Life doesn’t always schedule itself at your convenience.

So, when you find yourself in the middle of one of life’s transitions, learn to break free of the fear you may be feeling so that you can find a safe place to land and begin to plan your next chapter.

There are two core fears that will keep you frozen in time; the thoughts of a) losing what you have, and b) not getting what you want.

The key to breaking free of your fears is not to fight them but to acknowledge them so that you can let them go as you learn to enjoy the life you have always wanted to live.

I know it’s not always easy to practice this in the real world. Your mind is using logic to find a  safe place for yourself to land while your primordial brain is screaming to find the safety of solid ground as quickly as possible.

Guess which one wins every time. That’s right, your primordial brain. Your mind and brain will always give your primordial brain the room it demands because it is there for one reason only – it is there to keep you alive, and your life is far more important than any amount of logic ever could be.

Don’t worry though, there is something you can do to break out of the loop you feel trapped in. You can do what you do when you sit in meditation. You can breathe slowly and deeply to quiet the noise of your primordial brain. You can acknowledge that you are in the middle of a transition, and even label your discomfort as just that, discomfort, then you can let it your panic go as you press on.

Allow yourself to find comfort in your discomfort, because until you do, you will never find that space for a soft landing so that you can begin to write the next chapter in your post-transition life.

It may not be as easy as it sounds if you don’t already have a meditation practice. Which is why I encourage everyone to start a meditation practice that works for you before you actually need it. Don’t get caught up in what lineage to follow. Build your own that works on your terms. Whether it’s a ten minute here and there practice or a deep seated practice that runs over an hour, it is a way to train your mind and brain to see beyond the here and now, to find a place of calm, and to focus yourself for the space and time ahead of you.

If you want to learn more click here to my new mindful life coaching website at jeff-cannon.com.

Just remember, do not wait for your panic to set in before you create a small practice for yourself. In the end, this is your life. So why not start living it your way?

I hope this helps

Stop competing against yourself

Here’s a newsflash you may not want to hear, all of those challenges you won and all of those opponents you bested were not real. You were never really competing against anyone else you were really only competing against yourself.

Your urge to win and the competitive spirit you have always been so proud of were never about beating everyone else, your need to win was always about filling an empty space within yourself.

If you really want to find a place of calm then the real question you should ask is not how many people you have to beat until you are satisfied, but how big is the hole within you and where did it come from?

No matter how many trophies you line up you will still have that itch to step up to another challenge. The empty hole within you will still need to be filled, and after you are finished with the last opponent what will you do then?

No matter how many people you beat your need to win will still be there. Even the applause that once excited you will begin to ring like the empty clapping of people you don’t know because that is what it has always been, and that will never fill the empiness within you.

The only way to overcome your need to win is to recognize it for what it is, to come to terms with it, to accept it as a part of who you are, and then to work on filling the empty space with the love and empathy that you truly yearn for.

Whether your need comes from a parent who never gave you the attention you deserved or whether it stems from being the poor kid at school who you thought never measured up; those are the real issues you need to resolve if you are to findthe calm within you. Winning is your stigma to carry around until you are ready to address the root issue that it stems from – and that my friend is far easier said than done. Growing up is easy, maturing is not.

You see, society places a constant pressure that forever pushes you to fit in. Your parents and siblings push you to be the person they wanted to be, never realizing that person is the person they never were.

Nobody ever tells you that their idea of who you shoud be is simply the person they were never able to become. Each is a delusion that you think you have to accept as you struggle to find yourself and fit in. The shoes they want you to fill come from a long line of failed lives.

Just as you are trying to fill the expectations of your family and friends, each of them is trying to fill the expectations of those around them. Everyone turns to “winning” as a way to do this never realizing they are just perpetuating an endless cycle of trustration and dstriving to measure up.

If you follow this cycle as you grow and mature you will forget about who you are as you try to satisfy the people around you. In the end you will lose yourself to the crowd of empty admirers trying to fit in to their own cycle of frustration. Their failed dreams become your reality. Their lost lives become your actuality and that empty need to win will trap you within yourself.

It is why so many stars of the entertainment and sports world have very empty and lonely lives in the end. The positive thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

You know the saying about loving yourself before you can love anyone else? The same is true for knowing yourself before you know anything else. If you don’t know yourself then everything you think you know may not be as real as you think it is. More than likely it is just a series of delusions that you created to protect yourself as you grew up in the world as it really is.

Knowing yourself is not as easy as you may hope but it is essential to your well-being. 

As you mature you change. The way you speak changes, your mannerisms change, your tastes change, your needs and desires change. Just look at yourself, you wear different clothes than you used to, you think different thoughts, you want different things, and all of this is good. I pray it never stops as long as it leads you to find your authentic self. It is far too easy to follow someone else’s ideas of who you should be without question. The problem with doing that is that sooner or later you wake up and discover that you are not who you want to be. You are who they want you to be and that you have strayed from your path without knowing why.

Finding yourself is a lifelong process. Every time you learn something about yourself it changes who you are. But at some point in time you lost your true self to those changes. Was it a slow slide down a slippery slope as you adopted someone else’ identity? Or was it a sudden shift like when you started your first job and realized your clothes and your mannerisms were no longer right for where you wanted to go?

The answer is different for everyone. It is not easy to figure out. It takes a life time to find the answer if you ever do. But what did you expect? It took a lifetime to get to where you are, and yes, it will probably take the rest of your lifetime to get to where you want to go.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give away everything you worked so hard for or run off to a monastery to live the life of a monk. You can still go about your work and your family life just like always. It will be a gradual shift as you slowly learn to recognize the delusions you thought were real as you begin to live in the real world right here and right now.

Ask yourself some very straightforward questions.

Just take out a slip of paper and respond to these questions as honestly as you can. Make a note of which ones make you slightly or even fully uncomfortable.

  1. What does your ideal day look like?
  2. What did you want to be when you were younger?
  3. Who are you most inspired by? Why?
  4. Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?
  5. What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
  6. Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?
  7. How do you like to relax?
  8. When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?
  9. What are you most proud of?
  10. What are you most afraid of?
  11. If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?
  12. Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?
  13. What qualities do you admire in others?
  14. What practical skills do you wish you had?
  15. Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?
  16. What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
  17. If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?
  18. What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?
  19. What excites you?
  20. What do you wish you did more of?
  21. Pretend money is no object. What would you do?
  22. What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
  23. Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?
  24. What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
  25. How do you want to be remembered in life?

Want to learn more? Reach out and let us guide you through the process of a Strategy for Happiness

 

Are you on the boat or staying at the dock?

The duality of being human is that we are caught between our divine spirit a and our very physical self. Our physical self is driven by fear and the desire to stay alive at all costs. Our divine spirit reflects our desire to reach for the stars as we seek more from the human experience we exist in. We are caught between the two with our physical brain and metaphysical mind paying the price. It is so often why we feel such stress and anxiety in our lives.

Today we are at a cross roads. Some of us are ready to reach upward, to seek more from our existence while others are too scared to reach beyond their own self interests. They are more comfortable retreating back into the swamp that we have spent the past hundreds of thousands of years clawing our way out of because for them it is safe, to them it is familiar and our brain loves “familiar”.

We all know it is not safe. It never was. We have slowly evolved beyond the days where brawn beat intellect. We have evolved beyond flatworms and alligators, beyond our collective awakening that occurred 40,000 years ago.

The moment we picked up a stick to defend ourselves against the wild, the moment we discovered fire and eventually the wheel, or when we begin to paint on cave walls was the moment we locked ourselves onto a path of evolution beyond our physical selves.

Today, you rely more on your cognitive skills than on your muscles. Tomorrow you will rely more on mind and less on your brain. If you stay with your feet planted firmly on the ground you will be forever tied to the earth and to your physical self. If you reach beyond your physical self and into the metaphysical realm you have a chance toward divinity.

Humans created the computer to lift the data processing from our shoulders so that we could ponder the larger thoughts and ideas swirling around our heads. We created the internet to connect us in a larger community so that we could network our thinking and speed up our own evolution. What we did not know we were doing was mirroring the way our consciousness is linked, connecting our points of consciousness with threads of energy so that we could become one and mirror the way existence works.

The collective of computers we created has a purpose. It does more than empower our minds to grow, it empowers our collective humanity to expand further than anyone of us could grow alone.

It has doomed those who would rather stay in the swamp to a life of irrelevance, and that is where we are today. The people who retreat into the physical have also backed themselves into a corner irrelevance. For the first time, they see where the world is heading, and that is a world that no longer needs their muscle, except to protect our collective selves from others who have nothing but muscle. It is why they are fighting so hard to remain relevant, to be a part of the modern world they  know is coming.

It is sad, but that ship has already sailed. They are standing on the dock, watching as the future forms without them. They are left to watch as it becomes a dot on the horizon. I can only imagine how it must have been like when the last Cro Magnon realized that homo Sapiens, modern humans, surpassed them. Yes, we still carry a few of their genes with us, but that is all.

Where are you?

Are you on the ship? Watching the past fade into the horizon, or are you on the dock, watching the future slip away, feeling safe and secure, but also sad knowing that you refused it?

Are you forever locking yourself into the present, rather than the future?

It is something to think about, contemplate and act upon.

Q+A: What is the simplest and fastest meditation I can do?

Your question is not as simple as you may think. Realize that meditation is a wonderful 2,500 year old practice, but it is 2,500 years old. It was created for a world far simpler than the one you now live in. No matter what style you begin with, you will undoubtedly find you will outgrow it as you advance and begin to search for better, faster, deeper practices; which is as it should be.

Some people practice a lifetime before realizing that every door they open also opens a window as they realize there are ever more doors to explore. When you start with the idea of reducing stress and anxiety you inevitably discover those are surface ripples for the delusions you now take as realities. This is part of the self-realization that anyone who has meditated for any length of time begins to undertand.

If you are serious, begin your journey with a reputable school to learn the basics of breathing, dropping in on your thoughts and letting them go. Those are the three core elements to any style of meditation whether it is Vipassana, Samata, Zazen or some manifestation of them. Just as every school teaches you to not cling to your thoughts, forget about clinging to a single school, as each is woefully out of date for what you are looking for. Recognize the non-attachment they all talk about applies to their own school as well.

I teach people how to recognize the commonalities that is the foundation which connects all forms of mediation together. Learn those three core commonalities and then learn to pick and choose which technique work for you in your life. One technique may be better for stress, another may be better to manifest loving kindness, another still may help you focus on an issue through contemplation.

None are right or wrong, that is for you to decide. Learn to weave them together so that you can create a practice that works for your unique style and life, rather than trying to fit your life into a 2,500 year old practice which, in reality, are the same. You will find it much easier to maintain your practice with less frustration when you do.

Be well and I hope this helps.

Jeff

Q + A: Is A Living Guru Required?

Q:

Is a Living Guru Required?

A:

Required for what? Before you can find the right answer you need to ask the right question. 😉

If you are asking about finding a shorter or more direct path to your destination, be they spiritual or material, the answer is yes in some ways. But the idea of a “guru” to lead you can distract you to follow false paths if you are not careful. You are the only one who can know what path to follow. Never rely on someone else, even me, to know where you want or need to go.

Always remember a guru can never know your mind. They can only share their experiences with you, but they can never know your thoughts.

It is up to you to select which part of their teachings applies to your situation. It is up to you, and only you, to know when you have learned the lessons you need to learn and when to move on so that you can continue your journey.

I have had many teachers and some gurus in my life. I have learned lessons, but rarely those they wanted to teach me. I have learned from watching the waves as they crashed on a beach, from observing the twists and turns of a mountain stream, and even by watching the stillness of a well worn stone. With each the most important lesson I have ever learned is knowing when to move on.

If you open yourself up to the stirrings of nature you will learn that you are your own best teacher. Just remember to allow yourself to acknowledge the wisdom all things in nature have to share and approach each with an empty cup.

Allow whomever or whatever to fill it free from preconceived notions and ideas.

I hope this helps.

Be well,

Jeff

Children are the message you send

Children are the message you send to the future. What will your’s say?

Will they talk of a world with no borders, either physical or emotional. A world where our hearts communicate openly, back and forth free from all those thoughts that are a constant series of road blocks that prevent you from speaking openly and with Love. Or will they speak of hate and envy, where race and gender rule our senses? Will they speak of a population that responds to each threat in kindness and with a level of intimacy and trust, or a people still living in our own past?

The day your children speak will be a day of connection across space and time. What will you want yours to say?

You see, the effort each of us makes today to create equality is not for us. It will not happen in our generation or in our children’s generation, or even in the generation of our children’s children.  But that is not what we are building for. Or is it?

Are we being greedy to hope we will see the benefits in our own lifetime, or are we building for the generation of our children’s, children’s, children. We are building for the long term, for the forever, and must continue to do so if we are ever to see the change we want to see happen.

Perhaps it is a dream, but it is a dream worth pursuing for every generation of the future. That is the only way our children will live in a better world. If we can start today, right now, with the thought of doing things, not for ourselves, but for a generation we will never know, imagine how selfless our actions will become. Imagine how our smile will be genuine. Not an act we take to benefit ourselves and our own karma, but an authentic action for the people and the spirits we will never know. How selfless will that be?

The idea of a Bodhisattva is a beautiful idea, but it was one for thousands of years ago. Today we need something bigger, with a larger ideal than to save the sentient peoples in the world of today, and in all the worlds of tomorrow. We need something that will account for people and for all time.

I hope this helps to guide you in your actions.

Be well,

 

Jeff

The Truth is Always Beautiful

Truth is often difficult to find. It does not happen quickly or slowly, only inclusively. Only when you peer into every dark corner will Truth appear. Only when you are exhaustive in your search does Truth show itself.

No matter what it is, we all come to Truth from a different perspective. from a different path. Finding Truth requires meditation and contemplation. It requires letting go of our preconceived notions and our own ideas. It requires an empty mind to truly see Truth for what it is.

You may not like what you find. But you will never be disappointed by the journey that brought you to your final destination. But once found you will realize that Truth is always beautiful.

Finding Truth requires perseverance and an unflagging attachment to avoiding lies in all their forms. When you arm yourself with that idea let the winds of lies blow against you and shake the leaves, knowing that soon enough those same winds will shift to your back as they speed you on your way to resolution.

To some the falling leaves of Autumn mark the beginning of a long and dreary winter. To others they are a sign to the end of warm summer days and lingering sunsets. To others still they are a beautiful display. In truth they are all of these and none of these. They are neither good nor bad. They are simply the trees dropping their leaves in anticipation of the weather ahead. Anything beyond that is simply a person’s way of connecting the falling leaves to their own personal history – past, future or present.

Empty your mind and seek the truth in all things, even something as simple as the change of seasons. Know that whatever arises is a window into yourself. It is an invitation to look within and explore where those emotions come from.

That is the Truth you seek. It is not found in the leaves, but within.

 

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

 

Jeff

 

Perception of Me is a Reflection of You

Your perception of me is a reflection of you

It takes 13 milliseconds for your brain to process the input it receives. That means everything you see, hear, taste, touch, smell has a brief pause from the time your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and fingers sense it to the time it becomes recognized for what it is.

In that brief moment your brain connects the input you are experiencing with all of the memories you have ever had or could ever imagine having in order to classify what is all around you as good or bad, safe or unsafe, friend or foe. It also uses whatever is going on within your life, your emotions be it anger or love, as a filter for what is going on in the world around you.

Your emotions and your experiences, the breakup you just went through or the new love you just met will help your brain classify how you perceive the events in your life at any given moment in time. All those memories, emotions, hopes and direct you to choose one path over another. They are the why behind the what that you decide to eat, drink, work on or escape to. Your need to eat something richly satisfying to get over a slump of depression or to eat something high in fiber to take on the day are chosen, not by you, but by your 40,000 year old brain as it struggles to guide you through the contemporary world you live in.

The world as you see it is a reflection of everything you are going through at any given moment. If it is why when you are in Love the world can be a brilliant place where hope is found in every object you touch, every scent you smell, every taste you bite into. It is also why that same moment can be a dark and scary place to someone who is seeing it from a very different perspective.

For those who are upset everything can seem just a little darker and a little less inviting. That same cerulean sky is suddenly a darker shade of blue. It is still blue, just not quite as bright as it may seem to you. It is no different for the people you interact with. Your suspicion of, or anger with, someone is not just based on their actions but your own as well.

This distortion is why you mirror yourself onto the lives of those around you. You assume what you are experiencing must be the same as those around. Whatever fear is pulsing through your veins must surely pulse through their veins as well. If you are suspicious of someone’s actions it may not be just them, it may be your own feelings of self doubt that you are struggling with that are mirrored onto them.

Your own emotions can create a circus mirror that will cause you to see a skinny person or a fat person in front of you rather than the person as they really are. Your distorted view of the world and those around you is more often off base than it is on because of how you perceive reality rather than how it really is.

It is not until you awaken to the fact that your brain creates your world that you can truly be free of your distorted version of reality and begin to live life in the real world and in a whole new light.

The next time you think someone is undermining your efforts, take a moment to breathe and to bring yourself back down to earth. Think about what is going on in your own life and how that could distort your view of your friends and your community.

Did you recently lose someone who is dear to you? Did your boss choose someone else for “the big project?” Think about how all of these things might affect the way you view the one you Love and have always trusted. Do  you really want to throw that Love and trust away because of what your 40,000 year old brain suspects someone else did?

Take a moment to cool down before you rush into something you might regret. Even though you are convinced you are in the right, just know that the world around you is not always what it seems.

 

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

 

j.

Your Perception is A Reflection

Your perception of me is a reflection of you.

 

It takes 13 milliseconds for your brain to process the input it receives. That means everything you see, hear, taste, touch, smell has a brief pause from the time your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and fingers sense it to the time it becomes recognized for what it is.

In that time your brain connects the input with all of the memories you have ever had or could even imagine having in order to classify it as good or bad, safe or unsafe, friend or foe. In that brief amount of time your brain uses whatever is going on in your life as a filter for what is in front of you and all around you.

Your emotions, your experiences, the breakup you just went through or the wedding you are about to go through guide you to classify what you perceive as important or It takes 13 milliseconds for your brain to process the input it receives. That means everything you see, hear, taste, touch, smell has a brief pause from the time your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and fingers sense it to the time it becomes recognized for what it is.

In that time your brain connects the input with all of the memories you have ever had or could even imagine having in order to classify it as good or bad, safe or unsafe, friend or foe. In that brief amount of time your brain uses whatever is going on in your life as a filter for what is in front of you and all around you.

Your emotions, your experiences, the breakup you just went through or the wedding you are about to go through guide you to classify what you perceive as important or unimportant in your life at this moment in time. All those memories, emotions, hopes and dreams are what direct you choose one path over another. They are why you decide what you want to eat, drink, work on or escape to. Your need to eat something richly satisfying may help you get over a slump of depression or to eat something high in fiber to take on the day are chosen, not by you, but by your 40,000 year old brain as it struggles to guide you through the contemporary world you live in.

The world as you see is not made up of the input you are taking in. It is a reflection of everything you are going through in this moment. If it is why if you are in Love the world is a brilliant place where hope can be found in every object you touch, every scent you smell, every taste you bite into.

If you are upset, everything grows just a little darker, a little less inviting. That same cerulean sky is suddenly a darker shade of blue. It is still blue, just not quite what it may seem to someone in the throes of Love. It is no different for the people you interact with. You suspicions or anger with someone is not just based on their actions, but your own as well.

This same distortion is why you mirror yourself onto the lives of those around you. You assume what you are feeling and experiencing must be felt by those around you as well. Whatever fear is pulsing through your veins must also pulse through their veins as well. If you feel confused by someone’s actions, suspicious of their reasons, it may not be just them, it may be your own feelings of self doubt that you are struggling with.

Your own emotions can distort the circus mirror to make you see a skinny person or a fat person in front of you, rather than the world as it is in reality. Your distorted view of the world and those around you is more often off base than it is on – because of how you perceive reality rather than how it really is.

It is not until you awaken to the fact that your brain creates your world that you can truly be free of your own distortions and begin to live life in the real world and in a whole new light.

The next time someone seems to be undermining your efforts, take a moment to breathe and bring yourself back down to earth. Think about what is going on in your life and how that could distort your view of your friends and your community. Did you recently lose someone who is dear to you? Did your boss choose someone else for “the big project?” Then think about how that might affect the way you view the one you Love and have always trusted. Do you really want to throw that away because of what someone else did?

Take a moment to cool down before you rush into something you might regret. Even though you are convinced you are in the right, just know that the world around you is not always what it seems.

Be well and I hope this helps.

j.

Being The One

Being The One

 

Stop trying to be the One. Just sit. Just be. The moment you recognize your meditation as something more than it is, you lose the reason for meditating in the first place. That is to clear your mind of all thought, good or bad, wanted or unwanted.

In formal sitting you may start by counting your breath. At some point the very count that opened the path before you becomes a distraction. When it does, let it go. Perhaps you can let it go all together. Or perhaps you simply allow it to drift into a simple recognition of “in” and “out” as you allow your mind to continue its practice by observing the flow of the breath. Simply being who you are in the here and now as you observe the way in which you mind and body interact.

Do not try to get anywhere with your practice. You have already arrived. The very desire to “get” somewhere is enough to prevent you from arriving. No matter how hard you work to erase the thoughts, the very effort you place onto your practice will not get you any further than you were when you first sat down. In fact, it may erase the distance you already took on your path.

Do not curse your desire. Do not even recognize it. Simply smile to yourself as you allow those thoughts to float into the ether that is within you and all around you.

Arise from desire and simply Let Go. Do not try to achieve anything. Do not cling to anything, even to the practice of enlightenment. It will come when it will come.

Trying to speed the process will only slow the process down.