Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Things First or Your Bubble Will Burst

My good friend Sara had this to say to me today, "Dude I am on burn out, don't know why, but it's driving me nuts." So, I replied to her by quoting one of my favorite quotes from the book Conversations With God, "If I do not go within, I go without." I asked her to ponder that for a moment. She then replied, heck no man I am like a robot-no time!" I told her that was the wrong answer. I was joking of course, but serious at the same time. I then read her a quote from Goethe that I live by, "Things which matter the most, must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."

As we continued our conversation, she told me she has been able to handle all her life challenges and stresses for quite a while, until now for some reason. All of a sudden she feels like she is falling apart, totally burning out. She mentioned there must be something wrong with her. In response I told her I didn't think there was anything wrong with her. What I know for certain about Sara though, is she doesn't make a habit of nurturing her inner self much at all, which I encouraged her to make time for, cause the thing is, if you don't take time to nurture yourself, eventually you breakdown, burnout or meltdown, which is never good. That is why you have to make time for self nurturing, self renewal, or returning to the source, the stillness.

Breakdowns happen when we are out of balance. We are 3 part beings (mind, body & soul) and as such, all parts need to be in balance and be nurtured for total, complete health and well being. If not, things go awry, things will definitely malfunction. I think EVERYONE needs some personal alone time. I'm talking about feeding your soul, cultivating positivity in your mind, exercising your body, your passions, doing nurturing things just for you, things that uplift and inspire you such as yoga, exercise, tai chi, journaling, painting, being in nature, writing, gardening and etc.

When you are adhering to a very tight schedule, which includes no "you" time, you will eventually hit a wall of burnout, or have a breakdown of some type. When there is a part of your 3 part being that is neglected, a part that is unfulfilled, this part of you will begin sending signals to your body, soul and mind. If you don't listen, the signals will get louder and louder, until tragedy may strike in one form or another to get your attention, or worse yet, your bubble will burst. Keeping First Things First or Your Bubble Will Burst is definitely a good answer, a good philosophy for taking care of yourself and your needs, so as to be able to help better care for others needs as well. If you neglect your own inner needs, your life will sooner or later fall apart, or you will run into some walls that could have been avoided by returning to balance, harmony, self love and self nurturing. First Things First or Your Bubble Will Burst is more than a nice personal reminder, it is a life strategy that works, I promise you.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Sell Yourself Short

I'm quite certain everyone has sold themselves short at one point or another during their lifetime. We are all guilty of this from time to time. The question is why do we do it? Is it because we don't feel worthy of success or greatness? Regardless of why we do it though, a lot of people, I will even go so far as to say most people settle for less than they deserve. But, YOU don't have to do this. You ought to settle for more, not less than you deserve. Why? because you are worth it. And the world awaits your genius, your talent and your gifts. Anthony Robbins once said, "Life will pay you any price you ask of it." Don't shy away from your personal power, your personal greatness. Find it, embrace it, cherish is, awaken it and allow it to emerge into and color your life experience. Like a lion, stand proud, firm and let your mighty roar shake the earth.

I am convinced everyone has a million dollar idea somewhere inside of them. Everyone has passions, gifts, or some valuable inner resource or commodity to offer this world. And I guarantee you what you have is a lot more valuable than you can probably imagine or comprehend! Sometimes you have to let it out first though, to see how people will respond to it. Like a magician with a plethora of surprises in his bag of tricks, if you don't let your passions, gifts and surprises out of the bag, you'll never know how the world would have responded to you.

People will pay you to do what you truly love to do. I have seen it and observed it in my own life firsthand. One critical thing you must do though, is believe in yourself and believe you are worthy of success first and foremost. You also have to find a way to package your genius, your passion and enthusiasm into a product or service. You have to know what you want in great detail before the universe can deliver it to you... If you could do anything you wanted or be anything you wanted to be, what would you do? what would you be? A lot of people I have asked this question to say, I don't know. But you have absolutely gotta know the answer to this question. You can never reach a port that you cannot see! Get to know yourself, including your gifts, resources and inner latent talents. Here is a question you need to ask yourself: What is it I have in abundance to offer my community and the world? Once you figure out the answer, you will know know what your sacred gift is.

A few years back, I had a really good friend named Ronnie Ryan. My family and I lived on a lake in Tennessee which is where I met him. He had a boat and practically lived on the lake, no joke. That was his passion. Most days in the summer you could find him on the lake. Whenever we were out on the lake with him, he would have us rolling with laughter the entire time. He was like Jeff Foxworthy on the water. And he could navigate that lake better than most fish I'm sure. One time I asked him why he didn't charge people to take them on guided tours and etc. He laughed at me, but I was being serious. I saw a gift and passion, and a gold mine in him. I know many people who would pay for the experience, the joy of being out on the lake with this guy. I know I would have many times. He was clever and a genius in his field of expertise, but he just couldn't see it. Oftentimes, we don't see, appreciate, honor or realize our inner strengths, gifts, and talents, though others can sometimes easily observe them and sometimes have to point them out to us.

We hold so tightly to security and what we think is guaranteed in this life, without realizing nothing is 100% secure, 100% guaranteed. So why not take some chances, because here is the deal, you have a gift, a present if you will, to offer the world. Don't you dare let your lights burn out before you get a chance to shine. Don't die with the music still in you screaming to get out. Let out your glorious melodies. Make a glorious noise with your life... In life as in any game, you win some, you lose some, but you gotta just keep playing the game! Don't Sell Yourself Short. Nobody wins by you living little. Find and fulfill your destiny. Live your life the way you intend to live it.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Moving Forward

Sometimes unforeseen tragedy strikes. It is an inevitable part of the human experience. It may cause you to shrink back, your heart becoming frozen for a time. Yet, everyone knows you can't have the warming, gentle sun, without the harsh, bitter cold. Winter is just as much a necessary part of the full spectrum as are all the other integral seasons, though it can be intense, grueling and piercing to the core. Winter is sort of like death. You know it's coming, but you are never fully prepared for it when it arrives. The problems or challenges we face can be just like winter too. They can be excruciating and trying to bear, but like any season, they too will pass and soon new life will be blossoming with amazing color and divine fragrance everywhere.

Life is an experience. It is not suppose to be sweet, happy, vivacious, warm and flavorful all the time. If it was, then we would never be able to appreciate all the various parts and pieces that make up the whole human experience. You have to know sorrow before you can appreciate joy. We are here to grow, to develop, to learn patience, suffering and to experience joy, sorrow, death, new life and revival.

After the storm, after getting knocked off your high horse, comes a time for letting go, letting God and moving on! This can be painful and involves taking steps through your fear, hurt, anger and pain. It is a natural human tendency to hold onto hurtful feelings, the way it could have, or the way you think it should have been. But the truth is, life is change and eventually comes a season for Moving Forward, a time for opening the door to a new beginning, a time for taking steps toward a new reality. This is something you have to consciously decide. And it is absolutely necessary. If you don't decide to let go and move on, you will stay trapped in your fear, anger and confusion. This step involves forgiveness and compassion toward those who may have seriously wounded you. The choice to forgive is not always easy, but it is the better, more conscious choice and necessary for moving on.

Moving Forward is taking the first steps that you know must be taken in order to change a situation. I am not saying it is always pleasant, but it is something you've gotta do if you're gonna make a new reality for yourself. It's a positive step in the right direction. And when you are taking positive steps in a positive direction, you're bound to get somewhere, someday. Moving Forward is about embracing hope for a brighter tomorrow. It is about trusting and having faith that there may be a bigger picture that you cannot see, waiting to unfold before you, or that there may be a light about to turn on, just waiting to illumine the way before you. Moving Forward and walking through that door is about trust and faith, knowing that the steps you are about to take may not be easy, but trusting you have spirit's tender embrace calming, sheltering and guiding you. It is about choosing the path of inner peace and serenity, instead of anger and hostility. My friend, now is the time for Moving Forward, start moving...

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Personal Responsibility=Personal Power

Personal power starts in a few areas of your life and trickles down. It has sort of a snowball effect. It picks up momentum and strength as it moves along. When you take responsibility for your health and well being for example, you soon find other areas of your life improving as well, such as your home becoming more organized and tidy, your finances staying in order and your relationships flowing more smoothly.

I recently came across something very applicable to this topic by an unknown author. It is called:

The 3 R's

  1. Respect for self
  2. Respect for others
  3. Responsibility for all of your actions

By consciously following this model, you are bound to achieve more personal power. There are many ways you can achieve and boost your personal power though. These include: positive self talk, or talking yourself up, sticking with your commitments, becoming more competent and self confident in your skills, trades, or fields of endeavor, focusing on your strengths, your own unique gifts and talents, and also by discarding any self-defeating habits, beliefs, or attitudes you may carry around with you.

You have the power right now to take control of your life and destiny. There is a flower ready, desirous, and willing to bud from the green sprouts in the recesses of your innermost being right now. There is only one thing standing in its way though, and that is fear. Personal power is often synonymous with fear, because deep down inside, we know that personal power takes responsibility. Lets face it, whatever we wanna create, we are responsible for it. That word (responsibility) scares the hell out of most people. I think that is what many people are afraid of, deciding what they want, committing to seeing something through, and then going for it. This requires breaking through our own barriers of laziness, fear of not being good enough, etc. There are many reasons to not try, to not take responsibility for your life and destiny, but I promise you if you don't, you will be led to a field of thorns, instead of a lush meadow flowing with milk, honey and the sweet nectar of life. It's your choice. It's always your choice.

In all my years of studying personal power, success and life mastery, I have come up with my own definition of personal power. So here goes...

Definition of Personal Power

by Justin Topik

"It is taking responsibility for your life and what you want to create, finding courage within you to take some positive steps in a direction you would like to go in. It's the ability to get yourself to take action and to follow through, knowing your mission, vision and purpose. It is feeling assertive, empowered and in control of your life and destiny, knowing what you want and going for it, regardless of any outer circumstances. It is also getting beyond any excuses you seem to come up with. Bottom line, Personal Responsibility=Personal Power. It always has and it always will. Personal power without responsibility is like a hot air balloon without hot air!"

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Be Who and What You Want to Be

A life authentically lived is a great honor, a grand prize to hang on your mantle of life's victories. To be successful and happy in life is a major achievement in and of itself. And you know, it doesn't really matter if you make a gazillion dollars and have millions of fans. What is important is being you, on whatever level you can, just starting somewhere on the road to authenticity and seeing where it leads you. In this world it is too easy to get bogged down with all the responsibilities and details, and end up putting your dreams and passions upon a shelf where they eventually rust and become dusty or rotten.

In my journey to authentic living, I have come to understand success in a whole new light. The first book I ever wrote was a book of poetry. In a few years time, I sold a thousand copies of it, which is small potatoes in the large spectrum of things, but you know something, I felt magical out there doing book signings, and a book tour, having my books selling in many large bookstores in several states. I was in the playing field with the pros. It didn't matter to me that I was not world famous. I was being authentically me, living according to the dictates of my soul. I was letting out my light for all the world to see. A lot of people responded to me well too. In his book 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, Wayne Dyer says, "Listen to your music, and do what you know you have to do to feel whole, to feel complete, and to feel as if you're fulfilling your destiny. You'll never be at peace if you don't get that music out and let it play. Let the whole world know why you are here, and do it with passion."

If you wanna be an athlete, an artist, a speaker, teacher, inventor, songwriter, architect or whatever, then get yourself into motion. Figure out what these people do and start imitating them. Success always leaves clues. I have observed that people who are happy and fulfilled are out there doing what makes them happy, whenever and however they can. Some people make a living sharing their gifts and passions, others do it as a side hobby, or even just for fun. Either way, they are all expressing their unique gifts and talents. They are all coming from a place of giving, joy, enthusiasm and love. You might as well do something with those gits and talents. Your passion and enthusiasm are gifts from the Great Spirit. If you fail to use them and share them with others, then you miss out on one of life's most delicious experiences.

There is a price for living this way though. Others may ridicule, scorn or mock you and even call you a fool. On the other token, others may be dazzled by you and flock to you. By doing what you love and feel moved to do, you spark a fire inside your soul, which turns into a flame within. Others see and feel it in you. Your magic soon becomes visible, electric and magnetizing. You may start to attract spectators. You may even attract fame or fortune.

To Be Who and What You Want to Be, all you have to do is listen to the whisperings in your soul, in the inner recess of your being. Look within for guidance. There is a charted course laid out for you to follow, a course set out and designed by the highest part of yourself-your soul. When you access its wisdom, you will be living from the core of who you are and who you were meant to be. The soul will constantly guide you to your highest good, your ultimate calling and destiny. It will carry you on colorful, feathered wings over life's despairs, disappointments, and illusions to magical places, toward an enchanted destiny waiting for only you...

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Get Your Head Into the Game

It's Friday night and the crowd is anxiously awaiting the anticipated game in the stands. There is a slight chill in the moist, September air. Your team is huddled together, ready to march onto the field. The band is playing. You are getting ready to go to battle with the opposing team. You are psyched, pumped up, your heart is pounding. It is time to put your game face on and get into the game. You have to do this before you enter onto the field. Victory starts even before the game begins. Most people win or lose a game before they even step foot onto the playing field.

The game of life is no different. You have to figure out what you want, put your game face on, Get Your Head Into the Game, and go after what you want as if nothing can stop you, or stand in your way. And when opportunity arises, you have to seize the moment, reach out and grab it tightly with both hands and don't let go. You have to Get Your Head Into the Game and keep it in the game. This means preparing yourself mentally and emotionally, physically and spiritually and then keeping yourself fine tuned in all these areas, which takes a lot of self discipline, a lot of effort. I have found in my own life that to be a great athlete in sports, or in the game of life demands rigorous self discipline, personal responsibility and a high level of confidence. These key components help you to be prepared before the game even starts. A major part of responsibility is taking responsibility for your attitude from moment to moment and cultivating within yourself thoughts of empowerment, victory and success. Self confidence is another huge factor here. Confidence is key to achieving any worthwhile goal and is the result of being competent at something, being prepared, putting yourself in and maintaining peak performance states. It also stems from an inner connection to the sustaining force of the universe. Knowing who you are and your relationship to something greater than you has immense power in creating personal confidence. This type of confidence is an inner, radiant confidence that comes from within.

Whatever you are doing, if you want to do it successfully, you've gotta do it wholeheartedly. In whatever you arena you would like to be successful in, you've gotta actually be on the field. You have to get into the game. If you are not falling on your ass, you are not really in the game. Many people try to pursue their dreams from the sidelines without ever achieving the results they would like to achieve. An example of this is, while I was living in Nashville, Tennessee for many years pursuing a career as a songwriter, it was amazing to me how many people I met who were there supposedly pursuing a music career, who just appeared to me as spectators. These people never sang in any clubs, never recorded any of their music, or did any networking, while I was out doing all that stuff. I met some highly talented songwriters who didn't really dive into the business, but instead, just dabbled in it. They were what I call closet performers and mainly suffered from fear of failure, or fear of not being good enough. Those two fears can paralyze you and take you out of the game of life before the contest even begins.

To Get Your Head Into The Game requires you looking and acting like a winner, carrying yourself like one even before you achieve the success you desire. Pat Riley said in his book The Winner Within, "If you're going to be a championship team, you have to think championship thoughts." This requires knowing how to psych yourself up, not out, and how to channel and broadcast positive recordings in your mind.

Whatever you want to be good at, do it often with inner zeal and passion. Throw yourself into the game even if you aren't 100% prepared. Take some chances, put yourself out there. Get Your Head Into the Game and you will find the playing experience becomes much richer and exciting. You will never win a game you never start, or one you just watch from the sidelines. A quote I really like is, "Life is too short to be little" by Benjamin Disraeli. To be a champion you have to think and act like one. Be the hero in your own life story. Live a courageous, inspiring life and you will have no regrets.
Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today is the Day

Life is a series of winding paths. Sometimes it is full of roses, skies painted with dazzling rainbows and golden streets, other times it is full of thorns, potholes and heartbreaking sorrows. And yet, your life is what you make of it, bottom line, as with each new day. Everyday is a miniature lifetime and a day in which we get to begin our life all over again on a clean slate. Anthony Robbins said in his book Awaken the Giant Within, "The past does not equal the future." It doesn't matter if failure has plagued your yesterdays. What matters is what you do with today. Today is a splendiforous, glorious new day. It's a day for new beginnings, new adventures and new explorations. It is a day for you to re-define you, to start off on an exciting, breath taking, spectacular and colorful odyssey. The beauty of God is that he/she is a God of new beginnings. He/she doesn't focus on our failures and weaknesses of yesterday, but instead sees the picture of where we are headed-our bright tomorrows.

Today is the Day for whatever you would like to begin, but have put on a shelf for that special SOMEDAY. We've all heard the phrase, "the road to someday, leads to nowhere." If there is anything you have been procrastinating out of fear of the unknown, fear of failing, of not being good enough, prepared enough, pretty enough, or even fear of your own inner strength or whatever, I challenge you to start it today. Take that first step you have been putting off-the one you know you need to take. Open a new door to a new reality, discover a hidden world only seen in your imagination. There is a road paved with solid gold waiting to unfold before you. There is power in the NOW and power in you NOW. The fruit is ripe, ready to be harvested. There is no time like the present. There is power in taking your first stride. There is power in motion.

Today is the Day to start living the life you secretly dream about living, the one no one else knows about. If you only knew the power to change any circumstance in your life, you would be astonished. I want you to repeat aloud, "I have the power to change virtually anything in my life." Any circumstance, any limitation, any problem or challenge lies within your power to transcend and overcome. Exercise your personal power. Strengthen those decision making, commitment, faith and determination muscles. Make some goals. Stretch yourself a little bit. Today is the Day to spread your wings and see just how high you can fly!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finding Your Rhythm

As hard as it seems to believe, there is rhythm to life's madness, an energizing, soothing, mesmerizing rhythm. And although it is very present, finding this rhythm is not always a breeze to do. The pace of this world is much different than the pace of the spirit. Nature has its own rhythm though, its own melody. And when we walk to and live in accord to the rhythm of this melody, we experience health, vitality, inner peace, happiness and harmony. Conversely, when we get too far away from it, we experience ill health, anxiety, depression, and irritability. Nature holds great secrets of the peaceful reality, the true way of the spiritual path and life. It is the rhythm we must all learn to walk to, to be closer to spirits grace. All great spiritual teachers have spent much time in contemplation in natures domain. It is a great place to gather wisdom, serenity and inner peace, a place to connect with your innermost being.

Nature knows no hustle and bustle, no hurry or worry. Everything in nature takes its own sweet time. Watching the snow or rain fall, the ocean coming rhythmically into the shore, clouds drifting slowly across the sky, a river slowly moving along and seasons changing, we are reminded there is better pace of life, a better way of being. Sometimes our chaotic lives can begin to feel like the norm, but peace is essentially our true nature, not chaos. We just don't realize it, cause we loose ourselves in this fast paced, sometimes harsh world. Yet, when we slow down and take moments to flow with spirit and invite more spirit into our lives, it comes, and we start to realize just how much harmony is a vital part of our true nature.

This peace and serenity is something you have to grow into though. You get used to the peace and harmony after a while. It becomes the norm, instead of the constant chaos, the constant chattering in your mind. Finding Your Rhythm is learning to walk more closely with the flow of nature, the pace of creation and spirit-the rhythm and flow of all life. Returning to this rhythm is a return to a more spiritual state. To the Native Americans the drumbeat has always been a vital and important part in their tradition, because it symbolizes the heartbeat of all creation. It reminds us to walk to that steady, but not frenzied pace. In the Tao Te Ching, it says, "Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity." This to me means don't be too attached to things going a certain way. Don't stress yourself out to make something happen. Do your work then let go and flow, detach yourself from outcomes.

Inner peace is a great gift of priceless value. Let the rhythm of the natural world guide you back into a closer communion with spirit. It's rhythm will help you find your own rhythm. Her wisdom, grace, beauty and natural strength is there to serve as a constant reminder to us of our true selves, our true natures.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inviting More Joy and Abundance Into Your Life

What if all you had to do to attract more joy and abundance into your life was to open the door, allow spirits presence and transformative energy to come through and then simply invite more of these things into your life? I know you are probably thinking, "sure, sounds like that hippie, feel good, new age stuff right? It's not that simple or effortless to attract more joy and abundance." Trust me I have been there too as a skeptic. But, as I have consciously awakened over the years, I have learned different, better, more highly evolved ways of thinking and being, some of which I would like to share with you right now.

To invite someone or something into your space, or reality is to grant them permission to enter, to allow an entrance of some sort. Suppose you invite someone into your house, you allow them into your sacred space. You open the door so they can walk in. To invite more joy and abundance into your life works exactly the same way. You simply open the door, make a space for these things, begin to hope, believe and prepare for their arrival. Like cleaning out a room in your house for a new child, you are making a space for new life to grow and flourish. You know this new soul is coming and you plan for its arrival, wholeheartedly believing and expecting it to show up.

Until you make a space in your life for something, you can't have it. To make a space for whatever it is you are seeking or desiring is to fully CHOOSE something. Choosing though is a lot different than wanting. Try saying to yourself aloud right now, "I want more joy and abundance!" Then say to yourself, "I CHOOSE to experience having more joy and abundance." Which one feels better to you, feels more real and infused with power and creative potential? Choosing, rather than desiring or wanting something is the fastest way to experience whatever it is you are trying to experience, because when you choose something, your want or desire changes to a faith filled belief and expectation.

Too often we focus on what we don't want in our lives, what we can't have, or can't experience. By doing this, we make too much of a space, or compartment for the things we don't want to experience and thus end up experiencing more of these things. Part of Inviting More Joy and Abundance Into Your Life is consciously monitoring and choosing your thoughts wisely, because thoughts are things too, and have life shifting potential. You have to focus more on what you would like to experience, rather than on what you don't want to experience.

Another secret to attracting abundance and joy into your life is to give them away. Share your joy and abundance in whatever capacity you are able. Share whatever gifts and talents you have to offer, whenever possible. Often what we have to share is much more relevant and valuable to others than we could ever comprehend. It's like the butterfly effect. By flapping your figurative wings, the effects of your actions have far reaching consequences.

If you are serious about Inviting More Joy and Abundance Into Your Life, you have to make a conscious decision right now to open the windows and doors to your heart, soul and mind. And as you make a place for these things to enter into your life, welcome them with open arms. Affirm to the universe right now, "I welcome more joy and abundance into my life. I make a place for them to enter into my life right now, I invite them in!" Everything has energy. Even joy and abundance operate at a certain energy frequency. As you open the door to this frequency, I promise you, you will open a door to a new, exciting and wondrous realm.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Highest Authority Lies Within You

What if there was a TV channel, or radio station you could tune into, to receive direct revelation from God, Allah, Yahweh, or the Universal Spirit? Well, newsflash... here's a little secret in case you don't already know, the signal is being transmitted right now and is actually being sent, ALL the time. The problem may be your receiver is just a little dusty, or maybe a little bit out of use. The good news is you can always fine tune your receiver and learn how to tune in and listen to it often. Each of us has a direct link to eternal wisdom and a direct communication channel broadcasting a LIVE signal from our creator. It's like a built in walkie talkie. In the extraordinary book Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch, he says in reference to the voice within, "It is the radar that sets the course, steers the ship, guides the journey if you but let it."

This voice is what I am referring to by saying, The Highest Authority Lies Within You. Rumi said, "You have within you a deciding force that knows what to receive, what to turn from!" You have to learn to trust, and validate this voice, this force on your journey towards becoming a more integrated, authentic, spiritual being. This voice is the highest authority you should trust in your entire life. It will give you all the answers you need on your life's path. The beautiful thing about it is, it is already inside you now. The Highest Authority Lies Within You. It is your conscience, inner voice, inner spirit, your inner wisdom, or the voice of your higher self.

So, who is entitled to this inner wisdom? All of us can receive direct inspiration from our source or God. EVERYONE is entitled to this two way form of communication. It seems to me that much organized religion discourages people from thinking and living this way. They call it blasphemy. I have seen for myself and come to believe that a lot of religion oftentimes discourages you from seeking personal revelation, and from trusting yourself, or relying on yourself for wisdom, guidance and direction. I think a big part of this is because if you start to rely upon your direct wisdom from God within, then eventually you establish a strong connection, you get strong signals, and you don't need to rely solely upon the church anymore. Also, at this point, you don't have to rely on the church and church leaders authority. I believe this is the churches fear. Maybe it's because there is a lot of money and false sense of authoritative power there? Either way, this issue has been one of the biggest battles in the past two thousand years. Church leaders from many different traditions have done everything they could in their power to cast out and denounce any wisdom, teachings or texts that led members into a personal relationship to spirit.

I fully believe true leaders always lead you to uncover and discover your own guiding force, your highest truth, your highest, innermost wisdom though. Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his provocative book, Self Reliance, "The faith that stands on authority is not faith." I have to absolutely agree with that quote. I was raised in a religion that I was thrown out of for questioning authority.

But I think it is healthy and necessary to question authority. Abraham Lincoln said, "Question everything, even God." Questioning is how we find out for ourselves what is true for us. If you just accept everything on blind faith, then you miss out on forming a COMMUNION WITH THE FATHER. You miss out on a relationship with the highest authority, the guiding force which can shape and inspire your life. Wayne Dyer said once, "You are a divine creation of God. You can never be separate from that which created you." It's the same with a mother and child. There is a bond which time and space cannot ever separate! And with that bond, there is an ever present, always active energy/soul connection.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Live Life on Your Terms

Imagine if you could create an extraordinarily vivid, colorful, enchanting blueprint for your life. Let's just say you were an architect and you had the ability and the know how, to make a master design for your life. And starting with this well constructed, drawn out blueprint, you were then able to materialize this design into a phenomenal work of art. And in this master design, you could include the dream job you are totally passionate about, the amount of money you would like to be earning, the type of house you could see yourself living in, the perfect mate for you, and all the details of how you'd like your ideal, daily life to look like. Also, you could include in this design all the goals you'd like to accomplish in the next say, 5-10 years, the exotic travels you'd like to experience. Let's just say that you are a brilliant architect and that anything is possible and failure isn't even a possibility.

I want you to know that I fully believe with every ounce of my entire being that you are the master architect of your life. I am here to remind you that you can design and Live Life on Your Terms. You can create and design a life that you love. You can make a life rather than a living for yourself. Somewhere inside of you, I am certain there is a brilliant architect just waiting to be discovered.

To Live Life on Your Terms takes a lot of personal responsibility though. In fact, you are the only one who can create this type of life for yourself, well with God's help of course. It has to be a partnership if you really wanna experience lasting joy, success and abundance. I have learned that if you don't include God in your plans, the foundation of your constructed masterpiece will not be rock solid and may collapse at any given moment. Masterpieces take time though. The Sistine chapel wasn't painted overnight. And sometimes too, spirit unfolds plans to us for our lives in its own time. We have to exercise patience and wisdom in creating our master plans.

In his book, The Winner Within, Pat Riley, famous NBA coach says, "Every now and then there comes a day where someplace, sometime, you simply have to plant your feet, stand firm and make a point about who you are and what you believe in." To Live Life on Your Terms takes this kind of commitment and dedication. You have to stand up firmly for the kind of life you are committed to having and living. You have to take responsibility and bring it into being. Life is too short to be dull tasting. Live your life with flavor. It's YOUR life we are talking about here!!!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Wisdom of a Turtle

I'm speeding along at a frenetic pace, running late for work again. I get to the office 20 minutes late. I'm feeling utterly stressed as I hustle and bustle trying to catch up and get everything done I need to accomplish for the day. I end up leaving work an hour late. I drive through downtown, racing through the city full of bright lights, surrounded by a thousand noises from every direction. Fighting traffic, with ten thousand other people, I'm trying to get home in time to go to my sons basketball game. As I turn off the freeway and onto the highway, all of a sudden I see something in the middle of the road. I slam on my brakes, and there directly in front of my car, taking his own sweet time is this amazingly large turtle crossing the road. At first I'm angry-just something else to slow me down, but instead, I'm suddenly captivated by his mystery and gracefulness. And I think to myself, why can't I be more like him? What an amazing animal he is. For a few minutes while I wait for him to cross the road, I completely forget about my stress, my worries and the fact that I am going to be 15 minutes late for my sons game. As I drive off, my focus has suddenly been shifted. The great spirit, or God has sent me an extraordinary reminder. I offer up a prayer of gratitude for the small miracle I have just witnessed.

The turtle is a mighty creature revered by many cultures around the world. He has much to teach if we will but listen. He is natures perfect balance-a tough outer shell with a tender soft heart. The turtle walks quietly, in stride with the pace of the universe. He is in no great rush to get wherever he is going. Because of his slow movement, he is much more aware of what's going on around him. The turtle reminds us to slow down and go with the flow, to keep a smooth and steady pace, keeping in stride with the Tao (pace of nature), to be in the moment and savor the moment, to take in all the moments of life. He is strong, independent. He understands the art of patience, tranquility, balance and inner harmony.

The Native Americans believed that the turtle represented healing, nurturing, mother energy, survival, longevity, protection, patience, persistence, and knowledge. Turtles encourage us to be in the flow, to enjoy the journey, the path we are on, without hurrying the pace. They teach us to take things one step at a time and be patient in attaining our goals. Turtles show us a new perception of time and our relationship with it. They are like a river that moves ever so slowly, yet powerfully and forcefully, one step at a time towards a seemingly unknown destination. They remind us to dance with the universal dance.

The turtle reminds us to keep an impenetrable shell, to go within ourselves for guidance and protection at any given moment. Buddha once said, "Even as a border city guarded well within, without, so guard ye well yourselves. See that the moment pass not vainly by. " The turtle is the perfect depiction of both of these things-guarding ourselves and not letting the moment vainly pass by. Like the turtle, we must learn to go within ourselves for wisdom, guidance and protection.

That day, I learned much from an unusual animal encounter. The Wisdom of a Turtle is astounding. I once read a remarkable quote somewhere, that we are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings. We get too caught up in the doing and not enough in just being. Let us be more like turtles savoring every step along our journeys, remembering that all of life is a process and that ultimately, the journey is the destination.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Honoring the Wise Guide (Inner Voice)

No matter where you go, there is always someone who can serve as a guide, someone who knows the landscape, the territory, who can navigate the foreign regions. It is the same with the inner voice too. No matter where you are at, you can ALWAYS tune in to it and ask for guidance and direction. It is an ever present, highly intelligent, guidance and operating system and an infinitely transmitted, fine tuned radio signal. Through my life's journey, I have come to fully rely on and trust the guidance and wisdom I receive from this soft and subtle, yet oftentimes unmistakably unignorable voice time and time again. It has never led me astray.

The thing about Honoring the Wise Guide (Inner Voice) though is you have to learn to trust it. It takes a lot of courage to learn to access and follow something you can't visibly see. And sometimes, the guidance seems downright ludicrous. But, it is radically instinctive and highly intelligent nonetheless. In her book A Still, Small Voice, Echo Bodine says this about intuition: "Life is not only more magical when we live by our inner voice but also extremely efficient. From the life-changing to the mundane, your intuition is always your best guide." That's because it knows, and it knows that it knows. It is God's voice within all of us, our direct link to the spirit realms infinite wisdom.

I remember an experience from a while back in my life. I was hiking in the mountains with my youngest sister, who was five at the time. She was running ahead of me most of the way, when suddenly I got a strong inclination to pick her up right then and there and carry her for a while. So I did just that, and not less than one minute later, a rattlesnake was sitting right in the middle of the trail we were hiking on, and began rattling at us as we approached it. She could have easily been bitten had I not listened to and trusted my instincts, or as I like to call it, my "inside information."

Everyone has intuition. Its when you know something and you're not sure how you know, but you do. It's that nagging voice deep within you saying, "turn around, walk another way, get away from this person, or a certain situation." It's that inner compass that points the way for us. It is constantly trying to communicate with us. You just have to learn to listen to and follow your heart, soul and intuition more. These are precious, holy gifts from a loving, compassionate creator to be used often and cherished. The problem with the still, small voice though, is that it is just that, A STILL, SMALL VOICE. And in our society, there is so much noise, so many distractions. These things can definitely prevent us from hearing the guidance and instruction from within. That is where taking the time to go within daily comes into play. The more you tune in through yoga, meditation, prayer, spending reflective time in nature, and etc. the more this voice becomes present and active in your life.

I have always felt God's presence and guidance in my life. I was raised in a highly organized religion, but left it when I became an adult, because I felt a prompting for a deeper, more sensitive, intuitive relationship with spirit. I always felt that there was more out there for me. I feel that most organized religions lead people away from listening to and following their own inner voice and promptings. That is why I don't subscribe to organized religion. It encourages you to seek much wisdom from bishops, pastors, the Bible or other various scriptures and etc. instead of encouraging you to go within to find the answers in your own heart and soul. That is where all the true answers will be found. There are no intermediaries now between me and God. There is a direct line of communication that is very present and visible. I work hard to keep it open and accessible. This direct communication is available to everyone, all the time.

The beauty of Honoring the Wise Guide is it leads you to your highest good, your highest calling, and your fullest experience of life's joy, bliss and happiness. It is the part of you that knows who you came into this world to be, what you need to do with your particular gifts and talents, and how to bring you into a harmonious union with all of life. If you turn away from it, you will lead a frustrated life and miss out on rich blessings. If you listen to it and follow it, it will lead you into a glorious, new experience of life. Listen to and honor the wise guide. It is certainly a true friend.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sharing-The Ultimate Giving Machine

Sharing is just like gambling. The more you put in, the more you are bound to get out. And when you give the highest and best of what you are capable of giving, something amazing happens, lives are blessed and touched and you open the flood gates to rich blessings and an abundant life. The universe rewards you for sharing your authentic gifts, talents and passions! In fact, the law of giving is like the law of gravity. What goes up must come down.

One of the definitions of the word AFFLUENCE in Webster's dictionary is: an abundant flow or supply. So in essence, in order to attract more abundance into your life, you have to give something more of yourself, (your time, talents, material blessings, money, or some form of tithing) to this abundant flow or supply. And as you add to the flow, you keep the flow going, and then you increase the flow of abundance in your life naturally and gracefully. It's all about allowing the flow without damning it up with selfishness and greed.

The whole rhythmic dance of the universe operates under the law of giving. A flower is pollinated by the bee and in return gives her nectar to the bee, who makes honey, which feeds a myriad of insects and animals. A tree gives her fruits that we might eat, and in return we take care of the tree. A river gives of its water freely on its way downstream, nourishing and watering all living things in its path, and in the end, it flows into the ocean where it merges with an infinite supply again.

Whenever you are giving, you are declaring to the universe you have abundance to share. And whatever you believe is true and act on, has far reaching effects. The reason for this is the universe listens to and responds to your beliefs and actions, and therefore gives you more, because you are claiming yourself to be abundant. Conversely, when you hoard, or don't share out of fear of not having enough, that is exactly what comes your way-more lack, because you are declaring to the universe you are poor and have very little to give. It is always listening and responding to our thoughts and beliefs!

Once you start giving more of yourself though, you will quickly realize just how much more you receive than ever before. Giving not only makes you feel good, it welcomes positive vibrations, and a positive flow of a myriad of blessings into your life. And it doesn't really matter what you give either. Tithing doesn't have to be just about giving money. It is a spiritual law. It's about giving and sharing what you do have. And it is absolutely imperative that this give and take exists. Without it, life could not go on. Selfishness only stops the natural flow of give and take. The native Americans understood this concept miraculously. They would never take more than they needed from the great mother, because they understood their interconnectedness to her sacred web of life. If they killed something, they utilized most of the entire animal for something. Also embedded in the native culture, is the notion that whenever you take something from someone else, you also must give them something in return.

I believe in our culture we are taught subconsciously to be takers more so than givers. It's all about me, me, me. What's in it for me? It's amazing how stingy we are, when we have so much to share. I spent several weeks in Mexico in great poverty and I had total strangers invite me into their small, heavily populated homes. They fed me and welcomed me with open arms. It was beyond humbling. It brought tears to my eyes, because I had never seen generosity freely given like that before. The ironic thing is in our culture, what we don't realize is, this very resistance to circulate our wealth and abundance keeps more wealth and abundance from coming into our lives as well. The whole earth operates under a give and take philosophy, or an abundance mentality. It knows there is more than enough to go around for everybody and everything, and the more it freely gives, the more it will be freely given in return. That is why I titled this: Sharing-The Ultimate Giving Machine, because there is marvelous power in sharing. The more things of value you share with others, the more things of value will be shared with you. Sharing is like laughter, it is highly contagious. Always be on the lookout for ways to share with others and just watch the jackpot flow...

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting Down to Business in Your Life

It's 4th quarter, with only 3 minutes to go in the championship basketball game. Your team is down by 5 points. This is it. It's time to fly. It's time to pull all of the tricks out of the bag, time to create a little magic, time to pull together and utilize all of your individual strengths. It's time to put your game faces on, time to decide RIGHT NOW if you are 100% in, or out, and if you're gonna win, or lose this game. Winning is a choice too. It is always a choice!

On a more personal scale, you've gotta use this same sports minded mentality to get to where you wanna go as well. You've gotta step up to the plate if you are serious about Getting Down to Business in your life. You do this by deciding what you want, what you're committed to having, doing and being in your lifetime and by taking absolute responsibility for all you wish to create and experience as well. Nobody is gonna do it for you. Getting Down to Business in Your Life requires these 5 Components and Ingredients for success:

  1. Life Management Skills-Knowing how to manage your emotional and mental states of focus and how to stay in peak operating states on a day to day, moment to moment basis
  2. Toned Decision Making Muscles-Strong decision making muscles, strengthened by rigorous repetition and use
  3. Major Action Taking Ability-Not being afraid to get in the game and make big plays, learning the game you are participating in, getting off the bench as merely an observer and becoming an actual player
  4. Total Commitment-Giving 110% commitment in whatever area or arena you are truly committed to
  5. Strong Desire to Face and Overcome Fears-Climbing the scary mountains, facing your own vulnerability and fears of uncertainty and failure, and overcoming inadequate self worth feelings

You can't always wait for the perfect day to begin something. What's wrong with today? You've gotta seize the day sometimes. You've also gotta seize the opportunities that present themselves. These often include: resources at your disposal, or people who wanna help you succeed, financial resources and etc. Don't just wait for your ship to come in. Build the damn thing , decide where you want to go in it and START SAILING!

Getting Down to Business in your life means, you've gotta to know what you want and deserve and not be afraid to ask life, the universe, or God for the things you want, or desire. Also, another few key points to Getting Down to Business in your Life are, knowing and expecting that you will see good things happen in your life, and also making key choices and decisions along the way. There is an intense power in a REAL decision to do something. It summons large, unfathomable resources and the God's intervention. The perfect day you have waited for is TODAY.

Getting Down to Business in Your Life is similar to starting a business with nothing more than a business plan for your product or service. Then you have to follow that plan and keep your focus on your successes, your triumphs and where you are going in the long run. Also, like in sales, you can't accept no for an answer. You've gotta be willing to have some doors shut on you. In fact, if you don't have any doors shutting on you, you are not really in the playing field. And as with a business, there also needs to be a Marketing, Publicity and Innovation team to help you brainstorm new ideas and to get your ideas out there in physical, tangible form. Like in creating a successful business, you have to follow your business plan, market yourself and grow your brand or product. After you do all these things, success will naturally and harmoniously follow.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Reward of All Rewards

From the time we are born into this world, we can be easily seduced into thinking and believing that the greatest rewards this world has to offer us are: worldly honor and fame, prestige, glamour, power and wealth of all manner. And along with this, we are culturally taught that the pursuit of and accumulation of more and more of these things, is what will bring us more joy and happiness. As a society, we are drawn to game shows where people win large sums of money, or expensive material gifts. The treasures of this world are indeed charming and alluring, such as fine jewelry and adornments, fancy clothing, large, glamorous houses and expensive, sleek cars. The problem with these things though, is that they originate from outside of us and history proves these things alone do not satisfy the inner longings of our souls. Some of the wealthiest and famous people of all time have ended their lives tragically, brutally, or have even ended up strung out on drugs and alcohol.

It is not until we attain some of these worldly treasures that we begin to realize it was all a lie from the beginning-that these things would indeed bring us happiness. All these rewards are like sand that you hold in your hand, which at anytime may be blown away by a sudden windstorm in a fraction of a second. They are perishable. All the riches and rare treasures in the world don't bring the highest pleasure, the highest happiness. There is a reward though, that is imperishable. There is a jeweled crown that most of the world knows nothing about. Its splendour is stunning, shimmering beyond the beauty of the Taj Mahal, or a storehouse of red rubies, green emeralds, glittering, sparkling sapphires and diamonds, opals, pearls, bars of shiny gold, and metallic silver. And unlike earthly treasures, this reward cannot be taken from you once you attain it. It is a permanent gain. So what is this treasure I am referring to you may ask?

In the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu holy book) in chapter 6, it speaks of this sacred, holy treasure. I am going to paraphrase here. It refers to a man of Yoga attaining a state of consciousness where he knows there is no higher attainment, where his mind becomes clear and peaceful and he enters absolute joy, his passions are calmed forever and he is utterly absorbed in God. In this state he gains true freedom and finds an infinite joy.

This state of consciousness is known in eastern religions as SAMADHI or NIRVANA. Samadhi means oneness and union with God. Nirvana, on the other hand is the state of being free from suffering. Nirvana literally translates to "blowing out" — that is, blowing out the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion within oneself. It is considered the highest happiness. In eastern religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, when you reach this level of peace and bliss, you are considered by many to have graduated so to speak, to have reached enlightenment and attained the crown of life, or The Reward of All Rewards. To reach this state is to graduate life with Honors. This inner treasure of inner peace, or true satisfaction and inner bliss is The Reward of All Rewards I am referring to here.

A great cause of many peoples miseries in this world is seeking for impermanent treasure that never satisfies. You can have it all and yet feel miserable, and empty inside. The Upanishads, an ancient Hindu text says that "bliss is our natural state, our birthright, but mankind remains unhappy since he hasn't learned how to obtain it, and that the inner self, or spirit within is the place where bliss and lasting happiness can be found. And the closer we get to the inner self, the more happiness we experience."

Bliss is the fruit of being charmed, or allured into a mystic union with God, or universal energy. It is The Reward of All Rewards, because once you attain this peace and happiness, you will never hunger and thirst solely for pleasures, treasures and desires of this world, which are so unquenchable. This constant thirst and hunger keeps us always striving for more, without giving us what we are really after. Ultimately, everyone wants happiness, peace and bliss. We can all have it too, once we tap into the source of the mystic fountain within and let go of our attachment to worldly treasures, worldly rewards. There is a reward waiting for you that is so lavish and rich, and once you taste it, you will hunger for nothing else. Wayne Dyer said in his book Your Sacred Self, "When the divine light within you is experienced directly, it adds a radiance to life unlike anything that can be described with words, or pictures." Seek it, this divine light and inner ecstasy. It is the ONLY thing that will really satisfy and it is much closer than you may realize!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Life Transforming Machine

The mind is a marvelously powerful piece of equipment! It is most certainly and undoubtedly A Life Transforming Machine. It is an elaborate power tool that can take you from where you are to where you would like to go. The mind is sort of like a copy machine, spitting out copies of whatever you put in to photocopy. And this great secret can either be used graciously and consciously as a gift, or unappreciatively, unconsciously with very mixed results. It is up to you! The mind is like the lens of a camera. Whatever you focus the lens on, is exactly what shows up in the photograph. Likewise, whatever you focus on in life, is oftentimes what you get. However, unlike a camera, whatever you focus on in your mind, gets bigger. The more we place our focus, our attention on something, the more that object, or event dominates and even controls our lives, and the bigger it grows.

I have learned through the school of hard knocks and life experience, that I have the power to direct my focus, regardless of what may be going on in my life. And that gives me great power to control my experience of life, from moment to moment. One of the first things I do every morning is ask myself positive questions to mentally get myself in a positive, resourceful, optimal state for the day. Some examples of these questions are:

  1. What am I happy about and grateful for today?

  2. How am I gonna make today a great day?

  3. What is great about me?

  4. What can I do to transform my life in every area (mentally, physically, spiritually and socially) right now?

  5. What do I NOW choose to create and experience in my life?

Now don't get me wrong, things still go wrong in my life. I'm not positive 100% of the time. And Life still throws unexpected curve balls at me from time to time, but I get to decide how to interpret these events by the power of my focus, as do you in your own life as well. It is not the events themselves though that determine how your life is shaped, but how you interpret the events. The emphasis you place on them and the meaning you give them determines just how much events will affect you. Literally our focus becomes our experience of life.

I am convinced most depression, unhappiness is only a state of mind. We often create the conditions in our lives by our focus. This life transforming machine-the mind, can either be our best friend, or our worst enemy. I believe we don't often utilize the power of our mind and mental focus to our benefit enough. If I go around with a pessimistic attitude, saying everything sucks, nobody likes me, nothing in my life ever is gonna work out, blah, blah, blah, then I am actually using this life transforming machine in a negative, or destructive way. And I am actually drawing more of the conditions into my life that I am trying to avoid.

There are powerful metaphysical things happening all around us, and unseen force fields that we are affecting, even though we may not see it with our physical eyes. Deepak Chopra said, "Quantum physics is not only stranger than you think, it is stranger than you can think." We are operating inside an energy sensitive, energy dynamic matrix. Everything you think, feel, say and picture in your mind is pulled to you either consciously or unconsciously by the focus of your mind. Just like in the law of the harvest, you reap what you sow. Whatever you put into the mind, is what comes out.

Understanding and using the power of focus gives you enormous self power and life transforming capability. Use your power, this life transforming machine as your friend. The #1 reason that prevents people from getting what they want in life is, a lack of focus and lack of using and harnessing the powers inherent in the mind. People who learn how to focus and harness their energies, prosper and excel, while those who don't, struggle. There is great power in knowing what you want and where you are going, and in using the powers of the mind, or A Life Transforming Machine to assist you. And once you wholeheartedly put these forces into play, the dreams of yesterday will soon become the reality of today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Take Out the Trash

We all have a little junk in the trunk, so to speak. We all have areas in our lives we need to clean up, rearrange, or sometimes even overhaul. Sometimes a little spring cleaning on ourselves is very uplifting, revitalizing and can even be healthy and necessary. It is empowering to realize that we are in charge of ourselves and the things we store in our trunks, metaphorically speaking though. And at anytime, we can Take Out the Trash, or take out the old and bring in the new.

So let me take a moment and define the type of trash I am referring to here. Basically, it can be all the things in our personal lives we lug around that interfere with us enjoying the present moment, our present relationships, the stuff that keeps us from experiencing inner peace and happiness! Come on, you know the stuff I am referring to-BAGGAGE! This could include emotional hurt, resentment toward someone we feel has wronged us, unresolved anger, fear, stress, worry about the future, feelings of inadequacy, slavery to addictions, negative or pessimistic attitudes, or thought patterns. This type of trash, if we carry it around too long, poisons our lives. It also prevents us from achieving the lives of our dreams. It keeps us stuck in a rut. So take it out before it rots a hole in your soul. You must take this stuff out if you wanna make room for new treasures in your life. Face it, you wouldn't put new wine in an old, dirty bottle.

There are many reasons why we hold onto our junk though. Sometimes it may feed a need in us, or even allow us to play the victim role, or act helpless, or powerless in any given situation. Other times though, it can be healthy and be us actually feeling our pain, hurt, loneliness, or whatever, so we can move on from it. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to feel this stuff, to carry a little baggage, before we can release some of this junk, put it down and move on. But the key here is to not allow yourself to drown in this filth, stench and toxicity. If you need to carry some baggage and garbage with you, do it for a while and allow yourself to feel the weight, to smell its raunchy smell. But, then put it down. The key here is not to drown in this toxic waste, not to allow the weight of your life to weigh you down into the dumps. It is too easy to fall victim to depression and despair if you get stuck in this place.

I recently divorced from my wife of 9 years and I will admit, divorce has been especially hard for me. I have had to face an immense amount of rejection from my spouse, as well as a lot of hurt, anger, emotional pain, insecurity, and fear of being alone. This is something I am still working on releasing and moving on from. It has been a year now since the divorce was final. I have fully allowed myself to go through the grieving process and to feel my pain, hurt and insecurity. Now, I am ready to put this stuff down and move on. But, I could just as easily get sunk into depression and despair and feeling sorry for myself. But I choose not to. That point of recognition is the key to healthy self care and preservation. You have to be willing to let your garbage go at some point, in order to live a healthy and productive life.

Once you Take Out the Trash, and cultivate positive energy and emotions, you can begin to step into your glorious new shoes, new life and even your new self. You lighten up spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. You prepare your self for a better quality experience of life. You also become more receptive to the creative mind that attunes you to all the possibilities the universe has in store for you. So think of me right now as a gardener helping you prepare your inner soil for an abundant harvest. If you wanna manifest, or grow great things in your life, and experience the dance of the universe more powerfully, you've gotta get all the junk out of your trunk. I challenge you once and for all, to free yourself from the slime, muck and filth that have only been weighing you down and Take Out the Trash...

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Power of a Positive Attitude

There is a Great power in attitude. It is an extraordinarily, gigantic force in shaping your life and destiny. Never underestimate The Power of a Positive Attitude! It can either stage your life for a cornucopia of success, or plague you with imminent failure and disaster. Attitude is a supercharged, magnetic force, drawing circumstances towards you that will either make or break your life, your relationships, and ultimately your success and happiness in life. And the wonderful thing about it is, it is a power YOU have control of EVERYDAY of your life. Sure, you can't always control all the circumstances of your life. Life happens as it happens! You can however, certainly control your attitude about how you choose to handle the situations that arise in your life and the challenges you may have to face. Many people say "Life is a bitch." I say, "Life is habitual." And whatever attitudes you continuously put out there to the universe, reap a material and spiritual harvest of some type, either good or bad.

Attitude is a momentary and daily choice, just like choosing what you are gonna have for breakfast, or what clothes to put on for the day. And the difference between a mediocre life and a great one, is oftentimes just a slight attitudinal adjustment. I have come to the conclusion that people that are happy and successful work hard at keeping a positive attitude. I have observed this trait in many of my mentors and role models. I believe full heartedly that a positive attitude is a precursor to life success and life mastery. Maintaining a positive attitude is something you have to commit to and take full responsibility for. A positive attitude doesn't just happen to anyone spontaneously. It comes from constant self cultivation. It is constantly deciding that, "I will make the most of this and everyday. I will find a way to succeed. I will stay positive no matter what happens today. Today is gonna be a great day because I will make it a great day!

When you truly understand The Power of a Positive Attitude, you will begin to realize and understand that whatever you are focusing on becomes your reality each day. Earl Nightingale said this: "Stay positive, you become what you think about." And Buddha said, "All that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make our world." That's why you must guard your thoughts and focus, because positive or negative, they bring astonishing results into your existence. We are more powerful than we realize! The power of focus is nothing to be taken for granted.

Something I have learned though, is that it is easier for me to have a positive attitude and outlook on life, when I feel connected to my soul. It seems positive energy originates from the source, or "the force." I have noticed a rather strong correlation here. Inner peace/spiritual fulfillment and a great attitude are closely related. In fact they are brothers and sisters in the matrix of the universe. So, when you make time to nourish your soul, it becomes easier to maintain positive energy and a positive attitude for longer periods of time. I came across a great quote by Vince Lombardi Jr. just the other day, "The will to win... the will to achieve... goes dry and arid without continuous renewal." To me continuous renewal refers to feeding your mind, body and soul often. Nourish your soul, cultivate a positive awareness and attitude, and you will plant seeds in your mind and soul that will one day blossom into ripe, delicious and luscious fruits! That is The Power of a Positive Attitude!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Staying in the Flow

We have all had days where it seems everything is going our way. The heavens open up and the universe seems to be conspiring for us. It feels like we are on fire, totally in sync with the universal flow. It's as if there were some kind of magic fairy flying a few paces in front of us, sprinkling pixie dust ahead of us at every step, magically transforming circumstances so that everything goes our way. It's as if everything we touch seems to turn to gold, and everything falls into place just as it should. And the astonishing thing is, we don't even have to try so hard in this state of grace, the flow is just there and you are a part of it, just flowing with it. Like a river, life is flowing smoothly, powerfully and purposefully.

I am sure everyone has experienced moments such as these from time to time. They are moments to be treasured. You know the moments I am referring to? where you don't have to try so hard, or force any thing to happen, where things just happened. And in this place, this state of being in the flow, it feels good, natural, you feel refreshed, light and in tune with all creation, totally alive and on purpose. That's because, being in the flow is our natural state. We were meant to live this way, feeling good, calm, relaxed, peaceful and happy, in a place of non-resistance. When we are in this state, everything seems to work better, more efficient, more precisely. Even our relationships run smoother and more harmonious. It is a buoyant state of being.

And then, on the contrary, there are days when nothing feels right, when it seems we are out of touch with our higher selves and the rhythms of life. Nothing goes right and we just kinda feel off. It is a strange phenomena too. And sometimes it has nothing to do with your routine, or outer circumstances. I practice yoga and meditation pretty much daily, and sometimes, even after all I do, I just don't feel it. I may have a harder time relaxing and feeling inner peace, bliss and connected. At times, it seems we can lose the flow. We may feel blocked, irritated, anxious, confused and exasperated. It can also be very difficult to get back into the flow. One thing I know for absolute certain though, is we were not meant to live with so much stress and tension. And a lot of times, we blame our outer circumstances for the lack of balance and peace we may be feeling. That is oftentimes not the case. Being in and Staying in the Flow starts on the inside.

An important point I'd like to make here is that I have found it is much easier to stay in and maintain the flow, when I am connected to the source of flow-spirit. Being in the flow comes from within you, when you experience brief moments when you heart, body and soul are all aligned, or connected. You can increase the moments of being in the flow by raising your spiritual frequency and doing things to encourage more inner peace, such as tai chi, yoga, meditation, art and deep breathing. Being out of the flow usually indicates we are out of flow, or sync with spirit. In a nutshell, Staying in the Flow is as simple as staying connected to the source of the flow. If you work to stay close to your source, you will experience more moments of being in the flow and Staying in the Flow!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Awaken The Genie Within (Re-Claim Your Personal Power)

Don't seek it any longer, just call it forth-the life that you desire! Your power is so much greater than you realize, far greater... Infinite possibilities, infinite abundance and infinite power are at your fingertips right this very moment. Exercise the God given power at your disposal. The creator infused you with massive creative potential and unfathomable, unlimited resources with which to shape your life. It is part of your royal birthright. He made you rich. You are wealthy and resourceful beyond your imagination, beyond your ability to comprehend. All you have to do is just believe, just accept the creators offering to you as a free gift to his beloved and then, exercise your imagination & visualization faculties and your personal power to act.

The genie is in the magic lamp, within you, slumbering restlessly, waiting to be summoned by you. He is ready at any given moment to be called forth, waiting for the chance to show forth his astonishing powers. Believe in him, awaken him, let him out and watch your life transform. You are not weak and powerless by any means. You are much greater than you might know yourself, or think, or believe yourself to be. Take a few chances, exercise your God given gifts. The only grow stronger with use.

Life was really meant to be magical, enchanting, full of passion, adventure, satisfaction and delight! It is only us who keep ourselves from experiencing these things. What if you could have, do, or be anything you really desired? What if you really had the power, the tools and the magic at your beckon call, inside you right now, with which to create a magical reality, a magical life, a life beyond your wildest dreams? Would you seize the opportunity and use this power and these tools, or would you just waste these highly precious things and play the victim card? You are not a victim. You are a glorious creation, and you do have phenomenal, extraordinary, and enormous power, but first, you have to find it within yourself!

A creator puts a bit of him/herself into all of his or her creations. The gift is in you. The creators magic is in you. The tools needed to build and construct a glorious, new life are in your reach now. Use them, they are a priceless, matchless gift from the Great Spirit. Let the magic flow, waste it no longer. Awaken the Genie Within and Re-Claim Your Personal Power...

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Power of Surrender

Sometimes you find yourself at a crossroads, or a turning point. You know the place? where you can either go one way, or the other, and in this place, you may need to seek counsel and advice. Other times, all you can do is fully surrender. This happens when you are faced with a circumstance so big, like a enormous boulder in your path that you cannot see literally any way around on the narrow path you may be walking. You have tried EVERY possible way around the boulder, or challenge, but nothing seems to be working. It is during moments such as these, when it seems all you can do is fully surrender to a situation, or challenge you may be faced with. There is power in surrender though, because the creator, or Great Spirit knows our every need and concern. And sometimes I believe, he is just waiting for us to quit trying so hard to fix everything, or to fix a situation we have very little control of anyways and just give it over to him. He waits, he glories in those opportunities to show himself, to reveal his power, and his unfailing love for us all. He yearns for us to call upon him for everything. It is just in these moments of surrender that he can really show forth his glory and power, usually because we are so humbled and so broken down and open.

A perfect example of this type of surrender was the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt in their exodus (or migration), when pharaoh decided to take revenge. In the moment when all the Israelites were surrounded by the Sea on one side and by the army of pharaoh on the other, coming to literally destroy them, all Moses could do as their leader was surrender, because in his limited perspective they were trapped. So that is exactly what he did was surrender to a higher power. And look what happened? God revealed marvelous power and delivered the people in a miraculous way.

I remember well a very trying time such as this in my own families lives. It was few years ago. I had lost the best paying job of my entire life just a few months before Christmas. My wife and I at the time and I were praying for a miracle, not knowing where to turn. We couldn't pay rent, and we had absolutely no money for Christmas. On top of that, we were several thousand dollars past due on all of our most basic bills. In that moment and situation, all we could do was surrender, as we were in way over our heads. So, that is what we did. We surrendered everything to God. You see The Power of Surrender is that it pulls you to your knees, to the ground, where you realize your own humility and limited power compared to the power of the universe and you humbly and sincerely ask for help and surrender your situation to a much greater entity.

Needless to say, our prayers were answered, but in a completely bizarre way. We were praying for a miracle for things to turn around. I guess the old saying is true, "be careful what you pray for," because just a few weeks later, our house caught on fire in the middle of the night, due to a wood burning stove. We lost pretty much everything. But, then an amazing thing started to happen. The community responded to our loss. Money, gifts, clothing, food, furniture and etc. began flooding in from everywhere in an avalanche of abundance. We lost our home, but in our surrender, God gave us a fresh new start with a ton of resources and we were able to totally start over with a clean slate financially.

That is The Power of Surrender. It is not weakness. It is not about giving up, but rather giving in to a power and force that is much greater and wiser than you and me. This lesson was a great lesson in surrender for me and my family. In surrender lies great strength and power because you are saying, God I can't fix this. All I can do is all I can do, the rest now God is up to you. I can't get out of this jam alone. And you are turning your problem/challenge over to God, or the Great spirit, or Allah to help you resolve it. You are reaching, or turning to him for help. And I am here to testify that in that moment of surrender comes some of life's greatest blessings and gifts!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Extraordinary Leadership

I have been intensely studying what makes people with extraordinary leadership quality and ability tick for much of my life. And through this pursuit to unravel and dissect the art of personal greatness, I have read countless books and listened to countless audiotape programs as well. I have a passion for studying about Extraordinary Leadership. I am truly inspired by boldness, greatness, and honorable, noble character wherever I come across it. I believe we are all inspired by those who demonstrate extraordinary qualities of the human spirit. It is hard not to look up to and admire someone of remarkable caliber, just like it is impossible to stand beneath a 300 foot redwood tree, or next to a towering mountain, or the ocean, and not admire their beauty, strength, presence and power.

Some of the key role models who have undoubtedly influenced my life in a remarkably, positive way and whom I feel have demonstrated, or who currently demonstrate Extraordinary Leadership are: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Vince Lombardi, Nelson Mandela, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey. Through studying these remarkable souls lives, beliefs and teachings, I have come across a lot of similar core traits they all seem to possess and demonstrate. I believe all of these great leaders and all other extraordinary leaders for that matter, possess these core traits and habits, which we can all model and incorporate. I will call them:

11 Traits for Personal Greatness and Extraordinary Leadership

1) Personal Responsibility and Self Discipline

-Taking responsibility for yourself in all areas (mind,body, spirit), being assertive, taking charge for what is in your realm to accomplish and being disciplined in thoughts, actions and beliefs

2) Inner Motivation

-Finding within yourself the will to achieve, to stay positive, the strength and desire to keep improving, to keep challenging yourself to grow and become better day by day

3) A Vision For Life

-Having a vision for where you're going and holding to that vision even when it is stormy outside, or when others may be trying to discourage you, or put out your fire

4) Service Mentality

-Understanding that being service minded is a key value, a strong asset to any team, corporation, or organization and truly giving of yourself and your talents whenever possible

5) Passion and Love for What You are Doing

-Following your bliss, exercising your authentic gifts and passions, radiating joy in your work and your dharma, spreading a little sunshine from your soul

6) Respect and Compassion for others

-Giving recognition and praise where it is due, truly operating for the good of all, understanding the interconnected web of all existence, the value of all life, and coming from a place of love in all you say and do

7) Priority Driven Mentality

-Ability to stay in focus, see the job or task through to completion, taking care of first things first, ability to start and finish tasks begun in a timely manner

8) Commitment to Excellence

-Constantly improving yourself and holding yourself and others around you to a higher standard (more of an attitude than anything), maintaining absolute commitment and dedication to self mastery and life mastery

9) Trustworthiness and Integrity

-Always being dependable, demonstrating predictable behavior, promoting trust to peers, family and friends, and demonstrating true character in EVERY possible situation

10) Action Oriented With an Assertive Will

-Getting the job done, taking responsibility for creating the life you want to create and experience, exercising total self confidence and self belief, and not being afraid to walk your own path, or blaze your own trail

11) Optimistic and Have a Winners Mentality

-Keeping yourself in resourceful states at all times, always finding a way to stand out, excel in any crowd, in any group, ability to stay positive through any situation, and practicing positive mind conditioning

Vince Lombardi once said, "Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile." Leadership is not just about ability, but always taking responsibility, always exceeding others expectations and coming from a true place of service, always looking for ways to give more of yourself. A true leader doesn't glory in making followers out of others, he or she glories in making leaders out of everyone around them. That is the true mark of greatness. Aristotle said, " Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Our habits either make or break our lives. Great habits can and will establish great character. Exemplifying all of the 11 Traits for Personal Greatness and Extraordinary Leadership, you are sure to be well on your way up toward Extraordinary Leadership.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009