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!

Master Key Experience 2018 – Week 15: Nature’s Greatest Miracle

I am in awe of nature!  Always have been.  Nothing imbues a sense of wonder and awe in me more than looking up into a clear night sky and seeing the vast reaches containing countless stars and galaxies.  And, even the smaller and more intricate faces of nature can be just as awe-inspiring.  The complex web of a spider, the perfection of a snowflake, or the singular beauty of a rose petal.  Nature is dynamic, resilient, and always in complete harmony.  Though mankind has altered and disrupted the balance of nature throughout history, nature always eventually returns to itself in total and everlasting harmony.

Reading Scroll IV of the Greatest Salesman in the World this week reminded me that I, too, am a part of this Nature.  In fact, I am Nature’s greatest miracle!  Really?  Given all the wonder and awe I experience being in and viewing nature, I sometimes forget this fact. Nature has immense potential, and so do I!

Nature was born of Love.  I, too, was born of Love.  My favorite take-away from Scroll IV is this.

I have unlimited potential.  I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose!

 I am Nature’s greatest miracle.


Master Key Experience 2018 – Week 14: October Sky Revisited

A few years ago, I watched the 1998 movie “October Sky” adapted from Homer Hickam’s book entitled “Rocket Boys.”  The film is set in 1957 in Coalwood, West Virginia, a mining town as the name implies, and opens with the townspeople, including 17-year old Homer, gazing into the October night sky to witness the passing of the Russian satellite “Sputnik.”  Upon seeing Sputnik cross the sky, Homer is inspired and discovers his definite major purpose in life.

The Formula for Success (below) is clearly evident in this wonderful movie.

Success = a Definite Major Purpose (DMP), plus a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), plus a Plan of Action (POA), plus a Mastermind Alliance (MMA). 

Definite Major Purpose (DMP):  This is our true and authentic purpose for our life.  It’s the reason we are here.  Our passion and gift to humanity.  Homer’s DMP was revealed to him the instant he saw Sputnik fleeing across the October sky that night in 1957.  One evening at the dinner table as the conversation between his father and brother centered on football and athletic prowess, Homer interrupts and beautifully states his DMP saying, “I’m going to build rockets.”  A simple and elegant one-sentence DMP!  “I’m going to build rockets.” That was his earnest desire.

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA):  A positive mental attitude is having a mind that is closed to all negative influences.  Almost immediately upon announcing his desire to build rockets, Homer met resistance and negativity from his father, brother, his peers and some in the town.  After all, everyone growing up in Coalwood was automatically destined to a life in the mines, unless a football scholarship was their ticket out.  Homer was no football star!  Despite all this, Homer kept his focus and attention on his purpose.

Plan of Action (POA):  Simply having a purpose and maintaining a positive mental attitude is not enough to achieve success.  A Plan of Action expressed in continuous activity is required.  Homer and his core team (3 boyhood friends) demonstrated a definite plan of action that included studying rocket science, learning mathematics, discerning equations, establishing a rocket launch site 8 miles off of mining company property, experimenting with various materials, designs and fuel types, and numerous failed launches from which they learned and made necessary corrections.  They stayed in action and were determined to persist until they succeeded!

Mastermind Alliance (MMA):  No one succeeds without a Mastermind, and Homer was no exception.  To me, one of the most poignant parts of the story was how his mastermind alliance came together.  First, Homer enlisted the aid and support of three boyhood friends.  In particular, he reached out to someone he normally wouldn’t have associated with – Quentin, the school math geek.  Quentin’s vast knowledge of math and rocketry was invaluable to Homer and they became fast friends.  Others in the alliance were their science teacher Miss Riley, a welder in the mining company machine shop, a former fighter pilot, and eventually even his father, the school principal, to include the support and encouragement of the entire town of Coalwood.  One of the benefits accruing to the Mastermind, his 3 friends in particular, was that in achieving a win in the national science fair, they would receive college scholarship offers thus providing them the opportunity of a life away from the mines.

October Sky is a fantastic movie well worth watching again and again.  The success formula is always available and at work for those who aspire to fulfill their authentic purpose!

Master Key Experience 2018 – Week 13: What We Really Desire

We know that thoughts are causes and conditions are effects.  Further, it follows that our thoughts will bring about the conditions that correspond with our predominant thoughts.

By exerting concentrated thought and putting forth the proper effort, we can bring about the circumstances and conditions necessary for us to have what we really desire in life.

And just what is it that we really desire?

We find in Section 13-18 of Haanel:  “What are we to think in order to secure what we really desire?  What you and I desire, what we all desire, what everyone is seeking, is Happiness and Harmony.  If we can truly be happy we shall have everything the world can give.  If we are happy ourselves we can make others happy.”

If happiness is what we are seeking, then how is it obtained?  Looking again to Haanel we find in Section 13-19:  “But we cannot be happy unless we have health, strength, congenial friends, pleasant environment, sufficient supply, not only to take care of our necessities, but to provide for those comforts and luxuries to which we are entitled.”

Let’s further examine these elements of happiness:

Health is a body, mind and spirit that is in a natural state of ease, as opposed to dis-ease. They are balanced and functioning at peak efficiency.

Strength is vigor, resiliency and steadfastness of mind, body and spirit.  Regardless of the circumstances, they always prevail with power and grace.

Congenial Friends are positive nurturing social, and family, relationships.  These present opportunities for growth and allow us to give and receive without expectation of reciprocity.

Pleasant Environment is our state of being and can be both physical and mental/emotional.  It could be out in the natural world where you draw energy and peace, or in your quiet “sit” where you feel a sense of safety, harmony and creativity.

Sufficient Supply is our store of tangible value (money/wealth) with which we exchange for the necessities, comforts and luxuries in life to which we are all entitled.  There is no limitation on this supply and we each get to determine what amount is sufficient for our lives.

Happiness is what we all really desire.  And here’s the best news!  Happiness is not something external to be acquired.  It is our natural, internal state that is always there to be accessed.

Master Key Experience 2018 – Week 12: How Much Did You Love?

I read a book many years ago in which the author had interviewed some 30 individuals all who had been declared clinically dead, yet had come back to life.  The book, entitled “Life After Life”, was a summation of their experiences in the after-life and it also explored similarities in what they had experienced.  Many reported seeing a “Bright Light” and having a feeling of being totally at peace and unconditionally loved and accepted.  But what I found most interesting was that many also reported they had been asked the following two questions:

  1. What did you do for people?


  1. How much did you love?

To me, it says the essence and purpose of life is to minister to other people and to love them.  At least that’s what I thought initially.  But now knowing The Law of Growth, The Law of Attraction, The Law of Love as I do, I think the question “How much did you love?” has a much broader aspect than the act of simply loving other people.

The Law of Growth (Attraction/Love) is the greatest of all mental laws – the granddaddy of them all.  It is the all in all.

Section 12-21 of Haanel, describes the combination of Thought and Love as forming an irresistible force – the Law of Growth!  Furthermore, the Law of Growth is a natural law, meaning it is without variation – like gravity, or electricity it works all the time, every time, in exactly the same way.

So, perhaps the 2nd question, “How much did you love?” is also asking, “How much did you think and grow?  Did you do all you could to manifest your innate potential?  How much did you attract?  Were your thoughts positive and constructive and fruitful?  Were you attracting in order to be the channel by which the Infinite could express and bestow blessings onto you and others?  How much did you give without any expectation of reciprocity?”

All of life, evaluated by two questions, “What did you do for people?” and

“How much did you love?”