Posts filed under Law of Attraction

17 Bizarre Philosophies that Made me my first $10,000 month (with accompanying music videos)

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The genuinely bizarre things I believe all contribute to my current rags-to-riches success, wherein in 2015 I ran enterprise based on teaching magic and writing from a tropical island, and made about $10,000 a month.... in 2016 I moved home and raised my income to over $20,000 a month. 

Now, in 2019, I'm averaging well over $70,000 a month.  It's not by accident, of course.  It's the result of some far-out insights combined with writing and teaching.

Note: This business has been 100% boot strapped and involved a lot of eating from food banks and sleeping on friend's couches to get started. There's been no parental financing, no sugar daddy, no nothin' of the sort. 

I would call myself a "self-made woman" but I don't love that term - since the truth is I've been nurtured in my weirdness by a whole host of people, so I'm a community-made woman - specifically, a Pittsburgh-made woman.

I know a lot of you out there in internet land (especially the magically and artistically inclined amongst you) would be curious to know the attitudes and beliefs that have gone into creating my business success.

So I decided to write down all the bizarre stuff that I 100% believe here in this convenient list format, so hopefully people can read it and

1) learn from it and

2) know all about me up-front, so I don't have to constantly deal with personally shocking and disturbing them. 

1. Having is evidence of wanting, but only always.

I'm not even going to explain this one much. Just think about it. Really think about it. What would it mean in your life if this were true? And would you be willing to gently open up to enjoying that fact about yourself without judging and shaming or hating yourself for it? 

Maybe? Okay? No? Well then, that's cool, you can stop reading. You don't have to waste your time with me and I promise you won't dig what I have to say at all.

Because most everything I ever say is some variant of "Having is evidence of wanting."

As for me, once upon a time, I thought I didn't want to be living trapped below the poverty level.  But having is evidence of wanting, and actually a large part of my soul did want exactly that.

I also thought I didn't want to be in shitty abusive relationships with insane, possessive men who treated me like I was some kind of drug instead of a person - but fascinatingly, a major part of my soul, once again - did want exactly that

It was only when I stopped judging and shaming the part of me that adored poverty and having men be addicted to me that I interrupted the pattern of shame and self-hatred that kept me wanting - and creating - those dark situations.
 

2. Magic is 10% intention, 90% liberating your attention from your attachments and aversions, your habitual unconscious patterns, and your shame and your resentment.

Vision Boards and the Law of Attraction and a century of New Ageism got lots of magically-inclined folks whipped up into thinking that all they needed to do was "intend" something and it would happen.

Yeah, like no.

I mean, intending stuff and having it happen does totally work, if you're very free from attachment and aversion and unconscious self-defeating patterns. Are you?

Are you like, Gautama Buddha-level free of your patterns?

If no, and you hope to be effective at practical magic, then I would spend way way way way way way more time on the work of liberating your attention from being trapped in those patterns and way way way way way less time on getting your precious "intentions" just right.

Liberated attention is power.  Liberated attention is joy.

Your intentions aren't worth much unless they've got tons of power behind them.

If you're at all like most of us humans, pretty much all of your attention and all of your power and all of your joy is currently trapped in bullshit self-defeating patterns that got embedded into you early in your life through trauma, abuse and coercion, whether familial or societal or both.

Cheers, enjoy, kiddo! - signed, the legacy of all humanity preceding you, especially the founders of modern Western society. 

3. In this world, wealth comes from getting okay with being a predator. 

Does that sound evil, being a predator?

Do you think lions are evil? Because.... they're predators.

I'll just say it again: especially if you're selling a spiritual and emotional service like teaching or coaching and you're a woman, you need to hear this: you're a predator. You're a lion.

If you're broke, it's probably because of systemic misogyny and also because you still see yourself as a helpless antelope (which, fyi, systemic misogyny conditioned all of us women to do!)

Now you may not be able to slay systemic misogyny in one fell swoop, but you can stop seeing yourself as an antelope.

Or not. I mean, that's totally cool, you can continue seeing yourself as an antelope if you want to.

Yet chances are that you're a delusional antelope, because if there's a part of your soul that's hungry to do business, then you're really a lion.

Your prey is your prospect's ego: the part of them that wants to resist deeply committing to change and admitting that they need help and mentorship and therefore surrendering to valuing your services and wisdom with money.

As a lion, you've got to kill that prey and eat it all up if you want to stay in business.

So, would you like to fess up to being a lion, or would you like to continue to pretend to be an antelope?

You get way more pity as a helpless, struggling, broke spiritual basic-ass antelope - also, you get approval from insecure men who remain non-threatened by you and continuous affirmation from your broke spiritual antelope friends! -- so maybe you'd like to keep doing that? 

4. Magic isn't "spiritual" - it's soulful.

Think of it this way: we've all got a body, a soul, and a spirit.

Our body is our body - flesh and bones and stuff. The part that will still be here on earth when you die. The bits people will have to bury or cremate. You know, those.

Our spirit is our consciousness, our mind. The part of us that comes up with all those great intentions!

Our soul is the part of us that mediates between our body and our spirit. We might also call it our shadow and anima / animus, our creative unconscious, our personal genius.

Mysticism works primarily with the spirit.

Magic works primarily with the soul, to create pragmatic effects in the body and in the world.

That's why magicians use physical objects: herbs and candles and oils and sculptures and paintings and mojo bags and offerings of food - slime and snails and puppy dog tails!

We use these because we're working at the symbolic, imaginal level, the level of the interface between spirit and body, the level of dream and metaphor and poetry and art

Mysticism (and its attendant dogma and self-righteousness) tends to be popular among people who are so rich or otherwise privileged that they hardly know what to do with themselves.

I'm sure you can easily conjure to your mind folks that you've met who've never had to worry a day in their lives about how they're going to pay rent or buy food, folks who have never had to defend themselves from attack of any kind - who will tell you that witchcraft and magic are shameful, unspiritual, low-minded pursuits. 

Spiritually-oriented, rareified mystics either get squeamish around and money and birth and death and fucking and hustling or they go into a kind of kitschy denial that there's anything truly fucked up or scary in the world. Hint: there's plenty that's fucked up and scary in the world. 

Magic and witchcraft, on the other hand, tend to be popular among people who need to hustle for their living, and who've seen the dark side of this earth.

In other words, it's popular among people who don't have the luxury of by-passing their souls in order to protect a sparkling imaginary purity of their spirits. 

5. Jesus Christ was a first-class witch.

I am like a giant Jesus fan and quote him all the time, which flips some people out, especially considering that I'm also always talking about how I'm a witch and magic and ritual, etc. etc.,  

Think about it, folks, Jesus was obviously a witch who loved to party.

"What? There's no more wine? Just pass me that water and stand back folks - bam! Now let's keep this rager raging!"

"That's right, my moms was like fourteen when she gave birth to me in this crazy old barn with goats all around, and then these Persian dudes rolled up on the scene..."

"Awwww man, we're out of food? Wait wait wait everybody, don't leave just yet! Hold on - hand me those loaves and fishes - allllllllllllllllright now! Fish sandwiches for everyone!"

"Cool, so where all the bad bitches and hustlers hanging out? Can you point me there?"

"Yeah, my folks brought me to the Temple a lot growing up, but when I was like 13 I was like, fuck these guys, you know? I'm already more down with the Lord than they are and I'm just a jack-ass kid!"

Anyways, it's obvious to me. Jesus wasn't a mystic. He was a sexy witch and a magician, a shaman, a sorcerer and a healer, and a damn well accomplished one who terrified the Roman empire so much they had to assassinate him.

In other words, they burned him as a witch. Well, crucified him, but you know, same thing pretty much. Both result in torturous death.

6. As without, so within. 

This is a variation on the classic hermetic truth, "as above, so below."

It's a premise that's the basis of all analogy. And without analogy, we can't access the unknown. Analogy is how we connect the known with the unknown.

So if you want to know your within, take a good look at your without.

The world around you corresponds precisely to your soul. So much so that the highest form of enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism is known as "mahamudra," which means "the great symbol." 

It means that this whole world is a symbol of itself, which is to say, a symbol of you. Does that not make sense?

Probably it doesn't make sense, because it's a deep nondualistic truth and I'm expressing it in dualistic terms. But all language is dualistic, it's part of it's fun.

7. The world needs more bad bitches - aka "Fuck you, pay me."

I am so, so over misogyny in every single last one of its guises, especially the one where women and feminine people are conditioned to believe they have to be "spiritual" and "good" and perform endless emotional labor for zero pay.

Fuck. That. Shit.

As long as we're living in a capitalist world, money is how we express valuation. Emotional labor like the kind that women and feminine people do constantly - coaching, nurturing, teaching, nursing, therapy-ing, etc. etc. etc. is highly valuable and deserves to be highly paid.

The main thing that prevents women from being highly paid and highly valued for their endless emotional labor is endemic, world-wide, brutal traumatic abuse of women and children and people who evidence femininity in non-normative ways (including gay, bisexual, queer, and trans people). 

So I'll say it again: Fuck. That. Shit.

In other words - give it to me, I'm worth it. 

And so are you.
 

8. People are hungry to be genuinely seen and felt more than anything else. If you have enough liberated attention, you're capable of giving this - so then you become cherished and influential.

Just think about it. If your attention is wrapped up in your obsessions and your fears, you're not able to be fully present with people, right?

I mean, we all know folks who compulsively play with their phones rather than experience actual intimacy with the flesh-and-blood humans who are face-to-face with them.

So in a world where it's easier than ever to have your attention obsessively sucked away, having the power to focus your attention and focus it deeply and beautifully on the person in front of you is a rare art.

The gift of exquisite attention has always been in high demand, and the demand for it will just continue to rise. So if you want to be a person of influence and wealth, cultivate your ability to be free from obsession, alive in the present moment, and exquisitely attentive to the person right in front of you.

9. There is no reason for you or for any other human to feel ashamed, ever.

Sometimes when I say this people are like "What! Don't you think rapists and child molesters and murderers should be ashamed?"

To which I'm like - "Uhh, hell no. If they weren't ridden with shame to begin with and all the dissociation and alienation that shame brings then they wouldn't be able to treat other humans like objects."

And then sometimes those people look at me and they're like "What about psychopaths and sociopaths and narcissists? They don't feel shame! They should feel shame, though!"

I don't know much what to say to that, other than it's totally obvious to me that actually the only thing psychopaths and sociopaths and narcissists feel is shame.  They feel shame so constantly and so profoundly that it prevents them from feeling compassion.

In other words, after many long hours of meditation on the subject, it became clear to me that shame is the fountain source of violence and trauma, not its preventative balm.

Therefore, whenever I notice shame or judgment springing up in myself, I do my utmost to immediately release it - because I know that it's completely pointless.

The primary value of shame is as an instrument of control. If you can get someone to feel ashamed of themselves, then you can get them to be miserably alienated from their own soul. And if you can get them miserably alienated from their own soul, then you can get them addicted to something.

And if you can get someone to be addicted to something, then it's super-simple to manipulate them by simply regulating their access to the object of their addiction.

Ta-da! Consumerist, oligarchist society for you in a nutshell. 

 

10. Potency comes from embracing parts of yourself that you would much rather delete.

When most people talk about the importance of "shadow work" I notice that they're talking about a rather lame and watered-down version of this.

Like, folks seem to imagine that "shadow work" is something you can complete one rainy Sunday afternoon and then check off your list.

In my experience, the integration of the shadow is the integration of your own creative unconscious, and it is a process that utterly rocks you to the core and dismantles everything you thought you were.

And if you survive that, then you're magically and practically potent and vital. The key is not to kill yourself or anyone else along the way.

The nitty-gritty details of how to accomplish this shadow integration work makes up the bulk of what I teach people to do when I teach practical magic - because when you've got an integrated shadow, then you've got liberated attention, which means.... power and joy.

11. All identity is empty, fluid, constantly subject to evolution. 

Most people are ineffective because more than anything else they want to grasp onto a solid identity for themselves. We all want to feel solid, secure, real.

And the punchline of this planet is that's the one thing you can't ever do! Why? Because it's not possible for anything to have any solid, secure identity, because in order for identity to exist that means there has to be two of something (i.e. "this" is identical to "that" - you have to have both a "this" and a "that" in order to have an identity), therefore identity implies a duality, and reality is non-dual.

In other words, I know that it seems like you're a subject and the rest of the world is the solid object of your subjective experience, but - alas, that's an illusion.

It's an illusion of solidity that's frequently punctured by nighttime dreams, but our current culture is really fantasmic at being in denial of the importance and reality of nighttime dreams.

It's hard to describe the actual situation we live in better than Bill Hicks did in his fanciful expression of what an anchor delivering a News Update that was actually real news (instead of the usual hum-drum recitation of wars and politics) would sound like:

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the Weather.”

 

12. We all think we want to feel fulfilled, but actually fulfillment is humiliating and excruciating because it kills our ego.

Your thoughts will tell you all day long that you want to be much more rich, loved, healthy, etc. etc. than you already are.

What you don't realize is that your thoughts are straight up lying to you, because actually opening up to receiving that cash and love and health and brilliance is a painful, humiliating process that destroys the ego you've built around the self-image you have of yourself as someone who's long-suffering, put-upon, oppressed, taken advantage of, misunderstood, deprived, etc.

The fulfillment of everything you think you want will entail the destruction of everything you currently think you are.

Almost no one wants the destruction of everything she currently thinks she is because (see above) we're all caught up in an impassioned, hopeless quest to grasp at a feeling of solid identity. 

 

13. "Addiction" is synonymous with demonic possession, and we're all afflicted by it.

Have you ever talked to a friend of yours who had gotten addicted to drugs when he was jonesing for a fix (or your mom when she was desperate for chocolate, or your dad when he was super-upset that his sports team lost, or your boyfriend while he was defending his right to use porn?) and it was 100% clear to you that you weren't really talking to your friend (or mom or dad or boyfriend), you were talking to the addiction itself?

Well, I have.

Sometimes it's not always so obvious, but it is always true: being possessed by a demon means that there's an intelligence that's hijacked your body and mind which isn't actually interested in the well-being of your body and mind.

And that's addiction - it's an imprisoning force, an intelligence, that operates you until it destroys you. It's currently operating our whole world and doing a smashingly grand job of destroying it.

I see my mission in life as freeing myself from addiction in all its guises and helping others to get free. 

An important thing to note is this: the use of drugs and shopping and porn and sugar and sports and gambling and whatever else - those are all just symptoms of addiction.

Addiction is way deeper than any of its symptoms. It's a fundamental orientation towards self, life, the world, others - one that's obsessive, compulsive, fearful and destructive. 

 

14. The end of suffering is the willingness to enjoy overwhelming sensation (i.e., pain) rather than trying to push it away. I call this existential kink, and it's the only thing that's ever worked to move me out of my stuck patterns of trauma that I got from being molested as a kid and raped as a young woman.

Pretty much every woman I have ever known has been molested or raped or otherwise assaulted, by the way.

There's nothing odd about being a woman or feminine who has been molested, abused, raped, beaten, coerced, assaulted -- that's actually super-ordinary in our world. 

I'll just say that again: there is absolutely nothing rare or strange or odd or uniquely shameful about being a woman who has been molested, abused, raped, beaten, coerced, assaulted - sadly, that is the normal condition of being a woman in this world. 

I emphasize the truth of the ordinariness of these profound violations because I honestly didn't realize the total ordinariness of it for a long time, and when I did realize the total pervasive ordinariness of this violence, that knowledge helped to free me.

For many years I thought I was uniquely fucked up. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sadly, I am not at all uniquely fucked up. I am very ordinarily fucked up. What's rare and exceptional on this planet is being a woman or feminine person who has not been molested, abused, beaten, coerced, assaulted, raped.

 

15. Money isn't "green energy." It's dirty filthy nasty cash money. 

While I'm all about "fuck you, pay me" (see above) and I love the hustle, I also fully acknowledge that money is a highly problematic construction.

Have you read Debt: The First 5000 Years? Or Sacred Economics? Or Capitalism in the 21st Century by Thomas Picketty? Or On the Genealogy of Morals?

Well, you probably should go do that, but in the meantime I'll just go ahead and bottomline it for you: the kind of currency we use today is based on debt. It's debt-based currency. And debt is fucked up.

You know what's a synonym for "debt"?

Resentment. Resentment is holding onto something that happened in the past and wanting it to be made up for, by whatever means necessary. That's what debt does, too.

Debt is "something held against you" - that "something" is an expectation, a forceful demand of repayment.

"And forgive us our debts, that we may forgive those who owe us debts." This was part of a magic spell that the great witch Jesus said all the time, because getting free from resentment is a very important part of liberating your attention so you can do magic. 

In a way, money is like calcified resentment!

In other words, our money is an abstraction that represents the past, and something owed. It's a violent demand in the form of slips of paper and coin and digital marks.

Money is not benevolent, it is not innocent. In any way. At all. Ever.

Money is fierce, it's brutal, it's unfair, it's obsessed with the past, and it deeply connects us to a system of brutality.

If the only way you can get okay with making money is by tricking yourself into believing that it's "just energy!' as if it were some innocent, totally non-problematic force handed to you by the Easter Bunny, then that attitude is a reflection of your woefully brittle denial and lack of capacity for understanding historical and economic fact.

Money is a tricksy form of limiting magic (created by sorcerers known as governments and banks) that perpetuates shame, scarcity, and alienation.

And there's no legitimate way around that.  There's no way to by-pass it. The only way is the filthy way through. 

Because you know what perpetuates shame, scarcity, and alienation even more than having and making dirty dirty cash money?

I'll tell you: it's being broke while self-righteously justifying your not venturing out of your comfort zone because to do so would be "unspiritual." That hiding perpetuates shame and scarcity and alienation even more.

Why? Think of it this way: when you do this, you refuse to make that dirty, dirty cash money rain like gushing blood from an antelope's bitten neck in springtime because you prefer to be "pure."

In other words, you're addicted to an ideal of yourself as someone who's free from sin. You're a Pharisee.

My favorite witch Jesus didn't have much respect for Pharisees. Why? Because they're way more about looking good than doing the actual nasty work of effecting good results

So the refusal to deal with money because it's nasty and violent - this is a denial of your soul and it's more harmful than money, even with all the debt and violence and brutality that money is factually, historically associated with.

Money is corrosive and dangerous and related to debt and resentment and obsessed with the past, yes.

And guess what? You've got corrosive, dangerous, brutal, past-obsessed elements in your own soul, too. So many of them, in fact! Would you like to be in aversive denial of those elements forever?

Because if you deny and reject the corrosion and brutality and obsession with the past that's in your very own soul by refusing to get up and go soil your hands with the stinky violent dirty world of money and sales, then you're just denying elements in your own soul. 

Mmmmm, good luck with that.


16. Connection and intimacy are the antidotes to addiction.


Part of why I'm so interested in connection and superconnection is that addiction (attachment, aversion, obsession, fear) thrives on alienation and shame.

Meanwhile, addiction dies in the warmth of real connection and intimacy.

We don't grow up learning how to do real connection and intimacy - and indeed, all of our present society is engineered against it.

So we're living within this intense paradox - we have to hustle and compete for cash, and we have to connect deeply and intimately in order to free ourselves from the demon of addiction and have the free attention and energy that actual success and leadership calls for.

It's not easy, but it's what we've got to do at this particular odd moment in history.

This brings me to the final bizarre thing I believe....

17. Your capacity to live in paradox is your capacity for real success, power, influence, joy.

It's very clear to me that this world isn't going to be liberated from the clutches of the demon addiction by goody-goody heroes.

It's going to be saved by people who are a bit wicked, a bit dangerous, rather unpredictable and chaotic. People with sullied pasts and dirty hands. Shifty magic people. The kind of bodhisattvas who might just kill you in order to liberate you.

In the midst of this late capitalist, dogmatically materialist world, a magician doesn't get to truly free herself and others by staying squeaky clean.

The game right now involves taking the poison in order to purge and heal.

Remember, the witch Jesus hung out with whores and shady mafia type guys (i.e. tax collectors) but only all the time.

If you can't sincerely get off on the pain and tragedy and madness of this world, if you can't walk unflinchingly within it and be both cunning as a serpent and innocent as a dove, then you probably won't enjoy your time here and you probably won't help the rest of us that much.

And it's knowing all this and being willing to live it that made me my first $10,000 month in 2015. And made me over $600,000 last year from my pillow.

Good news: if these bizarre philosophies of mine jived with your dirty witchy hustler soul, then you’ll love my blueprint for learning practical magic:

Posted on August 13, 2019 and filed under Addiction, Creativity, Law of Attraction, Money.

Virtualize Your New Universe - Part 2

Dear Reader, Today I want to take you step-by-step through the virtualization process.

Yesterday I wrote about how through the virtualization of our authentic preferences, we can alter our resonance and take ourselves into the range of morphic fields which can powerfully shape and organize developments in our minds and in our lives for the better.

1. Pick a Preference, Any Preference

One of my authentic preferences (something I would still like to happen, even if I was completely blissed out) is to record a freak folk album. Actually, upon reflection, I might especially like this to happen if I was blissed out.

Please note-- this is not an especially "realistic" preference. I don't yet know how to play an instrument (I'm working on guitar- slooooowly).  I don't know how to read music. I don't have any ties to any aspect of the music industry. I've only yet "written" (i.e., recorded myself whistling on my phone's voice recorder) a few little tunes. My optimism surrounding this matter is, indeed, Extra-Rational.

Something that I find very important in this whole optimism process is not to limit the things I hope for to things that I think are realistic based upon my current skills and what's happened in the past.  Why? Because the morphic fields can handle all that stuff.  When I alter my resonance, I get swept into currents where I learn things rapidly and I find out I somehow have more resources and knowledge inside me than I realized.

For example-- at the time I started practicing the dating optimism which eventually resulted in me meeting the love of my life, Dey, I had a rotten track record with relationships.  Nothing in my past repertoire told me I had the chops to maintain a romantic interaction that was happy and healthy.  But I embarked on the process of awesoming my life in that dimension-- I virtualized, I was honest with myself, I surrendered (I'll have more to say about all these parts of the awesoming process, stay tuned)-- and then, not only did I meet my amazing partner, but as he and I spent more time together I discovered that somehow, I did have within me the necessary skills to consistently relate well with him.  Yikes! Where the heck did those come from?

Although I work hard to practice spiritual principles in my every day life and those principles are an essential part of any kind of good relationship, I didn't consciously cultivate romantic intimacy skills. The morphic field of successful romantic love which I entered into with my virtualization caused them to develop in me, drawing them out of the chaos of my heart.

2. See it, Feel it, Smell it, Hear It

This is the fun part. Let's say "you" share my preference to record a freak folk album-- and let's say you're recording it live.

Go somewhere that you can be alone and relax.  Take a few deep breaths.  Imagine yourself on a stage at a summer music festival. Feel the ruffled linen of your rad threads flutter on your skin as a breeze goes by. Feel the gentle weight of the guitar on your knee.  Breathe in deeply.  Smell the fresh sweat of the crowd; the inevitable fragrance of illegal herb smoke that rise up from their midst; the yummy summer smell of hot sun on green grass.  See your band mates wearing their quirky robes, fat flower garlands, carrying their handmade instruments.

Finally, hear yourself start to play and sing, and feel your heart opening and going out to all your audience and all your band members as you do it.  Hear what the music sounds like.  Hear yourself singing, feel your fingers on the guitar strings.  Breathe in the great energy from the crowd, the grins on their faces, the sight of all the dancing, swaying torsos.

There's music moving through you that's more than just the love in your mortal heart, it's the grace of a higher power that wants to come into the world and touch people through you. It's ecstatic-- your ego fades into the background and there's a oneness amongst you and everything around you.  You're right where you're supposed to be.

3. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Now, future denizen of the folk realm-- keep that up.  If that vision were your authentic preference, I would recommend to you that you set aside ten minutes each day to virtualize it to the max. And when you virtualize it, make sure you imagine it happening in the greatest way possible for you and everyone else who's involved. In other worlds, don't virtualize yourself up there on stage, giving a so-so performance to a crowd that's more focussed on selling and buying acid than on listening to you play.  Focus on seeing a picture of dynamic harmony, with all elements working together to bring forth something that's just insultingly sublime (i.e., way bigger than your self).

Why? Because for some weird reason, life is just crazy about fulfilling expansive, gorgeous dreams like that.

Love,

Carolyn

Virtualize Your New Universe - Part 1

Dear Reader, Yesterday we talked about how it's possible to travel to a whole new universe through the power of Throbbing, Extra-rational Optimism and hops.

Today I want to talk more about exactly how this travel is accomplished.

Why Virtualize

Virtualization is a process in which you vividly imagine the fulfillment of your authentic preferences, drawing upon all five senses and upon your emotions. Let's say that I'm working on manifesting some roly-poly pigs.  I would relax, lay back, and spend some time seeing myself hanging out in a pig pen, feel the soft squishing of the mud, hear the sweet grunts of porcine oinking, smell the fragrant shit, feel my heart swelling with joy. Why do this?

Because in order to jump to a better universe, you've got to get the feel for what it would be like.  This works because imagination, as my hero Ralph Waldo Emerson realized, is not just making stuff up. It's actually a kind of insight, or what Emerson called "a very high form of seeing." It feels like "making stuff up" at first because our imaginative light is dim to begin with.  As that light gets stronger and stronger, we begin to see that when we're imagining the fulfillment of our authentic preferences, we're actually not just making stuff up-- we're perceiving a possible world, and the act of vividly perceiving it with our imagination draws it into physical manifestation.

Virtualizing your new universe is itself a hop-- a hopeful optimistic practice -- and a very powerful one at that. When practiced regularly (every day is best) it alters your resonance.

On Morphic Resonance

What does that mean? Allow me to explain: the biologist Rupert Sheldrake posited that the development of life forms doesn't just depend on the information in their genes. The development of plants and animals also depends on something he called organizational fields, or morphic fields (meaning "fields that influence form").

Sheldrake offered that these fields work by creating order in otherwise chaotic or random patterns of gene-instructed activity. He said that these fields are not static, but constantly evolve:

The fields of afghan hounds and poodles have become different from those of their common ancestors, wolves. How are these fields inherited? I propose that they are transmitted from past members of the species through a kind of non-local resonance, called morphic resonance.

That is to say, morphic fields are a kind of collective memory which each individual of the species both draws upon and contributes to. Thus if one member of the species learns to do something unprecedented for the species as a whole (say, a cat in Pittsburgh learns to flush toilets), the rest of the species, due to an alteration in its morphic field caused by the advance of its individual member, thus instantly becomes more easily able to learn that same new thing (cats in Japan, unacquainted with the original Pittsburgh cat, are now figuring out how to flush toilets at a rapid rate).

Sheldrake proposed that religious rituals are a way in which "the past becomes present" because the people enacting the rituals, by the very act of the ritual, thereby enter into a morphic resonance with the people who in previous centuries performed the same rituals. Thus they partake of the wisdom and strength of all those ancestors. Also,

The morphic fields of social groups connect together members of the group even when they are many miles apart, and provide channels of communication through which organisms can stay in touch at a distance.

This phenomenon of non-local communication is very interesting for us folks on the path of awesoming our lives, because it implies that  through entering the morphic field of a certain group by adjusting one's resonance to match it, one can gain access to that group's implicit knowing and force of developmental organization.

In his book Power vs. Force, the psychiatrist and spiritual teacher David R. Hawkins claims that Sheldrake's theory of morphic fields and morphic resonances offer an explanation for why 12-Step Recovery Fellowships work so well to heal members from life-threatening compulsions and addictions: the frequent meeting attendance and repeated ritual behaviors which these fellowships encourage align suffering newcomers with the morphic field of those who are already successfully recovering from the illness.  Through the morphic field of the group, the newcomer who on his own could not stop abusing substances becomes capable of getting time away from active addiction just by simple actions that align him with the sheer power of the group's non-local field of recovery.

So if your life is kind of sucky right now, you're a newcomer, in a sense, to awesomeness.  You need to get aligned with the morphic field of an awesomed life. And virtualization is one important way to do that.

By spending time virtualizing a universe in which your authentic preferences are fulfilled, you alter your own morphic resonance so that it's in harmony with the group of people who have previously achieved those preferences. In doing this, you thereby access not only the collective group knowledge of people who know how to achieve those preferences but you also come into an organizing field which shapes the whole landscape of your life (including factors well beyond your conscious control) into the morphic pattern held by that field-- into the pattern of success.

Stay tuned for How to Virtualize Your New Universe Part 2!

 

Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism (TERO)

Dear Reader, Let's explore what it means to be Throbbingly, Extra-Rationally Optimistic in a way that makes your life burn well. I'm going on the assumption that by now you've made a list of 25 things you desire and you've put the items on that list to the bliss test. Great! Good job! I also hope you're beginning to practice our 4 Tools to Awesome Your Life.

Optimism is a tricky thing. It has a bad rap as being foolish, fluffy-headed, liable to get you hurt and in trouble. It can be and do all of these things when it's executed in a misguided manner, directed toward the fulfillment of desires that are really conditioned attachments or addictions and not authentic preferences.

False Hope

For example, I used to be very optimistic that I could live a life of constant partying and shameless self-promotion and thereby become a indie art world icon, not unlike Nico of Nico and the Velvet Underground fame. This was misguided optimism because it had to do with my conditioned attachments to attention, glamor, and various unsavory behaviors.  It was also an optimism that was based on a very limited and actually pessimistic assessment of my worth as a human being and also of the goodness of the world. In other words, I didn't trust that I could be valued by others for my intellect, my sensitive intuition and my kind heart-- in large part because I didn't value those things in myself. For a long time I thought those major virtues were actually liabilities-- they prevented me from being as tough and cool, nihilistic and frivolous as I thought I needed to be to be accepted.

It actually wasn't until I was working at the Andy Warhol Museum (you see, I was NOT kidding about my Velvet Underground / Warhol / Nico fandom) as a curatorial assistant in the archives, and I there came a cross a long-out-of-print biography of Nico which focused on her highly ignominious death in a ditch after collapsing while desperately seeking heroin in the hot sun that I came to question my aspirations and lifestyle decisions.  I thought to myself, "Hm, perhaps I do not wish to die alone in a ditch while desperately seeking heroin in the hot sun. Perhaps my current choices are leading me in that direction. Maybe I should try something else?"

The Need for Change

Those thoughts were just the beginning of me questioning my false optimism. It would actually take real tragedy and shock in my own life-- the ugly dissolution of everything that I had planned and hoped for-- until I became willing to work on cultivating a more genuine path for myself that had less to do with fulfilling glamorous images and gaining the approval of hip people and a lot more to do with living by spiritual principles and being of real service to the world.

Optimism put in the service of shallow hopes and aspirations that do not take into account a balanced, compassionate and accepting view of who you are CAN indeed be quite damaging.  However, if you've been living a life that's not burning well for quite some time (you've felt stuck, flat, afraid, paralyzed) it can be damn hard to achieve a balanced, compassionate and accepting view of yourself! What's a person to do?

The Double-Bind

It's a double-bind: In order to improve my life, I need to see myself much more kindly and much more clearly so I can cultivate a truly positive vision.  But my life is messed up to begin with because I don't see myself kindly or clearly, and everything in my messed-up life thus reflects back to me all the messed-up things I believe about the world, myself, and other people: it sucks, I suck, and they suck.

In other words, it's awful hard to start improving my vision for my future and my perception of myself when to all appearances around me, such improvements are not justified.

For example-- when I was at my lowest point after my party girl life came crashing down, it was very difficult for me to believe that I was a vibrantly worthwhile person who could have a major positive impact on others and thereby sustain herself financially and creatively.

Why was this so tough to believe? Because I had alienated all of my friends with the power of my crazy, was utterly broke,  and magestically miserable. I used these undeniably yucky circumstances as prime evidence in support my view that I was hopelessly flawed and mostly worthless.  This view of myself fueled the alienation, the crazy, the brokeness, and the misery by causing me to desperately seek quick-fix validation outside myself from dubious sources (shady and unstable guys-- a long-time favorite!).

A very unhappy circle.

The Way Out of the Double-Bind

In order to alter my perception of myself and the world and thus come into an authentically optimistic vision that could improve -  rather than degrade -  my life, I needed the help of others. A lot of others.

I needed therapists, spiritually-oriented friends, mentors, and books and advice columns and horoscopes by loving authors who addressed me compassionately and deeply. I recommend that you seek out all of these resources. Hopefully, this blog and maybe even personal consultation with me can serve you in this way. All of these resources things can help you get a better idea of what's possible.

So, Carolyn, What's Possible?

Imagine that I'm back from the future. Really. I've been to 1 year from now, I've hung out there, and I've seen what's up with you. I have a report of my findings to share. As I have a world-wide reputation as an utterly honest and infallible time traveller, you know you can trust my report absolutely. Here's what I've found: all of your authentic preferences arrived. They just showed up one day. You were hanging out, doing your thing, and one-by-one, things just started falling into place, magically and synchronistically.

Man, I'm serious. I talked to your future self. I found out all about it. You didn't strive, you didn't work extra-hard--  it all just happened.  The gypsy caravan that's so rad you can hardly stand it showed up full of gold coins and pug puppies, and it carried you to a house that looks just like a Lisa Frank sticker exploded all over it, wherein you proceeded to dress up in a very glittery manner ala David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust era, record a hit freak folk album and soak in your clawfoot bathtub before your roaring fire place while writing a much-sought-after self-help book and didactic novel.

So-- what's your experience like after you learn about this great news?

Odds are, you'd feel a wonderful ecstatic lift-- like, WOW! The world is a MUCH kinder place than I thought it was! Whoah! Who knew, baby? Things aren't so bad after all! You'd feel exhilarated, giddy, glad and boggled. You'd stop beating yourself up for what happened in the past. You'd stop pressuring yourself to make something good happen because you'd know it was going to happen. You'd deeply relax.

You'd feel thrilled and blessed and you'd derive much pleasure out of anticipating the arrival of the gypsy caravan of gold coins and pug puppies.  This anticipation would be so much fun that you'd probably start jotting down notes to yourself for song lyrics for your freak folk album, self-help book, and didactic novel. You might even want to begin really writing those things, so as to get a head start. You'd experience a surge in energy and a lot of great ideas for what you're going to do with that caravan and what kind of uplifting parties you're going to throw in that house. You might start reading about how to take care of pug puppies, 'cause sister, you gotta be ready. There's going to be a gazillion of them, remember.

Probably you would want to focus on savoring the pleasures of being a relatively anonymous person of modest means for the duration of the remaining months before the magic kicks in full force.  You might slow down, take it easy, revel.  You'd cease trying so hard to impress anyone or get ahead. You'd be much more generous with your time and willing to help others out because you'd cease to be so worried about your own future. You'd let your freak flag fly and no apologies about it, honey.

In other words you would let-go.  You'd have fun! You'd stop resenting what you lack now and regretting what you did in the past because-- heck, what have you got to complain about? There's a freakin' awesome gypsy caravan comin' round the bend!  You'd be your true self and every atom of your being would start humming with joy, humor, and goodness.  You would yourself become the sort of very magical creature that magical gypsy caravans are notoriously drawn to.

Sound good? Well, that's the power of Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism. Stay tunes for more ideas about practicing it!

Posted on March 3, 2011 and filed under Law of Attraction, Optimism.

The Dance of Faith

Dear Reader, Are you busily working with our 4 Tools to Awesome Your Life? I hope so, because I, for one, am having a blast with my Truth and Beauty Pages, Throbbing Extra-Rational Optimism, hops, and 5 Minutes Towards Beauty.

Questioning Desire

My razor-sharp friend Tait McKenzie Johnson over at The Absent Narrative wrote an insightful reply to yesterday's post on How to Desire, which can be found just under that post on this very blog and also here.

To briefly summarize, Johnson raises a fantastic question, "are desires necessarily a good thing to fulfill?" and then goes on to outline the ways in which desiring can be potentially deleterious to the soul.  He also notes that most of the things I listed as things I "Really, Really Want" are material objects, and offers his skepticism that material objects can really do all that much to promote happiness, observing that "there's a difference between having goals and wanting stuff."

I fully agree.  And while I don't myself subscribe to the practice of releasing all desires, I do think it's incredibly important to release all of what the pioneering human potential author Ken Keyes Jr. called "emotion-backed addictions"-- otherwise known as attachments to having things a certain way which cause us to get upset when things don't turn out as we wanted. These things have been called "desires" in certain contexts.  Keyes advocated that we focus on "upleveling" all of our attachments / emotion-backed addictions to "preferences." I highly recommend that everyone on earth read all about it in his 1970s classic, The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, which is invaluably wise and available in its entirety here online. To me, Keyes' distinction between attachments / addictions and preferences is very important.

The Dance of Faith

I think in order to have a life that burns well, one needs to not only release one's addictions to having things a certain way (i.e., surrender, let go) but also fully embrace, hope for and pursue the fulfillment of one's preferences. As you might imagine, this is a bit of a difficult dance to do.  Executed at its highest level, it's what the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard called "the dance of faith" and elaborated in the brilliant treatise Fear and Trembling.  According to Kierkegaard, one who executes the dance of faith may be called a "knight of faith" and thereby distinguished from someone who succeeds in surrendering but not also hoping for finite fulfillment-- whom he calls a "knight of infinite resignation."

Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling has such a scary title because it's mostly about the adventures of one particular knight of faith, Abraham, who had a rough going of it, what with the Lord ordering him to sacrifice his only son Isaac and all. Kierkegaard uses the story of Abraham and Isaac to highlight that in order to be a knight of faith, one must first fully and completely surrender (i.e., drop one's addiction to having things a certain way).  Abraham had to completely surrender his very normal and natural attachment to not murdering his own son with his own hand.  But according to Kierkegaard, Abraham didn't stop there with his surrender-- he also had an intense dose of Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism in which he trusted that even though he was killing his own son, things would still turn out okay. Of course we all know that Abraham's faith was rewarded-- an angel appeared and stopped him from killing Isaac at the last second. Whew!

So you see, there was a lot of fear and trembling in all of that.

But Kierkegaard also relates that there doesn't necessarily need to be a giant Old Testament tribulation in place in order for one to become a knight of faith, and emphasizes that knights of faith are not apparent to the eye.  They can be completely indistinguishable, in fact, from a sort of person that Kierkegaard quite loathed-- materialistic philistines like me. Kierkegaard imagines a scenario in which he is introduced to an utterly ordinary-seeming person ("Good Lord! that person? Is it really he—why, he looks like a parish‑beadle!") who likes to eat and drink and putter around and hope passionately that his wife has prepared his favorite dish for dinner and yet who is not at all disappointed when he finds she has not-- in short, who is actually a knight of faith.

I may not have my head quite wrapped around the whole Abraham-as-a-knight-of-faith thing, but I think I do grasp the philistine-as-a-knight-of-faith idea. It makes sense to me after having read Keyes' book and Byron Katie's book A Thousand Names for Joy.

In short, the Philistine Knight of Faith is a person who has managed the amazing feat of fully surrendering attachment while also zestfully embracing and pursuing her preferences.  This non-attached zestful pursuit has rather dazzling results. Witness Byron Katie, who is so non-attached to her continued earthly existence that she doesn't bat an eyelash when a dude holds a loaded gun to her belly and says "I'm going to kill you" but who also surrounds herself with lovely stuff and has a wildly successful metaphysical self-help business with her partner, the brilliant translator Stephen Mitchell.

As Kierkegaard points out, knights of faith are rather rare.  I myself am nowhere near that degree of profound surrender and simultaneous hope.  I am, however, deeply involved in practicing its movements to the best of my ability.

Something that I didn't get around to fully discussing when I wrote about Throbbing, Extra-rational Optimism in my 4 Tools to Awesome Your Life post wherein I described the amazing story of how I manifested my dream lover, Dey, is that while I worked on practicing total optimism that my true love would show up (and fast!) I also worked on surrendering my attachment to having that relationship at all.  In other words, I practiced the dance of faith.  Paradoxically, though-- I'd been trying to surrender my attachment to having a relationship for years without any success (I remained riddled with attachment! Just riddled!).  It was only when I began to practice Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism that I would get the wonderful relationship that I longed for that I became capable of surrendering my attachment to it, my frantic seeking of it.  Doesn't that just sound immensely complicated and weird? Just describing it -- I'm like, whoah, how the heck did I do that? It sounds impossible-- but that's my experience.

I want to break down and explain for you exactly how I did that, because I think it's an immensely valuable and awesome thing to do.

And, frankly, it is a little complicated and tough to explain and easy to misunderstand. It's also what I think is actually the way the whole law of attraction thing works.  So keep tuning in right here, folks, as I endeavor in the future to lead us through the dance of faith! In the mean-time...

What to Do With that List of Desires

Well, that was an interesting jaunt through existential theology, wasn't it? Now, you will ask, "What should I do with this damn list of 25 things I want?"

1. Notice Your Attachments / Addictions

Go through the list and make notes about what things on it you're especially attached or addicted to.  In other words, what things on that list are you totally bummed and resentful that you don't currently have? For example, I am amazingly resentful that my poetry hasn't been published yet by any of the magazines or book contests I've sent it to.  It also continually bugs me that I do not have absolutely gazillions of gold coins to swim in, and that no one has yet seen fit to award my unpublished manuscripts of poetry The Nobel Prize in Literature.  Of course, since I if I had gazillions of gold coins to swim in, I would also have a house that looks like a Lisa Frank sticker sheet exploded all over it, in a really good way and a gypsy caravan that is so rad I can hardly stand it, not to mention a pug puppy-- it stands to reason that I am fairly resentful about my lack of these things as well.

And that resentment and attachment, friends, is not just something that pollutes my current life, it's also something which stands in the way of me actually attaining those desires or dreams in the future.  Why? Because resentment and attachment create an inertia that affixes me to a negative and lacking self-image, drain me of energy, excite paralyzing fear, and cause me to grasp desperately at things that seem to offer what I truly desire, but actually do not. It's bad ju-ju. In other words, my resentment and attachment make me vulnerable to being self-deluded and deluded by all the dazzling lies of our consumer culture. Which, as perhaps you've noticed, sucks.

2. Ask Yourself a Very Deep Question

The question is this: what among these things would I still like or much prefer to have, even if I felt a constant inner state of fulfillment, peace, and bliss?

This question can be helpful in discerning your authentic preferences from ones that are largely false and fear-driven attachments. After we've done this work of discernment, we can get down to the nitty gritty of practicing surrender around the things that truly matter to us.

For example, if I were blissed out, I wouldn't really give a fig anymore about winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Those Swedish snobs could kiss my enlightened ass. Noticing this clues me in that my desire for a Nobel Prize is a conditioned or false desire-- not part of an intrinsic shape or Urpflanz model that my soul longs to blossom into, but a side accessory to bolster my oft-faltering writerly ego.

However, if I was totally blissed out, I would still like a house that looks like a Lisa Frank sticker sheet exploded all over it, in a really good way and a gypsy caravan that is so rad I can hardly stand it.  Of course, I wouldn't need these things-- I'd be blissed out! But I would like and prefer to have them-- whereas all that Nobel Prize riggamarole would just be an annoyance.

3. Take the Weeds of Resentment out of the Garden of Desire

Yes, even blissed-out me would still like the caravan and the crazy color house. Also the pug puppy and the gazillions of gold coins to swim in.

But! One might say. Carolyn! You should let go of those desires! You just said you feel all kinds of nasty attachment and resentment surrounding them. How can they be good things for your soul when you feel all that mucky yucky stuff surrounding them?

Well, let me tell you about that.  I used to use the same argument on myself in regards to my desire for a truly wonderful relationship.  I'd recognize that wanting it so much hurt (because I seemed to be constantly frustrated in my attempts to fulfill that want) so I'd try to talk myself out of wanting it.  This never worked because my desire for a wonderful relationship was an authentic preference-- it passed the "bliss" test. I could honestly say yes, if I was completely blissed out I would still prefer to have a fantastically awesome romantic partner in my life, just like Byron Katie has her "dear Stephen." Once I recognized that my longing for true love was an authentic preference, an intrinsic part of the design my soul wanted to blossom into in my life, I was able to give myself permission to fully, innocently, soaringly hope for it with a totally open heart, as I had never hoped for anything before.

As I previously noted, by some mind-boggling paradox, the very act of this Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism helped me to surrender my attachment and resentment surrounding the lack of an awesome relationship in my life.

And then, zooooooom! It worked!

So, concerned reader, I understand I still need to do a lot of work surrendering my attachment to gazillions of gold coins and the gazillions of pug puppies such gold coins could pay for-- or, as dear Mr. Keyes would say "upleveling" my emotion-backed addictions to them to preferences. But since I have now identified those as authentic preferences, I am prepared to begin practicing the magic of my Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism on them.  More on that tomorrow!

4 Tools to Awesome Your Life

Dear Reader, A few of my friends and I are having an adventure this March. I hope you’ll join us. We’re having an adventure in our own lives. We’re going to turn up the heat in our existence and fling off some brighter sparks. This is what we’ll do:

1. Truth and Beauty Pages

Each morning, first thing, we’ll write four pages in response to the question: “What’s true in my life? And what’s beautiful?”  I’ve been writing Truth and Beauty Pages on and off for years now. Whenever I do it, things go better— I’m more in touch with my life, with who I am, and with what I need to do (that’s the truth part) and I’m more sensitive to the glorious glories all around me (that’s the beauty part).  I’ve been doing it for the past two weeks and I can feel myself coming alive in a thousand surprising ways— I can’t believe I had stopped for so long!

Actually, let revise what I said in the first paragraph— it’s not just that things get better when I write my Truth and Beauty pages— it’s that Truth and Beauty pages have literally kept me alive at some points in my life. When I was young and in a really bleak situation, living with an older guy who lied to me and abused me on a daily basis, writing Truth and Beauty pages was the only thing that kept me sane and connected with my soul.

Writing each day about the reality of my situation (it sucked SO much) and about the beauty that I saw in myself, others, and the world served the dual purpose of both making me face the facts without denial, minimization, or

rationalization (three ugly devils who like to keep me stuck!) and also letting me dream about what could be possible. This gave me enough strength to eventually leave that man and build the awesome existence I currently enjoy.

Now that I’m quite a bit saner and about seventy trillion times happier, writing Truth and Beauty Pages continues to serve me because… as it turns out, there’s always more to discover when it comes to these primary spiritual principles. They’re no longer dramatically rescuing me from abusive scenarios, but they are bringing the much needed oxygen of consciousness to my experience— thus stoking the flames.

2. Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimism

As every life-coach new-agey metaphysical finger lickin’ person out there will tell you (and I, friends, am no exception) you have to vividly imagine your life working out in a way that will utterly rock your socks if you want your socks to end up rocked. The reason everyone will tell you this is because they are kind and good and it, ladies and gentlemen, is true.

How do I know it’s true? Well, that’s a good story. I was once in a completely yucky state with my dating life.  I could only seem to get interested in and attracted to guys who would lie to me and or harm me in some fashion (see above instance) and every “romantic” interaction I had was actually a disaster.  I overcame this situation in part by practicing the brilliant, exceptionally well-written instructions in Amy Spencer’s life-altering book, Meeting Your Half Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match. If you have any trouble finding the right person at all, I highly beg you (notice: I am not highly recommending and I am not begging— I am highly begging) that you purchase and read and practice this book.

I practiced the kind of optimism that Spencer so wittily describes— and that optimism gave me the power to fearlessly examine my previous patterns and change my fundamental false beliefs about who I am and what I deserve… which resulted in me cosmically attracting to myself my now-boyfriend, Dey, who I will put up against any dude you got in the “most phenomenally awesome lover and friend and human being” contest that we will organize and hold next year.

This experience— of going from a situation being so awful for such a long time (my romantic sorrows, oh, they were manifold!) to being so flippin’ great that I gush at every one endlessly about it— has taught me that yes, Amy Spencer and everyone else is right. Optimism works.

And not lazy optimism. Not, “Oh, whatever, yeah, that could happen” optimism.  I mean balls-to-the-wall, hoping-with-all-my-heart, completely exposed and vulnerable optimism.

I call it throbbing optimism, because when you’re really doing it (and more about how-to soon) your whole body pulses. It feels great.

I call it extra-rational optimism because it rationality and reason are way over-rated. The reasoning mind (at least mine) only knows what was true in the past, and makes deductions out of that.  It says that any hope that something truly different and way more better could happen is “irrational.” Well, I say it is NOT “irrational” — it is extra-rational.  It exceeds reason. It exceeds the known. It’s willing to accept the unknown— and that unknown is super-neat.

3. Hops

Hops are “hopeful optimistic practices.”  Yes, you’re right. That’s redundant.  It is so redundant because guess what? Our habitual negativity and existential dread is incredibly redundant.  So the stuff that combats it has got to be the same way. Hops are kind of like leaps of faith. Except they’re not leaps— because leaps are big and really really hard.  Hops are— you know, just hops. They’re fun. Less like soaring across a rocky gulch and more like bouncing— as bunnies bounce.  So you see, cadbury candy eggs.  No, wait. Cadbury candy eggs was not my point.

My point is this— we need each day to take little actions that are in line with the dreams of our Throbbing, Extra-rational Optimism.  These little actions must also be fun.  I don’t mean big actions. I don’t mean stuff that feels like a drag. I just mean little hip hops that are on the trail.

Hops are much, much easier to do, by the way, when you are indeed practicing your Throbbing, Extra-rational Optimism— because that stuff has some oomph in it, and provides inspirational energy that we might otherwise lack.

When I was practicing my dating optimism a la Amy Spencer, my hops were these: sifting through okcupid profiles, looking for guys I liked; getting dressed up all fancy and going to parties that sounded cool.  That’s it. So you see, these hops were not only not tough— they were also fun.

Here’s the thing though: had I not been practicing my Throbbing, Extra-rational Optimism, I totally would have talked myself out of those hops. “What’s the point at looking at okcupid? I’ve been on that stupid site for years and I haven’t met anyone I really liked who really liked me.” “Go to the Beaux Arts Ball? But

getting a costume together would take so much energy. Better to just stay home and look at LOLcats.”

So what happened due to my hops? Well, at the Beaux Arts Ball I dressed as my true self, Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, and this hot French guy asked me out while we were standing in a glorious topiary garden. He took me out on fancy dates to the theater and classy restaurants— which was a great time.  Stuff with the French dude did not ultimately work out, but it sure did help bolster my self-esteem which had been trampled by my years of misadventures— and weeks later, while trolling okcupid, I came across the profile of an astoundingly gorgeous Indian man who looked just like the astoundingly gorgeous Indian man I’d been seeing repeatedly in my (romantic, tender, luscious) night-time dreams. Hmmmmmm.  Well, that was Dey and that DID work out.

So yeah man— hops.

Currently, my Throbbing, Extra-Rational Optimistic dream is to become an internationally-known speaker, spiritual self-help author, workshop-leader, and life advisor (I would say “life coach” but I really just hate the word “coach”… it makes me think of coaches).

It occurred to me that writing a blog in which I share with the world what I know about making life richer would be a fun, not-difficult action that would align with my dream. So. Here I am. Hop! Hop! Hop!

4. 5 Minutes Towards Beauty

Every day we’ll spend five minutes making something beautiful. A painting, a story, a song, a poem, a cake, a comedy routine, a comic strip.  What you make doesn’t need to be “beautiful” in the “wow, that’s pretty” sense. It’s more that it’s beautiful in that it’s revealing something real through your craft— whatever that craft is. Remember, truth IS beauty. Honesty— even difficult to look-at-stuff— is also beautiful.  What I’m saying is, just because your comic strip is a vividly rendered piece about university professors who melt into nauseating, hairy gremlins when deprived of coffee doesn’t mean it can’t count as your “something beautiful”— because it’s true, so true, you see.

Devoting 5 minutes a day to making something beautiful has the powerful effect of putting you in alignment with the creative force of the universe— which, as you may notice, makes something (or, arguably, everything) beautiful every day.

Also, if you don’t yet have enough skills in a particular area to sit down and “make something beautiful” right then and there— that’s absolutely fine. Practicing and playing around counts too, as long as that practice is towardsthe beautiful.  For example— I’m just learning to play guitar right now (through the good grace of my friends who are so generous with their time!) and I can’t yet just sit down and write “Hallelujah.” Heck, I can’t even play “Hallelujah.” I’m working on making the transition from the C chord to the G chord. But that counts!

Okay, so that’s what we’ll be up to for the month of March.  So I hope you’ll join in! Feel free to write in questions to me under the “Ask me anything” tab up top.

Love,

Carolyn