Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time for Change

The upcoming release of my book, 21 Days to Better Balance, marks a milestone in the evolution of my creative vision—to bring my stories and analogies to the world and help people to find better balance in their mind, body, and spirit. 

Part of this evolution will be the phasing-out the original project I started in 2003, The Balance Factor, as well as my other related projects including Michael on the Move, Inspiration from the World, and Candy Store Creations. However, I am reminded—once again—how creativity is dynamic and change is good. Everything is a stepping stone to the next thing. As my friend and co-editor Beth Wallace once told me about the key to good writing, "You've got to be willing to 'kill your darlings' and let them go." Wise words, and so timely and apropos.

So the evolution is a new 21 Days to Better Balance blog! Click on the Blog icon on the 21 Days to Better Balance homepage and bookmark the page so you can continue to follow my adventures. I am looking forward to sharing my messages with the world and hearing the stories of how 21 Days to Better Balance is helping YOU find more balance in a busy world!

And remember to download a *free* copy of the e-book during the first 21 days of August. I'm hoping you will love it so much you will be nudged to buy more copies and share it with your friends. On the web site you can also find links to "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to the new Blog. 

To Your Better Balance! 

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
Author, Speaker, Ambassador of Goodwill

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Your Frequency

(This entry is an excerpt from 21 Days to Better Balance scheduled for release July 30, 2011. Find the book and e-book at 21daystobetterbalance.com beginning August 1st!)

Quantum physics has found that there is no
empty space in the human cell, but it is a teeming,
electric-magnetic field of possibility or potential.
 – Dr. Deepak Chopra

Everything that exists in our physical reality contains atomic particles; therefore, everything we observe has an energetic frequency. Objects that are mobile—such as humans and animals—appear to be “alive” since we observe their movements. Immobile objects, such as rocks, don’t appear to be alive but still have an energetic frequency. Frequency is the source of all physical form and everything we observe is vibrating at some level.

Our personal frequency is extremely sensitive. We don’t have an “off switch,” but we do have a rheostat that allows us to adjust our own vibrations. As with feelings, we are able to observe the frequency of others by the inflection of their words, body language, and facial expressions. We might refer to these observations as good or bad “vibes.” Our personal frequency is highly influenced by other people. Our energetic response to others can be a source of valuable information if we are aware of it. 

Being aware of your frequency allows you to notice
how people and environments affect you.

Personal frequency is like a radio station. Every radio station is unique. Each station has a different channel and different programming and plays different music. Higher frequencies aren’t any better than lower ones; they’re just different. For example, 101.5 isn’t a better radio station than 98.3; it just plays different music.

Similar to radio stations, each person has individual thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. We are tuned in to our own frequency and broadcasting our own music to the world through our being. When we meet people whose frequency is similar to ours, we tend to connect with them easily—we say we’re “on the same channel.” Being around people whose frequency is different from ours may cause us to feel uncomfortable or awkward. None of us is better than anyone else; we’re just different. Honoring the variety of frequencies gives us the opportunity to appreciate others, just like listening to new and different music.

Today's Affirmation: I am aware of my frequency and how it affects my balance.  

I hope these words help bring you more awareness and perspective. Find this thought and 20 others in 21 Days to Better Balance, and start finding more balance in your busy world.


The Ambassador of Goodwill

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Value of Silence

“If you don’t know the answers, wait until you do.”

When used regularly, silence is a powerful tool. The mind, body, and spirit are designed to be active and engaged, but they also require downtime for balance and refreshment. In moments of silence, we can reconnect with ourselves and gain insight, focus, and clarity. Silence can bring us into alignment with our thoughts and feelings and help us to hear the quiet spiritual voice of our intuition.

In order to find silence, we may have to create space for solitude—simple, but not always easy. Taking time for silence is a critical step for moving into alignment. In silence, we can quiet our thoughts, acknowledge our emotions, and relax into our bodies. In other words, we calm our human doing. Whether we use meditation, prayer, or any other type of inner-focusing activity, moving into silence allows us to reconnect with our spirit—our human being.

Silence helps with problem solving and decision making. If we are unsure how to respond to a problem or situation, we can stop, find a quiet space within us, and wait for an answer. As we are waiting for answers, we can develop a calm demeanor, soften our stance, and experiment with patience. Often the answers to our most difficult questions lie in stillness. Silence reminds us to begin within.

Silence allows you to develop a deeper and
more balanced connection with yourself.

Silence is like a spiritual retreat or a healing center—a place where we can go to be alone and reconnect with ourselves. While most traditional counseling is healing for the mind and physical therapy is healing for the body, silence is healing for the spirit.

We can create a space for silence by simply unplugging from the world and turning down the noise. TVs, radios, computers, and mobile phones are powerful means for connecting with others, but the point of silence is to connect with yourself. At first it may seem like you are missing out, but unplugging for periods of time will raise your frequency—and over time, can significantly strengthen and enrich your personal connections. When we lower the volume on the outside of our lives, we raise the volume on the inside. In silence we can discover the true benefits of being still and listening to the calm rhythm within.

This week think about spending some time in silence and experience the benefits. By practicing a little bit each day, my hope is you will soon learn to appreciate the value of silence.

Happy springtime!

The Ambassador

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Spring: Go Green

"Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations." — Jean Paul Richter

If you stop and think about how much waste we create in our lives on a daily basis, you will notice how fast it adds up... and if you think about the formula we're creating: more garbage + more pollution = higher expenses = less money, it's not a pretty picture. 

Perhaps you've heard my favorite muppet Kermit the Frog crooning in his song, "It's not easy being green." Lately I've been thinking more about the green movement, but it didn't really hit home until I realized that unlike Kermit's words, being green is rather easy to do. In fact, being green isn't a fad - it's a change in your behavior... and it's really easy to do once you raise your awareness and start paying attention to your actions and attitudes.

There are a plethora of resources out there about greening your life, but allow me to highlight some simple habits you can quickly adopt which will not only make your neighborhood trees happier, the lakes and air cleaner, but your will benefit your body and mind as well.

Tips for Heading Towards Greenville:
  • First, and foremost, start paying attention to what you use, keep, and throw away. Whereas in the past the 3 R's related to school, keep in mind the 3 R's of the 21st century: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  • Use a washcloth instead of paper towels to wipe up spills.
  • If you like using paper towels, buy the half-sized perforated style which uses half the amount of a regular towel each time you tear one off (also makes great napkins!)
  • Reuse the unused and gently used paper towels or napkins as handy wipes for wiping food from dirty dishes, greasy pans and for quick clean-ups.
  • Use the backs of previously printed papers in your printer. Most of what we print is not the final pages of a dissertation so save the new paper for the important stuff. This is especially for us Boomers/Gen Xers who still print out email messages and ebooks (oh come on, admit it!)
  • You know those handy little Ziploc bags? Unless you're filling them with pudding or peanut butter they can usually be reused a few times.
  • Ask for a ceramic mug instead of paper at your local coffee shop. Instead of running off, take a moment to stop, relax, breathe and enjoy your java or tea - especially with a friend.
  • Once in a while consider replacing coffee with green tea (blended with jasmine or lemongrass rocks). It's green and it's better for you.
  • Turn off non-essential lights when you're not using them.
  • Buy electronics with rechargeable batteries instead of disposable.
  • When possible, walk, bike, bus, train, or carpool instead of drive. It's better for you, the environment, and saves money. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to see more sights!
  • Reuse hotel sheets and towels. Do you change your sheets and towels every day at home? Then don't do it when you're on vacation.
  • Buy reusable shopping bags. Save a plastic tree!
  • Reconsider bottled water. Consider purchasing an aluminum refillable bottle and going back to the tap. Seriously - the whole bottled water craze is more of a fad than a fact. Did you realize they're slowly raising the prices for bottled water? Retailers are smart... but you are smarter.
  • Consider going greener by using non-chemical cleaning supplies and supplementing your health with essential plant oils instead. Young Living is a fantastic organization I've been working with for years to help support you and your families' health with greener choices. 

Green Resources:
Personally, I like National Geographic's Green Guide, which gives a consumer a heapin' helpin' of stuff on everything from home and garden to personal care and product buying guides. There's also:
I encourage you to think about where you can Go Green by reducing, reusing and recycling more in your life. You'll feel good about the planet and your pocketbook. And by showing Kermit that you understand what being green is about, you'll make him a happy frog.


The Ambassador

And thanks to blog reader Barbara, here is a great article about Top 10 Things Most Garbage Services Won't Take. Thanks, Barbara!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Changing Our Paradigms

According to my favorite web site, dictionary.com, a paradigm is, "an example serving as a model or a pattern". Our world is filled with many types of paradigms: social, cultural, and most importantly, personal, and these paradigms become the framework and filters through which we experience the world. Our personal paradigms form the foundations for our belief systems and whether we realize it or not we live our lives according to the paradigms we've created or subscribed to.

For example, many of us have subscribed to the paradigm of what is means to work: to make a living by contributing to society through organized effort based on preconceived structures and business models. We "go to work" for someone - a business, an organization, an existing entity, from which we receive money - a form of reciprocal energy - for the giving of our time and talents, and we use this money to pay for the expenses our lives incur. This paradigm supports our capitalistic western society and has been the foundation for the concept of employment for hundreds of years.

So? You say. What's the big deal? What's wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with anything - but I do find myself wondering why I have subscribed to the western paradigm of work. What about creating a business for myself and receiving money from it? Do I need to work for someone else? Is subscribing to this belief serving me? Did it, perhaps, serve me at one time but is no longer helpful? And am I limiting my potential by continuing to believe this paradigm? In March of 2009, I penned a blog entry about writing a Business Plan for My Life in which I dove into the topic of work and living out your passion.  

As a lifelong learner and seeker of my own interpretation of truth I often seek to challenge the paradigms I'm currently experiencing, whether they are mine or others. Why? Because I can. In my willingness to resist the status quo and seek out my own answers and meaning behind the pre-existing structures and beliefs in my world, I exercise my ability to explore options and "buck" the traditional system - and to experience being truly present. To be willing to challenge what I "know" in lieu of potentially discovering something new about myself - in short, to keep learning.

As Leonardo da Vinci expressed it: "Everything connects to everything else." If my belief systems are, indeed, connected to my experience, then paying attention to the results of my experience will allow me to decide whether changes in my beliefs are necessary. According to the Teachings of Abraham, "a belief is only a thought you keep thinking." If a belief no longer serves you, choose a new thought - create a new belief. You can read more about this from Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of the Law of Attraction.

So what does this mean? It means that I have the power to choose and change my paradigms. Our power of choice is the greatest gift we can utilize in our entire lifetime. Challenging our paradigms is just one example of taking control of our lives and allowing ourselves to play larger - to step further into our potential. If you are not happy with the results your life is showing you, choose again! Connect with your mind, body and spirit; align your thoughts, feelings and intuition; and activate your power of choice and begin to truly bring more balance to your life. It's your choice.

Happy Spring!

The Ambassador

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Spirit of Gratitude

Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Tak. Kiitos. Mahalo. Shukriya. Danke. Grazie. Dhanyabaad. Shukran. Salamat. Just some of the many languages in which I've had the privilege of learning how to say, "Thank you". Giving thanks is an expression of gratitude, which is a critical step in the giving and receiving cycle - it completes the loop.

So, what is the loop, you ask? The loop is the cycle that begins and completes the flow of conscious creative energy. In other words, the act of manifesting a unique experience through the process giving and receiving. But do all our these experiences turn out to be happy and joyful? Not so much. Well, at least not a first... but therein lies the role of gratitude - it allows us to change our perspective.

For example, the other day I was sitting with a friend and we were talking about her dissatisfaction with her current job. When she first started this job she was very happy with the opportunity - the environment appeared to support her, the job itself was fulfilling, and she felt comfortable with the leadership. Her decision felt well balanced. Over time, however, the circumstances in her work environment changed. Now she felt constricted rather than expanded; her manager chose to lead using fear-based behaviors, like control and anger, over supportive and empowering actions; and she lost interest in the job itself. This, unfortunately, is not uncommon for many of us. She realized the situation had become imbalanced.

So, what to do now? Ah yes... the $100,000 question (which has probably gone up in price since the recent economy swing). As we were talking more about how she was feeling it became apparent she was experiencing what she "doesn't want". When we recognize what we don't want, we start to receive more clarity about what it is we do want - that is, if we're paying attention. Our immediate experiences provide us with contrast, and this contrast gives us the opportunity to make new, higher (more peaceful and comfortable), choices. Whether we choose to change our immediate situation (in this case, quit her job) or consider creating something new in the future (i.e., start looking for a new job), we have the power to change our minds. This decision-making process gives us the opportunity to honor our true desires - our highest intentions - and in return, helps us stay in our integrity. By listening to our intuition we demonstrate respect for ourselves and our choices regardless of the outcome. And respecting ourselves and our choices is the most important action we can take in any experience.

After our conversation I could feel a sense of lightness about her attitude and a sense of gratitude for this "bad" experience she was feeling. By choosing to focus on what we are learning in any given circumstance and expressing our gratitude to recognize it for what it is, our act of thankfulness shifts our feelings of constriction and hopelessness to feelings of freedom and hope. When we expand our minds we expand the choices available to us.

This week I encourage you to pay attention to those moments which disguise themselves as frustrating, aggravating or hopeless and give thanks for the awareness these opportunities are providing you. With a gentle shift in your perspective, you, too, may be able to say "thank you" in any language - especially the language of your heart.

Make 2011 a year of gratitude!

The Ambassador

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter - by Walter de la Mare

Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon. 
Happy Holidays.