Other Perspectives #65

671 OP Relax and Succeed - It might take a year

Can you see that you push myths out in front of you and then you seek to fulfill them? For instance, when you do something you later don’t agree with because you’ve had more time to recognize the results, you’ll possibly view your actions as egotistical, whereas if Freud had never defined an ego then you couldn’t really be egotistical could you? You look in your life for what you have been taught to see. Regardless of what you find it’s all just different ways of being. But you don’t exist if you don’t have a narrative to allow yourself into other people’s imaginations. And because we share in the myth of ego you can present yourself to me in that form and I too will be able to recognize and judge your actions as egotistical. Because you have to be someone. Our mind demands that we wrap our experiences in stories. Things we don’t have a story for we’ll say we’ve forgotten. Every story lays over the action of life but it is not the action itself. Likewise with a quote like the one above. We might choose to believe in the myth that everything has a reason because we need some level of order to be able to feel comfortable in the world. But that reasoning is applied after the fact. We don’t understand what’s happened in front of us in an original, predictive way. Rather we can understand our pasts according to the myths we believe in. So for example, if you believe in the myth that someone is dishonest then you will tend not to believe what they have said whereas if their myth is honesty you will tend to believe what they have said. Neither are true, they are just myths you sought to fulfill. So no, there is no destiny or meaning other than that your choices will have consequences. But you can always change your choices and you can always change where you end up. But there is no meaning to any of it other than the meaning you choose to apply. That’s what the little boy on the boat in Life of Pi was trying to say. There is no universal meaning that works on all of us. We all interpret things the way we choose, and so anything you feel is the result of destiny is really just what happened with a story over top that says it was supposed to happen. But that story is always by you and for you. You can tell that because if it doesn’t come true you’ll keep waiting for it to. You’ll surrender other opportunities if you believe you’re supposed to be with someone. You might even die waiting for them to be available and you will die with your story of destiny intact. Go ahead. Have your myths. Just make sure you see them as myths. Life is life. Your analysis of that life is the story you tell yourself of your existence. The quality of that story will create the quality of your life.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose #65

670 FD Relax and Succeed - Are you trading

Happy Friday to you! So many people are so stressed by debt that today’s posts are going to be about how to live in a simpler, less stressful, more cooperative and more connected way than you currently are. Let’s start off with a link to an article in the BBC News Magazine by writer James Wallman, the author of Stuffocation: Living More With Less.

The Hazards of Too Much Stuff

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Now that we know our motivation, how do we get around the habits of our brains so that we can really do something about it? For this we’ll link to Lifehacker’s Patrick Allan for his piece:

How to Program Your Mind
To Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need

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And let’s finish off with this nice little five minute Graham Hill piece on living with less stuff and more peace.

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You don’t need to be surrounded by things or status. Your friends love you when you’re camping and you have bacon beer breath and dirty clothes and you slept on the dirt in a bag. Have less stuff have more fun and remember, life isn’t for collecting, it’s for living.

peace. s

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Born Again

If you look at it from the right angle, being told you were dead is a big plus in life because it gets you to really appreciate that being alive is actually quite a privilege. So first my dad almost lost me due to my massive brain injury when I was five, and then I almost lost him in 1983 when he ended his roofing career by doing a 3 meter head-first dive into concrete. He’s had cancer, he experiences strokes, and the other day my parent’s neighbour found him 669 Relax and Succeed - Every experience no matter how bad it seemsunconscious and bleeding on her front sidewalk.

I have been keenly aware since I was five that just as I almost did, people can vanish and often without warning. One minute we can talk to them and the next minute we can’t. When Mom and I got to to the hospital physical Dad was there but mental Dad wasn’t. He didn’t know who we were or what had happened. It’s the first time I remember seeing my mother look scared, and Dad looked lost. It must be a terrible sensation to not be able to reel in your own identity. And at the same time it shows that our identity is little more than a collection of our memories and habits.

As I sat in the Emergency Room waiting area I couldn’t help but notice the worried expressions on nearly every face. Everyone was living in the future or the past. They were wishing someone hadn’t tried that trick on their bike, or they wish their diet had been better the last 20 years. Or if they were living in the future they were speculating about what might happen. That’s when I was reminded of how most people see things.

Because I knew very profoundly that I really could lose my father at any second, I did not waste a moment of our time together by wondering about times other than the moment we were in. In that moment I could see that he was scared and that he didn’t even know what would bring him comfort, and so I just held his hand and told him I loved him and that worked pretty well. With no offence to the others intended, if you were watching them closely you 669 Relax and Succeed - You have to embrace getting oldercould see they were so busy worrying about what they might lose that they weren’t very present at all with the people they were there with—including the patient.

Despite my awareness during the emergency I was aware that night that I had undergone a fundamental shift in my self-identity. I was born again as I realized that my time as a part of the next generation was approaching and it allowed me to come to realize that I’m unnerved by the idea of living without my father. I didn’t know it until this last accident happened, but I know of no safer place than in the presence of my entirely non-judgmental, fully supportive father. He’s always displayed courage, decency, kindness, generosity, compassion and intense interest.

My dad has been genuinely excited by everything that’s excited me. He loves it when I love my life and I do not like the idea of living without my hero and that knowledge has changed me. But rather than lament where I am in life I accept that these transitions are a natural part of my love for him and our movement though life. If I don’t resist them with wanting thoughts I will be able to fully immerse myself in the moment, and that’s better because that’s where I’ll find my Dad.

My parents are both way past the national average for lifespan. Mom teaches exercise three times a week and Dad volunteers all over the place plus he walks every neighbour’s dog. That’s what he was doing when he fell. But at their age things can change in an instant and so I’m fully 669 Relax and Succeed - Learn to appreciate what you haveaware that I could have another two decades of goodbyes or that the next one might be the last one. That can feel terrifying if I think about it from a what do I lose? perspective. But if I think about it as a simple reality, it suddenly makes my already beloved parents even more precious.

My Dad is my hero and I love my Mom thoroughly. If my life has been this great clearly they got a whole bunch of stuff right. If it works out that I get another 20 years I will be grateful for every single day. But if it ends sooner I will still be living in a state of mind where I am routinely, unbelievably grateful that these two amazing people are my parents. And loving that fact is about the best thing I can think to do with however much time we have left with each other.

Thanks Mom and Dad. If you were wondering if you succeeded—I can’t imagine a greater success than helping a kid to live a life that he’s absolutely loved. I love you both more than you can imagine.

hugs and kisses, s

PS Oh yeah, and as for Dad’s fall—his brain bleed is healing and he’s thankfully back on his anti-stroke medication. We’re going to watch some playoff hockey games together this week. :-)