The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: May 2012

Pathwalking 22

What if, in the course of walking your path, when you do find yourself, you don’t like who you find?

Truth be told, that is an integral part of the entire Pathwalking concept.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve done throughout your life…there are still moments you wish you could take back, people you wish you could speak better to, choices made that you might have preferred not to make.  This is a part of the human condition – we are perfect imperfect beings, and we make mistakes.

Pathwalking, to one extent or another, is about finding, choosing, and taking your own path in life.  The journey itself will reveal to you who you are along the way…and, as such, may show you someone you do not wish to be.

Some people argue that people cannot change.  I completely disagree with this sentiment.  Anyone can change…but it is not a simple process, and it is not a matter of course…it’s a choice.

A tiger cannot change its stripes.”  True enough.  But we are not tigers.  We are human beings, and we are conscious of our choices, of who we are, and how we are perceived by those around us.  In fact, of all the creatures on this planet, we are really the only one who can change our outward appearance, or our stripes.  Hair can be altered, shaped and dyed; eye color shifted with contact lenses; body shape altered with diet, exercise and/or steroids…and, likewise, we can change the substance within us.

Of course, like every aspect of Pathwalking, this is not easy.  Once you find yourself, and learn who you are, if you want to change who you are, you have to put forth tremendous effort.  You have to make a lot of conscious choices…in especial if the person you wish to be is almost the opposite of your general nature.

Just because you are a certain way now, does not mean you cannot change it.  It doesn’t matter if you are selfless, selfish, caring, uncaring, feeling or unfeeling…you can choose how you want to be.  If you are an unemotional cold fish by nature, once you identify this, you can choose behaviors and actions that will be opposite this.  You get to choose to be who you want to be.  But this takes a lot of thought, a lot of effort, and a lot of work.

One important fact about this topic – how others perceive you is something beyond your control.  There are things I did five, ten, maybe even twenty years ago that are still in the minds of people in my life.  Even though those actions were done by someone I WAS all that time ago, and not who I am now, they will probably ALWAYS see me for who I was.

How others perceive you is not as important as how YOU perceive yourself.  Selfish?  No.  Self-aware.  This is not about how others see you…this is about how YOU see you.

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”  And this is a difficult concept to wrap your head around.  No matter who you want to be, who you think you are, people will see you how they see you.  Some people will never believe that even if you DO change who you are, that it is anything more than an act.  They may always define you from a single action of yesteryear, and no matter how you change, their perceptions will not.

And this is important.  Because changing who you are should NEVER be about who other people think you are…it should be about YOU, being who YOU would choose to be.

The only person who will ever really know me, know who I am, know how I think, is me.  The person who needs to be happy with who I am, as such, is me.  There will always be those who disagree with me, there will always be those who dislike me, the way I think, the person I am…and that’s unfortunate.  But it is what it is – what’s important is that I am choosing to be who I want to be, the person I desire to be.

One reason I share this Pathwalking concept is because this idea can be very lonely.  It’s not a matter of alienating people, it’s a matter of spending time with yourself, which can create a feeling of utter distance.  This is a personal journey, when all is said and done.

This is about me.  BUT, just so, I do not undertake this trip alone…even though the journey and the goals are different, the concept of Pathwalking, and its rewards, perils and pitfalls, joy and the bliss as a concept can be shared and explored by and with anyone and everyone.

I know who I am.  I know who I am working to become.  And I know that if you are reading this, the idea appeals to you as well.  And I share if for exactly that reason.

Who are you, and who do you want to be?

 

This is the twenty-second entry in my series.  These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.  Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 21

Pathwalking is about choosing our own fate, our own destiny, and walking a path to reach a goal we desire.

I would argue that while the goal of pathwalking is important, it is the journey that is of greater importance.

One of the main reasons why the journey is more important than the goal is simply because the goal itself is seldom static.  It might grow, it might change, it might shift entirely.  As you walk the path you may find that during a respite, you came across something unexpected that not only shifts the end goal, but aspects of the journey itself.

And that, really, is the larger truth of this concept.  Just choosing to seek your own is a reward unto itself.  Because what you will find as you walk the path is not just the unexpected, the alternative paths, the goals, happiness and contentment – what you will discover is in many respects the ultimate quest everyone faces.

You will find yourself.

How many people really know themselves?  How many people are amalgams of the person outsiders influence them into being?

So many forces within and without influence us.  And while it may seem crazy, often these forces cause us to lose our true selves.  We become the son our parents expect us to be, the clown the group turns to for comic relief, the cubicle-occupying employee getting the job done…and the self, repressed by these expectations, gets shunted to a corner, or misplaced entirely.

Choosing and walking your own path is a key way to truly find, know, and ultimately love yourself.  And that is why I share this concept.  Because I firmly believe that if more people really knew themselves, really loved themselves, the world would be a better place for everyone.

Imagine if the sway of fast-talking politicians, religious zealots, false prophets and pundits lost its power…because people did more thinking for themselves?  What if instead of turning to these outside influences, we looked within for answers?

A wise man named John Lennon sang, “Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do; Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too; Imagine all the people living life in peace.  You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

People are often referred to as sheep.  Easily herded, easily moved and influenced.  And let’s be honest – it’s REALLY easy to be a sheep.  You don’t have to do much, you don’t have to think all that hard, you just go with the wind, go with the flow.  But how many people who live in this manner are truly content?  How many know who they are, and what they want?

Important fact – THIS IS NOT EASY.  All the previous Pathwalking posts touch on the complexity of this concept.  Obstacles, fears, concerns, questions, outside and inside influences…there are so many things that factor into this idea.  But then, I have long maintained that nothing worth having is ever easy.

En route to the goal, there are so many things that can crop up in the journey, which may change not just the goal, but you as a person.  You might meet someone who shows you something you didn’t know; you might read something that changes your plans; you might fall in love; you might learn that a friend is not true; you might see something mundane and everyday in an utterly different light, and be inspired.   The point is – if you ignore the journey, even if you manage to reach your goal, it may be hollow and unsatisfying.

I am pathwalking in order to be true to myself, to discover new things about myself and the world around me, and to see what exciting opportunities the journey will present to me.  Certainly I have goals…more than one, in fact.  But I want to enjoy all the wonder that this journey has to offer me.

Ambitious?  Maybe.  Hokey?  Possibly.  But this is what I believe.  The opportunities represented by choosing to walk your own path are not something I can or will ignore.  I am learning who I am.

Do you know who YOU are?

 

This is the twenty-first entry in my series.  These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.  Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 20

Sometimes this walking-your-own-path stuff can be tiring.  You get footsore, like with any long walk or hike; and that’s a perfectly normal thing.  When it comes to pathwalking, it may be yet another opportunity.

One aspect of Pathwalking is the goal at the end.  But equally, if not more important, is what you encounter on the journey itself.  When the journey makes you footsore, that doesn’t mean in any way you abandon the path.  You just pause.

When I go for a hike, I seldom do so with any actual goal in mind.  Sure, maybe at the end of the path there is a waterfall or a lake or some other natural beauty.  But the purpose of the hike is to experience all that the path has to offer.

While hiking, I usually take my camera.  I often find that along the path, something will catch my eye.  A leaf, an odd-shaped tree trunk, the light reflecting off a stream…and I need to capture it.  Sometimes that causes a new thought I was not seeking.  A world evolves before my mind’s eye, a city from a story I was writing comes into focus.  The light reflecting off that stream has made me recall an idea I had years ago, but never saw through.

When you trek through the woods, or up a mountain trail, there aren’t benches to sit on when you become footsore.  You choose a downed tree, a boulder, a patch of grass, or some other similar spot where you can sit.  And that place you choose will be filled with the sounds, the smells, and the sights native to it.

When you decide to continue your hike, the pause may have caused you to change the direction you were going.  You find the need to ford a stream you hadn’t planned to cross because something on the other side caught your eye, or to head down that other trail because the song of an unfamiliar bird has piqued your curiosity…or you may even choose to go back the way you came.  You have not finished taking the path, but how you continue it has been changed.

This concept of pathwalking is similar.  Certainly, there is a goal or goals the path leads to.  But as previously stated, the path is not singular…and neither is the goal.  Sometimes when you pause to rest your feet along the journey, you may encounter the unexpected.

Several years ago, I started a business.  The intent of that business was broad, unfocused, and, as such, pretty close to unattainable.  It remained in existence, but rudderless.

As I began to actually walk a path of my own choosing, the business came back into focus for me.  I had a number of unexpected experiences that redirected the intent, brought it into focus.  And now I am doing it.

How I got onto this path was convoluted.  It was a lot of twists and turns, unexpected encounters, false starts.  I stood a long time at the crossroads between all possible paths, and for a very long time, just spun around and chose nothing.

Then I began creating these Pathwalking posts, sharing this concept with anyone who might seek, as I do, a life less ordinary.  When presented with a possible crisis, I chose instead to see it for the opportunity that it was.  I decided it was not enough to just share this idea…I had to put it to use.

Along the journey things have popped up I did not expect.  People have come across my path who represent unplanned opportunities.  And as I walk the path, I am often shown incredible things I would most likely never have noticed before.

There is risk.  There is uncertainty.  And there are days I am footsore, and when I stop to rest I question why I am doing this.  But taking this chance, and walking a path I would choose of my own has made me feel happier, more content, and more in-tune with the forces of the Universe than I have felt in a very long time.

This is exciting.  This is unusual.  This is allowing me to discover so very many things I likely never would have if I had not chosen to heed my own idea, and start pathwalking.  It is a work in progress, there are still good days and bad.  But the journey has become tremendously exciting.

Does your journey excite you, too?

 

This is the twentieth entry in my series.  These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.  Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 19

Pathwalking is not easy.  In especial when the path you choose is not “the norm”.  There will be resistance from multiple sources.

I have long believed that we are not simply here to follow rote routines.  Life is so very much more than get out of bed, go to work, come home, have dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat.  Yes, we all need to be able to make money to pay for the essentials, let alone the toys we love.  But if you are spending half or more of your waking hours in a space where you are unhappy, is that really LIVING?

If you are fortunate enough to have a job you love, then you are walking your path.  But if the conventional is not how you live – a “normal” nine-to-five job, keeping regular hours and routines and such – this presents more of a challenge.  It will not be easy. I have always said, though, that nothing worth having is ever easy.

There will be resistance.  But without resistance, you cannot gain traction.  And that resistance will come from two very distinct and separate sources.

Resistance from Without.  Your friends might think you are nuts.  Your family might think you are being foolish.  How can you make ends meet doing that?  Why are you risking so much?  How can you make such a foolish choice when so many things are uncertain in the economy, politics, etc?  Don’t you think you should just find a normal job?

Resistance from Within.  You will have doubts.  You will question if you are, in fact, being foolish.  Isn’t this risky?  Should I really not be holding a regular day job?  Am I working towards nothing real?  Is the reward worth the risk?  Am I alienating friends and family for my own vanity?

No one who ever did anything worthwhile heeded this resistance.  Businesses have been launched from garages to achieve surreal levels of success, inventions have been created that we all use every day, ideas have been formulated that change the nature of how we perceive ourselves.  These people walked their own paths – Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs…and look at how all that they did shaped our world.

But without that resistance, what do you have to push against for traction?  Knowing, believing, and feeling your desire is all well and good – but sometimes it is that very resistance that pushes you into action.

You don’t believe I can do this?  Well, I KNOW I can.  So guess what?  Here I go!

Sometimes this is about small things.  Sometimes, these are the very things that make our life happen.  But when you know the path you want to choose, when you choose to walk it, there is likely to be resistance.  And that is not a bad thing.

Every week I post these, I reinforce my own desire to walk my path.  Recently, I have been faced with a couple different situations that really made this more than just words – I was faced with an opportunity to really, truly, walk my path.  There is resistance, within and without, but I know that I have chosen the right course.

How do I know this?  Because I have not felt this content, this certain of myself in a long time.  Of course there are moments of doubt, of course there are fearful moments where I wonder if I am making the right choices…but then I pause, take stock of my situation, and KNOW I am on my path.  I know that like the action I took in placing these here every week, DOING this will lead me where I truly wish to go.

Not easy.  But the journey, the day to day, has become FAR more interesting, much more inspiring.  I can see that the reward, ultimately, will be worth it.

Choosing to walk your own path can be frightening.  But it can also be exciting, liberating, and fulfilling.  I know who and what I want to be.  Do you?

 

This is the nineteenth entry in my series.  These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.  Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 18

When fear interferes with your attempt at Pathwalking, how do you overcome it?

This is a really difficult question.  Fear, an intangible, never quite feels the same.  Different fears produce different reactions.  But I believe it can still be overcome by any number of processes.

The first step is to analyze it.  What am I fearing?  Why am I fearing it?  Is my fear warranted, or nothing but a visceral reaction?  What should I do about the fear?  Can this fear be ignored, disregarded, or does it need to be heeded?

The next step is to apply some logic and reason.  What is the root of the fear?  Is this really something I should be fearful of, or should I work to disregard it?  Rational or irrational?  Is the thing I am afraid of really the origin of my fear, or is it something else?  Do I fight, or do I flee?

I’ve analyzed it, I’ve applied logic and reason to it, so the next step is – what do I do about it?  Fight it, give in to it, or flee from it?  Not an easy question.  And, unsurprisingly, not easy to answer.

This is a particularly raw topic for me.  I have been asking exactly this question for some time now.  And it has recently been REALLY driven home for me.  I am writing these pathwalking entries to help others with this idea, and also to help guide myself in the process.  It is hard to walk the walk as much as I can talk the talk (or, as the case is here, write the thought).

From my own experience, most of my fear comes from a fear of failure, a fear of success, and a fear of rejection (and, tagged onto the rejection, abandonment).  These are utterly intangible fears, and overcoming them requires a combination of leaps of faith, distractions from the fear, and assertion over the fear that logic is correct.  I have to fight back against the fear.

Yes, of course, fear is a natural human mechanism to help us be safe.  But there is a large difference between tangible things to be afraid of (like wild animals threatening to attack you in the jungle), and the intangible things like failure and success.  The former is a something we need to be mindful of, while the latter is a completely invisible entity.

And yet it is the intangible that most of us are going to face today.  It is the invisible boogey-men that make the heart palpitate, the palms sweat, and that gives you that sad, debilitating pit-of-your-stomach-dropping-out sensation.  It is one of the most overwhelming sensations you can feel.

Again, there are really three options for dealing with this (ever notice how so very many things in life are in threes?)  Each of these options has certain pros and cons to it, but really only one will truly bring satisfaction:

Give in.  Sure, let that fear paralyze you.  Let the fear overwhelm you, drive you to your bed in your cave under the covers, hiding from everyone and everything.  Of course, if you make this choice, you will always be a victim of your fear, and there will be no other response to it available to you.  This becomes a vicious circle.

Flee.  Run away.  Find all the distractions you can to avoid the fear.  Do whatever it takes to drive the fear away.  The trouble with this, though, is that while you might escape for a time, you will have to confront and deal with the fear eventually.  This can work, but it is fraught with uncertainty, and can lead to being overwhelmed, and giving in.  A continuation of the previous vicious circle.

Fight.  Face your fear.  As the Litany against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune says, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”  Confront the fear, overcome the fear, and then you can move forward.  This alone is the one way to truly take control, and not have the obstacle of fear dissuade you from your path.

Brave words.  Easy to read, easy to consider…not so easy to practice.  I want to walk my own path, and I will not let my fears stand in my way.  I am worthy of the challenges, of success, and I WILL NOT FAIL.  This is the key.  This is MY means to fight the fear.

Practice makes perfect.

 

This is the eighteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

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