Week 1 — Possibilites

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started my first MKMMA!  So many positive things have happened this past year, or, should I say rather, that I have made so many positive changes this past year.  I’m excited for my friends Elizabeth and Cristin to start this journey to the true blueprint of their lives.  This year, I am even more excited because I know that the information given here –if you choose to receive it — will open up all kinds of possibilities.

Change is usually not something people want — but it is inevitable.  The best part to me about this course is that once you realize what type of change you can affect with your mind — given the right tools to direct it —  that you are more in control of the changes in your life than ever before.  That’s a roundabout way of saying “This shit works!”  Will this next round be a bit painful as the first one was? Probably.  But so worth it.  A friend sent me this video just before I sat down to write this post… very timely.

Why Do We Fall

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Week 24 — Completion

It’s the end of the MKMMA program, but also the beginning!  The tools I’ve learned over the past six months to realize my dharma are without question, the most useful, most effective tools I have experienced in my life.  What I love about this program is that you have to figure out the work — no one tells you what to think.  My heart has expanded and I am finally realizing how to use my God-given gifts to help others!  I can think of so many people who need this information who are in my life.  Glad to have the opportunity to share my experiences with this blog post and plan to continue blogging about my life changes so I can perhaps inspire others.  I came across this post this past week and thought I would share it because its message so corresponds with the MKMMA tenet of serving others…

https://blissmaybe777.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/you-are-everything-to-someone/

My heart is full of love for everyone involved in MKMMA!!!

heart-people-heart

Week 23 — What do you want to be when you grow up?

What motivates people to achieve, or behave in such a way that desired results occur? What has motivated me to stick with this course?

When I was in graduate school studying Organizational Development, one of the topics I researched was achievement.  I remember that one of the people who researched it extensively was David McClelland. He believed that people are motivated for three reasons — a need for achievement, or NAch, the need for power, NPower, and the need for affiliation, or NAff.  Definitions are:

  • Need for achievement (NAch): The drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed.
  • Need for power (NPower): The need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise.
  • Need for affiliation (NAff): The desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships.

OK — so now the link to the MKMMA.  For those of you who are reading this post who are not yet participating in this program, these three needs correlate to the material in several ways.

In writing our DMP or definite major purpose document, we chose two personal pivotal needs out of seven possible ones — I chose helping others and true health.  Others included leaving a legacy, spiritual growth, autonomy, liberty, and recognition of creative expression.   I am about to revise the DMP but my two main personal pivotal needs will not change — at least for now. In fact, I have realized aspects of all of them in this program.  McClelland may have identified some personal pivotal needs, but this program teaches you how to make them manifest in your life!

I think that an example of the need for power may have to do with transforming our lives via the lessons and by changing our “blueprint”, so that we succeed in reaching our definite major purpose in life — finally!

At dinner the other night, I saw an important message on the menu — “What do YOU want to B when you Grow Up?  When I was younger and people would ask me this question, I  replied that I wanted to be a librarian. Although I do love libraries and reading, that is definitely not what I want to be!  If anything, this MKMMA program has helped me figure out the answer to this question and also know that there is not just one right and final answer.  In fact, the answer will change and that is OK!

gow up

Using McClelland’s definition of the need for power is that we can win others to our new habits by encouraging them to enroll in the MKMMA program.  Or, since giving to others is in our DMPs,  perhaps our DMPs result in others realizing their dreams !!! Wow, I think I just had a light-bulb moment! By reading Og Mandino do we become the Greatest Salesman in the World? By learning how to master our emotions, realize that we are nature’s greatest miracle, etc. do we attract others to do the same so that they too may realize their destiny, or DMP?  Yes.

Lastly, the need for affiliation is a strong component of the MKMMA program — both within the program by participating in the Alliances section, and, I believe, as one of its outcomes for each of us after the course is over.  I know that my experience has been that my heart is 100% more open to others than at the start of the program almost six months ago.  Like others, I suspect, I am almost grieving the end of it because it has had such a positive effect on my life!

Source: https://changecom.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/braden_pamela_a-_2000_-_mcclellandc2b4s_theory_of_needs.pdf

Week 22A — Tomorrow’s Joy

This has been a week of emotions for sure.  For the past three months, I’ve been working on releasing stored emotions that have been interfering with my physical health with the help of a gifted healer. A few weeks ago, I was finally able, after 11 years, to start releasing the grief from the death of my daughter, Kathryn, or Kate, as I called her.  I say death, but it was more like birth and death together since she was stillborn at full-term.  I  sang happy birthday to her as I held her before she was taken away to be prepared for burial.

Today is the 11th anniversary of her birth/death.  Coincidentally, or, perhaps not, the days of the week are exactly as they were the weekend I labored to deliver her — the 5th and 6th of March.   She had Down Syndrome, and, although members of my family said that this was a blessing that I did not have to raise her with her physical and mental difficulties, it was no consolation for me.  The only consolation I had was God’s peace and love, which surrounded me during this very difficult time in my life.

Now, I am sure that this MKMMA course has been instrumental in helping me come to the place where I am able to do this very important healing work and I am grateful.  The Gal in the Glass poem has helped as well as the healthy self-love that this program engenders. Understanding how thoughts, emotions and actions work together is very powerful.  I think that one of the most powerful lessons is how we can master our emotions, which is the topic of this month’s readings.

I work with essential oils and have a device that can connect with my body’s energetic field and therefore help me know which oils to use for my physical and emotional state.  Tonight I scanned for Console, which is the Comforting Blend.  As I sat in the bath with the Console blend all around me, crying, it occurred to me that this pain that I felt was not going to kill me after all, and that letting it come out was very necessary.   I also realized that the chapter in the Og Mandino book we are reading this month, is very relevant to what happened to me with Kate.  I just love this sentence: “Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into despondency, yet I will remember that as today’s dead flower carries the seed of tomorrow’s bloom, so, too, does today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.”  I am sure that releasing these strong negative emotions will create room for more good ones, like Joy, and many others.

Twisted With Joy

 

 

Week 21 — Blocks

OK, I admit it, I’m struggling with too many irons in the fire, which is why my post is late!  I have been reflecting this past week on what is blocking me from re-writing my Definite Major Purpose, or DMP document.  I had a great video call with my guide, Nancy, two weeks ago and told her I was going to re-write it, but still have not done so.  It needs to be done!  Three of the major goals have been met!  While on my trip last week I realized that I have another very important goal that needs to be included that has to do with where I plan to live.  So…. what is the block this time?  Yes, I am busy with life, including starting massage school (one of my DMP goals!).   But still, if it were important to me, why have I not started writing it down?

There is something very powerful about writing down your dreams, goals, desires.  I know from seeing the goals on my current DMP come true that it works.  I have always thought of myself as a risk-taker, but now I am re-evaluating just how much of a risk taker I really am.  One thing that has helped is taking more “risk” with my Bikram yoga and Pilates workouts — I’ve been pushing myself to do more in those classes and to ignore the pain that inevitably comes with that effort. I can feel my stomach muscles more now !  My body and mind are more in sync. No, it’s not the bad kind of pain, it’s the good kind! The kind your muscles can recover from and get better because of it.  So… another lesson learned… some pain is OK and can actually take you places.

Body-aches

Because of MKMMA, I know that I can control my response to pain.  I am choosing to see it as not something to be avoided at all costs, but, like anything else, something that I can use to get me where I want to go.  Just like the emotions we’ve been recognizing these past couple of weeks — guilt, fear, anger, worry — pain has its place in my life.   Another thing that has probably helped me lately tolerate pain more — at least physical pain — is how I have been able to release past emotional pain.  There is definitely a connection.

So, back to my re-write of the DMP.  I think I haven’t set aside time to do it because if I achieve the goals in the new one, there will be some pain involved as far as others in my life.  OH, is this what it means to live true to yourself?  It’s not all easy and wonderful.  Choices that I make about my future may not be compatible with choices that my friends and family would make.   It feels good to write all this out!  Now on to the DMP!

 

Week 20 — Breathing Inspiration

What is inspiration?  This week’s readings uses that word a lot.   Here is the first definition that came up on Google:

in·spi·ra·tion
ˌinspəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
 the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  1. “Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration”
  2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation.
    breathing

I believe that inspiration comes from God, or the “Universal” in our readings. As God is the source of all creation, when we are creative, or mentally stimulated to do or feel something — as in a thought that comes to us — does this mean that inspiration comes from God?  Sometimes I wonder what percentage of my thoughts are created by my mind and what percentage are from God’s mind!  When a random thought comes into my mind about something I was not thinking of previously and usually has to do with something that is happening in the future, I have learned to assign its source to God.  What a great feeling to be connected and led by Him!  The text reads in sentence 14 that “Inspiration is from within. The Silence is necessary, the senses must be stilled, the muscles relaxed, repose cultivated.  When you have thus come into possession of a sense of poise and power, you will be ready to receive the information or inspiration or wisdom which may be necessary for the development of your purpose”.  Therefore, my inspirations about the future may be indications of how my life is proceeding towards my purpose.  What else can help us be silent, or connected?

Interestingly, the text also mentions breathe in sentence 24 — “Every time we breathe we fill our lungs with air and at the same time vitalize our body with this Pranic Ether which is life itself, so that we have the opportunity of making a conscious connection with All Life, All Intelligence and All Substance.”   I recently watched a great National Geographic documentary called “The Living Body”.  It traces the biological evolution from conception to age 70.  The critical first breath a baby takes sets so many other processes in motion that are critical to survival.  Breathe relaxes and connects our minds and bodies — it is critical to focus on the breathe, for example in Bikram hot yoga as well as most other physical activities in order to maximize the effort. In fact, the 26 postures start and end with a breathing exercise! There are even applications to download on phones that help you improve your breathing.
Therefore, perhaps by breathing more deeply and regularly during the day, more inspiration will come!?  I plan to focus more on breathing, especially when doing the SIT.

Week 19 — Peaceful Warrior

We watched an old movie while on vacation this past week called Peaceful Warrior.  A little like Karate Kid…and a lot like MKMMA practices!  For those of you who have not seen it, it is a good example of what happens when you slow down enough to concentrate on the present and not on the past or the future.

skiing

I thought about that movie when I was skiing at Wintergreen this past week — one of the goals on my DMP, or definite major purpose document.  As I had envisioned it, the day was perfect for skiing — fresh powder — natural on top of man-made — the sun was out.  There were few people on the slopes.  I hadn’t skied in over 20 years, but it came right back to me, just like riding a bike!  Yes, I did fall, but even that was fun.  As I skied down a long beginner run, I worked on my form and though about the message from the movie.  I noticed that as I focused on the moment, I was also more aware of the sensations I was feeling — the cold air, the sun, the sound of the skis on the snow.  I laughed out loud as I whizzed towards the chair lift — delighted to be alive!  The less I was afraid of falling and the more confident I became, the more fun I had.  When I was not scared, my muscles worked better and weren’t tensed up, so skiing was easier. I thought to myself that I was in charge of this mountain and was able to control my skis and this helped me stay up as well.  Before MKMMA I did not have this awareness of how I can choose my thoughts.

At peace!

 

 

Week 18 — Grati-tools

This week my focus is on gratitude.  I’ve noticed that some of my FB friends post frequently about what they are grateful for and, although I don’t do that regularly, I did post that I was grateful this week about trying aerial yoga for the first time.  I saw it on a television show recently and was happy to see it offered at a wellness spa I visited this past week. One of the requirements of the MKMMA program is to write down at least three things we are grateful for on our index cards every day.  I have found this practice to be very beneficial to my overall happiness.

So much so, that today, while driving home from a great Pilates class, I was listening to a pop music station that I normally don’t listen to and a rap-type song came on with something about being grateful for what you do have instead of upset about what you don’t have.  All of sudden, I found that I was crying — but it wasn’t because I was sad.  I think this is one of the few times — maybe even the first! — that I was crying because I was grateful and happy instead of sad.  Wow!  Now I finally get what tears of joy means!

While at the wellness spa, I attended a lecture by Jerry Posner, an expert in happiness.  He spoke on “The Practical Power of Gratitude” and gave us “Grati-tools” to increase our intentional gratitude practice.  I shared how we are working on gratitude in this MKMMA course.  Of the seven he gave us, my favorites are as follows — note that the third one uses emotion, as we have learned to do from the brain science folks.  These are taken directly from handout.

  • List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life.  Once a week, read your list and add ten more names. Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note.  And, maybe, write that note!
  • Make a gratitude list on your birthday with one item for each year of your life.
  • Close your eyes…relax…and for one minute, focus your attention on a person, thing, circumstance, situation, accomplishment, talent, ability, etc. that you’re truly and deeply grateful for.  If you can, imagine/visualize him…her…it.  If you mind wanders, just bring it back. FEEL the gratitude and happiness as you focus your attention.  Make a mental movie, or create a mental collage — also fine!  Do it once a day, or when you’re feeling stressed. Or, invent your own “gratitude break!”.

Thank Jerry, I’m grateful for you!  If you want more info, go to http://www.jerryposner.com

173ab4d

 

Week 17a — Ease and Perfection

Several times this week I thought about my blog post and had at least two subjects to talk about, but now, I cannot remember either of them!  Interesting that this week’s readings, Chapter 17 of Haanel, is about the power of concentration.   I found myself procrastinating every time I thought about sitting down to write my blog this week.  Yes, I was distracted by upcoming travel and my birthday (today!), but again, these are just excuses.

I have not been doing all the homework exercises this week as I have in the past, and I think my discouragement was part of my reluctance to write my post.  In last week’s survey, I was asked if I am happier than I was before I started this program.  The answer from me was a big “YES!”.  The one thing that I do every day is to say the affirmation “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy!” and I think just doing this one simple thing has helped tremendously.

Something else to note today — as I had a birthday lunch with my mother, who was openly critical about my choice to start massage school this March, I realized that I would choose not to be upset over her criticism.  Instead, I said a quick prayer, asked Jesus to help me get through the lunch, smiled, and said well, I understand that is how you feel about it but that is not how I feel.  I then changed the conversation and we were able to have a somewhat pleasant meal together.  Wow!  What a difference from four months ago! The self-confidence I have now is so much different than before.  So even though I have not been “perfect” at doing all of the exercises, I think enough has taken effect for me to have that response.

Haanel says that “ease and perfection are gained by repetition”.  You got that right!

 

Week 17 –Virtues

This week I am looking for the virtue of Enthusiasm in myself and others.  Last week it was Kindness, and interestingly enough, I continue now to find Kindness while I look for Enthusiam.  While standing in line at Sam’s Club last night to return an item I struck up a conversation with the man in front of me.  He was returning an entire case of Cheetos.  I asked if he had a large family — he said no, that he was neither married nor did he have children.  He wanted to exchange the flaming hot Cheetos for the regular ones so he could give them out to the children he visited who were orphans.  He then went on to say that the children were always surprised when they learned that he had no children of his own. He was also very enthusiastic as he described bringing treats to the children.  As a health coach, I suggested, of course, that he bring some healthy items sometimes.  Apparently the children prefer the junk food.

As he said these things to me, many questions entered my mind, but I did not think it was the right time/place to ask them of him.  I was so curious about where he went to see these children and why.  When I told him I was going to write about his act of Kindness in my blog post, he smiled, but did not ask me more about the blog post such as the name of it or more about this “personal development” course I was taking.  He was polite and seemed happy to chat with me, but also a bit shy.  It did make me wonder, after our conversation, how many more people were doing their own acts of Kindness all around me.

Today, my Enthusiasm dot on my tracker is from a salon I visited for a mani-pedi.  I complimented the owner on the gold butterflies embedded in the shiny black floor.  He enthusiastically described how they were made in Dubai and created especially for his salon out of real gold.  His enthusiasm for the process and the attention to detail was very interesting to me.  This attention to detail continued with the great customer service I received, and at the end of my appointment, as I was checking out, he asked me about my job.  He may become one of my clients!  I wonder if his enthusiasm over the fact that I noticed his butterflies contributed to his openness in doing business with me.  🙂

As I observe these virtues from Ben Franklin in those around me, I am more aware of them in myself and my desire to increase them.  Next week is Specialized Knowledge and I can’t wait to see who I encounter!