Week #5 – Effects

I need to get to reading and commenting on my fellow MKMMAers posts, but I wanted to get this down while it was still fresh in my head.

I had written a post for the end of last week – didn’t publish it.  I was not seeing the kind of results in my life that I kept hearing about, and I was wondering:  Was I doing the exercises wrong? and Am I not focusing properly? and Did I put enough feeling into reading my index cards, DMP, Blueprint Builder?  Am I putting less than 100% in, and if I am how can I tell?  WHERE IS MY BREAKTHROUGH?

I decided to just have faith a little longer; it’s a process.  There’s no set schedule.

I had written a post Sunday evening after the webinar, detailing how my mind was running in frantic circles over the 7-day Mental Diet ‘no opinion’ requirement for the next two weeks:  What counts as an opinion?  Am I going to have to stop giving away compliments?  Will I have to keep face, voice and body expressionless, because all those give away my opinions, but I don’t WANT to be an emotionless statue again!

Didn’t publish that one, either.  Decided that the exercise was going to be only just as difficult as I was going to make it, and that if I focused my thoughts to my subby on being a non-judgemental observer, I would be what I willed to be.  The exercise became a game, and I’ve been developing the practice of always looking over my own shoulder – Was that an opinion?  Are you SURE you’re doing this favor without hope of reciprocity?   No, keep your mouth shut, that isn’t either a question or an observation.

So today I had an appointment at noon; Jerry had arranged for me to show our network marketing business to two of his coworkers during their lunch break.

I’ve never shown it all by myself before.  I don’t like getting up in front of people.  But in the back of my mind was my DMP and PPNs: Liberty; Spiritual Growth; certain dollar amounts by certain dates; the certainty that if I want that, I have to do this.

I set out everything I would need, double-checked I had everything in the car; in my head I was reviewing, rephrasing, repeating.  As I was driving, I was saying aloud, “I can be what I will to be, I can be what I WILL to be, I CAN be what I WILL to be!”  That sicky feeling in my stomach started when I was about halfway there – but before self-doubt and stage fright could paralyze me, I heard inside my head, “But the man who knows he has a solar plexus will not fear, he is too busy radiating courage, confidence, power.”

And I thought, I want to be magnetic.  And in my head I heard my business and MKMMA buddy Don say, “There’s a thin line between fear and excitement.” and Davene’s voice sounded right afterwards, “Fear and excitement release the same peptides.”  So I decided to feel excited.

And then I needed to set the cruise control so I wouldn’t speed.

I learned today that breakthroughs don’t have to be huge, or come with trumpet fanfares – they can be quiet, biding their time, and you won’t even know they’re there until you need them.  And it’s true, so true, what the Master Keys say, that “the physical tissue is changed and the individual sees life in a new light.”  The exercises, the readings, have begun to wear new grooves into my brain, my subconscious is starting to produce what I need to hear in order to keep moving forward instead of huddling in the past and allowing it to imprison my future.

Setting up a presentation at Jerry's work

Setting up a presentation at Jerry’s work

Week #4 – Questions

There is so much I could blog about.  I might need to start doing an entry a day.  How much of the world do we miss, for no better reason than we simply don’t notice?  Or we think it’s normal.

Today (Tuesday) I had a strange moment.  I’m reluctant to share – once a thing is on the web, it’s there forever, immortalized and immutable; there are no takebacks.  And yet… there’s this little voice inside saying “Share it – it’s important.”  So here we go.

First a bit of background.  Jerry, my husband, has a condition called Marfan’s.  ‘A genetic mutuation that causes a weakening of the connective tissue’ is the simplest way I’ve found to explain it.

I challenge you to find any part of the body that doesn’t contain connective tissue in some form.  Even blood vessels; they’re built in layers which are joined by – you guessed it – connective tissue.  Heart valves? Attached by chordae tendoneae – tendons.  Which are connective tissue.  Bones?  (Surely there’s no connective tissue in bones!)  Bones incorporate lamellae, which are concentric rings of mineral salts and collagen fibres.  Guess what collagen fibres are.  That’s right, they’re gelatin!  (When boiled.  Jello, anyone?)  They’re also connective tissue.

Marfan’s has threatened Jerry’s life at least twice; as a child, when severe scoliosis and the caving in of his rib cage began crushing his internal organs, and as an adult, when his aorta dissected (the layers tore apart).  There are also other, non-life threatening conditions.  His hips, for example.  He has the human version of hip displaysia, again caused by the Marfan’s.  Recently it’s been getting more and more painful for him to stand, walk, do his job (he’s the head detailer at a local Ford dealership).  So he finally – stubborn man that he is – went to talk to his doctor.

See, in January 2012 we went to Mayo Rochester (yes, the original Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota, and fortunate we are to have it!) for a full workup by doctors who know enough to specialize in Marfan’s; they discovered the abnormalities in his hips, which severely reduce Jerry’s range of motion in the joint.  They told us then that he would eventually have to have the hips replaced, and Jerry swore he was never having another operation, ever again.  Stoicism does have its limits, though.

hip x-rayThe upshot of all this is that his hip joints and lumbar spine have degenerated further, to the point where hip replacement is now necessary.

Now we come to the strange part.  My attitude toward all this has been one of relief at the desicion, and anticipation of Jerry’s physical renewal.  Yes, there are risks to putting him under.  I’m not worried about it; I’ve already decided the operation is going to be a complete success, and he’s going to enjoy life far more than he has in recent years, becoming physically pain-free just in time for him to retire and us to play for the rest of our lives.

My Dad phoned me today (Tuesday) to ask if he could come out and use the air compressor, and then he said in hushed tones better suited to a funeral home than a casual conversation, “And your mom and I, we’re so sorry to hear about Jerry’s hips.  That’s a terrible thing to have happen.”  It was as if he thought Jerry’s coming hip replacement was a tragedy.

I had to take a moment or three to process what he’d said.  They were sorry to hear that Jerry is finally going to get his hips fixed?  That’s a terrible thing to have happen, that he’s finally going to be able to stand and walk and maybe ride a horse (one of my favorite activities, that I don’t indulge in out of a desire not to leave him out) without pain?

Whoa.  Mental reset.  Dad was focused on the opposite side of the situation, the side that is afraid of surgery risks, that concentrates on why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people.  For him, where his mind goes is to the worry, anticipating all the things that can go wrong, thinking of scarce funds and how can “the kids” possibly afford the surgery, a thought process that feels so alien to me now that none of the dire possibilites he was no doubt thinking even occurred to me.  And for him, that’s normal.  It’s rational.  It’s realistic.

And I thought, This is one of the people who helped to shape my old blueprint.

Four weeks ago, would I have thought the same as he does?  Would I have focused on the wrong things?  And is there any way I can help him see that there is nothing to fear, that worry only makes happen what you worry about?  How dark and confining that style of thought and living seems to me now!

Just when I was starting to wonder if I’d made any real progress yet.

Fall colors on Oxford Mill Road

Sunshine through the clouds!

 

Week #3 (and a half) – Synchronicity

Us at The View

From left to right, Ted, Lee, Tia, Leanne, Jerry

So I reckon that quite a few, if not most, of us are members of a network marketing company.  I’m not going to talk about mine; we all promised we wouldn’t.  But on October 18, 19 and 20, ours held one of our four annual national events.  Two of the other three are dedicated to skill building, the third is dedicated to developing a feeling of team and family with members and reps from all over the world; this one is dedicated solely to personal development.  Our director of training (the best that ever was!) dresses up and becomes characters in a teaching form he calls “edutainment” – where we learn concepts the same way we learned, say, The Brady Bunch theme, or where to snap our fingers during “The Addams Family” song.  Ted, Lee, Leanne and I are all MKMMA members; we all brought our GS books, our index cards, our Master Key lessons and DMPs – we read them in the car as we drove all night, read them aloud to each other, kept our promises on the cards by completing our daily requirements no matter how tired we were or how early the next day would start.

And this year, as the seminar opened, Marc (our director of training) played Krewella’s “Enjoy the Ride.”

We were born ready, ready to be free, chasin’ every thrill we could see – With our eyes steady, waking to the dream, aching to be thrown in the ring – If nothing comes easy, as long as we’re breathing, we’ll go all the way or go home, We were born ready, wherever it leads, what we have is all we need.

‘Cause if it’s fast or slow, all I really know, is I’m gonna enjoy the ride – and if it’s hard or soft, before we get off, I’m gonna enjoy the ride.  Enjoy the ride.

We were born hungry, hungry for the rush, screaming when they tell us to hush – Hit the ground running, leave ’em in the dust, only run with those we can trust – If nothing comes to us, we’ll fly where it’s bluest, we’re ready to face the unknown, We were born hungry, we’ll never get enough, ’cause we’re only here this once.

Enjoying the ride was one of the central themes of this year’s View From The Edge.  Ah, but how can we enjoy the ride if we’re constantly wallowing in fear – fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of esteem in our community?

And that was the secondary theme:  Abolish fear.  Because fear is an illusion.  And we buy into it because we just don’t know any better, because the people who taught us fear didn’t know any better, because the people who taught them didn’t know any better, and so on.  Death is coming for us, one way or the other!  And He doesn’t care if we’ve really lived or if we’ve hidden our lights from the world behind layers of apathy, indifference, pride, ego, cynicism, or criticism.

Death makes an appearance at The View

 

How will our fears help us LIVE?  When Death comes to claim us, do we want to be saying, “Oh, no, not yet! Just give me a little more time, I never did the things I really wanted to do, never lived up to my potential!” or like Steve Jobs do we want to be saying, “Oh, wow!”

And then Ted, Lee, Leanne and I ducked out of the seminar (Wail!) to attend the webinar.  And what did we hear?

Create intense feelings of joy and satisfaction and attach those feelings to our DMP, our Service cards, our PPNs.  And eliminate – NOT overcome – fear.

Sometimes the Universe whispers to us, and we have a hard time hearing, especially when the Universe is speaking to us with our own voices; other times, She shouts.

Abolish fear.

Enjoy the ride.

Week #3 – So. Many. Thoughts.

I’ve started keeping notes for blog posts while I’m reading the Master Keys.  My creative energies are running rampant, firing off thoughts and connections left, right and center, which set off new thoughts and connections, which lead to others, and still others, I feel like a firework!  (Is this one of the side effects of changing?)

Fourth of July

 

I’m getting to the point where I need to do an extra sit, but the second time work on channeling my mind and imagination into something manageable; there have been times in recent days where I couldn’t follow a thought from the beginning of a sentence to the end; I’d interrupt myself, going off on a tangent, get distracted by a new association, interrupt myself again to head off on a different tangent, then notice what I was doing and drag myself back to the original conversation, only to find I couldn’t remember what it was I had been saying.  Even worse, sometimes those gymnastics have been purely mental, occurring while I was talking to someone (usually my brother Ted); I’m sure he is occasionally wondering why I seem so incoherent.

Strangely, even though my mind is definitely running faster than my mouth these days, my stutter hasn’t become a problem again.

Of course, during the sit where I’m focused on quieting all thought and this week adding physical relaxation to that, I’m having trouble keeping my body still; I keep nodding off.  I sit, get comfortable, start my timer, focus on relaxing and NOT THINKING… and then start to fall asleep.  As I start to fall asleep, I fall forward; my muscles automatically contract to bring me upright again… and then I have to start over, because I moved.

But what I really wanted to talk about is my DMP.

Rough draft of Shadowed Flight

This isn’t my DMP; it’s part of a novel I’m working on. This IS what a typical rough draft of mine looks like – except this one is actually a bit cleaner than most.

Last week I incorporated my guides’ suggestions into my first-draft DMP.  I was feeling decent about what I had so far, and understood that it was only a second draft; there were going to have to be more changes.  And you know, it didn’t feel right, either.  Something missing, wrong focus, I couldn’t be sure – it just wasn’t right.

After the webinar on Sunday (and I am so grateful for the examples of what not-right DMPs look like, and why they aren’t right and how to potentially make them better, thank you Davene, Mark, Heather and Trish, and anyone else I might have forgotten!), I started mentally chewing on my current draft of my DMP.  Not specific enough.  Not enough feeling.  Only one specific date, and it’s phrased wrong.  And how – really, how – does it fit in with my PPNs?  I can’t see either of my PPNs in my DMP the way it’s written now, and yet I know I’ve got the right ones!  Well… I’m pretty sure I’ve got the right ones.

(Oh no!  What if I don’t have the right PPNs?  I’ll fail!  I’ll put in all the work and effort and heart into it but fail anyway, ARRRRRGGGGH!!)

I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve (or – until this blog – in my writing).  Never have.  Displaying how I feel is a major point of vulnerability that I don’t need people using against me.

I’m a writer!  I create stories that evoke emotion from people, and I’m darn good at it.  My characters are real people with pasts, lives, flaws, strengths, dreams, WHY is this plan for my future so abominably difficult to write up and get right?

Besides, I haven’t chosen dates for when a lot of this is going to happen!  How am I supposed to know when it’ll happen?  And if I make that kind of a decision and do the work to make that date happen and it doesn’t happen even after that kind of faith and effort, what then? What if this program is all just a bunch of hooey in spite of the scientific support?!?

Deep breath.  Pause.  Old blueprint, I am no longer listening to you.  I’m writing my DMP out the way it’s supposed to be, I’m making it come true (because I always keep my promises), and it’s going to be magnificent.  And you know what?  I don’t have to know the future in order to create it, and since my DMP will evolve as I do, it won’t paralyze me or lock me into stasis; when I’ve achieved the first DMP, I’ll write another.  And another.  And another.

So take a hike, old blueprint.  Old, DEAD blueprint.  Me and the subby, we got this.

Hibiscus in bloom

Beauty in the dark, reaching for the light

Week #2 – Association

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The information came fast, without much time for reflection, and still my mind sparked on a distracting thought during the webinar on Sunday.  It was the seventh slide, the “Let’s Review Keys;” and more specifically, when Trish first started talking about Law of Dual Thought – we can observe and choose the effect.

My instant mental association was with a book Terry Pratchett wrote few years back called “Wee Free Men,” in which main character Tiffany Aching, twentieth grandchild of Granny Aching, learns she was born to be a witch by virtue of First Sight and Second Thoughts:  First Sight means you can see what’s really there, and not what your eyes tell you that you ought to see; and Second Thoughts is when you think about what it is you’re thinking – you know, act as an observer inside your own mind.

Love Terry Prachett.

I also love finding wisdom in unique places.  The subonscious is always aware, always absorbing information, and popping up with intuitions – even when we’re not paying attention.  I had one early this morning, as I was watching and photographing the lunar eclipse.

Night of the 2014-10-08 eclipseThe skies were bright; the full moon casting long shadows.  A chill night breeze rattled the long, browning leaves in the cornfields, and one lone, brave cricket chirped, slow and infrequent.  Only the brightest stars were visible – six out of seven in the Big Dipper, a couple in Orion, who was just starting to peek through over top of the trees behind the house, one or two in Cassiopeia.

Then the eclipse started, and the quality of light changed somehow.  The Earth’s shadow hadn’t touched more than a sliver of the moon, the shadows were just as long and intense, and yet the world was darker.

I paced around, trying to keep warm, taking pictures periodically.

The moon continued to disappear, the skies to darken… and the stars began to appear, one by one.

Just before the moon went red, I had to head into the house to warm up; I could barely hold the camera release cable, I was shivering so badly even through my longjohns, two pairs of socks, hat, gloves, winter jacket and boots.  When I came back out, I had to use my headlamp to find the camera and tripod again.  And the stars were shining, full and bright; even the band of the Milky Way appeared.  And I thought, Wow.  How often do you get to see stars on the night of a full moon?  A billion billion little lights that we can only see when the greater light is muted.

And it struck me, there in the dark and the chill of predawn, with only the night noises for company, that this was exactly what the quieting of all thought was for, this is exactly what the MKMMA is designed to do; mute the light of the conscious mind, get it and our egos out of the way, and let the billion billion lights of the subconscious shine.

Bonfire stars

 

Week #1 – Random thoughts and progress

Just some reflections over the past week:

Hemingway Rewritten

I still haven’t managed to make my blog site look like I’d visualized.  That’s okay, though; I’ll figure it out, and if I can’t, the Digital Connections is starting this week, and I’m sure I’ll learn.

HomeworkI was thinking it was going to be really hard to keep up with the homework… but I’ve managed to submit all three “Tangible” items and keep up with reading Scroll One three times a day, reading the MasterKey once a day, the BluePrint Builder out loud once a day, and of course my DMP.  Out loud.  Three times a day.  Once I’d actually written it out.  Geez, does that feel weird the first few times!  Now I just hope I won’t have memorized it too much, because today I got my first set of suggestions back from my Guides!  Time to go back to work!

 

Ellen sitting stillSitting still for fifteen minutes a day was actually the easiest portion of the homework for me; I used to meditate regularly.  I do think that on Thursday I went above and beyond though.  As always, the door was shut so the cats couldn’t be furry, attention-demanding, distractions… but there was mosquito in the room.  And I sat still as it buzzed and whined… and stopped.  And then buzzed and whined… and stopped.  And then buzzed and whined, and this time when it stopped I could feel it walking around on my forehead!  And I made myself be still until the timer rang (I’d worked myself up to eighteen minutes by then).  Ugh!

Elen's booksElen's booksNot that reading is hard!  I love to read (well, obviously – you can see my office.  They’re for research.  Honestly.  No, really – part of being a good writer is reading a lot so you can get a feel for writing styles and genres.  Okay, okay; they’re only for research in a very minor way.  Mostly I have them because I love to read).  No, my difficulty with the reading was in the mental focus.  In the back of my head, I kept reacting to the words I was reading by remembering other times and associations I have with the information in the MasterKeys.  So… scattered consciousness.  Not Good.  Oftentimes I’d have to read the same sentence three or four times before I was focused on the words and only the words.

One of the thoughts that keeps recurring is a long-held belief of mine, carefully kept silent whenever the subject came up after the first few times I tried to share my viewpoint.  Raised Catholic, I’ve had trouble with religion since just before I was an adolescent.  I’m fine with people believing whatever works for them, and I really dislike when people try to force-feed me their truth.  One of the areas where I differ from the mainstream is in knowing in my heart of hearts that I was not sent to this world incomplete, or ill-equipped for the challenges I would face.  I was born with all the internal tools and abilities I need to live and grow as a spiritual being; to me, seeking help from a source outside myself – as I was taught to do when I prayed – is tantamount to an insult to my creator, a suggestion that I can’t handle what I’m facing because S/He/They built me incorrectly.  So when I read the lines, “Nature has already supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest…” and “All power is from within, and is absolutely under your control…” I feel…

I feel relieved – I’m not crazy.  I feel, yes, vindicated – I’ll have to work on that, since the people I shared this belief with (however derisive they were toward me), don’t need my beliefs force-fed to them, and I shouldn’t care what they think anyway.  And I feel cautious – this could simply be a misinterpretation of the MasterKey on my part, fueled by those years-ago forcible squashing of my truth.

Eagle spooked by truck

 

So here I am now – ready and waiting to take flight and see where the winds take me!