Blueprints, Birthdays and Beagles…

Hey all!

Been quite a while since I have posted. Yes, some elements of old blueprints have risen, but I think there may be an explanation for some of that that I didn’t realize until I had started this post. But let me assure you, for the most part, all is well, all is well…

There are certain birthdays that seem to draw feelings of dread and despair. It was my turn to back up to one of those.

60.

Really??

As the day approached I wondered if I’d suddenly hunch over and start to drool, forget where I left my keys, or why I even needed them – clearly I was taking this way too far. None of that happened. Luckily, someone had suggested to me that 60 was the new 40. I’m good with that.

However, there was a little despair. And I guess a little dread. I titled this post “Blueprints, Birthdays and Beagles”. I used Beagles for alliteration. It’s actually about a beautiful golden retriever…

Little chuck

We received Charlie into our family in 2005 as a 6 week old pup. Just a doll. On my birthday, this year, just prior to his 11th birthday, our family gathered in our home as two wonderful young women administered to his final needs.

Charlie and Aubry

I share this with you for a few simple reasons.

To tell you of the power of family. While an inopportune time to say goodby to a family member, my oldest was in from Calgary with his lovely Jenae for my birthday. He had wanted to be home when it was time to say goodbye to Charlie. This was simply the best day.

In spite of consistent and insistent prayers for Charlie to just go to sleep on his own, I realized that this life is simply not meant to be without sorrow. Our ability to experience and understand joy is, I would suggest, proportional to our experience with sorrow. As we surrounded Charlie as he passed and then last evening as we sat on the patio, told stories and took turns returning his ashes to the earth in the little corner garden in our back yard, I realized how lucky I am to have been blessed with the family I am part of.

I share this to remind us all to find the sacred in even the most difficult of times – I was astounded as I not only heard the house become incredibly quiet as Charlie was passing, but I felt how still the home became. It was quite amazing.

I share this also to loop back to the Blueprint thing. I have found myself dipping back into some of the darkest of depressions I have had to fight my way out for a long time. But I learned something very important, I think – or at least for me. I felt a level of relief when my dear Jackie finally made me sit my butt on the couch and talk to her about what I was feeling and experiencing. It reconfirmed to me that concerns and fears all things dark can expand in our heads to unmanageable proportion until they are expressed in words. Suddenly, they have form and limits and become nothing but fluff, for the most part.

I also learned that sometimes, environment can deeply effect our experience. Charlie has been suffering (far longer than I think we knew) with the tumour in his left sinus. The vet that came to assist him indicated that Golden’s simply don’t show their pain. I thought I would be completely devastated with his passing, but a strange thing happened. There had been a dinner planned at Maggiano’s in Detroit with the kids for my birthday, and we decided to go inspite of having just lost the pup. I had one of the best times ever at a family function. As I sat outside the next morning, honestly, the sky was bluer –  the air was, softer, somehow – everything seemed so much lighter. I’m not sure, but I think I was somehow embracing the unrealized suffering that was in my home.

If there’s a message, it’s this – protect your environment. Clean your “house” of not only the dust bunnies, but the demons and dragons. Cherish your family. Create meaningful moments.

And cherish your friends – even and especially the furry ones…

Thanks for listening.

Larry T

Week(s) 21/22

It seems I missed a week. And from a practical position, it only makes sense to squish these two together. It’s kind of felt like just one big blob. I and say that with no complaint or regret at all. I find myself mostly parked on the couch with little variety over the last number of days. I had mentioned in a prior post that there was shoulder surgery scheduled and that event has come and gone. However, the post-op thing has just been a pain. Not in the shoulder at all. The pain, is much lower and toward the backside…

You know how sometimes if you’re asleep and  whatever you may be wearing get’s twisted and tight and really uncomfortable? And then you get to a point that you’re just have to get out of bed and readjust everything before you can even come close to relaxing? This goofy sling that I’m having to wear is causing that kind of feeling through most of the day and through my broken sleep. I must confess that I’m not a very patient patient.  As I’m writing this I have abandoned the sling for a few hours, being very careful to not put any stress anywhere, but I just had to get out of it for a little while.

So, what’s the lesson – there’s always a lesson. Patience – clearly. And the need to sometime change out your routine when necessary. Phil Sykes, one of our MKMMA alum, a very close friend and one who I have mentioned in prior posts, offered the thought that I needed to perhaps withdraw for a short time to heal. And that has become the way that I can get through this thing. Falling back into a different kind of silence. A physical silence. At least on my right side 😉

I’ve been able to find ways to still roll the garbage out to the street, flip the laundry one handed, do some cooking and still work on the laptop. I’m so backlogged with things that I must get to soon, but I know I simply am not willing to risk further injury and starting all over again. Such it is, I think, with the MKMMA experience. This has been a healing of sorts, I’m sure, for many.  And I think we need to take care to let the old injuries heal up before we stress them too far. I confess that this thing has thrown me backwards a bit in terms of confidence and commitment in a number of things including my reads and sits and such, but I also know that this is short term. I’ve started to clear up over the last couple of days and am just about ready to hop back on the horse.

I am so grateful for my wife and kids that have been a total support during this period. That alone has made the discomfort bearable.

I wish you all continued success in your journey. Finish strong.

 

LT

 

Week 20 – Sneaky Snake…

One of the movies the MKMMA tribe had suggested as a good flick to watch is titled “I AM”. I had discovered this movie quite some time ago and have watched it many times. The overall message is powerful, the details are so instructive.

There is a quick scene where the reality of nature being, at times, a little cruel and violent, and the laws of the wild are displayed – predator and prey. (There’s also a very cool scene later on where the power of the tribe is displayed when a rescuing wildebeest comes to the aid of one of it’s own when being attacked by a big cat.) However there are a few frames showing a snake, suddenly striking a small rodent, wrapping it in it’s coils, I’m confident, to a sure death.

This week has felt much like that at times. Old blueprints, and habits, and limiting beliefs, coiled and ready to take me down. And there have been moments, minutes, sometimes an hour or two, where I have succumbed. “It’s too much”. “I’ll never get it all done, so why do any”. “I have to, but I can’t, but I have to…” (that one’s a killer!). The list is long.

But here’s the thing – it’s early Friday morning, and I’m still here. I stood in the studio this morning in my SuperWoman stance (yes, I’m confident enough in my orientation to not have that bother me), and raised my arms over my head and said (quietly- the kids are still in bed) “I can get this done. I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, harmonious (healthy) and happy. I can be what I will to be. I am a non-judgmental observer. I’ve done this before, I can do it again, even better!” I read my cards. I am grateful for all my experiences, I can see the miracles and magic in past events that were brought into reality after a simple request (humble demand).

We’re finding our footing in a foreign world. The things we’re discovering of ourselves and of the Universe that God has created and offered to all isn’t easy, or comfortable. Sometimes it feels impossible and unnatural. I would suggest that it’s so natural that if we would just get out of our own way, it would and will take our breath away.

I honour each of you – for your efforts and successes. I also honour your difficult days that might not be described as joyous or successful –  for the fact that you have stumbled upon this blog post suggests that you haven’t bailed. Every day that we don’t bail is a day we have done, next, what the person we intend to become would have done.

Congratulations!!

In closing, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to those who shared their kindness and concern in their comments on last weeks post. I was whining and complaining about an upcoming surgery next week and feeling financially beat up, and at the point of writing (pre-update) was “un-PIF-able”.  As is usually the case, I don’t have all the financial resources I might wish I did, but it seems I always have sufficient for my needs. Give more to get more. Wise words. Good council.

Have a stunning week, all!

LT

Week 19 – Uncertain…

Good morning all…

I find myself filled with uncertainty today. Conditions in my world have become such that I may not be able to continue on the MKMMA journey this year. Without any complaint or regret, I was called home to assist with a family situation while working in western Canada last year. I have been out of work since July and shortly after returning home I discovered I have two completely separated tendons in my right rotator cuff and a damaged bicep. That would explain the pain trying to lift a nail gun or a sheet of drywall…

Surgery is scheduled for the 19th of this month and the prognosis is 6 weeks in a sling and a minimum of 5 to 6 months for rehab and physio.  I’m told that during those months I’m looking at a max of 5 or 10 pounds lifting limit on my right side. Not so good.

Bottom line is the well is empty. I have been blessed with some limited work that will assist in keeping the wolves away from the door with household expenses. However, on this day, there’s nothing to offer for my PIF. I remain hopeful that miracles will find their way to me.

I completely honour the MKMMA group and their model for rolling this program out. I understand that there are requirements and conditions have developed which may put a little wrinkle in this years plan. I have enough faith in the process and God (the Universe if you choose) has the best for me, at this time,  and that it will be manifested.

Regardless of setbacks, for any of us, in any flavour, don’t ever give up the possibility of the “impossible” coming to you. I will keep doing my best with the MKMMA program until the switch is turned off. And if that happens, I will still continue. I persist until I succeed.

I will continue to blog and Tweet to those who choose to drop by.

Carry on.

Larry Thompson

 

Sunday Feb 7 – UPDATE

I had a good friend and music writing partner cover my PIF donation. Completely unexpected. He himself struggling. But as we’ve chatted about the wonderful resource the MKMMA experience has been,  he was moved to off some help. Yes, I am grateful. And it will be returned in some way. Rick, thank you!

LT

 

Week 18 – From where I stand…

The invitation to be honest with ourselves and to figure out where we may have fallen off the horse is such an open-arms opportunity. There is no failure if we simply pick ourselves up and reengage from where we landed or to simply go back to the beginning. Once I post this, I think I’m up to date with assignments, short of the PIF and I simply don’t know where that money is going to come from, but I remain faithful on that one. I believe I am internalizing all the principles and practices, though not consistent with all the little pieces. Maybe I just started being self directed a little sooner than when it was suggested. Yes, let’s go with that 😉

I remain pleasantly surprised when suggested materials outside of Og and Haanal  (I Am / Finding Joe / Shawn Achor) are all pieces I had discovered and viewed ad-nauseam some time before MKMMA.  A simple case of when the student is ready…

I shared this once before in a very early post, but I wanted to share it again. This was one of my second exposure to the Hero’s Journey after being introduced to it in Go-90-Grow.  Very funny.

Wherever you are in your own Hero’s Journey, start from where you stand. Be wise enough to love yourself and be excited about what’s just around the corner. The team proposed a great question – What would the person you want to become do next? Brilliant.

So, what ARE you going to do next?

Have an excellent week!

 

LT

 

Week 17 – I must agree…

To all

Mark’s note of this time of the course feeling like the “dog days of summer”, and that time when the weak fall away, but the individuals and teams with the burning desire just dig in a little deeper couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just been hard. That’s all.

What I find so outstanding is that, it seem, there is a somewhat predictable pattern to it. That would suggest to me that the experience of the human condition, regardless of background or gender or nationality or local is pretty common. In that I take great comfort.

Thanks to all that add to the collective goodwill that is the MKMMA!

LT

Week 16 – Magical 3×5’s…

Blog post is a little late.

Has anyone else noticed their stack of 3×5’s changing right before their eyes? As simple a tool as these cards are, I have found them to be of the most profound influences I have felt, not to diminish at all the other top drawer resources we have received.

I was excited to feel the difference taking those few moments to review and read the cards we were asked to create to remind ourselves of things we had experienced and accomplished in our lives. It became a source of strength to realize that my life has not been without purpose and significant opportunities, to be able to have helped others and just generally discover that I’m in fact not a total putz. But here’s where the magic occurred. I’ve noticed, over time, that somehow  all the “life marker” cards began to transform into gratitude cards. Instead of the thoughts coming of “oh yeah, I forgot about that one – that was cool”, the feeling became “that was so nice. Thank you!”

Gratitude is such a powerful emotion and one, I believe, that prepares us for greater things. What were we told as kids – “Say please and thank you.” Amazing how things improve when you simply flip the order…

Had the opportunity to share an original piece of music with James Twyman who is mounting a peace effort into Syria. He was kind enough to mention it in his mailing and we posted a simple video on YouTube to support the song. It’s called “Forgiveness”. Kind of falls in line with our MKMMA journey.  Take a look if you like.

Hope you all have an excellent week!

LT

Week 15 – “Dear Brené…”

Dear Dr. Brown – I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for the sharing of your work and research on shame, guilt and wholehearted living. Your writing is most inspiring and has helped put some pieces together for me. I have been blessed to have had a number of discoveries and events fall into place that is contributing to my progress. Thank you again.

Larry Thompson

I woke this morning unsure of what I would write about this in this week’s blog. I have begun rereading Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”. In the early chapters she addresses a common perception that we are living in a highly narcissistic world and that the sense of narcissism comes from the fear of not being perceived as “extraordinary”. How sad. She goes on to suggest that for the most part, we are living in a “scarcity culture”.  Do you ever find yourself considering, feeling, or worse, saying out loud any of the following deadly phrases: (From Daring Greatly)

I’m …

never good enough

never perfect enough

never thin enough

never powerful enough

never smart enough

never certain enough

never safe enough

never extraordinary enough

Let’s deal with the foundation here. In Scroll 4, Og suggests that we are clearly extraordinary enough. We are each so unique. That alone makes us extraordinary.  Harbouring any of these feelings for more than a fleeting moment will initiate the process of us manifesting them by simple virtue of natural, universal law. To return to the Bob Newhart skit – “Stop It!!”

Here’s the thing. My world is far from perfect – yet.  I was master mining with my good friend Phil Sykes this morning (who is a current MKMMA alumni  – do check out his blogs. He’s an excellent writer). We were chatting about happiness and Phil commented on feeling notably more happy now at the halfway point of the course. I must agree. I too am happier in many ways. I’m still very broke, still battling old blueprints and tapes, fighting self image challenges etc., but the future has never looked brighter. I’ve experienced miracles in the past, but I’m beginning to understand that many times the miracles we experience, while still gifts from God, are usually both answers to prayers/concentrated, emotionally charged thought and a natural response based on universal law. I don’t wish to discredit divine intervention, but I would suggest that even those experiences are based on laws that may reside outside of our current understanding.


 

Oh my – once again. Blessed beyond measure. I took a break from writing earlier this afternoon. Had a very fitful rest and woke up in that all too common experience of feeling the crushing weight of not getting enough packed into the critically insufficient 24 hours we each endure. I returned to Daring Greatly for a moment, picking up where I had left off only to discover the following… (Brené quoting Lynne Twist from The Soul of Money –

‘For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep”. The next is “I don’t have enough time” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack… This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life…’

What I failed to mention is, that between getting up from that terrible nap and reading the section I quoted above, I sat to watch a movie. I’ve been a Disney geek most of my life and I discovered that Tomorrowland is on Netflix. It’s not that old a movie and that it’s on Canadian Netflix kind of confirms to me that it didn’t do well in the theatres. It’s directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and has a pretty decent cast. The movie has the requisite layer of Disney optimism for a “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” (Carousel of Progress) and a quick nod to a punk’d out “It’s a Small World” attraction. Weak in a few places, but totally uplifting and hopeful. I love that stuff. I wonder if it’s possible –  the thought of changing things for the better. I suppose, in that I thought of it as possible, then clearly, it must be. Invest the 2 hours and watch it. Don’t let the syrup and a couple of marginal green screen issues ruin it for you. It’s worth the time. There are some pretty clear MKMMA/Hero’s Journey concepts on display.

Have a great week. Strive every day to just get one more piece of the puzzle in place. It’s so worth it.

 

LT

 

 

Week 14 – “It’s the most int’resting time of the year…”

Ok, I took some poetic and spelling liberties with the title.

It really is the most wonderful time of year. But this 2015 version, for me at least has also been interesting. It’s New Years Day as I write this. Fortunately for me that includes no discomfort from the night before. I don’t drink. Haven’t for 33 years. I guess that should be another gratitude card. There’s a possibility of seeing the new Start Wars movie this afternoon – I’ll consider it research as the next instalment of the Hero’s Journey. It wasn’t on the list of movies to watch, but I’m confident there will be a recognizable and compatible theme.

Christmas has come and gone. Little to no drama, though I do have my daughter who sometimes forgets that life isn’t an episode of 90210. Her nick name as a kid was Thea Trickle (theatrical). Still a work in progress. We’ll get there.

As I mentioned in a prior post, the last week and a half was turned with the passing of a friend. In addition to providing support and attention to his significant other, I was also drawn into service to conduct and speak at the funeral as well as play piano for the hymns and to conduct the graveside service yesterday. All of this, along with the need to keep an eye on my family members that are fighting some personal challenges has caused significant distraction from the day to day “requirements” of MKMMA, but has offered me a great opportunity to do field work – to apply and teach the principles to others and to serve. It’s time to turn back into self a little and get geared up for the second half of the course.

I’m finding the review of the big stack of cards of the most powerful things I do in the MKMMA program. It’s provides an opportunity to feel and express gratitude, a reminder that I am able, and that there have been miracles in  my life that I can now explain, at least to a degree.  Case in point…

A few years ago I received a call from a friend who was the Music Industry Arts program coordinator at Fanshawe college in London Ontario. It was mid August and they had a situation that required them to fill a position right away. I was asked to teach Engineering for the first year students. I accepted the position and was both excited and nervous with this new opportunity. A few days later I received a second call telling me they had made some other adjustments and that I wouldn’t be needed. I was very disappointed. I have deliberately left the crack in the hallway as a reminder that, a) taking out frustration on drywall, especially right over a double stud is both silly and painful, and more importantly, b) try better to just be  patient. I had never done anything like that before or after.

A little back story…

In January of that year, I had this odd desire to have an opportunity to learn and work on a specific piece of audio gear. It’s a large recording console called an Icon. Actually, it really isn’t a traditional console at all. Very little audio actually passes through it. The Icon is a control surface for software based recording and mixing. Basically a $160,000 mouse.  I had no idea where this desire came from, but it seemed like something I’d like to do. Ok, back to Fanshawe and the crack in the wall.

A week or so after the 2nd call, the bruise on my hand was pretty much gone and I got another call. “Can you teach 2nd year Engineering?”. And there it was. First year Engineering, that I was first asked to teach and then lost was taught in a studio that used a traditional analog recording console. 2nd year was taught on an Icon. The exact console I set as a goal to learn 8 months prior. Amazing.

One more quick story on the same line. While I was out west last year doing construction, I was also working on music. I had taken my whole rig out with me to be able to write and record at least outlines. The tune I included in my “twas the morning before Christmas” post last week was done out there. I’m not a country writer in particular, but this tune had taken on a country feel. I felt there was room for pedal steel so I reached out to a friend who I had used in the past to see if he could do the track for me. I’m currently having to produce this material with no budget and I asked if he’d be willing to do a pro-bono track for me, though I would certainly understood if he couldn’t. He declined and I offered my congratulations to him for taking his craft seriously and that he’d be first call as soon as I started having access to production budgets. However that left me with a tune without steel.

I had once owned a little Sho-bud student model steel many many years ago. I found the instrument fascinating both musically and as a piece of machinery. This was all prior to the MKMMA program, but I have studied the kind of material we are discovering together  for many years. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed one morning and saying out loud “I need a pedal steel so I can get this tune finished”. I made a call to a former student that I knew had this knack of coming across cool and unusual instruments. I explained that I was looking for a used steel that frankly someone just wanted to get out of their garage. I couldn’t afford to pay for a player, I certainly couldn’t afford a new instrument. “Leave it with me”.

3 hours.

3 hours later I received an email back. “I’ve got a little Sho-Bud student model steel here that needs a little love and I’m just not using. It’s yours. Come and get it”. The exact model I had owned 30+ years earlier.

Folks, I don’t understand the mechanism. I do believe there is a God. I use the traditional syntax for the Universal Mind. May not be PC. Don’t care. I’m beginning to see that there truly are laws set in place  that we cannot circumvent. Many we wouldn’t want to circumvent –  they are their for our benefit. Actually, I guess all universal law is there for our benefit. It can just be uncomfortable when we ignore or forget that reality. But it can also be wonderful and miraculous.

Have a great New Year. 2016 is shaping up to be a first year that I will be able to embrace with a new set of tools and understanding, with many ragged ends of information I have gathered over the years, now neatly packed into greater understanding and applied with commitment and faith.

Carry on…

 

LT

Week 13 – Never allow the day to end with a failure…

A shorty this week.

I found a key phrase in Scroll 3 was to never allow a day to end in failure. I suppose we should invert that to read “always end your day with a success”. Og offers to keep focusing on your DMP driven task or goal until you have succeeded. I think that is a wonderful suggestion and path in achieving what you set out to do that day. However, I think there comes a point that if, as an example, you have set out to make calls until you find the “yes” you desire, it may just get to be an inappropriate hour to call folks. Not everyone lives by the compass rather than the clock ;-).

From my chair, to  only acknowledge success in a single area of your life is setting up a very narrow existence. I don’t think it’s practical to expect recordable successes in every corner of our world every day. We strive for perfection, we should be grateful for excellence.

When less than desired outcomes may be the reality in one or more of our life centres on a given day, recognize and reach out to achieve something wonderful in another area. It’s almost never, ever too early or too late in the day to be of service to someone in some small way. Folding some laundry, wiping down the table or counter, organizing a video collection, reviewing a child’s homework, writing a love letter or email can bring deep satisfaction. If you have an opportunity to close your day with the embrace or kiss of a loved one, or to offer a moment of encouragement to another traveller on this journey, your day will end well.

I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas. Time to start tooling up for a fabulous 2016. Thank you for being part of this excellent adventure!

 

LT