Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I am grateful for

I am grateful for the things I take for granted every day.
I am grateful for knowing I take them for granted.
I am grateful in knowing I take so many people for granted every day.
I am grateful in knowing I will never fully appreciate what I have in life.
I am grateful I know I have pushed my agenda on others every day to get my way.
I am grateful in knowing I have not considered the troubles I  cause others every day.
I am grateful for knowing that I will never be fully present to what really matters in this life and this moment.
I am grateful in knowing that somehow I make my life and my views and opinions significant and sometimes that hurts others.
I am grateful in knowing how insignificant I really am.
I  am grateful in knowing there is no way to account for all of the things I should be grateful for.

I am grateful that these things I am grateful for are no longer hidden from my view.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happiness! What about it?

What is “Happiness”? First, let’s look at the original meaning of happiness.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant  emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

Looking at this definition, I can see that in my life well... Happiness was lacking for most of my life. It seems the most I remember about happiness is that I always wanted more of it and there never seemed to be enough. I thought people are supposed to be happy, so I should be happy. The next part of the thought and feeling process for was the belief that something must be wrong because I was not happy. All of this energy focused on being happy or unhappy is exhausting, dark, and painful at times
Those sometimes dark days when you don’t really have the desire to talk or be around anyone and the world seems so unfair that you are just sad and you don’t know why. Is it just me that has felt this? The worst part of it all is the pressure and the universal assumption that I need and deserve to be happy. The gray area of happiness and unhappiness and the wanting to be happy. Then focus on the resignation and surrender that at that moment, I am not in fact happy at all. So what should I be doing to be happy?
How often do you experience being happy? Is it all the time? How long does it last?
If you are not experiencing being happy,  then what state are you in and what and where is your attention at? Are you focusing on what you don’t have i.e relationship,boyfriend, girlfriend,, car, or money thus making you unhappy? Or is your attention on what it is in your life that makes you unhappy i.e divorce, abuse, missing the mortgage payment, money for food?Maybe it is both? There are so many things to focus on here,  and that is what you are doing. Focusing on what you do have which is “sadness” or discontent and your interpretation of what has caused this i.e why does he or she not love me, why is this happening too me? The questions of why am I feeling this way, and focusing on what you don’t have which is happiness in this moment. This puts you in another state of mind, which is wanting or what we will call point B. You are in point A “sad” and wanting to be at point C “happy” what is now more pain and suffering is being in point B “wanting” which adds  more suffering and sadness on top of the two states you are already in: The state of where you are point A “sad” where you are not point C  “happy” and where you are “wanting” Point B. Some might argue that the fourth dimension to your suffering (as pointed out earlier) is the” Oh no,  something is wrong with all of this. What is there to fix?”.  All of this is driven by our beliefs which then takes our thoughts and emotional state upside-down. Sadly, this is the point of our focus,  and it is extreme.
This is something I will go into later. For now, this is just me playing around with some insights I have had about my self. So far, I  have discussed where I am, where I am not, where  I want to be, and that something is wrong with this (or me). This is because I am in a painful place to be unhappy or sad, and the wanting to be other than those feelings can drive anyone mad, or worse… It can push them to the point of despair, or even ending one's life.
I was talking with someone the other day who was going through a very hard time with a few things in her life, I wanted to say something that would console her and, suddenly the old cliche hit me. I have heard it so many times in my life, and I almost blurted it out loud: “This too shall pass”. Later that same day, I met with a friend who shared some very exciting news about a job promotion  that made him very happy. Again, it hit me: “This too shall pass”.
Whether it is your finances, car, job, nice suits, poverty, happiness, sadness, youth, or old age,  family, or friends... this too shall pass. This is acknowledging the impermanence of life. Once there is acceptance with this notion, you can learn to let go of those feelings you are focusing on. Things become easier when you say, nothing stays the same,  and notice that even the simple things change, like the seasons, such as the leaves on the trees, mountains and life itself. This is the path of least resistance. There isn’t any resistance  for what there is or to the discomfort that this space holds.
The misconception that what you have makes you happy will, for the time being, make you comfortable. Cars, a nice home, money in the bank, a boat, etc…  These will certainly give you some comfort and a sense of security. However, all of this happiness and comfort is temporary. Happiness seems to come from the external sources, whereas joy is something cultivated with in. I get out of my head and ask the question. “What is happening right now in this moment? Have I had food, shelter or water in this moment without looking at my wants “?””I usually notice that I have all I need for this very moment.
This is the state of being in gratitude I am okay because this is without wanting, and wanting has drama attached to it based on what I have and do not have. The is a huge story behind why I do and don’t, and I am no longer held captive by my feelings or thoughts.

There is so much that I want to control, and there is an illusion that I can control circumstances in my life. “This too shall pass.”


I love this saying!

Sometimes I go

about in pity for


and all the while

a great wind is bearing me

across the sky

- Ojibwa (Native American) Saying

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who is it in my head?

Who is in my head? This isn’t a question regarding “insanity”, but more of perception. Even further... who am I? Who is making the decisions in my life? I would like to think it’s me, but I don’t really think it is. All of the influences in my life that that have lead me to my life’s perceptions were being formed by others. How do I know which religion fits me best?  How do I know which political party to go with?  How do I really know if the system is out to fuck us or not? Are people lying to me?  I don’t trust the government.  I don’t trust anyone. There is no god. This could also be a belief as simple as “I don’t trust________” and you fill in the blank. All of these have been thoughts at one time or another for me. I think that those that have influence over me throughout my life are in fact partially responsible for my core beliefs, opinions, and judgements. I have written about this a few times before and wanted to look at this a little deeper. If I could see things stripped of all judgements and opinions what would I see? And would things in “life” still occur the same way they do now?

Without some of these beliefs,  would I be as motivated in areas such as love or money? In both I perceive good and bad “judgement”. My personal judgement of good and bad may be skewed as well.

Things that are good, or the things in life I identify as bad are moments in my life that are extreme in both ends of the spectrum. Or they are occurrences that left an impression. These impressions helped sculpt my behaviors that now are identified as good or bad to either protect (or  sometimes anesthetize) the result of my interpretations of these beliefs. For me, these opposite extremes of belief have led me to many purposes in my life as well as many heart breaks. Beliefs about loneliness, love, and war, are all my interpretations of words based on beliefs that I have inherited either through community or self. Is any of this between my ears real? Were they manifested in or outside of my mind? They have been essential for my survival as well as the cause for my demise on many occasions.
So, who is in my head? I am a sum total of all of the influences in my life all the way back to the beginning. Those whom I have trusted  listened to, and have invited into my life. It makes me wonder if there really is one original thought or idea... I tend to think that all I have in this existence is simply borrowed from the universe.

All of the messages in the spiritual realm have the same message just regurgitated or reworded. They all points to the same direction: looking inward understanding  One’s self and the interpretation of self.

So again, I ask, “Who am I?” I realize some of these limiting beliefs are the opportunity to collapse them through realization, acknowledgement, and exposing them for what they are. Then I can identify, where they come from.

“I respect your faith but doubt will give you an education” ~Wilson Misner

Doubting whether these beliefs are true takes long periods of self-examination. There is a process I use that we can go into later. However, let me leave you with this. Imagine playing a game of tennis. As you hit the ball coming toward you with all of your effort, it skips off the top of the net into your opponents area. Then he loads his backhand and hits the ball with tremendous force back to you. Now, what is your experience of the ball or the racquet? Can you be the ball as it is being hit, or the racquet as it strikes the ball? Can you experience pain, sadness, or rejection being hit away to somewhere else?

What beliefs were made up about the ball, racquet, or the game (win or lose)?
Who told you this action was even tennis?  First, there had to be a shape of a ball then someone had to name it, and so on.. Sometimes our beliefs are playing a game of hide and seek; they are hidden. By exposing them, there is a way to leave them powerless that will lead to a new understanding of your self. This place of no interpretation or empty space can take something called catastrophe to something that just happened, as well as something like happiness from an occurrence. This provides a space for new interpretation.
These beliefs in my own life have lead to some very extreme and painful places, however they have also lead to some very beautiful ones.

Buddhism for me is doubting and questioning everything beliefs, life and even Buddhism itself. Not knowing that I have a choice in my beliefs is the most painful place for me, it’s  life on  autopilot and I’m along for the ride.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance.[1] The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" (Classical Greek: δρᾶμα, drama), which is derived from the verb meaning "to do" or "to act".

Exploring drama in my personal life,  I have found that I have a very intimate relationship with drama. Drama to me could be anything from  depression can’t make the bills or my boss is an ass hole anything I have a complaint about including myself is drama. Doesn't matter if it is good or bad in my life I don’t see that I like it because I hold on to it and won’t let it go. It’s a form of addiction for me. I own  it as if it were a part of me. Which is sadly not true. Only the emotions and how I relate to them seem to be real.
. One thing I notice about drama is that it shares in the most incurable of all diseases in all of us which is the human condition. Drama is can lead us to a swinging pendulum of emotion from one moment to the next it can be a very subtle dialog or complaint we have with ourselves to an extreme reaction with circumstances beyond our control, or even complaints about others. I notice these complaints in my self whether it is with my self or defending my position in an argument or that conversation we are having with and about someone else when they are not even there. The feelings and emotions we have when events happen that we seen to have  justified with a comment like “this just isn’t fair” or why is this happening to me?  Drama seems to be emotions based on circumstance and how we relate to them based on “beliefs” which will be a topic I will write about later. In short drama is one bipolar bitch sometimes. Most of life is spent avoiding this drama, as it usually has such a negative connotation.
Have you ever looked at the other side of drama, the upside or the romance of life and drama?   In examining this personal love affair with my drama I have noticed a few things about her. She has swooned me through the best times of life and  carried me through the worst times, adding so many rich and vibrant colors and even texture and depth. This drama I call my life is who I am, it is the very the substance of my existence. Whether it be economic drama, recession, depression- we all have a secret love affair with our drama.  It identifies my life. It has forged my soul, my character, my desire to make a difference, as well as created pause for self inquiry. My hopes, dreams, and desires all cast from the fires of my drama.  I live my life for my drama and those struggling moments where I choose to live, where I could have chosen to die. Let’s celebrate the richness that you have brought me that allows me to show compassion to all those who have had a bitter falling out with their drama, not realizing just how important she is.
I think there can be a choice in drama it doesn't have to be debilitating  There can be a different relationship with drama where you don’t have to get buried  or stuck in the mire again.  
The question that is still unanswered is are you making a conscious choice and using the emotions created by this drama or are you simply along for the ride This is mostly where drama and the emotions get uncomfortable in our lives.

A useful exercise that I use regularly as a way to discover the drama in  my life is a simple one.
As you go throughout your day notice the subtle language or judgments you make about yourself and others. More specifically with the self. The dialog that happens when you make a mistake at work how do you speak about yourself thoughts or words like “you are so stupid why did you do that”. How do you speak to yourself about yourself and others. Notice the argument with a loved one or out in public and someone else makes a mistake that  affects your life. This is a way to uncover the hiding places that cause drama. As you notice these thoughts also notice the emotions or feelings that come with them.  This next part is a little harder,try not to interpret or judge them as good bad right or wrong try to observe them.

This is the Buddhism in drama.