Is the LA scene really as bad as they say? Rethink it for success!

LA is notoriously construed as a cut throat environment where if you’re not “somebody” you are “nobody” – an environment where everyone is out for themselves, people ride shirt tales and abandon friendships at the first sign of a leak in the public image boat.

A couple of years ago I was in the Hollywood Hills attending a book launch party (yes, life can be strange and land you in some fascinating places sometimes). This is not at all normally where I spend my time, so I was a little nervous and did not know what to expect, especially since the mentality listed above was all I’d ever heard. Couple that with the fact that one of my friends had warned me not to use my “mid-west ways” and go up and talk to just anyone. He said you had to be invited into conversations by someone “in the know” so… keep your nose down unless someone talks to you.

Okay. Got it!

(Though initially I could not help myself. There was this girl standing by herself and I felt bad so I went up and talked to her… turns out she was one of the wait staff… yep, I’m THAT cool… anyway, moving right along.)

As I sat at a table with some of the other non-LAers, a man (we’ll call him, Ken, because that’s his name) sat down at the table with us. Ken is definitely an LA somebody that I could not believe sat down with us, but he was so friendly and fun to talk with that I began to wonder if LA was as bad as they say. Soon, Ed (Ed of the movie star type) and Larry joined the table too. (Larry of the mover and shaker type.) Ken knew them both and introduced Ed to Larry. As the three men began to talk, Larry immediately jumped in and said to Ed, “I know someone who might be able to help you with your project. Let me get him in touch with you…” Ed thought that would be great, so Larry whipped out his phone and got Ed on the line with his friend.

Ken smiled and looked at us non-LAers at the table and said, “This is how it works here. Everyone helps everyone else. Right now Larry is helping Ed, expecting nothing in return. Later, maybe Ed will be able to help Larry. Who knows? But it is all about the ‘How can I help you?’ mentality here.”

What a different way to think about Hollywood!

So with LA you have two ways you can think about it:

1. Everyone is out for themselves

or

2. Everyone is seeing how they can help one another – to boost everyone up.

Whatever the truth may be is actually irrelevant. It is the initial thought that you approach the scene with that will alter your interactions in it.  (Or any other environment for that matter.) For..

As you think –  ‘Everyone is looking for ways to help one another.’
You act – Looking for ways you too can help those around you.
So the way you see the world – Open, friendly and inviting
Runs your life – Imagine how people will want to help YOU if you are so generous in helping THEM.

As Larry listened, contemplating, “How can I help?” he thought of a way. His helpful nature has helped make him become one of the most connected and influential people in LA. Not only did his example influence his immediate contact with Ed, it also lead by example as a great introduction to how Hollywood really works.

Eventually I let Larry’s example, Ken’s words, my mid-west upbringing (and probably that glass of Chardonnay) get the best of me and I started talking to strangers at the party. And I found a way to help someone there (Who knew? Yep, little old me was able to help someone there!) and I made a new friend. Can you imagine how many more people and opportunities I could have encountered, had I started the night with that mentality?

So as you approach any situation with trepidation, reshape your thoughts and change your attitude towards the positive. For, “As you think, you act – so the way you see the world runs your life.”

What can you re-think or what attitude can you change to propel your life in a more positive direction?


Looking for more thoughts on changing your attitude? Check out the “Changing your Attitude” Chapter in Unscribbling: the art of problem solving and fulfilling your desires.

Book Review: Eufeeling! The Art of Creating Inner Peace and Outer Prosperity

Eufeeling! The Art of Creating Inner Peace and Outer ProsperityThere are some really great golden nuggets of wisdom in this book… but, like gold, you will have to sift through a lot (in this case words) to get to them. Once you filter through the codewords and mental runarounds you will find your hidden gold though. If you are into spirituality, meditation, Laws of Attraction, Science of Mind, etc. this book has some thoughts that will probably bring you to deeper understanding, and for that it is very much worth the effort. If you are a newbie to any of those though… I’d start with some of the more mainstream teachers and come back to this; the foundation of knowledge will help you to navigate the waters here a bit more.

That said, here are some nuggets for you:

Observe to Center SelfHe discusses how our emotions influence our thinking, which influences or actions, then explores the question, what “holds sway over our emotions?” Answer: Our inner security. He says:

“Whether we are aware of how secure we are or not it still holds sway over every thought, word, and action we perform…

…inner security is based on perception.”

What a great concept to embrace to take back your personal power over your feelings of security. It is your PERCEPTION of your security that will influence your feelings, thoughts and ultimately actions. So how do you perceive the situation to get unwavering security? Through “Pure Awareness” – and pure awareness can help transform your life from the inside out.


By tapping into that pure awareness we can get in touch with our higher self or Eufeeling. Dr. Kinslow defines Eufeeling as “a perception of wholeness, of the first glimmering of awareness of the mind… the lens through which pure awareness creates… Eufeeling and Self are synonymous.” (See what I mean about codewords?)

“Eufeeling anchors your awareness at the deepest, most silent level of your mind, where thoughts are created… As soon as you are settled in the bliss of Eufeeling, you actually become witness to creation. As soon as you are comfortable with your role as witness, you will lean how to create from that most subtle and powerful level of life deep within the mind…

…all created forms emanate from Eufeeling, emanate from your vital essence, from you!”

A large part of this book is teaching you how to get to that Eufeeling. (So again, if you are a Laws of Attraction or Science of Mind person, you may want to check this book out.)


“You may have been told that you are responsible for everything that is happening to you. You may believe that your suffering is indeed your fault. But I see this another way. Whether you suffer in this world depends entirely on your perspective. The problem here is that we think we can create a better life for ourselves. This is an illusion. This is the distorted reflection of the mind through ego, not the clear reflection of pure awareness through Eufeeling.

The reason we can’t create a better life for ourselves is that it is already perfect. The problem is that we don’t recognize that perfection…

…When we suffer, we are actually in a better position to see through the illusion of cause and effect. Someone who is suffering knows that what they are doing is not working. They are more likely to give up the idea that they are in control…

…Life is not about trying to see things in a positive light. Life is the positive light. Ultimately, life is about accepting what is exactly as it is…

…Life flows its own laws and invites us along for the ride…

… In actuality, life… is in control. When we harmonize with those forces, life becomes an effortless flow. When we fight them, living becomes a struggle… What life has in store for us is never what we think. Our thinking is rarely grand enough. Life has more to offer us that we can imagine. So, the best idea is to stop struggling with the idea that you know what is best for you and the rest of the world, and let life take the wheel.”

Don’t think there is no action to be taken in your life though! He point out later that:

“When individual awareness expands to universal awareness, individual action is guided by universal wisdom.”

You are just getting in the flow, letting go of attachments and seeing the perfection of life. (At least that is what I am getting out of it right now.)


So what about desires (since that is a primary topic in Unscribbling), huh?

“When we are aware of Eufeeling, we still have desires, but they cannot grab hold of us; they cannot constrict our minds with harmful emotions…

… [the process] breaks the desire-action-desire cycle, because it satisfies the primal desire to feel whole and beyond harm.”

“It is awareness at the Pure Eufeeling level that makes you the creator of your life. Or more accurately, you become the primal witness beyond the will of ego. Here, you are simultaneously the creator, the creation, and the unbounded awareness within and beyond both.”

“When experiencing Pure Eufeeling, you can do no harm. If you want something that is supported by the laws of nature, you will get it… If you want something that is not right for you, something greater will be offered in its place…

… prepare you to receive without resistance for what is offered.”

This is why we always stay open to possibilities!!! Love this reinforcement of Unscribbling. 🙂


As I mentioned, some really great thoughts here. The above are just a few of the powerful thoughts hidden in this book. As an aside, I would read it in conjunction with Deepak’s “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” I think the two compliment and add to one another nicely.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

 

What the [bleep] was I thinking?… (on becoming a “successful” writer)

Have you ever worked really hard on something, like writing a book, then you actually get it out there and you instantly have the thought, “Holy crap! What am I thinking? What did I just do? Who would want to read what I have written anyway?” That is exactly where I found myself last week when I launched my book, Unscribbling: the art of problem solving and fulfilling your desires. Despite countless words of encouragement, that I will be forever grateful for, the self-doubt was creeping in like a freight train filled with Zombies coming to eat my brain!

The writing part (that I loved) is all done, but now the pressure is on to “make this a success” lest I look like a total jackass. But… what does that even look like? Success that is. Sales in the thousands? Speaking gigs? Fame? Money? Or is it, as people like to say, “If it touches one person, it’s a success”?

Well… one person would be great, but it is just not enough to equal success for me. And there is a lot of competition out there in the book world. In fact, there are “1.5 million books in print at any one time in the United States”* and each year “328,259 new titles and editions are produced in the United States”**… so selling thousands may be out of the question too. (Fingers crossed it is not!)

So, how do I make this book a success? What qualifies it for success? What can I do so I can say, “yeah, I did it! I did not just waste over 1000 hours of my life creating this book for nothing” and keep my head held high?

But when I think about it, I did not write this book to be “make it on the best seller list or bust”…

(FYI, apparently, according to the “expert,” you are SUPPOSE to have your end success goals in mind before you write page one. That and to create a platform of followers… Bugger! I did not do either of those things! Here come more Zombie confidence killers again!…  Okay, shake it off, girl.) Moving right along…

So, what WAS I thinking? Why did I write this book anyway?

I’ll be honest with you, for most of the writing I wasn’t thinking. Well I was, but not about where this book could go and how do I make it a “success.”  While I was writing this book, there was this problem solving concept and these overwhelming thoughts that just had to come out. I had to express them. They just kept forming in my brain. I could see how the process worked and helped. I could see people struggling with things and just wanted them to know about this process. I just had to write it. I had to process it, think about it and figure it out so I could explain it. I couldn’t help myself. It just insisted on coming out.

I’ve seen that same thing with some of my creative writing friends too – their stories and charters just have to come out of them, or they will keep swimming around in the author’s head, knocking on all the sides, giving the authors’ headaches looking for the escape hatch until they get out or drown.

So as I sit here wondering, “what did I hope to accomplish with this book?” it dawned on me… some of my core personal desires have always been:

To express and use my gifts of compassion, love, honesty, humor, problem solving and creativity along with my insights and examples on a regular basis. 

To express and use my gifts… And that is exactly what I had been doing as I wrote this. I was actually accomplishing my desires all along before anyone could even buy the book! In that regard, the book is already a success. It helped me to fulfill my desires. Nothing more on a personal level needs to happen with this book for me. It is expressed. It is out there and my personal desires have been fulfilled.

Now I need to let it go and allow it live on its own. I have to allow readers who want to learn from it to learn, or not; to agree with the writings in the book, or not; to love it, or hate it; to take it, or leave it. Whatever anyone chooses is fine. It will not hurt me, for I am not promoting me here. I am promoting a thought process that has the potential to help. My personal desires for the book are gone. Do I hope people read it? Yes. But whether they do or not is their deal. Whoever explores the book, or not, is completely beyond my control. I have no control over if you decide to buy the book, or not. I have no control over how many books overall get sold. I have no control over everyone else’s actions. I can only control mine.

I wrote the best book that I could on problem solving. I will continue to try to gain outreach for the message of this book, but not so that I can call it a “success because it sold X amount of books” – in my world the book is already a personal success. I will try to gain outreach so I can continue to do what I love – expressing myself and exploring these ideas that don’t want to drown. But I need to allow people to come to it as they will, hoping they will find it when they are supposed to if they are supposed to and that it will help.

Now is my time to just be and allow.


So creators of all kinds,

When you are writing your book, creating your business, or painting your masterpiece – try to keep in mind what your true desires might be in the moment. Are your true desires in the process about promoting yourself or creating the best book that you can? Is it about selling a million books or about enjoying the moment as you are expressing yourself and being creative?

FYI – If you think you really desire to sell a million books, I am sure you can do it if you put your mind to it. But, most writers I’ve talked to don’t write to make millions. (Though I am sure none would reject the millions if they came their way.) No, most are just hoping to get paid something at some point.

But seriously, is that why you are writing? To sell a million copies, or are you writing because you enjoy it? Because you want to write? Because maybe someday your thoughts will reach the right people who need to hear your thoughts?

I wrote because I had to write. I desired to express myself. I hope that someday it will touch the people it is supposed to touch. My little book probably has a snowballs chance in hell of getting anywhere, but it does not matter. I enjoyed the journey it took me on and I learned a ton along the way. For that it is a successful experience already!

Success comes when you are doing, feeling and experiencing your deeper desires or working to achieve them. If you are being your genuine self as you are doing these things, you are already a success. If you are enjoying and gaining from the process of writing your book – enjoy the journey and the moments as they happen, but don’t tie your happiness to sales. Keep your eye on the real prize and enjoy the process. Let whatever come what may.

Letting go and allowing,

Kristin

“Not what we have But what we enjoy,
constitutes our abundance.”
– Epicurus

Takeaway: Create to create because you desire to create. How people react to your creation is up to them. You are not your creation. Take your ego out of the “success” of your creation and see that the process of creation may have already made you a success. 


This article can also be read on BookBundlz  – Unleash a book with your book club with BookBundlz


*http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year

Book Review: Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation by Sarah McLean

This is why we always stay open to options!I love that this book is called “Soul-Centered” as I feel it covers a lot of great ways on how to live a more soul-centered life. To me, the meditations were almost just secondary bonus material. Though I must say there is a lot of great techniques and as you explore them you are sure to find a way or combination of ways to meditate that will work for you. This book is really a discussion or “how to” about living a more soul-centered lifestyle. Something most of us could benefit from. It has lots of great information, reinforcements and reminders of good practices to incorporate throughout your day not just when you are meditating. Overall this is a wonderfully approachable book to both the subjects of meditation and living a more soul-centered life.

With any book I read there are just some thoughts though that really stick with me and are heard and reinforced at the right time (all in right timing, right?). Here are a few that were really resonating with me that I feel were well explored and perfectly mentioned by the author:

“When you’re feeling anxious or fearful, it’s a clue that your focus is likely in the future; when you’re feeling grief or depression, your attention is probably in the past. If you’re feeling ashamed or embarrassed, you are probably tuned in to an unclear or distorted image of yourself. Your emotions are clues as to where your attention is focused.”

Such a great reminder to stay in the now. The now is so much more peaceful than whatever you are dwelling on.


“If a thought causes you stress, yet you can’t break the habit of thinking it again and again, you can consciously decide to question the thought, rather than believe it right off the bat… Instead of assuming that your thoughts are true, ask yourself these questions:

– Who would I be if I didn’t believe that thought?

– How would I live my life without the thought?”

Love it! Question the thoughts you have. Don’t just accept them. Then she goes on to say…

“The fact that you can question yourself and your thoughts means there is a thinker of the thoughts, and that is who and what you connect to…”

What a great way to get soul-centered! Observe the observer.


“Thoughts in meditation are an indication that you are releasing stress… And the more stress you release, the more you can connect with your soul.”

What a great way to change your attitude about those pesky thoughts in meditation. They are releasing themselves from you. In my meditation I took up the habit of helping the stress thoughts to release. If I thought of someone who was stressing me, I wished them, “Love, Joy, and Laughter” a creative thought that just would not go away, I said, “Thank you, I love you” Acknowledging the Universe for sending me the thought, yet helping it go away until I was in a better place to think about it. After the thoughts eased I then try to requite my mind. It seems to be helping.


And you know the author, Sarah McLean, is cool when she quotes my favorite fiction writer Tom Robbins! I have leant my copy of “Still Life with Woodpecker” to someone, so did not remember this, but love it…

“[Still Life with Woodpecker says,] ‘There are only two mantras… yum and yuk’ It is binary really: something is ‘yummy’ if you like it and want more (yes), and ‘yucky’ if you don’t like it and are repulsed by in (no).”

Love it!! So simple. I used this to help me make a decision this last month. Instead of analyzing the crap out of things I just asked, “Is this more of a yum or a yuck?” I got a yuck feeling. How easy was that to tap into?


“In my study of Buddhism, I’d gotten the impression (wrongly) that the Buddha taught that desire was the cause of all suffering… I later learned the Buddha actually taught that it’s the attachment or clinging to desires that causes suffering, not the desires themselves. It made sense; how could I not have desires?… desires are naturally part of who we are as human beings.”

Oh you know I am all over this one! Desires are natural just don’t become attached!! That’s got Unscribbling written all over it – follow your desires, just don’t become attached to just one way to fulfill them!)


She also does this great exercise to realize that “what you look for is what you get” with her niece and demonstrates…

“… the mind usually finds what it is looking for and little else.”

It is so brilliant. I’m not going to tell you because you just need to get the book.


These quotes are just a few of the gems you will find in this book. Was I right when I said that the meditation practices were a nice bonus, but the good part were in the rest when Sarah is discussing the soul-centered lifestyle? She’s got it figured out and presents it in an easy to digest manner. Newbies and aficionados alike will enjoy this. Lot of good points to ponder and thoughts that will help you to become more soul-centered.


Book Discription: Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation presents a secular, mainstream view of meditation and applies it practically as a tool for personal transformation. Each week’s lesson in the 8-week program contains a key for navigating the journey of self-awareness, and each week’s meditation practice builds on those of the previous weeks, making the process accessible and enjoyable for novices and experts alike. Inspiring stories from Sarah’s own experience and from the students she’s taught in her 20-year career as a meditation teacher further enrich the text. Her approach is grounded in leading-edge brain research that shows meditating for 27 minutes a day over 8 weeks can make a huge difference by altering the gray matter in areas of the brain that govern learning, memory, empathy, and stress. 

Each of the lessons in the 8-week program is designed to provide a structure for creating a successful and sustainable meditation practice. As the readers build their meditation practice, they learn to undo stressful habits that don’t serve them, cultivate compassion for themselves and others, and listen to and trust their inner wisdom. 

The Soul-Centered journey is one of finding out who you really are; navigating your life based on that peaceful, loving, wise part of yourself; then fully and fearlessly expressing yourself in the world.

  

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

 

Recognizing there is a problem

In Step 1 of the Unscribbling process we “Become Aware.” By that I mean that we admit that there is a problem that we should be solving, we find what we want, and we dig deeper to discover our true desires. Once that is discovered, true problem solving can begin.

But before we can start to solve any problem we must first become aware. I like to share quotes in the book from minds smarter than mine to reinforce the point I am making. I saw this clip and was blown away by it. Put aside any political affiliations you have and watch this powerful demonstration of the thought that we must first become aware.

Beginning scene of the new HBO series The Newsroom explaining why America’s Not the Greatest Country Any Longer… But It Can Be.

As he says towards the end:

“First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.”

Powerful!

So here is a question for you: What problem in your life exists that you are ignoring that you should become aware of?

Takeaway: The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.

P.S. Totally looks like a great show! I may have to unscribble the fact that I don’t have HBO and really want to watch this. 😉