Your Local Identity

What did yesterday’s meditation teach you that you didn’t know about yourself? Because that awareness is important: meditation is a study, and it should ultimately be a disassembly of the self.

875 Relax and Succeed - Within each of usWe’ll continue today from how you were affected by your nation and on to how your region and city and daily life function and how that impacts your daily thinking. It also starts to hint at the things you chose in life, like where you go and why. And that hints at who you’ve already become.

Your nation is an identity you experience rarely, whereas you live inside the culture and society of your area every day. There will a tone there. Regardless of what government wins, the majority of the people’s politics will tilt one direction or another. They’ll have certain beliefs and push certain ideals. What is your area known for and how do you fit into that identity? Are you a cheerleader or critic? Why?

If you grew up somewhere else then what you miss and what you wouldn’t go back for will tell you a lot. If you’re in your home town location will have been affected more subtly.

To know yourself through where you live just look at what is on your walls.  If there’s lots of pictures of sports stars or sexy girls but none of your children then that says something. If you’re married but your bedroom is decorated in a way that decidedly tilts toward the masculine or the feminine, that says something. Are you extremely neat and orderly or are you comfortable being scattered? This is all useful info regarding clear indicators of how you’ll react to people and situations. What you do, where you go and what you purchase is why Google can predict you.

875 Relax and Succeed - A man is notWhat do you keep as mementos? What do these say about you? What videos do you keep? What websites to you bookmark? What music do you listen to and why?

Also look at the places you like to go. What do they have in common? Yes, people aren’t usually too dull–they’ll have some outliers in their calendar, but for the most part people like the same restaurants etc. for the atmosphere and staff. So what is the atmosphere at your favourite places? What is it that these things conjure for you? Are you trying to look grown up and business-like or like a laissez-faire hipster bohemian…?

Stores spend a lot of time on their branding. Do you value your hard work and then work hard to make sure your money is going as far as it can, or do you value free time and keep a job that keeps you flexible over maximizing income? Each ownership group will usually have three stores in each mall that all progressively increase in price and status. Which one is yours and why?

875 Relax and Succeed - How you do anything

How do you drive in your city? Do you leave early and avoid rushes and if you have to wait once you’re there that’s okay, or are you perpetually scanning for a faster route even if that’s by seconds? That’s two very different people and you could answer a lot of questions about them and get them right from just that bit of information. So what do people really conclude about you and why?

Look more closely at where you live. Do you have the littlest house in a posh neighbourhood? Or maybe it’s the nicest or the neatest place in a rougher one. Maybe you chose your house for security reasons. Maybe privacy. Maybe view. Maybe schools. What was your ego secretly responding to when you chose that house? Even if you didn’t choose it you can still known what you like and don’t like about it.

Learn these things, add them to yesterday’s meditation and you should be learning a lot of things you didn’t know about yourselves. I appreciate a lot of you writing to tell me what you’ve learned–isn’t it shocking what we don’t know about ourselves? Feel free to put that stuff in the comments section if it’s easier.

Stay aware. Have a great day, discover more about yourself, make obvious use of that new knowledge and then tomorrow we’ll delve into one of the most important things that you ever had impact you. Enjoy your days!

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.

Physical Realities

853 Relax and Succeed - Stay beautifulYou’ll see overweight men keeping their suit jackets on to hide their bellies if they’re out for lunch with an attractive co-worker. You’ll see large-breasted women constantly re-pulling their cardigans over their breasts in a pointless attempt to conceal them. If a girl thinks her bum is too big she’ll try to hide it with long tops and coats. Short men avoid standing near tall ones if they’re trying to impress someone.

You think that what people see when they look at you is either the bad quality you’re focusing on as a part of this week’s meditation, or you’ll assume they’re focused on some particularly negative aspect about that particular day–like a stain on your shirt or spot you missed shaving or some hair that won’t go where it belongs. But people are rarely noticing those things. That’s because they’re too busy doing exactly what you’re doing.

853 Relax and Succeed - My body does everythingJust as you’re pulling your sweater down over your butt or standing behind a piece of furniture that conceals your gut, everyone around you is busy doing the same thing. The desire to be accepted by the group is a very human thing, but language and advertising have whipped an otherwise healthy human drive into a crazy over-drive that has 99.9% of people worried most of the time about some aspect of their physical selves.

There is no need to invest time in these thoughts and strategies. In fact authenticity and openness have never looked more attractive in a world driven by egocentric fears about not being enough. In today’s world a calm demeanor, sense of humour and open mind are far more valuable than any combination of body parts.

The more “attractive” people are the more they worry about what you think. No one is imprisoned more by ego than someone who dresses and acts in ways to get strangers and acquaintances to approve of how they look.

853 Relax and Succeed - Be kind to yourselfYou’re trying not to criticize your least-loved body part as a part of the weekly meditation we started yesterday. Make it easy today by focusing your attention outward instead. As you walk past each person try to figure out what they think their worst quality is and see if they work to hide it. If you don’t see them hiding it then that’s not what they think is their thing. The younger the person the more they’ll be inclined try to conform, so don’t watch octogenarians looking for a lot of signs of ego.

Get out of your thoughts and self-discussions comparing you to your ideals. Use your consciousness to take the world in rather than comment on what’s already known. Watch others. See their fear. See how misplaced it is and realize the same is true for you.

Give others compliments. Accept the ones given to you. And stop criticizing yourself. It’s never accomplished anything and it never will. It’s time to surrender. What’s waiting is a quiet world rarely invaded by judgment. It’s a beautiful state of mind to live in. I hope you’ll join me.

peace. s

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

Haters and Trolls

Here’s a metaphor for humanity: At the top of a steep slope is a large mass. The mass represents the Oneness of which each of us is a part. It is cleaved into individual, perfectly square cubes that then tumble down the slope of life. The moment we are cleaved/born and we feel separate. The slope is our lifetime, with some people’s lives tumbling by quickly and dramatically, while others slowly grind their way down the slope.

519 Relax and Succeed - He who angers youRight from the start the cubes all land at different angles. Some hit in groups or pairs or solo, and as they chip and sheer and crack and break on the way down, each impact—each formidable experience—literally shapes them. They become the person their life shapes them to be. And there is no wrong person to have become. Every shape is equal. But it is important to be conscious of whoever you are. To be conscious of your own shape. That makes life much easier.

We currently have 7,000,000,000 cubes tumbling down the slope simultaneously. Some of these—just by sheer fluke—will finish their journey as well-rounded stones. Most will be lumpy and uneven, but many will have been badly broken or have important sections missing. And a few will get crushed down into small, sharp shards that serve little purpose. These shards are the metaphor for the people who become Haters and Trolls.

The simple motion of the world will generate some haters and trolls if only by accident. It generates people that like to do accounting, and it generates people that like to climb complex, freezing mountains, and it generates people that want to experience danger and pain, like the guys from Jackass. And it’ll also generate Haters and Trolls.

519 Relax and Succeed - Let no man pul you low enoughThese will be people whose tumble down the hill—whose nature and experience—would have wired them up to be nasty, mean-spirited, ultra-negative, low, dishonest and hurtful people. I won’t pretend to like them any more than anyone else, but I don’t turn to hating them. I’m the one that feels the hate. I’m not interested in doing that to myself.

All kinds of people will naturally come to be in the jostle that is our society. Put enough people together and you’ll get every permutation and combination of the primary personality traits. So accept that haters exist and don’t think about them beyond that. In fact, you engaging with them is like a drug to them. They’ll chase it like a vampire chases blood. No, you don’t try to argue them into a whole new brain—you accept who they are and you work around them.

Haters and Trolls feel crappy to deal with. So don’t engage with it any more than you need to, and only do it to accomplish bigger and more important goals. If they really want to change they won’t be shy about asking for help.

Don’t get bogged down in negativity. Work around the people who were given unconscious addictions to it and continue with your enjoyable life. But don’t hate the haters. That’s not beating them. That’s joining them.

Be peaceful.

love, s