Popcorn Brain?

Where did that thought come from, and that one, … how did that pop up in my mind? If you ever find yourself caught in the mental popcorn popper, the reaction to the reaction, the mental loops and the self sabotaging stories that just won’t stop, you’re not alone.

Our lives have been shifted over the centuries from a survival based existence on the plains, or in the forests or caves, to a civilized(?) lifestyle that works toward safety, security, low-risk, existence.

In brief, our minds are bored. They’re built to keep us alive in the direst of circumstances and quite honestly, we engineered a lot of that need right out of our society. So what’s a survivalists brain to do?

Look for problems to solve, mountains to climb, stories to get attached to, positions to argue for and against, incessant worries to ruminate over, etc.

The mind is a wonderful servant… terrible master!

So what’s a human to do? What’s the alternative to being run by a reactive, survivalist mind?

Inner exploration is the key. As you become aware of your inner landscape, how the mind reacts to various internal and external stimuli, you’ll develop the inner spaciousness and ability to say thank you for your efforts mind, but today, I’m going to make a different decision. Today I will love, not argue, today I will make peace with myself and others rather than challenge, today I will focus on my values and vision rather than allowing my passions and desires to run the show through my reactive, albeit often helpful, mind.

It’s easy and yet hard to do this in our success oriented, go, go, go, competitive, externalized, society. It is possible with the right approach and by building your listening skills and inner awareness ability.

May we all find the love, peace, strength, courage and joy that is within us and has been there the whole time.

Who stole my joy?

It’s there within you, you’ve just lost track of it.

Of course you didn’t lose it on purpose. One day, one hour, one minute at a time, you let someone or something tell you to hide or mute or push down what matters to you. It’s still there, beneath it all.

It’s not that you never have problems, challenges, anger, sadness, or fear, we all do. It’s just that you’ve allowed yourself to sacrifice what matters, to get through, to get along, to look good, to get someone to Ike you, accept you. Let face it, you’ve sacrificed, joy, peace, accomplishment, kindness, love, harmony…

If you’re tired and need to be recharged, look no further. If you want to keep slugging it out, hoping joy will emerge, miraculously, maybe you’re the exception.

Finding real joy, deep joy, requires your full commitment and courage. You have to be willing to risk the status quo to find the kind of joy you’re looking for. There’s a lot of difficult, uncharted inner landscape before you.

If you’ve been waiting to begin… ask yourself, why not today? If not today, when you’ve mustered enough courage to risk losing what you’ve become comfortable with, I stand ready to journey with you.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is really ready, the teacher will disappear. – Lao Tzu

Back to Basics – Breathe

Back to Basics

And know you are breathing.
Love, even closer than life.
Love in our midst, always waiting.

We work to make ourselves worthy,
Striving to justify our place.
It is finished, it is done.
Breathe and know you are here.

But wait, you say, isn’t there more?
Yes and no, breath is all you need,
In this moment, in this place.
The culmination of all time and creation in one breath.

One prayer.
Breath of Love,
Breathe me now,
Until time runs it’s course.

Soul Sherpa

Soul Sherpa

Where are you going brother?
Up to the top you say.
It’s quite a journey,
And you’re carrying quite a load.

I’ve never climbed this mountain,
The one you’re eyeing with courage and fear.
I’ve been on a number of climbs before.
At the summit, you’ll find bedrock.

At the camps along the way,
You’ll find some rest.
Once refreshed though,
That inner drive will carry you further.

You can do it on your own.
You can trust that inner will.
If you might allow me,
To help carry all that you’ve brought with you.

As you get closer to the top,
I’ll wait with your things, those you may need,
And yet might keep you from the summit.
You’ll need to summit by yourself yet, you won’t be alone.

We all must make the final push on our own.
A soul sherpa like me can help get you closer,
The final push is up to you.
I’ll be here when you return, if you decide to.

Humility, suffering and heaven.

Can anyone take away our suffering? Has anybody seen our collective humility? In the gospels there are several renditions of the rich young ruler story who approaches Jesus and asks what he might do to “inherit the kingdom of heaven”. The answer is simple but it becomes complex because we don’t like what it says to us.

Our wealth, our power, our position, our prestige and our health often get in the way of our deeper sense and experience of God’s presence in our lives, experiences and hearts, here and now.

The rich young ruler was told, the one thing you lack… “to sell all you have and give to the poor, and you shall find treasure in heaven. Come follow me.” Before we run ahead to the story’s conclusion, let’s take a pause and think in our own lives why Jesus might be giving this advice? Is it to shame those of us with means? To simply help the poor? I might suggest that it is so that both the rich and the poor will know the Love of God. A theological two-for!

As you know in your head, the math works out. The problem is that fear, sadness, jealousy, loneliness, and anger keep showing up within you and thus you need to try NOT to feel or sense those things. How can it be that you have so much and yet you are suffering inside?

Suffering is universal. If you could “buy” your way out of it, someone would have figured out how to already, and could charge a lot for it.

Your ability to be able to be okay with inner suffering (being okay with suffering is another way of describing peace) is proportional to the amount of “wealth” you perceive yourself to have in relationship to others. The more you’ve got, the harder it is to accept all the internal stuff going on with you that you don’t want to be. Certainly, you say, “if I just had more resources, or purchased this or traveled there or got this job, or that thing, or this position, then certainly I would no longer suffer inside.”

Stop kidding yourself.

“But I’ve worked so hard to achieve, to make, to save, to succeed…” you say. “All so I can avoid suffering! And you say I CAN’T avoid suffering?”

Silence ….

If you’re feeling sad, angry, scared, stupid, misled, self-righteous, etc. at this point in the blog, stay with that feeling you don’t want for 1 minute. Or 2 if you’re feeling really brave.

Further silence if you dare …

“When the young man heard this, he went away sad because he had great wealth.” – Matthew 19:22

Point made… still had his great wealth and still suffering. If you’re finding yourself with an abundance and are still suffering, you are in good company.

Looking forward to hearing about your thoughts, feelings and experiences.