Ego vs Peace

807 Relax and Succeed - I am discouragedWhen I write to you it’s to slow things down. People see a quote, they like how first strikes them and they hit share or like or whatever. But that’s it. Done. Gone. Sometimes these are primary bits of wisdom that are so impressive they’ve lasted thousands of years and yet they are almost always given only the most superficial attention.

When a Student asks: “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” it could be initially be viewed as flippant for a Master to respond by suggesting the student “Encourage others.” Because it feels a lot like the Master is saying, if you’re not doing anything useful then go help someone else. And maybe it means that. Or maybe that and something else….

Who is this “I” that the student is referring to? Where does the student’s discouragement take place? The Master directs the student to acting on behalf of their true self. If the student’s issue is their ego then they must be taken out of that state.

807 Relax and Succeed - A man who conquers himselfThe student’s discouragement emerges when their internal narration creates a subject and object situation where comparisons are made to either someone else or to the student’s own expectations of what was going to happen. The “I” has wants and it never feels good when it does. So by saying “Encourage others,” the Master is asking the student to kill their ego by stealing the energy that it uses to exist.

Your ego comes into being as your empathetic and compassionate thoughts about others drops in favour of a small collection of habitual perspectives that you always use. These perspectives (e.g. pessimist, helper, victim, leader) all reflect the world back in consistent ways, so you add that consistency into your world view–what is known to you as You. The Real You is the one thinking your Ego You into existence.

If you are not mindfully conscious then every time you’re not thinking about some thing or some person outside of yourself then you will be using your thoughts to create an “I.” That self will have filtered personal experiences rather than just having the larger open experiences–as you would in the moment, without any thought put into an opinion about the experience that would require an individual to have that opinion. Better to stay in the flow as the Taoists say.

807 Relax and Succeed - The stronger you becomeIf you’re suffering then take that Master’s advice. Find out how much you really have by thinking about anyone or anything other than yourself. A flower, a friend, a pet, a person on the street; just take a moment to think about their life instead of yours. Look around you and see the lives you walk past every day. Not the people. The lives. Invest in those instead of yourself and your “views” and you will be a calmer and happier person.

The people you’re around every day have loved ones who are dying. Some have dangerous secrets. Some wish they could tell you they love you. There is much much more going on that just what you replay in your head. So a good place to start is to notice someone who feels like you and listen to them carefully. Odds are you’ll have some wisdom for them. And by sharing it with them you will be bringing it into your life as well, and you’ll be surprised at how much energy and vitality you get by simply expressing your natural compassion.

Your journeys matter to me. I love you all.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Mobius Existence

Once you’re really good at knowing how to see through the illusion it’s fairly easy to see when other people still see it. They just say things that don’t make sense. You say to them, what colour is enlightenment and they confidently answer that it is… seven? No? Four!? No?

803 Relax and Succeed - Reality has no inside

When I’m teaching someone there’s this really fun moment about 6-10 hours into the procesas (in a few cases quicker) where they finally answer what colour is enlightenment? with less excitement than their previous guesses. Instead they sound like they just found the keys they were looking for in their own hand when they say something like purple! Which colour it is doesn’t matter to me–that’s up to them. But I know when I hear someone who has pulled back the curtain.

The other day I had a particularly excellent session with very compassionate, sensitive man who is facing the sort of decision which alters the direction of your life quite drastically. We all end up in these situations in life and none of us likes them. But it is possible to have a good attitude about that challenging time.

Like almost everyone, the main barrier I must overcome is this idea of some form of heaven or nirvana or state of enlightenment in which we somehow avoid the suffering associated with our current way of viewing our lives. But even after you know how to see clearly you still suffer, you just know how. Remember, the Buddha said the end of suffering is the acceptance that there will always be suffering.

803 Relax and Succeed - You carry heaven and hellThe reason my student can’t move forward is that he wants to take that step in the fictional land of no-suffering. So I must first dispel the existence of such a place and then demonstrate why that’s okay because the world is remarkably beautiful anyway.

Based on what he had told me I essentially asked him if he believed the universe was infinite. He felt confident it would be. I reminded him that if it is infinite it needs to contain all things, both those defined as good and those defined as bad. He didn’t love that idea but agreed it made a kind of yin and yang sense.

I asked him if he could imagine the universe as an undulating ocean of specific colours. Like a game of paisley tetris, different colours would move in the ocean like blobs of coloured ocean. I asked him to imagine that all of the feelings he was experiencing as his personal life, was in fact just a movement through that ocean.

803 Relax and Succeed - The source of all abundanceImagine a magical string that winds through every single experience in the universe before joining itself in a loop of infinite being. In reality there is no time and everyone is all one person. What we perceived as our life is in fact just a divine glow moving through a section on that infinite magical string.

Now imagine that the string is winding its way through a blob of one particular colour of the glowing ocean of light. The individual that is experiencing that colour might imagine itself as happy. When the glowing light on the ribbon wound through another colour the glowing light experienced fear, or another colour would be sadness, or compassion, but each individual lifetime is simply a narrative told to an individual sense of ourselves, by an individual sense of ourselves, as an entertaining explanation for what we’re feeling. It’s like when your dreams try to make sense of what’s actually happening to your body while you sleep.  You don’t interpret it the same way that you would if you were awake, and yet your explanation makes sense within the dream.

As weird as all that sounds, I knew my student was understanding me when he changed my metaphor. He suddenly stopped walking and said it wasn’t really a string. It was more like a giant infinite Mobius Loop–a never-ending surface. He added that, as the Mobius Strip wormed its way through the universe it would pass itself in the form of the people we meet. (Because we’re all one strip no one’s approval or lack of approval is personal.)

803 Relax and Succeed - It is better to conquer yourselfSo egos get upset because they perceive the strip has two different sides whereas the enlightened person will keep track of the fact that it’s a really just one long single-sided Mobius Loop!  And that was the moment he truly understood in a profound way what yin and yang really are. We just think something’s wrong when we see the “other” side of the strip when in fact the whole point of a Mobius Strip is that there is only one side!

Brilliant. He nailed it. Separate but united. There was no heaven to find, no place where there are no tough choices. There was where he was on the strip, and the compassion he could feel for everyone (including himself) in any situation because now he understood they were other faces of himself–they were ultimately all one and his job wasn’t how to figure out who was right and who was wrong–it was to accept the yin and yang of existence as viewed from an enlightened perspective.

We’ll spend a few sessions reinforcing his understanding of that discovery, but his door is now open. He can now tell the difference between his personal sense of reality and the larger truth that his reality sits within. He’ll still make some rookie mistakes implementing what he knows, but now he knows it. As long as he stays conscious of what he and his life really are–which is a collection of ultimately judgment-free experiences–then he will continue to become more and more aware of this greater truth. In doing so he will receive a peace far greater than the one he previously imagined would reside in heaven. All he needs to do now is practice what he knows.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organisations around the world.

Our True Selves

If you pay careful attention to the simplicity of what I’m saying you will absolutely see significant changes in your life. Some of these changes will be visible to others, others will leave you feeling differently about your past, present and future. But the important thing is the simplicity.802 Relax and Succeed - If you want to go somewhere

Ready?

If you read this blog then you know I explain some very straightforward things, the first of which is: experiences happen within your consciousness not in an outside world. Things you think and things you do are the same to the real you. It’s why you feel real emotions when you’re dreaming at night. So take a moment to really consider that. And I don’t mean, yeah I got it, I mean assume you don’t get it and look at it closely. Think of examples in your own life.

Next, remember that the experiences you reconsider most often will shape who you believe you are. They do this by becoming the most-repeated thought patterns you think. Your thoughts are like roads. The more you use them the wider and faster the road gets until you’re always taking the easy route–otherwise known as your personality. Always think fearful thoughts and you will become a fearful person.

Critical is remembering that your thoughts are always subject to change. Changing your thoughts is changing your Self. You are literally widening a different road. The nice thing is, when you stop using the old road it deteriorates and eventually it’s a donkey path you barely if-ever use. After about a month of thinking in some new pattern your brain has physically rewired you into a new identity that includes the ability you’ve been practicing, whether that’s juggling or not losing your temper.

802 Relax and Succeed - The best way to predict the futureNow remember that first point: to our true selves psychological experiences are equal to what we perceive as material experiences. That means it is possible for us to live out an experience in our imaginations and our brains will wire us up accordingly, as though we’ve actually already done the thing and done it as well as we’ve imagined. That’s why the kids in that famous study who thought about free-throws ended up improving more than the kids who spent an equal amount of time in the gym actually shooting free throws.

Explaining the above; if we do think something through regularly it allows us to feel more comfortable when we’re going through an actual experience. Whether it’s the feeling of being loved, the death of a loved one, or even going to an audition, if you’ve thought of yourself successfully being in that situation than you will literally have wired your brain up as though it’s already actually been there. It’s done that and it can relax. Because if you’ve been thinking about it, then as far as your true self goes you’ve literally been there before and you survived.

802 Relax and Succeed - This age thing is all up to youDo you see how this means you don’t heal from a broken heart, or from grief, or other suffering? There is no healing. There is only being the healthier version of ourselves. It’s not that we heal in suffering and then suddenly walk away in health. Mental health is when we make healthier use of our minds. If we haven’t practiced that then we have no new wiring to use. No, you don’t wait to get healthy and then start your life. You see yourself as already healthy and then you act that way.

Kids don’t fight illness when they’re little because they don’t know what that is yet. Instead of hoping to be healthy they are excited to live. And they do that until they start to get defeated by the thoughts we teach them. A head cold will last seven days. In relationship breakups it takes three months to recover for every year you’ve dated. This cancer will kill you. We get told all kinds of things in life and yet there’s no shortage of people who didn’t follow those recommendations.

You can’t be and act like a sick person and then just wish and want for health. Nope. You’re in charge. Sorry. No one to hand it off to. But that’s okay. You were given this little spaceship to drive through the universe because the universe knows what it’s doing. Just stop thinking about all the things you can’t do, struggle with, and are worried about, and instead think of your strengths, your victories and what you’re excited about in your future.

802 Relax and Succeed - Be the changeDo not say, I’ll go back to playing basketball when I quit smoking. Say instead: I’m going to start playing basketball so that I have something fun that helps me remember I’m not really a smoker. The only step after that miraculous one is when you realize that you don’t need words and language to feel strong like that.

Please, there’s no need to sit still and heal unless your injuries have you in traction at the hospital and even then you can use your thoughts to help mend you. Enact as much health as you can. When you see some 100 year old lady dancing at her birthday party, her legs might really hurt if she thought about it. But she’s not. She’s excitedly thinking about how fortunate it is that she can dance at her 100th birthday party. Because it’s probably something she had been thinking of doing for most of her life. 😉

If you had any idea of how huge and powerful this ability was you would laugh at how silly many of your problems appear in comparison. You actually are that capability, so it’s time to stop telling yourself that you’re a much more limited being than you really are. Instead go create a great day being the giant capable self that lives within you.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Living vs Happening

Nina and Dani work together. Both are attractive single women in their mid-30’s. Nina’s not very focused on a relationship and yet it seems she’s constantly dating. Dani wants nothing more than a relationship and she barely leaves her house. What’s going on?

787 Relax and Succeed - Too blessed to be stressedThe simple answer is: Nina appreciates and Dani wants. Nina feels lucky every day. She moved to Canada from a very poor country so for her turning on a tap and getting clean water is a pleasure. She’s warm and safe, there’s a police force, the government isn’t dangerous, and she’s never worried about her little sister getting raped and yet that was her main fear growing up back home.

Nina feels lucky and it’s written all over her face. As she looks to and fro she sees things she is so grateful for that it lights her face and voice right up. She has bountiful amounts of energy and she’s always volunteering for charity groups at work, she’s very active in her community, and she invites her friends over often and it’s rare when she doesn’t accept an invitation too.

Nina’s life is busy but it brings her into contact with so many people that–even though she’s not really looking for a relationship right now–she still accepts most offers for dates because you never know. She’s always ready for her life to get better.

Dani’s family integrated a long time ago. Clean water and safe streets are nothing new to Dani and so she takes all of that for granted. In fact, she’ll even go so far as to mock people who try to value those things because she’s never walked down a street or slept in her bed and felt terrified. To her safe, warm and fed are normal.

787 Relax and Succeed - Your mantra is thank youDani’s dream isn’t something vague like freedom. Hers is detailed. She knows exactly what kind of guy she’s looking for. She knows what kind of ambition he has, what kind of personal look, and she definitely wants someone her friends and family will consider a good catch.

Dani however is frustrated that she hasn’t been able to find a match to her dream. And as she’s aged she’s watched some lines creep across her eyes, her naturally svelte figure is now a bit more lumpy, and her mid-level administration job has turned her wardrobe into little more than a source of pockets.

For Dani it’s the same monotony every day. Her same dull uninspiring boss, the same tasks, the same drive home, the same packaged dinner and then she’ll exhaustedly tour through a few dating websites in the hopes of finding someone for Friday or Saturday.

Meanwhile Nina finishes work and then races over for her free meal at a nearby hotel where the social team is putting together the company Christmas party–even though Nina’s not even Christian. She laughed when she got there because the meal was the exact same thing she ate last week when a guy from the volunteer association in her neighbourhood took her out to thank her for her hard work.

787 Relax and Succeed - Plant your own gardenWhen men look at Nina they see a vital, engaged and awake human being. Someone who lives each moment as fully as she can. She says yes a lot. Meanwhile Dani says no a lot. She’s always got reasons that she can’t enjoy her life. She’s an expert at providing them to the point where she can not enjoy it even when it would be easy to enjoy.

Nina goes out with men because it seems like it would be fun and it’s rarely unpleasant. Dani sits at her computer looking at profiles wishing she had a life. While Nina is living Dani is wishing. Nina moves past her sometimes initially tired reactions and she goes toward life. Dani always champions her tiredness and says no.

Your life is beautiful because you make it that way. Appreciation is an act not a result. If you’re complaining about your life it’s time you looked at it for the opportunities you are almost certainly squandering every day. The question is, will you find them and will you do anything about them?

Start today. Make fun a priority in your life. That’s how it happens.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Finding Your Way

Are you under-selling yourself in the world? Are you apologizing for yourself? No one has to argue for their right to exist. Absolutely everyone brings enormous strength and brilliance to the table. The only question is: what do you do with it? Do you become a famous artist or scientist, or are you known in your family for the compassion and love you offer? Are you the friend people like to be with when they’re in pain? Many things constitute winning depending on who is living the life.

784 Relax and Succeed - Sometimes the people around youWe do not need the kind of life that would be featured in People or Robb Report or National Geographic. You can be a spiritually developed and personally successful person leading any kind of life. Do not let advertising convince you that you need some photo-spread existence. Do not let it convince you that there is a way to have pure enjoyment.

Too many people are living their lives churning through their unsatisfied judgments about their life or using social media to compare their life to others when they could be putting that very same energy into turning into something that they would love. Instead they churn and churn those thoughts, they ask those questions and imagine those answers as though any of that speculation has anything to do with how your future will actually unfold.

You don’t need to change your life. If you want to quit, leave, stop whatever–feel free. But if you believe your problem is outside of yourself then you don’t have the clarity to really see which direction to travel in. It’s only when all paths can be seen as equal that you will be able to see which one is yours.

You are not failing if you are in pain. You are being requested to change your thinking about your situation. The more pain you’re in the more demanding the request that you change the course of your thoughts. We’re all Pigpen from Peanuts. We live in a cloud of busy thinking. Use your emotions to steer you past your dangerous narratives and ultimately quiet them into open awareness.

784 Relax and Succeed - Individuals are like vasesDo not think that your path is the one with no obstacles, or that it includes all of the rewards you were innocent enough to imagine. Every path will include tremendous up periods and tremendous down periods. But as long as they are lived fully there is no real harm in that. They are experiences like any other. And without their darkness the light of joy and happiness would not appear so bright.

Even thousands of years ago people were killed by animals and inflicted by weather. The idea that life ever was idyllic or that we’re working toward or back to that is misunderstanding what’s going on. The world isn’t on some trajectory from bad to good. It was never bad and it can’t ever be good. The world simply is. It’s a wave that you surf, a stage you perform on, a song you sing, a game you play. Whether you’re doing a drama or comedy or singing a heartbreak ballad or a love song, being ahead or behind at any given point is meaningless. It’s always and only ever been whether or not you enjoyed surfing, performing, singing or playing.

Wipeouts, forgotten lines, missed notes or temporary losses are not fatal. You don’t dwell on them in some hope you’ll evaporate them from your history. Life happens and then it’s gone. The only way you can get anything close to wrong is if you view it through your expectations instead of accepting it as reality. And even then–that’s not wrong. It’s just painful.

Stop questioning where you are and who you are. Look at yourself, look at your life and your resources and ask yourself–where would I like to take me next? And then go. No matter which direction you choose your path will still be felt within you anyway.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Working for a Living

If you’re a young person what will you future look like? If you’re a parent how do you prepare your child for an unknown future? Things are changing fast and yet in many ways they’re staying exactly the same.

767 Relax and Succeed - If you are working on something excitingThere are programs being set up to ensure that kids learn computer coding in school. The CEO of Google recently spoke about the need for school systems to ”train the knowledge workers of the future.” He said nice things about how those are the people who get the jobs and there was a suggestion that the people in those jobs are the ones who are capable of taking greater control, which is both true and misleading.

What I would like draw your attention to however is the CEO’s assumption about education: as though it could only be for job training. In fact, I’ll bet many people reading this are thinking–but it is! Not historically. We’ve been so brainwashed to think we need to buy things and then work to pay for them that we can’t even remember that people used to just live through cooperation and that they learned for learning’s sake.

Remember being a kid? Being alive for joy instead of profit? I know the two are sold as being the same thing but they most certainly are not. One very often prevents the other.

767 Relax and Succeed - The work you do while you procrastinateI support the idea of teaching coding. As someone who’s worked as a teacher, I joined many other fine instructors in their concerns. It was not difficult to detect the shift. The students are just as capable, but there has clearly been a steady decline in their reasoning skills. When I asked students about it virtually all of them admitted they felt it too–as though other people understood things more completely. That sense of uncertainty lead to them feeling less confident.

There are always exceptions but we are all a product of our environments. Modern students often give up very easily and seemed to be primarily preoccupied with the grades and not the subject itself. They wanted the answer that would save them from punishment and earn them praise, rather than the answer that vigourous and thoughtful debate would reveal.

They’re very good at looking things up and amalgamating other people’s ideas together (intellectual mash-ups, video editing, DJing etc.), but they are increasingly poor at concluding or deducing or otherwise reasoning forward using themselves as the source rather than the culture around them. They all have great smarts, but they are only able to get them half way out of their head.

767 Relax and Succeed - Success is not the key to happinessCoding is a form of logic and it has a form of grammar, which is a separate thing from the language itself. So by seeing the separation between the language and the grammar in that setting it becomes easier for a student to see it in English or whichever traditional languages they’re studying. Despite the concerns about education being viewed as job training, the simple fact is that in the ego-created outer world, the logic aspect will also help a great deal with students problem-solving skills.

I’ve never met a truly stupid person. I’ve met very ignorant people who have been exposed to very few ideas and often by very dominating and rigid personalities. Everyone I taught excited me with their potential. And I am fascinated to see what world they will live in and what world they will build.

What will be fascinating is when we reach the point where the robots can run the whole place themselves. This really isn’t that far away. They’ll be able to mine the metals, build the structures, install and maintain the workings, they will be able to act as the arms and legs of someone paralyzed or maybe we’ll just grow a new spine for the person who injured theirs, and then we’ll have it put in perfectly by a robot surgeon.

767 Relax and Succeed - There's no way I was just bornWe’re going nano, where they’re floating submarines through race horse’s veins and we’re building little DNA dumptrucks that can deliver cancer drugs right to individual cells and then harmlessly dissolve into your body. AI is now programming itself and the levels of sophistication regarding touch and the other senses are getting truly remarkable. Soon you won’t even know if your nurse is real or if she’s a robot that gives amazing back rubs. But either way, something will have to change because there will be no more work.

Are you trained for the future? Because if the robots are driving the cars and picking the stocks and cleaning rooms and mowing lawns and flying the planes and rockets and monitoring babies and writing music and even creating scientific theories and ways to test them (as was done for the very first time just recently), then what are you going to do? If it keeps going the direction it’s headed the future should leave you with no job. So what will your identity be then? Who would you be if you didn’t describe yourself through your work?

Imagine the robot world complete. You have all of the free time in the world and if you want a nicer houses you just have a robot build you one. What’s your day look like? And really think about it. Because if you say masturbate or play video games or text, you know full well you’ll get bored after a while.. Too much of anything is unpleasant. But with the time you’re not using for those things, what are you using it for? This is a question that cuts to the core of who you are.

Whatever future you unfold, and in whatever context–just be aware. You are a genius by birth. Your only true job in life is to realize your own genius and then live that reality boldly for as long as possible. You belong. The suffering you experience is not failure. It is training you to be able to actively lead your own life. Enjoy.

Namaste. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Other Perspectives #82

766 OP Relax and Succeed - Stuck in between I wanna get my life togetherIt’s a holiday here in Canada, so today I’m linking you to a well-loved post you’re unlikely to have seen. It’s a personal favourite about how we value ourselves and our time on this Earth. I really think you’ll like it. I’m going to enjoy some extra time working on my new book. Wherever you are, do all you can to make your day beautiful too. Enjoy:

Are We Having Fun Yet?

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Much love, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Other Perspectives #80

This seems like a no-brainer, right? This is what everyone’s saying: be happy. Happiness is becoming the new rich. But that doesn’t do us much good if we’re still pursuing it egotistically. We can’t want peace and happiness because it’ll make other people think we’re successful. Those things are useless without freedom and that means doing whatever feels natural for us in any given moment–and sometimes that moment might prefer us to cry or get angry or otherwise feel the sting of dissatisfaction. What good is enlightenment if I can’t profoundly experience the death of my sister completely? What good is enlightenment if it cuts me off from the very pain that teaches me to value those who are still alive? If we’re free and relaxed do we end up happier? Yes, that’s how it works. But you can’t pursue that with the goal of more happiness because that’s a want and wants are egotistical. But if you fall in love with the process of being a human being instead, then you can move through each emotion without getting stuck. Because if you believe the emotion you’re experiencing is somehow “wrong” then you can’t relax until that wrong feeling is gone when in truth, if you truly understand, even the most terrible moments in life seem as fitting as the most joyous.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

Humans Racing

Everyone’s looking for relief. People used to want to find themselves or get enlightened. Today those things are merely byproducts of just finding some much-needed relief. We just need a break. For the pressure to be off. To get a moment of peace. Sheesh.

754 Relax and Succeed - Life moves pretty fastBut the world just keeps coming. The older you get the more you can relate to street people. Giving up can often look pretty appealing to an overworked Mom or Dad caring for both children and aging parents. Highly paid executives look at barista’s and think they have a great job because it doesn’t go home with them. But the barista can’t pay the executive sized prices in today’s world so he has peace of mind at work, but when he goes home he’s stressed about money plus he has no social life.

So we desperately seek. We look for solace. For comfort. For quiet. For peace. For acceptance–despite the fact that we’ve ducked out of the pressure and are sitting still. It’s not uncommon for my student/clients to come to me guiltily, as though taking time away from their overload of responsibilities to look after themselves is somehow treasonous to the human race. But they come anyway because they just can’t stand a life that just seems like a stream of obligations with almost no room for the person at the heart of it all.

You’re not wrong. Hyper consumerism has turned every moment of the day into a sales opportunity. Your phone used to be for your friends to call but even before cell phones we had all stopped because answering them because we were screening for telemarketers. Ads are on every surface asking us to do this or noting how we’re deficient in that. Your phone essentially removes your privacy because yes you can choose to not answer it, but there’ll be a price for that.

754 Relax and Succeed - The cells in your bodyAnd we just keep thinking and thinking and thinking–what is the way out of this? But in a weird way, we’re only adding to the problem with all of that. Think of thoughts as cells. They can divide and multiply to create amazing new ideas and experiences. But they can also be used to attack ourselves, others, or the state of the world in some way. But if we do that we are letting the cells multiply without control because if it was in control, why would we choose such overwhelmingly negative subjects to think about? So if we’re on long negative periods then we are allowing our thoughts to eventually lower themselves to low ground. There they mix with other negative thoughts and they start bouncing off each other and before you know it the negativity has grown.

That much thinking is like cells that are out of control. This is that spinning, frenzied, anxious thinking that you have to be anywhere but where you are. That much thinking is like cancer. It takes perfectly good space in your body and refills it with something damaging. In one case it’s out-of-control cells and in the other it’s out-of-control thoughts, but either way the effect is eventually the same–the repetitive action starts to have a debilitating effect on the person doing the thinking.

754 Relax and Succeed - The mind is its own placeI remember about 15 years or so ago there was the beginning of a bunch of studies that surprised many in the medical community when it showed that it wasn’t sick people that got depressed, but rather depressed people that got sick. It opened up a whole new area of research that has lead to the increasing popularity of positive intervention therapies, which have in turn proven to be much more effective than those used previously.

You don’t make the problems of the world go away by thinking about them. You don’t make your personal problems go away by thinking about them. Think when it’s fun and useful. But you really should maintain a general idea during the day of what you’re using your thoughts for. Because if it’s for reasoning something where reason applies, great. But if it’s just churning negativity on issues where you have no control then at least control what you do control–the direction of your thoughts.

Stay conscious. Life isn’t that hard once we learn to keep a closer eye on the choices we make all day long. Make this a day of even just slightly more conscious, slightly better choices. Do that each day and you’ll be amazed where you end up.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2014 #1

724 BY14-1 Relax and Succeed - I have found that

There is probably no greater issue plaguing our society than excessive worry and anxiousness. Phones are beeping, emails are piling up, the house is a mess, you’re late on two projects and you’re exhausted worrying about how to add more. Instead lets take some away. Because my favourite blog of last year was about taking all of the energy you use to worry and using it to live instead! You have more fun and you get more done.

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Winner: Scott’s Favourite
Blogs of 2014 #1

peace. s