The Fine Art Of Listening

As an expert listener, it is always shocking that more people are not subject to this practise.  That is not to say that the mind has shut off completely while another is speaking, quite the opposite.  Waiting to jump in with personal opinions is rare yet sharing amusing notions does frequently rear its entertaining head.  The thing about a humourous quip is that one must listen carefully to the other person in order to point out the irony or absurdity that will bring a smile.

As a proponent of such, listening and really hearing what others have to say is second nature.  Now, jokes are not always appropriate (although I am a stickler for ‘screw ’em if they can’t take a joke’) I understand the subtleties and sensitivities.  These days, it is getting harder and harder to actually bring a smile to another’s face.  Everything has to be taken so seriously.  Wrong!

With emails, texts, blogs and social media one is forced to designate a funny comment with ‘LOL’ in order for the person on the other end to understand that the written words are not meant to be taken literally or solemnly.  This drives me crazy.  (Also believe if you have to tell people ‘it’s a joke’, it is not much of a joke).

Knowing that writing does not allow for the changes in tones or voice recognition and all its nuances, there is something to say for not being so stringent.  Yes, there is harmful bullying that goes on in cyberspace but if one was to laugh in the face of such hateful attacks it would not only lessen the power given to the bully, it will also make them appear foolish.

I comprehend that young children being scared by an older kid in a clown costume can be traumatic but laughing it off takes away from that ‘trauma’ and teaches the young child that they are not victims.

Hear my message correctly, it is better to listen than speak, it is better to love than hate and it is better to laugh than fear.  All these ideas can be taught and learned.  We should probably start with the adults.  (They seem to need it most).

Take A Quantum Jump

The field of Quantum mechanics concerns the processes of photons and atoms.  It takes into account the superposition of different states.  Without getting too technical (who wants that?) my take on it comes from a MindValley course taught by Burt Goldman, ‘Quantum Jumping’.  The theory throughout the course is, ‘if you can image it, not only may it be true, but you can learn and grow by envisioning a whole other existence’.  Using your mind to visit parallel universes, as it were.

It may sound ‘woo-woo and ‘airy-fairy’ but I assure you it can be life altering.  ‘What if?’  We are all a product of our thoughts so why not use that to reach higher goals and become better human beings?

The first time studying the course, my mind nearly exploded.  Thinking such profound thoughts was so new, it was difficult to handle.  Of course, once these beliefs are introduced and mulled over it becomes self-evident.  So, the brain expands and a multitude of avenues unlock for the available possibilities.  It truly frees the soul

The next venture into this brain enhancing journey came while watching the movie, ‘What The Bleep Do We Know -Down The Rabbit Hole’.  Once again, the subject matter gently guides the mind towards mental activity they otherwise would never visit.  Does the power of observation change outcomes?  If used correctly, this alone, can have untold ramifications.  Learning to view one’s actions and thoughts can bring about the desired changes.  Astonishing!

Continuing to process all that has come in (as it is heady stuff) and carefully reflecting on these new brain waves, I can recommend that everyone undertake a trip through the Quantum world.  Go online and find something or someone in the field that appeals to you and give it a go.

Be prepared for numerous stunning shocks.  Allow whatever reactions to appear and accept them.  There is nothing bad about the subject as you can control it.

Truly, ‘what if?’  Let your imagination run wild with positive possibilities.  Take a Quantum Jump!

The New Age Of Enlightenment

The first Age of Enlightenment occurred in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.  The movement was extensively influenced by philosophers and scientists such as Newton, Descartes and Locke.  The core belief was reason with the emphasis on knowledge and progress, leaving a distrust of superstitions.  The movement questioned traditional authority while embracing the idea of improvement through rational change.

Today’s search for enlightenment is similar.  Combing for answers and bucking the norm are sending those in the establishment scrambling to hang on to their power.  Adjusting ‘on the fly’ has taken precedence.  The problem with this is the lies being told and then accepted by society.  Truth and honesty are, seemingly, as extinct as the dinosaur.  Therefore the power of discernment has become a lost art as the lines between right and wrong become increasingly blurred.

‘The idea of improvement’ in itself, has been empahsized to the degree that anything less than 100% effort is unacceptable.  Labels such as ‘slacker, malingerer or good-for-nothing’ will follow.  Yet ‘changing’, while full of trepidation, is what is encouraged.  As if ‘the average’ is without merit.  Striving for better must inhabit our very beings or get left behind.  Hardly an enlightened notion.

In order to move into the future successfully we must acknowledge the past and hold on to, any and all, wise edicts.  Of course, they may be adapted for greater clarity.  They do not need to be discarded altogether, simply because of age.

The past and the future are important however, if one wants true enlightenment they must focus on the present.  We can have a better today when all concentration is on incremental progress.  Illuminations can come in tiny packages.

There are a great many men and women, these days, in search of personal transformation.  Learning from them (or as many as possible) will be of benefit to all.  As each individual improves so do all the lives touched by said person.  It is conceivable to change the world, for the better, one human being at a time.

Share your views and be part of the New Age Of Enlightenment.

The Silva Method

When beginning my foray into meditation, this was the first book purchased.  It got me started and led to the enjoyment of breathing deeply, as well as quieting the mind.

That was two years ago.  The length of time seems minute compared to the noticeable changes.  It is safe to say I was angrily riddled with anxiety.  The future was not only frightening, it appeared worse than the past.  The road ahead did not bode well.

Now, there is a calm resolution that pervades.  Not to say, that a worry-frenzy can not be conjured up.  It can.  But it will be quickly recognized and stopped.  Before I began to meditate, all the anxious thoughts and feelings piled higher and higher.  Leaving a mountain of apprehension.

If someone had suggested that meditation could truly help with finding serenity, the entire notion would have been rejected.  After all, only hippies engage in such ‘far out’ behaviour.  The last thing wanted was to become a ‘pot-smoking hippy’ who advocated ‘love and peace’, man!

Not being a hippy, nor a partaker of marijuana, I do believe ‘love and peace’ are forces to be reckoned with.  Without seeming ‘airy-fairy’ or ‘groovy’, in a practical, open and honest, emotion-driven, freedom-seeking manner, meditation will open up the emotional side of any individual.  This will allow for positivity to invade the psyche.

We can choose to flex the every day, negative synapses in our brains.  Or we can stretch and grow the positive aspects.  Meditating shows one that thoughts, when unchecked, will bombard the mind regardless.  Sitting quietly and turning off that inner voice is a study in control.  To master this may take years.

Often it can be accomplished right away leading one to believe that ruminating is easy.  Long, sustained practise of an empty mind takes far more effort.

The best advice to give regarding this is not to give up. Push through the feelings of discouragement and forge ahead with stillness.  Upon finding a distracted mind, do some deep breathing and begin again.  Treat every day as a new opportunity to get the best out of yourself.

That is what meditation has taught me.

Does Money = Success?

We all know the answer to this.  No, money does not equal success.  Yet, how many of us want one or the other or both?  Money does not buy happiness yet it does allow for the purchase of ‘things’ that make us happy.  Success can be ego-boosting however some would say an abundance of ego is harmful.

Having money and success is fraught with power.  So much so, it frightens us into sending mixed messages to the brains.  We want these things as a dream life.  The reality of it could be a nightmare.

Those two opposing thoughts are what keep the majority of people from achieving their objectives.  Who wants a dream that will turn into a nightmare?  That is why we must carefully monitor our contemplations.  Cautious consideration is needed to supervise positive outcomes.  Money and success do not have to be the alarming experiences we have conjured up.  Having, attaining and sustaining them can be as much fun as we allow ourselves to believe.

Holding on to those assumptions can be a challenge.  We are human, after all, and as much as we despise change, the mind will adjust frequently when confronted with too much goodness.  Funny that!  In fact, it may have to do with our comfort level.  When struggling for a long time, an easy life becomes full of discontent.  Once again it is all in our perceptions.

To really enjoy money and success we have to be open to accepting the luxuries of life.  Money is simply a means of exchange and success is a favourable outcome.  They can be one and the same regarding a desired life.  People have lived without money for thousands of years.  Yet, success can be found in the tiniest of triumphs.

So, no, money does not equal success and success does not equal money.  Be grateful for the little you have of both.

Instinct


Each one of us has the ability to act without conscious intention.  We move in directions that compel us, not fully understanding why.  This is instinct.

Sometimes, these roads can lead to exciting opportunities.  Or they steer us towards much needed, under achieved aspects of our lives.  To follow one’s natural behaviour may be difficult especially when it goes against society’s ideas of ‘the norm’. That does not mean we should ignore our gifts.  They are there for a reason and being heroic enough to explore these unique avenues can take tremendous courage.

Granted, this is not always the case.  At times, chasing a predisposition is relatively easy.  It is all in the way one chooses to live their lives.  Being secretive and underhanded or open and honest; the decision is as individual as we all are.

Going against our instincts can induce negativity levelled at ourselves.  It would be akin to a dam holding back the water at Niagara Falls.  It wants to spill over but cannot.  It is much better to step back and let nature flow in its perfect rhythm.  Only then will your world open up and you can embrace all that it has to offer.

There is no influence as strong as moral fortitude when it comes to pursuing our natural inclinations.  So, be a kitty-loving, hard core biker or a bald (by choice) woman.  (I know this is a difficult one for most to accept). Being different is a strength.  Who wants to be like everyone else?  And from the outside, looking in, we must reserve judgement until further notice.  Not everything unusual is bad.  Goodness will always reveal itself.

If you are being pulled towards something of interest, yet are holding back because it is not the standard, take a deep breath and plunge ahead.  So long as you are not out to hurt others and your reasons are sound.  If it comes from a place of love, there is only one recourse.  Move forward.

Natural abilities are in all of us.  Being lucky enough to earn a living off them is marvellous.  Exploring them to whatever results, will culminate in a contented, well-fed soul.

Life Without Creating

This summer I added a creative outlet to my usual routine.  It was something I had thought about often while never putting into practise.  Now, that the warmer weather is over and I cannot participate in this resourceful avenue I am finding the elation I enjoyed all summer, on the wane.

Could it be that by performing such a simple function life has opened up?  It seems that this is exactly the case.  And if all it takes to bringing pleasure into our lives is by engaging in fun projects, than why not do more of it?  We should not ignore this aspect.

Sometimes, making a living gets in the way of blissful recreation.  And, these days, companies seem to expect people to be on call 24/7.  Work is not everything.  Leisure time is just as important.  Yet, it seems to get pushed to the back burner and stress and worry have become the norm.

We all have our own means of expression that generates release.  It does no one any good to ignore these traits.  For the sake of inner happiness we must let go and attain the internal satisfaction that is sure to follow.

Not everyone wants to work M-F and get rip-roaring drunk on the weekend.  This behaviour has become commonplace and acceptable.  Surely, it is far better to experience a peaceful serenity by activating the creative side of you.  Who knows where that road can lead?

When our ingenuity is taken from us it perpetuates a stale, dulling of the senses.  That would be why bad habits such as alcohol and drugs fill the gap.  I say, ‘fill your heart’ instead.  Do the things that you love.  Do not let anyone else’s opinion sway you from it, either.

Life without creativity would be dead boring and totally without excitement or spontaneity.  We all need that spark.  It keeps the juices flowing and brain cells firing.  Take part in any number of ventures.  Feed your soul and the rest of your being will benefit.