The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: August 2013

Pathwalking 87

I have come to realize that if I am having doubts and issues and struggles along MY path, it is certain you are too.  Pathwalking began as a challenge to myself to post something to the blog weekly, and has evolved into a lifestyle choice, and a philosophy that I think can be beneficial to practically everyone.

But with any lifestyle choice that encourages going “against the grain” or outside of the “status quo”, there are unique challenges. Many of these have to do with external forces, some personal like friends, family and coworkers…some are more abstract and impersonal, like government officials and business moguls and the economy.

Introvert or extrovert, we are social creatures.  I have yet to meet anyone who did not, in some form or other, seek comfort or validation or some other type of acknowledgement from other people.  Praise or scorn, approval or ridicule, love or hate, we need to get at least some recognition from outside of our own heads.

We all measure success and failure in different ways.  So, too, do those around us.  And when we look to them for acknowledgement, when we receive none, or worse, the opposite of what we are seeking, our energy can be sapped and forward momentum halted.

Yes, it is important that we realize how much more of our issues are internal rather than external.  Yes, we need to be more accountable for our own lives, emotions, and actions.  However, we cannot discount the influence of the world around us, or our need for outside input.

I want to share with you the path I am currently choosing to walk.  There are several reasons why I am going to get this personal, most of which have to do with my own clarity of thought.

I have gotten two short stories published in anthologies.  I have self-published the first year of Pathwalking in book form.  I have written numerous magazine articles, content for websites, press releases, and business-related texts.  I have four completed but as-yet unpublished novels, and another four novelettes.  I am a writer, and at least some kind of writing finds its way from my mind through my fingers across the keyboard and into readable form daily.

Meanwhile, I work at a small retail shop and spa as a manager with several different hats.  My hours are somewhat funky, but I like my job and my coworkers.  I do not dread going to work like I have during my experience in Corporate America, but I DO miss the pay and benefits that lifestyle provided me.  I do NOT, however, miss the stress, the corporate politics, and often ludicrous rules and restrictions.

I also am administrator for a couple different websites, and pick up occasional odd jobs for a small business I created for myself.  I am additionally an officer of a local Chamber of Commerce.  Suffice it to say, answering the question “What do you do for a living?” changes depending on who is asking…or my mood…or which group I am a part of…or other factors at the time.

I am currently unmarried, but in a loving and stable relationship.  We have a home and cat together.

While I see many aspects of my life as successful, there are certainly others out there who see differently.  Some see my relationship and question our remaining unmarried.  Some see my job, and question why I accept strange hours and a low salary.  Some see my writing, and question how I can believe in its strength.  Some people see my abilities with computers and technology, and question why I have not pursued this further.

It can be difficult to explain to people that while I am working on making changes in my life to certain aspects of it, I have made the choices that have brought me here.  More than that, I am happy to be on this path of my own choosing.  Yes, it is imperfect, but it is mine.  And more than that, it is not static, it can be and is constantly being changed.

The relationship grows.  Jobs transform.  My writing evolves.  I can choose to pursue skills with technology further.

My point is that even when outside influences cause me to question my choices, my actions, and my plans, I can ask myself if what they are offering me is valid and helpful, or baseless and unconstructive.  Either way, it is a matter of social interaction, which is essential to my overall wellbeing.  How I react to that interaction is, you guessed it, a choice.  And because I am only human, some days I choose better than others.

Pathwalking is a constant, ever-evolving choice.  But I have come to believe it is an outstanding choice.  I learn new things along my path every day – don’t you?

 

This is the eighty-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.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Individuality and sameness

Humans are unique to this world in so very many ways.  The manner in which we live our lives, the technologies we build, the means by which we communicate is vastly different from the rest of the animals on planet Earth.

We are also unique in the ways we differentiate ourselves from one another.  Skin color, religion, nationality, political stance, gender…in our quest for individuality, we identify ourselves in increasingly divisive ways.  Yet we all strive to find common ground.  We all strive to find our place in the world.  We all strive to find love.

We identify ourselves by some of the most amazing intangibles.  I am American.  I am Christian.  I am Buddhist.  I am German.  I am liberal.  I am conservativeI am I am I am on and on.  But when the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, does this matter?

The divisions we have created between ourselves will be our downfall.  I am sorry to make such a simple and negative statement, but it is utterly true.

Look at the world today.  We are constantly standing against one another over intangible matters.  The various religious sects, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish or other fighting both amongst themselves and between one another over who’s intangible Powers-that-be are right.  Republicans and Democrats obstructing one another over petty bullshit in a power struggle to control the country.

And just to add to that fun, there are the tangibles we divide ourselves with.  Women having to justify and fight for the right to their own self-care when men make ludicrous laws.  Homosexuals having to fight for equality and the right to marry or adopt or what-have-you.  Transgendered individuals struggling to not have to be identified by gender or sexual orientation to live their own lives.

At the core, at the root of it all, no matter what manner we choose to identify ourselves, tangible or intangible, WE ARE ALL ONE.  Despite religious interest, party affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, nationality – WE ARE ALL ONE.  And that is the message we need to become more aware of, and more accepting of if we are to avoid collapse.

John Lennon expressed it best in Imagine.  “Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try.  No hell below us, above us only sky…Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do.  Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too…Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.  No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.  Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”  The message is simple – See the world as it can be if WE ARE ALL ONE.

No, we cannot deny our individuality.  No, we are not all equal in that there are people who are going to stand out in different ways in different fields.  No, not everyone can be a winner just for participating – there will be winners AND losers.  But those are true individual matters, and the things that emphasize our individuality in a natural way.

But however we choose to individually identify ourselves, we need to remember that we need to be accepting of the individuality of others.  This should not be cause to opposition, to oppression, and intolerance…because no matter how we are different individually, ALL ARE ONE.

So rather than fighting against one another and our opposing viewpoints, tangible or intangibles, we need to remember they want the same things I want.  They want the same freedom, the same acknowledgement of their individual self, the same chance to identify with whatever group or groups they would.  What they want and what I want, at the root of it all, is the same.

We should not rue our differences, but celebrate them, remembering that within the individuals are the same substance as what is within us.  We need to forge bonds, not break them.  We need to unite for the greater good, not fight for it.  We need to work together for each other, not against one another.  We need to stop separating ourselves from one another, and start working on bringing ourselves together to make the world a better place for everyone.

What makes us all different?  What makes us all the same?  Just some food for thought.

Pathwalking 86

Change is inevitable.

Change will happen, no matter how much you would rather it did not.  Change is a part of life, it is a constant, and it cannot be denied.

We can put it off, we can neglect it, we can rail against it.  But it will happen, and it will take place, for good or ill.  Change comes.

People often think themselves victims of circumstance, victims of change.  But we all have within us the power to direct and control change.  It may not always be perfect, it may not be easy, but we DO have the power within us.

This is what Pathwalking is all about.  It is taking choices, MAKING choices, and thus affecting change.  Pathwalking is about seeking control of my own life, and thus control over changes as they happen.

But it is vastly important that I recognize the inevitability of change.  It is a constant, though its pace and timing and area of effect are not.  Still happens, still there, unstoppable.

Change can be delayed.  Change can be held off.  Change can even be derailed, somewhat.  But it happens.  Nothing remains stagnant, nothing remains as it is, everything changes.

I prefer to not be a victim of anything, let alone change.  As a Pathwalker, I am seeking to choose for myself my life, my way, my plans.  A part of that is having knowledge of change, and doing what I can to make change be in my favor.

Of course, as with most things, some change is beyond the scope of my ability to control.  I can’t make the government be fair and equitable to all, I cannot make monster corporations responsible and less greedy, I cannot control the feelings of others.

That is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, but recognizing the change we cannot control frees us.  If we do not put effort into what we can do nothing about, then we can focus on the things we CAN effect.  I can work on change directly within my own life and how it will impact me.

I cannot make the government do as I might want, but I CAN choose to support those who might.  I cannot change corporate greed, but I CAN support corporations that are better models.  I cannot control the feelings of others, but I CAN work on my own feelings, and my own actions towards others.

If I want to see change, I have to work from my own space, my own abilities, my own corner of the world as it were.  Most importantly, I can control much of the change within myself.

I WILL get older.  That’s an inevitable change.  But there is much I can do to make the aging process smoother, healthier, and non-detrimental.  I can choose my level of diet and exercise and stress, I can participate in activities that make me feel good and keep me feeling young.  So while change is happening, I can direct much of the HOW of it.

We forget easily that we can control a great deal of our own experiences in this life.  Pathwalking is about learning this, knowing this, and working with it.  Change totally falls into this category, and is not something we should fear, but something instead we should embrace, and work in our way to make the most of.

Change is how we learn, how we grow, and ultimately how we advance.  Change leads us from the horse and buggy to moon landings.  Change is the telegraph to the smart phone.  Change comes, and we can either do our best to make it good and positive, or bad and negative.  I know which is my preference.

Pathwalking is choice, and choice often involves change.  It is my belief that knowing this and making the most of it could work wonders for everyone.

How do you handle change?

 

This is the eighty-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.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Thoughts on opposition

Do you know what happens if we stand against one another, in opposition?  Do you know what we accomplish, what we achieve?

Nothing.

That’s right.  Opposing this and standing against that and resisting things gets you a whole lot of nothing.  It gets you nowhere.

Look at the federal government.  Rather than work on a replacement for Obamacare, what do they do?  Oppose it.  And what do they accomplish?  Nothing.

Carl Jung told it simply.  “What you resist, persists.”

What does that mean?  That means that if you fight AGAINST something, if you resist something, if you work in opposition of something, you accomplish NOTHING.  Because the thing you are opposing will persist.

As a society we have become either complacent when it comes to a need for change…or resistant or oppositional.  And, as such, we are at an impasse, and achieving nothing.

This is no longer just unhealthy.  This is becoming dangerous.  This is going to lead us to places we would rather not be.

Unhealthy and dangerous?  How?  Because the inaction this makes means the bad things happening out there get worse.  The immobility will persist, and as such there will be no positive changes, no forward motion, and stagnation.  Or worse, we will accomplish only negative changes, backwards motion, and some pretty ugly issues stemming from that.

We NEED forward motion.  We NEED change.  We NEED inclusiveness.  It will not always be what everyone wants, it will not always be good…but it is a constant.  And we have to stop hiding from that, stop denying that, and accept it.

Once we accept the inevitability of change, we can work harder to direct it.  We can strive together to make change that we WANT.

We need to give this more consideration.  If each of us recognized the inevitability of change, and we then work to deal with it and direct it, we can ALL live in a better world.

This is NOT hippy-dippy-crunchy-granola bullshit – this is a VERY real thing.  We can ALL achieve more, we can ALL be happy if we stop working to OPPOSE change and start working FOR change.

Think about it.  Then pass it on.

Pathwalking 85

While we are singular beings, we are made of many components.  Some are physical and tangible, like our organs and limbs and such – some are intangible – like our soul, spirit, and emotions.

While exploring the topic of trust, I touched on three separate but equal aspects that make up the human experience.  I thought it might not be a bad idea to explore these further, as they play a greater part in our make-up than just with regards to trust.

What I am on about is the concept of heart, mind and instinct.  I am not talking about the physical embodiments of these, I am exploring the abstracts.

And what ARE these notions, exactly?  That’s what I want to get into.  I would argue that these three aspects of our individual self are a part of our decision making process we usually don’t even realize.  Each one examines a given choice, and weighs in on it.  Sometimes they are in complete agreement.  But sometimes, they are in conflict.  Yet each is equal to the other, even when they are seemingly imperceptible.  Each plays its role generally on a deeply unconscious level.  They break down as follows:

Mind.  Put in the simplest terms, this is your thought.  Your logic circuit, if you will.  Reason, deduction, analysis of any given situation or choice.  Mind for me has always been the easiest of these to reckon with.  I KNOW is a statement of mind.  Mind develops over time, and as we learn and study and grow, we gain more mindfulness.  For some, like me, it is the analytical and logical that we allow to dominate this triumvirate.  I can figure it out.  I can learn it.

Heart.  Put into the simplest terms, this is your emotion.  Your ‘feels’, if you will.  Whatever choice is before you, whether it is great or small, there is a deep-seated emotional reaction.  This is heart.  It can manifest itself in numerous ways – a feeling of contentment, a feeling of anxiety, a feeling of joy, a feeling of fear, etc.  Heart is emotion, heart is often without logic or simple explanation.  I FEEL is a statement of heart.  For some it is the emotional that they allow to be the dominant of these three notions.  Sometimes, though, heart gets confused with instinct.

Instinct.  Put into the simplest terms, this is your gut reaction.  Not a matter of thought, but it can FEEL like a matter of emotion.  This is that sensation tingling the base of your skull, or stirring butterflies in your stomach without explanation.  This is that knowing that you cannot easily attach an emotion or a thought to.  This is that sense of utterly illogical, but solid sensation you just have complete certainty or uncertainty about.  My gut says or My spidey sense is tingling or Can’t put my finger on it, I just KNOW.  Instinct can feel like the emotion, but it is more visceral and more primordial than emotion.  I THINK is often a statement of instinct rather than mind.

Instinct often gets overridden by heart and mind.  It is a matter of nature versus nurture, and as we are more genuine in our nature in our youth, we are better at following and understanding our instinct.  The older we get, the more we are taught to ignore instinct for the more logical heart and mind.  But instinct is just as powerful.  I just knew I should have zigged when I zagged.  I knew it was right, but did it wrong.  I knew it was wrong, but did it anyway.  Instinct either ignored or unrecognized.

Yet each one of these three tenets are equally important.  I have found along the way that if I trust only one over all others, I cannot accomplish what I may have set out to do.  If I only KNOW something, but have no thought or feeling to it…or I only FEEL it, but do not think or know the reason…or I THINK it, but I cannot fully know or feel it – then  I have 1/3 of the information necessary to make my decision or choice.

Of course, just to throw a wrench into the works, there are going to be times you can only experience heart, mind OR instinct, and neither of the other two can be found.  I honestly do not know the why of this, I just know it to be so.  I hypothesize, though, that perhaps this is due to human nature, and the need to a singular option at times.  Its rather curious, but I DO think that as I get more in touch with the notion of these three aspects, I have experienced this issue less.

Knowing that we are composed of mind, heart and instinct makes it easier, I believe, to recognize their roles in our choices, and thus to bring balance into our lives.  Pathwalking being about choice, it is important to know the role this trio of maxims play in our decision process.

We are made of great complexities, but that is just another part of why I find it so important to find and make my own Path in this world.  Balancing heart, mind and instinct is yet another practice in the constant journey.

Which do of these three concepts do you most resonate with?

 

This is the eighty-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.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 84

So far we have looked at trust on several levels.  It began with an analysis of the notion of trust, and how important trusting yourself it.  Then I continued with answering the question What do you do to regain lost trust?  I explored the absolute importance of forgiveness to this process, and how complex this notion really is.  After that, I continued to explore the importance of trust, and how deeply necessary trusting yourself is.

The question I have not really answered is How do I learn to trust myself?  As I have been analyzing this idea these past several weeks now, I have discovered that this question is another vital key to choosing for myself, and thus walking my path.  Without that trust in myself, how do I trust the choices I make?

How do I learn to trust myself?  Wow, this is a difficult question to answer.  Trust is reliance on something tangible and/or intangible, holding onto confidence and hope.  This is particularly evocative, since I am both tangible and intangible.  Reliance is the word I want to focus on here.  I need to rely on my heart, rely on my mind, rely on my instinct in order to trust.

Seriously?  Yes, this is, I think, where trust is rooted.  These are the parts of the self where trust is based.  And they are intangibles more than they are tangibles.  While I am going to separate these to look more closely at them, please note that I believe that you cannot choose just ONE of them in making choices.  You need at least two out of three to get where you want to go.

Trust the heart.  I know how things make me feel.  I know in my heart that something makes me feel good or bad, happy or sad, etc.  I have to feel this, really feel it.  For me, as I have mentioned time and again, this is particularly difficult.  I need to let the feelings happen, let them flow, so that I can get where I want to go.  Trusting my heart has been one of my personal greatest challenges.

Trust the mind.  This can be much easier, and the closest of these three notions to a tangible.  I know what I know.  I can gain knowledge, I can study, I can explore and discover.  I can analyze the world around me through my senses and the mind experiences and comprehends them.  In my mind I know that this is a good thing and that is a bad thing.  I have the necessary knowledge to judge the rightness and wrongness of the choice before me.  I know what trust is in the mind.

Trust your instinct.  The most intangible of these notions, the hardest to put into words.  Call it your gut feeling, your instinct, your extra-sensory perception or what-have-you.  There is that sensation that is not feeling nor intellect, and it is instinct.  We are far more in tune with instinct as children than we are as adults.  As children we are far more instinctual creatures, we learn things and develop intellect and feelings as we age.  Nature versus nurture is all about instinct.

I know, I cannot tell you why, that I will come to harm if I do this.  I know, don’t ask me how, that this will only bring me pain.  These are examples of instinct.  And I believe that everyone has such moments.  Lots of people prefer to choose intellect and emotion over them, however.

As I said at the start of this, I believe that you cannot choose just ONE of them in making choices.  You need at least two out of three to get where you want to go.  Majority rule.  If the head and the heart agree, or the heart and the gut, or the mind and the gut or whatever combination occurs, you have two out of three of the main players in self trust aligned.

Love is like this.  I have been faced with a situation where my heart told me one thing, but the mind and the instinct disagreed.  Does it come as any surprise that the relationship failed when this was the situation?  Sorry, Mr. Lennon, but love is NOT all you need.

It is very important however to note one thing here.  You WILL get this wrong from time to time.  Trust will be misplaced, to lesser or greater negative effect.  But that is a part of the human condition, and it is important that we forgive, so we can trust again (albeit in some way differently) so that we may continue to learn and grow.  We need to trust again to continue to choose paths to walk.

Trust in the self is largely held on the shoulders of these three notions, the mind heart and instinct.  I am always working on understanding myself, and trusting myself, and I have been surprised these past several weeks to learn how vital trust really is.  But I believe that I can trust myself, and even when I err, I can forgive myself and move on.  Understanding the importance of trust in Pathwalking, in all aspects of life really, is opening new doors to me, and I am excited to see where this will take me next.

Thank you for trusting me.  And thank you for continuing to join me as I walk this path, and explore this idea in a way I hope you, too, can take advantage of.

A very special thank you to a gentleman named Oliver.  He visited the store where I work several weeks ago, seeking an item that literally said ‘trust’.  It was during the ensuing conversation that I was inspired to pick up this topic for Pathwalking these past four weeks, and I am deeply grateful for his unknowing assistance.

 

This is the eighty-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.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

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