Friday, January 27, 2012

The Blessings of Difficulties and Disappointments

Always look forward to the solutions, not to the problems those solutions intend to solve.
When we strive to achieve anything, difficulties and disappointments should be expected. If we do not believe difficulties and disappointments will arise on our path, we will be shocked and dismayed when they do. Also, if we simply believe something is happening to us or being done to us, we become a victim of our conditions. Laying down the mantle of the victim is the first step in getting back to achieving something with this life when conditions don’t follow the course of our design.

These difficulties and disappointments are designed to happen. We set in motion the events and situations that we experience. Certainly, others can create problems for us. Others can always do this, and it should always be expected. If we do not design our actions with others in mind, we are living in a bubble of our own creation that can be popped by our simple ignorance of others. If what we want in our life is all about our own self-interest, we still cannot live in a bubble indefinitely. If what we want is about others, we certainly cannot ignore others, we must account for them in our plans.

Inflexibility is why difficulties and disappointments can be so debilitating. Inflexibility, the inability to adapt on the spot, is in the way of discovering the purpose in each difficulty and in each disappointment. Discovering the purposefulness in these moments is crucial in continuing forward, to achieving anything, especially something greater than just our own self-interests.

Regardless of the difficulty or the disappointment, we, individually, have the superior role, and we are the superior source of that turmoil. This role and responsibility we hold may not be easy or comfortable to embrace initially. However, we can certainly agree the ultimate bearer of the difficulties and disappointments we experience is our own self. If we’re going to return to work, return to the role of achiever, we must at least embrace the role of the bearer as well.

It is important to realize the goals behind embracing this role. It is not about simple pain and suffering because we deserve it, because we do not. We are learning how to take care of our own self and our own path. Thorough exploration of the source of our life experiences, which is our own self, must start there as well.

Perhaps, our observations were mistaken or not complete.
Perhaps, our actions were not precise or thought through.
Perhaps, our feelings were ignored or were overwhelming.
Perhaps, our intentions were not clear or were not realistic.

This is where to begin that exploration. Be curious about life. This is how we learn, how we adapt and how we achieve better.

We must expect difficulty.
We must expect disappointment.
We must expand our awareness.
We must adapt and continue to strive to achieve.

It is possible to go further than just a simple expectation that conditions will not always follow our design. When we use our explorative mind in all moments, difficulties and disappointments can become fuel for our efforts. These are not negative aspects of living and doing. These are productive aspects of learning and adapting. These are blessings; we need only expand our awareness to see them as such.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Expanding Awareness, From the Source of Hope and Dream

Hopes and dreams can be so exciting and inspire us to action, to reaching beyond today by letting go of yesterday. Our actions from the source of hope and dream have an appearance of purity and light. Then, we wake up, and we realize that purity and light do not simply live in a vacuum.

The light of the sun dawns and shines on half the planet while the other half remains darkened. The darkness is real, but the light is also real. Both co-exist and are also inseparable. To purify water, the impurities are extracted, but not disappeared. The other-than-pure can never be eradicated from the universe. Other-than-pure is made of the same stuff as the pure. There can be no separating the two regardless of how obvious or apparent the separation might be.

We must move our awareness beyond the whimsical and the simply feel-so-good. Expanding our awareness to include the total of our existence and the total of all existence is essential when working from the source of hope and dream. We change the world by simply breathing, and we can breathe with no attention or intention. Imagine breathing with full awareness of the change we breathe into the world with every breath in and every breath out. Imagine breathing into this world change that is infused with intention and action.

We breathe out. Others breathe in.
We breathe in. Others breathe out.
We are connected. We always have been.

We have goals; we have objectives. This desire for all to not suffer, to not feel pain, to flourish and to flower instead, cannot be some lollipop ideal we lick to feel better about ourselves and what we’ve been doing with this life. What have we ever really done to reach anything or anyone in a sustained and purpose-filled way? We must move our actions beyond the surface-altruistic, beyond the easy, the comfortable and the secure. It is easy to help a child in need, not so easy to help a hardened criminal.

We must challenge the idea that some are worthy and that others simply are not. We all breathe in and breathe out the same air. The most effective initial effort to help a hungry child is to feed the child. A more substantial and lasting effort than providing a simple meal could be an education and training in how best to grow food where the child lives. If the child is growing food in a dangerous area where criminals can steal the food from the fields and the tables, perhaps this is not the best approach. This happens every day.

These may not be the most effective efforts to expand the life of a criminal, either. Maybe, this criminal needs as much awareness expansion as we do. Let us start there, common ground. The potential for transformation in our communities lay with working with the hardened views we hold and in the hardened views of others.

Challenge yourself at least as much as you challenge others.

Criminals feel disconnected from the results of the actions they take. These people often feel no connection to others; they have been disconnected from the source of hope and dream for a long time. It is this extended period of disconnection by a growing number of people that must be met with compassion, patience and understanding. If we become frustrated so easily with others, especially those who we don’t even know, our own disconnectedness is being exposed. This is a blessing.

Generate as much compassion, patience and understanding for ourselves as we do for others.

These have been missing for so many for too long. We must be the first to give these to begin our own healing. We have an infinite capacity of compassion, patience and understanding within each of us. We need only to attempt to generate these to discover the source within us. Learning to sustain these for extended periods of time can help heal our life, our community and the world.

And, there is much healing that must take place. We must transform how we think and feel about others, all others. Feeding children is vital for their survivor. Healing the hardened is vital for our civilization’s survival.

We start with the child and the hardened heart of our self. We then expand until it encompasses all others.

Our life is an array. It’s a set of principles, environments, capacities and needs that constantly evolves and interacts with the arrays of others. Our principles shift, environments alter, capacities adapt, needs shift. The orientation and stability of our life array determines how best we can transform the world array that we inhabit. The orientation of our life array is perception-guided. The stability is garnered from our expanded awareness of our role here. It is up to us how we perceive this life and our role in this world.

Charting transformation cannot be done with words or with actions alone. Transformation is beyond thoughts or feelings. Transformation begins with our own awareness. That awareness naturally will spread to the greater whole, to the greater array.

Our lives can manifest in infinite ways. We can actually affect the whole, and we’ve been affecting the whole always with minimal to negligent awareness. We can also affect the whole with expert precision or destructive obliviousness. We must be open to seeing life as it truly is.

Transformation happens through awareness alone.
I have never seen life as it truly is. I can see life as it truly is.
I have never seen people as they truly are. I can see people as they truly are.