The Great Cartwheel Conspiracy of 2013

Note: All entries earlier than this one refer to Human Being Training's predecessor, Flash of White. I still like the articles, though, so I'm leaving them up. - AL

From the "news" (hope you're not still watching that!) to public schools to conventional medicine to government to corporate consumerism to law enforcement, there are many factors working to suppress the tidal wave of awakening humanity and make us feel very....frickin'....serious. Very threatened, small, and powerless.

And that's OK: it's all part of the cycle. According to Alan Watts, a hero of mine, we're exactly on track.

One of the most powerful things we can do to expedite the process of our evolution—of becoming Real Human Beings—should we care to, is to have some eff'n fun. Many, many people are beginning to figure this out and have started spontaneously dancing in public, offering free hugs on the sidewalk, developing alternative economies and ways of living together, and generally having a great time.

They're looking where they want to go, not where they don't. Cisco's dad taught me that key concept years ago while we were mountain biking on single-track, right after I climbed back up a steep, thistle-grown hill.

And in that spirit, conspire with me—literally, "breathe with me"—to have fun now. If it's not a cartwheel, make it a somersault, or a frog leap, or a hug, or a heart-felt compliment.

Dare to come alive! Do the unexpected. Be your weird, wild, wonderful self. Do what you want! And in doing so, inspire and alight those around you with the warrior courage it takes to walk the Earth as a Real Human Being.

Let us know how it goes! And PS: By not watching the news, we're not burying our heads in the sand. Nope. Know what's happening (without the corporate spin), and then look where you do want to go! Choose where to send your energy, is all. :)

Watch our video here!

Time is short. Be magnificent.

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Last week, after dialing in (again) just what I'm doing here on God's green earth, I changed the official Flash of White tag line to "Time is short. Be magnificent." (Thanks to Robert Greene and his transformational and eminently practical book, Mastery, for the turbo boost.) My thinking on that: Why else are we here than to become the most spectacular manifestations possible of our limited-edition, one-time-only-ever selves? Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, there's never, ever, ever going to be another you just like you are right now. Talk about a precious resource!

Maybe, like me, you feel an increasing sense of urgency. I could chalk this up to a mid-life crisis, I suppose. But I don't think that's what's going on, because I'm seeing people of all ages in "the fight of their lives," as Ben Harper puts it in his "I Believe in a Better Way" anthem.

When I say "urgency," maybe that's not the right word. This is closer: I have the most peculiar, uncomfortable, and exhilarating sensation that I'm a waterfall being directed, via an intricate series of baffles, into a straight, narrow pipe. Are you also encountering the perception of time speeding up and the intensity of everyday life...intensifying?

Who or what is doing that and why? Maybe we are. Maybe Source is. Maybe we're working together on it. I really don't know.

What I do know is that every one of us who participates in the shift that's occurring is going to become a lean, beautifully efficient, and unlimited version of ourselves. In other words, a real human being!

And while it's tempting and very reasonable to get stressed during this refining process, something I'm beginning to realize is that the single most effective way to ride these waves of transformative energy  (which can can look like job loss, illness, housing crises, death, relationship breakdowns, natural disasters, and financial distress), is to r-e-l-a-x. Get out of the "Why me?" mindset and ask "What is this for? How is this designed to help me become my best self? What can I do with this?"

Here's another approach: The other day I came across a website called GTMetrix that's helping me optimize Flash of White. You plug in your URL and it produces a list of all the elements that are keeping your site from loading quickly. I thought to myself, "Wow, I wish I had this for my life!" (And then I discovered I did when I came across Mastery.)

digging

So what would GTMetrix say is holding you back from being all you can be, to quote the Marines? Make a list and "optimize" it all: relationships that are weakening you, storage units and excess stuff, fears of all varieties, negative people, addictions, limiting beliefs, energy drains, shoulds and would-if-I-coulds. Now is the moment to get light and fast.

Remember why you came here? It's back there in your childhood memories somewhere, and it's never too late.If you're unhappy, it's because you forgot why you're here. So let's do some digging and get on it!

Time is short. Be magnificent.

The Joy of "No"

Squeegee your Third Eye

Squeegee your Third Eye

Our children can be our greatest teachers. Many of us grown-ups suffer from a form of ageism in which we believe that unless someone's a certain age, they can't be wise, or thoughtful, or aware. The way I look at it, kids are much closer to Source Energy than I am, having just emerged into this plane of existence. I, on the other hand, have spent nearly five decades here and occasionally forget to squeegee my third eye. (Thanks, American hero Bill Hicks; and please note that I employ other methods from what he recommends—not that I object to his methodology :).

Anyway, Cisco blew me away a couple of weeks ago with his pure-hearted, spontaneous, and utterly direct response to a question I posed. So refreshingly original was his response that I had a real sqeegee moment, smacked upside the head by the idea that you can just say "No!" to something you don't want to do.

Gasp. Pause.

What if we all did this? What would that look like?

In talking this over, a friend commented, "Well, if John does something for me, I HAVE to do something back for him. It would be rude not to."

Isn't that a nutshell version of our conditioned thinking so much of the time? And, uh, raise your hand out there (moms, I see you!) if you have a wee bit of resentment simmering (boiling?) constantly in the background as you force yourself through yet another day of doing things that you imagine will "make" others happy—even as your own soul dries up like an autumn leaf.

My response, in a precious, brief space of bright awareness (remind me I said this later, please): "Well, what if John did something for you because he wanted to? Because it brought him joy to do it? What if his gift to you was its own reward? Would you still feel obligated to do something for him even though you didn't really want to? How does that help him or you?"

So next time someone asks you do something that doesn't "light you up," just say "No!' (Optional but almost always appreciated: give them a hug and tell them you love them.)

Cisco's expertly rendered "No!" á là YouTube star Smosh will crack you up, crack up your "No-ee," and generally remind everyone involved not to take everything so damned seriously.

Let's repeal the unspoken prohibition on "No!" that has caused more misery, misunderstandings, and general chaos than the colossal failed ban on alcohol in the US from 1920 to 1933 (or, I might add, the perennially stupid War on Drugs).

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Let's resolve to remember that it's the ultimate responsibility of each and every human being to make themselves happy from within, and to quit looking to others' actions and behavior for it. Because guess what: as Cisco would put it, "that's an epic FAIL!" Every time.

We hope you like our video this week. Please tell us how your own "No!" practice is going! (Also, see below vid for a quick note.)

PS: Parents, lest I be misinterpreted, the Joy of No! technique applies neither to chores nor homework at our house. However, as a side note, I do believe strongly in providing incentives for children to do what you require of them on a daily basis, rather than demanding, criticizing, and bullying. (Do you like being treated that way?) With incentives, the chore- and homework-doer is empowered to achieve something that he or she wants (TV or game time, special event with family, sleepover, etc.) and thus has an active role in the outcome. Then the child has a chance to transform a "No!" moment into a "Yes!" one all by himself. Yea, sighs of relief for everyone. :)

The beauty of involuntary simplicity

Don't let this happen to you!

Don't let this happen to you!

After two years of paying $125. a month to store stuff I didn't need or want (or even remember I owned, in most cases), I finally took a day off last week to empty my 10x10 storage unit and give it all away. It was a heart-breaking, exhausting, and wonderful day.

The term "involuntary simplicity" has been floating around the Internet for a while now, so I can't take credit for it. But last week, as I tearfully watched dust bunnies swirl around my newly empty storage unit and the thrift store truck lumbered away, the phrase suddenly came home to me powerfully.

Always an advocate of simplicity and decluttering, I used to take the odd afternoon to clean out the closets or cabinets in my former big, beautiful house and take stuff to the thrift store. I loved the light, free feeling I got from reducing the number of possessions I had to organize and maintain. I realize now how relatively luxurious it is to pick and choose what you give up.

Far from being a doomsdayer or end-of-the-worlder, I avidly believe that humanity is perched on the brink of a gargantuan evolutionary leap from material-based to spirit-based creatures.

How many of you feel as though you're being funneled into a white-water rapids riding a broken-down wooden canoe with a hole in the bottom? And no paddles? Do you have a sense of shrinking material means (personally and globally) even as you experience your spirit emerging from the cocoon in the form of greater intuition, increasing glimpses of your own personal power, and awakening awareness of your essentially divine nature?

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Or you might just feel, like so many of us do right now, that you're going crazy. In which case, relax! Despite apparent proof to the contrary, all is well.

This is all part of The Plan. And (hold on here): I think we're causing this chaos collectively, as a species, to make our evolution an absolute necessity.

Why? Because The Stuff, and our addiction to it, now owns us. And it's not even the kind of abundance we really needed or wanted.

So, voluntary or involuntary, we've got to strip back down to make room for what's coming, which is beautiful beyond belief.

It is easy? Is it fun? Maybe not. It's like birthing pains, I think. But we can either fight to hold onto our stuff or help the process along by focusing on what true abundance looks like: deep, self-generated happiness, living your soul purpose, time to spend with friends and family, growing and eating real food, and connecting more and more with Spirit, however that looks to you.

Why are you here?

I asked my yoga students that question tonight during Savasana (corpse pose), in which I encourage them to practice dying, or—in more acceptable terms in our death-phobic society—"releasing the physical self."

I sensed a silent "hrrrrr?" from many in the room (refer to photo).

I remember when I first got asked that question a few years ago. I did the same thing. My answer was something like, "Uh, because I was born?" Unfortunately, I was already 42 at the time. So according to my genes, I'm already almost halfway done (although I have a plan for that).

Talk about a sense of urgency! Besides, what's that great Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men? "You can't HANDLE the truth!" That was me. I so wasn't ready to hear what I was supposed to do, and I wouldn't have believed it then anyway.

So, in case you don't already know, I'd like to ask you the same question, because the clock's ticking on this lifetime:

Why are you here?

You came here to do something. What is it? Are you doing it? Are you awake?

Get really quiet and tune into your heart space. Then ask. Your heart is way smarter than your mind in these things, although they're meant to work together as twin, razor-sharp blades that cut away ignorance of all kinds.

Here's a hint: it's the thing that lights you up like frickin' Fourth of July. It's what makes you feel expansive, joyful, and powerful. It's what makes YOU bad-ass. (Yes, you.)

Still don't have it yet? Nothing in your life like that? Start paying closer attention. Every soul, including yours, has a mission. Depressed? Angry? You're soul's waiting on you to let it loose to work its magic.

Once you get the answer (and you'll know it's the truth because you'll feel happy and probably scared because you've dared, you rebel, to name your heart's desire), start taking a step everyday to make it your reality.

Here's a practical example. Say you're currently a fry chef at McStarPanera, Inc. But you realize the reason you're here on this glorious planet at this extremely auspicious time is because you have an incredible connection with our animal brethren. You can communicate with them and they with you. You cry and laugh when they tell you their stories. They listen when you tell yours. You know what animals need and can help their human guardians understand how to take good care of them. You're an inter-species translator!

So you continue to work at McStarPanera for right now—unless you're like me and you just quit everything you were doing and live down by the river until all the exploded pieces of your life fall back to earth in a new shape you like better. (Note: This approach is not recommended for its entertainment value.)

But the difference is, you're heart's now on fire with a mission! You start smiling at people, asking questions about their pets. Maybe you start up a few new friendships with fellow animal lovers and start a weekly meeting to discuss ways to make your special services available, because you know—deep down—that you're absolutely needed. One day a holistic vet comes in and you strike up a conversation....

See?

Once you ask the question and allow yourself to hear it, your heart, assisted by your mind, will lead the way into a future that you could never have imagined was possible.

It all starts with a question: Why are you here?

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." --Oscar Wilde

Much love to you.

"There is a river flowing now very fast..."

I feel compelled to share with you these concise instructions on how to be as we move forward in our evolution from today forward, from an elder of the Hopi Nation in Oraibi, Arizona. I received this today via our good friend and medicine man Daniel Posney of the Keyktapo Awakening Ceremony:

"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell them that this is THE HOUR. And there are things to be considered...

Where are you living? What are you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Know your garden. It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, 'This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate!

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.'"

I could not say any more eloquently what it feels like our path is right now as spiritual warriors, and what that looks like.

In honor of our own warrior paths and to initiate others into their own beautiful soul purposes, Jim, Dan, and I are planning a workshop in 2012 called Training for Humanity's Quantum Leap: Skills for a Leading Edge Life. It will include the essence of what we three each bring to the world, and we can't wait to share it with you.

If you are reading this, you are a warrior. You're being called to lead during this time of change. See you in the river!

Dismiss what insults your soul.

I came across a photo this week, by Armchair Patriots (a seriously bad-ass group that creates must-see, truth-telling graphics), that made me and my whole Facebook wall blink. There was a collective pause, and then we all went, "HELL yeah!" It's one of those quotes that crystallizes into a few words what you've been trying to articulate through the daily miasma of soccer games, grocery shopping, making money somehow, vacuuming, feeding the dog and yourself (probably in that order), and brushing teeth.

Ready?

Bam! There it is. I don't feel anything else I have to say would make this any more useful to you. Well, OK, except this one idea (c'mon, you knew I couldn't just leave it there!):

If you don't know what it feels like when your soul is insulted, ask yourself one question next time something (anything) makes you pause and blink. (Note: It's an exercise in mindfulness just to notice those moments, BTW.)

Does that feel expansive or contracted?

If you feel smaller and squished and restricted in any way, your soul is telling you, "Hey, WTF?! How 'bout a little stand-up action here to keep me happy and safe!" And then use Mr. Whitman's powerful word: "dismiss." Kick it to the curb where it belongs and let the street sweeper pick it up tomorrow morning.

If you feel big and strong and light and joyful, congratulations! You've just stumbled upon what I like to call a "breadcrumb"—a cosmic trailmarker that points toward or is on your heart path to encourage you and lead you on.

"Re-examine all you've been told. Dismiss what insults your soul."

So, "all you've been told" is a lot to pore over. Tell you what, though. Let's start with "information" that comes from the government, our parents (as much as they love us and knowing that they were doing the best they could), mass media outlets, and big businesses.

I think that'll hold us for a while. Let us know what makes YOU feel expansive or contracted!

Lots of love.

"She thinks too much."

That was the verdict I received on my overall health from Grand Master Zhou Ting-Jue after a one-hour session with this astonishing Qi Gong healer and Kung Fu expert at Ojai's Bernhoft Center for Advanced Medicine. Master Zhou is famous for his ability to intuit, through evaluating a person's qi, or life force, whether there are any health problems. He then uses his own powerful qi, which takes the form of intense heat emitted from his hands, to adjust the patient's own energy fields. This enables them to heal themselves.

So when Master Zhou told his wonderful interpreter Kevin "she thinks too much," in answer to my question, "How am I doing?" I was a little nonplussed.

Anyone who knows me knows I think too much. I come from a long, proud line of overthinkers. My grandmother actually wore grooves in her Malibu's steering wheel with her thumbs! So this didn't come as a surprise to me.

What DID surprise me were the effects of Master Zhou's treatment on my body and mind. First off, I'd asked him to treat me for depression and stress, which are the ailments that bother me the most. Jim watched the treatment, and said Master Zhou spent a great deal of time working around my head and what's known in Chinese medicine as the "lower Dantien." (In Qi Gong, this area is located just below the navel, and is considered to house a person's lifetime supply of qi. I do know that when Kevin asked if I was ready for the "barbeque," he was NOT kidding.)

After the session, I felt a sharp burning sensation in my lower abdomen, and discovered that I had a small, circular first-degree burn right below my navel. As the week went on, I began to notice a strange sense of detachment from all the activities of my usual daily life, as though I was watching it all from above. My body felt weird, too, and new in some way, as though I had come back into it from another place and had lost the operating instructions.  I went around like that all week.

And then yesterday, in the shower (where I do most of my thinking--I haven't actually experienced a shower in probably 12 years), I remembered a scene from one of my favorite movies, Dan Millman's Peaceful Warrior. I think often about this one scene in the movie where the young hero suddenly clues in about being present. In the film, he's a gifted gymnast, but is trapped from making the leap to true excellence by overthinking. Suddenly, while taking a shower, he somehow understands in a moment of beautiful clarity what it means to be present, and to have peace from the crazy person who's constantly jabbering in our heads. He sees each drop of water, he's in awe of the light streaming through the window. He just is.

So I realized, still in my own shower and still in problem-solving mode, that being present is the opposite of thinking. And that if I could be present more in my own life, I would automatically be thinking less. Problem solved.

Thanks to Master Zhou's message, which closely correlates with the oft-provided opinion of my martial arts teacher/husband/best friend Jim, I've really been watching myself think and then making the effort just to be. A great Zen master once said, "When you're washing the dishes, wash the dishes. When you're sweeping the floor, sweep the floor. When you're on the toilet, be on the toilet." There are endless opportunities to practice this, and when you do, everything gets bigger, breathing resumes, and a beautiful relaxation settles in to snuggle with you like a slinky, purring cat.

As I'm always reminding my yoga students, if you can just learn how to get out of your own way by not thinking so much, then Source Energy can flow through you and allow you to do the things you were put here to do. My mom likes to ask sweetly when she comes to my class, "Are you listening to yourself, honey?" Uh, thanks, Mom.

My teabag announced to me last night: "A relaxed mind is a creative mind." I think I'm going to give this presence thing a try.

How do you practice presence in your daily life?

NOTE:  I just want to let you know, it's my own damn fault I got burned by Master Zhou's powerful energy. I was supposed to say "hot"  when it became too intense, but I figured (using impeccable logic) that if some is good, more is better. So if you go see Master Zhou, say "HOT" when the barbeque fires up!

Tidal wave dreams, or How I learned to relax and love the sucking sound

I used to have a recurring dream about running to escape massive, apocalyptic tidal waves. I would wake up exhausted and frantic, just before the thrashing water got to me.

As asleep in my life as I was at the time, I didn't realize that these dreams were trying to tell me something. Namely, that BIG change was coming my way and I'd damn well better turn and face it.

One child, a divorce, two businesses, a new relationship, and three moves later, I think I get it now. The monster wave dreams have finally stopped and I'm almost unrecognizable from the person who had them, because I did finally muster the courage to face the angels/demons that were trying their best to teach me how to face fear in a life-affirming, empowered way.

And yet, I'm feeling now in my waking life something very like the overwhelming energy that terrified me in those dreams.

What's this all about?

My sense is that something big this way comes again, but not just for me this time—for all of us.

Whether you read up on all the latest developments in the impending global financial collapse and the approach of the Blue and Red Kachinas, you're making plans to move to a safe-haven state, or you've stocked organic, non-GMO seeds in your cellar, many, many people are feeling waves of fear and dread. And this is on top of the usual daily anxiety generated by the heavy demands put on us to function within and contribute to an unnatural, broken, and corrupt global economy.

It's tempting to shut down, go dark, and head for the hills with my cans of Campbell Soup and a couple rolls of toilet paper.

But as my Jim always says when I get tweaky, "What do warriors do?"

Well, now. First of all, I doubt there'd be a hoard of Tomato Bisque involved. Second of all, I bet a warrior would be looking for ways to help, rather than thrashing around in the sticky, sulphurous quagmire of endless breaking news from www.theworldisending.com.  (BTW, that's not an active site--there's hope yet!)

So here's what I'm going to do with my increasingly acute awareness that Something Is Coming, in this order:

1. Breathe: It's amazing how much better you feel instantly when you remember to do this! Lately, thanks to my wonderful friend Letha Kiddie, I imagine each in-breath causing my heart to blossom like a huge flower and each out-breath sending beautiful golden light/love out the top of my head. (I started out with releasing any negative energy through my crown until my astonishing 11-year-old boy suggested recently that my technique might be "polluting." Humbling, no?

2. Relax: My lifeguard mom used to tell me that if strong water ever took me offshore, just to float easily until I got back near land or someone came to get me. Thrashing and struggling? Not so much. Note: Also attracts sharks.

3. Be an agent of calm. Eden Sky made a YouTube video on 2012 and the period leading up to it. I saw it a year ago and have been thinking about it ever since. She sees humanity as currently undergoing a "global healing crisis" and calls on us to become Medicine Warriors to "uplift the whole" during this "deeply accelerated" transition time. She says we have a choice: we can live out of great fear or great love.

So let each of us ask ourselves at least daily: What am I giving my attention to? According to the Vedic scriptures, whatever you focus on will become stronger in your life.

As the approaching storm builds, as we encounter bigger and bigger waves, let's encourage each other to surf those waves, to find a sense of play and excitement and empowerment as we once again become masters of ourselves and the energy all around us.

It's what warriors do.

Curious George on acid AND speed

That's who lives in my head these days. How's the weather in your head? I teach yoga to kids, and we often talk about the feeling of having Curious George in our heads. They get it right away. In some Eastern teachings, it's called the Monkey Mind--that sensation of an incessantly jabbering creature expounding endlessly and self-importantly on all sorts of utterly irrelevant crap just because it likes the sound of its own voice. And God forbid we have any quiet, because who knows what might happen? All hell would break loose, no doubt, if that frickin' monkey would just shut up for half a second and stop narrating our lives for us...

I was watching this movie (The Quickening) last night and my mind (for like the fourth time this week by other stuff) was completely blown by the film's message, which in a nutshell, goes something like this: "Humanity has until about October 28, 2011 to understand that We Are All One and that we are divine creatures on an important mission we've forgotten, or the shit's gonna hit the fan."

I know! I can't believe I'm buying it either! I mean, I'm from New Jersey, for God's sake! But nevertheless, don't you totally KNOW--even if absolutely nothing happens on or around October 28--that we as a species have to stop the consumer-driven, material madness that has brought us to the point of self-extinction? (Note: Here's another cool flick about how our consumer society was started on purpose and quickly took us over body and soul. Have your "Mom-I-need-the-new-Wii-Exploding-Brains-Bonanza-that-Mikee-just-got" kid watch, too!)

One of the most interesting things for me about the Quickening is that it so perfectly explains why I and so many others have been experiencing the seeming speeding up not only of our thought processes, but also the pace of daily life, of how fast information is coming at us, the number of tasks we're being asked to handle simultaneously, and the rate at which we're discovering and committing to things that excite us and inspire us, all while leaving old friends, partners, and jobs and finding new ones that resonate with our suddenly and sometimes inexplicably widened viewpoint. It's mind-boggling, isn't it?

I keep hearing people (particularly women) announce, "Oh, my GOD, I don't know when I turned into such a raging bitch/asshole. I don't know what's wrong with me!" Well, guess what, it's going around. Curious George is about to take a flying leap off the cliff of humanity's evolving consciousness, and he doesn't like it one bit. So he's jabbering faster and faster and faster to try to forestall the inevitable, and making you crazy in the process.

Here's what you can do: Meditate.

Seriously. Find a method and use it. Doesn't matter what it is, just do it for at least five minutes morning and night. (I have my favorite place to learn: insert shameless plug here.)

I can hear you now: WHAT!? You've GOT to be kidding! You want me to sit and actually watch and listen to the steaming cauldron of shit that is my waking mind?

I know, I get it. There's no one with a bigger, smellier cauldron than mine, believe me. But here's what's interesting. If you sit with your Curious George for a few minutes, sometimes he starts to get quieter. Mine even took a short nap last week before resuming his litany of things on our to-do list that have to get done or the universe will stop spinning. It was wonderful. It's what little ol' you can do to help the race evolve and save the planet.

Even if you don't subscribe to some of the ideas or projections in the Quickening, watch it, take what you need or want, and know that living with Curious George on acid AND speed is all part of a plan to make you remember Who You Are. Like, now.

Watch, listen, love, serve. Be joyful at the transformation! Leave fear and Curious George behind as you step into your power as a Human Being. You have everything you need right now.

Much love to you, and thanks for reading!