Let Your Soul Breathe

1373 Relax and Succeed - Let Your Soul Breathe

Today we will do. Every day we all do. We have many identities, and there are things that each of them do. We are more Humans Doing rather than Humans Being. Ego’s do. But under it all, our souls still be.

When speaking with a Rabbi while travelling, I noted that, in general, names have meanings. Some are intentional names that have significant religious, or conceptual, or referential meanings, (I have a friend whose name means “Light of God.”), and some people even have accidental ones, like Miller, Butcher, or Farmer.

When I asked about the Yiddish name for God, Yahweh, he took a long time to consider what I had asked before explaining that the name was almost like –what I will now call– a yin and yang symbol. The two parts flowed together like the crest and the trough of a wave; inseparable. Indivisible. The two parts of this ‘wave’ were Is and Be.

We may ask what Is our ego doing? But under the ego’s ups and downs, and inseparable from it, our souls presence is consistently being. We might think that a wise person is one who can shift more energy into being, but being is very still. It’s beautiful, but not much happens. And souls like a full life.

On the other hand, when we feel badly is generally when we’re overloading the doing. If one makes us rise and get top heavy, where we start to teeter, it is the other that draws our center of gravity downward to stillness, where the power of being is always there, flowing through the present moment.

As we move about our days today, let us segment them phase by phase. The drive or ride to the freeway is one. Journey down the freeway is two. Exit is three. Arrive at work and enter is four. Greet our co-workers is five. Turning on our computers and getting set for our day is six, etcetera, etcetera.

All of those things are things our work identities are doing. But today we will add a small but meaningful meditation to the times in which we switch tasks or conversations. These are our oases of being.

The way we achieve this being is to break for a moment between tasks, and to do the following exercise from a previous post:

828 Relax and Succeed - Periodically during your day

It is likely our egos will find this frustrating. Egos are emotional. Our souls have feelings. But our frustration is a good sign. That’s our ego banging on the door, wanting control of us back.

Switching identities takes a few moments for the breathing exercise. Our identity will sometimes do things for hours. That is how greedy our egos can be as they bang away with their frustration. The ego wants.

Our souls are generous. They do not want, they give. These little breaks to be can add a great deal of power to our day. So we must move past our ego’s frustrated resistance, like an itch during a meditation session. We must dispel its power with our presence. We must learn to use the breathing to stop the course of our minds.

Let us begin today. As we switch between tasks, let us breathe and bring presence into the next task. Let us feel it lower our spiritual center of gravity. Let it slow the course of our minds.

And when the frustration goes, and our days become more peaceful, we will know that our doing and being are flowing in balance, giving us wide and awesome opportunities to do, while always maintaining enough life for us to simply be.

peace. s

Someone To Watch Over You

1356 Relax and Succeed - Someone to watch over you

Whenever I meditate on the things I do with my mind I always have to then find some (to me) funny way to illustrate for you, what it is that my brain is functionally doing. The reasons as to why this thought experiment will work are very interesting, but too complex to explain in this blog. Fortunately, it’s more important to be able to do it than understand it consciously, so that’s fine.

As weird as it might feel, once you read more and understand why, consider very seriously spending the day by imagining that you’re on a reality TV show for 24 hours non stop. Weirdly, that will fairly closely approximate what I’m doing with my mind.

Let’s imagine it’s a show like Ellen or something Oprah would do. Something hosted by some famous, positive woman with one name –you choose. And imagine they have a new segment called Best Friends where people’s best friends go on the show and describe what they love about us.

Maybe we’ve heard all of this before because they’ve been kind enough to tell us those things before this show. But it’s a different thing for us to know that after our friend described us to the world, that the show is now headed over to set up cameras all over our house to capture us being the person our friends described.

Suddenly, just knowing what people are watching us for makes us more aware of everything we do. It’ll feel like insecurity at first, but that’s an ego experience. Really we’re just being self-conscious in a healthy way. That feeling is presence.

Examples of how our inherent goodness will come to the fore will be all over our lives. For instance, say that as we go through doors that we don’t really notice that we always check behind us for people with packages or crutches, or for the elderly or anyone else that can benefit from the door being held for them.

1356 Relax and Succeed - Nurture Presence

It’s a nice thing to do, but the problem will be that if we do it all the time it can become subconscious and rote. Then suddenly we miss out on what’s in it for us: the connection. But if we imagine cameras following every move, we suddenly become present, which helps us slow down to deal with everything through a very conscious and rewarding connection in that individual moment.

If we’re earnest, as the day goes on we’re likely to find many more subtle forms of relationships where we have become almost automatic and entirely unaware. Many people ask how the relative in the hospital is without asking how the nurse also is.

Nice people get on the same elevators with the same people every day and never even greet each other. That’s strangely insecure behaviour for a pack animal. We’re stealing nice moments from ourselves. But to fix that we have to get conscious.

As an indication of how unfamiliar most people are with being conscious; when I trick people into doing it, it always feels weird at first. Egos hold doors to look good to others. Souls hold doors because they love unconditionally. At first it feels strange and foreign to make connections with almost everyone. Later it feels like an oasis.

So that’s our spiritual practice for today. Let’s all take a moment to think about what our best friend would really say. Maybe even ask them. And then think about all of those cameras in every room of the house, and the mic recording everything you say for the entire day. And then remember that you’re on this show because your best friend described the very best –and very real– parts of you.

Done well, this one-day thought experiment (which you are expected to waver in and out of as you practice), can really help us get a better sense of what being conscious of ourselves in the present moment really is. We can hold a door open out of habit, or we can hold it because we recognize the human being we’re caring about by doing it. One’s good for one of us. The other is good for all of us.

Oh, and when you’re done, go to bed knowing that the cameras you imagined are the real you, but if we hadn’t turned them on, you would have behaved based on the patterns in your ego. That’s why our problems repeat so often, so don’t live unconsciously when living consciously is such a reward for you and for the rest of us.

peace. s

Checking Into Now

1327 Relax and Succeed - Where is your attention

There are many people reading this ‘together,’ in many places in the world, using different devices, at different times of day. Some are laying down reading in bed, others are sitting in airplanes, while others might be reading from a waterproof tablet while they’re immersed in a swimming pool.

Everyone will be in different positions, in different geographic locations –some inside, some outside– some in cities, some in the middle of nowhere. Some might be eating breakfast while they read, another might be at a bar, and still others may be at lying down at home or on a coffee break at work. No matter where everyone is, most people are reading this without a lot of awareness that we each are in unique sensory environments.

It’s a fascinating idea to realize that each of our separate consciousnesses are gathered together on these words, at our shared center of vision, yet we each have unique peripheral experiences. Coffee on an airplane does not taste, smell, or sound like pizza at your house.

Some are hearing wind, others birds, while still others might be listening to the sound of a bus, or your parents arguing in the front seat of their car. Some might smell bread baking, or the ocean, while others might be experiencing the smell of sweat on a treadmill line.

1327 Relax and Succeed - Checking into Now - man

Certainly the heat of the African sun does not feel like a cool breeze in the Arctic, just as laying on our back on a bed does not have our body feeling pressure points or weight distribution anything like standing in a lineup, or being jammed into a plane seat. We are all having unique sensory experiences with these words being one thing we share in common. We have a shared vision.

Note, as I went through each definition, you likely moved your mind’s attention to whichever sense I was referring to at that time. Maybe some of you even anticipated what I was doing and you listed through your own senses really quickly before you even got to me guiding you to them. The point is, we all cycled our awareness onto different parts of reality. This helps blur some lines created by language that don’t really exist in nature.

Many tribal cultures that are still living close to the way they did 1,000 years ago don’t comprehend separate senses. They don’t know what people mean by the words see or hear or taste as separate ideas, to them that’s simply all awareness.

Especially for cultures with no written languages, they primarily only need words to relate to the present moment. For them, they are focusing on a sense fully, whereas we only partially focus.

1327 Relax and Succeed - Checking into Now - woman

We regularly bounce into our egos in order to use complex words to engage with the shared thought-based idea that we can name areas of sensing, and then segment reality in our after-now, ego-reality.

Compared to someone living that other way, it’s like we’re always taking mental word-based notes rather than being fully present. It’s much the same way people will have their attention on filming a concert rather than on experiencing it completely. There is a major difference between the two.

This means that all babies need to be taught to take their one sense and split it into five definitions that each have a keyword like seeing, or smelling. No one teaches the babies in these tribes that, so they just stay with one sense and their ability to focus it. If we ignore our word-based division of reality into five senses, then we are like the folks in the jungle. We are simply focused on this or that.

So how does this help us? Since we know our senses are one thing, and we know the opposite of now is ego-based thoughts, then to get out of our ego we simply need to ask ourselves where our attention is at any given moment.

Is it on how hard our seat is? How hot the room is? How noisy? Or are we thinking about the taste of our breakfast, or loving the smell of coffee? Whatever we’re aware of as a feeling means we have not translated the feeling into an ego-based word-thought. In that way we all have the power to alter our reality.

Each of those check-ins are like returning to the Now. The more we do that, the better we get at just being passively more aware. And in that state, we see more, and that often leads to wiser choices. So as we move through our day, let’s all do our best to check in regularly with where our consciousness actually is.

peace. s