The Friday Dose #121: In Other Words

973 FD Relax and Succeed - 6 duendeA lot of different perspectives created a lot of different cultures. They ate different foods, they sang different songs, they faced different weather, terrain, seas and they all had different temperaments. Languages grew out of various groups and the words those cultures needed suited the way they saw the world.

I’m not sure what you’ll each feel about each word but it’s interesting that these are often the only cultures that will have this word, and in some cases they can be the only people in the world who even have a basis to discuss certain subjects. It really shows us that even right in front of us there are big differences. Someone speaking another language will live in a different reality because while you might not be, for them the entire world in front of them could be either masculine or feminine.

I’m a big fan of Marija Tiurina’s work, and I would encourage you visit her site and see how her style has evolved from the ones presented below. Art is subjective but most of you will be very impressed by what you’ll see. As as an expression of the differences that can exist in language, here’s a few of Marija’s wonderful examples. Enjoy.

973 FDb Relax and Succeed - torschhluss
973 FDc Relax and Succeed - Cafune

973 FDd Relax and Succeed - palegg

973 FDe Relax and Succeed - schlimazl

973 FDf Relax and Succeed - gufra

973 FDg Relax and Succeed - age-otori

973 FDh Relax and Succeed - tingo

973 FDi Relax and Succeed - baku-shan

973 FDj Relax and Succeed - luftmensch

973 FDk Relax and Succeed - kyoikimama

973 FDl Relax and Succeed - tretar

973 FDm Relax and Succeed - schadenfreude

Again, her name is Marija Tiurina.

Slow your mind down, slow your life down, pay more attention to art. Breathe. And have a wonderful weekend.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Meditating on Judgment

How’s your slow-waking morning meditations going? If you miss any days never worry about how many. That’s irrelevant. Just do it as much as you can and it’ll grow on you. This week we’re going to focus on one particular type of thoughts. As we work to quiet your mind, it’ll be easier if you focus on one type of thoughts at a time. Trust me, that will keep you pretty busy.

848 Relax and Succeed - You've been criticizingWe’re going to start the expansion of your awareness by focusing on judgments. The reason I like these as a teacher is because they’re very stark examples of one of the most frequent and painful things we do to ourselves and to others. Our familiarity with judgment makes us unconsciously aware of the difference between the feeling you get from an external judgment versus the feeling you get when you attack yourself.

Don’t beat yourself up if you catch yourself doing a lot of judging… because of course that’s just more judging. But do notice a) how much of it you do, and b) the origins of what you say, and c) the feelings you get when you do it. After that you’re wise. And you’re a decent human being. In the deepest part of you you don’t want to hurt anyone, including yourself. But for a while you’ll beat yourself up anyway. You’ll think you feel badly because the insults you say to yourself are true, when in fact the reason you feel terrible is because saying those things to yourself hurts–so stop!

Learn to switch out. Use that pain. Red flag! Danger! Wrong way! And shift your thinking. Even if you never catch it, just noticing you missed it means that you were more aware than you were previously. So you’re already going in the right direction–you have the you that did the thinking and the other you that watched. Even if you rang the alarm too late–at least there were two identities. The more time you spend with them both the more you’ll realize that one is more like the shadow of the other, and you’ve been innocently and accidentally living as the shadow.

848 Relax and Succeed - You either as beautiful or as uglyYou have a lot to look forward to. A quiet mind is so creative that it’s like a vacuum for meaningful experiences. It always feels comfortable even if it’s uncomfortable. No envy, no guilt, no grudges. Easy. Just watch for judgments. Count them per hour and then zero out and start again. See what your best hour is. How few judgments will you catch yourself making to yourself or out loud? Trust me: you do it almost all day long. You might want even score internal attacks separately from external ones.

Remember: don’t think you’re getting worse because you feel crappy. That’s just because you’re becoming conscious of how often you make yourself feel crappy. But trust me: if you just keep watching yourself you’ll naturally start associating the thoughts with the feelings and you will make the shift all on your own because your natural wisdom will guide you toward the most rewarding choices available.

Get your “judgment score” down. No rating drivers, co-workers, friends, schedules, news stories, the weather, anecdotes, yourself–anything. Learn to be clear, with no opinion. You can experience things much more intimately if you’re not blinded by a perspective. Judgments make things go away. Remove the judgments and even your ego disappears.

Don’t forget to have fun. Do your morning gratitude exercise, then start to watch for judgments and I’ll be back tomorrow to expand upon the lesson. Big hugs. Take care everyone.

peace. s

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

The Other Guy

You would be shocked at how much of your life is invested in noting how other people could be better. You’re like a sports commentator on duty 24/7. You analyze how they dress, do their hair, how they talk, or what they know, or how they approach their job or driving or child-rearing. You have umpteen opinions on all of that stuff. But those opinions are just thoughts. Those thoughts accomplish nothing other than dosing you with the chemistry for dissatisfaction and upset. They have no actual affect on anyone but you. So since you feel the downsides and there is no upside… why would you allow yourself to continue doing it when all that’s required is that you learn to stop?

556 Relax and Succeed - If you simply practiceThat’s most of what I write about: how to stop your constant barrage of opinions about how you want things to be different than they are. Because you think that your life would be better if other people behaved differently. But I’m here to tell you that your life only gets better when you think differently. If you’re in a constant I-gotta-get-exactly-what-I-want-or-I’m-not-happy state that most egos live in most of the time, then you are doomed to have an unpleasant, even agonizing existence. People are individuals, which means they each have their own personality which in turn means that they will each make unique choices, which in turn means they are likely to eventually disagree with you. This does not make either you or them wrong. It makes you individuals. To find peace you simply must accept that we all literally live in separate realities.

You can do two very simple things and your life will change enormously. The first is to shut off your inner sportscaster. Half the “players” you’re judging are injured anyway, and you’re comparing everyone—including yourself—to unrealistic ideals. You have no idea how much energy they have, or how many distractions they have, you don’t know if they’re in pain physically or if they’re emotionally suffering…. So change your life by stopping all the judging. You do it a lot so it’ll take a while. But if you keep switching from complaints to compliments, it’ll be a habit that will serve you well until the day you die.

556 Relax and Succeed - Simply be the qualitiesThe second thing is to take that energy you used to use to judge everyone, and use it to be grateful instead. Instead of loading your consciousness up with wants and opinions, use it to absorb things to be grateful for. It’s not hard. Just take whatever you’re doing and imagine it being done in the year 1900. A good percentage of the materials your life is made out of didn’t even exist back then. Water, light, heat. Very simple things get super complex if you go back that far. Or imagine having no money. Or poor health. These are not easy things. So be grateful for your life and your mind will experience gratitude. And that is much better than experiencing frustrated judgment.

I’m sorry that spiritual and psychological health it doesn’t feel like jumping off a cliff and flying. I’m sorry that it isn’t some instant salve that you just lay over yourself and it’s done. It’s a practice. Every day you have to eschew judgment of others in favour of gratitude for your own life. You’ll never do it all the time, but that’s okay because there can’t be a path unless there’s not-path too. But don’t walk on the thorns of dissatisfaction for long. The path is always waiting. You just need to take a few steps through gratitude to get there.

peace. s