Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You cant escape yourself

I am a person. My opinion towards myself is important for my emotional well being. I can interact with myself. I speak to myself. I can be an internal encourager instead of waiting for others to validate me. They (others) play a huge role in someones self esteem but they have limited interaction with the real you. I am the only person who is with me 100% of the time. Myself and i eat together, we sleep together, we dream together, we laugh together...everything together. Why would i ever be a source of negativity to someone so close? I cant escape myself. I cant shut the door if the words i hear are destructive. I cant hang up the phone if i am being ridiculed. I am a captive audience for anything i choose to say to myself. Always. So again why would i subject myself to anything from myself that caused me to feel inadequate, stupid, devalued, anxious, afraid, or a failure? Yet i do it daily. I allow myself to carry on horrible conversations with myself. Not only causing pain and suffering for the moment but projecting it into the future, shaping my actions and altering the future in a negative way. Or maybe it just keeps me from freedom!
Don't get me wrong, there is a big difference between honesty and degradation. Honesty takes a look at a mistake and recognizes it as a mistake, but its course of action is always with hope. It positively addresses negative circumstance. Interjecting truth for its frame work to reconstruct the situation in our minds. It never fantasizes with any magnitude, it keeps things basic. It stays to the specifics of what happened offering the course of action that corresponds with the facts. It reminds us who we really are. We may or may not be proud of that fact but it encourages us to be better.
Our negativity doesn't do this. Instead it allows the mistake or destructive view to seep over into other areas of our life. It infects things that are not related at all...like our self-worth, motivation, future decisions, confidence, etc. We become what we think! Before its all over we are full of despair and insecurity because things seem hopeless. When in reality it was just a sour thought that needed to be addressed with truth.
The application here is to be a self promoter...not arrogant or over inflated...that's dishonest. Its important to encourage ourselves. We should always offer hope to any situation we find our self in, never for one minute having a negative view of it. Realistic yes...negative no. It sounds cheesy and Mr. Rogers like, but the outcome will place us directly in the path of happiness and fulfillment. Mainly because we will have the confidence and courage to attempt the things we desire and we will have the truth to handle situations accurately. Its limitless.
Many people suffer from negative views of themselves. It manifests itself on the extremes of arrogance or self loathing. It doesnt have to be that way and once someone catches the vision of being positive it become contagious.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

redefined

i have noticed a reoccurring theme here lately. Redefining terms! It has been this months endeavor to try and give new meaning to old concepts. Standing up, walking behind the thought and seeing it from another angle. There is so much happening on the other side we never see...more information gives us a more true perspective. I dont think it is possible to have every angle on a matter but it only benefits us to collect as many as possible.
In the past when i have become disenfranchised with an idea i scrapped it. To my own peril sometimes. Maybe it hurt me or caused me to feel guilty so my assumption was to throw it completely away...go in the opposite direction. When maybe my frustration occurred because i was a few degrees off... not 180. I have been learning to make slight adjustments until the pieces fit instead of spinning them around hoping one might fall into place.
I have a new phrase i enjoy using too that goes in this direction..."fulfilling legitimate needs in illegitimate ways". Meaning, the needs in my life arent the culprit... it is the method i choose to use in order to meet those needs that can cause me problems. Example: need to belong...this can get ugly quick if i am compromising at every turn so people will accept me...need to work... i can slave my life away thinking my paychecks determine my self worth...and the list goes on. Every action we take has a base need as its motivation. The key is determining which actions promote health and help me toward meeting my need...and which actions are unhealthy and only appear to meet my need. And we know...we know inside what those things are but past experience confuses us, bad associations distract us (ex. associating God with church), and dishonesty with ourselves keep us from ever seeing the truth. So we suffer!! Day after day chasing the same need with the same action...complaining that we are not happy or fulfilled or content. I am learning to disect my actions. It is so benificial to slow down identify the need and compare it to the actions i am taking. Are they consistent? How long have i tried this and has it every yielded the results i want? What are some other options?!!!! WE HAVE OPTIONS!!! These are a few ways to get to the bottom of things. Once we have slowed down, identified all the players, there only remains to just be honest with the findings. If i come across more i will be sure to blog about it, but so far thats all i got.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

work while you wait

Life is a process. I have heard that before but today i took a while to ponder that statement. I have been diligently working to build a small leather business and today i had some amazing ideas as to how i can continue to contribute to making it more efficient. As i added more things on my list of goals i realized how far from some of them i actually was...like having a store where i sell leather stuff as well as other hand made products. Anyway it was a bit overwhelming and then it clicked. Vegetables!
I started thinking about the process of farming and all the waiting involved before a harvest is realized and the side work that has to be done in support of reaching that harvest day. Weeding, watering, fertilizing, all fairly mundane things but necessary to produce a desired result.
I only understand instant. So much of my frustration is born from an unrealistic outlook on the time that needs to be invested in order to accomplish certain things. Obviously each goal requires its own amount of time and has its detailed steps in the process. But the key is...it is a process. Nature is such a great example. It does not stress. It takes its time through seasons and enjoys each one fully before moving on. It understands there is no hurry. Where are you going?
I have a trail i walk from my house to town. For weeks the grass was really tall and finally the owner saw fit to give it a trim. Piles of grass were left. Over the weeks i have noticed the piles shrinking as they break down. They are turning back into dirt as the sun bakes them...wind scatters them...and i step on them. Soon they will be gone. The grass will grow again and the owner will cut it making new piles. Its a process and the more i pay attention to nature the more confident i become that i should follow suit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Faith

Lately i have been pondering the idea of faith. It is so interesting. I have completely disregarded its importance in my life. I have always viewed faith like a wispy cloud. It has been feathery and distant, almost transparent so that i could never quite make out its shape.
Now the concept of faith is fairly general in nature, but i have been focusing particularly on human origins. Where did we come from? What was the story? Is the story consistent with the present...that is...can it explain why we are so f#$*ed up? In my mind the story has to be consistent with basic observation for me to even consider it.
I am fond of the Genesis story. I have very little internal conflict believing that was the way humanity came about. Granted it is just a sketch of what happened. We have filled in the blanks with some pretty silly stuff created by our own imagination. We have definitely taken liberties with the story if only in our minds. However i truly believe we are in our present state as a result of actions taken by a single human. I believe in a past glory...we were super humans at one point. I think one mans decision to disconnect from the Creator cost us a vast amount of knowledge. We literally unplugged ourselves from the mainframe. We forfeited our purpose, our value, and our standing. We created an endless amount of questions that we have been trying thousands of years to answer. It seems every generation has its turn at the attempt, yet only a handful get what they are truly seeking.
I think the biggest barrier in believing the Genesis account is its simplicity. We are so far removed from the innocence those first humans experienced. We have layers of generational complexity built up on us the moment we leave the womb. Not to mention the complexity our parents place on us, our peers, our culture, and last but not least.....the complexity we place on ourselves. It makes perfect sense that the enormous gigantic weed that we are constantly staring at in our lives began as a tiny little seed...one rebellious decision as simple as eating a piece of fruit.
This is not the whole picture...there are so many tangents that i could easily trace back to this origin and i have spent many a hour doing just that....i have to get to the most basic "WHY" before i can go to sleep at night. Yet i will never reach the end in my life time 1) because i am so far removed from the beginning, 2) i am physically disconnected from the creator.
Humanity has a broken receptor. The first man had a perfect relationship with the creator, so much that they walked and talked together. When he disconnected himself the relationship was severely damaged...irreparable. No more walks and no more talks...it cost him lots more than that but basically the shit hit the fan and the contact was never the same. This is easily observed today. At the root of every single action we take we are attempting to regain the security that relationship brought. This is a bold statement but i am willing to stand by it.
So here is where i think J√ęsus comes in. He is the mediator between the injured parties. It is the best explanation offered in my opinion because it is the only one i have found were my pride (source of disconnect) cannot claim any involvement in the reconnection. No merit on my part will help get me back in connection.
Now we are getting to my original point...i needed some background to make the shift. It seems to me that Jesus fulfilled his role. He set up a way to reconnect. Wonderful!! Now what...things still suck! I still have questions, i still piss my pants, i am anxious most of the time... did he really do anything????!!! Well we are here finally to the idea of faith. I think we will never experience what the first humans experienced naturally. They didn't need faith because "it" was tangible. Everything was tangible for them. I am convinced our tangible today comes in the form of faith. Forget all the crap that comes with Christianity...i am talking about a faith that lets us regain our superhuman status. The Faith is being convinced that Jesus actually created a way for us to know our creator...a way to return to the flow of truth. Thats all. No need to organize a comittie for that, just enjoy it. Know it is possible to be free. Free from the disconnect.
The results are not different from the ones claimed by Christianity...purpose, peace, health, love, joy...but Christianity has sold itself to religion and now the holistic fruit is reduced to mere words. We have substituted a relationship for a formula...Christianity even says the formula is a relationship but we cant get past the formula part of it. We are bound by allegiance to a system and the worship of the organization. We left our first love.
It has been so hard for me to separate what i view as facts from the religion of Christianity. It is sad we have made an exclusive religion out of some of the best ideas that offer a great explanation of origin...but people cant accept them not because of lack of evidence, its all the extra requirements religion piles on top. I cant accept the theories on Christianity's terms either. So i am doing my best to salvage what i can from my encounter with christianity...this faith thing is just one of them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Negative thoughts on black tree ants

Recently i have been pondering the idea of why we tend to gravitate toward negative thinking. By negative thinking i mean...expecting the worst possible outcome from things. Why is it when a situation presents itself we assume the outcome will not be in our favor? Obviously if it looks like we are going to "benefit" there are less worries, but if there is the slightest indication that we might be adversely affected we run with it.
I have this thing i do when i become obsessed with an idea. I start with the thought and begin to layer up around it my perception of where i think it will end up. I have had those things carry me thru an entire day of worry and self loathing, sometimes several days, until the true outcome steps in and it all goes away with less than a ripple. I got cut once in the gym and thought for several days i might have AIDS. My imagination raced with who might have gotten cut on the same weight as me and i was certain they had AIDS.
No one wants anything bad for their lives. I dont want pain, suffering, worry, doubt, etc. But i wonder if i dont bring a lot of those characters my way by simply focusing on how much i dont want them to be in my life. I was talking with a friend recently about a book called "The Secret". It is an ok book with a powerful message. I say just ok because i think there is some capitalistic influence mingled in it, but the concept is solid." WE attract into out lives the things we think about most. " Literally we draw the things we focus on toward us...or another way of looking at it is, we gravitate together. I think we actually move as well...not just the thing. Thoughts are the motivations for actions. Without them there is no action. This is nothing profound unless we actually take the time to consciously use it instead of reacting after the fact.
That said i believe this concept is only at half strength alone. By itself it can bring about radical change, revolutions, romance, money, corporations, Olympic gold medals, and the list goes on, but it is still lacking in realizing its full potential. My friend Andy and i are constantly talking about something we have named the "flow". Now we did not discover the flow, it has been around for a really long time. In the beginning there was God and his friend flow. Now the flow is just a current of established truth and order, sometimes disguised as disorder. I say disorder because it appears that way in comparison to our perception of how things work. In this flow all things are at peace. Questions cease, anxiety dies, worry crumbles, and problems have drowned. In the flow there is healing, knowledge, precision timing, wonder, bewilderment (sell your cleverness), and an overall sense of well-being, all needs are met. Now it all sounds too good to be true and the reason why we arent all just chilling out in this place is because we are not the ones who get to determine what peace is, or healing, or needs met.......the flow establishes all that. We get to partake thru surrendering to the current not fighting it or stepping out on the bank. There lies our plight as humans. We are powerful! Our mind is powerful! We get what we think about most! This is where the secret and the flow marry. Think about being in the flow and that is precisely where you will find yourself.
I wish religion was pure enough to catch this, but by definition it cannot be. Religion has created its own flow and encourages the masses to join. I think Jesus was in the flow. I believe all that was said about him is true, but i do not see the link between who he was and who we have made him to be. So i am not into organized religion, but that is a whole other thing, maybe it needs a book instead of a blog. This one is getting long too so i think next week i will write about ways i have found to enter the flow and maybe other theories...oh yeah this is just my theory on how things work. i like it and have found it to be somewhat accurate. Take it for what it is please

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

employment

The world of employment is a tricky one. On the one hand it is nice to get swept away by the dream of making lots of money and the seemingly endless opportunities it affords, but it isnt long before the undertow of that current grabs your ankles and pulls you down into the depths of busyness, materialism, and disillusion. However, the worry from having no money is just as deadly.
I have really been pondering on the whole idea of work here lately. I am currently "unemployed", meaning i have no boss or official job. I am working but on my own time and at my own pace. Its great, but i am not far enough along in my work to be able to sustain maybe a family or something. So i am still figuring things out. I have observed a few things as i continue to explore possibilities. I guess i have just formed certain criteria that a job must possess in order to bring me the most satisfaction. My disclaimers are i am very low maintenance, i dont have any debt, and i need very little material stuff to feel satisfied. These are huge factors in determining what kind of job satisfies. These things really restrict the selection of jobs depending on where you fall in the spectrum.
All that to say...my job needs to be balanced. I dont want it to take away from personal development, relationships, or just overall needed rest. If anything i think it could possibly contribute to those things depending on the nature of the job. It could be a family owned and operated something. Of course it should provide for the basic needs of life...food, clothing, shelter, trips to foreign countries. I guess basic can be relative depending on the person, but for me i am fairly basic by United States standards (which is extremely extravagant by world standards). I think the stress level should be almost non-existent, a small commute preferably by bicycle and working with people who are of like mind. The fruit of the labor needs to be something that is an expression of me, that contributes on some level to benefiting others, and is moderately fun at some point in the process. By fun i mean...selling, making, or anything in between needs to be somewhat enjoyable. Probably most people would say this is a dream job and it is actually, but i think a dream job isnt found it is created. It is created by our values. There are tons of decisions or responsibilities that steer us away from having the job we want...debt, child support, sickness, gambling problems, love for sports cars, meth habit, crazy wife/husband, and the list goes on. Really the dream job starts way before its time to start looking for $.
These are my observations and desires...so here we go. I will keep you updated on the progress.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Change

Yesterday i had two ideas pass thru the gauntlet of my mind. 1) Was the idea of how things change in our lives or a great way to improve our life thru change. Example...moving from sickness to health is not magic it is a matter of changing our perspective. Once we start probing deeper and deeper toward truth we move closer to the Source, at the source the answer to all our woes is present. We start tearing away the infrastructure that has supported our problem for so long and it implodes on itself. Literally the problem destroys itself. We may never address it directly. As time goes on we build an immunity to certain problems because we know the truth and live in its flow. I want to test this theory, the key is asking the right probing questions and being honest with the answers even if they are incriminating. Honesty is the only way to progress toward the source, i.e. Dieu. This point alone holds us back. Insecurity or an unhealthy value placed on comfort halts us pealing back the layers. We reach an impass! Actually there are 1.7 million things that halt the process, things that we arent even aware of. I think that's were journaling, meditation, reflection, and friends come in. They are all mirrors or releasers of truth. Stay alert, stay aware.
I wont even begin to assume i understand all this. However i have been practicing a form of this for years, but yesterday it took on a whole new dimension. And i can only guess as time goes on it will expand again. Things always do...infinitely. My goal is to expand too. Why not? 2) Was an event that happened yesterday. I went back to our old house to cut the grass b/c we are still trying to sell it. I decided to go inside and look around since we moved all the stuff out. It was completely empty except for a bed and T.V. stand. My room was empty. I opened my closet door and this flood of memories rushed over me. I saw myself opening and closing that closet over the years, putting things in taking things out, Becca hiding in there, thought i had looking in the closet, thoughts i had in the room...tears, laughter, phone conversations,anger, happiness, my life in that room flashed before my eyes. And like a tornado has swept thru...it was all gone....an empty room. All the clutter, thoughts, fears, ambitions, plans, stuff, everything was gone. At that moment i could see their collective value ($ .0000001). Maybe that is the resale value because at the time they cost me a fortune in time and thought. And its not that everything was worthless its just that there was so much wasted effort, so much extra clutter that wasnt necessary and occupied precious space. I want to focus more. I want to project a thought into the future and see if it too might get swept away. Maybe not that...maybe just hold things more loosely so that they can escape when the time is right instead of locking them up in the closet, keep such loose hands that things fall away as i walk. And when i go to check what i'm still holding on to... they are things like love , family, peace, security, generosity, kindness, and a clean pair of underwear.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Motivation on Vacation

This morning my motivation is on vacation. Honestly i am having a tough time seeing the purpose in anything. Why do anything? I don't know... all i know is if i do nothing i am doubly miserable. I think it goes back to expectation. Is the reason i don't want to do something because i am overwhelmed with my insufficiency? Am i afraid I'll quit...fail...fall short? I think I may be on to something here! Is the final goal too lofty or is the present one too lofty? I tend to replace the present one with the final one and i immediately become exhausted. It is tough to get from 0-100 if i constantly skip 27 and 28. So what is the solution...Do the next smallest thing. What is that? It is what links us to the final goal! Celebrate the small steps! Scream with joy when they are finished, buy yourself ice cream when you do one and when the day comes and the last step is made buy someone else an ice cream. Consistency...is daily doing something that contributes to the final goal or the day's goal.
Trent, now damn it... I want you to remember these words today. Take them to heart b/c they are purer than gold. They are the only formula you will ever need for accomplishment in anything you deem valuable. It will happen and you are convinced right now. Just remember this page when your not so convinced.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

first step

The first step is the easiest...its the 5000 small steps that follow that are the hardest. I am starting this blog at the request of my friend Andy. He challenged me to express some of the ideas he and i are so fond of talking about. Partly because they need to be shared and partly because he knows if I get too much going on in my brain I tend to go crazy. So thanks and for encouraging me out of my dangerous tendencies Andy.
He and I just recently returned from an epic road trip. The West will never be the same!! We took the month of July and visited a good number of national parks in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California. I must say Yosemite was my favorite. It can surely boast of the best temperatures, breath taking views, and rewarding hikes. It is so fulfilling to hike three hours and find yourself on top of a waterfall splashing about in crystal clear pools and then lay in the sun like a turtle for a couple of hours before heading back.It is amazing the things that come up on a month long road trip. Andy says its like life in miniature...all jammed into a blip. Its also a great way to grow a friendship, but you better really be good friends or it could have the opposite effect. It is life in concentrate.
I think we covered nearly every conversation topic imaginable except for elephant breeding and lasic eye surgery. One conversation that has had an impact on me since returning home revolved around the idea of using the gifts that our Creator has given us all. Maybe the hard part is recognizing the gift, i don't know but once its obvious we have a responsibility to expose it and use it. I have another friend Josh who is an amazing singer/guitarist and i have decided for him that his gift is music. When i hear him sing, time stops and for a second i forget...i forget about my cell phone bill, i forget to worry, i forget my email password and i remember that life is in concentrate and it blazes past us in a blink or two. We all say that, but how do we show it in our lives that our time here in this world is short. I wont even try to make myself believe i am a good example of carpe diem, but i am learning that it is possible and it just takes one step. I admit the freedom scares me sometimes...i like walls even if they are imaginary...which most of them are. I love control and predictability, we all do a little. But true freedom possesses neither.
I am excited that Josh is making music consistently now and doubly excited that i am contributing what little skill i have on the mandolin to the process. So as a wise observer i am going to attempt to use a gift i think i have...thinking and analyzing. And since no one can actually get in my circus of a brain i will write it out, plus it will be my therapy. It is cheaper than a psychiatrist. Cheers to Andy and cheers to Josh. Thank you both for being great friends