From the category archives:

When The Going Gets Tough

It was barely a month ago that I was on my way to the second annual World Domination Summit (WDS). Since then, my life has been a continuous whirlwind of a ride into one new realm after the next.

Actually this period of acceleration, exploration and rising intensity started more than a month ago. In the last six weeks I have journeyed through legions of virgin territory both literally and figuratively.

Acceleration

It began as my parents, siblings, in-laws and I successfully navigated our first adult whole-family vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina – virgin territory for all of us despite several who boast passports filled to overflowing. Family Vacation Photo Cape Hatteras Beach, Outer Banks, North CarolinaSince then I’ve windsurfed, bodysurfed, stand-up-paddle-boarded and built bonfires on the beach. I reconnected with seldom-seen cousins, nieces and nephews at all ages and life stages (even valiantly – and successfully – defeating breast cancer. Go Liz!).

One trip followed another as I jetted to Portland, Oregon for my inaugural WDS. The City of Roses in July was an unexpected gem and welcome change from my usual tropical paradise. The event itself (more on that in next week’s post – I’m still synthesizing this transformational experience) was filled to capacity with awe-inspiring unconventional people, heart-opening motivational speakers, and endless opportunities to make new friends and meet kindred spirits. Enjoying Voodoo Doughnuts mobile food cart at WDS 2012I ate Voodoo doughnuts, ordered street-cart tacos (yum), drank craft beer, and savored the weekend farmers’ market. I walked the waterfront, rode the trams, and basically reveled in the amazing outdoor scene of the Pacific Northwest. (and hell yeah I’ll be back for WDS 2013).

After a one week stop home to welcome my daughter’s two teenage cousins from Mexico it was off to [click to continue…]

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A new path...
Creative Commons License photo credit: manymeez

We’ve all heard the clichés – life is fleeting. Time flies. As I write this the year is already a third over and it feels like it just started. Some years are like that, and 2012 is one.

That doesn’t do you a lot of good if you don’t have a guidance system for navigating life when it’s moving at warp speed (and I realize to many of you, it’s only moving at warp speed!). You can plan and goal-set and task-list all day long but you know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Yeah, they change. Or you change. Or the universe takes matters into its own hands and course-corrects you, like it or not.

Which is why I’ve been pondering this post from Vicky White for a while. Given a forced choice between the two, I think I’d rather have a compass on my journey than a detailed, specific set of directions.

I didn’t come to that decision lightly. I’ve often wished for a higher power to “come down” and literally tell me [click to continue…]

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Coffee - yum!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ambernectar 13

Another parable (author unknown) landed in my inbox recently, and I feel it’s pithy enough to share.  Called “Carrots, Eggs and Coffee” here it is:

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.” [click to continue…]

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Behind the Scenes of Shifting
Creative Commons License photo credit: openDemocracy

For the past few months I’ve been writing about my personal journey through the shift in consciousness I see humanity moving through.  Although I think we as a whole are evolving, there are billions of different individual stories illustrating how we’re doing so.  While we’ll all end up at the same place, there are billions of different paths leading there.  There are billions of unique ways we will each hear and respond to the call to shift – a husband’s path will be different than his wife’s, two friends may wildly diverge, and so on.  And there will be billions of different time-frames in which shift happens – but mostly that’s up to how fast we each decide to get on board.

For me, major stuckification in February was a tip-off that my time to shift was at hand.  Although I didn’t quite believe it then, didn’t intellectually or practically know how it would play out, and was overflowing with attendant fears ranging from getting more stuck to being divorced, jobless and destitute to perhaps the worst – that the status quo would continue – from a deeper place I knew that darkness [click to continue…]

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The acceleration of the push
Creative Commons License photo credit: dannyfowler

Man is there a lot of shifting going on in April.  The pace has picked up, and for me personally it’s becoming a thrilling ride.

At the start of this year I made a conscious decision to move in the direction of my dreams.  I just didn’t realize how fast I’d be moving.

By early March I found my passion for taking Accidental Seeker from a blog to a livelihood barely containable.  All I had to do was give voice to this desire – and several ideas accompanying it – and it began to manifest.  Yeah, pretty much on its own.  I didn’t need to forge ahead so much as I have been instantly, unexpectedly pushed.

Just to give you a quick taste [click to continue…]

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The Rift

Creative Commons License photo credit: Erwint

Recap: What’s The Shift?

Apologies for leaving you for a few weeks after writing Welcome to The Shift, the first in a series I’m writing to chronicle my own process of shifting and to reach others moving through what’s become known as “The Shift”.

To recap, this “Shift” is what I (among many others) define as our collective and individual evolution into higher consciousness.  Simply put, we are shifting from living life at the surface level of human ego, basic  survival and physicality into recognition of our true selves as an expression of a unified whole.  Despite outer appearances, we’re growing into an awareness of humanity as not many and separate physical beings, but rather as one collective multi-dimensional organism that is at a tipping point of either great promise or peril.

This evolution is occurring at both individual and collective levels.  That can sound confusing or contradictory, especially after I just told you we are growing into an awareness of individual players as a collective whole.  But the reality of this shift is [click to continue…]

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Look Up in Life
Creative Commons License photo credit: mrhayata

The truth in life is that we probably have countless brushes with death every day that we never know about.  Just crossing a busy city street or shuttling the kids to school, one careless driver more or less at exactly the right moment and your number could be up.

There’s nothing, however, like a violently turbulent flight to make you think maybe, finally, despite the overwhelming odds against crashing, this is really it.

Today I had that flight.

It was a routine Delta jaunt from West Palm Beach Florida (my home airport) to New York City for one of the seminars I teach there several times a year; routine for Delta, routine for me. I hadn’t clued in much to the weather other than to know it would be rainy in New York and to select the most appropriate coat to bring.

About half way through the two-and-a-half hour flight, we hit [click to continue…]

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Military dance troupe
Creative Commons License photo credit: tibchris

After writing this two-part series on following your bliss, I’ve come to realize one of the biggest obstacles to going after what makes you happy is actually standing up and bucking conformity if that’s what it takes to get it.

It’s all well and good to have figured out what brings you lasting and authentic joy, to acknowledge you want whatever that is, and to accept that being in alignment with it will make you happy.

It’s a whole other thing to stand up to the forces that be and declare you’re going to go publicly do whatever brings you joy, especially when it’s not the norm.  And that, dear readers, is exactly what makes Chris Guillebeau’s debut book The Art of Non-Conformity (affiliate link) so timely, reassuring and downright practical.

The Young Grasshopper of Non-Conformity

I’ve been following writer and world traveler Chris Guillebeau for about a year.  Sensing a kindred spirit (we both love to travel, travel-hack and write) after connecting with his blog, I immediately raised my hand for an advance copy of his book when he offered it and was lucky enough to get one.  Now about half-way through my read, I realize we share another key trait: non-conformity.

Chris Guillebeau Art of Non-ConformityLike many readers of Chris’ book will undoubtedly discover, I owe him a debt of gratitude for emboldening and empowering me to set my own rules and go after the life I really want.  Because you see, Chris is a freakin’ non-conformity master.

In his early 30’s today, Chris is a man who refused from an early age to accept the status quo.  He dropped-out of high school after two years (mostly from what I construe as boredom) and went straight to college.  Taking classes simultaneously at a community college and local university, he graduated with not one but two (count ‘em, two) bachelor’s degrees at the end of his second year as a college student.  His friends from the brief time he’d spent in high school were just finishing their freshman year.

Chris then went on to do a variety of non-conformist things including a short stint working the night shift at Fed-Ex at age 20 followed by starting and running an eBay business, and more notably, spending four years as a volunteer aid worker in West Africa.  While in Africa [click to continue…]

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P1100662
Creative Commons License photo credit: jooseph

After a slower-than usual posting schedule over the summer, I’m ramping things up again with this poem that came to me – not surprisingly – on one of several flights that have kept me traveling in recent months.  Apologies for my absence here; my intention is to post weekly but you know how it is – life intervenes!

Still, no excuses.  With the change of seasons and school back in session however, I’ve been hearing the usual round of “stuckification” that seems to kick in this time of year bemoaned by various friends and colleagues.  Some are busy moms lamenting the back-to-the-school-year grind which keeps them locked into set schedules of seeing kids off in the morning, shuttling them to after-school sports activities or obligations, and prepping for the upcoming holidays.  Others are seasoned business professionals who feel on a treadmill gearing-up for the usual busy fall conference and trade show season and wondering why they feel like they’re rerunning the same activities every year.

Seems like right about now, we could really use some wings.  Here’s my poem; a few final thoughts continue afterward: [click to continue…]

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Burning Hut

There inevitably comes a time on any journey when you question everything you know.  Everything.

First, there’s the healthy questioning of what you were taught growing up.  By this I mean the belief systems you were conditioned with — the result of religions, cultures, schools, races, rules, or even simply your generation.  This is normal and natural since as we mature, our direct experience either does or does not align with these beliefs to support them and as the world changes, such beliefs either do or do not stand the test of time.

When direct experience doesn’t align or worse yet, is wildly contradictory to what we were taught, we realize such beliefs are someone else’s truth (or possibly even a complete lie) rather than our own.  Most of us learn to trust our direct experience instead and build on that.

A personal life philosophy can work well for a while.  Our seeking, searching, and questioning will eventually lead to answers, and direct experience will usually support our new found beliefs based on those answers.  Until one day it doesn’t.  That’s when you might arrive at a deeper, scarier, lonlier level of questioning.

I’m talking about that level of questioning.  Yeah, the level you get to when you think, “What if all this I now believe to be true actually isn’t?”

In other words, “What I’m wrong? What if I think I have it all figured out and I don’t? What if it’s all wrong? What if what I now hold dear that made sense five minutes ago is all hocus?”

The following brief parable emailed to me by a friend brought this up: [click to continue…]

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