Jay Alive and Well

Back From The Dead and Going to California.

Jay Alive and Well

 

Death is the greatest catalyst for change.

Amen to that. Last weekend I felt about as close to death as I care to feel. Three months ago, I began to experience the symptoms of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) which is an enlargement of the prostate. When the prostate gets too large, it impedes one’s ability to urinate. This is a very common ailment among men over 50. Statistics indicate half of men over 60 suffer from this condition.

FlowMax.

This is a drug you may have seen advertised on television. Now you know what it is designed to do for its customers. It is one of many drugs created for BPH sufferers. Three months ago, I noticed I was not able to urinate with ease. I needed to apply quite a bit of pressure, and then when I started to see some action, I still wasn’t feeling completely emptied. The doctor here in Thailand prescribed a medication and it worked like a dream. One pill at night, and I was back to my normal “peeing like a racehorse” status. The honeymoon lasted two months.

Last Friday, I was having a very difficult time urinating. No matter how hard a grunted, strained, and patiently waited, virtually nothing came out. I don’t know if you realize how painful it is to have a full bladder with no way to empty it. I went through two days of living hell. I did not sleep. It was excruciating.  I don’t mind telling you that I screamed in utter despair.  I must have taken 50 mini showers to relax my muscles, so I could squeeze just enough out to relieve the pain for a few minutes. I distinctly remember thinking that death would be better than this.

On Sunday morning, I jumped into a taxi and went to the local hospital. My stomach looked like I had eaten a tight-as-a-drum basketball. I was hurting. I had taken four times the recommended dosage of my medication, and 3 Advil every few hours, so I also felt woozy and light headed.   I was really out of it in every way imaginable.  I had read that the most promising and immediate solution was a catheter flush. For those not familiar with the process, a long rubber tube is inserted into the tip of a man’s penis, pushed past the prostate, into the bladder, and then the urine can freely flow out into a bag or glass jar. It sounds painful, and it was at first, but then the sensation of all that urine flowing out of me was something I will never forget. I had two lovely Thai nurses kneaded my stomach to squeeze out all the urine. They were shocked out how much had come out of the farong (westerner). I basically filled two Best Foods Mayonnaise jars. Epic.

I left the hospital and thoroughly enjoyed my walk home in the sun. The pain which I had endured for 48 hours was gone. I planned to go to another hospital on Monday morning (the next day), and see a specialist to figure out what we could do on a more permanent basis. My respite lasted six hours, and soon I was back in pain and had to dig in for another hellish night. Again, I dragged myself to the hospital in the morning, again they rushed me onto a gurney, again a Thai nurse shoved a catheter in me, and soon I was able to peacefully doze to sleep while I waited in urinary bliss for the doctor.

During this past weekend, I felt very alone.

I have no family here in Thailand. I have a few friends, but they don’t rank very high on the “comforting” scale. I missed my children, and asked myself why was I still in Thailand, when my plan was always to return to the USA for a spell, and then venture out to some new distant destination, like Ecuador, or Morocco, or Spain. 65 is when I will settle down. I still have nine years of vagabonding ahead of me. Why the change in plans? As this week wore on, I have realized I need to be home, for a variety of reasons, none the least of which is to spend time with my family. America, here I come.

So you must be wondering: “Jay, how did you fix your prostate?” We haven’t yet. The doctor told me to keep the catheter in me for one to two weeks.  That’ right!  I have been walking around Chiang Mai with a catheter inside of me and a bag attached to my leg. It’s not so bad, although I am just vain enough to wear long jeans instead of my de rigueur shorts. According to the doctor, this will give my bladder some time to heal from the extreme stretching it endured during the past weekend. I am also to drink at least two liters of water per day to clean out the plumbing. He also gave me some much stronger and more effective medicine to try. I visit the doctor tomorrow and we will see if I can urinate like the days of old. If all goes well, I will once again “pee like a racehorse!” If not, then we have to look at surgical options, which I will wholeheartedly embrace. Let’s get this fixed so I may resume my catheter-less physical life of exercise and intimacy.

When the universe sends me a message, it is often spoken with great strength and gusto. I must be somewhat dense, as my messages are never subtle.  They are about a subtle as a two by four across the forehead, or in this case, a basketball in my belly!  Last weekend was such a message. Get home. Get to work. Keep writing. Keep coaching. Be the best Dad I can be. I have two more weeks here in Thailand. I am already making a mini bucket list of experiences I want to have one more time before I leave. My year in Thailand has been one of the best years of my life. Apparently I am now ready to bring the Thai magic back to my little neck of the woods in America. Tally Ho.

 

 

timothy-ferriss-hat-headshot-four-hour-work-week-body-chef

In Praise of Tim Ferriss

timothy-ferriss-hat-headshot-four-hour-work-week-body-chef
Tim Ferriss, Author, Podcaster, Change Agent

Many years ago, my good friend David, a very successful business owner, suggested I read a book with the crazy proposition that I could work four hours a week (rather than the forty I was expending) and be just as productive. The book was aptly titled “The 4 Hour Workweek.” I ordered the book on Amazon, read the book, and was intrigued by many of the concepts and ideas and “hacks” presented in the book. I immediately obtained a virtual assistant from India to handle many of my daily tasks. I began to think about how often I started and stopped a specific task, while being interrupted by emails and phone calls. My efficiency increased overnight. I learned to turn off my phone during the day to avoid interruption, and allocated 30 minutes at the end of the day to return important calls. The 80/20 rule took on a whole new meaning. If you have not read the book, do yourself a favor and buy the book now and read the book (Click on the image).

4 Hour Work Week

While I learned a great deal about my own efficiencies, I noticed something else, something even more profound. Tim’s book placed the seed of world travel in my mind and heart. For the first time, I saw world travel as a viable goal, affordable, and doable. I still remember my utter giddy joy as I read about how inexpensive it could be to travel to a city in South America. Although I had lived in England for one year, this book opened my eyes once again to the magic that lives on the road, and specifically on roads outside of the United States. What one man can do, another can do. Why not travel and see the world? Why not? The Four Hour Workweek was like a beacon in the night. It was a siren song. It was an invitation to live an amazing life. I am not being grandiose when I say that I was reborn during my initial reading of Tim’s epic first book.

Next, Tim Ferriss wrote and published “The Four Hour Body.” This substantial work of experimentation and research sparked my interest in foods, macros, weight loss, and muscle gain. I credit much of my 45 pound weight loss, and subsequent and ongoing self-testing I have undertaken to the fabulous material presented in “The Four Hour Body.” My life will last a bit longer, and my daily experience is much simpler, healthier, and life affirming, all a result of what I read in the second book. Tim wrote a third book, “The Four Hour Chef,” which I have not read. My interest in cooking is not that profound, although I understand the book is more about advanced learning techniques than how to cook a quick omelet. I will get to it.

Best of all for me now are Tim’s podcasts. Tim Ferriss’ well-deserved notoriety has given him access to some of the best and brightest amongst us. The podcasts are long form conversations, each one filled with powerful realizations, guidance, and seeds of greatness. I listened to Arnold Schwarzenegger and was filled with the power of possibility of what one man can do with a life. I listened to Pavel Tsatsouline (Olympic strength trainer) and transformed my time at the health club from workouts to practice. I stopped pushing myself to failure, and implemented four sets of five. Now I enjoy my time at the gym, rather than gutting it out every day.

TimFerrissShowArt1400x1400
Through the Tim Ferris Show (Click on the image), I have listened to some amazing lights in the world, people I had not heard of such as Maria Popova, Sam Harris, and Peter Diamandis. Maria writes a simply gorgeous blog called Brain Pickings that she shares with the world on a weekly basis. Sam Harris speaks and writes and debates about reality and consciousness and meditation. The greatest praise I can heap on Sam Harris is that he is Christopher Hitchens 2.0. Peter Diamandis, author of a fantastic book entitled Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World, shared the question during his podcast “Why not take your 10 year plan, and do it in the next 6 months?” That is a powerful way to see the world, and Peter has demonstrated the validity of this paradigm with his remarkable life. Each podcast of Tim Ferris is like an unopened Christmas gift. I don’t know what I am going to get, but I am sure I am going to learn and grow and be filled with challenging and potent ideas.

What is possible? So often during and after many of Tim’s podcasts, I have to check my ego at the door, and take a hard look at my life. My sense of accomplishment takes a beating. But in that humbling experience in which I say something like “Wow, _______________ (fill in the blank with virtually any of Tim’s guests), he/she has done so much and continues to do so much. What have I done? What have I been doing? How can I do more? How can I make a similar impact on the world?” I often feel small, and in that feeling lays a desire, a passion, a deep search for who I really am, and what I really will do in the world during this lifetime. I often don’t know what is possible until I see someone else doing it. Tim’s podcast are like a cold bucket of water poured over my head. It’s a wakeup call, a yelling in my ear of “Hey Jay, wake the fuck up!” I like it.

cliff

I seem to use the word powerful quite a bit as I write about Tim Ferriss and his body of work. Much of my bromantic feelings do come from a shared love of power. When I think of power, of course I can envision the hulking physique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger or the wealth of a billionaire investor like Peter Thiel. But in Tim’s world, we can also see the power of a Sam Harris, who has cut through the bullshit of religious dogma and duality like a surgeon. Power comes in a variety of forms, and while many of Tim’s guests are physical performance enthusiasts, there are a fair number of consciousness enthusiasts as well. This balanced ebb and flow of creativity and ideas keeps me engaged and insures my loyalty to all things Tim Ferriss.

“Freedom lies in being bold.” Robert Frost

Let’s talk about meditation. Tim often asks his guests, “What do the first 90 minutes of your day look like?” As we have discovered, nearly three quarters of Tim’s guest include meditation as a vital part of their daily routine. As an avid meditator for the past 20 years, I found this knowledge of other’s meditation habits to be an open invitation to join Tim’s Tribe. I am amongst my own. Success shows up in balance. Light and dark, Yin and Yang. Tim’s work is shattering the myth or illusion that success is exclusively about power and money. Success may just show up in a smile on your child’s face. Success may be found in a profound moment of stillness when you feel connected to every thing. Success may actually be about walking away from public adoration and taking a Thoreau like walk into solitude and family life.

Jay Vision Board 4-12

I have heard some people say that vision boards are shit. When used as purely a visioning tool, I would agree. But a vision board used as an anchor for sustained action is a powerful tool. Above you can see my vision board from 2012. On the left side, you can see (it’s a bit dark) an image near the word Travel. This is a picture of Tim and a friend from somewhere in Vietnam. I can remember feeling, deep in my heart at the time I first viewed this image, “Why Not?” “Why can’t I travel the world, see exotic destinations, meet people from different cultures, and share it all for the growth and education of myself and anyone else who cares to read or watch what I put out into the world?”

Tim Ferriss in Vietnam

In May of this year, I traveled to Vietnam, was guided by a beautiful woman through Saigon, and met many wonderful people. The practical application of bringing a vision to reality, of prioritizing our activities, the focus on the one thing, all emerge triumphantly in Tim’s work.

Drinking Beers in Saigon.
Drinking Beers in Saigon.

My greatest praise for Tim Ferriss comes in the form of my emulation of his life. I love Tim’s life (at least what I see of it). Now, over 5 years into my own Tim Ferriss style life experiment, I am experiencing a path similar in many ways, while still being quite a distance from where I am going. I have used my body as an experiment, now walking the earth at 190 pounds, rather than the 235 pounds I use to carry around. Now I work online, and am not bound to any one location. I live in Thailand for the time being, and who knows where I will go next. I have recorded 3 episodes of my own podcast, called The Men’s Room, and am excited to one day have Tim Ferriss himself as a guest. I created Indigo Yak, a course that will show anybody how to meditate. And I wrote my own book, Radical Freedom, which shares a variety of steps one may take on the road to spiritual freedom.

My life, now at 56, is filled with a hope for the future. I see the unprecedented exponential growth of knowledge, and feel the energy of an immense energetic movement like an 80-foot wave rumbling under my feet. I am finding my way. Aren’t we all? I read books and listen to podcasts and know others are feeling the same way. Gratitude fills my heart. I have seen much of the world and know we are all the same. There is coming a time when us versus them will seem silly and obsolete. One by one, we are waking up to myths that bind us and hold us down. Tim Ferriss’ work allows us to embrace powerful ideas that emancipate us.

I will conclude this homage to Tim Ferriss by sharing how much I appreciate the courage he continues to demonstrate by putting his words, images, sounds, and heart out into the world for all to experience in their own way. It is inspiring.  Tim Ferriss is, in my life, a rock star. He shares my love of performance with my dedication to spiritual growth. He is a writer, a creator, and one who brings together amazing people for the benefit of all, truly a catalyst for change. Tim Ferriss’ gift to the culture cannot be over emphasized. Certainly, my life has been altered, and I trust the titanic shifts will resplendently continue. Long may Tim create! Long may he share his vision! I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”

2014-09-15 09.33.50

Rain in Phuket, Thailand

What an adventure!  I decided to go out a find some butter lamps that I have seen in Buddhist temples.   Many people here in Thailand are Buddhist, so there must be someone who sells these ancient relics.  I headed off to Phuket town at the advice of Aree who oversees the house in which I am living.   Instead of taking a taxi, I decided to really go local and take the blue and white bus that goes from Phuket to Kamala, with stops right in front of my house.  The last key ingredient to mix in to this adventure is rain, monsoon type rain, rain with thunder, rain that comes down in buckets.  In fact, it is like the ice bucket challenge without the ice or bucket.

Off I went, stopping at the local cell phone place to top up my minutes.  Next I swung by the grocery store to pick up a plastic covering to battle the rain.  I had seen people wearing these on their scooters, and around my neighborhood, so I made my 21 Baht purchase.  Next I found a nice place to wait by the side of the road to catch the bus.  There aren’t any bus stops like you see in America.  Instead, you have to wildly wave your arms and get the driver’s attention, or else wait another half hour or so for the next bus.  I got his attention.  On the bus I got, and off we went to the town of Phuket.

I got off the bus and was assaulted by taxi and tuk tuk drivers asking me if I needed a ride.  I waved my hand, kept walking, and looked for a place to eat and get my bearings.  I found a wonderful little café with real lattes and delectable deserts.  I sat down for a while, enjoyed my latte while images of America floated through my head.  The place even had a picture of John Lennon on the wall.  After my montage of sepia toned memories, I was thrust back into Phuket, Thailand as thunder cracked and the heavens opened up.  My goal was to aimlessly walk around, stopping in at shops in search of butter lamps, scarves, candles, incense and tingshas (Tibetan bells, which I forgot to bring to Thailand and use to begin and end my meditations).

I got so wet that no part of me was dry.  Drenched.  Not only is it raining, but wearing the 21 Bhat plastic cover created a sauna type environment for my body.  I had buckets of rain pelting me while rivers of sweat were running down my body.  All I could do was laugh, walk the streets, accept the rain and the sweat, and surrender to the elements.  I walked.  I got wet.  I visited shops.  I laughed.  Others laughed with me.  I did find one great shop that had some of the things on my list.  I purchased a gorgeous green patterned scarf and my biggest find was a set of antique tingshas, which are at least 50 years old.  What a powerful and sustained sound they have!

I had wondered about 3 miles from the bus drop off point, and I had 90 minutes to get back.  I was lost, and just started walking.  The rains poured down.  I stopped for another latte, and this woman knew her espresso and foam stuff.  Look at the pattern, the nice little cookies, and even green tea on the side.  It was one of those moments, when everything tastes perfect, the environment is just right, and having endured miles of walking in the rain, I felt I deserved this special moment for myself.

Onward.  Keep walking.  Found a bus.  Waved wildly.  I had returned to the bus stop (a place on the road where the buses wait for passengers) and waited 45 minutes until we left.  It was remarkable how much more, I observed, the Thai people live in the moment, not as lost in thought and opinion, as my American brothers and sisters.   I admit that I was focused on the amount of time I was sitting on that bus waiting to leave.  “When are we getting out of here?” I would think to myself.  “I am wet, and tired, and want to get home!”  Then I noticed the other people on the bus.  They were talking, laughing, playing with their cell phones, and not seemingly concerned in the least about when we departed.   It was an stirring reminder of not living in the past or the future, but living in the right here and right now.  My life is what’s happening right now.  And at that moment, I was sitting on a bus.

Got home after 45 minutes on the bus.  Stopped for some milk at the grocery store.  Stopped at the local food cart for some takeaway dinner.  Finally got home at 6:30.  Took a good long shower.  Ate my dinner.  Got a massage.  Looked at my scarf and tingshas, and tried on my new t-shirt which I had bought in Phuket to swap out with my dripping wet button down.   With a feeling of complete exhaustion, I crawled into bed.  What a day!  There were so many moments and memories.   It was a wonderful adventure, physically challenging, emotionally satisfying and spiritual uplifting.   As always, I am feeling blessed and grateful for this experience called life.  And I am living it now.

 

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About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

 

Outside the Comfort Zone

What does it take?

Outside the Comfort Zone

What does it take to be a successful Internet marketer? This is a very powerful question. Right now there are millions of people grappling with the opportunity of the Internet. Baby boomers, now reaching retirement, many decimated by the financial collapse of 2008, are looking for a way to maintain their lifestyle without going to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart. The job market is tough out there. 50 and 60 year olds have a challenging time competing against 20 and 30 year olds. An investment of time and effort on an employer’s part will pay bigger dividends with a younger protégé who has a working life of 30 or 40 years, rather than 5 to 10 years.

It is not only boomers that are seizing the opportunity of the Internet. Whiz kids, as they are called, breeze onto the scene, figure out this or that, put something together, and on pure guts and some braggadocio, manage to create multi million dollar enterprises. Single moms, people fed up with the rat race, the commute, the parking, the office politics, the belligerent boss, everyone is getting in on the action, working at home, face in front of a blank computer screen, trying to figure this Internet thing out.

Why do some make it, and some don’t? We are back to our original inquiry. Let’s look at the key components: financial backing, experience, work ethic, talent, and mindset. I have been prospecting, interviewing, hiring and training individuals for the past 20 years. I am currently working as an Internet marketing coach working with over 100 individuals at a time. (Click here if you would like to work directly with me, only $49 to get started). What I am about to share is based on my experience, and the shared experience of those who have also spent many years evaluating potential.

Financial Backing. Many people come into Internet Marketing with no money what so every. That is to say, they begin working with me as their coach with the first words out of their mouth being, “I don’t have any money, thank you for this opportunity!” I have other clients who state in their application that they have in excess of $10,000 to invest in their business opportunity. It is misleading to say that the wealthier client is the better client simply because they have money to spend. The truth is that the wealthier client has demonstrated a disciplined life in which saving a percentage of funds has been practiced. This is an important aspect of mindset which we’ll cover later. Still, I am here to report that either one of my clients, broke as a joke and well funded, both of them have a nearly equal shot at being an internet marketing success. For once an individual has a clear picture of what is possible and available with the Internet marketing lifestyle, raising the money becomes just another task to complete on the road to success.

Experience. I have some clients that have been involved in Internet marketing for years. They have a list, they know about Facebook advertising, pay per click, solo ads, and squeeze pages. Others come to me with absolutely no experience. None. Sure they know how to check emails, search the Internet, and listen to music on Pandora, but they know nothing about split tests, the industry, nor the true potential of the Internet marketing lifestyle. Truly, I don’t have a preference. On the one hand, the experienced marketer will clearly see the strength of a given opportunity. They may have a large list, and are simply looking for a powerful product with a strong profit margin to share with their list. However, many experienced marketers know a bit too much for their own good. They over analyze, and before you know it, they have discarded an amazing opportunity because of an earlier bad experience. Contrast that to a “newbie” who only sees the potential, the opportunity, the glass half full. The newbie will ask a few questions, questions designed to promulgate progress. They see a bright and shining light in the future, and move toward it unfettered by past experiences.

Work Ethic. This is very important. I need someone who will work. I don’t care if you read the 4 Hour Work Week. I am a huge fan of Tim Ferris, but when you are getting started at anything, it requires massive action to achieve some level of momentum to get the whole project started. When a man is pushing a huge boulder up a hill, first there is a bit of a time when the boulder actually rolls backwards while we are adjusting to its weight. Then we must marshal all of our strength, and with consistent pressure, push hard and strong to get that boulder rolling uphill. As we continue to push, the incline of the hill seems to mellow. Some will then stop, or slow down, and that is the time when someone with a disciplined work ethic will truly seize the day. I can’t work with lazy. It doesn’t work.

Talent. I will take someone with a strong work ethic over someone with talent each and everyday of the week. I see so much wasted talent in the world. There are talented people who have “issues”, are lazy, feel entitled, are used to getting much for little work in school and in life. When I find talent coupled with a good work ethic, there is tantalizing potential. Still, there is something far more important than anything we have covered thus far.

Mindset. They key to Internet marketing success, and some would say for any kind of success, is your mindset. Mindset may be defined as the way you think about and experience or perceive the world around you. Merriam Webster defines mindset as: a particular way of thinking, a person’s attitude or set of opinions about something. A person may have talent, a strong work ethic, impressive past experiences, and still, if that person has a lousy mindset, he is destined to fail. Some see the glass half empty, while others see it as half full. But mindset is much more than have a positive outlook on life.

Mindset determines how one address challenges, setbacks, rejection and failure. My old teacher, Stuart Wilde, use to tell me often that people live in a prison of their own mind. The prison door is not locked. All it takes is the intention, or the will, to push the door open and walk out into the light. We have all met people who have a poor mindset. For these people, everything is a problem. Mired in frustration and self doubt, life is dark, and possibilities for the future evaporate into thin air.

This blog is dedicated to those of us who harbor a glimmer of hope, who understand the importance of the space between our ears, who are committed to establishing a powerful mindset, a mindset that frees us of the bonds of this earthly existence, and allows us to achieve those things we most desire in this life. This is what I am calling the dot com mindset. The dot com mindset, once fully developed, allows anyone to have the four freedoms: financial freedom, time freedom, geographical freedom, and most importantly, spiritual freedom.

We all want to have money. We all need to have money in order to survive. You may hate money, think it is the root of all evil, but if you are going to have much of a life here on earth, you have to come to terms with the role of money in your life. The goal of most of the clients I coach is to be debt fee, to have enough money to meet the basic needs of home, food, utilities, and transportation. Most also want a bit more to allow for a few extravagances, perhaps a dream car or a couple of vacations, and a bit left over for some sort of charity. How free are you?

The concept of slavery is abhorrent to most. The idea of being subservient to another is anathema to the soul. Yet most live a life beholden to a job, a church, a government, and a relationship, all of which impact your time. Are you free to get on an airplane today, for example, and fly to Morocco to visit a sick friend? Can you take a month off, kick it on a beach in Spain, and recharge your batteries? For those with time freedom, these situations represent opportunities, and not unfathomable scenarios. How free are you?

Do you live where you want to live? Have you ever even asked yourself the question? I never did until traveling in Europe, walking in Leister Square, and saying to my partner, “We could live here!” 4 months later, we moved to England and lived in the English countryside for a year. It is a big world out there, and most won’t venture far beyond their own shores, missing out on the experiences that far away and distant lands hold for you. How free are you?

How high do you allow your spirit to fly? Have you walked through Zen’s gateless gate? Have you spent any real time getting still, allowing your mind to slow down, and feel the true nature of this earthly existence? Have you awaken to the remarkable task and path that lies in front of each and every one of us? Spiritual freedom is difficult to define and shows up differently in each of us. Most, mired in survival, will not ever step foot on the path to awakening. The dot com mindset allows for this most noble of pursuits. Achieving the three previous freedoms will open some doors that may, if not ignored, lead to the inevitable realizations of life. The dot com mindset’s ultimate state is complete spiritual freedom, the type of freedom that allows you to soar, to feel, to move freely, to unshackle all the chains that have been keeping you held hostage to an imaginary captor. The dot com mindset has the potential to lift the veil so that you finally, once and for all, see clearly. How free are you?

What does it take to be a successful internet marketer? It takes a mature relationship with fear. Very little is accomplished in an environment of comfort. Many are familiar with the concept of the comfort zone. If you are not familiar with the comfort zone analogy, imagine a cloud one lives in called the comfort zone. In the comfort zone, you may feel secure, content, pleased with your past accomplishments, and nestled in with your family. Daily life occurs in the comfort zone, but not much else. Real accomplishment takes place outside of the comfort zone. As you may surmise, life outside of the comfort zone is, well, uncomfortable. It feels like you are doing things that you may not know and may not completely understand, and which may make you feel fearful. But many of us march forward in spite of all these unpleasant feelings, because this is how we learn, this is how we grow, and this is how we accomplish great things in our life.

Author David Deida, who wrote a fabulous book entitled The Way of the Superior Man, speaks about the importance of living just at your edge.

“By leaning just beyond your fear, you challenge your limits compassionately, without trying to escape the feeling of fear itself. You step beyond the solid ground of security with an open heart. You stand in the space of unknowingness, raw and awake.”

The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

Living just at your edge requires one to live with a healthy dose of fear. Fear is a friend we all must get to know, learn to accept, and in fact, are required to embrace. If you do not know fear, you do not know yourself. If you have never pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone, how can you expect anyone else to do the same? In life, in order to be successful, in order to be in a position of freedom, you will need to lead others. The only way to lead others, is to lead by example. There is no other way. We have all been approached by the faker, the one who claims to know the way, yet we all know, he or she has never been that way.

Be friends with your fear. Learn how to breathe through it. Become so adept at fear management that when you feel it, you are enlivened, and now have access to a powerful energy you may harness to do some good not only in your life, but in the world. Learning to deal with fear, and turning fear into your friend, is a powerful component of your mindset. If you want the dot com lifestyle (and really, who doesn’t?), you are going to have to work hard on the dot com mindset. Let’s get underway. Onward.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

Van Gogh

Love The One You’re With.

Van Gogh

“There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock” 
 Charles Bukowski

I hear quite a bit of advice.  Some people have an Aha moment, and feel compelled to share it in the form of words of encouragement.  One bit that is shared often is this: Love Yourself.   While this is no doubt well intentioned,  it actually makes someone who has this challenge feel worse for they don’t know how to accomplish the task, which in turn creates more self-loathing.  “Why can’t I love myself more!”  You might as well tell a blind man that he should go look at a Van Gogh painting.   I look at this image and am filled with awe, beauty, and the touch of God.  I can even share my rapturous feelings with a man who can not see, but it does not do him much good.  I can only imagine the feelings of frustration, regret and downright anger that arise.  It does not work.

“With love you don’t bargain. There, the choice is not yours. Love is a mirror, it reflects only your essence, if you have the courage to look in its face. ”  

– Rumi

Love is the law.  Love is the truth.  Love can be as harsh as it can be beautiful.  Therefore, it takes courage to look at your essence,  for you, at your core, are love.  It takes courage to begin the process of knowing yourself.  It is easy to look and see all the good stuff.  The trick is to look at the dark stuff, come to terms with it, appreciate it, and rather than pretend it does not exist, integrate it into your being.   I have discovered that I am competitive.  I relish the thought of winning and another losing.  I have rage and anger and impatience that live within me.  I have the capacity to kill.  These are just some of the components of my dark side.  It is my journey to discover these aspects of myself and come to a place of acceptance.  In order to truly experience authentic love of any kind, this has to happen.  Otherwise my love is a partial love, a pretend love , the kind of love bandied about in silly love songs.  It wears off and does not stand the test of time.   Since our love is incomplete, we look outside of ourselves for more.  And so we have a culture that celebrates finding love in another.  We hear expression like “You complete me.”   What we thought was love wears off and families are broken into pieces.  If only more looked within wherein lies all the answers.

So where do you start?   The elixir is in the poison.  You dive into the hurt.  I have never met a human being that did not have some feelings of self-loathing.  Often it is self loathing, like the pain from a persistent pebble in our shoe, that awakens us to action. It’s the discomfort that creates the yearning for something greater. It’s only in the acquisition of self-knowledge that we begin to appreciate the brilliance of our human condition. It’s this appreciation for the universal condition of all beings that begins to look like self-love.  But it is not self-love.  It is love.  As the Bukowski quote indicates, many suffer from loneliness, or a feeling of being uncomfortable in the present moment without the company of another person.  However, once one begins to experience love, time spent alone transforms into a panoply of experiences, rich and full of joy and inner contentment.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”  ― Pablo Neruda

Love is not something you direct at yourself or at a chosen other. Love is a state of being, a place you come from in every moment of your life. In fact, the idea of loving just yourself or just another, will upon ruthless examination, seem non-sensical.   When you arrive in life at where you started in life, love is everywhere, like the constant beat of life in your heart.  I love you.  This is true.  I love me too.  You is me.  Me is you.  If you want to feel the real deal, you have to do the heavy lifting.  Invest time into knowing yourself and into understanding who you are through and through.   It is as simple as writing your name on a piece of paper, then write “Light Side” on the top left and “Dark Side” on the top right, and begin writing.  It’s OK to admit to all aspects of yourself, especially to yourself.  You will be surprised at the catharsis that occurs when you undertake this simple little process.

This love, the great love, the golden love, is available right now.  It is in the air we all  breath.  It is in the sunlight that warms your skin.  It is in the tone of your friend’s voice.  It is in your lover’s breath.  You don’t need to look for it, for it can’t be found.  Life calls upon each of us to dive deep within our own being, and in so doing, we begin to clean the lens of our perception.  The love is here, more love than we can imagine, the kind of love that has obsessed poets like Neruda and Bukowski and Rumi for lifetimes.  It is so powerful, and can be so overwhelming, that we often lean back towards what is comfortable, and socially accepted, while the keys to the kingdom of heaven slip out of our hands.   Can’t you taste it?  Are you ready to undertake the hero’s quest to unearth the grail?  Grab my hand and let’s jump into the abyss.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

Empty bowl

An Exceptional Life

Empty bowl

Isn’t it true that we feel the most alive, the most real, the most authentic, when we are going through the most challenging of times?  Had a bout with cancer?  Experienced the death of a loved one?  Job loss?  Relationship dissolution?  Career change?  Financial chaos?  Stopping any form of intoxication (drinking, smoking, narcotics, gambling, debting, sexing…)?  If you look at this honestly, the times of the greatest challenge, when life hardly seem worth living, when nothing else really matters, when depression may have set in, when staying in bed sounds as attractive as taking a walk along the beach, these are the times when you and I have been the closest to the true nature of our current incarnation.  It is undeniable.

The path of adult maturation demands that we think for ourselves.  All authority must be assumed within.  Outside authority must be systematically challenged, questioned and discarded.  I must take full responsibility not only for my current life, but for my past life and the resulting behaviors and thought forms I have acquired.   I bring this up because for most of us, we have been lied to from the day we were born.  We have been told what to believe, how to live, what to pursue, and what will bring us happiness.   How is that working for you?  Do you enjoy being a cog in the wheel?  Are you starting to ask questions, and are you beginning to figure things out on your own?  In order to do that, one must assume full self authority.  At some point, giving over your authority to anyone else, or to any group, is anathema to your soul.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  – Steve Jobs

So now, as a think for yourself human being, as you read on, ponder on this.  Is it not true for you that the times of greatest challenge, pain, and despondency were the most authentic experiences you have had?  As I sit with the men in my groups, I can pretty quickly tell who is deep in a challenging life experience.  He is not giddy with excitement about a new car.  He is not talking about his latest sexual conquest.  Nor is he ranting on about his woman and relationship.  No, rather he is humbled.  He is vulnerable.  His heart is flayed wide open.  He is authentic.  He is seeing the world through new eyes.  He is experiencing a death, and in that space, the seeds of a new existence are beginning to spring forth.  He knows in that moment, that the car, the sex and the women, all that stuff, is fairly incidental to what really matters here and now.  It is more the stuff of dreams.  In fact, he is beginning to see that this life is a dream.  He is experiencing the seeds of awakening.  And for the first time, he may be actually living in the current moment, without regrets for the past and fears for the future.

Why is it that when we feel lonely, despondent,  depressed, humbled or vulnerable, we feel life to be the most real and authentic?  Why is it that during these specific periods of time, we also feel that life is meaningless?  This is very interesting.  When we stop listening to the outside authorities telling us what is meaningful, and when we go through some of life’s most challenging moments, we find life to be empty and meaningless.  Let me restate that because this is key.  To be clear, during our most authentic moments, when we feel perfectly clear and present, life feels empty and meaningless.  True?  What do you think this means?  This is a big question, the answer of which can have huge implications on your life.  There is a huge freedom that comes from this seminal realization.

The inner emptiness is the door to God. – Osho

Now, whatever it means to you, this undeniable feeling that life is empty is something most of us do not like.  It is scary.  It gives one a feeling of being unhinged.   It goes against most everything we have been taught.  It is new and different, and most of us will do just about anything not to feel it.   During our men’s events, we refers to this experience, the little voice of emptiness, as the “little bastard” and we want to keep him little and hidden away, because at first he doesn’t feel good inside us.  It feels wrong to be living a life that is empty and meaningless.  As Morpheus showed Neo the stark sterile nature of the matrix, Neo uttered “No, It Can’t Be.”  Well, apparently it can be and it is.  Adults face the music and walk through it.  Children intoxicate and avoid.  Adults experience the freedom of truth.  Children prefer to live in lies.

Think of all the ways we as human intoxicate ourselves, all in an effort to keep the little bastard at bay.  The little bastard reminds us that death is coming.  No matter how we live this life, no matter how well we love, no matter how much we give, nor how magnificently we live, we are going to exit this place.  There is no way around it.   This truth lies at the core of every fear we have.  That is what the little bastard whispers in our ears.  And so, to shut him up, we intoxicate on life.  During most of my life  I had been living in fear, obsessed with intoxicating and avoiding.  I initially felt my little bastard when my first marriage was coming to an end.  I felt miserable, depressed, suicidal, and trapped.  Life did not feel worth living.  What was the point?  I had achieved those things on which I had set my sights.  I had the good job, the wife, the children, the house, all of the things I thought I had wanted.   However, as I came to understand, there is an emptiness in acquisition.  And so came the knock knock on the door of my mind.  The little bastard was ready to break the door down.  I had to get out.  I had to jump into the arms of another woman.  I had to start smoking.  I had to move.  I had to get a new job.   And with all those distractions, I was able to resume life in my own monochromatic dream for another 10 years.  Funny how it all works…simple, yet very clever.

There is an emptiness in acquisition.   After you have achieved something profound,  or purchased a big ticket item, often the response to yourself is something like, “Is that all there is?” or “Is that it?” or “Hmmm?”   There is an emptiness in acquisition.  After fantastic sex and a mind-blowing orgasm, it does not take long for the little bastard to whisper in your ear, “That’s it?”  Notice how you feel after watching the Super Bowl.  Right after the conclusion, there is an immediate let down.  “Was that it?”  There is a letdown after every intoxication, because life does not match up to our illusory expectations.  We strongly desire that life has some meaning, yet the truth of our feelings does not resonate commensurate with our desires.  The little bastard speaks the truth.  Damned that little bastard!

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.  Henry David Thoreau 

A glorious and magnificent life is one that is lived in truth.  Most run from the truth, preferring to live in a sort of dream state rather than make the dedicated effort to understand this amazing life we are privileged to call home.  As we embrace all of life, and not just the “good” stuff, have you noticed how life gets simpler.  Fears abate.  Synchronicity abounds.   Mysteries unfurl.  You begin to understand things from a much larger perspective.  Everything starts to fit into a paradigm which makes sense of all situations.   Unfortunately, you can’t learn this stuff by reading about it.  You must live it.  You must learn to embrace all of it.   You must walk through the fears and expose them for what they are.  The payoff off is immediate and substantial.  Your energy will rise.  You will be humble  You will be vulnerable.  You will be wildly attractive to both sexes.  You will feel and recognize the interconnections of all beings.  Life will become magical.  And all of this is available, right now, just on the other side of this moment,  by simply beginning to look at life honestly and on your own terms.  It is your life.  The invitation is to live it exceptionally.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

Going Within

Look Within

Going Within

I was twenty-two when I began working at Leo Burnett, a prestigious advertising agency located in Chicago, Illinois.  It was my first corporate job, a prize I had earned as a college graduate.  I still remember getting dressed each day, proudly tying my power tie, and then catching the green and white bus that motored past Lake Superior and down Michigan Avenue.  Being a native Californian, it was quite a shift in my life: new job, new city, and new friends.  Life was vibrant and rich.

I was in the account executive training program with fifty or so other new college graduates from around the country.  We worked ourselves to the bone in either the media or research department before getting promoted to the job of assistant account executive.  It was a very competitive environment as you can imagine, with all of us doing our best to deliver on the bold promises we made during our job interviews.  It was during one of many meetings we attended that I heard a senior executive make a statement that I have never forgotten.

As aspiring executive wannabes, we were trying to create a dynamic new media campaign for one of our clients.  We had changed one core component that had delivered very well for the past 5 years.  We were asked about this change to the plan and didn’t have much of an answer, other than to say, we wanted to try something different.  The senior executive then stated what now seems like a fairly obvious truth.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I now look back on that statement as a profound truth because there is something inside us that wants to fix things, even when they are not broken.  Let’s call that certain something The Fixer, a unique aspect of ourselves that we can use to our benefit or detriment.

Let me tell you about The Fixer.  First of all, he is a very determined fellow.  No matter what, he wants to fix.  The Fixer loves a good problem.  The harder the problem, the happier The Fixer!  Without a problem, The Fixer tends to fade into the background.   However, make no mistake; The Fixer is not going to give up.  If there is no problem, The Fixer will more often than not create a problem just to keep himself occupied.  One target that The Fixer places a big bull’s-eye is on a woman.  Many men have a strong desire to fix their woman in a misguided attempt to make their own lives better.  I hear it all the time.  “She is too emotional.”   “She is not passionate enough.”   “She is too independent.”  “I wish she would have more of a life outside of our relationship.”  The blame game is alive and well.

The pertinent question here is – Why does she have to be anything different than she it?  She is not broken, so… why do you want to fix her?  I suggest to you that if you are trying to fix your woman, you have not fully settled into your masculine core.  Whatever dissatisfaction you are feeling about your woman is your dissatisfaction.  Rather than trying to fix something that is already complete and whole, begin to work on that part of you that doesn’t feel complete and whole, with or without a woman.

A man who is fully settled into his masculine essence realizes that his woman, among many things, is in part a brilliant reflection of himself.  She is your mirror.  And if you don’t like the image you are getting back, the answer does not lie in breaking the mirror and then trying to glue all the pieces back together.   Instead, going deep within yourself is the place to put your focus.  Anytime we look to external sources for our gratification, we are in trouble.  We can’t change or fix most external forces.   For the most part, life is loose and out of control.  When it is time for your transmission to break, it will break.  Time for the flu, so be it.   Life throws us all kinds of curve balls.  As men, we have a choice to observe and respond to what is happening all around us and marvel at the mysterious and magical nature of it all, or, we can get frustrated and angry and place blame.  Are you a man or a child?

At this point, you may be screaming at me “She really is a bitch and I can’t stand her!”  OK, OK, I do understand that not all matches are made in heaven.  But if that is the case and she really is horrid, why are you with a woman who brings out such virulent feelings?  Fish or cut bait.  There is no point in straddling the fence.  You have a choice.  Choose her as your woman, exactly as she is, or leave her and wish her well.  If you are in that place of evaluating your options, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer, you are probably with the right woman for you for now.  She is challenging you, reflecting your deepest truths and wounds, and whether you realize it or not, you honor the internal growth she fosters in you.  Painful?  Sure.  You get angry?  Of course.  But ultimately, you chose each other for just that reason.  The relationship serves you both by exposing those dark issues of yourselves that you probably would not have seen without sharing a life together.  Out of the darkness comes those crystalline moments of clarity and bliss and transformation.

I know men that have been with the same women for ten to fifteen years, pecking at their own chests, suffering while waiting for their women to change.  At some point, the suffering becomes so great, that a stark realization takes hold.  “Why am I doing this to myself?”  “She isn’t going to change.”  And in that moment of realization, you may choose her exactly as she is.  This was my experience.  It was like a breath of fresh air.  Once I made the choice to accept a woman as is, she transformed as if by miracle.  But in “reality” she didn’t change.  I changed.  And in that moment, the whole world changed as well.

Don’t expect your woman to change.  She won’t.  It is a sure formula for thwarted feelings and frustration.  She isn’t broken.  And she doesn’t deserve your judgment nor condemnation.   She certainly does not deserve the self-righteous  feeling coming from you  that she isn’t good enough as she is.  You would have to be as thick as a plank not to see how this is your story and not her story.  It is time to be responsible for your own feelings of self-worth, and stop projecting them upon the world and specifically upon your intimate partner.

How can we expect women to blossom into their full radiance when they are being told, directly and indirectly, that they aren’t good enough?  Constant pressuring to become a new and improved version of themselves only leads to resistance and despondency and retraction.   Don’t look out.  Look within.  And after many sessions of deep introspection, you may realize that The Fixer is just the Trickster in disguise.  The truth is, you don’t need to be fixed either.   It is all just a ruse to challenge you and keep you distracted and off purpose.  The Fixer is just one of many tests.  When you realize he doesn’t need to exist, you pass.  When you take responsibility for your own experience, life begins to show up as a synchronistic symphony of glorious moments.  You will wonder where you have been hiding all this time.   And the  woman who has patiently been waiting for you to appear, will show up again as the goddess she has always been.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

Shiva

The Finest

Shiva

 

Where do you go my love?
Have I ever really known you?
Your lovely disguise had me convinced
Yet I long for the true you that I once knew.

Why do you hide my love?
What happens to call the fear?
When did you decide to shut it down?
When we know there is much more here.

Once I felt your breath of crystalline air.
My swelling heart swayed in unison with you.
I heard a chorus of angels in your voice.
Does it hurt you so bad the memories of two?

Will I ever feel you vibrant again?
Will you ever open in free repose?
Can I be a safe port in the storm my love?
For you to drop anchor and stop being foes?

Where does your heart go sweet mystery?
When you protect and puts up the walls?
I’ll dismantle the fortress brick by brick.
Well tango together in earth’s heavenly halls

This is the dance of life’s human form
Hold tight or let it all go and surrender.
Both are risky and nothing is for dammed sure.
But release offers the finest God can render.

Let Go. Just Let Go!

–      Jay Cradeur (from Breathing Light –A little book of poems)

This poem is about the illusion of separation, heart ache, hope and frustration.  I wrote this after having lost a love, and not understanding why.  Was I not a good enough man?  Did she, as I have done with others, simply fall out of love?  Could she come back to me?

In the end, all I or any man can do is work to become the best man he can be.  If that attracts a woman into my world, so be it.  If any particular woman is not interested, I marshal on knowing I am creating a magnificent life, alone or in partnership.  Life is too short to worry about such things.  There are forces, powerful forces, which mold and shape a life.  I’ll work to stay in alignment with the multitude, for it is their game I am playing, it is their energy that flows through me, and I am honored beyond belief to be their conduit.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.

Mossy Forest

Words of the Goddess

Mossy Forest

In 2004, I ventured into the evening woods during the fall equinox in Marin County, CA.  I noticed how my body wanted to slow down and get quiet.  Something much bigger than me was demanding my attention and respect.  This sensation became quite strong, especially as I ventured past the lit portion of the forest into the dark and thick quiet.  It was profoundly eerie, walking among the huge trees, the moonlight piercing through the rare openings in the canopy, and the subtle sounds of the wind and falling leaves tickling my awareness.

I slowly walked, and utilized the Taoist form of walking, which serves to quiet the body and the mind, allowing me to become more at one with the surroundings.  It was quiet, still and beautiful.  As I slowed down, I felt myself drawn to the trees, and found myself leaning into one of the larger ones.  As I leaned, I felt as if all the tension and anxiousness that was in my body simply oozed out, as if being absorbed by the tree through osmosis.  It was decadent beyond words.  I had to move to another tree and sit down, my back leaning into this magnificent energy source.

I didn’t move for about half an hour or so.  I focused my attention on the physical sensations I was experiencing.  I listened to the wind.  I felt the tree at my back, and the soft ground under my legs.  And then I was called to look up, and so I did.  And there, in the gap between the trees, I saw the Goddess.  She was very beautiful, with just her alabaster face looking down at me.  I looked up at her for another 10 minutes, listening for her message.  And what I heard was “Even when you don’t see me, know that I am always with you.”  How stunning and glorious!  I have since had many such mystical magical experiences, but this was one of the first, and there is nothing quite like the first.  I felt ever so fortunate.

At this point, I realized I had lost track of time, and my friends had headed back out of the forest.  So I left my cozy nook next to the tree, and began my trek out of the forest.  I noticed how the energy had shifted since I had walked in.  The night was darker, the wind louder, and magic was in the air.  I opened my eyes and my heart, looking for whatever was next.  And she came back to me again.

I was walking and saw her, a woman dressed in white, with a white scarf draped over the front of her.  As I approached,  she began to fade into the night.  Still, I understood we were not through with our interactions.  I understood there was still something for me to learn on this night.  I went back to my original location and looked at her again, and I watched her.  I defocused my eyes, a technique my teacher had taught me, and I felt for what she was saying to me.  She asked me to hug her.  Now, I am not one to argue with or question divine guidance.  I tried to do things my way in the past, and it didn’t work.  If I am asked to hug a goddesss, I will do it.  It was one of the most heartfelt experiences of my life.  She was soft, and she smelled of freshly cut wood.  She was glorious to hold.  Then, and only then, did I understand the true meaning of her message.  “Even when you don’t see me, know that I am always with you.”

I feel that so much of my work with men had been about connecting our hearts (under used) with our heads (over used).  What she was telling me, I believe, is that women have the exact same challenge.  Many women are utilizing more of their masculine (their heads) than they really care to.  It is survival.  There aren’t many men around in whose company women can truly relax into their feminine divine essence.   There is a disconnect between the Goddess’ head and her feeling body.  She is screaming to us for the same connection we all strive for, that 12-inch connection between our heart and mind.  While I was honored by the wisdom, I also felt a profound sense of mission and purpose, with so many minds and bodies, so rushed, and with so little serenity, stillness, vulnerability and open heartedness.

–      Jay Cradeur (from an upcoming book tentatively titled, The Bridge To Camelot)

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.