Search This Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2016

You are influential beyond words!

Have I told you that you are influential beyond words?

Most likely, I have not. There are actually no words that can describe your influence.
Well I can think of a couple, but that is besides the point. Think of the impact you have had on your friends, families and partners. You may not see it. I understand that. It is hard to see the impact of our influence when we are caught up in worrying, mind games and constantly trying to make ourselves appear busy.

Do you take the time to see how much you are giving or how much you are supporting the people around you? I am not necessarily talking about the close friends and family members, but the strangers we drive by in traffic and walking down sidewalks. We are used to seeing people we do not know and sometimes we choose to keep in our own heads and not acknowledge their existence. Maybe we are having a bad day or we got some upsetting news from an employer or a friend. What if you were to look past all that monkey mind nonsense that keeps you from being present, and simply accepted it? What if you were to focus on giving off a radiant energy instead of being afraid or uncomfortable of other people?

We tend to downplay the impact we have on some people. Why is that?

A person might give us a wonderful compliment on how we inspired them to start writing or exercising again and we act as if we had nothing to do with it. We get embarrassed and uncomfortable and try our best to change the subject.  Instead of accepting it and growing it, we resist it as if it were the plague. Maybe some of us don't want to be the spotlight of attention or we feel that we need to reciprocate the compliment. We hit walls that make us scurry like rats. It is important to notice this discomfort in order to grow from it. Don't you find it strange that we can easily express how we have been influenced, but feel odd coming from the receiving end?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe other people take things like this more lightly or they even try to feed their ego with it. In any case, what a gift it is to have an impact on someone's life! The awesome thing is that we may not even expect it or plan on influencing another person. This is one of the best things. When we lead by example, we have huge success in influencing other people. When we come from a place of authenticity, we can inspire the authenticity and infinite potential in others. Being influential isn't necessary reserved for the people you know. Being influential means living your life the way you want to live it while respecting others, being kind and having self knowledge. It is not about TRYING to be INFLUENTIAL, but rather living a life that radiates out to others. The inner reflects the outer!

Think of yourself as a rock that is dropped in the middle of a lake. What happens?
The rock makes a wave of rings that radiates outward. The rock didn't intend to make those waves, but it was cast with intention. Those waves are your influence. The people you surround yourself with will catch and feel those waves. What will those waves consist of?  What kind of vibrations are you sending out? Will the waves carry any judgment or negativity or will the waves carry awareness, attentiveness and compassion? Are the waves more inviting than dispelling? These waves are for everyone. The ones that will vibe with those waves will be important people in your life.

Your radiance is impenetrable.
Should your waves of influence be for everyone?
Project the same waves for the homeless man as you would one of your best friends.
Let your radiance be seen by the angry man, by the sad man, by the disrespectful.
Give them a chance. Let compassion ring and your joy sing! Nobody can bring you down when you are present and responsible for all your internal and external reactions.

The mad man may not life your presence and feel uncomfortable. Engage him with a caring disposition. If he chooses not to reciprocate, be grateful for his presence and accept him for who he is. Your influential being has no room for negative and unconscious energy.

"Be Good"- E.T.


Friday, April 29, 2016


The importance of personal invites

In the age of Facebook event invites and social media mass posting, personal invites to shows and events have fallen to the wayside. When we create events, we are going for the maximum attendance ( for the most part ) to help gauge how many people are actually going to show and how many more people we can reach out to.

People have the choice to decline, show interest or say they are attending an event, but from personal experience this number seems pretty arbitrary. We can only do so much to actually know who is going to go to the shows. We most likely will try to invite friends and acquaintances we are not too close with in order to expand the audience for the event and future events. Being a musician, all too often I have seen the same dedicated people coming to the show. I am for one grateful for this. It is more satisfying playing to a smaller passionate audience that is familiar with the music than a room full of people just on their phones or carrying on callous conversations. 

Many bands fall into a trap of expanding the audience while disregarding the core group of close friends that come to the show. They choose to set their eyes on bigger goals that focus on bigger crowds with less attachment to who they are personally or what their music actually is intended to mean. All in all,there isn't   necessarily anything wrong with this, but can make false expectations and frustrated musicians that lose the passion for the music and only are interested in the popularity. 

I have been experimenting with a different approach. An approach that focuses more on personal invites. I will certainly create a Facebook event and post on social media, but this seems secondary to me now. The social media event seems like more of an information booster where people can see who is going, the details of all the bands playing, the cover and any other details that I may leave out in a personal invite. Time is a valuable resource, so I really try to focus on keeping personal invites tied to short emails and texts. Sometimes I will actually call friends to invite them a show, but a lot of times there might be no call back and little reason to interupt their hectic lifestyles. 

When sending personal invites through text, I like to address them first with some greeting whether it be an inquisitive question about their day or a positive affirmation about what they are doing with their life. I can admit, I have sent texts personally addressing the person with an event invite without "personally engaging" them in the first place. I have learned from this. The copy and paste scenario isn't bad for the information you need such as the venue name, time starting and who's playing, but when you use a "fill in the blank" method, it tends to look like a texted advertisement. The whole goal is to switch from an impersonal invite to a personal or interpersonal invite. 

When we are authentic with our intentions, each invite can be more effective. Maybe there is a friend you haven't seen in a long time and would like to catch up with at the show you are playing. Personally inviting friends to events can show that you have given thought and conscious prioritization to who is important in your life. When you can foster a healthy invite relationship, the invitee will most likely bring a new friend that is not familiar with your music or band. Word of mouth is indeed one of the most effective marketing mechanisms. 

The more I think about it, the more I realize that authentic relationships are important in building creative communities. Yes, your band is a creative community. The band is an ecosystem that thrives on connection, community and creativity. People that like your music will organically flock to your shows and grow to build new healthy relationships. Wouldn't it be more of a fulfilling experience when you can openly and authentically connect with who you want to invite or who attends your shows? 
Set the intention. 

Set the drive to personally connect and invite new and consistent friends out. 
The ones you personally invite may not be able to make it to every show, but your time and consideration will leave an impact in their lives. They will most likely attend your next show based upon persistence and personal experience. 

Build your tribe. 
Surround yourself with people that raise you up. 
Feel that energy from the crowd when you get on stage. 
It will make the experience better for everyone when the audience and the band are feeling like they are having the same experience. The same journey. 
The same presence! 

Give and you will receive! 


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Your Reaction

You're having a good day.
You are on your way to work when a driver cuts you off. This triggers you.
You become heavy with rage and resentment and try following the callous driver. You realize you may be late for work, but you don't care. You are riding that Road Rage high until you're  satisfied. 

A few minutes later you see someone get punched at a bus stop. Your road rage subsides to an empathetic state. It reminds you of that time someone sucker punched you at a Dave Matthews Band concert. For no good reason. You lose the careless driver that cut you off and shrug it off as if it never happened. You realize you are running late for work. You drive fast. Adrenaline is high. You finally make it to work, jump out of your car and fall flat on your face. With all the events that happened earlier, all you can do is just laugh. 

How conscious are we to the reactions we have with certain events or the way people treat us? 
Are we accustomed to reacting to certain scenarios based upon our belief systems, the way we were raised and or the lack of sleep we have been getting? 

It all boils down to responsibility. 
Taking responsibility for our reactions. 
Seeing them as teachers. 
Even if we act out, we can take responsibility for how we react to each situation. We can accept that our reactions have been inappropriate, mean or uncalled for. 

Between stimulus and response is the choice to see what is going on. Shining the light of awareness will show how we use blame to escape our own reactions. Blaming knows no end. 

We can see the driver that cut us off as an opening to connect back to the moment. When we are present, fear cannot enter. We can accept the driver for who is in and love him. We do not know the life situation of the reckless driver that so rudely interrupted your daily routine. This man or woman could be going through some rough life circumstances. This doesn't give him or her an excuse, but it allows for us to not have someone else's unconscious actions to steal our presence. We can see that having resentment hijacks our peace, joy and presence. Why would we let anyone hijack this!?!

Emotions are great teachers for us. They are telling us something. When we let the emotions take over, we are slipping into unconsciousness. When you try to escape an emotional reaction, you make it bigger and feed it. Feel the emotions fully, breathe with them. Thank them for being there. Thank them for letting you feel anything. If you were numb, emotions would be a blessing. 

When we start living by what we project and what intentions we set, we will not be rules by how we react to people's actions or opinions. We can confidently accept other's beliefs and wrong doings against you and react with presence and compassion. 

What kind of presence are you bringing to the situation? 

People will react to how you react to situations. 

Are you bringing, anger, discomfort and resentment to the table or are you bringing attentiveness, compassion and the willingness to listen? You will attract what you bring. 

The first step is accepting our emotions and reactions. The second step is accepting the way others react. When we can truly accept ourselves, we can accept others. We can respond without aggression. We can respond with curiosity and not judgment. Other people can be a reflection of our own insecurities. 

Switch from a reaction/victim consciousness to a proactive and inquisitive level of emotionally intelligent awareness. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Hey! What's the big idea?

Hey! What's the Big Idea?

Yea, you heard me!
Seriously, what is the big idea?

I am in the market for looking for ideas of great magnitude. Ideas that can create change in positive ways. In ways that I couldn't imagine. I am interested in the ideas that can sprout trees of great inspiration. Ideas that can make way for even greater ideas.

But, what makes a BIG idea so big?
Are Big Ideas necessarily good?

Ideas emerge out of the soupy caverns of consciousness. As humans, we have the opportunity to manifest these ideas into reality and action. Ideas can also be intoxicants that can control us. They can make us lose sight of our health, relationships and the way we treat others. We can become slave to the ideas, where means to an end becomes the main driver in our existence.

Ideas can be gifts or poisons. It is important to realize that ideas are not us or a part of us. We can choose to interact with the thoughts that pop up in our mind. We can engage them with passion, awe and determination or shoo them away like gnats. When we get intrusive thoughts or ideas, we can fall into states of disarray, unconsciousness. anxiety and even mania. The more we resist powerful thoughts and ideas, the more they persist. It is important to see ideas for what they really are.

When we become present and conscious and learn to see ideas as balloons that float in the landscape of consciousness, we can see them for their authenticity. Really powerful ideas make us feel sensations in our bodies. We can get goosebumps, a shot of adrenaline and a cool hit or dopamine. Powerful ideas can launch us into new states of awareness that will allow us to be vessels for creative inspiration and change. These ideas exist to wake us up so we can wake up others. These ideas are so powerful that they can make waves with very little effort.

The spirit of BIG ideas starts with small steps.
It starts with the patience to ask questions on the true nature of the idea.
It starts with the ability to separate yourself from the idea so the idea does not become a soul sucking tick that treats you as a host for its unconscious bidding. A really good idea will stick with you even if you forget it. In fact, I think it is important to let the idea develop organically as if it was a budding tomato plant. You can water it, but not over water or it will die. You can nurture its growth by simply seeing it for what it is. Do not force it. It will give you answers and inspirations. Sometimes in bursts and other times in small doses. This is the mystical nature of ideas.

It is amazing to see the vast spectrum of ideas. It is amazing to see how they come into being. Sometimes uninvited.

Here is an interesting scenario:

You are sitting at a bus stop waiting for a bus and see a man walking with a bouquet of flowers. Some of the flowers are purple and the purple reminds you of eggplant. You immediately start craving eggplant. Your mouth waters. Your pupils dilate.

The hunger for eggplant makes you want to get some eggplant to make a tasty dish. You start thinking of places to pick up some ingredients for an experimental eggplant dish. You take to the internet on the phone for clever eggplant recipes. You start thinking of where eggplant comes from. You become interested in how to grow eggplant. You realize that you have plenty of space in your backyard to grow eggplant. You start looking into starting a small garden.

In the next couple of days, you passionately organize your schedule to accommodate the gathering and buying of gardening materials. You start growing eggplant. You make a Thai Eggplant dish and share it with friends. Your friends love it! They get inspired to start growing vegetables and ask you to make your special eggplant dish over and over. They start trading with you and paying you.

Word on the street is that your eggplant dish is amazing.
You start to make a decent amount of money.
You hire someone to help you sell and market your eggplant gardening and specialty dish business.  You are driven to pursue this idea. You find your passion.

Now, Why did I tell you this small story? Good Question!
I do not know. I had no really logical explanation for why I would use eggplant in the first place. I have not taken the bus in quite awhile. I have no familiar ties to an eggplant business.

Now that I think about it though, I did have a dish at a Thai restaurant last night that included eggplant along with some delicious vegetables. As I am writing this, I am uncovering things I did NOT plan on writing. Where did these ideas come from? Am I in complete control of what I write or for what I am thinking about writing?

Ideas can lead to some profound discoveries of oneself and their perception of the universe around them. When you can divert your attention from achieving, acquiring and lusting, you can start listening to your mind and heart. You can set the stage to see the magnificent theatre that happens when you are awareness and not attached to certain ideas of thoughts. You can pull back to see how you have fallen into certain habits and behaviors and truly grow as a human being.

How amazing it is to be able to have ideas and to act on them if we choose.
How amazing it is to be able to see that there are some many spontaneous events outside of our control that.

When we can let go and RELAX, we can open ourselves to things we have unconsciously closed off for ourselves in the past.


Distant Neighbors

Tom walks out of his old house to retrieve the mail from his mail box. He sees his neighbor Paul doing some yard work. Tom notices that Paul has a yard sign in support of a presidential candidate. Tom becomes curious and walks over for Paul's yard. An interesting conversation ensues...

Tom: Hey Paul, your yard is looking fantastic! I am curious about your sign. Care to tell me why you are supporting that presidential candidate? 

Paul: Thanks for the compliments Tom. I love working in the yard. As for the sign, what questions do you have for me? 

Tom: Well, I am wondering why you are supporting that presidential candidate. What specific values and promises does this person have that is so intriguing to you? 

Paul: Well, I think he is going to great things for conserving the integrity of this country. He is going to develop a great national defense, offer affordable health care and education as well as crack down on some of the illegal immigration.

Tom: I find that interesting. Do you think this person will follow through with his promises is he is elected? What makes you think that this will be good for the entire country? 

Paul: I believe what he is saying. I think this nation is not in the best situation and could be better. It may mean higher taxes , but in the long run it will be good. 

Tom: Hmm, this is where I am perplexed. I think entrusting politicians to run out economy and use legislation and force to bring about their ideals is the antithesis of what we should be doing as a community. Sure we can identity as a nation, but in reality we are humans settling on different parts of a giant land mass. What you may think is good for a nation may not be good for the minority that doesn't support this president's promises. 

Paul: Listen, I love this country. I think that everyone should have equal opportunities, but I think government must step in to help us progress. Are you some type of anarchist? 

Tom: Paul, you use we and us very liberally as if you assume that we are all in the same ideological boat. The fact of the matter is that we are individuals in a community working together. Regulations and legislation make use obedient and divide us. Politics are a false dichotomy that distract us from the true nature of cooperation and ourselves. As for your anarchist question, I would say yes. But not the anarchist you think of. Anarchy allows for a more spontaneous order and dismisses the illusion of authority. When we can focus more on a micro level of community, we can learn and grow to build sustainable self governing socieities. 

Paul: Very interesting, what do you suppose we do? What about laws? What about the roads? 

Tom: Those are some valid questions Paul. We can focus on direct action and make the initiative to education everyone around us on how we can make a more free society void of politics and ideological struggle. It's amazing to think that me as a neighbor can have a different view of the world as you. Your political sign may put off people that support the rival candidate. It is designed that way to divide the people. We can live a block a way from each other, but our political ideologies give us a false sense of security based on media manipulation and fear tactics. We can start with neighborhood around us a let it expand to other communities. The intention would radiate and inspire others. We can live peacefully and accept everyone's religions, backgrounds and perspectives without trying to rely on politics or a "master" to rule over us. I feel like I am rambling, but I'm very passionate about expanding sustainable communities. 

Paul: I appreciate your passion, Tom. With my hectic schedule, this seems like such a headache. What can I do to help with this idea. I understand now that I have subscribed to a left-right paradigm and I'm ready to discover a new way of life. What can I do that won't interfere with my schedule? 

Tom: This is a great question. For one, you can convert your lawn to growing food. Your lawn looks great, but for the amount if land you have, you could grow some awesome food for the community. I would love to help with this. If you notice, my yard has many raised beds. I am able to eat off it pretty much all year long and preserve most of it when winter comes along. We can even specialize each yard to grow certain vegetables and plants. This will allow for a wider diversity and more concrete intention for progress. From there we can branch out in scheduling a farmer's market to sell or even trade our produce! 

Paul: Very interesting concept, but what if everyone isn't on board for this idea? I know some of these neighbors are stubborn and well, not Neighborly. Ha. 

Tom: They don't have to. We can lead by example. I have been trying to do this. If you notice a couple streets down, there has been two neighbors starting front yard gardens. I am not saying this is my doing, but we could certainly ask them about cooperating. Everyone in this neighborhood has an amazing talent or skill. If we are open and honest, we can learn to see how we can use these skills to our advantage. We can offer them something and they can return the favor. 

Paul: This sounds great. I never thought about this concept. I have always just depended on a large government to take care of everyone. I forgot about the important people around me. I was blinded by the potential of human interaction. I thank you for this. We should set up a neighborhood meeting and talk about all this. Republicans and democrats can come as well.

Tom: You have the right idea. Keep in mind, this is not about converting people. It is about accepting people. Accepting everyone's beliefs and not criticizing them. Judging and criticizing people won't lead to progress. When we can switch our mindsets to gratitude and awareness, all the unimportant things fade with ease. 

Paul: Thank you, Tom. You are a great neighbor. I look forward to meeting all my neighbors and surrounding myself with people that will support me and offer sustainable value. 

Tom: That's the spirt. Don't expect too much, however. Let that light shine. No one can squander it. Many people will try to drag you down. Accept them. Let them be. Move on. 

Paul: Perfect, thank you. 


The Stillness That Surrounds

The Stillness that Surrounds,

Do you hear it?
You may not see it , but I can assure you that you can feel it.
You can feel inside of your skin. You can feel it around your head.
It's There.

When I say there, I mean Here.
Right now. Yes, Right now!
It exists without you and exists within you.
You can't escape it.

It has been here since....forever.
Ever since we can remember. Also BEFORE we can remember.

This stillness is right in front of you. Silently just being.
Not seeking attention.
Not seeking affirmation.
Not seeking gratification.

It is always available to you. It is always there to help you see.
Every second.
Every moment.

It is present. You have the choice to align yourself with it.
It is not really it. It can not be seen, tasted or heard.
It is not a possession. It permeates every cell and every atom.

It just is.
It exists.

Whatever you do.
Whatever action or thought.
Will not change the Stillness.
It is forever still.

Everything revolves around it.
Do you understand?
Do you see what I am saying?

Close your eyes and don't resist.
You're connected now.

Let go and let it breathe!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Day Challenge: 3 gratitudes and two jokes

I have been getting in the routine of logging 3 things I am grateful for each day. They can be things that pop into your head or things you you truly can appreciate. I log them in my notes app on my phone. 

What this done is get you in the habit of being more grateful for what is in your life situation. It helps with awareness of what is and switching from a complaining mind set to a gratitude mindset. You will be amazed by the amount of things you didn't think you were really grateful for. This helps you alter your perception and come from a place of compassion and acceptance for what is. You can even be grateful for things that aren't working in your life because that can show you how you can be more conscious and grow. 

It only takes a minute or so.
Don't think too hard about it, let the gratitudes come to you. Don't question them. If you can't come up with something, look around you. 

Yes, you can be grateful for that chair! 
You can be grateful for the person that made that chair.
You can be grateful for the tree that was used to make that chair.
You can be grateful for the seed that made that tree. 
You can be grateful for the forgetful squirrel or bird that dropped or buried that seed.
You can be grateful for the weather and soil that allowed that seed to grow. 

And so on.
And so on. 

See where the daily gratitude list can take you. Here are a few examples of mine that I have personally logged. 

Gratitude Log: 
Clean Water
Safe Travel 






24 hour diners

-- do them in the morning, mid day of at night. Work your way up from 3 to 5 to 7 and so on. If you want to of course!


Another daily routine I have started is looking up two jokes a day and commiting them to memory. This helps in establishing a good neural network and allows you to be open to more humor in your life and not take things so SERIOUSLY. 

Look on the internet or even ask a friend to tell you a joke. Make it point to tell them to people during the day and watch their eyes light up. It is amazing what the impact of humor and laughter can have on someone's day. The person you told the joke to could tell the joke to another person and spread the joy of jokes and puns. The small actions can make a big difference! 

If you are feeling adventurous, try making up your own jokes and write them down. You will make bad ones and you will make good ones. It is all part of the process. Laughter is such great medicine and reminds us to let go of things that aren't serving us in the present. 

The memorizing of the jokes helps to keep your mind fresh and sharpen your attention. If you think it's funny, your friends will most likely think the same. If they don't like the jokes, laugh at them. Laugher is contagious and sometimes laughing for the sake of laughing is one f the best things you can do to brighten you and everyone's day! 


Take these small routines into consideration. Do not think of them as arduous. Think of them as small steps to make you grow as a person and expand your inner awareness. 

Be kind. 
Be grateful. 
Laugh at the troubles. 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Thinking Small

Think Small!

No, not that type of small

It's about being aware of the details in your life. The small ones. The ones that exist in your day to day life. They may be part of your routine or may be things you tend to overlook. 

We live in a culture of Thinking Big! 
Big Picture thinking that allows us to dream to project our intentions into the universe. Bigger! Stronger! Faster! 
Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it does ignore the details. The devil certainly in the details. Or at least in the unconscious actions we take from moment to moment. 

Really I am talking not so much about thinking small, but acting small. Focusing on small actions for the sole intent of being present. It is much like a snowball effect. Each small aware action or mindful activity acts as a catalyst for bettering your future self and the actions you will take in the future. 

These small actions may not even be a part of your long term goals, but I can assure you that it will help. Some Thinking Small and Doing Small activities may include some of these. 

- Mindfully making your bed
- Preparing meals for the day or week
- Decluttering your living space
- Consistently cleaning your car 
- Accompishing small tasks for a bigger goal
- establishing daily exercise routines as a baseline for building and exploring.

Each small action that is done with totality and your full attention will allow you to grow and become a more confident person. When you focus on your presence and solely on the activity itself without it being a "means to an end" , you are opening doors of unseen opportunity. What kind of conversation are you having with your future self? What kind of doors are you opening for yourself?

Small Actions can make a big difference. 
A small act of kindness can brighten someone's day which may in fact spread more kindness. A small helpful gesture towards a stranger or friend can help someone grow and appreciate the help of the community. 

As annoying as it sounds, smiling is contagious. It sets a domino effect. It shines through the dullness of modern society. 

Seeds can turn to trees. 
Many of the trees turn into a forest.
The forest works together supporting all sizes of life and communities. 
One small action can bring about change. 

We are blessed with the opportunity to choose and make ourselves more aware of our actions. We can choose to grow by paying attention or unmindfully stagnate into a boring routine. We can improve. We can approach with compassion. We can monitor our responses. 

When we act with full awareness and willingness to accept the moment at hand, we can act in the best possible way given the information we have at the time. 

The small things are teachers for the biggest parts of our lives!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Drop It!

Something bothering you on your life?
Are things not working out for you?
Do you constantly feel anxiety or worry most of your days?

Fear not. 

There is help for you.
It's this magical thing called "Drop it".
This thing will help you in ways you would have never thought of. It will make you a better person. More improved. More aware. More happy. 

It's like letting go.
Well it is pretty much is letting go.
Letting gong things and thoughts that no longer serve you.
They no longer have a purpose. 
They no longer need to try to control your life.

Worried about what is coming next?
Drop it!
Angry or mad at a friend or coworker?
Drop it! 
Still holding on to the "good old days" of your past?
Drop it!
Still hung up on the same person or ex lover ? 
Drop it! 
Still kicking yourself for past decisions? 
Drop it?
Still hanging out with the same crew of people that aren't helping to foster your growth as an individual?
Drop it! 
Still eating like crap and drinking too much?
Drop it! 
Still harshly judging or criticizing people? 
Drop it! 
Still feeling depressed with your job?
Drop it! 
Still discontent? 
Drop it! 
Still being negative?
Drop it!

Feeling lighter?

When you allow yourself to carry it all,
You are weighed down and distance your self from your authenticity and potential.

Why not just drop it ? 
Any moment,
Every moment,
Breathe and take it all in,
See if got what it is. 
Put it down or throw it on the ground. 
Keep walking and smiling. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Identifying your Identity

Who are you?

More importantly, what do you think you are? 

You may be a creative person or an introvert or an extrovert. You may be a dedicated dancer or chess player. You may see yourself as a nice or decent person. You give yourself comforting labels to stimulate the ego and raise your sense of self comfort and illusory importance. 
By calling yourself a great artist or a satisfied writer, you are attaching yourself to a constructed identity. You may be many things. Some things exist outside of your control such as your sexuality, gender and biology. You choose to identify with things that make you feel good about yourself or give you a sense of purpose. It is quite an amazing thing to think about. 

When you fully attach yourself to an identity, you put on blinders that can lead to the limitation of self discovery. Your sense of self is put into a transfixed mind set. An identity can serve as a distraction from encountering internal growth. Dancing may give you a great sense of determination or a sense of passion, but it is also something that occupies your mind and strengthens your sense of self.

Passion is great and important. When you can separate and analyze the passion, you can free yourself from being caught up in self identification. It is much like observing your thoughts and being mindful. Look at the things that make you feel passionate. Look at the things that make you present. See those identifications as masks that you can consciously "choose" to wear. Accept that identifying with a label can lead to conflict or even the inflation of the ego.

It is easy to get lost in the "I am this because I like this" mode of thinking. Sometimes identifications unite people. A knitter may show interest in meeting other knitters and decide to form a group. Like minded individuals bond over passions and other interests. This is great for humanity since we are such social creatures. However, when a group is based upon a militant ideology, like minded individuals tend to lose their sense of self and devote their themselves to group think. This is very common with political parties, activist groups and social justice warriors. 

Your identification stems from "I".
I stems from the self.
The self is a product of the ego. 
The ego relies on the perpetuation of attachment, control and resistance to what is.

It takes a great deal of patience, presence and awareness to start to distance yourself from unhealthy identifications. You can see the identities as mere parts of your mind and your sense of self. The identifications that do not serve you will disappear when you become present. You will see no need to see yourself as a Christian or a Buddhist because you will see that the labels are a way from distancing you from your authentic being and in return distance you from your fellow man. Our identities are sometimes reflections of our insecurities that allow us to construct our internal beliefs and projections on how we want to see the world. 

See your identities as teachers. 

See them as balloons that can looked at against a blue sky. You can choose to let a balloon go and fly up and away or you can choose to hold them in your hand and see them for what they are. You can try to pop the balloons, but that won't do much good since that will be the ego wanted to escape the present moment. That will be the ego trying to resist and strengthen itself. Trying to eliminate an identity is the same as trying to hang on to an identity. They exist inside of you and what you resist will persist. 

Identify the identities that you can identify with. Look at those identities and let them flow. Let them breathe. Let them make you more present and passionate. Let them inform you. Do not let them define you. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016