Posts filed under Guide to Awesome

9 links that make life more awesome

Wherein I scour the interweb for greatness, so you don't have to.

1. Imagine yourself as enlightened.  It's okay, go ahead. There's full instruction on how to do it in this wise update on traditional Tibetan deity practice for the modern westerner by the very wonderful Ken McLeod that I'm now totally obsessed with.

2.  Which afflictive emotion dominates you? Is it anger, pride, desire? Whatever it may be, there's a Buddha family for that - a collection of awakened beings who deal with that affliction and lead to its healing.  It's fun to learn about what Buddha family you belong to - it's like the best personality assessment ever.

3. Sara Whittemore over at Cosmic Outlaw is blowing my mind. The 26 things she's learned in her 26 years on earth are rich and edifying.

4. Are you a fierce gentleman? If so, Andrew Long over at the Love and Freedom Project has some very useful things to tell you.

5. I only like visionary art. Good thing I know folks like Pierce Marratto of Touchfaster, who makes stirring images like the one below.


6.  What would I ever do without tracks from DJ James Gyre?  The one below, with its exciting cut-up style, reminds me of Girl Talk... but you know, better.

[soundcloud url="" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

7. Rhiannon Llewellyn offers inspiring holistic business insight over at the Love and Money Revolution radio show.

8. The Buddha Brats, Adamas and Anreal, offer some astounding and unconventional insights on the diamond vehicle path, which I'm lapping righ tup.

9. Diana Dyer thinks and writes a lot about kale. 365 days of it, in fact. Which makes her way rad in my kale-loving heart.


What a Year of Awesoming Does to One's Life

It's been just about a year since I started this blog.

... and I'm stunned every day now by how awesome my life has indeed become.

Just for the record, here's a quick survey of some grand things that awesoming brought me this year:

  1. Friends who like me so much they sing songs about it (I truly never imagined this would ever happen).
  2. The relatively painless finishing of my PhD (also something I feared could never happen). Here's the dissertation I wrote, in case you're curious.
  3. The presence of mind and persistence to write my first ever subversive comic metaphysical novel.
  4. The willingness to record my own tiny little album with just me singing.
  5. The great good fortune to have a severe case of mutual falling-in-love with a very handsome mad genius from another dimension.

Yet despite the fact that things are INCREDIBLE right now, in the past year I managed to accomplish a lot of suffering.  So much suffering that on some days I felt down-right embarrassed that I had a blog and a book on awesoming.

The source of my suffering? I was staying in a situation that obviously wasn't working because I feared change.  It's a lesson that I wrote about in the first chapter of my book: we have to always be willing to let go of what worked in the past and open up to what is needed in the present if we want to experience joy and flow.

Clinging to comforting-but-stultifying set-ups is a deadly path. Last year at this time I knew this well enough to write about it but throughout the year I had to go through another cycle in the continuing spiral that it takes to really learn these kind of things.

Thankfully I now have a bit of a rest from that part of the spiral - I'm enjoying the flow and freedom and awesomeness that have come out of my willingness to confront the painful truth of the situation and to take action to change it from a place of love, surrender and acceptance.

It's my experience that spiritual awakening (or awesoming your life, as I like to call it) is an ever-deepening process of letting go of control and learning to trust in the creative movement of the world - the Tao, or God, or the Universe.  Whatever you want to call it: it's the sweet spot.

It's the thing that can't be talked about but which can be accessed via intuition and reverence.   I can so easily keep myself from receiving the gifts of that power just by getting wrapped up in my beliefs about "how life should be" and "what I should do."  I invest these beliefs with all the sticky power of my ego and end up using them to bully myself.  The more I do this, the less free I feel - until! - the pain of clinging to my beliefs exceeds my tolerance.  Then, only then, I become open minded. "Maybe my life doesn't have to be this way - maybe this isn't what I have to do."

But even once I'm open-minded I still don't know what the hell to do with myself.  At that point, I have to call directly on powers greater than me.  I rely on a wonderful quote from Jung's The Archetypes and the Unconscious to remind me how to do that:

“There are problems which one simply cannot solve on one's own resources. Such an admission has the advantage of being honest, truthful, and in accord with reality, and this prepares the ground for a compensatory reaction from the collective unconscious... If you have an attitude of this kind, then the helpful powers slumbering in the deeper strata of one's nature can come awake and intervene, for helplessness and weakness are the eternal experience and the eternal problem of humankind. To this problem there is also an eternal answer, otherwise it would have been all up with humanity long ago. ... The necessary and needful reaction from the collective unconscious expresses itself in archetypally formed ideas.”

It's rather pagan of me: lately when I pray I like to pray directly to the archetypes within my own soul.

"Dear Archetypes," I begin, "I have abso-zero-fucking-lutely idea what to do about the conflict I feel within myself between wanting to (stay in / leave this relationship; achieve more / have more free time; eat endless piles of chocolate / enjoy better health). I've tried everything I can come up with to solve this problem and I just can't through my own power. I need your help, I need you to do it for me."

This is an embarrassing prayer to have to make.  It means admitting that I'm really not all that capable.  It means humbly putting myself at the mercy of larger forces - coming to the honest recognition that I don't know and not moving from that stark recognition, not rushing to fill in the void with a mind-created "solution" of my own.  That staying within the humble not-knowing is the most subtle and difficult thing of all.

But I find when I'm able to do it that Jung is exactly right: in a few days, something "slumbering in the deeper strata" of my nature wakes up.  Something moves and shifts within me.  I get inspiration; I see possibility; I'm no longer stuck. The archetypes within me float me an idea.  I apply the idea.  The idea works.

I like to think of this as the work of becoming obedient to my own soul (being as the archetypes are aspects, or faces, of the soul).  D.H. Lawrence liked to say that that's what real freedom is: not the freedom to do whatever you want (since most of what we want to do is rather silly ego-stuff) but rather the freedom to obey the dictates of your own soul.  D.H. Lawrence was cool like that.

So anyways - yes.  I'm happy to offer at least my own anecdotal testimony that the principles espoused throughout this blog and my book work as advertised.  I wake up in the morning feeling sweet and happy, have some moments of sheer ecstatic effulgence throughout the day and go to bed satisfied and grateful.

Since I know myself, I know that sooner or later I'll get myself into another sticky situation and have to do more of that difficult deepening surrender work in order to experience this kind of ease and flow again - but that's okay.  Awesoming is a dynamic process.   And this year, I think I'd like to write more about that dynamism as it happens, to share my process more vividly with you as it unfolds.

And now I'm curious about you.  What have your own awesoming processes brought you lately in terms of pains and joys, insights and gifts?








image: [scrappy annie]

Posted on May 31, 2012 and filed under Guide to Awesome.

How to Get Enlightened Without Really Trying + Glam Rock!

I've decided that each week I'll publish five-week-old newsletter broadcasts here on the blog so no one who stops by has to miss out on our previous fun (every week on Thursday I send out three sparkly free gems from around the web-- books, albums, videos-- and updates about AYL doings).
If you want to get the freshest gems and updates, you'll still have to subscribe here, but if you don't mind waiting, you can read the older stuff without signing up.

How to Get Enlightened Without Really Trying + Glam Rock!

My two major goals in life are to achieve Unconditional Love Consciousness and to become very glittery.  Unsurprisingly, then, I spend a lot of time seeking out enlightened teachers and glam rockers.
What follows are some thought-provoking and glittery-rockin' gems I've been enjoying his week.
The Gems
This is a book that's oft-quoted in some of the far out circles that I run in, and so I tracked it down this week and have been digging in.  Bayman is an independent scholar and I love that about him-- he draws freely on his own spiritual insight as the disciple of a Sufi teacher in order to elucidate connections between Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam) and other mystic traditions.  The work is not just informative-- it's also inspiring and very calming.
(free youtube video series)

I love to watch my youtube gurus like some little old ladies love to watch their network soap opera stories.  Adyashanti is one of my very favorites.  He's much less well-known than Eckart Tolle, but in many ways he's more lucid and accessible.  Adya (as he's fondly called) was just a young California dude who practiced Zen meditation who one day decided to give up "practicing" meditation as he had been taught and experienced a series of profound awakenings. The first few times I listened to him I thought he was "boring"-- and then gradually I got hooked.  He's stating basic nondual truths with such purity and clarity that it's thrilling.
(download the full album for free)

I first met Dan Koshute (aka Dazzeltine) at a Hare Krishna kirtan in the university district of Pittsburgh. I thought to myself, "That man reminds me of Marc Bolan, the legendary elfish glam rocker." Well ladies and gentlemen, this thought of mine is evidence that all that chanting really has brought me into psychic-bliss-cosmic-consciousness because I was dead-on in my intuition.  Dan really is a glam rocker the likes of which we mortals have not seen since the Marc Bolan / David Bowie era.  Check out this album artwork! Check out this album! It's psychedelic sexy sparkle joy. For free!
My services as a creativity consultant + loving friend via skype are now available to you as a gift. Read all about it right here.
I've already had one taker so far in the form of the marvelous Abigail Amalton (@silentinfinite) who tweeted right afterward: "Amazing skype session with @carolynhoney - super inspired. Truly, we can all be supported 100% by love: no need to play to the gatekeepers!"
Check out Abigail's incredible art work.
Also, I'm trying to get an online gift circle forum into motion.  Come make me less lonely over here. Come share your gifts and receive, too.
So there are my offerings to you this week, wondrous creatures. Feel free to write to me to let me know how you like this stuff (or don't). Also, if you do like it, please invite your friends to sign up for the letter right here.

Getting Started with Digital Entrepreneurship - for Artists and Other Fluffy Types


Why? Because most jobs just suck.


I'm heavily disillusioned with the world of jobs and bosses and the general lack of dignity afforded to wage slaves. Most of my friends are, too.  This means that we're often broke because we refuse to work for people and companies we can't stand.


So we've started talking about entrepreneurship.


Don't get me wrong. I'm no unqualified fan of capitalism (especially the globalized corporatism that we have now).  I'm thrilled with the Occupy Wall Street movement and plan to stay for the long haul with Occupy Pittsburgh.  I look forward with high hopes to us one day having a sacred economy and I offer a lot of what I do as free gifts (Talk to Me - Gift Economy Style).  But I do however recognize that I need to make money. Without having a boss.


How to Succeed in Business By.... Really Trying


So I plan to launch my book Awesome Your Life: The Artist's Antidote to Suffering Genius later this year via this website. I'm inspired by all the success stories and great resources I've found around the web, and I'm eager to share these stories and resources with my friends.  I guess I've become something of an digital entrepreneurship evangelist.


So here's what's helping me:


The Business Goddess eCourse by Goddess Leonie Allan

As you may have noticed, I'm kind of fluffy.  I needed someone equally fluffy to explain online business stuff to me.  Goddess Leonie makes her living online offering lovely hand-illustrated creativity guides and she happens to dress in flowy velvety dresses.  So I felt like she might be on the same wavelength.  Boy, was I right.


In the Business Goddess eCourse Leonie breaks down all the technical stuff that just plain mystified me (how to set up a shopping cart; how to receive payments via pay pal; how to create digital products; how to get the word out).  And she does it all with such guileless kindness! Click here to view more details - this'll take you to the Business Goddess eCourse page


Dave Navarro's Online Business Tool Box


The online product launch coach, Dave Navarro, recently decided to take a break from the interwebs.  As a parting gift, he made available an incredible resource-- ALL of his programs (which formerly cost 100's of dollars) for FREE!


Sadly, Dave is not very fluffy and does not dress in long flowy velvet dresses.  His style is rather more gruff.  He has a kind of "grab 'em by the balls and sell 'em stuff" attitude which doesn't completely vibe with me.  But he offers really great in-depth information, so we'll forgive the hyperbolic guy stuff.


As a caveat, I don't know if I would have been able to grasp all the technical stuff in Dave's free offering first if I hadn't already taken Goddess Leonie's course.  But you might be a bit savvier than me.


Here are just a few of the (ball-grabbing) courses you'll find in the Toolbox:

Creating Products That Sell

Building a Responsive List

Becoming a Big Player in Your Niche


Click here to view more details - this'll take you to the Launch Coach Online Toolbox


The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge


I may have said it before, but I'll say it again: I love Ash Ambirge. A lot of what you really need to get started as an entrepreneur is attitude and willfulness and Ash has plenty of it to spare.


The Middle Finger Project is a blog that wakes you up and gives you a swift stiletto kick.


The title of her brilliant book, You Don't Need a Job, You Need Guts rings through my head about five times a day, each time I consider giving up.  I'll catch myself looking at "help wanted" sign and I'll think to myself, "Hey, Carolyn-- you don't need a job, you need guts." And then I smile and feel much better.  Because I just feel in my heart that it's true.


Click here to visit Ash Ambirge - This'll take you the page for You Don't Need a Job, You Need guts


In Conclusion


I hope you find these resources as useful as I have.  I'll be sure to keep you posted about my own entrepreneurial progress.  Right now, I'm working on increasing the readership of this here blog.  So if you like it-- tell your friends!


Also-- be sure to sign up for the weekly Genius Updates letter below.  I send it out every Thursday with 3 incredibly rad FREE gems that I find during my web surfs (fantastic whole books, video series, and albums that are... FREE) and updates & offers concerning Awesome Your Life.


Here's where I brag: last night no less a personage than the urban shaman of Union Square in NYC, Matthew Stillman, told me the letter was "brilliant."  So. Maybe you'll like it, too.


Sign Up for the Genius Updates letter