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Pink Rain

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Empowerment
Pink Rain

Pink Rain

Did anyone ever say something to you that you found offensive? What did you do: walk away in a huff … talk back to him or her … “stand up” for yourself and then feel lousy later? Take the “high road” and feel crummy later? How about lying awake at night, rehearsing all of the better things you could have said … smarter things you should have said … or plotting the really good comebacks that you will lay on the offensive party next time you get the chance?

But have you ever simply let it go? Really let it go? Not just turn the other cheek yet seethe inside at the injustice of it all? Let us tell you how it happened for us:

In the late 90s, we were leading a series of winter retreats in Costa Rica. These particular seminars took place near the beach in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific side of the country. There we made the passing acquaintance of a couple, Rena and Sven. These two people radiated their judgmental nature and we felt uncomfortable just being around them.

One morning the two of us took a taxi to the beach. As we exited the cab we arranged with our driver to come back in an hour to pick us up. As we walked down to the ocean, we ran into Rena and Sven. By way of greeting, Rena said something very catty — not just the words, but also the unspoken subtext of the comment.

We bet you are familiar with loaded comments. Just think of a teenager, stomping to his or her room saying, “Fine!” or some such thing and flinging the door closed. In this case the word “fine” actually means anything but. Teens in particular are good at adding the eye rolling and they are great at dripping sarcasm from a single syllable. You get the idea.

It doesn’t really matter what Rena said that morning. We quickly ended the conversation and moved on down the beach. At first it was a bit of a challenge not to rehash the moment and reinforce the agitation that usually comes along with getting a verbal and energetic bump. Yet we purposefully disengaged from what had happened and got involved in what was happening: our walk. As we strolled along the shore, the sand sifting between our toes, we got engaged in what was in sight: the pelicans flying in formation, their wings practically skimming the waves, the sun, the surf, the birds, our conversation, OUR life. We simply invested in what was actually happening in that moment rather than resist Rena or Sven, and as we continued down the beach the upset fell away. In fact we forgot about the couple altogether.

This is a perfect example of the 3 Principles of Instantaneous Transformation in action:

1st Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – What you resist persists, grows stronger and in this case, accompanies you down the beach as it dominates your life and your current experience. If we had resisted Rena, disagreed with her comment, if we had taken exception to how she and Sven were being and chewed it over between us, then we would no longer have been on the beach. When you are in a fight in your thoughts, that’s where you are locked — in your thoughts.

2nd Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – That couple could only be exactly as they were, with their reality. Rena could only have commented as she did, and we could have only had a spontaneous visceral reaction and been taken aback.

3rd Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – Anything you allow to be exactly as it is completes itself. We just let them alone in our thoughts and the situation and our initial reaction just drifted away. But of course, as frequently happens when something of this nature occurs, life gives you the opportunity to see if you really have let the upset go – and if not, you get another chance to dissolve it! Soon our beach hour was almost up and it was time to meet our taxi and go back to work. But when we walked up to the road to the rendezvous spot, who should be standing there but Rena and Sven. We didn’t want to be rude, but we didn’t want to invite more conversation either. So we simply ambled up the sidewalk and put some distance between us. It was at this point something very sweet and special happened.

In Costa Rica there are many flowering trees. You can see entire hillsides populated with purple, orange, yellow or pink blossoms. Up at the curve of the road was a big old tree laden with pink flowers. Just as we approached, a gentle breeze ruffled our hair and combed through the tree’s branches. And suddenly the tree rained pink petals. We stood there in awe, awash in a soft pink rain.

It was as if the circumstances of our lives were guiding us forward so that we could be witness to such a magical moment. We weren’t walking away from them – we simply kept moving in concert with the wind, and the sun, and our lives. We were in sync. We were appropriate to ourselves and our hearts. When you are in the moment you are a part of the symphony of life and the music isn’t discordant, the melody is pure and simple. On that particular day the theme was a soft pink rain.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Life is in the Blintzes

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Empowerment
Life is in the Blintzes

“Life is in the Blintzes”

By Eric in Brooklyn, NY

An excerpt from Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Enlightenment, Ariel and Shya Kane

When my maternal grandmother, Dora, was a child, she came to America from a tiny village in Eastern Europe. One of my fondest memories of her was that she made amazing blintzes, thin crepe-like pancakes filled with savory cheese. When I was a little boy I’d visit her in the Bronx in New York City, and we’d walk together to the store, my small hand in hers, to get fresh ingredients. Then we’d go back to her apartment and I’d watch her make my beloved blintzes. She never followed a recipe. Everything she made was by eye or by heart. The best part of all was eating them. My grandmother was a cheek pincher who loved me with food. And her food, from blintzes to chicken soup to chopped liver, was extraordinary.

By contrast, I hadn’t felt as close to my mother. While my dad and I shared jokes and a common interest in music, when I was in my pre-teen years, I decided that my mother was stoic, cold, and unable to connect with me emotionally. We didn’t spend much time talking and I didn’t enjoy her cooking.

Eventually I decided that I no longer wanted to be associated with the people in my mother’s family: Eastern European Jews. Their heritage, religion, language, customs, and even their food, including my formerly beloved blintzes, had become embarrassing to me. I conveniently forgot about the hard work and sacrifices my family had made to give me the life that I was taking for granted. I forgot how my mother had paid for things – my cello lessons, an expensive private college, and financial support she gave me when I was having some significant personal struggles – not to mention unwavering moral support.

Years passed and the gulf between me and my mother widened. When my parents moved to Florida, I never made visiting them a priority although my mom took the time to visit me. When I was cast as a professional actor in plays in Boston and New York City, my mother always came to see my performances. After the shows she would meet me, give me a hug and, before I had a chance to ask what she thought of my performance, she would whisper in my ear, “You were the best one.”

When I started to participate in Instantaneous Transformation seminars with Ariel and Shya, I saw that I had preconceived notions of my mother. I didn’t see her as she was. I saw her as I thought she was. That’s not the same thing. My thoughts about her were colored by a filter, put in place by my disgruntled teenage self who’d been insecure and desperate to fit in. Once I saw this important distinction, I was able to truly listen to what Mom had to say and to see things from her perspective. I saw her loving nature and acts, both past and present, because they were no longer at odds with my own very strong point of view. I was suddenly able to remember the hugs as well as the cream cheese and jelly sandwiches with no crusts. I even remembered when I went through my “purple phase” and Mom knitted me a purple sweater. It was well made, but in retrospect it wasn’t a great color decision for me. As a result of my new perspective, our relationship became closer and sweeter.

My grandma Dora is long gone. My mother is ninety-one and her health and memory are fading. She’s confined to a wheelchair and although her long-term memory is generally good, her short-term memory is nonexistent. She remembers my Dad, but not that he’s been dead for twenty years.

I recently went down to Florida to visit her. At first she thought I was a doctor, which was not a total loss. I’m a lawyer and a literary agent, but she had dreamt of my becoming a doctor, and to her I was. She told me she’d enjoyed my comedy show the night before (I was a standup comedian several years ago) although she felt I went on a little too long. Of course there was no show, but she was happy, especially that she’d stayed at my friend Oprah’s apartment. I was pleased to learn that I am close friends with Oprah Winfrey.

I wasn’t upset with Mom’s confusion. As long as she wasn’t depressed or scared, I rolled with it, going along with her reality. But she wasn’t eating and her nurses and aides were concerned. An additional benefit of my participating in the Kanes’ seminars is that I’ve become very intuitive. More accurately, I’ve allowed my intuition to override what used to be my denial and doubt.

Flat Book Cover.jpgI knew in my gut that blintzes would reignite my mother’s appetite. I asked the medical professionals if there were concerns about fat, salt or any other nutritional caveats. They said my mother needed calories and, at this point, any were good. I went to a deli near my mom’s house and on the way home, my car was filled with the familiar aroma of blintzes and matzo ball soup. Images of my grandmother’s smile went through my mind. I heard the roar of the crowd at Yankee stadium as we walked through her Bronx neighborhood. Most importantly, I felt the lineage of love that traveled from Dora through my mother to me. Unexpected tears welled up as I drove the Florida roads, far from New York City. I was grateful I could allow myself the pleasure of those tears, the welling of love and affection. When my mother devoured two blintzes and smiled at me, my chest swelled with gratitude for Instantaneous Transformation. My heritage is rich and full of love and life. In that moment, I rediscovered that life is in the blintzes.

This is an excerpt from Being Here…Too, which is available wherever books are sold as of November 12, 2018.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYCGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books

Monitoring Social Media for Situational Awareness

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Variety
Monitoring Social Media for Situational Awareness

Social Media can help us in many ways but it can also cause us harm if we don’t pay close attention to what information is being presented by the various social media platforms. This week, we talk with Lt. Glen Mills who is a specialist in monitoring social media for situational awareness and is a Lieutenant with the Burlington, Massachusetts police department. Drawing upon extensive experience and using some real-life examples, Lt. Mills gives us tips and insights into how we can better prepare ourselves for the deluge of information conveyed through various social media sites and identifying what information is real and what may not. These tips will help all organizations, communities and individuals better prepare for – and respond to – potential situations that can cause us harm and prevent us from being taken in by those who would do us harm.

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Diamonds at Your Feet

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Diamonds at Your Feet

Diamonds at Your Feet

When moving through life with awareness, there are gems to be discovered each day, provided you look. It requires you to slow down and see what is right in front of you rather than racing forward to some “better” destination. It takes the willingness to discover what is there even if others may think that you are being silly or impractical. It also may require a dose of childish enthusiasm as it did in the case of our young friend Milan, from Brooklyn, New York.

Milan’s interest in gems began at the tender age of six. What started with digging for stones in the park has now blossomed into a full-fledged passion. Like many children, he was fascinated by a piece of quartz found in gravel or an interestingly-shaped rock found by chance. Then his father introduced him to the field of gemology and now Milan has an extensive collection of books on the subject as well as a small collection of semi-precious and precious gems of his own.

Somewhere in his fledgling studies, Milan heard about an urban tale that sparked his imagination. According to lore, on 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Midtown Manhattan, home to the legendary Diamond District, is a place where you can find treasure. 47th Street is filled cheek by jowl with stores, each more gaudy than the next, hawking gold and jewelry, precious gems and bling, but according to this legend, the wealth was purported to not only be behind the plate glass windows and security systems. Young Milan had heard that if you look hard enough and if you are dedicated to the search, you can find loose stones on the sidewalk itself. He was told that if you take your time, you will find diamonds at your feet that have been dropped by careless couriers or unsuspecting buyers.

A silly notion some might say. Others might scoff at how ridiculous one would look, slowly meandering, nose virtually to the sidewalk. Practical parents might discourage this dream as childish and having no merit. Yet Milan’s parents did not. Both his mom and dad have repeatedly taken him to the diamond district so that he can scour the streets. There he has found two black diamonds, one ruby, four emeralds, six sapphires and fifteen diamonds. His largest stone, a triangular half-carat diamond, has been appraised for $600.

Now at 15, Milan continues to pursue his passion for gems and shiny things and has grown an extraordinary collection. He has also discovered that while finding gems fuels his enthusiasm and creativity, sharing them with others feeds his heart.

We rather doubt that most people have found wealth in the cracks of the sidewalk. It wouldn’t even occur to most people to look. But to us Milan’s childish dream is a gentle reminder to slow down and look at where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing. It is a simple suggestion to go about one’s life with awareness and persistence, for in this moment there are gems to be discovered if only one has the eyes to see.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYCGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, comes out this November and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Missing My Morning Coffee

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Empowerment
Missing My Morning Coffee

Missing My Morning Coffee

An Excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

I love my morning cup of Joe. Coffee and I have been friends for almost as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to drink from my parents’ forgotten cups, pretending I was an adult. Coffee was my com­panion in college, company during late-night cram sessions. Coffee houses were the destination of choice for my friends and me as we spent long evenings having deep, philosophical discussions about life – life we had yet to live. In later years, when Ariel and I got together, there was a progression of caffeinated times and those that were without. When we moved to our Park Avenue apartment in the ‘80s, there was a little bistro down­stairs where we would have a morning cappuccino and a croissant or sugary pastry. There were years when we gave it up, but even in those times, Ariel and I still en­joyed the pungent aroma of coffee being freshly ground and brewed.

A few years ago, Ariel and I splurged and bought ourselves a lovely espresso machine that heats our cups, grinds the beans, and makes the espresso as strong or as light as we like. Since I like my espresso strong and hot, I pushed the appropriate button one morning and it pressed out a little cup of my favorite elixir. The cup was small, its contents strong. I took my first sip. Mmmm, hot, delicious – both the ritual of a morning cup and its smell and taste. Cup in hand, I set off to start my day. There were things to do and plans to be made. Shortly thereafter I looked down and magically, my cup was empty. I realized that I’d been lost in thought and tossed the coffee down as if it were water, oblivious to the taste, temperature, texture and the moment itself. My thoughts had been all-consuming and the moment was eaten by their magnetic force.

Smiling down at my cup somewhat wistfully, I realized that enjoyable things cease to be enjoyable if you aren’t there to experience them. I couldn’t go back and taste what I’d already drunk. I could make another cup but the caffeine I’d consumed had already worked its magic and I didn’t need more at that moment. Returning to the kitchen, I washed my cup. It was time to move on with my day. It was a short but sweet reminder that if I don’t want to miss my morning coffee, I need to be there while I’m drinking it, even if I’m not yet fully awake.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYCGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, will be published this November.

You Never Walk the Dog!

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Empowerment
You Never Walk the Dog!

You Never Walk the Dog! (Beyond Coincidence)

you-never-walk-the-dog

An Excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

By Ariel & Shya Kane

Let’s investigate the phenomenon of linking up with those around you and your interconnectivity to other human beings. Start by becoming aware of your thought processes and internal conversation. Notice the changes in flavor, cadence or content of those thoughts. As you depersonalize what “you” are saying in the apparent privacy of your thoughts, you no longer have to fall prey to your mind’s machinations. If you notice your thoughts without judging them, your internal commentary will no longer have to dominate your actions and your life. Who knows? Bringing awareness (a nonjudgmental observing) to your thoughts may even save you from fighting a fight that isn’t yours!

The two of us had a dramatic example of this in 1989. It was early in our careers and we were not as firmly rooted in a transformational lifestyle as we are today. It was much easier then to lose our center. On this particular occasion, we were about to give a private consulting session to a couple who were seeing us on the recommendation of a friend. They made the appointment by phone so we hadn’t yet met them in person. Arriving a bit early to the apartment we used for our coaching, we made ourselves a cup of tea and suddenly we began to bicker. As our disagreement escalated, it went something like this:

“It would be nice if you’d give me a hand in here.” “Don’t talk to me in that tone. I’ve done plenty today.” “Yeah? Well, you never help in the kitchen. I’m always doing the dishes.” “Yeah? Well, you never walk the dog!”

At that moment, we froze in amazement. We didn’t have a dog. In fact, in all the years we’d been together, we’d never had a dog. We burst into laughter and the bickering was busted.

Shortly thereafter, the couple arrived. As we sat together, they began to discuss what they saw as the disconnect in their relationship. They laid out their list of grievances: She doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do that. Finally, one of them said it: “Yeah? Well you never walk the dog!”

We looked at each other in amazement. It was a moment beyond coincidence. We knew everyone had the ability to sync up with others, but this was a dynamic demonstration of synchronized thinking that we have never forgotten. It crystallized a possibility that led us to a line of inquiry that is still alive today.

Don’t forget, we had never met either of these people in person. The only contact we had was over the phone to set an appointment time. Yet their way of being transcended time and space and somehow we received the essence of them in our own situation and circumstances. So much so that we started acting out their dynamic. You could think of it like someone coming to your home bringing a dish for dinner. As they arrive at your front door, the smell of the food precedes them into your living room and as the aroma wafts into your home it smells as if you have been cooking.

We are not sure how it happens. But we are sure that it happens. Look around you right now. Think about the air you’re breathing. If you looked across the room or off to the horizon, aside from air quality on a hazy day, common sense says that nothing much exists between you and the next hard surface. Now plug in a radio. Turn on a wireless router for your computer. Activate a Bluetooth device or turn on your Smartphone. There is information floating in the air around you and through you. Human beings are the most sophisticated receivers on the planet but science hasn’t yet caught up with the measurements and explanation of how it works.

Next time you think, “I don’t want to get up,” or you find yourself mentally complaining about your job, your relationship, or any other aspect of your life, you don’t have to take what “you” are saying so seriously. When you find yourself wanting to hum along with the “I should be farther along in my life by now” tune playing in the background, you can turn your attention to other things. When you find the impulse to bicker, you can relax and bypass that urge. (Yet, if you do bicker or find yourself complaining, then this is your responsibility – not whomever you are “in sync” with.)

Feeling well in yourself can communicate across the ethos, too. It’s like a telephone line – it goes both ways. You can catch the disturbances that occur around you but others can “catch” your way of being also – including your sense of well-being.

Kane-player-wide.jpgSince 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

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