Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 711: Ideas Worth Spreading

How is an idea deemed as worthy of spreading? I am not referring specifically to TED here, I am casting a much wider net.

In our society, trends control a large part of our economy and daily life. The latest fashion statement is lucrative, even if it only lasts for a few months. We spread ideas around all over the world - the latest hot pop star, the latest song, the latest movie, the latest hairstyle, the latest "best" body type, the latest slang words - these ideas spread like wildfire, inflaming the masses as they go. Even if you don't participate in the trend you've at least heard of it. A global recognition and awareness is created around this idea. So then the question becomes: is it worth it?

How do we choose which ideas we spread? There doesn't seem to be any method to our madness. The ideas do not often improve anyone's life (except for the person(s) making boat loads of money from whatever they're selling). Most of the trends that tear across the earth have no purpose. They have a beginning and an end and that is it, not hing more, nothing less. We forget they ever were the moment we find something new.

Why are these meaningless and insignificant things given so much value? When I say value I am referring simply to the global presence that is created for each of these ideas.

What happened to our value system that the most popular things are just fashion statements and not things of substance?

How much of our votes (money) do we pour into these trends? Compare this to how much we invest in sustainable solutions to global problems.

So it seems like the ideas we deem as being worth spreading are the ideas that help us slip further into distraction. These are the ideas that remove focus and thoughts from the reality. These are the ideas that give us a little bit more time in our fantasy lands. These are the ideas that let us live in denial just a little longer. These are the ideas that let us deflect the reality of ourselves and the world. These are the ideas that give us blissful oblivion.

Why? Why is humanity so determined to ignore all the problems that will put us in early graves? I suppose it's easier, more fun than putting in the work that will be required to really create a life and world that will support and nurture all life.

We're not to blame, in a way. We don't even realise we're doing it. Yet, we are responsible. We are the only ones who can make different choices and change the outcome of life on earth. We need to re-evaluate what ideas are worth spreading - what is worth supporting. Where will our votes bring about a better world and life?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Day 710: Addictive Habits

This video on porn & masturbation addiction support got me to thinking about what it's like changing any habit that you have.

I say 'habit' because habits are quite similar to addictions: it's something you do over and over. You are often driven by a compulsive need (though with habits it's not experienced with that same intensity). It is something that you have done so often that it is now automatic - you don't even have to think about doing it.

Sure, there are definitely some differences, and some habits are pretty damn useful (although this will then be determined by how and what you define as a 'habit') - let's say you have a habit of checking over a room before you leave it to make sure that everything is in order. That's a pretty useful habit. You may feel like you are missing something, or like you have forgotten something if you for some reason don't check a room - but hey, even that's pretty useful.

Another example I could give is changing your posture habit. I have a pretty slouched posture and I know how damn difficult it is to change the habit of slouching to a correct posture - you constantly have to remind yourself "posture". It takes a conscious effort to change this habit of slouching - not to mention teaching and training your muscles to hold themselves differently.

So, let's get down to the point of this post. When you are stopping an addiction, the experience can be similar to that of changing a habit. Addictions are somewhat different in that they are usually connected to some pretty strong experiences (physical or emotional/mental), whereas habits are generally relatively "neutral" experiences. So let's compare an addiction to porn/masturbation with the habit of leaving the milk out of the fridge. While both are actions learned over time, your connection to the addiction would be much stronger than your connection to the milk. In other words, you will experience greater emotional turmoil when stopping the addiction than you will when changing the habit.

So then how the hell are these things even relevant enough to write an entire post about? Good question. I don't know! Not.

Stopping an addiction is as much about awareness of your thoughts and actions as changing a habit. Sure, not everything about the 2 processes are the same (or even similar), but an addiction is very much like a supercharged habit that may or may not include physical dependency.

In both cases you are constantly reminding yourself to change your thoughts and behaviour. In both cases you are changing a behaviour or thought pattern that has become automatic. In both cases you must be consistent and persistent - anything less leaves the door open for relapse. In both cases you need to be willing to see and assess yourself objectively.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day 709: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

How much do your intentions count for? Do intentions matters when you do something that has repercussions because you did not consider everything or execute your plan effectively? When you hurt someone, does it matter that it was not your intention to do so? When you have big dreams, does it matter that you intend to work towards creating it, but don't actually ever start doing that?

When your intentions and actions or words are contradictory, which one determines who you actually are?

What are intentions if you do not live by them? Do they determine who you are? Or do actions speak louder than intentions?

What if you have "good" intentions, but the way you execute them is ill-considered and ends up creating a huge mess? Is who you are determined by your intentions in this case, or by your inconsiderate actions?

When you know you should be doing something, when you want to do it, does it matter if you don't actually do it? Do your intentions absolve you?

Have you ever absolved yourself of wrongdoing because no matter the outcome, your intentions were good?

Good intentions are just a feel good gimmick where we can tell ourselves that, even though we didn't really think about the consequences of our actions it's ok, because we had good intentions. All that means is that we weren't deliberately assholes, we were assholes by mistake or oversight. Look at it this way: If you were the manager of a building project and you have really good intentions in terms of getting the job done early, but in order to do this you cut some corners (not investigating the possible consequences, maybe not even considering at all that there may be any) and because you cut corners the building ends up collapsing, killing a number of people - do your good intentions of getting the job done early absolve you of blame? No? I know it's an extreme example, but this is essentially what we do: We have these really good intentions, but we don't think about the potential consequences and end up leaving a path of destruction in our wake. Not taking the responsibility to look back and acknowledge that we ARE responsible is unacceptable. How will we ever learn from our mistakes?

Obviously it is preferable that each of us takes the time and makes the effort to make sure that we have considered every possible aspect of a thing before we charge headfirst into doing it. This includes considering the people who may be affected - not only how they might physically be affected but holistically: this means putting yourself in their shoes and looking through their eyes. Good intentions mean nothing if your actions are not well considered - enough so that your intention is manifested as closely as possible to what you actually want to accomplish.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 708: There's Not Enough Time

There is a supportive video on the Self & Living channel on YouTube on this particular topic.

What tends to happen when you're stressed? You tend to get sloppy. You overlook things. You are prone to getting distracted more easily. You feel overwhelmed. You feel like hiding is a good solution. You get frustrated. You feel powerless. Your body aches. The way you think changes. The way you interact with other people changes. You feel tense all the time. You act impulsively.

Feeling like you don't have enough time can bee pretty intense. Feeling like you can't do all the things you have to do - let alone the things you want to do - can be incredibly frustrating.

Considering that there is only so much time in a day and certain requirements for sustaining life and optimal functionality, not being able to do everything you have to or want to it is going to be a very common experience. There is only so much you can do. It takes time to do things. There isn't really much you can do about this fact of life - whatever you can do will be limited to what you have available to you.

Once you realise that there is not all that much you can do to make the days longer you're going to have to deal with the fact that you can only do so much from day-to-day. This realisation doesn't mean that you have to get stressed out about it - it means that you need to develop a way to manage your responsibilities effectively.

Getting stressed doesn't help you get your things done, it's also a rather unpleasant experience. Living in stress over an extended period of time is also not healthy for your body. I think it's safe to say that stress is not an experience you want in your life.

So, what do you do to stop the stress?
  1. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath in.
  2. Look at the tasks in front of you practically (eg you could make a list of what must be done and what each task practically involves).
  3. Assess which tasks take priority.
  4. Assess what resources you can use to get your tasks done sooner (equipment, delegating tasks, skills, money, etc)
  5. Do one thing at a time.
You can't really do more than that. The key is simple: just keep it practical and take one step at a time. This simple approach decreases your experience of being overwhelmed because you can now clearly see what must be done and how you can do each thing. Don't be afraid to ask for help - this is not weakness. Recognising and acknowledging the reality of your situation is far more a strength than a weakness.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 707: Is This the End of the World?

A Swedish scientist claims in a new theory that humanity has exceeded four of the nine limits for keeping the planet hospitable to modern life, while another professor told RT Earth may be seeing an impending human-made extinction of various species.
Environmental science professor Johan Rockstrom, the executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, argues that there are nine “planetary boundaries” in a new paper published in Science – and human beings have already crossed four of them.
Those nine include carbon dioxide concentrations, maintaining biodiversity at 90 percent, the use of nitrogen and phosphorous, maintaining 75 percent of original forests, aerosol emissions, stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, fresh water use and the dumping of pollutants. RT

It's hard to answer the question of "where is the line?", or "how much is too much?" in terms of what the earth can take before it becomes inhospitable to humanity (ie we all die). It's not like the earth comes with a user manual. It's not like we are born with the innate knowledge of exactly how many hits (and what kind) the planet can take before conditions deteriorate past our ability to survive.

So how do we know when we've crossed the line?

Why the hell are we even putting ourselves (and so all life on earth) in this position of having to ask this question in the first place? Why are we risking the safety of our planet at all? What possible reason could justify ending all life on earth?

I suppose some people believe that our actions will have no effect...

I suppose some people believe that our real lives begin after death in "heaven" or "the promised land".

I suppose some people just don't care that much.

I suppose some people care only about a select few things.

I suppose some people are too afraid to speak up in a meaningful way that could make a difference.

I suppose some people are just too pre-occupied.

I suppose some people just don't know what to do, so do nothing.

I suppose some people prefer being wealthy over implementing systems that protect life over personal profit.

I suppose some people think that someone else will fix everything.

I suppose...

While all of this goes on, nothing changes. How bad must it get before our survival instincts kick in and rebuild our society in a sustainable way? We have already experienced bizarre and severe weather changes. We have already committed genocide over and over - not just people - how many species must still go extinct before we change our ways?

Is this the end of the world?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 706: Crash and Burn

What if I fail? 
What if all of my efforts come to nothing?
What if everything I have done means nothing?
What if nothing changes?
What if I get hurt?
What if this ends badly?
What if I lose everything?
What if I die?
What if something terrible happens?
What if I lose the ones I love?
What if I never have the life I want?

What if... these two words hold a lot of power over a lot of people. the fear of what may be can be crippling. Often we fear the images and scenarios we conjure in our minds far more than facing the actual thing we fear.

How often have you not done something because you felt that the potential failure you may have to face was simply unbearable?

What's so horrible about failure anyway? Why do we have this obsession with always succeeding at everything we do?

The fear that you experience is often much worse than facing the object of your fear. You build yourself up into a state of frenzied terror for nothing really. You have the ability to face any thing in this life and remain stable throughout. Fear is a projection of potential unpleasantness - let that go and know that whatever happens, you will stand, you will not waiver.

We put ourselves through horrible ordeals, imagining the worst possible things happening to us, nudging ourselves into states of petrification where we simply refuse to move for fear of bringing to life our nightmares.

We also have the tendency to be rather short sighted. We enter a venture, knowing that it will take time and effort to bring to fruition, but at some point we decide that it's taking too long or we've been working to hard for no return, and so we stop. Our perception of time/effort spent vs reward is not set in stone - it changes with our moods and circumstances. One day you may be plodding along happily, but all it takes is for one thing in your life to change and put a little pressure on you for you to want immediate and unrealistic results. your fear of "what if all my efforts come to nothing" drives you to actually MAKE all your efforts come to nothing - you willingly stop and GIVE UP everything you've worked for - all because of a few words spinning around in your mind.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 705: Where is the Line?

There are no instructions in this life. There is nothing and no one to tell you how much is enough. With everything you do and everyone you meet you have to ask yourself "where do I draw the line?".

How do you know that you've tried hard enough and for long enough?

Is enough an imaginary line you draw?

If you are doing something big, something that could benefit many in a big way - how far and how hard do you push yourself, other people and your environment? Is giving up acceptable? Can you ever really do enough?

I have asked these questions many times. I have been asked only a few. What would you do to change this world? How far is enough? What costs are acceptable? What is acceptable? What would you be willing to do? Would you be willing and able to do whatever it takes?

Will you drive yourself, move yourself, push yourself?

Will you draw the lines where they will count, where they will be effecive?

Will you draw the lines within yourself? Are you willing to see yourself clearly, see when you have stopped being the driving force of your life and world?

Are you willing to do what it takes?

It always boils down to that - are you actually willing to CREATE what you commit to? Words are easy, words are cheap. Action is what counts - Your intentions and words mean NOTHING if you do not live them.

So I ask you again: are you willing to actually do what it takes, to be self driven to create the changes and opportunities you see are possible?

Are you willing to investigate and find the best possible ways to support and bring about your creation? Or will you stick yourself into the rut of one opinion and then refuse to change gear and look outside the box? Will you keep and open mind? Will you focus on developing solutions, or will you get stuck in the problems? Will you bring in people who will support you, or people who will distract you? Will you design your life to support your creation, or to escape from it?

Will you keep pushing, even when it seems hopeless, or will your resolve wither at the first indication that discipline and hard work will be required?

Will you give up after your first failure? Your second? Your fifth? Your hundredth? Your thousandth? Will you limit your drive according to your opinion of when enough is? Will you limit your self change by not defining when enough is before you change?

Which lines are worth drawing and which are not?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 704: Self Acceptance vs Self Judgement

What is self acceptance and how does it relate to self judgement?

Consider that acceptance is not actually about acceptance - in a way it is actually about recognising and investigating yourself objectively in order to determine what is and is not acceptable. Self acceptance is actually self improvement/movement/growth in action.

Self acceptance is not really about judgement or lack thereof - that's just petty shit the mind uses to confuzzle you. Self acceptance is recognising and fulfilling your potential.

Have a look at what self judgement is: self judgement is you essentially focusing on "the bad" and telling yourself that you're not good enough. It's actually rather like focusing on the problems and ignoring creating solutions, but they're not actually problems, they're just "things" that you in your morality have defined in a certain way. You have made yourself judge and jury and have judged yourself to be guilty, no matter the context.

Interestingly enough, in order for you to be "bad" you need to have defined something else as "good", so it's just a polarity system playing out in your mind. Self acceptance does not contain "good" or "bad" - points within you simply are what they are, and they are either acceptable or they are not. Once you are able to see yourself objectively - ie see and understand your patterns - then there is no self judgement, because you see what the patterns are, where they came from, how they work and how to change them and so all that is left is to change the patterns - no good or bad.

Here you can use projections of potential outflows and consequences to determine whether something is acceptable or not: how will this thing affect your life, how will it affect others? This is where real consideration of others comes in, because you have to consider the structure of their minds which is something that takes time to learn and practice. Our actions can influence others on many different levels - you want to get to the point where you can assess all those outflows on all levels of each person who may be affected.

An interesting realisation comes from this:You are dealing with programmed people - and not just "other people", but you as well. Everyone is working off a particular code, just like in the Matrix movies. The code is not who you are, it is simply who you have accepted and allowed yourself to be. Each person may seem to be different, but in reality they are dealing with the same core programming code and language. Strip away the superficial facades and you will see exactly how similar peoples' thought structures can be. Self judgement is part of that programming - it is a program/pattern that you have allowed within yourself and the key to breaking that cycle is to not take your programming/patterns personally, but simply to see it for what it is - from doing this you empower yourself to change the program and write a new one that YOU have created to replace the old self destructive code.

Once you realise that everyone is operating from programs you will stop taking everything so personally. It's NOT personal - it is simply an accepted and allowed program that is the current director of that person's life/moment - it is not truly who they are. It is not good or bad - it is simply acceptable or unacceptable. seeing it for what it is without judgement gives you the opportunity and ability to change it, not only within yourself but in a supportive role for others as well.

I use the point of what is unconditional acceptance of another as my reference for self acceptance - unconditional acceptance is not about accepting the person and everything about them, it is about seeing their potential and doing what is best for them, it is about showing them their patterns and supporting them to change. It is about recognising that they are simply following their "programming" and that nothing they do is personal - it is just their programming.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 703: WARNING! Graphic Language

An interesting article made its way onto my Facebook newsfeed. Here it is, followed by some extracts relevant to this post:

The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.
Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?
This is the problem, my friend.
Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.
If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you — your ex-girlfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another 2-for-1 sale on hand sanitizer — chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer.

So I found this to be an entertaining read with some very relevant points. How much of your life do you spend on worrying about what other people are thinking or doing? Most people spend a hell of a lot of time thinking about stuff like that. How many things have you NOT done because you were afraid you would fail? Probably a few, at least.

Most people are pretty much petrified all the time, unwilling to live according to the principles they actually agree with. How often has someone been willing to go against what they know is right simply because a person in a position of "authority" told them to do it? This happens more frequently than you think.

It's like humanity is indifferent where it actually counts, too busy being preoccupied with stupid shit while the world goes to hell.

What do you give a fuck about? And are you willing to actually do what it takes to manifest the fucking thing? What the fuck do you think will happen if nothing changes? Jesus will save you, because you believe yourself to be special? Where the fuck do you think you'll end up? What the fuck do you think will happen to your children long after you die? Do you think life will turn out like in the movies, happily ever after? Do you think that things will magically get better on their own? Do you think that if you stick your head in the sand for long enough that everything will sort itself out without you? Do you think the world leaders know what the fuck they're doing? Do you think the world leaders give a fuck about you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 702: I See Therefore I Do

What is the difference between seeing what needs to be done and doing it? What holds you back from doing what you see needs to be done? Why is it so easy to postpone? Why are you so forgetful? Why is all of the above only applicable to certain things in your life? What I mean by this is that none of that would happen with the things you like doing...

Why will you go to greater lengths and put more effort into the things you "like"? This may seem like a no-brainer - allow me to give you another perspective: what is the difference between something you like doing and something that must be done? The determining factor of the value of these things is YOU. You determine how important something is within your personal value system, so while you may recognise that something is vitally important to do, it's not actually all that important to you personally. This might be because you are simply preoccupied with other things (new boyfriend/girlfriend, trying to survive, high stress influencing your outlook, etc). A lot of the time your inaction is seemingly innocent - in that you just didn't think about it all that much (what with all the other stuff going on in your life) and therefore didn't take the time to prioritise and plan it into your schedule.

It does seem innocent, doesn't it? Well... Hahahahaha

Unfortunately ignorance is not innocent. The preoccupation in your personal life and interests is a choice (though I am not including basic survival, some people focus all their attention on trying to survive and can only start looking outside that particular box once they have that room to breathe - ie are not longer in "survival mode") - it may not seem like a choice since you are basically programmed to be this way by your environment - but it is a choice. When your focus is on fulfilling your personal desires and happiness you are not going to be thinking about the potential consequences of your choices, simply because your choices are designed around a specific goal that centres around you and only you. This is a pretty extreme picture that I'm painting - very few people are so absolutely self-obsessed that they do not see anything at all outside their personal designs, but my description is simply for the purpose of illustrating the point clearly. Let's take a new relationship as an example - when you meet someone you're interested in you become consumed by the experiences that comes with this. You think about them all the time, you change yourself to try and "be better" for them, you think about how you can maximise your chances of success. Everyone experiences points like these where you cannot see anything outside your personal experience (and this can include the negative as well like being consumed by anger).

Where do you compromise? Where do you put aside what must be done and go for fulfilling your personal desires? Where do you postpone and put off things? Where do you not live your realisations? Why do you sometimes have the same realisation many times over the years before you actually get to the point of living the realisation? Where do you tend to get lost in an experience? Where do you tend to stop making excuses? Where do you tend to make more excuses?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 701: All About the Sex

It's time for another relationship support hangout - behold all the glorious info:

How does the desire for sex play into how you choose a partner? How does the desire for sex influence you when you are looking for a potential partner? What are the potential consequences when you start a relationship based on the desire for sex? How can you make sure that your decision is clear when you decide to start a relationship?

You are as always welcome to take part in the conversation through placing comments and questions on the LIVE Google event:

The hangout will be recorded so that you can watch it later if you are not able to make it to the live event:

We look forward to your input!
If you have topics you'd like us to discuss as we continue with the series on the Physical Body or for future hangouts, you can let us know on the hangout comment section or send a mail to

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 700: De-Miser - The Art of Unconditional Support

I saw this image on my Facebook news feed and immediately decided I would write a blog on this particular topic.

So much in this world is transactional, give a little to get a little. There's nothing wrong with this, but it has created a common belief that you shouldn't give if you're not going to get something back in exchange. This belief has led to a miser-like mentality, where we cling to our things and skills with a possessive obsession - "it's MINE unless you want to give me something of equal value". This mentality ripples out into our entire social structure, instilling, for example, the belief that people shouldn't get something they haven't worked for - even the basic living essentials. Essentially, the principle of support is not being lived by mankind, for real support is unconditional - it does not depend on the potential for reciprocation.

Every man for himself - this is more like what we are living. Help others only when you get some kind of return (even if it's something that makes you feel good). We also have the tendency to not want to support someone when they might not like how we support them - sometimes doing what is best for someone means doing something they won't like - and it seems like remaining in good standing with someone is preferable to doing something that will actually benefit them. Again, the tendency towards self-centeredness shows its face.

Let's look at the question of What is unconditional support?
  1. Assessing the person you are considering supporting. What is their design (what patterns are they dealing with, how do they process information, what are their tendencies, what are their life experiences, etc), what is their current position, where do they want to be, is where they want to be the best possible place for them at this point of their life, etc. So you're looking at the bigger picture of this person's life. Be objective - do not include your personal opinions or desires. This means that you need to put yourself in this person's shoes as if you are them, as if you lived their life and see through their eyes. 
  2. If you are currently unable to be objective or to see what the best solution is then the best thing for you to do may be nothing at all! Often doing nothing is better than doing something that is not actually the best thing for this person. 
  3. Make sure that your intentions and starting point is clear - let go of ANY expectations you may hold (ie expectations of success or failure, etc) and let go of any kind of desire for reciprocation or acknowledgement. Yes, by this I mean that however this person responds to you personally should not influence your willingness to support them (even if they do not say "thank you"!)
  4. Realise that the process of support may take time - even years. You need to be willing to assess in an objective manner where to stop (ie, if someone is being abusive in some way will you continue standing as support in their lives - and if so, to what extent?) - if you are compromising yourself then it is time to consider setting aside this point of support, maybe it will open up in the future when you or the other person is in a better position. Deciding to withdraw support can be a difficult choice, but realise that you will not always be able to support a person - take the time to assess points like this. 
  5. Assess whether the person you are considering supporting has the potential to change or grow within this point of support. Sometimes people are just not ready or willing at all, but if you see the smallest spark then you may be able to ignite it into a flame - again, this may take considerable time. 
  6. Sometimes the person you are supporting within a point may do something to hurt you. Breathe and forgive. Very often when you are working with another person you will see the effects of their design and patterns (you could even say "nature" within the consideration that nature is not a fixed thing) manifesting in their lives. To quote Jesus, forgive them, they know not what they are doing. Sometimes people have to live their patterns so that they can actually see what they are doing, see the effects of their actions and realise that this pattern exists within them. Very seldom are these things truly deliberate - this is why it is so important to be willing to understand someone's design so that you can see where they are walking through a pre-programmed system or whether they are being deliberately abusive (for example). 
  7. Sometimes support means saying no. Allowing dependency can stifle someone's self movement - ie they are depending on you instead of moving themselves to change their lives. Sometimes "no" can be the greatest form of support you can ever give. 
As you can see, there are many points to consider. It is a difficult thing to give support, especially when people do not take that support and actually move themselves to change - and this is very often the case. It requires an almost infinite patience and empathy. You may make mistakes - learn from them. You may change someone's life (to a degree - remember that each person is responsible for their own choices and life) - it may at times seem like you changed someone's life for the worse - learn from it. People may not want you in their lives anymore - don't take it personally.

Supporting another in this way may be one of the hardest things you ever do, for it requires that you completely give up your self interest around and toward the other person(s), which is somewhat against current human "nature". I do not mean that you compromise yourself - I mean that you must give up your point of view and desires about and for the other person. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 699: In it to Win it

Think back to every argument or heated exchange you've ever had. Most of the time in most arguments you feel absolutely that you are right and that the other person is wrong. Not only is the other person WRONG, but they are willfully ignoring what you are saying and are simply not cooperating with you or considering you at all. Correct? Hmmmm.

We've all been there. We are sharing something with another person, whether it is mundane or personal, and the something goes wrong. Lines of communication get tangled and you are both trying to make a point that the other just doesn't seem to be getting. The apparent fact that the other person is not HEARING you just makes you feel more righteous and inflames you more. What may have started as a level headed conversation has now become a battle of wills, where both of you are fighting for supremacy.

The standing of your name rests upon your victory - fail and you will be tarnished forever. Your need to overcome and overpower the other person with the might of your words consumes you. There is a fire in your chest and in your mind. You start resorting to less than honourable tactics to try and unsettle your opponent - whatever it takes. There is a haze before your eyes, you're seeing red. You may forget what the hell you're fighting about, now it's just about winning, whatever the cost.

A domination of their will. A subduing of their spirit.

This happens far too often. And quite often the topic of the argument is not the real reason for the conflict. No one teaches us how to communicate effectively, or that we need to make sure that the words we hold within us do not have any emotions or memories attached to them, giving them a sharp edge when used against another (or ourselves).

All too often we integrate words with emotions or memories attached to them - the word transforms into our personal interpretation according to what we have associated with the word (whether that is a traumatic event, a happy memory, a scene from a memory - whatever). Because so many people use so many words according to their personal interpretations and with all this excess baggage attached to them - we may be saying the same words to each other, but they don't mean the same things.

Another aspect is that we seem to have an ingrained belief that we know exactly what other people mean and that everything they do, they do the same way and for the same reasons we would. Really putting ourselves in someone else's position - completely - is something that must be learned. It is not enough to think about what we would do if we were in their position, we must consider what we would do if we WERE them, if we had lived their life. We also very often make assumptions without first getting all the information, so we assume that someone has wronged us somehow, but we don't investigate further to establish the entire context.

So, we've established that ineffective communication (like having emotionally/memory charged vocabulary leads to the same words meaning different things for different people), not considering other people completely and making assumptions are three major instigators of conflict. This translates not only to our personal lives and relationships but also to international and business relationships. It is high time that we make the effort to improve our communication skills - the cost of not doing so is too high.

So, the next time you're trying to make your point heard, check these 3 things before the situation turns sour:
  1. Are you actually understanding each other? Check that your word definitions are the same. 
  2. Have you fully considered the other person's position (including life experiences etc)? Take a moment to objectively assess the person.
  3. Have you made any assumptions? Make sure you have all the relevant information.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day 698: I am Not Only What You See

I am not only what you see when you look upon me, nor am I what I see in the mirror.

I am not the shape of my legs, nor the shade of my eyes.

I am not the curve of my hips, nor the arch of my feet.

I am not the size of my nose, nor the lilt in my step.

I am not the body of my hair, nor the shape of my lips.

I am not the face you see before you.

I am not the sound of my voice.

I am not the gender of my body.

I am not the length of my arms.

I am not the size of my thighs.

I am not the smoothness of my skin.

I am not the height I reach.

While who I am may have an effect on all of these things, who I am is still who I choose to be and not what I look like.

This is a society in which we value physical appearance above so much else - but for what? For what reason should the way we look determine so much in our lives? What is the purpose in placing so much value and focus in a thing such as gender - why does it matter?

These things only matter because we have given them value. Appearance and gender are not determinants of who you are - you determine who you are. We are born with a particular body - we do not choose our bodies - but we can be content with our bodies. We can accept our bodies, within the realisation that our bodies do not define us. Once you die and look back upon your life it is not your appearance that you will focus on, it is your choices and your actions - the way you lived your life. Why then do we live as if it is a matter of life and death?

Imagine for a moment that we did not see ourselves and each other as physical bodies, but as the very essence of who we are. Imagine if beauty was redefined to include every single thing in existence.

We do not have to limit ourselves within the beliefs and conditioning that have become the norm - we can let go and make peace with ourselves. We can live within the understanding that it is our choices and actions in this world that matter and within that we can give ourselves beauty - the beauty of knowing you have done the very best you can to make life as good as possible for as many as you can.