Author Archives: Michael Kane

It’s a New Year (gulp)

storm2016 ended up being a rough year, at least the latter part of it did, and many of us feel as though we’ve woken up in some altered universe that Hollywood would be hard pressed to dream up. But hey, it’s 2017 so Happy New Year! And holy sh*t!

If you’re like me you’re still trying to get your balance post November 8, which seems nearly impossible to do since every day brings one more crazy thing for us to deal with. Not to mention so many of our beloved icons having left this mortal coil in 2016 has not helped. I feel like we’re trying to get over a massive case of sea sickness while riding a precarious craft relentlessly tossed by a seemingly endless storm. The environment is not working in our favor.

All the same, as the celebrated song from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies says, “I’m still here,” which is to say we are all still here minus those we have lost. And since we are here and it’s not likely we’ll be going anywhere extraterrestrially any time soon, we do need to figure out what we’re going to about all of this.

To recover from the individual and collective trauma we’ve all experienced we need a lot of gentleness and a big dose of self-care. And we need to take care of each other. Then we need to become as strong, balanced and clear headed as we are able.

I started a new monthly group in December to help in this healing and balancing effort that I call Staying Sane—In an Age of Uncertainly. At our first monthly gathering there was an array of emotions expressed from deep concern and fear to, if not optimism, at least a small degree of hopefulness. One of the many benefits of this type of group is that it provides a setting for people to not only express themselves but to hear others who share their point of view. It’s surprising how helpful it can be to have someone you don’t know agree with you. It’s also good to hear how other people interpret what’s going on.

I began the meeting with a brief meditation, one, because it’s a nice way to get everyone “into the room” and two, because I believe that unless we are all engaged in a regular meditative practice of some kind we’re not going to get through the white rapids that we are quickly forming in front of us. If you’d like to learn to meditate, let me know. I’d be happy to teach you. Meditation is natural and easy to do once you understand how it works.

Meditation helps calm us down and if we ever needed calming down it’s now. It not only calms our mind, it also calms our body. You might be surprised at how much tension you carry in your body even on a relatively good day, let alone when you’re stressed out and worried. Meditation helps us breathe and release.

Meditating on a regular basis isn’t going to change everything, but it will help more than you might imagine. Our work doesn’t end there, but it’s an excellent place to start.

We’re in for a fight and we need to be in better shape than our adversaries. To their self-focus and narcissism we must remain open and inclusive. To their lies we must speak the truth. To their greed we must be more sharing and generous than ever before. To their hypocrisy we must remain honest. To their hatred we must insist on love. All this while we tend to everything else in our lives, take care of ourselves and hold each other tight.

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Blog, Love is the Answer, Meditation, Self-love, Something to Think About | Leave a comment

Protect Yourself

Heart-4It’s not pretty out there these days. There is more than enough negativity, vitriol and fear to go around. The world can be a rough and tumble place. There have always been menacing and darker forces in the world. Maybe one day they’ll be gone, in the meantime we need to learn to manage them.

It’s the sheer force of violence we’re actually up against. We’re confronted with learning about violent acts and we have a presidential candidate who uses violent language to gain media attention and court voters. Like I said, it’s not pretty.

Research has shown that viewing tragic or horrifying images damages us because those images become imprinted in our psyche. As the saying goes, you can’t unsee something.

We can feel assaulted by these strong images and hurtful language and we are. It’s best that we recognize that. You wouldn’t expose a young child to something that would give him or her nightmares would you? Then why expose yourself to more negativity than you can handle? We need to assert some control in an environment that keeps trying to convince us we don’t have any control at all.

The first thing to do is learn to turn away. The more we turn our eyes and minds from the repetition of dark news stories, or the yammering of that dark presidential contender I alluded to, the better off we will be. I’m not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, just that we learn when to turn away. Sooner rather than later would be best. Personally, I never look at violent images of any kind and I monitor the amount of negative language I am subject to. I don’t mess around with this stuff. It is the definition of toxic.

You know the idea that where your mind goes your body follows? It suggests that what you focus on manifests internally for you. As an example, you may have experienced being overly worried about something and found you lost your appetite or maybe you started to binge. Your body responded to your state of mind. Both are you, but one holds a strong influence over the other.

What you think often determines how you feel. If you focus on the violence in the world by absorbing it through media and conversation, both your body and your emotions will feel the burden of that indulgence. Moving your mind to a more balanced and peaceful place not only frees your mind, your body and emotions will follow, allowing you to create a conscious environment that will reflect the best of you, not the craziness in our world.

Basically this is about living from a more loving, rather than a more fearful, place.

There is a balance here, I know. We’re not talking about tuning completely away from the world, but we are looking at not getting sucked into all of it. If you want to move through your life from a loving place you will need to give yourself a loving place to start from. That place is one filled with thoughts that you create from the abundance of love that does exist in the world.

One way to do this is to create a love mantra—a word or phrase that expresses love—and repeat it as much as you can. Silent repetition is usually best unless you’re alone. Fill your mind with a love mantra and you will see that you will experience far less stress and much more joy. It will help protect you from our Mad Hatter world.

Here’s a Rumi quote that makes a nice love mantra:

I am not a drop in the ocean. I am the entire ocean in a drop.

But you could use anything. Even the word ‘love’ or the phrase ‘I am love’ repeated at a moderate pace would definitely do the trick.

Use one of these suggestions or come up with your own and begin your regime of protection today with your personal love mantra. You’ll feel the love.

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Blog, Let's Talk About Love, Love is the Answer, Something to Think About | Leave a comment

Love, Healing and Letting Go

Heal Your Broken Heart is a book about love, healing and letting go. Each of these is necessary to fully heal a heart that has been deeply wounded. Here’s how it all works.

The absence of love is what breaks our heart. We associate that love with a person of course, and although that person is now gone—which is not a small thing—it is really the loss of love that wounds us the most. Most of us feel we know quite a bit about love until we eventually realize we have much more to learn. When our heart is broken by a relationship ending there are usually lessons for us to learn from both the relationship and the breakup. Sometimes we learn them. Often we don’t.

I’ve heard many stories over the years from both men and women who have told me how they keep falling in love with the “same” person. Other people pride themselves on never doing this, when in reality they do it too, but overlook the striking similarities between their exes. This type of pattern, and others like them, need dismantling and much of the work in Heal Your Broken Heart helps you learn more about love so you can better recognize what people are offering you. If you’re confused about what love looks and acts like you’re destined to choose people who will fail at loving you.

Heal Your Broken Heart is also a book about healing. If you don’t fully heal from your heartache you will suffer needlessly from it throughout your lifetime, often without realizing it. You’re going to experience pain in your life, it’s unavoidable, but it doesn’t make sense to bring pain on yourself when you don’t have to. Instead of “getting over” someone—which is not healing—then falling in love again and unintentionally bringing your unhealed heart into your new relationship—why not take the time to heal from what you’ve been through? You owe it to yourself and your next beloved.

Healing takes time, more than most people think. One of the qualities I love about Heal Your Broken Heart is that it gives you permission to slow down and heal within a proven structure that guides you to a true place of healing.

Finally, Heal Your Broken Heart is about letting go, often the very thing we resist when someone has broken our heart. Whenever we hold on we create more pain for ourselves. When we begin to let go, we start to heal. Letting go takes time, even when we feel ready to do it. The book approaches this sensitive issue with a series of exercises focused on letting go, each one perfectly designed for the level of healing it is associated with. By the end of the process everything involved in the relationship that has ended, and the relationship itself, has been released. While there is much more in this book, that alone makes it worth working through.

Heal Your Broken Heart gives you a way to heal, no matter what broke your heart or when it was broken. You deserve that.

Find Heal Your Broken Heart at http://amzn.to/1LQd9TX

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Book, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Life Q&A

I’m at LAX. It’s around 8:30 p.m. I’m relaxing in an off to the side seating area waiting for a seriously delayed connection flight to arrive so we can board. I have some time on my hands. I have a book I’d like to be reading. It’s resting unnoticed in the seat next to me. I may be ignoring my book, but I’m transfixed by the stream of people to my left walking to their gates, rolling suitcases—mainly black— in tow. I can’t take my eyes off of them.

I’m categorizing them by gender, age, body size and shape, hair color and cut, wardrobe and footwear idiosyncrasies, walking style, cell phone users, and traveling status: accompanied or unaccompanied. This all interests me, but I’m hooked because I can’t stop wondering who these people are. What are their lives like? They each have a compelling story just like you do.

I’m intrigued by people’s stories and especially by how they interpret their lives and try to make sense of them. If it were possible, I’d like to know this intimate information about everyone I see, let alone meet.

It’s not all that hard to learn about people. You just have to ask questions you’d like to know the answers to. If you’re genuinely curious about someone they’ll usually open up to you. I think with the right approach I could convince one of these people to talk to me and hey, they might enjoy the entertainment factor of being “interviewed.”

How could I pull this off? Maybe I could just walk up to someone and say, “Hi, my name is Michael and like you I’m here to catch a flight. Mine happens to be delayed and I was wondering if you might take a few minutes to answer some questions about yourself—just for fun. This isn’t for a reality show; it’s just for me, and you too, of course. I like learning about people. It’s sort of what I do for a living….”

Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do that.

Why don’t you be my interviewee? That seems more doable. Come on, indulge me, who knows when my flight will leave. Imagine you’re a fellow traveler, you don’t know me, but I seem friendly enough and your plane doesn’t leave for a while either. You’re feeling adventurous—you are traveling after all— so why not give this question and answer thing a go. Great, I like your enthusiasm.

Answer each of the following questions—no skipping! Don’t over think them; just respond with what first comes to mind. Remember, you don’t know me. I’m someone you’ve met at an airport that you’ll never see again. Total freedom. Take your time. Let’s jump in.

What makes you happy?

What drives you crazy?

What do you believe?

Who do you trust?

What do you think about most of the time?

What are your dreams?

Do you wonder why you are in the life you are in; why you are on the planet; why life exists at all?

Are you lonely or do you feel alone?

In general, do you feel powerful or weak or something in between?

Is life a mystery to you, or a puzzle you would like to solve?

Do you have regrets? What are they?

Is there someone you feel you should forgive? Who? Why?

If you don’t have them, would you like children? Why?

Do you think you’re here just once, or that you go to heaven or hell for eternity, or that you return to another of many lifetimes?

Do you believe in God?

Do you feel you have a purpose? How would you define it?

How important is money to you? Why?

Do you like music? What kinds?

Are you into sports? Which ones?

What was life like for you as a child? An adolescent? A young adult?

Do you read books? What kinds?

What are your online habits?

What is your relationship to food?

What is your relationship to pornography?

What is your relationship to sex?

What is your relationship to sugar?

Are you in a co-dependent relationship?

Are you in love with someone who does not love you back?

What’s the biggest secret you have in your life?

Are you curious about life?

Are you healthy or struggling with an illness?

Did someone tell you they loved you today?

Was your heart broken recently?

What is your relationship like with your family?

Do you have close friends?

Do you have a pet? What is its name? Why that name?

Do you like to travel?

What is your body image like? How does it make you feel about yourself?

Do you drink alcohol? How often?

Do you smoke cigarettes? How often?

Do you smoke pot? How often?

Do you do other kinds of drugs? How often?

How much caffeine do you consume?

Do you gossip?

Are you self-critical?

Do you believe the “Universe” presents things to you?

Are you addicted to something or someone?

Do you exercise?

Do you meditate?

Do you think of yourself in relationship to the planet?

Are you actively creative?

Are you political?

Are you discouraged with where you are in your life or do you look at life as a work-in-progress that requires both effort and patience?

Do you think in spiritual terms or in more personally focused ones?

Do you think life is worth living?

That last one is especially important. Send me your answers. I’ll read them on my return flight.

Time to board my plane.

 

 

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Blog, Something to Think About, The Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heart Thoughts

Heal Your Broken Heart has been available for a little over eighteen months and in that time I’ve heard many wonderful things about it. I always like it when I go out to give a talk or workshop and I meet new people who are working through the material. It’s fun to hear about how they learned about the book, but mainly I’m curious to know where they are in the work and also how the first two phases went for them.

Those of you who are familiar with the book know that while a lot happens in each phase, the first two phases launch the entire process in a particularly potent and effective way. Between Qamp1.1A’s 3 and 4, which help identify and begin to process all the emotions you’re experiencing, and writing the story of your relationship and breakup in Qamp1.1A 5, this initial work helps set up everything for the coming phases, including the different stages of releasing.

When I talk to people who are further into the book, they tend to share insights based on the theme of what they are discovering both in their patterns with love and the patterns that were in place in their relationship. When I meet someone who is at the beginning of the work, they usually tell me they’re amazed at how little they’ve understood about their true emotional state, and how challenging, moving, and important it was for them to write the story of their relationship.

Someone recently told me that he read the book from cover to cover before starting to work with the material. It seemed he wanted to know what he was getting into before making a commitment to do the exercises. It was a unique approach but it worked for him. Since his read-through he’s been working his way through the book and not surprisingly he’s having a much different experience than when he simply read the book. While there are many sections in the book that one can just read and benefit from, the full impact won’t be felt unless all the exercises are executed.

One of the many things I love about Heal Your Broken Heart is how exactingly personal the material becomes to each person. It’s this natural customization that makes the book work for so many people, even in healing hearts that have been broken through other circumstances than a lost love relationship.

Since the material covered in the book has been proven to work, if you are currently working through the book I urge you to keep going until you reach the end. It’s fine to take breaks here and there, in fact it’s not a bad idea, but then jump back in and keep going. While each piece of Heal Your Broken Heart is important to your healing, it is the combination of all the pieces working together that produces the biggest result. Stay with the work, you will be so happy you did.

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Book, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment