Quit

I Can't Quit You Baby
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quit – over thinking. Quit – trying to make it work. Quit – wishing, thinking, pushing, willing, trying so hard, all of those things that make you seem like a fish flopping on the shoreline, out of his comfort zone, out of his life zone. That’s not you. We all do this. We act like we’re afraid. We act like that poor fish, gasping for air. We are not desperate. We might be afraid, but we aren’t desperate.

I have so many questions sometimes when I try new things. I start with, I’m ready. I’m excited. I crouch down like the jumper at a sporting event and I’m ready to take off, but then the questions start. How much pressure do I need to push-off? Do I land on one foot or both? Do I dig in with my toes? You get the idea. So many questions that I start doubting if I can do it or if any of it can happen. Can I really make it work? Am I just daydreaming?  We all go through this struggle. We worry. We fight the fear, then we fight the desire by telling ourselves, ‘Well, I don’t want it anyway.’ We try to shut the emotions down because they can be so raw. The open heart can feel so exposed.

I was sitting down with a guy I see regularly and without telling him anything he starts saying things such as, you know you can’t be happy unless you’re with someone who meets your needs. You have to have someone that lets you have room. In essence, it was all the things I’ve been mulling over in my head. Was he reading my mind? Sometimes I wonder. Is the world around me really just a hologram of my own making as the new-agers say? Matrix overload. Tilt. Tilt. Beep. Beep.

I’m afraid. I’m in the open, but I know I’m not alone here. I just have to wait. I did that thing I do so often, I got here early. I got over excited. How did I say that before? You can read that post here:  Overeager.

Here are a few items I ran into in the process of writing this blog. I love how when you start pulling strings, the blanket starts coming towards you.

The Wiggle Theory – by Buster Benson on The Medium
The Upside of Quitting: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

We Need to be Lost to Find Ourselves – YOUTUBE

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It Doesn’t Feel Right

Truth...
Truth… (Photo credit: -Reji)

Some people make decisions only after thinking on them a while. I’ve spent most of my life basing my decisions on how things “felt.” Sometimes I wonder how right my decisions were, but I never thought of this feeling as emotions. I’m not an unstable person emotionally. I don’t run hot and cold. Apparently this is a part of my personality.

I did one of those personality tests years back. INFJ, the F stands for feeling, but personality tests are not what I wanted to talk about. What I’m talking about is Truth and Integrity. Feeling, for me, is not about anger or love, it’s about being true to who I am.

Integritythe quality of being complete or undivided: completeness.

It is being of a single mind. Singleness of mind and purity of heart is when everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. I act from my heart, my calling. Then my actions are true and my motives for my actions are pure—which is integrity (the state of being undivided). And everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. Without that I am just a tinkling bell. If I am speaking on loving and am harsh to others-I am two-faced, a hypocrite.

 Truthsincerity in action, character, and utterance. The state of being the case: fact. In accordance with fact: Actually.

You can paint rotted wood, but it won’t make it strong. Your house will still crumble and fall around you no matter how you dress it. Getting to the core of me, and then causing everything that I do to come into agreement with that. Getting there is difficult at times, because we put up a good front and (oh boy!) are we good at putting on a show!  We persevere through jobs and obligations until we are so grumpy with our own loved ones, the ones we say we’d give up our lives for, don’t even know we love them anymore.

Our goals must touch that spark inside of us, otherwise not only do we not have any energy to fuel our goal, we will just be any empty facade. Powerless. A shell cartridge with no gun powder. It’s also possible to have this empty, good-looking, people-pleasing goal and fill it with vanity. Lusts, greed, pride of life (look at what I did) are only a few. These are things fueled not by love for yourself or mankind, but fueled by ego. Why else does a puffed up, power person need pats on the back to reassure them that they are somebody? Why do we need the impressive title or job to feel like a man or woman? When you know something deep inside, you have no need to prove it or have anyone else or anything else to make you believe it.

It’s not clothes, not cars, not houses, and not titles that make you feel more sure of yourself or less sure of yourself. It’s completely from the inside of you.

Keirsley Temperament sorter

Space Clearing

I was once into Space Clearing or Energy clearing, convinced there was stale energy in the corners and dark spaces of my home. Don’t laugh or shake your head. There is something to this. It’s not energy or dust though. There is an obsessive drive in most of us. And with this obsessive instinct is a tag along superstitious instinct. We all have it.

 

I knew someone who swore the car drove better when it was clean. And many say that the laundry isn’t right unless it has that fabric softener smell. I realize now it’s all a ritual need. Like needing closure after a death or a divorce, we need that moment to shut the laundry room door and say we’re done.

 

You may have heard by now the story behind the marketing of Febreze. At first they marketed the product to remove odors, which it did, wonderfully. People loved it. Even the smelliest of problems were removed. But the product didn’t sell like gangbusters and the users kept forgetting to use it. Finally, after tons of research I’m sure, they realized how ritualistically we clean. When they marketed the spray as a finishing touch, after the vacuuming and after the fluffing of the pillows, the spray of Fabreze means I’m done cleaning. Close the door. It’s done.

 

There’s no need to ring bells in the corners of my house or smoke sage grass to remove stale energy. I vacuum and spray Fabreze and all the bad vibes scurry away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can I Learn to One-Two Punch?

54190-todayquoteimagetoliveby1past I didn’t punch. Not because I wasn’t angry, but I always thought of retaliation as unbearable. Maybe I haven’t changed much. The only thing that I know has changed is if you punch me, I will punch back.

I’m probably not ever going to be an aggressive person. It just doesn’t suit me. There are times though when the fight wells up in me. It takes a lot of practice to get a naturally restrained person to go outside of their boundaries. To speak up when angry. To protest when offended. To say NO when someone pushes their buttons.

I do wonder, if you are trained to be assertive or non-assertive, can you retrain yourself to be the opposite? What happens when military foot soldiers come back into society? When someone that must be aggressive on a daily basis needs to pick up the toddler from daycare? Just a curiosity on my part. Hardly a science experiment, but I wonder if it’s as difficult as teaching a compliant personality, like myself, to push her boundaries.

My first tendency may always be to pull my punches. I run into a conflict, so I stop. Well, maybe I’ll wait. Another day would be better. I’ve even thought to myself, maybe it’s just not in the plan. What plan? Whose plan? I have to remind myself that I’m the one in charge of my life. My plan. I must stand back up, dust myself off, and climb back into the saddle. I’ll try again.

To take a snippet from Seth Godin,

Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe?

The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we’re told. It’s safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.

When someone comes along and says, “not me, I’m going down a different path,” we flinch.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/10/do-you-need-a-permit.html

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Are You Lucky?

I’ve been entranced by the illusionist, Derren Brown for several weeks now. Here’s a synopsis of one of my favorite episodes.

In “The Secret Of Luck”, Derren sent British TV’s Dawn Porter to start a rumor in a Yorkshire village of Todmorden, by pretending to be filming a documentary about luck.  At first she only asked the question, “Have you seen the lucky dog?” Also she asked throughout the community if anyone had any experiences with the  local statue of a dog and does it bring good luck to those who rub it.

It’s a great tale, but you know the truth. We make our own luck, right? But what if you are like the one man in town who believes he has no luck. The following writer tells it well.

People make their own luck, usually because they’re a personality type that takes more chances and grabs every opportunities. To illustrate this in an amusing way, Derren set about presenting dour butcher Wayne with various chances to be “lucky” (posting a winning scratchcard through his letterbox, giving him the chance to earn £20 for participating in market research on the street, laying a £50 note on the ground for him to find and pick up, and finally by driving past him with a billboard asking him to call a number to claim a prize). Hilariously, only the billboard managed to grab the blinkered Wayne’s attention… eventually! http://danowen.blogspot.com/2011/11/derren-brown-secret-of-luck.html

I’ll post the video. It’s lengthy, but worth the watch.

Other sites:

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My World

The nice thing about the internet and our current global society is that we choose our influences. We choose our world. You may not realize how much of this you do. Our world is no longer the gas station attendant on Main street and the store clerk on Broadway. Our news isn’t from the local barber. It’s from around the world, even foreign websites if we wish. Our world is made up of people that we see everyday in blogs and news casts. I recently realized how different this makes my life while talking to my parents. My mom still gets her self-esteem from her high school days while my dad’s morality is from his own generation’s creed. And they are not alone. Certainly they aren’t the minority in this. It’s their generation.

I often daydream (seriously) about creating my town. I’d populate it with people I admire and enjoy being around, which can change daily. On the most part I choose people like Seth Godin, Derren Brown, and Meadow DeVor, because they represent the values that I want to encourage in my life. They value people and honor individuals. Who do you have in your perfect society?

What values would I want? I pick Seth Godin because he makes me think by saying things like this,

Society benefits when people selfishly choose the long view and the generous view. The heroes we look up to are those that sacrificed to build schools, to overcome evil, to connect and lead–even though it didn’t necessarily help them in the short run. Culture and Selfishness

I also pick Derren Brown, a British illusionist. He challenges my perceptions and makes me think. But not only is he an illusionist, he encourages people to live their lives to the fullest and not to let opportunities pass them by. I saw these on YouTube, episodes The Secret of Luck and The Apocalypse.

And I can’t forget Meadow DeVor and her blog. There are so many wonderful people out there, I can’t name them all. I think you understand. The people in my imaginary village are the laughing, kindhearted, generous people who make you proud to be human.

 

Wandering and Lost Souls

When I started my wandering it wasn’t just with doubts. I’ve always questioned Christianity being the only way. I’ve always been skeptical of their notion that the God that loved the world enough to send his only begotten son would send him for just the little group in my part of the world. The God who created the heavens and the earth, who breathed life into all creation, could only save the ones who believed the way my church believed. It seemed narrow-minded to me. And not just to me. The more exposure you get to others who are not like you, the more you see a lot of narrow thinking. At least, that’s how it started.

The pendulum swings

I believed in God, I believed in love, and I believed in Jesus because that was the color of religion that raised me. Had I been born in India, I’d most likely be a Hindu. I’d probably be in the same place of questioning my faith also. Most that speak to me about my loss of Christianity tell me it’s because I grew up in such a restricted upbringing, but I disagree. I believe it’s because I grew up in the dubbed, days of awakening, for lack of a better term. Born in the 1960’s and growing up with the massive explosion of information and exploration, suddenly the world around us widened with possibilities. We were on the moon. We didn’t have to wear dresses as women. We could earn our own money. I even felt forced at times into becoming more liberal. Not from anyone in particular, but from society’s expectations.

As pendulums do

Today I feel a bit different. I’m nowhere. As expected, I feel a bit befuddled. I nostalgically see the village I came from and its homey appeal, but I keep yanking the cords that try to draw me back in. I find the easy comfort has a strong pull. But I can’t honestly walk back into that. Yeah, it’s familiar. It’s also a little like making your bed and sitting down at your parents’ table again. I’ve been there and done that, and now I am so much more. I also didn’t lose my Christianity as some suggest. I walked away.

The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
Carl Jung 

 

Counting Coup

They say that times are changing. The old order is passing and a new accepted point of view is entering. For those who might not understand, just remember it was only 100 or so years ago when the only way of recording your history or communicating with a friend meant paper and pen. Fifty or so years ago required people who weren’t white to eat at a different restaurant than the whites. Those whose skin was not pale, those such as natives, were thought to have no souls.

When paradigms shift, it seems so obvious that the new way is the correct way. How did we ever think that it was okay to own another human? How did we not know that little creatures called bacteria cause illnesses? Many once thought plagues were caused by sinful behavior. Well in some instances it was. The sinful behavior of those that ordered the delivery of tainted clothing did start an epidemic of smallpox. Those that became sick and died were not the sinful ones though. It was the invading people who were sinful.

What will happen if we no longer have money as our standard? If we were all free people with equal standing in life, if we were all able to live as we wished without worry of starvation or being homeless. I’m not trying to be Marxist or really referring to any particular form of communal living. My thinking is idealist in that area and I realize this, but my point is not about how we can do this, but what would we be like as people. We like to measure, to count, to stack and amass our store of wealth. It’s how we rank. If not by money then how will we know we are the best or a total failure?

What achievement will show off your success? If our choice of houses or cars or clothing didn’t signify our status or reassure us of our success, could we be content? Will the next generations look at us as greedy and vain? Possibly.

Bob Lefsetz – Observations

YOU DON’T WANT WHAT YOU THINK YOU DO

Not only are the odds of winning the lottery long, in order to have a million dollars to spend each year, you’ve got to win seventy five.

This article in the “New York Times” breaks it down:

Win a Lottery Jackpot? Not Much Chance of That

What you want is freedom. And if you can’t gain it by winning the lottery, maybe money isn’t the answer.

In the NYTIMES Win a Lottery Jackpot August 09, 2013, referring to the Powerball jackpot of 40 million,

The odds of winning, however, remain infinitesimal: Powerball players, for instance, have a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. You have roughly the same chance of getting hit by lightning on your birthday…That is why the lottery is called a tax on people who don’t understand math.

I think it’s possible for some to live without status in this life. I see a few of these people around. It’s something I’ve envied in others, the ability to focus only on their own inner life and the good they are doing in the world around them. That’s very Buddhist sounding or even Jesus-like. It’s how I want to live my life.

Namaste 🙂

Lost Thoughts

Earlier today I had a wonderful thought and I was going to write about it. Something about perspective. I’ve done other things since then and the incredible thought floated off to lost thought heaven. Or wherever good thoughts go when they die. Or get lost. Maybe it will reincarnate into an ever more so incredible thought. I don’t know if I will recognize it, since I don’t remember the earlier one.

I’m not the best at holding a thought anyway. They’re slippery. If I don’t write them down or remember them, what would happen to all the thoughts I think throughout the day? Would I use them anyway? Are they there in me already therefore I think of them or are they floating around like gnats that have to be captured to keep them? I guess I haven’t really thought of it so much before. Speculating here, but if the thought is mine already and I don’t write it down would I keep it?

Tenacious. I want new ideas and new truths so much that I refuse to let anything drop. I ruthlessly want it, but I know I should relax.  I can’t imagine relaxing. All that is in me wants to grab hold of ideas and wisdom. I need to learn. I need life. It is the part of my personality that is eager and likes to run ahead, but also gets caught up in an idea and lingers, exploring the various parts.Writing Like Mad. I think I just got lost in my own thoughts.

Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.