Back on Budget for $18 a Night.

As we awaited our speedboat ride from Amed, Bali to the island of Gili Air, Lombok, the beach was a frenzy of activity as women separated luggage by destination and carried suitcases on top of their heads to load them on top of the boats. We watched this organized chaos with wonder.

When they called us to board our boat they had all 20-30 of us place our shoes in a fraying red plastic laundry bin so we could wade out to the water to climb aboard the boat. Luckily there was a strapping 20 year old Dutch man behind me who held my tote bag and hand as I pulled myself up. Michael was lost in his own world assessing the thong bikinis that surrounded him!

Like most things in life, even though the events are fixed, our experience of them is unique unto us. So as Michael sat in the back of the boat laughing with the crew as water and waves sprayed him, I curled up in a ball, popped Dramamine, clutched a plastic bag and prayed for the ride to be over. One hour later, thankfully, it was.

As the boat pulled into Gili Air, a crew member instructed us to climb up and scale the entire outer length of the boat to disembark. I must have looked at him as if he were insane. But he just grabbed my tote and my flip flops for me and with as much grace as I could muster, hanging on for dear life, scale the boat I did. With a sigh of relief we grabbed our suitcases and climbed on a tiny, rickety cart pulled by an old rickety horse to take us to our guest house.

Welcome to Gili Air.

You see, there are no taxis on this island, no cars, no motor bikes, and for that matter, no roads. Only a sandy, dirt path which runs the perimeter of the island and takes about one hour to walk.

As we bounced around on the cart, holding onto our luggage, Michael looked at me with that look that said, “What have you gotten us into this time”? I wasn’t sure. But I told him, “The place is $18.00 a night, has AC and breakfast is included”. “EIGHTEEN DOLLARS”, he exclaimed, and settled right down.

The cart dropped us off on the path and the driver pointed us down a dirt alley which at home you wouldn’t walk down on a bet. But we were in it now. “Let’s go”, I said with as much bravado as I could muster. At the end of the alley, there was The Aloe Vera Bungalows where we were greeted with smiles and welcomes and a mango smoothie. They escorted us to our garden bungalow, the smell of the frangipani flowers scenting the air.

So, let me tell you what $18.00 will get you in Gili Air. A clean as a whistle bungalow, with AC, big bed with mosquito net, a small fridge stocked with water, a room fan, and an electric kettle with coffee and tea. A simple, comfortable room. The bathroom was large and like many bathrooms in SE Asia, the shower head is on the wall, a part of the bathroom. So, yes, when you shower, everything gets wet. There were decorative cut outs on the upper wall which allowed a breeze to come in, as well as bugs. Happily there was a sturdy door that separated it from the bedroom.

At about 30 meters from the “road”, the place was always quiet except for the sounds of the roosters’ morning call at 5:00 AM and the faint melody from the mosque at the same time. We slept soundly, and happily awakened to a delicious breakfast. My go to was watermelon juice and an exquisite banana pancake, Michael had creamy iced Vietnamese coffee with a vegetable omelet. We never had such a well spent $18.00 before. Of course, this had Michael calculating what his monthly rent would be if we never left!

What you can’t get for $18.00 perhaps, is a bungalow situated on the island’s “good” beaches, those with clear turquoise waters, and views all the way to the bottom. We are on the part of the island known as Sunset Beach, which in all honesty is not the most beautiful beach on the island, the water filled with seaweed and toe stubbing coral. But come twilight, people begin arriving on foot or by bike to take their seat on the beach, cocktail in hand, awed into silence, as this glorious sky transforms itself into a spectacular tapestry of color.

I’m not entirely sure what makes one place magical and not another, why sometimes we feel it and other times it eludes us. But here on Gili air, we did find magic. Part of it is surely the effort it takes to get here, the dreamy landscape, and the total absence of vehicles, everyone making their way by foot or bike save the occasional horse cart. The food helps, the warm, clear sea and of course the kind smiles and laughter of the people.

And those sunsets, those astounding riotous, sunsets. It is impossible to really know a place that you are touching upon for a only brief period. But this we do know. Gili Air has a kind of magic and we are happy to be under its spell.

To Feeling the Magic, Wherever You Are,

Janet

+ Because we don’t have great Wifi from our current location in Bali we had to push the start of our Wingman Mastermind group back to Thursday, May 25th. Join us, and start manifesting your dreams.

++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

 

+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.

 

We Splurged… for $37 a night.

Our first impression.

When you’ve decided to make the “World Your Home”, and begin building a new digital nomad type of business, budget, like in any other business, is always a concern.

Our second view.

But for this week of our travels we decided to splurge a bit and took a room at the Sunshine Bungalows in Amed, Bali for $37 a night.

Through internet research, emailing, conversation and fantastic intuition, Jan is an amazing researcher of places to stay. She’s actually become the go-to person for so many of our friends and fellow travelers.

The orchid is a nice touch.

With good reason.

While it’s rare that you get everything you desire when on a budget, more often than not, I find we begin each new stay with our “happy dance”, a dance we do when the accommodations are better than expected.

Dinner our first night.

From the welcome foot massage and cold orange strawberry juice they gave us upon our arrival, to the comfortable bed, beautiful pool, and amazing food, we were pinching ourselves. To top that off, are the amazing views and the sound of the surf that lulls us to sleep at night.

But truly, like anything, anywhere, it is the people that surround you that make or break an experience.  And the staff here, is the true beauty of this place.  From the moment we walked in, they treated us like family, and I mean the family many of us wish we had!  The entire staff knows our names and always call out, “Hello Bupak Michael, hello Ibu Jan”. They stop and chat, asking about our day, our sleep and our happiness.

View from our porch.

And even if a couple of the guests smoke on the terrace or the beach is very rocky at low tide, like anything in life, nothing can or should be perfect. Like us.

I wish you could be here with us. The peace, tranquility, and spiritualityof this little stretch of land has been inspiring.

But since you can’t, please enjoy our pictures of what our little splurge at Sunshine Bungalows looks like.

Your Wingman,
Michael

 
P.S.  We had to push the start of our Wingman Mastermind group back to Thursday, May 25th. Join us, and start manifesting your dreams.

P.S.S.  You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

P.S.S.S.  If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.

The Sydney Opera House & You. Iconic!

I’ve had the most amazing view of the Sydney Opera House these last few days. Jan and I were staying at a youth hostel, that’s right, a youth hostel. It was in a neighborhood called the Rocks, overlooking the Sydney Harbor, and Opera House.

I absolutely loved staying there. Jan said I was reliving the youth I never had. While that may be true, I don’t think of hostels as having million dollar views.

I settled in on that rooftop deck from morning to night. Starting with my early morning wingman practices, I remained there for breakfast, lunch, an afternoon business meeting, and drinks and dinner at sunset. It was a beautiful day. All with this fantastic view of the iconic opera house.

We actually took a tour of the Opera house a few days prior. It originated in 1957 with Danish Architect, Jørn Utzon winning the international design competition. It quickly became one of the most famous and recognizable buildings in the world, and in 2007, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Now I’ve been pretty fortunate to have seen some iconic places, places that are easily recognizable, and well known for the excellence of what they are. The Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, St. Peter’s Basilica, Buckingham Palace, the Duomo in Florence, the Cliff Walks in Ireland, the Roman Coliseum… the list goes on. But I’ve never had such a wonderful, and extended, view of any such icon.

As I was enjoying the view, it got me thinking of these “iconic” places.

But more importantly, it got me thinking of you. And me.
And how we can connect with our highest self.

And become iconic.

I mean, there are plenty of opera houses in the world, yet there’s only one Sydney Opera House.

Much like there are plenty of people in the world, yet there is only one you.

And when you can raise your vibration to match that which you want to be, you become your own icon.

So I came up with a Wingman Minute to help you and I practice our way to manifesting our desire.

You simply remind yourself to “Be Yourself, and Be Iconic”.

I practiced it for a bit, and afterward, I felt so good, I decided to come up with another practice.

All you have to do is finish this sentence and you will have your new practice, custom built for you.

Just say, “I am an icon of _______________________”.

For me, it was easy; “I am an icon of positive energy”.

If you can’t think of one right now, don’t worry. You can join me in saying mine. By doing so, you will answer it for yourself soon.

You’ve got greatness inside you. It’s time to let the world see it.
For you are an icon.

Click here to join me in practice…

Your Wingman,
Michael

+ Jan and I are having another Wingman Mastermind Group. Everyone in our last one made such great progress towards achieving their goals we can’t wait for this next one. If you have a goal you’re looking to achieve, or a dream you have not yet been able to manifest, I urge you to join us. Email me for more info.

++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.

Two Spots Left!

Do you have a desire you want to manifest?

A dream you’ve secretly been hoping for.

Or that, “little goal”, you just haven’t been able to achieve.

It’s your time to do it NOW!

Our Wingman Mastermind Group can help you achieve your goal!

We have two spots still open for our Tuesday evening group.

It’s your time to shine. Help us help you.

See below…

 

Is it time for your second life?

Do you have a goal? A dream? A desire you want to manifest?

If so, we would like to invite you to our next Wingman Mastermind Group, “Creating the Life You Want”.

A Wingman Mastermind Group is a group of individuals that come together as a team to help each other achieve their personal goals and manifest their desires by providing ideas, accountability, cheerleading, feedback and support.

Are You Living a Life of Your Choosing?
Are you living a life filled with joy and purpose?
Do you wake up in the morning with excitement and enthusiasm for the day ahead?
Do you feel your life could be so much more?
Are you ready to take a leap and create change in your life?

“The change is definite. I truly feel as if there was a general shift within me, placing me at a higher vibrational set point. I now find the achievement of my goals believable and certain. I never felt that way before. I think it’s because of the ongoing support and homework from this mastermind group that made that shift possible. So thank you Michael Gross and Janet Sokoloff!  Thank you group!”
                                                                                                                       Lisa Shiroff, Voorhees, NJ

This 2 month on-line Mastermind Group will bring together people who share your desire to alter their present situation and live a more authentic life. Whether it be a career change, a health or fitness goal, a complete lifestyle shift or whatever you can imagine, this group can help you see that goal come to fruition.

Through group conversations, self-directed challenges, goal setting, planning, accountability, homework and lots of support in a safe and respectful atmosphere we will help you succeed at overcoming your challenges and obstacles to manifesting your desires.

“My initial goal of a healthy, fit lifestyle is already coming to fruition with the intent and energy with which we have fueled it. Now, new visions are flowing to me to expand. Thank you to Janet and Michael for honoring your vision to create this mastermind group. Thank you to each of our members for sharing with us. It truly is beautiful how our intentions are swirling and overlapping to be able to help each other rise higher.”
                                                                                Bella Beth Evans, Greenville, South Carolina

After years of feeling stuck in our lives and jobs, we took a major life leap and have since been living the life of our choosing by traveling the world and working remotely.

This experience has led to our firm belief that anyone, and everyone, can live their own dreams.

“Thank you Janet and Michael. Your Mastermind group has helped me tremendously. It has helped me clarify my goals, set an accountable timeline to reach those goals and given me tools to overcome obstacles along the way!! I feel like I can’t fail. Great Job!”
                                              Hugh McGuire, Collingswood, NJ

Join us for this exciting and enriching Mastermind Group experience and start creating your new life and reach your highest goals and desires.

We will be facilitating each meeting, utilizing our many years of collective experience in life coaching, psychotherapy, goal setting and thought and vibration shifting processes.

We believe you will reap huge benefits from being a part of this group.

You will:

Find answers and ideas from brainstorming with the group
Tap into the experience and skills of others
Increase your confidence in your ability to achieve your desires
Gain an instant and valuable support network
Experience a sense of shared endeavor – there are others out there
Enjoy a boost to your everyday positive mental attitude

We’re looking for team members who are willing to:

Participate in each call
Share their expertise and challenges
Come prepared to each session
Be committed to this process
In order to receive maximum benefit and attention, this two-month on-line group is limited to six participants.

This investment in yourself will cost $250.00 and includes:

  • Seven-90 minute group sessions from wherever you are in the world.
  • Weekly Homework.
  • Daily support, motivation, inspiration and conversation via a private Facebook Group page.

If you would like to join us and be a part of our team, please contact us to register at michael@beyourownwingman.com.

To Your Success,
Michael and Janet

Details:

We will meet on Tuesday Nights from 7:00-8:30pm EST.
Session Dates will be 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6, 6/13, 6/20.

Investment: $250.00

This group will be co-facilitated by Michael Gross and Janet Sokoloff, LCSW.

Michael Gross is a Certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, Positive Energy Practitioner and founder of Be Your Own Wingman. His coaching, videos, blogs and radio show have taught and inspired thousands of individuals, business leaders and health care professionals how to incorporate his Wingman principles and practices into their personal and professional lives.

Janet Sokoloff, LCSW is a Psychotherapist who has spent the past 20 years working with people in her private practice along with providing counseling at a university counseling center in Philadelphia. Her extensive training and experience in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has helped many work through life transitions and live their authentic lives.

PS… You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

PSS… If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.

Travel Day.

          On the plane from Los Angeles to Australia

I just woke up and I’m about 36,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, speeding along at 529 miles per hour.

That’s right, it’s a travel day.
Jan and I are heading to Australia, Indonesia, and beyond.

It’s been pretty crazy.
I mean, I’m the guy who eats the same meal at the same diner every day for breakfast, watches “My Cousin Vinny” every time it comes on television, and if we’re ordering Chinese take-out, I don’t even need a menu. It’s General Tso’s chicken.

And now I’m off discovering new places, connecting with new people, and exploring new cultures.

I’ve become an explorer.

Just saying those words raises my vibration.
And reminds me of how far I’ve traveled.

I am an explorer, and when you live life as an explorer everything becomes an exploration.

Every new taste, sound, view… takes on new meaning.
Every new connection becomes a new possibility.

Friends frequently ask about my favorite trip.
My response is always the same; I’ve loved them all.

From our days spent in Chiang Mai learning, laughing and opening our minds and hearts with Zen Master Jung Bong Mu Mu, or our hikes along the wild, windy and wooly Cliff Walks in Ireland, to the crazy, chaotic, cacophony of sights and sounds that is the Saturday morning Chatuchuck market in Bangkok; I’ve loved them all.

However, it’s not my favorite trip that matters, but rather my most important. And that’s the journey I take each day to connect with my highest self, or what I like to call my inner wingman.

And while I might get an eye roll if I verbalized that, in truth, if it weren’t for my daily, one-minute excursions, there wouldn’t have been any trip to Australia. Or Indonesia. Or Thailand, Cambodia, Ireland, England or Ecuador.

When you live life as an explorer, everything becomes an exploration.
And you don’t even have to physically move.

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Well, my first step is always a Wingman minute.

Imagine living your life as an explorer.
The same exact life you are living right now.
No changes. Except for your mindset.

As an explorer, would you become more curious?
Would the routine things in your life become more interesting?
Would you be more open?
Would your everyday life become more exciting?

And even if you go to the same office and do the same job every single day, would your attitude be different?

That’s the thing about exploring; you never know what you might uncover.
Especially inside your own mind.

For Jan and me, we uncovered a whole new way to live.
We still work, pay bills, have doctor’s appointments, stressors over family and money, and all the other challenges we all face. Same as always.
Or rather, as they say in Thailand, “Same, Same, but Different”.
Because we’re the same. But different.

The difference is our vibration.
And it’s all about vibration and the frequency we’re emitting out into the universe.

Because the universe always matches our energy, and sends us back exactly what we are projecting.

When we send out a boring energy, the universe always sends us back more to feel bored about.
When we send out a desperate energy, the universe always sends us back more to feel desperate about.
And when we send out an energy of optimism, of confidence and of excitement, the universe always sends us back more to feel optimistic, confident and excited about.

So how about today, you begin your own “journey of a thousand miles”.

It’s simple. Just click below and join me in raising your vibration to that of an explorer.

And start seeing everything as an exploration.

 

Your Wingman,
Michael

+ Everyone in our Wingman Mastermind group has been making great progress toward achieving their goals, so much so, that Jan and I decided to start another one shortly. I’ll send out the info soon. Email me if you are interested in joining.

++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

It was far from my normal dinner, especially with it being College basketball’s annual March Madness event and all. But Friday night, instead of bringing home some Thai food and watching college basketball, this wingman found himself at a small dinner party seated next to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the brilliant founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), best-selling author and internationally known meditation teacher.

Sitting with us at the table were Neuroscience Researchers, Professors of Religion, Wellness Leaders, my sister Sandy, and my brother-in-law Jack.

Have you ever been in a really cool setting, like my dinner last night, and have your sister call you by your endearing family name. That’s right, you may know me as Michael, or Wingman, but now Jon Kabat-Zinn knows me as Mikey. Like that old TV commercial, “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything”. Ahhh… family.

So there I was, in the seat of honor, next to the guest of honor. How that happened is still a mystery to me, but the whole esoteric nature of life seemed to dominate the conversation so perhaps my privileged seating was just another example of such.

Jon, oh yeah, we’re now on a first name basis, was in Providence, RI, doing some workshops on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Brown University’s faculty, staff and students.

I was there because my brother-in-law, Jack, is the Dean of Brown University Medical School, and was unable to drive due to a recent surgery.

That’s right, the wingman was there as his driver.

Right time, right place sort of thing?
Or maybe my dinner with Jon was some sort of karmic reward.

After all, I was supposed to be in Malaysia, then Australia, Indonesia and finally, South Korea, where I’ll be spending some time with my friend and teacher, Zen Master Jung Bong Mu Mu. My trip had to be postponed though, due to a weird confluence of circumstances, where both my sister Sandy, and Jack, had some medical issues and needed me to drive them around. And then, my 89 year-old, mother took a turn for the worse.
I was grounded.

When you live a nomadic existence with no permanent address, you would think you were always just, “in the moment”. But in truth, itineraries, reservations and airplane tickets are planned and arranged months in advance. So, in my current circumstances of being a wingman for my sister and brother in law, and a caretaker for my mom, all of my current travel plans have been thrown out the window. It was the perfect time to be reminded of the importance of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s primary philosophy to be present in this moment.

And with our trip postponed, our plane tickets canceled, and without a clear vision of what’s coming next, I realized that this “be in the moment stuff”, is easier said then done. But if there is one thing I’ve learned as a wingman, it’s that I can practice it. So practice I do.

And as I practice being in this moment, I’m reminded that you never know what the next moment will bring. Last Sunday, I was driving to the Newark airport in one moment, and the next, I had made a U-turn and was heading back up to Providence. Who could have foretold that because of that moment, that U-turn would have led to my dinner with Jon.

As Jon says, “Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”

And so I do.

What capped off the evening was when Jon learned of my video Wingman minutes, he gifted me a practice.
So please, join me in doing Jon’s Wingman Minute practice by clicking below and taking 5 deep breaths and being present in this moment.

If you want to know more about Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness based Stress Reduction program, click here. https://www.mindfulnesscds.com

If you want to check out a very cool wellness website from someone from the dinner party, click here… http://beta.nutmegaspirin.com

Your Wingman,
Michael

+ Everyone in our Wingman Mastermind group has been making great progress toward achieving their goals, so much so, that Jan and I decided to start another one shortly. I’ll send out the info soon. Email me if you are interested in joining.

++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.

+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.