Temari Passions

Today is an important meditation. It took shape while I was recently listening to an interview with superstar DJ Steve Aoki, and it implied that the artist himself felt his massive success was largely just an attempt to please his Benihana-founding, National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dad. I love that! No wonder he’s known as the hardest working artist in EDM. And doesn’t that pose an interesting question about our own existence…?

Are you familiar with Temari? They originated in China, but today they’re primarily known as a Japanese toy that mothers make for their kids. You start by bundling up some old kimonos and then shaping them into a ball, although today people often buy rubber or plastic frames. Then you start weaving threads around them. The results can range from simple and straightforward to complex and colourful. They’re good metaphors for us.

(Keep in mind, I’m making all this up. I have no idea what Steve Aoki’s life is really like other than the fact that he dug Kraftwerk too. But for the purposes of this story he’s a metaphor for you, like the temari ball is a metaphor for our internal emptiness, so no offense to Steve. I loved his passion and he sounded genuinely interesting, awesome, happy and healthy.)

1081-relax-and-succeed-dear-musicSo let us say that Steve felt that he did not have his father’s love, although almost certainly he has/did all his life. This is an extremely common mistake for people to make. A lot of parents were taught that you’ll steal a child’s motivation if you congratulate them as though they’re done. So let us say that Steve’s perceived emptiness is like a hollow temari frame within him.

Steve sees the outline of father’s love but he is hurt and angry that his father hasn’t dedicated  more of himself to parenting him; to completing him. Left alone, Steve begins to have his own experiences, and like threads of different colours and lengths of time, those experiences begin to weave together within Steve, around the hollow frame.

As Steve develops the ball develops. As the weaves get denser some friends suggest he’s just suppressing the hollowness. Some question what he’s weaved. But others catch his attention by calling his weaves beautiful. This startles Steve. This cannot be. Steve is us, and no one thinks their lives are beautiful. They’re okay, but rarely do you find a person would call their life beautiful. (Okay, I do, but I told you this was a story.)

1081-relax-and-succeed-life-is-what-happened-to-youAs Steve weaves through his life he pays more attention. He notices that the frame has shaped what he created, but it also supported his creation and, more importantly, it hasn’t really limited it. In fact, the frame gave his chaotic ball of experiences some direction; some shape and some meaning. Some threads were bright and colourful and some dull or ugly, but all of them had combined to be the art of Steve’s life. It turned out that Steve’s reason for being was Steve’s own life!

Okay, so today’s meditation is a big one: what’s your frame? What are you trying to solve? Who do you want to say what? What do you want explained? What’s supposed to happen, or whatever else? What are you busying trying to accomplish while you’re actually actively weaving your own life? Who left you with your frame and what shape is it?

There is no way to divorce or move away from your frame. You just need to stop paying attention to the hollow and realise that it was never supposed to be full. You weren’t supposed to get rid of the sand, you were supposed to make a pearl. Find out what frame you have and who built it and then love that person. Because the passions in your life are in fact built around that misunderstood love.

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.

Other Perspectives #64

666 OP Relax and Succeed - Don't fear the enemy

I get why someone would write this quote. It always hurts worse when our expectations are higher. The more certain we are that someone cares for us the more painful it is if we end up hurt when actions they take don’t meet our expectations. But the problem wasn’t actually ever with them—it was with our expectations. People are all the same. The ones we call our friends are the ones that think like us, and so we live within the assumption that they will always think like us, which is impossible. They are them and we are us. They can’t think our thoughts any more than we can think theirs. That’s what an individual is: a person who thinks for themselves. So will you meet duplicitous people? Yes. Will you meet some that agree with you for years and then not? Yes. Will you be able to tell those two people apart? No. Will you change in your lifetime? Yes. Will some other people see those changes as negative when you think they’re positive? Yes. So were you wrong to make those choices? No, of course not. You were being you just like your friends are themselves. People are just being and the ones we call friends are the ones that are being kind of like us during the time we call them friend. But if they start making decisions that we don’t agree with—decisions that don’t meet our expectations—then the ego’s inclination is to make that the fault of the friend when really it’s the natural result of living too seriously in the world of expectation. A stranger can’t really let you down because you have very few expectations of them. So remember, you don’t get friends or lose friends. That’s just a word for convenience. Your friends are the people who see the world the way you do and the way you see it changes and so therefore your friends will naturally evolve along with you too. So you don’t even have friends so you really don’t have to worry about fake ones. Just live. Sometimes it hurts. Meh. So it is for all of us. It’s still easily worth it. Don’t turn people being people into narratives of betrayal. The only person that will suffer is you. Now go have a nice day with the people you enjoy hanging out with. You know, your friends. 😉

peace. s

Other Perspectives #14

372 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Nothing hurts more

Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.

Psychological Burnout

I’m working as a youth counsellor and I love my job. I love helping. I love it when people do great. But when they fail it kills me. I want to keep the parts of my job I like. But I can’t sleep for weeks any time one of them ends back up addicted or committing crimes. This is killing me. Do you get burned out working with your clients? And if you don’t how come you don’t?

Wick’s End

Dear Counsellor,

If you’re a counsellor and you’re willing to ask your question then I know that we don’t have to worry about you lacking humility, and that’s important. We cannot learn something unless we begin with 340 Relax and Succeed - When we are no longer ablenot-knowing.

I’d like to start by thanking you for the compassion, sincerity and dedication you appear to put into your work. These are professions that attract caring people but it’s always nice to see people getting their oar dipped into the public pond. There are many souls starved of love and we need all the angels we can find. Also, with you being a caring person I can appreciate why you would find it painful when your clients are suffering. The world is fortunate to have you working within it.

Now, to answer your question: no, I don’t really get burned out. Can I book too many sessions and tire myself out physically? Yes. But other than that do I ever get tired of discussing the Truth? Not really. Because it’s a fascinating subject and everyone uncovers it in their own unique way. I don’t sit around talking about people’s problems. I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy that. I can listen to their problems long enough to learn enough to be able to do my thing, but I don’t want anything close to the majority of our time together to be focused on unpleasant things. You can’t get peaceful by feeling not-peaceful. My sessions are usually fun. They’re like treasure hunts.

When it comes to your practice, what you have to get is clear. You have to truly and profoundly understand that you are not there to save anyone. That is to misunderstand your role. You cannot get attached to outcomes. You can’t imagine futures where it’s all worked out for everyone. Because you don’t have control over them. All you can do is communicate with them. And you can only function in the now. And in this moment you either love someone or not. You either help them or not. You either judge them or not. There is nothing else.

Imagine that your patients are like peaches growing on a tree. You value all of them equally, but some are harder to reach than others. Even with the ladder of your education helping, you are still unable to reach some of them. You can make yourself sad wishing you had a longer ladder or a shorter peach tree , or you can be happy you’re able to save all that you are. And remember that while yes, the others will eventually 340 Relax and Succeed - Lighthouses don't go runningface the cold and they will wither and fall and bruise on the ground, that too is the natural order of things. Because it is those lost and forgotten peaches that dissolve and disappear into the landscape only to later emerge as seeds and soil for a new generation of family trees.

Don’t get caught up in results. Don’t build castles in the sky you can’t live in. Just live the moment you’re in. Do the loving, caring, compassionate thing and leave the rest to the universe. Because your clients lives are their own, not yours. Just as your happiness comes from your choices theirs comes from their choices. You can love them and educate them but you do not choose their thoughts for them. So keep it all in perspective.

Enjoy loving them and anyone like them for as long as you’re able. And revel in your successes. But there are no failures. There are only those that were too far to reach.

peace s