Thursday, December 29, 2016
You heard me. Go ahead and judge me. It's fine actually. I certainly won't judge you for judging me. That would make me quite hypocritical wouldn't it?
You actually have every "reason" to judge me and other people around you. Pick apart their lifestyle choices that don't match yours. Look down upon their behavior with scorn. You know so much more don't you?
We sometimes trap ourselves in our own heads. We ruminate and reward our own pigeon holed and limited perspective. There is nothing necessarily "wrong" with this. It's remarkably human to cater to your own biases and desires.
We don't want people to judge us. We want to run away from any sense of criticism like cockroaches to a kitchen light coming on. We know what we think and we like it. We know we could certainly be better and do better, but gosh darn it we think we are doing our best.
There are certain times where judgment might work to our advantage, but we tend to confuse judgment with discernment. We can discern from a moral position wrong from right. In any case, every has their own unique situation and there lies more importance in finding the "why" in someone's behavior than the so called wrong doing attached to behavior itself.
We are doing are best with what we know at each moment, aren't we?
Usually judgment stems from a place of misunderstanding, miscommunication and unconsciousness. If we want to break that tightening grip of judgment, we must approach each situation with patience, tenderness and compassion.
It's a tricky balance.
We can attempt intellectualize our emotions all we want. We can try to detach and reason with why we are feeling the way we are feeling.
It's equally as important to feel our emotions and witness our ego mindset of judgment.
What does judgment of yourself or others do to your body? How does affect your mood? How does it add to personal growth? How does it feel when someone judges you?
Take a minute to recognize the mind and body connection with the illusory monster of judgment.
Does it take over you?
Do you let judgment take the wheel?
What do You have control over? Judgment is a great teacher. It brings our insecurities into the light. Like shiny sharp objects. It can force us to look at the things that make us feel most perturbed and uncomfortable. So aren't we being judgmental when we think someone is being overtly judgmental? Think on it.
When someone nastily approaches you with unconscious judgments and criticisms, how do you react? How do you react within your body? Do you outwardly express your insecurities and emotions?
So since it is counter intuitive to try to control people's behaviors, you can really only be responsible for your reaction. That's stoicism 101 for you.
We can release our resentment for people that implement the judgy side eye ( JSE ) and come from a place of non-resistance. We can only see them for who they are at that moment. When our minds create a story of the individual(s) in question, that's where the ego likes to take control.
Assuming we know why someone is acting on is a bad failure. People will always judge. Let them have that freedom.
Judgment thrives on comparison. When you deduce your reasoning to such benign comparison, you are starting to sacrifice your sense of self and intelligence. Intelligence in its truest form does not thrive on comparison. Intelligence provides a clear point of view void of judgment.
Why let judgmental people take up so much of your head space?
Why let judgmental people steal so much of your joy?
Let them stew in their own unconsciousness. Let them be who they think they are. Let them be.
It is not a profitable business to try to control people's behaviors.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Hugging the Cactus
You feel it in your chest.
You feel it in your body.
That sharp sting. That discomfort that takes comfort in throwing your thought processes off track and throwing quick jabs at your gut.
How bloody inconvenient!
We try so hard to escape those self created problems and inconvenient feelings that we never allow ourselves to experience the totality of what has been so nicely displayed in front of us.
What if we were to do something radical and embrace those metaphorical and literal thorns that jab us in our life situation?
What if we were to simply "be with" and express gratitude for the pain that we have allowed to disturb our fleshy meat vessel?
It's there lingering. That social anxiety that picks at you in public. That sheer irritation of not knowing what to do.
There is no use in escaping. It comes back with bigger gloves. Tighter gloves to strangle you into discomfort.
The uncomfortable fleshy meat suit body that writhes in all directions.
Those toxic floating thoughts that float in the lukewarm hot tub of your head. Synapse misfires. Small spikes of anxiety.
As the therapist would ask, "how does it make you feel?"
Well, how does it?
How does it feel to be so uncomfortable? So riddled with anxiety and uncertainty.
Those prickly thorns that stick in your side and dig in your mind.
What if we were to embrace all that and simply accept it? Simply accept all past actions and small bursts of embarrassments and humiliations of the past. Simply accept your sheer discomfort in the moment.
Well you might say that it's not that simple and you're right. It seems hard, but like anything it takes patience and practice. It's being ok with not being ok. It's being fine with having an outburst or small flub of emotional distress. It's being content with not being content. It's about accepting how you really feel and actually "feeling" it.
Not bottling it up.
Not pushing it aside like an empty beer bottle. Not putting it back up in the closet.
Just like a cactus. It's prickly and quite unique. We know very well that you can't touch it. Those prickly spines are not inviting.
So all that anxiety, those worrisome thoughts, that sadness, depression, emptiness and loneliness are all part of the cactus. You can take a step back and look at it and know that fighting with or touching it will simply be unproductive.
We can accept that the cactus is there and can help us being more aware of our inner workings. We can appreciate them and decorate and arrange them upon the mantle of our cerebral cortex.
Let us not be afraid of these sensational succulents. Let us accept those prickly spines with open arms. Hug the cacti within you. Let us not be afraid. We can wrap our metaphorical arms to feel the full spectrum of pain, the gift of embracing our demons. Loving the parts we have hated and resisted for so long.
We can be lovingly aware of these colorful cacti. Appreciate them without touching them or embrace them knowing the consequences. Embrace them with the intention of feeling the power of their full sting. Sitting with it. Breathing with it.
Hugging the cactus means we can have the courage to be vulnerable and embrace all of our self perceived faults and weaknesses.
Hugging the cactus means we can not resist and be in awe of painful thoughts and feelings. We can feel out the totality and the awesome full spectrum of humanity.
Hugging the cactus means are ok with riding out the discomfort and fully accept the sting of our own self perceived and delusional sense of reality.
Hugging the cactus means loving the things we once saw as negative. It means accepting the suffering of others and seeing them as our teachers and less of our own outward projected enemies and demons.
The cactus is you.
Love that spiny yet beautiful living organism with all the attention and compassion that you can bare.
You are such a unique cactus.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Journey into the unknown without your phone.
Journey into the unknown without your phone.
Scary isn't it?
What shall you do?
Talk a walk that isn't distracted?
Sip on coffee without that glaring screen?
Write a song?
Write freely without a goal?
At first it becomes a little unsettling. The discomfort of not having that rectangular computer like object when you need to run away from your thoughts. When you need that crutch. When you need that fix. What do you do?
Like flies to a light.
Do you reach for something else?
Do you look around the room for another distraction?
(( Reach for the Rectangular Object ))
Like the call of the nicotine cylinder.
You can see it now.
Your lustful grabbing.
Your insatiable appetite to occupy your mind. The phone became your safety blanket. You were under the control of the magical device. You outsourced your cognition so that the phone could memorize what you didn't want to. You obeyed the convenience of the device. With a couple taps, you could connect with and friend, order food, play silly games and get enthralled wit the bells and whistles of the continuous "feed".
Your phone was the physical manifestation of certainty. The safety blanket that fit in your pocket. Your sense of security and identity.
You feel your heart skip a beat when you realize you forgot your phone. A jolt of worrisome energy courses down your spine. Where did your life force go? You have been cast into discomfort and anxiety. The phone became a part of you, didn't it?
An Auxiliary Limb. The technological modification for living in the rat race modern world.
Your phone was an exit strategy from the present moment.
Your phone was a quick retreat from discomfort.
A quick gift for your reward centers.
You have to ask yourself.
Does it serve me?
Does it serve your neurosis?
Do you serve it?
Do you always answer the call of its constant reminders of notifications?
Do you quickly reach for it when you have a thought or "inconvenient emotion" that is bugging you?
You just can't remember the name of that actor on the one tv show can you? It's driving you crazy. You must know now!!
A divine comedy.
Look how far we come. The world at our fingertips. Information at the flick of the wrist.
Can we sit or simply walk with that discomfort?
Take a walk without your phone.
When you go into the grocery store, leave it in car.
"I mean is that smart phone even making you smarter?"
When you are driving your car, try putting it into the glove compartment?
Just try it?
Oh how lovely it is to cling to certainty. To have that safety computer in your pocket. To have access to things far away. But what about right in front of you? What about the people around you in the "real world"?
What about the ecosystem and the people living out their lives around you? Sharing the same air. Driving on the same roads.
What about the friends you have neglected?
What about the loved ones you lost touch with?
What about the squirrel chase you missed because you were on the phone?
What else have you missed??!?
What other wonderful ephemeral musings have you squandered by being seduced by a rectangular screen?!
Well what can you do?
Maybe be ok with not reaching for that device when you think you need it. What are some other options?
Well don't escape it silly!
Feel it out!
How does affect your body?
Feel that anxiety?
Some progress to be made.
Small steps go a long way.
Mistakes will be made.
Monday, December 5, 2016
There are plenty of things to be grateful for. Material things. Relationships. The life situation you are in. It is important to be mindful of our relationship to ourselves and how it affects the perceived “outside” world. There are plenty of practices you can perform express your gratitude.
You can write down things you are grateful on a daily basis or moment to moment. Bringing your appreciation and gratitude to light is an essential part of maturation and inner growth. The awareness and vulnerability to simply redirect your thought process towards gratitude can have immense effects on everything in your life situation.
We all find ourselves in hard times and emotional struggles from time to time. This is part of the immense spectrum of emotion that has been gifted to us at birth. How amazing is it to be able to feel so many emotions?
We tend to want to grasp onto the good and “rewarding” emotions because it makes us feel content, comfortable and what we can label and perceive as “happy”. When something like sadness, anger or depression hits us, we want to escape it like it’s the plague or an annoying mosquito. None of us want to hold onto sadness. That would perpetuate more sadness, but continuing to resist these “bad” emotions can lead to more destructive behaviors further down the line. The more you resist, the more these self perceived inconvenient emotions will persist with more strength and potency.
“Fix your Attitude.”
What do you think of this phrase? I am sure you have heard something like this before. Maybe you were acting irritable, stubborn or anxious and someone wanted to simply change your whole emotional disposition. Although the intention of this might be good, it doesn’t really help the situation at large. The person telling you to fix your attitude is trying to whether he or she knows it or not, to control your behavior in order to suit their own agenda and comfort. This phrase shouldn’t be retaliated against with more aggression. That would be extremely unproductive. Just because they can’t accept your emotional landscape at the moment, doesn’t mean you should try to fix their unconscious behavior. Get the picture?
So how can we take responsibility for our emotions and not try to escape our current emotion with resistance and “acting out”?
This is a great question. We must take responsibility for our actions and emotions. This is fundamental in the human growth mindset.
First: You feel those emotions. Feel them in your body. Breathe. Don’t try to suppress them. Refrain from saying “ I’ll be ok”. You will be. It will pass. Experience that inconvenient emotion with your whole body. You can choose to simply “relax” through it.
It may be hard. Good. That’s your mind trying to retreat from experiencing the negativity and discomfort in your body. No need to push back, just think of that passing emotion as an enclosed water slide. There is an end to it. Might as as well enjoy the unexpected twist and turns and the flow of the water, right?
Second: So you’ve made it through the hardest step.
How can we work on that attitude now?
Do you feel slightly less heavy than before?
Do you feel more “in control”?
Do you feel somewhat balanced?
If not, that’s ok. Patience is key.
Let’s tie this in with the gratitude we talked about above.
You may have the inkling to just try to relax through this whole emotional turmoil or try to think of all the negative things your mind was throwing at you.
What if you were to do the radical thing and switch that negativity switch to gratitude mode?
Think of it as reformatting your internal hard drive. Fixing glitches in the software. Upgrading your mental operating system. Rerouting those Neural Pathways.
What are you grateful for?
Think of 3 things.
Just at the top of your head.
Don’t question them, just accept them. Let them in. Remember what I told you about resistance. No need for that here.
Does your mind end at 3 grateful things?
Surely, there is more? Right?
Gratitude has no ending. No period. No exclamation mark. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s the beautiful thing. From the tiniest to the biggest. Everything counts. Everything holds fabulous weight.
You can be grateful for:
That mole on your left arm
The ability to afford groceries.
The ability to drive a car.
Your central air.
Onward and Upward.
The snowballing of gratitude. The domino effect of thankfulness.
The Immense Power of Acceptance.
Look at the list above.
See what I did there. I literally just listed things I was grateful for at the top of head. Straight off the dome. No rehearsal. No premeditation. As I was doing this, I felt a warmness. A warmness that filled my heart and soothed my mental reward centers. It is a win win scenario.
What beauty comes from spontaneity. The embracing of uncertainty.
The yielding to vulnerability and whole hearted living.
You fix your attitude by fixing your gratitude.
Your GR( ATTITUDE ).
You can even be grateful for things that you see as “negative”.
Maybe something bad happened to you or you yelled at a close friend. There are so many things we wish we could have done better. There are many things that we think we regret. There are many things that have made us feel guilt and shame. This is progress. Why not be grateful for the “bad things” that have waken you up and contributed to your growth as a person? Why not be grateful for the lessons you have learned from trying times? All in all, when you become more grateful, you see the sheer absurdity in the past negative reactions and thought processes of the past. You can move past that negative mind and be present. What a gift to be able to emerge from darkness with strength, wisdom and the ability to grow.
What do you choose?
When that negativity seed gets planted in your head, how are you going to make it grow. Are you just going to let it sit there in the dark? Are you just going to let it sit there and fuel your negative energy? Or. Are you going to let it emerge from that soil of darkness and bloom? Bloom into a flower of gratitude. A flower resilient to anything that is thrown at it.
Flowers grow from Sh*t.