Tag Archives: structure

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 376: Routine and Structure

Routine and structure – it makes things easier – especially in a family where there are many life’s that must coordinated. It is something that I have resisted and also something that I have not been particularly good at. My main problem with structure is that it takes time and effort to create. Planning is a mental/intellectual task and it takes time – just like any other task. However – planning and structuring does not create any immediate results. Hence it feels as if there is no progress – I have just wasted an hour upon nothing. The value of planning/structuring instead becomes visible later on.

One thing that I have noticed when I have planned my week is that I become calmer and more grounded. There is also a defined sense of solidity and stability within me – as if I am standing on firm ground inside of myself. I know where I am going, I know what I am doing, and I know why. And I also know what to expect from myself and my family – because together we have decided upon how to structure our week.

This present week I have planned in terms of what we are going to have for dinner, when I am going to exercise, and what projects/points needs to be directed throughout the week. For those out there that like to be spontaneous and impulsive, it might sound boring. It would have sounded that way to me a couple of years ago. Being locked in a routine and a continuous schedule. However – now I find pleasure and support in having a structure and following it. And there is still room for changes to the structure – no freedom is ever lost. Rather – having a clear direction allows for informed decisions and directive spontaneity. Without a structure – it is easy things becomes haphazard and obfuscated. And it might be fun for a while – though it is not possible to run a smooth and functional life together with several different people that way.

I mentioned my misalignment with planning/structuring above, that I feel it takes too much time and effort and there is no result to show for it. When this experience/backchat comes up within me, to correct it, I look at the future support that my moment of planning will bring. I see, realize and understand that for every minute I put down into preparation, I receive stability and direction i many moments to come – I will make my life a lot more comfortable and easy. It will not happen in this instance – however it will come through as I continue to walk. That is how I realign my relationship to planning/structuring – so I can begin using this tool more in my life and not resist/suppress planning/structuring because of feeling like it is a waste of time.


Day 373: Structure vs. Spontaneity

Being in a long term relationship can be really challenging and it can also be absolutely fantastic. One key ingredient in moving a relationship towards success is understanding the difference between the male and the female psyche. Many conflicts between partners arise due to not taking into account some of the basic female/male designs. Instead of considering the differences and learning from each-other – what tends to happen is misunderstanding, impatience and judgment.

An example is structure vs. spontaneity. Generally speaking, males tend to be more inclined to make decisions and move themselves with little planning. Decisions are made on the go, solutions are improvised, and changes are applied without much preparation. Women on the other hand, generally speaking, tends to better at planning, and also want to have a plan/structure. The conflict will then be about the man not structuring/taking his life, causing many ups and downs, which the woman becomes dissatisfied with. The man on the other hand will become dissatisfied with what he experiences as too much anxiety/worry/micromanaging and inflexibility from the woman.

How then to solve this problem?

Both the man and the woman must be willing to let go of their own preferences. Both structure and spontaneity have their positive and their negative traits. The solution is not to enforce a total and unchangeable structure, neither is the solution to live solely in the moment without any preparation. Balance is the best way to go – and – recognizing that being in a committed long term relationship is a great opportunity to learn and become a more well-rounded human being. Men can learn a lot from women, and women can learn a lot from men. We have our weaknesses and our strengths, and it is when we push ourselves to move beyond our own perception of the world that we are able to expand.

Myself for example, my challenge is to become more structured in my leisure time. At my work, structure has become a part of me. However, when I get home, I feel a need to let go of all plans/structures so that I can be free to do what I want to do in the moment. That does not work very well with family life. When there are several lives working together in a unit, structure is very important for everything to move smoothly. Without structure, each individual will move wherever and however he or she wants – and that will create conflict. A structure, an agreement, between the individuals in the unit, is thus vital for a effective movement.

Freedom is not limited by structure. It is possible to be free and express myself within a set structure, it is possible to enjoy myself within and as a structure, it is possible to expand myself within a structure – because it is about WHO I AM – and not about where I am. At the moment, structure is a necessary part of my life and something that I will have to keep practicing and that will make my life a lot easier when I master it.


Day 441: Making Plans and Following Them

I like making plans. In-fact it makes me excited to consider the potentials of the future, what I can do with it, what goals can be realized and what directions can be taken. Though, what is more difficult for me is to stick with the plan. It is also harder for me to plan my day-to-day life – you know – the small apparently insignificant things we have to tend to. To me, this indicates one thing, and that is that planning is not yet a word/expression that I am living as a grounded and realistic approach to life. It is still more of a form of entertainment rather than a practical tool to be used in making myself and my daily living more streamlined and effective.

One example that comes to mind, that exemplifies my tendency to ‘winging it’ instead of structuring my approach, is that I do not tend to look in my almanac throughout my week. And that in itself is a tell, because guess what, I usually sit down and map out my week, in my almanac. Though when it comes to applying it throughout the week, I rely on my good memory, and improvise a lot as well. However, this causes me to forget what I have planned, miss responsibilities and ‘to-do’s’.

Though, there is yet another reason why I do not tend to look in the almanac throughout my week, and that is a underlying stress, a sense of urgency, where I do not feel as if I have the time to stop up and make any plans, or for that matter, check up upon and follow the plans that I have already made. However, I do understand on a theoretical level, and I have also seen it in practice, that when I plan and streamline my day, this helps me to be more efficient with my time, to get more done, and to move more smoothly through my day.

Thus, the points I want to work with regards to the word planning/structure is to be realistic when I make my plans, to push myself to plan, and follow my plans, with regards to my day-to-day living.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become excited when I make my plans, and to make them too ambitious, too lofty, where I become excited over the fact that I can plan, imagine and think things up, however, not considering the practical living of the plan – and also taking into consideration WHO I AM as a person, and what would be realistic for me to live

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not follow through on the plans that I make, because when it comes to following through, I no longer have that exciting energy within me, and now, it is all physical, and it is all about discipline, and it as all about

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want and desire my plans to live for me, to hope that when I have made a plan, that it is enough and that I do not have to do anymore, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want and desire plans so that I can feel comfortable in knowing that I am going to go forward with my life – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that plans are only what I make of them

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that plans are a direction in and as themselves, not seeing, realizing and understanding, that the direction, the movement, it will always be ME – plans is only ever a tool that I am able to use in order to structure and create an overview in my life and make it easier for me to stand as the direction and stand as the movement in my life – and stand as the way forward – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not use plans as a support tool and not something upon which I rely to move myself forward

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think that my plans are my guide, that my plans are what should move me forward, that my plans are what will move me through life, that I can place trust and reliance on my plans – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become excited and joyful when I make plans because I believe that they are actually going to be realized automatically and that I am going to achieve everything that I think about and look at – not seeing, realizing and understanding, that my plans will not do such a thing, that I will have to stand as the point of direction in my life and my life forward – no plan will do that for me

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to live the word planning through structuring my daily living in a realistic and grounded way, where I plan and streamline my day-to-day commitments and responsibilities in a supportive manner

I commit myself to follow through on what I have planned, to actively look at my calendar and my to-do list, to use it as a support and a reference point, from which I move myself

When and as I see myself going into a state of ‘winging’ it – a state of stress and anxiety, where I do not want to spend time on planning, referencing my plans, or following my plans, because I feel that it takes too much time, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that planning does take time, though it is something that will pay back, because when I plan, I create a overview, and I create a foundation for efficiency and expression – because I know where I am, where I am going and what is required to be done – and thus I commit myself to stop up, take a breath and commit time each day to planning my movement and my time


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Day 439: Slowing Down In The Process of Creation

Last week I had an interesting realization with regards to living the words STRUCTURE and THOROUGH. I had proof-read a text of mine, which I then handed over to my colleague who had requested the text. Later my colleague came back and pointed out a couple fact errors in the text.

I looked at WHY those errors had come to be and remained, even though I proof-read the text – and I found the following.

To effectively fact-check, and to be thorough, precise and structured, each step of the creation process must be walked, and each step must be given as much time as is required for that particular step to be effectively completed. Hence, there must be a certain level of slowness to the creation process – if I move too fast – then I will miss things. However, this point of slowing down is something that I have experienced as unstimulating, sterile, painstaking and wearisome – actually causing me to become stressed/wanting to move forward faster in order to make the task more stimulating. The consequence of accepting and allowing myself to move with this stress is that mistakes are made.

The solution is to push through this angst/stress connected to the application of being thorough/precise/structured – to regardless of the experience – realizing that I do not need stimulation from my outside environment – and then walk the point in the pace that is required for the process of creation to be effective. And also – to see, realize and understand – that this process of disciplining self in a supportive pace is in itself stimulating, fascinating and enjoyable – however on a deeper level compared to experiencing my environment as stimulating.


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Day 426: Planning/Structuring My Next Move

Creating a structure, a plan, a way to go, it takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes, it feels like its not worth it. Hell, why not just go for it immediately? At least, that has been the case for me. Well, I have now come to see things differently.

I am actually in the midst of removing rust from my car. It has not been a particularly difficult process, until that is, I got to the part where I have to varnish the car. Then things started to become complicated, because in order to have the reparation blend in with the old varnish, there are certain techniques that must be used. Unfortunately, I learned these techniques AFTER I had begun with my project, which again shows the importance of STRUCTURE and PLANNING. The natural progression in my case would have been that I first sat down to do research on the techniques of how to remove rust and the varnish the car effectively. And then to go out and apply it in reality. However, because I was so eager, excited, and also, a bit arrogant, I went out and into action without hesitation.

However, there have been more complications. In the middle of varnishing the car, I ran out of color. And now, I have two spots on the car where there is no varnish, and usually, it takes a couple of weeks for the color to arrive when ordered, and hence, I might have to abort mission in the middle of the process, and then return to it at a later stage to do it again. If, I would have prepared all the ingredients, all the tools, all the things I need, BEFORE, I started the project, and hence committed myself to following a STRUCTURE, I would not have this problem.

These are all examples of why structure is important, and also examples of situations where structure has not been applied sufficiently.

Thus – the solution – to SLOW DOWN – and BEFORE I begin the ACTION part of a project – to do my research – to prepare – to plan – to consider the application and movement to come – and THEN – to go into ACTION. And obviously – with some things, there is not much to be planned or considered, and with other things there are many points to contemplate, especially those that I am not familiar with.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist applying structure, because I feel that it is boring, there is no ACTION in it, I do not get anywhere, it is just discussing and planning, looking at the point, no MOVEMENT, and hence I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define action and movement as only being the part of a project where I DO something PHYSICALLY that has an immediate and direct impact on the point I am walking – not seeing, realizing and understanding, that a successful project, a successful application, has many other dimensions to it, that impact on a indirect level, such as for example an effective STRUCTURE, an effective PLAN

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not push myself to apply structure, consideration, planning in my life – to push myself to before I begin something, to plan and structure my actions, to while I am in the middle of a project, to push myself to structure and plan my actions, to not go wild into spontaneous action believing that this is the most effective route to go, because I see, realize and understand, that many times it is not – and in-fact – I will have to re-do the project – or I will end up dissatisfied with the results – because I have not applied myself to the level that I am capable of doing

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that even though creating a structure and a plan takes time, it will show in the final result, it will show in how I walk the point, because when I plan, when I use a structure, I am able to be more relaxed and confident, because I know where I am going, and I know where I am, and I am able to see as well when things do not progress as I see is best – and then act

Self commitment statements

When and as I see myself resisting to sit down and plan, structure and consider a project/movement/direction that I am intending to walk – I stop myself – I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that when I take the time to plan, structure and consider my movement, and prepare myself beforehand – I always end up with better results – I am more satisfied and more content with myself – and when I am done – I know the project has not been walked haphazardly – and hence – I commit myself to PLAN, STRUCTURE, PREPARE and CONSIDER my movement/direction/application within a project BEFORE I move into the ACTION-phase – to as such support myself to achieve the best results possible


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Day 425: Revisiting STRUCTURE

This week I have returned to look at the word STRUCTURE and one person that supports me a lot when it comes to practically applying and living this word is my partner, because in many areas of her life, she is very structured – and one such area is cooking.

When I was younger, my way of cooking used to be very chaotic. Let us say that I were supposed to cook beef, potatoes and some sauce. I would then throw myself into it without prior considerations, and probably, begin frying the meat, while at the same time trying to peel the potatoes and stirring the sauce, hence creating a very chaotic environment for myself – thus no structure.

Through my partner, I have come to appreciate planning, preparation and considering the process of cooking before embarking on the journey. Hence, what I do now, is that I will prepare all the raw material, before I begin to do something with it. Hence I will peel all the potatoes, I will cut the meat, and I will pick out the ingredients for the sauce. By doing this, I have been able to create a much more relaxing and rewarding relationship with cooking, and obviously, I have become a better cook. Though, there are still points that I want to improve and expand upon in relation to my cooking.

The first point is to learn to slow down to read the recipe, preferably two times, so that I make sure that I know the steps needed to be walked to cook the dish. This practice of slowing down and looking/investigating/researching before I move and act is actually something that I would like to integrate in other parts of my life as well – because I have a tendency of moving too fast. When I get excited about something, I want to move NOW – however – the problem with this is that I will then many times miss points and make unnecessary mistakes, that could have been easily prevented with a little bit of forethought.

Another cool example of living structure that I realized as of late had to do with removing rust on my car. I had been thinking of removing the rust for a while, however, I had only thought about it, and not really planned how I would do it, for instance, where I would park the car, what kind of materials I would use, how long it would take, etc. Then one day, I just began, I put the car outside and started removing the rust spots, and naturally, it began to rain as I was applying the new coating. I stopped, and looked at what I was doing. I could see and feel that I was moving in a state of stress and excitement, I wanted to move, move, move, and get done, move ahead, apply – however – in that state of stress/excitement – I was missing to PLAN and take into CONSIDERATION my environment – and effectively preparing myself and my surroundings so that I would be able to walk through my project successfully.

I then decided to change direction. I used about two hours to clear out the garage, to prepare a work bench, electricity and effective lightning, preparing my environment for the operation I was about to commence, until I satisfied and content. Then I began anew with my project, and this time it flowed A LOT better.

Thus, similar to cooking, in making minor reparations on my car, it is very supportive to prepare, plan, look ahead, and structure my movement and my environment, before moving on to the actual production. Though, it is fascinating, that at times, this preparatory phase does not feel as real, as important, as significant as the actual ‘production’ phase – and I will actually resist spending the necessary time, preparing the point. However, this is a faulty proposition, because ALL parts of the project, is in-fact, however indirectly, connected to the actual production, and will all have an influence on the finished result. And it is the same with cooking. The cooking process will be a lot less stressful, and hence, there will be more time to direct the specifics, and make sure that the details are in place.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to jump immediately to the ‘productive phase’ of a particular project/expression and not prepare or structure my movement beforehand, and hence, I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, how it is that I am in-fact compromising the finished result, compromising my expression, because structuring, and preparing, are actually important aspects of the process and indirectly impacts the finished result of whatever it is that I am participating within

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that by placing focus on the finished result and the direct actions that result in the finished result, and not looking at the entire process of creation as a whole, I am limiting myself and my movement within the point, and I am compromising the finished result, as I am not allowing myself to structure my movement, to create a sound foundation from which I am able to move and create myself and express myself within the particular project that I am taking part in

Self-commitment statement

When and as I feel stress, excited and anxious to get going, and I want to move on a project without structuring it, preparing for it, and considering the walking of the project, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand, that I have consistently proven to myself, that I will do a lot better, and the finished result will be much more effective, when I take time to structure my movement, when I take time to look at what is required and needed, and how to best facilitate my movement, and then, when I have made that plan, move myself forward – thus I commit myself to practice preparation, structure, slowing down, and using the time that I need, in order to walk a point of creation methodically and slowly, to get it done in the best way possible.


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