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Master Key Experience 2018 – Week 21: Loving-Kindness

We are still masterminding this week about how we can use Fear, Hurt Feelings, Anger, Guilt and/or Unworthiness to expand our comfort zone.  As I pondered my past experiences where these feelings have arisen, I quickly realized there was usually another person, or persons, involved.  For example, I had feared a confrontation with someone over a situation at work; someone had hurt my feelings and I (unfortunately) responded in kind by hurting them back; I have felt anger at someone, or groups of people (which, of course, I justified), and then felt guilt; and I’ve experienced bouts of unworthiness comparing myself to someone else.  You get the idea.  These feelings rarely, if ever, manifest in isolation.

Recently I read about a practice developed by Chade-Meng Tan that he calls “Loving-Kindness.”  Tan was a pioneer at Google and while there created a ground-breaking, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course for Google employees.  Tan’s loving-kindness practice is a very simple, 10 second exercise.  In the course of your day, identify two people and just silently think “I wish for this person to be happy.”  That’s it.

Then I thought, what if when these feelings of fear, anger, hurt feelings, guilt or unworthiness arise, I use it as a trigger to employ the practice of loving-kindness?  I’ll identify the person (sometimes including myself) that is embroiled in the negative emotion and silently say “I wish for this person to be happy.”  Doing this will invoke the Law of Compensation and allow healing and harmony to occur.  Also, when I wish happiness on myself and others, I have massively increased my capacity to be more accepting, more forgiving and less judgmental of others — and that will push the comfort zone out to new horizons!

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 20 – And Let It Begin With Me

At this week in the Master Keys, we mastermind about how we can use fear, hurt feelings, anger, guilt and/or unworthiness to expand our comfort zone.

Undertaking this exercise in the past, I realized that I could shift from the emotion of anger to feelings of compassion and acceptance for whatever it was I perceived was causing my anger.  The shift occurs when I stop “judging and resisting” and instead replace it with “acceptance and compassion.”  When anger exists between people, or nations of people, there can be no peace.  We see this in our own lives and in the history of humanity, even to the present day.

What turns the tide toward peace?  There are many calls for “peace on earth” in the written word and song.  But, again, how is such peace achieved?

I believe this song, beautifully sung by the acapella group Voctave holds a clue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXreNYWtjPQ&list=RDsr202T5ACW4&index=34

One party must be willing to set anger aside, and extend acceptance and compassion.  Put themselves “in the other’s shoes” as we like to say.  The problem is that most of us when angry don’t want to be the first to extend compassion and understanding.  But, someone must be the first to leave their “comfort zones” of fear and anger and begin the healing move toward peace.

Why not you?

Why not me?

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 19 – Fear’s Opposite

The introduction to Part 19 of the Master Keys talks about fear as being a powerful form of thought.  So much so that it paralyzes our nerve centers and affects the circulation of blood.  Which, in turn, similarly affects the nervous system and essentially our entire being.  Paralysis throughout our body, brain, nerves, physical, mental and muscular system.  Yes, fear is a powerful form of thought!

What is fear?  A few popular acronyms have been devised, such as:  False Evidence Appearing Real, or Forget Everything And Run, to one more positive, Face Everything And Rise.

A few years ago, I was introduced to another way of characterizing fear.  It was actually described as being “the opposite of love.”  If asked, what is the opposite of love, most people would respond, hate.  But hate is more accurately just one of many manifestations of fear – along with things like anger, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, etc. Fear is the root of these.  Again, the dichotomy of Love is Fear – in other words, the absence of Love.

Reading further in Part 19, we find Section 8 which speaks to the dichotomy of good and evil.  I saw a great parallel here to love and fear.  Taking the liberty to substitute Love for good and Fear for evil, the passage reads as follows:

“In the Moral World we again find the same law; we speak of Love and Fear, but Love is a reality, something tangible, while Fear is found to be simply a negative condition, the absence of Love.  Fear is sometimes thought to be a very real condition, but it has no principle, no vitality, no life; we know this because it can always be destroyed by Love; just as Truth destroys Error and light destroys darkness, so Fear vanishes when Love appears.”

 Yes, fear can be a powerful thought form, but nothing is more powerful than fear’s opposite – Love!

 

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 18 – My Eternity

I first read Scroll V of the Greatest Salesman in the World two years ago.  Now, as then, it still profoundly strikes me.  I have grown in my awareness and ability to “be in the present moment” but I yearn to embrace it more fully.  The past I leave fairly well behind me.  My tendency (perhaps influenced by being a White in the ColorCode) is to be too concerned over future conditions or events.

“I will live this day as if it is my last.” 

Too many of us live in regret of the past, or anxiety over the future, or both.  This totally misses where life is and has always been lived – right now!  In the present moment!

“This day is all I have and these hours are my eternity.”

Think about that for a moment.  What is eternity other than an infinite existence of present moments?  What is Scroll V telling me?  That, in fact, this day is my last.  And it is also my first.  This day is all we ever really have.  It is the day of my life.  The hours of my eternity.

What then shall I do with the gift of this present moment?  The Scroll provides insightful questions to help answer.  Indeed, questions are the answer.

“I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved.  Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed?  Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved?   Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?  Is there a purpose in nature? Is this my day to excel?”    

If I’m to live this as if it is my last, what would the person I intend to become do next?

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 17-HJ – Are You In Denial?

I’ve heard it said, if you want a better answer, ask a better question.  We had that better question introduced this week in the Master Keys.   

“What am I pretending not to know?” 

Since I’ve been asking myself this question, it’s had an unexpected, yet profound impact on me.

It seemed a rather innocuous question at first.  But the more I read it, and pondered it in my sits, the more I began to see some things about myself.  There were definitely areas of my life where I was being The Great Pretender.  Areas where pretending was holding me back and impeding my growth toward becoming my authentic self.

What is “pretending not to know” anyway?  For me, it was just another way of being “in denial.”  When someone is in denial, they are refusing to accept a past or present reality.  We know the truth, we know what to do, but we don’t do it. This is generally done in an effort to protect or avoid perceived feelings of guilt or fear associated with past actions.  In other words, being in denial is something of a self-defense or self-protection ploy.  So, what part of me was feeling threatened and in need of protection?  Bam!  There is was!  The old self, the Old Blueprint at work again – fighting for its life!

This question has been enormously helpful for me in the area of personal accountability.  The Guy in the Glass is thrilled that I’m still pondering this question as a habit.  Now, whenever I sense The Great Pretender in myself, I call him to accountability; then take heart that the Old Blueprint wouldn’t feel so threatened, if I were not improving!

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 17 – Practices that Connect and Heal

In describing what he termed “the Hero’s Journey” Joseph Campbell said, “Whether small or great, and no matter what the stage or grade of life, the call rings up the curtain…a moment of spiritual passage, which, when complete, amounts to dying and a birth.  The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand.”

Moving beyond the status quo to embrace and honor what is true and authentic for oneself often requires connection with others and healing of ourselves, mentally, emotionally and physically.

I recently came across five practices that will assist any Hero who has passed the threshold:

Smile and laugh freely. Nothing will boost your mood and that of others faster.  Try smiling throughout the day, even when you are alone, and notice the shift.  As the saying goes, “Laughter is good medicine!”

Express gratitude daily. Willingly feeling and expressing gratitude helps to put any situation, positive or negative, in a more proper and joyful state.  Make a practice of recording 1 to 3 daily gratitudes in a journal.

Let forgiveness free you. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, condoning, or excusing someone.  I just means you’ve chosen to free yourself from the situation by not carrying blame, guilt and resentment.  What a cathartic action it is to forgive!

Support and serve others. In the Master Keys we learn to give freely without the expectation of reciprocity.  Giving support and service to others in this way will boost your mood and is a balm for healing own sense self-worth.

Participate in a support group. This is a highly effective way to develop meaningful relationships and to ensure your personal success.  In the Master Keys, this would be our Mastermind group.  It could be one or people who are willing to support and encourage one another around meaningful common or individual goals.

All the above of simple and inexpensive, so why not give them a try?  Each of us, regardless of where we are in our own journey, can benefit from practices that heal us and connect us to others.

Master Key Experience 2018: Week 16 – Kindnesses All Around!

This is a favorite week for me and many who are traveling through the Master Keys.  It’s Kindness Week!  We focus on the virtue of kindness by either performing, or observing, random acts of kindness.

I’m always amazed at how what we focus on is what we see and what is attracted to us.  This week I have been both the giver, receiver and observer of kind acts and what a blessing and joy it has been!

It only takes a few seconds even to say a kind word, send a thoughtful message, perform a small favor, or do an unexpected task for someone.  The benefits of kindness to both parties is immeasurable!  And, it often creates a ripple effect when the recipient of kindness feels compelled to pass it on!  Isn’t that what we need more of in the world today?

Let’s keep the Kindnesses going well beyond this week!