Lessons Come To Life

This past week was an intense week for me, as it brought to life several of the lessons that we’ve learned so far during the Master Key Mastermind Alliance.

To celebrate my birthday, my partner treated me to a trip to Bangkok, Thailand.  This is one of the countries that has been on my bucket list for years, but I never thought that I would ever really have the chance to go.  I mean, a dream board is just that, right?  A dream.  Not this time!

This trip was not without challenges.  I’ve been less than two months in a new location, and I cannot find anyone to cover my practice while I’m gone.  I stress a little.  Will I be penalized for closing my office for a week?  My lease states that if the office is closed for longer than 5 days, it will be considered abandonment.  I decide that I will write the big wigs a letter and let them know that I will be away and there will be no coverage for those days.  No-one objects and I breathe a sigh of relief.  After almost two days of travel, we arrive in Bangkok and my ankles are the size of canteloupes!  They are so swollen from the long hours sitting on the plane.  Walking is painful, and we have a LOT of walking to do.  I push through the pain because we have a limited amount of time, and a whole lot to see!      LESSON #1:   I persist.   I succeed.

There are thousands of temples in Thailand.  All of them impressive in the detail of the workmanship and the various statues of Buddha.  There’s the Emerald Buddha, the Reclining Buddha, the White Buddha (made of a massive slab of alabaster), Buddha in every imaginable pose.  But the highlight of the trip was a visit to The Golden Buddha.
16508503_10155096345588487_1826034504210376470_nThe first video during the MKMMA was about the Golden Buddha.  I thought that it was just a story, a metaphor for what we would be learning during the course and what the objective was for us as attendees.  It wasn’t until I was actually standing in front of the statue that it hit home for me.  This wasn’t a fable.  This was a true event.  I was standing in front of the very statue dating back to the early 1400s that had been covered in white plaster to prevent it from being looted during the Burmese invasion in the 1700s.  For almost 200 years, the true value of the statue was unknown, until 1955 when the statue fell as it was being moved and parts of the plaster cracked revealing the gold statue beneath.  It was a very emotional moment for me, because that was the moment that I fully understood what Mark J. and Davene have been saying over and over to us every single week for the past 18 weeks.  LESSON #2:  We all are the Golden Buddha, and it is time to chip off all the plaster and show the world what lies beneath!

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After a whirlwind week, it was time to return home.  The flight back to Seattle from Thailand was uneventful.  Arriving earlier than expected, we decided to take an earlier flight back to Juneau since I had to work the following day.  Instead of a non-stop, this flight was the “milk-run” and stopped in Ketchikan and Sitka before going to Juneau.  I’m not a huge fan of this particular flight, but it would get us home two hours earlier than our original flight, and that meant two extra hours to recuperate.  I could do my hair and soak my feet, which were now the size of watermelons.  After a short stopover in Ketchikan, we take off for Sitka, a quick 30 minute ride away.  Almost home!  We start our descent into Sitka, and the plane suddenly drops as the winds start batting the 737 around as if it’s a tennis ball!  I look out the window, and the ocean is alarmingly close.  The plane goes lower and lower, and the flight attendants are strapped in tight and telling us to do the same.  Finally, I see the landing strip.  I don’t know how much more my stomach and nerves can take of this extreme turbulence.  As the wheels are about to touch down, the pilot suddenly pulls up and back up into the air we go as the wind threatens to push the plane into the sea.  I am gripping the seat and my partner’s hand for dear life.  Will we make it home in one piece?  Fifteen minutes later, the pilot explains to us that in the 28 years that he has been flying the Alaska skies, this was the first time that he did not feel comfortable landing the plane due to the weather.  We ended up bypassing Sitka and heading on to Juneau.  We landed an hour earlier than anticipated, but safe and sound!  LESSON #3:  I will live this day as if it is my last.   And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.

Week 16: Random Acts of Kindness

This week we were tasked with doing kind acts for others and to observe when others showed kindness.  Now, you would think that this would be an easy task, but it was surprisingly difficult.   People seemed suspicious of me when I tried doing something nice for them.  It’s as if kindness is a commodity that is so rare these days, people don’t recognize it or appreciate it!  My hope is that as we continue being kind to others, these small acts will multiply and eventually create a tsunami of kindness!

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I Am The Star That Brightens The Earth!

Recently  I had a Guatemalan patient “M” who was new to Juneau and spoke only a few words of English.  Her boyfriend spoke very little Spanish, definitely not enough to help translate during the exam.   My Spanish is very rusty, since I haven’t had to use it since I stopped seeing patients in Miami back in 2011.  “This is going to be interesting” I thought.

And it was!

After a few sentences, things started to come back to me, and I was able to communicate with her more easily.  The exam went from stilted to full-blown animation once “M” realized that I could understand her.  She told me all about her family back in Guatemala, her journey to the US, her ex-husband in Texas and how she came to move to Juneau with her new beau.  Her joy at being able to have a conversation in her native language was obvious.  It didn’t matter that she spoke way too fast for me to catch some of what she said.  It didn’t matter that my Spanish was not fluent.  What mattered was that she felt heard.  Her gratitude at the end of the exam was overwhelming as she hugged me and thanked me over and over.

I realized that this is what makes me popular with my patients.  They feel heard when they come to me.  They feel comfortable talking to me about anything.  I am one tiny star in the sky, but I do my part in brightening up the Earth.

 

Lessons from “Door To Door”

During our week off for Christmas, I elected to watch “Door To Door” starring William H.Macy , Helen Mirren, and Kyra Sedgewick.  The movie was about the life of Bill Porter, a gentleman with cerebral palsy who persevered against great odds to become a door-to-door salesman.   Overall I found the movie very moving, and here are the lessons that I got from watching it.

Two traits that you must have in order to be successful in EVERY area of your life are PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE.     As a person with cerebral palsy, Bill Porter had severe spinal abnormalities that made walking very difficult and he had limited use of his hands.  His speech was slow, and many people pre-judged him and thought he was mentally challenged.   At his first interview with the sales company, the president told Bill that he wouldn’t hire him as the job required lots of walking and would be too difficult for him.  Bill accepted the rejection at first, but then turned around, went back to the president, and begged for a chance.  He took the worst route with the worst sales and began there.   There were many doors slammed in his face that first week and many NOs, but he persevered, and eventually ended up being Salesman Of The Year for his company many years later.

Your belief in yourself increases exponentially when there is someone in your life who supports you unconditionally.   Bill Porter’s mother was his greatest cheerleader!  She always told him that he would be a success at whatever he chose to do.  She constantly reinforced his potential for greatness.

Don’t let anyone else’s biases determine your worth or place you in a box.   Bill Porter could very easily have just sat at home and collected a disability cheque.  But he knew that he was not defined by his cerebral palsy.  When his boss told him that he scared the child of a potential client, Bill could have allowed that to discourage him.  Instead he found a way to connect with that child and made an indelible impression on him into adulthood.

Treat everyone with love and you will become the greatest salesman.  Bill Porter treated all his clients equally, without bias.  He didn’t judge anyone.  He observed his clients and went out of his way to make sure that he helped to improve their lives by discreetly encouraging them to forgive each other and be loving to each other.

No man is an island.  It is OK to accept help from others.   When technology began eroding his business, Bill was resistant to change.  He stubbornly refused the help of his assistant Shelly with invoicing.  He was afraid that accepting help meant that he was weak.  When he had to break down and sell his house, he was angry at Shelly and her husband for buying the house and trying to rent it back to him at a lower cost.  He felt this was undermining his ability to be independent.

Life is too short to hold grudges.  Friendship is a precious gift.   Bill allowed his pride to deprive him of Shelly’s friendship for a period of time, and eventually this led him to quit his job.  Thankfully he eventually came to his senses and reconciled his differences with her.  Shelly and Bill’s friendship lasted for almost 30 years until his death at 81 years old.

 

 

 

Weeks 10 & 11: A Bit of a Struggle

These past two weeks were a bit of a struggle for me.  I fell behind in writing my blog posts, and am now having to play catch up.  We had a week off from our Sunday webinar Thanksgiving week, and although it was nice to have the day off, I missed the routine of getting on the call, listening to Mark and Davene guide us through the week’s lesson, and the masterminding with other participants.  I then missed the following week’s webinar while I was 30,000 feet in the air making my way to the frosty northwest Alaska.  The webinars serve as a jolt of electricity to recharge me and remind me that there is a reason for all these exercises that we do everyday.

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Now I know that not having my weekly recharge wasn’t the reason for my struggle.  This time of year has been challenging for me ever since I moved to Alaska.  It’s common for me to go days at a time without seeing any sunlight because the days are so short, and the weather!  I question my sanity many times, wondering what on earth possessed me to move to this cold place.  A warm-blooded Jamaican girl has no business living in a place where the fog and rain obscures the sun 90% of the year.  I’m used to 90 degree weather, not 9 degrees!   I feel like one of those iguanas that fall out of the trees paralyzed when there’s a cold snap in Miami.  It’s hard to get moving when all I want to do is curl up beside a heater, wrapped up in blankets, and drink tons of hot chocolate!

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How appropriate that we’ve started on Scroll III just as I’m getting into this funk.

“In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner.  Each is brought into the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance.  The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade.  Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner.  If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.”

I persist with my daily exercises and finish each day with The Gal in the Mirror, knowing that each day brings me closer to seeing my DMP become my reality.  I persist each day visualizing, knowing that very soon my reality will be warm weather year round on a sandy beach sipping coconuts to my heart’s content.  I persist each day knowing that I alone am in control of my destiny.

I will persist.  I will succeed.

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Week 9: Giving Thanks

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States.  This is typically a day where families and friends get together and eat LOTS of food, watch sports on TV and enjoy each other’s company (or put up with those annoying family members that we have to see at these times of the year).  It’s a day to give thanks for family, friends, life, and all the wonderful things that we have.

The oddity of this holiday, is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day.  On this day  stores open up at ridiculously early hours, have ridiculous sales prices and people trample all over each other in an effort to get that low-priced item that they really don’t need.
Cartoon Style Turkey Thanksgiving Blessings ClipartIn recent years, I’ve found it difficult to celebrate while my family is over 6000 miles away.  My family is very close knit, and it hurts to hear the joy and laughter of everyone gathered together, and know that I can’t be with them.  This year was different, however.   I gave thanks for having friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with, and a partner who takes extra efforts to make sure that I don’t feel so homesick during the holidays.  I gave thanks for being able to experience snow, and for being able to drive safely in it.

In the past, I’ve passed judgement on those who give up family time for standing in lines to purchase items on Black Friday.  This year, I just acknowledged them and went about my business as if it were any other day.  I had technology hiccups half an hour before I was scheduled to talk on Periscope, and had to find an alternative venue with wireless internet quickly in order to do my broadcast.  That was a challenge on Thanksgiving Day when most of the public places were closed.  Thankfully I called on a friend who graciously let me use her house.  In the past, I would have been beside myself with frustration.  This year I handled things calmly.

These are the changes that I’ve noticed in myself since beginning my journey with the Master Keys.  I am more positive and I don’t dwell on the negative.  I am more relaxed and I get more accomplished.  This year I am extremely blessed to have discovered the Master Keys and to be a part of an incredible group of people who are going through the same journey.

Week 8: A Week Without Facebook

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Wow, I’m at week 8 already!  Seems like the time is just flying by.  With all the assignments that we have to do, I’m proud of myself for having made it this far.

This week, our challenge was to go without TV or social media for a week, in addition to continuing on our mental diet.  Now going without TV isn’t an issue for me, because I don’t have local TV, cable TV, Netflix or any of those things.  So I’m not addicted to any of those series that I hear people talking about: The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Scandal. Our TV is only set up to watch DVDs, and we usually only watch movies on the weekends, so it wasn’t such a sacrifice.

Facebook, on the other hand, is my link to the outside world.  Since I moved from Florida to Alaska, I feel secluded and shut off from the rest of the world.  I’m four hours behind East Coast time where all of my family and friends are, so when they want to call me I’m still sleeping, and when I’m finished with work, they’re going to bed.  Facebook has been the best way to keep in touch with them, and see what they’re up to.   So I thought this was going to be a very tough task.

Surprisingly, I managed to go the entire week without getting sucked in to the internet!  When you use a computer at work and have to be connected to the internet, the temptation to sneak over to social media sites is ever-present.  I’ve found that even a quick glance leads to a few minutes leads to a few hours, and before you know it, you’ve spent the better part of the day watching videos of cute dogs and cats and reading jokes or memes that people have posted.  Stuff that is totally irrelevant to the workings of your day.

But I resisted temptation!  And you know what?  My life continued on as normal. Nothing earth-shattering occurred.  The sun came up as it always does in the morning.

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Now I can’t sit here and say that it was because I have strong will-power though.  No, it was because this week I was moving my office from one location to another, and there was just so much to do to get things ready for the opening on Thursday, I just didn’t have time to waste surfing around on the internet.  But it did draw my attention to the fact that I spend a lot of wasted time on Facebook, when I could be doing things that are a lot more constructive.

Obviously I can go about my life without being on Facebook, so I’m making a pledge to limit my time on the computer, and only go on social media when I need to post for my business and then spend maximum of one hour catching up with friends and family.  My prediction: no one will even notice that I’m not on as much.  How am I so sure of this?  Because no-one, not one person, called me this week to say “Why aren’t you posting on Facebook?”  No-one missed me, and come to think of it, I didn’t miss anyone either.

Another thing that I noticed about not being on Facebook?  Because I wasn’t reading all the negative posts, I had much fewer negative thoughts, making it so much easier to stick to my mental diet!   I still had to start over several times, but less often than before.  WIN!!!