Damn truth is . . .
you and I are going to die. It is inevitable. You know that. You just don’t know when. Every single thing will be taken from you. You will leave behind your possessions, your loved ones, and all your hopes and dreams for this life. You’ll be taken right out of where you are. You’ll no longer be able to fill the roles you were so busy playing. Death changes everything in a flash. That’s the reality of the situation. If all these things can be changed in an instant, then maybe they aren’t real after all. Maybe you’d better check out who you are. Maybe you should look deeper.
A passage from The Untethered Soul – the journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer
A screen shot of my screen saver. My death clock. A chrome extension. A bitter-sweet motivational tool; it illustrates how little time I may have left. Download it here.
“The purpose of life is not simply to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Naked awareness. Clarity of mind. A sense of strong purpose.
Knowing why you are here.
There is power in purpose.
The purpose of art, of creating something new, is to help wash the dust of daily life off our souls. – Picasso
Featured art by Tom French
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken objects using gold or silver epoxy. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage and has history, it becomes more beautiful.
I’ll never forget the first time one of my twin daughters had her heart broken. She was all of 16 and completely devastated. I remember her face as she curled up in my bed, in physical pain, her head in the pillow and eyes swollen with tears, hand on her heart, she said, “Now I know WHY they call this a broken heart,” “It actually feels BROKEN in my body.” Shattered like glass.
After someone breaks up with us, we can feel very, very lonely. Abandoned, rejected, thrown away. What are we do to with this deep seated pain?
I am studying Pema Chodron’s Heart Advice For When Things Fall Apart.
Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.
An inspiring tale of self-discovery, I have read The Alchemist.
Next on my reading list. . . .
The Middle Way & The Manual for The Warrior of The Light
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
Rule #1 Stop doing things that don’t produce results.
My smiling days. It felt like my energy was pure & protected from the pains of the world.
I want to get that great big beautiful smile back. I want to FEEL the way I did when I didn’t know much.
How to Re-energize My Life & Produce Some Damn Good Vibes
“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
But How do You Develop Your Values?
A Beginner’s List of Values
- Authenticity – to be genuinely yourself at all times. If you value your authenticity and you are in a position where you feel like you have to be someone you are not, you may become very frustrated and upset, because you are living against your core value of being 100% completely you. The same goes for if you are feeling unaccepted for who you are and what you stand for. If your friends or aquaintances disapprove of you, then you may be inclined to feel disappointed. To live an unapologetically authentic life while surrounding yourself around people who appreciate your uniqueness is extremely fulfilling. Find them.
- Being the best
- Care – if showing genuine care and consideration in your relationships is something you believe to be very important than you will be hard pressed to find compatibility with someone who doesn’t demonstrate a warm, affectionate, tender and kind reciprocation back towards you.
- Challenge – when one of your core values is to be continually challenged by a life of learning, growing and expanding your consciousness, it is difficult to associate with people who are content with staying the same.
- Financial independence
- Making a difference
- Resilience – to get back in the saddle, to bounce back from a bad moment, to keep on going. If resilience is what you value, you may become very short-tempered with people who give up quickly or enjoy a good pity party.
- Thoughtfulness – the act of being thoughtful means to pay attention to the details, to think things through before doing them, to plan with more discernment. If thoughtfulness is an important value to you then you may be very frustrated going to places and experiencing things that are rushed, unmannerly or discourteous.
- Truth – If you value the truth, you expect people to be honest with you and you earn and build their trust by being 100% real with them. When and if someone lies to you, you will suffer, because you value honesty in a relationship, whether it be a professional or personal one.
I agree with Teal Swan, the reality is that for the most part people are not emotionally safe to be in relationship with. That includes me right now. For the moment, I should wear a warning sign for although I may be smiling on the outside, on the inside, I am a grieving ball of swirling pain and confusion. WARNING: Imminent Danger. Wounded. Hold Space. Step Back. Let Be.
I wonder how many other people are walking around like this today.
Right now, I have placed myself in stealth healing mode. I am recalibrating, retreating and reflecting and yes, I want limited contact with the outside world.
We all have our painful struggles. I just really want to learn, grow and take responsibility for my part. To grow stronger while strengthening my very own locus of control. This will enable me to go forward in life choosing people, places and things that are better for me. Better decisions come from a stronger mind. Forgive and let go.
The Deep Dive
On Suffering. To Be a Warrior Against What Is.
I am a huge believer in disrupting and innovating to repair what doesn’t work in society, especially when it comes to the use of technology. As for matters of the heart, there is a different type of disruption that must start with acceptance and approval of whatever situation you are in right now. That’s right. Find the good in the bad. The opportunity in the obstacle.
Spending all of our mental energy bargaining with the universe for what should be, how it could be, when the fact is, sometimes you have to give up the resistance to what is.
This is the problem I have with trying to pray away the pain. Praying is beautiful, but it doesn’t change what is. True change begins when we accept what is and when we are ready, we take action in a new direction.
Note to self: you can’t and don’t control everything. When we suffer, we spend all of our energy fighting what has happened. Wondering how we could have prevented it from happening. The healing begins when you realize you cannot change the outcome of what has already happened. You don’t have to like what is occuring right now, but when you can find the reasons why it might actually be good for you you begin to accept and realize that the remedy has begun. From Teal Swan.
Better Things To Ponder
A better life begins with better thoughts. If you can open up to realize that your thoughts may actually be crappy ones, then you can begin to think more clearly. Yeah that’s right, from crappy to clear.
From “101 things more worth thinking about than whatever is consuming you right now. “From Essays That Will Change the Way You Think book by Brianna Wiest.
So, if you don’t like where you are in life, stopping complaining and start creating.
The way it will feel to have the life you want. The place you’ll live, the clothes you will wear, what you will buy at the supermarket, how much money you will save, what work you’ll most be proud to have done. What you’ll do with your weekends, what color your sheets will be, what you’ll take photos of.
A Magical Medicine Bag
Over the past few weeks, in an attempt to heal myself, I thought about the idea of a Medicine Bag. I have made one myself, that I have been carrying around and using each morning to reflect on the parts of me that need healing.
A Medicine Bag was a special, sacred container for various objects, or amulets, of supernatural power used, or provided by, a MedicineMan or Shaman, to carry ‘medicine‘, or symbols, of animal spirits good luck, protection and strength in battle. The Medicine Bag contains both symbolic and ritual items.
Now, if I had a magical medicine bag, it might contain . . .
- A pair of glasses to see the world and all of humanity with radical loving kindness.
- Soft, beautiful, expanding wings to strap on your shoulders. Magically, they allow you to soar above this world for a new perspective, to glide and to guide.
- Detoxing tea to help remove the sticky, stuck pain cells of the body. The bitter cells that hold anger and resentment. Those cells that may grow up to become cancer, should they not be softened and removed, eliminated from the body. Drink a small cup a day to keep the crazy rage and illness away.
- A softening salve for the heart. When applied, a hardened heart becomes mysteriously able to renew itself. This curative balm begins to mend the heart, putting back all the pieces so it may pump and flow again, while helping the love juice of life flow to every healthy cell in the body.
- A wondrous cape of self confidence that makes one feel resilient, competent, relevant and real. Ready to take on the world with love and enthusiasm. When worn, you know you cannot and will not fail.
- The compass to help you find your true north.
- A pill to help you process past issues. Not a numbing pill, but an enlightening pill.
- The death clock, a countdown tool to remind you that your days are numbered here on this earth with a daily alarm to help you remember to live each day to it’s fullest, doing all the good you can do. Touching everyone that comes your way with heartfelt love and acceptance.
- A super powerful magnet to attract the people into your life who will play and work and love and live with you on this journey. Your like-minded citizens of the world. Your tribe.
- A prescription of forgiveness serum to help heal past relationships, to let go of old pain and to open your mind and heart to the healing of this mystical moment.
- Golden keys to unlock yourself out of imprisoning stories, stories that make you smaller and hurtful.
- Some type of delicious crystalized candy to expand your mind with the metacognition for awakened awareness of what is truly important.
Metacognition – awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process.
Our suffering arises from fear-based stories that are often outside our awareness. These include stories of our deficiency or importance, of being a victim, of being unseen or unloved, of facing failure or rejection. This is true collectively too. We have shared stories of bad “others” that fuel wars, shared stories of the value of continued growth in consumption and production that destroy our earth, shared stories of our human right to enslave and violate other animals. We have the capacity to bring the stories that separate and imprison us into the light of awareness, and with great compassion, loosen their grip. These two talks look at the ways fear-based stories create suffering, and how awakening from them reveals the freedom of our true, and universal, belonging. A meditation from Tara Brach.
Prepared & Active
“Let Fate find us prepared and active. Here is the great soul – the one who surrenders to Fate. The opposite is the weak and desperate one, who struggles with and has a poor regard for the order of the world and seeks to correct the faults of the gods, rather than their own.” Seneca, Moral Letters 107.12
Whatever happens today, let it find us prepared and active: ready for problems, ready for difficulties, ready for people to behave in disappointing or confusing ways, ready to accept and make it work for us. Let’s not wish we could turn back time or remake the universe according to our preference. Not when it would be far better and far easier to remake ourselves. – The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
If I dig deep enough – all the way to the very core of my inquiry, a big part of my quest is about making sense of it all.
Searching for the answers I seek, I have a difficult time understanding that not everything in life is logical. Most of it is a mystery and yes, it is with a great sense of gratitude that I respect that there are miracles happening every single moment of my life. However, I am also hardwired to remain cynical about the magic and skeptical about letting go and giving into the mystery of life unfolding as it should be. Letting go of not being able to control more of my life.
Most of life actually is quite chaotic and a huge mystery. Our desire to apply logic only fools us and typically it is for self-preservation. Read: Five Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think
and most of what I try to control, including people I love, only holds me back from opening my heart to something bigger, stronger and more fearless that I can ever be.
Here’s a Damn Good Recipe for Failure & Unhappiness, for a life of misery.
Be self-righteous, wallow in self-pity, drown the day in fear and complacency. Look at your life and others with anxiety, jealousy, and hatred.
Now here’s a More Delicious Recipe for Harmony, Peace & Happiness, for an extraordinary life.
Take it on the chin. Be flexible, resilient, forgive more. Work smart and hard and always look at life with confidence and gratitude.
The Waking by Theodore Roethke
When life feels like . . . .
Repeat this little prayer. . .
Right now I am frustrated because I am not taking better care of myself. Which got me wondering about the payoffs I experience for staying stuck in my progress. For not waking up more and doing what needs to be done to change what I don’t like about my life.
Dig deep for the payoffs for not moving towards your goals today. Ask yourself some BIG questions.
- What am I avoiding? Hard work maybe? Self-discipline? A little pain now for bigger gains later?
- Who am I punishing by staying this way?
- Am I avoiding the true expression of my emotions? Are they too frightening to feel?
- What if I am waiting for a guaranteed miracle? Who will bring it to me?
- Perhaps being stuck is really manipulating myself and others?
- Maybe I am looking for special attention? Wallowing in self-pity?
- What will I miss most if I do succeed?
Understand the difference between I will try and I will find a way “Results are a function of your commitment. Most people are unaware that where they are is exactly where they want to be.”
Surrender and Slow Down
Expect some pain today. When faced with problems during the day, I like to think of them as growing pains.
You see, the counter-intuitive (and funny) thing about embarking on the path of personal growth is that it’s not going to be all cake and cookies. Read: 7 Harsh Truths About Personal Growth.
However, whatever you do, don’t add to your pain and problems. Slow down, see life as it is, not worse than it is. Please don’t make it worse with a second arrow.
What’s a second arrow?
If we look at the way we move through the day, when something happens, when we have pain in our body, when somebody treats us in a way that feels disrespectful, when something goes wrong for someone we love, that’s the first arrow.
Our mind and body go into a reactivity that does not help to bring healing. We blame others, we blame ourselves. That’s the second arrow. – Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance.
What I’ve come to learn and accept is that there is always a solution of the highest good, but it may not be aligned with what we think we need. Our job is to surrender to the fact that the Universe has a plan far better than ours. I’ve found that the more I surrender to the Universe’s plan the easier it is to move through the discomfort of uncertainty. @ Read: The Universe Has Your Back
If you look at it this way, it becomes clear. If you don’t add value to another person’s existence, then you will not be missed when you are gone. Read: 13 Simple Ways You Can Have More Meaningful Conversations.
Understand the Payoff
of Putting Things Off
The payoff you get for procrastinating is that you don’t have to do the work. You don’t even have to try. It’s so much easier to stay the same, to stay small. Hell, you’re use to it. It’s comfortable. You may not like it that much, but it kind of works. You know what to expect from your day. The work is easy. You are complacent, but you can deal with that. That’s the payoff.
Once you begin to realize that doing the same things you always do will give you the same results you don’t want, then you realize the hard part is starting. You have to put in the effort and be okay with stumbling and bumbling around for a while. It’s like walking through a dank and dark tunnel without a torch. Starting something new is really hard and frightening sometimes.
The Temptation to Control and Repair Everything Around You
When life is uncertain – and when is it not really? – I feel the need to try to control the people around me. It gives me a false sense of security. If I can control what they do, then maybe I can control some of the results. The outcomes.
And we all know, no one really wants us to control them. So, this only has me feeling more frustrated. I am wasting all that control energy doing something that is absolutely frustrating. The only thing I can control is me and my attitude. I must be like water.
Go with the Flow
Try this. Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless. Be water My Friend.
In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature. This is the true meaning of ‘Be water’. It is the complete and unconditional acceptance of the self. Where the self itself melts and becomes formless, fluid and flexible. When you attain that state, you are water!
Sunday seems like as good a day as any other to start thinking about ways I can strengthen my mind. To start with, I stumbled upon this smart list of brain training, mind-soothing exercises.
A Mind Clearing & Expanding List of Good Thinking Skills
The truth is, the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life.
I have to diligently guard what enters my mind. Note to self: stave off the temptation to randomly search YouTube. Consume Quality. Read and watch only quality books & films.
Don’t believe everything I think. Don’t hold onto every little thought. Release, and let it go. Meditation can help you with this.
Give my mind some well-earned rest. The importance of self-care.
Brighten my mind with hopeful, peaceful and positive thoughts. Training my mind to be calm and to ward off the alarming effects of long-term, chronic stress.
Focus on what I want, not what I don’t want. This ain’t easy. The mind always wants to go back to ruminating worry and concern.
Develop a healthy rule book for good thinking.
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Understand & know what I value. Freedom, truth, a sense of security, peaceful living and love.
Take my mind on adventurous trips. Inspire it by doing more of what I enjoy.
Feed it good food. Each brain cell gets a boost from healthy nutrition.
And know that I have a choice – how I react to any given situation.
Avoid negative people, gossip, bullshitters and crazy makers at all costs. Like the plague.
Learn new skills. Study what I am curious about. Dabble.
Free my mind of unnecessary pain, guilt and fear. Ask questions instead. Stay curious. Continuously ask yourself, Why are you doing what your doing? Like right now, why are you reading this? I know why I am writing it. To help me become a better version of myself than I was yesterday.
Organize my surroundings. Remove what is useless. Declutter my life and my brain.
Most of us value intensity. Intensity makes us feel like we are busy, productive and important. Not. True. Slowdown.
Our breathing can shift our minds. Breathing to conserve my energy. Yes, there is a direct link between emotions and our breathing patterns.
Expand my mind in the great outdoors. Clear my mind.
Beware of Brutum Fulmen. Apparently coined by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, a brutum fulmen is a harmless or empty threat. It literally means “senseless thunderbolt.”
Lot’s of things in life are empty threats. Even those you scare yourself with – ignore them.