Author Topic: Groovy meditation  (Read 3104 times)

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Offline Slice

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Groovy meditation
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 07:26:58 PM »
Whether you are scarred by love, jaded by religion or beaten by circumstance, there comes a time to say “Enough!” and move on. You aren’t serving yourself or changing anyone else by holding on to anger. Rights and wrongs are beside the point now. It’s time to let go, let the past be what it was and move on. You can’t change what happened, but you CAN change what you are making it mean. You can change the story you tell yourself.

One of my favorite children’s stories is Grandpa’s Slippers. Grandma thinks it’s time to throw out Grandpa’s tattered old slippers, but every time she throws then out, he finds them because he loves his old slippers. Grandma is right of course. The time has come for a new pair of slippers. But on the other hand, Grandpa has to make his own choices about when to move on.

It’s a bit the same with this article. Forgive me ferreting through the closet of your personal story. If, for whatever reason, you’re not inclined to move on then by all means stop reading. But, on the other hand, if you are ready to claim your most powerful and exciting future then please DO read on. Consider me the meddling grandma.

Your old story is like Grandpa’s slippers. It doesn’t fit you anymore, doesn’t fit the person you want to become. Like the old slippers, your story is coming apart at the seams because it’s not YOU. Its several sizes too small for the life you deserve and know you want. The slippers represent a version of your life that has become comfortable, maybe even comfortably numb. But it’s not the truth.

Beware of ancient drama slopping around in truth’s slippers. They may be keeping the soles of your feet warm with the familiar glow of self righteousness, but they aren’t feeding the soul of who you are. Your old story is at best a half truth and you may even have the wrong half, the half that is holding you back. It’s time to exchange the half truth of “poor me” for a new truth called “my potential.”

As the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says, “The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”

Who would you be without your old slippers? As long as you choose to walk with the gait of a victim, everything that happens to you will feed this story. You will search in closets, under beds and in the trash for any excuse to reignite the drama. Your walls go up, your heart closes and you recreate the sagas of your past hurts like painted bodies in a crime scene. Life will continue to happen TO you as long as you tell this tired old story.

Close the book on the victim story and remember that you are a fearless pioneer on a daring adventure to find love and beauty in and around you. Everything is an opportunity, well before you ascribe it with any meaning. Allow life to happen THROUGH you, and WITH you, rather than to you. It’s time to claim your power, and leave yesterday’s disappointment in a vault marked “things I’ve grown through but they don’t define me ANY more.”

If you’re not ready to read this, then forgive me. Take it in the spirit it is intended. I offer this with compassion and in the interests of every person realizing your full potential as a human being.

We don’t do a service to anyone when we allow each other to wallow in self pity. Nor do we do each other a service when we perpetuate wounded truths. Wounded truths are the half truths that speak of past disappointment but don’t catch the other half of the truth that you have power to make choices about how you respond. Wounded truths are often spoken with tilted head and muffled tone. We ask for peoples least rather than inviting their greatest.

Take a little power walk in your new slippers and see how they feel. Use language that speaks of power and potential rather than paralysis and pity. If we were inviting fullness from each other, we would talk about survivors of crime rather than victims of crime. We would emphasize recovery rather than addiction. We would describe people as managing chronic illness rather than “having” diseases. The disease doesn’t define the person, nor does the crime.

This is not about denial. We do well to avoid the other extreme of blame as well. Allow people to feel their pain and not deny the past. But at some time, and somewhere in between victim mentality and blame lies a healthy form of present focused personal responsibility.

The happy ending in Grandpa’s Slippers is that Grandpa eventually lets go of his old slippers, buys a new pair and voila, it turns out that he loves the new slippers even more.

I shouldn’t make any promises, but I can’t help feeling that the same is true for all of us. The new story may take some getting used to, but once you do let go and move on, your life will flourish in leaps and bounds; from responsibility to power, and from choice to freedom. You might even thank Grandma for breaking the victim’s cycle and prompting you to make new choices.

Oh, and this process of claiming your power has no end point. It’s a lifelong journey of growth. No sooner has Grandpa slipped his feet into his new, comfy loafers, than Grandma turns her attention to his tatty old cardigan. Claim power in one area of your life, create a habit of forward focused momentum, and then turn your attention to the next. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Its fun making life-affirming choices, and exciting.

As Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist,

As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:35:36 PM by Slice »

Offline Slice

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Groovy meditation
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 10:49:34 AM »
Letting Go, Moving on

Whether you are scarred by love, jaded by religion or beaten by circumstance, there comes a time to say “Enough!” and move on. You aren’t serving yourself or changing anyone else by holding on to anger. Rights and wrongs are beside the point now. It’s time to let go, let the past be what it was and move on. You can’t change what happened, but you CAN change what you are making it mean. You can change the story you tell yourself.

One of my favorite children’s stories is Grandpa’s Slippers. Grandma thinks it’s time to throw out Grandpa’s tattered old slippers, but every time she throws then out, he finds them because he loves his old slippers. Grandma is right of course. The time has come for a new pair of slippers. But on the other hand, Grandpa has to make his own choices about when to move on.

It’s a bit the same with this article. Forgive me ferreting through the closet of your personal story. If, for whatever reason, you’re not inclined to move on then by all means stop reading. But, on the other hand, if you are ready to claim your most powerful and exciting future then please DO read on. Consider me the meddling grandma.

Your old story is like Grandpa’s slippers. It doesn’t fit you anymore, doesn’t fit the person you want to become. Like the old slippers, your story is coming apart at the seams because it’s not YOU. Its several sizes too small for the life you deserve and know you want. The slippers represent a version of your life that has become comfortable, maybe even comfortably numb. But it’s not the truth.

Beware of ancient drama slopping around in truth’s slippers. They may be keeping the soles of your feet warm with the familiar glow of self righteousness, but they aren’t feeding the soul of who you are. Your old story is at best a half truth and you may even have the wrong half, the half that is holding you back. It’s time to exchange the half truth of “poor me” for a new truth called “my potential.”

As the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says, “The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”

Who would you be without your old slippers? As long as you choose to walk with the gait of a victim, everything that happens to you will feed this story. You will search in closets, under beds and in the trash for any excuse to reignite the drama. Your walls go up, your heart closes and you recreate the sagas of your past hurts like painted bodies in a crime scene. Life will continue to happen TO you as long as you tell this tired old story.

Close the book on the victim story and remember that you are a fearless pioneer on a daring adventure to find love and beauty in and around you. Everything is an opportunity, well before you ascribe it with any meaning. Allow life to happen THROUGH you, and WITH you, rather than to you. It’s time to claim your power, and leave yesterday’s disappointment in a vault marked “things I’ve grown through but they don’t define me ANY more.”

If you’re not ready to read this, then forgive me. Take it in the spirit it is intended. I offer this with compassion and in the interests of every person realizing your full potential as a human being.

We don’t do a service to anyone when we allow each other to wallow in self pity. Nor do we do each other a service when we perpetuate wounded truths. Wounded truths are the half truths that speak of past disappointment but don’t catch the other half of the truth that you have power to make choices about how you respond. Wounded truths are often spoken with tilted head and muffled tone. We ask for peoples least rather than inviting their greatest.

Take a little power walk in your new slippers and see how they feel. Use language that speaks of power and potential rather than paralysis and pity. If we were inviting fullness from each other, we would talk about survivors of crime rather than victims of crime. We would emphasize recovery rather than addiction. We would describe people as managing chronic illness rather than “having” diseases. The disease doesn’t define the person, nor does the crime.

This is not about denial. We do well to avoid the other extreme of blame as well. Allow people to feel their pain and not deny the past. But at some time, and somewhere in between victim mentality and blame lies a healthy form of present focused personal responsibility.

The happy ending in Grandpa’s Slippers is that Grandpa eventually lets go of his old slippers, buys a new pair and voila, it turns out that he loves the new slippers even more.

I shouldn’t make any promises, but I can’t help feeling that the same is true for all of us. The new story may take some getting used to, but once you do let go and move on, your life will flourish in leaps and bounds; from responsibility to power, and from choice to freedom. You might even thank Grandma for breaking the victim’s cycle and prompting you to make new choices.

Oh, and this process of claiming your power has no end point. It’s a lifelong journey of growth. No sooner has Grandpa slipped his feet into his new, comfy loafers, than Grandma turns her attention to his tatty old cardigan. Claim power in one area of your life, create a habit of forward focused momentum, and then turn your attention to the next. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Its fun making life-affirming choices, and exciting.

As Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist,

As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:34:40 PM by Slice »

Offline Slice

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Groovy meditation
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 01:55:39 AM »
FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is the memory of danger. It serves a purpose, often keeping us out of danger like not touching a red hot stove top, but in many ways it’s a dinosaur. The fight or flight response of fear is a hangover from ancient times when people had to avoid flying spears and hungry mammoths. It created the urgency to act before thinking. Life doesn’t hold the same dangers for most of us now, and yet our brains still hold the same capacity for fear. Our challenge is to separate healthy fear from unhealthy fear. This is part of the process of photoshopping memories- updating the information and reframing the challenges behind fear.

Healthy fear gets you out of the path of a speeding car, and checks in with the doctor about a strange lump. Unhealthy fear is F.E.A.R, false evidence that appears real but is mostly a fabrication of the reptilian brain and the ego that wants to keep you imprisoned in your own mind, unwilling to be fully alive because it’s too risky to venture out. Overcome this unhealthy fear, and you will wake up to an inner security that will put external threats in a new perspective.

TS Elliot said, “I will show your fear in a handful of dust.” 9-11 showed us fear in a skyline of dust, an urban wasteland. Ten years later, the dust has settled, but the fear remains for many. Unfortunately, some politicians, most branches of the media and too much religion tap into the reptilian fear impulse and encourage unhealthy fear. Whole systems of so called security are established to create the façade of safety. One of the ways we can photoshop the awful memories of 9/11 is to update some of our information and reframe our workdview.

I flew out of American on Christmas Day, 2009, the same day that the famed “Underwear Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab strapped explosives to his underwear and attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit airport. As a result, I passed through the tightest air travel security regimen that the world has ever seen. Countless hours and dollars were poured into patting down 7 year old girls wheeling Dora the Explorer backpacks full of Christmas toys and crayons. (I always thought there was something fishy about Dora, her evil side-kick Boots and that cunning talking map.)

Update your information about air travel. In the past decade there have been a handful of terrorist related incidents on US airplanes. Most of them failed or were foiled by other passengers. If you look at the total number of passengers on planes in the last decade, the odds of being on a flight with a terrorist incident is 1 in 10 million. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are 1 in 500,000. Here is a stark way to reframe the events of 9/11. You are more likely to die from falling out of bed than as the victim of a terrorist on a plane. Or to reframe this in a positive context. Your odds of finding true and lasting inner peace skyrocket when you rid your mind of irrational fears.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to have air travel security measures. We need to take precautions. But there is a world of difference between precautions and paranoia. A precaution is taking a cell phone and GPS on a long car trip. Paranoia is not leaving your home. There are few things in life we desire more than security, and yet it is often like chasing the wind. Just when you think you’ve caught it, another gust comes up from behind and knocks you down. Security has an elusive charm that keeps you searching but can leave you vulnerable to surprise attacks and missed opportunity.

Security is tightened at major national airports, leaving the gate open for someone to enter the system in one of the smaller, less secure, airports. It’s like double dead bolting your front door, but leaving the side French Windows wide open. There are gaps in the border walls to Mexico. There are loopholes to laws and tax systems. Bottom line, there is no perfect security system. You can surround yourself with the greatest military might on the planet and still not feel secure.

After ten years of tightened security measures, do you feel safer on an airplane? Maybe. But at what cost? While so much focus is on air travel, what other security threats are being ignored? The ultimate question is- Are you prepared to sacrifice personal liberty for the illusion of security?

As long as you frame life against an expectation of security, you will never feel safe. When you frame your life and memories against a backdrop of freedom and personal responsibility, you will be at peace. To live is to risk. To love is to risk. To risk is to surrender. To surrender is to find peace of mind.

Updating memories with new information is one step in reframing traumatic memories. The chance of something happening on an airplane is slim. The risk in visiting New York City is negligible. People wearing turbans are no more or less dangerous than those without turbans. If 9-11 teaches us anything, surely it is to live while you are alive, and not allow the illusion of security and the frame of fear to hold you captive.

Recently I discovered that someone in our neighborhood has built a bomb shelter. I could understand this during World War 2, but in our quiet town in 2011 it verges on paranoia. The same person moved from the other side of the state for safety reasons. The desire for security is insatiable. There is nowhere to run and hide from life. It demands to be lived. There is no place, no travel, no system, that can satisfy the ego’s desire for security. The biggest problem is bomb shelters of the mind, the protective layers that keep you locked in a small perspective.

F.E.A.R- come back to the false evidence part of the equation. Change the frame.

There is a parable about a man who wakes up in the middle of the night to find a poisonous snake coiled next to his leg at the foot of his bed. He lies awake all night, frozen in terror, praying that the snake won’t bite him. As dawn breaks, and light begins to shine on his bed, he finally realizes that it’s not a snake at all. It’s a belt he forgot to put away when he went to bed. Once he knows the truth, the snake disappears, the memory of the night is reframed, the fear is gone and he is filled with relief.

Until he had seen the light, so to speak, his imagination got the better of him and he imagined his own demise at the hands of the snake. When you shine a light on the memories and call them what they are, you can make unconscious emotions conscious and reframe false evidence.

This is one of the ways we can honor the loss of 9/11. Call it what it was, but not more than that. It was the tragic loss of life at the hands of a few extremists. Insane people with insane beliefs can knock buildings down and kill people to further their agenda, but they can’t win inside your head and heart which is the engine room of your life, unless you let them. Choose love over fear.

The choice is there for each one of us- continue to reenact the fear, and you will live your life in a bomb shelter of your own mind. In this case the terrorists win. Or else put events of the past in perspective, and reclaim your power. Live with courage, which is not the absence of fear but the choice to proceed despite the fear. Sometimes your worst fear becomes your greatest opportunity.

Where do you find the strength to persist despite the fear? This simple story illustrates a profound truth. A mouse was in constant distress because of its fear of the cat. A magician took pity on it and turned it into a cat. But then it became afraid of the dog. So the magician turned it into a dog. Then it began to fear the panther, so the magician turned it into a panther. Then it was full of fear for the hunter. At this point, the magician gave up. He turned it into a mouse again saying, “Nothing I do for you is going to be of any help because you have the heart of a mouse.”

Have the heart of a peaceful warrior and nothing outside of you can conquer you. Therefore there is very little to fear. You nurture the heart of a peaceful warrior with the rock solid inner stillness that accepts change without attaching to outcomes.

The stage is set for an incredible evolutionary leap beyond reptilian fear and you and I are a part of this shift. As more people make a choice to live with inner freedom and personal responsibility, the very DNA that defines our fear impulse will be recoded. As we reframe the ego’s insatiable desire for security, we will stop looking for things that don’t exist and start truly living while we are alive. This is the greatest way to honor the loss of 9-11.

Let these words from Native American poet, Joy Harjo sink deeply in. She writes from her personal experience of fear. Change the details to match your experience, but keep the essence of her message.

I Give You Back
By Joy Harjo

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear.
I release you.
You were my beloved and hated twin, but now, I don’t know you as myself.
I release you with all the pain I would know at the death of my daughters.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the white soldiers who burned down my home, beheaded my children, raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.

I give you back to those who stole the food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold these scenes in front of me and I was born with eyes that can never close.

I release you, fear, so you can no longer keep me naked and frozen in the winter, or smothered under blankets in the summer.

I release you I release you I release you I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved,
to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t hold you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice my belly, or in my heart
my heart my heart my heart.

But come here, fear.
I am alive and you are so afraid of dying.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:33:49 PM by Slice »

Offline Slice

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Re: Soulseed meditation
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 03:51:31 AM »
Bring it forth
 Do you have any doubt that you can be everything you want to be?  Do you believe you are limited by your history, genetics, karma, or any other factor?  If so, take heart. Your destiny far outshines your history.

Scientists tell us that dogs evolved from the wolf. About ten thousand years ago people began to breed dogs to draw forth traits they valued. Wolves were selected for hunting skills, herding, and loyalty. Over time breeding became more and more specialized, until today we have over 150 registered dog breeds and a total of 500 breeds created by specifically mixing the registered breeds.

This theory does not explain why my dog looks and acts nothing like a wolf. Our little Maltese weighs eight pounds, with long white fluffy hair, and a pushed-in nose. She is the cutest creature you have ever seen (I know, except for your dog or cat), with infinite affection for everyone she meets. Yet scientists swear she descends from a wild, scary-looking predator virtually impossible to tame.

If that’s true (unless my secret belief that visitors from another planet created genetic variations is borne out), then we have a monumental lesson:  You can make anything out of anything. Everything has the potential to become anything you want it to be. If, through focus, intention, and perseverance, you can pull an adorable, tame, loving, loyal, playful creature out of a vicious killer, you can draw forth the noblest qualities from the worst of people or situations.

I saw a news story about a murderer who escaped from prison, found his way to a neighborhood, and took a single female homeowner as a hostage. The woman happened to be a psychologist who was more sympathetic to her captor than afraid of him. As a legion of police and SWAT team surrounded the house, the psychologist persuaded them to give her some time with the convict. Over a day or two the woman encouraged her uninvited guest to talk about what was going on within him and what he wanted for his life. She served as a compassionate listener and supported his well-being. After a day, he surrendered himself. Later she became his advocate and worked to get him out of prison and get back on his feet in society.

This woman’s courage and skill drew a good man out of an apparently bad one. You and I, too, have the power to reinforce the traits we prefer from those around us. (Dale Carnegie: “Give that person a fine reputation to live up to!”)  Actually, we are already creating the people around us by our expectations of them and their traits we focus on. Every time you complain about your husband leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter, or you compliment him for taking out the garbage, you reinforce the characteristic you are focusing on. Complaint and praise accomplish the same results — manifesting more of whatever you are giving your attention to.

Belief and vision are crucial factors in bringing forth positive attributes. A story from education annals tells of a teacher who opened her roster on the first day of the semester and was delighted to find high I.Q. scores next to the students’ names: 125, 136, 131. Thank goodness, Miss Matthews thought to herself, finally a smart group. The teacher gave her students challenging lessons, stimulating projects, and creative freedom. At the end of the semester all the students got A’s and B’s. The next day the principal called the teacher into his office and asked her, “Miss Matthews, how did you take a group of low-functioning students and turn them into geniuses?” Puzzled, the teacher showed the principal her roll book with their listed I.Q.’s. “Those are not their I.Q.’s,” the principle laughed. “Those are their locker numbers!”

The universe, quantum physics explains, is made of energy more than matter, and energy is highly amenable to the power of thought and intention.  You can pluck anything from the universe by focusing your attention on an object. Spiritual masters and yogis have demonstrated this over millennia. Jesus turned water into wine, and in more current times Satya Sai Baba has manifested many objects out of thin air. My mentor Hilda Charlton was traveling with Sai Baba when their car ran out of gas. Baba called for a bucket of water, poked his finger in it, and ordered the liquid to be poured into the gas tank. The auto ran fine on the new fuel. (At today’s gas prices, wouldn’t you like to do that?)

As we enter a new season of school and business, it might be worth our while to think clearly about what we want to create. What is your most valued goal for this coming school or business year?  How much attention are you giving your highest priority, and how much attention are you giving to lower priorities, or things you do not wish to experience? Each day take a few sacred moments to remember what’s important. Be not deceived by the appearance of the wolf. There is a marvelously friendly dog hiding inside.

Offline Slice

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Groovy meditation
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 02:16:18 AM »
Remembering Our Connections
     Two men are having a conversation in a bar. This is what the bartender overhears,

The first man asks: “Where are you from?”
“I’m from Ireland,” replies the second man.
The first guy responds: “You don’t say, I’m from Ireland too!

Curious, he then asks: “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” comes the reply.
“I can’t believe it,” says the first man. “I’m from Dublin too!

Getting even more animated, he asks: “What school did you go to?”
“Saint Mary’s,” replies the second man. “I graduated in ’72.”
“That is unbelievable! What a small world!” the first man says. “I went to Saint Mary’s and I graduated in ’72, too!” They both start laughing and slapping each other on the back.

About that time, another regular comes in, and sits down at the bar.
“What’s new?” he asks the bartender.

“Nothing much,” replies the bartender, “but the O’Malley twins are drunk again!”

They had forgotten how connected they are. Unfortunately, there is a tragic edge to the joke. Alcohol is one of the ways we self medicate to dull the pain of our imagined isolation.  We have other, more subtle, ways too! We bolster our protective walls against intimacy with sarcasm and aloofness or many other cunning ploys, to ensure that we don’t get hurt again. If we do this for long enough, it’s no wonder we forget our connections. There is a little piece of the O”Malley twins in each of us.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are too many opportunities for the joy of connection to sleep through life in a cocoon of self imposed isolation. Connections are powerful. Sometimes you have to search out the people you need at different points in your life. Close friends, who know and understand you, can challenge you and give honest feedback. They truly care for your well being, as you care for theirs. However, make time for new friends as well, and acquaintances who can push and expand your perspective. They help you to see life in new ways. Part two in this series on Six Degrees of Separation is focused on the gift of acquaintances.

Think about ice cubes as a metaphor for new connections. Why do ice cubes float in water? This was the question my 8 year old asked me. Science was never my strong suit, so my answer to these sorts of questions from my kids usually involves the word “Google.” We discovered that an ice cube floats because it is lighter, or less dense, than liquid water. It’s the weak bonding of the hydrogen molecules that creates the floating ice cube. New connections are all about weak bonding.

Our acquaintances are like the weak hydrogen connections that form ice cubes. It’s often the weak connections in life that are so important, both in terms of six degrees of separation and also in terms of growth and networking. The weak connections create the lattice effect that connects you with a much wider group of people. You may know 6 people very well. They are your go-to people with familiarity and a long history. But it’s your weak connection to the person on the fringe of your group, who in turn is tight with a different cluster of close friends, who opens new doors for you.

Maybe this is part of what the author of the Tao te Ching was pointing to with the saying,

In this world there is nothing more supple and weak than water; and yet no one, however strong and powerful he may be, can resist its action; and no being can do without it.

If you looked at the molecules of water in a microscope, you would see a lattice shaped crystal substance. We often think of a vine as a symbol of connection. But we grow vines on lattice. Lattice is an awesome symbol for a network. Before the vine grows, the lattice holds the potential for the vine to grow and spread. It is transparent and patient, offering the structure and support for the vine to flourish. The system of networks on which we all depend; families, extended families, friends, friends of friends, colleagues, social networks etc are like different strands of lattice. Some of them are strong connections, like close family and friends. Some of them are so called weak connections like acquaintances.

Here are three practical benefits to giving attention to your weak ties-

Fresh Perspective- New people often surprise you with new insights and new perspectives. Andrew McAfee, who writes about the connection between IT and business, said “Weak bonds give you novelty”. We certainly need both weak and strong bonds. Facebook is mainly about strong bonds although fan pages offer some awesome opportunities for new ties. Twitter and Linkedin are the domain of weak bonds, with larger and more loosely connected networks. However the longer I spend on those sites, the stronger the ties are becoming.
Size and Reach- Weak ties give you new opportunity, and they can expand your reach. You inevitably have more weak ties than strong ones, and they can help to spread your message or cause to greater numbers. All along, you transform many weak ties into strong ones, as you build relationships.
Strong ties can sometimes limit growth when cliques are formed and the spread of information is curtailed. Weak ties spread information easily and quickly. Your strong ties may be more motivated to help you find a job or a new doctor, but your weak ties will offer more far reaching connections.
The implications of this notion of weak ties are mind blowing when it comes job searching, social activism, social media, urban planning, advertising, business networking and SO many other life issues. It pays to be mindful about the weak ties.

Sociologist Mark Granovetter wrote a ground breaking study on weak ties in the 1970s. It is one of the most cited papers ever in a number of different fields. Granovetter wrote,

Individuals with few bridging weak ties will be deprived of information from distant parts of the social system and will be confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends.

Ultimately, while this has many practical implications, it is a personal and spiritual issue. Come back to the ice cube. The ice cube melts at room temperature as the hydrogen molecules break down. It’s the same with our relationships. After the ice breaker comes the depth. Any trace of frosty first impressions give way to warmth and new possibilities as the recognition of oneness melts fear and defensiveness. Just as the best way to remove frost is to warm it from the inside, so the best way to open yourself to intimate connections, strong and weak, is to light a candle on the inside and melt your own self judgment. Self acceptance opens you to the joy of intimacy.

Once again I am reminded of the mysterious connectedness of life, the bricolage of beauty that fills our days with meaning. I am grateful for the incredible symmetry in the universe’s networks. There is reason for relationships (ALL relationships). It may seem like people come into your life randomly, but stay awake to the sacred synchronicity that EVERYONE arrives as a messenger as if from beyond to teach you something new about the nature of life and love.

In the words of Anais Nin,

Each friend (and acquaintance) represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Because you are surrounded on every side by connections and possibilities, take to heart the words of Rumi,

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:32:52 PM by Slice »

Offline Slice

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Re: Groovy meditation
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 10:14:11 PM »
Living Your Intentions- The Power of Living “As If”

When I was 17 and finishing high school, I wanted a career in property. So I wrote to the CEO’s of every major property investment firm in Sydney. Most of them sent back form letters thanking me for my interest but declining an interview, but a few kindly invited me to call and schedule an interview. I had to scramble as I had no suitable clothes, no resume and no experience beyond my paper route, although in my defense I had visited a lot of properties delivering papers. When the day arrived for my first interview, I thought I had thought of everything. I had researched the way business people dressed and what they carried. My intention was to turn up looking and sounding like I was already a business person. Half an hour before I was due to leave home, I realized that I had forgotten to buy one crucial piece of my outfit- a pair of black socks to match my gray suit. There was nothing even close in my closet. Not to be put off, I had what to this day may remain my craziest idea. I took a black marker and scribbled some socks on my ankles. I put my shoes right on top of my bare painted feet and went off to my first job interview. During the interview I looked down and noticed that the marker was smudging. Holes were growing in my fake socks right before my eyes. I kept both feet planted on the floor and no one seemed to notice.

By the time I left the interview, I had my first job offer. 3 weeks later I turned up for my first day at work….with REAL black socks on. Within one year in this job, another altogether different passion took hold of me and I left that job to set out on a path towards my calling as a spiritual leader. I learnt something profound from my brief foray into the corporate world, something that I intuited before the interview, about the power of impressions. The spiritual truth is that the first person you need to convince is yourself. The third big life lesson was that sometimes you have to improvise to reach your dreams. If you have a dream to be someone, the place to begin is to live as if you are already that person. Live as the person you aspire to be and start now. In the words of the 18th century German writer Goethe,

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Attracting Your Intentions

Over the past few weeks I have been writing about the power of intentions. First I wrote about imagining the end point and working backwards. In this my last article about intentions for the time being, I want to focus on the potential to be who you want to be right now and work forwards. In between the first article and this one, I wrote about the power of perseverance, creative inspiration and relationships in setting intentions.

My intention here is to inspire you with examples, from my own life and others, ordinary stories about fake socks and cocktail napkins, of people who have embodied their dreams. No matter how old you are, you are too young to give up on your ideals. No matter how overwhelmed you feel, you have more resources than you imagine. No matter what obstacles you see in your path, this is the time to get clarity on your dreams and begin making them a reality by living them, walking them, dressing in them, thinking them, talking them and breathing them with every breath.

I know someone who took this advice to extremes. She had a deep desire to be in a relationship with a man but there was no one in her life at the time who rocked her boat. Before she met her future partner, she bought him birthday cards and anniversary cards, and even went so far as to buy two tickets to some upcoming concerts. Sure enough, she met him within weeks. Now I’m not saying this always works out so neatly. We can’t always explain why and in whose timing things do or don’t turn up in our lives.  There is power in living AS IF things are already true. If at some point, you change your path or alter your course, then clarify your new dreams and make your new dreams a reality.

I love the story about a man with a passion for singing. He was good, but couldn’t land a singing job that paid the bills. So he improvised. He found a job that paid the rent, where he could sing all day long to his heart’s content. He became a bus driver, in fact quite a famous bus driver in Chicago. People would time their trips in the hopes of catching his bus. He said in an interview, “I drive the bus to get a captive audience every single day”, and no one seems to mind one little bit.

Do the best you can to align your intentions with your reality. Let your intentions and who you are become hand and glove, and you will find a way to manifest all that you want to be in the world. Your life will sing and people around you will enjoy your authenticity.

Try it out. When you get up in the morning, after brushing your pearly whites, get dressed as the person you want to be, the person you know yourself to be beyond all the self doubting voices and negative talk. Walk as that person. Be that person. Live that person’s life.

Intentions Overcome Obstacles

Very often when you live AS IF something is already true, you turn “as if” into I AM and I CAN. During the week I was trying to write and it just wasn’t flowing. So I decided to take a break and turned on the TV in perfect time to see part of the memorial service for Betty Ford. I received the inspiration I needed. I caught a clip from Presidential Historian Richard Norton Smith. He spoke movingly about Betty as someone who broke the mould of what you expect from a First Lady. In one nice turn of phrase he described her as “The feminist next door, a free spirit with a dress code.” She overcame her own obstacles to create the possibility of recovery for many. Smith told the story of a time before the Betty Ford Treatment Center had opened. She was on Frank Sinatra’s private jet and conversation turned to funding for the new center. She had no pledge cards on hand, so she improvised and took the first pledges for the Betty Ford Center on Frank Sinatra’s cocktail napkins.

She had clear intentions and nothing was going to stop her. That’s the way with clear intentions. You find a way and often improvise on the details. Betty Ford also believed through her own recovery that she was serving a Higher Power. She held her intentions accountable to this higher purpose. This is part of what makes it possible to overcome obstacles. When you are fully committed to a worthy cause, some higher energy moves with you. Doors open that you couldn’t have imagined, hurdles turn into spring boards to make giant leaps and gains. You can call this higher energy any number of things, including God, but whatever you call it, it is a conspiracy of coincidences that colludes to make your intentions inevitable.

Talking Up Your Intentions

Do you ever catch yourself, saying things that sabotage your intentions? “It’s never worked before”, “Others have tried”, “I don’t expect this to work but….” If you are truly serious about making your intentions a reality, then align your language with your intentions.

There is a You Tube video that recently went viral about a blind guy who was sitting on a street corner asking for money. He had a sign that said, “I’m blind. Please help.” A woman stops at his mat and writes something on his sign. He doesn’t know what it is, but quickly people begin leaving more and more money in his jar. Later the woman comes back and says to him, “I wrote the same message with different words. Finally the sign is revealed, “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.”

Frame your intentions in the most positive, empowering, optimistic language. Take the same three sabotaging sentences and turn them around.

It’s never worked before becomes, “I will now do something new and exciting.”

Others have tried becomes, “I will continue what others have started and do it in my own unique way that no one else has ever tried before.”

I don’t expect this to work becomes, “I’m going to give this every chance of success.”

Find Your Authentic Swing

When it comes to setting intentions, you have to be willing to try, swing, miss, change, try alternatives, try again, and make choices. You need to see various paths unfolding in front of you, and choose the one that is most authentic. Let me end with an example from golf. I’m no great golfer, but the times I have played golf I never could understand the practice swing. I have the sort of golf swing that you don’t want to practice. The less I repeat that swing the better……

When I saw the movie based on the novel The Legend of Bagger Vance, I came to appreciate the practice swing. A great golfer, Ranolph Junuh, is left traumatized from fighting in WW1. After the war, Bagger Vance becomes the voice of his Higher Power, the voice of intention, as he overcomes his demons to play golf again. There is a description in the novel of a conversation between Vance and Junuh about the swing of another golfer, Jones.

Around Jones, encompassing his body in vibrating concentric fields, spread an aurora of energy. It seemed to be his body, but expanded, augmented. It was a field itself. Then there were other fields, an infinitude of them. You could see his will, as Bagger Vance said, his intention select the field he chose, which was the fairway and the target line. Lines of force, which were chromatic not just visually but aurally as well, vibrating like music, extended from Jones’ intentionality down the fairway to the target area. But there were at least two exceptional aspects to this will and to the force lines it apprehended.
First, the force lines seemed to exist outside time, independent of it. And second, they seemed to exert an intentionality of their own. Let me try to be precise, for this is exceptionally important.
Jones waggled now and set himself over the ball. I saw his swing before he swung it. But it was not a single swing, as if predetermined; rather it was a number of swings, I would guess a hundred, two hundred, all vibrating simultaneously in Jones’ field, as if in alternative futures. Possible futures. They were all recognizably Jones’ swing. But some were duffs, tops, skulls, and so on. Bad swings. I could see Jones’ will search among those swings, like you or I would hunt through a file drawer for a patient’s chart. Jones seemed to settle. To still himself. The auroras surrounding him consolidated. The bad swings fell away, evaporating like a dream; colors intensified around the swings he had intentioned, until there were only half a dozen very closely arrayed swings remaining. As Vance had said, intelligence seemed to pour from Jones’ grip, from his hands (“educated hands” no doubt). Receptive intelligence, searching the Field, drawing from it and upon it. Then Jones swung. In actuality. You could see his motion in the physical dimension track along the motions he had intentioned, not perfectly, but very close to those pre-swings that existed outside of time. I was numb, dumbstruck; I couldn’t absorb it. The ball rocketed away down lines of force, with everything humming and glowing and vibrating in some keen cosmic harmony.

I must remember that the next time I play mini golf, as I try to plan for the ball to ricochet off a windmill before going down a shute, across a bridge and into the hole in one shot.

Setting intentions is like preparing for a golf swing, rehearsing a speech or making a pro and con list. There are a number of paths your intentions could take, and they are all possible. Few, if any, of them would be a mistake. But one of them is your most authentic path. Finding that path is the gold. When you find your authentic path, nothing can stop you. It will be true in that case that you can do your work and step back, letting go of the outcomes because you have already succeeded.

In that sense it is true that if you follow your heart and build what fills you with passion, the right people will come at the right time and for the right reasons.

The Sufi poet Hafiz once said, “I should not make any promises, but I know that if you pray, somewhere in this world — something good will happen.”

If you set intentions that come from your highest self, align your life with those intentions, live and breathe them with perseverance, then something amazing will happen, somewhere and sometime.

http://www.soulseeds.com/grapevine/2011/07/living-your-intentions-the-power-of-living-%E2%80%9Cas-if%E2%80%9D/
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:31:06 PM by Slice »

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Re: Groovy meditation
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 01:20:57 AM »
22
10 Truths To Keep Your Relationship Healthy by Barton Goldsmith
July 15th, 2011


For more articles by Barton Goldsmith, please visit his site.

I think it’s easy to make things more complicated than they need to be. Here are some basic rules of the relationship road that will keep you headed in the right direction

1.     Successful relationships take work. They don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur when the couples in them take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their hearts and heads.

2.     You can only change yourself, not your partner. If you love someone and think that after a while he or she will alter behaviors you find uncomfortable, think again. If you want changes, put them on the table. so your partner knows what you need.

3.     All arguments stem from our own fear or pain. When upset occurs, check out what’s going on inside of you rather than get angry with your partner. Truth is that we usually aren’t upset for the reasons we think we are.

4.     Understand that men and women are very different. We’re not from Mars or Venus; we’re not even in the same solar system. Understanding and celebrating our differences will make living together more peaceful, interesting, and fun.

5.     Honor each other in some way every day. Every morning you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by recommitting to your mate. Feeling respected and cherished by the one you love makes life much nicer.
6.     Anger is a waste of time. Anger is also a relationship killer, because it makes you self-absorbed and won’t allow you to see the good. If you are annoyed with your mate, give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss what’s going on for you.

7.     Get regular tune-ups. Go to a couples workshop, talk with a counselor, or read a relationship book together at least once a year. Even if you don’t think you need it, you will pick up a couple of ideas, and the process alone will strengthen your connection.

8.     Find a way to become and stay best friends. For some this sounds unromantic, but for those who live it, most say it’s the best part of their time together.

9.     Be responsible for your own happiness. No other person can make you happy. It’s something you have to do on your own. If you feel it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within to find out what piece may be missing for you.

10.  Give what you want to get. Our needs change with time. If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding. If you want to feel more love, try giving more. It’s a simple program that really works.

There are no guarantees, but couples who practice these techniques have longer and stronger relationships than those who are not proactive in their love.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:29:16 PM by Slice »

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« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:28:22 PM by Slice »