Sunday, May 15, 2011

Are you an Event Junkie or a Life Adventurer?

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.       Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t

Psst.. hey, mind if I interrupt you for just a moment?  One moment, that’s all.  I promise.

Who am I? 

I’m the Present Moment.  Actually, I’m the Next Moment.  Actually, I’m both. 

Look, I’m sorry, I know this may seem a bit confusing (not to mention unusual…Try bizarre, you say?  Well, yes, that too).  But seriously, could I have a moment of your time?  A moment.  Literally.

Thank you.  Thanks so much.  I really appreciate it.  It really is going to make a world of difference.  To me.  I mean to you.  Actually, I mean to us, because we’ve the same person, thing…you know?

Anyway, I just want to ask you something.  Actually, I want to discuss something with you.  

As you know, lately we’ve been self-observing, watching ourselves, you know?  

Actually, we’ve been watching Ourself.  Yeah, I know, it’s a new word but that’s the best one I have to talk about us without the *you* and *me* separation.  

Anyway, as a result of our *Ourself* observation, we’ve come to notice that we’ve been living our life rather strangely.  

I mean, I realize it’s kinda strange because, well, instead of living it moment to moment, we’ve been living it from event to event, whether that event is a day, a crisis, a problem, a relationship, a paycheck, a project, whatever it is that you allow yourself to be preoccupied with… know what I mean?

The fact is, you become what you give your attention to and you become defined by it.  You allow yourself to be defined by it. 

So, you know, if you live your life from one relationship to the next, that’s pretty much what you become – a relationship-er. 

And if you live your life from one paycheck to the next, you become a paycheck-er.

And if you live your life from one problem to the next, you become a problem-er.

Actually, to be frank, I’d call you an Event (Relationship/Paycheck/Problem) Junkie.  And just so you know, my definition of a junkie:  Someone who

Joylessly Uncovers Nothing (K)new, Intentional or Exciting

The thing is, it’s like you keep jumping (or dragging yourself) from one thing to more of the same and you’re never really getting off that mindless monkey ride.  All the rest of your life (which is infinite and eternal) just hangs off the events that you’ve become a junkie of.

But when you, I mean we, live our life from one moment to the next, like we’re doing now, well, we get to know and discover more of Ourself rather than project what we have accepted as our *self* and simply carry it, largely unchanged and undiscovered, from one point to another similar point.  

We never get off this unchanging, predictable, joyless ride.

I mean, if you’ve already defined who you are, well, there’s nothing left to discover, is there?  There’s just more *stuff* to do and acquire and we both know how painfully soul crippling that is.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s game over.  Know what I mean?

But, look at what’s happening right now.  I mean, we’re discovering more of who we are.  And do you know what I find most exciting about it???

There’s no limit to who I am!  And, oh my god, this is even more exciting – all of me is right here and no matter which direction I head, there’ll always be more of me to discover and explore!  Now THAT is head-spinning stuff.

Look, we’d never be having this conversation if you hadn’t given me a moment.  I mean, literally given Ourself this moment, allowed Ourself to be right here, right now and experience this so fully.  

Living moment by moment is just so amazingly good!  So good that I’m tripping over myself trying to pull back enough from the current of the moment to tell you why it’s so good :).  

So, before I drive myself mental by trying to slow down the flow, why don’t I just give you a list of why it’s so mind-bendingly good to live moment by moment.  

You ready?  Here goes:

Each moment is infinite and eternal.  On the other hand, no project, problem, relationship or paycheck is.

Each moment is whole, complete and perfect. On the other hand…:)

Because each moment is whole, complete and perfect, it compares no differently with any other moment.  

Because each moment is whole, complete and perfect, it cannot but reflect the wholeness, completeness and perfection of You.

In each moment is to be found the INFINITE YOU – abundant with potential and possibility – simply waiting to be discovered, explored, played with – not something or someone that’s been socially, culturally, geographically, historically constructed but a you that is infinitely more! 

What are you going to get excited about next?  What about something that arises from within you and that’s always available to you rather than something that you need to buy, acquire or possess?
I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.      Tagore
To live from moment to moment is to live naturally, consciously, curiously, creatively and limitlessly in Infinity and Eternity.  On the other hand, to live from event to event i.e. relationship, problem or paycheck to relationship, problem or paycheck is to live in an unnatural, limited, predictable and mostly unconscious way.  You are infinitely more than anything that attempts to define you!  

Living from each moment is living from that deep core of wisdom and intuition, that core that is unperturbed by the vagaries and vicissitudes of limited, conditioned existence.  

Living from each moment is surrendering willingly, thrillingly and completely to the infinite, delicious, enchanting and seductive possibilities of who you are.  How could you possibly want anything less???

Living from each moment is living in the immense and infinite POWER of LOVE, nothing less.  It is the power of the universe.  And just in case you’re wondering, the Power of Love is never destructive but always creative.


  • Get quiet.  Use your breath or a beautiful image or gentle sound to bring your mind to a single focus.
  • When quiet, seed your mind with this intention in action: I am returning to my Infinite Self and I am living each moment from my Infinite nature
  • Be guided by your feelings.  Move in the direction of the good feelings without deciding beforehand what it is you will do.


This is too open-ended.  I have commitments, things I must get done, places I must go.  How can I do these if I simply wait to be guided by my good feelings?

Firstly, understand that *waiting* is not what you’re being asked to do.  Rather, you’re being asked to ATTEND. 

*Waiting* is putting life on hold while you yearn for something else.  That’s not something that we ever want to do.  

ATTENDING, on the other hand, puts you in touch with life, with your Infinite Self, where untapped possibilities and potentials are ready for you to summon!

Secondly, it’s true that you have commitments and schedules.  The questions you need to ask yourself are: 

Which of these do I wish my life to be circumscribed by?  
Which of these do I wish to be defined by? 

Really use these questions as doorways to freedom.  But you can only do this if you’re prepared to be truly open to the answers you get which will present themselves most strongly as your FEELINGS.  

This is not to say that the answers won’t come as thoughts or images or voices.  But, in whatever form they come, it is your feelings that will tell you which ones to move in the direction of and how – always the good feelings.

When you do this, you’ll find that there are only one or two things that you will wish to keep as PLACE HOLDERS for your interactions with the conditioned world.  Things, for instance, that you do for your health and wellbeing and that of the people and things that are in your care.  

Aside from these (actually, underlying these), however, is the vastness of your Self that calls you to attend to it, to live from it, to express it – this Self that is all the wisdom and freedom and joy and power that you seek in order to live the life that you truly desire.

Thirdly, understand that you have a choice:

To live from one event to the next as a Junkie (Someone who Joylessly Uncovers Nothing K(new), Intentional or Exciting) 


To live from each moment as the fullness and limitlessness that you truly are.

The first keeps you in a cycle of repetitive thoughts, words, behaviors and experiences.  In short, conditioned existence.  An existence that keeps you vacillating between suffering (in all forms and degrees, from restlessness, fear, anxiety, insecurity, frustration and doubt to boredom, judgment, dis-ease and dissatisfaction) and relief.  

The second takes you on an endless adventure of SELF-DISCOVERY in which each moment, each person, each thing you encounter is a fulfilling experience.  

Why is it fulfilling?  Because it reconnects you with more and more of who and what you truly are!


Start small.  Start easy. 

Set aside some time each day to reconnect with your INFINITE SELF by living in the moment.  

Start with 5 minutes each day.  Choose a time that you feel will be the easiest for you.  It might be at the start of the day or the last thing before you fall asleep.  Or it might be before you have your lunch or after your daily exercise.

As you begin to feel the difference within you, in your thoughts and the words you find yourself choosing to use (rather than ones that simply slip off your tongue automatically), you will be inclined to give more time to this practice of reconnecting.

Soon, you will want to increase the amount of time you spend reconnecting or increase its frequency by doing it several times a day.

Eventually, this will become your dominant way of life, a state of being that you will easily take into the *events* that have thus far circumscribed and defined it. 

In effect, the axis of your life will no longer be the rigid set of things that you do and thoughts that you think but the forever creative and expanding awareness of what you truly are – INFINITE, LIMITLESS, POWERFUL, JOYFUL AND FREE!

It's the difference between being an Event Junkie and a Life Adventurer!

Monday, May 2, 2011

3 Uncommon Tips for Writing with Impact

 There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein     Walter Wellesley 'Red' Smith
You may have got the impression by now that I’m a compulsive writer.  I simply have to write.  But, better yet, I want to write.  In fact, there is hardly a day that goes by when I don’t write something, whether I publish it or not. 

Perhaps you’re that kind of person too.  So, why do people like us need help with writing? 

For me, the answer is that when I decide to write something that I wish to publish, like my blog posts for instance, I want to make sure they have the greatest impact on my readers.

We all have thoughts and experiences worth sharing.  Someone reading them may be inspired by our insight or be comforted and reassured by the fact that they are not the only ones having a particular kind of experience or *problem*. 

Their hearts may also be lightened by the humor – gentle or loud – that we deliver.  And they may be encouraged by the enthusiasm and encouragement we underscore our writing with.

I’ve written hundreds of blog posts as well as a significant number of ebooks, essays, poems, research articles, copywriting scripts, emails and newsletters.  You probably have too.

I’m not always entirely satisfied with my writing.  Sometimes, the process feels more strained and effortful.  Other times, it feels as if the sentences and ideas just float or leap from (or through) my mind onto the screen in front of me :).

Sometimes, I consciously follow a ‘Check List’ of what to write and how to write.  At other times, I seem to draw on a subconscious set of Guidelines.

I’ve been observing and studying some of these differences in my writing to see what I can glean from them.  The following are some of the things that I’ve learned:


That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write when you’re feeling *blah* like good ol’ Charlie Brown often seems to feel. 

But notice how much more enlivened and interesting the scene gets when Crab Meister Lucy comes along or when we see Linus in cosmic philosophical flight or Schroeder unflinchingly absorbed in Chopin much to the chagrin of Lucy!

That’s how you want readers to feel when they read what you have to write.  And you’re more likely to write for that effect when you’re feeling a strong and full-bodied sense of Passion, Play and Purpose!

By all means write regardless of how you’re feeling but when it comes to publishing, re-write your ideas using the full energy of Passion, Play and Purpose!  Don't ever be halfhearted with your writing.


The first and last words that you write are the first and last words your readers will read. 

The technical jargon for them is *Primacy* and *Recency* because they are the  first and last (most recent) words or ideas your readers encounter in your writing. 

They are also the ones that are most easily remembered.  So make them impactful. 

One great way that works for me is to ask myself:

How do I want my readers to feel when they read this? 
How do I want to feel when I read this?

There are many ways in which you can create impact at the start.  Here are a few:

By evoking curiosity and/or empathy 
Eg  You’ve probably done something like this and been thoroughly embarrassed by it as I have.

By being controversial
Eg  Psychologists have a tendency to confuse and try to impress with unnecessary jargon.

By expressing indignation
Eg  It’s easy for some people to say that money doesn’t buy happiness.

By asking a question
Eg  Have you ever thought about changing your name?

By asking a rhetorical question
Eg  Do you really need to be reminded that you’re the only one who controls your happiness?

By using self-disclosure
Eg I fell in love last night and am regretting it today.

By using contrast
Eg  Just because you’ve learned to fish, it doesn’t mean you should forgo the option of buying fish!  

Now, I hope you realize that these impactful starters need to be supported by engaging your readers with relevant content including content that explains, where necessary, your opening statement.  

I’ve found that keeping your writing SIMPLE, SINCERE AND SUBSTANTIVE is important.  I’ve also found that a sprinkling of humor or levity helps. 


Here are some of my favorite questions:

What is something that I would simply love to be told right now?

What is something that I could be told that would give me hope/strength/faith/courage/freedom/peace/confidence/laughter etc?

What is the opposite of a particular idea or point that I’ve raised?

What would XYZ (someone you truly admire or conversely, disagree with) have to say about this? 

What are 3 things I can learn from my favorite writer/entrepreneur/spiritual teacher/chef/artist (choose the one that is relevant to your subject)

What are some of the interesting things that I’ve observed or heard in recent days and how do they appear when I pass them through the filter of my writing topic?

As you can see, these are just a smattering of ideas and techniques for impactful writing.  I’m offering them as additional tips to what I assume is your already substantial body of writing techniques and guidelines.

Do let me know if you find any of this useful.  And do share some of your own tips and tricks :)

In the meantime, keep writing like your happiness depended on it!