The Friday Dose #111

 

There are two levels of response that I talk about when I work with people. One is psychological and it’s actually quite easy to understand because everyone has a psyche and what I do is uncover and expose someone’s personal logic so that they are no longer so mysterious to themselves. This is where peace of mind and the success that follows begins.

The second level is where the spiritual meets the psychological. This level is no less sensible (it’s more so), but it requires a more radical shift in understanding. Not a big shift; a surprisingly small one with a much deeper understanding of our place in the universe. This is the one where enlightenment begins, and at that point you no longer feel like a competent surfer atop a perfect board and an amazing wave–at that point you, the board and the wave are all seen as one thing.

919 FD2 Relax and Succeed - We are sacred artistsIf that seems weird, just remember a lot of remote tribespeople in the jungles of this world do not see themselves as having 5 or 6 senses, but rather one big sense. Watts hints at this in the video below when he makes the quote placed above. It is that second you–the separate you on the separate board riding the separate wave–that makes the board and the wave and the quality of the riding within itself. You create an ego and that is the story it tells you.

Watts and I are suggesting to you that if you were never encouraged to create that other idealized you then you would be One with your life and there would be no time in which a separate you felt you were making a distinct decision. You are simply in the flow. There is no time-travelling to pre or post-evaluation of a “choice.” 

That is the point of ultimate peace. When your internal narrative disappears it takes the notion of choices and mistakes along with it. The tension of those judgments is instead replaced with a relaxation and openness that permits the natural reintegration of our greater selves back into the fold of that famous moment called Now. 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

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.

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.

Being Aware of Yourself

You are two things at once. You are your spiritual self, which is free and brilliant and unlimited, and that self travels around within your biological self, which is also free and potentially brilliant but it does have some limitations, including the fact that your brain is built as a pattern-matching, repetitive system that essentially uses cues to tell itself a story about what is happening around it.

793 Relax and Succeed - If you carry the bricks from your pastWithout mindfulness that pattern-matching behaviour will lead to an unconscious life. You won’t be choosing your existence so much as your existence will be directing you–like someone who was bit by a dog when they were young can end up being afraid of dogs for the rest of their life. Imagine how important that becomes when you start applying it to personal intimate romantic relationships.

One incident hardly condemns all dogs or people, but if a person isn’t careful and there are no intervening, countervailing experiences, they will use those unpleasant experiences to cage their spirit even more than the limitations of their body. Your body could be around a dog–or a beautiful brunette–it’s your worried thoughts that can’t.

The trick is to notice these extremely subtle patterns in life. Yes there’s the obvious stuff like; if you leave the house every day with your wallet and one day you leave without it your brain does signal you that something is off-pattern. That’s what you’re feeling when you say, I’ve got this feeling I forgot something. You’re exactly right.

793 Relax and Succeed - Do not give your pastThe harder patterns are ones like–how often you look at your phone? And what’s the pattern behind what you’re doing immediately before that, that reminds you to check it? Is it a notification that allows you to escape from harder work, or do you hit a timer in your head and you need a fix?

Do you only phone your friends when you’re sad or angry? Does your stomach tense up when you’re stressing? Do you automatically get up in a bad mood if it’s windy? Or on the way to your parents? Do you say things to your children out of habit rather than reacting to them originally, in the present moment? Do you always choose one or two genres of music, or does the same street always make you think of the same person?

The contexts that surround these patterns act as our cues. We should know our cues. You should intimately be aware of what upsets you and those closest to you. Even better, you should know what relaxes you and makes you happy. We need that pattern-match part of our brain to survive, but we don’t want it fencing us off from experience when it serves no useful purpose.

Get to know yourself much more intimately. Dedicate an entire hour to looking very, very closely at your own face. You know how you can write down or look at a word for so long that the letters start to lose their meaning? You’ve burned out the part of your brain that patterns those letters into that word, so as that energy flares out it hits all the jumbled angles on those letters.

793 Relax and Succeed - face it you are lovelyWell the same effect happens with your face. You know it as you. But when you stare at it long enough, there’s this sudden moment when you see not what you see–but what a stranger might see. The nice part about it is that it will happen for sure, and that you will realize you’re more interesting and beautiful than you thought.

Get to know your thinking. Do you have thought habits in the morning? When you drive home? Every workday do you literally go to the window to see if your neighbour parked in that way he always does that makes you mad? The crazy unaware person isn’t the neighbour who parks strangely, it’s the guy who chooses to consistently piss himself off as one of his daily rituals. Free yourself with awareness of who you really are.

What are your patterns? The more you find the more you will find because your brain is good at patterns, remember? It’ll get easier and easier to spot them. Trust me, they are all over the place and layered much much thicker than you can imagine. You’ll find times in the week where you are absolutely guaranteed to be upset between 7:12 and 7:32pm every Wednesday. If it’s that predictable surely there’s a work-around. But you have to be aware.

Awareness is key. You don’t need to be smarter or better, you just need more awareness. That will open up the doors to everything you are searching for. Don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing it. Now go get to know this person you call yourself. And you will know all that you need to know to make the most of your life. Enjoy.

peace. s

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

The Friday Dose #63

660 FD Relax and Succeed - You are beautiful

Let’s start with a young woman who starts to question the concept of beauty she has been sold after she starts asking individual men what they think is beautiful. She’s surprised by the responses:

100 Men’s View of Physical Beauty

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Next we’ll tackle the question, is ADHD a disease or is it merely the unintended consequence of modern habits?

ADHD and the relentless internet—is there a connection?

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Which door would you walk through? This was a brilliant idea for an experiment:

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And finally, do you have a Fear of Missing Out? Then you won’t want to miss this:

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I trust you found something useful, expansive or enjoyable in this “collection of stuff that Scott found interesting.” Have yourself a spectacular weekend!

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a fascinating, informative, funny collection of mind-changing links, pictures, videos or audio clips. If you are currently mentally or emotionally suffering then use these to distract yourself from the painful courses of thought that are generating that suffering. Or, you could just enjoy being fascinated. 🙂

Other Perspectives #60

646 OP Relax and Succeed - Dear self

Dear Self, this me talking to myself. So why is I asking me to accept me? That question eats itself. Does an eye see itself? Does a tooth bite itself? Now loving yourself you can do. But that isn’t a discussion I has with me where one officially approves of the other and gives it compliments. Self Love is when you feel that the enjoyment of your own life is actually a priority. That you are worth leaving bad relationships for, that you are worth doing nice things for, or having good people love you just because you’re you. As for making the right choices, there are no right choices. There are only choices you make and their consequences. But those get much easier when your head’s not full of conversations between I and me. What is good for you is what feels right at the time—not in a pleasure or escape way, but in a way where you feel strong and capable and confident and authentic. And as for being alone, none of us are truly alone. That’s just you not loving yourself. Because none of us are actually really here in the sense that we’re truly separate. We are literally made of atoms that used to be stars and comets and the Earth itself and all of the beings on it. And all of the connection that goes with that reality is powerful. You are literally an aspect of the universe itself. How could you be more connected than that? How could you be more desired than the universe itself literally took the time to assemble literally trillions of others atoms—as many as there are stars in the known universe (yes, seriously)—into little old you. You’re that intentional. You were wanted that badly that all of that work was done just so that you could exist. So don’t waste that existence having those atoms talk to each other about whether or not they’re acceptable or worthwhile. Your existence guarantees your value. So stop spinning in place trying to be worthy and get out there. The universe needs you. If you need more help on this, check out the third video on Friday Dose #58. That’s the truth. And from one aspect of the universe to another, let’s start off Monday like this: I love you. Unequivocally. Without changes, improvements or betterment, I can see the light of the universe inside you. So don’t let other people convince you otherwise and don’t let yourself do that either. It’s an insult after how hard the universe worked to make sure single individual you even existed. So use that existence wholeheartedly. Don’t spend all your time trying to get love when you are filled with love. Be the verb of giving all of that away. It feels wonderful and you can do it. Start today. Forget the self-flagellating. Smile and be. It’s that easy. It truly is. Love you. 😉

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.