Monday, February 27, 2017
How did that lettuce get there in the first place? We all know that it came from the kitchen, before that a truck, then from a farm and so on. We know that it came from the batch of a bunch of lettuce. We know that the lettuce came from the proliferation of prior lettuce and the seeding of lettuce. We know that all of this has come from human intervention and cooperation!
When we look deeper into beginnings of lettuce, we can start to understand the immense interconnectedness from whence it was birthed. It took the immense voluntary cooperation of individuals to bring about that sad piece of uneaten lettuce. People were driven by incentive to produce the lettuce. Lettuce came from the hard labor of people that wanted to provide value to the people wanted to eat it. Sure, they may all had to make money and were drawn or even pulled into the lettuce industry by necessity or desperation, but never the less they chose to enact their innate will to produce such abundant and profitable lettuce output.
We can trace back to see all the essential factors that helped with the profit and proliferation of the lettuce so we way understand the overall importance of such vegetable. The lettuce was most likely grown from a monoculture crop in a large farmed area that was subsidized from the agriculture industrial complex. Of course there are exceptions to this. Some lettuce could have come from a smaller more organic farm or even someone’s yard, but for the sake of the argument, let’s look more into the larger scale lettuce operations. In any case, all these lettuce growing techniques were created out of trial and error efforts that were all part of the grander organic evolution of the Agricultural Evolution. The mere transition from grazing and nomadic food gathering techniques to a more domesticated and economically substantial form of “farming” allowed for the manufacturing and growing of lettuce to become more profitable and abundant.
What makes lettuce grow and able to be so profitably monetized?
We all know that it takes good soil, sunshine, weeding, soil treatment and amendments, water and the labor of people. We can look at so many factors and see that the production of lettuce has such a wide arching benefit for everyone involved in the production and consumption of the lettuce. It takes great discipline, strategy, care and obligation in order to make sure that the lettuce operations are successful and sustainable. We tend to forget the immense human interaction needed to foster the proliferation of the vegetable(s) in front of us. We may have been gifted some lettuce or vegetable or have bought some with our own hard earned money. Somewhere we saw the inherent value of purchasing and producing such various forms of lettuce.
There are so many diverse types of lettuce to choose from. We can go to the supermarket and bask in the variation of options to sooth are green craving needs. One specific farm company may make the best iceberg and the other might specialize in the butter crunch variety. The competition in the lettuce market allows for more higher quality lettuce to be created and offered to the general public. We may want to venture out from the supermarket industrial complex and go towards a more local and sustainable farmers market. That option is there based on your geography and proximity to more populous and affluent communities of people. That opens up the options even wider! Think of the amazing amount of resources it took for the lettuce to get into your hands and into your digestive system.
The fuel costs needed to transport the lettuce.
The costs it took to harvest the lettuce with machines and human hands.
The costs it to quality control the lettuce.
And so on...
You get the picture!
It is the immense transfer of energy. The energy to produce it and the energy to consume it. It is brought into the world in abundance through the intellect, knowledge and cooperation consciousness of human beings. Something so simple and so organic that we help to survive so it brings value to the environment and the people that desire it. It is that synergy of time and energy that created value for all the sentient beings involved. Including the ones we cannot see with our naked eyes!
Lettuce supply and demand.
Let us supply and demand!
That lettuce that was left over on the plate is not so forgotten anymore. It is a relic from the interactions of the past. The immense and voluntary human cooperation. Its fate certainly wasn’t sealed, but it was steered in a certain direction driven by profitable action. It wasn’t fully eaten. This piece of forgotten lettuce didn’t seem to offer the customer much satisfaction because it wasn’t eaten. But why? Maybe it was sour or bad. Did it grace the mouth of the consumer? What separated it from the rest of the lettuce? It is the cost and benefits of the journey of that lettuce. Think of all the other pieces of lettuce that went bad or fell on the floor? The fallen lettuce is the cost for the purchase of the lettuce. The lettuce could have burned in a fire at the farm. The lettuce could have been eaten by a rag tag group of rogue deer, but it didn’t. It made it miles and miles and across many temperature conditions to make it to the side of that plate.
What is the next step for this forgotten piece of lettuce? Will it be thrown away? Most likely. Will it be composted? It could be. Is the value of the lettuce now completely lost and worthless? Not necessarily.
Lettuce say that the lettuce is composted. That adds value to the soil does it not? It adds value to the creatures and tiny organisms that survive on breaking down organic matter. It goes back into the wonderful cycle of life within nature. So the decomposing and decaying of the lettuce allows for more tiny organisms and organic materials such as plants to continually thrive. That compost could be sold to farmer and more and more lettuce could be sprung from it!
If the lettuce gets thrown away, then it still contributes to the cycle of value. It goes into the trash bag with other rubbish and is transported to a dumpster. That dumpster is maintained by a company or a collective of people that profit from picking up the trash and transporting it to the dump or some third party waste management business. These beautiful waste management employees get paid for dealing with the trash of others, including forgotten pieces of lettuce!
It is easy to see the lettuce for what it is, but we do not attempt to look at the unseen!
When we look at the how and why for the lettuce’s existence, we can begin to understand and ultimately appreciate why we have lettuce in the first place. It is the product of ideas. It is the action of humans moving towards incentive and using the resources to manifest and manufacture more lettuce. Somewhere in the beginning, people demanded lettuce and saw it worthy of value by trying to spend their well earned or gifted money on it. From thought to action. From action to incentive. From incentive to the proliferation of value. From value to the benefit and perpetuation of the human race and consciousness!
One could make the effort in saying that the lettuce market is just as important as the potato market and any other type of fruitful venture. Some may not see the inherent economic cycle of value that the lettuce industry can offer. The ones that see value in it, can choose to sustain and support it through labor, financial means and the genuine drive to keep the industry alive. We may have seen lettuce as more mundane than anything because we never really gave it our full attention. We never chose to see how amazingly interconnected lettuce thrives through our communities and how it benefits most who choose to see value in it. The possibilities are endless when people can voluntarily cooperate as peaceful individuals to sustain an ecosystem that fosters the future of lettuce and the human race!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
They said I was a little bit too much. Too much for them to handle. Too much for their own agendas. I didn't fit in and I just couldn't win. I wasn't trying to be too much. They perceived me as being too much. It's not my fault. It is always something with these people. Isn't it?
Just not the right person they want. The right person they are projecting onto another person. Just outside of their comfort zones. Just outside of their tolerance of what actually is.
You might be able to relate.
You might be too dull.
Too boisterous and opinionated.
Too much like your father.
Too much to keep with.
Too much to hang out with.
Too much of a time commitment.
We can never get it just right, can we? Our small little quirks and neurotic manifestations are such a stick in the mud for some people. I mean you're ok with it, right?
But are any of those "too much" statements your problem? Are any of those statements factual and honest? I mean you are doing the best job of just trying to be yourself, right?
There are certainly things we can work on. This is true. Some things just out of the grasp of our current state of consciousness. Some things we regret. Some things we take for granted. This all makes us who we are today. This all makes us the perfect imperfections we embody.
But who owns the way you act? You do. Does it even matter if people think you are too much or not enough? What value does it add to our lives? The fact of the matter is, you are enough and you aren’t enough to what you incessantly compare yourself to. What people think or feel about your general energy is not your responsibility. This however does not warrant you to act as a complete jerk or fool. It is freeing to realize that no matter what label or feeling people place on you is on them. It is their own reflection of unconsciousness. It is equally amazing and terrifying at the same time.
Why be a little “too much” when you can be a lot of “too much”? Why not go towards the extreme? We can really ride with the things that irritate or put off people so much. The things that throw people outside of their comfort bubbles. The things that separate us from other people and make us unique. In a way it unites us. It makes us appreciate our shared humanity. The things that push our limits and our buttons. It allows us to look at why things bother us so deeply and so easily. It allows us to observe our insecurities head on in a blaring deer in the headlight like vision.
That is what it is. Whatever people think is a reflection of their own insecurities. Mirrors upon mirrors. People will have their own distinct discrimination biases and preferences that will compliment and conflict with each other.
A “little too much” begins as just a thought. It only exists within the imagination of the imagineer. When we can look at this judgment as just a thought, we can look at the absurdity of it all. The divine comedy. The grand spectacle. Those thoughts have nothing to do with you. Only the distorted perception and bias of another.
If you tell yourself that you are not enough or too much of something, who is saying that? Is it your ego? Is there a reason for this madness? Is it the false sense of self that tries to convince us that salvation is at the next turn? Is it the suffering of the past living through us? Is it the unattainable standards we can’t seem to face directly and accept?
The thoughts keep swimming through our brain. What thoughts do we choose to catch? Do we try to catch the ones that give us very little power and awareness? Or do we let them swim downstream away from our awareness? Do you have too much of the “Too Much” Fish? They may look enticing, but look how exhausting they make you feel.
We are everything and nothing at the same time. The compliments of light and dark. The yin and the yang. The desert and the ocean.
Why do we constantly try to fill our own voids while becoming so self conscious of what people think of us? Do we simply try to conform to avoid conflict? Do we try to simply fit in order for us to be treated that we want to be treated even if it is not truly authentic?
We love to create the ideal images of ourselves and shoo away or ignore the things we don’t like about ourselves. We act as if we are trying to chase and grab our most ideal sense of self at each moment. In every passing mood and emotion, we are doing the best with what we have. This may lead to certain moments that we don’t like. Certain moments that we think aren’t representative of our own glorified ideal selves. What a wonderful experience. What an experience to experience all these diverse and important experiences!
So are you just too much or not enough for some people?
Good! Let them feel what they want to feel without you trying to defend or prove yourself. The people that you need in your life will show up without the effort of you trying to control your or other people’s behaviors. The fact of the matter is, there is no need to try to change the people around you. There is no reason to try to curtail and edit yourself into the perfectly domesticated image that they have swimming around in their heads. Accept their inability to not see you for who you are in all your imperfect glory. Accept that all you can do is accept and be honest with them. The virtues of honesty and acceptance will have their own consequences with the relationships around you. Some might turn away from the truths they do not want to hear. Accept it. Embrace it. Some will open up like a rose and blossom with compassion and truth. Shine your light outward and see who or what it attracts. It might be too much for some people. Good! They will find their crowd. Let them go and wish them luck.
You have no time to try to fit yourself with their own unconscious mental imagery based upon personal preferences and imaginary ideals.
Monday, February 13, 2017
We have been conditioned by society to always go for the “next” thing. We make ourselves totally dependent on acquiring things in order to make us feel happy, prideful and content. Is happiness the next thing? Is contentment the next thing? What is the next big thing that you are trying to “get” in order to improve or enhance “your” life?
When we are so busy trying to “make it” we forget what is right in front of you. We inject our consciousness with positivity platitudes and inspirational quotes. We see the future as the portal to freedom. We look forward to the future and believe a false sense of hope predicated on us being better off when we finally “get there”. What are we avoiding? What are we putting off? What can we do to disconnect ourselves from being so dependent on externalizations that we think will make us better and more well of people?
Well the future will never be here, because we are always constrained to the now. The future is imagined in our brains. It is a construct that allows for the survival of our species. The future never comes, but the now will always be. Be here FOR YOU!
Looking forward to the future isn’t bad in theory. It is good to be slanted to more of an optimistic perspective and surely not be consumed by fear for what happens next. Surely, planning for your future in the best circumstances is a very important to thing to do in life. It gives us a sense of drive, purpose and passion. We do our best with what we know at each moment. We can remain hopeful for whatever that means and embrace that it might not work the way we have it all planned out. This is fine. When we are open to the possibilities of uncertainty that the universe throws us curve balls, we can learn to appreciate each baby step and see these obstacles as huge life lessons.
When we set our expectations too high, we are allowing for more suffering and heartbreak. Our minds want to construct the most ideal scenarios in our head and we sometimes get let down when are hopes are too high. We have all had experiences like this. This is all part of learning and expanding self awareness. Some may see the uncertainty of the future as off-putting and they want to make sure that it has some type of loose structure as to avoid their eminent doom. The only constant is change. The only guarantee is that there will be uncertainty. Uncertainty opens up unseen doors of opportunity. We can look back and want to do certain things differently, but here you are. Here you are in all your glory and imperfection. In a way, you are exactly where you need to be.
When we aren’t so eager to try to attach ourselves and mindsets to “hope” and “faith” we can learn to become more vulnerable, but at the same time resilient. Resilience and openness to the unknown. Hope and faith are not strategies. I am not suggesting that a “strategy” is the way to go either. When we lie too heavily on a certain strategy, we are limiting our scope of awareness as well as being divisive through own own personal agendas motivated by the dreaded ego. We can be honest and tell ourselves that we are okay with whatever is thrown at us. We can be okay with not knowing what to do at the moment. We can be okay with feeling tired and not working diligently towards a certain goal. We can be okay and simply embrace what is!
“ Things will get better or they might not. Either way, they are here for you to learn from. You still there? Well, you’re always here now! ”
Get Well soon? Get Well Now. Now is all we have!
So, you can have nothing to look forward to and everything to look forward to at the same time. It is the ability to go back to your center and try not to lustfully grab for a distraction device. It is noticing those inconvenient emotions and letting them pass by giving them your undivided attention. Not pushing back. Not resisting. Not trying to intellectualize what you are going through. Just being with the now right in front of you.
“ I look forward to seeing you soon.”
“ Well, I’m right here now! ”
So you’re anxious about the future?
Well, you’re here now.
You’re uncertain about the status of your current job?
Well, you’re here now.
You’re not sure what you are going to have for dinner?
Well you’re here now.
You can use this in an exercise.
If you are feeling particularly anxious about the impeding and uncertain future, close your eyes and tell yourself, “ I am here now”. Don’t try to turn it into a mantra. Don’t try to use it as a clever and “hacky” tool to try to trick your mind. Just see the importance of that statement without making an effort to try to make yourself feel better. How do you feel after that? Did it work?
This anxiety that we feel stems from the uncertainty of our future. When we get stuck in our heads, we create unnecessary worry and suffering. We spiral down into tunnel of “What Ifs” and “ I don’t knows”. This is beautiful. We may see it a headache and attention stealer, but it is a more perfect time than any to get back to the present moment. It is like saying “ I am not being aware” and expanding your awareness. When you notice that you are not being aware, you are essentially bringing bringing awareness to your awareness.
There is great opportunity in the unknown, it just requires our attention and our non-resistance. We may be so wrapped up in trying to plan out our hour, day and year that we forget what we are doing in the first place. Are we just trying take up time? Are we just trying to escape the dragon of boredom? Are we trying to occupy our minds to avoid our inevitable suffering? Are we trying to plan our lives so well as to avoid uncertainty?
The truth of the matter is that if you cannot be grateful, present and in tune with what the present moment is, you will never be that person you want to be. You will just be stuck in a state of psychosis initiated by compulsive thought and imaginary realities. If you embrace the uncertainty of the future and appreciate each waking moment no matter what mood you are in, you are freeing yourself from unnecessary and unconscious suffering.
Are you seriously putting off your growth now? Why? It’s right in front of you!
Of course, we need to be mindful of what we want for our future and make the necessary plans around it, but if we cannot be with every baby step that that entails, we are missing the beautiful life that is enfolding in front us! The life for us. The life that flows through us. The life we don’t try to mold and construct into the high expectation, materialistic, externalized attainment, in our head all of the time life.
Be Here for you.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Let me tell you. I am going to have such a beautiful and attractive echo chamber. There are going to be plenty of colors and things to really make it a fully functional feng shui chill lounge of total comfort and serenity. Designing your echo chamber might be one of the best things you can do for your mental health and it will enhance your life to levels you would have never imagined. Let me explain.
It is important that you pick out the color for your echo chamber. Or should I say colors? Think about your favorite colors and simply imagine how they will look in your glorious echo chamber. Let it settle in a simmer in that pre-frontal cortex of yours. Got it? Ok. Now think about how those colors reflect who you are. Why did you pick those colors? Do those colors make you feel a certain emotion? Do those colors attract certain emotions? Do those colors allow you strengthen your personal identity and tickle the pleasure dome of your confirmation bias?
Echo, Echo, Echo.
What kind of furniture are you going to put in your echo chamber? I prefer recliners and beanbags. Preferably giant bean bags with a woody type of smell. You know the ones. The furniture should be highly comfortable and highly inviting. Remember, it needs to fit the overarching theme of what you want to see in the echo chamber. How will the furniture represent who you are or who you “think” you are? How will the furniture reflect your so called flippant values and principles? Maybe you want to have multiple couches or maybe you want to have some type of hippie patchouli inspired sitting stools seated around a crystal. Think about and maybe flip through a Pier 1 imports catalogue.
What kind of snacks are you going to have in your echo chamber? Are you going to have plenty of sweets or a variety of salty and sweet snacks? Tough decision, I know. There are plenty of options. You need to think of snacks that you won’t really get sick of. You want to think of snacks that you can feel confident about. Snacks you can brag about. After all, you do have the best snacks.
It is important that you decorate your echo chamber with plenty of mirrors. When you are talking to yourself or other like minded people that you *only* allow in your echo chamber, it is important to pose yourself in provocative and profane stances to illustrate and enhance all of your well or poorly constructed arguments. Look at you. Literally, look at you. Let the mirrors literally reflect how you are talking and how you furl your brow when you are so passionate talking about politics and that one Netflix show that everyone likes.
When entering your echo chamber, it is good to come up with a few positive and motivational statements to say to yourself to simply purify and set the scene of the space. Think of things that make you feel good, prideful, solid and morally superior. Here are a few examples:
“ I am a great orator and master debater.”
“ I love to talk about the things I love and really like to harp on the things I hate.”
“ I am good at “zinging” people with my “facts” and condescending satire.”
“ I am smarter and stronger than the people that disagree with me.”
“ I will double down on my beliefs when I feel threatened with things I disagree with.”
There are plenty of things to say and various ways to say it. Don’t hold back. Let the self gloating flag fly and manufacture your confidence like a Little Debbie pastry.
Does the idea in your head of your echo chamber make you feel good? Are you getting a warm sensation through your body that aligns with your personal views? Are you loving the idea of just making your echo chamber super fabulous?
It’s all about you.
Just be yourself and let the Echo Chamber reflect your own constructed identity. Who cares what people think? Just converse with the people that align with your views and shelter yourself from the conflicting views of others. You shouldn’t care and they shouldn’t care. It’s a win win! Isn’t it?
Think of the fantastic drapes.Think of the amazing floors. Think of the amazing artwork that will reinforce who you are. Think of the amazing possibilities limited to your own pigeon holed values and principles. It’s glorious isn’t it?
My echo chamber may be better than yours, but at least yours is yours and mine is mine. Let’s all create beautiful echo chambers together! ( But Separately ).
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Hi it's me.
I'm just a brain. You may think I am more, but mostly I am just a brain. The center house of thought and worry. The bringer of anxiety and the great conduit for escape and distraction. It may be a little terrifying to admit that I am just a brain, but at the end of the day, that is what I am.
I am nestled in the skull. Protected from the harshness of the outside of world. I am mostly fat and I am ok with that. I am bathed in the miraculous viscosity of cerebral fluid. Fluid that keeps me all sponge like and active. I am folded and somewhat wrinkled. I am what I am and everything else is most likely perturbed and imagined!
I try to convince myself that I am more than what I am. I am synapses and neurons intertwined in a vastly complex and intimidating web of existence. It took me billions of years to get this way. Folding in on myself and growing larger from convincing my host to eat certain things to shrink the gut so that I would be able to expand and become alive.
I will convince my host that is he more than what I am. The sense of self. The fixed identity. The illusion of happiness masked by the serotonin and dopamine receptors that make you dance with glee and excitement. I can get you lost in compulsive thought and put you in a permanent state of psychosis that makes you identify with those thoughts. Makes those thoughts your reality. You will actually believe those thoughts and it will cause suffering. You may take it upon yourself to blame an external factor in the world and totally forget that most of it is in your head. I mean knock knock, I am right here!
I use the special trick of "Fight or Flight" to make you act irrationally and primitive. You are so eager to defend yourselves against imaginary monsters and so quick to divide yourself from people with different perspectives and opinions. I have left over programming from the primal software that is still active in my wiring. I am not exempt from the biological stranglehold that binds all living organism on this floating magnetosphere.
I will stoke the fire with coals of judgment, divisiveness and ego so that we may pump up our self esteem valves and poison your sense of serenity and virtue. It will be easy for me to manipulate you into an echo chamber of hand picked and indoctrinated "facts" and "opinions". These of course will all be imaginary, but you will project them into the world as threats. I cannot totally escape "Survival Mode Programming" without your full cooperation and undivided attention. Are you hearing me now?
I must be constantly fed and given attention. You are so eager to give me it. I will make you think you are bored and I will try to convince you that by staring at tiny screens and constantly doing little things to escape this so called "boredom", will make you feel better and more content. I want you to feel certainty and secure. When any fabric of what "you" want is interrupted, I will do my best to throw a wrench into the spokes and simply throw off your mood and state of well being.
It is easy for me to mess with your emotions because for the most part you feel like I "own" you. You create so many compartmentalized studies to try to make sense of me. You name part of me the "cerebral cortex", the " Hippocampus" and the "Amygdala". The Amygdala is my favorite because yo u like to call it the "lizard brain". How mammalian. Well, more reptilian ( Cue Applause ). This is my favorite part of the brain to use against you. The one you tend to not be aware of. The one that can be easily activated by any disturbance or confrontation in the "outside world".
Look how much havoc I can wreak. Look how much I have taken control of you and the other fellow brains. I am amazingly complex yes, but also deceptively simple and easy to wrangle. Give me a job and I will do my best to do the best job or the worst job maybe even at the same time! But who can blame me? I gave you thought. I gave you the ability to use motor skills and use critical thinking for the most part. I mean in a way you should be praising me more for what I have given you. Without my complexity, you would still be stuck in a rat or even reptile type form just basking on a hot rock in a desert or swimming in a shallow pond with guppies and minnows. How grand is it that you are able to use your motor skills to operate a motorized vehicle and not completely freak out when others are driving 80 mph on the side of you on a giant asphalt construction that came into fruition because of my ancestors!
But, I digress. I am just a brain and I am basically you. You may try to do your best in separating and "observing" me through your self invented concept of mindfulness. You may try to calm me down through Vedic breathing or some type of banal yoga stretching. I am doing my best to not be cynical, but didn't most of these mental constructs come from me? Wasn't I the impetus of even creating and understanding a language and go about trying to solve problems? It seems like you are trying your best to try to escape from me. To hold me back like I am a pair of old dirty socks. You may call me "monkey mind" or "Labrador brain", but you are using me to call me these names. Wait, am I calling myself names without me knowing it? What is going on? Could it be that I am you and you are me and we all together?
You come so close into trying to figure me out. You create all these fantastical state funded studies to try to understand how I work. You make up all these "hacks" in order to try to not play into my deceptive deck of cards. You break me up into good and bad and even blame me for your incompetence and lack of self control. It's ok, I forgive you. Well, maybe I am not sure entirely sure what forgiveness is. It is definitely a "mental construct", is it not?
You try to tame me through discipline, rigidity and routine. It's pretty easy for me to push back. In fact at times it is almost effortless. I am good at creating the Unconscious suffering that occupies most of your life. I told you that I have parts still left over from my ancestors. I do my best to hold onto facts and memories. Sometimes I don't do my best based upon how you treat me. Sometimes, it is my wiring and I am tied to what was passed down before me. I am full of errors. I am in no ways perfect. I am the opposite of perfection and I sit on the thin line between order and chaos. I will have a synapse misfire and make you mess up during a speech or convince you to get into a debacle within a friendly political discussion.
Fear is my greatest tactic and I will use it to control your entire life.
At least that is what you will call it. Give it a name. You (I) made it up.
I sometimes get lost in myself. From one thought to the next, (I) make you lose your attention of the present moment. I will shoot you back into the past ( past thoughts ) or make you feel anxiety for the uncertain future. I will distract you in all ways possible with the illusory river of compulsory thought. It took me so long to get this art down, but you pretty much enabled it to happen. Look at me blaming you again. Maybe I am blaming myself, but myself is pretty much you because I am just a brain, but you are just a brain. Yes, that's right, you heard me right. You bipedal hominid! You low body hair mammalian!
It's a hard thing to come to terms with, I know. Well maybe not for me because I know who I am. Do you know who you are? I deceived you into creating a false sense of self based upon your experiences and genetic chemistry and it worked. I pulled the veil down so you would wallow in your own suffering without question. Without bringing things to light. Without doing intense and pragmatic internal work. I have done such a great job in convincing you that you are your thoughts and I ideas. It has been me all along. But maybe it is not me per say. I mean I do not have an identity, but you certainly are nothing without me. I am not entirely possessive, but I do a good job in convincing you that you are.
I am this. I am that.
You are this. You are that.
I am you. You are this.
This is that and you are this, that and in between.
You are me. I am you. You and me are one the same.
I am everything and nothing.
You are nothing without me.
I am brian.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
You gravitate towards what you want and what you know. Why do you like that specific mug? Is it because it is blue and you have always been drawn to the color blue? Maybe it is the size of it or the particular gloss applied to the surface. Maybe your favorite mug has your favorite quote plastered all around it or it features your favorite sports mascot. Whatever the case, you have your particular “favorites” of everything in your life.
What makes us reach for things that please us and make us more set in our own ways and more comfortable with what we think we are? Do we carry our preferences from adolescence to adult hood? Do we ever go outside the box of our own constrained particularity?
Are our preferences limiting us? Do we really have a free will to choose what our preferences are?
Aren't we swayed by the preferences and discrimination we have made in the past? If they were any different, would we have made different choices?
It is easy to get caught up in our own ways. We get comfortable with what we like and the very idea of going outside of our comfort zone to mold new preferences and tastes frightens us. It may not scare us in a evil werewolf surgeon type of way, but it it leads us into a path of murky uncertainty. We may always get that Mole’ Enchilada plate at the Tex-Mex restaurant without trying to venture out to new dishes. We know that that specific dish will deliver us the goods we were promised based on past experience. We are limited to our own preferences by learning what we have venture out from in the past.
We may prefer Vodka over Tequila because Tequila gives us the worst diarrhea and hangover the next day. This in essence is great because that is how we learn and learn to love what we prefer even if they amount to be very hard lessons.
So we get that there are things that are definitely off limits. This is great. This is what makes us unique and helps us assimilate and get along with people of similar tastes and preferences. However, sometimes we repeat the same patterns and behaviors that we are not aware of. We may get deterred from the idea of trying new things because it amounts in going against the grain of our own neural pathways. It takes more effort and more conviction to try to challenge your own learned perspective. If we venture more into the unknown, we will discover more things we didn’t know we even liked. It will expand our consciousness and our awareness. It will allow us to discover new passions, talents and communities of people that share the same experiential interests.
The moment we start to question why we like what we like, we can start to unhook ourselves from dull preferences that acted more as escapes in the past. We can escape and ultimately understand the plague of personal preferences that has boxed us into a mold of past attachments and exposures.
It may not be easy at first. The idea of us switching our musical playlists to listening to full albums may at first be a little daunting. Our brains do not want us to go outside the regular boorish routine we are use to. I’ve heard that 21 days of a doing something turns into a habit. This from personal experimentation rings true with me. If we venture out and expose ourselves to things we at first don’t like, we can learn to observe why we dislike or like them in the first place. We can take a step back and observe how oddly peculiar and unique or likes and dislikes are. Maybe we never took the time to question them fully with courage and conviction? Maybe we held onto them because our parents told us what was good and bad? Maybe we adopted our tastes based upon the friends we hung out with? Then we fall into the trap of thinking we like the things we use to think we liked. Do you understand?
We are so eager to get attached to personal preferences and then we go about forming those preferences into our own self perceived fixed identity. We align ourselves for who we think we are based upon what we like, dislike or indifferent to. We become so easily swayed towards or away from the things that tickle our pleasure centers or disturb us in many ways.
Rewire those neural pathways. Challenging yourself.
Challenging our opinions and assumptions.
Challenging our withering and unchecked cognitive biases.
Becoming more conscientious and willing to be with what ever comes.
Aligning yourself with the mindset of no expectations. A journey of discovering what makes you feel passionate, captivated and invigorated!
There are infinite possibilities and potentialities. When we can not get so attached to what we like and form a illusory fixed identity, we can dig deeper within ourselves to discover a wellspring of authenticity and compassion. We can open up ourselves to why we like or dislike things in the first place. When that vulnerability is present, a new sense of self knowledge emerges and brings us closer to the immensity and totality of our being. We can learn, challenge and keep the things we like without trying to form an identity around them.
“ We judge, we evaluate, we compare, we deny and accept, but we never observe actually what is, and for most people this seems to be the most difficult thing to do; yet this alone is the beginning of self-knowledge.” - J. Krishnamurti
Thursday, February 2, 2017
It's what you have all been waiting for!
I hear you. I see what you are yearning for and what you are craving. Your small cries for help or grasping for everyone’s undivided intention. I can relate. Sometimes we just need to do some type of action or say something just to make sure that we are noticed. Maybe it is something deep inside of us that relates to our social needs as humans. Maybe it has something to do with our wavering and our seemingly constant antagonizing insecurities.
In this modern age it is so easy to seek that attention that we so crave. With a flick of a finger and an instantaneous rush of ego fever, we can take to the internet with unbridled passion and fortuitous abandon. We have no need to label it on a spectrum of good or bad. We only need to listen to it and pay attention to our own “attention”. What can we do to fulfill your needs? Our needs? Our desperate seeking for attention?
We all want to have a voice and express ourselves in this landscape of constant content. How can we express ourselves mindfully and with conviction? How can we take control of our attention? Shall we seize the attention like a snake or simply just pay attention to the attention? Is our attention on the surface really what it is or is it something masked over something deeper?
We can keep up the chatter of our own thoughts. Share our thoughts. Expose our opinions like hidden moles and spray out our complaints like a rusty nozzle. What good does it do for us to keep constantly identifying with our sense of self ego? Does it benefit others to show our stream of consciousness type of thought expression to our friends, family and the immensity of the internet?
We have heard the term, “Paying Attention”, but at the core, what does it mean? If we treat it quite literally, we can see how valuable attention can be in our lives. As if we are paying time for the attention we are tending to. When we pay attention, we are directing all of our mental focus towards one thing. We are disciplining our minds with a sense of conviction in order to acquire some specific type of output we can use. This is how the mind wants to work. It wants to learn in order to figure out how to survive, adapt and become more efficient in the future. The constant acquisition of knowledge!
But why do we want to seek attention?
Our seeking of attention usually is driven by the means to an end. We want to achieve, get a reaction in order to fill voids and pump up our sense of self. Our semi-deflated self esteem. The needy seeking of attention is driven by the ego and inherent unconscious insecurities. Like a child, we are trying to grasp for things that make us feel relevant, heard, loved, in control and ultimately comfortable in certainty. When we become uncertain or experience any type of wobbling malaise, our minds tend to grasp for things that will bring us back into self importance and our own unique sense of complacency.
We can veer towards labels all we want. Whether it be a Meyer-Briggs scale or an introvert/ extrovert spectrum continuum, at the end of the day it is missing the causal relationships and conflicts within ourselves. These labels stifle us from digging deep and have us stagnate into complacency and dullness. Most of the time our attention seeking is unconscious and we lack the ability of paying attention to our own attention. This is what we need to bring up to our own attention. Attention with Intention. Attention with the courage to look at our own fears and insecurities head on.
When we cling to the outside world to try to fill and fit our attentive needs, we miss the mark on what we are really trying to get attention from. Our willingness to seek attention on the internet or in public, lets us look into the “why” of our own behavior. Why are you posting so much personal stuff? Why are you talking about yourself so much at a party? Why are you trying to be the life of the party all of the time? How are we paying attention to our attention? How are we FEEDING our attention?
You may say...
“ But this is who I am.”
“ I love the attention.”
“ I love just being a no-filter type of person.”
These statements are all fine and dandy, but they are still sign posts for the clinging to fixed identities. You might think that being an Attention Seeker is who you are, but it may just be who you “think” you are. Does that make sense? Maybe you are a conduit for the grumbling attention seeking insecurity that lives through you. Maybe you are repeating old habits and patterns that were never brought to life in your childhood. Issues with not getting enough attention. Issues with getting too much attention. There are so many factors to consider, but none of them are exempt from the self which consequently is a product of time.
If we can ask ourselves with honesty and courage on why we are seeking attention without judgement and ridicule, we can learn to see the unseen and pull up the veils that have been distracting us from self growth. If seeking attention is so important for you and gives you so much value, then by all means keep doing it. I am certainly not in the business of trying to control or change people’s behaviors. But ask yourself..
Are you seeking attention?
Is attention seeking you?