Archive for category positive thinking
Why One-On-One “You Specific” Mentoring Is Essential for Your Fulfillment and Success
I enjoy reading words of inspiration as much as you probably do. I believe in the power of positive thinking. I love practicing the art of creative visualization as much as the next guy or gal. It’s all wonderful and good, but it takes more than arms-length words and solitary mental constructs to effect positive change and consistent success in any endeavor. I’m a golf enthusiast, so I’ll use an example from the ranks of professional golf to make a few points.
Jason Day, a professional golfer from Australia, walked a crooked path to success. Jason, unlike his super-successful contemporary, Jordan Spieth, did not have a strong connection with his parents while growing up. He had a troubled youth before meeting Colin Swatton at Kooralbyn, a golf-centric boarding school in southeast Queensland. Jason’s mother had to borrow money to send her son to Kooralbyn in a desperate attempt to do something about his delinquent behavior after his father died of stomach cancer when Jason was 12.
Colin Swatton was a golf instructor at Kooralbyn when he first met the head-strong, rebellious Day. Swatton’s non-confrontational style won Jason over. When Swatton moved on to teach at Hills International College, Day followed him. From there, Swatton became Day’s golf coach, mentor, close friend, and full-time professional caddie. In Jason Day, Swatton saw a diamond in the rough. He gave his protégé the advice and encouragement needed to overcome the inner demons and soaring outer obstacles blocking Day’s path. Swatton filled in the holes in Jason’s psyche and the gaps in his emotional development. Jason Day possessed rare talent, but, by his own admission, he never would have become the man he is today without a whisperer like Colin Swatton in his life. Despite the challenge of a bulging disc in his lower back, Jason is now one of the top-ranked golfers in the world. He is a devoted father and husband, and he has earned the admiration and affection of his peers.
Enough of the super heroes of the world. Let’s talk about you and me. After I’ve read a self-help book, the inspiration and advice usually fade within forty-eight hours. Formulaic self-help exercises quickly become dry practices that yield little or lasting benefits. I picked up a self-help book by a famous author recently. Two things became immediately clear: (1) the author had a lot of nice things to say, and (2) his precepts were so far over my head that I couldn’t practice them if I tried for a million years.
So, what does it take to move forward, achieve, and grow?
To amplify what I said earlier, it takes a special personal relationship. It is a relationship that always accepts and honors who you are and where you are. It can be a parental, mentoring, teaching, romantic, or friend-to-friend relationship. In the case of the first three, the relationship begins with the child or student receiving more at first. I’ve learned that, over time, the best of these relationships blossom into mutuality where both parties reap significant rewards. There’s an energy and information exchange in these relationships; call it love, call it caring and concern, call it chemistry. Whatever it is, it’s a radiant, magic elixir. It produces extraordinary human beings, some famous and others who live and work quietly outside of the limelight.
David Gittlin has written three feature length screenplays, produced two short films, and published three novels. Before quitting his day job, he spent more than thirty years as a marketing director building expertise in advertising, copy writing, corporate communications, collateral sales materials, website content/design and online marketing.
“The Sun in Your Heart is Rising.”
I’ve been working towards a spiritual awakening for most of my adult life, and it seems I’m on the brink of a promising development in my growth process. There are many paths to “higher consciousness” and many kinds of spiritual awakenings. In fact, each of us is destined for his or her own unique awakening. For the past five years, I’ve been involved in something called “Waking Down in Mutuality.” WDM is a path that nurtures an embodied individual awakening through energetic transmission and various forms of study and group participation. There are no gurus. It is not a cult. The people who help other people to awaken are teachers and facilitators. There is no hierarchy. There is no dogma. There are no “shoulds” or “oughts.”
The chances are that you’ve never heard of anything like WDM. You’re not alone. Less than one percent of the world’s population is interested in transformative spiritual awakening. You may be wondering why I’m interested. The answer is simple: I want to experience more peace, love and joy in my life than most other pursuits can provide.
Thanks to the evolution of consciousness and the opportunities and modalities provided by WDM and its close relative, Trillium Awakening, I don’t have to be a monk or a saint to awaken. I don’t have to destroy or surrender my ego. I can just be me, whatever that is. I don’t have to separate spirit and matter. I can live a relatively normal life while opening myself to the treasures of the Heart, every chance I get.
Recently, I’ve made a discovery. It’s a big one. It’s really more of an experience than a mental concept. I’ve realized that self-worth ultimately has nothing to do with accomplishment. Equating self-worth with achievement is a trap that most of us fall into.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with striving to accomplish things, or to be a better you, or in getting better at whatever it is you do. It definitely feels good to get things done and to improve. As an example, I enjoy the feeling of writing this. It feels good to create something new. But writing a best-selling novel will never give me the deep down satisfaction, wholeness, and completeness that my heart craves. This type of satisfaction can only be found buried deep within my heart. The same is true for you.
I’m not sure where I’m going from here, but I’m confident it will lead to more and more happiness and self-satisfaction. It won’t happen overnight. What’s important is that it’s happening. As WDM founder and spiritual teacher Saniel Bonder likes to say, “The Sun in Your Heart is Rising.” That sounds pretty good to me.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
George Bernard Shaw
There is a child in me that wants to romp and play in sunlit fields.
If there are no sunlit fields to play in, then the child invents one with his imagination.
The child knows that there is a real world beset with serious problems and pitfalls. The child also knows that there are admirable people who face these problems head on every day to make the world a better place. These people have a calling to do what they do.
The child prefers to live in sunlit fields, dreaming of a better life. The child knows that if it can make its dreams come true, then others will be inspired to do the same.
Perhaps dreaming is the child’s calling.
I have dreamed big dreams. Some of them have come true. I cannot measure the impact that my dreams have had on others, nor should I care. I can only go on dreaming and manifesting them.
Something is prompting me to write this, even though I’m far from an expert on the subject. I’m writing about an inkling. This mysterious prompting tells me that the inkling is a precursor to the direct knowledge of the something prompting me. If I’m confusing you, I promise to be more clear in what follows.
What I’ve heard, read, and now feel strongly, is that each one of us carries a seed of the divine within us. And, believe it or not, the ultimate purpose of human life is to discover this seed, water it, and watch it bloom into a gorgeous individual expression of the divine. Please don’t be put off by the word “divine”. I have to use a word to describe this miracle. It can be described by many names, so I invite you to choose one that you feel comfortable with.
I’m going to go way out on a limb and try to describe what the divine means to me. First of all, it’s a feeling or combination of feelings rather than an idea. It is peace, joy and love. It is a sense of “all rightness.” It is the certain knowledge that the divine is benevolent. It wants what is good for me. It does not want to hurt me. I feel this very deeply, although my mind often tries to tell me not to trust it.
When we access the divine within, we find that it is a place of peace. It is a refuge from the troubled world outside. We can access this inner world through a daily practice of meditation. In the case of an awakened being, the divine can be accessed by the simple awareness of what’s happening in the present; an awareness of everything that is arising from within and the deeper sense of peace, joy and love underneath what is arising.
Accessing this place on a daily basis keeps me sane.
The divine is so much more than mere words can express. It is so much more than I’ve expressed here. That’s all I have to say for now.
Oh, wait. I promised to talk about the light streaming through my body that I described at the end of my last blog “Innate Goodness.” I’ll try to keep this brief, because I know I’ve already blabbed for too long.
Simply put, I can say that this experience was the dawn of the “Sun in my Heart Rising” as Saniel and Linda-Groves-Bonder say as facilitators of embodied awakening in their Waking Down in Mutuality™ courses.
There’s a lot of stuff happening in the world that is bad—really bad. We know this, and we tend to focus on the bad stuff. So, I’m asking myself: what is good?
For starters, we are good—even the worst of us. The trick is; how do we get to that goodness?
I have found that it takes some work to get to the goodness. In my case, it’s taken a hell of a lot of work. It’s taken constant digging. I know what I should do and what I’m supposed to do. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing the stuff I need to do and should do. For example, I’m thinking about working for the best democratic presidential candidate that I can find. Am I excited about doing this? Not really. It’s just a matter of necessity. We have to remove the lunatic currently occupying the White House.
Okay, so there are all sorts of things we have to do and should do. What about the good stuff? What about the place inside where goodness happens naturally? It’s a feel-good place and the source of true inspiration.
When I meditate in the morning, I have, on many occasions, experienced the good place inside me. I’ve experienced peace, love, and joy. I like these feelings. Who wouldn’t? The problem is that these feelings fade away too quickly. I often wonder how so many people do so many good things consistently. I’m thinking of people like doctors and nurses, of gifted mental health counselors, of social workers, of accountants who work hard under heavy pressure to provide essential services to businesses and individuals. The list goes on. How do you guys do it EVERY DAY? If you are a hard-working person, please clue me in.
Why do I wonder? Well, I like to PLAY. I try to make a game out of everything I do, except going in for a colonoscopy. I admit that one is a bit of a challenge. Not too long ago, I held down honest jobs in sales, marketing, and real estate. I even did accounting for a while. I worked in a family business for thirty years doing all of the above–not hard work, mind you–just plain old don’t kill yourself work. After all of those years of (ahem) work, you would think I’ve changed, matured, and learned to accept that life is hard and full of work. Nope. I haven’t changed one bit. I still like to play. I envy people who like to work. I imagine it’s much easier to live in the world as an adult if you like to work. I wouldn’t know, of course.
Are you resonating with any of this? If yes, please drop me a line or two.
Let’s get back to the essential goodness inside each one of us. How do I (we) tap into it more consistently? It drives me nuts how it comes and goes. If I’m feeling more peace, more love, more joy, than I can be and do more for other people. I’m working on making these good feelings more consistent. If I can pull it off, I’ll be sure to brighten your day with some goodness first aid.
Update: I HAVE found a way to make this happen with something called Somatic Experiencing Therapyplay. In my third session, I felt and visualized light pulsating throughout my body and mind. Now, I feel more grounded. I feel more ALIVE. Since I know blogs are not supposed to be too long, I’ll write more about this in my next post. Stay tuned.
As Being comes alive in me…
…Fear and anxiety dissipate
…I feel more peace
…Every action I take has meaning
…Heaviness yields to lightness
…Clarity, simplicity, and focus become second nature
…The future is uncertain yet full of possibilities for creativity and enjoyment
…I can make every breath serve a higher purpose
I live in Aventura, a city in the northeastern tip of Miami-Dade County. While the US Post Office refuses to officially recognize us, we exist, complete with our own police force and city bureaucracy. I offer these facts to verify my official status as a South Floridian, a person living in Miami or Aventura, depending on your point of view.
In addition to the weather, one of the major benefits Floridians enjoy is our basketball team—the Miami Heat. I used to take my daughter to heat games, but that was when she was younger and it was possible to score a good ticket (legally) on the Heat Ticket Exchange for anywhere between eighty and a hundred bucks. Those days are gone, but I’m no less enthusiastic. Watching the games at home is just as much fun, now that we have big TV screens.
The Heat Organization is one of the finest cultures ever created in the world. It starts at the top with team president Pat Riley and trickles down. The players and coaches don’t give lip service to values like diligent practice in the gym and on the court, accountability, community service, sacrifice, and unselfishness. These men live those values every minute of their lives. You don’t read about Heat players racking up DUI tickets, using drugs, beating up wives or girlfriends, bullying, or any of the insane behavior associated with highly paid professional athletes. It doesn’t happen in the Heat organization despite the constant pressure of high expectations, criticism, and scrutiny the players and coaches live with. These men are role models. They love and support one another, and enjoy coming to work every day.
When one of the Heat’s high draft picks could not stop smoking marijuana, the team traded him. Now that same guy is back, playing better for less money, minus the marijuana, plus character and maturity developed in the Heat family atmosphere.
I hope the Heat wins a third consecutive championship, but if they don’t, I’ll still love every one of them. How could you not love these guys? Each player has a unique story of overcoming obstacles, building character, and ascending into the rarefied air of Heat team membership. Udonis Haslem is one of these stories. Despite an outstanding high school and college basketball career, no NBA team drafted him. He played for a year in France, hated it, but still played well enough to try out for the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Haslem came to the Heat training camp 25 pounds lighter, made the team, and hasn’t looked back in eleven seasons.
Win or lose—take a lesson from the Heat players and organization, among the best in the world.