Other Perspectives #69

691 OP Relax and Succeed - Sometimes your heart

We need to understand and dismiss our increasingly thought-based sentimental, immature, self-centred and dramatic reactions to regular life. We have to accept challenges as an aspect of our journey and we need to exchange our fears of going the wrong way with an intense passion of fully being awake and alive with other people, especially those closest to us. Then even an ordinary day feels fantastic and you fall in love with everyone around you over and over. It’s wonderful. But to feel that you have to be quiet inside. That means no talking to yourself. You tell yourself that’s your heart and your head debating, but both of those voices are you. That’s you telling yourself a big long narrative all to justify the way you feel, which is a natural mixture of feelings. But you take those very human feelings and your do as you were taught by your culture: you habitually turn those feelings into language, and then you use that language as though there is an actual debate going on when really that’s just the normal way to feel when you’re transitioning in any area of life. Whether that’s the act of getting closer to someone or leaving a long term job or moving cities, those transitions will have naturally mixed feelings. We’re just so brainwashed to dislike certain feelings and to convert absolutely everything into language. So you feel compelled to tell yourself big stories about a set of sensations that would have happened whether you told yourself the story or not. So instead of feeling them once, by turning them into words you’ve found a way to turn them into stories that you can re-tell yourself ad nauseam. So now you can be bothered by today, ten years from now. But that is a choice. So if you take control of the stories you take control of the feelings. So stop talking to yourself. It’s just an excuse not to act because you’re afraid of doing something wrong. Forget that fear. Just live. Live all of your emotions. Rather than avoid half of them make friends with them. If you do that it turns out that even the ones that you’ve historically called bad are actually pretty enjoyable in their own special way. So just relax and feel all of life. That openness isn’t a guarantee of a great day but it’s as close to a guarantee as the universe will let you have. Be open, be quiet. That’s it.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #69

690 Relax and Succeed - Dreamscapes by Frank Grisdale

How is everyone today? Fantastic I hope. And since everything changes, if you’re not fantastic, I hope that change is up real soon. Either way, if it’s tough just take the value from the lessons and do that until fortune rears its head. You’ll be fine.

Today on the Dose I’ll give you three completely different distractions. If you’re locked into a thought loop about something upsetting, think about giving this a quick read. It’s quite inspiring. When a wife in her 50’s was diagnosed with cancer and given one month to live, the reaction she and her husband had was to switch to a raw food diet and to—and I mean this—run a marathon every single day for a year. That was almost ten years ago and they’re still running.

Terminal Cancer Patient Runs a Marathon a Day for a Year!

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Next I’ll give you visualists a chance to relax with some beautiful photos. The photo at the top of this page (Dreamscapes) was taken by a friend, the very talented photographer Frank Grisdale. It sets up this series of forest photos. They’re all taken by different photographers and the shots are from all over the world. They help to remind us that all forests are different and yet all forests are perfect. People should consider applying that theory to themselves and others.

World’s Most Beautiful Forests

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And let’s finish off with some mesmerizing music. Written by Radiohead bassist Thom Yorke, with inspiration from Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, Creep is performed here by the velvety tones of Haley Reinhart and Vintage Postmodern. Enjoy:

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Have yourselves a fantastic weekend everyone!

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, communication facilitator and corporate storyteller who works internationally with businesses, individuals and families.

00 Relax and Succeed - Friday Dose Footer

Changing Direction

A lot of people come to me in their 30’s with the simple question, what the hell is going on with my life? Needless to say it isn’t turning out the way they planned. But rather paradoxically the challenges they are facing stem directly from those plans. You must be very careful when making plans.

689 Relax and Succeed - My entire life can be describedYour life is lived in Nows. You add those together and call that your history, but it’s really just some stuff that happened. And when your life intersected with that stuff your previous life experiences caused you to react to them in the way you did. Then using your memory you take all of that unrelated stuff and you stitch all of those individual experiences together. You’ll call that tapestry your life, but when it comes to impacting today or your future it’s about as meaningful as the contrails off a plane’s wing. That line in the sky is just what your plane did. At the moment of living your wing met the cold, wet air of the world and an event took place. That event trails off behind you as nothing more than white vapour. But it’s just vapour. Even if you’ve flown in the same direction ever since you took off, at any point a Captain can become conscious and he or she can turn their plane in any direction.

All of these directions are equal. Same with the altitudes. The Dalai Lama’s life is not better than yours because he flies in a different level of understanding. His life is just like yours otherwise—it is made up of his day to day sensations. So there is no specific way to fly across the sky. There’s just where you go. But that’s not what you’re taught.

You’re taught to fly to one of the airports of beauty or one of the airports of education or the airport of a happy family or an airport of fame or financial success. Everyone around you is doing it so you do too. You don’t even see it as an option. Right off the bat the Captain is confused because all of these other planes are just coming off the end of the runway and they’re all headed the same basic directions. And so without ever knowing it your Captain 689 Relax and Succeed - We all have bad daysinadvertently surrenders his or her Captaincy and instead becomes a dutiful autopilot follower. Then you’re just doing what you were programmed to. So that’s problem one. You’re not actually setting your own direction.

The next problem is that after you set it you never question it. You just fly along to where you think you’re supposed to be going and so you interpret any storm (a job loss, a divorce, financial ruin) as a problem or something in the way of you reaching this goal. But remember, you were just accidentally convinced by the other planes. There is no goal. You can fly anywhere you like. But instead you’ll get locked onto these targets and you’ll get so angry and, so sad and so insecure about being knocked off what you perceive as your course, that you’ll end up hating the trip. That’s the part where the 30 year-olds call me.

But calling me turns out to not be the failure you might imagine. You imagine that there is something wrong with your plane and that you need to be rescued. But I don’t fly out and repair your plane in the sky. I just talk to you. I ask you where you got your charts? Why are you following these directions? And you say, I’m not supposed to follow these? And I tell you, no, when society builds the planes that’s just what they put in them for show. That’s what your mass media is. It’s like the fake photos you get when you buy picture frames. You’re just supposed to throw all that out.

Because everyone else has also mistaken society’s charts for real charts you won’t believe me for a few weeks. Not until you realize that you cannot answer my questions about the meaning behind your previous direction. This surprises and even disturbs you, but you eventually surrender that it really is true—that those charts weren’t the way to go and you were always free to go any direction you chose.

689 Relax and Succeed - Regret is longingSo the next question they ask me is, where can I go? That’s the great part. You’ll still carry a lot of momentum from your previous directions and that will influence you for a while, but slowly over time you start to realize that your airplane is 100% flexible. You can point that baby in any direction you like. But then you’ll ask me, which is my direction? And I’ll tell you that you don’t have one; that your problem was that you thought your life was the plane going from here to there on a voyage, when really it’s not about the plane it’s about the pilot and it’s not about the success of the flight it’s about the pilot’s pure joy of flying.

So you were never really going anywhere—you just fly this thing until it runs out of fuel—then you’re free to walk the tarmac and find yourself another plane. Don’t panic about the transition. Death for 80% of you means gliding to a gentle stop and just never departing again. If you’re old enough to have learned a bit, even in a dramatic accident you will calmly think to yourself, no way, this is how I go? Weird. Well here we go. You actually won’t be focused on the plane you’re exiting. You’ll be more excited about boarding the next one.

Do you see if you remove an objective that you were previously attached to then things can’t go wrong? Then the air pockets are just low pressure, and crosswinds are just winds at an angle to you, and lightning is just the weather. But it’s not your weather. And none of it can hurt you by 689 Relax and Succeed - Stay positivepushing you off course anyway—not if you’re always completely willing to have your course changed. After all, there’s no shortage of great flying to do in any direction.

Understand, you can take your present moment and use it to chart your current course. But keep it current. It’s not some permanent setting. That defeats the purpose of having a whole sky. So set your course and then just focus on the flying. And when you need to change direction because of conditions or when you just want to change it out of some desire you can’t even explain, then go for it. There’s no penalty. No price. No sadness, anger or frustration. The weather and the winds will have you feeling various things anyway. But if you actively choose to feel them in the moment, then they just come and go like any other contrail of experience. It’s when you let them interfere with some course you’re locked onto—that’s when they last. Then you have to sort them out. Then you have to solve them or find a way to get back on course. The other way you simply accept the perfection of wherever your plane it is at any given moment.

Where you plane is makes perfect sense. If you added up the uncontrollable forces like the weather and add them to the choices made by you the pilot, we could literally plot a course right to you. That airflow over that rudder in this weather would lead you here. Wherever you are always makes perfect sense and you always have the ability to change direction.

689 Relax and Succeed - Nothing is permanentYour life isn’t falling apart because you’re breaking up or because you got pregnant or didn’t get into university. Those are just the weather and/or your course changing your direction. Don’t sit in the cockpit yelling at the instruments. Get focused on flying. Be quiet and use your thoughts to guide your plane, choice by choice. Better times are always easiest to find when the sky is the darkest. That’s when the light’s the brightest. Just head toward that. Seriously.

You stop failing when you realize there is no failure in life. There is only living, and your judgment before and after the fact. But those are history and imagination. Your real life is right here, right now, where the air meets the wing. And that does not happen in any time other than the present. So Be present. Forget striving. Forget destinations. Stop looking at your charts. You’re right where you need to be. There’s nowhere you need to go other than to realize it’s always been you in the cockpit.

Happy flying. ;-)

peace. s