Say Hello 2 Heaven

There’s a creeping bitterness that nips at my heels. I think I do a good job of keeping it at bay, but everyone knows the cliche of the bitter old person, and I can see how the gray get there. Not everyone can keep it at bay. They get disillusioned after being broken one too many times.

It’s hard to blame them for becoming cynical. There are only so many times you can die under your Dad’s car tire, grow up with a broken face, sink good years of your life into an abusive relationship, lose your father, your mother, your siblings, your children, your livelihood and legacy, and keep on trucking with clear eyes.

I guess it’s important to hit bottom at least once, for perspective, but the part that strikes me as really strange is that there’s nothing to do with all the heartbreak. It feels like there should be something, some outlet for it, and I think people get stuck—sometimes for their whole lives—trying to process their bad experiences, trying to find that outlet to get the hurt out of their bodies and spirits, trying to find the key that will make whatever happened acceptable so they can have permission to be happy again.

But there’s nothing there to find.

There’s no catharsis, there’s no movie ending where the bad guys get what’s coming, or the douchebag sees the errors of her ways. Life just rolls on, and you have to keep moving and just exist with whatever has happened, otherwise you stop living and growing, and burn out into one of those bitter, gray people.

Heaven & The Abyss

I was listening to that song that everyone loves “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” which is about a guy named Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose after battling with depression. One of the lines struck me:

“He hurt so bad, like his soul breaking
But he never said nothing to me”

And that’s what got me thinking about all this. I’ve been broken a few times, and come back mostly better and stronger, but I wonder where the line is between that bitterness nipping at your heels but being at bay, versus being broken and just not telling anyone in the hope that if you fake it long enough, you’ll make it.

I think my conclusion is to throw out the question. That is a question framed by inevitable bitterness, and the question is about what degree you let it affect you. But I reject that premise.

I’m saying that the advice I’d give to my younger self, is that you need to remain unattached to outcomes, and just learn to exist in a state of unconditional, childlike wonder. Horrors and atrocities and soul breaking tragedy will undoubtedly hit, and all you can do in the face of that titanic sadness is shine as brightly as you know how, as a reflection to others that there’s love and hope in the world, but also as a reflection to yourself.

Don’t fake it—I’ve wept until I couldn’t breathe, until my soul ground to a halt, until I had no light to give. If you’re there, be there. The worst thing you can do is exist in limbo, between gut-wrenching sadness and the veneer of normalcy. That limbo is where people get lost—they stumble through a fog of distractions, with that sadness at their heels forever, until the day they die.

I say plumb the depths of that darkness, and stare it in the face. There’s no movie ending, no catharsis. Just you and that abyss, looking back at you. When you can look into it and stop fighting against it existing, then it loses its power over you. It exists, you exist. That’s all.

You exist. Let that childlike wonder take over.

Now you can shine again, from a place so deep inside that tragedy cannot strike, so bright that darkness cannot exist.

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.

Sick and Tired

I’m alive! It was touch and go for a while, but I made it through about a week of being sick. Aside from a persistent cough, I got better yesterday, which was my birthday, so this is the first day I’ve had to catch up on things. I owe people some readings and phone calls, you know who you are, I’m on it!

How to Draw

The Last Psychiatrist just released an article that beautifully articulates a point I’ve made weakly several times in my writing.

The point is essentially that we project so much of our own meaning onto the world that we forget to see what’s actually there.

… Edwards calls this the “tyranny of the symbol system” because it dictates to us, forces our hand to draw symbols rather than what we see.

But it isn’t simply that we draw using these symbols; we perceive using them as well. I don’t bother to see the actual shape of a head because it was never important to; in order to see it for what it really is, I need to practice my perception. It is easy for me to see a news story as a manufactured construct, but it never occurred to me I was seeing every day objects wrong. My tilted computer monitor isn’t a rectangle; it’s a trapezoid.

You’ll never make the huge breakthroughs you want in your life if you don’t teach yourself to see what’s really there.

How To Draw (This Is Not An Article About How To Draw) →

Enduring Value

I start working around 8 in the morning, and I’m normally done by 8 at night. Last week I took Sunday off, and built some games.

But what am I doing that I call work? How can I look back at the end of the day and know I was “productive”?

Hours worked are irrelevant. The real question is:

What have you built today that has enduring value?

I could argue that my photo readings have enduring value because they can change peoples’ lives, and who knows what value will come from that in the long term. But using that logic, sneezing at the right place and time has enduring value.

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

No, what I mean is producing something that didn’t exist yesterday, that is valuable now, and will continue being valuable for the foreseeable future. I always feel like I accomplished something when I release projects like my Energy Anatomy book, which will be helping people learn about energy work for years to come. I always feel productive when I’ve published a blog post that I know will inspire someone and continue inspiring people.

And I think, assuming you follow through, it’s productive to build part of a project that will be released. Most of my days are spent working on projects that are not yet ready to be released. When they finally are released to the world, all the “potential productivity” is transformed right then to actual productivity. Before that moment though, you’re just spinning your wheels.

Research is spinning your wheels. Thinking is spinning your wheels. Half completed projects are wheels that are spinning in place.

But let’s be honest. We all spin our wheels, and spinning is necessary. It’s like training for a triathlon. Sure, practice swimming and running and biking. But then show up to the race. Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels.

Not only that, but sometimes we take a day off and play. If you’re just running for the joy of it, don’t worry about the race. I do photo readings because I love doing them, even though they don’t meet my definition of productivity. I write software most of the time just for fun, not to be productive.

The thing is I know the difference. When I’m doing something for fun, I let it be fun. When I’m doing something to be productive, that simple question is how I keep myself honest.

What have I built today that has enduring value?

10 or 11 hour work days are well and good, but they don’t mean shit except that I’m a masochist unless I produce something that has enduring value.

What have you produced today?

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!

Dominoes and the Price of Admission

I really wanted to quit my job. I was too afraid of the domino effect to do it though. Quitting my job meant not being able to pay my mortgage and take care of my family.

We get stuck because we start thinking about the domino effect. The fear that the changes we want are going to cause a cascade of changes we don’t want.

The sticking point here is that we spend all this time thinking about the aspects of our lives we want to change, but when we can’t figure out how to change those things without affecting anything else, we give up.

Fuck yeah, fuck my boss! He can take my gray little Dilbert cubicle and shove it right up his ass!” sounds great until your car payment is due.

Leaving your verbally abusive wife sounds good until you think about finding a new place to live, and the reality of your growing waistline in the face of having to go out and date again. You stop thinking about it because it feels too painful.

Don’t do that.

Here’s what you do instead: write down the consequences of the thing you want to do and work backward to eliminate them. Get rid of the bills you’re afraid you can’t pay. While you can still afford to live in the bigger place, move into a smaller place. While you can still afford two cars, sell them and buy two bikes instead, or a clunker. Now you’re free to stay or quit without the fear of the domino effect.

It helps to think like the worst has already happened. Sit and imagine you’ve just been fired. What do you do? Do you start looking for ways to cut back expenses? Do you take some time off to relax? Do you look for a different job? Do those things now, before you leave your job: cut expenses like you’re destitute, take some time off, look for a different job (you really are a masochist, aren’t you?). Now those dominoes have no power over you.

Tah-dah! You’re free to quit your job.

Caveat: Price of Admission

There are circumstances in which you endure one thing in order to hang onto another thing, and that can be okay. I call it the “price of admission.” You might have a boyfriend who you love dearly, and he might drive you up the wall by constantly leaving his clothes on the floor. You pick them up and wash them. Price of admission.

If you’re facing something that you think might be a deal breaker but you’re not sure, then:

  1. Ask yourself: What is causing my pain? I pick up dirty clothes because I want a clean room and my boyfriend leaves his shit everywhere.
  2. Ask yourself: What do I get for my pain? In exchange for cleaning clothes on the floor and a small portion of my sanity, I get an intensely loving, sexy boyfriend.
  3. Is what I get worth my pain? In other words, if someone proposed a deal to me to get the thing from question two in exchange for my pain, would I take the deal? Yes, I would take a kickass boyfriend in exchange for a life of uncertain laundry cleanliness.
  4. No, the upside isn’t worth the downside. Then stop taking the deal: it’s a deal breaker.
  5. Yes, the upside is worth the downside. Then you have two things to do. You must do the first. The second is up to your discretion and creativity:
    1. Become 100% okay with whatever the bad thing is. Even if you wouldn’t generally choose to clean up clothes after a grown-ass man, you have chosen to clean up in this context. That word is important: cleaning the dirty clothes is now a choice that I made, not a situation that I’m victimized by. If you find it impossible to be okay with a situation, then stop kidding yourself: the upside really isn’t worth the downside, stop taking the deal.
    2. Solve the problem in a different way. Hire a housekeeper. Problem solved.

    Don’t let the domino effect stop you from making the changes you know you need to make for a life of passion and fire. Eliminate the power those dominoes have over you, or fully embrace the prices you deliberately choose to pay for the life you truly desire.

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 →

You Suck At Everything

People are born with talents. You better hope you get one that’s impressive or lucrative, because otherwise you’re screwed.

Take these two artists for example:

Artist #1

Artist #2

I didn’t choose these two artists so I could pick on the first one though. I actually picked these two because they illustrate my point, and there’s something really interesting about both of these guys: they have the same name. It’s not impossible, but “Jonathan Hardesty” isn’t the most common name to share.

The Difference Between The Jonathan Hardestys

I want to show you another comparison. It’s the Jonathans’ self portraits.

Jonathan #1

Jonathan #2

What are the chances of these two artists’ names being identical?

100%

Jonathan #1 is from 2002. Jonathan #2 is from 2011, almost a decade later.

The Jonathans have the same DNA, the same mother, the same father. The difference between the two Jonathans is time, determination, and persistence. Talent doesn’t exist; get to work.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-Calvin Coolidge

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 →