Remedy to the pain of indecision

June 24, 2015

Before you can decide on something, you must be able to visualize it some detail.  Being indecisive is painful, so we want to get out of that pain. The problem for many of this is that we don’t have the tools or mindset to discover the real details to complete the vision, so we fill them in from our past experience or ‘good judgement’  so we can make a decision and feel better.

Patience is key, as is a willingness to embark on discovery. At some level you need to simply be curious. Nurture your own curiosity, and be steadfast with it even in the presence of the curiosity killer – fear.

Fear is almost inevitable if you are just waiting around in the dark and not doing the work of discovery.

Make the decision to discover.

Ask questions. Observe. Take notes so you don’t forget!

Doing so will soothe your fear, and move you toward your best decisions possible.

Getting it wrong is just another discovery on the way to getting it right.

 

The only good news you need today

June 21, 2015

A lot to digest here, so take in each sentence slowly. One a day is probably best:

 

-If we expect things or need things to be perfect  or even ‘to our liking’ , we have created a certain plan for a very unhappy life.

-We don’t come to God by eliminating our imperfection, but by rejoicing in it because it makes us aware of our need for God’s mercy and love and it keeps us humble.

-The spirituality of poverty is the recognition  that myself, by itself, is powerless and ineffective.

-Within the spirituality of imperfection, the quickest ticket to enlightenment is calmly acknowledged littleness. Then you have nothing to prove, protect, or promote. The ego resists , but the soul knows.

Richard Rohr

 

– You can show your love to others by not wishing they should be better.

-We must bear patiently not being good….and not being thought good.

St Francis of Assisi

 

-Patience is being patient with your patience.

Idries Shah

 

Let go of the need to think well of yourself and your situation.

Let go of the need for peace, over and over, and a deeper and broader peace than you can imagine will come to possess you.

 

 

 

ISIS, measles, and the new front in the battle against mind manipulation

February 22, 2015

ISIS can only exist when a critical mass of people are susceptible to mind manipulation. The photos on the news of those 3 British teen girls on their way to join ISIS are truly bone chilling. Susceptibility to mind manipulation is nothing new, nore are its horrific consequences.  I see the current crises as an outcome of a sort of epidemic of psychological immunodeficiency. Why don’t we eradicate this susceptibility in everyone like we eradicated small pox? We practically eradicated measles in the US but our suscpetibility to mind manipulation allowed it to come back as a real and present danger. We can no longer just dismiss our own vulnerability to it by saying it just happens to the stupid or weird elements of our society. The sad thing is that we already have the knowledge to prevent mind manipulation. We came about this knowledge when so many American Korean War POWs were brainwashed by the Chinese compared to other nationalities that the phenomenon was able to be identified and properly studied and understood. The military learned from it and fixed it. We need to teach those skills to everyone, especially our youth. It ought  to become a worldwide public health campaign with special emphasis on vulnerable peopulations. We can’t wait on the current power structure to do it, especially when they are often so dependent on mind manipulation themselves.

Each of us can start now with a simple internet search. For tweens and up I recommend What’s the Catch: How to avoid getting hooked and manipulated by Denise Winn. For adults try The Manipulated Mind by Denise Winn or Battle for the Human Mind: A physiology of conversion and brainwashing – How Evengelists, Politicians, Psychiatrists, and Medicine Men can change your beliefs and behavior by William Sargeant.

Please share this  blog post. We are at war. I don’t think that overstates it.

The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Choose. Rinse. Repeat.

January 11, 2015

Pain is our jailor, jail, and liberator in this world.

 

Props to Allan Tsang for title inspiration.

Je suis Wim Chase

January 11, 2015

Just be yourself.  

Defend everyone’s right to do the same as long as they are not violating 6-10 of the Ten Commmandments.

1-4 of the ten commandments are  personal and social development recommendations.

They seem to become dangerous to the human psyche and human communities when not taken together with 6-10.

I think they actually simply point  you should aim to do the best you can by holding to the highest standard in ALL things.  Why have low standards when you can have high ones?

If you believe that there is a highest that preceeds and exceeds reality – you can call that Reality and try to make it the one thing you remember as often as you can.

That effort is religious effort – available to all of us, even if prefer to remove the R and make it an r.

 

RrRrRrRrRrRr

or rrrrrrrrrr

Whatever or WhateveR…

 

 

 

 

You are wise to start with attention to the least sexy component to success – patience.

October 2, 2014

Patience is not a particularly interesting topic, at least on the surface of it. Though patience has a lot to do with why people we admire accomplish so much, we tend to focus only on the fruits of their patience, or their visible actions.

Patience is seen more like drudgery. But reflecting on patience, we can begin to get some traction with it, and give ourselves an advantage for having done so.

How do we get started with becoming more patient? Consciously or not,  patience always begins with a decision to be willing to endure averse emotion as it arises in an endeavor – choose pain over comfort.  So being more conscious of that mental process, or mindful, will help us get more of a handle on accessing our patience when we need it. One wave of averse emotion at a time, we can develop our patience, even as we fall off the wave and our efforts are thwarted. We are strengthening our patience just by consciously meeting the wave that threatens it. We do the best we can.

Yet we know our efforts will be thwarted. Patience is built on a foundation of failures to be patient. It will strengthen your patience if you are kind to yourself and others even as your patience fails you. Or as Idries Shah wrote, learn to …”be patient with your patience.”  Resolve to relate to yourself with heart as often as you can remember to do so.

Fortunately, not everything requires patience. In fact, there is a time to give into your impatience. It is always wise to soothe or bypass averse emotion unless doing so disrupts the focus you require to complete something important.  Putting patience aside sometimes and favoring pleasurable activities will help replenish the energy that patience requires when you really need it. Misplaced patience is an energy drain.

Nonetheless, you really can’t overdo patience in situations that require it. The challenge is deciding which situations really require it. After all, we are told that he who hesitates is lost.  Then again, we are advised to look before we leap.  Maybe better sayings would be “He who hesitates to look before they leap unnecessarily risk being lost”. or “if you don’t look before you hesitate to leap you are just guessing and are already lost”. Anyways, my playing with the wording of pithy quotes might not clarify anything. Patience does not replace critical thinking. It just gives you adequate time to engage in it.

Patience must not confused with the capacity to wait.   Patience is a tool that permits us to see and seize the moment when waiting any longer is unhelpful. Procrastination tends to be the default way we employ time. Waiting is not hard for the procrastinator in us. We put things off and distract ourselves with something more interesting or easy. But it really is more a failure of patience than ambition not to get started on something. After all, you have no problem ‘getting started’ with easier activities, no shortage of ambition or gumption there! You are simply refusing to make a decision to endure the averse emotions that getting started on the tougher challenge might evoke. Call a spade a spade, and call impatience what it is – impatience.

Patience is very worthy of our focus in enhancing our development and making progress toward our goals.  It can expand and deepen our perspective on situations and make possible the vision required to make better decisions based on a greater grasp of what is happening and how it all fits together.

But it will not insist on your attention. It is a quiet virtue, and you have to be able to still yourself to really be able to employ it.

I am sorry if this piece is a boring or dry, but that does sort of speak to the point I am trying to make.

Gratitude alerts us to opportunities. Ingratitude blinds us to them. Neither replace critical thinking.

October 2, 2014

The title of this post is for your reflection.

You can share it but please cite me.

Copyright 2014, All rights reserved.

Beware anything you do or believe that makes you feel special. Appreciate the significance of ordinary challenges

September 14, 2014

John 5:21-26

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder'; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Pay attention to the details of your particular life situation and make good decisions. Religious rituals and beliefs exist to support your efforts to love your neighbor as yourself. God does not need you to believe in him or your rituals. They are there to support you, to give you comfort and rest after your hard work being a peacemaker in this world. You may face some scorn and be tempted to retaliate. You will feel like you are making no progress. You will be tempted to spend too much time absorbed in religious ritual and words. Jesus is pretty clear that you will be missing the boat, in this world, and the next.

Lessons from the Vikings : The wisdom of being more honest about the role of luck to success

September 7, 2014

HAP is an old Norse word that means ‘luck’. The Vikings added it to the what has evolved into the English language we speak today, and it is the root of several words such as happy, happening, and hapless.  The Vikings put a lot of stock on luck, they even considered luck to be a part of what made up their self, much in the way we consider intelligence or strength to be essential parts of the self. But certainly, like us, they saw luck as coming about by chance. I think the advantage they had was that they saw it as something they could pay attention to and develop.  

By definition,  you can’t put conditions on luck. It seems like something that you either have or not. We call luck by other names now – like opportunity. The word opportunity  is one of those buzz words used by business people that has tried to render everything in terms of logic and intellectual analysis. I prefer the word luck. We have less trouble seeing luck as bad or good.  Seeing the possibility of bad or good in anything is a better motivator for us to pay attention so that whatever luck comes our way so we won’t miss out. And that’s really a way to happiness…just being open to seeing things as clearly as you can no matter what. The more you engage with life in this way, the more skilled you become in taking advantage of more and more of what comes your way. You begin to look to others like you have a lot of luck, and you have no problem admitting it if you are thinking like a Viking. Maybe Vikings were more humble than we perceive them to have been. They attributed a lot of their success just to their luck. Maybe we should too. 

Just as important to happiness is to look out for bad luck, bad ‘hap‘penings coming your way so you can protect yourself, also a skill that you develop with attention and engagement. 

So ‘happy‘ is really a mindful state where you are just paying full mindful attention to what is and what is coming, and not getting to attached to any one piece of HAP. lest you miss the next one. 

You are lucky if you are happy and you are happy if you are lucky. 

To say it another way, you are happy or confident simply because you are doing what you know will give you the best chance of success – just paying mindful attention and developing the abilities that transform you into a person who can best adapt to make the best  of the luck that comes their way, and when in abundance, share it – become lucky for others. 

Happiness is the truth. 

It seems we can’t always avoid fighting so explicit agreements to avoid throwing knock out punches are essential

September 4, 2014

Many disagreements turn into ugly fights  because people feel pressure to get a decision on a matter.  It happens at work and home.  Each party starts hitting harder and harder, or in reaction,  run further and further away from any interaction at all.  However, if both parties give each other permission to step on each other’s proverbial toes and not worry about the outcome, a lot more is going to get aired, and usually that leads to healthier decisions even in the absence of a full agreement.

It actually is fun in many cases, as long as the rules are clear – though not usually pain free. The point is to avoid injury.

Sometimes the instructions on where someone has permission to “hit” you ought to be pretty specific. A married couple cleaning out their cupboard may agree to take the gloves off when talking about what dishware to throw away but not the silverware.

 

 

 

 

 


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