Archive for March, 2014

The Sun Goes Up, The Sun Goes Down

Friday, March 21st, 2014

I’m not sure whether Scroll IV of The Greatest Salesman in the World has arrived in harmony with my current events, or whether my reality is trying to copy the near manic-depressive cycles Og alludes to in the scroll, but the timing as always is perfect.

The past two months have humbled me and splashed a cold dose of reality on what I had been feeling was a confidently effortless progression of the first three and a half months of the MKMMA.

Recent events are constantly challenging my new inner poise and composure, and I find myself continuously restarting the mental diet. Perhaps the awareness that I do need to restart the diet illustrates progress from who and where I was back in September.

This week’s addition of the Law of Least Effort to our daily experiences has taken this all to a new level. I find that there are situations where I seem to be applying the qualities of acceptance. Responsibility and Defenselessness completely unconsciously, where perhaps in the past I would have been more critical and opinionated.

But it’s the times where I find myself catching my reactions and consciously applying these three steps that give the most pause. The more challenging the situation the greater the effort I need to apply to cause myself live within these principles.

Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction – the greatest effort to experience the Law of Least Effort?

As always this just illustrates that we’re on a continuing, evolving journey, not arriving at some final destination. Whenever we find ourselves complacent in having achieved some level of consciousness that’s the Universe’s cue to remind us that there is no such condition in life as static equilibrium. we are always in motion, and if we’re not intentionally moving forward we’ll soon find we’re falling backward.

The one thing I find I can latch onto in these challenging events is the realization that I’m being presented with new opportunities, and by focusing on finding what and where those are I tend to accept and not defend almost naturally. Not so much by “not doing” the thing but that by concentrating on looking for the opportunities I ignore the demands of emotional reaction and opinion, and by doing so, those thing dissipate.

All the way back to the beginning – what we give attention to grows, what we ignore atrophies.

Maybe somewhere deep inside all of this chaos the progress of the past five months really is there at work …

 

 

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MKMMA Week 22 – A Capitol Idea

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The recommendation this week to spend three days in silence is extremely appealing to me, especially as the current events in my life pretty much preclude it happening at the moment. Too many activities that require human communication.

True, that is a choice, and I could choose to ignore those activities and retreat to a prolonged silence, but I would most likely not be pleased with the long-term outcomes of that choice. So I choose to do those things now, and look forward to days of solitude in the months ahead.

Instead I’m using the “power nap” approach, finding silence where and when I can, 30 minutes here, an hour there. Sometimes in the most non-traditional places.

Most people have at least heard of the Capitol Beltway, that 66-mile ring of pavement surrounding Washington, DC. You can drive around the nation’s capitol in circles for hours and even days and never go anywhere; most appropriate for a ring around THIS city. I suspect its original intention was to try to contain the inmates within the confines of Washington, but that never worked.

So it’s now the most direct and occasionally convenient route for intercourse between Maryland and Virginia, allowing us all to bypass having to drive by the White House and be strip searched by Homeland Security every time we need to run an errand across the river.

On Wednesday, following my meeting in Virginia, I got on the Beltway to return to my home in Maryland. Entering in free-flowing traffic, at what is pretty much the last place on or off before reaching the Potomac and the bridge to Maryland.

And braking with everyone else just a short distance later (though beyond sight of the road I had just come off, where I still had a chance to take an alternate route). All four lanes at a complete standstill.

I turned on the traffic radio just in time to hear that “the big story today is the jack-knifed tractor-trailer just before the American Legion Bridge heading from Virginia into Maryland.” Blocking all four lanes. Making it a less convenient route at that moment.

The road sign along the highway declared “GW Pkwy 2; Potomac River 2-1/2”.

Miles, not a score. No one was winning this day.

So there I sat, 2-1/2 miles behind the accident that blocked my path home, with no way to get off the Beltway.

But an interesting thing happened. Or, perhaps I should say I made an interesting choice.

Rather than fuss and fume and restart the mental diet every thirty seconds as I would have done in the past, I realized, “I’m going to be here for a while, alone in the car – looks like a great time for an extended sit”.

That hour and a half silence, as well as several other extended sits this week, together with last week’s conversation on thinking Big Thoughts, has caused me to reconsider my DMP much more clearly.

I realize that previous attempts at re-writes were always still just rearranging the list of “things”, rather than focusing energy on the core purpose. I’m now in the process of a much more meaningful re-evaluation of the DMP, a leaner, cleaner more concentrated look at the true Big Idea behind it all.

But I’m still going to be sure I tune in to the traffic report BEFORE I get on to the Beltway from now on.

 

 

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MKMMA Week 21 – The Magic of Thinking Big

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

This was one of the earliest self-development book I read, shortly after my initial introduction to Think and Grow Rich, thirty-some years ago. David J. Schwartz’ book was a bit fresher and more contemporary at that time (and on reflection, so was I) but the core concepts are still valid and are what has raised the book to the self help “classic” level.

I wasn’t familiar with Haanel at the time, but Schwartz clearly sought to re-interpret the concepts in The Master Key and Think and Grow Rich, as have most self development speakers and authors since then.

Perhaps this isn’t so much a case of trailing along on the skirts of the classic as it is a testament to the concepts presented by Haanel and others as being fundamental to who we are and how we work as humans. Many if not all of the thoughts expressed by Haanel are found in philosophies and teachings dating back to early Christianity, Judaism, the ancient Greeks and before. (And yet here we are, three, four thousand years later still trying to figure it and ourselves out.)

One of the concepts not so much introduced for the first time but emphasized in chapter 21 of The Master Key is that of thinking big thoughts. That large ideas tend to over shadow smaller ideas, both eliminating obstacles to our realizing our objectives. This goes back to and reinforces my observations of recent weeks, that focusing on trying to consciously figure out the “how to” in achieving our ideals stands in the way of realizing the larger ultimate goal.

There are times when I begin reading a new weekly chapter that I feel like the content is repeating ideas already introduced. Then I realize that yes, most or all of these ideas have been present in the teachings since the early chapters, but it’s our growth, our unfoldment that causes us to be ready to fully appreciate and internalize them as we grow.

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears” has a great deal of validity. We’re ready to apply concepts we’ve been exposed to all along once we’ve developed to the point that we can understand them.

I know that book is somewhere back in the far reaches of my bookshelves. Maybe it’s time to dig it out, blow off the dust and give it another look (if the ages don’t crumble!)

 

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