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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 722: Where Judgements Come From

Where do our judgements begin? Why do we even have them in the first place? What do you do when you want to stop judging yourself and start making peace with who you are and what you look like?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Day 721: What is Judgement

What is a judgement? It is a thought, often accompanied by an emotion or feeling, that is defining or declaring something or someone to be a certain way. Judgement often occurs when you are, for whatever reason, unwilling to see the truth or context of a thing. It's when you look at someone, even if that someone is you, and say "you ARE this way or that way and no other way".

Your judgements often override the humanity of a person - that person is no longer a person, but rather a conglomeration of the labels you have assigned to them.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day 720: Forgiving Others

What does it mean to forgive another person?

Forgiving someone does not mean that you accept them as they are. Forgiving means understanding, and from understanding comes the ability to support that person. Forgiving another means putting aside your judgements and emotions so that you can objectively assess whether the person is willing to change and support themselves. Sometimes forgiveness means letting that person go when there is little chance that they are willing to support themselves at this moment in time - but in so doing you also let go of your emotions towards them. Forgiving someone is giving them the opportunity to change, rather than holding them prisoner in their mistakes or design.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day 719: Desteni Principle: Give as You would Like to Receive

What does it mean to give as you would like to receive? This is not so much about sharing material possessions as it is about sharing yourself.

What is the human tendency at this point in time? It is to wait for things to "happen", wait for "other people" to do things. When you give as you would like to receive you are actively participating in creating the world you want to see.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day 717: Desteni Principle: Do Unto Another

What does it mean to do unto others as you would like to be done unto you? Is it as simple as you thought it was?

Enjoy my first ever v-log type thingy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 716: Hidden Drives of the Hook Up Culture


Last night was another glorious night of delving into the depths of relationship stuff. The topic for the hangout was the Hooking up Culture, otherwise known as the search for casual sex.

Watch, enjoy, comment and be merry.

What are the driving forces behind the hook-up culture? What drives people to go on the prowl looking for sex? What are the consequences of the hook up-culture? What solutions can be implemented to create relationships of mutual respect? We invite you to participate in the discussion by sharing your questions and comments to the panel during the live broadcast.: https://plus.google.com/events/c375r548p1819trpuqc56hq9thc

The hangout will be recorded so that you can watch it later if you are not able to make it to the live event:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh0u7ws6OQQ

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 desteniiprocess@gmail.com

The Desteni I Process Hangouts are held every Thursday at 19.00 UTC

Movie night hangouts where we review movies from a Destonian perspective are every Friday at 19:00 UTC

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Day 715: The Human Approach

Something that was very clearly illuminated for me as I worked more with horses and natural horsemanship is that people often try to approach situations or things in a very oblivious way. What I mean by this is that we tend to not pause for a moment to consider if the way we are wanting to deal with something will actually be effective within the consideration of the nature of what we're dealing with.

We tend to have a very straight line of thinking to life. We look for the shortest path from point A to point B, but often do not realise that not everything in life thinks or behaves the same way we do.

I will use some sadly common scenarios as examples:
  • An owner of a number of very expensive and well bred horses wants to protect and keep the horses as healthy and injury free as possible, so this owner keeps the horses locked away in their stables 24/7, except for a short period of supervised exercise every day. This living situation is completely contrary to the nature of a horse that has adapted to travelling great distances every day, so quite often the horses will get extremely bored and frustrated and will develop some "bad habits" as a result. They might start swaying from side to side in their stable for hours on end. A common human approach to this particular problem of swaying is to install bars on the stable door that block the horse from swaying. 
  • Horses don't like confined spaces, so getting a horse into a horsebox can be quite an ordeal if the horse is inexperienced (or if the horse has had bad experiences). Sadly the most common response to boxing a scared horse is to beat it into submission until it finally is forced into the box. 
  • Often people try to stop bad habits in animals by associating negative experiences with the habit. Say a horse has a tendency of rearing when being ridden, the rider would then do something like hit the horse in the face with a crop if and when it rears.
As you can see, a very common approach to dealing with horses is "hit it till it does what you tell it to". None of these little scenarios take into consideration the nature of the horse. None of these scenarios looks to address the real cause of the "problems". 

This human tendency is not limited to dealing with horses. It seems to be in every part of our lives - our first and often only approach is to treat everything as if it thinks and behaves the way we do, or try to overpower it until it submits to our will.

Our challenge is to adjust the way we look at things, to consider that in order for us to best work through a situation we need to improve our understanding of it. Our violent responses usually come from the frustration of not knowing how else to deal with the situation. We do not always have the answer to a situation - but that is no excuse to take our frustrations out on those around us. We are responsible for taking the initiative to improve our knowledge and skills so that we can better handle the situation in a fair and considerate way.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Day 714: What's in an Animal

In discussions with my DIP Buddies I have learned that not everyone grew up with animals the way I did. This lack of experience is a big cause in the lack of understanding what it means, or what it is like, to have an animal as a companion. My task is to try and articulate in a way that any person, no matter how little experience they may have had, can understand what's in an animal companion.

First of all, I do not regard any animal as my "pet". A pet implies ownership and diminishment of value - as if anything described as being a pet is automatically inferior to humans. We all know what happens when humans see something or someone as inferior - and it usually involves cruelty (or at the very least a lack of consideration). Animals are not here to be owned or dominated by humans. In fact, we are responsible for their wellbeing - not only in our own homes, but across the globe by virtue of the position we have taken in the ecosystem of Planet Earth. Our activities influence and have an effect on the environment and other life forms around us, whether we know it or not. The fact that our activities have such profound effects on the lives around us obliges us to act with caution and consideration for those lives.

So then what does it mean to bring an animal into your life and home environment? What is the point?

First of all, we must be realistic about the reality that we have created: we have created a world in which there are many animals that are wholly dependent on humans to take care of them. The primary (current) reason for this is money - people use animals to make money - but this is something that can change. So, that is one point to consider: giving an animal, or animals, the space and support to live comfortably (in consideration of their inherent natures and physical living requirements).

The first point should not exist without respect for the animal(s) - there is no point in providing a home for an animal if one does not respect them. This is sadly a very common occurrence, leading to millions of animals having lonely, painful, hungry and/or neglected lives.

Animals can be companions - not in that they replace relationships with other people - but in the sense that they have personalities, quirks, the ability to communicate (albeit rather different from how we communicate) and so on. Animals provide unconditional support in varying ways, like dogs that will love and accept you no matter what, and will comfort you when you are down. Or cats who will sit on your lap and purr after you've had a long day, or entertain you by playing with a piece of paper. A horse will reflect to you the points that you are working with within yourself, like challenging your position of leadership if you have "authority issues". This is only a very tiny spectrum I am mentioning here, there is so much more that these seemingly superficial things. In other words, animals become like friends or family - you get to know each other and enjoy each other's company. You form connections with animals in the same way you do with people, so that if the animal were to pass you would grieve, or if they were to get ill or hurt you would comfort and support them to recover.

Maybe one of the most important things to consider is that animals do not behave or "think" the same way we do. As we are in the position of having access to learn new things and the ability to consider different perspectives, we hold the honour of investigating the nature of the animal. If you treat a horse the same way you treat a human the horse would not understand your intentions, for example. If you want to live with animals you need to adequately prepare yourself for seeing through their eyes and you must be open to seeing and "thinking" the way they do. Behaving like a human will not get you very far.

Animals place no conditions on you or your relationship with them. They do not declare that they will no longer love or support you if you say something mean to them. They may have different responses to different actions (for example if you do something to frighten them, they may associate you with fear), but these are derived from their basic programming. Animals do not (yet) have the ability to recognise their fear or survival based behaviour as unnecessary - changes to their "natural" responses must be created slowly over time, with great patience and skill.

There is so much more I could say, like that animals do not possess the same cruelty we do, that it is extremely rare for an animal to hurt another animal just for the fun of it. For this reason alone I regard animals far more highly than I regard people. What people have done and still do to animals, who are actually innocent and helpless when faced with the will of humans, is appalling. We have abused our position of power so that we are dictators rather than guardians, where we overpower and dominate rather than support.

Don't get an animal just because you read this post - especially if you don't have any experience. It is completely different to anything else in life and does require some preparation and investigation. Too many animals are neglected or abandoned simply because their "caretakers" didn't actually realise what they were getting themselves into.

Caring for animals is an honour and should be treated as such.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Day 713: Powerful / Powerless

Feeling empowered to do something is a good feeling. You feel like you are in power over your live. You feel like you have the power to create and move and change where you see things that must be created, moved or changed. You feel invincible, almost. You know where you're going and you know how you're going to get there. You know what you need to succeed and you know that even if you fail you will keep trying until you do succeed. Your thoughts are solution oriented, looking at ways to move forward and through any obstacles. You see problems as challenges, you recognise that you have the ability to overcome them. You persevere. You know that even if there is no solution available at this moment, you will continue developing yourself and doing whatever you are able to until something changes and you can move forward in solving the problem. You are realistic about yourself and about your environment. You will recognise when you need to consider a different direction.

Feeling dis-empowered, or powerless, is a completely different experience. Where you feel strong and confident within empowerment you feel weak and fearful within powerlessness. The experience of powerlessness brings with it a dark and ominous outlook, a feeling that you will never be able to do or be what you want. You feel like you have no ability to effect change in your life, let alone the world. You feel like you have no direction, because you don't know how to get to what you want. You feel insecure. You lash out at the people around you out of frustration. You feel anxious. You experience something akin to despair. You feel lost. You might even feel like you have lost yourself, or like you are just drifting through life. Your thoughts are self defeating, focused on all the problems or possible problems, in a way justifying to yourself why you are powerless. It is almost like a self fulfilling prophecy, you keep yourself in the experience and in that frame of mind. Your focus on all the problems is such that you may not even recognise if a solution was given to you in your hands. You give up when you see no way out. You are likely to not look very hard for a way out. You will accept defeat easily. You are not likely to consider alternate paths. You will tend to wallow in a depressive state.

The current design of the human includes the tendency of people to be "followers" instead of "leaders". This means that people kind of like being told what to do because they feel a little lost without that. Self determination is not really part of our programming. So when you find yourself in a position where you are not empowered, your tendency is likely to be that you will simply stay there out of a form of petrification - an inability to move - borne from the fact that you simply do not know how to move yourself (how to give yourself direction). You would rather sit and wait for someone to come along and rescue you - someone who will give you the purpose that you do not know how to give to yourself.

Redesigning yourself to take the initiative and be solution oriented is a process of changing your thought patterns, changing your responses and approaches to yourself and to situations you are in from being focused on all the problems and reasons 'why not' to being focused on developing solutions (even when those solutions are difficult). Power is not something that is "given" to you by others, it is something that you must create and develop within yourself. You need to be able to objectively assess your skills and abilities so that you can place yourself (or develop yourself) in a space where you can be effective at whatever you are doing. The rest is about slowly but surely changing your thoughts, not participating in or allowing self-defeating thoughts and deliberately moving yourself to shift your focus to being objective, practical and solution oriented.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 712: Nymphomaniac

So I watched this move, Nymphomaniac.

It was... different, to say the least. I watched it because I was rather interested in the work of the director, Lars von Trier, who has been involved with some rather different films.

So, Nymphomaniac is about a woman who is addicted to sex/sexuality. The film has real sex scenes in it (they used porn star body doubles, apparently), so prepare yourself for some rather explicit sex scenes.

The movie is set where the woman is telling her life story to an objective listener, an apparently asexual man who does not constrict his perspectives according to social norms, but rather attempts to see past the actions of the woman (in her story) to see the cause, or reasoning of her behaviour. On the other end is the woman who is telling her story and judging herself for her choices in life. She hates herself, blames herself and sees herself and her actions as disgusting. So it is quite interesting to see the warped self image based on trying to fit in with social norms, versus the objective and investigative view on human behaviour.

Another thing that I quite enjoyed was the dialogue. Films and TV all too often panders to the whims and desires of an immature and superficial audience, rarely creating shows/films that actually reflect the rawness and reality of people. This film, while exhibiting rather eloquent and maybe even uncommon speech, is still more real than so much else in the media of today.

The focus on the main character's sexual addiction is of course in itself completely unusual, even though sexuality is less of a taboo these days than it was, say 20 years ago. The film covers a relatively wide array of aspects within sexuality, touching for example on sado-masochism and the psychology behind sexuality.

The film is rather limited in terms of offering solutions to this addiction, and portrays it in a sort of light like the addiction is something that 'happens to' someone and in a way cannot be helped - which is where I see it could be improved upon. Addictions can be changed, and supportive material is needed in the world so that people can empower themselves to change themselves.

This lack of solutions coming through is a common thing, the problem is given all of the attention, but in such a light so as too make it appear to be inevitable, or impossible to overcome. People are continuously portrayed as victims, forced to live with whatever unfortunate fate has been assigned to them, and while they may find peace within it, it is not often shown how that problem can be overcome and how each person does in fact possess the potential and ability to overcome any limitation.

The media mediums have a huge influence on people, it could be used to empower and educate people to recognise and overcome their personal limitations and grow as compassionate, understanding and supportive beings.