Foul Moods

945 Relax and Succeed - Was it a bad dayYou can use whatever theories or concepts or excuses you like but in the end the feelings you experience do not come from external things. You are not some victim of your day. You’re not a victim at all. You can tell yourself you are but what you really are is a participant. And in this game anything can happen, including crappy stuff to you and me.

The problem is that people want to be happy when it’s healthier to be pointed toward happiness. First off, happiness is only a tiny portion of life to focus on so it’s a bit boring; plus it’s difficult to enjoy one’s life based on happiness when all worthwhile successes are necessarily preceded by challenges and the failure naturally associated with learning. Such is the Yin and Yang of life.

If the route to happiness is necessarily through pain and struggle then we’re doomed before we start. But what if we didn’t want to be happy? What if instead we were just oriented toward happiness? Then even when we are at our darkest, happiness is still in view and therefore possible. And moving toward it feels good because we’re continually feeling better than we previously did. After all, good feelings can only exist as a contrast to not-good ones.

945 Relax and Succeed - A mood isn't weather

Your day does not enter your life like a storm and stay. Days are days. The issue is you start making yourself the star of the day. When the photocopier breaks that’s not a part of all of your co-worker’s days, it’s yet another hassle for you to live through. Our ego puts itself in the middle and then thinks the world was supposed to go the way it thought it would. The unpleasant feelings we get come from comparing what we got to what we wanted.

If you don’t feel good it’s because you are entertaining thoughts that lead you to suffer. Yes there might really be unfortunate things happening but it’s impossible to make those go away by fantasising about other ways things could have been. Once something has passed it cannot be changed and can only be accepted.

What you think of as a bad day is really just a day where you’re placing a particularly negative lens over everything you see. Stop calling that a mood and using it as an excuse to punish others and yourself. Free yourself from that thought prison and understand that you can at any time begin watching the world around you for positive things. The more you do it the better you get at it until you eventually–and often easily–find yourself with a completely different and wonderful life.

Have yourselves a great day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Converting Energy

894 Relax and Succeed - You will know that forgivenessSince there is no blog on Thursday, these are the final three installments of the kindness challenge we’re doing through March. Fittingly, I saved the toughest ones for last. We exercised your spirit all month in preparation for these. We’re in the playoffs now.

We’ll still go from easiest to most challenging, so we’ll start today with kindness through graciousness. This is still very challenging for some but even then, for most of us, if you got enough irritants in a row people will start to have it bleed into their own consciousness. We start seeing the issue personally. It becomes a narrative within us and then we suffer.

This is the nature of karma. The negativity spreads through various manifestations of the universe. As I’ve written before, there is a common misunderstanding about karma. It is of a spiritual nature, and being so it relates to our state of oneness, not our separate ego-state. So as I often say, it’s not what comes around goes around, it’s more like someone peed in the pool.

894 Relax and Succeed - Water is softSo today we’re focused on the karma we generate, and we want to start by disconnecting that from the karma we receive. This is your opportunity in the universe. This is how you contribute. So how this works is that you have to start allowing things to move past you, as though there is no you for the idea to get disturbed by as that current of energy travels past. Rivers get eddies and chop and white water around bridge supports and obstacles but otherwise it flows smoothly. Same with you. Don’t have anything personal sticking up and things will flow right past you.

So what constitutes an obstacle in the flow? Words assembled into sentences which become personal narratives. So stop your opinions regarding what is or what could be, and simply accept and then act originally.

Divorce this moment from the last. What happened in that last moment only matters if you want to conjure it again for this next moment. That’s a choice. So don’t act originally and then repeat energy unconsciously. Recognize that this is where there we can make all of the difference in life. This is what it is to live consciously.

894 Relax and Succeed - You can saveSo today when someone is rude to you or takes some advantage you might otherwise categorize as unfair (or if you do it to yourself by taking a moment to recall past offences), just leave those echoes out of the next moment and respond with graciousness as much as possible for the entire day until you go to bed.

You’ve practiced this a bit, but this is a concentrated day after a month of prep work so don’t assume it will be hard. Tricky maybe, hard: no. Pay attention to how you fail. Is it certain people that can get you off balance? Or is it situations that steadily wear you down? Paying attention to things like that can be some of the most important meditating you can do.

Become a transformer. Take any negative energy you receive and convert it into humour, patience and kindness. Because this right here is how the world and you get closer to your ideals. And hey, this is all about positivity, so don’t forget to have fun. 😉

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

Recognition of Involvement

Winner: 2016’s Blog of the Year #10!

So this week we know two things: our Dominant Negative Emotion and our Dominant Positive Emotion. Your mind has lots of things wired into those two emotions and so those are the ones to which you have the most effective route. Your brain’s like that–the more you do of something the better it gets at it.

861 Relax and Succeed - Today I listen to my feelingsFor our example today we could use sadness or anger but since it’s so popular, let’s say you spend most of your day anxious. Maybe you got laid off and there’s no work so you started your own little business but every day you’re freaked out that in you’re in over your head, it’s more than you can handle and you feel lost and afraid about your future and you lack trust in yourself. Again, it can be any emotion; this is just an example.

And let’s say the enjoyable thing you can easily experience is compassion. You can be having a terrible day–be all caught up in your own egotistical suffering and then you can see an injured dog being rescued on social media and suddenly you’ve switched from anxiety about your future to a form of caring love for the animal and thoughts instead about its future. You’re so invested in the animal that you’re not even creating a you to do any suffering.

This example works particularly well because compassion is tied to someone else’s suffering. For your mind, it’s not a giant leap to stay in suffering mode and yet focus on someone else. That once-removed understanding of the pain is the same thing that makes watching suffering in a movie actually resonate. It’s not your pain, but you feel it as pain you personally understand.

861 Relax and Succeed - Feeling unsure and lostWell it’s time you got to understand your own pain like that. That way, if you can’t shift to a better-feeling emotion you can still feel okay being in a painful situation. That’s an important distinction. Pain is mandatory in life. Everyone feels it. But suffering is the egotistical thought layer we place over the world and we invent suffering and claim it’s pain. It isn’t. Psychological pain is very fortunately a choice.

You can’t blame people a few years ago for thinking this was crazy. Common belief in psychology was that it worked the other way around. Your mental health affected your thinking, not that your thinking affected your mental health. Now they’re old fashioned if they think that people are victims. We can’t out-victim people who went through the worst of WWII, so if they can still have fruitful lives so can anyone else. It’s a matter of understanding our choices. It’s a matter of valuing this awesome opportunity called life.

Remember, because you have a preference for an experience that feels good that does not mean that the undesirable emotions and experiences are incorrect or otherwise something to remove from your life. You want to learn to spend the least amount of time there possible, but there is still tremendous value in the contrast that negative experiences provide.

861 Relax and Succeed - You are innately mentally healthyThere cannot be a path of enlightenment if there isn’t a not-path. And it’s not a path to enlightenment, because that makes it sound like it’s a destination when it’s actually an action–a verb; a way of moving through the universe. It is to be awake. To see the creation of your emotions and the possibility of a shift. Just wondering about that change for one day will do you tremendous good.

These are not small steps you’re taking every day. It’s you learning to see the world in a different way. If we do this long enough you’ll not only have the benefit of each lesson, but you’ll also have the larger total benefit of having assumed as natural, an entirely new way of seeing the world. A way so comfortable it can eventually replace the flawed version of reality you’re struggling to manage today.

That’s your assignment: watch your two biggest emotions. See how they each rise within you. Wonder about those sources. You’re wiser than you think. If you’re sincerely doing the exercises you’re likely to have a very helpful insight about how you can be more peaceful with yourself. It’s those little a-ha moments that we’ll stitch together into a new understanding. It’ll be fun. See you tomorrow for the act of the switch.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

Your Emotional Home

858 Relax and Succeed - You attention pleaseHow was your awareness throughout the day? Of course you lost track of your focus countless times, we all do. How quickly and how often you recover the Present Moment is a sign of your development.

You want to practice (there’s that verb again) being aware. You want to practice watching yourself. You want to have it become second nature that your ego is not allowed to run your life without your awareness.

You know from your Monday meditation what your dominant emotion is and what happens to you when you experience it. Don’t lament having a Dominant Emotion–you’ll always have one that shapes your personality more than others. Yes, ideally that would be love or compassion, but all of the emotions are valid. They just shouldn’t be experienced in isolation. Too much of any emotion dilutes its value–including too much happiness.

858 Relax and Succeed - You don't have to be greatSo maybe we want peace, maybe love, maybe compassion, maybe strength. Once you know how to manage your consciousness you realize those are all pretty close together so any will do fine. But if you’re reading this then presumably you rarely visit the positive emotions–maybe you even miss them. It’s not fun living life if on a daily basis you’re spending too much time with the emotions you find difficult.

Sadness, guilt, worry, anxiety, anger–whatever–it doesn’t really matter which one you’re coming from or going to, in the world of consciousness they’re all equal. It’s not that one is harder than the other–what’s tricky is the changing from one to the other. But I say tricky and not hard because all it takes is practice. That’s the value in the Dominant Emotion–if it’s where you are most often then it’s also your most frequent opportunity to practice changing.

The value in this exercise is that we want to work on noticing the physical manifestation of our Dominant Negative Emotion and then let that lead us to realize we’re thinking about the situation in a way that would definitely lead to the reaction we’re having. That immediately takes the blame from other people being responsible for how you feel. Having owned the reaction, we can now start preparing the shift to choosing something better to think about. This is difficult at first, but it gets better with practice and I’ll cover more on the switch later.

858 Relax and Succeed - Occupy the presentSo remember: pay attention to that body part. Note when it’s reacting in a way that signals you that you’re experiencing that Dominant Emotion. Check in with your thinking to see where it’s at, then notice the relationship between your thoughts and that feeling. Easy right? All you’re trying to do is re-catch yourself over and over so that you generally think that emotion into existence and then immediately become aware of it. That already makes you a fantastically much more conscious person.

Every time you feel that tight gut or tight forehead or that sick feeling or whatever else, don’t lament. Just check in and look at it. Don’t wish it away–that’s just thinking about it even more. Just recognize it and you will have taken a big step. You’ve got two days to work on this. Leave a note or something to remind you and then just do your best. Just always remember, it’s a practice not an achievement. Each moment is new.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

A New Reality

Okay, so yesterday you figured out how you process some events. You know your brow furrows and you get tension in your neck, or you know you won’t be able to sit still, or that your feel nauseous, but you’ve figured out what your dominant emotion is and how it impacts you. You’ve already done more than you realize.

857 Relax and Succeed - Life is 10 percent what you makeMaybe you already noticed it yesterday. Just your awareness of where your suffering sits physically makes you more aware. Your stomach starts to tighten but now you have the association as to why. You may even have known why right away, but being in tune with that–seeing that information as a tool is not something you’re likely to have done. People think their emotions are results not signposts.

Let’s use the new job example I started yesterday. In that case our overwhelming unfamiliarity leaves us more vulnerable and therefore more wary or… anxious. That’s a natural reaction to all that newness. So if you were going to feel a bit anxious it makes sense that you would feel that just before a new job, where you’ll meet a bunch of new people. And in that context you’re essentially hunting–you’re going to use the money from work to buy the most basic things, like having food or shelter. So if you feel your food and shelter might be threatened then Maslow would suggest that it seems like the appropriate time for the very human emotion of very active concern or anxiety.

857 Relax and Succeed - Fall in love wtih the processCan you see how that you’ve already started the change you wanted to teach yourself? Because by becoming the real you who is watching for the fake you, you can’t think the fake you’s narrative thoughts. That’s a big deal–you’re now busy being the person watching those thoughts and their reactions in your body. You are now real you watching ego you. Congratulations! And that only took a day to get familiar with. You’ll only get better from here.

Starting tomorrow we’ll hone this skill even further. But for today focus on practicing being an observer. Don’t just notice that one emotion; start to add the others. Feel all those emotions. Feel the chemistry of your body not as your day but rather as the result of your thinking. Note that if you change your thinking or circumstances change it, you feel differently. So spend today focusing on that relationship between what you think and how you feel.

857 Relax and Succeed - Don't let negativity drag you downStop talking to yourself about your day and start being alive within it. Stop living the thoughts and start existing as the being that thinks those thoughts. You are the projector not the screen.

Remember, don’t add to negative narratives by chastising yourself. Chastise or not every thought is an act of creation. Watch them go as easily as they came. That is your day. That flow. You don’t fight that flow. You get comfortable with it and then you can start to feel its currents and use its forces. Before you know it you’ll be a Jedi. 😉

Have fun watching yourself. If you do it earnestly you’ll learn a lot. Get good at it. Then we’ll take that raised awareness and we’ll put it to good use. You’re now an active participant in your life. Congratulations. Enjoy your day.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Meditating on Awareness

Okay, so far we’ve done meditations on gratitude, judgment and our physical selves. Now we going to make you aware of where you non-physical self touches your physical self. This is where your thoughts become your biology and your biology becomes your emotional day.

Where we have to start is in finding your dominant emotion and where it sits. So essentially we’re looking for the end of the equation. After you’ve thought something and your system talks to your hypothalamus and you get a complex chemical dump that rushes through your body and in you it tends to go…. where?

Once you slow your thinking down it will be easier to find these sensations but right now we’re just getting you back in touch with yourself so you can start to take control yoverself–over your determination or your eating or your anxiety etc. If you’re over 30 you’re starting to develop a face from your common chemistry. Meaning you think a certain type of thought so commonly that the emotion associated with it is starting to form how your face naturally sits.

Many people easily know their dominant emotions but if you don’t then your face will be a clue. Figure out if you spend more time worried, angry, hurt, anxious, sad, superior, curious, happy or loving. If you look mostly loving then you probably don’t need to read this blog but that’s very low odds–I can go years without seeing a new person who truly spends most of their time loving.

856 Relax and Succeed - Any fool can run toward the lightAfter we have the emotion we want to know where it goes. Of course it goes to your face and everywhere else, but where’s it sit. Do worry and it tightens your gut? Do you get angry and your chest tightens? Are you sad and your shoulders are heavy and your head is down? How about anxious and something’s always twitching? Spend a day homing in on yours.

Once you have that you have your most obvious signaling system. Once you know that your nervousness sits in your gut you can be at your desk and think to yourself, “Oh my God I have that new client this afternoon. I hate new clients. I always do something awkward and look dumb in front of all these new people who are just meeting me… ugh.” And then maybe you touch your stomach or reach for your antacid. Boom. There’s your clue.

So let’s say it’s anxiety in the stomach. Well–that just used to be it. You’d feel that and then you’d request more of that chemistry by continuing that anxious narrative about the job and the worries and predictions of how it will go and what they will think. Truly wildly speculative stuff that only seems valid because you only pay attention to your life in ways that self-reinforce these ideas. So you’ll only notice when you’re anxious so it’ll seem like you’re always anxious which will validate the narratives you’re exchanging.

856 Relax and Succeed - Keep up the good workRemember, in the end this is all just you volunteering to talk to yourself. Now that we’ve found the result of the common type of conversation, rather than continue on to a chain reaction of other thoughts you can use this blog as a signpost to say–hey wait a second: is this emotion valid? In many cases it won’t be.

The question is, what can you do about that? How does that help? That’s what we’ll cover tomorrow. Today’s about finding that emotion and where it sits. Do that and you are progressing just fine young grasshopper. 😉

You guys have a fantastic day getting more in touch and closer to your natural health. I look forward to the next step tomorrow. It’s a big one.

peace. s
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Friday Dose #95

847 Relax and Succeed - The best way to find yourselfAs noted earlier in the week, the Dose’s format will change slightly but it will still essentially be your distraction page. If you get caught in a painful thought loop the Dose’s are a collection of things that either relate to what I teach, or they’re designed to simply be interesting or cool to the point where you forget about your own problems and instead you get lost in fascination. This year the Dose will be divided into sections. Enjoy!

Weird and Wonderful

A man invents a switch for sperm:

The Sperm Switch

Education

Families are lost without their leaders:

Ineffective Parenting

Relationships

Do you understand the men in your life or do you believe you do?

The Secret Lives of Boys

Understanding

How good is your awareness?

Thanks for a great first week of 2016 everyone. Have a wonderful weekend!

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.00 Relax and Succeed - Friday Dose Footer

Egos in Public

She’s walking down the street on the way to work. She slept in, had to rush, hadn’t ironed and so she wasn’t feeling great. That morning she had looked in the mirror and thought, I look like crap. It’s a good thing you’re not seeing clients today. Why do you drink so much every time you’re with Steph? Stop it.

827 Relax and Succeed - If the whole world was blindAs Jennifer walks past the bookstore she sneaks a look at her outfit in the window. She looks at her tinted, distorted and dirty reflection and sneers–judging herself unacceptable. Have you gone blind?! I knew I should have worn my other coat. This looks ridiculous.

Inside the store Gloria had just placed a novel in its proper order while thinking to herself when you act like you did on that date last night why would you ever hope to ever get married again? No wonder your husband left you and your fat ass. As she rises she turns to see Jennifer’s expression of dissatisfaction with her reflection in the glass, but thinking Jennifer was looking at her, Gloria thought-responds, yes bitch, I know it’s fat alright?

As Gloria rounds the corner she sees another display in the window for the Carol Shields novel Larry’s Party. That leads her to recall that it’s her friend Tamara’s birthday the next day and she hasn’t gotten her a gift yet. She ducks into the bookstore just as one of the girls that works there notices that Gloria’s a bit teary-eyed. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?”

827 Relax and Succeed - Only say it if it is true

Gloria nods toward Jennifer who is just entering the store. “Just some bitch mocking my fat ass.” Gloria shoots Jennifer a dirty look. Bitch. Gloria’s a touch on the lazy side and she wants to call her boyfriend, so when she sees Jennifer heading for the till with her book she turns back to her co-worker and asks, “I really don’t want to serve her. Would you mind taking that for me?”

The co-worker is helpful and agrees and heads over to check out Jennifer who was very impressed with quick excellent service she got here last time. She made a note of the woman’s name again. Indira. I’m gonna write to their head office when I get home and make sure Indira gets credit for helping me last time. Companies don’t respect how much difference those front line workers can make. To me, she was the face of the this company that day and she smiled when most clerks today just sneer and grab your money.

Jennifer arrives at the till and Gloria’s co-worker slides into the spot behind the till. She speaks very flatly (just barely politely). “Did you find everything you were looking for?”you judgmental hag. The clerk’s body language is rough and heavy, as though bitch-germs are all over the book. She wants to drop it in the bag as quickly as possible.

827 Relax and Succeed - Never judge someoneJennifer is knocked from her pleasant feeling by the clerk’s almost challenging tone and negative body language but she gives her the benefit of the doubt. She even goes so far as to try to cheer her up with a little joke: “I usually remember what I came for when I get home.” No smile, no recognition she said anything. Hmm. Okay. Well, I’m not normally a funny person. Still, I thought it was funny.

“Did you need a gift receipt?” So flat it could be judged as over the line by some.

Apparently Jennifer is on the other side of that line. Well don’t let me put you out honey. You get that I’m paying your wage by buying this right? Jennifer smile-sneers at the clerk. “No. No I’ll do without.” She can’t resist throwing in a final stab: “Thanks for your great service though.”

Ooo. Flat right back. The clerk doesn’t like this hag that attacked Gloria. And now she knew Gloria was telling her the truth about the woman because the co-worker herself was witnessing Jennifer being just as bitchy to her as she was to Gloria (remembering of course from our God-position that Jennifer never did actually see or judge Gloria).

The clerk completes the transaction and roughly tears off the receipt  and jams it into the bag with the book. With a fake smile and facetious tone: “Have a great day.”

827 Relax and Succeed - The only peopleJennifer looks back but it’s too early in the morning to be treated like this. “Yeah, thanks for the great service by the way. You know the woman upstairs managed to sound like she didn’t resent the people that pay her bills. You should try it sometime.”

“Pardon me?!” How dare she!!  “Yeah, well at least I don’t go around insulting perfect strangers in public places so maybe you should just take your stupid book and leave.”

WHAT!? “That sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll do that and come back later and talk to your manager.” Jennifer takes the bag with the book and receipt and she heads for the door a bit stunned, leaving the co-worker looking a touch concerned about how this might play out later.

In the end none of these women actually had a reason not to like each other. All of them had unpleasant experiences within their consciousness that they blamed on each other. What really happened was that they all chose to make judgment calls about what they thought they experienced. Just remember: this scene is almost all of us, almost every day, almost all day. Be aware, have a quiet mind and save yourself from daily suffering.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Your Internal Guidance System

You implore the universe to help you. You beg it, beseech it and are left bereft when it does not. But maybe it answered before you were even asking. Maybe it knew what you would need and it made sure you had it. Maybe the thing you thought was making you sick is the same thing that can make you healthy…..

819 Relax and Succeed - Everybody is youI’ve written about it before and it’s important enough that it gets its own section in my latest book. You have to stop seeing your life as this event that is happening to you personally and you have to start seeing the signals you’re getting as being human. Those were put within you because the universe knew you would need them.

Like the Dalai Lama recently said about the world, “We cannot solve this problem through only prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.” Indeed. Wanting is an ego-based activity. Action is the nature of the universe. But we keep mistaking its guidance for its results.

The universe will be bountiful and generous but you must go out and meet it in all its forms. Nature, other people, art, culture etc. will not come to you–you must be active in the creation of your more positive, emotionally successful life. You must recognize the signs that God or the universe provides you and you must use them to your advantage. Not so that you can undermine other aspects of nature or the universe, but so that you can become alive within your own life.

819 Relax and Succeed - loneliness is a requestYou can actively choose to move away from suffering and toward something better. And that’s important because getting to that place is not nearly as important as the personal effort to get there. That’s where you derive your satisfaction from living–from your movement. You are an aspect of the universe. Where you are dormant the universe is dormant.

Look at how brilliant you are: Loneliness is a request for connection. Anger is a request for safety. Frustration is a request for assistance. Sadness is a request for fun and Love is a request for more love. Nothing happens if you look at the emotion and say, Look what God brought me! God didn’t bring that.

God or the universe created everything. Including all of the smart cells that make you up. Including the ones that produce the chemistry for your brain. All you need to do is stop seeing your emotions as the end result and instead see them as the universe speaking to you. You’re not a spectator. You’re a participant.

819 Relax and Succeed - Everything you do is based on the choices you makeYour emotions are not meant to be destroyed they’re meant to be employed. Don’t add to them by complaining about them. They are requests for action. You can’t sit in your home every night alone and then complain that your life is bad. It’s not bad. You’re not living it. Every day you get delivered tons of information about what would help you but you keep waiting for life to arrive rather than understanding that it is an action.

Start listening to your emotions. Use them to motivate your life. Use them to move you towards love and away from indifference. There is nothing greater that you could do for the universe than simply manifesting your greatest self. Ready? Of course you are. You were born ready.

Let’s go! s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Polyhedrons of Perspective

You can stop arguing, defending and wondering why people act this way or that. What will make you feel better is when you realize that the things you want to do are actually impossible. The paradox is that when you surrender into that awareness you suddenly realize that you’ve always had what you were looking for. But to get there, first there’s some things you simply have to accept if you want to live with the equanimity that goes with an enlightened life.

748 Relax and Succeed - Wisdom is what's leftThe first thing is to accept that there is only Now. There is only the Present Moment. You have never been alive in the past nor will you live in the future. It always was and it’ll always be Now. People read that and it half-makes sense and so they read on. Really stop and really think about that like Eckhart suggests. That’s not to be taken lightly and there’s salvation in that idea.

Okay, so you can’t fix the past. And if you’re worried about the future then you’ll be worrying in your Present Moments rather than being Open and Aware. That lack of awareness will lead you to make the sort of mistakes that will cause your fearful future to end up being a self-fulfilling prophesy. Your future is always made of what you do in your Nows. Quiet your mind about before and later and pay attention to your nows instead.

The second thing you have to do is Accept. You have to accept that every moment is a polyhedron. Every single moment has many sides—many perspectives that can be taken on it. Think of Moments kind of like soccer balls—they’re three dimensional but they also have those little sides–little separate realities. Except in the psychological world people are much more complex than soccer balls so those sides can be infinitely tiny. So there’s no correct perspective on a moment. There’s just the side you’re looking at. That’s all you’ve got. That and maybe glimpses of the sides bordering yours. But just glimpses.

748 Relax and Succeed - I removed your egoI often talk about how I agree with Shakespeare about the ages of man. We all go through about 7-9 year cycles where we become someone new and then eight years later, just as it’s getting boring, we find or push ourselves into a new role where we need new perspectives on old things. Where we’re a beginner again. A lot of this has to do with aging because you get more experience with that change. That makes you more comfortable and then aware, so it’s a spiritual journey as well as a physical one.

If we’re lucky and we work at it our life experiences can lead to the big discovery everyone’s looking for—which is when we no longer see just our side of a single moment, but instead we can see at least enough of the soccer ball of life to appropriately humble our own perspective. We see that how we’re seeing it is just one way of seeing it out of many….

I’ve written about it here before but I’ve got a good example of me getting a better view of the soccer ball. My ex wife and I were talking one gorgeous Saturday morning and she wanted to stay in and clean the albeit dusty house. We were both busy all week and I wanted to relax. I didn’t like arguing over cleaning so I suggested we get a maid so we could spend more time out together. Back then I thought you had to be out, rather than just truly together. And it seemed like a loving offer that was taking half the cleaning off her back. Her answer surprised me.

748 Relax and Succeed - When I do good

She asked how much I’d pay a maid. I guessed way too high and she said she’d do it for that. I didn’t like that idea because my point was I wanted to get more time with her. But in my young-man innocent idiocy I thought to myself, okay, I wanted to go the park with friends but I guess if she wants the money and thinks it’s fair for the work then I can just shift to doing something fun at home and that way I get my relaxation and she gets her money. Fair deal.

Every person reading this who’s been married for longer than six months is laughing their ass off at that. That is ridiculous. We were both nuts. We were calculating that was fair and that it got us what we wanted. We weren’t however thinking about how it would feel. Because how it felt was that I felt uncomfortably guilty watching F1 Racing while she vacuumed our livingroom and she resented me sitting there with my feet up while she worked. At that point the money in the bank was an abstract concept no one was even thinking about except maybe to use as a point in an argument.

As I’ve aged my view of the soccer ball expanded and I can now see how crazy that was. But I also know I’ll make “mistakes” like that again. There’s no way not to. Because I can’t know what someone else stitched in next to my perspective on the soccer ball. They’ll tell me that. I’ll find out from experience. And so all we can do is live in the moment and do our best and remember that we’re all polyhedrons looking at other polyhedrons so no one ever really knows what’s going on. And there’s real comfort in just letting all that go and surrendering into what feels good instead. And lo and behold, it turns out that’s what feeling good was designed for.

peace. s