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Category Archives: Personal Journey

insider-mindset-text

Ownership, of an activity, gives an interesting shift to experience. Ownership is powerful. If you feel ownership you care about the outcome. You don’t suffer the apathy of a spectator, you become a participant.

 

One of the keys to ownership is feeling like an insider.

 

Have you ever noticed in a good movie or book, that you care about the characters? Not just care, but actually identify with the characters and find a way that the story could be about you. Good storytelling takes time to introduce the characters and make them relatable.

 

I was watching the remake of Ocean’s Eleven, the other day. About 30 minutes into the movie a team of eleven people is assembled for a party to begin their scheme. I realized as the camera panned around the room, showing all the participants in the scheme, that I knew them all. They had taken the time to introduce each of the characters and I felt like I knew them, I was even comfortable in this group. It is a group of thieves, normally I am a little uncomfortable when surrounded by thieves, but the film had done a fantastic job of introducing each of the characters to me and making me care about what happened to them. I was invested. Regardless of the merit of their activity, I was an insider now, and I wanted them to succeed.

 

This is something a good manager does. Building up a good story and explaining it clearly to the team. When someone new joins a company or a team, it is important that they understand the motivation of the organization and the players involved. They need to be connected and emotionally invested.

 

Take a moment and look at your life.

Think about the activities that you own.

Where do you feel like an insider?

Where do you feel like an outsider?

 

Observe the differences between these two feelings and the results? Do you participate in more insider activities? Or outsider activities? Why?

 

In many ways being an insider is a choice. If you don’t feel like an insider you can point the finger of blame at the world. Often being an outside is a result of your own choice or perception of not fitting in.

 

Insiders are the game changers. They are the game makers. They are the backstage pass holders. They take the stage, while everyone else watches from the sidelines.

 

Shift your mindset. Remember, you hold the key. Find a way to become an insider. Own your world and begin to shape it.

 

You are the ultimate insider, nobody else is you!

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I would love to hear back on your epiphanies of ownership.

Namaste,

Kevin Goodman

 

School Shootings.

Corporate Greed.

Genetically Modified Foods, Untested and Unleashed on our food supply.

Religions that teach outsiders are wrong or even evil.

Governments that can’t manage their pocketbooks.

It’s not uncommon for me to be frustrated. I am frequently lost in thoughts of how the world should be and the contrast of how the world actually is causes me tension. This cognitive dissonance creates angst and fatigue as I try to comprehend the space between what is, and what should be.

I believe, that as a culture/society/world, we can rise together to become more and better than we presently are.

I believe that we can craft around us a world that we are truly proud to live in.

I believe we have a lot of work ahead of us.

I have a favorite quote from Babylon 5 (a sci-fi TV show from the 1990’s). A character was delusional, believing he was King Arthur. The delusion was causing this person to live a life of meaning and he was making a difference. The doctor on the show wanted to “heal” him, to bring him back to “reality”. Marcus Cole defended the delusional man’s position saying “Better the illusions that exalt us than 10,000 truths”. “Babylon 5: A Late Delivery from Avalon (#3.13)” (1996)

This has always stuck with me. The world is a challenging place. And the truth of the world, that media would push on us, is that we are a violent and out of control people without moral guidance. But I don’t believe that is the whole truth. It is a half truth that only tells the negative parts of the story.

I choose to focus on the illusions that uplift me and allow for a world that can be better. I choose to believe that we can all be a part of the world we want to live in, and make that world the truth.

I invite you, as 2013 begins, to find the illusions that make our world a better place. Focus in on those illusions until they become our truth.

Namaste,

Kevin Goodman

 
You cannot run out of time. There is infinite Time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This…is wrong tool” – Zathras (Babylon 5, 1996) – click for sound byte
 
Reminder to self, “time is abundant.”
 
I have been dropping things lately. The hypochondriac in me was beginning to think I might have some early onset neurological disorder. Then I started looking at when these things were happening, and I realized these occurrences are not coming from system failures, they are coming from my perception of scarcity.
 
I have been operating in an attitude of scarcity of time. Rushing from one thing to the next has lead me to a mindset of urgency and I have lost patience for the moment.
 
I could blame our culture. I could point the finger at my financial needs. I could even blame my iphone, always making me tap the screen to make sure I’m not missing anything.
 
But at the end if the day, blame is no resolution.
 
I am the one intimately impacted by my rush. I am the projector of the perception of lack.
 
My attitude of scarcity ripples out and impacts the world around me in so many unseen ways.
 
So I must remind myself, through grace and release, that “Time is Infinite”.
 
I love this cliche’ – Each moment is a gift, that’s why they call it the “Present”.

 

Namaste,

Kevin Goodman
 
clock at midnight

 

 

Flat-world-trim

My whole life I have been told that the world is a spherical ball orbiting around the sun. I am pretty convinced at this point that this is true. But I am open to evidence to the contrary.

 

There are so many concepts and ideas that I have been taught throughout my life. Most of them were explained to be gospel truths. I was told these truths were unchanging, unquestionable and incorruptible. For a good while I believed them. However, there came a point as I reached the age of reason that I started to question.

 

This began during my early teen years, so you could very easily refer to it as the age of unreason… or at least being unreasonable. But as the cracks began to appear in the impenetrable walls of reason I had been brought up to believe in.

 

So I began to question to unquestionable, and I found these ‘truths’ to be falsehoods, or at least false for me.

 

I have met many people that lead wonderful, happy, productive lives based on these ideas that they hold true. I am very happy for them, but their truths didn’t work for me.

 

Over time I’ve questioned and rejected, or at least altered, many ‘truths’. I have found my own path, my own power and my own purpose.

 

I’m not mentioning any specifics intentionally. My truths and falsehoods will not be yours. And if I get specific I would probably alienate someone that needs to read this message. The point of this message is not to tell you what is truth and a lie. That’s not my job. I’m here to remind you to not get complacent.

 

As I look back over the changes that have happened in my thinking in since I had children, the shift becomes more obvious. I am a totally different parent than I thought I would be. I practice ideas daily that I wasn’t even aware of before I had children. Some things that contradict how I was brought up, and some things that line up perfectly.

 

Ideas have life and living things evolve. Trapped in a cage an idea will die, or worse become sickly and unhealthy. You have to allow room for your ideas to roam and travel. You must allow ideas to grow and change. If everything we already knew prepared us for everything that is to come in the future, there would be no room for growth. There would be no value to our human experience.

 

So that is why I say that the world may in fact be flat. I’m open to evidence in that direction. But for the time being I will allow the world to keep spinning on it’s ‘supposed’ axis. I don’t know everything, and the things that I do know are fluid.

 

A world beyond my comprehension requires ideas beyond my previous thoughts.

Namaste,

Kevin

Sand-Castle-On-Beach

This week I was listening to dust in the wind By Kansas. It is amazing how timeless concepts age very well in music. Check out the lyrics if you’ve never heard the song or want to refresh your memory. I’m sure I’ve heard the song a hundred times or more. But this time a new piece of the lyric caught my ear:

Now don't hang on
Nothin' last forever but the earth and sky

As I listened, I was reminded that all the effort we do, everything we put our hands to, will eventually pass away. It may pass 5 minutes after we are gone, or 500 years, but it all passes into shadow. There is nothing that we can do in the physical world that will last beyond a few moments.

With this in mind I was thinking about the underlying value of our tasks, the spiritual growth. Each time a task is performed, the task doesn’t change, but we do. It’s this growth, and the growth of those around us that I believe has lasting value beyond our ‘dust in the wind’.

There are many times that we perform things that we perceive as tedious or menial. And often that impact of our actions is lost to us in the demands of the moment. If we take the time to step out of the emotion of the moment and view the larger picture, that we can see our true value and impact.

So when our activities feel like building sandcastles, remember the ultimate benefit. The physical and tangible results of our efforts are only the tip of the spiritual iceberg.

Namaste,

Kevin

Sand castle destroyed by the surf. Black Sea coast. Space for text.

Sand castle destroyed by the surf. Black Sea coast. Space for text.

miracles-happen-every-day

I went for a bike ride last weekend. Riding my bike always shifts my brain into a calm state, especially when I get into a steep climb. There isn’t room for my mind to worry about bills or politics, it’s just me, the bike and the hill.

I also love the exhilaration of the downhill run, after the long ride up the hill. If there is any bit of fun in life, that you can feel like you’ve totally earned, it’s riding down a steep hill you just worked your butt off to climb.

When I’m out riding I always keep an eye out for cyclists in need. I have been helped by random cyclist myself, so it’s nice to pay it forward. Making the world a better place through service has always been something I connect with.

On this particular occasion I saw a red 1970’s bicycle laying on it’s side next to the road, with a big saddle bag on the ground next to it. Something looked odd about it, but I couldn’t see anybody around, so I decided to just leave it alone assuming the owner would return soon. As I kept riding, I was wondering in the back of my mind what had happened. I found I didn’t have to wonder long.

About 100 yards up the road was a man in cycling gear walking back and forth looking down at the ground. I asked if he needed help. He replied that his back tire had broken loose and he’d lost a small part he needed to reattach it.

A little background on this hill. It’s called Mount Eden and it is in Saratoga, California. Coming down the back side of this hill, where we were, I have managed to get up to about 40 miles an hour. It’s a very curvy road with a sharp turn right at the bottom of the hill. I usually reach the turn and my top speed at about the same time.

I’d also like to point out the obvious. When you’re on a road bike going 40 miles an hour, and you come up on a sharp turn, it’s not an ideal time for your back tire to come off… Come to think of it, I can’t think of any ideal time for your back tire to come off. But that turn would be the worst.

As I stopped to help out, I got more of his story. He was coming down the back side of Mount Eden. At the bottom of the hill, just before the turn, a car was in front of him, forcing him to hit the brakes hard! During this braking maneuver his back wheel had broken off and gotten tangled up in the rear fork of the bike.

This could have easily been a fatal accident. With a back tire that was no longer rolling he managed to go off the road, avoid a big pile of rocks, and stop on the grassy edge of the road 200 yards later.

As I listened to his story I became more and more impressed that I was seeing the aftermath of a miracle. Instead of needing an ambulance or worse, this man had managed to put down his bike and walk away. He had pulled out his mobile phone and calmly called his friend while he proceeded to search for the part he was now missing from his bike.

I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him till he came to his senses and saw the truth of this moment. As I was still in touch with my sense I knew that was a bad idea. But I did manage to ask if he happened to get a good look at who or what was holding up his back tire as he came careening around the corner.

It really hadn’t occurred to him that anything miraculous had happened. At the time of the accident he was simply focused on avoiding the rocks and trying to land his bike. Then, possibly in a state of mild shock or denial, he was simply searching for the 2 dollar part he didn’t want to lose.

When looking back at this story I come away with these two main thoughts.

  • When you find yourself worrying about the small stuff, remember that means the big stuff, beyond your control, has been handled for you. AKA: If you can spend your time looking for a 2 dollar widget you may want to remind yourself you’re still alive.
  • Miracles happen every day, but sometimes it takes an outsider to see them.

See if you can spot the miracles in your own life today.

If you are having trouble seeing them, ask someone around you to point them out.

Namaste,

Kevin

Female cyclist biking on a country road on a lovely sunny day (m

 

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Growing up in a family connected with an organized religion has advantages. You have a community of people that care about you and want the best for you. And you have the benefit of the wisdom and experience of that community to teach you. And for a while that was enough… However, even during my early years I questioned the disconnect between what I was told and what I experienced.

I have always been driven to deepen my spiritual life. However disillusionment with main stream religion sent me down unexpected paths throughout my life. I don’t feel that I have any horror stories about being abused by religion. The organizations I was connected with never directly traumatized or persecuted me. But the stories that I was told were so powerful, and the experiences I had were so not. My attempts to connect on a spiritual level with my religion failed and as a result I began to search for truth outside of that framework.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t hold ill will toward religious people. I believe there are religious beliefs that empower and enliven people to become all they can be and truly enhance the world. But it didn’t do this for me. So my search continued.

This is where yoga and meditation entered my life. I had a misrepresentation of yoga in my head. When the idea was first suggested to me I was under the impression that yoga was for women who wanted mild exercise, I had no concept of the history or the experience that yoga offered. My education began 8 years ago and has continued since. A highlight was in 2006 when I became a certified yoga instructor. I took a 200 hour certification program here in California.

Yoga was a different world to me. I was surrounded by people having their own intimate experiences with the spiritual world. The movement and fluidity of Vinyasa Flow yoga centered me in a way I had never felt before. I was able to find peace in the midst of my mental chaos. This is an experience that I never would have had, if I hadn’t tried yoga.

I’m sharing this in an effort to highlight the importance of experiential spirituality. In life we will find many people that will try to tell us how things work and even what we are experiencing and feeling. These guides can be beneficial, but they can also rob us of what is really happening. I invite you to experiment and find a spiritual path that works for you. Find something that you are experiencing and feeling for yourself, not something where you have to depend on someone Else’s interpretation. This is your path! No one else can walk it for you.

It is important to highlight my use of the word experiment. Be prudent. Be cautious. Use your instincts. I’m not encouraging anyone to try anything harmful or damaging. I am encouraging people to live. This is your chance to grow. You only get one shot at this moment, embrace the opportunity and let the universe guide you.

Namaste,

Kevin

Portraits of people thinking

Before we all get too excited, I should start with the disclaimer, I haven’t figured it all out yet. So I don’t have the answer to life the universe and everything. But I do have some feel for what it isn’t. Possessions don’t seem to fill the gaps. Volunteer work is wonderful, but it doesn’t seem to pay the bills. And everybody seems to be running down a different path to the finish line.

We can’t all be pastors, stock brokers, software developers or restaurateurs. So what is the perfect job? The Perfect role? How do we connect the longing of our souls with the needs of this world?

Our primary job is to understand ourselves. For some understanding comes quick and their path is obvious. They see an automobile and want to learn everything about it and focus their life’s work on cars. Or they see a person building homes in Mexico and decide they must do whatever it takes to perform that task. Or they simply find something they are passionate about and connect with that. But for others, like myself, it takes time. It takes attention and inner focus to try to determine what drives you and how that could be applied to a vocation.

Slowly, through steps that felt like crawling, I came to understand the intersection of all my paths and my passion. I have gained enough understanding of myself to know what energizes me. I have developed enough vision to create a plan for how I can utilize skills and ability toward a path that I am best suited. And I have come to this place that I am now, writing to you.

It feels fantastic to be in this place where I am focusing my energies on realizing a dream of helping others live more fulfilled lives.

One of the most important part of being where I am, is accepting that I’ve only made one more step down the path. Next month or next year I may find I have to correct coarse, I have to re-evaluate what is working and if I’m still in my strength. But the steps must be taken and now must happen for then to occur.

I wanted to write this up, not just to tell a piece of my story, but also to encourage others to find their story. I believe that we are here in this life to discover our own personal story. Every step we take in our daily lives is part of our education. The mindful awareness of the lessons, as we are taught, can help us with our forward momentum.

I encourage everyone to continue down the path to determine why they are here as an individual. Identify your passions, abilities and the threads that tie your life so far together. Identify the patterns or themes. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help and analysis. Armed with this information go forth boldly and exercise your passion.

I have this written on my office wall to remind me to be true to myself
“In a world where you can be anything… Be Yourself.”

Go out to the world and be yourself

Namaste,

Kevin

BE-yourself-201206

ChakraCommunity.com represents the culmination of many efforts in my life to this point. It is the coming together of a dream and a vision to find something I am passionate about and engage in that activity for a living. I will share more of my story as the website evolves and my post continue, but suffice it to say, this is a big step.

I graduated college in the summer of 1995 and moved to the San Francisco Bay area August of 95 to begin my intense software career. I love software and working on computers, but the nature of the software industry and high tech at large always put me into a stress spiral. I am tenacious and bullheaded and I want to do things the right way. The nature of software is “Bugs Happen”. Designs will change, features will creep, communication will break down at some point in the development cycle a product will be released before it is ready. Tensions will raise… Well, I don’t want to get too far into the woods of developing software, the point is, if you’ve stuck with me this far, you know it’s difficult and that the demands are great, both mentally and physically.

So I came up with a plan, it started as a plan to get out of my stressful job in the software industry. As my awareness grew of what I was putting my body and mind through over the years, so did my angst for change and healing. Ironically this increased my stress, but it also served as the impetus to find a path and move on it.

I am the developer of several iphone apps and an android application which are tools to aid people in mindfulness and meditation. These tools have been adopted by many users and won favor in the mobile community. But the community is scattered and disconnected, and I feel I can do more. So my focus, as this moves forward, is to improve these tools and develop this community as a gathering place people to work on their spiritual path.

This is where you and Chakra Community come into play. I have built this website as a gather place for those I left behind, and the millions of others working stressful jobs and trying to manage their lives and their stress. This site is for you to come and learn from each other, to discuss the challenges you face and the triumphs you experience. I intend to offer guides and tools to enhance your mindfulness and awareness of the tensions we are under and the means of handing those tensions.

In essence, my goals is to help make your lives better.

Welcome to ChakraCommunity.com