MK2 Wk20: Performance Pattern

Feeling endings and transitions in a deeply negative way, I realize my habitual pattern is to drop-off at the end of an experience. I try to escape the finish line. It scares me. My pattern has been to quietly step away in the winding-down phase, hoping to avoid the pain of the finish-line entirely.

I have attached separation and sadness to finish lines, envisioning the beauty of the experience dropping into a deep, forever-gone chasm. Recognizing this and knowing  my power to think, I realize I can attach a new emotion and view the finishing phase in a new light. I can create a new reality for myself.

I’m able to choose to focus on celebrating new skills, tools, accomplishments and relationships. Carrying these forward I see they’ll embellish and nourish greater beauty and delight in each next-phase of life. It’s a beautiful thing trusting the new phase will be nourished and supported by the building blocks gleaned both yesterday and now. Engaging deeply and well with the wonder and joy of life today plants seed for the beauty and “yes” of life both now and tomorrow.

Re-framing the finish line, I see the beauty I now have to carry forward. There’s a party at the end and I’m part of it! There’s celebration in the Wow-of-now and in noticing how far I’ve come.

I’m thankful my awareness was drawn to this pattern. I clearly have a choice. Does the pattern of quietly, gradually evaporating toward the ending of the MKE or anything serve me? The personal growth stretch will be staying engaged to the end, staying the course and finishing well, NOT limping over the finish line completing the bare minimum.

I am gathering the tools, re-engaging the routine and people I’ve grown to love and respect. I am embracing the scary growing and stretching path. Taking a deep, peaceful breath I realize this is a tool I want in my toolbox and a personal-party I don’t want to miss.




Our family was enjoying the beautiful white sand Lake Michigan beach the day my dad died. Everyone laughed and played together and I found an unusual piece of gun-shaped driftwood.

Fast forward 2 days and a police officer showed up at my home. An officer carrying a gun and the news that my dad shot and killed himself. Not sure of the exact day, but somewhere around the sunny-beach day and the gun shaped driftwood find, my father used a gun to end his life.

My neighbor friend Mary showed up at the door later that day. Mary’s first words were, “How can I be helpful?” “How can I be helpful” were the most beautiful and memorable words of the event.

There was nothing Mary could do to either change anything or help in any tangible way. But she was fully my friend, fully present and I knew 100% whatever I might need, not only for the moment but for what felt like forever, Mary was there.

And for the last 35 years she has been. She’s brought vases of fresh flowers, meals, visits and walks when some years later the world turned upside down yet again. Being helpful walked out across the last 35 years and an entire lifetime of grace-filled service to me, her family, other friends and total strangers.

The tragic ending of the life of my father was like a sudden gunshot, sending shockwaves of grief and bewilderment down through these years. But, more than that, the waves of “How can I be helpful” created a mantra and life perspective continuing to build a legacy of intentional kindness and a helping hand into today. Living each day as if it’s my last, because one never knows.

My fathers’ sad last day on this earth ended in reverberating pain through time. But that day is deeply marked by those 5 simple words spoken by my friend Mary.

MKE2 Wk 18: Concentrate

Concentration and focus have been a recurring theme throughout the MKE journey. It’s no surprise that it loops again in the final thoughts of lesson 19. Haanel 19:27 “For your exercise this week, concentrate, and when I use the word concentrate I mean all the word implies; become so absorbed in the object of your thought that you are conscious of nothing else.”

I’ve struggled with this.  My mind has spent moments, months and now over a year wondering various paths. I decide to focus then find my mind wandering. I’m repeatedly, gently bringing it back to the question or idea.

Suddenly I’m noticing what’s been here all along: a method for developing focus.

Og Mandino says in Scroll 4 of “The Greatest Salesman”, “I will concentrate my energy on the challenge of the moment and my actions will help me forget all else.”

Concentration of (thought or physical energy) PLUS action is apparently one key.

Going back to the early Karate Kid movie clip I see concentration means paying attention AND doing something with detailed excellence or repetition. Wax on/ wax off in the movie trained the motion, but there’s more. Waxing a car and mowing a lawn (both tasks in the movie) are tasks requiring paying attention.

What are the ramifications of living life from the perspective of tasks attentively done well?

Accomplishing fewer things on the list-of -the -day.

Each task taking a bit longer.

The peace in my heart may rise when things meeting my eye in each space actually belong in the space.

I may plan for breathing space in our schedule. Allowing more time between activities may give me time to finish  and enjoy activities before moving on to the next one.

Without getting carried off into the land-of-high- expectations, I’m choosing to do one thing. I am making my bed with excellence. Taking extra minutes to tug sheets, straighten and tuck blankets and fluff pillows finishes the task the way I was taught to make the bed.

Stepping away to enjoy my beautiful bed I feel satisfied. I honestly did my best. Each time I walk through or past the bedroom I glance  at that bed and feel appreciation and joy for the work I did.

Attending to the task and the moment in one area will increase my concentration capacity in other areas, too.

How have you successfully trained concentration.?

MK2 WK17hj: Walking with Fear

Hero’s Journey. The sound of it speaks of adventurous exploits and brave paths going where no person has gone before. And so it is. Going into my heart and answering the question WHAT DO YOU WANT, Miriam? This is the synthesizing question. Then having the courage to take the next step forward toward that goal and the step after, and so on, until I reach the goal.

Fear is available to protect me at every turn. It whispers (or screams), warning me to stay in the place of safety. Suggesting that safety, where I know how life works and what the landscape looks like is what I really need. But I don’t. There’s something inside of me drawing me to grow, to become become better and more than I am.

So, thanking the fear for its protective heart, I’m quietly letting fear know it’s safe to move on. The goal isn’t to know every detail or be assured up front of how life will be. The goal is to grow and explore and embrace the adventure.

Hush please, fear. And if you cannot, it’s okay. I’m acknowledging and thanking you and walking forward toward adventurous exploits and brave paths. I don’t know what’s around the next bend, but together my fear and I will find out!


Our current Master Key experience is developing awareness of character qualities we may not have been aware of withinside of ourselves. Shining a light of focus on one quality weekly, I’m seeing an abundance of each one…. and the abundance pile gets bigger earlier in the week. I simply observe and notice. The pile grows!

This week, I’m persistent. I’ve steadfastly continued forward, despite sometimes feeling like a weed-wanderer and today something opened! There was a moment where I FELT like love! In that epiphanized moment there was a shift from thinking about love, speaking love or having loving-kindness in my head space, to feeling like I’m made of the particalized fabric of love. I felt a love-connection to everything around me.

I thought of the Jesus Movement in the late ‘60’s. What a glorious and powerful experience that must’ve been. Separating its purity from the drugs, etc. there must’ve been a similar atmosphere to the peace, joy and ethereal unity I felt in a moment today.

I’ve heard the comment, “You were made first class, by first class, for first class” a few times over the course of my Master Key experience. Today I have a new knowing-place: I was made by Love, conceived in Love, created for Love, and all by and through the very God of Love Himself.

From this moment, I neeeed to live LIFE in that place! I need more, Lord.

Thank you.

MK2 WK16: Lori said…

The Master Key Experience has unveiled the secret that most people are NOT living true to who they really are. That means I’m not the “me” I was created to be and you’re maybe not you either. My challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to do the amazing work of discovering and unveiling the truth of who I am created to be. This Hero’s Journey answers the call to delight and engagement with deep, enjoyable and passionate LIFE! The real-deal life I was created to live. Actual ME living my actual ME life.

I mentioned in an earlier post that this ME is yet to be revealed, despite my second full MKE go-round. But tonight Lori gave me a smidge of an inkling into the possible time required. She said that some people with more years on the planet have more years lugging the cement around and more years piling it on. (These are my words not Lori’s… but you get the drift. Older may mean more to off-load and therefore take a bit longer.)

I’ve thought about this before, but I didn’t want to grasp at an age-related excuse in this arena. I don’t subscribe to age-related excuses in any arena, so haven’t been an early considerer of that here. But, since Lori mentioned it on the live broadcast tonight, I’m planning to give myself a bit’o grace. 66 years of piled on cement “you should’s” and “you ought to’s” and subtly raised eyebrows at the slightest hint at non-conformity might truly mean thicker cement than someone hauling around say 22 years or 38.5 years of the same suffocating glop.

So, this week I’ve added one new passion to my progressively revealing Definite Major Purpose. I’m now giving myself the benefit of accepting the possibility that more time on this earth with other humans may mean it might take an extra day or two to off-load the should’s and the ought-to’s and reveal the full shine of myself.


MKE2 WK15: Takin’ a Step

The Master Key Experience (MKE) encourages us to dig deeply into who we were created to be. Reading one Og Mandino Scroll from the Greatest Salesman daily, as well as a series of other tasks and readings helps us progressively release the person we THOUGHT we were (created by expectations and perspectives of others) freeing our “true self” to unfold and shine forth.

I’ve wandered through multiple versions of what I really want and who I was created to be. But, so far nothing has sparked happy passion or enthusiasm. I’m learning to be okay with curious uncertainty, so lacking understanding about my purpose or dharma, I settled elsewhere.

My current plan focuses on two things:

First: I chose the emotional state I want to live in as a happy, light, peaceful life. Until my DMP (Definite Major Purpose) is unveiled, I’m observing when I’m experiencing this emotional delight. My plan is to notice what I’m doing and thinking at that time and simply do more of that.

Second: I noticed last week that I feel really passionate about my shoulder recovery. I’ve had extensive shoulder surgery so I’m “swinging for the fences” and working toward total restoration and full function. I’m fully confident that multiple Physical Therapy regimen repeats daily, eating an anti-inflammatory diet and drinking lotsa water will completely restore both range and function.

These plans are surely NOT the sum total of why I was given life on this planet. But, I’m loving the passion and focus of moving toward one thing that resonates and genuinely matters to me.

If other people can discover their DMP (Definite Major Purpose), the powerful, beautiful expression of their reason for being here, I can too. Until that unfoldment, I’m developing discipline and feeling the fun and emotion of a DMP… on training wheels. My shoulder is gaining range and strength at a gentle-lightening speed and I’m confident I will lift weights again sooner rather than later.

I’m not where I thought I’d be at this time in the course, but a month from now I’ll be in another new place. Life is meant to be fun and I’m having fun, so it’s good. (Faster will be good too:)