The lazy way to productivity

For the stressed and overworked, Jim Haug offers a counterintuitive solution. If you can’t take time off, show up but show up lazy:

There are days when I so don’t want to go to work. I then tell myself, “Oh, just go and be really lazy at work.”

Then through some perverse law of paradoxical intent, he finds himself being oddly productive.

Somehow I get a lot more done than when I think about how hard I am working.

The moment I read this my mind leapt to those days when I lazed around and then suddenly kicked into supernova gear. What would have taken hours, eons, flew by in minutes in my refreshed supermode.

There’s something freeing about discarding a method — hard work or nothing, dammit! — yet moving in the direction of the ultimate goal in a more playful mood.

Isn’t that the same thing essentially when we take a break and come back renewed?

Jim says it’s a reverse psychology that has proven effective for him. When he embraces laziness “there’s less ego involved and I am able to concentrate on the actual work.”



Among the creators

I relish being among creators. Creators of anything: business, art, books, lifestyle, interesting moments — I float when in the presence of those who carve their own way through the thicket.

You can tell when you’re among creators. I can’t do that isn’t accepted. Experiments always seem to be afoot. 

What I’ve learned from years in the art business is how much creativity is not limited to so-called artistic types.

For example: My son calls my brother, an attorney, for a commitment on a charity run for school. 

The first words — after yes — out of Tony’s mouth? Hmmm, let’s make this interesting . . . 

And you know what he does? He challenges Zane to accomplish more by upping the commitment level for extra laps he runs, with ratchet points for even greater rewards — and if he’s able to do the maximum, whoa, payday.

Creativity is buzzing everywhere for those who live it. There’s an impishness inherent to creators . . . let’s try something, anything reigns supreme . . . 



Evan One and Evan Two: A tale of spirituality and sexuality

Is this you, too? 

I am two in one, twenty in one! Perhaps you are as well, as multiple aspects of yourself vie for expression. 

Et tu? 

But for convenience sake, let’s keep it simple, Evan One and Evan Two. 

For example, Evan One enjoys lofty conversation, and hummus; Evan Two loves him some sex.

If it’s sexual, that’s probably Evan Two. Evan Two used to be Evan One — for oh so many years — but One is more dominant now. Evan Two still likes looking at photos of naked women — wait, Evan Two wants to step in here . . . 

E2: Likes? Loves! Women are natural and beautiful, and naked even more so. Back to you One. 

E1: See what I mean? Two still likes flatulent humor.

E2: Loves. 

E1: (sighs) God, our nine-year old probably prefers Two. 

E2: Except when he’s been bad . . . you’re more understanding. 

E1: Zane is never bad, he just– 

E2: Thanks for double making my point there, One.

As I evolve, what I was fades while what I aspire to become moves to the foreground. Though there used to be battles for supremacy with dramatic turns of direction — meditating on a lawn in stinky clothes after an all-night fling at sensual abandon — now it happens more smoothly. 

It flows organically, this personal evolution, the way power change does in a democracy when one party gives it up to the other (and then brays from the sidelines). It flows because One doesn’t dislike or disown Two. One, over time, simply gets more attention — because One is where the growth is — and Two eases to the passenger seat.

In The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford encourages us to embrace our dark side, that there we will find wholeness. It’s a way to integrate light and dark without a bitter divide.

Listen in as she tells of her own juicy epiphany:

I was at a Leadership Intensive seminar led by a woman named Jan Smith. In the middle of the seminar, I was standing up in front of the group speaking when suddenly Jan looked at me and said, “You’re a bitch.”

My heart sank. How did she know? I knew I was a bitch, but I had been trying desperately to get rid of this part of myself. I had worked hard to be sweet and generous to compensate for this awful trait. 

Then, dispassionately, Jan asked me why I hated this part of myself. Feeling small and stupid, I told her it was the part of me that caused me the most shame. I said that being a bitch had only brought myself and others pain. 

Then Jan said: “What you don’t own, owns you.” 

I could see how being a bitch owned me, I worried about it all the time, but I still didn’t want to own it. 

“What is good about being a bitch?” she asked. 

As far as I could see there was nothing good about it. But then she said, “If you were building a house, and the contractors were running over budget and were three weeks late, do you think it would help to be a little bitchy?” 

Of course, I said yes. 

“When you need to return merchandise in your business, does it help to be a bitch at times?” 

Of course, I said yes. Jan asked me if I could see now that being a bitch at certain times was not only useful but a great quality to possess if you wanted to get things done in the world. 

Suddenly this part of myself — which I’d tried desperately to hide, deny, and suppress — was set free. My whole body felt different. It was as if I had just dropped a hundred-pound weight from around my neck. Jan had taken this aspect of myself and showed me that it was a gift, that it was not something to feel shameful about. If I allowed it to exist, I wouldn’t have to act it out. I would be able to use it, instead of it using me. 

After that day, my life was never the same.  

One and Two (and Three and Four and Seventeen) are not even lightness and darkness, for me . . . it is greater and lesser. One is the greater self now, Two is of lesser interest now. But the idea of integration — a spirituality that revels in sexuality . . . and can also go full nine-year old when it wants — that is a wholeness worth living!



The Versatile Blogger Nomination . . .

. . . goes to me . . . and if I do the math properly, fifteen million other bloggers. 

If you look at the rules below, you’ll see what I mean about trazillions of other bloggers eventually being nominated too . . . ‘eventually’ being within a fruit fly generation or two.

Though I poke fun at the open-ended nominating process . . . when you are nominated by a blogger you respect immensely, as I’ve been, it feels mighty good, like sun in February.

Here’s how it works

The rules of accepting the nomination are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated me.
  • Include a link to his/her blog.
  • Nominate fifteen blogs I enjoy and follow.
  • Lastly, tell you seven things about myself. 

The easiest parts will be the first three, so let’s go–

Thank you my inspirational hero Travis Thomas! I am honored by your nomination. You had the decency to only choose a handful and not go the full monty to fifteen . . . . I will do my best to follow your example and keep the nominations to the few blogs I care about passionately.

Travis was one of the inspirations leading to this blog. You can find him doing exciting work at Thirty Days of Yes! I know because I’ve been one of the participants.

Is it OK if I quote myself? 

Sure, why not, I hear you murmur. 

This is from a comment I addressed to Travis on his site . . . it will let you know in the tiniest possible way how much I respect what this man does in the world:

In conversation, you are Yes incarnate. When speaking with you, even if only for a few minutes, I’ve always come away with a greater sense of awe and a greater sense of the possible. 

You are a rare avian creature, somehow able to keep your vision aloft regardless of circumstance — and you perform this same magic for others! No one can come away from a conversation with you without feeling uplifted to the highest. 

Here I want to address anyone considering coaching from Travis or a 30 Days of Yes program. Do it! Just do it! Travis is as infectious as he is insightful. 

Get him now while he’s cheap. Someday you’re going to (happily) pay a lot of money to be in his audience. He’s affordable for now. Go have the time of your life while improving your life — as I have.

So there you have it.

The blogs I nominate are . . . 
Christopher Foster, nearing eighty in human years, nearing infinity in wisdom years, is a spiritual father to me though he doesn’t know it. And I’m sure to many others as well.

Good Vibe Blog
Jeannette Maw focuses in the most delicious ways on the Law of Attraction. She is funny, open about experience gone good and bad, and insightful. She also inspires pithy commentary from her readers.

Zen Habits
Saying you like this site is like saying you like the ocean — so many people have been there before you and have paid tribute in such myriad ways that you feel puny for even attempting to add your own revelation into the mix. I found Zen Habits after starting The World is Freaky Beautiful this past year — very late to the party, I know — and reveled in the spaciousness I knew could exist on the Internet but hadn’t yet come across. Zenplicity incarnate.

Thinking Through
Peter Bolland, a philosophy professor, doesn’t write often but when he does it’s a deep drink at the well. His tagline is: 

Philosophy, Mythology, Spirituality and Transformational Wisdom

What more could you want? Oh, sensuality, you can get that from other sites . . . 

Deliberate Receiving Blog
A second Law of Attractioner — I just found Melody Fletcher’s site recently and became an insta-fan. This feisty personality takes on tough questions with elan (defined as dash, impetuous ardor by Try not to become insta-addicted.

Write to Done
All about writing and blogging and such. Though founded by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, it is Mary Jaksch who is the magician in the machinery. She has attained a level of mastery comparable to fine swordsmanship — swordspersonship? — she cuts through the excess effortlessly, so that every tiny jot is pure artistry in information.

Yikes, almost forgot . . . to tell you seven things about myself . . .
  1. I am besotted with my wife. (We’ve been together over fifteen years, so it’s no la la la, love-in-springtime kind of thing. This thing’s been road tested by time, baby, and I’m jazzed about her the way a seventeen-year old lustily loves his first love.)
  2. I am crazily, emphatically in love with our son Zane, a joy boy of nine. There’s not much that isn’t better with him around.
  3. Though I write a spiritually-oriented blog . . . I must confess I drink the Dew, Mountain Dew, often enough that a good friend’s nickname for me is Dew. Dew Be Dew Be Dew . . . I’m not proud of it, I just thought you should know.
  4. My wife and I own a contemporary art gallery.
  5. Everyday people amaze me. I find gifts in everyone.
  6. We live on 1.3 acres overlooking a preserve in Florida, with a dense treeline for neighbors.
  7. Enough about me — you are amazing for having read this far! Get on with your day!

From the worst to the best in one year: Experience changes in the light of new experience

Just yesterday I was hanging out in the lobby of my son’s martial arts center when a new friend — let’s call her Tae Kwon Do Mom — mused on this idea: 

How quickly things can change from the worst to the best.

A friend of hers — a woman in her early fifties — only a little over a year ago went through a divorce. One day her husband of around fifteen years came home and simply said I can’t do this anymore

Then it was over, like an open door slamming shut in a harsh wind. This woman plunged into “the worst experience of her life.” Even though the marriage had been slogging along in mediocre mode for years, it hit her hard and badly. 

You too can imagine the disorientation you’d feel in a similar circumstance as your expected life is cleaved apart and you’re left with nothing . . . (seemingly).

This is a Freaky Beautiful post, baby cakes, so let’s fast forward to today!

A year later this woman has met a successful author and they are embarking on a world tour together. A time of travel, exploration and bad toilet paper. 

Had the worst not happened . . . . you know where this is going, you ninjas of the mind, you! — so let’s get right there and feast on this possibility:

 The bad is not necessarily bad. 

A more amusing game for life might be this when something distressful comes along — to wait awhile to see what good comes of it. The good might just be mighty good. And the bad, meh, might not have been so bad after all.

More, there’s always so much more


Sales are up 50% this year

When I started The World is Freaky Beautiful blog a year-ish ago . . . let’s put it this way, we had so much business debt that had we been Greek we’d have been rioting in the streets. 

The numbers — which supposedly do not lie — were screaming at us: It’s over!

Ominous, dirge-like music played in our heads. We were on the cusp of losing the person most central to our mission . . . The off-season was coming on and the numbers (remember, they don’t lie) were clear that we’d be closing that summer after fifteen years in business.

So it was indeed the perfect time to start a blog site dedicated to this freakishly beautiful life and all its wonders.

I can’t say that it’s because I started this project in the face of doom that sales are up 50% this year. 

That is due to many factors. We hung on long past when the majority of our competitors folded. Ann came back into the gallery after a nine-year hiatus, changing up the energy. The economy is re-surging (but it’s not up 50% . . . the economy may need Ann too).

So many reasons but defying reality by insisting on finding the good when overloaded with the (seeming) bad is never a bad idea.

I would go one step further: It wasn’t defying reality, it was creating reality anew, in a form more pleasing to the mind’s eye — by repeatedly choosing to see the insanely amazing. 

Though the difficulties remain formidable I wouldn’t bet against us.



On a quiet mission: A celebration

Have you noticed those highly effective people who are not Trump bombastic? They manage to do and be to their highest levels, quietly, without trumpets blaring.

Lately I’ve taken to noticing the quietly effective and I’m finding them in all walks of life. Some of the most successful people I know simply go about what they do with a kind of vigorous calm. 

Many I deal with in everyday situations do the same: Execute their duties with transcendent serenity. 

They’re not rapping in your face about their awesomeness. 

As much as I love the sheer ego juice of a Muhammad Ali — I am the greatest! — how annoying would this be to suffer this self love at every turn, from your carpenter (who truly is the greatest), your insurance agent, your anybody you deal with . . . . ?

So this is my love song to you — to all of you who do your jobs magnificently without trumpeting your magnificence. Being low-key about being good at what you do . . . is a grace note to the rest of us.

Pssst, quietly, shhhh, here’s more


The difference between pre-death, near-death, and post-death experiences

It wasn’t until I began reading a book recently about
the surprising events surrounding and foretelling the death of a
nine-year old that I discerned the stark differences between pre-death,
near-death and post-death experiences.

It’s not as if I had a reason. Once you become intrigued with spiritual experience, however,  you can’t help but go beyond the possibilities allowed by current-day science. 

(Though not for long. I’m reading a book recommended by Corina Pelloni about string theory and its offspring, M-theory. In it other dimensions are not only posited, they are required . . . .)
Cracks in the cosmic container can sometimes be glimpsed in dramatic personal events, and nothing is more intense than death and all that surrounds it. This is as true for the dying as it is for the surviving.

Pre-death experiences most often occur to the one who is about to die . . . generally premonitions, visions, dreams . . . though often dismissed they can turn out to be eerily prophetic as events unfurl. 

Family, companions, those with a strong bond may sometimes get clear signals also.
Or the pre-death experience can come as a warning. Avoid this foreseen thing and you’ll be fine.

In the future I’ll be sharing some extraordinary experiences surrounding one such case, where the pre-death experiences weren’t cautionary in tone, more like a spirit-enhancing gift to indicate powerfully that, yes, there is so much more.

Near-death experiences you’ve likely heard much about. 

Virtually an undiscussed topic until pioneers in science began detailing these experiences in recent decades, they are now commonly enough disseminated throughout the culture that in Shrek, the animated movie, when the ogre Shrek is injured the Donkey shouts out:

Don’t die, Shrek, and if you see any long tunnels, stay away from the light!

These experiences by definition can only be experienced by the one going through it. Literally, you must die/near die to partake in this adventure.

Within the next month I’ll also be sharing some special passages from one such event, related in detail. 

Post-death experiences
can only be lived by the survivors. They also include dreams, visions, feelings of the overpowering presence of the departed, signs, messages . . . inexplicable but understandable phenomena.

Wrapping up this series I’ll relate the experience of a friend who recently lost her Mom . . . and possibly even something I experienced personally, if OK’d by the close friend entangled with the episode. 

What is so fascinating about these experiences?
They are peeps into the Great Mystery, some kind of brief fissure opening between realms. 

And these openings occur to millions, not dozens. I know this because several people I know have had intense experiences along these lines, as have I — and it’s not a common topic of conversation.

Multiply that out into the human populace and you get millions, likely hundreds of millions who’ve had glancing experience with the Inexplicable, who’ve come away awed.

More (you see what I mean?)


Speaking with your angels (sort of)

If you’re speaking with your angels, you want your angels to declare themselves unequivocally. 

You want something undeniably certain and personal so that you can know it is your angels — just like the signs we ask of God. 


Angels, wow . . . did you get that off the Internet?


OK, that’s getting better. 


Now we’re talking angelic hosts .. . .

But the angels don’t speak like that, not my angels that day. It’s only natural to want undeniable proof, but it’s not the way of this existence.

Through angel whisperer Brian Reekers — whom we’d heard of through Peg (featured in The infectious explorer) — here’s what the angels had to say:

Put the binoculars down, don’t be looking so far down the road. The future has not yet been chosen. 

Be in the moment. You will find peace there. 

Time to let go of fear . .
(but fear is my friend and companion of the past three years, I heard myself say, couldn’t I let go of . . . gluttony?)

Know you will be guided every step of the way. 

Choose to know, it is powerful.
I think . . . 
I believe . . .
I know . . . 
Choosing to know contains the most power. 

Don’t worry, the angels have got your back! 

Be aware of signs, like finding coins — that’s them letting you know they’re there. It’s like leaving breadcrumbs along the path to remind you. 

Learn to listen with your heart. It’s your head that lives in fear. 

View your business as saved already — 

See it as you want it to be — just a few minutes, start the day with that. Sit quietly and see it as you want to see it. 

You would benefit greatly by finding ways to connect throughout the day — Take two minutes whenever you can. Call in the angels if needed. 

Question: How to get there faster (creative income)? 

You already know. You could go for it exclusively, give everything else up to make it happen. But that would cause too much distraction in your life to do that. 

Writing is your soul work. 

The business is the business. 

What you’re doing with Freaky Beautiful is why you showed up. 

Ease into it, it will come to be and will gradually become your primary focus in time. 

Be patient with the process. 

You are going in the right direction. 

Someone might buy the gallery down the road. 

Focus on the blessing of the non-monetary abundance in your life. 

Family space — you are creating a bubble of safety for Zane to become who he needs to be in the world, with your loving environment. 

And finally: 

Remember you’re absolutely perfect as you are.  

Right now. 


You too can Angel Up through Brian Reekers of Angelic Intuition.



What do Abraham Lincoln’s premonitions hint at?

Famously, Abraham Lincoln had premonitions of his own death.  

The first occurred when gazing in a mirror in his Illinois home, not long after first being elected President. He saw, or imagined he saw, his reflection twice. The first as he expected, alive, healthy, natural; the second image seemed to be a lifeless version of himself. It so startled him that he rose and took a walk.

Lincoln interpreted this waking vision to mean he would serve twice as president, but would not live through the second term.

Years later, just before his assassination, he had the below dream.

The details were recorded by Ward Hill Lamon, a former law partner of Lincoln’s, who also served as his bodyguard from time to time during his presidency.

According to Lamon, he transcribed what Lincoln said “as nearly in his own words as I can, from notes which I made immediately after its recital.”:

About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream.

There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible.

I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break?

I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered.

There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.

‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers.

‘The President’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin!’

Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream.

The only reason we know about this prophetic dream is because Lincoln recounted it to others  not long before he was assassinated  and one person wrote it down. 

How many other such messages are lost when death comes, because the person receiving the signals doesn’t recognize their importance  or does, and yet does not share them with others?

Yes, there is the morbid side to this, but there is also the extraordinary . . . the leakage into space-time awareness of what should be impossible, a glimpse into a future event.

Humanity is but a babe in the cosmos.

What is known (by us) is just a sliver of what can be known. We’ve come leagues in just the past few hundred years . . . and yet there will be understandings unfolding in the millennia to come that will surprise and delight the bejesus out of us. 

Incidents like these are teasers. They are sign posts crying out to be open. To not shut down. To be open to the Mystery.

What we think is possible is wrong! Not wrong, maybe, but infantile in our perception. It’s inaccurate at best.

There’s always more. There’s always a greater connection, a greater meaning. There’s always more. It is the exciting promise of life.

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