Motivation, Can we feel it? Learn it, Do it? Live it?
Giving up is easy, living with the outcome, not so much. The moral of the story, get knocked down, get back up, get back in the game, don't give up, persevere, Try again, Give it your best shot. Dream the dream but do something each day toward the goal, one step forward beats two days of nothing. The couch is not your friend, good friends urge you on, go for the joy of the effort, let the happiness of your success mellow into the joy of the journey. Life is not always kind so be kind when you can. You can and will be overwhelmed at times, there are no promises, he who dies with the most marbles is not declared the winner except by the relatives who gather up what has not been spent.
Mental health, Spiritual health and Physical health are joined in the mind. Learning to let go, to not mind what happens, to face each moment as it is and not as we wish it was or wasn’t. To nurture our kindness, our imagination and our creativity. To be mindful in all we do, exercise, play, think, work, help when and where we can. To resist is to deny the moment, To see it as it is is to accept the moment and thus our response will reflect what is and not what we wished was or was not. Resistance fosters anger and sadness which creates an atmosphere of being a victim. Victims do not own their own world, they are at the mercy of others, this can spiral out of control and make you miserable.
Today’s Politics illustrates verbal combat at it’s worst. Just listening to the lying, name calling, character assasination outright misrepresentation of the facts, falsely accusing, and just plain old meanness is enough get one’s anger at the injustice of it all close to the boiling point. Is this an example of the toxic atmosphere that can disturb even the sanest of the sane? Yes! What can stop it? The election on Nov 3rd? No. There will be a continuation after the election because of the mail in ballots, this is a given. And this is what we are faced with, it is our reality. Do we react or do we respond? Do we apply the techniques in this website? Do we invoke the observer to bear witness to our own behavior? Is this an opportunity to let go and deal with what is? Of course.
Motivation allows us to set ourselves into motion, to act on what we have decided is important to us. There is no right or wrong to this process. There is only the driving energy that comes from our current lifetime of experiences and how we reacted (or responded) to them. This is our identity, our sense of self. This is who we are. Is it a lie? Are we creating our own reality from all of our experiences and our interpretation of them? Yes and no. It is something we had to do to fulfill our biological destiny. But, if we live long enough, we will let go of the old and begin the process of adopting the new. Really? Yes!
I am sure you are asking yourself what is this new?
It is a different mindset, a different relationship with creation, and a different way of relating to your biological self. Your old identity, your old self.
Up until this transformation begins your decisions, your behavior, your immediate interpretation of your experiences have been over-shadowed by the needs of your ego driven identity. These needs were and are powerful. The difference is your old self now informs but does not consume. Participates but does not run the show.
How is this possible?
Two changes: Awareness of the ego’s early response to the moment and the shift to a new mindset. You will not mind what happens. This is acceptance and the ability to respond to the reality of the moment without hindrance. Meaning, fear, anger, anxiety, emotional history, projection, etc.
How powerful is the old self? Our most primitive drive, our most powerful influence on our state of mind, what influences most in any situation is our attachment to who we believe we are, our ego, our identity. Sometimes we are the hero in our own story, sometimes we fall short but no matter how any experience turns out we will spin the outcome in our favor so that it matches who we think we are. I did a, b. c. It was not my fault. She/he pushed me. Basically it is the little child pointing the finger and never owning up to who spilled the glass of milk. With this guide in our lives blame always comes before ownership. Unless of course it is a good outcome where we race to take credit.
All of this is obvious. You can function quite well in any society with your ego intact. You can be kind and compassionate, fearless, protect your friends and family, and be successful (however you define that for yourself). So what is this transformation thing and why is it important. It is important when things don’t go right, it is important when life gets overwhelming, it is important because we all arrive at a certain point in life when nothing fits, works out right, life is just too confusing, and all my escape behavior seems to be working against me.
When I was younger and brushing up on my enlightenment credentials I would get frustrated by the following “a student asked the monk what he did before enlightenment? Chop wood and carry water. Well what did you do after enlightenment? Chop wood and carry water.”
Frustrating. If there is no difference, why bother. Find the difference, a simple task but of great importance.
Do no harm, is awareness or expanded consciousness part of our evolution as a human being? Is all life evolving toward greater complexity? What do we gain from a survival point of view when our consciousness is connected to the Universal Source? Is that possible? That assumes we even know or have experience with an idea like “Universal Source”.
A new born, animal or human, has integrated into its being survival behavior. A single cell during the gestation process will migrate in 3 dimensional space to the place in the body to perform the function it was designed for. That includes assuming an identity of that function. If the cell detects a failure that cannot be repaired, it will kill itself. Neighboring cells will replace it. Can we identify what level of awareness the cells of our bodies exhibit from birth to death? The complexity of a cell is amazing, thousands of transactions every second. Consciousness exists throughout the body. Humans have a version of that same level of consciousness, only we are aware that we are aware, but we resist the suicide option. We have no mechanism to terminate ourselves if our life force is seriously injured. Other than by choice.
From birth on we create for ourselves an identity. As it experiences life this identity morphs into an idea we call the ego. We need this identity/ego for normal functioning and survival. As we mature, we learn adaptive behavior that allows us to coexist with all the other life forms that share this Earth space with us. But, our instincts of survival go beyond the physical threat of injury or death, our identity/ego also protects itself. Whatever we experience we assess not just the physical experience but the mind experience. A threat is a threat regardless of its target. We get very creative when we decide our identity/ego is under attack or threatened in any way. Over time our identity/ego becomes a liability as each injury is stored and re-emerges in other forms and behavior. We do not always recognize how deep our injuries go as we muddle through time after time, year after year. At some point in time the need for change becomes obvious to us. Our awareness peeks through the vail our ego has created and begins the transformative process. We are no longer the center of the Universe.
Adjusting to this idea that we are no longer the center of the Universe is not as difficult as it sounds. And, I would guess that most of us would reject the idea that we believe we are the center of anything. This is not a thought we would normally carry around in our conscious mind. If it is not conscious where does it show up in our lives?
When life is not fair. When I choose a path that becomes harmful or destructive to myself, my family, my friends, my fellow humans. When something happens in my life that I did not sign up for. When I really wanted to win something, get something, have something happen, that doesn’t. When I am deeply disturbed and cannot see it or resolve it. When the challenge before me makes no sense or just seems overwhelming. When any of life’s difficulties just flatly seem too much. It is at such times that our sense of ourselves takes a big hit, our ego gets beat up, even crushed. For a while we may become fearful, angry even lost to our family and friends, mostly ourselves. This is a difficult and even dangerous time but this time is also the beginning of our transformation.
How difficult is it to recognize and accept that we are part of everything around us and through our choices we participate in and influence everything that we experience in life. I know things happen that were hiding in the bushes and catch us by surprise. But is it not then correct to understand how we interpret and respond, for this will determine how any given moment turns out. Understanding the power of our choice, of our choosing, takes responsibility, ownership, and a significant level of awareness. Awareness of what you might be thinking.
The boundary, between our conscious and unconscious, between our conscious recognition of what is happening and what we are about to do. Now our response will be fast, we will react. How we react, or respond, will be influenced by a host of hidden emotions, memories, and skills. Our state of mind will determine which combination of these dominates the moment. What is your state of mind? Whatever you are prepped for: danger, fear, friend or foe, kindness, love, even hate. Your mind prepares for whatever you consciously sense. The calmer, the more still you are, the more correct your response will be. Correct in this case means you will respond to what is in front of you and not your history or your concerns over the future.
TO DIE OR NOT (and what happens in the middle)
What are we trying to accomplish. The end is fixed, nothing can change it, we will die. For all those who are still here this web site, these words, are to bring into focus our lives, and our living awareness of the Grace of existence.
I am eighty years old. How many people have saved me, how lucky have I been to get this far and still feel the desire to contribute, to help others see what I see, and to believe that there is hope for us all, to live ordinary fruitful lives.
My middle is still here and it will not end until it does. Meanwhile I and my family and friends continue. Because of things that I experienced, I changed and that change took my world view (where I fit in) turned it inside and out and pushed me, no longer kicking and screaming to live an ordinary fruitful life. Time no longer has me in its grip, status and stuff is being left on the side of the road. Grasping and holding on no longer consumes me.
What does, if anything? The evil that mankind does. I have strenuously objected to the concept of Original Sin and yet I am faced with the reality of evil. I have witnessed my own failures and bad decisions, my family’s mistakes, friends and non-friends alike being consumed by wants and needs. Is it a given that this continues or is there another way.
First let us give thanks, to recognize that thousands of people have touched our lives. If you thought about it you would remember some of them or at least the context of the moment they were important in your life.
Complexity (the world is too complex)
While I may be able to ponder the network in which we live. While it may make me feel good to feel interconnected with everything around me. I cannot if I am being honest, maintain concrete awareness of all the connections of all the interrelationships, of all that happens in the world. I am ignorant of the under sea noise that disturbs the communication of sea creatures. I don’t maintain awareness of the thousands of restaurant employees out of work. I cannot offer real solutions to real problems facing people all over the globe.
What then is the impact of network awareness. What good comes from it? If I am ignorant my ability to be impactful is severely limited. But is it really? Because of our numbers and the fact that we all march to a different drummer, solutions are more difficult if not completely wrong. Most of our reactions are emotional, our understanding marred by memes, myths, lies, distortions and imbedded half truths. Group think pushes us into nodding acceptance even if we know it is a bunch of made up propaganda.
But rather than give up and toss humanity into the recycle bin of failed experiments lets look at the issue through a different prism. Awareness gives us the ability to respond as it is, not as we imagine it is. We are less swayed by group think, and although we still gravitate to like minded individuals we are more inclined to debate and discuss rather that nod and slither away.