Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Patience, impatience and present(s)

‘Tis the season... For impatience! Children are impatient, eagerly anticipating Christmas morning. You might be impatient in those long check out lines, or the lines snaking through airports, or the getaway traffic jams. But what is impatience, and what can you do about it?

Merriam-Webster defines impatience as “the quality or state of being impatient”. Lots of help, huh? (I’m impatient with these self-referential definitions!) So how does it define impatient? Here’s how:

1 a : not patient : restless or short of temper especially under irritation, delay, or opposition
b : Intolerant 1
2 : prompted or marked by impatience
3 : eagerly desirous : Anxious

But what I see as the true nature of impatience is preferring to be in the (imagined) future, rather than in the present. So the antidote for impatience is internal peace and a willingness to stay in and enjoy the present.

How do you stay peaceful, stay in the present, and enjoy it?

Here are a few ideas:

“Be here now” in Ram Dass’ words. Just neutrally observe the situation.
Look around you and notice what is good about the situation. Perhaps you can enjoy the department store displays while you’re in that checkout line, or chatting with people in the airport lines, or noticing bumper stickers you appreciate.
Remember a time and place you felt very peaceful, and call that to mind.
Set up a self-anchor for “peace” and use it when you are tempted to be impatient. You set up the self-anchor by doing a little preparation in advance:

First, pick a physical position that you will use for the self-anchor (I like hand positions, because you can do them any time, any where, without anyone else noticing).
Next, remember a time when you were very peaceful. Really get into it by stepping into that time and place, and when you feel it powerfully, put your hand in the position you’ve chosen. Hold that for a few seconds, and let it go.
Do this a few times.
Now test it by just doing the hand position and seeing if it creates the feeling. If it does, you’re done. If not, repeat the process of getting into the emotional state very powerfully and then doing the hand position. Eventually, the hand position will be so linked to the emotional state that you can call up the state at will by doing the hand position.

Distract yourself with a book or magazine or video or radio or ipod or journal. Distract the kids by singing Christmas carols or telling stories or doing crafts. No, it doesn’t really foster internal peace, but it does bring you into the present and get you out of any negative thought patterns or feelings associated with impatience.

Enjoy the season!

(image courtesy of its designer, Marcia Wood)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men -- Do you see "shopping" in there anywhere?

Christmas is theoretically a time of peace, generosity and goodwill to our fellow humans. The American way of Christmas, however, paradoxically creates Scrooges. We are programmed by retailers and the media to shop at the sound of the bell which signals the end of Thanksgiving dinner, and to continue doing so for about a month. (In fact, retailers know that after the weekend after Thanksgiving, not much holiday shopping happens till around Dec. 15.) But shopping and spending may actually create stress, stinginess, reduced cooperation and distance instead of peace on earth and goodwill to our fellow humans. Consider the following:

Money issues cause the most stress during the holiday season, according to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The survey of over 1000 people found that 61% of Americans listed lack of money as the top cause of holiday stress followed by the pressures of gift giving, lack of time, and credit card debt. Survey results also show that younger Americans are more worried about lack of money and gift giving compared to people over the age of 35.

One in five Americans are worried that holiday stress could affect their physical health and 36% say they either eat or drink alcohol to cope with holiday stress.

So holiday gift-giving creates holiday stress, especially through lack of money. Then there is this research:

Psychologists from several universities found that subconscious reminders of money prompted people to become more independent in their work, less likely to seek help from others, taking 70% longer to do so. They became reluctant to volunteer their time, twice as slow to offer help, and twice as cheap when asked to donate to a worthy cause.

Having money on the mind even caused the students who were their subjects to put more distance — literally — between themselves and others. Instructed to place two chairs together to meet another student, they put the chairs about 47 inches apart, compared with 31 inches for the students who had not been prompted subconsciously to think about money.

(For the whole story, see

So shopping makes us think of money, which makes us stingier, less likely to help others, more likely to put distance between ourselves and others. Doesn’t sound to me like it’s creating peace, generosity, harmony or goodwill. This year, consider nixing the shopping, and giving of yourself and your time instead. If it doesn’t give you joy to do it or give it, don’t!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Follow your heart?

Just a few nights ago, I listened to a friend bare her soul about how hard it is for her to follow her heart professionally. She knows, on a very deep level, that she has a major contribution to make to society, by reshaping how people think about spirituality. (This is not grandiosity on her part, because she’s done it before.) The problem is that in following her deepest truth about the world and herself, she would be stepping away from the majority of others, and offending many of her closest friends, who believe passionately what she used to believe. This causes her great pain, partly because she really does feel for them empathically, and partly because she’s afraid of being outcast, of losing her friends.

I’ve heard this story, this song, before, many times before. Perhaps it’s a woman who is afraid of what opening up psychically is going to do to her relationship. Or a man who worries how his personal changes will affect his job. The details change, the words change, but the song remains the same. In every case, the singer needs to remember a few things:

- If your “friends” cast you out because you have changed your beliefs, ignoring all that they supposedly love about you, and all the history you have, then they aren’t truly your friends, and they never were. That may be a hard thing to find out, but wouldn’t you rather find it out now than later? True friends stand by you while you change; they love you even if you’re making a mistake, and they love you if you teach then a better way, rather than being in their egos, offended by your change.

- If they cast you out because you have changed your beliefs, it is generally more about them than about you. Maybe they are heavily invested, at a personality level, in being right, or in being seen to be right. Do you really want to spend more time with someone who is more interested in being right, or being respected, than in learning the truth?

- There are other people out there who will accept the “new” you. That’s the point of change — you are changing others by changing yourself. This is authentic leadership, from the inside out.

- How will you feel if you sacrifice your highest knowing, your true path, your calling in life, for the feelings of other people? It may feel safe and comfortable now, but in the long run, you will know that you cheated yourself and the world. Letting go of your own truth to satisfy others never serves you, and because we are all one, it never serves anyone else, either.

So for my friend, as well as everyone else, the question remains — what’s more important, your truth or your short term comfort?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vote for change... your own

Have you voted yet (if you live in a state that allows that)? Are you planning on it? If so, have you kept up with the races, and read any propositions on the ballot? Have you made your choices yet (if you haven’t already voted)? Do you know how you’re getting to the polls? What will you do if you have to wait in a long line to vote? What will you do if your vote gets recorded wrong? Are you bringing a camera?

(Quick aside for non-Californians: We in CA are blessed by a statewide proposition system that puts many items directly to the voters, and a state government which prints and mails to every registered voter a hefty pamphlet with each candidate’s statement, and a very complete and balanced discussion of each proposition, including their text. Even better than that, in my county we are allowed to be “permanent absentee voters” (and over 30% of us are), so that we can vote in the comfort of our own homes, surrounded by all the information we could possibly want, for several weeks before election day, and then mail in the ballot, or deliver it to a polling place.)

I suspect that your attitude toward voting is related to how you make choices in other areas of your life. If you are someone who thinks carefully about each option, and then picks one, I’ll bet you’ve followed all the races, maybe even voted already. If you normally just “go with your gut”, you’ve probably paid some attention to the upcoming elections, but haven’t really planned how to vote, either electorally or logistically. If you tend to say, “If it’s mean to be, it’s meant to be...”, then you’re probably registered, but haven’t given the election a lot of thought. If you typically put off making a decision, and put it off and keep putting it off, until there’s no more decision to make, you probably aren’t even registered yet, and if you are, you probably don’t vote regularly.

You can change yourself from the inside out (using NLP, hypnotherapy and countless other techniques) or from the outside in (behavior modification, etc.). Change from the inside out works by changing you at a very deep level, usually beliefs or identity, after which you automatically begin to act differently. Change from the outside in works by changing your actions first, so that you have some new neural paths, and so you see yourself differently, and then change your beliefs and/or identity.

Here’s a thought. Use the election to change the way you make decisions, from the outside in. If you typically don’t vote, or don’t think much about it, pay attention to this election, and GO VOTE! You’ll thank yourself later, on a lot of levels. And remember, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain for the next two years.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's YOUR story?

We all tell ourselves stories of our lives, all the time, and we live out those stories. When I think back over all the people I've talked to over the years, each one of them has a story. One woman had an abusive mom, and struggles daily to avoid becoming an abuser. Another woman was molested as a child, and has never had a truly satisfying relationship with a man. The story generally comes down to this:

* Somebody done me wrong
* I'm bad/defective/incapable/hopeless
* I feel afraid/angry/sad (and it's stopping me?)
* I want to feel better
* I don't know what to do

The characters in the story generally are:

* Victim
* Victimizer/villain
* Rescuer/hero

And often the speaker sees him- or herself as the victim, that is, (s)he is telling the story from the victim’s point of view.

Are you telling your story from the victim’s point of view? What if you rewrote your story? What if you were the hero instead of the victim? (Because no one wants to see him or herself as the villain in his or her own story.)

A hero isn't someone whose life is perfect. Think of Raiders of the Lost Ark... Indiana Jones just got out ALIVE after he stole the bag of jewels from its cave hiding place, with that enormous boulder crashing towards him. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t fun (for him). And there wasn’t any glory, at least not at that point. The hero is someone who, like Indy, gets through the tough stuff -- that’s all — gets through it, gets out alive. What if all those "someone done me wrong" items weren't the actions of villains, but obstacles on your hero's journey?

So instead your story would be

* I faced an obstacle -- because my soul set up a challenge/learning situation
* I am capable/whole/learning
* I feel how I feel -- and am carrying on despite that
* I choose to feel better, and am learning the tools for that
* Somewhere inside me, I do/did know what to do -- because I'm still here

Now the former abused child lets go of her identity as a victim, and instead sees that perhaps she came into this incarnation wanting to learn compassion. She see that she is learning this, however slowly, that she often feels angry and hurt, but that she is working every day to treat people kindly. She is learning to meditate and let go of her justified anger at what happened in her childhood. And that the simple fact that she continues to do this every day is her hero’s journey, that she does know what to do, maybe not in every instance, but in more and more situations every day. And as she lives out that more empowering story, every day she has more choices.

What happens when you rewrite your story?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Not so foggy...

I’m honestly not feeling very profound this week, so I thought I’d just share an insight, or perhaps it’s more of a reminder of something we all know, from an experience I had this weekend.

First, a little background: I live in the Bay Area, which is famous for its microclimates. That is, the weather can be very different just a few miles away than it is where you are. Thus the concept of the “sunny neighborhood”, as opposed to a cloudy or foggy or windy one, which completely blew my mind when I first moved here. The fog, when it’s in, tends to leave by noon and come in again in the late afternoon. But this is early October, when fog is rare, and the weather tends to be more alike around the Bay Area than not, except for the temperature which can vary depending on how close you are to water.

Sunday was a magnificent day in our neighborhood — cloudless blue sky, 70ish weather, no wind (and wind is generally a precursor of fog/cold weather, as well as an indicator that it’s foggy to the north and/or west). It was much too nice to stay inside, so I worked for a while in the yard, and then by mid afternoon just wanted to be out in nature. One of the closest big swaths of nature, perhaps 5 miles north, on the other side of a north-south ridge between my home and the beach, is San Francisco’s 7 mile long Ocean Beach, which makes for great hiking. I chose to go there. As I headed north along the ridge, it got gloomier and gloomier, and windier and windier, as the fog moved in for the evening. It was not looking like a lot of fun. So I turned around.

Not one to give up easily, I thought that perhaps the beach in Pacifica, due west from my home, would be better. As I headed back south along the ridge, I could see that the marine fog layer seemed to extend to the beach, but it was a little hard to tell because the view was obstructed by natural and man-made structures. So I thought I’d go down the winding road from the ridge to the beach, just to see better. As I got lower and lower, it became more apparent that the fog did indeed extend to the beach, but by now I was so far down the winding road that I’d have to go to the end to turn around. And oddly, there was no wind. By now I’d been in the car so long that I needed to stretch my legs, and it didn’t seem too cold, so I got out and walked along the mile long curve of Linda Mar beach. As I reached the cliffs at the far end from where I’d parked, I realized that the fog had lifted and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day! (And remember, fog normally comes IN in the afternoon!)

The lesson is this: be clear about what you want ( a pleasant hike), not attached to how it shows up (Ocean Beach vs. Linda Mar beach), keep plugging away toward it, and be willing to change course if it looks like what you want isn’t exactly in the direction you expected. The universe may just line up to give you what you want.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Waaay cool thing happened...

Last night, well, really early this morning, probably around 4AM, i had to get up to let the cat out. (I've learned the smelly and expensive way that i must heed this particular yowl/scratching.) The way i fall back asleep in the middle of the night is to do my standard trance/meditation induction, but in a sleeping position. This includes asking my guides to be here with me. Immediately after i did this, it occurred to me that they might want to hear the rain, which i find a lovely sound when it is steady and not wind-driven.

Flashback #1: About 10 years ago, I was at a wedding reception in a restaurant on top of a high-rise in SF. Hardly knew anyone, and I'm actually kind of shy, so i went to the windows looking west to watch the panoramic sunset. i asked my guides what they thought, and they said thank you to me, because they don't have physical eyes, and can only see the earth's beauty through ours. So now, when i see something beautiful, i invite them to have a look.

Flashback #2: A few weeks ago, when my husband was up in Mt. Shasta with a group calling ETs, i seem to have gotten some new guides, who prefer to be called "high beings" rather than ETs. My husband and some others, who were out in an unlit field, miles from anything, at night, took flashlit digital photos of each other. There are 2 of him. in the first, he's just standing there. then he asked the photographer to wait a moment while he called the ETs. He sent them love and asked them to show up. the next photo is of him surrounded by translucent white/gold globes, so many that it is as if you are looking through a bubble bath at him.

Back to this morning: When i invited my "friends" in, i could psychically see myself surrounded by bubbles, and there was a marvelous peaceful, loving feeling around me. Ahhhh...

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Today, I am thrilled to have Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen Institute, one of the fathers of the human potential movement, author of many books, brilliant thinker, great story teller and intrepid explorer into unseen worlds, as my on-air guest. We’ll be discussing new research into life after “death”. This promises to be a lively and informative discussion!

You may want to hear my weekly radio show, but can’t because you’re working, or just away from the computer. Now I have begun to podcast the shows (2 are up so far). It’s not perfect yet (I have to upload them in pieces, for example), but it does work, and the sound quality is pretty good. To listen to the podcasts, go to my website, and click on PODCAST in the menu bar at the top. This will take you to a sign in page (which you only have to do once for any and all podcasts), and then you’ll be emailed the link to the podcasts.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How YOU can help end the "War on Terror"

It isn’t what you think.

First, we have to look at the meaning of the phrase “war on terror”. This has been widely derided as absurd, because “you can’t make war on a tactic”. This is true, but misses the mark. The tactic is terrorism, and so if one were making war on a tactic, this would be the “War on Terrorism”, but it wasn’t named that. Let’s go deeper.

“Terror” is, of course, an emotion, an exaggerated fear. So the “War on Terror” is actually a war on an emotion. Absurd, right? Well, perhaps not absurd, but fiendishly clever.

War is the man-made mass event that is most feared in the world. And so war creates fear — war creates terror. Aha! This is self-reinforcing. The war creates the very thing it is supposedly made to stop. So the “War on Terror” is designed to be never-ending. You might think of it, instead, as the “Love of Terror”.

Then you have to ask the age old question, “Who benefits?” I’ll leave the answer to that one up to your imagination and investigation, because this isn’t meant to be a political article.

So how do you help end the “War on Terror”? It’s simple.

Refuse to be afraid. If you’re not afraid, those who would manipulate you, can’t. This is true at every level from the boyfriend or girlfriend who threatens to leave you if you don’t do a certain thing, or act a certain way, all the way up to a group or a nation threatening another group or nation with bombs if they don’t behave in the way the first group wants.

But, you say, fear is natural. Yes, that’s true. Fear is an evolutionary mechanism related to “fight or flight”. Humans evolved so that when confronted by a large, hungry animal, their instincts helped protect them so they’d live and procreate another day. But much of what we fear today is artificial — we fear ridicule, or we fear losing a loved one, or we fear losing a job. In fact, none of those things is in your face, life or death, and so none of them requires “fight or flight”.

In over 20 years of counseling people, I’ve learned that almost all fears, when you push them, are masks for the fear of death. Think about that. When you’re afraid of losing a job, the subconscious train of thought goes like this: if I lose my job, I’ll never find another one, and then I’ll lose my home and my family and won’t be able to feed myself and I’ll die. If you’re able to read this message, then that’s probably pretty unlikely, because you live in a society where there are resources. Yes, life might get harder, maybe a lot harder, but it might get better too (by, say, finding work you like more), and the chances of you dying because of a job loss are pretty small.

So how do you stop being afraid? Learn about “death”! There’s nothing to fear. At this point, massive evidence exists that one lives on afterwards. Check out

1) World ITC – The new technology of spiritual contact:,
2) the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s group at the University of VA:, and
3) Near Death Experience and the Afterlife:

If you know you are going to live on after “death”, and so are not afraid of it, then what in the world is there to be afraid of?

In addition, here are two other things you can do:

1) Forward this widely (with attribution), so that others will refuse to be afraid.
2) If you are so moved (and because today is the International Day of Peace), you may choose to actively work for peace. One way to do that is to support the Peace Alliance in its efforts to create a Dept. of Peace — check out

Monday, September 11, 2006

The web of creation, part 2

I have recently had a vision of the physical world as a (probably) 5 dimensional matrix, populated by intention. Here’s what I mean:

Imagine that you are looking through a window screen at a tree. At first, you notice the screen, because it is right in front of you, and then, as you pay attention to the tree, its leaves, bark, the way its branches sway in the breeze, you stop noticing the screen.

Now imagine that the screen is three dimensional, or rather four dimensional, because it exists through time. Now imagine that there’s at least another dimension to this. This is the matrix that turns the non-physical into the physical, the basic stuff of the physical universe. Now imagine that the tree exists inside this matrix (because it does). The tree is actually created by intention, from the pure potential held in the spaces between the matrix.

The matrix can be likened to female energy, the intention to male energy. Together, they make the world. Neither alone is enough to create physical reality. You need the female to hold and give form to the male intention.

Now imagine that each thing in the physical world, from the tree to the window screen, to you, all exist as intentions outside of the physical world. These intentions are vibrational fields, auras, which interpenetrate each other. When you can feel yourself as a field of intention, and everything around you as fields of intention, then they all interpenetrate each other.

This interpenetration is the visual or felt equivalent of a band playing music. You can concentrate on just one instrument, and hear that. Or you can hear the whole piece. Or maybe you can hear the interplay of two or three instruments.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The web of creation

Last Friday I was privileged to be a participant in the first beta test of a new workshop, designed around the Clarity Process, offered by Lee Glickstein of Speaking Circles. The process itself consists of dyads, one person sitting in an open-eyed meditative state, that is, listening with an open heart, not judging, not commenting, for 5 minutes while the other talks about his/her experience in that moment, or perhaps explores a personal issue.

I had an amazing experience! It occurred to me that I am generally doing one of two things. I may be having my own experience, that is, focusing my attention inside myself, on what I am feeling or thinking. Or I may be focusing my attention completely on the other person to whom I am relating, trying to understand what is going on for my partner, to support him or her, to “read” or help or offer my skills in service.

All of a sudden, I realized that our relationship is an entity in and of itself, and thus has its own heart center. In some sense, that heart is something about which we both revolve, like binary stars revolving around their mutual center of gravity. I can both see and feel this “heart of our relationship” psychically. It looks like a little thickening of the energy field, like the heat waves rising off a candle, but spherical because there is no candle. It feels a bit thick too, like static electricity or like the edge of an aura, when felt from outside.

If I connected my heart to the heart of our relationship, magic happened! Both of our auras got bigger and brighter, and something opened up from that place, a connection to the universe itself. I realized that that place is the place where creation, manifestation happens.

At the end of the day, I committed to exploring this phenomenon further in the next few days, which I am doing. I have learned that

- Attending to the heart of my relationship with anything brings on a nearly ecstatic state, which I can experience in the world, and still be walking around. I can access this state on demand, simply by asking, “where is the heart of my relationship with this [fill in the blank]?“, noticing where it is and connecting to it. The state is instantaneous and lasts as long as I am attentive to the heart connection.

- The center of my relationship to anything may or may not be half way in between us. Trees seem to rush out to meet me. One book, “Limitless Mind” by Russell Targ, did the same thing when I opened it, noticing where the heart of our relationship was. So far, no magazines have done this.

- I have a relationship with every thing, every animal, every plant, every person on earth, whether I know it or not, whether I like it or not, whether I come in contact with the physical thing/plant/animal/person or not. If I average where the centers of all these relationships are, it is in my heart. This is why the heart is our connection to the center of the universe, to God (if you like that word). This is why the heart is the center of creation.

- All of us have these connections going on all the time, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, whether we come in physical contact with our partners (things/plants/animals/people) or not. This is the web of life, of all of creation.

If you want to try this for yourself, there are 3 steps in awareness:

1) Feel your heart center and place your attention there. (This may take some practice.)

2) Ask the question, “Where is the heart of my connection to [fill in the blank]?” Again, practice with things, plants, animals and people you see. Practice with big things, little things, natural things, hand made things, machine made things, simple things, complex things, small plants, huge trees, fruit, cut flowers, small animals, big animals, pets, insects, people you’re emotionally connected to, acquaintances, complete strangers. Practice, practice, practice.

3) Connect from your heart to the heart of this relationship. Notice what you feel, what you see or hear psychically, what you seem to know about your partner in the relationship, or about the relationship itself.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What to do on Labor Day

Have you ever thought about Labor Day? Do you think about it as anything more than just another 3 day weekend? Or perhaps the end of summer? Please consider:

Where else but in America would there be a Labor Day? Not a holiday celebrating the life of a powerful or influential dead person, or commemorating a major struggle or battle (lots of dead people!), but a holiday celebrating the contributions of millions of everyday heroes, including you and me.

If you swing a hammer, Labor Day honors you. If you flip burgers, Labor day honors you. If you analyze a company’s books for a potential lender, Labor Day honors you. If you write software, Labor Day honors you. If you raise kids, Labor Day honors you. If you raise corn or cattle, Labor Day honors you. It honors the contributions you make to the strength, well-being and prosperity of our country.

So take some time on Labor Day to appreciate yourself, the contributions you make, paid or not, to your family and your community and your country. Then appreciate the contributions of those around you — the mail carrier, the checker at the grocery store, the people who built your home and grew your food. We are all in this together. It is our collective vision, our collective voice and our collective service that makes this country what it is, and what it can be.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are you a victim of pluralistic ignorance?

The latest polls show that 60% of Americans disapprove of the war in Iraq and want us out. And yet the Republican talking points, as mouthed by Cokie Roberts last Sunday, include “anyone who doesn’t support this war is part of the ’radical left fringe’”.

How can 60% of the population be the fringe of anything? Last time I checked, 60% was a majority, which is to say, the CENTER of public opinion.

How do they get away with this? It’s called pluralistic ignorance. This is the tendency to believe that one’s attitudes are out of step with those of one’s peers, even when everyone’s behavior is the same. And according to Princeton researchers, “those who feel deviant from a perceived norm are reluctant to challenge it.” That is, if you believe everyone else supports a war, but you don’t, you’ll be less likely to speak up. Which means, that all those others who agree with you, but don’t hear you challenging conventional opinion are likely to believe that they’re out of step. Which means that they don’t speak up. And on and on, in a vicious cycle.

In the same way, over half those whose spouse has died report being visited by that spouse after death — and yet contact with those who have dropped their bodies is considered unique, odd or perhaps unbelievable! Again, if you believe you are the only person who is having this contact, then you will be less likely to tell people about it, for fear of being thought odd or wrong. And so a common belief goes unchallenged long beyond the time when most no longer believe it.

How do we combat pluralistic ignorance? See what you see. Hear what you hear. Know what you know. And speak up! Tell other people about what you now believe, whether that’s about an anomalous experience or a political belief. You might be surprised to learn that you’re not odd or out of step at all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What are you afraid of, anyway?

Terror (n.) - 1. Intense fear

Fear (n.) - 1. A feeling of anxiety or agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc.; timidity; dread; terror; fright; apprehension

Terror, and terrorists, and fear, including the political uses and abuses of it, are on everyone’s minds and lips these days, so I thought we should look at and talk about fear.

I know no one wants to talk about it. No one wants to experience fear. I used to teach an exercise in emotion recognition, in which students worked in pairs. One student was to experience an emotion by recalling an intense experience of it and really stepping into that experience, recreating it for him/herself. The other student was to notice what they could psychically of his/her partner’s emotional state. Of course, people were thrilled to recall joy or love. Impatience wasn’t too bad, nor was anger. But people REALLY resisted feeling fear, even when I promised to replace it afterwards with a wonderful feeling.

Admit it — you’re all afraid of things all the time. Maybe you’re afraid your teen won’t come home tonight, or you’ll lose your job, or you won’t have enough food for your party, or a dog will bite you, or... (fill in the blank).

The fears that we run from, run our lives. A good friend of mine was bitten by a dog as a child, and is still somewhat afraid of dogs, so she avoids them. I mean, crosses-the-street-so-as-not-to-be-near-one avoids them. Now, most dogs are friendly, and if she watched dogs at all, she’d figure out their body language pretty easily -- the ones that look up at you and wag their tails are friendly and just want love and petting, the ones who snarl at you are, in fact, best avoided, and most of the others aren’t particularly interested in you, so they’re safe as long as you don’t go out of your way to bother them. If she paid attention, she would learn to look at a dog, judge its friendliness and act accordingly. The fear would dissipate, replaced by intelligent judgment. Direct your attention to that which you fear, really examine it, and the fear will dissipate.

What is she afraid of, really? She’s afraid of being bitten again, which is to say, she’s afraid of physical pain, as well as the emotional pain (in this case, confusion and abandonment) she experienced when being bitten as a child.

In my experience, and I’ve dealt with lots of my own fears, as well as those of many friends and clients, is that most fears really are an unconscious fear of death. How do I know? When I ask people what they’re afraid of, they answer, and then I ask, “if that happens, what then?” And they keep answering, and I keep asking, until there’s nothing else. And generally the answer is death. If you believe that your soul exists after you let go of your physical body, how bad is that anyway?

Another big fear is emotional or physical pain, so bad that death would be preferable. First, most emotional pain, if you keep asking, “what then?”, becomes the fear of death, either for oneself or a loved one, which often becomes fear of abandonment, which becomes fear of your own death. Again, if the soul exists without a body, and you “die”, how bad is that? Or if the other person “dies”, then they aren’t really gone — we just need to practice communicating with the discarnate. As for physical pain, it is mostly temporary. I must admit, though, I haven’t got an answer yet for long term physical pain. (If you have trouble with really seeing your own fear, get someone else to help you. Fear is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s hard to see the mote in your own eye.)

The next question is, how likely is this to happen? And the answer is generally, not very likely. And if it is likely, aren’t you better off looking at it, so you can figure out what to do to avoid it, mitigate it or deal with it when it happens?

Now we’re supposed to be afraid of “terrorists”. Hmmm... What does that mean exactly? I think it means we should be afraid of being randomly murdered, i.e. be afraid of dying, or at the very least wounded, or afraid that someone we know will be randomly murdered or wounded. Again, how bad is death? And how likely is this, anyway? About 3,000 US residents, of a population of around 300 million, were killed in terror attacks in the last 10 years. That is, the chance of this happening to you this year is literally 1 in 1,000,000.

So when you’re afraid, ask yourself three questions:

What am I afraid of?
If that happens, what then? (and keep on asking this one)
How likely is this, anyway?

Monday, August 14, 2006

How to end war (modest, aren't I?)

The source of all conflict is one of 2 things:

a belief in, and fear of, scarcity, or
fear of being wrong,

both of which result in feeling unsafe.

How do these create conflict?

A belief in, and fear of, scarcity causes people to attack to get what they believe there is not enough of. That might be a child who lies about the bad things her sister did because she believes there is not enough parental love to go around. It might be a farmer who steals a sheep because he believes it is the only way to feed his family. It might be a country who attacks another because of supposedly scarce resources of oil.

We know these are false — there is always enough love in the universe for everyone, because the universe is made of love, there is generally more than one way to feed a family, and there is more then one source of energy to power the world (the inexhaustible sun and wind come to mind, but there are other possible, less pleasant sources as well.) And that belief in scarcity causes those who are attacked to defend themselves, their families, their possessions and their land. I might add that the belief in the scarcity of life (i.e. that you only have one) and the scarcity of love (you can only love a finite number of people, who are related to you by birth) compound these defenses.

Fear of being wrong is the same as the need to be right. Who hasn’t needed to be right, whether it’s about the toilet seat being left up or put down, or the best career path for my child to take, or which direction the country should go? Being right makes you safe, doesn’t it? If I’m right, if I know, then all will be right in my world. Thus religious certainty becomes important. So if “God told me to” do whatever, then I’m right, which makes me safe. And if I’m wrong about “God’s message”, then what else am I wrong about? What can I be certain of? How can I possibly be safe? My world falls apart. (For a good discussion related to this, read John Dean’s “Conservatives without Conscience”, Chapter 2.)

So when you are angry, or hostile, or feeling anger or hostility from another, ask these questions:

1. What specifically am I afraid of?
2. What is there not enough of?
3. What do I “have to” be right about?
4. What do I need to feel safe?
5. How else could I get what I need?
6. What might my opponent, also known as my partner in this, be afraid of?
7. What does my partner think that there isn’t enough of?
8. What does my partner “have to” be right about?
9. What does my partner need to feel safe?
10. How can I help my partner get what he/she/they need?
11. How are we aligned?

You may find that anger or hostility are completely unnecessary.

Believe that there is enough, in one way or another, and you will find it. Accept that you don’t know, and you’ll find peace.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Our connection

Last week, my radio show only had two calls, when what I really want is 8 – 10! The last time that happened, which was several months ago, I was totally bummed out, thinking, “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my show? Is anyone even listening?” This time, it was very different. I enjoyed doing the show anyway, and I left feeling totally energized, absolutely knowing I had done the right thing. What changed between the 2 shows?

On an external level, a couple of things changed. First, I had an interview scheduled for half an hour, so I got to talk to someone I find interesting. And I figure if it’s interesting to me, it’s probably interesting to those listening. So that was fun. Second, in between those two shows, I’ve had a few people call and email to tell me how much they enjoy the show, and that it’s helpful to them. It helps to remember that on a slow day.

But more importantly, I could actually feel positive energy coming back to me from people I can’t see, haven’t me, haven’t even talked with. It’s like a wave arising in me, buoying me up from the inside, with the certain knowledge that I did something right. This is new for me.

Yes, I know I’m part of all that is, and connected to each person on the planet. I know that I’m often connected to someone that I’m not in front of, next to, or talking to at any given moment, so that I’ll think something, and then the other person will do or say what I’m thinking, without me communicating it to him or her. For example, a couple of weeks ago, someone on this list, whom I’ve never met or even had a phone conversation with, asked if she could include my piece on manifestation in her monthly on-line magazine. Of course, I said yes. When I sent out last week’s “Zen Boogie”, I thought she would like it even better, because she lives on a beach in Belize. Then I thought, too bad she’s running the chair piece, since I know she’ll like this one better. And I just let it go. And then, there was “Zen Boogie” in the magazine! (I really love this magazine — all the articles in it are wonderful, and even the art is lovely. You can check it out at

But this “radio effect” is different. It’s being connected to lots of people I can’t even identify. That is, I don’t know them in any conscious way -- don’t know their names, or their faces, or their voices. Nothing. No conscious connection at all. Yet somehow, when I reach them, their energy reaches me. Wow! Yes, it could be my guides “telling” me that I did a good thing, but they’ve done that other times, and it feels nothing like this rush. I’ve heard that performers get this from a live audience — now I know why they perform. And I wonder, do they get this if they, say, record a television program and it gets aired later? Do they feel an energy rush when it’s on the air? Do they get it when it’s rerun?

That energy hit is part of what keeps me going back for more. And I’m sending it right backatcha.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Zen boogie

In the heat wave we’ve been having lately, I’ve often gone to the ocean to cool off and enjoy one of my favorite childhood pastimes — riding waves. As a kid, I body surfed, and occasionally used a kick board or inflatable raft to catch a wave. A few years ago, in Hawaii, I discovered the added power of a boogie board. Then, 2 years ago, I finally bought a wet suit, so I can play in the surf in northern California. As I was floating in the ocean the other day, I reflected on a few things it has taught me:

*You can’t hurry a wave. All you can do is enjoy the wait. And if you don’t enjoy the wait, get out of the ocean. Life is like that, too. You can get in position, like you do waiting for a wave, but you can’t make everything happen. You might as well enjoy life while you’re waiting for the wave — enjoy the rocking of the ocean, the sun on your head, the taste of salt on your lips. If you’re waiting for a life wave, enjoy your family, your friends, the sun on your face, good food, a comfortable bed.

*Some things are worth waiting for. There is nothing like catching the perfect wave just right — the rush when it catches you (or you catch it?) and the loooooong ride, really being part of the wave, feeling it flow through you. Some things in life are worth waiting for, too — the right partner, your life’s work.

*Some things are worth working for. It takes a lot to get into that ocean — I have to get the wet suit, booties, boogie board, and towels into the car, drive 11 minutes to the beach, find parking (quite difficult on a warm day!), tug on the wetsuit, which is like pulling stiff casing on a bologna, and wearing this stiff thing, tug on the booties, find a place to hide my car key, creak in the wetsuit down to the ocean, dragging the board, and endure the leaking of icy water into the wet suit. But that first ride is so worth all of it!

* We are connected to all of life, no matter how protected — or separate -- we think we are. That wet suit insulates me a bit from the cold, but it doesn’t protect me from sharks. And it’s a wet suit because the sea does get inside it. As I’m there in the sea, I’m always reminded that we, as humans, are mostly water, with a proportion of salts something similar to the ocean.

*Being part of something is magical. When you body surf, and you catch a wave just right, you are part of the wave, in a way that language can’t capture. And it is amazing, magical, cosmic — everyone should have the experience at least once. Being part of a positive group’s energy is magical, too, though in a less physical way, and everyone should have that experience at least once, too.

* Life is a series of tradeoffs. I can ride a wave with a boogie board, in which case I get more, and longer, rides, but the board keeps me a bit separate from the wave, or without a boogie board, in which case I’m more part of the wave, but I get fewer rides, and they’re shorter. Both are terrific, just in different ways. And I can choose differently at different times.

* You don’t control the waves, you only control your response. I can choose where to wait in the ocean, when to push off, how hard to paddle and kick, where my body weight is on the board, and my equipment. But the waves come when they come, break where they break. Period. Such is life.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why willpower won't work... and what will

Have you ever started a diet, or an exercise program, or a substance elimination program (like cigarettes, alcohol, coffee), and quit after a while? And then blamed yourself, saying, “if only I had more will power”?

Well, maybe it isn’t that you don’t have enough will power, it’s that will power simply isn’t the answer. Webster’s defines “will power” as “strength of will, mind or determination; self-control”. That last bit, “self-control” gives a clue as to the problem. If you have to control yourself, then it implies that one part of you has to control another, that 2 parts of you want different things, that 2 parts of you are fighting. Did war ever create anything good? Did war ever create anything besides destruction? So why are you having two parts of yourself at war?

Another issue is that the part of you which decided to start the diet (or whatever) is your conscious mind — which is maybe 10% of your entire mind-body system. So what does the other 90% want? It wants what it has now, or it wouldn’t have created it.

The answer is in alignment. All of your body-mind has to be aligned, has to want the same thing, and then change is easy. How do you get there? There are many paths, including hypnotherapy, neurolinguistics, energy healing, emotional freedom technique.

So first, thank the part (or parts) of you that created unconsciously what you have now. They’re awesome! Could you really have created what is consciously? Could you even go a minute creating your body consciously? Think of it — breathing, moving the blood around, creating new cells, having all those cells function properly, digestion. It’s awesome!

Now ask those parts of you what they wanted for you that was good, which created the way things are now. Then work with those parts of you, peacefully, to agree on what you want instead, and to begin to create that gently, in appreciation for all they do. You may be amazed at how easily you change!

If you’d like some free help with this, call me now, on-air at 831-427-3772.

If you're feeling stuck...

Over the years, I have really come to believe that (as Jane Roberts wrote in the 1970’s) “you create your reality through your beliefs”. So many times, I have seen that by changing a belief, my reality immediately showed up differently. And I have seen that for my friends and clients as well.

We are each in charge of our own beliefs. If something is going wrong in your life, there is probably a belief, in fact, probably an unconscious belief, that would benefit from a change. I have lots of tools to help you change your beliefs, and I learned some new linguistic ones last weekend, at an NLP workshop called Sleight of Mouth.

Although this is a major oversimplification, Sleight of Mouth is basically asking very good questions to loosen the belief, that is, to make you question whether or not it is really true. Here are a few of those questions, using as an example the belief that “If people knew who I really am, they wouldn’t like me”:

* What is the effect of that in your life? (You feel doomed to living a lie, and are shutting down parts of yourself.)

* Your belief implies a certain value. Aren’t there other values that are more important to you? Given the importance of these other values, how are you going to maintain this belief? (Isn’t it more important to be true to yourself than to be liked?)

* Can you think of a counterexample? A time, a place, or a person for whom this wasn’t true? (Can you think of a time you got what you wanted by telling the truth, by just being who you were?)

* How do you know this is true? What evidence do you have? (If you’ve never been genuine, how do you know that people won’t like the real you?)

Next time you feel stuck, try asking yourself what you would have to believe for that to be true, and then try asking these questions. It might just shift you off the path you’ve been on.

What I learned from spring fever

I don’t know about you, but there is always a week in spring where I just don’t want to do anything, except sit around and enjoy the weather. I want to be out in it to enjoy it, and the rest of the time, I mostly want to sleep. Perhaps read a bit, but mostly just drift in and out of waking consciousness... into meditation... into sleep... back to meditation.... You get the picture.

This is that week. It’s amazing I’m even managing to write this email.

Anyway, today I was lying about in the middle of the afternoon, feeling guilty. Why was I feeling guilty? I mean, there wasn’t anything I had to do that wasn’t getting done. Yes, of course, there’s always more I could do when I’m not with clients, between promotion and bookkeeping, but no one was going to be hurt if I didn’t do it then. So what was that guilt?

I think guilt happens when a part of you accepts someone else’s rules as your own. You know, all those “shoulds”, “oughts” and “musts”. As in, “you should be working”, which is definitely family programming for me. Obviously if all of you bought into the rule, you’d be working, instead of feeling guilty! So part of you is buying in and part of you isn’t. The part of you that isn’t buying in is obviously stronger at that point. And the positive intention of the guilt is to remind you of the rule, or maybe to tie you to the person who gave you the rule. Although in general I agree with the “you should be working” rule, I don’t agree that it has to be in force 24/7, and especially not on a perfect afternoon in May, not when I work for myself. And though the rule is my Dad’s and I do like that it connects me to him, hey, not today!

So the next time you feel guilty, ask yourself these questions:

- What am I feeling guilty about? What am I doing or not doing that is triggering the guilt?
- What’s the rule I’m violating? Try to formulate it with a “should”, “must” or “ought”.
- Whose rule is that, anyway?
- Do I agree with the rule, or am I just using it to stay connected in some way to that person?
- Even if I agree with the rule, does the rule apply now?

If the answer to either of the last 2 questions is no, then let go of the guilt and enjoy what you’re choosing instead!


PS – I went back to sleep for another hour, guilt-free! :)

If you're lonely, or know someone who is...

You are not alone — in more ways than one. First, according to the NY Times:

A recent study by sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona found that, on average, most adults only have two people they can talk to about the most important subjects in their lives — serious health problems, for example, or issues like who will care for their children should they die. And about one-quarter have no close confidants at all. [emphasis mine]

So there are lots of lonely people out there.

Second, each of us is surrounded by a number of discarnate beings, most of whom (I believe) are there to help us, whether we call them guides or angels, and who may include friends and family who have left their bodies while we are still in ours. Our job is to understand our connection to them, to “hear” what they are “saying”, and to feel their presence in our lives. You are never really alone, even if it feels that way at times.

What to do to have good friends here in the physical plane?

First off, you don’t make new old friends — so connect with the old ones!

Second, make new friends -- meet new people in ways that you enjoy. If that isn’t possible through your work, maybe it is possible through volunteer work, or a church or community group, or groups of people who are interested in things you like to do. If you like to hike, try the Sierra Club. If you like to play bridge, find people who do that. But here is my favorite way to make new friends:

Learn skills to help your self-development, in particular, learn to become a practitioner of whatever method appeals to you. Why? First, these classes foster openness, and draw to them the type of people who are also willing to be open. These are the people you are most likely to be able to confide in. After all, after Chris has helped you conquer your dread of long car trips, without laughter or ridicule, and you’ve helped Chris eliminate a cat allergy, you can probably trust each other with an awful lot. And both you and Chris will have some skills to help each other with whatever comes up. Second, these classes are not one shot — you usually show up for several weekends, over several months, so there are lots of opportunities to interact, both in these deeper exercises and in informal ways, like having lunch. Yes, it’s a commitment, but that’s what learning, and self-development, and true friendship all take.

Manifestation is easy!

I manage some rental apartments, which are a good distance from my home, so when I have a vacancy, I go there and “camp” in the vacant apartment until it is cleaned up and rented. So I have a “kit” composed of everything I need to live indefinitely (except groceries), which fits in my trunk and part of the back seat.

Part of this kit is 2 folding beach chairs. The one I prefer has a higher back and is blue, but the fabric is starting to rip in a way that is not reparable. Bummer! I want a replacement. Anyway, it’s not desperate, but I hate to buy a new one – I hate to waste the planet’s resources on something as silly as this, and I’d rather spend my money on something else. You have to buy beach chairs in the summer, because they aren’t available in the winter. Will my chair last another year? I have gone so far as to try out chairs in the drug store, but nothing is so perfect that I can’t pass (they’re too high, or an ugly pattern or color). And really, I’d prefer a slightly used one. I could get on, but it’s not important enough to me to keep looking.

The house 3 doors down is being sold, and they’ve started to put stuff out in the driveway that they are just getting rid of. Free! but no sign, or anything, I think they are eventually going to call the scavengers to pick it up. And wouldn’t you know that the PERFECT beach chair, high back and blue, great condition, even wooden arms, is there in the pile! So I took it — saves it going into the dump and me about $20. And more resources didn’t have to go into making a new one.

So: manifestation can be easy – be clear about what you want, put it out in the universe, and then wait for it to show up!

Stay positive -- stay focused

It seems I’ve been having, or hearing, the same discussion over and over in the last week, whether with friends, or clients, or on a webcast about peace, or by Michael Murphy, talking about what happens after your physical body dies. So I figure this must be up for a lot of us.

Yes, there’s a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now, whether it’s war, or climate change (do go see “An Inconvenient Truth” about global warming), or losing our civil rights, or the theft of elections. But we can NOT give in to the thought of how awful this is. We must keep our hearts and minds on what we intend to create. How do we do this?

First, we take vows. There are lifetime vows, perhaps to do with life purpose, or spiritual purpose. There are periodic vows, perhaps about attaining a goal, or living in a different way. Then there are daily vows, sometimes called affirmations, which may include either of the above.

Second, and much less obviously, we have to avoid, or push away from us, disempowering thoughts. This is much trickier, because these thoughts show up in a myriad of ways, have come from many sources, and sneak in when we’re not paying attention. Any time you doubt your abilities, any time you think a task is too big, any time something inside says, “Who do you think you are to do this? So you think you’re all that... You aren’t. You’ll never make it,” you have to say, “thanks for sharing, but I CAN DO this, and I AM all that, and I WILL make it.”

Let me give you an example. My friend, Kit, is an awesome healer, a massage therapist who is a talented channel as well. Lately, she has been prompted by her guides to do some writing about how she heals, which is apparently something new. Every time she sits down to write, very energized by the prospect of the work, she hears an internal voice, which says, “You’ll never make it — you think you’re so great -- you’ll never be able to take care of yourself”. This, quite understandably, takes the wind out of her sails, she gets bummed out and doesn’t do the writing.

As she talked about it with me, she realized it was the voice of her father, when she was about 16. He wanted her to need him as she had when she was younger, to depend on him for money, and thereby to control her, so he was actively scaring her about her job prospects. He was also genuinely concerned for her well-being, since he thought of the world as a dangerous and deceitful place. For her to succeed would have meant that he was wrong about the world, and could not control her. It was not particularly helpful to her then, and as an adult, it’s unbelievably disempowering. She must remember that she can succeed on her own terms, and still be connected to him. Yes, it would mean that he was wrong about her and about the world, but that’s his problem, not hers. And she doesn’t have to bring it up with him, ever.

So when those thoughts pop up, spend a little time to discover from where they arise, and then let them go — or give them the boot! Those negative thoughts don’t serve you — and they don’t serve the world. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, so turn off the negative thoughts, and follow the positive ones.

Denial ain't just a river...

What do you do when there’s a big test coming up tomorrow and you’re not prepared? Do you study really hard with every spare minute, or do you just give up and go party? Or maybe you get depressed and hide in bed? Or maybe you just “get the flu”, you somaticize it, store it, or process it in your body, which buys you time without you ever having to be conscious of it.

What do you do when you hear that someone you’re close to was killed in a car accident? Do you slow down, feel the grief and anger, express your sorrow, be with others who are feeling the same? Or do you pretend it didn’t happen? Or do you pretend it’s okay, it doesn’t matter? Do you drink, or take a drug, to take the edge off? Do you stay really busy so you don’t have to think about it? Do you exercise even more than usual? Do you binge on chocolate?

What about when someone treats you badly — maybe they never listen to you. Do you avoid the situation? What if you can’t avoid the person? Do you make excuses for him or her?

Most of these things are ways of denying what’s going on around us. Life isn’t all pretty. In fact, a lot of things suck. Notice how you cope. Notice the patterns in your personal life. Because you are using these same patterns in response to things in the wider world.

When you find yourself in bed, bummed out for no reason, or staying ridiculously busy, or drinking, or taking drugs, or overexercising, or overeating, or avoiding the news — ask yourself: What am I denying? What am I ignoring? Is it in my personal life, or in the wider world? What don’t I want to see? Or know? Maybe I don’t want to see how the country was lied into a war, in which people are dying every day... Maybe I don’t want to see the deaths. Or maybe I don’t want to see that the earth is changing, and the way I live is making it worse... Or maybe I don’t want to see how our civil liberties are being eroded.

And when you’re clear about what you’re denying, and you admit it, then you can begin to deal with it in a healthy way. Then you can take action!

Feeling bored?

According to researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, time really does pass more slowly for people who are prone to boredom. They are less accurate at estimating the duration of short intervals of time (2 seconds to 1 minute) than are those not prone to boredom. (For more info, please see

But unless you’re in solitary confinement, I think boredom is a result of being disconnected from the world and/or yourself. It is a result of believing that there is nothing new or interesting in or around you. The world is so vast and complex that that is not possible!

The antidote is curiosity. I know, because I was one of the most easily bored children you can imagine. Here are some questions I ask myself when there’s “nothing to do”, like standing in line at the post office:

What is that person thinking? Can I see his/her aura?
How is that thing made?
How does that plant grow?
What would it be like to be that tree? Animal?
What the birds are saying to each other?
What is the emotional feeling tone of this place? Why?
How does the light affect the appearance of what I’m seeing?

Any one of these can lead off into many directions. And that’s without even asking myself questions about what’s going on inside me!

Channeled info interview

Check out Conscious Media Network! It’s at, and they have terrific video interviews of all sorts of people, ranging from Bruce Lipton on the biology of belief, to Dannion Brinkley on life after death, to Stan Grof on LSD. You can stream all this, or download it to a video iPod. There is so much there that I’ve only seen a little bit so far, and it’s all really interesting. And it’s all stuff you’ll never see anywhere else.

I’m there, too! I was interviewed, talking about my recent channeling on our economic future. On the home page, I’m in the “last month” category (I just found out I was up after I wrote last week’s email). I want to publicly thank Regina and Scott, the proprietors of the Conscious Media Network, who were terrific to work with, for making me as comfortable as possible on my first foray into video. (Now I know why people get coaching before being on camera!) It’s weird watching myself, so I don’t know what to think, and I’d love to hear what people think of the interview.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Patience, impatience, dread and time travel

Lately my guides have been giving my information about the structure and/or meaning of various emotions.

For example, impatience is really about projecting yourself into the future, when you expect something good to happen. People often say to themselves, "I'm being patient, I'm being patient" while practically vibrating with it, meaning that they are still focusing on the future, just accepting that it's not here yet. And for those of us who are psychic/highly intuitive, it is practically an occupational hazard.

Dread is really the same thing as impatience, except that you are expecting something bad.

True patience is really being in the present.

So here's what i haven't figured out yet:

If I see something bad coming, I know that I can prepare for it. And I can certainly change myself in the present, which will often change that future. But can I project part of myself into the future to change it? (Kind of like Marty in "Back to the Future"?) And if so, how? I mean, if reality is really an infinite present, an infinite now, shouldn't that be possible?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The 'P' Words

A few days ago, a client, Beth, called about issues in her business, mostly wanting it to grow faster. (I can relate, can’t you?) Beth is a music teacher in a private school by day, teaches private clients in voice and piano, and is also starting a life coaching practice. Like many of us, she is highly intuitive, and so she literally “sees” what her business is going to look like. Like all intuitives, she “sees” in the present, and couldn’t quite understand why what she sees clairvoyantly isn’t happening in the physical world right now.

Here is what my guides told me to tell her:

Peace (be centered, balanced, grounded, letting go of attachment to outcomes)
+ Patience (be focused in the present, because that is where all power is)
+ Positive attitude (know that what you want is possible, and is coming)
+ Persistence (keep taking action, keep holding the vision)

= Power to draw things to you Magnetize what you want!

I thought this was so good that I had to pass it on!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Can money make you happy?

We all want to be happy. Happiness feels good and it improves your health – lowers your blood pressure, lowers your heart rate, and strengthens your immune system, so you’re sick less. And not only do you enjoy your life more, you actually live longer!

And most of us want to be wealthier. But here’s the question: Can money make you happy?

Well, yes and no.

It’s true that richer people are, on average, happier than poorer people. 45% of richest quarter of Americans are happy, compared with 33% of the poorest quarter.

But one extra dollar of income will make you happier if you are poorer than if you are wealthier – the poorer you are, the more that extra dollar of income increases your happiness. That makes sense, because if you’re hungry, a dollar buys food, where if you’re already fed and clothed and housed, you might not even notice that dollar.

In countries with per capita incomes of less than $20k/year, there is a strong association between income and happiness. e.g. people in Moldova (average income under $2k/yr) are significantly less happy than those in Hungary with average income around $10,000/year. But in countries with per capita incomes over $20k/yr (Italy, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, US, the average percentage of people who report themselves as “happy” or “satisfied” clusters between 80% and 95%. People in the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, and Canada all report being happier than those in the US, despite slightly lower per capita incomes. Also, happiness in the US and Britain haven’t increased since 1950, despite very real increases in real income per person.


Well, it depends on whom you compare yourself to:

Yes, money makes you happy if you are richer than those to whom you are comparing yourself.
No, money doesn’t make you happy, if you are poorer than those to whom you are comparing yourself.

The rich compare themselves to a group which generally includes people less well-off than they are, because most people are less well-off. while the poor will generally compare themselves to a group which includes people better off, because there are so many better off.

A study done at Harvard asked people, would you prefer to live in Word 1 or World 2, where in

World 1: you get 50k/yr, others get $25k
World 2: you get 100k/yr, others get $200k

A majority preferred World 1.

According to Richard Layard, in his book, Happiness, “People care greatly about their relative income, and they would be willing to accept a significant fall in living standards if they could move up compared with other people... A rise in other people’s income, relative to yours, hurts your happiness. One study suggests that if everyone else earns another 1%, your happiness falls by one-third as much as it would rise if you yourself earned an extra 1%. So if everybody’s income rose in step, your happiness would rise, but only 2/3 as much as it would if only your income was rising... Income is much more than a means to buy things. We also use our income, compared to others, as a measure of how we are valued by society and (if we’re not careful) a measure of how we value ourselves.”

So if you want to be happy, compare yourself to those who are doing worse than you. Your mother was right – think of the starving children in Africa.

Shift your emotional state -- fast!

Did you ever feel crummy, and you didn’t quite know why, much less what to do about it?

Well, here’s what to do, in a few quick steps:

Be aware of your body. Notice your breathing – is it shallow or deep, high or in your belly? Is your heart pounding? Is there pain or tension anywhere? If so, where exactly is that?

2. What would you describe as the emotion related to the feelings in your body?

3. What caused that? Whatever pops into your head is the answer, no matter how little sense it makes. Is
this a present time issue, or one concerning the future or the past?

-- If it’s a present time issue, then you can do something about it now.
-- if it’s something about the future, you can affect it now.
-- If it’s something about the past, there are things you can do, but they’re a subject for a future email!

4. Ask yourself, “What can I do about that?”

-- If it’s a present time issue, then you can do something about it now. Either do it immediately, or write it
down so you remember it for a time when you can do it!
-- if it’s something about the future, you can affect it now.
-- If it’s something about the past, let it go.

5. Get to neutral immediately. Here are some good, quick techniques for that:

-- Take 5 long, slow, deep breaths, feeling your body relax with each exhalation.
-- Imagine a “grounding cord”, a cord growing down from the base of your spine into the very center of the
earth. “Watch” it in your mind as it wends its way down through the earth. Feel your feet rooting into
the earth.
-- Spend 5 minutes in a comfortable position, focusing on your heart, imagining some positive image
there, perhaps white light.

All of this can be done in just a few minutes. And each step gets faster the more you do it.

My first podcast!

Thanks to a wonderful listener, Joseph Pinnock, I have a place to podcast. You CAN hear me now! at

Have a listen to this 5 minute coaching session -- and with any luck, I'll be posting more soon!


Friday, April 21, 2006

Be careful what you think!

I know for myself the power of thought. At the age of 35, I grew an inch, largely through the power of visualization and affirmation. Yes, I did exercises, but I’d been doing them for 2 years before I started the affirmations, and didn’t grow one millimeter. And my posture was quite good to begin with, as I’d been a figure skater and dancer as a child and teen. At the same time, a friend completely eliminated her cataracts. Another friend accidentally cut herself very badly with a knife while chopping vegetables — so badly that she could see the bone. She decided that if she truly believed in the power of thought, she would meditate and visualize before she went to the hospital. And in 45 minutes of concentrated intention, the cut was completely healed, with only a tiny line to indicate there had ever been an accident. And yes, we all have witnesses. I could go on and on.

Affirmations can change your emotional state, as well. I was a very unhappy child, and have gradually gotten happier over my lifetime. But what changed it the most was an affirmation: My entire being is balanced, vital, healthy, loving and happy. I did the first part (My entire being is balance, vital and healthy) for 3 years, with no real change in my level of happiness. Then when I added the last part, I gradually became happy. Now I will often just kind of notice, that for absolutely no reason, I’m happy.

I bring all this up because I got a great email from another radio person, Wayne Kelly, AM deejay at KBS in Trail, BC. It’s so terrific that I include it in its entirety:

“I wouldn’t have believed if it didn’t happen to me!

“Last January I was working out with the Chicken Soup Guru, Mark Victor Hansen at the hotel gym we both stayed at. As we were working out, a new speaker (who is already super successful) came in to talk to Mark.

“She talked about many things including her new home in Banff, Alberta.

“She mentioned the architecture was so incredible, “you could just die.”
To which Mark quickly replied “live”.

“Then she was talking about her fence which was just featured in an outdoor magazine and again she mentioned that it’s so incredible you would die to see it.
Again Mark quickly shot back “Live”

“She said, “I know Live, but die is just an expression I use and I don’t mean anything by it.” Mark said that your subconscious doesn’t know the difference so you should always speak in positive statements.

“Why am I telling you this story?

“Well, I am a new kid when it comes to this new kind of positive programming, so I haven’t really bought into the ‘believe it and it will happen’ concept, until last Friday, when a HUGE light bulb exploded in my head.

“You see, I am proud to say I have perfect teeth. Not one cavity. I have always been very lucky. But about 18 months ago one of my teeth started causing me pain when I bit on it. They did X-Rays and found nothing so I lived with it. A couple of months ago I had another x-ray and they found a very tiny spot beneath the tooth and said looks like I will need a root canal. But the dentist didn’t understand why, as my teeth are perfect. Still he said we should get drilling, digging, and repairing soon.

“I waited and was baffled. I have talked with a few health professionals who were also confused as to why I’d need a root canal.

“Then came the choir and the lights from heaven!

“I was writing a friend an email and I wrote down a phrase I have used a thousand times. The phrase is, “I’d rather have a root canal than go watch the kick boxing tournament.

“Holy Cow!

“It struck me like lightening! I think I created the root canal problem because
of that phrase!

“Is it crazy or what?

“I am not 100%, but it is the only explanation I can come up with. Now the best
part is, since my discovery, I’ve been speaking out loud about my healthy teeth
and the pain seems to have gone away. (But I haven’t tried popcorn yet)

“I have since changed the phrase to, “I’d rather be a multi millionaire.”

Great thinking, Wayne!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lies, LIes, Damned Lies

I typically avoid the political, but sometimes, public life offers lessons for each of us in private life. So this is NOT meant as a political commentary.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of all the whoppers out there.

I’m outraged. And, unlike our President, I’m willing to take responsibility for the lying. The buck stops with me. Always.

If you believe we’re all one, then you have to say, how did I do this? Or at least, how did I let this happen?

We live in a culture where lies and lying are the norm, have become the norm. Where it’s okay to lie to people to save your own face, to “not hurt people’s feelings”. And then we say we’re telling the truth and become hypocrites on top of the lies.

My favorite lies lately have been the lies of George W. Bush:

“I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
“Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.”
“Iraq . . . continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

There is a theory that leaders of an organization embody the culture of the people they lead. So when we see these outrages, we need to look at ourselves.

Where do we lie?
Where do we accept lies from others?
Where do we lie to ourselves?
What do we teach our children?

Ask yourself,

Where do I lie?
Where do I accept lies from others?
When do I accept lies from others? About certain subjects? At certain times? From certain people?
Do I speak up when I know someone is lying? Why not?
How am I lying to myself? When do I lie to myself? Why do I lie to myself?
When do I lie to others?
Why do I lie to others?
Under what circumstances do I lie to others?

When we let all these lies pass, we stop being able to tell the difference between lies and truth, and we begin to live in a fairy tale. Remember little red riding hood? Remember the wolf said he was grandma and almost ate little red riding hood? Well, our government has said there were WMDs, and it has eaten almost 2300 of our troops, not to mention over 200 others of the so-called coalition of the willing, and the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Because how hypocritical is it to hold the government accountable for something you won’t hold yourself accountable for? Or something you won’t hold your friends, your coworkers, your family, accountable for?

We have to change the culture, and the culture is US. It means starting with ourselves. So pay attention to when you lie, ask yourself, why did I lie? Or better yet, why do I want to lie? Is it because you’re afraid of the consequences? Usually it is. So when you notice you are lying, ask yourself, ‘what am I afraid of?” then face that, and tell the truth. You’ll feel better, even if you have to accept the consequences, because you’ll know you did the right thing. And often, if you look at the consequences, they’re not all that bad. Or you can manage them, or you can tell the truth in a way that will minimize them, by emphasizing that you did the right thing by telling the truth.

Ghandi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world”. So if you want your government to stop lying to you, you HAVE to stop lying. You HAVE to stop accepting lies. That means personally, professionally and as a citizen. If you know your government is lying to you, complain. Be aware. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Call your Congressional representative. Call your Senator. Call the White House.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Are you feeling lucky?

Did you know there’s a structure to luck? There is! According to Prof. Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, who has studied it for 10 years, luck consists of:

- creating and noticing chance opportunities (being relaxed enough to notice them)
- listening to your intuition to make good choices
- create self-fulfilling prophecies by having positive expectations
- adopting a resilient attitude that turns bad luck into good

So what can you do to improve your luck?

1) be open to new experiences; change your routine
2) listen to your intuition/gut instincts/the still small voice within or pay attention to those images that flash by
3) visualize positive outcomes before you do something. e.g. see yourself making that shot, or having the negotiation go well
4) grattitude journal -- at the end of each day, write down at least 2 good things that happened

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How to have a great Valentine’s Day – Next Year

First, you can have a great Valentine's Day this year by just expressing your love for your friends and family. Make cards, make phone calls, give cookies that say "I love you". There are a thousand ways to say, "I love you" and one of them, or maybe several of them, will be right for you.

But I'm assuming that for you, having a great Valentine's day can means having a Valentine, having a great relationship with a great partner. So how do you create that in your life? You do it in 3 simple steps:

1. Know what you want in a mate and in a relationship:

- What have you liked in former mates/partners?
- What do you like about your friends?
- What have you like about your relationships?
- What do you like about your friends’ partners?

Take your time! Keep adding to the list ove the course of a week or so. External characteristics, like age, height, weight, or parental status, often come up first, but keep thinking. What qualities do you want? Kindness? Centeredness? Honesty? And how will you know that your potential partner has these qualities? And list the qualities even if they're not PC. The qualities are what YOU want, not what it's cool to want. If race or religion matters to you, then specify it.

Think of EVERYTHING you want. if you want someone who plays pool, or eats meat, or plays racquetball, add it to the list! Because the one thing you forget is the one thing that will be missing. If you want him or her to bring you coffee in bed in the morning, add it to the list.

2. What do I do about what I don’t want?

Turn it into a positive – "no drugs/ alcohol" becomes "clean and sober". Sometimes this takes a bit of thinking. When you say "non-smoker", do you mean someone who has never smoked, or an ex-smoker? Or do you say, someone who has always respected his/her body.

3. Boy, I sure want a lot – do I narrow it down?

Yes and no. Organize the list into 3 groups:

- Have to have, i.e. deal breaker
- Important, but if a couple are missing, I’ll deal with it
- Nice to have, but if most are missing, it’s okay

4. What do I do once I know what I want?

Turn the must have list into an affirmation, a positive, present tense statement of what you want, as if it already existed. It should include not only the description of your partner, but also a description of your relationship. Again, take your time with this, and know that the affirmation may shift over time. That's okay.

Do the affirmation every day.

Use the list, including the rest of the list, as a kind of screen – you’ll know if you want someone who is kind, and he snarls at dogs, or puts down your best friend, it’s probably a good one to pass on.

5. Ask yourself, "Who do I have to be to attract this person and relationship?" and then be that person.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Satisfaction with Life Scale

Please rate the following 5 statements for yourself, on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is "not at all true", 4 is "moderately true" and 7 is "very true":

1) In most ways, my life is close to my ideal.
2) The conditions of my life are excellent.
3) I am satisfied with my life.
4) So far, I have gotten the important things I want in life.
5) If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.


31 - 35: extremely satisfied
26 - 30: very satisfied
21 - 25: slightly satisfied
20: neutral
15 - 19: slightly dissatisfied
10 - 14: dissatisfied
5 - 9: very dissatisfied

(Devised in 1980 by Univ. of Illinois psychologist Edward Diener, copied from Time Magazine)

Do you know where you're going to?

There are basically two kinds of motivation. The first is “away from”, as in “get me out of here!” The second is “towards”, as in “I want that!”

Each has its place, that is, each is useful in certain circumstances. “Towards” is what you use when you decide you want a degree in some subject, or you want a date with that hottie. “Away from” is terrific in emergencies. It’s how you automatically get your hand out of the fire, or get away from the menacing guy with the knife. But even there, what do you do immediately after? You probably call 911 to get help. And that is a “towards” -- toward help, toward healing.

The problem comes when you only have one sort of motivation, especially when you only have “away from“. Don’t’ we all know a complainer who says (s)he’s going to leave that awful job, but then doesn’t because (s)he can’t figure out what to do instead?

Here’s why. When you only know you want to get away from something, you don’t know where you want to go. Think of your conscious mind as the driver of a car, with the unconscious as the car itself. The car has energy, and machinery and will take you where you want to go — but the driver has to decide where to go and how fast. The car doesn’t go anywhere on its own. If you hit the gas pedal and just tell it to get away from here — it can drive you into a ditch, or a wall. But if you steer it to the nearest McDonald’s, it will take you there. If you steer it to the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, it will take you there, too, even if you’re in San Francisco. So your conscious mind must have a “towards” mindset to get where you want to go.

Now, the unconscious has a motor, but it also has a fuel line that will block up of its own accord and starve the motor for fuel. The block here is usually fear, often fear of the unknown. This fear really is fear of losing safety or security. Why should the car use all that energy just to leave the nice, warm, dry garage? What’s in it for the car? (This is what people generally call “self-sabotage”. It isn’t self-sabotage at all, it’s that part of you wants to stay safe, which means sticking with the known.)

The key to getting the car to go it is to short circuit the fear (pardon the mixed metaphor — add a second fuel line?). Here are a few ways to do it:

1) Check – is fear reasonable? Sometimes that’s enough to work around it
2) Find ways to help the unconscious feel safe
a) get all the information you can by reading or asking others
b) visualize yourself doing it
c) try it out (why do you think so many infomercials offer “risk free” trials?)
d) make the positives/”towards” so great that the fear/”away from” doesn’t matter. If someone told you that you’d get
paid a million dollars to bungee jump one time – would you do it?
e) Ask yourself if the fear is really about what’s going on now. Many times it isn’t, but is instead about something
that happened in the past. If this is the case, sometimes just knowing that is enough to shift it, but sometimes you
need hypnotic help to do that. After all, you can’t fix the past by dealing with what’s going on today.

Be clear where you want to go and you can almost always get there!