Smell the Sweetness — Revisited

Originally posted October 27, 2015

Have the daring to do the risky thing - Bill Harvey

Annie was moving fast. She always moved fast. She did everything fast. She even laughed fast, and then quickly moved on to the next thing.

She whisked through the garden doing the necessary watering without noticing the sweet fragrance of new-mown grass and wildflowers. The softly scented breeze on her bare arms itself felt delicious and somehow combined into one thing with the scent. Faintly and unheard, a small inner voice related the moment to the song about a kiss you could build a dream on. The perfumed wind and quiet meditation could have been a winged heart dream, but all this was literally beneath her attention as Annie had things to do and if asked she would have said all her concentration was on getting the job done. There was some truth in that. She was intent on getting the tasks behind her, but not because there was good stuff ahead that she was eager to get to. And there was nothing like a state of concentration going on in her head.

Like so many of us, Annie’s mind was all over the place. It was not focused. Her movements were not based on a carefully-thought-out plan with clear priorities. She was just keeping up with the to-do list — in line with the pervasive tone of life in the Accelerolithic Era (aka Acceleritis). Most of us spend our time in this distracted state, which precludes Flow. There’s too much noisy messy input, with seemingly not enough time to process it.

Annie could be an artist. She is good with her hands and can envision a piece and create it. Doing that got her into the Flow state, where she did her best work — her gift to the world.

Making money at her art seemed like an idle fantasy judging from the toughness of the world, her surroundings and friends and the lives they all led. There was great beauty in her surroundings but the mood created by the difficulty of making enough money to live pleasurably without constant fear of money problems made that beauty literally invisible.

If Annie were hypnotized and asked patiently about why she is always moving so fast, eventually she would come to realize something she does not know: it is because she is always unconsciously striving to make money. Without knowing it, she feels that she will make more money by doing everything as fast as she can. She does odd jobs for friends and acquaintances, like working in a dress shop, washing cars, walking dogs, and landscaping, so there is some logic in that unconscious thought. However, in reality the fast motion causes a slowdown due to the need to fix things not done properly. Of course this also eventually causes her to not get as much work from her employers as she would if everything were always done rather than half-done.

One layer deeper she might realize that the quest to make money isn’t really because she wants to buy specific things so much as to please her partner and also to have other people be proud of her or realize that she is more capable than the way they have treated her.

Annie went on a hike one day and as the sun passed its zenith and the breeze began to be cold, she nevertheless remained bare-armed and slipped into that waking dream where she was uplifted out of Acceleritis-mode and into the Flow state and into what You Are The Universe calls “Soul-Level Two” — the bliss state, ananda. She was not moving fast. She was not under the dominance of any have-to-do compulsions. Her mind and body and every aspect of her were all lined up in the moment. There was no rush. She could see everything around her, hear it, smell it, enjoying the moment itself with nothing causing her to lose freedom or break the fast on motion.

This is the place all of us can live at every moment. And because we then give our finest performances at any beloved Game, we get paid more money for it. We cannot get there if we give up the inner drive to do a specific thing we love to do because it seems unrealistic, and instead settle into a mortgaged life of second-choice work that is steady and dependable. Like the hero or heroine in a movie, in real life we must pursue our highest calling: have the daring to do that seemingly extraordinarily risky thing.

Then we will smell the sweetness of Life. And because the Universe is us, if we actually do what we are uniquely designed to do so that we provide true value to others, the dreams will come true in the end as if by magic.

            Do what you like to do. You’re going to be doing it for a long time.                                                   — George Burns, while puffing cigar

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, “Program Environment Can Add +35% to +37% ROI Lift.”

Originally posted 2015-10-27 12:09:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What Is America’s True Mission?

Originally posted October 20, 2015

What is it that we are striving to achieve as a nation, our Purpose on Earth?

What is our nation's mission on Earth?

What did Tom Paine expect of us, or George Washington?

If we do not know our purpose then no matter what good we may achieve on the face of the Earth, we will be rudderless inside. We won’t know where we’re going or how we want to get there or who can best lead us there. We will be guided by the plan du jour. Any good we do will be random, grasping at straws of tactical opportunity to head toward the seeming good at that moment without a clear picture of the totality of our decisions. We have seen throughout history that who or what at first seems good turns out to be not as good as we thought.

If we lose sight of our purpose, the nation will be contributing little to the spiritual nourishment of its citizens. Yes, spiritual. The words that led to our nation’s birth are spiritual words: Liberty, Equality, Justice. These words, chosen by our Founders, refer to and evoke states of spiritual sensitivity in which we are swept up into something larger than our personal self, open to the duty we owe others and the Universe or God, whatever we conceive Him or Her to be. Many of us envy these ideals but consider them pragmatically irrelevant in our actual moment-to-moment Acceleritis™-driven lives.

The ideals of Liberty, Equality and Justice must be nurtured as part of our heritage if we are to remain a nation focused on such high ideals. It behooves us in this and any other election cycle to support those who will fight to keep these ideals at the forefront of their decision making.

If we want to continue to be that inspired nation, then it is time to tap into the tide of positive emotion that can energize creative thought and enable right action together.

So let’s consider again — what is our true mission as a nation?

Mainstream thinking seems best summed up by Bret Stephens in a 2014 Wall Street Journal essay, “If the world’s leading liberal-democratic nation doesn’t assume its role as world policeman, the world’s rogues will try to fill the breach, often in league with one another.”

The US has long accepted the mantle of the world’s policeman — protecting the weak from aggressors. What if that isn’t the main point of our existence?

We have the opportunity now (as always) to choose our own destiny. Let’s as a nation agree on what it is. And let’s start the dialogue, here and now.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-10-20 11:31:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Imagine Living Your Dream from This Day Forward

Originally posted October 13, 2015

Each of us is more interesting and exciting than any character in a movie because reality is actually happening. Movies are fiction, life is real. As exciting as fiction can be, real life is even more exciting.

Many of us have stepped behind the lens, watching instead of directing our lives. We may feel we have lost sight of the joy and excitement in life because of the challenges and complexities we face each day.

Imagine the rest of your life as a movie...

The first step to reconnect with the excitement of life is to connect with what we really want to do the most.

What is your ultimate dream or mission?

My life dream is to see really positive change take place in the world and to be part of making it happen. What’s yours?

”Follow your dreams” refers to your waking dream, your dream of what could be. And though our night dreams taken as a collection may seem full of disconnected seeming irrelevancies, we may find they sometimes contain clues about our mission.

      Where are you now and how do you reconnect to your mission?

Are you focused on living your mission in your daily life and if not, what would be the way back onto that radio beam?

On paper or whatever device you prefer, make two columns. In the right-hand column, articulate and write down the big dream — what you always wanted to be when you grew up or what you realized you wanted to be along the way.

In the left-hand column, define where you are in the plot trajectory. What part of the challenge slope still lies ahead? What needs to happen in order to get from where you are now to THE dream? And how will the challenge slope itself change as you focus in the direction of THE dream?

If you need more clues as you articulate your dream and plot your trajectory, try this: see yourself as a character in a movie, playing the game of life, the LIFE MOVIE. Recognizing that challenge is the mainspring of plot, look back at the main moments of supreme challenge in your life. See the ones where you caved. See the ones where you rose to the challenge, when you were at your best. In movies, we identify with and immerse ourselves in the characters that are portrayed doing some noble act early in the movie. Recall your noble acts.

               You are not only the director of your Life, you are 
               also the scriptwriter as well as the protagonist.

You will enjoy the movie the most if you believe you are up for the challenge and then just do it, setting your sights on your mission without getting too attached to the outcome. In other words, be happy in the trajectory, even if it doesn’t take you to the exact pinnacle you aimed for. Let it come out however it comes out. Stay focused on the dream. Do it for the fun of it.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Program Environment Can Add +35% to +37% ROI Lift.

Originally posted 2015-10-13 12:38:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Freedom from Fear

Originally posted October 6, 2015.

Today many of us live in fear of losing our job, and maybe we’re also fearful about our health and the health of our family and friends. And with a daily news diet of horrific acts of violence seemingly happening everywhere, many of us may be fearful about our safety and the safety of our loved ones.

Some of us are afraid because we’re constantly trying to prove ourselves to our mother, father, spouse, critic or rival sibling, or to one of the people who has been unknowingly cast into taking over one of those roles. These “critics” become internalized as hidden senators in our mind, playing the taped and aped voices of others.

Cultivate Freedom from Fear

Our fears are often hidden, even to ourselves. Cultivating a state of being the Observer can help to remove the hidden blockages within, empowering us to be more present in the moment. The Observer state can be used to detect flashes of fear that come and go so fast that we aren’t usually aware of them in our normal waking consciousness state. In Observer state, one is actually observing the mental function of repression taking place, which can feel quite amazing.

Here’s one method to help you get into Observer state. Give yourself some alone space. Whether it’s outside in nature or in a room with the door closed, the idea is to remove yourself from all distraction. (Eventually you’ll be able to create this “alone space” mentally, even in a crowded airplane.) Concentrate on your breath, just letting it flow in and out, and keep your eyes on whatever is in front of you. For the moment, you are concentrating on what you see and experience subtly.

What you may see is that in one moment you were in a pretty normal state of mind and in the next moment your mind is naturally quiet and your senses are highly attuned. You are not easily distracted, you feel centered and aware, balanced and unafraid. Your attention is on everything around you and there is no obsessive stream of internal dialog. You are making no effort toward this whatsoever, you are not striving. It is doing itself naturally. When ideas pop into your mind while you’re in this state, you may notice that they are unusually insightful and self-evidently important to your life. With practice, you’ll experience this more often.

Use the Observer state to root out things you are hiding even from yourself, and make a deal with yourself to expunge all negative emotion — including fear. Through this doorway lies the Flow state of consciousness, the ecstasy of simply being, with freedom in place of fear.

In Flow state, inspirations keep popping even in the middle of a sentence and you incorporate them easefully because you are not afraid you might say or do the wrong thing. Not because doing or saying the wrong thing is impossible in Flow but because it is irrelevant. If you are communicating in a state of Flow, the object is not being right but instead collectively reaching truth and right action — as Socrates pioneered.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-10-06 12:03:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Infusing Life with Meaning

Originally posted September 29, 2015

In the absence of knowing, I’ve found a way to arrive at decisions that works extremely well for me. I call it Game Theory.

With Game Theory, when I don’t know what the outcome will be, I list possible outcomes and then see which ones I like, and what end result I want to create. Then see if I can make decisions that will get me moving in one of those preferred directions.

How much meaning do I want to see in life, in my every day, second-to-second life? If I want there to be rich meaning abounding, then I can choose to use a lens that gives me that view — a lens that makes things more explainable and understandable.

For example, in terms of the nature of reality, there are really only two clusters of lenses to choose from. One says there is something like a God, and the other says there is nothing like a God.

Through the lenses that say there is something like a God, there may appear to be an abundance of meaning in our lives. In the other cluster of lenses, there may appear to be a dearth of meaning — much happens that makes no sense, nor do we expect it to make sense.

I was in this lens for many years. It came from being so impressed by science as a kid. I can testify that there are good things about this lens. For one thing, it makes us feel terrifically autonomous, as independent thinkers, since most of the world is viewing things from the other stance. It sometimes strips away so many considerations that we quickly look at situations and see the barest of elements, the quintessence. There is a certain minimalist “cleanliness” if not clarity to this view.

Emotionally, the lens of being alone in an unbenevolent universe can be toughening, allowing us to more easily become fatalistic and to shed many of our attachments. We don’t make assumptions but are very common sense and down to earth: very empirical. We don’t lean on illusions or faith or anyone else to define reality. All of which can be good.

Another viewpoint, which I have dubbed the “Something like God exists” lens, affords meaning to everything.

Imagine Everything is a gift from the universe.

If you yearn to have more meaning in your life, I suggest using this lens without believing it to be the truth or disbelieving it. This way, you will always see the meanings you ascribe as tentative, without becoming locked into them or attached to your view. You may also see a wealth of value in using this lens, imbuing more meaning in your life.

Pope Francis’ recent visit to the US offers a great example of the utility of wearing the “Something like God exists” lens. Regardless of the religious beliefs you hold (or not), it’s difficult at best to not acknowledge the palpable message of love, hope and caring for one another that emanated so powerfully from the Pope’s presence even more than from his words, which were also so beautifully spoken.

None of us, not even Pope Francis, really knows the meaning of life. It is all a wonderfully thrilling awesome unknown, which makes life interesting, mysterious-mystical, immense, awe-inspiring. Wouldn’t we be missing something if we did know everything?

Since God or a universal intelligence of some kind* cannot be ruled out, wearing the “Something like God exists” lens allows you to start seeing possible reasons why certain things have happened — as if the universe is trying to help you by putting certain training obstacles in your path. I call this noia — being the opposite of paranoia.

By seeing things as possible gifts from the universe even if they are not, and even if they don’t feel like gifts at the time, we gain some leverage from being able to see how to use the event constructively.

Best to all,

Bill

* For a deeper dive into universal intelligence, see my book You Are The Universe: Imagine That.

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-09-29 09:45:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Savor the Moment

Originally posted September 15, 2017

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.— Rumi, from “The Guest House”

Imagine if we were to fully believe this and felt grateful for and loved whoever we’re with at any given moment in time.

Now imagine seeing that person as highly sentient like ourselves, each with his or her own story, knowing that we are interacting with each other now for reasons that may not be obvious in this moment. And then realize that there are undoubtedly layers of additional opportunity in this moment — allowing our interest to swell by being in the moment with this interaction, at this time, fully engaged, fully open and also being a studious observer.

How can we become more engaged in the moment?

Be engaged in this moment

This is much more difficult if our day is packed and we are just trying to manage a sense of constant chaos and distraction.

If our days are filled with scheduled meetings and phone calls, we might be just getting on with a conversation or meeting so we can move on to something we more look forward to doing. We’re checking off our to-do list, which affects the quality of each of our interactions.

A better strategy is to engage in each interaction with our full attention. It helps to schedule time in our calendar for meetings with ourselves, to use as we like best in the moment. It might be to launch into a high-opportunity project that has been waiting. It might be to take a break and a mental vacation, where we may find creative ideas popping of their own volition. It might be to sort out the latest incoming chaos and to calendar it for handling at a future date.

The strategy of pre-planning our days to include these meetings with ourselves at reasonable intervals, and pre-dream the other meetings, calls and other activities (which we can do in the shower or even in bed in the morning or the night before) allows us to arrange things so we can focus 100% on one thing at a time, in the moment — the Now.

As interruptions arise or even fresh thoughts relevant to the conversation or the meeting we are in, it may help to note them on paper or on your tablet so you don’t lose them; this helps to relieve our mind of worrying that we’ll forget them. I create a place for these notes until I can sort them into the appropriate file, which allows me to be more in the moment and not overwhelmed.

If we allow ourselves to remember how much can be accomplished in a few minutes when we are patiently engaged, we can really listen and be more absorbed in the moment — feeling the feelings inherent in the conversation and being grateful for this present opportunity whether we understand its greater meaning right now or not.

Our attention is divided into the Now, the past and the future. All we really have at our grasp is this moment, the Now. The past and future are concepts, abstractions, ways our mind has of organizing experience so it seems to make sense.

What is always real is the Now, this moment.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-09-15 08:49:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter