Save Yourself

Most of us get too much of our food from unhealthy sources. Almost every one of us wants the animals we eat to be cared for better. Most of us are rushed and harried. Our lives are too busy to be as rewarding as life feels like it should be. And it’s true. In North America we’ve gone downhill in the total quality-of-life scale since about the very early 1950’s. We need two 484 Relax and Succeed - A savage is the one who livesincomes now to care for fewer kids because each kid and both parents have so darned much stuff. Just their car alone has about 14,000 parts in it. We’re busy people and so we consume a lot. A lot of what? A lot of everything.

So what’s this mean? It means our gross consumerism is doing two things: it’s disrupting the social structures that our relationships were formerly based on, and it’s eating up the world and spitting out toxic garbage. What’s toxic mean? It means it’ll kill the planet. And what do we want all that stuff for anyway? We just lose it all when we die. By now, 80% of 40 year olds and older will be working very hard to deal with whatever unexpected financial event happened in their life. Maybe they got cancer and were only getting a percentage of their wage on disability, maybe they had an expensive divorce or got defrauded or maybe an illness lead to an early retirement. Bottom line, people have never worked harder to be more stressed and the planet itself is in a declining state.

These two things are linked. We need to consume because our lives are hollow because our relations are shallow and short and fickle and thin. Not as long ago as it seems, people lived in groups. They slept in groups, hunted in groups, gathered in groups. And now we invent houses and encase ourselves. We talk to each other through phones even though we’re at the same restaurant table. We’ve become unnatural. And we have to get back to being more natural or we’re all gonna die.

If the Earth were the size of a basketball, the atmosphere is about as thick as two coats of paint and we have been pumping crap into it for 150 years. I’m a scuba diver and in my short lifetime I have witnessed the degradation of dive sites I had previously visited. I have seen the fish disappear and the shorelines change. We water golf courses and flower pots outside hotels, but if you’re travelling around the 484 Relax and Succeed - Sustainable development is the masterful balanceworld a lot and you’re watching for it, you’ll notice that a lot of things are dying.

We’re too interested in money and not interested enough in life. Our own or the planet’s. I don’t want you to do this because I’m some green activist because I’m not. I’m a guy who loves everyone around him and that’s the way of living that this blog exists to impart. It just so happens that a byproduct of that objective is that you fall in love with the whole world around you.

I’m not saying it’s easy or without its huge challenges, but seriously try to reconsider the world and your life at the same time. Instead of going out to a movie where you all stare in the same direction in the dark and don’t talk, try staying in, facing each other at a small table, and play a board game and talk. You’ll be surprised at how therapeutic it is. And it’ll leave a tiny footprint on the planet. People playing Scrabble or Chess or Monopoly tend not to do a lot of damage to the Earth.

You want your life to feel better. I’m not kidding. This is how. Stop caring about yourself and your happiness and start caring about other people’s welfare. The sharing of compassion is at the heart of the sort of love we’re all seeking. It’s that wonderful warm feeling where you don’t feel like you need to be anywhere except where you are. You are Be-ing.

484 Relax and Succeed - I thinkn a hero is any personPay more attention. Live more consciously. Choose connection. Choose friendship and camaraderie. Eat healthier and be easier on the planet simultaneously and both you and it will get stronger and healthier. But it must be intentional. You must really want to be this person who lives this way. It’ll be easy though. Because once you start, and once you get past the initial awkward stage that goes with any new thing, you’re left with one of life’s better experiences and that will motivate you to want to recreate them. And the only way to do that is to care. To actively care, with the accent on the active.

We can’t think the world into being better. Too many of you are unhappy and too many of you aren’t doing anything concrete to help anyone in a significant way. Choose an activity you currently derive little benefit from, and instead of doing that, put consciously compassionate living in its place. We’ll all be better off. The world could use your love. You’re awesome.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #29

462 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - 97 percent of people

This is a classic case of one individual assuming that other individuals place the same value on the same things they do. They make that mistake the same way you do: because to them the sources of the value are obvious. But clearly one person can want to be the number one salesperson, while another person wants to be a good father, or someone else wants to work for a charity that prolonged a loved one’s life. These would all create different choices, priorities and paths through life. There’s lots of things to value in life, but because our cultures have such an addiction to money, many capitalists assume that because they want to be rich and in charge, that you want that too. So it’s assumed that if you didn’t become a wealthy entrepreneur that’s not because you didn’t want to, it’s because you couldn’t—because you gave up and you are therefore inferior to those who chose that particular priority. But of course many of us aren’t interested in the hassles associated with being in charge, just like many of us aren’t interested in great wealth, celebrity or prestige. We have our pursuits and others have theirs. None are more important than others. The only success there is in life is the joy of being alive. Everything else is disappears.

peace. s

Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.

Who Are You Living For?

31 Relax and Succeed - Collect moments not things

A friend of mine’s cousin is an example of an unaware life. He’s a very nice guy but he’s not paying much attention to the feedback his life is giving him. This is primarily because his father always pitted him against his brother in an effort to “toughen them up,” and “get them ready for the dog-eat-dog world of business.”

I’m not sure if it got them ready for business, but it got them to think that business success (i.e. status, pay and perks) was what they should dedicate their lives to. Like all of us their egos were prepared to do unhealthy things to satisfy a primary caregiver. And all of those things were done in the vain hope of securing a lifelong sense of belonging.

What’s interesting is that the entire reason I like my friend’s cousin is because he’s so good at appreciating simple things. He loves to rough it, so he has a tiny rustic cabin with a pump for water and an outhouse. You can wear your shoes in the house and the whole thing smells like pine. It’s got a beautiful view out over a lake. He can just sit there with a beer in a lawn chair and sound spiritual as he thanks the universe for delivering him such a magnificent experience. Oh, and I should mention, this cabin is an eight hour drive from his house.

Because of his entirely pointless race with his brother (that only exists in their heads), he will drive eight hours back to the city to work a job he openly hates, all to make enough money to support his massive home, luxury cars and a really gorgeous boat. From the outside he looks like he’s got it made but he’s heavily in debt for all of that luxury. It all comes at a price, plus it all needs care, maintenance, insurance etc. etc. It’s all so stressful he just can’t wait for the weekend to hit so he can race that eight hours back to that crappy little cabin.

Okay, now let’s look at this for a second. We have a guy who loves his cabin. He loves fetching water, he loves having no toilet to clean. He can put his feet on the furniture, his dog can sit on the sofa with him and he even has an old TV that gets turned on to watch the odd sports event. But for the most part he just putters around building things for other residents. He works for free.

31 Relax and Succeed - They deem me mad

In town he feels tense and frustrated, like he’s a slave to debt; all so he can own a place that has guest-towels he can’t use and chairs he can’t put his feet on. It has lawns to mow, roofs to repair, he has to take his shoes off at the door and he’s making huge payments on it. At the lake he feels relaxed, energized, he works without being asked to, he has very few chores or responsibilities, and it costs him almost nothing. The real question is, why is he surrendering his life to a competition that exists only in his head?

If you were raised in a first-world culture then you too are affected with this status disease. But your life is not made up of the experiences other people have by watching the results of your labour. Your life is your labour. So make it a labour of love.

We should all look at your own lives; see what it tells us about what we should be investing our time and energy in. The sooner we do that the sooner we start living the life that’s actually ours.

Let’s not waste our lives collecting things. Our lives are made of moments, so we should focus instead on what those contain. Use this, to help enjoy your day.

peace. s