Archive for April 2008

A New Earth

Like many people – I have been engaging in the work of Eckhart Tolle and his book A New Earth recently. As you probably know, Oprah picked this book as her book of the month a few months back, recommended it highly, and has put together an incredible 10-week online class with Eckhart each Monday night (tonight is class #9).

This book (and all of Tolle’s work) is about being conscious and letting go of the destructive nature of our ego. He challenges us to move beyond the world of form and to go deep within ourselves, to connect with our true essence, and to awaken as spiritual beings. He pulls together some of the most important spiritual teachings in a way that is clear, accessible, and powerful. This is one of the most profound books I have ever read.

I am grateful and excited that Oprah has gotten behind this book and has introduced it to so many people around the world, myself included. Moving beyond ego and our “pain body” (as Tolle describes in the book – that place within us that reacts, judges, defends, and protects) really can create a whole “new world” for each of us personally and for the planet.

Imagine if we as individuals and as a society could move beyond our obsessions with our bodies, our possessions, our competition and comparison, our judgments and disagreements, and more. While I do understand and accept that much of this is all part of the human experience, I do believe it is possible for us to transcend some of the survival based, unconscious thinking and behavior that causes us and others so much pain. This book and the awareness it is creating is doing just that for me and so many others.

If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you check out the book and the class on Oprah’s website. Even though the 10-week class is almost over, you can download and watch or listen to all of the past classes from Oprah.com or iTunes. It is amazing stuff!!!

With Gratitude,

Mike

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Appreciating the Simple Things

Yesterday I had a “daddy day” with my two year old daughter Samantha. It was wonderful. I took her to see the San Francisco Giants play the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park in San Francisco. We had so much fun and Samantha loved it…running around the ballpark, watching the “baseball boys” play on the field, getting a pink Giants hat and orange foam finger, meeting lots of neat people including “Lou Seal” (the Giants mascot), and much more.

When we got home and I was giving Samantha her bath before bedtime, I asked her, “What was your favorite part of the day?” She said, without hesitation, “Eating popcorn!” When she said it, my first thought was, “Eating popcorn, are you kidding?” I then thought to myself, “I can make you popcorn at home, why did we have to go all the way to San Francisco, spend all the money we spent, and do everything we did today for you to eat some popcorn.” As soon as this thought crossed my mind, I stopped, smiled, and laughed at myself.

What a great example of being able to appreciate the simple things. For Samantha, eating popcorn at the baseball game with her daddy was fun and she appreciated it.

Each and every day we have the opportunity to appreciate the simple things in our lives. Too often we don’t stop to notice and pay attention to all there is to appreciate around us.

Today, see if you can stop as often as possible to appreciate the simple things in your life…when you do, you will not only notice that there are so many…you will also feel great about yourself, the people around you, and your life.

That is the power of appreciation in action!

With Gratitude,
Mike

Samantha’s dressed and ready to go to the baseball game!

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Focus on the Good News

As someone who is very interested in current events, politics, sports, and more – I pay a lot of attention to the news (sometimes more than is probably healthy for me). I read my newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, NY Times), check the Internet (CNN.com, HuffingtonPost.com, ESPN.com. MLB.com, and others), watch TV (CNN, MSNBC, ESPN…and the Daily Show on Comedy Central of course), and listen on the radio (KCBS, NPR, ESPN radio, etc.). With all of this news and information, I am often struck by how little of it is “good news.”

While there is probably a certain amount of negative stuff that is important for us to know about, if we spend time checking in with most of the “mainstream” press – it is easy to get the impression that life is really scary, negative, and that there are lots of terrible things are happening all over the place.

What about all the good news? There are literally billions of positive things happening all over the planet at this moment…most of them we will never hear about or know about. Think of how much good stuff goes unnoticed, unacknowledged, and un-communicated even in our own personal lives.

I recently found out about an amazing woman, Daryn Kagan, and her remarkable website, http://www.darynkagan.com/. She is a former CNN anchor and reporter who has started her own media outlet – sharing real life, positive stories of real people like you and me. After 12 years at CNN (and 20 years total in the news business), she left in 2006 and launched this website with a vision of uplifting people and sharing some of the wonderful “good news” that is all over the place.

Her new book, What’s Possible, is all about this. She picked 50 incredible stories that will touch your heart and soul. She also includes some valuable nuggets and “take-aways” from the stories that you can practice in your own life right away.

Way to go Daryn! I applaud you for your work, your vision, and your commitment. To have someone with your skill, awareness, and expertise using the media to share all of this good stuff…is wonderful and what we all need more of on a daily basis.

Check out Daryn’s site and book – you will be glad that you did. And, in your own life – share as much good news with others as you can.

With Appreciation,

Mike

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