The Incredible Rampage of Appreciation

I was thinking this week (I know it happens sporadically! Lol), how “appreciation” of everything, events, people and life is one of the most powerful vibrations we can access (and easiest from lower ones) . It is really strong in that it is grateful for what we already have (short-circuiting society’s do/have/consume more always!) and doesn’t ask for anything to change for us to be happy. It is impossible to be appreciative and sad at the same time!

As such, Abraham Hicks describes a great exercise called the “Rampage of Appreciation”. It really lifts our vibration and mood and really feels great!

Here’s how it’s done, I’ll use my dog Riplee as he is so easy to do (start with easy things/people/events until you get better at it!).

Example: Rampage of Appreciation for Riplee:

I love how he comes to bet with me in the morning and licks my face as I wake up!
He’s so cute when he gets excited about chasing a stick in the lake!
He’s always up to go outside for a run with me!
I love how his ears perk up when I say certain words!
He’s always overjoyed at my arrival and makes me feel so welcome!
He‘s so cute when he rolls around kicking all 4 of his paws in every direction!
He sleeps with his short tail close to his body.
He always smells so good, especially the pads under his feet!

SO there you have it.

Challenge: Find anything/anyone to really appreciate all that is great about it, let me know how you like/love it, it feels so good!

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My Father Was Never Good To Me

Question: My father was never really good to me, I was born the second child, I’m a woman, my father loved his firstborn, my sister but wanted a boy. I came along. Then finally his third child was a boy. He never abused me but never treated me well either compared to my older sister or younger brother. He lives far away overseas with my mom. I have guilt in that I want to “be a good daughter” and I know it hurts my mom that I don’t speak to him. Complicating things is my daughter who my dad loves. In terms of integrity I don’t want to play games and pretend I want to connect with my dad, any advice coach?                HB

Frank’s Answer:
As with all family issues this is complicated! The middle child complex is a well known one where the middle child feels left out or unimportant between the first child (everyone loves the first child) and the baby (babies yes!). Let me give it a crack. What I’m hearing is a conflict in important values that you have, both are very important and this is when it is challenging as you want to honor both but feel you can’t.

The first value you are trying to honor is “integrity” and/or fairness. By having little to no decent relationship with your dad, your fairness value and intuition tell you that you don’t owe him anything due to his weak efforts to be a great dad to you and clear preference for your two other siblings. You also want to be in integrity with a “rule” that you created a long time ago called “I must be a good daughter”. I assume this means having a normal relationship with dad.

The second value you are trying to honor is “family/connection”. This value tells you that you should do anything possible to maintain the family (it is also tied to the above “good daughter” rule”. There is an unmentioned but implied rule that you must stay connected no matter what (even trampling on your own needs to do it).

In terms of the Law of Attraction, you need to take care of your needs first to be able to hope to give to anyone else. You need to be “selfish” and really dig deep to see if your current attempts to be a “good daughter” trample your need to be a “happy person”. You moved overseas away from your parents, a good indication of your need for independence and freedom. It may also be an indicator that you want to move past that “old” life back home including your dad.

I believe since you are now a mother, you should do all in your power to ensure your issues with dad don’t impact your daughter’s need for her grandfather, as then you would have double guilt!

Guilt is a very low and toxic emotion, #21 on the Emotional Scale, it lingers and can cause cancer. As such, resolution is key here. You can continue with the “good daughter” shtick until it no longer feels right, which may be never. The fact is, your dad will probably never change and attempting to wish that or push him will never work. All you can do is focus on you, ask these questions.

1. Am I still a good person even if I don’t get along with dad

2. Am I willing to risk my self-confidence and self-worth by ignoring my “integrity” value?

3. How can I find a win-win scenario for myself where I honor my “mothering myself”, aka. protecting yourself from your dad’s absent or lacking love for you

4. How do I honor my daughter’s needs for her grandfather (if he shows love to her only)

5. How could I get my daughter to support me in whatever I choose.
I realize #5 can be challenging but, the best solutions come from unorthodox approaches, maybe her opinion will support you or give you new perspectives. Good luck!

 

The Cottage

Having had the pleasure of visiting my close friend Chris (thank you so much CP) up at a wonderful lakeside cottage up in Haliburton I thought I’d write my thoughts since return.

  1. I need a cottage! It reconnects me with nature and puts my crazy “do,do,do” lifestyle in perspective.
  2. My dog loves a lake to chase sticks and balls in!
  3. We don’t eat so well when there are chips, pop and beer around all the time!
  4. The stress of the big city is palpable upon arrival beginning with traffic
  5. People in the country are so laid back, it’s nice
  6. Swimming in a lake is still an amazing experience after many years absence
  7. Cool nights by a campfire rule
  8. A nice nap in a cool cottage afternoon is a blissful experience with little to do or complete
  9. Playing cards with friends connects deeply
  10. We worry much too much about things we have little to no control over
  11.  Coming back from a short 3 day vacation, it’s hard to restart the momentum we had, the mental, spiritual and physical adjustments can take a few days
  12. I’ve already made plans to go to another cottage in 2 weeks, darn, I think I have cottage fever                ********************************************************************************************************

Transition Season

There you have it folks, the summer (beautiful in Toronto!) of 2011 is almost done! You can feel it in the crisp evenings, in the way people are dressing nicely for work, and conversations transition to more fall like subjects such as hiking, wool sweaters, school and back to “serious” work.  I hope the summer was good to you, as it was for me. Fall is actually my favorite season, with the leaves changing colors, Halloween, watching movies, riding the Dakar in the fall as long as I can til the slippery white stuff flies (shhh!, maybe it will forget Jthis year)!

I’m, actually happy to return to teaching at the college. I feel disconnected from the world in summers as I have too much time off (I know it’s tough!), probably more like no structure and place I need to be for 10 weeks! I really love teaching, I get to share some of my insights with (mostly sometimes) hungry young minds who still dream like it’s still totally REALLY possible. They think big and crazy (like I do!). Can you say the same? Do you still dream FULL ON, no holds barred? Or have you settled into a “comfortable” not too challenging rhythm. As comfortable as it may be, we need change and growth and new things to really thrive and live like it means something.

Remember, “This is not a practice life!”, we don’t get a redo, or “scene 2”. This is it! Live it like you mean it, like it counts, like you just thought you had terminal cancer and will die in 60 days. If you don’t love your life or are like, “it’s there, you know, not bad, etc”. If that’s what you say, get uncomfortable, take a class, go on a date with a dicey person, say something or do something bold. Don’t let your life fade to “average”. You weren’t meant for average, don’t even try it’s so unbecoming! So go out there live like you mean it, I DOUBLE DARE YOU!

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“To Have Lived, Loved and Lost….”

    1. I was reading in a business weekly magazine about a man in Indiana who had risen to super rich status through the acquisition of multiple businesses in many industries. The story was about his stratospheric and rapid rise to the upper echelons of society where he supported many local politicians with substantial contributions.
       This man was also into partying, he would fly in 20-30  Playboy bunnies or other models to his estate and party hardy! He had over 30 luxury classic cars, a yacht etc. Finally it was all a ponzi/pyramid type of scheme and he got caught and is now living at his sisters’ house and is awaiting trial. They ask him at the end would you make the same choices again, and he answered, “definitely, not”.
      So he got caught doing illegal things and is now deep trouble. Let’s ignore for the sake of my argument the fact what he did was illegal as most of us would agree that’s wrong. What we do weakly is when we “say good for him” BECAUSE we are jealous of what he lived! He made a bad choice obviously but at least he dreamed and lived big, not playing small.
      What fascinates me is the angle that he lived for at least 5 years the life of opulence many (openly or secretly) dream of living but never will. Here is the question I posit to you:
      “Is it better to have lived like a king for a few years and then like a pauper, or is it better to just have an average and regular life but never have the crazy highs and lows this gentleman experienced?”
      I keep flipping back and forth but mostly end up on the side of really living full out (without crime of course!) as I have done with my (100% admittedly) unstable life path. Remember, I moved to California on a wing and a prayer just over 2 years ago!
      It harkens back to the classic adage, “Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all” by Alfred Lord Tenyson. Many people just decide it’s too much pain to love and risk our heart again and decide to either settle with a partner they don’t really love or never risk again.
       Life is about the connections we make and the growth we experience on whatever path we chose. Remember, “not choosing” is a choice and usually a poor one as it does not reward with any pleasure, or pain or experience. By not choosing, we refuse to go towards what our Most Brilliant Life calls us to  become. This “not going/risking” feels safe and protective but it is a lie and any time we don’t go to what we are called to become we die inside and shrivel up like a raisin (no offence to my good friend the raisin!).
       I may be in the minority, but I say live that life, take those chances, fall on your face, love, cry, laugh because that is what it is to be alive. It’s who you become when you keep getting back up and living a full life.
      THIS IS NOT A PRACTICE LIFE! LIVE IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
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Travel Trials and Humor

Last weekend I had the immense luck and privilege to be invited by my cousin (hey cuz! Thx man!) down to Chicago to partake of a Nascar race. We had the (perhaps once in a lifetime or at least long time) best seats in the house. From learning the intricacies of the hauling race trailers, to meeting drivers and their crew to being trackside for phenomenal 14 second pitting procedures that are incredibly impressive, to travelling around the banked track at over 180km/hr (115 mph) we had total “backstage” pass inside access. The teams really operate as huge families and all work so hard just to get that driver and car to the starting grid. Like an iceberg where you only see 10% of the size, that day showed us every little detail that goes into preparing (for safety) and running a vehicle hurtling around over 300km/hr (186 mph).

Travelling really requires you to stay open to experiences and adventures as things do invariably go wrong either by your own or destiny’s fault. I began my journey the night before when I drove down to Buffalo to save a few hundred dollars on the flight. At the border, the Spanish Inquisition was re-enacted for my experiencing pleasure as I was grilled mercilessly by a machine gun questioning guard with bugged out crazy eyes. He finally returned my passport allowing me to experience the less savory neighborhoods of Buffalo while seemingly taking the LEAST direct route to my destination.

I arrived in “Shytown” the next morning early and connected with my cousin. Upon arrival to the windy city it became abundantly clear, a good sense of humor and adventure would be required! We realized immediately that the huge towers of the downtown core rendered the GPS almost irrelevant after we went around in circles in rush hour traffic for about 20 minutes as the GPS basically kept recalculating and admonishing us for “wrong” turns it had just suggested seconds earlier. We arrived at the hotel, unpacked and began realizing that leaving the hotel would carry its own price at every turn.

Leaving the hotel became an annoyance in two ways, a) the costs and b) the availability of anything and everything considered “normal” (like 24 hour pharmacies or coffee shops open when you want a coffee, etc.). Leaving the hotel with the car would incur $20-$30 parking charges anywhere we went so we decided to take cabs. Low and behold most cab rides were also in the same $20-$30 range. As if to mock us the city seemed to mock us at every turn when a reasonable request was made (“Why would you want lip balm at 11AM on a Sunday?”)!

The coffee place was closed almost the whole weekend, restaurants we almost all closed or so distant they weren’t worth cabbing or driving to! By Saturday night our craving for Mexican became a akin to “Quest for Fire”! The front desk confirmed that the restaurants were “a $30 cab ride return”, this constant “walletitis” was beginning to annoy and sting regularly. We decided to order Indian food online and the food came almost 2 hours later when eating the order out menus was becoming an option!

Many people we met complained about the economy and all the bankrupcies. By Sunday my cousin and I snidely remarked, “Maybe if your stores and restaurants were open, you could do better!”The aquarium was phenomenal as was the Nascar race I must say. On Sunday morning we had an hour to kill before my flight so we went to a mall. At 10 AM the place was barely open! Even by 11 AM, opening time, many stores were just barely opening!

This was not a rant against this city or trip far from it, but only fuel for my premise that my cousin and I armed with very good senses of “whatever happens happens and it is part of the journey” ended up enjoying a situation that could have really thrown many others off. If you go travelling with the “mind of a student adventurer” you will enjoy the inevitable minor and Major “S curves” (also called by some not us, “things going horribly wrong”) on the journey as integral parts of the journey. You will not be thrown off when a new situation challenges your expectations and existing habitual patterns.

Travelling is definitely a growth experience and allows one to experience new places, people and ways of living. Don’t forget to leave your expectations and habits at home, you’ll have a much better time!

I challenge you this next week to live with the mind of a student explorer, you may never go back to your “old” habits and ways! Even if you do, you may appreciate how good you have it at home and enjoy it more!

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This Week : What Happened to Manners 1 and 2?

This week I will allow myself a short rant and rampage of frustration as I feel this needs to be said.

It has become increasingly clear to me lately that all this technology that “connects” us actually is creating a generation and world of surface and short term thinkers/doers.
Part 1
One of the first casualties to me seems to be manners and etiquette! I don’t know how many times a day someone is on their phone or listening to their I- ____ (insert device here) right in front of me in a doorway. They proceed to barely slip through the door not even looking back to see if maybe there is another person behind. So you have 500 friends on Facebook, did none of them ever talk about proper manners? I guess not,  integrity is a lost art form.

Here’s why this annoys me, not  for the reason you think I bet you!

It annoys me because it means so many other people are either like that or have given up even trying to educate the young people of today. It bugs me because that means that people either don’t EVEN KNOW what good manners are or worse they are so burned out in their life that they don’t care anymore. That would be sad. I hope I’m making too big a deal here, sadly I don’t think I am.

Part 2:  
Second example, driving. I don’t know how many times I’m waiting on the way to an off-ramp, and we are all waiting patiently for the line to move when a car comes cuts in front of everyone else and expects to get away with it. Two days ago on my motorcycle, I put my lion suit on just as it happened. The cab driver cuts in right in front of the car ahead of me. I cut ahead and tap on the window and say stop that! The car next to me gives me the thumbs up and I feel a small victory in that at least I spoke up! It felt good to express my indignation. I think it really gets my goat when someone thinks they are better than others when we all are unique and better than EVERYONE ELSE in the world at ONE thing! So we’re all equal.

Next time you see an act of manner-less selfishness, I dare you to set the person straight in some way, the world will be a better place if we all care just a lot more about this world!

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LIFE: TAKE-IT!

“Life is but a gift” Before you roll your eyes and tune out, please don’t! I know it’s clichéd and in this world of short attention spans that’s a no-no, but bear with me!There’s no easy way to say this: a close young (34 years old, I believe) friend of a family member has been diagnosed with stage 2 terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. Upon visiting his doctor 3 weeks ago with generalized pain, within 2 days the doctor asked him to get his financial affairs in order as he had but weeks to months to live. He is the proud father of a one year old daughter. I share this with you because it has been in my life’s forefront for the last few weeks, and I always write about what is important and very present to me.

I tell you this to use it as a backdrop for a few points I keep wrestling with myself.

  1. The first issue is obviously about living our lives in every moment as if this day was a gift and definitely not to be taken for granted but that one is obvious.
  2. Secondly, we were only given one body for this life. It has to last us for the whole journey and be as trouble free as possible so we can enjoy the years with full vitality and power. Sadly, most people treat their bodies very poorly, packing them with unhealthy food, sedentary movement habits (the body does best in motion) and worst perhaps of all is stress (external and self-created)
  3. Take chances and do the things you know you will regret if you don’t do them. Don’t live in a safe, “everyday is the same, let’s play it safe” bubble, you and the world deserve better.
  4. Do not ever give more than passing credence to what a health practitioner tells you about your health. Yes, they are experts on disease, but no they don’t know you, how you heal, etc. I believe what the doctor above said to the patient to be literally criminal. As smart as doctors are, what they give you is an informed opinion but not the truth. So many people have had “terminal” diagnoses and decided to focus and visualize on how their bodies were destroying invaders. It is now being taught to young doctors, don’t wait until yours gets the (late) memo. Once you accept someone else’s vision of your life, your subconscious makes it real and brings it.

To this young man I wish all the best and a “miraculous” (to science anyway) complete and full recovery, join me in sending your positive vibes!

That is all.

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Sailing the High Seas of Relationship Ships!

Relationships in our lives can be likened to ocean going ships!

I’d like to thank Shawn Chance for the idea! The more I explore it the more I see incredible parallels. I thought I’d share some with you.

Parallel #1:  We start off as kids with very small, unstable ships that grow stronger over our lives as we gain maturity, intelligence, and most importantly experience. We stay in our “safe” harbor (our parent’s homes and financial and emotional safety) close to home until our early twenties in most cases.

Parallel #2:  We are looking to “sail” out of the harbor out into open water to explore this huge world (life) for the experience, joy, passion and adventure of living this incredible life. We live these lives we do in these perfect bodies able to sense, see, hear, feel, taste, smell and all the other feelings.

Parallel #3:  Soon we are making sure our ship (single life) is comfortable, fast, roomy and satisfying to sail. We upgrade it (education) and wash it (cleansing our souls as humans) and put additions (experiences) on and sail out of the harbor and off on adventure.

Parallel #4:  After a while of testing and exploring our ships’ limits and meeting random ships (dating) that share some small parts of our journeys. We then yearn to have a co-captain for our ship to share in the adventure, feel safer and enjoy new activities we did before (intimate committed love).

Parallel #5:  We begin visiting other ships that are also looking to partner for a committed joint journey. When we begin boarding strange ships we see interesting new layouts (personalities) but soon settle on what ship really catches our fancy. When we visit those ships we get to see how the crew (personality) works  and how the ship is built (body), it’s strengths and weaknesses, speed and comfort. After boarding many ships, we often realize after a few visits that the type of journey we are going on is not the type we prefer and/or the ship is not seaworthy (psychological limitations and baggage).

Parallel #6:  Soon as the two crews of our respective ships become one team (committed monogamous relationship) we yearn for a larger ship to be more comfortable. We then merge our ships together and sail the high seas. Enjoying the safety, wisdom and adventure of a large ship we often yearn for a full crew (children).

In going through this lens I’ve come to a few conclusions about my relationship history. I seem to have gone for the super fast and sexy, fun ships and found they were not long term material. From the ship falling apart (depression), to the ship finding another ship it would rather sail with (couple separation/destruction), to my own ship self-destructing.

I have never in the past been really attracted to particularly sturdy ships and it has cost me in terms of not having had a relationship with a true equal. My next joint ship will be solid, solvent,  seaworthy, playful, adventurous, passionate and well organized. Or maybe not and I just love shipwrecks for the fun of it. Oh well!

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Bountiful Busybody Busy People!

If I hear one more person complain of just “how busy their life is” I’m going to lose it! A close friend this week mentioned to me how he was too busy to do anything he wanted, his life was filled with “commitments he had made for reasons other than my happiness”. He also confirmed that he was trying to meet a woman for the first time and she had the same problem!

I thank him for sharing this as it highlights an observation I’ve made in the last few months. This adds to the many times people are too busy to go out and see a movie or have a drink. Are we really busy in our lives or are we “acting busy” by scheduling ourselves to within an inch of sanity for other reasons? I think many fear too much idle time as society has pushed all to strive to be workaholics. But it’s not just work people are filling their time with. Many people are afraid of a day that they are not “needed” or “wanted” or “required as a key asset”.

If this is just a Toronto thing, then so be it. But I feel it’s bigger than that. I would love to hear back from readers whether they think it is just a Toronto or “big city” affliction or a more generalized condition.

Listen, it’s your life. If you are always “overscheduled” and feel stressed about it (this includes self-medicating with TV, shopping, alcohol or cigarettes) you should get courageous and authentic.

I challenge you to take a list of your daily activities. I would say if less than 30% of those activities give you joy or pleasure, you are at risk of “living a practice life”. Arrange your life in terms of the things that bring you joy. Do not allow the media to paint you a picture of a “cold” and “grim” (Halloween anyone) world. It’s just not true, I see smiling happy people and am one of them, so sue me! I challenge you to decrease your commitments so you have time for optional activities like an evening to vedge out, sleep, drinks and movies. Downtime IS NOT A luxury these days, don’t let your health remind you.

Passing
The gentleman I wrote about a few weeks ago passed away last Friday. I wish him well on his journey on the other side and know he got and we also all got exactly what the universe wanted us to get from this information and experience. I know I have, life is sooo precious, really. Try waking up and appreciating all you have every morning,as I have, it’s so releasing and puts us at ease!

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