’twas the morning before Christmas…

Good morning all!

I wanted to do a mid week post to wish you all the best of the season.  I hope I’m not breaking any rules here but I wanted to share a song with you. It’s not a Christmas song but a song that encourages us to all keep what’s important important.

Heavy day yesterday. Ran a couple of quick errands with my wife dropping off some gift cards and presents for some folks from Church. Shortly after I arrived home I received a call letting me know that a very dear friend of mine had had to break down a door to get into the home of her best friend only to discover he had passed away. We have lost another member of the musical community in town to heart disease.  Sad day for all. I had the wonderful opportunity to be with her and offer support and the best direction I could muster. When it comes down to it, it really is all about service.  And a reminder to be sure we take every opportunity to let those we love and care for know that they are. You just never know…

The Simplest Things

This tune started out about 23 years ago as a quick 2 verse children’s song I co-wrote with my lyricist partner Rick Beneteau. I did the very quick acoustic guitar and vocal demo and it’s sat in various forms of storage since then. The title surfaced as I have been ramping up to finally start realizing my desire to serve with music while I was working out in Cardston Alberta last year. I wrote a bridge and 3rd verse and recorded much of what’s here in a bedroom while I was out west. I very talented former student of mine who presently wishes to remain anonymous did the vocal for me and I finished it and mixed in my little workshop in Windsor.  I’m really not a country guy. It just kind of presented itself in this form and who am I to fight it. I hope you’ll find it fun and maybe thoughtful.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. If there’s a call you need to make or a letter to write, sit down and take care of it. Do it now!      All the best!!

LT

 

The Simplest Things – Rick Beneteau/Larry Thompson                             © 1992 Lauric Music BMI

 

Week 12 – In Spite of Myself…

I discovered a couple of weeks ago that my Plan of Action card was getting a little cluttered. Some things on there that just hadn’t come to fruition and seemed out of my control. “I always keep my promises” was haunting me, so as sometimes happens, it just seemed to make sense to start over. As I look over it now while writing this post, I realize that I have still not hit all my targets, but there are some that I have done well in and will hit by the end of day. There’s a couple in particular that I’d like to mention.

The Gym. I had set myself a goal to get to the gym at least 3 times per week. Didn’t go Monday. Didn’t go Tuesday. Didn’t go Wednesday. “I always keep my promises, I always keep my promises. I always keep my promises.” Thursday morning I dragged my butt over to the club and completed my cardio. Again Friday. It’s now a little after 6am and I’m dressed ready to go once I complete my MKMMA morning routine. I will make this goal.

Another POA I had in place was to deliver a set of documents to a financial advisor by Friday. I have had a very poor relationship with money over my life and am going through the process of cleaning up a big mess. Needless to say sitting down to do any work on this kind of thing is a challenge. But over the week I poked at it and prep’d all that I could. I fired off an email early Friday morning to make an appointment to drop the material to the office. I got busy with some music production, another item on my POA and missed a returned email offering a 2:00pm appointment. Didn’t see it until almost 4:00. I experienced a mixed cocktail of disappointment, failure and relief. I sent a return email to apologize and to ask for his next available.  I assumed it would be Monday at the earliest and I would again have missed another target. It seems that once again, providence had other plans. I received a note back offering a 5:30pm. Excellent!

While there were still items on the list that I didn’t quite get into line, I recognize that when we make our very best efforts, even if they are flawed, we can accomplish beyond what seems possible.

There is help available to assist us in our struggles. We identify that help by different names. But I think, at the end of the day, it comes from one Source that we are all part of. Current convention seems to have made discussion of these kinds of things out of vogue. The MKMMA course has served to not change my beliefs but rather strengthened them in helping me identifying moments in my life when clearly there have been other forces involved in my experience. There are laws in place, that sometimes seem to defying human logic, that can come into play when we present ourselves with faith and our very best efforts.

An exciting week ahead with more growth and learning.

I hope everyone has an excellent Christmas, spent with family and friends. Do make a little service part of your experience this year. Give more…

LT

Week 11- Shooting Arrows

Another tough week. Eldest son in from Calgary for a few days. His Christmas visit as we works for West Jet and has to work over the holidays. Couldn’t watch the live webcast on Sunday with family commitments. Actually finishing the last little bit of the reply as I’m writing this. Sickness fell on the house. But please understand, not one bit of complaint. It just is.

I know that I far too often think that if my desired results do not play out exactly as conceived, it’s very easy to write off the results, regardless of excellent things are, as a failure. And that’s just not a good thing to do.Very best effort is the only thing we have. Sometimes due to any of a number of circumstances, we get sucked into the couch with no defence it seems. But what I discovered was that the sun does in fact come up tomorrow, as the song promises, we pick ourselves up and “keep moving forward” (WED).

I read my POA this morning and was horrified on things I hadn’t completed. I hadn’t kept my promises. Tasks not complete. Dates long past.  I flipped over my card to discover the 7 Laws of the Mind on the back side. First Law – Law of Forgiveness – I forgive everyone. EVERYONE!!! That includes me.

“I am sorry that I gave up for a few days. Please forgive me. I will do better.”

“Of course I forgive you. I know you can. I know you will. I’m here to help”.

When we set goals and targets, especially when those centred around things we may have never accomplished before, we are kind of shooting an arrow out in front of us to some place in the near or distant future. We do our best to target the day or hour or moment we visualize, but fact is, sometimes our aim is off. I think setting SMART goals and attaining them are like any other skill – they require practice and are sure to have trips and falls and misplayed notes.

The brilliance of selecting absolutely attainable goals in the early days of the MKMMA experience/process begins the process of setting this skill. Bottom line – in a few things I have failed. But that doesn’t make me a failure.

If anyone who may happen across this post has ever, or may be in the process of considering giving up because it just seems all to much, all to big, all too scary, please, please don’t give up. Others have left their footprints that we can follow. If we follow those steps back, I’m sure we will find places where there are signs of scuffle, maybe even a little blood in the sand. Most likely we’ll find the imprint of two knees where they stopped to pray, got up and carried on.

A day at a time, friends. You will be great!

 

LT

Week 10 – There is a law…

Many years ago I was introduced to the world of “self help” and positive, deliberate and motivated thinking, with the desired result being to take better, stronger action, thereby improving the quality of my life. On of the very first speakers I heard was Bob Proctor.

I wish to not debate the value of “self help gurus”. I understand the point that Mark makes about the industry. What I do  challenge is the “massive action” issue. Anyone who has researched or studied this kind of material knows who the promotor of massive action is. That path has served him well and I believe it has helped a lot of folks, at least to a degree.

I have to say that the MKMMA experience, at least for me, has been all about taking massive action. One of the very first repeated phrases I was to  embrace was “Do it Now!”. That has resulted in massive action. This path we are sharing is, again for me, the definition of “massive action”. And gratefully so. But that’s really not the point of this post. At least I don’t think it is.

Bob relayed a wonderful picture story to describe the “law of attraction” decades before “The Secret”. He proposed the simple question – to grow an oak tree, you plant an acorn. Once planted, where does the oak tree come from? Is it reasonable to think that a massive, magnificent oak is in the tiny acorn? I don’t think so. This one took me a while to digest, but Proctor proposed that the oak tree is “in the universe”. Didn’t get it. For a long time. But I believe he’s right. The tree, or rather the potential of the tree is in the  soil, in  the ground and rain water, the oxygen in the air, the sunlight. The acorn is simply the agent that draws to it the elements it requires to realize it’s fulfillment. It simply obeys the correct laws to become what it was meant to be.

Haanel this week speaks a lot about law. A sacred book of wisdom that I draw from suggests that “ There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Truth is truth. Doesn’t really matter where you find it.

So what of us? Are we not at least as full of potential as an acorn? Are we not living in as equally a rich environment of great opportunity? So why do so many of us not realize the excellence we desire? I would suggest that there is a law or two that we simply don’t understand or obey. Can we? Certainly. Will we? That’s the question.

Massive action? You bet. But often the massive action is that of stemming the inertia of the past. A flywheel is a most important part of steam and internal combustion motors. It takes some effort to get it spinning, but once in motion, it helps transition between the combustion cycles (action) and the intake (suck). We need similar inertia to get us between the moments of action and suck. And we do both. Sometimes we act and do well. Sometimes, we suck. It’s life.

But if you are well planted, are blessed with care and concern of friends and loved ones and are obeying the laws of success, you will have the correct principles in place, enough force to get over the bumpy bits and become the best you (un)imaginable.

What’s incorrect about the massive action thought is that sometimes, the adjustment needed to achieve massive results is a tiny turn of the wheel.

Check your heading…

Have an excellent week!

 

LT

Week 9 – It’s Friday? Again????

Three days of the week: Monday – well we all know what that day is. Wednesday – hump day. And Friday – blog day.

Over the course of the MKMMA experience, there have been certain phrases, concepts, principles and Mark J-isms that just stand out. Those moments of perfect harmony and balance where the student was ready and the teacher has appeared.

Lesson 9 from the Master Key has contained many of those moments for me this week. As part of the daily assignments is the reading of the Master Key, members in the MKMMA course were advised that we could highlight sections from the Haanel and mix the reading between the full text and just the highlights. I’d like to share the meaningful bits, my highlights of the highlights, from this week.

“your inmost thoughts will find expression just as certainly as the plant springs from the seed”. Well that’s scary. No, it’s promising. We just need to be sure to have a keeper of the gate posted at every door into our heart and soul. We decide.

“Character is not a thing of chance, but it is the result of continued effort”. Effort. Continued effort. A little step forward each day.

“Health, Wealth, and Love.” The Holy Trinity of Happy! Health and love are essential. Wealth is necessary. I was excited to consider that wealth is necessary, not evil. And that wealth is different things to different people. If we don’t have it, we can’t share it. I think with wealth and love, if we share what we have first, more will come back to us.

Truth – a whole pile on truth. “Every action which is not in harmony with Truth, whether through ignorance or design, will result in discord…”

Haanel shared the observation that as a human being, we completely rebuild ourselves over a certain period of time – I think the jury is still out on the length of time it takes. We have the option and ability to, at the very least, decide the quality of the replacement parts. OEM or offshore knockoffs? Go for the good stuff!!

The affirmation – “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy”. Hard to say without laughing some days. One of the most challenging affirmations I have had to make effort to embrace is found in a Primary song sung by the kids at the church I attend. Frankly, I think the most profound and powerful songs in Church musical literature is found in the primary songbook. “I Am a Child of God”. As a convert to the faith nearly 35 years ago, this was a hard one to choke down. Not because I didn’t want to. It was just new to think that there was One who would love and care for me, stand in my corner and and cheer me on in spite of myself, and with every ounce of divine”enthuuuusssiasm” regularly whispers in my ear “My son, you are whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy”.

So grateful for tender mercies…

 

LT

Week 8 – With the Cards We’re Dealt…

The Scroll Marked II

Just a short thought this week. As I was reading from The Greatest Salesman this morning, I discovered a common theme, at least to my eye.

Discover the best in every situation, appreciate it’s beauty, and to offer and receive love, always.

Appreciate the light and the darkness for their unique perspectives, the rich and poor as equals. To carry love to all and that it will serve as both a gift to be offered and as a shield to protect. To honour and praise God in the same manner as all of nature – by being your best you.

Be kind and loving to all in all cases, but first and most importantly, be kind and loving to yourself. Avoid all things that will destroy your body and spirit, and ingest only the best. In doing so, we will be better servants. That is our calling – each of us.

Week 7 – Manic Monkeys and Dirty Loops

Monkey mind. That’s what I’ve heard it called. Actually, I thought it was called Monkey Brain, but when I did a Google search for that, well, let’s just say it wasn’t what I had expected. Think the second Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nasty. Don’t go there.

Monkey mind refers to that experience where our head, our thoughts, our attempts at focus,  seem to be in total chaos, not unlike a troop of monkeys running around a cage, each screaming for attention and  swatting at each other in an attempt for dominance. From  the reading I’ve been doing as part of the MKMMA experience and process, it seems that this is not unusual and a fairly common reality for a lot of folks.

The magnifying glass is a very graphic metaphor to consider when thinking of focus. As a tool to improve perception in detail of small text or image or item, the curved surface of the glass helps us to see things we might not be able to see with the naked eye. We usual have to make some minor adjustments in using it to get it in that sweet spot to see clearly what we are looking at.  I would suggest that the function of increasing visual power is it’s primary design expectation. But what else is it capable of? Take that same device on a clear day, get it at just the right distance from any kind of surface that is prone to heat and you can focus the rays of the sun to a pin point and ignite that thing, first with a few trails of smoke then suddenly into flame.

What is this voodoo? What is this “witchcraft”? How is it possible? We’re just bending light and energy and creating a powerful result. Amazing! I needed to have this experience and to gain some understanding of how to better focus my thoughts and actions.

Music and my experience with it has often provided a classroom of sorts to learn significant truths. Once again, this patient teacher showed up.

Dirty Loops. What does that mean?? Dirty Loops is a Swedish trio of young, very accomplished musicians that became a significant YouTube feature doing “covers” of material other artists had made famous. They have a definite arranging and vocal and style and I have had to pick my jaw up off the floor a number of times.

While engaged in a rather unfocused meandering around YouTube, I ran into a Dirty Loops video that I hadn’t yet seen. A cover of an old ’90’s tune that I wasn’t familiar with call ‘Forever Young’.

Outstanding. Again.

A keyboard solo prior to the final chorus had this 2 bar phrase that I just had to learn. I downloaded the video and stripped the audio from it, loaded it into Pro Tools which is an audio program I use to write and produce music. This software allows you to slow music down without altering the pitch and I used this facility to figure out the line. It’s been some time since I’ve had need, desire or opportunity to lift a tune or even a part of one as I was now doing. I have the remains of perfect pitch ( I was told that it might lessen somewhat in advancing years) and so this kind of thing used to be a little easier, but it wasn’t the pitch that was fighting me, it was focus.

At one point of task quitting frustration, I just stopped and had that little moment of self-chastment/encouraging/realization: ‘dude, you’ve been playing in the 12 tone system for 54 years. These notes are under your fingers. Just play the dang thing…’ I was able to focus, center, and relax. Then it came.

The realization of a current challenge I have to tame the monkeys and get clear and focused has been an issue for a number of weeks. The MKMMA experience has heightened this awareness and desire to get it under control. The Dirty Loops Experiment (sounds like the title of a Big Bang Theory episode) has proven I can, when I have a desire and am willing to put in the effort.

I do and I will. No, wait. Not I will.

I do…

 

Here’s the Dirty Loops cover of Forever Young. This style of jazz/pop may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if inclined, watch the whole thing. I did a PiP thing of the 2 bars I mentioned @ 3:02. Give it a few seconds to load.

 

 

Week 6 – Opinions and Edison

 

This is a two parter. At this first line of text, I’m not sure if there’s a connection or not. Let’s explore.

Opinions – The MKMMA path has suggested that we eliminate all opinions. I kind of get that. Council from scripture teaches to not judge others. At the end of the day, we really don’t know another’s circumstance, desire, limitations, experience or any other factor that may or may not have influenced or tempered their words or actions. To judge in our hearts or openly in our words or actions, is manifesting our own limitations. We are expressing, silent or spoken, an opinion. My Mom always used to say that “the thing you dislike about someone else is the very thing you dislike about yourself”. Interesting.

It was suggested that if we’re a world class expert in a chosen area  of study or field, we than carry guarded permission to express our point of view. Even then, “facts” change every day with new discoveries. Care must be taken.

And what of the worst opinions of all. Our opinions of self. Fear, I have been taught and have experienced far too often, is the greatest tool of the Adversary of all things good, to limit our growth and contribution. And how? By promoting self doubt. “I’m such an idiot”, or “I can’t do that” or “I’ll never understand that”, or “I can’t afford that” or other such things. I’m fighting the “can’t afford” demon right now. But aren’t we world class experts of our own lives? Can we not accurately render an opinion in these things? Yes and no. We can accurately say, “I made a mistake” but then say  “I will do better tomorrow”. We can say “I don’t possess the strength or understanding to do that today, but I will find the information, practice the skill or develop the strength so that I can do that thing successfully”. We can say “That idea or principle is not making sense to me right now. Let me take a few minutes, clear my head and then sit down again. I may need to do a little research and seek the guidance of a teacher, but nothing is outside of my ability to comprehend.” We can say “I don’t currently have enough money in my pocket today to purchase that thing, but I can be of service to others, and their returned kindness, whether in financial exchange or some other form will provide me with the very thing I desire or better”.

Strike every self limiting thought, barbed comment or insult directed at yourself. You are speaking about, and to a being with divine heritage. You are abusing a child of God. Stop it!

Edison. Ok, not really Edison. But electricity, and I guess Edison is certainly connected to that. In the Master Key this week, at 6-9 it offers that “…our faith must be strong enough to generate enough a current of sufficient strength to bring our purpose into manifestation.” Current. Let me share what I understand about electricity. This comes not so much from any kind of classroom instruction but rather from sticking my fingers in places they didn’t belong. I have developed a healthy respect for the potential of electricity.

There are two major descriptors of electrical power : Voltage and current. Voltage is the thing that makes impressive sparks. Short out something with high voltage and you can have a great though fleeting light show. But what of current. Current, to my understanding is the silent killer. You can have a pretty low voltage, but if there is enough available current, and you become a solid conductor,  it will kill you. Current is the thing that does the work. If the device that creates the electricity is capable in it’s design, the current is limited only by the thing which it’s passing through. Consider a number of light bulbs. If you put in a 25 watt bulb, you will have limited light. If you put in a 100 watt bulb  the room becomes much brighter. The power to the home has not changed. What has changed is the device that that same power is flowing through. The current has increased. The bulb was the limiting factor.

Of course, our homes have limits designed into them for safety. Most single circuits are limited to 15amps. The problem with increasing current is it increases heat. Too much heat=fire. Not good.  If you tap into the available current and take it beyond the design, you pop a breaker.

So what of us and the current spoken of in the Master Key? Many of us have experienced those bursts of excitement and momentary commitment to a cause. A big spark. Lots of noise and a microsecond of effort, but then it’s over. There wasn’t enough current to sustain the effort. In the Master Key text, faith is the dynamo.

The faith to keep going can be taxed. Current, or the amount of work that can be done is only limited by the supply and the conductor that carries it. We have enough examples in history to suggest that there have been individuals with seeming unlimited supply and more than adequate capacity to execute the task at hand. I would suggest that for the most part, we are by design that same in every capacity to the “great ones” with possibly the exception of faith and commitment, but faith and commitment are not matters of design. They are matters of choice.

So, a connection between Opinions and Edison? Yes, yes there is, as Phineas would say. There’s a condition in computer logic called an endless loop. In programming I don’t believe an endless loop will cause any physical damage, but the program will stop running. In audio, an endless loop could be described as feedback. In our lives an endless loop can send us to the 8th floor (in Windsor, that means the psych ward). “I must – but I can’t…” is an endless loop. “I must” is a decision, and often a good one.  “I can’t” is an opinion and not productive. Put unlimited current behind this experience and we’re going to break something. But put that current behind “I may not be able to accomplish this task today, but I will push forward until I can do it in my sleep…”, and we change ourselves, and bless the lives of others.

An oversharing of opinions might get you uninvited to dinner parties. Oversharing of limiting opinions about ourselves will ensure us to manifest the Thoreau observation that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. May that not be our legacy.

 

My Poster. Well, sorta…

This Moment Changes Everything

We were challenged this evening to create a Movie Poster to support our DMP (Definite Major Purpose). We had earlier been challenged to write the Movie Trailer version of our DMP.  Thought I’d do something a little different.  (as a side note, I wish I could take credit for the music. It’s a great track It came with this iMovie Trailer template. This is just one of the many reasons why Mac’s are the superior platform.  Just saying’… 😉

Week 5 – Just the Facts, Ma’am

Accuracy, while not always convenient might serve us well in this process of initiating new programming, new habits, goals,  the details of our DMP, adding items to our chore/service cards, and so on. If we are impressing information and intention on our “mind that never sleeps”, best that the impressions have the “A” of a SMART goal.

Case in point…

Taxes. GRRRRRRRRRRRR. Yes, GRRRRRRRR is an opinion. I’ll leave it there or I’ll have to go to the hospital again to decompress. However. Due to some “circumstances” (read “bad attitude”) I haven’t filed taxes for a few years, well, three. As a part of my reprogramming and getting all my spit together,  I realized that I simply had to take care of it.

IMG_0005

MY CHORE CARD – Perfect!! I can put it on there. With a red circle! With that for motivation, surely I can get it done.  “I promise to …. File taxes by Oct 19. I always keep my promises. LT”

Well…

I suck it up, organize the paperwork get in the van and head over to the Tax Guy. It turns out this is a good Tax Guy. Not one of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s minions that will turn you on your head to scrape the last penny out of you and take a little flesh with it. This is a guy that will talk to you, suggest you “aggressively” claim every deduction you can and just seems to know the game.  Anyway, with all the confidence I can fake, I head up the street and pull into the driveway. NOOOOOOO! Office Closed ’til Monday Oct 26 !!!

2 things 1 – I’m going to have to go through the process again of committing myself to actually file.

2 things 2 – I’m not going to be able to keep my promise.

This was minor. Personally, I feel I did keep my promise. I was ready and willing and able. I did my part. The universe just had a better schedule.

That office can be a little crazy at times. You never know who may take care of your questions and concerns.  The owner is a big guy with a kind face and seems to really care. As it turns out, I went on Monday, the place was empty.  I was able to sit with him, ask some questions, confess some sins, be set at ease, offered to not worry about payment until my return comes in and generally have an ugly experience (for me) turn out to be quite pleasant.

I think in applying the “A” (Attainable) to our goals and plans, we should make some effort to assure the tasks at hand are attainable. That’s not to say we should limit in any way the vision we have for things to be significantly bigger and better than we can even imagine, but some things just require a little time, or adherence to the schedules of others. Magic and miracles can surely happen. I just think there’s little value in the process of manifesting your vacation to a romantic destination that you should set a flight that doesn’t exist as your passage. Sure it could happen. Stranger things have. I’d just rather access services that are in place for that kind of thing. I think that trying to manifest and entire aircraft and crew and your own personal flight schedule might just be a little tough at this point in time. If you’re not careful, you’re going to sprain something…

Maintaining the flight theme here  –  there are two problems with trying to make a pig fly – you’re likely to get frustrated and it just annoys the pig.

Only Tuesday with a promise of another great week.

All the best!

 

LT