Monday, April 27, 2009

the art of giving

I've been giving money to bums lately. I suppose I've been asked by them a lot more. And I've actually had the cash on hand. I've been known to respond to bums "do you take debit?" when they ask - not to be cheeky - but because it was the truth. I physically can't give what I don't have. One thing I like doing is giving them a fiver. It's more than they expect when they ask for change. The look of gratitude on their face alone is worth the transaction. I mean, expecially knowing that I would probably just spend it on a soy latte @ starbucks - which creates waste and screws with my adrenal glands - whatev's. I'd rather help a bum.
Sure, there is a strong likelihood he'll spend the money I give him on stuff that doesn't serve his higher self - but I don't live on the street - so I'm not going to judge the comforts someone seeks when they sleep on the ground and eat out of a dumpster. Neale Donald Walsh once said to open your heart to giving to those that ask...because it really is hard to ask. And he was a homeless alcoholic and he got his shit together and became way sucessful. It was the combination of his will and the donations of humans that facilitated this. Bums see life in a whole different way...and even though many of them are totally bombed on who-knows-what a good deal of the time, I can't help but wonder how much more 'connected' they are at the same time. Their worries are exclusively based in the present moment.
My dad 'happened' upon a box of Australian Viognier mini bottles - it was an exciting day until we tasted it. Meh. Not our cup of tea. So the box of vino blanco sat in the garage for months, until a big spring clean day. I volunteered to take the box down to Whyte and leave it near a dumpster where the likelihood of it being 'disposed of' properly' was high. Days later I stopped off for groceries, popped my trunk to grab my reusable bags and then (appropriately) noticed a bum hanging outside the super-marché selling his Voice magazine - which chronicles the plight of the homeless. I seized the opportunity, grabbed the heavy box from my truck and walked over to the man. "This might sound weird....but do you want a box of wine? My fam and I don't like the taste - it's yours if you want it". Well "God bless you, child", he sure did want the 24 bottles of classy, mind numbing goodness. Later after my shop I noticed him and his girlfriend pushing a shopping cart together - the box of wine its only contents - into the sunset. I imagined them having a romantic evening together, drinking wine and sharing stories - just like I do when I'm on a date.
It was a magical moment in my life - all brought to me through practicing the art of giving.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

after problem comes no problem

Hi. I’m Krystyna. It’s been 835 days since my last hot dog.

I went to a T. Harv Eker talk the other night, and it was a fun, entertaining evening spent discussing ‘the economy’ - a favorite topic of convo these days. Or not. For me, hearing someone like Harv speak is a soul soothing experience. Oh phew, there are sane people out there…in abundance. It’s all about finding the place and the space to connect with them. Instead of getting another dose of the CNN (Constant Negative News) doom and gloom we got a pep talk that this time is ripe with opportunity if we open our hearts and minds to it.

How can we create our own thriving economy? Well…in a nutshell…

Be realistically optimistic. Note that an optimist, by definition, finds the best possible solution to a problem. Remember that what goes up must come down, and vice versa. The economy isn’t going to be in the toilet forever, just like it wasn’t able to soar forever. Will the economy get better? Yes. When will it bounce back? Eventually. Being an optimist is a choice, and is based in action. Negativity is based in paralysis. Ahem.

Use “what is”. Recognize that way things are and learn to distinguish opportunities versus obstacles. There is a multitude of ways to prosper no matter what is going on. All you have to do is look at how you can solve problems for people and make money while doing it. Help people = make money. It’s a beautiful equation

Have a clear strategy. Ask yourself: What’s my true intention – survival, comfort or wealth? Who am I? What’s my risk/stress tolerance? What do I know? What am I willing to learn? In short – be aware of who you are. These simple, yet loaded questions will bring clarity to your life.

Trust in yourself. Know that you will always find or create a way. This locus of control is basically your key to happiness. Write that down.

Do whatever it takes. If you’re 100% committed to success, if you’re dedicated to gettin’ er done, then you will see the corresponding results surface in your life. It is law. Hazy actions = hazy results. Isn’t math fun?

Never give up. The only person in the way of any success you are seeking in any area of your life is you. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but once you choke it down it’s very liberating.

Pursue self-mastery. In other words, take conscious control of your behavior. Consider that the way you think about money and success forever – your ‘money blueprint’ – is the product of verbal cues, modeling and specific instances from your past, involving authoritative people in your life like parents, teachers and clergy. This is good news if you grew up hearing things like “I can do great things with my money” or “you are a genius!” and bad news if you heard things like “money is the root of all evil”, or “you’ll never amount to anything”. But good news to counteract the bad news (booyah) is that simply recognizing that these ‘mental tapes’ are subconsciously playing in your head is enough to shift your mindset onto a more successful track. Awareness in itself is profound. Even better? Replace the crappy limited thinking tapes with tracks of shiny new endless possibilities. It’s worth doing the inner work to change your roots, so the fruits you grow will be that much sweeter.

The gist: this talk reiterated to me that I’m in control my own success & happiness. I can be a defensive worrier, an indifferent watcher or a go-gettin’ warrior that knows an opportunity when I see one and take the bull by the horns and position myself for success (see above). Sounds way better than what CNN is reporting.

Hot dogs suck.

Monday, April 20, 2009

catalyst for change

I've had a few catalysts of change surface in my life, some more bold than others. A couple years ago I snapped into a vegetarian lifestyle. All it took was eating a hotdog at Wrigley Stadium.
It was a perfect August summer day and I was enjoying a Cub's game with my friends. Eddie Vedder sang at the seventh inning stretch, and I decided I was going to try one of the infamous Chicago sausages. When in Rome, but Chicago style.
I got myself a loaded saucy on a bun, fixed it up just right, and proceeded to eat it while the Cubs got their asses handed to them by the Mets. In terms of a taste sensation, it was certainly lack luster. The flavor of the dish was very 'weinery' with a hint of 'processed meat'.
There wasn't a whole lot of enjoyment with the weiner, despite my enthusiasm. And later, when I broke out into a rash, I realized that I'm just not cut out for this hotdog eatin' lifestyle. Eff that, as my friend Leash would say. "And she never touched a hotdog again". the end.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A word from my man Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy - the chance to draw back.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans;

That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.