One of the tools I suggest for
your mental toolbox is hypnosis,
both “self” and “directed” trance
states. Basically a hyper-suggestible
state usually accessed through
deep relaxation, it is useful
both for programming beliefs,
changing the meaning of past
experiences, implanting goals,
and exploring non-ordinary
frames of thought.
The Soulmate Process works
to align beliefs, values,
behaviors, and emotions
with the “frequency” compatible
with your desired future partner.
So long as you’ve selected
wisely, a love partnership this
is one of the most positive
experiences common to
My friend Terry Brussels
has been a successful
hypnotherapist for decades,
and is also a third-generation
match-maker. While our
approaches to love and growth
are not identical, mine overlap
with hers enough to make a
valuable addition to your
Tomorrow, we’re going to
have a FREE teleconference
call at 6pm PST, discussing
hypnosis, personal growth,
finding love and healing emotions.
Terry and I will discuss both of
our approaches, and she will
perform a 20-minute inductive
trance for centering, healing
emotions, and opening more
deeply to love.
6pm PST Thursday, January 30th
Dial-in Number: 1-712-432-3022
Conference Code: 474990
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 9:11 AM
Monday, January 27, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:45 AM
Friday, January 24, 2014
“OUT of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d alone, bare-headed, barefoot…” -- Walt Whitman
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:38 AM
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:54 AM
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:15 AM
Monday, January 20, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 9:18 AM
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
In 1979 I saw the film “All
That Jazz” for the first time.
I sat in the movie theater
watching “Joe Gideon”, Bob
Fosse’s alter ego, destroying
himself in the name of sex,
drugs, and musical theater.
On the way home, I had
much to think of. Fosse
had done me a fantastic favor.
Somehow, he had touched my heart, communicated with me in a
way no one else had. A core
paradox had been laid out
with surgical simplicity:
1) To achieve your full potential
requires monomaniacal focus.
2) Monomaniacal focus
3) Imbalance leads to skewed
values: Gideon was a man
turned inside-out, putting
his priorities on the very
things most likely to destroy him.
4) Premature self-destruction
prevents you from reaching
your full potential.
I don’t know about anyone
else, but that movie was a
wake-up call on a massive,
soul-shaking level. I was
determined to be the absolute
best I could be, and the
path I saw to it was so rife
with peril that it was obvious
I’d be riding a unicycle over
a pool of sharks. I puzzled
over this one for days, and
finally came to a life-changing
conclusion: the safest thing
to be obsessive about was
BALANCE. I would care
equally about all three basic
aspects of my life: body,
mind, and emotions. Then…
let the chips fall where they may.
I was twenty-seven years
old when I saw “All That
Jazz.” Thinking about it
as deeply as possible,
whereas I’ve read books
and seen films that taught
me interesting things about
the world, works of fiction
stopped changing me on
any deep level at that point.
NON-fiction continued to
do so strongly until my
40’s, and from time to time
I still get a little “bump”
from some piece of philosophy
or physics or history.
But fiction? No.
On that level, stick a
fork in me, I’m done.
I hear people speaking
of fiction, books or films
or plays, that shakes them
and changes their world
view or transforms them.
I was wondering…what
was the last (or most recent)
work that changed you, and
how old were you when
If YOU want to reach your
maximum without the risk
of destroying yourself, I
suggest the same approach
The “101 Program” teaches
this, as do all of my other
offerings. But the crown
of it all is personal coaching,
which is available on a
very, very limited basis only
to those who are totally
committed. I don’t want to
waste your time, and I won’t
let you waste mine. Make
no mistake—when we
talk for 30-60 minutes a
week, phone or Skype,
miracles can and do happen.
If you’re ready to take
your game to the next level,
I would suggest going to
and checking out the
terms required to work
with me personally. I
recently had two positions
open up in my coaching
schedule (I have to limit
the number of people,
or I won’t have time for
my own work!)
If you have the passion
for change and are prepared
to invest in yourself, drop
me a line, and we’ll have
a conversation about
Love, health, success.
And all that jazz.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:54 AM
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
She sat alone and looking miserable, a pretty girl maybe eighteen years old in the midst of a busy Science Fiction convention. “Sherri” was the niece of a good friend, but I didn’t know her well. As I recall, I merely asked her if she was all right, and what was going on with her: her body language was so sad.
We just talked for a few minutes, and I sensed that there was a great depth of pain that I couldn’t reach, but that she’d been glad I’d stopped to speak to her. Over the next years I encountered her several times, and always extended courtesy. When I learned she was in emotional trouble once, I asked my wife (at the time) Toni if it was all right if Sherri came and stayed at our house for a couple of days. Because she was related to a friend, Toni agreed.
I picked Sherri up from the bus depot, and took her to the house up in Canyon Country California. Nothing very special happened, just family time.
Years passed. I lost touch at times, but occasionally Sherri would reach out and ask if she could talk to me. I always said yes, and was happy to. Sweet girl.
I love Facebook. It lets me peek into conversations other people are having. A few months back I happened to come across a stream where Sherri was speaking of her life. She had been horribly molested by members of her own family, never able to trust anyone. She married and her lack of self-image brought her to a husband who did not honor and protect her, and after hard years she separated.
In her conversation, the subject of how you find strength came up. What hurts us, what helps.
And my name came up. Steven Barnes, she said, was the only man she had ever known who had helped her, been kind to her, without wanting sex in return.
This guy “Barnes” was the closest thing to a real father figure she’d ever known. And knowing that one man, somewhere, was like that, could see her preciousness without demanding part of it in return for simple support and affection gave her hope. Made her see herself differently. Gave her the balance she needed to move forward.
Dear God. I’d had no idea. I was just filling a gap I saw: a nice girl who was sad. Who had a lovely smile, when she could smile. Who extended trust, and needed something I could gladly offer.
We never know the impact of our actions. The arena of sexual contact is so deep and wide and filled with crazy energy, tied to everything from our animal to our spiritual realms. There is no way to make it a simple transaction like shaking hands, no matter how much society might encourage us to believe birth control and condoms and Liberation and Equality and all the rest of it has spun gold into flax.
What is the price that you have paid to fulfill yourself on this level? Have you held yourself as precious? What is the price you have extracted from others to share this space with you? Or…what have you withheld or offered others in exchange for access to their sexuality?
To what degree have you treated them…or yourself…the way you would want someone to treat your sister, your mother, your daughter?
If there is any tension in you when you consider that question, it would be wise to ask yourself where you got your ideas about this arena. Whether they are beliefs or values that support a healthy life and world.
Whether, if more people were as you are, the little girls of the world would be safer. The little boys stronger and happier and healthier.
You just never know what people are offering for kindness. Too often, it is more than they can really afford, and it is up to YOU to set the boundaries, if you would be an awakened adult human being.
Only adults can keep the children safe.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:14 AM
Saturday, January 11, 2014
One of my teachers, the late Harley "Gunnie" Reagan, taught me about direct and indirect attention, and the different qualities of mind produced by each. I would be trying to master a throw, say a Tai-Otoshi and my opponent’s resistance would foil me every time.
“You’re trying to throw him,” Harley would say.
I would lay on the mat, sweating, and look up at him with irritation. “What was I supposed to do? Kiss him?”
“Whatever floats your boat, but if you want to learn judo, more listening and less smart-mouth.”
I shut up. He went on.
“You don’t want to throw your opponent. You want to perform Tai-Otoshi. Your opponent cooperates.”
“What if he pulls back?”
“Then you go with it and surrender to a higher intent—completing a flow. If he pulls back, help him. Get there first and flow into an Osoto-gari.” Roughly, the opposite throw.
Intention: completing a flow.
The partner who fights the flow will be thrown cleanly. You can put your intent upon a particular expression of the flow, but attachment to it makes you vulnerable to resistance from the opponent. So…no opponent. No throw. Just…flow.
Where the opponent stops the flow, a “throw” is created.
So where do I put my attention?
On the flow.
In writing, if you concentrate on being the best you can, the most honest that you can, over time you develop style and skill, and those enable you to communicate whatever is within your heart. And regardless of what the voices in your head tell you, if you simply speak the truth of your life with skill, you will rise to whatever level of success you are capable of achieving.
John D. MacDonald, bestselling creator of “Travis McGee”, wrote 800,000 words IN FOUR MONTHS, working eighty hours a week, without selling a single word.
Have YOU got what it takes to write a million words, and read ten million, without selling a word? Then dollars to donuts you have what it takes to fulfill your dreams of being a writer.
But you can’t focus on the fame. Or the money. Do that, and you’ll lose your sense of self, and that is all that makes you unique.
In relationships, the SOULMATE PROCESS suggests that to find the person your heart yearns for, you have to stop chasing after them. Be who you were meant to be, with sufficient amplitude and engagement with the world to send a strong mating signal, like a bird singing in the forest. Out of those who respond, you learn to recognize those singing on your channel, at your frequency.
Terrifying if you aren’t actually attracted to your own music.
You CANNOT fake this, no matter how dearly you long to.
You can’t look directly at the sun. What you are seeking will come from your peripheral vision, not your foveal.
Concentrate on the throw, the fame, or the seductive chase and you will miss your excellence, lose your life, never experience the flow of simply being yourself and watching the world respond to you.
Today on THE DIAMOND HOUR we will speak of this, as touched on in THE SOULMATE PROCESS (bring your questions!) and THE SECRET FORMULA.
Two ways of looking at the exact same thing. It is hard to talk about things that have no words.
But dammit, it sure is fun to try!
Join us, won’t you?
Diamond Hour January show. - Saturday, January 11, 2014 1:00 PM Pacific Standard time (4:00 PM Eastern)
Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)
Posted by Steven Barnes at 9:01 AM
Friday, January 10, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:31 AM
Thursday, January 09, 2014
We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.
- Aristotle "De Anima"
The wonderful reproductive biologist Jack Cohen once told me that if modern translations of Aristotle had been available to Rene Descarte, the Cartesian “error” of the body/mind division would never have taken place.
That to Aristotle, the “soul” was the expression of function, as in “sight is the soul of the eye.” To view “soul” as “natural or righteous function of an organ” is fascinating, and reveals an entirely new aspect to the concept of “Soulmate.”
What was “love” to this great thinker? “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” he said. (He may have been referring to more of what we call “friendship”, but the same idea applies.) This then would be similar to the West African concept of “Num” which is “a single soul looking out through many eyes.”—The unity of mankind, or life itself.
In life, we would seem to begin with this essential “sameness” at birth, and perhaps to return to it in death. But between those times, there is near-infinite variety of expression. And relationships are much like keys and locks—people have to fit together to form a whole that can endure.
To this end, it is vital to “know yourself.” To have either an instinctive or conscious knowledge of your values and emotions, goals and dreams, wants and needs. From a world of billions, how else are you to determine who might fit your life? Raw attraction fades. Selecting solely for beauty or power leads to some of the most unsatisfying relationships imaginable.
What we want and need is someone who “gets us”—is similar enough to us to share those core values, but different enough to “fill in the gaps” in our own emotions and psychology. Personally, I don’t want someone who is always “up” when I’m up or “down” when I’m down. I’d rather have a slight mis-match there, so that if she is down, I am “up” and able to support and coax and nurture her back to emotional balance. And vice versa. Of course, if you’re NEVER in sync you don’t have much basis for relationship. There is a balance.
The point here is that you must know yourself, must express yourself in words, actions, intonations, and so forth. See the impact they are having in the world. Adjust. Wash, rinse, repeat. To a huge degree, who we are is, what we do, and the meaning of what we do is the effect it has on the world. Every infant knows this: they act, they observe the effect their actions have, they adjust and act again.
If your “soul” is the function of your mind and organs and actions upon the world, and love is a single soul in two bodies, then a “soul mate” would be viewed as someone whose values, beliefs, emotions, and actions are in sufficient alignment that in their presence you become MORE of what you are rather than less. They take you move deeply into your own essence.
Tananarive does this for me. She and I have similar commitments to teaching and writing, to health, to family. But she approaches these things from a different direction. I’m something of an ally cat, having pieced my psyche together from hundreds of different teachers and experienced, while she was nurtured by her family and community in a way I never dreamed of.
There are ways that I “lead” her, and others in which she “leads” me, forces me to think, to evaluate my approaches to life or writing or parenting or love itself. She is different, but her life works, and in many ways works spectacularly well. I cannot deny it when I see it in close-up on a daily basis. I am watching, from Aristotle’s point of view, her “soul”—her expression of function.
I first saw her “soul” in her basic, honest expression of interest in my life and career when we first met. Saw more in her interactions with fans and new friends. More watching her dance, seeing her healthy animal expression—seeing that she had emotional permission to “tap into” that basic energy and allow it to express itself through her body. And then when I heard her express her tactical path to getting Stephen King’s quote on “My Soul To Keep” I saw a vast number of separate steps aligning to create a specific effect. I glimpsed the pattern: energy, talent, work, creativity, courage, artistic expression, physical grace and perception all combining to create an opportunity to operate in King’s circle, catch his attention and create an invitation to let him see her work. And if she hadn’t had the chops, hadn’t been ready, that created opportunity would have amounted to nothing.
In that moment, I saw her soul. Saw the creative little girl she had been, guided by a woman’s discipline and focus, creating opportunity. Life doesn’t give you a single chance at the Gold Ring—there are many chances, perhaps endless chances, but you have to recognize them, be ready for them, and also be working your @#$$ off so that you don’t need them.
I saw her. And recognized my own soul, in her body. I was lost from that moment.
Know yourself. Deeply. Make no excuses for your failures, have no false modesty about your successes. Without this knowledge, you won’t recognize a kindred spirit, nor will you detect predators or walking wounded wearing masks.
How can you know your Soul Mate if you don’t know your Soul?
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:46 AM
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
“An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
― Warren W. Wiersbe
“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner
It is probably safe to say that there are probably as many definitions of “art” as there are artists. One answer that makes intense sense of the arguments and perspectives is that “Art is Self expression.” Note the capital “S” there, meaning “true Self” or to put it another way, “Art is expression of truth.”
“Craft” is another thing, of course, chiefly skill in communication, related to style, technique, structure, and so forth. Deep subject, complementary to but separate from the first.
There was recently a Facebook discussion that suggested that the purpose of art is to confront, upset, destroy the status quo, and so forth. Consider the possibility that these things are NOT the purpose—they are the effect. Human beings slide into a “dreaming” state rather rapidly, a place rife with mythologies and justifications. Any real truth—about relationships, politics, spirituality, actions, or whatever, will conflict with much of these illusions, and be uncomfortable to those comforted thereby.
An artist, from this perspective, has the obligation to have not only craft (to express) but a point of view (something worth expressing—a perspective on “truth” the artist is willing to defend or express during his career.)
Because it will require fantastic energy and focus to dig deep enough to find a truth worth sharing, it is valuable to focus on something that is deeply meaningful to you: a pain, hope, dream, fear, love…something that engages the passions so strongly that you won’t stop with the easy answers, but keep digging, and digging, throwing away the “easy” answers your mind and ego will frantically throw at you to distract you from reality, drag you back down into the dream.
Another trap the Seeker encounters is external reward. Ooooh! Shiny! When you’ve spent your life trying to get people to look at something (whether it is something about us, or something about the world) when you start getting fame, money, sex, or adulation because of some perception you’ve offered to the world, it is tempting to offer some version of that same perception again…and again…and again…until you’ve forgotten the process that led you to that awareness in the first place, and have lost your way.
In the arts, this might be writing book after book about the same situation, or set in the same universe, or exploring the superficial aspects of some theme. Hell, you have to pay the bills, right?
And of course it’s true, you do, especially if you have a family. It might be wise to question the values of any artist who places his ego need to create or seek “truth” above the legitimate need of a child for food and shelter and security.
Navigating these waters is difficult, but necessary because we are ALL artists in one way or another, and our primary work of art is the lives we live. The artistic works, careers, physical bodies, and relationships are just external expressions of the lives we live from day to day, our day to day actions are the result of our beliefs, values, and emotional charges, and these things are the result of our relationship to Truth—whatever actually “is” and the degree to which we are in alignment with it.
Milton Erickson achieved miracles with his clients because he believed that, no matter what people said, what they really wanted were simple things in alignment with basic human nature: safety, security, sensual comfort, maturity, love, connection, success, health, a thriving family, self-possession, and graceful aging. It is reasonable to suspect that he regarded any denial of these things as lies the client told him, until proven otherwise.
“I don’t want a relationship.”
“I’m satisfied with my body as it is.”
“I don’t want money”
“I’m not afraid of anything.”
It is reasonable to look at Erickson’s pattern, or the Chakras, or Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as normal, healthy, and typical, and divergences from them as extraordinary and potentially maladaptive.
That that is truth, and that the stories people tell about not wanting those things are mostly interesting lies.
And as we explore the lies we tell ourselves, the lies others tell become more obvious, and an entirely new level of human understanding opens.
But by the way…confronting people with what you see is the FASTEST way to destroy relationships, unless you have permission. There is nothing harder than finding companions genuinely committed to the truth. Trust me.
This search, the quest to learn “what is True” or “who am I” are universals. All human knowledge can be subsumed under one or the other category. And the further you get from the core questions, the more trivial the answers become, the more likely that these are mere entertainments, side-lines, distractions for children. Cotton candy. Nothing wrong with cotton candy, as long as you don’t mistake it for genuine nutrients.
Nothing wrong with lies, as long as you don’t mistake it for truth.
If you want to deepen your art, your life, your search for love or protection of the relationships you currently have with others or Self, simply ask “what is true” and “who am I?” and continue to ask until you run out of language and arrive at answers of deep elegance and calm simplicity. And then go deeper.
Dreams are sweet, but they burden us, and morph into nightmares without warning.
The Truth will set you free.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:14 AM
Monday, January 06, 2014
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:42 AM
Friday, January 03, 2014
10. Thou Shalt Take Daily Action To Become Thy Best and Truest Self.
And now we’ve come to the final dictate, the 10th statement in the Soulmate’s Ten Commandments. Let’s take a look back at what we’ve done: clarified who we are and what we desire, committed to paying the price to be our true selves, demand that we settle for nothing less than a true expression of Self, and decide upon indirect action. Now what there is is to find the flow within our lives, to spend our days being who and what we were born to be. Finding a partner? First find yourself.
Years ago, Tananarive went to a fortune teller on a lark. She was told that she would find the love of her life AFTER she had evolved to the next level of excellence. Specifically, after she had become a writer. And so it happened.
One doesn’t need to be a fortune teller to know why this was excellent advice:
1) Even if she never met her future partner, she is engaging with life and fulfilling her dreams.
2) Being happy and engaged radiates positive “vibes”. It makes us more attractive.
3) Writing exposes your name to the public. People meet you, read you, and talk about you. The name “Tananarive Due” was in the public consciousness, and a mutual fan eventually asked me if I’d heard of her. In the same way, she watched one of my “Outer Limits” episodes and wanted to know who had written such a wierd, twisted, sick story. Ahem.
4) Writers associate with other writers. Eventually, our circles overlapped and we had the opportunity to meet, at a black SF conference in Atlanta. The rest is pretty much history.
But if she had moped around waiting to meet someone…
If she hadn’t operated her life so that her actions and presentation revealed her values…
If she hadn’t been unwilling to “settle” in relationships with men who did not love her, cherish her and see her genius…
Both our lives would have been very different. It takes courage and faith to walk alone in the world, while maintaining an open heart. To keep faith that love is not only possible, but a natural consequence of living in a particular dynamic way. To keep your eyes on the couples who commit for a lifetime, rather than the pity parties of men and women convinced that the opposite sex is worthless.
To see that, to a remarkable degree, we create the world we experience. What you do on a daily basis, and the way you do it, will determine who you are, and how the world sees you…and who you attract into your life. Your emotions will determine what you are willing to accept. Your clarity will decide whether you can recognize what and who you are dealing with.
There you have it, in most basic form: The Soulmate Process. It says that YOU are responsible for your relationship history, and that only you can change it.
The choice is yours.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:41 AM