Day 448: Back To Basics

Changing the world. How do we do that?

If you have ever asked yourself this question, it is likely, that you as me, immediately started to look OUT THERE. What new laws do we need? What president must we elect and who must we remove from power? What problems are there that must be addressed? Climate change, wars, poverty, inequality?

I am not saying that it is wrong to pay attention to and push ourselves to create a difference in our external reality. There are indeed many things that we will have to direct if we want to see ourselves and this reality become its fullest potential. However, what is usually missed when the above question is asked, is how our INTERNAL and our immediate EXTERNAL reality, are equally as important, if not more so, than creating a definitive change in a larger context. Thus, a key I have found for myself is to be ready to get BACK to the BASICS. And in-fact, unless the basics are stable and functional – it is not possible to walk out and create a lasting impact in the bigger picture. I have seen this for myself many times. When I move out into world to direct a point, if I am not HERE, stable and able to direct the individual moments that come into my life, I will not be able to get through.

World change involves individual change. The world is made up out of many individual lives, and each life is affecting the whole. This is why no one can be free unless everyone is free. Because how can the world as a whole change for the better unless the individual parts that make up the world change? Making sure that we are living the best of ourselves in our personal and individual lives is thus more important than what it has been made out to be. And living our own fullest potential is not the same as ‘being a good person’ – it is about awakening and developing a substantial and sustainable relationship to LIFE – the PHYSICAL – all that which is here in this reality and that makes our lives possible.

When all of our focus is placed on the larger picture, it is easy to loose track of the SMALL. Though, it is in the small that change can be implemented immediately. It is in the small that we have direct access to define and live a change for and as ourselves. Take something as simple as waking up in the morning. How much could we change our experience of ourselves during a day, and indirectly, the people we run into, if we would wake up in the morning, immediately get out of the bad, and make the directive decision to face the world and what might come boldly, with enjoyment and curiosity. Our entire day would be different.

Change happens in a moment. And sure, when manifesting change in a larger context, there are several moments that link up, and that accumulates into a point of no return – where change is inevitable. Even so, in the big, we find the small – individual moments where the decision to change was made and then brought to LIFE by PRACTICAL action. It is thus important to always remember the small – what might seem insignificant seen in isolation – can be the one point that tips the scale. That is worthwhile to remember when the world out there seems overwhelming and too big to ever move forward in the direction we want. It is in the small that we have our POWER to effect CHANGE.


Learn more about this way of living

Advertisements

Day 447: Self-Determination

Today I want to open up the word self-determination. In international law there exist a right of self-determination. It is defined in the context of the right for a group of people to decide their own direction/destiny. For example, the right for Swedish people to decide their own direction and not be bothered by other countries stepping in, and making decisions for the Swedish people.

In the context of SELF – self-determination, as I see it, is about me deciding WHO I AM. And this is not a right, it is a decision. The decision must be made in every moment, because otherwise, someone or something else will determine me. Especially in today’s world, where there a literally billions of distractions/temptations that all want a piece of our attention/life, it is important to be self-determined.

What does it mean to be self-determined? An example would be, that if I walk into a room, and in this room there are a couple of angry people that start to yell and scream at me – the principle of self-determination would be lived out through me deciding what word I am going to live and thus not accepting and allowing myself to REACT to the reactions/energies of the people in the room. Hence, it is about ACTING instead of REACTING.

And what does it mean to act instead of react? To act is a movement that comes from within self – there is clarity and understanding – acting is an expression of and as self and not merely something that is motivated and driven from within and as a energy. Hence, there is a distinct difference between acting and reacting, between self-determination and weak-mindedness. The difficult part of self-determination is pushing through those moments of reaction that will occur, because the reaction is tempting, it is the easy way, what feels right. If someone says or does something mean unto us, hell, we want to get back, because, it is the right thing to do? It is the just thing to do? However – it is clearly not the BEST thing to do. A self-determined act is thus never about making things even – it is about acting from the heart – seeing what is best – and realizing that potential practically.

It cannot be stressed enough – that self-determination is a key factor in being able to stand stable and solid in this world. Without self-determination we will be thrown around on the roller-coaster of life, with ups and downs, failures and successes, highs and lows. With self-determination, the ups and downs of life are immaterial – because regardless of what happens – I DECIDE who I am – I DETERMINE who I am. And thus, in the face of successes and failures, I am determined to remain STABLE – in the face of ups and downs – I am determined to remain clear – because I decide to live/do what is best for me.

There is no life path that is going to give me a stable/easy/predictable life – if I want stability in my life – I will have to live it and determine it for and as myself.

 


Learn more about this way of living

Day 446: Finding Passion and Purpose

Passion and purpose. Things that I have had a tendency to look for out there. I am confident that I am not alone in that. It is like the words passion and purpose in themselves have a energy of exertion – towards/against something/someone else but self here.

Though, I have realized a couple of interesting points for myself as of late. I sat down to write on the words of passion and purpose and I ended up asking myself the following question. Is it even possible to SHARE/GIVE passion and purpose towards the world out there if we have not yet given ourselves these words within ourselves in our relationship towards ourselves?

I would say, NO, it is not possible. And the world as well as history is literally full of examples. People that have moved themselves arduously to create/manifest a particular outcome/goal that would empower/enrich humanity in some way – but that along the way forgot COMPLETELY about themselves. Let us look at the main character in the movie Kinsey, which is based on Alfred Kinsey, the famous sexologist who founded the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex. In the movie, Alfred Kinsey is depicted as utterly and wholly passionate with his project of mapping the sexual inclinations of the American people. Again and again, his stout determination comes through. He lives focused and purposefully.

Though, he might have been passionate and purposeful with his project to map out sex. However in the movie, he is depicted as having many character flaws and problems. One example being, that he works too much, and that he does not have time for his spouse and his children, or that he lets his work take over and change the way he relates to his family – making everything about what he is currently researching at his work. At the end of the movie, it becomes clear that he has worked too hard. His body is frail and he over exhausts himself. His purpose, his passion, becomes a drug – a way to hide from himself – and not a point of GIVING.

The movie Kinsey nicely exemplifies what I touched upon above. That real purpose and passion, it always begins from within. You cannot go out into the world and believe that you are going to make a lasting impact, unless you have effectively changed your own flaws. The same goes in relationships and agreements, you cannot attempt to support another to change, unless you have walked through and supported yourself to change that point. The within reflects the without.

I have realized that finding passion and purpose is the wrong way to look at it. Rather, the point is to CREATE passion and purpose, and begin living these words in the SMALL for and as myself – in my small world. Then, when I have established the words as a consistent part of my daily living – I can expand – and take on a slightly bigger point.

Hence, trying to find purpose would be a dead end alley. The point is rather to CREATE self in all ways – when that is done properly – purpose – or rather – a clear direction – will emerge naturally. And it is thus important to remember, that when we start to look for something to give us direction out there, it means that we have not yet given direction to our own process of self-creation.

 


Learn more about this way of living

Day 445: When Competition Puts Us Off Course

Competition is a strange thing. Especially the kind of competition that just happens. For example, the competition that exists at the office, where one guy gets the promotion, the other does not, the next guy gets close to the boss, and the third does not. When a lot of people come together, such as in a organization, there is bound to be some competition.

For myself, I have found, that when I give into and become engulfed in competition, I lose my direction. What used to be important becomes less so, and what takes its place is the DESIRE to WIN, to reach that position/point/top that everyone else seems to strive towards, and hence, that must be really worthwhile. Though it is not even about the position. It is about proving to everyone else, and to myself, that I could reach that position, and nobody else could. Thus, it is a complete illusion, based solely on wanting to become someone to someone other than me, to feel better, and it has nothing to do with what I actually want to do – that which is my REAL expression.

Competing this way is not constructive, rather it is destructive. Instead of strengthening our own individual unique expressions, we all strive towards the same goal, the same achievement, and all try to climb the same ladder. It is unfortunate, because what is a genuine success/achievement for one person might not be so for another. Accordingly it does not make any sense to set ourselves and our lives up with the intent of winning – because at the end of the day – if we have given up on everything that is unique and individual about ourselves to reach that position/status/goal – then have we really won? Have we not in-fact lost a part of ourselves – that unconditional drive and movement within us that acts/express without wanting rewards – but where the expression in itself is enough to be wholly fulfilling.

I have tried to walk both paths in my life. Getting lost in the wheel of competition, striving towards something more, without really understanding why – and then also – moving myself to fulfill myself through doing that which I really enjoy/love. And with the latter, I have found that it does not even have to be something that I love/enjoy – the difference is all in HOW I approach the point. In my work for example, that occasionally can be less than stimulating, I have found pleasure and drive in practicing being thorough, structured and specific. I have practiced living those characteristics without aspiring a position or a certain status, I have done it for MYSELF.

I do recognize that it can be easy to lose oneself in these games of competition that is played in all parts of life in some way or another. And, everyone else seems to be in it, so why should not I do it as well? And if I do decide to walk my own path, will I miss out on something? What if that grand-prize at the top of the ladder is worth it all? There are definitely fears associated with deciding upon and walking the path less traveled – and there are far less that travels the path of self-expression compared to the path of competition. However, only because the mass of people does something, it does not mean that it is right for ME, it does not mean that it is supportive, and it does not mean that it is BEST.

About two years ago, just about as I finished my university degree, I decided to move back to where I grew up, to the rural parts of Sweden. This went against what everyone of my classmates decided to do. Most of them went to the capital city to get the top tier jobs. And since I moved, I have had this nagging fear/stress that I might be missing out on something. I have sometimes started to make sketches in my mind of moving back to the big city, to find myself a top job, and create my success story. Though part of me has been drawn to the country side, the quiet, the opportunities that exist in immersing oneself in hobbies such as gardening and carpentry. This to me perfectly exemplifies the effect that competition can have on my mind – and on a mind in general. Because when I look at it, there is no objective, quantifiable and practical benefit to moving back to the city and acquiring a ‘top job’. I have everything set where I live in terms of money and shelter – and I am very satisfied with my daily routines. Hence this begs the question, why this urge to move upwards in the ladder of success? Why this urge to give up that which I want for myself, to do what I perceive everyone else wants, values and desires? It makes NO sense.

And that is where I would like to end of – with the conclusion that: competition makes NO sense. Competition is not rational, it is not practical, it is not thought through and it is not supporting us to fulfill our utmost potential. Giving into competition dehumanizes us, makes us machines racing to prove our value to some unknown force, while at the same time devaluing and losing our own unique potential, our own individual point of expression that cannot be measured in terms of winning and losing.

Hence – instead of competing – we should embrace our own VALUE, our own UNIQUE and INDIVIDUAL expression – that which cannot be compared and measured in relation to another – because that is where we will find real and lasting fulfillment.


Learn more about this way of living

Day 444: Insecurity = Not Seeing Me

Some week ago I received praise from a colleague as to my ability to handle certain tasks at work. I became moved and felt very happy and also surprised, because I did not see myself the same way my colleague did. Later, I reflected on the event, and I have come to see how these reactions of happiness and surprise, actually indicates a deep seated insecurity.

I look at it the following way. If I would have been secure within myself, if I had recognized my weaknesses and strengths, and known what I was capable of, would I then have reacted the way that I did? The way I see insecurity is that it has a lot to do with undermining, devaluing and diminishing myself, and hence because of this, missing/not seeing WHO I AM. Thus, when someone else comes into my life, and tells me that I am really good at something, I get thrown off my feet with gratefulness and satisfaction. The real question though is why I have not accepted and allowed myself to give these expressions/words to myself – why wait for someone else to do it for me?

In Sweden we have a mentality called the “tall poppy syndrome” – which means that if you do acquire skill/status/money or similar above the average, it is seen as bad and socially unacceptable to speak about it and recognize it. This mentality pervades in the Swedish society. It is thus interesting that, many rich people in Sweden, live as if they had an average income. This mentality obviously becomes a problem in the sense that excellence and success many times, at least silently, is shunned and repressed – and if someone does reach excellence – he or she will not speak about it. However, suppressing stories of success actually depraves everyone of the opportunity to grow and learn through the example of another.

From what I can see, I have internalized this tall poppy syndrome because fact is that I am very good at my work, I am thorough, I am self-reliant and assertive in handling my responsibilities – though – I have not recognized this for myself. And obviously, this tendency of mine, to not see and evaluate myself, and give me credit when credit is due, also has the consequence that I am not as open to seeing and recognizing my weaknesses. Because, what is the point of changing a weakness into a strength if I do not recognize it for myself? Then it is better to keep everything average, takes less effort.

Another consequence of me not recognizing what I am good at, my successes and achievements, is that I do not want to recognize such in others as either. Instead, when another achieves, grows and expands, I become jealous, and feel bereft. And then I want to bring another down to the level of average, in the belief, that this is what I am, and that I cannot become more. Though, what is missed is that I can obviously learn and become inspired by the successes of another. And the expansion of the life of one person is not only of value to that particular individual, as we live in a interconnected reality – and hence – when one of us becomes better – this will ripple into the lives of everyone else as well.

Thus, insecurity, it is when I do not give myself credit where credit is due, because I believe that I am not worthy/respectable/good enough to do it for myself. And then I instead wait and hope for others to do it. I strive and fight to achieve some form of recognition, all because I did not give it to myself. A solution that I see for myself when I receive positive feedback, is that instead of going into a feeling of happiness, pride and joy, to instead look at the feedback objectively – to bring it within me and then see if I agree with this feedback – and if I do – to then recognize my ability/skill/success for and as myself.

And then, I can expand this point even more, by then looking at how I can improve/move/further/strengthen my point of success even more. Because why accept myself to be satisfied with being really good at something, when I can most likely, become even better at it? And further – to also push myself to recognize my weaknesses, and actively practice changing these weaknesses into strengths. That is how I can start recognizing myself instead of needing others to do it for me.


Learn more about this way of living

Day 443: First World Problems

I recently listened the following interview on Eqafe: The Hereafter and the Next Phase of Existential Process (Part 1) – Life Review – and it was a fantastic recording. It opened up a few realizations within me which I am going to discuss in this post.

Being a first world citizen, complaining about the small shit in life, like, the fact that I have to work a couple of hours each day, that I have to cook food when I get home from work, which means that I cannot pursue my hobbies to the extent that I would have liked to, or that I have to do household chores every weekend, like cleaning and tending to my house, that is being spoiled. And man, have we not become spoiled in the first world. When something goes bad, we face difficulties in our relationships, at work, or we fail somehow, what do we tend to do? We give up.

It is interesting, because we, first world citizens, without a doubt have the most opportunities. Yet, what is it that we do with our lives? Not that much really. Most of it we spend lurking about in our emotional and feeling experiences. A question we should ask ourselves is, what could we accomplish if we would stop giving so much attention to these thoughts, emotions and feelings, that move about up there in our minds, what potential is yet to be unlocked?

For example, with my work, I can see the difference so clearly. When I am lost in thoughts, when I accept and allow myself to be preoccupied with feelings and emotions, I only function on half or less what I am capable of. On the other hand, when I make sure to be HERE, to live in the physical, then I can achieve impressive results. The human physical body and our minds have so much potential that we have yet to access, because we have used most of it to fuel completely pointless and illusory experiences and images in our minds. And not only that, we have then as well, made these illusory experiences real by accepting and allowing ourselves to act according to them. And thus, when we feel depressed, we believe that is real, and we decide to act depressed – when really – we are able to make a DECISION that we are not going to accept and allow this depression to get the better of us.

One thing that I could see for myself when listening to this interview is how important it is to make it a point in my life to SHARE and GIVE – to not become lost in all of the crap that can be thought-up about what is the right, or the wrong direction, about what is good, and what is bad, but to instead use the time to do something constructively that will SUPPORT life. And it does not have to be big things. Really, life is made up out of small actions, small deeds, that accumulate and becomes a culture, a way of living, the society and life we create together. Hence, when we accept and allow ourselves to feel like shit, to throw a tantrum because of some apparent problem in our privileged first world lives, then we create and impulse that culture/way of living into the world. And, when we do that, can we expect to have any different results? Can we expect that something is going to get better?

Life on earth is only going to get better when we as individuals get better. Thus, the primary responsibility for all of us, is to make sure that we are the best that we can be. When we are the best version of ourselves, already having that point in order, we are imprinting into the world, the system, a new pattern, a new direction, a new momentum and way to live.

I am not going to waste my life by accepting and allowing thoughts, emotions and feelings, that I have not chosen, to be the guidelines of my life. And I am not going to fall into the trap of complaining and pitying myself because there are things that I have to do in life, in order to survive. Because, as a first world citizen, I have everything at my disposal. I have water, food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, access to transportation, and the possibility, to now and then, go on a vacation – AND – I have the TIME that I need to walk my process – to write – and to now and then post a blog. Under such conditions, complaining is simply not acceptable.


Learn more about this way of living

Day 442: Slowing Down = Speeding Up?

In my work, one thing that I have noticed, is that mistakes and errors most of the times arise as a consequence of wanting to move too fast. When I want to get more things done than what I am able to handle, and more speedily at that, mistakes will be made. Thus, to be slow, structured and steady is really an art-form – a valuable skill – especially in today’s world where everything moves faster and faster.

I have realized that having a clearly defined structure and a simple and grounded method assists and supports a great deal with keeping a steady momentum. An example would be the way I have decided to set up my proof-reading technique. I always proof-read everything I write, and I do it one, preferably several days after I have done the writing. That will give me space to forget and reconsider what I have written, so that I can re-read it with fresh eyes. Further, I always proof-read first thing in the morning, because that is when my mind is fresh and alert – ready to catch any small inconsistency and mistake. I then read through the text and mark each mistake or change I want to make. I read through every line – and push myself to be attentive and concentrated – and really READ all of what I written – which can be very hard to do. The reason being that it is easy to start reading on a automatic pilot, to begin to assume that words have been written that have not. For me to proof-read effectively, it is of essential importance that I am HERE – and that I am not stressing or hurrying to get to anywhere else. Hence, the importance of pace. If I move too fast, I will miss points, and create mistakes.

For me, the challenge has been to push through the state of urgency/stress I experience sometimes when I am at work, with deadlines and responsibilities, because when I am in such a experience, it feels like there is just not enough time for me to slow down. Though, the opposite is actually true. To slow down, and do things properly and effectively ONCE, actually means that I am able to speed up. The speed though is simply a outflow of being precise, concentrated and focused – SLOW and DELIBERATE – and not rushing and being all over the place.

Slowing down is what allows for real speed and efficiency. And I have seen this in my work time and time again. If I am slow and deliberate, I only have to do it once, and it will be done, all points and dimensions considered and directed. However, if I do it in a haste, there will be mistakes, things I have forgotten, and it does not help that I might feel confident or self-assured, because when I move too fast, mistakes are unavoidable. Perfection requires a steady movement, a movement and pace that allows for deep concentration.

Another important point to consider is to not fear making mistakes. The fear of making mistakes actually supports the state of rush/stress and is hence NOT conducive of slow, efficient and precise self-movement. Many seem to believe that the fear of making mistakes is supportive when it comes to developing thoroughness and focus. Though, consider the following, we have a body and a mind, our tools that we use when we work. These tools have a limited capacity – there is only so much physical energy at our disposal – and when that is used up – we have to rest in order to regain our strength. Thus, if we are continuously in a fear of making mistakes, this is going to use up part of our limited energy capacity – and thus – there is less energy at our disposal to be focused/directed into concentration and focus – and hence – we are actually increasing our risks of making mistakes by fearing to make a mistake.

The best possible approach is to be fearless. When we are fearless, we can place our focus on that which MATTERS – the MATTER at hand – and put all of our attention unto what we have in front of us.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel empowered when I become anxious and fearful of making mistakes, and think that this fear is my fuel, my power, my motivation, that will guide and assist me, and be my guardian angel that I can rely upon when things get tough – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding, that this fear of making mistakes is actually causing me to make more mistakes, because I do not have my full focus and attention HERE

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust my fear of making mistakes and see it as an asset that I can use – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that I become inefficient when I move myself from within and as this fear of making mistakes, I become irrational, and I start making decisions that are based on fear instead of common sense

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that my fear is empowering, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to continue to be in my fear and anxiety, to hold unto it, to fear letting go of my fear and anxiety, in the belief, that if I let go of my fear and anxiety, I am going to lose myself, my motivation and my drive, and I am going to start making a lot more mistakes, and I am not going to do anything worthwhile with my life what so ever

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that I am strong, capable, and able of directing and moving myself effectively, be specific, focused and concentrated, WITHOUT fear of making mistakes – because I can make decisions as to who and what I am – I do not need nor do I require anxiety to exist within me and be a part of my life – because I can live in the physical and create myself to live and be what I want to be and what is best for me as well as others

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that fear and anxiety, that survival stress, will help me to be more specific and exact – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that in accepting and allowing survival stress to rule and determine my life, and my world – I am more prone to make mistakes – I am more prone to miss important facts and facets of a problem or decision – and thus more prone to create things in my life that I do not want in my life

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself going into survival stress, when I begin to move myself hastily, from task to task without no flow, ease and without deliberate action – I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that this survival stress is holding me back from being effective in my life and from creating myself – because when and as I have this survival stress within me – I miss what is HERE in my life – and I miss MYSELF – as my living becomes focused on and around this survival stress – and thus I commit myself to deliberately slow down and to practice grounding myself back into the physical – and to practice moving myself from within and as BREATH – each and every time I notice that I go into survival stress/anxiety


Learn more about this way of living