The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thinkandgrowrich #2: Faith. New blog post

TAGR Principle #2: FAITH

The Second Principle: FAITH

When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly

Patrick Overton

It should be obvious to anyone who has been with me for a while that the principles of Think And Grow Rich are entwined deeply into every aspect of my life and teaching. The second principle, "Faith" is the same as the eighth principle of the Hero's Journey.

Defined as "evidence of thing not seen" this can be interpreted as a spiritual connection, or simply the capacity to believe that things, situations, and people can and will improve.

Any day that you wake up believing that today will be better than yesterday, this week better than last week, this month better than last month...

You will have energy, aliveness, joy, and creativity. The morning you wake up believing your best days are behind will experience depression, fatigue, hopelessness and a shroud of negativity that cloaks your mind like a wet dishrag.

YOU MUST BELIEVE. If you want to find love, change your finances, get into shape, or learn a new must believe.

This is why desire is so important. You have to want something so badly that you are willing to "buck" the evil, negative voices in your head. The ones that say the past is the best of your life, that men and women are unworthy of trust, that you are broken and finished.

To be specific:

1) In writing, almost everyone I knew and everything around me said I could not have the career I wanted. I committed to writing, finishing, and submitting 100 short stories, and papering my walls with rejection slips, before even considering quitting.

2) In martial arts: I was dealing with so much fear, pain, and negative belief around the arts that it took me NINETEEN YEARS to earn my first black belt. The emotional agony was excruciating. I'd been so hurt and shamed for being small and gentle growing up that my self-image as a weak, defenseless artist was totally at odds with my goal of becoming a warrior.

3) In love, I made such mistakes in my early life that there was a specific moment, alone in a bare-walls apartment a thousand miles away from my nearest friends and family, I clearly, CLEARLY understood the desire for suicide.

The connection, the way through, the only salvation was faith. In myself. In the world. In my companions. And yes, in a higher power. That works for me. It may not for you. But you will need faith, of some kind, to see you through. Belief that there is more than your self image, more than your current concept. More than what you can touch and taste and hear.

Faith is knowing you've been down before, and gotten back up, dammit. You can do this. You MUST do this.

You're the only one who can.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! Thank you for being a part of my life. Please get your FREE Xmas present:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Want motivation? More energy? New post on the power of DESIRE.
Stop being afraid to admit you want it all!

TAGR #1--Desire

"TRULY, "thoughts are things," and powerful things at that, when they
are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING
DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects."--Napoleon Hill

The bizarre thing about Think And Grow Rich is how almost every paragraph has been cannibalized by lesser writers, who have based entire lectures, courses, books and careers out on some single aspect of this insanely condensed and idea-rich book. You can open it at random on a given day, put your finger on almost any part of the page, and find life-changing concepts.

Every one of the thirteen principles, used deeply and mastered, would change your life. Any three of them would probably make you a rousing success. But say, seven of them? Any seven? If you re-read one of those seven chapters daily and implemented what it said? In a year or two, people would think you walked on water.

Let's get our feet wet, shall we?

The first principle is DESIRE. A burning, unquenchable DESIRE for your goals. Again, set goals in four arenas: physical health and fitness, love and relationship, mental performance/career/education, and monetary wealth.

These four interact, cross-reference, provide support and motivation for each other, and guarantee balance. You can have MORE goals, but be very certain that you cover at least these four. No one says it will be easy. It won't be. But I'd say 99.9% of people want all four of these things, while about 30% of people claim they don't. Someone is lying. I suggest you ask yourself if it is you.

It is comforting to pretend we don't really want things. that we have no desire to sing our song to the world as loudly and sweetly as we can in the trivial few days we have to live in this world. It is easy to lie to ourselves that we don't want the physical aliveness we had as children. We don't want the passion and love we desire. Don't want the financial success to create safe harbor for ourselves and our families. I've lost count of the people who've said: "I don't care about money"...and then gone on to describe ruined hopes and dreams that could be easily fulfilled with sufficient financial resources. Or causes they hold dear that will dwindle and die for lack of donations. Dreams of travel, education, or family comfort that could easily be assuaged

When we don't believe we can have something, or SHOULD have something, it is easier to simply pretend we don't want it. And those lies kill our dreams.

I would rather aim too high and be disappointed, than aim too low and fail to fulfill my potential.

I want the physical power, grace, and aliveness of a panther. I crave love, passion, and intimacy with a family and soulmate. I want to write stories that change the world and live for centuries beyond me. And I want such a surplus of money that I can be a benefactor to my family and the causes I believe in.

And I want them with a burning, driving, consuming passion...but also a slight sense of humor. I know it is a game. I'm prepared to lose. But I'm not going to sit on the bench in my own life, watching others play and wondering what I might have done if I'd just dared to get on the field.

I won't do it. THIS IS MY LIFE. The only one I get. The little boy inside me dreamed of being a writer, a martial artist, and having love.

By God, I went out and got him all those things. No matter the cost. No matter how many times I got knocked down. I was fighting for that little boy.

And he loves me for it. He is absolutely tickled at the man I am today...still standing, still singing my song. And the old man I will be on my deathbed is smiling at me as well: he knows that the money, the external success, even the external relationships are nothing more than an expression of what is happening inside me. Success is the result of CONSUMING DESIRE, sufficient to overcome obstacles, to be knocked down a million times and get up a million and one. To move through fear, and disappointment, and guilt, and shame. To be willing to overcome everything, no matter what.

I love that little boy inside me that much, dammit. My mother and father are gone. Have joined, in John D. MacDonald's great words, "the long, long line of the dead ones."

I am all he has. And I will fight to the last drop of blood for his dreams. Until the last breath. And I know that when my eyes close for the last time, he will be smiling at me. Loving me. Saying "you did good, Daddy."

And frankly? If that's all I get in life, that's all I need.



I'm going to be referencing this fantastic book often in the weeks and months to come. For your free copy, go to:

Monday, December 19, 2011

New blog post on the world's best self-help book
Free copy:

Once a year, I do this...

I am excited and honored to spend the next few weeks with you, exploring the world's greatest self-help book, THINK AND GROW RICH. I want to tell you WHY I offered this book free of charge ( and why it is so important to me...and I believe, to you.

My mother raised my wonderful sister Joyce and me by herself: she had divorced my father when I was about seven years old, and he simply wasn't around. Life was a struggle. I very clearly remember her cutting dandelions off the front yard so that we would have vegetables to eat. She struggled endlessly to provide basic needs, and had nightmares almost every night of monsters chasing and devouring her...the monsters of debt and fear.

We were poor in many ways, but she was careful to provide cultural opportunities, that we had a new World Book encyclopedia every year (by selling them herself!), that we had upper-class friends, and that we never thought of ourselves as poor.

And one of the things she did, that drove me crazy at the time, was play recorded versions of self-help books. Psycho-Cybernetics. "As A Man Thinketh." "The Strangest Secret." And..."Think and Grow Rich." Over and over again she played them, until I thought I'd go crazy. But you know what? They went deep. I heard those principles over and over again. Mom used them to survive.

But I was able to use them to thrive and succeed. I stood on her shoulders, not in her shadow. Bless her. Bless her from the bottom of my heart. She gave me the foundation of my life. I was a small, shy, pot-bellied four-eyed little fatherless nerd, bullied by everyone, even the girls. Few friends, nothing but a dream that one day I would have love, learn to fight back, and be able to share the crazy stories I had in my head with the world.

And now? I'm married to my soul-mate, have a fourth degree black belt and my doctor says my body is twenty years younger than my chronological age. My books have been published in at least eight languages, I've won multiple awards, been on the New York Times bestseller list, and I get fan letters every day, from all over the world, from people telling me my fiction and non-fiction has entertained, inspired them, and changed or even saved their lives.

I am blessed. And more than any other single work, teacher, or mentor, the book Think and Grow Rich is responsible.

I'm going to go over each of the thirteen major steps discussed therein. That will not be enough. You need to READ it. Again and again. I'd suggest once every year. Do what it says. Form a partnership with at least one other person with whom you share your dreams and hopes. If you don't have such a person (or even if you do!) join the 101 Board (

to support and be supported.

I will discuss everything in terms of what I myself have accomplished, my own struggles. No theory. I am excited because this is MY chance to go back through this book, remind myself of the principles that created my life. They are foundational. This is for myself, as much as any of you. Everything will be related to writing; physical power and health; and loving Self, finding the Soulmate, and building a family.

Won't you join me?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Body genius Scott Sonnon's new
TacFit Barbarian, on sale until
Monday. Totally love this guy and his work.

Saving the Best For Last

A goal is a dream with a deadline.
Napoleon Hill

We've had a great run with the

"Healing Emotions" series, and

as you can imagine, it's been

intense from a personal perspective

--I never ever teach anything that

I haven't used myself, and/or

taught to my "inner circle" of


Next, we're going to wind up

the year by revisiting the amazing

"Think And Grow Rich," the

absolute best-selling self-improvement

book of all time. . This will

cover EXACTLY how I used

its principles in my

own life. Having been exposed

to this work when I was about

seven years old (my Mom used

to play TAGR on record, over

and over, until I thought I'd go

nuts!) it has been the "background"

of my life since...forever. I

honestly believe anyone who

wants to master their lives

should re-read this book once a year.

If you don't have your own

copy of it, be sure to get you

free copyHERE before we

head down this road!


Tomorrow the Diamond Hour

has a very special guest, Susanne

Cook-Greuter. She is a world-class

adult development researcher /

developmental psychologist. We're

going to discuss the concept of

Human Adulthood, one of the

most important steps on the road

to awakening.

Saturday, Dec 17, 2011 1:00 PM

Pacific Standard time (4:00 PM Eastern)
Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)
(724) 444-7444

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A very different perspective on the "12 Trillion $ Debt" issue.

New Blog Post:
Healing Emotions 10: Teach Others
The final step!

Healing Emotions Step #10: Teach Others

The last step of the hero's journey is variously called "The Student Becomes The Teacher", "Return to the Village With The Elixer" and "Movement to the Higher Level." It represents the end of one phase of life, and the beginning of another.

Any experience that takes you through the "dark night of the soul" will teach you about who you really are. What reality really is. IF you learn the lesson, you will be changed forever. If you are not changed, if you repeat the previous behaviors, you did not learn the lesson.

Information that does not change behavior is trivial information, and useless. Or you did not learn it. Once a lesson is truly learned, it should not be possible to go back to the old way of doing things.

The "Hero's Journey" pattern is not a circle. It is a spiral, describing growth up a staircase described by the Yogic Chakras or Maslow's Hierarchy, or any of the other systems of deep though encoded in religions, philosophies and evolutionary systems around the world.

How can you know that you have moved to the next level? How do you anchor new knowledge in your body and mind?

1) Take consistent, new action.

2) Teach what you have learned to others.

I really like #2. Anything you have legitimately learned, that has changed your life for the better, you have the right and perhaps even obligation to teach. Take the self-pity out of it: a 10 year old can teach a 9 year old.

Once you have learned the path to healing your emotions: finding love, banishing (or re-interpreting) fear, dealing with shame or guilt or loss...join or start a support group. Mentor others. Blog about your experiences. Tell the truth, ruthlessly. Trust me: telling the truth helps "groove" it more deeply in your own consciousness, and also provides a beacon for others seeking a way out of their emotional morass.

The best way to be sure you know something is to teach it. Share it. Stand up and say, clearly, that it is possible to win. That there is hope.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness

That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small

Does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking

So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,

As children do.

We were born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;

It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.

--Marianne Williamson

Join the FREE 101 Board. Body, mind, relationships, and money. Explore balance in a supportive community.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Blog Post: Healing emotions #9:
Don't Let Victory Defeat You!

Healing Emotions #9--Don't let victory defeat you!

Healing Emotions #9--Don't let your Victories Defeat You!

Briefly the idea is this: If you don't soar too high, you won't fall too low. In other words, seek equilibrium. In the process of healing your wounded emotions, you are very likely to cycle between depression and exhilaration. In BOTH cases, it is useful to attempt to maintain balance.

When you are "up" you are in bliss, but not survival, and therefore it can be easier to gain perspective (survival fear creates "tunnel vision" like nobody's business. It can be almost impossible to interrupt that pattern without enormous effort). What you want is to avoid violent swings of the "wheel" of your emotions right or left. It is much like driving--when we first learn, we're likely to swing wildly. With time, we make tiny course corrections left and right until we appear to be traveling in a straight line.

The same thing is true of walking, a process of throwing your body out of balance...and then regaining...and then repeating the process again and again.

Not too high equals "not too low." People become literally addicted to the "swing" of their emotions, and it can tear them apart, lead to substance abuse, and open them to inappropriate relationships just because someone emotionally or sexually pushes their buttons.

Take control! Develop the capacity to sit slightly back from your emotions, witnessing them. If they are too extreme, detach a bit. If they seem healthy, jump into the flow and enjoy. You have this ability, but it must be practiced to be useful. In time, it will become automatic.

The very best way to change or "balance" your state: focus on your breathing. Hyper-excited breathing is simply different from balanced, happy breathing. Learn the difference. Tie it into your "Five Minute Miracle" practice.

You WILL have victories...but don't let them defeat you!



Get your FREE copy of the world's best-selling self-help book!

Diamond Hour!
Human Adulthood w/ Susanne Cook-Greuter
Sat, 12/17 1 PM (4:00 PM Eastern)
(724) 444-7444

Totally free copy of the world's best-selling self-help book:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Healing Emotions #8--Faith

When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly

Patrick Overton

A tricky subject that we'll try to unsnarl. Let me just say it plainly: you need faith. It doesn't have to be faith is an old man in the sky, or Gaia, or Universal Energy, or any trans-Natural force.

But it needs to be Faith in something beyond your own ego. Why? Well, in terms of healing your emotions, loss of love, betrayal, failure, disappointment, crushing depression...all of these things damage your sense of self-worth. Your ego concept "cracks". If you then attempt to rely on the ego to get you out of an ego That's like trying to sprint on two broken legs. You are trying to use the very tool that no longer functions, and will spiral deeper into the abyss.

This is no joke. Do a little research, and you'll find very, very few champions in any field who say that they accomplished what they accomplished "for themselves." No. It was for their family. Their school. Country. Team. Nation. God.

Fascinating. Look back into your own past, at your greatest challenges, and you will see that again and again you plunged into the depths of despair, and somehow, somehow, made it out the other side even though at the time you felt there was no hope.

Your old identity is like a sub-routine your brain is running, and it has the temerity to believe that it is you. And when it is damaged, it can literally die. In fact, EVERY time you move from one level of your life to another, every time you actually grow in a substantial way, your old self-image explodes, shrivels, disintegrates. And it will scream in terror. In fact, and pay attention to this: IT DOES NOT WANT TO DIE ALONE. It will literally destroy your body to preserve itself. If you identify with your ego, it will be impossible to progress consciously. Only the random overloading happenstance of life will take you to the other side.

So...what shall you have faith in? There are three things:

1) Your deep self

2) Your companions (allies and teachers)

3) A higher power.

That's it. One of the three. I know no others that cannot be subsumed in one of these three categories. Find one...or frankly, all three if it is within your belief system. There is NO way to avoid the bumpy road ahead. That is simply life. But what we can do is be stronger than our challenges.

Don't trust your ego. Go deeper. And wider. And truer.

See you on the other side!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Taking the Next Step

I'll continue on very soon and continue the process of emotional healing. What I wanted to do was to look again at what the entire process I've been working on since Lifewriting was still invented.

1) The first step was the realization that storytelling and human life are inextricably intertwined. That the structure of "story" represents the village elders telling the young people of the tribe "this is what your life will be. Therefore, it is possible to look at the structure of story and use it to sequence the resources you will need to accomplish any goal.

2) The second step was realizing that the Yogic Chakras represent a model for the path of growth toward becoming an awakened adult human being.

3) The third piece was the realization that the Hero's Journey could be viewed as the "path" between chakras--that as you finish one journey, you move to the next level and begin the next. While not an exact model of human growth (nothing that can be put into words can possibly be) it is pan-cultural, maps over with both ancient and modern thought, and offers a glimpse of an extraordinary dynamic process.

4) After spending twenty years grouping resources and varied philosophies, I've yet to find a major religion or philosophy that doesn't seem to be addressing the path formed by the intersection of these two models. Working with thousands of students over that time, the core concern seems to be finding a life of meaning while navigating this path.

5) You can walk this path from "the bottom up" (meaning--begin with a physical practice) or from "the heart out" (begin with a practice that concentrates on love, or the reduction of fear) but never, ever begin from the "head" down. In other words, intellectualization or purely spiritual practices don't work if they aren't anchored either in love, or physical reality.

6) The simplest way I've ever found of expressing the most useful thread in this path: imagine a line stretching from your childhood to your deathbed.

a) remember your childhood dreams.

b) clarify the values people actually hold on their deathbeds.

c) conduct your daily affairs in a manner to align with both of these.

Doing this seems to create a life of meaning, contribution, happiness, health, love, balance and success.

I invite you, as 2011 comes to an end, to address the three aspects of part 6. Journal about them. Look at your life, your career, your family and physical energy and work to align them in this way. You will have gone as far as you can go, at this moment in your life, toward wholeness and health. Take a step. As you do, you will see a little further. And that is all you need to do...take each step consciously and carefully and lovingly, in integrity with your fondest dreams and deepest values.

See you on the mountain!


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Want An Audiobook Sale?

Yesterday I got the following email (some information edited) from my agent, the wonderful and super-efficient Eleanor Wood:

Dear Steve:

I have an offer from for world English audio rights to DEVIL'S WAKE and DOMINO FALLS. The advance, payable on signing, is XXXX per book -- total XXXX -- against royalties. (I'll try for 15%, but I may have to take a slightly lower rate -- that hasn't been discussed.) The term of license is 7 years.

Audible pays royalties quarterly, which, if the audio edition does well, keeps money coming in...

Best wishes,



I love this, of course. Free money for a pair of zombie novels I had a great time writing! So here are the things you need to know to get an audiobook sale:

1) Have fun writing it. If it was fun to write, it will be fun to read.

2) Read your book aloud. Does it flow? Can you hear the characters' voices in your mind? Is the narrator's voice strong? Simply reading it aloud can make a gigantic difference--you won't believe how many mistakes you'll catch. Or how much more attractive your book will be to the Spoken Word people.

3) Most importantly: Write a good book. That's so simple, and people forget that basic truth. Do this FIRST. You'll learn all the skills you need to accomplish this in the FREE Lifewriting tip list. Come on, people! What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Stop Bullying NOW! New Facebook page:
Martial Artists Against Bullying
Come--share your stories and skills.

Heal your life, heal your heart
Self-love means love for everything and everyone.
Step #3:

Healing your heart: you deserve love, happiness, and wholeness
Step #3: Take Responsibility
New Video!

The Beatles Were Right!

I love my life. I get to actually give back to the world, on a daily basis. What could be better than that?

Last night, I got this email from a new student:


My name is, T. and I am in desperate need of your help. I currently have an 8 month old daughter whom I love very much. My boyfriend has always been a positive influence in my life, and is also the father of my beautiful daughter. I have a great family support sytem but am missing one thing in my life, HAPPINESS! After having my daughter I was put on Anti-depressants, because I had post-partum depression once my daughter was born. I am currently over-weight and have been working out everyday to try to make a positive change in my life. It just seems like no matter how hard I try to make a positive change, something negative in my body always brings me down and keeps me staying unhappy. I am very aware of failures in life and feel like after failing so many times, Ive never gotten back on the horse and encoraged myself to keep going; that's where you come in. At this point in my life I don't have alot of money, but I would like to take one of your programs listed on your website. I wanted to ask you which program you feel would fit me best? I need alot of spiritual enlightenment, and I need a lot of help in not letting fear get the best of me. Please let me know what program you recommend so that I can start on the path of actual living a happy successful life. I need balance, encourgaement, career success, inner happiness, ....... I overall just need your help. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon.


I want to answer this as bluntly as I can. While I love making money, these messages are not ABOUT that.

1) You start with love, T. A daily practice of heartbeat meditation (sitting quietly, listening to your own heartbeat for 15-20 minutes a day) is calming and healing.

2) Journal daily, re-writing your goals daily WITHOUT looking at the previous day's list. Remind yourself what you are fighting for.

3) Visualize your beloved daughter as you meditate. Your own "child" essence is every bit as precious. See yourself, as a child, safe within your heart.

This, plus the free information in these notes, is a lifetime of work. You can accelerate this process by following the instructions in the 101 PROGRAM, or MASTERING F.E.A.R.

But I'm going to be honest: you don't NEED them.

It's like the Beatles said: All you need is love.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Doing for others, doing for self

One of my writing students is having a hard time staying on track, and I encouraged her to break her goals down into smaller chunks. Her reply:


Okay. I'm not sure how much easier it can get than a two to three page story every other week, though. I know I need to more diligently set my boundaries re: work and my personal life, that's really the crux as I see it. I'll work like the dickens for other people's children but neglect my own things, lose sleep and squash my momentum. It's an old story. The issue is always, how do I do what I need to do for myself (i.e. write and read) when there is so much to be done for the children (and not enough time at work to do it). Because these are people, children, I feel the weight of my responsibility towards them. It is a quandary that has continually frustrated me. I could quit, but desperately need the cash right now - my back's all up against the wall yada yada. My goal is to make this situation very very temporary, but in the meantime…. I guess I'll have to keep my eyes on the prize and do what I can.



Dear "L"

it isn't a matter of forcing yourself. It is a matter of clarifying your values. YES! You are teaching them. But WHAT are you teaching? To sacrifice their own lives? To kill their dreams? Or to soar? There is only one way to teach--by example. I encourage you to do for yourself what you are asking them to do: keep commitments, hold onto their dreams, fight frustration, take small steps until they cover large distances.

You can't fake it, hon.


Monday, December 05, 2011

New Video:
Healing Emotions #2: Admitting Fear

Healing Emotions #7: Collapsing to the Center

Healing Negative Emotions

7) Dark Night of the Soul--Collapsing to the Center

This is a delicate topic today, and I want you to consider carefully:

If it is inevitable that we suffer defeat, and that the approach to any major goal will cause a defeat that puts a crack in our ego shell, and WE KNOW THIS IN ADVANCE...

Then it behooves us, as aspiring adults, to arrange our lives so that these blows smash us in productive ways. This is one of the reasons why we encourage you to take responsibility for goals and results in the three major arenas of your life. BALANCE.

Ever see a movie like "The Manhattan Project"? Where the kid is constructing a home-made atomic bomb? The goal is to create a critical mass of fissionable material. That requires plastic explosive to drive all of the U-238 inward into a sphere at a single critical instant, triggering the desired *boom*. Just a fraction off in any direction, and you don't get that bigger explosion.

Now, it's not very likely that you're going to have a critical "breakdown/breakthrough" in all three arenas at the same time, but the implication here is that if you did, you might be able to trigger one of those "Saul on the road to Damascus" spontaneous enlightenment moments. While I hav no idea how to trigger that, or even if it would be desirable, or if there is any discipline in the world that attempts to choreograph breakthrough in all three arenas simultaneously, there IS wisdom in aligning yourself so that breakdowns will, over the course of a year or so, proceed in a balanced fashion.

It is popular to blame relationship issues on social factors, pointing out the high statistics of divorce. It is popular to blame "the economy" for our finances. And it is popular to blame factors outside our own behaviors for our weight problems. Plenty of agreement for all three. The doorway to the Pity Party is right over THERE.

But...if you take the short line. If you reject the notion that your life is out of your control, ah...that's very different. And extraordinarily powerful. One of the reasons we perform "Inner Child" meditation is that we often cannot take such responsibility for ourselves. We simply don't love ourselves enough. But most of us CAN rise to the higher level when our families or children are at risk: that's how we're wired up.

By creating an image of ourselves as a young, helpless child, it becomes easier to see that we simply cannot continue to blame things outside ourselves for our life situation. If we do, our "children"--our dreams, our hopes, our intentions in the world--will suffer horribly.

If you have committed to giving 100% of your effort to protecting that spiritual/emotional essence, that innocent core of your being. The "child" wants to look at the external factors and blame them for everything wrong: "a dog ate my homework!"

The "adult" knows that someone, somewhere, must be the bottom line. You have to be willing to hurt, to bleed, to cry, to really feel the pain of letting yourself down...but simultaneously identify with that precious, perfect child within you, always filled with love and hope. It is a tricky balance to maintain. Most of us can maintain one or the other, but only a lucky, gifted, or committed few can handle both.

See it as concentric circles, or spheres. The outer toughness, the inner heart. Think of it as male and female, yang and yin, adult and child, any other metaphor that works for you--they're all just labels to help you grasp the ineffable. Choose your goals in balance, and when failure comes, "collapse to the center"--inward to your beloved child, where you are prepared to give your life to protect what is most precious.

Bare your teeth. Put your back to the wall, that precious essence protected behind you. You are the bottom line. You would go into a burning building to protect your infant son or daughter, wouldn't you?

You owe yourself no less. The Dark Night of the Soul will come. You have to find something worth fighting for, worth living for, worth dying for...if you would survive it.

Your dreams, your love, your heart...can and should be that "something."


Friday, December 02, 2011

Diamond Hour Show tomorrow!
Dec 3, 1:00 PM Pacific (4:00 PM Eastern)
(724) 444-7444
increasing energy

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Why the heck do I spend so much time teaching people?
The video answer:

Healing Emotions #6: Expect Failure

There is never, ever a straight line to any worthy and challenging goal. This is one of the rules we learn in childhood, and then arrange to forget every single day. Why?

Well...the "Hero's Journey" details the not a circular path (ending back at the beginning) but a four-dimensional spiral traveling through time, space, emotions and personal evolution. A true journey ends with the person NOT back where they began, but beginning the next level of their development. They may "return to the village" but the very act of bringing "the elixir" changes their status, and therefore the nature of challenges and opportunities they will face next.

And this is where it gets dicey: the ego perceives change, either positive or negative, as "death" and will fight to maintain homeostasis. That means that if you attempt positive change, it will work to sabotage you, UNLESS that change is in alignment with your self-image and pre-existing belief patterns and values. Ever wonder why it's so hard to lose weight? Increase income? Improve relationships? There you go.

And in terms of healing your heart, you'd better grasp that if you have a pattern of self-harm, or attracting and accepting people who harm you, some part of you is getting off on it. Believes that this is what you are worth. An ugly, ugly truth.

And that part, that does NOT want you to change, will make you forget that this pattern of growth is always, 100% of the time (for all practical purposes) accompanied by failure. Look at any skill you've ever acquired: walking, talking, riding a bicycle, whatever...and realize that you failed again and again. Fell down. Bruised yourself.

But you got back up again, and kept trying, or you never would have learned. We lose this as we get older--our ego shells are thicker, less flexible, more convinced that we "know" who we "really are." So when we resolve to change, then take action, and begin learning new skills, it is inevitable that we fall on our faces. Depression returns. The inappropriate relationship resurfaces. We pick up a cigarette. Break our diets. Get writer's block.

And if we interpret this as signifying that "we can't", "it's hopeless", "I can't do it" and so forth, your ego has fooled you into believing that you ARE your internal images, beliefs and values.

Once again, ego wins.

But if you take the long view, look at what the Elders of the world's villages have been saying about the path of life (and have been saying it for at least 10,000 years of recorded storytelling) you will get the joke. Realize that "failure" is just a sign that you were one of the very few with the courage to step up to the plate, and take a swing at the ball.

Celebrate your courage. Pick yourself up. Get back on the horse. You are bloodied, but unbowed. "Failure" is just a part of the process. Re-commit to your values and goals. Remember that you are the only one who can set yourself free.

Keep going. Never quit. If necessary, cycle back and get more allies, more resources. Believe in yourself. Love yourself like you would love your own most precious child.

Understand, before you begin, that YOU WILL FAIL. Understand also, that if you pick yourself up and keep going, YOU WILL WIN. That is the message the village elders have been telling you. Life is a bumpy road. It is tough.

Be tougher, dammit.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Every day is a new chance. But there is no time, no room for self-pity.

Love yourself without mercy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Blog post: healing emotions #5:
resources and allies

Healing Wounded Emotions #5: Allies and Resources

First, a recap of the first four steps:

1) Acknowledging that there is healing to be done.

2) Dealing with the fear and pain of that acknowledgement

3) Accepting responsibility for change

4) Creating a daily ritual of action

One important thing to do in accomplishing any goal is to grasp that, if you aren’t doing something, you may not currently have the resources to do it. We resist this, believing that we can accomplish anything if we just try harder. Or conversely, we fear that if we admit that we aren’t currently accomplishing something, it means that it is beyond our ability completely. There is a middle path—which is simply to take the position that we have the innate capacity to do something, but must gather new skills or allies to fulfill our potential.

Take a hard look at the skills and resources you currently possess. Then, by modeling the behaviors and lives of people who have accomplished what you are trying to do, determine what is necessary to reach your dreams. Subtract what you currently have from what you require, and what remains are the skills, attitudes, resources and allies you must gain in order to hit the mark.

In terms of healing your emotions, this might include (but is not limited to:

1) Support groups

2) Meditation techniques

3) Journaling or dream-journaling

4) Therapy

5) Joyful activities

6) New attitudes

7) New beliefs and means of implanting them (hypnosis, NLP, etc.)

8) Spiritual community.

9) New friends and associates

10) New mentors and teachers

It can be especially painful to admit that current associates and relationships can be negative or damaging. We sometimes feel that if we walk away from what we have, or demand respect and support from our intimates, that we will be alone. But if we are not willing to stand up for ourselves…no one else will.

Remember Step #3? Accepting responsibility for our healing? Well, I’m deadly serious about that. You have to DEMAND support and respect, or have the self-love necessary to go and find the resources you need.

If you don’t have resources outside yourself, then you have to find them within. Journaling and Heartbeat Meditation require no outside help, and can, over time, accomplish miracles. Start with deep, unquestioning love for self…and if you can’t manage that, start with the COMMITMENT to develop a deep and unquestioning love for yourself. It is critical to your survival as a spirit, and as a human being.

Settle for nothing less.


If you have no healthy community, and lack resources, PLEASE feel free to join the free 101 DISCUSSION BOARD:

Steven Barnes


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blog Post: healing emotions #4
Video: healing emotion #1
no fear!

Healing Emotions #4: The Daily Ritual

Healing Emotions #4

Take Constant Action: the Daily Ritual

Damaged emotions, especially lost love, guilt and shame, can lead one into a spiral of depression, ending in literally curling into a foetal ball under the covers and wanting the world to go away.

Once this pattern has begun to assert itself, it can be absolute hell trying to break it. You don't have the energy, will, self-love, or resources. The answer is to

1) Have a technique that will break the spiral once it has begun.

2) Have a ritual you perform EVERY SINGLE DAY, rain or shine. This should be such a small investment of time and energy that if you don't do it, you KNOW that you are letting yourself down.

The "Five Minute Miracle" fits this bill perfectly. Learn it at:

It is

1) Quick

2) Effective

3) "Load"-able (in other words, you can deepen the practice by learning breathing techniques from other disciplines, or increasing intensity by extracting lessons from running, weight training, yoga, martial arts, etc. You can practice Heartbeat Meditation as you breathe. Visualize your goals and intentions. Visualize white light. The possibilities are endless)

4) Customizable. In the case of damaged emotions, I suggest that FIVE times during every day, during your "5MM" sets, you look in the mirror (or imagine yourself speaking to your "inner child") and say "I love myself." If you have any issues with self-love, you will hear voices saying crap like: "this is stupid" "it is wrong to love yourself" "who are you kidding" and so forth. Ask yourself this critical question: WHOSE VOICES ARE THOSE? Write the answers in your journal.

5) Requires no outside assistance or cooperation.


Remember that by the time you NOTICE you are depressed, you are in the "Abyss" and it can be too late to voluntarily stop the cascade of emotional, psychological and physiological just have to ride it out. But if you re-train your breathing, it is possible to create a Pavlovian stimulus-response loop between negative input and positive, generative response.


This five minutes can be the most important time in your entire day. You can spend more time, of course: add meditation, exercise, joint mobility, Five Tibetans, journaling, hugs, whatever else you want, until you have expanded upwards to a "Diamond Hour" of daily work.

The trick is that you do at least five minutes DAILY. No one lacks five minutes to save their own lives. If you can't carve out that time, you have effectively defined a major problem in your life. Make a commitment: after you spiral back up out of the depression (you probably will), find the resources and allies necessary to help you through the NEXT time you are depressed. You'll be there again.

But if you follow these suggestions, and treat yourself gently...the next time, you'll rise as fast as you fell.


Monday, November 28, 2011

"The questions we ask determine the quality of the answers we get."--Charles Johnson

New video: the "Mind Reading" process. Never buy b.s. again. Bullet-proof yourself from con artists and liars.

Winning all the marbles.
New Blog Post

All The Marbles

The following was posted on the 101 Board this morning, by LaVeda, who is an angel. I wish I'd had this to send to you for just consider this my way of thanking all of you for being a part of my life. (And join the 101 Board to ask any questions about body, career, or relationships!


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ...'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You and The Walking Dead
New Blog Post! This one's a no-brainer...

This morning, the dead rose...

As they do every morning

As I sat in meditation, all of the corpses of past dreams, beloveds, concepts and shattered goals rose up, shuffling toward me with their rotted fingers reaching for my flesh...

I concentrated, finding the light within, blasting them as they twitched and moaned and begged me to join them in their death-march, but again, I chose life.

Always, life. Every morning they seek my flesh, and the flesh of my loved ones, my current dreams. They have no pity, no soul, no mercy. They never stop, ever. They whisper lullabyes from their rotted lips, soothing me to sleep. Shhh...don't worry. Don't strive. Don't seek the light. Don't re-commit to your deepest values.

Stop seeking the dreams you held in childhood. Give up. Death is inevitable. Why try...?

Because I live another day. Because I have sworn to make this a better world for my children, and my children's generation. Because it is my nature to be a warrior, and I do not know how to lay down and die.

They come at me in endless waves, but so long as I remember that this day, this moment in time, is all I have to live and love and remember the gifts I have been given...I see the light. And in the full force of that light, all those fears and shadows and fallen yesterdays are revealed as the mouldering ghosts they are.


Yeah, this, if you know what I mean.

It was a damned good morning. Heck...every day above ground is a good day.


I tried to keep those old prices down. I really did. Shot them in the head and heart, but all I could do is put them down for about 72 hours. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up at 6:30 est, stumble to my computer and I'll have to let them loose once again. So go to my store NOW and claim your prize...this one is a (cough) No-Brainer!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Blog Post: the door to Awakened Adulthood

The Thanksgiving "Black and White" sale on writing and self-help courses (including "Mastering FEAR" ends tomorrow

Black And White Sale

Just through Sunday Night, 50% off almost everything in my store:

The 101 Program...formerly

49.95, now only 29.00!

The Ultimate Lifewriting Bundle

(Lifewriting Year Long plus "Focus and Flow"

...formerly 169.95, now only 99.00!)

Tananarive Due's "Secrets of a

Writer's Life"...formerly 29.95

only 19.00!

The bestselling "Warrior Sleep"

program...formerly 19.95...

now only 9.00!

The bestselling Lifewriting

Year Long program...formerly only 89.95!

Hero's Journey program...

formerly only 69.95!

Mastering F.E.A.R....formerly only 29.95!

Right now! Either click the

link below, or cut and paste

it into your browser. Do

yourself a HUGE favor, or

stock up for Xmas presents.

Don't miss it!

Door to your future

I spent an hour this morning meditating, trying to dig down to some older "circuits" of my personality. My family needs me to expand my definition of myself, and it is hella hard to change patterns that have been generative, and healthy, and productive for decades.

The kid inside me wants martial arts, family, and writing. And when I look back over my life, despite a sometimes bumpy road, those three things have been constant, and I've exceeded my original specifications for success many times. Good going, kid.

But now I have to change that, to provide not just physical security, but to be certain that I am remaining true to my dreams, my ultimate values, AND the demands of the current situation. And this is where it gets funky.

Tried to lose weight when you attach your core identity or survival needs to the flesh cushion? Ever wonder why you can't stay on a "diet" or exercise program? Hah.

Tried to improve a relationship, or find one, when everything in your heart says it will lead to pain, it is too late, there are no good men/women, or that you have nothing to offer? Watch yourself sabotaging efforts and rejecting "nice" people while being attracted to bastards and bitches? Hah.

Tried to master your finances when everything in your heart tells you money is evil, that you mustn't exceed your father's success, that money makes you a target, or that it "takes money to make money"? Watch yourself neglecting to balance your checkbook, knock on doors, make calls, find yourself hallucinating that buying a lottery ticket is an "investment"? Hah.

We're such silly creatures. But these are not "flaws." They are evidence of survival wiring, and as such you need to go deep. DEEP inside, find the fears, and de-inhibit them slowly and carefully, like defusing a bomb or charming a nest of snakes.

I compare it to overhauling your car while driving on the freeway. Without stopping.

There is nothing easy about this. There has never been an owner's manual. I believe the secrets related to how to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit were specific to our original tribal lives, but recreating them for a more dynamic world is driving us crazy.

I also believe that the answers are there--but you must be careful in winding together the disparate strands, which can be found in pieces from cultures around the world. The secret is that you must center your learning EITHER around healing your heart OR strengthing your body. Either is generative, and will lead to growth in other levels. If you try to sort through this stuff head-first you risk falling into a pit of ego-vipers.

Heart: heal your emotions, strengthen your spirit, form a healthy romantic/sexual relationship with a mature human being and build a life together.

Body: Master your body (any discipline will do), then learn to take that energy into expressing healthy sexuality, building a career, and finding a healthy relationship.

Either approach will do. Find the rules in the culture, religion, philosophies that appeal to you. Seek the answers that "cluster" around these two points, and make them yours. Discard anything that doesn't speak to these--trust me, if they are valid, you will re-discover them as you grow.

Trust your own experience. When it is in alignment with modern theory and ancient wisdom, you've found your way. When your way is in alignment with your childhood dreams and your deathbed values...

You have found the door to Awakened Adulthood.

Open the door. The friends you'll make on the other side are remarkable spirits indeed.