Welcome...glad you're here! You are in the right place if you are ready to live an extraordinary life everyday!

I am amazed how we can intentionally connect through the web. My hope is the podcasts, videos and other offerings on my blog will strengthen the connection between us and support you to have more of what you want.

Sharing chapters from my book, My Heart Has Wings is something I enjoy so much. You can download the podcasts in chapter order, or browse through the titles to find the perfect topic to support you right now. You can also order an autographed copy of my book at www.myhearthaswings.com.

My videos cover a wide range of ideas and thoughts and include recordings of presentations I have given. They are usually no more than 10 minutes and offer you a great way to stay inspired and support your continued learning..

I invite you to stay connected with me on Facebook, too! I am having so much fun with it.

I love feedback. Let me know what you think.

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

Let Your Light Shine

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

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Anni with me in Nepal

Is this a call to arms?
Not unless it is for arms to encircle
someone in need of tenderness.
Is this a call to arms?
Not unless it is for arms to point out a
new direction of peace and healing.
Is this a call to arms?
Not unless it is for arms to be a safety
net for those who are falling.
Is this a call to arms?
Not unless it is for our arms to entwine
courageously to take a stand for truth.
Is this a call to arms?

YES!
-Kris King

Even a Headlamp Can Be a Source of Inspiration

Walking in the early morning is one of my favorite ways to greet my day, my world. In the stillness of early morning I get to witness the transition from darkness to light, the moon taking its final bow, stars seemingly dimming as the sun’s rays touch the earth, deer gazing at me as I pass, and all the while feeling fresh air touch my body inside and out. Bliss.

The deep darkness of winter mornings was a challenge until I remembered my trusty headlamp that I use in camp in the evenings in Bhutan. When I realized I could use it on my morning walks at home, I shook my head, thinking, “What took you so long to figure out you could use your headlamp at home?” Well, I had my headlamp only associated with trekking in Bhutan, not walking in the dark at home.

This morning, as I was walking through a cool, dark mist, I kept looking at the light my head- lamp cast, always eight feet out ahead of me. Using that soft glow, I safely found my way even though the rest of my surroundings were still dark. And then tears sprang into my eyes as I felt a deep connection to my spirit, to everything. It was as if I had connected the dots between two points that I didn’t know were disconnected. When I take ownership of my own light, I can see what I want ahead of me. The more ownership I take, the farther I can see.

This inspiration led to another. A favorite quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe came to mind.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

The morning has brightened enough that there is no need for my headlamp any longer. I take it off and look at it with gratitude. Yes, it is something I own and use; it is a great tool. The light I possess, my inherent gifts, talents, wisdom, love, humor, and intuition are all for me to use in this life the best way I know how to light my own way and to help light the way for others. The same is true for each of us.

You might have seen this before. Connect the dots using four straight lines without picking up your pen.

dots

After some play you will discover that the only way to connect the dots is to draw outside the lines.

I believe that when you and I take full ownership of our light, it’s easier to draw outside the lines of conventional thinking, limitations, and fears, to be creative, see the possibilities in each moment, and then to courageously use ourselves to make this the world we want to live in every day.

Let your light shine! And let me know of your adventures.

Reflections:

1. What are things you do to take care of yourself physically that also support you spiritually?

2. What does, “It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather,” mean to you?

3. After reading this book, what does this mean to you? “The light you possess, your inherent gifts, talents, wisdom, love, humor, and intuition are all for you to use in this life the best way you know how, to light your own way and to help light the way for others.”

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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The Call of Profound Integrity

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

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My sons, Kyle and Mark, with my mom, Rae, at her last Christmas

She flies
with her own wings.
-Oregon state motto

Personal Integrity: my principles, values, and actions are aligned. I keep my word with myself and others, telling the whole truth accountably without blame or judgment.

Profound Integrity: I hold my well-being as my responsibility, and I take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and I am in service first to my family, myself, and my committed relationships (Wings definitions).

These words, “the call of profound integrity,” have been running through my mind for weeks now—when looking out the window at spring unfolding, driving my car feeling the fresh air on my face, and moments when I am alone and aware of my connection to the divine. When I hear these words, I feel a sense of longing so intense that at times it takes my breath away, clutches my heart, and leaves me breathless. Integrity means wholeness, and part of me feels shattered.

My mother is dying. My longest loving relationship is coming to an end. This will happen only once in my lifetime, and I want to be there for my mom the best way I can while taking care of myself and my family too.

Not a balancing act; rather, an authentic balancing of love, respect, and service that is nurturing and healing for all of us.

Sitting with my mom while she lies in bed, my brother, sister, and I tell stories of growing up together. We laugh, we cry, and mom listens and adds in. Then she is talking about her own growing up on the E Quarter Circle Ranch in eastern Oregon, remembering a laundry day when a chipmunk fell in a pot of apple butter and then ran through all the clean, folded sheets. We laugh, thinking of all those little footprints. She sighs, remembering how hard it was to do laundry then, how hard they all worked. Good memories, sad ones too. Ones you can’t help having in a life ninety-three years long.

As we talk and I listen, I feel such a deep sense of gratitude for our time together…all of it. And in that moment, I realize how much my learning at Wings over the years is helping me be the person I want to be in this time of accepting a heartbreaking reality. I am eager to communicate what’s in my heart instead of fearful, open to the changes I see in her instead of denying, standing up for what I think she wants instead of hoping some one else will, letting my tears be seen rather than hiding them, and so much more.

If someone told me I could teach only four things for the rest of my life, I know what I would choose: accountability, integrity, love, and service (vision). These are the things I most want to practice and that my mother demonstrated to me and everyone who knew her every day of her life. They are the foundations of a meaningful life.

My mom died peacefully on May 11 at about 5:00 a.m., a gentle smile on her face. The days leading up to her death are some of the most poignant of my life. I am so thankful I could be there with her and my sister and her family to hold her hand and touch her face. Together we created a sacred space of unconditional love and honor to embrace her and ease her spirit. She will long be remembered as a woman of beauty, wit, warmth, grace, and intelligence. Integrity was her highest value, and that’s how she lived.

This is a call to me and an invitation to you
to know our deepest values and live them fully;
to express our love now instead of waiting for the right time;
to tell the truth respectfully and listening with an open mind to the response;
to accept and celebrate that our own well-being is our responsibility;
to remember that the quality of our most important relationships is in our hands;
to live in both personal and profound integrity.

Having written this, I notice the part of me that felt shattered is gently mending with tender threads
of gratitude and acceptance. The following is what I said at Mom’s memorial service, June 30, 2007.


Rae Case Anderson

Born April 10, 1914, died May 11, 2007

Ah…to say good-bye to my mother. To never hear her sweet voice again; to never see her beautiful and animated face as she told me about her day, questioned me about mine; to never call her when I want guidance, support, or the best way to reach for something important to me; to never have her listen patiently to my stumbling words as I made me way toward clarity, compassionately listening, listening, and then she would say just the right thing to help me find my own way.

How very fortunate we are—my brother Roger, my sister Carolyn, our families, her grandchildren—to have Rae Case Anderson live ninety-three years and one month, years rich in love, laughter, and experiencing life to the fullest. My mom taught by example rather than lecture. What she believed was right, she did and encouraged in us. She demonstrated profound integrity.

Since her diagnosis of metastasized breast cancer in September, mom has talked more about her life story than any other time I can remember. In the last weeks at Carolyn’s home, so many people—family, friends, and caregivers—sat and shared stories, laughter, tears, and such deep love and respect. Mom gave and received unconditionally and so very gracefully. What an honor to sit with her and review our lives together and apart.

My mom was a bit paradoxical, totally trusting her intellect and ability to do just about anything, except sing. She rode horses, was a Phi Beta Kappa, taught school, raised gloxinias, three amazing children, and corgis, loved my dad completely, danced with abandon, sailed, traveled the world, caught salmon, loved a good joke, was a great friend and cook, and oh my, she could remember the names of people in her life back to the beginning of time!

And then, curiously, she was self-doubting and shy when it came to her impact on others and her beauty. She was genuinely surprised, as well as gratified, when people remembered her as a positive force in their lives. And even at ninety-three she could never figure out why people thought she was beautiful.

Her beauty at the end was incandescent; she radiated such calm presence. She watched us with such intensity, drinking us in, every detail, and we were doing the same thing, letting her know with every touch, look, and word that we loved her.

I would like to share a poem with you by Mary Oliver that reveals my mom’s passion for life.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower,
as common as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Dignity, honor, grace, humor, and a helping hand…we are saying good-bye to Rae in physical form. She lives on in us. We are her inspired legacy.

Thank you, Mom, for sharing yourself so completely with me…with us.

Reflections:

1. After reading my definitions of integrity, take a moment and write your own definition.

2. Where in your life is your integrity solid, where you wouldn’t even think about breaking your word or not keeping an agreement?

3. In what parts of your life do you have broken agreements and you haven’t kept your word? What is the impact?

4. Think of someone in your life whose integrity is profound. What do you think they would tell you to do to rebuild your integrity? Will you do it?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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Mastery… A Life Path

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

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Trekking friends David Larson and Sonam, Bhutan

Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born
until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting
that a new world is born.
-Anais Nin

Master (edited from Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd edition)

1. a person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science 2. a person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something. Syn. adept, expert, skillful, supreme, matchless, consummate.

Oh my, what a year this has been! A year filled with newness, of moving out of a place we had been in for five years and into our new location, of new staff with fresh ideas, and of some great new ways to fulfill our vision: to inspire and support positive change, creating an abundant, loving, and respectful world community.

As I look back at this year with deep gratitude for all the support of my staff, our wonderful participants, backup team members, and all the people involved with the renovation of this delightful space, I am amazed at the dedication and different types of mastery that brought it all together.

When I look even farther back in time, I realize that I had two of the best teachers in the whole world demonstrating mastery to me from the earliest I can remember: my mom and my dad. There is no way to tell you the hundreds of ways they showed me that bringing my whole self to whatever I did would not only serve me, but would serve the whole family and from there my community.

I am not talking about meeting expectations of perfection to please somebody else. I am talking about what I believe are the four keys to mastery.

  • Expressing my passion for anything the best way I can
  • Being an avid learner in that process
  • Committing to deepening my skills through practice
  • Sharing my capabilities in service to my world

I remember my dad teaching me how to make a mosaic for my eighth grade art class. He worked with me every step of the way, and yet I did all the work. He was patient and encouraging even when I messed up. He would chuckle and ask, “What did you just learn by doing it that way?”

My dad had a great laugh; remembering it fills my heart with joy and brings tears to my eyes, I miss him so. He had a keen eye for design, color, and use of space. His questions provoked me and challenged me. Through his drawings he helped me see the world in a whole new way. Wanting to please my dad, I worked very hard and held my breath for long periods of time. When he heard me exhale—whoosh!—he’d look at me and encourage me to relax into the creative process.

My mom showed me every single day about touching life with reverence, love, and humor from how she tended her gloxinias, prepared a meal, prepared to teach, raised corgis, washed the car, or played the piano. Her range of mastery was and still is incredible to me, and none of it was a push or a proving. It was all fueled by the love of what she chose into her life. My mom is the most fulfilled ninety-two-year-old I have ever known!

As I read what I have just written, I realize that these keys to mastery—expressing your passion for anything the best way you can, being an avid learner in that process, committing to deepening your skills through practice, and sharing your capabilities in service to your world—are what Wings is all about. I am so grateful that I can pass on what was given to me with such love.

Reflections:

1. What are you passionate about?

2. Are you ready to express it? To commit fully and master it?

3. What will you risk to do it?

4. What will you risk if you do not do it?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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Envy vs. Emulate

Monday, December 28th, 2015

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Lovely rice seller on market day in Bhutan

We’ve been waiting for you.
You are the only one
who can fulfill your part.
-Sue Miller Hurst


Envy

Pronunciation: ‘en-vE

Definition: A feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success,
or possessions (Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd edition); a resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage (Merriam- Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition).

Late in the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great made envy one of the seven deadly sins, which are defined as “deliberate violations of the will of God, a misuse of our free will and a deliberate turning away from God. Sin is a grave matter committed in full knowledge with full consent of the will; until it is repented it cuts the sinner off from God’s sanctifying grace” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 200th anniversary edition).

What is it about envy that Christendom has seen it for centuries as a deliberate sin? The effect of deliberate sin is that we are cut off from God’s grace, disconnected from our wholeness. We are out of balance in a profound way and feel it not only in our hearts and minds, but also in our bodies. The feeling is toxic. We experience hell right now.

Have you ever envied and resented someone who was really excellent at something? For being intelligent, talented, capable, beautiful, handsome, funny, athletic, doing what they love, fulfilled spiritually, charismatic, at ease socially, etc.? Where do you feel it in your body? What kinds of thoughts did you have about them?

Have you ever resented someone who had something you didn’t have and thought you deserved? For example, healthy relationships, close friends, a great job, a lovely home, a car, a great wardrobe, a trip somewhere, money, a great body, etc.? What have you said inside your mind when you thought about this person? What have you said to others about this person behind their back? What do you feel in your body?

Our definition of resentment at Wings goes like this: “Resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.” This is the feeling of envy. It gnaws at your mind, heart, and gut. And when you are feeling it, you may do or think things that you are not too proud of later, which means a double dose of guilt.

Envy seems, in a way, to be safe, and it keeps us justified in not taking action of our own. However, envy is anything but safe. It is insidious and keeps us stuck in resentment, jealousy, longing, and “poor me” or victim thinking. Toxic.

When we envy another, we build separation between ourselves and them and also distance ourselves from the very things we want. They belong to the other, not to us.

Let’s look at another possibility.

Emulate

Pronunciation: ‘em-yU”lAt

Definition: A desire and effort to equal or excel, to imitate or model another’s desired traits, capabilities, or possessions.

My mom gave me a great gift as I was growing up. She used to say to me, “If a human being can do it or create it, so can you.” So I grew up believing that if I did my part, I could do just about anything (except be a man, which for a while I thought would be pretty cool). I watched people I admired and “tried them on,” the way they walked, talked, painted, sang, played field hockey, danced, anything. I didn’t realize I was emulating them or modeling them. I just watched very closely and then did what they did, and I learned. I went beyond my own frame of capability.

I am not saying that I never felt envy. Sometimes it was bitter in my mouth with words I wanted to say to diminish someone’s brightness. Sometimes I felt so jealous of another’s beauty that I couldn’t sleep, feeling such angst in my body I thought I would die.

I am saying I found a way through envy to valuing, honoring, and appreciating others’ talents, capabilities, and possessions, so that I could learn from them how to bring all that abundance into my own life. I began to emulate those I admired and blessed them for showing me the way. Who do you respect enough that you want to model them and grow?

Reflections:

1. What role has envy played in your life?

2. Who have you envied? What capabilities of theirs did you envy? What impact did that have on you?

3. What possessions have you envied? What impact did that have on you?

4. Who do you want to emulate, to model their gifts and talents and make them your own?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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What If? Through the Eyes of Fear and Love

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

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Bhutanese children sharing an open door and open hearts

Where service and vision
meet,
creation accelerates
into miracles.
-Kris King


“What if?” is a very powerful question because it invites us to be creative and envision the future.

However, I have noticed that very often this question is used in a fearful way. For example: “What if I get sick?”

“What if they leave me?”

“What if I lose my job?”

“What if I never figure it (life) out?”

“What if the terrorists attack?”

“What if the sky falls?” (Henny Penny)

“What if I make a mistake about something important?”

The list goes on and on. Just notice how you felt reading these questions. Perhaps a loss of energy, concerned, fearful? Notice the images in your mind, perhaps remembering past inadequacies or hurts. The above questions set your imagination in motion with a negative focus, and the result is what I call “disaster films” with your life as the story line. Every time you imagine in this way, you imbed the fearful beliefs more strongly not only in your mind but also in your body. The result is often inaction and the feeling of being stuck, hopeless. Have you ever noticed this?

Imagine the shift in your results if you ask “what if ” questions from a different perspective—the perspective of love.

“What if I take really good care of myself physically?”

“What if I love myself and others wholeheartedly?”

“What if I show up fully, using my skills and talents in life and in my work?”

“What if life offers me opportunities to learn every day?”

“What if my body is worthy of my loving care?”

“What if peace starts with me?”

“What if the universe really is a safe place?”

“What if taking a stand for something I believe in is exhilarating?”

“What if I can really have what I want?”

Again, notice how you felt as you read these questions. Perhaps curious, inspired, relaxed? Notice
the images that came to mind. Times of your greatest resourcefulness and involvement? This use of “what if” invokes your imagination and creativity in a positive and enlivening way, of possibilities, dreams, and action.

By shifting our perspective from fear to love, we impact every aspect of our lives.

Have you been waiting in any part of your life, fearful that it won’t turn out right? The quality of the questions we ask ourselves determines the quality of our lives. Is it time to start asking questions that reveal your desired present and future?

Every time you choose love over fear, you change the world and make it a better place for you and the people around you.

Wings is here to support you in daring to dream big and advocating for the world you want to
live in.

Reflections:

1. How have you used “what if” questions in the past?

2. What has been the impact on your thinking and how you feel about your life?

3. Make your own list of “what if” questions that are positive and open your mind to the possibilities of your life.

4. Notice how you feel when you read your list. Is it time to step into your desired future?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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