Take Your Shoes Off

I am still that little child that found security in having his feet bound by a warm pair of socks and tight-fitting shoes. That little kid had the occasion to see the feet of older individuals who preferred the barefoot life, and to him, this visual impact of seeing those feet was tragic. So unlike the beautiful feet, he had seen in advertising and on the television. He vowed his feet would never look like that.

The appearance of a well-disciplined and cared for, perfect foot, he decided at this early age, would be the feet he would sport for life. This is a commitment to his feet he would maintain throughout his adult life.

Later, in his late teens, he adopted a preference for the ministerial sciences from a Christian perspective and heard stories about Jesus and His feet. In loose-fitting sandals, he walked over 21 thousand miles. His feet must’ve… ee-yeww… what a sight they must’ve been.

Then, there’s the documentation of the washing of Jesus’ feet. This story has a different effect depending on the recipient of the data (if you know what I mean) but for me it was icky. Then there’s the whole foot-washing fest with the disciples… Really?

By some act of God, I made it to the ministry with my feet safely and securely bound tightly in my socks and shoes, even safe in the house always with my feet hidden in slippers or at the very least fully socked.

I continued my journey, evolved and expanded, all without having my bare feet ever touching terra firma. I have been through many different spiritual trainings and disciplines since then, and it has been quite a journey, all with my feet covered (except for baptism, one foot-washing escapade, and a firewalk, which I pulled off successfully, and no one knew how truly traumatic these episodes were for me). There is no courage without fear.

I have been living in what might be considered the wilderness, surrounded by acres of magnificent forest in the Pacific Northwest, and three weeks ago, my bare feet wandered outside, and now I am having glimpses of something that was missing from my past.

Yes, this was the first time my feet ever actually touched the earth that I can remember. And since then, I can barely keep my shoes on.

Now, mind you, I still care about my feet and I have no intentions of going off the rails, like some kind of wild Mick Dodge, but I get it now.

I share this story with you, because there is hope for you.

It is highly unlikely that you have issues with your feet and shoes, like me, but there is something that you have resisted along your journey, that for whatever reason, due to social programming, or some other personal blockage, has been keeping you from moving forward in something that continues to call your name.

You do what you can to avoid it, but keep moving forward, thinking this is unnecessary, even ridiculous. Nonetheless, it harkens to you.

I took my shoes and socks off, on my own terms, knowing it would not kill me. I tried it, and it was lovely.

I am smart and take precautions in my bare feet, for I must have the tenderest of all feet, yet here I am taking bare baby steps to “earthing,” connecting to the energy of our planet intimately, in a way I had previously been unable to experience.

I have heard and known about this for many years, and I have literally danced all around it, until this time in my life when I feel like the time has come for me to engage in Mother Earth’s mambo.

So, what is your barefoot moment?

Is now time for you to

Take your shoes off

And try something new?

Alienation by Intimidation

One of the dangers of being a part of the evolving human race is that you isolate yourself from others while actively involved in your personal expansion. You want to avoid alienation by intimidation. Back in the day, we used phrases, like, “Don’t become so spiritually-minded that you’re no earthly good.”

Or encouraging particular believers to put forth one’s best efforts to be “in the world but not of the world.” Which basically means, you play along with those who don’t get it. The old (barbarian) approach to winning others over to your particular thought process at any cost is falling by the wayside. Plus, no one was ever saved via debate. It’s a perfect waste of otherwise positive energy, which turns negative far too much of the time.

As you’re evolving, you are growing and changing. You’re seeing things that people who are not part of the evolutionary process are unable to conceive of or see.

You are cautioned not to let your flag fly in such a way as to be insensitive, appear to be arrogant, unintentionally appear to be narcissistic, or insinuate that you are better than anyone else.

Let’s face it, you are a more powerful being in the world than ever before, yet you want to remain humble, else you face potential alienation by intimidation.

Honoring others and being tolerant of their right(s) and ability to do the best they can with what they have at any point in time, much the way that you might desire them to respect you for where you are in your life’s journey.

What you can do, is to be aware of key areas of your personality which might intimidate others, characteristics which may be pushing people away. This may not be your intention.

For instance, the “Woe is me,” attitude which is shared by the unevolved is fading from your consciousness. When you are faced with a problem, you have the skills to asses the problem and apply solutions that you may not have been inclined to do before out of fear. Also, any potential fear of failure is dissipating as you are building your confidence and competence.

People in your circle of influence cannot help but notice this change in you, and it’s intimidating to them because they have not come to this place. So, when you’re in a position to demonstrate your new skillset(s) take others into consideration.

Don’t assert that you are better than anyone else or put others down for not being able to stop whining and just get things done. Rather, consider giving them an opportunity to lend a hand in the situation. If you’ve come up with a great idea to solve a problem, why not say to your neighboring worrier, “Let’s work on this together,” instead of just doing it all yourself without saying a word?

“But then I won’t get all the credit,” says that old egoic voice from the past. As you become more a part of the new human evolution it becomes so much less about you and so much more about things getting done, edifying others, and empowering them to shine.

Other characteristics which will be showing up that may lead to alienation by intimidation include being more honest and open without being intimidated by the concerns of others. This can appear to be disrespectful and rude.

Just take a few seconds and consider how your words might be affecting your audience. You can speak your truth without being frank or rude, just temper your words with kindness. Then people will be more likely to listen to what you have to say, rather than just cut you off for being insensitive.

You are experiencing a new passion for about everything in life, the things you enjoy are more fun, your relationships are more meaningful, your perspective on life is more positive, you feel better about yourself and your place in the world. Your senses are heightened as everything to see, taste, smell, hear, and touch is more intense than before.

When you are engaged in activities which you are passionate about this may frighten onlookers. Again, try to tone it down a bit. You can let people watch you do your thing without having to share too much about what you are doing. Let those who are taking interest in your activities watch (or peek) and let those who are curious ask questions. Try to answer without going into too much detail, because that can be intimidating. Just answer their questions briefly and move on, unless they ask more questions. (smiley face)

Speaking of curiosity, now that you’re expanding, you are more curious than ever. You will find yourself talking to people and questioning them about everything because you want access to the raw data to make comparisons about who you are and what that means to the world around you.

Most people build walls around themselves and are afraid of exposing who they really are to anyone else because they’ve been hurt in the past. Of course, you can relate to that, but it’s easy to forget once you’ve moved beyond having to live in fear any longer. Now, you can be more open and honest about yourself, essentially with nothing to hide, and sometimes you just expect everyone to be on the same page as you are.

You are a visionary and it’s easy to see in your mind’s eye what you want, and you have the ability to create a map to get from where you are to where you want to be. Things are coming to you more effortlessly. You are content, happier, and moving into abundance, enabling you to live a better life.

This freaks out your neighbors as they see you becoming more prosperous. The “have nots” tend to become haters of the “haves.” Do continue to prosper, just try to retain some humility about, so as not to threaten others who have not come to realize that they, too, could be enjoying life as much as you in their own evolutionary process.

Your mind is completely wide open because you are no longer in fear of having your beliefs challenged. The thought or idea that “everything is true” or exists within the truth continuum is a scary proposition for those who live in lives of fear. Continue to be open to all the endless possibilities but keep in mind and honor the limited perspective of others as you do so.

Remember that no one is wrong, and support everyone’s right to their own point of view regardless of how limited or expansive it might be.

Your relationships have evolved along with you and this can cause people to freak out, especially those who are (or were) close to you. You’ve probably moved some people outside your inner circle for a variety of reasons.

You are no longer content to waste the hours away, laughing, joking, talking behind others’ backs, or waiting for a group mindset in meeting after meeting to come to single-mindedness (which could take forever or never happen at all) before moving ahead. You gravitate more toward people who are more decisive and proactive, the movers and shakers.

Relationships which have little value, waste time and tend to keep you from achieving your highest and best have little interest for you anymore, and you are finding yourself annoyed by people who talk, talk, talk, but never do anything, and less tolerant of those who have little or no integrity or are deceitful.

You no longer fear opening yourself up intimately with others. You no longer live in a world of fear because your life is increasingly becoming dominated by true love, unconditional love, and this includes allowing everyone to be who they are, without judgment or fear. Letting people be who they are, loving and blessing them as they find their own way.

You can continue to evolve without having a negative impact on the surrounding community, reducing potential alienation by intimidation by honoring those around you as you do so while being mindful of where they are on their life’s journey.

For, after all, we are doing the best we can with what we have. Right?

You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In

Every day we’re surrounded by people, all different kinds of people, and no matter how you try, you feel like you don’t fit in. The good news is: This is really a good sign.

If you think about what the majority of the greater community represents the mindless majority blindly following society’s sleight of hand manipulations to keep us all manageable as a herd of cattle. While it sounds simple, the methods utilized by the social engineers to control us all en masse is extremely complex.

So, if you feel like you don’t fit in, this is a very good sign that you are awakening and your heart is evolving. Something inside you knows that there are huge problems with whatever societal view has been imposed upon you since birth.

If you dared to be different and decide to let your freak flag fly, who’d blame you (if not applaud you)?

As much as life tries to corral you and manage you along with the rest of the herd, there’s something inside you which is screaming, “I am not cattle!” You felt it at school, in your neighborhood, at work, in churches and organizations.

Maybe at one point, you did feel more comfortable in your environment, but things change. Your friends change. There was a time when you trusted your best friend and you believed this most trusted friend would be your best friend forever. But he or she changed, and so did you, leading to your drifting apart. At some point you realize you’re so different from each other you have little left except common courtesy at best, sometimes not even that.

Everything changes, even you.

This growing and changing as you adapt to life which is always in a state of flux, makes you feel awkward. Especially if you are noticing inconsistencies in the state of affairs all around you and God forbid, are questioning what may or may not be actually trustworthy and true.

The secret is not to cut yourself off from others or society and become a total recluse. Isolation is unhealthy and can cause psychological and physiological deterioration. You might just toy with the idea of giving up, squelching the beckoning of your heart which is evolving in its connection to your brain, and nestling yourself back into the herd, where you can embrace your former sense of safety and security, as false as it might have been. Taking the easy way out, refusing to be a part of the next evolutionary step of mankind. Or you can find someone who resonates with you.

Just start to gently speak your questions to people you come in contact with. Most of the people you talk to will instantly reject your thoughts and concerns. Do not press the subject any more with that person. Bless them and move on. Keep gently speaking your piece (or peace) to someone else, and move on, until it finds a spark of interest.

Then share your thoughts until that person becomes resistant, then bless them and move on. Using this process of elimination method will keep you true to you and will identify people inside or outside your circle of influence who may share the same thoughts, concerns, or conscious frequency. Feel free to restructure your circle of influence accordingly. These are your people.

Note that your people will change, for each and every one of them are on their own individual journey of growth, expansion, and evolution. At times, you will find those who are keenly matched to you in vibration and frequency.

While you are in the process of expansion be aware of how you represent yourself with the remainder of society. Be careful not to fall into the egotistical trap of thinking that you are in any way better than anyone else. And for God’s sake, do not engage in hate speech, ever. Hate speech is the precursor to hate action and hate crime. Fear masquerades as hate and cannot exist in love.

Choose love. Be respectful. Honoring each person’s right to his or her individual journey, just as you would expect them to respect your right to evolve at this time.

Find security in the idea that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have at every moment, just the same as you. Bless and love them as they find their own way to their individual destiny. You needn’t separate yourself totally from the rest of society while you are finding your people.

Once you have found people to associate with whom you can be open and honest, by remaining among the herd, you can be a subtle light influencing those around you.

Your evolved heart/brain-connected energy is felt by people and the world around you at least three-and-a-half-feet in every direction around you. As you continue to evolve, this energy reaches farther and farther in every direction all around you. No need to speak, just your being there affects the lives of others and the word in a positive way.

You may speak as you let your light shine but do so with grace, dignity, and love, keeping in mind that people can only handle what they can handle, so give them a little something to think about without having to threaten the world they live in. If they start to question, they may seek you out.

You might be one of their people when they’re feeling like they don’t fit in. Let them be able to find you.

Counselor as a Helper for You

Every now and then life can get and when you’re feeling the pressure of life smothering you, thankfully there are many places you can turn for a helping hand. Seeking out a coach, consultant, counselor who may possess insight from the spectrum of life anywhere from being a member of the clergy to a strictly-schooled psychotherapist and anywhere in between, you can find some relief in seeking a counselor as a helper for you.

You don’t have to go it alone.

As you seek out someone to help you get a grip on life, be aware that all therapists are not created equal. Just as in any other profession or ministry there are good ones and some that are not so good. As you work with someone in a therapeutic relationship, take time periodically to pause and evaluate your progress for yourself.

Your work with anyone in a therapeutic relationship should yield measurable positive results and changes in your life.

You must see demonstrable results and growth, such as better health, and increased sense of self confidences, a growing awareness about where you are in your life journey, and finding the right fit for you with all your strengths and weaknesses to fit better into life relationships amidst your family, among your friends, your social circles in the community and beyond.

You should be more confident, stepping into your personal power, making better decisions, taking positive steps toward changing your life for the better. Things are starting to come together.

You are feeling less stress and your burdens are decreasing as you are empowered to take a more active role in your life. You are beginning to move into the driver’s seat, no longer just a passenger being victimized by this life.

Your finances are improving, as is your general outlook on life. You are feeling better, having a more positive outlook on life, and feeling the power of love energetically expanding all around you, even if you are unaware that the source of all love and life is within you, and always has been.

Your journey to wellness, personal growth, and empowerment can be born from your therapeutic relationship, but be aware, that there are many options available to you. One therapist who might have gotten you through one crisis or phase of personal growth may not be able to take you to the next.

Check and ask yourself if your life is positively changing, are you energetically expanding, is your personal awareness expanding between visits?

If your life is stagnant and there is little or no positive life-change happening during your work with a coach, consultant, counselor, or member of the clergy, then you need to find a better fit for you at this stage in your life.

I work with many people in the field and no one takes it personally when a client moves to another coach. In fact, your therapist, counselor, or accountability partner should also be tracking your progress. If he or she notices you are not achieving positive results from his or her work with you, you should be referred to someone who might be a better fit for you.

Different counselors have varying areas of specialization, therapeutic perspective, personal style, and methods of delivery. Find the one that resonates with you, for now.

Once you have progressed beyond this phase of your life, it may be time to find someone better suited for your next phase.

If the person you are working with is providing you with the positive results you desire, if your life has leveled off and there are no signs of your making it better, if you feel afraid, intimidated, or bullied, seek out someone else to work with.

If you are feeling a romantic inclination toward your therapist or counselor (actually, this is quite normal) talk to him or her about it. Do not hide it, allow it to grow into a fantasy or full-blown obsession, or act on it in any way. Talk your way through it.

And if your therapist or counselor expresses any romantic interest in you, run the other way. This is a clear violation of the therapeutic relationship.

A clear separation must be maintained to prevent the therapeutic relationship from becoming toxic with tragic results. This would not be the standard expectation if historically the statistics didn’t prevail overwhelmingly disclosing how devasting crossing this boundary can be.

An effective ethical counselor may be friendly but not your friend. You don’t hang out, are not on the same volleyball team, and do not exchange gifts. Respect this relationship and keep it pure for your highest and best results.

You are the master of your fate, and the right accountability partner can help you get from where you are to where you want to be expediently.

Are you ready to change your life?
Are you ready to take action?
Are you ready to do the work?

Then your life is already starting to change.

You are beginning a sacred metamorphosis.

God bless you on your journey to new life.

Changing Bad Habits into Good Ones

So, you’ve got some bad habits, who doesn’t? Sure, you could just quit cold turkey that works one out of ten times, or you could try changing bad habits into good ones which is much more effective and long-lasting.

changing bad habits into good ones

Changing bad habits into good ones will help to keep you from backsliding into old behavior patterns which link you to those destructive activities that are not helping you to become the better person you want to be.

Old or bad habits can throw a wrench in your intention to step fully into your new and improved life and can keep you anchored in the old life of your past.

There are many methods of letting go of those activities and actions which connect you to the “old you” which can take a lot of research, delving into your past to find the root cause of what triggers the behavior, which is part of the deep inner work which you will probably want to do at some point.

Even so, if there is a habit you’d like to let go of in the meantime, you could just consider changing a bad habit into a good one.

Before you start changing your bad habit into a good one, review the habit you’d like to change out. Ask yourself why you want to stop doing this thing (whatever it is) and make a list of all the reasons you can come up with.

The more reasons you can come up with, about how this bad habit affects your life, and the lives of those around you, the better.

Now, you can’t just look at the downside, because you wouldn’t be doing this thing if you didn’t receive some benefit from it. So, next up, make a list of the why you like to participate in this habit. What do you get out of it?

Make a list of all the benefits you receive for yourself every time you do it.

Maybe it makes you feel better, or maybe you have just done it for so long its pure automatic response, with little benefit, but it would seem weird not to do it.

Here’s the tricky part but it’s also the most fun. Imagine yourself about to engage in your bad habit. What could you do instead in that moment? What, when you are triggered to do that thing, which you’d rather not do, could you do instead that would be far better for you and/or others?

Try not to limit yourself to just one thing, come up with as many as you can, then pick the best one.

Establish yourself as not having that old habit anymore by using your voice, first to yourself in the mirror, then out loud to others. Like, “I don’t smoke anymore.” This is the statement for the new you, “I don’t smoke.” (Replace “smoke” with whatever the bad habit is.)

Take time to see yourself in your mind’s eye as this new person who does this. See how it affects your life and those around you. Using your imagination, visualize all the positive benefits that come from your engaging in the new, good habit.

You don’t have to say what you’ve chosen to do instead of your old habit, show it by example. The next time you feel like participating in that old habit, do the new thing. Use the very same trigger to do something good for yourself or others.

Instead of doing whatever it is, give someone a compliment, eat a healthy snack, fix your hair, call a friend, do a good deed for someone else, look into a pocket mirror and tell yourself how much you love yourself, write something positive in your journal, grab the nearest book and randomly open it reading the first paragraph that piques your interest, make a paper airplane then write something encouraging on it and throw it out the window. Whatever it is, do that thing.

This is part of your new identity. Instead of doing that old thing, now you do this new thing that is more in-line with your goals and helping to make the world a better place.

As you get accustomed to doing better things by changing bad habits into good ones, you don’t have to do just the one replacement, you can just pick from a variety of good things to do instead.

There is no judgment here for you, and there must be none there for you. If you falter and fall back into your old habit do not beat yourself up. You are not a bad person, you are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you.

Love yourself.

Jot it down on your calendar. Tomorrow is another day. Make it through that day, no matter what. While changing bad habits into good ones can lead to lasting instantaneous change, sometimes it takes time. If so, there is nothing wrong with that.

If you’ve been jotting your progress on your calendar, you will notice the number of days of the new habit being exercised growing between the old one showing up. Before you know it, the old habit will be long gone. Just keep going and growing.

This is growth and change, and only you could have accomplished such a feat.

 

Should I Smoke Pot?

You might ask, “Should I smoke pot?” Or wonder what the effects of prolonged use of marijuana might be on one’s life journey?

With the growing popularity and legalization of the use of marijuana, increasingly I am asked, “Should I be smoking pot?” by clients on their path to a better life, their best lives, and making the world a better place.

Now that there is a “growing trend” of marijuana uses, especially since more states are decriminalizing the use of marijuana, are allowing the medical use of marijuana, and it is becoming legal in many states, there are many questions arising about the effects of marijuana in general, and in my work increasingly, clients are inquiring about its use more often.

It’s not an easy question to answer because of it’s not a black-and-white issue. There is nothing inherently bad about the use of marijuana, and it offers many health benefits if used medicinally. Then, there is that part of, if used in excess, it could be counter-productive.

Many people with worse addictions are using marijuana to kick their addictions. My question is, are they just trading one addiction for another? If one addiction causes less harm than the other there is definitely value in trading a bad one for a better one, right?

The effect of this growing green substance also affects each person differently depending on their body’s chemistry and psychological profile. As therapeutic as the green stuff might be, it may be keeping you from achieving your highest and best.

What do I say when a client asks what the effects of marijuana would have on the quality of their spiritual journey from prolonged use over time?

It’s really up to you, where you are in your path in your life’s journey. There are times when the use of marijuana and other drugs could be highly beneficial or warranted for mitigating the damages from the surprises of life that catch you off-guard,

Weed is an excellent numbing agent and if you’re in a lot of pain, physically or psychologically, it can certainly help to keep you in a calm state or help you to sleep at night. When choosing a substance to help get you over the hump, why not pick something that is less likely to harm or kill you.

It also depends on where you are in your life’s journey amidst the 7 Phases of Personal Growth, or the 7 Phases of Spiritual Growth, as well as those situational moments of change.

No one but you can really discern when it is a good time for you to use pot, if at all.

Other things to consider are whether you actually need the effects of THC to get the benefits you want from Dr. Mary Jane. CBD oil is growing in popularity and is legal in most states now because it can be manufactured with little or no THC while retaining the healing properties of marijuana.

No one is going to judge you for your use of weed in any of its varieties if it is legal where you partake, but some people may raise an eyebrow if it affects you negatively, and it would be wise for you to get regular input from people who really care about you. Because, if you’re taking marijuana with any degree of frequency, you might not be able to see its effects on you and your life.

Objective views are very valuable, and I think this is why I am seeing the question, “Should I continue to smoke pot?” asked more frequently.

No problem. This is what coaches, counselors, and consultants are there for, right?

Just be aware that the answer is not as easy as it might seem. There are many things to consider.

Also, remember that just because a thing is legal and has beneficial properties doesn’t necessarily mean that is good for you in all circumstances and situations.

I smoked pot and got high in my teens regularly, until the day I woke up and looked around at all the adults that were smoking pot regularly and asked myself if that was the life I wanted to live? Fortunately, I had a wide breadth of pot smokers’ lives I could examine.

There were mostly low-income earners and a few high-rollers to give me an idea of the range and what I might expect if I were to continue smoking weed.

Always the love-inspired person, I decided to stop smoking pot and started to take a more proactive roll in managing my own life. I made a lot of changes, and these changes led me to harmonize with the love of-and-for God and the ministry, and I didn’t stop there.

I’ve never regretted my decision and continue to live one of the most amazing lives I could have ever imagined. Every day is a new and exciting day, leading to yet another.

Sure, there are times when I hit a rough spot, and I might even use marijuana (with or without THC) products if deemed necessary or beneficial.

I am definitely in favor of the continued legalization of marijuana, and I hope that one day it could be truly free and unregulated, as should all substances.

Know this: Love is the most powerful drug of all. Far more powerful than marijuana or any other known substance. Just as you would with any substance, use and exercise your love with care.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever wondered,

“Should I smoke pot?”

Tell me what you think below…

7 Phases of Personal Growth

You start out on this life and start your journey of personal growth which follows seven distinct phases which follow in succession from primitive values and behavior and depending on how your learning and travels you could find yourself anywhere amidst the 7 phases of personal growth.

An excellent overview of the 7 phases of personal growth can be summed up by k at Clare W. Graves’ Levels of Human Existence which mimic the path we follow as we progress from one phase to the next.

It’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of these 7 phases of personal growth if you’re working as a coach, counselor, and consultant so that you can keep your clients moving in a positive direction as they grow along their personal and/or professional journey in life.

The levels of human existence can be found not only in human growth and potential but are also present in other areas of life where potential and progress is found.

The most basic form of personal development basically starts at ground zero which is Phase 1.

Phase 1: Survival

This is where we all start. In terms of human existence. Survival refers to the base level of human existence, like seeking shelter from the elements and grubbing for food. Resources are extremely limited. Due to our current level of society, it is difficult to find anyone at Phase 1, unless someone was totally isolated and truly struggling with homelessness.

Phase 2: Relationship

This is where we develop a tribe mentality as we become a part of the greater community. In a tribal community, we forfeit our individuality for the benefit of supporting the tribal Chief. Your life is pretty much a result of whatever the Chief dictates. You can see how this can apply to other areas of life, like family, school, sports, work, and career pursuits.

Phase 3: Self-esteem

Phase 3 represents the rebellious stage, which harbors a lot of rejection and aggression. This is where the individual begins to express its individuality and doesn’t want to submit to the Chief anymore. For someone in phase 3, they will just about do whatever they want or can to get whatever it is that they want, regardless of anyone or anything else.

Phase 4: Transformation

The disregard for others in phase 3 leads to a wondering about the consequences of unbridled self-esteem. Asking questions, like what happened to others who were disregarded, an introspection, and thoughts of what if someone treated me like that?

There is a compulsion to do what it takes to carve out a successful separation for a better life and do the right thing. This is where individuals seek to devise a system to accommodate a number of participants who are willing to sacrifice self in the present for the promise of reward later.

Phase 5: Internal Cohesion

In phase 5 the entrepreneurial spirit breaks forth, and people want more out of life. They are tired of the same ol’ same ol’ and aren’t going to subject themselves to the lives led by their predecessors.

Phase fivers have the determination to do whatever it takes, sacrificing all while respecting the laws of the land to create a better life for them, their families, the community, and the world at large.

Even so, they are likely to disrespect the environment in phase 5 as their attention is so extremely focused on the struggle for success as they are going-it-alone, so determined to make it happen, doing it themselves.

Phase 6: Making a Difference

Because of the disregard for the environment in phase 5 the next level highly regards the environment. These are the people who are determined to fight for a better world, save the whales, join PETA, and may become vegetarians.

They will protest against war and other injustices of life.

Those who find themselves in phase 6 want everyone to play along with them. Everyone gets a say, vote, or equal share.

While gathering around the campfire and singing Kumbya may feel good but it just doesn’t get the job done.

It turns out, that this may succeed in the short-term, but not so much in the long-term because there are those who will seek to take advantage of or exploit the weaknesses of phase 6.

Phase 7: Service

This is the level of human mastery. In phase 7 you can access any of the previous levels using their attributes to apply to any current situation. In phase 7, you seek results and have access to a wealth of personal evolution and growth and have access to your own strengths to wield as necessary.

You can develop teams and anyone who is capable can lead a team. There is no need to do it all yourself (in contrast to phase 5). There is more respect and allowance for others to be who they are and offer their individual strengths for the greater good.

Level 7 is all about possibilities, options, and choices.

You can see how the 7 phases of personal growth can apply to many different slices of life and shows a steady progression from one phase to the next.

But the journey doesn’t end there. Following your personal growth, you can progress into the further evolution of man and the 7 Phases of Spiritual Growth.

Personal Growth and Change

There is little that brings more personal satisfaction to a person than personal growth and change, breaking through to a new level of existence among others with whom we share life on planet earth.

There is a growing number of people who are part of the next evolution of the human being, and these are the people embracing a variety of personal growth and change in all areas of their lives, including family, friends, careers, health, emotional wellness, volunteerism, love, and spirituality among others.

Why might some otherwise “normal” people seek to separate themselves from the pack via personal growth and change, embracing their individuality, purpose, message, passion, and mission?

As you might already know, there is this still small voice inside you. You hear it, mostly in those rare moments between frantic activities and the constant barrage of media and information, and it begs the question,

“Is there more to life than this?”

Deep inside you, the knowingness resides in the answer, “Indeed there is,” but so does the awareness that the true meaning in life is not found in the quest for status, power, or things.

The “more” that awaits is in your own evolution and expansion beyond that which the status quo might dictate.

So, you, like so many others embark on a journey, risking the safety and security of family, friends, and the constant droll of everyday life to forge your own path to where ever it leads.

Again, you ask, “Why?”

Besides the answering of your sacred call against all odds, there is the self-satisfaction that comes from being your own man or your own woman. Realizing that you are not merely the sum of your experiences and pedigree on this planet, you make your own way, discovering the nature of your true self.

You chart out a journey or discovery within and without to places unknown, which may have been explored by others who dared to attempt similar journeys in the past, but even so, yours will be completely unique to you as the entire landscape of these unchartered (or previously chartered) landscapes change, evolving, moment by moment. That is the nature of evolution.

You are on the path to getting to know you better than anyone has ever cared to. You are dealing with the programming, ideas, and issues from your past which were designed by social engineers to keep you small and subservient.

You are no longer shackled by the chains of society. As you exercise your true independence you see the effects of your personal growth and change as you evolve into your highest and best version of yourself.

You see life as something new; as if seeing it for the first time from a unique, new perspective, becoming more aware of your surroundings, free from the filters and restraints of your social programming.

You see your value in the world, how you can help others, and contribute in making the world a better place. You see each step toward a better life, leading toward your best life, as you build cumulative momentum toward the realization of an entirely new world of unlimited possibilities.

You find the fuel to go on from within, not needing the support or acceptance of others to see your way through this higher process of expansive self-growth, and when you face a challenge or obstacle you find the strength within to persevere and keep on going, when anyone else might have turned tail and run the other way.

You find new strengths, gifts, and opportunities appearing all around you as you move forward in faith, with each new step.

All this builds a new sense of assuredness found within, knowing that you are being true to your divine calling and living out your purpose. You are more self-confident and cannot be threatened by nay-sayers as you have nothing to prove to anyone.

You respect and love others, just like you would like to be respected and loved. This opens new opportunities for you in managing your relationships. Now, they are healthier, more authentic, full of love and happiness, as judging others fades into the distant past your can love and accept people for just being who they are, whoever they might be.

Your heart is full of love as you grow in strength and honor, unshakeable in your new versatility and sustainable expansion.

You are love. Your personal growth and change have taken you to a new place in the universe where you bask in the love, with inner peace, and happiness, ready to share your message with the world.

What If Nobody Could Hurt You?

What if nobody could ever hurt you, ever again?

If you’ve ever been in a knock down drag out fight you know what it feels like to be hit by someone. Adrenaline and other hormones cascade overwhelming your state of being as you as immediately find yourself in fight or flight. Being part of a brutal smackdown is no fun and the trauma, pain, and suffering that comes from the physical abuse can endure and cause even more suffering as you try to heal from the event over time.

How curious is it when we are similarly affected by the spoken words of someone?

When you feel as though someone has disrespected, insulted, ignored, judged, or rejected you, BAM! Just as though you’d been kicked in the guts, all the pain, emotional and physical with all the feelings and hormone overload.

When this happens to you, those words, which cut like a knife, were likely spoken by someone you love, trust, or highly regard. They could be your partner, a family member, a child, a neighbor, someone you work with or for. Because you are more connected to these people than others in your life, their words cut the deepest, can crush you, and leave your heart bleeding in pain and sorrow.

Those you care about the most hurt you the most

The concept, “those you care about the most hurt you the most” rings true.

Interestingly enough, this concept was programmed into your psyche since the day you were born. Based on your life experience, you learned to love and depend on others. Early on, you realized that if you disappointed the people you loved and trusted to take care of you, they would turn on you, leaving you in a state of fear and suffering.

That’s where it starts, and it grows as you trust and are betrayed by those who you love and care for along the way, when all you really wanted was to be accepted, respected, and loved for no other reason than you love others. Family, friends, lovers, fellow students, teachers, and others in your circle of influence. Why can’t they just love you back?

We have been programmed to value the opinion of others so highly that the slightest threat of potentially not being highly regarded by someone we care about can threaten our very sense of existence. Our feelings are hurt. We can either strike back and start an all-out war of words (or worse), and if we’re unable to strike back (for fear of being hurt even worse), we find someone else who we are stronger than to strike out at to release the angst inside. Or we can find ourselves sinking to the depths of depression, even contemplating suicide as a way out of the pain.

You were socially programmed to want what others want, to desire to do the things that others do with them as a part of the crowd. Giving you a sense of belonging, in the belief there is safety and security by being accepted by others, for to be alone would be potentially dangerous, or too much to bear.

This social programming has been a disservice to your highest and best because you were meant for so much more than just being just another sheep in the herd.

Blessed are those who were raised in an empowered sense of individuality and personal awareness. They possess the power of seeing themselves as separate, and in the best-case scenarios, also see themselves as part of the greater whole of community and humanity, though these days this represents a very small percentage of us.

To expect someone to know and appreciate you for all that you are sets you up for disappointment and failure, and your feelings will always be hurt because no one can ever know and appreciate you as much as you do.

Likewise, no matter how hard you try, you can’t fully “get” anyone else. So much goes on inside the heart and mind of everyone that you will never know. Just like when you are silent, your mind keeps working and think thoughts you might never convert to spoken word.

What’s the answer?

There is great personal power in realizing that what anyone thinks or says about you has nothing to do with you at all. It’s about them.

You know that you are always intentionally authentic, open, honest, and want the best for everyone in your life. You know you are always worthy of the best things in this life, and you would never do anything intentionally to hurt anyone you cared about. You don’t need anyone else’s validation of these things because you know them to be true. Your knowledge of and confidence in you is unshakeable.

From this vantage point, if someone barks something that might have hurt your feelings in the past, you can feel compassion for the person who felt like he or she had to react in such a say. And instead of being threatened or hurt by what they said or did, you can just look at them lost in their own life-struggle and think (or say, if appropriate), “That’s interesting.”

You know you can respond with love and compassion because you know that you were like that too.

You are emotionally resilient and bulletproof.

You are no longer a victim of anyone else’s disrespect or abuse.

You don’t have to defend yourself or strike back because they didn’t actually do or say anything that could hurt you. You can bless them because you know they are just doing the best they can with what they have.

 

Growth Amidst Chaos

When you’re trying to stay focused on your balancing and maintenance of personal, professional, and spiritual growth, many distractions abound to break your stride, interrupting your maturation and expansion.

As you turn your attention toward maintaining your love vibration and protect your sacred space, circumstances, challenges, and situations crash into your otherwise upwardly mobile progress by any means possible, using the manmade distractors such as “the news,” TV, media, personal communication devices, Google, social media, books, magazines, celebrity gossip, money hardship, relationships with others, or other emotional stressors.

The crux of your growth and expansion is to focus your attention within, yet there are so many methods which society and the “powers that be” utilize to keep you so distracted that staying in the zone for any amount of time is difficult at best.

Taking time to center yourself in quiet repose can give you the pause necessary to adequately review the events of your life in the recent past (yesterday, last week, last month) to give you a good idea about which distractions have the greatest distractibility quotient over you. This recognition sheds light on the areas in your life that may need tending to.

“Everything was going along great, then all of a sudden…”

Whatever comes after that helps to identify particular weaknesses or chinks in your armor. With a little attention to these areas you can repair the damage, or eliminate altogether, any future risk of penetration.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s enough discord among the faith systems of the world to keep you utterly confused about which way to go, as you’re trying to make your own way while staying true to your own purpose, message, passion, and mission.

Everyone has their own idea of how you should approach your spiritual relationship with the ultimate power of the universe, but others are not aware enough to know that while their path may be a perfect match for where they are in their own journey, it may not be perfect for you. In fact, someone else’s path may actually be counterproductive for your continued growth and expansion; another distraction.

The perfect clue to help you identify that someone else’s faith-system is not for you and does not support your highest and best will be the degree of pressure they impose upon you to convert or conform to their point of view. If their insistence is unfailing, threatening, borderline abusive, or destructive, common sense dictates this is not the path of love’s growth and expansion.

Love’s growth and expansion includes the divinity of all forms of life in all their various styles and perspectives, all in various stages of awakening. Even though some may be stagnant, immature, against the flow, or even considered to be controlling, predatory, or evil, all are perfectly divine in their own way.

Separateness keeps us divided, does not support expansive growth, makes humanity stagnate, and is unsustainable, while allowing other people and their ideas simply “to be” while finding more ways to grow and expand one’s self, understanding that we are individuals, yet “one” in love, is the current evolutionary process of the human race.

How we interact with others reveals the nature of our emotional/spiritual condition. If your approach is to either accept like-minded people and reject those who present different approaches to life, you could do better. A fully engaged love vibration will have you seeing the sacredness in all life. The contrast actually helps to promote the evolution of humanity.

At some point, when the evolution hits critical mass, only love will be sustainable, and that which is not love will simply deteriorate and fade away. Until then, the best we can do is to love everyone and everything with all we’ve got, doing the best we can to move this expansive evolutionary process forward.

Don’t take things personally, find opportunities to accept what is, love and bless everyone and everything as you discover new methods of staying focused within yourself, tending to your own life and growth, while allowing others the same courtesy.

The distractions and interactions with others actually support your continued growth, if you increasingly approach all these things in love, and training your attention to focus on the sacred divinity of all things, while focusing on that which is good, beautiful, and loving.