Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winning at life

It just occurred to me that we attempt to be one with God, as we conceive him. That is a relationship with our own imagination. There is no tension, no power and no life in our relationship with our own imagination.

Instead, I am in a perpetual argument with you, but it is not a competition, which we normally conceive it to be. In a competition we expect to find a winner and the vanquished. But if there is a winner, the competition is over and there is no longer an argument, no struggle, no power, no life force in that.

But in our argument, we are at the opposites of some subject. For example, you take the position of the North Pole and I take the position of the South Pole, and we're damned if the two shall ever meet.

But it is between the magnetic poles where the the power flows. Life happens in the struggle of opposites, not in the winning and not in the unification of the opposites. So the defeat of either pole is the end of life; and there is no winner in that.

All the fun is in the struggle, knowing that it empowers both of us. It is in the struggle that we grow and expand and express who we are. We don't destroy our opposite, we play with them.  To destroy our opposite is the end of everything, it's suicidal, and therefore, it is insane. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Get real, master life, and have fun!

Understand the nature of illusion and reality for a better life 

“There is no outside of you. It’s all an inside game.” NOT. 

This is an often repeated, badly understood half-witticism, and repeating it frequently doesn't make it so.

Reality exists, but it is extremely complex. We cannot grasp the complexity of the stimuli that we receive in any moment, so we carefully pick just those stimuli that are most important to our survival. We pay attention only to the few most important clues in in our world in any given moment. We have a very limited grasp of reality. We are in survival mode throughout our early life.

As a shortcut to faster understanding of the immediate world, we create an artificial, mental construct of how we think the world works. We interact with the world based on the assumptions and biases in our mental construct (ego).

Our weak, inaccurate, illusionary mental construct doesn't match reality because it is intended to provide quick rules of thumb so we can react to circumstances faster. The construct provides quick answers based on previous experiences, not the real-world, immediate circumstances. We make snap decisions about everything, and they are always wrong, at least just a little bit, but usually by a lot. 

We perceive the world through the filter of this mental construct. It is the lazy person's way to interact with the world, and it is always inaccurate ... until we clarify our perceptions by becoming aware of the construct/filter, and recognize that we never have an accurate understanding of what is going on or who any certain person really is. We categorize people by their behavior, but we don't know what they have experienced, what they think or what they feel. We don't actually know people - even those we've lived with for decades, but we respond to them according to our pre-constructed biases.

We don't perceive the world accurately, and we carry around an inaccurate, mental construct of the world as a survival mechanism, but that does not mean that the outside world is not real. 

The outside world is real. It is part of the game. You deny reality at your own peril. All you have left is an illusion, and reality will slap you in the face. 

Through meditation and contemplation, we recognize our mental construct (ego) and how it differs from reality. That is the inside game.

When we purify our inside game, we bring it to align more closely with the real world. Then, we become more accurate and more successful in our interactions with the outside world.

By the way, life is not a game, and reality is not a computer simulation. Life is a helluva lot more complex than any computer game can ever be. Real life is so much bigger that you are only a momentary, passing flicker in the universal flow of things.

But you are everything in building your life: Build it accurately to get in the bigger game and have much more fun!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

What are akashic records and can they be trusted?

A friend asked me about akashic records, how to access them, and how can one trust it to be true, and not some imagination or falsehood?

It's interesting that akashic records is a concept that is referred to around the world by different names. The truth is the truth no matter who says it or when. We can trust it to be a fundamental truth when it shows up in different cultures in different times of history.

You have probably seen me write before that the universe is energy. Waves in energy form patterns. The patterns contain information (knowledge). The more sophisticated the patterns, the more sophisticated the knowledge that is contained.

“Everything jiggles,” according to theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. He was saying that everything vibrates – a truth in physics. Because everything vibrates, everything puts out waves into the universal energy field. So, everything is broadcasting information into the field. Of course, we know that the waves continue to move out from their source, losing strength as the expand.

However, the source continues to repeat its same vibrations, and those vibrations resonate – are echoed in – other things in the source’s surroundings. So, certain vibrations expand and hold their strength for much longer. They share a common vibration and common information about their existence, their reality.

So, this information is all around us and in us. It’s what some refer to as the akashic record. Because we are in this energetic vibrational field, we are constantly communicating with it. We wonder about something, and in so doing, we set up a vibration with our thoughts. Similar vibrations in the field resonate, and we unconsciously focus our attention on them. When we pay attention and are open to receive those answering vibrations, we learn the information contained in the field.

The problem is that this happens on a subtle level, so our minds must interpret the information. We are driven to put the information in a form that we can understand and accept. In the process, our mind may invent stories. The story itself may be a fiction, but the underlying truth is still true. If we understand that we live in this fictional story that our mind makes up, then we can also become aware of our biases and filter them out to discover the underlying truth.  

So, when we access the field, we may already have a frame of reference – a story – that allows understanding of the truth. However, we may not even understand the knowledge that is made available to us. There is lots of opportunity for misunderstanding, whether we are stuffing the information into our current frame of reference or inventing and entirely new one.

To make matters worse, the information is constantly fluctuating and flowing. You can never dip your toe into the same river twice. In fact, when you dip your toe into the river, the river changes before you can get your toe back out.

Everything is uncertain. There is no certainty. We create our own certainty, and that certainty is only what helps us to fix things in order for awhile so we can more effectively function in the world.

From birth, recent generations have been steeped in the religion of science. We think that there is truth out there; and if science can measure it and repeat it, it must be true. But you have to understand that, scientific method has only been around for 350 years. And with the dawn of quantum theory, we now understand that everything is always changing. It’s worse than that: the observer influences (changes) what is observed.  

The akashic record exists, but it contains information about everything in all times. It’s a vast and variable imprint in the universal energy matrix. The information you access from it is more likely to resonate with what you already are and what you expect.

That may sound scary and uncertain, or you can realize that you are the source of the vibration that attracts the answering vibration. If you are source, then expect heaven. Intend heaven. Act as a builder of heaven. Ignore here and now reality, because it is just temporary, its vibration only makes more of the same trials and tribulations; and it is not what you want anyway. Instead, set up in yourself the vibration of happiness, prosperity and expansion; and that is how the akashic record will respond to you. The better and longer you hold that vibration, the more your happiness will be attracted to you.  

Within our physical reality, knowledge leads to understanding, and experience leads to realization. So, be a life-long student: Learn everything you can. Also, be a life-long adventurer and collect experiences: Be more so that you can do more, so that you can have more life in your living.

In quantum reality, we are waves on an ocean, there one moment, gone back into the expanse in the next moment. Surf the wave that you are.

Now, while I’ve answered your question, this is a very short, condensed answer. It’s meaning is already changed by my mind, by the words, and by your mind. And that’s okay. You can ask as many questions as you like, and I – or the akashic record – will provide an answer.

Just be who you are in this moment, because in another moment, you will be someone else. Everything is always changing. So, be the life that you love, and enjoy the forming of it. You may never arrive at the end. It’s not about the certainty of the end result, but about you, your vibration and the act creating. It's not about understanding, but realizing. Don’t worry. Be happy. Enjoy the ride!
- Christopher

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Addictions position point paper 2018

Yet, today, we understand addiction and have ways to prevent it, ways that cannot be implemented as long as the medical community ignores cutting-edge research showing genetic predisposition (Reward Deficiency Syndrome) to substance abuse, and childhood trauma as the activation of that predisposition. The interaction of the two results in Substance Use Disorder.


Prediction is now possible.Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS) … is an identifier of polymorphic variances which predispose an individual to Substance Use Disorder, and other impulsive–compulsive behaviors and their root cause Reward Deficiency Syndrome …. provided a critical tool in stopping the cycle before it begins.” “We now have entered a new era in addiction medicine that embraces the neuroscience of addiction and RDS as a pathological condition in brain reward circuitry that calls for appropriate evidence-based therapy and early genetic diagnosis and that requires further intensive investigation.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225054/

Prevention is possible. “Dr. Kevin McCauley’s documentary Pleasure Unwoven defines addiction as a ‘stress induced defect, acting on a genetic vulnerability in the reward learning area of the mid-brain and the emotion choice area of the Frontal Cortex’. …. [C]hildhood trauma alters genetic expression, and the interactive variance results in increased substance use and/or abuse.”  - https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/integrating-the-science-of-addiction-and-the-science-of-wellbeing-2329-6488-1000275.php?aid=92330  (This is a great review of a well-being approach to addiction treatment, including the needed change in attitude and stigmatization. Attached.)

So, Childhood Trauma is the First Level essential cause (of five progressive levels) in activating the genetic predisposition, a condition known as Reward Deficiency Syndrome, resulting in Substance Use Disorder.

Trauma response is a DCS assignment, one that our DCS is failing at.

The recent Indiana DCS director – in her letter of resignation – pointed out that prevention is possible, but not under inadequate funding.  

Using the GARS predictor instrument, trauma prevention (avoiding genetic activation of RDS) can only be done by fostering healthy families and, failing that, community connections that replace the warm relationships developed in healthy families. Known connections points that are also failing to provide preventative support (in that they stigmatize addiction and drive away people suffering from genetic activation) include programs in church, employment, clubs, and other community organizations.

Legislative research, action and funding can thus direct funds to prevent Substance Use Disorder by fostering healthy families (the ideal DCS function) and promoting community connection points.

“Integrating the Science of Addiction and the Science of Wellbeing,” Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Published Date: August 15, 2017

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Afraid to ask

I recall an incident when I was two years old, that taught me a lesson that effected the rest of my life.

Mom had just changed my diaper, and I was playing in the sunshine on the floor of the living room. After a short time, I realized I was thirsty. So, I went over to my mother, who was working hard at scrubbing out a roasting pan. You know how hard and frustrating that can be. But, at that age, I didn’t know.

So, I waddled up to my mother, tugged on her smock, and asked for water. She nudged me away with her knee and asked me to wait a minute. Of course, I had no idea what a minute was, so I waited a long time – all of about 10 or 15 seconds – and went back and tugged on her smock again.

“Water,” I insisted.

This time, her knee knocked me backward a couple of feet, and she screamed her frustration at me. I landed on my butt, utterly shocked and terrified. I began to cry hard. She told me to go away and leave her alone for a while. So, crying in confusion and fear, I wandered down the hallway and into a bedroom.

I was really scared and alone. I thought to myself, Daddy is at work, big brother Mike is at school. I realized I was alone with this very angry, large person. There was no one to hold me or comfort me. I didn’t know what to do.

So, I continued to cry loudly.

“You better stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about,” threatened the monster in the kitchen. That just made me more scared. I just couldn’t stop crying.

So, I crawled up on the bed, took a pillow and shoved a piece of it into my mouth. I buried my face in the pillow and repeatedly screamed my terror and helplessness into it, soaking it with my tears. I wanted to get away, and I didn’t know how.

Then something shifted in my mind. The pillow became me: The baby needing comfort. I held the baby in my arms and comforted it, rocking and talking to it.

“Chris, come in here,” Mom called from the kitchen.

I was afraid to go. I kept holding the baby, rocking it, comforting it. Me still sobbing, struggling to stop.

“Come in here now! Don’t make me come in there to get you,” she threatened again.

So, in my childish set of mind, I decided to protected that baby. I put it carefully on the bed, and I told it, “You’ll be okay here.”

Mom yelled again. I patted the baby Chris, and left it there on the bed. I went out to meet the dragon.

Thirty-six years later, I recalled that incident. I realized that I was a split personality. Somewhere inside me, there was a baby that had been left alone in safety and forgotten. I had been bravely fighting the good fight for decades, trying to protect that forgotten baby, still crying on the bed of my soul.

Today, age 65, that memory came back with a thud as I realized that, for the last 60-plus years I had been practicing the lesson I learned that day: It is frightening to ask. Don’t ask for anything. Make your own way in life. People don’t want to help. They are mean and scary, and you can never tell when they’ll turn on you.

This has been a life theme. I can tell you story after story about how I never asked for what I needed. I never got the help I needed because I never asked. And I always blamed it on other people. I felt that they really don’t care.  

Then, today, I watched a video about asking for help; and it all came back to me. The speaker said that everyone naturally wants to help. First, I recognized that in myself. I’m a good person. I have kept myself safe. And somewhere deep inside, I really wanted to help. But I was afraid to engage.

Then, I had to admit that others had the same feelings, perhaps different experiences, but the same sense of expecting others to know my needs, but never to take care of me or to help me.

And so, a new journey begins. I have to unlearn that old lesson. I need to let go of that two-year-old’s decision to avoid asking. I need to let go of that toddler’s distrust of others and fear of asking. 

I need to learn how to ask for what I want. I need to learn that skill of asking, and learn to do it effectively, so that I can get what I need, and others can feel good about helping me …. So, I can help others get what they need, and feel good about helping them. 

I was vulnerable, but now I’m a little less afraid. Now I have another thing to work on for a better me and a better life. And it only took a lifetime of lonely struggle. - Christopher 

Friday, July 26, 2019

What do you have in mind for your future?

If I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll only get what I’ve always got.
I see what is, and I dwell on it; so, I get more of what I’ve always had. Basically nothing special.
So, if I want the things that I love in my future, I need to change from living in what I have, and instead, live in the reality of what is coming. I envision what I love, and I hold that experience as though it already exists. I sit and think about the six-senses experience of that which I love: I see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it … all within the power of my imagination.
Here’s the key: My brain doesn’t know the difference whether I’m really experiencing it or imagining it. It’s a real experience to my monkey brain in either case. In my brain, the mental-emotional construct is equal to the real experience … because either way, my experience is in my brain.
So, when I hold the construct in my brain and feel it in my body, it becomes my expectation. My brains starts looking for that reality in the real world. And we all know that, you see what you are looking for. If you buy a new car, you see that car everywhere. If you have a hammer, you see nails.
If I see myself having a good time having deep discussions with friends and students, I will see it. That is my future … not some wishy-washy hope or a weak continuation of what my life has always been. I’m going to travel to see all my friends and students, and sit with them in conversation about the reality of spirituality - my specialty, my podcast, and my book.

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Itty-Bitty Healthy Eating Course

People think self-control is the most important thing for eating healthy.

For healthy eating, mindfulness is even more important than self-control. You can't control yourself if you aren't paying attention.

Most of us automatically respond to abdominal discomfort by stuffing something in our face. We get in a rush, and we aren’t paying attention. Then we feel guilty about it! We feel we failed and give up, and go ahead and eat anything. 

Imagine if we took a moment to recognize that feeling in your gut is something else. "Wait! That's not hunger. That's thirst!" ... or gas, or that spicy thing you ate a little while ago, or that asshole who yelled at you.

So, once you decide it’s really hunger, then:

    - Only eat when hungry. 
    - Eat a single portion. 
    - Use a side plate instead of a dinner plate. 
    - Stop eating when satisfied. Eat until satisfied, about 80% full. 
    - Drink some water after the meal. 
    - Wait 30 minutes for it to settle. 

Contrary to the cultural norm, we usually only need to eat once a day. A cup of bulletproof coffee, a few nuts with water, or a glass of unsweetened almond milk will usually satisfy you during the day.

Fat helps you feel full and is great at curbing cravings.

Sugar causes cravings. It burns off your vitamins and minerals, which create cravings.

Sugar is also addictive, which creates more cravings. So, avoid sugar at all costs. Cold turkey is the best way, and it’s not easy. You’ll go through withdrawal for five days to three weeks.  It’s harder to avoid than you think. They put sugar in all processed food.

So, eat raw foods. Avoid or at least minimize grains and root vegetables, which are heavy in sugar, starches, and carbohydrates. Eat lotsa green veggies, which provide healthy slow carbs.

Congratulations! You graduated from the Itty-Bitty Healthy Eating Course! Now you know what to do. Be a mindful eater! –Christopher  

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Pure and innocent self

For most of my life I did not know my true self. I was full of pain and suffering. After one particularly heart-rending experience, I was so drained and empty that, when looking at others, I could see their suffering imprinted in their expressions and postures.

Years later, on a three-week solo retreat, the mask fell away at one point. I physically felt it melt off my face and body as the tension of holding it disappeared. That was a taste of my true self: innocent and pure.

I kept these memories in mind as I continued to practice the meditative life. I knew the real me was there, just under the veneer of fear and defensiveness. Every so often the true me resurfaced, building a strong sense of my real identity.

One day, while interacting with some people, I realized that they were all working hard to keep up their masks, but that they could relax just a little bit, just for a few moments, if I surrendered my own mask. Their spirit fairly cried out for me to take the lead. When I became that pure innocent self, their whole demeanor responded. They changed before my eyes, became softer and more peaceful in tone and behavior.

In recalling that moment, I experienced again the courage it took for me to give up the hard shell that covered my tender self. I felt the fear and simply gave it up. While nothing in the room had changed, when it fell off, almost everyone just turned toward me and smiled softly. They didn’t realize that anything had changed, but through their behavior they followed the warm vibe. A most extraordinary experience. –Christopher  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

10 keys to improving yourself over time

If you keep doing the same thing you've always done, you'll always get what you always had. - Mark Twain

If you're looking for a better life, you want to do these things to improve your self over time.

1. Read.

2. Read some more.

3. Find people who do what you want to do, and hang out with them. Volunteer for them. Go to college and build a network of friends.

4. Travel. Try out new things every day: new people, new foods, new music, new skills, and new places. Diverse stimuli are the source of creativity.

5. Be your self. Ignore others’ opinions. Replace their expectations with your own. Follow the joy: Repeat the things that bring you joy. Do what you love: Make a career of it.

6. LISTEN. Take time to understand what other people are saying. Learn active listening, empathic listening. Listen to their needs and wants, then keep them in mind as you go about your life. When you run into something that could be helpful, share it with them. LISTENING is the path to world peace. 

7. Trust yourself. You choose. Listen to all the advice people give you, and discard most of it. Pick out only the nuggets that are inspiring and empowering. Do what you want to do. You have to ignore yourself to always do what others are doing. Choose for yourself. Trust yourself. You choose. You always choose.

8. Try. So many wonderful ideas and important messages never get shared because people don’t even try. Everybody has great ideas, but few people try. Take a risk, give it a try. You can never fail until you quit. Never, never, never give up.

9. Love. Express your gratitude abundantly and abundance will come to you. Comfort, encourage and empower people every chance you get. Make it an every-moment-of-every-day thing. Sad people will become happy because you took a moment to be present for them. Broken people will heal and become strong just because you told them they could. You are power. Your love is powerful.

10. Get out and do something now! Always ask yourself, “Am I using the Internet, or is it using me?” Live the real life. Social media is an illusion and sucks your soul. —Christopher 

Monday, June 17, 2019

How you can make patience stronger than anger

Angry people think patience is a sign of weakness because they associate it with hesitation, fear and powerlessness. They know that survival and prosperity are won by struggle, and only by fighting to win at all costs can they survive and prosper. Blessings are won by conquering and using other people. Angry people take what they want, and leave the patient people whatever is leftover, the crumbs that fall from the table, whatever trickles down. Anger is strong in that it acts immediately – impulsively. It is powerful in that it has a simple focus: to win the competition for survival and comfort.  

Patient people think patience means surrender and not getting involved in the fight. They believe that, if they hesitate, the moment has passed, and they have lost the battle for survival and prosperity. But they have adopted the mindset and culture created by angry, aggressive, violent people. They believe they are the victims of angry people, that they have already lost. But they are fully participating in the war culture by lying low, not getting involved, and not acting in resistance. They accept the leftovers as long as they don’t have to fight for them, as long as they can remain tolerably comfortable. But, left unchecked, this eventually leads to a struggle over the leftovers, a fight for survival, and a bloody war with those who have taken everything of value.

Patient people can win in the competitive society by learning to …
-          Build community: Join in, and Cooperate with others. Listen and learn.
-          Win consensus and commitment to the community. Identify who disagrees, and hear them.  
-          Be assertive, not aggressive. Learn sharing, not selfishness.
-          Be intelligent: Carefully choose where to exercise power and force.
-          Exercise courage: Never fail to take appropriate action. Speak up, but don’t only speak up.  
-          Practice persistence: Patience requires continuous insistence to be successful.
-          Accumulate power and influence. Show how patience accumulates power and influence.
-          Build infrastructure and philosophy to sustain the community.

This is not so simple as fighting for what you want and taking it. It requires intelligence and thought, and thought requires time for contemplation. But you are busy trying to survive, and have no time.

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb


Monday, June 10, 2019

Cleansing dark spots from the spirit body

Several people asked for a further explanation of what I was talking about in yesterday's blog.

I practice meditation.

We are often aware of blocks to the flow of our spiritual energy in the body, either as “being sad for no reason,” or often in the form of thoughts and feelings. "My parents beat me mercilessly as a child." "My friend betrayed me." "A fire burned down my house and all my memories went with it." "My mother died when I was 10." These emotion-laden thoughts are labels we put on blockages to the flow spiritual energy. They persistently manifest until we figure out how to clear them.

Once we become conscious of the movement of the spiritual energy, these "dark" energy-less splotches can be swept into the central energy flow (kundalini), where they are cleansed and purged from the energy body. The thoughts and compulsive behaviors may try to return, but they are no longer supported in the energy-body (soul). The thoughts and habits are easily recognized, and dismissed or laughed at as something old and unreal ... an empty echo of the now-missing aetheric injury.

When the blocks are cleansed, we can build new pathways of spiritual energy to whatever we desire, and that serves to motivate. These new pathways can manifest as new neural pathways in the physical body as well.

I hope that helps. - Christopher

Sunday, June 9, 2019

How my spirit remotivated my body

When I took some of the dark holes out of my spiritual body field, I knew I was removing some deeply embedded traumas, which I had associated with various of my life stories. What I didn’t realize was that I was also taking out some of the motivations that I had used to write in the past.

Recently, I couldn’t get motivated to write for a long-term project like a book. But then I realized that I used to write from those old traumas, from the anger and pain associated with them. The energetic basis for my motivations were gone.

Since then, I experienced the absence of motivation in the form of momentary bouts of deep sadness. I wrote a meme about it: “I cry inside when I don’t do what I can do.”

This might have been confused with the return of the old sadness associated with the traumas or with guilt over not writing, but I knew it was neither of those. It didn’t have a story associated with it. I had no moral obligation to write. No, this was more fundamental.

This was my willing spirit crying for my weak, unmotivated flesh. My soul cried to be expressed. It was a sad spirit that didn’t want to be sad. It wanted my poor body to move.

When I realized this, I knew immediately what I had to do. Just as I had used certain yogic breathing practices to remove the old, dark, energy-less blotches from my soul, I could use the same practices to install new, positive, spiritual-energy neural pathways into my body.

It’s sort of a strange experience to do this. It’s not about the familiar sadness and suffering, nor the stories I used to associate with old traumas. It’s about establishing my bit of universal consciousness here and now in my body: My spiritual presence is embodied and aware. 

Then, holding my desired end-result in mind, and with deep energetic breaths, I establish a new spiritual connection between my soul and the desired end-result. That spiritual connection encourages new neural circuits to form in my body: A path for motivating energy to follow and move my body to express the spirit for a specific goal. 

The spiritual flow clears the way for the circuit to form by moving my spiritual energy-breath along it until I sense there is a potential for energy to follow the path, even when I'm not envisioning it. This is a non-specific imagining because my spirit knows what it's doing. It simply clears the path for the energetic potential to follow, and prepares a way for the neural connection to form. The physical manifestation of nerves grows along the spiritual path.

So, now, anytime I want to write, the first thing I do is breath and re-energize the spiritual path from my soul to the desired outcome. And then, I imagine the neural paths manifesting. They are real to me; so, I behave as though they are real. I believe they are growing from the spiritual to the physical reality.

All the naysayers will point out that this is simply my imagination at work, a psychological figment, and that's an appropriate concept for their level of understanding. For them, I have no doubt that the figment of my imagination is true for them – until they expand their understanding.

For me, I create my life and my world. Reality bends to my knowing. – Christopher

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Ego beliefs vs. Spirit beliefs

I was inspired at 3:20 a.m. This is what I have so far, and I don't see an end to it yet! It's a work in progress.
Embodied Spirit
I am a victim of circumstance. I am helpless.
I take responsibility. I am more powerful than I ever imagined.
I work hard and struggle to build and maintain my life.
I attract my desired life by holding the vibration of what I love and doing that.
I know my limits.
I’m constantly testing my limits, and I haven’t found them yet.
I am the victim of karma. What goes around comes around.
I am loved. I forgive. I am forgiven.
Every cause has an effect. I am formed by the events in my life.
Every effect has a cause. Be cause. I form my life.
Scarcity: There is not enough for everybody. I must compete for and take my share, which may be more than I need.
Abundance: There is more than enough for everybody. I help each person get enough.
I will die, and that is terrifying.
I am part of the universe and continue as long as it does; and that is glorious.
It’s complicated and confusing.
It’s elegant and beautiful.
I am alone and lonely.
I am one with life and community.
Shit happens.
I am a problem solver.
I’m stuck doing the same old things.
I am a creator of new things.
I repeat mistakes until I learn their lesson.
I do my best, and I do better next time. I am learning every day of my life.
I am waiting for the right conditions.
I start now.
I give it a try; and if I fail, I quit.
There is no failure as long as I keep trying. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Risk scares me. I don’t take chances.
I am fearless. I love trying new things. I exercise due caution. I am prepared in case things go wrong.
I hope to go to heaven when I die.

I love everyone, so heaven is at hand right here and now.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

7 practices to stay mentally sharp

Are you dragging yourself around, forcing yourself to do what's necessary? Do you feel mentally fuzzy in the afternoon? Get rid of all that struggle.

Take charge of your mental fitness by including these seven practices in your life.

1. Learn everything you can about everything. Knowledge if the foundation of wisdom. Diverse stimulation is the foundation of creativity. “Frankly, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can.” - Elon Musk.

2. Meditate: The goal of meditation is not to get rid of thoughts or emotions, but to become aware of the deepest causes of your thoughts and emotions, to clear the cause, and thus, to start fresh every moment.

3. Collect experiences. Take a chance.  This is about stretching your limits, realizing the difference between real threats and illusionary fears, and ending stress and worry over things that never happen. The more experience you have, the more mental toughness you develop and the more confidently you can approach life. “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ― Carrie Fisher

4. Exercise caution. Protect yourself. Keep yourself safe. Your greatest vulnerability is your trust in a good friend, but even good friends get angry and make mistakes. Keep that in mind. On the other hand, remember that some people get satisfaction by lying to you, to redirect attention from themselves, to avoid conflict or just for the fun of seeing you react. These invisible stressors take up brain energy, so eliminate them. 

5. Be grateful for everything. Watch for the beauty in every moment of every day: the wind blowing in a green tree, the birds, the butterflies, a friendly puppy, a gem, or a painting. That uplifts you. Compliment and encourage people every chance you get. That uplifts them … and you.

6. Exercise. Get up and walk around every hour. Go for a 30-minute walk at least once a day. Do some kind of intensity training for 15 minutes three days each week: lift weights, swing concrete blocks, or work in the garden. Exercise also minimizes depression and anxiety. 

7. Sleep. Don't buy in to the myths about "sleeping too much." When you're rested you can get twice as much done! Fact! So, sleep eight hours every night. If you get tired in the afternoon, take a nap long enough to reset your brain. You can do this by hanging your keys from your finger and falling asleep. When you totally relax, the keys will fall from your hand and wake you. If you are sick, sleep more. Often we have a low-grade sickness, and we need an 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon. You'll love life when you feel rested. Don't underestimate the importance of sleep for your mental sharpness and improved energy. - Christopher  

Friday, May 24, 2019

How to become the smartest person around in the new millennium

One of the early steps along the path to enlightenment and transcendence (those terms have specific meanings in my vocabulary) is the necessity to unlearn everything you know.

There are several good anecdotes and altruisms about this. One of my favorites is the one about the government official who visits a professor. The professor pours the man some tea; and when the tea reaches the top of the cup, the professor just keeps on pouring.

"It's full! No more will go in," the official blurts out.

"So it is," the professor observed. "How can you learn when your cup is already full? Come back to me when your cup is empty."

Wayne Dyer provided one of my favorite altruisms. He tells how we elevate ignorance to the level of cultural icon.

"The truth is the truth until an institution get ahold of it; then it becomes a lie because the institution becomes more important than the truth." - Wayne Dyer

Religions, governments, and corporations use this device to keep us in line to do their will. A religion erects icons and buildings honoring a person as the one true God (our culture now capitalizes the word "God"), while that same person teaches us to stop worshiping gods (icons). The government preserves the peace by conducting unceasing war. Corporations provide only what brings the greatest profit – including addictive sugar – and neglect what brings the greatest good.

People believe human beings are mechanical beings – bones wearing muscle suits – while science shows we are energy beings with a physical aspect.

Many of our fundamental, modern assumptions are wrong; and perhaps the greatest challenge to human existence is our comfort with the idea that we know certain things. Yet, we are beginning to see a shift in human consciousness from a violent adolescent civilization. We are becoming conscious that we individuals are integrated with everything and everyone around us. Each of us is not a body, but 50 trillion cells working in cooperation. We are not nations, but 7 billion humans caring for one another.

"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s there are few." – Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." – Alvin Toffler

"When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before." – Henry David Thoreau

"Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting something go every day." – Zen Proverb

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Why I quit my job on the third day

Have you ever quit a job and walked out without giving any notice? What caused you to leave so urgently?

For me, it was a toxic boss.

When I get asked to interview for the job, I assume two things:

1) I already know this is a company I want to work for.

2) The company has reviewed my resume and believes I have the right stuff to do the job.

With those assumptions behind me, I’m interviewing the boss to see if I want to work for him/her. I’m asking about culture and relationships with coworkers, and who’s important to know. In short, am I going to feel comfortable working here? (Note that I am not trying to prove my worth or convince them to hire me. I’m past that. I’m trying to find out, are they good people to work with?)

On the second day of a new job, the boss came in to see me, and she was totally bonkers, put me in a dark office with flickering lights and an old wobbly chair, gave me no help settling in, and made me look for my own equipment to use. A couple of co-workers came in to console me and told me that, “She’s just like that.”

I slept on it overnight. The third day, I pleasantly thanked the boss and the two consolers, packed up my stuff and walked out. I left a nice letter to my boss’s boss, explaining why I left.

As an employee, it is not my job to fix the boss, adjust her attitude or teach her how to orient and motivate new employees. (I now charge $500 monthly retainer to coach an executive.) I didn’t trust this boss; so, I figured that, if things start out bad, don’t expect them to get better.

Compassion: An end to the same old mistakes

Dudjom Rinpoche
"Altruism is the path of beings of great potential. Therefore, train yourself in deeds of virtue, and do it on a grand scale. Shoulder the responsibility of freeing all beings from samsāra. No teaching is more profound than the practice of compassion." - Dudjom Rinpoche 
When I am anchored in the peace of the Universe, I see how the angry person is triggered by the projection of their own darkness, a shadow of themselves that they paint on me. So, I am not triggered by their anger.

I see it for what it is: The shadow of their own trauma and their unmet need for healing love. I can choose to walk away from negative people, but these days I am stable enough and centered in spirit enough that I can let them process their samsāra on me. 

And afterward, I feel good about myself for having helped another person working through their samsāra. –Christopher  

Samsāra - a Sanskrit word that means "wandering" or "world", with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It refers to how we repeatedly find ourselves in the same situations that cause us the same problems over and over again, until we learn the lesson of the situation and resolve the struggle in our hearts. –C 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Half-witticism #364: Ignoring makes life peaceful?

“The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become.” – GratitudeHabitat.com
Another  overgeneralization. Another half-witticism being passed off as enlightened wisdom. 

Sorry, but sometimes I just have a problem with letting the long parade of half-witticisms on social media continue without some attempt at clarification. 

Some "negative" people are depressed or anxious because of some trauma they've experienced. Then, the peace-making thing to do is to LISTEN. The sooner they are allowed to process their experience with someone who is sincerely LISTENing, the less damage happens and the faster they recover. Usually they have to pay someone to listen, and that shouldn't oughta be.

In the case where you are sensitive to negativity in others, then YOU need someone to LISTEN to you, to make a safe space for you to be heard and process your sensitivities and traumatic experiences.

If you are sensitive, you may have to protect yourself from overload on negativity. A sensitive person may benefit from distance - physical or psychological - avoidance or totally ignoring. (Partial ignoring doesn't work.)

If a person behaves or speaks negatively a lot, you cannot end their negativity with less responses. That is proven to not work because any response at all serves to reinforce their behavior. If they are getting any response at all, they will increase the frequency and intensity of the behavior until they get the desired level of response. Less response does not equal more peace.

The only way to end negative behavior and speech in another person is to totally ignore them when they are misbehaving, AND immediately reinforce them when they exhibit positive behavior, immediately returning to ignoring as soon as the negative behavior reappears. Totally ignoring an undesirable behavior is called "extinguishing." This is the only proven way to end negative behavior in another, and then, only when consistently used.

So, obviously, it's not anywhere near as simple as "less response = more peace."

In fact, everybody is "negative" at times. When they are suffering, are we to give them "less response?"

Instead, we might say, "When you're feeling sensitive, avoid negative people." Or "When you encounter a negative person, try to give them a safe space to be heard if you're able." Or "When someone is perpetually negative, avoid or ignore them to extinguish the behavior."

But, if you want to publish altruisms, please make sure they're at least true. Guiding people to make generalized ignorant and inappropriate responses is harmful. 

- Christopher

P.S. Really. I think I'll start a regular column called Half-Witticism, there are so many out there.