Tag Archives: Balance

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

Can You Become “Just Friends”?

Ending a relationship is tough. It’s like ripping a huge piece of fabric in two with your bare hands. Thousands of torn relationship threads throw disconnection dust everywhere choking the air. In the worst breakups the whole asphyxiating mess is lit on fire. It isn’t pretty.

Every breakup has its own characteristics and story, but they tend to have one thing in common. That is whether the now non-couple wants to get as far away from each other as possible or whether they want to become friends.

Couples who have become more like friends and less like lovers have already answered the question. They don’t need to breakup in the traditional sense, they simply need to rename the kind of relationship they have. Those who interact almost solely as friends but maintain some degree of sexual activity have a harder choice to make. More friends than lovers, but still lovers to a degree, and counting on a certain amount of closeness and sexual intimacy with each other, it can be hard for this couple to give up sex and physical intimacy only to be friends. So they don’t, at least for a while.

The most challenging version of this attempted metamorphosis from lovers to friends happens when person A breaks up with person B and instead of vanishing to a desert island, wants to be friends. Becoming friends might help person A assuage his guilt for smashing his now ex-lover’s heart, and squirming-in-agony person B might settle for much less contact with person A just to secure some reliable contact, but neither is a healthy reason to suddenly become friends.

Since people have been working with Heal Your Broken Heart, either in the original workshop form or more recently with the book, they have universally shared two awarenesses with me.

One is that they were surprised to learn how nuanced their relationship was, and the other is they were amazed at how complex their broken heart is. If you look at the surface of the ocean it doesn’t seem all that complicated, but go below the surface and you quite literally enter into another world. This is also true of your broken heart and the relationship that got you there.

There is much more to learn about what dismantled your relationship beyond what you can identify on your own—comparable to the ocean’s surface versus its depths. Jumping from a romantic relationship to “just friends” post-breakup belies the complexity you are dealing with.

If you had either a short, rough breakup or a long drawn out one, and now you and your ex want a friendship, you will need some time apart before you attempt to be just friends. When I suggest this to people they often struggle with the idea. Some have asked if they could at least visit the couple’s dog because they love that dog so doggone much. I’m sure they do love the dog and I’m more than sympathetic to temporarily losing a source of unconditional love, but I tell them to hold off on going to the home of their ex for whatever reason even if he or she is at work. This is about a period of total abstinence for a very good reason.

That reason is to help you and your ex create a significant shift between the two of you. Too much has happened to assume everything will be fine if you just change the title of your relationship from lovers to friends. You both need time to catch your breath. Solitude is required and that begins by not seeing or communicating with each other for a while.

This time off allows the desired shift to occur, especially in Person B—the most wounded by the breakup—who is in most need of the shift. Time and space help change our mind’s focus. If we’re continually stimulated by thoughts of our ex and our next contact with him or her, we can’t let go. We’re still in it even though the relationship has ended. We jog around the same small loop and never move forward. Severing contact allows us to stop running in a circle.

Healing takes discipline. This is one of the last things we want to hear when we’re hurting, but it’s a fact worth accepting.

We need to be disciplined about taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally, resisting the temptation to pry information about our ex out of our mutual friends, and continue to work through the exercises in the book. When we stick to these guidelines we think far more clearly and self-lovingly than the immediate post-breakup version of us.

I think people need some serious time off in these transitional situations. Three months can sound like an eternity, but to me it’s the bare minimum. Six months is better because it assures that a shift will occur. A shift might occur with a ninety-day break, but it may only be a partial shift and a partial shift can evaporate when you meet for that reunion cup of coffee.

Pain is real and it is depleting. Healing is serious business and it is best to take it seriously. Your health and balance are at stake. Do everything you need to do to heal your broken heart and resist giving in to that part of you that believes it’s okay to hurt if it means being closer to the person you love but lost.

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

Essential Realignment Begins

Life can feel out of balance—koyaanisqatsi—sometimes. World events seem surreal, our personal concerns can overwhelm us, and finding a sense of inner peace can become elusive. What we may need is a realignment of one kind or another. I think of these as Essential Realignments. They apply to any area of our life that isn’t working or has been seriously ignored. The good news is that with some focused attention and effort we can get realigned and return to balance. And being in balance is definitely superior to being out of balance.

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Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Essential Realignment | Tagged | Leave a comment