The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The "Danger Word" Miracle: Goals

Back to the fateful meeting where we turned “Danger Word” around.   BTW—I’m telling this story, so it sounds like I’m the hero.  I’m not.  I could not, in any way, overestimate what Luchina Fisher or my dear  wife T brought to the mix.   It certainly equaled or exceeded my own contribution, but heck, I’m telling this so this is my perspective, darn it.


But it doesn’t matter what order you put those in, just so long as they’re all in, so I started with Gratitude, a sense of joy at how far we’d come already.   This was specifically employed to combat any sense of fear.

Now, then…the next thing to do was focus on our Goal.  We’d set a goal of 12,500 for Post-production: color correction, editing, re-shoots, sound, etc.   We’d only raised about 2500.00 with three weeks to go.  All right…what would happen if contributions totally stalled out?  Were we screwed?

Well…the first question to ask was: had we reached every potential donor?   The WORST case scenario said that that was an absurd notion.  We’d reached the “low hanging fruit.”  People who knew us and our work.  Family.  FB community.  For all the work we’d put into raising the initial money, it had still been a wide net.   What if we targeted a few higher-end donors?  Looked for completion funds from film organizations, universities, charitable foundations, and selected philanthropists? Rather than trying to get a mass of small donations, what if we made a list of nothing but people who could potentially donate a thousand and more? 

What would we need to do that? Well…a rough cut of the film would do it.  Then we could burn that to DVD, and send a physical copy to selected philanthropists.

Well…how much would it cost to get to the point where we could execute such a plan?

Well…if we deferred selected payments (with the cooperation and permission of the people involved) and pinched pennies like hell, it turned out that we could create such a “rough cut” for only 1800.00 more than we currently had.

What the #$%%?  

1800.00, when we’d already raised almost TWENTY?   That….was absurd.   It was glaringly obvious that we could meet such a goal.

By defining CLEARLY what our intent was (to finish the movie) we could then identify the actual “critical path” to that goal (raising the money or otherwise negotiating for services) and identify a series of steps that would lead us there (creating a “rough cut” that could be used to attract higher-end donors.)

That’s the power of a goal.   Now, many people won’t set goals (especially written goals) because they are afraid of not reaching them.   Friends, one major reason that human beings have accomplished all they have on this planet is that they WRITE THINGS DOWN and can therefore pass learned information from one generation to the next, a sort of Larmarckian social evolution.  Well, consider written goals a message from your current to your future self, reminding yourself of your commitments, values, and intentions.

Performance psychologists suggest writing problems down, rather than just trying to work them out in your head—it reduces the number of factors you have to mentally juggle and increases functional intelligence.  Who can’t use a few more I.Q. points?

Now transfer this to the domain of the Master Mind.  Definition: “Two or more people meeting at least once a week, cooperating in a state of perfect harmony to accomplish a single or compatible goals.”
Just having a “brain storm” group can break your box wide open, conceptually.  But when you integrate this with people who share (at least in this one arena) your values, intentions, beliefs and goals…it’s like adding another lobe to your brain. 

Starting to understand?

So what did we have at this point?

1) A feeling of gratitude for all we had done, all the people who loved and supported us, and the wonderful potential ahead.

2) A clear goal that we KNEW we could achieve.  Nothing could stop us.  We were already celebrating.

Get it?   How much could YOU achieve today if you started with a sense of joy and gratitude, and knew the exact steps to take to accomplish your dream, had a Master Mind of people who supported you, and believed 100% in your ability to succeed.

Yeah.  That’s right.   So…start applying these principles today, folks.  Any time you wonder if you should be going after your goals, ask yourself one simple question: “how long am I going to be dead?”

And armed with the answer to that question…go out and have the best week of your life, would ya?


The initial Fundraising for DANGER WORD will shut down on Monday.   If you’ve wanted to contribute, just for the fun, or to get one of our terrific bonuses, it’s not too late!   Go to: and give a buck…just to say you did!

The "DANGER WORD" miracle: Faith and Action

I’m doing the last two chunks of “the Secret Formula” today, because our DANGER WORD campaign ends tomorrow at 12 noon PST.  Again: we’ve raised our basic funds, and our movie is happening!   But if you want to participate in this historic event, a little time remains, and we genuinely wanted to make a “last call”.

We’ve discussed “gratitude” and “goals” and either of these subjects could be addressed for years.  We’re just skimming over the surface, but what a surface it is!

Remember: this is about how to create MAGIC, by any reasonable definition, and quite a few un-reasonable ones.  It is also about what is missing from most people’s view of “The Secret.”
All right.  We have two pieces left: Faith and Constant Action.

1) Faith.   In the Hero’s Journey, “Faith” gets you through the Dark Night of the Soul, the inevitable “crash and burn” phase of a project.  The Dark Night is analogous to the 11th rep of a 12-rep weight lifting set, when you are SURE that you’ve got nothing left.  But if you are exhausted by 11, what rep is it that really gives you the growth?

That’s right.   13.   And you won’t get there unless you have a coach, a trainer, a buddy, or a voice in your head that says: “yes, it feels like you’ve got nothing left…but that feeling is a lie.”

And you gut it out. And that 13th rep sends a message to your hind brain that you must grow.The body follows the mind.   You have to BELIEVE that you can, you should, you MUST.  Believe that your actions are in alignment with your values. That they represent mutual benefit and welfare.  That everyone involved will grow from this action.  It hurts no one, benefits everyone.

That means faith in:

1) Yourself.   I knew I could do this.  I’ve done wonderful things in the past.   And I encouraged everyone on the call to remember how wonderful THEY are.

2) Our companions.   As a team, we’d come so far, so quickly. Done so much.    We could look around the “room” and see that we all believed, we had track records, we were bringing everything we had to the game.    Putting all our cards on the table.  By any metaphor you choose, we had every right to believe in each other.   WE CAN DO THIS!

3) A higher power.    God, faith, “the universe”, Gaia, the Universal Pattern, fate…I don’t care.    In my experience, the person who works only for themselves lacks the power of someone who strives to create value that goes beyond his own life, his own family.  His own ego.  Ego crumbles under the pressure of transformation.  What remains after that pressure “breaks” you is a deeper sense of who and what you are, what you are committed to, what  ultimate values you embrace.
Every action in your life should, optimally, be some version of asking the question “who am I?” and “what is true?”

 I try very hard to live my life so that if the people around me could read my mind, they would be MORE at ease, more confident in my decisions and actions, rather than less.  That means to align myself with whatever might be called “the ethical structure of the universe.”  Or…the mind and heart of God. 

Or…spiritual gravitation.   So many ways to put it.   Almost everyone has some sense of the universe having a pattern that evades conscious thought.  Faith has to do with those patterns.  And a totally disproportionate percentage of the highest-performing people I’ve known have such a sense.  And that implies to me that, whether there is such a pattern, such a force, such a being or not…IT IS AN EXTREMELY USEFUL BELIEF.

Get that?  So in the call, what we had to do was see how what we are doing goes beyond us.  Our families.  We are creating a story we genuinely consider inspiring and valuable.

Creating a document of HOW to create a small film.  How to crowd-fund.   How to build a “family” to create things you cannot create by yourself, with a commitment to sharing.

That we were publicly documenting the entire process.

That we were allowing people to invest their love, frustration, creativity…whatever they chose to invest in the creation of something they felt they wanted, needed, and cared about deeply…or just wanted to cheer us on from the stands!  It wasn’t about “us.”  It was about ALL of us.

That makes it all different.  

Once we had the long view, it is easier to believe that if we are serving a function in the world, and can communicate our value, that the world will support us if we have the self-love  to demand to  be treated with respect.  To lead by example.

Faith.  In our project, ourselves, each other, and the community we are committed to serving.   
The last step was the step I see most often missing from those who speak of “The Secret.”  And that is Constant Action.    Folks—if your goal and faith isn’t powerful enough to change your behavior, on what basis do you believe the universe will mystically respond to you?  Are you kidding?

The bad news is that your ship isn’t coming in.
The good news is that you can row out to meet it.

We had to define CLEARLY what we needed to do to finish the project.  What each of us could and must do to make it happen.  What action we needed to take TODAY, and then tomorrow, and then the next day, to make it happen.   What we were committed to.  How we would keep ourselves on track.

And then…see ourselves succeeding.  Arriving at film festivals.  Happy audiences.    Thrilled fans.    Eager investors for a feature film.

Can we be sure any of this would happen?   No!   Could we celebrate anyway?   Hell, yes!  Why?  Because we had done everything humanly possible.  We had asked for nothing but the chance to work our butts off.  Because we had “chunked down” the process until the component pieces were small enough that WE COULD DO IT OURSELVES.

At every step, we refused to turn ourselve into little Orphan Olivers, holding our begging bowls to the universe saying: “please, sir, I want some more.”

No.  With joy, we’d bared our teeth and said: “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.” We formed a tribe.  Did a war dance, and then went out to die trying, with a smile.

(I ask you to remember: when you don’t have a job, you can’t get a job.  Until you’ve got one.  Then the phone mysteriously rings with offers.  When you don’t have a lover, you can’t get one.  Until you’ve got one.  And then…the phone mysteriously rings with offers.  And the unifying principle is..?)

And you know what happened:

To recap briefly, we needed to raise 12,500 for post production.  We’d only raised 2500.00 with 21 days to go.  We went over the budget with a micrometer and realized that, with only 1800.00, we could produce a rough cut we could use to raise the rest of the money by targeting foundations and big-ticket donors.

THE CALL ENDED AT 1:10 EST.   BY 1:30 EST, we had a notification from Indiegogo that we had a FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR donor.    This “crashed the system” at Indiegogo, and they went into “credit card fraud” mode, certain something was wrong.  This was FIVE TIMES  the largest donation we’d received up until this time!

It took tons of emails, phone calls and strategizing to figure out how to get our money out of the system, but five nail-biting days later we not only had that donation, but one from this angel’s mother as well, for ANOTHER five thousand dollars!

We were flabbergasted.   All we had to do was be totally focused (goal), have faith, take massive action, and feel damned grateful for what we already had…and the universe opened the doors.

Now, this was such an amazing parallel to the precise way I found my soulmate, and the way I earned my fourth degree black belt, that it hit the “Trifecta” of body, mind, and spirit/emotions.   This is foundational.   This is big enough for me to stop, say “what the @#$$?” and immediately write this up and publish.

Yeah, it’s “magic.” But the scientific method, that thing that rules 1/2 of my head (the other half is shaman.  Yeah, I know it.  Sue me.) says that you observe a phenomenon, postulate a theory to explain it, formulate an experiment to test the theory, and if you like the results, publish so that others can try it as well.

These last few essays represent “publication.”

If you have questions, PLEASE ask them.  If you’ve found this to be of use, please share with your friends.

And if it is fascinating, and you want a recap of the entire process, get yours as part of our “Seven Dollars or Free” program at:


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beginning with Gratitude

So we’re talking about the specific approach used to complete “DANGER WORD.”   Using the Hero’s Journey, it was clear we were in the Dark Night of the Soul.
Using what I’m calling the “Secret Formula” (Goals X Faith X Constant Action X Gratitude) I decided to make my primary role during our phone call that of “the long view.”
First I started with Gratitude. Don’t get me wrong: although there was stress, no one was giving up, everyone had come to play.  This was a fierce group, and I was proud to have them as partners.   But instead of looking at “how far do we have to go” I said “look how far we’ve come!”    We’d raised almost twenty thousand dollars!  This was a sign of faith, and love and empathy from friends, associates, family, fans and even strangers!   A wonderful, wonderful thing.  It was a sign that we were heading in the right direction, and that we had only to gather ourselves, accept the negative feelings and situational aspects, pick ourselves up and keep going.
We STARTED with pride, and love, and a sense of infinite possibility.  Remember: when we are depressed, angry or fearful, we develop “tunnel vision” and can no longer see answers that are right in front of us.
THIS is one of the most important reasons why the “Five Minute Miracle” approach is so damned powerful.

So…here are five “Power Questions” to get you into a problem-solving, action-taking mood RIGHT NOW!

1) What are the three most positive things about your life RIGHT NOW? 
2) What are you grateful to have learned about your situation, and why was it more valuable than the stress you feel?
3) Who are three people who, now or in the past, have loved and trusted you?   Who have you inspired?  Who inspired you?
4) What are three days in your life you remember with pride, joy and gratitude?    Think about them.   Experiment with making the images/feelings brighter, louder, stronger.  Play with the sensory modalities and see if they make you feel more or less positive.
5) How do you stand, hold your face, breathe or use your voice when you’re feeling positive?  How about negative?  (Bear with me, please).   Switch back and forth between negative and positive body language/presentations, again and again.  IT IS YOUR CHOICE.  Commit to the positive presentation.

Spend five minutes stalking like a panther back and forth across the room, exercising, walking in the sun, running, or dancing with POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE chanting aloud, WITH EMOTION all the things you are grateful for in your life RIGHT NOW.   Actually do this.  Body language, facial expression, voice, dynamic stride.    As if you were at an “11” on a scale of 1-10, ten being the best you’ve ever felt in your life.

This is the starting point.  Begin with the emotions most people hope to get at the end.   We STARTED that meeting feeling we were already winners.   Then we worked out the way for this to be 100% true, regardless of what happened next.
THAT is how we created our miracle.   More tomorrow!


Remember: the entire “Secret Formula” Diamond Hour broadcast is available absolutely FREE to those in need, part of our exclusive “Seven Dollars or Free” program.  No tricks.  No gimmicks.    Just results, if you’re willing to actually do the work!
For details, go to:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Back to DANGER WORD and the “Secret Formula.”    We had reached a point where only 20% of the money had been raised, with 21 days to go.   Panic time.  “Dark Night of the Soul” time.    “Encounter Evil and meet defeat” time.
The “evil”, of course, was just our own fear and lack of clarity.  The obstacle was predictable.  There is ALWAYS a glitch as you seek to rise to the next level.  There is always a point where logic and knowledge fail, and you have to simply…trust.
But trust what?  The Hero’s journey suggests that the “Leap of Faith”, the way across this gap, is “faith” in one of three things: faith in your companions (the Mastermind) faith in yourself (“I have the ability to do this.  I may not see how yet, I’m in a fog, but if I keep going, I’ll get there.”) Or faith in a higher power (“I believe that any goal I can hold in my heart continuously is something I have the ability to achieve.  I don’t believe God/The Universe/My deep consciousness would allow me to hold such a goal without the ability to bring it into the world.  That would be capricious and cruel, and I don’t believe the world works that way.”)
Everyone who achieves on any level that I have EVER met has at least one of these three things.  The happiest seem to have two or three of them.
In the partnership with Tananarive and Luchina, we each have specialized skills that make us effective, and my philosophy is not to leave ANY of your skills in the locker room.  Put them all on the field.  And I thought that my skills as a life coach might be applicable here.   To be a bit of a Spiritual Guide, working backwards from our positive intent, and believing that the body supports cells, organs, and tissues that contribute healthfully to the whole.  Our intents were positive for the community as well as our families and personal goals.  There was no malice, no asking people to hurt themselves, a clear mission statement, and a sense of mischievous fun about the entire venture.   It seemed solid.
So…knowing the Hero’s Journey…and the Mastermind principle (two or more people aligned in a spirit of harmony for a common goal, meeting at least once a week)…I decided to apply the “Success Formula” I’d extracted from “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles.
Note that this is the same source material that had inspired “The Secret.” But when I talk to people who follow “The Secret” I catch a strange disconnect, a sense that “If I just believe it, the universe will give it to me.”
Really?   Has that been their observation about the way the universe works?   I promise it hasn’t been mine.   I HAVE noticed that, as I mentioned at the beginning, the very most “effortlessly successful” people certainly seem to accomplish miracles with little “work.”  Like a martial arts master can throw someone with one finger…after a life-time of study.
Like someone like Oprah Winfrey can just focus her attention on something and it happens…because she has a massive machine with hudreds of people waiting to jump at her slightest inclination.  It’s like driving a Rolls Royce down the street with one finger.  If you didn’t understand all the manufacturing technology necessary to create the machine, and all the years of driving practice with hands at “ten and two” necessary to develop the sensitivity to the vehicle and environment, it looks like magic.
Just imagine how many people get lost in “feel the chi” when they are looking at a near-magical level of focus, skill, and sensitivity in martial arts.   Or “just visualize it” when they are listening to someone who has integrated their minds, emotions, and bodies enough that visualizing something changes their feelings and BEHAVIORS.
In other words, if your emotional/mental focus isn’t enough to change your behaviors, why in the world do you think it will change the world outside you?  You have to change your behaviors, notice the results, keep re-adjusting until those behaviors are in synch with the way the world works, at which point your natural inclinations have been “trained” by feedback from the environment. They feel natural.  Effortless.  Swimming “with the tide.”   And looks like magic to those who are ignorant, insensitive, or fearful.
It’s like using a voice dictation program like Dragon Dictate.  They talk about “training the program” but you’re just as much training YOURSELF to speak in a way the program can interpret.
There is “magic” here in the sense Arthur C. Clarke meant.   Maybe more…but that’s an esoteric conversation, and I want this to be practical. 

GOALS, then, are critical both for accomplishing and because even “failure” teaches you  what is and is not true in the world.  Feedback.  Don’t set goals, don’t measure the results, and you can’t build your map of reality.
FAITH is critical because it is all that keeps you going when you have emptied yourself out, and you MUST empty yourself in the pursuit of an emotionalized goal to send a message to your mind or muscle that it is time to grow.
CONSTANT ACTION is the step too many people miss.  You must do all you can, where you can, this day, and then tomorrow, and again the tomorrow after that.   “A watched pot never boils.”  “Magic” happens when you have given up waiting for magic.  Isn’t this true?  When you don’t have a job, you can’t get a job.  But as soon as you’ve got one, people want to offer you employment.   When you don’t have a lover, you can’t get one…until you’ve got one, and then everyone else is interested.  When you are broke you can’t get credit….
See the pattern.    Sitting and waiting doesn’t do it.  The lilies of the field are actually quite active, and perfectly integrated into their ecological niche. They just seem passive to the ignorant.
GRATITUDE.    You have to start with the emotion you want to end with.   There are multiple reasons.  First, why not enjoy life TODAY?  Why wait?  Second, almost anything you want to accomplish will require a team of people, allies.   Customers.   Teachers.  The “Mastermind” is the only way I know to compensate for lack of ability.  If you can bond yourself to people with knowledge, resources, abilities different from yours, you can build a team to accomplish things beyond you as an individual. 
How to do this with integrity?   Offer what you DO have.   Friendship.   Skills.   Passion for life.   Genuine love and caring.  Be the kind of person others WANT to be around.   The kind of person people feel better after they’ve spent time with you.    And the way to have that genuine (and you should never, ever fake it!) sense of connection is to be so full of love and GRATITUDE for life, right here, right now, that it overflows.
And…fear and stress create “tunnel vision.”  You literally can’t see the opportunities that are right in front of you.  Gratitude, love, is the perfect antidote.  You relax.  You enjoy.  The little kid inside you starts dancing.  And you see potentials again.
So these were the things I wanted to bring to our meeting.  That was my challenge.  This is what I was committed to doing that Friday.   More on the precise way we did it, and what happened, tomorrow!
I discussed this process, the sanest approach to “magic” I know of, on the Diamond Hour show.   The audio is part of our “Seven Dollars or FREE” program available at
And if this is resonating with you, please get your copy today.   NO ONE is turned away for lack of resources in this program.  Ever.  No joke, no catch.   I am so blessed, and want to pass that blessing on…to you, and yours.

More tomorrow

Friday, July 19, 2013

DANGER WORD is fully funded! Learn How!

You now know that at the last minute, we created a miracle and our DANGER WORD film is fully funded.   Now that we’re certain this is 100% real, I’m prepared to “break down” what happened and share it with you.  This will take a few days, so please bear with me. 

Two most important things: the overview of the Hero’s Journey and

The “Secret Formula” from “The Science of Getting Rich” : Goals X Faith X Constant Action X Gratitude = Results.   I added one more piece: a commitment to “Mutual Benefit and Welfare.”
I think that this covers what happened.  Note that “Faith” can be faith in a higher power, your companions, OR simple faith in your own potential.   We need not go to a supernatural or metaphysical level, not at all.    Nor do you need to depend on luck.   Or outside agency.

On Friday July 12th our production team: Tananarive Due, Zainab Ali, Luchina Fisher and I had a critical telephone conversation.    While fund-raising for pre-production (planning and organization) and production (filming itself: equipment, actors, crew, location expenses, travel, etc.) had gone very well indeed using a combination of Facebook and Paypal, when we shifted to Indiegogo we got LARGER average donations, but less overall.   Attributing this to “donor fatigue” we realized that, with three weeks left to go on the campaign and less than 2000.00 raised out of a total of 12,500.00 budgeted for post production (sound, color correction, editing, pick-up shots, titles, general polish) there was a real potential problem.

My position was that the most important thing I could do is take the long view.   And that required the Hero’s Journey, which details not only the general path but specific steps.

1) We had a specific goal

2) Had accepted the presence of fear and uncertainty

3) Had committed to act

4) Had broken down the tasks into individual components and begun performing them on schedule.

5) Had defined the skills and resources necessary to accomplish this, and gathered together the allies necessary to “fill in the gaps” in our individual skills and interests.  For instance, I’m sure I COULD direct, but have little experience or interest in doing so.  Better by far to find someone with the experience and enthusiasm for that critical aspect of our project.  Luchina fit that bill beautifully.

6) We had charged forward, until we met an apparently unmovable obstacle.   The fund-raising seemed to be THE THING.

7) We were dealing with the greatest moment of fear and doubt—what the @#$$ were we going to do?   THIS IS WHERE WE WERE.  “The Dark Night of the Soul.”

8) I knew that the way across this gap is “The Leap of Faith.”

9) I knew that if we took it, and had taken all the other steps properly, we optimized our chance to Confront the challenge and succeed.

10) And the last step would be “the student becomes the teacher”—in other words, I am committed to sharing everything that we learn along the way.   If I failed, I would fail PUBLICLY.   If I succeeded, I would succeed PUBLICLY.     The goal was to leave a trail of bread crumbs so that others could see what we did, how we did it, and share it all openly and honestly.  Therefore, I had a basis to believe that MY success was also a victory for the community.  And if my project was worthy, and positive, then I am trying to bring greater order, greater light into the world…and again, the idea is that when you commit to adding value to the world, the world will respond. That’s the theory.  Now it was time to put it into practice.
But…exactly how?  This phone call could be make or break for our project.   Good things “fall apart” all the time.
What to do?  How to do it?
Stay tuned!


I will be going into this whole process over the next week or so, but the  “Diamond Hour” radio show on which this entire process was first discussed, while I was still “gobsmacked” with the miracle of this is now part of our “Seven Dollars or FREE” program, and available at:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Diamond Hour--The 10 Commandments of Love

The Ten Commandments of Love
Diamond Hour July show. - Saturday,
July 13, 2013 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight
 Savings time (4:00 PM Eastern)
Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)
(724) 444-7444

Join Us!

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Diamond Hour show!

We're going to speak of love: self-love, healing, forgiveness, and extending our own sense of beloved self to the Other. Join us, and please bring your own thoughts and issues--love and fear compete for the same space in our hearts, and learning to direct this flow CAN be the beginning of deep growth.
Diamond Hour July show. - Saturday, July 13, 2013 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Savings time (4:00 PM Eastern)

Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)

(724) 444-7444

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Joyful excellence

Speaking with a client in her
70’s who has been a wonderfully
 giving and loving human
being for everyone in the
world…except herself…I
asked her if she loved herself.

And she stopped, and there
was stunned silence.    “I
never asked myself that
question.”   When I had
her write a letter from the
 little girl inside herself
(using her non-dominant
hand) she was able to begin
 “hello, this is [Dolly].   I
just wanted you to know
that I’m a good girl, and
have always tried to be…”

And then she broke down,
sobbing.  Couldn’t read any
 more to me.  And I told her
 that it was all right—she
 didn’t need to read it to
me, she just needed to read
 it herself.

In our very best moments,
we submerge ourselves in
the urgent flow, the need to
perform our daily tasks. 
We lose perspective on who
we are.  The very best people
are most likely to see only
what remains to be done, the
 imperfections of their work,
 the flaws in their craft, the
failings of their character.

The very people who love
the most, give the most, strive
 the most for excellence are
 the ones least likely to actually
 take joy in their process, and
feel pride in their accomplishments.
   These are the ones who
most need to forgive themselves,
 accept themselves, take joy
in the present moment, and…
love themselves.

That love they felt when their
mothers held them as infants
…that they felt holding their
own newborn children…that
 they may have felt dancing,
or playing with a favorite pet,
 or planting flowers, or playing
 with a band, or falling in love
 for the first time…there are
moment we all have, if we can
 stop and remember them.

whether you remember them
 or not.  Babies who are not
given nurturance wither and
 die.   If you can only go deep
 enough to remember one such
occurrence, it will clear some
 of the emotional fog to
 remember others.

And when you connect that
 sense of love to your younger
 self, allow the days of your
life between that younger you
and who you are now to flow
with that precious healing emotion…
You open the floodgates of
creativity, joy, and passion.
  Remember the equation:
Goal X Faith X Constant Action X Gratitude = Results.
Love, in other words, is as
important as work.  Faith as
important as focus.   What do
 we tell children?  What did
I tell Jason before his first
 Judo tournament, when he
 was afraid of letting himself
…and even worse, me, down?
     “If you do the best you can,
 with all your heart, I will be
proud of you…and we’re going
for ice cream!”

And he went out and kicked butt. 
 Expressed his excellence.  
With joy.  
Give that gift, of JOYFUL
excellence, to yourself, every day.
I do think that love, and joy, and
excellence, is the topic of my
Diamond Hour show this Saturday. 
Feels right!
Diamond Hour July show. - Saturday,
 July 13, 2013 1:00 PM Pacific
 Daylight Savings time (4:00 PM Eastern)
Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)
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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Hero's Movie #10: The Student Becomes the Teacher

The Hero’s Movie #10: The Student Becomes the Teacher

And here we come to the end of this cycle.  I’ve gone through this countless times, and will continue to, because it is my experience that any truth that would change your life can be expected to meet psychological resistance.  Part of us really does NOT want to change.   If you didn’t have internal resistance, it is likely that you would already have changed.  So…if we consciously want to find a healthy relationship, change a bad habit, lose weight, or master our finances, what’s going on?

Pretty simple, really.   Most of what we know, believe, or feel is tied to UNCONSCIOUS drives, laws, beliefs, and perceptual filters.  We simply don’t have enough room in our conscious minds to hold all the instructions on how to live our lives.  That stuff gets handed over to “unconscious competence” as rapidly as possible.    We literally forget how we do about 99% of what we do unless we stop and think about it very carefully.   The more advanced the writer, martial artist, or evolved spirit I’ve encountered, the more likely they are to speak in generalities, about sweeping overarching feelings rather than the actual nuts and bolts they used to get where they are.

It is a very rare expert who can teach beginners.  I suspect that this is where the “those who can’t do, teach” attitude comes from.  Experts often have forgotten so much about how they got there that they are superstitious about their abilities, actually frightened that one day the now-unknown processes will shut down and leave them totally in the dark. That what Stephen King calls “the boys in the basement” will stop doing their job.

While there are no paths that guarantee success, there are certainly those that guarantee failure, and selecting OPTIMAL paths helps to keep us away from those.  Accept that nothing guarantees success, select your goals for the joyous path they offer us, live every day for its own passion and purpose, and let the world decide about external success or failure.  YOUR success comes from living your life, on your terms.  The external measures form a “safety rail” (especially if you choose health/fitness, career, and love.  Heck, if I have success in those three, it really doesn’t matter much about anything else.  I’ll “settle” for those happily!) within which we can, if Maslow and the Chakras are correct, evolve toward a higher and higher level of integration.

So let’s take a look at the steps as they related to our film project:
1) Confronted with challenge.   Seeing others making short films for self expression and career advancement.
2) Reject Challenge.   “I can’t do that.”
3) Accept Challenge.  “Yes I can, and will.”
4) Road of Trials.  Studying the success patterns of those who completed such films, and dividing the work into a series of weekly/daily steps.
5) Allies and Powers.   Identifying the people, processes, skills and resources that will be necessary, filling in the holes in our own abilities with a Mastermind.
6) Confront Evil-defeated.  The previous steps are both macro and micro-cycles.  There will always be a moment of Greatest defeat, and for us, it was late Sunday night when we were over budget and over-time.
7) Dark Night of the Soul.  The inevitable fatigue, depression, and doubting voices.
8) Leap of Faith.   For me, it was faith in my understanding of deep process, and in my selection of allies: our actors, our director, and my wonderful wife.  I didn’t need to know the answer.  I needed to believe that there WAS an answer, even if I couldn’t see it. 
9) Confront Evil—and succeed.    T came up with the answer.  I had to drop my concept of how things were “supposed” to work. The expression “you can have anything you want, if you can release your expectation of how it is supposed to look” comes to mind.
10) The Student Becomes the teacher.   When you have learned something, the best way to integrate it is to teach someone else.   Also, it is the best way to give thanks to the teachers and role models who have gone before..  Humans as individuals aren’t much smarter than chimps.  It is because we share knowledge, have access to information from men and women long dead, have more information in our brains than in our genes…this is one of the few things that makes us so different, for good or ill.    I am profoundly grateful to be a part of this information flow…to have received, and also to have given.

I’m documenting every step of the process of making “Danger Word” and will be lecturing about it in the future, showing people how, if they have the honesty to look at the needed work and evaluate their own capacities, and the heart to gather a Mastermind of like-minded people to fill in their gaps, and the energy to last the Road of Trials, and the courage to face their own fear…they can do it too.   That is MY commitment.  This has been, and continues to be, a fabulous journey. Can’t wait to see where it leads next!