Mastery while Unemployed

by Marrrek 24. May 2010 17:53

In February 2009 I was already unemployed for 6 months and moved out of my girlfriend’s house in Colorado after a 6-year off-and-on relationship. Not exactly a great start for the year. And yet, it turned out that I’ve never been happier in my life than during the ensuing months.

This was the third time in my software engineering career that I was unemployed; the longest time being 2.5 years. Based on my previous experience, this time I knew that rather than concentrate on the seeming shortages in my life (income, job, relationship); I would concentrate on the abundance. And what I had an abundance of is my time and my love. And what I decided to do with them is to support as much as possible the More To Life program while I was unemployed.

Right around then, the Minnesota MTL community held the first Pay It Forward More To Life weekend seminar. Having been part of the resurrection of the region a few years prior, I already knew quite a few people, and volunteered to be on team, provided that the community could support me financially to attend. I offered to give hour long professional massages on a love offering basis.

Aside from that weekend itself being a giant success (100 students enrolled and 88 completed), and spurring the later creation of a steering committee, it was also a personal success in that the Minnesota community’s love offerings actually exceeded my travel expenses! It was an eye opening experience for me to get that I could ask for what I wanted and not only get it, but also get tons of love and support, a quite unexpected additional gift!

In May 2009 Houston held its first PIF weekend and I was stoked to participate there too. Again, this time the Houston community supported me financially with love offerings for massages. The experience was not only fun, but also highly connecting, and energizing. “I can be happy regardless of circumstances.” It matters not if I have a job, lots of money, a partner. None of these things keep me from happiness. “Mastery is the ability to be happy regardless of circumstance” was my lesson.

Since then, I’ve committed to play on team for as many PIF MTL weekends as I possible.  I’ve been on team in California (unfortunately that one was cancelled), and two more in Minnesota and Houston in 2010. There are only two new “problems” now:

  1. Being re-employed, I now have far less time (do I detect a shortage thought?)
  2. There are more and more PIF weekends being held!

I love having these “problems”; I now have an abundance of employment, Pay It Forward weekends, and connection with MTL students the world over.

And that significant other relationship? It will come when it comes, or not. I’ve learned that my happiness does not depend on my circumstances, only on keeping my mind clear. Wink



All Love is Conditional...

by Marrrek 14. April 2010 23:03

The following is a C.A.R. story (Change-Action-Result) story I sent March 13, 2005 to the POL Bozeman creation team. I thought you might enjoy it as well.

One of the behaviors I've noticed of myself more and more, over the last few years since taking the Life Training, is how I tend to deflect compliments and acknowledgments. I've never been able to "figure out" what that was all about until I took the Power of Love course recently.

In that seminar, I discovered a deep core belief that "All love is conditional", at least for me. This has manifested itself in the way I take in (or rather not take in) love coming my way. When it comes in the form of an acknowledgment or compliment, I start getting very uncomfortable in my skin. I get anxious, and I want to run away from it. Some of the mind talk has been:
- I don't deserve it (F)
- You don't really know me (the REAL me) (DK)
- You're just saying that to be nice (F)
- It's not really honest (DK)

During the Power of Love, I discovered something a lot deeper though:
- You must want something from me (F)
- You're just saying it to get something from me (F)
- I don't trust you (F)
- I don't trust anybody (F)
- Your love is conditional (DK)
- ALL love is conditional (F)
- I should never trust anybody who loves me, because it's conditional love (F)
- If I accept it, it can be taken away (F)
- I will get hurt if I allow love in (DK)

Before taking a stand, I really wanted to get to a deeper level of where this core belief about the conditionally (is that even a word) of love was coming from. A month after the POL course, I remembered an instance from my early teens.

I was having an argument with my dad at the family dinner table. We had had a long past of similar arguments. I can still see the veins popping in his forehead whenever he got really angry. The arguments were always about something pretty innocent at first, quite often about something that didn't make any sense to me logically. My dad prided himself on his logic, and he would present a logical argument. Even at an early age, I saw big holes in logic in what he said (a view of the world that many adults shared, in my teenage opinion).

As I countered with better logic (in my opinion, of course :) ) my dad would get upset about being made wrong. As he ran out of logic, he would get personal ("Mark, you don't know what you're talking about." "Wait, until you grow up."). When he thought he was starting to loose the argument, he would get more and more angry. He would say very mean and belittling remarks to me,

I started feeling that these arguments were not fun, and actually spoiling the enjoyment of the wonderful Indonesian dinners my mom used to cook for our family of five kids, I started feeling responsible for finding a way to avoid them. Not talking, saying what my dad wanted to hear, making him right were all attempts that he saw right through.

One night, my dad got so angry during another dinner argument, he told me to leave the house, in a pouring rain. I was totally shocked, but left. I huddled up in the cold and dark underneath some trees at the bottom of the hill on which our house stood. Shivering in the cold and wet, I cried and cried; the rain and my tears were in sync. I could not believe my parents had kicked me out of the house. Aside from indignation, deep pain and hurt settled all over my body.

Going back to that moment and clearing it (the trans-derivational process) got me in touch with putting in place that core belief: "All love is conditional." If parents can do that to children, then no one is safe (False). My guiding beliefs included that I must become protector of children from mean parents. That I must be more loving to make up for the lack of love in others. etc

During the POL course, I actually blurted out "I DON'T WANT YOUR LOVE" and what I meant is that I don't want conditional love. I learned that my judgments about love, whether it is conditional or unconditional has kept me from accepting it. I pride myself of giving unconditional love, and yet I've thrown people close to me out of my life when I've felt hurt. How unconditional is that ?

The truth is that whether love is conditional or unconditional is a judgment, and a smoke screen. I want one but not the other, but there is no way to tell ahead of time. The truth is that I am a human being who does get upset and can act unloving at times, just like anyone else.

Besides that, love is love, pure and simple. I've been throwing out the baby with the bath water, not wanting to accept even a simple acknowledgment or compliment, The larger costs have been that I've felt driven about being more loving, that I've not been willing to accept deep love from others, not even significant others. The wall may have retreated at times, but never has come down completely.

The stand I now choose to take is that, yes

               All love is conditional...
                            ..on my receptivity to it.

I now understand that what I chose to do with love coming my way has not worked. I want to accept love unconditionally, whether it comes in the form of compliments, acknowledgment, intimacy, or any of the other thousands of forms that Love takes. I want to experience in whatever form I encounter it. I want to discover more forms of love in the world I live in.

I now notice quite quickly when I get that uneasy feeling. Rather than deflecting, I allow myself to absorb it. Stay still for a moment, breathe it in, allow the real experience of love in. Feel it, rather than deflect it.

Aaaaaaah, the moments of ecstasy in my life have multiplied ten fold !

I see love when I drive to work, looking at the gorgeous snow-capped Rocky mountains.
I hear love when I chat with the grocery clerk, with co-workers and strangers.
I smell love in the fragrances walking in the woods.
I taste love in the wonderful flavors of new cuisines I've not experienced before.
I feel love when I touch someone on the shoulder who is having a tough day at work.

I now see that if I cannot see love, it is not because it's not there, but because I am blind to it, blocking my own vision. The question is no longer: where is Love (in the universe), but rather where is Love NOT ?!? Is there any place where God is not ?

There is much happening in the world at large as well is in most people's personal lives that may be seen as evidence that lovelessness seems to be pervasive and a general direction. Courses like the Power of Love help me and many others not only understand, but more importantly EXPERIENCE the huge amounts of Love available to us, and in us.

If you have experienced a desire to get more in touch with this magic, the Power of Love course is for you. Hanging out for two days with incredibly loving people is a small cost, for such a huge benefit, don't you think. Perhaps, the answer to a world filled with fear, is to return it to Love.

Will you go for it in your life ?
Come join me and the team next weekend in Bozeman
(registration form and directions attached)

Love always.


Marrrek's 16 Personal Benefits of Enrollment

by Marrrek 20. October 2009 07:20
On another MTL email list, one of the participants asked what the PERSONAL benefits of enrollment were to the enroller (as opposed to the enrollee or the cause being enrolled for). This was my reply, which I think it is relevant for the upcoming Pay It Forward More to Life weekend course.
Funny you emailed this question just today. I was on a long phone call meeting with the Northern Cal team that is holding the Pay It Forward MTL weekend later this year. And of course, talking about enrollment was a big part of that.
There is a theory in psychology that says we spend the first some 20 years of our lives in dependence (on our parents, teachers, and others on whom we depend for our growth to adulthood), the next some 20 to 30 years on proving to ourselves that we can live independently (defining our personal success by accumulating our degrees, our career accomplishments, our wealth, our significant others on our own). Some of us our fortunate enough to get that neither living dependently nor independently is how LIFE really operates.

Life really operates interdependently. Everything depends on everything else. And our personal success has always depended on others. Rather than resent being dependent, or prove we can be independent, we can get to a place of embracing this interdependence. If there is anything that screams loudly out of most of the current issues we are facing (global warming, global economic crisis, terrorism, etc) it is that everything seems to affect everything else: interdependence.

Whether it's keeping your home clean, and enrolling your family, creating more business and enrolling new clients, starting a course and enrolling students, passing a law and enrolling voters, raising money for a charity and enrolling donors, going out for a drink and enrolling friends, convincing a judge to be lenient with your speeding ticket, getting a new job or a raise in your current job, it's all about enrollment !

Learning how to enroll others into my personal vision, or a group's vision or my company's vision or my country's vision, or my world's vision is one of the GREATEST personal benefits I could get from enrolling (anyone into anything that I believe worthwhile). If you can remember President Kennedy's speech about putting a man on the moon, that was probably one of the most glaring examples of enrolling an entire nation.

Any time I have a chance to enroll someone into something that I believe worthwhile, I get the chance to benefit

  1. MORE CONNECTION - Connect with one more person on this planet and learn from them
  3. LEARN ABOUT CONSIDERATIONS AND OBSTACLES others face in their lives
  6. GREATER DEPTH OF MY VISION that I am trying to enroll others into
  7. OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES to surface and work on
    (when I hold back, or avoid enrolling, or get a no from someone)
    (by learning what works and does not work in my enrollment efforts)

Notice that the above are benefits, regardless of enrollment success.
If I successfully enroll someone, I also get these benefits:

    (that can be used for more enrollment or just getting through the day)
  3. INSPIRATION to continue my life, my purpose, my vision
  4. DEEPER CONNECTION with the enrollee and other enrollers
  5. opportunity to SHOW/SHARE MYSELF AND BE SEEN
    (not just by the enrollee but also by other enrollers by sharing my “win”)
  6. opportunity to acknowledge myself and feel PROUD OF MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    (something I often skip over)

As I write this, I can hear Brad’s voice chuckling: “Oh, is THAT all?”

Love always.

"If you only have a hammer,
   Everything starts looking like a nail."
       Get more life tools at

More To Life Logo 


The Importance of Completion

by Marrrek 17. October 2009 17:42
The email below was sent the the team  after a More To Life Pay It Forward training weekend was cancelled.

Mastery requires (target) practice, and
That requires a willingness to accept missing the target,
And continuing the practice anyway
In order to learn from our misses
And sharpen our aim.
                - from InnerSights by Marrrek
Last Sunday night, I talked at length on the phone with a close friend of mine, a MTL student; she was perfectly fine then without any indications of any health problem. This Thursday she sent me a text message on my cell phone that she was checking into a hospital because blood clots had been detected in her lungs. I've not been able to talk with her since that first text message, although we last exchanged a few text messages Thursday night.
The life shock, along with my inability to find out how she was doing until tonight (by calling her best friend), got me way below the line. Today she has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit because her blood pressure has dropped significantly. "She's dying." my mind told me. "There's so much that I still wanted to have her know about me, and find out about her; so much that was not complete." I had a deep sense of loss, and great sense of incompletion, even regret about things left unsaid, and dreams, possibilities left unrealized. And I panicked and was frantically looking for ways to do something, support her, or get over this great sense of incompletion.
My stand: I want to feel complete, in everything I do, and with everyone I meet, without regrets, or things left unsaid.
I want to be open for others to do the same, and express their authentic selves.

What a gift this personal life shock has given me, in getting me back in touch with what is important in my life.
I think I can safely say, that all of us have experienced individual life shocks while on team. The cancellation of this training was a team life shock, also sometimes called a "corporate" life shock. While we could each process this life shock individually, there is great value in (also) processing corporate life shocks as a group. If you have never experienced such a process, I invite you to consider taking part this Saturday in such a process.
Many of those on this team have been long-time (or long-term?) students of the Life Training and now called the More To Life program. We live in a culture where quite often, we quickly skip over our wins or our losses, in search of the next goal. This in effect creates incompletion. As MTL students, we know that our practice of the MTL processes is what allows us to feel complete after a life shock hits us. 
It would be the expedient thing to skip this completion team meeting, and avoid possible discomfort about acknowledging where we could have done better, or worse where we did not live up to our own expectations. No matter how big or small our commitment was, there are bound to be some feelings that came up with the life shock of hearing that this training was cancelled. Whether it is relief, or anger, or disappointment, or grief, or any other feeling, each wants to be expressed appropriately. Our final team meeting call this Saturday can offer a forum for such expression. Will you attend the conference call and express yourself ?
Sharing those feelings, as well as acknowledging yourself as well as others for the effort, time, energy and mastery that was shown during our team experience is also part of feeling complete. This is not an attempt to feel "good", but rather an opportunity to be authentic, feel complete, and yes, possibly feel positive about having participated and contributed your time, effort and energy.
We also have an opportunity to create the next steps, identify the next opportunities, and the next possibilities for our More To Life community. I have no idea what that would look like, but I personally have a deep desire to find out what is next for the region, by listening to my fellow team mates, my fellow warriors. Your willingness to participate on this team is an indication to me that you want to make a difference in the world, and in our region. Would you be willing to explore the possibilities, and contribute your ideas on this Saturday's conference call ? 
I hope you can join the call even if only for part of it.
See you there.
Love always.
"If you only have a hammer,
   Everything starts looking like a nail."
       Get more life tools at
More To Life Logo



Getting my blog up

by Marrrek 17. October 2009 16:44

It wasn't that hard, but it wasn't that easy either,.

I've got my own blog software up from It took around an hour to install and figure out how to configure my GoDaddy web site to run it. The directions were simple and straight forward in the user documentation. Translating them into how to implemtn on GoDaddy took some work. I wish I had the time to post them, but this is not going to be a "techy" blog.




Welcome to BlogEngine.NET 1.5.0

by Administrator 2. April 2009 09:00

If you see this post it means that BlogEngine.NET 1.5.0 is running and the hard part of creating your own blog is done. There is only a few things left to do.

Write Permissions

To be able to log in to the blog and writing posts, you need to enable write permissions on the App_Data folder. If you’re blog is hosted at a hosting provider, you can either log into your account’s admin page or call the support. You need write permissions on the App_Data folder because all posts, comments, and blog attachments are saved as XML files and placed in the App_Data folder. 

If you wish to use a database to to store your blog data, we still encourage you to enable this write access for an images you may wish to store for your blog posts.  If you are interested in using Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, VistaDB, or other databases, please see the BlogEngine wiki to get started.


When you've got write permissions to the App_Data folder, you need to change the username and password. Find the sign-in link located either at the bottom or top of the page depending on your current theme and click it. Now enter "admin" in both the username and password fields and click the button. You will now see an admin menu appear. It has a link to the "Users" admin page. From there you can change the username and password.  Passwords are hashed by default so if you lose your password, please see the BlogEngine wiki for information on recovery.

Configuration and Profile

Now that you have your blog secured, take a look through the settings and give your new blog a title.  BlogEngine.NET 1.4 is set up to take full advantage of of many semantic formats and technologies such as FOAF, SIOC and APML. It means that the content stored in your BlogEngine.NET installation will be fully portable and auto-discoverable.  Be sure to fill in your author profile to take better advantage of this.

Themes and Widgets

One last thing to consider is customizing the look of your blog.  We have a few themes available right out of the box including two fully setup to use our new widget framework.  The widget framework allows drop and drag placement on your side bar as well as editing and configuration right in the widget while you are logged in.  Be sure to check out our home page for more theme choices and downloadable widgets to add to your blog.

On the web

You can find BlogEngine.NET on the official website. Here you'll find tutorials, documentation, tips and tricks and much more. The ongoing development of BlogEngine.NET can be followed at CodePlex where the daily builds will be published for anyone to download.

Good luck and happy writing.

The BlogEngine.NET team

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