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    Wednesday
    Nov132013

    Don't confuse love and desire...

    “Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers. When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.”

    Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    Don't confuse love and desire. They are two very different things. They may exist together, but desire is no substitute for love.

    Desire is like a river, love is more like the ocean.

    Desire is never the same. It ebbs and flows. Love doesn't vary.

    Desire excludes. It picks and chooses. Love includes -- it finds a place for everything.

    Desire is temporary. Love is eternal.

    Desire is never satisfied for long. Love is always full, always complete, yet every expanding, ever growing.

    Desire can succeed or fail. Love never fails.

    Sunday
    Oct272013

    Decide what you want and start talking yourself into it (instead of talking yourself out of it.)

    "You're either talking yourself into what you want or you're talking yourself out of it. You might wonder why it is you'd want to argue that you can't have what you want." -- from a talk I gave in 1991. I'd say I was ahead of my time with that one.

    Ever notice how kids, especially the little ones, always seem to come up with really good arguments as to why they should get everything they want? They can be very persuasive and they don't give in, the little beggars. Sure, they don't know what they're asking for half the time, but there is something to be said for their faith and dedication.

    A few years later, the same kid has resigned himself to the fact that he can't have what he wants most of the time. He is getting more "mature." He's even starting to feel like he shouldn't ask for things because it's selfish.

    A few years go by and the same kid as a teenager is starting to complain about how they NEVER get what they want -- because people won't let them have it. It's so unfair! Wait till I'm an adult, they say.

    But wait a few more years, and the adult will insist that no one can really have what they want. IT'S JUST THE WAY LIFE IS. Sure, if you're lucky enough to have money you can buy things, but you STILL CAN"T HAVE MOST OF WHAT YOU WANT, especially the intangible stuff that really matters like good friends or love or happiness or creativity or security or satisfaction or peace of mind. Even massively successful and fortunate people can't seem to get what they want, so what chance do the rest of us have?

    And I ask: who says we can't have what we want? Mostly, it's us. We say it, and we insist on it.

    How did we all get so cynical? So pessimistic? Why do most of us argue FOR our limitations?

    I think we should pay attention and find out (or decide) what it is that we want and then start supporting the idea that it might be possible to have it -- maybe even go so far as to say that we can and should have what we want, not in an ignorant way the way we did when we were three years old, (I want a pony! I'll take care of it!) but in context, taking into consideration the needs of others, as sensible and intelligent adults.

    Think about relationship goals, business goals, financial goals, enjoyment goals, learning goals, you name it. (Do you have them?) Are you saying you can or can't have what you want?

    Start by deciding to support the idea that your goals are reachable. Start there. Talk yourself into your goals, not out of them.

    Friday
    Aug092013

    Pride is a place where we hide

    I'm not talking about self esteem or self respect here. Not that kind of pride. I'm talking about pride as in,"Pride goeth before the fall," the way we get when someone hurts our feelings and we compensate by puffing ourselves up, by trying to make ourselves bigger and better than those who wounded us.

    That kind of pride, maybe we could call it "hurt pride," stems from a sense of inferiority or insecurity that gets activated by a real or imagined slight. We hide behind an overwrought sense of self importance and hide our sense of hurt and rejection by doing the same thing to others that others have done to us. Sort of a reverse golden rule: they rejected us so we are going to reject them. We distance ourselves and hide in our hurt.

    This tactic doesn't work. It isolates us, ratifies our sense of victimhood and having-been-wronged and amplifies the hurt. Too much of this and we become bitter and resentful, and hide our true sense of vulnerability and hurt behind a wall of anger and resentment, of cold superiority.

    There might be a sense of sour grapes, as in "I didn't want that anyway..." or betrayal, "I can't believe I'm being treated this way, like some inferior..." Anger, tears, why me all give way to "the hell with them." But it doesn't make us feel better, because it's still all about wanting their attention and regard.

    This kind of neurotic pride is often interleaved with a neurotic sense of self-loathing. One moment we feel righteously offended and victimized, the next we feel worthless and ashamed. Maladaptive emotions always seem bipolar: neurotic pride and neurotic shame go together like night and day. We swing back and forth between those two extremes.

    Pride is a place we hide our hurt and disappointment, a place where we practice coldness and indifference when we're really feeling sadness and confusion. Pride is a place where we lick our wounds and practice self-pity.

    Better to understand no one owes us anything. Our security, our sense of value, of worth, our enjoyment of life are not entitlements owed to us by life or by others. There is no commerce around our sense of worth and well-being; it is a gift we give ourselves, freely and out of a genuine sense of self regard, not something we must earn or something owed us, something bestowed only by the approval of others.

    Hurt pride, defensive pride, the demand that others give us the approval and affection we won't give ourselves, always and only makes things worse.

    In truth, no one owes us a damned thing. We're no better than anyone else, and no one is better than we are. That's always true. All the complaints or comparisons or resentment in the world won't make us feel better when someone disregards or hurts us. Complaining or feeling sorry for ourselves only makes things worse.

    The only solution to hurt or betrayal seems to be letting go of our demands of better treatment and our rebuilding our own sense of self-approbation, our own self-love, our own self-kindness and self-regard.

    Don't expect others to treat you better than you treat yourself. Tend to your own personal sense of self worth and you won't mind the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. You won't mind the disapproval or the disrespect or disregard. You'll become immune to it.

    Monday
    Jul292013

    Love and the deeper truths: how we get closer

    "An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

    It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

    It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

    It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us."

    -- Adrienne Rich

    See the whole article here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/07/02/adrienne-rich-honorable-human-relationship/

    Thursday
    Jul182013

    Life is what's going on right now; the rest is just stories

    You've heard it said before:

    It's all about the journey.
    All we have is what we have in this moment.
    It's the little things that count.
    Whatever you're worried about, it isn't happening right now.

    Your life is whatever is happening right now. Not "these days;" -->this minute<--. The rest is stories -- memories or fantasies. Life is what is real -- right here, right now. Stories are never real -- they're always somewhere else, some other time.

    Your actual real life occurs in all of the ordinary moments throughout the day: brushing your teeth, waiting for the bus, laughing with friends, getting your work done.

    Enjoying your life means enjoying all of these ordinary everyday moments. It doesn't mean arranging things to be able to have "special moments," and "good times," although those can be fun, too. 99% of your life is going to be ordinary, no matter who or what you are, and the only thing that matters is this: are you enjoying each of these ordinary moments? Or are you putting up with them, getting through them, suffering with them, on the way to "good times" or "goals?"

    Simply stated, your life is nothing more than a succession of very precious and very ordinary moments, so welcome and embrace and savor each moment as if it were the only one. Start enjoying yourself more.

    Here's some ideas that may help you "get more out of life:":

    1. Slow down. This doesn't necessary mean go slowly, although it might be good to do that too. It means don't hurry through anything. Every moment is precious, a gift. Go only as fast as you can go and still savor each moment. Like Warren Haynes said when asked about soloing on the guitar: "Try playing just one note at a time."

    2. Stop resisting. Stop trying to control or manage or fix everything. Begin by letting things be. Play your part, and only your part, in every situation, and let things evolve around you. Work WITH situations, not ON situations.

    3. Focus first on the positive, what's good in every situation, before beginning to focus on what's missing or lacking or wanted or needed in every situation. Focus on what's wrong as little as possible, and only from the point of view of how-to-make-it-better. Try not to criticize or complain. Praise and appreciate.

    4. Think less, feel more. Get out of the words and arguments and into the sensations and non-verbal experiences. See, hear, taste, touch, feel.

    5. Learn what trust means. Learn what openness means. Learn what harmony means. Learn what respect means. Learn what mutuality means. Learn what freedom means.

    6. See everything as apples and oranges. See every situation as unique. Let go of the idea of worse and focus more on better.

    7. Find ways to smile, laugh, love and be happy. Regardless of the circumstances.

    Almost all the pain in life is in focusing on the past or the future. There is very little that is wrong or painful in any present moment. Suffering is always a habit of resisting and trying to dodge the present moment, an unwillingness to let be what is.

    Let life be. Let people be. Let yourself be. Let your thoughts and feelings be. Let your struggles be. Start there, and then watch how life goes on, how it evolves, with you and your growing awareness being an integral part of that evolving.

    Understand that when it comes to life, you're not doing it. It is doing you. We're all passengers (sometimes Bozos) on this bus.

    Thursday
    Jul182013

    6 things happy people never do

    To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy from the first line of Anna Karenina:

    "Happy people are all alike; every unhappy person is unhappy in his or her own way."

    Its our nature to be happy. You have to work hard to be un-happy. If you're going to be miserable you're going to have to do all sorts of things that you don't like to do.

    Happiness isn't some kind of achievement. It is the way we are when we wise up and stop doing all the things that make us unhappy.

    Here is a wonderful article on things happy people never do:

    http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/07/16/6-things-happy-people-never-do/

    Enjoy!

    Sunday
    Jul142013

    Snap judgments are usually wrong + the mystery quote of the week

    We often use snap judgments of others as a way of measuring how we ourselves are doing. But looks can be deceiving and snap judgements are usually wrong. Add in the fact that people are often "fronting" or showing you only what they want you to see. Sometimes we're doing better than we realize and we worry needlessly.

    Then we say, "If only I had what others have -- more money, or a partner, or a child, or a better career or more health, or looks or talent -- I would be happier." Except that people who already have those things often aren't any happier than you are.

    Don't believe everything you see and hear. As a coach, I get to hear people's true stories, not the ones they keep on hand for public consumption. And if there is one thing I've learned, it's that everyone has their struggles. Everyone has their challenges. Everyone has their insecurities. Life isn't easy for anyone.

    Instead of comparing yourself to others, or your perceptions and fantasies of others, compare yourself to yourself. Think about where you are and where you want to be because that's the only comparison that matters.

    I started thinking about this because I came across this quote:

    "Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you."

    Anyone recognize this quote? I would love to know who wrote it.

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