Surrendering Ego

People fear death so much that they’ll throw their whole life away, yet everyone knows what it feels like to experience the tug of the real you. Despite the fact that the motivation shows up entirely naturally, egos talk themselves out of pursuing the decisions that lead to a full and rich life.

Most failure happens inside the confines of your own ego. It’s not like a thing in the universe, it’s just some thoughts you’re temporarily thinking. Having those stop you from fulfilling a natural impulse is nothing short of bizarre. That is not what your gift of language was intended to be used for. It wasn’t some bullhorn to reduce your spirit to a shadow of itself.

You can feel the tension associated with not being yourself. Any time you get too far away from who you truly are you literally feel lost. This is almost always because we’re trying to satisfy someone other than ourselves. It’s great to love and care for others, but you can only be yourself. But to fully be that person you have to stop putting time and energy into being a modified, reduced, diluted and hopefully accepted version of yourself.

You feel the impulses you just don’t act on them. There is no magical answer that lets you stay all safe and secure and yet also test your personal limits. You must be willing to let life go before you can live all of it. You can’t be invested in being admired or desired, or important or discreet. Your life is not a performance. You’re not worried about protecting anyone or anything. You let go. Let them think ugly wrong things about you and you’re free.

Don’t live in a cage of opinion, where your entire sense of worth comes from others approval of you. Don’t approve or disapprove, simply live out the person that you truly are in the moment that you are in. The rest is all busy thinking about fleeting things that no one will ever think about again.

No one remembers many of their thoughts from High School because they seem so meaningless, and yet while you’re making those statements they can feel like they’ll create or kill your entire life. Perspective. If only we would just live knowing that it always makes things seem easier and less scary and then trust that.

No one walks around cursing themselves for something they did ten years ago, so even the worst thing you can imagine is still something you can get over and recover from. So stop trying to be impressive and be you instead. Because the really healthy people love to meet new open and aware brothers and sisters of this deeper understanding. But first you have to be willing to sacrifice the ego that most people invest their lives in defending and protecting.

Today. Be free. Let go. Embrace your existence. It’s a beautiful thing.

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.

Cooperative Opposition

The reason you worry about you and your life and I don’t, is because you think you’re a Jennifer or a Sam or a Julie, and I see the you that you are before your parents named you. You were still a being then. You were awake and aware. But you had no identity. You hadn’t been taught to be anyone yet, so you were simply present. So I’ll talk to Sara about Sara’s life, and I’ll engage in its dramas, but it’ll all feel a lit like TV to me. Like even if we get it wrong it’s only on a stage.

After the real you was born into your body, slowly people told you who you were. You were Kelsey, or a girl, or smart, or finicky. And you believed them, so you started watching the world less generally and more specifically. You weren’t going to be satisfied with any path now. Now you wanted your path.

Meanwhile, who’s learning all this? Who learned to be you? Where did the being go that was there before the name and definitions went on? Are you your name? The sum of your thoughts? Are you your brain; an accident of biology? A byproduct of electrical signals moving through cells? Or is that just more story you told yourself?

How would you know one way or the other anyway? Who would you ask? And how can you be sure they’re not misleading you or that they’re even real? You can’t. So what’s left? What do you do? It’s a reasonable question, but you’re asking the wrong person. I don’t mean by asking me, I mean the person that needs to exist before you could do something.

Doing is ego. Being is reality. As egos do, they are someone, somewhere and they accomplish or fail to accomplish something. All those some’s are definitions. Beings happen. They aren’t limited by definitions. They just are, so their being and their doing are unified. The thinker and the thoughts are unified. This is what it is to be in flow.

How this works in practice is that if you’re talking to someone there’s two reasons ways in which you can disagree with them. The first is when your ego feels uncomfortable being isolated from the other person. Your being knows you’re still linked, but your ego feels you need to reunify you, so you try to get them to agree with you, or it’s like they’re questioning your very existence. The problem is, their ego feels the same way. Hence arguments that can escalate and if not faced with clarity, will devolve into grudges. You can’t be clear-headed and have a grudge.

The other way is to not be opposed to them, but to be doing something entirely independently from them that includes them. So what your being is doing is that it’s exploring the universe and this other being is cooperating with you like two tentacles on one octopus, as I like to say.

When you hold a soup bowl in front of you, your hands work in opposition to accomplish a joint task that benefits both of you. So it is with debating spirits. They’re not against each other, they’re leveraging each other for the sake of mutual exploring. This is how both science and co-writing music should work.

You’re not attached to your idea, so the argument doesn’t get into personal ego-based personality, but you do act as a representative of a perspective. The other person represents another idea. And together you give each other a leg up until you both find a mutual way out of the cave they’re trapped in together. Viewed from a healthy perspective, a conflict done well can help expose more of the universe to us. Every time you were proven wrong your ego might have shrank, but your world got bigger.

Your mind isn’t in some location. It looks through your eyes and hears through your ears and touches with your fingers, but you are just a visitor in your body. You’re an avatar that is slowly realising that it is not itself, but rather the product of another unknown being that you act on behalf of.

The point isn’t to know who that other being is because that is unknowable. The point is to be grateful for being and then be. Your avatar can trip and fall, but the real you is always safe at home. So there’s no point in fighting with, or feeling uncomfortable around what are apparently opposing avatars. Just always remember that the being inside your avatar is the same one that’s in everyone else’s avatar, and that being is simply treating all of us like the arms of itself, as it works together to create a unified expansion of all of us.

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.

Unconditional Surrender

1078-relax-and-succeed-you-are-where-you-need-to-beYou want to be the best person you can be and you want to enjoy your own life more. Those are good goals and that’s why you’re here. And I have good news! You’ve already taken an important step in your journey, but it won’t be very visible to you until it’s a ways behind you.

A percentage of the people who started these daily meditations have already gone back to old habits while many others have been quite enthusiastic. It’s curious isn’t it? I assured people results if they just stuck with a series of easy tasks and still a percentage of people could not appreciate that their peace of mind would be worth that small effort. In short, they have too little to lose. They need their suffering to get worse before they’ll think that easy trade is worth it.

The people who are still doing the exercises fall into two groups. Some are not sure what’s going on with these weird exercises either, but they’re giving it a try. Some of you have a light, forgiving childlike spirit that’s already close to its home, so it takes on the challenges playfully and trusts. But for many more, their dedication comes from their pure fatigue with the idea of suffering. They just want relief and they have little pride about how to get it. They just want to surrender. And both of those sound like open people to my ears.

1078-relax-and-succeed-stay-afraid-but-do-it-anywayAround now is when a bunch of you are on the fence regarding which group you’re in. I’m not bothered or offended by your uncertainty. In fact it makes sense to me. But I can’t convince you. I can make an offer and I can do it from a genuine place of compassion, but your acceptance of it is up to you.

Only you can invite these ideas into your landscape of possibility. That can feel weird and new and awkward, which is why some people just resort to old behaviours, habits or addictions. It’s so easy to play yourself a recorded message of some excuse. And like water, the words and internal narrative become repetitive actions in your life. That’s a psychological downslope and it’s easy to flow in that direction. It’s why most people accept an unpleasant life for far longer than they later feel they should have. It’s easy.

Not much harder is just a bit of diligence, some awareness, and some trust that innocent, playful nature we all have. You don’t want to do these exercises and then continue to beat yourself up in your own thoughts like some failed adult. Throughout these meditations you should not invest psychological energy in the narration-creation of a failing you. That runs contrary to our purpose.

1078-relax-and-succeed-when-you-throw-dirtThe idea is that you just do the exercises here and then stop beating yourself up the rest of the time. You’re doing this; you don’t need to attack yourself. You’re already dealing with your issues. And I’m helping you, and I’m telling you that you’ll help me help you if you’ll just let yourself off the hook.

Even if you treat someone badly, just forgive it and give it to me and this process. Surrender. You don’t need to do anything else. You’re doing enough by doing my strange little exercises. I know the concept of over looks weird when you live in a two-dimensional world, but trust me, being able to get over a problem is worth some time being confused in the two-dimensional world.

Today, just practice surrendering. Every time you catch yourself using your internal narrative to attack yourself or your work, just stop and give that to me. Just say, “I’m taking care of this stuff with those meditations on Relax and Succeed. He said to just let things like this go, so I’m letting it go.” Then shift your energy away from creating that narrative to noticing something in that present moment. That’s it. It’s both easy and yet you already know this is a tricky one. That’s why you should practice it all weekend.

1078-relax-and-succeed-my-only-goal-in-life-right-nowLet me worry about your sins. You just do your exercises and live and we’ll look up in a quarter of a year and see if you feel like your dedication to this weird plan was worth it. We’ve already spent a few weeks poking holes in your sense of reality. You’ve done more to undermine it than you think. Stay for the duration and we’ll tear a big enough hole for you to see through.

Surrender. You’ll see. Once I get your ego out of the way you’ll take fantastic care of yourself and your life.

peace. s

PS And don’t forget to put your quiet time from yesterday into your calendar. Even if you have to move that commitment, ensure that you get your three opportunities each day. It will be worth your efforts.

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.

Rethinking Self Improvement

1067-relax-and-succeed-today-is-your-day-to-let-goWhen we start on Monday, what is it exactly that we’re doing? Are we improving you? Changing you? Fixing you? No. You’re fine the way you are. We couldn’t change you into anything better anyway. You’re not broken. At worst you’re confused by thought and are temporarily inactive, but that’s the worst that can happen. You have no ground to recover. You just think you do.

You’ve tried the other kind of resolution before. They don’t work. That’s because they’re trying to do the wrong thing, whereas this process doesn’t turn the old you into a new you. This is the real you learning to understand the ego you. Once you can see your ego you realise it has a role and you accept it. But you do not let it lead your life.

Accept duality not as good or bad, succeeding or failing; simply accept it as the opposite action to the clarity of conscious. If there’s a thing we could loosely call healthy then that implies there must be an unhealthy, although it would be healthier if you could see those as two sides of the same coin of life. You can walk or you can run, it’s just that one uses more energy and it tires you out faster.

1067-relax-and-succeed-ego-says-once-everything-falls-into-placeNo matter which side you’re looking at in any given moment the other side is always there ready to be seen. That very duality is at the heart of why you perceive anything at all so you can’t get rid of it. And why would you? The only thing that blinds people to the flexibility of their reality is their own busy, egotistical thinking. But clarity is always waiting. Channel 6 is still on the air while you’re watching Channel 8. You still are enlightened, you’re just not aware you’re enlightened.

If there’s no good and bad and no succeeding and failing, then all that’s left is being. You can be silent inside and be driven by your spirit, or you can choose to fill your head with other people’s ideas and busy thinking, but both of these acts take place within the same reality. You know how a busy head feels. Why not try a quiet one?

You must accept that the real way we make you feel better is we stop trying to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place, and instead we teach you how to better manage your own consciousness. A useless car is different from a useful one being used uselessly. So you can use to today to surrender.

1067-relax-and-succeed-dont-look-backUse today to actually accept that your previous efforts did not pay off. The resistance to an ego change is strong. Accept that you don’t need effort, you just need understanding. The accidents your car is having are all in your head. There’s no actual damage in the bigger, more important sense.

Spend some real time with this meditation today. Again; truly think about the fact that your previous strenuous efforts have not resulted in changes. Accept that truth and then live in reality. Once you’ve done that you’ve finally emptied your cup and it can be filled with newer, fresher, better-tasting tea.

It’s one simple commitment. You’ve tried the other things. This year instead of the big change, aim for the small weekly realisations. By taking smaller steps we can get you where you’re going, which is ironically right where you are. You simply cannot fail in the most important sense, so accept and enjoy that fact. It definitely applies to you. I’ll see you on Monday.

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.

Egos and The Great Unknown

1051-relax-and-succeed-dont-look-for-me-in-human-shapeMy students/clients see me for one of two reasons; for psychological struggles and for spiritual growth. Part of the problem is that everyone gets taught to see our spiritual selves as separate from our psychological selves. In truth one is a product of the other, as ego is to soul.

They’ve recently been doing a lot of brain research and after all of these years they are now finally serious conversations by neuroscientists regarding the idea that our consciousness may not be a product of our brain but rather it may be a separate entity, as-yet undefined by science, that has a relationship with the brain but is not the brain itself. You’ll often see me referring to the electricity in your brain as being separate from your brain and I mean the same thing. The trick is there’s no words for some of these things and in a way we don’t want any.

Words are symbols and can be assembled into narrative stories that lead us to have emotional responses, but those responses are not reality, rather reality allows you to see your actions as both being from an individual, and the actions would exist within some kind of logical framework.

1051-relax-and-succeed-the-moment-i-am-awareYour spirit is a strange thing that is both small and immense at the same time. The reason that can be true is that it is simultaneously you and yet you are just one tentacle of the Universal Octopus; a beam of light from the Great Universal Mirror Ball. Everyone thinks that’s what they want: Enlightenment. But it’s not, trust me. Even if you get it you’ll immediately know you don’t want to stay there. Can you imagine it’s boring in a way?

Imagine feeling like God. That’s Enlightenment. But that all-powerful feeling that goes with that all-powerful energy in that all-powerful non-space is doing everything, and everything at once is like trying to watch every channel at once. Lots of it can be amazing but it’s not very enjoyable.

The individual seemingly linear lives that we lead are just the universe weaving paths through itself. You take the sense of infinity and you filter it into a world using some base concepts which also live within infinity. Once applied, they become like the six formulas that essentially describe our entire universe. That’s our “space” as humans. That’s our realm. That’s somewhere we can build a narrative track. We can appreciate our three dimensions but others we can only prove; we can’t experience them directly.

1051-relax-and-succeed-we-are-the-witness-through-whichThe problem has been that you want to control your character through the TV and you can’t do that. You can’t deal with a post-thought world and expect to accomplish anything except for when your ego happens to go the way you wished it would. But even that’s fine because the ego-world is where there’s up and down and winners and losers; that is like the playing field and those formulas are the rules and from there we’re free to roam, but it’s important to keep in mind you’re the actor not the role.

You’re not actually on TV, that’s a character. You’re the actor back in a studio performing that character. The rest is a transmission, reception and interpretation. Any good actor is fully invested in their role, so in relation to the other characters in this play called life, you can all take the words in the script literally. But once a performance is over it’s important for the actor to drop character and just be themselves, lest they go crazy.

You don’t have to figure everything out. You can’t. It’s too huge. Relax more. Just observe. Others. You. Just observe the game. Trust me, you’re part of the Great Void as well. You have unimaginable wisdom within you if only you’d quiet your thoughts so that you could hear the universe.

Go ahead. Genuinely try to win your life-games. But do not mistake that for your larger journey, for that would be like taking the entire life of an actor and reducing it down to a single role. You’re much bigger than that. Have a great day.

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.

Music as a Spiritual Metaphor

1035-relax-and-succeed-nice-people-dancingEssentially everyone likes at least some pop, that’s why it’s called popular music. At the same time, a lot of people find jazz’s unpredictability and flexibility to be frustrating and unpleasant. So it is with freedom. If you’re looking for me to pick favourites I don’t see the world that way. I like both genres, but this is a metaphor so don’t take offence to the surface details; focus on what it is I’m trying to convey about you relaxing more.

Pop’s danceability and group-shared head-bops and food-taps grow directly out of the fact that the genre asks all of the players to meet very often and very regularly. Every four beats to be specific. In this way Pop is like ego: to be acceptable, both the players and the dancers alike must agree to meet according to external rules mounted to an external framework.

There are genuine emotional rewards for pop’s kind of synchronisation and the dancing certainly makes more sense, but as satisfying as those group experiences can be they are not the same as the rewards received when experiencing the soul of jazz. In jazz people meet you because that’s what they chose to do, not because something outside of themselves instructed them to do so.

1035-relax-and-succeed-art-enables-us-to-find-ourselvesJazz is willing to go for many more beats before the musicians meet, with some forms seemingly never meeting. Even more uncertain is the fact that the musicians can each themselves impact the others through their choices, so in this way jazz is like causality. One musician makes no demands of the others; the others are still free, and yet it behooves them to find a way to cooperate. In that way it expands the space they all get to move around in.

The pop-like ego is focused on and is all about pattern-matching, whereas the soul of jazz is more like cooperative freedom. If pop is communism then jazz is tribal. Interestingly, pop can fit within jazz, it is however more difficult for jazz to fit within pop, precisely because it challenges the mass cooperation that pop requires on a regular basis.

You can have diversions of jazz within pop, but it must be framed within the tight constraints of pop or too much of it will take the pop apart. At the same time, a lot of pop within jazz makes jazz broader and more capable of plugging into other forms, although the pop aspect cannot go as far as including those cultures that naturally use larger scales than western civilisations. Jazz has more opportunities to incorporate those additional notes, whereas the more rigid form of pop simply cannot fully make use of all of those possibilities. This is how racism can exist in ego but not in our souls.

1035-relax-and-succeed-love-is-like-playing-the-pianoThere is nothing wrong with pop bands and dancing. These things have their place and are of great value to us. At the same time, having to tap your feet can get tiresome, and maybe you don’t want to dance or even sway. Maybe you want something surprising or unexpected or new. And when you’re ready to step out of the box of certain-acceptability, jazz–and your soul–are just waiting for you to give them the power of your consciousness.

There are times to dance and times to be free just as there are times to live James Carse’s  finite game in ego, and there are other times to live in what Carse calls the infinite game, where the point is nothing more than enjoying the act of playing the song at all. There are rewards for getting along with other souls and yet at the same time science has shown us that there is nothing more like the mind of an enlightened monk meditating than one of a jazz musician improvising.

Tap your feet when you feel like it. Be free when that’s your nature. Your freedom might feel problematic to people trying to maintain the certainty and predictability of four-four time, but that won’t make it wrong, because just as the pop people will find your freedom troublesome, the friends prepared to play jazz will be happy to have another friend joining them in their exploration of freedom.

A lot of your life and work are likely to be built around pop-like forms. Do not see this is a problem, for nothing ever prevents you from enjoyably using those sections of pop within the larger framework of the free creative space in which you live your personal jazz-like life.

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.

Body and Soul

799 Relax and Succeed - Leap of faithIf you’re paying very close attention you’ll note that my blogs actually fall into two distinct categories. People come to me seeking two different things. Some just want straightforward psychological peace. They want what they would go to a counsellor or psychologist for–some answers about how to feel better about their past, their life and about themselves . No problem, I can help with that.

I also write about your spiritual life, which exists in a different sort of way from your life inside the illusionary world. The world you generally live inside is the world of your thinking. The world of your beliefs. It is shaped by your language, your status, health, wealth, height, weight, education, friends, the media, random experience and everything else. That world is where your problems are.

Your spiritual life is the life that watches and enacts your thinking life. There is a thinker and then there is the person that emerges from the thinking. Those are the same but separate. One is the shadow of the other. They co-exist like a wave and a particle.

799 Relax and Succeed - I didn't changeMuch like Newtonian Laws and the Laws of Quantum Mechanics, these two worlds can appear contradictory when in fact they are just different perspectives on the Oneness at the base of all reality. Yes you’re a person from the country you’re from, but you’re also your cells and you’re also vibrating energy at a nuclear level. These things are all simultaneously true, but sometimes I blog to one aspect of you and sometimes to another.

One is ideological and biological so I’ll talk about beliefs and ideas, and brain chemistry and thought–and yet another is about the divine sensations that emerge from giving serious consideration to the pure vibrational energy at the base of the universe. The stuff the scientists at the Super-Collider are looking for. These definitions are all true and in person I would address whichever one you wanted addressed.

Philosophically, just remember that you are the only person who sees things exactly the way you do. Everyone has a separate sense of reality and values. In regards to the physical world, the main point is: don’t over-think things. Be as much in the moment as you can and take things as they come. Do not use your internal voice to argue with the world. No matter what comes in the physical or psychological worlds, stay spiritually aware of the fact that these are all ultimately psychological events. They all take place in that energy-soup and they’re all made of energy-soup. We might experience pain but we cannot remain there. We always maintain the ability to create more happiness in our future.

799 Relax and Succeed - The best dreams happenUltimately we can choose to lay back away from life more as an engaged and empathetic observer, we can become involved in sharing our sense of peace, or we can even choose to dive into a full and human life without regret and to simply live it deeply and fully. All three of these things are accomplished through the maintenance of a genuine sense of mindfulness.

And even if you’re not mindful, that’s fine too because without an out there can be no in. Yin and Yang. So when you see yourself as failing, that event is still only taking place within the arena of your being. Even when you’re failing as a human your soul can still be succeeding. In the end there is no way to lose at existence. The universe is your stage, your can play any character you can imagine and there is no real judgment, so you are free to create a life using nothing but your own natural sense of drive and enthusiasm. And yet we are fundamentally so great that it can be intimidating to imagine life without the limits we place upon ourselves.

The stage is yours. Will you play the character you’ve historically played? Or will you begin testing your courage by slowly making the choices of someone else? It’s easier than you think. But no one can do it for you. It is you who must choose to come alive within your own life. What different choice will you make today?

peace. s

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

Conscious Soul

So you have this ego to feed. So your God-like perfect Soul heads down to the Supermarket of Consciousness and you grab your cart for the day. You start filling it up and you don’t stop until you check out and fall asleep. This place is important. How you shop here is what determines whether your life tastes good or not. With each thought you apply judgment to your experience. With each thought you shape your day with your choices and your judgments.

707 Relax and Succeed - Your emotions emergeNow your Mom and Dad had certain brands they preferred. These are like moods. People get locked on to them often for no good reason. But what’s especially weird is that—because their brain is looking for the brand they’re used to, every other brand is just kind of a wash of out-of-focus stuff. So you don’t really see anything you’re not actually looking to see. You’re not usually open when you shop. You’re on a mission. You’re not looking to place happiness in your cart. You’re trying to buy what you were taught to buy. You’re trying to accomplish something. And by doing that, you miss out on what’s there.

So your Soul has all of these choices. There’s the healthy unprocessed fruits and vegetables that produce feelings that are very pure and intense and rewarding. But there’s also the frozen aisle, where all manner of food-shaped goop is for sale. This kind of food/experience is a completely different kind of thing. It still has value. But if you did the frozen aisle too much you would start degrading your ability to make it to the store every day, so it would be a case of diminishing returns. Figuring out what to buy is easy if we’re paying attention to the feedback we get when we eat it.

707 Relax and Succeed - Actually I just woke upProcessed food has lots of thought put into it. But our Soul feels, it’s our ego that thinks. It analyses and speculates and calculates and compares. Our Soul just tastes. It’s not judging. It’s having a taste experience. It’s not buying a product with nutrients and a flavour. It’s chewing and tasting the food as a verb. It doesn’t have something to show someone, it has an intense, rewarding and empowering in-the-moment experience. Egos think about life. Souls eat it up.

So how do we become a wise shopper? Well, we stop just buying the labels our parents unintentionally taught us to and we start seeing the whole store. We stop buying things because of the ads and start buying them because we know how much we enjoy them. There’s no right or wrong choices in this store, there are only consequences to the choices. But your overall direction can always change the very next moment—with the very next choice you place in the shopping cart of your day. Stop choosing quickly and blindly and start recognizing these choices as your true salvation. You’re choosing anyway. Why not choose something more favourable to you?

 This kind of selfishness makes the world a better place. Enjoy whatever tastes you choose to enjoy. Of course there’s a balance point between healthy and taste and convenience but where that is for you is something only you can answer. But you can’t even find that truth within yourself until you learn to block out all of your conditioning.

707 Relax and Succeed - Your world is a living expressionIf you want an exercise in becoming more conscious, plan a bit more time on your next visit to the grocery store. Start looking at the areas between your stuff and you might be surprised at what you find. This is why I say there are separate realities. Because for some people their parents taught them to buy the brands you’ve ignored, and to them it’s yours that are invisible. You walk through two stores that look totally different and yet you’ll talk as though you’ve been to the same place. You can’t make the best choices if you’re not even seeing most of the choices to be made.

Get conscious. You choose all day. So start choosing more tasty, rewarding and nutritious experiences. Do that and you’ll be as healthy on the inside as you are on the outside.

Have a great day.

peas. s

Other Perspectives #28

456 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Everything really does happen

The people behind this are very well intentioned. The thing just beams with love. That said, it’s still passing on a common misconception. There is nowhere specific that you are going and there is nothing you are trying to achieve. Soul’s are about Being, not progression. In a way that’s exactly what makes them souls; their ability to surrender striving in exchange for being. From there you just trust your nature and simply follow its wisdom. So while it is true that you will grow from adversity, you don’t have adversity so that you will grow. These are just states of being and you have the ability to choose the one you experience. But you’re not working toward a version where you don’t suffer. Not suffering is an ego’s goal, not a soul’s. Soul’s understand that it is the contrast provided by suffering that allows us to find joy.

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.

Natural Reactions

How do I get a quieter mind? I get what you’re saying and I’m trying to be quiet inside and everything but then I’m busy at work and the next thing I’m all acting from ego again. I know I have to take the process in steps but it’s not really working for me this way. I need some advice on how I can create more quiet space in my life. Any ideas Scott?

signed,
Seeking Silence

Dear Seeking,

I applaud your efforts to develop a quieter mind. Once you do it you will easily be motivated to continue to do it because the world becomes increasingly beautiful for every level of deepening silence. When you stop judging what people are saying as they say it, and when you’re not formulating your response before they’re even done talking, then your incredibly capably and fantastic mind can focus its attention (aka your consciousness) on the other person. You’ll start to see them for the first time. I’ve had people work with me, they have this 417 Relax and Succeed - I go to nature t o be soothedbreakthrough of slowing down, and then they have lunch with an old friend and they actually cry because they can’t believe how beautiful their friend is and they cannot understand how they never noticed that fact before.

One of the easiest ways to free your mind of judgment and analysis and opinion is to go somewhere neutral. That is to say, somewhere where your mind has pretty much no stake. Somewhere where there is little order, more random serendipity, and maybe even some scents that actually signal to your primordial self that all is well and that you can relax. Did you know that if you can hear birds singing you’ll immediately feel better because that state of affairs is stored in your head under: signs that all is well? I would suggest getting back to your roots. Literally. Get back into nature. And don’t just walk on it in $200 shoes. Lay on some grass. Look at some clouds. Listen to insects and bird songs. Watch some ants. Stop judging and manipulating and Be instead. Just Be in that place at that time. Forget all else. Take in the sights and the smells and the sounds all as one experience.

Many working North Americans can easily go extremely long periods of time without touching any actual nature. And yet depression rates soar and no one looks to how we live to see the explanations for these changes in the public mood. We’re too disconnected. From each other, from nature. Forget going to a movie. I know I make movies, and movies can be great art, but play some board games with friends. Talk about meaningless things simply because they amuse you. Remember that your life is quite short and that you have to make your enjoyment of it an actual priority or some capitalist will convince you to be a slave in trade for trinkets.

Put your feet in running water. Birdwatch. Study insects with your kids. Close your eyes and listen. Start noticing how the sound the rain makes changes as the ground gets more and more saturated. Notice the back and forth of birdsong. Think about the fact that as you walk through a forest you are walking through only half of its ecosystem because below you the trees go just as far out or down as they go up or out. There’s 50,000 earthworms per acre burrowing holes in the soil to help water reach roots, and their castings supply fantastic food sources for the trees 417 Relax and Succeed - Best gym evergrowing above. For the birds the forest is a very three-dimensional place and they would sense the shape of the treetops—something we cannot do without the help of a bridge or cliff. You get my point. If you’re going to Be there, then don’t think about the forest, actually be in the forest. Fully in it, with all your senses.

You don’t need a gym membership as much as you need to reacquaint yourself with your basic nature. Eat foods that your ancestors would recognize as food. Get as much sleep as your body seems to request through its actions, and spend regular stretches of time in quiet solitude. Do that and a richness will rise up your life that is difficult for me to convey in words. Life gets an intensity and a hum and glow and it almost feels like being hugged by the universe. You had this feeling all of the time as a kid. Let’s get that back. Let’s get back to less self-talk and more absorption of the world around you. Both you and the world will win if that’s the focus.

Here’s to the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feel of nature. Here’s to simplicity and quiet and meaninglessness and fun. We weren’t put on this Earth to earn a living. We were born to live. But living is a verb. It does not happen automatically. We must engage with life by making choices that lead to adventure and experience. I look forward to seeing you out there in the world. It’s a wonderful place filled with amazing people like you. So go give it all a big hug. I’ll keep an eye out for you on the trails.

peace. s