Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Re: Prefix of New Possibility

For years I have worked under the name Recover Enterprise or Re. Re is a wonderful prefix transforming new life from defunct ways. I believe the secret of life is bringing a different perspective or transmuting our expressions for the better. Renew, refresh, reclaim, restore, return, recover, revitalize, rejuvenate, revive, reuse, recreate, rediscover and on and on. Such words inspire us to reexamine our process and what we wish to accomplish in our lives. Re for me means to possibility of starting anew.

For example how we address climate change has distracted us from the real issue. How we can prosper and profit from preventing pollution. Also we can see the value in minimizing our waste and the opportunities of living in a more sustainable way.

Today we live on a threshold of choice. Is as business-usual or do we have the courage to become unusual taking part in the healing of our world. Just because of our sheer numbers we face both major environmental destruction coupled massive social and economic injustices. These inequalities force us to re-examine our interconnectedness so to motivate us to exploring sustainable production and consumption for our future generations and ourselves.

Before we go forth to live more sustainable it would be wise to explore our attitudes, behavior or inner aspects of our life. I call this our software since how we are programmed has a lot to do with how we apply technology or the hardware. The prefix, re, is a sacred key to unlock things to their fullest potential or to invigorate life. Yes, in recovery we discover new opportunities when we apply the prefix re to our words.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Green Spirit in Bethesda

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue, Bethesda (meaning House of Mercy), having five porches.

In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, wating for the moving of the water.

For an angel went down: at a certain season into a pool; whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsover disease he had

St John V

For over thirty years I have cultivated a green spirit and been blessed by the "happy returns" from my endeavaors. I have recycled many tons of newspapers, bottles, cans and many other types of secondary materials. I found that our watersheds were filled with used motor oil and championed programs to lessen these drainings. There have been numerous other "green" experiences where I have shown my reverence for this place on this earth. From this experience I have so benefited. So below are some guiding principles I devote myself to;

Cultivating a Bethesda Spirit I declare my interdependence. I work, play and celebrate being green and wish to further serve my community.

- To be able to respond or be responsible, let’s act as ambassadors where our words are translated into transforming deeds. MODEL
- To work cooperatively, joining people of all walks with, enthusiasm, compassion and empathy. ENGAGE
- To advance, let’s see our differences as strength and foster personal and group growth. PROPSPER
- To respect ourselves, and our neighbors by fostering relationships that are friendly, trusting and empowering. RESPECT
- To sustain, let’s celebrate with positive feedback, and to show my appreciation. SUSTAIN.

1) I PLAY a PART IN GREENING a GREATER WHOLE - When I add to “triple bottom line” I act to build community.
2) MY GAME PLAN - To ingeniously transform waste into well being, positively encourage and have fun as broad reaching as possible.
3) WHAT I KNOW? - Information is tool, both giving it and receiving it. Mindful speech and listening result in better feedback and communication. Also knowledge of my actions helps me better learn the importance of personal CHOICE and behavior change.
4) INCREASE WELL BEING - When I get more involved then I work as others to stimulate participation and a sense of cooperation Just being kind to people I come in contact with is one example.

May I foster positive green actions that conserve resources, preserve the environment, and better people’s lives. May I explore the vast green creative and artistic ways I can transform our my home and community so benefit from the "happy returns" of my actions.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Green Awakening: Touching Earth with Our Hearts

Years ago a Buddhist monk, called me "kusala". This comes from the Pali word meaning wholesome and skillful. Also "Kusala karma" or "kamma" is characterized by this moral, foundation or speech bound to result in happiness.

Four days ago I arrived at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia to reuse and e-cycle their electronic waste. Now this same monk, Bhikkhu Buddharakkhi recruited me to help him draft his speech for a presentation at a conference called, “Addressing Climate Change by Awakening to Oneness."

On Monday December 7th, World Spiritual Leaders Gather for the COP15 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Global Peace Initiative of Women in New York are meeting: “for deeper understanding of interconnection is to know that all that is comes from a single source. To harm one part is to harm the whole. By knowing this we will naturally create a more conscious and caring way of living on the earth.”

So below is what resulted from this collective "kusala" or skillful effort;

The Green Awakening: Touching Earth with Our Hearts- Following the Noble Eight-fold Path

The Buddha name means the awakened one; his awakening happened during his own climate crisis when he touched the earth to bear witness! Today’s climate crisis requires a “Green Awakening” so that we are ONE with all things.

The Buddha offered practical guidelines on how to respond to our present crisis in his teachings of the Noble Eightfold Path. Let’s us build a new green mind-set or house. This blueprint provides clear instruction as to how to awaken and best respond. Climate change can be addressed using this profound wisdom with simple environment-friendly Eightfold techniques.

We are all interconnected as one when we minimize waste and maximize well being.

Eightfold Path basics are below in three groups;

FOUNDATION - 1) Virtue/Ethics Group: Skillful Speech, Action and Livelihood:

WALLS - 2) Concentration Group: Skillful Energy, Mindfulness and Concentration

ROOF - 3) Wisdom Group- Skillful Understanding and Thought

This mental home will protect us from the harsh weather elements caused by climate change.

FOUNDATION: Cultivating Virtue– Skillful Speech, Action and Livelihood are the ethical basis and support for developing this home.

Our foundation becomes solid with right speech, actions and livelihood translating into virtuous practices and wholesome deeds. Ethical conduct happens when we treat all things and ourselves with compassion. We cultivate virtue when we care and respect for all things are one.

Skillful Speech:
We must speak the truth with heart and meaning so as to unite. Carefully listen so as to clarify the facts from fiction. Speak what is of benefit.

Skillful Action:
Show reverence for all things, we must protect and preserve all forms of living beings. We must end instead end whenever we can.

Skillful Livelihood:
Living in an eco-friendly way. Living simply so others can simply live- thus insuring future generations. Causing no harm with your life or creating future problems.

WALLS: CONCENTRATION GROUP- Skillful Energy, Mindfulness and Concentration
: All these factors work together. - Walls hold or cherish this place and create sacred space.

Skillful Energy:
Prevent, Preserve, Protect and Prosper. Prevent climate change, preserve our resources, protect ourselves and prosper from these deeds. At our Buddhist Centre, we employ numerous conservation and best management practices to show our reverence for our earth and ourselves from composting to solar heating.

Skillful Mindfulness: Remembering and observing what is happening now. It is non-judgmental, present moment awareness. So mindfulness is the new mental blueprint to securely build our sacred mental house.

Skillful Concentration:
Unifying your intention so you pay attention in the moment. Focus clearly to a wholesome mind-set increasing your mental power. This mental power will cultivate wisdom and understanding to penetrate into the problem of climate change. Getting the walls squared requires concentration.

3) ROOF: WISDOM Group - Skillful Understanding and Thought: Interconnecting it all together. SEPARATION = SUFFERING

Now that we have the foundation (virtues) and walls (concentration) what are we missing? We all need protection from Climate Change or a cap for our head. The roof encloses our home. Wisdom via skillful Understanding and Thought caps this structure. It interconnects the walls and foundation together.

Skillful Understanding: The Buddha laid down the teaching on “Dependent Co-arising” - nothing is independent in the world- “everything is interconnected”. For instance if your mindless your roof will leak and damage your walls and foundation.

Skillful Thought:
Friendliness, generosity, and compassion. These are roofing materials safeguarding the home.

Call for Action
To address climate change, we must skillfully think before we act. Virtuous thoughts will secure our Foundation through skillful speech, actions and livelihood. Our Walls of Concentration create skillful energy, mindfulness and focus. Our Roof brings it together through skillful understanding and thought.

Remember you awaken when you minimize waste and maximize well-being.

• Show reverence with generous ways, right action and speech securing a firm foundation cultivating virtue;

• Concentrate on harmonizing by holding or creating space creating the walls of loving kindness. Love for earth and ourselves as one with an attitude of gratitude.

• Finally, Compassion balances our Wisdom by understanding our interconnection and also generous nature.

We can respond to climate change with the tools to overcome GREED, HATRED AND DELUSION WITH NEED, LOVE AND VISION.

Take the word EARTH and take the H from the end of it and put it to the front. It spells HEART. Now let us touch our hearts together to express ONE response to our GREEN AWAKENING. TOUCH OUR EARTH WITH YOUR HEART on the Noble Eightfold Path.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Courage,Respect, Wisdom, Love & Acceptance: Culitivating My Higher Self

Yesterday I attended a transformational workshop. A group of friends brought together in a sacred circle had to relate to the following words: courage, respect, wisdom with love, and acceptance. I welcome you to experiment what each of these words meas for you and then see how they interconnect. Also this exercise teaches me about the dual nature of my thoughts, notions and actions and their cause and effects and affects.

Courage to listen to and follow my heart is my life challenge. Quieting my doubting and harsh judging mind requires a bold intention not to fall back in my old unskillful patterns. When I remember that my crazy thoughts do not define me but are just crazy thoughts. If I awake up to see that I am not my fearful thoughts I cleanse my soul from these deamons that so grip me. As I cultivate courage I become more mindful of all my fear-based thoughts, emotions and actions. Also I begin to explore more skillful ways I can be open hearted.

Respect for me was to see the reverence in all things and make good boundaries so that do not reject my higher self. Also respect is about empathy and observing where people and beings are so not to cause them alarm or harm. Ultimately this comes to self-respect since whatever action we have upon others it will eventually come back to oneself. Examining the nature of reality and how I delude my self is a lesson in respect. Honoring what is I find deeper respect to go forth.

The love of wisdom is called philosophy. However passionate ideas without corresponding compassionate deeds truly embodies wise love. Wisdom for me is about concentrating on a profound intention and love then is paying attention to this insight with a boundless heart. Wisdom for me is about what simply benefits and is best to do in any given circumstance. Sometimes doing nothing is very wise.

When I remember to focus on emptying my mind to only what has meaning and heart is another path to loving wisely or wisely loving.

Finally acceptance is one of life's most important quest. The path of acceptance is a gateway to my freedom. What I can and not control and profound insight over my control issues leads me to a more accepting way.

The Buddha, said that all things are unconditional or impermanent and his last word were , "Conditioned things are perishable; with vigilance strive to succeed."

Acceptance becomes more vivid for me when I see that everything rises and and falls, it all passes. This does not mean I do not try to change things or accept them as they are. It is about me exploring whether my decisions show courage, respect, love, and wisdom with my circumstances. I accept the mystery of life when I observe the universal law of the universe, however, I must listen to what spirit tells me. The grey area is that acceptance is exploring the razor's edge of what I can and unable to do. Letting go and not trying to take control but see what self-control I have.

My direct experience gives me my best wisdom of what works and what does not. If we do not venture out then I will not know what comes next given my decision. Acceptance for me is that I know myself and my circumstance then I must have no expectations about my outcome if I take a new approach to what I am exploring. I accept there are the known and unknown depending upon my curiosity to find out. I may not like what happens but the sooner I accept what is and what I chose to do the happier my life becomes.

We live a constant state of change. Whether I have courage or fear, respect or disrespect, wisdom or ignorance, love or hate and acceptance or rejection all these mind states come and go. As I find greater harmony and peace, I behold a higher self. When I exercise courage, respect, wisdom, love and acceptance I nurture this finer sense of being.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mary Oliver and Our Journey

Mary Oliver's poem, "The Journey," urges us to make a profound choice. Explore the at soul level what has meaning and spirit.

Listen to what we know deep down in our heart. Her voices that shout their bad advice represent our doubting minds. When we stay the course to do what we have to do then we can be transformed. Only when we do the only thing we can do we find ultimate salvation.

Let's celebrate the very thing we can save!

The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice−
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff finger
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
Enough, and a wild night,
And the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and their was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
and kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into a world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do−
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answering the Why?

All my life I have been questioning why I am here. Attempting to find the meaning of things has been a long and arduous journey. Certainly suffering is so prevalent in today’s culture including a mindset that we are separate from all things. No doubt that love is the antidote to the many pains and difficulties I face. Also compassion is the answer to so many problems and obstacles I face.

When I find myself sad, depressed or out of sorts it is because I have loss my focus on how sacred the small things are. A glass of water, a walk outside, the simple taste of food and numerous other mundane things I can take for granted. Gratitude is usually at the core of me finding happiness.

When I awaken during my daily life I realize that choice is crucial to my inner freedom. Do I remember that the here and now is a gift we call the present? Unconscious acts can put me into a prison of thought and past stories. Yes an active life offers me possibility to create and further enjoy, incorporating this option is crucial to my happiness.

The possibility of transforming work into play frees me to venture forth. Motivated by inspiration opposed coming from a fear based form of desperation. My attitude is a choice to determine things are not a curse rather a blessings. So when I accepting that all external circumstances I have no control over I free myself. Internal ones are what I must focus on to achieve greater liberation.

Meaning comes from this awareness of the chance of achieving an inner greatness or joy. Awakening to the opportunity of our destiny can be celebrates by acts of kindness and beholding beauty everywhere. Such profound attentiveness or I call “listening” can take me out of my boredom or pointless mindset that creates a toxic spirit. Conscious of the now and future possibilities combine both our primal and divine connection.
Key to my liberation is the constant challenge to transform my attitude. From what is wrong to what is right, from being a victim to one who is blessed. Not that I ignore despair or worry rather understand that to focus on these unwholesome mind states does me tremendous disservice. Shifting from what I can get from life to what I can give life is a case in point. Seeing the promise of every difficult situation having a silver lining instead of rain cloud is a skillful technique. Life is filled with suffering, however, how I can minimize my contribution to it is a fundamental goal to concentrate on.

By observing life is filled with cycles of joy, tears, pain, life and death then this big picture allows me to see the unique balance of things. Expecting more from life is self destructive when we are not of service. Suicide is self centered since people become blinded to what is expected of them in the future. The mystery of what happens in the next moment is a treasure. We are constantly working out or exercise our options. As Nietzche said, “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Pain is growth, resistance to life is suffering.

Acts that bring forth bare survival provide immediate reminders of the meaning of life. Sacrifice plant seeds for the future for we have let go with material things in order to attain spiritual ones. Did we live for nothing or gave something in the process? Is not life all about a celebration of Thanksgiving? Is not well being about generous acts? Simple kindness is a powerful and meaningful link. Being human means to give and so get. The human soul is not just a taker or user. When we wrong others we do so to our inner self and so when we right others.

Viktor Frankl years advocated “logotherapy “where we focus on the meaning of human existence as well as our search for meaning. This primary motivational force is not invented rather detected or to morally behave according to one’s conscience. The experience of living in a Jewish concentration camp forced Frankl to survive in the worst conditions by finding meaning. Not some abstract concept yet rather a specific vocation or concrete mission in life to fulfill a concrete task. Also, Joseph Campbell calls this “following our bliss.” Each one of us has the chance to enjoy a unique and specific opportunity for becoming fully responsible to his/her divine spirit. This is not a societal judgment rather an inner revelation. Freedom is our responding to one’s ability to be. Each of our life’s tasks presents us the chance to liberate our soul. Otherwise we become imprisoned by a mindless and soulless existence.

Frankl said human existence cannot be found through self–actualization rather self-transcendence. Self actualization becomes a side effect of self–transcendence. Meaning is discovering three ways: suffering; doing a deed; and by experiencing a value (i.e. acts of love). Seeking meaning is not about seeking pleasure and avoiding pleasure yet about seeing how suffering provides clues about what life is all about. Just like when you can embrace death you can find how to live so by looking how we suffer we can find how to be happy. Just the simple act of mindful being we can result in a meaningful existence. Once an individual may transcend themselves they find a responsibleness and determine their very being. Yes, there is meaning if we work toward paying attention to what is happening now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Developing More Wholesome Skills

Everyday I wish to challenged myself with becoming more skillfull so to stimulate what is more wholesome. Certainly I wish not to consciously invite the opposite extreme of fostering negative stuff into my life like harmful things, people and situations to poison me.

Creating wholesome acts cultivates happiness and prosperity for me. By deeply seeing through my ignorance and delusion I can engage in living in a wiser and more mindful life. The Buddha years ago developed four foundations to mindfullness. Becoming more aware of how I cling or avert to people, places, or things allows me to explore ways I can see what is true. Such truth can liberate me from bad habits or redirect me from going into areas that increase my suffering.

To see the truth, I must learn how to calmly concentrate. The Buddha once said one who concentrates sees correctly. By providing myself a more loving friendly setting I can relax my mind to become more insightful. Such inquiry allows me to observe how both my mind and body can better work together. Also such investigation uncovers past habits or conditions that are unhelpful. Exploring my mind I see both how it works and its interconnection to my world. Also this profound vision provides me a portal to both the sources of my happiness and causes of my suffering. Kindness is another skillful technique that increases my well being allowing me to foster greater love towards myself and all beings.

Becoming mindful of my body I can arrive in my body through just simple breathing or explore the rapidly changing sensations and vibrations of my body. Yes, all things come and go! Mindful of my feelings whether if I they are positive, negative or neutral regarding to taste, touch, feel, sound, smell or whatever mind objects provides me the opportunity to explore one part of my self so to inspire it to a higher level of selflessness. When I become mindful of perceptions it allows me to see other perspectives, possibilities, potentials and new choices. Mindfull of volitional formations provides me with understanding how I act or react in all my relationships. Finally increased mindfulness increases my consciousness to see how to light up my shadows containing with ignorance, greed and delusion.

Finally, things can be unsatisfactory, however, more wholesome skills can lessen my suffering. Also I can chose to cultivate a greater sense of well being. The key for me is to remember to pay attention to this wholesome intention. Heaven or hell can happen within a blink of an eye whether I am asleep or awake. My daily challenge is: what I am doing, saying or thinking is of benefit in any given moment? Being aware and employing these skills rewards me since I become more wholesome and free.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Beloved Home

My heart beats sparkling glacial water
Down from the mountain peaks I marvel
Into a lush valley of sweet fruits and forests
Ah wind, oh breath, gently swaying my trees

Touch my soul, let my feet earth

Once a star I who shine now as just dust
Spun out of a silver web from a past universe
Heaven’s diamond light plants me into the ground
For each is born by the moist rays of the sun

Connect my soul, let your feet earth

Our fingers grasp into the dark rocky land
Our prayers plant new seeds of hope and love
As the clouds cry out with soaking rain
A rainbow flowers upon the horizon

Celebrate my soul, let your feet earth
Upon my beloved home

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seeds for the Future

Several weeks ago Thomas Berry passed away. This visionary left us with a legacy of earth wisdom. Berry wrote in “The New Story" from his book The Dream of the Earth, “The basic mood of the future might well be one of confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth.”

This year Paul Hawken provided profound insights in his commencement address to the University of Portland Class of 2009. He inspired the graduates by saying:

YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done…
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.

Hawken urges that the youth of today strive to connect instead of control, and that they participate in a type of Mercy Corps working behind the scenes to heal this wounded planet. So we are invited to be apart of a global movement to defend the rights of those who do not even necessarily know that we are championing them and their world. As we plant the seeds for the future we can transform our economy by healing the future instead of stealing it. Mr. Hawkins goes on to point out that we can either create new assets for the future, or we can use those assets of the future that restore instead of exploit. Working for the earth is a way to be rich, not a way to get rich.

The final lines in Hawken’s speech of May 3rd, 2009 says it all.
Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.
Let’s pray that the youth of today feel so inspired!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth Heart Healing

Rumi once wrote “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” This for me is a natural remedy for my “dis-being-at-ease” or mental disease. I sometimes visualize a vibrant white light with mystical power mending my broken heart. My deepest suffering comes from my trauma associated with my family of origin and what we are doing to this planet. Accepting this suffering is my first step toward liberation. The power of healing spirit surrounds us if only we can skillfully perform a sort of heart surgery. Since all our “issues are in the tissues” what about the ongoing involuntary circulatory pump that symbolizes not just our compassion but also the source of courage.

I believe we are at critical time where the spirit of earth is knocking at our individual and collective doors. Can we allow it in?

This spirit is wonderfully described in Rumi’s poem “Guest House.”

This being human is a guest house.
Every day a new arrival.

A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame , the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

Have you ever sensed that you have guide from beyond helping you? Not as a form of mental torture yet a door to freedom. The hardest thing in my life is to face my darkest shadow. So I welcome my guide. The question is can I quiet my mind and listen to my heart for this too is my guide. For me my torture can only be calmed by allowing spirit to come in and touch my soul. This spirit comes from the mystery; the wind or just simple beautiful bird at your window. Can we be awake and listen to its silence to let it in?

Sometimes I get very anxious when I look back on all the lost opportunities I have had due to this shadow of fear. From loss, grief, sadness, and the hardest place the unborn part of my heart. Flipping to the opposite side of this emotion, I wish to liberate myself by opening my heart to a new place. Beyond, forgiveness, shame to place of possibility where I can serve what is true deep in my soul.

Only if I am gentle with myself and not so self absorbed can this miracle occur. I guess a revolution of kindness is at our door step waiting to enter if we can just trust our guides. Yes, people are generous in crisis, such as hurricanes, death and many other forms of natural and human forms of disasters. However, our very earth and body are screaming out to be seen, heard, healed and prayed for.

The earth today is filled with increased stress and constant pressure. Our fast-paced world has heightened mental illness since there is less normal balance. Simply we can suffer from greater, illness, injury and tension. However, we can find the eye or I of the hurricane in response to the little everyday problems, noise and increased demands. Our stress is self inflicted and caused by our emotional reactions to events. The key is to change our relationship to these events with a new attitude of “its no big deal or no worries.”

Quieting my mind and listening to my heart is how I have been reframing my stress. If I can show up with the good and bad while treating them as equals. Showing up to what Awakening to my heartbeat I can learn how to manage it and reverse the damage stress and worry can cause. I believe the all wise and enlightened being have found peace this way. If I can step into the consciousness of the heart the more time I can to run the deep with inner peace.

Wise teachers from the beginning of time I learned about the power of this emotional regulation or mending our broken hearts. Just focusing on positive feelings such as appreciation, care, or compassion, I can create dramatic changes in my heart rhythms. This process allows me to alter a series of neural, hormonal, and biochemical events. This lessens my stress and anger and leads to my greater well-being. There is a chain of biological changes including lessening blood pressure and stress hormone levels. I can increase my immune system activity, and anti-aging hormones by simply focusing on my heart energy.

If I can how to engage in my heart more I bring my emotion, body, and mind into balance. Quieting my mind and listening to my heart brings focused clarity, optimal health, and high performance. Also allowing me to accept my shadows provides me with the courage to be present to even the greatest things that haunt me. Whether things are a blessing or a curse, I challenge what Rumi suggests,

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Overcoming the Inner Critic

There is no greater foe than my inner judging voice which may be self destructive. Such self hatred comes from a sense of shame and guilt that has deep roots. As a child I have developed this form of critical voice since it also had benefits. However this primal force can become brutal, vicious and saps my energy creating a form of self anger. This can result in depression and a veil of wrongness.

My spirit becomes in jeopardy when this inner critic creates a fog around truth. It can disguise my reality and an act of self recrimination can devalue my very soul. We also live in a critical culture where we reinforce “what is not” instead of “what is.”

This whole process results from the simple act of judging instead of observing. When I get too personal then I get down on myself stimulating a negative spiral. Understanding the ramifications of this bad habit can make the difference between night and day.

Self talk develops in early childhood by what messages we are given and evolves as we grow. It takes many forms from rationalization, analysis, justification, questioning, scold, gossip, doubting and many other mental forms. I know that as a child I sent myself numerous unhelpful inner signals.

So identifying how we judge ourselves becomes the first step for us to lessen unwholesome facets of this negative mental talk. Simply becoming aware when we judge ourselves is essential to not becoming entrapped by this state. Also understanding how such an inner attack sucks my energy and depresses me alerts me its harmful result. Investigating such self talk can prevent such emotional impact. Finally when I observe not judge myself I find myself more in an acceptance than rejecting mind set.

Our judgments have roots in what we believe as true. Such beliefs can imprison one that since such truths creates doubts and confusion. So challenging the very truth of such judgment is critical to get to the facts of such assumed truth. Finally, my attitude and relationship regarding of such judgment determines how deeply I may become emotionally distraught by such judgment.

From my earliest days I have adopted negative self talk such, “come on stupid,” “you’re an idiot” degrading my self esteem. Awareness of such self deprecating talk is the beginning to gaining a more wholesome ego. As a child I created self berating ways that have taken a toll. Instead of standing up for myself I would berate myself. Such judging measures would subtract not add to my confidence. Suppressing my energy and self esteem increases my descent into the negative.

Now I have the opportunity to better reflect what is true regarding self talk. If I am alert to my old patterns there are many chances for me to counteract this tendency to verbally beat myself up. My happiness and well being is at stake if I do not confront this pernicious habit. I can look at things two ways. One depletes and the other offers possibility. Even though the choice should be obvious putting this into practice is another matter. In closing reframing how I relate to my inner voice is vital to my future. Being kinder and more gentle with myself requires me to focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Celebrating Your Higher Self

There is no better feeling when I tap my higher self. When I do not separate myself from my world things divine begin to happen. There are my many sacred ways enter this place. When I am in nature, sharing the company of others, singing, dancing, meditation, prayer, pausing or other magical encounters.

This sense of oneness arises when I fully show up. Also, when I am not being preoccupied, rushed, and anxious or in some place where I am not totally there. I become more vital with this natural flow of experience. This non separate self is about arriving where into the present.

The question for me is how to train myself to show us to life and to constantly remember not to be caught in up in "the many stories" or self talk that my ego slips into. One trick for me is to fell less in my head focus on my body sensations.

My favorite activity is go to the woods and allow of my senses to smell, hear, feel, see and taste what is happening outside at that very moment. How liberated this makes me feel when I can simply show up!

However, my mind is a very tricky and complicated thing. My thinking is like a radio on scan going to hundreds of different channels of reception. My secretion of thoughts is like my constant production of cells and enzymes. While thinking is necessary, part of which we are, it use to drive me crazy that way its goes non stop and repeats most of the same old thousands of thoughts every day. When I do not get so identified by my mind and tap into awareness I free myself from unnecessary inner dialogue

I have found that when I look closely at many of my thoughts is there is some form of dissatisfaction. Also I recognize that wanting drives much my minds as does fears. The incessant flow of thoughts can create the concepts about how life is, instead of directly allowing our senses to experience reality.

Much of my thinking can become self-absorbed with what is wrong we me, what’s lacking and other uncertain ideas that divide me from what is truly going on. This process can disconnect me instead of engage me with my world because my judgments create a separate reality. The simple act of observing allows me to see what is happening. While over judging prevents me from showing up to seeing the divine.

When I transform my mind I can lessen my creation of suffering. Also, I can discover what is true and enjoy a richer life.

When I can see, learn and accept my thought patterns then I can awaken. Next I can not be so identified by my thoughts and become free of them. I make my own mental prisons and I can unlock their very doors. How can I best show up to see the truth of my thoughts? When I observe the nature of my mind and see its pattern then I know what to expect. I easily become identified with my thinking and I need to remember that this is not who I am. Also, thoughts will pass with time so I must just watch and wait. Finally, my thoughts are like my breathing, I cannot fully control them so I must not take my thinking so personal.

I must focus on the hundreds ways of relaxing. For example riding a horse forces me to be relax and mindful. If I think about negative or fear things the horse picks up on this and may panic with me on it. Just like if I am rock climbing I am placed in a situation of being in the moment of face the consequences of falling. The latter is not the option I want to focus on.

In closing my higher self is about me becoming more whole and or holy. My higher self is a whole which unites the sum of my parts. Let’s celebrate showing up and pay full attention to what truly matters our higher self!