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Week 17: Hero’s Journey

I have heard of and had intention to read Joseph Campbell for many years. So, very excited to supplement the MKE class with the wisdom of Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey.

I put Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers on my Audible and have been listening to it on my work commute.  Combined with the webinar last Sunday, which walked us through the four stages of death in relation to our old self, our old habits, our old blueprint- all of this really helped me see my own transformation from an outside perspective.  In some areas, I still have a little denial going on.  Others, some anger.  More often these last weeks I think I have been in the stage of grief.  I didn’t realize why I was sad until the webinar.  The last stage, acceptance, is shining through and helping with the moments of grief. However, overall, I have been happier than I can remember.  Same shit happens, life has its challenges, but I am lighter and happier than ever.

“Life has no meaning.  Each of us have meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

Week 17:Taking Initiative

For my Franklin makeover word this week I selected “taking initiative.”  What I found is that I am struggling with awareness of this added activity.  Compounded by the fact that I selected the qualities that I most want to develop (and felt were most needed) first.  I think I may have been better served by warming up on the attributes that I see more easily. Kindness week was a blast and I was seeing kindness, being kindness all over the week.  But my three first self selected attributes (imagination, taking initiative, and decisiveness), the awareness goes to the back burner of my brain once I get to my day job.  Then, at home, I realize the exercise and reverse look at the day with the lens of the attribute.  I see where it fits, but it feels manipulated.  I’ve noticed each new added activity takes me a week or more to warm up to and to have it become habit.

Where I am expanding is the sit.

17.16  In realizing great thoughts, in experiencing great emotions that correspond with great thoughts, the mind is in a state where it appreciates the value of higher things.

At the beginning of the course the sit, and feeling emotions purposefully, were challenges for me.  15 minutes seemed like 45. Now, 15 minutes gets swallowed up in a blink.

I will find a way for the Franklin Makeover to become a habit, and I know I can and will because of all the great habits I have formed since I began the MKE.

 

Week 16 Kindness

We have an added activity in the course.  The Franklin Makeover.  In order to become more aware of the positive expressions of our humanity, we are selecting one expression per week.  Being open to hyper awareness of that expression around us in others, as well as in ourselves.  The first week I selected “imagination” as that is a quality I want to develop more of in myself.  This second week, everyone in the course was assigned “kindness.”

Recognize.  Relate.  Assimilate.  Apply.  R2A2.

We started the exercise on a Monday, and for me, I have always enjoyed random acts of kindness, and being kind in the face of chaos.  On Monday and Tuesday one of the ways I chose to demonstrate kindness was in my classroom.  By day, I am a 9th grade English teacher, and 157 14-15 year olds come through my room each day.  NMWH.  My motto.  No Matter What Happens.  Be kind.  The students and their moods are all over the place, and I breathe through it all.  I do my best to not let their anxieties and mood swings affect my own.  So I smile and think kind thoughts and look them in the eye when they are talking to me, NMWH.  I ramped this up on kindness week and was feeling full of love and kindness for them all.

Driving home (45 minute commute) on Tuesday January 8th I was already in a great mood.  When I got home, it took me at least 5 minutes to realize something was different.  OMG.  Christmas was down.  My 29 year old newlywed daughter had come over to hang with the family Bordercollie and let him out, and turned that into an all day affair of taking down Christmas, packing it up, organizing it into the garage, and cleaning the house.  SUCH A HUGE AND KIND GIFT TO HER MAMA.

We also have a chore card every week, building our muscles of keeping our promises to ourselves.  On Sunday, January 6th, I had written on my chore card, “Take down Christmas by 1/13.”  I always keep my promises, Cid Chun.

This was my first time manifesting in this way, my chore card was done early due to a random act of kindness by my daughter.

Totally cool.

MKE Week 15: Mental Diet or Bust!

New Year, new ME.  Week 15 is a definite marker for me.  From weeks 11-14 I was struggling to keep up with the activities.  Week 15, and everything is finally flowing.  Of the activities I have not accomplished at the level I would like, the Mental Diet is number one.  To go seven days without a negative, fearful, worrying, judging (even of myself), or complaining thought that gets removed within 5 seconds is difficult.  I have been strict with myself on the “5-second rule.”  As we learned, it is the norm for our brain, conditioned by 1000’s of years for survival, to focus on what could or is going wrong.  But to recognize that thought as not just unnecessary, but actually detrimental to the goal of visual, creative, constructive thinking (within 5 seconds), has been difficult to say the least.

What I do notice is a huge shift in that when I catch myself making “survival plans” in my head, I am much kinder with myself.  It might not be within 5 seconds, but the negative thoughts are noticed.  And that is huge.

So I think January will be the month for 7 consecutive days of positive, constructive, creative thinking.

15.13 Thought may lead to action of any kind, but whatever the action, it is simply the thought attempting to express itself in visible form.  It is evident, therefore, that if we wish desirable conditions, we can afford to entertain only desirable thoughts.

MKE Week 14: Persistence like a Rocket Ship

But the thought must be clear cut, steady, fixed, definite, unchangeable; you cannot take one step forward and two steps backward; neither can you spend twenty or thirty years of your life building up negative conditions as the result of negative thoughts, and then expect to see them all melt away as the result of fifteen or twenty minutes of right thinking. Haanel 14.26

I’d been beating myself up a little bit about my failures.  Failure to go 7 days on the mental diet (no negative/worry/fear/judging/criticizing thought for longer than 5 seconds), failure of missed readings, failure to be on time with new assignments and blog posts.  But the holidays came with time off from my educator’s job, time FOR myself and my personal development and growth.  And we had a bye week on the Sunday webinar.  I made a promise to myself to not only catch up with MKE, but to do so with ENTHUSIASM, with passion and purpose.  To find ways of owning each piece and falling in love again with the process and the effects.  Master Key 14.26 was pivotal in my not only pushing through, but in forgiving myself; in moving past my “failures” and in celebrating my wins. In realizing it is a process and I am smack dab in the middle of it all.

I made a list and knew I would accomplish everything.  I always keep my promises.

I revised my DMP; and found that mixing it up, with combos of DMP, movie version, one sentence version, and my press release helped me with enthusiasm and positive anticipation.

I look forward to the sit.  It is not the most difficult part anymore, it is my favorite part.

Week 14 we had a task to watch a movie from a list.  I watched October Sky.  Homer Hickam persists with passion on learning how to build a rocket.  He doesn’t quit despite many setbacks and the lack of belief (ridicule and rejection) of family and community. He is so inspired by Spunick in October 1957 (a month before I was born – seems somewhat serendipitous), that he pursues his dream and overcomes what he is told is his destiny – to be a coal miner.

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I will persist.  I will win.

MKE Weeks 12 &13:Finding My Rhythm Among the Chaos

The end of a semester is a very hectic and busy time for a teacher, especially a high school teacher with 6 classes and 155 students.  I went back into the classroom after five years as a curriculum and program coordinator, so this year I am creating my own curriculum a mere stone’s throw ahead of the students themselves.

So weeks 12 and 13 in the MKE system were running parallel and were intertwined with the circus of a crazy busy life.  Complicated by a mini crisis like situation for a family member who needs me to be able to drop everything and be there when needed, usually that means to just be present as a good listener. I am so thankful that the MKE is helping me to be a fully present and empathetic listener.

I learned the last 2-3 weeks to be kind to myself, not beat myself up that I was running behind on some parts of the MKE, and instead bask in the happiness that I actually knew what those parts were, and was ENTHUSIASTICALLY excited to get to them. My readings were more enthusiastic than ever as these moments were moments for not just me, but my future self.  That friend whom I care about so much and want to make sure I am doing everything that is humanly possible for the best life ever for my future self.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy!

I ALWAYS keep my promises.

MKE Week 11: Getting My Stride

Although I have struggled with finding time for all the activities and everything else I am committed to (day job, business, family, health, Ollie the Bordercollie….), surprisingly (at least to me) I find myself today caught up with the course and ready for this Sunday’s webinar!  Yay me!!  Yay Master Key!  Are we really already on week 12?!!

Things I notice:

  • I stay calm and neutral when emotions around me are flying high.  I notice I go to my breath, or one of the auto-suggestions that are becoming second nature.
  • I am happier.  When I am not happy, I can sit with it and drill down to the source of discontent. Once I know what is causing my anxiety (or sadness, overwhelm), I can move on from it and be happy again.
  • I am kinder to myself.  I notice my accomplishments, both small and large, and don’t dwell on what I am still working on.
  • I have way more faith in myself and others.
  • I LOVE and look forward to my commute to work.  I get excited with that block of time and use it for ENTHUSIASTIC out loud auto-suggestions, for audible books, for practice on mindful breathing, for chanting along to Kirtan music, and for phone calls and connection.
  • I am OK with my loved ones who are not on this path and love them right where they are.
  • My mental diet is improving.  I catch my worried or negative thoughts earlier.  Not always with the 5-second rule, but getting closer.