Falling For Your Life

If you feel like everything is going wrong you can relax. If you’re worried you’ve made some terrible decision that will doom you, you haven’t. You just tend to think that feelings will stay when feelings are bad but no feeling is final. They just keep piling up until they make a big pile called your life.

That makes no sense to you because you want to know what to do, how to improve, how to grow and repair and fix and change. You wonder why you’re not enough, or why the world is the way it is, and yet everything is perfect. You imagine perfect as where everyone gets along, but that would be a boring life. You watch no movies or TV about everyone getting along perfectly because that would not interest you.

What interests you is overcoming. What you overcome is largely irrelevant, but your spirit punishes you for sitting still and it rewards movement and creation, and so your spirit naturally feels enthusiastic about movement. So live more of your life and plan less of it. Being aware in the moment will do you more good than an ideal plan.

Remember the Kierkegaard quote I noted a few weeks back? Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards. Your job isn’t to consciously understand why your flake of snow landed here or there, your job is to just pile up into your natural life; your job is to just stay awake and react naturally from there. Yes, naturally will include “mistakes” and naturally will also include “improvements” you’ve made on previous “mistakes” but that’s more an evolution than conscious change. You want to stop being so conscious of your self-judgments and more conscious of your actual life.

The truth is you can’t go wrong. What feels wrong is when you don’t yet understand looking back, the life you’ve already lived going forward. But those are two separate processes. Stop expecting them to align. The living is always ahead of the understanding. That’s not things going wrong, that’s things going perfectly.

Stop complaining about where you are and who you are and what you’re doing. You don’t even know where you’re really going. So surrender your need for specific outcomes. Instead, anticipate that, whatever comes, if you live with awareness and allow your wisdom to flow, your next step will make itself apparent, even if that step seems crazy at the time.

Every life is a crazy path. But don’t ignore yours because it isn’t matching your expectations. Frankly, your expectations would be too low. Your life has greater intentions for you than that.

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.

Changing My Mind

Okay, so we’re half way through the year and I’ll do something totally unlike the old ego-based me. The old me would never change a blog half way through the year. I would wait until the end of the year. Why?

435 Relax and Succeed - And the day came when the risk …seriously?

This is a bit embarrassing, but the reason the old me would have been prevented from doing what he felt was right—my barrierwould have been the word “half.”

I totally do not blame you for thinking, Wha…???

Yeah. “Half.” Because you don’t stop half way. Half way isn’t all the way and it’s either all or nothing, right? Look, it doesn’t make sense to me anymore so I’m bad at explaining it. But I no longer care about calendars or where the Sun is in relation to the Earth, or what you’ll think of me blah blah blah. This is my life. I put a lot into this blog. This is how I care for all of you. But there’s a couple dates on a tombstone with a dash in between. That dash is our life. I do not want to spend that tiny little dash writing a blog that feels wrong to me just because I experimented with the Dear Abbey-esque format in response to a request to answer specific questions. Thoughts are not things. I cannot be jailed by barriers I volunteer to create in my imagination.

Readers have let me know that far more of you prefer the old format and the truth is I find it a bit more natural as well. So all signs point toward changing it back. It is kind of convenient that we’re half way through the year and the July 1st holiday was a re-blog, so that allows me to have this revelation and then start the second half of the year by fairly smoothly returning to last year’s format. I have a few blogs done that I’ll have to rewrite to some degree and of course I will continue to address concerns that are sent to me, but for the remainder of this year and for the foreseeable future I will be shifting the blog back to its original format.

435 Relax and Succeed - If you're searching for that one personSo to make this more than just an announcement, let’s look at the differences between the old me who existed before I ever started this blog, the guy who couldn’t do this, and the “new” me who can. The old me needed to be impressive and I wanted praise and approval, so I had to start with conforming and then I had to extend myself to win the favour of others. The new me appreciates how short this dash of life is and I don’t want my precious moments ticking by with me doing something for you instead of something for me. Money, status, power—these are all illusions and I don’t care about winning an illusion. Freedom is found in realizing our true selves by being free of the ideas that shackle others to their manufactured, market-induced dreams. Without those hoops to jump through we’re free to go, be and do what whatever we choose. That’s living.

Forget conformity. Challenge the basic ideas that are presented to you. Don’t colour between the lines. Ask who drew the lines. You’re supposed to be responsible, but responsible to what? To a law? To some words? Or to our humanity? Or our ethics? Our morals? Do we respond to our nature, or process our nature through our word-based conceptual thinking? One creates tension the other relief.

There is no one you’re supposed to be. There are merely actions and the consequences of them. The human beings you deal with with be inconsistent, crazy, wonderful and absolutely worthy of your love. Forget trying to impress me or them and just be your most loveable self and we’ll let nature take care of the rest. I know that’s what I’m going to do with my life and with the blog. Enjoy!

peace. s

Being with Scott

281 posts later and here we are at a brand new year. To my regular readers I would like to extend a warm thank you. Without you this work would all be for nought. My apologies for the lateness of this particular posting. I was very busy doing the identity shift for this year—I do hope you like the changes.

The first incarnation of the blog was a simple attempt to cover common ground. Every new student wanted to know how I knew what I knew and I literally got bored telling the story and so I thought a blog would permanently take care of it—except half way I got bored writing about myself. And by then I’d realized that you were all telling me what you wanted.

281 Relax and Succeed - And if I could tell you one thingBack when I was creating the first blog I also re-vamped the facebook page. As a result I started posting quotes I liked that I felt were helpful. Some where unhelpful, but I thought there was a good lesson in the quote’s mistake, so I would write a fairly lengthy description with the post for clarity.

The reaction to those descriptions was extremely positive with many of you writing to me to express how valuable you found it to have common quotes disassembled for a closer look.

Since I was not feeling good about the direction the blog was taking –which is my signal to change something– and you signalled me exactly which direction to shift to. And that got us last year’s blog that featured me extrapolating on common social media memes.

Right at the end of the year—thankfully right when I got to the countdown—I began to feel again that a change was in order. Being that the end of the year was coming it seemed like a logical time to shift both the blog’s visual identity and its content, to some degree.

Once again, if the question was—what should the new blog look like?—you answered.

One thing I was really enjoying was using the blog to accomplish two tasks simultaneously. I needed to write blogs, and I had people writing me with questions about quotes they saw on the facebook page that did not include the extrapolations. I answered those questions via the blogs.

At this writing, I’m easily getting enough questions every week to use this as an actual form, so for this year I will be doing a bit of a Dear Abby advice-styled column. The reason this post is called Being with Scott is because I’ll be using this year to answer questions directly.

I got this idea when a regular and enthusiastic reader sent me a question recently, so since she inspired all of this I will begin our new direction tomorrow by answering her most recent question. Thanks Sherry. 😉

Thanks for last year. It was a pleasure getting to work directly with so many of you over the phone and in person. I look forward to sharing more wonderful, heartwarming and successful discussions with you in the New Year!

All the best to you and all those you love,

peace. s