Building a better view of me
This is highly important for me to remember. I spent years neglecting myself to the point that when I found myself alone in the vast open space of my tiny little living room one day, I realized that I had somehow lost a connection with myself. I’d even go as far as to say that I was a stranger to myself. I wouldn’t make eye contact passing me by on a busy street. Since that day, I’ve been rekindling that relationship. I’ve slowly been stepping out, being brave and doing the things I’ve always dreamed of doing; living a life I had always thought was not a possibility for me. Now, I find myself in a space where I enjoy… me. I am an awesome guy and great to hang out with. This new life I have is an adventure of discovering what I am capable of. However, my self-confidence (as relating to my view of myself through my perceptions of the opposite sex)… is pretty well shot. It needs an overhaul. Some days I crave female companionship… romance… falling in love. But, I won’t because I’m not at a place where I can yet view myself as worthy of any of that. That needs to change, so I think I’m going to take this advice and start dating myself. I need to find that worthiness, because out of the 7 billion people on this Earth… I am the only one that can fix this. 🙂
We are Wothy
This is a good thing to remember on a Monday. I can easily get discouraged when mind wanders toward all the things that can be perceived as “lacking” in different areas of my life. I can slide down the steep side of Maslow’s Hierarchy and not because I’m in actual danger, but because I perceive it as such. Even though I’m not where I want to be in life, I have made some amazing progress and as long as I continue to try, I’ll continue to grow. If I can keep myself in this mindset, good things do come my way. There is nothing in the universe that would take away happiness but my own self-driven ego that wants to convince me I am not worthy. We are all, one-hundred-percent worthy of happiness. We don’t have to do ANYTHING at all to deserve it. Happiness is the natural state of existence. Fear, worry and insecurity takes effort to be maintained.
Giving up Vs. Letting Go
This was a question I found myself pondering a couple months ago. What I came to was much different. Sometimes, I hold on to ideas that seem worth working hard for, but are actually toxic. If I have it in my head that what I believe is what is real, when life works against that belief, chaos ensues. I can percieve the chaos as trials and tribulations, as difficult times to endure… all will be well as long as I hold to my principles. When I need to let go of these firmly held misconceptions, I have to give up the fight first. Concede. Only when I give up, may I let go. I agree that giving up is self defeating, but sometimes I need to defeat self before I can let go of what no longer works for me. Self-defeat, then rebuild. Any thoughts?
This idea is important to me. I have “grump” days (like everyone), when my attitude is simply poopy. Yesterday was one such day. It’s normal enough to have grumpy days, but I don’t like them. This idea helps me on these days.
I am an expression of the entire Universe. From my perspective at any given moment, I am at the center of that expression. Ego wants to claim that as a validation of selfness. But it is no such validation. I am at that center only from my perspective, which gives me the opportunity to observe the universe. On those grumpy days, ego wants to observe phenomena that encourage grumpiness. I have all sorts of problems with people, places and things. What helps me is remembering that I’m just observing the Universe in limited forms. I don’t have to do anything to change how I’m thinking or feeling. If I simply observe how I observe, I gain insight to my”self” and my expression has the opportunity to change.
So, Yesterday was a grumpy day, but what I got out of it was that there are things I want to do in life that I’m not doing. My grumpiness was the result of an inner dialogue of resentment at my life as it is. This resentment surfaced from nowhere, but the urgings, I now see, have been there for quite some time. So, the moral is, by observing how I perceive, I can (sometimes) discover some preference I have hidden behind grump.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but if it does, I hope it helps. HAPPY FRIDAY!!
All is always all
This concept is true for more than small acts of kindness. Everything we do affects everything else. All of it is interconnected. The ripples of my actions span distance and time. I should not ever use this concept to shame myself for my past. Instead, it is fun to visualize (maybe even as a meditation) the little things I can do right now and follow the ripples across time and space. For example, these daily shares. I don’t write them to help others. Nope. These exist for purely selfish reasons. They keep me writing and thinking about writing. They put me “out there” so that I don’t isolate. I have no idea who reads these, and so I can imagine that the stuff I say is seen by either no one or a great many (or anywhere in between). They help me adjust my thinking first thing in the morning, which helps me to align my perspectives for the day (in other words, since I have been doing them, my days have been getting better and better). There are other selfish reasons for writing these, all of which I do to honor the Me that I truly want to be. But I do like to imagine that perhaps one thing I say will help someone have a better day. And maybe that person will use it to help others and they in turn will continue spreading the idea. So, I guess the moral of this story is that it’s important to remember that everything I do causes ripples. What I want more than anything is to cause helpful ripples. And I know that as long as I keep trying, I will. Have a great Thursday! smile emoticon
Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day! I do my best to be conscious of my impact on the environment. Of course, I could always do more, but I think it is a good thing to at least be conscious of my impact. It’s a good place to start, anyway. I really like this message from Thich Nhat Hanh. We (whether we realize it or not) have deeply personal and individual relationships with the Earth. The nature of our relationship is entirely up to us. But it is up to us individually. In other words, I am responsible for my relationship. This beautiful planet provides absolutely everything I need to survive, thrive and be happy. It’s important to consider what I do in life to express gratitude for this above-and-beyond physical, mental and spiritual sustenance. Doing so helps me avoid taking this precious life for granted and reminds me of yet another reason to be happy!
“There’s a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth. Our love and admiration for the Earth has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination. We need to re-establish true communication–true communion–with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another as children of the same mother.”
THE WAYSEER MANIFESTO
This video is about 10 minutes long. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend. It shines a light on those aspects of ourselves that don’t fit social molds. Those are the aspects we want to repress. It’s an interesting thought. Generally speaking, we all (to some degree) want to fit the mold we believe we were shaped from. But… at the same time… we want to break the mold and use the pieces for something far more creative and expressive. There is a little voice in all of us that wants to explore the undercurrents of the norm… to find the nooks and crannies hidden from social view. I know I have this little voice. Maybe I don’t do as much to encourage it as I should. Maybe I have a responsibility to all of you to live a life that is freed from social dogmatic expectations. In my heart of hearts, I am an old punker who believes in the highest potential of all living beings and I believe that we are capable of creating a society that builds and boosts all of it members all of the time. I have an ideal self that is the person I am working to become, but I also have an ideal society in which I must do my part to build. I’m going to think on this some more.
Relax, don’t take yourself too seriously
This was exactly the thing I needed to read this morning. Yesterday, I spent the entire day on the couch, eating “food” I very rarely eat (completely outside of my normal diet), and playing video games. It was a day in the life of myself from years and years ago. I could have spent the day “better”. I could have gone to the gym, on a hike, cleaned my house, worked on some projects, meditated, blah blah blah. But, I needed a day where I could just chill. Just chill. So, I took one of those days. The guilt is there today, but it is minimal. I feel rested and have been wanting a reset lately. Today, back on track. I have an eye exam to get new glasses and contacts. Gym after that and yoga after that. I’m planning organic rolled oats for breakfast and a large amount of fresh salad for lunch. Fruit for snacks. Maybe I’ll end my day with a half hour of video game time if I accomplish everything I want to accomplish.
I love Alan Watts. This transcript is worth reading and the video is worth watching. One thing he mentions, and my deciding factor for making this my daily share, is how language (at the very least) points to our social world view. “Nature is wiggly” he says, but humans “think we understand things when we have translated into terms of straight lines and squares”. This reminded me of a book I read for my Senior Capstone class “Metaphores We Live By” (George Lackoff and Mark Johnson) which dives rather deeply into this concept. We don’t spend much time thinking about how we think; we just go through the day. But if we just take a few moments and listen to the words we use, we become aware of how our world view may not agree with how we want to feel.
We like to quantify and qualify and categorize and label everything. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a negative thing to do, but when our world view is strictly defined… there is little space for insight. It is beneficial to take a break from definition to simply experience phenomena for what it is (without making any semantic decisions about what it is… that is, without putting it into words). I watch the patterns of water flowing in the creek in my back yard. When my educated mind is active, I’m curious about how those patterns are caused; temperature, stream and depth (among others) are some factors that dictate how the water flows. But when my creative mind is engaged… the water just flows chaotically and from it a simple beauty emerges worthy of my gratitude. What I mean is that I can witness nature sustaining itself at any moment… and then realize that I am amongst it… a part of it. Then my life has a little perspective. I can see the chaos of flow in my life is how my life sustains itself. This is communion. I don’t have to describe, I just have to be.
p.s. I realize that this whole post is something akin to an Infernal Irony, but I wanted to share it anyway, so take it with a grain of salt.
This idea has been part of my morning meditation every day for several months. Actually, what I focus on is freeing myself from the walls I’ve built of fear, worry and insecurity. These walls keep me from spaciousness, or they fill the purity of spaciousness in life. Spaciousness is lack of judgment and expectation. Spaciousness is immediate and unconditional acceptance. I have momentary glimpses of this space in all areas of my life and in some areas, I dwell mainly in the space. The cool thing about spaciousness is that there is nothing in the way of possibilities. It is from spaciousness that possibilities arise… they need room to grow. So, I try every day to continue chipping away those walls that block my view, that imprison me.
Happiness — a State of Awareness
I LOVE this article. It summarizes part of a key principle in which I try to live my life: allow all parts of me to have its voice. For most of my life, I fought against what I judged to be negative emotional/mental states. I always thought those states were problems. The problem, though, was my resistance to them. It took falling down to the depths of darkness, thinking that under the circumstances, I should feel sad, angry and hurt. It was through this that I started to see that I was NOT in the “depths of darkness”. I gave voice to the sad. I gave voice to the anger. I did not judge them as good or bad. I simply felt what arose without reaction. When sad, I cried. When angry, I clenched my fists or screamed into a pillow. The MIRACLE that occurred during this was that I realized that my emotions served not to direct my choice of action/reaction, but as a pointer to the parts of me that needed mending (something only I am ever capable of doing). The other MIRACLE was that through these “negative” emotions, “positive” ones coexisted. If you ever sat with a friend in pain, you know the joy compassion can spark within. Being compassionate and non-judgmental to my own emotional/mental states also creates intense joy. Almost over night, I became much more in tune with my “emotional self” (I don’t like the word “self” but lack a better pointer) AND… my emotions no longer control me (re-read that last part… a couple times). Funny, really… when I stopped judging my emotions, I stopped trying to control them. When I tried to control them, they controlled me. Now I have learned that Happiness includes sad and afraid and angry. It is not opposite to them. It is honesty within and non-judgmental. It is not merely an emotion, but state of awareness.