CGW 4 Day 3

In the morning, I got up late because I was out really late the night before. I was quite tired and we worked on mind and heart, connecting with other people, and relationships. We had no handouts that day and I even asked Steve about it and he said that the day is about the heart and not the mind. I took lots of notes on a notepad to make up for this.

The main thing on the third day that we did was to look people in the eye and feel intense feelings of love and to hug them. This exercise left us with intense feelings of love, that some people started to cry. We then did a field exercise of love in the casino upstairs and we felt calm and looked at some people who looked tense, and this feeling of love either made them smile a little bit or lighten up. We stared at a blackjack table and I was invited to play. I won $10.00, and tipped the lady $5.00. That was fun.

For lunch on Sunday, the majority of us went to Caesars Palace buffet. The line took an hour to get through, and we gave each other a group massage on each other’s shoulders, which felt great. Then we had lunch, and some of us signed up for the “Buffet of Buffets” pass that lasts for 24 hours. Most people paid $45.00 for this, while I paid only $40.00 because of my rewards card. They had to wear bracelets, I just needed to show my card. It was a quality buffet, and I liked it. It reminded me of the Harrah’s buffet in Council Bluffs, IA. We then got back to the workshop 5 minutes late, but Steve was just starting.

The afternoon was about spirituality and how to look at things from an objective and a subjective standpoint. We also discussed manifesting and law of attraction from these viewpoints. A lot of people had questions about it, and we discussed places that we visit in dreams. This was the most abstract portion of the workshop for me, and this will require more reflection on my part, so I may post more about it later. Little did we know, but this led to a 30 day trial of subjective reality for Steve, which has produced major shifts in his life. This was a Q&A session, and I think we did some more power exercises before we wrapped up the workshop. Overall, it was a fun experience. We hung out for a long time afterward, and I hugged both Steve and Erin. I bought a CD from Erin. I hugged a bunch of people who were leaving that afternoon, and slowly one by one, people started to head back home.

I went to my room to put away stuff, and some of us who remained hung out at an outside bar for a while. We then had dinner at Imperial Palace buffet, which was on par with Old Country Buffet, including the 80s music. It was no frills. We then played blackjack for a while, where I lost all of my money for that day at the Flamingo. We then wandered up and down the strip, trying to go to old Vegas, but then gave up on that. Instead, we spent the evening saying goodbye and doing Karaoke until 2 am at the imperial palace. The song that I picked was “It Don’t Matter to Me” by Bread because of its lyrics are about of the songwriter letting go of his lover so that she can find herself.

CGW 4 Day 2

On the morning of the second day, we discussed our careers/finances. We talked about a four panel model of Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit, and that if any of these are neglected in our careers, it can lead to long term suffering. Body refers to money and security from the job, Mind is intellectual stimulation and skills needed for the job, Heart is how you ultimately feel about what you are doing and whether you are passionate about it, and Spirit is your overall contribution to your field leading ultimately your contribution to the world. An example of a heartless job that has a lot of body is being a lawyer, where the pay is good, but sometimes they have to do things and defend things that they do not believe in.

For the hot seat, Antonio got on the hot seat and told us how he hated his job working at the cable company, and how he did not feel a connection to his coworkers and his high school friends that he still hangs out with on Fridays. He considered his job title “drug dealer” because he believes that there are some people who rely on cable too much, and are addicted to it like a drug. He does have a few friends that he recently met that he respects. His true passion is about cars, so his overall plan is to start a blog about cars, and hopefully that will help him get into car shows and eventually become profitable from it. I think we all saw a shift within him when he was on that stage courageously sharing his career situation with all of us.

We then went to our individual exercises, where I was really fuzzy about my true passions. I was fine with the money situation for now. These were combined for this workshop because they are related and he wanted less redundancy and more efficiency in time. I talked with Udi and Barbara (Henderson, NV), about my passions, which were really fuzzy. They then asked what breaks my heart and I discussed my family situation. Then they asked what I found wrong with the world, and I described how the situation in Zimbabwe made me depressed, and then Barbara said that it relates to human suffering. Udi did not completely agree, but then time was called. I got emotional during that part, and then Teodor slipped me a note about setting boundaries, which I need a lot of work on because I talked to him earlier about setting boundaries in one of the exercises.

For the afternoon session we did some more power exercises with a different group of people. I was with Niall and Mikki where we tried to get women’s numbers. Mikki got a date for Sunday night, but was eventually stood up. I also asked some strangers for a phone number, and I asked some ladies for their number at a neighboring Fraternity conference and they both declined me. They were with a fortysomething man and I said that I won’t ask him for his number since I am not into men. He was not amused and gave me a dirty look. I also asked some Ukranian lady selling oxygen her phone number, but said it was against company policy. Niall was persistent, and got the other lady’s phone number.

Back in the room, we talked about health and I mainly said my health was good, but my anxiety and guilt could have an effect on my overall health in the long run. I realized that I could make exercising fun by making it a group activity, particularly with weight lifting. I could increase my skills so that I am better at public speaking, and I could also increase my computer literacy in programming, which can help me with my current job. I was tired during the afternoon session, so I did not get a whole lot out of that particular session.

That evening, some of us hung out in the lobby for over an hour talking about our plans. We then went out around 7 or 8, we tried to get a cab to eat at Go Raw Café, but the limo would have been there after closing since it was far away and the fare would have been steep even if we had made it over there and they waited for us for over an hour. We got in the limo and then got out one minute later. We then went over to the Venetian food court for dinner. I talked with Niall about life in New Orleans and the oil spill. I realized that was something that broke my heart, so I told him about my exercise with Udi and Barabara, and I felt all choked up and queasy again. We had a good talk, and then he went to back to his room. I then spent the rest of the night with Antonio, Yang, and Josh and we went up the strip to the Stratosphere. I thought it would only take an hour or two, but it took over four hours to do! We started at 9pm and got back to our rooms around 1 am. The lines at the stratosphere were long, but we socialized a lot. I met a lady around my age who is a research tech at Johns Hopkins genetics department. I also talked with a deaf couple who could not speak, so we were communicating via gestures. We also met some French students, some 16 year old girls, some Italians, and a German guy among others. We rode insanity, which teetered us off of the building, and then we did some spinning one, which was more fun, but left all of us dizzy and queasy afterward.

CGW 4 Day 1

The total attendance for the workshop was 27 people. I got up early enough to walk to the Flamingo next door and to find my room. The workshop was in a lower floor, in a smaller room to accommodate a more intimate atmosphere. There were some couches outside, and I had some smoothies that Kevin from Las Vegas brought for us attendees. One was a thick smoothie consisting of Dates, bananas, and Almonds, which was really sweet, but not too sweet. Then I also had a milder smoothie consisting of watermelon, cinnamon, and ginger. I also had some trail mix. That was a surprisingly filling breakfast, and it saved me some time. I talked with Erin who printed out my name tag wrong, but I just let it slide. It felt surreal that I was there when I saw Erin and Steve because I felt like I was in a youtube video. I felt a smile on my face when I saw Erin. We then started the workshop. I sat in the third row in the center table next to Kevin, from Austin Texas, and Carolyn from Oakland, California.

First, Steve asked us to write down our intentions for this workshop. This is what I wrote:

“I want more freedom/ independence in my life-especially emotionally. I also want my career that is in line with my true passions, raising my default vibration level, and maintaining it. I also want to set more boundaries in my life.”

I did the truth exercises with Kevin, and he suggested to me to travel more often, maybe some short trips to get more of an idea on what I want to do with my life and just to experiment with different things. I only got to the first few points of the written exercises, forcing me to work faster when describing stuff to people. I felt stuck career wise, and this is what we spent our time talking about. I am happy about my current financial situation. I also talked about how the guilt and anxiety that I have been feeling were affecting my digestive health. I also said that my social life was a little bit lacking. From this, I eventually got the idea that I should join toastmasters and start a blog just for the experience. I also worked with Carolyn on another truth exercise about where we honestly saw ourselves within a year if nothing significant changed.

In the second half of the morning, we talked about love and people in my life who were aligned with love and who I may need to ditch, this was a hard part to do. Niall, from Ireland, but living in New Orleans, juggled, and then Steve threw some balls at him while juggling. He dropped all of his balls, which symbolized people in your life who try to hold you back. I decided to start a blog, travel more frequently, possibly away from home (working on it), resume visiting wealthy neighborhoods, and organizing more social events.

Some other things that were covered in the morning session were that if you don’t know what you want in life, just guess, make a decision. Quit staring at your navel thinking about it, and throw all your energy behind it.

We did the list of power exercises before lunch, where we ranked items from 1 to 3 as a degree of difficulty for us to do a particular task.  Some of us went to the Lux Café in the Venetian for lunch. I had some tofu dish and I met Mikki from Inglewood,CA. We talked about music. I was also with Antonio from Concord, CA, I was also with Nicole, A librarian at MIT, but who grew up in North Omaha (small world). I met Tal, an Australian from Israel, who is in America visiting his girlfriend. I forgot who else I was with, but it was a large group with two tables. Lunch was filling, and all of us came back late past the 2pm afternoon start time.

We did an oneness exercise where we classified our life as Criminal, Martyr, Neutral, or contributor. It was mainly our relationship with our external environment. In some of the categories, I saw myself as either neutral or as a martyr. In order to avoid being a martyr, I need to set more boundaries at work/home and to encourage others to do so. We then played ultimate rock paper and scissors where we would cheer the people on who beat us until we were all cheering for other people.

For the concept of Authority, we did master and servant exercises. I commanded my group of Henrik (currently in Switzerland, originally from Sweden) and Kenneth (Sacramento) as if they were dogs. As a servant, I did everything dutifully for Henrik, and for Kenneth I did the same, but then I got angry when he refused my “taco” that I gave him, so I threw the plate at him. I learned that I need to be a better master and to be more decisive in my actions. Steve then gave us a second chance, and I asked them to tell me what they want to improve on in their lives and had them take pictures of the group for me, as seen below, so I can remember these people. We then had an intelligence exercise where we were to talk to our future self. I could not get anything initially. I then went and talked to myself in 2005, and reassured myself, as I needed a lot of reassurance back them, but I felt like I did not get the support back then.

Another note from the afternoon session was on courage, in the fact that you must face your fears. One way to do that is to create a supportive network around you, which will take care of the love part. Another point that I got from the workshop is to live outside the body. This is from the courage exercise that I need to live outside the body and that a safe life is no life. He said that when you try to play it safe, by living the adjective, you are also living inside the noun. Very deep stuff.

In the afternoon, we did power exercises, which were quite fun to do. We had to rank a list of things to do ranging from 1 for easy tasks and 3 which are “impossible” tasks for you. One of the 3s that was on my list was to ask about stripping jobs in Las Vegas. I asked a male bartender that and he suggested that I ask a woman, so I asked a woman in front of her husband and she said I would make a good stripper as I have an intellectual look to myself.

After the workshop, I was dead tired, so I agreed to meet with some people at a bridge leading to Caesars Palace in an hour. I almost overslept and got up just at the last minute. We deliberated on what to eat, and we ended up going to an Indian restaurant at the Hawaiian Marketplace which had cheaper bars, restaurants, and convenience stores. The place looked run down for strip standards (not that bad), and I had some chickpeas and a spicy tomato soup. I also had some peppermint water, which was spicy, with Naan bread and rice. I then walked the strip with Josh and Angela doing some power exercises. Some things that stand out was when I got a picture with Napoleon dynamite, messed around with captain Jack Sparrow, and then I got spooked by him. Some guy told me that I looked thirsty and that I wanted to buy a water from him, and I shouted “you don’t know me!”, which surprised him. We saw the volcano at the Mirage and the sirens/pirate battle at Treasure island.

My Trip to Las Vegas and Personal Growth

On July 15, I left Omaha for Las Vegas for Steve Pavlina’s Conscious Growth Workshop. I slept off and on for 1-3 hours intervals the night before because I was both anxious and excited. Once I woke up for good, I went over some things in my room to get ready. I then got on the flight. It was sunny the whole way, and everything went smoothly. It was nice to see Colorado Rockies and the Utah canyons from the air. The landing in Las Vegas gives you a nice view of downtown and the strip. The hardest part was finding my baggage at the carousel. The sign said go to carousel 5, but instead it was 2. I got mine and then tried to find a shuttle. I found a shuttle to my hotel, and got a ticket. We had a driver who joked around with us as he dropped us off at our hotels. He is originally from South Chicago, and I told him that I got lost there the month before. He dropped me off, and there was no line at all at check in. The hallways are dark and Victorian, and the room is quite decent. Not as nice as the hotel I stayed the month before in Columbus, OH, but still nice.

Here is a video of the landing:

The Pre-Workshop Meetup:


That evening, I went to Caesars Palace to find the food court and the meetup.  Eventually, I found the food court and saw some hipsters eating food. I held up my sign for a while, but I did not find anybody responding. I went to a vendor that was selling wraps and I ordered one. I got my order, and then I found some booth style seats next to a row of tables that looked similar to what I saw on Youtube videos from previous workshops. I had the sign up when eating, and then lady walked by and smiled. She came to introduce herself and sat down. Her name was Angela Curtis, from Oklahoma City who getting out of a marriage that she had at 19. She had children, and was now going back to college to major in theater. She was also attending a theater workshop after the CGW workshop. We talked about how our flights were and how she went to Erin Pavlina’s intuition workshop back in April so she would be familiar with Las Vegas, and this lowered her anxiety.  Once we had talked for a while, I got up and walked around with a sign a couple of times. I found a table of men talking, and they said they were a part of the workshop too. I had them move to the booths so we could accommodate more people. They were Josh from Connecticut, but originally from the Bay area of San Francisco, Udi from Israel, who grew up in Canada and has perfect English, and Matt from Colorado. They talked about where they were in terms of their career and Matt talked about how he felt about management at his company, where he is a software engineer. Udi helped him with that, and then he discussed intuition. Matt is sort of skeptical about intuition and the like, so they had a debate over intuition. Udi said that he was also skeptical of it, coming from a computer engineering and logic background himself. However, he said that he experiences where he went with some gut feeling against some research he did, and that worked out better than when he ignored it and went off of some empirical evidence that he got. Much later, Iyal, from San Jose, but originally from Russia, and growing up in New York City, showed up. His profession is also in computers, and said that he feels that he plateaued in his career. We chatted for a while. Much later, a CGW 2 alumnus named Kevin showed up. He is a Las Vegas local who told us of his experience, and how it helped him end a “comfortable” relationship that he had but had ultimately felt stuck in. He offered to bring in some breakfast smoothies on Friday morning, which he did, and they were delicious. He had such a positive vibe. All in all, 7 people showed up to the pre-workshop meeting. I walked back to the hotel with Angela and Josh and we talked about how it had just sunk in that we had actually made it to Las Vegas for the workshop, and it had a powerful effect on me emotionally. I went to bed that night feeling quite tired, and I kept waking up to ambulances and honking horns from the strip.

Introduction

I intend for this blog to relate to personal development. When I mean personal development, I intended for it to be mainly my personal development. However, I feel that I can grow as a person by sharing this journey together with others, as some who read this may see aspects of themselves in my writings, while others may not, and this is all good. I know that a topic such as personal development may be a joke to others, but I find it to be serious. However, I do not plan for this blog to be all that serious all the time. Sure, I hope to post some serious posts from the heart that may be very deep. I plan on many of the posts to be of a lighthearted nature and humorous at times. That is, if you the reader share in my taste of humor. So don’t take every post so seriously. Not all posts may have anything to do with personal development at all. This is my personal blog, so I can post about whatever I want. Personal development happens to be something that I am currently pursuing in my life right now, but some of my other passions may pop up from time to time. I do not want to pigeonhole the genre of this particular blog at this moment. It will be interesting to see how the posts will evolve over time and to see what impact, if any, this has on others. I am well aware that there are probably thousands of blogs dealing with the same topics. I know some of these bloggers personally, and I follow many of these blogs myself on a regular basis, which inspired me to make my own. I am not out to compete with any of those blogs, and I will encourage you to read some of those if I find something helpful. I am mainly doing this for myself and for the experience of blogging to see where it goes. What I learned about myself lately is that I am a curious person, and that I need to do more experiencing in my life in order to find where I can contribute the most.