The call of the mind

I was on a trip with the artist David Langley last month when a mutual friend called his cell phone. Turns out that David had been hoping for a call from her — he’d even been thinking emphatically: I wish she’d call me! Pleeeze, call me.

For personal reasons he didn’t feel he could call her first — it had been six or seven months. Things had ended in an off mode for their friendship . . . whatever it was, he’d been thinking of her, willing her to get in contact, and here it happened right while I was there.

This call of the mind — your mental call going out to others and their response back without any other impetus — is another pointer to the fab universe we swim in.

In the book The World Is Freaky Beautiful I wrote about thinking on an old friend I hadn’t been in contact with for a decade or more . . . it was just me and Gil speaking about her. Shortly afterward, out of the wild blue yonder, she contacted me! After all those years. She contacted me after an intense day spent in her home town, the reason she’d come up in conversation in the first place . . . I’d been in Santa Fe at least ten if not twenty times before in the previous year-ish. This time, after talk about her, after Gil placed her in my casual thoughts, she connected.

I love these sneaky beautiful moments that are almost missable . . . it’s easy to dismiss this call of the mind when someone you speak with often gets in touch moments after thinking about them. Ack, they would have called anyway, you say. But someone you haven’t spoken to in six-seven months . . . or more than ten years?!? (!)

Come on.

Accept it. It’s just another sneaky beautiful reminder of the magnificence awaiting humanity as it comes into its own.

Some other posts that are (mentally) calling you


Next time, pretend honk

The other day I was sitting in the front passenger seat as Ann drove. At a stoplight we were stuck behind a vehicle that didn’t move after the light turned green — when Ann did something unconscious and remarkable. She pretend honked, twice!

It looked like this, her hand “honked” — twice — but each time her palm stopped within an inch of the horn. It was a sweet gesture.

Then something more remarkable happened. Immediately upon her double-pretend honk, the car in front zipped forward, as if the driver had suddenly been alerted.

I believe on some level Ann’s gracious intention to alert him but not alarm him was received . . . .

We know from experience (receiving a call after thinking of someone) and from scientific studies and from stories that others have told us that our minds project and receive impressions from one another . . . so the next time you find yourself impatient for someone to move, why not give it a go? Pretend honk. You may be softly surprised — and leave the world a little less harried. 

Other posts to pretend read


To catch an idea

This post was inspired more than a decade ago by David Gordon. Here’s how it went down:

It started out innocently enough. We were on vacation in Key West — me, Ann, David and Sue Gordon — and we were rolling around the island on rented bicycles. As we looped through the day we lazed our way into a boutique, chattering away as we so love to do G-Force style.

It’s not cool to admit this to the public, sure, but I’m boldly confessing it here: we’ve named our little two-couple group — you have to if both your last names start with G, it’s almost mandatory. (G-Spot lost out. If we’d been a nightclub, then maybe.)

I can no longer recall what the conversation was about that afternoon, but the ramifications have been life altering. Something spurred a thought that needed to be recorded, and I muttered along these lines: “Aw [insert mundane profanity here], if only I had something to write this down to remind me later.”

Sue immediately chirped out in the most birdsong-y way: “If I know my Davey (tweet tweet), he’s got what you need in his pocket.”

And yes, she meant it both ways. That’s Sue, the funny one. We’re there to adore her — and laugh.

And . . . he did. Have what I needed. Even while rolling around Key West in his shorts. Turns out he always carried — and still does — pen and paper to record ideas, wherever they may strike.

I was hooked by his genius! What simplicity. Always there meant always being able to snatch a thought from the vapors and firmly plant it into some kind of quasi-permanence.
From that day forward I too carried pen and paper in pocket, no matter where I went.

Idea catchment device

Alex Bogusky (part of the creative freight train of Crispin Porter + Bogusky) treats ideas as if they are as easy to obtain as water. He gives them away freely — to train his brain to flow ideas out like tap water. He suggests that if you hoard ideas you are training your brain that ideas are difficult to come by, and your brain will act accordingly.

The secret to free-flowing ideas is a means of catchment. If you have pen and paper always handy in some fashion, then ideas take you seriously and multiply.

Ideas are like butterflies. Butterflies need love! Butterflies need attention. Butterflies multiply if given a place to roost. (You can substitute bunnies for butterflies if that floats your boat . . . we all know how a little lovin’ helps bunnies multiply . . . like rabbits!)

If you prefer, instead of pen and paper, you can record your thoughts on your super-duper-smart phone or on your IPad. But I don’t trust anything that disappears. That takes some kind of iron discipline to make sure you dig back into the digital domain and retrieve your stream of notes. I’m a doer not a disciplinist. I’m a lover not a list retrievalist . . . .

Ahhh yes, once again I’ve meandered a bit too far off the trail.

The gist of it is this: Tools matter. You can’t be a carpenter without a hammer. You can’t be an idea person without an idea catcher.

Posts! More posts here! Get yer posts!


Space and time, love and joy

In the way space and time cannot be separated (Einstein said so, so there), neither can love and joy. It is one entity, two qualities. Two attributes within one undiluted essence.


You hear the birds calling to one another in the day . . . that is LoveJoy transmitting.

You lie naked and entwined with your special one . . . LoveJoy at its finest.

You, silent and alone and awash in your deepest self . . . LoveJoy seeps through every humming particle of you.

You dial a friend, you connect with a stranger, you caress a dog . . . LoveJoy manifests.

When you feel love you feel joy, when you give joy you’ve given love. There is no continuum — say more love, less joy, or flipped, less love, more joy — they are intertwined like the strands of your DNA. Like space-time, LoveJoy is an entanglement so complete as to be inseparable.

The next time you engage in an action in which you find no joy, you can be sure there is no love there either. Conversely, the secret to all joy is in that equation . . . . simply love.

Find the love, exude the love, give the love. 

Channel your inner Beatle and . . . love (love is all you need!).

Other posts (because you . . . must . . . have . . . more)

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Problem, what problem?

Today I launch a series I’ve long wanted to do: Inspired text from all time, all teachers, all tribes. The Creative Spirit speaks at all times, which makes it exciting to consider sources beyond our traditional canon of spiritual scriptures such as the Bible, the Gita, Lao Tzu . . .

This text is from Osho, from the book Joy.

This is what enlightenment is all about — a deep understanding that there is no problem.

Then, with no problem to solve, what will you do? Immediately you start living. You will eat, you will sleep, you will love, you will have a chitchat, you will sing, you will dance — what else is there to do? You have become a god, you have started living.

. . . .

If people can dance a little more, sing a little more, be a little crazier, their energy will be flowing more and their problems will by and by disappear.

Hence I insist so much on dance. Dance to orgasm; let the whole energy become dance, and suddenly you will see that you don’t have any head — the energy stuck in the head is moving all around, creating beautiful patterns, pictures, movement. And when you dance there comes a moment when your body is no longer a rigid thing, it becomes flexible, flowing. When you dance there comes a moment when your boundary is no longer so clear; you melt and merge with the cosmos, the boundaries are mixing.

Watch a dancer — you will see that he has become an energy phenomenon, no longer in fixed form, and becoming more alive, more and more alive. But only if you dance yourself will you know what really happens. The head inside disappears; again you are a child. Then you don’t create any problems.

. . . .

Whenever you see that now you are slipping into a problem, catch hold of yourself — run, jump, dance, but don’t get into the problem. Do something immediately so that the energy that was creating the problems becomes fluid, unfrozen, melts, goes back to the cosmos.
. . . .

Use more energy, then fresh energies will be flowing. Just don’t be a miser. Use them today; let today be complete; tomorrow will take care of itself, don’t be worried about tomorrow. The worry, the problem, the anxiety, all simply show one thing: that you are not living rightly, that your life is not yet a celebration, a dance, a festivity. Hence all the problems.

It is easy to link the Sufi poet Rumi to this thought theme. An entire tradition of celebratory dancing prayer was spawned from Rumi’s ecstatic whirling spiritual communion. They are called Whirling Dervishes . . . .

Other posts to peruse


How magnificent you are

Oh you beautiful-ootiful creatures — do you you know how magnificent you are?

Let me remind you.

You’ve helped someone along their way.

You’ve made someone’s workday lighter with a smile.

You’ve made a contribution to better someone else’s life, someone you don’t even know.

You have the spark within you. And you know it. And you cultivate it. That soul spark . . . you fan the flames, you seek to burn free, to burn pure.

At times you emanate pure ooshy-gooshiness to such a degree that your teeth hurt you’re vibrating so high and fast.

How magnificent you are!

You live, you breathe, you laugh, you struggle, you right yourself, you help others right themselves — you pulsate with life. You enjoy, you are joy, you joy it up.

I see you unknotting your knots.

I see you flashing your human spiritedness for all to absorb.

I know you are reaching for the best within yourself, which you flow outward, to all.

I know you. You are the song being sung. You are a thought bubble in eternity, expanding, glistening, creating, eternal.

I know your magnificence. Let this be a reminder if you’ve forgotten.

Posts running along the same track


Flowing the bliss: a followup to a followup

I was thinking about Paul’s story — and especially the last post in that series. I don’t believe this goodness would have rained down on him if joy hadn’t abounded in his gift giving.

In his effortless giving, Paul embodied joy — the joy of giving certainly, but also the joy of contribution, knowing that what he gave contributed in a meaningful way to others. And the joy of connection.

It is said that happiness is an inside job. Connection is an inside/outside job. You can only connect to others from the inside out. We all feel jazzy joy, exuberant joy, joy-oy-oy (!) when we connect.

When I think of the givers I know in my life it strikes me I need to change the term. Givers doesn’t encapsulate the whole. They are bliss flowers, they flow bliss outward. The same vitality exhibited in work and play is evident in the way they contribute. It just flows naturally in every endeavor.

So here’s to joy and all the streams that flow from that place . . . .

Posts from the giving series, in order

And one extra because you’ve earned it

A hundred or so years into the quantum revolution

By now, a hundred or so years into the quantum revolution, you’ve heard of some of the fantastical claims ultra-teeny physics is making:

  • a subatomic unit can be particle or wave (solid like an impossibly tiny pea or insubstantial like a radio signal)
  • two of these little ghostly units can be a solar system apart — a universe apart! — and have instantaneous communication between them
  • the act of observing influences the outcome (!) (really, think about it)
  • and so much more that enchants and confounds the brain
The Great Field

I was trotting along in The Great Field by John James (PhD in case you care) when I came across this mesmerizing bit of information about (supposedly) empty space:

We now know that even in the emptiest space possible there lies an all-pervasive field of energy, a field so enormous that where there should be a total cessation of activity, it still contains more energy than all the matter in the universe put together. The quantity of energy is so staggering that it beggars understanding. It is not just ten or a thousand times greater, but 1040 times. This is enough to create an infinite number of universes like the one we are expending all our efforts to understand . . . .

I’ve read this in a number of books, put in different contexts, and it always blows the top off my mind. Richard Feynman, the impish physicist, put it another way: there’s so much energy in a small slice of (seemingly) empty space that, could we harvest it, we could boil the oceans. Not that we’d want to.

The new spirituality speaks of Energy, a living information soul love current undergirding all that is. If empty space contains energy unimaginable, how much greater is the Energy from which you come? How much greater is the Energy you can access? How much greater is the Soul Energy Life Force you can tap . . . and flow . . . to powerful effect . . . . 

Note: It was purely accidental that the mashup of terms in the last sentence yielded the acronym SELF . . . or was it?! (Insert wink, wink from the Universe here.)

Random, unrelated posts . . . but go with it


Many voices, one Spirit

Today’s scripture comes from sources too numerous to number

It’s the most beautiful thing

Wisdom isn’t entombed only in ancient text

Insight abounds

Genius spills out

Spirit speaks always

At all times


Through many voices

Including yours

Listen for it . . . 

Related posts


The persistence of patterns: Gummed up version

I carry packets of gum with me at all times and always insist on chewing — or handing out — two gum chiclets at a time. They’re smallish.

My friend Russell insisted — more firmly — on receiving only one. He should have taken two — he seems to have a large-type head, which would imply a robust oral capacity, but noooo, he would take only one. You too would pity his poor mouth, all the extra work it had to do, pushing around that tiny speck of gum to try and cover all those big white teeth before the flavor turned to paste. This is how jaw problems develop. I was only trying to protect him.

So now, every time I get to the end of a packet, there’s one odd lonely piece of gum remaining instead of two. I grab an additional piece of gum from the next packet to make my pair and we’re off — this new packet, you can be sure of it, will also have one lone piece stranded at the end by itself.

This pattern has persisted for months!

I last saw Russell three months ago. I’ve gone through at least 10 to 12 packets of gum in the intervening time — and always, always there’s one unmatched piece at the end of each one. Curse you Russell Harris!

Not that I truly mind, of course. The end of each packet evinces a rueful smile and I get a fond moment thinking on a friend. And . . . I get a certain wonderment, in noticing the perpetuation of a pattern.

Bribing an eight-year old backfires

I tried to bribe an eight-year old to take only one piece to even out the flow, but my son would have none of that. He lifted four as retribution for that suggestion. It put me that much closer to the lone holdover at the end . . . .

People persist in patterns! It’s the most unique thing. A person can be long gone and you will notice patterns that refer back to their existence. We have a couch from our friend Paul, whose habit of sitting at one end and laying his head back indented the cushions and will for years remind us of his presence. Others have planted trees that long outlast them. Some have phrases we continue to utter ourselves . . .

Events persist in patterns. Like when you get clogged in traffic and finally break free into the free flow without coming upon the event that caused the congestion. The event — the accident, the breakdown — may have been long removed but the clogged pattern in that area persists.

I recall reading a study that indicated some traffic pattern changes remain subtly in urban areas for up to four hours after the removal of the cause. This was eons ago, maybe it’s longer now.

Life, patterns, persistence in time. It’s why we all must be aware of our patterns — and tweak them if we are to unsnarl blockage over time.

Patterns need not be perpetual. Sometimes it’s just a tweak — taking up walking each morning, leveling up for 15 minutes a day in some area, opening an envelope of time for daily reflection — that makes all the change you need for a new, better, healthier, more vibrant, zesty, alive pattern to emerge.

Other posts, cuz you know you want to