An Easy Life?

Lottery Winner

Lottery Winner!

He sits on the balcony surveying his domain. He takes a sip from his glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As the sweetness of the wine touches his throat, he thinks about how shitty life was for him, before winning the lottery.

Earlier he’d been watching the Cycling Road World Championship in Austria, feeling dumbfounded. Six and a half hours of hard racing to culminate in a 28% mountain climb stated as being “worse than hell.” Absolutely extraordinary. None of that for him, he preferred, an easy life.

Into his second bottle of wine now he was feeling pleasantly drunk. He burped and felt the familiar acid reflux he’d become accustomed to. He’d also noticed his jeans had become a little tight around the waist of late, no problem, larger jeans would sort that. A quick swig of antacid medication, before the pizza delivery, would also be wise.

The Belief in The Lottery

If you play the lottery you might be a little surprised by the following revelation; yet you might also, be thankful. There are approximately 1,700 people killed on British roads each year. With there being approximately 31,000,000 registered UK cars, we can be reasonably assured, the chances of being killed whilst driving, are quite slim.

In the 23 years the lottery has been running it’s made 5,000 millionaires. During the same period of time, 39,100 people have lost their lives, in motoring related accidents. In the UK just over 31,000,000 people play the lottery every week. Put simply, if you believe in the lottery, it’s probably time to get off the roads.

Selling Illusions and Dreams

Selling illusions has become a very popular game. In fact we’re sold illusions by the bucket load every single day. Oh yes, bucket loads of nonsense, stuffed up us, in lots and lots of differing ways.

The selling power of the lottery is of course based on the erroneous belief money buys happiness. An illusion. It also works through the belief becoming rich is difficult. Some find becoming rich a byproduct of being happy! Have you ever wondered how?

Money is a great facilitator to experiences that might enhance life, but it will never buy happiness, per se. How we find happiness is a state of mind and a belief in itself. What to ponder here, is the paradoxical nature, of how playing the lottery, actually reduces happiness.

The Facts

Each week millions of people lose at the lottery. We could say playing the lottery is a losers game. The reality is, each week, people who believe money buys happiness, are spending what they can ill afford, on an illusion fuelled by dreams.

Twitter

I follow Richard Branson’s twitter account and noticed his most recent endeavour in this tweet. I can tell you for a fact, you don’t need to be a millionaire, to afford a bottle to piss in! Or for it to save your life. As Mr Branson will surly tell you, happiness lies in creativity, success, and living life to the full. Although, he’s also very good at selling the general public, what they believe in. Or perhaps that’s just the girl taking advantage. Here’s the story, make up your own mind.

Easy Life?

Suffice to say, stop spending money on illusions, and find happiness the easy way. If we do nothing about them, dreams remain in the world of fantasy. Live well and start climbing mountains. It’s the only real way to gain respect.

Erebus Memories

Erebus Memories

Ships and Explorers

Last night I attended a talk from the globe-trotting Monty Pythoner, Michael Palin. He’s currently doing the rounds promoting his new book Erebus (the story of a ship).

All very interesting and informative, especially if you’re interested, in the history of nautical exploration and sunken treasure. This post isn’t a review of Mr Palin’s book or talk, however, I would like it to act as a lead-in to the subject of exploration.

After last night’s history lesson, I’m in no doubt at all, about the bravery exhibited by the nautical explorers of past and present

Be it circumnavigating the world, climbing mountains or charting new territory, explorers are a certain breed. Individuals who are prepared to move out of their comfort zone, and into the unknown, set us all fabulous example. We could say they’re the epitome of the tenacious human spirit.

The vast majority of us don’t find our way into the history books

Most of us live out our lives occasionally making small triumphs – that may seem quite large to us – and we do our best to make a difference. In this sense we could say that from day-to-day, to a greater or lesser extent, we’re all explorers of life. Of course we are and sometimes we need to move into uncharted territory.

From a Personal Development perspective

The exploration, into uncharted territory, begins when we’re able to physically map out the links and connections, that make us who we are. The ability to see and understand, in plain sight, the processes involved in how our minds move from one belief to another, has proved to be an invaluable resource for early explorers. It enabled them to see how the mind restricts itself through its internal maps.

The  nautical explorers of the past, moved their ships beyond the edges, of the known

They moved beyond their maps and charts. For us to follow their example, means we’re able to break into new ground, and become greater then the sum of our parts. To become more than the sum of our beliefs. To be shown in clear and simple terms, how to move beyond the restrictions of our limiting beliefs, is unique.

Being the explorers that broke into new territory, came at great cost, to those of HMS Erebus. As can be seen though, due to the endeavours of those early explorers, we all benefit from their courage.

We’ve ‘come out of the dark’ as a result of their courage

The GOLD Counselling Methodology along with the Create Beautiful Partnerships philosophies are exclusive to The Freedman College and its associates. The first step, into your exploration and development, can be found here. Come out of the dark.

Standardisation

Standardisation

The only standardisation needed

We love our labels, categories and types don’t we? We believe we’re making things easier for ourselves by doing this. Are we not in some ways limiting ourselves though?

Seeking to fit people into type or category has an effect on our expectations. If for example, before meeting someone, you were told they had Autism, your expectations would seek out any ‘unusual’ characteristics they might display. You would label and categorise such a person in your mind. This would then influence and limit (depending on any fear or prejudices you might have) the outcome of any interaction with them.

The alternative, of remaining ignorant to any kind of label or type, means your experience – and therefore future outlook – of an Autistic person, would be entirely different.

It’s not unlike a person who’s been given an expectation relating to someone with a hearing impairment. The hearing impaired often face difficulties in how people interact with them. At times they feel insulted in how they’re spoken to. It’s the expectations and beliefs of others (the common misconception that deaf means stupid) that’s the driver here. This creates the vile outcome of being spoken to in a manner that’s suggestive of them having greater disability than they actually do. In fact, hearing difficulties tied to Autism, can mean quite the opposite.

*Hyper-vigilant or hyper-aware individuals can experience tinnitus and deafness that is in direct correlation to how stressed and aware they feel  

As an individual, who’s lived with hearing issues most of my life, I have actually experienced such a situation. To make matters worse I’ve often been abused and bullied by those who see disability as weakness. It’s fortunate I realise, those who seek out – what they believe to be a weakness – in order to feel powerful, are the kind of people I need not be bothered with.

It’s the standardisation that we all live with that creates these kind of prejudices

Be it racism, sexism or prejudice against the disabled, it’s the attempted standardisation of us all, that’s the cause. Sometimes children have a lot to teach us in regard to how they see through this. Children don’t see issues with disabilities race or gender, because they’ve yet to be infected with the beliefs and prejudices, of the adults around them. There is such a thing as a beautiful naivety.  

Indeed we are all different and so seeking to standardise people is a very limiting state of affairs. However, there is one thing I believe we must all be taught, as standard.

Self-love is a concept that needs to be a standardised understanding

When we’re able to truly love ourselves, because we’ve been taught how to do this from an early age, I believe much, if not most of our current mental health issues, would not arise in the first place.

Teaching a child how to love themselves, is a very easy process, provided the adults who care for them, understand it themselves

Self-love is the ability to put one’s own well being as a priority, but never at the expense of another. Personal responsibility must be fundamentally tied into our universal understanding of self-love. Another way to put this is through the concept of healthy-selfish.

Healthy-selfish is when we put ourselves first without guilt

Healthy-selfish is when we’re compassionate and loving toward our fellow man, only because it selfishly gives us pleasure, to do so. If we fail to gain pleasure, from being giving and loving to others, it’s because we’re mistaking self-centered, for selfish. Potentially we’ve yet to move on from self-centeredness if we expect others to fix our problems, love us, or take responsibility for us. Selfish and self-centered are two very different states. The latter belongs in childhood.

If we were to teach self-love – understanding it to be a prerequisite for a healthy mind – we’d have a far greater chance of removing all other types of standardisation. We’re on good solid foundations when we fully understand and possess self-love.

It’s important to realise, the aim of standardising this one thing, would be to raise human awareness. It’s teaching children adult prejudices and beliefs that reduces this.

*Proper rest is important for such an individual.

Fathers

Fathers

As religious beliefs collapse fathers will need to take a stronger role

Through my personal experience and view of the world, I see that religion, has often acted as a paternal parent. From Jesus to the prophet Muhammad, all have been placed, as father figures. It could be said this is no bad thing. Guiding father figures are obviously something young boys need. The problem lies in the fact, that these father figures from the past, have grown not just old, but outdated too. The teachings of the past are barely relevant to modern day thinking now.

We all know the best and most loved parents and grandparents are those that are wise and also up to date.

The unfortunate reality, is that much of the ancient guidance from the likes of Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus, has lost its appeal. More than ever, boys need fathers that are not only wise and up to date, but also present and alive.

It’s my opinion, that the current troubles and unrest of the world, will increase before an equilibrium is found. This equilibrium – or peaceful state – will be achieved when fathers begin to guide and love their sons as the Prophets of the past intended.

These Prophets had humanities best interests at heart

They believed they were guided by a force higher than themselves. Modern life has questioned the validity of these beliefs, and as such, religion – unless if evolves very quickly – will continue to fade away into the past. As it does fade, proper parenting, from mature and responsible fathers, will need to take its place.

What does, and will always remain relevant to this day, is the human capacity to love

It has never been the responsibility of fictional gods, or the words of religious leaders for that matter, to care for our children. It’s absent, irresponsible fathers, that have made it so. Fathers must learn how to love their sons and daughters in ways that set us all free. Once we’re able to universally agree on love as a natural aspect of human nature – by removing the confusion, bigotry and hypocrisy, taught by the religious – peace will be within our grasp.

Its experience, constant questioning, and an objective point of view, that has taught me the relevance and accuracy of this definition:

‘Love and the ability to teach it, is wanting and needing to empower your partner and children to evolve into whole human beings who are free of fear, because that process gives you pleasure, freedom from your own fear, and brings you closer to wholeness’ – CBP

Following this ethos is to remove the clutter and confusion created by corrupted minds. The Chinese whispers of time, and the corruptive nature of power hungry men, has sought to weaken a force that time itself can never alter. The power of love.

Love, when found in its purest form, is beyond time and space. Find this, and peace is something you discover, from within yourself. Within, is the place where it all, begins.

Turn to Love

Turn to Love

The Children

There’s no denying fear is a very powerful force. Look at what’s happening in the world right now. Political games, war games, attempted murder, cold blooded murder, terrorism, and everything inbetween. The ability to separate ourselves from all this nonsense is a little like watching a board game from above. When there’s no fear within ourselves, we’re able to see the power games, being played out.

For it’s fear that drives the need for power

When we look at people through the eyes of mature love we’re able to do something very powerful. We’re able to see little boys and girls fighting for supremacy in the playground. These previously hidden children, we’re now clearly able to see, could be anybody. They might even be world leaders.

Losing the child within

It’s only possible to lose the child within, when the adults we must become, take control. Is it an adult who commits murder or is it the frightened child within? A true adult would never take a life. He would value his self too greatly. So what of the world leaders who sanction wars and assassinations? Are they frightened children too? Of course they are. The peaceful loving leaders are the adults. They seem quite thin on the ground right now.

Turning to Love

It could be said, that in order to turn to love, we need to be grown first. It could be said, that in order for a world leader to lose his fear and turn to love instead, he’d need to have been shown what it is to be grown. There is truth in that, however, I believe it’s a choice. He or she either continues to behave in an egotistical fearful manner, that belongs in childhood, or he turns to love. It is possible to find out what love is, and what its true power is, through research.

This information is available. So why don’t these world leaders look it up and set their people free? It’s potentially because they’ve become intoxicated by there own lust for power. A lust for control that’s become so powerful. Powerful, because it diminishes their fear. It diminishes their loneliness.

‘The reality of loneliness is a dislike of the self’ – CBP

The power of love helps us to accept some fundamental truths, like this one:

‘We are all alone, because it’s impossible for any other person to be part of our mind, body or soul. No-one will ever share the same thoughts, feelings or belief systems, in exactly the same way as another, this, is to be alone’ – CBP

Many frightened and controlling people are simply seeking to avoid this truth. They’re trying to cure the pain of their loneliness with power over others. Their power to instill fear in others diminishes their own. It’s only those who fully understand the implications of our aloneness that understand the power of love. They fully understand the need for love.

It’s love of ourselves that cures our loneliness

Nothing else will do

We need some leaders who get this. We need some leaders who can help us grow. Mature love supersedes fear every, single, time. Turn to love and the fear melts away.

A Determination to Make Life Easier

Determination

The way in which we make life harder for ourselves is extraordinary. From my own experiences I know this to be the case. We seek happiness and fulfilment, and this is often at great cost, to our peace of mind. At great cost, because instead of a calm, level-headed approach to our goals, we create turmoil through doing things that are in direct opposition to this. We go for a run and then sit down with a pint of beer. We spend a fortune with our therapist, mentor or coach, and then return home to our horribly unhealthy, toxic relationship. So it’s not the seeking happiness and fulfilment that’s the issue, it’s doing those things that upset our direction and purpose, that is.

Driven

We’re understandably driven to achieve great things and yet do so much that’s directly opposed to this. We’re often very determined to make some positive changes in our lives, but so many of us easily drift back into old, self-destructive patterns. Through this, we’re actually making life harder for ourselves. We know it on one level, yet can’t seem to stop ourselves from carrying out our little methods, for self-destruction. We could all make life so much easier for ourselves by understanding why and how we do this.

Conflict

For example, think of the determination we humans often show in turning our lives around by becoming fit and well. Now think of the determination we demonstrate at achieving its opposite. We seem to require a reward for our hard work that’s ‘other’ than the goal we’re actually striving for. 

You’ve been for a run (or whatever) and the rewards must be the feelings associated with this alone. Not the slice of cake or pint of beer! Confusingly, perhaps we’re drawn into creating toxic relationships. Why, when we’re working so hard to love ourselves, are we pulled towards cruel and unkind people? We seem to actively go out of our way to bring cruel and destructive people into our lives. How? Why? By focusing our minds we’re able to recognise the how and why.

Determination

Two Steps Forward

Eating that slice of cake or drinking that pint of beer is of course pleasurable, however, the next time we go for a run we’re having to fight those added few pounds. We’re having to work harder through the belief we need the sugary rewards. We’re having to fight the poison of alcohol.

Much of this reward system harks back to childhood, so we must look to put away, those things of childhood. When we do, life becomes easier. We need the abusers in our life because they potentially represent our true feelings of self-worth. In order to love ourselves fully, we must rid ourselves of the abusers, only then can we truly learn to love. It may seem hard to extinguish these people from our lives, yet we must recognise how they’re perpetuating, the problem. 

Determination

Yes, be determined, and make sure your determination is directed and focused. Have goals, seek fulfilment, and more of the love life has to offer. Most importantly, notice the internal battles. Two steps forward, followed by one step back, can be extremely frustrating, and in the long term, it’s detrimental to our health. Notice the methods used for this. Remove the unnecessary rewards system and the abusers from your life. Make it easier. Grow.

Stop Asking: “Am I Happy?” and Start Asking: “Am I Fulfilled?”

Fulfilment

So says the philosophy

It’s interesting isn’t it? Can we be happy and not fulfilled? I think the fairly obvious answer is yes. We can of course be happy in our everyday activities. In fact, if we follow certain philosophies, we can be happy every moment of everyday, simply by being in the now moment. Doing everything mindfully, be it washing up to playing with the kids, if we do these things with our full attention, we can be happy. So says the philosophy.

What concerns me though, is how following this philosophy – and only asking if we’re presently happy – we might actually be missing something fundamental: Our deeper purpose.

From a personal perspective I’m the sort of person who can be very happy with routine. Breaking routine is something I often find difficult. It’s the predictability of routine that creates a kind of safety net. I’m not on my own with this. And so for myself and most others, it is important we open things up, by asking that second question in my title: ‘Am I fulfilled?’

“By asking this question we’re creating a void”

As you might know, the mind abhors a vacuum, and will always seek to fill it. We can use this principle in a constructive way when we understand it. As with asking the secondary question [Am I fulfilled?] we can also use it to help with the more mundane. Consider when we can’t remember someone’s name, or some other detail, and as soon as we consciously lose the search in our memories, our unconscious provides the answer. A name, or whatever it might be we’re searching for (keys, purse or wallet,) the answer just pops into our awareness. Magic.

So, even though we can be happy in the present moment now, be cautious with this, and always ask the secondary question: Am I fulfilled?

Happiness is a belief

Our beliefs in happiness will always be subjective. We believe we’re happy, but are we? In this moment now we are, and compared to someone who’s currently experiencing difficulties, we might also be. However, what about the happiness experienced by people who’re fulfilled?

Fulfilment

It could be that in order to feel fulfilled you’d need a family around you. You might not currently have this and as such seek it. Perhaps fulfilment for you would be finally reaching that metaphorical mountain top. Without seeking this fulfilment – be it in your career or some other goal – we might just wander aimlessly not really experiencing the full range of our emotions and potential experiences. If we’re not cautious, we can become trapped in moving from one moment to the next (believing we’re happy,) without actually achieving the greatness, we’re capable of.

We all have a valuable and useful legacy to leave behind. Ask your question now and consider how a Personal Development Workshop can help you find fulfilment.    

Be Yourself By Design

Ownership

The Wonder of It All

Sometimes I sit and ponder about the wonder of it all: the fact that I’m alive and conscious at this moment in history; at this moment in time. Just pondering on consciousness can while away hours. And how about our place in the universe? What about planet earth? A spinning globe sitting near a star we call the sun. A solar system on the arm of an indistinct galaxy. Itself a cluster of millions of stars that sits amongst billions of other galaxies, each with millions, if not billions of stars of their own. All of it moving; travelling; expanding and changing. How lucky we are.

Other times I realise the importance of not pondering too much and simply getting on with it. The importance of doing. Understanding the significance of our good fortune though, does make being here, a little more important.

When becoming involved with Personal Development it won’t take long for you to come across the expression ‘own yourself.’ I think the concept works well enough, especially if you’re a survivor, from a difficult past. A past where the adults around you took ownership of you through emotional and/or physical abuse. Amongst many other things, the effects of abuse, can be a detachment from the self. A sleepy lack of awareness. There can be a lack of identity or an inability to form a clear sense of direction. This is where design comes into play.

“The alternative to design is an aimless drift through life just following instinctive, unconscious drivings, or conditioning”

A man I know, who suffers from poor health, raised a flag for me today. He’s an overweight diabetic in his fifties. Circulation problems are the cause of his bad feet. His bad teeth are hardly worth a mention. With all these problems he continues to smoke, eat junk food (hence suffering with painful hemorrhoids,) and he drinks to excess. There’s no plan or design to his life, in fact, to me, it would seem his plan, is to die before his time. And to not die well either. He spoke to me this morning about having just returned from a holiday:

‘How was it?’ I enquired,

“It was alright I suppose, got pissed a lot, it was all inclusive.”

So much for sightseeing. But then again he can’t walk too far.

Tipping Point

I think about the tipping point. At what point did he decide to not do anything about his health? To me, it seems as if this individual, has decided to not change. That he’s decided the road he’s on has no turn offs or crossroads. What would it take for this lonely, unhealthy man, to wake up and make a plan to survive? Would a fascination, a curiosity for his good fortune, do the trick? Perhaps an appreciation of life? Is it ownership he needs?

“It can never be understated how important a design for life is”

If he’d made a plan to live well from an early age, are we able to imagine life working out differently, for unhealthy man? He’d probably tell you he did make a plan: “but it all went wrong!” Eldest son on drugs, ex-wife that hates him, crap job, very little money, no future. Even so, it’s never too late and I feel that if he took ownership, not just of himself, but of the good fortune life has offered him, he might live a little longer.

He could find the motivation to change. As far as the plan he might have made when young is concerned, well, it can go wrong if we don’t own ourselves to begin with. If we don’t own our mind.

Ownership

Owning ourself (our mind) can only happen once we know ourselves. If we have very little knowledge of the alternative, unconscious design, our minds may hold for us, it can be a little like trying to train a puppy, whilst he has greater interest in a juicy bone.

A real and tangible understanding of our mind, along with the effects non-ownership can have – and the role of others in this regard – empowers us to take charge.

Ownership

Design  

Sometimes there’s a need to design exactly who we want to be before we’re able to take ownership. Let’s face it, we’re more inclined to desire ownership of something that’s been lovingly designed, are we not? When we’re fully in control, of who draws the plans for this design, ownership becomes an easy consequence. Take charge, make a plan for 2019 that includes Personal Development. You can find your application form here

Simple Solutions

Solution

The Simplest Solution is The Most Likely to be True

A man goes to a doctors surgery complaining about a rash on his face. The first doctor diagnoses rosacea and prescribes antibiotics. After the drugs course has been completed the man returns to the surgery reporting no change. A second doctor now gives his opinion and diagnoses seborrheic dermatitis and prescribes gentle use of Nizoral shampoo on the face and head. Over a period of months the skin condition persists and never fully clears up. Eventually, the patient gives up on chemical treatments, and starts a regime of washing his face twice a day with soap and water. Within two weeks his skin condition has completely cleared.

At no point did anyone ask the patient how often he washes. The simplest solution is the most likely to be true.

We’re Often Taught to Seek Complicated Time Consuming Solutions

Venturing down rabbit holes and navigating complicated mazes might seem more interesting, and yet in the long term, it wastes time and energy. When we instantly jump to the cleverest, most costly, or most common solution, paradoxically, we might miss a beautiful truth, that saves time and resources. Over and over again it’s been proven that the simplest solution is always the best. Even though this is the case, we so easily allow this understanding, to give us the slip.

Over complicate

It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature that we over complicate and intellectualise things. This is a game of one-upmanship that has a lot to do with the ego’s need to boost itself. “Look at how complicated you are and confused you’ve become. Oh how clever it makes me look!” The thing is, simple is the true smart, and as such, it’s often the hardest to find.

Finding Simple

In order to efficiently find the easiest solutions we must change our thinking. We need to bring our thinking down a level. For example, it’s so easy to assume, that the emotional problems we inevitably encounter in life, are likely to have complicated causes. Problems never start off complicated. Every problem has a simple root cause.

Even though it’s us that’s creating our problems in the first place, we’re being conditioned to think, that they’re out of our personal control. Many professionals are overly keen to take our responsibilities out of our hands.

All we need do is understand the principle – of the root cause always being simple – and we take back our power

Once again we have an unfortunate aspect of human nature to blame. We each lust for power – relevant to the individual – and gaining power over each other, is one of our most treasured, and popular games. We obviously feel the need to place others in positions of power, and even though we seek to safeguard ourselves against their lust, these safeguards often fail us. Potentially the simple solution is to look within.

Solution

Looking Within

When we look within we’re asking our inner voice to guide us. We’re asking for the solution to be presented to us in it’s simplest form. For example, when we seek the solution from within (our inner voice) to any kind of unrest – be this self-harm or violence in our societies and prisons – we take back the responsibilities previously handed on to those in power. When we all take responsibility, we simplify the solution, and cure the problem.

Solution

Listen

With the above examples – be it face washing, self-harming or prison violence – the simple answer, is they’re all as a consequence, of neglect. Whether it’s visiting doctors, cutting arms or smashing prison cells, all are a call for attention. That attention is called love. This is the simple solution we’re all so willing to ignore; we’re neglecting ourselves; our inner voice. Stop the neglect. Be quiet. Ask your inner voice and listen. Love Yourself.

 

Tao Wisdom

Night/Day Tao Wisdom

Here’s a quote from ancient Tao wisdom:

“Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honoured or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.” – Lao Tzu

Now initially, and to put it in descriptive, layman’s terms, I though this was utter bollocks! However, I have since given this some thought, and now realise it is in fact very clever, very clever indeed, and I’ll tell you why.

“It’s recently come to my understanding, that the only true way to influence people, is through example. It’s not what you say; it’s not what you write, it’s all about what you do.”

Tao Wisdom

What you do and how you act will ultimately be reflected on the inside. In other words, how you behave toward others, becomes your internal reality, as the behaviour of others, becomes a direct reflection of you.

Treat people unkindly and they will seemingly return this behaviour. This also works in the opposite direction. In other words, if your mind is full of conflict, confusion, anger and bitterness, ultimately, you will become an angry and bitter individual on the outside also.

And so with this in mind, let’s say you adopted the attitude of the Tao and simply pretended to be a calm, well adjusted individual. Would this mean that in time you’d become that very person? Well, you would if you knew how to ‘act’ in a calm and well adjusted, manner.

This is where the living by example comes into play. Living by example means you need not say anything, write anything or indeed strive for anything, other than what you are at root: a calm, loving and well adjusted individual.

Tao Wisdom

Believe it or not that is exactly what you are. The keywords used here are: “at root.” When we get to the root of who we are, we’ve cracked it, and the way to do this is to follow someone who sows this example. Simple.

“In actual fact, this is the true power of counselling and mentoring. The counselling-mentor need not tell you anything of themselves or advise you in any way whatsoever.”

Quite simply, the age old questions such as: “and how does that make you feel?” Or “what do you imagine would be the best solution?” are a cleverness we often overlook.

However infuriating it might seem, when the counselling-mentor simply reflects back your thoughts and words, so as to act as a sounding board, they’re following (albeit unknowingly) the ‘way of the Tao.’

Time, they say, is a great healer, and when it comes to the time it might take to discover peace of mind, and therefore understand what truly matters in life, through following simple example… well… what can I say? It could take a lifetime. Perhaps the real secret, is to have more than one. Who knows.

Life & Tao Wisdom

All in all, if you’ve been shown good example through your childhood or early adulthood, from those you love, it makes you a very lucky and fortunate individual indeed. If not, find someone whom you believe to have a beautiful life, and study how and what they do; follow their example.

You may think wealth, and all it brings, is the way to a beautiful life. You might have some people in mind you could model yourself on. If so, good luck. It’s my belief though, that it really doesn’t have much to do with money at all, it’s more about love. I see – we all see – that money is important, and we also see the importance of love.

Tao Wisdom

And so to break the rules of the Tao for a moment, I will share this small piece of wisdom with you, if I may:

“Love and money are a little like oil and water, they simply don’t mix. So, if you want a beautiful life, find some people to model yourself on, who have plenty of that magic ingredient called love, in theirs.” א 

When Your Best is Enough

Given Your Best

“How many of us reach a point where we know, with absolute certainty, that we’ve given our best and it’s good enough?”

The subject of doubt and uncertainty touched on here, directly opposes the feelings associated with knowing – without any doubt whatsoever – that we’ve done the best we can. The best we can with the skills and resources we have available.

We could now ask: if we had greater skill and resources could we do better? It’s certainly the case, at the very least, we would do things slightly differently given greater skills and resources, but does this amount to better?

“There must come a point when we see the product of our labour as being just what it is: enough”

Does a painter keep returning to their masterpiece over and over again? They may look to refine certain areas of their work; we know the masters of the past often repainted areas, in an attempt to improve matters, and yet there must be a point, even with works of art, where enough is enough.

“How do we reach this point of certainty? How do we actually manage to make the decision that something we’ve created is good enough?”

If we continue to question our work we eventually fail. What would happen if a surgeon became unsure, kept their patient anaesthetised, and went back to the wound again and again? Obviously, just as the disease did in the first place, the operation would begin to endanger the life of the subject. We must stop, and if the patient still doesn’t make it, we must be certain that we did our best or suffer ourselves.

Best Resources

So once again, how do we reach this crucial decision? Well, based on our area of expertise, it comes down to expectations built on beliefs. What do we believe our best looks, sounds, and feels like?

Can we use the example of Vincent van Gogh? What expectation did he have before he started painting The Sunflowers? It could be that genius has a lot to do with having no expectations and beliefs of what best is. That there was no before, in his mind.

Genius or not, the decision to stop painting, is simply that: a decision. And that is based on the need to end one thing, and move on to another; the need for change, and the opportunity to do things differently, rather than better.

What will your next project be?

Be Gentle with Yourself

Real

Some days we feel like interacting with people. We feel like smiling, engaging and conversing. Others day’s, we don’t. So what?

As touched on in a previous post, accepting the negatives, and just going with the flow, establishes us as a real person. People see us as genuine and human when we can easily say: “you know what? Today I just don’t feel like talking much.”

Striving for perfection, constantly looking for that next mountain to climb, can make us seem a little too ‘much.’ We must get real and acknowledge that shit does happen. In fact, the more we’re able to say and accept this, the sooner we move on from it. It’s the trying too hard, to be constantly upbeat and positive about life, that makes us seem a little contrived and false. Being a real human being makes us more acceptable to those around us. We ALL have off days.

It is okay to be imperfect.

Be imperfectly perfect.

You might not feel like exercising today; you might even feel like having a day where you eat and drink, doing everything and anything you want. This might include sitting on the sofa eating cake, and if it does, do it. Be free. You’re human and there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Some days it’s good to yield, and let go. Accept that you’re okay and give yourself a little breathing space. Today there is nothing wrong with feeling wrong. Wholeness, hasn’t anything to do with perfection or correctness, it has everything to do with the acceptance of you.

The Lack of Conversation

Conversation

Cut Through the Charade

We humans have devised many games. From card games and scrabble to those played out on the world stage, all thought up, as a means of entertaining the human mind. Our games are useful in many ways: entertainment and honing healthy competitive spirit, make just two examples.

“It could be said that the majority of human interaction is a form of gameplay”

We could take the average conversation between two men as example. A conversation might start off harmless enough but then easily develop into an ego driven pissing contest. Who’s got the biggest house, prettiest wife, most powerful, biggest means of transport, most money, best job etc., is quite often the theme of idle ‘chat’ between men. Gameplay.

This is exactly what could have happened to me last night if I’d of allowed it. A gentle hello could very easily have turned into a ‘who’s got the biggest cock’ contest. However, if you’ve no need or desire to get your cock out and start measuring, this sort of conversation is very easily cut short. Ego driven gameplay is often at the root of most conversations between homo sapiens (Latin: wise men).

“Ego driven conversation is often awkward and stilted – and mostly one way – especially when one of the participants is seeking to build self-esteem at the cost of another”

Most people are only talking to themselves and have very little interest in what you have to say. It often takes a lot of skill and determination to remain silent and allow ego driven gameplay to fizzle out. Eventually, everybody tires of talking to themselves. In fact, it’s only when we take a real interest in what someone has to say, does it stop being a game. 

“Surly it would be easier to get your cocks out and have a good look”

One other strategy would be to repeat back the very words someones using. Obviously not verbatim, but now and again, cleverly adding different inflection to their words. You could probably do this for some time until the dullard realises you’re taking the piss. Be warned though, they might get very angry and frustrated at your cruelty, bad manners, and offensive attitude.

A Beautiful Conversation

This type of conversation is rare, very rare indeed. It’s where there’s a common interest or theme and each person has a deep respect and appreciation for the opinions, passions and beliefs, of the other. It happens when your’re listening and being listened to.

If you’d like to learn and experience this kind of conversation you will need to meet us in person. You can find your application form here. I’m listening.

The Importance of Happiness – A Stoic Mindset

The Importance of Happiness - A Stoic Mindset

During the course of life there are times when we might wonder why it can seem so cruel. The trials and tribulations we all go through can be very testing indeed. We read about the troubles of individuals, whole communities or society as a whole, and we wonder. We wonder why. Even so, dwelling on the negative is obviously best avoided, yet if we’re to live life to its fullest, we will never fully escape its harsh realities.

“Starting on a negative just then enables me to enforce the importance of its opposite: positivity. With positivity, comes happiness”

When reminded of the trials of life, it is possible to instantly neutralise the negative effects, this can have on us. We do this through switching over to a more stoic mindset.

A stoic mindset dictates that we must look to ensure our emotions don’t become the ruling influence in our lives. If we’re to be fully alive we must look to build self-control, fortitude, and a calm acceptance that life will inevitably have its trials. Although this is the case, self-control, is never gained through denial of the belief life can be cruel, but only through acceptance there will always be both negatives and positives, within it. Life and death, kindness and cruelty, will always coexist. It’s how it works here, and once we’re in a place of acceptance, it becomes a very powerful stoic approach.

In my mind, this goes some way to explaining why people who look to deny, or effect indifference to the negatives of life, don’t seem very genuine. They seem contrived, insincere and false. It’s almost as if life for them, is just one great big positive and funny film, they’re just playing a part in. The problem is, denial of life’s true nature, makes us very bad actors. Worse still, we might end up only ever being an observer of this film of life, and never fully engaging with it.

“A dull axe will do a poor job of chopping firewood, as will a dulled mind make of lighting the fires, of life”

We better fuel the fires of life when we recognise how fear smothers it. We dull our minds through seeking to avoid the harsh realities of life. This may be with drink and other drugs, or through denial, indifference or manipulative mind games played with others. In this respect, the stoic also recognises the importance of living a virtuous life; to which happiness, is intrinsically linked.

“A genuine appreciation and acceptance of life’s ups and downs, makes it, and us, more real”

So there we have it. Even though life can seem cruel and unkind, once we stoically accept it’s true nature, happiness is experienced through understanding how life must be fully lived without fear.

Ripples

Ripples and Purpose

A Beautiful Purpose

How many of us give our purpose in life a clear definition? Like the majority, we might just drift along, not really giving purpose any real thought at all. What kind of answers do we find when we ask ourselves: Do I have a purpose in life and is this something that could be easily described as beautiful?

The vast majority of us do have a tendency to follow some simple rules when it comes to purpose. At its base level, we might only want to avoid pain, and then seek out pleasure. Seeking happiness, and not thinking about too much else, means we will of course follow the majority in respect of many things. We’ll follow an established pattern that society dictates as normal or average. We’ll lead a life that pursues societies model for happiness.

Ripples and Purpose

Surly this pursuit is all fair and reasonable? Of course it is, however we must remember, the established model society has for happiness, doesn’t work for all. In fact we could say the model’s failing. The evidence – for this admittedly slightly negative outlook – is all around us. Look at the ever increasing amount of violence in our societies. Look at the rise in mental illness. Let’s look at suicide rates, self-harm, depression, drug use et cetera; but then again, let’s not hey?

“And so giving ourselves clear purpose must go some way to improving our lot in life. Aimlessly drifting, following the crowd, is for the majority”

In adolescence – during that time when we’re entering the world for real – our motivations will naturally be very self-centered. As time goes on, we become less so, and more concerned for the better good of those around us. This is especially prevalent once our thoughts move toward settling down to start a family. With this development in mind, what is suggested by many wise teachings, is that we begin – the more altruistic kind of thinking that age can bring – at a much earlier stage in life. And not just for those in our immediate vicinity.

“Having purpose in life, that involves improving the wellbeing of everyone, is beautiful on several levels”

It stands to reason, that moving our minds into a more altruistic way of thinking, is beneficial for others. What is often neglected, or overlooked by the young, is that the benefits to altruism always become a two way arrangement. We only have something once we’ve given it away.

With the alternative to altruism being self-centered drivings, the end result, can often be loneliness. We humans must never forget we’re a social animal at heart. Losing sight of the need to grow out of childish self-centeredness, could well be at the root, to many of our current problems.

Ripples and Purpose

It often takes time to fully realise the benefits to clearly defining our purpose. We can ask ourselves the question: What is my purpose for today? Or we can start each day giving ourselves the purpose of creating positive ripples. We do this by seeking to influence everyone we meet in a positive way. Think of how setting good example, teaches love of the self, and how infectious this can be. How would you set out to do this today?

We know how we do it. Contact Us if you’d like to learn more about creating positive ripples of love.

One-upmanship

For the Love of You

“Gamesmanship skills are important if we’re to make it through life in an easy and comfortable way. Understand the games of others better.”

Gamesmanship and mirrors
Gamesmanship and mirrors

You meet someone for the first time and you think: ‘Um…. not sure I like this person.’ They may seem a little conceited or arrogant or sanctimonious, or whatever. So you decide to not bother getting to know them any better and move on.

Or how about you meet someone for the first time and they come across as a lovely warm and kind person. You decide: ‘Yum… I’d like to get to know this person better,’ so you stick around.

“For the curious though, wondering what it is that makes these impressions so powerful, is an interesting way to move forward and know ourselves better.”

Put in its most basic terms – and so that we may take out any potential conundrum or confusion – all that we see, within those around us, exists within us.

Put another way, each and every person is simply a mirror of ourselves. This understanding is an extremely effective way of coming to terms with a deeper self. A deeper self the ego would prefer we didn’t see, and would prefer to protects us from (just one of the reasons why you may be dismissing what I’m currently saying).

When we know ourselves better we’re closer to becoming a whole human being, and once this is achieved, the improved comfort and ease with which we view others, helps us to lead more flowing, less stressful lives. An aspect of stress, is created when we’re less comfortable with ourselves and less at ease due to a self that harbours conflict and confusion.

blackboard5

“There’s no doubt, the world would be a much more comfortable and happier place, if we all knew ourselves better.”

Along with the understanding just given, one other thing that would make our world and your internal state more harmonious, would be to gain an explicit understanding of a game called… one-upmanship.

The way of us humans is to be in charge of each other, on one level or another, all of the time. This is particularly the case with those who lack an understanding of the self. This lack can tend to lead to less control over themselves, and those who lack control over themselves, seek control over others.

To a greater or lesser degree we all play the game of one-upmanship. Whether it be the disabled individual barging his way through crowds on pavements with his new invalid carriage. Or whether it be the individual who has achieved high status academically, both, are playing the game of one-upmanship. The game of ‘I’m better than you.’

Incidentally, there is one school of thought that suggests the disability – that put our friend in the invalid carriage to begin with – was actually gained in order to be (in their eyes) better equipped to win the game! And so what of our high achievers?

“Just how desperate are we to win this game? A game that can be particularly tricky to play as the methods employed can be very, very subtle indeed.”

Of course, the easiest way to rise above any game, is to not play it in the first place. However, knowing the rules – of the one-upmanship game – could be considered a necessary part of life if we’re to be successful, happy and prosperous.

Simply acknowledging the existence of the game, and how we may be playing it, is fundamental if we’re to advance. A prime example would be the following:

If you’re going to meet someone, be it in business or in your personal life, be on time. Poor timekeeping is part of the game, and if we’re meeting someone, who fully understands this, you’ll be creating stress and disharmony, before you’ve even started.

And so there we are, love of you, is love for everyone. This may sound a little ambitious and idealistic, yet ultimately, if we all knew our own minds and bodies better, a more harmonious world it would be.

Personalised Without Credit

Personalise

“When you don’t believe in credit nothings new and all you own has lost its hue”

I spent the majority of yesterday doing one of the things I love: motorcycle maintenance, oh yes. Now, those of you who instantly thought, this is going to be a man thing, bear with me, because it does concern us all. I’m going to talk about how to personalise.

Because I no longer believe in credit, everything I own has a certain age to it. I buy second, third or even fifth hand, and my motorcycle, now at the tender age of twenty seven, has had a few careful and not so careful owners. As you can see from the picture though, it is something I value and have spent time working on. More than anything, spending time on something, enables me to personalise it.

Take yesterday for example

Yesterday I overhauled the front brakes – replacing worn master cylinder parts – and realised it was a job that should have been done a long time ago. In fact when I bought the bike, the guy who sold it to me said: “yeah all the fluids have been changed mate” suffice to say, he was a lying turd. What’s really worrying is he’s a dealer! Tut tut. Anyway, now having done a major overhaul, I’m more confident than ever, that I can stop a quarter of a ton of motorcycle (travelling at high velocity) as quickly as I might need to. In other words I’ve personalised it.

It works in the same way when you decorate a house you’ve just bought or vacuum the snot, hair and bits of dead skin, out of a used car. By cleaning and/or decorating you get rid of the past.

Tattoos

What I’ve come to wonder about tattoos, is this: are they a way of taking ownership and personalising the body? Are the tattooed saying: this is mine now and I’m going to get rid of the past and personalise it. Did it not belong to them in the first place? I don’t know about you, but my body has always felt like mine. Although, how I look after it nowadays, is reflected in how I look after my possessions: well. It stands to reason, if you neglect things, tattooed or not, they’re going to let you down before their time.

The analogy goes on by mentioning that we mustn’t leave this kind of thing [caring for ourselves] to others. After all, others might be lying turds, and when we expect them to care for us, they can tend to take possession.

Others may have owned us, our houses, cars, and indeed motorcycles before, however, taking ownership and personalising things, does have its power. It sheds a new light on tattoos for me, that’s for sure. I might get one!

Credit

It’s true to say, when you don’t believe in credit, some of the things you own may not be shiny-new and may have lost a little of their lustre. The thing to remember though is this: when you’re free of debt, you’re no longer anyone’s slave. Yes you do need to learn patience, and potentially a little motorcycle maintenance, however, once you’ve personalised something, only then, do you truly own it.

If you’d like to personalise, and truly own your mind through better understanding it, Contact Us.