Who are you? (3)

Who are you?

A couple of years ago I wrote two posts* that posed the question, “Who are you?” I’m still pondering that question and thought I’d share what I’ve come up with since then.

Self-discovery, true self-discovery where the soul illuminates the ego rather than the ego darkening the expression of soul or adding false light upon itself can be a tricky process. You know when you’re on the right track when your discovery brings awe, beauty, and happiness. This seems pretty simple, so why is it so hard?

I think part of the reason rests in from what part of ones self one is asking the questions. Asking questions and pondering answers generated from the ego-self almost always complicates the process and limits the results.

Sometimes even asking a question at all can distort reality. Sometimes in order to “hear” one needs to shut-up.

Sometimes just observing, watching, looking, minding (as in being mindful), hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing is all one needs to open the door to enlightenment. Note that I don’t say anything about “doing” anything with any of that incoming awareness data? That’s because “doing” usually shuts the process down whereas the act of “being” keeps the process relevant and alive.

Try the following:

Step outside, go on… what do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you see? You named it all didn’t you e.g. a “dog” “barking”; new-mowed grass; it’s hot out, must be 90 degrees for god’s sake!; there’s the neighbor playing with their one year old–cute little guy.

Now, try stepping out and observe without doing anything with what you notice. Much quieter, huh? Sometimes when I do this, not only does a sense of peace well up, but tears of happiness, feelings of belonging ,and sometimes a sense of being big enough to include it all–of being bigger than I was before stepping out the door pervades my consciousness. But as soon as I start labeling the experience…poof! It all goes away.

When I “decide” what it is that I’m experiencing I immediately kill all the alternatives, I objectify a subjective experience, I limit the experience. To add “cide” to almost any word means to kill the alternative or object.

Now, it’s not that the process of deciphering and deciding has no usefulness, because on the contrary it’s an evolutionary security process and the faster you can accurately do it, the greater the chance of your personal survival. So I wouldn’t ignore this skill when walking down a dark alley, but one does not have to treat their whole life in survival mode.

When the stresses generated by my mind’s reaction to reality begin to weigh heavily on me sometimes just quieting it by stepping outside and letting the reality wash over me without trying to corral it i.e. define it or add meaning to it will center me and bring me peace.

What does this have to do with the original question, “who are you?” It’s about telling the truth about an observation, whether that observation comes from outside you or from within. It’s about opening to the unvarnished, unmediated experience of reality.

_____________________________

* https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/who-are-you-2/

and

https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/who-are-you/

Living Life Intentionally

LIFE-eternity.jpg

 

Not so long ago while waiting for my wife outside the pharmacy I was listening to a podcast discussion regarding the living of one’s life intentionally.

Intentionally? Like what? Intentional Parenting, was my first thought versus laizez faire (or unconscious) parenting. What would that look like? Do we take an interest in our children’s education other than letting them watch whatever they want on T.V. whenever they want (thus letting something else input their learning)? Do we allow a T.V. in their room? (what effect does that have on their learning?) Do we think we’ve done enough if we just say, “Do your homework!” or “Have you done your homework?” or do we sit down with them while they’re doing it? Or do we just let the teachers do it? Do we make sure there are books in the house and make sure that they see us reading? Do we read to them regularly, or do we just expect them to learn to read at school? What are our expectations for them and do we communicate those with them? Do we care what they want out of their life? How much do we even think about what we want for them?

How about Intentional Living versus just letting it happen? Do we watch what we eat and intentionally eat what is good for us? Is pre-prepared food good enough? Is exercise important? What about intentional recreation? Are we conscious of what we put into and onto our bodies and our children’s bodies? Do we honor life’s feedback or just resist it?

Then there’s Intentional Personal Development. Do we ask what would help us to be better people, or do we wait for it to just happen, or do we even care? Do we look to see what would be the responsible approach to our finances? Are we proactive with our finances, or just buy things on impulse? Do we practice Intentional Spending and Saving?

And what about intentional dreaming? Imagine going to bed every night with the intention of having a dream that helps us get in touch with our lives at a deeper level.

 

Imagine

 

Zen masters talk of a mindfulness walk, a fully conscious walk of intention. Imagine walking through life being aware of what’s going on around you. Imagine treating the one life you’ve got like a favored pastime, being as interested and engaged in it as possible. Imagine treating your life as something sacred.

Imagine a life lived with purpose. What would this require? Certainly at the very least it would require us to be more conscious of what’s going on both inside us as well as outside us. What if we treated our lives as a game plan, or a book i.e. a story? How would we want the story to go and how would we want it to end? Instead of walking through life letting others and circumstances write the story for us, how would we write it ourselves? What would that take? We already know who the hero is. What do we want for them?

What does your version of the Quest for the Golden Fleece look like?

One thing I’ve learned about writing stories is that it helps to have a good outline, or you’ll just wander around in the wilderness letting the story write the story. It also helps to stay on message and be consistent with my intended purpose. The other thing is that details are important; they can make the difference between a ho-hum story and a good read. Lives are like a story, the good one’s require intention.