Monthly Archives: March 2015

Week 24 – To Thine Own Self Be True

This above all:  to thine own self be true.
William Shakespeare

I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of the Bard’s work.  All the “thee,” “thy,” and “thou’s” just aren’t the easiest things for me to read…or listen to.  In fact, I find it downright painful.

Throughout the MKMMA course, I have learned to be an observer of my own life and the world around me.  Being an observer is an interesting exercise that allows me to look at my life with “fresh eyes” and see where I’ve been unhappy…and, more importantly, WHY I’ve been unhappy.

I wasn’t being true to my authentic self.

In other words, I was in "Lost City!"
In other words, I was in “Lost City!”

When we are true to authentic self, we are focused, driven, and highly productive.  We are living life on purpose.  And when we are NOT true to our authentic self, well…there’s a disconnect that looks like this:

You "know" one thing to be true, but yet you "see" another.
You “know” one thing to be true, and yet you “see” another.

Yep.  Just like a fun house mirror!  I knew my authentic self was in there…it just looked completely different.  Like an Oompa-Loompa.  (Sigh)

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
Richard Leider

I’ve learned that being true to your authentic self can bring great riches, both in terms of personal enrichment as well as monetary rewards.  You just have to invest in yourself first.

I invested in myself when I signed up for the MKMMA course.  It’s brought great rewards to my life in ways I never would have imagined.  As a result, I began re-evaluating and re-defining who I am and what I want to do in my life and with my life.

I am on a journey to my authentic self…to be the best “me” possible.

And I will.  Because that is my true, authentic self.

Week 23 – Love is All You Need Part 2

A few weeks ago I watched the movie “I Am” by Tom Shadyac, and then wrote the blog post Love is All You Need.

That movie and the blog post I wrote apparently made a BIG impression on my subconscious.

My fiancé and I had been searching for a place to get married this fall.  We’re eloping, or having an “intimate wedding for two,” depending on what facility we’re speaking with.

We both wanted something simple…just the two of us…in a vineyard.  Something intimate, romantic, and all about us and the love we share.

Our first choice of location was outside the budget we were comfortable with…$3,200 to hold our wedding for two in the vineyard.  And that was just the fee for the location…everything else, including a required wedding planner, would be extra.  {Sigh.}  We were pretty disappointed to say the least.  Now I needed to find a backup plan.

If the MKMMA process has taught me anything, it’s the importance of having a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).  So we held our heads high, confident that a location would  reveal itself as the perfect location for us to commit to each other as husband and wife.

The phrases “All we need is love.” and “I greet this day with love in my heart.” kept running through my head, both consciously and subconsciously.

Two weeks later something magical happened.

I saw this image on the Internet:

LOVE at Paradise Ridge

I was IMMEDIATELY drawn to this image, and thought “I LOVE that!  Where is it?  Wouldn’t it be great if it was at a vineyard in California?”  So I did some research, and found an image of a bride and groom with the sign.  “That’s so PERFECT for a wedding!  Where IS this place?  I want to get married there!”

And that’s when it happened.  I found where the LOVE sign is located:  Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California.  In Sonoma County…which is where we planned to elope!

Ooooooohhhh…now I’m getting excited!

I contact them to inquire about their elopement packages and find that the prices are very reasonable — for the location only, as well as the complete elopement package with everything we would need for our big day.

The excitement is building!

And then it hits me…“Hmmmm…How are the wines?”  (My fiancé and I are both wine lovers, so it’s important to us that the wines are good.)  I couldn’t find much information about the wines online.  Everyone raved about the beautiful location, but not much was written about the wine.

A search on my favorite liquor store’s website came up empty as well.  (Their main location carries enough wine to fill 3 Olympic-sized pools, so if anyone would have it, it would be them.  But no…)

I even made a post on Facebook asking if anyone had been to the winery.  But no one had.  Not even wine lovers who lived in the California wine country!  This could be very good, or very bad.

Still keeping a positive mental attitude about everything,  I thought “We’ve found a hidden gem…a winery with good wines that is a well-kept “secret.”

My fiancé and I love the setting, but we’re not quite ready to commit until we taste the wines.  So we decide we’re going to order some.  Their website lists several wines on their “Current Wine” list, yet only a few are available for sale on the website.  So we decide to wait and call with an order, hoping we’ll be able to get some additional choices.

And then some more magic happened.  

We’re at our favorite liquor store, in the wine department, and I turned my head and saw…Paradise Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemaker Select!

I blink.  I rub my eyes.  I think I’m dreaming!  I read the sign below the wine, and it says that only 28 cases of the wine were allocated for the entire state of Texas.  And there are 8 bottles on the shelf, at $66 each.  (OUCH!  That’s more than we normally spend on a bottle of wine, but I guess we can bite the bullet for “research.”)

My fiancé comes over to see what has me so excited.  And that’s when I notice there was an empty space next to the wine for ANOTHER Paradise Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon…but it was sold out.  (Apparently a great bargain at $45 a bottle.)

One of the employees in the wine department approaches and asks if we need any assistance, and I say “We’re thinking about getting married at Paradise Ridge, but have never tried their wine, so I am excited to see it here since it’s not on your website.”

His response:  “Great choice!  They have some excellent wines, and we get very small allocations.  We also carry their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but we may be sold out of those, as well.”   Sure enough, they were sold out of the Pinot Noir, but they had 2 bottles of Chardonnay left on the shelf.  SOLD!

Now we’re BOTH excited.  And a little nervous.  These two bottles of wine have the power to make our break our decision.

So we buy two bottles of Paradise Ridge wines.  Wines that the store’s website didn’t say they carried.  Wines that I wasn’t looking for.  Wines that I just “found” by chance.

And you know what?  They’re very good wines.  Wines that were good to the last sip.

So with that, the decision was made.  We’ll be getting married later this year in our own little paradise — AT Paradise — with LOVE in our hearts.

All we needed was love.  And we found it.  (A pretty big “LOVE,” too!)

 

 

Week 22a: They Blinded Me With Science!

If the subject line sounds familiar to you, you’re right!  It’s a play on She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby.  (A song on any 80s music fan’s playlist!)

This week we listened to an audiobook of The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles.  And if THAT sounds familiar to you, it should…I think the book is on just about every list of books that entrepreneurs absolutely MUST read!

“If you have not consciously made the decision to be rich, excellent, and healthy, then you have unconsciously made the decision to be poor, mediocre, and unhealthy.”  Author, Wallace D. Wattles

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve known about the book for YEARS, though I never picked it up.  And many people who HAVE BOUGHT the book haven’t finished reading it.   (I’m guessing they didn’t put it on their service card and promise to do it!)

Thankfully, you can find full recordings of the book on YouTube!

NOTE:  There are several…and some of the people reading the book have such a monotone voice that lulls the listener to sleep…  This one is my favorite, though feel free to find a recording in a voice that speaks to you…literally!:

Don’t feel like listening to the 2 hour audiobook?

Here are some my favorite quotes from The Science of Getting Rich:

On Success & Being Rich

  • Success in life is becoming what you want to be.
  • Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.
  • No man is kept poor because opportunity has been taken away from him.
  • Get rich; that is the best way you can help the poor.
  • People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition.
  • You must get rid of the thought of competition.  You are to create, not to compete for what is already created.

On Desire

  • Desire is the effort of the unexpressed possibility within, seeking expression without through your actions.
  • The desire for riches is simply the capacity for larger life seeking fulfillment; every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action.
  • It is the desire of God that you should get rich.
  • The universe desires you to have everything you want to have.

On Thought

  • Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches . . .
  • You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited.
  • To think what you want to think is to think TRUTH, regardless of appearances.
  • By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it.
  • To think according to appearance is easy; to think truth regardless of appearances is laborious, and requires the expenditure of more power than any other work man is called upon to perform.

On Gratitude

  • The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude.
  • Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.
  • The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive.
  • Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come.
  • There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law, if you are to get the results you seek.
  • Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.
  • The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore it tends to become the best.
  • The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith.

On Being Specific

  • You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself.
  • You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.
  • All you need is to know what you want, and to want it badly enough so that it will stay in your thoughts.
  • The more clear and definite you make your picture then, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be.

On Faith

  • The man who can sincerely thank God for the things which as yet he owns only in imagination, has real faith.
  • It is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer.
  • Hold to the FAITH that the imaginary is being realized, and to the PURPOSE to realize it.

On How to Focus Your Attention

  • Think and speak of all the things you have asked for in terms of actual present ownership.
  • It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive.
  • It is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.
  • To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things.
  • To fix your attention on the best is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best.
  • The science of getting rich does not require you to apply power or force to any other person, in any way whatsoever.
  • To get rich, you need only to use your will power upon yourself.

Week 22 – Yoga and the Comfort Zone

Throughout the MKMMA course we’ve been challenged to get out of our comfort zone.  For those of us who have been even remotely faithful to the exercises, we can all attest we’ve been out of our comfort zone too many times to count over the past 22 weeks.

Now that I’m engaged and looking at getting married in the next few months, I’ve adopted the “bridal frenzy” that is “I’ve GOT to lose weight for my wedding!!!”  (OK, truth be told, I wanted to lose weight for ME…but hey, the whole wedding thing is a good excuse to kick my efforts into high gear.)

So what do I do?  I step out of my comfort zone and into…BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH…the Fitness Center!  Now let me just say that I’m one of those people that doesn’t visit a gym unless I’m dragged in.  But now I don’t have an excuse…it’s included in our homeowner’s association, so I want to take advantage of it.

The fitness center has a “motto” of sorts on all their shirts:

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

And they I see they have Zumba classes.  “Woo-hoo!  I LOOOOOVVVVVEEE the Zumba DVDs!  I’m gonna do THAT!  That’s easy!”

OK…so my first step is a baby step outside my comfort zone:  going to the fitness center.

What I’ve learned is that the classes are very different from the DVDs.  VERY different.  I felt like a fish out of water.  And I have to admit it was slightly uncomfortable being the only person out of about 30 who didn’t know what the heck was going on.

But I had fun!  So I went back.  And so far I’ve been to Zumba 3 times…and I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable.

Time to expand the comfort zone!

OK…step 2:  a class called “Cardio Strength.”  It’s an “anything goes” type of class.  The first time I went the instructor was leading a “cardio kickboxing” class for the first time.  Man-oh-man was it a challenging workout!  And yet because no one knew what was going on, I almost felt like I had the upper hand because I’ve had some experience kickboxing.  The workout was challenging, and I had a blast!!!  (And I was sooooooo sore the next day from throwing all those punches!)

That was a bigger step outside the comfort zone!

So I went back.  Unfortunately, this week’s class was running…sprints, up and down the hill, etc.  Due to an injury, I can’t run.  So it wasn’t just that it was outside my comfort zone…I could do permanent damage.

And you know what…I was sad when I left without a workout.  Hopefully next week’s class will be something I can physically do.

Time to expand the comfort zone again!

Next up:  yoga.  I already know this will be the most challenging of the classes for me.  Back in 2006 my doctor encouraged me to take up yoga for stress relief, strength, and weight loss.  I got a whole 5 minutes into the DVD and wondered how much time was left.

So here we are, 9 years later.  I’ve changed.  My body has changed.  Time to give this another shot.

The class moved slowly (to me…especially compared to the high-energy classes like Zumba and kickboxing).  I was physically able to do all the poses, though I had to exit the pose early on a couple occasions.  But I got too comfortable in one of the poses…and I fell asleep!

Apparently that’s the REAL danger of the comfort zone…you can get SO comfortable that you don’t have to pay attention…and then you get results you didn’t want.

Yoga, silence, and the comfort zoneSince I was told that wasn’t a “typical” class I went back for another yoga class today.  While this one was slightly more active — and I did NOT fall asleep — there was the issue of the silence.

Here’s what I mean:  the yoga class is quieter than most libraries.  And then you get into a pose and hold it for 30-90 seconds.  That doesn’t seem like a long time until you’re holding a pose for that long.  And then it can seem like forever!  And while I was in these poses, I found my mind wandering to all sorts of things.  And that’s when the instructor said:

Concentrate.  Focus.  Balance.

That was a “lightbulb moment” for me, because the reason I was so UNcomfortable with yoga is BECAUSE of the silence.  I had nowhere to be but in my head.  I was directed to concentrate, focus, and balance.  These things are not natural to me, and they are REALLY uncomfortable in silence!

So…while I don’t see yoga as my “thing,” it might be just the thing I need to expand my comfort zone.  Get inside my head.  Get comfortable there.  And then see what NEW experiences take me out of my comfort zone.  After all…

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.