Getting A Meaning of Life

dave

I got this message

just the other day;

and it only took

forty years to get.

*

It wasn’t subtle and

made me almost weepy.

And for once, finally …

I listened honestly – I heard.

*

In this awakening,

love from a glowing energy

gave me the courage

to accept another forty more.

*

On a Journey’s path unworn,

I will carve the way on

to generating discovery;

a  “fly in the butter of life“.

*

I take from this lesson:

Never misguided directions;

in this game of real life –

It will never “just depend“.

*

Passing on this wisdom:

“Forever in this moment

of Life and Opportunity …

Let your Life Purpose glow”.

*

(c) 2013 – Kevin Collins
– dedicated to Douglas Tardif –

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The Day My Life Changed Forever – 2

Every dark cloud has a silver lining! :)At such a young age, I never considered the existence of out space to be bigger than the universe God created for us.  Man hadn’t landed on the moon yet, so what little I knew were the space walks and John Glenn.  To think space went on and on forever … well, I suddenly felt so small and meaningless.

So, in the darkness and alone, when I learned that our galaxy was one of a uncountable number – I just about died right on the spot.  (You remember last post about the world stopping?)  Given this information was not on TV (where I knew it was mostly fake) and in found in a library book, I had to consider it true.  That was the first blow to my min and difficult for me to understand – and I was confused as heck.

Then I thought … why is science, history, and religion so different?  It seems like we are supposed to believe – but what?  How am I supposed to know what is true?  Another slap in the head with another thought … if religion is true, why is there less proof?  Why do so many believe?  How is it justified?

As you can see, I had a fertile mind (and still do).  I loved understanding things and how it all fits together.  My mother came to have a habit of saying: “You will be a jack of all trades and a master of nothing.”  I was/am in awe of everything. (And she was right, I guess.)

And then to top it off – I panicked.  Then I started thinking things like: Now I’ve been duped by everyone.  Everyone is in on a conspiracy.  Is there something I don’t know yet?  What am I supposed to do and believe?  This is where I am practically wailing (silently) in the cold attic.

All of my pain and agony started to come back.  I put a lot of trust in religion.  I invested all my hope in it.  Now how do I approach religion and my spirituality?  I felt my greatest growth and development as a person through experiences that began from a religious source.  Now this astronomy thing …

***

I already had many traumatic experiences up to that point in my life (for example – I vividly remember being up close and intimate with the psychotic murder of a family next door as it happened).

Scared as heck, I tried to fit in as “normally” as possible, i.e. “not be seen or heard”.  I did what I was told; did it without question; and did it to the best of my ability.  My father conditioned us very well – we were all little child soldiers ready (and fearful) at his calling.  I did it out of safety, a sense of belonging, and for acknowledgement. (I got none!)

Then I found religion; and upon discovering everything it stood for (to a child in distress) – I thought I hit the jackpot!  It had all the answers to everything that was wrong in my world:

  • Patience, forgiveness, unconditional love, corporal punishment, sacrifice, reward of paradise, threat of eternal damnation, and much, much more.
  • It helped put my pain and suffering (and to my siblings) in a palatable acceptance of life

The biggest thing I noticed the religion I was born into did to people is what I witnessed as a power of belief and the changes it made to them.

Heck, for years, my father was transformed for 2 hours every Sunday morning for years as he proudly towed along his 8 kids to church.  He even walked differently (with attitude)!  When I caught an understanding of this a few years earlier, I knew there had to be something to being religious.

So, I remember thinking to myself that if I wanted any happiness in this world of plenty, then religion was the way to go.  By that time, I was attending St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Canada.  I had the scholarship and the musical talents (piano/voice); and from that, religion wrapped me in a spiritual blanket.  My inspiration was fueled with thoughts of hope, faith, humility, and service – all of which brought me great joy in those years, and they set another layer to my personal foundation.

Yes, I learned forgiveness, albeit the difficult way; and I still gained valuable lessons about people and myself.  I still benefit greatly every day from these lessons learned.

A small confession:

Being a realist at the time (in hindsight, a budding Existentialist), I always felt the Bible wasn’t something to be literally believed.  I understood clearly they were stories written down to teach us things.  When I saw people expressing their 100% devotion to the faith, I didn’t understand how that could be so.  But one thing for sure: I DID believe in Heaven an Hell – and now this astronomy.

I realize now that I was questioning the trust I put in Christianity.  I trusted every other authority figure I met; and the level of trust had eroded to the point where I thought – at least in this case – that I didn’t believe enough.  I thought I could do better, or look for more suffering, or put myself down and then I will be happy.  And don’t get me wrong.  I had a great many spiritual experiences with people over the years hence.  But …

***

According to my plan, everything was going along great at this point.  I learned to avoid my father’s wrath, I kept up my school marks, and I practiced the piano every day (the Conservatory was expensive!).  Oh yeah – I prayed a lot too. Didn’t seem to make much difference though.

I’m sure you can understand how my life could change with this new knowledge.  And I realize I was just a kid, but my thoughts grew with the expectations set upon me from all the adults in my life.  All I know and remember from almost 50 years ago is that it was a common occurrence for the adults to have a plan for me and not tell me about it.

In a great lesson from that, I learned about Fear.  I guess that’s why I have no issues with experimenting, discovering, change, creativity, expression, performance, and all the other great things about living life.

***

As you can see, my world was rocked.  In a matter of about 2 hours one evening in the fall, I had (and wasn’t aware of it, btw) a personal experience that set in motion a path for a journey that would have me take on life with an unquenchable desire to understand the world.

(tomorrow – final part: How the next 40 years turned out …)

Ten Ways To Get Everything You Want

In the pursuit of our lives, we are often distracted with the most important thing in our life:

the ME.

We do everything to make the ME comfortable, as it should be, and ensure we are pain-free and without external conflict. It is the most natural thing the body does; and our minds, well it ensures we are emotionally pain-free.

***

rays-on-the-meadow

We are always looking for secrets on how to be comfortable (and still safe) while enjoying the fuits of our existence.  We bathe, sprinkle, cosmetize, stretch … well, you get the idea.  And hopefully, we get what we want out of life.

We spend, and record, experience limits, buy swag, eat and eat.  This way we get what we want – right?  All we have to do is indulge ourself, right?  Or is it?

***

Personally, I think – in this day and age, we would know enough about life and society and ourselves that tell us that all of these kind of distractions get us nowhere except further into the pit of ‘waiting to arrive’.  We work hard at it too.

But if we were to concentrate less on ourselves and more on others, what are the chances we probably would have more than everything we ever wanted?

Sadly, in all our worlds we experience, there’s this underlying current of fear, mistrust, and misunderstanding that always gets ourselves into trouble. You know – the interpretations, assumptions, whispers, rumours, etc.  That, of course, only gets us 1 thing for sure: trouble!

So, I’ve compiled a list of things we can do to get anything we ever wanted from people and our life.  It’s not in order or comprehensive.  I didn’t give much thought to it other than just write as I think it here. Do you want everything you ever wanted?

  1. Be a Friend

    No matter what, be there for someone. It always benefits everyone for a long time.

  2. Listen more

    It’s easy to tell when someone is not really listening. When listening happens – things you never imagined before happens.

  3. Be a Risk-Taker

    Enjoy a little lottery of life without the money. Do something different that stands out. The greatest expression we can offer to others.

  4. Love Life

    This is the only go around. We don’t get out of this life alive, so enjoy the leaf, flake, eye colour, tear, and all the beautiful results of life.

  5. Understand “WII-FM” (what’s in it for me) concept

    We all live in the realm of life that protects ourselves first (that’s why heroism is recognized).  When we understand people – on an individual basis – and what they seek from life, we can connect on a deeper and more profound level.

  6. Buy It

    The easiest and cheesiest way to get what you want. (Unless, of course, you worked your butt off saving money for a long-held dream). Besides, the joy wears off quickly enough.

  7. Love People

    Do this and people will love you. What else is there to want, huh?

  8. Influence

    Is influence a good thing? Does it depend on it’s motives? Can we influence and maintain the goodness of getting everything we want?

  9. Serve

    My personal favourite. At service to others can be an honour if employed in an altruistic and ‘good’ way. The world has many ways of looking at service as a way of being; and I tend to see it as the gateway to getting along with each other. Besides, we cannot survive without each other and that has a lot to do with serving others.

  10. Be a Bully

    I suppose this is a way – and it works most of the time.  But while the bully is getting everything s/he wants, where the real meat of living takes place in the little interactions between people.  The whole point of having everything is moot.

Here’s a bonus one, but I wouldn’t recommend it:

  • Wait for it to Happen

    Sadly, this is where we tend to lurk when we want our goals and dreams to happen.  And not even just those – but the next promotion, the minor surgery, the fitness, the …

Is Something Wrong? or …

“My rant against the bias towards Disabilities”

Serene Pathway

*

I swore that I would,

if only I could

change my life completely around.

From many time of trying,

I’m now used to the dying

when you tell me my mind is not sound.

*

I look in your face,

vainly search for a trace

that makes me want to believe.

I’ve heard it before,

and I’ve come to abhor

your labels designed to deceive.

*

Your smiles are crooked,

and your posture does show it

there’s something amiss in our sharing.

Thinking you know,

I’m not status quo

without ability for the Daring.

*

My abilities – yes different,

my mind – most competent

seeking out dreams – just like you.

I certainly can’t,

and most definitely won’t

humble myself for you.

*

Disabled you call me,

Unable you see me

But I don’t fit your profile.

I make no transgression,

I work at discretion –

your feigned ignorance reviled.

*

Scandalous at times,

most shameful, poisoned minds

your integrity completely lost.

Stolen power is yours

knowing patience wears,

at attempts to create trust.

*

Challenges – indeed,

I still look to succeed

not discouraged from daily falling.

Strength I am gaining,

gathering, sustaining

towards living my personal calling.

*

Chasing My Dream,

Life begins to redeem

and is giving me freedom to live.

I refuse to give up,

I’ll keep getting up

I refuse to be held in captive.

*

I pass now to you,

a chance to renew

your desired belief in another.

I willingly stand,

to help you understand

we are, after all, here for each other.

*

*

Namaste

(c) 2013 Kevin Collins

A Life of Freedom Begins Here

Do you really want to be happy?  I mean, really!!

If so, what is it you think will make it so?

Have you pictured what your happiness will look like when you achieve it?

How about the people who will be in your life when this epoch is your expression to the world?

.

May I offer a suggestion?

When we go through life, the most important thing that is going on is our relationships.  They guide us, suggest to us, help us, warn us, attract us, and on and on.

What I am getting at, is that our life begins to transform (not change) to reflect our goals and aspirations (and all those hidden dreams from the world) when we begin to get along with others – and ourselves.

Therefore, I have reposted a pic from a post a few months back.  I am making an assertion that these MAY be the keys to fulfilling the desires of what we want to accomplish in our short life before we go.

.

What I have written below is the way I approach everyone I know and meet every day.  I always consider these 3 points when I look at everybody because it makes is so much easier to be in relationship with them.

  • I don’t have to get angry with anybody because I know what’s really going on to make us react and do things.
  • I listen more intently because I can hear the real meaning behind some of the stories (about their lives) they share with me.
  • I can laugh off possible put-downs (through jokes and little comments) because I know they can be true about me.
  • I can be more honest with (most) people because we’ve developed a deeper relationship.
  • I can be more selective with whom I wish to be in relationship because the ‘quality pool’ is much improved.
  • I can go on and on, but I think you get the point.

(Copy and print the pic and carry it with you for a while to remind yourself.  Try out the exercise for a week or so and see what a difference it would make in your life.)

Why We Are The Way We Are

Remember, I don’t suggest I know and believe these thoughts to be the truth.  They are just a culmination of thought, observance, and experience with hundreds of people I’ve met in my life.

Try considering giving a thought to my assertions.  If anything, it will get you to start you thinking one way or the other.

Until next time,

Kevin

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 3

What is Life like Without Purpose?

Bob drops himself down on the sofa and lets out a huge gut of air.  Collecting himself, he looks around: converter on his left, laptop on right, 2 cans of beer and some chips in arm’s reach, and his canine buddy – ole’ Smokey napping by his feet.

Bob grins and for a change (on a Sunday), he pauses for thought.

His mind drifts to a feeling of contentment.  He has it all, he figures – the kids are almost grown, work steady, mortgage is getting paid, and the wife puts up with his habits and complaints.  Yes, life good!

Then all of a sudden, the feeling disappears.  This time, his mind decides to go a little deeper into thought – and he remembers this process – his heart begins to race a little and in the slideshow of his life history, he runs through some past life events in his mind and thoughts (both enjoyable and disappointing).

A kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings emerge; and although Bob dislikes the moment, he continues to think even though he knows he actually has a choice in the matter.

He remembers back to the summer when he took a car apart and re-assembled it in his garage.  The feeling of satisfaction from learning and accomplishment gave him reason to feel happiness.

Bob remembers back to the economic recession a few years ago, and how a near-breakup of his family over money almost destroyed him.

And his mind skips back to the time when he showed his son (and having him understand) how the cylinders of a car engine worked, and almost crying from the experience.

He remembers his father telling him many years ago to be practical with his life and get a job with benefits and a pension.

“Here it is, Sunday,” He thinks to himself.  “I’m supposed to feel good on Sundays – I like football.”

Bob begins to wonder why he feels this way, and can feel himself being pulled deeper in thought.

As he feels a sense of desperation lurking and waiting to take over, Bob summons the strength to bring himself back to his front room and the pre-game show.  Bob blinks wide-eyed and gives out another long sigh.

Glad the moment is over, he grabs the converter and calls ole’ Smokey over for a loving scratch behind the ears.  As a can of beer pops open in his hand; Bob puts his feet up and settles in for another Sunday of sports entertainment, and in relief, puts these thoughts behind him once again.

— * —

Especially for those of us over 40, we all know the expression “mid-life crisis”.  We can all recognize it when someone else is having it – and we are scared, stupid, and wacko when we are in it ourselves.

All joking aside, this crisis we all seem to go through, is at a time when we look at our own life and ask questions like:

  • What have I accomplished in my life?

  • Is this all there is to life?

  • Am I doing all the wrong things?

  • Having I been missing the point all along – and now my life is wasted?

  • Should I be doing something different with my life?

.

How Do We Know These Questions Exist?

We just have to look at the news and entertainment gossip to see how these personal questions are answered in our lives.  Look at the divorce rates?  Seen any over-50 wannabes re-living their youth by driving around in a sports car?  How about those Second Career night schools and mature-student college applications?  This is a normal part of being human, this being aware that we are humans with ability.

This forms part of the foundation of our Life Purpose.

There are many reasons why people go through this crisis – and it is not always limited to the over-40 crowd either.  Many people wander through their whole life living in this constant crisis.  Not knowing how and not able to confront this wall.  We’ll get into that in a future post when I discuss obstacles to living your Purpose..

Seeking our Life Purpose is the subconscious/unconscious act of going through that (not-so mid-life) crisis with the understanding that it will allow us to be happy and fulfilled (whatever that is, right?) when it is all said and done before we die.

This happens to people every day in every corner of the earth.  Some people call it a religious experience, or a voice in the head, or a force calling them … whatever.  Thing is, young and old, man and woman, and then and now; we have either felt something like it in our lives or we know someone who has felt or achieved it.  It doesn’t even have to be a major health crisis either.  There are as many reasons as there are people because everyone has a beautiful and unique gift to share from the expression of their Life Purpose.

Before I finally got it, I used to curse the world for punishing me for being a good guy, and always giving my best to everything and everyone – and still I had no joy or fulfillment in my life.  Of course, during those years, I didn’t know about my disabilities or the education from life introspection and social observation.

When I said in an earlier post about “blood, sweat, and tears” being a part of seeking Life Purpose, I wasn’t kidding.  In my case, I was blessed/cursed with having many talents, curiosities, and opportunities to use my self as a lab rat in this search.

During these years of searching, I felt as if there was a reason for my being here on this planet.

It wasn’t a religious or existential conviction; rather, it was a deep sense of being able to do something worthwhile with my short time life – so why not?  Besides, I thought it was better to get along with people rather than always fighting.

.

Feelings We All Share

These feelings and type of experiences are not limited to just my life.  Our life “stories” are just as similar, just the names, people, and activities are different – but still the same.  It all comes down to the same basic questions and emotions we experience ourselves:

  • Feelings of emptiness, being lost, and unfulfillment

  • Always questioning our selves in our motivations, needs, and wants

  • There is something missing in our life – “is this all there is?”

  • We are secretly lonely (not even close loved ones may be aware)

  • Feeling like life is out of control

  • Envious of others when they have successes – especially when we intuitively recognize they are living their Life Purpose

  • Feel like we are always making the wrong decisions

  • There is lots of drama in our life

  • Begin to feel victimized (whether real or perceived)

  • Wondering if we really ARE just automatons (or robots) living out our time

These thoughts haunt many of us consciously, subconsciously, and/or unconsciously.  Regardless, it is usually present in our lives and forces us to wonder.

What is the “story” of your life?  Is your wonderings painful?  Are you enjoying the learning experience of your life?  Is it difficult?

In the next post, we will look at the great joy and benefit of Living A Life WITH Purpose.  See you next time.

Kevin

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