The Art Of Freedom http://theartoffreedom.com Design your life through conscious creation Mon, 26 Mar 2018 18:45:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.1 http://theartoffreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cropped-art-of-freedom-favicon-32x32.png The Art Of Freedom http://theartoffreedom.com 32 32 Runnin’ On Empty… Left or Right? http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/runnin-on-empty-left-or-right/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/runnin-on-empty-left-or-right/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:23:08 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=366 The post Runnin’ On Empty… Left or Right? appeared first on The Art Of Freedom.

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Panamint Valley might just be the last place you want to run out of gas. There ain’t nothin’ around for miles. No people, no cell service, no roadside assistance, no water… and no gas!

I was riding my ’84 BMW motorcycle, and I had just passed through a rundown mining town called Trona on my way to Death Valley. I checked my gas gauge as I passed through town, and I had over half a tank and about 100 miles to go to Stovepipe Wells, where I’d be camping for the night.

“No worries” I thought, “I can make that, easily.”

I went up and over the mountains and worked my way down the winding mining roads that lead from Trona into Panamint Valley below. I looked out at nothing but wide open desert — my favorite kinda scenery.

I was cruising through the valley when I noticed my gas gauge falling towards empty way sooner than it should have. “Uhhh, that’s not good” I said to myself.

It was then that I noticed that I had been fighting a headwind for the last 10 minutes or so, and it was now up to about 50 m.p.h.

Before I knew it, I was switching over to my “reserve” tank, which meant I had about 20 miles to go before I ran out of gas…

If you look at the picture of my bike, you can actually see the dust being kicked up by those 50 m.p.h. winds. You can also see the mountains that are about 75 miles away. So, when I realized that I had about 20 miles to go before I ran out of gas, I could also see that there was nothing around. I mean NOTHING.

“Ok, well guess I’ll be spending the night in the desert,” I said to myself (You do a lot of talking to yourself when you’re alone in the desert, cause there ain’t no one else to talk to).

So, then I reached a crossroad, and my gas gauge was in the red. To the right was my destination – Death Valley – about another 50 miles away. Too far. I’d be out of gas long before I reached Stovepipe Wells.

“I wonder how long before someone comes by. Maybe sometime tomorrow…”

Then I looked to the left, and off in the distance, about as far off as I could see, there appeared to be a couple of palm trees??? They stood taller than anything out here in the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t be sure they were real.

Hmmm… I could go to the right and follow the safe route, even though I knew I’d run out of gas. I mean eventually someone would come along and give me a ride to a gas station…

Or, I could take a chance, push the envelope and explore uncharted territory. It might be the wrong direction, but at least I might be able to get there before I hit empty. I had no idea what was going to be “there” or if I would even make it “there”.

“There” turned out to be a true oasis in the desert- a tiny little store and a single gas pump! In the middle of nowhere. I mean literally, there was NOTHING else around for miles. Was I imagining this? Was it a mirage?

I swear I bent down and kissed the ground. Then I went inside, gave the guy 20 bucks and filled up my tank. I was so grateful that I didn’t have to spend the night in the middle of Panamint Valley – the middle of nowhere.

After filling up, I headed back the way I came, up and over those mountains until I got to Stovepipe. It was an incredible sunset ride. The sky turned every shade of red, orange and violet imaginable. The wind was warm and invigorating. My canned soup dinner at the campsite was out of this world. I slept better than if I had been in a 5 star hotel.

Damn, life is great! Fuck surviving… I’m gonna THRIVE!!!

And look, if YOU want to THRIVE too then you just might like what we’ve got coming up. We’re putting the finishing touches on an amazing new course and we’ve got a few Early Bird spots left. If you want more information click here.

And then write “I’m a thriver!” in the comment section below. Let’s do this thing!

To YOUR freedom!
-Michael

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Who Wins in YOUR Life – Pain or Hope? http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/who-wins-in-your-life-pain-or-hope/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/who-wins-in-your-life-pain-or-hope/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:21:23 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=359 They say that pain is a more powerful motivator than hope. I say I’m done with the pain. Time to create my life the way I want it to be. Because these three words will absolutely kill your dreams- Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda How much time do you spend reliving the past? You know, that part […]

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They say that pain is a more powerful motivator than hope. I say I’m done with the pain. Time to create my life the way I want it to be.

Because these three words will absolutely kill your dreams-

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

How much time do you spend reliving the past?

You know, that part of you that’s always processing the past. Rehashing wounds. Regretting mistakes. Blaming others for the wrongs they’ve done to us.

If only I had…
If only he/she hadn’t…
What if this, that or the other thing hadn’t happened…
Or, had happened…
My mom/dad/friend/teacher/lover did this to me…

Enough! No more shaking your fist at God, or the Universe, or whatever else might be out there…

Sometimes it feels like we spend so much time in the past that it’s a wonder we can even function in the present.

What if we just decided to let all that shit go?

I mean just stop. Like right now. No more.

Ok, let’s take a moment here and catch our breath…

Can you imagine how much creative energy would be freed up the moment you let go of reimagining the past?

Energy that can be used to create YOUR FUTURE.

Look, there’s a time for processing. And if your wounds are more recent, absolutely do what it takes to heal. Healing is crucial before moving forward. I know that first hand.

And you know, really there is always healing that needs to occur. The truth is that you just can’t do them both at the same time. It’s impossible to be focused on the past while building your future.

So, when you’re ready to take a break from the healing turn your focus forward.

What do you say? Wanna join me in letting all that old stuff go and focusing on Conscious Creation?

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

If you’re in, just type “I’m in” in the comments section below.

And if this all sounds cool to you, you’re gonna love what we’ve got coming up.

If you want to Reclaim Your Life and discover how to break free of the crap that’s been holding you back, then Click Here To Get On The Early Bird List for our newest upcoming course.

Join us and let’s kick some ass!

To YOUR freedom!

-Michael

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You Gotta Want it Bad…really really BAD! http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/you-gotta-want-it-badreally-really-bad/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/you-gotta-want-it-badreally-really-bad/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:09:44 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=343 Run, walk or crawl…Just. Don’t. Stop. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it this way:  “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  It doesn’t matter if you’re first, last or somewhere in the middle. Your […]

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Run, walk or crawl…Just. Don’t. Stop.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said it this way: 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk,
if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do
you have to keep moving forward.” 

It doesn’t matter if you’re first, last or somewhere in the middle. Your best time is YOUR best time.

It hurts at the end. No doubt about it. You’re gonna be sore. You’re gonna question your sanity. You might be surrounded by doubters. 

Ignore them. You are the ONLY one who knows how important this is to you.

What’s SO important you ask?

YOUR LIFE!

Let me put this bluntly: YOU are in the race for YOUR life. 

Maybe you forgot. Maybe you got “busy.” Maybe life took over and now it’s passing you by.

Look, it’s time to get off the sidelines and compete. Not to beat someone else. Not to be better than “them.” It’s time to compete for the BEST life YOU can create.

See, the race is rigged, and the distractions of life have the upper hand. If we don’t step up and take command, these distractions will keep us from living the kind of life we truly desire.

By distractions I mean all the stuff that doesn’t serve your higher purpose— T.V., Spacebook, drugs, alcohol, anything that numbs the brain and keeps you from THRIVING.

We get addicted to feeling good, so we search out these temporary highs that numb the pain. But NOTHING GREAT was ever achieved without some pain, starting with your birth.

Creation is messy and uncomfortable….but SO worth it. I mean, who doesn’t want to create the life of their dreams?

I think this is the true source of so much pain in the world: Everyone yearns to live the life they dream of…they just don’t know how to create it.

This yearning becomes unbearable and the desire to numb the pain causes us to quit the race.

Do you want to get back in the race? 

Do you want to create the life you desire?

Are you ready to FEEL again? Feel genuine JOY? Feel soul-propelling PURPOSE? Feel vibrant and ALIVE? 

For the last 10 years we’ve been helping people reclaim their lives…and we’ve finally put it all together in an online course that will get you there too.

We’re about to launch it, and we want you to join us.

Click Here To Get On The Early Bird List. Those on our Early Bird List will get access to bonus material and special pricing. We’ll keep you posted on all the details over the next couple of weeks.

Let’s finish this race together!”

To YOUR freedom!

-Michael

P.S.- This isn’t for everyone. If you’re satisfied with the way things are, that’s awesome. But if you want to break free and kick some ass, then join us on this journey. We are gonna go to the places most folks only fantasize about. Yes, YOU can make your dreams real, and we’re gonna show you how! 

Click Here To Get On The Early Bird List!

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Courage! Confidence! Contentment! http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/courage-confidence-contentment/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/courage-confidence-contentment/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:08:51 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=339 Last week I wrote about the Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom: Fear, Doubt and Anxiety. And I caught some major flack for the image I used to represent those triplet demons. (In case you missed it you can see that evil image here) Now I gotta say, I love babies. I’m a Dad with two sons. […]

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Last week I wrote about the Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom: Fear, Doubt and Anxiety. And I caught some major flack for the image I used to represent those triplet demons. (In case you missed it you can see that evil image here)

Now I gotta say, I love babies. I’m a Dad with two sons. Nobody thinks babies are cuter than me.

The thing that is so amazing about babies is their ability to express exactly what they’re feeling. They have no filters at all. 

When they’re hungry they scream.
When they’re tired, they scream.
When they’re frustrated, they scream.

And so it is with fear, doubt and anxiety: 

When there is risk or danger, fear screams.
When there is challenge or uncertainty, doubt screams.
And when all of these are present, then anxiety joins the chorus! 

Just like babies, these feelings have no filters. They scream and shout and sound the alarm. Like babies. That is their job: to make us aware of our needs!

A baby’s survival depends on being fed. In a baby’s mind hunger equals danger. So she screams. As she grows and matures she learns to communicate her needs differently. 

Eventually she gains the ability to care for herself. She learns to eat before she gets hungry. She is no longer controlled by the feeling of danger.

So it is with the Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom. 

Fear can grow into courage.
Doubt can grow into confidence.
Anxiety can grow into contentment. 

The fear doesn’t necessarily ever go away. I still get terrified when I speak in front of a large group. But now I have learned to listen to my fear, which is warning me to make sure that I am completely prepared, physically and emotionally before taking the stage. 

When I listen to fear’s warning and prepare, I can go on with confidence, knowing that I have done all that can be done.

When doubt arises, I know that there is something that needs to be mastered, usually a new skill or ability.

Have you ever been asked to do something new at work? Perhaps you got a promotion or took a new position doing something you’d never done before. The night before, you’re overwhelmed with doubt. Perhaps you’re even up all night worrying about how you’ll do the next day.

Fast-forward a couple weeks. You’ve been doing this new gig every day. That new job is now old-hat. You’ve mastered the skills and abilities you needed to in order to excel in your new role. And along the way, doubt grew into confidence.

There have been periods in my life where anxiety was like a roommate that just wouldn’t move out. Like, I’m really done with this experience now. Time to move on. Okay?

Anxiety doesn’t always take the hint. Sometimes you have to address the fears and doubts first. When they have been quieted, then you can begin to turn anxiety into contentment.

Time in nature, meditation, prayer or just taking a day to yourself are all things that can help alleviate anxiety. Sometimes I’ll even combine ‘em all and go for a big hike in the woods and find a nice beautiful spot to sit and commune with nature as I pray and meditate. 

What about you? 

How do you turn fear into courage?
How do you turn doubt into confidence?
How do you turn anxiety into contentment?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

To YOUR freedom!

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Fear! Doubt! Anxiety! http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/fear-doubt-anxiety/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/fear-doubt-anxiety/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:08:03 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=336 Fear, doubt and anxiety- The Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom! Responsible for more sleepless nights than Freddy Kruger. Have these little fellas ever woken you up at night? Or had a fight in your tummy until you thought you were gonna heave? Or worse yet, have these three demons stopped you from living your dreams? […]

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Fear, doubt and anxiety- The Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom! Responsible for more sleepless nights than Freddy Kruger.

Have these little fellas ever woken you up at night?

Or had a fight in your tummy until you thought you were gonna heave?

Or worse yet, have these three demons stopped you from living your dreams?

I can answer YES to all three of those questions. In fact, for years I allowed them to stop me from living authentically, loving fully, and from expressing my true potential.

Like Don Quixote, I fought valiantly. But the fight was in vain, for it’s a fight that can’t be won.

The harder I fought, the more tenaciously they held on. It was like some weird nightmare where the more I struggled, the more ensnared I became.

And then I figured it out.

It’s funny, because I figured it out before I knew that I had figured it out. It’s only with the perspective of time that I can look back and see when it happened.

It started small, the way most BIG shifts usually do.

See, I’m dyslexic. Pretty profoundly dyslexic actually. To the point where school was all but impossible for me. I was repeatedly told I would never be able to read or write well.

And then, I decided to create a career for myself as a writer. Well, maybe that wasn’t too well thought out.

Every time I sat down to write, it was a struggle. I mean it was really hard, painful and I was never satisfied.

I was deathly afraid of ridicule,

I had deep doubts about my abilities.

And I woke up at night drenched in sweat and ridden with anxiety.

The other part of this story is that I am psychologically unemployable (That’s kind of a joke, but not really). I mean I’m a really bad employee, which is why I have always been a self-employed entrepreneur. So, I’ve become pretty good at figuring things out. And this writing thing was just one more thing.

One night, after procrastinating all day, I sat down to write and the Demon Triplets were there as usual. Shit! I was getting tired and exhausted from battling these little dudes.

And then, in some weird miraculous moment of clarity I decided to rewrite the story of my writing. “Hey!” I thought. “Why can’t I write a new experience of what it is to sit down and write.” I mean heck, this is what I coach people on all the time.

Now it wasn’t like it suddenly became effortless. In fact it still hasn’t. But I became comfortable with those 3 little dudes. And when I stopped fighting them, I discovered that they actually had things to say to me. Valuable insights about where I needed to focus, and where I needed to sharpen my skills.

I still struggle with overcoming the struggle (get it?). Those dudes never go away. And actually the closer you get to your destination the louder they become. And this is a GOOD thing.

These Demon Triplets are your allies. Their voices are in support of what you want to achieve.

Fear is the voice that tells you to pay attention and focus on what’s important.

Doubt is showing you that there are skills to sharpen and to master.

And anxiety is my new best friend (shhhh, don’t tell the other two). Anxiety is the cheerleader. that is cheering you on to victory. When you turn it around, anxiety is your excitement and anticipation. The more anxious you feel, the more you want it. When channeled anxiety becomes your biggest motivator!

Freedom does not come easily. It requires tremendous effort, a solid plan, and determination to overcome any and all obstacles that arise.

Imagine if you were on a battlefield, and make no mistake you are, would you want your lieutenants gently reminding you to be careful? Or gently hinting that you might want to look out?

Or do you need them shouting at you to be alert, while they watch your back and protect your flank?

Once I started listening, my Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom became my greatest allies. I ignore their advice at my own peril.

We have an agreement: I listen to them, and they watch my back and protect my flank. I couldn’t ask for better comrades in arms!

Part of coming to terms with your allies is familiarity. So, over the next few weeks we’ll dive deep and get to know these guys.

In the meantime, know that they got you covered. They got your back. You couldn’t ask for better friends.

To YOUR freedom!

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Good news! I didn’t die! http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/good-news-i-didnt-die/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/good-news-i-didnt-die/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:07:12 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=332 Call me a desert rat. I’ve never truly lived in the desert, but I have spent a lot of time there during the past 40 years! Mojave, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Pear Blossom, Palm Springs (not the resort town), Arizona, New Mexico, Utah… These places conjure up some of my best memories, and they shaped […]

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Call me a desert rat. I’ve never truly lived in the desert, but I have spent a lot of time there during the past 40 years!

Mojave, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Pear Blossom, Palm Springs (not the resort town), Arizona, New Mexico, Utah…

These places conjure up some of my best memories, and they shaped my consciousness.

If you can survive in the desert, you can survive anywhere. While Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra for you younger folks) thought that NYC was the place, I discovered this in the desert. Solo backpacking, miles from the road, with everything I needed to survive in my pack, I learned how little I truly needed to survive. And I learned to really appreciate water from the tap, air conditioning, and a really great steak paired with an old vine zinfandel when I would come back to civilization. 

Surviving in the world can be really challenging; surviving in the desert, even more so. On this last trip to Death Valley, I had the scariest experience that I’ve ever had while out on walkabout. 

Stacy and I headed out for what seemed like an easy hike. In fact, I’d hiked this very canyon before and nailed it. So, I assumed it would be a no-brainer this time. That was mistake #1 (In fact, no-brainer is pretty accurate).

Earlier that morning the weather felt almost cool, and as I packed our day pack I removed the extra water bottle. That was mistake #2. 

By the time we got out of the car and geared up ready to head out, the temperature had reached 100 degrees. Did I put that extra water back in the pack? Nope. Mistake #3.

Merrily we trudged along the trail. Four miles of alluvial fan, all gravel, all up hill, full sun exposure. I didn’t really notice what was happening to my body until we were deep in the canyon. I became dehydrated and my body temperature was soaring. 

“Holy shit” I  thought. This must be what heat stroke feels like. Yep, mistake #4. Stacy wasn’t looking to great either. I could tell she was experiencing heat exhaustion as well.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda competitive and pretty goal oriented, so the thought of turning back before reaching my destination was not sitting well with me. 

Grrrrr!!! I was super disappointed at the idea of turning around. Stacy and I were discussing our options. We’re both fit, we’re both finishers. It was only another mile or so….

Well, remember mistakes 2 and 3? You know where I took that extra water bottle our of the pack?

Well that was the tipping point. You see, I’ve spent enough time in the wilderness to know that you turn around when half of your water supply is gone. No matter what! And we actually had a little less than half. 

Disappointed to be turning back, we began packing up after resting and allowing our body temperatures return to normal. When I looked down and right there below our feet on the ground were tons of ladybugs! 

Ladybugs in the desert! Now that was remarkable.

I looked at Stacy and said, “Hey, I guess we made it to Ladybug Flats!” 

We had reached our destination after all. We just hadn’t known that this was it. We hoisted our packs onto our backs, high-five each other and headed back to the car. 

As we were hiking back, I began thinking about other times in my life when I had been heading for one thing and ended up someplace completely unexpected.

Fatherhood has been like that for me. You know, before I had kids I thought the idea of parenting seemed pretty basic: nurture them, feed them, love them. And then the reality hits. 

It ain’t easy being a parent, but I have never done anything more rewarding, and I have learned so much from my two sons. They have been my greatest teachers. I am the man I am today because of what they have taught me. This has been the unexpected gift of being a Dad. 

And, there have been countless times in my career where one job led to something completely unexpected. Or where a relationship led to a deeper understanding of who I am.

So, if we hadn’t been heading for the end of that canyon, and if I hadn’t been stupid by taking out that water bottle, we never would have discovered Ladybug Flats!

Just another gentle reminder that life truly is about the journey and not the destination.

I’m curious, have you ever found yourself in an unexpected place as the result of heading towards a destination or goal?

I’d love to hear your experience. Scroll down and leave a comment and let me know if anything like this has happened to you.

To YOUR freedom!

-Michael

P.S. — That picture above is me learning to drive my uncle Ken’s ’74 VW Thing when I was about 10 years old. We were on one of our many trips to the Mojave desert. And that’s his dog “Pup” in the back. I inherited that car when my uncle passed away 14 years ago. Every time I drive it, I remember our trips and thank him for the gift of the desert. 

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Limitless… http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/limitless/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/limitless/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:06:02 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=329 I spent most of my 20’s in a fog of substances that I used to self-medicate. It was the only way I knew how to mask the pain. Somehow I was able to accomplish some pretty cool stuff. I was a rock ’n’ roll stagehand, a master carpenter building sets for theater and opera, and […]

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I spent most of my 20’s in a fog of substances that I used to self-medicate. It was the only way I knew how to mask the pain.

Somehow I was able to accomplish some pretty cool stuff. I was a rock ’n’ roll stagehand, a master carpenter building sets for theater and opera, and I worked on a couple of feature films. I also taught myself how to build furniture and started a custom furniture studio, specializing in antique reproductions.

I was good at all of those things, despite the substance use, but I knew inside that I was nowhere near my true potential.

Truth be told, my 30’s weren’t much different. The activities changed, and I became a father, but the substances remained. And a deepening awareness began to arise. I knew that I was capable of so much more.

This awareness began to eat away at my confidence and I began to loathe the man I saw in the mirror.

Suddenly I found myself in my 40’s. I was a good Dad. And I had built a successful business developing studio spaces for artists. Then, like many others, I lost it all in the recession.

My world turned upside down. I had no choice but to rebuild from the ground up.

The gift of this situation was the opportunity to start from scratch, to rebuild my life exactly as I wanted.

It was as if I were handed a seed from which I could grow the life I desired.

Have you ever looked at an acorn? I mean really looked at it. I once heard someone say that some folks look at an acorn and see an acorn; while others look at it and see the majestic oak tree that exists within the acorn.

I remember hearing that and being blown away by the concept that the seed holds the magnificent potential of creation!

But this magnificence remains only a possibility until the seed is planted in rich, fertile soil.

And then BAM!!! It hit me- this is true for us as well. We have all that potential within us.

And, the tragedy is that too often it remains there, bottled up inside.

That’s exactly what I had done. I had allowed my potential to remain bottled up inside.

I knew I couldn’t ever go back to the way things were. Right then, I embarked on a voyage of discovery. I voraciously devoured books on spirituality, manifestation, abundance and creativity. After years of study I began to see more clearly the potential I actually held.

And this was my biggest take away: Now that I could see my potential clearly, I was able to grow into it. I went on to discover my purpose and create a life that was fulfilling and rewarding.

My own potential took root and it continues to grow day by day.

So, I’m curious: Have you ever felt as if there was more to life, as if it was time to reclaim your life?

You can. Its NEVER too late to begin again. And it’s such a gift to reclaim your life and create it with the wisdom you have now.

So, about that acorn…

I’ve come to realize that it’s potential is truly limitless. The tree that sprouts from it will grow tall and strong. It will go on to produce more acorns, which will create even more trees. Those trees then can also grow big and strong.

So, that one tiny acorn actually holds the potential to create an entire forest of mighty, majestic oak trees!

And if that tiny acorn can do all that, what can you do?

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The Gift http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/the-gift/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/the-gift/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:05:18 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=326 Every one of us received a gift before we were even born. And in that same instant the universe was given the same gift. Each gift is totally unique. As unique as each of the billions of souls who have inhabited this planet. That gift is YOU, not you, but YOU. Yes, YOU are that […]

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Every one of us received a gift before we were even born.

And in that same instant the universe was given the same gift.

Each gift is totally unique. As unique as each of the billions of souls who have inhabited this planet.

That gift is YOU, not you, but YOU. Yes, YOU are that gift.

YOU in all your radiance. YOU who have so much to offer the world. YOU who shines with the light of a thousand suns.

YOU are magnificent.

The greatest tragedy of all, is when someone loses sight of their magnificence.

When I see a baby, I see pure love, pure potential, pure innocence.

Then fast forward a few decades, and all too often that potential seems to have been lost. But actually that potential can never be lost, rather it becomes obscured, shrouded and in some cases completely blocked.

Traumas and wounds from childhood, and the pain of adolescence, followed by the responsibilities of adulthood all combine to dim that bright shining light.

Survival seems to be the most we can hope for.

But here’s the thing, you can never extinguish that bright shining light. Never! It still burns bright, deep within your soul.

And here is the second greatest gift we can ever receive: Discovering that your light NEVER dies.

Once you know, truly know, that all of that love, potential and innocence are all still burning bright, you can begin to identify and disempower anything that obscures, shrouds or blocks it.

Release the traumas, the wounds, the pain. Holding on to them only gives more power to the events of the past. The sooner you can disempower them, the sooner you can access the awesome potential that you have inside.

This is not an easy process. I know that first hand. But, I can tell you that it is worth it.

Start small; enlist help form trusted friends, seek out counseling, follow a mentor. Whatever path you choose start today.

We need your light. We need your heart. The world is desperate for more of YOU.

Reawaken the dreamer in you. Activate that awesome potential. And create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

To YOUR freedom!

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Dance With Your Blues! http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/dance-with-your-blues/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/dance-with-your-blues/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:04:22 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=322 Often when we look back at our lives and reflect, it becomes apparent that the greatest periods of growth and transformation followed periods of great challenge. The obstacles that we encounter along the path are what force us to grow. In navigating through the obstacles we find new ways of Be-ing. It is during these […]

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Often when we look back at our lives and reflect, it becomes apparent that the greatest periods of growth and transformation followed periods of great challenge.

The obstacles that we encounter along the path are what force us to grow. In navigating through the obstacles we find new ways of Be-ing.

It is during these periods of challenge that we are forced to examine our lives and it is this examination that leads us to adjust our course. I think that most often the challenges arise not because of any outside circumstances, but rather because we ourselves are off course.

So, what are the blues?

There is no shortage of synonyms used to define this emotion: desolation, desperation, despondency, hopelessness, melancholy, sadness, sorrow, worry.

Washington Irving is the first contemporary author credited with using the term “the blues” in 1807, as a synonym for melancholy. He wrote:

“I saw he was still under the influence of a whole legion of the blues.”

Musically the Blues are defined as: A genre of rural music that captured the suffering, anguish and hopes of 300 years of slavery and tenant farming.

The word blue, used to represent woe, can be found in a poem by Chaucer written in the late 14th century.

I think that it would be safe to say that we have been living with the blues since Adam and Eve left the garden.

Certainly the economic downturn of the last few years has radically altered the course for many of us. There is nothing like financial uncertainty to bring about fear, anxiety and worry which are key ingredients of the blues.

I had the opportunity to experience this first hand. Five years ago I was developing real estate and I was on top of the world. 2007 was a golden age for developers. I had just designed, built, and opened one successful project. I had a second project that was just about to open and a third that was in development. There was not a single problem in the world that was too big for me to overcome. My ego-mind had it all figured out.

I felt like I had it all, but I did not have the consciousness necessary to keep it all. The universe conspired to teach me a lesson. I was way out on the edge of the cliff just as the world began to shrink underneath me. My secure foundation vanished in the blink of an eye.

When my business collapsed I was decimated. Everything that I had poured my passion into was lost to the recession, and as the business collapsed there were battles to be waged against lawyers and banks. Old friends were now on the other side of the table. Everyone was scared and fighting for their own survival.

My confidence and self-esteem had packed up and left in disgust. There were days when I would collapse, emotionally and physically exhausted, and fall to the floor in a fetal position, frozen, unable to act. I was so overwhelmed that I completely shut down.

And on the really bad days I was certain that my family would be better off without me. If I had not made the mistakes that I made, we would not be at risk of litigation, of losing our home. The wolves were howling at the door.

With tears streaming down my face I contemplated ending the pain forever.

These are truly the dark nights of the soul, when you question your very existence. When the mistakes that you have made compound and overwhelm you. When you feel that you are alone in a universe of suffering.

I knew deep inside that my sons needed me. My love for them is what kept me going. I forced myself to move, to put one foot in front of the other.

Then I began to look closely at the choices I had made. And I sought out a new way of Be-ing.

Maybe the blues are simply information signaling us that it is time to look more closely at the path that we are on. What if we simply took in that information without being consumed by the emotion? What if we said “Thank you I will listen to what you are saying and carefully consider it”?

In looking back at the depth of the blues that I faced then, I realize that Spirit had to scream at me that loudly to be heard over the error thinking of my ego-mind.

BIG realization:  The deeper the blues the more important the message.

Our ego-mind exists in a consciousness of win or loose. It is constantly analyzing and judging: Good or bad? Right or wrong? Black or white?  It is this drive to judge that causes us to define one set of feelings as good and another as bad.

If happiness and joyfulness are good feelings then sadness and the blues must be the opposite and so we label them as bad.

Yet we know that Spirit is present in all things at all times. If this is so, how can any feeling be bad? Maybe the feeling is neither good nor bad but rather we are being given a clue. A clue to look closely at our lives as they are right now. What choices did I make that created the situation I’m in now?

Am I connected with Spirit?

When we focus on the emotion of sadness we bring about more pain and suffering. When we focus on Spirit guided actions that bring about change, we can begin to heal ourselves. We can begin to create a life of conscious manifestation.

Maybe there is Truth to be found in sadness that is not present in the lightness of joy.

Maybe the dawn break after the dark night of the soul is a sign that Spirit is ever present.

And, as dawn brightens to a new day, we begin to see with a new perspective. We begin to see that the greatest challenges can create the greatest opportunities for growth and transformation.

So what if you rewrote the story of your blues and instead of feeling lost, alone or out of control, you chose to greet the feeling knowing that Spirit was sending you a message of love and tenderness, a message to take a look at your life, analyze your decisions and make conscious choices to adjust your path.

What if you loved your joy… and your blues?

What if you loved your successes… and your challenges.

And in closing, I say to you: Dance with your blues just as you would dance with your joy. Love every part of yourself, knowing that YOU are perfect and whole.

To YOUR freedom!

-Michael

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Hey! Whatchya up to? http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/hey-whatchya-up-to/ http://theartoffreedom.com/2017/06/22/hey-whatchya-up-to/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:02:16 +0000 https://industryrockstar.vservers.es/the-art-of-freedom/?p=319 Seriously, what are you up to? Is your life expanding, standing still, or contracting? It is a law of nature that we are here to grow, expand, thrive and create. Spend a little time in nature and you’ll see this law in action. The birds are singing, as they fly from tree to tree, gathering […]

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Seriously, what are you up to?

Is your life expanding, standing still, or contracting?

It is a law of nature that we are here to grow, expand, thrive and create.

Spend a little time in nature and you’ll see this law in action. The birds are singing, as they fly from tree to tree, gathering materials and building their nests. Notice, they don’t worry about lack.

And the tall majestic trees sway in the breeze; growing imperceptibly, and yet unceasingly. Every year they grow taller and taller as they produce their acorns, pine cones or seeds, and thus insure that the forest itself will forever grow.

Humans however, are unique in our ability to be able to choose to stop growing. Our divine gift of free will comes with a burden of choice: whether to thrive and create or become complacent and indifferent.

Too often we chose the latter- complacency and indifference. Why?

I ended up learning the answer to this question the hard way:

For most of my life I allowed childhood wounds and trauma to control my life. This created fears and doubts that left me frozen and unable to achieve my true potential.

Self-medication and entropy sustained this way of life for decades, and to answer the question I posed at the beginning: I was up to nothing.

I knew there was supposed to be more to life, but I felt as if I were lost in a deep, dark, pea-soup fog.

It took one of the most traumatic episodes of my life to turn everything upside down and lead me to see the world from a totally new perspective. (You can read that story here)

Some people are blessed to make it through to adulthood relatively unscathed. And some of us wake up later in life. But, It doesn’t have to take a massive trauma to awaken.

So, I ask again:

What are you up to?

Are you already awake and up to something BIG? Or, are you waiting for outer circumstances to turn everything upside down?

Since waking up, I’ve learned that being “up to something” can be a CHOICE. Now I can consciously choose to create my life. And here’s how you can do it too:

1) Choose a dream
– Any dream big, or small.
– Don’t wait for the dream to come to you, seek it out!
– Pursue your dream relentlessly.

2) Share your dream
– Tell it to the people who love and support you.
– Sharing your dream initiates the process of creation.

3) GET BUSY!
– Make a plan for making your dream real.
– Take at least one step towards your dream every day.

4) Expect and Accept
– Expect that what you desire already exists.
– Prepare to accept the gifts of the universe.
– Know in your heart that you deserve them!

Don’t wait for life to dictate your circumstances! Pick a dream today and get started by declaring it in the comment section below below.

Declaring your dream is the first step in bringing it to life!

To YOUR freedom!

-Michael

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