This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Manifesting what?

It's a funny word, manifest. And it's a word commonly used today. But it's been around awhile.

Merriam-Webster says it's a Middle English word, dating back to the 14th century, during a time of ruin and defeat, famine and the Black Plague. It's a word that involves the senses, sight, in particular. To manifest something means you can recognize it. It's synonymous to the word, evident.

Today, we use the word in relation to thought. If you think something, you can manifest it, we say. You can make it so.

You can manifest your own terrible day, or you can manifest your own good day, just by thinking it. And you can do exactly the opposite as well, just by thinking it. You can program your mind to recognize what you want it to think, feel, say or do. From the mind of E.B. White who wrote Charlotte's Web, that's some power.

If it's true, this seemingly magical ability, what are you manifesting in your life?

If you find yourself caught in a bout of depression, do you believe you can think your way out of it? If you wake up in a cheerful mood all the time, how do your thoughts play into that? Are you willing yourself to feel this way?

Share your opinion about the word, manifest, and how it affects your life? Perhaps you'll see your Inner strength is stronger than you thought.

Add your comments here.

All my best,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Coaching along

I'm in my second month now as a BIKE coach. I have two clients, and it's going well. Despite the resistance--It's so hard to look inward--I love how people really can figure things out on their own. I've done it myself, but I now get the chance to see it from the other side. It's amazing, the power of the mind.

We all just need a little push sometimes, and people in the mainstream are recognizing that. That's why the coaching profession is seeing such huge growth rate right now. The ICF (International Coaches Federation) has certified more than 4,000 coaches worldwide, in 47 different countries--more than 500 credentialed since January 2008. It's something I'm looking into for myself now.

It just goes to show that we know we are not on this earth alone. We do need assistance now and then. And it's okay to ask for help.

This isn't therapy. It's not consulting (though either could be involved). It's assistance that helps a person set and meet his or her goals. The coach just helps the client figure out solutions that will work best. There's a lot of questioning that takes place to get to the answers. But we all have them.

And we all have the ability to know how to solve our own dilemmas, to overcome our individual challenges, to move forward. We may just need that little push. My coaching technique does that for you; however, I combine that with my BIKE philosophy to help create a system that's always available and easily accessible to you, precisely when you need it. And if you forget, it's there to remind you. We all need those reminders as well.

If you're in need, right now, of help that can lead to problem solving in your life, maybe it's time you asked for help.

If so, post a comment. Maybe I can help. It not me, a referral might net you exactly what you need.

All my best,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are you asking for help when you need it?

If not, here's an article that provides an insightful perspective:

I'm paraphrasing, but the article states that seven out of 10 people admit they don't ask for help when they need it. I'm amazed by that number but not surprised. I used to be one of those seven. I was too proud to ask for help, at one time. I wanted to be self-sufficient. I didn't want to appear to be needy or incapable. The article tells a good story about why asking for help is not only good for you but can be a smart thing to do. Then, the author shares the reasons why we don't ask for help and how to overcome the unwillingness and free ourselves up to the gift.

Do you have a story to share about a moment when you recall needing help but refusing to ask for it? Does this article teach you something you didn't know before?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

American-made self-help books selling in Brazil,0,2920383.story

Click on the above link to learn about the nature of self-help in Brazil--it's a boom market for authors.

"The self-help and spirituality market continues to boom in the U.S. -- in 2007, it pulled in more than $600 million in U.S. revenue, according to Simba Information, a Connecticut-based market research firm. But only certain American self-help books do well in the international market," the article states. Who knows why it's growing in Brazil, but it is and publishers are going to try to capitalize on this, for sure.

The article went on to quote Mark Tauber, vice president and deputy publisher of HarperOne, a spirituality and self-help division of Harper Collins who says success abroad remains a case-by-case possibility.

"It's not a universal thing for self-help to work abroad," Tauber says in the article. "A lot of these books do find a very big international audience -- some of it has to do with where authors have advocates or disciples."

Los Angeles-based author Steven Carter, who just cashed a $60,000 royalty check for a self-help book he wrote several years ago must have a few.

I thought the article was interesting and may be of interest to any of my readers here with a self-help book ready to be written. I know I have mine to complete.

All my best,

Monday, August 11, 2008

When is adultery okay

When we learned last week that John Edwards did, in fact, commit adultery against his wife in 2006, someone posted a link to the news report on a forum to which I belong. It attracted more than 90 posts from a few dozen or so women, debating whether the story was news or not.

Some thought absolutely not. Others weren't so sure. But the posts that really attracted my attention were the ones that pushed the affair aside altogether and thought the news was more about the lies than the cheating, if there was any news here at all.

Granted, they were making the point that the affair is private business, to be handled by the husband and wife, and I agree with that. And I'm sure it will be. But to so nonchalantly push the affair aside, to say that it's immaterial to the life and ability of a politician, I confess, disturbs me. From where, I had to wonder, did they think the lies came?

Without the adultery, my friends, there would be no need to lie.

But some of these women couldn't or wouldn't connect the two. They insisted on separating the cheating from the lies, to compartmentalize, as if they had something to protect. That, in turn, made me wonder if they understand that's the modus operandi a cheater uses to save his butt.

He may think, "What she doesn't know can't hurt her." But it can.

He may think, "As long as I don't get caught..." But he generally will, some how, some way.

And even though it may look from the outside that he's doing well, the inside tells a different story.

So, maybe he can compartmentalize for a while. Maybe he can, like my women friends, separate the lies from the cheating for a while. But the underlying message is still there. Elizabeth could sense it on some level. He knew what he was doing on all levels. And his colleagues more than likely witnessed his character flaw in ways they may be discussing and hashing out right now at this very moment. Compartmentalizing only works so well for so long.

What I mean is that the choice Edwards made to take part in a sexual relationsip outside of his marriage--clearly without his wife's permission--illustrates a serious character flaw that cannot be solely contained within the bounds of adultery. Just as I've discussed here so often, character represents who we are at our very core. And if his belief system allowed him to get away with adultery, you can imagine he's gotten away with much more than that. And, unfortunately, he probably had plenty of people to shield him from his own truths, to allow his lies to continue, to act as enblers. The betrayal, unfortunately, extends beyond the marital bed.

So that's why the adultery matters. Not for the need to know what goes on inside someone's bedroom in a voyeuristic sort of way. But to know what a person is really made of, to know who he really is at his core. If he's not honest, and we can know about that ahead of time, I think it's something voters are entitled to know. That's why I would agree with the media that this is news. Is it news I want to hear? No, no way. I'd prefer we never heard such stories again.

But I refuse to believe as some of these women also believe--that politicians can be expected to cheat, that it's the nature of man to cheat, and other myths to which I refuse to subscribe. I may be naive, but I believe in the ability to choose. And I believe that marital vows mean something. And I'd like to think that there are men out there who believe that as well.

And for the women who think otherwise, I hope you're not speaking from experience, because adultery is never okay in my book.

Your thoughts?

Friday, August 8, 2008

New opportunities--what are you waiting for?

A friend called me last week to see if I could hang out with her. We made plans to attend a lecture in Scottsdale. Something came up, and I couldn't go. She went anyway, enjoyed it, and called me a few days later to make new plans. We arranged to meet at a bookstore and walk over to this resort hotel and listen to the bagpipe player at sunset--it happens to be a nightly event at this Phoenix resort. Well, that plan fell through also, when a third party--her ride--opted out. She didn't want to do something new and unfamiliar. So my friend and I, we made yet another plan. Tonight, she'll go with me to hear a live band that I've been meaning to write about on my travel blog.

I haven't heard from her yet, so I assume the plan's still on.

Over the course of these past few days, and also since I started writing my travel blog, I've noticed something. There are a ton of things to do in Phoenix, and many of them cost little to nothing. My travel blog is giving me the opportunity to explore them and so much more. But you don't have to have a travel blog to explore your own surroundings.

That's a ton of ways to spend your free time, or your leisure time, or whatever you want to call it. But if you're like my friend's friend, I want to know why are you sitting at home? If fear is keeping you from exploring new things to do or see, can you try just once to push past that fear?

Maybe look into buying a membership at the Phoenix Art Museum. It costs less than $50 for the entire year. But if you can't afford that, they do offer a free day at the museum every week. It's a very safe and fun environment, and since there's a museum in every big city that I'm aware of, I'm sure you'll find one near you.

If you aren't sitting at home but know someone who is, could you make it your next goal to ask that person to go with you on an outing? It doesn't cost anything to go for a walk around the neighborhood with a friend. It costs very little to share a picnic lunch somewhere. And the opportunity to ride your bike, hike or work out together is immeasurable--especially if one of you needs that extra push.

The opportunities to find your Best self and to expand your Inner stength to do something out of the ordinary are out there. What are you waiting for?

All my best,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh, say, can you see?

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day."

Singer and record producer Johnny Nash wrote the words to this song called "I Can See Clearly Now," also the name of the album he released, in the early 70s. The best-seller helped bring Reggae music to mainstream America. The words are still relevant today, especially today here in Phoenix, where it rained last night. The clouds literally pushed pollution out of the way and made the skyline visible again. Everything looks so clear. And from where I'm sitting, it is bright outside.

As I drove to a meeting this morning, I was overcome with this feeling of clarity. I sense it most when I'm in my car. No worries. No stress. Just a feeling of satisfaction. And I felt that this morning. It seems I do often when I'm heading east on Lincoln Drive. And that's where I happened to be this morning.

There's no reason for the euphoria that follows. I just know when it arrives, and I like to sit with it for a while. I'll say a prayer of thanks and pay closer attention to the landscape ahead of me. On days like these, when I'm stopped at an intersection, I'll observe how far I can see off into the distance. I look at the mountains ahead, hoping I catch a quick glimpse of the Praying Monk rock formation in Paradise Valley. I'll look at the colors in the sky. I'll see if there are any plants blooming and which ones. I'll focus on the yellows of the lantana or the pink leaves on the bougainvillea, and I'll notice the red shoots darting out of the red yucca plants. Everything comes alive when I'm willing to pay attention, to notice the simple beauty that surrounds me.

I feel like I'm opening myself up to appreciating the inner depths of my Best self, the part of me that is grateful, compassionate and self-nurturing.

What does it take for you to develop that inner clarity?

The artist Paul Gauguin tells us his secret with this quote: "I shut my eyes in order to see."

What do you think he means?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Want a lesson on what you're not worth?

Then let me clue you in on what happened this morning on "Divorce Court."

Judge Lynn Toler presides over this one, and I watched it only briefly, while eating my breakfast, but this particular show was a doosey.

I couldn't stand to watch the entire thing but here's what happened in the beginning, and I think you'll get the picture:

A man and wife are getting divorced, so they appear in front of the judge. The woman is explaining a chart she's made for her case that he be required to pay her $400 a month in support. Included on the chart are the following items:

Do the dishes three times a day: $25
Mop the floors three times a day: $25
Cook three HOMEMADE meals daily: $45
Take care of the kids (They have six.): $30

Now, understand that she's saying she wants her soon-to-be ex to pay her, and that these numbers represent a MONTHLY figure that would total only $400. With numbers so low, you can imagine the length of this list.

The kicker for me was this one: She mows the lawn once a week and asked for a whopping $40. The judge asked her why so much for that job when she's only asking for about half that to do the dishes and mop the floors, both three-times-DAILY chores. "It's a man's job," she told the judge, matter-of-factly.

I literally gasped out loud when I heard that reply.

It's sad to see what messages she's been given...that her own skills and contributions are worth so little, and that a man's job should pay more.

But there is so much more that is wrong with this scenario, and the way the judge responded to her--just with voice inflection alone--you could tell Judge Toler wanted to teach this woman a better way to rate herself. But this woman's perspective is just so skewed it's scary.

This list of chores, we find out, when the husband speaks, comes from a list he gave her prior to their marriage. So, had her Killer instincts been turned on, this woman might have turned around and run the other way before marrying the man. But it's clear that she wasn't in tune with her real worth, not at all. Clearly, this woman has learned to accept very little and to not know her true value as a human being, let alone as a wife and a mother of six. It just makes you want to shake some sense into her head. It makes you wonder what her own mother put up with in her homelife. And you can probably imagine.

And then we learn a little more about the husband. He makes $1800 a month. He wants to have 12 kids. And he'll take his wife out, alright, "when I know she's being good." This is what he actually tells the judge and the whole viewing audience. You can tell he's absolutely serious.

Um, thanks, but no thanks.

He then goes on a tirade about the time she had the nerve to serve him a Hot Pocket for dinner. "I expect homecooked meals when I get home from work," he says. Not only that, but he expects her to run his bath, too!

Omigod! 'Nuff said.

Before I turned the TV off, I heard the judge ask the woman, "Now, he wants all of this, but what does he do for you?"

"Besides get on my nerves?" she quipped, "Well, we're both the same sign. We're both Gemini."

They're the same sign. That's it. That's what she gets out of the marriage. No dates. No haircuts. No flowers. No nothing. Because they're the same sign? What's that phrase, "like attracts like"?


Of course, this is an extreme example of what happens when you low ball your value. You really do get what you ask for--in your personal and professional life--and you really are worth only what you think you are. That means you gotta think highly of yourself. Work hard at NOT letting the messages from the past get in the way of your success today. And remember that the numbers you attach to yourself mean something. Make sure you are in control of the definition....

AND if like is going to attract like in your life, ignite a positive match. Don't you agree?

All my best,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yoga balls, massage and other forms of cleansing

I've been experimenting with various forms of body cleansing lately--and, no, I'm not talking about bathing. I'm talking about clearing out the negative energy from the body. Life, in general, deals us a lot of "stuff" to figure out on a daily basis. Some of it, as you may already know, is more difficult than others. Some of what we have to deal with isn't something that can be handled in a day. For the lingering challenges in our life, we need ways to cope. I'm finding that cleansing the body of mental stress, worries and fatigue is imperative to a healthy overall existance. And I like the idea of cleansing out the negative energy.

My first exposure to this concept--and that of an energy balance AND the belief that it even existed--happened on a trip a few years ago to Sedona. Since then, when I learned that I may have blockages, I've let my mind be open to the possibility, no matter how sad it sounds. I'm blocked? It sounds unhealthy.

Guess what? It is.

So I've been reading and learning more about the seven energy spots in the body, called chakras. And I've purchased some yoga CDs to learn some yoga moves. I was recently given a package of yoga cards so I could explore this further. And just this week, I purchased two CDs--one has to do with Qigong and the other involves yoga balls. Both are used to cleanse the body of toxins and that nasty old negative energy.

Click on the links above if you want to begin learning more about this for yourself. But know that this form of self-nurturing that I've been doing has been so stress releasing. I'm learning how to breathe properly, how to stretch for full benefit, that you can literally push negative energy right out of your body, and that rolling around the floor on little balls can give you a really good massage. At the same time, this is all improving my circulation and digestion.

If you already believe in using yoga and other forms of spiritual cleansing, what's your preference? Post a comment and share your thoughts.

All my best,

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The benefits of a bamboo bike

At Traveling The Green Way , a partner blog to my travel blog with b5media, Liz Lewis from New Zealand writes about Craig Calfee and his bamboo bike project.

Craig, it seems, traveled to Ghana, West Africa to help bring bamboo bike transportation to the people. These bikes, reinforced with bamboo, can help people earn more money. For one thing, the extra strength allows a man to transport two sacks of 110-lb cement to and from a work site. And because they all work together as a team to build the bikes, the project brings a sense of community to the people in the village as well. You can see the excitement of those who are participating in the video. And Craig knows he's helping.

It's a good idea. It's another reason bikes can benefit a life; however, as I posted in my comment at this blog, the only issue I have with the project is that it doesn't benefit women. You'll see in the videos posted on this blog that women are not in the picture. There are no women helping build the bikes. There are no women riding them. When I was in Kenya two summers ago, I was told women don't own bikes because they cannot afford them. So, my question to Craig is then: will your program ever help women? They need transportation as well. They have to carry heavy items as well when they go to market. They could use a bamboo bike.

I think I'll e-mail him and ask this question directly.

Still, I do think this is a great idea.

See for yourself by clicking on the videos here.

All my best,

Friday, August 1, 2008

The truth about suicide

Last night, I attended the memorial for my friend Micki. It's been more than a month now that my friend, who was in deep mental anguish, shot herself. Her daughter planned and organized a very special memorial--with video footage and heartfelt words--with the help of at least a dozen of her own friends. And it was the most amazing service I've ever seen.

It reminded me of a trip I took not long ago to tour the historic inn in Winslow, Ariz., called La Posada. The new owners, who are refurbishing the place and rebuilding it to its original concept, are artists. But they're also adding their artistic flair to the decor. Included in that flair is a mural-sized painting by one of the owners, Tina Mion, that hangs inside the ballroom. Called, “A New Years Eve Party in Purgatory for Suicides," the subject of the painting is obvious. Everyone painted in the scene have killed themselves in one way or another. And they are all seated at tables. There are famous people, celebrities, and friends of the artist. I wish I had more details, but I don't recall the artist's exact words as she was relating the story behind the painting, which could be considered rather macabre. It doesn't have to be. It's really quite fascinating, and its impact is huge. It really makes you think. As the artist herself was explaining the reason behind the large painting and why it was hanging so visibly in the ballroom of the hotel, she said her reasons had to do with the fact that people do not discuss suicide. They ignore it. They pretend it doesn't exist. People can hardly say the word out loud. Mion's painting suggests suicide needs to be discussed, that though it may never fully be understood, healing still needs to occur. For that to happen, suicide needs to be spoken about. So the painting was there to make that statement. It's a powerful statement. And I've remembered it.

I didn't think I'd need it, though.

Not till my friend committed suicide.

At her memorial, when Kristin began to speak about Micki and share her mother's pain--in all it's ugliness--she did not stop short at the word. She stated it matter-of-factly, "My mother killed herself." She shared with us her own pain in trying to accept this fact. She shared with us her fear, her anger, her many other facets of feeling as she's been learning how to cope with the magnitude of the reason behind her mother's death. She even said she's wondered if she could have stopped the suicide. And then she let us know she didn't believe she could have. She knew she didn't have that kind of power. And she cried.

We cried, too.

Surprisingly enough, no one seemed to recoil at this young girl's brave words. What I felt was positive energy. In that room, I could feel the urges to jump up there and hug this young woman who is so clearly in pain herself.

I have never been so moved.

I ask you, my readers, to pray for Kristin as she steps forward in this new life without the only parent she ever knew. I ask you to pray for her continued strength, and that you ask that she also find relief from that strength. I ask that you pray for her in all ways you think someone in her place can use the assistance. And I ask you to not be afraid to speak of suicide if it should happen to anyone you know in your life.

The truth about suicide is that it's painful, it's ugly, it's raw. The truth about suicide is that it's whatever you think it is. And further, the truth is that we may not be able to stop it, but we can certainly work at trying. Ignoring it won't make it go away. Pretending it doesn't exist won't make it stop. But allowing those who are experiencing suicide, as ones who are left behind, to speak about it freely and candidly will help them heal. Let us all be a part of that healing.

All my best,