The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: September 2012

Pathwalking 39

Perhaps circumstances have put you in a bad place.  The question is – what do you do about it?

This is a key aspect of Pathwalking.  Rather than being a victim of circumstance, the goal is to make your situations as you wish them to be.  But a huge challenge to this goal is often the circumstances therein.

You certainly did not ask to lose the job, be incapable of paying the debt, be trapped in that relationship, be living where you live, or what-have-you.  Life has put you where you are, and you are discontent with it.  Do you lament your predicament, cast blame about…or do you take a more analytical approach?

This is important to Pathwalking.  It is all about choice.  If you have not made choices up to now that are making you happy, what do you do?  The key is to analyze where you are, how you have gotten to where you are…and to move forward from here.

This is a profound issue I, personally, am constantly at odds with.  Circumstances are not ideal – and though I am “fighting the good fight” and working to make and walk my own path, it is still hard to find the contentment I desire.  I am still finding that this, that or the other thing seems to be at odds with this path.  What do I do?

These are the things I suggest to approach this problem:

Meditation.  Take stock in the situation.  I am where I am…now what do I do about it?  How did I get here?  More importantly – what actions can I take to leave here, and get where I desire to truly be?

Analysis.  Write out the issues and problems you are facing; then write out the solution or solutions, brainstorm ideas.  Put it online, put it in a journal, just take the time to somehow write it, and place it where you can see it, refer to it, and explore it more deeply.

Planning.  Make a plan.  What can you do in order to break free of the circumstance that is having this negative effect on you?  What actions can you take in order to make, find, and then walk the path you desire?  It’s important to write this out, think about it, and plan what you can do.

Action.  DO what you need to do to break free of unwanted circumstances.  You’ve meditated on this, you’ve analyzed it, you have devised a plan – now act.  This, in a lot of respects, is the hardest part of this.  Action can be scary, and it can often involve, in the instance of walking the path, something of a leap of faith.  But without action, you will remain a victim of your circumstances.

Gratitude.  Express gratitude for what you have now.  Express gratitude for what you WILL receive from taking this action.  Feel the success, feel the accomplishment that comes from taking this action, and know that you will be free of unwanted circumstances very very soon.

Five steps.  Easy enough to read, easy enough to understand.  The hard part, of course, is DOING these things, and taking these steps.  But this is the key to breaking free of undesired circumstances.

The things that are NOT helpful, and should be avoided are the following:  Blame, despair, depression, anger.  Demanding to know “Why me??”  These often come to us easily – but they will interfere with our path, interfere with us getting where we wish to go.

We cannot control every circumstance we find ourselves in.  What we CAN control, of course, is how we react to our circumstances, and how we deal with them.  We have control of our actions, our thoughts, our emotions.  And that is what we need to employ in order to deal with the most difficult situations that may arise.

Remember – we are choosing to walk our own paths.  When we make that choice, we accept the responsibility for those things we have control over.  We acknowledge that our thoughts, our emotions, our intentions are ours to choose.  And that is why Pathwalkers are not victims of circumstance – when all is said and done, Pathwalkers are not victims of anything

Think.  Premeditate you actions, consider them, explore them, act upon them, and then be grateful for what you have and what you WILL have.  This is both deeply simple and immensely complicated.  But this is part of the choices we make when we choose to walk our own path.

Do you work on your circumstances, or do your circumstances work on you?

 

This is the thirty-ninth 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 38

Are you grateful for the opportunity to walk your own path?

This question is of far greater importance than you might think.  Without gratitude, it is impossible to gain anything.  Walking your path will inevitably fail.

Yes, that is a very broad statement.  But it is completely true.  Every self-help teacher and new age guru, almost every spiritual leader past and present will tell you that gratitude is absolutely necessary to achieve anything.  If you are not grateful for what you have, if you do not show gratitude for what you have achieved, then you will not truly succeed.

There is an important truth at work here.  It begins with the primary reason we choose to walk our own path:  We seek satisfaction in our lives, and our life choices.

In order to begin to get more things we will be appreciative of, we need to show gratitude for what we already have.  I have mentioned this before, I have made something of it in a different, non-Pathwalking post …but that still does not explain WHY it is so important.  Why is this true?

Let me try to illustrate this idea.  Let’s say you receive a gift.  And that gift is something you really wanted.  You say thank you, you feel and show gratitude for the gift, and you begin to feel good.  That good feeling inspires more good feelings, and you seem to get more good things coming your way the more you feel gratitude for the things you have and the things you get.

Let’s look at the opposite.  Let’s say you receive a gift.  And that gift is something you didn’t really want.  You don’t say thank you for the gift, and you begin to feel annoyed and ungrateful.  That bad feeling takes you down, and brings more bad feelings, and you seem to find more and more things to make you feel annoyed and bad about the things you have and the things you get.

Has that happened to you?  The less you feel gratitude for things, the less good you feel in general?  There is a major difference in your day if you get up and feel thankful for the day ahead, versus getting out of bed, stumbling into the dresser, and wondering what bad thing will happen next.

And that is why gratitude is so very important.  Gratitude is a positive feeling.  Positive feelings lead to more positive feelings.  See the above examples if you don’t believe me.

No, feeling positive alone will not resolve your debt, get you whatever you desire, and heal wounds in your relationships.  Feeling positive will not cause your whole life to dramatically shift overnight.  But it WILL give you a vital tool to cope.  And when you can cope, you can build up hope.  And from hope you can find new avenues, new paths…and you just might begin to Pathwalk where you want to go.

Gratitude is an important tool for Pathwalking.  You might be dissatisfied with your point of origin, and that dissatisfaction may have been the catalyst that began your walk along the path.  But once you make the choice, it is imperative that you show gratitude for what has come before.

Holocaust survivor, respected author and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel said, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.”  Roman philosopher Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”  Late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  Oprah Winfrey said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Four different people from four totally different times and different walks of life, all of whom express how important gratitude is.

Gratitude is a fundamental building block of Pathwalking.  It is one of the most important things you can do in order to achieve walking the path of your own choosing.  It is so very easy to do, and yet so easy to overlook.  But expressing gratitude can vastly improve any day.

Bear in mind, it is insufficient to just say “thank you” and make expressions of gratitude if you do not FEEL grateful.  The words without meaning are as hollow and empty as an insincere apology or a politician’s promise.  Feeling gratitude is the key.  When you feel it, express it.

I work hard to overcome the perceived and sometimes real shortcomings in my life, and express gratitude for what I have.  Sure, there are things I want to see improve in my life, and of course I want better.  But without being grateful for what I have, and feeling it, and expressing it, I will forever be stuck in the same immobile situations.

It can be a bitter pill to swallow.  How can something so simple have such a far reaching effect?  But I challenge you to try it.  Find something in your life that you are grateful for.  Think about it.  Feel the gratitude.  When you feel it, say aloud “Thank you.”  When you say it, really mean it, really feel it!  Find something else.  Feel the gratitude, and when you feel it, say aloud again “Thank you.”

Do this at least 5 times.  How did feeling and expressing all that gratitude make you feel? This should illustrate why gratitude is a key component of Pathwalking.  And more, why gratitude is a key component of every aspect of your life.

What are you grateful for now?

 

This is the thirty-eighth 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.

Gratitude

Thank you.

These are two words that mean more than almost any others you can say.  They convey gratitude.  And gratitude is something we all too readily take for granted.

It is pretty much impossible to get anywhere in life without being grateful for where you have gotten to, and for what you have.

And yet gratitude is something that just does not come easily for many people.  We get so caught up in the bad news, the insanity of various and sundry inhumane acts against people and animals, cares, worries and fears that we lose gratitude for the good we have.

What’s more, we often make mountains out of relative mole hills.  Sure, our jobs may be imperfect, our bank accounts may have less in them than we would like, the government is making us frustrated and angry, and we might have a hard time with certain people and their actions and personalities…but we have so very much for which we can be grateful.

We have opportunities.  We have people who can help us.  We have friends.  We have families.  We have ‘things’.  Maybe they are imperfect, maybe they are not all that we want – but we have them, and we should be grateful for that.

Every self-help guru, every new age teacher, many respected spiritual leaders and influential people speak of the power of gratitude.  They do not let a day go by when they do not express gratitude for all the good they have in their life, no matter how large or how small.  And they clearly seem to be amongst the happiest, most content people we see in this world.

Thank you.  Two simple words that are incredibly large and powerful.  These two words can bring about gratitude not just for ourselves, but for those around us.

What IS gratitude, anyhow?  Dictionary.com defines it thusly:

Gratitude

noun

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

Gratitude is about feeling grateful and thankful.  Let’s examine the definition of grateful:

Grateful

adjective

1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful: I am grateful to you for your help.

2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.

3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing: a grateful breeze.

These are all things that invoke a positive feeling.  And as I have stated many times before in this blog – positive feelings begets positive things.  And gratitude is a wholly positive, wholly good feeling.

If, as I have postulated previously, each of us really wants to find contentment and happiness in our lives, then anything that can help to bring that about is a good thing.  Gratitude, as such, very much falls into this category.

In my own experience I am constantly amazed by the power inherent in this simple notion.  I find that feeling grateful for all the things I have in my life makes me feel better about the things I might be lacking, or the things I want but do not have, or even the things I have no control over.

But that, of course, is the hard part.  Letting go of the wants, the desires, and the sense of need is nearly as hard as letting go of the feelings of lack, loss, and hopelessness.  Remembering to be grateful, and making the effort to express gratitude is both incredibly simple and insanely difficult.

Part of the problem we have is outside influences.  There are so very many things we have no control over which effect our mood, our happiness, and our feelings.  This is why, over the past couple years, I’ve stopped watching the news, and reading much beyond headlines on the web.  Nothing can be quite so infuriating as the barrage of negativity, politics, and other information the news presents us on a daily basis.  It makes it terribly hard to be content, let alone happy.

The other problem comes from within.  When things are hard; when we are struggling to make ends meet and our families and friends are not as supportive as we might need, being grateful for what we have is difficult at best.  When our mood is down, when we feel negative, gratitude seems like a chore.

But through gratitude, we can turn this entire thing around.  By showing gratitude for the things we DO have, we can find the mood shifters, the things to be positive about, the good things we have in life.  This in turn will let the warmth, pleasure and sense of appreciation change how we are feeling.

There is of course an important component of this that can be an added complication.  It is not enough to say “thank you” unless there is feeling behind it.  Like an apology, if there is no feeling, no sincerity behind it, it is an empty, hollow thing.  But when “thank you” includes not just the words, but the feelings, it is that much more powerful.  It means that much more.

Don’t believe me?  Look at all the celebrities and teachers and well-known people who tell you about the power of gratitude.  The Dalai Lama, Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho, Tony Robbins; these are just a few people who come to mind.  But gratitude starts smaller, it starts at home.  Our parents taught us the power of gratitude when we were still children.

Saying “Please” and “Thank you” was an important thing my parents taught me.  Ask nicely, say please. Say thank you for everything you receive.  Write thank you notes.  Say thank you for the nice thing you got.  Say thank you.  The incredible importance of this gets lost as we get older, and have to deal with “adult” issues.  But it is just as true for us now as it was when we were children.

It is so easy to forget the power of thank you.  But it means so much to me, you and those around us that it’s something we all should be more conscious of.

Next time you are lamenting the things you do not have; next time you are feeling bad about the things in your life that are lacking: remember the power of saying thank you, and the power of gratitude that comes with it.  Remember that by being thankful for what we have already, we can be more content, more happy – and then draw more of what we want to ourselves.

Thank you.

What are you grateful for?

Pathwalking 37

There is more than enough love, power, happiness and joy for everyone.  These things are in abundance, even though they are all-too-often denied.

All of these are part of why one chooses Pathwalking.  I know that I, personally, want more love, empowerment, happiness and joy in my life.  And choosing my own path helps bring me that every day.

Of course it is not that simple, or that easy.  In especial in a world where the messages are all about lack and limitation.  In 40 years, fossil fuels will run out.  There are insufficient jobs for everyone.  I can’t pay you more because we lack the money.  Only one person can lead us, and his ideas dominate our way.  There is not enough.  We’re running out.

We are constantly bombarded by these messages.  We are constantly facing crisis of lack and limits.  And those in power love to emphasize these in order to grasp MORE power, more control; whether in business, religion, politics…its hard not to see it, though they try to veil it in colorful disguises.

Seeing lack and limitation reduces choice.  You cannot have ‘x’, you must accept ‘y’.  The more we accept this, the more it becomes dominant in our lives.

Now I won’t deny that there ARE some things we can’t choose.  But they are fewer and fewer than you might think.  Many of these things are material.  I don’t get paid enough money to vacation in Hawaii.  I can’t buy that painting I love.  I cannot drive that car because I can’t afford the insurance or car payments.  I am not attractive enough for that person.

We often judge based on appearances, based on the material.  We look at the clothes we wear, the jobs we hold, the cars we drive, the people we associate with, and we assess people on that.  I don’t know if that is human nature, or a culturally learned behavior.  What I do know is that we develop a false sense of what matters, and that in turn leads us down paths that may not be of our own choosing.

Pathwalking is about the things we CAN choose.  We can choose to love, we can choose to empower ourselves, we can choose things that make us happy and joyful.  And it is important to note that these things are in abundance, and can NEVER run out.

I believe that in choosing my own path, I can eventually find aspects of the material things I desire.  I believe that if I am happy, if I am empowered and joyful and loving, I can draw the material through the immaterial.  But this has several meanings, and is not to be taken literally.

As I explore Pathwalking and its meaning, I have come to see greater importance in these abundant things, and less in the material.  Sure, I want the car, the home, the people of my choosing in my life.  But am I happy with what I have now?  Am I grateful for the things that are already part of my existence?  Do I make that known?

Realizing the abundance of these immaterial things is important because they are things that make us grateful.  And gratitude draws more things for us to be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to abundance.

Yoda said, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”  What is its opposite?  How about this – Gratitude leads to happiness, happiness leads to love, love leads to abundance.  Does that strike you as worthwhile as much as it strikes me?

Pathwalking is taking this literally, I think.  If Pathwalking is about choice and empowerment, does that not lead us to gratitude, then happiness, then love, then abundance?  If, as I postulate, this is so, then the reason I share this entire notion is because in being abundant, I can show this is right for everyone.

How we all walk the path will differ.  We make different choices, we make different decisions, we place different emphasis on what empowerment means.  But the goal, the real goal is the same – we want to be happy.  We want to know that we have made choices that have brought us here.  There is a satisfaction Pathwalking creates in the abundance it can open us up to.

I recognize this might come across as lofty and idealistic.  Perhaps it even strikes you as hokey.  I don’t ask anyone to think as I do, or to believe in all the things I believe in.  All I DO ask is that we open ourselves to possibility.  If more people do that, I believe, we will live better, happier, more abundant and productive lives.

I suppose, perhaps, NOT choosing your own Path, and living in ignorance could have a certain blissfulness to it.  It often seems, when I read the news, that this is how many people live their lives.  And if that is in fact what they choose, it is what it is.  But I still have to wonder – if more people wore cognizant of their ability to make choices, would they take more empowerment and be more selfless?

Doesn’t everyone truly want happiness, love, and abundance for themselves?

 

This is the thirty-seventh 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.

Doing vs Undoing

Progress cannot be made by undoing anything.

In the current political discourse, there has been a lot of talk about undoing this, or undoing that.  It’s all been about going back and taking apart what has been done.  But how can you possibly move forward when your action is backwards?

Undoing is the opposite of doing.  It is backwards, not forwards motion.  If we want to see progress, if we want to see things move forward, undoing things gets us nowhere fast.

Dictionary.com offers 57 definitions of the word “do”.  But highlights include:

verb (used with object)

1.to perform (an act, duty, role, etc.): Do nothing until you hear the bell.

2.to execute (a piece or amount of work): to do a hauling job.

3.to accomplish; finish; complete: He has already done his homework.

4.to put forth; exert: Do your best.

verb (used without object)

25.to proceed: to do wisely.

All of these are to the effect that doing includes things that move you forward, that make life actually happen.

So, let’s look at dictionary.com again to explore “undo”:

verb (used with object), un·did, un·done, un·do·ing.

1.to reverse the doing of; cause to be as if never done: Murder once done can never be undone.

2.to do away with; erase; efface: to undo the havoc done by the storm.

3.to bring to ruin or disaster; destroy: In the end his lies undid him.

By definition, undoing is unproductive, and certainly not about making progress.  Undoing is almost a denial of life happening.

There is this recurrent theme going on about returning to a previous state.  Returning to the way things were (which, usually, is highly idealized and nowhere near the reality of the matter).  We need to go back, and we need to undo what was done and do it all again, but this different way.

Going back does not get us where we need to go.  Going back and undoing things is not conducive to forward motion.

This is entirely based on fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of the unusual, but most of all fear of change.  And those in power love to play on that fear, and instead of acknowledging the reality of change, they play off the fear of it, and instead suggest going back and undoing what has been done.

Undoing is not an answer.  In fact, it’s very much the opposite.  What good does it do us to undo something?  As you can see from the definition of undoing, it is the cause of ruin, erasure, and destruction.  All of these things are negatives that do not build anything, they tear down and destroy.

Our present and our future should not be about tearing down and destroying.  It should be about building, creating, and doing.  This fear-based association with undoing, in order to negate the inevitability of change is deeply harmful, and causes our society to further devolve into these artificial groupings.

We need to let go of the fear of change.  Change is inevitable.  It cannot be stopped, it is going to happen.  We need instead to embrace it, and work within the framework of creation, and build what we have before us.  Do, instead of undo.

Fear has been used by leaders since we began to live in communities with specific ideologies.  Fear is so easy to exploit, so easy to call up, and they use it to get what they want, and keep the rest of us disempowered, fearful, on edge.  So they talk about how it WAS, denying that how it is and how it will be are a result of the inevitability of change, and use our inherent fear of change to suggest if we undo this or that, change can be stopped.

Change cannot be stopped.  Change can, however, be shaped, can be controlled, can be directed.  But we should not be afraid, and we should not be focused on undoing to build our future.  To truly make progress, we have to DO, not undo.

We each have much, much more power than we believe.  We are each creators, we all have the ability to make our lives as we want them to be.  But we need to let go of the unnecessary fear, the anger, the negativity towards those with different views, and work together to DO, in order to achieve the greater good.

Maybe if we stop working to undo things, and instead DO things, we can live in a far less conflicted, far less divided, far more complete world.

Do you spend your days doing stuff, or undoing stuff?

Pathwalking 36

Pathwalking is about choice.  It is about being active instead of reactive.  And it is about empowering the self.

Empowerment often scares people.  The idea of power has been twisted and skewed in such a way that we often view it as a negative.  But empowerment of the self is healthy, and a central aspect of Pathwalking.

The line “power corrupts” is constantly emphasized in our society.  You cannot look at a modern election and NOT have that thought.  Big business, organized religion, government…these are all too often perfect examples of that.

But there is a reason.  The reason is because in taking their own power, they disempower.  They strive to hold all power to themselves, and not share.  They strive to control, to dictate, and to interfere in our own empowerment.

We see it pretty frequently.  You must work overtime if you expect to get a raise.  Worship god as the church commands, or you will go to hell.  Vote for me to stop him from taking your rights away.  They inundate us with similar messages, taking empowerment away from you and me to increase their own power.

This is not a call to anarchy.  This is about self-empowerment.  This is about not outright ignoring these messages, but about making informed choices about them.   We have people we work for, religious institutions we participate in, and the freedom to make choices in the political system.  How we act and react within these organizations makes the difference between empowerment and disempowerment.

Even in the process of Pathwalking, we cannot entirely remove ourselves from the system, from the world.  We have homes, we have jobs, we have debts and responsibilities most of us cannot simply abandon.  But how we live within that framework, how we make choices is the very nature of the Pathwalking process.

This might come across as contrary to previous posts on this topic.  But while Pathwalking is a fairly idealistic notion, I want to share that it can also work inside of stark reality.

Aspects of this concept are grandiose.  I want to choose the life I want.  I want the career, the love, the abundance I desire.  I am going to make choices that will help get me to that place.  However, while I am at work on this process, I cannot ignore that there are bills to pay, and no matter what choices I make, outside forces far beyond my control.

Which brings me to the minute, and frankly more important aspects of this concept.  When all is said and done, I want to be the one choosing.  And the reason I want to make choices is because I want to be happy.  I do not believe I am in this world just to carry on, react to whatever happens around me and be a simple cog in the machine.  But even when circumstances dictate that that’s all I am able to be, I deserve to be content, and to be happy.

When not discussing Pathwalking in this blog, I often discuss what I call “topical ranting”.  This takes on all kinds of grand social and political happenings, as I analyze the world around me.  I often suggest ways to cope or deal with seemingly insurmountable issues.  Part of why I write these things has to do with MY specific path.  I want to show people that there is more to life than our often narrow, closed-in view of the world.

Pathwalking in particular is the focus on choice, the focus on opening one’s self to empowerment, to finding your bliss.  I personally find dissatisfaction with working in a gargantuan corporation as a petty functionary.  I want what I do to mean more not just for myself, but for the people I encounter.  I don’t want to sway people to my way of thinking, per se…I want them to think and choose for themselves.

I want you to see your own power.  I want you to be open to your own empowerment.  I want to help you see that empowerment is not something to be feared, and that taking action instead of reaction to life is your right, not something you have to earn.

Empowerment is taking power for the self.  Not to abuse, not to laud over others, but to choose, decide, and act on life.  It is knowing that you are a creator, and that you should not fear that.  Empowerment should not be given away to others; but it should be shared.

And this brings us to the topic of abundance.  Too many of us see lack, see limits, see that there is only so much of ‘x’.  But there is enough power for everyone to be empowered.  The need of some to deny empowerment to others is based in fear.  Fear makes them horde power, makes for greed, makes for stinginess and denying others what they want.

Those of us walking our own path need to remember to empower ourselves, and not get caught up in the fears of these others.  We need to show the world that empowering the self helps not just the individual, but the world at large.

Every grand idea began as a smaller one.  And I believe that everyone deserves to find their own bliss, their own happiness, their own empowerment.

Who chooses for you how you live your life?

 

This is the thirty-sixth 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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