I need your help for me to grow, get better. I need you to show me the energy of knowing that we are all equal in value.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
I love this quote about having power over our mind, but not outside events. How I see it:
It’s obvious, if we are paying attention to our lives and circumstances, that we dont have direct control over everything, (and maybe not full direct control over anything). Simply put: out what we can control, we have a lot of power in creating change. But, there are plenty of times when we will receive surprises, and depending on who we are, we may interpret them in various ways, as in “good” or “bad”, etc. We have influence over our interpretation, over the meaning that we derive. And depending on our chosen and effective interpretation, we contribute or “attract” certain outcomes.
Something interesting here: I distinguish between interpretation and view. View is our perspective. If we were looking at an enormous boulder in the woods, and I was on one side and you were on the other, our view / perspective is different. The interpretation is the meaning we make with our perspective. So, to change meaning, you can try to change viewpoint.
So, while I’m with Marcus Aurelius on this quote, I think we have power and influence over both, our mind and outside events, but we will also get surprises. But we have power over how we interpret those surprises, which impacts the present as well as future events.
I made a short video as part of the application process to speak at SXSW Edu, which is a yearly conference on education in Austin, Texas.
Here is the video. Enjoy!!!
I am honored to have been asked to give a presentation to a class of working professional master’s students. The theme is: being healthy. These are the general notes I put together for the presentation.
What are your values?
- In other words, what are your priorities?
- We can only maintain a few priorities at the very top
- Find your values, and stick to that
- You are being who you want to be
- Self-discovery takes a lifetime
What happens when you live your values?
- You feel good about yourself
- You feel more meaning and fulfillment
- You forgive yourself and others more
- You are more willing to do the hard work
- You channel more positive energy
- You help the world
A more healthier you is a more healthier world
- We are all connected; we are all One; we are all part of the same whole
- When you hurt yourself you hurt others, and vice versa
- When you are doing the best for yourself, you are doing the best for others
- Your state of being impacts everyone, everywhere, every single moment, near and far
- The Present is a gift, that’s why they call it the Present
- Honor your gift of being here
- How do you honor it?
- By living fully. Live the moment as deeply as possible
- The moment is a miracle
- You have to be aware of yourself, of your mind, of your emotions
- Emotion regulation; equanimity – healthily manage your emotions
- Being aware of your thoughts allows you to stop negative thinking in the moment
- Positive thinking leads to healthy life and positive results
- How do we increase mindfulness?
- One way is meditation….
Meditation and breathing
- It’s all about the breath
- Always focus on your breath
- Slow breath in
- Just as slow, breathe out
- Breathe into the bottom of your stomach (the diaphragm)
- Diaphragm breathing is calming
- Chest breathing is for fight-or-flight
- Feel the breath fill every part of your body. Be physically present
- Do not judge your thoughts, let them go
- Always come back to the breath
- There are many types of meditation. This is based on the zen way (zazen)
Benefits of meditation
- Eventually adds pauses between thoughts
- More present
- More centered. Accessing answers that are inside of you
- Observing the thoughts, instead of identifying with them
- You are not your mind
- When you can “catch” yourself thinking, you can better direct your thoughts
The practice of meditation
- Meditation is a practice, not a perfect
- Commit to 2 minutes every single day!
- Practicing every day creates geometric growth like compounding interest in a retirement savings
- Good talk therapy is a fantastic compliment to meditation
- Meditation and therapy will illuminate each other
General wellness tips
- Keep your connections with loved ones strong.
- This helps to give you meaning
- Meditate every day, for at least 2 minutes. Every single day
- If there is something in your life that you know needs a change, make the change.
- This has a ripple effect on other parts of your life
- Show Life that you have the courage and commitment for growth and Life will respond to you with rewards and more opportunities
- Turn off all screens at least 1 hour before going to bed
- Do NOT look at your cell phone in the middle of the night
- Do not look at the cell phone when first waking up
- Use blue-light blocking lenses
- Reduces eye strain
- Detach from social media
- Give yourself breaks from external stimuli
- Your subconscious needs space and time to process things
- Balance mind, body and spirit
- They each affect the other
- Get out into nature
- Nature is a fantastic teacher of wisdom
- Consider allowing things to happen, instead of forcing them happen
- Don’t burn out! You are no good to anyone if you burn out.
- Burnout often is permanent. Once you burn out you may be completely done with this industry
- Maintain health and balance. You cannot continue a sprint indefinitely. You must go at a pace you can keep.
- Have compassion for yourself and others. This reduces the chance of burnout
- Learn your sleep cycles
- Start the day in calmness
- Start and end the day by thinking about what you are grateful for.
- Keep a journal and / or a dream journal
- Journaling helps you understand your subconscious
- Replace whatever you are drinking with water
- Don’t skip meals
- Eat your last meal early, so there is time to digest before going to bed
- You will feel lighter in the morning
- Chew completely. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth
- Eat in peace. Eating is a spiritual practice.
- Treat people like humans.
“The secret of the world is this: The world is entirely circular and you will go round and round endlessly, never finding what you want, unless you have found what you really want inside yourself.“
The other day I sat in a webinar where I heard LL Cool J say something very close to the following:
Humility is a super power. And I’m not talking about pseudo humility, where you are sitting at the back pew of the church thinking you should be sitting in the front. I’m talking about real humility – having the confidence to be humble; embracing your humanity.
“But then, perhaps every event in life is like that: filling you up and emptying you out, all at the same time.”
-Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit
“To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear.”
-Stephen Levine, mentioned in the book: No Recipe: Cooking as a Spiritual Practice
Love is spontaneous. It cannot be controlled. You cannot “make” love; you cannot do anything about it. And the more you do, the more you will miss it. You have to allow it to happen. You are not needed for it. Your presence is the hindrance. The more you are absent, the better. When you are not, love happens.
Because of their inability to be absent, modern man and woman have become incapable of love. They are only capable of doing things. The whole modern mind is based on doing. Whatsoever can be done, modern [people] can do more efficiently than any that has ever existed. Whatsoever can be done, we can do more efficiently. We are the most efficient century; we have turned everything into technology–into a problem of how to “do” it. We have developed one dimension and that is the dimension of doing, but in developing this dimension we have lost much.
At the loss of being we have learned how to do things, so that which can be done we do better than anyone–better than any society that ever existed on earth. But when the question of love comes, a problem arises because love cannot be done.
For example, meditation: we have become incapable of it, it cannot be done. Or play: we have become incapable of it, it cannot be done. Or joy, happiness: we have become incapable of them because they cannot be done. They are not acts; you cannot manipulate them. On the contrary, you have to let yourself go. Then joy happens to you, then happiness comes to you, then love enters you, then love takes possession. And because of this possession we have become afraid.
Modern [people], the modern mind, wants to possess everything and not be possessed by anything. [The modern person] wants to be the master of everything, and you can only be the master of things–not of happenings. You can be the master of a house, you can be the master of a mechanical device; you cannot be the master of anything which is alive. Life cannot be mastered; you cannot possess it. On the contrary; you have to be possessed by it. Only then is there contact with it.
Love is life, and it is greater than you. You cannot possess it. I would like to repeat it: love is greater than you; you cannot possess it. You can only allow yourself to be possessed by it; it cannot be controlled. The modern ego wants to control everything, and you become scared of whatsoever you cannot control. You become afraid, you close the door. You close that dimension completely because fear enters. You will not be in control. With love you cannot be in control….
-Osho, The Book of Secrets
There’s strength, peace & increased faith that comes with being more spiritual. It’s a daily battle.
Trials & struggles often test your faith & spirituality & show aspects of character deficiencies. They are opportunities for deeper spiritual growth. Regardless of how you feel continue to press on.
-Talia Dyce, Nurse & Friend Extraordinaire
Been feeling lonely the last few weeks/month. But I think I am doing the right thing overall. And I am really proud that I am going through this without depending on numbing effects. And I am grateful for my wholesome thinking and feeling, in general, these days.
So, when you are sacrificing, but doing the best you can, or so, then take solace in that you are doing everything you can, as best as you know how. That is something to be PROUD of. Not pride as in an egotistical detachment from the world and others, but proud as in honorable, and inherently spiritual…work towards/with/for the whole.
If there is nothing to do, then wait.
For all our goals and aspirations, sometimes we just feel or think we have done all we could do. Maybe you have. It doesn’t mean the goal or aspiration won’t crystallize. Maybe it just requires the right timing – a timing you may not be aware of, sort of like celestial gears of a universal clock moving along, till at some point, click! The right thing has clicked into the right place, simply because the time required has finally transpired.
Like a fruit tree, or a cannabis plant. We may want the “fruit” of this plant, but we can’t force it to give fruit right after we plant it. Sometimes you have given all the water and light and nutrients it needs, and all that is left to give, is time.
How do you appreciate something beyond being grateful? En-joy it. Live it. Liiiiiiiiiiive it.
“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.“
“…when you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. Siddhartha does nothing; he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he goes through the affairs of the world like the stone through the water, without doing anything, without bestirring himself; he is drawn and lets himself fall. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal.”
—Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
“Everyone can reach their goal, if they can think, wait and fast.”
I was astounded, when I first tried this plan of offering a prayer of thanks for what I already possessed, to discover what a vast fortune I had owned without being appreciative of it. For example, I discovered that I possessed a sound body which had never been seriously damaged by illness. I had a mind which was reasonably well balanced. I had a creative imagination through which I could render useful service to great numbers of people. I was blessed with all the freedom I desired, in both body and mind. I possessed an imperishable desire to help others who were less fortunate. I discovered that happiness, the highest aim of mankind, was mine for the taking, business depression or no business depression….It may be helpful…to take inventory of…intangible assets. Such an inventory may disclose possessions of priceless value.
Our health is connected to our neighbor’s health.
I heard this statement somewhere on the radio, some days ago.
It’s a reminder that we are all connected.
“Patience, understanding, and helping each other is the best thing we can do at this time” –Z, the landlord
This is an ancient concept: suffering is pain multiplied by resistance.
What this means is that the more we resist pain, the more suffering we endure.
The belief behind this is that pain in Life is inevitable. But suffering is an option.
Of course you can think of things you do to avoid unnecessary pain. But, what about necessary pain? It is in these times, when pain is necessary, that we need to allow it to work its purpose, or else we experience a suffering that comes from nonacceptance.
Short video from Meg LeFauve, writer/director for Pixar Animation Studios. Here she seamlessly weaves together faith, determination, belief, vulnerability, courage through fear, and other values, talking about her career.
“Love is complete when one human being says to another:
You have wounded me and disappointed me.
You have hurt me beyond description.
But I forgive you with all my heart
because I believe you will heal me also
and I refuse to lose faith in you.
I too have not been blameless.
We need to forgive each other.“
-Anthony T. Padovano
“The opposite of belonging, from the research, is ‘fitting in.’ Fitting in is assessing, and acclimating. Here is what I should say, be. Here is what I shouldn’t say, here’s what I should avoid talking about. Here’s what I should dress like, look like. That’s fitting in.
Belonging, is belonging to yourself first. Speaking your truth, telling your story, and never betraying yourself for other people. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are. It requires you to be who you are. And that’s vulnerable.”
I believe that the choices I make affect my own genetics, and that I can pass these genetic changes to my offspring.
Finally there is scientific debate around this: “epigenetics.”
Do your best to give / bring good energy to the Family.
It’s not about the details, it’s about your perception of it.
It’s about the journey, the way. How are you experiencing the path?
Being humble and realizing that you Love everything that you Love, and you want to be Grateful for that.
It’s not about necessarily saying “Thank You”,
It’s about Appreciating what you have.
How do I honor the Path? Am I honoring the Path?
One way to honor the path is by doing the best you can do.
Honoring the family, by doing the best you can do with those connections.
Two quotes from “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen – the gender references were made neutral:
Here is a rich person who is the victim of a painful and persistent disease as the result of gluttony. That person is willing to give large sums of money to get rid of it, but they will not sacrifice their gluttonous desires. That person wants to gratify their taste for rich and unnatural viands and have their health as well. Such a person is totally unfit to have health, because they have not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life.
… whilst aiming at a good end, this person is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end.
I started a curriculum out of necessity. Essentially it is lots of things covered, some explicitly or implicitly in the first Spark the Flame book, other items being other concepts and connections.
The content naturally formed as a curriculum, a set of guidelines of how the universe has been observed to behave, and ways we can act best.
The order of the lessons / sections are not set in stone and can plausibly change.
Right now these are rough outlines / topics for discussion within a class environmnent.
Section 1: Karma; Interconnectivity
- You get
what you give
- The universe reflects to you who you are being;
- Life as a mirror
- Always see yourself in the other person’s position, because whatever you do to them, comes back to you
- Use your observation to see the direct answer that life gives to who you are being
- Good karma saves your butt when you are in trouble!
cannot get away with anything
- May return in different ways (pain to another causes a proportionate pain to you, but not necessarily the same exact painful event)
- Law of
- Thoughts and feelings attract like things,
thoughts, and feelings
- Works through mind images and feelings
- Also NLP / self-talk
- Neuroplasticity builds energies and points of
attraction into the subconscious
- You are
attracting things all the time: consciously and subconsciously
- Modify the subconscious by exerting the conscious
- You are attracting things all the time: consciously and subconsciously
- Its more personal, the methods that work for you
- Combine all methods that work for you
- Some people use “dream books” and “vision boards”
- My way is to walk with the mindset. It sort of “burns” it, or “overlays” it into the world
- Always stay true to your greatest, loving values
- Watch your thoughts, they do not occur in a vacuum. They bring like-minded thoughts and things into your life
- Thoughts and feelings attract like things, thoughts, and feelings
- STF section on Interconnectivity
- This is part of why Karma and LOA can function anywhere, anytime, with anything
Section 2: Recovery, Salvation, Redemption
an opportunity for course correction
- This is the same as religions saying “God will always take you back / forgive you”
- No matter how deep in ish you have reached, you can ALWAYS make the choice to begin coming back
This was an interview by Tami Simon from Sounds True publishing.
Brené talks about alot here, but she keeps things very simple and fundamental in a way that probably most of us can immediately connect with.
Thank you for this Blessedness
And help me be true to my Loved values.