Monthly Archives: March 2015

Week 23 – No Turning Back

Deep down I know there’s a fundamental change within me which has taken root in the last few weeks.

My previous 3 weeks have been a little out of the ordinary, both with my work and the MKE. My work prospects have risen such that it’s hard to keep track of who is who. The upturn was literally effortless – people were coming to me by recommendation (OK, I had to work with the people who recommended me, so I guess it wasn’t totally effortless) and they all seemed to come at once! Of the 4 most likely candidate to get business from, I found today that 2 want to postpone for a time (in one case, a year). In the past, this would immediately impact on my fears of losing business with the near inevitable result of my fears being manifest – after all, as it said in Part 23 of Haanel’s book, The Master Keys: “Fear… is poverty consciousness, and as the law [of growth / attraction] is unchangeable we get exactly what we give; if we fear we get what we fear”. This time, however, there was no attack of fear but a conclusion in my mind that what I used to think is a set-back will actually turn into an opportunity. I don’t know in this instance exactly what the future holds, but I’m not fearing it. This is a fundamental change for me.

In a similar twist my connection to MKMMA took an unexpected sabbatical. I was effectively off the site for 1 ½ weeks and I couldn’t get on the webinars for 3 Sundays. I’m still catching up. If this had happened earlier in the course, I would be distraught, how could I carry on by myself and in truth it would have been nigh-on impossible to do so. I now have learned enough from the course to stand on my own two feet and trust that the Universe will supply my needs.

I used to be a sheep – I thought like a sheep, I reasoned like a sheep and I bleated like a sheep. Now I’m a lion – I think for myself and by myself. I take responsibility for my own actions and plough my own furrow.

My thanks to the MKMMA team, they have helped me to help myself. The may be challenges ahead, but there will be no turning back. The genie is out of the bottle.



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Week 22 – Silence Class!

In response to the request / challenge that Mark J gave us students of The Master Keys Experience (MKE), I gave 12 hours to the Silence last Tuesday – a period of time in which contact with electronic communication systems was removed, along with any other distraction, from the objective of allowing us to listen to our minds.

Several personal accounts of the benefits of the Silence were aired on the webinar on the previous Sunday. I was intrigued to discover the benefits for myself.

I have been fortunate enough in my life to experience good teaching, from fine exponents of their profession, of the art of mindfulness. I had been taught breath control and meditation techniques (see blog Week 21 – Heroes and Mentors in the Abyss) and had been coached in the art of holding thoughts objectively, loosely in the mind and to discard them if not of value (see blog Week 9 – Answers from Nowhere). I have learned the stark, introspective nature of wall meditation and the expansive, vibrant experience of cloud meditation, but to spend an extended period of time in quiet and secluded contemplation was something I really wanted to try out. So at 9:30 am Tuesday, my new adventure began…

It never ceases to amaze me how apt and timely are the scrolls we read from Og Mandino’s “Greatest Salesman” as part of our daily exercises for MKE. The current offering is centred on the mastery of our emotions. The silence for me began as a struggle due to my initial feelings and moods. Tiredness was the root cause of my restlessness when attempting to start the Silence. Having the sleep pattern of a “night owl” the start of the working day is difficult for me to function properly and despite a good dose of caffeine to stimulate the thought process, the relaxation of the event resulted in periods of dozing and refocussing courtesy of the works of Og, Charles and Napoleon for the first couple of hours. But at least I learned that early morning is not the best time for me to be still and contemplate for long sessions. A walk in the local forest would serve me better.

The afternoon was far more promising, with contemplation of my DMP firing-off a trail of thoughts connecting the key words in the text and deriving a clearer meaning of what these words actually mean to me – getting a sharper focussed picture of what my DMP conveys. It all led me to a contemplation on the type of person I want to become by the time I was finished, I had defined eight attributes of my character I want to work on. These attributes will go onto a “Franklin Makeover” table that we’ve previously used in MKE. But this time for a given day, I want to tally ALL of the attributes at once, then repeat the process with the same table every week. That way, I can start to build a picture of the attributes that tally least – and therefore probably the weaker ones in my character in order to improve them.

Sorry if this sounds a little dry to you – it’s not the “freakin’ AWESOME!!!” type of comment that people on last week’s webinar used to describe their experiences. In fact, when I finished my 12 hours of the Silence, my overall impression of the event was….pleasant…sort of nice. Is that because I am a reserved Brit with a “white” colour code personality? Only partly. Is it because I just didn’t get it? Not at all. The reason is that 6 hours into the session, I realised that these conditions aren’t much different from my average day. I noticed just how blessed I was with the lifestyle I have, with bags of time to contemplate and meditate if I wish. One of my identified Personal Pivotal Needs was Autonomy – to do what you want to do when you want to do it. From the Silence, I made the realisation that I already had it! And that, my friends is not only a comforting thought, but a great revelation to me. Freakin’ AWESOME, actually!


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Week 21 – Heroes and Mentors in the Abyss of Emotions

One of the blessings from a tumultuous period in my life (between 2005 and 2009) was the emergence of understanding, gratitude and peace. Divorce, mental breakdown, chronic illness and redundancy in those stormy few years had led me to quiet waters. I found a new home, a new career and a new life. I finally had time to think and time to reflect and in that reflection, not surprisingly, there were feelings of anger, fear and unworthiness.

Looking back, through this “Abyss of my Hero’s Journey”, I can identify the “Supernatural Aid”, as Joseph Campbell refers in his book The Hero’s Journey, those unexpected characters in the Hero’s journey who have pulled me through my Darkest Night.

My greatest help came from the people I expected least – my ex-wife who, despite the angst and bitterness we went through in a separation, still had the one thing that crosses all boundaries, heals wounds between all factions, and with time solves all problems of the human condition – unconditional love. When those that I expected most had deserted me, the one I could understand would be least inclined to help me nursed me through a near catatonic state during many days and at night, her mother, Roz, cared for me and took me in until I could look after myself. What words can suffice to repay my gratitude for such divine acts? It’s a humbling experience and one that can easily make me feel unworthy of such kindnesses.

And as I recovered from my mental illness, another “Supernatural Aid” appears on the scene to mentor me with my physical condition. My mental state was exacerbated by a lung condition I had and this got me into a downward spiral mentally and physically. I was bound with fear.  It became a burden I found almost unbearable, until I found Linda. I would travel to Stratford –on Avon to meet Linda, my Buteko mentor who taught me to fight COPD with breath control. She gave me the tools to fight my greatest fear of the time. All I had to do was continue with the exercises. I felt a lifeline had been thrown to me. I performed the tasks with great determination, though the outcome took time to appear. But nonetheless, I reached a stage where I could function with my condition. Linda also happened to be a tutor for transcendental meditation – some of which she imparted to me during our Buteko sessions. How incredibly useful this has been as I’ve developed!

In my Hero’s Journey, I have discovered that help can appear not only from those of whom you least expect, but from those who seem to be an agent of detriment to you. After 20 years of working for the same establishment and surviving 5 previous rounds of redundancies, I thought I was relatively safe from the 6th. There was a 90 day period whereby my (recently appointed new) director and I would have a series of negotiations. To cut the story short, I made my case for unfair treatment well. I had reached the point where his defence became “Well, I’ve made this decision because …… I have made a decision”…! But for years up until this moment, I had lived in the world without and not the world within. I had squandered my spiritual heritage and there seemed to be no way out. I had this strange feeling that the redundancy was for a reason – as if someone “up there“ was saying to me, “Ok son, I think you’ve had enough now. It’s time to take you out of this situation”. And so, I let go and accepted the redundancy. And I let go of the anger, because I saw the way that it had destroyed previous colleagues who held on to the bitterness years after their redundancy, and because I truly believed it when I said to myself, “it’s business – that’s all, it’s just business”. Many years ago, when I had just started work, I had a dream, where I was a lamb running around with the wolves and trying to howl like them, but all I could do was bleat. You should have seen the bemused looks on those wolves’ faces! But I should have listened to my subconscious mind – I was never designed to be a wolf – I was a lamb and I needed to act like one.

So today, I can look back at these dire experiences from my present position. It is as though I was plucked out of the abyss and transported to pleasant pastures to convalesce. I could find time, precious time to meditate, think and be still, which was a surprisingly exhilarating experience. I took to learning Tai Chi where I found stillness in motion, while at home, I found motion in stillness. Now, being in the Master Keys Experience has helped me to make sense of so much of what has happened to me and the tasks and exercises from the course have made me feel as though I have made the kind of personal development that would have taken me years to achieve on my own. Now, those emotions I felt in the abyss can be used as tools to further me on my Hero’s Quest. Those unlikely mentors, those inspiring heroes I met on the journey are all mentioned on my stack of gratitude cards, for each has helped me to be right here, right now, giving my account to you.


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