Author Archives: Michael Davis

The Power Of Possibility

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businessman showing Possible concept.What is possibility thinking?

Consider that it’s the space between the question and the answer.

As soon as you settle on the answer possibility thinking is done.

One of the greatest challenges is staying in the realm of the possible long enough to sort through what you already know, think, and feel to finally gain access to the unknown.

This is an act of spiritual stamina. Why? Well if you’re like me you’re in a hurry to solve the problem that threw you into the land of what if, as if it’s prickly and cramped instead of spacious and expanded.

When I’m in a spin of thinking, I have to slow down.

And stay in possibility longer than I’m comfortable.

Recognizing that the level of thinking that got me where I am today, no matter how great, is not sufficient to take me where I want to go.

One Simple Way to Move From Disturbance To Acceptance

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14415747_mI live in a modern 5-story Santa Monica building with my husband. All the conveniences of a security building with in-apartment washers and dryers, a refrigerator with filtered water spouts and ice, both crushed and cubed. Key fobs and codes to get into the entrance or the underground parking. I walk out the front door and am running down the road watching the sun come up over Santa Monica Boulevard.

I loved it until the new tenants moved in one floor above us.

The people above us are heavy walkers. Did I say heavy, I mean stompers!

At first it was just plain annoying and then became disturbing. In accordance with my views on complaining, I immediately turned my complaint into a request of our landlord. A wonderful and sympathetic lady who nodded her head and said she understood our dilemma and would ask the folks upstairs to be cognizant of their footfalls. Not much hope of a change when she also said it’s a common complaint and she hears the people above her as well.


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inq-12.25.09-blogThis week’s Uplifting Moment is a guest post by Michael Davis. He wrote this post on Resilience a little while back, and when I re-read it, it reminded me of a very important fact: Resilience measures your ability to bounce back.

“RESILIENCE” by Michael Davis

The ideal life, at least for me, is not a life devoid of upsets and challenges. I’ve come to see problems as part of the process of life. What is important is how quickly I return to balance.

An example of this is when I went to the health club after recovering from an earache and sore throat, and discovered, to my surprise, that my normal run had not suffered at all since before I became ill. In fact, it was stronger. My pace was even, my mind more relaxed, and I was able to dive into the moment and enjoy it.

The Unexamined Life

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um-030612-emailA guest post from Michael Davis

Socrates spoke one of history’s most enduring statements at his trial for heresy, when he was accused of encouraging his students to question the established beliefs of the day and think for themselves.

He said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I have thought a lot about that statement through the years. What does it mean to examine your life?

Why would Socrates choose death (he was given the alternative of a life in prison) if he were not free to look, with his students, at what is important and true?

It seems to me that an unexamined life is one that accepts, without question, what others believe to be true. In many ways this is the easier path. You find someone, or groups you admire or believe in, and let them tell you what is important and true.

Be At Peace

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um-020712-emailGuest post by Michael Davis

I had an experience this week that was both remarkable and rare, at least for me.

I was at peace.

I was driving around the town where I live, a place I have grown to love as if it were another member of my family, my window was down and the bright sun was shining on my arm, and I thought to myself, that I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve, no unmet dragons to slay or damsels to save, and for that moment and several moments after, I was at peace.

Now I know that peace is a difficult state of mind to cultivate. God knows I’ve tried my whole life either to find it, or keep it when it comes. But here it was, almost the antithesis of my personal mission, which is to do something remarkable with my life; to attain the impossible, and win the prize at the end.

Looking In

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um_121311_emailThis is a guest post from Michael Davis

Do you ever judge what another person says, and then realize you say the same thing yourself?

This happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. In fact, I’ve turned it into an awareness practice. Not every time mind you, but when I’m awake enough to notice, I often see a correlation between what I judge “out there” and what I do, or judge within myself.

Psychology has a handy name for this. It’s called projection, and it comes into play when a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, by projecting them on the outside world, usually on other people. The temporary effect is a reduction of anxiety. Why? Because it’s a relief to think that the cause of your woes come from somewhere else.

Unlocking The Creator Mind

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um-111511-emailBegin with a thought.

Let that thought represent an idea that did not exist before you imagined it… an idea that exists only in the realm of pure possibility.

Now consider the fact that this thought has no weight, is not visible to others, cannot be measured (except as an electrochemical process) and yet is as real to you, its owner, as any object in the universe… if (and this is the crucial point) if you believe in its future.

A glass is half full if you know there is more water to drink when you get thirsty again. If you believe the glass of water you are drinking now is the last available to you, all theory is thrown out the window. The future for the half empty person depends on hope to keep going. For the half full person, hope is not the driving force; it is the joy of knowing that the future is not only possible, it is also achievable.


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inq-02.12.10-blogYoga, for many people, is synonymous with exercise, but Hatha Yoga is only one of eight forms of yoga. Among them are Bhakti – the yoga of loving kindness, Jnana – the yoga of wisdom, Raja – the yoga of discrimination, and Karma – the yoga of action.

The yoga that best fits the temperament for many of us living in the western world is Karma Yoga, the yoga of action. We are all about doing. We strive to do more in the course of a day, or a lifetime. We desire to better ourselves financially, so we can do more with our families and friends. When we meet someone new, the first question we often ask is “What do you do?”


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inq-02.05.10-blogI was asked to speak at a conference for health care givers recently, on bringing a more caring approach to our aging population.
While I was sitting in my favorite chair contemplating what I might say, my daughter’s dog Frankie jumped up and settled lengthways against my outstretched legs. I laid my hand on his back with a light touch, to which he responded by sighing contentedly. I could feel his body twitching slightly as he relaxed, and the warmth of his body met the warmth of my hand in a silent bond that said, “You are safe here. You are loved.”
At first I thought how lucky Frankie is to have a loving family around him (he was in a shelter for part of his life). Then I thought, as I sighed and relaxed a little more myself, “Who is teaching whom here?” And that’s when it hit me. The key to care in health care is the willingness of the provider to see the patient as their teacher.
A light touch on the shoulder, or holding someone’s hand, with no agenda, no purpose, no outcome other than to be there — is a great gift — for both the giver and the receiver. This is a gift best given when you’re present, in both body and mind. It brings a deep calm to your spirit. It opens the doorway to a dimension so different from our ordinary hurried, troubled, frenetic states of mind that it can best be described by what it’s not. It’s not an action with a purpose. It’s not directed towards an outcome. It is being, pure and simple.
The dimension of being is where miracles happen. I’ve seen people break down and cry like a baby when someone sits with them and listens without judgment, maybe for the first time in their life. I’ve seen pain and worry disappear in the presence of love.
Being with another can only occur by being with yourself. With practice, the state of being expands like a wave of calm, so that when a troubled thought enters your mind, you can observe it without doing anything about it. In the presence of being, future concerns recede and disappear, and the timeless present comes to the foreground, heightening your senses, and awakening you to focus where you are.
With practice, you can also learn to sustain this state of being in the middle of a busy day. Yogi’s call this the yoga of action. Next week I’ll talk more about the yoga of action and what I’m learning about how to Be in Action.
This week, look for places where you can give the light touch of a warm hand to someone. Let them know, by simply being with them, that around you they are safe and loved. See if you can find new ways to practice being. And take a 5 minute break from doing every once in a while, with no purpose whatsoever. Just be.


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inq-01.29.10-blogI have always considered myself to be a private person. I have no bumper stickers on my car. I wear muted colors so I can blend into any situation, and I was never comfortable being the center of attention until long after I finished school.

I suppose this is probably why I made a career out of being a public speaker, trainer, and coach. Some part of me knew I needed to get out in front of my shyness or I would never realize the deep dreams I held inside.

Speaking to people is one way to let others know what’s inside you. Recently, I have discovered another, and at least for me, more vulnerable medium: the written word.