Week 18 – Reversing the Reversal

Surfing the heart of the wave

There’s an interesting exercise I learned about 20 years ago that goes like this:

Find another person, and place your hands together, palm to palm, and have them push your palm. Or vice versa. Watch what happens. Do you automatically push back?

Now, try something different. Let you palm drop, instead of pushing back. Is it now possible for that person to continue to push you?

Another variation of this exercise is to hold a pencil in your hand and try to let go of the pencil while holding it. What happens?

Now, just stop holding the pencil, and see if it naturally releases.

These are releasing techniques. There’s a few more like them.

But here’s what I want to share here. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point, the principles of these releasing techniques became habit for me. To the point to where now, simply becoming aware of something that I am holding onto, automatically dissolves it.

This is also the beauty of the Franklin Makeover. The habit of neutral observation increases inner awareness. We begin to gain access to our inner world. A very real and rich inner world.

The practice of “catching ourselves and others in a positive expression” of whatever inner quality we are wanting to develop, rewires our inner circuitry from a negative bias to a positive bias.  Essentially, reversing the reversal.

Imagine how our world would be different if our entire culture reversed it’s bias from negative to positive.

Feel free to share what comes to mind in the comments below.

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Week 17-A What Am I Pretending Not To Know?

Epiphany. Insight.

Once every year, the sun hits Yosemite’s Horsetail Waterfall just right to make it light up in a golden hue.

This week in our mastermind we added a card to our Herald card deck.

It is this question, What Am I Pretending Not To Know?

The instructions are to keep this card on the top of the deck so that every time we flash through our deck we see this first, front loading the subconscious to seek an answer to this question.

Oddly enough, I’ve observed more resistance to this question card than any other exercise we’ve done so far.

I figure this means that there is a huge breakthrough waiting to happen.

The greater the resistance, the greater the breakthrough.

(Insight.  Epiphany.)

This is likely to become an extraordinarily powerful question for me.

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Week 17 – The Franklin Makeover, Living Knowledge Into Wisdom

Practical wisdom “is the ability to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.”

Back in the 90’s a first grade teacher shared something with me that until that time I had not considered.  She was going to be my daughter’s first grade teacher.  I asked her how I could help her in the classroom.  She surprised me when she told me she wanted me to help her young Spanish-speaking children learn the words for things like swing, tree, sidewalk, playground, spoon, fork, plate, chair …

She explained to me that it was more difficult for her to teach them how to read words that they didn’t speak.  This would lighten the load on her, big time.

Most of these children were the children of migrant workers who worked from sun-up to sun-down on the surrounding area’s big farms.  Their parents often had one to two hour commutes to these farms, so they were away from home until very late at night.

Add to this that they didn’t speak English, and the children weren’t learning the names of things in their world.

They had little to zero oral vocabulary. (In English or Spanish)

I wondered about that.  She said they gestured toward whatever they were talking about, and would say, “That thing.”  Everything was a thing.

This was huge to me.

I realized that 6 years olds coming into first grade didn’t have the oral vocabulary to talk about their experience in the playground, the lunch room, the classroom.  I tried to imagine what that must have felt like to these children.  It’s easy to take for granted the words we know, without even thinking about it.

That summer, we moved, so I wasn’t able to help the children in her class.  But that experience, that lesson learned, has stayed with me over the years.

For a time, I volunteered with Laubach Literacy, helping an intelligent young woman learn how to read.  I experienced the same with her.  I discovered I needed to change the words I used so she could understand me.  We bumped into this problem almost every lesson.  It was as often a vocabulary lesson as well as a reading lesson.


I still have fond memories of when she discovered the word, tenacity.  It’s one of my favorite words.  I’ve been called stubborn most of my life.  When I discovered the word, tenacity, in my twenties, I started reframing the label, from “stubborn”, to “tenacity”.

“I’m not stubborn, I’m tenacious.” (LOL) (Or for *MKMMA Masterminder’s, persistent.) 🙂

(Side note: I’ve learned from personal observation, over the years, that hidden within our greatest weakness is our greatest strengths, and embedded in our greatest strengths lie our weaknesses. They are most often two sides of the same coin.  Reciprocals, or compliments of each other.  With this awareness I learned to translate, reframe, or transmute, negatives into positives.  You can, too).

There’s power in being able to define or name something.

This ability opens up our world. I watched this clip of Helen Keller last night.

Learning words, the names of what she experienced, opened her world.  Helped her connect to the outside world.

We’re doing something similar in the positive twist on the Franklin Makeover.  The positive twist is important.  We catch ourselves and others in a positive expression of the virtue of the week.

My first week’s virtue was “specialized knowledge”.

I had not observed the world through this lens before.  It was eye-opening.  I discovered that virtually everything we touch, interact with, share, hinges on “specialized knowledge.”  I became aware of “specialized knowledge” permeating my environment to the point that I didn’t have enough space in my square to put all the dots for how much I noticed this.

Last week was kindness, and we did this virtue, together, as a group, the whole Mastermind.  Extra-ordinarily powerful.  Kindness is like the ignition switch to the virtue engine.  It sparks the fuel that runs the being.

Kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness, kindness in feeling creates love. ~ Lao Tzu

This week the virtue I’m focusing on is decisiveness. And I had an interesting insight.  Because I had focused earlier on “specialized knowledge”, I’ve connected the relationship of decisiveness to that earlier virtue.  Everything I touch, everything I see, triggers an awareness of decisiveness.  Because embedded within specialized knowledge is a lot of decisions.

Of course, I’m hearing the word more, too.  And seeing decisiveness in others.

I’ve done this experiment with colors and shapes in the past.  As as a mastermind, we’ve done this, too.

The lens of our focus filters our experience of the world.  It determines what comes to the front of our mind, what we notice or perceive.

What we focus on grows.

This is an adage, not a platitude.  Distilled wisdom of the ages.

The ancient sages often called practical wisdom the mother virtue.  I grew up with Edgar Cayce’s definition of wisdom.  Wisdom is knowledge applied.  For me, practical spiritually and practical wisdom are essentially the same.

The *MKMMA is a space where we help our selves and each other learn to live knowledge into wisdom.

What a beautiful gift we give our selves and each other.

For any one more interested in learning about Literacy training:

I love this You Tube video because it helps me better understand what it’s like for people learning how read as an adult.  One young woman talks about using a vocabulary they can understand. (@ 19:02)

Learning to Read in Adulthood

In 2002, Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, two of the world’s oldest and largest adult literacy organizations, merged to create ProLiteracy.

*MKMMA is a space where we help our selves and each other learn to live knowledge into wisdom.

What a beautiful gift we give our selves and each other.

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* Master Key Master Mind Alliance (MKMMA)

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Image Credit:  , ProLiteracy



Week 16 – I’m Loving the Positive Twist to the Franklin Makeover

Every once in a while, someone will do a small kindness that becomes a gift of a lifetime.

There are two moments I have with my Mom, that for whatever reason shine in my memory like living diamonds.  These moments have an aliveness, light and vitality about them that overshadows most of the rest of my earlier childhood memories.

The first one happened when I was around 11 years old.  My Mom called me into her room and showed me a crumpled piece of paper she had found in our trash can.

She asked me about it.

I recognized it.  It was a paper I had written on earlier that week.  I had heard about this idea of doing a pros and cons list to sort out the value of something.  So, I did a pros/con list on myself.  I listed item after item of everything that was wrong with me.

The cons.

Freckles, red hair, broken front tooth.  Fat lips.  Bug eyes.  Ugly.  That list went down one full side of the page and half way down the back side.  I had no problem at the time finding things wrong with me.

But when it came time to find something positive about myself, to write something under the pro column, I couldn’t think of anything.  Nothing.  Nada.  My mind went blank.

Eventually, I gave up trying.  I crumpled the paper into a tight ball, and threw it away.

I looked at that wrinkled paper in my Mom’s hand and all the pain of that experience came rushing back up into my throat.  My stomach heaved inside of me, as if I had just been kicked in the stomach.

My Mom then spoke to me in a calm, gentle, reassuring voice.

She told me that I was the most virtuous person she knew.  I wasn’t certain I understood what she meant.

She talked to me about the difference between spiritual beauty and physical beauty.  She talked to me about the soul and the development of the soul.  And about the value of being Christ-like.

She pulled out her Bible and started reading to me, from Galatians.  Reading the list of the fruits of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

She then explained to me that these were all considered virtues.  Then she spoke with such a deep presence and heart-felt emotion that what she said carried enough weight to completely counterbalance my list of cons on that crumpled paper.

“You are the most virtuous person, I know.”

She said it with such certainty that I believed her, … because she believed it.

From that moment own

I started defining myself by the virtues she had read to me.  They became the measuring standard of how I determined my identity.  Even now, when I become discouraged or doubt myself, the memory and power of that moment carries me through.

As a child I took to heart the Golden Rule.  I can remember making that decision when I was 5 years.

At 11, standing at the bedside of my Mom, I took to heart, virtuous living.  And it has made all the difference in my world.

Someone recently told me I had the gift of tongues.  I’ve thought about this.  I know what that means to most people in terms of people talking in tongues.  But, it didn’t feel like this is what was meant.

Then another person shared this video and it showed up in my Facebook newsfeed.  With this written in the caption below:

This video is proof that life and death really is in the power of the tongue! Proverbs 18:21

I looked at that for a moment and then thought to myself, we all have the gift of tongues.

In any given moment we can speak life into others lives… and our own.

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* Master Key Master Mind Alliance (MKMMA)

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If words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart. ~ Rumi

Lucinda radiates love in every word she expresses.


Master Key Master Mind Alliance (MKMMA)


Every cell in my body is telling me “this is it” and “time to quit”. I choose to persist and fight this fight. I have come to think of Master Key as my cage fight, my MMA battle with past demons and unfinished emotional conflicts. Current heartbreak and my love for my stricken son can’t stop me. I have struggled during the last few weeks as I deal with a major health crisis with him. My readings and lessions have not been perfect, but my studies are the necessary foundation to bring me through a very sad and difficult time. Many of you have reached out and shared inspirational accounts of loss and courage. Dealing with critical healthcare decisions has been painful and at each turn the options have been constrained by insurance coverage or lack of available and optimal treatments. Brilliant physicians and nurses offer hopes of intervention and…

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Week 15 – Off Task, But On Purpose

The body thrives on routine,

The mind on stimulation,

And the soul on meaning.

No one has ever told me this.  It’s just insights I’ve figured out on my own, over the years, through personal observation.  Sometimes the needs of one move in conflict with another.  When the needs of all three are aligned, harmony within emerges.

This past week has been odd for me, in that all my regular daily routines have been disrupted.

It usually happens during this time of the year.

We live off-grid, and while that often sounds glamorous or adventuresome to most people, what it means is that we essentially provide our own grid, if we want live with some sense of normalcy.  We’re not wealthy.  It’s been a gradual process of slowly pulling the pieces together as we can.  Again, over time.

What is taken care of for other people in city or county services, we take of ourselves.  If a water line breaks from our cistern to the house, it’s on us to repair it.  When the bridge on our road became impassable, it was up to the people who live past that bridge to come together to find a way to repair and make it passable again.

Starting just before Christmas we’ve had several snow storms come through.  We get our power through solar, and with days and days of little to no sun, our batteries depleted.  We lost power every night as the sun goes down for the past week.  This is accumulative.  The loss of power every day, without a good recharge on the batteries can run the system so low, that every morning it may take longer to recharge enough for running even small clocks.

The Persephone Period keeps me humble.

Usually, I prepare myself for it, starting somewhere around Thanksgiving.  A period of time that gardeners call the Persephone Period.  It’s when the duration of sunlight falls below 10 hours a day.

Chickens will start laying little to no eggs during this time frame.  And plant growth slows way down.

The further north you go, the longer this Persephone Period lasts.  In some places in the south, it is never experienced.  In my latitude it lasts about 2 months.  Starting around Thanksgiving and ending a little after Martin Luther King’s day.

I’ve come to accept this time of year, and this annual gap in our grid.  It also serves to remind me to be grateful for what we have.  I never take the fact that we have power, or can be warm, and fed, with a comfortable bed to sleep in out of the weather, for granted.

Earlier this month as I thought about this coming time frame, I told myself, this is temporary.  We are most often affected, maybe 20 days out of the year.  I pushed it out of my mind and kept focusing on what I needed to do to forward my DMP.

I’ve learned to just go with the flow and adapt when this happens.

But this year, both my husband and I are sick.  He more so than me.  So, we held off getting the back-up generator going.  At this point, we have four generators around our battery bank, three are not working.  My husband had to drive the skidster up to his shop, and bring down his welder which has a generator, yesterday.  This is what we are now using for lights at night.

So, this week, I’ve been sleeping a lot, due in part to no power, and in part to get my body healed faster.  I’ve taken lots of Vitamin C, shots of Mystica, and bowls of chicken soup.

My normal routine has been disrupted which has left me feeling somewhat scattered in my focus.

The reason why our bodies thrive with routine is because of our inner clocks.  Our natural biological circadian rhythms restore energy to our bodies the way the sun on solar panels accumulates power in the batteries of our solar system.

This is why the 3x daily rhythms of our readings can also be so powerful.  Same natural laws at work.

Due to the loss of power and all that extra sleeping this past week, I lost a lot of production time.

I didn’t have the energy to really focus on writing.  However, my mind, being mind, still needed stimulation.  So I read.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu was brought to my attention this week, and I revisited it.

Just as I had revisited *The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield a few weeks ago, and (self) *Mastery by Robert Greene, a month prior to that.

I also decided to watch Rudy this week, in addition to October Sky last week, because of a serendipity of how The Art of War by Sun Tzu came to my attention, through someone called Rudy.

There is a translation to The Art of War that draws on the consideration of the cultural mindset of Sun Tzu.  It comes from the perspective that in order to truly understand Sun Tzu’s meaning his cultural mental model must be taken into account.  You can learn more about it as this website, Science of Strategy.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was trying to think about what to write this week, all of this was percolating in my mind.  I found myself thinking about the wholistic approach that Sun Tzu writes in his philosophy.  And what is referred to as his non-linear approach to decision-making.  That this is what he is teaching in his book.

Gradually, I realized that I will be using this information in the book I’m writing.  As I will also draw on Stephen Pressfield and Robert Greene.  It occurred to me that none of this was in my plans.  In each case I had gone off task, but somehow remained on purpose.

Soul thrives on meaning.

So this is where soul comes into play.

Because I have a clarity of purpose, or meaning, (DMP) when I derailed on task, I naturally moved in alignment with my purpose.  Noticing this is insightful to me.

I still don’t feel up to par for writing.  It’s work, mentally,  right now, to get this written.  All week, I’ve been at a loss of what to write.  But this morning when I woke up, those first three lines I wrote where on my mind.

Insight enables … it’s repeated over and over, in this week’s Haanel lesson.

As Haanel describes, it turns out that all things do work toward the purpose we hold in clarity charged with the emotion of love.

Even if we feel we sometimes get off task, we may surprise ourselves in that we still remained on purpose, …

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