Louis CK and Intuition.

Louis CK

Louis CK

 

Lately I’ve been letting go of the reins of my life more and more. Feels better and better.

The metaphor I often use is that I’ve lifted my paddle out of the water, and I’m just letting the current take me downstream. My job is to relax, enjoy, and occasionally drop paddle to navigate and avoid the rocks.

Most people think letting go is a passive process, but in my experience, it’s far more active (just in a quieter, more mindful way), than all the bees buzzing around the hive, working and worrying in hopes of realizing their desires. When I look at what gets created around me, the very cool life that’s materialized from this practice, I’m reminded that the “being” part of creating your desires is 95% of the formula, the “doing” is 5%.

Letting go requires you to pay fucking attention. Letting go requires you to go inward first, to notice what your intuition is telling you. Letting go requires you to make your decisions based on what feels better to you, right now. And that last part? Takes some balls, no doubt…

When you follow your intuition, one thought leads to the next thought. That’s how it works. One thought at a time. Can’t be rushed. Can’t be figured out all at once. Just lift the paddle and float. See where you’re led. And go from there.

Sure, there’s uncertainty involved. You don’t know exactly how you’re going to get there. Or even what “there” looks like, exactly. In the face of this unknown (I like to think of it as adventure), most people cling to a plan they formulated to protect themselves against the feelings of uncertainty. Keeping with the metaphor, that’s like being midstream in your kayak and hanging onto a big rock and trying to fight the current. Eventually, the current always wins. Save yourself the struggle and the burning arms. Let go.

So, this thought arose the other day…

“Why isn’t there anyone like me doing a form of stand up, talking about the kind of practical stuff that makes your life better? I mean, sure, Wayne Dyer does those PBS specials, and they’re nice and good… but there’s no edge to them. He’s speaking a different language to a different population. 

Why am I not doing this? I could do this. I could make short stand up videos highlighting a concept I want to share. I think it could be fun to write some of these ideas out…”

My next thought was to study some stand up comics. Certainly that would be fun… Louis CK popped into my mind. I’d been loosely following him, admiring his groundbreaking business model. I thought maybe I’d look him up… And I moved on with my day.

An hour later I turned on the brilliant Howard Stern radio show. His guest?

Louis CK.

Even better, Louis was on promoting his new HBO stand up special. I set the DVR.

This is all falling into place, rather nicely, I thought.

I watched part of the show the other day (my wife wasn’t into it, so we moved on), but I will finish it.

Watching him on stage, I thought, “I should get a microphone.” More as a prop than anything else. But it would feel good in my hands and fit my vision. I went on Amazon, found a few, but bought nothing.

This morning I checked my e-mail and there was a message from a client I particularly love…

 

Subject: did anyone ever tell you…

…that you are a thin, handsome version of Louis CK?

…or even better, Louis CK is the heavier, not so handsome version of you?

that dude is hysterical on stand up.
 
I just revisited Amazon and bought the microphone.

 

Cutting Down The Nets

Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano

Jim Valvano cutting down the nets.

In 1983, I remember being in 8th grade science class, pretending to do lab work. Instead, a group of us debated who would win the night’s men’s NCAA Championship basketball game.

I remember a boy named Tom saying that it wasn’t a question if the heavily favored Houston Cougars would win, but rather whether they would allow North Carolina State to cross half court with the ball.

I agreed with Tom and was as stunned as the rest of the viewing world when NC State pulled the huge upset at the buzzer.

ESPN recently did a documentary on the Wolfpack’s amazing run to the championship. (Great, improbable story. See below)

The players gathered to recount how their coach devoted an entire practice to cutting down the nets. No dribbling. No shooting. No passing. Just cutting down the nets. One by one, every player got to snip a loop. (If you’re no sports junkie, this is a traditional way to celebrate a championship).

Realistically, this team had no reason to think they could win it all. But their coach, Jim Valvano believed. And he understood that in order to create something you FIRST MUST BE ABLE TO IMAGINE IT.

He showed his players how to imagine, how to FEEL their desires NOW instead of later.

 

When they cut down the nets after their win, they said it all felt familiar. They knew just how it was all going to go…

After all, they had done it before.

 

It’s not a complicated formula. You become what you allow yourself to imagine.

However, in the face of “reality,” it’s an easy habit to set aside. We’d don’t allow ourselves to imagine much.

Who’s got time to dream with all this work to do?

Don’t be fooled.

The real work is in the imagining.

The rest is details.

 

 

If you’re inspired to watch, I found the whole hour episode online.

What’s Your Vision?

a clear path. shot this in SW England years ago...

 

I am a big fan of vision.

Simply put, if you cannot imagine it, you cannot create it.

Imagining is simple enough, however it requires you to shift your focus from the compelling reality you can see with your eyes to the compelling reality you can only see with your mind.

Of course you can do it. The question becomes “are you in the habit of dreaming about your desires?”

Certainly you have big, bodacious desires… things you’d love to see manifest in your life…

If you really want them, then take the time and space in your life to feel them now.

Don’t wait.

In fact, you cannot wait.

You cannot wait for the things you want to show up without first getting yourself aligned to the point where you KNOW they are going to show up.

So see it now. Feel it now.

Bask in that.

And move on with your life.

Repeat as necessary.

 

 

A Crack o’ Hope

springtime view from my home...

 

In one section of my book, I detail the importance of “Going There in Your Mind First.”

The gist is that if you want to experience something, first you have to imagine it.

As an example, I wrote about the time I imagined my new house before I found it. When thinking about what I most wanted, I took out a sheet of paper and listed out all the aspects of my dream house.  I listed everything from “inspiring views” to “high ceilings” to “easily affordable.”

I still keep the list in my drawer because it still delights me to remember that everything on that list, no matter how unrealistic it seemed to some people, came into my experience with this house.

Everything.

Well, almost everything.

Ah, how Number 12 eluded me: “Fast Internet connection

My new home came with only one alternative to dial-up, an expensive, slow satellite connection. For the past seven years, this is what we’ve used. While it technically qualified for a high-speed connection, I wanted more. A lot more.

In the meantime, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in rural broadband technologies. Every time I’d get a whiff of some potential solution (they’re going to start running Internet through the electrical lines! They’re talking about putting a Wi-Fi tower on the hill!), I’d end up disappointed, chasing another ghost.

Over the years, I’d gotten dozens of cards in the mail, telling me good news — there was new service in my area! When I’d call to inquire, they’d tell me I’d received the mailing in error. I was Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, only to have Lucy pull it away.

Recently I got an e-mail from my town supervisor telling me they were having a meeting on the issue of rural broadband. My wife and I showed up at the local firehouse (this is how we do things, country-style), overflowing with people who shared our powerful desire for a solution.

While we got no clear answers, we left the meeting feeling hopeful. I could detect the distinct scent of possibility in the air. Somehow, someway, someday, we would finally get this resolved. Eventually, this was going to happen for us.

Looking back, I realized I’d never felt hopeful on this subject before.

When I first moved to the country, I doubted this desire could be fulfilled. It felt like a little too much to ask. And then after so many years of false starts, I could not reach the tipping point of belief. I simply had too much evidence to the contrary.

On this subject, I felt the uncomfortable tension between having a clear desire, and not believing it was possible to fulfill that desire.

But as we left the firehouse, I felt something new.

I felt a sliver of hope.

When we arrived home, I collected the mail at the box. Among the bills and magazines was an advertisement for a new satellite system with speeds faster than cable. (How these little miracles are possible is none of my beeswax.)

I’d never seen this particular flyer before, but I knew this was going to work. Finally.

Two weeks later, our long-standing desire was fulfilled.

As I shared the story of our entry into the 21st century with a friend, I realized what had unfolded. The energy at the town meeting allowed me to experience a “crack of hope.” And that crack was just enough to allow my desire to come into my life.

Think of a concrete dam holding back an expanse of water. No matter how thick the dam, a crack is all it takes. Once the crack is present, the pressure of the water cannot be held back. The same is true for your desires. The only thing holding them apart from you are your beliefs. All you need is a crack of hope, and the self-imposed barrier falls.

If there’s something you really, really desire but has continued to elude and tantalize you, then perhaps it’s time to check and see if your thoughts and beliefs on the subject could use an upgrade.

See if you can connect to a thought of hope.

Just a crack will do.