Seeing Ourselves Without Judgment

1351 Relax and Succeed - Can you look without the voice in your head

Most Earthly communications toward either God or The Universe are generally requests. Desires to have a desire filled, the desire to have a question answered, or the desire to know something, or for something to begin or end. And the reason we can do that and not feel better is because, as the Buddhists note, desire is at the heart of suffering.

Whether we imagine a forgiving God or in a scientific but infinite universe, each of those at its heart features an awesome force that extends everywhere and includes everything. Most importantly to us as people; the lack of judgment is the same. It –God or the Universe– simply is. But it does not judge. (Egos do all of the judging for the universe.)

People who tilt toward the less religious and less scientific doorways into wisdom are often into secular spirituality, and that often leads them to be familiar with Esther Hicks.

As Esther describes it, her wisdom comes to her through a council of non-physical entities she refers to as Abraham. If we’re more on the scientific side and think that idea is crazy, we should remind ourselves that a Nobel Prize was won by a famous mathematician who got those award-winning formulas ‘from aliens.’

Whether the source is real, the result of a disorder, or or even a charlatan, we should care more about whether it’s good information than what the source is. In fact, many of the problems in society today stem from our desire to always trust some sources and never others. In reality we would be better to ignore making blanket choices based on what group we’re in and we should look at each piece of information on its own merits.

Whatever her ‘source’ is, Esther generally shares the same wisdom this blog does. But that’s not why I mention her.

She talks of ‘the council’ when referring to ‘Abraham.’ She describes them as a group of timeless, energy-based entities that not only completely lack judgment, they offer only love. Even if we don’t believe Esther or those notions, let us imagine such a council overlooking our own lives anyway.

1351 Relax and Succeed - I shall tell you a secret

Remember: ‘the council’ does not judge, it represents God and the Universe. They understand everything so well that everything makes sense to them. Rather that our lives looking like failures and successes or problems and solutions, they simply see rippling, beautiful water, off which our light sparkles and glows. And it makes them love us all the more.

Imagine them. They’re looking at you right now. They aren’t bothered by how much you weigh, or what you think, or what you do. They don’t care if you got drunk last night, or went back to an ex you ‘shouldn’t have.’ Even the things we can self-hate ourselves the most for –they love us for those parts too. To them it’s just water dancing. They love you. Unconditionally.

Now imagine you from their perspective. Imagine you at this moment, knowing what you’re internal ‘issues’ and external ‘problems’ are. But you have no judgment. You just see yourself like an ant in an ant-farm. You can’t see the thoughts, you just see the actions. You’re just watching without expectation or judgment. Can you see how earnestly engaging with this perspective changes how we view ourselves?

When we do this well, we can see that our dramas are in our heads and not in our lives. From ‘The Council’s’ perspective, they don’t see us as procrastinating or letting anyone down or failing, because we/they have no expectations. We are then just either working, surfing the web, masturbating, or looking in the fridge again. They understand that those actions are what the people we are being in that moment truly want for ourselves.

They know we want that because we are always free. No one controls our minds or bodies except us, we just sometimes use our freedom really blindly. This is why there can be value in checking in with our personal ‘Council’ every now and again so we can look down on our little lives and see them for what they really are.

Doing this well is really quite comforting, although you may find yourself often feeling silly about your dramas when you see them like an observer. But humility only comes through freedom, so even that is a good sign.

Each time we’re faced with a choice about what to do, we can imagine our own council watching us. Is what we’re doing what makes sense for our life, or is it merely an unconscious habit? Our council won’t judge us, but it will see our actions for what they are, whether we’re moving our life’s pursuits forward or backward.

We are simultaneously insignificant and infinite. Either way, either our problems are either too tiny to matter to God or the Universe; or those two things are so infinite that either can easily absorb our mistakes. Either way we can relax. And then we can succeed. Because the way this page got its name was that I noticed that everyone got those two backwards. They always think the success leads to the relaxation, when in reality it’s the relaxation that leads to the success.

Now go love your day.

peace. s

Modern Dating

1346 Relax and Succeed - Modern dating

Who can blame people for being confused by modern dating? It’s been complicated by changes in both technology and in how human beings react to one another, and on top of all of that we have #metoo. Regardless of what gender we are or who we want to share our lives with, it’s a minefield of uncertainty out there.

Women have to figure out how to balance newly discovered strengths with their sensual femininity, men have to figure out how #metoo and 50 Shades of Grey can be popular at the same time. And before we complain about having to navigate that, just imagine how much more complex dating is for transsexuals, bisexuals, or the polyamorous.

I’ve recently written about the timing of a breakup, the notion of being successfully single, and today it’s dating, but these are all really the same subject: how do we balance our desire to share our lives with our desire to fulfill our personal destinies? How much sacrifice enriches us and how much is too much?

Those in relationships need some basis to make stay-or-go decisions on, otherwise the fear of being alone can force us into unhealthy situations we wouldn’t otherwise entertain. But leaving also means being single.

If we move in that direction, are there really ways to enjoy singledom and not feel like something is missing? And if we do want a new relationship, how do we tell who is right for us after a series of choices that lead to disappointment?

How do we work around the fact that apps have turned dating into a process akin to picking Chinese food? Because it’s easy to just keep ordering different dishes (qualities) in different combinations in the hopes that we can find a consistent order that meets all of our needs.

At the same time, our needs change day by day, so what defines a good match? Some things that we don’t like are good for us, yet whenever we run into relationship challenges it can feel easier to re-order than to learn to cook.

1346 Relax and Succeed - We can bring love into focus

In the end we cannot order a good relationship in. Good food or a good relationship will always be dependent on what we put into them. What works for one will not for another, and yet we do all share a set of underlying principles that people rarely even notice, let alone consider –hence the coming course.

There is no universal key to a good relationship either with another person or with ourselves, but there are ways to view ourselves and our partners that can be extremely helpful when it comes to helping us determine whether or not a relationship adaptation is valid or a deal breaker.

What people need are tools of the mind. We all need ways to think about ourselves and our situations that help us all recognize when we’re asking for too much, when we’re accepting too little, and what factors define what will make our lives rewarding.

These things can be done, but they require us to step back from our relationships and our pursuit of them. We must take time to philosophically consider what our perspective truly is. What are our priorities and why do we have them? In what ways would we benefit by making sacrifices to adapt our lives to that of another person?

People needn’t feel hopeless. There are answers to all of those questions, but we don’t get them just by wanting them. We must be prepared to sit down to take the time to truly sort them out.

Once we have reached our conclusions, we then have the wisdom necessary for navigating the decisions around dating, relationships, marriage and divorce, and they all become less tangled and more comprehensible. And whether we are together or alone, living with that kind of clarity is a truly beautiful thing.

peace. s

From Raving to Adulting

1340 Relax and Succeed - We should consider every day lost

Over the last few years, as people mature and their relationships and job responsibilities become more serious, I have heard from more and more people who want to shift some of their focus away from their party-lives and onto their adult lives.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has been a wonderful trend in human experience in that its venues have generally provided wonderful spaces in which people could feel free. With few ‘rules’ for dancing or dressing, people could really immerse themselves into the music, and that lead them to experience periods of true bliss. These can be genuinely profound experiences.

While the above is true, it is also true that much of the reason that EDM culture and raves are known for being so ‘loving’ or ‘free’ is because there is a much larger percentage of drug users at those events. But by their 30’s most ravers have seen drugs ravage many friend’s lives if not end them entirely, so concerns are natural. And they are increased by recent changes in the trustworthiness of drug purity. There are a lot of people who want to quit.

The favoured drugs tend to tip people towards temporary, drug-induced feelings of strength and energy (cocaine, methamphetamine etc.), emotional freedom (ecstasy, molly, MDMA, alcohol etc.), relaxation (ketamine, opiates) or spirituality (LSD, DMT, Salvia etc.). In a busy, stressful world, it is easy to see why searching for quick paths to those sensations would be welcomed by many.

These are often referred to as ‘lifestyle’ drugs, because they, together with the music and certain fashions etc., all form a subculture. It is valid as a subculture, but it can also be a legitimate impediment to developing a successful adult life.

1340 Relax and Succeed - Man is fully responsible

It’s one thing to date someone at 23 and spend your weekends on drugs raving to your favourite DJ’s, but eventually the job promotion thing, or the biological clock thing happen, and the people who want families tend to desire less partying and more responsibility. This is often when people first face the idea that they may have a casual addiction.

In truth, I rarely work on the addiction itself. For the most part, what’s needed is a helpful identity shift that allows us to keep the most important parts of ourselves from an earlier incarnation of our life, while we make a legitimate shift into our next phase of life –and until that final curtain, there is always another phase, so it’s a good skill to develop.

Once people have been taught how to make this shift comfortably, the drugs rarely disappear, but they do become more events than a lifestyle. Parents that used to go to every summer festival and rave possible are suddenly having children, serious jobs, and now they hit one or two big festivals a year as their adult time without the kids. Even then, most find their drug use trails off quite naturally and comfortably.

People should not feel strange or feel as though they’ve made a mistake if they’re wrestling with this change. It is never enjoyable to have to surrender freedom to assume responsibility for our life partners or children, but we’re not looking at the whole picture if we think we don’t gain in that trade. We don’t lose our old selves and go backwards, we build on that person and we go up.

There are other ‘highs’ in life. People don’t have to hate or be ashamed of their previous selves to find them. They merely need some guidance on how they can make that shift in ways that make sense, that foster growth, and that feel good. Because no one ever felt weaker by feeling more capable.

peace. s