Avoid Getting Caught

1234 Relax and Succeed - One day I woke upDespite our self-criticisms all of us are actually smart and capable. Our problem isn’t our potential, it’s our limits on that potential. The potential is always ready to go by nature. It’s not that we aren’t realizing it, it’s that we’re holding ourselves back by being tricked into going the wrong direction.

We should think of ourselves as a fish. Our three-dimensional world gives us the ability to move in any direction. Eating another fish would be like combining ourselves with another part of the universe and we would use the energy to grow even larger and more capable.

The ego-based world is more like bait. There’s some fisherman who lives in a world nothing like ours, and they’re going to pull us into their two-dimensional world and eat us up. Knowing the difference between bait and nourishment is key to our enjoyment of life.

1234 Relax and Succeed - We don't need anything more

Today, on each and every decision that we can recognise (we’ll probably identify less than 10% of them), we must ask ourselves whether the decision we made/are making was/is about more, or for better? Are we just trying to get more time, more money, more stuff, more respect, or more control etc.? Or was/is the decision about improving how we feel about our life?

We have very healthy feelings just before we quit a job we despise, or just before we end a taxing relationship. We’re giving up more for better and it feels good. That’s like flailing and getting the hook out of our mouth.

All day long we make these little decisions and brick by brick they build our world. So greater consciousness is critical, but to do this we need awareness. But our radar can’t learn to pick up that other 90% if we don’t start with trying to find the big, easy 10% that affects 90% of our life. We shouldn’t be working hard to save things that have no meaning.

1234 Relax and Succeed - Nothing makes a fish bigger
Nothing makes us wiser and more capable than learning to tell the difference between bait and nourishment.

No one really wins an argument. Achievements are always short-lived. Comfort breeds complacency. Ease makes us dull. Control crushes value. Money can’t buy happiness, status is fleeting and dangerous, and attachment destroys love. We can’t want more. We must seek better or our lives are an endless loop of consumption of people, things and places.

We shouldn’t get hooked and swallowed up by a two-dimensional world that limits our heights. Rather than forever seeking more–as though some gap in ourselves will be filled by achievement–we must all turn our eyes away from the collection of life and toward simply sharing in its remarkable abundance and beauty, because we sure don’t need much when the life we’re leading is rich.

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.

 

Making Sense

Order. Pattern. Sense. Understanding. Meaning. Our lives emerge from these things. In fact, you yourself are a pursuit. You are an action through the universe that skips and jumps and hops from here to there, all in an effort to construct or weave a life story that either makes some kind of sense to you, or that you will continue to work on in an effort to make sense of it.

It’s as though everyone is sitting around together weaving, and the threads are made of words that are then stitched into concepts that combine to create a life story. It’s like we weave the whole thing just to show it to other people who did the same. We’re just hanging out together, and yet what we weave takes on a life of its own.

It’s one thing to weave a lonely disconnected character but it’s another thing altogether to think that you are what has been woven. You are the weaving; not the weaver, not the thread, not the needle. You’re the action of weaving. You aren’t a dancer, you’re a dance.

That would be all well and good if you didn’t spend so much of your life wandering from person to person asking them what you should weave, and asking them to explain their own weaving. They will tell you what they’ve learned from their weaving, but only the basic principles are common to all weavers, so it’s not like they can really help you. Your job is to let go and weave what only you would weave, you’re not supposed to become some expert on weaving. Do you understand?

Look at how cloying your brain is about comprehension. You hate not knowing. You dislike confusion, or uncertainty. Your mind seeks order. It wants to understand. But the problem is the wanting, not the understanding. Your life is just a steady pursuit of understanding, but too often people are standing back looking at the shape of that pursuit as though it’s something to be judged. The path and the walker are one.

The good news is, this means your route through life has been neither good nor bad. It was merely the life that emerged from the choices you made, either consciously or unconsciously. Where it went in the end is irrelevant. What counts is that you felt the experience of being alive.

All great dramas are made of many kinds of characters and all play their critical role in the larger plots. Strangely, there is no more merit in playing the hero as there is in playing the villain. We need them all to feel like anything happened, and we will all take a turn (many times) in both roles.

As the comedian Andy Kaufman knew when he created a wrestler for everyone to hate, what we really love is the story. If we can learn to accept that we’re here to weave stories and not to do something important, then we can get on to the important act of weaving, just as Kaufman voluntarily became someone for you to despise. He wasn’t being a jerk. For our benefit, he was just playing one in the drama that is our collective lifetimes.

Stop looking for meaning. Like water, just flow naturally to your own low ground. The pool that forms will be what reflects your life exactly as it should. So stop striving, trying, or wanting. Simply be instead. Let yourself be yourself, and accept who you are, no matter what. Regardless of what your thinking says.

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.

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.