Tag Archives: movement

Day 383: Structure – A Key to Freedom

Structure – the word I have been practicing in my life now for a while. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my findings and insights when it comes to living structure.

Initially I related the word structure to schedules, almanacs etc., and did not view the word as particularly useful in any other context. I also felt that structure was something that limited my creative expression – and that it took away freedom. Thus I have had a bit of a conflictual relationship with the word. Similarly I have had to walk a process to be able to walk in this current money system without reacting towards it – and feeling like the stiff structure and routine of the system pulls me down into a state of too much structure.

At this stage however I feel comfortable with the word – and as I walked the process of understanding it and integrating it into my life – I have realized that structure is everywhere and that is supportive. I have seen that having a structure allows for self-directed creative freedom, while having complete creative freedom without a structure invites lack of direction, loss of overview/focus/movement; it becomes expression without a foundation – and in most cases the results are not good.

Let us take the example of cooking. If I start to cook without a structure – for example – I just haphazardly mix the ingredients and I decide to roast them all in the oven for the same duration of time – I will not be able to create an effective meal. Cooking is a perfect example of a physical expression that rests heavily on a structured foundation – the physics of taste/texture/nutrition – and yet – it is an expression that allows for a wide array of experimentation and creative freedom.

It is the same with music. If I am unfamiliar with the instrument or musical theory it is going to be very difficult for me to improvise or compose my own songs. And sure, I will have complete freedom to play the instrument in any way I desire, but what is the use of that if I am not able to create pieces of music that I enjoy? With a basic structure, knowledge of the instrument and the notes it can produce, it is going to be different. I can now create melodic music yet still be creative, explore and investigate what new sounds and expressions I am able to produce.

Thus, used rightly structure does not quell creativity – it instead supports and enhances it. However there has to be a balance. Too much structure will lead to rigidity. Structure is in its nature predefined, constant, and impermeable to whims of the moment. Though oftentimes it is those spontaneous outbursts that bring through the flavor, the individuality, the joy and pleasure. Thus structure in itself is not the aim – it is the means. It is a stable support from which I am able to move into new expressions and experiences – the ground that I am able to get back to when I have lost myself in the boundlessness of creative freedom.


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Day 382: How To Be Creative In The Mundane

I have always enjoyed expanding myself. If I take on a new hobby, I want to bring it to the next level. Usually I am not satisfied with keeping my skills basic – I want to find ways to improve and move beyond what I initially foresaw.

I experience this drive to move and expand as an excitement and exhilaration. What I have found is that I oftentimes channel this expression into the mind. I will then create various plans, visions and dreams as to how I want to expand in the future. It can for example be that I want to read a book, or I want to take part of a course. Before I had children, I could sometimes realize these plans, because I had the time to do so. At the moment however, I have little time on my hands, and when these expressions come through, I seldom have the opportunity to act on them through one of my hobbies or interests. Sometimes I do not even have the time to channel the energy into my mind and make up plans about what I am going to do.

Because of this I have found and experimented with a solution for a week now. When the expression of wanting to expand comes up within me I now channel it into my daily living, into what I am doing HERE in my life currently. I have realized that there are several aspects and parts of my life where I am not as developed as I could be. For example, doing the dishes. How many of us put extra effort into learning how to wash dishes? I know that I have not. Washing dishes is something that I want be over and done with so that I can proceed to do something that interests me. I have started to question this mentality as well – why should my interest in things determine the amount of effort I put into an activity?

Back to the point. When I feel the desire to expand, I channel the desire into developing/creating an aspect of myself that I am busy living here. I have thus channeled this desire into cleaning up after I have cooked or doing the dishes, or simply walking. There are many ways that I can walk. If I walk without presence and effort I tend to slouch. If I put effort into walking, pushing myself to walk the best way I am able to, I walk with presence and direction. There is a completely different feel to myself and my human physical body. The same happens when I put effort into doing the dishes or cleaning up after myself. When I do it with attention, direction and presence, I experience myself differently, and the results are much better.

Thus, what I have realized is that the desire to expand is best put into practice into daily living. When the energy is used to build visions and dreams of the future it can easily become castles of sand – and no solid and physical expansion is ever manifested.

Hence – for all parents out there that feel they have too much creative juices and no time to channel it into their passions – this method can be useful.


Day 372: Bringing Life Here

When things get too much, then focus on the small. One thing at a time. That is how movement is accumulated – we do one thing – then we do the next thing. Sometimes it is not possible to have overview, it is not possible to be in control over a series of events – however – we are always in control in THIS moment. In this movement we can decide who we are – and we can decide to move ourselves into the direction that we want to go.

I cannot walk my life effectively trying holding a image/projection in-front of my eyes, believing that I need to manifest that projection into reality – moving with that picture as a target my decisions become inflexible. I miss what is HERE in-front of me and start to move with a erratic frenzy. Life is HERE and hence it must be DIRECTED here – it cannot be lived as a picture – because that is not the nature of LIFE.

Goals can be defined and plans can be scripted – though it will only remain a plan and a goal – not LIFE. It is important to not confuse a goal and a plan with life. The former is used to find direction – the latter is what it is all about and cannot be defined within the limited confines of a goal and a plan. Hence it is important to never have the plan and the goal supersede what is happening in this moment – because it can all change – in one breath.

Real stability, clarity and overview is in the moment – it is HERE – it cannot be placed on a paper – it cannot be constructed – it must be LIVED – one moment – HERE – I see. And this is cool – because whenever stability, clarity and overview is missing – it does not mean that we have to arduously walk a long process until these points can be brought here – rather we can bring stability, clarity and overview – HERE – by making a decision to do so. And sometimes it might not be possible – and we need the tools of support such as writing and self-forgiveness – other times it is possible.

Because my life is so busy, with things, responsibilities, points to handle and direct constantly, I do not have the time to bring stability and clarity here through writing – I have to live it in the moment. Why wait for these things to come to me when I can decide to live that now?

 


Day 362: Organic Expansion

This past week I have been trying out some applications at work to assist and support myself to achieve more of a balance between my mental/intellectual participation and my physical movement. The reason for this is because of how I feel when I get home from work. I usually experience the time at work as blurred, as if I have existed in only one form of expression – a tense, focused and driven movement – a bit like a strained guitar string playing a one note song. And I admit that at my work, that expression is required at times. I have to be focused, fully and intensely HERE. However, if I do not give myself moments of letting go – that one sided and strained movement starts to tear at me – causing me to feel much more exhausted when I get home than what I would be if I had more balance.

Thus – to support myself with this point I have committed myself to a daily walk after I have eaten my lunch. It is only for a short time, some 15 minutes. However that break gives me the opportunity to BREATH fresh air, to MOVE physically, and to do something DIFFERENT – and that supports me to stabilize myself – and it is something I will continue to do.

And this also brings me into the topic I want to open up in this blog, which is Organic Expansion. Now, for a long time I held the idea that in order to become successful in this world, I have to hold unto and strive to achieve mastery in one or a few well selected areas. I would pursue specialization – and at the same time build a fear within me of losing time in other areas of my life that I did not consider to be relevant to my chosen area of expertise. This caused me to not spend time on for example, taking care of my home, taking care of close relationships – and also – it made me resistant when it came to trying out new hobbies, interests, or simply going for opportunities that opened up in my life, unless obviously, they suited my initial goal/plan/direction that I had decided for myself. I have realized that this way of aiming for specialization quells EXPANSION.

Expansion I have found can be found in the most unlikely of places. Self-expansion cannot be planned – it is a decision that is made in a moment while participating/interacting in this world – and it can be lived/applied in any context/area of our life. And EVERY TIME – when I have expanded myself in one area of my life – it have assisted and supported me to grow and expand in other areas of my life as well. I have realized that it is faulty to view my life as compartmentalized, between for example, my professional life and my leisure time. They are one and the same, in the sense that, what I developed within and as myself in my professional life, will equal and one come through in my leisure time, and the other way around. And because of this, it is really no ‘waste of time’ to spend time and effort developing myself in areas of interests that are outside of my initial goal of what I want to become good at and specialize in.

Because self-expansion cannot be planned – it unfolds organically. And what I mean with self-expansion cannot be planned, is that I cannot decide that for example, I will study two hours about subject B, and then expect that I will be able to expand, only by committing to those two hours of study. I can sit down and study for 8 hours, or drive myself ferociously to achieve a goal, though if I am not PRESENT and HERE – I will not be able to see and participate within the moments of expansion that unfolds organically as I move myself through life. This also implies, that SELF-EXPANSION and GROWTH, is not the same as material success in this world. The fact is that we can become very wealthy, without having grown one inch as an individual. And self-expansion is about personal growth and empowerment.

Thus, the key to self-expansion is to be PRESENT and HERE in the movement of the moment. A moment of expansion could for example open up as I go out to wash my car. I feel bored because of the repetitive movements and the simplicity of the chore and go into thoughts – thus not being HERE and PRESENT. If I would however go out and wash my car, and push myself to be AWARE – I would start to notice the small things. Where the dirt is located on the car, the consistency of the dirt and how the dirt effects the condition of the car. I would start to see the small issues and scratches on the varnish, spot the initial stages of rust. Further, I would be able to experience the movement of my body, and practice ergonomics and body awareness.

As my example shows, the key to self-expansion is not setting up and moving towards goals, and while that practice is cool when it comes to supporting movement and direction, it is the most important ingredient when it comes to self-expansion. And that is because self-expansion is a organic process that is actually accessible in each and every moment – it is all about WHO WE ARE and whether we remain perceptive and receptive to the small points of expansion that are in our lives every day.

Hence, what I have decided to do, is to do things that might seem irrelevant and unnecessary at first glance. To spend time on projects and interests that I resist and to not judge anything that comes into my world as a waste of time – because I know it is not what I do that determines the outcome – it is WHO I AM.

 


Day 361: Organic Growth

There is a time for planning AND there is a time for organic movement. That is my insight for this week.

The way I tend to approach at least some parts of my life, is with exactitude in planning, preparation and execution. Everything should be considered and thought-out beforehand. And the underlying idea is that when everything is preemptively directed – that will bring the best results. However – I have found that this is not necessarily the case. On example of this is nature, specifically, trees.

If you look at how a tree grows, it is in the moment. The branches and roots will stretch out in search for optimum nutrition. That movement might be genetically planned in the design of the seed. However the actual growth of the tree happens organically. When the tree is young, there might be a water shortage. Hence the tree will focus its energy on growing its roots deeper into the ground to reach water. This shapes the tree, making it shorter and with less foliage than what would have been the case if it had instead focused all its energy on growing its branches towards the optimum position for receiving sunlight. Though, if it would have followed such a stiff and inflexible plan, the tree would have most likely died. Because it was able to improvise and grow organically according to its environment – it survived.

Then, many years later, the water shortage comes to an end. The tree now wants to focus on expanding its branches and foliage. Unfortunately for the tree, it has two big tree neighbors that blocks most of the sunlight coming directly from above. Instead of trying to outgrow its neighbors, the tree then grows its branches in such a way where it seeps up the small portions of light that moves past the foliage of its neighbors. The movement is yet again organic – in equilibrium and alignment with the trees environment.

The growth of a tree is flexible, organic, sensitive, receptive and balanced. It grows with common sense – moves on the opportunities that arise and redesigns its direction according to its environment. And as a whole, a tree looks magnificent – perfectly positioned and aligned with the rest of its neighbors.

Compare this organic growth with how us humans tend to move. Most of us decide upon a goal – a dream we want to realize for ourselves. It could be striving to achieve a certain income, enter a profession or become admitted to a education. Regardless, we tend to hold unto our goals stiffly and stubbornly – and when things does not move our way – instead of bending – we break. Because that is the problem with a person that has a stiff mind – he breaks when enough pressure is applied, while a flexible, soft and organic person is able to move around the obstacle. The tree did not stubbornly hold unto a goal of wanting to grow its foliage when there was a water shortage – it moved WITH its environment and was thus able to survive.

Hence – I have this week seen this pattern within me. One example of this is how I have had the tendency to structure/dream projects in my mind. Last summer I dreamed of creating a small carpentry studio in one of the unheated houses on our property. I arranged it and planned installing electricity and heating after a while. However, I did not have the funding or the time to install electricity and heating. This week I realized that there is actually a room on the property that already have heat and electricity installed, that I could have utilized instead all along. I had not however and the reason for this is because I got stuck in a ‘box’ like way of thinking. Where I only saw my initial goal – instead of expanding my thinking and instead of looking at the pictures – looking at the general process/movement that I want to facilitate. The room that is available, it cannot be aligned to fit my dreams of how my carpentry studio should look like – though it facilitates my interest in carpentry more effectively – because it gives me access to heat and electricity so that I am able to work even though it is dark outside. If I had moved myself organically, from moment to moment, I would have taken notice of this room and set up my shop there.

With this blog I want to emphasize the importance of MOMENT to MOMENT living. I want to emphasize that it is not the image/picture that is important – it is the process/movement. If we have an interest in photography – it is not the camera that is important – it is that process/movement of engaging in our interest. Hence if we cannot afford the camera we want, then instead of getting stuck, thinking we cannot advance ourselves within our interest, it is to instead find ways to facilitate and move with what we have at our disposal – to be creative and not break. There is always a lot more that can be done than what we think. The difficult part, that is to break free from our stiff and inflexible goal-driven mind – to instead see the opportunities that are here.


Day 458: Learning How To Act Without Motivation

During my years at the university I met countless of people that explained to me that they were not able to start a project well in advance, because they needed ‘pressure’ to move themselves. Consequentially, they ended up doing a spurt, writing their essay 48 hours before it was due. Oftentimes the result was that their assignment was compromised in some way.

I used to be the same. I had the tendency of waiting, waiting, waiting, and then, when anxiety and fear struck in, I began to move myself. However, I realized that this caused undue stress on my body and that my results were not satisfactory. Furthermore, it caused an unbalance in my life. I moved from not doing anything productive, to trying to squeeze in 20 productive hours in one day. It is obvious that such a contrast cannot be healthy. I understood that routines and a sensible balance would assist and support me to remain calm and stable – and to not go into highs or lows.

Thus, I decided to change my way of dealing with assignments/projects/deadlines. Instead of waiting to the point where stress and anxiety arose – I decided to MOVE myself. I realized that I did not need motivation. In-fact, motivation is a very limited concept – at least when it is defined as a energy that comes up from within and that allows us to move. Because if that is the case, we will always be slaves to the movement – instead of being our own masters – where we decide to move ourselves because it is the BEST thing for us to do.

In physical reality, motivation is not required. Physical reality works within the principles of physics. And in physics the laws of physics abide. One of these laws is that movement in the physical happens when we move physically – meaning – that in order for us to move a ball – we have to in someway exert physical energy unto that ball. The key here is PHYSICAL ENERGY. It is impossible to move that ball utilizing thoughts, it is impossible to move it utilizing feelings or emotions – WE MUST exert PHYSICAL force. And – exerting physical energy is NOT dependent on us feeling motivated to do so.

My assertion can be proven easily. Simply move your hand in-front of your face and shape it into a fist. Now ask yourself, were you able to do that because you felt motivated? No – you simply DID IT. And that is the secret – the REAL secret. Physical movement requires no feeling or emotional backup. Our physical bodies are in direct connection with our PRESENCE – our DIRECTION – our SOUL for a lack of a better word. When we decide to move – we move – unless of course – we are hindered by a ailment of some sort.

The reason you can shape your fist without motivation, yet feel unable to move yourself when it comes to other more extensive and complex movements/projects is because the latter requires a steady, consistent and deliberate exertion of physical energy. Most of us are not able to do that without training. The skill I am talking about here is SELF-DISCIPLINE.

For me, self-discipline means, ‘doing things even though you do not feel like it because you see that it is what is best’. And is not this the big problem everyone is dealing with? We do not feel like it, and we do not have the discipline to simply do it – and instead we depend on feeble and untrustworthy experiences such as motivation – to help us get shit done. That is not a sustainable way to live.

Self-discipline is a skill that can be developed. Yet it takes practice and it takes pushing and breaking through the invisible walls we have created for ourselves. That process can be difficult, depending on how much you believe in the idea that you need to be motivated to move. Though, it is possible to re-create ourselves in this regard – I have done it – it took a couple of years – however today – I can move myself for extended periods of time without the slightest inspiration or motivation to do so. Instead I move, because I decide to do move.

 


Learn more about this way of living and looking at things here.

 

Day 456: The Righteous-Character

Yesterday after work I decided to order some take-out food for supper. I called the restaurant and told them that I did not want to have any onion on one of the dishes. About ten minutes later I drove to the restaurant to pick up my food, at which point I noticed that the chef had misunderstood me. He had not used onion in any of the dishes I had ordered.

It upset me when I became aware of this. I asked the chef whether he could re-do the dish and put onion in it. The chef did not want to do that because it would get messy. This frustrated me even further. At this point I saw before me two options. On the one hand, I could insist on having onion, or I could simply take the dishes as they were and walk out of there. I felt as if there were two of me, there was one rational version; I could see that the flavor and experience of the dish was not dependent on onion and that I would save a lot of time if I accepted the mistake and walked out of there. The other me, was the irrational and angry me; this me wanted redress – ‘I want to receive what I have ordered, I paid for this! Then I should get what I paid for!’

I stood there and felt the irritation and frustration within me – then I made the decision to drop the point. To take the dish as it were and get out of there – get home and eat my dish and enjoy it. This was the rational and common sense thing to do – and I am satisfied with the decision that I made. Though, I can still see that I became influenced by the emotions, to get into me and had an effect on me – and hence I want to look at the emotions and the character.

If I am to give this character a name, I would say it is the righteous-character. It is the experience of me being completely right because someone else has not done their job properly – and hence – I have a right to become angry – pissed of and irritated. I have a right to curse at them and to start a conflict. When I look at it, I can see that this logic is very much a like how parents treat their children, and it might be from this relationship that I have acquired this pattern. Because parents tend to become angry at their kids when they do something ‘wrong’ – and in such instances – most parents do not consider it wrong or consequential to be angry – rather it is ‘needed’ to set the child straight.

This righteous-character activates especially when it comes to money, and people not doing their job the way I expect them to. Because when I have paid for a service, I make the false conclusion that I now ‘own’ the person supplying the service – and hence I can act and behave in any manner and way I like if my expectations are not fulfilled – because I have ‘bought’ that right. However, in looking beyond money, which is an abstraction, it becomes evident that my actions, and the righteous-character, have just the same consequences and negative outflows as accepting and allowing myself to become angry and frustrated at someone in my personal life. The righteous-character is really not a character/way of living that brings through what is best for all.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and think that I have the right to be mean, angry and frustrated when I buy a service and I do not get what I expect that I should get – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to assume/think that only because I paid for something – this means that all bets are off and I have full freedom to do what I want to do and say what I want to say

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that access to money makes me more important and better than others – and that purchasing a service means that I own the person that gives this service

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to value money over myself as a person – and to believe that money gives me value – and thus when money is at stake, when there is a question about money, then I have the right, freedom to do what it takes to control/direct my money

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not remind myself that what is of importance and relevance is who I am as a person – the value that I am able to give/live and be to others – and thus not the amount of money I own and have access to

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that it is money that gives me importance and value in this life – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that money is only a medium, a means used to transact goods and services, and that it does not determine me as a person, and that buying a service, does not mean that I have the right to do whatever it is that I want to do

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself becoming angry and frustrated, reacting, because I have not received what I feel that I paid for, I take a breath and I bring myself back here, and I see, realize and understand, that only because money is part of the game, it does not give me a carte blanche to do whatever I want to do – and to express myself in anyway I see fit – and I realize that accepting and allowing myself behave in a way that is harmful towards others – is equally as consequential when there is a issue about money, as when it does not have to do about money – and thus I commit myself to breathe and stabilize myself here – and then work to resolve the issue/problem that is ahead of me utilizing common sense and a stable and sensible presence/direction – where I find solutions to the problem and use common sense to get there