Week 1 (2015) – What a difference a year makes!!!

As I audit this year’s iteration of the MKE, it’s easier to be the observer. I recognize, all too well, the angst, uncertainty and frustration as I read the alliances. Remember, this too will pass. I also recognize the buds of inspiration and discovery as people mastermind together. It’s impressive to see and reinforces that it’s always there. That’s what will take over in time. We just have to let it flow…because it will.

Trust the system, trust your guide, trust yourself.

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It’s that simple and that hard. Do your absolute best. Complete the tasks. Be persistent. Be present. Will everything go according to your heart’s desire? NO! Will you question thing? Yes! Let it go. Wash, rinse, repeat. Relax, it’s all good. You’re doing great already!

There will be times when you think, Hey that’s not right, I don’t remember that, I can’t do it. In reality you already know the answers. If you miss something, get on it. Get it done. Do it now! And yes you can! And your righteous indignation? Let it go! You deserve more than righteous indignation. You deserve the real prize!

It’s already in you. All power is from within. You got this!

Giddyup!

Week 24 – Joy, Gratitude and Other Thoughts

Mahalo from the man in the mirror

Every day is time to look that guy in the face and be honest with him. Mostly we’re buds but there are days he tells me to get my butt in gear – lovingly of course. He and I are in a long-term relationship so we try to be kind and considerate to each other while being accountable. We’re both thankful for the experience and looking forward to our future together.

What did I learn from going through the Master Key Experience? I learned That I have a lot to learn but this is a great start to the journey. I learned the value of Self-mastery over the expectation that some guru holds all the secrets. Some of the value tidbits to whet your appetite

Being the observer

Avoiding Rejecting negativity

Knowing my primary purpose

Focusing on what’s important

Doing my best

 

Funny things I learned about Mark Januszewski

I identify with Mark J more than I thought I would…which is part of his approach.

He’s a very bright guy while also an “everyman”. He teaches common sense from the perspective of someone with extensive education and experience.

He and I both were fortunate enough to have the existential, life-defining experience of being single dads bringing up children. Nothing is ever the same afterward.

We both love the Pittsburgh Steelers (or did I remember this wrong?)

We both love to apply a little bit of the needle now and then.

We both  were blessed to sell  photocopiers – Mark in the 1970s and me in the 1980s. It seems we had similar teachers from the stories he tells.

 

Love the teachers

Gurus love wisdom but they teach it like they’re the first one to think of these things. In truth there have been many teachers, philosophers and sages through they years who imparted these wise thoughts. Just goes to show you that gurus aren’t always the font of all wisdom. Mark has brought us Emerson, Emmet Fox, Haanel, John Wooden, Og Mandino among others. Pretty good faculty if you ask me.

 

A big Mahalo!

My heartfelt thanks goes to Mark J, T.F. Davene, Trish, Derek, Heather, Andrea, Dayna, my guide Justin Leader  and your staff for pushing, pulling, cajoling and guiding me through this experience. It was fun, difficult, joyful, demanding, energizing and exhausting at various times. I would certainly do it again and fully expect to. There’s no way I can truly express my gratitude other to say, Mahalo! I have come a long way and also realize I have much to learn.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

 

Week 23 – Be The Observer

“What does this even mean?” you may ask. It’s a good question and I thought I knew the answer. After all I had studied about it and listened to lectures and audios on the topic for the last six months. I really thought I had this one nailed.

To me it meant we need to take a step back mentally and observe our life, interactions, reactions, circumstances, etc…as if from a bird’s eye view. The intention is to be better informed, add perspective, insight and discernment to our lives. As a result we’re able to make better decisions, improve our reactions, be kinder, more generous, more patient and more thoughtful. Sounds great, yes?

All of the things above are accurate and I was comfortable that I completely understood the concept, and then it happened…my eight year old blurted out something that struck me like a bolt of lightning as eight year olds are want to do…Out of the mouths of babes, right?

She didn’t even know that she made such a huge point. She said, when we watch something it’s better if we can also hear it. I thought, “Wow! How True! Why can’t I be the observer with all my senses?” In truth we might not be able to observe with all five  senses at the same time but why not observe with all that apply in a given situation. Why just watch what’s going on? Why not see it, touch it, taste it, smell it and hear it as the situation dictates? Won’t we better informed as a result?

If being the observer is the amazing tool I believe to be, won’t it be all the more impactful if I go all in? Of course the answer is a resounding YES! Using all our senses to observe life makes complete sense to me – thanks to an eight year old code named KYB. Mahalo!

This experience is also a great example of being the observer – taking that step back and observing your life even as you live it.. Being the observer put me in the position to become a better observer. How cool is that? And that’s the beauty of it. It all builds on itself if you let it and the sky’s the limit!

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 22 – Applying Knowledge

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Knowledge does not apply itself. Wow! That one hits me right between the eye! Isn’t it the truth? Are you one of those people who seems to know lots of things about lots of things? An information junkie? Surprisingly well-read? How’s that working out for you? Yeah…me too. I’ve been one of those people – but not anymore. Don’t get me wrong, we need knowledge but it’s a question of what we do with it. It’s one of the characteristics I’m using in a different way now. I still love learning and a healthy thirst for knowledge is a good thing…no, a great thing! But…

It bears repeating; knowledge doesn’t apply itself. If increased knowledge was the answer to every problem all we would need to do is learn more. We all know highly educated people who are failures in life. In the book The Slight Edge Jeff Olson uses the example that if knowledge/ information were the cure, all we would only need to send a CD/DVD to an alcoholic and they would be cured.

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This approach doesn’t decrease the value of knowledge. It’s just that knowledge isn’t enough by itself. We must act on what we know, experience it, make mistakes, fail. Learn, do, learn, do, rinse and repeat. By acting on what we learn we make our knowledge come to life. Once we put the information into motion the learning takes on a life of its own. Not only that but the learning becomes deeper and more meaningful to us…It’s a real shift in thinking for us perpetual students but it’s really freeing. It takes us outside our comfort zone where we learn by doing and do by learning. Give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

This session of the Master Key Experience is coming to a close and this is one of the most important lessons I’ve re-learned. Think about it. How long are you going to read and study about what you would like to do? When is the time to get down to doing it? The answer is obvious. There’s no time like NOW! Stop reading this blog post, get off your duff and go do something you’ve been meaning to do! 😀

 
I haven’t met many people who wouldn’t benefit from this course. I may even take it again! And you should look into it too! It changes people and it has changed me.

I’m whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 21 – It’s a Miracle!!!

What’s a miracle? – In truth the miraculous ranges from the seemingly minute to the truly large-scale. One minor miracle is that this late blog post ever was made :-) (That may be a bit of an exaggeration…it’s just a little later than I had hoped.)

Really, what do we expect – the parting of the Red Sea? Do they have to be huge? Have you ever considered how miraculous our every breath is? our very existence? It’s true!

Have you ever really considered the amazing fact that each and every breath we take sustains our life in the moment – but just in that moment? We must draw a new breath regularly or the tenuous miracle of life could leave us. Doesn’t that mean each breath is truly a life-giving miracle? What about the miracle that oxygen is filtered from each breath and added to our bloodstream while CO2 is removed. How about the amazing pump that circulates our blood uninterrupted from our birth until death carrying the oxygen to all parts of our body and the Co2 back to our lungs for exhale?

Have you ever considered what it takes for you to swallow, digest food or shrug your shoulders?

This isn’t to minimize the miracle of your birth, our planet, the atmosphere, or the heart-tugging smile of a child.

So if everything is a miracle aren’t you? Aren’t I?

How many people reading this have survived life threatening medical issues? Every sunrise is a miracle, right? is that just because you were sick? Weren’t they always a miracle?

I wonder why we don’t appreciate the wonder around us, the wonder that IS us?

It’s really easy, and maybe closer to our nature, to worry about tomorrow, wonder why we didn’t get the promotion or seethe at our neighbor because their dog did his business in our yard. But why would we do any of these things when we’re surrounded by the miraculous? In truth aren’t these all a waste of our time and energy?

An amazing quote is attributed to one of the world’s greatest known scientists. Consider the fact this is from a man of science.
Albert Einstein — ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’

I realize this post has more questions than answers. That’s because I don’t purport to have answers. Just suggesting a topic. Go ahead…discuss.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 20 – My Franklin Makeover

For me Week 20 is forgiveness week. That means I need to; 1) be an observer and track examples of forgiveness around me in my life, and 2) observe my own acts of forgiveness. It’s really interesting how when we focus on something, then we see it all around us. Forgiveness isn’t on the original list for this exercise but it’s the one thing I wrote in as you can never have too much forgiveness in your life.

One of our teachers, Davene, tells the story that when she bought a Honda Element suddenly she saw them everywhere even when she hadn’t much noticed them before…And she had even sold Hondas professionally.

Suddenly I noticed forgiveness everywhere particularly in my family. It made me think of how grateful I am for the mere opportunity to forgive. It’s one of those things that truly helps me as much or more than the person I forgive. It also made me think how grateful I am for all the forgiveness shown to me past, present future.

There have been times in my life when I probably wouldn’t have forgiven me if I was in another’s shoes but I’ll be darned if they didn’t forgive me anyway. I’m thankful for that and try to pay it forward.

That brings up one of life’s most pivotal issues. Once someone else has forgiven us, does that automatically mean we can forgive ourselves? I think not. At least I haven’t always been able to…at least not right away. It’s not that easy – we know acted poorly, we apologize, and the other party forgives us so…why is it so difficult to forgive ourselves?

The great thing about forgiveness is the ripples it creates. Sometimes one of those ripples sneaks up on you out of the blue and Wow! Sometimes you can’t even see them but you know they’re there. What a feeling!

The truth is we have nothing to lose by forgiving and everything to gain. It can also have a positive effect on your health.

This is the end of this post. Will you forgive me? 😀

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy

Week 19 – Appearances are Deceptive

Are appearances really deceptive? Aren’t appearances in the eye of the beholder? If you think about it our perspective can be fairly limited. Isn’t that why “man” thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth? Turns out we were wrong, Huh? What else could we be wrong about?

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Don’t we use the same limited perspective in our daily lives. We have mountains where there used to be bodies of water and rivers that change course even though we think of all these things as being solid, long-established landmarks. Throughout time cities and civilizations disappear, earthquakes, floods tornadoes, etc… change our landscape. Maybe they’re not as permanent as we assume.

What would happen if we open up our horizons and consider the hugeness, the grandeur, and state of flux of our surroundings, of our world,  our galaxy, our universe? Would we still behave the same?

When I think of the first time I recall someone asking me what I want in life I just remember saying “More!” I wasn’t sure what I wanted at all. I just knew I wanted more. Like most of us I was convinced happiness would coming from having more – more money, more free time, more possessions, more vacations, more friends, more cars, etc… I don’t know where I learned that but I don’t think I was alone.  Obviously “more” isn’t the key to happiness but even if it were, once we get the “more” we thought would make us happy, then we move the goal posts. All the while chasing even more and then more than that. How’s that working out? Hmmm…

It’s taken me a while but I’ve decided to look inside in my search for happiness. It turns out it’s been there all along and it’s full of gratitude, thankfulness, strength, kindness, imagination, love, power and harmony. An..oh yeah, everything else is temporary, deceptive, disappointing and elusive.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, harmonious and happy

Week 18 – What Would You Do Next?

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Here’s a mind bending question put to members of the Master Key Experience this week.

What would the person I intend to become do next?

Think about that for a second…Huge question, right?

First, think about the person you intend to become – confident, smart, talented, accomplished, likeable, caring, honest, funny, considerate…and whatever other attributes you intend to become. Then think about all the decisions you encounter on a daily basis. What if that person were making each of those decisions. Wouldn’t the future, better you, make better decisions? Of course they would! So why not start now?

If you use your imagination it gets to be a little bit fun. For example I imagine different versions of my future me will come along in 5 minutes, an hour, a day, a year and ten years from now respectively. I imagine growing levels of happiness, peace, success and fulfillment along the way. I have to humbly admit the person I intend to become is pretty awesome!

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My future self is also a fun guy who takes life seriously but doesn’t take himself too seriously. He believes in God but also believes God has a sense of humor. In fact he depends on that.

He has his personal priority needs in order. In other words he’s really centered on what’s important in his life. He knows his definite major purpose and his actions go to accomplish that purpose.

I’m not always 100% sure what that person would do next but when I stop to consider the question in a moment of decision, that decision is forever affected… and so am I. Can you imagine the cumulative effect of upgrading hundreds, if not thousands of decisions daily? By the way, have you read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson? If not, you should.

I can’t wait to meet this person I intend to become…but I know I will.

I also invite you to ask yourself the question above and to check out the Master Key Experience. It truly is a life-changing and life affirming experience which I highly recommend. If you have any questions just let me know.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy

Week 17 HJ – Hero’s Journey Week

Some random thoughts on the journey…

Sometimes I have to be reminded I’m the hero in my own journey. I think it’s because some of us have never thought of ourselves as heroic…until now. There’s a real courage in showing up every day and doing your best – your absolute best, and then coming back and doing that again the next day, and the next – even when you falter. Courage.

I can’t express how thankful I am to have stumbled upon the Master Key Experience. It has reawakened an enthusiasm I really haven’t fully felt in quite a while. It has charged my imagination with possibility, even the inspiration to pursue dreams long forgotten or never completely developed.

I’m also thankful for the associations I’ve built on the journey. It’s really great how people of a like mind can encourage, support and understand each other. Shouldn’t our daily lives be like this? I don’t see why not. There’s also a real camaraderie. Even though we haven’t met in person we’re sharing an experience none of us will forget.

Of course we’re each on our own hero’s journey…or at least we should be. If not then what are we doing? leading our dull, dreary, disappointing lives of quiet desperation? Anyone who ventured into the Master Key Experience discovered pretty soon that the train would be leaving the station. Those not willing to step on board and reach for a hand up would be lovingly left at the station until the next departure.

There are plenty of real obstacles in life. Why create or imagine more? Some of us just need to give ourselves permission to succeed…at whatever the objective is, whether that’s completing today’s to-do list or climbing a mountain. Permission granted!

I just can’t imagine the ripples but I try. The thought of all the possibilities sometimes really inspires me. What if some day I open the door for a woman with children in tow and her son takes that example and turns it into something special? What if that gift card I left at Tim Horton’s brightens someone’s day? What if that phone call cheered someone up? There’s really no what if about it. The ripples are real. We just can’t predict how far they’ll go. So be kind, be grateful, call a friend. It will help you too.

Mahalo!

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving harmonious and happy.

 

Week 17 – Permission You Say?

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Here’s an idea! Let’s allow ourselves the benefit of our hard work and effort. Let’s stop sabatoging ourselves.

Did you ever wonder why some seem to take the same actions, say the same things, read the same books as others’ and then watch them turn it into a success while some “spin their wheels”?

Psychologically we need to give ourselves permission to succeed, whatever that means to that person. It’s OK to be more successful than your siblings, your parents or someone you look up to. It’s even OK to achieve more than you even planned or expected. It’s OK to give yourself permission. Your creator already has.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying everyone has to be a billionaire or an astronaut to be a success. Each individual’s definition of success is up to them and that’s exactly the point. Whether their desire is improved relationships, family, acknowledgement, service to others, financial rewards or something else the definition of success is up to each of us.

Somehow some of us sabotage ourselves, can’t get over the hump, and always seem on the brink of our own success. Crazy? Maybe not. Maybe all we have to do it allow ourselves the success that we’ve hesitated to achieve and then claim it. If others seem to access it and achieve it what’s stopping us? Usually the biggest obstacle is ourselves and we know it, don’t we?

I think many of us know what’s happening on some level. I know I’ve heard people say, “If I could just get out of my own way” Or “I can’t seem to put it together”. Just when they’re on the verge of the happiness and success they dream of, somehow they blow it; somehow something doesn’t quite go right.

At points in the past I’ve been one of these people. Not anymore! I have permission – from my creator and myself. I claim it. You claim yours!

I’m not saying it’s easy. If it were, everyone would do it. I’m saying it’s worth doing. What we focus on grows. If we focus on our failures, what we lack or how the pretty girl doesn’t like us, that’s what will grow. Focus on successes, gratitude for all the abundance we’re blessed with and all who love us.

Give yourself permission. Claim it. Focus.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Mahalo!