Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Leaders, servers, question askers, it's all the same

While to me it makes total sense to put everything you write in one place, Google, and marketing in general dictate otherwise.  This is a problem I'd love to work on...

That being said I published a new article on Linked In Pulse.  You can find it here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


One of the toughest things for most people to "get" is something you hear a lot in TOOLS.  What does it really mean to take responsibility for you?

In the past 60 years we are only now uncovering how our brains truly work.  Dr Richard Carlson wrote a book called, You Can Be Happy No Matter What.  It's like the laymen s version of the work performed by Dr. Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  

The premise is simple: every thought you have is chosen by you.  Thoughts, beget emotions...literally.  On a scientific level neurons are firing that are your thoughts, these trigger the release of certain chemicals in the brain known as hormones or neurotransmitters.  We experience these things as emotions.  Emotions drive our behavior.  Our thoughts ultimately control our behavior.

A quick story.  I have 2 friends who are girls and they, um, girl fight?  Ya know, they are always talking crap about the other behind their backs but they are the best of friends really.  Both of them come to me to complain about the other.  One day one said, "She just makes me so angry when she does this." Understanding Dr Beck and Dr. Carlson what she really meant was "I choose to be angry because I don't like her actions." Emphasize that "I" when you read it...doesn't it sound selfish?  It is. (FYI, you shed that ego, there is no more "I")

So I said to her, "Don't give her that power over you."  You have the choice to not react to what she is doing.  By reacting to her in that way you are doing what she wants and she's gaining power over you."  My friend looked at me, then stared off into the distance like she was thinking. Then kind of changed the subject and I didn't think twice about it.
Months later my same friend said, "You are so right, I can't give her that power and it's been so liberating ever since you told me that. I do have the choice to not be affected by her. Thank you."  I said, "No problem," and that was it.

When people understand they have a choice in their reactions, what they think and how they feel, it can be extremely empowering and liberating.  A lot of people rebuke this entire idea and say, "NO NO NO, I didn't want this." And put their fingers in their ears and stomp their feet like a child...well that is their choice as well.

I got an F my junior year in high school.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Here is another quick story on how this can be so liberating.  I went to a retreat a few years back and the leaders cursed like sailors constantly.  I thought it a bit odd but I curse a lot so I didn't really care.  The 2nd day there was a lecture and he brought it up. "You may have noticed I curse a lot and I don't give a fuck what you think. Why? If you are the type of person that gets offended by what someone else says you probably get offended all day everyday. Think about it, the only person in all the different scenarios who is suffering, is you! So I curse for a reason, to teach you something about yourself. You are letting others control how you feel and until you accept that as your problem and not theirs, you will suffer."  From that day on in the retreat people cursed constantly, it was hilarious to me.
Take responsibility to everything in your life.  

Every thought and feeling you have is generated by you.  Maybe not consciously, but that is why you are here, to consciously change your unconscious ideals.

Now, do I condone bigotry and hatred. Absolutely not, those only hurt everyone.  For example, the laws Indiana and several other states have passed recently are terrible and they are stripping people of freedoms they deserve.  This isn't about how one feels anymore, this is physically forcing a change on someone and I think it's terrible. Moreover, if people who condone and endorsed these laws lived by the principal that NO ONE can affect them, they would have never needed these laws.  It's a pure sign they aren't taking responsibility for their own actions.   

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Inner Voice Part 1

I'm a lot more spiritual now then I was when I did this program the first time.  Thinking back I really didn't pay too much credence to the "Inner Voice" thing. The funniest part about what follows is Devlyn calls me the "rational and scientific" to his "go from the gut" feelings.  Which is true, I tend to be the one to provide why and what is happening on a physiological and neurological level when he just "goes from the gut."  That being said, what I'm about to say should give some more weight to what many la-la new age thinkers preach.  

Inner voice:, it's one of my most important parts of my life.  As I said, I'm fairly spiritual now, you can call me crazy or stupid, etc etc, I don't care, but here is what I now know: What Devlyn calls your "inner voice" has many names throughout history in many different religions.  Some call it God, your guardian angel, your intuition, etc.  

In the New Age circle, the simplest definition is what is called your "Higher Self"  this is the part of you that is connected to the universe and everything around you, it's what is connected to God because it is a part of God, it is a part of everything.

Because...everything is connected to everything.  I am connected to you, to the Earth, to every single speck of matter and energy because that is what we are, in the end we are all made of the same stuff, energy, and is all connected in the quantum soup of the universe.  
Christianity has a concept that we are "Made in the image of God."  I, and many others have taken this further and to me it's much more powerful. We aren't just made "in the image" of God, we ARE the same thing.  Our inner self, our higher self, is connected to God because it's part of God, because it's all the same thing.

Words do not do this justice.

When I am most connected to my higher self, I am the most at peace, the most comfortable, the relaxed and the most un-phased by everything terrible that happens everyday.  When I am the most distressed, I can feel I don't have that same connection.
You may be asking, "well what is the difference between you and your higher self, by admitting you are you, you admit you are something different."  Yes, I agree and no I don't. 


The larger your ego is, the more you identify yourself as a separate thing with importance, the more you suffer.  The less connected you are to that inner voice and chances are you are less happy.

I know what I'm about to say next makes me sound even crazier to most but when I'm most connected to my higher self I am clairvoyant.  Yes, I'm talking 6th sense.  That being said I don't think I'm special. I think everyone has this skill just like everyone has the other 5 sense, but it's something that must be worked at and practiced.

It's quite simple really.  I tend to pick up what other people are putting down, regardless of words or if I can even see them.  It's closer to a type of empathy where you just understand what they are feeling.  My close friends all know this as truth.  I'm often able to discern their moods and demeanor without even speaking to them, in fact I email them out of the blue asking how they are doing and they don't even question it anymore with "How did you know I was feeling this way?" They just respond.

Interestingly as well, the stronger someone else is connected to his/her higher self or if he/she is very separated from his/her higher self, it's much easier to pick up on these people.  Meaning people who are super happy or people who are super depressed are much easier to read.  Now think about that. Regardless of  if you believe me about a 6th sense you have all been able to tell is someone is livid pissed or depressed and if someone is beaming with happiness and it's not just seeing their faces, you can feel it, you can identify with it.  

I ponder this effect on my close friends as well.  When I got super depressed last week, I started getting random texts out of the blue from all my friends, "Are you OK?" "What's going on."  They knew! They could feel something was wrong with me.  They didn't know what, only that something felt different.

Masculine energy is defined as "presence" and feminine as "radiance,"  the stronger connection to higher self the more you will be "feel" these people.  Devlyn Steele has one of the strongest "presences" I have ever met, he's in the top 3, go figure.  He's the type of guy who can walk into a room and heads turn, I saw this happen first hand.  Think about that! We have all heard or seen people that have such powerful energy around them that simply by entering into a room, people who can not seem them, AT ALL, stop, turn around to see what is there. The people turning may not even know why they turned, something just kind of told them to check it out.  You may have even been one of these people, I know I have.

I have a ton more to say on the "inner voice" but I'm going to break it into another post.  This is what my brain does, it gets massive swarms of information coming through onto my radar at the same time, then I have to make sense of it all and turn it into something beautiful. I am the Creator.

For now I will say this: 6th Chakra activation, Indigo children, leads to 7th Chakra, aka higher self, receiving information, clam in the storm, acceptance, trust yourself, connection, thoughts are creative forces, release, power, energy, presence and radiance, pleasing

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Being Ashamed

Day 3 in Tools To Life: in the exercises section we were asked to change problems into opportunities.  Working with Devlyn the past several years I often started conversations with, "Devlyn, we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us," and he would laugh. Makes me smile thinking about it.

I put that one of my problems is that I'm too effing smart.  Meaning I know how this program works, and what each step is doing and why it's doing it.  Therefore I have the ability to subconsciously sabotage the work.

When I want to be negative, I can literally always find a reason despite what ANYONE tells me, including Devlyn.

It's not that I want to be negative, it's just so easy.  Just like Devlyn says, 82% of our brains have been wired for negativity.  

I've already talked about he difference between rationally understanding and feeling a certain way about something.  It happens on multiple levels.  Last week, when shit hit the fan, Devlyn said, "Domenic, this is the time when you have to put the pedal to the metal, this is when you push through so that everything you talk and believe aren't just lip service.  Now is when you practice what you preach."  All I could think of at the time was, "I just don't give a fuck anymore."  I knew it was a mood and it would pass but that was at that time.'

Today, writing out my "opportunity" to knowing what lies ahead an answer just came to me.  What follows may sound cocky, but it's written for me to read so I'm not aiming for modesty:
Being too's the ultimate challenge, a higher level of knowledge, a higher vibration.  I've been given the opportunity to transcend my current level and push forward.  Knowing what I know, being who I am, I have the potential for greatness.

Something is trying to hold me back...what is it? I am ashamed of my failure, but it's only me who is ashamed, no one else.  In fact, as my wife and Devlyn say, I'm the only one who even thinks I've failed. What part of me is ashamed and why? Judgement.  I judged others and said they were worthless when they were at this point and now here I am. My shame is the result of my own judgement and no one else's. I shed my ego, I release the judgement. 

I have to forgive myself and release the judgement of myself.  This doesn't give me a ticket to say "Fuck it," in fact it's the opposite, "It gives me the chance to prove I was wrong before." This gets me motivated.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's happening again

Jack Canfield, The Success Principals
Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap
The Plateau effect,
Core Values,
shed the ego,

All the pieces are out there, I don't know how or why but they will manifest together into something great.

Catching negative thoughts

Day 2 is about catching yourself saying bad things. It's easier said than done.  I continue to struggle with rationality vs emotion.  I say negative things about myself all the time...most people do.  The second I say them I know they are untrue on a rational level.

I know I'm not stupid
know I'm not worthless
know I'm not fat

Yet, how can you help how you feel.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches us that all emotions are proceeded by thoughts.  It is ALWAYS a thought that leads to the chemical release of what we know as emotions.

So I ponder this conundrum, now an expert in the TOOLS methodology and CBT system, how is it possible for me to logically know what I'm saying isn't true, yet still feel all the negative emotions.

Devlyn says something that is going to be a big part of my next 90 days, "Her perception ruled her brain."

A huge part of major work in CBT is understanding and changing your core values.  Your core values dictate your perception.  It takes a LOT of work to change your core values.  I know over the years I have altered them and I'm thinking it happens like plateau effect.

We talk about this a lot in snowboard instruction.  When you are learning anything, you can take in a ton of information and process a bunch of it quickly, this shows as a quick rise in skill, then as time goes on you don't progress nearly as much as you simply perfect what you know.

Then, there is a breakthrough and you repeat the cycle at a higher level.

I've been doing this for 23 years as a snowboarder.  You work and work, it gets to the point where you see almost no more change, then something clicks and you "get it." and now you can move to a higher level.

It's like the Universe has a system set up that doesn't allow us to progress until we are ready...

Anyway, plateau, stagnation, contentment....hmm starting to see a theme here.
I'm not content, so it must be time to move on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Corporate Education: yay!

I've been really asking myself what I want and how I got so down recently.  Today, during my Merkaba meditation I got inundated with answers.

What do I want?  Surprise, surprise, it's the same thing I've always wanted and the reason I was put on this Earth.  It's Phiolo and more.  I've always been an educator, back in 2003 I wrote my Master's Thesis on a paradigm shift in how we educate students.  My professors said, "You realize you have a tremendous uphill battle ahead of you?" and I said, "I know, but it's the right thing to do."

I was writing about how we truly learn and how we should truly teach years before even Seth Godin broached the subject in his manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams.  Give it a quick read, he and I are 100% on the same page in this subject.

I knew the world wasn't quite ready for what I was proposing.  I thought to myself, "I wish corporations put the time and effort into educating their employees to build a more effective work force," but at that time they didn't see the value.

Then the Great Recession of 2008 hit.  People were laid off everywhere and the only people who could keep their jobs were the ones who were indispensable.  So what made them indispensable?

My theory is that they were creators and problem solvers: companies literally would perish if they weren't there.  They were the exact type of people I wanted to create through education.  There were "smart" people.  But as Seth Godin says, you can teach people to be smart it's not innate, you just have to know how.

Here we are now in 2015 and I'm back in the job market and starting to be amazed at all the "Educational Leadership" positions in multiple corporations.  It's like a dream come true.

The Great Recession was simply part of a cycle. Historically they will look back and see that it marked the end of the Industrial Age where people were taught to be obedient and follow orders.  It also marks the beginning of the Information Age.

Today, all the people getting jobs need to be "highly creative", "problem solvers" "self starters" with "people skills" and the "ability to collaborate".  Sadly, college hasn't caught up, it's still trying to breed obedience, not creativity.

However, Capitalism moves much faster.  Companies quickly realized it was going to be near impossible to find the type of talent they needed from the job pool of fresh college grads and started building their own education programs to meet their needs.

What do all these education programs have in common, they are about the applied use of specific knowledge to create and solve new problems.  That is to say they are focusing on using content to illicit higher order thinking skills, essentially creating smarter people who can get the job done.

I may just be entering my flow.

Monday, April 6, 2015

When life hands you lemons...shit sucks.

Ever the optimist, I have gotten the shit kicked out of me over the past month.  It feels like every single thing that could go wrong has.

  • My partner as QS vanishes with no communication, leaving me to run the ship alone.
  • I put in hundreds of hours of work and effort into applications, profile building, presentations, planning and our actual product development and the vast majority of it is undermined b/c the other members of the team can't spend 5 minutes to fill out their portions of it.  
  • My trading account get's slaughtered losing 5%-7% in 2 days
  • My brother is harping on me for a loan and making the rest of our family miserable
  • Now, my house in NJ gets a valve stuck open, floods the house and I just spoke with our insurance company and they aren't going to cover 1 penny of the entire cost.
What a way to start Monday morning...

I broke this morning, I simply started crying and for the first time in years I said the words, "I hate my life."

It was back in '08 or '09 when my wife first opened my eyes to all the possibilities in the world. I learned optimism and how a positive attitude literally made me smarter.  My brain started firing more and more often.  I was inspired with amazing ideas and able to do what I do (link content together to create new systems) better than ever. I honed my public speaking skills, I developed amazing presentations that sold more product & services.  I was empathetic for the first time in my life.  I cared deeply about Earth, society and civilization.  I wanted to change the world for the better and I was on the path to greatness, I could feel it. I knew the world was about to change.

Fast forward 7 or 8 years and what have I got or done?  All my friends would offer multiple examples of how I picked them up and supported them.  I built the most advanced smoking cessation program in the world, I've learned more about marketing and started coding as well as the fact that I literally unlocked my 6th sense of what I call clairvoyance. (Everyone has this, it's just a skill that needs to be practiced.) aka the ability to pick on people's vibes whether they want you to or not.  I've learned spiritual technologies and the value of meditation, reflection and self control. And rationally, using my highly developed Pre Frontal Cortex that all humans are gifted with, I get this, but I don't fucking care right now.  I don't feel any of it.

All I feel, is failure. I feel useless, worthless and powerless.  From my work in suicide I know this is where the suicidal hang out all the time.  I'm at the bottom of the Emotional Guidance Scale

Just sitting here contemplating everything, I rationally get that my positivity is working b/c I moved from hopelessness back to anger and rage at myself.  I'm pissed I'm such a fucking failure and there is no one to blame but me.

Then I reflect back and ask, "How the fuck did I get here?"  And I honestly think the answer lies the most dangerous of me at least...Contentment.

Since my return from my summer retreat I have been slowing sliding all the way back down from 1 to 22.  Again, upon reflection I recall seeing myself in a state of contentment and remembering asking, "I want more than this."  And the Universe delivered.

How am I getting more than contentment?  Well....I'm definitely not content anymore.  Is it a good feeling, no, but am I content, definitely not!

I can safely say that just in writing this and examining my emotions I know I'm already pushing back up towards hopefulness and optimism.  The question is hopefulness and optimism for what?  I'm not 100% sure but there is one thing for certain and that is I have to keep playing the game.

In P90X and all of Beach Body's programs they say one thing over and over, "Keep pressing play." No matter what, you keep pressing play and you will see results.  They are right.

I have to keep pressing play.  I just spoke with Devlyn and of course he made it all sound so simple, "Now is the time when you can't give up or else all the stuff you preach and believe in is just lip service, you need to be the living embodiment of what you preach,"  Fucking bastard is right...

One thing is for certain, I would never gotten so down if I shed my ego.

The question now is not "What do I want?"  It's "What am I willing to do to get it?"

Keep pressing play...shed the ego.