The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What It Takes To Get Everything

Almost fifty years ago, a bully (backed up by his brother and two friends) were beating the hell out of me on Washington Boulevard near Crenshaw in Los Angeles, and I hit threshold, realized that I simply couldn't allow myself to be shamed and humiliated in such a way. I was being destroyed psychologically, one piece at a time. And knew I would rather die than continue being crushed in this way. And I walked out into the middle of the street, standing on the double yellow lines with trucks whizzing past me on both sides, looked at my tormentor and said "come out here and do that."

He looked at me, and I looked at him, and I thought to myself that if he came out, I was going to push him in front of a car. I was going to try my level best to kill him. He saw his death in my eyes.

And in case you didn't know, one of the real, basic secrets of the martial arts is the attitude: "I'm ready to die, and I'm ready to take you with me." You simply can't get stronger, more feral, more dangerous than such an attitude. This is one of the reasons that most martial arts systems have rule and laws about when the art is to be used: under what circumstances, what provocations, what people. This isn't just about being "a good person." It is about unleashing the most basic core of your survival energy. The person willing to die is a martyr. The person ready to die killing his enemy is a warrior.

This emotional "burning of the bridges" removes all the b.s. All the illusions. All the excuses. It is the most powerful position you can come from, and should only be accessed when defending your sacred honor, or the lives of loved ones.

Or...your dreams. The "Ancient Child" asks you to get in touch with your heart, and the love within you. Then to create an internal representation of the different levels in your life ("chakras") in which our unconscious mind can provide visual representations of your clarity and health (represented by light) on each of these levels. Then to create a representation of your "inner child"--the child you were before striving in the external world wore down your uniqueness. You take the love you've found in your Heartbeat Meditation, and pour it into this child symbol. You vow to protect that precious essence at ALL costs. There is NOTHING worth betraying this essential self. Nothing. Everything you do has to be in alignment with your dreams and core values, in one way or another. It is up to you as an adult to figure out how to do this--either adjust your attitude toward what you are doing, or you change what you do. But one way or another, if you want to live with the greatest passion, the greatest pleasure, the greatest success, every step you take in life needs to acknowledge who and what you are at the deepest level. Everything you do has to be a way of answering the two most important questions in life: "who am I?" and "what is true?"

Fifty years ago, the answer was: "someone willing to die before I will be broken." At that moment I found the bed-rock of my life. When I wanted to become a writer, I knew I had to want it so badly I was willing to die trying. When I wanted to create a healthy, thriving, passionate relationship I knew I had to be willing to sacrifice all my illusions about myself in favor of a glorious but sometimes frightening reality. Parenthood? If you aren't willing to do everything, EVERYTHING essential for your child, don't have them.

 I get two hundred and fifty bucks an hour for coaching, but I really don't want your money--I'd rather give you the technology for free or as close to free as I can afford without stealing from my family. I searched the world for answers, was willing to travel a thousand miles to spend ten minutes with someone who could give me a straight answer about how to deal with fear, doubt, lack of clarity or motivation, dishonesty, or any aspect of performance. And...found answers.

And my best, simplest way of conveying what I found is the Ancient Child technique. Master that, and you can bring your dreams into reality.

All it takes to get everything you everything you've got.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three Weeks two days?

I have a client who feels that she has totally destroyed her life in some critical ways. Much of this relates to childhood trauma--being forced to take on too much responsibility, too soon...leading to resentments when she married and had her own family, leading to the breakup of hat marriage and estrangement from her children. She lives as a consultant, intelligent woman, making just enough money to support her lifestyle, almost a hundred pounds overweight and suffering from a sense of no goals, no direction, nothing but floating in an ocean of pain.

Well...I've begun teaching her the ANCIENT CHILD meditation technique, and of course the tools in the 101 PROGRAM. I am SOOOO happy I created these programs, because they forced me to get very very concise about processes I've gathered over forty-odd years of searching for the best techniques from around the world. I was able to tell her the following:

1) Start with the Five Minute Miracle: breathing breaks, every 2-3 hours.
2) Begin to listen to your HEARTBEAT during one of those breaks, expanding out to 15 minutes.
3) You don't have goals? Now you do. Your goal have clear goals.
4) Begin to move her body. Every day, starting with gentle yoga.
5) Forgive herself for not being perfect. Remember that she has done the best she can with the resources she has.
6) Visualize light inside her body. Form that light into a child, of whatever size and age is appropriate for the amount of light she finds. Begin the work of healing this internal relationship. (A critical step in the Ancient Child process)
7) Keep a journal. Write the "Childs" thoughts with your non-dominant hand.
We talked about where the energy and creativity of her childhood vanished in a mire of adult responsibilities, and the way out of the nightmare is becoming an Awakened Adult. Years of work for her...but with VERY rapid results if you actually do the work (isn't that always the catch?)
Within a single week after I gave her this homework, she was excited and burbling with joy. The "Ancient Child" had made her first connection: normally, she said, the "editor" in her head makes her hunt and peck on projects, and she is paid by the report. But rather than agonizing for weeks as she usually did, she generated a report in TWO DAYS. Two days. About ten times faster than her usual speed. All because the little girl inside her was enthusiastic because "mommy" was talking to her. Loved her. Was proud of her, and promised to take care of her.

You have to understand the power of internal symbols. And the degree to which our core personalities are formed in childhood. And...the degree to which all of our creativity, joy and flow relates to finding a way to connect our childhood dreams and our adult needs. This is the foundation of a "Zero Strain Life"--there will always be stress. The trick is not "driving with your brakes on" which is what happens when we ignore our needs, values, and emotions.

She was so grateful to me, but I don't want that. I want her to be grateful to HERSELF for having the courage, clarity and self-respect to begin the healing process. Grateful to the Divine, however she represents that, for giving her everything she needs to thrive and grow, right now, the instant she begins to walk the Thousand Mile Road.

We all have all we need, if we only begin to access it. I am proud to be a coach, but that's all I can do. I can point to the mountain, but SHE has to climb it. I can lead you to the track, but YOU have to run the laps. Tell you of a book, or technique, but YOU have to read it and practice it.

Everything you need, in the last place most of us want to look. Within our own hearts.

Submitted for your approval...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Sleep On It"

Yesterday, I sent off three separate projects:
1) A script for the short zombie movie "DANGER WORD" we're filming in New York in June.
2) The treatment for the "My Soul To Keep" film investors are interested in making (I'd call this highly speculative. Movies are like that)
3) The proposal for a series of novels based on a certain Oscar-winning movie from last year. Let's just say it's a genre I've never written before, and that therefore I'm excited. Important to know how to push your own buttons!

There are about five other projects in varying stages of preparation as well, and I have to be careful not to stress out. The point, as I tell my students continuously, is that the secret to juggling multiple projects is NOT to keep them all in your conscious mind constantly. That way lies killing stress. What I find preferable is:
1) To have each project in its own folder or binder, physical or computer-based.
2) To work on no more than two projects in a given day.
3) To know EXACTLY what project I'm going to work on first thing tomorrow, and ask myself clear questions about it at night before I sleep.
4) To have a simple, ingrained structure correlating character and story. Overlearned. In this way, it is similar to a chess master playing multiple games. He doesn't try to remember the games--he can look at the board and know everything that has happened, and what has to happen to execute his own strategy. Makes his move. Then forgets that board and moves on to the next.

I can look at any given project, and ask myself questions about the character or the plot that IMMEDIATELY yield new insights or information. At the least, it raises questions that open new doors. I never worry about what I "don't know" about a project. Concentrating on what I DO know is quite sufficient, and if I explore the known and define the unknown, invariably if I take an overnight break (sleep on it) when I come back I know a little more: either more information, or questions I hadn't considered.

Proceeding in this fashion, what happens is that if I rotate between projects, just doing what can be done that day, that the shape of the story emerges more clearly without apparent "effort." It is just doing 1000 words a day...every day...wherever a project speaks to me.

That seems to be the key. Do what CAN be done to feed your "machine" and don't worry about the rest. I think this works in any area of your life. Clearly define the issue, do what CAN be done in a given day, rotate between projects, and allow your unconscious to do its role by "sleeping on" questions.

Huge amounts of work, with little stress. I like that combination.

presented for your approval...

"Morning Ritual" and "Ancient Child"

The new "7.00 or FREE" program is a resounding success, and I can't wait to follow up on it. It allows me to plan and execute lectures rapidly, and make them available to my tribe at a very reasonable cost--or free to anyone with need. I just received the following email (identifying data redacted)"

"--ALSO, thank you so much for the Morning Ritual! We've only been doing it for three days, my daughter and I, and I'm seeing an improvement -- at least in MY attitude. I've been struggling with what exercises to do in the morning with her, and have been sharing some yoga videotapes with her, but today I decided to simplify it and just do a sun salutation with her, since that's something I'm familiar enough with to guide her through it. This morning was just perfect. I've made one small modification too, and at the end, I say a prayer and give thanks with her. Your morning ritual has totally changed the energy of our mornings -- this was the first really peaceful morning we've had in a long time! Thank you!"

My reply:

"Fabulous. Remember it is a long-term program, not a short-term fix. The deeper your calm, the less her storms will define her. Treat it as if she is a clear station, but your radio is picking up static. Focus on the signal, not the noise. And blessings to you both."

Observant folks will notice that the "Morning Ritual" and the "Ancient Child" programs dovetail neatly. That only makes sense--all of these lessons are a matter of teasing out the actual practices that compose the outer structure of my life. I cannot put a price on their value, what they have done for me, and am grateful that you consider them to be of value as well. No gimmicks. No gathering of email addys. I practice the "Ancient Child" on a daily basis, and that enhanced intuition has told me, in no uncertain terms, to empty myself out as rapidly as possible. Thank you for helping me accomplish this...and there is more to come, soon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Olympus Has Fallen" (2013)

The term "perfection of the absurd" would apply this this Gerard Butler vehicle, if only it were perfect. It isn't, but as a "leave your brain at the door" movie, I had to admit I never looked at my watch, burrowed through a giant box of popcorn, and enjoyed it about ten times more than the latest "Die Hard", which franchise it apes so precisely I expected John McClaine to show up in the Lincoln bedroom looking for his shoes.

Basically, Butler plays a disgraced Secret Service agent (you know why if you saw the coming attractions) following an incident where, apparently, an owl breaks a pane of bulletproof glass in the presidential limousine. Don't ask. Eighteen months later the White House is attacked by North Korea, and our boy Butler is the only one in the world who can Save The Day.

Listen: leave your big boy pants at home. If you can't wrap your mind around the fact that it exists in its own universe, a cross between Die Hard and "24", you don't belong in the theater. Some of the effects are a tad iffy, some of the emotional through-lines aren't played for maximum charge (some business with the President's son could have been juiced much more, and should have been paralleled with a sub-plot about Butler's own family for maximum impact) and some last-act business about nuclear weapons was an eye-roller to say the least.

Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman show up as highly placed government types hunkering in bunkers, display charisma and total professionalism as they try not to laugh, and collect hefty paychecks. Tough talk is exchanged, martial arts techniques are blisteringly applied in shadowed rooms suitable for concealing expert stuntmen, and there is much gunplay, many exploding objects, and sharp thingies pierce vulnerable sections of human anatomy. A tough female secretary of state sings a patriotic song while being dragged by the hair, and it's one of the least absurd moments of the evening.

But I found it great fun. And oddly heartening, an odd statement about how safe the world has become that, in Hollywood's neverending search for supervillains for the superheroes of the world we've moved from major enemies like nation-states to rogue generals, industrialists and neo-Nazis to terrorist organizations and now a tiny country that can hardly launch a skyrocket without embarrassing themselves. In the larger scale of things, that's one of the most optimistic developments in years.

Oh, what the heck: my inner twelve year old gave it a B+. He LOVES this kind of nonsense. If you can't dial your head down that far...beware.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Birthday--Your Present: The Ancient Child

My Birthday--Your Present: The Ancient Child Meditation

by Steven Barnes on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 8:50am ·
(It was actually on the 1st--I celebrate my birthday all month!)

WHEW! I've been sooooo busy, writing the "Danger Word" short film, promoting "Domino Falls," getting Jason ready for his CRCT tests at school, juggling four different novels, working on the breakthrough "Erotic Intelligence" program with Amara Charles, and more...but I've had an obsession for the last year, and today marks a major step in that direction.

The point is this: some of my products are the result of my own thought and experimentation over the course of my life and career. These, I feel perfectly comfortable offering as commercial products. But some are the direct result of spiritual transmission from teachers who trusted me with uncommon knowledge. The blessings I have received have been beyond price. So I am making this course available to ANYONE who needs it. The cost is either 7.00 or totally free to anyone who has a genuine financial emergency.

This technique, which has a minimum time investment of ONE MINUTE A DAY, a basic investment of FIVE MINUTES A DAY, and an optimal investment of TWENTY MINUTES A DAY is a complete basic course connecting you to your internal world:

1) Stress relief
2) Emotional healing
3) Enhanced intuition
4) Energy
5) Goal setting
6) Self love

And much, much more. If you are dealing with serious abuse issues, IN COMBINATION WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR, you will find this technique something akin to a miracle. Writer's block? A thing of the past.

I've been working on this release for almost a year. It is "generative" in the sense that if you will practice it, and journal your results, you will gain all the self-knowledge you need to move to the next level in your life. This is a treasure trove, what I would call a "living sigil." A "sigil" is a magical tool created by layering one symbol upon another. Well, the ANCIENT CHILD is this idea applied to meditation techniques. Over forty years of practice, research and study with some of the greatest methodologies and teachers in the world led to this moment.

I offer this gift as a thanks to you, to my teachers, and to the universe itself for the bountiful life I enjoy, one filled with love, laughter, adventure, success, health, energy, creativity and contribution. I sincerely wish the same for each and every one of you.

This course, offered FREE to anyone in genuine need, is priceless--to anyone who will actually use it. yourself a favor and take advantage. The dreams you save may be your own.

Here's your link:


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A Black Belt article I wrote on Bruce Lee...

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Newborn Baby cured of AIDS--and the power of doubt

I love science: Newborn baby cured of AIDS

Follow that link, and you'll reach what might be one of the most important stories of our time. When I published this earlier, immediately the mre technically minded tried to tear it apart, asking important questions about initial conditions, verification, correlation and causality. No, they didn't "want there to be no cure" as a few others implied. Rather, these people REALLY want a cure, and refuse to waste their energy supporting wishful thinking. They follow the path of one of the greatest gifts to the world, the Scientific Method.

Roughly speaking, the pattern of this method is:
1) Observe a phenomenon
2) Postulate a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon
3) Design an experiment to test your hypothesis
4) Perform the experiment.
5) If unsuccessful, reformulate the hypothesis and perform another experiment
6) If successful, publish the experiment so that others can attempt to disprove your hypothesis.

This cycle is one of amazing power, and you can use it in any aspect of your life. Let's say that you want to increase your energy (always a good thing!)
1) You observe people who display the kind of energy you covet, and also keep a journal noting your own energy from day to day.
2) You interview these people, and notice that their patterns of exercise, hydration, eating, and resting are different than your own. You further notice that the days you feel best follow certain patterns of behavior: non-smoking, positive thinking, lovemaking, going to bed earlier, whatever.
3) You choose 1-3 of these behaviors, and implement them in your life.
4) You KEEP A RECORD of the results. Every day, write down how you feel on a scale of 1-10
5) Continue the new pattern for 30 days. Note the results. If negative, try different elements of the "difference" you noticed.
6) If positive, blog and tell your friends about the results. Share them with your mastermind group.

The point is to find the critical path, the "difference that makes the difference", the "formula" or "recipe" for increased efficiency in any arena that matters. And importantly, if you can't perform a reasonable experiment to disprove your hypothesis, it may be faith, not science (apply this to people's political positions, and the results are fascinating--the more reluctant they are to tie their beliefs to simple measurements, the more likely they are to be connected to underlying philosophical positions rather than logic. We all do this at times, but the worst gridlocks are created by people who mistake their beliefs for logical proof.)

There you have a way of applying this fantastic tool to your life on an individual level. Consistent application allows you to tap into the magic of science.