A Blogger’s Diary 10/17/20: On the Miraculous and Mundane, and A Poem

Photo by Sorasak on Unsplash

Alright, so I’ve also been reflecting upon the miraculous and mundane this week. Yep. True. Why?

Well, there was a time when the mundane was all I really saw. Pretty cynical. Yep. Also truth.

And, it is important for me to keep this truth in my awareness.

You can at one moment see the mundane in the miraculous, just as you can see the miraculous in the mundane. Yep. It is really all about what we choose to see.

Meaning that it is all about how we know ourselves; know and feel our truth. Really.

When we know and love ourselves, we see the miraculous everywhere, and love in everything and everyone. It works that way. Fun and beautiful.

Alright, a poem, here we go.

The Miraculous and Mundane

Blade of grass, mundane
in one moment
And miraculous in another

Just as a crack

in the pavement, miraculous
in one moment
And mundane in another

The viewer views, the
Creator creates, the
Miraculous or the mundane

We view and see, yet
what we see
is not always
all there is to be seen

Look closely within
And ask the questions needed, to
Set yourself free, upon,
and within this life

You can view the
miraculous everywhere,
And in everything

Remember

The miraculous is always there
awaiting your return, and
inner-knowing

Though you may think it gone
mundaneness everywhere
look again with new eyes, and
you shall see
that which was always there
and will always be

That was fun.

As you enjoy your weekend, be on the lookout for the miraculous. Take a look around and notice. Notice all of the miraculous within you, and around you. You are all, after all, miraculous human beings. Just as you are.

Have a wonderful weekend.

#blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #diary, #miraculous, #mundane, #poem, #poems, #writing

The Paradox of Love and Truth

Love Fiercely and Independently

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about the concept and practice of love? I mean really thought about why love looks and feels so different? Hm. I’ve been thinking more about love the past couple of weeks.

Thinking more about how loving fiercely is so important to our lives; and, yet, paradoxically, how living independently is also just as, even maybe more, important.

Right, well, before we get too far into our discussion, let’s define love, shall we? I know, I know. We all know what love is, right? So, why define it?

Well, I think it helps us create a specific context that will aid in our discussion of love.

Alright, here we go.

love

noun  /lʌv/ /lʌv/Idioms

[uncountable] a very strong feeling of liking and caring for somebody/something, especially a member of your family or a friend

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There.

Alright, now, what do I mean by loving independently. Well, just that. Loving fiercely, and yet loving in a way that allows you to always be who you are. Always.

Right, so here is the definition of independent. You knew I would.

independent

adjective OPAL W /ˌɪndɪˈpendənt/ /ˌɪndɪˈpendənt/

(of a country) having its own government

 confident and free to do things without needing help from other people

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Okay. Here is what we have thus far.

Generating fierce feelings of liking and caring for somebody or something, especially a member of your family or a friend, with the confidence and freedom to do things without needing help from others.

Well, that’s close, yet not quite right. Again, it’s more about always remaining true to the human being you are. Let’s try that again.

Generating fierce feelings of liking and caring for somebody or something, especially a member of your family or a friend, with the confidence and freedom to always be true to the human being you are.

There, that’s much better.

Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Why is the notion of loving fiercely and independently important?

Because if you live your life fiercely, you will do everything fiercely, love included. It works that way. And, it is beautiful.

And, to love fiercely, which is to experience vulnerability, nay, to practice it, is also beautiful; and, to do so always remaining true to the human being you are now and will be in the future is also beautiful.

Here is how Brené Brown describes loving fiercely.

“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”

― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Good Reads

You may be asking yourself, okay, and if we become dependent?

Becoming dependent on another human being happens. In fact, it, at some point, happens to us all. Yep, that is true.

Yet, we can remain true to our independent self, while also being dependent. A paradox? Yep.

In this context, independence is more about being your true self, today, and always. And, even if you are dependent on another human being, you can retain your true self, thus continuing to be independent.

That’s fun.

And, what happens when we become dependent, while not remaining true to our own true self?

Right. Well, we lose ourselves in the process. Or, rather, it is more like we bury our true selves under tons of emotional debris. It is very hard to begin the process of finding our true selves when buried that deep.

Photo by Donald Martinez on Unsplash

Yet, it is possible.

The most important thing to note is that it is the awareness that is missing.

Thus, loving fiercely while also remaining true to our true self for many remains a paradox in language, and, more than likely, in practice.

This paradox is especially true in the United States where we are socialized with a very narrow view of love, called romantic love, which, in the end, can become more like attachment. The issue?

Well, when we are attached, dependency follows, and then? We end up sacrificing the true self we know ourselves to be. Not all at once. Nope.

Yet, over time, without an awareness on how attachment and dependency function, it happens that our true self becomes, as was aforementioned, buried. Phew. Difficult.

Loving fiercely is a wonderful experience, the scope of which includes much more than romantic love.

Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash

It starts with us. How we treat our bodies and minds, which is exactly how we will treat others. Yep.

Love is such a beautiful experience. When we love all there is to love about, well, ourselves, each other, every person, and thing on this planet, it is magical. Really.

And, when we do so, while also taking care to always retain and honor our true self, guess what?

The love we hold for ourselves, and for others, is also more true. Why?

Because we are not sacrificing our true self for others. We are always true to our true self. Doing the opposite is a road full of pain and suffering.

Love you first.

Love everything about you, the way you look, the way you are, the way you feel, all of the ways you occur. You are just as you are supposed to be. Right now, at this very moment. Just so.

And?

When we really get that and feel it for ourselves, it goes out from us and spreads to everyone and everything else. Yep.

We send love inward, and it radiates outwards. A beautiful experience. Love firecily. You did, do, and will always deserve it.

#brenebrown, #dependency, #love, #loveasaparadox, #loving-yourself, #lovingfiercely, #lovingindependently, #lovingourselves, #romanticlove, #trueself, #truth

The Paradox of Servant Leadership

Why Care, Compassion, and Accountability Are Engaging

Photo by Cam Bradford on Unsplash

I’m always reflecting upon service. It’s always been a big part of my life. I started out in the “service industry” at 16, and never, really, ever looked back.

What I’ve been reflecting upon even more recently, is just how important service is in, well, everything we do. It’s not just about the work we do, in the professional sense.

It’s more about all of the work we do. All of it. And, it starts with each of us, and how we take care of and, in effect, serve ourselves. Really.

I was telling a colleague of mine today, as they prepared to train a group of local leadership, that in order to hold other people accountable, we must first hold ourselves accountable. It’s how it works.

Something this colleague knows very well indeed.

And, as was aforementioned, service is no exception to this rule. In order to serve others, we must first learn to serve ourselves.

Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash

We are all looking for places to serve. Places where we can make a difference, where we can be a part of something larger than ourselves. A paradox? Yep.

Because in order to be a part of something larger than yourself, you must first be in touch with yourself, know yourself, treat yourself with love and kindness, and hold yourself accountable to a standard.

A standard that is engaged with and committed to creating and effecting change. Changing that which we know, the status quo, with something, well, quite different.

Within this possibility, there are innumerable opportunities to serve. Fun.

Alright, ready? Good. Here we go.

Servant Leadership

I’ve written a couple of articles about servant leadership, which includes, The Blog + Video Series #14: Servant Leadership: A Practical Leadership Style for Life and Work.

The basic tenant of servant leadership is that service is paramount to leadership as a philosophy and a practice. Both.

That to lead, we must lead from a perspective that fully understands that nothing happens without the entire team; and, that, it is because of each team members contribution to the team that movement and traction are even possible.

Servant leadership upends the traditional leadership hierarchy, putting the needs of front-line workers first. Important.

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

And, as we’ve already discussed, servant leadership is, both conceptually and practically, a leadership style that works for all aspects of life.

When we take care of ourselves and lead from within, we can then take care of others and lead from without. If not, well, true leadership of any kind is impossible.

Sometimes there is confusion about servant leadership.

Meaning that people sometimes connect servant leadership to a laissez faire type context. And, servant leadership both conceptually and practically is far from that type of context.

In fact, a servant leadership context will often be full of standards and expectations that are higher than other leadership contexts. Yep. Common. Why?

Well, inside of serving, as was aforementioned, is the need to create change. Creating new possibilities, new ways of communicating, new ways of, well, doing most things.

When you create a context that is committed to changing the status quo, no matter how small or large that change is, there have to be higher standards and expectations.

And, in some cases, the highest standard must be demanded. Why?

Photo by john vicente on Unsplash

Because there is so much more to accomplish. That’s it really. More work, more movement, more traction, more change. Amazing.

And, where there is change and innovation of this magnitude, there must be great care, compassion, and accountability, both for the self, the team, and the organization. And, yep, for the nation, and the world too.

Care

What is engagement, really? When you think about that word, what do you see, or think about? Hm.

For me, I think about contexts that are brimming with challenges and difficulties, yep, and celebrations. Why?

Because when you are truly engaged with yourself, and the people around you, you will experience both. You have to.

Being engaged, is living a full life, and the giving out of that life to everyone around you. It is extremely fun and rewarding and, yep, also difficult.

All service, regardless of the context, professional or personal, requires determination, persistence, and resilience. Oh, and great care. Yep.

When you are engaged, you care. Simple. Oftentimes, people get confused and think that when things are difficult that there is a problem. A paradox? Yep.

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

When things are difficult, you are engaged, you are doing, and you are creating. No problem here.

When are there problems?

Well, if you subscribe to notions of problems, then the only time there are real problems is when there is disengagement. Where things are easy, moving simply, no speed bumps. Why?

Because, if there are no issues, nothing to overcome, then, nothing is really happening. Yep.

Now, that’s not really a problem either. Not really.

It’s only a problem if you are looking to be engaged. I always know when I am most engaged at work or in my life. How?

Because there is always, and I mean always, something to celebrate, and something to overcome. A challenge, always.

These engaging contexts also require, as was aforementioned, great care. Really. Why?

Because when you are fully engaged, and are working through issues that arise, care about all things and everyone, yourself, and all those around you, is always there.

And, that is because you are going through something.

You are developing, iterating, and, yep, in some cases, even transforming. Beautiful.

Photo by Gita Krishnamurti on Unsplash

Compassion

Because a servant leadership context is a highly engaging one, where people will bring their all every day, compassion is also required.

Compassion for yourself, for how very, very hard it is sometimes, and for those around you. Sometimes, people will decide it’s just too much, and that is okay.

There was a time when I desperately wanted everyone to stay. And, I would coach people endlessly to this end. No pun intended.

Yet, a servant leadership context is not what everyone is looking for, and that is also okay. Knowing this releases you and everyone else from an obligation that truly doesn’t exist.

And, practicing compassion is what that looks like. Understanding that people will leave. And, guess what?

It’s better for them to do so.

Better to find a context that suits them more, feels better to them, and will in the long run be much more beneficial for them. Important.

Accountability

One of the most paradoxical aspects of servant leadership is in the area of accountability. And, there was a time where accountability within a servant leadership paradigm also confused me.

The bottom line?

Accountability matters. People actually want to be held accountable to a higher standard. Knowing that their work and service, whatever it is, is making a change in the world.

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Again, no matter how small or large that change is, matters much less, than that people get to participate in something that, yes, inspires them, and, even more importantly, actively creates change in the world. Fun.

It is a ton of work. Yep. Yet, who ever said that life was supposed to be easy?

I know. That is such a cliche, and yet it does work here.

Think about any change, nay, think about some of the largest institutional and cultural changes of all time. Now, answer this question.

Were they easy?

Nope, not a single one. They are not supposed to be. Therefore, having a high standard and instituting accountability is not only needed, it is also positively reinforcing the servant leadership context that has been created. How?

Because serving yourself, setting the highest standard for yourself that you can, means that you will also set that same standard for the people around you. And?

They will rise to meet it, just as you are.

For more on Servant Leadership check out these resources.

#accountabilityandleadership, #careandleadership, #compassionandleadership, #creatingchange, #humandevelopment, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement, #servantleadership, #teamdevelopment

A Time Poem

Photo by Adrien King on Unsplash

I continue to reflect upon time. It has been, is, very present for me. We create so much of our lives around time. Yet, paradoxically, time is, as I wrote about in The Social Construction Series Part 5: The Social Construction of Time, a social construction. Hm.

Alright, how about a time poem? Here we go.

Time is not
What you think it is
Fleeting and everlasting

A paradox
Like all life

Happiness and sadness
Are just the same
We think we know them

Yet yearn for more

More time, more happiness
And then less
Less time, less sadness

And where do we look?

We look outside, into the world
For the answers, and
Come up shy

It is not found there
Someone said

Though we know this truth
We run away from the answer
Hidden inside

It must be out there
I can touch it, smell it, taste it, feel it

We believe in it and
run after it
Yet all the time it was
right there
waiting patiently for our return

Have a lovely evening, and be well.

#atimepoem, #poem, #poems, #socialconstrucitonoftime, #time, #timeasasocialconstruction, #writing, #writingpoems

A Bloggers Diary 10/14/20: On COVID-19, Breakdowns, and Our Emotional Self

Right, so I was getting ready to write this post about something totally different. Namely, about Medium, the writing I’m working on this week, and one or two other topics. And, then?

Well, it occurred to me that I’ve not written about COVID-19 in a while, and I wanted to return, as if I’d ever really left, to the pandemic to discuss what some people are talking about, and some are not. Why? It’s hard.

Breakdowns, breakthroughs, and our emotional self. Hm. Alright, stay with me.

A couple of months ago I did a video and an accompanying blog called, A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough, and then a few weeks ago I wrote the post, Experiencing and Coping with Our Emotions: There is A Different Way Why?

Because destigmatizing breakdowns is important. They happen to us all. Really. Even if we don’t have access to the language to know that we are in an emotional breakdown, for instance, they happen. And?

A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough

Acknowledging and accepting our breakdowns is important to fully understand what’s happening within ourselves; and, to get to that insight delivered via breakthrough that will come on the other side of our breakdown.

Example? Sure. It’s very present for me.

In conversation with the team yesterday, well, some of the team, I received feedback that I didn’t see coming. Not at all. And?

Well, the feedback was excellent, and was timely and needed, yet the due date for the work that is affected by this new information is this week.

Phew. Pressure.

Right, so I went into breakdown, and stayed there for a couple of hours. What did this look like? Well, it looked like I was doing the rest of my day, driving to physical therapy, then to the store, then finally home.

When I got home?

Well, I showered, and then sat for my evening meditation. And? On the other side of my meditation, many insights occurred, which I captured for the following morning, this morning, in fact. And?

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Well, getting back into the conversation this morning with new insight, a new perspective, and an additional colleague created a new way forward.

Yep. Did I see that possibility while I was in breakdown last night? Nope, not at all.

Yet, the more breakdowns and breakthroughs I go through, the more inner-knowing I have that an insight, or a combination of insights and perspectives, will deliver a solution to the issue.

Meaning that, yes, the changes that will need to be made will take time and coordination, yet there is workability. There is a way forward. And, there always is.

And, when we are in breakdown, we can’t always see these possibilities. And, that’s okay. Yes, scary at times, yet perfectly normal.

That, for me anyway, is the essence of a breakdown. Being unable to see far enough, due to my entanglement, in those moments, within my own self.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Being in touch with our emotional self has never been more important than it is today.

The pandemic has ushered in many more unknowns. Really. Many more unknowns for all of us. Personally, familially, organizationally, nationally, culturally, at every level. Every level.

Tonight I am very present to the beauty in accepting and being with my breakdowns as they occur. Staying with them, going inside of myself to see what’s there, and to the knowing that insights will come. They always do.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and a breakdown is imminent, remember, you are not alone. They happen to us all, and in the long run they are beneficial.

They simply mean you are growing as a human being. Growing into yourself, through yourself. Beautiful.

Be well, and have a lovely week.

#blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #breakdowns, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthroughs, #covid-19, #diary, #emotionalself, #emotions

3 Reasons Why Thinking About and Practicing Integrity Differently is Important to Your Life

On Being Whole, Complete, and Our Word

Photo by Kevin Crosby on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about the word integrity? I mean really thought about it?

People use the word often, yet, I think, there is some confusion, or, rather, maybe there is a better way to understand integrity as a concept and as a practice. Ready? Let’s go.

integrity

noun  /ɪnˈteɡrəti/ /ɪnˈteɡrəti/[uncountable]

the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There we go.

Okay, honesty and morality, such as right and wrong and good and bad. Hm. I’m not the biggest fan of right and wrong and good and bad. Why?

Because, good and bad and right and wrong, like happiness and sadness go together. Meaning?

That you cannot have goodness without badness, nor can you have rightness without having wrongness. Striving, then, for such concepts, such as being right and good, is folly, and can cause pain and suffering.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

We are all going to be both bad and good, and wrong and right sometimes. Inevitable. Hm.

Let’s try something different.

How about we think about integrity as whole and complete. Here is the next part of the definition from Oxford.

the state of being whole and not divided

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There. The difference, you ask?

Well, a state of being whole and complete, or undivided, increases the workability inside of the concept of integrity.

It takes away the judgment that can be found, and cast in the previous portion of the definition focused on good and bad, and right and wrong. Yep.

Therefore, if we think about integrity as being whole and complete, and a matter of that which is said, or our word, integrity stays within us; an, internal concept, if you will.

Here you go.

“We distinguish integrity as a phenomenon of the objective state or condition of an object, system, person, group, or organizational entity, and define integrity as: a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition.” Werner Erhard

Quote Tab

There we go.

When we start the conversation about integrity as an understanding that we are all just as we are supposed to be, today, right now, just so. We start from a place of understanding, not judgment. Important.

Further, adding our word as the highest state of integrity, there is always workability. How? Simple. Communication.

Meaning, that if we are going to be out of integrity, we simply communicate this fact. Sounds simple, yes?

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

Well, many people struggle with this concept. Really. Think about how many times someone said they were going to do something, and they didn’t.

And, then think about how often they communicated to you they weren’t going to do it. Yep. Happens all the time. To me, to you, to everyone.

And, this is not a judgment. It just is. We are still whole and complete, regardless. We all are. Having integrity within this conversation means creating an intention to do as you say, and when you can’t or choose not to, to communicate about it. That’s all.

Why does this conception of integrity work?

Here are three reasons why.

1. Release Right and Wrong

When we know that we are whole and complete, just as we are, right now, in this moment, we can release notions of right and wrong. Integrity in this conception is not about being right or being wrong.

It’s about being our word, and when we are unable to do something we said we would, we simply communicate about it. That’s it.

Releasing right and wrong from our notions of integrity decreases stress and anxiety about trying to live up to an ideal that no human can really live up to, and need not try.

Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash

2. Let Go of Good and Bad and Right and Wrong

Being whole and complete also means that we can let go of ideas we have about being good and right, or being bad and wrong.

Integrity in this conversation has nothing to do with ideas of good and bad, or right and wrong, which is helpful. As was aforementioned, we are all “good and right” and “bad and wrong” sometimes.

Letting go of being good and bad, and right and wrong also reduces stress we might feel about trying to be something other than we are right now; and, may also reduce stress-associated anxiety that we may feel striving for conceptions of integrity that are impossible to fulfill.

3. Accept the Reality of Integrity

We are all out of integrity sometimes. Everyone says they’ll do something, and then is unable to follow through for some reason. Remember, integrity is not about being perfect, nor is it about being right and being good.

It’s about doing what we say, and then if we are unable, communicating about it.

Understanding and practicing integrity this way also reduces stress and anxiety people have about trying to live up to a perfect ideal of integrity that does not actually exist.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

You are already a perfect human being, just as you are. Really. The iteration of you that you are today is exactly who you are supposed to be. How do I know that? Well, because that is the iteration you are today.

It is not the iteration that will exist tomorrow, nor in the next moment. It works that way.

You are whole and complete just as you are. And, your word is all the integrity you need. Chasing after other conceptions of integrity, such as being right and good is a never ending merry-go-round that will only ever leave you dizzy, stressed, and anxious.

Time to jump off that merry-go-round.

#goodandbad, #humandevelopment, #integrity, #leadership, #lettinggoofrightandwrong, #life-lessons, #psychology, #realityofintegrity, #releasingrightandwrong, #rightandwrong, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement

A Blogger’s Diary 10/10/20: On Spirituality, Science, and Writing

Photo by Adam Dutton on Unsplash

Milarepa

Alright, so last week a good friend of mine gave me the book Tibet’s Great Yogi, Milarepa: A Biography from the Tibetan. Wow. The last book that gave me that many insights, which I still read, was the Bhagavad Gita. Powerful.

Milarepa is an account of a great Yogi Sage, Jetsun Milarepa.

What I loved the most about the book, similar to the Bhagavad Gita, was the multiple connections to life today. Yep.

For instance, there is a part in the story where Milarepa is asked by his Guru to build a house on a particular piece of land. Well, Milarepa did as he was told. And?

Milarepa’s Guru came to inspect the work, and although the work was fine, the Guru said, hm, nope that’s not quite right. You’ll need to pull that entire structure down, and start again over yonder. Wow.

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

Well, this happened 9 times. Yep. 9. What’s the point? Hm.

Think about life. How many times has life said to you, nope, that’s not quite right, try again? Yep, of course. Me too.

That’s what life’s about. Creating, acting, learning, growing, and loving, with both our minds and hearts.

Milarepa’s Guru was teaching him persistence, discipline, and about the trials and tribulations of being a human being on this planet; and, the compassion and grace we all need, both for ourselves and for each other. Important.

The Dalai Lama

Right, so the next book is Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother’s Autobiography. It is good so far. Very interesting, well written, and, of what I’ve reads thus far, a wonderful historical account of Diki Tsering, the Dalai Lama’s mother’s, upbringing.

Now, the reason I brought this book up is this, ready?

So, I start reading the book a couple of nights ago, and it occurs to me to watch a little television. And?

I turn on the television, and guess what show comes up first? Ha! Watch.

YouTube

Check that out! Fun.

Anyway, so I watch the documentary, and it is wonderful. You can find it on Peace Jam. What’s it about?

Well, essentially, it is about conversations that scientists and the Dalai Lama have been conducting for over 30 years. It is a fun exploration and comparison of what is termed in the documentary as Western Science and as Buddhist Science.

I’ve always known, and have read quite a bit about the similarities between things that happen in laboratories experimenting with quantum physics, and the body-mind laboratory experimenting with deep meditation.

I have, however, developed a whole new level of experiential knowledge in the latter area over the past three years, so the documentary was even more fascinating.

What’s Next?

I had a blast writing the two social construction installments this week.

  1. The Social Construction Series Part 4: The Social Construction of Reality
  2. The Social Construction Series Part 5: The Social Construction of Time

I had already planned on writing the social construction of reality, and then the social construction of time just showed up. Just like this post. Happens like that. Fun.

Right, well, I’m also almost done with the post on integrity. Has been fun. And, I’m also working on a post about servant leadership, and I have a few more ideas, we will see.

Alright, that’s it for now.

Here is to each of you. For being the human beings you are, just as you are, right now. You are just so.

I appreciate each of you. I have tremendously enjoyed all of the wonderful posts and conversations we’ve had this year, both on your blogs and on mine. So much fun.

I look forward to many more conversations in the weeks, months, and years to come.

You are love and light.

Be well and have a wonderful Sunday, and week ahead.

#blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #blogs, #dalailama, #diary, #milarepa, #science, #spirituality, #writing

The Social Construction Series Part 5: The Social Construction of Time

7 Reasons Why Understanding Time as A Social Construction is Important to Your Life

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jeremy-thomas-rmmibfe4czy-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

How often do you run from here to there, and back, checking the clock on the wall, in the kitchen, on your wrist, or on your phone? Yep, normal, we all do it, or, rather, have done it.

Time is such an important part of our life. We construct our whole lives, in fact, around it. Yep. Time. When we get up, when we eat, when we work, how we work, when we sleep. All of it.

Yet, time also provides people with tons of stress and anxiety. Really. How often have you said, or heard, or both, there’s just not enough time in the day? Yep. We’ve all said it, say it, and have heard many, or, rather, most people say it.

Phew. It’s tiring. Really.

I remember a time in my life where I was more concerned about what time it was, then about what I was doing with my time. Maybe you can relate?

Either way, time is not what we think it is.

Time is actually socially constructed. Meaning, it doesn’t even really exist, except for that we create it, agree upon it, and as has been aforementioned, organize our lives around it.

A social construction, you ask? Sure. Here you go.

social construct

Pronunciation /ˌsəʊʃl ˈkɒnstrʌkt/

NOUN

A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally.

Lexico

There we go.

Now, time, you ask? Well, I think we can all agree upon the definition of time, yet, let’s go ahead and define it anyway. Here you go.

time

Pronunciation /tīm/ /taɪm/ 

Translate time into Spanish

NOUN

The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.‘travel through space and time’

1.1 The progress of time as affecting people and things.‘things were getting better as time passed’

1.2 Time or an amount of time as reckoned by a conventional standard.‘it’s eight o’clock Eastern Standard Time’

1.3 The personification of time, typically as an old man with a scythe and hourglass.‘Power began to flow out from Father Time’s scythe.’

Lexico

That’s fun.

Alright, so here’s what we have so far.

A social construction is something that is constructed and agreed upon by a group of people, of which time, as in the continued progress of existence and events as in the past, present, and future, is one. Phew.

You may now ask, well, there is a past, present, and future, therefore time exists. Yet, I would invite you to really think about that. Does the past really exist, or the future for that matter?

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Think about what you are doing right now. Does the past exist in the present moment? Does the future? Nope. They don’t.

The only thing that ever really exists is the present moment. Right now; and, then right now, and now. That’s it.

Therefore time is in many ways irrelevant, an illusion actually. Yet, we continue to create our whole lives around it. Pretty powerful.

You may now be saying. Okay. Fine. Yet, why is understanding time as a social construction important? Very well.

Let’s take a look at

7 Reasons Why Understanding Time as A Social Construction is Important to Your Life

1. Increased Flexibility

When we hold time as a social construct, we are more flexible because we understand that there is an infinite amount of time to do all that we’d like to do. Really.

We become more flexible as we continue to consider time as something that we can choose to release ourselves from. We know at a different level that, yes, we need to move our work and lives forward, however, we also know that there is plenty of time to do so.

2. Less Stress

As we become more flexible, holding the awareness that time is socially constructed, which takes practice, we then realize that we can release the stress that we create about time-bound situations and events. Yep.

We can release that stress, and replace it with a renewed interest in being present. Present to everything in our lives, in each and every moment. Precious.

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Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

3. Reduced Anxiety

Holding time within ourselves differently, which creates less stress, also reduces our overall anxiety levels. There are so many people on this planet that have high levels of anxiety.

Yes, about lots of things, yet, considering time as one of the most important aspects of our lives causes a ton of that stress and, yep, related anxiety.

Yet, releasing that time-bound stress, releases the anxiety. Very helpful.

4. Greater Understanding

We also learn more about ourselves, and then have a greater understanding of, yes, ourselves, and about all people. We can connect with people on another level entirely. Why?

Because, we have connected to ourselves on an entirely different level. It works that way. We become more aware of our time-bound habits, and then can see them more clearly in ourselves and in others. Helpful.

5. More Grace

As we are more aware of our own behaviors related to time, and practice releasing the stress and anxiety that develops as a product of time-bound thinking, we can give ourselves more grace. And?

We can also extend that grace to others. If there is one thing on this planet we can all us more of, it’s grace. Given to ourselves and to each other. Important.

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Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

6. Deeper Compassion

Along with granting ourselves more grace, we also develop a deeper level of compassion for the human condition. Most all of us are socialized to place importance on time.

With that knowledge, we can release ourselves from any blame or shame for the stress we’ve caused ourselves and others at the expense of time-bound thinking and acting.

And, as we deepen the compassion we have for ourselves, we also deepen the compassion we can extend toward others. Lovely.

7. More Peace

With our practice of holding time differently in our awareness, we also have more peace. More peace about all aspects of our lives that we once associated with time-bound situations and events, and the associated outcomes, or results.

And, when we have more peace, we can also extend that peace out to everyone. Phew. That is important.

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Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Alright, there are 7 Reasons Why Considering Time as a Social Construction is Important to Your Life. Fun.

Remember, time is only important, when we create that importance. I’m not saying that we don’t take our commitments and agreements that are time-bound seriously.

Those time-bound commitments and agreements are very important. My days are full of them; and, I mean full. All day, every day.

Yet, we don’t have to associate time-bound commitments and agreements with a stressful conception of time. It’s a paradox, like most things in life.

You can both hold time as a socially constructed illusion and as an important aspect of your life in regard to meeting our commitments and agreements.

It is really in between the two, considering ourselves as bound in time and not, where you have the power to live, laugh, and love with less stress and anxiety, and way more flexibility, understanding, grace, compassion, and peace.

Be well. Consider well.

#anxiety, #compassion, #flexibility, #grace, #humandevelopment, #peace, #philosophy, #selfimprovement, #socialconstruct, #socialconstruction, #sociology, #stress, #timeasanillusion, #timeasasocialconstruction, #understanding

From Within and Without – A Friday Poem

Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash

Within

we go and there is light

yet without we face

in troubled delight

that light

waxes and wanes

as we begin to believe

without

is what is right

though there is a knowing

deep inside

that the light within

is even more right

no waxing, no waning

constant

and ever-friendly

so

before you go

to sleep this night

remember

that the light within

is ever bright

and

is a part of your birthright.

Be well, have a wonderful weekend.

#death, #introspection, #intuition, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #reality

The Social Construction Series Part 4: The Social Construction of Reality

A Fluid Representation of Many Worlds

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In the first installment of the Social Construction Series, we discussed why understanding social constructionism is important to our daily lives. How we interpret our world, think and feel about it; choices we make, and practices we keep, or let go of. Important.

In the second installment, we discussed the importance of understanding that all knowledge is socially constructed. All of it. And, how the production, distribution, and access, or lack thereof, to knowledge affects our lives. Also important.

In the third installment, we discussed the importance of understanding that our identities, every part of them, are also socially constructed. Giving us power and the freedom to create our identity as we want it to be, not as someone has said it should be.

In this fourth installment, we will discuss the social construction of reality; and, why considering a different way to think about reality as important to our lives, to your life. Important to the human being you are today, and the human being you want to be tomorrow. Ready? Let’s go.

Well, what exactly is reality? How does it function, and why do we understand our world as the reality it is? Hm. Let’s define reality, shall we. Here we go.

reality

noun OPAL WOPAL S /riˈæləti/ /riˈæləti/(plural realities)Idiom

[uncountable] the true situation and the problems that actually exist in life, in contrast to how you would like life to be

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Very good. Ah, I see. Reality is a true situation. Well, then what does truth mean. Let’s take a look. Stay with me.

truth

noun  /truːθ/ /truːθ/(plural truths  /truːðz/  /truːðz/)Word FamilyIdioms

the truth [singular] the true facts about something, rather than the things that have been invented or guessed

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Okay, here’s what we have so far.

Reality is a true, or factual account of a situation inherent with problems that exist in contrast to what you’d like your reality to be. Hm. Not sure about these definitions. How about you? Let’s look at a different way to think about reality.

Here you go.

“Human existence is, ab initio, an ongoing externalization. As man externalizes himself, he constructs the world into which he externalizes himself. In the process of externalization, he projects his own meanings into reality. Symbolic universes, which proclaim that all reality is humanly meaningful and call upon the entire cosmos to signify the validity of human existence, constitute the farthest reaches of this projection.80 b.”
― Peter L. Berger, 

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

Alright, so what do you read here? Okay. Well, let me tell you what I read.

That reality, all reality, is a projection of what it is that we think it is. That’s about it.

Reality is about a created truth, our factual account, of a situation inherent with problems, and possibilities, that is seen to exist.

And, who prey, creates it and sees it? Well, you do, I do.

Our realities, however, are different. Your reality is not the same as mine, which is why having general statements, as in the aforementioned definitions from Oxford, are problematic. They’re not inclusive enough, and leave people wanting, and, in some cases, confused.

Right, well, what then?

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why understanding the social construction of reality as a fluid representation of a world, nay many worlds (over 7 billion in fact), is important to your life. Ready? Here we go.

A Fluid Representation of Many Worlds

If we begin to consider reality as fluid, always shifting and moving, we release ourselves from the false notion that reality is in some way a static, or solid, representation of that which we see. Make sense?

Reality is influenced by several key factors. Here are a few.

  1. Our current state of mind
  2. Our emotional state
  3. Our past
  4. Our present situation
  5. Our future

Complex, yet simple. Another fun paradox.

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

1. Our current state of mind

What we believe, we see. Yep. True. If we believe the world is full of bad people with hidden agendas, guess what we’ll see? Yep. A world full of bad people with hidden agendas.

Conversely, if we believe the world is full of good people with noble intentions, yes, that is what we will see.

Now, the world is not binary.

The world is full of both, that which we will find good and that which we will find bad. The point is that, what we expect to see, is what we will see; and, that then becomes our reality.

2. Our emotional state

Our emotions, like our mind, are powerful. How we feel, especially if we are sensitive to our emotions, like I am, influences how we see the world.

If we feel hopeful, we will see hope. If we feel despair, yep, we will see despair. It works that way. Again, complex, and yet quite simple.

Of course, we know that we have many emotions within us, and they come and go like waves in the ocean. Here, then gone, here again, then gone again.

The point is when we are unaware of our emotional state, we are not aware of how our emotions are influencing our perception of reality.

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

3. Our past

When we focus on our past, especially when that past is full of things we label as a problem, we can literally bring those problems into our present reality. Really.

If we are focusing more on what happened yesterday, than the present context, we are creating a disruption in the reality right in front of us, and, in effect, replacing that reality with an alternative version from a past time.

However, when we are aware that our minds work this way, we can catch ourselves living in the past, and shift our attention back to the present moment, and let go of the past.

4. Our present situation

If we are not at peace with our present reality, we will continue to see issues and problems. In effect, creating even more issues and problems as possible.

When we fight against the reality we see, we make our current reality into a larger problem, and, at the same time, increase our own pain and suffering.

However, if we recognize this pattern, or habit, we can disrupt the habit and replace it with understanding and grace. We can change our reality into something that is more congruent with what we want to see. Finding more peace and harmony in the process.

5. Our future

When we are scared of the future, or feel like the future will only ever be a reproduction of the past, limited and painful, that is what our future will be. Simple. That which we put our attention on expands, and becomes our reality.

Yet, when we let go of our past, and remain open to our future being all that we want it to be, we can begin to shift our attention and create a reality that is quite different.

We can begin to create the future reality that we want to manifest. One that is full of possibility.

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Many worlds

Reality is fluid and dynamic, not stable and static. And, we have the power within us to create the reality we want to live into. We do.

There are over 7 billion worlds (realities) on this planet. One reality for each of us. Yep. The paradox?

Sure, here you go.

Though there are over 7 billion worlds on this one planet, there are certain things we agree on. Yep. Example? Sure, we all mostly agree that a tree is a tree, right? The sun is the sun, the stars are stars.

Yet, know that a tree, the sun, and the stars were not always called such. They weren’t. There was a time when they were called something else, and a time when they were called nothing at all. They just existed. That’s it.

Know that the reality you want to live into is available to you. Has been, is, and will always be available.

Reality is socially constructed by each of us every minute of every day. Next time you find yourself frustrated about your current reality, ask yourself why that’s so.

Here are a couple questions you can ask yourself.

  1. In my current state of mind, am I expecting to see frustration?
  2. Is my emotional state having an impact on how I am seeing my reality?
  3. Am I thinking about my past experiences, and bringing them into my present reality?
  4. Am I not at peace with my present situation?
  5. Am I thinking that the future will only ever be a reproduction of my past?

When you ask yourself these questions, see what you get back. And, shift your attention away from these thoughts and emotions, and to the present reality. And?

Begin to create the future you’ve been waiting for. Make that future your reality now, today. You are the only one that can do so.

Create well.

#emotionalintelligence, #humandevelopment, #philosphy, #psychology, #realityasmanyworlds, #selfdevelopment, #socialconstruction, #socialconstructionism, #sociology, #thesocialconstructionofreality