What It Really Means to Be An American

jacob-nordby-author-speaker-coach  by Jacob Nordby

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The American dream is beautiful when it wakes us from our sleep and reminds us that we are living, breathing participants in the greatest social experiment ever.

I have had an uneasy relationship with America for almost a decade. Before that I was as flag-waving as anyone else, and more than most.

That changed when I began to see a world without borders. I spent some years feeling that we would be a lot better off as a species if we could live together on this round planet without all the artificial lines of nationalism to divide us.

I was also gut-sick over what the ethos of America has become. We have strayed, it seems, from the rugged, creative, dynamic spirit which inspired people from around the world to land on these shores and start something from scratch. Instead, we have slouched our way into believing that being Americans means an entitlement to being the biggest (and I do mean biggest in every way–just look at the average waistline on this continent), most badass consumers on the planet. Somehow we have come to believe that we have a right to scarf down every resource in sight to fuel our lifestyle.

Merica_Yeah_largeCouple that with a long, honest look back at how we occupied the territory now known as America and it is hard to avoid feeling shame about the atrocities and genocides we committed along the way.

We haven’t stopped committing atrocities in the name of our most holy America, either. We are doing it in different places around the world right now. Some of our transgressions are sins of commission. Others are sins of omission. 

We wave the flag, drop bombs and cheer for ourselves. Our constant quest for more resources and more control creates imbalances and power vacuums that cause tremendous misery in real people’s lives around the world. We ignore them.

The most unconscious of us yell some equivalent of, “‘Merica…fuck yeah!” whenever we prove that we are God’s chosen people to reign over the earth. I get sick when people talk about how “…our boys are over there defending our freedom,” when what they are really doing is engaging in corporate warfare. I don’t question the heroism and loyalty of our soldiers, but I can’t handle the blind nationalism which keeps us believing that we are doing something honorable and prideworthy most of the time.

All of that being said, and as disheartening as it can be, I am convinced there is a lot more to the story.

In my search to find out if there was anything worth saving about America, I learned a lot about human nature and about the magnificent intentions of those who designed the foundation for this country.

First, the fact is that humans have not yet evolved past the need for boundaries and national identities. We just haven’t. We are headed that direction, but it is a horizon we have not yet reached. To pretend otherwise is to argue with reality.

Second, those who drafted the blueprint for America were imperfect from our two-hundred-years-later perspective. They owned slaves, approved slaughters and did otherwise horrible things from our current vantage point. That does not diminish the fact that they helped start the most ambitious experiment in human history. In their times, they were the most progressive thinkers around.

This land of ours is a laboratory. We are all involved in adding chemicals, turning up the heat under test tubes and otherwise messing around to see if a theory called Human Freedom can be viable.

The spirit of America is not a license to live like great alimentary canals with mouths full of teeth, mindlessly chewing up luxuries and gorging ourselves on shiny lifestyles at the expense of the world, then stomping on anyone who protests. That is a direct violation of what our founders meant to create when they signed their names, lives and sacred honor to a document which declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From where I sit, holding an American passport is like carrying orders that read, “I am an American. I have a responsibility to use the mind-boggling freedom and riches in ways that will honor the creator potential in all humans. I have been given opportunities to live my life in peace and safety, with all the resources I need to craft a magnificent life. It is my job to prove myself worthy of this and to treat the rest of the world with humility, respect and honor as they also seek to gain the freedoms which come so easily to me. I have a sacred duty to live in joy and spread the possibility of this wealth for the benefit of everyone everywhere.”

The American dream is beautiful when it wakes us from our sleep and reminds us that we are living, breathing participants in the greatest social experiment ever.

How will the world and our own lives appear if we pursue happiness with responsibility and the full understanding of exactly how amazing all of this is?

I am flying out of the country early on July 4th this year, so I will miss the fireworks and flag waving and barbecues for the first time in my life. I suspect my little jaunt to older countries will give me a different perspective on this place we call home. In the meantime, I love America for the promise of her conception and what she can become as we all grow up together. 

Jacob Nordby

811c6SOrplL   Jacob Nordby is the author of The Divine Arsonist: A Tale of Awakening. Learn more about him at JacobNordby.com.

Authentic Beauty Revealed by Chris Scott

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 4 of Chris Scott’s Virtual Blog Tour. Chris’ book Face With a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty MakeUp is celebrating its big Amazon launch on June 2nd, 2015.

CHRIS SCOTT, M.A. is the creator of San Francisco-based Makeup Gourmet®. Over his nearly 30-year career, in addition to doing makeup for top models from every corner of the planet, he has also had the honor of working for legends like Paul McCartney, US Vice President Al Gore, Shirley Temple Black, Maya Angelou and Olympic Gold medalists Oksana Baiul and Kristi Yamaguchi. He was the creator and host of the TV show Makeup Gourmet from 2008 to 2010, he was a leading Chanel Beauté national artist for over two decades, and is also the creator and guest teacher of Fashion Makeup at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He created his unique Makeup Gourmet line to ensure his clients and the public have access to high-quality, ethically produced, ‘green’ makeup and skincare with a low-carbon footprint. Chris is also the author of the wonderfully visual ‘how to’ book Face with a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Makeup (2014), as well as Cosmetic Counter Survival Guide: How to Buy the Right Skin Care and Makeup (2003). 

Yesterday, Chris visited Callie Carling at http://bit.ly/1Jv46Zf where they talked about how light affects the way we look, and regaining confidence through authentic beauty.

Today, I’d like to share a recent interview I had with Chris when I got to ask him some questions on authentic beauty for the older generation, and the keys to maintaining healthy skin as we age.

*** INTERVIEW ***

Dana: When you are discussing “authentic beauty,” what do you really mean by that phrase?

CHRIS:  This was a very difficult word to land on.  I wrestled with many words to capture what I wanted to convey.  My authentic beauty method came from a reaction of seeing makeup being way overused. Unless you want someone to notice your makeup first (which is easy), I have made it my makeup mission to create a method so that we are seen more clearly. Authentic beauty is people seeing us for exactly who we are.

Dana:  I’ve noticed that many of my 60ish friends are simply giving up using makeup. The faces and colors we thought of as “us” are no longer there. What suggestions do you have for women who are heading into their greying years for revealing their authentic beauty?

CHRIS:  Color intensity is a major part of my authentic beauty equation. I look at color first from lightness to darkness, then at the hue. There are two factors I consider when choosing color.

  1. Your natural color intensity meaning the lightness to darkness of your skin, hair and eye (iris) color.
  2. I then look at wardrobe and accessories for color intensity as well as hue.

I incorporate the two together to create a cohesive connection between you, your wardrobe and your makeup. I don’t use more or less makeup to create a natural to dramatic look; I only change the intensity of the color I am using in contrast with your natural color intensity and your wardrobe. Sounds a little confusing I know. Once you read Face with a Heart and watch my companion video tutorials, it becomes abundantly clear. The best part is that this approach removes all guesswork and replaces it with clear, dynamic decisions.

Dana:  Charles Revson is quoted as saying he sold “hope in a bottle.” I’ve purchased a lot of “hope” through the years! If you could name the most vital key to maintaining healthy skin as we age, what would it be?

CHRIS:  Exfoliation! Regardless of age, our skin has a 30-day life cycle from skin cell birth until each skin cell leaves us forever. Gently massaging away the surface dead skin cells (exfoliation) sends a message and makes way for new skin cells to be born. The healthiest climate you can provide for your skin cells to flourish in its 30-day cycle from life to departure makes the skin cell look its best when it finally makes it appearance at the surface of your skin. This includes hydration (moisturizer), sun protection (applied last before makeup) and anti-oxidants (more the better). 

I gave my sister a bottle of my Age Defying Serum and she asked if it will make her look younger. I pondered her query and thought, “What does young skin look like?”  Young skin is an abundance of fresh healthy round skin cells full of water and light at the surface of the skin. It made me happy to say, “Yes!” Healthy skin is like a healthy garden. Daily care produces the healthiest results.

*** END OF INTERVIEW ***

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Chris Scott and that you’ll check out his book Face With a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Make-Up during his big Amazon launch on June 2nd.  When you buy the book during the launch, you’ll receive dozens of free gifts from Chris, and his friends and colleagues. You can CLICK HERE to find out more about the book and these free gifts.

One of the gifts when you buy the book is the MP3 downloads to Chris’ 3-Day Telesummit ‘The Keys to Feeling Authentically Beautiful’, with fabulous panel of 11 internationally renowned image experts.

To receive a reminder to buy this book on launch day
so you can get all the authentic beauty bonus gifts, go to
http://makeupgourmet.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.php

*** BE SURE TO FOLLOW CHRIS ON HIS BLOG TOUR ***

If you’d like to catch more of Chris’ Virtual Blog tour, ‘visit’ him at these dates and places:

WEDNESDAY MAY 27thAndrew Mondia’s Pear-Shaped View Blog at http://bit.ly/1Go22vZ where they will talk about how beauty is for everyone, inner beauty, and seeing yourself through the eyes of others.

THURSDAY MAY 28th: Tina Games’ Moonlight Musings blog at http://bit.ly/1nJGkuY where they will talk about authentic beauty, believing you are beautiful, and the difference between ‘classic’ and ‘authentic’ beauty makeup.

FRIDAY MAY 29th: Callie Carling’s Cancer Goddess blog at http://bit.ly/1Jv46Zf  where they will talk about how light affects the way we look, and regaining confidence through authentic beauty.

SATURDAY MAY 30TH:  Dana Taylor’s Supernal Living blog at http://wp.me/p1yTXR-AL where they will discuss authentic beauty for the older generation, and the keys to maintaining healthy skin as we age.

SUNDAY MAY 31ST: Michelle Galatoire’s Nourish and Bloom blog at http://bit.ly/1DBQWCI where they will talk about being seen authentically in public, and how to see ourselves the way other people see us.

MONDAY JUNE 1ST: Mali Apple’s and Joe Dunn’s The Soulmate Experience at http://bit.ly/1JJYsPI where they will talk about tapping into our own beauty, and why authentic beauty is unrelated to our age.

TUESDAY JUNE 2nd: Lynn Serafinn’s Spirit Authors blog at http://wp.me/p3cvXN-Tf where they’ll be talking about how to choose visual images for a full-colour book, working with a photographer, and how ‘crossover’ authors can communicate their message to their audience.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

What are the KEYS to Feeling AUTHENTICALLY Beautiful?

 

My friend and colleague Chris Scott, a world-renowned makeup artist and founder of Makeup Gourmet®, passionately believes that everyone on the planet is already naturally beautiful. From decades of professional experience working with film stars, politicians, Olympic champions and ordinary folks like you and me, he also knows that every single one of us has the ability to express our true, authentic beauty through our appearance.

Unfortunately, modern media frequently sends us the opposite message: that we need to look a certain way or fit a certain formula to be considered beautiful. This kind of portrayal of beauty breaks Chris’ heart, as he has personally seen how much damage it can cause.

That is why Chris has assembled a panel of world-class beauty and image experts for an inspirational FREE 3-day online event on May 26th – 28th. It’s called ‘The Keys to Feeling AUTHENTICALLY Beautiful’, and I am delighted to help Chris spread the word about it. Here are all the details on how to attend:

To register for this FREE event, go to:
http://makeupgourmet.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

If you cannot attend live, register anyway because the audio replay WILL be available for a limited time.

Over these three days, Chris’ expert panel will explore why it is so essential for us to be seen as we truly are, how to express our true selves through our appearance, and how to harness the POWER of our innate, authentic beauty.

Guest panelists (in order of appearance) include:

  • CHRIS SCOTT – Authentic beauty makeup artist, founder of Makeup Gourmet®, author of Face with a Heart
  • LYNN SERAFINN – Bestselling author, marketing strategist for authors and ethical entrepreneurs
  • GINA RUBY – Life and health strategist, certified health coach
  • HEATHER PODUSKA – Brand strategist for entrepreneurs wanting high-end sales
  • BRIAN LONG – Photography, Photography Production, Scouting & Casting, Videographer
  • GINGER BURR – Author, Speaker and Image Consultant for women 40+
  • TERRY WILDEMAN – Attractionpreneur™ Business Coach for Entrepreneurs & Professionals
  • NATHALIE CHAPRON – Image Consultant to Conscious Women Speakers
  • NIA PEEPLES – Actress, writer, speaker, coach, holistic beauty blogger
  • ALLISON MASLAN – CEO, business mentor, entrepreneur, fashion industry expert, author of Blast Off!
  • CHLOE TAYLOR BROWN – Lifestyle model, lifestyle enhancement, author and champion for women & girls

This special telesummit is being held to celebrate the launch of Chris Scott’s brand new book Face with a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Makeup, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday June 2nd, 2015. On the telesummit, you’ll find out more about the book and how you can get a collection of beautiful free gifts when you buy the book on the day of the launch.

To register for this FREE event, go to:
http://makeupgourmet.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

TWITTER: #FaceWithAHeart

Christmas Wishes from Jan Hunneybell

 

 

 

Thanks to Australian author, Jan Hunneybell, for sharing this lovely Christmas poem. Her fascinating book of singer John Denver’s spirit communication, Things That I Believe In, is available in the Kindle store. You don’t want to miss it! John Denver was surely someone who expressed the spirit of Christmas in his songs and life mission.

CHRISTMAS WISHES

christmasIf I could have a wish for Christmas, this is what I’d choose;
A day of peace and joy for all; no fight, no win or lose,
Just sweet content, acceptance and a star to light our way;
For lasting peace to fill each heart every night and day.

If I could have a wish for Christmas, just what would it be?
That love was wrapped within each present underneath the tree;
Not competition, whose is best, who spent the most on theirs,
But joyful giving, care, concern and boxes full of prayers.

If I could have a wish for Christmas, for what would I ask?
Flashy, fancy trinkets? Gadgets for each task?
No; I’d ask for cruelty to end and war to cease.
I’d ask for understanding and a way to perfect peace.

If I could have a wish for Christmas underneath the sun,
I’d ask for everyone to understand that we’re all one,
That every hurt we do to others we do to ourselves,
And painful hurts can’t be undone by presents on the shelves.

forgiveIf I could have a wish for Christmas hoping all would hear,
I’d ask for kind and loving ways to last all through the year,
For all to know that how you treat each other matters more
Than mistletoe and Christmas trees or wreaths upon the door.

If I could have a wish for Christmas I would wish for you
That happiness, content and kindness bless you all year through,
That true forgiveness fills your heart, releasing you from pain,
And freed from all resentment, you feel joyful once again.

If I could have a wish for Christmas and the year that’s new,
I know the greatest gift I’d choose to have and give to you.
I’d gift you with true peace of mind and free your troubled heart,
Then, cleared of negativity, a shiny bright new start.

If I could have a wish for Christmas, I would heal the Earth;
The lands, the seas, the hills and trees would undergo rebirth,
And people would all see each other from a different view,
With love and light, a wondrous sight, and start to live anew.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

©Jan Hunneybell, 1 Dec 2003

Image of Janice HunneybellJanice Hunneybell is an inspirational spiritual writer. Her books, ‘Things That I Believe In’ and ‘All You Need Is Love’, are channeled spiritual communication from John Denver, who shares his views and philosophy of life and meaning. ‘Things That I Believe In’ was first published in 2008 and is now a kindle e-book. It has been popular with people who want to understand more about life and spirituality. It is easily read but informative and has brought great comfort to people dealing with grief and loss. ‘All You Need Is Love’ was published as an e-book in January 2014. A paperback edition is planned later in 2014 along with collections of her poetry, talks, songs and essays. After a career in administration, Janice chose to follow a path of spirituality, writing, healing (Reiki Master), channeling/mediumship and teaching, giving talks and facilitating workshops on spiritual development and inspirational writing. Born in London, England, Janice now lives in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, Australia with her husband Gordon and a slightly deranged but very sweet cat. An indulgent mother and grandmother to two adult children and four grandchildren, she also seems to have been adopted by a variety of local wildlife including possums, magpies and kookaburras…

Visit the Janice Hunneybell Page at Amazon.com

 

 

Near-Death Experience Changes Author’s Outlook

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This article was recently featured at the Barb Silkstone’s Second Act Café. I think you’ll find it fascinating. Part One of Two:

Lisa Hinsley has cancer.

At the age of forty, with a loving husband and three children, she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. Lisa is one of those beautiful people who touch many lives in the most gentle ways. For the past one and one-half years, Lisa has been fighting the beast called cancer like a tiger, and inspiring a large group with her courage and generosity.

Lisa on Lisa from her blog: Lisa Hinsley

Penny Sartori has been doing a series of articles for The Daily Mail about near death experiences or NDEs. The latest report had me thinking about my own experience. Here’s the link to Penny Sartori’s article: The Children Who have Near Death Experiences. And here is what I thought about NDEs–I was four years old when I had my near death experience. For weeks I had been suffering from a cough that became steadily worse until one day my parents lost me in the house. They found me hidden in a wardrobe rambling madly with a high fever. At that point I was rushed to the hospital.I don’t remember being delirious in the wardrobe, but I do remember being high in the sky watching my parent’s car pull into a car park. My emotions were detached, I felt nothing, no pain, no fear, no excitement, maybe a slight pull of curiosity as a man I recognized as my father jumped out of the driver’s side. He raced around to the other side of the car to take out a tiny limp body from the back seat. My mother was there too, and the two of them ran off. This is when the odd became most peculiar. I know now they were running to the hospital, but what I saw was far different. There was a crystal city. That is what I have always thought of it as: an enormous city of crystals taking up the entire horizon internally lit with this wonderful silvery-white light. There was no longer an absence of emotions in me, this vision was calm, welcoming, and so very beautiful.

PictureWay down below, my mother and father were running towards the crystal city with my father still holding that tiny limp body. For me there was no tunnel, no being asking me to return, no relatives to greet me, and no urgency to get back to a broken body. I simply came back to myself, all of a sudden. The vision of the crystal city was replaced with a cubicle in the hospital. I was on a bed. A blue curtain was pulled across for privacy. A nurse had a tube down my throat and I coughed my way back into life. This was no dream. They fade over time. This is a memory of a happening. Just as I vividly remember the house we lived in at the time, I remember floating above my body. Just as I remember the family holiday on the island of Sky nine months later, I remember the glowing crystal city and how it seemed to be an excellent idea to go there.

I can’t say that I don’t fear death less than anyone else, I’m not in their heads and can’t judge that. My guess is I fear death as much as the next person, and for me it’s more about the method of dying that frightens me rather than the actual event. I have a strong desire to live my life and do it well, to the limits of my ability. Maybe that comes from the NDE, maybe it’s just how I am. What I do know is that I am very spiritual and the idea of a higher being seems like a no brainer. I don’t attend church but I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and have always tried to do the best for those around me.

The recent article in The Daily Mail suggests that children who have had NDEs go on to lead a charmed life. Perhaps I have a habit of making things complicated, but this certainly hasn’t happened for me. I had a very rough relationship in my early twenties, but escaped and have been in a rock solid marriage since. I’ve never had a problem with drink or drugs. Sometimes I think of myself as a cat with nine lives, and wonder when they will run out. At the age of 40 I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.

A year and a half later and I am still here, fighting. I would say this, rather than my NDE has given me the incentive to live out my dreams. Fear of a short life eggs me on, makes me accomplish things I might otherwise not have. It makes me love my family more and try harder to be a better mum. Recently I ended up in hospital for a week after a reaction to my chemo. I was in the worst pain imaginable. These things that happen to me help my state of mind, I know now that I can handle and survive excruciating pain. This is no longer a fear. But I have the NDE in my back pocket letting me know that when the time eventually comes, there is a wonderful place to go for my next stage of existence.

That Elusive CureThat Elusive Cure

Lisa has created the most marvelous novel in her collection of both fiction and nonfiction books. This is a must-read book about a fictional character, Kathy Wyatt, who is very familiar to those who know and love Lisa.

Here’s the blurb from the book jacket:

Kathy is going to die. All that’s left to do is prepare for the end.

While waiting for her chemotherapy session, a woman called Janie approaches Kathy, offering a revolutionary treatment for cancer. Janie pitches the cure like an expert and what does Kathy have to lose? The doctors now measure her life in months, not years.

Kathy follows Janie to an abandoned church where a futuristic machine is hidden. Made of silvery metal, long, and with rounded edges, the pod is like nothing Kathy’s ever seen before. Janie encourages her to climb in telling her the process is painless and quick. A few sessions are all she’ll need to be cured. Despite serious reservations, what does she have to lose? She gets in. And the results are miraculous.

A few days later, when the wonderful sense of well-being she experienced begins to ebb, all she can think about is having another session. In spite of the apparent improvement, Kathy’s renewed energy is soured by doubt. What exactly is this machine? What if none of this is real and the next MRI shows all the tumors are still there? Time is so short…

THAT ELUSIVE CURE is about facing up to illness, both mental and physical, of family struggle and above all, the amazing power of hope.

PictureBorn in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa Hinsley grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, and four cats.

Lisa’s novels Plague and The Ultimate Choice have featured regularly on the UK Amazon bestsellers charts and are now published in the USA by Simon & Schuster.

Lisa has been interviewed on the BBC regarding care for cancer patients. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22023820

 

 

Temple of Dreams – A Parable of Your Possibilities

 

temple of dreamsBy Guest Author, Jacob Nordby

In a faraway land and a time long forgotten…

a wise and powerful woman lived by herself in a mountain place. She had a cat and a teapot named Lu.

Each year, people would walk for many miles through the snow and wind to visit her. For she had built her house and lived there quietly, but those who knew called it the Temple of Dreams.

She refused all gifts and rarely opened the door to those who knocked, but they came all the same.

Because everyone who found their way to the temple was allowed to speak their fondest dreams aloud in the clear mountain air. It mattered not whether the dreams were large or small–only that they were uttered from the most honest place within. Then they could write their hearts’ desire on slips of paper, fold them into paper airplanes and sail them down the winds which rushed and moaned around the hilltop.

The boldest pilgrims would sit for a long time and imagine themselves as if their very best dreams had already come true. Then, they would drink a dipper of water from the spring which always bubbled cold and pure nearby and ring the bell hanging from a twisted pine branch.

But one day a man came knocking at the temple door. His feet were ragged from the journey and his beard had grown shaggy in ways that no one from his village would approve. He knocked three times and looked about, but only heard the sighing wind and an eagle crying in the bright sky.

Because the holiday celebrations were occupying all those who lived in the valleys down below, he was alone at the temple door. He knocked three times again but no answer came from the other side. Being nothing else to do, he sat on the stairs and ate a piece of cheese he had saved in the pocket of his robes.

A long while passed but he did not leave. Instead, he sat and let the sunshine bathe his face and watched the eagle loop and soar above the mountain tops. Just before he would have set about to take his departure, he heard a cat’s meow behind the door. It roused him from reverie and he sprang to the door and knocked three times again.

Not certain he had heard anything at all, he pressed his ear against the door and listened. When it opened, he nearly fell inside but caught himself just before stumbling into the arms of the woman who stood within. She stared at him with a half smile, her dark hair falling around her shoulders with a few silver strands gleaming in the sunlight.

“What do you want?” she said. The cat peered up at him from between her feet.

“What?” he said, stammering. He had expected to leave this place empty-handed after all, but now the priestess stood there watching and he must find the words to tell why he had taken the long journey.

“What do you want?” she said again.

He paused and looked down into the valleys filled with mist. He had read many things and studied the teachings of gurus far and near. From them he had learned that desire was the root of suffering and that he should be happy with what he already had. He looked back into the amber eyes of the woman and said, “I don’t know what I want.”

two_types_of_dream_by_desexign-full“Then that is what you will get,” she said and moved to shut the door. But the cat had crept forward to sit in a spot of sunlight and the woman had to choose between closing out this stranger or pinching her friend’s tail.

“Wait,” he said, “I have walked many miles to come here and I won’t leave until you show me what must be seen.”

A teapot shrieked from somewhere inside the dwelling and she turned, “Come then. Lu has called and we mustn’t keep her waiting. You can tell me a few things over a hot cup before you go.”

“And the truth is, most are simply too afraid to ask for their deepest soul-desire. They will settle for a nicer home or a better job or a thousand other wishes which fall short of their insatiable hidden truth.”

He followed her into the warm entry but she had already vanished around a corner and he could hear her muttering from another room. The cat stared at him while he straightened his hair and robes, then led the way ahead, tail straight and twitching slightly.

“They always want something, but not this one,” he heard her saying to herself as he entered the snug kitchen. She was pouring hot water into cups, steam rising in a cloud around her head.

“Well, that’s not entirely true,” he said, “I do want something, or I wouldn’t be here. It’s just that I have become content with my things. I don’t know what to ask.”

She turned, holding a carved tray with little cups full of tea. “Come with me,” she said and walked away toward windows which looked out over an infinity of space.

Once seated, she handed him a cup with a small bow. “So,” she said, “You know many things, most of them very good. What you don’t know is the most important and it is not something your books have told you.”

“What is that?”

“Why don’t you tell me again what you really want?”

“I want everything exactly as it is,” he said, “I know that life unfolds to give me what is best.”

“Ah, that’s a lovely concept, but it still doesn’t explain why you walked many miles and just ate your last scrap of food on my doorstep.”

He shifted on his cushion and met her eyes. “Well, I have a house and comfortable things. I enjoy my work and appreciate my friends. I have everything a man should want except…”

“Except,” she said, “Tell me the except. ‘Except’ is everything you have never dared to ask, and in that lies your destiny, your truth and your happiness.”

“Oh. Well, since I was a little boy I have always wanted to write great stories. I have wanted to turn the things I saw and felt into words and share them with the world. I want to love a woman who will take long and foolish magical journeys with me.  I know this won’t make me happy but…”

She held up her hand, “Stop. You know no such thing. It is foolishness to suppose that you can be happy if you do not bring forth that which lies within. Forget your concepts and listen to me now.”

The priestess sipped her tea, “Many people make the journey to this place each year. Most of them never knock and if they do, I rarely answer. But you knocked three times. You will not be denied. Everyone who comes receives something. Perhaps the journey here alone is reward enough for most. All return home changed because they allowed themselves to ask. We live in a fascinating universe, full of mystery and delight. Someone you may have heard of once said,‘for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ Does this ring a bell?”

He nodded.

“Understand that what your true-est self desires is not only good, but it is also well within your birthright to receive.”

“Good. You are here today to ask. Do that. Understand that what your true-est self desires is not only good, but it is also well within your birthright to receive. You are not here today to mull over concepts. You have done that for far too long already. Most people who come here ask for things they don’t really want. Sometimes they get a version of what they think they desire, but what they don’t know is that Life serves up for us what we actually desire most–not what our mind has been pushed and tricked into believing. And the truth is, most are simply too afraid to ask for their deepest soul-desire. They will settle for a nicer home or a better job or a thousand other wishes which fall short of their insatiable hidden truth.”

“Here,” from inside her robe, she produced a small scroll and pen, “take this out to the step after you have done drinking your tea. Write down everything you would see come true in your life from this day forward. Leave nothing out. When you finish it completely, hold it in your hands until you can see yourself in that picture you have created. Unlike the others who have journeyed here, I want you not to throw it into the wind. Instead, feel everything and then ring the bell. Then go back down the mountain and read your own new story every day. For you see, no one is waiting in the wind to make your dreams come true, but Everything will come to your aid if you do what I have told you.”

And so saying, she kissed the man on his forehead and disappeared into some distant room while the wind rang chimes and the sunlight turned an eagle’s wings to silver in the sky.

After a long time, the man made his way to the doorstep and opened the scroll. Across the top were words in red, “Anything you truly desire is possible. Write…“

What is your “except…”? Tell me about it.

About Jacob Nordby

Jacob Nordby is an author, speaker, radio host and creative coach. He accidentally sparked a worldwide phenomenon when he wrote and shared: “Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters and troubadours–for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” He is author of The Divine Arsonist: A Tale of Awakening, co-author of two other books and is currently working on his second novel. He is convinced that everyone contains divine magic and his mission is to help them see it.

You may wish to get better acquainted with Jacob by visiting his website and downloading a free ebook or audio titled, Re-Mapping Your Life – A travel guide to get un-stuck, chart new paths & follow your purpose. Go to www.JacobNordby.com