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Category Archives: Right here, Right NOW
When you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
Because assumptions aren’t based in fact.
But we love to make them because they pull us out of the present moment and send us speeding into a projected future that distracts us from now. We’re so familiar with letting our mind run rampant into the future that we spend an inordinate amount of time and energy there. And there’s a pay-off. (But more on that in a minute.)
Assumptions often get us into trouble because they generally stem from our fixed conditioned mind patterns that assume things incorrectly based on our paradigms of doubt, fear, cynicism and scarcity-thinking.
We assume things without having the breadth and scope of the whole picture. We get triggered and our minds run on autopilot, misinterpreting events. So we rewrite history in our heads.
We don’t book the job or an agent rejects us. We assume we suck. We assume they didn’t like us. We assume we lack talent.
These are assumptions based on our inner paradigms that keep us locked into a closed-system. That system wants us to remain closed because if we had to give up assumptions, we might have to give up our conditioned beliefs about ourselves that we’ve been holding onto for a long, long time.
You know the ones. They suck. They don’t serve us. They make us feel like shit about ourselves. But we would rather (unconsciously) stay in that negative feedback loop that assumptions provide, than step into greater clarity and empowerment. Step into who we can become.
You mean there’s a part of us that would rather remain jaded? Cynical? Bitter? A complainer?
I know it’s hard to swallow but it’s true. Because if we had to give up those assumptive responses to events occurring in our lives it would mean we’d have to rewrite our story. And who wants to do that? It takes work.
We’d be held accountable in a new way. We’d have to step into our power. We’d have to show up in the world in a more conscious way. We’d have to take responsibility and rise to the level we really desire – but are often scared of – in our life and career.
But of course, the deeper part of you wants to do that. That’s why we’re all here on this planet.
To step through to the other side. But in order to embrace that new, undiscovered, unknown, infinitely creative domain – you have to give up assumptions.
About yourself. Your life. The business. Success. People. Money. The way things “work.” Your past. Your future. In short, lots of things.
One of the easiest ways to get there is to begin questioning everything you tell yourself. Take a look at where your thoughts and beliefs come from. Discover that many of them are based on false assumptions about life.
What would happen if you could try this for a week?
Assume you can do it. Because you can.
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.” ~ Alan Alda
You gain thirty pounds. Your essential nature is the same.
You get dumped. Your essential nature is the same.
You turn 30. Your essential nature is the same.
Your agent drops you. Your essential nature is the same.
Your essential nature – who it is that we all are – transcends our age, social status, accomplishments, physical appearance, successes or failures.
It’s not derived by the cars you drive, the shoes you wear, the zip code you live in.
It’s not affected by the ups and downs of your life. Your challenges or disappointments.
It’s the part of each of us we are born as. You could call it your essence. The truth of who you are.
The essential nature of who you are is child-like. Perfect. Innocent. Expressive. Whole. Not lacking in any way.
It’s the part that can’t be influenced by the prejudices of others. By the things people say or the actions taken against us.
So many of our doubts, insecurities, fears and worries are generated by outside influences that use “compare-and-despair” tactics to make us feel like we’re not good enough. Or that we’re a failure. Or not attractive. Or have nothing to contribute.
Stop letting the influences of Madison Avenue and its marketing campaigns and media images distort your self-image.
Our culture sells dreams. It preys on our insecurity that who we are isn’t enough. That our lives are lacking and unfulfilled in some way until we get married, or have millions of dollars or have our own TV show or get invited to that A-list club or buy these products we “can’t live without.”
Accumulation of things – of stuff – doesn’t make us happy.
Happiness is a state of being. It’s who we already are. It is our essential nature. It’s the creative child within all of us. We don’t lose this essence when we become adults, but we do misplace it. We forget we possess it.
You don’t have to work so hard to “do.” You already are.
You don’t have to push and always make things happen. Simply allow.
You don’t have to control. Be in a let go.
Stop trying to become what you already are.
“Children aren’t bored when they wake up in the morning because they don’t know what’s going to happen to them that day. Adults are bored because we think we do.” ~ Marianne Williamson
“The grass is greener syndrome.”
If you suffer from it, it’s yet another way of postponing your life. Putting the things you desire on the back burner. When we covet another person’s journey, we think if only we had what they had our life would be more fun. Or more exciting. Or more magical.
Your life already is magical.
We’re just not awake to it, so it feels as if we’re moving around in a monochromatic haze while everyone else seems to be living in Technicolor.
That’s the illusion.
The truth is that your grass is very green. It’s lush and tropical and exotic and fertile and full of possibilities. But it requires you to fully embrace it. All of it. Even the stuff you don’t like, because actually, that’s the stuff that becomes the catalyst for change.
That stuff is your grass’s fertilizer. It’s the essential stuff needed for your growth and expansion. And it holds the potential to unlock the doors you’ve shut to the things you’re seeking: your joy, your passion, your peace of mind, your self-acceptance.
We can never get to where we’d like to be except by starting in the place we’re currently residing – emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. There’s no escaping you.
Wherever you are, there you are.
We can move to another city or get another girlfriend or change jobs, but the common denominator in all these experiences is you.
So if you don’t like where you are then change who you are. But don’t think that being somewhere else or having a different lover or having a career like someone else is the answer.
The transformation occurs from the inside out. Not the outside in.
Start with your stuff. And watch how green your grass will grow.
“The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it.” — Anonymous
We live in the world of action. No doubt about it. If you have great intentions but sit around on your couch all day eating Trader Joe’s Pirate’s Booty and watch 70′s sitcom reruns, it ain’t gonna happen.
Doing means converting possibility into actuality.
But what gives rise to possibility?
Possibilities are born in a place beyond doing; beyond action. They occur in moments of being. And as physicist, Amit Goswami says, “In between doing – possibilities grow and grow and grow. And if there are more possibilities to choose from – the possibility of my choosing a possibility that will lead me to my desired outcome will increase.”
So he says it’s not Do, Do, Do, Do, Do. It’s not like Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal, screaming to Cate Blanchett, “Do, do, do!”
But it’s also not just being. It’s not chilling out in a cave in the Himalayas for 10 years. It’s not just Be, Be, Be, Be, Be.
It’s what he calls “Do. Be. Do. Be. Do. Be. Do.”
We’re taught how to do in our culture. How to go after what we want. To be aggressive. To win. But we’re not taught that finding a space within us actually connects us to the Quantum and maximizes our potential to create. So we can actually “win” more often without anyone else having to lose. Because it’s about tapping into our own potential. And that’s not competitive. It’s possibility.
So try to find moments in your life as a daily practice to just Be.
Meditate. Visualize. Go for a walk. Dance. Write. Listen to music. Spend time in Nature. Disconnect from the virtual Grid and get connected to the Infinite Potential Grid. We’re so “connected” all the time, but really lack connection. Especially with ourselves.
For five minutes every day, find a way to connect with yourself. Make it part of your lifestyle. Watch what happens.
“If you know you’re going to fail, then fail gloriously.” — Cate Blanchett
Astrophysicist, Adam Frank, interviewed on NPR says that the “experience of time throughout history is an invention. It is neither God-given nor physics-given.” It is a social construct that is built by a particular culture for political, economic or religious reasons.
Buddhists talk about dying to the past and that the future hasn’t yet been born. What they mean is that the past occurs only in our minds. But we use it to poison our present. Instead of being fully present, we measure now with illusions of the past. “I was happier then. I was younger then. If only it could be like it was.”
Or we live an imagined future. “I can’t wait until ____ and then my life will begin.”
We keep waiting for some future time before we allow ourselves to do the things we really want to do. Or take the risk. Or live more fully-expressed now.
But both the past and the future are a sort of fiction. They only exist – and will only ever exist – now.
Think about it. You daydream about your “past”. But those things – when they occurred – were experienced in your now.
Similarly, the future may mean two weeks from today. But when you experience it – it will be now.
There’s never going to be a moment in your life that will not be experienced now.
Your point of power is always now. The more you become aware of this moment, the more actualized you will become.
This week, take a look at how often you spend your day in your “past” or your “future”. Which do you hang out in most? And what’s the predominant feeling associated with being somewhere else? If you’re always thinking about your future, you might feel anxious or nervous. If you’re living in the past you might feel depressed or moody.
Just become aware that you are often somewhere else. The moment you realize this, you become present. That’s progress!
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” — Anonymous
Ever notice that once you really start committing to something, it almost seems as if everything in the universe is conspiring against you to make that thing happen?
A lot of times, people stop. They give up. They see it as a “sign” that it’s not the right time. Or it’s not supposed to happen. Or that they should try something else. Or that if this is what they really were supposed to be doing, it’d be easier.
But what if it were just the opposite? By passionately committing to something with extraordinary action, you usher into motion a whole cause-and-effect universe that puts things into play that actually aid and assist you on your journey if you’re brave enough to continue pushing through to the end. But you have to stay the course.
The things that happen to us in life aren’t meant to stop us. Some people think they’re meant to test our resolve. To test just how committed we truly are. Maybe.
But what if it were simply the law of physics. That the more you get in the game of life, the more you take action, the more you’re going to affect (and be effected by) events.
It means you’re activated. It means you’re living. Life’s not supposed to be trouble-free. How boring would that be? There’d be no challenge. And we’re hard-wired to seek challenge. Challenges are what lead us to develop curiosity, they further adventures. Challenges reveal latent talents within us. Our strength of character. Our malleability. Our sense of humor. Our resilience.
There’s no force out there trying to keep us from what we want. There’s no evil troll in the sky throwing curve balls at you, saying, “You cannot have this!”
The only thing keeping you from what you want is this:
You not committing to what you want. (But more of this next week.)
“If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?” — Harvey Fierstein
When I was a kid growing up in Indiana, I’d spend my summers collecting live bugs. There were acres of woods behind my house and empty fields full of more insects than you could imagine. Much to my mom’s disapproval, I’d grab empty canning jars from our basement, poke holes in the lids and go out on a bug-finding safari all day long.
I’d create mini-menageries in each jar by filling them with live butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles, ladybugs, dragonflies and sow bugs.
But my favorite: fireflies.
I’d wait until twilight, have my mom spray me head-to-toe with extra-strength Off! – the mosquitoes were merciless – and then I’d set out into the twinkling night sky. The entire backyard would flash on and off with flying incandescent lights.
But it wasn’t enough for me to just experience it. Or even capture the fireflies. I wanted them to light up for me personally! I wanted a Tony Light Show!
So I would catch one with my hand, entombing it in my fist.
But I then found myself in an interesting conundrum. I wanted to see the firefly create its light show for me. And I had it in my hand. But in order to experience it, I had to let go.
The experience I was yearning for required me to open my hands and let go. So I did – and when I hadn’t accidentally squashed the poor buggers, I got to see what I had wished for.
The moral of the story: Everything you want is waiting to reveal itself to you as soon as you let go.
The experiences we are looking for in the world seem to show up out there.
They might be in the form of getting a girlfriend or booking a job or going on a cruise or getting an agent.
But what they really represent is the feeling you are looking for (and actually already possess) inside you.
We think that getting “the thing” is what we need to finally be who we are.
In actuality, who we naturally are already is – ironically – how we get the things we desire.
Life is a circle. It’s not a horizontal line leading to somewhere out there in the future. It’s a journey of coming back to you. As adults we’re trying to get back to that core essence of who we were (and still are) as children. The part of us that is nonjudgmental, innocent, fully-expressed, free, emotionally connected, playful, committed, fearless.
And as children, we don’t wait for “events” to give us permission to express ourselves. We express ourselves fully moment-to-moment in each moment.
Just because we’ve grown up, or gained twenty pounds or have gray hair or seem to have lost our way, doesn’t mean we’ve lost that eternal part of us that is yearning to be expressed again. We just have to reconnect to it and let it show us how to play.
Homework: This week, give yourself the permission to express yourself in a way you normally shut down, control, edit or don’t allow. Just do it.
And remember. Child-like is not childish.
“Adults are obsolete children.” – Dr. Seuss
Why do we wait? For what? We wait for the better airfare, or for the date we went out with last week to call, or for permission. We wait until we lose 10 pounds, or until we get our haircut or until we’re “more prepared.” We wait to get new headshots or write that novel or ask that person out on a date. We end up wasting so much time “waiting” for the right moment, that eventually the things we were “waiting” to do – slowly disappear from our lives. We end up not doing them at all. They become long-lost dreams that for some reason, we seem to be okay with not having anymore.
So when is the right moment?
Stop waiting for things to get better or easier or less busy. Stop saying that you need to wait to be better prepared or more secure or more sure of yourself. Stop waiting for the girlfriend or the husband or the agent or the manager. Stop waiting for the right look or the right age or the right resume or the right time.
Stop waiting for someone or some thing to give you permission to be all that you already are.
Stop putting your life on hold, thinking you’re still missing something in order for you to do the things you want to be doing. You can do them now.
Homework: What have you been postponing? Putting off? Delaying? This week, go do the thing you’ve been waiting for “the right time” to do. Take the trip. Write your screenplay. Enroll in a class. Go to the gym. Ask for help. The time is now. It always will be.
“Life is being on the wire. Everything else is just waiting.” — Karl Wallenda
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love discusses a phenomenon in which our lives will undoubtedly transform if we just start taking a step to move beyond our comfort zones. She calls it Quest Physics.
I call it Zero Commitment = Zero Results. It’s a mathematical formula. You don’t get what you wish for in life, you get what you believe. And you don’t get what you believe in life if you don’t commit to taking action.
This means stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that might make you feel unsure of yourself. Stepping into the unknown is scary. It is exciting. It does sometimes make us feel unsure. But as we start committing in the direction of things we desire, all sorts of possibilities present themselves that we simply do not have access to if we do not commit. This may seem obvious to you, but just take a moment and look at all the things you want to do in life but haven’t yet made any tangible effort to do them.
Homework: Watch the video lesson. What is it that you want to do that you keep putting on hold? Is it taking an acting class? Calling an agent? Going to the gym? Taking that long-postponed trip? Giving up cigarettes? Asking someone out on a date? This week, take action toward making one of those things happen. It doesn’t matter if you get the agent tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough money in your bank account yet to take that trip. Start doing what you need to do to see that dream eventually realized. Maybe before you get an agent you have to get headshots first. So get them. Start looking into flights to your far-off destination to get some prices. It’s all about getting activated in the world of action. Any kind of commitment will yield results. So what are you waiting for?
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” — Woody Allen