Conversations with Mom – Revenge!

21-1024x576

Even to the very end – Mom got the last laugh on life.  And it wasn’t over yet.  Threre was more … but those are for later. For now …

***

Here, I’d like to share something that happened to me in the last week of her life while she was clinging to every last breath she could muster in her tattered and tired lungs.  Mom was a chronic asthsma her whole life (and smoked most of it) – and when the doctor had a look at her lungs not too long earlier, he said her lungs were “just like leather”.

It must have been horrible gasping for the final hour.

***

Anyways, she was in the hospital on her birthday and it was looking grim; and the doc told her it probably wouldn’t be long.

All 8 of us kids took our turns saying goodbye. It was sad, and even though she never said she loved me, I knew she did.  We were just too much alike.

Now, Mom was always one to throw someone off – and she did.  It was one of those LMAO moments. She also had a long memory, and never let anyone get away with anything on her.

When I came into the hospital room, it was dark and shady – and incredibly alert. Mom didn’t move much and said less, but I noticed she was as sharp as a whip.  Even in her last days, she recounted and whispered her adventures and shared smiles.  We didn’t talk about us, or “my father”, (as she always called him).

This last day, when Mom knew I was there; and I noticed, I moved in closer to her side.  She wanted to say something and reached out to pull me in.  Our faces were almost close and Mom whispered decisively:

“You see, the psychic was wrong at Expo 67!”

Two days later she died.

The backstory is funny, in that, when she travelled with my sister to Montreal in 1967 in honour of Canada’s Centennial year, she went to see a psychic at the World’s Fair.  The psychic told Mom at the time she wouldn’t live to see her 68th.  She always held that grudge and over the years she would bring it up – and if there was anything she wanted to beat – was that damn psychic.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom

I Love You,

K

Advertisements

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 2

Why Is It Important to have Life Purpose?

If I may make a first brief request before we begin; I’d like you to think about something:

  1. What was it like waking up this morning for you?  What did you do?  How did you feel? What was your state of mind?
  2. Now consider the same questions and think to the time(s) you had your greatest experiences.  What were your moments like then?
  3. How different were the 2 experiences?
  4. Which do you experience the most?

 Which would you prefer?

 ***

A quick reminder note:

Don’t believe anything I write, OK?  It’s NOT the truth.  These are just my assertions, opinions, and observations based on my personal experiences of life.
If I may suggest to you:  Try this stuff out.  Look at it and think about it.  It won’t hurt.  Use what you like (if anything), and throw the rest away.  Deal?

 —– : —–

Eternal Life

Having the opportunity to Discover our Life Purpose
(that’s always been lurking and poking itself in and out of our experiences) is

AN AWAKENING

after years of desperately feeling around in the dark
(like the scene played by Patty Duke in the movie about Helen Keller)

and appearing to go nowhere without understandable reason.

Always wondering “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!”

 —– : —–

As expressed in my last post on “What is Purpose?”, I asserted that in our life when we get to express our Life Purpose (often or always – whether we know it or not), we experience a shift in our lives.  Do you wake up in the morning jumping out of bed declaring your excitement for getting the opportunity to go to work?  Do you feel like you will be off to work to make a difference in someone’s life?  Are you doing something that adds value to your life?  We give ourselves a reason to wake up in the morning.

We all do know the feeling of joy because we’ve all been there – I’d say probably up until we learn to walk.  After that age, life is rough because walking was just the first thing we had to learn – and we didn’t know that.

Okay, maybe a little harsh or off the wall; but the point is, the reality is that joy of waking is not always a joy for most of us – and it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

— : —

With Discovery Comes Understanding

The greatest feeling when discovering our Life Purpose is a magical experience; but getting the opportunity to live our Life Purpose is altogether on another plane: it’s just freakin’, fantastically amazing!  It’s like getting ECT (a hefty jolt of brain-zap); and all of a sudden someone turned on the lights (that we didn’t even know existed … though we had a feeling…) on our life.  Of course, being human; when the light went on for me – I made myself feel stupid and brilliant all at the same time.  (Is there an ailment that describes this, lol?)

The Best News

Anyone can feel this way (without the ECT, of course).  All it takes is just some personal conviction (not a conviction!), courage, and an emotional investment to live this kind of life.

Yes, it’s also difficult and easy to do all at the same time.  We’ll look at this in future posts.

The Disguise of Life Purpose

Here’s the most incredible thing I’ve noticed from the thousands of people I’ve known and met.  I’ve seen countless men and women from all walks of life nervously balancing the tightrope they call their life and expressing their Life Purpose – and almost every single one of them didn’t even know it.

When it’s pointed out to them (from many people) how great they were at what they did, it’s often just brushed off as ‘something I just happen to be good at’.  They don’t have an awareness for the gift they offer others.  For many, it’s just a personal hobby or interest that lives in the backburner of their life.

Yet the power of Purpose has no bias on who it chooses to affect or impact.  I’ve met personally irresponsibe people who’s lives got caught in the social disease of their circumstances; yet, they are the most genuine and passionate individuals when they are ‘in their element’ and expressing their Life Purpose.  Regardless of their life situation, such as poverty, mental health issues, or other outside interference of their social lives, there is always a look of love expressed in their eyes (their window to their living essence).

— : —

courtesy of Anne, Newfoundland.com

Why is it so important?

The main reason is because it gives our life (and existence) what we need and want from it.  Our health is emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically healthier.  Our body needs and deserves this.  And that’s a proven scientific fact in many areas of study.

Of course, with today’s lifestyles, it is easy to think we get everything from life we need and want already as life occurs.  Yet, you and I both know intimately that it may be possible what we think about and do with our time may be just distractions (TV, pub night, social media, addictions, etc.).  It helps us either to forget or forgive ourselves.

In a nutshell (greater detail in future posts), here are some examples of the amazing benefits of a Life with Purpose (and I kid you not!):

1 – We are Wealthier

Internal life benefit:

  • We do things better that creates value
  • We are willing to do “good work” with/for others
  • We share more
  • People want to give things to us
  • We spend less money on frivolous things

2 – Happier from the Self-Expression

 Internal and External life benefit:

  • We value the joy of doing what we love
  • We see beauty in everything
  • We see possibility in everything
  • Everything is experienced differently
  • We get a better perspective on our life

3 – People like to be with us

External life benefit:

  • We complain less about life
  • We like to be with others
  • People like to be with those that are happier instead of always complaining, etc.
  • We become good sources of ideas and solutions for problem solving
  • We become more empathetic to others’ situations
  • We don’t talk about or complain about others

4 – We are Healthier

 Internal life benefit:

  • We have less stress
  • We want to be healthier because we ‘have things to do’
  • We take care of ourselves
  • We understand the value of balance in our lives

5 – We feel valued (valuable)

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We feel like we are doing something of value
  • People are happier around us and share
  • People seek us out for advice
  • We love expressing ourselves as individuals

6 – We relate better with others

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We become better listeners
  • We are interested in others and what they are up to
  • We are more honest
  • We are non-judgmental
  • We like to laugh

— : —

 In the next post on “What is life like Without and With Purpose”, we will look at examples of what life actually looks and feels like when we are living a Life with Purpose – and of course, the other side of the coin with looking at what life is like for those of us who are still struggling with this dogged and elusive enigma.

Until next time,

Kevin

What To DO To Get Along With Everyone

Can you imagine enjoying a day where everything is going along as planned; people are being and doing things that don’t upset you; and you feel like a body of energy waiting to take on the next task.

While this sounds like one of those days you will remember for a long time, it is a day you can have each and every day you choose to have it so – and it is a choice for ONLY you to decide for yourself.

What I’ve written so far about Getting Along With Everyone is not about reaching for an impossible goal available only to the most serious.  What I’ve written is possible for you.  I say this with confidence because it happens to me every day.  Remember, I live with 4 debilitating disabilities with all the reasons to not bother even trying this stuff.

So, it is possible for you to Get Along With Everyone and live an exciting life of your choice. Just remember:

Why Do I Think This Will Work?

It is based on historically-accepted writing and teaching in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology.  As a result, what I am saying here is nothing new.

The content concepts are ancient and respected – and have been sources of discussion throughout our existence as humankind.  All I am doing is just taking what was said or written and re-phrased it so that it makes more sense to us in the 21st Century.

Given the results throughout time from using the concepts and ideas, I have a little faith in the content and the power behind it.  But I can’t guarantee anything – I can only assert, opine, and propose.  But I do think this stuff works because it has for me for many years.

It Will Work Best If You Don’t Buy Into My Assertions

  • Believe nothing I’ve written or instructed – it is only drawn from my results in my life; so they are not totally reliable
  • Challenge EVERYTHING and be skeptical – you will create your own personal experiences filled with life-altering results that will ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Keep in mind these important notes:

  • This opportunity is NOT about being friends with everyone.  We can’t be friends with everyone.  This is about not having Anybody, any more, doing things that causes upsets in our lives.
  • It’s about, for example, seeing someone try to be a bully; and instead of getting angry and shutting down, you are compassionate about the pain the person is experiencing.  You can then be an opening for having a conversation and getting an understanding of the person better – if you choose.  That bully may be someone to avoid, but at least you won’t be upset any more.
  • It’s about all the tiny little conflicts that come into our lives all the time every single day of our lives, and being able to keep the significance in perspective.

______  .  ______

What You Need To Remember First Before You Can Begin To Get Along With Everyone?

This is where it’s easy to struggle with this concept (and possibility) and get sucked back into the trap of living the life we currently live every day.

It’s easy – because we are living in the middle of the Game of Life with relationship rules, personal habits, entrenched beliefs, social conditioning, etc. (The Game from which we want to become free).

Yet, because we are all in this same trap together at the same time – we can easily let life slide us back into that Game because EVERYONE plays by those rules.  And if we want to break free from those rules, we have to keep reminding ourselves – at least at the beginning – of the secret to Getting Along With Everyone.

__________________________________________________________________________

FEAR IS EVERYWHERE (and it’s not even real).

  • We are all afraid of some things
  • We may not even be aware of the instances or levels of Fear

We Train ourselves to react to people and incidents that keep us feeling Safe.

  • Because our fears are broad and plenty, we’ve faced them countless times
  • We plan our lives around avoiding the fears we hold inside.

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT:

We express ourselves (acting out) the only way we know how.

  • If yelling at others work (for example) so I don’t feel “less than” myself, then that’s what I would do to get what I want – to not feel this way.
  • If crying when I made a mistake works for me so I can feel secure in my job, then I will turn on the waterfalls.
  • WE ALL HAVE OUR SECRET WEAPONS to feel less Fear.

______  .  ______

What Will It Take To Get Along With Everyone?

We’ve heard the promises for years and years from someone like me who has a suggestion about making life easier.  We’ve also heard how it is SOOOO EASY to do (with little or no money down, lol); only to find out later that the work is more of a hassle than the end result.

I’m glad to share with you that other than remembering the 3 points above, that’s all there is to it.  Of course, there is a certain way of Being required in order for you to realize the full value of the exercise and the speed of results you seek.

Please allow me to make 3 assumptions about You before we go further.  It is these:

  1. You’ve already read the first 2 posts on this topic/series so you can understand what is actually taking place.
  2. You’ve most definitely read the posts on fear (– or you just won’t get it).
  3. You have made a personal commitment to truly and seriously Get Along With Others for all the RIGHT reasons (ie: NOT power and control).

I’ve made these assumptions because none of this information is understandable, relevant, or possible to try out unless you have done these things.  That was the hard work – now comes the easy stuff (at least it will be easy once you get started).

I compel you to honour these 3 things I am about to suggest – or this will be the downside:

OTHERWISE, IT WILL TAKE YOU 30 YEARS
OF TRIAL AND ERROR

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT THE SAME CONCLUSIONS
I SHARE WITH YOU TODAY.

.

Therefore, to save a lot of headaches and time, please take much care to:

Exercise Patience

  • Unless you have ability to take in the full concept of Fear right away, You will have to be patient with yourself.
  • You create great relationships and lifestyles OVER TIME and ONE PERSON AT A TIME
  • You will notice the changes in Your life through things with which You don’t have any relationship at all.
  • Don’t plan or expect something to happen or take place – just let it happen.

Practice Always

  • It took You Your whole lifetime to perfect the things that make You who You are today
  • Consider this exercise a “skill-builder” that needs reminding every day until it is a part of who You have become
  • Eventually, this will all become second-nature to You (better than a Habit).

Don’t Force Anything

  • JUST LISTEN – LISTEN – and LISTEN
  • It is going to be too easy to fall in a trap of giving advice or suggesting types of action
  • Let the relationships You (re-)develop to form organically and without pre-judgement.
  • The other person has no idea what is going on in your mind – so they don’t know you are “digging for love”.

______  .  ______

What Are Some Of The Things You Can Expect To Happen As You Learn How To Get Along With Everyone?

The suggestions I make below are from my own life experiences with literally thousands of people I’ve met in my life.

What Can Happen To You:

  • You will become more aware of what is going on around You
  • You will remember more things/conversations about others
  • You will become more generous
  • You will smile more and be angry less
  • You will become more intuitive about other’s feelings
  • You will pick better friends
  • You will become more compassionate (not sympathetic) towards others

What Can Happen To Others You Already Know:

  • They will start wondering what is wrong with You
  • Conversations will become awkward – but more profound
  • People who care will become closer; those who don’t will drift away from Your life
  • They will share more personal/intimate issues with You
  • They will want “Whatever It Is You Are On” (LMAO)

What Can Happen To Others (Strangers) You Don’t Know:

  • People will automatically become nicer
  • More strangers will speak to you from out of the blue
  • Small children and pets will become drawn to you
  • Ask you for your opinion or directions

What Will Most Likely Happen In Your World:

  • People will want to give You things
  • People will want from You (not Things)
  • Life Will Slow Down to YOUR pace
  • Gossip and Drama will become less relevant in Your daily life
  • Less Stress and More Laughter

______  .  ______

 

Finally, HERE IS THE SECRET

TO GETTING ALONG WITH EVERYONE:

What You DO To Get Along With Everyone:

It’s real easy and flowing with almost nothing to do.  Understanding Fear, and it’s role in our lives, is not difficult to undertake – so please don’t try and complicate anything.

Here we go; and this is what You can do to begin to Get Along With Everyone:

WRITE DOWN the 3 Main Points

  • Carry the paper with you always in a pocket You use often.
  • Just look at it (and nothing else) as often as you can each and every day.
  • The benefits you will receive will become more plentiful over time.

Treat It Like A Game and Experiment

  • Just watch how life occurs IN FEAR all around you and in everything.
  • Take mental notes of what you see and how you react to those occurrences.
  • Let the experience happen organically and accept what takes place – REMOVE ALL EXPECTATIONS!
  • As mentioned above – DON’T FORCE ANYTHING!

LET GO of Your OWN Fear

  • Remember, WE ALL live in fear, so understand how your own fears play in the relationship and can distort our initial impressions or feelings.
  • Look at your internal and external reactions to others – and DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF!
  • You are in control and have nothing to Fear – DON’T JUDGE OTHERS!
  • The beauty of this exercise BEGINS HERE (letting go of Fear) because you begin to operate your life out of Love and Understanding instead of Protecting and Hiding Out.

______  .  ______

Fear: Time to Tell the Truth – Ending Fear

The first time (many years ago) when I attempted suicide, I knew then without a doubt, removing the Fear of Death from my life was the most freeing and transcending experience I could ever expect.  (I implore you though, do not consider an attempt just to see if it is true!)

Gladly, because I wasn’t successful in my goal (and the final three that followed, again many years ago), I am able to re-discover and experienc the greatest joys we always read and hear about when it comes to enjoying life to the max.  Sadly, while I assume not too many people get this – but, I’ve come to realize that humankind is fooling itself when it comes to fear.

We THINK we KNOW, and we tell others about what we think we know, and that is based on misinformation and double-talk passed down from a time when we didn’t know.  Actually, those who do know about fear make lots and lots of money from that knowledge.

Here are some of the ways I noticed Fear used against us everywhere and we accept it’s use against us:

  • Business – to sell to us

  • Organized Religion – to save us

  • Government – to protect us

  • Media – to inform us

  • Family – to train us

  • Social Oganizations – to delude us

  • Entertainment – to titillate us

  • Money Markets – to free us

  • Medicine – to study us

  • Politics – to confuse us (haha!)

  • Big Pharma – to medicate us

  • Education – to prepare us

** I’ll explain in further detail in future posts on Fear.

Since having this awareness about Fear, this is not to say that life has been one of leisure and comfort; rather, I’ve never worked so hard in my life to suck everything out of my experiences and to fully appreciate how life is lived – in all it’s beauty AND ugliness.

And this is not to say that I have my life all together and face every situation without concerns as I walk about as a beacon of inspiration.  On the contrary.  I am human, so I have ‘things I am working on’ all the time.  I have natural reactions, and anger, and pain, and …

So, from my vast experiences, wide and varied education, and with hundreds of interactions with people since, I feel I can confidently assert that:

_________

Fear is the Greatest Abuse
we inflict upon ourselves and others.

_________

We are in it every day, we see it every day, and it is used against us every day.

We run away from it, we fear it, and we breathe every moment hoping we are prepared against some kind of impending disaster (insurance?).

When I really opened my mind to this and saw the ugliness of the world, I became disempowered and unwilling to play the Fear Game.  I couldn’t come to terms with the morass inflicted upon us by using Fear as a weapon against the masses.  But sometime within the last few years (maybe when I turned 50, and not an “aberrationed” experience), I began to see and experience first-hand why the world needs compassion and understanding.  I now share in genuine moments of true relationship – and not always comfortable for us. But each of us know at least the relationship is real.  And our love grows.

______  .  ______

As I study and learn more about Fear, I am able to understand that I can rid myself of Fear and live a life that is more wonderful and adventurous and fun than ever before imagined or dared..

Now, even when things appear to seem hopeless and desolate, I live more in Freedom than ever before.  The Freedom comes in the understanding that Fear is the controlling force – and in that understanding, I let go of the Fear.

It isn’t always easy – after all, even science tells us that any force against nature has an equal and opposite force,  Therefore, if I’m up to good things that are taking me out of my ‘nature’ and pushing the limits of possibility, then I have to be prepared to expect nature to push back with the same force of opposition (economy, politics, family, social standing, finances, etc).

______  .  ______

To summarize from the last post on Fear and how it happens to us:

.

  1. We take in the information, then

  2. We INSTANTLY warn ourself from being startled by automatically and normally setting off phyical reactions like adrenalin (as in all animals), then

  3. Believing that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for past feelings, then

  4. Believing that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

  5. Believing that meaning, we take action based on the meaning that we automatically EXPECT to remove the problem.

.

**  It doesn’t have to be this way.  **

We can eliminate all the problems and avoid the distress.
Read on …

______  .  ______

*** A strong reminder: these are only my observations – they are not the Truth.  I will add though, the insights I’ve shared are common in most societal institution in every culture.

.

The Big Secrets About Fear
.

  • Fear is only a feeling

  • There is a difference on whether we see or imagine the source of Fear > FEAR IS TIME-BASED

  • The feeling we get when we label it Fear is the EXACT SAME FEELING WE GET WHEN WE ARE EXCITED.  Yes, Fear feels the same as excitement.

  • Fear is the label we give the feeling

  • – we have 4 distinct opportunities to feel Fear and still not be afraid

  • – How we react when faced with a fear is only a “conditioned response

______  .  ______

The Four Opportunities to Eliminate Fear

>> Keep in mind that the focus of this discussion is on our PERCEPTIONS of threats (imagined) and not REAL threats that affect our lives or of those we love.

***

The first thing that happens when we are caught off guard (to start the process):

1 – We Warn Ourselves

  • The adrenalin rush we feel is only a natural biological effect

  • The feeling happens no matter what – we cannot control it

  • The feeling has the same purpose and is common in all life

       DOWNSIDE:

  • It is too easy to automatically think the worst about the feeling

       UPSIDE:

  • The chaotic jungle of life on this planet gives us a great internal warning system for real reasons to be fearful

1st OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST CONCLUSION

  • WE CAN consciously acknowledge the feeling of the adrenalin and logically understand it can be a misread feeling

  • Opens up the mind to further inquiry of the “real” threat that scares us > more possibilities for understanding

Here is a personal example from my life that can illustrate my assertion:

When I was playing piano as a young boy, I was always encouraged to play well.  My piano teacher taught me to learn and express my talents through my inherent love of music (which I still hold today).  My father taught me to learn through the fear of losing the music because “it costs a lot of money to put you through this!” 

I can remember feeling scared and nervous before a recital (I used to play recitals at places like the old Eaton store in downtown Toronto for old rich people).  My teacher helped me quickly overcome fear of performing in public after a couple of performances.

This is what happened:

After I shared with my teacher how I was feeling (the adrenalin, hands sweaty, pacing, breathing), she told me I was wrong about my feeling.  Here it comes, I thought, now I am REALLY going to feel bad.

What she said to me was this:

“Kevin, for whatever reason you think you are nervous, it is not true.  The real reason you feel this way is because you are EXCITED about performing.  You know your stuff.  The feelings you get before you perform are EXACTLY THE SAME as Fear – and you know you are scared.  So it’s got to be excitement.”

After about three times of being reminded, I have never, ever been nervous about performing in front of people.  I’ve performed in theatre, TV, movies, music, training, and public speaking, and I’ve always excelled in this area of life.  And when I see an opportunity to perform something, I GET EXCITED!

______  .  ______

The next thing that happens after we get the physical sensation caused by some unexpected event (whether real or perceived):

.
2 – We Search Our Memory for a Similar Event

       DOWNSIDE:

  • We are limited to our memories of events AS THEY HAPPENED AT THE TIME

  • We remember details as if we were still that age

  • The more trauma to our psyche > the more embedded in our memories

  • Our memory changes because of later events, more knowledge, health, etc.

Our memories are selective > it will search ANYTHING to match the feeling (depending on the current event when we get the feeling of the adrenalin rush).

        WORST DOWNSIDE:

  • once the feeling is felt, our memory USUALLY STARTS AT THE WORST explanation and works it’s way down

  • we are conditioned by civilization to start with BAD memories because we all live in Fear

 

2nd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEMORY that comes to our mind.

  • We know the memory is untrustworthy because the memory is an automatic  random event from our brain.

Here is another example from my life:

When I approach an older man who reminds me of my late father (ie. Size, looks, sound, walk, or smell > I know that he is not my father, he just appears to me like the memory of my father.

Those memories of my father go back to the brutal childhood I endured.  There was much physical, psychological, and emotional abuse from him.  There was absenteeism, unexplained punishment, and never, ever a conversation with him in my first 17 years knowing him.

I learned over time that I didn’t have to fear male authority figures solely based on a memory.  Close to twenty years later when I saw him again, I grew to understand how memory taints our feelings.  By then, I came to understand that he wasn’t as big as I remembered; he was really just a broken man and bully; and he only did what he did out of his own fears.

This didn’t forgive his treatment of his eight children; but it did help me come to terms with my unfounded fears of older male authority figures.  I learned to change my behaviour because I knew I didn’t have to experience being with them and living from a misplaced feeling that I had to cower in secret fear and try to impress in order to achieve my/our goals.

______  .  ______

After the feeling and memory has arrived, then:

3 – We Tell Ourselves What the Feeling and Memory (together) Means to us.

It has been dissected and discussed over eons humankind’s eternal and most individual personal search (whether we acknowledge it or not).  That inquiry is about our search for meaning.  It is THE crucial element in civilization because it helps us all to connect with one another by creating a common understanding.

This happened because … or she’s like that because … or this symbol binds us because … 

DOWNSIDE:

  • Since our initial and natural reaction to an unexpected event is to protect ourselves, we tend to automatically think the meaning of the feeling represents doom.

UPSIDE:

  • By giving things/events/behaviours meaning, it gives us reasons for why things happen and can create safety for us (from such things as possible real physical danger).

 

3rd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know the meaning is untrustworthy because the mind will attach anything that sticks

Another (boring?) example of how this can work:

I am involved in a lot of projects and I always have from my earliest memories as a boy.  I love them because they satisfy my need for constant change and variety, and I completely hate being on a clock and having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).

As I got older, my ability to achieve some of my goals was becoming more difficult.  I was becoming frustrated because things weren’t just getting done and I couldn’t depend on people.

The first thing I did was start going back through my memory to all my FAILED projects and started making checklists in my mind.  It wasn’t long before I found enough reasons to make myself feel bad.  Soon, I became fearful of sharing my ideas with others because I began doubting my skills and abilities.  That invoked my deep-seated fear of looking stupid.

One day, I decided to make a paper checklist of my ideas and projects (for a different project I’m working on right now).  Wow!  When I started to acknowledge the achievements I accomplished, I began to see patterns (as well as to feel better in knowing I wasn’t stupid after all, lol).

When I discovered I was selecting partners to work with me, I was choosing people who easily bought into the idea or were looking to impress me with their interest.  Not a good reason to select a working partner.

Since then, I realize that I don’t have to misjudge my ideas or the people working with me because I’ve changed my habits in the process.  Now when I embark on a new project, I may not have succeeded in the goal in the past, but that just means I learned something new to help me become better as a person.

______  .  ______

Then finally, after the brain INSTANTLY takes the event, and notices the feeling, and attaches it to a memory, and gives it a meaning, then

4 – We Take Action based on the Meaning We Gave to the Feeling

The classic theory on Fear tells us either we stay and defend or we run away called “fight or flight”.  This is typical whether the feeling of the Fear is real or perceived.  It is a conditioned reaction we are taught and affects every one of us (as animals).

.

4th OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to REACT TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know everything has been untrustworthy so far, so a ‘second thought’ is required

When the Fear is real, such as someone is driving at us, the action is very apparent.  The person either jumps out of the way immediately or decides to take action head on.

When the fear is perceived, such as a Fear of Failure, it may not be so obvious.

An example of perceived fear such as above, the person may choose to never take courses to get promoted in the company.  If a person has a Fear of being Late (which would go deeper than that with further inquiry), they may act out by screaming aggressively at someone who slows them down or gets in their way.  Other examples of ways people react out of fear may appear as:

  • crying every time the person fears the other is leaving, or

  • physical fighting to avoid the fear of feeling embarrassed by another person, or

  • giving false compliments to overcome the fear of not being liked, or

  • becoming well-read to avoid the fear of looking stupid, and on and on …

The person may get stressed out at people just being themselves.  Someone standing on the escalator as they ride or someone fumbling around for change may be perceived as an enemy and then anybody in your way (which ends up being everybody) catches your derision.  The actions out of fear show up in many, many ways.

______  .  ______

To Recap …

In a nutshell to bring this conversation to close for today, here are the main points I’ve brought forward:

  1. Fear is not real

  2. Fear can be changed

  3. Fear is based on past memories

  4. We can live without Fear

.

.

Fear: Time to Tell the Truth

From where I sit, I assert that most everybody has it wrong about Fear.  And worse still, we are not making life any better for humankind – just more fearful.

Fear is the most pervasive and abusive form of Human Injustice in civilized society is how Fear is manipulated against/by us as groups and individuals.

Fear, or rather the perception of it, is very oppressive; and no matter what we do in life, we cannot escape it.

Judging by the 2+ billion results from the google search “What is Fear?”, our acceptance of fear seems to be the agreement between us humans as the sites displayed pretty well all say the same thing.

***

Every time I see a reference to Fear (and it is often), I go crazy.  I watch current events on TV or out in the street and it is so depressing.  I see and hear how the world is going to hell. 

We watch the news and everybody is scared.  We invest a lot of our time PREVENTING something (eliminating our Fears) like cancers, abuses, wars, poverty, Africa, etc, and occasionally we hear a “feeling good” story.

Then we talk to our friends and associates, and we hear about the ACTUAL living our Fears we think we have such as mortgage/rent shortage, price of foods, the car is dying, the spouse might be cheating, etc.  And every once in a while someone won a small lottery and it’s coffees for everyone!

So, in my humble opinion, I believe the time has come to remove the blindness that prevents us from fully understanding this thing called Fear.  From my experience, fully understanding will give us Freedom from the conditioned bonds we have been and are constantly fed.  There is current academic debate on what age we are (as infants) when we begin to ‘learn’ Fear.

***

From my life experiences and observations, consider these assertions I have about Fear:
*** (remember – these are only my opinions and observations. They are not the truth)

1 – Fear Is Not Real.  We have been misinformed,

2 – We can Instantly Rid Fear from our lives, and

3 – No Self-Talk Required or Head Games to live life without Fear.

A SIDE NOTE:  I first learned this before I was 10 years old, then I was able to re-learn it and articulate it 20 years later.  Ever since, I have been able to be more consistent in my goals and endeavours (outside of the distractions from my disabilities).

______  .  ______

 What Exactly is Fear?

The generally accepted meaning of fear I pulled from dictionary.com:

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.,
whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Notice how the description (as most others) states Fear is a perception/meaning (or a label/story) we give to a physical process (feeling) that interacts between the mind and the body to determine the way to react to such a feeling.

Also notice how it states “REAL or IMAGINED“.

______  .  ______

Below, on the left, is a graphic showing the thought processes within our human brain that take place to lead us to our perceptions of fear.  On the right, I’ve included a graphic of the “thought process” of a computer to show the similarities between the two (and to make it easier to make the point).

.

                          

1.   Thalamus / Input (Data)

Where everything begins.

  • Thalamus determines where to send incoming data from the five senses

  • Computer takes in data from keyboard or software

.

2.    Sensory Cortex / Operating System (Automatic Processing)

This is the FIRST place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

  • Cortex interprets the data and attaches an immediate feeling with the emotion

  • Automatic process as brain prepares to search brain for information

  • Depending on whether input is seen or perceived, the brain then determines the level of fear and the immediate reflexive action

eg: reflex jump, sweaty hands, faster heartbeat, heavier breathing, etc.

  • Operating System reads computer language of input and opens correct software package

  • Automatic process as computer prepares to search OS for information

eg: whether the software is installed or not determines the message you will get from the computer

 .

3.    Hippocampus / Hardware (Memory)

This is the SECOND place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

  • Hippocampus stores and recovers cognitive memories

  • it processes the stimuli to match the memories

eg: we automatically remember feeling uncomfortable, negative results, unexpected responses, etc.

  • Hardware searches past information about the input and software program

  • it processes the data through it’s memory chips

eg: were there any crashes, format changed, wrong format, etc.

.

4.    Amygdala / Software (Interpretation)

This is the THIRD place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

>>> This is where we give meaning to the input (physically and emotionally).

  • Amygdala interprets emotions and searches for possible threats

  • based on stored memories of past fears

  • automatic process due to social conditioning

eg: people did you wrong, a system ripped you off, crash when drove down a road, storm caused a house fire, etc

  • Software interprets data

  • automatically monitors past formats and warns us when something wrong

eg: font is wrong, sentences mixed, spelling, etc.

.

5.    Hypothalamus / Output (Expression)

This is the FOURTH place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

>>> The decision to act takes place here.  This is when we express ourselves in the face of the perceived (unseen) or real (seen) threat of fear.

  • Hypothalamus activates a physical response

eg: threaten, bully, fight, run, yell, swear, cheat, deceive, etc.

  • Output activates a computerized response

eg: screen display, document, spreadsheet, hard copy, emailed, etc.

.

So, to summarize:

1 – We take in the information, then

2 – We INSTANTLY warn ourself of possible problems by setting off adrenalin, then

3 – Based on that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for similar feelings, then

4 – Based on that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

5 – Based on the meaning, we take action that will remove the problem.

 

.

.

Awareness: TOP 10 Lies We Tell Ourselves

We all know how life is – full of constant changes and challenges, responsibilities, and a faster speed of activities.  And it can be enough to drive us crazy because sometimes we just can’t keep up with it.

.Eventually, we have to choose – to choose if we are just going to throw up our arms and give in to the rats winning the race, or get whatever I can and let others find their own way, or maybe continue working towards fulfilling the urge of our personal essence even if it requires sacrifice?

For a lot of people (given the state of the world today), I think we just end up making excuses for not doing something, or continue to put it off.

Sadly, what is sacrificed first and most often is the very things that would make our life better.  You know, the secret hobbies, the book, song, or community project that you know would be a great contribution not only to yourself (through self-expression), but also to the recipients of your work.

Below is the Top Ten Lies we tell  ourselves and qualify them as legitimate reasons to continue the same old path wish and hope would change.

.

10 – I am going to die someday – way off in the distant future.

Does this gives me excuses to not get started on the things I want to do?

9 – I have total control over my life; and if I don’t, I can.

“I’ve got it all handled.” Hmmmmmm.

.8 – Life is supposed to be fair.

We’re told over and over the opposite. What am I to expect?

7 – Only the strongest or smartest succeed.

Well, I’m neither … so, help me find a rock to crawl under.

6 – Money is the ultimate root of the world’s evil.

… and who wants to be evil, right?

5 – I need money to make money.

If I want to make money, does that mean I am evil?

4 – It only happens to other people.

There are a lot of messed up people out there, right?

3 – It’s someone else’s fault.

They have all the money, looks, strength, and control (and luck).  Don’t they?

2 – I am not worthy (or deserving, or I am bad, etc)

When I was 6, I …

When I was 10, I …

When I was 14, I …

When I was 19, I …

… and on, and on, and on …

……

1 – I’m OK! Really!!!

I’m just having a bad hair day.

(Ya, right!)

.

.

How many of the above lies have You used to not be an expression of yourself?

.

.

Values & Beliefs: How Do We Make Decisions? – pt 1

Have you ever noticed that the longer we travel along this journey called life, there are moments from our past we can now distinguish as significant turning points in the direction our path leads.

.

     In hindsight, I get the sense that we can see crystal clear how such seemingly meaningless events and its ensuing decisions can significantly alter not only our focus, but also the created thoughts and meanings otherwise leading to different possible life-altering actions and results.

***

Except for the time I heard the Backstreet Boys’ angelic voices when I was rushed to ICU for my heart surgery, no trumpets or violins are heard to tempt the moment, no kind of aural sign to put the instant in perspective – just a somewhat nondescript decision to do ‘this’ instead of ‘that’. Those quiet moments, without fanfare or forewarning. Yet, as we become aware of those defining moments; we etch them in our mind for future references. (This is where my “Meaning-Making Machine” takes over.)

.

We generally tend not to give much thought to our many decisions we make, don’t you think? And here’s where I think we get ourselves into trouble – not always a bad trouble, but a trouble none the less.

.

So, now I am faced with a lot of questions that may challenge my current value/belief system I hold so dearly and strongly to my heart. Some things I now pose is:

1.   What does this say about fate or destiny? Does it negate these?
2.   Is there anything we can do about it?
3.   Can we benefit from knowing about this?
4.   So what?

In this post, I first want to look at the “so what” because it may help me/us understand the answers to the others.

***

We make thousands of decisions a day – from deciding to turn left or right at a corner to deciding whether to pee now or hold it for later. For the most part, these are small decisions that make little or no difference in our everyday efforts.

Still, these decisions are based on our priority goal of that moment.

So, sometimes subconsciously through habit of pre-defined thought and action, or trust, or because you are fulfilling your goal, we decide which way to turn on the street because you have to buy something before you can get home to pee.

Therefore, we decide to hold our bladder. You see, quite trivial and seemingly meaningless (sounds funny, huh?); yet they are based on what and how we make all of our decisions. Yes – the small ones and the BIG ONES!

If we consider that we don’t pay attention (having awareness) to own decision-making process, we can lose the power to make better and healthier decisions, and then miss out on making those decisions that further our life in a positive way.

To be continued …

.

.