Everything listed under: Personal Freedom

  • Bringing Your Whole Being- Not Segmenting

    We tend to adjust who we are and what we say based on people and setting that we are in. We often segment ourselves by allowing some parts of ourselves and excluding others in various interactions. We may dumb ourselves down or become more sarcastic to fit with the folks that we are with.

  • Shadow Dancers

    The shadow dancers hang out in the cave with their backs to the light. They move and create shadows on the cave wall and mistakenly believe that it is the truth. They play with their shadows to make pleasing images.

  • My World and Your World

    Sometimes you may see that some of the things in my world are not real. The stories I tell myself construct my reality and distort how I see the world. The things I hold to be true may not make any sense to you.

  • Getting Used to Being Uncomfortable

    Feeling alive happens at the edge of our comfort zone. The uncomfortable part of leaving our comfort zone is doing things that have unknown outcomes. We know what the outcome is going to be inside our comfort zone, because we have done that same thing over and over again.

  • Open Doors, the Veil, and Possibility

    I often speak of opening doors to new possibilities. When a door opens, it is actually opening from inside the invisible veil of our illusions and limiting self-beliefs to the natural world where all possibility exists. This veil that we surround ourselves with becomes our contrived reality and obstructs our ability to see possibility.

  • Attachment to Things Being What We Need Them to Be

    Buddhism clearly identifies attachment as the thing that prevents us from being free. The pattern I have been noticing in myself and my clients is that attachment almost always stems from needing something to be something it is not. We become attached to things being the way we need them to be.

  • Your Standards of Excellence

    We are conditioned to look outside of ourselves to evaluate ourselves and determine if what we did was acceptable. This of course does not work, because we are evaluating ourselves in terms of other people’s notions of us. These notions are ultimately based in terms of how they think we should be.

  • Internal Resources

    We are trained to look outside of ourselves for answers. But our truth lies inside, along with our instincts, intuition, and spiritual connection. But in order to tap into these things we have to develop our internal resources.

  • No Longer Serves You

    During a recent Offering Your Natural Gift workshop in Spokane, we were looking at the things that got in the way of offering our natural gift. Some people initially defended the things that they had been doing. Their defensiveness decreased when we acknowledged that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing, it merely no longer served them.

  • Don't Believe Your Thoughts

    At the end of his liberating, must-read book, The End of Your World, Adyashanti does an interview with Tami Simon. He identifies the difference of his enlightened state is that he no longer believes the thoughts he has. Adyashanti (2008) explains, "I have no control over what thoughts appear, but I can’t believe that the thought is real or true or significant." He describes that as, "the experience of freedom." So the key to freedom is simply to not believe your thoughts.

  • The Empire Strikes Back


    I have had the privilege to observe many human beings touch extremely beautiful spaces inside themselves and in their interactions with other people. They are usually amazed by the joy and freedom that comes with such experiences. It takes them beyond the reality they are accustomed to.
    I have also observed that some time shortly after this, perhaps the next morning, their ego attempts to discount the experience they had. It typically finds something wrong with the experience or the person/people that they had the experience with. The presiding ego defends its turf. The empire strikes back. Read more.

  • A Free Choice

    How often do you make a free choice? Where you choose the thing you really want. The thing that lies beyond your behavioral patterns and comfort zone. Read more.

  • The Way Things Are

    How much time and energy do we spending insisting that things be different than what they are? Spiritual teacher, Adyashanti, has aptly referred to this as "having an argument with the ways things are." We can do that for a while, but sooner or later if we want to grow, we are going to have accept things as they are. We seem to perceive the fact that we cannot force things to be they way we would have them as a loss of freedom.  Read more.

  • On Our Terms

    We want all kinds of things, but we mostly want them on our terms. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes it does not work like that. And then when we don't get what we are after, we wonder why. Examples include wanting to share and belong in a close relationship, but wanting things our way. Or wanting to be spiritually awakened, but not being willing to meditate (or use other practice) to experience inner stillness. Read more.

  • Future Tripping


    The two obvious ways to not be present in the experience that you are in is to think about the past or future. Different people have different tendencies with these. This blog will focus on obsessively thinking about the future or what I will call future tripping.
    A typical response is, “But we need to think about the future, how else do we plan and set goals?” And this is true. However, future tripping goes way beyond functional planning. There are two varieties of future tripping that I have been observing in myself and other people. The first I will call fear-based future tripping and the second fantasy future tripping. Read more.

  • Claim Your Space

    You have as much right to be in the experience you are in as anybody else. You belong in that space as much as the next person- just because you are alive and there. So claim your space.

  • Static versus Flowing Energy

    When we close ourselves off from life, our life energy becomes static. It is like a pond with no inlets or outlets that becomes stagnant. On the other hand, if we allow energy in, let it flow through us, and release it, our energy is flowing and dynamic.

  • The End of Fear-mongering

    Marketing and politics learned a long time ago that fear is the most effective way to influence people. Fear-mongering is implying that something terrible will happen if you do not do what they are suggesting. Emotionally, it is like holding your health, safety, or well-being hostage.

  • Self-Sabotage

    When our limiting self-beliefs conflict with what we seek, self-sabotage occurs. This is a common occurrence with human beings- it is not just something that happens to overtly self-destructive people. It is the way that we unconsciously push the things we week away from ourselves.

  • Compassion for Yourself

    For those of us who insist on beating ourselves up. We obsess over and over on what we did or did not do. We just love it.

  • Control... A Lack of Trust?

    As I contemplate why I sometimes try to control things and do not allow them to be as they are, it occurs to me that it is ultimately a lack of trust. Not trusting that life will unfold things the way I would like. Some might call it faith.

  • Immediately Accepting The Way Things Are

    You don't see Jason Bourne or Aaron Cross from The Bourne Legacy or The Terminator tantrumming because something did not go their way. They are trained or programed to accept whatever comes their way. As soon as their target changes, they disengage and move forward.

  • Getting Out of My Head

    I have been listening to this guided meditation by Adyashanti (link) in the morning. One of things he encourages is to listen to the sound of the birds and what is going outside. And then when someone asked my friend how she stays present, she said she simply notices what is going on around her.

  • Cutting your losses

    Sometimes things we invest a lot into do not work out. Could be a project, an investment, a relationship, a business. The more personal resources we invest, the harder it is to let it go.

  • Original sin

    Original sin is a paramount belief in Christianity and many religions of the world. It says that the basic nature of human beings is is morally flawed and full of sin. And that it is only through prayers and God's guidance and grace that we can manage this deficiency.

  • Damned If You Do and Damned If You Don't

    The toughest decisions usually involve no-win situations. There is going to be a downside to either choice. Either way, people are going to get hurt and damage will be done.

  • To Enjoy or Not to Enjoy

    That is the question. Many of our lives have become so busy that we tend to get through experiences rather than enjoy them. Our every-day experiences such as going to our child's soccer game often become one of the many destinations that we have to do.

  • Don't Tell Me I can't

    Just because you haven't broke through that limitation does not mean that I won't. Don't tell me I can't do that. Don't tell me it is not realistic.

  • Hanging Out in the Void

    Space is what all things are born into. During mediation, yoga, art, music, exercise, or anything that allows you to lose yourself, space emerges between your thoughts. This space is where who we are unfolds itself.

  • Take It Back

    Only you can devalue your self-worth. Others may demean or disrespect you. They may take advantage of you or even abuse you.

  • The Incredible Shrinking Comfort Zone

    When we are younger, our comfort zone involves lots of socializing and trying new things. But as we "mature", we form routines, start careers, and have children. The scope of the things we do becomes more specialized and narrow.

  • Don't Get Shifted

    You come back from lunch and your coworker is going through your desk. You walk over and ask him what he's doing. “Oh, our committee needed those color dry erase markers that you have for our presentation.

  • Nothing

    Our greatest fear is that we are nothing. This is what is behind our fear of death. Linked to this fear is the self-belief that I am nothing.

  • Fitting In or Standing Out

    You can either fit in or stand out. Not both.  -Seth Godin. I think this was my most powerful take-away from re-listening to (the audio version) of Seth Godin's brilliant book, Linchpin.

  • You've Been Scammed.

    Repeat after me, “I've been scammed."  Or if you prefer say, "I've been lied to." It's okay- we all have. And, if you are able to admit it (and forgive yourself), you've taken the first and largest step to preventing it from happening again. I have to credit Seth Godin and his revolutionary book, Linchpin (Amazon link), for the inspiration (the unabridged audio version in which Seth reads it is especially powerful).

  • Just the Facts Please...

    Contemporary human beings have a tendency to distort information when translating an experience. We amplify, personalize, or make assumptions about the things we encounter. We then emotionally respond to our translation of the experience rather than the actual experience.

  • Where is Everybody?

    So where is everybody? In their own little worlds. Why don't they come out?

  • Spring Equinox Ceremonies 2012: New Beginnings on the Beach

    You are invited to a series of sharing circles and ceremonies on the beach to identify and create the new elements that you wish to unfold in your life this coming year. Campfires and camping on the beach are available to those interested on Friday and Saturday nights. There is no charge.

  • Perfection vs. Excellence

    Perfection is doing something according to a preconceived notion of what the right thing to do is.   Excellence is exploring what the right thing is in the context of the experience. Perfection is always just out of reach.   Excellence is immediately accessible by making a choice. Perfection always has rules about what you need to have before something can be done.   Excellence is working with what you have and finding a way that works.

  • Animals and Buddha Nature

    Animals have no choice but to directly express their Buddha nature. Buddha nature is our essence–that which we really are: joy, light, and love. Animals, on the other hand, are always honest.

  • Our Judgment can Teach Us about Ourselves

    It  is important to be mindful that when ever we are judging someone about something, we have an issue with that part of ourselves. Sigmund Freud referred to this human tendency almost 90 years ago with the term projection. Psychoanalysts have been referring to it ever since.

  • How Human of You

    Observe yourself. Take a day to observe the way you respond to people and various things. Observe your thoughts and your feelings.

  • Resentment Punishes Ourselves

    I heard a quote today, "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." (Although used by Carrie Fisher and Nelson Mandala, this quote seems to have it's origin in an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting.) We hold onto resentment to teach people a lesson. Yet most of people targeted are often in their own world and rarely notice that we are resenting them. We have this magical thinking that if we hold onto our resentment toward them long enough, it will somehow make them pay.

  • Flowing Upstream

    If you open your heart, you can find a flow to your day. This flow or stream of consciousness emanates from your spirit inside of you. There is nothing more natural.

  • "The Matrix Cannot Tell You Who You Are"

    Yes... it's from The Matrix. And it is very dated.

  • Which Third Do You Focus On?

    They say that one-third of the people we meet don't like us very much. One-third of people we meet naturally like us. And one-third really don't care much either way.

  • What If You Chose?

    What if before you were born you (in spirit form) and an angel or spirit guide planned out what you needed to learn during your life? Then you figured out what part of the world and what type of family situation would be the best way to learn that. You would consider what types of experiences to have during your childhood.

  • Don't Allow People to Keep You Isolated

    Got a tyrant keeping you down? Whether it is at a workplace, relationship, family or country, oppressors and abusers of all types have one thing in common- they keep you isolated. Isolated from supervisors and the rest of the company.

  • See What is Available to You

    Our self-beliefs dictate what we see as available to us. Many people have difficulty accessing the things they want in their life. Usually, this is a problem of not seeing the things available to them.

  • Who Are You Protecting?

    Who is threatened by your success? Who gets scared when you let yourself shine? Do you crawl back in your box when you see the frightened look on their face?

  • Feel Trapped? See All the Possibilities.

    Feeling trapped is my least favorite feeling. Oppression comes from the inability to see the possibilities available to you. So being trapped ultimately is an illusion.

  • Accepting Necessary Loss

    Many of us did not get the love we needed from our parents when we were 6, 8, or 10 years old. We likely translated that that as there is something wrong with us- that we were deficient is some way. We say, "My own father was not able to love and accept me to be the way that I am." We often try to resolve this by finding someone that was like that person, and try to get them to love us.

  • Your Top Ten (Accomplishments) of 2010...

    We complete one thing and then pile right into the next. Contemporary life seems to say, "Ok, you completed that, now you have to do this." It all starts to blur together. We always have this seemingly insurmountable thing out in front of us.

  • The Vastness of Reality

    I have been observing myself. It is the perfect time of year for introspection after all. There are times when I will make assumptions about how things are or what someone intended.

  • Amplification: Making Things Larger than Life

    When we get stressed, we tend to make things bigger than they actually are. We amplify them. This is especially true if we have resistance or anxiety about a task at hand.

  • Order Allows Us to Explore and Take Risks

    Order is natural. Having a sense of order in one's life is different for different people. It is essential to be spontaneous and take healthy risks in life.

  • Forgive Yourself for not Giving Yourself What is Important to You

    "Did they get you to trade Your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?

  • The Illusion of Control

    We have serious control issues. Why is it that we try to control everything? It's how we manage our fears.

  • The Inquisitive Mind Wants to Know

    The inquisitive mind is that part of us that is curious and open to learning. It has no preconceptions about the experience in front of it. Its only intention is to know what is there.

  • Happy Independence (Personal Freedom) Day

    Now that we have celebrated how the United States freed itself from oppression and tyranny, how can you free yourself from the things that oppress you? If you are being oppressed as an adult, you are allowing it. There are no victims- only volunteers.

  • Obscured by Clouds

    I have to credit Pink Floyd for Obscured by Clouds.  Following is an old Zen story that I have modified: Sarah wakes up every morning to a perfectly clear day. The sun is bright and shining light on everything.

  • Inner Beauty

    You are innocent and beautiful inside. If you go deep enough, there is nothing but light and love in there. Our innocence and beauty just gets walled off with mistaken beliefs about ourselves.

  • You Get to Leave when You Learn the Lesson

    There is part of us that wants to resolve our unfinished business. We likely unconsciously put ourselves there so we could learn the lesson and complete our unfinished business. Plus, we often need that understanding to create something different.

  • Flow like Water to Where You Want to Be

    Water flows to its source via the path of least resistance. It is the most powerful thing on the planet. It does not tantrum against things or demand people or situations to change.

  • Let Things Play Themselves Out

    I did an experiment this week. I chose not to immediately react to things things that tend to get me angry or hurt. Instead I waited to see how they played themselves out.

  • Complete Your Experiences by Doing "Closure"

    In our busy lives, one experience tends to blend into another. Often we do not complete the previous experience before starting the next one. This keeps us from being present.

  • Blessing the Lesson

    We just experienced a painful lesson. We realize we did some damage. We hurt someone's feelings.

  • Challenging the Parameters of Your Existence

    Once upon a time there was this dog. When she was just a pup, she was out in her back yard in the suburbs. A squirrel came running by, and she chased it.

  • True Strength is Always Born of Gentleness

    True strength is created from trusting ourselves. More specifically it is based on trusting our heart- our intuition and instincts. It is not trusting our intellect.