Lani Voivod | @LaniVoivod

 

Okay, this is about to get very personal, but I’m hoping my honesty here will serve “The Greater Good,” or at least help one person who may have gone through or is going through a similar experience.

About seven years ago, I hit a rough patch in my life. I was dealing with what I now call THE ANGER – this uncontrollable crazed lunatic within me that felt like a separate entity, taking me over like a too-graphic-for-the-MPAA scene from The Exorcist.

I was just freakin’ ANGRY, and it was like an out-of-body experience. I’d see myself screaming my bloody head off at Allen, my dear, amazing, loving and incredibly saint-like husband, and a piece of me would be crying inside: “What the heck are you doing? Why are you doing this? What is going ON?!!!”

It never had anything to do with Allen. It was this ANGER, this beast, that was a tyrant. It wanted to be heard. It wanted to GET OUT. I could control it in front of everyone else, but Allen became the unfortunate receptacle of any and all crap I could dole out in human form.

Once, I stomped my foot down on my kitchen floor so hard in a tantrum-fueled rage I cracked the tile and limped for months. Another time I literally threw a butter knife across the room and dented the wall.

I’m not proud of any of this. In fact, it’s downright embarrassing to admit.

It wasn’t ME, my True Self, and I knew this – I think that’s what hurt the most. I was so out of control with my emotions. I was so frustrated with so many things in my life. This ANGER felt so disconnected, and yet it was just consuming me and chucking itself out into the world through me every chance it could get.

Allen was in the room when I stomped my foot and threw the butter knife and exhibited many more acts of ridiculous rage over the course of many months. He was a witness to this side of me, otherwise I don’t think I would have believed it had happened. I count my blessings every day that he was strong enough and loved me enough to see me through this period, which I know in my heart is a thing of the past, one of those darn “Learning Experiences” that gets us to our next level, but are soooo grossly unpleasant while we’re in the midst of them.

Anyone who knows me now doesn’t really believe I was ever like that, or capable of such nonsense. Like I said, I was as shocked as anyone. And yet I remember talking to a beautiful, positive, light-filled friend who worked at our town’s library one day, who was around 40 years old, so had a bit more experience than I did in motherhood, marriage, and life. I was feeling especially vulnerable that day, especially broken, and she caught me off guard with a kind comment.

I felt tears burning behind my eyes as I softly said, “I don’t know, I’m just so…so…ANGRY all the time…”

She looked me square in the eyes and said, “Yeah, that happened to me, too, when I was about 32.” (I was 33 when she told me this.)

I didn’t believe her. She was literally one of the gentlest, kindest spirits I knew. But she told me enough of her own experience to convince me she had indeed gone through something similar, and there was hope for me. That maybe, just maybe, this was something bigger than me, some kind of hormonal female right of passage, that if I could only find a way to get through it, I could survive it…

Amazing Grace and Hallelujah, “The Way” came a few weeks later.

I went walking with another girlfriend, another radiant light-filled spirit, this one in her 50s. She, too, said she had a similar experience in her early 30s. She then recommended an audio book that would ultimately rock my world, or at least, my perception of it and my experience in it.

“Have you heart of Eckhart Tolle?” she asked. I said I hadn’t. “He’s got this book, The Power of Now, and it’s really quite wonderful. I would listen to it instead of reading it – he’s a different kind of guy, and I think the information he shares would best be received that way.”

I wasn’t a real big fan of audio books. Since I worked from home I didn’t have a daily commute, so chunks of time to just listen to some guy’s book wasn’t really something I thought I had available.

Still, there was something in her voice that got through to me. I went to the library, got it out, and popped it into my car’s CD player at my next opportunity.

When I first heard Eckhart’s voice, I busted out laughing. The only thing I could think of was every “Saturday Night Live” skit I’d ever seen mocking the New Age movement. Stuart Smalley came flying into my mind’s eye and would not leave.

My inner voice was literally heckling me like a boozed-up comedy club patron:

“Ha! Seriously? Is this what you’ve become? A pathetic mother and wife driving around in an SUV listening to some weird voice saying, ‘Tune Into the Now,’ complete with weird gong-bells and gaps of meaningful silence?”

Luckily, I trusted my older, wiser friend enough to tune out my inner heckler long enough to check out what Eckhart was saying. The funniest thing is, it was his strange and extremely serene New Age voice that kept me listening, despite my heckler. It was positively hypnotizing to me, mesmerizing…

And what he was saying changed me.

THE NOW.

“To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of this extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” – from EckhartTolle.com

I still don’t know how I made it to 33 years old without ever really hearing much about The Now. In so many ways, it’s everything! (For a great summary of The Now as explained by Eckhart himself, check out this interview: “The Power of Now and the End of Suffering.”)

The signs of its importance were there, though.

Nine years before I was introduced to The Power of Now, I was working part time in a bookstore in Los Angeles. As would often happen in this environment, a passionate conversation erupted between a customer and me.

“Have you ever heard of the book Be Here Now, by Ram Dass?” he asked.

“Ram who?” was my response. He ran over to the philosophy section and grabbed this weird, dusty purple book off the shelf.

“You have to get this,” he said, shoving it at me. “This book changed my life. It will change your life, too. I guarantee it.” I was making a measly $6.75/hour in this store at the time (I was definitely not there for the money! Turns out this is where I met Allen, so fate wanted me there, but I digress…), and with my employee discount the book cost me just about an hour of my time. I shrugged and decided to trust this stranger’s opinion.

I got home and dove right into this bizarre tome. I had never seen anything like it before, nor have I since.

The first part was this autobiographical story about Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert, a Harvard psychiatrist-and-professor-turned spiritual leader whose story includes hanging out with Timothy Leary in the 1960s and stumbling upon his path to posterity by way of long-weekend acid trips in the name of science and academic discovery.

(Absolutely riveting, by the way…)

Alpert got to the point where he wanted to stay at the enlightened level without needing the drugs, so he went on a pilgrimage to India. (Again, too magnificently OUT THERE to pass up!) He learned so much, and his mind was so convincingly blown, he came back and started spreading the word of what he learned.

His message was this:

It’s all happening IN THE NOW. The secret to life, the universe, and everything as we know it is to BE HERE NOW.

The second section of this book appeared to be acid-infused doodles, ramblings, and swirling profundities on brown-bag-like paper. (Sooo, like, WOW, man. Right on…Peace!) The third section was a sort of step-by-step instruction manual for curious human beings called “Cookbook for a Sacred Life.” (Turns out this was an intro course to the Hindu religion, but I had no idea about that at the time.)

I was 25 years old when I was absorbing all this. While fascinating, most of it was simply over my head and beyond what I could handle then. However, it did introduce me to all the things that interest me now, and that have fueled the fires of my own tire-kicking journey of “Why are we here? What’s the point?” for the past 15 years.

So all this brings us to – surprise, surprise! – THE NOW.

THE NOW, where it’s all happening. Now, where I’ve just shared a few deeply personal stories and experiences, just in case someone reading this (YOU, perhaps?) needs to hear this and will be inspired and/or changed by any or all of it, like I did, like I was, when I first came to it.

NOW is where all the groovy stuff is. Seriously.

Worrying about the future is pointless, because the future doesn’t exist – you can only think about the future NOW. Obsessing over the past is useless, because it is nothing more than a memory – a memory you’re thinking about NOW. The ONLY thing that exists is this very moment, the one that’s happening to you RIGHT NOW. This is the way it always has been, and this is the way it always will be.

Right here. Right now. Nothing else exists. Honestly.

If you’re like me, you’ll fight this premise for quite some time, until you hear it from different angles and different sources, then play with it often enough that it sinks in. Sooner or later, you will see and feel the truth of this seemingly outrageous premise.

Fight it, question it, do whatever you need to do. All I ask of you is to ponder it, wonder about it, keep an open mind, and consider the Possibility of it any and every chance you get.

When it comes to blowing the roof off your own wild and wondrous Possibilities, being here Now, and harnessing the power of Now, is the grooviest thing you’ll ever do.

If this is resonating with you, get over your inner heckler and dive into the luscious and infinitely awe-inspiring NOW.

Whether it’s by way of Eckhart Tolle or Ram Dass or your own favorite NOW guru, learning about the head-smacking simplicity and utter magnitude of its impact – when you’re ready to learn it – will knock your socks off. It will rock your world. It will change everything you thought you knew about the world, and more importantly, what you thought you knew about yourself.

Let’s just say I haven’t thrown a butter knife across a room since I learned about the power of The Now, and THE ANGER has taken a permanent vacation from my mind and heart. Without a doubt, learning about how to understand, appreciate, and harness NOW – as a moment and a philosophy – has made me a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, business owner, friend, and human being.

For NOW, I am very, very grateful. And since NOW is all I have and all I’ll ever have, this is a wonderful, beautiful thing.

Check out the video for Day 25: The Now, with a special guest appearance from Rodney the Dinosaur!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

Day 24: Fearlessness (Ha!) [31 Days of Possibility]

“True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding the true path for ourselves, and fearlessly following it.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

You are going to die.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. It’ll happen.

And guess what? I’m going to die, too.

I’m not saying this to depress us. I’m saying this because it’s not said out loud enough, and because of this, our fear of death dances around taunting us, hiding in our shadows, but never getting the attention it deserves, and thus becoming the annoying younger sibling who will bug us brilliantly and obsessively until we snap.

By doing our best to ignore death’s inevitability, as individuals and as a culture, we think we can escape it.

We can’t.

So I’m slapping it on the table in front of us. Yup, it’s true. You, me, we are going to die, someday.

That’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen, right? And it’s going to happen. So instead of fearing death, we can accept it now, and move on to the topic at hand…

Fearlessness. (Ha!)

When it comes to these 31 Days of Possibility, I’d say FEAR is the pink elephant in the room – False Evidence Appearing Real, as the popular acronym says.

Fear, fearlessness, and the giant gap in between these concepts – this is the subject on the table today.

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” – Gandhi

I’ve heard quite a few times over the years that the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is fear. The first time I heard this, it really shook me. Yeah, I think it’s true! Fear IS the big, bad wolf of our beautiful POSSIBILITIES, and it must be stopped!

Fear is at the root of all unfilled dreams, most of our pain and suffering, and the lion’s share of our worries and sadness. Fear is such a wily and dastardly foe that most of us are afraid to even address it. Oh the irony! It lurks in the darkest corners of our minds and gets bigger and stronger the longer we ignore it. It’s the whisper that tells us we can’t do something, or we’ll embarrass ourselves, or we’ll [GULP] FAIL. And for some reason, we believe it. Year after year, lie after ridiculous lie, we hang our heads and hand Fear our power, and ultimately, our lives.

Heartbreaking. Totally and utterly heartbreaking, our relationship with fear is.

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address

FDR was right! Fear is a lily-livered leech, a Machiavellian parasite that unscrupulously hijacks one of our greatest strengths – our Imagination. Fear takes the best of our Imagination – our glorious ability to invent scenarios and stories and worlds on a whim and at will – and it throws in anything it can to keep us from changing, to keep us from moving forward, to keep us where we are because it is fueled by one belief: Change is bad, and the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t.

If our ego is the mafia of our minds, doing everything it can to keep the world it knows under control, under its rules, always ruling with that iron fist, then Fear is the big lug that does all the dirty work.

Our inner mafia does not want to play with or acknowledge our Possibilities.

Our Possibilities exist outside of our comfort zones. Anything could happen out there! The ego’s whole identity is wrapped up in staying the same, what is a known quantity, and how things are, in the most unthreatening one-dimensional box available. Fear keeps us semiconscious, even sound asleep, cowering from scenes and situations that will probably never, ever happen.

“Fear is not a trivial matter. In many ways, it restricts our lives; it imprisons us. Fear is also a tool of oppression. Because of fear, we do many harmful things, individually and collectively, and people who are hungry for power over others know that and exploit it. We can be made to do things out of fear.” – Judith Lief, Starting on the Path of Fear and Fearlessness

To make matters worse:

Fear expands to fill the space you give it.”

“Fear is a lot like the crap I have in my kitchen junk drawer. No matter how large or small the space, the minute I let my guard down the drawer fills with rubber bands, paper clips, broken tape dispensers, ballpoint pens, business cards, half-eaten chocolate bars and screwdrivers. I’ve discovered that junk and fear will fill up exactly as much real estate as I give them. If I’m not careful I’ll end up on an episode of Hoarders. So, I’ve learned to stick my fears in a tiny closet and I try to be ruthless about cleaning it out.” – Devon Corneal, “What I Know About Fear Now That I’m In My 40s” via HuffingtonPost.com

So, what could we possibly do to get a grip on our Fear? How about this advice from Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Let everything happen to you

Beauty and terror

Just keep going

No feeling is final”

Hmmmm. Could we do this?

Could we embrace the impermanence of things, see our lives for what they are, and ALLOW (and thus disempower) Fear? Could we do this because we’re so smart, and/or so experienced in life by now that we know by allowing Fear to flow through us – to let it rear its ugly head and then, when it sees no reaction, leave the scene – we could be free from its bony grasp once and for all?

The gesture of fearlessness is a simple gesture of accepting whatever there is. It’s not the “whatever” of adolescence, which combines “couldn’t care less” with a little bit of aggression. This “whatever” is the whatever of truth. Things happen because other things have happened. Karma is true. This is what’s happening in this moment. It can’t be other than this. This is what it is, and that truth is always soothing.” – Sylvia Boorstein, “The Gesture of Fearlessness and the Armor of Loving-Kindness

But…but…HOW?! How do we just LET GO??!!!

Turns out we could decide to enter The Cave of the Blue Dragon.

I found this bit of awesomeness on ShambhalaSun.com, a website focused on “Buddhism, Culture, Meditation, and Life.” Quite frankly, I don’t really understand where the author of the article got it – he says it’s from one of his favorite Zen koans, but I couldn’t find the thing online immediately, so I’ll have to trust him on this.

Still, the idea of this Blue Dragon’s Cave is too viscerally cool not to share…

“The cave of the blue dragon is ominous.

Only the fearless dare to enter.

It is here that the forest of patterns is clearly revealed.

It is here that the one ripe pearl is hidden.

The cave of the blue dragon is where we store all of our stuff—our psychological bilge, so to speak—and it’s very difficult to go there. It takes a certain degree of fearlessness to do that. The process of zazen engages that. It engages the fear, in order to empower fearlessness. When stuff comes up, we don’t use zazen as another vehicle for suppression. When something keeps coming up in meditation, that’s a signal that you need to deal with it. You need to process it. You need to process it thoroughly and fearlessly, to feel it and experience it, then let it go and come back to the moment.” – John Daido Loori, The Cave of the Blue Dragon

According to Wikipedia, “zazen” is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. Zazen is “a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment.”

Can meditation really put us on a path to Fearlessness, which is a path of our own exquisite freedom?

Signs point to “Yes.”

The question is, are we wiling to walk into our own Cave of the Blue Dragon? Are we willing to face our fears head on, see what they’re about, look them in the eye, thank them for their time, slap them on the back, and then LET. THEM. GO. ?

“When it comes to the fearless life, the divine gives nothing freely… save to those who freely give themselves to discovering the truth about their own fearless selves. The good news is that this supreme confidence and calm already lives within you, needing only your realization of its unshakable presence in order to empower you with the fearlessness you seek.” – Guy Finley, 7 Laws of Fearless Living, via HuffingtonPost.com

Jeez, we might as well check out the Blue Dragon’s Cave while we’re here. We might as well go after that one ripe pearl. It’s there – I know it’s there, and if you’re reading this, I bet you know it’s there, too. It’s there for us. Let’s grab it. Let’s say:

“Fearlessness. (Ha!)”

Might as well. We’re going to die someday anyway. Be a darn shame to waste a moment of our time here being afraid of anything else when that sucker’s the unavoidable truth of it all.

Might as well take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Might as well get over, by whatever means necessary, the small stuff that holds us back, so we can unleash our potential, and step into the magical, mysterious, ever-lovin’ world of our POSSIBILITIES!

Check out the video for Day 24: Fearlessness (Ha!) in the 31 Days of Possibility series!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

Day 23: Belief [31 Days of Possibility]

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”  - Madeleine L’Engle

We have traveled over, around, and through some fantastic territory already during these 31 Days of Possibility. And to be honest, there have been many times where I thought I’ve figured out the answer, the key, to busting through our own limits, and more importantly, to exploring, accessing, and expanding our own infinite and wondrous POSSIBILITIES.

From Vision and Passion and setting our Mindset to one of Vigilant Positivity, to the life-changing effects of practicing Gratitude as often as we can – all of these things – all of them! – are essential to the growth and amplification of our divine gifts, power, and Possibilities.

Yet today, today’s topic, today’s theme, may just be the motherload. We may have reached the zenith of The Truth, once and for all.

Today, we bring to the forefront the magic and might of BELIEF.

According to Wikipedia (a perfectly reliable and accurate source of information if there ever was one, ha ha), “Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.”

A lot of people think we’re born into our belief systems. The thinking goes that, for the most part, our Beliefs are determined by our haphazard geography – where and how we’re raised, and by whatever type of social structure that’s most present and influential in our young lives.

But in this short hyper-focused time I’ve had to dive into the behemoth that is Belief, I will tell you my heart is racing, my insides are vibrating, and it feels like my soul is pounding out of wherever our souls like to hang out.

Why? Because the common assumptions about Belief simply aren’t true.

Our core Beliefs are buried deep in our subconscious. They profoundly influence who we think we are, and even more, who we think we can become. These deep-rooted Beliefs wind up not just informing the world around us, but truly determining our lot in life, literally our environment, and what we do with it and in it.

This is a big deal, because our Beliefs are the gatekeepers of our Possibility.

They are the bouncers of our Ultimate Possibility Party. They are the things that either allow us to pass through to the life of our dreams, or they keep us playing small, spiritually bankrupt, in pain, unfulfilled, and all the while thinking we don’t have a choice.

We do have a choice. Biologically, energetically, scientifically – we have a choice.

I’d like you to meet a man named Bruce Lipton.

Bruce spent decades of his life as a respected and ambitious cellular biologist. He’s a former medical school professor and research scientist. For most of his career, he operated under very rigid scientific principles, and a core set of assumptions that his very smart and esteemed colleagues and communities have accepted as truth for some time now. Namely, that the nucleus is the brain of a cell, and the information in that brain determines the cell’s function and destiny.

Turns out this is completely wrong!

It’s the MEMBRANE, not the nucleus, that is the “brain” of the cell.

Why is this important? Because cell membranes have receptors that assess and process the environment in which they live, and it’s this information – the PERCEPTION of the environment – that determines the fate and fortune (or misfortune) of the cell.

We humans are nothing more or less than 50 trillion cells. We – our lives, our “realities” – are a product of these Perception Receptors. Our PERCEPTIONS, which are essentially our BELIEFS, create our reality.

“The way we SEE life, the way we RESPOND to life, changes our genetics and behavior, and also affects the way we live into this world.” – Bruce Lipton

Here, let Mr. Lipton explain it to you himself in this three-minute video, which you can also find on the homepage of his website, BruceLipton.com:

 

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If you’re curious to go deeper, to learn more about this, I strongly recommend Mr. Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief, Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles. It’s an utter and complete paradigm shifter.

If reading isn’t your thing, but you think you could spare a little over an hour to unlock and absorb the secrets of the Belief universe, check out this presentation on YouTube: Biology of Belief – by Bruce Lipton (full documentary).

“You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?” – Terry Pratchett

Now maybe, for whatever reason, you’re still on the fence about how important Belief is in the scheme of expanding and amplifying your magnificent Possibilities. Never fear! I’ve hand-selected some pretty compelling people and resources to get you excited and inspired about exploring your Beliefs, re-evaluating the ones guiding your life and results so far, getting rid of the ones that no longer serve your Vision, and adopting ones that’ll unleash your AWESOMENESS, once and for all.

“Believing takes practice.” – Madeleine L’Engle

The first video you simply must check out if you’re into following the mischievous and elusive White Rabbit that is Belief is a fabulous vintage seven-minute video of Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. The video is a fantastic summary of the tenets of his wildly popular book, complete with the exact step-by-step process of how to get everything you want out of life.

 

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“Whatever the mind can conceive and BELIEVE, the mind can achieve, regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past, or how lofty your aims and hopes may be.”  – Napoleon Hill

I especially love the beautiful expression of GRATITUDE Hill shares at the end of that video, which he says will seal the deal of your heart’s desires for you if you say it consistently after his manifestation process. Here it is, if you want to read it aloud, just to feel it on your own tongue:

“I ask not, oh Divine Providence, for more riches, but more wisdom with which to accept and use wisely the riches I received at birth in the form of the power to control and direct my mind to whatever ends I desire.”

Did you feel it? Did it feel silly, or powerful? Are you willing to give it a try? I know I’ll be making it a habit as soon as I can stick it in my cheesecloth-like memory!

Hill’s conviction in that above video, as well as his history with mega mogul Andrew Carnegie, PLUS the 20 years it took him to interview the 500 millionaires that informed the Think and Grow Rich philosophies, is all I need to BELIEVE. :)

“No one’s ready for a thing until they believe they can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, and not mere hope or wish.” – Bob Proctor, paraphrasing Napoleon Hill

The next guy I’d like to throw in front of you is Bob Proctor.

I first learned about Bob Proctor from The Secret, and since then I’ve heard many people tell me he’s a guy who knows what he’s talking about. In the video below, Mr. Proctor talks about our Belief Systems, and ends with a flair:

“Let me leave you with this idea: Who are you? Find out who you are, and [FINGER SNAP] just like that, take control of your life.”

 

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“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” – Josh Waitzkin, via Eduardo Briceno’s TEDx Talk, “The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success”

Finally, I have to share a snippet I caught from the King of Self-empowerment himself, Mr. Tony Robbins.

“If you honestly BELIEVE in your own capabilities – your capabilities to learn, to change, to adapt, to expand, to achieve personal breakthroughs – then your possibilities in life are literally unlimited. And you know what? You’ll find references to back this up, to make yourself feel even more certain. And all personal breakthroughs, we must remember, begin with a change in our beliefs.” –Anthony Robbins, The Power of Belief

I’d love to know what you think of any or all of these ideas, people, and resources. Does this resonate with you? Did anything click? Are you at least motivated to do a little research on your own? Boy, I hope so…

If you’ve got your own sources and recommendations about Belief and Possibility, by all means, please share them below in the comments!

Meanwhile, check out the video for Day 23: Belief

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” - Meister Eckhart

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy

I woke up this morning with the urge to cry in the back of my throat.

I wasn’t sad – I was grateful. Wildly, wholly, deeply, fiercely, terrifically grateful.

First, I knew this was the day in these 31 Days of Possibility specifically intended to celebrate the power of GRATITUDE. (That sure helps!)

More than that, though, I was struck by how important my heart knows Gratitude is to living a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, and how lucky I am that I created this special opportunity to really immerse myself into the awesomeness of it.

When we shift into a spirit of Gratitude, we become a self-feeding machine of perpetual love, grace, awareness, humility, humanity, and yes, POSSIBILITY.

But what IS Gratitude?

“Psychologists view [gratitude] as being able to maintain a world view that appreciates the positive. That may sound like optimism, but unlike simply expecting the good, “appreciation” requires recognizing that happy outcomes are not just the result of your own hard work or moral uprightness, but depend on the efforts of others and, for the more spiritually-minded, on divine providence as well.” – Maia Szalavitz, Why Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

So Gratitude is a feeling and a state of being…

And it’s also an active decision to consider LIFE in all its flawed and wondrous glory.

When we put our big girl panties on and take a moment to absorb our lots in life through the lens of Gratitude, we boost our chances of touching the miracle of simply being here, alive, exactly as we are, where we are, and who we are.

Gratitude begets gratitude. Paying attention to our blessings and taking the time to SEE and FEEL all the gifts we’ve been given makes us realize just how often so many of our gifts and blessings go unnoticed and underappreciated.

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the science director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, says studies consistently show that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t. “The people who did the gratitude [journal] showed increases in happiness, reductions in stress, reductions in vulnerability to physical symptoms, such as headaches,” she says.

In his passionate article and videos about “Why Gratitude Is Good,” Robert Emmons, “the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude,” says Gratitude has the power to heal, to energize, and to change lives.

“I think gratitude allows us to participate more in life,” says Emmons. “We notice the positives more, and that magnifies the pleasures you get from life.”

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Like sooooo many teachers and thought leaders from a huge array of academic disciplines and spiritual walks of life (I first heard it from Oprah), Emmons recommends keeping a Gratitude Journal, a simple list of five things you’re grateful for every day, or even every week.

“It helps guard against taking things for granted,” explains Emmons. “Instead, we see gifts in life as new and exciting. I do believe that people who live a life of pervasive thankfulness really do experience life differently than people who cheat themselves out of life by not feeling grateful.”

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

As luck would have it, so would I. Now, that is…

I’ve got to be honest – the first 2 or 12 or 257 times I heard about the power of Gratitude, I couldn’t hear it. How could obsessively saying “Thank you” lead to incredible personal transformation? Isn’t that just what your mother taught you to say when someone held the door for you?

But then I tried it, more than a decade ago. I grabbed a journal, and started writing five things I was grateful for every day. My only rule for myself was that I couldn’t repeat something I wrote before. (This was so I didn’t get lazy about being grateful. I’m silly like that.)

Pretty soon I started going through my day amazed at how many things were worth noting in the journal. “Oooh, I’ll have to remember to jot that down!” I’d say when I hit a series of green lights on the way to an appointment, or when a cashier opened up a new register at the grocery store, or when my husband surprised me with the new Alanis Morissette CD.

Suddenly it seemed my whole life was filled with cool surprises, gifts of all shapes and sizes, and seeds of happiness I never really noticed before.

It truly is a powerful and fast-acting life booster!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”  – Eckhart Tolle

Over the years, my practice of keeping a Gratitude Journal has been utterly imperfect. But one thing’s for sure – my life is definitely happier and my headspace is better when I’m keeping one.

These days fairly regularly, I maintain my practice on my iPhone with a fun little Gratitude Journal app by Happy Tapper. I can add photos to my entries, too, which gives me a really cool scrapbook of gratitude-infused memories – another gift that keeps on giving!

When I’m really on it, I’ll have my sons write five things they’re grateful for in their journals. Or rather, my 10 year old writes in his journal, while I take dictation for my 5 year old. From play dates to video games to pizza to weekends to karate lessons to a long list of friends and family members, once they get in the flow, there’s no stopping what they can come up with on their own. It does a Mama’s heart good, and always gives me more to add to my own list.

If you’re like me and you have to hear about the power of Gratitude from a bunch of different sources, from a slew of different perspectives, before you jump onto the Gratitude Bandwagon with both feet and a sassy smile, here are a few great quotes I’m hoping will do the trick faster for you:

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks – I’ve got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night.”  – Irving Berlin

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

Thich, Irving, Henry, and Carl are pretty convincing, don’t you think?

“He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.” – Albert Schweitzer

Practice gratitude. Be grateful. Know yourself. You are the bee’s knees. You are the cat’s meow. You’re truly, completely, unconditionally one of a kind. You’re the one bringing attention to this moment, right here, right now. It’s all about you. It always has been, and it always will be.

Thank you!

Check out the video for Day 22: Gratitude, in these 31 Days of Possibility!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!


Earlier this year, two words came barreling into my brain out of nowhere. I grabbed a thick red Sharpie and wrote the two words down on a Post-It note, and stuck the note on my desk.

The words were: Vigilant Positivity.

Confession: I wrote them down a few days after I had climbed out of a deep, dank, smelly well of thick and sticky depression, caused by absolutely nothing I could identify. I kept looking at them over these past few months, wondering, “Is it a title for a book? The name of a rock band? A tagline? A battle cry of sorts?”*

Maybe they’ll be all those things and more some day. But today, for this blog post and this whole 31 Days of Possibility series, they are one thing and one thing only.

They are a vow…

A pinky-swear pledge to the soul…

A must-have mindset for success and survival for any and all people serious about pursuing and amplifying their POSSIBILITIES.

Let’s get one thing straight, though: Vigilant Positivity is NOT some one-dimensional tra-la-la Stepford Wives/Barney-palooza line dance of vacant smiling, rocking, and nodding. Nor is it a decision to pop large quantities of Prozac and wash them down with gulps of sweet red wine with a side of butter-slathered denial while listening to Bobby McFerrin, Doris Day, and Jack Johnson playlists.

Vigilant Positivity is an iron-fisted decision to do everything you can to spend the rest of your living moments choosing light instead of darkness, levity instead of melodrama, and love instead of fear.

Perhaps there are people in this world who have been able to come to this decision quickly and efficiently, and then go on their merry way with ease and grace. Most of us assume we know those people who “are just born positive.” “It’s easy for them!” “They’re so lucky – they’ve never had a bad thing happen to them, ever!”

The thing is, the more I dig and go beyond the surface with any such people, the more I’ve seen the opposite is often true. Folks who practice Vigilant Positivity are often the very same people who’ve had unthinkable tragedies, pain, suffering, and adverse experiences in their lives. They’ve seen the real Dark Side, and it’s this first-hand perspective that has spurned them to know, deep in their hearts, there IS a choice. No matter who you are, no matter what your background.

We are the captains of our own ships. We are the masters of our own mindset.

It truly is up to us to chart our life’s course in the direction we want to go, and then steer like heck toward the path of Positivity, however imperfectly, in our laughably human vessels of vibrating Energy.

I really like how Kingsley Dennis – author, researcher, and futurist – speaks about self-vigilance in a blog post he wrote for HuffingtonPost.com last month called Being Vigilant: Waking Up From Our Self-Slumber:

“Self-vigilance is more about producing a state of watchful harmony. By being more open to positive impacts and situations, a person can be more alert to develop and capitalize upon such beneficial moments and conditions. Such moments can also be developed further, and the energies extended. Yet we should also be careful not to contrive or manufacture artificial conditions that are not in genuine harmony with our state or inner priorities.” – Kingsley Dennis

In Day 2 of the 31 Days of Possibility we talked about “Trusting the Process,” and part of that includes learning the Zen-tastic art of “Observation Without Judgment.” What Mr. Dennis is talking about up there is exactly this – realizing our infinite opportunities to shift the feelings and appearances of our circumstances by NOTICING our stories about them, and then shifting our thoughts about them.

I want desperately to say this is wicked easy. In my experience, it most certainly is not.

At this point in my own journey, I’m pretty sure this Vigilant Positivity route has a lifelong learning curve attached. (Just like yoga, and just like, well, life, it turns out!) Still, I will say it seems to get easier – a little easier every year, and eventually a little easier every day, at least on the good days.

I will share a tip, what seems to be a wholly counter-intuitive secret to choosing Vigilant Positivity as a way of life. Before we can make the iron-fisted decision to train our minds and hearts toward love over fear, we must…we simply must…

SURRENDER.

And there’s soooooo very much to surrender. We must surrender old habits, unflattering environments, and sometime lifelong relationships.

We must surrender what The Buddha called “unskillful thoughts” – distracting thoughts, thoughts of ego, thoughts of gain, and worrying thoughts; thoughts connected with desire, aversion, or delusion. These thoughts don’t serve us or the people around us, and it’s up to us to learn how to notice them, and shift our attention from them to more “wholesome” and “skillful” thoughts.

We must surrender what we think are our limits and “givens” in life. Often times, this means surrendering a huge emotional attic of stories we’ve told ourselves, and have been told by loved ones. This can feel like surrendering our identities as we know them. In a lot of ways, it is.

Surrender anyway. 

Dani, the Founder of PositivelyPresent.com, wrote an insightful and honest article called Train Yourself to Be More Positive in 5 Steps that I think sums up the game pretty nicely. Again, just to be perfectly clear, I think each step is a Herculean feat in and of itself. Her “Step One, Believe a Positive Attitude Is a Choice,” could take some of us decades, let’s be real! But you can get there.

Even if you’re a skeptic, there’s mounting scientific evidence about the power of our minds in the forms of Google searches, medical journal articles, online communities, books, movies, websites, and more. Like everything, you have to BE WILLING to believe. Perhaps more importantly, you have to BE READY to believe.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

So I guess the question is, are YOU willing to adopt a new way of seeing, living, choosing, and acting? Are you ready to believe you can find the resources and support you need to honor your vital life energy, and ultimately, explore and expand your divine and wondrous POSSIBILITIES?

Ooooooh, I hope so. With radical, radiant, VIGILANT POSITIVITY, I hope so!

 

P.S. Still insisting Vigilant Positivity is something you’re born with and not something you can consciously and willingly adopt? I submit to you two videos:

1)   109 year old Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer

2)   How Nick Vujicic Triumphed Against All Odds

Stories of people like Alice and Nick abound on the Internet, and in our own communities, too. If you’ve got a favorite example of someone practicing the art of Vigilant Positivity, please, share it in the comments below!

Now check out our video for Day 21, Vigilant Positivity!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

 

*Okay, this is just too weird not to share. So, I did a Google search on the phrase “Vigilant Positivity,” just to make sure it wasn’t some new Nike slogan or something my subconscious had picked up. Well, it turns out I DID see it before – in a flippin’ tweet…one that I wrote back in July of 2012! So this phrase has just been swirling around in my psyche waiting to be released again to a broader playing field. So strange. I feel like I had a “Sixth Sense” moment when I saw my own name as the source of the phrase that has been needling me these many months. How’s that for a meta dose of Quantum Serendipity?

 

We’ve got friends. We’ve got family. We’ve got connections and networks, colleagues and cohorts…

And then we’ve got ALLIES.

Allies are really, really special people who play unique and wildly important roles in our lives. Our relationships and exchanges with them exist on a different plane, and abide by different rules, than the typical human interaction.

Allies look like average people, but they are so much more. Part angel, part mentor, part muse, part soulmate, Allies always provide the boost we need to shift us to our next levels.

The sooner we can recognize our Allies from the rest of the people in our lives, the sooner we can begin to understand the magic, power, and purpose-fueled dynamics implicit in our own Hero’s Journey adventure. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention the Hero’s Journey, check out Day 7: The Power of Storytelling.)

How can you recognize who your Allies are?

On your social channels, they’re the ones publicly rooting for you, showing support, and adding to your unfolding story in thoughtful and complimentary ways.

Allies text you messages like:

“Keep going!”

“You can do it!”

“Way to go!”

“Thinking of you today…”

“Sending you good vibes!”

“You rock!”

“It’s all possible…”

“Cheers from me!”

“Have fun and be your best!”

“Giddyup – I can’t wait for what’s next!”

“GO [YOUR NAME], GO!!!”

Just when you need to hear that exact phrase or sentiment. (Interesting fact: All of those phrases came from one of my own favorite Allies, Ms. Kate Lemay, over the last couple weeks. Aren’t Allies the best?!!!)

Allies pick you up when you’re down, champion you behind your back as a matter of course, and send you notes and cards and sometimes even gifts for no special occasion except to celebrate YOU or something you’re doing that no one else seems to notice or really care about.

And if you’re reeeeaaaaaaaalllllly lucky, Allies act as your editor, content consultant, videographer, tech guru, and giggle partner every single day for a month (or even one and a half decades!) as you’re inventing, creating, experimenting, and gallivanting along your merry way. (Thanks, dearest Allen!)

Allies see you, they get you, on a cosmic level.

They recognize when you’re doing something more than just your job, and they let you know it matters, even when (and especially when) you may not be able to see the forest through the trees.

Allies create opportunities for you, send clients your way, invent scenarios where you can shine, and use their own talents, position, and circumstances to expand and amplify your POSSIBILITIES here on planet Earth.

Weirdly, with our social networks as they are, our Allies aren’t always people we’ve personally met…yet.

Sometimes we have these micro-exchanges plump with meaning and intention that happen at exactly the right time for us, that prod us to take the next step and move forward, with virtual strangers. You know the ones, right? They’re the out-of-the-ordinary notes on Facebook Pages, the unexpected recommendations on LinkedIn, the mentions in blog posts, the tweets from reporters, influencers, and/or passing enthusiasts…

These moments of grace and targeted kindness are no accidents. Allies can be one-act blessings, and still play fairly significant roles in our lives.

Shucks, I have a few people I follow on various social channels – Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and Twitter, especially – who I’ve adopted in my mind and heart as definite Life Allies, even though we’ve never hugged, high-fived, or had lunch. Something about the way they express themselves, how they move in this world, the courage they exhibit in everyday living, and the energy they share based on values that matter to me – these people often come into my mind at moments when I need some guidance, levity, insight, or wisdom, and I believe they make me a better person.

Maybe I’ll meet them some day, or maybe I never will. Still, I do my best to send them blips of positivity on social channels every chance I get, as a no-pressure thank you for their own efforts, vision, and singular vibes.

We must know these extremely special people exist, and we must LOVE them every chance we get.

Whether it’s actively with a card or a message or a phone call, or just holding them in our mind’s eye, or our heart, with full-bodied intention and appreciation, we must LOVE them. Cherish them. Have spontaneous board meetings with them in our minds. Consult them in our imaginations – because we know their advice would be the exact right advice to hear to help us move forward on our strange and compelling zig-zaggy journey.

When it comes to Loving Our Allies, we must treat LOVE like the verbiest verb we can muster.  

“Loving” is an active thing. Show your Allies you’re grateful for them as often and as authentically as you can. Let them know you see them, they matter to you, and you believe in them, too.

There are so many bizarre people out there, flailing around with some wacky energy that doesn’t exactly support us and our goals and dreams, no matter what phase we’re in as we’re working our goals and dreams out.

Allies make up for all those people and then some. They love us for who we are, and they’re essential, monumental, and downright astronomically influential to our quest into POSSIBILITIES.

LOVE THEM. Not only is it good for your karma, soul, and Possibilities, it’s fun and easy to do.

And they deserve it.

Check out the video for Day 20, Loving Your Allies!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

“In your pocket today, you have more computing power than all the computers that NASA used in the 1960s…NASA used computers to launch Man onto the moon. We use our smartphones to launch Angry Birds at some virtual pigs.” – Tomi Ahonen

One hundred and fifty times.

That’s the average number of times Tomi Ahonen says a typical human checks out his or her mobile devices, every single day.

What the heck are we doing 150 times?

We’re sending and receiving text messages, making phone calls, seeing what time it is, playing music, gaming, engaging on our social media channels, setting alarms, taking pictures, checking our calendars, searching for things on the Web, charging our devices, and doing a few other random things.

At first I wasn’t inclined to believe the number, 150. But then I did a little research on this Tomi Ahonen guy. Turns out he’s more than solid, even though his website is a throwback from 1997. Still, he’s impressively and undeniably obsessed with this mobile stuff, and I have a feeling his numbers are more accurate than the atomic clock itself.

In fact, in January of 2012, Forbes rated Tomi the #1 most influential mobile expert in the world, based on Reach, Resonance and Relevance, thanks to his Communities Dominate blog, his Twitter feed, his videos all around YouTube, his books and ebooks, etc.

Then I found a blog post he published on March 6, 2013, The Annual Mobile Industry Numbers and Stats Blog, which shared so many unfathomable stats about mobile use and penetration that it darn near made my eyeballs pop out of my head.

Look, even though I just met Tomi and have only known him a few short hours, I have a soft spot for him. His passion for and commitment to the mobile space is just awesome. Plus – and this is where he really got me – he writes This data may be freely shared throughout his epic blog post, which means he knows and understands the information he has is bigger than he is. It’s downright revolutionary, if we actually try to absorb it with any effort. So with Tomi’s stated permission, I’m going to share some of the biggies here.

Let’s try to wrap our heads around this, shall we?

Behold these incredible, mind-blowing mobile stats, thanks to Tomi Ahonen:

-       The global count of active mobile subscriptions reached 6.7 Billion at the end of 2012

-       Several countries, led by Hong Kong, are past 200% mobile penetration rate per capita

-       There are 4.3 Billion unique mobile phone owners/users on the planet

-       60.1% of the true alive human population does have at least one mobile phone and at least one mobile account to themselves

-       There are 5.2 Billion mobile phone handsets in use on planet Earth

-       26% of the human population – 1.1 Billion people – walk around with two phones in their pockets

-       22% of all phones in use globally are ‘smartphones’

-       83% of all phones in use are cameraphones – that’s 4.4 billion network-connected cameras at people’s disposal 24/7

-       More than 90% of all humans who have ever taken a picture, have only done so on a cameraphone

-       There were over 1.7 Billion mobile phones sold in 2012

-       Mobile phones connected and in use dwarf any other tech, outnumbering television sets by more than 2 to 1, personal computers of all types, including tablet PCs like the iPad, by more than 4 to 1, and DVD players by 5 to 1

-       The mobile industry grew its revenues by a massive 12% in 2012 and hit 1.45 Trillion US dollars

-       The US is ranked 15th (tied with The Netherlands) in terms of the maturity of its mobile industry (Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively)

-       The US is near 50% smartphone ownership, where Singapore is past 80%

And as if all that isn’t enough:

Drumroll, please….

The “Mobile Moment” is upon us.

The “Mobile Moment”:

 “That point in time when for the first time ever on this planet, a consumer technology will match the human population in size. The planet has 7.1 Billion people and as we grew subscriptions 14% last year, it’s rather clear we will hit that 7.1 Billion number around the summer of 2013.” – Tomi Ahonen

Are you absorbing this? Even if you didn’t bother memorizing any of those stats, did at least one of them grab you by the ears and get you to stand at attention?

Mix those stats with the idea, just the idea, behind the quote I started this post with – that we all hold in our hands on any given day more power than NASA had at their disposal in the 1960s – and the enormity of these times we’re living in has to kick the wind out of your gut sooner or later.

As of the summer of 2013, humans will have as many mobile devices as people – and that number is only going to increase. There is no saturation point!

Our mobile devices are our lives’ companions. For 18-29 year olds, different sources cite they’re averaging anywhere from 60-88 texts every single day. I’ve personally heard several stories where parents have documented records of their teens texting more than 11,000 times per month. (What the heck are they saying 11,000 times??!!!)

But beyond this radical shift in the way we communicate, from actually speaking to each other to trading emoticon-ridden one-word questions and replies, these ever-ready devices play so many other roles.

Artistic roles. Creative roles. Transformative roles. Empowering roles.

There’s the world as we think it is, as it appears in front of us, in its natural form.

And there’s the world through the lens of Mobile Magic.

This is where moments and places and people are captured, colored, played with, altered, and manipulated based on the viewers’ point of view – psychologically, spiritually, literally, and emotionally.

It’s a world influenced and dominated by the unstoppable human urge for self-expression. We have the ability to take these fleeting moments of our lives, add some creative flair to them with something as simple as a filter, music, text, or mashed-up video clips, and then instantly share them with our online communities. Suddenly, these fleeting moments arrive in other people’s consciousness, framed by the intent and singular personality of the moments’ documentarian.

We may not be able to consume all the moments being shared with us by our friends, colleagues, and communities during any given hour of any given day, but the ones that break through the content-streaming chaos do impact us in both small and profound ways.

No matter how banal or benign, these shared moments broaden our notion of what’s possible – both for us individually and us as a race. They also broaden our ability to assimilate the similarities and differences among us all.

We play together, build worlds together, stay in touch, and get into competitive word games together.

We recommend restaurants and products, upload the food on our plates for others to see, and check into our favorite locations.

We are constantly and happily armed with free and low-cost apps that allow us to be the Inventor-Creator-Explorer-Cinematographer-Designer-Organizer-Documentarian-DJ-Gamer-Dreamer-Doer of our own lives.

The technology is skyrocketing exponentially every few months, and digital natives are so used to this prolific access and awesomeness that they hardly notice the power at their disposal, and are perfectly happy spending hours playing games like “Plants vs. Zombies.” (Yes, that’s a real game. My son played it all day today, a snow day. Plants. Versus. Zombies. I simply cannot make this up!)

The point is, this whole mobile thing is a GINORMOUS paradigm shift for humankind.

As we add to the incredible proliferation of mobile technologies the other ideas we’ve touched upon during these 31 Days of Possibility

How each of us has a Purpose

And we’re all bundles of beautiful, vibrating Energy

How we are ever becoming the Storytellers of our own lives and experiences…

And we’re better than ever at merging our Vision and Personal Brands with our incredible capacity for Creativity, Imagination, and Dreaming

How The Social Realm is gifting us with the perfect environment for Discovery, Making Conscious Connections, and Quantum Serendipity

We get to marvel at the fact of our incredible good fortune:

Humanity’s Tipping Point is upon us, and we get to be here to not only witness it, but be a huge part of it!

There’s no denying it. The human/tech Tipping Point has indeed arrived. WE have arrived, at a place on the evolutionary chart where we are catapulting our potential and superpowers by leaps and bounds, not by the millennium, but by the minute. (!!!!)

The POSSIBILITIES are literally beyond the fringe of our comprehension – unless of course, someone makes an app for that. Then we’ll be all set. :)

 

Check out the Mobile Magic video, rocking Day 19 of the 31 Days of Possibility!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

Have you ever been positively STUNNED by the information or resources that find you, or the people or communities you happen to come across at exactly the right moment in time? 

This phenomenon is so compelling and awesome to me that it served as the singular theme and muse for a presentation I did one year ago for members of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the largest Chamber in the state of New Hampshire, called “Social Media in 400 Seconds.” (The story of how I came to present on the topic was, ironically, a very real and mighty example of the phenomenon itself, all revealed in that blog post!)

Behold, the phenomenon:

QUANTUM SERENDIPITY

Allen and I call it QUANTUM SERENDIPITY. Led by our instincts, fueled by our energy, nudged by our emotions, and catapulted by the ever-optimized algorithms, we meet the right people, find the best resources, attract the perfect opportunities. Part math, part mindset, and part magic, QUANTUM SERENDIPITY is what brought me here today to share this 400-second presentation with YOU.

And now, it’s come full circle, and found its way into the 31 Days of Possibility, one year later.

As luck or Quantum Serendipity would have it, Allen recorded my PechaKucha presentation, which also serves as the official Day 18 video! (You’ll find the complete essay fueling this video at the “Social Media in 400 Seconds” link above.)

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

“We are moving from unconscious evolution through natural selection to conscious evolution by choice.” – Barbara Marx Hubbard

Not so long ago, most of our bios as humans went something like this:

We were born in a certain town or city, and the people in that specific geographic location were the people who raised us, taught us, and told us what the “reality” of the world was about. These geographic guides and fellow journeymen of happenstance essentially defined the small world we inhabited, what we could and could not do, and whom we should or should not become.

Most of us believed them. Why?

Because:

1) They seemed like decent enough people,

2) It was easier to go along with the community that surrounded us than to question or defy it, and

3) Not a lot of conflicting information made it into our spheres, unless we were really determined to pursue other ideas and possibilities.

This is not our reality anymore.

The Internet has conquered the limits of geographic, intellectual, and spiritual collaboration, radically opening up access to information, access to communities with shared passions, and access to the magic that happens when like minds find each other, and decide to grow and build and explore together.

Our capacity to make and forge Conscious Connections with people who inspire us, “get” us, and help us evolve to new and better energetic vibrations, to increased alignment with our own Passions and Purpose, is at an all-time high.

This. Is. Soooooooo. Freakin’. COOLl!!!

We can sit at our desk, on our couch, in a coffee shop, in our car, at the beach, in a chair lift, in a dance club, on a train, and/or at the junction of Probability and POSSIBILITY, and we can: Connect with, discover, and actively reach out to and share ideas from people who evolve our thinking, incite action within us, and ignite our impulse for Conscious Evolution.

WHAT IS CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION?

“Due to the increased power given us through science and technology, we are learning how nature works – the gene, the atom, the brain. We are affecting our own evolution by everything we do. With these new powers we can destroy our life support systems … or we can move toward a hope-filled future of immeasurable possibilities.

“We are the generation of choice

“In simple terms, Conscious Evolution takes place when we intend to grow in consciousness and use our increasing awareness to guide our actions and achieve a positive future.” – From Barbara Marx Hubbard and Evolve.org

Intention. YES. One of the vital keys to unlocking the power and thrill of making Conscious Connections is by way of INTENTION.

The physical act of Intention toward making Conscious Connections in our hyper-connected world is easier than ever. In fact, it may be so innocuous we hardly recognize it for its impact and importance, but it is definitely there.

What message, photo, or video did you “LIKE” today on Facebook? What article or quote did you tweet? What comments have you added to blogs, events, FB Pages, or any social activity that cruised into your peripheral vision?

Each of these seemingly miniscule acts builds up over time – in our own minds and hearts, in the algorithms of the channels on which we play, and in the subconscious of the folks who are tapped into our online personas.

Any given moment of any given day, we’re either spending our time and energy:

1)   Moving away from what we don’t want (an act which sounds productive, but actually keeps us constantly and eternally anchored to a past that doesn’t serve us, AND one we want nothing to do with anymore!

2)   Moving toward a better vision and version of our True Selves and our lives.

We cannot do both. We must CHOOSE, actively and as passionately as possible, every moment of every day. We do this by a commitment to our Intention, and through making Conscious Connections.

“When you put together our full potential – spiritual, social, and scientific/technological – you see a quantum jump, a new species, a universal humanity that in fact may embody many of the characteristics of spiritual visions of life beyond this world… a new heaven and a new Earth…” – Barbara Marx Hubbard

By the way, if you haven’t heard of Barbara Marx Hubbard before, now is the best time ever to invite her into your consciousness.

I was introduced to Barbara by way of Kate Lemay, Evolutionary Artist, Conscious Creator, and Joy Addict.

In 2012, Kate Lemay painted 4,000 unique and Intention-fueled paintings moving up and through the Chakra System. By the end of 2012, Kate displayed a portion of this massive work in the Healing Room of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, at the Shift Network’s Birth 2012 event, featuring – guess who? – Barbara Marx Hubbard. I was with Kate at this extraordinary event, an amazing gift in the name of Conscious Connection, to be sure.

So Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ph.D is a visionary futurist and evolutionary educator. She is the cofounder and chair of the board of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and cofounder of the Association for Global New Thought and The World Future Society, as well as one of the central thought leaders behind the extraordinary Birth 2012 Campaign.

Through her lifetime’s bold and fearless body of work and her determination to tell the story of a victorious and awakened humanity, she is inextricably linked to the tenets and exponential power and POSSIBILITIES of creating and forging Conscious Connections.

To tap into the might and magic of making Conscious Connections, we must have a deep trust and faith in the idea that more is going on than meets the eye right now. Yes, NOW. Literally.

We must also know that small acts of kindness and consciousness, especially when done with Intention, DO MATTER. We are ENERGY. We are vibrational beings existing together in this world, and even something as simple as clicking “LIKE’ or sharing positive and powerful art and ideas across our social channels builds over time. It nudges the overall trajectory of human evolution and potential.

Our connections are being mapped and analyzed in databases, and informing the information and insights that find their way to us in the not-so-distant future.

Ideas find each other and build off of each other.

People find each other in non-linear ways.

People and ideas mix and mingle online, offline, and outside the grid of time and space as we know it.

It’s a beautiful thing, really.

The IMPULSE TO EVOLVE is within us, both biologically and spiritually.

As more and more of us become Consciously Connected, this impulse helps us bring to life the future our best Selves are capable of, one built on love and peace, compassion and co-creation.

A beautiful thing, indeed.

 

Check out the video for more about making Conscious Connections!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” – Galileo Galilei

“We don’t receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves.” – Marcel Proust

If you’re traveling through these 31 Days of Possibility with me, and you’re reading all the blog posts in addition to watching the videos (of course you are, right? I mean, that’s how we all consume information these days – by thoroughly reading and absorbing every single word, idea, and image with undivided attention and a feeling of exquisite rapture!), you may have noticed I’ve developed a small fixation (not quite yet an obsession yet, but the odds of that are mounting) with filmmaker, futurist, and “Epiphany Addict” Jason Silva.

Through a series of loose clicks, scans, and online games of connect-the-dots, I DISCOVERED Jason at exactly the right moment and time for me.

The passions and ideas that move and inspire him are the ones I’m fascinated by. His talents have allowed him to create “digital psychedelics” he calls “philosophical shots of espresso.” I’m a mom, a wife, and a business owner short on time and long on a desire for hits of wonder and awe. I found my fix in Jason.

That’s the thing about Discovery – it happens at exactly the right time, as long as you’re open to it.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” – Chuck Palahniuk

Discovery plays a huge role in the expansion and revelations of our beautiful POSSIBILITIES. In today’s world, the concept of Discovery lives on three distinct levels.

They are:

1)   Self-Discovery, where we go inward to reveal, unblock, and unleash our own Purpose and Passion, and then spend our lives fine-tuning the music of our souls.

2)   Outward Discovery, where we consume and immerse ourselves in new experiences via travel destinations, pleasures of the flesh, academic pursuits, cultural explorations, and physical feats of adventure and awesomeness.

3)   Social Discovery, where we dwell in a world of radical connectivity and serendipitous experiences, aided by science (algorithms), to help us find people, products, and places to enjoy.

Thanks to that exponential growth thing I mentioned yesterday (plus a heck of a lot of other factors), the soil of Discovery has never been so rich or fertile.

First, we made it through the spiritual void that was the 80s, and are living in times where there is a noticeable new interest and fascination in deeper human contemplations, the Kardashians notwithstanding. The extraordinary success of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth is one pretty strong indicator of a mass interest in conscious evolution. The communities, leaders, and resources to assist with the journey of Self Discovery are many.

Easy globetrotting, the rise of adventure tourism, haute cuisine, the number of enrolled college students of all ages – all these things mow the playing field for Outward Discovery.

And Pinterest, I believe, holds the secrets of the universe in terms of Social Discovery. Pinterest makes it incredibly easy to collect and categorize pretty things that delight our senses, lift our spirits, inspire us, make us laugh, nudge us to dream, and help us know the interests and obsessions of our networks on a more visceral level.

The thing about Pinterest that is pretty darn groundbreaking is it’s designed around the ideal of Discovery, where humans are the engines of curation and content instead of algorithms. In other words, it’s an environment where we pursue rabbit holes according to our innate whims and fancies, not because an advertiser paid for them to lure us in.

So far, no computer can match the magic and unpredictability of the human mind – mostly because the good minds are powered by human hearts.

So we’re here, in a place in time where the best of our humanness is buttressed by Discovery engines that are constantly being tweaked and upgraded by artists and designers and philosophers and dreamers – and much of the time that means it’s all the same person!

The proliferation of ideas and information via the Internet has empowered the curious and talented to branch out further and faster than ever before. Discovery is about being reached by the people destined to reach you, and then giving back by choosing to be a co-creator of advancing ideas, stimulating minds, and turning your passions into consumable data in some form or another.

It’s a feedback loop of conscious evolution, and it’s powered by Imagination, Dreaming, Creativity, and Discovery.

“Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams – day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”  - L. Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz

Yeah. What he said. :)

Now then, check out the video from Day 16: Discovery!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!