Highlights and Humans

1.

When you look at a sphere that’s glossy, you normally see a white point of light, called the highlight. You can measure the highlight. You can see that it’s white, not, say, purple. You can say that it’s half an inch tall, and three quarters of an inch wide, and roughly oval shaped. These are empirical, verifiable, undeniable truths.

When you move, the highlight moves with you, and from some vantage points you can’t see a highlight at all.

The reason is that the highlight doesn’t really exist. The highlight is empirical, verifiable, undeniable, and also doesn’t exist. Not exactly.

There’s really a sphere, and there’s really light hitting it and bouncing into your eyes. But the highlight appears where it does from your perspective because you’re standing in the right position for a lot of the light that’s hitting the sphere to bounce off directly into your eyes. The highlight is just a coincidence—an accident of how the whole scene with you, the sphere, and the light are arranged and how your perception is built. The highlight only exists insofar as you are present in the right context to perceive it.

In fact, the light that creates the highlight in your perception is in a lot more places than you can see, and the “highlight” is just an artifact of your limited ability to see all that light at once, even though it’s definitely there and you could see it if you had the right equipment. Instead you can only see a point of that light—the point that happens to be at exactly the right angle from the light source to the sphere into your eyes. But there’s a lot more light than that.

So the highlight is more a fact about you than it is a fact about the sphere or the light.

2.

You exist in the world. You have a gender, a brain, a history. You probably have an appendix. I can see you and measure you. These are empirical, verifiable, undeniable truths.

I may have seen you or talked to you at some point, and I may see you or talk to you in the future. There was a time when I couldn’t have perceived you because I wasn’t here or you weren’t or neither of us were. A time like that will probably come again.

The reason is that you don’t really exist. You are empirical, verifiable, undeniable, and also don’t exist. Not exactly.

There’s really a world, and there’s really a vast, intelligent light that you can perceive with your ego. But your ego, your body your life appear where they do from your perspective because You the Vastness are standing in the right position for a lot of that light to project directly into the pinpoint of your trip. The ego is just a coincidence—an accident of how the whole scene with You the Vastness, the world, and your ego are arranged and how your perception is built. You the Ego only exists insofar as You the Vastness are present in the right context to perceive it.

In fact, You the Vastness that creates the ego in your perception is in a lot more places than you can see, and the “ego” is just an artifact of your limited ability to see all that you are at once, even though you’re definitely there and could you see it if you had the right equipment. Instead you can only see a point of that light—the point that happens to be at exactly the right angle from the source of your light to the world and into your ego. But there’s a lot more light than that.

So the ego is more a fact about You the Vastness than it is a fact about the real world.

Vastness Q&A

Following up on the fact that you are a gift.

1.

Why do we exist in the limited and disconnected way we do?

What we’re experiencing is a game of our own creation. We are playing each other by imagining new ways to love and connect. What if we loved like this or had a connection like that.

And like giggling, cosmic children, we embrace those whims and find out exactly what it’s like, by agreeing to limit ourselves in the “fun” and unique ways we’ve chosen. Why “fun” and not just fun? It’s fun if you’re operating from your vastness, but the limitations often fucking suck for your ego. Massive head trauma and eye patches are a barrel of laughs unless you take yourself too seriously.

Ideally, we’d all live in our vastness and just give the gift we were meant to give, but we resist it and fuck things up.

2.

But what does it mean to “live in your vastness”?

I mean, if we are these vast beings who are deliberately pretending not to know who they are, then doesn’t it defeat the purpose of playing the game if we are constantly trying to remember what we’ve deliberately forgotten?

First of all, this world is shiny and loud, so you will not have any trouble forgetting what you are at least occasionally. Having infrequent “First Person Vastness” experiences is a great reminder of how to live, but “living in your vastness” isn’t that. What it actually means is just trusting and accepting yourself as the gift you are. When shitty and untrue thoughts and feelings invade because your ego has forgotten it’s just a game, it’s nice to remind yourself:

Hey man, it’s just a ride. Everything is fine.

3.

Why doesn’t our “vastness” just design us to not suck at remembering it’s a game?

The short answer is that I don’t know. I suspect it’s because we’re a “technology” (in a loose sense) that just isn’t perfect at its purpose yet. There’s some necessary component of our egos that is also volatile and prone to melt down. Why do we drive cars that break down, pollute the environment, and create exhaust? Because we haven’t figured out how to build a better car yet.

Maybe what we mean when we say that the human race has to “evolve” is that we need to improve our ability to live in our vastness. We’re a self improving “technology,” and in fact I think that self improvement at giving and receiving love is the whole point of our existence.

4.

Do we have to offer our gift to shitty people?

As a corollary to the “Accept Yourself” rule you have to accept other people as well. That doesn’t mean you have to put up with people who are operating destructively from their ego. It means you have to accept those people for who they are, then make the choice from your vastness about whether you’ll interact with them or not.

Does interacting with them support or enhance the gift you offer? Is your interaction with them a gift you accept in gratitude?

If the answer is no, then remove yourself from the situation.

5.

How can I know what’s part of my gift and what’s just my ego getting in the way?

It’s possible that your gift is your ego getting in the way. We can’t really know in advance what our gift is until we see it, but as we get closer and closer to living in our vastness instead of living in our ego the picture becomes clear, and the parts of us that are bullshit stand out like a stubbed toe.

The only way to start sifting through that bullshit is to accept yourself completely. That means you’ll accept parts of yourself that are not part of your gift, and that don’t serve you. But if you could stop beating yourself up for your shortcomings long enough, you’d start to heal and see what’s beautiful in you. Then you could embrace those things and release the rest with love.

That’s why it’s like an onion, with layers and layers, instead of just “ok, I accept.” You accept the things that strike you as wrong, and when you’ve really embraced yourself at that layer, you’ll see the issues in the next layer. At the end of the process you’ll see yourself for who you are. At the beginning of the process you can’t see that, which is my point: this question is like asking to see the destination before you’ve even started walking.

Just start walking.

Why does this feel so real if it’s just a game? →

The Gift and the Vastness

The Wave

There was once a wave in the ocean, speeding along the surface, basking in the sun with the wind in his face, loving his life and playing with the other waves. He was always happy until he looked away at the distance, and saw the coming shore. He was horrified to see other waves ahead of him crashing into the rocks, breaking and dying. Another wave nearby noticed his distress.

“What’s wrong, man?” said the other wave.
“You don’t understand! None of this matters, this good life, or the sun, or anything! Look at the shore, man, all us waves are going to be crushed against it and die!”
“No, you don’t understand! You’re not a wave… you’re the ocean.”

The Gift

I remembered last Tuesday what I am. I knew it already, but sometimes it’s not enough to know, because for something this important you have to feel it in your fucking bones, your marrow, your deepest mind.

People talk about purpose and talk about their best or highest self, but not that many people know what that means, and vanishingly few live there.

Here’s what it means.

You are a gift. From whom? To whom?

You believe you’re a human being trying to make yourself better or live your life in a better way, but you are not. You are a gift.

Every person and every circumstance is created and intended as a gift, given in love, to any who choose to accept it. You are a gift given in love and accepted with love and gratitude by those who receive you.

The Vast Artist

You, the real you, the one I remembered who I am, are vast. Imagine living in an ocean of connection, dancing through that palpable love. Imagine stretching an infinite multitude of arms outward. From each arm you offer a unique gift, given in love.

You are like an artist because you create each particular gift deliberately, you design each ego, each circumstance, as an experience of connection that hasn’t been generated before, and then you make it available for others to experience. Each is a unique way to experience love and connection, which is a precious gift.

When another like you accepts your gift, she gets to experience that unique connection. She knows what unique perspective your gift offers, and just like you deliberately created it, she deliberately accepts that particular gift.

The Acceptance

The issue is that the gift itself sometimes gets in the way of the giving. Even though the vast us designed the ego’s way of being and its circumstances, that ego gets caught up. It thinks it’s important in itself, it judges itself relentlessly and resists itself endlessly.

What we need, then, is radical self acceptance. We need to realize that we are a precious gift, through to our core. All our fear, and lack of worth, all our mistakes, all our profound love and compassion, all of it is part of our unique gift, offered to meet a specific and deliberate need.

If you stop and really ponder that, you’ll realize that the only thing that can ever truly be “wrong with you” is not accepting and being grateful for yourself. If you do that, all the way down deep until the layers are peeled back, the issues you struggle with will evaporate. Your jealousies, your dark fears, or uncertainty will all make you laugh. Everything will make perfect sense because you will see yourself exactly as you really are, and therefore you’ll make yourself available as a gift of loving kindness, as you were meant to be.

Once you stop resisting yourself and remember that you are a gift offered in love, you will live in that love. You will be able to offer and accept it freely because you won’t be frantically trying to preserve your ego anymore.

The Eye

Look deep. Think of the parts of yourself you don’t like, and start joyfully accepting them as designed. The bullshit will fall away, making it possible for the shitty circumstances to melt as well.

Look at layer after layer after layer, and accept it all, while your world shifts around you. And at the end, you’ll look down one more layer with your mind’s eye, and you’ll see something different than pain and blockage and resistance.

You’ll see your vastness, and remember that your ego is just a tool, a precious gift, given freely to the world, in utter love and joy. And then you’ll live it.

I am not a man with a dream. I am a dream with a man

Update: Read more on my Vastness Q & A →

Commander in Chief

Ok, look, hippies. There’s something New Agey people need to understand.

We’re always busy looking for signs from the universe about our path, and shit like that. We say that when we’re following our path, it gets easier because the universe says “yes” and helps us. It’s more complicated than that.

There’s a danger here of learning helplessness, groping through the dark, frustrated at not being able to figure out the path that our mother universe has laid out before us. This sense that we’re doing it wrong because we haven’t discovered it yet, and that when we do finally discover it, the mysteries of the world will unravel before us in a divine cacophony of insight. We just haven’t been perceptive enough to see the signs that are waiting out there for us.

But that groping, that clawing at the door of an imagined mother figure, is the very force in our lives that holds us back. I asked myself why, with the red carpet out before me, could I not grow and maintain a roster of clients large enough to give me a livable income?

The fire in my chest for helping people burned true, I didn’t just imagine it. But it didn’t burn because I stumbled into the sign that unlocked my life for me.

It burned because I set it on fire.

There are no signs, but those you create for yourself. Your guides aren’t your parents, and you their hapless child. Your guides are your advisers, and you are their president. You set the course. You call the shots. By your singular vision and determination you will succeed. Or by your ambivalence and uncertainty, you fail.

Your doors slam shut in your face because you are ambivalent, not because they are wrong according to some external authority or plan. Stuff doesn’t work because you change your mind, your attention drifts, and soon you’re focused on something other than the path that you had been traveling on.

There’s no trick, there’s no sign, and there’s no plan, except the one you create.

If you want something through to your core, and you focus on it with a fire in your gut that the world can’t douse, then you will create whatever you’re burning for.

Powered by Intuition Interview

Angela Artemis from PoweredByIntuition.com just did a great interview with me about energy work and my book Energy Anatomy.

In the interview I talk about:

  • My background as a healer
  • The path that got me to healing
  • What “energy work” means to me
  • The value of skepticism
  • Physically seeing energy
  • Analytical versus Intuitive balance in the Third Eye
  • Who should go for energy healing?
  • Discord among the many selves
  • How beliefs form mexperiences
  • How to clear your own energy
  • Mistakes that student healers make
  • My new book project
  • The importance of not believing anything I say

Click here to listen to: Finally, a No Nonsense Guide to Energy Work →

Let me know what you think!

Photo Reading: Susan

This is a photo reading I did with Susan. The only information I had going into this reading was her name and this photo. Here’s how the reading went!

My Reading

Susan,

You’re a beautiful and gentle soul. You have an almost child-like energy.

You feel anxious and sometimes fearful, and that you have a man that balances that by making you feel secure. He’s masculine, and grounded, pretty traditional, a “man’s man,” and his influence calms you. Good for you for finding him. You seem really stable together. 8)

You have a budding psychic ability, and I think you’re interested in exploring that, but your fear is blocking you. It’s also blocking your profession. You’re in the allied health professions, but not in a traditional field, something a little more fringe, but it’s still helping people. Something to do with mental health, and clearing blocks. You’ve begun to get serious about it recently.

The issue is that you feel a little fraudulent because what you do is supposed to make people feel stable, but you yourself do not feel stable. So you think “who am I?” and you question whether you’re good enough.

The answer is a little complicated. First of all, NO, you’re not an impostor. Everyone feels like that–google “impostor syndrome.”

But you’re going to use your talents to stabilize yourself, just like you think. But not in the way you think. The core of the issue is that you feel you lack a strong identity. When you find that identity, you’ll notice an upswing in libido, followed by a confidence you’ve rarely felt in life. When you feel that confidence, you’ll know through to your bones that people need your help and you’re just the woman for the job.

When that happens, it’ll be an awakening for you. It’ll also mean that your strong relationship will change–it won’t be a bad thing! But your husband and you will have to adjust to the “new you.” He gains a lot of significance from being there for you, and he’ll be a little lost when you stop needing him so much. Make sure you honor him, and make him feel special, important, and needed!

You’re going to rock the world, I’m so excited for you!!

Her Response

So accurate that I am practically speechless … I honestly don’t know what to say … amazing.

Thanks so much for this.

That was a general reading for Susan. I also do readings focused on money, relationships, health, or any other specific area you want to know about. Click here to find out more about my photo readings →

Photo Reading: Karen

This is a photo reading I did with Karen. The only information I had going into this reading was her name and this photo. Here’s how the reading went!

My Reading

Karen,

You’re beautiful, and I can see that you’re frustrated.

You have children, but I don’t think you’re with their father anymore. I think that’s part of the frustration you’re feeling. It’s coming across as a jade about dating and men, like you’ve been hurt and you’re not sure it’s worth the heartache or effort because you’re not finding the quality partner that you so want (and feel like you need for your children as well).

One thing you need to get straight is that you’re gorgeous. I know you have a block in this area, but when you’re at your best, you radiate beauty. People tell you that too, they notice, but you dismiss it when they say so, like they’re just being nice or whatever. They aren’t: you have tremendous capacity as a woman, and it would make me happy to see you let that shine through.

This is a challenge to you: decide powerfully to feel love. To make decisions and hold beliefs based on love. Let the hurt and disappointment just wash away. When you feel it creep in, hold love in your heart. Think of your children. You’re happiest when you bathe in love, and you make better decisions from your heart that way.

The reason is that you have such a powerful heart. I can see you want to help people, but I can also see you don’t feel like you’re living up to that desire and potential.

You have a job in which you talk to a lot of people, but you’re not really set on fire by it. I’m confused about what the job is. It seems like a pretty small company, and something to do with image, like a fashion consultant (but that’s not it).

You enjoy it to some degree, but you know it’s not your path. Again, make decisions about this path based on Love, not fear. Your love is your strength in this world.

What will set you on fire to do? Don’t worry about what’s going to pay the bills. Figure out the fire first, then the bills. (Use your head though, don’t jump into anything before you have your ducks in a row).

Focus on expressing love in every area of your life, and you will see the life you’ve always wanted unfold before your eyes.

Her Response

Wow! I’m amazed, seriously. You pretty much nailed everything dead on.

I am very frustrated that I’m not finding the quality partner that I want. That is an excellent way of putting it. It’s nearing 3 years since my divorce and I really wasn’t expecting to still be alone at this point. I have had a few short relationships but nothing that has lasted. I guess my self image issues stem from my ex husband and the fact that I keep throwing myself out there and getting rejected.. just last weekend I decided to go out on a limb and ask this guy out that I’m friends with on Facebook. He usually starts up chats with me first and we go to the same gym. So, I sent a message casually asking if he’d like to go to a movie sometime. Not only did he not respond; he deleted his Facebook account 2 days after i sent the message. Ouch! Needless to say it’s been on my mind a lot lately. Not only for me but also for my 2 children. I’m missing being a family…. and tired of going to movies by myself. :)

Thank you for the compliment! I believe it when you say at my best I radiate beauty.. I have had more than one person call me sunshine :) I guess it’s just kind of hard to stay with that feeling. I will give every effort to live with more love and make decisions from my heart. It’s funny because I had this same exact thought process just last week. I had decided to live more authentically, so this challenge comes at an appropriate time.

I work in the IT department of a manufacturing company, mainly help desk and network support. We manufacture headwear, t-shirts, gloves, scarves. “Fashion” is actually in my work email address, [redacted URL of her employer, that has the word "fashion" in it] ! :) I have been there 15 years and the last few years I have definitely lost the fire. I know it’s not my path, I’ve really been feeling that lately. I’m just not sure what my path is or how to find the fire. Right now I feel obligated to stay as i’m the sole provider for me and the kids. I DO want to help people, I just have no idea in what capacity that is! :)

I know you probably didn’t want a novel, but I thought a little background would help show how wonderful you are! I really appreciate the reading and the advice. The kids are getting ready to leave with their dad for the weekend and this is when I usually struggle with keeping the light shining. I think I can, I think I can…

That was a general reading for Karen. I also do readings focused on money, relationships, health, or any other specific area you want to know about. Click here to find out more about my photo readings →

Photo Reading: Lauren

This is a photo reading I did with Lauren. The only information I had going into this reading was her name and this photo. Here’s how the reading went!

My Reading

Lauren,

You’re a lovely girl, and very bright.

You’re a little lost right now, which is fine. You’re not sure who you are or what your calling really is, so you’re just doing what you’re “supposed” to do according to your family, and culture. You have some ideas, but you know it’s not quite “right” though. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, you’ll find your calling, and this is all part of the path as well.

I see conflict in you. When you’re faced with emotional situations, you react in the moment, but in retrospect you don’t always like your reactions. You kind of beat yourself up about it later, like “Why couldn’t I have just been more in control?”

The answer to that question is complicated. You are a very feminine girl, surrounded by a society that misunderstands and often maligns femininity. Being feminine is about expressing and feeling freely, which is the opposite of control. It’s about letting feelings wash over you like the ocean.

The real issue you’re having is related to your finding that path I mentioned before. You haven’t yet build a strong sense of purpose and identity as a woman, so those feelings that wash over you are not coming from a place of feminine power and love. Instead they often come from anger or insecurity. Having those strong emotions is part of your strength and beauty as a feminine woman, so please honor that in yourself. Don’t think that’s wrong, and try to control that like a man would. Instead realize that the issue is really about the authenticity and congruency of those emotions.

When you learn about yourself, and come into your own as a radiant and powerful woman, you will find that the feelings you have will remain intense. But instead of being frustrated by them, you will be empowered by them and learn to honor them.

Part of that learning about yourself means finding partners. I can see you’re mostly heterosexual. When it comes to guys, right now you are most intensely attracted to very masculine, grounded men. That is natural as you are feminine and you don’t have that really strong rooting yet, as I was talking about above. Be careful with these men though: they will tend to shape and dominate your identity. Remember that you are responsible for your own growth, and be sure at all times that are comfortable and happy with the influences your partners put you under.

There will come a time when you no longer need that dominantly masculine man. In fact that type of masculinity is the immature and insecure type that relies on bullheaded dominance and displays of power. You’ll find as you mature into that powerful feminine force I described, you’ll be turned off by the men that used to attract you. Instead you’ll seek out more balanced men: masculine to the core, but in touch with his feminine side, and ready to be true partners with you.

Remember, as you grow, to honor yourself by staying connected to your heart above all else. Ask yourself as you think and feel and decide: am I operating from a place of fear and anger? Or from a place of love?

If you side with love, you’ll grow into a shining example of a woman and magnetize exactly the kind of man you deserve and desire.

Her Response

Pete oh my goodness you read me like a book–what a beautiful reading, soo right on I can’t even say that one part was a little off or didn’t resonate it was like bam bam bam right on the mark haha!!! I can’t believe you read all of that off one photo. You’re soooooo right about me being a bit lost and every guy i have dated in the past few months have been masculine go getters who know themselves very well and I thirst for them because of my own lack of identity. I know that everything you read you provided in the reading however if you had even a tiny instinct or feeling about what i should do or what my calling relates to or even a vague idea/launching point that would be point me in the right direction I would so appreciate it. If you didn’t get anything about that cuz i know that’s probably getting specific, then no worries it was an amazing reading.

My Follow Up

Lauren,

I’m so glad the reading resonated 8)

Your path is going to be tricky for you. A person blazes a path through their life only after they’ve come to know themselves, and then create themselves to be who they choose to be. After that point of self discovery, a path normally rolls out in front of you. It’s a path that you couldn’t have followed before that discovery phase.

So the reason I said it’s fine that you’re not sure about your path yet is that it’s not yet time for you to drive toward your mission, so to speak. Right now it’s time to discover yourself. And you’re going to create opportunities to grow and discover yourself just by living your life, regardless of what you’re doing right now. Take this time to try lots of different things, without strong attachment to any of them.

Just be careful not to wander into a career or relationship that traps you. Be mindful of always moving and growing, and you will create yourself first, then your true path.

That was a general reading for Lauren. I also do readings focused on money, relationships, health, or any other specific area you want to know about. Click here to find out more about my photo readings →

Sweet Release, Energy Anatomy

Beginning in July I did a 40 day no orgasm trial. When you go from orgasming every day to orgasming never, it may seem that the energy and ecstasy of the orgasms is somehow lost. Like if you don’t use it that day, it’s lost.

What I found out is first that that energy ends up being redirected into more intense emotions and into a spectacular creative flow. Second, when the release finally does come, so to speak, it’s as if that energy, pent up for 40 days, releases all at once in something more beautiful and intense than 40 smaller orgasms.

I haven’t been posting essays for a couple weeks. You may think the energy and ecstasy of those posts is lost. But actually their creative energy was redirected powerfully into a single, explosive work that’s far greater than the sum of a couple weeks of essays.

A labor of love has kept me very busy. I’ve actually been working on this way longer than a couple weeks. I mentioned starting this book quite a while back, but as with all major projects the first 90% takes a lot of time, and then the second 90% takes a lot more. I always forget how much blood and sweat goes into these things.

Without further ado:

Energy Anatomy: A Grounded Guide to Energy Work & Energy Healing

I’ve learned a lot over the decades and in my practice as an energy worker, but there has always been one source of frustration for me. I’ve been interested but skeptical of the information available about energy work.

“Let’s assume I believe all this stuff,” I’d say. “What does it mean? How does it work in real life? Why doesn’t anyone know about it like they know about buoyancy and genomes?” I won’t just believe whatever some hippy writes on the internet. Most of it is just hand waving that amounts to “because god!”

Where is all the information about energy work for people who are intrigued but want information that’s grounded in reality?

I wrote Energy Anatomy to be that grounded guide. I say that because I was the interested skeptic you may be now, and I wrote the book I wish I had when I began this journey. What that means to you is that your questions about energy work will finally be answered in a clear, accessible way, with minimum hand waving. What that really means to you is that you’ll be able to tap into the infinite joy and gratitude available to anyone who really gets this stuff. Your own unlimited wisdom and intuition.

This was especially labor intensive because every spread in the book has a painting, illustration or photo, most of which I painted from scratch. The visual work is so extensive and high quality that I’m going to release an entire separate package of posters and illustrations later on. Check out a few low resolution samples:

Nervous System - Pete Michaud Energy Anatomy: Energy Work & Energy Healing

Illustration of the Nervous System showing major Nervous Plexi

Heart Chakra Diagram - Pete Michaud Energy Anatomy: Energy Work & Energy Healing

Diagram of a well-functioning Heart Chakra. There are diagrams for each chakra, and one of the full system interacting.

Solar Plexus Chakra - Pete Michaud Energy Anatomy: Energy Work & Energy Healing

Visualization of the Solar Plexus chakra (there's one of these for each major chakra!)

Now instead of just slogging through walls of text, you’ll be able to connect what you’re learning to a visual cue so you learn faster and more deeply, and so you actually remember what you learn. It means you’ll be able to put what you learn into practical action.

Get Your Copy

It’s easy to buy the book because you can choose either Paypal or Google Checkout to pay with a credit or debit card, or Paypal balance. Then you can download the book instantly. Doesn’t get easier!

Click here to Buy Now

Other Cool Stuff

One thing that I think goes without saying is that I’m not some slimy snake oil salesman. Even if I was, you know where I live, so to speak, because I have this blog. My point is that if you don’t like the book, then I don’t want your money. Just let me know, and I’ll give you a (fast) refund, no questions asked. I think that’s obviously how it should be done, but I want to be crystal clear, so I wrote it out.

Something I think is cool about this e-book format is that there’s an awesome navigation bar that allows you to instantly navigate to any part of the book:

energy anatomy spread interactive table of contents

That makes reading the book super fast and easy, but it also makes it awesome as a reference that you can refer to again and again.

Deal for my Readers

I think this book will help a lot of people, and I definitely think you should check it out. In order for it to help a lot of people though, a lot of people need to see it. So I set up a special discount code for anyone who Tweets, Likes, Recommends, +1s, snail mails, carrier pigeons, or just plain shares this with other people.

Those people will get over 50% off the cover price, making the purchase a no-brainer. You might as well steal my underwear while you’re at it. No, actually I don’t wear underwear.

Anyway, instead of making some complicated system, I’m just going to give you the discount code and trust that you’ll do your part by spreading the word. Simple!

1.

Click this link to go to the checkout page

2.

Once you’re at the checkout page, type the following code in the “Discount Code” box on the bottom left: SharingIsCaring

3.

Win!

I’m looking forward to all your awesome feedback on this book. I poured myself into it, and you won’t be disappointed. Let me know what you think!

ps. If this kind of book is your thing, and you have a tribe to spread it to, let me know so I can set you up as an affiliate. That way you can help your friends and help yourself at the same time!

The Awesome Power of Forgiveness

I wept like a heart broken child just now. It’s not a cute and shocking metaphor. I was literally wracked with sobs, convulsing in the fetal position on this couch in the San Francisco Bay Area until about 30 seconds ago. This requires some context.

I’ll tell the whole story some day, but here’s a summary.

The Fall

My dad was a great guy, and a perfectly normal 9-to-5 suburban suit. That’s why the news that he had died of a cocaine overdose hit me like a ton of bricks. Actually he mixed coke, a $20 bottle of Merlot, and a shitload of Percocet.

I had been on the phone with my mom all week from Florida, because he had gone missing after a fight with her. I hoped he was driving across the country to sleep on my couch and cool off. Instead the Ohio Highway Patrol found his sun-baked body in the back of his wine-red Denali at a rest stop just a few miles away from his house.

I was 21 when I traveled to Ohio for the funeral, and to take care of my Mom. My wife and children were perfectly supportive, but that kind of loss is like an abyss. And my heart, tattered as it was, ripped through when I found my mother emaciated and covered in boils from the aggressive staph infection.

The faster a drug takes effect the more addictive potential it has. Both my mom and dad had been injecting a water and cocaine solution into their arms for many months. They used clean hypodermic needles (available at pharmacies for diabetes injections), but one can only perforate one’s skin so many times before introducing infection. I’m told my dad was close to death just from the infection alone.

Mom spent the first few days I was there for the funeral completely inconsolable and bed-ridden. When she came downstairs at a decent time one morning, chipper as June Cleaver, it scared the shit out of me like watching a zombie lurch across the room headless.

She aggressively declined to acknowledge her drug use. After looking into interventionists, we had to depart after the funeral, leaving her behind with her coke and my two teenage siblings.

Without her consent, there was nothing I could do, so I went home and went about the business of grieving for my dad and for them as well.

A month later, she called.

The Tempest Approaches

“Pete, I want to go to rehab. Will you come watch the kids for me?”

I was standing on her porch 36 hours later. But after a week, mom still wasn’t in rehab and had changed her mind completely. I took my brother and sister aside.

“Guys, Mom’s doing bad, I don’t know when she’ll get better, but she can’t take care of you anymore. We have to take care of each other.”

With tears in her eyes, my mother allowed me to fly both the kids home to Florida.

So at 21, I bought the only house I could afford that could fit me and my wife, our two kids, and my siblings, plus my home office. And I started tearing at the walls right away.

The worst year of my life followed. I dropped out of the honors program in college, tanked my first company, went into deep debt, drove my marriage to the brink of destruction. My brother was days away from college, but my sister was out of control. Mom undermined my efforts to help the kids at every turn. She was deteriorating into a paranoid waste case, with freely available life insurance money to fund her decent into delusion and misery.

Then one day I could not find my brother or sister. They had disappeared. After many hours searching that day, I called mom.

“Mom, I haven’t heard from the kids all day, none of their friends know anything, I’m worried. Did they call you?”

“The kids are with me here.”

“Here? Where’s here, are you in town?”

“Here in Ohio.”

I hear my sister laugh at me in the background, as I realize what’s happened.

Fuck you Pete: all you did? Fuck you. Marriage in shambles? Fuck you. Boys all confused and fucked up? Fuck you. Crushing debt? Fuck you. Can’t finish school? Fuck you.

I can’t explain the utter despair I felt in that moment. I knew my siblings were rightly and truly fucked. I knew my brother would never make it through school. I knew Mom would be an addict from then on. And I knew that my idea that love mattered and doing the right thing made a difference was bullshit.

If I hadn’t had a family to take care of, I might have killed myself after that. I felt so completely empty, like I wanted to cry forever but I had no emotion left to spare. Emotional rock bottom.

After a few days staring a wall, I wrote my mom a letter. I said she had destroyed me, and I was cutting her off until she was clean and sober. That was 5 years ago, and I haven’t been in contact with any of them since then (more or less, summarizing here).

New Dawn

In those years I’ve gotten over things. I talk about my mom with a shrug: she fucked me over, but whatever, that’s what addicts do. I’ve moved on, built a better life for myself.

This year in particular has seen me accelerate down this path of allowing my light to shine brightly from within.

I’m here in the Bay Area doing sessions, and staying with my grand parents. My now-adult sister happened to choose now to send my grandmother a nasty e-mail that I think is out of line. So I stew for a day, then write her. I poured out my story and my feelings to her, a harrowing but compassionate e-mail. And I was on a roll, so I did the same to my mom. Totally candid, totally from a place of longing and love.

And today my exchange concludes with real forgiveness. Here’s the very end of what I wrote to my mother. Truer, more sincere words have never been written:

I forgot to mention something that’s important. I love you, completely and unconditionally. I’ve let go of whatever hurt and heartbreak I harbored. There’s no room in my heart for that anymore, I’m too full of gratitude and love.

I wrote to you once that what you did almost killed me and I wasn’t sure if my heart would ever recover. It did feel like it almost killed me, but my heart recovered, stronger and more fierce than ever. There’s a fire inside me, an intense passion and love that devours sadness and fear. It’s hot and bright like the sun inside my chest. Just like when I was a kid, I want to save the world. I’m working on it now.

But I just want you to understand that I forgive you, and I love you.

And then I pressed send.

And then I stepped aside, and I wailed like a black-laced widow. I clutched my chest, and felt the pain clawing its way out through my throat. Between choking and sobbing, “I love you… thank you…”

I love you, thank you.

My heart overflows with love, with gratitude for my lessons, for my blessings. Today the black gunk buried deep behind my heart was overwhelmed by the unconditional love I feel. By a raging, unstoppable torrent of utter gratitude.

A voice told me months ago, Healer, Heal Thyself. Today I’ve been baptized in tears.

Thank you. I love you all.