Sacrifice and Gratitude

Everything has a cost.Michael Jackson

We find ourselves chasing a better ‘me’… a better life.  We aren’t where we wish we were, and we know we can do better.  We know we can be better.  We want better for our children.  We crave growth.

When you grow, you leave some things behind. When you give into disdain for today, you abandon those who believe in you. When you sacrifice to make personal gain, you leave a little of your moral character behind.

Everything has a cost.

We find ourselves focused on the gain, and convince ourselves the sacrifice is worth it… or even worse, sometimes say it’s what we wanted to give up. We become blinded by the prize, like a gambler addicted to the next win.

Gambling

Everything has a cost.

Our future self deserves better, but don’t forget to honor your past. At some point in the past, you desired to have what you hold today. Some of it may not be perfect, but that isn’t the same as as worthless. And the future you are chasing won’t be perfect either.  To deny the value of what you hold is to be ungrateful. Ungrateful for the sacrifices of yesterday.  And soon, you will find yourself ungrateful for tomorrow.

Be Grateful

Everything has a cost.

Strive for better… you deserve better… but don’t go bankrupt getting there.

Gratitude

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The Miracle Which Produced Me

I am natures greatest miracle, but the real prize is the miracle which preceded me.

The wealth from success receives the glory, yet the countless hours of hard work which happened first deserve the praise.

Connor McGregor

The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and The Vitruvian Man set Leonardo da Vinci as a brilliant artist, but it was the thousands of hours of study and practice which created that genius.

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We look around us at the beauty of Nature, and marvel at her wonder, yet forget the millions and millions of years it took to create the wondrous world we live within.

Mother Nature

You may feel some pride for what you have become in life, but never forget that you pale in comparison to the miracle which brought you here.

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“I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why should the miracle which produced me end with my birth?  Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today?”   Og Mandino

A quick thought on fear.

“In the cave you fear to enter, lies the treasure you seek”… Joseph Campbell

Cave

Part of my job is to help people set goals in their life or career, and then create a plan of action to achieve those goals.  Far too often, what I have come to discover is that many people are unable to articulate what their goals are.  They have absolutely no idea what they want out of life.

Sometimes, when you can’t quite figure out what the treasure is you seek, you may want to look at it from a different angle. What is the cave you fear to enter? What is the unknown, scary, situation you avoid?

Understand the fear… and you may understand the treasure.

What is the cave you fear to enter? Maybe therein lies your Hero’s Journey.

Heros-Journey-Round

Maybe so, Maybe not… We’ll see

WOW… What a year that was!!!

As we sit on the edge of 2017, getting ready to move into 2018, I look back at one of the fullest and most meaningful years of my life.  It has been filled with highs and lows far beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.  There has been more activity than I can recall in the past, blasting life at me from a fire hose.  Just a few highlights…

After 9 years, Riley and Mitchel moved away, heading to start a new life with their Mom & Bob in Anglemont BC.  As it was happening in the early part of the year, it was the single most crushing experience I had ever gone through.  The emptiness, anger and sadness were all-consuming. Yet as the months have passed, I have become so grateful for the life they are building.  Mitchel is in an environment that allows him to experience life and new situations on a daily basis.  Riley finds himself with the ability to focus, and is gradually starting to set his sails.  He even has his Learners Licence (that’s a reason to be happy we are separated by a province).  Kate and Bob are doing an amazing job with these boys… and I still get to see them in person and via Facetime regularly.  As crushed as I was… this was one of the best things that could have happened for them. I am so happy that Kate had the strength to make this move.

As that was unfolding, another all-consuming emotional experience began. I finally found love.  A love so strong and deep, it transformed me from the inside out.  I had completely given up on ever experiencing this, which made it even more magical for me.  It began one year ago tomorrow ( New Years Eve ). We moved fast, and made huge commitments.  I was cautioned against it, but when it feels that right, I don’t believe in caution.  Yet by the end of the year, that relationship ended.  And the timing of when we began makes today that much more painful. It was the end of a dream that finally had come to reality.  It spun me around, and smashed me against the ground.  Yet as painful as it has been, I don’t regret a moment.  I have learned and grown so much.  I am reminded that I still have that ability to love so strongly.  The love I feel for her hasn’t dissipated an ounce, but I’m learning how to not allow that to hold me back.  I can cherish and hold onto the positive, while still moving forward.  Life is made up of moments.  Honor the past ones, and welcome the new ones.

PERFECT SYMPHONY – Ed Sheeran

In February 2017, Riley became a father, and I a Grampa.  Christopher came into the world, and changed the perspectives of many people.  While I haven’t been able to get to know Chris the way I would like to yet, I know this can change.  And as he has a younger brother on route (due at the end of January), this could be quite an adventure.

Yet as new lives are brought in, I also have to face the reality of some lives passing.  My Mom has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer.  It is likely that we are facing the last few months with her beauty.  She is the very seed from which I have grown.  Next to my own spirit, she is the biggest part of me.  This is going to be so very hard.

And in the world of careers… I watched one promising career crumble, followed by the entrance of the most significant and promising opportunity I’ve ever had come along.  And as I look back over the handful of meaningful careers I’ve had, I can see how the lessons learned in each will be playing a role in this one.  I am so excited to watch this happen.

Despite my optimism and commitment to the new career, life has also taught me that I need to take control over my own future.  Give myself options.  Create and develop my own Plan B.  And here-in is where SEACRET will remain such a big part of my future.  It allows me to do something I love, coaching people towards wellness & greatness, while building a solid foundation for my future.

And then there are the ‘riches’ of life. Some of the above, combined with prolonged poor decision making brought me to complete financial ruin. Wiped out. Kaput!! But when I faced the reality of my monetary riches being depleted, I discovered a couple of other riches I didn’t realize I had. First… a friend that stepped in and gave me a safe place to be and rebuild. Without her amazing hospitality, warmth and compassion, I seriously have NO IDEA where I might be right now. THANK YOU !!

And I also found an internal resilience I had never tapped into before. An ability to see life’s cycles for what they are… stages of a journey… and find the courage to ride them out with dignity and hope.

After so many years of partaking in self-Development courses, and reading Self-Help books, I have finally come to understand that the answers to life’s challenges aren’t ‘out there’.  They are tucked within our own innate greatness. We just need to do some reprogramming, and learn to live life guided by our intentions, instead of being restrained by our fears and false limitations. I am incredibly grateful for the guidance inward that I have received from sessions such as ACT Training, the MKE Course, and the insightful wisdom of the ancient Stoics. These have all helped me to abandon tactics, and allow myself to be guided by my compass.

Life is so full of ups and downs…. and they just don’t stop.  Some areas are currently on the high side of the curve, and a few are still in the lowest of lows.  But one thing is guaranteed… they will continue to change.  The whole story is not yet told.  The year that was 2017 reminds me of a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story. Additionally, no one really lives long enough to find out the ‘whole story,’ so it could be considered a great waste of time to judge inconveniences as misfortunes or to invest tons of energy into things that look outstanding on the surface, but may not pay off in the end.

Life is a never ending journey. Let’s see what 2018 has in store.

Bless you all. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. I hope to spend so much more time with those I love, and hopefully a little less time with the jerks.

I hope this transparent message isn’t mistaken for a pity request… nor some meaningless optimistic bend on a challenging situation. I have come to learn that we are all facing demons. We are all fighting battles behind closed doors. I have fought these alone in the past, and that was so insanely difficult. What I hope is that others who are facing obstacles which may feel overwhelming will reach out to the people around them for help. And that others will keep an eye open for people who may need a hug. Reach out… love… and allow yourself to be loved. We are in this crazy ride together. Let’s hold hands.

MKE – WEEK 11: Hey Ego… This Choice is Not Yours.

 

Socrates - Ideas

I will persist until I succeed.

Thank goodness the Monarch butterfly cannot understand the language of humans.  Imagine how quickly we could end the wondrous continental migration if we poisoned this creature with our limits, our fears, our hang-ups.  The egg knows nothing of growing wings.  The larva has no fear of flying.  The pupa does not vow to find a better home for his future eggs.  Even the butterfly herself shows no hesitation in leaving her comfort zone.

Each will persist until they succeed.

This beautiful creature becomes a symbol of transformation by doing one thing only.  Persist.  Persist in this moment.  Do what nature commands of all things in the universe.  Transform.  Embrace the energy which flows through and connects all things, and stay in motion.  The Monarch has no ego… it hasn’t developed this psychological self-destruct mechanism.

According to fossil records, Monarch butterflies have existed for 90 – 175 Million years.  Contrast that with we humans, who have been in attendance for 200,000 years, and on this very day we threaten to eliminate our own brief existence through war, disease, and environmental suffocation.   What makes us so different?  Perhaps it’s that we try to force the change outwards, instead of embracing it internally.  We fight to change the world around us, instead of allowing the energetic connective tissue to transform us within.  We block.  We fear.  We deny.  We project.

Persist until you succeed.

“The prizes of life are at the end of each journey; not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal.”

Og Mandino

Compass - Start

We claim we must plan it out.  We must design our destiny.  But our destiny is already designed for us, and that destiny is greatness.  Our ego wants to understand each step, and grasp control over the process.  Yet if we let go of the reigns, and do our part… persist… that greatness awaits us.  We must throw out our clocks.  Discard our maps.  Be guided by only our compass, which tells us which direction to take this very step.  And persist.

We are weakened when we discuss the limitations of others around us.

We survive when we celebrate the events around us.

We thrive when we are allow ourselves to be empowered by ideas.

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MKE – Week 9: Transformation Abound

Matches

I had started to write a rather lengthy blog for this week about sparking a major transformation, but then I was reminded of a video that caught my attention several months ago.  This story can say so much more than my words ever could.

While the video is about a physical transformation that comes about from a significant lifestyle change, I have no doubt that you will see the connection to what we are doing with our mental reprogramming (mental diet, daily commitment, never quitting, progress not perfection, visualizing, faith in yourself, and so much more).

We are on our way to transforming our lives in a way that NO ONE could ever anticipate as possible.  Commit.  Do the daily exercises.  Believe in yourself.  If there are people who don’t believe in you, dump them!  They are fearful about their own inability to change, and that is not your problem!!  There is an amazing transformation coming your way.  You deserve to live this new life.  There are no common people.  We are all meant for greatness!!

I wish I had someone who believed in me as I deserved.  But when I discovered that I didn’t, I stepped up, and did the believing in myself.

Now, I don’t know about the clown to the left of you, or the joker to the right… but let me assure you… I BELIEVE IN YOU!!  You are doing the right things.  JUST… KEEP… DOING THEM!!

Fuck, I’m pumped!!!

I love you!!!

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MKE – Week 8: Chaos vs Cosmos

Big Bang

According to the Big Bang Theory, the entire Universe was born out of an explosion from a point known as a Singularity, a zone of density infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, and infinitely dense.  Out of this burst came all of the matter and energy that ever existed, and which, over time, seeded the Universe we see in the heavens today.

“The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” … Carl Sagan

Within 10−32 seconds, each of the fundamental forces of the Universe  (Gravitational, Electromagnetic, Strong Nuclear, and Weak Nuclear forces) had come into existence.  By the end of the first second of time, the Universe had grown to be 10-light years in diameter, and within the first 3 seconds, basic elements had formed.

It isn’t, however, until 300,000 years into the expansion of the Universe that matter begins to dominate… and it won’t be until 300 Million Years later that Stars and Galaxies begin to form.

carl-sagan-221

A few years ago, as I was pondering my spiritual beliefs, when I was suddenly struck by a notion.  What else is like the Big Bang?  What else springs into existence like the Universe?  Starting from nothing, yet from the moment it begins, it contains all of the energy and matter that it will ever require.  What else begins it’s early time as a stew of elemental forms & heat & energy, but gradually overtime turns into matter, and then organized matter.  What else bursts into existence, and creates reality?…..

A Thought!

A thought lives a life, much like the Universe.  Coming out of nowhere, this power of infinite potential explodes into our mind, bringing with it all of the resources it will ever need to create.  In it’s early stages, it is nothing more than fundamental elements and energy… but over time it begins to manifest tangible material, and gradually organizes that material into a system with a function and purpose of it’s own.

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At first, it just begins with one ‘thing’.  Large ‘things’ are created by forces that attract like ‘things’, growing and manifesting over time.  Stars and planets are built by gasses and rocks swirling around and crashing into each other, until over time, they build into the gigantic forms we see in our solar system.  And just like the Universe, once our mind can make this happen in one area, this process can be duplicated elsewhere… over and over again.

This notion I had grappled with many years ago.  It was exciting to think how similar a thought and the existence of the Universe were… and a realization that a thought brings with it all of the matter and energy it will ever need to turn it into it’s final existence.  But I read something in this weeks lesson, which I hadn’t considered before.  Something that filled in a gap which I hadn’t even realized existed.

“In this Part you will find that you may freely chose what you think but the result of your thought is governed by an immutable law!  Is not this a wonderful thought?  Is it not wonderful to know that our lives are not subject to caprice or variability of any kind?  That they are governed by law.  This stability is our opportunity, because by complying with the law we can secure the desired effect with invariable precision.

It is the Law which makes the Universe one grand paean of Harmony.  If it were not for law, the Universe would be a Chaos instead of a Cosmos.

Here, then, is the secret of the origin of both good and evil, this is all the good and evil there ever was or ever will be.”

According to the Big Bang theory, without the laws and forces that were created in the very beginning, all of this matter and energy could not have resulted in the Universe as we know it.  Likewise, without the various Laws of the Mind (Law of Attraction, Law of Growth, etc), our thoughts could not turn into a tangible reality.  And to look at this through a different lens, if we recognize that the Laws are there, then we don’t need to worry about that part of it.  Our job is to just create the right material, and let the Laws do their work.  How refreshing is that?

Trust the Laws.  Trust the process.  You have one job to do.  Through your thought, create the right elements.  Give the Universe the right constructive thoughts, and let the Laws build them into the reality that you desire.

hold-vision-trust-process

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