How Are You Being About Choice?

A riff on two quotes:

“Every choice we make has energetic consequences. Choosing matters. Who we choose to hang out with matters, because each encounter shapes us, and shapes our world. How and where we choose to spend our time, energy, resources and attention matters, because these choices shape our becoming, and shape the world in which we live.

“There are no inconsequential choices. The seemingly innocuous choices we make day to day are powerful.

“Receive the gift of choice with a discerning and grateful heart. Honour the choices that present themselves in each moment. Step into your soul’s light, and choose—choose from there.”
~ Hiro Boga

““Good luck and good fortune are about choice, not about control. When we are clear that we are choosing our lives, and when we understand that making choices is not the same as managing the outcome, luck and fortune find us every time.”
~ Molly Gordon

For info about the Come Alive and Do the Thing! Mastermind, click here.

Yoohoo! This is your life calling! Are you going to pick up?

Your Life is CallingThis note is for you if you know deep inside that you are an amazing being with infinite potential. You really get that creating is your nature. But there’s some connection between your creative-being and your daily-doing that isn’t completely . . . well . . . connected.

For some reason (and God knows you’ve thought about a lot of possible reasons), you’re not stepping up.

You’re not doing the thing.

If that’s the way it’s been, and you’re ready for a change, I invite you to join me for a five month adventure called “Come Alive and Do the Thing!”


Get your mojo on with a focused mastermind group

Come Alive and Do the Thing! is an eight-person Mastermind group that will meet by videoconference weekly for five months. I’ll be working with each participant to thoroughly understand his or her issues, goals, and dreams so that we hit the ground running with customized structures and experiences.

Through coaching, exercises, and mutual support you will get off the sidelines of your life. And if you sign up before next Wednesday (11/18/15) at 8am Pacific time, you’ll save $200. That’s something to dance about.

Click here for details:

Check it out now; the early registration discount ends Wednesday morning. If you have questions, feel free to phone me at +1-360-697-7022 or email

And have a great weekend!

Why Life Hacks Don’t Work (and What Does)

Last week at a coaching conference one of the speakers held forth about her wildly successful book on the formation of habits, habits that, in her view, lead to success.

Among other things, she proposed a model to explain why some people do what’s good for them and some people don’t (and some people do it some of the time but not other times). She went on to name some of the 21 (!) strategies that she had codified for forming habits that lead to success.

Her suggestion for a useful exercise was for us to sort ourselves into groups according to her model and come up with mottoes for our “types.”

Can you see how instead of pointing us inward toward the source of our moment to moment experience, she was pointing us outward, toward her model? Not only that, she was asking us to invest our creative energy and attention into developing her model, dressing it up with mottoes.

Say what?

The world is overflowing with models and life hacks that don’t work.

You are a human being, a creature with infinite potential, not a robot who could benefit from an operating system upgrade.

Instead of looking outside for models of success, look inside toward the source that inspires and catalyzes human beings of all sorts to do extraordinary things.

Have you noticed that sometimes you just feel alive? Really alive?

And have you noticed that when you come alive, life works?

And have you noticed that sometimes coming alive happens regardless of your circumstances? It can happen when you have bills to pay (and no money in the bank). It can happen when you or the people you love are sick.

That’s because coming alive has absolutely nothing to do with your circumstances. It happens before and underneath them.

Coming alive is the realization of what you already are, not a new accomplishment.

It’s what the mystics and sages are pointing to when they tell us that all is well and all manner of things be well.

And when you are in touch with the underlying okayness, when you let that okayness unfold and reveal your true aliveness, life just works.

An invitation to “Come Alive and Do the Thing”

As you can perhaps tell, I care a lot about this. I care so much that, for the first time in nearly three years, I’m forming a mastermind group and calling it “Come Alive and Do the Thing.”

Come Alive and Do the Thing is about two things: experiencing your aliveness and taking action in the world.

It’s about letting go of analysis paralysis and embracing the game of life wholeheartedly.

It’s about connecting deeply with the formless energy that animates all things and showing up regularly as a creator in the world of form.

It’s where insight meets action, and I would love to have you along for the ride.

Come Alive and Do the Thing begins December 1

I’ve known I wanted to convene a coaching group to explore this territory, but until I sat down to write this article, I didn’t know what it would look like. The details are still coming into focus, and here’s what I know so far.

Come Alive and Do the Thing will be limited to eight persons. We will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 9:00am Pacific time (noon Eastern, 4:00pm UK) beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2015. We will get a running start before the turning of the year!

Meetings will by video-conferences using the Zoom platform, and there will be a private Facebook group for connecting between meetings.

I’m working on a web page for the group now and will email you as soon as it goes live. I expect registration to open on Thursday, November 5th. Because it is such a small group (and it has been so long since I have offered a mastermind), I expect it to fill quickly.

If you have questions now, feel free to email me.

Yes, you can still sign up for Pay What You Choose Coaching

Whether or not you feel called to this new group, remember that you can request a coaching session with me on a Pay What You Choose basis. Pay What You Choose means exactly that: you choose how much to pay based on your resources and the value you perceive. Details are here:
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Why It’s Okay to Freak Out, Lessons from Breast Cancer

Freaking out is not a problem
On July 14, I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. It’s been “interesting.”

Prior to surgery, I was in a very calm and settled place. I was happy with the decisions I’d made. I respected and trusted my medical team. The Charming Prince was a source of constant, steady support. I had love and healing vibes flowing in locally and via social media at a truly phenomenal level. (Thank you so much!)

At the beginning of July I posted my intentions for the month to a thread in the Brain Trust form. (The Brain Trust is a mastermind group of dear friends.) My first item was “Don’t freak out.”

In retrospect, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. At the time I wasn’t freaking out, and I don’t think I was anticipating freaking out.Perhaps some wise part of me perceived that one might freak out from time to time when diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing surgery and treatment.

A less wise part of me seems to have thought that not freaking out was better than freaking out. I get that. By and large, I would much rather feel peaceful and calm than freaked out. But from where I sit now, it seems to me that setting the intention to not freak out is like planning to get on a roller coaster with the intention of not experiencing the descents.

The ride got dicey after eight days

Eight days after surgery I went in to have two of four surgical drains removed. The skin around the drain sites was very unhappy, and the surgeon decided, all things considered, that it would be best to take all four drains. She also suggested that I get my first “fills,” injections of saline into the tissue expanders that were placed after the mastectomy to gradually stretch my muscle and skin to accommodate implants.

I cannot begin to tell you how excruciating the drain removal was. I am still astonished that no one has figured out how to mitigate the pain of the process, especially because such great care was taken during all of my other exams and tests to prevent or manage pain.

Oh well.

Then came the fills. The injections were not at all painful; I felt only a mild sense of pressure.

But OMG, by the next day I was in agony.

The freak out commences

I had started to taper off my pain meds the day before drain removal, and I had continued to take half doses afterward. By Friday, two days after the drain removal and fills, I was a wreck.

On Friday morning I lay in bed arguing with myself about whether or not I could tolerate the pain.

I kept trying to figure out what an acceptable level of pain was. I wondered if my pain tolerance was higher or lower than other people’s pain tolerances. I don’t know how I thought the answer to that would help, but that’s one of the places my mind went.

By mid-morning I had three pain pills left. I couldn’t imagine how much worse I would feel when I ran out, so I finally decided to call the nurse and let her know what was going on.

To my embarrassment, I burst into tears on the phone. The nurse listened carefully and asked me nurse-y questions. She gave me some context for things seeming to get worse before they got better, including the fact that nerves that are damaged or insulted during surgery can start waking up at various times in the days that follow. It appeared that I had some very cranky nerves waking up.

The bottom line is that she arranged for me to get more meds.

Bursting into tears opened a door

Something about bursting into tears showed me how really crummy I felt, and that gave me a bit of self-compassion. (One of the biggest things I have am learning from this experience is that self-compassion is profoundly heart-opening. It’s doorway to compassion for all beings, the very opposite of selfishness.)

I decided to go back on a full dose of pain medication for a couple of days. Though it meant being woozy and confused and nauseous, I could sleep through that, and I couldn’t sleep through the pain.

A new intention

Fast-forward to the first of August. Once again it was time to post monthly intentions to the Brain Trust forum. Here’s how I opened the list this month:

“Go ahead and freak out knowing that I will come back to center. Show up for life, including all the feelings. Don’t spiritualize it before experiencing it.”

Spiritualizing life is pretending or seeking to not be affected by the roller coaster ride. It’s profoundly different from seeing that even though the ride is scary you are safe.

The mistake we make is not freaking out; the mistake is freaking out about freaking out, freaking out in advance of the ride, or continuing to freak out after the ride is over.

I love that I was able to stay in the present moment in the days leading up to surgery. I didn’t freak out by imagining how things would go or worrying about the future.

But I was mistaken when I set the intention to not freak out during and after surgery. There’s no need, nor is there an advantage, to trying to manage our experiences.

If we are truly safe and whole in our essential nature at all times (and I believe that this is so) then there is no need to manage our experiences at any time.

We are safe and whole whether we are freaking out or not.

I don’t know why we are here

I don’t know why spiritual beings are having human experiences. It works for me to assume that there is meaning and value in it. If that is true, I propose that there is meaning and value in all of it, from freak out to transcendence.

It’s all good.

When we make an aspect of the human experience into a problem, we impede the natural process by which what troubles us invariably subsides and we are returned to peace.

That’s what matters. Not that we never freak out, but that we come to see that freaking out is not terminal. Freaking out is a temporary response to a temporary set of thoughts and perceptions.

In other words, this too shall pass.

It happens that as we see more and more clearly the temporary nature of our freak outs, we naturally get more comfortable with the roller coaster. As a result, we tend to freak out less often and less intensely.

But that is a side effect. To make it into a goal activates a sort of spiritual competitiveness. Not helpful.

Spiritualizing experience disconnects us from life and each other

Trying to spiritualize our experience preempts whatever insights might arise if we would only simply be with what is arising. It disconnects us from life and from each other.

Time and again the freedom and peace we seek are to be found right here, right now in the heart whatever joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain we are experiencing.

No escape.

No mistake.


NOTE: The last video in this month’s video Roundup says more about what I’ve been learning in the wake of surgery. You’re also welcome to visit my CaringBridge Journal, and as always, I welcome your comments.

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