Blog Week 28 More than just the number 22

Was up early this morning and left at 5:30 am for the Scranton Reserve Center to volunteer at a 22 K walk.  It’s what we call in the northeast a raw fall day—cold, damp, and raining.  The walk is to bring additional awareness to the distressing statistic that 22 veterans or current military are committing suicide every day. Yes every day!!!

I serve on the board of a nonprofit, Equines for Freedom,  where we include horses in the treatment of   veterans with PTSD and we do it  for FREE. As far as I know we are the only organization in the world doing it at zero cost to the veteran.   A little more about that later in this blog.

 I would be surprised if you can get through this video without the tears flowing, I can’t and I’ve watched several times.

Memorial Day Granville Brothers

Brother Earl tells part of his story

This is a link to an article written about Equines for Freedom, EA-EMDR and why adding the horse to the treatment team helps the veteran better connect to others and reality.

I recently had coffee with a 26 year old guy, great guy, who had recently finished the program. I was curious about his suicidal thoughts and why that was seen as a solution.  He said that the stress of his PTSD was exhausting, tearing him down emotionally, he was irritable and just plain tired.  Interestingly, for him the thoughts of killing himself would suddenly appear in his mind.  This is why it is so difficult for family and friends to recognize when their loved is in the depths of PTSD  depression and in need of professional help. In his case his fiancée finally gave him an ultimatum, get help or get another fiancée.

Equines for Freedom, Horses Helping Veterans Heal.

Learn more about EA-EMDR  treatment for PTSD  on  Our Facebook

 

 

 

 

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Blog 27 Fish and the Water

The question is, does a fish know it’s in water?  If so how does it know it?  Does the trout say to the bass, “hey fellow swimmer the water is cold this morning lets slither our way up on the sunny side of the bank and absorb some morning rays?” I think not.

So it begs the question. “do we humans know when we are living in a river of negativity, thought negativity?”  Or does the negativity slowly seep into our minds like river slowly clouding up  following a thunder storm.

Words that describe negativity are disagreeable, skeptical, and pessimistic.   I contend that fear at a person’s core supports disagreeability, skepticism, and pessimistic beliefs and in turn attitude. When we are born we fear only two things, loud noises and falling. The rest of our fears are learned.  In our childhood we learn them mostly from family who were usually passing on what they learned as a child from their family.   Note these fears can many times be handed down from generation to generation.

Fear and heights.  Past fear is experiencing how scared you were when you climbed to the top of a 20 foot ladder. Future fear is projecting that fear into tomorrow as a reason for not climb a ladder ever again. Because one of the ancient functions of our subconscious mine is self preservation dwelling on a fearful event impregnates the subconscious with a red light to heights in this case.  One way this might be displayed is in a wife’s suggestion to her husband he paint the outside of their house.  His subconscious immediately ignites a red light to ladders and heights and he becomes disagreeable, skeptical or pessimistic about the whole idea.

Can we neutralize or reverse one or all of these fears?   I believe we all have the power at our command. I urge you to listen to The Strangest Seacret by Earl Nightingale and leave me your opinion.

Blog Week 26 Security or Liberty

Yesterday I had a conversation with a close friend about a change of jobs within their career field. They had been notified a few months earlier their current employer was changing direction because of market conditions and was going to eliminate their highly specialized position.

Looking around my friend confirmed there were many other equally qualified professionals in their field under employed or no longer employed in their career field.  After a number of resume submissions resulting in only a few interviews and with no job offers, my friend decided they would take control of their future by opening their own business.  Surely some of the customers they were currently serving would be happy to move their business to my friend and their new  business.

The decision to go out on your own especially when you have a car payment, a  mortgage and family responsibilities  is daunting one.  But my friend began building their courage using faith and the “Law of Attraction” and applying a positive mental attitude (PMA) to their circumstances…Decision – made this a GO!

Then out of nowhere came an interview opportunity with a government agency.  A mental neon sign begins flashing bright red    SECURITY – SECURITY – SECURITY!  The PMA begins to wither like your favorite flower needing water.  Having been in similar circumstance in my life when this has happened to me,   I too I wanted to  scream out to the world  YES  YES security.

In the Master Key Master Mind Alliance we learned that we individuals have Personal Pivotal Needs (PPNs.)  A PPN is something you do instinctively with ease and gives you joy.  We were given a  list and  asked to choose the two we felt most strongly about.  My second PPN choice changed as I learned more about myself progressing through the program – it is now LibertyHelping Others has always been one of my PPNs even before I enrolled in the Master Key Master Mind Alliance.   It’s just ME and I receive great joy.

 PPNs – Legacy , Spiritual Growth, Autonomy, Liberty, Helping Others, Creative Expression, True Health.

Our next conversation followed their interview.

Their mind was churning with the idea of a sizable retirement after 30 years of service. Learning and becoming an expert in a new field that they could market in five years if they chose to leave the government. When it came to the salary range the position would bring I asked, what they would need to remain at financial parity with their current live style.  Factoring in taxes my friend began to realize even if they received the high dollar figure mentioned in the interview it would be a real squeeze on life style.

Further discussion revealed that they too were motivated by Liberty.    A person who highly values Liberty needs the freedom to be independent to come and go at will.  A freedom seldom found in an 8:00 to 5:00 job.

My friend will have to make a choice if offered the job.  Reduce their life style meaning living within the take home pay or starting their own business and having more liberty of life while being in control and crating a life style. It won’t be easy but should be fulfilling.

One of the things I’ve come to believe through the Master Key Master Mind Alliance is “Security comes from within one’s self.”

Warmly,

Bruce

Blog Week 25 The Pilgrimage

This weekend I made a pilgrimage back through 50 years of my life. It was both an emotional journey and a nearly 500 mile round trip drive over 12 hours.

Let me state at this point this would NEVER have been set upon were it not for Mark J, Davene, the staff, and the journey they guided me through the 2015 Master Key Master Mind Alliance.

Back in the summer of 1966 I lost a woman I loved yet was still getting to know her. With some outside counseling recently, I realized that I had focused on my grief  over the years and its negative effect on my life without empathy for her or her death.

Sometime after her death I left the job where I had received a deferment from the draft and returned to my home in Pennsylvania.  Less than three months later my name popped up on the local draft board’s list and they sent me a draft notice. For those who were not around in the mid 60s the Vietnam War was accelerating and if you were listed as “4A” meaning you were healthy and not married with family responsibilities you were a draft candidate. This was prior to the lottery system that listed the draft eligibility by a drawing of birth dates.  Accepting the two year draft usually meant  the Army came with a strong possibility of placement in the infantry…not for me!

I enlisted in the Navy for four years and went off to 11 weeks of boot camp the day before I was required to report for the draft. Three days later was the first anniversary of her death. Lights out that night and lying in a bottom bunk with 99 other recruits in the barracks, none of which knew of my sorrow or cared…It was an empty dark night for  my soul.

Life goes on and many times in the following 40 years I was in or near where she is buried and never considered visiting her grave.  Let’s call it a “blank spot” in my consciousness for a host of reasons.

With the approaching 50th  anniversary a knowingness began emerging that I must visit her grave.  I mustered up the courage one night to search online for the cemetery where she was interned. On my first try her name popped up in a flash as if it had there been waiting years for me and with additional click a picture of her name engraved on a grave stone struck me followed by an avalanche of tears.

In and around that time I met a counselor who works with “grief” and was offered her service.  Through the counseling sessions I learned how to “complete a grief” which is not closure as we hear as the solution most times to a loss.  It resulted in a “good bye”  completion letter I wrote.

So this Saturday morning at 6:10 am the pilgrimage began in a rain and mist traveling over local roads and Interstates all more familiar than I had remembered. I had Googled a picture of the cemetery and it appeared small. So armed with a mental picture of the grave stone I was certain I would have no trouble finding  it.  When I arrived it became obvious the Google picture did not reveal that half of the cemetery was out of view over the hill. I went next door to a funeral home that looked as if it was part of the complex. They gave me the phone number of Carol who was the cemetery manager.  As I called and was leaving a   massage I was thinking “no way will she be available on a Saturday.”  Knowing even if I had to walk the entire cemetery complex to complete the pilgrimage — I would so.  I began methodically traversing the rows as the rain returned.  Carol called back after about 15 minutes and could I meet her at the office in 4 minutes…YES!

Carol requested her name and quickly confirmed it in her records. Took a map and pointed out exactly where and directed me in the direction of the grave. I am so grateful to Carol!

With an unknown amount of pent up emotions, 50 years worth, I anxiously approached the burial plot. At the first sight of her name engraved on the stone, years of emotions began bubbling up from seemingly nowhere (and they continue today as I write this.) I placed a single red rose of love on her stone through the tears. The rain increased mixing with tears on my cheeks.  I read my “completion – good bye” letter to her as the rain completely saturated the paper.  Five or six times my logical self said it’s pouring time to leave and each time my emotional self refused the calling. There was something as I stood peering down at her name and converting it to her nick name “Sherry” that kept my feet anchored in place, a place needed to be a little longer.

Shortly after leaving the grave site I asked myself how I was feeling. The best words that came to me were drained, mellow, peaceful, and comfortable.

Thank you for allowing me to share.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Week 24 Grateful

I’ve reached commencement in the Master Key Master Mind Alliance whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.

This song’s lyrics  and the tender interpretation  by Leona Lewis of First Time I Ever Saw Your Face  expresses an awakening, a self awareness, and  self honesty. Though the work of the Master Key Master Mind Alliance I have revealed my own awareness and guided it to the surface of my consciousness .

 Please enjoy it with me.

Warmly, Bruce

Blog Week 23 Never Defend

A sales training course I took a few years ago, taught to “Never Defend” your position….”your price is too high” is probably the best example. The prospect says “the price is too high,” hearing this most times is the sales person’s biggest fear. What sales people need to discover was that an “objection” or a “statement.” What could be the prospect’s actual meaning? This is way above our my budget and if they don’t lower the price no way I can buy – an objection. Or they could have been thinking, we will have to start small with the money we have and add on later – a statement.

If the sales person was inexperienced, or worse yet needed the sale, they would go into defend mode with statements about quality, service, superior products, etc. In a word they would get out of the present moment mentally instead of skillfully getting the prospect to reveal what they meant by “your price is too high.”
This technique, and it is a technique, is hard for the EGO and its opinions to accept in personal conversations and relationships. What if there was something that whatever a person said to us that we disagreed with or it hurt our feelings, we would let it run off us like water of a ducks back.

Marianne Williamson in A Course In Miracles says,
“You create what you defend against. The only way you can really be safe is in your defenselessness.”  “When things are dangerous or critical, we are taken back to our right mind.”

One of the pillars of the Law of Least Effort is Defenselessness, the other two being Acceptance and Responsibility.

Defenselessness – Today my awareness remains established in defenselessness. I relinquish the need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to convince or persuade others to accept my point of view. I remain open to all points of view and am not rigidly attached to any one of them.

Living Defenselessnessly is analogous preening yourself, as do ducks to water, to the influence of the world around us. What a relaxing and calm way to live.

Blog Week 22a Laughing Uncontrollably

My mental blue print was rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably. You Bruce, be completely quiet…for a day or more. Yea right! Was my initial response to Mark’s challenge for the off week. To be completely quiet for a day or more, no talking, no social media, no texting, no TV, and no reading other than our daily course material. Just be with yourself…Really!

Then I started thinking maybe I could do it but here in my “man cave” where I am surrounded by printers, speakers, prospects business cards, four piles of 3X5 cards totaling somewhere between 500 and 600 cards, my I phone, my Verizon Ellipsis tablet which I’m going to learn how to use someday, a stereo remote, and all the miscellaneous papers I will someday file, and of course my laptop with constant incoming emails from three email address. Currently there are 2630 emails in my inbox which are sort of read and I will clean up just as soon as I have the time review them for anything worth keeping.

Then it hit me; why not go to the cabin I’ve shared with my cousins for the past 30 years for the weekend. I had never gone there before to be totally by myself. It was always a work weekend or hunting and always with others. And I always took a good novel to fill any spare time where the author could transport me off to somewhere I had never been before … a mental escape from my thoughts. This was to be a different experience.

It had been five months since I began the MKMMA experience into self discovery and I had developed a trust that Mark J and the others behind MKMMA knew exactly what they were doing and everything was presented just when I needed it. Decision made — I will go on Friday morning and stay until Sunday morning. I began to wonder and look forward to the time alone and what maybe I would find out about myself, would I experience an epiphany?

Loaded the car with food, bedding, warm clothing, and bottled water as the place had been winterized. Arrived at 11:00 am to the cabin which is a mile off the last hard road with only two other uninhabited cabins and as always the very first thing is starting a fire in the wood burner…so cold and damp….temperature 33 degrees. Put my I Phone in airplane mode and I’m on a quiet weekend retreat.

The weather turned colder as the day wore on which kept me inside as I fired up the second wood burner. Much of my time on both days was spent adding wood to keep the fires going and warm enough to sit quietly. That night the temperature dropped to 13 degrees which required getting up and adding wood a couple times during the night.

I hadn’t fully understood our lesson on fear and how we can use the energy in fear to forge ahead so I took time to review it.
Fear, Anger, Guilt, Hurt Feelings & Unworthiness.
Fear- brings intense focus and eliminates all distractions. Sitting there one night pitch black outside and I hear a strange thud. In a nano-second I am in the present, 100% focused, listening as if my ears were the size of a bull elephant’s. Everything in my universe came to a screeching halt; I was completely aware of myself and ready for fight or flight. Oh, that is what they meant by brings intense focus and eliminates all distractions.

Anger –comes with a massive amounts of energy the power of which can be channeled into productivity.

Hurt Feelings – acknowledges that you care and you have the power to release yourself from self-pity and turn on your passion.

Guilt – is self directed anger and evidence that you know what to do and what you are afraid of. A time to change your beliefs and stop berating yourself.

Unworthiness – is an early warning signal that we lack focus, we have too much on our plate and we are performing below our best. Brings to mind the saying “a jack of all trades and a master of none.” Warns us we are getting off track
Plate is over filled, that’s me. I realized I have been using procrastination as a tool. Frequently substituting a menial task that needs to be done now and thus stealing the time from a more important task that has fear involved. That hit home.

By that time I had become comfortable with bringing myself back from the future when my mind wondered. I joined the beauty and serenity of this snow covered scene and the inch of fresh powdery snow that fell over night.

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Solitude & Tranquility

As I continued walking I came across these two natural rock sculptures. I had been past them before but never SAW them. I had always been riding a quad or looking far forward (in the future) for any critter activity.

The tunnel, named Porcupine Way, is a merging of the trees energy with the rocks slower energy. It is easier to see in the larger picture the tree has grown and surrounded a projecting part of the ledge. A question to ponder, Is the tree absorbing the ledge or the ledge taking over the tree?

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A short distance away on the same rock formation I see the outline of something that appears human. It boggles my mind as to what it was and how was it formed but what I learned is, had I not been present, really present and in the moment I would have glanced over not absorbed its unique beauty. Because in future thinking I would have been elsewhere and not present to my now opportunities.

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I ended my quiet retreat at 11:00 am Sunday morning without an epiphany. But what I’ve taken away from the experience is one, it can be more enjoyable in the now than I ever thought and secondly, to think I am focused but an unexpected thud on a pitch dark night and my entire being  snaped into focus with the intensity of a laser beam a mere few microns in diameter.  This I can take away and use as a focus baramoter else where in my life.