Ego

Photo by Jake Weirick on Unsplash

A creation
Like all others
Profound in nature, yet

Also a false identification

Of a created self
Which is of little help
As we navigate the world, and

Sometimes yelp

With worries and fears,
Which are part of an illusion,
And, yes
Also a mind in confusion
, and oh

What an intrusion

Into the peace
We seek

Believe me,
Though
We are not meek, so

Take heart and
Continue to
Seek, and

Know
That all
Just
Is

As it is supposed to be
Because, friend
You are already
Ego free

#ego, #life, #lllusion, #love, #poem, #poems, #reality, #writing

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

Storytellers and Meaning-Makers Part 1: 5 Ways to Create More Power Over Your Current Reality

Photo by Melanie Deziel on StoryFuel.co

I’ve written several posts about the fact that human beings develop narratives about what they know, what they see, and what they are told. All of us do. We are natural storytellers, and meaning makers. It is how we make sense of the world. However, there is an issue here. Can you see it?

As we create stories about our reality, about what we believe to be true about the world, we can get stuck inside of faulty thinking. And, inside of this faulty thinking, we can begin to create realities, which are not really real. Yep, it’s true.

Example? Okay. 

Right now, on the west coast of the United States we have a raging wildfire issue. At this same time, we are living in a pandemic, and have people all across the country in the streets, like they have been in Portland, OR, for months, protesting against systematic and institutional racism. The issue with the latter, of course, is not the protesting, it is the fact that systematic and institutional racism still exists.

Okay, what’s the issue with these issues, you ask? Hm. Let me explain it this way. Here you go.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Connecting Disparate Events and Situations

I’ve talked to several people this past week that are connecting these disparate events, creating stories about the compound effect of this year. However, these issues, while severe and highly problematic, are not connected. They are separate, and are just happening.

Because we are storytellers and meaning-makers we create something more out of what is happening than is really happening. We make these connections. That we do this is not a judgment or a demerit. It is how we are programmed.

However, it doesn’t help our mental health when we connect disparate events. Why? Because when we do, we can go into overwhelm more easily, and start blaming these situations on other people, and, yes, even ourselves. It happens all the time.

Think about a time when you failed a test, or didn’t get a job; and, in that same week or during that same timeframe, a friend or coworker upset you, and then a family member did something you didn’t expect, which also upset you. Well, did you pull these events apart, or did you rather, like most humans, connect them? Important distinction.

If you did connect them, you are not a problem. You are human.

Understanding that our brains work this way instantly creates a new awareness, which can be used to our advantage. How? By understanding that when events happen, they just happen.

We may not like them, or understand them, however, that is part of life. And, these events that just happen are not connected to each other. They are separate.

When we fully grasp this, we have more power over our reality and our life. How? Hm, okay. Here are 5 ways you can create more power over your reality by understanding that disparate events are just that, disparate.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

5 Ways to Create More Power Over Your Reality

  1. Notice when you are making connections between events that are disconnected the first step is always to create more awareness about how our mind works. Knowing that all human beings are storytellers and meaning-makers instantly creates a new awareness. Now that this awareness is there, notice when you are making connections between disparate events. Just notice.
  2. Pull those events apart, separate them – when you start to create stories about your reality, which include connecting events or pieces of information that are disconnected, you can pull them apart. Separate them, and leave them that way. More power.
  3. Reorient yourself to the current reality – now that these events, situations, and or information have been separated, you can reorient yourself to the reality as it is, instead of the reality you’ve been creating. Be with that reality, connect with it, really see it as it is. 
  4. Notice the difference in how you feel – as you practice noticing your mind and how the mind connects disparate events and information, notice how you feel. How do you feel when you have the power to pull those events apart? Empowered, maybe? Excellent. If you don’t feel empowered right away, don’t worry, keep practicing.
  5. Repeat – building healthy habits, as has been aforementioned, takes practice. Humans also like patterns, or habits, so continue to practice noticing. It takes time. Know though that the only way to become experienced in this practice, like anything, takes doing it again and again. There is no one way, and there is not right and wrong. There is just doing. Again, and again, and again. And, you will get better at it.

There we go. Now what?

Well, if you are so inclined to do so, practice. If not, that’s okay. What I can say is that there was a time when I suffered from terrible anxiety. Much of my anxiety had to do with the stories in my head, which were, of course, not really real.

They were created through habitual thinking. Through connecting disparate events about the world, myself in the world, and about information contained in my head.

You do have a choice. Today, right now. You can choose a different path. One with more power, and empowerment. It takes time. Yet, anything worthwhile always does.

Be well. Choose well.

#connectingdispirateevents, #covid-19, #creatingmorepoweroveryourreality, #creatingpower, #developingnarratives, #development, #faultythinking, #growth, #growthmindset, #humandevelopment, #institutionalracism, #makingmeaning, #meaningmaking, #mindfulness, #psychology, #reality, #selfdevelopment, #stories, #storytelling, #systematicracism, #thepowerofchoice, #wildfires

Dreams

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

When dreams are more real
Than reality
And reality is more like a dream

Take care, and
Don’t despair

Forever long you may
Grieve

It’s not about time
For time
Is the illusion of all time

Rest in knowing
What’s there
And fair

Consider that dreams
Are as real
As reality feels
Both an illu-story

We think
Instead of act
Yet experience
Is where it’s at

and, there’s nothing more
Real than that

Out of our heads
Like a matrix
For the dead

Alive you can be
And true to become
By living instead

Think not of the hardships
For yours are
The same for all
As we each set sail

#dreaming, #dreams, #experience, #greif, #grieve, #hardship, #illusory, #life, #live, #living, #poem, #poems, #real, #reality, #sotry, #story

4 Reasons Why Language Is Power

Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash

Ever thought about the power of language? Yes, no? I hadn’t until about three years ago. Why? Well, as I’ve mentioned in many of my posts, about three years ago I began to develop myself, really develop.

And, when you work on yourself, from the inside out, which is the only real way, you begin to understand the power that we, you, hold within you. It is a vast power, and language is a part of that power.

Before we begin to look at the power of language, let’s start with a definition.

language

NOUN
1. The method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.

Oxford Languages

Alright, pretty straightforward, right? Do you read anything in there about the power of language? No, me either. However, it’s there, believe me. Let’s take a look then at 4 reasons why language is so powerful.

1. Language is what we use to create meaning

As I’ve written about in other posts, human beings are meaning-makers. We continuously construct narratives, or stories, about life. We take in information, a stimulus, and we convert that information into a patterned story about how we perceive ourselves. Then we respond.

We respond from the space of the story. From the beliefs we hold about who we are. Can you see the power in that. Pretty powerful.

For instance, if we believe we are limited, because someone told us that when we were little, we will respond from a space of limit. Without thinking about it. Important.

In this example, it’s not as if we are consciously thinking about these limitations. These limitations live in the stories we tell ourselves, and others about who we are. They operate independently. Aware of them or not, they are there. Powerful.

Imagine deciding to not do something because someone told us not to do that thing when we were little. If we really sit inside of this concept, it may fill us with sadness.

Know, however, that at the end of this article we will discuss how to get in touch with the stories we have. Why? Because when we are aware of them, even though we don’t know all of them, we can choose a different response. We can create new stories.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

2. Language is what we use to communicate

Though verbal and written communication are not the only ways we communicate with each other, they are two of the primary ways we do so. We take that which we know to be “true,” drawn from the stories we have about ourselves, and use it to construct language to communicate with people.

Further, when we communicate with people, and they do or say something to confirm the story we have about ourselves, that story becomes more codified.

These stories, then, have been “confirmed” over years and years of inner-dialogue, and are also “proven” by those we interact with. Complex. And simple.

For instance, if I believe that I am limited, and act that way, then those around me, after time, will stop asking me to do things that stretch me, or make me uncomfortable.

Not because they don’t want me to stretch and grow, rather because I always say no. I confirm for them my own self-perceived limitation. And, in return, they confirm that limitation in my mind by not asking me to stretch and grow.

Thomas Cooley wrote about this concept over 100 years ago.

“The looking-glass self describes the process wherein individuals base their sense of self on how they believe others view them. Using social interaction as a type of “mirror,” people use the judgments they receive from others to measure their own worth, values, and behavior”

Lesley University

And, then sociologist Erving Goffman took Cooley’s work further.

“The term ‘symbolic interactionism’ refers, of course, to the peculiar and distinctive character of interaction as it takes place between human beings. The peculiarity consists in the fact that human beings interpret or ‘define’ each other’s actions instead of merely reacting to each other’s actions. Their ‘response’ is not made directly to the actions of one another but instead based on the meaning which they attach to such actions. Thus, human interaction is mediated by the use of symbols, by interpretation, or by ascertaining the meaning of one another’s actions.” (Blumer, p. 180, in Paul Gingrich)

Hawaii.edu

Therefore, how we think is how we act, believe, and perceive. And, those around us do the same. Have you ever had an interaction with someone that didn’t know you, and they interacted with you in a way that didn’t fit the story you have of yourself? Yes? What did you do?

Did you align with your own story about the person you believe yourself to be? Or, did you act in a different way? Most of the time, people will continue to behave as they have, which is consistent with the actions, beliefs, and perceptions they have of who they are.

Reason? Because to act, believe, and perceive otherwise is incongruent with their perceived identity. And, all of it, the actions we take, and the beliefs and perceptions we have first of all live in language. That is powerful.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

3. Language is what we use to make sense of the world

When you look out your window, what do you see? A tree? A bush? The sun or moon? Whatever you see, and the words you use to describe the world all live in language. All of it.

Think about the word sun. Where did that come from? Well, let’s take a quick look.

Origin

“Old English sunne, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zon and German Sonne, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hēlios and Latin sol .”

Oxford Languages

And, even cursory searches of the internet will show that the roots of the word sun cross cultures.

“This is ultimately related to the word for “sun” in other branches of the Indo-European language family, though in most cases a nominative stem with an l is found, rather than the genitive stem in n, as for example in Latin sōl, Greek ἥλιος hēlios, Welsh haul and Russian солнце solntse (pronounced sontse), as well as (with *l > r) Sanskrit स्वर svár and Persian خور‎ xvar. Indeed, the l-stem survived in Proto-Germanic as well, as *sōwelan, which gave rise to Gothic sauil (alongside sunnō) and Old Norse prosaic sól (alongside poetic sunna), and through it the words for “sun” in the modern Scandinavian languages: Swedish and Danish solen, Icelandic sólin, etc.”

Handbook of Germain Etymology

Yet, is the sun, the sun? Or is it a star? Same with a tree. Is a tree, a tree? Or, is it something else. The point? That the language we use to describe the world becomes just that. The world we see. The world we know.

When we see a tree, we don’t question the fact that at some point a tree was not called a tree. Nor was the sun called the sun. They were called something else, or nothing at all.

The relationship we have with the language we use to describe the world we see and perceive as our reality, is therefore extremely important, and powerful. It must be.

Photo by Slava on Unsplash

4. Language is what we use to create our reality

Yep. Truth. Language is what we use to create meaning, to communicate, to understand the world, and to create our reality. In another post, I wrote something like, there are 7 billion different realities on this planet. Truth. How’s that?

Because we all understand our reality as we understand it. Yes, based on the stories we are told about who we are, the stories we then create to fit these stories, and the conformations we get from those around us that codify our notions of the stories we know to be true about who we are.

And, that is creating our reality. One thought, belief, and perception at a time.

However, because language, and our interpretation of it, is so powerful, we can also use language to create a different reality, with different stories, beliefs, and perceptions. Yep, we can.

Photo by Benigno Hoyuela on Unsplash

As with most things, first you need to be aware of the power of language. Check. Then, it is about learning to notice when you are creating a reality that consistently fits the story of who you think you are. If that is what you want for your reality. Awesome. Done. If not?

Once you are aware, and notice how you consistently continue to create a response to a stimulus that is in alignment with, let us say, limitation, you can begin to choose a different response.

A response that aligns with the reality you now want to create. A reality without limits. Powerful.

Phew, that was a lot. More than I expected in this one post. Yet, because language is so powerful, there is a lot more to write about. A lot more.

Yet we will leave that to a future post.

Language is powerful. We can use language to confirm all the things we think about ourselves, given to us by someone else, and continuously confirmed by ourselves and everyone around us. OR.

We can use language to disrupt that which we believe we know about ourselves, and use the power of language to create a whole new reality for ourselves. And, guess what?

Everytime someone chooses disruption over the status quo, everyone benefits. All of humanity does.

#beliefs, #communication, #concepts, #creatingmeaning, #creatingnarratives, #creatingstories, #language, #perceptions, #philosohpy, #practical, #practice, #psychology, #reality, #socialpsychology, #sociology, #stimulusresponse

Creating Your Life Anew by Letting Go of The Life You Are Currently Living

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about creating the future. Creating the future we want to live into, what will be, while also reflecting upon the deep attachment we all have to what was, or the past. What’s created the space for such reflections? And, why do these reflections matter to the future we plan to live into? Let’s take a look.

The COVID-19 health crisis has created the space for these reflections, as every day, people, including myself, continue to have new experiences, both at home and work.

These new experiences are a product of an unplanned event that has disrupted life as we once knew it. What we once knew as our reality is over. Gone. The “new normal” people often refer to will look nothing like what once was.

Inside of this understanding I think about how hard that has been, and will be for many people. An impossibility for some, as it once was for me, as humans are deeply attached to the ways they understand their lives, thus reality. It will be continue to be painful for people to let go of that previous reality, the past.

People that are unable to let go of their old views of life, will meet untold challenges in our new reality, and our coming future reality. Why? Because those behaviors and actions may not mesh well with our future reality.

Though I have no idea what that reality will look like, I do know that preparing for, and creating the new life you want to live into will be needed and necessary.

What can we do to prepare for this future reality? Start creating now. Don’t wait. What might that look like?

Here are some strategies I use that you might try.

  • Journal – start to write about the new life you want to live into.
    • Here are some questions I use to get my thinking started.
      • What do I want that future life to look like?
      • What do I want to create for myself, both personally and professionally?
  • Write down your goals – you know, the ones that you’ve wanted to achieve, yet have not been able to do so.
    • Make lists of them. You can even start to plan them out. Start a year or two out, and work backwards to today.
  • Take action – one of the most important steps in creating that future life, is to start living it now. When you are clear about your goals, create actions that you can take today to start to bring them to life.

Here is a picture of a very simple, what I call whiteboard post-it, that my youngest son and I created with goals we both want to acheive.

I labeled this board strategic thinking as I was teaching my son about the difference between reacting to an already existing environment, the one we are currently attached to, and creating a new future reality that we can live into. And, that is a part of strategic thinking.

It matters less how you begin to create that new life, than it does that you take action today and begin to create it. What will stand in your way? Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being told it can’t happen, by yourself, and by others.

Let me be the first to tell you that it can happen; and, you are the only one that can make it happen. You can do it.

How do I know this? I know this because I live it today. I live it in my personal, and professional life. As some of you may know, however, living this way was not always my life, or my reality. My reality was once predicted predominantly on the past. What was.

As difficult as it is, we must let go of the past.

There is a shift in thinking, and your corresponding awareness to live this way. Yet, if I can do it, so can you. It simply requires creating new goals within the new life you want to create, and taking actions that align with these goals, and that life.

As we enter new phases of the COVID-19 health crisis, continuing to reflect upon, and create new actions inside of the life we want to create and live is available to us all. You simply have to take action. Take one step. Then take another. One step, and one action at a time.

#attachment, #covid-19, #creating-a-new-life, #creating-a-new-reality, #creating-your-life, #goal-setting, #letting-go-of-the-past, #reality