Surrendering Control

Everything about our society encourages us to think of the future. We work for the bills we will have, we place on a calendar where we will be in the future, and many times we take courses and jobs not for themselves, but as a way of working toward a future we’ve imagined is ours. Even the hourly news speculates constantly on what might happen.

924 Relax and Succeed - I don't know where I'm goingHere’s how the future is a dangerous thing: there’s other people creating it too, so the combination of your efforts will not always take you where you want to go. It may take you somewhere better, but even if it is better you’re likely to not want to go there if it’s not what your expectation was. If you stop and think it’s not hard to find examples of things and people that you didn’t expect to like but you ended up loving them anyway.

You’re actually not very consistent at picking what you’ll enjoy most which is why when you’re more enlightened one of the things that will happen is you’ll be a lot more okay with the unexpected events. Rather than thinking you’re now off-target, the enlightened person realizes the odds are just as good that the unexpected events are an improvement. So they just wait and see while others start using words and actions to push against the unexpected and toward the expected.

Can you see that one is flow and one is resistance? It’s like the God-Universe is an octopus and each bit of reality is a tentacle on this magical octopus. So “you” are like one tentacle who feels separate and distinct from the other tentacles and yet if we had enough vision would could follow your own creation backwards until you came to realize that we’re all a part of the same being. That’s what the act of becoming enlightened is. It’s a slow realization that you are one with everything.

924 Relax and Succeed - Let go of what you can't controlSo if the Universal Octopus wants us to create, each tentacle will grab a piece of Lego and with the legs closest to itself it will appear to cooperate to create new things in the universe. New experiences, new friends, new creations, new ideas. It all counts. So we use our creativity to form an idea and then we attempt to realize it with the Lego.

Only the other tentacles aren’t so much cooperating with us as they are also, through their own pure creativity, becoming aligned with us. They’re not so much cooperating as they’re like two boats that happened to be on the same course. That still makes them close enough to be able to work together but they will always maintain the ability to surprise each other.

So one tentacle thinks it’s building this out of Lego and the other tentacle thinks it’s building that out of Lego. They’re working together because it appears they are going in the same direction. Eventually we find out that we’re still individuals even though we’re all connected and they may not be ultimately building what we were. Especially when this happens in a relationships, we experience this realization as anger, disappointment, betrayal, frustration and fear.

924 Relax and Succeed - Breathe the universe is taking careIf we think we’re an ego–a tentacle–then we use our thoughts to create the separateness that allows us to feel we can come into conflict with another tentacle. We can feel it has let us down by not building the same thing we thought we were building. Of course it’s important to note that they feel exactly the same way; that we’ve abandoned their creation.

Only the Octopus knows we’re confused so the weird thing is, we don’t know enough to really lead ourselves through something so infinite. Which means that thanks to the Universal Octopus, sometimes these “mistakes” end up leading to a creation far superior to the one we had planned. Early on we tend to credit the other tentacle for this success but eventually we come to realize that we deserve credit too. We just have to temper our credit in the same way that we temper our blame because the creation didn’t come from just us, just as any failure doesn’t come from just us. There’s a lot of cooks in on this broth.

So stop thinking you can decide your own future. You’re not even able to comprehend what might be good for you because you have no idea who you’re going to be as a result of the experiences you have between now and that future. All you can decide is what you put in. There are no guarantees after that. But even if someone “fails,” we have no idea– that failure might actually be pushing them toward something much better.

924 Relax and Succeed - Rather than remove your desiresIf this all sounds like– well you just never know anything then! –then you’re right. It is that. But that’s not bad news. That’s good news. That means you can surrender. You can relax. You can stop trying to get somewhere in your future and instead just focus on being an octopus now. Rather than try to create what you want, you start to wonder what it is this other tentacle is creating. And so you try to get in alignment with it rather than trying to get to align with you.

Eventually you come to understand the other tentacle enough that if you both have surrendered control then you both are acting on behalf of the Universal Octopus and then you’re cooperating on a whole new level. Eventually all of the tentacles will do that and we will again have singularity. We will be One.

If you stop to think about it some of your best friends and jobs and activities grew out of things you did not want to do. So rather than resist what’s happening, start flowing with it. Because your friendships are great examples. Those have no plan, which is in part why they go so well. In friendship you’ll actually let the Universal Octopus run things. Because in the end what you build with the Lego doesn’t matter. But the building of it is your life, so put your energy into enjoying that process rather than waiting to enjoy what you hope your outcome eventually is.

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.

Veil of Thought

Thought is an unusual thing. Despite the fact that you can think about something from ten years ago or ten minutes ago, or whether you’ve been thinking about it for a minute or an hour, your distance from salvation is always the same. You are always only that single thought 693 Relax and Succeed - Self observation is the first stepaway from slipping into the moment of peace that is Now.

Thought is a strange looping world. We can all find people that are living with beliefs that, from our perspective, are ridiculous. But they don’t think so. They think you’re the crazy one. They’re just as certain as you. But in actual reality there is no judging to be done. There is no need to reconcile things. They can be just as they are. The two particles of you and another person do not need to argue to a conclusion, you can each simply exist in your own way because that is what you are here to do. Your reason is to be yourself. To trust yourself. To follow your feelings. Including when that leads you to bump into others. But despite that you are not competing with any other person. We are all, each day, simply trying to reach Now. The only difference between us is how much time we’re able to spend there, not how far away we were.

There is no winner in enlightenment. Once you’re there the idea of judgment vanishes. There’s no way to race someone to Now. You are each on your own paths but ultimately you are like different arms of the same octopus. Yes your journey is yours. But if one arm is constantly judging you, other arms, other things or events, then that is an omen worth paying attention to in the world of the spiritual octopus. Because the more words you use—the more judgments you make—the deeper you will be in ego. The good news is that no matter how much you think, the Present Moment is still only one thought away. But your ability to remember that fact is seriously impeded when you’re doing all of that thinking.

693 Relax and Succeed - Once you awakenSo it’s like you’re one tentacle of this spiritual octopus and when you’re scared or confused you think a lot—you shoot a lot of ink into the water. Yes, it confuses your enemies but it also confuses you. You can’t see what you’re doing in the present moment. You’re in the dark, re-imagining whatever it was that made you scared in the first place. But just like you control the central ink jet even though you’re only one arm of the octopus, you’re also all the arms of the octopus when you’re living in the Now. So instead of shooting ink, your response to enemies isn’t defensiveness or an attack. It’s to hug them with infinite arms. Those work much better than conventional or nuclear arms.

Angry, worried and sad people are thinking a lot and are less likely to recognize the signals their natural wisdom is providing—like the unpleasant emotions they experience as a result, for instance. They aren’t taking that as a cue for the octopus arm to stop strangling its own blood-flow. If someone is doing a lot of thinking don’t think you can reason them out of it. That’s just more thinking. No, you have to have empathy and actually remember what it’s like to be them—to be caught up in your thinking, seeing things in distorted ways that make your life more difficult to live. If you recall, you didn’t want people telling you it wasn’t as bad as you thought. You wanted them to understand that it was as bad as you were thinking. But if you get the relationship between thinking and feeling and reality then you can help others with total confidence and sincerity.

You do know what it’s like and you do know how to get them out. But that’s not by talking them out. That’s by listening closely. Because if you’re not in a hurry to make them feel better then you’ll start to 693 Relax and Succeed - Let go of thoughtnotice natural opportunities to turn the conversation more positively, in ways that lead the person to raise their consciousness and feel better, and from that head-space they’ll make better choices for their lives. So remember: you don’t lower a rope down into a hole to help someone. You jump in and show them the secret way out. You get them out of the hole of their defeating personal thoughts.

Sensei, Guru, Priest, Master, child, parent, teacher, teenager, French, Indian, female, educated, street-smart, tired, rich, whatever—you! Everyone is the same distance from enlightenment every single moment. Every thought exists after language and after creation. So by thinking about anything where you’re using words as symbols, that translation act places you one layer away from the reality and power of Now.

Remove those words, deeply observe what remains and you will soon feel yourself becoming a part of everything the way you do during an amazing sunset. You forget who you are and you just have an experience. That’s not your sunset, that’s just a sunset. And despite the fact that they happen every day and that you’ll likely experience over 25,000 of them in your lifetime, when you’re in the Now you’ll know to honour ever single one as uniquely perfectly magnificent.

As much as you’re able to, keep a quiet mind. And never worry too much. As busy as your thinking can get, it is always always always the only thing between you and the glorious salvation of the Present Moment.

Have yourself a wonderful day.

peace. s