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Wily Walnut's Blog

Unleashing your natural genius through creative thinking
and personal development techniques pushed to the Max!

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Raw Food 30 Day Challenge -- Completed

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How To Do The Raw Food Diet With Joy

Yesterday was the last day of a 30 day challenge I set myself to eat only raw foods. I successfully completed the challenge. ('Yay!').

I like the model of trying out some new behaviour or success habit for 30 days. I got the idea from Steve Pavlina, who refers to it as the
30 day trial (read it!).

I find that I'm not particularly concerned with whether I keep the new behaviour beyond the 30 days. All that matters to me are the effects of the pattern interrupt -- and the opportunity to strengthen my self-discipline and willpower by saying I am going to do something and then doing it for the allotted time.

30 days is a reasonable span of time. Once it's over it seems like nothing -- you don't particularly miss the time that you could have spent on the old behaviours! But during the 30 days it can seem like it's stretching on forever. ;-)

Knowing that there is an end date is good, it makes the challenge seem more possible and acceptable than an open-ended forever goal. Think of all those people who made open-ended New Year's resolutions to exercise more, eat better, give up smoking and so on.

Most of those will have quit by Jan 13th (apparently this is the day that most people give up on their New Year detox diets and exercise plans!).

If they had set a smaller, end-in-sight goal like giving up smoking for a week, many more people could have achieved that goal. In doing so they would feel like a success and not like a failure. They would have added to their self-belief and sense of willpower, rather than contributing to its erosion.

So what did I eat for the 30 days of RAW?
Breakfast was fresh fruit (apples, orange, kiwi fruit) and nuts.
Lunch was bananas, raisons and brazil nuts.
Dinner was large salad with olive oil/lemon juice dressing ... and, you guessed it, nuts!
Evening snack was repeat of breakfast.
I drank only bottled water, and one cup of detox herbal tea per day.

What benefits did I get from being on a raw food diet?
The primary benefit was an extraordinary level of physical energy. I was surprised by this as I had been on a raw food diet for a couple of years when I was in my late teens, and had often experienced a kind of slump in energy in the afternoons. I think the difference was that I ate more meals this time and included a large handful of nuts (almonds, brazils, cashews, macadamias, pecans or walnuts) with every meal. This boost in energy was really noticeable when exercising -- I just didn't feel worn out by an exercise like I did on cooked foods.

What else?
My skin definitely improved in tone and looks younger, with less wrinkles. My hair is thicker and shinier. I would estimate that I lost about 10lbs, however I wasn't doing it to lose weight so I didn't weigh myself before and after -- I am just going on appearances. My stomach is flat as a teenagers -- which is good as I just turned 38 a few days ago. Muscle tone is great -- again I put this down to the inclusion of nuts in diet... oh and the body-weight work outs, walks and sprints!

Were there strong detox symptoms from being on raw food?
No. I think I had a mild headache the very first day, but I think that was as much to do with the fact I didn't get a chance to drink much water on that day. The odd thing was that my eyes were frequently quite blood shot during this month. This surprised me as my recollection of being on raw food was that it cleaned up the whites of your eyes, and made your eyes clearer and shinier. (Of course, I've been on the PC for hours each day too, and never slept for more than 6 hours a night during the month -- so that could be a big contributor to the red eye!). I'm fairly sure that the nuts and mixtures of foods at one meal sufficed to minimise the stronger detox effects of eating this way. If you want to detox without fasting you need to stick to one type of raw fruit like eating only apples for 3 days, or a week on nothing but celery.

What were the downsides to being on raw food for a month?
I was lucky in that it has been a very mild January here, so I wasn't excessively cold. On the colder days you can feel a bit sorrier for yourself tucking into a salad for dinner when everyone else in the family is eating something hot and delicious smelling! There were also two birthdays to celebrate this month -- my son's and my own -- which meant no sharing in the goodies and treats. A highlight was tucking into the raw birthday cake my wife and son made for me (made from figs, dates, coconut and, yep, nuts!).

The Raw Food Flush
Of course, with all this raw high-fibre food, I found myself going to the toilet several times a day. We're talking number 2s here people! And one very unwelcome side affect of the raw food -- the buggers float! Think multiple flushes! Okay, okay too much information, I'm sorry ;-) Pretend I never mentioned it.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, I think if you've never tried the raw food diet, it's definitely worth giving yourself a 30 day trial or even a 7 day trial to start with. It promotes a mental clarity, weans you off unconscious food addictions, lightens your body, improves your digestion, frees you from hunger and compulsion, raises your energy and vibration, and stirs up your consciousness.

Here are some useful raw food resources:

The Raw Secrets -- The most complete book on living on an optimal Raw Food Diet for better health. Click here.

Nature's First Law -- Fabulous online US raw food shop and home of top raw foodists David Wolfe and Stephen Arlin --

Shazzie.com -- personal site of Shazzie, a lovely raw food lady who also owns and runs top UK raw food supplies site --

The Fresh Network -- this is the largest raw food organisation in Europe headed up by Karen Knowler, editor of Get Fresh! magazine --

Allissa Cohen -- I like this lady's site, she's author of "Living on Live Food", frequently appears on USA TV shows teaching raw food diet --

How To Do The Raw Food Diet With Joy -- Health, Energy, And Success For You With A Flexible Living Food Diet. 230 Page Book, With 26 Raw Recipes! Click here!

Wishing you health and willpower,

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Out-of-this-world thinking

Monday, January 22, 2007

Out-of-this-world thinking involves a restructuring of your perspective and world-view. If you've ever played on Google Earth, then you'll have a feeling for the zoom control. We are going to apply a similar technique to our perspective on our lives. By changing the perspective, we will get a different view of life and be able to practice out-of-this-world thinking.

So all I want you to do now is to relax and be aware of the room that you are in, and of your body in that room doing what you are doing. Just see what you are seeing, feel what you are feeling, hear what you are hearing, and be here fully present in this moment now. Okay?

Alright.So in your mind's eye, just picture and imagine yourself there in that room. It's as though you've just risen out of yourself a little so that you can look down on what you are doing from a about 3 feet (1 metre) above.

Good, so when you've got that in your mind's eye, if only for a moment, just imagine rising up in stages and looking down on that scene. You rise up through the ceiling. And you imagine floating above the building, looking down on the roof and imagining your body still back down there in the room.

Rise up until you are a 100 ft (30 metres) over the top of that building. And then imagine you are floating even higher until you are about 1000 ft (300 metres) above that building, and you can see the environment around the building.

And rise up higher and higher through the clouds, seeing the shape of your country and as you go further out, you can see the curve of the planet and then the entire planet Earth. And I want you to imagine you are way out beyond the satellites. You can see the world and it appears to be the size of a tennis ball.

And just spend a little while looking at the Earth at this size. You might notice some of the many many satellites orbiting the Earth beaming information back to the people down there.

And draw back further still until the Earth is like a little marble, a tiny ball. And really notice how tiny it is.

Become aware of the vastness of space surrounding the Earth. And that planet Earth looks so tiny there. Think of all the billions of people down there. With the Earth appearing so tiny, you might be struck with wonder at how tiny and insignificant humans appear next to this vastness of space. From this distance, humans are as tiny, invisible and multitudinous as microbes on a rotting apple.

From this distance, human problems and challenges don't seem very important do they? From this distance, the things that frighten us and fill us with worry and dread in the night, they seem kind of insignificant, don't they?

Draw back further still watching the planet Earth disappear to a pin-prick and draw back even further so that you are lost in the vastness of the universe.

Being this far away from Earth might give you the willies and make you feel scared. Imagine if in some future time, people started banishing criminals from Earth. They send them out in some kind of see-thru module that goes to the far reaches of the universe for a period of time. The criminal has no control. He is strapped in and the module feeds and exercises his body somehow. He can't kill himself but just has to endure the loneliness and isolation -- the total sense of banishment. Wouldn't that be awful?

Being this far away from Earth can show you how attached you are to the idea of being a human being who lives on Earth. (And that's not even looking at how attached you are to thinking of yourself as a man or woman, as a member of your country / town / family.) But your journey into outer space has shown you how tiny and insignificant the Earth appears. There is a vastness out here. You can continue out further and further. And you can imagine that there are all sorts of planets and states of life out in the vastness that we know nothing of.

So perhaps you can entertain the idea that there might be other experience of Life that you could have. What if you reincarnated as some kind of amorphous blob that communicates by resinous secretions on some rock of a planet a trillion light years away? What if you were a mile-long, eighty-limbed insectoid with a compulsion for chemical gases?

The point is that we tend to think in terms of what we know, recognise and are familiar with. And that limits our creative thinking. Travel out of this world on the Starship What-If and open yourself to a different perspective on this life on Earth.

Doing this will:

  • Empower you -- you will feel bigger than this human life
  • Free you -- from this fear of death
  • Turn you upside down and inside out -- you needed a good shaking anyway
Now imagine that you are drawing even further back and somehow you've reach the expanding edges of this Universe and somehow you penetrate beyond so that even the Universe shrinks away from you and you see nested universes, trillions of them as far as you can see. And you can still draw back even further and you discover... what?

What if all the Universes turned out to be cells within the body of some kind of life form?

And then you float up over that Being, higher and higher.... and so it goes on and on!

But just imagine, from that huge vastness in which our lives here on Earth are microscopic even within the narrow confines of our own galaxy ... does it matter that much to Life (with a capital L) whether the planet is polluted? Does it care whether there is climate change or wars here on Earth? Does it care anymore than we care if a braincell dies, or a cell in your arm decays and disappears?

Play with changing your perspective on your own problems and on the problems facing us all. Zoom out of this world to do your thinking. It will remove the emotional charge from your thinking. It can free you from terror or compulsion. It can add a depth of wisdom to your mind that all will benefit from.

Also remember that you also have to zoom in to get a closer look on things too. Life with a big L may not worry about the trials and tribulations of human beings and the tiny planet Earth... but life with a small l, meaning You and I, do care about our environment. So zoom in and out to change your perspective and experience out-of-this-world thinking.

Out-of-this-world thinking may just free you from your emotional conflicts. You might expand your consciousness by practicing out-of-this-world thinking (and develop a whole new self-identity in the process). It will take you to a place of quietitude in which you can think in freedom. What else can out-of-this-world thinking do?

Let me know....

Upwards and upwards,
Wily Walnut


To improve your ability to visualise leaving the Earth for out-of-this-world thinking, check out the Power of 10 presentation:


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Creating More Smiles In The World

Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm about to write a check which will help to create a brand new beautiful smile. It's the sort of smile that the world has never seen before. And it's pure magic.

Creating more smiles in the world is a wonderful ambition, don't you think? You could do it by being a great comedian and telling lots of side-splitting jokes. You could be a screenwriter and pen the next, "Friends" or "Seinfield" and bring more humour to the lives of people all round this planet. Inventing wonderful products that enhance other people's lives and make them feel better would definitely contribute to making more smiles.

Maybe your way of creating more smiles in the world is simply to be kind to those you meet. You could practice the Golden Rule, and treat people the way you would love to be treated: with warmth, consideration and respect. That sure would be a wonderful way to create more smiles in the world and I encourage you to do it. After all, you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

Yeah, I definitely like the idea of creating more smiles. I think the world needs more happy people -- today more than ever. Aren't you fed up with scowls and frowns and grim determined faces?

Confession time: I was in the supermarket earlier today and I suddenly felt that MY face was 'set in stone' as I passed people. I was definitely not smiling or giving anyone else the opportunity to smile back. Now I'm no George Clooney but I have a perfectly serviceable smile thank you very much. It might be a bit wonky but when you see it, it's alright and will probably make you feel good. But I wasn't using it.

...I'm a rusty public smiler. There, now you know my secret shame.

Joking aside, the real shame is when you can smile ... but don't. Some people in the world would love to smile ... but can't.

A letter landed on my doormat this morning and it was from an organisation called
The Smile Train. The by-line on the envelope read: Changing The World One Smile At A Time. That caught my attention and interest, so I opened it, intrigued as to what it could be.

Yeah, you guessed it -- it was a fundraising letter from a charity. But wow, as I looked at the information, I was really impressed. Impressed enough for me to want to pen this short message in the hope that it will impress you too.

The Smile Train uses 100% of all donations to pay for operations to children in developing countries (that's the politically correct word today for 'poor') who have cleft lips or palates. When you see the BEFORE pictures, you realise how terribly disfiguring this condition is. Left untreated it basically condemns the poor kid to a life sentence of shame and suffering. And these are great little kids. When you see the AFTER photos of kids that have been treated thanks to The Smile Train organisation, you realise what a wonderful thing it is to create a brand new smile in the world.

There are so many worthy causes in the world, so many things that you could donate your money too. I was just impressed by the simplicity and immediacy of what this Smile Train does. Apparently, £150 covers the cost of a complete cleft surgery. That's not chicken feed to me. But I can spend that real easy and not know what I got for it. Knowing that I have changed the way one little person feels about themself and the way they are treated by others, that is definitely worth £150 to me. That's why I am writing a check out right now.

You may know me for my articles on creative thinking at my main website. But today I am writing about creating more smiles in the world. I'm taking a ride on The Smile Train. Why don't you check out their website at
http://www.smiletrain.org.uk and see if you feel like taking a ride too?

All Aboard!

About the Author: Wily Walnut is better known for his free articles on unleashing your genius for creative thinking, but today he wants to encourage you to unleash more smiles in the world with the Smile Train at:

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Expand Your Mind

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

As a creative thinker, you need to seek out opportunities to expand your mind.

Why do you need to expand your mind?

Because each time you do expand your mind, you can reflect back on how your mind was before and see its limitations. When you have done this a few times over the years, it allows you to speculate and understand that your current perspective is also limited.

This will give you the insight and drive to seek the new. You will be better prepared to 'look to the sides' of what you know and understand. And perhaps this will give you an advantage is recognising new things in the realm of the unknown.

The Unknown and the Unconscious Mind

The realm of the unknown in the physical universe is almost identical, as far as we are concerned, to the realm of the personal unknown which is the unconscious mind. If you have ever experienced a burst of sudden insight into a certain pattern of your own behaviour you will appreciate that you are unable to think about and understand something until you can 'see it' consciously. There has to be a process of recognition. And generally speaking we only recognise what we already know. So you have to expand your mind to know a little more.

Projecting the Familiar

The mind seems to work in patterns of recognition. Gaze at clouds in the sky long enough and you will start to see faces or figures of humans or animals. The mind projects the familiar onto the unfamiliar. It tries to make sense of the unknown so it can feel safer. The ability to draw patterns of connections between diverse elements is a prime creative skill. In fact, that greatest of creative geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci, used to prime his mind for creative endeavour by gazing at the ashes in the fireplace and trying to pick out recognisable things like faces, beasts or countryside scenes. In the movie, Little Man Tate, Jodie Foster stimulates her son's genius at bedtime by having him gaze at the shadows on the walls and point out what he recognise in them.

Making connections

So the mind comes to understand the world by comparing new unknown things to old known things -- and sees where the similarities lie. It looks at a thing and scans it's memory bank of templates for all the things it knows and has names for, and looks for those things that are like the new thing. This gives it some kind of reference points to work with. Comparison helps us to define a thing.

The question that creative thinkers need to at least consider is: what if there is nothing in your experience that is like the things in the unknown (the realm of all possibility)? How will you recognise something if you have nothing with which to relate to it?

I think this is a very interesting point when you consider the challenges we face as a human race. There are answers to our critical problems. They are waiting 'out there' to be discovered and thought up by someone. Maybe you....

It's prime, virgin, untouched territory. A rich mine of incredible new ideas. And somehow, we have to get beyond what we know already. We have to consider that 'what we look for' might be limiting us from finding what is possible. Those patterns of the known that we project on the unknown, they are very useful and re-assuring, but they might also stop us from seeing what we need to see.

Mind Expanding Ideas
This line of thought was triggered by a book that I just read called 'The Vision: Out-of-Body Revelations of Divine Wisdom' by Jaap Hiddinga. This book documents the author's out of body experiences and the journeys he has taken throughout this and other dimensions guided and tutored by various angels and spiritual guides.

Wherever your beliefs lie, I think there is much to be gained from reading this book. Even if you come from a perspective that the idea of God, and spiritual realms, and angels etc is all poppycock, I think you can still expand your mind by at least considering the possibilities expressed. And by understanding how difficult the author finds it to describe some of the things (other types of life forms or sentient beings) he is shown in other universes. It really brings home this idea that we are comfortable with what we know, but that this is the tip of the iceberg, and there are infinitely more things outside what we know.

Open the window
By expanding your mind thus, you allow for the possibility. You have opened a window in your brain to the possibility of ideas coming in that are completely outside your comfort zone.

Expanding your mind allows you to think the impossible. And that is truly creative.

Onwards and upwards,


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Creative New Year Re-Solutions

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I love the sense of a 'clean slate' that a New Year gives you. You can draw a line under the previous year and say, "Hey, that's over with. Now I can start afresh."

You may feel like you have been bashing your brains out throughout the previous year trying to figure out a better way ahead. And you can end up at the end of the year feeling frustrated, as though nothing has really worked. But come the 1st of January, the start of a New Year, you can forget all that. You can attack your problems and your challenges anew. You can come at them afresh. And that is a wonderful creative state to be in.

The New Year gives you the chance to resolve to be more creative, to come up with the answers, to come up with the solutions. You really can come up with New Year Re-solutions... you come about the solution in a different way, you re-visit it, you re-look at the things you are doing, you re-look at the challenges you are facing. You come at them from a different angle, you approach them from a different direction. And you have different insights about it. You come at it with a fresh energy, it's a NEW year. You can forget the past. You can sweep it away. You don't have to carry the history of what you've done before with you.

And that's what creativity often requires: this ability to come at things as though for the very first time.

The history of a thing, the history of a challenge, the history of a problem that you are facing, a business problem or challenge of that nature can thwart you in your efforts, it can frustrate you before you've even begun. You can feel like, "Well, I've tried all these different things before, and none of them worked, and therefore nothing I come up with is going to work, so what's the use?!" And you give up, you become hopeless.

Well, that's not going to give you the creativity you need to progress to the next level, to come up with the solutions that will take you forward in life.

So, the New Year really is an opportunity to be fresh, to be creative, to think in an innovative way. It enables you to get ahead, to progress, and this sense of the NEW Year, this sense of renewal, is something that is very important to cultivate in your creative life. Because we do become bogged down by what we've done before, by ideas that we've thought before, and often we wend up 'arguing for the limitations' of what we've thought before.

Get a sense with this New Year, get a feeling, of creative renewal, the idea that you can put the past behind you and that you can look with fresh eyes, with a clean slate, at the things that you have to do.

Allow yourself to really get a sense, a really strong inner feeling, of that creative potential, because it's an opportunity for you to really connect with the creative power within you, with the creative energy within you, and to feel it in its raw state. And then to go and look at your life, look at your business, look at your creativity, your art, your expression, with new eyes. Let the New Year be almost like a rebirth for you.

And talking of creative renewal, you want to carry that through into the month with you. You can't afford to wait for the New Year, every year, you have to be able to create this state of creative renewal, this state of freshness. And how are you going to do that?

Well, you are going to use the turning of the days, and the weeks, and the months. When it's a new month, that can be your time of refreshment. When it's a new week, that provides an opportunity to come at things in a new way. This new day, this new hour, every moment, really, is an opportunity for creative renewal. If... you can be in the moment, if you can be really here.

That leads me into wanting to tell you about a book that I was reading last night. It has a great title. It's called: "Lucid Living: A book you can read in an hour that will turn your world inside out" by Timothy Freke.

This little book, as its title suggests, is quite short. But the writing is so alive. It's so full of dynamic, creative energy, so full of freshness. It reminds me of this New Year in that the words are living: they will carry you into an altered state of mind, into an expanded state of mind.

(And, again, that's another aspect of creativity, this ability to alter your creative state of mind at will if you can.)

The argument or thrust of the book is about becoming more aware, becoming more lucidly aware, becoming fully present in this eternal moment NOW.... And allowing that awareness to expand your understanding of who and what you are, so that you see that you are not just this physical body but that you are this pure awareness in which everything is happening. As the book says, you are an experiencer of experiences. I urge you to seek out this little book. It is, as I say, a very short read but a very powerful one.... Lucid Living: A book you can read in an hour that will turn your world inside out

Now as creative people, we are always looking for experiences that can expand our mind, give us a fresh insight on life, give us a fresh perspective on life, because changing your perspective enables you to think creatively. It stretches and pulls and opens your mind so that you can see this life in a creative way. It gives you more flexibility in your mind, in your thinking space, so you can come at the world from many more different angles. That is such a powerful thing to be able to do.

So we seek out experiences, ideas, thoughts, knowledge, anything that can help to lever open our mind that little bit more, give us a greater understanding, expand our sense of who and what we are and what we are capable of. I think that Timothy Freke's book, Lucid Living, really fits that requirement and, yeah, I recommend it. Check it out!

Now, the New Year, it's a challenging time. Traditionally people talk about New Year Resolutions, it's a time when people come at their lives again, they assess their lives and ask, "How's it going? Have I achieved my goals? Am I any nearer to being where I want to be? What's stopping me from being happy, healthy, successful and fulfilled in my life?"

And they make an assessment of where they are, and they plot, they make a resolution, they resolve to do certain things differently. And this is kind of filtered down, and most people make a half-hearted effort (if they make any effort at all). They might decided that they are going to try to cut back on the amount of fattening foods that they eat, or the amount of alcohol that they drink, or cigarettes that they smoke, or whatever....

But really, you know, we only have this one life, and everyday should be a creative challenge to live it better. We don't need New Year. New Year is just a reminder that life is a challenge, and life is about creative renewal: challenging the habitual ways of thinking and doing and living our lives.

I liked Michael Masterson's recent article for Early to Rise on January 1st, entitled: Kicking Off The New Year With ETR: Prepare To Accomplish The Unthinkable.

In this article, Masterson writes about a New York Times article in which a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, called Suzan-Lori Parks, decided to do the unthinkable and write a play a day for a whole year. And every single day throughout 2002 she wrote a whole play. And some of them were really short but she went for it, she challenged herself to do that every single day.

And Michael Masterson suggests that you give yourself a similar challenge, to come up with something really incredible, something almost unthinkable. It might be to read an educational book a day. Make a sale a day. Write a poem a day. Come up with a song a day.

It's almost like that thing I wrote about in the articles on Thomas Edison, about having an Idea Quota. And Thomas Edison had this incredibly demanding Idea Quota ...and it's a similar sort of thing where you challenge yourself to rise above and beyond to do something incredible every day for a whole year or however long you want to do it.

Now, it doesn't have to be for a whole year, I like the 30 day principle myself. I like to challenge myself to do something for 30 days. Did it recently with giving up TV, giving up newspapers. At the moment, I'm on a raw food only 30 day test. But doing something for a whole year is gutsy and I admire that. Fitness guru Matt Furey writes about some of his students setting themselves the challenge of performing 100,000 Hindu squats in a year (about 274 a day!).

So look at this day, look at this New Year, this new month, this new week, this new moment... and come at it afresh. Go at it with dynamic life. Decide to live it more creatively than ever before. And remember that challenge every day. Just do things a little bit differently every day. Shake things up a little everyday.

And I wish YOU and YOUR family a scintillating, creative and thus very Happy New Year!

My Very Best Wishes To You,