Author Archives: Joshua Potter-Efron

Don’t Stop Reading This Post: Getting Uncomfortable Enough To Take Action

I’m overdue to write. A lot has happened in the last six to eight weeks. The largest mass shooting in modern history for the United States. The Me Too movement. Puerto Rico and the continuing lack of visible support from the United States which they are a part of; five weeks now and the majority of the country still does not have electricity. The Kneeling for the National Anthem. These are just a few of the many things that have been going on.
In many ways I’m not even sure where to start. The reality is that for me, the thing I have been most focused on is developing the next generation of social workers so that they can be the ones “Being the Difference”. However it’s important that I don’t stop writing, don’t stop questioning, and don’t stop finding ways for all of us to find hope, direction, and ways to take action.
I have said before that no one person can take on all of the world’s problems. We have those who are passionate about the Environment. We have those who are passionate about Social Justice. We have those who are passionate about the being a catalyst for individual healing and transformation in the lives of others.
However, no matter what our individual passions are there are some areas that we do need to come together as a group for; we cannot turn a blind eye the forces and individuals who have decided that it is their passion to divide us.
I want to draw a distinction here. We have to look beneath the “currents of power” and take a look under the hood. When you look beneath the hood of the car you can see the buildup of dirt and grease. If you have a trained eye you can see more than just the accumulation of grime. You are able to see where things are beginning to malfunction. You notice the telltale signs of deterioration, malfunction, and imminent breakdown.
If you are privileged enough, you don’t ever look beneath the hood of your own car. You let someone else do it. Someone who has the experience. Someone who perhaps had to learn how to work on their own car because they could not afford to have someone else do it. This isn’t a “bad thing”. I want to be clear privilege in and of itself is not bad. If you have never learned to look at the telltale signs of malfunction and deterioration I am grateful that you have not had to experience a discomfort of wondering how, not that you have seen the dysfunction, you will be able to be afford how to fix it.
That doesn’t mean you have never had discomfort. I want to say that too. Obviously taking your car to someone who can look beneath your hood causes financial distress for most of us. It isn’t pain free. However at the end of the day… you could afford it and you could ignore the actual time and labor involved in getting your hands greasy, dirty, and calloused with the effort of trying to fix your own car.
If you have not figured it out yet, I’m talking about racism. I’m talking about sexism. I’m talking about discrimination, harassment, assault, revenue policing, prison labor, political and financial disenfranchisement, and a host of other things. Don’t stop reading. I know some of you may want to. That is what privilege is. The ability to stop reading this post because suddenly, either intellectually or emotionally, you just got uncomfortable. You don’t have to keep reading because if you just stopped now you would never have to deal with the reality of what is beneath the hood of your car. You would never have to look at the fact that police brutality isn’t something that happens randomly to all races, you would not have to look at the fact that sexual assault/abuse occurs to somewhere between 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 women, you would not have to deal with the fact that your privilege, your ability to get jobs, get an education, or otherwise have supports that have buffered you invisibly through your life are advantages you likely received across the generations – and no, you did not do it “all on my own”. You could stop reading. But then you are turning a blind eye to the fact that others really do not have those advantages. And because of that, their level of suffering, their rates of incarceration, their emotional trauma and their lack of opportunities and financial support is in fact compounded on multiple levels. Having privilege is not something to feel guilty about it. Privilege is simply access to opportunities and resources. If, however, you choose to stop reading, if you choose never to learn HOW to use your privilege to become an ally and to support others, if you choose to minimize and discount the stories and truths of those who experience oppression with distractions of them being “unpatriotic” or “self-victimizing” or worse, stereotypical labels. Then yes, later on, you may realize that in this generation’s efforts to secure civil rights, you were among those who chose to suppress them.
I am not asking you to become a protestor. I am not asking you to take on a hundred social causes. I am asking you to do two things. 1) Find your passion area and use your privilege to provide opportunities and resources in this area to improve the world 2) Don’t turn a blind eye to oppression, at least speak up to dispute the forces that continue to work to divide and suppress.
In other words, get uncomfortable enough to start Being the Difference and passionate enough to love what you are doing.

Listen to an Unfolding of Myself

I’m going to pretend I’m not writing for anyone.
For a moment, I am going to write as if… I were simply listening
Listening to the unfolding of my own self
Perhaps though, really, I am not the one listening
It is in fact you, the person reading these words, listening to the unfolding of me.
It doesn’t matter that I know I’m planning on posting this on the Being the Difference page. What matters is that I am transparent in my process.
I ran through a demonstration of Brief Solution Focused Therapy for two of my classes today and then had them try their hand at it… the process of helping another person first define a problem in their own terms with no need to change or alter their definition. Then assisting them in noticing places in their lives where the problem is not as severe or lessened. Starting the process of helping them realize that they are not the problem. The problem is something that shows up to varying degrees but it is not inextricable from them. Finally bringing in the Miracle Question: What if you woke up tomorrow and the problem was gone. What would be different about your life.
Working with them to see where in their life, there are already exceptions. Where in their life they actually function without the problem walking with them side by side.
The demonstration was smooth and easy. Hundreds if not thousands of hours of listening without inserting my agenda paying off, the ability to use the slightest nuance of a word or gesture to tilt the boat of language towards a horizon of possibility….
Mastery… the art of becoming the form…
Shu… the first steps of learning the form following every rule – that is where my students are
Ha… Once the art has been mastered innovating it… making it your own… that is where my therapists are for the most part
Ri… Mastery… where one can be the form… while I cannot always do it… for one brief moment… I was… I was the listener and the person listened to all at once…
I cannot say I have mastered Brief Solution Focused Therapy…
However I believe… for a moment today I was in flow… simply allowing my “self” to watch silently… in that moment I was in a state of Ri
For this I am eternally grateful…
Now… Now I can remember that others are reading these words. That you have been listening.
Now… I can turn to you and thank you for listening to my revelation… my recognition… and to say to you…
With eyes in full contact with yours…
Should you ever need someone to listen to you…
As you have just done for me
To witness an unfolding of an aspect of yourself
Call me… find me… and I will Listen

Emotional Vocabulary

The 30 Million Word Gap by Age Three. As in any study that comes out with initially shocking findings the study done by Hart and Risley has been further examined for the underlying causes that go beyond low socio-economic status and “word poverty”. However the study still highlights that education goes beyond schools – the ability to learn “fluency” in any language also requires an environment that supports the growth of the characteristics you wish to see flourish – whether it is actual words, or something a bit more nuanced, but nonetheless related – Emotional Vocabulary.
Emotional Vocabulary goes beyond knowing that there are nuances to sadness, such as morose, depressed, dysthymic, bleak, blues, off day, tearful, hopeless, emotionally fatigued, and… I could go on… just as there are similar varieties for anger and happiness, and fear…
Emotional Vocabulary is also the capacity to see the signals of those emotions in ourselves and others from both non-verbal and verbal cues. Emotional Vocabulary is the ability to use just the right tool at the right time to guide our fear, anger, joy, or sadness to develop our capabilities to be greater human beings and to also use those same feelings to promote effective action that assists the world.
For a moment I think about the teenager who is constantly talking about how terrible their life is. They have not yet developed the capacity in themselves, or in the context here, their emotional vocabulary, to see that these feelings of sadness, anger, and fear that get triggered is their heart’s way of signaling to the brain that it know they are capable of more. It is the heart’s way of signaling to the brain that they want to find a solution.
Their reaction, to rail and complain against the world, to sink into despair, to engage in violence, to potentially end their own lives, is because they have, at this juncture, a limited emotional vocabulary. Does this seem to simplistic.
Let me elaborate further. Emotional Vocabulary is a form of mastery. It is mastering the signals that show up internally or those from others, and recognizes those symbols as a code for translation. For those with less Emotional Vocabulary, the responses are limited. Hide. Fight. Flee. Joy can be as threatening, sometimes more threatening than the other emotions and it can also engender the same responses: Hide. Fight. Flee.
For those who have a greater mastery to Emotional Vocabulary options open up in the worst of situations. Victor Frankl found freedom and hope in the Holocaust Death Camps where he himself underwent horrific experiences. He did not detach from his emotions to survive. He dove into hope and gratitude, even empowerment. He realized that his thoughts, at least these, were his own.
I recognize for myself that great depression can show up in my life on any given day. Part of it is the biological wiring I have. Generations of family struggling with anxiety and depression. I suspect this is the case for many families. In mine, it is simply documented and understood. There is power in this. In understanding that depression, a sense of great helplessness, hopelessness, failure, and even despair may show up tomorrow for no discernable reason.
The thing is, I grew up in a home that emphasized having a large emotional vocabulary. I then read books, went to seminars, did my own therapy, did life coaching, and started my own groups where I taught the material at least once a month. Because emotional vocabulary is a very “niche” thing. Like a doctor who leaves the field, after a year or two some of the professional “jargon” is going to disappear. If he returns to the field it will be easy to access, but knowledge he took for granted before, may not be easy to obtain in a moment of need should it arise after he has been out of the field for even just six months.
Emotional Vocabulary takes years to develop. If you are the teenager or adult who is constantly saying “I hate my life” or “I’m forty and a failure”, simply recognize that the conversation you are having with yourself today will determine the person you are tomorrow. It gives you guidance for the life you are creating.
If the conversation instead is “Wow, that did not work today, what can I do differently today to feel more hopeful, grateful, joyful” and you then take action on THAT, you are beginning to develop just the start of an enriched emotional vocabulary that will bring you very different results.
And yes, there is a lot more to it. Like I said, I’ve been studying how to develop my Emotional Vocabulary for years. I have studied it enough to be grateful for the times of depression that signal for me a time to reassess and reevaluate, am I on the path I want to walk? I am grateful for those moments of anger which I see as times to reassess and reevaluate my own values and the things most important to me. I am grateful for those moments of fear which often tell me I am either moving the wrong direction on the path of life or I am in fact on the verge of an amazing breakthrough to obtaining the life I want, and I have learned that Joy is to be enjoyed, not just pursued or created for others.
The real key, if there is one, is to seek out others who also want to develop their emotional vocabulary. Who seek to be “Masters of their own lives” by developing mastery in the area that affects each and every one of our decisions. It doesn’t have to be therapy, seminars, books, life coaching, or workshops. Although I think those places are great places to start. Because it’s in the seminars and workshops that you’ll meet others on that path. It is from the books, therapy, and life coaching, that you will be guided to a myriad signposts and tools that assist in making the path easier to assess, follow, and ultimately create.
In closing. I think on the path of Emotional Mastery there is a huge word gap between those who develop it daily and those who do not. It is not determined by social economic class – although for those experiencing community trauma on a daily basis there are a lot of things deter people from developing a rich emotional vocabulary; however across classes there is child abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and even simply disinterest in learning skills that may “rock the boat”. One could even argue that in some communities developing an emotional vocabulary, at least in the short run, could be a survival issue – compassion in a gang environment could be fatal. Beyond that though even in most family environments, in the short run I can think of dozens of reasons NOT to develop an emotional vocabulary of any depth. In the long run though, I can’t imagine a more rewarding daily practice. For mastery of one’s own emotional vocabulary and the ability to quickly and easily translate that of others means that in any situation, we do in fact, become captains of our own destiny.

Staying Present

Last week was an interesting week. I started to use the word challenging – but I don’t think that is really the right word. Challenging implies that somehow there was something that needed to be overcome. That wasn’t my experience. My experience of last week was that I was continually called on to be fully present, both for myself and others.
Going into last week I had one primary “task” on my mind. I was going to take the National Clinical Social Work test so that I could get full reciprocity for my licensed status in California here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However going into the week I was pretty “studied out”. I had spent so much time memorizing, reviewing, taking test exams, etc… that my brain felt tired the moment I pulled out the materials. Nonetheless, I pulled the materials out every day to imbed the materials and thought processes required just a little bit more.
The Universe though had other plans for me. Throughout the week I was also taking my daughter to various medical appointments, at the same time my mother was also going to medical appointments; the main focus of the appointments in both cases was to assess heart health and to identify next steps.
In regards to my daughter, she was born with congenital heart defects. She has had three open heart surgeries previously, along with a number of other procedures. For my wife, daughter, and myself at times we can fall into the pattern of going through the steps – however each time we are informed that another major procedure is coming – it still requires us to step back and “get present” again to the decisions that need to be made and to how that impacts us emotionally. In my daughter’s case it was a relief to find out that this time we will be able to “go through the leg” and seal the valves by utilizing a “valve in valve” procedure.
While we were going through this process, my mother and father were also going to my mother’s appointments. There the assessment of congestive heart failure slowly moving through its course was one of less “relief” and more of calling on acceptance. There isn’t a lot to do with current medical technology for congestive heart failure. What is clear that my mother is still functional, yet it is also clear that the congestive heart failure continues to progress.
So as the week moved forward and I studied for my exam I also had some emotional choices to make for myself. The generation ahead of me and behind me both facing challenges with their hearts – I needed to look at mine.
I have spent years learning to listen to my heart and finding ways to stay present. As a result I could feel concern emerge at times – perhaps a desire to make things better for others – and yet I also know that at these times all I can really do is be present for others as they walk their paths and face their trials – in whatever form they may show up. I am choosing to stay focused in the present and to be present with both my daughter and mother, as well as my wife, father, and my sisters. Each of us has different responses – from passionate empathy and worry, to denial or anger, perhaps even a sense of existential hopelessness.
I myself simply strive to be present with each feeling as it emerges and to allow it to pass through me. When the feeling shows up in someone I am sitting with, I allow them to have their feelings with no need to fix them, take them away, or submerge them by having mine “take over”. As I write these words I realize I can’t “explain” this process.
Most people who take the time to read this will already have had their own moments where something occurred that evoked the challenge of staying present instead of being carried away on the wave of emotion, utilizing some defense to compartmentalize or intellectualize, or submerging their own feelings by taking care of others.
All I know is that for me, writing has always been one of the paths back to my own heart. Writing, Dancing, Painting… all of these are ways to bring myself back to presence…. and so I’m writing, and if the words bring someone else a sense of being present in whatever they may be facing, then the words have served a dual purpose. Yet in all of this, if all these words do, is bring me back to myself, then the words have done enough. If you have read them; then thank you simply for being present with me as I followed my thoughts back to my heart.

A Hand Held Within an Angel’s – A Soul Translation

A Hand Held Within an Angel’s

“When I get afraid I put it out of my mind
I say it will be fine
I don’t know how but it will be fine.”

A Heart Beat’s Distance

There is a distance surrounding her

Given her tendency towards kindness
Caring, helpfulness and mindfulness
Yet the distance is there

A filter
Allowing those who share her kindness
A way into her heart
While keeping those
Whose kindness is not their first instinct
A step away

A heart beats distance
Close enough to provide support to
Yet far enough away to keep her own heart
Strong and growing

She calls it tolerance
This gift of kind distance

Another framework might call it perspective
Just far enough away to see what’s not working
Close enough that those who choose to listen to her guidance
Are able to listen underneath her supportive gaze

She has a way of taking in information
Of transforming it into something collaborative
Her ability allows her to help others
Who would otherwise be “off the grid”

She keeps the desire to help
From a need to be acknowledged for it
In this way helping those who can feel ulterior motives
Of so many of the helpers
Who help
In order
To be recognized as good for helping

She keeps a heart beat’s distance
Close enough to support with words or actions
Far enough away
To respect the histories of those who otherwise
Would push her back

They can’t push her back
They can sense she has already taken that step back
Providing hope
but unwilling to take on the investment
the one in front of her is responsible for taking

They recognize in her
Someone who will hold them accountable
Or let them fail if that is their choice

She holds the boundaries
Allowing them to make the choice
Yet always ready to support them in crossing the gulf
The distance they themselves have created in themselves

A heart beat’s distance from their own hearts
She matches them
And when they decide to walk closer to their own hearts
She walks with them
Never rushing them
Never blocking their path
Just side by side
Walking the gulf
Of a heart beat’s distance
The space of an instant
Immeasurable in its length

She used to have difficulty
Setting the pace
Providing support
Never pushing the process
Never pushing the person
Even when it was called for
It’s not a challenge she finds herself holding anymore

She is able to hone in quickly
To the core of the problem
To the core of the person
To the core of the spirit and soul
To the direction of the journey
The person is on
The ways they block themselves
Diverge from the path
Distract themselves from




She can find the words for these things
Never hesitating to say them
For she knows that this itself is often
The hindrance

That everyone including the person
Knows the problem
Knows what must be done

Yet no one will speak it
Hold the possibility of hope that it could change
Or the accountability that speaking it alone holds
Both for the speaker and the person receiving


She was seven
And knew when people were lying
Knew when they were not telling the truth
To others or themselves
She could see that at times
Even the person in front of them
The adult in front of her couldn’t see it
Couldn’t tolerate it
Wouldn’t listen to it coming from a child

Of course those same people
Most likely
Would not have tolerated it
Would not have listened to it
Coming from another adult

Because she was seven
They could dismiss it
Dismiss her
Which is why
She learned
To poke the bear

She decided to say the things that needed saying
She learned to say them in ways that were not so easily dismissed
She learned to hone in on those who would dismiss her
Fine tune her words
To poke the bear
Of authority
To instigate
The hope
For change
At all levels

To ensure
That when change did not occur
The bear at least
Was unable to simply swipe in front of it
To dismiss the problem

The first bear she poked
Might have been her mother
Never feeling safe
She learned to tolerate
This lack
To use it to create understanding
To the best of her ability

She learned to become tolerant
To maintain
What she could
Of any relationship
With her mother

Yet she also learned
That with tolerance
Came the heart beat’s distance

So she also learned
To take her innate kindness
To breach the gulf
With the friends
Who did not require tolerance
With the friends
Who embraced
All that she was

Valuing the bluntness of her words
Spoken to them not to poke the bear
Spoken instead to inspire in them
Their own greatness

She trusted her intuition to guide her in this
Realizing that there was no effort involved
In developing these relationships
That when she simply trusted her own heart
Her own guidance
Those who entered and stayed
With no effort
Were exactly the ones
Without heartbeats of distance
Warding their absent walls

Far Far Away

She was born in Thailand
Dreaming from an early age
Of escape from the life of a princess
Attending Catholic school at seven
She felt the weight within her
Around her
Her parents had separated
Her mother essentially absent
She wished the wish of so many
In a place akin to royalty
A wish to be in a land far far away
She prayed to St. Joseph and Mary
Having all the material things life could offer
Surrounded by the gold of Midas
A life of riches
With no friends
A life where everyone lived their lives
A heart beat’s distance from one another

Three years later she moved with her father
To the United States
Now in a land far far away
Yet deep beneath the weight
Of her father’s pressing thumb
Still no freedom to really feel
So she found yet one more way to escape
Losing herself in art and photography
Creating a world internally
A heart beat’s distance from everyone else
Yet finally in the rhythm of her own

Wire Work

Her Parents were Wire Monkey Parents
Parents who perhaps meant well
Yet were incapable of providing softness and warmth
Made from wire and able to sustain the barest necessities of life
Food, Water, anything that came with a price tag
Her parents kept their hearts within their own wire frameworks
Raising her a heart beat’s distance away from their own hearts


Some create Mandalas on large wooden circles
A framework to hang the spirit on
For others the last step of creation
Having stretched their soul across canvas
With color
Is to balance the raw
Unfinished picture of their consciousness and heart
With a structure of matting and wood
To contain it enough
For viewing by others
Or to provide balance enough
To be pleased in the viewing of their spirit
For themselves

For her the artwork
Itself was the Frame Work
Transmuting the anger and distance
She so often felt from and towards others
Into the joyous embrace
Of herself

The Temple Within Made from Midas Gold
As a child she had no other recourse
She struck back against her mother
To keep a safe distance
She found ways to push people away
She fought with them
So that she could have breathing space
Fought with them so they would leave her alone
Fought with them so that her heart could
Find a safe distance from those who didn’t
Care for the expressions of her heart

At 25 she found the way away from them in a different way
Through the deliberate creation of safe space
Though color and design
A path she had only glimpsed at ten
When spending time with her aunt

At 25 she found a way away from them in a different way
Through the deliberate engagement of flow with her own spirit
She could finally feel the regret for being mean to her mother
For pushing her mother away to keep her own heart safe
She found the way to transform anger into tolerance

At 25 she found a way away from them in a different way
Finding a place of safety in heart none would be able to alter
An Altar within her from the Gold her parents tried to tell her
Was as valuable as love and affection
Molding the gold from their Midas touch
Into an intricate framework of beauty
A temple within her own heart
Where she brought the people she struggled with
A creation of imagination to bring peace to her spirit
On the Shared Path from Anger to Tolerance to Love

Each step forward with mindfulness
Brings the next step to you
There is no walking forward
Just a realization that you have moved in space
To a different place
From Thailand
To the United States
From Virginia
To Oregon
From Anger
To Tolerance
From Wire Monkey Parents
To the Immersion of your Own Soul
From A heartbeat’s distance encased in gold
To an embrace of Angel’s within their wings


With Mindfulness
You realize
Each step forward
Brings the next step to you

There is no walking forward

There is simply

In Action


In this way
With mindfulness
There is never any travel
Just transformation

Breaking into Being

She took her first steps at 26
Into the full realization of herself
One could argue her first steps were those steps
Away from her parents

From the perspective of Being
Her first steps took place when she was older
For Not Being Like Another
Fighting Against Something
Doesn’t give definition

Choosing how you will be
Gives Definition

In this way she took her first full steps
When she found her way to the colors within her heart

As in so many journeys
There are glimpses
Glimpses of who we are to become
Moments when we are already that which we strive to be
Before we realize that we have always been
Always are Being
Exactly that

That there were never any steps
That we always were
That we always are
That we always will be
When we recognize there is no travelling
Simply transformation

In Being on this planet
We believe we are travelling

In travelling we have glimpses
Of who we can be before we get there
Moments of being
And moments where we stop
Being that which we are

To try and be what others hope for us

Or demand


At 26
She glimpsed what she would become
She allowed who she was to enter her
She allowed all of her lives before and those to come
To inspire in her the simplest of creations
A project she was given by her teacher
To create safety

Others in her class almost without exception
Used the word SAFETY in different ways
Tried to use the word in patterns of logic
To explain what safety was or is
She intuitively knew you cannot create
Or explain Safety
It is a way of Being
An experience
The experience of a child’s hand
Held within the hand of an adult

Safety she never really had
With Wire Monkey Parents

First Language

Her First Language in this lifetime
Was Thai
Her parents Chinese
Her first fully formed sentences
Were from the language
Her nanny spoke
Somewhere within the language
Is her heart

A Story from the Islands of the Pacific

There is a story of a princess
Who defied her father
She tried to escape
To find her heart

He had her killed
For her disobedience
Had her heart
buried in the jungle

There within the jungle
Her heart grew
Within its own rhythm
Within the darkness

Taking its own form
Away from expectations and demands
Her heart’s seed

The first Mango tree

Breaking From the Shall

The expectations around her
Tried to define her
Attempted to determine
The course of her being

To Escape the shalls of her father
She chose not to listen to her intuitive voice
She married a man
Whom her very dreams told her to defy

For her before her marriage
There were few roads to the space within herself
That did not involve fighting
Or at best extending a hand in tolerance

After the marriage broke
She herself broke from the shalls
So many rules
She had been living into
So many external values
Not in keeping with her own

“All of my values broke when I got my divorce”

Her heart cut from her body
Planted into the floor of the jungle
Lost for a time
To emerge
Bearing fruit
Full and Sweet
Kind with Compassion
With branches to provide shelter

For those who would seek not just food and water
That any wire monkey parent could provide
Yet also the softness and warmth
More than terrycloth

A deep resonant warmth
That filled the space around her
That held in the air about her the moisture of tears unwept
Brushing them away from the eyes and heart
Even before they emerged
To create a place of safety
That required no walking to get to

A place of safety
That always is and has been
Through the years and through lifetimes
Safety that requires no travelling
Simply transformation


“I’ve learned a lot
It brings me back to mindfulness
I thought I was being mindful
I wasn’t
Whatever the moment is

The Wire Monkeys

Wire Monkeys are not like the Flying Monkeys of Oz
They don’t lift you up
Albeit terror may fill you
To view the landscape below you
As they carry you to your destiny
To face down the fears in yourself
To douse them
Then emerge to find your home
The one that was always there within you

Wire Monkeys are not like the Gigantopithicus of the Jungle Book
Who has a passion for the Red Flower
A passion to find the fire
So great and so deep
It brings out within you
A glimpse of your own deep longings
Even perhaps
As the ancient buildings of your self
Collapse around you

Wire Monkeys are not like Curious George
Whose unending curiosity
May create frustration and annoyance
Yet which ultimately
From the challenges created
Generates happiness
Even for the Man in the Yellow Hat
Who has to clean up any messes
that were created

Wire Monkeys
Just sit there
Offering you
anything your heart desires
As long as it can be purchased
Yet with no kindness behind those actions
Other than what can emerge
From the wires
Keeping their hearts
A heart beat’s distance from yours

Strangers in the Night

She found the hearts of strangers
Kinder and more receptive
Than those she had known
In her own family

Stranded on the side of the road
She called her father for help
His reply
“Call Triple AAA”

It was the strangers
Random people on the street
Who helped her push her care to a safer place
Strangers in the Night

Angels in the Darkness
Who held her hand in theirs
Offering Safety
Instead of telling her call someone else for help


It was in her 20’s that she dreamed of the Angel
She was in its arms
She could smell the angel’s warmth and radiance
The Angel’s wings, its feathers brushing against her
Enfolding her


She stepped into the field of mental health
To help others
To create a space
Of being enfolded in Angel’s Wings

She has her dreams of her other lives
Dreams in which she was always helping others
Dreams in which she has died helping others
Nonetheless she knows this is her purpose

Safety Is Not a Word

Systems are often simply another way
Of setting rules and what should be done
How it must be done
Golden Intentions
Golden Statues
Intended to help
That keep the helpers
A heartbeat’s distance away

Disillusioned with the systems
she stepped away from them
Creating her own Safe Space
Holding the intention created when she was 25
Of what Safety is when you simply Be
Not what it should be when you strive to contain it
Within the letters and structures that make up the word

A Way of Being

An adult hand embracing a child’s
An Angel’s hand embracing hers
One with the wings of Angel’s
Enfolding each spirit that walks within

Those who come to her
All have struggles in ways familiar to her
She brings them to themselves
Brings them to their better selves

There is no travelling to get there
Simply Transformation
A willingness on the part of those who come
To learn how

To Be


We are always home
No Travelling to Oz is required
No need to seek the Red Flower of passion
No need to fall into messes in the pursuit of Curiosity
All those qualities are within us

We simply must choose to Be
For Adults
For Children
They are told that if they seek to turn
That which is around them into Gold
They will find their desires fulfilled

Transforming others into objects
To satisfy their desires
Leaving them hungry and thirsty for love
Leaving them a heartbeat’s distance
From their own heart’s blossoming seed

She releases them from their strivings
Assists them in realizing that when mindful
Nothing needs to be transformed into gold
That the most intricate gold
Is the tempering and shaping of their own hearts
Into Temples

She gives them a place that is Home
She soothes and comforts them
She can hold their hearts however long she needs to
Nothing is ever wasted

When in Essence
When in our own Divine Space
We are always home
She creates the Divine Space
Within each person she works with
Brings them out of their own wire cages
Transforms them into Temples

To feel their hearts
To immerse themselves
To face down their flying monkeys

To find their Red Flower without being crushed
By the ancient buildings of their old selves
To enjoy their own Curiosity
Without having to create messes in their pursuit of knowledge

To allow their heart’s seed to blossom
Where the Should’s and Must’s
Cut their hearts out and planted them
Deep in the jungle floor where even they
Lost track of the shape of their heart

Allowing their hears to Emerge
As Temples and Mango Trees

No Travelling

When people find her they find their own spiritual direction
There is never any travelling to her or away from her
There is simply the moment they are with her
There is simply the choice to engage in transformation
There is simply the choice

To Be

With One’s hand embraced in the Hand of an Angel
Her feather’s brushing up against your arm
Safety surrounding you
Nurturing you
Mango seeds
To grow

Above you she will soar
Flying through the air
A warrior in the sky
Strong and compassionate
Bound only be Goodness and Light

Another Path
She had grown up with temples
Within the temple there were those who channeled
They would enter into the bodies of those who struggled
Entering into another and heal them

Her Grandmother saw in her the ability
Saw and prayed for her
Begged the divine for her not to be a vessel
Wanting her to have in this lifetime
Things that otherwise would be denied to her

A Normal Life
So it was

That in this life time she had had the opportunities
To close the gap of a heartbeat’s distance
While everything was set up for her to be a vessel
Including parents who kept a heart beat’s distance

In this this lifetime
Something else emerged

She would not need to die to help another
Lose herself in another to heal them
Her Grandmother’s prayers were heard

Still a calling is a calling
A destiny when followed without resistance
Can unfold peacefully
With joy and love
Led by the hand by Angel’s

She met the woman at 11
as she was supposed to
That did not change

The woman who was also a vessel
The vessel that spoke to her deep into the night
A conversation the woman was unaware had even occurred
The next morning

Everything was put into place

Having met the woman
Having spoken with the spirit within her

She knew
She didn’t want to be a doctor
Didn’t want to have to go to endless years of school
Still she wanted to be able to help and heal others

The path was there
The way forward clear

No sense of losing her heart
When she was taught to keep a heartbeat’s distance
She could have lost herself in spirit and became a vessel

Her Grandmother’s prayers were heard
Angel’s wings guided her another way
Instead of a direct channel in which might lose herself
She was given a direct channel within which she found her heart
Colors and Patterns that years ago her aunt had shown her

Her Grandmother’s prayers were heard
Yet the groundwork for either path had been lain
An Aunt with an appreciation for art and vibrance in life
Wire Monkey Parents that taught her the perspective of a heart beat’s distance
With temples merging the beauty of spirit with expression
Illuminated Manuscripts
Drawn by her very own hand
Lifetimes ago
The merging of spirit
With art

In each life time perhaps
She had been given alternate paths
In this lifetime
She received both warning and celebration
For her marriage over three hundred years in coming

Her path
As all paths are
Both pre-ordained
And as product of her own free will

She could have chosen differently

Yet in this lifetime
One in which she has poked the bears many times
The one “authority” she always chose to follow without fighting
Was that of God and Angels
Both wise enough
To provide her
Multiple Paths

From a heartbeat’s distance
To the Temple
Her Heart

“Whatever Miracle I didn’t recognize
I recognize them as Miraculous Events”

“When I get afraid
I put it out of my mind
I say it will be fine
I don’t know how
But it will be fine”

She was never actually mean
Although she described herself as such
As being mean to her mother
Of fighting with others
And yes even now she has a reputation
For both poking the bear
As well as being blunt with others
At times without the tact of softening the blow

It is not that she is just “being honest”
As claim to be when they in fact are lying about their honesty
So that they can hurt others in the guise of truth
It is that she truly is being honest
Yet with the intention of trying to help
At times the heart beat’s distance
Still shows up
Just enough to provide a skip in her feedback
Nonetheless when she speaks
Whether soft or hard

Her intentions are more than Midas Gold
They are the gold of the Heart’s Temple
Intricately woven to create beauty
Yet with an immutable quality now that
The strands are hardened once more into shape

For truth at times is simply truth
Even now as an adult
Like the child she was
She is incapable of communicating in falsehoods

It is not that she is so “concrete that she is dumb”
It is simply that at times the truth bubbles up
From the jungle floor
Erupting from the ground

When it does

For when the ground erupts
It does so with fertile earth
To surround your heart
Allowing it to grow in the shape
For which it was intended

She has lived many lives
Taken many paths
All brought to back
To the healing and helping of others

In this path she learned
In ways to move beyond the circumstances given
Beyond the capacities of those surrounding her
She learned to Sever and heal from the pain within her path

She learned that she
Her Path
Heart’s Temples
All are one

That Color and Vibrance
In one’s spirit
Cannot be contained
Within the structure of wires
Within statues of gold

That Color and Vibrancy
Are always existent and present
When one
Simply choose


Integrity, Compassion, and Service

The last few weeks I have had to examine the path I want to take. After a number of months of doing contract work, a part time job, and some one and one coaching, I was given an opportunity to take on a salary position. The money was good, the benefits of health care would have kicked in quickly. I was initially very excited. It was a job I knew I could do – field based therapy in rural Minnesota. Yes, there would be some differences from the field based therapy I had done in urban Los Angeles – but if anything, I was expecting a lot of similarities. In the first week I did one day of shadowing and sure enough, a trans teen, a teen who just had a pregnancy scare, and a teen struggling with the impact of low level autism. All completely different individuals with completely different stories and each amazing and phenomenal souls; and all stories I might have encountered in Los Angeles.
However as I went through the rest of the training something stood out for me. The organization felt very concerned with tracking the whereabouts of their employees, requiring to the minute scheduling of every activity – from 12:48-1:24 I was engaged in documentation. Complete the time entry as a “time worked code”. From 1:25-1:35 my 1:30 client cancelled and now I have to “scramble” – put in the “time worked code for “scramble”. From 1:36-1:58 I did telephone calls to confirm appointments – put in the time worked code.
I have been a supervisor. I have been a manager. On occasion I have had to have an employee do a time study when there have been problems that arose. However it is never something I have asked or wanted all of my employees to do. What I realized was that while the people were nice, the culture, overall friendly, this one activity felt “low trust”. It felt as if there were needless micro-management aspects in the culture to protect the company against the employees within it. This may have been a misinterpretation – I will acknowledge that – however my intuition rang the five bell alarm. I resigned.
The challenge with leadership is there is always a balance between trusting that those in your care are doing what they are expected to do, and following up to ensure that that they are. In most instances I have found that if there is a break down it is due to a failure to understand how to do the job, not a desire not to do it. There have been occasions where I have had to let employees go because they did not have the desire to learn nor the underlying integrity to ensure the best quality care for the people the organizations I was in served.
However those individuals are in the minority. I believe in creating a high trust culture. I know what I expect from myself and from others. I communicate those expectations clearly. Those expectations boil down to three things. Have integrity with your word and deed. Focus on the person in front of you, understand their story, and provide service that enhances their life. Look for the gaps and fill them, don’t tell me it’s “not my job” – if you are unsure how to fill the gap, then find someone who does at minimum. Don’t ignore the gap.
In simpler terms. Integrity. Compassion. Service.
Most people want to do these things. Most people in my experience want to feel as if they are making a positive difference in the lives of others. Whether they are a sales person in a game store, a therapist in the field, or a manager in a company. People want to know they are making lives better.
When companies live in fear instead of faith – micro-management occurs which is often accompanied by unrealistic standards. When they live in faith instead of fear – accountability is high with standards that are realistic – yet push individuals in their companies to grow.
Companies of course are simply reflections of the people that run them. There are parallels between ourselves and the companies we work in. I came to a decision point quickly last week that even if it meant that for awhile a longer I might not have all the financial stability I might desire, that I would live in faith. I will continue to do contract work, I will continue to do some one to one coaching. I will continue to work a part-time job to fill in the holes. I will devote myself to the study required to get full reciprocity in my field in MN and WI. And I will hold myself with integrity, compassion, and service to myself and those around me as I continue to move through my days – and in choosing this path – I know that doors will open up that will allow me to either work in a company once again that is willing to give me full trust, or create my own as I continue to find solutions for those around me and myself.

Tokaido and the Journey

Last night I played the game Tokaido with my parents. In the game each player takes on the role of a pilgrim traveling from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo) in the 11th century. During the journey players can accrue points by collecting souvenirs, meeting fellow travelers, donating to the shrines, bathing in the hot springs, painting the landscapes, and by eating different meals at the inns along the road. Each pilgrim also has their own unique flair – my mother played the painter, my father the messenger, and I – well – my character liked to meet people.
There is no “acting” in the game – however I found myself interested in my character. My mother unintentionally kept blocking me from doing what my character did best – meeting people – and so my character went to the curiosity shops, baths, and inns to engage in what can only be called a very luxurious lifestyle for the first two “days” of the game. On the third day my character was finally able to have a couple of “encounters” with fellow travelers and discovered her love for painting – and having the extra cash now that she was no longer going to curio shops also started donating substantial amounts of money to the shrine. By day four, the final day of the game, my character still was eating very well – but in all other ways had “thrown off the cares of the material world”.
The actions I took were all in the board game; how I interpreted the actions was all me. Still I enjoyed it – and in its own way I certainly could relate to my character’s journey. I took up painting in “real life” at a point in my own “journey” when words were no longer enough to express the emotions I was experiencing. Following this I found a path to gratitude for the simplest of things – the ability to be mostly pain free on any given day, the ability to walk, the fact that there are those around me to care for my well being. While I have not given up my love for picking up “souvenirs” along the road (especially not board games) I have come to a point where I look more often at the value of the souvenir to engender encounters with others – rather than just owning something to own it.
The actions we have available to us every day are not always beautiful brush strokes across the landscapes, at times they are the more meticulous actions of cleaning a house, completing paperwork, or something in a similar vein, yet even here we have the capabilities to interpret these actions as things we must do, or actions we choose to take so that we can have a clean external and internal environment where new thoughts and ideas have the capability to take root and grow.

The Passion Test

Today I administered the Passion Test to one of my coaching clients ( As always, it was eye opening for both me and my client. In the space of an hour we identified how he sees his life functioning when he is at his best and everything is ideal – and then we saw how certain aspects – especially engaging in the activities that he loves the most – were almost non-existent. From there we were able to develop a paragraph of one of his top five areas – the one we were working to develop, and how he would know if he was fully engaged in this area of passion. We then worked backward to develop the way forward and what he would need to do in the next thirty days to begin his journey into fully living this area of passion in his life fully. As I write this – I recognize it sounds vague. So I’m going to change the “area” but describe what we came to. One of my passion areas is writing. When my life is ideal I am writing every day – at least three times a week creatively, at least one time a week in some way that directly supports others such as this blog, and at least once a week by integrating my writing with fostering the development of another person’s confidence and sense of self – helping them find their passions. Right now I typically write 1-2 times a week for these specific purposes. I do all sorts of writing – but often for work related tasks or in ways that are less directed. As a result I probably am “living into” this area of passion at about a two (out of five with five representing living this passion area every day). It’s better than a one – but I’m clearly still allowing myself to be distracted and sending my time and energy in directions that simply won’t get me living “in passion” every day. This isn’t good or bad. It’s simply feedback for me. More to the point this is only one area of many. When my life is ideal I am also spending time with friends, I’m learning both through reading and through workshops, I’m mentoring others in the development of their professional skills and personal achievements, I’m engaged in creative movement, I’m spiritually connected, I’m having quality and loving interactions with my wife, daughter, parents, and sisters. I could go on.
In the passion test you take the time to write down what your life would like, you prioritize what you want to focus on right now, and then you develop a clear picture of those areas, and finally you take steps to start living into your passions. If you have never heard of it, go to the website. Pick up the book – yes there is a whole book. Or if you feel like it, get in touch with me and I’ll walk you through what I know. I do feel a need to state at this juncture I am not a “passion test certified trainer”. I learned it during my time with Jack Canfield via Kathryn Seeley who is! Still I don’t think this is something you need to do perfectly. It is something I believe everyone who is serious about living their lives with passion and joy should try though, and if you are like me, you will keep doing it every six months to a year. Just because it’s important to keep our passions in front of us. It’s important to remember what brings us joy. And it’s important that we keep engaging those areas of joy every day.
So that, yes, we are always in the process of Being the Difference.

Finding Magic – A Soul Translation

Finding Magic

“And when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – The Alchemist

“Life is generous with who live their personal legend” – Paulo Cohelo

Concealing Magic

Her parents were experts
In concealing magic
They hid it in the obvious places
Coaching soccer games
Accounting books
And beneath the secretary’s chair
Her mother sat at

Her parents were experts in concealing magic
Learning to hide their own extraordinary dreams
In the ordinary good manners
Of an American family raising six children
One girl; she was their eldest
Five younger boys; her brothers in arms

Her parents were experts in concealing magic
Whether it because of a need
To maintain a good reputation in the community
As was the case with her mother
Or because it was important to be loyal to one’s family
Even if that meant your dreams never came true

Her parents were experts in concealing magic
Like any child though
She was good at finding the secret places

Her Magic was always there
So she set out to find it

Shazam on the Golf Course
She was the oldest
So she met her father when he still had twinkles of stardust
Hovering over him as he set out on the golfing green
Bursts of sunlight shining with holy radiance each time he got a hole in one

She was the oldest
So her father took her under his wing
Enfolded her in his joy of sports
He coached her games and passed on some of his magic to him

Like Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family
They had their own secret phrases
That brought the magic down in a thunderbolt
He gave her his magic and taught her the magic phrases

Small rumblings of thunder, stardust, and magic
that her mother never seemed to hear
that her mother insisted on not seeing

Empathic Magic

She realized magic existed
When she was young
Even though she did not always know
How to find it

She sensed it when her Grandmother had a stroke
Lost her ability to speak or use language
She could feel her Grandmother’s frustration
She also knew, unerringly what her mother wanted

She responded to her grandmother’s need
As a small child who feels another hurting does
Naturally and softly
Taking her grandmother’s hand in hers

Soothing her grandmother’s frustration
Sending a surge of love
From a simple touch
Straight to her Grandmother’s heart

Recognizing Magic

That was how it started
A simple knowing of things
That other people didn’t

Travelling forward in time
From a Knowing to reach for her Grandmother’s hand
To a Knowing of what was going on in the angry teen in front of her
Filled with frustration of another form

A frustration of never having another
See their Magic
A frustration of never having for themselves
An ability to see their own Magic

She does it for them
Voices it in words they understand
Voices an understanding of families that conceal magic
Without ever having to say the words

She teaches them their own secret phrases
Ones she has no way of knowing
She knows and their Magic is unleashed

Dismissing Magic

As she got older
Began to find her Magic
She tried to share her experiences
She told her mother of ways magic kept unfolding

Her mother dismissed her
“If you really believe that
There is something wrong with you
Your perception is not reality”

But it is…

Magic, Illusion, and Reputation

Magic requires faith
It also requires a strict adherence to truth
Inner and outer
It brooks no illusions

The use of Magic while illusions remain in place
The use of Magic while living in fantasies of your own intentions
Is like asking for wishes from a devil
You may ask for one thing but magic always finds your true north

If you are asking for money
From a place of scarcity
You will receive what you are placing into the Universe

If you are asking for true love
Yet believe that true love requires pain
You will find
That love and pain are inseparable in every relationship you have

If you are asking for Magic itself
Yet believe magic must always remain concealed
You will find yourself living a mundane life
Never knowing that Magic exists

To Access Magic fully
You must live recognizing your place as the creator of your vision
Daily, monthly, yearly
You must live recognizing that you alone have the power to transform your life

To Access Magic
You must live as if your vision is already reality
While having faith
That the path is opening before you without having to force the door

Her Mother dismissed her Magic for many reasons
Reputation demanded much from a woman dependent upon social niceties of an age
That viewed women as less than
While concealing the darkness of abuse within the family her mother did not wish to see

Concealing a darkness of abuse within the family
That perhaps she did not wish to remember

Her Mother’s Magic
Was in finding an ordinary life
One with a good man loyal to his family
Where love depended only on doing the right thing

So that darkness could never intrude

Holding up the Pillars of Society
Her mother may not have believed in Magic
One might argue that she had even chosen strategically

For her father was not a strong man
And yet… he was the pillar of the family
Or at least he held the pillars upon his shoulder

Perhaps saying he wasn’t strong was a misnomer
Like Atlas
He held the weight of a world on his shoulders
Balancing his wife’s need for a good reputation and good life
With the desire of their children to find themselves

He always did what was right for the family
As the eldest she ran errands with him
She became his sidekick
A Mary Marvel to his Captain Marvel
With him coaching her through life the best he could

Her relationship with him was easy
For he was both no nonsense
While never making waves
In truth he was a strong man
Concealing his magic

That he was a god holding the world on his shoulders
When he could have been golfing
to ensure a strong family
Where his children could be strong with their own Magic
While professing that he didn’t understand to appease his wife

She didn’t understand at times
Why he chose her
Or stayed with her
He was a good man
He saw the best in everyone
Including the woman he had married
She had learned to walk with integrity
From him
Integrity of her word
A crucial ingredient
In manifesting intention into reality
From her mother
At times if felt challenging
Even now her mother would still say
“If you just did what we did
You could have the life we had
You could be

Her mom
Not seeming to realize
That Success was not the same to her
That it didn’t mean a husband, six kids, and a house
That success meant introducing others to their Magic

She recognized though
That her mother was a part of her contract
From her she learned the daily discipline
That kept her on track
For the manifesting of her dreams

For her mother never wavered in what she believed
Her mother never wavered in creating the life she wanted
Her mother never wavered in her vision
If she waivered, or at least continued to build on the original vision she had
it’s true her mother might have been able to create even more

For her mother was disciplined in her use of Magic
In concealing her magic as something ordinary that anyone could have achieved
And yet, Who was she
To judge her mother’s magic
That brought her a husband, six kids, and house

Shazam! The Lighting struck and the Marvel Family was created
As much as her mother’s vision as against all the things her mother had planned

Finding Magic

She was always connected
To the depths of nature
There on the trails
While others forged ahead
She would find herself
No need to get from A to B
When the trees, water, and animals
Revealed their own simple mysteries
Concealing Magic from Herself

Like many others
She had thought she was afraid of failing
When in fact
She had learned the simple lessons
Of Concealing Magic
From her family and society
Well enough despite her protestations
To fear the unveiling and success
Of her dreams

Blowing Glass

She learned to connect to source
Through the discovery that she could create things with a simple thought
Like a glass blower
She discovered that she could creates shapes from her thoughts
Into the world that were decorative and functional
Beautiful to look upon
While holding the capacity to be filled with dreams

The Display Case

While others hold their crystals
Deep within a rock shop
Buried and strewn among
Stones and pebbles undistinguished

She has chosen to take her dreams
To the Display Case she has built
Along the street
For she understands as did the Alchemist

That for her personal legend to become manifest
She must know the value of the crystals she displays
Speak clearly of the value they hold
So that others may provide the abundance of dreams

Crystals, Glass, and Magic

She has known
That her purpose
Has always been not just the finding of her own Magic
But unleashing the Magic of others

She recognizes that is both Magic Inherent
As crystals forming through generations of growth
Within a family and it’s communal spirit
Like a geode waiting to be cut open for all to see

And Magic Created
With each spirit finding it’s unique medium and vision
Glass structures jutting from the earth
And hanging from the air

Sunlight glinting of crystals and colored glass sculptures
Moonlight revealing it within the darkness
Magic Inherent and Created

She assists others in finding their path to unveil it

The Veil is Thin

For her the Veil is thin
A lifetime of practicing
Presence and Compassion

She recognizes that others
May choose to view her as
An enemy, rival, or one that opposes them
Yet in those moments in her own life

When she has had the opportunity
To rub the salt in another’s wounds
Or take arms against the ones that have opposed her
She has instead viewed them with compassion

She, like her father, can see the good in anyone
Even when that other has attempted or succeeded
In causing harm to her heart
She knows the path to peace is compassion

For her the Veil is Thin
She is a facilitator of understanding
Able to stand between opposing thinkers
Or one who opposes themselves struggling from a stark dichotomy within
And within that space
Create a space for peace between those thinkers
Create a space for acceptance for the one struggling to accept themselves
Create a space for spirit to enter in and provide the presence and compassion needed for healing

For her the Veil is thin
She has learned to focus on gratitude, compassion, and unconditional love
She has embraced any thought that brings her to a higher vibration and joy
She does nothing in this life that does not bring her Josy

She has learned that her Magic
Has always been with her
Despite attempts to conceal it
She knows her treasure has been with her all of this time

For her the Veil is thin
So it is that she can see her Magic now
See how it unfolds
As she teaches others to do the same


She travelled to the Egypt of her Soul
Through the deserts
To the Oasis
Where she found a love that defined her

It would not be the only Oasis she found
For at times the desert
Could stretch out
For miles and years in front of her
Yet she always kept her vision ahead of her

The Pyramids in Egypt
While always opening their treasures to her
Did not leave her with something she could hold
Still she was grateful for the journey

Oasis and Pyramids

She hadn’t realized she had fallen in love with him
At times she was not sure if he was from the Oasis
A lasting source of vitality
Or another Pyramid
A place to learn about herself
From which she would leave wiser
But with nothing lasting
To hold beyond what was in her spirit

Of Pyramids there had been at least three or four
The Pyramid of the Defiant Individuality
Which helped her define herself
Not so much in opposition to her parents
But in understanding that her path
Was not and would not ever be theirs

She had spent six years exploring that Pyramid
Before continuing on her journey
Through the sands and other Pyramids
Finding her way slowly back to the forests of New Hampshire

And now…
She would just have to see
If he was an Oasis or a Pyramid
The ceramic bowl filled with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
The eclectic song from 20 years ago
The trophy
All unearthed from the sands of time
To look upon now

She smiled
Either way she would simply have to wait and see
For she knew she had fallen in love with him many years ago
And as for him he kept telling her there was a question he had to ask her

A question she could wait for
Until the time was right


She shepherds the teens she works with
Away from the cliffs and wolves
Not by teaching them what they should do

She teaches them
By showing them how to follow the integrity of their own hearts
Of reaching for a place of compassion first for themselves

Then for all those around them
Who have always been taught
The value of concealing magic

She shows them how recognize the cliffs within their own hearts
She gets their hearts to warn them when wolves are coming to feast on their dreams
She supports them on the first steps of their journey

Knowing that ultimately
They will discover
Their treasures are always there

Always present and within reach

Magic Manifest – The Oasis of New Hampshire

She didn’t need the money
For in following her Personal Legend
The land, half a million in value, became manifest

Her vision
A retreat center
That would provide teens an opportunity to find their Magic

The land would benefit others as well
For many dreams and visions contributed
Writing retreats, Success Principles, Growth and Synergistic Master Mind groups

All would find a place in this Oasis of New Hampshire
Where the mission would be simple
Creative development of the mind and body from a spiritual perspective

Simply put
Tools for the manifestation of freedom
With the application of discipline

In the Creation of Magic

Discipline and Vision = Long Term Success

There are two defining factors to success – Discipline and Vision. Without the ability to create a long term vision and to clearly identify what you want to create – you can not formulate the steps that will take you there. You may be busy doing, but with no appreciable result. Without discipline you will likely find yourself engaged in countless distractions – and success of any substantial sort is not something that happens suddenly – it occurs only after days, weeks, months, or years or consistent application of effort in the same direction – depending upon the scope of your vision.
Most of us have to develop both of these capacities. Not just because of our natural tendencies to get caught up in our day to day events thus short circuiting both discipline and vision – but because we also have spent so much of our lives listening and believing things that hamstring our own capabilities to develop vision, and thus the passion to engage in effective discipline to get the results we want.
Yesterday I ran a 45 minute exercise going through the seven areas define by Jack Canfield: Finances, Career, Recreation, Relationships, Personal Development, Community and Legacy. One of the individuals got stuck in creating a vision of their ideal house as we were discussing what the long term vision of finances could look like. They were caught in the messages they had received over and over again – messages which told them they “could not afford” their ideal house and so don’t envision it. Another participant then told them that because they envisioned it, they were able to get a cabin on the lake – something they had never expected to do – but it showed up because they were looking for the possibility.
I want to be clear – I wasn’t telling anyone to go out and buy their dream home. What I was guiding them to do was to allow themselves to have a vision of what they would like to create. And this guidance was not just in regards to “possessions” it was in regards to the quality of relationships they want, the type of life they want to live. If someone is in an emotionally abusive relationship – and have a vision of what a healthy relationship would look and feel like – they may well create the vision and then take the actions needed to find that healthy relationship. If they get caught up in the daily crisis that the emotionally abusive relationship creates they will be unable to develop the vision and be unable to discipline themselves to take the hard steps needed to either address the issues in the current relationship or leave the relationship in order to seek out one that will be emotionally supportive.
It does not matter what area of your life it is – long term vision and the discipline to take the hard steps needed to get you there are the two factors that lead to successful outcomes. If you are reading this – then no matter how challenged you may feel – the truth is both of those qualities are in you – pick up Jack Canfield’s Success Principles, pick up Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, pick up a book or find a mentor in the area you want to develop. Learn the road maps and the long term vision from those who have come before you if you are unsure how to develop it yourself. And start taking the action steps today to being the difference in your own life.