From Womb to Tomb

Writing is due:

<I'd like to figure out how to put a countdown timer in the header>

All of life has a beginning, middle, and end. A start and finish. The beginning is when we leave the womb. The middle contains the experiences we have while we are alive. The end is the tomb we all eventually arrive at.

Zoom out as far as you can see, and you will see the entire duration of your life on a timeline.

Zoom in, and you will start to see the segments that make up our days. Each day is a 24 hour segment. Each year is 365 days. Each decade is 10 years. A century is 100 years, and most of us won't live out an entire century.


Our experience of life can be viewed a sequence of events. The sequence is a succession, each moment a waterfall into the next. If we want to produce a particular outcome 'downstream' all we can do is make a change 'upstream' and witness the result. If the outcome is not what we wanted, then we make another change and let the sequence run again.

In the movie industry, a sequence refers to a particular scene. It's one scene in a movie that we can talk about, for example 'The underwater scene.' What directors do is choreograph smaller events that ultimately make up the entire scene. It's one segment of the whole.

Every event concludes at a specific point in time. If we pre-define the point in time, it's called a deadline. But a deadline also requires a clear definition of what is defined as complete. Open loops only exist in our life to the extent that we have failed to define the criteria for completion.

Our minds create models to define every abstract idea in our mind. Stories are what we make up to understand something that only exists in our minds as an abstract idea. Unknowningly, we tell ourselves stories to explain everything:

The list is infinitely expanding as our awareness.

The stories we tell ourselves are what elicit action. Action then tests our hypothesis and either reinforces the story or challenges it. But given our experience is heavily weighted by the stories we tell, we often miss indicators that would reveal a greater truth.

We tend to find what we are looking for.

It's no wonder given the explosion of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis that we are unable to define stories for every piece of information. We must make assumptions and draw conclusions. What influences our decisions is not a matter of will power, but rather a matter of what's in our upstream consciousness (aka subconscious).

News is becoming an oxymoron because we now see it's slanted by the reporter of the news. They pick the parts of the experience to support their bias, even though they don't believe they have a bias, they do. Their bias is for the truth. But unless a truth is challenged, there is no truth.

In fact, looking at anything - unless we can contradict it with something else, we can't see it.

The classic example is the round black dot in the middle of a white sheet of paper. With out the dot, the white does not exist. Without the dot, the white does not exist. We don't exist unless we are put on a canvas of opposition.

Somethign can't exist unless something else doesn't exist. Can one thing exist if something else doesn't

Can existence itself be explained without the absence of existence?

Life would not exist if it were note for death.

If there was not death, we wouldn't know life.

To know something is working requires that we know when it's not working.

To find something, something must be lost.

Therefore, we should be grateful for every opposition. Opposition is what gives anything we are aware of existence.

A fish swimming in water is unaware of the water until it experience no water. Every experience without water for a fish is a near death experience. If it stays out of the water to long, it'll be unable to discern between water and no water. All it will know is no water.

If a black dot exists on a black sheet of paper, does the black dot exist?

Our ability to perceive anything is based on our ability to see what is in direct opposition to it.

I can share this idea with you, but unless you can challenge what I am sharing, you will note be able to grasp the understanding of it.

Our minds take what we've learned and experience in the past and use it to oppose everything in the future.

Thus, we are in a constant state of conflict. To truly agree on anything, we must grasp that which we disagree. Agreement with agreement is just black on black. We can add more black to it, but its still black. Not until we start to add white to it, are we able to see the distinction.

To be healthy, we must know unhealthy. To be wealthy, we must know unwealthy.

Those who came from poverty can 'feel' wealth unlike those who came from wealth can 'feel' wealth. We can say we take it for granted, but I think it's an unfair judgment on ourselves to do so. Like a fish who never leaves the water, it does not know what it's like to live without water. Those born wealthy, yet never experience anything to the contrary to wealth, can't tell the difference and it's not their fault.

To know a good cover is determined in a large part by the sample size taken.

More often then not, first time authors fail to produce a good cover because they have a small sample size. As they become aware of more covers, they start to see their cover is not so good.

As in life... we think we have it good until we see someone who has it better. And now we want something better than we have. It's a vicious cycle. There will always be something better that we are striving for. Or is there a way out? The way out begins by seeing the distinction. To catch ourselves grasping for something better and asking ourself WHY we need it.

Could your book have a better cover? Sure. Should it? Depends, do you want to make the investment in it? Or should you invest in the writing? While a cover opens the door to the reader, the writing is what makes an impact. There are plenty of beautiful covers on poorly written books. While the cover may grab the reader's attention, it's the reviewers that fuels sales more than anything else. And the reviews rarely give 5 stars because of the cover (although it would be cool if a reviewer could include a review on the cover among other attributes of the book).

The stronger the contradiction, the stronger the meaning of the story. A good story must have conflict. A meaningful life has conflict!

Rather defining wealth by the stories we tell, give wealth meaning.

The fact is a word like wealth will be defined much differently depending on who you are.

There are millionaires in the world who don't feel wealthy. And there are people in poverty who do feel wealthy. It's based on what the comparisons they make. On the stories they buy into (unknowingly).


Healthy is a word defined very differently among people. For me, being healthy is a flat belly, toned body, and vibrant life. Given that definition, is healthy a realistic expectation for most of us? If I compare myself to someone who is a full time yoga instructor, I am not taking into account reality. The reality is that our chosen livelihood defines us. It's not until we choose to take on the discipline as a livelihood that we can achieve the levels we see others who have already chosen that livelihood obtain.

Given a world with more people and less to go around, our livelihood continues to dominate more and more of our lives. It's our quest to keep a roof over our heads, enjoy vacations abroad, drive nice cars, and afford quality health care that drive us to work more, spend more, and save less.

A livelihood is a means of making a living. It encompasses people’s capabilities, assets, income and activities required to secure the necessities of life. A livelihood is sustainable when it enables people to cope with and recover from shocks and stresses (such as natural disasters and economic or social upheavals) and enhance their well-being and that of future generations without undermining the natural environment or resource base." - International Federation of Red Cross.

can grasp the opposite of what I am telling yo,

As an act of nobility, we'd like to think we don't have to judge, but we do.
We make a judgement as to whether or not we will pay attention to something. The more we give it our attention, the more we conjure up stories to make sense of what we put our awareness on.

Definitions will make you a better writer!

Definitions for the word abstract: * Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. * Consider (something) theoretically or separately from something else. * A summary of the contents of a book, article, or formal speech.

Define conjure: * Call upon (a spirit or ghost) to appear, by means of a magic ritual. * Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. * Call (an image) to mind.

Look at the origin of the word, for words pack greater meaning when we do.

Words possess the power we give them.

Looking at the origin of the word conjure, we can see that it contains elements of: * Swear * Oath * Plot * Conspire

When we grasp the origin of something, it becomes more meaningful and more memorable.

We attach meaning to words based on the stories we believe.

For example, 50 Interviews carries a particular meaning to the people I've had the opportunity to tell the story to. But it can be dangerous for us to assume everyone defines the words we speak as we do.

Our days consist of a series of scenes. What if you each day of your life was an like episode on your favorite show, and each birthday the start of a new season? What season are you on? I'm on season 46, and as of the day I'm writing this, there are 103 episodes left.

Each day, we move from point A to Point B. We inch closer to the ultimate end of our experience. Where it ends, nobody knows. Even if we did know the end, would it matter? Would a sense of urgency to complete something important arise?

In 2017, it is estimated that there are over 500 series in production. None of them know whether or not they'll be given an option to continue to another season. All they can do is the best work they can, build awareness for it, and hope the world likes what they've created.

Keywords drive my writing:

excerpt, clip, extract, episode, section

The sequence of our life only goes in one direction. * succession, * order, * course, * series, * chain, * train, * string, * progression, * chronology, * timeline

We tell ourselves stories to make sense of the events we experience.

Story telling is one of the most effective ways you can commute. Stories are what we remember. Abstract ideas are easily forgotten or lost in translation.

To get your ideas across to others, you must come up with meaningful analogies or create stories to illustrate the point. It's the idea of pulling the reader into the experience of it, so they can grok it. Without experience, one can never know.

The concept of everything occurring in this moment exactly as it should can be explained in two ways:

  1. The story of a programmer making changes to the program and rerunning the program which runs in a sequence. In order to produce a different outcome, the programmer must insert a new instruction in the sequence, and then that sequence must be rerun.
  2. The analogy of health. To have good health, we must take preventative measures to prevent poor health. Exercise now strengthens our bodies to ward off illness later. If you are already weak by the time the disease is determined, it's too late. We can't go back and change the decisions we made in the past to change what's happening now. Choose health over wealth.

The programmer analogy is a powerful once to illustrate the concept of right now. To explain why we are who we are, why we do what we do, why others do, why the world is as it is. It's Karma in action. Who we are is the result of karma. Karma is the underlying intelligence of all experience.

Our experience is the result of the programs we run. The program is defined by a set of instructions predefined before they are run. Indeed, our programs have intelligence. They are able to respond and learn from those responses to respond more effectively.


The sequence is a key concept to grok. Changes downstream are the result of changes upstream. In order to produce a different outcome, different inputs are required.

Frustration is created when the outcome is something different than we expected. The error in our ways was expecting a different result than we got. To expect is to assume. The result we get is the result of the output created by the programming that precedes it.

Imagine you want a flat tummy. Many people do. The act of imagining doesn't make it so. What we need to imagine is becoming the program that produces a flat belly. Myself, I've given the program the title 'Look Good Naked.'

It's only to the extent that I am willing to put my effort into the LGN program, that the outcome I seek becomes possible. Anything is a hope and prayer.

The importance of that outcome to me is what gives the spark to make the changes to the program (my habits) possible. Getting clarity into why it's important to me is key. What is the real reason I want a flat belly? Is it to gain the response of someone specific? Feel better? Please my father? Have more energy? Gain respect from my peers?

Point 'Be'

There's where we are, and where we want to be. Where we are is point a. Where we want to be is point be.

We crave a sense of be longing.

Chords: Belonging

When playing scales, we only play one note at a time. Yet many notes sound good when played at the same time. The definition of a chord are notes that sound good when played simultaneously. What if we were all notes? It's where we feel a sense of belonging that a chord is strum.

Programs: What if we were just one sequence being run by a master programmer? Our program runs in an instant. When it kicks back errors (as it will), the programmer makes some tweaks. HACKS the program, and runs it again.

The program feels no pain, it just runs. An output is produced. That is all it is. Nothing personal. Nothing but the meaning we give it.

Zoom in: It's 5:30am. I am leaving for yoga in 15 minutes. I write down some subroutines that I will run IN SEQUENCE before I get into my car and drive to SLO: Dress. Yoga Mat. Postacios. Carrots. Bannana. Pants not shorts. Smart and final later. Mangos & Avocados & Banannans as Smart and Final. You are walking so bring you umbrella!

OMG: it's the subrountines we run. And we can PLAY IT OUT before it happens in our mind. Debi can't sleep at night because her mind is running the program - playing it out. Testing the hypothesis. The event she is worried about is the outcome. The sequence is the key! 25 postacious max per day. You need to be conscious of your actions.

What if point 'Be' folded into the concept of 'Be' that I have written about before, but expanded the idea further to non-duality.

"Our thinking is grounded in concrete experiences and that even what seem like quite abstract concepts are linked to our bodily experiences through analogy and metaphor." ~Edward Slingerland Trying Not to Try.

What if the key to breaking through dualistic thinking (the cause of much of our confusion in the world) were to 'grok' to concept in my Be chapter?

Working on my critiki.

Where's my writing on Effort?

Consider LESS IS MORE.

What am I trying to say? Truly what?

I am not sure what is on my agenda today.

Oh yea - Franchise Tax & client work.

How are you organizing client work?

Can I start with a 450 word brief synopsis?

Life is not a rehearsal.

There is no first draft.

There is only the 'live' edition of your work.

When you write as if every word is being read by a million people, you will write better.

Your life is being executed according to the program that has been written. The 'code' that makes you who you are is constantly adapting.

By design however, you are kept in the dark. You are in the dark every step of the way. Your only objective is to get from point 'A' to point 'Be.'

Point A is where you are in this instant.

Point 'Be' is where you will be in the next moment. We may buzz with antcipatoin about getting to Point 'Be.'

In order for the program to run, it light up the circuit it's on. It's all there really is. Everything in the future is yet to be executed, and everything in the past is no longer relevant to right now.

Electricity can explain how it works.

Like a program, our awareness is constantly expanding. Like a flashlight filling the room, to see further you must step further. As you step into the light, the darkness is behind you. The past is a chapter that's already been read. You can go back and read it again, but you won't move further through the book when you do.

Life is a one-way street. You can only stop or move forward. Stop too long and your liable to get hit. Life is a one-way ticket, you get on at the womb and get off at your tomb.

The purpose of your program is simply to get from point a to point 'be.' Seeing where we are (the her and now) and the actions we are taking is the path we are on.

Life is a one-way journey from womb to tomb.

So what's the point of it all?

What's point B? It's where you will 'be.' Where you will be is defined by how you are 'being' right now. Point B is actually Point 'Be.'

It's the artifacts we leave behind that define who we were. It's the obstacles we overcome that define who we become.

Artifacts are great, but will we be here to enjoy them?

The process is simply to make progress. To move from a space of unknown to known. The process is permanently impermanent. Change is part of the design. The challenge is the point. If it's not challenging, we'll find ways to make it so.

Driven by frustration

Frustration is evidence the process is working. As programs designed to solve problems, frustration is what drives us. To resolve the frustration is the carrot. You may fail 10x for every success, and that's why success deserves to be celebrated.

You will hit obstacles that require education. Education followed by experimentation. Knowledge without application means little.

Frustration, obstacles, setbacks, failures, mistakes - they are all part of the process of progress. The only real failure is failing to learn from our mistakes.

we need templates to ...

In the absolute simplest terms, the purpose of our 'program' is to produce an outcome. To move from point A (where we are) to point B (where we need to be). In the process, we will encounter obstacles. The obstacles must exist for the program to work.

Without obstacles, we are only a witness to the world.

Obstacles require us to engage. To resolve and think.

Decode the program

A program is written to produce a particular outcome.

It's less about discovering our 'life' and more about finding our 'immediate' purpose. Knowing your life's purpose is like trying to write a business plan before you've run a business. It doesn't work. I once asked a very successful brewery owner if he ever looks back at the business plan he wrote. He said he only looks at it to see how ignorant he was about running a brewery! As it is with our life. We can't see any further ahead that the steps taken.

When you look back on your life, you may laugh at how ignorant you were about life.

Software developers (and even pharmaceutical companies) often create a product, fully knowing that they don't know exactly how their solution will be utilized. Often the actual use is far different. You can build it for one purpose, only to find it's true value lies in something completely different (read the history of Viagra).

Only by breaking down the process, can we see what it takes to achieve a desired outcome.

Frustration occurs when we expect a different outcome. Insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different outcome.

Thus frustration is an indicator that the process is unfolding.

Where we get tripped up is when we demand the outcome without respecting the process we must go through to produce the outcome! Overcoming Obstacles are part of the process!

Getting frustrated because you aren't producing the result you desire?

If the outcome is $1mil, then what is the process? Break it down.

Look for the tools.

Run the program.

Fix what is causing the errors.

An ease about the system the life runs within. Accepting the framework is a huge relief. Knowing that system is there!

To make a million bucks, you will no doubt have to overcome obstacles. Many are internal, many are external.

You are exactly where you need to be. Trust in the perfection of the moment.

I often beat myself up for the things I didn't do (i.e. the course on Udemy). But what if the reason you didn't is so that you would NEED to take PubWriter further?

Errors as indicators

Errors are obstacles we are required to overcome before we can run the program.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with errors! If not for errors, we wouldn't have a clue on how to resolve them.

Obstacles are part of the process.

Our program was written to overcome the obstacle. By design.

There'd be no purpose to the program if there were not obstacles to overcome.

Overcoming obstacles are the purpose of the program!

Running the same program twice... and errors pop up. Something was thrown in that we missed.

Living skillfully is all about paying close attention to the creation now so that errors are less likely later.

Let's look at real life errors:

Whenever someone responds differently than we expected, we have just made an error. Maybe we said something they took to mean something else. Maybe it was a way we looked at them that triggered a subconscious memory resulting in an emotion even they couldn't see coming.

Maybe we made an assumption, and in doing so, failed to consider an important aspect of the process.

It's about being able to resolve the errors quickly when they do arrive. It's about seeing the err in our ways - how we created the error. How we were the cause.

Pause and look for the cause.

Nothing is ever wrong, we just need to adjust our inputs according to the outcome produced.

There are no insurmontable errors, only challenges ahead.


Ode to Yoga

The key to equanimity (keeping cool under pressure) is understanding that the obstacles are simply there to challenge the program. The obstacles exist to give the program something to respond to.

I view my Yoga practice as preventative maintenance. I have seen that yoga helps prepare me for the unseen obstacles ahead.

Maybe it's not so much preventative maintenance, as much as it's programming. When I really do Yoga, I am installing subroutines that better equip 'my program' to overcome the obstacles ahead.

I feel that without yoga and meditation, I am ill prepared for what lies ahead.

When I work too much, I suffer pings of burnout. Too much 'self-care' also has it's consequences. We must keep an eye on many different areas of our life. It's an ongoing balancing act. With this understanding, the phase of our life called 'retirement' is something quite different. I feel it's a greater freedom to do what we want, assuming we've been fortunate to set ourselves up financially, but we still must balance our selfish motives with 'problems' we are programmed to solve.

Finding a healthy balance is the key aspect to running a program with error free outputs.

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