Week 1 – A more detailed map

A September sunrise

A September sunrise

Week one again!  It’s thrilling – I’ve missed the webinars, the wisdom, the automatic companionship with other MKMMA members.  It’s intimidating – working full time plus, in addition to a daily photographic project and related blog, will I remain faithful to the exercises?  Haven’t always been so, in the past when my schedule was easier, though I’ve muddled through, muddled through.

And it’s promising.  Because it’s a human truth that if you don’t know where you’re going, then

  1. any road will get you there, and
  2. you won’t actually know when you’ve arrived.

After two years of asking myself, over and over, what do I want?, two years of retraining myself to believe that I can have what I truly and deeply want, the answer is crystallizing.  I know myself better now, understand more of what my gift to the world actually is… and how to most effectively give it away.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights under the Big Dipper

And to think the realization had its roots in a chance comment of mine, that once I wouId have paid no attention to, a comment I wouldn’t have been in a position to even make, if not for the past two years of studying Haanel and Og and Emerson.

Since January the 1st, I’ve been taking pictures of the sunrise from the eastern overlook of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, MN.  Barn Bluff is a local landmark overlooking the mighty Mississippi; from the easternmost point of the bluff, you can see for ten-twelve miles – which is a feat in southeast Minnesota, let me tell you!  By the end of the year I’ll have photos of 366 consecutive sunrises, all from the same spot!

And word’s been getting around; I was recently interviewed by a writer from the Rochester Post-Bulletin about the project.  One of the questions he asked was why.  Why the project, why Barn Bluff, why every single sunrise for a year.

“I want to show people how pretty the world is,” was what I said.

It was a flippant, off-the-cuff answer meant to sound good for the interview… and yet it resonated with every layer of my being, from conscious to subconscious.  _MG_0682The voice of my deepest self seized an unguarded moment and spoke clearly.  We miss so much of beauty, particularly in our own back yards, because we never look up from our technology and stress and hectic schedules long enough to notice what’s right there – the liquid ice sculpture of a dew-covered spiderweb in the morning sunlight;  the first flowers of spring, poking up through a late snow; the constantly-shifting, fathomless patterns in the clouds on a stormy day; a baby’s laugh; the warm and steady rumble of a cat’s purr.

Beauty everywhere.

Time to get all these new realizations down in my DMP!

Week #17 – As above, so below; as within, so without

_MG_5022

Wow – is it Thursday again already?  Yep, must be – it’s written on my schedule to write and post a blog today.

You know, honestly, I follow along with the MKMMA, I do my best to meet all the requirements, and yet I find I am learning more about myself, what I’m meant to do, how to arrange my life so that I am happy, through my sunrise project on Barn Bluff than I am through the MKMMA exercises and webinars – making the walk, taking the pictures, writing my photography blog.  I suppose it’s partly because there’s lots of time for introspection and contemplation of the world within while walking the trail.  But it’s also that I’m out here doing something that I enjoy.  If you’ve gotten all this way into the MKMMA course, you should already be doing things that support your deepest desires – the DMP, the index card with the Plan of Action and all, should take care of that.

But if you’re not – if you’re still wrestling with who am I really, and what am I meant to do? – then do yourself a favor.  First of all, STOP OBSESSING.  Mental effort defeats itself, remember?  Just… get out of your own head.  Commit to a daily series, whether it be writing a poem a day, or taking a set of pictures, or sketching, or painting, whatever you like to do.  Find the time, find the attention to spare for it.  You’ll discover that the very act of commitment, followed by the activity every day, will accelerate the process of change.

_MG_5284And along the way, you’ll inevitably find yourself answering the questions of who you are, what you want, where your life’s purpose lies.  Because meeting the demands of that daily series is very like another type of meditation; you’re focused; you’re present; you’ve opened the door to that secret, creative part of your mind and heart and you’re listening to what it says.  It’s… like studying the reflections in the water in order to understand what they’re an image of.

And I’ve discovered that in making the walk up to the top of Barn Bluff, in taking pictures of the sunrise and being aware of what’s around me, the Master Keys and Og and the exercises all make so much more sense.  I can apply the principles to my actions, my thoughts, my plans.  It’s a connection that I just don’t feel in the Alliances or during the webinars.  I read, I listen, I understand… but I don’t feel.  And I see blog posts and shares in the Alliances, people who are manifesting exactly what they’ve always wanted, which feeds belief and enthusiasm, which accelerates the change, which in turn fuels greater belief and enthusiasm, and those folk are radiating gratitude and appreciation of Mark, Davene, and the guides… and sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me, that I continue to view the people and the process with the eyes of an outsider, an observer, a non-participant.

On the other hand, maybe some of that is how it’s supposed to work.  We start out dependent, feeling our way into the power of the world within through the help of Mark, Davene and the guides, taking uncertain steps into the darkness until we find our light – following the gurus, however little they want to be thought of as such!  But then, because we’ve been openly and yet subtly retaught how to think for ourselves, we graduate to forging our own meanings, our own interpretations:  Haanel, Og, Campbell, Wooden, Allen, Hill, as their wise words apply to us, specifically, instead of a more sweeping, generalized, one-size-fits-all outlook.

The principles remain; solid, unchanging.  But the details of the application become more personalized, tailored to our own uniqueness.

_MG_5286

Week #1 – Answering the Important Question

Pathway into the fog

And so, here we are – full circle to where I started.

Well, sort of.  Growth actually occurs more in a spiral rather than a circle, so long as we’re learning.  We come back around, but not to the exact same point, because with the addition of experiences, we are no longer the exact same person.

But I am facing the exact same question.

What do I want?

Last year, on my first trip through the MKMMA, I never answered this question; not fully, not truthfully.  The DMP and getting it in on time was an assignment, something I had to do in order to maintain my scholarship, whether it was right or not, true or not, complete or not.  I wrote down what I thought I should want, based on the person I had been about fifteen or twenty years ago and what that person had wanted for her life.  I thought, if I could just force myself to become that person again, my life would be back on track and I would be happy and successful.

It flopped.  Big time.  And for obvious reasons; there’s too much time, too much experience, too many life- and mind-altering events between the person I was and the person I am now for me to ever be her again.

So what do I want?

I’m reminded of two scenes, one from the movie Field of Dreams, the other from the TV series Bablyon 5.

In Field of Dreams, Ray (Kevin Costner) and Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) are at the ball park and after kidnapping Terence Mann to take him to a ball game, Ray asks what he wants, and Terence says, “I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.”  And Ray says, “No, I mean what do you want?” and motions to the concession stand.  An honest answer, to a question that wasn’t asked, but it becomes clear through the course of the movie that it isn’t true – writing and speaking are what Terence does, it’s who he is.

Then there’s Bablyon 5, where the question that was asked is answered, but in a moment of frustration, anger, and pain.  An undead agent of The Shadows, Mr. Morden, goes around to all the ambassadors and asks them the same question – “What do you want?”  The only ambassador to give him an answer was Londo Mollari of the Centauri:  “Do you really want to know what I want? Do you really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy. I want to see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power! I want to stop running through my life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back or look forward. I want us to be what we used to be! I want… I want it all back the way it was. Does that answer your question?”  Londo’s answer has unintended and far-reaching consequences, for him and for the people his decisions affect, and once he has what he said he wanted, he discovers he’d really wanted something a little different… too late to prevent or correct the damage he’d done by pursuing the wrong answer.

What do I want?

It’s a question that requires soul-deep honesty.

What do I want?

It’s a question that’s dangerous to answer if you get it wrong, and equally dangerous to a person’s soul-born purpose not to answer if you get it right.

What do I want?

It’s a question that shouldn’t be answered in the throes of emotion, and yet must tie in to strong desire, or it’ll never happen.

What.  Do.  I.  Want?

FoL-2

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