Week 16–Killing It Not-So-Softly with Kindness

The last few weeks I have been writing mainly about the virtues of Gratitude, Thoughtfulness and Kindness.   It’s been a joyful ride as I look for signs of Kindness in others, and as I perform acts of kindness myself.  It warms my heart and is a solid reminder as to what lies ahead in my life when I let go of the fear that holds me back.  According to the Law of Substitution, it isn’t possible to hold two thoughts at the same time.  Try it.  It’s impossible.

As I work in a school environment, mostly with Special Education students, behaving kindly to others is a given. .  I am blessed to work with an exceptional group of teachers who show kindness and love on a daily basis toward their students, many of whom come from impoverished environments with little parental guidance.   Not any less important is the fact that these teachers and staff are modeling kindness continuously for these students.

On Thursday, I spent time in the Life Skills classroom downstairs where they were short on help for the day.  LifeSkills works with students that are severely emotionally and/or physically disabled.  At times the students behavior can be volatile as was the case that day.  The Supervisor had to contain a distraught eight-year old boy.  During the entire ordeal, she  spoke to him in a calm and soothing voice while he physically writhed,  kicked, pounded with his fists and screamed.  It was heart wrenching to watch, honestly. After 25 minutes he calmed down and allowed her to guide him to his seat where they continued with his lesson.  It doesn’t get more real than that.

As I said, it isn’t hard to experience or witness acts of Kindness around you in a school setting.  That for me is the attraction to the job.  As a retired teacher, who lives alone,  I went back to work in the school district as a para educator mainly for medical insurance benefits. However, after returning to school the  past three years, I question my true  motive for returning there.  The fact is, I barely get paid anything and the insurance benefits are not what they were three years ago. Why am I still there?

Whether you are the benefactor or the recipient, Kindness brings value to our lives.  My purpose as an educator is to teach reading and math, yes, but more importantly to support, love (yes, love) and nurture these wonderful bright little beings so that they, too, find, value and purpose in their own lives. And, they in turn, bring it to mine.  There lies the real reason, I am there. It’s really not about the insurance, is it?  As Mark would say, “Fuhget-uh-bout-it!” It’s give more, get more all the way around.

Week 15–Let the Makeover Take Over!

It’s funny how your mind can take on a “mind of it’s own” so to speak, when you are not paying attention.  Have you ever experienced that?  Well, as we plow into Week 15 of the Master Key Course, I find myself looking at things, watching other people , enjoying others’ company with a different perspective. It’s not hugely different, but different nonetheless.  And then it occurred to me that my transformation is happening. It’s beginning to take hold.  New neural pathways are developing and I am beginning to looking at life differently than I have for many years.

And yet as excited as I am about my new Self, I am also noticing that I’m just about as fearful of breaking away from the old me that I’ve carried around for most of my life.  Because Fear trying to pull me back makes me even more aware of the fact that my reality is changing.  I’ve felt it several times in the past few weeks, and have become especially conscious of it when It comes to completing the Honor Requirements.  Yes, holidays get in the way but it’s more than that.  It’s the “mental” tug I’m feeling between my old and new Blueprint.   I’m caught in the middle and at this point I have to make a concerted mental effort to choose to move forward.  I know I’ve been at this point before, and I have too often given into the path of least resistance.

Thankfully, I  have–that is all of us in MKMMA has–these tremendous tools we can use to make this transition into Our Best Self.  This week’s introduction of the Franklin Makeover comes exactly at the right time.  For my first week, I chose Self Discipline as the virtue I needed most to develop.  I decided to change my weekly chores to daily chores–a small simple task that was manageable so that I could feel accomplished.  I congratulated myself for that step by saying to myself, “I’m the kind of woman who gets things done!” and yes it was said with enthusiasm!! I then recorded it.  I watched others carefully to see if there was anything I could consider as self-discipline.  Not so easy.  Maybe I was expecting too much.  Or maybe my experience with self discipline is so minimal, I couldn’t recognize it..  Since I needed to record different acts of self discipline, I decided I’d have to rely on my own. Once I did so, nI started noticing other’s self discipline as well.  Just as Mark said, once you become aware of something, you see it everywhere. The Law of Attraction thrives.

Week 14–I’ll See Your Resolution and Raise you a new Reality

Resolutions do not work. We know that, but somehow we forget our failed resolution experience from past years and repeat it again. And oh! How advertisers love to take advantage of that! There’s a host of industries out there ready to pounce. Gyms, fitness and diet-based companies, see you coming a mile away. The ads fill social media and suck you in when while your pumped up with that “I can do it!” confidence that tells you you can do anything. That is until you can’t… or rather until you think you can’t.  And there you are stuck in the same old mud.
Yes, our good old primitive instincts kick right in to protect us from change because that’s all it knows how to do. It hasn’t caught up with the fact that we don’t have to spend our lives looking for the next boulder to drop, the next saber-tooth tiger to attack, or the next bigger, badder species to devour us. Today we’re not afraid of starving in winter, we’re afraid of going to the dentist.  We’re not afraid of cave bears, we’re afraid we’ll be late to our 11 AM meeting. In our quest to find a home to satisfy the needs of our fight or flight instincts, we’ve become a society of neurotics. We invent irrational fears that assure us we can’t cope with the “terrors” of everyday living. How are bodies work today relates not to the world we confront now but to the world as it was over a million years ago.
So how do we bring our primitive brain up to speed so that it understands that the changes we need to make for ourselves are actually something to train our subby to feel good about?  We need to develop new habits, of course. Easier said than done. We must apply the knowledge that we have. Most of us have spent years gaining the knowledge, talking about the knowledge but we’ve never, consciously and consistently applied the knowledge to make those good-for-us behaviors stick. As explained in the Master Mind Alliance’s R2A2 model we need to Recognize, Relate, Assimilate and Apply in order to rewire those antiquated embedded neural pathways in our brain so that we can live the life we desire and not the life we settle for. We need to create a new reality for ourselves.

“LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.” I don’t think you can say it any better than that. Hit your Refresh button and make the changes you need to lead your best life. Your Future Self will love you for it.

Week 13–Gratitude…it’s good stuff!

Gratitude–the quality of being thankful–can never be overrated.  When large numbers of people practice and integrate gratitude, we can most definitely create a world that we desire for ourselves and our children.  It’s opposite–ingratitude–tears us apart.  Gratitude is the very stuff that holds us together. So, how do we perpetuate gratitude in those who do not as easily embrace it?  In the words of Emerson, give more, get more.  I’ll say it once more, give more, get more.

For me gratitude does come much more easily.  I’ve trained myself to look for reasons to be grateful for many years.  As an elementary school teacher, I implemented an activity  at the end of the day in my classroom whereby the students had to record in a journal, two things that had happened that day that they were grateful for.  We did this everyday.  It wasn’t easy to begin with.  Many of these students came from difficult low socioeconomic backgrounds.  It was hard for many of them to see anything positive in their lives or that they had anything to offer. Eventually, the assignment became easier.  After doing this for a month, the change in the students and their ability to find gratitude in the smallest of acts, was amazing.  And collectively, the positive energy that was created from the entire class became a tremendous force providing a sense of comfort, and confidence and joy.  It was healing, it was stabilizing and it was exactly what these children needed.

This was really a simple exercise for me to utilize in my classroom.  It should be this simple in society and yet gratitude is something we do not practice often enough in modern day.  Are we just too busy, too distracted to show appreciation for such a basic and natural human response?  I think so.  We’re technologically driven and humanly detached.

This is exactly where Mark’s wonderful lesson comes into play this week.  We need to become proactive with Gratitude.    Gratitude needs to become the Cause and not just the Effect.  Through conscious and consistent practice we can develop gratitude in others by initiating it ourselves.  Tell the old man across the street how beautiful his front yard looks, whether it does or not, tell the young girl sitting at the lunch table by herself how pretty her hair looks, and tell your family and friends how amazing they are. Practice every single day and watch what happens. It’s some pretty good stuff!

Week 12–5 Senses? And I was working with 3!

It never fails.  Every week from one class to the next, I am blown away by the creative exercises that Mark and Davene provide.  If you’re in the MKMMA class, you no doubt find yourself often thinking, “Yeah, I know this stuff.”  Maybe you think it isn’t new, but again, the way in which they present this material, is so innovative–and fun!   This is Knowledge Applied at its very best.   Maybe we’ve all heard the knowledge, but nobody makes us apply it like Mark and Davene.

I’m a big knowledge gal.  Can’t get enough.  I’ll buy a book, read it, maybe listen to it on tape, but often I do not apply it.  Now, after more than two months of progressing through exercises that alter the pathways in our mind that lead us to perform the same tasks over and over–bad or good, it doesn’t matter–we’re ready to take on the next step  in our progression towards our Best Self.  Simple yet why didn’t I think of using all five senses? This will provide the oomph and vitality we need to make our dreams larger than life.

I’ve used the senses seeing, hearing and often taste to associate with my DMP, but I haven’t used smell or touch.  It was interesting to hear Mark talk about Smell as being the most operative of the senses in terms of association with a desired goal. After thinking about it, it made so much sense….pun intended.  Think of a time when someone you loved left their jacket at your home.  Perhaps you lost a loved one and it crushed you to open their closet only to be hit squarely between the eyes with their scent. Maybe there was something that your grandmother or mother cooked for you when you were a child. Maybe it is the smell of her home when you walked through the door that comes to mind. Every once in a while I get a whiff of that scent, and there I am! Back in Grandma’s kitchen.

If you haven’t delved into this exercise, please do it.  This is the perfect time of year to do so.  Find Grandma’s family recipe, bake those cookies, and smell where they take you!

Week 11–Feeling My OATS

Technology is amazing.  So much available at our fingertips.  I, myself, could never have imagined 25 years ago that I would be writing blogs, scanning food labels at the store, talking with friends and family through FaceTime, enjoying silly holiday videos and quips from Facebook, or that my entire life would be held inside a 2 by 3 inch computer.  Truly amazing.

Yet, with all this amazingness that has developed over the past 25 years, something not so amazing has happened.   I had become scattered, more unfocused and basically an inexplicable mess incapable of completing small  tasks that years ago would have been considered simple. I allowed myself to become a victim to all forms of technology and found myself wasting a great deal of time with information that does nothing to enhance my life.

With technology at our fingertips 24/7, it has become too easy for us at  to sit back and watch the world literally pass by without being a part of it.  We have become spectators who don’t participate in our own lives anymore.   We seem content to watch it.

We have forgotten the joy of being involved. As I’ve said in my earlier blogs, we need to move from being and begin doing.  That is why  MMKMA is such an amazing experience for me.  With Mark and Davene’s weekly webinars, readings and creative exercises, I have begun to emerge from that inert base of being into taking actions that I haven’t taken in years…..and in some cases never have taken.

And for those of us so attached to our bad habits,  OATS, is a must. I, as with some of the other exercises provided by the Master Key, have rebelled against keeping schedules. However, now thanks to the Law of  Forgiveness, I  am more easily able to forgive myself for these deviations.  I don’t beat myself quite like I used to. I just pick up where I left off and get back to the routine.  OATS maintains my sanity. It aids me in focusing, maintaining action and creating persistence.  Admittedly, I have not always kept my promises in regards to following the schedule and some of the exercises, but now that I have developed new and better habits, it happens less.

“Fortune is found in your daily routine.” I heard that in a meeting yesterday.   Kismet? Maybe.  All I know is that because of the MMKMA program, it is all gradually coming together. My self-confidence is growing, my peace of mind now is now within reach, the future is much much clearer and it all just feels better.  Harmony is a glorious thing!

Week 10–So Knowledge Doesn’t Apply Itself?

I am a professional student. I love to learn.  Beginning with elementary school and on through college I thrived on being the perfect student. I wish I could have been paid for it…I’d still be going.  Give me a book, a class, a webinar, I’m in.  I love learning the new and the old …as in history. “Jacquie of all trades, Master of none,” I would say with a smirk to myself and others.  Growth, forward thinking, staying relevant, I would call it when in reality I was lying to myself.

So, when Mark J used the term, “Knowledge does not apply itself,”  last week it crushed me.  It did…..and not because I had just realized that was what I had been doing all these years, but because it was so verbally and viscerally  spot on, and I just couldn’t  hide behind all this knowledge anymore without actually doing something with it.  I’ve hit the wall so to speak in the procrastination department.  There’s nowhere to go but forward at this time so when my friend told me about this class and I actually followed through with checking it out and finally becoming involved in the MKMMA community, I realized I was right where I needed to be. It couldn’t have all fallen into place at a better time.

I didn’t really need more information.   I just didn’t DO a lot with it. I wasn’t applying any  more than I absolutely had to.  Was I that lazy, that fearful, to move forward?   Seems so.   I needed to be held to some very tangible requirements, and yes, some of which I rebelled against and still do. I needed to hear real enthusiasm and feeling.  I needed to SIT and learn to focus.  I needed The Gal In the Glass every morning and every night to keep me accountable to the one who matters most. And it’s working! See my blog from Week 9.

I’m sure there are several other professional learners out there avoiding life the way I have.  Learning simply isn’t rewarding when you don’t use it.  If you can’t improve your life or the life of someone else with your knowledge then you have absolutely wasted yours. Please, please, please put forth the action. Turn your being into doing and make your life count.

A huge amount of thanks go out to Mark and Davene for their passion and their sincere devotion to the Give More, Get More philosophy which helps so many move forward in their lives. I am excited to be part of MKMMA and look forward to watching it grow!