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As we enter the second week of the Franklin makeover, we are concentrating on noticing and spreading kindness.  I have been focusing on noticing all the daily kindnesses that people perform for strangers, and it brings me joy to realize how much kindness there is out there all the time.  Listening to or watching the news you would never know, and many people are afraid to venture out to interact with strangers unless necessary.

But out there is the real world, the positivity and humanity of people shines through far more often and with greater normalcy than any criminal or anti-social behaviors.  I find that observing humans in the natural environment gives me far more hope for the future than taking in the “news”.  After all, what we call news today is only the bad news, sensationalized to keep people tuned into fear.  Whenever I see or hear a teaser like “this could save your life, news at 11” or “the thing you are doing now that could kill you” or similar items, I can’t help but think if they really cared and it was important they would tell you now!  Not make you tune in later, but it is all about the ratings…

Anyway, as I am looking for kindnesses, I also noticed that opportunities to be more kind, more generous, more helpful began to reveal themselves too!  I am grateful for these opportunities to develop my kindness more deeply.  A worker at the Autism Center where I worked asked if I could give her advice on finding an inexpensive guitar for one of the clients, so I gave her an old guitar I had around the house.  Then a friend and teacher of mine lost his sister in Africa.  Since he has not great means, one of his dance students created a GoFundMe page to help him return to Africa to be with his family during this difficult time of transition.

And so, though you may not know Moussa, here is an invitation to a random act of kindness.  You can make someone’s life easier today!  You can impact an entire family and village today!  Thank you, whatever you do, be kind, see kindness all around you.


“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”  Earl Nightingale

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” Rollo May

I really enjoyed listening to Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret”.  It was like a condensed version of the Master Key System.  I am starting my 30-day experiment with myself!  I loved when he said that everything that is of true value is free and irreplaceable, while everything that money can bring is replaceable.

I also loved how he made the point that success is people doing what they want to do, so a housewife, a dock worker, or any other person is to be considered a success if they are doing the thing that they really want to do, the thing that fulfills them.

The importance of goal setting and changing or determining the way we think is of vital importance.  I feel like this should be taught in school.  We, in our public schools, no longer really teach our kids how to think, the power of thought, how to succeed, instead we teach them to take tests, remember questionable facts, and how to conform.

Our society does not seem to value free and independent thinkers, people who blaze their own trails and create their reality regardless of societal norms.  And yet, while stifling these qualities in the educational process, we celebrate them in people at the pinnacle of success.  Then it seems a mystery or luck how they got there.

We need to teach our kids how to really succeed at accomplish their highest aspirations and loftiest goals.  I wish I had been taught this as a child!  And now to get going!




As part of our “assignment” for this week, we were offered several movies to watch that all had important themes of persistence and how they relate to what we refer to as DMO (Definite Major Purpose), PMA (Positive Mental Attitude), POA (Plan Of Action), and MMA (Master Mind Alliance).

I watched all the suggested movies, and each one was remarkable and inspiring.  Some I watched alone, and the ones that were age-appropriate I watched with my daughter who is 11.  Her favorite was Cool Runnings, which I greatly enjoyed too.

However I decided to write about the movie “Door to Door”.  I found this movie very touching and moving in a very simple way.  The character was not exactly heroic and had character flaws relating to his disability and history.  It was very difficult for Bill, the main character, to accept help or even love from people around him other than his mother.  And yet, he inspires love and respect from those around him.

It is the true story of Bill Porter, a Portland OR. man with cerebral palsy who overcomes all odds and doubts to become a successful and respected salesman.  He wanted to work, to be self-sufficient to the degree that nothing was going to stop him.  His mother always cultivated a positive mental attitude with him, and I had to smile when he opened his sandwich his mother sent with him with “patience” and “persistence” written on each side.

His plan of action was essentially to persist until everyone became so accustomed to him that even those who said they would never buy anything from him did.  People became attached to him and felt a loss when he first tried to retire.  He was always cheerful and never seemed to let refusals get him down.  It was very touching to discover that a lonely woman had been buying stuff from him for years just to get him to keep visiting her.

The two greatest masterminds in the story were between Bill and his mother, and he and his assistant Shelley.  These were two women who completely gave him encouragement and emotional support, and demonstrated their strong faith in him.  This story presented a clear picture of a man who, against all odds, followed his DMP, maintained a PMA, never faltered in executing his POA, and was able to get where he did with the help of his mastermind partners.  If Bill Porter can do it, so can I!

One thing I have found to be really rewarding in following this Master Key Experience training, has been including my 11-year-old daughter in the unfolding process.  I find that she has such an open mind, and as I draw the analogies to everyday life, and have her help me look for the shapes and colors as we drive, I feel we are drawing closer in a whole new dimension of relationship.

I have told her how each of the shape/color combinations relate to my PPNs, so as we call them out to each other we say “Red circle!  Positive feelings!”, “Yellow square! Actions taken!”, “Blue Rectangle! Helping others!” and “Green triangle! Building legacy!”

As I am reading the lessons in the Master Key, The Greatest Salesman, or my index cards, she is absorbing it, taking it in, I know that only she can pick it up, but I feel really good offering her the opportunity of perspective and independent thinking and goal planning.  We often notice themes of perseverance, fooling our dreams, stepping out of the “River of Dreams”, and defining a single pointed focus around our heart’s desire.

Many times, sometimes minutes, sometimes days later, she comes out with something she heard from my reading and relates it to the moment at hand.  When she does, I have two primary feelings, one of gratitude that she is internalizing this information I had at her age, and a confirmation/acknowledgement of the relevance and importance of what we are learning.

I am looking forward to shepherding her as she begins to put this process into practice in her life, and am excited to see how she begins to focus her Dharma, while I accompany her on the path of my own!

This week has been exciting as I do my readings and study the Master Key lesson.  The directions for mediation this week are to meditate on the meaning of this quotation taken from the Bible: “Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have them”.  As I did this, I began to have such a feeling of elation that I was feeling butterflies in my stomach and felt a smile involuntarily come to my face!

I felt as though all the pieces were coming together.  We had learned how all the small exercises we were doing were building a progression, how they were all working together to influence the subconscious from different angles, how the cumulative effect increases in efficacy and potency as we continue with them and move forward in the process.

As I meditated on this passage, I began to really FEEL the reality of the dream I am working towards, the certainty, a realization that yes, it really is just beyond the horizon and coming ever closer, ever more into focus.  Rather than a belief, a hope, or even faith that these principles would work, that I was making progress, I started to feel it more clearly than ever before.  This gave me more strength and commitment, motivation and excitement to dive even more deeply and enthusiastically into my studies and practice in this Master Key Experience.

It is too late to turn back, I have sighted a distant shore and know that I can arrive there, that my maps and charts are good, that by following the system, the route laid out before me, I can accomplish what many others before me have done.

I loved this lesson, 10 in the Master Key, it reminded me of visualization exercises I practiced in TaKeTiNa and enabled me to create a whole new set of connections to my experience.  One more avenue to access and influence my subconscious.  In Haanel, lesson 10, number 23 when he states that “Knowledge will not apply itself. You must make the application.”, I know this through personal experience.  In TaKeTiNa we envision rhythms in patterns similar to the instructions for this lesson’s meditation, visualizing a circle for the cycle of rhythm, the various geometric shapes that can be revealed through different divisions of the circle, the positions of the steps, the overlay of the claps, the awareness of the “empty” spaces.  Visualizing these shapes helps us to internalize the structures of the rhythms.

TaKeTiNa, even more so than my other music studies is a practice, a skill, and an understanding that comes over time only through practice. It is by making practice a lifestyle that the truths are ingrained and begin to assert themselves naturally.  Also, in my music therapy studies we learn to trust the process.  I am applying this knowledge to learning the new skills, understanding and thinking through the MKE MME, knowing that sometimes even if I only can muster the motivation to go through the motions, even continuing to go through the motions helps integrate my awareness and focus.  And then I return with Vigor!

As my awareness grows and my self-awareness deepens, it is daunting at times seeing the horizon unfold infinitely in front of me.  I have so far to go!  And then I look back and see how far I have come, how much I have learned, and know I am on the right path.

I am taking this week to really ground myself and sink into the love and gratitude that surrounds me and has always supported my life and my journey!
Without a specific lesson or additional homework this week from the Master Key Experience, I am using the time as an opportunity to consolidate all the teachings, the practices, and connect them with my live. This includes, past present and future. As I more clearly see how my present reality is the result of my thoughts, and as I am working consciously to change my thinking, thoughts and thought patterns, I am seeing more clearly how I can manifest the future through the thoughts I choose and hold in the present.
In the clamor of holiday feasting and gathering I seek the still point within myself, observe opinions, divert assumptions and negative thoughts. This Thanksgiving has been as delicious as any I have experienced!