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the persistence of your beating heart

A poem for those who might be living in the gray area.

– S.

**************************************

A roaring sea

An empty sky

An echoing silence where joy used to be.

And you remember that you have been here before

(perhaps you never left)

Luckily, life does not need you to love it.

Chipper ambition and

Blithe good cheer

Have slunk away.

Hiding somewhere, I suppose.

Luckily, food does not need you to savor it.

In the beginning there was the void

And darkness was upon the face of the deep.

Yep.

Ashes to ashes

And all the ashes in between.

Luckily, success does not need you to appreciate her.

Lesson One:
Nothing means anything.

Lesson Two:
Everything is temporary.

There is no lesson three.

So I salute the persistence of your beating heart

And I forgive the sun for shining.

Now greet solitude as a friend, my friend.

The new day has begun.

©2018

**************************************

I am holding you in my heart.

Yours,

Sam.

P.S. It is estimated that as much as 10% of the population lives with depression. So if you are fortunate enough to not live with depression, please be reminded that one in ten of your friends, co-workers and neighbors do. And if you are living with depression, please continue to seek treatment, OK? (Even though you probably don’t feel like it : ) Regardless of your mental state, be gentle with your sweet self today and always. – ssb.

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Go LIVE on Facebook – Social Media Strategy for Your Business

Seriously: what’s Facebook Live really good for?

And how do I make sure the stuff I’m doing on social media is effective – and not just adding to the noise?

Are you as confused as I am?

Kerianne has a wonderful, bubbly personality, and she LOVES working with inspired creatives like you.

Oh, and she used to be the Director of Social Media for eHarmony…

So, yeah – she knows her stuff.

And you know there’s nothing for sale on these calls – no hype or fluff – just good, solid information because we like you.

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For The Highly Creative Person

And as you stand there

Mentally re-writing the presentation as it’s being given,

While doodling with geometrical precision,

While speculating on whether psychic communication is real,

While recalling that weird incident that happened to you in the 7th grade,

While considering what lunch options are going to give you the greatest pleasure-to-nutritional-value ratio but knowing you’re just going to go for the tuna salad as usual,

 

It occurs to you that maybe not everyone

 

Wakes up with a new project idea every morning.

Or writes secret biographies for strangers based on the contents of their grocery cart.

Or feels the need to take a contrarian position on the holidays.

 

But then, that seems impossible.

 

Ideas seek you out like bees find flowers.

 

Your imagination is as unbounded as the clear blue sky.

Your intuition is so much a part of your knowledge base that you don’t even notice it.

And your natural ability to find meaning in everything makes for a world that is as emotionally complex as an ecosystem as can be.

 

You defy explanation.

You have moods and whims and absences and

A deep need for solitude.

 

You cannot abide:

Busy Work

Small Talk

Hypocrisy

Cruelty.

 

You have spent so many years not fitting in that you’ve sort of abandoned the whole idea.

Wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me, you say.

 

And you fill your time by going deep into certain subjects: not to become an expert, but just because it’s interesting. Although you are often surprised to learn that other people aren’t nearly as interested in 17th Century Sonata Form, or early silent movie technology, or the minutia of the old black-and-white episodes of Dr. Who, or trilobites or the mechanics of WWII fighter jets or astronomy or the proto-feminism of Alice in Wonderland and the works of Edith Sitwell, or the faulty logic of flat-earthers as you are.

 

You are not afraid of hard work.

 

But the idea of a cubicle gig fills you with dread…

And you’re not great with authority figures…

And you are bored stiff by any repetitive tasks…

And you have been known to doze off in meetings.

And you’re not particularly motivated by money, so…

 

The job thing is a bit of a quandary.

 

So you lean on your magical powers

And your intense charisma

(truly – other people think you are magical)

 

And you create your own world.

 

So when people say, “Oh, she’s off in her world” or “He doesn’t really live in the same world as the rest of us,” you take it as a compliment.

 

You have the ability to

Write stories and poems and songs and sagas

Create art and images and

Design rooms and products and businesses

 

And once you’ve figured it out in your head, you often lose interest.

Or once you’ve done it once, you often lose interest.

Or once you’ve told someone else about it, you often lose interest.

 

You have more half-finished projects than most people have socks.

 

You ask better questions.

You refuse to take no for an answer.

You believe in the fundamental goodness of people.

 

And your perfectionism, lack of any kind of repeatable process, self-doubt, and your self-imposed outsider status are keeping your fortune locked in a treasure chest that you’ve buried in the back of the garage next to that expensive bike you bought when you were convinced that becoming a triathlete was a good idea, but after a respectable performance in your first race, you never touched the thing again.

 

You have untold riches inside your mind.

 

You bring a deep poetic joy to the world.

 

You are special. Just like everyone else.

 

You hold a grudge.

 

You are as sensitive and powerful as an Italian Race Car.

As temperamental as a souffle.

As precise as a minuet.

As lonely as a leaf on the breeze.

 

Which reminds you how trees look like exactly like neural pathways.(Why isn’t that more often a topic of discussion?)

 

Now, we know that you only really get interested when things are hard, so, with that in mind, I present you with the following questions:

 

How do you walk the high-wire as though you were strolling a suburban street?

How do stay 100% engaged in a dull world that rarely deserves your full attention?

 

How do you let people love you?

 

©2018 S.Bennett

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drunk

Do this quick experiment with me:

  1. Place your hand on your heart.
  2. Take a deep breath.
  3. Call to mind the image of someone, or something or someplace you love.
  4. Imagine that the image has a little message for you right now.

Just let yourself feel that love for a second.

Now –

Notice how you feel.
Do you feel yourself smiling a little?
Did you relax a bit?

Now keep thinking about that love….and the message….really let it permeate this moment completely….sink into the love-feeling…

Excellent.

Now, I have noticed that from this mental and physical space of love, you might:

  • have good ideas
  • feel a little bit more confident
  • be in “flow” state

For the sake of this conversation, I want to call this state of being: SOBER.

When you are calm, relaxed, smiling a little smile, and in touch with the abundant flow of love in the world, you are sober.

Sober people are calm, awake, capable. They are humble to the work. They are willing to be a channel for the divine.

And when you are sober, you can do anything.

Want to know what DRUNK is?

Drunk is self-doubt.

Drunk is second-guessing yourself.

Drunk is vicious self-criticism, hopelessness, fear, paranoia, perfectionism, procrastination and giving up.

And honey….you can’t afford to be drunk anymore.

I see this over and over again – you probably do, too – tell me if this sounds familiar:

You get a great idea and you are all lit up about it. Lots of exciting possibilities.

And then the “who do you think you are?” voice kicks in and everything goes to shit.

It’s like you get a good idea and then you immediately pick up a bottle of rotgut and swig it until all your motivation is gone.

When you are drunk, you say horrible things to yourself. Sneaky, insidious, poisonous things designed to ruin everything. You are full of rage and self-pity.

And if you do this often enough, you start to dwell in the cloudy world of self-abnegation. Your light dims. Bitterness takes over. You sacrifice your whole life to the false comfort of your addiction to fear.

I know.

I lived that way for years.

And it took everything I had to change.

Because getting sober from the bad habit of chronic low self-esteem is just exactly as hard as quitting any other drug or bad habit.

What’s weird is how people seem to think that their self-criticism is “just being realistic” and any optimism is “unrealistic.”

When the opposite is true.

The true nature of the world is love.
The true nature of YOU is creativity.

Love + Creativity = Productive Sobriety

The false nature of the world is ego.
The false nature of you is shame & guilt.
Ego + Shame = Paralyzing Drunk

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Do know how often you have a great idea and then end up in the gutter?

Do you see how your drunkenness drives away the people who could support you?

Are you aware of the hours you have spent wallowing in a drunken stupor, refusing to stop dosing yourself with self-loathing, spiraling down until you no longer have any faith in yourself at all?

I realize this language is harsh.

I am using it on purpose, though, because I want you to be fully aware that your fear and inactivity has a price.

If you want to stay sober, then you have to do what people in recovery do:

– stay focused on your sobriety every day

– get into a supportive community

– find a sponsor, mentor or teacher you can trust

then stick around for the miracle.

 

Because when I say that the world needs your art, I am not speaking abstractly. I am being quite literal.

There is someone in the world who could be saved by your song, your book, your print, your photograph, your joke…

In the same way that YOU have been saved by someone’s song, book, print, photo, joke…

So don’t allow your self-doubt to rob both you and them of that opportunity.

 

Stay connected to the love.
Stay connected to the world of possibilities.
Stay sober.

©2018

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Drop

drop drop drop
drop what you have been holding
drop what you have been holding
drop the idea that you are confused
drop the idea that you are broke
drop the idea that there is any part of you that is unlovable or unnecessary
drop it
set it down
set your burden down
set down your grief
set down your aloneness
set down your your stubbornness
sit down on the side of the road
set your bundles down next to you like cats just sit there
don’t do
don’t rush
don’t have a thought
feel your heartbeat
feel the breath go in and out of you
feel how you are supported in this very moment
there is nothing you need that you don’t have in this very moment
there is nothing that is not possible for you
don’t do
don’t rush
stop thinking
be…
be on the side of the road
set your burdens down
maybe there’s some more that have popped up
take them off of you
you can pick them back up later
just set them down for now
set down your identity
set down your desire to be liked
set down the frantic need to be approved of
set down the idea that there is any lack or absence or shortage of anything anywhere

feel your heart beat feel your breath
feel the air on your skin
feel gravity
become aware again of the net
feel yourself as part an inextricable and critical part of this whole
stop fighting
we love you and you’re doing great
let your hands be loose
stay don’t wander
stay don’t rush to answers
stay in this moment
stay in not knowing
feel the forgiveness for not knowing
it’s like a rain comes down and washes the dust off of you
you are warm and safe
you are needed and loved
you are perfect whole and complete
there is nothing wrong with you
and your ego will fight that
do you see it throwing its little tantrum
you say “I love you ego, you are loved and you’re doing great”
so together we gather in this circle
sitting down by the side of the road
with our burdens and our stories and our excuses
the same 57 negative thoughts
that we have been thinking since we were twelve
we have set aside for now

you seek transformation
you are in the place of transformation
you seek a new life
you are in the place of a new life
you can relax
you’ve made it
congratulations you found it
you can stay like this
this is the real world
this is the real world

©2018

****************************************************

The above is a partial transcript of the spiritual improvisation I did on April 14, 2018. —

Spirit.Marketing.Business.Money.Creativity.Love.
A spiritual improvisation and free teaching with bestselling author Sam Bennett.

—-> go here to enjoy it: https://youtu.be/h6tkqxGruw0

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BEETS

beets photo

BEETS – photo by FOODISM360 on Unsplash


I think it was Jitterbug Perfume that gave me the idea that beets are sort of…magical.

And Ruth Reichl’s beet salad recipe in her FABULOUS cookbook, My Kitchen Year, sealed the deal.

It’s perfect for this time of year, but I’m also excited about making it in the summer, because it won’t wilt in the sunshine during pool parties. #alwaysthinkingahead

Borscht Salad (à la Fergus Henderson)

3 beets
1 green apple
1/2 small red cabbage
1 orange
1 small red onion (I didn’t have a red onion so I threw in some diced radishes – worked fine)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. olive oil
salt
pepper
sour cream (or goat cheese) (optional)

Peel the raw beets and grate them. You may want to use rubber gloves, or your hands will be a lovely shade of magenta for quite a while.

Peel and grate the apple and stir that into the beets.

Slice the cabbage as thinly as you can. Do the same with the red onion. Toss them with the beet/apple mixture.

Squeeze an orange and measure out 2 tbsp. of juice. Mix it with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, then toss with the beets. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon on to 6 plates and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

(One more note from me: Ruth says to “grate” the beets and apple, but I just cut them finely and it worked just fine.)

Hooray for beets!

Yours,

Sam.

P.S. BTW, you can still enroll in The Get It Done Workshop if you want to – go to www.MonsterGetItDone.com – just $42 gets you started. – S.

By the way, you look really great today.

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Bad Art

WHAT IF THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS BAD ART

Does the fear that someone might describe your work as “bad art” inhibit you?

Consider this… 
What if there is no such thing as bad art?

What if anything that makes a connection between one heart and another is automatically good?

Even if it’s cheap or derivative or commercial or offensive or tacky or silly or glib or boring or has poor technique….

So what?

There are fingerprints on it.

And that’s what makes it beautiful.

P.P.S. Is there a piece of “bad art” that you love? Why not spend 15 minutes making a quick homage? Or maybe whip up some “bad art” of your own right now?

For extra bravery points, you could even post it on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OrgArtCo/ I’d love to see/hear what you’re up to. – S.

Yours,

Sam

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Give The Gift of Books That Change Lives

Give the gift of books that change lives.

My wonderful publisher, New World Library, is offering a special 50% holiday discount (plus free shipping on orders of $20 or more) on every book they publish, including mine! 

Simply enter the code “FRIENDS” at checkout on http://www.newworldlibrary.com by 12/20. 

Enjoy!

P.S. This special offer from New World Library includes books by heroes like Eckhart Tolle, Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman, SARK, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Amy Ahlers, Christine Arylo, Christine Hassler and many, many more. So share this link with a book-loving friend, won’t you? http://www.newworldlibrary.com 

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Everything is Temporary

EverythingIs Temporary

The sky is orange and the air is heavy with smoke.

There is a brush fire burning in Ojai/Ventura – right now – about 20 miles from my home.

Houses burnt to the ground.
Habitats destroyed.
People and animals displaced.

Normally I wouldn’t try and email you in the middle of a crisis.

But we know that “crisis” contains both danger and opportunity.

So I thought we might take the opportunity of this moment to dwell on a deep truth:

Everything Is Temporary.

And it was ever thus.

Everything is always falling away from us as we circle toward something else.

Mostly we hope for things to fall away gently, not be gone in the whoosh of a sudden fireball.

But we don’t always get to pick.

Your emotions, your belongings, your body, your thoughts and fears – in time they will all pass away.

Take a moment right now and imagine that it’s 100 years from now. If you were to return to this spot, what might you see?

Will there be any trace of you?

A book in a library somewhere?
A child with your name or likeness?
A piece of art displayed?
A scrap of music?
A few words of inspiration?

It’s nice to think that the work I do today could ripple through time and still be of consequence a century from now.

And if it were 10 years from now?

What of yours will survive the decade?

What about just one year from now?

What would you like to see in 12 months, as you gaze around the landscape of your life?

What will have been burned away? What will be new?

Will your dreams be still unrealized?

Or will you have created something that lasts?

I know that you are being called to create something that will still be having an impact 1 or 10 or 100 or 1000 years from now.

And I won’t accept any excuses.

You have wonderful ideas and a willing heart – all you need is some structure and support to create a workable plan.

Here’s a BRAND NEW offering:

You’re especially invited to join me for a live, highly interactive (via Zoom) workshop –

Your Clear Year: 2018 
Eliminate Confusion and Overwhelm and Create a Flexible, Do-Able Plan for 2018

Sat. Dec. 9
10am-1pm PT/1pm-4pm ET/6pm-9pm GMT/5am – 8am + 1 day AEDT

—-> just $97 ($497 value) INCLUDES a full year of membership in 365 Club

Can’t be there live? Register anyway and get the recording – no worries.

Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Tuition Cheerfully Refunded.

NOTE: This is NOT your standard “goal-setting” workshop because, as I said, those annoy me.

“You rocked my mind set…you really get how our brain works!!! I was giving up on my dream of writing the 6 books I have titles for. I got my dream back today….Deep Thanks” – A.W.

I have devised a NEW, unusual, and highly-participatory creative process designed to get you to:

  • Dream a Bigger Dream (because it’s never too late for your sweet dreams to come true)
  • Discern Your Right Path (even if you’re not sure right now what your “goal” should be)
  • Declare Your Deep Truth (because it’s time to stand up for your creative wisdom)
  • Determine Your Do-Able Daily Steps(I’m a practical girl – this isn’t just about your vision, it’s about making your vision WORK in your actual life)

This is a live, interactive online event. You will need a good internet connection and an open mind.

—-> check it out here

If you’d like some clarity on what 2018 is going to be about for you AND how to get there, please register now.

Because the reminder that everything is temporary is also the reminder to take action now.

There is no better time than now.

Now is the only time there is.

P.S. In the past few years, I’ve had major surgery, written a few wildly successful books, lived with depression and anxiety, grown my business into the mid-six figures, and still found time to walk on the beach. I know something about how to be productive, even when life is getting in the way. Join me for this all-new live interactive video workshop – in which you will actually be DOING stuff (not just taking notes : ) and let’s have 2018 be the year that makes a difference, OK? – S.

P.P.S. Your Clear Year: 2018 also includes a full year of membership in the 365 Club, featuring a monthly “Ask Sam Anything” call, daily inspirational emails, a private FB page and access to the Library. So this isn’t just a one-off quickie – you’ll get a FULL YEAR of support from me and the team. – S.

P.P.P.S. If you are interested in helping, United Way of Ventura County is accepting donations via text by sending UWVC to 41444, online at www.vcunitedway.org, or by calling 805-485-6288. Also the Humane Society of Ventura County has taken in over 120 refugee animals, and I’m sure they would also welcome any assistance you can give. http://www.hsvc.org/. Thank you. – S.

By The Way, You Look Really Great Today

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Stendhal Syndrome, or, Why I Cry at Art

You have no idea how relieved I was when I found out that Stendhal Syndrome was a thing.

Ever since I was a child, I ‘ve cried at art.

I cried at the symphony. I cried at the museum. I left my own little trail of tears all over Paris.

Art – and when I say “art” I mean any creative work – makes me cry for a bunch of reasons, but the primary one is this:

I am deeply moved by any art that stands the test of time.

I mean, that’s what we all want, right?

To create something that survives after our death?

So, witnessing a creative act that fulfilled the artist’s vision of longevity…eternity, even…?

That just wrecks me.

“We work in the dark–we do what we can–we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” – Henry James, The Middle Years

We work in the dark indeed.

We do not know where our work is going. We do not know what will happen to our work or our reputation once we’re gone.

Would Van Gogh’s impoverished life been different if he’d somehow known that he would go on to be one of the world’s bestselling artists of all time?

My grandmother made seriographs and lithographs, and I just heard from someone who bought one of her works 25 years ago. She wrote to tell me how much the piece had meant to her and to her special-needs child all these years.

I cried at that, too.

So my question for you is: what are you creating that will live after you’re gone?

It doesn’t have to be anything big or “important.”

It can be anything.

As long as it comes from your heart.

What ‘s your heartfelt project?

I know that in this frantic world it can feel impossible to find the time to work on the projects that matter most to you.

That’s why I created The Get It Done Workshop that starts next week.

—-> See the info here http://www.monstergetitdone.com

It ‘s six weeks + a year of monthly follow-ups so you can:
– figure out your ideal project
– get clarity and focus
– get it DONE

The commitment is easy.

Just 15 minutes a day.

You can see all the details here:
http://www.monstergetitdone.com/

Even if it makes me cry a little, the world needs your art.

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