Secular Shift

As the end of the year approaches, many people have asked me if I think the apocalypse is coming in a little over one month. Let me be clear here, I don’t have a crystal ball, and I’m not even 100% sure how to spell Nostradamus. Additionally, the Mayan calendar is Greek to me. That said, I do have some ideas.
Firstly, the “end-of-the world” thinking comes from extreme paranoia which is amplified and concentrated fear (#22 on the emotional scale). This is not a perspective we should spend much time in if we want to live happily and attract great thoughts, people and events.

Secondly, remember that focusing our energies and thoughts on things we don’t control is the definition of suffering. Additionally it is an excuse to stop focusing what we DO control, our thoughts and actions. No one else’s.

Most spiritual people I’ve discussed this with agree that what is actually happening (and it’s a very GOOD thing unlike what the media peddles) is that there is a secular shift in our thinking and living. Many of the existing institutions that so many have lived their lives by are simply not working for them anymore. A consumption-focused, media-driven and capitalistic lifestyle tends to be ego driven, unsustainable and supports false (base) values. There is a very large transition towards thinking in terms of sustainable environments, growth and ways of living. A consciousness shift is happening and accelerating, and it’s great.

Lastly, if it will be the end of the world, let’s make this last month count and live it as if it’s not a practice life (the theme of my new book, “Live It!”). I watched the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” which shows what happens when most rules and accountability are removed (in this case due to the impending asteroid about to destroy earth).  The movie shows both extremes (it is Hollywood after all!).
Forget the end of the world, it’s just another excuse to NOT focus on what you really want , desire and manifest for yourself.

A Cottage Frame of Mind

        Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of renting a cottage in the Haliburton area.  The weather was rainy. Regardless, it was still wonderful as only a place far from the hustle and bustle of city and regular life can create. As with most vacations it took a day or so there to get used to the new place and change in routines on all fronts. Isn’t that why we go away on vacation? To change the routine, see new things, people and experience life through a different lens.

             Some insights from the cottage came to me today and I thought I would share them with you.

 Mother Nature: Without the distraction and sound and visual pollution of the city, amazing sights and sounds are right there and spectacular. My first night there was amazing as the power of a thunder and lightning storm created a Halloween sound and visual landscape. One lightning strike was so close and powerful that my trusted Riplee dog launched onto the bed with me! The pitter patter of rain on the leaves and roof is something to behold.

 The stars at night are absolutely breath-taking and very visible.

The air is completely different (nights cooler) leading to sounder and deeper sleep.

Food:  Eating becomes one of the central themes of the day as one removes most/all regular tasks and responsibilities. Preparing and sharing a meal with your family is a great chance to connect.

No Cable TV:  As much as I’m a minimalist in terms of what I consume on television, once at the cottage, the only indication of civilization was the background radio station playing classic 70’s-80’s music harkening back to those glorious musical generations. Watching an older DVD of “The Great Escape” for the first time on a 13 inch TV has its own quaint appeal. The lack of cable TV also opens up the time for board and card games with much merriment. I was fortunate to have internet so I could still stay in touch with the Olympics (my little obsession) and a couple of coaching calls. I have always dreamed of coaching from a cottage, that dream happened this week and was amazingly motivating for me to get my own cottage-type place soon.

Miscellaneous:  One other interesting tidbit was that I had brought my laptop in the hope of doing some writing on my newest “Motorcycle Chronicles” (working title) book. Although I did ride into Algonquin Park, I DIDN’T feel like writing at all! At first I was worried I’d lost my writing touch. Then I realized (and reframed the experience) that this was what was meant to be and I enjoyed the writing break. Maybe my current writing location (dining room) environment is part of my “being a writer”.

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Summer 2012: Your Best Ever!

As I was preparing my men’s circle last week I created a few questions to get the men pumped up about their summer of 2012. Well, we are 2 days in with 88 days to go and what will you do to make this a summer to end all summers?

            When I coach, I often use little “tricks” (techniques) to shift the perspective of my clients, which allows them to come up with new, fresher and more empowering viewpoints on their existing challenges. One of those is the future or past time warp where I have them see their situation from the future as if it has already happened.

Here is the question I had them share with the group, I urge you to try it yourself!

“It is September 1st, 2012 and the summer of 2012 turned out to be my best summer ever! I really grabbed my life and did _________________ and  _____________________ and ________________ and __________________ . I also visited ________________ and _________________ .

I had 2 major challenges this summer, _______________________ and ____________________ . I overcame these challenges by _______________________.

I’m really proud of myself.”

 

Hopefully that really brought you some clarity and inspiration in terms of what you want for yourself this summer. All I will add is have fun, the summer solstice is but a brief visitor! Have a great summer.

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Cutting the Cord & Less IS More

     Last weekend was a new experience for me as I rode my motorcycle on roads that tore the Northern Alleghany Forest in Pennsylvania mountains to ribbons in the company of my equally motorcycle-crazy cousin. Little to no traffic (the area is 3 hours from any major cities and has little to offer the cottaging crowd) made this a mecca for motorized 2-wheel exploration. The people we met were all exceedingly friendly and helpful, very nice. The 3 days communing with nature on my trusted mechanical steed opened a whole new world for me that I want to explore more, MUCH more(Passion, #2 on the Emotional Scale).
I turned my mobile phone off Friday and opened it late Sunday, and my world didn’t crumble! LOL! Being away from my regular life circumstances, people and activities was an alluring and intoxicating elixir allowing me to see what is important more clearly. I made a commitment to my self to do it more often and differently each time. This world is a big

What is your getaway from the everyday (sounds like an ad :)) that allows you to gain perspective in your life? Cut the cord, less is more!

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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                ********************************************************************************************************

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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