Just Keep Swimming

You don’t want your life to be boring but you do want it to have some dynamics. After all, how good would Game of Thrones be without clashing those glorious highs against a few thunderous lows. We love it on TV, why not in life?

703 Relax and Succeed - The best use of imaginationThe reason is because you don’t see your life as a performance. You see it as a dress rehearsal and you’re constantly rewriting what you wish you would have done. That’s what it is to live in ego. That’s a fake world. You can’t change anything in your past. You’re looking at what your situation was and who you were. And both things are much more flexible than you’re giving them credit for.

What is your history? You think back on your golf league in a good mood and you remember all the great games and all the great people you got to play with all summer long. If you’re in a bad mood that same memory gets played back as being about the one guy who cheated in a mid-season tournament to steal the victory from you. The prize? A golf umbrella.

There is no way you’re that upset about a golf umbrella. It’s that you had this preconceived idea that you were playing by a set of “Gentlemen’s Rules” but that was an assumption on your part. Maybe that guy was the high school loser and he’s never won a single thing in his middle-aged life and so he broke his own normal ethic and stole from you a potential victory. Potential.

703 Relax and Succeed - Don't worry be happyYou being upset about something like that is fine for a short burst. Normal human relations require us to make certain assumptions about trust but, when someone breaks them we don’t want to be derailed from enjoying our lives for long. Then their actions are controlling our emotional experience of life. No way. You don’t want other people’s actions inciting your own unhealthy thinking.

Think of living in the moment as being like a fish swimming through a lake. The universe and you are so fluidly and completely a part of each other—even to the extent that it’s flowing inside your body and over your gills; a body that is made primarily of water. It’s water within water shaped like a fish. That is you. You move toward what you like and away from what you don’t.

But then you get advice and you go in directions that you’re told to go rather than where you sense you should go. You subjugate your own sense of yourself to an outsider. As good as a friend may be, and as much as they will know things about you that you do not, they still can’t ever know you well enough to make the decisions for you unless it’s a “No Not Resuscitate Order” in a hospital.

703 Relax and Succeed - Just keep swimmingYou can get thinking in such whirling circles that you fly off onto dry land where your mouth gapes for you to breathe as you drown in an ocean of air—and ocean of thought. Meanwhile the water is right next to the rock you’re laying on. The only difference is your thinking. Eventually that dies down and you recover your awareness, realize where you are, and then you can easily just flop this way then that way and you’re back and swimming free.

Don’t ground yourself with thought. You’re clumsy on land. Your ego is a flopping grounded fish. You are a sentient and compassionate human being. Stop handing your life off to your thinking and start by simply paying attention to your life before you. Don’t flop in thought, swim in existence.

I’d suggest starting right this awareness thing right away. It brings remarkable peace of mind. But to do that you have to stop leaving now—stop leaving the verb of swimming through the water to sit still, flopping around instead in the choking air of too much thought. Life is not thinking. Life is living. Less judgment. More action. Be a human who is fully being. It is such a privilege to get that chance.

Just swim. You’re awesome.

peace. s

Scott’s Top Three Re-Blogs of 2013: #3

268 Relax and Succeed - We must be willing to let goThis countdown of the year’s top three blogs from outside sources is designed to shine a light on some of the most powerful, transformative and inspirational things I’ve encountered on the internet this year—or ever really. Just watching these can change people’s lives so I encourage you to share these blog entries if you find yourself similarly impacted. Small acts repeated millions of times can make an enormous difference.

Because I didn’t write much about this piece the first time, I will do so now.

I first ran across the story in a doctor’s office waiting room, flipping through Sports Illustrated—a magazine I’m not known to read very often at all. What I read was so powerful, as soon as I got home I searched for videos and I ran into the one that comprises the final section of the video posted below. I was unbelievably moved. The humility of this man to describe what he does as “I just love my kids,” is amazing and remarkable. I don’t know a single person who watched it who didn’t feel an immediate impact.

I think what makes the video’s effect so interesting is that it’s a strange mix between making you feel very humble, all while making you feel so filled with love that you’re powerful too. I watch it any time I get on any kind of thought-loop that life is hard or that I can’t do enough. It’s just impossible to watch to the end without feeling better.

268 Relax and Succeed - Kintsukuroi to repair with goldI’ve often thought that there is a special gift contained in situations like these. Because the situations are so out of step with what people generally imagine parenthood to be, their love gets torqued into a position where it really has no choice but to either get depressed by wishing it was different, or to get super capable at peaceful resilience by learning to focus on uncommon areas to find the beauty or strength in any person.

Most of us fall into the patterns that match the people around us. We like what we’ve been taught to like. But you can’t do that when you have to find the good in a situation—you can’t do that when you’re in a situation you’ve been taught to see as tough. Instead you have to learn through hard practice to look for the best in a challenging situation. And that’s like learning to search for reasons to be grateful—which is fine because a grateful person is a grateful person no matter what their external situation is. And the power of gratitude is how these people manage to have these amazing lives and accomplish these unbelievable things.

So I’ll leave it to my original introduction, but I am pleased to introduce the third place finisher in my judgment of the top three external source blogs of this year:

The Saturday blogs are when I present video or audio materials that may illuminate, educate or inspire your spiritual growth. I know I normally write more as a lead-in to set up the contents, but in this case I will simply say that this is, to me, the most inspiring video on the internet. Love is indeed a powerful force.

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flRvsO8m_KI]

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peace. s