Weeks 11 & 12 – December 11 & 12

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Our 7 children, Fri. Dec. 11, 2009, minus our eldest daughter, who took the picture

I wasn’t going to combine these two weeks. But an amazing coincidence struck me with force today. I hope you won’t mind my sharing something that’s very much on my heart today, and will be tomorrow as well.

Friday, December 11, 2009.

It was a date that will remain indelibly stamped on my mind for the rest of my life, as it will in the minds of everyone else in my family. Not so much for the evening itself, although it was a memorable time in its own right. It was more what came afterward.

It was a bright winter day, and I was not looking forward to all the work ahead of me. Things were much easier when our three daughters were still living at home. Now it was up to me to do all the cleaning and cooking for our whole family of nine.

Our oldest daughter had gotten married a few weeks earlier, while she was in Southern California visiting Sean and his family. Because of the red tape surrounding an international marriage, he had stayed behind, while our daughter returned home to Alberta, as originally planned, at the beginning of December.

This memorable night, we were gathering together to celebrate their marriage. Celebrating without the groom was just one of those oddities forced upon us by the red tape. When the plans were made, no one knew when he would be able to make the trip north to spend time with his bride. As it turned out, he had surprised her the day before, informing her that he would be coming in the wee hours on Saturday. When we asked our daughter about postponing the celebration so that he could be with us, she decided against changing the plans.

“It’s too hard to get everyone together, because of our various work schedules. Sean doesn’t like being in the spotlight anyway, so he honestly won’t mind if he isn’t here.”

We had a full turkey dinner, with all the fixings. We even had home baked apple pies and mincemeat tarts for dessert. I don’t like baking pies, because I think I’m bad at it. All of our kids disagree with my assessment of my baking abilities. The boys had been begging me for years to bake an apple pie… especially our oldest son, James. I was well rewarded by his gratitude!

“It’s too bad Sean couldn’t be here with us,” I said as we sat around the dinner table. “But on the other hand, it’s kind of nice that it’s just our family… mom, dad, and all seven children… for the first time a quite a while.”

“Yeah, I almost couldn’t get the time off work!” said James. He was wearing his favourite black shirt with the word “Geek” embroidered in green on the pocket.

It was like a hundred other family get-togethers, even though we all knew things would never be the same again, because our daughter was now Mrs. Sean G. We knew it would likely be the last time we would ever be together in this same group. But no one was prepared for just how big a change was in store for us in just a little over 24 hours.

James tossed his truck keys to our daughter, so that she could drive it to the airport later, to meet Sean. He handed her his cell phone in case she met with any trouble on the highway. Then he and the three girls left for their home in town, half an hour away.

Saturday December 12, 2009.

The next day was a Saturday just like any other. And like no other.

I spent the day cleaning up after our celebration the night before, and doing normal everyday things.

Late that night, my daughter messaged me on Yahoo chat.

“Mom, is James at your place?”

What a strange question, I thought. Why would he come here?

“He worked the evening, and got off at 11:30… and he’s not home yet. I’m sure it’s nothing. He often goes for a drive after he gets off work. But he’s usually home before now, so I thought I’d ask.”

Not really thinking anything of it, I went to bed a short time later.

“Willena… Willena, wake up.” It was my husband, Ian. “The police are out in the yard, about to come in. They want to talk to both of us.”

And somehow… somehow… I knew.

In the dimly lit living room, it seemed to me that the house was full of tall, shadowy figures in dark uniforms. In reality, it was one tall policeman and two women who work with people in crisis.

As I crossed the living room, and before I sat down, the policeman’s voice was saying, “There has been an accident, and I’m sorry to have to tell you, your son James was killed instantly.”

That was the strangest night of my life. Our kids came from town to be with us, and we all sat around in the living room all night. Mom, dad, and 7 kids… only this time, minus James, and including our daughter’s new husband, Sean. Barely a word was spoken all through that night, as we all sat in silent grief… silently supporting one another.

The Law of Giving and Receiving

Remember this?

“Wherever I go I bring a gift. I may bring a compliment, prayer, trinket, flower… but I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.”

Why did I decide to bake apple pies the day before, when I had refused to do so for such a long time? I don’t know. But I do know this… I am so glad I did it, for James that day… the son whom I will never again see in this life. When you lose a loved one, there are often regrets and “If only”s. In our case, we have none, even down to the smallest detail of my baking him an apple pie.

The Law of Dual Thought

“Thought is a combination of ideation and feeling.”

I didn’t even know there was such a “law” in December 2009. But the weeks following our son’s death gave me ample opportunities to choose to attach a good feeling to the thoughts that threatened to derail me.

Especially since we had to go past the scene of the accident every time we drove to or from town. My imagination played havoc with me every time we passed it, and I knew I had to do something to save my sanity.

So, instead of thinking of it as the scene of our son’s death, I chose to think of it as his portal to heaven… the place where he met the Lord he loved.

Even now, seven years later, I have to make a conscious decision each time we pass that spot. And you know what? It helps. Every time. Because I can’t hold two thoughts in my mind at the same time.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re interested, you can read more about our son James, if you scroll down a little way on my About Me page.

Weeks 7 – 10

MAKING REAL HEADWAY

I’ve fallen behind in some of our daily exercises, but it’s for a very good reason — I’m actually DOING what my DMP dictates! For the first time in many years, I feel as if I am actually making real headway in my life.

I didn’t realize till just now that the four weeks I’ve missed writing on my blog are the four weeks of November. Why is that significant? Well…

November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, where participants commit to writing 50,000 words of fiction during the month of November. This was my twelfth year of participation, and I have yet to finish the novel God put in my heart to write eleven years ago. I was determined to make real progress on it this year — and I did! I’m not finished even the first draft yet, but I’ve made tremendous strides in that direction.

I’ve also been immersed in writing courses and reading books in the genre I’m writing in. As usual, one of my biggest areas of struggle is FOCUS, because I have ideas for stories for chapter books, middle grade books, and young adult. The first step is to zero in on one of those categories. Easy peasy. Not!

LINKING AND CONNECTING

One of my favourite pasttimes is doing jigsaw puzzles on Jigsaw Planet, while listening to an audiobook. The biggest they offer is a 300 piece puzzle, but that’s challenge enough. I love watching small chunks grow to larger ones, and then suddenly seeing how whole sections fit together.

That’s what the MKMMA experience is like.

I keep hearing the same message from different sources, and the pieces are beginning to come together for me in marvellous ways. Consider the following…

“Through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it.”
– Blueprint Builder, Third Paragraph

“Concentrate on what you want, not on what you don’t want.”
– Charles Haanel, Lesson 7

“What we think about grows.”
– Mark J, Week 7 video

“I choose all the conditions of my life, when I choose the thoughts upon which I allow my mind to dwell.”
– Emmet Fox, 7-Day Mental Diet

And most important to me, the words of the Lord God Himself in His Word:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
– Romans 12:2

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
– 2 Corinthians 10:5

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8

SCROLL II

We were reminded recently of the old story of the north wind and the sun, who were both sure they could make a man take his coat off. The brute force of the north wind only made the man wrap his coat more tightly around himself… but the warmth of the sun made him choose to take the coat off. In the same way…

“Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men…”
– Og Mandino, Scroll II

SO MUCH MORE!

There’s so much more I could share in so many areas — The Gal in the Glass… No Opinions… Giving and Receiving — but it’s time to move on to Week 11!

Week 6 – The Compass or the Clock

Compass, vector

You’re either living by the compass or by the clock. You can’t do both.

The compass is your DMP, driven by your PPN’s. It’s what makes your heart sing. late-sm

The clock is what everyone else is pushing you to do.

I choose the direction of the compass, and my destination. The clock marches relentlessly on, dictating what I “should” do when. The COMPASS is my FRIEND.

I love what Mark said in this week’s training. All these exercises we’re doing… all the linking, the reading, the sit… it’s no mere paint-by-numbers.

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We are choosing our own paintbrushes, paints, and canvas. We are painting our own beautiful masterpiece.

As we are faithful to do the exercises, attaching the appropriate strong emotions to them, without judgment or allowing the Old Blueprint to weasel its way in to spoil everything… just being the observer — we will begin to see how it all fits together for the attainment of our true purpose.

Last week in church, we were reminded that there is a big difference between believing a truth in our heads, and allowing it to take root in our hearts. The book of James speaks of the “engrafted word” having the power to change our lives. It does no good at all just to read the Bible — it’s a mirror that shows us what needs to be changed. When we allow it to take root in our heart and become a part of who we are, then it will make a difference.

That’s what happens when we do the MKMMA exercises the way they were meant to be done. They are not just daily exercises, like homework assignment or items to check off our To Do List. They become habits, and a part of the very fabric of our being. They are for the purpose of leading us to discover our true purpose in life, our true gifts that only we can impart to the world.

Week 5 – Linking

Strong link. Concept 3D illustration.

Linking is one of the most powerful components of the Master Key Experience. Everything we do causes us to link affirmations, thoughts, and visualizations that will come together so our subconscious mind is working FOR us instead of against us, thus leading us toward the attainment of our goals — effortlessly.

I can be what I will to be

As a Christian, everything I take in must be filtered through the scriptures, the Word of God. Otherwise it causes confusion, and I am not in line with the true desires of my heart, which is to glorify Him and walk with Him in truth.

“I can be what I will to be.”

This affirmation, to be spoken aloud with feeling 20 times every day, reminds me of another well-known saying…

I am the master of my fate

… from “Invictus”, a poem by William Ernest Henley, where he concludes by saying…

“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

As a Christian, I am NOT the master of my fate. I am NOT the captain of my soul. God is! And I am so thankful for that, for His wisdom is unfathomable — far beyond what I will ever have.

I can do all things

The truth is, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Phil. 4:13

And this must be taken in context with v.12!! The apostle Paul says:

“(12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

So am I saying I disagree with Haanel and Henley? Not exactly. What the MKMMA is teaching me is how much garbage I have allowed to creep in over the 60+ years of my life, snuffing out the truth in God’s Word. My old blueprint isn’t even what God designed for me. It is my own faulty thinking, influenced by others’ faulty thinking. This needs to be cleaned up and clarified, so that God and His truth can have full sway in my life and I can become the woman He designed me to be.

In the words of one of my all-time favourite singers, Jim Reeves…

HAVE THINE OWN WAY, LORD

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being, absolute sway!
Filled with Thy spirit ’till all can see
Christ only, always, living in me…

Week 4 – Any Act with Practice Becomes Easy

Isn’t it funny how something you can read the same thing scores of times, and suddenly one day something stands out that didn’t before?

We’ve been reading Scroll 1 in The Greatest Salesman, three times a day since we began this course nearly four weeks ago. Og Mandino says:

“Eventually, I will find myself reacting to all situations which confront me as I was commanded in the scrolls to react, and soon these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.”

Just six little words. But my, what a punch when you realize their implications!

Think about habits you have formed over the years. Any habit… good or bad… How did it become a habit? It may not have been easy to do at the beginning. Riding a bike, for instance, or driving a car. You were probably clumsy, and had to think about every move ahead of time.

My first attempts at baking my own bread were disastrous. Heavy, compact, and inedible. After a few more attempts, I really did not know what I was doing differently, but my loaves of bread were light, airy, and delicious!

Practice makes perfect, because repetition cause the subconscious mind to take over. Our conscious minds don’t have to think about that any more, and can move on to new things.

Through MKMMA, we are learning lots of ways to get important things down into the subconscious minds. Many are good habits that would be helpful to everyone we know, while others focus on our own specific needs. All of it is propelling us toward the attainment of our goals and a better life.

Imagine being able to CHOOSE your own reality. The truth is, we all DO choose, only we don’t realize we’re doing it. Aside from circumstances truly beyond our control, our lives today ARE a result of our own choosing. Even in the circumstances beyond our control, we choose how they will affect us.

Choose today, what you want your life to be like in a year’s time. Combine it with all the positive emotions you will feel when it’s a reality. Think of it as a reality NOW. Today. With the positive emotions. And it will be, before you know it.

That’s it, in a nutshell. Your subconscious will show you actions to take, and as you do them, Subby will take over, and show you further actions to take.

ANY act, with practice, becomes easy.

Week 3 – Goals and the Subconscious Mind

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The Greatest Salesman, Scroll 1

“… the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.”

This makes me smile every time I read it. Years ago, I thought white hair meant a person was much wiser than I, and I was amazed to discover that is not always true. Yes, they had been through a lot more of life’s experiences than I had, but personal experience often leads someone to the wrong conclusions. It’s better to learn through the experiences of others who have already gone down the path I’m starting on, learned to avoid the pitfalls and navigate the rough spots, AND come to the right conclusions.

“In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded, lies in the differences of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.”

I have several friends who are successful authors. I knew them as young adults, before they ever started writing. I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a young teen. Why have they succeeded, and I have not? Not long ago it hit me that ONLY reason is that they acted on their desire, and have worked at it consistently through the years. Good habits are the key to all success.

The Master Key – Part 3

“The subconscious mind cannot argue; it only acts. It accepts the conclusions of the objective mind as final.”

Conscious thought is the master, and the quality of the thought we entertain determines the quality of what comes forth from the subconscious. It’s so important that we guard diligently what we allow into our conscious mind, because it is the watchman at the gate to the subconscious. If I go on believing the lies I’ve told myself all my life, my Subby will go on bringing negative circumstances into my life — it will keep me stuck where I’ve been for a long time. But as I become established in my new blueprint — my DMP, or Definite Major Purpose — it will reprogram my Subby, and things will turn around for me.

GOAL word on blue cubes

My DMP

Last night I was working on a writing course by Steve Alcorn and his daughter, Dani, who are both writers and writing instructors. They were role playing, he as a student, she as an instructor. She wanted him to improve on a sentence, making it more descriptive and colourful without overdoing it. He must have done eight revisions, when he said, “NOW am I done?”

“Well, it’s really good,” she said. “But it’s just missing one more thing.”

That’s what I feel like, with my DMP revisions. It seems I didn’t learn much at all, going through the Master Key Experience the first time, two years ago.

My conscious mind knows what I mean, but it’s my subconscious mind I have to convince. And that can be done only by being very specific in every detail.

I am amazed at how long it’s taking me to nail down my two primary PPNs. That’s Personal Pivotal Needs, for those who don’t know. How can I be so dense about my own needs — to the point of not even knowing what they are? Mark says this confusion indicates that I’m a control freak. I wonder if he truly believes a person enjoys feeling stupid and confused?

I’ll be so glad when I’m finished revising my DMP. Not because it will be the end of my frustrations, but because that will the be the BEGINNING! The STARTING point of my new life! It will mean the confusion is gone, and I’ll see the clear path ahead, as far as knowing exactly what my goals are, and how I am going to attain them.

I’m looking forward to that!!!

Week 2 – Guard Your Heart

James

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  – Proverbs 4:23

In one sense the heart means the seat of the emotions. I think it also means the subconscious mind, where all of the stimuli and thoughts of our entire lives are stored and processed before our conscious minds are even aware of it.

Haanel says in Chapter 2:

“It is often true that conditions of fear, worry, poverty, disease, inharmony and evils of all kinds dominate us by reason of false suggestions accepted by the unguarded subconscious mind. All this the trained conscious mind can entirely prevent by its vigilant protective action. It may properly be called ‘the watchman at the gate’ of the great subconscious domain.”

The conscious mind is the watchman at the gate. The subconscious mind accepts everything that comes its way, without discrimination or discernment. That’s why it’s so important that I choose what I allow into my conscious mind, which in turn influences what goes into my subconscious mind.

Hand in hand with this goes another truth we looked at this week:

Law of Dual Thought
Thought is a combination of ideation and feeling. We can attach any feeling to a thought we want.

This was brought home to me very forcefully one day almost seven years ago…

Our oldest son, James, was taken from us one bitterly cold night in December, 2009. He’d gone for a drive out in the country after work, as he often did. That night there were pockets of dense ice fog. Since it was not foggy in town, he wasn’t aware of that until he hit a patch about two miles west of town. He probably didn’t even see the stop sign, nor realize he had reached the highway. He was broad-sided by a dual trailer grain truck coming down the highway.

We live twenty minutes out in the country, and every time we drive into town, we pass by the spot where the accident occurred. The skid marks were still there ten days later, and there hadn’t been enough fresh snow to cover up the rumpled snow in the field where the grain truck and our son’s pickup came to rest.

Each time we drove over that spot on the highway, I fought down the panic as I thought, “This is where James died.”

And then I thought, “This will not do. I have a choice. I can let that thought, with its accompanying emotions take root… or I can turn it around and look at the positive. ”

Ever since then, as we’ve driven past, I have deliberately, consciously thought, “This is where James met the God he loved.”

James knew where he was going after he died… and so did we. There was no doubt in our minds that he was going to be with the Lord. We just didn’t think his time would come when he was 25 years old.

Losing a young son has a way of bringing home the fact that we really don’t know how many tomorrows we have. Certainly I did not know, on the evening of Friday, December 11, when all seven of our children were here for a family dinner. that it was the last time I would see my son alive. Nor did he know that he would have only 24 hours left to live.

The grieving process also has a way of bringing all the negative emotions to the fore. Fear… anger… jealousy… But just as I have a choice about what to think as I pass the place where James left us, so I have had ample opportunity in the years since then, to choose the positive emotions over the negative. Transferring of grief and loss, to gratitude and gain.

And in the same way, I can apply that lesson to any situation in my life, attaching any emotion I choose, to whatever happens day by day.