Category Archives: Insights

The journey to loving myself: Part 6 – Letting go

Please begin with Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 

May, 2005. At the exact moment the gavel came down to close the shareholder’s meeting that officially voted me out of the company I had created and turned into a multi-million dollar business, I looked at my phone and the time was 11:11 am. What could have been my perfect Joan Crawford “Don’t f&ck with me fellas…” moment, turned into an equally awkward moment for those who had voted me out because at that very instant a very peaceful smile took possession of my face. It was actually funny to watch their faces go from a victorious, “hell yeah! we are sticking it to you!” to a completely baffled “WTF!? Uh oh, why is he smiling?!

What, you ask, could bring a smile to my face when I had just been voted out of my own company? I am not sure that I can fully explain it, but I will try.

This was a company that I loved very much; I often referred to it as my baby. It was the culmination of all I had learned in the wonderful world of candles. It was with this company that I introduced soy wax to the nation. We were selling millions of dollars worth of candles each year, I was at the top of my game and had recently been featured on CNN News Night with Aaron Brown in a featured segment for up and coming entrepreneurs, called ON THE RISE. The piece was beautifully produced. It was a priceless advertisement for my brand. Though, while I was with friends in Seattle watching what should have been the pinnacle highlight of my career, my gut was telling me it was all about to end.

My face, my name and my newly developed cartoon image/mascot (which was heavily featured in the CNN piece), was about to become, in the eyes of the majority shareholders, too important for the company; think Colonel Sanders and KFC. If this happened, I would gain more power, even though I didn’t hold the majority of the shares, because my name and image would become permanently linked to the business. I knew this group of investors could not and would not let this happen. Approximately 3 months later, the gavel came down at 11:11 am. Why is the time so important? Let me explain.

In the last months of my participation in the company, it was becoming very clear that the group of majority shareholders had intentions on moving in a direction that, not only was I not included, but quite frankly, I wasn’t interested in going. During these last months I began to see the number 11 everywhere. Every time I would look at a clock, it always included an 11; 2:11, 3:11, 6:11 and twice a day for months I happened to look at the clock twice a day at exactly 11:11.

I mentioned this to a friend and she told me that it was the universe trying to let me know that I was on the right path, like a thumbs up. I liked this idea and so that is how I looked at it. As I would see an 11, I would let go of my stress and think to myself, “I am on the right path…”

So, by the time it came to that fateful meeting and gavel came down at exactly 11:11, officially removing me from my company and my company from me, I was flush with peace. I can’t really explain it, but in that moment I knew I would be OK and a smile, a very genuine and peaceful smile brightened up my face. And again, in that very instant, I began to let it go.

Let it go, let it go, let it go!

And that is what I did. At the end of that week I was on a cruise ship, to who knows where and it didn’t matter, to clear my head and let it all go. Many times before I have created from an inspired place and knew that I needed to remain as present as possible in order to do so. I had to let go of all the drama that had just taken over my life for the past several months as well as let go of trying to figure out where I was going next and what I was going to do. I knew that if I could remain present long enough the answers would come to me. I knew I wanted to stay in the candle business, though I had no clue as to what I should do. And let me tell you, a cruise is the perfect place to do this. I surprisingly remained rather present on that cruise and by the trip’s end, it was as if a huge bubble of information enveloped me with the complete concept of my new company. The only caveat, we were fast approaching the major gift show season, and it was only 5 1/2 weeks away. We had to be ready to go by then.

5 and 1/2 weeks after I stepped off of that ship, I was at market with my new company. We launched 17 new fragrances, designed new catalogs and had them printed as well as new packaging, we were set up in 6 showrooms across the country in all the major markets, along with 50+ sales reps. All of this happened in 5 and 1/2 weeks. This is a feat that still astonishes me!

The only way this could happen is because I was able to let it go, let it go, let it go… and I remained present in the moment. The amazing part to all of this is the lack of stress during this period. Yes, I worked long hours and a lot had to come together in a very short period of time, though somehow I had remained at peace throughout the process. I have come to realize over the years that when I am experiencing a lot of stress, if I stop and take a step back and look at the cause of my stress, it is usually because I am focused either on something from the past or worrying about something in the future. When I refocus upon the present moment, my stress mysteriously goes away.

11:11 was simply a tool I used to help stay present. As I see them now, it is simply a reminder for me to let go of the past, let go of worrying about the future… and remain focused upon the present moment.

I am coming to realize that all good things happen while I am present in the moment; the experience and expression of love, the appreciation of beauty and of course the experience of peace. All of what I was learning would ultimately help me in creating a life that I now describe as peaceful. Ahhh, nothing beats a peaceful life… and I mean nothing.

To be continued…

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Thanks for reading!

Jimmy

 

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F@RG!VE Y@U!

I was about to write a post about Letting go and the word forgive popped into my mind. Letting go is a form of forgiving. So, I decided to look up the definition of the word forgive, and this is what I found:

for·give
verb
To stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
This is interesting. Nearly every source dictionary for the word forgive stated the same thing. So why is it that most people think that when you forgive someone you are letting the offender “off the hook” for what they did?
Clearly the definition of forgive is an act of letting yourself off the hook by releasing your anger and resentment. We all know or have a pretty good idea what stress does to our health (hint, stress is recognized as the #1 proxy killer disease today. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease).
Holding anger and resentment does nothing but add to your own stress… the other person may not feel a thing. If anything, you might be giving the other person exactly what they want!
Think about it. When someone is doing something to hurt you, what are they trying to take from you? It has nothing to do with the money or the property or the words or the punches… it has everything to do with them wanting to separate you from your PEACE. And the more you spin out of control, the more upset you become, the more disconnected you become from your peace – the more you give them exactly what they want.
What happens to their plan when you let it go and maintain your peace? Who just won?
Read the definition of forgive again… forgiveness is an act of love to yourself. Let karma play itself out for any wrong someone else may have done towards you. One way or another, they will pay for their transgressions… we all will. So, in turn, don’t create any of your own bad karma by wishing them ill will
The greatest revenge you can have is to be at peace. The greatest gift you can give yourself is connecting with your peace… and letting go/forgiveness is the key.
He/she who lives with the most peace wins!

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HOPES. & dreams…

Hopes and dreams. two sides of the same coin. so close, but so far away.

I am speaking of the word hopes in the sense of your desires that you wish to achieve someday. Your hopes are usually seen in your mind’s eye as as desired experience that you don’t currently have… it is seen as a future event, one that may or may not happen.

When I use the word dreams, I am not speaking of the mind travel and events that happen while we are sleeping; I am referring to the vision you hold of experiencing one or more of your desires. In the dreams of your desires, you are an active participant and you are seeing yourself in the moment of experiencing such events. In dreams of this manner, you are imagining yourself in the experience, in a present moment state, to the point of feeling it (as best you can imagine) as if you are actually experiencing it. While envisioning your dreams your heart will pulse at a different pace, your brain will begin to give signals as if you were actually experiencing the event, you are immersed within the experience in that moment.

Hopes are always based on a future event.

Dreams are envisioned in present moment.

 

Hopes are an unfulfilled desire. 

 

Dreams are seeing/feeling yourself experiencing that which is desired.

Now, don’t get me wrong… we all need hope. The point is, don’t get stuck in the hope stage. Hope helps you realize what it is that you desire, then you need to take it up a notch and begin to dream about achieving those desired experiences as if you already have them in your present moment.

There is a great shift that happens within this.

Since we create our experiences by the energy/thoughts/feelings that we send out, then take a look at the energy that is being sent out with these two concepts.

Hope is sending out: “I don’t have something and I hope I will someday.”

Dreams are sending out: “I am experiencing my chosen desires.”

Since hope is based in future events, it keeps sending out an energy that will keep these events in the future.

Since dreaming/imagining is based in the present tense, it sends out an energy that will allow you to experience the desire in your present moment.

If your hopes and dreams keep eluding you, you may want to put more energy into the dream part.

Begin to imagine your greatest desires as if you are already experiencing them. With this, you will have a greater chance of experiencing them.

Your hopes and dreams are two sides of the same coin; they work together to help you achieve your desires. Don’t get stuck on the HOPE side, be sure to remember to flip the coin and start to DREAM, imagining yourself in the moment of your desired experiences.

Focus on your dreams. see yourself living them. feel yourself living them.

SEE it, FEEL it… BE it.

“Everything is energy and thats all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

Albert Einstein

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The journey to loving myself: Part 5 – Conscious Creation

Please begin with:  Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

What happens when you don’t realize that your thoughts, expectations and emotions are creating your reality?

And, What happens when you already know that your thoughts, expectations and emotions are creating your reality – but you don’t realize that fear has crept in and taken over your life? Well, I’m pretty sure if you were to google it, my picture would pop up. 

My point is this, most people don’t even realize how we create our experiences, and even those who do know how sometimes become blindsided by fears or beliefs that are hidden deep inside of them.

In my situation, (explained in Part 4) I didn’t recognize that I had been encased in a deep well of fear. Until I came to the realization that my life had been stealthily invaded by my fears – my fears were in the driver’s seat of my life experience.

Years before the event of my grand revelation of fear, I was introduced to Quantum Physics. I learned that there is an entire science, one of the most accurate and widely accepted sciences ever known on our planet, that fully supports the processes I had been using to purposefully create and manifest my reality. Low and behold there is a science that backed up what I had been doing!

Basically, everything you see, taste, touch, hear and smell is a vibration of energy. Everything that appears as solid, is not actually solid at all – it is a dense frequency (vibration) of energy. Even our thoughts are energy. When we think a thought it creates a vibration, a frequency of energy, that emanates from us. When we feel an emotion, we are sending out a frequency of energy.

When we send out a particular frequency of energy, the matching frequencies nearby will begin to also vibrate.

For example: Hold two tuning forks that are both calibrated to the same note (frequency), one in each hand. Then strike one of them to make it vibrate and sing, leaving the other untouched (other than holding it). Then hold the two forks about 6 inches to a foot apart and the untouched one will also begin to vibrate and sing.

This is why people of the same energy/life philosophies/interests eventually find each other. Positive thinkers will find each other and negative thinkers will find each other. Happy people find other happy people and sad people will find other sad people. And, just like the polar ends of magnets, opposing groups will repel their polar opposite. Someone who is a pessimist cannot stand to be around someone who is a perky optimist… and visa versa.

In the same manner that we are naturally attracted to people of our same energy, our thoughts, emotions and expectations attract for us our life experiences. This is exactly what I had started doing in the mid 1990’s – I changed my frequency (my thoughts, expectations and emotions) and my experience began to change to match that frequency.

Everything is energy and thats all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

Albert Einstein

 

What a minute! Hold up – stop right there! I am a very positive thinking person, so why is it that I am not getting the results of what I really want?

I had to ask myself this,

What is the strongest frequency coming from me? 

In my case, the strongest frequency coming from me was something I didn’t realize I was sending out – fear, pure and simple.

My hopes and dreams did not match up with the fears and beliefs that I was holding in my core; and guess which one was giving off the greater vibration? My hopes and dreams didn’t have a chance.

Think about this, which do you think has a greater fighting chance:

  1. The thoughts in our head (hopes and dreams). The energy coming from this avenue can be sporadic at best. Even if we spend much of your day thinking and dreaming of something, compare it to this…
  2. The fears/beliefs/expectations we are holding in our core belief system.  The energy coming from this avenue runs constantly, 24/7/365. This energy has been running constantly since we were a child and it has had time to build upon itself and grow stronger and stronger and stronger. It is so ingrained into the fiber of our being that we don’t even know it is there. This becomes our autopilot.

How can I compete with fears and beliefs that I don’t even know I am holding? And how in the world do I figure out what I am holding at my core?

Grab a pen and paper for this exercise – I promise it will be worth doing.

Write down every “life is…”quote, every world view, every opinion others had about you – positive or negative – that you can remember from your past. Go back as far as you can remember. Start with your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, teachers, friends and enemies. Don’t analyze them, simply write down everything you can remember being told as a child – good or bad. Once you fill up a page or two you can stop.

I want you to now take a look back at your life and pull up the memories of things that didn’t go as you had hoped and dreamed. Now, does the outcome of your experiences look as if they could have been filtered through the ideas and opinions upon that page or two you just wrote down?

I have come to learn that many of my core beliefs/expectations/fears were passed down to me by those around me from the time I was a small child. I can still hear their voices as they said these things to me and around me. Some of them were good for my sense of self worth… and some of them were not. The words I had written on that page, in many cases, had became my core beliefs from a young age and they shaped me well into adulthood. I am thankful for some of those beliefs and others, well lets just say I was ready to let them go and create some new ones.

To be continued… Part 6

In Part 6 I explain how I began to let things go and take on my new set of core beliefs.

 

 

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The journey to loving myself: Part 4 – Fear Factor

Please begin with :  Part 1  ; Part 2  ; Part 3 

jimmy at 6 flaGS

“What the hell are you so afraid of?”

“What are you talking about? You know I don’t operate out of fe…..a……….r”

I couldn’t even finish the word fear before my mind was flooded with fear.

“Omgosh! I am completely afraid of losing everything…” 

At first, when my friend asked me that question, I was almost insulted. You see, fear was not a factor for me in the early years of owning my own businesses; and because of this, my response to her question was automatic. For all of the previous 14 years in business I was so used to operating without (much) fear, I didn’t seem to recognize it as it crept into and took over my life… and my business!

How did I not see this happening?

I should know better. I learned how to purposefully manifest in the mid 1990’s and I had been using this knowledge to create some amazing results in both my businesses and my life. And one of the key elements in manifesting purposefully is to recognize and face your fears; but how quickly I forgot.

Fear is a sneaky little devil… and very often your ego is not your best friend.

Basically, unbeknownst to me, my hidden fears were shaping my reality. At that moment I was staring down the fiery throat of my deepest, darkest fears… and they were about to come true!

Since my business was crashing and burning around me, it became impossible to pay myself. I eventually fell several months behind on both my house and car payments. I was in the process of losing my business, that was a reality, and soon to follow would be my car and, heaven forbid, my home.  If I lost the house, there would have been no way to keep my entire large family of rescue animals together. These animals have become my children and my love for them is immense – they are my family.

Over the years I have learned a lot about fear (and in this case, I was about to learn more). Fear is basically “False Evidence/Expectations Appearing Real”. It is a perceived idea of something that could happen, and you expect that it might happen, though it has not yet become part of your current reality –  thus it is false evidence appearing as real. It is not real because it is not actually a part of your current reality.  

At the moment one of your false expectations begins to actually manifest into your life, it is no longer a fear – it has crossed over into your reality. So yes, just as dreams can come true, so also can fears.

One such example of a fear crossing over into my reality was the collapsing of the business beneath my feet. That, my friends, had become a reality. Losing the house and the car were well on their way to happening, but at that moment in time the house and car were still in my possession. Luckily for me the losing of the house and car were still just in the fear stage.

The day when I realized that I was encased in a deep well of my darkest fears, I was very pissed off at myself for letting it happen. That evening, when I went on my walk, I began to call forth my fears.

“OK. What am I afraid of?” 

One by one my fears came to me. As one would pop into my head, I would ask what I needed to learn from it, I then thanked it for what it came to teach me and I sent it off.  I am not saying these fears magically disappeared, though I was purposefully releasing them from my current thoughts. I do believe that during that walk, some of those fears dissipated into nothing once I began to look at them individually and see that they were simply false evidence. And some of them were deep fears that may always stay somewhere within me, though now much closer to the surface where I could monitor them. I knew that if my fears remained in the dark they would forever rule me. This process of looking at my fears seems to remove much of their power over me.

I knew that as long as they were still in the fear stage and not the reality stage, I had a much better chance.

What I have come to know in my own life experience about my thoughts (my fears or my dreams) – they will only cross over into my reality if I continue to feed them enough expectant energy. And when I say feed them, I simply mean thinking about them, and expending emotion while thinking about them. The more intense the energy with which I think of and expect something to happen, the greater the energy I am feeding this thought into becoming my reality.

As I have in the past with bringing my dreams into reality, I knew that I needed to direct my thoughts, expectations and emotions in the direction I wanted to go… rather than remain focused upon the current mess I was in.

If I do not purposefully give myself a new reality to focus upon, I will not be able to stop my brain from thinking about the fear. So, just as I have written business plans in my past, I began writing down my new reality; and the trick for me was/is to write it in the present moment, as if it is already in my reality. I would then spend as much time imagining this reality and begin feeling it as if it was actually there. Isn’t this exactly what I did, with great passion, to create the businesses and my past successes?

Don’t feed any idea you don’t want to see sitting on top of your plate staring back at you. Feed only the ideas you want to see grow.  

I also have learned that this is a process that can take some time. It doesn’t always take a long time, though I am sometimes a slow learner. When you are as deep in the well as I was, it wasn’t as simple as choosing new thoughts, adding instant passion and presto! My passion for the new reality had to build and grow to become greater than the energy that created my current situation. Here in lies the challenge. I was now learning how to manifest in the face of my greatest fears and having to do so during the lowest point in my life – when I didn’t even have the fortitude to turn on my computer. I figured it would be a long haul, though I was determined to keep moving forward to change my current situation. In the months that followed I was able to sell off enough of my personal items to get current on the house and car, and yes, my family stayed together. The entire process of getting myself to the point where I could honestly say “I am living in the most peaceful stage of my life” took approximately 5 years.

The exciting part in all of this is that it was my thoughts, my expectations and my choices that got me into my mess. I use the word exciting because I could also do the same to get me out of my mess. I could choose new thoughts to create the reality of my choice. And guess who has control over my chosen thoughts? Yep, you guessed it. Me.

So,

  1. if my thoughts create my reality…
  2. and, I have full command to chosen ANY thought…
  3. that puts me in the command seat – my reality is my choice.

This is the power of creating consciously.

What happens when we create unconsciously? (Hint: start at the beginning of this post.)

I’ll explain more in Part 5.

To be continued…

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thank you for reading!

peace, love, Jimmy

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Increasing your love quotient.

Increasing your love quotient with your partner.

 

Mabo and I both have a love for Country & Western dancing. We both have noticed that when we go dancing, it renews our love for each other. There is something magical about being in each others arms and looking into each others eyes while dancing around in a big circle upon that dance floor. The feeling of increased love is palpable – we both feel it and comment about it each time as it washes over us. I am so thankful that I have a partner who loves to dance as much (or more) than I do! This is something that we can do together that happens to increase our love quotient. We have both noticed that the weeks when we don’t have an opportunity to dance and look each other in the eyes, our lives seem to just be moving along, no fluctuations or increases in feelings of love, just living our daily lives. Though, the weeks when we get to dance, we have an added amount of happiness and feelings of renewed love.

 

I have given this much thought and I think the following story has a lot to do with explaining why this happens.

I went to a workshop many years ago, which had nothing specifically to do with couples therapy, in fact it wasn’t for couples at all, and the instructor split us up into two groups and had us line up across from each, nearly toe to toe with the person directly (and randomly, I might add) in front of us. Our goal in this exercise was to look the other person in the eyes and face. We were to neither expect anything from the other person, nor judge them in any way. We were not told what to expect from this exercise and I am still not sure if my results were what was supposed to happen.  This exercise lasted only about 5-10 minutes, I cannot remember…but it was amazing!

 

I happened to be paired up with a gentleman about my age, maybe a few years younger. He was not particularly handsome, nor was he particularly not handsome (I guess I didn’t follow instructions too well in the judgment department, lol); all I remember is that I was definitely NOT attracted to him. At first it was a bit uncomfortable to look someone, unabashedly and directly, in the eyes for a length of time. So, I would hold his stare as long as I could, then stop and look at his face. As we spent more time, there became a level of feeling that “this is OK to stare this person in the eyes”. So, we did just as we were instructed.

 

As the minutes went on I began to have a fondness for him. Then as more minutes passed (this is what makes me think it was 10 minutes, because it seemed like a long time) I found myself feeling love for him. I honestly didn’t find him attractive when we first started the exercise and I am not sure I found him physically attractive after the exercise, but I definitely began to love this person. And the love I was feeling had nothing to do with sex, I had a sense of ONEness with him – I just wanted to hug him.

 

Wow! The power of looking someone in the eyes for any length of time is AMAZING!  I guess it is true that “your eyes are a window to your soul”.

 

I would venture to take an educated guess that if you were to pick a time when you and your spouse or your loved one could spend 5 – 10 minutes to simply look each other in the eyes, no judgment or expectations (as best you can), you would increase your overall love quotient. Or why not go dancing… or something that allows you to look deeply into the eyes of your loved one…it has worked for us!

peace, love, jimmy

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The journey to loving myself: Part 3 – My Dark Period

Please begin with: Part 1 ;  Part 2

“I think it is time we begin to see other people…”

My first reaction was, “Do we have to do this now… when my business is collapsing beneath my feet?” I cannot remember if I said this out loud or just in my head, but I said it nonetheless. The time was in the early months of 2008, soon after the big crash of the US economy.

Even though the 14.5 year relationship that was ending was probably about 4.5 years past its expiration date, it was the only thing that was consistent in my life. Less than three years prior, in 2005, I walked away from a company I created and built to a moderate success.

In 2005, exactly 5.5 weeks after walking awayI put together a new company and started all over from scratch. Needless to say, these were tumultuous years, but nothing like what I was about to experience beginning in those early months of 2008. The ground beneath my feet was shifting so quickly I am not sure that I was actually standing; and it didn’t stop shifting for another four years.

My friends have called this my Dark Period. Those four years were the most difficult of my entire life. Though, I am now very thankful for those years, because if things hadn’t happened as they did I would not have found the peace and true happiness that I am now experiencing. For me, it was all worth it.

In January of 2008 as the economy collapsed, so followed my business. Somehow, without any funding, I kept the company afloat with sheer determination and the will to not give up. I remember saying, “They will have to pry this company out of my dead bleeding hands…” and they nearly did.

By mid 2008, when it was obvious that we were not recovering from the crash, I had to begin laying off my staff one by one until it was just me and one other person. By 2009 we had moved out of our beautiful new offices and into my home office. That one employee I had left, Maggie, ran my office until the end of 2010 and worked several months with neither a paycheck nor a complaint. I had stopped paying myself back in the early months of 2008. From 2009-2010 I made, packed and shipped all of my candles by myself (with occasional part-time help). The warehouse I was forced to use as my production facility had no air-conditioning or proper ventilation. Temperatures inside would reach around 120 with all the wax melters running during the Texas summers. I was often working 6-7 days a week and not taking care of my health. My eating habits turned into (I’m now horrified to say this) what I could afford on the dollar menu at fast food restaurants. I was killing myself with my work load, the working conditions,  the stress of my mounting debt and my dollar menu diet. I don’t remember having much if any joy in my life…

Since I had stopped paying myself in 2008, I had no money left and no more room on credit cards by early 2010. Some of my greatest fears were coming true. I was so behind on my car payment that I began to park down the block so the repo men wouldn’t find it. I was also several months behind on the house mortgage and received a notice that if I didn’t make a payment that month, they were going to begin the foreclosure process. Adding to the pressure of this, I had been a rescuer of animals for over 15 years at that point and had a house and yard full of animals that depended upon me. They were my family. If I lost the house, there would have been no way for me to keep my family of animals together. I was on the verge of losing EVERYTHING.

By 2011 I was nearly dead; physically, emotionally and spiritually. In order to save the house and keep food for my dogs, I had to sell off many of my personal belongins, including my prized possessions, my Big Boy statues.

IMG_0743

Bye-bye BIG BOYS!

 In 2011 I received some reprieve when I licensed my candle brand to another company. This removed the daily stress of making and shipping candles off my plate, though it still left me with no income. I applied at every job I could think of, though no one seemed to want to hire someone who had been an entrepreneur for the past 20+ years. I literally was starving. Any money I could scrap up went into keeping the roof over my head, my car on the road and food for my animals. I had no spare money for anything.

I learned how to live on $5 a week from a friend. He told me about the real Mexican grocery stores, the ones where all the signs are in Spanish, and how they would always have some sort of (unidentifiable) meat on sale for $0.99 per pound. I would go there and buy $5 worth and live on it for a week. I would cook the hell out of it on my George Foreman Grill to kill anything that could possibly kill me. If I was lucky a friend would give me some barbecue sauce to make it, whatever it was, tolerable.  Yes, I am serious, I was that poor. The only time I saw a vegetable is when Maggie would invite me over to eat.

During this time I was rather lucky that my dogs had relatively good health and did not require much… if they had, I would not have been able to afford taking them to the vet. There were only a couple of events that happened where I had to turn my kitchen into a triage unit and emergency room. I saved one of my special needs puppies life with a chip clip when one of the other dogs ate 3/4’s of her IMG_0825IMG_0972ear off. That is a long

story, but she lived.  

Hippity Hop in the emergency room (my kithen) and her bi-level look afterwards.

I am usually a very social person, and by the spring of 2011 I had been living as a complete hermit for a few years. My dogs had heard all of my jokes and when they began to recite my punchlines back to me, in unison, I knew it was time to get out of the house and become social again – with humans. Who would have thought that a visit to The Round Up, a Country & Western Saloon and Dancehall, would change the course of my life forever?

To be continued. Part 4 (click here)

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thanks for reading!

Jimmy

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NO CARRY-ONS ALLOWED on THE PEACE TRAIN!

As I ran up to THE PEACE TRAIN, I noticed a door with my name above it! How exciting! This must be where I get on – “PEACE, HERE I COME!”

For some reason, when I attempted to step aboard through the doorway to my PEACE, I was stopped dead in my tracks.  As I stepped back to examine the door more closely, I noticed that the door frame to my peace was exactly the shape of my body… and placed upon that frame was a small sign that read,

NO CARRY-ONS ALLOWED. Leave your baggage at the door.

 

I have had great successes in life – going in both directions – up and down. And through it all, on the rides upward as well as the rides downward, I finally figured out that the secret to maintaining my peace came when I was able to let go. I have now learned to be quite masterful in maintaining my peace – even during some of my darkest moments.

I have come to know that, He who lives with the most peace wins!

Even when people were “taking” things away from me, things of great value to me, they did not take my peace when I chose to let those things go. I become happier because nothing was “taken” from me.

If you freely give it away, then nothing is actually taken from you. 

You only feel like a victim when you are trying to hold onto what was taken. You can choose to no longer be a victim of the crime if you choose to see yourself as letting it go and you no longer hold onto itit is gone, so let it go free. Even if it was rightfully yours, letting it go gives YOU peace. If you choose to become happier because of letting it go – you win.

“He who lives with the most peace wins!”

The key to maintaining your peace is LETTING GO, period. Letting go of things that no longer serve you has a magical effect upon your entire being.

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. (sung to the tune of Let it Snow)

…and you will find your peace.

let it go let it go let it go

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MASTER of my peace

I have lost THREE businesses, for three different reasons, and through it all I maintained my peace. Even though some would look at these as failures, I look at them as winnings (yes, seriously). The immense power of peace in your life is priceless. You may have lost everything, or in my case nearly everything, but if you hold onto your peace – you win.

He who lives with the most peace wins!

Candle Company #1 early/mid 1990’s Design Initiative Group/DIG/DigWARE/DigGlo: We grew to moderate success selling to up market stores such as Neiman’s, middle market stores such as Urban Outfitters and mass market stores such as Clair’s Boutiques. We had enough success that the government gave us a Small Business loan for $350,000 to help us expand. Within a year of the loan, I was notified by my business partner that he was taking actions that would close the doors to our candle company. I was overwhelmed with fear. I know what the onset of a deep depression feels like…I couldn’t pull myself from bed for a couple of days. I woke up one morning, stood up and said, “I am turning this into THE BEST THING that could have ever happened FOR ME!” And that I did.  FIVE and ½ weeks later, I was up and running with a new candle company.

Candle Company #2 1998 Er’go Candle: It was with this company that I helped introduce Soy Candles to the nation by marketing nationally to the upper-end gift and spa industries. At the pinnacle of our success, I was featured on CNN during Prime Time, News Night with Aaron Brown in a piece on up-and-coming entrepreneurs, called ON THE RISE. Sitting there that night, watching CNN, at what was the height of my personal success, an event that should have brought me great joy, I knew in my heart it was the beginning of the end. I am a very positive person, but in this case it was my gut talking.

My name and image was becoming important for the brand (think, Colonel Sanders and KFC). Though this exact scenario was my vision for the brand, it wasn’t the image held by a group of my investors, a family who happened to own the majority of the shares. I knew that evening, while watching CNN, that group of investors could not allow this to happen. If my name and image became too interwoven within the brand, they might lose some control. Approximately 3 months later I was voted out of my company.

Several days after I was voted off my Island, I took a week long cruise to clear my head and receive inspiration. And I did exactly that by staying PRESENT on that cruise and not spending ANY time on what had just transpired. I also knew that I didn’t want to create what I was going to do next from my mind, but instead be inspired from my inner spirit – for that reason I did not spend ANY time trying to figure out what I was going to do next. The trick, I had learned over the years of creating from my inner spirit, is to remain PRESENT in the MOMENT during these times of inspiration and let go of the past and don’t worry about the future. On the last day of that cruise, it was as if an information bubble encapsulated me with the full concept for my new company. And yet again,  5 and ½ weeks after I stepped off the cruise ship I was up and running with a new candle company. (I’m not sure why with both businesses it took exactly 5 ½ weeks to get them going, but that is amazingly what happened.)

Candle Company #3 2005 Jimmy Belasco Soy Candles: With this company, in the 5.5 weeks it took to put everything together, we also happened to design packaging that won Best New Product Packaging for our category (candles/fragrance/bath & body) at the NY International Gift Fair. We began to experience some moderate success when, in the early months of 2008, the bottom fell out of the US economy. With the drop in the economy along with some poor timing on decisions made in the months earlier, my company started to bleed money. Over the next few years, I experienced the collapse of my business. After completely exhausting all of my resources (financially, physically, spiritually & emotionally) I licensed my brand to a larger candle company in the beginning of 2011. After a year, I finally decided to call it quits – there was not more peace, love or joy in that business for me.

At the end of each of these businesses, for the most part, I maintained my peace. I usual choose to look at these sorts of tumultuous events as happening FOR ME, for my highest good… instead of TO ME or against me.   In the first two businesses at the very end, if I had spent ANY time regretting the past I would not have been focused enough to start an entirely new company in FIVE and half weeks. In each instance, in just over ONE month, I was able to create a new company, develop a full collection of fragrances, design new packaging, have samples of the new packaging produced, design and print new catalogs and have it all set up in showrooms across the country in the 6 major markets! All of that, plus a whole lot more in FIVE and a HALF WEEKS! It still amazes me that I was able to that, TWICE!

The ONLY way this was possible is because I stayed PRESENT IN THE MOMENT. I had to let go of my past and focus upon my present moment if I wanted to succeed in launching those candle lines. I am not Superman, in fact I am rather normal. What I am good at is remaining focused on the present and letting go of the past. By me letting go, I was able to maintain my peace. Because I was at peace during the process, I was able to accomplish some amazing things in a very short period of time.

Letting go is your key to peace. There is much power in a person who is able to maintain their peace.

He who lives with the most peace wins!

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. (sung to the tune of Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow)

If you look at the case of candle company #2, technically, they walked away with the business I created, but I walked away with my peace. In this case I feel happy because I gained a level of peace in the process that I might not have been able to if the circumstances hadn’t played out as they did. This is why in the middle of a tumultuous situation I try not to judge the events as “bad”… they simply “are what they are“. I see these events as something that will end up for my highest good. It has sometimes been difficult to see things this way when the sh#t is hitting the fan, but I have had enough experience to know and trust that it can be the BEST thing that could happen… as long as I continue to keep that point of view. And trust me, because I know for myself, if you think it is the worst thing that could happen to you, you will also end up being right.

 

This universe is a magical place, whichever direction you choose in life; life is happy or life is sad, Life is good or life is bad… you will ALWAYS be right!

let it go let it go let it go

peace, love, jimmy

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a fish named FRED

A fish named Fred

There once was a fish named Fred who lived in the ocean.  Fred would often hide in the darkest underwater cave. When Fred was in that cave he would feel lonely and separate from all the other sea creatures in the ocean. When Fred was out swimming in the ocean he would notice all of the differences between him and all of the other creatures of the sea; by doing so he would feel even more separate… and alone. Even when Fred was in a school, surrounded by a multitude of other fish, he felt separate and alone.

What Fred didn’t realize was, it is impossible for him to be separate from the ocean, it is impossible for Fred to be separate from all the other creatures in the ocean. Fred and all the other creatures are all living in the same fish bowl. Every part of that ocean flows through each of these creatures. There is only a temporary perceived “separation” with all that is in that ocean.

And one day the fish named Fred became lunch for a larger fish named Bill. It was then that the fish named Fred finally realized his oneness with all there is in that ocean. In that moment Fred wished he had figured this out earlier… so he would not have felt all alone for all of those years. He realized that through his perceived separateness, he could learn about his true oneness with all things… though, in this case he was a little too late.

Hello Fred… and wake up before its too late.

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good VIBRATIONS

If you have a row of tuning forks, each of different notes, all lined up together and you were to introduce a duplicate of one of these forks and activate it with a thud of your hand – you would soon notice that one of the forks that is lined up will also begin to vibrate and sing…and all of the others will sit still and silent. When you look more closely, you will notice that the one that is now singing along will be of the same note to which your hand activated fork is tuned; they are both tuned to the same frequency.

 

Matching frequencies will find each other and begin to resonate with each other.

 

Everything we can see and not see in this universe is a vibration… waves of energy. Everything from the colors we see with our eyes, the thoughts we think with our mind, the feelings we feel within our hearts, the planet beneath our feet, the sun up in the sky to the stars throughout our universe – all of these are waves of vibratory energy.

 

Our experiences in this life are all based upon vibrations and frequencies; and our thoughts and feelings are the most powerful frequencies we have in creating our life experiences. Your life experience will only be that of which you are vibrating, or in this case thinking and feeling…and can be nothing other.

 

You cannot make the other forks in the line sing along with your frequency if they don’t match with your frequency.

 

If you are not pleased with the life frequency you are experiencing, then change your frequency to that of the life experience you wish to experience. Once you begin to vibrate at a different rate, you will automatically draw to you the matching vibrations, or frequencies…or life experiences. Use the vibrations you have at your disposal – your thoughts and your feelings and begin to think and feel your way to a new frequency.

 

And the wonderful part of all of this – only you can choose which frequency you wish to vibrate. You have your power of choice. Please use it mindfully.

 

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – Albert Einstein

 

“Imagination is everything; it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

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easily and effortlessly…

Our words tend to define our experiences.  If we talk about being tired all the time, we start being tired all the time.  If we begin to label our experiences as this or that, they tend to become this or that.

For example, I utterly dislike the entire process of moving myself or anybody else into a new home or office…the act of moving is about my least favorite thing to do on this planet.  If I started the days before the dreaded event by stating how bad I hated it and how “horrible it is going to be” and how tired I am going to be because I HATE TO MOVE, the move is going to be a very painful process.

But, if I can begin stating, “It’ll go easily and effortlessly”, “easily and effortlessly…”, “easily and effortlessly…” everything is easy and effortless…just you watch, it is more likely that the overall move will go along with much less pain.

Your attitude has so much to do with the process.  And the words you choose to describe the process tend to define your attitude.  Change your defining words and you will change the overall experience of the task.

You can set the pace of your day by keeping your attitude in the positive position.  Having a negative attitude doesn’t make the process easier for anyone…especially those who have to listen to you.

“Easily and Effortlessly” can be your new motto.  Choose your defining words carefully…your life experience depends on it.

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Stop Thinking…

Stop Thinking…Your Way to Creativity

You have a choice, you can think and think and think to come up with an idea that will usually be just shy of mediocre or you can allow true creativity to flow through you… true inspiration.

If we are mind, body and spirit and you have the choice to come up with your next big idea from your mind or your spirit, which do you think would be a better idea?  Hmm?

But how do we connect with our spirit?  Well, one of the ways is to quiet the mind and allow the spirit part of our equation to come through.  The more you are focused in the present moment, the clearer your mind is to receiving the connection with your spirit.  But for many, quieting the mind is one of the major challenges in life.

When I am in the process of creating a new product or resolving an issue, I purposely stop thinking about it.  I visualize containing the idea in a ball and throw it out in front of me…trusting that the inspired idea or resolve to the issue will come back to me when it is time.  The trick is to do so… and trust. This process has yet to fail me.

We all have a connection with the Divine if we will only get out our own way and let it come through.  Do you think that only certain “special” people have the ability to connect with their spirit?  We all have the ability—we just need to learn how to get out of the way and let it come through.

True creativity flows when we let go of the need to control everything… and we quiet our minds.

I promise you that when Melissa Etheridge is up on stage giving us chills, she is not thinking… about the notes or the pronunciation of the words…she’s not thinking.  Melissa, when on stage, gets into the zone. In music, being in the zone means to become one with the music…there is no thinking…there is only being.  In that moment of being one with the music, she is being present with that moment…totally engaged in that moment.

The more we can quiet our mind (please read Plug Your Ears and Listen) and the more we are present with the people and the actions of our daily lives, the more we connect with and begin to operate in harmony with our spirit.

Throughout my other entries I spell out some of the tools (check out my Tools section) I have used to help me clear my mind, keep present in the moment and connect with my spirit.

Let go of trying to control everything with your mind…

Let it go, let it go, let it go…

 


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Let it go, let it go, let it go…

Let it go and find peace.

Let it go and find love.

Let it go and find happiness.

Let it go, let it go, let it go!

By letting go of your anger, resentment, guilt, shame, jeolousy, hatred (the list goes on) you open the door for true love, true peace and true happiness.  The doorway to each of these is only large enough for you to enter–without ANY extra baggage.

Let it go, let it go, let it go…

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One of the keys to happiness…

One of the keys to happiness is:

Accepting the things in life over which you have no power and knowing the ONLY thing in life over which you do have power: the thoughts you choose to think–period. 

The key to happiness is when you realize and accept that the entire world is out of your control.  Think about it, over what do you believe you have complete control in this world?  There is not a person or an event over which you have control.  There truly is nothing but the thoughts you choose to think.  In fact, you cannot even control all of your thoughts.  The only thing over which you possess full control are your chosen thoughts, which in turn create your chosen actions.  The sooner you learn this simple fact, the happier your life will be. 

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magnet

Think of yourself as a magnet.  Your thoughts coupled with your emotions are the engine of the magnet and they are attracting your life experience from the universe.  The universe is a magical place that will bring to you “like energy”. The universe is constantly matching the energy that is being sent out from your thoughts and emotions–your magnet. This is your Life Experience Creation Center…your manifestation machine. It is constantly working.  Right now as you sit and read this, your manifestation machine is drawing to you matching energy to your greatest thoughts and emotions. 

Take a look at your life, you are now sitting in the reality you created from this magnet.  If you like what you see, then you have a pretty good handle on the magnet.  If you don’t like what you see when you look around at your life, then you probably didn’t even realize that the magnet existed.

You might be sitting there saying, “There is no way I would purposely create the mess that is my current life.”  and you are partially right.  You may not have purposefully created it, but you did create it.  You see, even though we have our “wants and desires” in our head, such as a desire to have a life of peace… if our strongest thoughts and our strongest emotions are fear based, we end up attracting the things we fear.  It is usually our fears that hold the strongest emotions and thoughts, thus it is our greatest fears that we draw to us. It never fails, watch any episode of E! True Hollywood Story and narrator will inevitably say, “…and his/her greatest fear came true.” 

My dad always told me, “what you focus upon, you get.”  We often times don’t even realize that we have fears and they are rather strong…and they are then acting as a magnet, a rather strong magnet because they are fueled by strong emotions.  So in many cases we are thinking we want one thing and we receive another…in fact, we receive the very thing we fear the most.  And the reason for this is because we are “creating” from our strongest thoughts and emotions and in this case that emotion is fear.  The strongest emotion always wins.

This is why it is important to face our fears, as many as we can…and start to release them.  Of course, in many cases your fears consist of horrible potential outcomes…things that really could happen…but if you realize that the fears are acting as a magnet, you may decide to let them go.  Any event in life could have an unpleasant ending, but why create it by focusing upon it?  The more fears you can let go of, the clearer you will be to create the things you want.

If you catch yourself with strong emotion and it is based in fear…realize you are creating a very strong magnet at that time and you are drawing all the things into your life that you don’t want.  You must, IN THAT MOMENT, re-direct your thoughts to ANYTHING other than the fear.  Put on your favorite music…the music you end up singing to at the top of your lungs…change the vibration (the magnet) that you are sending out.  This is very important.  Remember, your strongest emotions/thoughts are your strongest magnet.

 

On the positive side, when a desirous thought can be coupled with a very strong emotion, you have PASSION on your hands…and thus a very strong magnet to help draw the product of your passion into your experience…and with it happiness.  This is why it is so important to focus upon the things in life you truly want and to focus so hard that they over rule the strength of your fears.  If you focus on the fears, you end up with a life filled with experiences that will support those thoughts.  If you focus upon your dreams and passions, you end up with a life filled with experiences that support those thoughts.

 

Remember you are a magnet.

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Plug your ears and listen…

We are all, well most of us anyway, searching for peace.  Well, I found it.  It was hiding in the Present Moment.  Can you imagine, all this time I have been searching and searching and it was right there.

When you are focused on the past through thoughts of guilt, regret, anger or resentment, or when you are focused upon the future through thoughts of fear and worry, you are unable to be in the Present Moment.  You cannot be in two places at once.  None of the thoughts listed above live in the Present Moment.  The only way to experience peace is to be present in the moment of NOW.

You don’t have to be in the lotus position on a mountain top or on a beach sipping a tropical drink to experience peace.  All you have to do is bring yourself to the present moment.

Read this next sentence, then follow the instructions.  Plug your ears and take three deep, long breaths–listening to the breath as it enters through your nose and fills your lungs, then as the breath leaves your body out through your mouth–do this now, THREE long, deep breaths…Go!

Other than feeling a bit silly, do you remember “thinking” anything other than the sound of your breath?  If you were able to focus upon your breath, which is really simple when you can hear it so clearly with your ears plugged, you became present in the moment.  You just grounded yourself.  You just successfully stopped your mind from its constant mind chatter for just a brief moment and in that moment there was a moment of peace. 

It doesnt matter how long the moments of peace are, it is important that we take them.  Our minds are in constant thought, giving us constant chatter all day long and sometimes all through the night.  If you do not find a way to shut down the chatter, you can go “crazy”.  By quieting the mind, even for brief moments, we are able to connect with our energy source, the source of peace.  And that energy source is only found in the present moment of NOW.

The next time you feel as if your head is spinning and you want to take control of the situation, stop and take deep, long breaths…it is best if you can plug your ears (do not do this while attending a staff meeting, it doesn’t  look good).  I promise you, you will be better able to meet the challenge if you stop your mind briefly and experience a bit of peace in the present moment of now.

Plug your ears and plug into the NOW.

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May your emotions be your guide…

One of the ways to know when you are “on your path” is to monitor your emotions.  Your emotions will let you know when you are taking actions against who you really are.  This is why when you take actions that go against who you really are, you feel bad…you feel shame…you feel self hatred.  It is because at those times you have disconnected with your true self.  So, the bad feeling times are only a sign post that you are disconnecting from your true self. 

This is one of the reasons we have emotions.  Our emotions are here to guide us as to if we are connecting with or disconnecting with our true self.  It is rather simple; when you feel good, you are connected and when you feel bad, you are disconnected.

If you don’t go through the times of disconnect, then you may not ever find the true connection.  Honor both sides of your emotions and use them as a tool to find your path.

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Thru Separateness we learn ONEness…

I believe that we are all one.  We are made from the same stuff as the rest of the universe–the same components that make the stars in the sky, make up you and I.   If you were sitting on the moon and looking at the Earth, all you would see is one big eco-system…you would not see separateness.  I believe that we are here to learn of our ONEness…and the best way for that to happen is for us to be in a place that supports the idea of separateness. 

We live on a planet that fully supports both separateness and oneness.  On this planet you can feel completely alone and separate from all things and you can also tap into this Earth and feel completely one with all things (and yes, this is possible without mind altering drugs).

What if we were all part of one big energy in the process of experiencing itself?  How exactly would that energy be able to fully experience itself if that energy would be defined as “All Things”?  How could something that is All Things experience itself–fully?   Well, the one way I can see that could happen would be to separate itself into individual parts, strip the memory of those individual parts and experience itself as NOT All Things.  You cannot fully know who you are until you experience who you are not.

For example:  a princess lives within the castle walls, never stepping a foot outdoors nor peering out a window.  She is waited on hand and foot, she is cleaned, dressed and fed by servants…her every need is cared for by a staff of people.  How would this little princess ever know how good she has it? She has nothing with which to compare her life.  Even if she were to peer outside and see the peasants from a far, she still would not fully know how great her life is.  The only way for her to fully know would be for her to experience what it is like to not be a princess.  She would need to be placed outside the walls of the castle and her memory of being a princess would have to be wiped from her mind.  She could then experience what it is to not be a princess.  And as time goes on and she begins to remember about her royalty, little glimpses every now and then…all the way to the point of full realization of who she really is.  Then when she fully accepts her royalty and remembers her previous life, she can fully appreciate who and what she is–a princess with full royal rights and privileges. 

We are here in the perfect setting to not remember who and what we are.  and through not remembering who and what we are, we can fully experience who and what we are not.  And it is through this experience of knowing who we are not, we get to fully experience who we really are!

We are all ONE.  What you do, to yourself and others, affects the whole. You cannot take a harmful action against someone else without it affecting you in someway.  What you do to others affects yourself. 

An act of love towards others is an act of love toward yourself. An act of love toward yourself is an act of love towards others.

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