Your Spiritual Footprint

A lot of people are worried about their “carbon footprint,” which is really a catch-all term for the general price they personally exact from the environment. That increased awareness is great news. Likewise our consciousness is our psychological and spiritual environment so it’s a good idea to also consider our weight and impacts there.

982-relax-and-succeed-the-universe-doesnt-speak-englishYou eat food and breathe oxygen and the mitochondria who live within you then convert those things into the energy that you use to move your body and to think with. You then use that energy to think thoughts that are turned back into chemistry that you then experience as an emotion. If you want to understand your psychology you must understand that important energy creation and expulsion cycle.

You can take food and oxygen and make the energy. You can use that energy to think of a route for your bike ride, then your leg muscles can burn energy moving you through that route. Or you could sit still and use that energy to create more physical weight. Likewise you can use that energy to think sad, angry or fearful thoughts that weaken you. Negative emotions will burn your energy on circular thinking instead of moving you forward through the world.

Focus on appreciating the world around you–not so much in words but in direct appreciation, like the way we enjoy an instrumental song or the taste of ice cream. Those are experiences before they are turned into words. Treat the whole world like ice cream and you will very efficiently translate your personal energy into an energy that connects with and flows into others around you. This is why some people are said to have a commanding presence or that they’re very compelling. They are giving off a lot of this energy and when people see it they generally refer to the person as confident.

982-relax-and-succeed-change-your-thoughtsIn the end it’s simple: do you spin thoughts and burn your energy that way or do you use that same energy to move through the world? Because the pain isn’t because you went this direction or that; that’s just life. Pain is inevitable, but when we sit still and do not live at all we are volunteering for suffering. You were meant to be active in this world. You have more to offer than you realise, but you cannot own that capability until it is revealed through motion. Your life must have some direction and some intention to get anywhere or you will suffer.

Remember that when you feel great others can literally feed off of your energy. We’ve all done this sometimes so that you proves to you that you can do it. At the same time we can all bring an entire room down if we suck up the energy of everyone we encounter. Make your spiritual footprint light not dark, because the same cycle that can make things look darker and darker can also make them lighter and lighter.

Free yourself. Understand how your energy flows and start using it in your favour. Because the great part is, what’s truly good for you is what’s truly good for everyone around you. You’re creating the energy anyway. You can use it to crush yourself and darken your world or you can use it to free yourself to experience greater joy, love and connection. That is why it is important to practice mindfulness because in the end, no matter what you do, the road will always be defined by its ditches so it’s always important to be a conscious driver.

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.

Trading Jewels

902 Relax and Succeed - Imagine a worldImagine we all live on a planet where instead of clothing, everyone is covered in a strange kind of jewel. These jewels contain the energy that keeps the aliens alive, but they will only work on an individual for a short period before needing to be transferred to someone else. If transferred, the act of trading creates a boost in energy for both jewels.

All day long people pass these jewels back and forth. Just like us, these aliens evolved. So just like sex feels good for most of us, trading glowing jewels feels good for them. And all you have to do to accomplish it is be in the presence of the other person and then you touch each other. That’s it. Just making contact in the most basic way will release the jewel into each other’s hands.

While a lot of other really interesting things happen on this planet, this trading of energy is the basis of it all. Take that away and none of the other structures or organizations work anymore. So it’s both enjoyable and important.

902 Relax and Succeed - When we are happyIf someone holds a jewel too long they can take it past its natural point. This stresses the jewel because in that state it cannot produce its full amount of energy, which means the alien will weaken. It also makes it more difficult to trade, because now you must find someone in good shape to trade with you because they’re the only ones with enough spare energy to run themselves and recharge the dull, unenergized jewel back up.

This rescue from a negative position is an important function on this planet because relatively regularly the demands of being an alien will require more energy than the alien has time available for trading. This means everyone inevitably hits periods where their dull jewels really start to show. This of course erodes the energy available for both life and for trading.

Since a quarter of the population will also be low on glow at any given time, they can only trade with the other 75% of the population, and not all of them are motivated to trade. If a “healthy” person is getting close to their own limits for energy obviously they’re not going to be inclined to trade with anyone on the low energy side.

902 Relax and Succeed - I am drivenFortunately that gets made up for by the people who’re the best at trading. They’re very often not only glowing, but they’ll also glow brighter than the average person. It’s kind of like candles. The more you light the brighter it gets around you and the easier it is to stay within that high energy.

These aliens are important because not all of the positives actually have enough energy left to make a trade worthwhile, so they’ll just tread water and then watch for opportunities to wander by that will allow them to get back onto the positive side. If not, they’ll get too dull and then they’ll also need very focused and serious attention by some trained jewel traders or very dedicated volunteers.

These would be people like me. We smooth and ease the processes of trading jewels. Many people grew up while their parents were in a dull stage, and so they only learned observed and learned the habits for a very rare and low quality trade. This creates diminishing returns without the alien knowing why. This generally results in the duller group using each other to vampire energy around, until they one by one eventually figure out that the only long term solution is greater proximity to the glowing group.

902 Relax and Succeed - The first to helpLow energy aliens do not expect to be attractive to people with energy. That’s just not how things work. But everyone knows what it’s like to have low energy, so they just have to find someone who’s in touch with that memory and they’ll have the necessary empathy to be motivated to make a trade where the volunteer will have to choose to lose. On Earth we call those volunteers friends.

The healthiest aliens tend to develop similar vampire networks that the unhealthy low-energy people have, except theirs are much more conscious. They aren’t reactionary (rushing out to get energy after you’re desperate for it), they monitor themselves closely and then consciously create a life that encourages regular exchanges. Remember, jewels gain energy from a trade, so if glowers trade with glowers you can see how easy that can get for everyone involved.

We’re just like this other planet in the end. Except instead of trading different coloured jewels we trade kindness, compassion and generosity as glowing jewels and sadness, bitterness and worry as dull ones. Just like on that planet, few people here are motivated to trade with people who consistently offer only low levels of negative energy in exchange.

902 Relax and Succeed - What you giveThe secret to life isn’t finding some never ending stream of generous glowing people, it’s to understand that the easiest way to keep the energy levels of everyone up is if everyone focuses on regular trades of glowing energy. The glowers have figured this out. They didn’t luck their way into more glowing. Hardly anyone does that. No. Most of them lived their way into that group. They made the choices that lead to that success.

Don’t lock yourself away. Get out and be with people in positive situations or don’t expect your moods to improve. And if you don’t have the energy to help a friend who always seems in need, then don’t dull your own jewels by wasting energy on feeling guilty. Yes it’s nice to be generous, but it’s ultimately a shortage of energy that motivates a poor trader to eventually figure out that the answer isn’t more energy, it’s more trading.

So get out there and trade today folks. Remember, it feels good. So have a great one. Make it so.

peace. s

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

Wave Energy

Okay, this one’s simple, but it can be tricky to grasp at first. Not difficult—tricky. It would be unreasonable to call tying your shoes difficult but—when you’re first learning—it is tricky. Okay. Ready?

547 Relax and Succeed - Feelings are much like wavesWaves don’t push beach balls towards the shore because the ball is sitting on the water, not on a wave. The weight of the water versus the lightness of the beach ball causes the beach ball to float on the substance that is water. That is how they interact. In this metaphor, the reality of you the ball, and the external reality of the water, are where the two realities come to exist by their very meeting. But just like with the beach, don’t mistake the water for the wave.

The water is neutral. It’s the energy in the wave that acts up0n the water. The energy and frequency will dictate the wave, not the water. Meaning you are better to invest your life in paying attention to the frequency, magnitude and speed of the wave than you are to the temperature or look of the water. To turn the metaphor around, you’re better to invest your life paying attention to the energy behind your thoughts, than you to pay attention to external events. The events, like the water, will be dictated by the energy that’s put into that reality by your thoughts.

You know this energy as your feelings or emotions. These are feelings you know well, and yet you’ve spent almost no time truly considering their origins. Someone can insult you, but if you don’t respect them, then the insult means nothing. Another person can insult you, but if you do respect them, then you will choose to believe that idea by thinking it about yourself, and that act will lead you to suffer. Whatever thought you have generates a kind of energy that creates the wave that either raises or lowers your ball.

547 Relax and Succeed - What a liberationYour sense of being comes from your thinking about the world. You can be in intake mode where you are aware, or output mode where you are creating an ego by having a thought-conversation with yourself. If you think angry or busy or worried ego-thoughts, then you will feel angry, tired and afraid. But if you’re in intake mode, you’ll feel appreciation in some form.

Don’t get caught up in battling with the water. Focus on the wave. Feel its energy. And steer yourself accordingly. If one part of the wave is unpleasant, then shift the weight of your thinking onto something more positive and/or enriching. Because there are no perfect waves. There are just waves that get surfed almost perfectly.

Stop treating your egocentric narrative like it’s anyone else’s reality. Those thought-waves are yours and yours alone. Only you feel them. You find reality when you’re not-thinking. When you are open and aware. Then you’re available to feel the universe. You can ride the energy of an experience much like you can a wave. You just have to remember to put more of your weight on catching the flow of the most enriching experiences available. Feel the energy beneath you. You are a part of it. Pay attention. 😉

peace. s

Spirits, Ghosts and You

Because of the experience I had when I was little, many people ask me about my experiences with life after death, my belief in ghosts and spirits, and whether or not I believe in any kind of God. They are often surprised that my response feels as much scientific as it does spiritual or paranormal.

542 Relax and Succeed - We can think of the soulShelagh Rogers recently did an interview on CBC Radio’s show The Next Chapter, where she talked about a variety of subjects with author Karen Connelly. Among them were questions about the spiritual events surrounding Connelly’s sister’s recent death. In the interview Connelly talked about how, as her sister faded, she began using blunt terms for travel for her situation. It’s important to note that she wasn’t using them as metaphors—she would talk as though she was literally going somewhere with statements like, I’m not allowed to leave, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to leave, or where’s my passport I’m leaving soon. Connelly talked about how her research after the fact demonstrated that those are common terms of reference in palliative care. Moreover, as the patients got even closer to death, they would imagine spirits or angels or guides appearing to make things more helpful. Today’s post will endeavour to explain to you what those spirits are and where they come from.

I’ve previously written about how dreams are when you integrate with the rest of the universe and you loosen of your own personal interpretation of events as being events that happen to a singular you, and instead your reality warbles and you melt back into the universe where your experiences are merely experiences to be had in principle. The fact that you see them as having happened to a You is only because you weave that narrative with your own personal thinking. But that narrative is weaved from the energy of the universe and it plays out in the energy of the universe. So it’s like during the day you’re an icecube floating in water. You’re water, the water’s water, but you’re in different states. But during sleep—and near death—that hard sense of a separate reality starts to get narrow and it’s as though the icecube—recognizing that it truly is just water in another state—begins to melt back into its larger context: the universe.

542 Relax and Succeed - After your deathRather than truly individual brains, our personal human minds are more like a connect-the-dots that moves through the universe. All of the elements of life that we have been taught are then part of our quiver of metaphors that we can draw from. So in essence, when we die we are engaged with the act of melting back into a full realization that we always were made of the water that surrounds us. Our personal minds will naturally convert that experience into a metaphor relevant to our experience of the universe. So if that aspect is You then you will turn it into something that makes sense in your personal experience. So if you’re a physicist it’ll all be about energy, if you’re a neurologist it could be about your brain’s experiential wiring, and if you’re a lay-person it might be about ghosts, spirits or guides. Each group will literally experience the belief it holds. All are true and none are true.

So are ghosts, spirits and guides real? Are we really going somewhere when we die? These things are both real and not-real. It might make it clearer if I explain it this way: to me your daily waking life is just as real/unreal as dreaming or dying is. These performances all take place on the same stage. So to me whether you’re saying you’re alive or there are spirits and some place to go that could be anywhere other than here and now—that’s all irrelevant. It just feels like different terms for the same thing. So yes, there are spirits and ghosts. And you’re being one right now. When that statement doesn’t seem like a paradox, then you’ll fully understand what it is I’m trying to say here. I wish you every good-fortune on this meditation. It’s a good one and it’s really worth engaging in. Don’t forget to have fun. 😉

peace. s

Food for Thought

There is a saying in Japan, “Do not give someone what they do not want.” This in part explains the stoic expressions we all saw after the terrible earthquake near Fukushima. For many in Japan, to show others your suffering is to impose it upon them and so expressions remain placid out of respect for other people’s psychological environments.

151 Relax and Succeed - Please take responsibilityIn the West we get offered all kinds of thoughts just like we get offered all kinds of foods. And food is a good analogy for thought. Some thoughts and foods we actually taste ourselves. Some we leave untouched. If we’re in a restaurant or someone else’s house, we may be offered food that others like that we do not, just as others may like other subjects or different types of discussions. The subjects are like the ingredients, and the conversation style is like the cooking.

Super-direct people are raw food eaters. Conversationalists are French Chefs. In a locker room you’ll hear hotdogs and hamburgers, and in business you’ll get steaks and shallots. None of these are right or wrong but they are all different tastes. Some people love debate, other people think it’s just an argument.

Let’s say you go to a party and someone offers you some food. If you taste it and don’t like it you might finish that bit just to be polite but you won’t go back and ask for more. Likewise with conversation. If you can taste an argument brewing and you don’t enjoy them, then stop talking or change the subject. Don’t head to the table that has the dishes on it you don’t like. Don’t volunteer to feed your brain thoughts it doesn’t like by hanging around people who constantly offer you things you don’t enjoy.

151 Relax and Succeed - Don't let yesterdayIt’s worthwhile to note where you do spend your time. What is the menu like at the places you choose to go? If every time someone comes home they offer up their spouse or their roommate a big plate of how much they hate their job, or their boss, or drivers on the road, then that’s neither pleasant-tasting for the spouse/roommate, nor is it nutritious to the relationship.

A common thing to do in a romantic relationship is to serve rancid food. That is to say, food so old that you wonder why anyone would even offer it to anyone else. Is there something your spouse did two years ago, or two months ago, or two days ago that you’re still dishing out to them? Are you surprised they don’t want it? You wouldn’t either if the situations were reversed. If neither of you liked the meal in the first place, how on Earth does it make sense to keep digging it out even years later?!

Be cognisant of what foods you offer others. They can always say no, but if you regularly only offer bitching, or gossip, or sad stories, then don’t expect a happy life. Because what you’re tasting isn’t something anyone would enjoy, so offering it to others obviously isn’t going to improve your situation.

The next time you feel a clench in your stomach ask what thoughts your consciousness was just consuming. If they’re not pleasant, change them. Because in the end you really are what you eat.

peas. 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.