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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why ask why?

Recently, I had a conversation with someone lost in the question of "why", so I thought it would be a good time to bring back an older blog for a little insight on the question "why"?  Enjoy!

Most times, when something goes wrong in our lives, the very first question we ask ourselves is "Why?" Unfortunately, this is the worst question we can ask ourselves. Some people live so much in the question of why, that they never get past the event that made them say it to begin with. Why, you see, is a useless question. It never really matters why. Remember when you were a kid, and you wanted to do something, and your parents said no, and you asked them "Why?" and they answered, "Because I said so, that's why." That, in essence, is actually the best answer to your question. Because it doesn't matter why. It only matters that you can't do whatever they told you you couldn't do. "Mom, John's having a party, can I go?" Your mother responds "No." "Why?" You ask. It doesn't matter why. Maybe it's because you have to do something else. Maybe it's because your mom doesn't think much of John. Maybe it's because she knows that no one wants you at the party, or maybe it's none of those things. The fact of the matter is, you can't go. So "Why" you can't go becomes irrelevant.

"Why are we here?" "Why did this have to happen to me now?" "Why is the store always sold out of what I came for?" So many questions of why, and in each case, it doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter why you're here, because you are indeed here. It doesn't matter why something happened to you now, because it did indeed happen. And it certainly doesn't matter why the store is out of what you came for, because nothing is going to make it magically appear in their stock. So as you can see, "Why" is a useless question.

It's useless because it only leads to more questions. It never leads to action. And in this way, many people get locked into the trap of "Why". The question of "Why" also leads to all the "what if's" that take people out of the present moment, and lost in a hypothetical world of things that don't exist. And no matter how much you wish that they would, they don't. You only have NOW. Asking "What if this would have happened instead?" is just a way of mentally torturing yourself. With that in mind, the correct questions to ask yourself instead of "Why", are "What", and "How".

You must first accept the situation as it is. This is important. Acceptance is the first phase of overcoming any obstacle. Then, ask yourself the questions of "What" and "How". So, in the example above of "Why did this have to happen to me now?" The replacement for the question of "Why" is "Ok, this happened to me. What can I do to make this situation better, or how can I prevent this from either getting worse, or happening to me again?" "What" and "How" are calls to action. And when you are taking action, you have control over the situation, instead of the situation having control over you. Remember, if you feel that something has happened to you, then you are a victim. Victims never overcome their obstacle. You are only a victim in the moment that something is happening in your life. Once that moment is over, how you choose to react to that situation will define you either as a victim, or, for lack of a better word, a survivor. Some people are a victim of an event for the rest of their life. They use it as an excuse to never be able to achieve things in their lives. They'll tell you "You don't understand what happened to me". The ego is in full force. You may not have control over what happened to you at the time it happened, but you certainly have control over every single moment after that. How will you choose to react to that? From weakness, or strength?

There are so many beautiful cases in which someone has overcome so much. I recently read about a quadriplegic that swam the English Channel. He lost his limbs after being electrocuted on a ladder. But he did not remain a victim of that accident. He has been living his life, including not only swimming the English Channel in just over 14 hours, (10 hours less than even he thought it would take him), but skydiving, and things like that. He could have lived the rest of his life lost in the question of "Why". "Why did this have to happen to me". But he chose the "What" and the "How". What could he do to keep living his life? How can he make his life better? He was only a victim for the moment of the electrocution, now he is a survivor, and deals from a place of strength.

"Why" is a trap of the ego. It begs for sympathy for us from others. It wants others to do for us what we feel we cannot do for ourselves, because we are a victim. If you live your life lost in the question of "Why", it will be a very unhappy place to live. If you turn your mind into the action questions of "What" and "How", you will see amazing changes start to take place in your life.

Love and light.........

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A simple story about a fisherman....

There once was a man that lived in a farming village, yet he was a fisherman.  The river that passed this village was too swift to provide any fish for the fisherman, and it was very dangerous by the shore.  But this man fished every day.  Some days he would catch a fish, but most days he did not.  But he had friends in the farming village, and even though he couldn't make the living he wanted to make, he stayed at the village, because that's what was comfortable to him.

One windy day, the fisherman went to the river's edge to cast his line into the river.  He did not notice that the jagged rocks on which he stepped were wet from the crashing of the waves with the wind.  Upon casting his line out into the water, the man slipped, and fell into the brisk river.  In a panic, he grasped tightly to a few small jagged rocks protrouding from the river.

The waves on this windy day crashed upon the man, smashing his body into the rocks, yet he continued to grasp onto the rocks with all his might.  "I can't let go", cried the man.  He thought of his friends in the village that he would never see again if he were to drown.  He thought "even though I do not have the life I have wanted, I still want to stay right here!".  So the man clinged to the rocks as if it were his lifeline.

What the man did not realize, was that what he clinged to so tightly, was actually killing him.  By remaining on those rocks, the waves from the swift river were pummeling his body into the rocks, slowly ending his life.  What he thought was the comfort of safety, was the pinnacle of danger.

More waves came crashing in, and the man smashed his face upon the rocks.  As his pain grew worse, finally the light went off.  "What I cling to is actually hurting me!"  "If I keep holding on, I will surely die.  But if I let go, there's a chance that I will not drown."  So the man took a deep breath, gathered his courage, and with faith, let go of the rocks.

The man was quickly swept into the river, but to his surprise, he did not get pulled under the water.  In fact, he was able to float!  The river whisked him away, and as it did, he began to see things he had never seen before.  "This land is so beautiful!  I've only seen the farming village where I lived.  I never knew such beauty existed!".  The man continued to float on the river, and soon, he realized that he could also control where he was going.  "I can control which way I move, just by using my arms!".  As the river twisted left and right, so did the man, now in control of where he was floating.

After a while, the river started to become peaceful.  The man looked around with wonder.  "I can't believe I'm here", he thought.  After a few minutes, he saw a fisherman on the shore.  The man on the shore called out to him. "Are you ok?"  "Yes", relied the man.  The river was now calm enough that the man was able to swim to the shore.  He explained to the man on the shore that he was a fisherman from a farming village way up the stream.  The other man laughed. "Why would you be fishing in a farming village?  That seems awfully silly".  The man thought about it and said "Now that you mention it, it is.  I never really caught anything".  The other man asked "Then why did you stay?"  The man replied "I didn't know anything else, and I was comfortable there.  Even though I didn't have the life I wanted, it wasn't bad.  It just wasn't..... good."  The other man laughed.  "Well, you will like it here then.  This is a prosperous village.  We have both farmers AND fisherman!  But we need some more.  Would you be interested in staying with us?"  The man did not have to think about it at all.  After all he had been through, he saw now what the Universe intended for him to see all the time.

If he would have continued to hold on to something that wasn't good for him, he would not have been able to find where he fit in.  And although the journey was frightening at first, he soon learned that he had much more control than he thought he did.  And finally, he found out that what he thought he wanted, was not what he wanted at all.  And when he got what he needed, he realized that's what he wanted the whole time.

The Universe dreams dreams for us that are so much bigger than anything you could possibly dream for yourself.  But if you are holding on to something that you need to let go of, those things will never manifest themselves in your life.

So, are you going to continue to hold on to the rocks and get battered, or are you going to move forward with faith, and see all of the infinite number of possibilites that are in store for you?

Move foward with faith, not fear.

Love and light to you all..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Judgement, Understanding, and Acceptance

Did you ever wonder where judgment comes from? Why people judge someone for what they wear, who they are, or even what they practice? Most people confuse judgment with opinion, in that they do not feel they are being judgmental, just expressing their opinion. The difference, is that judgement is outward, and opinion is inward. Take for instance someone wearing a shirt that a person doesn't like. They might say "that shirt is ugly". That is a judgment. The shirt is neither ugly, nor is it pretty; it is just a shirt. An opinion, which looks inward, is "I personally don't care for that shirt." Since you make it about you, and not about the shirt or the person wearing it, your opinion is not destructive. It is simply a reflection of you. Another example of this, is "That tv show is stupid". By saying that, you are judging not only the show itself, but the creator of the show, the cast, crew, and people who watch it. After all, if the show is stupid, you must be stupid to watch it! But the show is neither stupid, nor smart. It is simply a show on television. When you say "I don't care for that show", the only implication is on yourself, and therefore, is an opinion.

But where does this judgment come from? Well, if you continued that last judgment above, it may give you a clue. "That tv show is stupid. I don't understand how anyone can watch that!" And there you have it. Most people are afraid of the things they don't understand, and it usually comes out in the form of judgment. Now, for a tv show, that might not be too big of a deal. But what happens when you are talking about another human?

Whether it is alternative lifestyles, clothing, traditions, or behaviors, many people do not find peace within themselves because they "just don't understand". Why is understanding so important to humans? Why is it they have to have a clear cut, determining word or action to have something they can try to understand? The insecure feelings on a subconscious  level with people that do not understand something, causes fear, and negative reactions to the things, or people, in which they don't understand. But let me ask you this. How many people understand how the motor in their car works? With electronic fuel injections, valves in the cylinders, compression, and all the many other factors that make your car go forward, how many people truly understand all the hundreds of instantaneous actions that happen in their engines to make their car go forward? Yet they don't hate their car. They don't ignore or berate their cars because they don't understand how they operate. What they do is accept that the motor drives their car. And with that acceptance, comes peace. How many people truly understand how electricity is created in a nuclear power plant, and is then transmitted all the way to the light switch in their bedroom? Do you think about that every time you turn on the light? Of course not. Because you simply accept that when you flip the switch, the power comes on.

Yet when it comes to people that are different from themselves, there is no acceptance, only judement, followed by the wonderful "I just don't understand why you _______________". You can fill in the blank with anything, it really doesn't matter. If people can accept others for who they are, instead of judging them because they don't understand why they do something, peace will come into the world. After all, everyone, and I mean everyone on this planet wants to be accepted for who they are, yet most everyone is not ready to give that same respect back to others. Since you only see the world from your eyes, and since you don't understand why someone is doing that, or wearing that, or wants to live like that, then you judge them based solely on your own beliefs in your own life. If you would fall back on opinion, instead of judgment, no dis-comfort would arise inside of you. You would simply accept, and say "I choose not to do ____________". With no dis-comfort, fear cannot exist. Without fear, no negative energy would be created towards the other person.

If you think it can't be that simple, go back to your car. Have you ever had a verbal altercation with your car because you didn't understand engine viscosity? No, you just let your car do what it does, and you do so in peace. You can do the same in this world towards others. You do not need to understand everything. Just accept things for the way they are, and if you don't like it, realize that is simply inside of you, and has no business being directed outside of you.

So, next time you hear yourself saying "that guy is stupid", or "That person should live their lives different", bring it back to yourself. Start the sentence off with you as the subject. "I don't like the way that person is living their lives". It will be an interesting insight into yourself. What about you does not like it? It is because you do not accept it. Once you accept, the judgment is gone, and there is peace. And when there is peace, understanding is possible.

Remember, we are the human race. Which means we are all humans. Which means we are all the same. Only people, inside of themselves, create separation.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

You can't go out in your robe!

Hey everyone! Ok, so my little hiatus is over... and some good things are coming. My main website is being built, and I will now have time to continue to update that and this blog, as well as my spiritual productions! WHOO HOO! But on the lighter side of enlightenment....

I was with some friends this weekend, and one pointed out to me that I am always joking around. How can such a spiritual person joke around so much? And so I wondered, what do people want me to do, walk around in my robe with birds on my shoulders, and animals following me around? Is that many people's idea of a spiritual teacher? And while there are many monks who practice traditions that are thousands of years old, with great dilligence, you don't have to be set in traditions to be spiritual. You just have to "Be".

I admire the sheer level of dedication to the lifestyle that the Tibetan monks live. I often feel like I want to run away and live that lifestyle, as I continue to grow. But I am who I am. I am a beautiful representation of the Universe in human form, as we all are. How could I not be me? As I've said before, there's beauty in differences. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. The Universe made me just like this, so how could I possible question it, or not be me?

I think some people get lost in this idea. They think they are going to lose part of themselves once they start releasing attachment, bringing the peace within to outside experiences, and living from one's higher self. The only parts you lose when you start on the path are the ones that keep you attached to worldly things. But the best of you will shine! Your light will be brighter than ever.

What people seem to notice most about me when they meet me, is my peaceful energy. That's because that's where I come from. My inner peace. But I still like to laugh! I still think the world is funny! I still hug my friends, I still attempt to dance.... (Notice the word "attempt"), and I still have an outgoing personality. Most of that helps me connect very quickly with people, and in turn, help the teaching process. Because all I can be, is me. And I am me, and I am on a spiritual journey; no robe required.

So enlighten up! It's not the end of you, it's the beginning of a more peaceful you! Buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
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