life of TRUE Abundance – or sabotaging me – holding me back from TRUE Abundance. It’s a very interesting exercise if you feel like trying it.

Basically, you bring consciousness back to as many of your daily activities as you can. It’s a practice in presence. How conscious can you become of the normally unconscious actions you take throughout the day?

You might want to start with just 10-minutes. Try spending the next 10-minutes being fully conscious of every action you take. It’s not as easy as it sounds!

Last night, as I was working on the online community site for the 30-Day Abundance Quest, I got to experience just how tenacious these hard wired patterns are. I have long known that perfectionism is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. And as I worked on the site I realized just how strong its grip is.

With my trip last week and then all of the downtime my hosting service has been having I was working on the site late last night so it would be ready for today’s official launch. On a conscious, intellectual level, I knew that the top priority was to get all the functionality working correctly so that the community members could login, access the program recordings and resources and start connecting with and supporting one another.

But even as I “knew” what I “should” be doing I felt an irresistible urge to work on the design of the site, to make it look good and get the cool bells and whistles installed and working. It was a great opportunity for me to take another step in deconstructing that hard-wired neural pathway.

At times I felt like I was in the middle of a big tug of war: My unconscious mind was urging me to indulge the perfectionism and work on the “nice to haves” while my conscious mind was urging me to get the core functionality in place so the site would be ready to go today. Each time I felt the unconscious pattern of perfectionism starting to “win” I stopped and took a Breath Break and brought myself back into presence.

Where do you go into unconscious, habitual patterns that hold you back from TRUE Abundance? Start paying attention, become an investigator into the habits of your life. And when you find a habit that holds you back, start to bring more consciousness to it.

Try putting in a “Breath Break” before jumping into your unconscious actions. Email is another one of my self-limiting habitual patterns. So I’ve added a Breath Break before every email check. Every time I feel the email urge, I stop and breathe. After the breath I ask myself if I really need to check email at that moment. Will checking email move me towards or away from TRUE Abundance? If the answer is away, I don’t check it.

Where could you use a Breath Break? Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance.

Edward

PS. If you do have habits that hold you back from financial abundance, the 30-Day Abundance Quest program is perfect for you. Over the next 30-days you’ll take short, simple actions that are specifically designed to transform your unconscious patterns of scarcity and lack into conscious patterns of abundance and prosperity. And you’ll be supported every step of the way by me and by the amazing community of Deliberate Creators who have joined the 30-Day Abundance Quest Community! We just began today, and it would be great to have you along on this journey into TRUE Abundance!

Does the Pain of Deep Trauma Ever Go Away?

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Author’s Note: This is a very personal article and before you get to it I want to share a few thoughts and disclaimers.

First, this is based on my experience at a workshop this past weekend so it’s still fresh and a bit raw and probably not my best writing.

Second, if you have never experienced emotional release work, please don’t let my experience scare you away. Not everyone has such intense experiences – although many do – and the potential benefits are huge!

Third, while the work I did this weekend addresses the deep emotional wounds I carry, neither this article nor the work itself is meant to encourage what Caroline Myss calls “Woundology.” I believe the vast majority of us carry wounds from early childhood traumas. Woundology is a victim-based place where you seek – usually not consciously – to hold onto your wounds and to blame the circumstances of your life on past traumas and the people involved in them. Emotional release work, on the other hand, addresses those wounds in a positive manner that acknowledges their presence, seeks to diminish the “charge” they hold and minimize the influence they have on your thoughts and actions.

So with that in mind, here is the article.

This weekend I participated in a very powerful workshop called Naka Ima. My first Naka Ima experience was ten years ago and after that one I wasn’t in a big rush to do it again! But a few weeks ago when a good friend mentioned that there was another one coming up and that she would be participating, my inner guidance system started going off and it was clear that I was supposed to be there.

With my birthday journey to the Grand Canyon beginning tomorrow, my time felt a bit compressed but I could sense that a big shift was possible at Naka Ima. Just as I sense that there is something waiting for me at the bottom of the canyon, some letting go or opening up or insight or … I don’t know. But whatever happens down there, the Naka Ima work has been great preparation for the trip.

Letting Go!

Naka Ima is about letting go of core attachments and the work can be quite intense. On both Friday and Saturday, in the “Triad” work, I had deeply cathartic emotional/somatic releases.

Now before I share my experience I must admit that I have been avoiding any kind of emotional release work for quite a while. I’ve done a LOT of it over the past 10-years and I’ve been feeling frustrated that, even after doing so much deep – and I mean DEEP – personal work there always seems to be more. I was questioning whether emotional release – ritual or breathwork or this Naka Ima work – was the answer.

How many times do I need to go into that abyss of grief and anger, despair and rage before I reach the bottom? Does the pain ever end? And if it doesn’t what is the point of re-experiencing that trauma?

Those were some of the questions I had going into the weekend and I voiced my doubts to Deborah Riverbend – the facilitator. She assured me that in all the years she has been practicing and teaching this work that she has NEVER seen a case of “never ending grief!” According to Deborah, the pain does end. You do reach the bottom of that abyss.

That was extremely wonderful to hear and I’ll keep you posted as I continue to explore this work about whether or not I’m the one exception! ;)

We all have wounds

Most of us carry wounds. Some are extremely deep, some not so much. There may or may not have been a specific traumatic event or incident. But whether you were abandoned, betrayed or abused, neglected, rejected or smothered you most likely have some inner wound that influences your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Like me, I’m sure you’re pleased to know that there is an end to the impact that wound has on your life. You CAN release the charge and start living free from the unconscious impulses of that wounded place within you.

On the first day of the workshop I dove right in and worked with the grief I carry from my adoption once again. My story, that my mother “didn’t want me,” that I was abandoned and betrayed, unwanted and unloved, has deeply influenced the way I create my life. The story seems to weave its way into just about every aspect of my life even after more than 15-years of intensive personal work. So on Friday afternoon, when we moved into our “triads” I was feeling very ready to drop in and let go.

By now, I’m quite skilled at going into emotional release. I can tap into the vein of grief very quickly, perhaps because it is still so close to the surface. So moving into the grief was not a problem. But I was encouraged by one of my triad partners to “find my edge.” She wondered what would allow me to discover a new, deeper place of release and healing.

Are you willing to be seen in your woundedness?

I quickly found the edge: Was I willing to be seen, really seen, in my grief?

Closing my eyes, curling up in a ball and letting the pain come out is pretty easy for me. There is a sense of comfort in that space, a familiarity that feels welcoming.

Staying connected to my partners, looking into their eyes as I was deep in the pain and anguish of the adoption experience was terrifying. To see and feel their love for me as I was expressing my woundedness was almost unbearable. I felt an overwhelming urge to close my eyes, to curl up into that protective ball and run from their love.

But I stayed there with them. I allowed their eyes to anchor me to the present even as the cellular memories in my body were fully immersed in and releasing the pre-verbal trauma from my adoption.

newborn-babyAt some point the process moved into a spontaneous “rebirthing” experience. As my body began experiencing and expressing the trauma of my birth it became difficult to know where the emotional pain ended and the physical pain began.

At times it seemed like I was experiencing the birth from my mother’s perspective. The involuntary movements of my body and the ripples of pain moving through my belly seemed to reflect a mother’s experience during labor and birth.

It actually makes sense that I would have “encoded” my mother’s experience in my cellular memory. After all, in that moment, we were still connected, still “one” being. Our experiences were merged and so, too, perhaps did our cellular memories become merged. So releasing her pain from my body was a welcomed blessing.

Welcome to a world of love

As the intensity of the experience began to decrease an image flashed into my mind of the “welcome” I received into this world. In that image I saw myself looking into the eyes of my mother for the few minutes she held me before I was taken from her arms. As I looked, I saw and felt her fear and pain, anger and anguish.

There was love there also: hidden, dampened, muted and merged into the other emotions. And as that image flashed into my mind I knew that it was time to experience being born into a world of love. I wanted to “come out” to welcoming, loving eyes and arms.

So I asked for that experience, I asked to be rebirthed into a world surrounded by love and acceptance rather than fear and anguish. And my partners made it so. They bundled me up in blankets and laid on top of me, creating pressure as if I was still compressed inside the birth canal. Slowly I pushed my way out and into the light and into their welcoming arms and eyes and hearts.

Because my body was so “in the experience” of the birth, that reenactment, even though it was not very “realistic,” had a major impact on my psyche. I obviously cannot change the actual events of my birth, but I can reprogram my memories of that moment.

You can re-create your memories

In essence I was “tricking” my mind into re-membering my birth experience. Brain researchers have discovered that memories are extremely elastic. Contrary to what researchers believed until quite recently, memories are not fixed. They are fluid and mutable: The very act of remembering something actually recreates the memory.

So why not take advantage of that mutability and consciously recreate the memories from a traumatic event? If I can insert an experience of being welcomed with love and joy into my birth memories, maybe I can shift the way those memories influence my present day thoughts and actions.

It’s certainly worth a shot!

One thing I do know is that after this weekend I feel much lighter, more open and receptive to the love and blessings in my life. I can still feel the remnants of the grief swirling around inside of me and my body feels like I took it out for an Iron Man Triathalon (well maybe only a Tin Man)! But my psyche feels so much more present, awake and engaged in this moment.

I’m looking forward to deepening that presence while I’m down in the “womb” of the Earth – the Grand Canyon later this week. And I’m looking forward to celebrating my Re-Birth-Day while connected to her nurturing, loving energy.

So does the pain ever go away? Does the grief ever end?

Deborah Riverbend believes it does. I’m hopeful and open to trusting her. And I’m very willing to experiment with my life. I’ve made a commitment to follow this rabbit hole down, down, down and see just how deep it goes. I’ve made a commitment to participate in as many Naka Ima triads and other emotional release processes as I possibly can over the next few weeks and months to see if I can find the bottom of this hole.

I’ll let you know!

Leave a comment below and let me know your experience with Emotional Release: Have you found the bottom? Have you discovered a place where your trauma no longer holds an emotion charge?

I won’t be able to join the conversation until I return from the Grand Canyon next week. But I look forward to hearing your thoughts when I get back!

The 5-Keys to Manifesting TRUE Abundance in YOUR Life

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True Abundance is your birthright. It is who you REALLY are!

On some level, you know it. You “get” that abundance is your natural state and that it’s supposed to come easily and effortlessly.

But this world – this “real” world” – that we live in is not (yet) set up to nurture that abundance. So most of us find ourselves living lives that are slightly (to very) out of alignment with true abundance.

In order to re-connect with that true abundance – our natural state – we must “reverse engineer” it. We must look at True Abundance and say, “Ok, that’s where I want to be, and this is where I am. Now how do I get from here to there?”

5-keysThere are 5-Keys that open the doorway to TRUE Abundance. The 5-Keys are:

  • Vision
  • Intention
  • Belief
  • Vibration
  • Action

These 5-Keys are not complicated or difficult. In fact, each one, on its own, is quite simple.

The complexity comes when you try activating all 5 of them at the same time. It’s not that it gets so much harder… it just gets a bit more complicated trying to keep track of all of them – like a juggler who keeps adding in more balls… the pattern stays the same but the concentration needed to keep them all in the air increases.

I’d like to share these 5-Keys with you as well as the exact steps you can use to activate them in your life right now!
When you listen to this series of short audio recordings, you’ll have everything you need to create your own Abundance Quest!
Go get these recordings now so that you can start activating these 5-Keys in your life and manifesting a lot more of what you want!
These 5-Keys will open the doorway to YOUR True Abundance… as long as you do activate them in your life!
The 5-Keys to Manifesting TRUE Abundance

WARNING: Scabiness and Graphic Anatomical descriptions Below

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Over the last few months I’ve been watching my fingernail go through an amazing transformation. Back in May I crashed my mountain bike and crushed the tip of my finger. Can you say, “Ouch?”

Within a few days, the nail turned a beautiful, solid gothic black. It was fun having my daughter’s friends come up and say, “Did you paint your fingernail?” NO!

I’ve kept thinking that the nail was going to fall off. But it never did. It just kept hanging in there until, finally, I thought that maybe it would reattach itself and heal.

bleeding injured boyIn the past couple of weeks, though, it’s finally started disconnecting from the back side. And now I can see the tip of a new fingernail growing underneath the old one. It’s fresh and new and only comes about halfway up to the tip of my finger.

It’s reminded me of how a cut heals. Have you ever wondered what purpose a scab serves? I mean, those things can get pretty gross after a while. You know, bubbly, brown, and, just… well, scabby. Why can’t we just get rid of them? Why do even need them at all? And the why the heck did our mothers always yell at us, “Stop picking at your scab?” (But I bet you kept picking at it anyway, didn’t you?)

The thing is they really do serve a positive purpose. That gross, puffy, pussy, icky stuff (and those are all technical terms, by the way) protects the new skin that’s growing underneath. Your mom was actually being helpful when she told you not to pick at those scabs: If it comes off too soon, the skin underneath is thin and sensitive and just not ready to protect itself yet. It’s not ready for the rigors of the real world. It still needs the protection of the scab until it toughens up a bit.

For the past few weeks I’ve been going through a pretty “scabby” phase in my life. And it’s been difficult to not “pick at the scab.” It’s so tempting to try and rush through this space.

Whenever we hit a bumpy, “scabby,” spot on our personal journey, it’s pretty normal to want to rush through it, to peel that scab off and get to the new skin underneath. I mean, who wants to sit in the scabby stuff?

But when you rush through the rough patch it’s just like pulling the scab off a wound. It might feel good at the time, but the new growth underneath isn’t quite ready for the light of day. The new awareness, the new belief, the new way of being, is not quite ready for the rigors of the “real” world.

The rough spots you go through in life are your personal growth scabs, they keep your tender new growth safe until it’s ready to come out and play in the world.

Have you ever wondered why you keep coming back around to the same personal growth lessons? Often the reason is because you rushed through the scabby phase and the new growth underneath wasn’t quite ready for the world. So it gets re-injured, another scab forms and, voila, you’re right back where you swore you would never be again.

Of course, then you also have the added frustration of the voice inside your head saying, “Why the heck am I back here again? Why can’t I just get over this?” And that voice gives you even more incentive to rush through the scabby spot.

Don’t do it!

“Stop picking at that scab!”

Sorry, I just had to channel your mother for a minute! ;)

But seriously, as difficult as it is to sit in your stuff, to be in that scabby spot, if you can let yourself just be there, for as long as it takes for the new growth underneath to get ready, you’ll end up saving yourself some return trips to that particular scabby spot!

My fingernail is almost ready to come off. It’s temping. I can see the new nail underneath. It seems like it’s hard enough and I can’t even tell how the old, broken nail is still hanging on. Every time I start playing a fingerpicking song on guitar that old nail gets in the way and it’s really tempting to yank it off.

But I’m not. When the time is right, it will come off.

As I’ve been sitting in this personal growth scabby spot it’s been REALLY tempting to rush through it. And I’ll admit that there were a couple of days when I was doing everything I could to try and push through it. Didn’t work! Still here.

But now I’m willing to be here. And while the external circumstances haven’t changed, nothing has changed on the outside, I’ve relaxed into this scabby spot, knowing that, just like the fingernail, when the time is right, I’ll move through it.

So if you happen to be in a scabby spot right now, see if you can settle into it and let the scab fall off naturally. I guarantee you, it will. And the funny thing is that the more you can relax into the scabby space, the faster that new growth underneath will be ready to come out and play in the “real” world.

This is one time when not rushing will actually accelerate the healing process.

Serious Spiritual People Suck!

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cistine-chapel-2All right. I admit it. That title is a bit harsh. But I guess I’m qualified to write it, since the person I’m mostly talking about is myself! You see I spent a significant portion of my life being a serious spiritual person. And most of the time, when I was serious, I sucked!

And yesterday I caught myself falling right back into that sucky, serious, spiritual space and I didn’t like it! My daughter was in a great, goofy mood, and I just couldn’t meet her there. That, old, core belief that to be spiritual you have to be serious had taken over the controls again and all goofiness and fun was out the window.

The problem many of us spiritual people have, is that our models of spirituality are all serious. Think about it: have you ever seen a picture of Jesus smiling? How about God? Any candid camera snapshots of the big guy in the sky cracking up?

And how about bible stories? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh while reading that good book?

Eastern religions seem to have a bit more lightness. Think of the laughing Buddha statues. I love those. And yet, when you read the story of the Buddha’s life there doesn’t seem like there was a whole lot of goofing around happening during his lifetime.

What’s up with that? Who made the rule that spirituality and fun and joy and laughter and lightness don’t mix?

I realized just how much of a core belief this is for me just now when I watched a video of Ken Wilbur talking about Big Mind or the part of us that is the observer, detached from the events in our life. As I dropped in and tried to find that Big Mind space in me, I realized that I didn’t want to find it because if I did, I believed that I would have to spend the rest of my life being serious and stoic and removed from life.

That doesn’t really provide a whole lot of motivation to go and find the Big Mind!

So I’m embarking on a “Lighten Up Francis” campaign for spiritual people – especially myself! (And if you don’t get that reference you obviously missed one of the classics of contemporary western cinema!)

Let’s bring some lightness and laughter and, yes, even silly goofiness into our spiritual development.

I mean, how’s the serious thing been working for you? If you’re like me, not so well!

There actually are some examples of light-hearted, deeply spiritual people. When I visited Agape a month or so ago, I was cracking up. Michael Beckwith was smiling and laughing and joking… And it was one of the most deeply moving and transformational experiences I have ever had at an organized religious event.

The emergence of Rumi and the light-hearted Sufi poets as spiritual models is another example.

dalai-lamaThe Dalai Lama also seems to exude a lightness in the midst of his profound presence. You often see him smiling or grinning. And sometimes it sure looks like a pretty mischievous grin, if you ask me!

And what about all of these new – and not so new – spiritual development practices that are filled with light and lightness? Transformational dance workshops, tantra, high-energy intensives (think Tony Robbins) laughter yoga, karaoke seminars (well, I haven’t seen any karaoke seminars yet, but you get the point). We’re beginning to recognize that spiritual development can actually be fun.

In fact, I’ve come to believe that the more fun you have, the more joy you experience in your life and in your spiritual development practices, the more you actually develop spiritually!

Now some might say we’ve gone too far, that the pendulum has swung to the other side and there is too much lightness and indulgence in our modern spiritual development practices.

Well how about if we all just stand up right now and moon those folks!

So the pendulum has swung. Big deal! Pendulums do that. And we sure do need a break from the super serious spiritual systems of the past.

What can you do today to bring some lightness to your spiritual practice? How about listening to an old Steve Martin recording during your meditation practice? How about playing Weird Al Yankovich songs when you teach your yoga class! Alright, maybe that would be too far!

But seriously… no, scratch that… see if you can find a way to merge fun and spiritual practice today. Let me know what you come up with. I’d love to hear about your Lighten Up Francis adventures!

Not Ready to Outsource… Try In-Sourcing!

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business-overwhelmAs an entrepreneur or small business owner there is a LOT to do. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a business owner say, “If I could only clone myself I’d be fine.” Well we’re not quite there yet. Soon perhaps.

But until then, there are a few ways we can deal with the overwhelm we face in our work. One of my personal favorites is sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich (Kidding!)

Seriously though, there seem to be three main strategies for dealing with the massive amount of work we have as business owners:

Increase your efficiency.

Outsource.

In-Source.

The first two are fairly straightforward and I’m not going to spend a lot of time on them.

Increasing your efficiency is a great strategy – whether or not you’re feeling overwhelmed. As you incorporate efficiency systems into your work-flow you can get more done in less time. I highly recommend the free Simpleology system. There is one potential problem with this strategy: As you become more efficient you may find yourself taking on even more tasks and ending up right back where you started. (We’ll leave that topic for another post).

Then there’s outsourcing, another great strategy. You hire people to do the stuff you don’t like doing. You might outsource your bookkeeping, social media marketing, administrative tasks, filing, etc. Outsourcing is one of the most effective ways to instantly increase your creativity and productivity. When you’re not spending your time on the mundane, day to day tasks, it opens up your time and energy to focus on more of the high-level aspects of your business.

But sometimes, especially when starting a business, it can seem difficult to outsource. Often cash flow is tight, you may not have a clear idea on what or how to outsource. So for many entrepreneurs, outsourcing may not seem like a viable option (though it almost always is… but again, that’s another topic!)

And that means many entrepreneurs will do most, if not all, of the work needed to run their business. And, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably don’t enjoy all of those tasks. So what do you do when you’re faced with a task that you just don’t like?

You In-Source!

In-Sourcing is the act of consciously connecting with the part of you that enjoys everything.

To your inner Source every experience – yes EVERY experience – in this physical world is joyful.

You chose to come into this physical world to fully and joyfully experience EVERYTHING. And there is an inner, core, part of you that truly loves to do everything. So even if your mind tells you that you “hate accounting” or “dislike making cold calls” or “can’t stand networking” your inner source LOVES doing it all!

Now does this mean that you “should” do all of that stuff? Absolutely not. If you’re in a position to outsource it, go for it!

However, sometimes doing the thing you “hate” just once or twice from an In-Sourcing perspective, meaning that you feel as much joy (or at least acceptance of it) as possible while doing it, will help you break out of the trap that keeps pulling you back into that task. Your inner source may just really want you to get a taste of the enjoyment that is possible from bookkeeping or filing or networking or sales calls or whatever it is for you.

Once you’ve had that taste, you can usually move on to the tasks that more easily open you up to your inner joy and creativity.

So here are three In-Sourcing tips:

Put a smile on your face: When you smile, even if it’s a “fake” smile, physiological shifts happen in your body such as the release of endorphins and other good stuff. So start with a smile.

Listen to inspiring music: If you can add some great music to your environment while you do your In-Sourcing work, it can help lift your spirits and raise your vibration.

Get an In-Sourcing buddy: Find a colleague or friend and schedule a time to do some in-sourcing together. Maybe 1-hour a week plan to connect, in person, or on the phone to support each other in your in-sourcing work. It can be so much more fun doing not-so-fun stuff with someone else.

So those are just a few ways that you can begin to In-Source the work that you don’t actively enjoy. This is such a crucial tool for your success because any time you do something in your business that you don’t enjoy you infuse your business with that low vibration.

You want your business to be filled with and to spread the most positive, high energy it possibly can. That’s why outsourcing tasks you don’t enjoy is so beneficial. And that’s why in-sourcing tasks you don’t enjoy, but are not ready quite ready to outsource, is especially important.

Give it a try and then leave a comment down below and let me know how it goes for you? I’d love to hear about your in-sourcing experiences!

Let Your Inner Child Guide You to Passion

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How long does it take you to shift from your adult, serious, side to your playful, inner child mode?More and more I’m discovering that one of the most powerful tools for personal growth and success is my ability to embrace and engage my playful, inner child space quickly and consistently.

marshmallow-narrow

I don’t know about you, but I can be awfully serious a lot of the time. And even when I consciously give myself permission to let go of that seriousness, it can take a bit of coaxing to relax down into the playful, spontaneous, childlike space that is so natural and yet can be so difficult to hold.

But it’s that space, that vibration of spontaneous creativity that allows us to tap into the infinite possibilities of the Universe. It is that energy of playfulness and joy that fuels the inspired actions that allow us to attract our deepest desires.

But most of us are almost completely disconnected from that creative energy.

And, while I’m a pretty fun guy (no not a mushroom!) and love to play, this weekend I got to experience just  how long it takes me to REALLY drop down fully into that playful, creative, childlike vibration.

My daughter and I went camping this weekend with a few other families from her kindergarten class. We spent the weekend playing in the dunes north of Bodega Bay and I can trace the “downshifts” that moved me out of my serious, adult mind and into the playful, spontaneous, childlike vibration.

When we first arrived I was, of course, all business: Where are we camping? Where’s the best tent site? Set up the tent. Unpack the car… etc. It’s pretty amazing how my Virgo nature comes out, big time, when I first roll into a campground!

Fortunately, some other families were heading down to the beach just as we arrived and Ella tagged along with them while I got our campsite set up.
My first downshift came when I walked to the beach after setting up our site. All the way down to the beach I was in “Go” mode, walking fast and feeling like I was “supposed” to get down there to play with Ella. But the moment I walked across the boardwalk bridge and stood at the top of the dune looking down on the ocean and the beach and felt the wind coming off the water, I felt the first downshift.It’s quite difficult to stay in “go” mode when you’re at the beach. There is something hypnotic and mesmerizing about the ocean, and only the most die-hard do-ers can resist the ocean’s invitation to drop into a more relaxed vibration.

And the best part is that this invitation is available all the time: You don’t have to actually be at the ocean to access it.

Take a moment, right now, to imagine the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty air, the feel of the moisture on your face as the ocean wind swirls it around you. Take a deep breath and let yourself accept the invitation to downshift your vibration and come into resonance with the energy of the ocean.

Imagination is such a powerful tool for manifesting the life of your dreams. And you can improve your imagination just by using it! Take time to imagine that you are at the ocean, or the mountains, or the forest or wherever you feel most energized and connected!

My next downshift came after dinner. The kids were playing a game where the beautiful, exposed roots of an old pine tree growing out of the dunes was the “jail” and the roots of a smaller tree across the dunes was the “base” where you could “escape” to.

At first, just the children were playing while the adults sat, in the “jail” and talked about adult things. But, one by one, the fathers started joining in. You could see them get a little twinkle in their eyes… thinking about it, catching some of that contagious, playful, childlike energy. And then, suddenly, as they let go of their concerns about what they might look like or whether it was “ok” to play with the kids, they would burst out of the “jail” with a shout of joy as a pack of kids started chasing them around the dunes.

beach-fun-1Soon almost all of the “dada’s” were running around the dunes, acting like children, letting our playful, inner beings come out. And, quite honestly, I think the dads were having more fun than the kids! It happens that way. Kids play all the time. It’s their natural state. Dads… not so much! So when we do get out of our serious, responsible, mode the fun that’s been stuck inside starts coming out… big time!

Now, in addition to being a second downshift for me, when I jumped in and started running around the sand like a crazy, escapee, that game in the dunes really shifted the energy for our entire group. You could feel the group energy relax into playfulness. It was like a big sigh of relief as we let go of our collective responsibilities and allowed  ourselves to drop into the playful spontaneity of the present moment.

And that, of course, that led us all back over to the campfire for S’mores. And, it’s pretty hard to be serious while you’re making s’mores! Well, unless you get into a serious discussion of the BEST way to make them… You know, do you let the marshmallow catch on fire and then blow it out, or do you hold it just above the burn zone so that it  gets lightly browned? Do you melt the chocolate or let the toasted marshmallow do the melting? And this time we had a new twist added to the mix: Someone brought a jar of Nutella which… while not traditional, certainly did make a very good s’more when spread on the graham cracker in place of the chocolate bar!

The final downshift came after s’mores when we broke out our instruments and started playing music around the campfire. It brought me back to my days at summer camp on Cape Cod. There is something so universally appealing about playing music around a campfire. The crackling fire, the sparks, or “fire fairies” as Ella calls them, the soft glowing light on the faces, and the music filling the camp, rising up to the sky like an offering of joy and love.

And, as with the ocean, this energy is available to you all the time. You don’t have to wait until you’re at a campfire. Take a deep breath in and imagine the fire. Imagine the flames dancing and crackling. See the “fire fairies” as they rise up and dance in the smoke. Smell the smoke. And yes, even feel the smoke burning your eyes a little. And connect with the energy of the fire. That fire energy lives inside of you.

Connect with it. Feel it. Embrace it. Let it come out to play. Let it fuel your actions. That fire is the inspiration that empowers your actions. When you take actions that are fueled by your fire you accelerate the manifestation process.

Action without inspiration is like a lighter without fluid: You might get a few sparks, but no matter how often or how vigorously you click that button, you’re not going to get a flame.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

There is so much power in connecting with our childlike nature (not childish, childlike!). Yet we often allow our thoughts of how we “should” to act and who we are “supposed to” be get in the way and hold us back from connecting with that vibration.

Taking time, each day to consciously, actively, let that “inner child” come out to play can provide tremendous fuel and inspiration as you manifest your deepest desires!

TAKE ACTION:

This week, let your inner child come out to play. Do something that is absolutely NOT on the agenda of your adult, serious, responsible self. Indulge the playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you.

PS. One way to embrace that playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you is by amping up your passion. And the two people who can help you do that better than anyone else I can think of are Janet and Chris Attwood. Write now they’ve got some GREAT free content up for grabs as part of their Passionate Life Secrets program. You can check out the program and access the free content here:
==> Passionate Life Secrets.

Sometimes it’s GOOD When the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work

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It was all set. Chris Cade, the Abundant Mystic faculty member, and I were going to meet at Café Gratitude in Berkeley for lunch. Chris was in town, from Oregon, to visit his family and we were going to connect in person for the first time.

If you’re like me you know how fun and exciting it is to meet a “virtual” friend for the first time in “real life!” So I was looking forward to this connection.

But Friday afternoon, I had another car-related complication (what is it with me and cars?) that meant I had to cancel our meeting.

I was disappointed and frustrated. I felt like I was letting Chris down, and, for a moment, I caught myself feeling let down by the Universe. Have you ever felt that existential frustration when things don’t work out the way you “want” them to?

It can be very easy to go into blame in those moments: To seek out a reason why things aren’t working out. It’s at those times when we may wonder “Why isn’t the Law of Attraction working?

But it’s also at those moments that we have the opportunity to drop even deeper into trust and faith, to let go of our need to direct the outcome and learn to really “go with the flow.”

After a short moment or two, I came to my senses and remembered the truth that everything works out in its own perfect timing and manner. For whatever reason, this was not the time for me to meet Chris. I didn’t know why. And, in that moment I was perfectly fine accepting that I might not ever know why.

Sometimes you just have to let go of knowing.

And other times the reason becomes very clear!

The following Monday morning I dealt with my car issue and was back home by around 12:30 looking forward to my “free” afternoon. Ella was in aftercare for an extra day so that I could meet with Chris. So I had an open afternoon and was planning to get some work done and then go for a short hike before picking up Ella.

But at 12:45, literally 5-minutes after I sat down at my desk, I received a call from Ella’s school. She had fallen and hurt herself badly enough that I needed to go pick her up. So I turned right back around and went over to get her. FYI: She’s fine, just a bad bump.

Now you probably already see where this is going. But it took me until Wednesday morning to make the connection.

What if I had been down in Berkeley to meet with Chris?

Ella’s mom was not available to pick her up. And I would have been over an hour away. Now, fortunately, it was not a major “owie” and Ella would have been fine. But even so, I’m very thankful that I was able to get over to the school within 5-minutes of getting that phone call.

And once I made the connection between those two events, it was a powerful reminder of how the Universe often orchestrates events for our benefit – even though it may not always feel like it in the moment!

We can’t always see or know the “why” of things. We can’t always understand why something that we really want is not coming to us in the timeframe we would like.

Stuck in traffic? Maybe the Universe is keeping you from some greater misfortune up ahead.

Not as much money flowing into your life as you’d like? Perhaps you’re being given the opportunity to do some inner work to open the flow to even more!

Does the Law of Attraction always “work?” Do we always get what we “want?”

I don’t have an answer to that. And unlike some Law of Attraction teachers, I don’t believe that the Law of Attraction “works” 100% of the time. Unless you consider that it “works” at levels that are both way above and way below our conscious awareness.

For instance, is it possible that my higher consciousness “knew” that Ella was going to need me to pick her up on Monday? And if so, did I co-create the situation with my car so that I would be available to pick her up?

It’s certainly possible. After all, we are all energy and we are all interconnected. An awareness of everything that is happening, has happened and is going to happen is available to us in every moment.

So the next time you don’t get something you want, when you want it, take a step back and explore how you are benefiting from not getting it. Because there is always a benefit and a blessing in every situation! There truly is a sliver lining to every cloud. Your job is to find it!

To YOUR True Abundance

Edward

Do You Have the “Right” Cup Full?

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Have you heard the story of the Buddhist scholar who went to visit an old and respected monk to discuss Buddhism? The monk invited the scholar in and they sat down. While the monk prepared tea the scholar immediately began to expound upon all he had learned about Buddhism at the university. On and on he went while the old monk quietly listened and prepared the tea.

tea-overflowingWhen the tea was ready, the scholar continued to speak even as the old monk poured the tea. Suddenly, the scholar stopped and jumped up as he realized that tea was pouring down onto his leg. The old monk had filled the scholar’s cup and was continuing to pour tea into his already full cup.

The scholar shouted, “You old fool. What are you thinking?”

The old monk calmly replied, “A cup that is already full has no room to receive.”

This story expresses the importance of having an open mind and a willingness to listen for and receive new information.

This is good advice.

However, there is another cup metaphor, from the Old Testament, that seems to contradict the message in this story. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “My cup runneth over.” In this usage, an overflowing cup is an expression of true abundance.

So how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory metaphors?

Well I believe we all have two “cups.” One of these cups we want to keep as full as we possibly can, full to overflowing whenever possible. The other cup we want to keep as empty and open as we possibly can. What are these cups?

The empty cup is easy. I’ve already given you the answer to that one up above: Abundant Mystics have an “empty” mind that is open to new ideas and possibilities. Abundant Mystics understand that their minds are a great tool. But they don’t allow the “tool” to run the show.

When your mind is full, you cannot access new insights and ideas. You cannot hear the guidance that comes from inner wisdom and from the Universe. And most of all, you cannot receive all of the blessings that are being offered to you.

So Abundant Mystics have learned to keep their minds open and empty as much as possible.

And which cup is full? Which cup do Abundant Mystics want to “runneth over?” Would you like to take a guess?

It is the cup of the heart!

Abundant Mystics have an overflowing heart. They actively seek to fill their heart with light, love and joy and allow that energy to overflow out into the world.

And the more you can allow your light, love and joy to flow out into the world the more abundance is showered back on you. But, of course, the cup of your mind must be empty in order to receive those blessings.

I have come to see this as one of the secrets to TRUE Abundance.

Release your thoughts and ideas about abundance and fill yourself with feelings and faith about abundance. The more you can do that, the more abundance you will attract into your life.

Stop spewing your thoughts and start flowing your love out into the world. The more you do, the  abundance will flow back to you.

I first explored this concept in my audio program, Release the Money Madness and Unleash YOUR Money Magic. Because the context of this program is now out of date – I recorded it in the Fall of 2008 during the height of the economic chaos – and because of my tendency to overindulge my inner perfectionist (one way that my mind cup is full!) I have not been offering this program for sale. My plan was to update it and release a second edition. There just has not been enough time.

e-package1-450Producing that program was an amazing experience for me and a brilliant opportunity for me to practice having an empty mind and a full heart. There was so much personal learning that happened as I wrote, recorded, edited and offered it. Some programs get produced without much personal growth. But not this one! This one pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone. And that’s a good thing!

Because once I got through my resistance and willingly stepped out into the unknown, the information for this program came through me with such power that I had a hard time holding onto all of it. In fact, I would say that writing and recording this program was the closest I’ve come to channeling.

There are so many life-altering concepts in the program, concepts that I had never consciously explored before.

  • The empty head / full heart idea was new.
  • The idea that money has been stripped of its sacredness was new.
  • The crucial importance of restoring that sacredness to our financial interactions was new.
  • The recognition that this financial “melt down” is an amazing opening and an opportunity for Modern Day Mystics to make a major shift in the way our culture relates to money was new.
  • And the, at the time, seemingly crazy idea that we were (are) in the midst of the most fertile opportunity for Modern Day Mystics to embrace TRUE Abundance was also new!

The bottom line is that it’s a powerful program for Modern Day Mystics who want to step into TRUE Abundance!

So, because the material in this program is so valuable, I’ve decided to offer it again at a GREATLY reduced price. The program, which includes 3 MP3 recordings, a guided visualization, a 60-page ebook, a list of 50 inspiring abundance quotes and a master list of over 240 affirmations originally sold for $79.

But until I decide to take it back off the market, or update it and release the second edition, you can grab it for just $19.00!

And even though the context that I use to set the stage is no longer current, the content itself is timeless and incredibly valuable. So go check it out. It of course comes with my unconditional 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s absolutely no risk to you.

And for WAY less than the cost of dinner out and a movie, you’ll have access to some truly abundance building ideas and tools.

So go get your copy of Release the Money Madness and Unleash YOUR Money Magic for just $19.00 now.

And remember… keep your mind empty and your heart full!

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