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"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the self-same well from which your laughter rises was oft-times filled with your tears." ~ Kahlil Gibran
You cannot find your joy without also being open to your sorrow. Tears are liquid love.

When Horrible Things Happen ~ by Dr. Linda Sapadin

How do we make sense out of senseless brutality? How do we deal with those who embrace an ideology of destruction? How do we reckon with those who suckle their children on hatred? What do we say to ourselves, our kids, our loved ones when a horrible thing happens?

We all have different responses to these questions. Here are mine: We remember the words of those we hold in high esteem Mr. Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers so many caring people in this world." We cherish what we hold dear We hug our kids a little tighter. We appreciate our loved ones even more. We commit random acts of kindness to make life easier for those we know and, perhaps more importantly, for those we don't know. We cherish the freedoms we have and are grateful to those who dedicate their lives to making that freedom possible. We reach out to those more vulnerable than us Of course, we do what we can do for those directly affected by the tragedy. But we do more than that. We extend a helping hand to those who are more vulnerable than we are. They may need to share their story, to dissolve into tears, to quiver with fear, to explode with rage. Whatever they require, we are there for them. It's healing for them; it's healing for us. We do not define the human race by its worst elements People are fantastic! They are kind. They are compassionate. They are big hearted. They are considerate and generous and loving and sympathetic. Need I say more? And yes, there are those who are cruel and cold and brutal and mean. But we do not let ourselves be corrupted by those elements. We deal with them when we must. But we do not allow them to corrupt our hearts. We resolve to become more resilient We may consider ourselves to be anything but resilient. Indeed, we may view ourselves as nervous, unable to deal with storm clouds and ticking bombs. We want life to be safe. Why not? But we recognize that life is fragile. Hence when tragedy strikes, we strive to become survivors, not victims. When we are ready and only when we are ready, we resolve to do what we can to make ourselves and our little corner of the world a better place. We rejoice in the wonder of life. And feel blessed to be a part of it, no matter how awful it is when horrible things happen.

"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." ~ Napoleon Hill
For truly, a simple act of kindness has greatness about it.

How to Develop Your Character ~ by Dr. Alan Zimmerman

In the final analysis, when everything is said and done, your character will prove to be more important than your career. A while ago, James Henderson (name changed) was on a business trip driving through the city where his son attended college. He decided to drop in to see how his son's educational career was going ... and quickly learned that surprise visits may not be the best idea. When Mr. Henderson arrived at the fraternity house where his son lived and rang the door bell, someone from inside the house yelled, "Yeah?" Mr. Henderson asked, "Does Jason Henderson live here?" "Yup," the voice answered. "Leave him on the front porch. We'll drag him in later." We can all laugh at that story ... which really happened ... and we can be thankful it didn't happen to us and one of our own kids. But there's also an important lesson in that story. Even though Jason was going to school to get an EDUCATION, he was also in the process of developing his CHARACTER. And in the end, character always trumps education. Put another way, your character is more important than your talent. You see it all the time... People with talent often make it into the limelight, but without a strong character, they rarely stay there very long. Their absence of a strong character eventually topples them. Leadership expert John Maxwell noted:

Talented people are sometimes tempted to take shortcuts. Character prevents that. Talented people may feel superior and expect special privileges. Character helps them know better. Talented people are praised for what others see them build. Character builds what's inside them. Talented people have the potential to be difference makers. Character makes the difference in them. Talented people are a gift to the world. Character protects that gift." That being the case, you need to know the answer to two questions.

What is character?
It's quite different than being a "character." Will Rogers, the great comedian of the Great Depression, commented on that. He told to people to "live in such a way that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip!"

And character is not something that comes ABOUT as a result of crisis; it merely comes OUT in a crisis. As Robert Freeman puts it, "Character is not made in a crisis; it is only exhibited." In reality, character is composed of three things... 1. HAVING the right values. As columnist Bob Talbert writes, "Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best." (I talk about that in my keynote address on "The Payoff Principle." Click here to read about it. Or if you'd like to talk about bringing that program to your next meeting, give me a call or send me an email.) Unfortunately, our world and our organizations are having some major problems in this area of values. Just look at the research. When you ask Westerners what they want out of life, their number one answer is "I want to be happy." When you ask Easterners what they want out of life, their number one answer is "I want to be successful." I think our whole world would be in much better shape if the number one universal answer was "I want to be good." Of course, HAVING the right values is not enough. As values expert Dr. Sidney Simon has written extensively, you've got to walk your talk. You've got to know what you value, and you've got to live by what you value. So the second ingredient of character is... 2. DOING the right thing. People of character know there is no right way to do the wrong thing. And conversely, people of character know there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. I speak a great deal to builders and contractors, and they know a great deal about building on a strong foundation. As William Bady, Jr., a builder and developer tells his people, "Living a life is like constructing a building: If you start wrong, you'll end wrong." You've got to do the right thing. But there's one more element in character. We all know people who "technically" HAVE the right values and "typically" DO the right things, but they're still unpleasant. They're not the type of people you want to be around. So character has a third element, and that is... 3. BEING the right kind of person. Gordon H. Taggart struggled with the whole concept of character, wishing he had more of it. As he wrote about what he lacked in character, he did a fantastic job of describing what it meant to BE the right kind of person. He described 11 characteristics. Taggart wrote: "I wish I were... honest enough to admit my shortcomings; brilliant enough to accept flattery without it making me arrogant; tall enough to tower above deceit; strong enough to treasure love; brave enough to welcome criticism; compassionate enough to understand human frailties; wise enough to recognize my mistakes; humble enough to appreciate greatness; staunch enough to stand by my friends; human enough to be thoughtful of my neighbor, and righteous enough to be devoted to the love of God."

It may be worth a few minutes of your time to see how you stack up against those 11 characteristics. I know it opened my eyes as to where I needed to grow my character. However, if that seems too difficult, you might try Marcelene Cox's test. As a 20th century author, she proclaimed, "No man knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan, and raised an adolescent." Simply take a look at how you behaved in those situations to see if you were or if you are a person of character. Once you know the meaning of character, the second question is...

How do you build a strong character?

If you were lucky, you were raised in a family that modeled good character all the time, and you soaked it up unconsciously. And if you were very lucky, you were also educated by teachers who modeled good character, and you chose friends whose lives were filled with character. You learned from their examples. Good character became an almost automatic, natural part of who you are. The truth is ... very few people are that lucky. Almost everyone has some work to do when it comes to improving his/her character. And the good news you can change and grow your character if you will practice the following behaviors. 1. DECIDE to be self-supporting. No one owes you a living. Not your parents, not your employer, and not the government. Unless you are totally disabled by some unfortunate event, you are in charge of you. And the quicker you decide that, the better you will feel the and the better person you will be. In fact, there is no way you can have any sense of self-esteem if you think it's somebody else's job to take care of you. The great orator, Robert G. Ingersoll spoke of that in the 1800's when he said, "Every human being should be taught that his first duty is to take care of himself, and that to be selfrespecting he must be self-supporting. To live on the labor of others, either by force which enslaves, or by cunning which robs, or by borrowing or begging, is wholly dishonorable." 2. SEEK continual education. No one is perfect. Everyone has room for improvement. And improvement can only come through education, whether formal or informal. Indeed, what you learn from your job may be more important than the money you earn. As business leader Harold Geneen noted, "In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later." 3. SPREAD kindness. It may be one of the best ways to build your character. As T. Rubin notes, "Kindness is more important than wisdom. And the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom." When you're kind to others, you grow your character. It's a total win-win-win. And your acts of kindness should have nothing to do with how you feel or the struggles you face. Charlie "Tremendous" Jones often said, "Many times the Lord will take you through experiences that have nothing to do with you but are meant to help you understand what others are going through." That being the case, Charlie would say we need to move away from being thin-skinned and hard-

hearted. We need to become thick-skinned and soft-hearted. In other words, spread kindness simply because it's the right thing to ... and your character will grow. 4. WORK on yourself. Follow the advice of legendary author and speaker Jim Rohn. "Work harder on yourself than you do your job." And a part of that work is listening to yourself. When I was at the North Pole a couple of weeks ago, there was a sign that read, "When your heart speaks, take good notes." Good advice. 5. PURSUE excellence. I learned that from my parents and the way they ran their small business of raising and selling Christmas trees. They always told me that people will never know how long it takes to do something. They will only know how well it is done. You see ... being a person of character has little or nothing to do with the position you hold or the title you carry. It's all about the way you do your job. Even Booker T. Washington, the one-time slave and later-on biologist, talked about that. He said, "Any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day." 6. ADD value. Whatever you do, whomever you meet, add value to that transaction. Leave the situation or the other person a little bit better than you found them. For example, you could add value to your job by contributing to the organization's bottom line. Just ask yourself one question on a regular basis: "If this were my money instead of the company's money, would I spend it this way?" Apply this question to everything from your expense account to buying new office equipment. 7. PRACTICE persistence. People of character are known for their persistence. They don't bail out when the times get tough. They just keep on keeping on. As Deborah McGriff notes, "We must always go the second mile. When we go the first mile, we simply do what is required of us. It is when we go the second mile that excellence is achieved and minor miracles happen." And it's that second mile that distinguishes people of character from plain, ordinary folks. Of course, it's easier said than done ... to practice persistence. But it will be easier if you keep on repeating Dean Karnazes affirmation: "Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up." 8. DETERMINE to be determined. People are very rarely overnight successes. And character is seldom achieved in one fall swoop. More often, character is the result of a long process of determined determination. Roscoe Dunjee observed, "Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to." It's one of the secrets of success ... that determination plays a bigger role in your success than almost anything else. Business consultant John Baker has seen that so many times that he now says, "Durability is stronger than talent, better than luck, more real than potential, and more valuable than intellect."

Some of the time, you will have to stay the course, climbing up the ladder one hard step after another. Other times there won't be an obvious next step on the ladder. Then you'll have to do what 20th century singer William Warfield learned to do. He said, "When rungs were missing, I learned to jump." The quality of your life, your relationships, and your career is deeply affected by your character or lack of it. So go ahead and put some extra thought into the character you are building.

"Like the tree in my garden, it is your nature to grow. Clarity of understanding unlocks the self-love, gratitude and acceptance that are the sunlight, rainwater and nutrients of your personal evolution. Increases in consciousness are inevitable for you when you get out of your own way, let your wisdom guide you and start enjoying your life as it is today." ~ Jamie Smart
Look towards what's creating your experience of life; look to the source of your thinking your inner knowing - rather than the products of your intellectual mind.

The Power of Love, Gratitude and Forgiveness

There is nothing more powerful than love. This is what we are: love. It's fundamental. Love heals. In the immortal words of preacher Emmet Fox:

"There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; No disease that enough love will not heal; No door that enough love will not open; No gulf that enough love will not bridge; No wall that enough love will not throw down; No sin that enough love will not redeem.... It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble; How hopeless the outlook; How muddled the tangle; How great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all" Gratitude is to remind us to love... fully, intently and without reservation. People sometimes struggle to find something to be grateful for... How about being here? Isn't that amazing enough? How about awareness and being aware of being aware? Are those not truly miracles, even though, every day, we wake to this same awesome wonderment we call our Being? Forgiveness is really about self-love. To forgive is to value yourself above any grudges about the behaviors of others around you or in the past.

The biggest mistake people make with forgiveness is the belief that, somehow, it's "letting the other person off"! No, it's letting yourself off! You are free to walk away and free to chose the no-pain option. To fail to forgive is really attaching yourself to an outcome that cannot possibly ever happen; which is that the past will be different. It won't be; it won't ever be. So get over it! It's time to heal. Powerful Meditations For The Heart With such thoughts in mind, Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby has prepared for you three separate meditations. Their foundation is Peter Shepherd's program on Trans4mind, Love is All You Need. Keith's meditations are around 25 minutes each, presented on CD. He suggests one a day, in rotation. In them, you will find special thoughts that will transform your way of thinking and feeling. Love will come to you; prosperity will out; your career will take sudden surges forwards; your health will improve more than ever; life events will take on a new, cheerful hue. People who have done these sessions report some amazing changes in their lives and the lives of those around them. You owe it to yourself to start this journey back towards healing, feeling joy and calm, when stress is released. And in case you are wondering, the changes gradually become permanent; love, gratitude and forgiveness get built into your mind fabric. First you DO them; then you BECOME them. Technological Enhancement These loving meditations have immense firepower because of added brain entrainment technology. Keith has added targeted binaural beats to take you rapidly down to a Theta brainwave state. Theta is the trance and meditation state, where right and left brain start to sing the same song, the same rhythm, in tune with each other. In that state you are able to accomplish creative processes that are otherwise just not accessible. "Manifesting," for example, just works much better when you are in a Theta state. Theta is where you are most at one with your spiritual self!

The Fourth Wave ~ by Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby

Let me remind you of the first three waves, defined for us by Alvin Toffler in his seminal book The Third Wave...

First Wave - The Agricultural Revolution or domestication. It started around 8,000 BC and led to stabilized food supplies and effectively the end of nomadic wanderings. The major consequence was cities and civilization. Big one! The Second Wave - Industrialization or mechanization. Another biggie. It started around 1760 in England and was the mechanization of labor. So this swung away from the agricultural scenario and towards urban life. It led to industrial might and the kind of personal wealth we see today.

The Third Wave - The Information Age or digitization. This started around 1940 with early computerization. As we all know, this revolution is well under way. It's led to the spread and democritization of personal affluence. But is it peaking? There are signs it is. As more and more people are moving into the knowledge economy, it's starting to lose its appeal, though it's difficult to escape its tentacles.

The point is that the knowledge economy has trumped mechanization; and mechanization economy in turn roundly trumped the agricultural economy. So where is there to go from here? What could possibly trump the digital age? Jamie Smart in his book Clarity points to what he calls the "experience economy." It got underway in the late 19th century, with advances in psychology and the recognition that our minds define our experience of life, not food, not cities, not wealth, not politics... but what we experience. Since then there has been a huge growth in the personal development industry. "As people become more time-poor, attention-starved and values-focused, the quality of their experience of life becomes more important," says Smart. I can't fault that. He points to the Starbuck's innovation: slicing 20 minutes out of your day to chill out on a sofa and enjoy a $5 coffee with your name written on the cup! Or the Apple Store, where people buy exquisitely designed, high-utility "lifestyle products." Then there is the new tourism: adventure sports, eco-tourism, sacred travel (spiritual hotspots) and extreme tourism (adrenalin rush), which are examples of the fact that people are willing to pay for a special experience. Of course all these things get hijacked by Big Business, wanting to grab the action and cash in on people's feelings; beautiful ideas get corrupted, abused and hammered to death. But at core there has been a shift in personal attention and, especially, personal values. Career, wealth and stability in life are no longer givens; but we can all share in friendship, networking, pleasure and the higher life. There is an "Age Of Experience," no question. Whether you call it the Fourth Wave is another matter. But the signals of this transition have been arriving faster and faster over the last 40 years. Here's Jamie Smart's summation of changes:

The rise of the human potential movement, positive psychology and increasing interest in personal development. Identification of the need for "emotional intelligence" in the workplace. The desire for authenticity, integrity and transparency in the companies we do business with. Increased business focus on identifying and developing the qualities of leadership. The decline of many institutions that were previously relied on for a sense of security and belonging (eg. religions, education system, postal service, civil service, large companies, jobs for life etc.). People looking elsewhere for security, belonging and purpose, as they pursue "portfolio careers" and move towards greater independence and personal freedom.

Smart gives us something to reflect, which is that the Industrial Revolution gave rise to a massive, sustained increase in the standard of living for large numbers of people. This was a step-change

unlike anything in humanity's history. Has it occurred to you that we could be on the verge of another, similarly profound step-change? In fact the next wave is already in progress. It's an extraordinary time to be alive and you can be part of this transformation (yes, no matter your years). Get involved!

"We are living in a sea of energy." ~Ralph Ring

Indeed, which ranges from the most coarse to the most subtle, unrecognized by orthodox science. Though the source of energy isn't energy at all, it's the zero-point, the creative stillness that is our consciousness.

"Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare." ~Japanese proverb
You've got to know where you're going, and move from the starting blocks. That's a motivated way of being, much more than intellect - it's body, mind and spirit combined. Vision with action can change the world.

"We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about." ~ Joseph
The sages all say that the path to liberation is found in entering the stillness within. As Doug King said, "Learn to pause... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you."

"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." ~ Morpheus
Their spiritual path for many people is a book on the shelf; don't let that be you. Application is required and it begins at home... Before we can contribute, through our consciousness, toward peace in the world we need to make peace with ourselves. Before we can love others unconditionally we need to be able to genuinely love ourselves. Before we can forgive and cease making judgments of others we need to learn how to forgive ourselves and warmly accept ourselves just as we are.

"Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers." ~ Anthony Robbins
Let's consider some that are truly empowering:

Is there a message for me in this experience? What's the gift in this situation? What can I learn from this? What's the most loving thing I could do now? What's the most important thing for me to focus on now? What would I do if I knew I could not fail? What would I do if there were nothing to fear?

Access your own inner wisdom by tapping into your subconscious and intuition. Release stress, blocks and negative emotions, and spark imagination and greater vision.

"When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that is present... we experience heaven on earth." ~ Sarah Breathnach
It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.

"We accept many notions because they seem to be the logical answers to our questions. But have we asked the right questions?" ~ Harold L. Klawans
If a question is based on a false assumption and we haven't spotted that, we can be led up the garden path.

"When a concept has been understood intellectually, if the learning is to be of value then a connection with personal feelings, inner knowing and experience has to be made, and consideration of how the information would best be applied." ~ Peter Shepherd
Head and heart, body and soul... each have their role.

"Our life is our prayer. It's our gift to the universe, and the memories we leave behind when we someday exit this world will be our legacy to our loved ones. The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us is to find our joy and share it!" ~ Anita Moorjani
Anita also said, "You are just pure essence, pure love. When you can see somebody for their essence and not for their layers and layers of conditioning... that is love!"

Freedom to Change
By Peter Shepherd
Current events have demonstrated a tremendous desire, on the behalf of perhaps the majority of people in the world, for peace in their lives. They are no longer satisfied with the mentality of political conflict, which endangers economic progress and human rights and freedoms. But most importantly, I feel that many people are now aware that if we want peace in the world, first we need to make peace with our own lives. It is human nature that needs to change, and we are capable of making such a transformation. Our experience in the world reflects our inner state - yes, this is a kind of magic but that is the reality, the world is miraculous. I have seen so much evidence of this when I - or a student or client - have made a genuine shift in our belief system that resolves an inner conflict, then very soon our realworld circumstances change accordingly. We mirror our internal state - our resistance/fear and acceptance/love - in our personal life experience. As a group we mirror our consciousness in world events. It is our personal responsibility to become aware of our contribution to the group consciousness, to help create a world with more opportunities for ourselves and our loved ones -

which ultimately means for everyone. So what wars do we wage inside? The purposes and goals that we hold dearly - some we may have brought into this life or felt most strongly as a child or young person - are often compromised in the face of problems that we discover in trying to achieve them, and we may forget about them (actually suppress them) and opt for safer solutions. Playing the safe game is a sad conflict with the game we really (still) want to play. We have become someone else, a substitute for our true self. Reinforcing this position are the attachments we have come to cling on to, the fears we may have of losing control of our safe space, the resistance we feel against elements of change, and the judgments we make that prevent acceptance of what is. To better our position, to be able to open up our space and express our true desires, we first need to come to terms with our situation. Our true nature is an expression of love and that is the quality that we need first to rediscover in our consciousness. Before we can contribute, through our consciousness, toward peace in the world we need to make peace with ourselves. Before we can love others unconditionally we need to be able to genuinely love ourselves. Before we can forgive and cease making judgments of others we need to learn how to forgive ourselves and warmly accept ourselves just as we are. If we can forgive ourselves then we can more easily forgive others. If we do not feel able to forgive others then we clearly have not learned to love ourselves. And the irony is, when we do truly love ourselves, we and others will not even need any forgiveness, because we are able to accept the past, present and future as it is, without judgment. Our creation. Discrimination - of good/bad, right/wrong, ugly/beautiful - is not part of the vocabulary of love. Are we all born equal? The short answer: yes, but not the same, not by a long chalk. All persons have the same qualitative make-up; we are born equal in this respect, as recognized in the values of 'Equality, Fraternity & Brotherhood.' All human beings have the same reflexes, instincts, drives, needs, capacities, and rights; all have the same powers of perception, discrimination, attentiveness, retentiveness, reasoning, and so forth. The differences between persons are quantitative rather than qualitative. 'Equality' is to do with our qualities, that we all share, but not the degree to which they are developed. Behavioral psychology has installed the idea that we inherit all of our traits, and besides the modifying effects of cultural conditioning that we stay basically the same as our genetic hard-wiring dictates. That's true if you don't do anything about making positive change, if you don't recognize the aspects of yourself that are more than animal. Recently many have recognized this possibility and they are looking for valid information that can help them make positive changes. We each differ in the degree of our various spiritual, mental, emotional and physical abilities, and in the manner in which the amounts of the various traits combine in our individuality. A wide range of aptitude, personality, learning and intelligence tests will show differences as high as 25:1 from person to person, with a characteristic bell-shaped distribution curve, in much the same way as physical characteristics are varied.

It is these quantities, which are such an important factor in personal competence, creativity and ultimately our success in life, that personal development aims to increase. It is through our differences that we are able to express our individuality and achieve unique goals. Fortunately it is possible to develop our skills, talents, maturity and intelligence to high degrees, using appropriate techniques. For example, we offer effective Mind Development courses to develop the faculties of vision, communication, concentration and will, learning and reading skills, logic, memory, intuition and creativity. I feel that it is a mistake to belittle the differences between individuals due to a fear of being seen as judgmental or non-accepting of a person who has little of certain qualities. It is much better to be realistic (which is truly to be non-judgmental and accepting) and recognize the strength and weakness of our various qualities. Then we can take advantage of the opportunities that are available to develop and improve ourselves, toward the goal of fulfilling our potential.

Freedom to change Implicit in any concept of learning is the notion of change. If we open our minds to discovering and learning new information, we change some part of ourselves: our attitude, behavior, values, assumptions, or perhaps the amount of knowledge we have. The change may mean a rejection or an alteration of previously accepted beliefs or behavior, or it may mean an expansion or extension of

them. Change is often perceived as frightening as it threatens to rob us of the safety and legitimacy of our personal, often cherished, position and boundaries - especially since maintaining this safe space has helped us to survive as well as we have up to now (even if that's not as well as we could do). When change is demanded by another person or new circumstances, we tend to feel threatened, defensive and perhaps rushed. The new learning is not perceived as something desirable and of our own choosing. Pressure to change, without an opportunity for exploration and choice, seldom results in experiences of joy and excitement in learning. To turn this around, we need to be proactive in our learning, to expand our knowledge and abilities in advance of forced changes of circumstance. If there's one thing guaranteed in our lives it is that change will be upon us, sooner or later; usually sooner. If we are open to change, and are willing to learn whatever is necessary to predict and adapt to it, we can even become its master and control its direction. Self-directed learning is therefore key to mastery over life and to the creation of the life that we want.

Making Things Happen

By Peter Shepherd
I thought it would be a good idea to offer a few words on my understanding of the subject of manifestation and be specific about how to go about it. I believe in a multi-domain approach. We are not just one with God; nor just angelic beings; nor just a witnessing consciousness; nor just a creative mind; nor just a scheming ego; nor just a social being struggling to survive; nor just a lover, parent or friend; nor just a creature programmed by genes; nor just one with the super energies of the planet and the Universe. We are all of these things at the same time. A unified field. Manifestation, as described in "The Secret," is a spiritually powered process. With the right spiritual, mental and emotion preparation, things seem to "just happen" or fall into our lap. While this may sometimes be the apparency, in practice it's not the whole picture. The other domains of our being play at least an equal part. Although opportunities may arise that seem magical - synchronicities, because we are connected beings, the unified field again - and like-minded people will naturally identify with our desire (law of attraction) and share their resources, the primary channel of achievement of what we desire is provided by ourselves, our own actions and communications and mental resources, such as intellect, creativity and intuition. Good old "goal setting and getting" (as described in the Positive Approach Lesson 26 - Making Your Vision a Reality) is as important as ever. That's practical, "get down to it" psychology. Our knowledge base and mind development and social skills (concentration, study, communication, memory, creativity, intuition, leadership, etc) are important as ever. These are our cognitive contribution. Vital if we want to make a difference: to think and live outside of the box of our cultural

norm. In addition, to achieve anything meaningful we need to put our heart and soul into the mix too. The following manifestion process came to me last night, so I got up at 4 am to write this article. I have added this to the above Positive Appoach lesson, though it's very much in summary form at the moment... Manifestation Process Creation occurs when we have a clear image of a desired state and trust that we can make it happen. If we can make it happen subjectively then generally we can make it happen in the physical world too. Motivation and the energy to create comes from this desire: the structural tension between the current reality and the desired achievable reality, the vision. With the Manifestation Process you create the best spiritual, mental and emotional way of being, which will empower you to achieve your desires and attract the resources you need. These are the steps: 1. Define the goal, the state desired 2. What would it be like if you could....? Expose resistances (irrational fears and limiting beliefs) - experience them to the degree that you realize that you create these; you can then change them or just let them go. 3. Pretend that you can.... Describe the scenario in detail What does that feel like....? (all senses and emotions, the feeling in your body) 4. Be thankful that you can make it so in your subjective reality, feel gratitude like you already have what you are desiring; at the same time feel without attachment, that it is for the good of all, and also that you could happily let go of the same. (Attachment leads to suffering; it also leads to not having, as the jealous husband will tell you.) 5. Open yourself to, accept responsibility for, and feel one with being an agent (not necessarily the only agent) for the actions and wisdom and whatever else is required to manifest the state desired in our shared physical reality. Feel this inspiring and motivating energy. Be a joyful player in the game of manifestation here on Earth. Determine your next steps in the game plan, what you can do now to get things moving. 6. Flow unconditional love from Higher Self through your body-mind to all people and all things.

Peter Shepherd is the founder and producer of the Trans4mind personal development website. A transformational psychologist by background, Peter supervises The Insight Project, and is author of 'Transforming the Mind' and 'Daring to be Yourself.' He edits and publishes the Inspiring Quote of the Day. Get in touch with Peter Shepherd here.

This came to me too, last night, and I want to share it... There's no beauty that you could perceive or create if it were not already within you. That came to mind as I'd just completed the ebook "Butterfly in the Plaster" for Lithuanian artist, Tomas Karkalas. Tomas has become a good friend. He's humble and modest but also he has rare creative spark, the ability to perceive and think differently and incisively. He truly must be a wonderful being inside. I think his pictures and ideas are brilliant. Anyway, before he felt like a butterfly caught up in the plaster, but with the publication of his work he tells me that finally he feels he has broken free. Tomas is disabled with diabetes and lives on a very little. He didn't sit back and do nothing when he wanted to change his life, though. He went to work helping and teaching other disabled people to find the artist within, and he learned enough basic English to communicate through the Internet and find like minds. Amongst others he found me and I was happy to include him on with "The Transformational Art of Thomas Karkalas."

"This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. "Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. "Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about." ~ Marilyn Monroe

"Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world." ~David McCullough Jr. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."~ Nelson Mandela "Where's the joy in good fortune if you don't share it?" ~ Queenie in Lark Rise Over Candleford "When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless." ~Byron Katie

"Beliefs separate. Loving thoughts unite." ~Paul Ferrini "There's no beauty that you could perceive or create if it were not already within you." ~Peter Shepherd

"Loving yourself allows you to connect to your own inner divinity and to know you will never again be alone." ~Gabriella Kortsch
"In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better, pushing right back." ~Albert Camus

"We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery." ~ H. G.
Sometimes it's good to take a few moments, breathe consciously and be aware of what we're feeling, thinking and doing. Then we can choose instead of continuing on automatic. Get off the time machine.

"Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, non-judgmentally, in the present moment." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Getting the picture, rather than agreeing or disagreeing, liking or not liking. Then, uninfluenced by fears, responding consciously rather than reacting.

"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)." ~ James Baraz
We need our past experience for the learning it offers; we don't need it to cling on to regrets or blame, that changes nothing. We need our future to make plans; we don't need it to worry about what might happen, that changes nothing. Like an artist creating a painting, we put our life together in the present moment.

Something we can say to those we live with: "For listening and caring, for giving and sharing, for always being there... Thank you!"
If we really feel and mean this, our vibration rises fast, and life freely reflects this love back to us and more.

"Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life." ~ A. J.
When we express our appreciation we are communicating from spirit. Therefore our prayers reach their destination and are returned with abundance.

"If you open your heart, love opens your mind." ~Charles John
When we choose to be appreciative, our heart opens to give and receive love. This compassion and empathy renders null our negative judgments and prejudices - so far more perspectives may be introduced to our view of things.

Don't Give Negativity Another Thought ~ by Joyce Shafer

Should we or shouldn't we ever put our attention on the negative? Maybe there's something we need to discern about this, to avoid confusing ourselves and perpetuating negativity that ought to be given our attention. What do we think or believe negativity to be? Is it whatever doesn't feel good to or for us individually? What about whatever doesn't feel good to or for others or the collective humanity we are part of, as well? We aren't meant to dwell on or in negativity in a manner that does no good for us or others, but we have to watch that we don't stick our heads in the sand either, when we should be taking a closer look at something. Let's consider this and what we often do and might do differently about negativity and negative experiences, through something most people are aware of. Here's the first part of the "Serenity Prayer" most of us are familiar with and frequently use or refer to: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Here's the same first part of the "Serenity Prayer," as its author Reinhold Niebahr wrote it and intended it to be reflected upon and used: God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. An initial difference between the two versions that got my attention is how each starts. The altered version has no comma after God, but the original version does. The comma indicates a direct, personal conversation with the Creator of All Things is being held (just as it does in rules of punctuation), whereas the absence of it in the altered version makes it seem removed and rote, as though we're repeating words to ourselves in the hope itthe repetitionwill make the difference. In the altered version, it's all about the "I," the individual. It asks for "me" to be granted serenity, as though serenity must be provided to us or we don't or won't or can't have it. And the word granted is something of a subservient term, as when someone in "authority" grants a favor, but

it comes with a price or an obligation, that is, if it's granted. It states serenity is needed in order to accept the things "I" cannot change. This can be problematic because we humans are known to confuse (or ignore) the difference between cannot and will not. The altered version asks to be granted the courage to change the things "I" can. We're faced with the same cannot/will not conundrum. How many things are there that you believe need to change but you also believe you are powerless to do anything about them? (Perhaps, as an individual this is sometimes true, but as a group or collective, it isn't.) It asks for the wisdom to know the differencethe difference to know what you can't change and what you can. Well, depending on what you believe you are capable of and what you know or don't know your Rights to be, that could be an interesting form of wisdom that reflects more of an "I'll do it if it's convenient or comfortable and doesn't require too much of me" kind of scenario. The original version is about "us," we as individuals, as well as humanity as an aggregate or collective of individuals sharing the human experience. The original version requests grace to be given, as a gift, with no strings attached. If we truly understand what the Creator has given us, we understand that that grace has already been given; that acting with grace is always a choice. And, "to accept with serenity" reminds us that we have a choice to accept with resistance or anger or serenitythat is, to make peace with the fact of what cannot be changed. The original writing makes it clear there are some things that cannot be changed. Such things include the Natural Laws the Creator of the Universe put into effect to assist us to raise our Consciousness so we do a good job as co-creators and with how we operate within our individual and shared physical reality (To exercise Consciousness is to interact with Truth more often than not interact with it, to marry our perceptions with Truth so that our perceptions more closely and frequently align or intersect with Truth); death (once it's happened and we're sure the person is beyond resuscitation); any event that has already taken place and is factually irreversible; gravity; and so forth. It asks for courage, which we can infer means to assist or remind us to use inner strength to make the choice to engage our courage to change the things which should be changed. This wording is a whole different ball of wax from the altered version, isn't it? It's a statement that recognizes that part of our human nature is to at times be so fearful or unmotivated that we won't change even what should be changed. And, it points out that there are, indeed, some things that should be changed. The problem with the altered version is that it implies if something doesn't affect "me" (or "me" too badly), "I" shouldn't necessarily do anything about it or give it another thought. Then, we request the Wisdom (capitalized in the original version, to indicate a higher level of knowledge and common sense, rather than a personal opinion) to distinguish the one from the other: Things that cannot be changed (have happened or are Natural Laws and cannot be altered) and things that should be changed (require our attention and right action). Neibahr meant for all of us to practice this version particularly because our individual and collective behaviors influence the conditions we share, and the conditions we share influence our individual and collective behaviors. There are levels of negativity, and negativity happens in degrees. Therefore, our responses must be appropriate and in appropriate measure. There's the level of the individual experience and expression of negative thoughts, words, and actions. Reasons for this negativity vary: learned behavior, chosen behavior, depression or some other form of psychosis, sleep deprivation, chemical imbalance, physical or emotional pain, overwhelm, to list some prevalent ones. About each of these, something can be done. The individual has the Free Will Right to choose to do or not to do something about it, especially to do no harm or stop harm to the self and or others, unless something specific impedes this, like a

mental or physical infirmity that makes right or conscious choice impossible. There's the level of an individual, but usually more than just one individual experiencing and expressing negative thoughts, words, and actions, where Rights of individuals in any number are infringed on or taken away. We might call these basic Rights or Freedoms, in accordance with Natural Laws, which are different than man-made laws. About this form of negativity, something should be done. Individuals, whether alone or who are members of a group or collective, have the Free Will Right to choose to do or not do something about this. Again, our individual and collective behaviors influence the conditions we share, and the conditions we share influence our individual and collective behaviors. I watched The Truman Show recently, and was affected by a dialogue line that was spoken by a fake radio announcer: "Don't think about that. Sit back and enjoy this relaxing music." The advice to not think about that (don't give it another thought) referred to something anomalous that happened and had gotten Truman's attention, causing him to question its strangeness or not-rightness. After that anomalous event, the practice of diverting Truman's attention from what the reality or truth was, worked only for so long, until he began to come out of his mental fog (or ambivalence) and pay more attention to what was really going on than he had been. The more attention he paid the more the truth was revealed. Carl Jung: "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable, and therefore, not popular." This can refer to the darkness that is negativity, as well as lack of true Consciousness and willingness to attain it within each of us, as well as within our collective humanity. None of us wants to see or experience negativity. But we need to understand there's a difference between dwelling on it and not doing anything about it at any level other than complain, or tolerate it in silence, and putting our attention on it to understand it better so we can and will do something about it, so that we, hopefully, can prevent more of the same from happening again. Part of the New Age information has been that if we focus on something negative, we give it power. We've interpreted this to mean we shouldn't give it any of our attention. Is the true power, especially to effect change, in whether or not we put our attention on the negativity, or is the true power in the individual? There's a difference between feeding negativity and not feeding it, ignoring it and shifting it. Had Truman believed the power was in the illusion and those supporting it and not in him and his desire for truth, he'd have remained trapped, used, and miserable. One of the most powerful things we can do is to say No to perpetuating negativity or creating new negativity. If something has already happened, we can choose the grace to accept the fact of it with serenity (for our best benefit and clear-mindedness) and choose the courage to change whatever about it should be and can be changed. We need to consider that maybe it isn't that we shouldn't put attention on the negative, but that we should put the right kind of attention on it, as well as on the desired result of our attention; then, take right action to attain or accomplish it or something even better. We could lessen or eliminate some of the negativity in our individual and shared experiences if we did give negativity another thoughtthe right kind of thought so that we can demonstrate our power to do more than what we may have been doing. It's a good practice, one you'll appreciate. Practice makes progress.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." ~ Denis Waitley
Fundamentally, happiness is appreciating the experience of life, accepting all pleasure and learning (not always pleasurable) with gratitude. And that's a choice.

"When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere." ~ Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Peace, joy, health and well-being exist already within us now, if we choose to see things that way... guided by acceptance and love, rather than resistance and fear.

"Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can't have a rainbow, without a little rain." ~ Anonymous
The tough times are what make our achievements feel so exhilarating; we need that dynamic.

The Five Big Pieces of Happiness ~ by Philip Humbert

"We don't see the world the way it is, we see the world the way we are." ~ Anais Nin There's an old story about a motivational speaker's illustration of life's priorities and the quest for happiness. In front of a large audience, the speaker was alone on stage with a table covered with a cloth. Promising to show the audience the secret to success, fulfillment and a great life, she pulled out an old-fashioned pickle jar, set it on the table and said that the jar represents your life. She then pulled out a bucket with some fairly large rocks and proceeded to fill the jar, and asked the audience if the jar was full. Naturally, most responded that it was. With a sly grin, she then asked if they were sure and reached for a second bucket that had small pebbles in it. With care, she managed to get a couple dozen pebbles to drop down in the spaces between the larger rocks and again asked if the jar was full. Again, most of the audience agreed that it was, although with some hesitation. She then pulled out a bucket of sand and carefully poured several pounds of sand into the jar. Asked if the jar was finally full, the audience was doubtful and cautiously answered, "Probably not." The speaker then pulled out a bucket of water and slowly poured most of the bucket into the jar. Finally, she stepped across the stage and asked what lesson was to be learned, and a confident young man called out, "That you can always squeeze more in!" The speaker agreed that was good, but suggested there was a far more important point. She then said something I've never forgotten. "To get the most out of life, you have to put the big pieces in first." If you allow your life to be filled with water, sand and pebbles, you'll never have room for the "big pieces." Never allow your life to be consumed with the "small things." Schedule and commit to your "BIG PIECES" in 2014. Put them on the calendar. Mark them in red. Announce them publically and let nothing stand in your way! So, what are the Big Pieces? Obviously, everyone has their own list, especially when it comes to the specifics. But I've been saying for years that, in a general way, there are five universal Big Pieces that we all need to consider. 1. Business and Career. What are you doing with your life, your time, your talents and skills,

your energy and your resources? Are you playing big enough? Are you making a difference? Aim high in 2014. 2. Money and Finance. At one level, money is one of the "small pieces" in life. Never trade your life, or your integrity, for money! But money is also the value the world pays for your work. Money opens doors and creates opportunity. And, conveniently, it's easy to track! Money is a tangible representation of your contributions and your creativity. Manage and use it wisely. 3. Relationships and Community. The poet observed, "No man is an island." Life is to be lived and shared with folks we love. Family and friends, neighbors and colleagues are truly the Big Piece that makes life worth living. 4. Spirituality and Personal Growth. What is the upper limit of human happiness? How alive could you possibly be? I love the observation that, "You cannot learn less!" What skills or talents will you develop in 2014? Who could you become and what gifts lie just beneath the surface, waiting for you? 5. Adventure and Fun. "All work and no play makes Jack (and everyone else) a dull person." Life is about mischief and risk, about games and jokes and shared memories. It's about trying new things, making mistakes and learning from them. It's about getting outside your comfort zone to see what else is possible. As you plan for 2014, start with the Big Pieces. You'll have your own list of specifics, but be sure to live the life you truly want. Stretch and try things. Explore and dare yourself to become the person you know you are meant to be. There's always room for the small things, but the Big Pieces depend on you and only you can make sure they are put in place first.

"If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." ~ Jim Rohn
When we are truly inspired and true to ourselves, we are energized, creativity flows smoothly and nothing gets in our way.

"If you believe the doubts in your mind, you won't achieve the dreams in your heart." ~ Marinela Reka
What you really, really want is not something directed by fear, it's inspired by love - by sharing, self-expression and service.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." ~Mark Twain

It's easy to give up on the best laid plan and forget all about it. The first practical step is the hardest (because of fears, excuses and laziness) but it is the most important. After that, you are in motion and you'll want to keep it going.

"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."~ Arnold H. Glasgow
One cannot hurry the ripening process of a fruit, force a baby to develop faster, nor increase the planet's momentum around our Sun.

"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There is no greater investment" ~Stephen Covey
Saint Augustine said, "Patience is the companion of wisdom." Can you relax enough and see your learning through to acquire the understanding and wisdom that is the result of long practical experience?

"The richest person is the one who is contented with what he has." ~ Robert C. Savage
Where does impatience come from? Jafree Ozwald says, "It's an ego based energy that stems from not choosing to be at peace with what is. It's an old habit brought on by not loving yourself, your body, your friends, family, and your experience of this world just the way it is." You may want things to be better, and work toward that, but the stress comes when you make your work a battle rather than a loving process.

"It is in darkness that you find the light; it is in storm that you find peace; it is in sorrow that you find joy because life is a paradox and a polarity." ~S. Birch
It's life's ups and downs that make it worth living. Imagine watching a film with no ups and downs... you'd go to sleep, wouldn't you! Like in the cardiogram above, the ups and downs very often introduce the potential for loving relationship... it's up to us to sculpt that creatively.

"Suffering is arguing with reality." ~ Byron Katie

You can either be knocked down by the things that strike you, or you can absorb them, and learn from them in a positive way.

"It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."~ Byron Katie
Best not to label things as good or bad, especially totally or always. We suffer least when we can accept reality just as it is, and not to resist seeing the truth. That's not to say do nothing to correct or improve things, but we benefit most when we open our heart in compassion and our mind in appreciation.

"It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it." ~ Hans Selye
Same situation, one person is freaked out whilst the person alongside is enjoying themselves. It's all about interpretation and that's something we can learn to do in a way that benefits us.

"What a person truly believes isn't what they think or say, it's what they do." ~ Queenie in Lark Rise to Candleford
And as Mark Twain said, "Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often."

"The measure of someone's true intellect is in how she uses it to create good in the world, starting with the world that begins in her home, at her dinner table, in her job, with her family, in her community. That's the kind of intelligence that matters." ~ Kate
Seeing what's needed to make life better for one and all - and actually doing it!

"When you judge you project your shadows onto others, when you love you project your light." ~Aine Belton
Suffering is the result of resistance; so much better to simply embrace people, things, feelings... as they are. Intolerance is a habit we've been taught, but it can be unlearned. Changing habits requires conscious practice.

"Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." ~Viktor Frankl
We can always choose to respond rather than to react, to be mindful of our loving nature rather than fearful, sad, angry or envious.

"Dive into your heart center. Sit in the silence. Desire selfrealization with all your heart, with all your mind, and all your soul. Everything will take care of itself." ~ Robert Adams
By simply being this way - silent, loving and accepting - your mind and body will relax. You realize how futile all that thinking was, and let go of that endless agenda. A calm spacious field of energy starts to expands within you and you realize that this deep, peaceful feeling is where you really wanted to arrive anyway.

"Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible." ~ Cherie Carter-Scott
Enjoy this very special trip. That's why we came here.

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." ~ Lao Tzu
Stress comes from regretting what was, resisting what is and worrying about what might be. On the other hand, energetically working to create and achieve our vision brings us true happiness.