I want to share an excerpt from the writings of Dr. Carl Jung that he wrote in a letter to Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wisely, he states what a chronic alcoholic, who has lost hope is experiencing in the grips of alcoholism.
“His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low
level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness,
expressed in medieval language: the union with God . . .
You see, Alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the
same word for the highest religious experience as
well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful
formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.”
— Excerpts from letter of Dr. Carl Jung to Bill W.
Spirit, like God, denotes an object of psychic experience which cannot be proved to exist in the external world and cannot be understood rationally. Dr. Carl Gustav Jung
Anger irritates the soul. If prolonged, it eats away at the soul-body generating progressive resentment or illness.
Anger can adversely affect your health and relationships. It has been known to eat away at organ tissue, cause heart attacks, disrupt blood flow and corrode the psyche.
How do we get to the point of anger?
It seems that a personalized rules violation has occurred. Beliefs!
Something that suddenly gets your attention triggers in an instant reaction. When we understand ourselves, we can better understand others.
What’s the difference between responding and reacting?
Do you recognize that when you are hungry, tired or feel alone, the emotion labeled anger can be triggered?
What about the fact that people who are hurting like to hurt others?
If we simplified that emotions are either a call for love or a cry for help, what would that do to your mindset?
The pleasure – pain principle is evolutionarily wired into the brain even though there is an alternative.
The option is to live in a contemplative state in which you understand that underneath the perceptional mind world is 98% silence. We are the ones creating all the noise in our perception with the 2%.
It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day we awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday.
When we recognize and identify the mystery of moods in all mankind, and in us, we become prepared to control whatever personality awakes in us each day.
The aim is to become master of my moods through positive action [thinking] and when I master my moods, I will control my destiny.
Remember that to “sin” means missing the mark. Where is your aim?
Can you see how describing the feeling with a word captures the emotion into a fixed crystallized state of mind?
When we label our emotions with language, we are identifying and becoming the emotion instead of just feeling them.
Language is the building block of reality.
What if we just allow the emotion? Witness it. Release it. Or better still, adjust our rules of engagement into understanding that everyone sees and interprets the world differently.
What if I told you that watching the news or engaging in social media is geared to stir the emotions of anger.
So, why are you choosing to watch it for continual periods of time?
The answer to this human dilemma is neither in abandoning caution or accepting conformity.
It is in recognizing the importance of re-learning [understanding]. The most important idea I have been able to embrace that resulted in personal growth and new found liberty is in two simple, though amazingly profound statements: “Not everything is right the way I first learned it!” and “This too shall pass.”
I must disavow what I ascertain is wrong. Then it is true. I am most alive when I exercise my own will.
Understanding that anger is a corrosive emotion which destroys in the present and transmits into the future can lead to awareness.
The present moment can be used for learning and understanding past wrongs, not to fuel resentment.
Anger can be likened to holding a smoldering coal in your hand to throw at another; all that accomplished is burning your own hand in the process.
When angered, blow by the emotion—Express it and shift quickly into a settled mind quickly. Forgive yourself for feeling it and forgive the circumstance or person instigating the emotion.
There are no wrong feelings only actions.
If possible, “vent” in private and express it. But don’t live in it and explode in front of others.
You will look back regretfully and say, “Was it really worth it?” In two weeks you might say, “was it that important?”
Understand that anger is a call to action for a new approach in perspective.
Therefore the individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of anger, as it is posed today, has need, first and foremost of self knowledge, that is, the utmost possible knowledge of his own wholeness. He must know relentlessly how much good he can do, and what anger he is capable of, and must beware of regarding the one as real and the other as illusion. Both are elements within his nature, and both are bound to come to light in him, should he wish — as he ought — to live without self deception or self-delusion.
Dr. Carl Gustav Jung
Most of us are busier than we ought to be. At least our lives are crowded in such a way that frustration is becoming a normal and accepted mode of human experience and behavior.
Some time ago I found a new “translation” of the 23rd Psalm, called the Japanese Version, by Toki Miyashina. It helps me…and I want it to help you.
Japanese Version 23rd Psalm
“The Lord is my Pace setter, I shall not rush;
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness, which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the ways of efficiency through calmness of mind,
And His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here,
His all importance, will keep me in balance,
He prepares refreshments and renewal in the midst of my activity
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows,
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours, for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever.”
Humility is self esteem based in wholeness and fulfillment.
Humility is the acceptance of myself and my shortcomings.
I used to live two different lives, which forced my insides to be in conflict with my outsides.
Until I accepted and asked God to change me at depth, into establishing my spiritual nature and live in accordance to His Will for my life, I was unaware that I was operating solely on my ego.
Remember one aspect, that God is the image within. It is the invisible Power that runs the entire system, the universe.
The ego is into people pleasing, validation, approval, and confirmation amongst many other defects of character.
Understanding through a process of life experience, self discovery, self love, and self awareness, I am learning that my life is an evolution of humility.
Life presents to me opportunities everyday to exercise and witness humility. This is a beautiful gift because It brings me closer in union with God who is the orchestrater of my life.
When I live with humility, I recognize the behaviors and attributes that kept my ego in charge.
Fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, anger and control were the main root system of my ego. They still are a part of me, yet now I accept these feelings and go to a new choice of living with honesty, willingness, openness, love, acceptance, and trust that God is molding me into the person I was created to be.
Humility is letting go of concepts and modes of behavior and being able to transition through the process of change with a grateful attitude that even though I may not understand what to do, I must trust that the circumstance, person, place, or thing is molding my character to honor myself.
When I honor myself, I can honor others. When I come from a meaning that “I am good enough and can accept it,” I then move outward to others in a pleasing, kind, and cooperative manner.
Honestly viewing my character, good and bad; understanding that I know very little, modestly viewing myself as part of the greater whole, intuitively listening and trusting that still quiet voice within me, loving myself so I can love others, tolerating the behaviors and dispositions of myself and others, and yielding to a power that makes it all possible, these are qualities of humility.
Humility is strength. When I trust myself and am able to delegate and share with others, I experience humility.
Life also manifests humility in me. One such way is loss. Loss of health, wealth, relationships, loved ones including our animal friends, has an impact on the meaning I interpret life from.
Our being is a manifestation of meaning.
These experiences allow me to create and shift my attitude into a meaning that enriches my life.
When I understand pride, bravado, selfishness, and egoism are a part of my make up, I can transform myself by viewing these states of consciousness with an open, still, and loving heart.
Humility requires patience for the process of life and the unfoldment of my character. When I can admit that I made a mistake and release perfectionism for outcomes, I can strive for excellence instead.
People are imperfect, that is why we are human. The ideal is not lost, only the measure on how I interpret perfection does.
Asking is imagining. When I humbly ask with no attachment on the outcome, I am given all that I need. Maybe not what I want, but what I need.
My purpose is to discover a meaning for my life that includes the sharing with others, then pride is shifted to self worth, which operates under the power of faith.
With this understanding, I can now personalize my experience and live with integrity. I can have my insides match my outside.
I no longer desire to find my happiness or relevance in an another. I must live within myself. This s where joy is found.
Only then does my ego or “I,” shrink to its proper perspective. I am a part of the equation of life, not the whole solution.
Now my psychology, relationship, and spirituality are in harmony. My thoughts, judgments, and decisions include the cooperation, not competition with the outside world. I compete with myself to become better today than I was yesterday.
Better today so I can be better tomorrow. This is humility for me today. A work in progress not perfection.
Silence is the cornerstone of Character. From the silence springs the thoughts that manifest.
The aphorism, “ As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out into every circumstance of his or her life. A man is literally what he thinks, the character being the complete sum of the thoughts contained.
As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of thought, man holds the key to every situation or circumstance of life and contains the transforming and regenerative agency by which he or she can make of herself what she wills.
Given this truth, character is the fluid process of molding one’s individuality. Personality is what others perceive, individuality is what you are. We have dominion of our thoughts and therefore dominion on how we choose to think and behave. Man is always the master, even in his weakest and most abandoned state. But then, he or she is the foolish master who misgoverns his household.
Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.
When we begin to reflect on our condition, and to search diligently for the Law upon which our being is established, we then become the wise master, directing our energy with intelligence, and fashioning the thoughts to fruitful issues. Such is the conscious master, and man can only thus become by discovering within himself the laws of thought; which discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis, and experience. Only by much searching and mining can we become the maker of character, the molder of our life, and the builder of our destiny.
We may unerringly prove, if we will watch, control, and alter our thoughts, tracing their effects upon ourself, upon others, and upon our life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, and utilizing every experience, even to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of ourself, which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power.
In this direction, as in no other, is the law absolute that, “He that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened;” for only by patience, practice, and careless importunity can a man enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge.
The reality is is that character and competence drive everything in human behavior. To nurture character and competence is the most high-leverage thing we can do to create empowerment. But competence without character doesn’t inspire trust either. Both character and competence are necessary to inspire trust. And both are completely within our Circle of Influence.
Integrity—the ability to walk your talk, a thorough interestedness of public, private and deep inner life around a balanced set of principles.
Maturity—the balance of courage and consideration that enables you to say what needs to be said, to give honest feedback, to address issues in a straightforward way, but with consideration and respect for the feelings, thoughts, and opinions of others.
Abundance Mentality—the paradigm that life is ever expanding, that there are an infinite number of third alternatives (in contrast to the paradigm that life is a zero sum game, that the pie is only so large and if anyone else gets a piece, that means less for me).
Technical Competence—the knowledge and skill to achieve the agreed-upon results, the ability to think through problems and look for new alternatives.
Conceptual Competence—the ability to see the big picture, to examine assumptions and shift perspectives.
Interdependent Competence—the ability to interact effectively with others, including the ability to listen, communicate, get to third alternatives, create win-win agreements, and work toward synergistic solutions, the ability to see and operate effectively and cooperatively in complete organizations and systems.
Character and competence are high-leverage areas of focus that make each of the other conditions possible. The foundation is based in trust and one must be trustworthy and develop the attitudes and behaviors that instill trust in oneself and others.
Remain teachable. Be so disciplined that the emotions of being alive, alert, awake, joyful, and enthusiastic are so evident, that we begin to demonstrate regardless of circumstances, situations, or moods.
In short, live a standard of excellence and commit to excellence. Progress not perfection is the aim. Take responsibility for your character.
Sculptor, God, I am the stone.
Referenced by James Allen, “As A Man Thinketh,” pages. 11-14. Stephen Covey, “First Things First,” pages, 241-242.
Keep two books; bible and notebook of ideas, philosophies and concepts.
I read the bible and newspaper everyday to see what both sides are up to.
The God of the Mountain is the same One in the Valley.
Dare to evaluate where you are.
Read the New England Primer – founding fathers book of Education and Character for 100 years.
What rings your joy bell?
Develop a Wall of Gratitude.
Success has experience, judgment, and common sense as its major theme.
The healthiest of all human emotions is Gratitude.
What is life asking of you?
The people who do not take the first step, never take the second step.
Some think denial is a river in Egypt.
Failure is only a temporary change of direction to set you straight on your next success.
I have a brilliant memory, although it is very short.
I remember some difficult times where I felt like I was desperately struggling.
Believe in your work.
Life is one indivisible whole – you can’t do right in one area while attempting to do wrong in a different area.
Quality of Life is better than standard of living.
Enroll in Automobile University.
You sell everyday of your life.
Be patient with yourself: we are planting seeds and the harvest is worth the work.
I thought you were going to trickle in.
The important people go first.
I am glad to meet you; I shall remember this day as long as I will live.
There is difference between how things are and should be.
Thank you for our many blessings.
Grant our family good health and well-being.
Allow us to forgive and let go.
I am in the light after the tunnel.
Eventually everything merges into one and the river runs through it.
There is no middle ground.
I choose beauty, love, sensitivity, concern; the desire to touch all others, in a gentle, comforting, creative, healing way.
I don’t repeat gossip, so listen carefully.
We are all at different growth phases of human consciousness.
I know that teaching has high leverage opportunities.
I am living to giving.
Sometimes people don’t change, but they need to catch up.
Nourish the memories.
I had a rough day, I bent my library card.
Self-talk is self-control, self direction, self responsibility in its most simple form.
Create new ways to represent increases in creative opportunities.
Simple presence; open heart.
What is this place where thought is useless? Knowledge cannot fathom it.
It is small, expensive, and invaluable. Step up to it!
Ten percent of non-fiction books are not read past the first chapter.
Learn value vs. cost.
We hear what we listen for.
I was blinded by my commitment, I was stupid.
What do you do? I do nothing on the first date.
People don’t wait long enough to recognize each other again.
Do you want affirmations or useful information?
This is not an installment item. Live through a cloudy weather pattern.
There is not a blemish on my name or background.
Life is a gas. I can’t believe I get to do it.
If you can laugh as much as you cry; you can make it through life.
How about that!
You’re a legend in your own mind.
Try keeping my belly in bounds.
No, I don’t understand, at all.
Remembering is the mother of learning.
I am colorful!
I like it!
She has my cell number, home number; but she does not have my hotel key.
All of Life can be conceived symbolically as One Grand Cycle (12).
By analogy, three important areas can be studied and compared within a circular framework: Human Life, Nature, and Astrology.
What is your favorite course to teach? My next one!
Imagine the vision of a time yet to come.
Be strong now; be strong.
I appreciate the kind thoughts.
This is the only time there is. Be cheerful. Be enthusiastic.
Give to others…”you make a living by what you earn; you live a life by giving.”
Go to God first.
Harness and Channel the energy.
We are perfectly imperfect.
If you don’t bite the elephant, all the mosquitoes will.
That dame is one hell of a guy.
Get good; Get better: Be at your Best.
Can you keep a secret? Good, because so can I.
I am glad your mother is not here to hear you speak that way; thank God she’s dead. 😇
If you put my brains in a bird, it would fly backward.
I will give it some thought and let it marinate for awhile.
Seek to manifest the invisible, inspired self.
I feel it, I know it; I believe it.
Well, you were there, you saw it.
I feel I am destined to achieve some great thing; what it is I don’t know.
In my life, I have made many mistaken choices. I have selected persons, conditions, situations, thoughts, concepts, feelings. I have selected all manner of things to come and live in me; things that do not belong in me. There must be a way to erase or cancel these things which do not belong in my life. How? RENUNCIATION or simply Denial.
Limiting beliefs affect even the most successful people. The first step to overcoming fear is to face them. If you can not make it go away, then dance with it.
What if fear meant Focused Energy Abandoning Reality? Maybe you’ve heard that fear is also False Evidence Appears Real.
Whatever the acronym, we all experience this sensation. Sometimes it’s best to do the challenge and other times it’s not. Both are an action.
The best speakers, leaders, writers all experience fear but do it anyway. Why? Maybe it’s faith that they are prepared and the steps ahead will be there.
Commitment, dedication, and trust in yourself establishes and reinforces belief.
My beliefs shape my decisions, my decisions shape my actions, my actions shape my attitude, my attitude is everything.
If my natural state of being or attitude is Joy, what gets in the way of that joy? Often times it’s the questions that I ask of myself. Questions determine focus.
If they are negative, I will feel negative, if they are positive I will feel positive. Being witness to thoughts is necessary to feeling the feelings I want to feel. It’s all an interpretation, so choose one that works for self and doesn’t dishonor others.
Be optimistically cautious. Projecting and trying to control the future can lead to anxiety and false expectations. In remaining in the present moment, all the resources are available, like breathing, clarity of focus, temperance, or acceptance.
Often worry and anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future, but rather trying to control it.
It’s important to learn howto detach or let go of outcomes which can conjure negative emotion.
Feelings of resentment and fear of separation permits you to perceive everything as a threat and seduce one to the dark side of its nature.
Darkness can consume you in FEAR, which leads to stagnation and eventually destruction.
THE POWER OF THE F-WORDS: FORGIVENESS AND FAITH
Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant. Cultivate other emotions, like passion and hunger in order to change your mindset and learn how to have a positive attitude in a lasting way.
Other than perhaps gratitude (which is the underpinning of both) no two human emotions have a greater impact on the quality of your life than forgiveness and faith.
We will always carry anger and hurt in our hearts as long as we have expectations of other people and life conditions we can’t control.
Forgiveness is really an understanding that the only person you hurt when you’re upset (no matter how justified it may be) is yourself. Even if everything in you wants to blame someone else, consider giving yourself the gift of forgiving your expectations.
This to me is the definition of responsibility. Responding to life with ability.
What would happen to your well being if you quickly forgave? What I mean is first forgive yourself for the thought before saying sorry to another?
You are now on the route and path of acceptance.
Acknowledge fear and replace it with the insight of awareness.
Be strong and of good courage. Act for the best, hope for the best, and make what comes…If death ends all, we cannot meet death better.
Are you satisfied?
A part of human nature is to be dissatisfied. How many of us hope and wish for something better? Why is it so difficult to accept our current circumstances? What is the ever present need to be on a quest for something more?
It can be argued that if we were always in a place of acceptance, no change would be necessary. This fact is not in compliance with the laws of nature and law of attraction, which namely cry for growth.
Is the acorn of the oak tree not as valuable as the oak tree itself? Don’t they both have merit and value?
The same can be viewed with goals. Is one goal better than another? Do they hold the same intrinsic value?
How many of us have asked; “If I only had this, I would be so happy?” And not said; “I must become this kind of person in order to have.”
This pivot question is one of the intrinsic drives of our human nature to strive and evolve. If there was no dissatisfaction, there would be no progress? We need problems to grow and goals are a method in solving them.
Why are goals so difficult to establish? Personally for me its been fear and accountability. That proverbial “fear of success,” or “what will my family, friends, or peers think of me if I change.”
In binding myself to standards of a future that is unknown, it can cause a limitation of my scope of expanding or changing my current behavior. It’s so much easier to play it safe.
Similarly, it can be the lack of faith that what I dream can actually be transmuted into reality.
I have found that goal setting can be an exercise to be done daily. Yes, daily. Why?
The more specific or clear a goal is defined, can focus the mind into a laser to move you towards it. The brain is a cybernetic mechanism and utilizes the function of the reticular activating system (RAS) which seeks out what it is commanded by impressions of words, imagination, and environment. Due to the law of attraction, this is a universal law and an evidentiary principle.
So, why not set goals?
What happens if we firmly and faithfully believed that any goal could be manifested?
As mentioned earlier, specificity and realistic goal setting must be considered.
I cannot be 3’6 and expect to be a professional basketball player. That does not mean that I am skewing someones belief or conviction to meet their desired goal. “Realistically” really means doubt. The seed planted on hard ground, “lack of belief or faith,” is an example of this.
Who am I to say it cannot happen? The probability is highly minimal. And by this minimality, a person may be dissuaded or stunted in their belief which would jeopardize the fulfillment of the goal. It’s like dumping a gallon of water on the ground of a newly planted seed; it will drown and destroy its growth.
Time is a measure of change which effects our own interests in pursuing goals that no longer make sense.
There are various models based in how best to meet and fulfill goals. One is SMART [Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Timely].
This method fosters the manifestation of goals to a respected and trusted manner. It is thinking objective to a subjective task or result.
Another method is to just “free form,” or, to jot down all the dreams and wishes, then as mentioned previously, narrow the focus in smaller focused steps, say thank you, and put them away for the universe to manifest.
Grow Outward Attract Living Self
The process of goal setting always begins with the tools of the mind: thinking and feeling.
Being includes having. You need to become the person who can attract the energy, frequency, and vibration. You must become the person who is like the person or thing you want. Remember, like attracts like, water seeks its own level.
Until a thought is formulated nothing is formed. The word is the building block of reality. This is done through language. Therefore, it is vital to measure carefully what words are used in ones thought process.
Thoughts generate words which in turn stimulate feelings. They send out vibrations and frequencies to match. Words can create, or destroy.
These two actions of the mind will determine the execution of a persons ability to act or meet a goal. By integrating the emotions congruently with thinking and feeling, this can expedite the process of a goal to take form or manifest.
In simplistic terms, set a goal like you are planting a seed into fertile soil. Fertile soil, is nourished by affirmation, clarity, and conviction. These are the ingredients that if properly nurtured and cultivated, can more often make your goals realized.
It is important to understand the law of the harvest. Most people, including myself, set goals only to focus on the harvest or what they want. When you want apples, which kind? I need to be specific.
As important, when I plant the seed, it’s necessary to cultivate the ground, or take action towards the result. Remember, plant the goal and leave it alone to grow. You don’t unearth the seed (goal) everyday to check, you trust the natural process of growth.
The exercise of goal setting is so fundamental, yet only a very small distinct segment of people actually practice this critical discipline.
Start small by only setting two or three goals and build from there. Confidence is a functional quality that can determine the success of reaching any achievement. By making small commitments and keeping promises to ourselves, this will lead to a level of integrity and responsibility that propels you forward in meeting your objectives.
So when we discuss goals, it is clear that we are all setting intentions for our behavior. An airplane is rarely on course towards any destination based on the weather, wind or other variables, yet the outcome or intention of the computer is set to meet the objective or goal in meeting its final destination.
Set the goal and adjust your actions and trust the process that it is being fulfilled in its own time. Be patient, exercise faith and conviction, and realize too that others may have to be included to help meet your goals. Cooperation with the law and trust in delegating to others can manifest your goals in a quicker and more timely fashion.
In fact, when setting a goal, you are accepting and trusting yourself, others, and a power greater than you.
*Remember to be aware of what you are wishing for, you just might get it.
It is an instant reflex these days for most of us to snatch the negative out of any situation, circumstance, condition or relationship.
The movement to avoid pain and gain pleasure is a systematic function of the brain.
For centuries, man has been conditioned and evolved into the pain-pleasure principle.
The word optimism, is a mid -18th century French and Latin term meaning, “best thing.” It is the hopefulness and confidence about the successful outcome of something. It is also defined as a philosophical doctrine of “the best of both worlds.”
The opposite world is negativity.
A unity or balance must be established to form an equilibrium in the mind.
Relationships are constantly testing this harmonious dance of negative (pessimism) or positive (optimism). Think about how psychology and spirituality is bridged by relationships?
It’s valid to assume that not all circumstances can be viewed with optimism. As the Buddha exclaimed 5,000 years ago, “life is suffering.”
With an established understanding, it is fair to be cautiously pessimistic or optimistic in our response to life. Yet a clearer awareness can be attained.
Optimism is primarily focused in the attitude pertaining to the present and future. Its counterpart, skepticism, values the present and harkens back to the past for its reference to act.
It is a critical distinction to say both of these states of being, or attitude are both a call for action.
Action is not only movement or accomplishing a task at hand. Many times no-action or patience (waiting) is more impactful and a driving force for change.
Maybe our thoughts for optimism are an opportunity to transcend and reach higher levels of enlightenment?
Our emotions can rule our thinking. Pain can subdue our attitude. Man has been given the ultimate freedom of will to choose.
What questions are immediately raised in the mind? Sadness or gladness? Anger or fear? Loss or gain? Opportunity or challenge?
Questions control the focus of the mind; therefore, forcing ones actions to control ones thoughts is of paramount importance. Why continually say no to life when it feels so good to say yes?
The choice, the mindset is programmed into the mind by the word. Actions speak louder than words in most cases.
The power of the spoken or written word have swayed our emotions into chaos or peace. The renounced importance of language in the psyche are the building blocks and foundational axioms of values and beliefs.
Values, principles, beliefs determine the lens in which we perceive our world. Awareness, understanding, move the thought into action.
Being optimistic widens the field of perception to explore options, new questions and new possibilities. Pessimism limits the field, narrows and stagnates the process of moving ahead.
It’s interesting to note that optimism is also derived from optics. Most have heard the terminology that “optics” are important. They create a narrative which in the mind can influence behavior.
Fear is the result of pessimism. It locks or paralyzes the mind into a form of spiritual death. Yes, pessimism and negative thoughts are as destructive as pouring poison on the garden of the mind.
In spite of everything is the will to meaning. The meaning to choose optimism can propel you forward and allow you to meet obstacles or challenges with a renewed faith.
Optimism, hope, confidence, determination are what the responsible man or woman can choose to live by. It fosters a unifying integrity that is unbendable, unshakable and indestructible.
Look for any opportunity as a blessing or a lesson.
Remember that pessimism is ultimately a choice. It is the difference between victim or victor.
An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be a result in the future. Given that definition, expectations are the reality in which I operate my life.
Interestingly, the expectation is felt in the present moment. The event, situation, or circumstance has not even been established, and we momentarily feel the result instantly.
To live a healthy life, I need to recognize that an inner peace, an open mind, my character, and trust are factors that contribute to my well being. My perception is the lens of my reality.
My belief can be viewed as my rules about what something means. Beliefs or opinions are everywhere. I recognize that I get to choose what I want to believe and not infringe on others views.
This requires patience, understanding, or clarity about what is at my core. When I listen to others or myself, I notice the words, is, am, we, and are.
When I think about these words, they describe my global belief system. For example, I am a writer, I am a coach, we are learning; reading this blog is changing and questioning my perspective, and so on.
I am empowered when I can be aware of my language and those of others so I do not trap myself into someone else’s world view. I have been given that freedom or choice. You have that opportunity as well.
I have learned that no one has the power to speak I am for you. I am is the strongest creative word; and is the basis or perception on how I intend to behave. It is what you are.
Notice the words?
Frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy are some negative states of mind that I want to limit or avoid.
When I was actively drinking, these emotions were dominate in my thinking and were felt so intensely, that I excessively drank to drown them. This was not a long term solution for wellness and soundness of mind.
As I mentioned previously, patience, understanding, and listening are needed to make this transformation in expectation. When I expect something to be a certain way and do not see the immediate results, my rules are violated. This can lead me to certain emotions.
Fortunately, through a process of self discovery, self growth, and self care, I now can recognize these emotions and live my life today knowing that when they pop up, I can change my focus; by the questions I ask myself or change the way I am moving my body (physiology).
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Victor E. Frankl
All of this is possible for the simple reason that today, I try not set unreasonable expectations of myself.
Of course, I plan, have big dreams, and want certain things to work. The difference is now I trust the opportunities of the day are guiding me into the direction I want to go.
I set the goal and leave the consequences to a power within me that I have nurtured, completely trust, and allows me to surrender the results to it.
I still have to perform the work and take action. I am still responsible and accountable for my thoughts and actions. Yet, my expectations or rules of getting there are more flexible. I stretch but don’t break.
Today, I have opened the door of the soul inward. My exceptions are my choice in how I want to proceed forward. There is a sense of spontaneity needed in fulfilling the expectation.
In a team environment like business or baseball, ideally every one is set on a mission. The objectives are to be as clear as possible in order to produce a desired outcome.
When a coach and leader can set the vision and allow each individual to perform at their best, successful results are produced.
Expectations are set and you march forward with faith or expectation trusting the outcome will be realized.
The bottom line is, whatever the consequences, win, lose, or draw, they are always up to me on how I interpret and evaluate the situation. This is assuming responsibility for my communication.
This freedom does not mean I don’t experience disappointment, anger, or other emotions; it means that I am the choice between my perception of my reality. What a gift. I no longer have to blame or keep a victim mind set.
I can dwell in the negativity of the result, or choose to ask myself a better question or adopt a new belief on how I want move ahead.
I now understand that perception creates duality. If I want unity, I must guard on my perception.
I can choose to forgive myself and others, which allows me to not stay stuck in an “emotional mud puddle” for very long.
I expect the best and do my best. That is all you can do. The outcome is merely my perception.
Focus is the central activity that runs my everyday experience. What I mean is that whatever I focus on, it becomes the lens in which I interpret my world.
How do I control my focus? The mind is a world processing center that can choose infinite possibilities. From sadness, to gladness, to how to make it through my day, routine, or relationships.
Focus is determined by the questions I ask of myself and the response I make from questions asked of me.
Questions focus the mind.
I focus my attention by being aware of what I’m asking. My attention or mind is not only less distracted, it is less over stimulated.
Questions allow me to see what I want to receive. They also pinpoint my mind into determining what I will choose to do moving forward.
Questions can expand possibilities or shrink me into a fear based consciousness.
I know all of us have experienced this phenomena and it truly rules our lives. The consequences of my focus do determine what decisions I will make at any given moment, thus determining a destination of success or failure.
Remember, asking means imagining.
What is success? Success is a state of mind. Success is a continual realization that I’m doing my best; I won’t win them all; I enjoy the ones I do win.
I strive to prepare, progress, and reach higher levels of enlightenment, talent, effectiveness, sharing, and discipline. That is success for me.
Now, for you the definition or meaning may differ and then you will experience a different set of circumstances and world view for your life. This is what makes life so rich.
The creator gave me one gift above all others and that is the ability to choose.
I can choose my meaning and it will dictate what decisions I can or will make. I also believe that I have five basic needs beyond survival, safety, and physical needs. These could be categorized as psychological or spiritual needs.
These five needs can be ranked in any order like a combination to a safe which drive my behavior in various directions.
They are, certainty, variety, love/connection, significance, and growth. These facets are like the compass dial pointing me to true north.
Personally, these five needs have shifted place the more I have recovered from alcoholism and might shift again in the future.
Today, love/ connection leads my list because I believe God is love and when I can connect with others, I feel a deeper connection with my inner source.
Growth is next because if I no longer am teachable, I am regressing. I am either growing or dying.
Variety is the juice or spice of life that excites me to get up in the morning to discover new possibilities and new relationships. This provides me with a degree of significance because I have been able to witness and share in the awakening of people who wanted so badly to change their lives and recover from alcohol.
I now am certain that if I meet the above needs, the certainty is a by product of the other four. It is fascinating for me to discover this insight because most are not aware of it.
In the past, certainty was number one. I lived in such a state of fear, guilt, shame, and regret that I needed some sort of certainty to help me escape these emotions.
Alcohol was the certain drug of choice, which provided a meaning of avoidance of these feelings, that also caused me to continue to make decisions that were not in the best interest of my health and family.
I can now see the cycle or process of how powerful focus or questions can affect my choices and decisions. What I imagine is the result of the asking and answering of questions.
What, Who, Where, When, How, and Why is the dial of questions I use. Again, the order or sequence has shifted for me as well. “What if,” is really a childish mode of questioning because it is based in hypothetical assumptions. This is useful to do when problem solving.
I have experienced that why questions can quickly determine a meaning or belief so I am always cautious as to what excuses or false promises derive from this question. Why questions are your endless loop scenarios.
Where is your Focus now? Where is your mind wandering? I highly encourage you to watch this video on the major benefits of reclaiming your focus.
Your attitude is determined by the focus of your mind. If you decide to live in a state of gratitude, notice what your mind releases in the form of ideas of pleasure. Notice, when you feel fits of anger or disappointment and what ideas are manifested.
As you you can imagine, much skill or discipline is required. Awareness is key. Watching our thoughts and directing them by the questions we ask is the start of the process of healing, discovery, and personal growth.
Small steps lead to big changes. My desire is that we can stop for several moments in the day of distractions and concentrate to the best of our ability what questions we are asking of ourselves. Imagine all of the pre programming we have accumulated over the course of our lives.
Live in the present and watch your internal dialogue. Like the seed that is planted in the soil, it will grow.
The following is an excerpt from the best selling book by Og Mandino: “The Greatest Salesman In The World.”
In this classic self help book, Og describes 10 scrolls which are important to overcome doubt, fear, procrastination and low self confidence. Why would I suggest a book about sales for recovery?
We are all salespeople whether you recognize it or not. We are continually selling our ideas to others or ourselves in order to move into action. Since it is something we all do, it is necessary to become a student and develop, in time, self mastery over this critical facet of life.
The following is the first of ten scrolls. Practice these lessons, and I promise you will learn the fundamentals to successful sobriety living.
The Scroll Marked I: Today I begin a new life
Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.
Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.
Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me, generation upon generation.
Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I will swallow the seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout within me.
The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet it is fraught with heartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.
Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts, which will guide me through perilous waters to shores, which only yesterday seemed but a dream.
Failure will no longer be my payment for struggle. Just as nature made no provision for my body to tolerate pain, neither has it made any provision for my life to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past I accepted it as I accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom and principles which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position, and happiness far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward.
Time teaches all things to he who lives forever but I have not the luxury of eternity. Yet, within my allotted time I must practice the art of patience for nature acts never in haste. To create the olive, king of all trees, a hundred years is required.
An onion plant is old in nine weeks. I have lived as an onion plant. It has not pleased me. Now I wouldst become the greatest of olive trees and, in truth, the greatest of salesmen.
And how will this be accomplished? For I have neither the knowledge nor the experience to achieve greatness and already I have stumbled in ignorance and fallen into pools of self-pity. The answer is simple. I will commence my journey unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.
In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men’s years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men. Furthermore, experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow.
Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will lead me to greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they will teach me is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind? Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described in one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.
In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the differences of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is – I will form good habits and become their slave.
As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as are all grown men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path, which threatens to imprison my future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore, if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.
I will form good habits and become their slave.
And how will I accomplish this difficult feat? Through these scrolls, it will be done, for each scroll contains a principle which will drive a bad habit from my life and replace it with one which will bring me closer to success. For it is another of nature’s laws that only a habit can subdue another habit. So, in order for these written words to perform their chosen task, I must discipline myself with the first of my new habits, which is as follows:
I will read each scroll for thirty days in this prescribed manner, before I proceed to the next scroll.
First, I will read the words in silence when I arise. Then, I will read the words in silence after I have partaken of my midday meal. Last, I will read the words again just before I retire at day’s end, and most important, on this occasion I will read the words aloud.
On the next day I will repeat this procedure, and I will continue in like manner for thirty days. Then, I will turn to the next scroll and repeat this procedure for another thirty days. I will continue in this manner until I have lived with each scroll for thirty days and my reading has become habit.
And what will be accomplished with this habit? Herein lies the hidden secret of all man’s accomplishments. As I repeat the words daily they will soon become a part of my active mind, but more important, they will also seep into my other mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates my dreams, and often makes me act in ways I do not comprehend.
As the words of these scrolls are consumed by my mysterious mind I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.
Eventually, I will find myself reacting to all situations which confront me as I was commanded in the scrolls to react, and soon these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.
Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often. When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.
Today I begin a new life.
And I make a solemn oath to myself that nothing will retard my new life’s growth. I will lose not a day from these readings for that day cannot be retrieved nor can I substitute another for it. I must not, I will not, break this habit of daily reading from these scrolls and, in truth, the few moments spent each day on this new habit are but a small price to pay for the happiness and success that will be mine.
As I read and re-read the words in these scrolls to follow, never will I allow the brevity of each scroll nor the simplicity of its words to cause me to treat the scroll’s message lightly. Thousands of grapes are pressed to fill one jar with wine, and the grapes skin and pulp are tossed to the birds. So it is with these grapes of wisdom from the ages. Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind. Only the pure truth lies distilled in the words to come. I will drink as instructed and spill not one drop. And the seed of success I will swallow.
Today my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today I am a new man, with a new life.
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
Faith is the starting point of all achievement. It is the prerequisite for moving forward in life.
What is faith? Faith is a power. It is a power that manifests creation. There is an invisible thought stuff that makes an idea transform to the material world. Faith is the basis of what makes man operate on a daily basis. It gives meaning to existence.
What is the difference between faith and trust? Trust is not only a feeling but a stronger knowing that forms a foundational confidence in your spirit that allows you to act with greater certainty. It blends beautifully with belief.
Trust in the Source or Power of the universe, which many refer to as God, is a foundational step. Some do not believe in a God and that’s fine. The word has many interpretations.
It’s interesting to me, that those who do not, are always consumed with a fervent passion to an idea of something that does not exist in their perception or experience of life. Why question something that does not exist?
Our monetary system is based on faith or trust. Without gold backing, why is any currency that is written on unique paper say to “Trust in God.” If there was no faith that the paper means anything, then all you have is a piece of paper.
Why is faith vitally important for the alcoholic seeking recovery. A hope or wish to stop drinking puts the “Idea” in a distant future state which at the beginning, frankly is flimsy and could blow away when it meets any adversity. Yet with faith, that feeling of certainty has been tested or experienced by you in past circumstances. References are reinforced.
For example, when you are driving your car, and for those who still drink and drive especially, what is preventing the other car coming at you 50 miles an hour from an opposite direction not cause you to freeze in your tracks and force you to pull over every time? It’s because you have built faith over time, that the other car will hold up an invisible bargain called: “rules of the road.”
The same can be said with faith. An agreement with the Power which is greater than yourself is infused into your thinking and feeling. You can then harness and channel this energy into a goal. Anything is possible now. Trust can be described as having stronger faith muscles and an inner knowing stronger than a feeling. This comes with time, effort, and personal experience.
When I reached my lowest point mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I asked for help to a Power I did not understand. I was all out of ideas. Something inside of me knew that my life had to change and I could no longer live the way I was living. Desperation can foster innovation.
Faith made this transformation in my thinking possible. My attitude shifted to where new possibilities for my life could made. Action is required. Consistent action.
Life is a happening and reacts to us. Some say life is a journey. I agree, but life is also a lesson. It is a lesson on how I can strengthen my faith daily until it reaches the point where it becomes trust. I have come to a stage in my life where now, I trust myself and others, until they give me reasons not to.
I now trust life. I am guided. I live with “downstream thinking.” I rarely am struggling and paddling upstream against the currents of life, family, relationship, and most important myself.
I have discovered that the best relationship I can have is the one I keep with myself. This way, I get to choose how I respond to my emotions. Today, I not only exercise faith, but live with Trust. It is a process lived one day at time, one step at a time. There is no more self criticizing or blame, only acceptance that I am being led to grow and understand.
The dreaded emotion of fear is felt by all. No one has never not experienced the grips of this force. Yet, there are a select few who act in spite of this perception. Why do I suggest perception? Because fear is manifested in the mind by the thoughts or impressions we have in our memories or imagination.
It has been said that courage is acting in spite of fear. To not permit our thoughts to rule our actions, but instead, force our actions to control our thoughts is the remedy to fear.
How do we release fear? By moving through it. By not allowing the imagination to capture you and hindering any forward movement. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Zeal is enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm in its root form means “at one with spirit of God.” To not get too metaphysical, when we are aligned with the spirit or conception of God who is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere; we gain belief, and through time and experience, a trust established that allows you to be equipped to make forward progress.
Fear is the opposite of faith. I refer to fear as operating in reverse opposite of faith. Faith is not an emotion, it is a power. It manifests the thought images of the mind into their material equivalent through a process. You are that process. Life is process. It is continually changing and transforming.
When I focus on fear, I am worrying, anxious, depressed, and living in my mind. I conjure up images of despair and lack of hope. Instead the choice can be made to operate with faith. This is not only a power but a skill that must be developed and established in the mind as a habit of thinking.
I love the late great Napoleon Hill, author of one the all time best selling books, “Think and Grow Rich.” He interviewed over five hundred of the wealthiest individuals the world has ever known. What he gleaned was that the vast majority operated their lives and fortunes under the unshakeable power of faith. Im quite certain they experienced fear and trepidation, but they all acted in spite of the fear.
You can too!
One of Americas greatest generals, George S. Patton, stated it this way; “Courage is fear holding on for a minute longer.” When the body leads the mind, making action first, the mind will follow. Many of us have misinterpreted this truth. We have had it backwards all along. “Act as if you cannot fail.”
Now, armed with this knowledge, this does not mean you will never experience fear ever again. That is obviously not realistic. What is realistic, is that you can choose to function in spite of it. This can be done through the power of understanding and confidence. We improve through repetition.
Understanding is will. What we will is what we understand. Therefore, my perception or focus needs to be adjusted or changed completely. This can be done by how we communicate inside of ourselves. The words we choose to describe an event or situation often determines how and what the results or outcome will be. Often they surprise us, because positive unintentioned consequences are experienced.
The mind is a highly suggestive organ, and operates on the information it is given. It is of vital importance to guard what enters your mind. The mind is a broadcasting and receiving station. The abdomen is the processing center. This is why when you feel the the fear, it is in your gut, not your brain. The thoughts are stirred my this emotional power, so reevaluating how and what words you choose to describe the feelings are of most importance.
Fortunately, life is process. Success is the result of good judgment, and good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is usually the result of bad judgment. Awareness is the answer to fear as well as making action in spite of it.
Everyone has experienced a time of difficulty, a time of distress, a time of misery, a time of suffering, and a time of loss.
It is safe to say that life is suffering.
What would happen if you viewed any adversity, setback, heartache, or loss with the attitude that there is a equivalent seed of benefit from it?
With this understanding, I can see that life is not always about happiness. What brings me happiness today will turn into tomorrow’s sorrow. Today’s sorrow will turn into tomorrow’s joy.
It’s hard to describe and share struggling with others. Everyone is a prisoner of their own experiences. There is no escaping adversity, but there is a useful way to respond to it.
My life has continually been filled with adversity and along the way, I have come to a better understanding why it is there and how I can use it to benefit myself and others.
It requires introspection and time.
Being a slave to alcohol, was the primary method I used to handle adversity. I was always afraid to tackle my challenges squarely and soberly. I wanted to ignore the feelings of pain. I postponed them and procrastinated any effort to meet them immediately.
What happened by not taking action in spite of adversity caused me to live in fear. This emotion blocked my feelings. It stifled forward movement.
I found in recovery and sobriety, that I am more aware of the language I use internally and externally to describe adversity.
Words have power backed by tremendous energy. They can call us to action or into retreat. Feeling victimized is so defeating because it releases any personal responsibility about changing the situation.
Today I use words like challenges, or obstacles, or setbacks, or phase.
We often cannot control our circumstances yet we can control or influence our attitude towards them by our language. Language affects our behavior.
Being aware of this does not mean that adversity will not come your way; but as stated earlier, it is how you respond that matters. To be able to “Respond” with “Ability” is the heart of personal responsibility.
A new found freedom is experienced when I don’t react by reflex. When I can pause when agitated, and in that “gap” of thought, choose a better word, and come to a new understanding; my challenges seem manageable.
This requires time and patience with myself. Also, the stories we are told shape us; they shape our world. We do what stories tell us to do. We’re wired this way intentionally, because adversity is a reflection of what most needs to be changed in us for us to grow.
The most difficult times are to bless us. All adversity is not bad or good. It’s your perspective or attitude towards it.
Don’t get bitter; understand what adversity is all about. It is there to make us grow.
It sometimes feels prolonged with no end in sight. For example, sickness, loss of job, or divorce can be painful, hurtful, and be intense. Our decisions sometimes are the cause.
When I’m experiencing suffering the last thought on my mind is that I caused this circumstance.
When I can pause and separate from the situation, there is one new skill I have developed that is powerful to bring my difficulties and my mind back to order. This is prayer.
Prayer is asking or imagining a better way to interpret adversity. I surrender my ego from, “figuring it out,’ to quietly listen for guidance. It protects me into getting consciously and emotionally connected with the ultimate source.
Do not ask for things, ask for guidance.
Rigorous trial and error tests our faith and trust in ourselves. Ultimately, adversity is there to help us. We only grow through resistance. This is how we learn to respond.
You are never alone; because if you know there is a higher presence with you at all times, then you are never alone.
What if you viewed adversity as a precious gift that guides you into new thinking?
In college, my alcoholism was at a stage of binge drinking and blackouts. I had missed classes and my grades dropped off a cliff. My scholarship was in perilI and I received the letter from the university that I would have to go in front of a committee to discuss whether my suspension would turn to expulsion.
At 20 years old, that was a lot of adversity to handle alone. I remember vividly, I suddenly turned within and asked a power greater than me to help.
I was guided to a counselor who by chance served on the committee and said he could help. He did. Our meeting resulted in a pardon and propelled me to graduate college.
Belief, trust, faith, action, patience, surrender are all needed in adversity. Most often, you will survive to fight another day.
Experience and feel the pain. Then take action. This is the process of healing.