Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ads: CA Prop. 2, CA Prop. 8 & John McCain

Have you noticed how the anti Prop 2 (animal standards prop) ads, as well as JohnMcCain’s ads, have strong male voices, peremptorily telling you what to do and how to vote?

And the pro Prop. 2 ads, anti Prop. 8 ads (anti-gay marriage prop) and Obama’s ads are generally reasonable people telling you what they’re going to do?

I just figured it out — they are appealing to 2 different groups of people! The reactionary forces are appealing to people who want and/or need to be told what to do, while the progressive forces are appealing to people who choose to think for themselves.

Whatever you choose, go vote!

Energetic House Cleaning

Many years ago, I bought Victorian house in San Francisco, which dated to before the 1906 earthquake, and had subsequently been split into 3 units. The owner's unit was comprised of the first floor and the front half of the second floor. The back half of the second floor had been turned into a 1 bedroom apartment, and the attic had been turned into a 2 bedroom apartment, which was vacant and quite run down. I actually bought it from the owner as he was dying, and the energy in the house was horrible.

Right after I closed on the house, before I did anything to it, and long before I moved in, I invited a dozen friends over to 'clean out' the house energetically. I cooked them a good dinner, gave everyone some wine, and then I led a meditation designed to clean each of us out energetically and to connect us to both earth and universal energy. Then we began a ritual, which we performed in every room:

We stood around the perimeter of the room, spaced evenly, facing the walls, with our palms flat on them, and our feet flat on the floor. We said together, "I invoke the light of the divine within, I am a clear and perfect channel, light is my guide", three times. Then we said, "Bless this house, bless this house, bless this house." Then we stood, running earth and universal energy into the walls to clear them.

I have a distinct memory of all sorts of S&M action in the shower/dressing area, lots of visions of leather, even whips.

I hired a handyman to help me renovate the upstairs apartment -- tiling the kitchen and bath, refinishing a floor, installing new carpet, painting, etc. One day he said, "Do you mind if one of my other clients, a physician, comes over to pay me?" (He was getting paid in cash.) Of course it was fine.

So this guy showed up & walked around the house while I showed him the minimal changes I was making to the main unit (paint, and carpet in the stairwell), as well as the more extensive ones up in the former attic. He particularly admired a 5 foot by 8 foot, ornately carved, gilded mirror in the front hall of the main unit, which had been left by the former owner's heirs, as it was too difficult to move.

After about 45 minutes, the man looked straight at me and said, "Wow, I've been here before -- a lot! I just didn't recognize the place because it feels so different. It took me a while, but then I remembered the mirror." When I asked him about my vision, he told me that
the house was renowned in the gay community for the S&M parties that the recently departed owner threw regularly.

Why am I telling you this? Because of an article in today's New York Times, Supernatural Cleansing Methods. While I don't agree with everything they say, it's not bad as a survey.

Fear and Loathing on Wall Street

Are you watching the markets lately? I mean, who isn't, even if you don't have money in them?

Here's another opportunity to practice using your intuition/psychic senses on a real world matter, with immediate feedback. There are 2 ways to do this, and I'll discuss the easy way first:

  1. Pick an index to which you have no attachment, like the Hang Seng. Asian indexes are great because they open at hours when no sane American is watching the markets, unless it's his or her business to do so, and they close before we get up in the morning.
  2. Before you get up in the morning, check in with yourself, asking, did the index close higher or lower than it closed yesterday (extra credit if you want to guess percentage).
  3. Notice how you get your information: did you see a chart in your mind's eye? an arrow? another sort of picture? Did someone whisper in your ear? Did you feel something, and if so, where? Did you 'just know'?
  4. Look online (perhaps here) to see how you did.
  5. Keep track -- a little journal is best.
Now for the more difficult way, because you are emotionally invested.
  1. Pick an index (or stock, or ETF, or whatever) in which you are invested.
  2. Since it is most likely in the US, during the trading day, ask yourself at least once, is it higher than the last time I looked?
  3. Notice how you get your information: did you see a chart in your mind's eye? an arrow? another sort of picture? Did someone whisper in your ear? Did you feel something, and if so, where? Did you 'just know'?
  4. Look online (perhaps here) to see how you did.
  5. Keep track -- a little journal is best. Does your emotional involvement screw up your perception?
The whole point of this is to develop your own internal date base on how you get information, what information tends to be right, and what tends to be wrong, so you know when to pay attention to it. It was only by doing this that I learned that my 'pictures' and 'voices' tended to be right, but my feelings were only projections of my own fear.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What's the difference between being scared & excited?

I made a 1 minute sales presentation this weekend. It's amazing how hard it is do it that fast! Anyway, right before I did it, I checked in with myself, and found that I was right on the line between scared and excited. So I wondered, what's the difference between fear and excitement.

It's very simple --if I have a positive expectation, then I'm excited. If I have a negative one, then I'm scared.

Try it yourself -- right now, think about something that's coming up that could be great -- or not. When you project a great outcome, how do you feel in your body? When you project a negative outcome, how do you feel? And which is the better way to go? Wouldn't you rather project a positive outcome and feel better?

And when you think of the Law of Attraction, which is that what you focus on, expands, wouldn't you rather stay positive? If you attract what you focus on, why wouldn't you focus on the positive?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Improve your Intuition -- & Donate to Charity by Doing It!

Quick -- What does pondokkie mean? (Answer is at bottom.)

My latest obsession is It's actually a vocabulary builder, with a charitable twist. If you correctly define a word, someone donates 20 grains of rice through the UN world food program to end hunger.

There are 60 different vocabulary levels. You start at level 36, and when you answer a few questions correctly, you move up to the next higher level. Answer a few wrong, and you move down. Pretty simple. And surprisingly addicting!

I read a lot, so I have a pretty good vocabulary, and so far, my highest level is 52. At that level, I have neither seen nor heard many of these words. In fact, I suspect that a lot of them are not English words, because I know a few of them are French. And here's where the intuition comes in.

When you've never heard of a word before, sometimes you can figure it out by context, but here, there is no context. Sometimes, you can make an educated guess, because you've heard of a cognate, or at least one of its root syllables before. But when none of that works, as sometimes in life, all that is left is your intuition. So guess! The good news here is that there is very little downside, which makes it an ideal situation for practicing your intuition.

What I love about this is that it is like real life. You are asked to make a snap decision on a real world matter, for which you can sometimes use your intellect -- & sometimes not.

Notice how you guess: Does a little voice say something to you, like it does to me? Do you feel something when you look at the correct answer? Is the correct answer somehow brighter on the screen when you look at it? Then notice which guesses are right, and correlate the correct answer with how you got the answer.

How often is your intuition right? Are you going with your intuition? Or ignoring it? And if you're ignoring it, what stops you from going with it?

Answer: A pondokkie is a makeshift shelter.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Credit crunch humor

I don't normally go to current events, but these (courtesy of Calculated Risk) were so good I had to share:

I went to an ATM today, and it asked to borrow a twenty till next week.

I went to fill up my gas tank and I couldn't decide between leveraged and unleveraged.

Went to Best Buy to get a toaster and they gave me a free bank with purchase

and my favorite:

Q: How do you define optimism?
A: A banker who irons five shirts on a Sunday

Part of happiness is seeing the humor in things -- you can still be happy, can't you?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Podcast of 'Be Happier Now' Preview Teleclass

There is a lot of good information here about how to be happier every single day, though I apologize for the sound quality, which definitely could be better.

I'd love to have you join us for the class, which begins next Wed., 10/22/08 at 5:30 PM PST (8:30 EST). To sign up, please email me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whom do you trust?

I just finished watching the third & last Obama-McCain debate. A few thoughts:

- A few times there, I thought McCain was going to pop a vein. And he looked a lot like Pres. Chimpy, smugly mugging his superiority for the camera. Overall, though, the main effect was his radiation of anger. (I'm very sensitive to it, having grown up around it.)

- Bob Schiefer, the moderator, asked them both to repudiate the negative tactics of their campaigns. Neither did. McCain brought up a Congressman (I've blanked on his name), who apparently called Palin out on her tolerance of people at her rallies calling Obama a traitor, a terrorist, and yelling "Kill him!" Obama repudiated this Congressman's remarks, and said that the Congressman had repudiated them as well. Then McCain said he was "proud of the people at his rallies". So you support those racists, John?

- McCain regularly mischaracterized Obama's positions on things. Once, Obama corrected him on it, and he did it again.

- Schiefer asked both of them if abortion would be a litmus test for the next Supreme Court appointment. Both said no. McCain, however said he would favor a Federalist, once who supports states' rights (including on abortion), and strict interpretation of the Constitution... and then said he'd know if someone was a strict interpreter of the Constitution by the fact that they thought abortion was unconstitutional. (I wonder if anyone but me caught that?)

At the end, McCain had the audacity to ask us to vote for whomever we felt we could trust more. Or maybe that was just stupidity. Because after letting his true feelings slip out, I had to wonder if that would happen in a negotiation with, say, Ahmedinajad. I don't trust you to keep your cool, John.

And what really shocked me was that at the end, when each could look into the camera and make a prepared statement, neither one asked for my vote.

Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity - Rewiring the Creative Mind | Fast Company

Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity - Rewiring the Creative Mind | Fast Company

Friday, October 10, 2008

Soular Power

This morning, I did another walking meditation, so early that, at this time of year on a sunny morning, much of my route was in shadow.

I started, as usual, by doing my invocations: asking to have the light come through me and to have my guides around me (for the specific words, click here). Then I just became present to what was around me, the trees, the sky, the sidewalk, the birds, etc. As I was in this state, I emerged from the shadows to a place where the sun was directly in front of me, so low in the sky that all I had to do was lift my eyes from the sidewalk to stare at it.

And BLAM! it hit me full in the chest, flooding me with energy, that the sun is not just some burning mass of hydrogen -- it is a conscious being! It has its own purpose, and its own evolution, just like earth, just like you. And part of its purpose is to help earth's evolution.

You are a child of the earth, but you are no less a child of the sun, because without its power (to grow food, to evaporate water and make rain), you would not be here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happiness & Pain

In general, we each have a set 'happiness level'. Some people are naturally sanguine, and others naturally more glum. You can change your happiness set point, and that's what my "Practice of Happiness" teleseminar is about.

The one thing that really sabotages happiness is physical pain. It is the one thing that no one ever completely adjusts to. And I may be able to help with pain, as well.

I have been given the gift of a connection with some non-physical beings who seem to heal physical pain. I am offering to do $1 sessions for a few people, who are in physical pain, to see if I can do this work long distance. Here are my criteria for people to work with:

1) You are in physical pain. It may be something simple, like a sports injury, or something larger. If it is something larger, you must be under a doctor's care.

2) You acknowledge, in writing, that this is not a substitute for medical treatment.

3) You are willing to answer several simple questionnaires by email, in which you will describe your condition, experience and results (one before the appointment, one the following day, one a week later, one a month later and one several months later -- there will be a financial penalty for failing to do this.)

4) You must have at least 1.5 hours available for the healing, in a place where you can be safe, quiet and undisturbed. Our appointment will be at the beginning of this period. You must be available for our appointment to begin Monday - Friday, Oct. 13 - 24, between 10AM and 4:30 PM.

5) You must have access to a telephone in this location.

6) You must send me, by email, in advance, detailed location information:

- address
- where in the building you will be (which floor, which corner of the building,
- if the building is other than a single family home (e.g. part of an apartment
or condominium complex), you must send a simple drawing of the apartment
building or complex, indicating where you are in the complex, which will show
the relationship of the building to the street and the relationship of the room
you are in to the building.
- a photo of the room you'll be in

If you can answer 'yes' to all the above, please email me at

Dowsers in the NYT!

On Parched Farms, Intuition Used to Help Find Water -

Thursday, October 02, 2008


As I read about the continuing economic ‘crisis’ – and I hesitate to use that word, because every time someone uses it, it just cements the idea that we should all panic -- a question keeps coming up for me:

How do you know whom to trust?

Here are 3 ways I know. I'll start with the personal, because that's easiest, and move on from there:

First, I have personal experience of someone over time, or at least a number of experiences with that person, and they generally

• tell the truth
, and
honor their agreements, i.e. do what they say they’ll do when they say they’ll do it, or
tell you if they need to change an agreement, and
• are reasonably predictable

So with friends, it’s pretty easy. I know who tells me the truth to the best of his or her ability. Yes, people make mistakes – that’s okay. But telling me what they know to be false – that’s not okay.

I know who does what he says, when he says he will. I know that Rob is always on time. I know that Michael is reliably 10 minutes late. I don’t like it, but I can deal with it, because it’s so predictable (i bring a book or some work to do while I wait). I know that Jinny has a bad habit of canceling at the very last minute, like after I’m already at the restaurant for lunch. I no longer meet her anywhere but her house or mine – because she can’t not show up at her own house, and because if she doesn’t show at mine, hey, I’ve got lots of other things to do. And frankly, we don’t see each other all that much any more.

Second, the person or institution has a public (or at least verifiable) record of telling the truth, honoring their agreements, alerting me if they can’t, and being reasonably predictable.

This is how I hire contractors. I call at least 3 references and ask the references if they were happy with the contractor's work, and did the contractor do the work when they said they would, on time and on budget. If the contractor won’t give me references, I’m not interested. If the references aren’t 100%, unequivocally positive, I’m not interested. It works -- I’m generally very happy with the people I hire.

A variation on this is crowdsourcing, Yelp, for example. You get dozens, or even hundreds of reviews by other people -- and they can't ALL have an axe to grind. I use Yelp for restaurants, and have found it fairly reliable.

Third, an institution is regulated by, or perhaps insured by, some other institution that has a public record of telling the truth, and honoring their agreements.

This is why the SEC exists. It’s why public corporations are required to keep their books according to generally accepted accounting principles, and why those books are examined by independent auditors. It’s why the FDIC exits. All of these institutions, and many more, exist to ensure that we can trust the folks that hold our money.

What if an institution – or a lot of institutions – break our trust? This is precisely the problem now. Many of us now feel we can’t trust institutions we used to. The ‘financial crisis’ comes down to the fact that banks don’t even trust each other enough to lend to each other overnight! If they don't trust each other, whom do they trust? If they don’t trust each other, should we trust them? Well, that’s what the FDIC is for.

But after the appalling response to Hurricane Katrina and being lied into the Iraq war, to name just 2 instances, many of us don’t even trust our government. And it is the government who is supposed to be the ultimate guarantor of trust and safety.

So what we’re having is a (well-deserved) systemic crisis of trust in our institutions, which is only manifested in a financial one. The problem is that over time, we have been lied to so systematically by so many institutions that we no longer can reliably tell truth from lies, nor whom to trust. It's time to change that.

How do you resolve a crisis of trust?

Like everything else, trust starts at home. Here are a few ideas:

1. If you already have an accurate sense of what is trustworthy and what isn't, honor it. Maybe it's a feeling in your body, or some other sort of knowing.It doesn't matter how you get your information -- it only matters that you get it -- and that you trust yourself.
2. If that sense is not 100%, learn your lesson from each time your trust is breached -- and add that to your 'trust meter' (aka b**s**t detector).
3. Make sure your trust meter is on at all times. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
4. if you don't understand something, keep asking till you do. If you never do, walk away. If it doesn't make sense, walk away. (And if you can't read a balance sheet, please learn how. There's a decent article here.)
5. If you are not already the sort of person other people can trust, work very diligently to become that person and gain others' trust. Tell the truth, honor your agreements, or tell people up front when you can't. This is the single best way to improve your trust meter -- not to mention your relationships.