The next level is overrated.

Have you been striving so hard for the next level that you forgot to enjoy the present moment?

I just haven’t had much brain this week.  Coincidentally, I have been very happy – Randomly, inexplicably happy.

I have no good reason for it –  except for all the good that has always been there waiting for me to notice.  And this week, I gave up trying to reach my goals long enough to notice how good it is right now.  I mean – when I get to the next level, I’ll just be on to the next level after that, right?

This week, I was just happy enjoying the moment.

I had a nice fire going in the fireplace today, and I looked around the room, and felt the beauty of it, and felt the love of it.  The kind of home that I’ve always wanted –  I don’t mean the physical space (although I have always wanted a fireplace).  I mean the love in our home.

I mean that everything in this home is something that Charles and I created together – we brought nothing with us when we moved to Florida and even sold the car that we drove here. We wanted no souvenirs of the past.  Everything we have, we have together – The third of The Four Agreements we live by.

And Charles called while he was on the road today, and I told him I was afraid I might get unmotivated because I was so happy.  I was afraid that maybe I had to be a little miserable to want to move forward.  I was too content!  And then we both laughed.

Photo: Crazy Staircase by Frank Kovalchek at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Preaching the Chi

One of Charles’ great talents is his ability to meet people where they are, and translate concepts into a language they can understand.

After reading Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I used to tease Charles that he was a Babel fish (one of the many colorful characters in the Hitchhiker’s Guide – When worn in the ear, this fish can translate anything said to you, in any language).

So today, Charles was a Babel fish that was “channeling” his father – the Elder Charlie Stewart, primitive Baptist minister (that’s exactly what it says on his dad’s business card).  Today, Charles Robinson was the preacher man, Lord!   (Those primitive Baptists know how to have  a rockin’ good time while they’re praising God!)

Bringin’ in the Light. Can I get a witness?

From North to South.  Amen.

From East to West.  Hallelujah!

From Street Preacher to Chi Teacher!   Hallelujah!

(Wish I could have got it on video!)

Keep it Light!

Music that gives us chills

Into the Mystic by Ian Burt

There’s some music that just gives us chills.  It’s so tender or poignant or transcendent or so exquisitely passionate, that we’re captivated and soothed.

Here are a few of our recent favorites:

Charles’s picks:
Ave Maria
sung by Beyonce
Nella Fantasia
sung by Sarah Brightman
by Beyonce

(so Charles picked Beyonce twice, but if you’ve ever seen Beyonce in concert, you’ll understand.  She’ll have you completely)

Shanti’s “gives me chills” music picks:
Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap
Let Go by Frou Frou (Frou Frou is the creative combo of Imogen Heap and Guy Sigworth)
The Walk by Imogen Heap

Susan’s music picks:
Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.
More Like Falling in Love by Jason Gray

How can you resist lyrics like this:

Give me rules, I will break them
Show me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be
More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out,
come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

– Jason Gray, from the album “Every Sad Thing is Coming Untrue

Photo Meditation – Into the Mystic by Ian Burt, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution

The truth about us

Charles and Susan Robinson

Okay. So the truth is: We sometimes fumble when we try to describe our work.  It’s sort of like fixing the unfixable and that can be hard to explain.

It’s unfixable because you don’t need fixing.  And we think that’s a good place to begin when you want things to be better.  Begin by being good enough.  And powerful.  And full of worth.  And stronger than you’ve imagined. And more brilliant than you’ve hoped.

And it doesn’t mean you’re broken just because you want to improve your life.  Yes. We’re all a bit messy and maybe even a little bruised.  And we’ve all done things we wish we hadn’t – and don’t want to do again. And there are times when we need some help with getting our lives to line up with who we really are.

So the problems may need fixing.  And the truth is, how you feel is telling you a lot about your relationship with Life.  So we help you find your way to feeling good and then even better than that – by finding your way to yourself.  And then any fixing you want to do gets a whole helluva lot easier. You’ll figure it out once you have a little confidence in your compass.

We’ve helped a whole lot of people in their recovery.  All different kinds of recovery. You may have symptoms, but we don’t believe that any symptom defines who you are. We think you’re looking for something.  So we offer some principles to guide you.

And the truth is, if you want to change your life, the one thing you need more than anything else, is practice.

We support you in practicing what you want, not what you don’t want.

Okay. So the truth is: We help people build relationships. Only we don’t work on the mechanics of your relationships with other people.  We teach dynamics so you can do the mechanics. And, when it comes to relationships, we think you can both have what you want.

We help you go deep before you go wide.  We know that you have to be authentic and find your own balance before you can have balanced, authentic relationships.

And the truth is, the people you want to have in your life actually like you better when you’re real, as much as that may surprise you. So we help you discover and cultivate the relationships you have with your self and with Life, and then extend that connection outwards to others. And not the other way around (which is to say that it doesn’t work to try to make a connection with others and then try to live up to it.  It’ll just make you lonely and fearful.)

And we think you should stop listening to some people. You know the ones.

And okay. So the truth is: We don’t talk in keywords.  We don’t know what a retweet is (but we think we like it!).  We aren’t search engine optimized.  And if you found us, it’s probably because you know someone who loves us.

We don’t know how to package ourselves.  If we have a niche, we don’t know about it.  And we’re done with looking out there for it.

The truth is, we think differently than most people.  Words seem a little upside down and the best thing isn’t always the logical.  Energy may be invisible but it runs the show.

We tell you what works for us.  But if we don’t always know how to describe what it is we do, it’s because we’re not Doing – We think it’s more useful to empty ourselves so that you can get the message you need in the moment, without us calculating or judging or bending you or the message. So that you can pull what you need to hear through us, without us interfering.

We bring a presence that you need to feel safe enough to trust yourself. And we hold a clear intention – to facilitate connection.  3 connections, to be exact.  Those are the relationships we help you build – the connection to yourself, your Source, and to others. We may not know how to describe what connection is but, the truth is, you know it when you feel it. And that’s our passion.

The easy way to happiness

You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.
Eric Hoffer

I’m finding more and more that the things I don’t want are things of my own making.  That I’ve been  making things much too hard on myself – doing things the hard way.  I mean, literally – I assume that certain tasks are hard, so I actually do them the hard way!

I was doing some data entry, for example, and I just had this belief that it was better if I entered more data.  And the more data I entered, the more invalid entries I had.  But I kept at it.  I kept hammering away at correcting the entries and gathering perfected data, until I ran into a situation that couldn’t be corrected by any means except by entering less information.  And – lo and behold – the system works perfectly with very little data and, in fact, with less data, I have fewer entry rejections!  And this is just one tiny example.

I’m smiling while I tell you – I’m now cutting corners all over the place!

And it turns out that being happy is the easy way to get things done.  I’ve had this belief that struggle has to be part of any success equation!  That sentence would be funny except that most of us believe it!

I mean – read that sentence again – struggle has to be part of any success equation?  When you look at it, it’s absolutely self-defeating.  I mean the whole point of trying to gain that success is be happy, right?  So if you’re not happy along the way, then how did you succeed?  By setting up conditions that have to be satisfied before you will allow yourself to be happy?

Believe me, because I’ve had years of experience with setting those requirements, and I can honestly tell you – it’s better to be happy now.

If you make your happiness conditional, there are three possible outcomes:

1) you don’t get what you want and you are unhappy,

2) you get what you want and you are happy very briefly, just until you move on to the new set of conditions that need to be met before you can really be happy, or

3) you get what you want but you don’t know how to enjoy it (because you’ve been unhappy for so long that happiness is unfamiliar and emotionally inaccessible).

None of these outcomes bring lasting happiness!  It’s a losing formula.

The alternative is to allow yourself to be happy, by finding happiness inside.  The source of happiness lies in your focus.  To find something good about now, and focus on it until you feel that goodness inside you.   Until you relax.

I say “allow” because feeling happy is the exact opposite of struggle.  I know when you are troubled you feel like you have to undo something, to fix it.  But the effort you’re making to keep the emotional discomfort controlled, is actually keeping you bound to it.  Happiness doesn’t come that way.  It comes from taking your attention off the pain, releasing it, letting it go.

It’s not denial when you choose to look at life the easy way.  Cut some of those mental corners.

Photo by woodley wonderworks on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0