A Reason to Smile

A Reason to Smile

An Eclipse, an Equinox, and a Super Moon, oh my!

posted by B. Dave Walters

Friday, March 20, 2015 will mark a very powerful alignment of energies that will burn you up if you’re not careful, or propel you like a rocket if you make use of them!

Three major events are taking place, with several other events happening in the background.  First, it’s the Spring Equinox, one of two days of the year when day and night are exactly equal.  There’s a solar eclipse (!), and a Supermoon. Although they will be separated by a few hours, astronomical events aren’t like switching on and off a light switch, so we’ll be feeling the effects all at

You'll feel it, even if you can't see it!

You’ll feel it, even if you can’t see it!

once, in some cases leading up to it and days, or even weeks afterwards.

One quick side note: Astrology is like a weather report, it doesn’t *guarantee* anything, just like a 50% chance of rain doesn’t mean a single drop will fall, or a guarantee of warm weather doesn’t mean there won’t be a blizzard!  So don’t make too big of a deal about this, or any other astrologically based thing you read, it’s just given you a clue to the flow of energy around you.  OK? OK.  So let’s look at how all these events intertwine, and what it means to you.

“A new moon occurs when the moon passes in front of the earth and comes between the sun and earth. A solar eclipse occurs when the new moon passes directly in front of the earth blocking out the sun’s light. A super moon, or pedigree moon, occurs when the moon is at its closest point to earth in its orbit. At this time its effects on the Earth’s oceans are larger than average. This is also a new eclipse cycle. Every 19 years eclipses occur in the same place and this is the first of a new cycle of eclipses in Pisces by the south node of the moon.

To have all of these factors coincide together is unusual to say the least.” (source)

Solar eclipses function like new moons on steroids, and the fact that is happening during a Supermoon should make this an especially powerful time.  Since this is all happening in the sign of Pisces, which is about dreams, emotions, and introspection, very odd dreams and VERY high emotions should be expected.  Eclipses are also a time that our ego gets blocked, allowing our true selves to shine through, giving us a chance to sort of reboot. If you fell a bit short on those New Year’s Resolutions, this is a fantastic time to start over again.

But along with that is a chance for greater empathy and an understanding of what’s going on in the hearts and minds of our fellow human beings. Mercury, planet of communication will also be in Pisces, and this is the end of a 3-year-long cycle of Uranus and Pluto being square to each other, which is all about social justice and change.  It’s no coincidence the march on Selma happened under these conditions, and the Ferguson demonstrations happened under this one.  Take this time to look not only within yourself, but outside of yourself to see how your actions and inactions are affecting the world around you.

Next, roughly 13 hours later the Spring (Vernal) Equinox begins. As we talked about before the equinox is about a time of transition.  Where the Autumnal Equinox was about turning inwards, focusing on yourself, and planting seeds and making plans, the Vernal Equinox is about moving forward and expanding.  Just like the Earth is starting to wake up from its winter nap in an explosion of new life, this is the time for you to start pushing into new and uncharted territories.  That book you’ve been meaning to write? Start it.  That class you want to take? Enroll. Now is the time to start emerging from your cave!

So in conclusion, take this time to look inside yourself for clarity.  Answers on where you’ve gone wrong, what you should be doing, and what really matters to you; and above all else: Be HONEST with yourself.

Take what you find there, and put it into action; ride the wave of the planet’s forward push to start making progress of your own. And as always, do SOMETHING every single day to get you closer to where you’re trying to go.

This is going to be one of the most powerful times of introspection possible, and it’s either going to be a time of breakdowns or breakthroughs, so don’t take it personally if people are overly emotional or just aren’t themselves.  Keep your head up, go with the flow, and keep moving forward!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

Are you growing, or just growing older?

posted by B. Dave Walters

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

This is true as it gets!

This is true as it gets!

As of the time of this writing, today is my 37th birthday, as well as celebrating the 4th anniversary of my radio show, Rise UP with B. Dave Walters.  In honor of the day, I talked about several of the most common questions I receive:

In honor of my birthday, we’ll talk about:
How to conquer FOMO, Fear of Missing Out.
How to have unshakable confidence.
How to know if you’re really in love.
How to trust, and how to forgive.
How to know why people do what they do, and what they’ll do next.

So here, I want to leave you with the number one thing that I have learned in my 37 years of life.  The good news is, this is the key to all power, and the secret to have absolutely anything you want to be, do, or have in this life.  The bad news is, you won’t want to hear it.

The secret I this: You have absolute control over your life.  It is now, and will always be what you make it.  Your life right now, your relationships, your finances, your vocation, your body, and everything else are a direct result of the choices you’ve made and the actions you’ve taken up until now. And there’s nothing wrong with your life right now; it is exactly what it needed to be to get you to this point, and you are exactly who you needed to be to make it happen.  And in that, you are perfect. Right now, in this exact second, you are perfect.

But if you want to be, do, or have, something else, you’re going to need to make some different choices and take some different actions.

If there is anything you are unhappy with in your life, I would ask what did you do today to make it better?  How about yesterday, or the day before?  If the answer to any of those is ‘nothing’, then I may have found the problem!  And more importantly, now you know where to focus your energy to start creating the change that you want to see.

Give that episode a listen (you can click here to listen), since I gave dozens of tips you can use to help you make that change.  Just remember, above all else: You deserve to have a life you are proud of; you deserve to have the very, very best.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

How to feel happy, and be at peace

posted by B. Dave Walters

“You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

In my Coaching work, a question that comes up again and again is how to feel happy, and be at peace.  For one reason or another, a person has something that has damaged their calm and is making them unhappy.

Every day is the greatest gift you can get.

Every day is the greatest gift you can get.

I went back and looked at my most popular articles, and talked about all those topics on a recent episode of Rise UP with B. Dave Walters.  We talked about:  How to get up when you hit rock bottom, how to know what to do with your life, how to know if your lover only wants sex, and much, much, more.

So, how can you stay calm, happy, and peaceful?  The first thing is to pay attention to the meanings you are attaching to things.  When someone says or does something that hurts you, step back and ask yourself: What would you say if a complete stranger said or did this same thing?
What would you tell your best friend if they were in this exact same spot?
What would make someone say or do something like this?

Everyone believes their problems are extremely complicated and unique in the world; when the truth is that’s VERY rarely the case.  The further you can step outside yourself and look at the situation like it was happening to someone else, the easier you can see the truth of it.

Now, there is no guarantee this truth will be easy to accept, or even make you happy in the short term.  The truth is like surgery: It hurts but it heals.  For instance, if someone doesn’t call you on your birthday, you can choose to be upset by that, or ask yourself: Why wouldn’t they call?  Early in the day, there may be 100 reasons: Their phone is dead, or they are at work, or tied up somewhere they physically can’t call.

But, as the day moves on, another realization starts to kick in: They didn’t call because it wasn’t important enough to call.  And when someone starts showing you that you don’t rank as a priority to them, they should stop being a priority to you, too.

Which leads to the next thing to remember: Anything outside of you—people, circumstances, or anything else—only have what power over you that you give them.  Again, remember the ‘stranger’ test I gave above.  If the exact same words or behavior wouldn’t bother you from a stranger, then the words or behavior aren’t the problem, but the meanings you are attaching to them.  And this is something you can choose to release at any time.  Once again to quote Marcus Aurelius (who gave excellent advice on how to avoid letting other people hurt you):

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your opinion of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

And finally, and most importantly: While it may be true that there’s always something to be upset about, there are ALWAYS more things to be grateful for.  Form the habit of looking for the good, or at least the lesson, in every situation you are faced with.  Pessimism is easy; anyone can look at a situation and see what’s wrong with it; there is nothing particularly noble or enlightened about being negative.  It takes a special kind of person look clearly and see all sides to be able to spot the good along with the bad.

So really, that’s all there is to it: Be aware of the meanings you are attaching things; they are neither good or bad, but how we think about it makes the difference.  Realize if you’re unhappy, it’s up to you how you are looking at things, which can help you do whatever you need to do to change.  And once you can see things clearly, you can let go of whatever you need to let go of so that you can move forward.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

How to motivate yourself…finally!

posted by B. Dave Walters

“It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it.

Every day is a new year!

Every day is a new year!

We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.”
-Neil Gaiman

The New Year is upon us!  But I’ll tell you a secret: Every single day is a new year.  So while New Year’s Day is a good time to try and start making changes in our lives, every day is a chance to begin again and do better.

Unfortunately, most people’s New Year’s resolutions is nothing more than a list of things they ‘should’ do, and ultimately won’t.  It becomes a list of all the things we are doing wrong, which will just make us feel guilty until it’s filed away until next December.

So, how to break this cycle?

As you know, you can ask me anything, and I’ll either respond directly, write and article, make a video, or talk about it on the radio.  This is one of those times where I had to do all of the above!

First, on a recent episode of Rise UP with B. Dave Walters, we talked about:
How to do the things you know you should, and stop doing the ones you know you shouldn’t!  How to change in an instant, and much, much, more!  Everything you need to make 2015 the best year of your life!

After I got off the radio, I realized I had more to say so I made a video about why your New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked in the past, and how to make them work every year from now on!

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So today, I’d like to give you a few pointers on how to get motivated to do the things you really want to do.  Notice what I said there: The things you WANT to do, not the things you should do.  Since as I pointed out in the video, anything you ‘should’ do is never going to happen.  Everything in your brain is wired to rebel against being forced to do anything.

So, the key is to set your mind on things that pull your forward, rather than push you from behind.  Ideally a good goal has a bit of pushing and pulling, the stick and the carrot as it were.  For instance, if you have a goal to lose 20 lbs, my first question would be why do you want to lose 20 lbs?  The number on the scale is meaningless, it only has what power you give to it.

ANYTHING outside of yourself only has what power that you give it.

So maybe you want to lose the weight to fit into a certain outfit for a certain party, or to be ready for beach season.  But why does that matter?  To turn heads? Why does that matter?  Keep drilling down until you get to the core of what your motivation is.

I’ll tell you another secret, though: If your ultimate goal is some sort of external approval, you’ll never be satisfied.  This is one of the main reasons goals fail: Ultimately it wasn’t for YOU, but to get someone else’s approval. You don’t need anyone else to accept you, you only need to accept yourself.

So knowing that, maybe you instead frame it as “I want to lose 20 lbs in the next four months so that I can feel healthy and strong, and I can prove to myself what I’m made of.  I don’t want to feel like a prisoner in my own body and like I’m forced to hide from the world anymore.  I want to be able to step out on the beach and feel proud of all my hard work and everything I’ve accomplished!”

See the difference?  There’s a goal, a deadline, a compelling ‘why’, AND a focus on how it will feel when it’s done.  Any goal you set should have this level of richness and detail.  And I’d submit that as you look back on the things you’ve accomplished in your life, you probably had this level of clarity as you worked at it.

Now, let’s say the things you want feel like they are so far away that you can’t even get started.  We talked recently about how to get up when you hit rock bottom, but more than that I’d say start with smaller goals.  If you are on the edge of being homeless, setting a goal to make a million dollars is the wrong goal; start out with focusing on stabilizing your current situation.

Small, *consistent* progress is what makes the difference.  Remember to do SOMETHING every single day towards accomplishing your goal, and victory is guaranteed; and even better, you’ll enjoy the process.

One last thing: If there is some old habit or painful memory holding you back, this video will help you change it once and for all.

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

Racism and the Law of Attraction (Video)

posted by B. Dave Walters

“I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
-James Baldwin

That's all there is to it!

That’s all there is to it!

Question submitted via Formspring:
“Hi, I am trying to find a way to apply the Law of Attraction to the police shooting of Micheal Brown. I am a black woman who has known racism, how do I understand this? I don’t want to harbor hatred but it is hard not too. I have also have a son.”

I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and I always make it a point that you can ask me anything, you can even ask anonymously.  And I’ll either reply directly, I’ll write an article, do a video, or talk about it on the radio.  This is one of those rare times that I’ll do all of the above.

In the video below, I finally weigh in on Ferguson and New York, as well as where racism comes from and how the Law of Attraction can be used to counter it!

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I realized afterwards, that there’s was more to say about it (there’s always more to say about, unfortunately), so we talked about this again on a recent episode of Rise UP with B. Dave Walters, which ended up being a Law of Attraction master class, along with:

How the Law of Attraction can be used to change the world and heal rifts like in Ferguson and in New York. Why your goals aren’t manifesting, and how to get out of your own way so that they will, And, how you can start *today* building 2015 into the best year of your life, and much, much, more!

So here in this article, I want to deal with the specific question of how to apply the Law of Attraction to major issues like this, all while avoiding allowing bitterness to overtake you.  So as always, let us break this down into pieces:

You are a black woman.
You have experienced racism, and are trying to understand what happened.
You don’t want to harbor hatred in your heart, but you’re concerned because:
You have a son yourself.

A point I made in the video, as well as on the radio that I’m a large black male in America, which makes me about two steps away from being a large black bear.  Also, being from Little Rock, Arkansas, means I have experienced almost every shape and flavor of racism and intolerance you can imagine.  And yes, it will wear you down if you let it.  So as for how you manage it, a few things.

First, you said you’ve experienced racism, but you counter that with all the examples you’ve had dealing with people who didn’t behave negatively at all.   If I run into someone who’s rude to me, my initial assumption is that they are having a bad day.  My second assumption is maybe they are just a jerk.  A very distant third is they’re a racist.  Remember, the more you look for something, the more you tend to see it…even when it’s not really there.  Especially when it’s not really there!

If you don’t want to hold on to hatred, the simple answer is: Don’t.

Never forget that police are human beings. And because of that, there are good ones and there are bad ones, and even good ones make mistakes. There are bullies and there are heroes, and all too often it’s the bad eggs that get all the attention. Not unlike the brakes on a car, no one notices when they are working properly, but EVERYONE knows when they aren’t.

Buddha said holding on to anger with the intent of hurting someone else, is like picking up a hot coal with the intention of throwing it: You are the one who gets burned.  And while some anger can be good—as long as it prompts us into healthy action—bitterness is a poison that hurts you, and ends up spilling onto the ones you love.  While we cannot let injustice go unchallenged, we also can’t let bitterness take over, or the haters win. And the haters must never, ever, win.

And you help yourself by letting your son know there is bad in the world, but that there is FAR more good!  Teach him to be a good person, and to stand up for what is right; and to show him as many examples as you can of other people doing the same.  Never forget that now and always, there is much more that unites us than separates us, and we are all in this together.

There is and always will be darkness and injustice in this world.  You don’t beat darkness by allowing it into your heart; you beat it by letting your own light shine brighter.

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

How to finally attract what you want (VIDEO)

posted by B. Dave Walters
Don't wait!

Don’t wait!

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
― Napoleon Hill

As of the time of this writing, New Years is around two weeks away.  Soon, people all over the world will be making their New Year’s resolutions…lists of changes they intend to make, that quite frankly won’t happen.

But why?

Why is it that we set these huge goals that we don’t reach, and more importantly, how can we make sure this year is different from all the ones that came before?

On a recent episode of All About You with B. Dave Walters—the BEST show about *you* on the internet!—we talked about mastering change:

Why you aren’t attracting what you want, and how to change it, and how to make this coming year the best of your life! I also tell you how I managed to make more progress in 2014 than in the last few years combined!

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Now we’ve talked before about what to do if you don’t know what to do with your life , and what to do to have your breakthrough, so here in this article I want to talk about why most people’s resolutions fall flat.

Because you don’t really want those things; not REALLY.  We make resolutions at New Years because we are ‘supposed’ to.  And more than becoming the dream shopping list from the Universe that our goals should be, they end up turning into an opportunity to beat up on ourselves.  I feel fat, so I ‘should’ work out.  I feel broke, so I ‘should’ make more money.  I feel lonely, so I ‘should’ get out there and meet people.  But any ‘should’ is never going to happen; only our MUSTS happen.

Now it’s true that all human action is based on one of two things: To gain pleasure, or avoid pain.  And as such, there can be some value in setting goals to move away from what you don’t want, but it’s less effective than moving towards what you DO want.  For instance, let’s say you set that goal that pretty much everyone has of getting into better shape.  If you make it about running from ‘feeling fat’ and whatever negative judgments  you have associated with that, then any time you miss a workout or fall short on your diet, you’ll use it as ammunition to beat up on yourself and feel even worse.

However, if you make the goal about what you are trying to achieve, such as how good it will feel to get back into your old jeans, how fantastic it is to be able to do something that you once couldn’t, how great it is to feel confident and strong…and the ego boost of turning heads when you walk by, then working out and sticking to your diet becomes easy, and when you fall short, you’ll just get up and get back on track.  No drama required.

As a side note, if you do plan on getting into better shape—which you should, since there’s no greater investment than you can make in your own health—I highly recommend BeachBody’s programs. You can change your life in 30 minutes a day, but like anything, they only work if you do!  If you have questions or need help getting started, shoot a message to my good friend Coach John Tantillo and he can help you get started. http://johntfitness.com/

Another reason why people’s goals don’t manifest is they don’t give themselves permission to want what they want.  They feel guilty for dreaming big, or worry about what other people will say, to which I tell you: It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  What matters is that you look in the mirror and like what you see.

Who cares if the entire world approves of your life, if you are unhappy with it?

And finally, the biggest reason people’s goals don’t manifest is because they don’t DO anything to make them manifest!  Remember the Law of GOYA: Get Off Your A! Nothing changes until you do, and if you’ve set the right goal, one that makes you feel 60% excited and 40% terrified, then putting in the work becomes easy.  But remember, do something every single day that gets you closer to what you are trying to be, do, or have.  Every day…no exceptions!

Losing a pound a week might not seem like much, but that’s 52 pounds in a year.  Writing one page a day is a novel in 6 months.  Running another mile a week is a marathon in around 7 months. Slow and steady wins the race, so don’t quit.

And above all else: Don’t wait!  Don’t wait for January 1, show the Universe you are serious by starting NOW! 6 Months from now, you’ll wish you started today, so get to it; trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

Q&A: “I’m trying to smile, but I’ve hit rock bottom….”

posted by B. Dave Walters

Question submitted via Formspring:
“Hello, I am on the journey of my life moving leaving everything i know to move to NYC by myself. I had to stay in a shelter and am still here. I

Rock bottom is a firm foundation to begin again!

have a job but the main reason for coming here was to evolve into a respected actor and writer. Haven’t got anything done and just living in a routine of work and back to the shelter. I need my training but can’t afford it. I’m going have to spend the holidays in here. Not to mention my continuous failure with women. My confidence in everything is at a bottom and I refuse to call my mom for support. I just know i need to change because who i am is a weak beans. People see me as angry or sad. I’m doing my best to smile through but I’m at bottom and don’t know what to do.”

I understand your frustration, so let’s see what we can do. First, let’s break this down into pieces:
You moved to NYC by yourself (bravo!), but you’ve been staying in a shelter.
Your goal is to be a writer and an actor, but you’ve been stuck in the routine of surviving.
You know you need training to improve, but can’t afford it.
You’ll be in the shelter for the holidays (how long have you been there?)
You can’t get a date.
Your confidence is at bottom, but you don’t want to ask your mom for help.
You come across as angry and sad, and don’t know how to change.

Well, my first question would be: Where did you intend to stay when you arrived, and why aren’t you there now?  Although it may be you didn’t have a place lined up, and at least you have a roof over your head, so that’s a good place to start.  I’m actually going to jump ahead a bit to the point about not wanting to ask for help.  Really, you’ve got two choices: Ask, since if you need help, you need help; it happens to absolutely all of us sometimes.  There are two things I can tell you for certain do not exist: The Self-Made Man and the Overnight Success.  Everyone needs a hand sometimes.

However, if you DON’T want to ask for help, then you have to admit this is what you are choosing for yourself and stop resisting it.  That’s like being sad about being trapped in a cage that locks from the inside; if your current state is preferable to calling home, then it must not be ALL bad.  Only you can decide if that is you being courageous, or blinded by your ego.  You might get an earful from her, but words can’t hurt you, and that’s part of what makes Mom, Mom.

Now, whether or not you choose to ask for help: If your goal is to be a writer, write.  Do something every single day that’s going to get you closer to your goal.  That’s what no one tells you about pursuing your dreams: It’s a long, hard, climb.  But writing is an individual sport, no one is stopping you from practicing but you.  Even acting can be done by yourself if you are acting out scenes.  You can choose to look at this time like Thoreau’s time in the woods, when you can focus on honing your craft completely free from distractions.

Now you need training but can’t afford it, which happens.  The solution there is, start looking for a better job.  Don’t quit the one you’ve got, but start keeping your eyes open for the next thing.  Craigslist is fantastic for job hunting.  Because the day to day grind of surviving can and will consume you if you let it.  You have to consciously decide to put your foot down and make your creative work your focus, which your job exists to support.  Otherwise it will always be a ‘someday maybe’ goal.

As for the girls, I’ve got some bad news for you, man: Girls tend not to like sad, angry guys living in shelters; unless they are equally sad and angry, of course.  This is a time to focus on YOURSELF, and taking the next step in your journey.  The solution to how you feel right now is absolutely not going to come from another person; it will come from you and you alone.

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

The way to stop being angry and sad…here are 3 simple rules for a happy life.

One other thing, I highly, *highly* recommend you read the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius; it’s some of the best advice ever give for enduring tough times.

In the end, this is the path you chose for yourself, and if you believe it is truly what you are meant to do, then you have to see it through to its conclusion.  And if you don’t believe it’s what you’re meant to be doing, do something else instead.  There’s nothing to be angry about; everything is under your control!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

 

A crash course in creativity

posted by B. Dave Walters
Good advice!

Good advice!

In honor of the National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org), in which we are all challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, I wanted to put together a very quick crash course in creative writing.  I can tell you having finished my book is the accomplishment I’m most proud of, there’s nothing quite so fulfilling as having done something you didn’t think you could, and overcoming all the obstacles and laziness that try to get in the way. I wish nothing more for you than having this feeling for yourself, so join up! Yes, I know you’re busy, but we’re all busy; we all have 168 hours a week to work with, so jump in; if not now, when?

Although I think the spirit of the challenge is to just get a rough draft done, the number one thing you can do to make the process easier, is the very same thing that will make your book that much better: Having a solid structure.  I can’t think of anything that will torpedo your chances of finishing on time faster than just sitting down at the keyboard and writing whatever pops into your head.  That is a recipe for hard days when you have no inspiration, and a novel that lags and wanders all over the place.

So the way to counter this is through having your structure and the ‘beats’ (high points) of your story figured out in advance.  Once you have decided on the beats, filling in the events in between them because easy.  Once you have that, you have your story’s skeleton, so fleshing it out becomes easy.

Well, easier.

The best structure I’ve found was written by Blake Snyder in his book Save the Cat.  Although the structure was intended for screenplays, I’ve applied it just as easily to short stories, comic books, and more.  You can find a quick overview of it here, although I *highly* recommend you read the whole book.  If you want to be a better writer, it really is the place to start.

Now that you have the structure in place, you’ll want to be clear on some of the details you want to include in the story.  Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling will give you some quick guidelines for telling a story that people will remember.  Again, these rules were primarily aimed a film, but they are just as true about writing fiction:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

And one last point,  from Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing Fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
     *Note, you can also reveal theme, aka what the story is about.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order            that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get                              pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such         complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should                               cockroaches eat the last few pages.

And there you have it!  It’s very possible you can (and hopefully will) spend the rest of your life honing your skills as a story teller, but this is the fastest, firmest foundation I can possibly give to someone just starting out.  Now go write something amazing, and remember to thank me in the introduction.  I’ll see you at the finish line!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

 

The bad news about pursuing your dreams

posted by B. Dave Walters
It's a marathon, not a sprint!

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

We talked recently about what to do to have you breakthrough, and soon afterwards a friend contacted me about a hang up he’s having.  Essentially, he’s been in action towards achieving his goals, but his emotions have been all over the place.  I share this with you, since even though we were talking about him breaking in as an actor, everything I said to him will apply to most anyone, going after most anything.

Here is the question he sent me via Facebook:
“I have an upcoming meeting with big casting director. It’s my action/ leap of faith (law of attraction) towards my goal of being an actor and even more specifically being cast on one of the shows she casts for. The closer time gets the more scared and full of doubt i become. These feelings are not only affecting my belief and confidence in that area but they are simultaneously affecting me in other aspects of life. I desire love, peace and happiness, but feeling as if i will never obtain those things. I’m just really confused. Its one of those things that has been off and on for me. One day I’m good feeling hopeful, and  the next i feel like these things are out of my reach.”

I responded with:
I’ve got some bad news, and some good news for you: The bad news is, this one meeting is *probably* not going to be the big break that launches your career. It may be, sure; but far more likely it will be another brick in the path. Don’t look at it as your one big hope, or you’ll feel like a fool if nothing major comes out of it. If you look at it as a chance to meet some people, get your feet wet in the industry, and hopefully learn some things, then you’ll go home happy no matter what.

And, a little more bad news: It is HARD to break in. It’s hard to pick yourself up every time you get knocked down, and keep climbing that hill. And the truth is, the vast, vast, *vast* majority of people who try to break in won’t make it. BUT, they won’t make it because they don’t do what it takes, not because the opportunities don’t exist. So if you truly decide in your heart to set out down this path, understand that it’s a long uphill journey.

That’s the bad news.

The GOOD news, however, is it CAN be done. It’s true that people are breaking down every single day out here, but they’re also breaking *through* every day.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

You have all the tools necessary to make it. It’s good that you’re feeling some fear, that means you understand that this thing is REAL! All you have to do is stay clear on what you want and why you want it, make a plan and stick with it. If you stay in motion, victory is guaranteed; it may take a week, it may take a year, it may take 10, but it WILL arrive.

I can tell you for sure though, there’s a certain peace that comes with knowing you’ve done your best, no matter what else happens. Plenty of other people will question you, and try to convince you to stay in your shell. And yes, they mean well; but the truth is, deep down you moving up takes away their excuses. The harder you struggle and the higher you climb, the more obvious it becomes that they are standing still. So they’ll try to pull you down, rather than pull themselves up.

Never forget that an object at rest tends to stay at rest.

One more thing: Love, peace, and happiness come from inside of you, not outside. You won’t find them in a career, a home, and definitely not in another person. You bring them with you wherever you go. Doing work you’re passionate about makes it EASIER to feel these things, yes. And the right relationship makes it possible to do more than you ever thought possible (but there’s no bigger anchor than being involved with the wrong person).

Just remember that your job is to be clear on what you want, WHY you want it, and to do something towards its attainment *every single day*. Enjoy the process because it IS a process, and I think you’ll find that as you move more into alignment with your bliss, the Universe will open up to you.

And yes, you’ll have some down days. You won’t always feel your absolute best; no one does. But rainy days on set in Hawaii are a lot easier to deal with than rainy days working at a coffee shop somewhere miserable!

I’ll leave you with one last thought:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” –President Teddy Roosevelt

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

A full moon, a Blood Moon, and a Hunter’s moon; oh my!

posted by B. Dave Walters
Fire in the sky!

Fire in the sky!

Starting on October 8, his week will have a particularly powerful alignment when we have a Blood Moon, a Hunter’s Moon, AND a full moon in Aries will be happening all at once!  This is a particularly powerful alignment of energies, and here is how to make use of it rather than be burned up!

First and foremost, The Hunter/Harvest Moon is the first full moon after the Autumnal Equinox, signaling the real end of summer, and the time to gather the results of her efforts before the Earth goes to sleep.   This full moon is in Aries, which is bound to bring out a lot of energy and aggression; be careful not to lose your temper, or take things other people say too personally.

A “Blood Moon” is another name for a total lunar eclipse.  Eclipses always signal times of massive change; lunar eclipses tend to focus on matters of home and heart.  As always, this time of year is moving into the ‘darker’ times, when change tends to be more introspective; a time for planting seeds.  A combination of the inner energy of the eclipse with the outer energy of the full moon in Aries, may cause you to feel restless, frustrated, or like ‘enough is enough’; instead of becoming frustrated, channel that energy into making different choices and new plans that you can begin to put into motion.  Pay particular attention to any dreams you might have these next few days; you can learn a lot as long as you interpret them correctly!

One final note: Because of this unique (and complicated) combination of events, a lot of repressed energy in relationships will be coming to the forefront.  Hidden affairs, unexpressed love, and all things unsaid are going to be VERY close to the surface, and may bubble up with the slightest nudge.

Remember, a lot of inner turmoil going on; if possible, use this time to have open, heart-to-heart talks with your significant other (remember, if you can’t communicate, you don’t have a relationship!).  This can be a time of substantial breakthroughs in your inner and romantic lives…if you make the most of it!

And remember, if people seem to be acting like they are going a bit crazy, don’t take it personally…they are!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Become a supporter of my work: http://www.patreon.com/bdavewalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!

 

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