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Inspiring Quote of the Day

Freedom represents a celebration of the individual as a divine aspect of the One consciousness, an animating principle based on love and cooperation and joy. Freedom is a quintessential aspect of any service-toothers consciousness. Without freedom we will turn into slaves, it's as simple as that.

"Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." ~ Benjamin Franklin

The Duality ~ by Kenneth J.M. MacLean

The human race is at an evolutionary crossroads. We know that we live in a duality; even skeptics and materialists cannot argue with this. We know that polarization and separation is the hallmark of duality; hot cold, light dark, misery joy, etc. This is part and parcel of a physical experience at this density. And so it is easy to insist that life and events on the planet Earth have a light side and a dark side. Therefore, it is obvious that there are groups of people on the planet working to raise the consciousness of the human race, and that there are those who are working to enslave us. It's just part of the duality.

It sounds evil when you use the word enslave us; how about "influence us" or "control us." Whatever word you want to use, there is a group or groups of people on the planet with hidden agendas who are determined to take us down the path of collective security and a hive-like or Borg mentality where individual freedom and a shared consciousness based on connection to Source are missing. There will be a connection all right; but it will not be biological or spiritual. It will be electronic or have to do with technology that can be controlled from above. This is the real issue here in the duality, ladies and gentlemen: will we choose cooperation and love, or collective security and protection from (fill in the blank - whatever straw man is put forward to scare people) based on some fear-based agenda. My friend in Australia sent me a message that was written on a traffic box. It said, "Love life and life will love you back." Apparently in Australia the councils actually hire artists to paint stuff like this, in order to brighten the place up. I think Australia is way ahead of us here in the U.S. This idea, which uses love as its basis, is also applicable to everything in a vibrational universe. What you place your attention on you get more of. Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." This is precisely the theme that is being acted out within the species consciousness right now. Security represents a deevolution back to the old paradigm of thought, and to a deprecated existence. Security represents protection from (fill in the blank with your favorite boogeyman). Freedom represents a celebration of the individual as a divine aspect

of the One consciousness, an animating principle based on love and cooperation and joy. Freedom is a quintessential aspect of any service-to-others consciousness. Without freedom we will turn into slaves, it's as simple as that. So why am I going on about this, some might say ad nauseum? Because IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP. We are in a window of opportunity right now to influence the next 10,000 years of human evolution. We are in the zone of chaos where the variables and the energy are coalescing. The choices we make RIGHT NOW are the ones that are called, in chaos theory, the initial conditions upon which the entire system will evolve around. We are setting up the equations (memes, thought patterns, vibrations, choices) in the mental plane around which the fractal pattern of human evolution will initiate and evolve. Remember what Esther Hicks always used to say, "there is never a crowd on the leading edge." Hicks did humanity a great service by promoting concepts like the Law of Attraction; getting people to see that a vibrational universe is arranged to support the decisions we make, and to get us to understand that we have power and that we have to step into it. This is the key concept in transcending those on the other side of the duality, who will ALWAYS use fear, terror, and violence, and propaganda and persuasion based on these themes, to promote their hidden agendas. The other side of the duality operates on these principles: Secrecy. Stealth. Covertness. Subtlety. Guile. Deceit. These principles are all mired on the negative side of the emotional/vibrational scale. This tells you that all "national security" establishments are the tools of the dark side,

because they are all secret. The justifications for them are themselves based in fear. "We have to have a national security establishment because our enemies will strike us down if we don't." Oh for gawd's sake, isn't this tired old theme getting boring by now? Isn't it just stupid? Well, we look around and say there's nothing we can do about it, except that we CAN do something about it. The real action is on the mental plane, within the programming that comprises the virtual realm. There is a physical universe and, alongside the physical is the virtual world that is invisible to the five human senses but which contains the programming and the sets of possible realities that can be manifested. You might think of these possible sets of reality as virtual holodecks. If you've ever seen the program "Eureka" (highly recommended, especially the last season, season 5) you see how virtual realities can be constructed and how consciousness can experience in them. These realities are just as real as the physical universe we live in. In fact, it can be argued that all physical realties are virtual constructs. This is what Esther Hicks was trying to say when she talked about how reality, in a vibrational universe, is an interpreted reality. Consciousness can enter into any virtual reality and it will be just as solid and real as our physical universe. In the Matrix, your consciousness was installed in the virtual program. When you removed your consciousness from the virtual program you returned to your body in another virtual reality, the physical universe. And when you remove your consciousness from the physical body, (this is called "Death," by the way, in case you are interested) you return

to Native State, a condition where your self-awareness is not associated with a physical body. Native State itself may be a construct of an even higher reality. We will all find out when we "die." And so we have to look at the physical universe we live in as a programmable construct. Because it IS. And if something is programmable, then it is malleable. It can be changed. And the way we change it is by consciously making choices about how we want to live our lives. As we keep saying over and over on the show, there are 7 billion of us creating a huge collective reality on the planet earth. Until now, the dumbasses who were playing the game (us) had no clue that we were anything more than pieces of meat walking around on the gameboard, and that our consciousness was dependent on the body, and that when we die, we're dead. OK, so that was a really, really fun game that we played for a really long time. But it is time to play a bigger and a better game. We as individuals can help everyone, and the Earth herself, by selecting (programming) the highest possible set of possible realities for our lives. By doing this we choose a higher set of possible manifestations from the collection of all possible manifested realities. This all happens outside the body reality, outside mainstream science, and the other side of the duality. These guys cannot stop us from choosing a bright future, but they can attempt to persuade us from choosing a true fourth-level consciousness, through cleverly designed propaganda and persuasion. The most important area in this choosing-a-potential-future is communications and electronics. The advertisements I

see for phones show people totally immersed in a digital or virtual reality (created by others) and completely ignoring the "real world." These advertisements show people totally and completely dependent upon their electronic device. This is a subtle way of showing you that you don't really have any power, that the real power lies in the operating system of the phone and the apps created by others. And of course, because we live in a duality, there is also the bright side of the power of these phones: the power to share information, video, and experiences on your network, and to connect with each other on a planetary basis. This is why I say that we are in the most important time in human history. Collectively we are on the cusp of making individual decisions that will affect the collective for the next several millennia. The time is now, as Charlie Parker, the great saxophonist, expressed in his song, "Now's the Time." Most of us are not consciously aware of how important this time is in human history. That's how it's always been. There are always a few visionaries like Hicks and Chopra and others who are pointing out the correct path, and a few on the other side who are engaging in doom and gloom. And then there is the one standard deviation in the middle, the 2/3rds of the population who don't seem to be able to think for themselves; who, like sheep, are moved one way or the other by the latest fads and fashions and meme structures. Well, boys and girls, as Esther Hicks always said, "there's never a crowd on the leading edge." Most people aren't even aware that there IS a leading edge! In other words most people just think that life is life and that there's nothing special about today as compared to 30 years ago or a

hundred years ago or a thousand years ago. They just look around and think that life is life and human nature is human nature and that nothing has really changed much over the years except that we live more comfortably now. Well, that's the APPARENCY. That's what the guys on the other side of the duality want us to think, while they dream up and put online more Utah data centers to monitor and control the entire population of earth. We are working in a very powerful system that we are unaware exists: the power of the virtual world to reprogram physical reality. The other guys know about this. They understand that we are heading to fourth-level consciousness and they want to control the way we live, with them at the top. But this is a pathetic, deprecated existence that does not tap into human potential: it requires for its success that individuals never reach their higher potential. We have the power, if we will only become aware that it exists, to influence the mental plane (the virtual world) on a truly massive scale. Again, there are 7 billion of us and a few thousands of them. Sure, those thousands control exotic technology, but the reason it remains hidden is that the human population is still comatose. If we ever woke up we could literally shatter the old paradigm of thought and create the potential for an entirely bigger game based on the realization of humanity's higher potential. The only thing stopping us isn't THEM, it's US. Right now is the critical window of opportunity. The further we travel along this time line past the December 21, 2012 marker, the more powerful are our decisions. We are going to come to a point in the near future when events on the planet will force

us to make a collective decision, IF we do not consciously do it now. In other words, we are here on the timeline where the apparency is that there is no necessity to make a decision about where humanity is going at the fourth level. "Oh, who cares about that," people say. "I have so much to do in my life, nobody has time for that metaphysical crap." But remember, a no-decision is a vote for the status quo, for no change, for things to go along just as they have always gone along. We don't want future generations to tell their kids, a few generations from now, that we were just too stupid to understand how important this time in human history was. "My great grandparents just didn't see it coming," we might say to our kids five generations down the line. "If only we had woken up in time to prevent the creation of skynet and the collectivization of humanity." Or something along those lines. Look, we've been warned. The Terminator movies, The Matrix, science fiction, these have all told us of our deprecated possible future. But it's only possible if we choose it. Of course there's no necessity to choose now. But why not do the smart thing and prevent the potential coming of future "leaders" who will try to organize humanity in order to save us from resource depletion, or the problems brought about by a collective security mindset? We talked about the potential for a future charismatic leader or leaders. We made the analogy to humanity being on a huge airplane with no pilot. This is the future scenario IF we don't collectively (collective = the sum of individuals) choose NOW. People will always make a choice if things come

down to a crisis. But let's not wait for that, because there is the potential for a lot of unnecessary turbulence. On a sidenote, the reason we would experience a charismatic leader is if we were going down the wrong path. In other words, there will be no need for charismatic leaders unless we are hitting a crisis point. The idea is not to become dependent on leaders! The idea is that everyone steps into their power and begins to think for themselves. This doesn't mean we don't need leadership. We do need that! Inspired leadership. But not charismatic leaders who draw attention to themselves and who are promoting an agenda. If we see this we will know that the agenda, even if it masquerades as spiritual or religious, is bogus. All right, we've been trying to describe that there exists a virtual world and that it is interwoven seamlessly (and invisibly) with the physical world. It's what Esther Hicks promoted for decades: the idea that the universe is vibrational and responsive to our thoughts and choices, and that these choices have meaning. Here we're trying to show practically how that mechanism works. My book, The Vibrational Universe, describes the practical application of seemingly (but actually powerful) esoteric principles to daily life. These principles only seem esoteric because they are associated with consciousness and the invisible virtual world. But in a cosmic twist or cosmic joke, that which is invisible (beyond the body reality) is actually the most important arena. The physical universe is just where the programmed changes show up. Does that make sense to you guys?

When you use the program's menus and buttons you create a beautiful brochure layout. That layout is strictly digital until you print it out. But really, 99% of the work and the conception, the REALITY, of the layout is in the electronic impulses of the machine. And those impulses are a direct creation of your THOUGHTS. Printing the brochure is trivial once the system is set up to allow you to push the print button. Well, that's how it works in life! The system is set up to allow us to change the layout. And then that layout manifests eventually in the physical universe, just like the brochure. What we want to get across to you is how fast the layout can change. In other words, millions of people consciously making decisions to elevate themselves and the human race and the planet literally changes the virtual programming very very quickly. It is possible, then, to quickly and powerfully reach a "tipping point" where the system goes out of the chaotic state (where there are lots of possible choices from the potential set of zillions of possibilities) and into a coalesced state that is the result of the decisions of the collective. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that the Powers That Be can do about this. It is simply a fact of the way the system is organized. The only power the other side of the duality has is to get us to change our minds. That's it. We're in it right now, the period where the battle is persuasion and influence. Keep the sheeple sleeping is the theme of the day from those who are promoting the manipulated side of the duality. But even here they are severely limited, for even a small subset of a 7 billion human population, if we make

conscious choices, can create the tipping point and an instantaneous change in the consciousness of all 7 billion. That's why the other side of the duality is so afraid, because they know they are really powerless. Their emphasis, therefore has been on elevating technology (and science) to the position of unquestioned god. If the pronouncements of science can be elevated to the status of a god-like oracle coming down from on-high (in reality from the top of the pyramid of the Old Order) then whatever establishment science considers valid, is valid. Which means that ideas like consciousness being non-physical are simply absurd. Scientific ideas such as the experimenter can influence the results of an experiment are taboo, because this leads inevitably to the idea that there is some kind of non-local (or possibly local) intelligence beyond the physical that can influence the physical. If this idea were ever to be widely accepted we'd see a change for the better in science, and a paradigm shift in every area of human endeavor. It can happen, because all we need is a paradigm shift. We can influence the future direction of science even if we know nothing about science. We're talking about the Big Picture here, the picture beyond the physical and into the virtual; we're talking about the correct definition of consciousness. Once the true definition of consciousness becomes accepted widely enough, we'll see structural changes to the entire foundation and frame of human existence, to use a building analogy. That's why we've been boring on and on on the show about fourth-level consciousness and the importance of the individual in consciously making decisions

to better their lives. The key is CONSCIOUSLY. When you consciously make a decision to have more love or joy in your life, you select a higher reality from the virtual space. When you do visualizations or meditations on a future earth and a future life that looks full of joy and prosperity and abundant, clean energy, you select from the virtual set of possible manifestations, a higher dimensional reality. This virtual space, again, links to and programs the physical world we see around us, just as the virtual holo-program is influenced by the choices of the actors within it. And it's exciting to think that the designers of the holo-program are the same guys who are IN the holo-program!

"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
To achieve our dreams we need to break out of our comfort zone and start to accept and work with the unfamiliar and the unknown.

Doing Too Much: How to Overcome Pressures of Life ~ by Pete Bissonette

Is the first thought that pops into your head when you wake up in the morning, how you'll brace yourself for another whirlwind day? If so, you're not alone. Countless numbers of Americans are doing way too much: too much work, too many activities, and too many obligations. And they're not taking the time to de-stress from all of this overwhelming pressure a surefire recipe for ruin.

"Stress in America continues to escalate and is affecting every aspect of people's lives from work to personal relationships to sleep patterns and eating habits, as well as their health," said Russ Newman, a psychologist and executive director of the American Psychological Association (APA). A recent APA survey found, in fact, that 48 percent of Americans say they're more stressed than they were five years ago, and they regularly lie awake at night because of their worries. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount you're expected (or expecting yourself) to get done is also counterproductive. "When you rush and do not take time for yourself you burn out and actually get less done," says Hale Dwoskin, founder of Sedona Training Associates. Of course, this type of consistent 'running on overdrive' can lead to chronic stress that, according to a study published in the July 2004 issue of the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin, is likely the worst kind of stress. It is so hard on your immune system that it actually causes it to break down, leaving you vulnerable to many diseases. How to Stop Doing Too Much, and Start Taking Care of Yourself At the heart of your overwhelming feelings is likely an extreme desire to simplify your life, slow down and take a few long moments of relaxation. The tips that follow will help you to stop doing too much so that you have time for the things that are most important in your life.

Live in the moment. "Do what you are doing when you are doing it, and don't do what you are not doing when you are not doing it," Dwoskin says. "Most of us do the opposite. We are trying not to do what we are doing or we are feeling like we need to do something else." The key to focusing solely on what you're doing right now lies in learning how to let go. This is an ability that you already have, but that may need reawakening for you to harness its powers. "By allowing yourself to focus on, engage with, and then embrace or let go of any reactions to the job at hand it gets much easier to simply do one task at a time successfully and move on," Dwoskin says. "Plus, the more you release on your everyday activities, the less they overwhelm you and the more you get done."

Learn to say NO. If you're tired of doing too much, you must learn the art of saying no. You should say 'no' to any and all obligations that are not important to you or your family. You can't be everything to everybody, and the sooner you realize this, the happier you'll feel. Rather than rushing, believe you have all the time in the world. "There is always enough time for you if you allow there to be," Dwoskin says. So let go of the feeling that you are running out of time and live your life at your own pace. Reorder your priorities. It's easy to get into the mindset that the more you do, the better you are. In reality, it's just as important to learn how to slow down so you can appreciate the small things in life. If you're constantly trying to do too much, you'll miss out on many of life's most pleasant moments.

If we insist on being right, the problem is that we may feel the need to achieve this by making others wrong, or by controlling and manipulating them, which isolates us and breaks relationships.

"Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You're able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment." ~ Ralph Marston

Ten Tips to Find Inner Peace ~ by Pete Bissonette

It goes without saying that life can be hectic. In fact, more than one-quarter of women and 21 percent of men ALWAYS feel rushed (not to mention 36 percent of moms and 25 percent of dads), according to a Pew Research Center poll. Perhaps you fall into this 'harried' group, and perhaps you have noticed those few among us who seem completely unfazed by traffic jams, schedules and daily life in general. How can these people feel relaxed, stress-free and happy even in the midst of all of this chaos? Two words: Inner peace. What Is Inner Peace? Inner peace may sound like an oxymoron, but rest assured it is quite attainable. "Peace is always available here and now because it is what everyone has at their core," says Hale Dwoskin, founder of Sedona Training Associates. "Peace is one of the attributes of resting as that presence of awareness that you are." In other words, inner peace is what's left after all of the distractions, worries, to-do's, and what ifs have been quieted. Inner peace is the human equivalent of extra icing on your favorite cake it's your life, but better; it's gravy. How can you get to a place of inner peace, and join the ranks of those happy and disarmingly "together" few? Try out these simple tips they're an easy way to get more inner peace in your life, right now. 1. Notice the silence that's here right now. "The simplest way to recognize inner peace and experience this peace that you are is to simply stop and notice the

peace or silence that is here now before, during and after every thought and experience. It is what experiences appear in or on," Dwoskin says. "Then simply let go of anything that appears to be disturbing that peace." So the moment that you start to get boggled down with anything not peaceful, take a step back and realize that, right now, everything is fine, everything is peaceful. If, when you take this step back, your mind is flooded with racing thoughts, it's time to let go of these thoughts, quickly, by using The Sedona Method. 2. Take a deep breath. Now take another. And another. Breathing is a natural way of relaxing your body and letting go of stress. Once you start to incorporate deep breaths into your day, you will likely start to realize just how often you've been holding yours. 3. Turn off the TV. You may think you can't live without next season's 'Dancing With the Stars,' but turning off the television and tuning out of all of its advertisements, violence, and negative current events will give your mind a much-needed break. 4. Excuse yourself from negative conversations (and people). There's no law that says you have to stick around to hear your co-workers go on about how awful their jobs are, or be your highly critical aunt's "special project." As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people, and avoid the negative ones.

5. Practice forgiveness. This one may not sound 'quick,' but it actually can be. Why are you still holding on to anger over any past argument or situation? It is only hurting YOU. You can decide, in this instant, to let go of your grudge, and experience how much more free and peaceful you feel. 6. Don't take it personally. Though it may sometimes seem that there is a conspiracy to make all things in your life go wrong, rest assured that the universe is not out to get you. In fact, it can actually work FOR you, if you let it. The more you let the bad things roll off your back, and let the good things fill you with joy, the more positive, and peaceful, your life will become. 7. Name five things you're thankful for. Now make this a habit you do every day. If you want, expand the list to 10, 20, or 100 things. Expressing gratitude in this way, as simple as it sounds, will help you to get a whole lot more out of life. 8. Stop being envious. You're not envious, you say? You don't secretly wish you had a bigger house? A better body? A more perfect marriage? "Most of us feel envious at least to some extent all the time without even being aware of it," Dwoskin says. Yet, feeling envious keeps you in a constant state of noticing what you don't have. Which, of course, draws more lack into your life. When you consciously decide to no longer be envious, you become free and open to anything you desire, including inner peace.

9. Do something good for yourself, and something good for someone else, everyday. Just a small something to remind yourself that there's always time for a treat, and to treat others. Some suggestions: pick up coffee on the way to work for your office-mate, buy yourself that new book you've been wanting, go for a long walk after you wake up, or surprise your spouse with a love note. 10. Smile and, even better, laugh. Smiling, even if you don't really feel like it, will eventually help you to feel better. Laughing, as often as you can, is also great for your mind.

Non-attachment - even or especially to one's own selfimage - is the necessity for personal change. If we are open to change and to new possibilities and perspectives, without buying into them blindly, we can grow.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." ~ Lao-tzu

Happiness Is Free and It's Easier Than You Think! ~ by Hale Dwoskin
The following pointers can be used as daily reminders to live and enjoy the happiness that is your birthright:

1. Look for happiness in the right place We spend most of our time looking for happiness in all the wrong places. If you simply look within, you can discover the source of unlimited happiness now. Also, if you examine those things that you think make you happy, I think you will find this pattern inside. When you satisfy a particular desire, even temporarily, your mind gets quieter and the happiness that is your natural state is able to shine through a little more. If you allow yourself to catch this process as it unfolds inside of you, you will learn to take happiness directly from it's source within you and you will enjoy everything that you have or do more fully. 2. Stop rushing past life Have the attitude of, "I have all the time in the world," even when working on a deadline. You will not only feel happier but you will get things done more easily and quickly. If you catch yourself rushing, simply let go of pushing yourself as best you can and allow yourself to take one step or one action at a time. 3. Let go! This is the core of the Sedona Method! Most of us spend way too much time holding onto what was. If you let go of what was, and stop dragging it into the present or projecting it into the future, you can enjoy what is now. 4. Accept what is When we want to change what is, we suffer. If you just let go of wanting to change what is as best you can, even for a moment, you are immediately happier. Plus,

you no longer have to hold onto your problems in order to change them, and they often change or clear up all by themselves. 5. Give from your heart The giver is truly blessed. Whenever you give without wanting anything in return, even if it is just an understanding ear, you are instantly happier. The key is in not expecting to get anything from giving. If you want to get something back, you are not truly giving and you miss the blessing of happiness that true giving brings. 6. Give love instead of trying to get it If you look for others to give you love, you will often be unhappy. However, if you allow yourself to be as loving as you can for no reason at all, you will instantly feel happier. As Lester Levenson used to say, "Love, love, love and you will always be happy." 7. Be present with what is If you are simply present with whatever you are experiencing now, as opposed to what was or what might be, you will find there is no end to your happiness. As best you can, take breaks from trying to assign meaning and a history to the sounds, sensations and pictures that arise in your awareness. Another way to say this is to welcome whatever arises in your consciousness as best you can. 8. Live life wide open Even if there are supposed threats around you, when you close off from your environment, you are only locking in suffering and holding away happiness. The more you simply open inside you let the pain you

already have out and you become transparent to the pain that appears to be coming from outside of you. When you are truly open the pain can't stick to you. 9. Pick agreements If you look for things to agree with just as they are, you can find them, even at your darkest hour. Every time you pick an agreement with what is in your experience, you experience more happiness. 10. Expand your awareness As you expand your awareness, you expand your ability to feel happy. You can do this quite simply by allowing your awareness to be as contracted as it is and as expanded as it is. The more you embrace both sides, the more you can recognize the vastness that is your basic nature. 11. Accept the possibility of happiness now Most of us are waiting for something to change in order to give us an excuse to be happy. If we decide it is possible to be happy, whether or not that something ever changes, we can become happy now. I hope you enjoy working with these simple principles. I promise that if you allow yourself to be open to exploring any one of them, you will find yourself with a smile on your face, happy to be alive here and now. From my perspective, you are supporting our world by Releasing (using the Sedona Method) to correct your own problems and gain your own goals. Lester used to say that one person with only love in their heart could do more to right the problems of the world than all the people who were

actively trying to fix it. We all have love in our hearts just beneath our imagined limitations and every time that you Release on or about anything you are uncovering more of your basic loving nature. Also, I believe every time we let go we are dissolving limitation out of the mass consciousness not just our own. When we first started teaching the Method in the midseventies I remember people wondering whether or not someone could use the Method to become more destructive to their world. In my experience over the years, no matter where someone may appear to be in their lives when they take the Method, they have a tendency to get only more constructive as they uncover their courageousness, acceptance and peace. The motivation to do things that most of us would consider destructive simply dissolves. Beyond this natural occurrence as you Release, here are a couple of ways you can apply the Method to support the whole. Hold the Best in Mind Most of us, when we think of the world, do not have particularly positive pictures. All you have to do is watch or read the news to see what I mean. In fact I hear from many people that the news is a significant part of their daily stress. Yet most of us feel compelled to watch, read or hear the news so we can know what is going on. I have also noticed that many people simply stop watching the news in order not to be influenced by what they view as its negativity. I do not recommend that you obsess over the news however I also do not recommend that you cut off from it. What I do recommend is that as you hear or see the news allow

yourself to let go of the feelings that it stirs up in you. And if there are things in the news that cause you to feel anxious and resistant let go of the resistance and fear and let go of your expectation for those things to happen as best you can. Allow yourself to picture the world the way you would like it to be and let go of all the feelings inside of you that say it cannot or will not happen. At the same time do your best to accept it as it is by letting go of wanting to change it. The more you can accept the world exactly as it is the more you will be projecting love to the world. By doing this you can stay informed and at the same time you are contributing to the solution even if you do not take any outward action. And if you are going to take action. Be for the Solution Many of us, even with the best intentions, find ourselves being "anti" towards what we do not like in the world. Yet if we are "anti" something, we are still holding it in mind, sometimes even more strongly then those who are for it. From my perspective all the anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War for instance did not bring about a quick end to the conflict, it only prolonged it. Whatever we hold in mind we are sending energy to and are supporting its creation. Here are some practical examples: Instead of being against pollution, be pro-environment. Instead of being against discrimination, be pro-equality. Instead of being against war, be pro-peace. Hold in mind the solution as opposed to the problem and you will get a lot more done with a lot less effort and naturally be more constructive in the process.

This is a state of trust and surrender, a kind of inner confidence to let go. It has a prerequisite of living according to your values, and your values truly being your own. With acceptance and gratitude. Then go with the flow, because being your true loving self will naturally create the right circumstances.

"I look upon my past with acceptance, I am thankful for today, I have hope for tomorrow... I am truly blessed and truly grateful!" ~ Judy Belmont

Interview about Releasing Emotions by Peter Shepherd

Keenan Lee is a freshman attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He had an assignment to interview someone who is knowledgeable on the research topic 'Releasing Emotions.' Happily he found me! These are his questions: Q1. How much of a positive effect has the release of emotions had on your own personal life or the lives of your students/patients? For every ten people who study Releasing, how many of them fully complete the process? A: The emotions one needs to Release are those that are felt to be unpleasant or that stick around long after they were appropriate, originally as a response to one's interpretation (rational or less than rational) of

circumstances. Since I was trained in Rational Emotive Psychotherapy (RET), which required considerable experience both as the therapist and client, I have plenty of evidence concerning the efficacy of this process. In my personal life, I used to be riddled with fears of what people thought of me and so on, which were based on my lack of self-esteem. Timid Pete! This caused plenty of painful feelings in many circumstances and a very limited lifestyle. Releasing these emotions, re-evaluating the beliefs and finally realizing that I can think, feel and create my life quite differently, was a transforming experience. Many students have described similar stories. Basic to RET is the principle that emotions follow on from one's thoughts, and behavior follows on from these emotions. Releasing of such emotions is fundamental to progress; one can then examine the underlying beliefs, understand from whence they derived, and so be prepared to Release the beliefs as well, which gives a full clearing in the area - one is then able to look objectively in the present moment and feel and act accordingly, rather than being driven reactively by previous decisions and accompanying emotions. When students buy a personal development course, the most common subsequent actions are either to enthusiastically get on with the course, doing all the exercises and asking questions where necessary; or to be pleased with having bought the course and to proudly shelve it but never actually begin; or alternatively, to feebly attempt the first exercise and decide it's too much like hard work. A few also drop out because they have insufficient

basic education to follow detailed written instructions or perhaps they are not emotionally stable enough to do subjective personal exercises. For every 10 people who do seriously tackle the course, the results are inevitably positive and the releasing of unwanted emotions is an important element in the latter stages of the course - approximately 8 of the 10 reach that stage and benefit significantly from Releasing, as best I can tell. Q2. I understand that you received training in Rational Emotive Therapy (RET). What exactly is Rational Emotive Therapy? Where did you go for training? Have you taught at any educational institutions or just online via the internet? A: RET is a form of psychotherapy devised by Arthur Ellis, an American, in the 70's. It's described by me here. I took up psychotherapy in my 30's and did a Diploma in RET at a college in London. I taught courses in person in connection with the company Mental Development, Ltd in the early 90s alongside a psychotherapy practice, and in the last few years have devoted my time to the online project you see at Trans4mind. There is more personal biography here. Q3. Could you please go over the Releasing procedure step by step. What is different about 'RET'? A: My personal interpretation of the Releasing procedure is described by me here. Lester's technique is well known amongst humanistic and transpersonal psychology practitioners. There's nothing unique - there rarely is as it's life we're talking about here, we all have these phenomena within us to observe - the principles are straightforward, but

no one packaged it quite so clearly and in such a focused way before. RET is quite different from emotional releasing. RET traces back from a painful or inappropriate behavior, to the motivating emotion, the circumstances in which that is triggered, and then looks for the distortion in rationality that causes the emotion, and then disputes that rationality until a more appropriate and objective view is discovered that relieves the thought-feeling-behavior pattern. The release technique just deals with one element here, making the emotion more accepted, with responsibility for it's creation, so that it is easier to see the situation more clearly, with less attachment. The two principles and techniques complement each other, which is why I combine them in my courses. And there are other elements, such as early traumatic influences and deeper handling of suppressed internal conflicts that neither technique really covers, and I include handling for these in my courses too, just as a psychotherapist uses an arsenal of techniques as appropriate for his client, but only as needed, not all at once. And what I do is not psychotherapy - a person needs oneto-one expert care for that - but tools for personal growth and transformation for people who are already happy and healthy. Some of these tools cross over from psychotherapy but some are designed to increase awareness and responsibility in way that one would not expect a person needing psychological help to be interested in. Q4. Have there ever been any unsuccessful attempts for a person to release their emotions? What problems arose that impeded them from fully completing the process? What can

be done to assist those who have difficulty with the release technique? A: Yes, people can be unsuccessful with Releasing. This occurs primarily through not persisting sufficiently with the technique to obtain the expected result. It may feel like 'nothing is happening', or the technique may re-stimulate a lot of painful memories. These phenomena have to be worked through, and this requires either trust or strong motivation, and without a therapist to guide them, some students may not have enough of either to complete the process. Another factor is when the instructions have not been properly understood or are misinterpreted, so something quite different is actually practiced than the intended technique. Techniques can be over-done too, in the attempt to achieve an unrealistic goal, which invalidates what is actually being achieved. Most often in personal development it's many small gains that add up to the breakthroughs, and they are easily taken for granted and 'absorbed'. And so one can also fail to recognize even the big changes - though another person may more easily see these changes for the better going on. Those who have difficulty need to communicate their situation to an experienced support person, who can guide them through to success. Those doing the New Life Course have my support through email, and I also offer the same to those who are simply practicing what they read in Transforming the Mind, my online book. Those who do the formal Sedona Method courses, which offer a complete and in-depth program, can also take advantage of their support

structure - and they should as really that is the main item they have bought with their purchase of the Sedona Method (the actual CDs being of relatively little cost). Q5. Are there some emotions that you or your students/patients have difficulty releasing? If you are willing, could you please disclose the circumstances that make it hard for you or your students/patients to release that emotion? A: Emotions can be hard to Release if in some way they are serving the person. We often tend to justify those of our actions that we know to be wrong, by suppressing that knowledge and replacing it with beliefs (and subsequent emotions) that make ourselves right, and the other wrong. So we may be reluctant to let go of hate or antagonism that we are convincing ourselves is deserved. Or before we reach that stage, we may feel ashamed and unwilling to take responsibility for our actions. Releasing can only fully resolve when accompanied by acceptance of our responsibility for (as creator of) our beliefs, feelings and actions. A fear may seem subjectively rational and justified, so why let it go? Stuck emotions generally seem 'right' and appropriate to us, or we would not stick with them. Releasing aims to get through this barrier by demonstrating that since we can consciously recreate the stuck emotion, then we are indeed creating the emotion, rather than it being caused by past events or other peoples' actions. When we are no longer so identified with the emotion but realize that we are creating it, and can take responsibility for that, the

underlying beliefs come into the open and we can see more easily what is rational and what isn't. Q6. What were some of the problems regarding your own or your student's/patient's thinking/thought process that caused you/them to have problems when dealing with troubling emotions? A: People are naturally somewhat afraid of emotions, in that they can be 'carried away' by them, even to lose themselves and their sanity if they are not careful. It is only really by successfully practicing Releasing that one comes to understand that we are truly the master of emotions and not their slave. Q7. What is the most difficult part in trying to release an emotion? Which step of the process poses the most difficulty? A: For many people, the initial stage of creating the emotion deliberately and consciously, is the hardest. We tend to suppress painful emotions to protect ourselves, and it is characteristic of male cultural conditioning in particular to suppress 'weak' feelings. It's not always easy to 'get into' the feeling - and when we have done, we may wish we hadn't, as it may cause us considerable discomfort. Nevertheless, the way out is the way through, these stuck/hidden emotions are ruling our lives and only by becoming master of them can we reclaim our personal power and freedom. This requires acceptance, not resistance as we might have thought.

Emotions can re-stimulate (i.e. cause the person to remember and bring back to life, whether consciously or subconsciously) painful past experiences and if this is overwhelming, the process can feel too painful to continue without support from a therapist, who is able to guide the person to face up to and eventually desensitise these experiences, so their lessons can be learned (which is the primary clearing action). For this reason, Releasing and other forms of in-depth personal work are not recommended for those persons who feel particularly vulnerable about certain issues and experiences. They should get help from a therapist to clear these issues first - then continue from there to increase their personal responsibility for growth. In practice, however, most often persistence in recreating the painful emotion (in applying the Releasing procedure) does effectively take a person through this barrier, if they have the courage and motivation to do so. Q8. Why do you say it is also important to release good emotions? Don't humans want to feel good all the time? Why let go of something good? What exactly is this 'higher self' that you speak of? Does it satisfy humans' insatiable needs and desires? A: To release is not to 'get rid of' but simply to accept as it is and no longer resist or fight the feeling. By realizing that one is creating it, rather than that one actually is (identified with) that emotion, you can release the attachment and experience that feeling when and how you want, rather than in a stuck or reactive way. Why get rid of something good? You aren't getting rid of it, you are removing the attachment

to it, you are realizing you are MORE THAN that emotion. This is the spiritual aspect. Who realizes that? The Higher Self. The part of you that is more than a body-mind, which is your connection with or portal to, God. Q9. Besides RET and the Release technique, are there other ways a person can release emotions? What are your feelings on meditation and other forms of stress relievers? What are your feelings on those exercises that simply block out the negative emotions? (i.e. running to get one's mind off of the stress at work) Would you consider these exercises to be effective 'release techniques'? A: Any technique that increases acceptance (rather than resistance, which is not the same as blind agreement) awareness and personal responsibility for one's own creation, facilitates releasing emotions. The method of Releasing is only one aspect of my work because we are multi-faceted spirit-mind-body creatures and therefore an holistic approach is necessary for profound growth. the New Life Course and Holosync are examples of complementary approaches to growth. Meditation can be used for opening the mind and accepting and releasing - such as 'mindfulness meditation'. But some types of mantra meditation can create a wall of suppression and actually work against increasing awareness. Same with anything that blocks out reality - it can give temporary relief but not any kind of resolution. That requires viewing what is, as it is, in order to learn the lessons that will free you in that aspect of your life.

Q10. What are your feelings toward people who adopt an 'I don't care' attitude, who never bother to pay any attention to their problematic emotions? Would you consider this to be healthy or unhealthy? Would there be any effects (positive or negative) in the long term as a result of this pattern of thinking/behavior? A: If you don't care about personal growth, that's OK. You might be quite happy and you will stay that way, until something happens that you don't have the resources and wisdom to handle - then you may go downhill. Or you may get old and wonder where your life went, since you had been living in a safe but limiting cocoon. Or you might be pretending you're quite happy, because you don't want to face that actually you are living someone else's life rather than what you want to be doing, and that you spend considerable effort avoiding things you don't want to confront. Or you might consider than painful emotions are just a part of life that is inevitable, and you can continue to live with this suffering. Most people do nothing, and so human nature continues to create all the problems that we see in the world, on a personal, familial and social/political scale. But it is possible to 'find ourselves' through releasing the limitations we impose on ourselves as a result of our upbringing and negative learning experiences. Only such a person can fully and freely love - without judgment - their fellow man. Yes, it gets spiritual again. This is a Christ consciousness we're talking about, and it's what the world needs - without all the false dogma and political manipulation we see with established religions and cults.

It does not help to suppress feelings; it's not emotionally intelligent. For example, you may try to push back feelings of frustration or annoyance in order to appear more loving and accepting. A good intention for sure, but not genuine and therefore stressful for you. Instead, first you need to experience these emotions, to realize that you are creating them and be willing to let them go. Simply release them. THEN you can be genuinely and effortlessly loving. It's mindfulness: spot the negative feeling, realize you are creating it, let it go and just be yourself.

"Let go of what you can't control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now." ~ Karen Salmansohn

Follow Your Heart ~ by Pete Bissonette

You know how it feels when you truly follow your heart. Every inch of your body the very fabric of your soul feels alive. And even if your head is telling you "no", you do it anyway because something bigger, something more primal, is telling you "yes". "You know when you are following your heart because it will feel right even if your mind is uncomfortable," says Hale Dwoskin, founder of Sedona Training Associates. "You will feel an openness and aliveness as you follow what is true for you." Now, when's the last time you followed that feeling? Really threw caution to the wind and went full speed ahead for an opportunity, relationship or experience that made you tingle with excitement? Been awhile? For most adults, the answer is yes. As kids, though, we did it all the time. People believe in beings in their youth like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny not because it really made sense, but because it felt right to their

hearts. We have probably all made pledges to remain "best friends forever" not because we thought it out, but because we felt it should be so. And we caught fireflies, had lemonade stands, and played endless hours of tag not because we thought we should, but because we couldn't imagine life without it. As we grow older, though, our heads often get in the way. They're filled with reasons we shouldn't, things that could go wrong, or more important things to do. And, perhaps worst of all, they become very susceptible to the opinions of others, including those of society. Whose Life Is It Anyway? This is the question you need to ask yourself. Whose life is it that you are living? Think a moment before you answer. Are you working in a job that makes sense or that you love? Do you surround yourself with people who you should associate with, or those that you adore? And are you living your life the way that you want to, or the way that someone else your parents, your spouse, society wants you to? If you can't answer the original question with a heartfelt "MINE!" then you got to this article just in time. What follows is the secret to living YOUR life YOUR way. Learning to Follow Your Heart Following your heart is a two-step process. The first step is letting go of your need for approval. This opens the door to things like splashing barefoot through a fountain, giggling at completely inappropriate times, and striking up conversations with total strangers. Because, you see, once you stop caring about what other people think of you, you start caring about what you really want to do. The second step of the process, then, is learning what it is you truly want. This can be tricky because society conditions us to want certain things (from material possessions to life arrangements). In reality, you may want none of those, or you may want them all. Either way is fine, the key is to notice and realize what your heart is telling you. If you listen, you can do no wrong.

"If you are feeling some doubt it does not mean that the message should not be trusted," Dwoskin says. "It simply means that it is time to let go. When you are wondering whether or not a message is coming from your heart, simply let go. As you let go you will gain greater clarity. If the message is coming from your heart it will simply get quieter and clearer and if it is coming from your mind it will just dissolve."

"Hope is a waking dream." ~ Aristotle

Without hope we do nothing; with it we are motivated again, our vision is illuminated and becomes achievable. Hope is being alive.

The Question I Can't Ask ~ by Karen Wright

The sweet soothing sounds of the song Nightingale by Nora Jones stabbed me dead-center on a lazy drive home today. I've heard the tune many times, but never these words - never this clearly. "Does it seem like I'm looking for an answer to a question I can't ask?" Songwriters are geniuses of the soul. One sentence distilled the enormity of personal angst into a few haunting words. Looking for answers - who isn't? We're all endlessly seeking advice, devouring how-to best sellers, and praying for divine guidance. Perpetually feeling that something isn't quite right with this life. Something's missingor forgotten. Like rousing from a sound sleep and being lost in the haze between clarity and slumber. All askew. But most, if asked, can't clearly articulate what it is they're trying to find an answer to. And that is the very reason the answer remains elusive. Or perhaps I should say: the reason the answer remains invisible. Answers aren't recognized as answers until the question forms. Until then, answers are just bits and piece of static. In the past ten years I've become infatuated with questions. Not any particular questions. Just with the purpose and potential they innately possess. I imagine questions as cosmic crowbars prying open life's precious secrets. Asking the right question - at the right time, is like

performing magic. What was hidden becomes clear; what was impossible dissolves into "of course!" We're pretty good at asking certain types of questions. Especially the ones that deflect attention away from our own responsibilities and onto other peoples' choices, the economy, authority figures, acts of God. "So, why can't they do something about this?" Those questions - no problem. We have them down pat. The problem is, deflecting questions never improves our lot in life. It's a shill game whose only purpose is to deceive us into believing that others need to solve our problems and answer our questions. The real leverage of a question worth asking is to create an opening. A space void of glib comebacks. What are the questions worth asking? They are legion, but they all share one quality that is unmistakable - their answers are forged in impeccable Truth. Not the popular truth or the truth that easily allays confusion. But, a Truth that stops your heart and steals your breath. Just for a second. And in that second you know that you cannot lie and cannot avoid. There's no point - this isn't a game - it's your life and it's who you are.

Am I living a life that honors all I touch? Are my relationships clean? Do I serve that which is most important to me? Can I tell the truth even when I feel shame? Am I willing to let those I love be who they truly are? Can I help more than I'm helping? Can I afford not to? Can I hang on to who I am if it means being rejected by another? Am I happy? Do I know who I am - really?

Any one of these questions, if asked honestly and humbly, will reveal you to you. And you may not like what you seeat first. The answers may not be kind. They may not be what society says they should be. They may make you ashamed. It's not the answer which has made you feel what you feel. It's your judgment of yourself and falling short of the perfection you'd

prefer to believe you are. Don't hide from the truth. It closes the door once again on your freedom. We could argue all day about whether you are perfect or not - and what perfection is. But, the real issue here is that you will judge yourself to be imperfect and you will want to hide that from all eyes - even your own. If you have judged that you are selfish or hurtful or weak - so be it. Notice that nothing catastrophic happened with the admission. As a matter of fact, just the opposite. To admit to yourself that you're selfish is to notice that you've chosen to live in a way that isn't what you want any more. If it was, you'd have never noticed being selfish. You just wouldn't be aware of it. Name it, let it be the truth, then let it go. Yes, it is that easy. The actions and words and behaviors you've defined yourself by in the past were simply a choice. Predicated upon your belief that the choice would serve you. If it no longer does, chose again. If selfish feels wrong to you now, then be generous. Be loving. Be patient. Pick it up, put it on and just be that. Do it for you. Do it because if feels better and you like your self more when you do. Don't do it to get the praise of others. They may not notice or may not notice the changed you. That doesn't matter. Remember, this is about living your truth as closely as you can each day. This is about living your life, forgiving missteps (yours and others), and being grateful that you've found your cosmic crowbar. What is the question being asked of you?

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." ~ Dorothy Nevill

It's easy to assume too much and rush into quick judgments but they're usually better kept to oneself. Concentrate instead on really understanding the other person's point of view so when one does speak it's constructive.

How to Overcome the Trust Deficit ~ by Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman

For an organization to have staying power, it must be built on trust. For a business to be profitable, it must have the trust of its customers. And for a relationship to have any degree of quality, it must be filled with trust. As I often tell my audiences, "Trust is a must or the relationship will bust." Unfortunately, we are suffering from a trust deficit. Indeed, we have a trust deficit in this country as big if not bigger than the federal deficit. Almost everybody is wondering who they can trust. You see it in RELATIONSHIPS ... where cynicism has overtaken faith. Many people feel like singer Rod Stewart quipped, "Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house." You see it in the MEDIA ... where biased advocacy has replaced unbiased reporting. As Alvin Toffler, the author of "Future Shock," wrote, "We are increasing the sophistication of deception faster than the technology of verification. The consequence of that is the end of truth. The dark side of the information technology explosion is that it

will breed a population that believes nothing, and perhaps even more dangerous, a population ready to believe only one 'truth' fanatically and willing to kill for it." And you see the trust deficit in POLITICS ... where the occasional stupidity of some politicians has gotten more attention than the good things they have accomplished. You simply expect the talk shows to be filled with jokes about politicians. As Groucho Marx put it, "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." More recently, Jay Leno noted, "Barack Obama said today that politics has become too gummed up by money and influence ... and then he had to leave to attend a fundraiser." David Letterman asked, "How about Mitt Romney? Now there's a guy who looks like you would see his picture on a package of men's briefs." And humorist P. J. O'Rourke said, "The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and prove it." The point is simple. If we're going to have organizations and relationships that work, we've got to be in the business of trust building. As Dr. Manny Steil, the author of "Listening Leaders," says, "The challenge of establishing trusting relationships takes time, for trust does not sprout quickly or

automatically last forever. Rather it emerges over time and requires careful ongoing attention." He's right. Trust "requires careful ongoing attention." I've found the following elements to be critical in that process.... 1. Be open. Tell it the way you see it. Share the way you feel. Refrain from being secretive or coy. Let people know you ... because it's very difficult to trust an unknown commodity. It's a lesson that Rusty had to learn the hard way. As his friend Mike Hanson from Rapid City, South Dakota described it, they were at a dance one night ... during which Rusty struck up a conversation with an attractive young woman. Soon afterwards, Rusty came over to Mike with a big smile on his face and a scrap of paper in his hand. "She works for the phone company, and I think she likes me because she gave me her number." Rusty beamed. Then he unfolded the paper. It read "Dial 0." She wasn't open ... which was her choice, of course. But a lack of openness will always destroy trust ... if that is what you are trying to establish. By contrast, Jack Benny demonstrated his willingness to be seriously open despite the fact he was a well-known comedian. He did that when he was invited to perform at the White House. When he arrived at the White House gate with his violin case under his arm, a burly guard blocked his way and tersely asked what was in the case. "A machine gun,"

Benny replied. The guard said, "Oh that's fine, Mr. Benny. Go right in. For a moment there I was afraid it was your violin." Quick to respond, Benny said, "I'm not going to play the violin, I promise. But I'm gong to talk about some things that may be equally unpleasant." If you're going to build trust, you've got to be open. That's why my book on "Brave Questions: Building Stronger Relationships By Asking All The Right Questions" continues to be so popular and why it's going into it's fifth printing. Beyond openness, you must... 2. Be honest. The fact is ... dishonesty and trust cannot co-exist. You've got to be honest ... even if it hurts you once in a while. One employee should have known better when she received an unusually large pay check one day. But she decided not to say anything about it. The following week her check was less than the normal amount; so she confronted her boss about it. Her supervisor asked, "How come you didn't say anything when you were overpaid?" Unruffled the employee replied, "Well I can overlook one mistake -- but two in a row?" The employee's lack of candor did nothing but hurt their working relationship. After all, as author and columnist Peggy Noonan observed, "Candor is a compliment; it implies equality. It's how true friends talk."

One caution: Some people think that they've found a real friend or a true ally if another person will lie for them occasionally - when needed. I don't buy it. I say, "People who will lie for you will lie to you." They can't be trusted. 3. Be competent. You probably know people who have the previous two qualities; they're open and honest. But you still can't trust them because they're incompetent. I see it all too often when I'm speaking in organizations. Many people are promoted to a position of leadership because of their technical competence, but they may not be interpersonally competent. And then everyone suffers as a result. To inspire trust and confidence in people, a leader must have a degree of competence in both areas. If the leader doesn't have that, if the leader is incompetent, he takes the focus off the organization's vision and values and places it on to his own behavior. If the people working for an incompetent leader have a high degree of skill, they're continually worrying about their leader messing things up. And if the employees don't have much experience, they won't know what to do. Either way, productivity and morale suffer when people can't be trusted. 4. Be concerned about the other person's welfare. To have someone trust you, they need to know that you have a genuine interest in their interests. Indeed, the best salespeople do it all the time. They get to know their

customers and prospects. They learn about their customers' and prospects' likes and dislikes, goals, dreams, pet peeves, hobbies, and hot buttons. One of my friends demonstrated that when she called her father from the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. In amazement, he asked her what she was doing at the race track. She replied, "As you know, Dad, as a sales manager most of my customers are home builders. Every time we're together, all they seem to talk about is NASCAR racing. If I'm going to have a chance of beating out my competitors in this market, I'm going to have to be able to participate in conversations that include NASCAR. That's why I'm here." Her interest in her customers' interests made her a trusted vendor ... much more so than any other salesperson who just walked in the door to get the sale. She learned about their interests and was able to talk to them about those things. But she also gave her customers the listening they needed. One of the surest ways to build trust and make someone feel important is to listen ... really listen to them. And by contrast, the refusal to listen to someone is just about the surest way of making them feel unimportant and unwilling to trust you. One little listening tip here. When the other person asks you a question, in addition to listening carefully to what he/she has to say, pause before you answer them. This gives them

the impression you have thought about what they said and it was worthy of thinking over. 5. Display good judgment. You may know someone who does all of the above. They are open, honest, competent, and concerned, but you still don't trust them ... because they display poor judgment. It doesn't mean that they are necessarily bad people, but you simply cannot trust the judgments they make. They seem to lack the wisdom or common sense that makes it possible to trust them in certain areas or with certain tasks. So yes, you have to be discerning with whom you trust with what. Such was the case with little Maggie. When her mother became sick with the flu and had to stay in bed, Maggie wanted to be a good nurse. She fluffed the pillows and brought a magazine to her mother to read. And then she even showed up with a surprise cup of tea. "Why, you're such a sweetheart," the mother said as she drank the tea. "I didn't know you even knew how to make tea." "Oh yes," the little girl replied. "I learned by watching you. I put the tea leaves in the teapot, and then I put in the water. I boiled it and then I strained it into a cup. But I couldn't find a strainer, so I used the fly swatter instead." "You what?" the mother screamed. The little girl said, "Oh, don't worry, Mom. I didn't use the new fly swatter. I used the old one!"

Obviously she had good intentions but poor judgment. Follow points 1 through 5. You will build trust and you will be trusted. In fact, you will build relationships that have tremendous staying power. Edward Reede from U.S. Army told me about that when I was speaking at his military base. He said, "I grew up near Amish farmers. They were loyal to a fault to their seed and fertilizer suppliers. I even knew one elderly man, who had retired from his seed trade twenty years earlier, but had to place orders for his Amish neighbors each Spring because of the special trust he developed with them. The Amish wouldn't go to anyone else." Action: What are you doing to maintain and/or build the trust in your relationships? What else do you need to do?