Let Your Light Shine to Reach Your Potential

It has always mystified me how some people never get done what they had planed on doing in life.  They get caught up in what is known as paralysis by analysis and never get really started living.  The old Chinese Proverb that says “A journey of 1000 miles begins as a single step”, is so true in reaching our potentials.

I read a story the other night that really makes my point.

A few nights ago a peculiar thing happened.  An electrical storm caused a blackout in our neighborhood.  When the lights went out, I felt my way through the darkness into the storage closet where we keep the candles for nights like this.  Through the glow of a lit match I looked up on the shelf where the candles were stored.  There they were, already positioned in their stands, melted to various degrees by previous missions.  I took my match and lit one of them.

How it illuminated the storage room!  What had been a veil of blackness suddenly radiated with soft, joyous golden light!  I could see the freezer I had just bumped with my knee.  And I could see my tools that needed to be straightened.

“How joyful it is to have light!”  I said out loud, and then spoke to the candle.  “If you do such a good job here in the storage closet, just wait till I get you out where you’re really needed!  I’ll put you on the table so we can eat.  Or I’ll put you on my desk so I can read”.  I took down the lit candle, “I think I’ll put you in the living room where you can light up the whole area.”  (I felt a bit foolish talking to a candle—but what do you do when the lights go out?)

I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice, “Now, hold it right there.”

I stopped.  Somebody’s in here!  I thought.  Then I relaxed.  It’s just my wife teasing me for talking to a candle.  “OK, honey, cut the kidding,”  I said in the simidarkness.  No answer.  Hmm, maybe it was the wind.  I took another step.

“Hold it, I said!”  There was that voice again.  My hands began to sweat.  “Who said that?”  “I did.”  The voice was near my hand.  “Who are you?  What are you?”

“I’m a candle.”  I looked at the candle I was holding.  It was burning a strong, golden flame.  It was red and sat on a heavy wooden candle holder that had a firm handle.

I looked around once more to see if the voice could be coming from another source.  “There’s no one here but you and me,” the voice informed me.

I lifted up the candle to take a closer look.  You won’t believe what I saw.  There was a tiny face in the wax.  (I told you you wouldn’t believe me.)  Not just a wax face that someone had carved, but a moving, functioning, fleshlike face full of expression and life.

“Don’t take me out of here!”  “What?”  “I said, Don’t take me out of this room.”

“What do you mean?  I have to take you out.  You’re a candle.  You job is to give light and joy to others.  It’s dark and scary out there.  People are stubbing their toes and walking into walls.  You have to come out and light up the place!”

“But you can’t take me out.  I’m not ready.” The candle explained with pleading eyes.  “I need more preparation.”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  “More preparation?”

“Yeah, I’ve decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won’t go out and make a bunch of mistakes.  You’d be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be.  So I’m doing some studying.  I just finished a book on wind resistance,  I’m in the middle of a great series of tapes on wick build-up and conservation—and I’m reading the new bestseller on flame display.  Have you heard of it?”

“No,” I answered.

“You might like it.  It’s called Waxing Eloquently.”

“That really sounds inter—” I caught myself.  What am I doing?  I’m in here conversing with a candle while my wife is out there in the darkness!

“All right then, I said.  “You’re not the only candle on the shelf” as I blew the candle out!

As Max De Pree said, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

<strong>So step out and begin letting your light shine.</strong>

Aurora Colorado violence: relationship literacy = domestic harmony

The Aurora Colorado cinema gun violence massacre is not about guns, controlling guns, reacting with yet more gun legislation – it is really about people, you and I, communication, and the quality of our relationships.


Rather than talk about domestic violence – why not shift he ground of being to legislating on behalf of domestic harmony?

Why not promote relationship literacy legislation in place of gun control legislation?

What do I mean by shifting the “ground of being?” What is being done now? How can you help?
Relationship Literacy is:
  • about shifting the ground of being in the conversation about domestic violence and abuse to promoting domestic harmony.
  • Relationship Literacy is tasked with the mission to “Bring honor and respect for ourselves and to each other in every communication in any relationship.”
It is now my counseling practice, and I am working towards “Relationship” being adopted as the “Fourth R” in our educational school system. (after the three traditional “R”s of education, “Reading ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic”.) Do you want to join?

Imagine teaching middle and high school students effective relationship and communication skills.

  • Quality of all their relationships would rise.
  • Domestic date rape and abuse would diminish.
  • Calls for police intervention services would go down.
  • municipal court loads would shrink.
  • Child Protection Services would be out of a job altogether.
  • Domestic violence would begin to disappear.
  • (This is all measurable BTW)
Note that there would be no room, no place, no conversation about, no need for legislative agendas regarding guns and violence.

If you want to be part of forwarding this pro-life conversation, let’s meet, talk, and generate the next step towards domestic harmony together.

You are invited to comment below and participate in our conversation.

offers: Paul@relationshipliteracy.com

CEO Roundtable

Date: July 20th, 2012

Location: Kirkland Public Library 3308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland WA

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Meets Monthly)

Registration: www.ideal-companies.com

This is a roundtable discussion of business issues faced by business owners, CEO’s and motivated entrepreneurs, including solo entrepreneurs and small business professionals. Each attendee will have the opportunity to highlight an issue they face in growing their business. Other attendees will offer their input based on their own knowledge and experience. This event is a very dynamic form of the mastermind. Please come and participate in this learn and share event.

Be an author in Google

Last week, at the Tuesday’s with Deborah meeting, I brought up the new ability to be listed in Google as an author. Several people asked me how to do that. If you go to the following link on Google information about how to create authorship is available for your use:


The nice thing about this is it when somebody Googles you or an article you wrote your picture will come up it will save by your name and it’ll have an additional link that says more by your name. It keys off your Google plus profile.

Hopefully this is helpful.

There is a Holon of Love Goin’ on.

Originating quote:

“Loving is learning how to let go of what we think we know about ourselves, others and what’s happening. Love IS letting go

I would assert that Love is about letting go of identity and other distortions in the field between us and an other.

When we remove: relationship-toxic points of view, undigested bits of history, and false identity from the past we become present, spiritually dynamic life swimmers; love is revealed and available.

Love is an experience; it comes from the World of Being and as such it exists outside of time and space, and resists representational (talking about) descriptive language.

Admittedly and having just said that…

Love is the experience one has when all that is in the space between you and the other has been taken out (however temporarily) and the two (or more) individual/spirits see (grok) each other clearly, having successfully distinguished and disappeared the (illusory) distance between them, to form a third Meta Being, also known as a “Holon” (see Sex Ecology and Spirituality by Ken Wilbur) a Being that is greater than it’s individual parts.

Love is the experience of all participants constituting the Holon/Transcendent Being.

Prior to that moment of transcendent unification (however fleeting) much of what has been labeled “Love” in the past is much more about the individual not the relationship, more monolog than dialog, more about biology than spirit, more lust than love.

BTW the same Holon-istic mechanism can be experienced within other holons, for example, an orchestra, where a unity is generated among the musicians, the conductor and composer, and a series of moments of transcendence arises among them. (A good friend of mine once revealed to me that her first orgasm was as a violinist in an orchestra.)

The formula is the same: take out of the space between you and another what is not germane to relationship, what remains is an experience of love in relationship.

offers paul@relationshipliteracy.com


The Dance

Welcome to the dance! Many of the networking groups available today have a technique called the dance. The dance is when two members of the networking group get together and spend about an hour getting to know each other. Each person takes about half of the time and talks about who they are and what they need as far as referrals. This generally gives the participants a good insight into the other person and they are able to refer them to much higher level.

I like to take the concept of the dance a little further than just a networking technique. Over the years I have met and danced with the number of people. A lot of those people became good friends and the rest good acquaintances. I believe this technique is something that most people should do on a regular basis. Invite somebody that you want to get to know better have a cup coffee, and interview them, get to know them, and share a little of yourself with them.

This last Saturday, I had a dance Liz Tidyman. We set about an hour, at Tully’s, to share a cup of coffee and a few stories. As they say time passes when having fun, so three hours later Liz and I were still chatting. It was a delightful time, we talked about the three forbidden topics – sex, politics and religion. We also talked about our time in scouting, schooling, business and life in general. During our discussion, I got to know Liz an entirely different level than our time in Tuesday’s with Deborah. She is a wonderful, intellectual and caring person. I’m glad we had the dance!

My recommendation to all of you is welcome to the dance. Pick a person who you’d like to get to know better, set a time for cup coffee, and enjoy the dance.

How to flunk perfectionism

I love to write!  I truly do.  So how come I can’t seem to write on a regular basis?

I’m convinced that my perfectionism keeps me from writing. In fact, I think I have received an A+ in my life’s course on perfectionism.  I see now that I need to learn how to flunk this course, because succeeding in it makes me stressed and miserable!

Here are the four steps I have achieved in my quest for perfectionism, as well as my intentions for flunking, or what I like to call becoming “perfectly imperfect”.

Step 1:  Set your expectations so high that you can never achieve them. 

Decide to write for 3 hours a day, then when you fail to write for that long, convince yourself it’s a sign that you are really not a writer.  In fact, you are a horrendous failure, a big time loser, who hasn’t learned self-control.  (Ouch — that hurts to even write!)

Step 2: Create rigid, high standards for yourself that keep you frozen.

Don’t even start writing anything! If you risk writing an article or book, people may not understand it or like it.  They may not be inspired or find any value at all in your writing; so just don’t write anything. That way you won’t have to worry.

Step 3:  Believe that you can operate without any flaws, defects or shortcomings.

Make certain that you have no tolerance for any of your flaws, defects, and shortcomings. If you don’t finish an article in the expected 30 minutes, give yourself a nasty reprimand.

If you can’t finish and post at least one blog article a week, look harshly at all of the reasons you failed. Make sure you use derogatory language like “lazy” or “pathetic”.

Look over what you’ve written so you can perfect it.  Be incredibly critical about your word choice, your phrasing, and your flow. Spend time agonizing over whether it’s just right. It must be perfect!

Step 4: Constantly compare yourself to others and measure your perfection against their success.

As you read other blogger’s work, constantly compare your work to theirs.  Notice how perfect their writing is and how prolific they are. Compare the number of subscribers they have to the number you have.

Notice how many books your favorite authors have written.  You haven’t even finished one?!! You must not be cut out to be a writer. You should just give up now.

As you read these four steps, do you feel what I feel? Reading them (and living them) make me feel depressed, hopeless, stuck, and frustrated.  I realize that these steps to perfectionism just aren’t serving me any more.

So… here is how to flunk perfectionism!

What really works is to be perfectly imperfect.

Being perfectly imperfect means:

… discovering after 2 days (or maybe 2 weeks) that writing for 3 hours a day is just not working for you, so you set a new schedule.  You decide to write for 10 minutes a day and see how that goes.

…understanding that you have to write to please yourself.  If you choose to write from your own heart, your unique experiences and perspective, some people may find inspiration and value.  Others may not.  But, that’s okay!  You will reach the people you are supposed to reach.

… realizing that your so called flaws, defects and shortcomings are really just differences in how you operate and how things work for you.

…not comparing yourself to other writers.  You are a writer because you write, not because you are better or worse than anyone else. Keep writing from that authentic, alive place inside of you. No other writer has the same perspective, life experience, gifts and values that you have.

Flunking perfectionism brings more ease, productivity, passion and fun.   I hope you will join me on my quest to live as a perfectly imperfect writer!

Comments vs Discourse

The internet began as a place to share ideas and content. Once the World Wide Web came along, it became possible to just consume content without producing anything new. This was discouraged at first by people publishing their Bookmarks List. Every person publicly published their Bookmarks so others could find new content on the Web. If someone didn’t publish their links, you blocked them.

It was simple. Participation was rewarded and spectating was discouraged. Continue reading “Comments vs Discourse” »

A tool to express your mind

There is an amazing tool on the internet that I have only seen being used to its full potential once.

It is a simple tool that anyone can master in an hour or so.

It transforms the way you can present information to people, and can deeply engage them in your concepts and ideas.

It takes no special software and runs on all platforms.

And it is called Prezi. Continue reading “A tool to express your mind” »


In the United States it is that time of year again: the time for the thank yous.

Thank you to me has become old and worn. We use it constantly and without much thought.  Thanks; Thanks again; Thanks so much; Thank goodness; Thank heavens; Thank God; Thanks for everything; Thanks for nothing; Thanks a lot.

It has become what I consider a “surface” word.  A surface word is one that is out there all of the time and comes from out mouth frequently without considering much below the word. I use thank you a lot and try to really mean it when I say it.

But the word I have come to feel more deeply is GRATITUDE.  Gratitude is that feeling way deep inside that almost hurts- like the grrrrr motor feeling/sound from inside of a happy loved kitten.  It’s that attitude of contentment, appreciation and pure love. You can feel this at any given moment when you choose to be at peace in your own silence. At any given moment you can find gratitude within, just as you can find something to be truly happy about.

So during this week be thankful for food, planes, things, rain, snow, family, friends… Then go beyond for yourself. Take time to nourish your spirit in a silent moment- time to feel and enjoy your very own GRRRRR…..ATTITUDE.