This about sums it up. I love the way this is explained.
My husband and I just had a conversation about this…and then here it is.
Non-Duality and Presence: Guidelines for Increasing Awareness – http://wp.me/p2yfNS-6Ih
This about sums it up. I love the way this is explained.
My husband and I just had a conversation about this…and then here it is.
Non-Duality and Presence: Guidelines for Increasing Awareness – http://wp.me/p2yfNS-6Ih
It has taken me a good while to write about this because I have felt like a total douche for months now. I think the initial impact has worn off or maybe it is that I finally paid off that embarrassingly large amount of money.
I have a problem…I still haven’t figured out what that problem is, I just do not feel comfortable in what I do. I can’t really put my finger on it. Is it the entitlement that I grew up with?…haha, that was a joke. If you have read any of this blog you would know I grew up pretty poor. I was intelligent, though. I did get a sense of entitlement from school for being advanced. I was one of those special kids who got to leave class on special field trips and do extra work for the sheer fun of it. I literally read the encyclopedia as a child for the fun learning factor it entailed.
Anyway, my problem that I keep running into is, “What am I supposed to be doing in this world?” I could go back to school. I could do many things. Currently I am still painting and sculpting, but those things do not really make “enough” money to help support a family of six.
Amongst all of my pondering about my soul’s purpose in this life, I was hooked and reeled into what I would consider the new pyramid scheme…Life Coaching.
Yes, Life Coaching is a ponzi/pyramid scheme. It is and I admit that I made a mistake and spent an exorbitant amount of money to have someone else tell me what I already knew. I was left with not only still wondering about my life’s path, but now stuck with more bills. I wanted desperately to invest in myself. I wanted the money to be well spent. I want a lot of things out of life, but I can not make this coaching thing into something that it is not. I am not really sure what I was supposed to get out of all of this.
Well, I know I was supposed to have a six figure income by the end of the year…
that is if I wanted to real some other seeking and pondering people into my lair and stick them with the same high priced money making opportunities.
I have a heart and I just couldn’t see myself deliberately taking advantage of someone’s foils. It isn’t in me. This is one of the reason that I stopped selling insurance and got out of sale’s of any sort. One of the reasons I couldn’t use my college degree and go into public relations and marketing. I am not a manipulator, and especially not for greed. How I got reeled into making 6 figures a year still behooves me. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde.
Let’s begin and see if the program I signed up for is in actuality a pyramid scheme:
The federal government wants to warn everyone about pyramid schemes….(ha, that was not a joke. One of the worst pyramid schemes in my opinion is the Federal Reserve Bank. You’d think our government would take their own advice, but I digress)
The following is the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines to spot a pyramid scheme: (My reflections of my life coaching experience are in green)
1. No demonstrated revenue from retail sales. Ask to see documents, such as financial statements audited by a certified public accountant (CPA), showing that the MLM company generates revenue from selling its products or services to people outside the program.
(There were no products to buy, but her service provided was to figure out what service, services, and/or products that I should provide. She was going to help me get deep inside and figure out what needed changing to make me make money. Her main clientele is mainly other coaches.)
2. Buy-in required. The goal of an MLM program is to sell products. Be careful if you are required to pay a buy-in to participate in the program, even if the buy-in is a nominal one-time or recurring fee (e.g., $10 or $10/month).
(Well, I have to pay my life coach $5700 for an all day exclusive deep intensive where we will find out what my problem is and how do I go about fixing said problem. (once it’s figured out) It is sort of like free-lance psychology with no licenses or government involvement. Sort of cash under the table therapy.) *I have just now re-questioned my whole existence at this little nugget of wisdom that just surfaced. What the hell was I thinking? Oh, I wasn’t thinking. I was being emotional and had no rational thoughts.
3. Complex commission structure. Be concerned unless commissions are based on products or services that you or your recruits sell to people outside the program. If you do not understand how you will be compensated, be cautious.
(I only get payed if I create something of value from within my broken little lost soul that others are willing to pay $2500 or $3000 or whatever figure I want to put on the price tag. This number depends upon just how much money that I want to make. I am thoroughly encouraged to make 6 figures or more by my coach.)
4. Emphasis on recruiting. If a program primarily focuses on recruiting others to join the program for a fee, it is likely a pyramid scheme. Be skeptical if you will receive more compensation for recruiting others than for product sales.
(I learned after my intensive that the majority of my income will need to come from the reoccurring payments from my clientele as a monthly service that I will provide. After I have served them with the initial service I must then get them to sign up for a monthly community. I was of course asked to join her service which would set me back $700 monthly. I declined.)
5. No genuine product or service. MLM programs involve selling a genuine product or service to people who are not in the program. Exercise caution if there is no underlying product or service being sold to others, or if what is being sold is speculative or appears inappropriately priced.
(I was taught throughout my intensive upon how to create my service and coached on what to charge for that service. I was taught to charge $1000 or $1500 more than what I really wanted to make so that I could “offer” an exclusive discount to the would be client. I learned this along with more secrets of closing a sale, which included the phrase, “Will that be Visa or Mastercard.” I am reminded of my marketing courses in college.)
I may have been robbed.
After the high of all the fabulous information I received during my intensive wore off, I was left with a huge credit card bill, a semi-viable “program” to sell along with now wondering if I needed to pursue a graduate degree in family therapy. I do think there are good coaches out there and genuine people helping others, but I think I may have gotten mixed up with the Egyptian variety. Please learn from my mistake and be less emotional and more rational when it comes to choosing mentors.
I did get very creative during this time and revamped my art website, created a newsletter, and began thinking more about marketing. My coach was not thrilled by these extra outlets of energy, but I was loving the thought of creating more art. Creating art isn’t what was brought out in my intensive as a viable money making option, though. I was encouraged to create a day intensive that could use art but needed to have more structure and support for my client.
I did create and put together an awesome way to help others get some creative juices flowing or encourage more creativity in their lives. I have some cool exercises and thought experiments. I even tested stuff out on my husband and children. These are things that I have done to help myself when in a creative jam. Some is information that I have collected from many different sources plus life experience. There are methods that I have used for creating. I have many loads of notebooks filled with creative ideas. My problem I suppose is finding time for the execution of my ideas.
My problem may be narrowing down my passions in life.
I most likely will never sell my “program/intensive” but I may just try and post some of it in these next few days to help and encourage others.
No high price tags here.
I may have been robbed.
This is the first post on a blog by a friend of mine…I can imagine things will get deep and interesting. In my experience each child that I have brought into this world has had their own unique way of teaching me something new. It is very interesting and I have enjoyed the learning experience.
I am looking forward to your writings Kevin.
I haven’t been very active lately in the blogging arena. I have been putting much thought and consideration into my artwork and business website. I also began vlogging on YouTube some for family and friends who live far away so they too get to share in the encompassing of chaos.
I hope to get a post finished soon about my lovely garden transformation over the years. We are still searching for a new place and trying to sell our current home. Hopefully all of this gets completed before the summer’s end. Our kids would like to know where they will be attending school in the fall. I would like to know as well. We are definitely contemplating home schooling.
My book is still being written and I have been working with a producer who like the ideas that I have come up with for making it into a full length feature…that would definitely bring on some more chaos if I get all of that going.
For now I leave you with the latest vlog and hopefully you will be inspired enough to subscribe and follow daily.
I am on a roll this morning! Maybe it is the weather or maybe I am just tired of all the blaming that goes on around the world these days. I would wager on the latter. Have you ever thought about what would happen if everyone who was an activist just got together all around the world and pooled their money, minds, and together? It seems that all the division that goes around just makes us look like this
A chaotic explosion dissidence.
What the hell are we doing people?
I see a trend when it comes to social media. Post a picture of you standing in front of flowers and you can get more than 50 likes and some comments…Post a picture about changing our perspectives to be more positive on the way we see our fellow humans and get 1 like and no comments or one that looks like this:
I think I may be hanging out with the wrong people.
Do these people really not care? Are they so stuck in their American-dream life that they can’t see a bigger picture? Maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe they just want to scroll through their feeds like there are watching television and zone out. Maybe they do not want to think about issues that have to do with the future of our country. Maybe they like to be complacent. I really like social media. I love getting to meet people half way around the world who think like me and love the world like me. We all want to be accepted.
I really like the above quote, and I hope to read Jobs’ biography, but I sure ain’t in that Apple boat, read more about that here.
Those rich bastard can be quite mean when they think no one is watching…or do they even care at this point? Ain’t got no couth.
I like using ain’t, makes me feel on level with my fellow android users.
Last night I watched the movie Inequality for All.
Here is a screen shot from the movie about where the money from Iphone sales land:
Interesting that only 6% comes back to America. If you read the above linked article about how the majority of Americans pander the Apple life as American. Like I said I’m in the Android boat.
After all that learning about inequality from the movie, I decided at the end to follow through with some action, so I did what the movie prompted and went to their website and I signed their petition.
This morning I find an email in my inbox.
I replied to said email as so: [I replied to their prompts inside their email format. My replies are italicized]
Dear MoveOn member,
> Welcome to MoveOn! By taking action with us, you’ve just joined our
> community of more than 8 million activists working for progressive change
> in this country.
> Our members form the core of our community and impact everything we do.
> That’s why it’s so important for us to hear from you. Can you take a
> moment to answer an important question for us?
> In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing our country
> Rising income inequality
Rising income inequality sucks and I would hope that this changes, but people need to stop taking so little for the value that they create. We need a movement where everyone who thinks they are not making enough actually stop going to work and then see how the large corporations like that. How about people just become entrepreneurs and start their own companies slowly and stop shopping at large corporations. The people still have a say in what happens in the market where they have dollars to spend.
> Republican overreach on the federal, state, and local level
We need to get our damn heads out of the clouds when it comes to party speak. We are all fucking Americans! We need every damn person that can rise up against the current political system to rally together against political parties. We need to take money completely out of the equation when it comes to serving one’s country. Who is going to be a senator or congressman when they have to have their own 9-5 and work for free on nights and weekends like our forefather’s did? Those who really give a shit, that’s who.
> The destruction of our environment by giant corporations
Not just large corporations…every damn person buying plastic and other oil derived products like it’s no one’s business. Americans consume just like the Chinese and Japanese consume. We are all a part of this equation. Blaming someone else for our own destruction is sadly taking the victim’s easy road out. Americans all around are destroying our environment by not giving a shit about their waste and continuing to follow trends of buy new, buy bigger, and buy more. Large corporations are just making it easier by being an enabler like a crack head’s mom. They are making a shit ton of money as well. That is just a side effect of the Americans continually buying their shit and working for crappy wages.
> Endless military engagement abroad
Now this is stupid. I can not believe that in the 21st century with all of our technological advancement that we are still playing boom boom shoot em up games around the world. I feel like it is a Nintendo game being played out. Oh, wait…I can believe we are still playing these games, because most Americans do not do their homework. They spend the majority of their time thinking about themselves and those immediately around them and they still watch major propaganda machines like CNN and FOX News. Those are like infomercials for the military industrial complex. I am reminded of a movie quote, “America, Fuck Yeah.” *just follow the link, you will not be dissappointed
> Pervasive and systemic racial inequality
The only pervasive systemic racial inequality that I see is the constant reminding Americans of their past mistakes. Who would continue to hang out with someone who constantly reminded you of all the stupid shitty stuff you did as a teenager? Me personally? Not a damn soul. I hang with those who remind me of my ability to change and effect positive change in others. I also do not hold grudges and I do not teach my children to point out and hold against others the negative aspects they might see. I could go on about this since I grew up and live in the Metro Memphis area where my white children are the minority, but I will hold back. Like I said continually beating this subject is not going to change anything. We need to change our perspectives.
> Something else not listed above
White hatred. Yep, I said that. I did not choose to be born white. I did not choose to grow up poor either. I am white and we were on food stamps when I was a kid. I have had to apply for food stamps when my husband was working as a manager for an OReilly’s store and working 60-80 hours a week. I have so many health problems from being malnourished as a child and only having fluoridated water to drink. I was a first generation college student thanks only to becoming a teen mother and qualifying for Pell Grants. My parent’s divorced when I was 10. My father is an alcoholic and my mother has her own issues. I have worked my ever loving ass off and continue to do so. I have watched so many others around me, such as my Mexican and Black neighbors do the same as well. We are all in the same boat. If there is one thing that irks me more is someone thinking I am privileged because of the genes that I was born with. *remember, I’m in that ghetto android family
> Thank you for taking a moment to let us know what you think, and thank
> for becoming a MoveOn member. We look forward to working with you over
> coming months!
> Thanks for all you do.
> –Anna, Corinne, Stephen, Brian, and the rest of the team
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> members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our
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> a monthly donation here</a> or <a
> in a one-time donation here</a>.
> Visible links
> .. http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303840&id=116659-30585553-j4cInhx&t=7
I thought I would share that with you guys. Off the soapbox now.
I will continue, though, to try and make my changes to the world and never back down. I want to leave this planet knowing that I tried my best to create great positive change in this world. I want to leave knowing that I was not complacent and I continued to strive to be the best human that I could possibly be.
I leave you with this gem of a video. Too bad this was fiction and not an actual politician.
Of course Forbes tried to argue with an appeal to emotion with this article, but they have to be biased toward big money…that is what they represent.
You will have to watch the clip to get a greater understanding. I love for my outside world to help me question my inner world, and this is one reason I create. I create to explore myself and I have been having an existential crisis in my life for at least the last four years. It has definitely been my dark night of the soul, my journey into the valley of the shadow of death, and my all out saving grace wrapped into one. I am forever grateful for this journey within.
After watching this snippet of the show on the YouTube, I quickly jotted down the premise for the piece of work. I was fascinated by the relationship of these to women and their journey together. I wanted to show how this journey could be used to reflect how we as humans compromise in our lives to bring about acceptance and happiness in our lives.
In the painting I depicted a dilapidated house in the background that is ready to be transmuted into something greater.
According to the video this is what Ellen likes to do. She likes to explore the beauty of a home and create something greater in the process. Many of us do this in our everyday lives be it working for a corporation or a small mom and pop business. We want to create something greater in our world.
I then placed Ellen and Portia on a path in the woods.
This represents their journey together and the journey of all humans in existence. One can see within the painting that the light from outside of the woods has lighted the path and helps to define the features within the darkness of the woods. We cannot see this inner world unless we shine some sort of light on it. These two women are experiencing their journeys, albeit differently, together. Ellen is pulling Portia in a wagon. Ellen may be moving from one creative project to another creative project, but she is compromising with Portia by pulling her weight along instead of making her walk beside her. This is a compromise being made to have the fulfillment of a relationship. As long as the weight is not a negative aspect of the relationship, then there should be no reason why this particular choice of compromise should be detrimental to the lives of those involved. I see this as a greater truth that can be seen and accepted by others as well with these two woman as a great example.
Within my exploration of this concept I have added to this picture. When I add things I do so because I feel they are needed. It is not until afterward that I begin to explore their meaning. For instance. I added a small herd of deer. 4 to be exact and all does. I then find our that deer can represent grace, love, generosity, and abundance. I also found that deer symbolizes an inner journey, specifically female deer.
Then the number four has very specific meaning.
There is probably many more symbols, but you can see how they begin to paint their very own picture within the artwork.
The symbolism seems to just grow from the creative process. These things are never consciously chosen because of what they represent. It is as if the symbols manifest themselves to help me to understand what I am working through as an artist and human. To me is is a connection to the spiritual aspects of my journey, and I love exploring this part after the completion of a piece of work.
The best and worst thing about symbolism is that it can be interpreted however one would like.
I for so long have had an inner world of chaotic stories filled with negative reactions and intense emotions. I have told myself these stories with a chaotic dialogue. Talking about what I felt was going on in just about every situation I had been in. When I entered into a place, I immediately took the seat of inner reflection. Constantly judging my every action, every thought, every emotion, every word spoken aloud. I judged it against my background of perspective that I had of the world around me. I chose how I would interpret my world.
I am coming to the conclusion of my delusion.
I synchronistically was given clarity this morning from this piece of Sufi Rumi wisdom:
Although an imaginary image in this reality does not exist,
see how the world turns by a fantasy that still does persist.
Mankind’s peace and war because of a fantasy are turning…
Mankind’s pride and shame from a fantasy are springing…(Original Link)
I have been battling my internal dilemma, my imaginary image of the world around me. Why do I create something to battle? Why do I create turmoil? I know I create the perspective that I choose to see in the world around me. So why am I creating such a daunting reality?
Why, because I have lived the story that I was told. I have lived with a reality inside my mind that is a reflection of someone’s mind or image of the world.
I recently watched two similar documentaries that were completely different, and it really helped me to perceive this little bit of truth. These were not intentionally watched to seek very different perspectives, we just watched them very close together because the environment and innovation have been on our minds. I was given a good dichotomy that was going to ring true just a few days later, and this is why I was led by the universe to watch them.
For this little piece of Rumi wisdom to be understood the full content of the documentaries does not need to be known.
The first documentary was the Atomic States of America.
The primary objective of the movie was against nuclear power. I can tell you that the story plot heightened and culminated in me feeling horrible about human innovation and that society should be wiped off of the precious mother earth so that she can heal. Of course this is the primary purpose of the movie. It is meant to show the bad, dark, negative side of the atomic age and nuclear power as a whole. I would not be surprised if it was created with funding from the coal industry.
The second documentary Pandora’s Promise.
was also about nuclear power completely but from the opposite viewpoint. It was pro-nuclear power. This documentary heightened and culminated in me feeling overjoyed and excited about human innovation and advancement as a society. I was filled with musings and creativity after watching this movie. I felt positive and wanted to get to work on creating something great!
I definitely wanted to explore more after the second documentary. I do not want to debate morals and who is on the right side of the fence. I do not want to figure out which way is the right way. I only want to think about and explore the side the makes me as a human feel fulfilled and alive.
After watching Atomic States of America my husband and I were brought into for two days an existential crisis. We were ruminating about the tragedy of our lives and the lives of all of mankind. We were trying to figure out what we could do to help reverse the horrible bad things that we as humans have wrought on this earth. This is not a very happy place to be. We want to exist and be happy. We want to love our fellow man and celebrate in his victories. We do not want to exist to tear down and destroy society. Yet we allowed negative thoughts into our inner realities. These thoughts brought about more negative thoughts and more ruminating about sadness and wrong.
I do not want to live like this and neither does my husband. I definitely do not want to raise a family in this hole of a reality. Like we have dug ourselves down into the pits of hell and now we must exist amongst the monsters and death that we have uncovered.
Certainly I get to choose which reality that I want to exist in. I get to pick the side that I want to be on. I see this now. It has been here all along and I just choose not to see it. I get to live in my chosen reality. This is the only reality that I get to experience. Why would I not choose to experience the good positive feelings instead of the negative.
I am reminded of a saying, and I am not sure who said this, but it sits well with this lesson of mine.
“It doesn’t really matter what path one follows. What matters is the way that they follow the path.”
Are you allowing negative thoughts to cloud and darken your reality?
I am brought to the visualization of how the darkness and shadow help to define the light. We cannot have positive with the negative, but we definitely do not have to only live out the negative aspects.
I am reminded of another Rumi insight:
“Now is the time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows.”
I am beginning a new series of portraits today. This series I believe has been implanted into me as a tiny little seed that is going to grow into something that will help others to perceive this wisdom. I will be exploring the ideas of shadow and light and how they interact with one another to help us perceive our reality.
In the mean time, what did you get out of this?
I will be exploring this subject a bit more as I work on this project and hopefully you can help me to explore more deeply.
So many things in this post are prevalent to my current state of mind and I had to share it. Enjoy!
You can’t really know what life may bring you, so you may as well live each moment as it comes.
I had the pleasure this last weekend of exhibiting some of my artwork at the local County’s Earth Day Festival. The festival’s main purpose is to highlight Eco-accountibility, sustainability, and the benefits of supporting local business. It was a bit last minute, but I have so many recycled wood paintings I that I wanted to show off I put in the effort to make it. Making it to the festival wasn’t an easy task either.
Just 2 days prior I spent the evening in the ER at LeBonheur with one of my sons. He had been drawing with a pencil and somehow managed to poke his eye so severely we had to return daily for check-ups on the healing progress. (His 2nd corneal abrasion in less than 6 months)
The first day check-up made me question adding the extra stress of actually preparing and setting up a booth at the festival. I told them I would be there, but dammit I had a good excuse for canceling last minute.
I decided canceling would not be showing up for myself, so I hung in there.
It was great fun too and so worth the extra effort. I ran into many different people and got to talk art all day. Not just any art either, my art. I am trying to talk more about the feeling I have when I create and expressing why I create. I never realized that I was telling myself for so long that I was unworthy believe the story that people didn’t want to hear about why I created art. I no longer hold that belief.
I make great art and I have so many reasons why I create the things I do, and if I can make positive change in a persons life because of those reasons, then I am going to share them.
The highlight of my day came while on the way home. I spotted a large piece of pink tin (or maybe aluminum) on the side of the road. Finding cool stuff to make Awe inspiring art out of is just awe inspiring to me, but this particular time was a synchronistic moment.
During the day I spoke with two beautiful elderly souls who had a fun time in the booth chatting and exchanging ideas. One of the women was reminded of a friend that creates flower art for her garden out of tin. The woman asked me if I ever made anything of the sorts. My response was that I hadn’t really ever found any tin on the side of the road to make anything out of, and I supposed that most metals in good quantity would more than likely go to the scrapyard. I promised her though that if I found some, I certainly would try and find something to do with it.
You should have seen the smile across my face when I came across some bright pink tin perfect for making some flowers. (I have been on an echinacea purpurea trip lately.)
After loading up my booth with some help from the ROTC fellows, I made my way to the house having to stop for fuel along the way. I didn’t noticed on the way to the festival that I needed gas for the van, so on the way home I decided to forgo the interstate and take the two-lane highway home. This way I was able to stop for fuel. After fueling up and making my way North to the house, I decided at a 4-way stop to take a left and meander the back-way home. I love taking the back roads filled with meadows, small farms, horses, and loads of trees. It soothes the soul. Especially after a long day filled with so many people.
It was down this road that I spotted the tin.
I immediately looked for some spot to turn around, pulled into a driveway, and then was struck with this site:
I can’t help but to think of not only all the things that added up to me finding that pink tin, like needing gas, choosing to turn, but also the fact that I had had an earlier conversation about tin and making flowers. It was not just tin, but pink tin. These are some of the moments that I cherish as magical in life.
It may not mean much to anyone else, but it definitely make my reality a bit more special, magical, and so awe inspiring. Stay posted for my pink tin sculpture.
Do you have a great synchronistic story to tell? Please share the story or a link. I would love to read it.
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