Friday, December 14, 2012

Eight Lessons of Life

Eight Lessons of Life

·       Have Empathy For The Source Of Your Pain. Who, What, Where, When and Why.
·       Rational Thought Won't Work. My rationalization is biased by my experience. My Experience influences my best thinking, and my rational thinking is pre determined by the aftermath of my experience. So what makes sense to me might not be either sensible or reasonable, the problem is, it makes sense to me ... and there are times when I am prepared to fight to the death for it.
·       There Is Something At Work Here That Is Beyond Me And My Self Centeredness. A Force far greater than me ... Can you imagine that. Imagine something you could not possibly imagine.
·       Be Prepared To Re Examine Your Motives And Your Reasons As Well As Your Morals For Doing What You Do.
·       In Order To Do Your Journey You Will Have To Confront Evil. 

·       Never Say Never. Occam’s Razor underscores this sentiment ...Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate” … Principle of Parsimony.

·       You Can't Change Human Nature. The only thing you can change is Your Mind About Human Nature.
·       Human Nature Is The Curriculum Of Life. It Is What You Do With It, That Matters.
With time spent on the path there will come a time when you can return to the starting gate and see it for the first time. . . TRULY.

With Eyes Unclouded By Longing.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Never Mind the Talk, Make It Be: How You Walk The Walk.
It was a native shaman I knew many years ago who said to me that to begin to walk through life in "a sacred manner," was the beginnings of the development of a reverence for life, a reverence that we will all need to develop, sooner or later.  This reverence is not self-seeking, nor does it seek self-satisfaction, there is no deeper ego functions outside of the fact that the ego will participate in the process simply because it is there and a part of you in the first place.  Simply put, life is as it is, with no real beginnings and no real endings, edgeless … eternal.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, containing everything, lacking for nothing, everything being exactly as it is supposed to be.
As we begin this journey … most of us make an uncomfortable discovery … we are not in sync with The Way of Things, nor is it in sync with us.
This process of Walking Lightly becomes the simple recognition that the pain we suffer is caused by our thirst for the satisfactions of our own little desires, the ones we think we need so desperately to satisfy, wilfully  as the expression of our newly found powerfulness.
We are always trying to counteract the original forces of powerlessness from our earliest experiences; Keeping us perpetually out of sync with all that is.

Extracted from Zen and the Art of Walking Lightly

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here Is An Interesting Fact Of Life
For me to touch them … they have to be touching me
Most people never notice this one.
For my life to be focused and centered in reality … and in reality is the key phrase here … I had to be real.  So it follows if I am to be real:
If I can come in contact with them … and conversely … they with me … I have to consider that I might not be destroyed by the contact with them.
My conundrum was that I was afraid … I was hiding … I was hiding in plain sight deep inside my own skin. The real me was far below the surface of my metaphorical pond … holding its breath. In the place that I hide in the depths of, while appearing to be somebody at the surface in plain sight … Now here is my problem, if I wanted to have the life I said I always wanted to have, I had to at least come to the surface where the skin meets the air and be present and accountable for a period of time.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Seeing Clearly
The Order of What’s Next
EXPERIENCE has taught us that we all have this place where we hide. It is a place that we need to move past if we are to heal and if we are to grow.  This healing and growth happen over time, and there does seem to be a universal recipe that needs to be followed in conjunction with a set of events, circumstances, and practices. 
First, we need to reach past our hiding place and ask for help.
Second, we need to find those other souls who have made the journey, at least in part, and join up with them.
Third, we need to listen to someone other than ourselves, and do life someone else’s way rather than only our way.
Fourth, we must be prepared to follow this new groove for the rest of our lives.  Why? Because falling back on the old ways as soon as we’re feeling better will simply undo all we have done.
Subtle Simple Truths
There was no need to be afraid of looking closely at my pain … after all; we are now only looking … the experience of it is long since passed.
That trust, truth, honesty and faith are places in our consciousness, not things that can be held onto … not something to be possessed.
None of us can change our past … it is simply what happened … and that is that.
The interesting twist on the past being our past is that God or our Higher Power was there when it all happened … whatever it wasand the past that I have is the only one I’ve got … its mine and I am stuck with owning it.
A good way for anyone to begin to heal his or her past in the present moment is simply to say:
My Past is simply: where I walked with my Higher Power … One With.
My Present is simply: Me walking with my Higher Power in the present moment … One With.
My Future is simply: where I will walk with my Higher Power … next … what a powerful concept … next … again as always … One With.
Remember, time and healing will always be the same … eternity is filled with only two things … my thoughts and time … Time as I chose to experience it … Time as I pass through it
Know this that most of us have been arrogant when we assumed that God was mistaken in His plan for us, especially when things did not go our way
Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be; the problem is most of it does not agree with me!
With true humility we become teachable, this is a truth; because we can see ourselves reflected in everyone else and in everyplace or situation we experience.  In the metaphor, of looking into the Loving Eye Of God we can now begin to consider that it is possible to do so … actually to look into the Loving Eye Of God and see we are loved and cherished … what a concept … being loved and cherished for no other reason than we are who we are … not for what we have done … no longer the forgotten one … the one I have believed I was for all my living memory.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reflections on the Way of Things

Thanks Neil, I read that blog just a wee bit ago on facebook.  I was thinking of my own experience just last week and how today, I woke up with a feeling of creative energy bubbling under the surface.  I didn't have a chance to act on it because I had to run off to work.  Yet even on the way to work I could still feel it,in  the way the sun was shining and the leaves where floating in the air, it was magical, I just wanted to stop and feel it but I had to keep moving.  So off I went...chop wood, carry water... now after reading this I realize it's much more than seizing a moment, it's seizing each opportunity as it comes. Thank you for this...I look forward to the next opportunity...and the next and the next....ain't life grand! 
Love you!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Forgiveness to me means: 

I recover the energy that I have invested to protect me from a world I thought would destroy me ... 

Then reinvesting that energy in my creativity ... I become a co creator with the Creator ... 

No longer at odds with the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Understanding The Way of Things

Understanding The Way of Things begins with the premise that all experiences are equally balanced, as in: you don't find protons without electrons. There can’t be a positive without an equal and opposite negative to balance it off. Whenever we experience an overwhelmingly painful event, there is always an equal amount of opportunity associated with it for growth, but only if we have the mind to find it. Then we need to seize the opportunity.
I have not yet found a case where this wasn't true.
Recognizing the lesson, gift or opportunity in the tragedy will neutralize the pain of the experience. This is especially true when one is a survivor of childhood trauma, abuse and abandonment or after the loss of a relationship whether by death, divorce or decision[1].  For me personally this lesson was brought home when my first wife passed.  It was 1976 and I was 29 and she was 26. She took her life... The pain was death defying ... my sense of future was non-existent ... but over time it passed and the opportunity for growth simply lay there before me. It took some time to notice it. But it was there. And today I am still on that path, traveling that journey that began for me in November 1976.
Some people choose, albeit subconsciously, to stay in their grief and pain because they find benefits there. It is a vain attempt for Needs Fulfilment. There are pay offs like: attention, support, freedom from responsibility, and a recognition by and from others of just how deeply life’s incidents hurt them or how much they have lost or how much the deceased person loved them. Helping an individual see what they may really want or what they are trying to get from holding onto their grief and pain can help them do it more responsibly without doing further damage to themselves.
There are also two great quotes I use in my grief work:
·        "To take the pain out of death, you'd have to take the love out of life."-- Richard Paul Evans 
·        "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."-- Dr. Seuss

[1] The Demartini Method See the book, The Breakthrough Experience.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Faith And Its Application

Life is not about how I display my faith

But rather it is about how I apply my faith to my circumstance

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Changes On the Outside
If you could have two wishes for your life and you could fulfil them, what would they be? 
       Now imagine this, you have that opportunity, once and only once in your life where you can create that opportunity to have both of those wishes fulfilled. 
There are conditions attached to this opportunity. The first condition is that you have to wish your wish today but it will not come true until six months from to day. 
Your life can be anything or anyway you want it. 
All you have to do is imagine it as you want it.  What, where, how and how many! Remember there are no limitations on this; so just let your imagination run wild.
The Second condition is you have to both decide and declare now.
So dream your best dream. 
Pause here and dream your best dream ... read on only after this is complete ... smile

Scroll down

Answer this: In six months from now what life would you most enjoy?
Pause here and dream your best dream ... read on only after this is complete ... smile

Scroll down

You have just described your heart's desire of where and how you would want to live.
1)   Now in the most recent period of your life, what efforts have you made to shape your life so that it more resem­bles your dream of how you want things to be?
2)  What is it “in you” that makes it hardest for you to move in a direction toward you having your dreams?  Did you hear all the U’s in that sentence?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I've Learned and Still Learning

Still Learning

I've learned-that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I've learned- that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned- that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned- that you can keep going long after you think you can't.
I've learned- that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned- that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned- that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I've learned- that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned- that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I've learned- that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I've learned- that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.
I've learned- that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned- that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I've learned- that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I've learned- that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I've learned- that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I've learned- that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I've learned- that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I've learned- that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I've learned- that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I've learned- that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I've learned- that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned- that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I've learned- that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I've learned- that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I've learned- that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The 7R's of Life

The 7R's of Life: Rules, Roles, Relationships, Responsibilities, Respect, Resources and Returning Cycles.
1) Rules
Rules are a specific body(s) of information … sometimes described as guidelines … that we as a group choose to live by.  These guidelines serve as the foundation for governing our living together. These rules can outline very complex international issues … these issues can differ dramatically between various societies … everything from traffic laws, criminal laws and the comings and goings of the social services safety net … to educational systems and a myriad number of variations on a theme … falling under categories such as social custom or common law … codes of conduct etc. 
History and simple necessity are often the originators of most social and interpersonal rules. Community or social rules are the vehicles through which we can begin the task of fulfilling our needs … for food, shelter and clothing, … Maslow and his triangle … as well as set into motion a safety element or environment within the social structure where an individual may from the sanctity from within the construct of the created social zone begin to search out love and acceptance and move up the socialization triangle to higher orders of completion. 
These Chosen Rules can set our direction and define our responsibilities to ourselves and with those that we share the system with…

2) Roles

o   Roles relate to the many “jobs or masks” we wear within the family and our community. 
o   Roles are often determined according to our community or family needs. 
o   Please Note: just because it is what the family needs does not make it healthy.
o   The healthy roles we play provide us with our opportunities for learning and growth. 
o   Roles can be channels for expressing the truth about our needs and ourselves.  BUT…
o   The problem in the system seems to be that we were trained to be who we think we are. All this learning happened at a very early age. This training, often as not, contributes to the predetermination of the Roles we will adopt in our life and display in our community as we advance toward our adulthood.  It has a circular theme … what was learned in childhood is how we will be in Adulthood.
o   Our childhood training often demands that we give up true self. It is basically a defense strategy. We do this for the sake of the system and its survival … not ours necessarily.  We adapt a grab and run technique for our needs fulfillment.  This is referred to as narcissistic depravation
Thus we cannot nurture our lost self unless we leave home at least figuratively.  Some of us have to break ties altogether … literally. 
We leave home by giving up the role that our system demanded we be … for the good of the system …  the scripts and rigid unhealthy roles
These scripts defined us by what the system needed and not as us as an individual. 
This process of giving ourselves up for the greater need of the system denied us our authenticity, our sense of self and our sense of self-esteem.  Each of us adhered to these rigid roles out of our misplaced loyalty to the system we were born into.  The odd thing is that we got a sense of power and of being in control from doing this, but this entire process cost us dearly. To adhere to the rigid role(s) we had to give over our sense of uniqueness, our sense of self, and the essence of being … just to maintain membership in the system.
We were born to be ourselves.  Truer words were never spoken.
3) Relationships
Relationships deal with the nature and quality of our interactions … us with us and us with others … but first us with ourselves.
To form a relationship we must first be able to relate and understand how to set the relating process in motion. 
Our comprehension of how relationships work (or don’t) lay at the feet of our parents ... those persons who parented us, Mom’s relationship with herself and dad’s relationship with himself and their relationship with each other lays the ground work for our understanding of how relationships work or don’t work.  Once this is appreciated or imprinted or impressed on us it then plays like a message on a tape recorder … over and over again.  There are variances that are explained by personality and other outside influences but basically the parents and their interactions set us in motion on how we will conduct ourselves during our adult relationships. 
To get to the root of the problem it is essential to plumb the depths of our own psyche and our own past … to release those lost and buried hurts and pains … then to grieve the losses we experienced.
4) Responsibilities
Responsibilities in one sense refers to the level of maturity we have reached, or how we handle ourselves both privately and publicly, and more importantly how we handle getting our needs met … especially our dependency needs. 
Our inter play with other people, and the roles we choose to fill in the interacting process with them are simply expressions of our sense of our ability to fill our own needs through inter play with them. 
Often as not, responsibility appears to have something to do with providing inspiration or leadership to all who come into our spheres of influence.
M Scott Peck pointed out: Life is what happens to you while you are busy doing something else.   Assuming the working definition of responsibility is a commitment to being involved … you with your life … in a complete, full and healthy fashion … thus being able to fulfill the ways of satisfying your own needs … it helps to understand the difference between Wants and Needs.
This is an essential aspect.

5) Respect
This starts with an individual’s Sense of Self. That Sense of Self is a by-product of early child developmental experiences. 
Sense of Self/Self Assurance has its clearest defining qualities rooted directly in the time spent and how it was spent with the early care givers … those people who reflected how the child was viewed during the child’s first 30 to 60 months of life. 

It Is True That:

It is a necessity that we must first have respect for ourselves … it then follows naturally … that we will have respect for the rules we chose to live by … those we agree to … and conduct our living accordingly and build our social order around. 
On the other hand if we do not have this Sense of Self Respect instilled at a very early age then ... it is with great effort and difficulty that we will move through our lives (seemingly) constantly at odds with our surroundings
Respect is something that is purely experiential (subjective) … it can be obtained anytime … First we must know what we are looking for …  then … where to look for it.  12 Step programs are one of those places to look. Another is a properly laid out therapy program. The book Iron John asks the question “Where is the Key hidden”.
One of life’s conundrums: Sooner or later we get ourselves involved in attempting to make something happen in our lives that we view as very necessary. The problem with the attempt is that a necessary ingredient for making things happen is missing. We need to respect ourselves. If that is missing then our attempts are doomed to fail.  The necessary tools are missing. The business of recovery is the acquisition of those missing tools for life. Life is difficult; that much is true, but with tools of self respect and self esteem on hand, the job at hand will not be “an impossibility” any longer. 
The Basics of the concept is
People cannot respect themselves unless they know the truth about what happened to them.
For most of us, the truth of who we are is lost back in the early beginnings of our life. There were times and circumstances where we simply had to pretend to be someone else just to maintain our membership in our families of origin ... It is also very true that our every effort to maintain the family lie is a painful thing to do. The problem is, every time we build a (neurotic) defense strategy to protect us from a world that seems to want to destroy us, our defense strategy becomes more painful than the pain we were masking. Thus, if this is our only defense against our pain then we will build another neurotic structure … mask … false self … to protect us from the next level of our pain and that becomes a repeating pattern until we have no idea who we really are. Finding our lost self-respect is a prerequisite to healing.  Something a kin to Peter Pan recovering his lost shadow from Wendy’s drawer.  Now we have a place to look … and a direction to go in.
6) Resources
They are available to us on many levels.  Help will only help if you reach out for it.  It is necessary that you participate and utilize them … put them to work for you … it is your entitlement … they won’t work unless you work them.  I quote John Bradshaw from Healing the Shame that Binds You:
...methods have been adapted from the major schools of therapy.  Most all therapies attempt to make that which is covert and unconscious, overt and conscious. These techniques can only be mastered by practice.  You must do them, and reinforce them by doing them again.  They will work only if you work them.

Appreciating Compliance & Surrender

Compliance is motivated by guilt.  That is, I will make every effort to appear to be doing what I need to do while I resist doing the doing. Compliance is in fact an attempt to surrender without giving up control.  It is the attempt to appear to be doing the necessary without actually doing it.
An interesting fact that I had to learn the hard way was: denial and delusion can continue in spite of the acknowledgment of guilt.  Guilt can actually be a way to distract one from the real problem(s); feeling guilty about what I didn’t do ... is actually mood altering and we can be just as hooked on the guilt as we can on any other substance or actions.  Many of us need a fix of guilt periodically and will screw up in some major fashion just so that we can have a reason in the here & now that explains our feelings rather than the real reason that lay lost in our history.
Please Note: Compliance and guilt are ways that a codependent has hoodwinked many an unwary partner, spouse, parent, sibling, therapist or friend.
Some shame-based people tend to seek out and even embrace punishment.  Admitting guilt and paying for it enhances the denial of what they fear most deeply - quitting doing ...  fill in the blank. To have quit whatever it was ... fill in the blank ... then the individual would have to admit that his or her life was out of control ... thus by admitting that, they are exposed as a flawed and defective human being.  No one willingly wants to have their face ground down into their shame or pain … the conundrum of the whole thing is that the only way out of the compulsive/addictive shame cycle is to embrace the shame ... not ignore it or pretend it does not exist.

Surrender: is motivated by the acceptance of shame.  For a codependent, surrender is the first true act of freedom since beginning their recovery attempt.  It is best embodied in the following:

Talking about our problems, mapping out our family’s dysfunction is not the same as taking action.  Action means that I've let go of control and I'm willing to listen to someone else and do it his way, rather than my own way.
7) Returning Cycle
It is actually ... I suspect ... a universal law that helps maintain the balance of the universe. The truth of the matter is; most of us have never really noticed this phenomenon before.  We were all just too busy just trying to get from A to B. The process of returning cycles involves the process of giving and receiving. 
o   We get from life what we freely give.  But first we must give. The key word there is freely. Many of us have had to give and give and give ... but it was done under duress ... and chaos and duress becomes our way of things.
o   Or we reap what we sow; it is not always apparent ... but sooner or later it comes around. Sometimes it bites us ... and sometimes it seems to reward us ... but its’ necessity will always come around.
o   But then we have to give it back to life. We don’t own it ... its’ not ours ... it is something we got from life and it has its own place in The Greater Way of Things but it is not ours to own. We may think it is ours but ... we only get to use it for an undetermined period of time then we must give it back. There is no real choice in the matter ... that is simply how it works. But we are working within a time frame that is defined by eternity.
o   We must give back what we received ... that is a primary part of the law ... again but, this is where we do have a choice ... for the grace of being ourselves, we add just a little of our potential to it as it passes through our hands. It has our character and our talents now attached, then it passes back to the universe. Now it has just the tiniest bit more energy in it, it has our energy. Why do we do this? So we can find our sense of pride and self respect. So we can become a Co Creator with the Creator
Thus, a returning cycle is not a punishment, even though there are many times when it may seem so. In reality it is the restoration of creative energy within our own environment ... This can be at home ... in the office ... at a tea party ... at church ... anywhere where we notice that we actually have the ability to give, because it is always there ... the opportunity to give ... we just don’t notice. Where we don’t have to hide behind our false selves and masks; when we can just be who we were intended to be, that defines life’s purpose. The energy we give back is now enhanced by our effort rather than diluted by our resentment. We Now Have A Choice.  
Effort or Dilution
It was observed many years ago that if mankind lived according to the Principal of Returning Cycles many of the rules and laws of man’s world today would be unnecessary.