Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - My Year of Deconstruction

One of the reasons I haven't written as much this year as I would have liked is that for me, this has been a year of deconstruction - the systematic deconstruction of the many concepts by which I have identified myself. And as the walls crumbled, I discovered serious cracks in the foundation upon which I have built my life – my self-concept.

Chiefest among the concepts that fell to deconstruction was the idea that I could be defined by the roles I play, by someone else's image of me, or even by my own image of myself. What is a self-concept but a collection of ideas we hold about ourselves? Much of the time, when we look deeply and honestly at those ideas, we find that they have no basis in fact.

Closely linked with the idea of a self-concept is the concept of inferiority and superiority. If I say, I am intelligent, the underlying idea is that anyone who cannot be defined as intelligent is less than me. If I say, I am successful, the idea attached to that is that I am superior to anyone who cannot be defined as successful.

If I say, I have a good job, the idea is that some jobs are bad. My job is valuable, whereas the janitor's job has little merit. Try cleaning your own office and emptying your own trash for a couple weeks, and that idea will go right out the window.

The concept of inferiority and superiority has created the denigration of others for millennia, and yet we all still carry traces of it in our psyche. It is nothing more than an idea, and having outgrown that idea, why not cast it away?

And so I ask, What do you mean, think outside the box? What box? This comes from the realization that there is no box unless we generate one with our thoughts.

Another way of putting what has been happening in my life is strategic emptying of myself as a vessel. A full vessel cannot receive. It needs to be emptied in order to be receptive.

As long as I am full of knowledge, I am not open to learning. When I empty myself of knowledge, and admit that much of what I call knowledge is nothing more than judgment, I become open to what is. When I empty myself of ideas about you, I become open to who you really are. When I empty myself of ideas about myself, I become unlimited.

I love being empty, being nothing. Nothing at all. Unwritten, undefined, undefinable.

And so it is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Thoughts Are Not Worth Entertaining

Thinking, thinking, thinking. Always thinking, but to what end?

Most of our thoughts are junk. That's why I'm glad I can't read minds. I know I have had plenty of thoughts that I wouldn't want to share with anyone. And I really have enough to handle with my own mind chatter. I surely don't want to deal with that of others.

We all have thoughts that don't truly represent our hearts. I can remember thinking horrible thoughts as a child, such as thinking that I wished one of my siblings was dead. Those thoughts far from represented the truth of my heart. I know. I have lost two siblings, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I have come to understand that thinking is highly overrated. I believe our minds are meant to be tools, and most of the time we seem to use them as blueprints instead. I certainly don't think we need to throw out the baby with the bath water. We shouldn't stop using our minds just because much of what is produced in them is junk.

We only need to realize that our mind is only part of a vast system of intelligence, which includes our heart intelligence, our "gut" intelligence, both of which are connected to universal intelligence.

And we need to send thoughts that are not for our highest good on their way, and only entertain thoughts that are purposeful and add value to our lives. The same might be said for relationships, as well.

Do It On Purpose

One of the principles that I am reminded of today is living on purpose - choosing actions related to your purpose and choosing to do whatever you do on purpose.

Of course, the more your activities are related to your overall life purpose, the closer you will come to fulfilling that purpose. But there are many things that may not be directly related to your life purpose, and yet contribute to your quality of life.

For example, if you choose to eat on purpose, you might find that you do not need to eat just because it is "meal time". You may not be experiencing hunger at that time. And you may choose to wait until you are experiencing hunger before choosing to eat.

Then, when you do choose to eat, you may find that by paying attention to what you are eating, you can maximize the experience. If you pause for a moment and pay attention to your food, you may find increased pleasure in the experience of your food. Notice the colors and shapes and aroma of your food. Notice and feel grateful for the abundance of food that is available to you. As you begin to eat, notice the taste, texture and temperature of your food. I have heard it said that you receive the most intense flavor from the first two bites of food. So, pay attention to, savor and enjoy those first bites.

Instead of chewing and swallowing mindlessly, pay attention to chewing and notice when your food is fully ready for swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth and you are doing your digestive system an important service by chewing your food thoroughly.

I practiced this today, and I noticed a little burst of joy in the experience. That's what I'm trying to say - en-joy.

I've noticed that when I practice this kind of attentiveness, I find joy in the simplest activities.

So, let's pay attention to life and fully en-joy it. It's passing, one way or the other. It can pass unnoticed, or it can pass with our full participation and attention.

En-joy your life experience - every facet of it - if you so choose.