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.*

 

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MKE, Week 5: Addicted to Love?

So a little carry-over from last week…personal epiphanies rendered as lessons current and past aligned…

Learned (again) about how the body gets addicted to the neuropeptides that it experiences the most. Your body makes them for every emotion you feel, and even the bad ones feel “good” if they are familiar. For example, if you experience anger, sadness, disappointment frequently because of circumstances in your life, your body will crave those peptides as much (or more?) than it craves the peptides released with the experiences of love, comfort, approval. All peptides attach to receptors on all your cells and change them, even down into the nucleus…and then your cells become CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT on whichever ones they get the most of. Unconsciously, we keep repeating behavior patterns that get us the “fix” our cells need. Wow. This time it really hit home. 

As a child, I cried A LOT, about everything. I was overly sensitive and as a result got picked on a lot throughout my life, up into my early twenties…because people loved how easy it was to push my buttons. I made it easy for them, unconsciously. I was told over and over that I needed to “toughen up”. And struggled with that because I valued the part of my sensitivity that was my empathy, compassion, intuition. How could I balance the two sides of it?

In retrospect…the emotional drama was a way to get attention…

In hindsight…a complete replication of emotional patterns learned from my mom…except that her go-tos were anger and depression…which I too employed as I got older and finally learned to stop crying all the time…sometimes…

What was the plea? 

WANTING TO BE SEEN!! To be acknowledged. I won’t get into the cultural implications of being a girl in the south where, at least in my family, boys seemed to be more valued than girls…my mom always took my brother’s side; I felt practically invisible to my dad till I was about 16…but I will say that it led to a lifetime of chronic overachieving for me. I always got straight A’s…I always had a full schedule, I neglected prioritizing free time with friends to prioritize chores at home…my mom was so depressed and tired, she needed my help. Also I was the oldest, the right hand woman…and expected to set an example? If I DID BiG, if I did Everything, maybe someone would see it, SEE ME. 

This continues to play out in my life…asking too much of myself…over-giving to others, friends, lovers, and family, alike…keeping my plate so full that I can’t always meet my own expectations…But were they ever my own?…or imposed? 

I’ve struggled with being chronically late, usually because I’m trying to do “one more thing”. What is the emotional benefit of that? Well, when you walk in late, or have to apologize for it, YOU ARE SEEN, even if not in the best light. MY BODY NEEDS THOSE f@#%ing PEPTIDES!! And it will do anything to get them. 

In intimate relationships, I usually follow the other person’s lead, taking what I can get, dating people that seek me out, most of whom have had addiction issues of some sort. My dad was an alcoholic, but my mom had the same emotional patterns, learned from her alcoholic father. In my relationships, the emotional drama was always HIGH, from both sides. I found my voice in anger and depression. I held the standard that I was the “better” person because I didn’t have chemical dependencies. I claimed my only addiction was to LOVE because I craved attention and human touch so explicitly…but here’s the thing, when people have addictions, those addictions ARE #1…so expecting them to give me the attention I wanted was a losing cause…and drawing those partners to me fulfilled my pattern of BEING INVISIBLE. And then I also got pity from my friends for having sh!#%y boyfriends! WOW. So WHAT was I REALLY craving??? The PEPTIDES of feeling UNSEEN! And who’s CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY was stronger now?! Peptides run F@#%ING deep. 

What has this bred in me?

Setting my standards too high and not reaching my goals, showing up a day late (& a dollar short), having one dead end relationship after another, all programs my mind in the habit of FAILURE, and an addiction to it. As long as I keep repeating these patterns, I keep getting my fix. And at what cost? Discontent, a constant striving, anxiety, lack of fulfillment in my life. 

THOSE PATTERNS END HERE. Although I’ve been working to deprogram this crap for years now…I’ve learned to “toughen up”, not take things personally, and still keep my intuition and compassion intact and active; I’ve learned to manage my emotions appropriately; I’ve released my attachment and control issues in relationships…something just clicked in this Master Key Experience…on a DEEP level.

Habits are changing, mind stuff shifting, synapses rewiring. Through simple, repetitive, habitual exercises, I am actually practicing feeling the peptides of JOY, ACCOMPLISHMENT, and CELEBRATION of SUCCESS. I’m practicing LESS IS MORE and DOING IT NOW. No more procrastination on the little things means no more waiting to create the life I want. LET IT BEGIN NOW…I release Invisibility, I release Failure. And begin cultivating an ADDICTION TO LOVE. 

MKE, Week 4: Into the Woods

D34F8AD6-FD7D-433F-A472-0E8CC753E0BA.jpegI needed the trees. More than I can rightfully explain through words. Been balancing so much and nothing relieves my overworked mind more than being in nature. I didn’t just need a jaunt up the mountain or a stroll in the park. I needed to sleep under the stars, to hear the rushing river, to make light and heat with fire, to dirty my hands, to wake up with the cold on my face. But what of my daily commitments to realizing my true future? I put the virtual classroom on pause, but the readings came with me. 

That night, by firelight, I read aloud to myself…and a nearby wood mouse, who ran by as if to say thank you and goodnight; she must be more enlightened because of her overhearing. In the cold of the morning (this is Montana in October), I lay in my sleeping bag, reading; I did my sit on a rock, the adjacent creek rushing at my feet. As my friend and I hiked up to the hot springs, chatting, I found my desires spilling from my mouth, effortlessly. Things I didn’t expect about where and how I wanted to live and things I wanted to do. I became the observer…I watched myself and listened…and made note. 

Upon arriving home, the day was perfect. I didn’t even unpack fully before I was sitting on the porch, in the sun, journal & pen in hand, revising my “Definite Major Purpose”, writing down all those dreams that had bubbled to the surface amongst the cedar and fir trees. I felt at ease, I felt complete, finally feeling some of the resistance to this manifestation fall away. I read my DMP with pride everyday this week…which is a first since the course started. I feel the aspects of it beginning to materialize. I’ve shared some of the goals out loud with friends and family…as if they are plans in the works…because if your share them and you say them, they are real. And they are real. 

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MKE, Week 3: Over the (first) hump…

The first week was invigorating: I had something new to wake up for everyday and I was excited!

The second week was empowering: I was on top of all my exercises and additional tasks; I was amazed at how I accomplished everything with ease! Until I started a second job and the hours to fit in all my readings were seriously reduced.

For several days, I found myself barely having time to each lunch, much less read while I was eating or after. By the time I got home at night, after caring for myself on the most basic level, it was late and several times I fell asleep while trying to complete my tasks or readings. I got down on myself for not keeping all my promises. Of course this isn’t going to “work” if I can’t DO the work!! My attitude quickly shifted to a “baditude”. And frankly, I was JUST TIRED. 

This feeling carried over to the next week as I struggled to reach my goals. I finished my promised task for the week on Sunday night and was in no way ahead for the week to come. But the next morning we started a new lesson. In the intro:

“Eliminate, therefore, any possible tendency to complain of conditions as they have been, or as they are, because it rests with you to change them and make them what you would like them to be.

Direct your effort to a realization of the mental resources, always at your command, from which all real and lasting power comes.

When you realize this, you will have found a source of power which will enable you to take care of any situation in life which may develop.” 

I read the lesson and sat. I concentrated on building energy in my solar plexus and throughout my body. Fifteen minutes later I felt completely different. I felt empowered and energized again and ready to take on , not only the day, but also the Master Key Experience. I pushed through that first feeling of wanting to give up and give in…to my fear, to my weakness, to my helplessness…and exercised my ability to tap into infinite strength and power. 

That pushing through is not easy; the weight of the fear always feels heavier, stronger. Embracing that I am powerful and creative is not always easy…because it means I have to take responsibility for my Life. But what other choice do I have? I will not live in quiet desperation or mediocre acceptance. We are ALL made for more than that. 

Master Keys Experience, Week 2: The Practices & Time

For a loooong time I have been saying I want to read more, I want to write more, I want to meditate more, I want to start a blog…but I just didn’t make time for those things. Why? I don’t know. Somehow I had a host of excuses, somehow I never had enough time. 

One of the things that was suggested when we started was that we would somehow create an abundance of time for everything, despite having more tasks to complete daily. I wasn’t sure how this would work…I’m still not sure…but it seems to be true. Yes, I have to get up extra early to get all my practices done before work. Yes, I have to figure out how to weave readings into the middle of the day. Yes. I have to make time to blog & write & think & read in the evening. Plus regular life…and still somehow it all fits. I’m amazed.

But if nothing else comes of this experience (which I highly doubt will be the case), I have already met all my goals, almost effortlessly. I am reading more, I am writing more, I am sitting more (despite a wandering mind), & I started a blog…which has seriously been on my list for 2-3 years. For me that is a simple & gratifying success. 

Thank You Master Keys. It’s in the actions that change is made. DO IT NOW! 

Master Keys Experience, Week 1: Getting in the Groove

It’s been a really interesting week of getting used to incorporating the Master Keys exercises into daily life. It’s a big time commitment, but feels worth it. Many of the concepts I am already familiar with…some of which have been very present and put into practice at other times in my life…but it is the ACTIONS I signed up for. I have been studying these types of concepts–universal laws–for years, but I am not always good at DOING the things that keep me in alignment with them. I was drawn to this course because it was based around ACTIONS and Practices that put these Universal laws into motion. I need discipline. I need repetition. I need consistency. Not because I crave those things, but because I have adversity to them. I had a lot of discipline as a child and took on a lot of responsibility at a young age. I owned my own business by the age of 26. So by 30, I was ready to throw those ways to the wind and decided to learn how to have some fun. I was seeking FREEDOM. And in process forgot how necessary discipline is for growth…which I am addicted to. Since high school I have been on a spiritual personal growth journey, reading books, studying religions, practicing yoga, sitting in stillness, journaling, self-analyzing…manifesting, intuiting. The last few years have been a hard road of loss, grief, change, disappointment, heartbreak…over and over. I grew and grew some more, but only because of the challenges life threw at me. Like learning to swim in the ocean to stay alive. I kept my head up, I kept a smile on my face as much as possible, but no way could I make the same concerted efforts I had in the past…with direction. I chose Master Keys because I was ready for a jump start; because I wanted to make change in my life and needed direction. And it is perfect. I understand the concepts, but it is the repetitive daily practices that challenge me…and make change. Already I feel new synaptic grooves being worn in my brain. I feel new patterns being established slowly…some days I wake up full of excitement, some days I wake up exhausted & avoiding…but I do it anyway…I trust the process…because I have seen what it has done for others…and if you want what someone has, you have to do what they have done. Many friends are asking if this is some collection of “inspirational talks”…and it is not, but it is hard to explain. I’m retraining my brain…& my body. I’ve found in recent years that I am in very little to no way motivated by the external. Everything that drives me to do anything comes from within. And that is where this course takes you…Within.