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Don’t Punish Yourself

No matter how much I disappoint myself or others, I’m going to keep believing in myself. I’m going to keep doing the best I know how. I may feel like a loser at times, but I’m going to persist in looking for the qualities within myself that evince greatness. As I look for evidence of  beauty, genius, and magnificence in my own being, I cause those attributes to shape my thoughts and take form in my experience.

No pain, no gain?

When was the last time you heard someone or even yourself say something like…

“I’m such a horrible person. I try to be positive but I always get so frustrated when xyz happens.”

Our guilt-driven models for motivation makes the above statement sound quite normal and sane. It falls right in line with an all too common thought process:

1) Observe a personal failure

2) Punish ourselves with thoughts of self-condemnation

3) Cultivate a strong feeling of guilt in order to avoid doing it again

4) Maintain a sense of dissatisfaction and disapproval until we’ve proven that we’re sorry by making positive changes.

Sound familiar?

Punishment doesn’t work

Well, here’s my two cents:

This way of thinking, far from helping us actualize our true potential, only solidifies our consciousness in a pessimistic, disempowered state.

We can’t empower what we refuse to first embrace. We must dare to love and forgive ourselves even when we seem most unlovable and unforgivable.

On the surface, this may seem a bit backwards. I can hear the well-meaning skeptic ponder:

“If I allow myself to feel good about who I am right now, then wont I lose all my motivation for positive change?”

If that is YOUR question, then I ask you the following: “Is that approach working for you? If you’ve been beating yourself up when you fail, has that practice helped you create the happiness you desire yet?”

If not, might I prescribe for you the wisdom of Mike Murdock?

 “If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share my two cents on how I see human nature and what that has to say about the pursuit, the possibility, and the power of happiness.

I hope you’ll stop by.

 Cheers,

 T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. “Not guilty”, on all accounts, of mediocrity

2. TK’s Two Cents “Your well-being is an emergency”

3. Kiss the Frog: Creating happiness through the power of appreciation

 

Problems: If you put them down, they might not be there when you come back

You don’t have to stick your head in the sand in order to give your mind a break

When confronted with an unexpected challenge that throws our routine off kilter, it is easy to feel as if that challenge must be treated with urgency and immediately resolved. The prospect of moving forward with one’s day and coming back to it at a more opportune time sometimes feels negligent.

Rather than obsess over a problem by forcing a solution to come to you right here and now, experiment with the option of backing off the issue for a bit and focusing that same energy on reinforcing your connection to a more positive, peaceful state.

This is not a matter of sticking one’s head in the sand or being irresponsible. It’s a pragmatic decision rooted in the understanding that we have greater access to both our logical mind and our creative mind when our thoughts are unclouded by the frustration that stems from mentally and verbally rehearsing difficulties over and over again.

What follows is my two cents on taking a step back from our problems.

Keeping it simple is still a good idea

First, if there’s some simple action you can take to remove the problem, then by all means do so.

If there’s a mosquito on your arm and it’s bugging you (no pun intended), there’s no need for you to go into transcendental meditation to find some enlightened insight about it.

You don’t have to ask “what would Jesus do?” about that one, my friends. Just shoo the fly away!

However, if you’ve spent 30 minutes or more trying to figure it all out and you’re not gaining progress, you just might be pushing yourself further away from a truly satisfying solution.

Don’t be a slave to the tyranny of urgency

When many people get to this point, they allow the urgency of the situation to dominate their minds and they choose to do something extreme in order to achieve closure.

An unhealthy surface level solution that brings temporary relief is often thought to be better than a healthy solution that wont show up until a few hours or days later. This is why most people’s problems are reoccurring.

Rather than take the time to address the root issue, we take the CSI MIAMI approach by attempting to eliminate all of our dramas in an hour or less. This leads to quick fix solutions that help us get through the day, but it leaves us defenseless against future manifestations of the same underlying issue.

How can one take such a patient approach when you have an unresolved problem just staring you in the face?

In my next post, I’ll offer my two cents on why we find it so difficult to let go of our problems long enough to find solutions that do more than numb the pain with quick fixes.

Here’s a hint: It has less to do with the actual problem and more to do with how much you trust yourself.

I hope you’ll join me for Tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, create a great day 🙂

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Be The Power

We do not merely believe in the existence of a higher power.

We affirm ourselves to be extensions & expressions of that which is the very Essence of Power.

We recognize this power to be part & parcel of our own selves.

We  do not settle for the knowledge that we’ve been made BY this power. Nor are content to merely affirm that we have come FROM this power. We ARE this power in action for this power is the very Source of creation acting out the role of our individuality.

We are not in the process of reaching out to something outside of our own nature for help.

We are delving down into the core of what we are and rediscovering what Ernest Holmes called “the God-power at the center of every person’s being.”

We have the power to live powerful lives because we are the power!

T.K. Coleman

I go dancing with my thoughts

Have you ever danced with a thought? Have you ever made love to an idea?

Do those questions sound crazy to you?

Well, what about these questions;

Have you ever disagreed with a thought? Have you ever analyzed an idea?

Why does the first set of questions sound so absurd while the other questions seem perfectly normal?

If you’re open, I would like to invite you to play around for a moment with a different way of thinking about thinking.

None of what follows is the absolute truth. It’s just a thought experiment. But some interesting discoveries can be made while conducting thought-experiments, so let’s see where this one takes us.

Light, sound, and perception

Basic Physics tells us that an electromagnetic wave is experienced as light when it is perceived with the eye.

That same electromagnetic wave is experienced as sound when perceived with the ear.

One wave.
 
The same vibratory activity.
 
Two different ways of experiencing it.

Whether or not you SEE LIGHT or HEAR SOUND all depends on the organ you use to apprehend electromagnetic wave activity.

The reality behind these two varying experiences is the same, but it’s the way we process it that determines if we perceive it as light, sound, or something altogether different.

Here’s my question for you:

If there’s more than one way to experience electromagnetic energy, is it also possible that there is more than one way to experience other familiar forms of energy? 

Is there more than one way to experience a thought?

In a way that is analogous to electromagnetic energy, what we call “thoughts” can be viewed as a form of mental energy. From one point of view, thoughts can be described as ”the vibratory activity of consciousness.” Let’s call them “thought-waves” for now. 

When we attempt to apprehend “thought-waves” with the mind, we experience them as ideas.

What we call an “idea” can be viewed as merely one way of experiencing “thought-waves.”

Now, what if “thought-waves” are more than just ideas? What if they also have an inner core or energetic essence that can be directly felt with the heart?

The mind can certainly lead to many interesting discoveries, but what if the heart can take us straight to the inner essence of an “idea”?

In other words, what if the energy behind an idea was expressing something that could be grasped differently or more fully with the heart?

The Energy behind the activity of thought

For ages, mystics and poets have affirmed that Consciousness or Infinite Intelligence is the Source and Substance of all that is.

They claimed to experience the activity of this Consciousness as a Living Energy and a Felt Presence.

This Energy, we’re told, isn’t just mathematical. It’s also musical. It vibrates. It moves. It’s also personal. It feels. It breathes. 

This Energy, they say, does not wish to be contemplated with the mind alone. It wishes to be engaged with the heart. It longs to connect with us at a level of experience that transcends the boundaries of thought. 

Bringing Ideas to life

We’ve been taught that ideas are lifeless.  But are they?

We’ve been trained to see concepts as cold and abstract. But are they?

We’ve been conditioned to think of thoughts as impersonal. But are they?

What if the millions of thoughts that pass us by on any given day are not JUST thoughts?

What if so-called “ideas”are simply our head’s one dimensional interpretation of a higher multidimensional reality?

What if we just haven’t been taught how to perceive this energy we experience as thoughts in a way that goes beyond the mind?

Thinking with the heart-brain

Eastern Orthodox monks often spoke of something called “The Prayer of the Heart” where a state is attained in which “the mind descends into the heart.”

The “Prayer of the Heart” is a form of meditation that is said to lead to a mode of knowing that transcends logic. Through this state one is able to directly encounter the “Uncreated Energy of God” which lies behind all phenomena, mental and physical.

What would happen if we all dared to “wax monastic” a bit by thinking with our heart-brain rather than JUST using our head-brain?

What kinds of experiences are we capable of opening ourselves up to when we playfully explore life in this manner?

What we regard as mystical or supernatural just might become more of the norm.

We just might find ourselves doing seemingly magical things like dancing with our thoughts and making love to our ideas.

If such a concept sounds unthinkable, then perhaps that’s a clue that there’s room for us to open up to broader ways of thinking.

But that’s just a feeling I have.

Feel me?

T.K. Coleman

“Prove to me my thoughts create my reality!”

Note: There were some technical problems with the WordPress server this weekend and some subscribers reported having not received post updates in their email. So if you missed yesterday’s post, “Good girls, bad guys, and the law of attraction“, be sure to check it out. I’ve also made significant revisions to Law of Attraction or “Opposites Attract?” if you’re interested.
 
I’ve been on a “law of attraction” kick for the last couple of days so I thought I’d share my two cents on a question that gets raised quite frequently by those who are considering the possibility that by changing their thoughts they can change their lives. I hope you enjoy. Cheers 🙂 -T.K.
 

The million dollar question:

 
“How can I know my thoughts create my own reality?”

Questioning the questions

A freshman philosophy student decided to stump his Professor one day;

 “Hey Teacher, prove to me that I exist!”

The teacher didn’t miss a beat. He shot right back;

“I would love to, but whom shall I say is asking the question?”

Sometimes we can arrive at the best answers simply by questioning the questions.

In a similar way, it might be helpful to challenge yourself to provide an example of how a person’s thoughts DO NOT create their reality. 

BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT….

Reality versus Experience

I would start by making the distinction between “Reality” and “Experience.”

“Reality” refers to the world. It refers to what is actually happening independently of anyone’s perceptions, beliefs, feelings, etc.

“Experience” refers to the way in which a particular individual perceives, processes, and reacts to “Reality.”

When proponents of the Law of Attraction say “you create your own reality”, they are not saying you can uproot a tree from the ground just by visualizing it for a few minutes using Harry Potter styled magic mind power. They are referring to the control you have over your own personal experience of Reality. 

Although there may seem to be a single Reality we all occupy, we each experience this Reality differently because every person has a unique way of perceiving, processing, and reacting to the world.
 

A lesson from dogs about perception and reality

Here’s a simple example:

Scientists tell us the spectrum of sound extends indefinitely in both directions. This means there are sounds we can’t detect because they lie outside the range of human hearing.

Dog whistles prove this. A room can be very noisy to a dog while seeming silent to a man. This clearly illustrates how we do not experience reality as it “actually” is. We experience reality only in accordance with how our perceptual filters have processed it.

Is the room REALLY quiet or is it REALLY noisy? Well, which one IS it? It all depends on who you ask. Are you asking the dog? Or the man? When a man says “it’s quiet in here”, he’s not describing the room. He’s describing the way in which he’s experiencing the room. This is true of all things.

We often speak of how things are, but we’re really just telling a story about how we are experiencing things. This is what the philosophers were getting at when they asked “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Well, it depends. As Bill Cosby quipped “Are you drinking or pouring?”

Life is exactly as you think it is

Our beliefs, expectations, moods, assumptions, etc., act as perceptual filters that literally color and shape our world into a unique personal experience.

When you’re in a good mood and everything has been going your way, you may not mind when someone steps on your toe. They apologize and you say “it’s all good!” But when everything seems to be going wrong, someone stepping on your toe might honestly seem as if the universe is conspiring against you. You might stub your toe and say “I can’t BUY a break!” Now if you’re in a REALLY good mood, you might be happy with the opportunity to say “hello” to the guy who stepped on your toe which might lead to making a new friend. One event, three experiences.

The difference between an opportunity, an incident, and a conspiracy can all come down to how you process reality with your thoughts. The same guy can be a “loser”, a “saint”, a “lunatic”, or “the funniest cat ever” to 4 different people.

So…back to the challenge. Try to observe  some facet of reality from a purely neutral perspective. Describe anything in a way that is not influenced by your own personal vantage point. This simple little exercise may help illuminate a very basic idea;

You can’t observe the world without observing it from your perspective.

Even when you ask others what their take is, you are filtering their descriptions through your perspective. So it always comes back to you.

Your thoughts create your experience because you can’t have an experience, by definition, until you take Reality and mix it up with your thoughts.

At least that’s how I see it over here in my reality 🙂

What do you think?

T.K. Coleman

Update: A friend of mine just informed me that I should not limit the capacity of our human potential by implying that we can NOT uproot trees. I stand corrected. Folks, if you put your mind to it, you can even uproot the tree 🙂
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