Transformation Tools + Creative Resources for Karma Mechanics, Consciousness Engineers & Manifestation Specialists
“Even a jackass gains spirit from the company of his own kind.” — Rumi
What’s impossible? Everything. Until someone does it.
But, no, really. Compiling a list like this really is impossible… inasmuch as there can be no true beginning or end.
Anything can be a Transformation Tool. Everything, when looked at from the proper angle, can be a Creative Resource. And every single one of us is a Karma Mechanic, a Consciousness Engineer and a Manifestation Specialist.
Better to call this an open-ended map, then—one that I’m honored to share with you, follow myself, and will inevitably add to as days become days become days…
May it be a good Traveling Companion for you. And May It Be a Fuse.
Inspirations, Elevations & Kick-Your-Ass Motivations
(First—what else?—the books!)
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
The central message of this book: You don’t have to be a genius, you just have to be yourself.
(Applause all around—chorus of Bravo! and Encore!)
Getting hung up on abstracts like ‘originality’ and ‘perfection’ equals stuck—another day lost to “I’m working on it. It’s coming along. I just need to…”
Get out there and create something. Be perfect in your imperfections. Vulnerable. Unapologetic in the quest for your own lux et voluptas. The veritas of your own holy bones.
You’ll be happier when you do. Even if you’re the determined-to-be melancholy type you’ll still be able to exult in the knowledge that you’ve made a conscious decision to participate in the making of your own destiny.
- The War of Art Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Written with writers in mind, this one’s been inspiring people since 2002 and ‘has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers [and even] military service members… and thousands of others around the world.’
“I’ve never read a self-help book that wasn’t fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It’s amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I’d assign, along with the letters of Flannery O’Connor.” – Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Writing will take you everyplace and this book’s the very definition of our open-ended map. (My Shambala Pocket Classics copy is well-worn but gathers no dust about 2 and 1/2 ft. from my keyboard.)
Much respect to Jay McInerney, but if I were to teach a writing course this would be the first book I’d assign.
- Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
The Environmental Movement’s favorite Anarchist penned a whole helluva lot of incendiary prose and put words to sunsets in a way that’d make Homer jealous.
But while he’s probably most famous for The Monkey Wrench Gang this one burns up the map and pushes us into the territory with reckless blessings such as this:
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you—beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
Suffice to say this book’ll never get bumped from its top-o’-shelf position.
- A Moveable Feast by Uncle Ernie, ol’ Hem, Papa…
You know how everybody says that Ernest Hemingway was probably the most influential writer of the 20th Century? How he changed the form forever with his crazy-short and adjectiveless sentences? How he—
Yeah. I didn’t get it, either.
Until I read this book.
And, masterpiece of stranger-than-fiction that it is, it might just as well belong under the ‘Inspirations, Elevations…’ heading as it contains some of the most succinct and insightful writing advice out there, still, to date.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
“It was in that room too that I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything.”
You get an intimate peek behind the curtain at some legendary artists and writers the likes of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. (Spoiler alert: they were human.)
- The Power of Now by the Cardigan Gno—erm, Eckhart Tolle
I’m re-reading it now (and begin many mornings with it) and I swear if you read this book right it’s the same thing as deep meditation.
Also I think it levitates when I’m not looking.
- Reduced to Joy by Mark Nepo
This dude’s tent is pitched in the same camp as Ecstatics like Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir.
An old friend and co-conspirator (who’s only ever steered me right) gave me the book—I glanced at it, got busy and forgot about it. Then, about nine months ago, I dusted it off and opened it…
At this point just about every page is dog-eared and/or torn and everyone who comes over gets to hear a few poems from it—whether they’re into poetry or not.
I try not to get choked up but I’m rarely successful.
‘Kids’ Books’ (That Every Adult Should Read)
Again… no beginning, no end… and I feel like paring these offerings down to five is a crime. Hopefully forgiveness will come quickly.
These really are my favorite ‘children’s books’ though. Every single one of ’em worth multiple reads.
- Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams and Mercer Mayer
This book scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, and was also pretty formative.
(I’m not gonna give it away, but the fate of a people ends up hinging on a bowl of rice and a cup of wine…)
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
This one inspired a short film that ended up coming out before the book (if I’m not confused).
Anyway, it’s quirky and it’s about stories and our enduring, evolving relationship with ’em and at the end there’s not so much a twist as an elaboration or a really sweet sucker punch that’ll bring a ‘didn’t see that comin” smile to your face and maybe even a bit of the blinkies…
You might cry is what I’m saying. But you’ll be fine with that.
- The Mountains of Tibet by Mordecai Gerstein
Based on principles found in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, it’s about a Woodcutter who dies, gets all kindsa cosmic and, with help from a disembodied tour guide, finds a way home…
- What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
“But there was something magical about my idea. I felt better and happier when it was around.”
Enough said, right? Plus the artwork freakin’ rocks.
And, last but by no means least…
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Loving. Is. What. Makes. Us. Real.
Get the original version if you can (the one I linked to). Some of the other ones are just too dumbed down and omit or try to over-simplify gems like this one:
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
(More to come in books but, for now, moving on to…)
The MultiVersal Quantum Laboratory
Ask. Believe. Receive.
It is exactly like this: if you want to see it, you have to believe it first.
And, most important, you have to ACT!
Here are three Multiversal Quantum Laboratories that specialize in helping you formulate the right questions, find the real answers and start living your life according to your biggest, boldest, most bad-ass dreams.
(Write your own story. Be your own cult.)
Go on and be huge, then, Reality Bender…
(I stole the term ‘Consciousness Engineer’ from these folks—like an artist!)
Founded by Vishen Lakhiani (author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind) Mindvalley Academy teaches what they forgot to teach you in ordinary school.
From their website:
“We design learning experiences and publish teachings by the best authors in transformational education for 3 million students worldwide.”
Some of it you pay for, some of it you don’t. (They offer free mini-courses in everything from fitness and nutrition to meditation and mindfulness.)
Sometimes I get a little shifted just looking at their homepage.
Close to my heart.
Starting with the Exceptional Life Blueprint, this has been my jam for the last nine months—neuroplasticity work, brain re-training, meditations and affirmations via John Assaraf.
At the time of writing I’m immersed in Level 7 of Winning the Game of Money—it works.
And for Creatives who are ready to get past the idea that getting paid for their work is ‘selling out’ once and for all, I’d say it’s essential. At least invaluable.
Wait. Before you say, “Really? Tony Robbins?” go and read this:
Then go get your abundance on the website, starting with this video that starts out as a Dream Bucket and turns into something beautiful and deep and with a quickness (kind of like a dream in a bucket… or a bucket made of dreams)…
And for this now, dear Time Traveler, that is all.
Stay tuned—there’ll be a part two or a hefty addition that will include music to drive to and some of the best living writers you’ve never heard of.
(to be continued…)
Got an inkling, an aha or a ‘y’know, I was thinkin’…’ that you’d like to share?
Mine inbox awaits the glory.
To your inevitable transformations,
P.S. Share this with a friend who gains spirit from your kind…
Many of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy something through them, I’ll get a commission (thank you!)—your price remains the same.