My Call To The Future

What do I, a married; father of two; middle class; technological; heterosexual; spiritual; human male; fifty-something; British born; Canadian citizen, believe of the future?

The future, anyones future, is defined by what they believe.  The above labels appear self-evident and factually based, but are they so?  Some are first nature, that is they are true by force of nature or DNA, father; human male; fifty-something.  Others are true by force of society, married; middle class; British born; Canadian citizen.  The rest are second nature, and are true solely by force of our beliefs, middle class; technological; heterosexual; spiritual.  The groups the labels are placed in are defined by me however it is possible that a label might belong in another group or in more than one.  Spiritual might be first nature and some would argue that sexuality is first nature.  In essence I can see how sexuality could be in all three groups.  While the list is divided into three groups, social norms is a subset of second nature and is broken out here to differentiate between what we believe and what society, those around us, believe us to be. There are many more groups I might belong to, many more labels that might be attached to me, by myself or others, be they a single individual or a group within our society.

I am, a non-smoker who smokes; a drinker who believes in abstinence; a drug user when the time is right; a liberal with conservative beliefs; a theocrat who does not believe in god.  Some are true today, some yesterday and yet may not be tomorrow.  Am I blind; deaf; a theologian; fool; teacher to the masses; student?  Yes to all at one point in time or maybe a time to come.

How can I be defined!  How can I be labeled!  What makes a person any of the above? The issue is, not how can ‘you’ or ‘they’ define me but, why do I define me!?  Once we sanction a label, the words of others, and say “yes that is me”, how do we become more than that? How do we grow into the potential that is truly ‘me’?

Here it is important to note that there are two general groups of people who try to define us.  First are those we respect or who are closest to us, family, friends or work associates. The second group are the people we meet in our day to day life but are not really important to us.  The words of the first group have more of an impact in our lives and developing our self-image.  When they tell us something negative about ourselves we are more apt to believe, give sanction, to it. Now if we already have a negative view of some part of our life and a person in the second group tells us the same thing it will almost instantly resound with us and confirm the negative view.

In the end it does not matter who’s words are painting the image because the greatest damage is done not by others labeling us but by how we label ourselves; The condoning of their words so as to hold their image of us as our true self.  Once we do this then their words become ours and while it may be hard to deflect the words, labeling, of others it is harder to quiet the name calling in our mind, our own self-talk.

We have the right to be undefinable!  We only thrive in the instant, the past is who we were and the future not written.

Raise up and state, “I refuse to be defined by the words and thoughts of others.  I will not give sanction to their words and define myself by what I was, or am, I chose only to define myself by who I want to be!”

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

I Know and Accept That Every Moment is as it Should be for this Allows Me to Change the Future

This is the eighth in series of pledges I made to myself has New Year’s resolutions of sorts.  You can find the full list here in this blog post.  I Pledge – a new beginning for a new year

The title is a bold statement, is it not? How is it that I can believe this? Can any of us really change the future?

There is some old adage that states that one cannot change yesterday because it is the past and we cannot change tomorrow because it is the future so the only thing we have is today or now. The meaning is that we can only hope to change the present, and the people who follow this reasoning, as I did for years, choose to live in the moment. Still a good idea and I wonder if the two are actually mutually exclusive.

For a moment clear your mind and follow me down the rabbit hole to a world where we live in the future rather than the present. Deepak tells us, as the same old adage states, that we cannot live, or alter the past, but he adds we are just as powerless to change the present! Why? He goes on to state that everything that has happened in the past, every choice we have ever made lead us to this point. Every choice that anyone else, who is in your sphere of influence right now, as lead them to this precise moment in time, this present. Since nothing can now be done to change the events that led up to this present time nothing can now be done to change the present from happening. All the energy and effort we put forth in trying to change the present is wasted, it is as we are trying to change the path of the stars. However we can change the future. Our actions and our reactions to the present events alter or more accurately direct our future course.

By accepting the moment is as it should be we stop wasting time, energy and effort on trying to change the now, that is already set in stone, and utilize that energy to mold a better future. It is interesting to note that it takes less effort to change our future than we now spend in fruitlessly attempting to change our present situation.

To be clear I am not saying anyone needs to accept that their present place is where they should stay only that before we can truly make changes to our future must accept the present. It is only from this point that we can start affecting change in our future. Taking any trip we can only start from where we are now. Not where we want to be or even from where we were only from where we are. Accept that first and then chose your future.

See you there.

Next post “Take Responsibility – Without Blame.”

Live Well, Laugh Often Love Much. Smile!

Plunge Ahead With Abandon As This Will Cause the Most Joy

This is the seventh in series of pledges I made to myself as New Year’s resolutions of sorts.  You can find the full list here in this blog post.  I Pledge – a new beginning for a new year

To plunge ahead with abandon, this phrase just makes me smile from ear to ear. It brings to mind on of my greatest mentors, Calvin. Hopefully most of you know who I mean, for the ones who do not please see this link. Calvin & Hobbes. He is the hidden child in all of us, who once an idea comes to mind it has a life of its own. How I miss those days, and how I am trying in my greying age to get that attitude back.

It is the way to get things done, is it not, instead of stopping after getting an idea or dream in your head but to start building it right then and there? To quote Frank Tibolt, “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” Now in Mr. Tibolt’s words we are waiting for something else to tell us we should start or continue with a given idea. I remember after taking severance from a position and wanting to go back to school to take some training I thought I was not yet ready to do so. I needed more money, more time, more something else that I did not have at that point in time so I waited and waited and waited. More than a year went by and still things were not right still I needed more something. And yes a second year went by.

One day after realizing that I would be waiting until my kids were grown and gone and then my mortgage was paid, even though I did not have a mortgage at that time, I just went to the university and put in my applications. Three months later I started my new education plan. Did it go smoothly all the time? No, but I did complete my studies and did manage, with my wife, family and friends help to both finish school and care for the needs of those under my care. This without first filling the persistent present needs I thought I had and that were holding back from moving forward.

I have talked about universal energy in other posts and it keeps coming back to my mind. Starting from being silent, communing with nature, judging nothing and so on all help us to tap into this universal energy. Plunging ahead with abandon is how we can take this energy and cause positive events to take shape around us.

So let’s have some fun and build the fort today, for tomorrow will come and without the fort we will still have to move on. Today is the day to build the fort, “Calvin, get Hobbes and I will get my brothers and sons and we will have the best of life today.”

Next post “Accept Every Moment Is As It Should Be.”

Live Well, Laugh Often Love Much. Smile!

My Thoughts On – To Be Charlie Or Not To Be Charlie

In Answer to “To Be Charlie Or Not To Be Charlie”

First let it be said I take no side with Charlie Hebdo and their cartoonist. I have never seen one of their cartoons and have so far successfully kept my browsers from going to their site or any other looking for such.

I have been following the blog, Citizen of an Idiocracy from where this post comes from for about a year and find the writing insightful and it as over this time given me many reasons to think about how my own basis work. This is true for this article as well. I write this because I think the initial piece is worth exploring further and so I hope my words are found to be has respectful as my intention is.

At the end of the second paragraph, or is it the third the comment is made “And in a Free World, I shouldn’t have to.” In this I would respectfully disagree. In a free world we do have to. I understand none of us wants to see, hear, smell, taste or feel things that we find disagreeable. But what is it that makes us free?

The author makes a valid point later in the post by asking us “Is Hate Speech the Essence of Free Speech?”, and I would answer no. Hate speech is not what free speech is about. So why do I feel that in a free world we have to put up with things we find disagreeable, i.e. Hate Speech?

I would ask which of the following two ideas makes us free, or conversely which of the two chains us, to hear an others opinion, that goes against everything we hold dear, or to be forced to silence ones own opinions? Of the two, forcing others to be silent, in my mind, causes the greater harm to all society.

This leads to the second point in this article I would expound on, the issue of offence. Later in the post the author ask us to think about offending. He brings up how the writings of Charlie Hebdo and that it’s “object of depicting a naked Muhammad is to offend” and in the next paragraph adds “If the object is to offend all Muslims…” It is my understanding that as free people we are held to a standard were we are responsible for our own actions. Those others, Charlie and the gang, do not control us. Is that not the meaning of being free, that we have control of ourselves? If so then is it not true that one does not give offence, one takes offence?

Yes the words of these my go against everything we believe however that cannot be used as justification for violence or even for that matter for forcibly silencing these people. Remember the person we silence today might be the person we are tomorrow.

In a free world we will all need tougher skin.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

Citizen of an Idiocracy

Charlie Hebdo isn’t dead. It has been hijacked.

The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie is trending. About this surge in support, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonist Bernard Holtrop has said, “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.” He added that this newfound fame was laughable and was coming from people who had never seen an issue of Charlie Hebdo before the shootings shot it into Internet stardom.

"We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends" - Bernard Holtrop, Charlie Hebdo cartoonist. “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends” – Bernard Holtrop, Charlie Hebdo cartoonist.

Statutory Distancing From Terrorist 

I try to imagine the horror of Charlie Hebdo’s journalists and editors in their last moments …and it sends a chill down my spine. I think of the newspaper office that I used to work in as a lowly sub-editor for a monthly salary of US$50. It was a matter of passion: to write, to report and to…

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Be Conscious of Each Choice You Make To Control What Happens Next

This is the sixth in series of pledges I made to myself has New Year’s resolutions of sorts.  You can find the full list here in this blog post.  I Pledge – a new beginning for a new year

I know you think you are conscious of everything you do, but are we really that conscious? I believe people generally go through life on auto-pilot allowing their sub-conscious interact with the world around them for this takes the least amount of work on our part. After a while of doing this, and most of us have been doing this from youth, what was second nature is so imbedded in us it appear to be first nature. But it is not.

All our feelings are under our conscious control. When we get angry, feel hurt, and ‘spontaneous erupt’ after someone pushes the right button, we have chosen to do that. When we then say that the other made me do it we take control, and thus responsibility for this action away from us and give it to the other.

How better to keep control of our own life by taking first, responsibility for each and every moment but more importantly choosing ahead of time to be consciously aware each choice we make. No more others controlling us, but every action is because we wanted to do it.

This is great because it gives us a feeling power over our lives. We go to work at 7:30 because we want to not because some unfeeling corporation told us we must. We own our anger and our love, and as the title states we now can control what happens next. When we allow, give permission for the others, to have control of us they also have control of what happens next in our lives.

To state this in another way, when we believe our lives are externally controlled we typically feel the victim but when we believe our life is internally controlled we feel we have the situation well in hand and set out making things happen.

I for one have had enough of the others controlling my life and so I pledged that I will be conscious of every choice I make, will you?

Next post “Plunge Ahead With Abandon.”

Live Well, Laugh Often Love Much. Smile!

A Positive Future By Intent

After reading a post by Wonder Sonder, called Form Some Other Beginnings End where she talks about intending to have a great year.  Shortly after reading her post I received the following E-Mail from the Pacific Institute on the power of intent.  Intent is one of my favourite things.

Here is the link to the E-Mail and the body of the text is below.  Hope you enjoy it.

 

 

A Positive Future by Intent

Whether you know of him or not, a debt of gratitude is owed to the research into optimism and pessimism made by Dr. Martin Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania. A past president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Seligman is the author of numerous books on the subjects of optimism and pessimism, and how they affect the way we look at our world.

How do you find out if you are an optimist or a pessimist? Ask yourself the question: How do I think when bad things happen to me?  A pessimist lets the bad thing contaminate everything in their life: home, work, relationships. It is called “globalising.” An optimist, on the other hand, isolates the bad. “It’s just this one piece that’s not so good; everything else is OK.”

The other thing a pessimist does is “eternalise” the bad thing. “It’s awful now, and it’s going to be this way forever. Nothing is ever going to go right again.” An optimist puts a timeframe on it. “Yes, it’s going to be painful for a while, but I’ll get through it. Things will change for the better.” Pessimists have a tendency to take accountability for the entire mess they are in, whether it was entirely their fault or not, while optimists take accountability for what they caused, and realise that there were other factors involved.

Now, let’s turn it around. How do you think when good things happen? A pessimist calls it a one-time thing, believes it won’t last, and minimises their part in the success. The optimist? An optimist lets the good things colour everything they do, believes that it will last forever, and takes credit for their part in the success – “I caused it.”

You are starting to see a pattern. The pessimist has an external locus of control, and typically sees him- or herself as a victim. The pessimist mindset is one of, “It’s all about me.” The optimist, on the other hand, has an internal locus of control, takes control of the situation at hand, and sets about making better things happen.

Optimist or Pessimist? Again, it’s all about that internal picture you hold in your mind – and the choice is always ours which we choose.

The Pacific Institute

 

 

Wonder Sonder

Sometimes, we spend so long mourning all that is wrong, that we forget to look back at everything that was just right, the day that started out with fresh french toast at a gorgeous restaurant with orchids and freshly brewed coffee, the coconut trees and the historical edifices all around us, the phenomenal company, the incredible views and the fact that we made it to a place I’ve always wanted to see, and we saw it 48 hours after I had a ping pong ball-sized benign tumor removed from my left breast.

At Angkor Wat. Photo by Hadidd Ahmed At Angkor Wat.
Photo by Hadidd Ahmed

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about three things: how to speak up in the space of cruelty, and how to refrain from succumbing to the pain of loss by creating walls around me and pushing out the people who wish me well, and thirdly, how to recognize and distinguish…

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The Ten Commandments of Blogging

How I love the word play in this.
Always one to take the Lords Commandments and twist the for my own pleasure. I wonder what I can do with these.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

A Holistic Journey

1. Thou shalt not waste readers’ time. Offer up thy readers a worthy sacrifice that they might take and be satisfied.

2. Thou shalt honor thy muse. Be prepared in season, out of season to seize inspiration when she comes that ye might write, dance, photograph, paint thy bliss. Be not caught without thy scroll, ink, pen, iGadget, camera. Thou wilt not redeem the moment the locust has eaten.

3. Thou shalt preview thy draft and spell-check before publishing that the Angel of Vengeance shall not fly over thy blog in the night.10commandmts2

4. Always speak ye the truth.

5. Thou shalt not take up the like button in vain, foremost on this blog. It is holystic ground. Thou shalt in integrity read the posts before clicking anything lest thou incite my wrath. Know ye that I see thou couldst not have read four of my brain-intensive posts in one…

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Receive Willing All Gifts Placed Before You

This is the fifth in series of pledges I made to myself has New Year’s resolutions of sorts.  You can find the full list here in this blog post.  I Pledge – a new beginning for a new year

Have you even known people, even yourself who are uncomfortable with receiving? I have a couple of good friends whom hate me giving to them. If you read my post from yesterday you will see how this weaves into today’s post. If I give to them they must give something back to me or they feel beholden, as they say.

Can we not just freely receive? While we all secretly like to get, and I use that crass word by choice, we do not like to receive.

When the creator, whatever you believe him, her, them, or it to be, gives it does not do so with any partiality. Sorry. Even the very good book I have read a few times states that god gives to the just and unjust in the same manner. Does the gift of rain fall on us all no matter what?

Remember all the best things are received freely. I will beg forgiveness from those of you who say you never want anything that you did not pay for, earn. That receiving of charity, as it were, cannot be tolerated. But all good things are received freely. End of story. What we earn may give us the means of life but what we receive, freely, that is what makes life worth living in the first place.

By not receiving gifts we actually stop the flow of positive energy. When I give, my intention is to give those around me, not just the item I offer but my positive energy to them. However by refusing to accept the gift freely the energy stops flowing to you and if it does not flow to you; you in turn cannot give it to others.

By receiving freely we allow others to share their energy and joys, or even sufferings with us allowing the universal energy to flow in our lives.

Next post “Be Conscious of Each Choice You Make.”

Live Well, Laugh Often Love Much. Smile!

Give to Everyone You Meet to Circulate Joy

This is fourth in series of pledges I made to myself has a new years resloutions of sorts.  You can find the full list here in this blog post.  I Pledge – a new beginning for a new year

I love the idea of giving to everyone I meet for several reasons; has we give we receive.

It is impossible to hate people and give to them at the same time. Just by the act of giving we bring joy to those around us. And when they have more joy in their lives it will automatically be directed back to us so we receive more joy. And round, round it goes. Or joy.

I love to give. While it is said that giving must be done in a non-selfish way to be worthwhile, I believe it is the opposite. Just like not judging allows us to stop judging ourselves, giving allows us to receive at the same time. Please see tomorrows post for more on this

Now this giving is not meant to break your bank. Giving is easy; one gives a smile, a prayer, a blessing, a thank you, a card, a small gift, a helping hand. Once we start giving we can find many ways to keep giving.

Then of course there is the very splendid idea of showing kindness to strangers. Now some give this a day, I say let’s make this every day. To be fair the people who set up these days are trying to get others to try it one day. Then hopefully they will see a benefit in themselves and continue with it afterwards.

Now I believe that as I give so I will receive but here I will throw in a word of caution. I do not know what part of creation does this, let’s call it the Universal Spirit, but it only works if you are truly giving for the right reasons. If you are giving for the sole reason you want to see if you will receive it back you will not. If you do it trying to get something back you will not. Only if you give for purely the joy of giving will it be returned to you.

Give and the whole world will give with you.

And remember try as you might you cannot take it with you.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

Judging Nothing Causes Great Peace In Our Life

I have been trying to write this simple blog entry for the past week and still the words evade my fingertips. I have re-read the material that help shaped my personal beliefs that set forth these pledges I am trying to share as my new year’s resolutions. Still I have a hard time relating what this actually means. I have run into this while speaking about it and people ask me questions about not judging.

The words actually come from the poem, “A Course In Miracles”, and Deepak states that non-judgement creates that needed quality of silence in our world. It appears that our judgements are creating all the noise in our minds. Deepak goes on to state that our true essence, free from ego, is fearless, free, and immune to criticism.

What really are these judgments?  The way we see the world is a reflection of the way we see ourselves. If we are judgmental of the people and world around us it is because we are judgmental of the world within us, or us.

By first appearance when we state I will judge nothing that occurs today we are appear to be saying that we will not judge others but what it becomes, and I have found this to be true, is we are giving ourselves permission not to judge ourselves, and when we do this we find that we allow ourselves to love ourselves.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!