Realizing Confidence

1377 Relax and Succeed - Enlightenment is no some state we achieve

This is what it feels like when I meet most students: They arrive feeling somewhat insecure and they often lack confidence in their ability to live their lives as well as they might. I can agree with that assessment only in part because gaining consciousness does benefit us all.

What I cannot do is join others in feeling they are either broken or failing. Shrouded and lost maybe, but broken and failing? No.

To use one of the parables of Jesus as a reference, I only see people who are ‘hiding their light under a bushel.’ They are beautiful souls, executing the verb of creating problematic thinking that prevents them from realizing who they really are.

People’s thinking will generally be some form of comparative, problematic judgment that forms who they believe they are –hence their desire for change. By going through the experiences in the sessions, people begin to see thought for what it really is, and in doing so it loses its power.

We have to be someone, so our history helps form our thinking, and even the wisest spend their lives yinning and yanging back and forth between the thinking of their ego and the knowing of their soul. As I routinely say, we can’t have a path without having not-path.

This means enlightenment isn’t some state we achieve, it is the verb of ‘being without thinking.’ When we can see through our thinking we see it as nothing more than ill-informed, ephemeral theories about the world and ourselves.

Once people naturally realize that no one really knows anything for sure, judgment slips away and the natural confidence that all souls had as children emerges again.

We imagine that we feel better and gain confidence. In reality, we have always been fine. We are naturally buoyant in life, it is only our debilitating thoughts that appear to weigh us down. Confidence does not need to be acquired, it only needs to be uncovered. We can each do that by gaining a deeper understanding of how our thinking truly creates our reality.

peace. s

The Mirror

1337 Relax and Succeed - The Mirror

I’m sorry. I know it’s painful. It’s awkward, and it makes you turn your eyes away. You may even wince when it happens. It’s such an ugly, twisted idea. How anyone could contort the real, secret you into something so beautiful and lovable that you would actually deserve a glowing compliment? You simply can’t imagine.

That is really what is really holding us back from gaining greater access to our most profound capacities: a lack of imagination. Our imaginations are too limited for most of us to be able to even grasp how strong and wonderful we really are.

I’m sorry that it hurts and that it’s uncomfortable to hear about, but I can’t help it. This is me looking you in the eye and saying to you: I’m sorry, but you’re worth it. You’re worth all the hassles the world undertakes to allow you to exist.

You’re not only worth it, you’re integral. You’re valuable, and really quite beautiful as a being. Incredible really. Loving, and open and strong.

Their love for you is why people get upset if they feel they are moving away from you, or if they’ve let you down and that you might move away from them. It’s heartbreaking for them to think of living away from you. So much so that even the thought of it can make the strongest people in your life cry. You are a wonder. You really are.

I realize this is difficult for your imagination to get wrapped around. It’s so much bigger an idea than the one you started this with that I feel for you. It must feel like you’re trying to carry a two meter square box all by yourself. But you’ll get used to it. I’m just the first one saying it this clearly, but many people feel this way about you, both to your knowledge and secretly.

1337 Relax and Succeed - Mental health is largely

Them thinking it is nice, but you’ll be uncomfortable with their compliments until you feel their source yourself. But that feels too big right? That’s egotistical if you give yourself that credit, right? No. No that is not right.

It is not egotistical to let your light shine, it’s egotistical to think that our light dims anyone else’s. But we have to let our spirits shine. That isn’t egotistical, that’s what we’re searching for. That’s what the world wants from us.

That thing inside you; that thing that won’t let you say great things about yourself? That thing that locks away the idea that you’re good enough for a great life? That’s just internal resistance. It’s entirely thought-based. Everyone feels that. Even Mother Teresa’s diary talked about moments of doubt. It’s part of the journey. But you’ve done doubt. Your lifetime has been built around doubt. It’s time for acceptance.

Accept yourself. Warts and all. Understand that our imaginations are the issue, and that you really are exactly what the universe honed you to be. Do the stars question the heavens about the authenticity of their light?

Do not use your thoughts to stifle your light. You are so big, so beautiful, so strong, and so resilient that you can face failure and success with near equal grace. You know you are not in an ego based competition, you are confidently and simply being you, just as the universe intended. Your search is over Now go, and Be.

peace, s

The Parent Trap

1224 Relax and Succeed - We must accomodateYou’re a parent and obviously you want to do a great job of raising your kid. Or maybe you know a parent who’s trying to do that. Either way, people have no idea what the future will look like so it’s essentially impossible to raise a kid for success. About all anyone can do is raise their children to be flexible enough that they can thrive in any future.

My grandmother lived on the prairies before steam powered machines hit the farms. One bad growing season and people in her generation literally starved to death in the middle of Canada. My parents both served in and obviously survived, WWII. Not all their siblings did as well. For my parent’s generation and all the generations before them, being a good parent was pretty straightforward: keep the kids alive, and try to teach them some basics about staying alive and getting along with others.

That was it. No books, no manuals, no classes. There weren’t different philosophies or theories to follow or adhere to. There were no real major rules to be broken as a parent as long as your kid wasn’t a criminal. And most people turned out pretty healthy and certainly happier than people test as today. Today it’s much different. Today there’s a lot of choice available regarding parenting styles.

1224 Relax and Succeed - A bad moment and bad dayStyles. Before, when two parents met for lunch, one parent could see the other parent’s kids were alive and they’d talk as two adults about things unrelated to their kids. Today people meet and fretfully discuss the latest article they read that either promises the path to certain success or that explains what is certain to lead to disaster. It’s all very binary, as though parenting is either good or bad when really it’s neither.

As much as we like to dress it all up in psychological terminology, “parenting” a child is really them just the kid mimicking or reverse-mimicking whatever the caregiver does. Parents are simply the child’s most common examples of human behaviour. So if someone truly wants to be a great parent, other than loving their child, they should simply let the child be and focus instead on being the best person–and best example–they can be.

Oh, and as you’re trying to be that great example, don’t forget that when you do set a bad example, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it because that sets another bad example. Instead we should accept our responsibility and know it felt bad because it was out of alignment with who we really are. And if we have that feeling, then the child will be parented just fine. Accept mistakes as lessons and move on. Because even if that was the only skill you taught your child, they would have learned a lot.

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.