MoK: Compliment Day!

Three full weeks of positivity. A bunch of people, each doing a few kind acts per day. Both individually and collectively we have literally changed the world for the better. Stop and think about that. It’s like being a soldier in the Love Army, where you shot people through the heart and mind with acceptance, understanding and love. I can’t believe how amazing you are.

We never know who we caught at what time. There’s no way any of us could know it at the time, but with this many people, surely one of us caught at least one person on a really difficult day. Someone was heading toward suicide, or some other very negative act, and our little March of Kindness–likely without them even knowing it exists–may very well have saved their lives, or at least their day.

We’ve all had those days, weeks, months and years. Maybe we lost someone important to us. Maybe we got news that our dreams were not going to pan out the way we’d hoped. Maybe a relationship ended. These things happened in life. And yet just stop and think about those days where someone’s actions felt more like a life preserver than anything. Good for us! We made a difference.

So with only one week left, today let’s return to something from the end of week one; only then you were giving compliments as a way of shifting your thinking away from you and your thoughts, and toward someone else. Today we’ll act the same, but inside ourselves we won’t be doing it as a symbiotic act. This time we think about what we’ve done, we feel strong and capable, and then we give from that position of strength.

As the title obviously suggests, it’s Compliment Day. We stand up tall, we remind ourselves of our strongest times and then we turn on our awareness, looking for things and acts and people we admire. Today you’re a compliment machine. Today you make people around you feel good through your willingness to openly acknowledge them.

It can be their coat, their hair, their smile, their manners, sense of humour, work, or character. All compliments count. You are a fountain of strength and sharing today. Today you surprise and please people. And in doing so, between all of us we’re sure to incite someone to spontaneously join us. Without doubt, one of us will tip a positivity-compliment domino and it will keep tipping through a number of people as the good feelings pass like a wave.

I’ll start off by complimenting all of you and your willingness to work on your own mental health, resiliency and society. Even the kids in schools that participated had to buy-in. That was voluntary and as a fellow human being I really appreciate the fact that you did that. Thank you. Thank you–personally–thank you thank you thank you for having the big heart and great attitude that you have. I love that quality in you.

So today, get out there and give those compliments. Let your full cup runneth over into the lives of those around you. Make a co-worker or classmate feel great about their effort, or attitude or style. Make a stranger feel good about who they appear to be to others. Make those closest to you realise that you do notice the little things.

Thanks again for your participation. You’re all just awesome. What a great thing that a bunch of strangers would meet on a website and agree to be kind and generous to a bunch of other strangers and friends. Who does such a thing? Us, that’s who. Us, people who care. We’re the ones who are strong. We’re the ones filled with love. And today we express that love! And we enjoy every minute of it!

Have a great weekend everyone. For my part I’m going to carry this compliment thing all the way to Monday and our final week. You have a spectacular three days and I’ll see you all back here on next week. Until then, much love to each and every single one of you.

peace, s

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

MoK: Setting an Example

Most of us wouldn’t mind having an ego if it was nicer to us, but for some reason we often replay internal recordings of other people’s negative views rather than their positive views. This is really quite a remarkable tilt to your psyche considering the fact that you can get ten compliments and only one criticism and you’ll constantly replay that one criticism inside your own head while you ignore all the compliments.

Most people can’t even cite the positive views that others have of them because they ignore those. But they can remember criticisms from a decade or three earlier. People’s entire adult lives can be dedicated to trying to quash an early criticism. But you’re not supposed to be perfect. That would not only be boring, but it would also stress out everyone around you.

Of course, we don’t want to act as negative weight in our relationships, but your friends are people who recognise what you add to their lives and they’ve silently agreed to endure your more challenging aspects in return for the upsides of your company. That’s a form of unconditional love. They might occasionally be frustrated by one quality or another, but if they’re hanging around it’s not because they’re contracted to, it’s because they truly think you’re worth it.

Your friends are people you trust, so why not trust them about you too? If they think you’re worth hanging around then why don’t you? It’s not egotistical to be pleased that people love you and that you add good things to their lives. Being funny is no small thing, nor is being compassionate, or accepting, or supportive. So why focus on the few times you might lose your temper, or say something you later regret? Your friends have their faults too and you don’t look at them that way. Why do it to you?

So the point is to stop reciting your own weaknesses to yourself and to focus more on your strengths. Likewise, you want treat those around you the same. Once we’re all consistently modelling that behaviour every kid will grow up in that world and they’ll think it’s normal to give compliments and to forgive people for also having qualities that a few others might find challenging.

Well today I’ve got you cornered. The one thing I can count on you is for you to be self-critical, so if I tie your March of Kindness assignment to that addiction, I can be assured you’ll actually do a lot of kind things today, and since compliments are good for people this can be a really meaningful day.

Today, keep your eye out for any criticism of yourself or another. No matter who you directed it at, your job is to counter that judgment by focusing on a quality. This means that, following every self-criticism, you either note something you’ve done that had real value; and if it’s regarding someone else, then give them a compliment, and if they’re not handy, then compliment any other person. It all goes into the karmic pool, so no kindness is wasted.

Listen to your own thoughts and words. Every single time, pay the price and do something nice. If you were mean to yourself, remind yourself of something good you’ve done or do. If you attack anyone else, even if only in the confines of your own mind, then externalise positivity where your negativity once was.

This can mean complimenting someone on their politeness, or their humour, their helpfulness or their dedication to their family–it doesn’t really matter. The idea is that we’re training ourselves to be kind rather than critical. And if you want to see the world change fast, just get everyone to actually do that.

I’ll start us off. I’d like to compliment you all on reading this, because if you are it’s because you both want to be a better person and you want a better world. That is awesome. Thank you so much for just being that kind of person, because only the people who focus on positive change will make it happen.

Go out there today and compliment yourself and others. It can become quite addictive once you see the reactions on the people around you. And if you’re going to have an addiction, that’s the one to have.

Have a wonderful day everyone. And thanks for participating in the March of Kindness.

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.

Being Liked

1052-relax-and-succeed-open-your-handsLikes on social media are no different than likes in person. They’re given out rather casually and they’re taken away with little notice. This is because no one is responsible for the fair dispersal of likes, they just tumble out of whatever conditions naturally form them, with the landscape being made up of moment to moment opinions.

It isn’t frivolous to seek likes to some degree. We need them to survive. Even covering the bottom of Maslow’s Pyramid of needs is difficult when we’re alone, and achieving procreation and the other higher stages is effectively impossible. So partnerships and group pursuits are key to our survival both physically and emotionally.

That said, we also don’t want to live entirely for others. Our cooperation must in a way be selfish. Each individual must live and look out for themselves. At the same time if an individual who is struggling to contribute, or in cases where they’ve done something wrong and they require forgiveness, if they’re liked enough then popularity can act like a get out of jail free card.

1052-relax-and-succeed-none-of-us-is-as-smart-as-all-of-usThe idea of stored value in the form of good feelings can’t be sought for their own sake or that is a shallow, ego-driven life lived for others. But if they are done as part of an actual, active awareness and understanding that we really do need these other people, then even if a person is a child or elderly and therefore less useful in obtaining food etc., they are still safe.

So why can’t an office be like that? The problem in the office is that if the company’s goals cannot incorporate normal human pursuits then everyone is working for pay and not as a way of pushing the group forward, and that sort of shallow motivation simply will not last.

If we’re not interesting in being liked then the company society deteriorates. People start having wants that are out of sync with their contributions. Because bosses are seen as hierarchical over employees, we learn the very unnatural lesson that someone’s likes have bizarrely been made more valuable than other people’s likes. Now someone can just have one key person in a company like them and that can be enough for them to advance even though that would make zero sense to all of us other apes.

1052-relax-and-succeed-without-the-taoUltimate we must be balance being free with our natural desire for likes, because there is no point in having more likes than you need. In that case you would be seen as greedy and that would then result in less likes. Rich people the world over are seeing this now too whether they were generous or not. Overall we’ve now reached the point where the average world citizen has seen their internal scale tipped and they now see the group’s sharing of value is out of balance. Entire groups are now jostling to reorganise to see the sharing of resources be more equitable.

Why don’t we always act this way in homes and schools and companies and societies? Because now we no longer have the Tao holding us together. We’ve substituted our natural comprehension of our need of others and we’ve attempted to codify that into laws and rules and guidelines, but these are inhuman concepts that will often not match the actual temperament or feelings of various people.

In some cases there are revolts. Apes are killed, spouses leave, company employees start sabotaging the group, governments are removed, people are arrested or shamed. And this hardens divisions, and yet divisions themselves are fine. Sales shouldn’t really love accounting, they’re two different roles in the group that require different kinds of brains. But you need each one. If I didn’t get any wild pig today then I really need your berries and likewise. But when I convince myself your berries are worth less than my pig because I worked harder to get mine rather than me noticing they’re equal amounts of food, then that is the start of trouble: disrespect in the group.

Sometimes disrespect is what teaches an out of line group member the value of being in line. But this isn’t some rigid law-based line. The natural line has more flexibility. It has more understanding. It would look less to the rules and more to the moment. Hopes and expectations of others would be altered according to the situation whereas where laws always apply and there is only leniency in sentencing.

How are you in your groups? It’s fine for people in different groups to dislike you, or even for some people in your group to dislike you. But being cared about and for is a key part of enjoying life so we want to nurture that. We just don’t want to go so far that we surrender our core values and beliefs for ideas or groups that we do not truly believe in.

Find a group that encourages your participation and input by respecting you, and that respect should include compassion and the assumption that the relationship will be managed according to the Tao. That’s why even monkey’s recognise this elemental value in life. Selfishness for ourselves is essential in that our best behaviours are naturally driven by wanting to help provide for a generous and caring group.

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.

Emotional Equalization

We have two ways of thinking about the world. One way is separate and egocentric where the world happens to you, and the other is connected and impersonal where only experience exists. The first produces patterned thinking and repetition based on past experience, the latter produces authentic, original ideas. It is helpful for us to know that when we’re in the ego-state we’re inclined toward a process of equalization.

926 Relax and Succeed - I just want a hugWe Human Beings have ways in which we are smart that we don’t fully understand. As an animal we’re reading more cues than we’re consciously aware of. We’ve added a lot of egocentric evaluation to these senses so we’re confused regarding what we’re supposed to do with the information available.

I’m not sure if you saw the recent articles about the studies in European theatres, but using sensors researchers recorded audiences watching the same 100 films and they collected the scents from the pheromones that people exhaled in their breath during the movie and because everyone’s breath was essentially the same, they got a sort of scent/emotional fingerprint of each film.

As the audience’s emotions shifted during the story so did their pheromones. It got to the point where they researchers could put the sensor on you, have you watch a film, and just by watching your pheromones they knew precisely which of the 100 films you were watching! Now science just found that out, but you can bet that you’ve known it in a subtle way all of your life. This is how a dog knows if you’re nervous.

926 Relax and Succeed - Trust your hunchesWe all know if we’re relaxed and aware that it’s not hard to tell if someone’s displaying a false emotion. False pain, false fear, false anger. We don’t know how we know, we just sense that the person’s faking. Now think about how that comes into play when it’s time for empathy.

Someone being sympathetic means they are looking down at us from an emotional distance. They either don’t have the right experiences to fall back on or they choose not to consider them in relation to the other person, but that distance will create a separation that we now know has a scent signature. So the person receiving the sympathy actually knows it’s sympathy, not empathy.

Sympathy is when you’re at the top of a hole in the ground and you look down at someone at the bottom of the pit and you say, “That looks like it sucks.” Empathy is when you jump down in the hole with them, hug them and then say, “Hey, I’m sorry this happened but don’t worry. We’ll sit here until you feel up to it and then I’ll lead you out. I’ve been down here before.” The former smells like bullshit to us and it does not help us because we have not equalized our scents.

Y926 Relax and Succeed - When you loveou’ve all done this when you’re angry. You’re yelling at your partner, you’re frustrated and you feel isolated and helpless and they sincerely help and help and help. But the sincerity of the help is the issue, because sincere help when you’re in that state just smells like sympathy. So it isn’t until you upset your partner that finally you feel better. Once they blow up too you feel strangely closer and more in alignment and you relax.

Just knowing this can make it less frustrating to us when we catch someone being unhelpful with their own recovery. We get it’s not them being difficult; it’s nature. In an ideal world we won’t drag them down to our low-consciousness separate feeling. When we’re self-aware we can choose to go the opposite direction and try to rise to the better feelings that our partner is offering.

Of course it helps if the partner stoops to meet us halfway but maybe they don’t notice the opportunity so you can’t count on that. We must be grateful when they notice and respond, we must be forgiving when they take a helpful route but one that forgets to align with us, and sometimes they’ll feel just as lousy as us and they’ll be more interested in trying to get you to align with them rather than the other way around. These are all reasonable ways to be human.

Even when we have trouble it is due to our efforts to resolve issues. The layer of language over instinct has created a period of confusion where we have not necessarily aligned our use of words with what really goes on. As time goes on, with things like this blog etc, people will come to understand human nature much better and if they do that improved relations are inevitable.

If your partner is struggling and you can feel they’re trying to get you to join them in low consciousness, don’t get defensive. Don’t demand that they meet you. Do your best to meet them halfway. You’re the strong one: you offer a safe place to rendezvous. They need you. Not to be patient until you blow up, but to be present. Because benign open presence feels like pure love, and it helps basically any situation.

Become more aware of your emotional tone and how it interacts with the people around you. We are animals and we do operate with certain sensory inputs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t process all of that through simple wisdom rather than a complex web of external knowledge. Trust yourself. All you have to do to reconnect with that flow of information is to stop believing that all of the things that are happening around you are happening to you.

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.

Fort McMurray’s Everyday Hereos

Things start to get pretty intense about a minute in.

Obviously near where I’m from is on the front of almost every nation’s news as we all stand by rather helplessly, watching an entire, large and modern city being burned to the ground in what is now Canada’s largest disaster. The situation is clearly awful and what these people have endured is devastating. My heart pours out to them.

I am currently making plans to free time up to allow me to donate my services to the evacuees. In the meantime, I’m going to take the advice of Mr. Rogers and I will focus on what is happening now, which is a lot of kindness and generosity. This tragedy will in many unfortunate ways expand the awareness of people in a way that will forever change them. At the very same time there can be no heroes without tragedy and this is just as important to remember.

915 FD Relax and Succeed - Love changes everythingOne can view these events from a negative perspective and see all gloom and doom. Certainly we will all naturally feel in that place for periods of time when the scale of a tragedy is so huge. And yet at the same time it is not dishonest to say that the news here has literally been jammed with a massive number of beautiful stories of people showing their compassion and love for strangers. It’s like the line from the film Starman about how human beings are always at their best when circumstances are at their worst.

I am extremely proud of the citizens of Fort McMurray, the first responders and the citizens of my city, province and country. There are no religions in this tragedy. Everyone has been helped by everyone. There are no races in this tragedy. Everyone has been helped by everyone. There are no histories, no grudges, no resentments, no anger, there is only assistance shared. All labels are off. This is a human tragedy and in the heat of it everyone understands how pointless those labels are.

This sense of shared value even extends to all things human’s love because many of those heroes I spoke of have broken into homes to collect trapped pets. Some of the people who have lost everything will soon be reunited with their most valued friends thanks to these heroes. People were running out of gas and unemployed oil workers were spending their money to fill hundreds of jerry cans with gas before they raced up toward the fire to fuel the evacuees on the way out.

915 FD Relax and Succeed - When I was a boy

People were standing along the roadside with bottles of water, packages of diapers, signs directing people to useful services, hugs. Companies offered all of their equipment and staff, oil companies gave tankers of fuel and all of their equipment, cab drivers gave free rides, restaurants free food, volunteers sprung from every corner. And not to mention the heroics of the first responders. And all of this–when you’re really down–that is the stuff that can make all the difference. (It’s even useful to simply donate to someone else who helps.)

I am working on a project of my own to increase the level of my own assistance. In the meantime, keep a good thought. Stay positive, focus on the heroes and accept the tragedy. And in your own lives, remember: all of these people had problems and troubles before this all started. And now none of those things matters, because what does matter has become obvious.

You don’t really need a tragedy for you to be able to be grateful about simple things. Almost none of these people knew what items they should take in a fire before they left Fort McMurray. All of them do now. Figure that out for yourself. And then ask yourself, who and what would you be grateful for even if you’d actually lost everything? Because those are the most parts of your life.

With my heart in Fort McMurray, s

(Thank you for your patience regarding my absence. My curious bit of time-travelling will obviously be very informative and I do plan on writing down some very useful things for you that I’m now able to impart. It’s going to take me a while to figure out how to describe all that strangeness, but in the meantime there is plenty to discuss.)

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.

Right Action

891 Relax and Succeed - Even the smallestLife can feel counter-intuitive even when it’s not. A lot of you were nervous about saying something nice to a difficult person but, as many of you found out, grumpy people don’t get a lot of compliments so they’ll either scoff at yours or they’ll love it. I’m glad so many of you got such positive reactions.

Okay, so yesterday we shared some nice words with a person we might otherwise avoid. Today we’ll take some small action. This can be as simple as bringing a coffee for the grumpiest person you work with. Or maybe it’s taking your poorest-behaving kid out for some special solo time doing something they really value.

How these things work is that co-worker might genuinely be going through something tough and you create a valued connection. Or maybe the kid’s being bullied and needs a safe alone-space to share that. No you’re not going to change someone’s personality with one nice act, but you can do things that encourage them to have their awareness a little more open.

891 Relax and Succeed - Right thoughts produceIf you get a negative reaction for your gesture, considering who you’re giving it to that’s not entirely a surprise and so then you can focus your attention on the act of giving–which always feels good. And if the reaction is positive then you have used your candle to light another. That’s how the world gets better. Imagine if every one of us just did that once a day. Even if no one responded we would all feel so much better just from the giving.

The world didn’t get impersonal and corporate and legal and complicated on its own. We made it that way and we can make it another way. We can stop worrying so much about the fences our ideas create between this person or that idea of property and we can focus instead on how our life feels.

Yes, the world does improve when people take positive action. But your world improves the moment you take that action. This is the wonderful selfishness that is giving. Generosity in general will lead people to very positive feelings.

891 Relax and Succeed - It is love aloneThere are no guarantees in this life. You can put in something good and get something terrible out. But by far the best odds of getting something good out does come from putting something good in. Call it karma, call it God, the name or concept matters far less than how that manifests in the daily experience of those on this Earth.

Your life is not where you are, who you are, or what you are doing. What matters is, what are you thinking? What are you holding in the preciousness of your consciousness? Because if it is the welfare of another, then that automatically implies that you have not only enough for yourself, but also enough to share. And there is no richer person than the one who needs nothing.

Give. Not for their sake. For yours. Today. Take some action. Say something nice to continue yesterday’s meditation and add an action for today’s. Enjoy.

peace. s

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

Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right

It isn’t too much to ask is it? Just one other person who gets you. Just one. Just someone who accepts you for who you are and who’s into the same things you are. There’s seven billion of us. Surely they’re out there. Right?

817 Relax and Succeed - Expectation is the root of heartacheThe reason people always feel they’ve made the wrong choice is because eventually some things don’t work out. But by “don’t work out,” I mean they fight, or argue, or they cry or get confused when communicating. Everyone figures if they could just find someone who’s truly compatible then that wouldn’t happen.

But what does compatible mean?  Because if you think it means no arguing, no hurt or upset feelings, or no pain or confusion then you don’t understand the journey that is your life.

People always ask me questions like this: how much do you compromise for your partner before you stop being yourself? The real question should be: how do I grow closer to my partner?

817 Relax and Succeed - The fool doth thinkIn these exchanges compromise is always seen as a loss. It’s you giving up a bit of yourself for them or they’re giving something up for you. Yeah, you could choose to look at it that way. But in the best relationships that is not what they’re doing.

People in the best relationships are not saying, Stop yelling at me! You know I’m always late! If you loved me you would accept me for who I am! The healthy couples look at each and the always-late-person remembers that one of the many reasons they were attracted to their partner was because they demonstrated themselves to be better at respecting other people’s time.

The healthy couples realize that they can develop the strengths their partner has if they simply emulate some of their healthy behaviours. In the case of being late, the person could simply start with the simple goal of genuinely trying to be on time more often. But healthy people aren’t doing that for their partner. They do it out of respect and appreciation for how they feel their partner is more successful than them. The changes we make are not a loss. They’re an improvement. The problem comes when we don’t tackle these issues in the order someone else thinks we should. After all, these things ultimately take us all a lifetime. But since they’re putting up with us learning it’s not unreasonable that we would put up with their learning too.

817 Relax and Succeed - Go and love someoneIf you’re constantly focused on how your partner is better than you then you’re often in a state of appreciation, which is the healthiest state to be in. It’s a everyday kind of steady love. Then, from that healthy place, the times where you are really late–your partner is more patient and understanding because they’ve been fully aware that you’re trying–because they were watching and appreciating you just as much as you were of them. When you both do this it all points upward.

Explaining yourself ad nauseum points directly downward. The more people talk about how they see it, the worse they do. The more they try to understand the other position, the better they do.

The two people in a relationship are in a state of growth throughout their lives. The unaware, ungrateful couples grow apart and more rigid. The conscious, appreciative couples grow ever closer as they both become stronger and more capable thanks to lessons learned–but not taughtby each other.

817 Relax and Succeed - It is better to bendYou can see your partner suggesting a different approach to things as them being incompatible to you. Or you can see it as an invitation to expand yourself. But if you have a list of things that your partner needs to change for you to be happy then you’re sunk. If you have a list of changes you want to make for yourself that were inspired by your partner, then you’re in a healthy state of mind where you’re not trying to direct the world to suit your worldview, you’re expanding your worldview to include more of life.

Which course you take your relationship on is always open to change, so if right now you think you’ve maybe chosen the wrong person, just ask yourself this one question: what are the ways in which I have grown by being with my partner? Because if you can’t find any then that’s not their fault. If they were good enough to attract you then they should be good enough to have at least one thing to emulate. If you don’t know what it is then the problem in the relationship is likely not them.

You were never supposed to crack the code of finding the perfect person for you. There’s no secret formula. The formula is awareness and appreciation. You are only supposed to find people that inspired you and then you voluntarily choose to try to grow to be more like them because you recognize that it would expand and improve you as a person in your own eyes. That act adds to your relationship’s cycle of gratitude and appreciation and it is those couples that have by far the fewest issues. Here’s to you joining them on that path.

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 #59

Hey everyone, I’ve got a fast one for you this week. One video’s really fascinating, one is super funny and the last one is as interesting as it is important in today’s modern world.

First we have an experiment that was bound to result in something cool. You know how you watch car wheels on TV and they can look like they’re going backwards sometimes? That’s because of the phasing difference between when the camera takes a shot and when the spokes of the wheel turn. Electricians have to be careful in manufacturing facilities that they don’t have lights on the same phase as moving parts or a flywheel can look like it’s sitting still when really it’s spinning dangerously. Likewise, a guitar’s strings will vibrate when played. We all know that’s a wave. We learn that in school. But thanks to the phasing of a camera, you can actually see that wave, and you can appreciate that what your boring physics teacher was showing you was actually true. 🙂

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 Okay, now for the funny. The longer you watch this video the funnier it gets. The less positive around me refer to Edmonton’s weather as being nine months of winter and three months of bad tobogganing, but in truth it was 15° Celsius (59° Fahrenheit) today and it’s mid March. Our average winter temperature is only -11°C (12°F) and we’ll range from 24-35°C degrees (75-95°F) through the summer. And because of our latitude, the sun will rise a little after 4am in the summer but it won’t set until nearly 10pm! Those make for super long beautiful days and I love them. What I don’t love is when winter gives me snow on top of ice. This poor dude is just trying to shovel the walks and I think anyone who’s lived where it’s cold can relate. We’ve all had this happen. Just not this many times in a row. This is truly unbelievable and I think this guy deserves a role in Cirque du Soleil. I’d watch it more than once. It really does get funnier.

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This video will make you angry. This is an excellent presentation of how thoughts can affect reality in a broad and powerful way. So without further ado, I will ask that you please get infected, share this blog, and ask your friends to watch—at the very least—this third video. Because this is how the modern world affects you and no one is immune. So for the sake of your own resiliency, take control of your emotions and use the awareness to better your own life and ensure that others do not take control over it. Enjoy.

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So you’ve had a laugh, you’ve been mesmerized by science and art, and you finished off with a big increase in your awareness. That seems like enough to launch you into a beautiful weekend! Just watch out for any ice under the snow. That stuff’s slippery. 😉

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy.

The Point 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday is Remembrance Day in Canada and so I’ll be where I always am on this day—I’ll be proudly watching my father march in the annual Remembrance Day parade past the cenotaph.

Both of my parents served and I love them both dearly, and by extension I love all of the brave people that both fought and lost loved ones.

Today is a day for deep and profound gratitude. Let us not repeat the horrors of war. Let us all enact peace in our lives and lead the world by example.

With respect to veterans everywhere, enjoy this day and the many freedoms that it is so easy to take for granted. I wish you all the very best.

peace. s

Relax and Succeed

Whether I’m doing group classes or one-on-one sessions with people it’s not uncommon for them to go home and have a friend or relative ask them how the class went and what they learned. But the people are always surprised when the students tell them that they did learn a lot, but they’re not really sure how to describe it, or the lesson. That’s because it isn’t a lesson in the adding knowledge kind of way. It’s a different kind of learning.

170 Relax and Succeed - Most things are difficultFor me as a writer, the hardest part of creating this blog was letting go of my habits as a writer. On top of the typos we all inevitably make, now I also had to ignore some grammatical rules. I had to have no internal “correctness” editor, because what I’m communicating cannot afford any flexing or hewing. And because of what I’m trying to do within the reader’s…

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Blind Ambition

You say that we shouldn’t want anything but then what would motivate me to do anything? Why would I go to work if I didn’t want things? How exactly am I supposed to put together the life I want if I don’t go out and get those things? I want to be as spiritually healthy as the next person but what’s the point if I have to live a life that’s ugly and cheap and unsatisfying? Can’t I have my cake and eat it too?

signed,
Wanting Answers

Dear Wanting,

You sound like the daughter of a Tiger Mom. And if turns out you actually are—which is pretty likely—then take comfort in knowing that your journey is a common one. There is a well-worn path so you don’t have to feel like you have to accomplish some amazing spiritual feat to understand things in a profound way. You 235 Relax and Succeed - Life is shortjust have to take one step at a time. As you climb the hill of understanding you will gain perspective that will cause many previously mysterious things to suddenly make perfect sense.

I love your question so much I want to tackle each part of it separately. Let’s start with “Why would I go to work if I didn’t want things?” Yeah, why do you go to work? Have you ever questioned that? Why do you need a job to exist? Why do you need to work for someone? Think about it. That’s a relatively new idea. That got invented because we envied kings and queens and we wanted stuff like they had. And so a whole system got built up around our egotistical need to try and elevate ourselves by reflecting and collecting our society’s status symbols. And so you feel like your life is building to a point where you can anoint yourself as successful, but I’m telling you you were born successful but you have been convinced to tell yourself a word-based story about how you need to earn your value.

Do you think a famous, talented architect builds a gorgeous house as a way of anointing himself as successful? Do you think a real painter paints to make you like it? Do you think a songwriter is trying to sell songs, or are they trying to tell a sort of truth? True creation is an authentic act. It does not seek to impress or further the agenda of its creator. It exists naturally, without external motivation. It is manifestation, not request. It is the releasing of creativity rather than the ownership of beauty.

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If you want a truly enviable life then live an authentic one. Don’t go to stores and collect all the things you’ve been told to collect by music, and TV and the web and your friends and everyone except you (yes I know you have a story you tell yourself where it really is you!). Be original by being yourself. Move in directions not because they reflect well on you, move in directions that naturally inspire you. Don’t collect things, experience things. Because you can tell yourself a story about your impressive life, or you can go out and actually live a deep and profound one. But you can’t do both.

So think about where you’re investing your psychological energy. Because it just may be that there are some common myths that you may have unwittingly bought into. Free yourself from those and rather than becoming someone impressive know that you already are someone impressive.

peace. s