Our Potential is Limited by Insecure Thinking

1295 Relax and Succeed - When you feel fantastic

Once we gain the ability to see people unconditionally, it becomes painful experiencing someone turn in on themselves. Humility is attractive, but self-criticism based on insecurity is like watching someone slice their own soul open. If only people realized how incredible they are.

When we feel fantastic and when we feel awful, it is the same us generating both of those identities. We have to stop and really think about that.

We can’t let our sense of our selves or the quality of our days be left to chance. Yet, that’s what most people do without ever realizing they have an option. If we don’t become aware that we can conjure large parts of our lives with our intentions, we will view the world largely out of habit.

The danger in habitual thinking is that it means that if we are unhappy we will stay that way. People who think they’re going to have a bad day are going to be able to find one lurking within every day for sure because nothing is ever perfect. But the same goes for bad days. None are perfectly bad.

The variable quality of our lives is influenced, but how it feels will ultimately depend most on how hard we’re inclined look for evidence of things that inspire us, versus those that don’t.

This awareness of our ability to choose not only inoculates us against long term suffering, but it also promises the potential of an exalted life. Just like a sad or angry life, a wonder and love-filled life also exists in potential for almost everyone. But it is we who must consciously enact that life.

1295 Relax and Succeed - Real success is feeling good

We should be wary if we feel the urge to hide from our own lives. We are not failures, we are human. And each of us is the only person out of billions assigned to live our particular life. Every role is part of the larger whole, so if we consider our successes and our failures as part of a larger duty to the universe, then even our mistakes become important, impersonal contributions to the universal flow of yin and yang.

The world transfers energy between positive and negative sources. We shouldn’t panic if we occasionally and accidentally find ourselves the agents of the universe’s need to also express negativity. If we don’t like a feeling there’s little need to add guilt. We’re already motivated to change by how bad it feels.

The point is to avoid creating negative space within our own consciousness by taking action or changing the course of our thinking. At the same time, we must do this while still accepting that negative feelings are an integral part of life. They too make life worth living. The wisdom comes through experience in managing the balance.

Real success is feeling good about being who we are, struggles included. When we can bestow that kind of unconditional love upon ourselves, we are given the capacity to perpetually heal. When we can bestow unconditional love on others, we develop the power to inspire those with whom we share our lives.

peace. s

Low and Behold

1215 Relax and Succed - A person who thinks all the timeDid you take yesterday’s lesson and start your morning off with an intentional approach to your day? Did you spark yourself with some energetic music or activity? Because if you want to have better days, you must start with as good of a morning as you can. To do that you need to take control of what you can and create the most intentional morning possible each and every day.

Yesterday I posted a singer that I stumbled upon and listening to that song accidentally lead me to listen to another song of hers and I thought I would post it today for two reasons. The first is that she’s discussing something very important for the management of your life, and the second is that as an artist she’s still way too small for her lyrics to be easy or even possible to find. Meaning; the only way you can actually know what they are is for you to listen carefully–something that rarely happens today.

You can start each day off as well as you can, but that doesn’t mean that either the day won’t deliver some challenging curveballs, nor does it mean you’re impervious to your own chattering mind during the day. So what’s a conscious person to do? Stay conscious.

This song’s called Worry, Don’t Weight Me Down. If you worry, that’s like inviting thoughts about fear, and that will lead you to feel badly. So that’s not good. But if you don’t fear worry, and if you don’t avoid worry, then low just is. Your fear doesn’t become magnetic nor compelling. But wanting it gone is to engage with it. So we can’t push worry away, we can only note its presence and permit its travel through us.

In essence, this is like having radar for when you’re afraid. This is where your emotions are less of a hassle, and more of an early warning system. Maybe your city has those amber alerts, where people’s radios and TV’s suddenly blare an emergency signal to let people know about natural disasters or missing children. Well your emotions should be a system like that. You don’t want to panic, but if you hear your own alarm going off it’s time to take action.

Many people will create dread, or fear and that ties them to original feeling. But if we recognise it as a shift, and we stay conscious, we will know that the way out is the same way we got in, only rather than unconsciously sliding down, we want to consciously float back up again. The way to do that is to let go of the thoughts that are weighing you down with the fearful feeling.

1215 Relax and Succeed - You choose to think a lot

You don’t fight them, you don’t argue with them because that is putting energy into them. That’s feeding your dark wolf as the Natives say. You want to feed the white one. Feed the one about hope and meaning and grace and beauty. Learn to direct your thinking in ways that benefits you, all while understanding that you cannot even know to make these turns in your path if the world doesn’t throw some unexpected ditches at you. So don’t lament your worries. They’re as much a part of your path as your good times. Both would be meaningless without the other.

Listen to Ms. Costelo again. Listen to the words. Feel what it feels like to focus your mind and not have other thoughts intervene. Develop that muscle. That is the only one that will flex enough to actually improve your quality of life. A good life still has some difficult parts to it. But there’s never any doubt that a life well lived is always one worth living.

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.

PS A reader only recently noticed that I’m active on facebook and other social media. If you’d like links to articles or sites that may be helpful in your journey, considering joining me there as well.

Expanding Perspectives

1071-relax-and-succeed-you-choose-your-attitudeIn yesterday’s meditation, how many of you noticed that virtually all of you would have started off only noticing one kind of reality change? Most of you either picked all internal or all external on day one. If you picked a mixture, congratulations. That’s a sign of health. Of course, you would have to do a test like this on a variety of occasions to see if that was your set-point, or just the state of mind you were visiting that day, but in general all new self-awareness is helpful.

If you chose three internal changes on day one then you feel better when you take action in the world. Overall that’s great, except you will feel worse when you can’t take action. You’re the group that doesn’t like waiting. You feel uncomfortable with the unknown. The more consistently you’re in that group the more consistently you’ll avoid not-knowing and your problems will start there.

1071-relax-and-succeed-the-day-you-decide-thatIf you chose three external changes on day one and you haven’t recently suffered from something like PTSD, then that choice is your first indication that your brain can sometimes have a tendency to see itself as against the world.  If the world seems to always be dumping unwanted changes on you, then it’s helpful for you to know that your mind was innocently wired in a way that will lead you feeling victimised. That’s useful information, but it’s not like it prevents you from accomplishing your objective.

Whether through security or insecurity, most of us want to chart our own path. We want control over the variables so we can maximise our performance. For that reason, on day one most of you thought of when you impacted the world. Day two was when when most people started thinking of the forced changes. Those are the ones you didn’t expect or want. A partner left you, you lost a job, you were forced to leave your home, you lost a support system etc.

These are the times your brain was asked to be someone new rather than deciding it wanted to be someone new. And it didn’t like it. While there are degrees of this, sudden external changes are forms of PTSD, which essentially means you have a brain wired for a situation you’re not in.

1071-relax-and-succeed-let-your-pastObviously being in your home with many common things around you and a consistent job can make the PTSD of a lost relationship easier. On the flipside, some soldier in some foreign land without their loved ones for support and few familiar mental touchstones means that the PTSD would be more dramatic and thorough.

We all prefer the enacted changes because when you make a change you’ve been slowly rewiring your brain for some time and your big day is the day you start using that wiring to do something significantly bigger in the outside world (leave your relationship, your job etc.). In short, you’re ready for your change. It’s like the IT department got everyone’s computer ready before the big switch.

The opposite of that is when you suddenly need a whole system of brain wiring that you don’t yet have. That feels unnerving and you feel off balance. It would make sense for you to be more easily frightened and unstable during that time. Do you see the comfort in that? It makes sense that you’re uncomfortable. Already that’s an improved state if discomfort. At least it seems logical.

1071-relax-and-succeed-people-are-capable-at-any-timeIn this week’s meditations, most of you would have started with internal changes. Those are ones you’re proud of. They’re the ones where you felt stronger afterwards. They also feel more like they belong to you because you chose them. That’s an important distinction. You own the ones you choose better than you own the ones that weren’t your choice. We’ll be more focused on the ones you don’t want.

The desire to know and the act of avoiding mystery will often cause more trouble in your life than resisting the original experience. For this reason, in today’s meditation your job is to find two of each. If you find more, great, it all helps. But give your partner a breakdown of at least two choices you made that didn’t go well, and two that were forced on you where you ended up leaving you better off.

Study your own life closely. We want to disconnect the idea that life is better when you know what’s going to happen. Because if we study it long enough, you’ll accept that that simply isn’t true. And that unexpected news is unexpectedly good news.

Do your meditation then relax and have a great day. You took a helpful step forward.

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.