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by riley harrison

Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.

Karl Wallenda

One of the keys to leading the good life is to have awareness of what works for you and really brings joy into your life. Stepping out of your comfort zone in pursuit of desired goals is always exhilarating. I remember the first time I visited a foreign country overseas and found myself in surroundings in which no one spoke English. I had this nagging fear (although I knew better) that I might starve. Last year Kathy and I visited seven countries. It was old hat; we were confident that all problems could be managed. Travel is now in  our comfort zone.

For me, the real growth opportunities occur when I’m a rookie confronting a new set of circumstances. Several current possibilities intrigue me and I’ve decided to take action and begin pursuing some new adventures.

Meditation is part of my daily routine. I do a 30 minute exercise called a body scan in which you begin by focusing on the toes of the left foot work your way through your entire body. I always feel relaxed and see things with greater clarity after I meditate. Meditation has so many health benefits (lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety/depression, strengthening of the immune system etc) and there so many practices that are tailored to enhance or strengthen a particular emotion. To develop better focus and attention a person could practice the one-pointed concentration meditation. In this practice the student focuses on a single object (candle, picture, your breathing are several common examples). There are other meditation practices to make you more loving and kind. I use meditation for stress reduction purposes but am curious about other types of meditation practices that might be beneficial. I’ve decided to take following action: enroll in a yoga class at the local YMCA, go on a 3 day church-sponsored retreat and begin investigating longer retreats (2 weeks or more) that would be more advanced.

I am fascinated by venture capitalism and admire entrepreneurs who are willing to risk much to create new businesses. I’ve always felt real kinship with risk takers.  I follow several venture capitalists who blog and this has motivated me to get involved in helping one of my kids build a prototype and market a new product. I also have scheduled a meeting  with a non-profit organization  to pursue the possibility of creating a program for incarcerated individuals who are entrepreneurially inclined and want to start their own businesses. I plan to start just teaching the basics (writing a business plan, test marketing, securing capital, learning how to scale up or grow a business and strategies for developing good networks.) and see where it leads.

On a lighter note, I am also fascinated by the concept of lucid dreaming. Lucid  dreaming is a conscious dream control process that allows you to determine and manage what you dream. If I understand the concept properly this would mean all fantasies (revenge, sexual, easy fulfillment to name a few) could be realized and enjoyed. I won’t tell you what my fantasies are but rest assured I would wake up every morning with a smile on my face LOL.






{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan March 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Entrepreneurs and prisoners are both opportunistic. It is a good match. Steve Blank has a good blog on startups and how they are different to existing companies. Best of luck with it..
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riley harrison March 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thanks Evan, I will check out Steve Blank’s blog.
riley harrison recently posted..LIFE IS GOOD! – NOW WHAT?My Profile


Lori Gosselin March 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hi Riley,
I can relate to this: “real growth opportunities occur when I’m a rookie confronting a new set of circumstances” You’re a starter, like me, surprise surprise! I admire that you’ve identified it and have made new plans.
I’m working on finding a meditation routine that suits me too. The one you do where you relax the body sounds cool. I use candles and incense to set the mood for my meditation!
I’ve never experienced lucid dreaming but I read a great book a few years ago called The Waking Dream.
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riley harrison March 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

There is a neuroscientist (Richard Davidson) that has done a lot of research on meditation’s impact on brain structure, production of neurotransmitters (dopamine, seratonin etc.). MRI scans show significant changes in the brain after only two weeks of meditation (1/2 hour daily sessions). I’m going to check out The Waking Dream. Thanks for tip.
riley harrison recently posted..LIFE IS GOOD! – NOW WHAT?My Profile


sean crawford March 20, 2012 at 3:50 am

Hi Riley,
If anyone is having trouble meditating it may be of some comfort to know that years ago, when for college I needed to run a reinforcement program on myself, complete with graphs of progress, I chose a goal of meditation, and I charted the minutes per day. I did not succeed. I concluded that for me, if something is worth doing, then it is something that I excitedly go home and tell people about. I never told people I was learning to meditate.

The good news is that I was in fact meditating for moments at a time, according to a friend who learned in bible college. (But I forget the reasoning) I am sure this is true for me, so hurray! … (I will take whatever meditating I can get.)
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riley harrison March 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hey Sean,
Frequently when I’m meditating, creative solutions to problems enter my consciousness. I’m not sure what this means but I’ll take it.
riley harrison recently posted..LIFE IS GOOD! – NOW WHAT?My Profile


Maryden25 March 22, 2012 at 3:35 am

I envy your lifestyle! How I wish I could travel more places like what you are doing right now. Aside from enjoying the place, you can learn more of it’s traditions and other things about it.
Thanks for taking time mentioning the benefits of meditation. I should really have to practice it.
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Beatriz March 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Meditation is really the best suggestion for a great life style habit… Life is full of fun and challenges and it’s depend on us on how we handle or run it for a life time.. :D
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Bill Dorman March 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Interesting, I wasn’t familiar w/ the term lucid dreaming but there are times I do control the outcome of what I’m dreaming.

Sounds like you have some interesting things on the table here my friend, I’m sure they give you energy and enthusiasm.

Mediation is probably something I should try but it’s probably hard to get me to sit that still for any length of time. The good news is I have low blood pressure and really don’t worry about much.

I liked your food analogy and going to a foreign country. When I found out I was going to French speaking Monaco the first thing I thought of was ‘I hope I don’t go hungry’. I did relish jumping into the unknown with that experience however and it did turn out quite rewarding.

Hope all is well; thanks for sharing your story.
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MaDhares March 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Hi Riley…I believe that meditation is really helpful in every way and we are all aware with it…You know sometimes, I really take time to meditate and have time for myself alone despite all of those stress and problems…
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Laura April 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

As a mom, I struggle in different challenge in my life and the only reason that I found my self ease with something is mediation, and I know that most of mom is similar to me too…
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Brien27 April 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

You have a good life style you travel all over the world and know their culture.Meditation is a useful way of everything we are all aware with it.
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Shirley Fai April 4, 2012 at 2:14 am

Hi Riley…I am really glad that you have shared this post to us…Meditaion can really help us not think of the problems for a while and take some time for our self alone…
Shirley Fai recently posted..How To Overcome AnxietyMy Profile


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