On philosophy

Jack and Jill went up the hill.
Do you know why they went up the hill?
Do you know what they did when they got to the top of the hill?

There are many reasons for why they might have gone up the hill. Maybe they were on a treasure hunt. Perhaps there was a helicopter waiting to rescue them from a flash flood, and the top of the hill was the last safe place for evacuation.

It’s also possible that they just wanted some exercise, or to see the sunset in all it’s glory.

Any action you take is based on your values, which are derived from your philosophy. Philosophy refers to  your system of thinking, making decisions and taking action in this world.

You can choose your philosophy, or you can adopt the dominant systems of thinking that permeate through your network and society. These are often flawed, and misaligned from your core values.

To develop your philosophy you need to decide what you are about.

  • Are you an achiever?
  • Are you driven towards self-mastery?
  • Are you here to serve others?
  • Are you here to heal?
  • Are you here to dominate?
  • Are you here to learn?
  • Are you here to love?
  • Are you here to destroy?

Pick one. Or write your own. That is your core purpose for being. You chose it.  Now embrace it. Make everything else that you do serve that purpose. Congratulations, you have a philosophy.

I am driven towards self-actualization. Every day that I grow and learn, I become better equipped to help others achieve their goals. This means that in my capacity as a author, teacher & friend, I am able to make a greater contribution.

I’ll discuss some of the tools I use to support my core purpose in a future post.

 

 

Homeless

Do you ever feel a little displaced?

Just a little odd in your own body. No, I’m not referring to the feeling that you get when you shelve 5 ecstacy pills and lose your concept of self for 3 days. I’m talking about the more subtle sense of ” not at home-ness”

How does it feel? Annoyed. Itchy skin. Restless. Neurotic. Uneasy. Mildly agitated. Cranky. Bored.

What does it signal? Some disharmony between your life and your dreams. Some unresolved conflict or situation. A dissatisfaction with the present moment.

What’s the solution? Accept the situation first. Find a quiet place to sit and try this meditative technique called a Body Scan.

Locate your attention. Where is it? Get a sense for whether it is focused or diffused.

Try to narrow it down into one laser beam and rest your attention on the top of your head.

Now imagine that your attention is a gentle wave and calmly allow it to sink downwards from the top of your head until it reaches your toes. Take 1-2 minutes to do this. Feel each body part fully.

Breathe slowly while you do this. Repeat as necessary.

If you are not fully at home now, you should at least have your feet in the door.

Now you can ask yourself:

“What’s the one thing that contributed most significantly towards this mood”.

Don’t obsess over it if you can’t determine a cause, life has unavoidable lows and this might just be one of them. If you can identify something, change if immediately. Home is essential. We need to feel comfort in our skin so that we can thrive despite the chaos outside of it.

 

The Map

The maps coordinates help me to coordinate my feet,
Allowing me to sense two worlds,
                    One that I can see                           ,
And the other represented by lines on a sheet,
It is balance, in between these lines that I seek.

With map in hand, I have my own personal tour guide,
To help me direct my thoughts, during my short life.
Without the map, my minds eye would be blinded,
In search for the crown of Osiris, so I can live forever;
Minus the guidance of my map – how could I possibly find it?

Despite this, some maps are best kept undiscovered, left alone,
Or simply used as a stepping stone, or to get to home.
When confused with the territory, the map becomes infectious
The virus disconnects humans from their essence,
Feeling splendid at the thought of the sun, then numb in its presence.

The surgeon’s map of the body cannot account for the variations,
He must trust his eyes and hands to decode the reality that he is facing.
As well, the captain, of a ship can follow the lines on the page,
Then fail to react, when thought is required, to escape the wrath of the waves,
The problem with maps is they often become a substitute for the terrain.

A wise voice once spoke to me, “I wish to confide in you;
Your plans are only as reliable as the map that is guiding you.
Only by using the map and reality together, will you find your truth.”
I took this grand advice, and updated my GPS device,
My Great Powerful Soul became my map for devising my life,

I used its power to ignite the motor inside my heart,
Powerful paths, given birth by the curiosity to ask,
Two questions:
“How do I want it to end?”
And “where do I start?”.

The razors edge

Sometime ago I sat in dialogue with a wise man called Leonard. A deeply spiritual man, sixty-three years of age. He would be retiring from the profession soon and I hoped to pick his mind some more before he departed on his caravan tour around Australia.

I asked him how he measured his contribution to society and the world, based on the good work he had done. He had led, inspired and mentored thousands of young men and woman. He had been a leader and pioneer in several industries.

He told me that he measured his success in life based on how kind he had been to others. I kept probing – “But what about when you did x?”. He looked at me with gentleness while he explained his approach again.

He was more interested in the quality of everyday interactions he had with others, rather than any fame or wealth he had created. He exposed the reasons why he never sought recognition for the work that he did; he did it because it would help those in his community.

Prior to this conversation I had a shaky belief that my life would be for naught if  I did not accomplish something magnificent with it. That if I wasn’t remembered for anything other than being great, I would be less than my potential. This begged the question of what large contribution would I make that would appease my enormous ego and give me the self-validation I yearned.

This conversation with Leonard cased a subtle shift in my thinking. Only subjective at first, regrettably. Now inside my mind I felt like this:

“I took aim at a dream;
Rejected a mediocre existence,
Then settled on something in between.”

Probably not how my mentor would have wished to have his advice applied.
To integrate a concept like “above all be kind“, you have to first be kind to yourself. It takes time and practice to become good and new things.

And so today I offer a rewrite:

The beauty is immense
When you apply skill,
To be kind, above all else.

 

Straight and Narrow

In movies they tell us that a character on the Straight and Narrow is making an incredibly hard choice to select the good over the bad. We see the character tested time and time again – not wanting to revert to their life of crime or violence but often being forced to do so out of some sort of necessity or implausible script writing.

Does the same apply for us? How many people really have enough power over you to make you choose self-limiting behaviours over positive ones

If you consider this carefully you will likely conclude like I have that it is one. It is you. And so I contemplate the following:

What if I spent every moment awake; shifting fate?

Connected to my dreams in a way, that calls me to innovate;

Calls me to integrate my inner faith, and live as great?

The path is straight and narrow,

Waste no time.