The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: November 2012

Pathwalking 48

Are you a lover or a fighter?

As a Pathwalker, you will find that you need to be both.

The pen may well be mightier than the sword, but sometimes the sharpness of the sword is what stands between you and your path.

Let’s leave the metaphor and examine this notion more closely.

Different jobs require different tools.  A pen will do you no good when you need a spoon, just as a rock is not very helpful when you need a sharp blade.  As we walk along our chosen path, at different times, in unique situations, we require different tools.  At times a lover needs to become a fighter just as a fighter needs to become a lover.

Part of Pathwalking is finding balance.  This is not about walking a literal tightrope, it is about finding inner balance.  To walk the path, we need to know ourselves, know what we want, to know that we are consciously undertaking the journey.

I believe that I have previously expressed the importance of love.  Love is a many-faceted idea, tangible and intangible, that drives us.  To walk the path we need to love the path, love ourselves.  Without love, we will not see the path clearly, nor even comprehend that we are on it, or why.

But being a lover does not deny one from also being a fighter.  Pathwalking is not the easiest idea, it requires conscious choice, focus and attention.  Sometimes as we walk this path, obstacles will get in our way.  And while some obstacles are there to redirect us or help us make necessary alterations to our path, some obstacles need to be removed or overcome.

This is where the lover becomes a fighter.  We have to fight for our path, fight for our goal, fight for what we believe.  We do not set aside love, we are fighting from a place of love.

A lot of people see these things as opposite.  Lover/Fighter are two diametrically opposed people.  Except that they are not.  And that is how you know that your fight is just.

How does that work, you might ask?  I see it as thus: if I am coming from a place of love, a place of peace, then I am choosing to fight FOR my love.  I am not using hate or anger or discord, I am standing my ground to defend my position and continue on this path of my choosing.

This gets very Jedi in a lot of respects.  “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense – never for attack,” states Yoda.    But this is the important key about becoming a fighter while remaining a lover.  You are fighting for knowledge and to defend yourself, not attacking another for different beliefs and different choices.

You do not become a fighter to show someone else that they are wrong.  You do not become a fighter to force someone else off their own path, even if it is in disagreement with yours.  You do not become a fighter in anger, or any other negative emotional reaction.

You become a fighter because you feel you are right.  You become a fighter to stay your path and stand your ground with one in disagreement of that.  You become a fighter to prove your love, and to use positive energy to overcome negative.

Warrior monks are an old archetype.  Truly, this is the embodiment of the idea of lover as fighter.  A more modern take on this is Paulo Coelho’s Warrior of the Light.  You are a warrior for good, a fighter for positive, not fighting against this or against that, but fighting FOR this or FOR that.

Pathwalking is choice.  As mentioned previously, that is a choice for something, not a choice against something else.  It is a small distinction, but a VERY important one.  The energy to fight against poverty is very different from the energy to fight FOR wealth.  The energy to fight against lack is very different from the energy to fight FOR abundance.  The pen now returns to its place of importance, as our choice of language impacts our path – are we positive, or negative?  Why that matters in Pathwalking has been covered pretty extensively previously.

I am a lover, and I am a fighter.  But I strive to do so from a place of love, from a place of positive energy – because the result I seek as I walk my path is only positive.

Can you be both a lover and a fighter, too?

 

This is the forty-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.

Pathwalking 47

Thank you.

After “I am” these are probably the two most powerful words we can employ in our lives.

And yet, we have a terrible habit of either under-using these words, or else using them without the corresponding feeling of gratitude.

To say it is important.  But to feel it is even more important.  Gratitude is too powerful and too important to not be given the attention it deserves.

I have talked about gratitude before, here.  And it never ceases to amaze me, the more I learn, the more I study, the more I can see that gratitude is an incredibly powerful force.

It is very easy to forget to be grateful.  We take so many things for granted.   We don’t wonder where our next meal will come from because food is not being grown locally – we have a grocery store or restaurant down the block.  Yeah, it’s annoying when the local wifi is down, but at least we don’t have to worry that the water coming out of the tap might make us sick.  And hey – there is water coming out of the tap, and we can control its temperature!

But gratitude is not just about things.  Gratitude is about our jobs, about our health, about the people in our lives, about the things that make us happy.  Gratitude is even knowing we have this ability to feel thankful.

If we cannot be grateful for the things we have, big and small, important or seemingly inconsequential, how can we go about choosing a path and walking it?  Without gratitude and thankfulness, how will you ever manage to know if you attain a goal?

It is easy to forget to say thank you, and put feeling behind it.  But it is important, and it should not be neglected.  Whether it is a thank you for someone holding a door open, a thank you for a gift you have received, a thank you for your health and welfare…all are important, and all should be taken into consideration as we go about our day.

But why, you might be asking?  You haven’t explained why gratitude is so important.  Simple.  Because feeling thankful leads to feeling fulfilled.  And when you feel fulfilled, you can find the path you might desire.  When you find the path you want to walk, you achieve dreams, goals, and aspirations.  Conversely, being ungrateful will lead to feeling unfulfilled.  Feeling unfilled will lead to feeling at a loss, feeling like you are rudderless, and your path will disappear.  When your path disappears, you cannot achieve goals, dreams, or aspirations.

I believe a lot of people wind up in ruts because they do not recognize this correlation.  They don’t see that they need to be grateful for what they DO have, in order to draw in more to them.  By not being grateful, they cannot build positive momentum.  So they instead begin with a lack of gratitude, and from there build negative momentum…and go nowhere, or go not to the path they would prefer.

I am guilty of this.  I forget how important this is.  Sure, I may not have published a full length novel, but I am grateful I have been published.  I may not have what I consider the ideal car, but I am grateful for my car.  I may not have the perfect job, but I am grateful for having a job.  I may not always be happy with my family, but I am grateful that I have family.  And so on and so forth.

But it is not enough to say the words (or, in this instance, write them).  And this is the hardest part for me, at least.  You have to FEEL them.  Thank you is not just words – it is feeling, it is emotion.  And feelings are what drive the universe.  Consciousness creates reality can be stated instead as feelings make things.  Manifestation requires thought, requires desire, requires emotion.  AND, with that, you need gratitude.

Think about, and choose the path.  Feel the desire and excitement to walk the path.  Feel the contentment and happiness that comes of the act of walking the path.  Be grateful for the opportunity, the choices, and the ability to choose Pathwalking.  That is the simplest breakdown, I think, of what Pathwalking is.

The most powerful statement of all may be this:  I am thankful.  But the statement alone is half the battle – the other half is the feeling behind it.

I am thankful.  I am thankful for the opportunity to share my path with you.  I am thankful for you reading about Pathwalking.  Thank you.

What do you feel gratitude for today?

 

This is the forty-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.

Pathwalking 46

While Pathwalking is a philosophy, Pathwalking is also the ultimate form of self help.  Why?  Because you and you alone are in control.

I know many people who turn to various self-help gurus to find ways to do what I’ve been talking about here every week for the past eleven and a half months.  I myself have explored many of these, reading Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Bob Proctor’s You Were Born Rich, Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese?, and others.  I have listened to audio books like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, T Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and more recently Tony Robbin’s Personal Power II.  I follow Paulo Coelho’s blog, and take inspiration in most of his tales, though they are (largely) fiction.

To some degree, I am ashamed to admit to this.  Why?  Because I know many people who consider these people to be full of bullshit.  Hokum.  Bunk.  And I suppose it could be argued that in composing my Pathwalking posts weekly, I am emulating them.  Or worse, just parotting what I have learned in my own form.

The thing is, while I know a lot of people who consider these ‘self help’ or ‘new age’ or ‘crunchy-Hippy’ ideas to be nothing but self aggrandizing crap, I have come to see that, at the core, they are all getting at the same thing.

What do you really want?  What does any of us truly desire from this life?  The answer always comes down to this: Happiness.  We all want to FEEL happy.  THAT is the most driving force in our lives.

Why am I working at a job that pays poorly?  Because apart from the pay, the job makes me happy.  Conversely, why does my friend work at a job that pays astronomically high, and yet makes them miserable?  Because that astronomical pay allows the friend to buy things that are intended to bring happiness.  Why do we eat fattening foods?  Why do we seek companions?  Why do we turn to religion to explain the unexplained?  Because when all is said and done, this will find us various forms of happiness.

Why do we turn to new age philosophies and self-help gurus?  Because we are seeking happiness, and something they are sharing resonates with us.  Maybe not the entire message, maybe not every aspect of what they are presenting…but there is a connection.

They all share specific themes.  Mundane and daily practices like gratitude, asking non-self-degrading questions, affirmations, feeling behind corresponding thought, controlling our own emotions, making lists.  They go on to share grander schemes, like the notion that consciousness creates reality, we are all seeking Happiness first and foremost, gratitude for what we have will allow us to gain more.

Pathwalking is my attempt to get at the core of these notions, and put into practice the universal, practical aspects of the ideas these people have put forward.  Pathwalking is my way of saying that the best resource we have for anything we want is ourselves.

Pathwalking is not intended to be a new-age, self-help, crunchy-Hippy let’s-all-join-hands-and-sing kum-bah-ya thing.  Pathwalking is a philosophy.  My study and subsequent explanation of Pathwalking is my attempt to make sense of the things I have studied from a wide range of sources, and explain it both to myself, and to you.

Pathwalking is our birthright.  We are all capable of choosing our destinies.  We are all capable of taking matters into our own hands, and finding and following our own bliss.  It is not a gimmick, there is no One True Way to walk the path, and there is no One True Path to walk.

Most importantly, my purpose is to remind myself, and to show you that there ARE paths to be found, to be explored, to walk, to run, and even to be avoided.  We are only victims of circumstance if we allow ourselves to be.  We are only beholden to those we allow to have that power.  But in the end, when all is said and done, we make our own destiny.

This is the root of what the previously mentioned self help, new age, what-have-you authors and gurus are getting at.  Their information, whether wisdom or folly, is a lesson in whatever form you take it in.  But at the heart of their information, the notion is Pathwalking.  Find your path.  Make choices.  Walk your path.

Who do you turn to outside of yourself for information/inspiration?

 

This is the forty-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.

A post-election open letter to the US Congress

Dear United States Congresspeople,

Now that the election is over, how about actually doing the will of the people, instead of the will of the business entities that may be funding your future campaigns?

No filibusters.  No obstructions.  No policy statements from one party specifically to disrupt the other.  How about doing some lawmaking?  And not just deregulating the businesses promising to fund your next election – actual, factual lawmaking.

Try some of these on for size:

Taxation.  How about taxing the extremely rich more proportionately?  Rather than offering more cuts, how about doing something to attempt to generate some income, so we can have less debt?  For example – do a better job of taxing the rich in a more proportionate manner to their income.

That, by the way, goes for big business, too.  If you are a corporation making billions of dollars in PROFIT (which, let’s not forget, is money above and beyond operating expenses), you should not be getting any tax breaks.  UNLESS, let’s try this – you must create at least 100,000 jobs that pay $40,000 a year plus benefits.  Yes, that will cost said business more than $4 BILLION dollars – however, if you are making profits around $21 BILLION dollars a year – is this REALLY going to hurt you?  I think not.  AND you will stimulate the economy, so – win-win, in truth.  Less greed would be a VERY good thing.

Because let’s face it.  Greed is why the economy is in the state it has been.  Greed is why the job market is the mess that it is.  How about doing something to make the greedy loosen their fists some?  How about encouraging and rewarding fairness, cooperation and generosity?

Social Security.  Rather than seeking new means to sustain this, why not begin with the REALLY obvious solution?   Did you know that after someone earns $108,000 dollars a year, they pay no additional SS tax?  That means if you earn even $120,000 a year, you don’t pay social security tax for that $12,000 you earn above that.  Now apply that to people who make over $200,000 a year.  Can you imagine how much more would be collected for social security if they remove the ceiling on the tax?  How about THAT?

Infrastructure.  The infrastructure is in serious need of maintenance!  How about getting out of the 20th century and taking care of getting our power grid, our roads, trains and canals updated, so we don’t get cast into a 3rd world nation whenever nature acts up?

And while we’re at it – let’s have some support for research and development into things like solar, wind, geothermal and wave energy sources.  Let’s stop relying on coal and oil and other dirty power sources (which science shows contributes to climate change – which contributes to hurricanes and tornadoes and off-season snow storms and such) and start taking advantage of renewable resources.

Marijuana.  I don’t care what side of this debate you are on – marijuana was made illegal NOT because it is an illicit drug – but because the cotton industry was feeling threatened by hemp early last century, and lobbied for this substance to be made an illegal narcotic.  Let’s look at the BILLIONS of dollars our government spends annually policing the drug.  But if you made pot legal, then someone could start making marijuana cigarettes – and then you can tax them.  Hemp rope, hemp clothing – all taxable items.  Instead of SPENDING billions on this, the government could be EARNING billions in revenue.

Health care.  The problem with health care in this country is the insurance companies.  They, of course, don’t want anyone to realize this, and they contribute a LOT of money to the various politicians to keep it that way.  They are a FOR PROFIT industry, my friends.  That is why our health care system in this country is such a mess – because it is no longer about our health and welfare, it is about the money.  Our focus is backwards when it comes to this matter, too.  We do not encourage preventative care and maintenance – we only encourage getting things fixed when broken.  But as any car owner knows, if you do not do care and maintenance, when it breaks (and it WILL break) it will cost twice as much to fix than if you HAD maintained it.  Our bodies are NO DIFFERENT.

Education.  How about taking less interest in test scores, and more interest in the quality of the education of the people of this nation?  Why don’t you put less tax dollars into the military and political campaigns, and more into teachers and school systems?  We are continuing to slip further and further in the rankings worldwide, and we should be FAR more concerned and far more interested in doing something about this.  I know that teaching critical thinking makes it harder for you to remain in control, but how about actually thinking about the future health of the nation, intellectually?

Term limits.  I KNOW you will not do this, because it will put you out of a job.  HOWEVER – it has become clear that with you constantly running for reelection, you seem to only give a relatively small amount of time to actually DOING that job.  SO – I think we need to limit just how often you can SERVE in these roles.  And yes, the word IS serve – you are elected to an office as a PUBLIC SERVANT, making and passing laws to better our nation – NOT to line your pockets or the pockets of those who fund you and your reelections.  We the people need a government by and for US, not by and for corporate interests and the extremely wealthy.

We are a DEEPLY divided nation.  The results of this election bring that into striking clarity.  And frankly, you are responsible for a large portion of that.  Because in you own self interests, or the interests of those who fund you, you are working to put yourselves in office, or to remove others.  You don’t govern the people as you are elected to do.  And as comfortable as you clearly are with this, you are utterly ignoring the history preceding you.  The system cannot sustain itself on greed and patronage and lies.  It WILL collapse.  You can stop this.  You can do something to prevent this.  IF you have the courage and conviction to do the bidding of the people.

While we are at it, let’s talk about the things you do NOT need to give any focus to.

Abortion and reproductive health.  Again, I do not care if you are pro-life, pro-choice, or what-have-you – government does NOT belong here.  PERIOD (pun intended). Government cannot and should not be telling women what they can do with their bodies.  Birth control, abortion, does not matter – the government has NO RIGHT AT ALL to dictate, control, or regulate these things.  Stop interfering with these matters – especially as MEN who cannot even experience these things.  A woman has the RIGHT to make whatever choices she cares to when it comes to her body.  END OF STORY.  So leave it be.

Gay marriage.  WHY does the government care if two people want to marry one another but happen to be the same gender?  It should not matter – if a man and a man or a woman and woman choose to unite in marriage – THEY SHOUD HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO SO!  This is the suffragist movement and the civil rights movement ALL OVER AGAIN.  Guess which side won this those times?  Rather than even getting involved in this, how about doing the right thing and coming out on the side of history?

Which brings us to the reason both gay marriage and abortion/reproductive health are even topics of conversation:

Religion.  There is separation of church and state FOR A REASON.  We are a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindis, Wiccans, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists – YOU NAME IT.  All of these are represented in this nation, and NONE of them get a louder or more represented voice in our government.  Or rather, none of them SHOULD.  STOP trying to put your values system into our political structure – IT DOES NOT BELONG.  Church and state are SEPARATE, and need to remain so.

The state of our nation is not eroding due to a lack of Christian or other religious ethic – it is eroding because NO ONE cares to be accountable for their actions. It is eroding because GREED and special interests are dominating our corporate, business AND religious institutions.  It is eroding because we are not properly supporting the education of the people of this nation.  It is eroding because rather than attempting to mend our differences and work together, you are supporting greater and greater divides between us.

PLEASE, dear members of congress, work FOR the people, as you are empowered to do.  PLEASE stop letting the greed and the money corrupt you and your purpose.  Work together to heal the wounds dividing the nation.  Work together, and try to turn things around so that the American Dream might actually be able to become the American Reality.

With sincerest hope,

An Average American.

Pathwalking 45

What if I choose the wrong path?  How will I know if this is the right choice or the wrong choice?  What if I should have zigged instead of zagged?

This is an issue that I have seen people constantly grappling with.  The idea of “what if”?

“What if” is the questioning of choice.  What would have happened if I had turned left instead of right?  What if that day I had driven instead of walked?  What if while I choose to be with her, I miss a better her?  What if I can’t find a decent job?  What if…what if…what if?

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, but constantly turning back and asking “what if” can drive you not only off a chosen path, but it can also trap you in indecision.

All “what ifs” are not bad.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – that’s science.  As such, consequences will be had from any choice.  Consequence often has negative connotations.  But life is about choices, and choice is seldom, if ever, singular. There is always an opposite – even when that opposite is not choosing at all.  Choices will lead to consequential things.

Asking “what if” prior to moving your feet on the path does have a certain wisdom, depending on the path, and how it will affect you and those around you.  As an occasional question, in especial prior to setting out on a path, “what if” serves a useful purpose.  But it becomes detrimental if the question becomes attached to every decision in a way that keeps you second-guessing every choice and decision you make.

I concede that you have to ask what your actions will bring you.  If you do not ask, how will you know it you are making an informed choice?  The problem that can develop is in second-guessing your choices, asking continuously “what if”, and ending your action and forward momentum.

What if I did this?  What if I did that?  What if I moved this way?  What if I moved that way?  What if?  What if?  What if?

And thus you find you are now in opposition to Pathwalking.  You are not only no longer moving along the path.  To all intents and purposes, you are standing in place, spinning round and round.  Sure it seems as if you are in motion, but truth be told it is motion the does not move you along any path at all.

It is far too easy to get caught in this literal cycle.  In especial if you are an analytical person.  It is also problematic if you have a tendency to be wishy washy or indecisive.  And second guessing one’s actions is often another manifestation of fear.  Fear of movement, fear or change, fear of making a mistake, fear of getting where you want to get to.

I think it is virtually impossible to NOT ask “what if”.  The solution, though, lies in the answer.  And, in this type of  “what iffing” here, actually having an answer to the question.

That, for me, has often been where the “what if” questioning stems from.  I either do not HAVE a cogent answer, or I am too afraid to fail or too afraid to succeed (or both) to choose an answer.  Or, in the case of multiple answers, to choose one for fear of choosing wrong.

Which brings us to the key to how to deal with this.  You cannot dwell on the “what if”.  When it does arise, best to either choose an answer, or ignore the question altogether.

Sure, I could ask myself over and over again ‘what if what if what if’?  But if I just go with it, and let my decision carry through, there will be an answer.

This is the crux of it.  Rather than questioning your decision, “what iffing” the choice you have made…just push forward.  Push past the doubt and the fear and the uncertainty that are disguising themselves as the simplistic “what if”…and let your journey happen.

Pathwalking is about choice.  Pathwalking is about decision.  Pathwalking is about conscious action.  “What if”, at the beginning, is a good question to ponder…but letting the question stop you on your way is a danger to be aware of.  And once you are past it, you may find that you have gotten better at decision making by taking conscious action, and “what if” will seldom plague you again.

What if Pathwalking is the action you’ve always waited to take in your life?

 

This is the forty-fifth 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 44

The everyday things we readily take for granted can deeply impact Pathwalking.  Beyond diversions, beyond distractions, the unexpected and unplanned can cause Pathwalking to seem unimportant.  And yet…it still is.

This is the first week, for example, that I am not posting this on Wednesday.  After forty-three weeks of timely posts, this one has been delayed.  I am displeased about this fact – but there was no alterative.  The unexpected interfered.

I live on the East Coast of the United States.  While I live probably in the realm of sixty miles northwest of the Atlantic Ocean, my home was in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy.  I did not suffer any loss or property damage from the storm…but my home has been without power now for almost 72 hours and counting.

Today was my first opportunity to visit a friend who has both power and the internet, and I am finally able to make this happen.  For almost three days I have been left with limited access, a home with no heat due to the loss of power, and my ancient notebook computer holds no charge, so I can’t even write, unless I do so with pen and paper.

My work has been closed due to this storm as well, so I have been feeling not simply diverted from my Path, or forced out of my journey…but it feels as though I am utterly frozen in place.  Not only am I not Pathwalking…I am immobile.

This is one of the most intense, but hard to put into words feelings I have ever felt.  A combination of this feeling like I am about to jump out of own skin mixed with a sense of dread and loss mixed with frustration mixed with concern and a lack of reason.

I recognize this is an utterly first world problem I have here.  I may not have power at our home or work, but we are perfectly healthy, my home has not suffered any damage, and my friends and family are also well.  But as I have often said, feelings are not logical, are not always easy to make sense out of, and are sometimes just incomprehensible.

Coping with this bizarre, often conflicting sense of being has been an odd experience.  But there are several actions I am taking to deal with this, which can extend beyond the circumstances into all aspects of Pathwalking.

Relax.  I have been stressed about the lack of income due to not working.  I have been frustrated that I am unable to work on this or any other writing projects due to the reliance on technology for them.  I am worried about a costly repair my car will require.  But these are all things beyond my control…so I am relaxing, and letting them go.  I have done a whole lot of reading.  I have been playing many games of cards.  I have been relying on my iPhone, which I can charge in my car.

Amazing how hard I find this. I am working to take advantage of this time to simply relax.  No burdens.  No expectations.  I need only to be.  I am rather shocked at how hard I find it to simply relax and not being on the go or doing or working or what-have-you.  I have mentioned before that rest is needed in Pathwalking –  and now I am beginning to see that relaxation is necessary, too.

Improvise.  No power at my home means no heat.  No ability to cook.  No hot showers.  No lighting.  But we have numerous candles, both real and battery operated, and a charcoal grill we’ve been cooking the contents of our refrigerator on.  My girlfriend took our crock-pot, put in a couple candles and the rack out of the toaster oven to boil water.  We have blankets for warmth, and layers of clothing and a cat to cuddle with.  This is a fine lesson on improvisation which can be applied to all kinds of unexpected situations.

Change the language.  Before we lost power, I was on LinkedIn, and read an article from Tony Robbins.  In it, he said that one way to change your outlook in life is to change your language.  He recommended you take three things you say regularly that are negative, and consciously find alternatives to them.  My own three overused words include:

I am irked about ‘x’.

I am feeling tired.

I am feeling off.

All of these were reiterations of more negative phrasing I overused…but the time has come to remove these, too.  But this is just the start of changing the language.  Rather than being focused on the lack of power and boredom and stir-craziness that can come of this, I am working to refocus on the opportunity to relax and improvise.

I know that in a matter of time, things will return to normal.  What is amazing is that in my quest to live a life extraordinary, I am still a creature of habit.  The things you take for granted can be so interwoven with your life, whether mundane or exciting, that their lack show you something wholly unexpected.  This, too, is part of Pathwalking.  How you cope with these unintended matters reflects things you may have neglected, which are an intricate part of your journey.

How do you deal with the loss of things you might take for granted?

 

This is the forty-fourth 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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