Early bird deadline: The Art of Living


This is a heads up that the early bird discount (save $100) for The Art of Living ends tomorrow, April 19, 2016, at 5pm Pacific time.

The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work is the culmination of years of seeking, learning, and experimentation. It’s a way of coming home to yourself and engaging with your own deepest, wisest ways of knowing.

During this 12-week program you will rest in the deeper intelligence available to every human being, an intelligence that will guide you in the creation of what you want in life, whether you think it is possible at the outset or not.

Click here to learn more and sign up for The Art of Living.

Do not let money be a barrier

heart-700141_1920There’s a contact form on the web page in case you have any questions. I’ve kept the price of the program quite modest compared to other offers of this nature. If the cost  happens nonetheless to be an obstacle, you can use the form to request an adjustment. If you want to do this work, I will work with you to make it possible.

What do you say? Shall we make some artful living together?

You are the man behind the curtain: An invitation to see the magic in your life

One of the many memorable scenes in “The Wizard of Oz” shows Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion finally standing before the Great and Powerful Oz. They have come to present him with the broom belonging to the Wicked Witch of the West after having conquered her with a bucket of water. Oz thunders at them mightily and tries to put them off, but as he blusters and blasts, Toto, Dorothy’s tiny dog, pulls back a curtain and reveals that the wizard is just an ordinary man pulling levers in a magic show.

There’s always a man behind the curtain

The same thing happens whenever we see through the illusion created moment to moment by our thinking. One minute we are gripped by the certainty that the feelings and perceptions before us are real, and in the next, we see that they are projections of our amazing power of thought. One morning last week I had a realization about a long-standing story I sometimes live about not being a good-enough sister or friend or neighbor. I noticed how I’ve resisted and resented and avoided that story, and how that sets up a tug-of-war inside of me, an internal argument about being kind. I took out my notebook and made a simple list of related stories that came to mind.

  • They need me.
  • I should do more.
  • I am not thoughtful.
  • Etc.

I burned the list. It was funny. The paper in that particular notebook must have a special coating. It resisted burning. On top of that, it was a windy day. I used up half a book of matches failing to burn the list on our burn pile. Finally I got a ceramic bowl and found a place by the front door relatively sheltered from the wind. It still took at lot of matches, but that sucker is burned.

Back to the Wizard

In the movie, after the curtain is pulled back, the phony wizard is able to endow each of the characters with his or her wish. How does a phony wizard pull that off? He does it by revealing to each of them that they already had what they sought. The Scarecrow may have thought that brains lived in the diploma, which the Wizard granted him, but we know that his intelligence was there all along. The Tin Man’s heart was apparent throughout the movie, long before the Wizard gave him a heart-shaped clock. And the courage of the beloved Cowardly Lion shone through repeatedly as he shivered and shook, but stayed the course in spite of his fears. Clearly his courage was not the result of receiving a medal. And Dorothy? Dorothy wanted to go home. Home, a place that lived right there inside of her.

The magic worked by the Wizard is ours every minute of every day

You could say that the magic of the Wizard was to show each person that they themselves were the power behind the illusions they had been living, and that they had equal power to see through those illusions and come home to their wholeness and wellbeing. We have that same magic at our disposal. Whenever we see through our thoughts to the intelligence and wellbeing of which we are made, we come home. We encounter our intelligence, our compassion, and our courage.

What I noticed after burning those stories

After burning my stories about not being nice or compassionate or caring enough, I continued to reflect on those qualities. After all, I do want to be kind, compassionate, and caring. I noticed that thoughts about care and compassion can come from many sources. When it comes from an identity that is attached to being good enough, an identity that wants to be liked, or any other identity projected from a sense of insufficiency or incompleteness, thoughts about care and compassion are rooted in those things. But there are other times when those thoughts seem to stem from a different identity, one that is resourced in lovingkindness and that is not afraid or attached to outcomes.

Our hearts can always tell which identity is at work behind the curtain

Our personal thinking can get very confused about this, but our hearts can tell in an instant when we are operating from lovingkindness, which is another way of saying that we are connected with our true nature. It was good to see that what seemed to be the same drives or intentions can be generated from quite different sources. I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I have been trapped in my stories because I was afraid of losing something, like the will to be kind. How lovely to see the difference between the root of kindness, which can never be lost, and my stories about kindness, which can sometimes be quite distorted.

Burning didn’t dispel my stories

I burned my stories as a physical expression of an inner knowing: that the stories that I live are made of smoke and mirrors. It was satisfying to witness their return to smoke, but in no way necessary. The freedom we seek from our stories is ours as soon as we see that we are always the man behind the curtain. Have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please let me know what you’re discovering by sharing it in the comments.


Click here to learn about my newest program, The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Save $100 when you sign up before April 21, 2016.

Video credit: The Critical Commons

Choosing Right Versus Generating Choices

A choice between two things is not a choice; it’s a dilemma. Instead of setting up your cognitive filters to sort things into binary options, what if you changed your agenda from making the right choice or the best choice to discovering how to generate choices in the form of new and unanticipated possibilities?

Click here to learn about my newest program, The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Save $100 when you sign up before April 21, 2016.

Living Your Purpose: What Story Would You Love to Tell?

In an interview with the BBC in 1999, David Bowie said, “I have no knowledge of who I am, but I am extremely happy.” Yet clearly he was a great creator. Somehow he disentangled stories about self and purpose and creating in a way that allowed him to be free, prolific, passionate, effective.

As you reflect on your purpose, I invite you to notice the difference between choosing a purpose as a creative expression and “finding your purpose.”  Let me know how it goes by sharing your thoughts in the comments. ♥

Click here to learn about my newest program, The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Save $100 when you sign up before April 21, 2016.

If not now, when? How shall we live wisely and well? Free Wholeness Hangout replay

If not now, when? How shall we live wisely and well? Free Wholeness Hangout replay

This is the promised link to watch the Wholeness Hangout with Bill Cumming. Because of our conflicting schedules, this hangout was recorded. I promise I will have Bill back another time when you can join us live.

I love all my Wholeness Hangout guests, and I admit that of all of them Bill Cumming has been my favorite. Just being in this man’s field is transformative, provided you let his energy and love in. I hope you will give yourself that gift.

Our conversation about what it means to live wisely and well is a resounding wake up call to show up in and for your life.

And it is a wake up call with a twist.

The twist is this. Bill calls to YOU (the person reading these words) to know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated.

He is committed from the soles of his feet to the top of his head to:

  1. Having a world that works for everyone.
  2. Allowing all 7 billion of us to know that we are loved without condition.
  3. Allowing all people to experience that there is always a choice.
  4. Supporting individuals in knowing that their value and worth in the world is a given.

It’s his life’s work, and he speaks to it with great authority.

Click here to watch and/or to download the audio. You can also download Bill’s ebook, Self Care for the Soul.


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