The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: December 2012

Actions for the New Year

Last year, I ended 2011 by stating my plan to make actions rather than resolutions for 2012.

I feel that taking action, rather than making a resolution, is more powerful, and far more easy to work with and on.  I am not just putting out some idea for what to do that I might try, I am going to take action.

My New Year’s Actions for last year:

  • I will act to more frequently show gratitude for the things I have, the people in my life, my health, my job, and all the other things for which I am grateful.
  • I will act to treat the people around me as I wish to be treated.
  • I will act to focus on positives, and ignore negatives.  I will act to spin out a positive from a negative.
  • I will act to work on the now, and not dwell in the past nor pine for the future.

I believe that I have done a pretty decent job with these.  And rather than create new actions for 2013, I am going to restate these, and add one or two.  Having learned quite a lot from actions of the past year, I also know these can and should be made more concise.

As a part of taking actions last year rather than resolutions, I began to blog weekly.  I created my Pathwalking series, to explore the idea of finding and walking my own path in life.  In order to experience the actions I set forth at the end of 2011, I use the blog to share what I am learning as I undertake this journey.

I recognize that these actions are something that can be applied daily.  That was the intent.  They are not grandiose, they should not require any truly life altering acts.  They create simple things easily done that I think will better my life.

It is too easy to resolve to do something big and life changing.  And the complexity of big and life changing ideas can quickly become too difficult and thus overwhelming, and as such get abandoned.

The actions I have taken, and will take further, are simple.  But in choosing these simple actions, I am setting myself up for success.  And success, I have been learning, will build up bigger and bigger, no matter where you start.  So why not start small, and allow for some exciting escalations of success?

I am far too good at self-sabotage.  So doesn’t it make more sense to set myself up for success, instead of failure?  The only conclusion I can reach here is, yes, why not allow myself something I can easily succeed with?

So before you make that convoluted, hard-to-follow resolution, why not choose a simple action to better your life for the coming year?

My New Year’s Actions for 2013:

  • I will express gratitude frequently and unreservedly.
  • I will treat others as I wish to be treated.
  • I will focus on feeling positives, and finding positives in any negatives I encounter.
  • I will live in the now.
  • I will feel as well as think.
  • I will focus on abundance.

Happy New Year to all!

Pathwalking 52

Endings are seldom the end.

One of the things I have postulated all along during the course of these posts has been that at the root of it all, everything is energy.  And energy, science will tell you, can neither be created nor destroyed, it simply is.  Theology says this too, it just calls the same thing the Omnipresent.  It moves into and through form, out of form, and then takes shape again, anew.

As such, we never truly reach an ending.  But the shape of things change.

The universe is monstrously huge.  Like beyond just the visible spectrum, beyond any ideas of size we can imagine, huge.  In the enormity is endless possibility.  Fantastical ideas that seem impossibly far fetched today could well be reality tomorrow.

This can be a thrilling idea.  Anything you can dream, anything you can imagine is in theory possible.  Our limitations largely are set purely by us.  We alone choose to believe what can and cannot be done.

Conversely, this can be an ultimately terrifying idea.  Have you ever at some time in your life sat back, and stared up into the starry skies?  As you stared up into the vastness of space, did you ponder how far it goes, how vast the idea of eternity might be?  Did you begin to feel small, to feel scared, to feel that it is too much, too big, too terrifying to really dive into?  Did you pull back, and seek comfort in hot cocoa, the touch of a loved one, or something else to divert your mind from this?

Trouble is, I think a lot of people do just that…and then they become trapped in by that fear.  And so they wind up going through the motions, day by day, a cog in the machine.  And then they get that reinforced by concepts of societal morality, religion, ethics, nationalism, and ultimately fear.  They would rather be accepted, be considered “normal” than pursue something more for themselves.  And they would rather in that normalcy not face the terror of the limitless beyond.

For the past fifty-two weeks I have shared with you my philosophy.  I have given you ideas and concepts and templates of what I call Pathwalking.  I have been walking my own path as I have shared my ideas with you.  Some days with greater success than others.  I have shared this idea in part to make you more aware of the possibility…but in truth, I share this because I need to be aware.

I consider myself a well grounded individual.  I know who I am, I know who I wish to be.  And yet in saying this and believing it to be as I see it, I inadvertently limit my potential.  I see a path, I choose to walk it.  But sometimes in walking the path I choose, I become blind to other notions, other possibilities.  I do not see that along the path, as many things as I may encounter, there are even more.

Whilst I have strive to make my own choices and walk my own path and not let life live me, I still manage to forget that even as I traverse a given path, I need to remain open to possibility.  In the grand scheme of things, in a universe of infinite potential, I have to remember that in choosing to walk my path, I will grow and change and learn.  And it is easy to journey along, and wind up with blinders as to how much more you might be able to have.

I started to write fantasy and science fiction when I was nine years old.  I continue to this day.  But as I got older, I began writing for business.  I write press releases and advertising copy and informational brochures and website content.  And then along the way I began to write philosophical examinations and blog entries about social, cultural and political topics.

My point is that I began with a single path.  But then I learned my potential takes me farther.  I came to realize that there is infinitely more that I am capable of than I believed before.

What has this got to do with endings?  I have stated previously that when you attain the goal at the end of the path, once you have celebrated, it is time to choose another path to walk.  Rather than reach an ending, you start a new beginning.

Recently the world reached a point that many people thought might well be an ending.  One of many suggestions that a terrible, final ending will come.  And yet, the world didn’t end.  At least, not in the way many thought it might.

I believe, however, that an ending DID occur.  A lot of people hold onto the notion that a catastrophic, final end time will come.  But given the nature of energy, I maintain this is not going to be the case.  But what I do think will happen is that collective consciousness will change.  The end was not an ending…but it is possible we are all about to witness a new beginning.  And I hope that in that new beginning, more people will consider finding and walking their own path.

That said…I have reached my goal.  Fifty-two weeks of Pathwalking.  I set out to take this action a year ago, and I have succeeded.  And yet, I have not reached the end.  Pathwalking will continue.  What remains to be seen is how it, like me, like you, will change.

Will you continue to follow along with me on this journey?

 

This is the fifty-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 51

Given natural disasters, mass murders and other tragedies, it is easy to question how anyone can believe they have control over anything.

It can be terrifying to see how fragile our lives are.  It takes so little to break a body and snuff out a life force.  I suppose it is that randomness, that nonsensical disillusionment that causes a person to turn to religion for solace.  Since it seems that control is but an illusion, if you give it over to a higher power, then you have an explanation.

While I do believe in some form of a ‘higher power’, I do not believe that it controls our destinies.  You can call it God, Allah, Gaia, the Powers-that-be, the Almighty, the Oversoul, or what-have-you.  We each have free will, we each have our own ways of thinking and doing things.  We are still capable of choosing our own paths.

So what?  you might question.  Innocent bystanders and children murdered in cold blood didn’t choose to be victims.  Why does the choice matter?

There are two inescapable truths for every single one of us.  The first is that we cannot choose our blood relatives.  The second is that our lifespan is finite.  This body is designed to grow, to change, to age, and eventually to die.

We can do something about that first inescapable truth.  We can choose to create families.  We can choose how we relate to people, and how close we hold them.  And while we can do all sorts of things to prolong and hold off the second truth, these bodies we live in will die.

Some people are so focused on that fact, and so deeply terrified of it, they neglect to live.  And I am not just talking about eating, sleeping, breathing – I mean living.  Learning.  Exploring.  Taking an occasional risk.  Experimenting outside of comfort zones.  Making conscious choices.

Despite our choices, despite our goals and our dreams, we cannot control random happenstance.  But if we focus on the infinite possibilities of how our lives will end, we miss out on opportunities to enjoy some pretty incredible things.  Sights, sounds, smells, feelings, the possibilities of these things are more endless and more interesting than the inevitability of our eventual deaths.

Pathwalking is about making choices.  Not all the paths we will choose will work out.  Not all of them will be right.  Some may not even be good.  But we choose a path, and we walk it to see where it might take us.  We choose, as such, to live life, rather than let life live us.

It seems illogical in the extreme that someone would choose to take such a horrific path as to get a gun and go shoot up a mall or a classroom.  How can someone strap a bomb to themselves and go blow up a marketplace?  It is disturbing, it is sick, it is disheartening.  It is frightening, and it seems utterly surreal.  This was someone’s choice?

How desperate, how hopeless, how angry, how lost must a person feel to do something like that?  Taking your own life is one thing…but taking the lives of others, innocents, that’s just unjustifiable.  And it is tragic on so very many levels.

Pathwalkers choose paths not only to better ourselves, but I believe we choose paths to also better those around us.  If I am a better-adjusted, more content person, even a happier person, doesn’t that radiate out to the people around me?  I’d like to think so.

Bad things happen to good people.  It is unfortunate, it can be horrifically tragic, but it is inescapable.  However, rather than let fear of such things cause us to not make choices, we need to individually do what we can to live as full a life as possible.  I am choosing my own path, I am working to feel better and more confident about myself as a person.  And I am doing what I can to share this journey, in the hopes that doing so might help others struggling with the same thing.

If you have not done so lately – tell the people in your life how grateful you are for them.  Tell those you love that you love them, too.

I have done some pretty amazing things with my life thus far.  I have done some less-than-spectacular things with my life as well.  But I choose to live the best life I can.  I am a Pathwalker.  Good days, bad days, I am grateful for my life, and put forth all the necessary intent to make it the best one I can.

Do you live in fear of how your life will end, or live the best you can each day?

 

This is the fifty-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.

Hate is never the answer

Hatred is a wasteful, ugly, primordial, and frankly useless emotion.  To quote Yoda – “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Hate is defined, according to dictionary.com as thus:

hate 

verb (used with object)

1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility
toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

2.to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.

verb (used without object)

3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.

noun

4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.

5.the object of extreme aversion or hostility.

Why do I bring this up?  Because a lot of people are currently feeling sadness, and sympathy following the recent tragedy in CT.  People are currently grieving.  But the next step will be blame.  And with blame, hatred will be sparked.

Yoda’s quote explains the why of this.  It begins as we fear suffering a similar fate.  What if I have to choose my life over a child’s life?  Fear leads to anger.  How can this happen?  How can we allow this madness?  How can we change the law and make someone responsible for this?  Anger leads to hate.  Those bastards want to take away my guns.  Those bastards won’t do more to regulate the guns.  Hate leads to suffering.  I can’t sleep at night.  I can’t feel happy living in this terrible, violent world.  I cannot cope anymore.

Look at the Westboro Baptist Church.  They spew hatred and anger and bile and for what?  Does it make anyone happy to see them protesting a funeral?  Do they do anything to better anyone’s lives?  Does their hatred promote anything but the suffering of the bereaved?

I don’t care what religion or form of spirituality you ascribe to or not.  The initial message of all of the prophets, all the seers, all the wise ones, is the same.  Love one another.  Love is true power.  Love yourself.  Love those around you.

Love is the antithesis of hate.  Dictionary.com defines it as such:

love

noun

1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

2.a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child,
or friend

3.sexual passion or desire.

4.a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

5.(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like 

to see a movie, love?

verb (used with object)

15. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.

16.to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).

17.to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.

18.to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.

19.to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.

John Lennon told us “All you need is love.  Love is all you need.”  Jesus, Buddha and every other seer and prophet told us to love one another.  Love builds trust, founds relationships, and makes the world a better place.

Hate, on the other hand, destroys, and brings about suffering.  Hate is not the answer.

Do you think anyone who feels loved is going to commit such atrocious crimes?  Even if these people are loved by someone, do you think it is their inability to feel that love that might be part of what causes such despicable, unspeakable acts?

This is so deeply simple – and yet wrapped up in possibly the most complicated, multi-faceted emotion there is.  And it is that complexity that causes us to sometimes find turning to hate easier than looking to love.

When the grieving is over, rather than casting the blame, looking to the next quick-fix law our government can fight about, or getting angry about the how of this – let’s look to our loved ones.  Let’s look to the people in our lives, and think instead about spreading love so that no one ever winds up in such a dark place.

Mental-health begins with each of us.  Let’s think about that, and consider the big picture.

Let the love we feel for the innocent victims grow outward, before it can be overwhelmed by negative emotions.

Hookey-spookey, crunchy-hippy?  Perhaps.  But that doesn’t mean it is not something to think about.

Pathwalking 50

Confidence is important to Pathwalking.

This is not to be confused with competence.  That’s necessary to many skills one may employ in the process of Pathwalking, but what I want to get into here is confidence.

Confidence does not come easy for a lot of people.  We often feel that the way others judge us has a pretty major effect on what we are doing with our lives.  But the harshest judge of our confidence is usually ourselves.

If I am unsure, uncertain, and hesitant, it should come as no surprise that I will be unable to achieve the desired result of anything I am setting my mind to.  If I am not focused, if I am not sure, certain, and willing to press without hesitation, I will not get very far on any path.  And what that boils down to is confidence.

Pathwalking is about making choices.  I see the path, I choose the path, I walk the path.  If I see multiple paths, certainly I can take a moment to examine them before I choose, but a choice must be made.  I make the choice, I walk that path.  There may be pauses and bumps and twists and turns as discussed previously, but I walk the path I have chosen.

How I carry myself along my path is going to make a big difference in what I can gain.  If I am traveling my path hesitantly, ambiguously, uncertainly…then I leave myself subject to second-guessing and discouragement and in all probability I will lose my path and be left in an undesirable state of mind.

Henry David Thoreau famously said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”  That is more or less an explanation of Pathwalking in its simplest terms.  The path you choose is in the direction of living the life you have always wanted.  And making that choice confidently is deeply important.

A lot of people look outside of themselves to feel confident.  But that’s not real confidence…that is validation.  Confidence comes from within, not from without.  No one but you can make you feel confident.  Seeking out a feeling of confidence from others is really seeking validation of your own confidence.

Like any emotion, I am in direct control of my feelings.  Of course there are triggers, and outside influences that will affect how I feel.  But I alone can determine how long I will hold onto the way something might make me feel, versus the way I want to feel.  Confidence works precisely the same.

Accepting the judgment of others will not make you feel confident.  More likely, it will make you feel less than confident, it will make you feel like you should be or have or give or do more.  You have to choose to feel confident.  And there are, I am learning, some very simple ways of bringing about the feeling of confidence.

Do you stand tall, or do you slouch?  Do you walk with a purposeful stride, or do you shamble or shuffle along?  Do you speak soft and meek, or in a confident, strong tone?  Do you sit slumped, or back straight?  Do you breathe shallowly or deeply?  All of these physical attributes can have a direct effect on your feeling of confidence.

If you stand straight, walk with purpose, speak in an appropriate tone and breathe deeply, it is hard not to draw a sense of confidence to yourself.  If this is not how you carry yourself regularly, try it and see.

A note of caution, though.  Be careful that confidence does not get overblown into cockiness.  I think this is actually where I have sometimes backed down from my own confidence, in order to avoid becoming or being perceived as cocky.  How can you tell the difference?  This is where competence comes into play.

Competence is skillfulness.  I am a writer.  I am confident in my skill as a writer.  However, I know I have limitations.  I know I may need an editor, and I know that I might need to revise my work.  I know that my first pass at something may need to be altered.  But I am no less confident in my competence as a writer.  However, if I thought myself so great a writer as to never need an editor, that I don’t ever need to make revisions, or that I can do no wrong and make no mistakes in my craft…that’s cockiness.

The difference between confidence and cockiness is simple – do I still ask questions or just presume I know it all?  The former is confidence…the latter is cockiness.

I am a Pathwalker.  I have chosen to walk a path, and I am confident in myself, and in my choice.  I know there are still questions, I know there will be issues along the way…but I would rather make my choices than let choices be made for me.  I am confident that I know myself…and that is why I choose Pathwalking.

Do you feel confident about yourself?

 

This is the fiftieth 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 49

Old habits are hard to break.

This is a phrase it is necessary to let go of in order to accomplish anything with Pathwalking.

As I practice Pathwalking, I have found numerous old habits ingrained within my psyche that have held me back for most of my life, in one way or another.

There are of course both good habits and bad habits.  So identifying whether the habit in question is a good one or a bad one is important.  Sometimes we may have the best of intentions behind a habitual way of being, but our execution of that manner of being is not going to produce the desired result.  This is where the layers of complexity that make up this process reveal themselves.

Some of these are far easier to identify than others.  Some of these, as such, are harder to address, and thus to deal with.

Breaking a habit is all well and good, but what I have been finding along the way is that it is insufficient.  What is necessary is more than just breaking a habit.  Sometimes you need to unlearn or relearn not just the habit, but the trigger or cause OF the habit in question.

We all wind up getting set in our ways.  We learn, as we grow up and have different experiences throughout our lives how to be.  These things we learn become our habits.  Pathwalking often involves breaking from these habits in order to create something more to our liking for our lives.

Habits can take on different forms.  Some habits are physical, like chewing your fingernails or smoking or eating to fill voids.  Some habits are mental, like berating yourself for mistakes or over-analyzing situations or acting arrogantly to hide feelings of inadequacy.  And of course, all of these habits might be utterly sub-conscious.  We may not be aware of this having become a habit.

For example – I often found when I was bored, or lost in thought, didn’t matter my emotions – I would bite my fingernails.  For no actual reason, I would just chew on my nails.  Sometimes, I’d even find I didn’t remember starting…I’d be driving in my car, listening to something off my iPod, and I was chewing at a nail.  And this is something I have been doing pretty much ALL OF MY LIFE.

Recently, as I am examining my habits, I determined that I have never, truly, made a real, determined effort to stop this.  I’ve half-heartedly ignored my nails for a day or two.  I’d find I hadn’t bitten down a nail or two, and try to ignore the others.  But I never decided not only to stop biting my nails, but to replace the desire to do so with something else.

This is a very recent, very new concept that I have begun to work with.  And I am in part a little ashamed in admitting that I got the notion to do this from listening to a Tony Robbins program.  But one of the concepts he presented – replacing a habitual way of being with something else, something that you want MORE than the habitual way – resonated with me.

Tony Robbins’ methodology is very similar to other self-help gurus and spiritual masters I have been studying.  A combination of thought, feeling, and visualization.  Take the thought, put feeling behind it, and visualize it.  But now replace the vision with a more powerful vision, and imagine and FEEL what that would be like.  Then, hold onto it.  Tony Robbins calls this process creating an anchor.  He also recommends using a physical trigger to support that anchor.

Whatever language you use, whomever you study, these concepts are always the same.  I have mentioned these time and again throughout these Pathwalking posts.  And what it always boils down to is the same thing: Choice.

Pathwalking is about not letting life live you, not being the creature of habit and a victim of circumstance.  Pathwalking is not about finding who is to blame or who can give you a better way of being.  Pathwalking is about YOU.  Pathwalking is about me.

I have chosen to walk my own path because I want to control my destiny.  I have too many goals and aspirations to keep letting the same bad habits, mental or physical, stop me from going where I want to.  So while old habits may be hard to break, I believe that nothing worth having is necessarily easy.  There is always time to replace old habits with new and better ones.  It is a matter of desire, a matter of thought, a matter of feeling, and then a matter of actions.

What habits do you have that you want to change?

 

This is the forty-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.

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