Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Am Potential

I had the good fortune to meet a remarkable young man today. The story of Patrick Henry Hughes has been documented on television on shows like Oprah and Extreme Home Makeover. Because of his athletic connection, he's also been on ESPN. However he's not an athlete. In fact, when you know about him, you'll see that he never could be. But in talking to him, you realize he has lived his young life not by what he can't do. He lives by what he can do.

To catch you up, Patrick was born without eyes. He does not have the ability to full straighten his limbs, meaning he can't walk. He has steel rods surgically inserted into his back to correct scoliosis. But when you talk to him, don't speak about disabilities. He considers what he has and what he can do as abilities. His blindness he sees as a gift because he doesn't care about body type or skin color. He can't because he's never been exposed to them. He was born with the ability to know a person beyond the surface.

He is also musically gifted, playing piano at 9 months of age. As a trumpeter, he is a member of the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Bands. At the Louisville program, to be in the pep band, you must also be a member of the marching band so his father wheels him along in formation with his 220 bandmates and he contributes to University of Louisville Cardinal spirit. So, you might imagine, he's majoring in music at school. However, since Patrick is full of surprises, he adds another one here. He's a Spanish major who entered college at junior level in the language. That's not surprising when you look at his academics: straight A's with only 5 B's since middle school.

After speaking with him, I had to make sure I purchased his book "I Am Potential: Eight Lessons in Living, Loving and Reaching Your Dreams." In it, I am struck by the similarities to what Patrick is speaking of and the Law of Attraction. The title of chapter one is: "When Life Gives You Lemons, Accept Them and Be Grateful." I followed Jeannette Maw with a post about that same topic recently. Acceptance of what is, and being grateful for it, helps you achieve your wishes and dreams. I won't spoil the rest of the book for you, but it's a good read and you'll see how to easily adapt it's lessons into your life.

By realizing what Patrick has gone through and his positive outlook on life, it's easy to bring yourself back into positivity. As readers of this blog know, I have battled feelings of negativity over the past few months and have allowed it to stifle my output somewhat, but after meeting Patrick and reading his book, it is easier to realign myself with the grateful and optimistic being I strive to be.

Thank you Patrick.

Here is an ESPN piece on Patrick

Monday, November 24, 2008

Edward Weston, Jeff Curto and Me

I'm sitting in the library with a book about Edward Weston in front of me. For those that don't know, I am a both a photographer and a student of photography and find the subject of both photographers and their photographs fascinating. Every moment I can study someones work drives me to discover the next photographer.

I'm also listening to a podcast on the history of photography by Jeff Curto. He teaches a course at the College of DuPage in Illinois and he's a fascinating listen because you can tell he knows his stuff and remains passionate about it. It was Mr. Curto that put me on to my current fascination with artists from the early to mid twentieth century time period and I am appreciative of it. In fact, during my morning gratitude "vibing," his podcast remains another blessing that I am grateful for.

With a book of Weston's photographs on this table, I am seeing the American West through his eyes and through the essays in the book I am getting clues as to who he was as a person and how his life was incredibly complicated.

There are allusions to his "lover" Charis Wilson as well as a few nudes of her in the sand dunes. The point is not that the book contains a few nude photographs, but rather the passion at which Weston pursued his interests. There will be those who read that Wilson was nude and immediately want the book removed from the library.

However, things like that didn't appear to matter to Weston. He pursued his artist vision, and made his vision a reality. It is a lesson to me as I continue to manifest the events around me. Weston became the photographer he wanted to be because that is what he wanted to be.

At this point, I am not the photographer I want to be because I have let things get in the way. I have blocked my blessing, as it were, by letting it happen and, by letting it happen, attracting more distraction to myself.

The Law of Attraction is very clear on the topic of being distinctive. The Universe will give you what you want, but you must be specific about what you want. The more drilled down on what you are manifesting, the more you get what you want.

For example, I was manifesting the idea of myself being a "good photographer." Does that mean I am a good photographer. It can, but photographer of what? A good photographer of lint in my pocket from my camera phone? If that's the case, how does that serve my real desire? By wanting to be a "good photographer," did the Universe grant that as my gift? Is that what I really wanted? And if not, how was the Universe supposed to know?

You can have your desires, but unless you ask specifically for what you want, how is the Universe ever supposed to give it to you?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The General and the Spin

The presidential campaign remains a study in contrasts. Yes, that's stating the obvious as you hear people claim the conservative mantle while spitting out the term "liberal" as if it is a vile epithet. You hear those whose views are liberal avoid that word because it has been turned into a curse at some point in the last 30 years.

The "vast right wing conspiracy" accuses the "liberal media" of bias and vice versa. Is there true objectivity in the campaign or in the reporting of the campaign? Why are some of those media not even trying?

I have said that this will never be a political blog and I will stick with that. But the uproar surrounding Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama has moved me to write this post. You see, General Powell was well respected by the power elite up until Sunday morning when he appeared on Meet The Press and was asked about the presidential election and what was his opinion about endorsing one candidate over the other.

The General's statement was measured and well reasoned and made perfect sense for him as he stated his case, while he respects the Republican candidate John McCain, he has decided that the candidate that he would support is the Democrat Barack Obama. Being a Republican, the former Secretary of State had to agonize over what he was saying.

The backlash was immediate and filled with venom and hatred. Read the following transcript from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh:

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about
race," Limbaugh wrote. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past
endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal,
white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

"I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence
Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he
also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star and secretary of
state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for
transformational figures." (source )

Why would the spin on this be so vitriolic? General Powell just spoke his heart. If he was speaking from his conscious being, why would that be attacked with such venom? And is Limbaugh's attack from his conscious being or from his ego? His radio show tends to raise the rabble and seek the most evil bottom line in the egoic. He turned a thought out response to a question into race baiting to play on some people's hatred of a small aspect of a person's overall being. It's free speech, but is it responsible?

This is an important election, so whoever you support, please vote. But vote from your own being, not from the egoic hate-speech of talk show hosts who are hired to cause a ruckus without thinking about the repercussions of their poison-speak.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Dream Council

In the last few days, I've become interested in dream interpretation. It started with a conversation with a local teacher of metaphysics. She was knowledgeable and helpful with the questions I asked regarding the Law of Attraction and the Power of Now. Our interpretations matched for the most part, then the conversation steered into a direction in which I had no reference point: dreams.

For the better part of the last 10 years, and maybe longer than that, I have rarely been able to recall my dreams. If I had to tie it to a particular instance, I would have to say it was when I stopped journaling my dreams. Back in the days when I was writing fiction, I used a dream journal to get some ideas from my subconscious. At that time, I thought of the subconscious as merely a wellspring of ideas that could get my writing career started.

And it worked. I had a few things published based on my dream journal and had tons more just sitting there waiting to be written that I never got around to. There is a tinge of regret there thinking that I should have pursued those writings because I have since lost those journals. However there is larger feeling of loss I get from not having those journals: what was I trying to say to myself?

In the conversations with the metaphysics teacher, she mentioned that dreams are trying to tell you something. What were my dreams trying to tell me then and what would that guidance lead to now? It would be interesting to see where my mind was then and where it is presently, now that I have begun this journey into beingness.

Those dream journals were quite full, too, because of my obstructive sleep apnea. Suffering from that condition all those years and not admitting it to myself, I had become quite comfortable with waking up all the time at night. I had justified it to myself (at the time, my ego) as a means to continue to fill up my dream journals. Obstructive sleep apnea, for the record, is a condition in which you stop breathing at night because there is tissue in your breathing passages that close down and do not allow air to flow. You wake up briefly because your brain senses an emergency, but you don't wake up fully so you never know you were awake, but your body never fully rests either. And about once an hour, because my body never entered rest mode, I'd have to get up to visit the bathroom and I took that time to journal before dropping off again.

Now that my from of sleep apnea is treated (there are others) with a CPAP machine (I can go into detail on that in another post), I don't wake up until my alarm goes off because I'm getting real sleep. However my friend did give me a strategy that I can use to start to recall my dreams by just saying to myself before bed that I will remember my dreams. It won't automatically enable me to remember my dreams from the entire night just yet, but this morning I did get up and remember that in my last dream before waking, it involved the slogan "winners never cheat" and Yeardly Smith (actress and the voice of Lisa Simpson) was smiling at me.

I don't know if that's enough to interpret, but it's a start.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Chopping Block Comes to Town

Have I ever mentioned on this blog that I feel blessed every day? This is one of those days that justifies that feeling, particularly in the wake of bad news at work.

This morning we were informed that 8 of our friends and coworkers were being laid off due to "budgetary considerations." The people being eliminated were not being let go for cause, that is, they weren't in trouble and being punished. The state of the economy has made it such that in order for the company to continue, those positions and salary were being eliminated.

The big boss was emotional all day because he was to be the man to carry out the orders from the corporate office. His emotions were evident as the firings took place and then the clean up afterward. You could feel his compassion as he went about doing what he was ordered to do. Over the years, I have come to know my boss as a spiritual man who tends to see the positive in everything and everyone. He has bent over backward to maintain people by finding ways to cut other budget areas. In fact, he told me later that he found the alternative ways to cut the budget and the company said, "we need that and more." The more was people.

I was spared the chopping block and for that I am grateful. As I am sitting here in the aftermath of seeing co-workers and friends clear out their offices and their desks, I am reminded that the Law of Attraction was moving the Universe for me during this time. My day job is something I enjoy immensely. I have always manifested doing this, even when I didn't know that's what I was doing. I have never blocked this blessing and I will continue in that posture because of the great joy and fulfillment it provides as well as the service to the community.

Am I sad for the people that lost their positions and their livelihoods? Absolutely. Some of them create such good feelings in general that I have used that energy to bolster my own in times when I have ebbed. I will miss them in that capacity, but they will still be friends and I am blessed to have them in my circle, or in 2008 tech parlance, my faves.

And I will continue to be grateful and express those feelings of gratitude to the Universe. By doing that, perhaps I can help my friends manifest the next step in their existence. I have taken advantage of their positive energy. I hope I can return the favor.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Staying Up When the Dow is Down

Have you invested in the stock market? If so, it's has been difficult to watch the ups and downs with the Dow Jones average falling another nearly 400 points. What can you do in the face of the looming economic crisis. All the experts are predicting recession at the very least and there are some talking about Great Depression II. What are we to do?

If you following the Law of Attraction, you already have a portion of the answer. The hardest part is to keep the real feelings of gratitude continuing to vibrate through you. As we know, gratitude is the highest vibrational frequency in the Universe and you can continue to use that to make your future what you want it to be. Now, should the Law be used for something as ultimately trivial as wealth acquisition? No. If that was the case, we'd all be lottery winners by now. However, we can choose to manifest a solution to the world financial crisis to minimize the effect on the planet. We can prevent a catastrophic collapse that would affect millions, or more likely billions, of people.

But there is something else that can be done that might help you on a personal level. If you invest in the market, research the companies that you own stock in. Most investment brokers take you through the numbers of companies without looking at what the company does, how they treat their employees and customers, what their environmental impact is and many other factors that may be important to you.

Now that a good deal of stocks are down, maybe this is the time to decide that you are going to buy shares in companies that match your core values. This is not a financial blog so I'm not offering financial advice, but my wife and I are taking this time to re-evaluate where our money is going. It's not a lot, but we want to make sure we're supporting the right things. We've already sold off 3 companies that have a reckless disregard for the environment which is something that is personally important to us. Clean, renewable energy is another hot button for us so we're currently finding ways to put money into a company or two that is working in that direction.

Think about the things that are important to you? Are there places to put your money that will also take that money away from the companies that are harmful to your values? Perhaps now is the time. And if a few of us becomes a significant number, those ideas that are important have a chance to succeed and flourish.

Besides, manifesting world stability, I think, is a worthy goal.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Manifestation of Ike

My city is finally nearly back on it's feet after the remnants of Hurricane Ike came barreling through.

Last Sunday, we saw the storm coming and were told by the weather experts that it was going to be a rain event. I had hoped to manifest a different outcome because I was contracted to shoot a concert starring Brett Michaels. He was scheduled to be here to perform and to also shoot some footage of the new season for VH-1's "Rock of Love." No, I don't follow the show but have seen an episode or two. The show itself is drowning in the egoic starting from Brett and continuing with the ladies that are vying for his attention. I looked at it as another gig from one of the areas in which I seem to have a bit of a gift, meaning music photography.

So here's the manifestation I tried: "I want the day to be rain free." In other words (from the vernacular) "I hope it doesn't rain." Well, it didn't.

And therein is the problem with unfocused Law of Attraction manifestation; you get exactly what you ask for. Now, did I single handedly bring on the wrath of nature? No. But those who also wanted their Sunday to be rain free would have fixed in their brain "I hope it doesn't rain." That collective thought went out into the universe and, by the Law of Attraction, the universe moved all the factors necessary that made the day rain free.

But this weather event was different. The storm came through and ended up being a windstorm that knocked out power to three quarters of my city and affected several others as it moved through the region. Would the manifestation been more favorable if we had asked for a clear day or a storm free day? Using the Law of Attraction requires more careful thought if we are going to use it to benefit ourselves and to benefit mankind. I knew that fact before I began to try to manifest a change in the weather, but it was one of those thoughts buried under a ton of other concerns.

Before you think I am claiming power over the weather, let me assure I am not. But when we are creating our own circumstances, we should keep the idea in our heads that we must be specific because, as you saw in Rhonda Byrne's book "The Secret," the universe says "your wish is my command."

Just make sure the wish is your real wish, not the wish you hope the universe will be able to decipher. The outcome might not turn out as you intend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dude, What Took So Long?

Tim Girton: blogger.

Tim Girton: hasn't written a blog for far too long.

Tim Girton: grateful he can get back to his blog after an extended period of time.

It's taken all my gratitude powers recently to get myself back on the horse, but here I am, blogging and being grateful for the opportunity. Not only that, but coming out ahead of the deal because, by using universal constants like the Law of Attraction, I will continue to live in bliss. That was my first manifestation back when I began the journey into the knowledge of the Law of Attraction.

And staying grounded in the present moment, I'm back to the daily journey with bliss. Using Eckhart Tolle's teachings, I have taken the situations thrown at me and am turning them around into the life I want.

In recent weeks, my day job announced that they were instituting a wage freeze. They understood that the cost of living and the price of thriving have gone up, but that our wages were not going to keep pace. After that announcement the negativity at the job beat upon my bubble of positivity, but I set about changing the energy by reminding my co-workers that we are all still employed and that's something to be grateful for. Other's in my industry have been the victims of cutbacks, downsizing, etc. I still have a job that I love and I am grateful for that.

Right after the day job announcement, I found out that the stock agency that represents my photos (affectionately known as my "side hustle") is going out of business on the agency side. I am welcome to keep my photos on their servers and pay them for the privilege of doing so, but they will no longer be selling my images after a certain date. The positive side is that I have made photos that were good enough to be represented by them so my photography continues to improve as I work on it nearly daily. I will find another agency to represent me, or I may do it myself, which has certain attractions.

Then the remains of Hurricane Ike blew threw the Midwest, where I live. It was supposed to be a rain event but it ended up being a windstorm with sustained winds in the 30-40 mph range. It knocked out power in the region and 3 days later, my home remains without power with the city estimating up to two weeks before all power is restored. How can that be positive, you ask. Well, everyone in the family is safe and our house sustained minimal damage. And it's a way to teach my kids what life was like before video games, 900 cable channels, the internet, et cetera. We've seen people out of their houses that we haven't seen since we moved to the neighborhood. Human interaction is a good thing.

My thoughts are also with the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. May positivity find you through the tragedy you've suffered.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Forecast Calls For Gratitude

It's raining today.
 
The misty kind of rain that's not consistent enough to know exactly how to set your intermittent wipers. The kind of rain that makes you wonder if you should open your umbrella or not, but if you don't open it, enough rain might fall to eventually drench you.
 
I love it.
 
Feeling the rain on my face made me inhale a little deeper, walk with a little more purpose and think about catching some of it on my tongue. Rain is such a universal miracle that staying in the present moment makes you so appreciative and grateful. Watching the rain, or walking it it, is one of the few times that my left brain analytical and my right brain conceptual come together. The analytical goes through the stages of the water cycle and shows the wonder of precipitation. The conceptual embraces the cycle as the miracle it is.
 
And because of the wonder and miracle that the egoic and conscious agree on, I feel an abounding gratitude which can lead to the manifesting of more incredible miracles. Is this a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps not the strict definition of it, but that's what's happening for me. After the flurry of negativity that surrounded me for the last few weeks, as chronicled here in past posts, I am on the other side and back to my state of positivity and gratitude.
 
I've shared with my friends recently a quote from comedian Michael Colyar that he says to anyone who asks the question, "how are you?" He says, "I'm blessed and highly favored." What an incredible gift he gives the world with those words. What would happen if we all felt that we are blessed and highly favored? The possibilities of what we could do is staggering. He gave those words to me and countless others and I am happy to give them to you if you haven't already heard them. If you have, consider it my wish for you. If they are new, explore their meaning in your life and see the positive impact they can have on you. Why the rain made me think about it, I don't know. Perhaps it's another miracle of the cycle.
 
I'll be leaving here in just a few minutes to enjoy the weather again. I hope it rains all weekend.
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grateful for Good Vibe

Things at the day job are even tighter than ever before. A boss that normally didn't yell is nearly finger pointing while speaking loudly and making his points. Patience is a thing of the past as the pressure mounts. All my co-workers think that the squeeze is coming from the corporate level and it's being passed down to us.

Add to that, a long time friend working in the industry, but for another company, was let go in a series of corporate downsizing moves. We stay in touch so I called right away and that company went through the entire spiel about this is not performance based and when the economy improves we'd welcome you to apply again...blah, blah, blah.

My ego is feeling the attack acutely. Yesterday I came home feeling battered from multiple sides. I haven't had that feeling since I began the spiritual journey that I continue today. I have been blessed that I have been able to let go of depression and self-esteem issues along the way during this journey, but those feelings started creeping back in, which added to my dismay.

And then my son nearly squeezed the stuffing out of me and so many of those negative emotions disappeared that I was lifted to a more even level. But he couldn't stay there forever because he had company and wanted to get back to playing. Later, I got a chance to sit down with the internet and read one of my recent discoveries, the Good Vibe Blog from Jeannette Maw. Her blog is centered on the Law of Attraction and how to create the highest vibration in the universe and manifest the good in your life. In fact, the slogan on her website says, "Law of Attraction for the Real World.

I'm currently working on a Required Reading section of this blog and Jeannette's blog will be on that list. This is my public thank you for the work that her Good Vibe Blog  does and what it's done for me to put me back on the journey to positivity.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Supporting Clinton, Obama and McCain

In watching the Democratic National Convention, all the news channels are in their 24 hour coverage mode so they're doing all they can to spice it up a bit. You've seen those pieces, I'm sure. When they don't have anything new, they talk to anyone they can get to appear before the cameras, whether they are part of the story or not. It used to be a way to take the temperature of the man or woman on the street. Now, there's a producer yelling into an assistants earpiece saying that they need something new so they can feed the voracious news cycle.

I won't name the network I was watching, but they made sure to talk to Hillary Clinton supporters who were saying that if Hillary isn't the democratic nominee, then they don't know who they're going to vote for because they weren't sure they could support Barack Obama, even though they're democrats and he's the democratic nominee. The belief from some of those voters was that the only reason Hillary isn't the nominee is that she's a woman.

Think about that statement. Hillary did something no other woman has done in a presidential primary, gone the farthest that any woman has ever gone seeking a major party presidential nomination, but that's all ignored because she didn't win. As she says, there are 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling because of her. Shouldn't that be celebrated? Hasn't Mrs. Clinton paved the way for the next female candidate, particularly if it's her. She should be commended for what she's accomplished. However, in the egoic and competitive society in which we live, Hillary won the silver medal, not the gold. For some, that's not good enough.

It makes one wonder what those same supporters have against Barack Obama. Mrs. Clinton has thrown her support behind Mr. Obama and, if they think so highly of her, shouldn't they do the same? If they support her policies, and supporting the democratic nominee is her current policy, why wouldn't they support the nominee as well? Is the egoic hold of those voters so strong that they can't let go? If they were in the present moment, free of the ego's rhetoric, would they still vote the same way.

Don't misread this. If a voter thinks John McCain or any other third party nominee is the better candidate, vote that way. But vote on strengths and values, not because you didn't get your way. That's not the way to create our New Earth.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Coolest of the Cool

In last month's Ebony magazine, the cover story was about the "25 Coolest Brothers of All Time." I read over the profiles and found myself agreeing with a few of their 25. At the top of the list was Barack Obama, the current democratic nominee for President of the United States. The quote was "exhibits calm under duress and control under simmering fire." Sounds like the inner peace that spiritual searchers are looking for.

They also mention Jimi Hendrix whose music is the soundtrack for the "Flower Power Anti-Vietnam War Generation." That generation extolled peace and love, which is largely forgotten by those who would rather paint those participants as drug addicted, promiscuous hippies with no direction. By saying one without the other largely misses the point, as those who are stuck in the egoic often do.

The blurb for Sammy Davis, Jr. says "from singing to dancing to acting to drinking to laughing to just being Sammy, Samuel George Davis, Jr. went all out and did it his way." If we are true to ourselves, shouldn't that be the ideal we seek. If we go beyond the egoic identification and get to our deeper selves, we should all be this way.

If you read the rest of the profiles, you see that they don't go into much depth to explain cool for the other gentlemen on the list. They say some are cool because they produce music people like, or they make movies people like. Reading that makes you wish that they had explored the depths of their character. I'm sure there's more under the surface of Prince, Marvin Gaye, Gordon Parks, Adam Clayton Powell and all the others on the list and I'm sure we could have learned more, but we'll have to do our own research.

But that's okay, isn't it? After all, we're still seekers, aren't we?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Name Calling

My daughter and I spent some time at lunch the other day going over her upcoming school schedule, catching her up on the situation with the mother-in-law and discussing religion and spirituality.

She asked me what religion I am and I told her that, even though I grew up Roman Catholic, I consider myself more spiritual and also reaching out and learning more about the life I can lead on a spiritual level. She told me that I earned her respect with that because if I said I was Christian, she would hold it against me. I thought that was an odd thing to say, but further explained that my understanding of the Universe is that there is one God, Great Spirit, Universe and that there have been great teachers that have had insight with which they shared with the world. I follow the teachings of Christ which, by definition, makes me Christian, but does not limit me there.

Her point was that I should consider myself a Deist, a person that believes in a supreme power, but does not intervene in it's normal function. And that's where we both agree and differ. I do believe God can intervene because God is also the Universe and the Universe is God. By utilizing the Law of Attraction, for example, we are calling upon the Universe to intervene on our behalf in big and small ways. But she is also right in that I believe that most holy books are written by people and contain man's flawed view and are not the works of God whispering the text into a writer's ear.

We talked about the Bible and how it is a book of stories to teach us how to behave, not literal interpretations of events. For example, Genesis says the world was created in 6 days. But in the relative time of God, what does that mean? How long is a day to God? Is a day enough time to evolve life on the planet to where it is now? Just because our perception is billions of years, what does that mean to the Supreme Being? And what is time, but a human construct anyway. Evolution and intelligent design can co-exist if you don't look at things so literally.

We've tabled our discussion the subject for now, but earning my daughter's respect on this subject gives me something to increase my feelings of gratitude. And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Throwing Rocks in the Stream

The mind. An onrushing stream of dialog leading from one thought to another in an effort to get you to identify with the ego, instead of your true inner self. How many of us have quoted Rene Decartes', "I think therefore I am."

How wrong we are.

According to the teachings of "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now," Eckhart Tolle says that the most common roadblock to becoming your true self and understanding your true standing within the nature of the universe, is that incessant chatter that kicks around in your brain without a break. If you could give your ego human characteristics, would you say that your ego is afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

But how many rocks are you throwing into the mind-stream? How many times are you focusing yourself on the present moment and interrupting the babbling brook of ego? Have you thought about how you can come into the now so intensely that you feel the joy of your own consciousness?

Tolle gives us exercises to quiet the thoughts that don't seem to want to shut up. One of the most basic and one that you can do nearly anywhere is to spend some time focusing on your breath. Since the mind cannot intensely concentrate on two things at the same time, focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. The chatterbox monologue will fall away and you can experience the pureness of being. If this is not something that you've done before, you will notice the stillness and quiet power of being. There is joy there as you move away from mind identification and become your true consciousness.

It is important to say that you experience your consciousness because this is not an exercise in passivity. No part of this exercise involves being unconscious. Even more so, when you are focused on the present moment, you are hyper alert. Being in the now will open you up to more possibilities than you may have previously known possible. When we're lost in our minds, we are conditioned to react by what we've experienced in our past. By being present, creativity, joy and beauty can be seen and experienced in a true way.

So keep throwing those rocks in the stream.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Talk Radio in America

Talk radio in America is in trouble.

I’ve been listening to various shows over the last few weeks and the negativity being spewed has been more and more strident because they are competing against something that they don’t understand: hope.

This is not, and will never be, a political blog. However, ever since Barack Obama became the presumptive (their word) Democratic candidate for President, the fear mongers are now afraid for the preservation of their egos.

Obama is on the stump, telling people to have hope. He’s telling people that a positive thought process is a way out of the mess that our current ego-centric political leaders have gotten us into. Is Obama the perfect candidate? Absolutely not. He has shown a tendency to react from his ego and not his true consciousness when he is attacked, particularly on a personal level.

But what Obama represents is someone who may understand that the politics of the ego have taken America down the path to a war with a country that did not attack us, a banking scandal that was fueled by the greed of a few unscrupulous CEOs and 4 dollar gasoline from an administration that has an energy policy that they’ve kept hidden from the public.

Meanwhile, the talking heads have been trying to convince the public that Obama is a Muslim (he’s not, but who cares if he is), is soft on the war (remember, Iraq didn’t attack us) and is that one epithet they love to throw around: a liberal (backing policies that are designed to help people).

Decide for yourself, of course, based on your own enlightened consciousness. I’ve voted on those radio shows by using the off button.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Spirituality of the iPhone Frenzy

The iPhone rush is nothing short of amazing. It's seems like when Apple puts out a new product, like the MacBook Air or, in this case, the iPhone, a loyal legion of those who will buy anything Steve Jobs gives his blessing to manufacture, will wait hours or days to be the first on their block to have one. The last iPhone rush was exactly like the most recent one because those in the Apple Army were told this new one is not only better than the first generation, but it's cheaper, too.

But it occurs to me that what those people are doing is in direct contradiction to what I understand to be the present moment and to what Immanuel Kant said about time. The shorthand of it is that time is not an event or thing and therefore cannot be measured. Eckhart Tolle describes it as the past and the future being egoic structures, and the only moment is the present moment. The ego creates the mental imagination for us to believe that there is past and future.

Difficult to wrap your head around? Same here. Then I recently saw a rerun of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 in which mystical beings called "The Prophets" (yeah, I know - how ironic is that) capture and speak to the main character and quiz him about the human experience with linear time. That is, how events happen one right after another in the human perception because they, The Prophets, don't experience life like that. They were as confused about our version of time as we are of the concept the only involves the present moment.

Since our ego constructs linear time, is it, then, our ego that keeps us from seeing anything else as a means of self preservation? That's a question for the scientists. Did Kant understand the power of the present moment? Can that be where his theory of time developed? And if so, can we think of him, not only as a scientist but as a spiritual figure? Can science also be considered spiritual? If the pursuit of scientific knowledge is to explain things, can those discoveries bring us closer to the universal truth and consciousness?

I am filled with questions as I seek the answers.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What Would George Do

What does George Clinton know that we should?

George Clinton is the outer-space crazy funk creator who leads the bands Parliament and Funkadelic as well as his own solo projects and spin offs. Clinton has put together album collections with wildly creative titles like "Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome," "Motor Booty Affair" and "Gloryhallastoopid." The man who invented characters like Starchild, Dr. Funkenstein and Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk.

If you do a Google search, you will see George in the entertainment sense and wonder what types of street pharmaceuticals are at work. But if you study the work, certain concepts start to sound familiar. As a lifelong fan, the old P-funk albums still resonate in my brain, but now with my study of conscious spirituality, I'm starting to think that Dr. Funkenstein may have known what he was doing with the music while trying to lead people to a spiritual awakening.

For example, on "Mothership Connection," Starchild brought the "Funk" which caused our creation and is the source of our life and our energy, to the people. Could that be interpreted as the role of Buddha, Moses, Jesus or Mohammad? Aren't those figures (and many others) considered to be the the bringers of the word from God to the world? Aren't they considered great teachers and interpreters of their religious doctrine?

Okay, so that is an easy and obvious parallel to draw. How about this. On "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein" it is revealed that the answers have always been here, but they've been locked away until man was ready. When you read "The Secret" or "A New Earth," didn't you feel like certain answers were finally being revealed to you, as if at this point in your life, you were ready for those answers? In Clinton's terms, you left the Zone of Zero Funkativity and entered Funkentelechy, or love for all mankind.

The Funkadelic album "Free Your Mind...And Your A$$ Will Follow" teaches that materialism and consumerism are the ruination of of all that is good in society. Have you ever said that to yourself when you noticed that television and radio are playing longer and longer sets of commercials? Or when you paid 10 bucks to get into a movie only to watch 15 minutes of commercials? If you have young children, do they have any clothing that is not designed to market cartoon characters or clothing labels? Gas guzzling SUV's, large houses, flaunting one's bling are all symptomatic of the issue.

And consider the Funkadelic album "Maggot Brain" which speaks of the hope for love and brotherhood; peace is the only way and war is insanity. As the album ends, it seemingly depicts an armageddon between the forces of good versus evil.

Nice to know I learned a few things about life while I was shaking it up on the dance floor.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Answering The Call, But Only If You Are A Man

What is it about our society that has yet to accept facts even when they are obvious and undeniable?

I was listening to a BBC report that talked about a rift in the Anglican Church over the ordination of women into ministerial positions. Due to the decentralized nature of that church, it's happening in some places already, but the old school hierarchy seems to think that, since Jesus only chose male disciples that this meant that only men could minister to the flock and they are reluctant to change that view.

I do not want to get into a disparaging argument over ones choice of worship, but I would like to put forth a couple of statements that might help the traditionalists understand why women in the ministry might not be such a bad idea after all. First and foremost, some scholars have uncovered evidence that Jesus did have female disciples. There is a school of thought that says that Mary Magdalene was one of His favored followers. The reason that we don't know this is because society at the time was very patriarchal and giving a woman that kind of status would have undermined the total male domination of society at the time. So Mary's portion of the gospels was written to play up her outcast status, rather than showing her as an apostle of Christ.

If that evidence is true, then women should have been involved in the higher workings of the burgeoning Christian Church from the very beginning and ordaining female ministers, which some sects have been doing for some time now, is long overdue.

Why is it so hard to understand that a woman can impart spiritual teachings just as effectively as a man? As the thrust of the blog asserts, we are all searching for the Great Spirit, the Universe, God, Allah, Jehovah or whatever other names are placed upon the universal presence that we all seek.

When my own conscious expansion began, it was the author of The Secret, Rhonda Byrne that sent me along my way to discover the power of the Law of Attraction. The person that turned me on to the power of the present moment was Oprah Winfrey when she made her big web production of Eckhart Tolle's teachings. I consider myself a better person for listening to these women. Maybe it's time for another traditional religious organizations to do the same?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How To Get What You Want

Zig Zigler once said, "You can have everything in life you want if you just give enough other people what they want."

It didn't take all that many words, but it speaks volumes. The simplicity of the statement is in its truth. When you help other people get what they want, what you want will come to you. Does that sounds like the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?"

What about the Biblical, "You reap what you sow?"

And what is the principle of karma but the cycle of cause and effect that says if you do good things, good things happen to you.

Given what we know about the Law of Attraction, the highest vibration in the universe is the feeling of gratitude. If we take that a step further, gratitude leads to a lack of competition. Competition, while good in sports, can be a karmic killer in the real world, if you are seeking a positive result in your own life. Competition leads to the thought that your house, car or children have to be bigger, better, stronger or faster than your neighbor.

But do they really? Why wouldn't we all help each other and raise everyone's consciousness and state of being. What kind of world would we have where we all worked together to make our cars more fuel efficient or our houses kept up with repairs or all worked to have smart, healthy kids?

Somewhere inside of all of us, we know the form we currently occupy is transitional at best. When we've moved to the next plane of existence, be it heaven or some interim as yet unforeseen, will it matter that the neighbor's pool was Olympic sized where yours was really your bathtub?

Are you competing to live a better life than the next person? If so, ask yourself why.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Official Introduction

Every blog needs an intro so this becomes the intro to Prophet Within.

My spiritual journey is probably not unique, but hopefully together we will come to some insights that help everyone in their own journey to God. Or Allah. Or the Great Spirit. Or whatever name you have assigned to the Universal Consciousness.

I was born and raised Catholic and, as such, my label for such is God. However, during the course of this blog, you will see them all, and others, used interchangeably. Nearly a year ago in conversations with some Native American guests, they imparted one of the great, simple truths of our existence. No matter what path you take, we are all looking for the Great Spirit and what is the Great Spirit? The root answer is God.

Further, during my upbringing, an incredible number of answers were given in the teachings of my church. However, I was so wrapped up in my own idea of myself and how the world was built to serve me, that I couldn't see them as answers.

But recently, I have learned to separate my ego from my real essence. I have Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey to thank for that. If you only read one more book for the rest of your life, pick up A New Earth. As an Oprah Book Club selection and an Oprah.com teaching seminar, my eyes were opened to see what was already there. The daydream that my ego had me locked into went away when my true self awakened. When that happened, the world I had known changed and now I live in joy every single day.

That's the purpose for Prophet Within. Through this blog and the community I hope to set up here, we will go beyond our own narrow definitions of life and expand understanding so that everyone can unleash their Prophet Within.