i'm in New York.  It's another Supercoach Academy weekend, I'm looking forward to being with the students again, and I am  greeted by beautiful sunshine and a warm spring day.  I have every reason to feel good.

As I walked around just enjoying being here, I suddenly became aware of what was going on in my head. My mind was bopping around like little bunny foo-foo scooping up everything it saw and judging, evaluating and labeling.  People got tagged anything from "weirdo" to "oh, they must be very sad..."

As I listen to my internal narration I realize ...  Simon Cowell lives in my head.  And the deeper truth is, in fact, I'm no better, kinder or more loving to people than he is. We are the same.   We are all Simon in little and big ways.  We take what we see, we decide what it means.  And we are pretty happy living like this.

As I caught myself, I marveled at this automatic impulse to interpret everything.  How my mind appears to just wander around and automatically use my eyes as the interpreters of who someone is.  Biologically speaking I suppose some impulse has taken over and it's looking for lions everywhere.  And although that might be understandable as a reason why this impulse is there - it is ridiculous. NY is a strange place and I do need to pay attention but when there is no imminent danger to me, my mind just slips into the Cowell function:  the judge.  And in this case, even on the basis of no information whatsoever - to decide who people are.

This behavior is no different when it comes love.  It wreaks intimacy, it makes assumptions about what people want and what they should do and totally kills our ability to be loved for who we are.  And even if people do love us, we can hardly let it in.  We don't know Love.  We don't know Real Love, that is, the kind without judgement or conditions, and although we are all trying to get that love from everyone all the time - we have almost no experience of offering it to others. 

So just think...everyone else is just like us.  They too have a mini-Simon Cowell, or the very least an undisciplined bunny foo-foo pulling the internal levers.  So let me get this straight: on the basis of basically zero experience of giving love in a pure form,  we want others so somehow know how to 'love us just as we are'?

I can hardly spend a few hours on the streets of NY without judging every moving creature. 

No wonder we all need love so badly.  And with so little practice at giving love, isn't it understandable why we can't find it anywhere we look?

For more on the key to unlocking real love in your life listen to my show with Greg Baer  or search by topic on the right. 

Love is a Verb


I turn my attention to the topic of love and human connection just as San Diegans are struggling with a heart-wrenching murder case. The predominant feeling is deepest sadness but in equal measure there has also been a burst of hatred and outrage. A friend of mine described how some men had gathered in what he could only find words to describe as a 'lynch mob'.

It is mind-boggling to try to make sense of why anyone would want to hurt anyone else. It's not OK. So we get angry. But as we consider this and other crimes, (including things like global warming) is that what we should get? Can you separate what needs to be done from what needs to be considered? What do you consider worthy of living and breathing space in your heart? Do I remember someone saying we should love, but ... only as long as x, y, z, ... and not 'those sinners' who are really bad?

But even considering that us normal folk who don't have the breadth of spirit or divine love required to rise above the transgressions and love regardless, as humans, do we really need to hate in order to take the action necessary to keep someone from hurting another? If someone needs to be put in prison to protect children, let's do that. The effect of letting our hearts fill with hatred as we shut the prison cell door, may be creating more than one prisoner. And more than one killer.

At the same time, I'm reminded of the students in SuperCoach Academy who, in their first weekend of training got the challenge of lifetime. To love unconditionally. One person.  Or all of New York. Whatever you could hold in your heart.

It sounds so lovely, doesn't it?  We want to think we are (and we also truly want to be) 'loving people'.  We have great investment in that idea. We like that as an image of ourselves.  But we've put less investment into the mental and heart shifts that are demanded of us when we try to open up to loving without conditions.

Friday at 10 am Pacific, is the Power of Human Connection with Jason Lee Mitchell as we explore the benefits and challenges of approaching life, ourselves and others without conditions. Unconditional love for all? If you've tried to practice it, you know it isn't easy. Most of us have never experienced it - making it all the harder to even identify what it feels like to both give and receive.

(gosh, could all of this be, perhaps, connected?)

The next week, March 19th, I talk to Greg Baer about Real Love. Don't miss this rare opportunity to experience someone who really lives what he teaches.

Loving people is not an idea, it's a verb.

And you have to conjugate it.

Musings on death


Death is not a topic we have comfortably integrated. It is shrouded in superstition, and fear of it underpins so much of our thinking and it plays out in the way we speak about stopping aging, how we treat 'older' people and the things we tell  ourselves about our own bodies. 

A large plastic surgery industry feeds off a simple fear, that others will not approve of us, although that is not entirely the fault of surgeons. They are only responding to the ways we ourselves are choosing to deal with becoming older.  

Would we really treat people the way we do, would we ignore our children, would we not go to dinner with Mom this week, again, if we had a healthy sense of our own mortality? Wouldn't knowing we do not have a guarantee of tomorrow in the least, shuffle our priorities so radically that we might be unrecognizable?   If we really knew tomorrow we'd be lucky to wake up, would we be making any of our same choices today?

Despite all our daily worries about the future, the future in fact does not exist.   (Nor does the past, for that matter, but that's another topic). When we live in worry about what isn't real, we suffer, we lose all our joy and we try run around creating  solutions for a problem that is does not exist.  We waste so much energy and time and love.  You don't have to look further than Chile and Haiti to know there is no tomorrow.  Let's be something more than just occupied.  Let's stop being busy and consider what's meaningful to us.

There really is only one moment.  The one you and I are living now. 

if you are interested in this topic, listen to the show with Stan Goldberg, Lessons For Living Without Regret