The Gift of Being Present

Happy Holidays! December will soon be here and with it comes the opportunity to both give and receive.

I recently ran into a friend at the mall who smiled when she showed me the gift she had gotten for her mother. She pulled from her bag a shirt that was floral and bright and cheery. “Definitely not something you or I would wear,” she said, “but my mom will love it!”

I smiled to see how happy Kalena was to have found the perfect gift for her aging and sick mom. Love has so many different expressions and gift-giving is a very tangible form of expressing our affection.

Another aspect of gifting is to receive a gift with a full and open heart. When we allow ourselves to accept the love that is imbued with the present, we connect our heart with the kindness being given. The flow of love from one to another is completed and enhanced by the process of the gift being openly received.

It is in this spirit that I encourage you to take time to consider that some people already have all the little knick-knacks their home can hold. Perhaps for these folks, offering a gift certificate for special services, dinners, or outings might be a better option than a boxed gift. You might even offer to join your family or friend for an adventure or activity so the gift of your companionship is included in the offering. For example, I love to go out on whale boat excursions with friends and family and have given this type of trip as a gift. My friends and family love it.

The holidays can be fun or frantic depending on our attitude. When we remember that love is really the greatest give we can give, then our choices are simplified. Our hearts are wired to both give and receive love, but the greatest gift is to simply “be love.” We do this by being mindful in the present moment, opening our hearts and setting aside any judgment. Let’s practice saying ‘Thank you” to life for the blessings we receive each day and the opportunity to give and receive.

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Being One Self: Choosing and Developing Higher Consciousness in the Present


The times we are living in now seem to increasingly challenge human stability and fulfillment, especially regarding what we refer to as our Self. Many people, for example, are finding that what they thought was happiness, is not, or is at least too transient, leaving them searching for a more genuine or lasting type of fulfillment. Indeed, it appears that we are rapidly approaching a point of feeling the need to even redefine who and what we are in order to cope or hopefully transcend into a better state. Amidst all of this, influenced and spurred by emerging, revolutionary science of both consciousness and reality along with ancient and modern spiritual research and investigation, there is the growing awareness by many that human experience is much more dynamically determined from within us than we thought.

Though far from being a new idea, it is, however, now becoming more widely known and realized. We all have the potential to access and become uniquely individual expressions of a higher consciousness that lies within us and underlies essentially all that is or happens in both our lives and the world. It can be referred to as a source of loving intelligence that unifies and guides the interdependent evolution and state of existence of life.

On an human individual level, as people, we can have greater access to this higher Self the more we are unattached, inside or out, to our experiences and choices, which can involve things, actions, people, feelings, thoughts or beliefs, especially ones we have about ourselves. Present-moment self-acceptance, or self-love and sustaining states of mental clarity are some fundamental ways to develop, integrate and express our higher consciousness more–to be our truest Self possible. The more we are our truer Self, the less we feel the need to justify our attachments to artificially projected types of identity in search of security or core self-esteem. Identifying, processing and resolving this type of interference as much as possible can increase what is a more spontaneously evolving, present Self. As a consequence, we will notice that we pleasantly begin discovering what is truly fulfilling for us, such as a more deeply meaningful purpose, and that we are more likely to more fully generate or manifest this into our lives. We start getting more of what we truly need/want and appreciating more of what already is, inside and out.

In essence, we undergo a chosen process of identifying illusions of Self, and of reality and letting them go in favor of a more genuine and empowered Self and experience that is less confusing or painful. This process, potentially evoking terror at some level, at its core invokes a need to develop trust–trust in the unknown–that we don’t know but are discovering and being ourselves in the naturally developing flow of life and what we continually redefine as ”reality.” It’s like an intentional choice to learn from then let go of limiting ego attachments or needs while allowing our higher Self to ”become” as we navigate and follow our more intuitive self-awareness. So this involves honestly accepting the reality that we, as ever-changing beings, really don’t know for certain who we are or what the future is. Many of us don’t really even know the past for that matter.

When we dissolve our individual Self into the moment, we tend to lose, or transcend, fear and doubt and we embody confidence and peace. Some benefits of this can include greater understanding, fulfillment, intelligence/intuition. better and more efficient decisions, unshakable self-esteem, meaningful relationships and a lasting empathy in life. We, thus, access a deeper and more sustained sense of Self naturally connected to the whole of life and become empowered from cultivating this relationship with life further instead of needing to control it or stumble in our efforts to pretend so. Our own conscious empowerment in this way, in turn, empowers others, often with magically little or no effort. This effect then changes the world on a fundamentally profound level at a time when it is needed more than ever.

As we move forward through these modern times, it may help us to consider that healing is not just about removing or letting go of the negative. It is equally about finding and cultivating the positive that comes from letting yourself be yourself in order to embody your most natural state. And when people ask you who you are, you can more optimistically reply that you do not know and instead tell them ”how” you are–a liberating, changing and growing Self experiencing the living Oneness of life.

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Discover and Integrate Your Business Mission Statement With Your Interior Design Presentation

Here are a few keys that will be extremely vital to the success of your office, especially in regards to your interior design.

Number One: Proper Discovery This aspect is totally essential to making sure that things turn out as they should. A big part of this process is asking the right questions, in order to get the right answers that contribute to getting the right results. Think of this as if you were Sherlock Holmes.

Proper discovery also answers questions such as:

Where am I right now and what current conditions do I need to deal with?
Where do I want to go and what do I want to project to my clients and customers in terms of my visual interior design presentation?
What kind of ambiance and feeling of the space do I want projected as well as perceived by my clients and customers?
What kind of aesthetic and functional aspects do I need to incorporate in order to reinforce and support my staff and employees?
Number Two: The Mission Statement You want to take the information that’s been extracted from talking about your dreams and what you want (all the things that came from the discovery process), and put them in a paragraph or two that talks about what it is you want to accomplish. We’re talking about the look, the ambience, the feel, and the emotions that you want portrayed in your environment as well as to your clients and customers.
This step is in addition to the functional aspects of a project, but it helps to hone the essence of the final end-result. You want to really refine this in a very descriptive way so that you have a yardstick, level, and plumb-bob, so to speak. It allows you to measure everything that happens from here on out to the end of the design process. So, it is very important that we get this mission statement right. It eliminates the “fluff” and a lot of things that you really don’t need to take up your time, money, or energy.

Number Three: Budget! This is definitely your “vested interest,” because you surely have a vested interest in the amount of money you want to invest in your project, office, or building. The idea is we don’t want to just merely spend your money. We want to invest it with a view toward the maximum return on your investment! And that return can happen in a lot of different ways!

Warning: You must be realistic here! Do not expect a Rolls Royce for the price of a Buick. If you are a “Rolls Royce” business in terms of quality of service and products, then by all means have a “Rolls Royce” quality presentation to your interior design.

You don’t have to do everything all at once. You can space out your investment over a 5 year, 10 year, 15 year, or 20 year span. You can pick any time span you want. This is where a master plan comes into play. It is absolutely necessary for the proper utilization of your resources.

Obviously, some things you will have to do all at once, such as certain construction phases. But, there are some things that can be postponed and added after the fact without causing a lot of disturbance, as long as these things are preplanned and accommodations have been made for them. So, in essence, you are designing incremental additions or advances into your master planning.

Master planning is the exciting part, because once you have a plan and a vision for where you want to go, you will find the money to make it happen. It’s not a prerequisite to have that money in hand right now.

Number Four: Integration The architecture and the interiors function as a hand-and-glove scenario. The interior, which includes all the backgrounds, furniture, furnishings, artwork, etc., functions as a stage setting, so to speak, for the individuals that will inhabit the space. It’s important that these elements put those individuals that are working in your business environment in the very best light. They need to be the gems highlighted against the backdrop of your business. Remember, people are one of your biggest investments. The whole environment should reinforce, support, and enhance everyone working for the company.

Steven C. Adamko, is the owner and founder of Spectrum Interiors, established in 1982.

All of Steve’s designs are personally tailored to the client with the result being orchestrated with the desired Ambiance that is seen, felt, understood, and experienced. He works in a broad range and spectrum of residential and commercial design, as well as furniture and lighting design. His services to others include teleseminars, webinars, and seminars.

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The Art Of Listening And Being Present

“You have to listen better,” your acting teacher says. So you really look at the other person, laser focus on them and say to yourself, “Listen… listen… listen… ”

Then you see the playback and you look like a psychotic deer caught in alien headlights. You’re straining and bug-eyed and robotic. Why does the work look so inauthentic? The only thing you were focused on was listening better!

But not really. The only thing you were listening to was your own voice repeating that word over and over in your head until it lost all meaning. When you’re doing that you can’t possibly be listening to the other person.

This word “listening” is thrown around a lot. It’s often accompanied by “being present” and “living in the moment.” But do you really know how to listen and be present?

Sure you do; you do it every day when you’re not acting. In fact, you do it unconsciously in just about every moment in your life. But when you’re acting, you’re so self-conscious and focused on impressing your audience that this innate ability suddenly feels as foreign as eating with your toes.

So let’s get you out of your head and into the moment. First, a quick lesson in…

Human Beings and the Art of Communication

#1: What does “listening” really mean?

When you are truly listening, you care. A lot. You care enough about the other person to pay attention to what they are doing and saying.

So what makes you care? You need something from them. It could be as simple as a nod in agreement or as grand as the nuclear warhead code. Simply put, you listen to see if you’re getting what you want.

#2: What does it really mean to “be in the moment?”

You listen to see if you’re getting what you want, right? So…

What happens when you get what you want? You are changed.

What happens if you don’t get what you want? You are changed.

What happens if you’re not sure if you got what you wanted? You are changed.

That’s what being in the moment is all about, folks: being affected by the other person. (AKA “reacting” – sound familiar?) You cannot be changed unless you care. When you care, you automatically listen and then organically, unconsciously react.

Congrats, you passed! Let’s move onto…

Actors and the Art of Communication

Based on what we know about real human behavior, what must the actor do to authentically listen and be in the moment?

#1: You must be able to answer this question: What do you (the character) want?

For instance: your mother just read your first manuscript and you’re waiting for her reaction to it. So you’re really looking for her approval. (Don’t deny it; we all need mommy’s approval.)

#2: You must know why you need what you need.

Answering the question and knowing why isn’t enough, of course. You must also create the imagined relationships in such a way that you truly feel them.

So why do you need mom’s approval of your manuscript? Because she’s never approved of any of your creative projects; she just thought they were “phases” and not real jobs. But this book, the one you’ve been writing for over two years, the one she just finished reading, this is your baby. And whether you like it or not, you really would like to hear “Good job, honey.” Or at least a smile; just a smile would be enough.

That is a real relationship. That is what it means to truly need something from someone else, which allows you to organically listen. Then when she hugs you, you’ll feel it and respond authentically without even trying. Or if all she’s says is, “I finished it. What do you want for dinner?” you’ll feel that and respond authentically.

A Quick Math Lesson

Deeply caring = feeling what you need/want = truthful listening = authentically being in the moment

Final Exam

It’s not enough to tell yourself to “listen better.” It’s not enough to just look at the other person. You must know why you’re listening. The relationship must feel very real to you and whatever you need from the other person must feel real as well.

So if you’re having trouble truly listening – that is, truly being affected by the other person – then revisit your relationship and your need. Make them real. Make them of the utmost importance. And then you’ll listen without even trying.

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3 Reasons NOT to Use Jokes in Your Presentation!

We hear it all the time: if you want to get the big bucks, you’ve got to use humor in your presentations. Even if you’re not in it for the money-humor definitely helps you to get your point across.

There’s no question that if you give presentations in front of an audience, humor should be one of the big hammers in your speaking toolkit. For some people (the lucky ones!), this comes quickly and easily. The rest of us have to work at it.

Some speakers solve the problem by trotting down to the nearest Barnes & Noble and plopping down twenty bucks for a big book with a title like 1,001 Sure-Fire Jokes For All Occasions. Then they trot merrily back home (in my world, people trot a lot), pleased that they finally have that “humor monkey” off their back. Just memorize a half-dozen or so of these babies, and go out and wow ‘em at the next keynote!

Um… I don’t know how to tell you this, but the odds are that that ain’t gonna work. Unless you’re really, really lucky. And do you really want to count on luck while you’re up there on the platform with 500 pairs of eyes staring blankly at you?

Okay, what’s my beef with jokes? Why do I say to virtually all of the speakers I consult that jokes, for the most part, simply don’t work? 3 reasons:

1. Most People Can’t Tell a Joke

Have you ever heard somebody try to tell a joke, only to end up sounding something like this: “Okay, there were these two guys, and… no, wait, three guys, and they walk into this bar. And the bartender says, ‘Hey, Fred… ‘ oh, the first guy’s name is Fred, and the bartender knows him. And he has a parrot on his shoulder. But you’re not supposed to know that yet. Anyway… ” Let’s face it, that’s how most of us tell jokes! Look, I made my living in comedy for 15 years, and I can’t tell a joke well. Why? Well, like a lot of people, I have a tough time remembering how the joke goes! And believe me, I’ve got enough to think about when I’m standing in front of an audience! I certainly don’t want to be bogged down trying to remember what my next line is-do you?

2. Jokes Aren’t Unique

If your joke is coming out of a book, you’re probably not the only person in the world who bought that book. The odds are that other people have heard your joke. In fact, there may be another speaker using the same joke! That may not be a big deal to you, unless that speaker happens to be speaking right before you, to the same audience! (Believe me, I’ve seen this happen!) Even if you’re not on the same bill, however, it’s probably not to your advantage to be using the same material as other speakers. Somebody will have heard it, and do you really want your audience to be thinking “How many more times do we have to hear that stupid parrot joke?”

3. Jokes Exist Solely to Get a Laugh

When you tell a joke, there are two possible outcomes. Laughter, or silence. Laughter, of course, is great. Silence… is death! Worse yet, it’s a very public death. It’s called bombing, and the entire audience knows you’ve bombed! Everybody knows that a joke is supposed to get a laugh-and if yours doesn’t, you’ve failed! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Oh, I know some of you-the enlightened ones-are saying, “Wait a minute, Bill, I use jokes to make a point!” If that’s the case, you’re on the right track… but it’s still a joke, and if it doesn’t get a laugh, you’ve bombed!

If you put these three reasons together, you’ll see that by using jokes, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Let me make it clear, however: I’m not saying you’re going to fail, just that you’re stacking the deck in that direction. You’ve got three pretty strong drawbacks working against you. Now, maybe you’re one of the gifted few who are brilliant and natural at telling jokes. If that’s the case, you can ignore everything I’ve said so far. If not, however, you’ll have to look someplace else for your humor.

Fortunately, there is such a place. And it’s a place where you’ll find a wealth of humor that is unique, compelling, easy to remember, and free! It’s called “life experience,” and if you know how to listen to it, it will never let you down! To find out more, check out my article called The Power of Personal Stories.

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Love Presents Itself

In the search for Love we may have forgotten to look in the place that is closest to each of us and always there for everyone. I am not alluding to the adage which reminds us each that Love is within. Yes, it is, but look closer. In fact, stop looking. Perhaps, even stop searching. Love, is the creative substance of life itself. We are Love.

The dilemma is that we do not know how to access this miracle. We try to get knowledge of it. We go on a journey towards it. We grow towards our awakening to Love in many ways. For each of us there are many sacred paths. Yet for all, there is one direct route to the miracle of Love which is instant.

It is found in the Present moment. In the eternal present is a portal which opens to Love.
This portal is in the space of awareness of Presence. We begin to fathom Presence by bringing our attention to the moment and allowing the energy of the space to open. This unborn creative energy of this space is the substance of Love, an aspect of eternal Being.

If living in the present moment has the potential to deepen our experience to the access of such miraculous energy why don’t we all do it all the time? Why don’t we all go directly to Love and live in this state always? What prevents us from this heightened state of awareness. Are we only dreaming that we are awake?

We seem to become challenged by many obstacles when attempting to live in this state of eternal Present. Daily living seems to flow with continuous events and routines that engage our judgment, choices and reactions. We do our best, of course. We are aware of “trying”, of “effort”, and of being on a continuum of events. We feel that we are conscientiously doing our best. We feel awake.

Most don’t feel that moments contain miracles though. And usually most don’t feel connected to a Love that does not rely upon circumstance nor condition. Most don’t feel embraced by something greater than themselves. Is that what “being loved” feels like? It is the first step perhaps in coming to know Love itself.

These are some of the stages of seeking awakened love.

Love which is not altered by condition or circumstance.

Love feels like an Embrace by something greater than themselves.

This embrace of Love is connected to them.

They are the connected to the Source Identity of the embrace of Love.

They are a part of the Source Identity.

Born of Source.


This Love can be found by allowing oneself to be “born” into the present moment. The birth however, as all of nature displays requires a creative process.

Our creative process is that of awakening. We become governed by a consciousness which substitutes itself for Love. It is called the Ego. It protects us, forms roles and rituals which will keep us “safe”. One of its tasks is to find Love. It though, is not aware of a consciousness other than its own, and is mandated to protect and maintain its own survival at all costs.

This provides some of the challenges which are faced on the path to freedom and awakening. We exist in daily life, sustained by a continuum of energy flow supplied by the Ego consciousness.

This continuum is governed by “Remote”. (the Ego) The infinite moments that flow in our lives are indeed sustained by energy but not quite by the energy of “effort” that we sense. It is the energy of consciousness which creates. shapes and sustains the patterns of our lives.

This can be likened to flow of energy conditioned by “remote control”.

Remote is the ongoing state that we sustain which contains all of our relatively unquestioned perspectives, reactions, feelings and recurring choices in daily living. It is much easier to live in the current of “remote” because it is the familiar and provides a sense of security. The ego is comfortable in known territory despite a list of affirmations or a desire for change.

Imagine a mountain stream that is moving in one direction for many years. Its movement through the seasons is automatically set because it responds to the same environment, moves in and around the same formations and receives input from the natural sources that surround it.

Why would this stream change its flow except over the course of events outside of its control? Of its own volition it cannot. It has no impulse of its own other than the energy of the flow of its current. This is similar to our own consciousness as it flows, unexamined throughout the patterns of our lives. It is like a current of energy which permeates all.

The challenge to us is whether we desire this current to be conscious and creative or unconscious and remote – similar to a task manager that silently cares for the organization of data, response and suggestions for most comfortable choices at each juncture of life. By comfortable, I mean those choices which will not challenge the current information which is perceived as true, safe, and supports the ego’s collective identity.

To alter a current of energy it takes an equal amount of energy. Yet if two currents face one another it causes havoc. This translated into personal experience is the distress that many people feel that attempting to change or “face the demons”. I see only a storm created.

It seems that energy, flow, and the dynamics of awakening consciousness have attributes that can be used for advantage.

When flow spirals rather than confronts it forms a vortex which actually creates an opening for the reception of a greater frequency of energy.

For this reason, when attempting to create Attention which precedes Presence in the moment, it is helpful to bring this attention forward by “allowing” it rather than forcing it. It is a gentle energy which arises from within. It is not an outside focus which is a concentrated spotlight coming from a mental place outside of self. It does not arrive to form combat or opposition, or even separation from what is observed.

The common use of the “I” witness, and the observed aspects of self is but one step in the process of awareness. Ultimately, separation becomes an obstacle and creates two forces which holds the seeker in a state of duality.

The Present is singular in nature. Our observation of it is a step towards it. The notice of our own flow of energy is a step towards the realization that there is a current of energy in the portal of the Present which is untapped, unlimited and miraculous.

The distance between these two experiences is the challenge of our miraculous awakening to Love, which has been described as the current upon which all Life is sustained.

When we open ourselves to the Present moment. Love presents Itself. We are lifted into immersion with true nature. All that is not its Own falls away. As a newborn that cries and takes its first breath in a new world, we cannot fathom the vastness of Life beyond our sight.

This is the vortex of the present moment. It is you, gently spiraling in, through, around and back again; just as a deep inhalation flows throughout the Entire.

How could life in the “remote lane” ever be chosen again? Can such wakefulness be sustained? It can be the heart’s longing first. It first needs to be desired.

It is not a foreign place. It is our home. We must be willing to risk the familiar nods and remote paths that we tread. Awakening does take courage. It takes energy and volition. It goes against and ongoing current. It is easier to rest and go with the flow.

If you do, you know that tomorrow is guaranteed to be just like yesterday and the day before. You “made” them. Did you know? While you were sleeping, flow was creating the patterns of tomorrow that you would have a place to go!

Put quickly and simply, “remote” is a tool of the Ego. Ego is the fulfillment of the personality’s need for security, safety and love. Ego’s mission is to survive at any cost. This is the velocity of the water in the stream.

Ego survives by re-creating itself in the Space that would be Present and utilizing the energy of the “space” of Present as momentum. Did you ever feel the sense of racing forward. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to remain still, or keep the mind in a state of stillness?

These spaces of stillness and silence are part of the flow that is contained in the energy of the Present. We can find our miraculous selves in the spaces that were the unknown. If we risk engaging a new choice we activate space. If we risk attention in the midst of reaction we allow space to emerge and the ego cannot co-exist with Presence.

When we open ourselves to the Present moment. Love presents Itself.

“We wake, stir, cry out, turn about. A universe seems inside out. Yet, filled with hope and blinded sight we walk within, into and towards a knowing and embracing Light”.

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3 Basic Rules For Your Resume Presentation

There is a mind-boggling amount of information available on what to do to make your Resume THE Resume that earns an interview – which is, after all, the real purpose of Resumes. Some of that advice is excellent, and some of it is not so excellent. How can you tell what is going to work and what is not? Here are three easy but very three basic rules worth following.

1. Keep it professional

2. Keep it clean

3. Keep it pertinent

Let’s start with No. 1. Keep it professional

What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean I’m only talking to the college or university educated. Whatever you do, if you are skilled, unskilled or highly lettered. Your Resume should always be professional. Why? Because it is a document that is selling you: your skills, your abilities, your experience, your worth to this new company. This is a professional transaction regardless of what the job is and the employer will be on the lookout for the best person for the job. Stand out by being professional in your presentation both on paper and in person – this includes NOT using coloured or fancy paper. Crisp white paper, dark clear ink.

Now, let’s look at No. 2. Keep it clean.

I’m not talking about obscenities or suggestive photos. Nor am I saying make sure there are no blobs, fingermarks, smudges etc on the paper – all that is a given! What I’m saying is the overall layout of your Resume must be clean – to the eye. It must be easy to read, easy to run an eye down, even inviting.

First, ignore the templates available on your Word program or online, the majority of which come with a ready-made table. These are complicated to use unless you are an expert in tables. You’d be better using columns – but I’m not recommending them either. Tables, and columns, get clunky and awkward and take quite a bit of work to have everything neatly encapsulated and all the relevant information together. And, let’s face it, unless you are applying for a job that involves the daily compilation of tables, no-one is impressed by tables.

Go with headings, paragraphs and bullet points. The first person to read your Resume will most likely peruse it, searching for highlights and pertinent abilities and experience. If they receive a pile of Resumes, and they usually do, they will want to create a shortlist. Only then will they read your Resume closely, probably intending to pare that shortlist even further before deciding who to interview.

Make it clear and obvious that you have what they are looking for. This means carefully reading their advertisement to ensure you are indicating that you have what they are looking for.

And, finally, No. 3. Keep it pertinent.

That means exactly what it says. Don’t fill up your Resume with miscellaneous, unrelated or personal information. No-one has time to read it, and less inclination. Putting all your social activities just isn’t pertinent – unless it is in some way related to the tasks you will undertake in the job. Don’t include every job you’ve done since the year dot – unless it is pertinent. And the further back you go, the less information you include – unless that is the job that is pertinent. There is plenty of time to share miscellaneous information once you have the job, or at interview if they ask.

So, remember, Professional, Clean, Pertinent. Weigh up all advice with these three basic rules in mind and you are well on the way to creating just the right Resume to earn you an interview.

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Finding The Kingdom of God By Living In the Now In The Eternal Present Moment

In reality, the Kingdom of God is all there is. No one is excluded from this kingdom, for all souls remain in the Kingdom of God at all times. However, an individual soul can believe it is separated from God if it chooses this experience, for every thought you have creates your reality. Because all your thoughts create your reality, if you hold the thought that you are outside or apart from God, then this is the reality you will create in your own mind. And this is the reality that all souls on Earth have created for themselves, until they declare as Jesus did “I and my father (my Creator) are One.” This statement simply states that Jesus recognized that he was God and God was him. As Jesus states in the Bible: “Think it not blasphemy to compare yourself equal with God” and “Ye are all Gods.”

Yet the Kingdom of God exists only in the Eternal Now, in the reality of the Present Moment. Now you may say reading this article, “I am in the now and I have awareness of what I am doing”. And I would say to you: “Only to a point”. The overwhelming part of your mind, most of which remains hidden in the recesses of your subconscious and unconscious minds, is NOT living in the now, but instead is living in fantasy and spending an incredible amount of energy seeking further ways to live in fantasy, or as they say in the Realm of Spirit, in “unreality”. A part of every mind of every human being on Earth has a Void, or unreality zone, that is filled to the brink with fantasies, which is another word for expectations. Now you may say what is wrong with having expectations? And I would say to you: “Nothing at all, if you want to live in fantasy, in the realm of unreality, where you are not living in the present moment, in the eternal moment of NOW.”

You can only enter the Kingdom of God by rediscovering that you are God in human flesh in a state of perfect peace in the eternal moment of NOW. Every single expectation that you have takes you away from the Reality of NOW, steals your peace, and moves your mind into fantasy-land and unreality. Now let’s be clear about this. Every soul has Free Will under God’s Law of Free Will and living in the realm of fantasy and unreality is not bad or evil or wrong. It is simply an experience that will not deliver peace and happiness that most human beings on Earth believe it will. You, like every soul on Earth, has a choice. Which tap will you turn on? The tap that brings you to the Kingdom of God in the reality of NOW, or the tap that takes you into fantasy and expectation away from the Kingdom of God? Most spiritual people on Earth, including most Christians and New Age Spiritual Seekers, believe they can turn on BOTH taps.

There is one small problem with attempting to turn on both taps. When you turn on the tap that chooses fantasy, expectations and unreality, YOU ARE CHOOSING TO MOVE AWAY FROM REALITY and you are automatically shutting off the other tap that brings you into the awareness of the Kingdom of God. You are not being punished. God is not doing this to you. You are choosing this to yourself using your own Free Will. You hear many spiritual seekers these days use the term “Live In The Now” or “Living In The Now” and they provide little or no explanation as to why you should do this, or to how you can do this, and what this means. To put it simply, God IS the NOW and anything else is “expectation” and keeps you outside of the awareness that you are inside the Kingdom of God. When you experience yourself “outside” the Kingdom of God, you feel lost and lonely and sad and depressed and empty inside.

This feeling of emptiness causes many souls to create a whole heap full of new expectations to fill the emptiness they are now feeling inside, but this only makes the problem worse. This is why addicts go down into a downward spiral of emptiness and self-destruction. The reality is every human being on Earth is an addict and is addicted to fantasy, to expectations. A growing number of souls are awakening and re-learning that perfect peace can only be found by giving things up, giving things away, detaching, having no expectations and reducing their overall number of expectations, yet this is a long process, even for the most advanced soul on Earth. It is not just about removing expectations from the conscious level of awareness, but from the subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind. This truly is a journey of a thousand miles and is not easy to go through the withdrawal symptoms of giving up earthly attachments and expectations.

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Audience Participation Adds Power to Your Presentations

To be remembered as powerful presenters, we must develop rapport with our audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is by involving each and every person through participation. Participation is more than asking for a show of hands in answer to some inane question like, “How many of you wish you had more time?” In this article I share tips on how to create meaningful audience participation.

Make use of Pike’s Law #2. Robert Pike, the training guru, states Law #2 in his useful book, Creative Training Techniques Handbook, as “People Don ‘t Argue with Their Own Data.” Audience members will take it for granted that we, as the speaker or trainer, believe what we are saying. However, if we can get them to state their beliefs early on by giving answers to meaningful questions or breaking into small groups to discuss a question and then report back with the answers they discussed, we will find that they will respond more readily to what we have to say.

Pike often uses the following two questions at the beginning of a workshop (which he will post, or have a member of the group post, on a flip chart). Imagine that the workshop is on effective communication. Question #1: “What happens when people don’t communicate effectively?” and Question #2: “What happens when we communicate effectively?” By taking time to have audience participation, he has already established the benefits of paying attention to what is going to follow during his presentation. I’ve used this method ever since I learned it, and it works!

Use the power of your eyes. Someone once described our eyes as the mirrors to our soul. Our eyes speak our true feelings, so when we are excited about what we are saying, our eyes should shine with that enthusiasm. Make individual eye contact with different members of the audience and hold it for at least three seconds. It is like holding a one-on-one conversation with them and they will stay with you and participate by hanging on your words.

Don’t share too many details. Let your audience members participate by filling in with their own descriptions and visuals. If you share a universal story of something that happened to you or someone in your family and then give them the time and space to think about it, they will participate by thinking about a similar story they have experienced, make it their own story and, in turn, internalize the point you are trying to make.

Active participation is terrific as long as it isn’t overdone or trite. There are many great ideas for engaging the audience in actively participating by moving around, interacting with another person or a group, or interacting with the speaker — often up on the stage. Splitting up into small groups to discuss a question or play a training game works quite well. I have personality forms and fun bingo sheets that people can use for networking with others in the room. John W. Newstrom and Edward E. Scannell have several books filled with excellent Games Trainers Play. These are well tested, make sense, and are fun to play. And, if you decide to bring someone or several people up on the stage, be sufficiently prepared. Know who you are going to pick before hand and why, along with exactly what you plan to do.

Just remember that you and your messages will be remembered in direct proportion to the amount of participation you have elicited from the audience.

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Using Symbols in Your Presentation

“Everything in life cannot be grasped by the logic-centered left brain.” D.T.Suzuki

Sometimes you need more than your own dynamic self to get your message across. Just standing there and talking is not very creative and not much of a strategy. You might be a great speaker or think you’re a great speaker, but don’t take any chances that you might miss reaching your audience. Especially if you’re giving out complex and/or technical information. To be as effective as possible in your presentation, you will need unique tools to motivate your audience and to implant the desire in them to take the action you desire for them. A highly effective tool in any presentation is the use of SYMBOLS.

A symbol, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is: “Something that represents something else by association, resemblance or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.” You see a red stop sign. What do you do? You know.

The reason humans created symbols in the first place, according to Carl Jung, was to try to understand human nature beyond language. In his investigation of various, unrelated cultures, Jung found a similarity in the images – or symbols – they displayed. Though fewer and less complex than the plethora of symbols we see in today’s culture, they nonetheless evoked in those ancient people a universal meaning that resonated in each person.

The symbols – or familiar images – of today evoke such a familiar message to most of us, that we all “get” the message as soon as we see them. McDonald’s golden arches, for example. And what about the apple on the phones or laptops you’re using today? Granted, these are both very commercial symbols, but nonetheless are images most of us can instantly relate to.

So what about symbols in your presentation? Just as stated above, symbols can quickly “cut to the chase” – making complicated concepts instantly understandable to the audience. Symbols can bridge the chasm between a cutting-edge innovation and a novice audience. Symbols can blaze a pathway deep into the psyche by building upon constructs that already exist in the mind — things we already know. Symbols grab the attention of your audience and, once you’ve got them, these images will also help them remember and retain your message.

What makes symbols so resonant anyway?

It’s all in the brain. Not just the logical left side, but in the right side of our brain – the more imaginative side. The right side is the side the brain uses to process symbols. When the right brain is stimulated by the symbols shown during your presentation, the audience wakes up. They quickly grasp the big picture. Symbols plus language (your carefully-thought-out speech which the left brain is busy processing) equal whole-brain understanding from the audience. This simultaneous brain usage generates optimal assimilation of the ideas and message you put forth.

How do you use symbols?

Here’s how: When you give a PowerPoint presentation or draw on a flip chart or a white board, try showing images (symbols), not just words. If you already use some non-verbal images, add more. These images will appeal to the right and the left brain and constitute a retentive whole. Adding more visuals to your slides will get and keep your audience’s attention. Without having to read slide after slide loaded with words, symbols will cut through the blah blah blah and the audience will “get it” much faster.

So what type of symbols would you use? As an example, what type of symbol do you think would denote success? Success, of course, may have a specific meaning to some of us, but generally speaking, there are universal symbols which would evoke the idea of success. Symbols such as: a pile of money, a rainbow and pot of gold, an audience smiling and vigorously applauding, an applause-o-meter reaching 10 or whatever the top number is. An Olympic gold medal. On the opposite end, what symbol would denote failure? Sadness? Stress? Disharmony?

For your own presentation, tailor your images to your message. Use pictures, graphs, flowcharts, diagrams. Animation. It’s all there on the internet, ready to help you capture and motivate your audience.

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