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My brother is getting married on March 30th and I am his best man. As his best man and brother I would like to organize him the best possible wedding there is, so I did some research and found some great artist who could perform during the wedding party as a surprise act for the newly wed couple and guests alike. One after another I was talking with them over the telephone to learn more about their act and how much they would cost and so on.

Just a couple of weeks ago, three days before my return to the US, I happened to talk to one of the artists on my cell for the first time – I will  not go into too much detail about these artist today as my brother might read this entry before his wedding and then it wouldn't be a surprise anymore. It was 5:30 p.m. and I was on my way to the gym. It was completely dark already and cold of course, as it was January and the roads were covered with snow as it had snowed just a couple of days prior.

As I know the way to the gym by heart, I was fully engaged in my conversation with the artist on the other end, and did not pay too much attention to what was going on around me. I was walking along a construction site where I saw a construction worker handling a "Long Fence" some 20 feet away from me. Since there were no signs telling me that I wasn't allowed to walk on the side of the road that I was walking on, I continued walking.

The second I continued with my walk I regretted my decision doing so. The construction worker lost control over the fence he was handling and it slipped out of his hand and the whole thing come down on me from above hitting me with its full weight on my right shoulder, knee and head. My iPhone flew several feet across the pavement, while my connection was still on, and I hit the ground with the fence burying me under it.

For a while I was groggy and didn't quite know what had happened. While the construction worker pulled the fence off of me, I gradually realized where I was and what had happened. I shook my head and pushed myself up again and staggered to my phone. I picked it up and heard the guy on the other end saying "hello" over and over again. I told him I had to get back to him as I was involved in an accident and  hung up.

Parts of my body were aching and my clothes were completely destroyed. Standing there in the cold, dark wintry evening in Vienna, I tried to recall the previous couple of minutes, which might have also been the last couple of minutes, of my life and realized that indeed life can be over without any forewarning or sign. One small freak accident is sufficient to bring an end to ones life. End of story and goodbye.

This incident, as painful and annoying as it was, was in effect a gift as it made me appreciate my life and health. That night I gave thanks to all the people I had in my life, the things I had accomplished and asked to be given enough time to achieve all the things I still would want to achieve.

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Many of you know that I also guide tours through Europe. Given the great health challenges I had prior the start of the tour, I thought I would share my little story with you showing you again what we are capable of if we set our mind to it.

My last tour started on December 14th in Munich and ended on December 23rd in Munich again; ten days through Central Europe with 52 guests on a coach. But let's start at the beginning. For several weeks my stomach had been acting up and I felt low on energy with a bad cough and some fever. I didn't think much of it, but still made sure to keep a nice diet, give myself plenty of rest, get plenty of vitamins and give my body time to heal itself. Since my symptoms started in early November I never was worried that I would not be fully recovered by the time I had to guide my tour.  A few days before the tour commenced I started to feel really bad – my muscles ached more, I had light fever again and my bloated stomach acted up stronger than ever. Finally I realized that I really had to do something as I only had a few days before I had to lead a large group of people through Europe. On Monday, December 10th I had some blood work done, my lungs x-rayed, and my stomach sonogramed. As the doctors couldn't really find anything, apart from believing that I was at the tail end of an untreated flue, and my symptoms worsened, I was urged to have a gastroscopy done. The only day available was Wednesday, December 12th, a day before I had to board my train from Vienna to Munich.

So on Tuesday, December 11th, I packed my suitcase and prepared for the tour as best as I could since I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the procedure the next day.

Since my cancer days I have always been a little nervous when I have to go to the hospital. In light of this, I meditated before going to bed, picturing that my day at the hospital would run smoothly and pain-free and that I would know what it is that had made me feel sick for such a long time.

As I was given a heavy sedative I didn't feel a thing and when I woke up, I was told that I had a gastric attack and had to take heavy antibiotics for a week and all should be well again. With a big smile on my face I left the hospital as I was finally on the right track of full recovery of my, by then six week long ordeal. But it seems that things have to get worse before they can get better again, so in the afternoon after my examination, I started to get the chills and my temperature rose to a dramatic 103 within a few hours. Sweating, aching and moaning I was shaking my head really, really wondering, whether I could even board the train the next day, let alone execute a tour. Having had no food all day, and pumped with drugs, I finally fell asleep at midnight.

On Thursday, December 13th, I woke up totally exhausted and drained of my energies as I had sweat out whatever toxins were in my body during the night. Somehow I now had to get to Munich as I was determined to not let my being sick keep me from doing what I had promised to do when I accepted to direct the tour several months prior.

Tired, slightly feverish and achy, I dragged myself to Munich, traveling for six hours and changing trains twice while shlepping a heavy suitcase and two bags; filled with all the things I needed to conduct a successful trip. Finally, at 11:00 p.m., after a full day of traveling and then preparing for the trip at my hotel in Munich, I switched off my lights believing I was about to embrace a peaceful and restful night. Far from it! At 2:00 a.m., after having tried every single technique I know of trying to fall asleep, I gave up, switched on the lights and started to watch TV in the hope that my mind finally would give in allowing me a few hours of rest before I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. Well, for reasons unknown to me, my mind simply did not want to rest at all, forcing me to start a tour without any sleep for 24 hours, still achy and slightly feverish. Before leaving my room for the airport I sat down and told my body that if it helped me to carry through this day, I will give it all the rest it deserved and pamper it as much as I possibly can. All day long I welcomed guests at the airport and transferred them to the hotel, smiling and being as cheerful and as engaging as I possibly could be. My day was busier than usual, with more check in problems and flight delays than on any other tour this year, but my body, soul and mind carried me through the day allowing me to conduct a city tour, give a welcome reception and take care of all of my guests smaller and bigger problems always with a smile on my face, never giving away that I was far from being OK.

At night, when finally back in my room, I thanked my body and my spirit for having been there for me when I needed them. I promised that I would take care of myself by giving myself plenty of rest and plenty of downtime as soon as this tour comes to an end. I continued to talk to my body, and to thank it every day while making plans for a very relaxed Christmas and New Year's period. I cancelled all of my engagements for the holiday period and created an environment where I really could rest and my body could get all the healing support I had promised it.

Needless to say that at the end the tour ended up to be a fantastic program with people being more than 100% happy and satisfied. Here I am now, writing these words to you, just as I had promised myself eight days of total and complete relaxation ready to embrace the New Year with new found energies. My body healed, my mind at peace and my spirit ready to dive into 2013.

This episode has proven to me again that our bodies and minds are capable of so much more than what we at first sight believe are capable of. If we really set our mind to get something done and believe in ourselves then the rest will fall into place.

Am wishing you all a most wonderful, happy and fulfilling 2013!

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Visualization is an imperative part of my coaching. Almost every time I work with a new client I have to overcome their doubts and reservations about the impact and influence potential visualizations have on our lives.

The reason why I simply know that there is no way around practicing visualization techniques on a regular basis – ideally on a daily basis – is because I believe that what we experience in our external world is 100% influenced by our internal world and the way we "see" and perceive the world to be.

The questions are the following – and they are not only philosophical ones: 1) with what do we actually see – with our eyes or with our brain? 2) can we only see what we can process?

Here is an attempt to answer these questions and at the same time providing you with some food for thought:

1) In a study people were asked to look at a specific object while they were connected to a sophisticated PET scan which recorded certain parts of the brain to light up. Then people were asked to visualize the same object while still connected to the machine and the exact same areas of the brain reacted. This only leaves us with one possible conclusion: our brain cannot distinguish between what we see through our eyes and what we project onto our mental screen. Further we must concluded that ultimately we must be seeing with our brain and not with our eyes.

2) I know you have heard of the phrase: "can't you see this/it/what is going on with you/etc.?" This indicated that someone else can see something that we cannot, even though we all see with our eyes the same things. If someone else can see something we cannot, e.g.: solution of an even simple mathematical equation, a deer hidden in the forest, a way out of a stuck situation, then that must mean that their brain has learned to process that specific information so that they can "see" the solution to the problem/challenge/issue, while we cannot. Just think back in your own life where other people could clearly see something you could not – be it a homework issue as a kid or a challenge you were faced with as an adult. You might have thought then how stupid you were not to see such an obvious solution and be mad at yourself for some time – never even realizing that your eyes could not see the solution simply because your brain did not know how to process the information. The most powerful tool in demonstrating folks the power of visualization is my BLUE exercise (which I described in great detail in one of my previous blog entries). This exercise clearly demonstrates that we see with our eyes a lot more than our brain can process and thus utilize. Thus all we have to do is to train our mind how to process the information that we are receiving and as a result we can create the most amazing lives for ourselves.

If you believe in the power of visualization and practice it often you will reap great benefits and lead a wonderful and fulfilled life!!

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It is a scientifically well established notion that only 5% of our decisions are made consciously. Which means that 95% of all of our decisions are made subconsciously, quasi on autopilot. This would for example mean that whether and where we drink our morning coffee, which route we take to work or which newspaper we read is already pretty much 'set in stone' – we simply do things without really thinking about it anymore – we are practically going through life doing the same things over and over again without ever realizing that for the most part we are kind of like stuck at a self-created assembly line called 'our own life'. In some instances such a 'factory work' life-style might indeed be very healthy and conducive to leading a fulfilled and healthy existence – such as when 'automatically choosing greens for lunch, going for a jog in your spare time, or reading a book. But in some other instances certain automated behaviors might be outright unhealthy and blocking the way to leading a fulfilling life. It is exactly because of those unwanted, but subconsciously automated habits, that we find ourselves in  undesirable situations: fighting those dreaded extra pounds, continuous lack of energy, failing relationships, lack of funds, etc.

It was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We cannot expect that by eating the same foods, practicing the same routines and thinking the same thoughts we will achieve different results, i.e., lose the extra pounds, lead more fulfilling lives, have more energy and earn more money! One Must Change!! And the first step of change is to realize that most of what we do is subconscious and routine based. Once you are aware of this we can then look into our routines and change our patterns where and when needed!

If indeed you are seeking a "better" life then you must break yourself free from old patterns and create new ones – have the courage, take a leap of faith, transform and you will reap the benefits!

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I recently bought an iPhone – finally some would say ; )) – and now that I have an iPhone I also started to play games on it. One of the games that I have been playing over the past several weeks is 'Jetpack' and for a while, I must admit, I was quasi addicted to it ;))

While maneuvering my way to higher and tougher levels and being given more and bigger challenges – all of which I of course gradually have been able to overcome – I realized something about myself and life per se which I thought to be important enough to share with you in this blog.

When playing 'Jetpack' you always work on three 'missions' – which you can choose to tackle separately and step by step or, if possible, tackle all of them at the same time. The higher I got in the game and the better I got, the more I thought I could tackle all the missions at the same time aiming to complete the missions in one run. This is when I started to fail already early in the game and had to commence a new run which naturally annoyed the hell out of me as starting a new run means to play at a slower pace facing less exciting challenges and thus having a quite boring experience for a while. The fact that I failed to reach higher levels faster and with greater ease was not only a frustrating experience but it also made me stop playing for a little and step back from the game to think about the whole situation for a minute or two. This is when I realized that trying to "juggle all the balls" simultaneously creates too much "noise" and distraction for me so I started to pick one of the three missions as my main mission for the run and try to work toward accomplishing a second mission if and when possible and leave the third mission on the sidelines unless by chance an opportunity popped up to work on it. And lo and behold my success rate went through the roof – I was able to finish each mission faster and more missions in less time. So far so good. Though the "problem" that I am facing now is that because of my new strategy I have now completed all levels and completed all missions – nothing else left to do for me…sigh…which means I can either start from the very beginning again or simply move on the another game.

In hindsight this game proved to be a perfect mirror for me – reflecting real life in a fairly simple computer game: 1) have a vision and a goal (know what it is that you want – in this case: finishing all the levels and missions in as fast a way as possible) 2) pick one thing you would want to see accomplished (in this case: completing a single mission as fast as possible) 3) if need be, step back and re-evaluate that strategy you are following and if necessary adjust.

These steps can easily be incorporated into our daily lives: at work, at home, little projects that we have going on – business wise or personal, etc. Give this approach a try and you will see great results in a short period of time.

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I received so much feedback on my THREE FINGER TECHNIQUE video that I thought I would write some additional info about this. Hopefully I have been able to "prove" to you that our mind is a gigantic computer – far more powerful than we can comprehend – and as such we can program it to hone in on and create any end result we desire.

A fast and easy way to learn about the powers of energy and that we are all (energetically and invisibly) somehow connected is by utilizing the 'three finger technique'. A perfect opportunity for this technique would be to use it to find a parking spot. Tell yourself that when you put your thumb,  index and middle fingers of your left hand together you will find a parking space within five minutes of doing so. This technique works like magic. Somehow through this conditioning we pull together the energies that connect all of us so that when the time is ready – thus we need a parking space – one will magically appear.

This technique can be used in many situations helping you to achieve your goal faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

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When I got my PhD, and that was 12 years ago, my family gave me a set of Mont Blanc pens. I have been using them since – at least one of them gets to travel with me, no matter where I go. I use them to scribble down notes, play Sudoko or do my accounting; basically from the profane to the profound – I do not believe we should only use the 'good and expensive' stuff for special occasions.

At any rate, just a few days ago I was in Prague with a group. As it is a large group, I was running up and down between the rooms and the reception area quite often, not to mention all the running around we did in the city. When we got home the second day, I had to realize that I had lost my Mont Blanc pen – it was not in its usual place, my left front pocket. As you can imagine I went though all of my stuff, thinking, or rather hoping, I had placed it somewhere else, or had it dropped under the bed. Neither was the case. The pen was gone. Shit! Of course I got angry at myself and thought what an idiot I was losing my pen.

But then I remembered a technique I had learned many years ago: asking my subconsciousness for help. And this is how I did it:
At night, before going to bed, I centered myself by taking 10 deep belly breaths with my eyes closed. Once totally relaxed I thanked my mind in advance for helping me remember consciously where I had left my pen. I told myself that upon waking up I will know where I had dropped my pen. The next morning, the day of my departure to another city and basically last chance to find my pen, if indeed I had lost it in Prague, I woke up and thanked myself for helping me remember where my pen was. Nothing happened for a while. Though while I was under the shower, focusing on washing my hair, all of a sudden, a thought went through my mind giving me a clue where my pen might be. I remembered that I was sitting on a couch in the lobby of my hotel the afternoon before while working on my laptop. Because the couch was so comfortable, I sled down the cushion and had put my legs on the table while balancing my laptop on my lap. My hope was that my pen had slid out of my pocket while sitting there. I finished up getting dressed and rushed down to the lobby, hoping that my pen would be there and that no one had taken it.

Incredible but true, my pen was there, stuck deep between the cushions, waiting for me to find it again. Wow! A big smile appeared on my face. I immediately said 'Thank You'  – when I show appreciation I know it creates more reasons to be appreciative – picked up my pen and walked back to my room.

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I just got back from a week long trip to Iran, a trip I barely dared possible even just up until a few months ago. This trip was not only a journey into my homeland and down memory lane but also a journey that proved (again) to me that what my brain can tangibly conceive and imagine and where I have unshakable faith and trust that things will become reality and ultimately materialize.

You must know that ever since we had to flee Iran after the revolution in 1979 my father engrained in me that it was really dangerous for us to go back due to his former position in the community as well as him being a member of the Baha'i faith – members of this religion have been persecuted by the mullah regime where tens of thousands of Baha'is have been killed, tortured and imprisoned in the past thirty odd years. And even if I were able to visit Iran it would be IMPOSSIBLE to do anything about the land and properties that my family owned before it all was confiscated and taken away in the aftermath of the revolution. This belief that going to Iran was dangerous and that we would have a snowball's chance in hell to ever get anything back was reinforced by other family members and close Iranian friends whose opinions I trust and accept. So, for many, many years I held back from my desire to visit Iran. Still, deep down, I never gave up the wish and hope to return to Iran for a visit and to claim at least some of the lost land back. I know that when the time is ready, the time is ready. And once the time is ready things fall into place like magic and one is able to overcome hurdles with ease and finesse. And this is exactly what has happened in my case:

Barely a year ago I was contacted by family members that maybe it was possible after all to go back to Iran – at least for a visit, not to mention being able to do something about our confiscated land. Without going too much into detail, within a relatively short period of time, I was able to get my Iranian passport and National ID card, find out which people to contact regarding our properties and befriend people who have the right contacts to make things happen – in a country like Iran nothing happens without the right contacts. To keep a long, long story short, in less than 12 months I was not only able to get all the paperwork done so that I finally could visit Iran again, I was also able to set the wheels in motion for reclaiming our properties back – something I was told a million times to be IMPOSSIBLE to do!! As you can see NOTHING is impossible!!

My tip to you is, if you have a dream and you can picture and envision it then have faith and trust that it will come true, NO matter how many detours you are taking and how many twists and turns pop up in your journey (of life) when the time is right things will unfold with lightening speed. Keep up the faith and work at making your dream come true, even when all there is you can do is to think of your dream and to visualize it.

Here I am in front of the gate of our former house in Kermanshah – the buildings have been demolished – but the property is still here…and who knows what else I am able to accomplish and achieve in the months and years to come…

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Many folks suffer from lack of money. Most of the think that they are simply not making enough of it. Although in my experience I have realized that many of us could overcome their lack of cash by simply managing their current money better by e.g. simply spending less. Many of us are so hooked on consumerism and the need for constant spending that we sometimes do not realize how much money we are senselessly wasting. You can get a pretty fast grip on your cash flow by simply monitoring how much money you are spending and for what by keeping a log. Put together a simple sheet and record every dime you spend for one month – it is important that you are brutally honest with yourself and truly record all expenses, even the very small ones, such as buying a newspaper, a quick snack here and there, going to the movies, etc. After this month you know pretty much very well where your money is going. With this knowledge you can then sit down and determine whether for example you really need all the cable TV channels and all the magazines that you are subscribing to. Do you need to buy a new pair of shoes every month? First start eliminating all the expenses that are senseless but most likely on autopay. Then determine whether, i.e. you must shop at Whole Foods or whether the much more cost effective Trader Joe's would also do? With just a little tweaking you can achieve a hell of a lot of impact on your current money situation.

Parallel to this you can put a $20 bill in your wallet and then whenever you would like to buy something that would cost $20 or less tell yourself that you can indeed afford this but you choose not to do so. Do this exercise for one week. Then put a $50 bill your wallet and repeat the exercise. After one week put a $100 bill in your wallet and do this again. You will be amazed about the impact this little trick has on your awareness of money and what you can afford. Soon enough your mindset will shift from "I cannot afford this" and "I don't have money for that" to "I actually can afford this and that". Where there is money, more money will come – there is a reason for this old saying. Observer the changes in your life and leave comments here and report back to me – I am eagerly awaiting your feedback.

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Man of the week : Q Moayad

I’m very excited about this week’s Man of the week, read till the end to find out why.

Q Moayad

Meet Qiu. Through a rather unusual life and upbringing: escaping a revolution in Iran as a child with basically only the clothes that he had on, a three year long battle with cancer as a teenager post Chernobyl, academic pursuit and soul searching in his twenties and complete economic collapse and financial resurrection in his thirties, Qiu gradually realized that nothing in life ‘just happens’ and that we always play and integral role in everything that we experience, even in situations we think we have no control over: such as revolutions or nuclear and economic meltdowns. Our own frequencies attract the very experiences that we either enjoy or loathe – it is through our way of thinking and paradigms that we lead the life that we are in. Through simple techniques we can alter the direction of our life’s journey where we ultimately can learn how to consciously create the life we want to live.
How do you serve the world?
I help people to realize that they are not mere ‘bouncy balls’ and victims of a stormy sea called life drifting about aimlessly until, by chance, they reach a safe haven once in a while. Once you realize that literally everything in life is energy and ultimately everyone and everything is connected and learn how to utilize this all encompassing net of cosmic power you will be able to consciously and proactively create a fulfilled, happy, and healthy life.
How do you take care of yourself while serving the world?
Due to the fact that I had cancer as a teenager I am very conscious about my physical, mental and spiritual health. From the simple routine check-ups, such as getting my blood work done and paying a visit to my dentist and dental hygienist, to working out practically daily: gym, yoga, and jogging and of course my daily meditation and visualization routines.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned through being of Service?
That we all carry the power of self healing in us. All it takes is learning how to tap into this power and unwavering faith that we can heal broken bones and broken relationships alike.
What and who inspires you?
All people who have broken the mold and changed the paradigm to create a better world. From ‘big names’ such as Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, Buddha, Martin Luther King, Jr., to my very own great grandfather Haji Khodabakhsh who was one of the most kind, forgiving, progressive thinking, and generous human beings I have ever heard of: he forgave his son’s killer at a time (Iran of 1880’s) where he could have demanded that person to be executed, didn’t turn his back on the religion he had adopted – even when tremendously tortured – and helped the poor in his village.
If you had 6 months left to live, what would you do?
First thing I would do if finally tackle my fear of heights and jump off of an airplane (skydiving).
What is a favorite quote of yours? 
Keep it simple!
Why am I so happy to have Q over? Because we are cousins!
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