Emotional Rescue

937 Relax and Succeed - A bird doesn't singPretty much everyone knows if just a few people would change then things would be so much better. The only problem is everyone has a different list of who should change and how. And even if we all did change we’d inevitably end up changing into someone that still other people didn’t approve of. So what do you we do?

Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. Rather than sadly and idly wanting the world to be better we can accept it is less than perfect but believe it’s worth saving anyway. What would you do to add to or improve the world? Instead of engaging in the act of wishing it was better, or in thinking about the distance between where we are now and a workable solution, what if instead we focused your energy and attention on the first step of that solution?

The reason this makes us feel better is not because we’re now suddenly “good people” making the world a “better place.” It makes us feel better because we’ve engaged in living life as an active verb and not a half-conscious verb obscured by confusing layers of thought and second guessing. Everyone’s tired of all that thinking anyway. It hurts. It’s time to live.

937 Relax and Succeed - We either make ourselves happyTo live as an activity and not an idea you must be prepared to be where and when you are. Most people aren’t. They suffer by imagining better times and then they wonder why they’re not then. Again, the thought-distance between these two ideas is where the thought-based suffering occurs. Suffering is not pain. Suffering is voluntary. To be healthy is to simply engage in reality without the judgment that leads to suffering.

Why does helping others feel good? Because there’s a psychological element to what I impart in my work but there’s also a spiritual one. From the outside they can sometimes appear to be in paradox but in that spiritual realm–the realist one to our true selves–we are all not only connected; we are one. That being the case, and as many prophets have pointed out, caring for another truly is caring for oneself.

People want to contribute. They feel that spirit within them flickering, begging for more fuel to stoke its fire. But people hide away and wait to feel better, not understanding that they need the fuel. Far from locking themselves away, people feeling low on energy should understand that the low sensation comes from negative thinking and depressed inactivity.

The human spirit should run contrary to the urges created by self-defeating thinking and instead we should use it’s painful feedback to prompt us to rejoin with the world and share in the great deal of love and support that exists in it every single day.

937 Relax and Succeed - We make a livingWe all can make a huge difference just by being more patient, more tolerant, more conscientious, more polite, more compassionate and friendlier. Smiles, favours, giving someone the benefit of a doubt, helping someone with a mistake instead of chastising them; these are the many ways in which you can add to the karma of a day.

Get involved with the world. It doesn’t need your commentary or opinion it needs your spirit and your efforts. There’s a reason that the poorest people give the most; it’s because they understand what it’s like to truly struggle. But they also often test as happier and that’s because their shared efforts create a strong sense of community. Through helping others we’re reminded that we have more than enough.

Get out there. Before the end of the week find some way to contribute to your community in some small or large way. But find it. And it has to be a real commitment. You have to join with the world to feel its strength within you. Give it your most enthusiastic efforts and it will respond with joys and rewards beyond your dreams.

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.

The Friday Dose #33

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Enjoy.

473 Relax and Succeed - The art of being happy

We lost Robin Williams this week so we’re going to focus on regenerative thoughts. And oh it’s going to be so easy this week. Are you kidding? You barely have to move your eyeballs. This week’s Friday Dose is an all-video instalment and it’s cool and fascinating and profound. We’ll start off with some awesome breakdowns of everyday experiences that show how fascinating our everyday world truly is. Here’s the musical genius Chilly Gonzales explaining why you love the music you love and why simplicity is harder than you think:

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This second video, by Vsauce, challenges your belief about what you believe is real. Seeing might be believing, but that doesn’t make it the truth. There’s a lot of life you’ve never stopped to really ponder but, if you do, you realize that the most common things are thoroughly fascinating. Here’s an example—a discussion of the age-old question, do you see the same colours I see?

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The third video asks why you’re so hard on yourself. Seriously. I love you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes life sucks. But it doesn’t stay that way if we just keep our eye open for opportunities for happiness. And you’d be surprised at how often you can be your own source of happiness. It’s virtually always:

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And why not add a fourth? In the opening piece, Chilly was describing the structure of a Pharrell Williams hit. I’ve posted Pharrell performing Happy in a previous Friday Dose, but here it is again, presented by one of my favourite groups, Walk Off The Earth. Enjoy.

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Let’s let the terrible tragedy of this week be a reminder for everyone to share our love with those around us. Share it clearly, share it openly and share it often. Do that and everyone wins. Love you.

peace. s

Living With Misery

You’re not supposed to be happy all of the time. There: does that take some of the pressure off? Now if you’re not happy, you don’t have to see it as a “bad” day. There aren’t things “wrong.” It’s not a “problem.” It simply Is.

The day is made of Moments, and those can take many shapes (enjoyable, frightening, funny, relaxed, exciting, etc. etc.), but none of those shapes are superior to others. You aren’t failing when you have one instead of another. There is no one judging—there are only the consequences of the choice. One kind of consequences are our emotional 26 Relax and Succeed - For after all the best thing one can dofeelings, but another rather beautiful one is perspective. After all, there wouldn’t even be such a thing as “happy” if there wasn’t such a thing as not-happy. This is the Yin and Yang of life. There are no one-sided coins.

Think of it like friendship. Let’s say Happy is your favourite friend in the world—a friend so close that you don’t even have to speak out loud. You can talk to each other in your thoughts. Happy always makes you laugh, and notice the good things in other people, places and things. But… Happy is married—to someone that’s the exact opposite of Happy. Misery sucks the energy out of you with her negativity. She’ll notice everything uncomfortable or unpleasant about every person, place or thing she encounters. Like Happy, you talk to Misery in your thoughts but her constant complaining about how things are generally makes you either sad, frustrated or angry.

The deal is, Happy will come around as often as you invite him, but he insists that every now and then you take Misery off his hands. You would prevent Misery from ever showing up if you could—but that would mean Happy would stop coming by too. So to love Happy means you have to accept Misery. But there are two ways to do that.

You can do like most people, and you can can complain about Misery all day long. You can complain to Misery herself, to friends, to co-workers, to strangers—even to pets, or people no longer with us. This of course exacerbates Misery, causing her to get even more aggressive about her dissatisfaction with the world and so the moments of the day get progressively worse. Or…

Or you can do like the wise ones, and you can accept that Misery will always be a part of your life with Happy, and you can actually welcome Misery into your life with that understanding. That doesn’t mean inviting Misery in. But if 26 Relax and Succeed - The end of sufferingHappy sends Misery to bang on your door, it’s much easier to smile and say hello than it is to pretend there’s a way to slam it shut without locking out Happy too.

Living temporarily with Misery isn’t even that hard. If you push against Misery—if you want her out of your life, she will stay to argue longer. Your discussions with her will be painful and depressing. If you accept that she’s there and you avoid engaging in judgmental discussions with Misery, then you save yourself from true agony. Instead you’ll simply have provided yourself the sort of contrast that will make Happy’s next visit that much more enjoyable. Whatever you lose with Misery you gain with Happiness. It’s like how drinks taste better when you’re dry.

Remember: Misery won’t leave because you ask her to. That will make her want to stay. Accept that she’s a part of your life with Happy and relax. The key is not to engage her in conversation. The silence will cause her to leave. And if you do accidentally start talking to her, stop as soon as you can and go find some relative of Happy’s so you can focus instead on sharing the sort of pleasant, uplifting conversation that reminds you of how wonderful life truly is. Even with Misery in it.

Easy huh?

Now go enjoy your day, no matter who you’re spending it with.

peace. s