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  • April 28, 2011
  • By jwc10011
  • Comments Off on The Exercise of Writing & Self Discovery
  • in Uncategorized

The Exercise of Writing & Self Discovery

I am in Newport Beach with my family.  It is early morning before the house is up.  I rise and make myself some tea.  I never really know these days if my morning tea actually does anything or its just a wonderful placebo I believe in.  Either way it's still a ceremony that I enjoy at this point and am happy with that.

I head out to the deck to write but my head is still enshrouded with fog.  The same fog that blankets the beach and the water beyond.  Outside the air is crisp and fresh.  The is faint jazz playing from somewhere own the way.  I really can't tell where, but it's faint, it's soft, it reminds me of something from the twenties.  It fits somehow with the intermittent voids of the early morning joggers and cyclists that pass by.

The beach stretches out before me.  A kind of golden tan, stippled with the shadows of  footprints from the day and night before.  A lone lifeguard tower stands at the water's edge.  Another one, made smaller by the distance stands a third of the way to the north.  Two others stand, respectively smaller, beyond it; dividing the beach into heat quarters of tan sand.

Past these is the water.  All shades of blue in the morning light.  Aqua blue.  Silver blue.  Blue reflecting the clouds into an almost grayish white blue.   The almost black ripples are all that show any movement.  That and the sounds from the breaking waves in their steady beat.  Occasionally one will rise up and send a crest of spray over the horizon of the dunes.  It is followed by a deep sound that is more a vibration in the air than an audible tone.

I look beyond the dune and the edge of the beach where the water meets the sand to the real horizon.  The navigation horizon.  The horizon Johnny Depp referred to when he said "Now bring me that horizon."  I know Catalina's out there.  I saw it yesterday before the fog rolled in.  It's hidden behind an almost imperceptible layer of clouds that wash from the dark,cold blue of the Pacific to the bright blue of the sky.  What must early man have thought when they saw it off in the existence?  How many generations must that have called to them before they had the technology of a log raft to heed it's call?  How many people were pulled out to sea before anyone even knew what currents were trying to reach it?  Then how many finally reached that forsaken place only to find that they were unable to return?

Did we originally think it was the seat of gods?  Did we paint pictures of imagined sea creatures that broke apart their log vessels?  Was it the start of a native American version of Jason and the Argonauts?  Only this one not written for the ages?  But does the energy of those lost generations still hover in this area?  Picked up by those who move to the beach, to find some sense of solace in the same view?  Somehow augmenting this part of the world with another layer we just know is there without being able to put a finger on why this one particular view or space is so wonderful? I turn inward and start to ask myself the same questions.  I know that the image before me is only part of the reality we all live in.  I follow the same internally, as I did externally.  I start by stating the obvious and give it time to unravel before me; leading me to deeper and deeper thoughts and discoveries about myself.

The process is the same.  Start with broad and innocuous questions.  Give your brain the permission to wander.  Allow it to find its way into itself.  Give it time to explore.  But all the while write down where it takes you.  It is the process of recording your journey that creates your path for wellness.

 

 

 

simple truth

 

  • April 25, 2011
  • By jwc10011
  • Comments Off on Embrace Your Emotions On YOUR Terms
  • in Uncategorized

Embrace Your Emotions On YOUR Terms

Who doesn't love a good cry every now and then?  Who doesn't enjoy losing themselves in a movie that pulls at the heartstrings and lets you escape from your world for a while?  I know many people tell us that emotions will only lead to pain.  But so what; sometimes life’s pains can be a wonderful part of the whole human experience.  I’m not talking about anything lascivious.  I’m talking about embracing your emotional experience in order to learn and grow from the world around you.  It's possible to do this as long as you have a level of separation that enables you to observe, experience and learn from your emotional experiences, be they painful, or beautiful. 

When you watch a love story or a drama, or even a horror film, you watch it from the emotional safety of your seat.  At times even a movie can touch too raw a nerve, making it too painful to sit through the entire film.  At other times, a movie may stay with you long after you have left the theater, tempting you to replay it over and over again, so that you can explore whatever emotional heartstrings it pulled on.   It may even be strong enough that you want to talk to a friend about it, to relate and get their insight into what actually happened.

It may sound odd to think about watching your own life like a movie.  But in a way that is exactly what embracing your own emotions means doing.  It means creating a bit of separation by living mindfully, so that you can step back and observe your emotions at a healthy distance.  Or even bring in someone to talk to about them, if they become too overwhelming.

In reality, you already live much of your own life like it is a movie.  Every day you decide how deeply you want to participate in the world around you, or to remove yourself from it.  Perhaps you allow your mind to drift while in a meeting that has nothing to do with you – isolating yourself from the goings on around you.  Or maybe you find yourself drawn to a conversation that two people are having, inviting yourself to be an active member in their world.  So why not do the same thing for yourself?  Why not decide what part of life you want to be a part of?  

Innately your reaction to an emotion is to give it a priority in your life.  When you feel one bubbling up, you most likely give it the room it demands without even thinking about it.  Rarely do you say "wait a minute, is now the time for this?"  Instead, like most of us, you let your natural programming take over, and let whatever it is you’re feeling run its course.  It’s not a bad thing.  But it may not allow you  the time and freedom YOU need to understand what you are feeling; leaving you a puddle as you wade through the emotional tsunami that is ravaging your body.

By staying mindful of the world around you and of your own emotions, you can create a healthy bit of separation between you and your inner feelings.  If you have the presence to feel when an emotion is starting to build and bubble up, you can be empowered to hit your own pause button.  You can choose whether to follow your emotion or to put it on hold.  You can also choose how to respond, if you want to respond at all.  By acknowledging it, embracing it, and being mindful of it, you can release it in measured doses, enabling you to manage whatever it is you are feeling, and empowering you to explore whatever it is you are dealing with - alone or with someone else.    

The next time you feel an emotion coming on, take a few deep breaths.  Ground yourself with a few minutes of meditation if you can.  Then acknowledge whatever it is you are feeling.  Become aware of whatever triggered your emotion before you respond.  Think about what in your past has caused you to react in the way you are reacting.  Take a moment before you react so that YOU are directing your own life, rather than empowering your past to direct your actions.  Remember this is YOUR life, not the life of an old boyfriend or girlfriend, not the life of your parents or that nasty girl who berated you in school.  So let them go with the old memories and emotions they bring with them.  Return them to their file folders.  And live your life YOUR way.

Emotions need recognition and acceptance, not just attention.  So welcome your emotions and embrace them, but do not let yourself get caught up in them.  They are all a part of the human experience.  Maintaining a sense of clarity and balance before responding is the difference between living the life you want to live, and chasing after emotions that are running wild.




Simple Truth
  • April 20, 2011
  • By jwc10011
  • Comments Off on Trust, Love and Experience over 40,000 Year Old Programming
  • in Uncategorized

Trust, Love and Experience over 40,000 Year Old Programming

We all want to experience more out of life.  We all want to live a vibrant existence and enjoy all that the world has to offer.  Sadly, and far too often, we panic before we ever get there.  We stop ourselves from reaching out for what we want and fall back in line the moment our old programming kicks in.  

You may call it habit, fear, or the need to conform, but those are simply words that we use to describe how our old programming looks to us.  And more often than not, that alone is the difference between living YOUR life and living a life dictated by those around you.

At one point in our evolution these cautious traits helped us survive.  In today’s world, they can prevent you from living your life fully, leaving you to deal with the frustration, bitterness and pain you experience when you live a life that is not truly YOURS.

Yes, your old programming is still a very useful tool.  But in order to live your life, you have to control how it drives your actions.  Thankfully, like any programming it’s not that difficult to over-ride.  You just need the right tools to work with.  

Think about some times when you jumped to a safe decision without knowing why.  Think about the  frustration it led to.  Perhaps you turned your nose up at a dish you’d never eaten before.  Maybe you pulled away when you were introduced to someone new and now wish you had actually said hello.  You might have even decided to stay home one night, instead of going to a party because you didn't  know anyone.  You may have rationalized your decisions by saying that you were just erring on the side of caution.  Or that in today’s world you can never be too careful.  Both of which are valid excuses, but also the hallmarks of a bit of that out of date programming kicking in. 

Yes, that programming kept us alive forty thousand years ago when it was first hard-wired into our ancestors.  It got us to the top of the food chain.  It helped us create the 21st Century world we live in.  But it now it also holds you back from living the life you were destined to live.  It automates your responses rather than allowing you to make the choices that could move your life forward.
So how do you live the life you want to live, if you're stuck with this programming?  How do you live YOUR life without making bad choices?  How do you find the balance between throwing caution to the wind and living a life of dull frustration?  The key lies in your ability to remain mindful of where you are and who you are.  If you can stay present through your five senses, you will be forever grounded.  And when you are grounded, you will have the foundation you need to tap into the energy that we all swim in.  And when you have your finger on that pulse, you can truly make the kind of choices that will help you enjoy all that the world has to offer, while remaining true to your own Simple Truth.
So the next time you get the chance, welcome someone new with open arms and give them the benefit of the doubt.  Give them love and trust at first, but no matter how great they look or how good a game they talk, keep one of your feet firmly grounded so that you can hear that inner voice of warning.  When it says, “hmmmmmm, not quite right,” or “something’s off here.”  What it’s really saying is “there’s something about this that reminds me of a bad situation we went through before, so get out now.”  Or, “I know you can’t see it, but there’s a bad energy with this person, stay with the crowd.”

Be aware and mindful of where you are in the here and now.  But also pay attention to what that inner voice says at times like this.  That way you can always make sure that the choice to step closer or walk away is always yours.  It’s the best way to make good choices.  And good choices are the best way to end up with a great life.
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