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 …)

A Panhandler’s Contribution

I recenly had a dream that I was a panhandler.

Okay – it was more like a nightmare – but it ended up still inspiring.

It was such a vivid and interesting dream,
when I woke up I had to write it down.
I didn’t know how I was going to use it, but I knew there must be a purpose.
*

winter flower

Winter Possibility

The other day on a trip into the city core (in Toronto, Canada); I came across the usual people that is often seen day in and day out.  It is rather sad because they put so much effort to be at their corner every day (like a job), they could easily see solutions to their challenges and make a difference in their life.

Then I remembered my dream.  And I’m going to share it with you here.  I hope there is hope and possibility that maybe someone will pass this on to others who can use this idea.

***

I was sitting on the downtown corner of Bay and King Sts – the financial district to Canada’s financial power and major economic decisions.  So anyway, I wasn’t doing so good in getting money from people passing by.  Actually – NONE!

I was so saddened and disappointed in people that they could not spare a quarter; when they often pay $3.00 for the small cup of orange juice they were drinking. I thought to myself, “Don’t people realize there is poverty, despair, struggle, and other challenges that people face every day among all this wealth and privilege?”

Now, remember this is a dream.  Yet, while I was thinking that, I really couldn’t blame them – I suppose.  What do I mean to them other than just another faceless tragedy lost in the game of life.  As the warloads would say, “There’s bound to be collateral damage when progress is made.”

I was a cold morning; and the winds were pushing their way around the concrete structures without any shelter other than what I provided for myself.  Not the best way to invest a life – any life.  Even a dog would be taken in.  I would look up into people’s faces as they walked by and noticed their frustration as well.  Not one smile, or a glance, or even an acknowledgement that a human body was living on the corner for the day.

Sometimes I can be a little dense in my thinking ( – even in my dreams I’m not any smarter, lol); so it took a lot of time to work through how I was going to survive a winter on the desolate wasteland of financial power and oppression.  Of course, it took a lot of time (frustration and humility mostly) for me to work it through.

It took a lot of introspection about myself – about my past, present, future; about my skills and abilities; about my life lived as an “unfulfilled expression to the world” in my own little way. In dreams, as we know, there are no real time barriers or set patterns; so I managed to get in all the learning I got from life from my waking past to cram it all in, lol.

I learned something in Sales (in real life) many years ago and it came back to me in the dream.  It was about human motivation – their wants and needs – and the role it plays in getting people to do things.  It is actually based on psychology and is used in our lives by the media the most.  I remembered the very most single important thing that affects every single human (and sub-species, too).  It is this:

WII-FM:

What’s In It For Me

We are all in life for ourselves.  The individual is most important to themselves; otherwise, there would be no effort to live.  No point in eating if we don’t care whether we want to live or not.  So with that in mind, I came to the realization I had nothing to offer the people as they passed by.  There was absolutely no reason whatsoever to even look at me because I was not more than street furniture.

In the dream, I decided to give something in return for their donation.  So then the idea hit me!  This is the inspiring idea:

  1. I contacted a small business printer who prints business cards.
  2. I sought out the printers that give free cards in exchange for free advertising on the back of the card (WII-FM).  There are a couple in Toronto.
  3. With the cards I had printed 250-500 cards with inspirational and motivational quotes and anecdotes (with the ad on the other side).
  4. When I am on the street, I hand them out to the people as they walk by.
  5. The person will read the quote and (hopefully) get inspired from the “Thought for the Day” (or another title). In the fine print, you request a small donation.
  6. The next day, the person will take another card (with a different quote) and remember to give a donation the next day. The person remembers the feelings the card left her/him over the course of the day. They wanted to get the WII-FM – and they do!
  7. That day next, the person will have some change already taken out (from their cofee shop stop); and when they take a new card, they begin the habit of leaving change every day.

So, as you can see – everyone benefits as I can make a contribution in their daily lives – hopefully it’s a smiling and fulfilled day for the collateral damage of having someone inspired and happy around you every day at the office.  In this process, the WII-FM is fulfilled for everyone (printer, panhandler, donor) involved and everyone benefits greatly.

All it takes is a very little creative thinking and some work in the research.  ANYBODY can do this – no matter who they are!

***

So, that’s my dream from a little while back that I wanted to share with you about the possibilities in even the most worst conditions in life.  I also wanted you to consider sharing with others with whom you may cross paths.

Namaste

k

Conversations with Mom – Life’s Lessons

There are so many things we learn and live by from our parents.  And from Mom, she gave me her 5 most valuable beliefs about people and life.

In my case, it was my mother who shared her thoughts with me because I’ve only ever had one conversation with my father before I was 45 years old (the ‘condom’ talk) – so Mom was my teacher.

I had many embarrassing convos with Mom (some I won’t share, lol), but other than those, Mom sprinkled her wisdom into my life in many different ways over many, many years.

What I loved most about Mom:

She was a straight-shooter and to the point, so I knew if I wanted to know ‘the way it is’, she was the one to go and get advice. She didn’t mess around with muddying up the lesson with emotional drama or excuses – like I said – just like an unpire (and she loooooooved baseball – Go Jays!).

A point about her opinions and parenting: when I say ‘the way it is’, I am referring to her existential way of looking at life.  She wasn’t an emotional person (and she passed that down to me, drats!), and I think she saw the fakery and illusion life can dish out.  She didn’t say ‘the way I see it‘ or some other attachment, she ‘gave it to me straight’.  There was a strange humility about her because she never really acknowledged her wisdom because she was never aware of her own expertise based on her personal Life Lessons.

She once said to me (as she said to many) as she gave her opinion on her racism (and she was proud of her humour in it):

“I’m not a racist, I hate everyone equally!”

Anyways, back to my point of this post.

She was cynical about life too.  She learned, saw, and did enough living in the big city (Toronto, Canada) to get a taste of everything urban life can offer.  Like most others around her (especially her friends), they were of the same general opinion about life.

Personally, I think some people liked being around her because she spoke for them – for their frustrations, venting, saying something when it needed to be said.  Like I said earlier – she is a straight-shooter, and (like I picked up from her) she didn’t care who the person was thay may have been doing something that wasn’t Ethical, Legal, or Moral – she was going to say something.  She had a saying for it, but I’m getting too old to remember it now, lol.

trelaske_woods

5 FACTS OF LIFE
I LEARNED FROM MOM

_____________________

1 – Everybody WANTS something.

  • She was the one who gave me my first “Sales” training.  She didn’t know it; but in sales, they call it “WII-FM” (no, not a radio station). That acronym stands for “What’s In It For Me”.
  • That’s why marketers are very good at having our average family debt currently at about 165% of income.

2 – Most (if not all) people have ‘something going on’.

  • Mom saw this cynical side of people a hundred times over.  For example, I remember her telling me about all the things she saw at “Maple Leaf Gardens” which was rotten, in her opinion “from Harold Ballard all the way to the basement”.  But she loved working at the former Toronto shrine at Carlton and Church.
  • In her own many travels and adventures she shared with me, she explained how reciprocation worked and the role it played in life.  She practiced it even at home (though we kids weren’t cognizant at the time) – and it was always a reason not to trust someone.
  • The scheming of  ‘something going on’ is the need for a return of the effort/favour/thing you bestowed upon another. A lot of the time, it was an unspoken and understood way of being towards expectations in others.

3 – Everyone looks for the easy way.

  • “People tend to be lazy and they don’t expect much from you.  Put the extra effort in and you could do anything.”
  • She held those views in another rational explanation into why it was easy to impress others (“baffle them with your brilliance or boggle them with your bullshit”).
  • Don’t become THEM.  “Keep working harder – this mark of ‘A’ is not enough – I want an A+!”

4 – Everybody is afraid.

  • If you looked up the word “persistence” in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Mom next to it.
  • Mom knew that everyone was afraid of losing something (a personal thing).  She used threats against systems, businesses, relationships, and every other part of her life where she may have felt oppressed, experiencing a threat to her dignity, and/or finances.
  • In large conflicts with systems and businesses, she often won her issue on the basis that she knew how to fight the battle.
  • Fear plays a big role in life – that’s what I was taught – just not in those words or as eloquent.

5 – Everybody NEEDS something.

  • Mom believed, for the most part, that we are all in this huge struggle – and we are all in it together. If she was political, she’d probably be a NDPer (the left in Canada) or a Democrat (in America).
  • Not only in her life-long critcal battle with health issues (emphasema killed her), she realized that was small compared to the massive number of needs everybody has.
  • She weighed much of her opinion of friendship and other relationships on need. Not overt – but still there.
  • Funny thing – she knew Maslow’s Theory and yet she never studied him or heard of his Needs hierarchy.

Conversations With Mom

Growing up with Mom was very … hmmm … very interesting.  I think she’d sum it up the same way – only differently.

irony

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633

.

I don’t know if there is any other way to describe our relationship, because she and I were both alike in so many ways; and yet, we were almost as distant as Venus and Mars.  I love(d) her immensely – she knew it – and I suppose she loved me.

I asked her once:

Me: Mom, why have you never told me you love me?

Mom: I thought it was understood?

She was very cerebral.

I never did hear what I wanted (and needed) her to say.

It took a lot of years to get that one.  8-}

.

… to be continued.

k

Overheard at coffee shop …

MCSee

HIM: Well, how about the package I brought over to your place last week?

HER: I didn’t ask you fo it. You just gave it to me.

HIM: Well … you are a friend … and you were a friend ‘in need’ indeed.

HER: If I had known I would “owe you”, I never would have taken it.  You didn’t say it was a loan; you said as a friend you were “doing it  out of the goodness of my heart” you said.

HIM: I didn’t say you owed me.  Never mind, forget it.  You don’t have to pay me for anything.

HER: I’m paying for it right now!

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?

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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.

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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

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.

______  .  ______