Week 1 – Here we go again!

Second time through this journey: or is this the first time through the second leg? Time will answer that question.

Prepared for the time commitment, prepared with all my materials. This time the commitment is deeper, this time I know the vital importance of the simple disciplines. This time I won’t question if this is for real (it is), and I won’t drag my feet wondering if I got it all just right (no I didn’t, but it is good and it will improve).

I narrowed the focus of my DMP – this time it is about applying all the amazing learning to a very specific area of my life. There are three areas of my life to which I apply my studying and seeking: this leg will be about focusing on one, knowing that everything will change as part of the upward spiral. Yes, the universe is conspiring to do me good, I am not focusing on the area of most struggle, and I am running with the thing that I love most, knowing that improvement in this area will better the rest of me.

Coming back to Haanel, a homecoming, a sit down with an old and beloved advisor and mentor. When did he change the words in the book…surely some of this was not here last year. But Master Key is good in it’s familiarity and good in it’s newness, it’s another layer of the onion as we come closer and closer to the mysteries of life.

Excited for the journey, more patient this time, more appreciative of the unfoldment along the continuum of understanding. Just starting the first week made me aware of areas in which I had regressed (ahh yes, time for a mental diet) and in areas in which so much growth and change has occurred. I am more excited this time for my fellow travelers, knowing what they are embarking on, and sending positive energy to them as we all become the next better version of ourselves. Let us go forth, and may the journey be as fruitful for each of you as it has been and continues to be for me.

Week 23 – Back from the Silence

Definite Major Purpose

Plan of Action

Positive Mental Attitude

Mastermind Alliance

We have learned the steps, brought all the pieces together, practiced, learned, improved and continued. Some of us have made breath taking changes, some of us subtle movements. All of us are becoming – something more.

Whole, Perfect, Powerful, Strong, Loving, Harmonious, and Happy.

More of whatever we choose. Not one of us can say we don’t know anymore, because we know. We know that the Truth lies within. And that what we bend our minds to, what we give ourselves to, and what we give to others is what our world is becoming. Are we giving kindness? Then our world is becoming kinder. Are we giving love? Then our world is becoming more loving. Abundance? Joy? Passion? Anything we recognize, focus on, and share fills more and more of our world everyday.

The Definite Major Purpose, the Plan of Action, all the other steps we have mastered are so small compared to the real journey. The journey to our Becoming. To the finding of and releasing of our Truest Self. To our complete and unshakable connection with the Universe.

This journey is about nothing else and about everything. It is the journey home. Home to our Truest Self. Our amazing, powerful, light filled, never ending Self. The place where we are free. To the spot that is I Am.

And when you find it, you will know why you came on this journey. Right back to where you always were.

Welcome Home.

Week 22 – True Health

We know that the world without is a reflection of the world within. What better evidence of the world within than our own health. Mr. Haanel teaches us in 22:8

“When our thought has been uplifted, progressive, constructive, courageous, noble, kind or in any other way desirable,…the result [is] mental, moral, and physical health….when our thought has been filled with envy, hatred, jealousy, criticism or any other…form of discord…the result is…inharmony and disease.” 

He further teaches us that “every cell is intelligent and will respond to your direction” (22:15) A person we know was horribly injured in a motorcycle accident and badly burned over much of his body. Yet he insisted on silence in his hospital room as much as possible and through many weeks of recuperation meditated only on health and physical perfection. No one in the hospital could believe the result of his mental efforts, he healed in record time and none of the scarring that was expected materialized. Haanel shares with us the story (week 9) of a young man (Frederick Elias Andrews) born with a severe disorder, who resolved the problem for himself with an uplifting affirmation we have all come to use and enjoy: “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.” (9:12) Years of affirming and visualizing his perfect health eventually manifested in his outer world.

What is true health? True health is a inward state of harmony, a place where we are in accord with every person and event in our lives, a place where forgiveness and release are complete. If we hold resentments, if we bear grudges, if we wish someone ill, we create an environment where sickness takes root. Yes, the external forces of food, exercise, cleanliness, etc. add to or subtract from our health. But the bottom line is, that like every other condition in our lives, health is an inside job and once we create harmony in our inner world, true health in the outer world will inevitably follow.

On Zig Ziglar’s well known recording “See You At The Top” he tells the story of a man who weighed 400 pounds and had created a mess in many areas of his life. He had an awakening and realized that he deserved better than that, and began to make improvements in every area of his life, including his physique. One night, walking home from a movie, he paused to look at a display window. He saw a reflection of a fat man in the glass and whirled around to see who it was; he realized that it was himself. You see, he had so intently visualized himself as a slender and fit man, that he no longer recognized his own reflection. Needless to say, he continued on his journey and in a short period of time his body matched the image he had created in his mind.

A decade ago I faced a life threatening illness that had originated in my kidneys and bladder. While it was very difficult to admit, it is, these many years later, so very clear: I was pissed off!  Life had dealt me a rough blow, and my shattered dreams had left me angry and resentful at the world. My resentment had festered for years, fueled my pity party, and almost cost me my life. It was up to me to let go, to release the bitterness I had come to cherish, and to move forward. The battle was not won in the doctor’s office, hospital or with drugs and treatment. The battle was won within, and the tools in there remain mine to use or neglect everyday.

This post is not meant to belittle anyone’s physical challenges, I certainly don’t know all the answers. A woman I know gave birth to a precious baby with cancer and that child’s life was far too brief. It is not within me to explain or know why. If you are struggling with health challenges and you are able, ask yourself the important question we have learned: What am I pretending not to know? Go into the silence, search for the places that are hurt, stuck, sorrowful, or out of harmony. Bring them forward, and with the greatest love and tenderness you can muster, release them. And as Mr. Haanel says: “[Your] realization and recognition of [the] Omnipresent power will quickly destroy any and every form of sickness or suffering and substitute harmony and perfection.” (22:29)

Week 21 – Power: again!

In week two, I wrote about a “power-full understanding” in my blog post. Mr. Haanel states in the very first paragraph of this mighty tome that: “The things of the world are fluid to a power within [me] by which [I] rule them”.  I struggled mightily with the concept of power, thinking of it’s negative connotations but realized finally that power was about how we used our thoughts. I understood that power comes from gathering our thoughts and focusing them to create all that we choose to manifest in the world. Power is all the rain drops, gathered into a mighty river, rolling unstoppable, into the sea.

In week 6, a post titled “The Power of Harmony’, Haanel taught me that after we find our power within, we must use it to our best advantage. “An electrician will tell you the effect of electricity will depend on what you attach to the power source. So it is with our power.” We learn that the proper way to harness our power is by attention. This is simply the decision to gather our thoughts onto the object of our attention, and to release anger, jealousy, opinion, etc. As Mr. Haanel  so aptly puts it: “The possibilities of attention when properly directed are so startling that they would hardly appear credible to the uninitiated.” (Chapter 6, Master Key)

Week 11 power became intertwined with faith directed at the object of one’s attention. “…whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 NIV) Our mind contains power to fulfill every need and desire, and as we use our power to create a demand, the universe responds with supply. Successful use of our power leads to the fulfillment of the Law of Attraction.

Week 12 was pivotal for me, power and my understanding of it had grown so large that I could never return to who I had been (old blueprint). 50 minutes of talking to myself in the mirror and stating my one sentence DMP unambiguously to the universe left my cement shattered beyond repair, glimmers of the golden buddha showing in many places. A burning desire create liberty was illuminated in 12:8 –  ”independence is found to be a practical working knowledge of the creative power of thought.” Yikes; gain knowledge of the power of my thoughts to create and I will have my liberty. Suddenly that most important Personal Pivotal Need was within reach….I can almost touch it.
power image

Week 17 brought more clarity: We all contain within our minds a power that dwarfs any other in the universe. No strong man, no great army, no fantastic invention can compare to the power of thought. That power relies on concentration for its results, and that power is undeniable if it is concentrated and is in harmony with natural law. In chapter 20, Mr. Haanel shows us that our source of power is Universal Mind, “The secret of power is a perfect understanding of the principles, forces, methods and combinations of Mind, and a perfect understanding of our relationship to the Universal Mind.” 20:6

Chapter 21 is the connecting of all these remarkable principles and understandings. It is our “consciousness of power”  and unity with a Mind that is limitless that sets us free. (21:1) Our contact with this “inexhaustible power” makes us a “live wire” with sufficient power to to “master every condition”; and leads us to “… the source of all health, all wealth, and all power.”

Mr Haanel, you have truly shown me the meaning of power and perhaps for the first time in my life given me a glimpse of the true measure of power that lies within me and every other person.

Week 20 – Inspiration

In this lesson, Haanel has much to say about inspiration. Being the amateur etymologist that I am, my head is instantly in the dictionaries seeking understanding, searching our root meanings. Inspiration is from the Latin ‘inspirare’ which has two meanings: to breathe in air; divine guidance. These seem like two very different meanings a first glance, but Mr. Haanel quickly dispels that idea.Webster’s Dictionary at the end of the 19th century defines inspiration in two ways:

  1. breathing in, infusing
  2. exercising an elevating influence upon the intellect or emotions; extraordinary elevation of the imagination or other powers of the soul

He shares with us many nuances of the word inspiration. in paragraph 20:15 we learn that “Inspiration is the art of imbibing”. Back to Websters Dictionary 1881 for the following definition of imbibing: “to receive into the mind and retain”. Far different from the ‘too many beers’ meaning of today.

Haanel continues with many other facets of inspiration:

  • “the art of self-realization”
  • “The art of adjusting the individual mind to the Universal Mind”
  • “the art of attaching the proper mechanism to the source of all power”
  • “the art of differentiating the formless into form”
  • “the art of becoming a channel for the flow of Infinite Wisdom”
  • “the art of visualizing perfection”
  • “the art of realizing the omnipresence of the Omnipotence.”

In 20:8 Haanel tells us that when you recognize the “universal is within yourself…[it] lights the torch of inspiration”. And in 20:10 we are told that wisdom is having “the inspiration of the omnipotent Universal Mind on demand at any time.”  In 20:13 we see that using our power of thought is “the secret of all inspiration, all genius.”  When we recognize the Unity of everything and that the source of power is within ” we tap the source of inspiration.” 20:14

And as Mr. Haanel does so brilliantly, he ties it all together for us:

“Power implies service; inspiration implies power; to understand and apply the method of inspiration is to become a superman. We can live more abundantly every time we breathe, if we consciously breathe with that intention.” (20:19-20)

The lesson in all of this is to shed light on what this Master Key journey has begun for me. My intellect and emotions have been elevated, it feels to me like I have climbed a mountain and gained a much clearer vantage point. My imagination has been fired by the discovery of the powers of my soul and I know that “all great things come through recognition” 20:3. And all of it is a simple as inhaling…for I know that the Universal is everywhere and that my connection is right here, with every breath I take. Inspiration indeed.

Week 19 – Rays of light

Concentrate. This is the word for our sit this week. In 1900 Webster’s Dictionary defines concentrate as follows: to bring to a common center, or to unite more closely; to combine; to condense; as to concentrate rays of light into a focus.

Haanel proposes in Part 19 that we are in need of a vital force that is required for life, that this primary force manifests through living bodies. If we align ourselves with universal principles we can increase the inflow of this vital energy and obtain the power which that enables us to produce results, mentally, morally, and spiritually. Certainly sounds like a power we would all like to be well connected to.

What is this primary force, this power that can do so much? We have learned from the very beginning of the book that the power that controls our world is thought. It is the primary force in the mental, physical, moral and spiritual world. It is the connection of the Universal to each of us and it is our thoughts that give the Universal the many varied manifestations that make up the world in which we live.

So what is the secret to this power? Why do some people seem to accomplish, create, and possess so much, while others seem to add very little to the forward progress of the universe? Haanel tells us that the secret for possessing this unlimited resource, this magnificent life force, this unparalleled power, is to concentrate. The universe is fluid to a power within each of us, and if we follow universal principles and concentrate our thoughts on the powerful, constructive, and positive, that our world will follow. And like the rays of light concentrated together, we can bring into sharp focus and true manifestation all the desires of our heart.

Week 18 – What does Mr. Haanel mean when he says…?

In listening to my fellow travelers in this Master Key journey, there are many comments about the meaning that this remarkable book is conveying. Charles Haanel wrote the Master Key System in the early part of the twentieth century and in the one hundred plus years since that time, many of the words he used frequently have taken on slightly or even dramatically new meanings. This week, I will share a few examples of this to shed some light on what Mr. Haanel was saying in a way that makes sense to the reader of today.

Perhaps the biggest source of confusion in studying the Master Key System comes form the frequent use of the word ‘creative’. In today’s language, when we think of creative, it is in relation to someone’s originality: their artwork, music, decorating, clothing, architecture, etc. From Google definitions:  relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. “change unleashes people’s creative energy”

However, The Master Key System, this word has a very different meaning. When we consult The Concise Oxford Dictionary of 1919, we read ‘bring into existence, give rise to, originate’.
So let’s look at a sentence in section 18 through this lens. In 18:12 Haanel states: “Thought is creative….but this creative power does not originate in the individual, but in the universal”.
So it would be easy for a modern reader to assume that thought is imaginative and imagination originates in the universal. However, in studying the words from Mr. Haanel’s era we see that the meaning would have been: thought has the power to bring into existence and the power to manifest does not originate in the individual but in the universal.
In other words, a century ago the term creative had a somewhat different connotation than today.While today’s connotation is one of someone who has an artistic side or flair, the meaning a century ago was one of bringing forth something from nothing: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1) God was (is) creative.
Let’s look at one more word that carries within it a key concept of Part 18. The word is ‘environment’. This word came back into popular usage  in the 1970’s in conjunction with Earth Day and growing awareness of the human impact on the planet’s biological systems. “the natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, especially as affected by human activity. Synonyms: the natural world, nature, the earth, the planet,the ecosystem, the biosphere, Mother Nature. Let’s go back to Oxford 1919: Surroundings; surrounding objects, region or circumstances. There we see a very different usage of a familiar word. This word appears twice in the brief introduction to 18. Haanel explains that we exist in relation to others and that these relationships form our environment. And two sentences later he lets us know that our environment is a result of the law of attraction. In other words Haanel’s “environment” was the world which surrounded us, our home, clothing, family, workplace…
After a decade of reading this inspired book, I must admit that I am merely a beginner in understanding and working out all of the magic contained in this brilliant and unique text. But I hope to share with my fellow travelers the value of reading carefully and remembering to look into the words from Mr. Haanel’s perspective. Doing this has helped me glean many more layers of understanding, value, and usefulness from this unrivaled work.

Week 17 – The sweet rewards of concentration

In our daily dances with the elements of life we are oftentimes led astray by the mirage, the hologram or graven image of those things that truly have meaning. Are we pursuing wealth, or power, or acceptance, or recognition? All these are just effects, we have learned that the heart of the matter is cause. It’s not the money, but who you become along the way to earning your fortune. It’s not the power or fame or status; it is all about who we are and if we are in harmony with the universe, with what matters, then all the other things shall be added. There is no need to chase “it” ; if you do catch it, it will all be a mirage leading to another cycle of more want, want, want.

We all contain within our minds a power that dwarfs any other in the universe. No strong man, no great army, no fantastic invention can compare to the power of thought. No man became strong, no army became great, no invention was fantastically unveiled that wasn’t the product of thought.

If thought is the greatest power, then why do most people struggle so endlessly for meager results? We all think millions of thoughts, why don’t all of us have corresponding millions in the bank account? The simple answer is concentration. Concentration is the simple act of taking the multitude of thoughts, and compelling them to all turn toward one end. I shared in week 2 that thoughts are like rain drops, a rain drop in the meadow has no major effect, but all the raindrops gathered together can carve the Grand Canyon. Concentration is not beating your head against the wall or gritting your teeth to answer a question like we did during a difficult final exam. No, concentration is a much different activity. It is the accumulated, intentional, unstoppable gathering of our mental energy into a purpose backed by a burning desire. It is that “I’m the worlds best basketball player” or “I will invent an electric lightbulb” or “this will be an amazing book”…whatever you choose and focus your intention and attention on, not for an hour, not for a day, not for a month, but over and over and over again until the forces of attraction are drawn into the orbit of your concentration and deliver to your door step every necessary supply to do the thing. Concentration is putting all of your mental energy behind your purpose and when that is done, then nothing can stop the result from happening.

This is the power, the truth, the key that insures your arrival will be a triumphant celebration not an arrival at the mirage of empty striving. If we strive to be a rich and famous super star, we will find only more striving when we get there. But if we set our heart on being the best at what we do, on becoming all that we can, then the rewards will be sweet, and will quench the thirst of our hard work in a soul satisfying way.

Week 16 – How to get kindness week all backward

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven…..That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:1-4.

Accept my kind offices to Thy other children as the only return in my power for Thy continual favors to me. Benjamin Franklin

Long ago I absorbed these two lessons into my life, and have known that these truths were the foundation of any success: spiritual, emotional, social, familial, and financial success would all come to the extent that I chose to be kind to others. My friend Zig said it so eloquently: “You can have everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

Something seemed amiss this week, a deep, disturbing gloom about this whole kindness project which truly left me shaken. In reading from Haanel this week, I learned that wealth is merely exchange value. In modern terms, you don’t want money so you can sleep with it at night, you want money for what you can exchange it for. Simple enough.

And then I heard it on our mastermind call…one of the women said, in a voice of confusion and uncertainty: ‘I don’t really get this, I’m always kind, it’s my default.’

That’s when it hit me. Yes kindness is my default, I dish it out regularly and have always encountered mountains of kindness in the world. Yet, I rarely accept it…almost never open my heart and my eyes to the giver and appreciate what they have given to me. It is so much easier to just give it away and slip away unseen.  What is the value if there is no exchange.

I realized in some strange way that I had been walking up to the counter of life, and paying the price, then walking away before the goods were delivered. I truly never absorb the things that come my way, preferring to go on by unnoticed and unrewarded. But this is a major blockage in the flow, it makes a mockery of Emerson. It has left me bereft of the kindness that was intended for me, and more poignantly, had denied the true pleasure of giving to those who have sought to share their kindness with me. They knocked and delivered, but no one came to the door.

This week as I delivered many kindnesses to those with whom I crossed paths, I saw the delight in their eyes, the opening of their hearts in glad receipt, and appreciation for being recognized and appreciated.  Why have I struggled so to let anyone deliver into my heart the gifts they wish to share?

The experience this week has been the hardest by far. A look into the mirror, into eyes so familiar yet so closely guarded…who am I keeping out. It feels like someone in there is dying, and my rational mind says ‘good, let her go’ but my heart cries out for mercy. So hard to put into words, so I will continue to sit, and hope that clarity comes. Perhaps all the cement falling off so fast has just rocked my world and it is so hard to see that something better, much better is emerging.

Week 15 – exchange the good for the better

Chapter 15 in the Master Key is a treasure trove of ideas and insights, a chapter of such great value and profound concepts; it makes me want to stop the clock and spend another month (or year!) studying these riches.

The first burning coal that jumped off the page and into my consciousness is in paragraph 3: Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.

Haanel further elaborates on both halves of this equation as follows:

If I am refusing to let go of what I no longer need

  • Have not exchanged the good for the better (What a beautiful thought!!!)
  • Tenaciously clinging to what I already have
  • Obstacles will continue until I learn the lesson

If I am refusing to accept what I require:

  • We receive only as we give (Yes Mr. Emerson…you are right!)
  • Become aware of the purpose of what I attract
  • Extract from each experience only what I need for further growth
  • Use my insight to know what I need for futher growth, then I will be able to attract its presence and absorb it.

Now for the insight part: can I use my insight* to see what I need to give out or let go of, and to see what I need to accept or receive?

I am giving up my worries about what others think, my concerns about getting it right, being perfect, about controlling the outcomes. I am accepting the discipline to ‘do the deal’, to become the leader that my team needs.

As Marianne Williamson teaches, If I let my light shine, it gives other permission to shine as well. My success is the HIGHEST and BEST thing I can give my team.

In my sit this week, it became crystal clear that the universe is indeed a grand conspiracy to give me everything I need, to take me from the good to the better in a never ending cycle of growth and manifestation and giving…repeat, repeat,repeat.

What an amazing life!

*(15:37 The Master Key System: Insight is a faculty of the mind whereby we are enabled to examine facts and conditions at long range, a kind of human telescope; it enables us to understand the difficulties, as well as the possibilities, in any undertaking.)