Perfume

When you walk down the street and see a very attractive, dressed up lady walking by, and as she passes the smell of her perfume is so sweet and attractive – do you breathe it in or do you stop your inhale and hold you breath for a moment knowing that the smells of fresh air and everyday life are sweet enough?

When you see a delicious looking juicy burger, meal or sweets advertised on a billboard or in a shop window do you run to the window and salivate over it while wondering if you have enough cash to splurge?  Or do you look away knowing that those adverts just mean to grab your attention and sell you something?

If you hear a lovely singing voice do you stop and think, “wow, that’s so amazing!  They are so talented I wish I could sing like that.”  Or do you appreciate it but know that your own voice is neither better nor worse same as the cat’s meow or cow’s moo.

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I like to live a plain life.  I avoid movies that are too emotional, scents that are too alluring, food that is too decadent and women that are too beautiful.  The plain and simple truth of the hours passing in the day, the wind blowing by and the general careless persistence of life help to keep my space balanced.  Things that are extreme, even if they are dolled up as something desirable, only excite your system and throw you off balance. I would rather not experience any massive highs but keep things moving along at their standard pace.

I intend to listen to the silence between the sounds of the world no matter how many other sounds are coming at me.

Experience vs. Acquisition

What am I doing with my life?  Can you answer that?  What kind of answers do you think you might hear to that question?

“getting a degree” “raising a family” “working until retirement”  “paying off my house”

Well those are all good and I’d like to contemplate the concept of generational differences in what life is all about.  A very bright scholar was talking to me the other day about acquisition in the baby boomer generation.  The baby boomer’s would be likely to give the aforementioned answers.  They were a generation taught or devised of their own experience the values of acquiring things.  College degree, career, house mortgage, lawn, climb the ladder, family, retirement.  Many of our parents are from this baby boom generation where acquisition is the priority of life.

generations

Now I was born in the 80’s.  My generation is not so concerned with owning cars, houses or retirement plans.  I, for example, have been in the same career or adjacent career field for 14 years however I have not kept with the same employer for more than 2 years. I own my own business.   I got one master’s degree and then I got another one.  I work freelance in a variety of music related fields.  I sold my car.  I’ve traveled the world, taken jobs just for the experience, tried everything once, and now live across the world from where I grew up.  What am I here for?  I’m here to experience things.  I will not hold onto a broken relationship – it was the lessons learned that were the gift of the relationship not the other person or the idea of us.  I wasn’t trying to acquire someone else.  Jobs offer insight into lifestyles but I’ve never wanted to stay in the jobs – just to gain the insight and experience.  For example, I’ve done over 15 national and global touring jobs, living on busses and hotel rooms.  It was never my intention to stay a nomad or make my life on the road permanent.  But I did it, grin and bear, for the experience.  I wasn’t trying to acquire a permanent position.

Now, as I’m advancing in age I am seeing the benefit of sedimentation.  In other words, slowing down a little and allowing all of my life experiences to congeal.  I’ve stirred up a whole whirlwind of information and insight through my experiences that I need now to allow to settle so that I can become a more stable, solid and realized person which will allow me to have influence and effect in my life.  What is my life?

At this point, I’m realizing that my life is about who and what surrounds me daily.  Long distance anything is over.  To sediment and become a fixed figure allows others passing by to see and recognize me, so feel secure and observe me, to be influenced, taught or interact with me as they wish.  Like big mountain as opposed to the wind.  I believe this is the progression of life for my generation.

I wonder what the newer generations lives will look like?  I can’t imagine they will be even more adventurous and experience orientated than mine ..!  What would that look like…not firming up in one place until they are mid 40’s?  Could be…perhaps the nuclear family is disappearing and our population issue will start to slow down.  More humans learning about themselves and the world, less just defaulting to breeding as a priority.

I wonder what the ultimate point of it all is… to see hundreds of years into the future how they live their lives…

 

Deception

Deception is a part of nature.  It is an everyday, naturally occurring part of life.  Look at how animals use their fur and coat to blend into surroundings.  Look at the lizards who can change their colors.   The female ducks are brown looking, the male ducks are colorful.  Some animals use these traits to blend in and protect themselves, some to blend in and attack prey easier.  Either way, deception is natural.

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Don’t forget, we have an animal biology as well.  Naturally, humans are deceivers.  It is important to acknowledge this in yourself.  Deception is a principle of the world just like gravity or structure.  You deceive others and vice versa.

Perhaps this doesn’t have to be a total downer of a post.  Some deception may be used to cover up things that would appear much worse than they are.  Unfortunately, deception never works out in the context of relationships.  This is why affairs don’t work out and cheating doesn’t work out.  In a relationship there can’t be any deception from the beginning and yet deception is a naturally occurring phenomena.  So how do we ensure that we aren’t sabotaging our relationship?  And how can we trust anyone knowing that it is part of their nature to deceive?

Understanding the intention behind a relationship can help.  Is this relationship just made to pass the time or out of desperation?  Is the primary intention self-serving?  If that’s the case you better watch out.  Try to remove yourself quickly and quietly.  Sometimes getting out of a relationship requires days or weeks of mental pre-paving so that when the tear finally occurs you aren’t left bleeding out.  You may be dating a low quality person, one who has made their intentions clear to you and it doesn’t have anything to do with you or the “us.”  You might be with someone who deceives others about your relationship and deceives you.  You would be in real trouble at this point.  Yet as you begin to separate yourself you become a guilty party in deception.

Look around you, deception IS everywhere.  It is in your nature and everyone you meet’s nature.  How can we cope with this?  Communication is a great start.  If the person you want to clear things up with can’t communicate then they are saying they would rather choose lies than honesty.  You have to turn away from this – you can’t change them and although truthfulness is obviously the better choice for you they may have hidden something so horrendous that for them, the lie is better than the truth.

Ugly isn’t it?  Yet it is part of nature.  So you must accept it.  Take ownership of your contribution and try to clarify your intentions before you move about in this world.  Good luck.

It’s Not So Bad to Be Cheated

This topic sucks and may strike a nerve.  It was a huge push button topic for me for a long time.  However, the only real way to deal with the uncomfortable subject of being cheated on is to accept that it happened and it’s not really such a big deal.  Seems crazy right?  The fact is, it happens all the time.  People of a certain level will always be plotting to leave you and move on to the more convenient or exciting thing.  The way to circumvent this is to not attract people on that level or below.  Unfortunately, that can be hard to do as most humans don’t try to evolve or stay evolved and biology is a tricky persuasive racket.  It is not about being judgmental.  It is about being someone, yourself, who is trustworthy.

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People can operate at a level of only violence and sex – many people actually do go here for their intimate relationships.  That’s called an animal level or biological level.  Above that people can operate on a social level – they’ll care about their reputation, appearances, what their peers think.  Both of those levels are not trustworthy.  They lack benevolent intention and integrity.

Integrity means your actions and words are integrated into one direction.  Always trust someones actions and do not trust their words.  You cannot trust words.  Trust actions.  Someone who says they’ll do things but doesn’t do them does not have integrity and cannot be trusted.  Don’t be a fool and trust something that isn’t trustworthy.  That is asking for trouble.

If a person can get beyond social mind they will have still far to go and a difficult journey through the harsh realities and triviality of life and growth before they can operate from a level of spirit or world wide love.  This is where you’ll find benevolent and trustworthy people.

So, think of all the people you know, how many have risen above animal and social levels?  How many have done the work along the journey of maturity, growth and spirituality?  Probably very few let’s be honest.  So that is how many people are trustworthy – very few.  Growth is not an easy journey, in fact it is excruciating at times.  Unless someone REALLY wants to evolve and grow they will not do it because it just takes too much work!

Therefore, if you get cheated, it is not such a bad thing.  The cheater simply doesn’t know better.  They can’t act better.  She only knows how to cheat on all her boyfriends and you were no exception.  If you could look back perhaps you saw it coming.  You after all are the one who chose her.  So, learn a lesson – that’s not a bad thing, it’s a great thing!!  Most people will cheat and if you aren’t deliberately choosing based on honest criteria you’ll get cheated on.  But again, the only way to really rise above it is to, yourself, change.  You have to be a trustworthy person, you have to have integrity and benevolence from the get go.  If you can become this and stay this then you will simply not attract those operating at less trustworthy levels.  Why would a trustworthy woman choose to be with a not trustworthy man?  So you see, you’ll only find a trustworthy mate by being one yourself.  If you work on achieving this, you’ve done more than most, though you still need to be discerning about who you choose to trust.  Be careful, look where you are stepping.

How to Pick a Good Partner (part 2)

Although I know it’s better to think about what you DO want rather than what you don’t want I would like to talk about some things you don’t want just for a minute.

  • Don’t  pick the hottest woman in the room
  • Beware the woman who is extremely receptive
  • Give no time to a flirtatious woman who is not single

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Don’t pick the hottest woman in the room:

Hopefully you aren’t looking from a physical standpoint only as that will surely lead to trouble however you want to find a mate who is pleasant to look at.  The nice thing is the more the relationship develops the more attractive they will appear to you 🙂  Beware of the hottest woman in the room and do not pick her.  This is for many reasons.  Female form is great and should be celebrated but the hottest woman in the room will have all the guys she meets wanting to celebrate her, some for purely physical reasons and some starting there and wanting more to develop.  You are asking for trouble if you pick this woman.  Second, there may be something about a woman who always wants to appear to be the best looking thing.  It could be a hyper-competitiveness with her friends in which case the love of one man won’t do for very long.  Soon the appeal of you will wear off and she’ll need the next shiny thing.  A woman who spends hours a week on her outward appearance could have been spending hours a week on her inner beauty.  Physical appearance is truly only skin deep.  Self-worth comes from a much deeper place.  If she has inner beauty she won’t need to rely on outer beauty for security.

Beware the woman who is extremely receptive:

Although it feels great to meet a woman who seems totally into you.  There can be wild, fantastical and exciting moments between you two.  However, a woman who is extremely receptive to you as a man is to be avoided.  She will likely also be extremely receptive to other men as well.  If she doesn’t outright cheat on you, good, but when your relationship hits a rough spot, distance, or she has an opportunity then she may very well receive attention (or other things) from another man.  Women who are apt to make physically risque connections with you in public or dangerous places are also willing to do that with other men.  In other words, if she’s easy for you – she’s easy for them too!  Beware.

Give no time to a flirtatious woman who is not single:

This one should be obvious.

You’ll notice in the first two cases you are trying to avoid extremes.  Any relationship that has extreme sides is not good.  You want steady, reliable, calm and open.  Extreme may be exciting and fun but like a pendulum it will swing back the other way.

Always use caution when choosing any course of action and especially a mate.  Look at what you are getting yourself into with a clear and sober mind.  Do not be tricked by your biology.  You should feel very, very secure in a woman’s commitment to the relationship before you proceed with her.  It’s your heart, your feelings and your life you are directing.  It demands a lot of thought, attention and care.  Be careful with yourself.

 

Only Go With What’s Natural

Or another way to say it is do not go with things that are unnatural.  Here is my interpretation at the present moment of what Taoism is about in one aspect.

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Have you ever found yourself in a real psychological difficulty?  I’m talking about depression, anger, obsession, all the bad things.    It is not natural to be psychologically disturbed.  My theory states that if you are obviously having a non-natural difficulty it is because the upsetting situation you got into came about not-naturally.  Therefore, only do what is natural.

If you’ve forced a situation to occur generally the results are not positive.  They are hard to deal with and that is not natural.  This happens because you forced the situation rather than letting a different situation naturally occur.   If you find yourself having to deal with some really tough thoughts or patterns of thought then maybe try saying to yourself that this is not natural.  You are having a not natural reaction to a situation that did not occur naturally.  Both the situation and your reaction were not natural.  Therefore, you have to let it go.  It was not real.  It was forced or contrived and simply not rooted in the only thing that has any power – nature or naturally occurring things.

Nothing in nature is trying to be something it isn’t.  That is why nature works so well and is so astounding.  Go with your own nature.  Don’t try to be something you aren’t, don’t try to have something that doesn’t come on it’s own, don’t force anything.

I hope this sheds some light onto the formerly confusing (for me) phrase “go with the flow” or “go with your own nature.”  In the future to avoid unnatural reactions (which are miserable and hard to break) you should only do what is natural.  You have no power to create things that are not natural.

Middle Yin and Middle Yang

“I can’t believe she did that to me!”  –  “I can believe that she did that me, it makes total sense”

“What a jerk!”  –  “I get it, I understand their behaviors”

“I need to forgive her”  –  “I’ll never forgive her”

“I hate myself”  –  “I don’t hate myself”

I don’t know.  What is bothering you?  Say it and then say the exact opposite.  Lakes and mountains.  Heaven and Earth.  Fire and Water.  Wood and Metal.  Yin and Yang.  Where are you leaning more towards one area?  As an exercise take that area and say the opposite like some of the examples above.  They are quite generic as only you can make it specific and useful.  The idea is to be middle yin or middle yang.  The more stable of the areas.  You see, in the I Ching you read hexagrams, which are 6 lines, really it’s two sets of 3 lines.  In each 3 line set you want to be the middle line.  The not exaggerated view point.  Try to see those situations that really drive you nuts from the exact opposites.   Look at this picture:

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The exaggerated highs (full yang) and lows (full yin) are to be avoided.  So if you find yourself exaggerating some of your thoughts on a particular topic, like the experience of your last relationship, then try saying the exact opposite exaggeration with the goal of bringing your perspective more towards the straight line.  Middle yin and middle yang.

If your life can be represented by a string of a finite length then the more exaggerated the highs and lows are then the less your length it will be able to cover ie; a shorter life.  So the more you can keep your life steady and stable (it will never be a straight line as that doesn’t exist in nature) then the longer your life and health will be.

Making Decisions

This topic is so important to me personally.  My biggest area of struggle is second guessing myself.  This leads to undermining myself, sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure.  All horrible things!  And why would someone do that to themselves!?

From an early age I concluded that life was confusing.  We each have family situations that offer various forms of dysfunction.  Mine was the death of a parent before age 3.  Kids cope in unbelievable ways and I’m beginning to see that I decided to accept that all of life was confusing and never really made sense or was trust-able.  I love the description of a tiger from the Chinese zodiac, although positive this stinger rings too true:  over-confidence and mistrust.  I interpret that as trusting nothing but thinking you can always meet the new challenge.  These traits enable me to pull back on decisions.  This is bad for mental health!  Life needs direction and purpose.

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There’s a lot to deal with here and I’ve got my hands full.  Life, however, will teach me and through experience I’ll gain wisdom and maturity as long as I continue to self-reflect and work on myself.  My advice for someone struggling with making choices is to:

  • make a list of pros and cons ignore “what if’s” or outside pressures from people who haven’t demonstrated an investment in you (which sadly will be mostly everyone)
  • get your mind off it
  • do something that makes you smile
  • be calm and quiet, meditate
  • and ask your gut, your body, your inner being if this is right for you

You may not get a loud and clear response.  The next steps would be to imagine yourself making the choice and really “look where you are stepping.”  See all the details of daily in and out life if you make this choice.  Do research but not too much – there’s more power in your imagination than any YouTube video you may view.  Finally, if you feel positive and excited about it, maybe you should go for it!  If it crashes and burns you’ll learn a lesson AND you will have worked on your ability to make a choice.  If you feel like it would be punishing yourself do not make the choice.  If you are looking for the negatives and talking yourself out of it – stop doing that as it is your old habit clouding your mind.

Life is short.  Life has plans.  The worst thing to do is to be stuck.  Are you stuck?  Make a choice and then believe in it.  All there is here to do is to learn, there are really no wrong choices.  All there is here to do is learn.