Lesson 1

Make sure to complete your four everyday exercises along with today's class where we will explore our beliefs on being an ideal person.

Do you believe that there is a way to live your life or a way to be that would make you more accepted by society. If obtained, would that elevate you to a position that people would look up to you and want to be like you? If so, what do you base that opinion on? Are you trying to be like someone else you look up to or like someone that represents the kind of lessons you've learned in life? 
Take a moment to reflect and maybe journal about what you believe the ideal person is. What traits do they have both physically and socially. Just to cut straight to the chase, if it were possible (and we know it is not) to be a perfect person, exactly what would that look like to you. Really take your time with this and explore it from every angle. Here are few things you might think on as well as anything else that makes sense to you to examine.
Are they attractive or does this matter?
Are they successful or does this matter?
Do they have a lot of money or does it matter?
How do they dress or does it matter?
Do they go to church or does it matter?
Do they own a home, do they rent, are they homeless or does any of that matter?
Do they live free/off the grid or is their life more like the "American Dream"?
Do they have an accent or speak with a different dialect because of the region they live in of does it matter?
Are they conservative or liberal or does it matter?
Are they single or married or does it matter?
Do they have children or does this matter?
Are they extroverted or introverted or does this matter?
Do they have a wide circle of friends or are they self reliant with little need for being social or does this matter?
Are they close with their family or does this matter?
Did they have nurturing parents or does that matter?
Do they play any sort of sport or does it matter?
What traits do you feel make them seem special and a goal to work toward?
What ultimately makes them seem ideal?
Do they have anything in common with you?
Do you feel like you are like this ideal person in any way?
If not what makes you different?
Do you feel like less than this person or like you don't measure up to the ideal?
Are you already what you consider to be ideal?

After you have really examined your thoughts about the ideal person think about why you believe the things you believe about them? Where did you get these ideas? Do you believe these ideas have any value in your life?
What if I were to tell you that there is no rule book on being ideal? What if I said that this is one of the ways that society took you off your path and made you forget who you are? What if I said the only reason one would think there is an ideal way to be is just fear? What if I said these perimeters have nothing to do with being proper and that they only ensnare you in a cage that prevents you from being fully who you are. The ideas of what you should be means you are not being what you already are. What you should be is what you already are. Striving for anything else just says one thing about you. What it says is what I am is not good enough and I won't be good enough until I obtain what I believe I should be. 

What if I said that you are not your beliefs, your body or personality? You'd at some point want to know who you are then.

If you asked then, "if I'm not all those things, then what am I?" I'd say you are that part of you that knows to ask that question. The you that is internal and not the external part that you show others. That you is merely the costume you wear to play the character you believe that you are or should be. What you really are needs no costume. It is the truth about you. To assign human characteristics to this part of you would be like trying to clothe the wind. This part of you is free, perfect, love, peace and all that is magical. Forget all the other things you have believed about yourself and know there is a glistening universe inside of you.
Go forth in your day and shine

Lesson 2

Make sure to complete your four everyday exercises along with today's class where we will look more at your thoughts on being the ideal person and also examine stereotypes.

When you look at your belief around what it takes to be the ideal person it is probably not much different than the impression that all of society envisions. You did not start to believe in this by mistake. It is an impression that grew over time as you watched how the world reacts to certain types of people both favorably and dismissively. 

Most of us either try our whole life to attain the ideal existence while others just give up and settle for what we think we deserve, falling well short of the picture of ideal.  We settle because we went ahead and just gave up rather than strive for something we aren't sure we could ever attain. 

Imagine a pyramid and sitting on top of that pyramid is the throne for the world's most ideal human being. We look up at that person hoping one day to be good enough that we might sit on that throne. We believe that we will ascend a little at a time until we will one day be worthy to sit atop of the pyramid. We try and we try and try and then some folks just give up right out of the gate believing from the beginning that they will never be worthy. Most people believe in some version of the fallacy that striving for the throne is the main goal of our earthly agenda. If you fail to want these things then your worth will be in question and you will be dismissed.

What we don't understand is how much a myth this really is. The ideal person does not exist. A day will not come for anyone where everything in the world will finally work out and your life will suddenly be perfect. You'll never master the universe. No one ever has, that is part of being human. What you can master is your internal beliefs. First you have to give up on this idea that there is an ideal way to be. 

If being ideal was not a myth then we'd all be the same. There'd be no need for humans to be born different. There'd be a copy/clone of you somewhere in the universe but there is not. That is a phenomenon that does not exist in nature. There is a reason there is only one you. That reason is that you were born into this world to be exactly who/what you are. You weren't meant to strive to meet the world's expectations. If we all meet those expectations and somehow managed to be the perfect person, the need for human existence would cease. The project would be over. The project is rather this, you are born to the earth to learn to be exactly you in spite of the pressures of society to conform. We have had it all wrong. We should not want to be part of the army of perfect soldiers. We should seek to be a unique universe, wrapped in a body, that will never be duplicated.

Today's exercise is to think about all the ways society categorizes humans by both list and definition. So list all the different stereotypes you can think of and define them all. Now list people who have defied each stereotype. Think about the people who seem idyllic who have fallen or turned out not to be what they presented themselves to be. Think of all the people who have stunned the world with their acts of courage who might have seemed very common, meek and mild. 

Now go out into your yard and pick up one stick for every one of these stereotypes you listed. Count them and as you do assign each one a type from your list. Start a fire in a safe area if you have the space and ability to do so. Now, one by one, burn every last stick. While you burn them allow yourself to let go of all these ideas that have been projected on society about what makes one acceptable or dismissed. An alternate exercise might be to read back over your list one last time and either burn the whole list or tear off each stereotype and burn them one by one. The idea is just to take those ideas we have about certain types of humans and ways of being and clear them away to a blank slate.

Go forth in your day and shine

Lesson 3

Today we begin.

Make sure to complete your four everyday exercises along with today's class about owning your own "shit" and challenging your beliefs. 

No One Is In Your Way:
If we could only stand outside of ourselves to hear the stories of how we’ve been wronged by someone, what a different side we would see. No one ever tells a story about how someone hurt them and in their story, they were the bad guy. No one is ever the bad guy in their version. You take an incident that happens between two people and then let those two go tell the story and you can rest assured they were both the victim in their version. How can they both be the victim and neither one the perpetrator?      
One of the hardest things we ever face in life is a mirror. We do not want to see our own flaws. If we see our flaws then we have to do something about them. If we pretend that the wrong turns our lives take are the fault of someone else, then we don’t have to look in the mirror where the truth cannot be hid.

If something is going wrong in your life right now, no matter who or what seems to be the cause, tag, you are it. Decisions made by you on a daily basis take you down every road you go. I bet you are pissed just reading that and you have a lot of “yeah buts” just swirling around in your mind. It’s the “yeah buts” of life that keep you there, where it’s comfortable sitting on your good guy throne, while someone else gets to be the bad guy.

If you want to be happy in life you’ve got to take responsibility.

You are sitting king/queen of a universe that no one else can enter and you blame the folks that cannot even enter your world for the demise of it.

Close your eyes. Imagine your life and all that you think about life and imagine it as room you are in with no windows and doors. Imagine how you’ve been happy, you’ve been a victim, you’ve been loving, you’ve been spiteful, you’ve been beautiful and you’ve been ugly. All of those things are in there in your room; no windows, no doors. No one can see inside that room and you cannot see out. No one has any power to shape how things transpire in that room; no windows, no doors. You are the master of the room. When you are born that room is a blank slate but if you start to examine it later in life you will start to see that old hand me down lesson your mother taught you over in the corner. If you had a door you could throw it out once you figure out that it was wrong but you can't so you will have to ignore it or write the final chapter on it by deciding it was incorrect. You can also look around and see all the ways that you feel like a disappointment or the ways you wowed a room when you entered it. It is your storage container for all the files written about by your own ideas gained through living life. Like all files, you can take out the ones you don't need and put them in separate storage. That is what we want to do here.

This room is your universe. This room is your mind. Everyone has their own universe. Everyone has their own mind. They are controlling their own mind and living in their own universe. You are controlling your own mind and living in your own universe. They don’t know how you see the world because your vision of the world is your own and that vision cannot be seen by anyone but you. You don’t know how they see the world because their vision of the world is their own and that vision cannot be seen by anyone but them. What we hope to do with this course is go back as close as we can get to that blank room and then try to rewrite the story of us. We won't rewrite it from any preconceived ideas about what we should be. We are going to rewrite it based on who we are and our uniqueness. We are going to begin to write a story where comparing ourselves to others is a character that we are writing out of the story of us. We are going to be fully ourselves and learn to feel good about it.

Now back to our victim story. Just because we get to be fully ourselves, it doesn't mean that we get to pass off blame for what we've been up till now onto someone else. You are not always the good guy. In fact the only power you have in the whole world is to open your eyes wide and try to see your part in any given situation. You get to decide what goes in your room. Your whole life is based solely on what you decide. You decide. Even in the worst that the universe decides to throw at you, you can still decide what goes in your room. You have to examine every belief you have and decide. You can be a victim or a warrior. You can sit still and be swallowed up or move forward. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide. You decide.


I could write an exercise for this lesson but I think somoene already did work on this subject that I'm not going to be able to improve on. So, now I want to point you to this blog post from Lissa Rankin MD. Please go to the link and read the post and actively do the work she talks about from Byron Katie here:    Lissa Rankin Can You Let Go of Your Victim Story?

While you are at Lissa's site look around and check our her books. Her work is amazing and very enlightening.

Go forth in your day and shine.  

Lesson 4

Make sure to complete your four everyday exercises along with today's class where we will examine different ways of being.

Do you ever dismiss anyone who you see as not like you? If you do, why do you think that you do this?

Our society has been churning out almost factory made humans for so long we stopped examining other possibilities. 

If someone chooses to live a life without money we assume that they are crazy. Suelo is the perfect example of this. He lived for more than a decade without using money. He was free to explore the world in whatever fashion he chose. No part of what he did was out of laziness. He just yearned to live a life outside the system. He worked in a community garden, took part in writing a book that he did not accept money for, did a speaking tour of college campuses that he did not take money for. He has taken in other individuals to help educate them on the ways of living moneyless and was not paid for that. I think that he yearned for a life where he wouldn't be controlled by having to make money to survive and he succeeded just like all the others that came before him whose existence is not reliant upon having money. In the US many times these people are seen as barbarian or uncivilized but what they are is free. That is not the insane concept. Being enslaved by our dependence on money is the insane concept. Being enslaved by our dependence on money is also part of our quest to be the ideal human being. It is a real thing because we believe it is. 

Let's spend time today to really examine how we view people in the world that are different from us. Journal about all the ways people live that are different from you. Think about the belief systems that govern their life and why you think they may think like they think. If any of the things you journal seem to make you feel irritation at the other people you journal about, think about why you may be bothered. Examine where these emotions come from and if they are real or if you may have learned them from people you are surrounded by. Then think about how those people who taught you to be bothered by this thing may have arrived at their intolerance. If you start to see yourself in a negative light while examining these things, give yourself a break and remember that we are on our way out of the woods where we get to decide to be more loving. The fact that you would take time for this shows you want to evolve away from your old way of thinking. That is a reason to pat yourself on the back. 

Go forth in your day and shine.  

Lesson 5

Make sure to complete your four everyday exercises along with today's class where we will examine the things we value as a society.

Money is paper. The fact that it can be used to acquire things is the power we give to that paper. Diamonds are stones. What makes them more than that is our belief in their preciousness. So we shell out paper for stones to make us seem more idyllic. None of it is real and we don't stop to question that. 

For today's exercise let's examine items that are valued by society and think on how we arrived at believing they have real worth. So, journal a list of everything that you can think of that people would pay a lot of money for and then think of the characteristics of those items and examine if there is any real value for their circulation in society. Is a really expensive car any better than a cheap car or do we value them because they make us feel like they will help us to ascend to the top of that pyramid to sit on the throne? That is just an example for this exercise. I know you can think of many many other things to add to this list. 

Go forth in your day and shine.  

Lesson 6

Today's exercise is "scrapbooking" the things that you love and the things that make you feel the most like you. Don't worry if you have a moment that you think, "I don't know what I love and what makes me feel like me." You won't be alone. We have so much shit to deal with over a life time and when it gets to be too much it can give us amnesia. 

Asking myself this question changed my life. Well, someone else asking me that question actually started it all. I was dating the best friend of the person who asked me that question. When he asked I started rattling off the things I did with the guy I was dating. He said, "no, I know what he likes to do, what do you like to do? I was lost and I had no clue what to say. I think yall know I figured it out though. 

Now it's time for you to figure it out if you don't know. So, today I ask you, What do you like to do? And remember I'm not asking about things you do because other people do it. We are talking the things YOU love and YOU could not live without. 

So here we go. You can use photos, screenshots, music, magazines, Instagram, Facebook or anything you can think of to tell this little story about you. Flickr is an awesome space to post these kinds of things. You could also use Pinterest. You can even make a video and post it online to Youtube, Facebook or Vimeo. If this becomes an exercise that is important to you please feel free to share. I'd love to see your story. 

LOTTO DANCE from SoulPony on Vimeo.

Go forth in your day and shine.