Thank you for visiting!
We have moved to a hosted site.
Please visit us at http://pathtofocus.com/
Thank you for visiting!
We have moved to a hosted site.
Please visit us at http://pathtofocus.com/
It started with this weekends webinar. In the material covered I found amazing parallels to other programs I’m either working in or have studied. I’m part of a mens group that follows the writings of Fr. Richard Rohr. One of his teachings is we have to die to ourselves to find our real self. I also have studied Bill Plotkin who uses a diagram very similar to the Hero’s Journey. Without going into anymore detail, everything Mark was talking about was linking back to things I’ve done with Fr. Richard and Bill Plotkin. Incredible things I’ve witness and experienced in my own life journey came back on Sunday. To die is to let go and experience new life.
Then today as I was reading “What am I pretending not to know” I had a flash back to an experience over 20 years ago. I was in a workshop and the guy talking was part of Catholic Relief Services. He was just moving back into the field in the Philippines. The way he talked about being able to and do what he felt he was called to do, he had a passion that intoxicated my heart. I was sold. That was something to do. I could see myself doing it. I liked the feeling and wanted more. But I hadn’t quite died to it. That took a few more years. However, the seed was planted. And I relived that day on the way to the office this morning. Where I am the Mission Coordinator for the Joliet Diocese and I’m headed to Borongan, Philippines on Friday. I’m living the dream.
In that moment of reliving my past so many things became clear. Ideas that had be rolling around in my head suddenly felling place. Things I was struggling, priorities I couldn’t resolve all fell into places. It was a one degree shift. Just a bit of a shift and I could see what I need to do.
Our mission to the Philippines is always exciting, but this time I think it will bring new insights. I only hope we’ll have internet connection so I can follow the weekends webinar and blog during the two weeks we’ll be there. You can follow our activities on Facebook on Partnership in Mission. I hope to publish on a daily basis. Assuming the I can connect to the internet:)
But it does look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hard to believe we have gone through 17 weeks of study. I am thankful for the course. There have been many opportunities to just roll over and quit. My own lack of focus, see last weeks blog, my surgery, the never ending cold, holidays, and mission trip to Africa, and preparing for the Philippines mission.
All of these were places I could have just said naaah I’m just not interested enough to continue, but I didn’t. Truth be told I’ve missed getting things done on time. I have watched all the webinars. Most were live, several were recordings after the fact, but I did get to them. And the same for the Digital Connection part of the class. There have been evenings huddled over my iPhone while my wife was driving us to/from business meetings. And I’m celebrating what I have done and I like it.
I’m starting to believe I could be the best example of a MKMMA success story. Not because I completed everything or got it done all on time, but because I am convinced I will claw my way through the rest of the course. I will not stop like so many other times. I signed up for the MKMMA last year, but bailed just before we started because as I looked at my schedule I didn’t think I could dedicate enough time to do it. Yet for the last year there was the feeling that I bailed without sufficient reason. I suppose it would be called guilt.
So here we are a year and sometime later. I have taken steps to atone for my sin and am moving to a better place. The journey is not complete and there will be additional growth. May be a couple three more times through the course and I’ll get all of it. Or may be one never gets all of it.
As I go through the MKMMA course it is a slow evolution of progress. The exercises slowly are moving me to take more action. The colors and shapes have been a big help. The 3×5 cards are a big help. The cards bring back good memories and encourage me to focus. I have worked on peeling back the layers to look closely at myself. What I’m finding is my level of focus is lacking. I have been able for all these many years been able to get by. I am a perfect example of the dog in the animated movie “UP”. Every time a squirrel comes by I’m distracted and my focus switches. This is why I’ve had so much trouble completing various self help program. The beauty of MKMMA is it’s length of the course. Weekend workshops don’t hold me to the fire. I’m fired up, but after a couple days I’m back to the same old carefree way of doing things. Instead the MKMMA constantly keeps putting tasks in front of me. Oh, I still have moments that I get distracted and go after a squirrel, but I’m doing much better.
One thing I’m firm about is dedicating Mondays and Friday afternoon to work on developing a blog for our business. I have scheduled that time and will work for the 5 hours on Monday and 3 hours on Friday. I discipline myself to focus on these hours. No more, no less. I’m not sure what will happen when I get to the end of the MKMMA course. I just need to lock in the habits now so they continue when we’re done.
Greetings from The City of Hope. We’re just south of the Kenyan/Tanzanian board about 15 miles east of Tarime, Tanzania.
Tuesday morning we had a great Mass with the retired sisters. Their singing was wonderful, here a sample of their singing. Fr. Alfred had an equally great homily. He spoke about the sharing of the fishes and loaves with the 5000. As he was talking it dawned on me that miracles come from a positive thought sent to the subby. How the subby shared the fishes and loaves I don’t know, but Jesus clearly plants the thought to go and do it. This thought also was re-enforced later in the day when we were discussing what we would need to do to start a surgical mission at this small hospital. During the discussions I realized the hospital staff was speaking from a negative stand. It was like they were apologizing for their small facility. We were able to switch the conversation mindset to how we could solve the challenges and you could feel the mode shift to a we can do it attitude.
On Wednesday, we arrived at The City of hope. We connected with Dr. Chacha who is what I would call a mission entrepreneur. He clearly has a vision of what he wants. The City of Hope is a community of young people, many are orphans. They live and go to school in a safe environment. Alongside of the community is a health care facility they are developing. The dream is to create a surgical center. That’s where the mission team I work with comes into play. Over the last 20 years we have establish surgical sites in Sucre Bolivia, Quito Ecuador, Navasha Kenya, and Borongan Philippines. All of our discussions are on a mastermind level and are moving us to a point where a clear decision can be made as to whether we continue or agree to part as fiends. It’s everything we have studied in the MKMMA. It’s cool to see it happening in real life.
My journey has been sharpen as I move down the path of MKMMA. Each week has brought into focus a bit more of the path in front of me, I can journey a bit farther. Of the exercises assigned each some have had greater attraction or a sense of need than other exercises.
Haanel’s writings is one of those exercises that I look forward to reading each day. Sometimes it takes several reads before it starts to make sense. But by the end of the week I can find value and purpose in what I read during the week. One thing I find interesting is the Master Keys ideas show up in many writings of authors today. What I can’t conclude is whether Haanel was the originating source of these ideas or if he has been influenced by writers before him. I suspect and will stick with the thought that it is a combination of both. Haanel saw/read what had come before him and provides his twist on what he saw and how he sees it in the world of his day. To his credit his thoughts are still able to provide creditable discussion to us in the MKMMA and anyone else brave enough read and think on the material.
Up to this weeks reading I wasn’t entirely sure I knew where Haanel was on the concept of God. He would bring up the idea of God, yet there was a sense of a qualifier in his comments. This week he makes his clearest comments on the subject of God,
19. The objective world is controlled by an unseen and, heretofore, unexplainable power. We have, heretofore, personalized this power and called it God. We have now, however, learned to look upon it as the permeating essence or Principle of all that exists — the Infinite or Universal Mind.
It would seem Haanel is taking out the humanity of God and acknowledging God to be something more along the lines of the Force. May the Force be with you Luke. The Abrahamic tradition brings the idea of a loving Father into the picture. Which I see nothing wrong with. A loving God still provides all that Haanel implies. I wonder why Haanel strays from this idea. I can only guess at this time Haanel felt a need place humanity’s faith into it’s own hands and not trust a higher sense of intelligence to guide us and hold us.
For me this is a step backwards and places the Universal Mind (God) farther away and harder to be with. Haanel is seeing the God of the Old Testament. For me a God like Father is more comforting and makes more sense. There is a trend in Quantum Physics that does favor the idea of a God. Time will tell how much of a Father He is.
As I read the Master Keys I’m surprised by how much Haanel refers to spirituality. I’m curious about his background. Was he a man of a particular faith group? It seems he has a understanding of Christian values. His references to “Father” points to this thought. Yet, he has an approach that seems open to a wide understanding of spirituality. Wide enough to invite a wide range of people and their personal believes. It would be interesting to compare his comments to other writers of his time. Haanel is bringing business and spirituality together in a greater sense than writers of today. Sure there are writers today of business and spirituality, but few that are willing to blend in business and spirituality as Haanel does.
Our challenge here is how we see Haanel’s thoughts. Is spirituality something people are willing to apply to business?
Can people stand with one foot in spiritual and the other in the business? Or is it that way naturally and we can’t see it. Is our society so conditioned in a dualistic mind set that we can only see one or the other. Today’s Christmas homily was on imagination. How without imagination we are limited to just doing the same thing over and over. But with imagination we can see the possibilities. We see how the improbable can be possible. We can imagine our future. So what’s in your mind today?