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.