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.)

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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.