5 Steps to the First Step – Richard’s Commentary

You know that old expression – “watch that first step; it’s a doozy”? Well, Rosemary assures us not to worry too much about it because that step can be divided up into five! And I know how well this works.

A few years ago, we were still in Colorado, when Rosemary offered a weekend seminar in her program, The Intuition Edge. Across two days of a workshop setting (more like a playshop!) we learned her system to determine that next, first step. It included these five lead-up steps Rosemary outlined in her post on Friday. As a quick reference here they are again:

  1. Breathe
  2. Connect to Your Vision
  3. Clear the Blocks
  4. Commit to Forward Motion
  5. Connect with Your Intuition, Your Inner Guidance and Ask for the First Step to be Unveiled to You

As you might guess I really like that first step. I do a lot of breathing; it’s part of my Qigong practice, my Yoga practice, my meditation practice. When awareness needs centering, breathing is the best approach.

It is the breath that helps us connect with anything, and everything. It is essential to connect within. And where does that vision of where we want to go next reside? Within!

How do you “see” your vision? I think we in the west call this direction we are headed a “vision” because we are such a visual culture. But can you sense your vision in other ways? Can you taste it, smell it, hear it, touch it? If you truly want to activate your vision apply all of your senses; begin to experience the vision in your whole body, as if it is real. It is real!

What blocks stand between you and your vision? Do you fear attaining that vision? Do you hesitate because you are unsure if it is the “right” vision? Are you confident you have the resources needed? There are many ways we sabotage ourselves. This may be the most important and the most difficult step of the five. Do the inner work here, whether it’s to dispel limiting beliefs, move through inner-child fears or gain trust in yourself and the Universe.

Commitment is a requirement. If you are not truly committed to your vision then no “first step” will appear. If the commitment is weak, go back to step 2 and connect or re-connect to that vision. This is a process. It is likely not a linear one but circular; view it as a spiral as you get closer and clearer about your vision.

When you are committed go for the guidance. Once again this is inner guidance and once again we get there, seek it through the breath. See why I like this process so much? We get to breathe!

And then there are many tools to use to stimulate and listen to the inner guidance, that intuitive side of our consciousness, our intuition edge. Use as many as you need and are comfortable with. Use divination tools like a pendulum, oracle cards, Tarot cards, astrology, numerology. Test your vision using these tools and ask for the next step toward that vision. Remember, you only need the NEXT step.

Then TAKE it…”step out in innocence and trust.”



My “Two-Minute” Video for this Week: Take a Step!

ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: 5 Steps to the First Step

Have you ever felt ready to step out, to move toward a vision, a dream, a goal and been paralyzed or unable to move forward?

We all have, at some point.  We can see where we want to go.  We can feel what it will feel like to be there.  We can almost taste that space.  And, for some reason, we are stuck.  We can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other and move.

What does it take to get to that destination?

It takes the First Step.

Once you have taken that First Step, the second, third and fourth are much easier to take.  And they seem to be evident, with a lot less confusion or trepidation, than the first one.

But what will keep you from taking that First Step?  A lot of things.  Fear.  Doubt.  A sense of unworthiness.  Confusion about what the First Step is. A Concern that you don’t have the entire route mapped out and you don’t want to take the First Step until you know for certain what every subsequent step looks like.  A lack of confidence in yourself.  A lack of commitment to actually moving toward that dream.

So what can you do when you are stuck in the Paralysis of Step Zero?

Here are the 5 Steps to the First Step:

  1. Breathe. Now this might seem a simplistic approach but this really is the first action to take in any process. Take a deep breath.    Repeat.  This sets the stage for the rest of the process.
  2. Connect to Your Vision. Get the dream/vision/goal into clear focus in your mind’s eye. Feel it.  Sense it.  See it.  Taste it.  Make it real to your unconscious mind
  3. Clear the Blocks. Identify what is or has been holding you back.  What beliefs are in the way?  What negative self-talk are you putting in your mind that convinces you to stay stuck?  This is a very important step!  Get help with this because you can be blind to your blocks.
  4. Commit to Forward Motion. All the dreams in your head will remain there unless you make an honest and whole-hearted commitment to moving forward.  Do you really want that dream or vision?  HOW MUCH do you want it?  Enough to commit yourself and your energy and your time to it?  If you can’t commit, then go back to Step 1 and Breathe before revisiting Step 2 to decide if you need to tweak that Vision.
  5. Connect with Your Intuition, Your Inner Guidance and Ask for the First Step to be Unveiled to You. Ask only for the First Step!  If you try to control the whole journey your Controller takes over.  You really want the curious Explorer within you to take the First Step!

Then, step out in innocence and trust.

The First Step will reveal the Second which will reveal the Third.  If you can’t see where to step next, then pause and Breathe.  Repeat Steps 1 through 5 for the Next Step.

You can do this!


You can trim your hair. You can trim your waistline. You can trim the bushes by the front door. But do you ever think about trimming what is surrounding you in your life?

Sometimes we assume that something, some person, or some situation, must stay with us simply because it is already in our life. The truth is that you can eliminate whatever does not serve your personal growth or your highest good.

What relationships in your life are you holding onto because they are long-term and familiar, even though they no longer serve your growth? Are you in a job that feels as if it robs you of joy but you feel that you need to go there every day anyway? What possessions do you surround yourself with that steal your energy because they require so much care or space or attention or money to maintain?

The list of questions to ask yourself goes on and on. Maybe it’s time for a trim.

Do you ever find yourself indulging in negative self-talk, the kind where you put yourself down or tell yourself that you are not good enough for something? Self-talk is another candidate for a trim.

What about beliefs that are holding you back? If you have unconscious beliefs that you made as a child they may be keeping you from the forward momentum in your growth that you desire for yourself. You can clear limiting beliefs and trim the ropes that hold you back.

When a client tells me a story, I am listening not just for the content but also for the way they are telling the story. The language gives me a lot of information about the meaning behind the story they are telling. Often the ‘trimming’ occurs when I suggest a different way to language the story. You can trim away the old energies and move beyond the way you habitually interacted with those facts. This is a huge benefit to someone who wants to leap forward in their life but feels their story is holding them back.

Just as Spring Cleaning is a way to clear the clutter – in the house, the closet and the mind – this Summer Trimming is called for when subtle or insidious forces are acting on us and our growth depends upon our trimming away what is holding us back or keeping us stuck.

Look around at what is in your life and make a conscious choice to keep it or discard it. Sometimes this requires a painful choice, but your personal growth depends on it.

The guidance I am receiving is that we have no time now to pussyfoot around. We are focusing on growth, on expansion, on moving into deeper territories where we live the examined life, not an unconscious one. If you have relationships, situations, ‘stuff’ that doesn’t support you, that you feel holds you back or, worse, is toxic for you, then it is time to trim that out of your life.

Think of the big tree that has all those dead branches trimmed off so that now all of its energy is focused on new growth. Think of how freely you’ll breathe when you’ve trimmed away the weight of the dead branches that are hanging on you!

Are You Expecting? –Richard’s Commentary

The possibilities are endless! And this is exactly what I was hoping for. So, yes, I’m expecting some wonderful possibility to emerge this Spring! What about you?

This past Saturday I passed my Level 1 Qigong evaluation and am now certified to teach Jeff Primack’s base level of his Qi Revolution. Jeff’s goal is to expand the number of teachers of Qigong in the US; he is a true believer in this ancient form of exercise. And it has been pretty clearly documented as a superior approach to health and longevity. Here’s just one citation:

“In the early 1980’s, scientists in China began to study the medical benefits claimed for qigong. Since then, research on hundreds of medical applications of qigong have been reported in the Chinese literature. Of special interest … are clinical reports of the medical benefits of qigong that claim to retard or reverse some diseases associated with aging.”

–Kenneth Sancier Ph. D.

And here is an excellent definition of Qigong by Dr. Kathleen Hall:

“Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that creates health by balancing the chi, or vital energy, in your body. Qigong is about discovering one’s true balance.

“Kaiser Permanente, the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in the country, offers Qigong to their patients. They report they began Qigong with their chronic pain patients and had such great results they are now providing these classes for all health care plan members.”

With teachers and practitioners like Jeff Primack beginning to spread the word I think we will soon be seeing Qigong everywhere.

I’ve been practicing two forms of Qigong for about a year now. And I can honestly say I feel great, I have lost weight, I am sleeping well, and I feel much less stressful about life than I did a year ago.

And now the challenge begins. I am motivated to get started and only need to set up a class, gather some interested students and get going, right? Well, maybe it’s not that simple; but I do have a plan and “I am expecting” to step out in confidence and begin to bring this ancient longevity technology to as many people as I can reach.

This is part of my Spring break-out. Do you have a plan? It’s a great time of the year to review, revise and refresh your activities and assess your direction. Do an internal check on your health; figure complete-2Rosemary and I suggest doing a scan of all of your bodies, the physical, of course, and your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies as well. Remember this diagram we published a few months ago?

Do you feel blockage anywhere? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) “When your chi is blocked or stagnant you get sluggish, slow and can experience illness.”  (Dr. Hall) And since Qi is vital energy it can block more than just the physical body. Qigong can release these blocks to relieve the sluggish “hang-over” from winter and provide just the spring-tonic needed to revitalize and nourish.

I have found that Qigong supports all four levels of the body. The movement and breath work are physically beneficial, the meditative aspects of Qigong support both the emotional and mental bodies, and throughout the practice there is a flow and connection to the divine that is deeply spiritual and truly inspiring.

This spring, try something new. Look for Qigong in your area. Give it a go; I think you’ll appreciate it!

And all the best with that!

INSPIRATION: Are You Flipping Out Over Something?

It seems today as if there is always something to ‘Flip Out’ over!  What has you feeling this way today?

I sometimes hear clients longing for simpler lives or less stress or at least less drama in their lives, but they are really wishing for something to change about their circumstances without a thought to how they can change themselves.

Flipping Out happens when we don’t have enough resources in our tool box to deal with what is happening in our environment.  If you can reach into your Resource Tool Box and pull out just what you need to do in this circumstance, then you just do that and there’s no need to get too excited.  But how often are you perfectly prepared for exactly what is going on?

Let me say here that I am not talking about going into denial and pretending that nothing big is happening!  Sticking your fingers in your ear and singing, ‘La, la, la, la!’ won’t manage the stress of the circumstances, although, I admit, sometimes that seems like an attractive behavior choice.  Denial invites the Universe to keep bringing the lesson to us, over and over again, with perhaps more severity each time until we learn what we are to learn.

What tools have you been developing to prepare you for whatever might come your way?  Are you on a path of constant personal growth, seeking new skills, finding new opportunities to explore ideas?  Are you committed to your own personal, spiritual growth as a journey of exploration?  How you answer these questions will determine how well you can handle what happens around you.

Just as an athlete doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to win a gold medal in discus throwing without training for that exact sport, so, too, must you train for the circumstances that haven’t yet come into your life.

When the doctor says, ‘There’s something of concern going on here,’ or you get the phone call that, ‘There’s been an accident,’ how will you respond?

I pray that you never hear those words but it could be something else that throws you for a loop and the resources must already be available to you or you will find it more difficult to cope.

So what are you doing today, this week, this year to expand the tools in your Resource Tool Box?  Are you taking a class?  Working with a coach/counselor?  Reading self-help books?  In a group with speakers who teach you tools?  Attending seminars and conferences with content-rich programs for personal growth?

This is not an activity that can be postponed indefinitely!  Now is the time to prevent Flip Out!

Learning meditation can be a great start.  Breathe, hit the pause button, take a moment to collect yourself.  Allow thoughts to arise but to keep flowing onward, without attaching to the thoughts.  Give yourself permission to focus on your breath and to let go of thoughts and emotions that come up for you.  Give yourself permission to simply BE.

Sign up for a class on a psychological or spiritual topic that intrigues you.  Read a book that someone has recommended to you.  Find a group of explorers that you can join to study new ideas.  Work with a coach who can help you to develop the tools that are best for you.

Fill up the Resource Tool Box and you’ll be ready if and when something happens.  Won’t it be nice to have the confidence of knowing that, even if you never need to use the tools, you won’t have to resort to ‘Flipping Out’?




PS: Are you in the Annapolis, Maryland area this evening? Then it is not too late to register for my workshop on Spiritual Tools for 2012 and Beyond! But do hurry because it starts tonight, in person, at 7:00 pm Eastern. Come add to the fun evening! Register Here

MUSE-INGS: Give the Gift of Peace

The word ‘chaos’ seems to resonate these days more than ‘peace’ when I am working with clients! How do we find Peace with a capital ‘P’ when the news is disturbing, finances are in an upheaval, everyone is too busy to sit still for a minute, and there seems to be no peace in sight?

I like the admonition to BREATHE. Sometimes that is all we need. When I work with a client and do a visualization, about their success or accessing some resources or finding solutions, I start by having them close their eyes and then take a deep breath. The shift is visible in seconds. And when I lead them through a relaxation exercise I can see them moving further and further into that place where they can let go of tension and stress and just BE. Sometimes that’s all that is needed [which is why I give away a 7-minute de-stress meditation audio when you sign up to receive my free weekly ezine!]. Of course, as a hypnotherapist, I can then offer much more to the client when they are relaxed and we can do the important change work in that state.

But reaching for Peace can be a struggle when you are on your own. That’s why the exercise in the Mystic Message is such an important one. It’s easy to close your eyes and breathe. And if you have once created your Peace-full place you can always return to the same place or conjure up a new one whenever you want. The important thing to remember is that you have a place of Peace and stillness residing within you whether you realize it or not. All you need to do is to remember and return to that place.

When your life seems to be chaotic, whether from uncomfortable stress situations or a good-feeling but overwhelmingly busy place, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of promising time for yourself and for mediation, visualization, relaxation ‘after the dust settles.’ How often have you promised yourself that massage ‘when things settle down’? Or maybe you’ve planned to start journaling or meditating or taking a yoga class when [the kids are in school, Mom is healthier, we move into a bigger/smaller house, I retire, etc.] and you keep living in the chaos until some nebulous time that’s always out in the future. Chaos can reign or it can exist without reigning. The dust may never settle. So what do you do?

Find a way to reach inside for that Peace NOW. Are you dealing with a lot of stress? Use that 7-minute meditation audio and relax to de-stress. Are you too busy? Is there too much drama in your life? Check out the productivity you can enjoy when you increase your resources by coming from a place of Peace within you. Now think about what’s happening around you. Have you ever noticed that when you lower your voice your kids lower theirs and pay closer attention to hear what you are saying? This same principle works when you lower your stress level and act from a place of Peace. That energetic then moves beyond you into your environment and helps everyone to feel more Peace-full.

Shine the Light of Peace all around you. Find it first within you and then share it. Stop the drama. Even if you are telling yourself that you can’t do that because the drama is all being caused by external events, realize that you don’t have to attach yourself to the drama – allow it to stay external to you and deal with it objectively [or make a decision not to engage with it]. Bring Peace to every situation or relationship.

Trust me. YOU will be the beneficiary when you practice this but you will also bring a level of Peace to all with whom you come into contact when you offer the energy of Peace. And remember that you cannot control other people – they might choose to continue in the drama and to reject the notion of Peace. That’s up to them. But you don’t have to join them in that choice.

Stay Peace-full this week and notice how good you feel and how relaxed other people are around you!


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