Onward

I can’t believe that this cycle is coming to an end.  I remember thinking an extra two weeks is a long time and Wow! time really progressed.   Meditating really became easier at the end of the cycle.  I have become more comfortable with it and actually look forward to trying different types.  Today while sitting in traffic I thought to myself that it would be great if when I feel stressed that some meditation would automatically begin. It does not happen all the time but there have been occasions this cycle when I have stopped myself and just breathed prior to possibly hulking out on something that I found stressful (most of the time it was something not worth getting upset over).  I have found that meditating and/or listening to different meditations has been helpful in getting me grounded.

My father is currently in a rehab center participating in  intense Speech, OT, and PT sessions to get him on the right track after his stroke.  There is a lot of uncertainty right now that includes: How soon will he be able to live at home?  When he does get home what assistance will he need and what modifications will be necessary?    Honestly I have resorted to working out and meditating to help me to ease this anxiety of the unknown.  I am committed to taking this one day at a time.

I stayed commited to my second goal of reading and/or listening to something inspiring each day.  I did not read everyday but was able to make up for days I missed via reading and listening more over the weekend.  For example I found myself multitasking listeing to more podcasts and audiobooks while doing housework and/or driving.

I plan to continue to meditate and read/listen to inspiring books, podcasts, etc.

I have a few thoughts about the cycle.

I always enjoy having a buddy and always learn a lot from this relationship.  Thank you HKWeiss  for being there.  I learned a lot from our weekly discussions and meetings.  You are a true student and teacher of the work.  I know that you are on the right track to great things!

I also enjoyed my small group.  Despite almost all of us being located far from each other  I felt that I got a lot from our calls. Initially, I was worried as we were only going to have Video Conference / Audio Calls.  Due to some techical difficulties from the first meeting we stayed with the audio conference calls.  I learned a lot from our calls as I was fortunate to be in a group with such a great, honest and vulnerable group of women. The simple conference call format actually allowed us to spend more time on connecting as opposed to figuring out the logistics of where to meet and if the technology was working or not.   We even made a third conference call work this week despite everyone being busy.

I am glad that we stepped up monitoring of the ground rules via Integrity Captains.  I believe that it allowed everyone to become more aware.

I remember this from HKWeiss at the end of last cycle noting:

HKWeiss Closing Thoughts Cycle 9

“Some stalwart bloggers were hot and cold, and some other members ‘hid’ more so this cycle than previous, which limited the blog and general sharing, although it elevated the shares from those who did post for me –> sharing = caring and I’ll take what I can get from whomever is willing to share!”

and I remember  Kyla778 Vision Post

I found both of these posts as a catalyst for stepping it up this cycle.  I know there were many other conversations, regarding this.

I believe that the blog was much more active and juicy as everyone shared.  I think we accomplished a lot from this consistency.  I am speaking for myself but I believe that there were occasions that we spent too much time focusing on the people who did not blog as opposed to focusing on the people who did.  I know that I could have made more comments on others blog posts.  Sharing is caring.  Going forward I am going to make more time to comment and focus on the people who did blog.  Balance is key.

NAMASTE1234567 had posted the following at the begining of the cycle. ” If you want to reach a state of bliss, make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge.  Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time.” It’s important to be aware of them everyday. For me, the activity on Whatsapp provides a good lesson for this.  I was a bit quiet this round as I have a bit of Whatsapp fatigue.  I have been active on Whatsapp since the begining of ALP4  in December 2013.  I am communications captain so always did my best to stay engaged.   Last cycle as Inspiration Captain I would overanalyze everything that I sent.   I wanted everything to be “inspirational” and felt that I wasnt always able to accomplish that.  This is coming from being an analayzer/perfectionist.  It is for certain that I get to cointinue to work on my ego.  I know that I need to state my contract to remind myself of my power. This cycle I spent more time focusing on my goals and doing my best to connect with others directly.  I will continue to focus on direct connection going forward into the next cycle and beyond.

Thank you everyone!

 

Support is Essential

It has been a challenging week.  I don’t know how to really begin.. On Tuesday afternoon my mother called to tell me that my father had a stroke.  She said he is okay but his speech is slurred and is very weak.  My sister and I immediately went to Connecticut.  He has been in the hospital since Monday.  He will go to a Rehab Center today.  As I am typing  this while in his hospital room sitting next to him, I noticed some good progress. My dad’s speech is slurred and is still weak but I believe / know that he will get better.  I believe the rehab center will be great to get him on the mend.  It’s a bit of a setback.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer two years back and just received word that he is cancer free.

This is difficult for me to write as I am not known to share about news and/or to reach out for help in times like this.  I have slowly reached out to some friends and family to let them know.  I don’t know the reason but just don’t like to come across as being an attention taker, etc.  I guess my mother and father are the same, for example my mother waited one day to call my sister and me.  We didn’t even know that he had shingles the prior week. She just didn’t want to worry us.  Looking at my mother’s action… the idea of not reaching out for help/support is crazy.

I notice that I am guarded in what I share when it comes to things like this.  For example, I went to get my father his newspapers (he reads like 3-4 newspapers each day) and I saw some acquaintances at the News Store.  They asked how my parents are doing. Instead of sharing the actual details I just said that everyone is fine.  That’s what my parents would want me to say too. Obviously family members and close family friends are aware of everything.

I believe that the work has been helpful and has come to mind a lot.  I believe that I am handling the uncertainty better and being positive.  For example it could have been much worse.  If I really want perspective all I need to do is to go to the floor below which is I believe is the trauma unit, intensive care.  Not easy to think about under  this circumstance but doing my best to be positive.

I am taking this one day at a time and being positive.  I am also taking into consideration that my way of being is essential

I have done some meditating but not everyday.  Today I realized the benefits of mediation as I made time to step back and breath.  I have also not exercised all week. Today I  made some time to mediate and stretch for 20-30 minutes and then workout a bit doing exercises on my own.  The same type of body weight exercises I do at Cross Fit Queens.  I definitely feel better.  Meditating is helpful even when I feel distracted.  I no longer beat myself up when my mind wanders.  I just catch myself and get back on track.

Prior to getting the news I was listening to various podcasts (goal number 2) to read and listen to different books and inspiring podcasts.

My friend Kerry is a speaker on Marketingprofs.  She interviews different people each week.  I really enjoyed her interview with this Chris Brogan who recently published a book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators.  Some take aways from the interview include:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2014/24678/business-owner-chris-brogan-marketing-smartshttp://www.marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2014/24678/business-owner-chris-brogan-marketing-smarts

Define “success” for yourself, in business and in life : “You have to remember that worth and value are amazingly different than just cash. Being successful is not about the money you make. It’s about being able to live life on your terms.”  I really like the idea of living life on your terms.

This is something that I am striving to achieve – finding balance and living life on my terms.  I have been working to free myself from things that take me away from my desire to connect with others.

To get ahead in business, help others : “When you are sour, when you are bitter, when you are jealous, when you are worried that someone else has something more than you, nothing ever good comes of it. No good thing comes from that mindset. The mindset is this: ‘I’m going to help as many people as I can help.’ All of the money I’ve ever made, every dollar in my bank account, came from being helpful. I know that there’s other people who are jerkfaces and they made their money being jerkfaces, but that is so small a percentage compared to the people who live and thrive just by being helpful, and the best thing is that every single one of those dollars I’ve made, I make it twice, because when I make a dollar being helpful, the person I’ve helped is like ‘Wow, I love that guy! I can’t wait to work with him again.’ So, I can’t give any better advice than ‘be helpful.”

I operate with the goal of being helpful to others.   I strive to go with the mindset of connecting people with great products to make their lives / jobs easier.

I also feel its important to stay focused and not get distracted by others successes and failures.  “The work” and PSP Life has kept me mindful of my vision, and goals.  Although these goals change its been great to be mindful that this is okay too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting

Hello All,

First things first… I did some meditation when I was traveling but not as much as I have been doing when I am here.  My schedule was quite busy and I didn’t feel the need to do so.     The China part of the trip was more of a vacation.  Last week at this time I was participating in a weekend long wedding.  It was such amazing experience and I was so honored to be a part of it.

Please check out the following link.  You may need to download Flash for certain browsers but I believe you will be able to view it on your phone.  I am in the video a few times.  There are more highlights after 2 minutes.

Wedding Ceremony Highlights

I was the best man and got the chance to say a speech as well participate in other activities.  I really enjoyed myself despite not being able to understand everything that was said.   My intention for the weekend was to connect with the experience and with the people who attended.  There were 500 people so I  was fortunate to connect with some friends and family of the bride and groom.  More importantly  I did my best to help make the day extra special for the bride and groom.

One of my favorite parts was when the groom and the groomsmen went to the brides home to convince the bridesmaids that the groom is ready to marry the bride.  The bridesmaids had us play various games.

Bridal Party Games

I tried to upload the longer video but there are limits on the size of the video.

I also had the chance to bond with many family members even if we did not understand each others languages.  We did do a lot of drinking toasts between us.  The funniest time was when the bridal families went around the room to make toasts with the other guests. which basically left me with a few other family members.  There was this uncle who wanted to talk to me and I wanted to chat with him; however we did not speak each others languages.  So.. we just continued to make toasts to each other.

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Oh yeah!  Notice the change in pants.  I had a wardrobe malfunction.  As I was searching for the brides shoes as one of the games, I dove to the floor showing my enthusiasm and I then heard a rip as my pants tore.  Chinese sizes are a bit different… Anyway it all worked out but it was a bit embarrassing. Fortunately no one really noticed when it happened.

My time in China made me  reflect about my initial years that I lived in Japan to study the language.  During this time I chose to immerse myself and made every effort to study and speak Japanese.  What motivated me study was the chance to interact with different people.    Fast forward to 2017 and things have become a tad bit easier in communicating  as a result of programs like Google Translate.

Honestly I wanted to stay longer and just study Chinese and interact with different people.  The connections with different people is what makes it all worthwhile.

Meditation was helpful today as I woke up early due to jet lag.  I listened to a mediation segment and it helped to relax and rest instead of waking up.  The mediation helped me to stop worrying about things that I needed to get done and  to just “be”.

On the reading, I finished a book about Jeff Bezos and Amazon and now re-listening to chapters from The Millionaire Fastlane.  There were a few chapters that were a bit more detailed focused and wanted to understand more. These chapters were more text book like.

 

 

 

Shifting..

This week I continued to meditate.  I highlighted this in the last post but I find that listening to different meditations while going about my day has been helpful.  This practice has made me more aware when I get stressed or irritable about something. More importantly the practice grounds me prior to doing something.

Hey did I tell you that I am going to China?  I am actually going to China via Sweden.  It all started when my friend / old-coworker asked me to be his best man in his wedding.  I was kind of surprised about the whole thing.  I get to think about what I will say for a speech.  I have been fortunate to give a best man’s speech in the past but never in China when most of the attendees are Chinese speakers.  I get to be mindful of the cultural aspects too.  Your advice is appreciated.

I am also stopping in Sweden along the way as I have been planning to visit a company that I work very closely with.  I am looking forward to the 1.5 week adventure that begins this Monday evening.

Back to the goal. On Monday I went to the Chinese Consulate to apply for my visa.   The application process made me a bit anxious.   I probably should not have waited till the last week prior to going as it takes four days to get processed.  It’s not that difficult its just time consuming and I have flashbacks from the last time I applied for a Chinese Visa in 2010.  The last time I applied I waited for like one hour and when I finally presented all the necessary information and I was told that I did not have enough pages on my passport.  I had to get a new passport in order to get the visa.  Fortunately being in NYC it was not overly difficult to get a new passport in one day.

This time I was prepared and made sure that I had all the necessary information.  On the way via bus / subway I listened to some meditations in order to get me grounded.  I also predicted that there may be a wait time.  I had hoped to arrive for the first thing in the morning but didn’t make it there till the afternoon with work and other commitments.  Sure enough the line was out the door and it was raining.  Instead of getting flustered, I continued to listen to some meditation and focused on breathing.  I will be honest, it was really hard to stay focused as the consulate was really busy and lacked any sense of organization.  At least this was my experience.  I continued to breath and think about that this issue is a first world problem and to focus on enjoying the day.  One of the meditations spoke about gratitude.   I was almost successful in keeping it together until one of the reviewers said I was missing a copy of my hotel reservation.  I told the reviewer that my friend booked the hotel.  She immediately responded and said that I either get an invitation letter from my friend or I present a hotel reservation.

I panicked a bit but was determined to get the visa application submitted.  I frantically ran to the nearest hotel lobby/business center in which I could get wifi access; quickly make a hotel reservation;  printed it out; ran back to submit the forms.  The consulate is on 42nd and the West Side Highway.  I had to do this in under 40 minutes.  I was able to do this in time but it was not graceful.  This is where I panic and need to shift.  I could have enjoyed the adventure as opposed to just running and being mad at myself for missing this information.

On Wednesday I had a busy day scheduled and wanted to get a gym class in prior to taking on the day.  There was a 6:00 AM class that I was hoping to take.  I don’t love the class but its nearby and I could get back to my apartment rather quickly. The main reason is that over the years this time slot has been unreliable with changes in instructors, start times and teachers canceling classes, without subs, etc.  I decided to give it a chance since it had gotten better as I had attended it a few times over the past months.  When I got to the class I noticed that other people were doing their own exercises.  After a minute I went to the front desk and they told me that the teacher had cancelled at 5:30 AM without a sub.  I immediately had included all of the other evidence about this time slot and got upset. I went back to the studio grabbed my stuff and left the gym.  I went back to the front desk to express my frustration saying that this has happened a lot over the years.  The poor front desk people felt bad as they had to deal with other upset members. There was probably a valid reason for why the instructor missed the class. The sad part is if I had just shifted I could have still gotten a workout on my own or even with the other people who were in the studio. Instead I rushed out. After about 15 minutes I did shift and went for a quick run.  I get to work on shifting more quickly in situations like this.

I spoke to my buddy and small group about this and they suggested I come up with something that will allow me to catch myself. Maybe like that Kathy – Mar Mar moment.  Creatrice de Bijoux actually suggested a song that her young daughter listens to which sounded perfect.  I wrote it down but I don’t have it handy right now to recall at this moment.

On Thursday I returned to the Chinese Consulate to pick up my Visa and meditated again to ground myself.  I managed to keep it together despite wanting to “hulk out”as the place seemed to have no order.  Really, it is fine as they process a lot of visas, and other documents each day.  I  continued my breathing exercises and was able to make the one hour to pick up the visa a good experience.

I continued on my second goal of reading more books – preferably inspiring ones.  I am doing this either through reading the book or listening to it on Audible.  I am becoming more conscious that I have this option to either read the book  or listen to it.  I have been reading on the subway during my commutes and listening in the car.

I am going  to try to read a bit more prior to go to sleep. However, I am usually tired.  I do believe that reading will help me wind down.

Happy Saturday everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation is good. Keeping it going.

This week I continued to meditate.  I don’t always choose a time to meditate but listen to different topics on Insight Timer when I can and in moments when I feel stressed or overwhelm (JG spoke a bit about the overwhelm part — thank you). I still strive to meditate at least once per day and have continued to do so.  This week I did a lot of driving as I visited customers in New Jersey which meant a lot of traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike and traveling through the Holland Tunnel.  The traffic on Thursday was unbelievable. The craziness in Times Square affected everything else in Manhattan from a driving perspective.  I am finding that the meditation is a way to help me stop and breath.    There are times that I still get frustrated but I am aware and able to catch myself and shift.   There still have been cases in which I don’t shift but the awareness has been helpful to me.   Meditating is certainly better than yelling and screaming to myself.

I am in Boston as I am attending the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of one of my closest friends.  Basically we grew up together as our parents are very close (my dad grew up with his parents).  After college we lived different lives.  He got married shortly after graduating and has two kids while I am living more of the bachelor life.  I am close with his family including his wife, kids, parents, and sister, brother-in-law, nephew.    I am also close to his friends and most of them are married and have kids. Today for some reason I have a story that people will judge me as I am really the only single guy here. They didn’t give me an option to bring a guest.   I don’t really mind this part as I am able to entertain myself.  I also didn’t ask to bring a guest.  However, I do feel that people may be judging me. All of them have made efforts to introduce me to their friends over the years.  Prior to leaving in the morning from Connecticut to Massachusetts (I am traveling with my parents) I stated my contract and my intention for meditating (thank you BM aka CFQ Exclusive- I liked your post); and participated in a meditation.  It spoke about and asked what characteristics I have that I am grateful for..  The leader then spoke about giving those characteristics to others.  It continued to encourage us to think about these people and characteristics.  She also highlighted that what you give will come back two fold.  I didn’t think about all of these characteristics in the moment but I did think about what I am grateful for as the Shabbat Service was occurring.  It really gave me perspective to get past the stupid fear of being judged.  When I usually have this fear I tend to push questions back to the person asking me.  For example, when someone asks — hey are you dating anyone?  I will share some tidbits and then ask a question like “Hey how is everything going for you”?  “How are your kids doing”?  I do this as I am genuinely interested but sometimes I just don’t always like to share everything.

I have been thinking about what characteristics I can share? I am a good, personable individual and I was invited for a reason.    Yes, people will  judge, and who cares.. There is a big celebration tonight and I am going to source fun, love and togetherness.   I am sure I will have my moments but I know that it will be fun!  I am going to get over myself;  not get in my own way; and have a great time as this is about the Bat Mitzvah girl! Our current Head PSP Lifer had posted something about ego that really resonated with me.  I can’t seem to find the quote… but I like it.   MG please re-post that when you can.

I have discovered that Kindle is connected to Audible and many of the books automatically become audio books too.  This is helping me to listen to books when I drive or walking.  I am reading one of the books about Jeff Bezos.  During the early days of Amazon, Jeff seemed to have a lot of the things under control like the computer programming  but overlooked some issues like how they will pack and ship the books when the orders come in. They didn’t have the right tables and equipment to do this.   This gave me perspective as I sometimes get frustrated at myself when I overlook tasks and steps in my business..

Happy Saturday everyone!

 

 

 

More Meditation! Getting the hang of it..

This week I have been meditating more.  I have continued to use the Insight Timer app for meditation and it has been really good.  This app has meditations  for different circumstances as well.
For example I did a meditation for commuting.  Present Moment Awareness Commuter Meditation.
I actually listened to this meditation twice.
The first time that I listened, I was going to the gym in the morning.  I usually wake up relatively early but this morning I was slow in getting out the door.  I started to get antsy with time as, in my head, I felt like I was going to be late to catch a 6:45 AM gym class.  I found this meditation called Present Moment Awareness Commuter Meditation as I was well aware that I needed to relax.   The funny thing is.. so what if I am late?  Its a busy class but there is always a way to fit in and most times no one is stationary for the whole class. I was so sweating the small stuff.
While listening and making an effort to be present while on the bus my mind wandered a bit and was getting mad at the little things that were getting in the way.  For example there was a police car parked in a bus lane zone right in front of a bodega.  My mind was like– he or she was getting coffee for sure.  That’s so wrong .. If I parked like that, I would get a ticket .. I was annoyed .. All I could think of was this guy named Jimmy Justice https://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyJustice4753
 
This guy used to go after police and traffic officers when they would have traffic violations .. 
Then I focused on my breathing; listened to the sounds of the ride; and enjoyed the ride .. In the scheme  of things.. how is this going to change anything ? What I also liked is the person leading the meditation stated that it’s okay for the mind to wander and just focus back to the moment.. I am sometimes hard on myself when I wander.  I feel like I am breaking the rules.
In the end everything was good ..and had plenty of time.. I didn’t relax completely but was aware and took in the moment and started to appreciate the ride and walk .. This day I got to walk through Murray Hill  and cross Park Avenue and Madison Avenue before its filled with traffic.. Not everyone gets to do that.
I listened to the same meditation again while on the subway.    Although I felt that I was running late I quickly shifted to appreciate the ride and think about the amount of people and resources it takes to make it possible to make this subway work to allow me to get from point A to point B.  Pretty amazing stuff..
Another meditation that I listened to addressed the importance of being specific with my wishes and goals.  I took Abundance and Prosperity and this brought me back to being specific and asking for what I want .   It’s also important to visualize it.  This meditation reminded me of this importance . The leader got into specifics about different components including love, work and home. I have done this exercise but get to do this more .. For example I  have written specifics about what I am looking for in a relationship .. the “must haves”, “important things I want”  and “would be nices” ..  I am going to update this more and continue to write specifics and visualize what I want my life to look like.  I am going to stop focusing on trying to making this perfect.
Today I am in CT to celebrate Mother’s Day and woke up early to help my parents with some chores. For example the WiFi wasn’t working etc..I am the designated computer technician. One simple task seemed to get more complicated and I was slowly getting frustrated.
I also wanted to write this blog.  Instead of letting impatience get the best of me , I found a meditation on frustration. It helped to ground me a bit.. The meditation got me to think more proactively and think about what lessons I can get from this .  Additionally it made me think about the underlying reasons .. Why was I getting so frustrated ? I was viewing this time in scarcity .. After listening to this 15 minute meditation I did shift and enjoyed the moment and the rest of the day.. I went running with my sister ; bonded with my family; and even bought a new suit which I needed as I have a few events to attend in the coming weeks .. I am writing this blog later than I had hoped but it’s relatively easy thinking about what to write all week.
I have more to write and will continue to share.

Meditation and Surrender

While reading everyone’s PSP during the editing stage I learned about Insight Timer.  Thanks EP and NW.  It is an app filled with an abundance of free meditations.  After clearing up some space on my phone, I downloaded the app.  While doing laundry and other chores I was getting antsy. I decided to give meditation from this app a try.  I chose a meditation entitled Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety by Glenn Harrold and Russ Davey.  Up until now I have mainly done meditations conducted by Deepak and it has been filled with lot of knowledge and words of wisdom.  I was a bit skeptical saying to myself- who are these guys?  What can they do?  I quickly shifted, relaxed on the couch and surrendered.  It had lots of relaxing sounds with water, etc. I felt like I was laying down next to a stream.  The directions  were also methodical in getting me to notice every breath and feeling.  The meditation got me to focus on being centered and present.  About 10 minutes into this I realized that I was relaxing.  Surrender is key.  He even advised to take our worries and put them on the leaf and let them float away.  I was open to this.  He talked about gratitude.  Anyway after around 20 minute I felt better and focused.  My mind wandered a bit but was able to shift throughout.  He also encouraged us to not worry about the mind wandering.

I don’t remember everything that was said as I truly tried to just focus on relaxing.  I didn’t learn as much as listening to Deepak; however, the meditation got me to relax.
Anyway, I wanted to share my experience as I continue to take this on.  I am glad that I took the time in that moment as I feel a little more focused and relaxed.
Happy Sunday!