Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

The past couple of days snuck up on me. At first I didn't recognize their awesomeness, and actually felt a bit "under the weather". But as I went to bed last night I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy, and woke up still very present to those feelings. 

In the "micro", here are some of the things that have inspired and energized me these past 48 hours. 
  • I have worked out with my sister.
  • I have walked with my mom while watching the sunrise.
  • I have talked with each of my brothers, both of my kids and my wonderful ex-(we prefer the term "erstwhile")-wife, and my dad, and told them all that I love and appreciate them.
  • I have run at least 5km every day, even when I didn't feel like it.
  • I had coffee with a friend who is bravely facing her cancer treatment.
  • I had a serendipitous conversation with a stonemason friend whose first marble sculpture is being exhibited at that very same coffee shop - and he shared with me that it was after reading my 2011 blog post, "Life Lessons From a Stone Sculptor", that he was inspired to finally try his hand at artistic expression after decades of telling himself he couldn't do it.
  • I was able to pass on some "found $" (a restaurant Gift Certificate) to a friend who has been struggling of late. Remembering not long ago being in a similar situation, and how much I enjoyed being able to take my kids out to dinner while utterly broke, it gave me so much joy to know he could do the same.
  • I watched my first half hour of TV in months - my brother-in-law hosting me and a friend to watch the Season Five premiere of Californication (yep, a wonderful "guilty pleasure").
  • I sold one home and listed another.
  • I had an hour long visit with Tyler Burtch, one of the most successful, inspiring, positive people I know.
  • I was keynote speaker at the Lion's Club dinner meeting, recounting my Death Race experience.
  • I met with Sarah, owner of the phenomenal Quaker Oaks store in Orillia, to plan our upcoming Film Series - screening only inspiring, uplifting, consciousness raising movies monthly in Orillia.
  • I met with three new coaching clients, all of whom have exciting and enormous life changes they are embarking on. What an awesome opportunity and privilege I have, helping people take on what is important to them :)
  • Had an amazing conversation with a new friend, on my way out of the gym this morning, that was full of promise of collaborative endeavours to make the world, and Orillia in particular, even "perfecter".
  • I contributed to Theo Simm's successful "Kickstarter" campaign to produce his first CD. More important than my $11 pledge was my being one of his many friends who shared the link on Facebook, helping it go "viral" as he raised more in the last 15 hours than in the first 30 days. I am so excited to hear more of his beautiful music and message.

So, on the heels of all of that, I posted this as my Facebook status update this morning before heading the the gym at 5:50am...

And I absolutely LOVED that comment ... "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" ... which I interpreted to be a beautiful way of asking "Why are you always so happy?". "How can we get some of that?". "Where does one find such miracles?"

That is actually something I am asked a lot. Socially, it leads to so many wonderful conversations. Professionally, much of my "life adventure coaching" revolves around helping people discover what frequency they want to tune into, what will make them happy, and designing their lives around that clear signal.

Because, just like a radio dial, there are many frequencies to choose from in our lives. I could have made a list just as long as the one above, instead cataloging everything that has gone "wrong" so far this week. I have been late for appointments, been up at night sick to my stomach, bounced a pre-authorized payment after putting $ in the wrong account, had my car backed into, spilled a bucket of muddy water on my carpet, and so on. But rather than seeing those as definitive of my day, I choose to accept them as simply part of a full, wonderful life.

More than perhaps anything I have studied or read in the past several years, this essay by Rob Brezsny has had the most profound impact on my thinking. Entitled "Glory In The Highest", it is from his magical book "Pronoia: The Antidote to Paranoia (How The World Is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings)". It is a lengthy read but worth every second. In case you are going to (foolishly) skip it, I will give you the briefest summary ... 
"Let's say it's 9:30 a.m. You've been awake for two hours, and a hundred things have already gone right for you. If three of those hundred things had not gone right — your toaster was broken, the hot water wasn't hot enough, there was a stain on the pants you wanted to wear — you might feel that today the universe is against you, that your luck is bad, that nothing's going right. And yet the fact is that the vast majority of everything is working with breathtaking efficiency and consistency. You would clearly be deluded to imagine that life is primarily an ordeal."

Life is not good or bad. It just is. Life happens. Lots happens! More than we could ever consciously take in. So, we only experience and internalize a very small fraction of everything that is going on around us. Unfortunately, most people do not choose to take control of process, instead allowing their focus to be dictated by others. Newspapers are overflowing with the "bad" news. Friends and strangers alike want to complain to you about "their awful day". Marketers constantly try to remind you of what you don't have.

Yet, at any time, you can turn your attention to something for which to be grateful. You can find something to smile at. You can take an action that will improve the lives of people around you.

I already know that some of you are saying, "Easier said than done!" How do I know this? Because some of you have said it directly to me before. And from where you are right now, that may be the case. You may be sick. You may be broke. You may be lonely. I have been all of the above, but have never seen the sense in compounding that with being sad or mad too.

So, what's the frequency, Kenneth? How do I tune myself into the signal that allows me to see the positive, to focus on the good, to be happy?

This is where we go to "the macro". The big picture. What is all around you. It has never been easier to customize your own experience of life. As easily as checking your email or your Facebook, you can begin to completely renovate your worldview. There is a great expression "Garbage In Garbage Out" - which means, if you take in crap, that is what you will produce. If you eat shitty food you will have shitty energy. If you are bombarded with negative information your attitude will be negative. Conversely, if you consciously "consume" more good, positive, healthy stuff your life will change for the better. There are all kinds of major life changes you can make regarding diet, exercise, lifestyle, relationships. Those are all too big to tackle in one quick blog post. But there IS one very simple thing you can do that will improve your life in all these areas and more. Overhaul the information coming in, immediately.

Every single day of my life I receive dozens of positive messages, newsletters, videos, songs, quotations, ideas, etc. With zero ongoing effort on my part. And every day I actively filter out more of the useless, disempowering information that tries to sneak through. Want to change your life starting now? Do the same.

Granted, not everyone wants to see the world the way I do. And that is great. If what you are doing is working out for you, press on (and feel free to share some of your "secrets" with me, as I am always open to more of what works!). If you have read this far, though, I am guessing you do have some interest in hearing what it is I have to share. So, here goes ...

1. Subscribe to these blogs, and receive daily and weekly newsletters full of phenomenal, positive, actionable ideas ...

Soul Biographies | Human Portraits in Film

If you need to stay current on some topic, search for stories only about that. There is zero benefit to being informed about every rape, murder, robbery, fire, bombing, scam, virus, outrage that does not directly affect you. This is the worst, most useless mental noise and also the easiest to tune out completely. Here is a great post on how to break your "news addiction" ...

3. Visit this website to see thoughtful, intelligent, transformative ideas presented by gifted speakers...

Ted Logo

One of my very favourite TED Talks ...

4. Subscribe to this daily email

Notes from the Universe

5. Listen to any song by this musician...

Especially this one...

6. Tell someone today that you love him or her, and tell them why.

7. Please please please keep sharing your positivity with me. Having pushed good energy for so long, people now associate me with it and the massive benefit in that to me is that every time I open my email or Facebook page there is a link from someone to something beautiful and inspiring. So, send me your favourite songs, talks, videos, newsletters, blogs, quotations, etc and I will spread the love :)

8. Bonus ... spend just a few minutes a day, everyday, thinking about what you already have to be grateful for. If you don't know where to begin, take less than 3 minutes and watch this ...

1 comment:

  1. At the moment I am on a VERY different frequency from you Johnny. You are tuned into FM and the countdown of the 100 songs that impacted the last 10 years and I am on the AM dial listening to "All things Bacon". I realize every time I read yours, Jason's, Carrie"s or any of my fav other blogs that no matter what frequency I am at now...there is hope for a life beyond bacon...thanks for that : )