MKE, Week 11: Self Worth

Epiphany y’all!!

Been waiting for a breakthrough, ’cause as I mentioned before, the night is always darkest before the light, so I knew something would come eventually; I knew the confusion would transform into clarity…about something

Master Key Lesson 11, excerpts from the intro: 

“Your life is governed by law–by actual, immutable principles that never vary. Law is in operation at all times, in all places. Fixed laws underlie all human actions.

It is well, however, to remember that while every effect is the result of a cause, the effect in turn becomes a cause, which creates other effects, which in turn create still other causes; so that when you put the law of attraction into operation you must remember that you are starting a train of causation for good or otherwise which may have endless possibilities.

We fail to remember that like attracts like in the mental world, and that the thought which we entertain brings to us certain friendships, companionships of a particular kind, and these in turn bring about conditions and environment, which in turn are responsible for the conditions of which we complain.” 

Wow. Um…I guess I knew this somewhere in the back of my head…paragraph two, obviously the Law of Karma, which I’ve studied extensively…but somehow I was neglecting to own every small aspect of my current conditions. 

One theme that has been coming up, actually for the last few years, but even more clearly in the last few months, is the feeling of giving more than I receive. (Ok, wait…haha, that’s a theme for my WHOLE LIFE! Another epiphany, right here and now!) But I mean recently, I guess it’s been apparent that it feels like I put more effort, time, money to maintain friendships, family relationships, day to day life than those on the other side of the connection. Ok, ok, if the above is true, then you are getting back what you put out, so maybe you’re not giving enough?? But WAIT…there is another element…the world WITHIN. 

Let’s examine my work situation. I’ve got 10 years experience as a massage therapist. I get feedback daily from clients about the quality of my work and how it helps them. I’m fully confident in my skills; I know I’m the best…at least MY BEST. Why then have I been feeling undervalued and underpaid in my jobs as a massage therapist? That last sentence in the intro hit me smack in the 3rd eye the other morning. 

SELF WORTH. 

BAM. That’s it. That’s it! Why do I feel undervalued in the profession that feels like my life calling? Why do I feel unimportant to the people I love and give the most to (not all of them and not all the time)? BECAUSE I AM NOT VALUING ME…to my FULLEST extent. If I don’t value myself, how can I expect others to value me? This is probably happening on a deep subconscious level…’cause it’s certainly not happening in my ego. Ha! 

Now how do I know this? Because it’s not a new theme. Waded through this field before. After a break-up of a 4 year relationship, the biggest heartbreak was the realization that it had all been the outcome of lacking self worth and self respect. That was years ago. Ok, whole life, the theme continues…cultivating SELF WORTH. Still working on breaking down the old subconscious, apparently. Making progress though? Yes. The outer world is just a mirror for what’s going on deep inside. Remember this! 

Those unsatisfying relationships in my life are merely a reflection of my relationship with MYSELF. If I am not FULLY valuing what I can give to the world, then how can I expect others to do the same? I gotta OWN that BEST. Not take less for an option. Let people come to me? That’s kinda scary. Do you end up out in the world with no friends and no work? LOL. Well…I guess we’ll see…

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MKE, Week 10: Cause and Effect

The last couple weeks have been challenging. I was putting it up to circumstances. Too much on my plate, etc. Then, come to find out, thanks to Master Key Lesson 10, that “nothing happens without definite cause.”

Shoot! Did that mean that I was RESPONSIBLE for my circumstances?! Yeah, yeah it did.

MKL 10.3: Knowledge of cause and effect…enables man to plan courageously and execute fearlessly…

If I’m having a bad time, I created it…at least some of it!

MKL 10.11: …Thought is an active vital form of dynamic energy which has the power to correlate with it’s object and bring it out of the invisible substance from which all things are created into the visible or objective world. This is the law by which, and through which, all things come into manifestation. …With an understanding of this law you may “decree a thing and it should be established unto thee.” 

I had to clean up my thoughts if I wanted things to change. Not only that…I had to get specific with what I was thinking, not to mention my hopes, dreams, and wishes. This was kind of a hard pill to swallow, but also comforting, in the sense that, I had some control and say in my experience.

I kept reading MKL 10 each day, and slowly but surely the the roughness softened. I practiced positive thinking as a way to combat my “circumstances”. Things didn’t exactly get easier…but they improved. And then today we shifted to Scroll 3 in The Greatest Salesman in the World:

I will persist until I succeed.

Well, that couldn’t have come at a more needful time.

And honestly, today was a better day. What you say to yourself matters. What you think matters…because it shapes your reality…and consequently that of others close to you. So try to think happy thoughts…and if that doesn’t work, persist until you succeed.

 

MKE Week 9: The Struggle is Real

Thanksgiving week. One might expect a post about gratitude. Or how lovely it was to spend time with family. I am, of course, grateful, and had a lovely time with family, but I wanna get Real with you for a minute. 

The Struggle is Real. 

The time and energetic commitment to this course is no joke. I’ve honestly been sleep deprived and exhausted, more often than not, since it started. The leaders are saying, “Oh, this must mean something is blocking you, you’re not living your truth.” Well, yeah, that’s why I joined this course…to get clearer and closer to that Truth. 

I’ve got one hard addiction to break…(aside from all those little neuropeptides issues I’ve been working on for years before even knowing about this or them): Self Growth. 

For years, since at least my early 20s, I have been seeking that Truth through one avenue or another. I’ve studied Eastern Religions, I’ve practiced yoga, I’ve meditated, I’ve taken numerous weekend workshops, I’ve done retreats, I’ve read books, I’ve done trainings, I’ve watched online webinars. And I’ve made progress! And I am sure that all of these things have helped set a baseline for even being able to approach this course. Many of the concepts are not new to me…but what I signed up for is learning how to develop habits, good habits. 

Let’s talk about the triumphs: more reading, more writing, this blog, daily meditation, goal setting, getting up early!! You have no idea how big of a deal this is. I have dreaded getting up before sunrise my whole adult life, that I can remember; now I look forward to it! Everything else? These are all things I’ve been saying I wanted to or was gonna do for years. This is a big deal. 

Still struggling with: going to bed early, mind control (replacing negative thoughts with positive ones), consistency in actions in my daily habits and business, approaching my goals with enthusiasm. Yes, there are days, more often than not, where I read through my Definite Major Purpose, what I like to call my Life Manifesto, as rote and unfeeling as can be. WHY?! “That’s why it’s not working!” they say. I KNOW! But it is dang hard to be enthusiastic when I can barely keep my eyes open before bed or I’m waking up to frequent a job where I feel my skills are undervalued and underpaid. It’s a g.d. hamster wheel, isn’t it? What’s going around keeps coming around…even when you a trying desperately to get off! 

Now I’m not saying they are all bad days. But I’m saying it’s not all sunshine and roses! Growth is F-ing HARD! It’s hard to change habits. It’s hard to break cycles. It takes WORK

That work comes on top of two jobs, a business, and then throw in the mix traveling for 2.5 weeks for business and the personal obligation of being the executor of my dad’s estate, culminating in moving all of my material belongings across the country, which have been quite expanded over the last fews years, with the death of my grandmother and both parents. It wasn’t even the travel part that was hard; I stayed pretty on track, considering. But upon returning and trying to balance all the day to day, jobs and MKE, with unpacking, organizing and sifting through the stuff…much less, emotions?…Let’s just say, my positive mental diet has fallen to the wayside. I’m overwhelmed.

The Struggle is Real. 

I remember years ago, a friend called me out on being too honest. She said every time she asked me how I was, my answer was negative. She said people don’t always want to hear that. That was a wake up call for me and probably my first experience with the Law of Substitution; I started replying that things were good, even when they weren’t. In a way it did make things better; it improved my attitude, and then circumstances improved (Law of Attraction). But the truth of the matter is this: the dark sides still exist. And are undeniably part of the growth process. Is it not true that there is always darkness before the light? Society tells us we should only share the light. No one wants to see the dark side of things. 

Which is why I’m sharing this here. The Struggle is Real. The dark is here. There’s got to be light on the other side. And that’s why this blog has the name that it has: You gotta Grow to Glow. Because in congruence with the adages of many philosophers through time, but in my own words: A diamond never got shiny without a little pressure. 

And I intend to be real shiny. 

So I will keep plugging along despite the struggles, despite the pressure, despite the challenges. I will let my burning desire, my “addiction”, to Self Growth encourage my burning desire to create the life I imagine and long for. I will aim to approach things with enthusiasm, even when it seems like it’s not readily available. But don’t ever think it came easy. Don’t ever think the Struggle isn’t Real. 

 

 

MKE, Week 8, #2: Mental Diet, part 2

brokenTV

No TV for a week? 

Awesome, no problem. Don’t have one, never owned one as an adult…although once a friend pawned one off on me (literally threw it in the back of my car as I was saying NO). It sat in the bottom of my closet for 2 years until I moved and donated it.

For the last couple years I have had many business mentors that have suggested cutting TV out of one’s life, and additionally, suggested NOT listening to the news. Long before these words of wisdom came my way, I was already in these practices. 

Thanks to both my parents, there were actually many times as a child where I didn’t have a TV in my home. All my friends in high school made fun of me for not having seen even the most popular movies. My friends now can’t talk to me about their favorite series because I haven’t seen any of them. Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate good film and television…I just spend my time doing other things.

So now when I’m around a TV, I am totally glued to it, sucked in. And it’s not even because I care or like what I’m seeing. It’s pure spectacle; I can’t take my eyes away. I’m so fascinated by the way we portray life, stories, how we advertise, the cultural implications of it all. It has my undivided attention…which I don’t like, because it makes me less present with my fellow humans. Which, I hate to say, is the outcome of the news as well. 

Now, one might think this is the opposite endeavor of the newscast…but let’s think about it. Ironically, today, I heard it described as such on a podcast I was listening to: News is “news” because it’s unusual…NOT what is happening to the majority of people everyday. But it causes us to think these things, usually terrible results of acts of other humans or nature, could happen to us at any time. We’re next! It breeds a culture of fear and keeps us in a negative mindset. It gets us thinking more about things and people entirely external to us and out of our communities, while causing us to distrust those close to us. Then, we are thinking more about things we can’t control or help, than the things we can do and the people within our immediate reach. Our personal power completely distracted by the media. 

Ever notice how once the glamor of a new relationship wears off, all you and your significant other do together is watch TV or movies? Ever notice how after a bit of time doing this you both crave the habit, and yet complain that you never spend quality time together? Is this our way of avoiding getting deeper? Is this our way of avoiding doing the emotional work of growth that it takes to have a truly fulfilling relationship? Is this a way of avoiding doing the mental work it takes to be our best selves? I know most of us want to answer NO, because we don’t want to give up things we are accustomed to…even crave…but I beg to say, the answer is YES. 

unplugthedrug

 

Now I’m not saying these things to go on some sort of media-bashing tangent. It’s just that, in all honesty, I watch it happen all around me everyday. I see it close at hand, many cases. And because I’ve been so blessed to live a somewhat media detached life, I guess it’s easier for me to see. And consequently easy for me to see why no TV (and no news, for that matter) is an important part of the Mental Diet and cultivating a positive mental attitude. 

How can something that detaches us from the people close to us and causes us to live in a state of worry and anxiety be a healthy part of daily life? How can we still enjoy these aspects of entertainment and information without the side effects? Now, that is up to us…to change our relationship to it, to shift our mentality, to regain our responsibility for personal power, so that we can enjoy what the media has to offer, and still maintain a positive mental attitude and healthy, enriching relationships. 

 

MKE, Week 8: The Mental Diet

Seven straight days of positive mental attitude?

Sure, no problem. 

HA!! I had no idea how hard it is to keep out ALL the negative thoughts. Nor did I realize how negative everyone is around me!!

I do fine keeping my mind clean when I am by myself, but EVERYONE has something to complain about, gossip to share, politics to debate. And despite how hard I try not to get sucked in to the negativity, it honestly felt like I couldn’t respond to the conversation without some sort of equal response. Trapdoor. Quicksand. The Matrix. AHHH!!

But as per the Law of Substitution, I guess my goal is to figure out how to respond with an equal and opposite response. How do I, not only in my own mind, which I can manage pretty well at this point after many years of practice, but for others, offer a positive flip on a negative mindset? 

Well, I had a chance to practice. As a dear family member poured a wealth of worries and problems without solutions into my ear, my heart, my energy field, I naturally found myself striving to offer responses that were realistic, but also positive. I observed myself and was amazed at the stark differences in our mindset and lifestyles. I was even more amazed at how far I have come in not letting that stuff get to me and suck me down into its emotional oblivion! The subject was not responsive; the list of excuses and between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place scenarios continued to manifest multitudinous.

What I learned: you can lead horse to water but you can’t make them drink. You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can’t make them WISE. They have to do the mental work to change the baseline of their mental state…and back to those peptides, create new and positive “addictions”. 

MK 8.15 “Constructive imagination means mental labor, by some considered to be the hardest kind of labor, but, if so, it yields the greatest returns, for all the great things in life have come to men and women who had the capacity to think, to imagine, and to make their dreams come true.” 

MK 8.18 “The law of attraction will certainly and unerringly bring to you the conditions, environment, and experiences in life, corresponding with your habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude. Not what you think once in a while when you are in church, or have just read a good book, BUT your predominant mental attitude is what counts.” 

MK 8.19 “You cannot entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.”

So what can a “mental diet” do for you and me? Exercise that mental muscle…so that what moves in our mind is what moves in our lives. Energy flows where attention goes. So what do you want your life to look like? I can certainly say for myself that I’d far prefer to do the mental work of cultivating a predominantly POSITIVE mental attitude to have a predominantly positive, fulfilling life. 

So I’ll keep striving to string together days, not hours, of completely clean and happy thoughts…because what will come to me in the end will be of the greatest reward. 

MKE, Week 7: Living by the Compass

Ever since I was a little girl I remember my parents encouraging me to follow my heart. They were divorced, but they each, in their own way, instilled in me that I could do whatever I wanted in life, and that I should. Now, to be honest, their actions didn’t always match their recommendations. My mom limited the activities I could do and denied me certain activities based on her desire for me to realize her dream of me becoming a professional dancer. My dad didn’t do much parenting until I was in my 30s, which didn’t sit real well with me. But somehow I got the underlying message that I was the author of my own destiny. 

Now just because I knew this doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a road of trials and tribulations to arrive at a place of full confidence in it. All through my early 20s I struggled through fits and starts of figuring out how to listen to my inner voice and heed its call. Time and time again I would have a feeling about something or hear a little voice inside making a suggestion, ignore it and then after the fact realize that I should have followed those psychic instructions. The good news is that after years of these mishaps, big and small (I’d relay examples, if I could recall them accurately at the moment), I finally started to respond to my intuitive intimations. 

It started with minor things, but over time, I’ve tuned in enough that I generally make most major life decisions based on feelings, dreams, and inspirations. Although this feels completely natural to me now, it seems pretty strange to those around me who have been trained to make decisions based on logic. I watch people make pros and cons lists, while I’m meditating and dream journaling. In fact, one of my biggest and riskiest life decisions was made while in an epsom salt bath musing over dreams I’d been having for three months straight. Six months later I had closed my business and was driving across the country to move to Kauai. I was literally following my inner compass. 

This week in MKE we are wearing a compass as a reminder of following our inner direction. What does it mean to live by the compass and not the clock? It means following those inner revelations. It means knowing that the pros and cons are not always going to reveal all the answers. It means following your heart and taking risks, even though the outcome is unknown. Because it is in the unknown that the greatest gifts and most rewarding experiences are hiding. The greater the risk, the higher the reward; Give more, get more. Where’s your True North? 

MKE, Week 6: The Law of Giving

Being in Nature is my therapy. After a long, full week, I ventured over to the Mt. Jumbo trail, as I often do. It’s conveniently located in town, is a good workout, and has an amazing view. I parked at the Poplar St. trailhead and headed up.

The sun was out. It was warm for a late autumn day. I had just enough time to make it to the “L” monument and back down before sunset.  The first part is pretty steep, but I’ve been practicing, so I can usually charge up the mountain without stopping…except to take pictures of some amazing views. There are always lots of people on the trail, so it would be more unusual not to see someone than to have multiple exchanges. Often they are brief; sometimes they are magical. 

*Wherever I go I bring a gift. I may bring a compliment, a prayer, a trinket, a flower…but I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.*  

I stop intentionally to let people pass so that I can offer them a smile and a “Hello”. About halfway up I was coming up on an older man headed down who had stopped to put his sweatshirt on. As I approached…

“How’s your eagle eye?” He shouted to me. 

“What’s that?” I thought I misunderstood him. 

“How’s your eagle eye?” 

“Oh, pretty good, ” I said as I walked up to him, thinking he was going to ask me to look for a needle in a haystack…which is basically what the side of Mt. Jumbo looks like. 

He pointed uphill. “Whitetail or Mule deer?” 

“Well, I can’t say for sure, but I’d say those are Mule deer. I usually see the whitetail down in the neighborhood.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. The whitetail like the creek down there.” 

It felt as if he was giving me a compliment…and yet proud of himself simultaneously. We talked for several minutes like we were old friends. I don’t remember the exact exchange of words, but I felt graced by his wisdom and presence…I felt honored that he had stopped me to ask my expertise, expert or not. Our exchange felt as if we had always known each other, though had just met…kindred spirits for three minutes or less…eternity. We smiled big and deep at each other & bid each other goodnight.

*I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, pausing often and noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles, and compliments, which I gladly receive with a “Thank You.”*

As I turned away, my heart overflowed; I felt loved; my eyes welled up with tears. My mom, who we lost to suicide two years ago, had always used that phrase “Eagle Eye”. How did he know it? Why did he say it to ME? It didn’t matter. I felt so grateful. I felt so blessed. He was an angel out of time and space. 

*I promise to give hope for joy, affluence, kindness, and love, consciously with every encounter, regardless of the brevity.*

I got distracted by the beauty of the rising moon and my overwhelm dispersed. I kept hiking. I got to the “L” monument and kept going past; I knew I couldn’t make it to the top–the sun was sinking–but I wasn’t satisfied yet. Finally I told myself to turn around. Back at the “L” a man was waiting, obviously a runner, an older man. We struck up a conversation. He asked me if I ran. I told him I was a novice, but working to improve my skills. He started giving me all his personal tips: 

“Some people say to walk-run-walk-run. I say just run in place. When you need to take a break, just run in place…just don’t ever stop and then your body thinks it should run all the time.”  

I received them gladly. “That sounds like a great idea! Makes a lot of sense…then you don’t lose your momentum.”

He shared about an epic run he had done on these mountains. His friend, a blonde-haired woman, who didn’t have a runner’s body type at all, reached the top and confirmed his theories. He praised her on her arrival. They both exuded so much joy. We chatted for a couple minutes and the conversation doubled back around…

“Just don’t stop running.”

“…to keep your momentum. It’s kind of a metaphor for life, huh?” We all paused to think on that. We smiled and bid our goodbyes, and I ran down the mountain. I felt full, so very full, of love from those exchanges. I glowed. 

*I promise to give without expectation of reciprocity from the channels I enrich, because I know I am in the dynamic flow of giving and receiving.*